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New $4 million proprietary 3D integration tool takes gaming to higher level

San Francisco, CA, November 14, 1997 -- Tonic Trouble, a humorous action-adventure game from Ubi Soft Entertainment scheduled for early 1998 release, is built on a proprietary new 3D integration tool and engine which allow the 40-odd characters to change expressions, alter behavior and display other advanced interactive conduct in response to the actions of the gameplayer.

The new integration tools and modular, scaleable engine were created in-house by 50 Ubi Soft developers over an 18-month period at a cost of $4 million. These tools and engine deliver 10 3D worlds with graphic detail and depth beyond anything currently on the market, complete freedom of movement within each environment, and secondary characters able to play an active role in moving the plot along. The game will be available on PC CD-ROM, DVD-ROM and the Nintendo 64 platform.

Starring a violet-colored extraterrestrial named Ed who must save the world from an environmental crisis triggered by his own clumsiness, Tonic Trouble gives gamers a universe of responsive, multi-dimensional characters who appear and reappear throughout the game depending on the player's actions, rather than simply waiting for the hero to run into them. Each character seems to be living and breathing even before Ed enters the picture, and many hold clues that Ed must uncover to complete his mission. An individual character may run away, hit, jump, throw hot pieces of toast, chase Ed or perform any number of other actions in response to a situation. These and other features are possible because of the advanced artificial intelligence of Ubi Soft's new engine.

Systems and Technology

Tonic Trouble will run with any Pentium 120MHz processor and higher with a 3D accelerator card, however the game has the distinction of being one of the first titles specifically designed to utilize Intel's new Pentiumr II processor platform featuring Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) technology, optimized to take advantage of the super-fluid animation, rapid renderings and the ability to have more simultaneous characters on screen.

"Ubi Soft has successfully used the Pentiumr II processor platform featuring AGP technology to implement new features that bring a lot of entertainment value to the PC," said Ken Harper, strategic marketing manager for the Developer Relations Group, Intel Corp. "Tonic Trouble offers a unique, rich gaming experience that combines 3D action-gameplay and exciting adventure filled with numerous characters."

Contributing further to the total immersion process for the player, Tonic Trouble's PC CD-ROM version will be equipped with Dolby Surround Sound. In addition, the DVD version will be encoded with 5.1 channel 3D Dolby Digital (AC-3) Sound, one of the only three gaming titles known to incorporate this groundbreaking audio technology.

The Game Plot

Reprising the playful tone, multiple-worlds-to-conquer format and cross-generational appeal of Ubi Soft's blockbuster hit Rayman, Tonic Trouble begins when bumbling Ed accidentally drops a mysterious can during a scientific exploration of the galaxy. When the can falls to Earth, its contents unleash a series of mutations that affect humans, plants and animals alike.

Ed is ordered to make amends by rescuing the can from Grogh the Hellish, a ne'er-do-well who harnesses the can's powers to declare himself Master of the Earth. Our hero then embarks on a string of adventures that bring him in contact with a CD-worshipping village, strange killer vegetables, a desert of upside-down pyramids, magical cocktail glaciers and numerous other wonders. As he proceeds from challenge to challenge, Ed is armed with weapons ranging from a magical bow tie to a mysterious shape-changing stick.

Ed has the ability to jump, run, crawl, swim both on the surface and underwater, glide through the air, hang onto the edge of walls, climb up and down a rope, carry, push or pull a variety of objects, and even don a series of disguises.

Ed's friends and foes include a mummy, an oddball character who thinks he is Napoleon, a magic mushroom, an injured mammoth with a pilot's license and villain guards able to fly with the help of helium. There is also a cameo appearance by Rayman himself. New levels and characters will be made available periodically on Ubi Soft's Web site. The game is designed for all ages.

Platforms, Pricing, Availability

The PC edition of Tonic Trouble will debut worldwide for CD-ROM and DVD-ROM in early 1998 as an OEM bundle on new Pentium II machines. It will be released as an independent retail title on CD-ROM and DVD-ROM for Pentium processors 120 MHz and higher in April 1998 at an MSRP of $39.99. The Nintendo 64 edition also will be released in April 1998 and carry an MSRP of $64.95.

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Ubi Soft Entertainment, a $60 million European-based software publishing and distribution company, was founded in 1986 in France. The company is best known in the U.S. for Rayman, a blockbuster action/adventure game for all ages that debuted in 1995. Its most recent title is the sci-fi racing thriller POD, the first racing game ever to offer the option to link up to eight simultaneous players directly over the Internet. In addition to Tonic Trouble, other recent releases include F1 Pole Position 64 (the first racing simulation for Nintendo 64), and Sub Culture, a revolutionary 3D submarine game for the PC. In addition to its U.S. offices in California and its headquarters in France, Ubi Soft has offices in Japan, Germany, Spain, Italy, England, Australia, China and Canada.

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