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Thread: Royal Noir Secret Windows XP Theme

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002

    Royal Noir Secret Windows XP Theme

    Sometime after the launch of XP, somewhere in Redmond, someone on the Microsoft design team was in the progress of developing something for Media Center. It was believed to be too powerful for public consumption and forever archived in the servers at 1 Microsoft Way. Now 3 years later, a young hobbit man by the name of W3bbo saw light of this unheard of theme, and traveled far and wide to uncover its mysteries. One theme to find. One theme to upload. One theme to rule them all.

    Alright, enough Lord of the Rings talk for one day. Devoted Channel9 member W3bbo spotted an interesting theme on one of the “people_ready” television commercials airing in the States. After some dedicated searching, he finally uncovered this mystery XP theme by Microsoft. W3bbo writes,

    During Royale’s development (the XP Media Center theme), the graphic artists also produced a black version of the skin, sans the overused “glass” effect. The result is an aesthetic black skin named “Royale Noir”, it even works with Office 2003.

    Since the skin was never released (or reached final adjustments) there are a few issues with it: some of the colors don’t meet the overall “feel” (they’re too purple-ish compared to the greys of the bitmaps) and the inactive titlebars are a little too dark.

    You’ll find it’s been signed by Microsoft and doesn’t require a custom UxTheme.dll in case there are any doubts as to its authenticity.

    If you already have Royale installed, you’ll need to remove it as both of these skins share the same name.

    This skin has not been released to anyone outside Microsoft, until now.



    Without a doubt, XP Media Center’s Royale theme was a huge improvement over Luna. It updated the cliché beveled look-and-feel if XP to a contemporary glossy style, whilst keeping similar color schemes and layouts. In my opinion, it was the most usable non-standard XP theme available.

    Royale Noir is an almost exact copy of Royale except with a dark purplish tint. If Royale was day, Royale Noir is night. No doubt about it, this is a ‘dark’ theme. If you’re the sort of person who likes bright and vivid colors, stay away from this theme.

    As W3bbo pointed out, there are quite definitely issues with this theme due to its incompleteness. The most obvious being, the “Start” button’s hover and active states are unchanged from Royale, inconsistent with the purple tint surrounding. However, there is even a color scheme for Office 2003 so it will not default to the blue Luna colors.

    Looking at it from the big picture, Royale Noir is a welcomed alternative to the extremely small collection of verified-by-Microsoft XP themes. However being incomplete, it is not recommended for the general consumers. Enthusiasts are welcomed to try it to stand out from the crowd, but even still, you’ll feel right at home with the familiar Luna/Royale style.
    Download Royale Noir

    Extract files to “c:\windows\resources\themes\royale noir” and double click on “luna.msstyles”. Select “Noir” from color scheme. Code-signed by Microsoft. No UXTheme hack required.
    Download: royalenoir.rar (232kb)

    Too bad it doesn't have a wallpaper to go along with it.

  2. #2
    Junior Member Ogre35010's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Darny,, Link Broke, Soz, Could You Re-Upload The RAR Please, Thanks

  3. #3
    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Watching Your every move...
    Try here.

    Google knows all...

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Royal Noir Wallpaper

    I have (2) really neat 1024 x 768 wallpapers that work well with Royal Noir on a 19" monitor. I've attached them to this reply, convert them to bmp, for Win XP pace them into the C:/Windows/ Web/Wallpaper folder


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