News archive: December 1999

This is the dawning…
December 31, 1999 2:08 PM EST

Everybody sing along: “This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius…”.

So, we’re finally here. The end of the second millenium (well, for most people at least ;)). While you’re out celebrating today, just take a bit of time to think how far we’ve come. Think about the sacrifices of the past that have allowed us to live as we do today, which have allowed you to sit at home, pretty much wherever you are in the world, and view this web page, created by someone in Germany and sitting on a computer in Canada. We have truly come a long way.

However, while you’re celebrating, also take some time to think about those people in our world who are not as fortunate as ourselves. Some people are living at the end of the 20th century in conditions pretty much unchanged since the 10th. If we are to advance in the future as we have in the past, then we need to help these people improve their lives. I’m sure you can think up plenty of ways you can help these people ;).

Just 1 more thing – please be safe this New Year. If you have a tipple whilst celebrating, then don’t leap into your car to get home. We all want tonight to be special, and I’m sure none of you want to start the new millenium sitting in a police cell.

Ok, sermon over ;). Happy New Year!!

Angel Reckless Rodent

Forum downtime tonight
December 31, 1999 11:03 AM EST

If you’re not out partying already, what with the approach of the new millenium, then you’ll probably be interested to hear this, straight from the mouth of our code-meister Angel Zen:

I’m going to turn _all_ our forums off between 12/31/1999 23:00:00 GMT and 1/1/2000 12:00:00 GMT. (That’s 12/31/99 6:00 p.m. EST and 1/1/00 7:00 a.m. EST) This should give me enough time to make sure all the Y2K patches to the forum software are running correctly on the server… and enough time to fix things if things go wrong. Ok? Have a Y2K Compliant New Year!

Ok, so if you log on in about 9 hours time and the forums are down, then don’t worry, it’s not due to Y2K problems, just a precautionary measure ;).

Angel Reckless Rodent

They call him the wanderer…
December 31, 1999 4:48 AM EST

Well, he’s finally back into the HGFS fold. Angel Alexander I, newsman-on-chief, has at long last overcome his Sisyphus-like task of getting a decent internet connection in Columbia, and is back to updating HGS Main news.

Welcome back!

Angel Reckless Rodent

New contest
December 31, 1999 4:41 AM EST

The Impressions chaps have started up their new contest. Here’s all the info from their site:

This Week’s Contest: It’s Mostly About Speed
In this week’s contest, your challenge is to establish a city at Enkomi, in Cyprus. As pharaoh, you are personally overseeing the city’s establishment. The people of Egypt, however, won’t tolerate your absence for long. This week’s fabulous prizes include a Pharaoh t-shirt and Music to Build Pyramids By, the official Pharaoh soundtrack. And, the Eye of Ra will focus on the winning city.

There’s no announcement about the winner of Shaat, last week’s contest, but I’m sure it’ll be there soon ;).

Angel Reckless Rodent

Another review
December 30, 1999 5:15 PM EST

The chaps at Wargamer have posted a really in-depth Pharaoh review, in which they laud it with their highest score possible, a wonderful 5/5. Here’s what the reviewer thought of it:

I give Pharaoh The Wargamer Award for Excellence – that’s one of the highest accolades I can pay it and that means five stars. In addition to the free pre-release game CD I got for reviewing this game, I went on-line and bought more than one copy of it. I can’t recommend this game enthusiastically enough, particularly if you find this type of game intriguing or are particularly fond of the ancient Egyptian period. Pharaoh wraps up so many diverse aspects of that society and time period, and does it in a very gorgeous, lush, and fun manner. Moreover, unlike many sci-fi, strategy, or destruction games, you get to nurture and build, with an emphasis on enhancing security and quality of life for those who look up to you (leadership). The game also bestows quite a bit of education on archaeology, anthropology, sociology, business, art, religion, medicine, and economics – kind of a junior college syllabus! All in all, I sincerely believe that Pharaoh is one of the best simulation values available this holiday season and it makes a great gift, for just about anyone but especially for yourself! May Osiris always bless you with a rich, fertile inundation! Now, Cleopatra, Empress of the Sacred Nile, where were we, your majesty?

There’s also a nice bibliography at the end. Well worth a read!

Angel Reckless Rodent

Firemen woes
December 30, 1999 5:05 PM EST

This is something that’s been covered here before, but I just saw a post by Nixon (Impressions) in the official forum which gives an explanation as to why firemen act like they do, and thought it was worth a repost for our newer visitors:

Well, if a fire has been burning for a long enough time (due to a Fire Marshal being too far to reach it in time) then the fire will not be put out and will just have to burn out on its own. If you right-click on a burning building under these conditions it should reveal a pop-up message saying: “Fire marshals could not get here in time to save the building. When the fires burn themselves out, only rubble will be left on this site.”

