Home > Blog > The Myth behind Mythora

The Myth behind Mythora

We’ve bleated enough about MIRRORS a game from EDGE for the moment. Although just to add a point there, the box was changed again after our last article was posted. We’re bored of that game now, we want to play something new. Something we can actually physically play with. In our hands, an real actual GAME!

I know you’re all thinking that we’ve gone nuts, cause Edge Games don’t actually release games.

We’ll that’s not true because we have an actual real copy of Mythora, box n’ all!

So what now? Do we eat our hat? Do we shut up shop now that we’ve received proof of physical product?

Of course not. Now the fun begins. It’s time to find out what lurks inside this “Edge Games” release.

Let’s start with the box.

The Edge Games Online Store claims:

Mythora is an older product in our range, launched in 2004. It does not currently have up to date video or sound card drivers and thus may not work on all current PC systems. We are endeavoring to add video card and sound card support and will announce such new support as and when it is available. But in the meantime,when purchasing this product please be aware it is an older game.

This information tallies up with the specs printed on the back of the box, and also the copyright year of 2004. So it’s clear that this is old stock saved from it’s original 2004 release yes?

Let’s look at this further.

Mythora is listed on the box as being a TM. So with that we should be able to trace this trademark back on the http://uspto.gov website:

That’s good, the trademark does exist. But something is odd. The Filing Date reads September 1, 2009. The very same day that Mythora was posted on the Edge Games website store, and the same day that this copy was ordered from that website. Incidentally it’s also the same day that the box art image was uploaded to the Edge Games store as well.

Let’s move on to the box blurb.

Well it’s plentiful that’s for sure. It’s also slightly odd to post such a large amount of text on the box, all in one single drawn out long paragraph no less. To attempt to read that in a shop as a way of convincing to purchase would quickly put you to sleep.

So why did Edge Games go to all the effort of adding such a lengthy write up, and one that includes a spoiler to the end of the game (If you can’t be bothered reading it, just look at the last line). Well, lets look to where the text could have come from as we’ve established the fine idea that Edge Games loves to release things found on the internet.

Looking at the press release posted on GamersHell back in 2003 and the NAWAR (Developer) website around the same time and we see very similar text, albeit in a state of poor grammar.

All examples include the world EXILE wrote in capital letters as well as following basically the same storyline. This concludes two things then, the text is from 2003/4 and is linked to EDGE Games. It still would have made more sense to release the game with a more punchy sounding bit of box blurb, but that’s by-the-by. It does help us link EDGE Games and NAWAR.

The following image is taken from the open letter posted by Edge Games regarding the Mobigame case, which shows that there was an ‘Agreement’ between Edge Games and Vivid Design (The creators of Mythora). In the statement Edge Games make it clear that they own the rights to Mythora / Banita, so not the name of the game but the game itself. The truth is an Agreement could be regarding anything, and that bit of ‘proof’ isn’t worth the website it’s printed on.

Focusing on NARWAR’s site for a while longer, they actually launched a Mythora page around the start of 2004, stating EDGE Games as the title’s publisher, continuing with the notion that EDGE were set to publish the game upon its release.

In March 2004 WithinGames.net published an interview with NAWAR studio head Marcin Michel and Mythora lead programmer/Lead Designer Dominik Libek. It’s an interesting read and brings forward a few points which are worth repeating:

(14) When will the game be released? Have you already any publishing-deals and will there be a localized version for the german market?

Marcin Michel: The game is ready and it is waiting to be launched. If we find a distributor for the German market, the localized version of the product will certainly be issued. For now I have to solve the problems with currently signed contract, but I can estimate the German version release date at the end of April 2004.

Now we can only speculate what the situation of the contract was back then in, the only information we have is the news that followed the March interview.

In June NAWAR launched a new page dedicated to Banita, which was the very same page and game as Mythora, but listed without publisher or release date. A Guess here could be that the deal with EDGE and Mythora fell apart, so NAWAR took to renaming the game and offering it back out to new clients. This might not be the exact case, but we hope it’ll become clear in the future.

