I've already revealed everything there is to reveal from the launch event presentation that Funcom held and if you haven't read it, you should head on over and check it out!
After we were done at the presentation, the press made their way back to the hotel to get ready for what we were told would be an elaborate party to celebrate the launch of Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures. Over 500 guests were invited to the Holmenkollen Ski Jump, ranging from International Press to the local not-so-international TV personalities. We were treated to one of the most epic parties I have ever been to! By Crom, this gig rocked! Featuring Conan's loyal followers and Conan himself, this really will stick in everyone's memory for a long time to come!
This party was so epic that I am afraid my words really don't do it justice. Check out the photo's as you read through and you will get an even greater impression of just how much effort Funcom went to to see Age of Conan in with style!
At about 18.30, a group of us met up at the hotel in Oslo and headed to the Fugazi Bar. Here, we spoke to some of the other press that were at the event and I personally met up with some of the guys from the guilds that had been shipped over to the event by Funcom. At about 19.30, we were once again shuffled onto a bus and transported to Holmenkollen Ski Jump where the main party was being held. We quickly made our way to the party area. As we walked down a red carpet and up some stairs, it became increasingly apparent Funcom had cut no corners.
We got to the top of the stairs and were flanked by two rows of guards. It's safe to say that some of these guys were fairly intimidating, wielding large axes, swords and shields. As well as the guards, we were overlooked by several spear-wielding riders mounted on the back of bloodstained horses. Once we had made our way down this row we were greeted by Conan's War Camp; several tents dominated the main area and barbarian women, men and children moved their way through the party, fighting over scraps of food or... well... just fighting for the hell of it!
On the far side of the War Camp was a stage area and a huge Age of Conan banner. On the stage stood King Conan's thrown but there was no King Conan to be seen. The barbarians continued to fight and scrap around us, as you'd expect from bunch of chicken-wielding, sword waving mad-men. The party by this point was getting into the swing of things with people standing around mostly looking amazed. After about half an hour, an announcer from Conan's court came out onto the stage and announced the events for the night; we were to be treated to drink and food, as well as a performance of the games music and a performance by Norwegian death punk band Turbonegro. It really did promise to be a jam packed event indeed. Eventually, the announcer came around to introducing the main man himself - King Conan - and after a truly royal introduction, Conan stepped onto the stage and took his rightful place, seating himself upon his thrown!
The classical orchestra that are responsible for performing the games musical score were first on to the stage and performed some of the music from Age of Conan. I must say that the games music is really well written and hearing it live simply took it to a new level. The main theme is a catchy and memorable piece, just like any good game theme should be.
Whilst the music was being performed on the stage, barbarians were still teeming through the crowd, beating and chasing each other for a piece of chicken they'd stolen off the not-so-barbarian hot plates the chefs were cooking on. It really did add an epic feeling to the party, making the area seem as close to Conan's War Camp as was possible, whilst also making me feel like I may have walked onto the set of some kind of time travelling TV series, like Doctor Who.
As the night progressed (and the Norwegian weather became colder and colder), people began to relax and settle and just as the party had very much calmed from the buzz, a mock battle began to rage. A hostile force of men approached Conan's loyal followers, and a fearsome battle was fought. Both sides fought valiantly and brutally, each suffering their fair share of casualties.
Sadly for Conan's men, the enemy was not so easily defeated and more approached the battlefield. What is a battle without Conan himself? Coming down from his throne, escorted by his Royal Guard, Conan put down the small battle and proceeded to stand proud and tall above his defeated enemies.
We were then told that people should start to make their way to the indoor area that had been set up for Turbonegro to perform in (and this came as a relief for those suffering the Norwegian cold... like me) but before we all moved downstairs, a brilliant firework display erupted to see in the end of the outdoor celebrations (whilst also hailing down ash on us all)!
Inside, we were greeted by 3 big screens displaying the Age of Conan trailer. Seats lined the walls and red and blue lights illuminated cloth that had been hung from the ceiling. People moved about the party, talking and laughing and things at this point moved into more of a traditional party atmosphere, with a DJ playing music over the hustle and bustle of the crowd.
After about an hour, the party atmosphere changed quite quickly. Turbonegro took to the stage and changed the tone from modern dance music to Norwegian death punk. Everyone went pretty much crazy at this point! They performed for a long while and they kept the crowd buzzing - at one point, I think there may have been a mosh pit - right until the end of the night with a truly show-style set that sent out the night in style!
This party was truly epic and I doubt very much that I will ever get to go to such an epic party again! It really did show just how confident and excited Funcom are about Age of Conan!
We've got one more thing to come in our coverage of the Age of Conan Launch Event so keep your eyes peeled!