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Severance Blade of Darkness - a cut above FULL REVIEW AND ANALYSIS

F1 live steamskyrim se steam key BLADE OF DARKNESS game hi uh this video is going to be one of those analysis walkthroughs for one of my favorite games as well as talking about its mechanics its history and stuff i find interesting i do also have some speculative bits because i have to put that game design degree to you somehow uh ok go Music severance blade of darkness uh with spanish developer rebel x one and only title that came out in 2001. its long had a cult following receiving high praise for what it achieved at the time but didnt really reach the sales it needed to become profitable heck my dad picked her up in a bargain been along with stronghold and czar even my coffee had best sellers written on it but like when though i played this game when i was very young theres even an option to turn off all the gore but dad didnt know about that it mostly sat on a shelf because our pc at the time couldnt run it that well but one pc upgraded an edgy team later i managed to beat it and its long remained one of my favorite hacking slashes to this day its been in and out of abandoned ware but if you want to play i suggest you wait until october with the steam and gog re-release under the original name blade of darkness it has some stability and visual improvements im running the old gog version on opengl it has some quirks but you can also do 3dfx video if thats more your style if something looks weird in opengl chances are it works fine in voodoo its just a bit temperamental box copies arent hard to come by either you just have to deal with a lot of guesswork getting it to run with no one-size-fits-all solution also i dont know what this quote done the mask means my dumb i saw it would include a little cutout mask one of the quirks i mentioned happens right at the start the game because the intro movie doesnt bloody work you can find it in the files all it does is establish a magical sword lady that cries blood but well get into that when we cover story but for now this introduction section has a lot to go over because the game has four unique character classes each with their own preferred weapons and starting levels which ill briefly look at first off the knight the standard fighter class he uses one-handed swords and maces and feels the most fleshed out progression-wise and probably is the players first experience with the game you start out breaking out of prison fighting your way to a courtyard where you burn a box its a mechanic thats only used in this level and literally nowhere else in the game he also gets a unique enemy boss that doesnt appear for the other characters no not him prepare to join your comrades in hell him hes a slippery bastard too having fake outs in his guard up constantly you can absolutely break your health whilst having a health potion of his own that you can use and hes honestly one of the harder fights in the game hes even setting up traps for you on your way up to him easily the best starting level with the bunch just be sure to pick up the big sword and lightsaber and you should be fine i already beat the game as him as a kid though so hes also officially baby mode the amazonian is a spear user with dodge rolls giving her the most maneuverability shes more of a treasure hunter her level is a big old tomb where you learn that steep slopes dont work so good youll kind of have to figure out what to do the levels constantly tripping you up with traps and maze sections id say its got puzzles too but its just getting the water to lower by pulling a lever she gets a boat hook that you can swing once to only level up to let you swing it twice my suggestion is that you use the bow because i think she actually does way more damage with it than the other characters this level also has a fun quirk where the final door crashes the game when you go in and the only way around it is to just turn around and walk in backwards this kind of thing only happens twice in the game but the second one is way hard as a workaround i could do a whole run as her but she only gains two abilities suffers from gammy ass syndrome and unfortunately i cant stand the sound of her attack grunts Music so uh next its weird they made this joke cat who just dies in their introduction cutscene oh now hes all right the dwarf is a high health defense character similar to the knight just uh smaller his reach puts him a lot in harms way you really have to get up to the enemys grundle to land hits his level is that he just does dwarf things you know axes hammers you know dwarfs his level is a dwarf fortress doing dwarf things its got one secret area of an especially being trapped for a new player this playthrough was originally going to be of him but his last weapon is a hammer you call your game blade of darkness and have your final weapon be a hammer im gonna have to ask you to leave maybe they were planning to do a thing where you had different versions with preferred weapons so this leaves us with the barbarian you notice these characters have names but ive made no attempt to pronounce them but to tucker is going to get a shout out just by looking like one of conans mates hes the games poster boy and also noticeably the only one to receive a higher poly render than the other characters and his weapon roster only has one blunt weapon and the least amount of time you spend with those two better so yeah hes the fellow im going to play as im not going to show everything part of this game is about exploration and finding secrets some that i dont even know about ill point out the important ones but the more character specific ones i encourage you to find on your own theres a whole tutorial im not going to cover im your tutorial now the movement youre walking about is essentially tank controls you double depth to run sheathing your weapon lets you move a bit faster and leap further theres a sneak too but like the box burning mechanic its never really utilized the way the enemies are positioned theyre going to spot you and you kind of need to kill everything to level up your movements animation based so youll be stepping back and forth to adjust none of that weird scooting around you see in most other games i feel it was done to have some weight and commitment to your movements something youd probably expect from a cinematic platformer like abes odyssey or something platforming requires a bit of confidence in your timing but there will be times where the game would just say no and send you plummeting down like wiley coyote you can save at any time with a judgment counter but most of my saves are usually before and after these sections youve also got a combat stance this is where you can lock on a movement becomes way more fluid youre strafing now and you do different moves depending on which directional button you have pressed whilst attacking i call it rigid but the game is very generous with letting you cancel out of attacks by dodging but the stamina bar that only drains when you attack so youre free to dodge as much as you want but it also means youre usually in range of the enemy when you run out of stamina and if you dont have enough you do a sleepy attack but all this combined makes a tense combat experience ive not seen replicated in other games thats the breakdown of the core gameplay lets put it all to Music use tuckers first level was to hang out with his spirit mates because they cant get enough of his sick tribal tattoo theyre tribal im sorry what tribe you from it starts off getting a real good look at the water reflections for 2001 this is really impressive and still look good youre going through these wide open spaces which you can explore around but once you know where youre going youll be doing a lot of this the first enemy youll come across are orcs theyre spongy and go down quick but theyre vicious little bastards of little to no telegraphing on their attacks to catch you out the portrait has a little number which represents their level which scales their health and damage at level 1 theyre no threat because a few hits bring them down upon the elaborate dismemberment system kicks in oh but it doesnt end there either you can also pick it up and use it as a weapon its nothing but a novelty you play around with in the earlier levels and its a shame it doesnt evolve into anything you can even pick up your own head if you want to onward with more platforming you get to this gate section but if you actually cross over the gate itself you get a health potion and a bow a weapon for the amazon their solution to having a character use someone elses weapon is to swing it around like a dumbass its another novelty because your weapon slots are limited to four you can still throw them fine but its only really beneficial when youre not playing the barbarian because his weapons do the most raw damage after a few more rocks you get the next enemy the york but bigger im gonna call him ogres from now on but no theyre just orcs again but with more health and damage and you can bait them into hitting each other because they can in fight too theyre usually given better weapons and shields too so they come across as more menacing once youve dealt with that drop down here and backtrack a bit youll find a power potion drinking it gives you a temporary boost to your attack and defense in a placed off the beaten path following down the path lead you to the second part of the secret area giving you an early death sword you wont have enough stamina to use it properly but you can still throw it after this youre introduced to zombies their thing is to act more like moving barricades not really a threat and you really have to go out your way to actually get hit by them i also level up here which grants you more health and damage as well as letting you learn new abilities and special moves they have a very telegraph poison attack by throwing up on you but you have to be very bad at the game to let that happen this was just for demonstration purposes honest get used to seeing this they also gradually fall apart as you damage them but get their heads off and they die instantly going into this building your dense ass breaks the floor and youre ambushed by spiders i always thought they were poisonous but theyre not theyre barely in the game either theyre only hard to hit because most your attacks go over them but thats about it and they dont complement anything in the game either they go down in one hit and just arent good get them in the bin you keep on going and theres a section where a zombie breaks down the wall and im not sure if this is one of those elaborate game design teaching lessons because you have to do this later in a room that has a similar