TMC Reviews: Castle of the Exiles

(Review Date: April 24, 1999)
TMC Reviewer: Jeffrey S. Smith
Mud Theme

Castle of the Exiles is a very rich fantasy environment, evolved from Castle D'Image MUSH (listed on TMC). The story-line is fully fleshed out and fraught with possibility for intense and intricate role-playing. Not knowing anything about Castle D'Image MUSH, I can't say for certain whether the areas I toured are original or not, but it is my feeling that they are. The world is small, only a section of a single continent, but it feels much larger once a player realizes how expandable the pre-defined world is. Overall, I could find nothing that didn't fit easily and appropriately into the chosen theme of the MUSH.

Mud Atmosphere

The immstaff that I dealt with were very friendly and very helpful. Within 2 minutes of logging on, I was accosted (in a nice way) by one of the RP Imms, who spent hours with me, making sure that a MUSH newbie like myself could figure out how to get around, how to work the commands, and how to "explore" safely. On more than one occasion, she greeted me and asked if there was anything she could do to help me, which left me reassured that, if I did get lost or needed help, there were people I could ask. My first role-playing occurred when I stumbled onto a scene in the Main Foyer of the Hollier Castle, and after being allowed to watch for a while, I was brought into the scene by one of the RP Imms and whalah... suddenly it was much more fun to be on the MUSH. The consensual nature of the RP here, guaranteed by both policy and the immortal referees, makes getting involved a pleasurable experience. However, due to the fact that their policy on RP is "If you haven't been invited into an RP situation, don't barge in.", getting involved can be tricky. It requires someone else bringing you in.

Mud World

The world itself felt very consistent. No where did I see anything that seemed "out of place" with the theme they were attempting to create. There were, however, a few areas which didn't seem to coincide with their building expectations (ie. Contrary to their building policies, there were no "shortcuts" out of a room, forcing a player to type the full exit names to move about), but otherwise, everything was cleanly well worded, with no typos or misspellings that I could find. Some of the MUSH is even in color, providing a nice way to see what that particular builder thought was overly important. With the map on the web page, you can easily see how to walk from one place to another, or you can use the '+ooc' command to jump instantly to the OOC Room. From there, you can enter the 'Area Exits' room, and jump instantly to anywhere on the MUSH, although there is no IC explanation for it, so IC-ly, it's discouraged.

Additional Comments

Being an almost complete MUSH newbie, I found this much less confusing than many MUSH's I've tried in the past. The immortals that I dealt with were friendly and willing to help, the world was well-thought out and rife with possible expansion, and there was an abundance of mythos and theme information, IF you knew where to look. I had trouble with that in-game, and found that their web page was a much easier way to find most of the general information I was seeking. They have a nice "extra info" command called "view" that I felt was under-utilized in most of the areas, but they continually told me "This is a new world, so we're looking for new things for it." One of the RP Imms was very helpful in getting my IC background in-sync with the world, getting me involved in an RP session that got me introduced to some major players in the story, and keeping me advised of what I needed to know to continue to participate.


I've never been much of a MUSH fan, being almost solely a MUD person, but this MUSH made me feel at home, made me feel like I could participate (and be appreciated for it), and set forth clear and easily understood rules for me, the player, to follow. The web page, while not visually that interesting, contains a significant amount of information, which helped me figure out my "role" in the CotE world. Since I can only suggest as a "starting MUSH-er", I would close by stating that, if you've wanted to try a MUSH world, but haven't found one worth spending the time and effort to get involved with, CotE is willing to help you through your infancy, and watch with pride as you take your first steps out of the Castle and into the world beyond.