View Full Forums : Farewell Keith Parkinson, Artist of Norrath

11-01-2005, 07:08 PM
I remember when I first bought the original release of Everquest, "way back" in the mid-90's. My friend Bob was really into the game and was playing constantly at work. Strange grunts and squees and other odd noises would be commonplace around his cubicle. After a week of resisting the temptation to buy the game (paying $50 for the game and $9.89/mo just seemed wrong to me!), I finally gave in.

I went down to the local Best Buy, scoured the shelves and couldn't find it. They were actually sold out (granted, they only bought like 20 total at this store). I had to make two more trips to two more "electronics stores" before I finally found a copy.

I sat down at my computer, FINALLY, I have the game. I opened up the box, threw the CD into the machine, and promptly patched for about an hour.

After that incredibly exciting introduction, I started the game (whoo!).

I went through the motions of creating an account, putting in my billing info, and... got told that the account creation could not completed because the system is currently down.

At this point, I had already spent around three hours just trying to *play* Everquest. I was not in their world. I was firmly stuck in my world. I really wanted to be in their world... but they wouldn't let me.

I sighed, sat back in my chair and started sifting through the various other materials that came in the box. I thumbed through the instruction book, played with the map cloth-thing, and finally started looking at the box itself. I remember trying to sort through who was what - the Erudites, the Wood Elves, the Halflings, etc.

Looking at the box, it made me want to play the game even more than I already did. I wanted to be in this world that was shown on the cover of this box.

And that's what I really remember about Keith Parkinson's work.

Every time a new Everquest expansion was due to come out, Verant/SOE would always tempt you with the box art. Like a little kid taunting you, "Look at this, see what I got, and you don't?" Every time I would see the box art, and thus Parkinson's work, I would want to be in that world that he created.

Everquest the game was flawed. Full of lag, in-fighting, balance issues, really weird bugs - you spent nearly as much time hating the game as you did needing to play.

But that world on the box - the version created from Keith Parkinson's imagination - that world was perfect. And every time I logged on, I wanted to be in that version of the game.

Thank you, Keith Parkinson, for showing us your version of the game we all loved.


Keith Parkinson
October 1958 - October 2005

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