Also, Fire Marshals have a limited supply of water with which to prevent and put out fires. At some point they need to return to their Firehouse to refill, so it may be that the Fire Marshals that are walking by a burning building simply do not have any water at the moment and are on their way back for a refill, after which they may or may not be able to reach a burning building in time.

Angel Reckless Rodent

A little plea…
December 30, 1999 4:58 PM EST

If you’re on your way to the Game Help forum, then you’ll see that a couple of polls have just been closed. I’d like to make it clear that I have nothing whatsoever against such things, but I’d much rather they were posted in the Senet House. The Game Help forum is precisely for that – Game Help. Polls are community-related things, and therefore don’t belong there.

Thanks in advance for your cooperation ;).

Angel Reckless Rodent

Incoming Angel….
December 29, 1999 4:59 PM EST

How can I refuse a request from a Rodent in need?

Well,the only way I could is by bailing out on the Caesar 3 news this evening. I actually went to work today, and people even needed my help, so there wasn’t much time for doing the news there.

When I got home I got caught up in Waset and finished with a decent score after some 25 years. I stalled as I wanted some manors and a high culture. I did manage to get the latter up to 85 with a prosperity of 100.
I was pleased.

There’s a fascinating thread on the Game Help forum on chariot warfare. It includes comments from Impression’s Nixon.

Dashur is still offering excitement for those with a need for speed. Then again, if you think this game is all about speed, have a look here, said the angel that spent 666 months in North Dashur.

Maybe, if I rush, I can get in a paragraph of news for Caesar 3

Angel Jayhawk

Who’s this then?
December 29, 1999 8:28 AM EST

Hi all. In case you’re wondering where I’ve been these past few days, I’ve been trying to rectify a major system crash we had over here over Xmas. I’ll probably be pretty much out of action until tomorrow pm, when I get back to Germany
(and a fully-fucntioning computer ;)).

Thanks for your patience – I’m sure Angel Jayhawk will cover for me today and tomorrow (right ;)?).

Angel Reckless Rodent

Boxing Day special
December 26, 1999 2:29 PM EST

Well, special?
We went to listen to H�ndel’s Messiah this afternoon, all 3 hours of it. So that was pretty special. We cheated on Boxing Day and exchanged gifts yesterday morning.

Nope, I didn’t get Pharaoh, but I expect quite a few of you might have. So, if this is your first time at the site, there are two places I want to point out.

One: The forums, here you can ask any question about the game and get a quick answer. Or you can ‘lurk’ and read through all the answers already there.

Two: The walkthroughs. These mission briefings tell you a bit of what to expect from the scenarios. They are not hands-on guides, but will give you a better idea of things to come.

Angel Jayhawk

We wish you a merry Christmas!
December 25, 1999 5:19 PM EST

The Angels and Cherubs of Pharaoh Heaven wish you a very merry Christmas. May these be days of joy and happiness filled with loved ones, friends, and good cheer.

I hope all of us are having as wonderful a time as I’ve been having. Can you imagine, too much christmas to even drop by at the forums? I didn’t go completely without Pharaoh, though. I replayed Djedu, for the fun (and 5000 extra points) of it. Dunqul Oasis is my current outpost and I must say I’m struggling.

Seasons Greeting to all of you from all of us.

Angel Jayhawk

Merry Xmas!
December 25, 1999 12:49 PM EST

Even though ’tis the season to be jolly, and all that sort of thing, we still haven’t gone to sleep here at Pharaoh Heaven – for one thing, I’ve got to try out my new Intellimouse Explorer somehow ;).

If you received Pharaoh earlier today, and haven’t visited this site before, then take some time to browse around. If you’re after something in particular, then take a look at our search engine (down at the bottom of this page). Alternatively, why not post a message in our forum – it’s full (well, perhaps not as full today as normal ;)) of friendly chaps who are only too pleased to dish out useful information.

Anyway, enough from me – I can smell the scent of the roast duck wafting up from downstairs. Wherever you are, I hope you have a great day, and I’ll look forward to seeing you around somewhere in this little corner of Heaven :).

Angel Reckless Rodent

The Christmas Party has started
December 24, 1999 5:09 PM EST

Hark now hear, the forum feasters singing, a new party’s thrown to day.

Over in Em-Red-Bydos the official Pharaoh Christmas party has started. So if you’re ready for some song and dance, join the party.

On your way there you may want to drop by here. Our very own Grumpus the Elder has won the first Impressions city building contest. Do join in on congratulating him with this wonderful result.