lead up to this one so maybe its teaching you subconsciously that you can break walls down the patchy wood texture is a hint but it isnt always the case in some places so after breaking down said wall youre ambushed by these weird little meat creatures that give you a crunch im not sure what any of these enemies are actually called because theyre not really properly named theyre referenced as critter bug and little thing in the files i even found a spanish magazine that covered this game and they called it a cheeto which translates to sweetheart but to me they look like baby shamblers from quake theyre like the spiders where you have to use low moves to hit them but they actually fall apart properly and once you do you realize theyre just sentient pieces of ham but you cant eat them unfortunately one clamoring through a window later you get to this section with the totem and meet the skeletons an enemy thats used way way too much for my liking they often go for their three-hit combo but they can decide to stop it if they want to part of me knows that theyre probably weaker to blunt weapons but ive already decided that im dying on this hill with a sword in my hand so theyre going to remain a pain in my ass into the later levels until i get a hold of the rhino club at this point youve met all the enemies this level throws at you after some light puzzles and some boulder dodging sequences the second boulder leads you into this room to the left where you can get the second tier weapon the eclipse this gives the barbarian a whole new moveset thats actually absent from the other characters they tend to have less reach than the swords in favor of wider arcs after this you get  __  after this you get one final ambush before the level wraps up i get caught in a pickle and try to break away to use the power potion and uh no final bus for tucker though its here we learned that his ancestors know something about a great evil in places like valley sky and stuff and uh well well talk about a story later at the end of this level youre brought to this world map along with the narrator telling you the situation and what to do next from your starting point you can either go to the minds of kerbegon or the fortress of tell half the order you choose doesnt matter although i do have a theory that it used to matter theres a slight level scaling if you choose the levels in the order opposite of what im doing its more dependent on the character you choose as some levels grant weapons earlier than other levels but for now im going to choose the minds the minds of kell begin a dwarven minds because of course they are having an opening section full of environmental hazards and absolutely zero dwarfs youve arrived at the aftermath of the orcs taken over and theyre after the same treasure you are i think straight off youre gonna get a boulder trap but if you stand under the ledge you climb up it just flies over you these kind of traps are a panic for a new player so im not going to reveal every trap from now on the only hint ill give is to shave your weapon before any jump otherwise you might not peak it please make this jump please make this jump i know youre tiny but i want to make the jump ah he didnt make that jump further down the path you get this fight with this bastard popping shots off at you and then no go with a poisonous sword try not to get hit by it too much its damage it takes off seems to be percentage baser its always going to be a problem for you itll go away eventually by itself but if you want to get rid of it early you can just drink a health potion or use the travel rations that barely appear after this section youre let out into the main hubba d area Music youre out to collect three gems to let you into an inner sanctum that has scattered around the mines and if you go down this route you get to finish off the archer bastard from earlier Music and dont forget to eat your crust skipping over some stuff were jumping straight into the red gem ambush pick it up but thats not what were really here for carrying down this route you can break down this weak wall to get the scythe your next weapon although its kind of awkward to land hits just because the way this game calculates collision this area loops around nicely and youre back to the elevator you came down on along with the hub area being repopulated with some more stuff to kill for the next gem you need to go down this section with an ogre on a narrow walkway you want to lure him off but hes fizzled out on me and careful not to lock on because the strafing can send you off the edge after a big jump in this outside area drop down and break the wall to your right its here you get your first secret rune theres six in total and even if you dont pick them up as you go along you get another shot later on down this route you eventually get to this rock you have to climb as the room feels of acid although if youre playing the amazon she climbs so slow she has to take damage here no matter what so once you get to the top your characters gonna seize up this is a problem with the game taking over your character thats set to walk to a point to trigger a cutscene you just have to keep alt tabbing in and out and eventually corrects itself its an opengl thing once you get the first glyph it shows up in your hud theyre all found in the earlier levels and are well hidden so keep your peepers out for them one short check later and youre in an ambush with those little meat fellas to get the green gem looping around once again to the hub area but keep to the left instead of going back to the center it takes you to the blue gym and ah hey look at him hey bootleg shambler looking rotary chicken little  __  okay instead of following him you can turn around and get to the gym way quicker this isnt even a chase sequence its just where he spawns after the cutscene this level can be pretty long if you dont know what youre doing the shortcuts are pretty useful but the lack of vistas make it difficult to know where youre back somewhere youve already been with all three gems fight your way back to the hub and into the chamber to plug the gems in foreign hey hows it going depending if you chose the dwarf this is a new enemy youd think the big build-up would mean to a tough fight but the cave troll was a pushover compared to what youve already faced his attacks hit hard but theyre way too slow and telegraphed you only fight a few of these in the game and in terms of larger enemies they have better things to throw at you so they just do that instead finishing up this level you take a gentle fall that i dont think you can avoid to take damage on this is one of those games you can beat without a scratch the way the enemies fight and your generous health will encourage you to trade hits rather than using some sub mechanic to clean house what was Music frankie was greeted with celebration and appointed king at the base yeah it turns out its not all grunts and yells awful characters talk although dont take this to them having any kind of personality they all have the same script read and narrows down to just stoic and knowing exactly whats going on not me though im still clueless in her honor and to protect her from any further era tel halaf is the principal fortress of the knights of the armenia region for generations their dukes have kept the peace and ensured free passage through the district lord kerman paladin of the order governs the garrison with an iron okay theres a lot of downtime in this level as it doesnt really introduce anything new and uh made me realize to play this level first and then do the mines as it will probably make the troll tougher too and theres a good chance to talk about the level design and my little theory on why there are points where you select levels so the levels seem to follow a pattern theyre all roughly 20 minutes long once you know what youre doing from the fly throughs you get from the beginning to get a sense of tone and theme which lets face it is usually a castle look at those graphics Laughter to the levels having a lot of verticality so they can fold over and loop in on themselves which is always pleasant it makes you go oh wow to avoid backtracking and ill be sure to point out the more interesting ones as they come up even with the breakable props the levels are rather static because as it stands it says crates in parts which show off their physics engine im also surprised as there are times where you can just run through a big chunk of the level its not encouraged anyway because you lose out on xp otherwise its just finding the guy who has the key to get through as for what i reckon i feel like originally depending on which level you chose first you would have been present with the orcs attacking only getting the version where you have now is your second choice but where this game really doesnt have friendly npcs as well as trusting to players and not killed immensely so it probably wasnt a priority theres even some evidence to this because when you do the dwarf intro level youre arriving as the invasion is happening but everything is just out of reach for you to change the tide of the fight okay back to this level uh i dont know it seems like it was meant to have a lot more stuff in it that was cut the eddy part repeats itself so much that you feel like youre backtracking just grey bricks and orcs everywhere its an interesting layout though because i imagine its taking inspiration from a real-life fort but its a fun video game level its a lot of down time to finally get inside the fortress and then at that point its pretty much over just look for the yoga with the potion then you have to do this weird bit where you walk along this ledge to get a key for later i remember finding this key my first time so it wasnt much of a problem this could easily be a headache if you didnt know and have to spend ages searching for it its mostly orcs and ogres until you find a secret room and make your way down to the throne room with a dying man friend we have been betrayed the orcs fell on us during the night my lord the duke my life ebbs away and it made me realize how comically huge the keys are and a scroll that you would never read on your way out the next room is to your left and its really fun and you should go do it pull the lever and finally get to the boss which is uh uh oh thats it okay the narrator even says there was trolls in some powerful creature that i guess up and left before we got there the fortress has been taken by an army of malevolent orcs however their chief was no simple orc this is the games weakest level but dont worry well fix it later in the mad king azud ordered his dwarven artisans to build a temple guarding the tomb of his wife the great queen asha and all her secrets