This critically acclaimed first-person RPG takes the player on an amazing journey into the fantasy world of Arx. The game mixes intelligent story with immersive and actual medieval surroundings. Arx Fatalis allows the player to feel that all his actions have a direct consequence on those around him.
User reviews:
Very Positive (353 reviews) - 90% of the 353 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 12, 2002

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IGN Awards Arx Fatalis an 8/10

"The spell casting system (...) is probably the most fun I've had with magic in a game in a long time."

RPGDot gives Arx Fatalis a 91%

"Clever dungeon design, exciting story and challenging puzzles makes this the most intelligent RPG around"

About This Game

This critically acclaimed first-person RPG takes the player on an amazing journey into the fantasy world of Arx. The game mixes intelligent story with immersive and actual medieval surroundings. Arx Fatalis allows the player to feel that all his actions have a direct consequence on those around him.

The goal of the game is to destroy the secret cult of Akbaa, the god of destruction. As a player, you must prevent the return of such a cruel creature to the physical world. Should you fail, Akbaa is bound to impose its terror upon the world of Arx.

You will become the hero of an underground world - with weapons, spells and magical items to defend against goblins, trolls, rat-men and other vicious opponents.

Besides brute force, stealth and the "onscreen gesture based magic system" are the three alternative ways to succeed. Using the mouse, flaming runes can be drawn in mid-air. A combination of these gestures can create powerful magic spells that will protect you or empower you to defeat opponents and pursue the quest.

System Requirements

    Minimum: Windows XP, 500 MHz Pentium ® III or compatible, 64 MB RAM , DirectX 8 or higher, DirectX 8 compatible sound- and graphics card with 16 MB, 750 MB fixed disks

    Recommended: 900 MHz Pentium ® III or compatible, 256 MB RAM , DirectX 8 or higher, DirectX 8 compatible sound- and graphics card with 32MB, 750 MB fixed disks

Customer reviews
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Very Positive (353 reviews)
Recently Posted
( 3.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 8
col immersive underworld game with magic swiping that doesny teallu work that well on wideacteen but 4:3 is better anyway
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Soviet Russia
( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 3
I played this on a Linux machine with the mods that fixed most of the bugs so ignore my play time.

This game will only appeal to fans who played it at release and are playing for nostalgia value. Even with the modifications to the graphics and mechanics the game is still not fun. I understand it's an older game but other games released around the same time such as Morrowind (despite its flaws) had a much more polished look and controls.

The controls where outdated even for its time. You switch between standard first person mode and a mouse mode where you can move around objects. When trying to place or interact with objects it will take several atttempts. The on screen spell casting fails frequently no matter perfectly you move your mouse.

The environment is that of a poorly constructed network of mazes and it looks like it was left unfinished. It feels less like a world to explore and more like you got lost on a construction site with half finished buildings.

Beyond the interesting story there isn't much of a reason to play this game. I could go on about the bugs but it's not worth my time. Save yourself the few dollars and go a tub or icecream or something.
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( 1.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 1
Product received for free
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( 22.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 31
Decently entertaining dungeon crawler in the vain of Ultima Underworld, probably best known for its rune drawing spell system. About 20-25h of gameplay, featuring a protagonist suffering from the well-known Amnesia™- and The Chosen One™ syndrome out to fight The Ultimate Evil™ with the trusted Fireball Spell™.

Great fun!
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( 7.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 15
For as old as this game is, it was very interesting and fun to play. It is rather linear, but has a ton of RPG qualities that fans of the genre will know and love. 7/10
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( 0.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 12
The Demo was working perfectly, but the game refuses to start after I bought the full version. There are fixes for:
"A DDraw object has a non-zero reference
count (meaning it was not properly cleaned up)."
but unfortunately, none of them worked for me.
I have no doubt that this is a pretty good game (since the demo convinced me of buying the full game, obviously), but right now, I can't recommend it, simply because it isn't working anymore.

Edit: I know that people don't like it, when reviews are negative, because the game didn't run for the reviewer, but that's just how it is. And if a game isn't running, even after you applied the fixes for it, nobody can recommend a game. Simple as that.
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( 0.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 9
ARX LIBERTATIS WAS USED - Thus game time was not counted by steam. My playthrough was ~22hrs. Arx Libertatis gets the game running on nearly all systems, I suggest it if you can't run the game normally.
Arx Fatalis was created by ArKane Studios who would eventually bring the world titles such as Dark Messiah of Might & Magic (one of my favorite games) and more recently Dishonored 1 and 2 through Bethesda publishing.