Angel Jayhawk

December 24, 1999 2:25 PM EST

Djedu seems to have been one of my fastest city building efforts so far. Without having to add money from my own piggy bank, I managed to finish this pleasant city in 206 months, surpassing all scores except population.

Djedu is a pleasant place, caught between two meanders of the River, with plenty of wood, farmland, reeds and a spot for hunting. Finding enough space for 4500 people in this marsh-rich place is the hardest of this mission. Trade money flows in quickly, and with half a dozen (now why did I forget he real name) villas you quickly have enough money to sustain buying 380 blocks of red sandstone.

The initial spare trade routes soon blossem, as more become available once you fulfill certain request. The tools to build an army seem to be for show only, but maybe a request for troops or an invasion takes place later in the scenario.

I enjoyed it 🙂

Angel Jayhawk

New contest map
December 24, 1999 12:28 PM EST

Following the closure of the previous contest, Impressions have posted a new map on their site and announced the winner of the Small Oasis:

Take Your Best Shaat at This Week’s Contest Map
Establishing a flourishing city at Shaat won’t be easy. If you aren’t busy handling yet another Hyksos invasion, you’ll be preoccupied with meeting your citizens’ increasing demands. Download this week’s contest mission by clicking here. As usual, the winner will receive a cadre of prizes, including a Pharaoh t-shirt and Music to Build Pyramids By, the official Pharaoh soundtrack. Plus, the winning city will be proudly displayed in the Eye of Ra.

And the winner is…
We were very impressed with both the quantity and quality of entries in our City Building contest. We first narrowed down the selection to 4 finalists and studied them for a long time to pick the winner. Although all the entries were fantastic, with palatial estates and beautiful decorations, it finally came down to which city we would want to live in. The winning city had a great layout, low unemployment, perfect services coverage and more. Hearty congratulations go to Donald Irvine for being our first winner. Click here to see the winning city in the Eye of Ra! If you didn’t win, don’t despair, there are plenty more opportunities to impress the gods.

Angel Reckless Rodent

Some hot topics
December 23, 1999 3:44 PM EST

First of all in the Game Help froum there are some questions about Thinis and then there are some questions about concentric layouts.

The Rostja speed record is still being refined, the lastest posts in thhis thread also discuss in fine details the advantages brought by the Alter of Amon.

Innovandora has given us a little essay on worker distribution for mounument building. Quite enlightning.

Angel Jayhawk

Last day in the office before Christmas
December 23, 1999 11:01 AM EST

As my connection here seems to stay up longer than at home, I’m going to type a few lines here. I’ll keep it brief.

The forums are busy as ever and new faces keep popping up all over the place. I guess we’ll be seeing a whole new tribe of people after Boxing Day.
For those of you that are here already don’t forget to drop by at the Christmas Party over in the Senet House.

I hope to add some links to hot topics later this evening.

Angel Jayhawk

New walkthrough document
December 23, 1999 4:06 AM EST

Some people have been having problems reading the .doc file that Impressions released in conjunction with their walkthrough. Well, they’ve now added a .txt file (which can be viewed in virtually any WP program). Here’s the message from forum-meister Reed:

Alright.. here you are:

You’ll want to shift-click(or right click, then choose “Save Link as…”) on the file to download it to your hard drive.


Angel Reckless Rodent

Unofficial Map Editor Available
December 23, 1999 4:02 AM EST

Found news today on the official forum that the unofficial map editor has been released:

Who wants an editor for x-mas? Or who just wants one cuz we all derseve one? Well me and Goa’uld have put together a little something to warm your hearts in this time of need.

PLEASE read the text file the zip comes with… THEN email me questions. If you ask me a question that isn’t in the text file, then and only then will it be answered… ask on the forum it would be better.

Sick of waiting? Sick or Reading?

Thats the place to be this Pharaoh Christmas

About 200 hours of work is what your downloading… Please don’t forget that.

Thanks, and your welcome
Nick aka Buggi

So, if you want to create some maps while you’re waiting for the official editor to be released, then perhaps you should take a look.

Angel Reckless Rodent

Pharaoh Christmas Party
December 22, 1999 5:30 AM EST

MRed is planning a Pharaoh Christmas party in Em-Red-Bydos. You can find out more about it here and here.