a few years later when he died he was buried in a chapel near the temple after that several kings of the ishabad were buried there the temple and the tombs were abandoned many years ago and since then they have become famed as a place of penile they say that many tomb robbers and other adventurers have disappeared there giving it the reputation of an accursed spot all the actions of the enemy seem to suggest a search for some particular object or information which they didnt find in talalaf or kelbagen their next target would probably be this is where the games pretty much done pill and punches this level is long enough that it actually has two bosses and its easier to split into four sections because eventually youre going to bump into something that requires a key to progress and during these longer levels you need to conserve health because as i said taking damage is inevitable youre going to want to climb up this side route instead of going through the arch it saves you the hassle of getting hit by arrows when youre clearing out the area and dont forget to take the  __  bow for yourself i also just want to highlight the squabble i got into alongside dodging you can also block to avoid damage but with two-handed weapons its a timed parry and because of this they have durability so it will not kill this surprised me because i forgot it was a thing parrying doesnt even grant you anything and depending on the enemy they can just follow up with a regular attack anyway although with a shield its faster to try block than dodge but then youre gambling on whether the durability can take the hit i quickly mention special attacks im hopping around because youll see them come up more you get abilities as you level up but additionally each weapon has its own special attack varying between absolutely useless to arguably the best move in the game moving on youll end up at this tower and search it properly like i didnt so i had to backtrack get to the top and make this ogres ai  __  itself have you met me brother hes in the mind level make your way back down by dropping through the floors pick up the parchment with a key and dont forget to puddy this dim whip Music this next section is filled with Music hoards of them so try  __  hordes of them so try stick to wider attacks to chip it as many as possible theres secrets when you break into these crypts if youre the dwarf this is where you get his stinky hammer ooh nasty as well as a ghost medallion which cures you and makes you immune to poison and has two charges to explain items quickly youre mainly going to be picking up these three types of health potions as the others you drink on the spot theres food items too that become useless outside the very early game i feel like they should have been percentage based because sometimes theres nothing more revitalizing than a big hunk of cheese on the way down theres this collapsed area youd expect it to be some kind of secret but it actually has the graveyard key after this you get a free power potion and a zombie run if you already have one i suggest you come back to this area after you use it and not do what i do here once youre out you open the gate and you get ready for your first wave arena theres no running from us its just you and a bunch of skeletons tried to keep them bunded up and hitting each other but be sure to land the last hit otherwise you wont get any experience and also dont try to use health potions because youve got a boss fight next i mean theres not really much to say about the flaming skeleton except how well the intimidation factor works youre in this dark cave and your only light source is fighting you back and hes actually not a pushover Music he can do a number on you even with a power potion and take a lot of damage and is very likely to beat you to the punch if you dont time your special moves right after this youre given a king shield and a little fetish statue the button to the next rune is in here too just shoot an error after this there are way too many skeletons to your next destination i do kind of like the section it goes to show how a lock-on doesnt necessarily mean youre glued to one target because if youre a variety of attacks youre constantly making decisions on which attack to be used based on their positions so this is the chapel which is just more skeleton ambushes get behind the statue and use the little statue on it earlier now you gotta go to the balcony to pull two more levers to enter the tomb this level didnt need padding but its starting to take the piss a bit but then again i wouldnt have gotten this clip of me in a skeleton trading nutshot once youre in the tomb i completely forget to show this but this is where you can get the armor upgrade for the dwarf at night along with completely ignoring this floor trap that i forgot was a thing the home stretch is just more  __  stinky skeletons reach the center of the room where you get to the second bus the golem Music youre probably not intimidated by anything thats level one at this point and if youre using the blunt weapon youll be right for having only bladed weapons hes an absolute tank stumbling and tumbling over you even as a ranged attack where he grows a rock out of his hand and throws at you the best option is to bait out his im gonna swing my arms and if youre in the way its your fault attack and then get him during his recovery the level ends once you pick up the queen sword using the reasoning that you need to gather magical weapons to beat the bad guys up with but every other weapon works fine too so uh hey if any of you played czar i wish i could tell you the name of this level but its cut off this is another level with a lot of downtime just because its a lot of what weve already seen but we get some new stuff for centuries tower of the isle of karun was a bastion for the knights in the inhospitable and perilous lands of zagreb finally it was lost the knights abandoned the fortress and so the path to commerce was closed and knowledge of it faded from the minds new stuff like elemental weapons their base damage is low but is made up for the fact of their special move in damage type which is useful for some enemies Music everyone gets the queens blade but its weird because its not adapted to their specialization so im stuck using it like a dingus you can still help from enemies with a special move but in a stroke of genius the level where you get to use it on starts with a bunch of undead that you cant get help from i mean it makes sense but i shrugged it off and just went back to using the weapons i have a full move set for this level im just wandering around in theres so much of it looks like somewhere else in some areas you never have to go in but theres some cool atmospheric touches like theres this dragon over here and the verticality encourages you to look around but the camera controls are awkward and dont really learn themselves for viewing environments there is a first-person camera which is nice but it has the same issues heres my reaction discovering it during the stream i did for this games 20th anniversary i never knew that what the  __  thats hot oh wow i cant tell when im blocking that might be a problem oh wait im pressing the wrong button to block oh no i can turn it is a little alarm comes up but but its the scale as well hes like four foot four everyone else is taller than him you get up on these walls and grab the iron key go up the stairs and drop down into this building and grab the slayer sword and it really does live up to its namesake these weapons are starting to enter jrpg sizes with no signs of stopping this weapon has three inputs to do the special move having to set up enough distance between you and the target for it to actually land like youre hyping up it reminds me of lloyds dream sequence from dumber and dumber i kind of get why because its a powerful attack and you have to time it right to not get interrupted but other weapons get simpler inputs and are way more powerful one of tuckers quirks is that his up attack has a built-in fake out and for some reason they use this move in almost all of his sword specials you have to wait for the animation to finish and it already requires awkward timing to pull off which makes his sword specials more hassle than theyre worth along with the enemies also being able to destroy to one side of you whilst youre doing it after all this squidian is actually a way to speed up combos which involves jumping between each input which cancels out the current animation in favor of the next move oh you get the nights second armor upgrade here as well too the main hassle was finding the dungeon key to get into the second half of the level but for now flip the switch and drain this really crusty looking lava you think this would be a rune but its actually just a law dump and a power potion for your troubles its here we learn the little bastard hes been setting up all these trap rooms and that we need four keys and six runes to unlock the full potential of the sword of ayana oh whos the sword from the cut scene in the pause menu heading out we go to this floor below where theres a breakable wall of a bracelet it increases damage resistance but doesnt carry over into the next level same with all the jewelry i think continue on into this toilet trap room that finally contains the dungeon key the second half introduces you to a new enemy the dark knight they will most likely be carrying a poisonous weapon but also the means to cure if you kill him before they drink their potion so i try to get him down before any of that happens he hits me and my tactics have to change to trying to kill him as quickly as possible not to lose too much health from the poison just like you they have a variety of attacks depending on where you are and what youve done with little to no wind-up of their attacks and youre pretty much playing mind games trying to predict which move theyre gonna do and even then they can fake you out uh uh okay i cant avoid it anymore i have to talk about the archery the last resort weapon because this is so clunky you have no reticule have to deal with jane game and you can only carry 10 arrows at a time realistic kinda fun and practical uh no they even have to compensate the archers by giving them low health because you cant reach them with your weapon and half the time theyre not even worth dealing with because you have to be extremely precise for it to land you even get headshot damage as well you cant drop the bow either unless youre going for early runes the game usually gives you one in a situation where its needed to solve a puzzle theres even cut features like fire arrows and other types of bows one of which you can see the amazon using at the character select screen any other