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  15:00:39  10 April 2004
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KaGe[47]
(Novice)
 
On forum: 04/10/2004
Messages: 4
Please take the time to read and rate my story ?

Hi, my name is Gerry Maelbrancke (aka Zjerry Maelbrandere which is a bogus name under which I registered my hotmail address (d'oh) ), and I'm the writer of the story "This Is The Diary Of Janus Andrimov", I would like to ask of everyone on the forum to read and rate my story, I know it got posted a little late but I just want to know what people think of it, so let me know ok you guys ?

Thanks

For Your convenience I've posted my story in this thread :

This is the diary of Janus Andrimov
-----------------------------------

Day 1, May 31st 2010 10.21 AM :


It's been two weeks since I last heard from my brother. "Don't worry about me lil' bro',
I can take care of myself". The last words he said to me still ring in my ears, and for the past few days
it seems as though they've become louder and louder, always reminding me of his absence. I should've heard from
him by now... Since my mother had died recently and our father left us at a very young age, it had been just me and my brother.
I was only seventeen so I couldn't get a steady job, and my brother was the only one that could provide for us. I still
remember the chill that went down my spine as he talked of his idea to become a stalker, he'd always been curious about
the "zone" and I guess now he finally found a reason to go there. He said he was going to collect some artifacts and bring
in some big bucks. I firmly opposed his idea but to no avail, "we need the money lil' bro', I got no choice...". With those
words he took half of what little money mom had left us and took off, so since then I had to fend for myself. Two weeks...,
my money's almost gone now, I keep hoping he'll return but in my heart I can feel something happened to him, I don't
know *how* but I just *know* it. I'm starting this journal today because I'm leaving for the zone myself, I've got to go
and find him. If I don't make it out, then at least there'll be some record of what I've done...

Day 1, May 31st 2010 11.30 AM :


I've packed my gear and I'm ready to leave, I don't have much and I know there's little chance of finding him. Hell, I don't
even have much hope of surviving, but I *have* to try and find him. A flashlight, some canned food, the shotgun my father
left behind, and some shells...that's all I've got, but I guess it'll have to do. I have to be strong, my brother would've
done the same for me. I'm leaving for the stalker outpost now, the weather seems to have taken a turn for the worse all of
a sudden. Dark and foreboding clouds are soaring through the skies, everything's wrapped in a veil of darkness, every now and
then lit up by a flash of lightning, followed by thunder so loud it's almost unbearable to be outside. Sour rain is pouring
down as I'm looking through my window, dammit Alexi, why did you go out there ! We could've found another way to make some cash...

Day 1, May 31st 2010 12.47 PM :


Finally, I've made it to the stalker outpost. It seems as if the weather has only gotten worse... Maybe I should stick
around here for a while until things get better, I'll use the little cash I have left to buy some more food and equipment.
And while I'm at it, I'll try to find out as much as I can about the zone. There are lots of stalkers coming and going around
here, I'm sure at least one of them will help me, or so I hope...

Day 1, May 31st 2010 15.02 PM :


I finally found someone willing to tell me a little about the zone, but what he told me has only greatened my concern.
Mutants, strange anomalies, deadly mist... This is some mess Alexi 's gotten himself into. I don't think I've ever been so
scared in my whole life... When I told Sergei - the stalker who's told me what I needed to know about the zone - about my brother
he offered to help me find him. Thank God I met this guy, maybe now that I have an experienced guide I have a better chance
of locating my brother. The storm outside has only gotten worse, Sergei says there's no chance we'll be leaving today,
there's zero visibility outside. "No need to make things more dangerous then they are already", he said. Maybe the storm
will have died down tomorrow. But to be honest, after everything Sergei's told me so far, I'm not too anxious about going
inside the zone...but I *have* to, Alexi might need my help...

Day 1, May 31st 2010 18.16 PM :


Sergei introduced me to some of the stalkers, I still can't believe some of the stories they told me. Is it possible Alexi
could've survived all this ? I just don't know... I guess there's only one way to find out. Sergei offered
me a bed in the room he'd rented at the stalker outpost and told me to get some rest. I don't think that's a bad idea,
I'm probably going to need it.