When this one ends up being half as succesful as Wendoolicus’ reunion party over at Caesar 3 Heaven, we won’t be having time for Christmas 🙂

Angel Jayhawk

Level-skip cheat revealed
December 21, 1999 5:12 PM EST

Here’s something that’ll please some of you chaps and chapettes out there:

Secrets of the Ancients Revealed
Can’t seem to get that pyramid complex finished no matter how hard you try? Need a helping hand getting to the next mission in the campaign? Here’s a magic incantation for skipping over any mission in the game. Pull up the cheat dialogue box by hitting CTRL-ALT-C. Type in “Pharaohs Tomb” exactly as you see here except without the quotes. Hit RETURN. Viola! You will automatically complete your current mission and be able to move on to the next one. Beware, though. As with all cheats, this testing code could have unpredictable results, so be sure to save your game first. Also, you won’t get much of a score on the mission if you use the cheat.

The news item also mentions that more cheats will be released in mid-February. Thanks go out to Cherub Gustavia for the heads up on this one:).

Angel Reckless Rodent

Review at GamersCentral
December 21, 1999 10:37 AM EST

The chaps over at GamersCentral have slapped up a Pharaoh review. Here’s a little snippet of their 4/5 review:

Fun is what Pharaoh is all about. Good gameplay, depth of gameplay goes as far as you would like to and going deeper into the game has obvious rewards. Seeing your city come to life and prosper makes it a very enchanting game to play.

It’s been added to our reviews page.

Angel Reckless Rodent

One sphinx, two pyramids, hold the obelisks
December 21, 1999 9:35 AM EST

Rostja seems to be on nearly all our minds as there’s a handful of posts in the game forum, with people wondering and discussing strategies. All of this can be found in the Game Help forum, but if you are really running out of steam here. Have a look at Cherub Baltics Guide to Rostja.

Angel Jayhawk

More walkthroughs!
December 21, 1999 3:00 AM EST

Another nail in the coffin of the Strategy guide appeared today – Impressions put up their version of a walkthrough of the entire game. These ones, unlike ours, concentrate much more on where you should build your city, rather than which goods you should produce in order to be able to fulfil requests.

The following is shamelessly yanked from the main page:

Walk-Through Like an Egyptian
Tired of bangling…uh, bungling…missions in Pharaoh due to unexpected invasions, requests and other events? Take a gander at the Pharaoh walk-throughs. For each mission, the walk-throughs explain what to anticipate and offer tips that will lead to your success. Think of them as Pharaoh Cliff Notes!

Angel Reckless Rodent

Dutch Pharaoh
December 20, 1999 4:31 PM EST

Hmmm, seems to have gotten there correctly.

Just one more thing. The Dutch issue of PC Games (PC Gamer?) has a Pharaoh demo in this months issue.
So if any of you cloggies out there hasn’t tried out the demo yet…there are no more excuses. 😛

Angel Jayhawk

A new era?
December 20, 1999 4:25 PM EST

Okay, so here goes nothing.
This is my first real life experience with this new fangled news editing script, so…don’t expect too much.

Today’s news is going to be an old fashioned kind of news, just a bunch of items in one post. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll try and do some on the run updates, like our flying rodent is doing.
Why does this stuff, make me feel like an old dog trying to learn a new trick?

Cherub Gustavia has reached the exalted heights of the Millenium Club. So if you want to congratualate her, you can do so here.

Moquel is having keyboard problems. If you have any bright ideas? Please come and tell him here.

I guess I know why Angel Reck goes for the little updates, that way you have less to check and edit…. 😛

Rests me to tell that one of our cherubs, Ishaius, has handed in his wings. The big, bad world needed him more, so…
He has promised to drop by every now and then, though.

More news tomorrow.

Addendum: @$%#@@ Pesky script had a preview, hit back and lost it all… Grumble.

Angel Jayhawk

Strategy Guide Review
December 20, 1999 6:41 AM EST

Well, that took a lot less time than I expected. I’ve finished my strategy guide review, and have posted it. Here’s a snippet:

Strategy guides are a strange monster – some people swear by them, and other people reckon that they’re just a means of getting yet more money out of customers who have already paid for the game in question. First off, let me admit that I’m not a huge fan of strategy guides in general – I didn’t buy the C3 one, partly because of negative things people had said about it in the Caesar III Heaven forum. However, I’ll be as objective as possible when reviewing the Pharaoh one.

Follow the above link to read more.

By the way, we’ll be running a contest soon, which will give you the chance to win some copies of the strat guide, so you might want to put off buying it until then…

Angel Reckless Rodent

Winner in Buggi’s map contest!
December 20, 1999 4:15 AM EST

Found this on the official message board just now:

Thanatos is our winner! 56,100 population, and very good city stats… something to look at, very busy city! Nicely planned, and STUFFED! Go to my page to download the save game!