Soon after this NAWAR shifted it’s focus and a FRONTLINE took over as the brand for game development.

Formal Incorporation of the FRONTLINE Studios™ Poland, as a subsidiary company of NAWAR, dedicated exclusively to the development of video games, NAWAR focuses exclusively on business applications and technology research.

The game was launched in 2004 by various publishers, Trend as The Banished, Akella as The Outcast – Mythora Banita (Exile: The blade of Death).

The Banished - German Version

The Banished - German Version

Russian Release

Russian Version

Despite a massive search on the internet and through many years of archives, no reference can be found showing the release of Mythora by EDGE Games until the opening of the EDGE store on 1st Sept 2009.

Frontline Studios updated their website in 2005 with a page dedicated to The Banished, along with a copyright, with no mention of EDGE Games or Mythora.

RPGCodex also list the announcement of Mythora, followed by the announcement of Banita (The Banished), which follows the line that the game took a different direction from its early announcement.

Marcin Michel, Head of Frontline Studios was contacted regarding this confusing matter of ownership. Although we cannot print all of what he said, here’s a snippet that gives enough information for people to go on.

“FRONTLINE / NAWAR do not confirm Tim owns any rights, and official statement will be posted after discovery is completed by our attorney”.

This information was actually given to Tim Langdell, to which he responded with:

I am certain that if Marcin wrote that to you he did so before he received a copy of the actual contract. Since he has since confirmed Edge owns the rights and Edge and Frontline are in talks about an amicable resolution of the situation that Vivid created.

Again, please stop talking as if you have deeper knowledge of Edge Game’s affairs than Edge itself has. It only makes you look even more foolish than you already do.

Marcin has been contacted since and we can state that Tim’s message doesn’t comply with the response from Marcin. So that looks like another potential legal wrangle in the making.

So what exactly do we have in our hands then? This is certainly a copy of Mythora, the box says so, as does the disc. We can only continue all see what else can be found.

On the back of the box are four screen shots of the game. Looking closely at these screen shots reveal a red mark in the top left corner, like a water mark.

Taking a trip back to GamersHell website, which hosted information about Mythora, we find the same screenshots as the box, we also find what looks to be the red mark which sits in the top left corner.

So it seems that EDGE aren’t just in the market for taking their artwork from Deviantart pages, they’re also taking what they claim to be their own artwork from game news sites.

The rest of the box focuses on printed all claimed trademarks that Edge Games have ever wished to have.

There’s no rules to state that you have to register trademarks, it’s just more helpful if you do. Still, it might be worth looking at Edge Games in 2004 to see how this information fits with the box we have.

  • The “Masters of the Game” Trademark was registered by Acclaim, and went through a dispute with EDGE Games over ownership. Acclaim eventually got the Trademark. EDGE Games claimed it back after Acclaim went bankrupt. The Trademark registration expired in 2002.
  • “Gamer’s Edge” Trademark was applied for on the 5th of February 2006 and is part of a long legal dispute with Velocity Micro over the ownership of the Trademark.
  • The Edge was applied for back in 1996 but wasn’t registered until Jan 2009. The application was actually suspended throughout 2004 because it conflicted with other trademarks.
  • Edge Interactive Media was suspended in April 2004, until the 16th of June 2008.
  • Edge Games Inc. wasn’t incorporated until the 17th of November 2005
  • http://www.mythora.com was registered 23, Oct, 2008, not bad for a game that was ‘released’ in 2004

Registrar..: gkg.net (http://register.gkg.net/)
Domain Name: MYTHORA.COM
Created on…………..: 23-OCT-2008
Expires on…………..: 23-OCT-2009
Record last updated on..: 23-OCT-2008
Status………………: ACTIVE

Enough of the box, what about the disc, the very media that holds the game we’re dying to play.

Nothing too bad looking at the initial glance, however like everything EDGE related, a closer inspection reveals.

A Memorex CD-R, a standard CD blank that can be picked up from any shop. Not commonly the work of a publisher, using an official pressing plant to cut the thousands of required discs that are used to fill the shelves of game shops the country over.