The setting for the game is one of the most interesting I've seen in an RPG that is nearly untouched by the actual game. The premise is that the sun for the world has been extinguished and the surface is now uninhabitable. Anyone who goes to the surface would freeze instantly type of deal. The humans (with the help of naga-creatures) along with other races fled to the underground and through tunnels the population of the world continues to survive (Metro 2033 anyone?). Arx Fatalis takes place in Arx, one of what's considered to be 'safer' areas. This was disappointing since it was more tame setting than I wanted compared to the Travelers guild and how they're in a daily life or death struggle continuing through tunnels that are riddled with monsters.

The crux of the matter on this game is that it's hard for me to pick a side on recommending it. I'm half-heartedly going with a No Recommendation despite thinking the game isn't that bad. There just wasn't enough to push me over to wanting to replay the game or encourage someone else to go through it.

To explain, the combat (the main portion of what this game will consist of) is pretty garbage (TES style). You're forced into either building as a hybrid or into a mage only and while you can pull off the warrior build it's highly inefficient along with the worse builds of rogue or archer. The spellcasting in the game is an amazing concept that not even the game was able to do properly. You must create the runes in the air manually in a correct combination to cast the spell. Anyone who hasn't played would think it hard to do in combat BUT the player can have up to THREE precast spells. This means mages can play with the runes until they get the three spells they want and easily murder any opponent with probably only two of the spells used. Fighting with melee weapons is a chore in comparison, as swinging wildly does next to no damage. The player must 'hold' the weapon until the gauge is full and then release to deal impactful damage (~5s per swing). While this won't seem apparent initially, when the player reaches the Ylsids that run slightly faster and can swing 3 times as fast, it'll spell your doom.
As a new player this was especially annoying since the runes recieved early on were practically useless, and a useful spell isn't learned until later in the game which encouraged me to stay mostly melee instead of a focus on spellcraft which ends up the far better of the two.

Now to me what is the real dilemma I have with the game. MECHANICS.
This game is a perfect example of the once and done feature. They place mechanics that exist in the game for the sole purpose of one point and then abandon the feature forever. This is excrutiating as a new player and people who played this perviously looking back with fond memories need to understand what I'm talking about. Mostly this is due a lack of both not showing and not telling what the player should do.
Just uh.. Spoilers from here on out

There's a section in the game where a monster chases you upon entering the dwarf area, as you run away slamming on doors you'll cross a lava section and then find a dwarf with a key, power stone and meat. You'll probably grab the key and powerstone then run back in a panic to open the door with the monster on your heels down a corridor. If you run to the right you'll instantly game over. If you're too slow in any of the above sections, also instant game over. You then run into an empty-ish room with a ladder and hop up with glee. But now you're stuck.
Here's the solution: You were supposed to grab that meat (which looked identical to Rat Meat i.e. nonimportant unless you mindlessly loot), run into the room and use the power stone on the blank looking box that powers the stomper above you and lure the monster underneath to get squished.
Literally WHAT. Like okay if the game had shown the power crystals earlier, it would be fair. If it had shown the stomper rising up from the ground, also fair game. But the fact of the matter was the whole section was like playing that stupid Train Minigame in Mario Party of RIGHT OR LEFT. Oh wrong way! Off the cliff you go!
This is the whole game in bringing up new concepts to the player.
===The wine into the dough was the only one DONE RIGHT. It showed the goblin cook time and time again bringing pies to the king, if you found his diary it said he was allergic to wine, and then also finding all the wine next to the dough in the kitchen.
===The magic lever that appeared when the monster was chasing you again? BAD.
===Temple of Illusions? MIXED (mostly the stupid reveal on the switches; the crystal ball with the switches where you had to compare shadows in each room which would have been fine had the switches made a 'failure' sound if you messed up.)
===Levitating into the Ice Caves? Dumb as all hell
The funniest thing is that in the ice caves the player character actually kind of gives advice on knocking down a stalactite to proceed forward while in all the other situations has no info to offer.
===Crypt (pickaxing the graves out of nowhere, rune slabs, stupid sun puzzle. The hint was terrible and the way the puzzle was positioned throws everyone off, rune slabs couldve been removed since it was used in the same puzzle in the same format but only existed to torture anyone who somehow missed a single slab.)
Also kind of randomly; gold was relatively worthless. Best armor and weapon obtained free of charge.

But it's not as though the game was entirely misdirected
Cooking food was neat, spellcasting (despite precast ruining everything) was a good concept, and the whole staking the vampire ghouls in the crypt was a nice inclusion you wouldn't see in most games. (Plus the setting)
For the time when the game came out I could see why most people would love this game.
Personally I don't think the game aged well, and new players would certainly have more than one problem with it.