Also there is a NEW MAP! I used “The Good Life” map to make, “The Better Life!” Has the Sun Temple, Sphinx, and Mausleum as monuments. (Those were requested from users) Has plenty of building space as well as space for population and stone mining.
go here to download

Map Editor as promised has gone into beta testing (contest winner only, sorry) Our planned release is sometime this week. I have started finializing/adding/removing unneeded code/info.
I also need to start on a readme so you all can use it once released. Some parts of the program are kinda tricky 🙂

Thanks everyone!

Well done, Thanatos!

1 more word – I just received my copy of the Pharaoh strat guide. Look for a review to be posted either today or tomorrow.

Angel Reckless Rodent

Completely coincidental…
December 19, 1999 9:16 AM EST

After my little glut of European-realted updates yesterday, I was planning on going back to normal. But what should appear? A Pharaoh review on! They give it a creditable 7/10, and here’s a little snippet:

If you can overlook these problems, then go out and buy this game now. But if like me you like the computer to show some vague signs of intelligence, then avoid it at all costs!

Pharaoh will take over your life, and then leave you foaming at the mouth and pulling your hair out in frustration whenever something goes wrong…

As always, I’ve added it to the reviews page.

Angel Reckless Rodent

Pharaoh review
December 18, 1999 9:10 AM EST

Found this mentioned over on the Sierra Studios homepage:

PC Format, England’s biggest PC gaming magazine has give Impressions Games’ Pharaoh their prestigious Gold Award. Ranking it higher than its predecessor, Caesar III, as well as other heavy-weights like SimCity 3000, and Civilization: Call To Power, the editors delight in Pharaoh’s creative design, historical accuracy, and sheer fun. “After years in the wilderness, Impressions appears to have found its promised land. It’s a land where intelligent, absorbing, keep-you-up-until-2am games that don’t involve tank rushes or rocket launchers still exist. Wish you were here?”

What? Was that an English magazine? As in…one outside of North America? Wow, I didn’t know they liked Pharaoh over there ;).

Angel Reckless Rodent

Parlez-vous Français?
December 18, 1999 8:50 AM EST

Hmm…I was going to do this entire update in French, but I decided against it. Anyway, over at the French Sierra site, there are some pages of general hints and tips which might be of interest. Here’s a snippet:

Economisez les forces de votre peuple…
Faites en sorte que vos routes soient les plus directes possibles et évitez de placer trop d’intersection pour épargner des trajets trop longs à la population, ce qui, de surcroît, ralentirait la production. Par exemple, ne construisez pas votre silo à grain à l’opposé de l’endroit où les paysans effectuent leurs récoltes. Minimisez le temps de marche de vos paysans en construisant les silos à grain près des fermes et les fermes près des marchés, où les produits sont revendus. Placez aussi vos marchands à proximité de leurs fournisseurs de matière première.

Et voila. On peut les lire ici.

Angel Reckless Rodent

Are you German?
December 18, 1999 8:39 AM EST

If not, can you at least speak German? If so, then this update will interest you (unlike the one about the contest, which you can’t win no matter how good your city is – can you tell I’m a bit annoyed at that ;)).

Sierra’s German site, as well as giving you the chance to win a 2 week trip to Egypt, has a page up where you can purchase the upcoming Pharao Prima strategy guide (I’ll be doing a review of the English version as soon as I receve it, so you might want to check that out first to see if it’s worth the money). Not only that, you can download a .pdf file containing 10 or so pages of the guide.

Sounds like a good deal to me :).

Angel Reckless Rodent

Spanner in the works
December 18, 1999 5:50 AM EST

Ok, so you’re desperate to enter the contest? You’ve downloaded the map? You’ve finished the scenario and have a great looking city? Then surely, you’re going to win, right?

Wrong :(. Take a look at this, taken from the extensive legalese that covers the contest:

2. Eligibility. Offer open to U.S. and Canadian residents only (excluding Florida, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island and Quebec). If you are not a resident of the U.S. or Canada (excluding the above mentioned arrears), you are not eligible to win a prize and Sierra On-Line, Inc. (“Sponsor”) reserves the right not to award prizes to entrants who reside in other jurisdictions. To be eligible to win a prize, entries must be completed and received by the Sponsor in the manner described below. Directors, officers and employees of Sponsor, its parent companies, subsidiaries and affiliates, and their immediate families, are not eligible to win. Offer void where prohibited by law. Entries that do not comply with the foregoing requirements and the other provisions of these Official Rules will not be eligible to win a prize.

So, if like Caesar III Olympics greats such as Tomek, Baltic and MartyParty, you happen by some fluke of birth and geography not to live in North America (and not even all parts of North America at that!), then you’re not going to win any prizes, no matter how great your city looks.