points of the bow can be summarized by this clip give me stuff its so hard to aim its kind of missing like its so sensitive that you come on oh my god stop shooting me stop it oh my oh my god why cant i hit how bloody i am Laughter im not moving on until ive killed this  __  oh my god hit him hit him its this yes come here flopping ahead we land into an arena fight with a minotaur another slow giant enemy type only more dangerous because most of their attacks have wide sweeps but have a long recovery the approach is very touch and go because youre not so much trading hits than you are trying to avoid getting steamrolled youre blessed with an open space to fight him but they dont last i do like whenever an enemy is on low health they start to stagger and flinch it creates a decision on whether you risk getting exhausted by following up or continuing to be careful if you go into the little room he came out if you get rewarded with the double edge one of the better weapons in the game is the special as an easy setup from here its the last section of climbing the tower and its pretty much a section to show off the lighting by doing the doom 3 meme by showing off how dark it can make everything shadows stretch and skew in real time and would give otherwise dole visuals some life ill talk about the visuals in a bit but for now we have two enemy fights to get through the first is a lesser demon which isnt a fitting name at all theyre these amalgamations of twisted skin and bones that i dont think belongs to him also due to his asymmetrical design they were hand animated rather than mocap i absolutely love this design i even painstakingly copied the concept art from their website because we didnt have a printer at the time and heres me 18 years later drawing it from memory their attacks are frantic and desperate with a natural weakness to bladed weapons so you think they want to die theyre fairly weak so naturally i nearly die to it as well and instead of keeling over they do this instead when they die honestly its like youre doing them a favor and finally after talking to a wall to learn more about the keys save your game because this is where you learn the optimal gesture to reload the game the vampire is the games first brick wall he is such a bastard that theres a move every character gets specifically to deal with his  __  from the get-go hes pretty much controlling the pace of the fight constantly teleport behind you for a sucker punch it also disengages your lock on so you have to jump away or try getting with the back attack the margin for drinking a potion during the fight is so thin its not even worth it even power potions can  __  you over because of his shield if he blocks the damage is reflected back to you you cant even feel confident that youve dealt damage to him as hes got lifesteal so even if youre winning he can turn the tables on you here i learned a special move landing all three hits from the double edge on him but he still has a shield so i try to wait for an opening id feel like hed stagger so i throw my weapon at him hoping to follow up by switching to the sword as i do he hits me putting his health back up and at that point i realize i cant pick up the axe after the fight finally managed to pick up where he just wipes the floor with me this might just underline how bad i am at the game but i was convinced i had him that time you can also use the bracelet during the fight which i forgot to do oops i mean hows this for  __  Music huh wow and thats why tucker wears brown he gets so pissed off that he poses onto the dragon that was flying around earlier and leaves the enemy has fled flying creation of necromancy he was no more than a minion from here it gets a bit weird im not the last time where you have two distinct levels to choose they actually open up into two different routes but im guessing this is done because youve got two extremes of what is essentially the road to the ice level and the fire level now this does suggest you track all the way back on yourself again the narrator suggests you go to shell though fortress the people have always been independent and strong now serve the enemy compelled to fight by a force more powerful than they so the york fortress is a fun level it doesnt really introduce anything new just combining a lot of what weve already seen to make interesting scenarios they even try to get you with the old boulder trap it also has a lot of character moments too thank you my friend theres only a hand for the ladies in the game but you get a sense of how mischievous the orcs are wow you get a good payday as the barbarian by breaking down this wall that doesnt look breakable and you receive your only armor upgrade giving yourself a mean piece of shoulder armor and id like to point out until now the only thing that seemed to be properly protected were his knees and his nutsack and id like to thank rebel acts as the pioneers of cod pieces and video games interesting you also get the flat sword here which becomes a mainstay if you take this route his special attack doesnt require faker and its got really long reach compared to the other stores so this first start youre looking for a key so just tumble through the fortress until you find the yoga holding it ill admit they get pretty easy head back to the gate where you actually get some kind of weird arena spectacle featuring a very eccentric ogre he opens up with a group of orcs followed by minotaur Music and ends with him where you pulled the lever to open the other gate weve got some down time here so lets talk visuals graphically the game is rather standard for 2001 back when having grubby little mitts with your fingers drawn on and a jpeg as a face was the norm its more the blade engines tech and unique art direction that carries it the creatures the weapons the water the lighting the shadows the visceral dismemberment and gore keep it visually appealing from a developer interview the interiors are essentially carved out of a starting shape leading to a lot of environments looking boxy as carving intricate buildings took time they didnt have to make up for this theres a lot of interesting murals and texture work when its not constant castle stone and it was mainly good at making outdoorsy and wide open spaces as a result everything looks handcrafted chunky and durable like a 90s action playset and whether intentionally or not the bulky designs give off the feeling of bashing action figures together and as an adult man child this is something i always tried to return to using its own engine definitely had its perks and was worth it in my opinion but i mean it was also competing with the likes of unreal at the time okay lets see where im at uh looks like ive lost too much health and soft locked myself yeah i think ill go for the power potion oh and i got double bonked didnt i lets pair up before we open the door this time if you notice you actually have two different drinking speeds depending if youre in a route combat but you cant cancel out so youre stuck until the end of the animation all i can do is drink this and hope for the best he was stuck in the  __  drinking animation Laughter the fights at least a bit more fair though my health is still ticking down another way of doing this is if i killed them fast enough i would have levelled up and recovered all my health once you get the key head to the cells and be treated with the best cut scene in the game thank you my friend although you come too late but there is still hope and only the sacred markings on the stones reveal the way come with me let us leave this dungeon and while we walk i shall explain to you how to recognize the signs no this is the first time any character gets a chance to say anything dramatically so lets see how everyone else handles it how to recognize the signs how to recognize the signs to recognize the signs no i like the way his head falls off guess he really was wounded wrap up with a few more ogres and an elevator ride ending the level where you first start out lord kerman has died he was weakened by his captivity and illness and a cruel blade sealed his fate um okay its time to address the story as we get more down time until the later half of this level to be blunt the story doesnt matter youre always too late to events and youre left cleaning up the aftermath it talks about finding aloes but you seem to be doing fine on your own this is lowest fantasy setting meaning magic is rare and all the elves are dead theres no proof of this but trust me theyre all dead the elf sword isnt for elves its for killing elves but theres a lot of effort put in as some of the visuals and laura are mixed between different mythologies and cultures to create something unique but the narrator carries the story even though you understand none of it his delivery alone makes it believable its like being a fly in the warner d sessions Music each level does come with its own description written as a journal entry in the f1 menu but i uh always forget to check it none of this really comes across in game play though its just big evil bad fella coming to do your heading and youre the selection which giza becomes ionas champion Music ah i guess he fell asleep on me huh wakey wakey all right the level uh theres some good fighting sections like this courtyard and they even give the knights interesting weapon set so you know which ones to prioritize its kind of weird beating up regular nights but this is more of a continuation of sargons starting level i think where youre pretty much in their main fortress and taking a peek under the curtain of what theyre up to dont forget to eat your crust look for one theyre keeping minotaurs and pens uh so yeah just quietly sneak out and explore around hey this building looks pretty cool oh god damn it i have no clue why they threw a level 30 minotaur straight after a level three one they have way too much health youre not really equipped to deal with it so youre just baiting out attacks and chipping at his health bar im convinced this was a mistake because he straight up gives me two levels up when i kill him after this you get into the meats of this level because youre now in an ominous chapel the regular night stop and theyve become dark ones and theres no way in how im going to give them a sip of that full health potion so yeah im guessing theyre challenging some evil power to become more powerful here and the ones that dont make the cut get fed to the minotaurs i dont know just shoot the dang rune button its behind you as youre going up some stairs keep going over this bridge and you get to these two walls that need symbols to open and uh oh i dont have them yet because uh you gotta go down here and so far so good theyre both down here and okay take them