Day 2, June 1st 2010 07.40 AM :


Sergei just woke me up, he said we're leaving. He offered me some more equipment and a hazard suit. "Good thing I packed
two of those kid, or you'd have died of radiation poisoning before we even got close to your brother" I would've bought one
but I didn't have the money for it, so Sergei decided to lend me one of his. The storm outside has died down, it's still raining,
but at least it's not as dark outside as it was yesterday. Once we're inside the zone I don't know If I'll still have the time
to write in my journal, but I'll try to make as many entries as possible.

Day 2, June 1st 2010 17.50 PM :


Sergei and myself have just reached Tsjernobyl. This place is horrible, the whole city is just a mere shadow of its former self.
Abandoned buildings are all around us, playgrounds that used to be filled with the sound of laughter seem static and grim.
Toys littered all over the ground... It's eerily quiet out here. Sergei hasn't said a word since we entered the zone. He seems to be
on alert constantly, he keeps his gun ready at all times and is always fully aware of his surroundings. Maybe he's had some militairy
training ? If it weren't for Sergei, I'm pretty sure I would've turned back already. We've set up camp in an abandoned building,
"Looks like we're spending the night here kid, don't worry, those foul things usually don't show their faces around here." Somehow his
voice didn't sound as reassuring and firm as it always had. I guess maybe you can't predict what happens in the zone no matter how
experienced you are...

Day 2, June 1st 2010 18.46 PM :


We've just eaten our evening meal, Sergei seems more relaxed now. We struck up a conversation and it turns out he has a wife
and kids. He told me he's a militairy officer, or at least he used to be. He was dishonorably discharged a few years ago.
I asked him why, but all I got as an answer was a silent stare... When he finally broke the silence all he said was, "We should
get some rest, today was the easy part, tomorrow we start trying to locate your brother." The rain has stopped for now, at least
that's one thing we have in our advantage.

Day 3, June 2nd 2010 03.13 AM :


I can't sleep, I keep hearing these cries coming from deeper inside the zone, and not just any cries, they almost sound like a wolf howling.
Only these howls...they cut through marrow and bone, I've never heard anything like it. I'm scared to death, what could be making them ?
I know one thing for sure, I'm not going to be getting much sleep tonight. I'm keeping my eyes open as long as possible...

Day 3, June 2nd 2010 07.50 AM :


I tried to stay awake yesterday but I guess I must've fallen asleep, I was exhausted from all the trekking we'd done yesterday. When I woke up
it looked like Sergei had been up for a couple of hours already. He was readying our equipment, and as soon as he noticed I was awake he stuffed
my fathers shotgun into my hands and told me to load it. "We're heading into dangerous territory now kid, we best take some precautions." He didn't
sound as hesitant as he did yesterday, maybe what scared him only comes out at night...

Day 3, June 2nd 2010 19.51 PM :


We ran into our first mutant today, it looked like it might have been a normal boar at some point, but the radiation must've somehow altered it genetically...
Sergei didn't even blink twice before he shot it, he fired two rounds straight into the boars' head with an almost surgical precision. I took a closer look
at the thing after Sergei killed it, it had something wedged between its teeth. As I looked even closer it appeared to be a human fingerbone, I didn't think about
it for too long because even just the thought of these things feeding on human flesh was enough to make my stomach churn. We found another building that seemed to
be clear of threats so we decided to spend the night here. Sergei still hasn't said more about his militairy past and I honestly don't have the guts to ask him.
I think I'm gonna turn in early today, Sergei gave me some earplugs after I told him about last night. He apparently isn't bothered by the cries anymore, I guess
if you spend enough time inside the zone you eventually get used to stuff like that.

Day 4, June 3rd 2010 2.25 PM :


Sergei woke me up a few minutes ago, he said he heard someone crying for help not too far from where we were. He's gone to check it out and maybe provide some help.
He told me to stay inside and guard the rest of our equipment, "Kid, keep that shotgun of yours close and keep your eyes open, at this time of night there are things out
there far worse than that pig you saw today. If you need my help, just fire off a few rounds, I'll try to come back as fast as possible." I don't like this one bit...

