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Dwarf Fortress update removes graphics

The latest Dwarf Fortress update lets you to swap between the new graphical version and the original ASCII glyphs, allowing you to see how far it's come

Dwarf Fortress update removes graphics: A top-down map of a dwarven fortress rendered in ASCII symbols, with red blood covering much of the floor in the entryway

It’s not often you get a patch that removes graphics from a game, but an option added in the latest Dwarf Fortress update does exactly that. The latest patch, which updates the Steam edition of the Ur-colony management game to 50.04, adds ‘classic mode,’ which removes the new colourful sprites and displays Dwarf Fortress in its original ASCII glory.

The new version of Dwarf Fortress looks absolutely lovely, and it’s immeasurably easier to read what’s going on now. However, the old ASCII presentation has its charms, too – there’s something about the tiny smiley faces that represent the dwarves that adds to their mystique and makes the entire thing feel somewhat more ominous and alien.

The new ‘classic mode’ option can be found in the settings menu, and you can flip between the new and old visuals any time you want.

Dwarf Fortress update 50.04 also updates engraved walls, adds graphics for some picked outdoor plants, adds some custom symbols (we’re not sure what this means yet), and enables Steam trading cards.

“Collect ’em all! Or don’t,” Bay 12 Games advises.

The patch notes are available on Steam, and they include the happy news that Dwarf Fortress’ success since the Steam launch has allowed Bay 12 to hire two more folks to work on the game.