If this game released modernly not even the most hardcore would try defending it. It would be riddled with 'this makes no sense' posts but communities exist which give older games a free pass.
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Communist "Joseph Ballin" Layton
( 24.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 9
Arx Fatalis was the first game to be released by Arcane Studios (now mostly known for Dishonored), and very few developers hit it out of the park with their first game as much as they did. The game takes place in a world that might have once been a traditional fantasy setting, but the death of the planet's sun led the various races of the world to move into various underground cave systems, with Arx being the one that the game takes place in. The open world is somewhat like a dungeon crawler, and while it may seem like a small world at first you may be surprised as you unravel it and unlock its various depths and passages. It makes up for its size by being very compact, without the filler that most modern RPGs have. There are also various civilizations to deal with, with the humans living on the top level and various other races living deeper in the caves. Arx is full of secrets and side quests, and for the most part you're free to look for them at any time. The story is fairly simple, but it never chains you to it, instead opting to just leave you to go through things at your own pace.

Gameplay-wise, things are pretty similar to Arcane's later games. You can specialize in stealth, combat, or magic, along with other skills like the ability to identify enchated weapons and armor. The magic system is one that you'll either love or hate; you learn spells by learning runes found on stones throughout the world and combining them into spells by drawing the runes on your screen with the mouse, and when it works it's a really cool system, but the rune detection sometimes refuses to cooperate, so you'll probably want to keep your three pre-casted spell slots full in case of combat. There are lots of item crafting mechanics you can use, and they're all presented in a more interactive way than most games' menus, like how cooking food requires you to light a fire with a spell and drop your food items into the fire until it finishes cooking, which is pretty fun in a way that's hard to describe.

It's hard to describe exactly what it is about Arx Fatalis that makes it so great, because it's a game that's made great by the various moments and sidequests that make up the game instead of by the actual core mechanics and if I listed all of my favorite parts of the game here it would just be spoiling things. But everything about it comes together so well that the only reason I wouldn't recommend it is if you aren't very good with older control schemes. Even though it's old, there's a fan patch called Arx Libertatis that fixes things up to run on modern machines, and with the game's current $5 price I think it's a steal. It's an immersive and unique game that has a kind of magic to it that even Arcane's own later games haven't quite managed to capture.
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( 1.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 5
In German Ver. Goblin Polsius has Southpark Cartman Voice feature. The game won my love instantly.
PETER says: "Roadhouse" (ง ͠° ͟ل͜ ͡°)ง
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( 8.0 hrs on record )
Posted: April 16
how can is gay universe conceive such thing. tell me this game isnt a piece of heaven floatin in satens urine! its betta then a long fap its even betta then pizza immarsive as shet georgeous as fk im yet to find anything to top this pleasant experence
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
14 of 14 people (100%) found this review helpful
12 people found this review funny
22.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 31
Decently entertaining dungeon crawler in the vain of Ultima Underworld, probably best known for its rune drawing spell system. About 20-25h of gameplay, featuring a protagonist suffering from the well-known Amnesia™- and The Chosen One™ syndrome out to fight The Ultimate Evil™ with the trusted Fireball Spell™.

Great fun!
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
180 of 188 people (96%) found this review helpful
170 people found this review funny
21.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 7, 2015
If you dug Morrowind's oppressive atmosphere (and ultimately totally op magic) but want a far more narrowly-focused experience with sexy snake women, a surprisingly immersive gesture-based magic casting system. Simple trolls wearing sumo diapers - then you have very specific tastes, and while this game does provide those things, you should probably lower your standards in general for your own wellbeing.
You lovable nut.
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104 of 110 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
42.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 11, 2015
Challenging and highly atmospheric, if also heavily flawed, dungeon crawler/immersive sim that is in many ways highly reminiscent of Looking Glass Studios classics. You'll journey trough decaying underground world filled with dark ritual, bloodthirsty enemies and eldritch horrors.
Patience, experimentation and careful exploration are often rewarded, and also quite often -required- in a way that is rarely seen in modern games: Arx offers little to no hand holding to players during their journey through its sprawling, interconnected dungeons - thorough exploration and paying attention to clues and readables are keys to making any sort of progress!
Game isn't without flaws tho: magic system, while original and also quite impressive in a sheer number of offered spells and their possible effects, is also somewhat clunky, and spellcasting is often unresponsive. Controls & interface in general will take some time to get used to.
While game offers to player a freedom to develop his character in many possible directions, some skills are definitely far more useful than others, and some playstyles are far less developed than others. Stealth system for example is quite unrefined, and while it is sometimes useful and at some points borderline required to sneak (say early encounters with dreaded Ylside warriors), stealth tends to be rather useless and unsatisfying.
There is quite a bit of different types of fun-to-use melee weapons, each with their own pros and cons. Ranged combat on the other hand, while quite useful at times, is made unnecessarily monotonous by the fact that the player is offered all of -two- bows, second one being pretty much unreachable on first playthrough without any outside help.
Still, I'd say this game's assorted shortcomings are -very much- worth dealing with, and are far, FAR outweighed by its many qualities.

