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Engine Merc
Platform(s) Platform independent
Release 1992
Genre(s) Fantasy MUD
Mode(s) Multiplayer
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Medievia, is a MUD created in 1992. Medievia was popular in the mid-1990s, having over 100 players at off-peak hours. Some controversy exists regarding Medievia's relationship to DikuMUD, and whether it is bound by the DikuMUD license as a derivative work. Authors of DikuMUD, as well as former staff of Medievia and independent programmers, have said that it is and thus violates the license agreement.

Game characteristics

Medievia was acknowledged to be popular in the mid-1990s,[1] being noted as having over 100 players online at off-peak hours.[2]

Medievia is set in a typical medieval fantasy world.[3] The game contains large randomized catacombs,[1] and also has dragons that provide transportation throughout the world.[2]

Controversy over licensing

The relationship between the Merc MUD codebase and Medievia's code is the subject of controversy.[4]

Medievia was, at the time of its creation, based on the Merc MUD codebase[5](which in turn was based on DikuMUD). Former staff of Medievia, as well as authors of DikuMUD and other programmers, have said that Medievia is still a derivative work of DikuMUD, and is still bound by the DikuMUD license, including Hans Henrik Staerfeldt, Michael Siefert, and Richard Woolcock.[6] Sections of code purportedly from Medievia IV, dated February 1996, as well as two sections of code taken in August 2000, were compared with the original Merc 1.0 code, and show a high degree of similarity, to the extent of apparently retaining comments from the original Merc developers.[6][7] Michael Siefert, an author of DikuMUD, has stated, "I have been shown the Medthievia code - version 4 I believe it was (approx. in 1997). Only a very brief examination was required in order for me, as an author of DikuMUD, to recognize my old code. There is no doubt that it is Diku based."[6]

If Medievia were a derivative of DikuMUD, it would be legally obligated to meet the terms of the DikuMUD license, including a prohibition of making profit from the DikuMUD code, a requirement to retain copyright notices, and credits given to the authors of DikuMUD within the title sequence of the game.[6]

Hans Henrik Staerfeldt, one of the Diku codebase authors, has stated that his belief that Medievia had violated the Diku license was among the reasons that he no longer contributes to the open source MUD community. Some Medievia administrators, including "Thranz" and "Omawarisan," have resigned because they disapprove of code theft and view it as "unethical".[8]


  1. ^ a b Hahn, Harley (1996). The Internet Complete Reference (2nd ed.). Osborne McGraw-Hill. p. 727. ISBN 0-07-882138-X. Looking for a highly-populated mud? [...] Medievia allows for multi-classing [...] On Medievia you will encounter clan wars and a variety of environments such as [...] the catacombs with their thousands of randomized rooms.
  2. ^ a b Towers, J. Tarin; Badertscher, Ken; Cunningham, Wayne; Buskirk, Laura (1996). Yahoo! Wild Web Rides. IDG Books Worldwide Inc. p. 151. ISBN 0-7645-7003-X. Even during the most terrible morning hours when we should all be asleep, like around 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., Medievia has over 100 sickos awake and typing away. [...] Medievia also has dragons that you can fly around on, making those long trips to your favorite areas go by really quickly.
  3. ^ Carton, Sean (1995). Internet Virtual Worlds Quick Tour. Ventana Press. p. 151. ISBN 1-56604-222-4. MEDIEVIA Cyberspace's theme fits your typical adventure/fantasy categories.
  4. ^ "The Impacts of Medievia and Medthievia" (PDF). Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  5. ^ Medievia's statement regarding its origins
  6. ^ a b c d Richard Woolcock's comparison of Merc 1.0 and Medievia IV
  7. ^ A signed fax attributed to Michael Krause, Medievia owner, asserting the authenticity of the code. Archived 2011-07-23 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Omawarisan's spew - A former administrator's view on the code authorship controversy

External links

  • Official web site
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