As demonstrated by this thread
, SLUDGE currently does not handle Unicode text. The engine has a long history, so it assumes that a string consists of a sequence of single byte characters. Originally, it didn't care what those characters were, but when it turned multi-platform I made the decision to use ISO 8859-1, as that's what's standard on western versions of Windows, so it's what I had used in my game.
So far the history lesson. Let's look at the future. I'm considering switching the engine over to Unicode. Doing so will make the character handling slightly slower, and make use of a bit more memory, but I think and hope it's not a noticeable difference. But before doing the work, I'm throwing this post out here to see if anyone have any objections, or has something important in mind that I may have missed.