(English article) Being a huge fan of the old Dark Sun computer games released by SSI in the early 90s, I’ve always wanted to have their maps handy to use in my own RPG tabletop games. Now I finally acquired them, and I’m sharing them here.
(If you want maps from Dark Sun 2: Wake of the Ravager, see this article.)
Why would anyone want these maps?
To this day, the old AD&D Dark Sun DOS games from SSI remain some of my favorite CRPGs of all time. I still boot them up every now and then (at least the first two titles) to play on PC or emulate them on my Android tablet (oh, that’s for another article). Besides being a lot of fun, those games inspired and helped shape tabletop RPGs I ran over the years.
Still, why would anyone want maps from such an old game? I know I’m not the only one to want this because I’ve seen many people asking for them online before. The reasons vary.
I for one wanted the maps to load them on a virtual tabletop. They look great, if you like early 90s PC graphics (I do), though that might come entirely from nostalgic reasons. I mean, they’re not your usual Dungeondraft-made battlemaps. They might take some fiddling to fit correctly, and they’ll puzzle younger audiences who could have never even played a videogame from that era.
Because this series is so popular with those who played them back in the day, some people like to run tabletop campaigns inspired in the events portrayed in the games. Or if you’re running your own Dark Sun-themed story (or any post-apocalyptic fantasy setting for that matter), it’s not always easy to find good battlemaps anyway. For what it’s worth, these maps have a gladiatorial arena, slave pens, wasteland/desert wilderness, ruins, sewers, so they cover a lot of ground. I mean, when my players got enslaved for aggravating the King Nibenay, I already had a gladiator’s prison and arena ready for them.
Other than that, I’ve seen some devs using these assets to try to port these old games to different engines (like this guy playing with the Infinity Engine).
So now I’m sharing the maps with whoever might want them, starting with Shattered Lands, because why not.
How I got the maps from the original games
Enter this nifty little tool by JohnGlassmeyer at Github. It’s a Java tool that extracts images and sounds from the original Dark Sun games files. Took me a while to figure it out, but I can confirm the script works to extract maps from all three of them: Shattered Lands, Wake of the Ravager, and the nearly completely ignored Crimson Sands MMORPG.
Dark Sun: Shattered Lands maps files
All maps were extracted from the original game files acquired on GOG. There are 32 in total. As far as I can tell, the package is complete, meaning it should contain all maps from all chapters of Dark Sun: Shattered Lands.
The tool I used extracts the maps with a bit of clutter: each comes rendered with all characters, monsters, furniture, chests and items in their original positions in one flat image. For my personal use, I removed whatever characters and monsters I found, and saved them as lossless PNGs. This is what you’ll find in the download below. I didn’t remove anything else, so you should see treasure, loot and other less pleasant stuff scattered around in some rooms. If you must remove those, do as you please.
I don’t intend to touch the files any further (unless they’re wrong in some way, in which case you should let me know in the comment section). Anyone can extract the same images I did using the script linked above and edit them however they prefer.
So where are the maps from the other games (Wake of the Ravager and Crimson Sands)? Once I’m done reviewing all files, I’ll share them here as well. They’re another 100 maps or so.
For now, enjoy, use them wisely, and let me know what you think in the comment section below.
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