Dismiss Battle Chess and risk being brained by a bishop’s staff. There’s a contingent of PC gamers, venerable enough to have decided what was installed on their machines in ‘88, who are justly fond of the game that brought ancient pieces to life. Isn’t that one of the things games have always been about? Seeing the models of the tabletop move as they do in our imaginations?
Brian Fargo must have thought so. The Wasteland 2 initiator, Torment instigator and onetime head of Interplay began work on a Battle Chess 3 in the late ‘90s that never saw the light of day. He’s left its sarcophagus ajar, however, so that we can all have a good look.
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“In the late 90’s I started to spec a Battle Chess 3 with camera movement & voice acting,” tweeted Fargo. “This has never been seen.”
The footage looks more proof of concept than in-game cutscene - it doesn’t seem as if Battle Chess 3 made it particularly far into development. It’s a fun curio, though: there’s a little of Toy Story in the CGI, and some of the broad comedy Fargo would later embrace in InXile’s Bard’s Tale reboot.
Have you ever exhumed Battle Chess on GOG? We’re still in thrall to death animations, after all.