Am I the only person who finds that deeply unfair or am I biased because I happen to live in Europe?

Angel Reckless Rodent

Contest news up
December 18, 1999 3:10 AM EST

Now you see the disadvantage of being in Europe – all official announcements are made while I’m getting some shut-eye ;).

Oh well, c’est la vie. Impressions have announced the contest I mentioned a couple of days ago. The contest page is here, and the rules are here. Here’s what you can win this week:

The Stakes
The winner will receive a Pharaoh T-Shirt, the Pharaoh soundtrack CD and have his or her city displayed on our web site in our exclusive new “Eye of Ra” city viewer. The Eye of Ra lets you zoom in, out and scroll around a city (before you ask, it’s not available for download. Sorry!)

The Eye of Ra is mentioned in there. If you want to check it out, then you can do so here. At the moment, it’s displaying a version of Hetepsenusret done by one of the Impressions chaps.

So, get those contest entries in!

Angel Reckless Rodent

Messing with .ini files
December 17, 1999 11:45 AM EST

Another post made here on the official site concerns movie playback, and how you could speed it up. Once again, here it is in its entirety:

The Pharaoh.ini file contains the information that determines whether the in-game movies are played in large or small format. During installation, your CPU is detected and reported to the Pharaoh.ini file, along with the letter which corresponds to your CD drive and how much RAM your computer has.

People whose movies are not playing smoothly can go into the Pharaoh.ini file and change the CPU= setting to something lower, for example CPU=200 or CPU=166. This will cause Pharaoh to play the smaller movies, potentially increasing performance. If your CPU setting is 233 or higher, the larger hi-resolution movies will play.

***HOWEVER, we recommend that you do not modify the Pharaoh.ini file unless your are having difficulties with game performance.

Let me just emphasise the last sentence there – only modify it if it’s really necessary, and always make a backup, just in case things don’t work out according to plan.

Ok, lecture over ;).

Angel Reckless Rodent

Saqqara information
December 17, 1999 11:39 AM EST

Here’s a post that I saw over on the official site just now. It concerns getting wood in Saqqara:

In this mission there is an early gift of Pomegranates that must be accepted. A refusal will be seen as an insult and eventually cut off your trade with Selima Oasis, which is the city that sells wood. So you must accept the gift. This is, admittedly, a very obscure way of doing things and we probably could have designed that one event better. You may have to revert to an earlier save or, unfortunately, start that mission over. That one was a bit of an oversight on our part, design-wise, but you can complete it if you accept the initial gift of pomegranates.

The post can also be viewed here.

Angel Reckless Rodent

Entertainment clarification
December 17, 1999 11:32 AM EST

Some of our forumers have been wondering about entertainment in Pharaoh, and how to get that culture rating up. Here’s a post by one of the boys in blue which explains just what’s going on:

Here’s what is going on… there are two things that factor into entertainment, the walkers and the venues.
The walkers are necessary in order to have housing evolve. However, if your city coverage is “Perfect” for a particular type of stage, then you get a bonus to your entertainment coverage, which can make housing evolve without having a walker. It will only evolve so far, though, since the bonus is dependent upon city-wide entertainment, and not calculated per stage/bandstand/pavillion. This can be confusing in regards to the housing evolution chart, seeing how it is not explained in the manual.

The problem is that the manual does not state that having “Perfect” coverage provides a bonus to entertainment. The game is functioning as designed.

If you place one of each entertainment venue and then visit the Overseer of Diversions, you will see that 1 venue of each of the different types provides coverage as follows:

Juggler’s stage: 400 people
Musicians’ stage: 700 people
Dancers’ stage: 1200 people
Senet Houses: 5000 people

So, to get the “Perfect” coverage bonus (city-wide calculation, remember), make sure that you have enough of the different venues in relation to your population.

In a small test city, this will be more apparent. When you have a large city with a large population, walkers are absolutely necessary in order to provoke housing evolution. At that point, think of stages as magnets which pull the walkers towards particular areas in the city.

(As a side note, the level of entertainment required to evolve varies with the difficulty level…)

The relevant forum thread can be found here.

Angel Reckless Rodent

New Strategy Article
December 17, 1999 11:27 AM EST

Having asked Baltic whether it would be ok, I’ve added his forum post about Rostja to the strategy section.

You can view it here. It’s well worth a read if you’re about to tackle Rostja, or even if you’ve already done it but want to go back and try to beat the current best time (317 months by Baltic and Grumpus the Elder, last time I checked).