Can you believe we’ve gone this far and not actually got onto the game yet? Shocking.

Here’s a video of the game booting up, and a list of the all important game credits!

The game does begin with the Edge logo! There’s no denying that (Well the Future Publishing Magazine EDGE Logo, but EDGE Games have been using that one for long enough now), but it’s not irrefutable proof of ownership. The Logo is a BMP graphic file and there are ways of retro fitting elements like that into games without great difficulty.

The Credits are more of an important feature of the video. It’s a fairly long list and produces names of all disciplines, but no mention of Tim Langdell, EDGE Games, EDGE Interactive media, Masters of the Game, or anything else close to it.

The box lists it’s own version of the Credits and happily lists Tim Langdell, EDGE Games and Edge Games, but bless, I don’t think anyone is taking an inkjet quality CD box with screenshots taken from a gaming news site as absolute proof of ownership.

So that’s what we have at this moment. We’re hoping that some new sleuthing will bring more information regarding the whole Myth of Mythora, so stick with us and we’ll certainly be back again.

Please don’t forget, using the donation button on the right hand side of the website and passing on a small monetary gift will help the fight and enable the increasing number of developers that are stuck in a legal wrangle that they didn’t ever intend to be in.

Until next time.

UPDATE:

More time has been spent looking at the files on the CD in hope to find information regarding the date of their creation.

Files are date stamped when they’re created, so it’s often easy to tell when a file was from by simply checking the date label.

Most of the files on the CD are dated 2003, which lines up with the games release in 2004. In fact the EDGE logo file, ‘L_Edge.bmp’ is dated 27th November, 2003. This either means that the copy of the game is one created for Edge Games, or it has been doctored to look as though it is. We are edging on belief that this copy of the game was generated for EDGE Games by NARWAR during their ‘Agreement’ in early 2004.

NAWAR stated that the game’s production was completed in 2003 before finding a publishing deal, so it’s fair to assume that during this time a version of the game was generated for EDGE Games.

There are other files on the disc which, lead us to believe that the disc itself wasn’t actually created till 2009. In fact, not actually created till after the game was ordered.

A thumbs.db file has the date 30th Aug, 2009 (The day before the EDGE Store went live)

The MSI installer file was created 2nd Sept, 2009 at 6:19AM, which was the day after the order was placed.

The most recent date on the disk is on a Autorun file, 4th Sept, 2009, 1:02AM. At 11:07AM that very same day EDGE Games emailed to say that the game had shipped. That indicates the disk was burned that day the very day it was posted.

Looking at those time and dates it seems that EDGE Games weren’t ready, prepared or maybe even expecting someone to come along and order a game from their famous and industry leading store. Here’s hoping that Nintendo or EA have a better system than this cause it sounds like quite an inefficient way to server all those many thousands of customers. Although there’s no denying that it there’s a great feel of a personal touch.

UPDATE:

This was briefly mentioned earlier in this article, but it’s worth highlighting again.

On the Mythora box it states that the game is (c) 2004 The Edge Interactive Media. Also on the EDGE Games online store it clarifies that date of 2004.

(note: Mythora is an older product in our range, launched in 2004. It does not currently have up to date video or sound card drivers and thus may not work on all current PC systems. We are endeavoring to add video card and sound card support and will announce such new support as and when it is available. But in the meantime,when purchasing this product please be aware it is an older game).

What we mentioned before was that Edge Interactive Media was suspended from operations from April 2004, till at least June 2008.

The legal standing of this is quoted here:

Revive a Suspended Corporation

When a corporation’s status is suspended, the corporation has lost all its rights and privileges as a corporation and cannot legally operate. California Corporations can achieve good standing status but first, they must be revived. Two powers have the authority to suspend and revive a corporation. The first being the California Secretary of State’s office and the second being the California Franchise Tax Board.

If Edge Interactive Media was suspended from April 2004 and NAWAR’s website in April 2004 still shows the game as not yet released. Then either the game was never released by Edge Interactive Media or it was, illegally. However as we can find no evidence that during 2004 Edge Interactive Media sold any copies of the game, then we can only lean on the former idea. Edge Games never released Mythora.

