Chronicles of the Sword

Chronicles of the Sword
Chronicles of the Sword
Chronicles of the Sword
Cover art of Chronicles of the Sword
Developer(s) Synthetic Dimensions
Publisher(s) Psygnosis
Designer(s) Kevin Bulmer
Composer(s) Ben Daglish
Platform(s) DOS
PlayStation
Release date(s) May 1996
Genre(s) Adventure game
Mode(s) Single-player
Media/distribution CD-ROM

Chronicles of the Sword is a sword and sorcery adventure game created by Synthetic Dimensions and produced and released by Psygnosis in 1996 for the PC DOS and Sony PlayStation platforms.

Contents

Gameplay

Chronicles of the Sword is a point-and-click adventure game with few arcade elements (optional combat sequences).

Story

The game's plot is loosely based on Arthurian legends; this was the second game from Psygnosis that was based on this theme, the first being The Legend of Galahad. The story is set in King Arthur's mythical court of Camelot, located in Albion, Sub-Roman Britain, circa 420 A.D. The player takes on the role of Sir Gawain, a young knight of Arthur struggling to uphold virtues of the kingdom. Gawain's quest is to stop Morgan le Fay, the Arthur's beautiful half-sister who is secretly an evil sorceress, before she can wreak destruction on Camelot. Morgana plots to reveal Lancelot and Lady Guinevere's affair to the world, thus overthrowing Arthur and seizing power.[1][2]

The game begins with Lady Morganna murdering the priest of Camelot just as Gawain was about to be given his knighthood. Early during the course of the game, Gawain discovers her plan and warns the king. Having been banished from Camelot, Morgana then attempts to kill Arthur before vanishing, prompting Merlin the magician to send Gawain off to get rid of her once and for all. The young knight ventures to ferret out various objects to give himself the ring of protection from Morgana's powerful magic. This task completed, Gawain goes off on the journey to the island Lyonesse on the final mission to find Morgana. Once in Morgana's castle, Gawain has to find ingredients for the spell spell to defeat the witch and he also to find a way to dispose of her lover and personal guard, the dangerous vampire named Ragnar, so he can't rescue her. Ultimately, Gawain is unable to end Morgana's life even after he killed Ragnar, but she is however magically trapped by the magic of fairies and he returns to Camelot as a hero to join the Order of the Round Table.[3]

Development

Chronicles of the Sword has been originally being developed by Synthetic Dimensions (then under the name Dimension Creative Design) as King Arthur: The Quest of The Fair Unknown. The early 1994 version's player character was the titular Fair Unknown (Gingalain), who at the beginning of the game is sent to a Welsh castle to rescue a queen who has been turned into a serpent by an evil sorcerer. Upon reaching the castle, the player has to fight various creatures, including a giant serpent, a pair of sorcerers and the undead skeletons (battles against a gigantic snake and a skeleton were actually featured in the final version, towards the end of the game). When his initial mission is completed, the player returns to Camelot, "where the real meat of the game begins" (the final version begins in Camelot). The game was also to feature Melin and Morgan le Fay, but was supposed to be released only for PC CD-ROM platform on just one CD (the final 1996 version was contained on two discs).[4]

Reception

The game was mostly poorly received, its PC version receiving the average score of only 41% in five reviews featured at Game Rankings.[5] According to the GameSpot review, "Chronicles of the Sword does have some nice elements, most notably the richly detailed background art and the excellent musical score. But the positive features only manage to distract you from the fact that the game is confusing, frustrating and—worst of all—excruciatingly dull."[6] GamePro also praised the game's graphics and especially audio (featuring "great vocal talents") but concluded: "This sword is dull."[7]

References

External links


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