Day 4, June 3rd 2010 3.27 PM :


I just checked my watch, it's been almost an hour since Sergei left. Could something have happened to him ? No...I'm sure he's fine, he *has* to be, he's a professional.
Isn't he ?...

Day 4, June 3rd 2010 3.48 PM :


I just heard a terrifying scream ! Fear struck my heart as I began to realize that the voice I'd heard screaming was Sergei's...No, this can't be happening. What am I gonna...
wait, what was that sound...it sounded like a door opening a few rooms further, maybe it's a stalker...

Day 4, June 3rd 2010 3.51 PM :


I ran up to the second floor, I've barricaded myself into one of the rooms. I got a look at one of those things as I was running up the stairs, Sergei was right, there *are*
things far worse than those pigs out here. It looked like it was some sort of leech-human crossbreed, tentacles protruding from its mouth as it made a faint hissing sound.
I think it spotted me, and worst of all, this thing brought some friends...

Day 4, June 3rd


They finally found me, I guess they're smarter than I thought. Those cries for help me and Sergei heard, it was them all along, it seems they've managed to somehow imitate a real
stalkers cry for help. I wonder how many people they've lured into their death trap... It looks like the table I used to barricade the door isn't going to hold much longer, those
things have been pounding on the door for a few minutes now and it's not gonna take much longer before th....

***

Alexi puts the torn up pages down on the table with a horrid look on his face, tears welling up in his eyes. "I'm sorry you have to find out like this Alexi, maybe if we'd found him earlier..."
Alexi looks up at the stalker standing before him, still in full gear, a cold stare in his eyes, "Where did you find these ?" "In the building where your brother must've died, I'm sorry but
it didn't seem like they left enough behind to bury." the stalker replied. "Thanks, you can go now..." Alexi looks at the diary, tears now streaming down his cheeks, "Dammit Janus, if only you'd
waited one more day..."

  19:26:00  10 April 2004
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GrislySilence
Fanfic Reviewer
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 10/06/2003
 

Message edited by:
GrislySilence
04/10/2004 19:27:15
Messages: 168
All right, first I'd recommend that you read the tips of writing thread at the top of the forum. I'll recap some of the things I think you'll need to think about. By the way, take these comments to mind, not to heart. They're not against you, they're advice.

1. Names. Alexi and Sergei? These are very very cliched russian names. Do a little research and look up some more. I'm not saying you can't use Alexi and Sergei, but it often becomes boring when every story based in Russia has main characters named Alexi and Sergei.

2. Language. The characters don't sound Russian or Polish or Ukrainian, despite their names. They sound like Americans. Do some more research, or read some of the stories in the contest, some of them will likely have a good approximation of what a Russian would speak like.

3. Remember, this is a journal. Things that happened in the past, such as mother dying, etc, will probably already have been mentioned earlier in the journal. Something like that should be brought up a little more smoothly. Think about your character, how would he write it?

4. Tsjernobyl. You may want to explain why you spelled it this way. If it is a language idiosyncrasy, find a way to tell us, so we can find out where the characters are from.

5. Formatting. It was a little hard to read, with the sentences going all over the place. I know it's tedious, but it would greatly enhance readability if you edited the story and fixed that.

6. Radiation. The dreaded radiation = mutation! There's a large thread lurking about somewhere by Goodspeed that has a lot of stuff on radiation and mutation. Might want to check it out.

7.
---QUOTATION---
I just heard a terrifying scream ! Fear struck my heart as I began to realize that the voice I'd heard screaming was Sergei's...No, this can't be happening. What am I gonna...
wait, what was that sound...it sounded like a door opening a few rooms further, maybe it's a stalker...
---END QUOTATION---



This goes back to the idea this is a journal. When the main character is hearing these sounds, will he be wasting time writing in the journal, or taking out his shotgun? You could refer to these events once he's locked himself on the top floor.