Angel Reckless Rodent

Walkthroughs updated
December 17, 1999 8:31 AM EST

I’ve been through all my walkthroughs and have updated them all to match what happens in the final version rather than the final beta version.

As far as I know, all the ones that are currently available (and I’ve added a couple more, 1 for Sauty and 1 for Hetepsenusret) are fully up-to-date. Of course, if you find something that I missed, then please let me know (email address below).

For now, why not take a look at the updated walkthrough section?

Angel Reckless Rodent

Here’s the announcement!
December 16, 1999 6:53 PM EST

Here’s the announcement we expected yesterday. The following is taken from this AVault article:

Impressions Games today announced that they will host an ancient Egyptian city design contest on the web and premiere their new Eye of Ra online city viewer built into the official Pharaoh website. The contest begins Dec. 17 with a brand-new mission that will be used for the contest and made available for download. At the end of each contest segment, the new viewer will showcase the winning city. The Eye of Ra lets users zoom in, out and scroll around a city built in Pharaoh. The viewer will premiere by showcasing a city designed and built by members of the development team.

All players will be invited to submit saved games of their cities for competition in such categories as aesthetic design, highest ratings, largest city, most creative and others. New criteria for the following contest will be on a regular basis announced along with some never-before-seen missions. In addition, each winner will have his or his or her city displayed in the Eye of Ra city viewer on the Pharaoh website and win prizes, such as official Pharaoh T-shirts or the Pharaoh music score.

Cool, eh ;)?

Angel Reckless Rodent

Donate to Games of Encouragement
December 16, 1999 4:30 PM EST

Please remember to donate to the Games of Encouragement computer game drive for needy kids if you are able. They’ll not only take games, but other gifts, $ donations, etc. It’s a great cause for some great kids. Today, I shipped out my copies of Age of Empires (sad to see it go!), X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter and Star Wars: Dark Forces.

Angel Draco

Super-speedy Rostja
December 16, 1999 11:22 AM EST

Speed competitions are the name of the game right now, so it would seem. The current favourite for this is the Rostja scenario (Old Kingdom). At the moment, the best time has been set by Cherub Baltic, and he’s now posted a full guide with 10 progressive saves so you can see just how he did it. The forum thread is here, but here’s a little sample:

You have to show your skills in several fields – city layout, money usage, production, taxes, trade, transport, religion (blessings), monument building, and even a little military. Therefore, this walkthrough is more something like “Playing Pharaoh effectively in ten easy lessons” :-). I’ll be glad to answer any questions, and I encourage you to criticize my strategy – that is the best way how to improve our skills and knowledge about Pharaoh. The author carries no responsibility whatsoever and offers no warranty, including but not limited to, its fitness for a particular purpose.

Angel Reckless Rodent

Pharaoh nominated
December 16, 1999 10:52 AM EST

I saw this on Asheron’s Call Heaven – Pharaoh has been nominated for the Codie Awards under 2 categories – “Games – Best Product”, and “Games – Best Debut”.

You can take a full list of nominations at

Angel Reckless Rodent

The mystery deepens…
December 16, 1999 10:43 AM EST

There was a post by Ironrod on the official forum a while back which mentioned that something exciting would be announced on the 15th December. Well, when I saw the announcement they posted yesterday about the new forums, I assumed that was the aforementioned announcement. So did some others, but the mystery deepened with the follwing post by Impressions’s Nixon:

The forum changes are not the announcement. It will be just a bit longer…

So, is there a Christmas present for everyone in the works? We’ll have to wait and see :).

Angel Reckless Rodent

Downloads Section Update
December 16, 1999 10:08 AM EST

There are 14 new Cities for you to try out in the Downloads Section. Included were many New Kingdom Cities such as Sauty, Baki and the final level: Hetepsenusret. Can you beat Thanatos’ Hetepsenusret score of 33,737?

Angel Draco

Official site news
December 16, 1999 4:24 AM EST

The official Pharaoh site has monkeyed around with its forums. Here’s the update:

Pharaoh fans now have three brand new and improved forums to post questions and comments. The forums are:

Angel Reckless Rodent

Population Contest
December 15, 1999 7:58 PM EST

Here’s something I meant to have posted a while ago, but which seems to have got lost under the mountain of various other things.

Although there’s not an official map editor available yet, some chaps who post regularly on the forum at have decided to make one of their own. You can read all about it on this page.

There’s also a little contest running to see who can get the highest population on a map specially created for the purpose by these chaps and their map editor. All the info you could ever want (including the link to download the map) is here, but I’ll just quote the rules:

1. No Cheating and No editing will be accepted
2. Contest ends at Midnight Dec, 18th CST
3. Must have less than or equal to 3% unemployment in your city
4. Gods must be approving of you, meaning no lightning bolts!
5. Any housing type is accepted… from shacks to Estates!
6. Must use map provided below for contest
7. Winner determined by who has the MOST population, with the requirements listed above met.
8. All final entries to be sent to me –
9. Feel free to email me any questions you may have!