not this way go this way no Music its good were at the end of the level so just put these in it and it does that  __  freeze thing again so i have to keep alt tapping to move them around until i get the trigger um Music oh there it goes Music oh no long story short im 29 saves in now which isnt bad the game still calls me heroic but im glad it doesnt count how many times i have to load the game after you beat the abomination youre rewarded with a square oh its a visual glitch but its the first key gem but its either a missing image or just doesnt have transparency enabled its not a deal breaker its good this game doesnt have any visual bugs that make it unplayable though were so deep in snow now the games artistic direction has changed nothing but the sound of your feet squish it in the snow a level of just you against the silhouettes of enemies staining the blood with snow and uh okay where the  __  do i go what do you mean its not supposed to look like this okay never mind all that you need to download a fog fix for this map it looks fine i guess its at this point i realized i missed the ice axe because i thought it was in this level which is unfortunate because its kind of useful ill take this moment to talk about the music it was composed by oscar and a lot of it is memorable even if it is just ambient drums when youre exploring Music and you also get a lot of combat music with different intensities Music i assume some of its built off our crystal sound samples because theres some pieces that sound familiar if youve played heroes 3. Music and im pretty sure ive heard this thing before Music i dont know for a fact the world map theme is used in tv shows Music although ever it is or not doesnt really matter because the music is memorable and fitting the same with the audio from the crunchy footsteps the drawing of the weapon the over-enthusiastic combat grunts obviously the orc cries it spreads towards you they will shift the weapons to the meaty slice of your hit connects all creates a unique soundscape the audio itself is high quality but its more the sound mixing itself is the problem its what makes playing the amazon so hard you get the audio cutting over itself with other characters its the worst weve heard because its extremely loud compared to everything else i mean the worst culprit is actually the menus theres a ton of nice touches too like the cloning of armor plates when enemies shuffle around hey hey hey why is he doing that and the variety of sounds depending on what kind of enemy youre hearing so without the fog this level was a bunch of tight space interconnecting caves leading to the fortress within the gorge you get a big leap in the weapon roster because you pick up the dumax here although i dont use it because i uh forgot to pick it up not that id use it much especially you unlock it level 18 and its pretty strong but again its got a wind-up as part of the animation this level feels pretty short youve got some good ambush sequences and youve seen more trolls that are kind of tough to deal with now that theyre a higher level once youre in the fort dont forget to pick up the orb backtrack from when you came in and you open up the middle section which reveals the second key where straight after youre immediately up against an ice golem and i have to deal with them with only 200 health having a fire weapon might make this fight easier but its more of what weve already seen and if you fight him outside youve also got to deal with archers too who absolutely means me one time so at this point weve pretty much seen every enemy this game has to throw at you theres a lot of re-textures which is fine for variety for example the golems elemental status changes depending on which type it is but it doesnt matter too much because theyre all weak to blunt weapons there are cut enemies as well theres a salamander that this isnt used in the campaign as well as some unused reskins that were supposed to be stronger versions of reoccurring enemies i think all the original creature designs stand out but you do get a standard lineup of fantasy creatures that are all creatively depicted but except you know theres only so much you can do with a skeleton although i do kind of wish they had enemies that use two-handed weapons on the way out you face off against a frost troll and these special moves arent getting the kind of numbers you need so hes tanking hits hes even got his own little cave with selection of beats to me this is level nine but were on the other path now but this level is kind of long so itd be easier to split into two halves its out of the realm of a tumor fortress and it looks more like a civilian location a luxury bath house in the middle of the desert the exteriors have these sharp shadows and sandstone structures and im getting hot and sweating just looking at it even new yorks are thirsty carrying around little water bottles as theyve taken over and have gone absolutely nuts with archer placement chances are if theres a high platform theres going to be an archer on top of it youre really spending a lot of time just reopening the place after it being run down turning into this area you see that paul sargons got himself locked in the sauna i do really like this touch where you bump into your other character choices but it only happens here i feel like there should have been a bit where you would see them in a jail and you can let them go or something or a bit where you face off against another one because youre all after the same thing after all anyways sadly you need to ignore them because you need a key to get out which wont be for a while so he just has to hang in there i guess more stuff that freaks would call game design they let you know that you might have to break stuff in order to progress by putting this potion behind a pillar straight after this youre presented with the poster sword aptly named the big sword you gotta do the annoying wind up but the special attack is a thrust attack which is uh cool i guess whats that some down time i guess we can talk about how damage works you get to see your raw damage output of pow and how much damage you absorb with death theres also some hidden resistance values but youre left to figure out which enemy is weak to what its pretty basic but i think it works for a game like this but also these numbers are only active with the weapon drawn so if you have it on your back you take less damage so speedrunners have a breeze going through most of the areas working your way through the baths you end up picking up a key that you need to unlock the sauna kill the zombies that are assumed for steam to death and head on up to help your mate out only for those dirty ox to try the same trick on you and also if you notice the grate theyre looking through is one you can see at the beginning of the level but you can let yourself out only receiving a gentle steaming and with your new key you can let yourself into the staff room and okay i guess i cant keep the spa bit going damn it so the main level opens up a bit and your goal is to get through this door but for some reason theres also this whole extensive area where youre looped around an underpass letting you into the last section via the bottom floor its worth it for the xp but if you just want to get the door open just drop down here and head the elevator up oh yeah were back in tombs so expect more  __  skeletons but we also get another rune just hit the top of this door and unlike the others im actually going to continue assuming you did this because you actually get to skip a section where you just do a boring like puzzle to do this you just have to hit the buttons before the angry man with the glowing square eyes get you where youre gently lowered behind an unsuspecting minotaur bumble around for a bit kill a golem and youre in front of another tomb this is another section where the game takes control of your character so say before you come in here and this one really takes the piss because it moves you forward into an ambush when that sets off anyway because they start chasing you whether youre in the right spot or not Music after the skeletons read the tombstone and you get a level one vampire bus but hes nowhere near as difficult as the last one but i have 200 health and the self-damage from the shield is enough to send me back in once you get them down the level just abruptly ends huh we get more desert locales this time with a large open layout that actually does a lot of its blocky limitations i like the exterior with these large murals and symbols in fact this level seems more decorated in general a lot of unique assets and texas are used to the first part of this level involves reading the door oracle the dora core and finding the means of offering fire and water to their respective altars the letter being an empty bottle which is found a bit above the water alter before we get the offerings though give a hop skip and a jump over to the back most area where you fight a golem and find the final rune i do like how these rune rooms are being handled being treasure in nature its down to the exploration and puzzles to find them but i think it kind of relied too much on shoot this high up thing with the bow for me though oh hey crust anyway for the offerings make sure you equip your bottle and drop down here where youll die wait no go back to where you go under a bridge and find a sacred pool and use the empty bottle on it now with your bottle with sacred water pour it onto the yolk the fire needs a torture on the right side of this pit section head to the opposite side of the bridge and do the same as last time you think this opens the main temple but it doesnt it opens up this section here on top of spawning a bunch of dark knights you have to deal with from now on from here drop down and get the  __  key and face up against a golem actually well get back to him keep on over the bridge and you get to this horrible encounter with three dark knights and i really need that health potion keep going and chuck that double x away and make all the pros of this game angry all two of them and get the rhino club where you see all the satisfaction of the games mutilation system vanished because its turned off when using blunt weapons theres no crushing skulls or breaking bones variant im afraid they are however very good at taking down golem so go finish him off and get the temple to present you with a little hole to shove your shaft into but before we do that im going to assume you know what hitboxes are only for that i now need you to throw the entire concept away because this game uses tracers you see the weapon itself isnt what hurts the enemy its the trail itself and trails are fun its how they do all that hair skimming close encounter