8.
---QUOTATION---
Good thing I packed
two of those kid, or you'd have died of radiation poisoning before we even got close to your brother"
---END QUOTATION---



The zone is not permeated with radiation. Certain areas are, especially in the reactor, but neither of the characters knows where the brother may be, so he could have entirely avoided irradiated areas. This sentence makes it sound as if Sergei knows where his brother is, and it's in some densely irradiated zone. Oh yeah, and it take a whole lot of radiation to actually kill you.

9. Cry for Help. At the end, when you said the leech-things had somehow managed to imitate a real stalker's cry for help. You may want to rephrase it, because it makes it sound like the leech-things had only imitated a stalker's cry for help. How could you tell? Wouldn't everyone generally cry for help in the same way?

10. Characterization. Who are the characters? What do they like/dislike? How do certain things make them feel? This story has some basic characterization in it, but it could have so much more.

All right, done with the bad.

The good.

1. Ending. I personally liked the ending. A bit of a twist. Unfortunately, this is a very cliched and overused ending.

2. Beginning. It's very important to give the person something interesting that will make them read on. "It's been two weeks since I last heard from my brother." That sounds interesting.

3. Good name. Janus Andrimov. Never heard of it. Good.

4. All in all, a decent story. It could use work, though. Make sure to read the tips on writing thread (sticky at top) THOROUGHLY! It gives many, many pointers. With work, this could evolve into a longer, more satisfying piece.

Remember, don't take any of this personally. Keep writing. Listen to other's criticism (though you don't have to abide by it). Practice practice. Do lots of reading, in it's own way, reading is research.

May have missed some stuff on the good/bad sides, but I didn't feel like writing any more. Amoki's the resident critic here, so if something's been missed, I'm sure he'll catch it.
  06:19:25  11 April 2004
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Amoki
back with a vengeance
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729

---QUOTATION---
All right, first I'd recommend that you read the tips of writing thread at the top of the forum. I'll recap some of the things I think you'll need to think about. By the way, take these comments to mind, not to heart. They're not against you, they're advice.

1. Names. Alexi and Sergei? These are very very cliched russian names. Do a little research and look up some more. I'm not saying you can't use Alexi and Sergei, but it often becomes boring when every story based in Russia has main characters named Alexi and Sergei.

2. Language. The characters don't sound Russian or Polish or Ukrainian, despite their names. They sound like Americans. Do some more research, or read some of the stories in the contest, some of them will likely have a good approximation of what a Russian would speak like.

3. Remember, this is a journal. Things that happened in the past, such as mother dying, etc, will probably already have been mentioned earlier in the journal. Something like that should be brought up a little more smoothly. Think about your character, how would he write it?

4. Tsjernobyl. You may want to explain why you spelled it this way. If it is a language idiosyncrasy, find a way to tell us, so we can find out where the characters are from.

5. Formatting. It was a little hard to read, with the sentences going all over the place. I know it's tedious, but it would greatly enhance readability if you edited the story and fixed that.

6. Radiation. The dreaded radiation = mutation! There's a large thread lurking about somewhere by Goodspeed that has a lot of stuff on radiation and mutation. Might want to check it out.

7. I just heard a terrifying scream ! Fear struck my heart as I began to realize that the voice I'd heard screaming was Sergei's...No, this can't be happening. What am I gonna...
wait, what was that sound...it sounded like a door opening a few rooms further, maybe it's a stalker...

This goes back to the idea this is a journal. When the main character is hearing these sounds, will he be wasting time writing in the journal, or taking out his shotgun? You could refer to these events once he's locked himself on the top floor.

8. Good thing I packed
two of those kid, or you'd have died of radiation poisoning before we even got close to your brother"

The zone is not permeated with radiation. Certain areas are, especially in the reactor, but neither of the characters knows where the brother may be, so he could have entirely avoided irradiated areas. This sentence makes it sound as if Sergei knows where his brother is, and it's in some densely irradiated zone. Oh yeah, and it take a whole lot of radiation to actually kill you.

9. Cry for Help. At the end, when you said the leech-things had somehow managed to imitate a real stalker's cry for help. You may want to rephrase it, because it makes it sound like the leech-things had only imitated a stalker's cry for help. How could you tell? Wouldn't everyone generally cry for help in the same way?