Pretty much recommended to anyone with some patience and willingness to deal with game's flaws and idiosyncrasies.

Also, i highly recommend using Arx Libertatis: it offers additional bug fixes and eliminates issues with modern hardware.
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77 of 80 people (96%) found this review helpful
32.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 9, 2013
This is definitely a title I'd say is "underrated". It's a relatively obscure RPG title that gives a fairly interesting setting and good mechanics.

The game is good overall, but it's definitely rough around the edges.


The game is pretty immersive, with full first person and complete view of limbs and equipment. There are plenty of things to loot, plenty of things to kill. The game is also very atmospheric: lots of dank caves with dark ambience playing. The RPG elements are mostly good, but there's not much character interaction, no real dialogue trees. I have a lot of fun exploring dungeons in the game, they can go pretty deep and pretty wide. There are lots of immersive touches, like having to drag things manually into the inventory, to manually drawing runes to cast spells, to even staking zombies to make sure they stay dead. It helps make the game feel alive.


The game barely conveys any information to the player; I've had to rely on walkthroughs extensively. The journal is worthless, it tells nothing about current tasks or reminders of where to go. If important details from dialogue are missed, they can't be found again. Navigation is nightmarish as there are no clear paths to get to locations, everything is located on separate underground levels. The game also is unbalanced in terms of combat and specialization. Playing as a thief or as just a warrior is suicidal, as a certain kind of enemy late-game cannot be easily killed with brute force. I had to restart my game to play as a sort of battlemage build, and now everything is easier.


It's a pretty mixed bag overall. If one likes RPGs with somewhat original settings, compelling mechanics, plenty of immersion, and plenty of loot, then this game is good if one can look past the glaring flaws.
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67 of 71 people (94%) found this review helpful
14.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 2, 2015
This game is absolutely amazing. For the game from the year 2002 it has really interesting mechanics, the whole casting by drawing spells is an interesting idea. The cooking mechanics are also something I didn't see in any other RPG yet.

Recently I installed it again because I discovered the Arx Liberatis mod that fixes the game for the modern computers (adds FullHD resolution, fixes spell casting - be sure to have v-sync on)
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58 of 60 people (97%) found this review helpful
48.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 14, 2014
Arx Fatalis awesome awesomeness

one of my favorite rpg´s, innovative gameplay as a sample how you can interact:

" Bottle of Water + Flour = Bread Dough + Rolling Pin = Uncooked Pie + Apple = Uncooked Apple Pie + Bottle of Wine = Uncooked Apple Pie with Wine + Source of Heat = Apple Pie with Wine " one of many things you can combine in the game world.

The game world is authentic and its very exciting to explore.

Atmosphere is great and often creepier than Stalker.

Story is Epic and better than gothic 1 (gothic1 is my *1) sidequest´s are very nice too.
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52 of 54 people (96%) found this review helpful
11 people found this review funny
22.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 5, 2015
If you consider yourself a fan of the RPG genre and still haven't played this, it's time to get on it.

This is one of my favorite games ever and I could go on about this game with a big lengthy post but it's easier if I just point out it's only flaw:
There's no sequel.
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42 of 44 people (95%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 20, 2015
The game with the most dense atmosphere I ever experienced. Intresting scenario and story, plus very specific controls.
I can recommend this game for any RPG and adventure-games fans, but only if you can look past the very old graphics.
ATTENTION! Arx Fatalis doesn't work well on newer PCs and crashes very often, but luckily the free patch Arx Libetatis fixes all the bugs.
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40 of 48 people (83%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
60.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 9, 2014
best $5 I ever spent for a old game
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35 of 40 people (88%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 31, 2014
This was a serious sleeper game.

I bought it on sale and found it to be a true gem.

From the unprecedented magic enactment system to just the feel of the entire world to the flow of gameplay...

There is a reason Bethesda bought the studio behind this. They are truly talented.

Highly recommended.
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