stuff thats perfect for a melee focused game and all you need to do is set the area of the weapon where the trail is drawn neat i did already do the blade of darkness bit earlier but i was kind of serious chopping with swords and nexus is just way more fun seeing all that surgical position is completely lost when it comes to blunt weapons and stab attacks too really because they dont come anywhere near that satisfactory strength a core visual was built on and i need to reiterate that these traces are drawn only on the edge of the weapon so yeah spears and some other weapons can routinely just phase through enemies just because the tracer location is higher up basically this is all stuff i think that could have been ironed out in a second iteration as it stands though it just reminds me of the sad missed opportunity it was forever black to close down after release so where did we leave off something about shafts oh hang on we havent got the staff yet go back into the area opened earlier and unlocked the crypt this is where the game gets almost creepy because youre in these catacombs of no light sources and zombies everywhere this area was just begging for a minotaur ambush but they were kind enough not to do that i did my best to spruce up the place before leaving but i assumed it would unlock a secret area but uh yeah anyway go grab the stuff and track all the way back its weird they set you up so youre in a vulnerable state but they dont do anything with it although it does do a pathetic attempt to regenerate your health every so often once your back really jam that stuff into the round hole to crack the temple open finally youre showing this weird green beam supreme puzzle thats really just an elaborate key to open a door so go upstairs and the  __  you doing in here although look at how theres no blood or impact or anything when you hit stuff with blunt weapons so fight your way upstairs and find the gem just sitting there this level so far has featured a lot of unique ways to progress and this kind of just ends on a sour note shove your gem in the hole and make your way down to the flaming skeleton gauntlet which im gonna give you a special dwarf version of this fight dont start a cut scene when im  __  fighting something look look at that im getting kid ive just been im dead ive died what the  __  chuck yourself down the hole and despite saying that the yellow key would be guarded by sawan the traveler they directed guards the yellow gem theres no one here in the keys just left on the floor so maybe up and bug it off if youre still doubtful of how effective blunt weapons are you get two golems on your way out to practice on Music Music welcome to the hot zone i cant tell you how much of a roadblock this level is because when its not throwing constant minotaurs at you youre navigating around lava or getting poisoned usually all three at once the environment is fitting because this is as close to how this good christian boy is gonna get oh not me ive already got a reservation i meant tucker you know that thing in the corner of the screen that once it hits zero you fall over youre really gonna need it not to do that you cant go slinking around with low health in this one because no matter how hard i try this level always manages to get me at least once just because theres so many combat encounters that wither me away fortunately this level is more generous with health potions than most unfortunately you have to beat them out of the bloke holding them the layout is also hard to plot out climbing these spiral towers can disorient you but do try to explore everywhere as paths do tend to lead to each characters fire elemental weapon or a goodie like the crown granting you fire protection which no doesnt protect you from lava i think thats it for item pickups i dont think i ever found a radish in the game although ive read somewhere that its some kind of rite of passage to truly finding every secret anyway once you hit this gate you get into an encounter with the first minotaur that you gradually have to ship down hes optional as you only need the key from the night with him who indirectly can help you if he poisons him but will probably just get killed when the fight starts youre in a tight space so watch out for that backswing and you should be fine this should take some time so lets get this last talking point out of the way part of what makes this game so satisfying are the animations all mocapped by someone who seems to sing a sword for a living attacks except this one have a precise controlled weighty movement thats actually like theyre in control of the weapon theyre using when most games go two-handed weapons is so heavy so youre stuck with this slow delayed uncomfortable swing severance acknowledges that you would actually have more control of a weapon in two hands but then decides to  __  all over this point by giving you anime swords which actually start to look goofy by the end of the game even after you smack someone out the gene pool they linger around for a bit with a variety of animations its a nice touch and beats just turning on havoc once a health bar reaches zero and the result isnt dwelled on unless you want it to be its very matter-of-fact turning around to see a pile of blood and limbs theres an elegance and weight to it almost knowing that whoevers going to be cleaning this up is going to have a hard time ok hes down double that xp up and continue on where you find some zombies bumming around heading down gives you a gate that you dont have to key for yet as well as a shortcut having you drop down and jumping over lava which the key is held by a dark knight close by once youve dropped down here so loop around again this is probably where the crown is most useful and get ready for the most elaborate area for one of the more disappointing weapons so you have to shoot a button above this door and head down to get the great fire sword this special moves a firestorm which isnt bad but its also got a high level requirement to do its second special move the volcano not only do you have to deal with this extremely long wind-up but the move itself also has a delay as part of his animation so good luck getting the whole combo off but surely the payoff is worth it right right head back down and to your left is another key holding guard you have to fight along with another goddamn minotaur from there open the weapons store room and i learned theres nothing for the barbarian here just the knights heavy armor really well dang im really low on health and i hope theres no horrible platforming Music im finally across with nothing left but i hope theres a oh oh no nope this is my first full restart because as i said this level always gets me once i also find this minotaur gets stuck between these two columns so lets see if i can get the volcano off  __   __   __  okay here it comes  __  okay this is the one oh wait yeah wait thats all it did you know what its fine the minotaur stats are tanky compared to everything else so you got to think on your feet if you want to get rid of them efficiently and then nothing bad ever happened again the footage got corrupted so i have to cheat my way back here just to show you the ending and after all that the ending actually feels like a victory lap youre on the top most section so anytime you look down you see the earlier parts of the stage once you get to the zombie ambush you can ignore the whole thing and just drop down next to the knight with the key for the last section way back at the beginning i mentioned the game having two crashing sections this is the other one i imagine thats why it corrupted my footage im not sure what sets off and whats weirder is that this area is fine for me now but just save your game before coming here and you should be good Music Music i guess i found the crash after all guess me once every time and even then youre still not done because theres two letter demons on you for no reason i think this is where the salamanders were originally supposed to be and after all that we finally faced the boss one of the strongest yet really keeps you in your toes and its a masterful example of how to do an effective and satisfying boss fight are you  __  kidding me was that crossing mountains and steps jungles and deserts you shall reach a secret valley where a large river runs close to its bank there is a temple only the chosen ones shall find it when ayana cast her spell to expel the gods from the earth she wanted to save her temple from desecration so she used magic spells to conceal it from the view now you are in ayanas favor perhaps you shall be her chosen one who prove worthy take up the sword this is where it all comes together youre in the temple of ayana and the intro is quiet the only combat encounter being this crusty crunchy golem but aside from that its just some light puzzles whilst you deliver the gem keys to each of the things that arent doors i come to offer you the amber jewel please open the door for me its cozy with the murals that combine and pull from different cultures in heavily decorated environment with different textures feeling like an undisturbed place its the only time where it doesnt feel like youre playing catch up to everyone else if anything the yorks are playing catch up with you as once three of the keys are placed this next section turns into a fill on assault giving you new paths as they break down walls in this last ditch effort a final touch that would have made this moment great as if we just never saw orcs again but they are used a bit in the next level also if youre reminded of zen here dont worry too much about it Music between all this you also have minotaur encounters up until the last key well you have to solve an interesting puzzle that i wish i saw more of i come to offer you the black obsidian stone please grant me the power to take up the sacred sword with the door open its now a straight progression to the tomb here we get some more rabble skeletons in the level 25 dark knight that can really tear you a new one Music and if you thought he was tough you immediately have to fight another one along with a  __  level 25 minotaur im only making the point of this because you only reach around level 20 to 21 by the end of the game so eventually eventually you have some literal hurdles to jump over where i actually get done in by a skeleton and another encounter with the cross golem then were finally outside the temple of the chaos knight greeter who seems to be just a well-equipped bouncer hes even got his own built-in taser wait why is he attacking no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no its weird youd think a block like this would have all these dynamic moves because he seems to be some kind of other worldly entity