10. Characterization. Who are the characters? What do they like/dislike? How do certain things make them feel? This story has some basic characterization in it, but it could have so much more.

All right, done with the bad.

The good.

1. Ending. I personally liked the ending. A bit of a twist. Unfortunately, this is a very cliched and overused ending.

2. Beginning. It's very important to give the person something interesting that will make them read on. "It's been two weeks since I last heard from my brother." That sounds interesting.

3. Good name. Janus Andrimov. Never heard of it. Good.

4. All in all, a decent story. It could use work, though. Make sure to read the tips on writing thread (sticky at top) THOROUGHLY! It gives many, many pointers. With work, this could evolve into a longer, more satisfying piece.

Remember, don't take any of this personally. Keep writing. Listen to other's criticism (though you don't have to abide by it). Practice practice. Do lots of reading, in it's own way, reading is research.

May have missed some stuff on the good/bad sides, but I didn't feel like writing any more. Amoki's the resident critic here, so if something's been missed, I'm sure he'll catch it.
---END QUOTATION---



First of all, Gerry, you have come to the right place for advice- the guys here are better critics and unbias. It is also where we had fighted against the voting system (the main guy was IAn C) and won. Please, don't be scared by the voting system, because it had been scraped by GSC. GSC are reading the story themselves and the true winners will be chosen

Now onto your story
1) Grisly Silence is right. Alexei and Sergei are VERY common name. Try to use something, which you can take from name databases. I think Ian C and Nauris Krauze had the websites
2)The style you are writing your dialogue is... not Russian. That style is more to the American black (I am no Racist!) (THis is pointing at the intro). Just write the dialogue as normal as possible i.e no excessive use of expletives etc.
3) I strongly DON'T recommend journal writing. Why? The heat of the stalker fights is hard to be put in a journal under normal condition. Ever heard of someone writing a diary when he was under attack? This is the same to comment 7- unless you are suggesting that your journal is attached to a gun, this is not logical.
4) The way you spell Chernobyll is old Russian Spelling. No problem with that.
5) Yes, you did no study Radiation effect. This is a must! Always do your research while writing to have realism.
6) Grisly Silence is right (damn, I'm getting bored at this) again. Your story lacked charaterization i.e. love, hate, dislike, feelings, fear, afraid... thus making your story ordinary. You really need to put in life to your guys.

Now to you good things.
1) Your ending is done with a twist. Well done, we do not need more "Return to Castle Wolfestein" and "Command & Conquer Renegade" endings.
2) The name is well done, but how come you are still stuck with Alexei and Sergei?
3) Grisly Silence is right again (deja vu?) on how you open your journal.

Okay, there are a few stories I think it is worth your studying:
1) Best all-around story - IAn C's "The difference between you and me.", The inhuman condition
2) Best action language - Goodspeed's "The best laid plan.", Obsidian series (unfortunately, this is not send. It could have won.), Pilgrimage.
3) Best thought-provoking type- Kill or be killed

I don't know anything about my story "Prey of one, Predator of another". No one ever finish it, only the guy call Nauris Krauze manage to finish it and gave me a vague idea of what it is like (his verdict was 'good'). So don;t think that because I got a 4.62 means that I don't know how to do a good story.

I did a thread called "The verdict" It is a series of stories rated best on the stories available a month ago. Good place to start looking for the best story.

Please, don't be surprised by why I did no mention "Loss of innocence." the author knowledge of radiation is at the same boat as you !

Also, see the sticky thread at the top. It is compelled by the few veterans of this part of the forum.