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  1. s0
    September 9, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Excellent work roskelld. A highly interesting read, and incredibly revealing.

  2. Dan
    September 9, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Incredible sleuthing! Such a fragile house of cards EDGE has constructed. I love the watermark on the graphic, what a joke, but better publishers have made that mistake (Okami for Wii).

  3. September 9, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    I’m actually a little curious what the game itself is like. Oh, it’s clearly a rip off, but can it be finished, or did he ship you and incomplete beta betting that you’d never actually play it.

  4. roskelld
    September 9, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Sadly the PC it was installed on didn’t like the game and it’s unplayable. We’ll hopefully fix this soon and get more info on the game itself and whether it’s a full, BETA or demo release.

  5. MelissaC
    September 9, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    Put the game on an FTP! Surely someone’s got an old PC that it will work on. Or better yet, see if Frontline/Nawar can send you a copy so you can diff the files.

  6. roskelld
    September 10, 2009 at 12:15 am

    MelissaC we’re not going to condone sharing copy-written material over the internet.
    What kind of person would take someone else’s product and all their hardwork they put into it, and just go and parade it round doing what they want with it?

    Seriously though, that’s something that will be looked at. We’ll find out the hard truth behind this even if we have to dig through steel with our bear hands.

  7. MelissaC
    September 10, 2009 at 1:18 am

    Keep up the great work!

    I noticed that the copyright line says “(C) 2004 The Edge Interactive Media, Inc (dba Edge Games)”. There is no fictional/dba business called “Edge Games” registered in LA county (Langdell’s home and business address in Pasadena are in Los Angeles county) and Edge Games, Inc wasn’t incorporated until 2005. Here are a couple of links for you:

    http://rrcc.lacounty.gov/CLERK/FBN_Search.cfm (search “Edge Games”)

    http://kepler.sos.ca.gov/corpdata/ShowAllList?QueryCorpNumber=C2767367

  8. J
    September 10, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Is it just me or can anyone else see two faces in the blown-up watermark picture. One face starts at the tip of the red arrow and the other face is right above it. Creepy.

    Anyways, I am definitely eager to see about the rest of the game. Good luck on getting it to run.

  9. JinglesO'Flaherty
    September 10, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Hang on – $9.99 for the game, and $82 for tax? WTF?

    • roskelld
      September 10, 2009 at 1:44 pm

      There was a hiccup with the Edge Store and the tax calculation. Someone misplaced a decimal point. The money was refunded after they were told. As was the removal of the shipping costs for iPhone games :D

  10. Sam
    September 10, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    The game didn’t get very well-reviewed when it was released in Russia…

    http://www.ag.ru/games/banished

  11. blah
    September 10, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Can’t you change the date timestamps of files? Not that I’ve done it…

    • roskelld
      September 10, 2009 at 5:36 pm

      You can quite easily. But as a publisher that’s claiming to have a 2004 game, you wouldn’t change them to 2009.

  12. Nino
    September 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    - Shipping costs for iPhone games
    – pretending to sell iPhone games through anything other than the AppStore
    – saying that C64 games are coming for “WiiWare” and then changing it to “Virtual Console”
    – many others…

    Langdell really is an old fart who is completely out of touch and disconnected from the today’s world of video games and the industry in general.

  13. Johann Ly
    September 10, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    I like how the EDGE Store still lists “RACERS” as a “Sci Fi/Fantasy RPG”.

  14. MelissaC
    September 10, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    If Mythora was “released” in 2004, Tim would have had to report that income for The Edge Interactive Media dba Edge Games.

    http://www.ftb.ca.gov/online/Fraud_Referral/index.shtml

    Fraud includes:
    * Failing to report all income received.
    * Claiming to be a resident of another state while residing in California.
    * Making false or fraudulent claims for refunds.
    * Not filing state income tax returns.
    * Questionable tax practitioner practices.
    * Opening and closing of new businesses to evade taxes.
    * Preparing documents, books, and records that understate the true income or overstate the expenses of a business.