Angel Reckless Rodent

Pharaoh’s got a brand new button
December 15, 1999 7:26 PM EST

If you take a little look over to the left hand side of this update, you might see that Pharaoh Heaven has a brand new button:

Well, I think it looks better than the old one ;). It certainly gets that feeling of Egypt across much better.

1 more thing – it looks like HGS Main News has got an update after more than 2 weeks off. Hmm…that writing style looks kinda familiar to me. Nah, maybe not ;).

Angel Reckless Rodent

You can never have…
December 15, 1999 5:06 PM EST

Too much of a good thing. That’s what I’ve always said, and I’ve decided to put that philosophy into practice today by adding another poll. This one’s due to last 50 days and asks how many times per week you visit this little corner of Heaven.

Another bit of news right now, but not worth starting another bulletin for. I’ve removed all the non-Newspro news from this page – you can now view all the news up to this week in the news archives. Another archive will be set up shortly to hold news generated by Newspro.

Angel Reckless Rodent

New poll (ish)
December 15, 1999 4:16 AM EST

Right, hopefully this poll isn’t going to crash as quickly as the last one. Angel Zen, also known around here as the Codemeister, has fixed up the poll script, so it should be a good deal more reliable now.

Sorry for the oopsie – the topic was deleted, so you’ll have to re-submit your answers.

Angel Reckless Rodent

PC Gamer ad
December 15, 1999 4:08 AM EST

Ok, I know what you’re thinking – “why is a Pharaoh advertisement in PC Gamer such big news?”. Well, it’s big news for us because we get a mention too! Take a look for yourself:

Cool, eh? 😉

Angel Reckless Rodent

The poll is dead…
December 14, 1999 4:53 PM EST

Long live the poll!

Take a look to the right and you’ll see that the poll I put up yesterday has gone down. This isn’t the first time this has happened, so I’ll cease putting up any polls for now until we have fixed the problem.

Please bear with us. Thanks :).

Angel Reckless Rodent

Having problems with Hyksos chariots?
December 14, 1999 11:57 AM EST

On the official forum and now in our forum, there have been complaints that the Hyksos chariots are impossible to beat on the Hard difficulty level. However, there’s no need to wait for a patch to fix this – just follow this simple piece of advice, posted in this thread, by Balshazaar from Impressions:

If you are going to play the scenarios with Hyksos invasions on Hard difficulty, you need to alter the hitpoints of the Hyksos chariots, in the Figure_model_hard.txt file, to be 260 or less.

Of course, don’t forget to back the .txt file up first ;).

Angel Reckless Rodent

Just a bit of fun
December 14, 1999 10:44 AM EST

Here’s a little story I spotted on Blue’s News. It concerns the current UK number one single, and the fact that its position is threatened by a bunch of rodents…

A bunch of all-singing, all-dancing hamsters are threatening to knock Sir Cliff Richard off the top of the charts.

The hamster dance recording using sampling from a cult website is being tipped as this year’s Christmas number one.

If you’re tickled by that, then the rest of the story is here. Or, if you’re wondering what these strange singing hamsters are, then take a look at

Angel Reckless Rodent

New poll
December 13, 1999 7:11 AM EST

Guess what? I finally got round to adding a new poll to the right hand side of this page.

This one will keep going for 21 days and then we’ll pop in a brand new one. If you want to remind yourselves of what’s gone before in terms of polls, then you can do so here.

Angel Reckless Rodent

FAQ news
December 13, 1999 7:02 AM EST

While I was browsing around the Net for Pharaoh-related gubbins, I came upon Seems like they have a downloadable FAQ for people who are having problems getting anywhere in Pharaoh.

If you’re interested, the relevant file can be found here.

Angel Reckless Rodent

Welcome to a brave new world!
December 13, 1999 4:31 AM EST

Well, life moves on and Pharaoh Heaven is no exception. Over the past couple of weeks, Angel Mack and myself have been taking a look at a news updating script. It’s called NewsPro, and is what we use at Age of Kings Heaven and Asheron’s Call Heaven.

What you all want to know, though, is what it means for you. You won’t notice any difference apart from the fact that news updates might be a fair bit more prequent, with more than 1 per day on several days. You might even see some of our Cherubs have a go too ;).

Ok, enough for the moment – stay tuned for some more news later.

Angel Reckless Rodent