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If you are bewildered as to what exactly "Steampunk" is, then allow us to explain... a little bit.
Steampunk was inspired by 19th century science fiction novels. They are also known as "scientific romances". Think Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. The term itself was coined by K.W. Jeter, a science fiction author, in the late 1980s. In the mean time Steampunk has grown into a full-blown trend that encompasses design, literature and even music.
You'll find a few examples of typical Steampunk objects in the right hand column. Seeing steampunkish creations makes it much easier to understand what exactly Steampunk is.
By the way, in honor of "steam" punk we originally planned to have a steam effect in the game as well (those pipes are begging for it!), but performance tests on not so powerful computers convinced us to omit that particular special effect.
Quintessence is another term for ether, "the fifth element". The Ancient Greeks imagined ether (also spelled aether) to be the pure essence which the Gods breathed as well as where they resided. The concept corresponds to 'akasha' in Hindu philosophy. Akasha (ether or void) is the essence & the basis of all things in the material world.
The ancient Greek philosopher Plato described ether as that which God used in the delineation of the universe. Another legendardy philosopher, Aristotle, included ether as the fifth element (hence the term 'quintessence') into the system of classical elements of Ionian philosophy. The four classical elements were earthly and changeable while the fifth element, according to Aristotle, was made of a heavenly and immutable substance.
The Japanese traditions refer to the fifth element as heaven.
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