A day that many old-school role-playing game fans thought would never come has arrived. Grimoire: Heralds of the Winged Exemplar has launched after nearly 25 years of development.

I saw a tweet from indie designer Jay Barnson this morning noting that Grimoire had released on Steam, Valve’s humongous PC gaming community. It was first set to debut during early July, but the Golden Era Games studio postponed it. But it’s live now.

Grimoire comes from Golden Era Games and designer Cleveland Mark Blakemore. Its website jokes that “We started work on this game back when people pushed their cars around with their feet like the Flintstones!” It mimics the gameplay of seminal RPGs such as Wizardry and Eye of the Beholder with first-person exploration, turned-based combat, and a large party of characters (eight in this case). This tweet shows what combat looks like. The studio boasts that it has more than 600 hours of gameplay, 244 maps to explore, and a thousand items. It’s kinda bonkers.

After reading the tweet, I went to the Steam store, and yep, it was there. I threw it into my cart and bought it. Seconds later …

Above: After I posted this on Twitter, someone cracked “Almost a year in development per megabyte.”

Image Credit: Jason Wilson/GamesBeat

I’ve started making characters. I can’t tell if I’ve seen my first bug or not. I picked a Naga from one of the 14 races for my third player character, and its description says it’s eligible to be a Pirate. A Pirate snake-person? Sold! But when I rolled up my stats and went to the class selection screen, I couldn’t choose Pirate. I tried this three times, and each time was a failure. And Grimoire either isn’t giving me enough feedback on why I can’t pick this class, or it has buried it somewhere that isn’t obvious.

Above: A Pirate’s life is … not for me?

Image Credit: Jason Wilson/GamesBeat

I’m going to dig into Grimoire this weekend. I have a great deal of love for this old style of RPG — these are what hooked me on gaming in the early 1980s.

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