  15. September 11, 2009 at 12:56 am

    very nice post bookmarkd thanks

  16. ZeeKat
    September 11, 2009 at 9:55 am

    “Mythora is an older product in our range, launched in 2004. It does not currently have up to date video or sound card drivers and thus may not work on all current PC systems.”

    What kind of nonsense is that? Game with its own drivers in 2004? Not only they’re bunch of scammers but they have no clue about PCs with that (or stuck with their knowledge somewhere about ’92). I have no idea how this travesty of a company could work for so long, they can’t even fabricate half-believable evidence.

  17. kwyjibo
    September 11, 2009 at 10:26 am

    What is happening with all this information though? Is anyone doing anything about it?

    For example, the Cybernet case is still ongoing is it? Have their lawyers been contacted? Have they seen the conjured “evidence”? What would be the outcome for Langdell if Cybernet win?

    Never settle.

  18. Sly
    September 11, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    The game was written in Delphi. The credits show that it uses the freely available OpenGL components called GLScene by Eric Grange and components from the DSPack Project for multimedia playback.

  19. September 11, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Just because the Edge logo file was created in 2003 doesn’t necessarily mean it wasn’t added to the boot sequence at a later date. I’d bet on your previous hypothesis, as it follows the pattern of behavior exhibited in the creation of the Edge store and the CD the game was burned to.

  20. Marsbound
    September 13, 2009 at 2:29 am

    Oh wow, have you guys been to edgygames.com lately?

    • rumpledimp
      September 14, 2009 at 10:39 pm

      Class.

  21. September 13, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    thumbs up… great work dude

  22. melissac
    September 14, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    dugg for “Edgyhyperglobalmeganet” :)

  23. Jonathan Claridge
    September 16, 2009 at 6:29 am

    Great work — your pieces always make a great read, and the research is outstanding.

    Can the claim of out-of-date video and sound card drivers hold any weight? If it was intended to run on an XP system in 2004, then shouldn’t it run on XP in 2009?

  24. Davioware
    September 18, 2009 at 1:07 am

    very interesting read, it’s amazing how much trouble this “company” goes through to hide their BS.

  25. Jon
    September 23, 2009 at 1:05 am

    This was a very informative article. I’m glad to have stumbled upon it. I hope you keep them coming. It’s always nice when people take their time to contribute information such as this. Will keep it in my bookmarks

  26. AwesomeRobot
    September 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Jon :
    This was a very informative article. I’m glad to have stumbled upon it. I hope you keep them coming. It’s always nice when people take their time to contribute information such as this. Will keep it in my bookmarks

    Jon is a spambot, FYI >:(

  27. Der Mann der Zeit
    September 29, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    That’s cleary a selfmade cover, at least I can’t see any EAN / barcode. What type of product can be sold (in large volumes) without one!?

  28. accuno
    September 30, 2009 at 12:00 am

    So if EDGE Games is found to not actually have a current publishing deal for Mythora, doesn’t that mean that you have hard evidence that they sent you a pirated game, or would they be absolved in the case that the copy that was sent was a version that was developed for them during their deal with NAWAR?

  29. AwesomeRobot
    October 2, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Accuno, without a signed publishing contract, it’s not legal to sell someone else’s game, even if you have the demo copy legally.

  30. unnamednpc
    October 2, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Huh.
    A thing that just occured to me: If you read the “box-blurb”, especially in the context of the archived NAWAR page, doesn’t it read suspiciously like a short summary, a treatment if you will, not unlike one you would send somebody to get them interested in, say, publishing your work?
    Could it actually be that Longdoll used the very text he got from the original devs with his “evaluation copy” for this fragile mock-up?!
    Prepare to be amazed, indeed!

  31. October 11, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Is the game even slightly fun?

  1. September 9, 2009 at 11:47 pm
  2. September 10, 2009 at 5:50 am
  3. September 10, 2009 at 8:25 am
  4. September 10, 2009 at 3:04 pm
  5. September 11, 2009 at 12:16 am

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