Zaric and I discuss the development of MedievaLands on his stream. Joined by Zaric's stalwart companions Kon and Alainbow, we talk about the the original Yserbius game design; differences between Yserbius and Twinion and the remakes on MedievaLands; and our thoughts on where MedievaLands could be expanded to create entirely new experiences. Zaric Zhakaron, ECHO CHAMBER: Talking with the Developer of the Yserbius/Twinion Remake, MedievaLands, YouTube (Mar 14, 2020).
Yserbius received a fair amount of press in contemporaneous media. I've archived these primary sources on this page. I hope you enjoy these footnotes to the recreation! -Zane
"Yserbius is a deep and complex game that would stand on its own as a commercial release. You must spend a lot of time to build up characters until they're strong enough to make it to deeper levels, but the requirements for advancement are quite fair. . . . One thing is sure: you'll be hooked by the Yserbius environment until long after you solve the volcano's mysteries." Shadow of Yserbius. Ceccola, Russ. QuestBusters Volume 9 Number 12 (December 1992).
"The game can be entertaining, but what made this an experience to be savored are the many good people with which I ventured forth. There is no substitute for the companionship of others and Yserbius gives one all the tools one would wish for the interaction that is the core of this game. I now have a number of people whom I consider good friends, and I will be playing long after this article is submitted." Into the Volcano of Death: A Trip Into the Fiery Environs of TSN's Yserbius. Baker II, Samuel (V'ger). Computer Gaming World Issue 106 p.78-82 (May 1993).
"Despite these flaws, there is something to be said for Yserbius as a stand-alone game. It is refreshingly simple to play - no complex notes to keep, no changing conversion branches, just go in, kick butt and take the treasure. With a few puzzles in the dict to give you some fiber with your hack and slash meal, you have a diverting and amusing FRPG to occupy your time for a little while. Problem is, most FRPGers don't want to be amused - they want to be thrown into a real world, with rare treasures, unspeakable horrors and, like any good book, a gripping storyline that doesn't let go. That's a good RPG - it should be like being there." Role Playing Reversal: Yserbius and Fates of Twinion Go From On-Line Games to Boxed Set. Yee, Bernie. Computer Gaming World Issue 115 p.144-146 (February 1994).
"I could go on, and on, about how much fun I'm having with Shadow of Yserbius. Yet, if I showed it to someone, I am sure they'd wonder what the attraction was. The graphics are adequate, the monsters nicely varied with good animation, the storyline so-so. But there's something about it that has grabbed me. Played as an on-line game, I am sure it would really come into its own but even as a solo game, I am thoroughly enjoying it." Shadow of Yserbius. Medley, Sue. SynTax Issue 31 (1995).
"But Beware . . . This game is NOT for the faint-hearted. It's very tough to quit once you start prowling these halls. Last week, I started exploring with three stout-hearted adventurers at 9 p.m. At 11:30, we started talking about quitting. Funny, but at 3 a.m. we were still trying to navigate a lava maze to get a special key. I now adventure with five or six different groups. Each of us have distinctive skills and individual knowledge of secret doors, teleports, and special quest items that are needed to adventure to new places in the volcano." Searching for Secrets in The Shadow of Yserbius: One adventurer's account of TSN's new multi-player FRP. Busch, Kurt (Fatiron). InterAction Volume 5 Number 4 p.61-63 (Winter 1992).
"Follow my advice, finished the Innkeeper, and you just might survive your battles with monsters, wizards, and other resident creatures, find the many hidden chambers and treasure hoards, and discover the ultimate secret of Yserbius itself!" Yserbius Survival Lore: Inside Tips for InterAction Readers. DeBaun, Rich; Buchanon, Larry; Flores, Carlos. InterAction Volume 6 Number 1 p.74-75 (Spring 1993).
"Hold on, you're saying. What IS Yserbius anyway? If you haven't heard, it's the hottest fantasy role-playing game around. It's also the name of the towering volcano that dominates the landscape of the game's magical kingdom. Yserbius is a place of mystery, a smoking, fire-breathing, living dungeon that houses treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and monsters beyond your worst nightmares." The Shadow of Yserbius (including The Fates of Twinion). Shannon, Lorelei. InterAction Volume 6 Number 2 p.38-39 (Summer 1993).
"Time passed quickly after En-Li-Kil's demise. Many of Twinion's inhabitants still traversed the dungeons of Yserbius, searching for some way off the isolated island. One day, in a flash of magic, a sorceress appeared in the midst of the townspeople. So was marked the return of Aeowyn, daughter and sole offspring of the late King Cleowyn, who had come to reclaim the Galabryan throne." Yserbius II: The Fates of Twinion. Amos, Scot. Imaginings, Volume One Issue Five p.1-2 (October 1993).