but he moves exactly how youd expect someone in over-designed fantasy armor would move which is not very much all his movements are stilted in robotic and hes fairly easy when youre using a giant can opener you dont even get to beat him he just folds his arms like a shifters as ive already pieces out but we finally made it to the sword of ayanna oh and you dont have to drop your weapon here you get an extra weapon slot just for it but i probably wasnt gonna use the fire sword any time soon anyway then once youre inside you gotta you got you gotta get keep going no yep no no oh god damn it once youre there theres two outcomes one being you couldnt be asked to find the room so it kicks you back to the map where youve got a second opportunity to grab them now where youre teleported into these locked off smaller sections of the level but it does feel kind of weird revisiting these old levels you get a sense that youre in a losing battle as vampires and lesser demons effortlessly spawn around you you dont even get anything for killing him and if you move for too far away they do spawn but if you dont want to do that you can insist on doing the last level anyway with the unpowered sword some revisited levels actually have alterations on them like the level 4 tomb level taking place at night now however if you have all six runes and deliver them through your uh you get the true sword of ayanna and you become her champion she talks and calls you her beloved so i guess shes your wife now i also really like the look of the sword its almost alien looking in its design compared to everything else the only thing that kind of bugs me is that her face is upside down when youre swinging her about maybe shes a decorative piece so um ah nearly there now starting out this level youre always equipped with iona and if youre the amazon you get a bad deal because every other character can use her with a regular moveset with tucker and sargon getting to use all their combos too it also takes -5 from tuckers defense also so its actually hard to die when youre using it Music now heres the point where you finish off the orcs for good these stragglers outside is all thats left of them but what youre left with is any excuse to throw minotaurs at you from here on out which thankfully become a lot easier with ayannas bonus holy damage and a very satisfying special move it almost feels like cheating but if theres so much as a small elevation in the ground itll clip it and not work this is all granted you get the powered up version this smelly faceless one is a wet noodle in comparison with no specials and throwing it just limps it to the ground and appears back in your hand its like its not even trying unfortunately if you want to use the special attacks though youre going to be getting used to waiting for your stamina to come back and if theres anything that pisses me off more is slowly regenerating fun bars i wish staying close and dodging and blocking attacks like a near-miss system gave it a little boost rather than the only choice being backing away in a game where youre mostly aggressive on top of that like any good wife you can use her as a projectile when she comes back you can just outright bully enemies with it granted you hit him so from here you can either take the regular path or take their secret underpass route that has you jump over a bunch of acid i prefer this one as it saves you from having to backtrack to look through the armory key and on the way you get one final encounter with the bootleg shambler meet babies i like after all this way they still remember to litter the place with these little shits this castle was mainly to fight a group of dark knights and then a large enemy in a sealed off chamber the first one has a necromancer looming over you like hes doing a performance review i kind of wish his presence was throughout the whole level giving you b for foiling his plans maybe dropping a line about how the health potions are his creation or something because what is a necromancer but a really really  __  healer it could have caused player implications and underlined how powerful he is but this isnt the case and i just made this whole bit up you jump down here hey want to smell it i just landed on his head no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no Laughter jumping over this collapse four youve got a treasure trove if youve got the armory key grant a new access to your final weapons and armor if youve missed it you can even pick up some novelty stuff like the vampire sword that drains your health but regenerates it if you hit living things its absolutely useless because youre in a necromancers castle the only thing alive is you from here were just going from chamber to chamber fight and all sorts starting with an iron golem who youll have a miserable time fighting with a bladed weapon it does bug me that i did the whole blade bit at the beginning because i look like a dude for shooting the club for the latter half of the game but being so adamant to correctness i beat both golems with the shark short shark short then with the shark shard the shark sword  __  the shark short  __  shark shot shark shot oh shark shot but im so adamant to correct as i beat them with the shark sword out of spite Music after that they do the whole fire bones in the dark room again except with more of them an ambush of abominations and a lava golem which yes theres still a complete pushover oh  __  wrong clip im concerned how they got lava up here a few flaming skeletons later you finally get a constant barrage of abominations one-on-one these things arent bad to deal with but when they drop swarms on you i wonder why they didnt do this more often because they do work well in packs the way they phase in and out make it hard to keep a head count of how many are around you and theres situations where you have to keep track of one coming towards you whilst the other ones spitting fire at you one final platforming section later the game is very generous wanting you to be topped off on health potions theyre all placed near bone piles which is weird well you may if you date those elf potions you wouldnt be your skeleton right now i think it helps with my theory that potions are made through necromancy anyway gather as much as you can and ignore this one in particular are you seeing me make it look easy yeah because ive played this game so much okay its nice enough to give me another health version so i dont even need that i can see another one down there you can see it can you see it can you see it can you see the thousand health potion on the corner oh looks like well youre gonna see it now see there it is see see Laughter i see it can you see it i think you can see it yeah oh im rust you see you come face to face with dal garak although instead of fighting him he tells you how cool this other fella is before he leaves instead you fight uh commander dick douglas the scourge of urbaid and the perdition of nippur only advice is not to stay too close to him his regular attacks have a high chance of just going over you and have easy openings but it does have a built-in counter to shin huggers being level 20 now lets see what roger the goddess gives us its just the same thing but slower uh he does have some other tricks like giving himself a temporary power potion buff so keep your distance for a bit hes not that difficult but well probably take a few tries Music the actual fight with dow gorak is a spectacle but does have a rough start not only does he admit defeat because you sent him back to the drawing board miserable mortal you have found me and thwarted my plans now at last you must die by the power of angra man you i invoke all evil spirits and creatures of the shadows finish him the size of his cod piece oh you know he means business and being a necromancer of course he summons more  __  goddamn skeletons with vampire shields after you kill a few he starts teleporting around the arena throwing destructo discs and giant green balls that chase you about you have to beat him into casting something so you can wither down his  __  magic shield because if youre in a certain range you just pop away and this is also the first time youre up against an actual spellcaster and im grateful that they dont turn up as a regular enemy type ayan is great for this because he doesnt move much when youre pelting him with throwing weapons once you crack open the barrier he switches to a poison sword that he can use as a boomerang people swear by being able to catch the sword but i sat there for 10 minutes trying to do it even the object prompt comes up so its just taunting you he uses the energy slash that you have too and theyre fun to make collide other than that he just twirls and prances a belt keeping up his unbreakable shield so youre just waiting for openings but before you think youve got him cornered that concern in the back of your head that hes only level 10 finally surfaces as he pulls a senator armstrong 12 years early come on fully healing and is twice as powerful now but if you have his patents down its more of the same bait out his boomerang as often as you can because hes just throwing his only weapon at you but then finally finally you beat him if you didnt power up ayanna you get the bad ending where he calls you a stupid idiot and kicks you back to the credits otherwise he gives you a bunch of cheesy lines of how youre much cooler than him and gives you the final stage of the game also if youre fast enough you can also snatch his sword or shield from him but id go for the shield because its indestructible where he has gone no man can follow only the protection of the goddess and his gleaming sword can help him so the final level the abyss the honeymoon of ayanna in you its strange it fills off script weve already won right weve seen everything so the only thing it can do now is pull interesting stuff for the environment we beat the bad bloke who gets his own high poly render but theres still more to do even the narrator who usually gives you backstory doesnt know what to say except lol good luck  __  this beginning section is a lap around the outskirts of the fortress just make sure you grab the golem key to the right here when you see the dark knight point at you and run away  __  id slap you if it didnt make your face look better the first thing youll notice is that this place is falling apart even the level doesnt want you here but dont let that stop you but now you should be used to killing minotaurs its basically baiting out that attack that ends with raw which gives you enough time to set a special off grab the guardian key and get yourself into the fortress itself usually the level layouts feel like an actual reference place when they can be but this