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The logo for Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss

Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss is a first-person role-playing video game released in March 1992 for IBM PC compatible systems running DOS. Set in the fantasy world of the Ultima series, it was developed by Blue Sky Productions (later Looking Glass Studios). The protagonist has to find and rescue a baron's kidnapped daughter from an underground cave system that contains the remnants of a failed utopian civilization. It introduced many technological innovations and has been hailed as the first first-person perspective role-playing game with 3D computer graphics. Although it was not an immediate commercial success, the effects of critical acclaim and word of mouth caused sales to reach nearly 500,000. The game has been highly influential. It is said to have inspired "all 3D RPG titles from Morrowind to World of Warcraft", and the designers of BioShock, Tomb Raider and other major 3D games have cited it as an inspiration for their own work. It resulted in one sequel, 1993's Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds. (more...)

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Eastern bettong

The eastern bettong (Bettongia gaimardi) is a marsupial whose natural range includes south-eastern Australia (where it has been extinct) and the eastern part of Tasmania. Sometimes referred to as a "rat-kangaroo", it is relatively small, rarely exceeding 2 kg (4.4 lb), but will travel up to 1.5 km (0.93 mi) from its nest to find food.

Photo: JJ Harrison

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