Please, don't take the comment too hard. We all started from scratch, and would be all too willing to help. So don;t worry when you don;t understand anything- just whistle, literally.
  09:39:04  11 April 2004
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KaGe[47]
(Novice)
 
On forum: 04/10/2004
Messages: 4
Thanks you guys I appreciate that The story only took me about half an hour to write and I never really thought ahead about where I was going, I just kind of write that way, I know it's not the smartest thing to do but hell, I just thought I'd try to write something. Anyway your comments are damn good and make an awful lot of sense. I can explain a few things here and there, lik for instance I use Tsjernobyl because I'm from Belgium and that is how we spell it here, A little mistake on my part, it's a coincidence that it is also old russian spelling I guess The names Alexi and Sergei were pretty much the first that sprung to mind so that's why I used them, sorry if they are a bit clich
  11:17:14  11 April 2004
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Amoki
back with a vengeance
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729
well, I don't know much either. the only person active in the forum and had been in touchjwith Russian cutlure is Nauris Krauze. However, I can tell you this: Not all Russian are drunkard. This is an idea tepds to form in the western mind, especially in the hollywood. This is like saying all Americans are infidels and all muslim are terrorist.
By the way, finishing a work in 30 min is too damn short. I spent about 3 months doing 'Prey'. The other active members would probably spent days. But your English is all right, so do't worry too much. And Belgium! Guess like this part of te forum isn't that small after all. Overall, nice work. Improve from your mistake. The skill youmlearn now would be helpful in the future.

p.s - I am testing the net capability ofmy PDA so forgive my poor English.
  11:18:10  11 April 2004
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Amoki
back with a vengeance
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729
well, I don't know much either. the only person active in the forum and had been in touchjwith Russian cutlure is Nauris Krauze. However, I can tell you this: Not all Russian are drunkard. This is an idea tepds to form in the western mind, especially in the hollywood. This is like saying all Americans are infidels and all muslim are terrorist.
By the way, finishing a work in 30 min is too damn short. I spent about 3 months doing 'Prey'. The other active members would probably spent days. But your English is all right, so do't worry too much. And Belgium! Guess like this part of te forum isn't that small after all. Overall, nice work. Improve from your mistake. The skill youmlearn now would be helpful in the future.

p.s - I am testing the net capability ofmy PDA so forgive my poor English.
  23:00:20  11 April 2004
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GrislySilence
Fanfic Reviewer
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 10/06/2003
Messages: 168
Sheesh Amoki. After your comment about nobody reading your story, I went and downloaded all of it. 69 pages at 12 point font. Wow. I'll read it soon.

Yes, and Amoki's right about journals not being appropriate. However, it may come in useful if you had a longer piece done normally, but the main character finds a journal and reads it periodically. You would be telling two stories in one, and they'd probably meet up somewhere at the end. Harder to do, though.
  01:05:52  12 April 2004
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Neohunter
(Senior)
 
On forum: 10/04/2003
Messages: 66
Yes amoki, as much of your story as i have read so far (you really went all out. you deserve at least a compiment prize for that) is very good. I should put my sequel up here soon...

Anyway, to your story mr. gerry. I have to agree with amoki and grisly. Its decent, but you really need to research more. Once you have that done, I'm sure your stories will be great

Oh and 30 minutes? Come on man, you gotta work harder. My story took me about two months to write. Plan it out more and you'll see.
  09:53:11  12 April 2004
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KaGe[47]
(Novice)
 
On forum: 04/10/2004
Messages: 4
I know it's too short a period to write a story in, I just started writing it for fun and after that I let some of my friends read it and they seemed to think it was pretty good so i just posted it I had no idea you guys put so much though and time in it, your stories are truly works of arts, some of you should start thinking about writing books or something, really. Anyway as far as the research is confirmed all I did was read the entire website including the stories about the Chernobyl incident e.d. and all the background info of the game and just started writing with what I knew from that. The reason I wrote the story so fast is pretty much because it was like I experienced it while I wrote it meaning I was really just writing what I saw and most of the time not even thinking about what I wrote It's kind of a strange way to write, huh ?
  10:08:26  12 April 2004
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Amoki
back with a vengeance
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729
a good place to start to understand Russian Culture is from the movie "Doctor Zhirago"- its long, but it can show you much about how Russian used to live, and Ukraine is part of Russian once. Of course, that is an old movie, and culture changes. For example, ALL Germans used to be taught to obey orders from superior (i.e parents), but now I am not so sure.
 
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