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A History of Korean Gaming

Table of Contents

Part 1

Part 2

Back to the Index


가람과 바람 Garam & Baram

Founded:

March 1995 (team)
April 1999 (company)

Status:

fusioned with Grigon (2001)

Key People:

:
Team leader (Mips, Kama)
양승운 Yang Seungun:
Company President
:
Team leader (intoCore, VSCom)
:
Team leader (Grigon Entertainment)

Website:

kama.co.kr/~gab (offline)
gab.co.kr (offline)
www.grigon.co.kr (offline)


미라스페이스 Mira Space

Founded:

1998?

Status:

fusioned with Grigon (2000)

Key People:


Team leader

Website:

www.miraspace.com (offline)
www.grigon.co.kr (offline)


큰 바위 얼굴 Keun Bawi Eolgul / 그리곤엔터테인먼트 Grigon Entertainment

Founded:

April 1998

Status:

defunct (August 2009)

Key People:

:
President

Website:

www.grigon.co.kr (offline)


Garam & Baram's (the name means "River & Wind") roots go all the way back to 1992, when Kim Mukwang began working on a homebrew game based on the cyberpunk manhwa Heavy Metal 6, accompanied by Yang Kwangsub. Earnest work under the name only startet when a team of developers that had met through BBS got a license for their latest manhwa adaption project, Park Sungwoo's Legend of 8 Dragons. This was when most of the long-time members joined: Kim Byungchul (who himself had developed the homebrew RPG Mips Soft. There they helped out with Mips' Campus Heroes and the unreleased City Buster, but before Legend of 8 Dragons was completed, tensions aseal and the team left Mips Soft, who finished the game in a slapdash manner1.

The next stop for Garam & Baram was Kama Digital Entertainment, the newly founded game division of Kama Entertainment. Tucked away in Kama's basement (where they once only barely managed to save their work from a flooding), they had to suffer much pressure from the publisher, and were forced to release their first game, Leithian, in a very unfinished state. During this phase Kim Boyoung joyned to help out with the graphics, but as an aspiring author she was soon "promoted" to write the team's games' scenarios, while one Miyamoto Musashi became the main illustrator2. Fed up with the working conditions, the team finally established their own company in April 1999, with the help of Yang Kwangsub's parents (the official president of the company was his father). To publish the independently developed game Seal, Garam & Baram went back to Kama Digital Entertainment, as their own company was in financial difficulties and folded soon after the game's release3. More conflicts with the puplisher about magazine bundle rights for Garam & Baram games followed4.

Mira Space was a team of career changers that met at Game School. Using a lecture room at an university as their "office", they programmed the surprise hit adventure Zaphie, after which they had no difficulties finding investors for their following projects. An animation company called Amito was interested in the team5, but it eventually joined Grigon Entertainment in late 200016.

Jo Byeonggyu, who had founded Keun Bawi Eolgul ("Big Rock Face"; it was renamed to Grigon Entertainment in September 1999), approached the game industry by scouting for promising development teams. After short stints at intoCore (June to November 2000) and the internet sports news provider VSCom (December 2000 to May 2001) Garam and Baram also joined Grigon as its 2nd team in May 20016. Art director Kim Mukwang later described Jo Byeonggyu as the first company president with a genuine interest in games he'd ever met. This was also the first time for the team members to live a regular employee's life with fixed working hours and a steady salary7. By that time a lot of new members joined the team, including a new leader, Han Jongku, who had worked together with Kim Mukwang on the unreleased Dojisan Geomjirim8.

Both teams at Grigon Entertainment went on with their own projects, but their history from 2002 onwards is not as well documented. Both were supposed to work together on the 3D action game Shadow9, but never finished it. In 2004 it was reported that Garam & Baram had left the company and co-founded Sonov (now named Choirock Games, a subsidiary of the children's entertainment giant Sonokong)10, but only Han Jonggu has been the only key member spotted in association with Sonov, as producer of the extremely short-lived MMORPG L.I.F.E. Online11. The others actually scattered into many different directions: Kim Mukwang worked at JoyOn Entertainment in 2005, between many freelance works12, Kim Boyong started a career of writing Science-Fiction short stories13, while Kim Byungchul remained with Grigon Entertainment until end, which came in August 2009, shortly after the company entered the KOSDAQ Stock Exchange and failed there14. Its most profitable property, Seal Online, had already been taken over by YNK Partners (a subsidiary of YNK Korea, the service provider for the game) in February 200715.


Games

8용신 전설 (8 Yongsin Jeonseol) / The Legend of Eight Dragons - Windows (February 1998)

There is no description for this game yet. If you happen to own/have played it and want to contribute, please get in touch on the forums.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Mips Soft (Garam & Baram)

Publisher:

Kama Entertainment

Genre:

RPG

Theme:

Fantasy




레이디안 (Leithian) - Windows (March 1999)

Cover

There is no description for this game yet. If you happen to own/have played it and want to contribute, please get in touch on the forums.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Kama Entertainment
(Garam & Baram)

Publisher:

Kama Entertainment

Genre:

Action RPG

Theme:

Fantasy
Protagonist: Woman


Leithian (Windows)



제피 (Zaphie) - Windows (August 1999)

Cover

There is no description for this game yet. If you happen to own/have played it and want to contribute, please get in touch on the forums.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Mira Space

Publisher:

Newton Media

Genre:

