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LucasArts Challenges Players To Enter The Epic World Of Gladius™ This August

UPCOMING ROLE PLAYING GAME INSPIRED BY THE BRUTAL AND
SPECTACULAR GLADIATOR TOURNAMENTS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD

Continuing its tradition of offering original games with rich, immersive worlds to explore, LucasArts, a Lucasfilm Ltd. company, has created Gladius, a role-playing game (RPG) inspired by the brutal and spectacular gladiator tournaments of the ancient world. The game supports both single and cooperative play modes and will be available in retail outlets August 2003 A.D. for Sony PlayStation®2, the Xbox™ video game system from Microsoft and Nintendo GameCube™.

At the heart of Gladius is a unique mix of compelling game play that allows players to develop and manage a school of gladiators who train in order to gain experience, learn new skills, improve their abilities and finally test their might in epic battles. Players fight with deadly weapons and powerful magic, learn vital combat tactics, and enhance and customize characters as they advance through the game.

"Gladius takes the RPG genre to a whole new tactical level and features a distinct style of play that is wrapped in an epic story line," says Sam Saliba, product marketing manager for LucasArts. "Players will experience a visually stunning game that offers incredible depth in terms of character development and story line, and also a unique layer of strategy related to how players manage and balance their team."

In Gladius, players choose to become one of two heroic characters - Ursula or Valens (voiced by Linda Cardellini from Scooby Doo and Michael Rosenbaum from Smallville, respectively). Ursula, from the northern land of Nordagh, is the daughter of a great barbarian king. Valens is the son of one of Imperia's greatest gladiators of all time. A bloody conflict between their two homelands gave rise to a vengeful dark god, which nearly destroyed all of mankind. With the help of the revered Valkyrie, and at the great cost of many lives the dark god was defeated giving rise to an uneasy peace between the two lands. Now, darkness threatens again and the two young heroes must fulfill their destinies to keep the world from heading into another disastrous war.

Ursula and Valens join forces and travel across many lands, competing in gladiator tournaments where they recruit a variety of warriors. Inadvertently, they become immersed in an evil plot to revive the dark god. Once this wicked plan is put into action, the gladiator games cease and the small band of fighters go on a challenging quest to solve the mystery of the sinister god and defeat those who would bring him back to the land of the living.

The enormous scope of Gladius provides more than 36 hours of play in each of two story lines, which take players on a challenging journey across four diverse geographical regions -- Imperia, Nordagh, the Windward Steppes and the Southern Expanse. Each land has a unique look and feel and contains a variety of warrior classes that players can recruit and train. Players move from region-to-region on a 3D world map and battles occur in 20 different arenas and more than 12 other locations. In addition, players can choose to participate in random encounters and side quests as they travel through the world.

Within battles, players apply earned skills and weapons to control the power and ferocity of attacks that are measured by an arcade style swing meter. A successful fight earns the player new skills, highly coveted awards, fame and fortune that can be bartered for additional gladiator teammates, better weapons or advanced training. Every success or failure advances the story and brings the player closer to his or her destiny.

Players can recruit gladiators from more than 50 unique classes, including: the powerful Imperial Legionary class, highly-skilled and classically-trained Roman warriors; the witches of the Galdr class, whose Celtic underpinnings enable enchantment with magical songs and spells; and the crafty javelin throwing Peltast class. In all, the game offers thousands of skills and more than 950 unique weapons, helmets, shields, and other accessories with which to equip warriors.

Gladius features story as well as cooperative player modes. Upon completion of the chosen critical path, the tournaments continue allowing players to build their gladiator team and carry on exploration of the four unique territories.

About LucasArts

LucasArts, a Lucasfilm Ltd. company, is a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software worldwide for video game console systems and PC. Based in San Rafael, Calif., as well as on the Internet at www.lucasarts.com, LucasArts was created in 1982 by George Lucas to provide an interactive element to his vision of a state-of-the-art, multi-faceted entertainment company.

Lucasfilm Ltd. is one of the world's leading film and entertainment companies. Founded by George Lucas in 1971, it is a privately held, fully integrated entertainment company. In addition to its motion-picture and television production operations, the company's global activities include Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, serving the digital needs of the entertainment industry for visual-effects and audio post-production, and Lucas Licensing, which manages the global merchandising activities for Lucasfilm's entertainment properties. Additionally, Lucas Online creates Internet-based content for Lucasfilm's entertainment properties and businesses. Lucasfilm's motion-picture productions include five of the 20 biggest box-office hits of all time and have received 19 Oscars and 53 Academy Award nominations. Lucasfilm's television projects have won 12 Emmy Awards. Lucasfilm Ltd. is headquartered in San Rafael, Calif.

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