Adventure

Theme:

Horror


Zaphie (Windows)



씰 (Seal) / Seal: Travelers of Destiny - Windows (April 14, 2000)

There is no description for this game yet. If you happen to own/have played it and want to contribute, please get in touch on the forums.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Garam & Baram

Publisher:

Kama Entertainment

Genre:

RPG

Theme:

Fantasy
Protagonist: Woman


Seal (Windows)



크러쉬 어드벤스 (Crush Advanced) - Windows (February 7th, 2002 [open beta])

Cover

There is no description for this game yet. If you happen to own/have played it and want to contribute, please get in touch on the forums.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Grigon Entertainment
(Garam & Baram)

Publisher:

NHN (Hangame)

Genre:

Racing

Theme:

Post-Apocalypse


Crush Advanced (Windows)



제피 2 (Zaphie 2) - Windows (February 27, 2002)

Cover

There is no description for this game yet. If you happen to own/have played it and want to contribute, please get in touch on the forums.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Grigon Entertainment
(Mira Space)

Publisher:

eSofnet

Genre:

Action
Adventure

Theme:

Horror


Zaphie 2



나르실리온 (Narsillion) - Windows (March 4, 2002)

Cover

There is no description for this game yet. If you happen to own/have played it and want to contribute, please get in touch on the forums.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Grigon Entertainment
(Garam & Baram)

Publisher:

Digital Age

Genre:

Action RPG

Theme:

Fantasy
Protagonist: Woman


Narsillion (Windows)

Narsillion (Windows)



천랑열전 (Cheollang Yeoljeon) - Windows (February 7, 2003)

There is no description for this game yet. If you happen to own/have played it and want to contribute, please get in touch on the forums.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Grigon Entertainment
(Garam & Baram)

Publisher:

Mdream

Genre:

Action RPG

Theme:

Fantasy: Far East
Licensed


Cheollang Yeoljeon (Windows)



씰 온라인 (Seal Online) - Windows (July 16, 2003 [open beta]; January 14, 2004)

Poster

There is no description for this game yet. If you happen to own/have played it and want to contribute, please get in touch on the forums.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Grigon Entertainment

Publisher:

YNK Korea

Genre:

MMORPG

Theme:

Fantasy


Seal Online (Windows)

Seal Online (Windows)



큐링온라인 (Q Ring Online) - Windows (October 31, 2005 [open beta]; January 5, 2006)

Artwork

There is no description for this game yet. If you happen to own/have played it and want to contribute, please get in touch on the forums.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Grigon Entertainment

Publisher:

KTH (Paran)

Genre:

MMORPG

Theme:

Fantasy


Q Ring Online (Windows)



겜블던 (Gambledon) - Windows (March 23, 2006)

Artwork

There is no description for this game yet. If you happen to own/have played it and want to contribute, please get in touch on the forums.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Grigon Entertainment

Publisher:

Nthen Games

Genre:

Sports


Gambledon (Windows)

Gambledon (Windows)



Cartoon Network Universe: FusionFall (카툰네트워크 유니버스: 퓨전폴) - Windows (January 14, 2009)

American Cover

There is no description for this game yet. If you happen to own/have played it and want to contribute, please get in touch on the forums.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Cartoon Network
Grigon Entertainment

Publisher:

Cartoon Network

Genre:

MMORPG

Theme:

Licensed


Fusionfall (Windows)

Fusionfall (Windows)



Unreleased Titles:

더 라스트 헤비 미션 (The Last Heavy Mission) (1999)

소울 서바이버 (Sole Survivor) (2000)

서바이벌 포스 (Survival Force) (2000)

쉐도우 (Shadow) / Metal Grub (2001)

크래쉬 Crush (2001)

레나온라인 Rena Online (2003)

칸헬 (Canhel) (2008-2009)


References
1. Gamespot Korea - Self Story: Karam & Baram's Kim Mukwang (1)
2. Gamespot Korea - Self Story: Karam & Baram's Kim Mukwang (2)
3. Gameshot 7/6/2000 and Gamespot Korea - Self Story: Karam & Baram's Kim Mukwang (3)
4. Kama authorized magazine bundles for both Leithian and Seal within less than a year of their initial releases without consulting with Garam & Baram, which many die-hard G&B fans as well as certain team members viewed as betrayal. Garam & Baram Homepage 1/21/1999 (archived), Garam & Baram Homepage 12/20/2000 (archived) and Gamespot Korea 12/20/2000. Of course, a Kama Digital Entertainment employee named Yi Beomseon also went on record with a contrary account for all the troubles, blaming the developer's business and working ethics as the cause (Daum Jisik 12/21/2000).
5. PC Power Zine 1/2000, page 183 and PC Power Zine 2/2000, page 216
16. ETNews 12/8/2000
6. Grigon Entertainment Company History (archived)
7. Gamespot Korea - Self Story: Karam & Baram's Kim Mukwang (4)
8. PC Power Zine 2/2001, page 211
9. PC Power Zine 11/2001, page 209
10. Gameshot 6/11/2004
11. This Is Game: Interview with Han Jongkoo
12. Amro's Newtype Land 12/12/2007
13. Kyobo Book: Kim Boyeong Author Profile
14. http://www.gamechosun.co.kr/article/view.php?no=62126
15. Game Dong-A 2/28/2007


Table of Contents

Part 1

Part 2

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