is the only level to feel like its actually made for a video game none of the rooms have a purpose or makes sense like the existence of this place is constructed around tormenting you like how youre still fighting  __  skeletons damn you even get this arguably hard to navigate arena with a lava golem but the lava golem aint  __  but following this is a fun section with a wraparound trick where you go down these stairs and youre back to where you were but you can see where the trigger is but it would have been more impressive if they could have done it seamlessly whats wrong with these doors the second time i ever spawn skeletons and once you reach the main area again you get a showdown with a vampire hes still easier than the boss fight one but there is a quirk to this fight ill let you figure out for yourself just dont have him block a special attack at this point the final stretch consists of dropping a few abominations on you along with hes  __  huffing and puffing strutting skeletons the last elite crack squad equipped with the finest weapons and armor only to immediately start beating each other up hey do you like bowling nice spare nah the real fight comes after where it throws two chaos knights at you its quite hard to find an opening where you take too much damage even if you split them up the other across the homing electric ball at you it never did much damage but it still causes you to flinch which is annoying after that you get an actual one minute elevator ride you can drop ayanna and shell put her about its important she gets the exercise hey um cheers for watching up to this point by the way i havent done anything like this before and i hope its been fun for you as well as me doing a video on this game has been an idea in the back of my head for years i wanted this video out for the games 20th anniversary i wasnt that happy with the script so i scrapped it then i had to focus on more important personal stuff for a while and it wasnt until recently its been in the cards again to kind of make creative projects and stuff uh if you want to encourage this kind of thing you can subscribe and stuff theres a coffee link in the description too if you fancy im thinking this channel is going to be a mess of like uh my creative endeavors whether its uh just more analysis style videos artwork or stuff i find interesting and want to share oh and the the uh poop song thing funny thing about that um oh rides over  __  once it gets to the bottom you get another chaos night and i take it on myself to just style on him i feel like this was supposed to happen as the elevator was going down but every elevator is isolated away from enemies whenever you go on one so i think this is a limitation of how theyre programmed Music once hes down the bridge extends to take you into the last section of the game then thats it tucker walks off the cliff and thats the end oh wait its just one last opengl quilt to hit you on the way out this is just round two of mundo big dog Music  __  i like to think this is the same one we fought earlier but now were on his home turf fighting him in near complete darkness i didnt notice this in the first encounter but it looks like he has a new attack where he strikes the ground making you flinch and drop your weapon but doesnt really ever follow up to it unless youre close to him and by now youre probably used to the timing of ayannas special moves for him to be a real threat oh make sure you remember to learn to punch so after all this gathering all this extra stuff for a different ending youre finally in the lord of chaoss lair who or what exactly are we fighting that needed all this build up i dont know just some little old penis man i guess  __  sitting like i do when im waiting for the bus he gives you some grief about taking your body and getting ayanna before being absorbed into his fancy flesh wheelchair Music huh Music so yeah just like the people that heckled me at the bus stop between this and the previous level boss i prefer gal direct the chaos lord is a full-time sorceress so he shoots fireballs a lightning beam and this meteor shower type thing that i just barely grabbed a glimpse of so stay close the shark sword actually does more damage using ayana is fine but you dont really have the space to use any of her specials so after all that faffin about for the runes its not really a big deal i reckon it should have been mandatory to finish him off with her once hes low he also powers himself up it was cooler when delgarak did it but its nothing that a power potion cant sort out you teleport to either end of the arena when he can you can bait out these slow melee swipes he has for an easier time pop him down and well done youve killed a strange old man and beat the game yes Music Music Music Music we see that tucker and ayanna decided to part ways because he wasnt putting out she seems high maintenance being a sword and all so evil was gone but uh i dont know who we saved every friendly npc dies in front of us i dont know what else ticker is good at aside from killing stuff he cant go back to throwing rocks in the lake i guess and uh thats it for the single player if i were to give you a comparison for this game my answer would be shem you what the rigid movement that opens up with the fighting input system both are in genres that would otherwise be frantic and over the top and both have stilted characters that read off cue cards but where shim you put its effort in its comfy environments and homely pacing that you dont see replicated anywhere else severance put it in its combat with its elaborate gore and precision melee its probably a stretch to anyone that isnt me but its just the presentation of them both i dont know there is multiplayer too wherever there is a plan to do a follow-up video because its a hassle to set up and im curious to see if the re-release makes the online more accessible its one-on-one where you choose different skins from the four characters and the arenas that have their own tricks you have to navigate around it looks really fun but hang about were not done yet okay im only going through what i found from interviews from the developers publishers and press releases by the way and all this information has to be regurgitated through me as well what youve seen how ive cut this review you expect me to know how to read so from what ive found rebellax studios struggled to be financially secure during most of its development starting out in 1996 the publisher was friendware whose name i cant imagine without it was handling the distribution in spain they did a good job and they got some kick-ass special editions i seriously want my hands on this version god damn however for the international release they originally had gremlin interactive on board which allowed the animation to improve to mocap as a result up until 1999 where gremlin was brought out by infogames who decided to drop their contract with rebel act they had studios like activision giving patronising visits but they signed on with codemasters who did absolutely  __  all to introduce the game internationally they changed the name to severance blade of darkness because of blade however this was also a way they could trademark severance should they want to make it their own thing they dont even acknowledge the game on their own website anymore the only thing close to a trailer the game got was during gremlins time from a london trade show which was four years out of date the international version did get this triangle thing you can assemble but i have no idea whose idea that was maybe because they only published dirt codemasters had a hard time selling an 18 rated game as well as other variables like the games dodgy stability the pc market piracy the six-year development cycle they were gonna need the top charts to recoup costs which even in the spanish market they sold under 20 000 full priced units so the effort of putting into showing the game off was more likely gonna cost even more rebel act did all they could to stay open having friend ware financed them as much as they could which led to the head of staff earning nothing themselves just so they could pay their employees all codemasters seem to have done is encourage them to close their doors had this game met expectations and become a success we would have had an eager team wanting to upgrade their engine and get a shot at introducing the game to the console audience due to this little thing called the xbox under the name ultimate blade of darkness scheduled for 2002 it would have featured graphical improvements like fingers an actual story and split screen co-op as well as a representative from codemasters pitching it as the goriest game on the xbox even though seemed excited to show it off theres not a lot of information on this game unfortunately just some early models and some in-engine tests well never truly know what this could have been also i dont know why they have this chaos knight running around like hes lost his mom in tesco so alternate history aside where are they now the team split off doing their own thing but theyre still in the industry some going to the mobile company digital legends and others going to mercury steam notably theres a lot of familiar names in the castlevania reboot especially with the concept art and the collectors edition short has a familiar face on it and currently making their way of releasing metroid dread i feel like a true successor to blade wont be an opportunity for the original team without a kickstarter or something and the closest modern hearing ive heard that uses this game as a direct influence is mortal shell like for me personally uh i really love the really old one called blade of darkness uh its maybe like 20 which i plan to play at some point obviously looking at this game 20 years later theres going to be some close comparisons but nothing brings it like blade does the community however does bring a lot of new life to the game to this day you want better graphics and lighting theres a hd product in remade shaders to enhance it hard day at the office just want to unwind and slam some dudes wait what get prosperos gladiator arena mod that introduces cut enemies and send them straight back to the cotton room floor wanna play who wants to be a millionaire they uh they got that one want extra spicy visuals for the dismemberment system that adds new animations and additional enemies to the main levels that create pants  __  terror you can also eat the limbs you cut off for some reason and wait can i cook it here the meat is now red oh i ate it uh okay this is the room i need but the floors caved in its that little door there oh stop throwing up please Laughter throwing up blood everything no dont do the move why did you do the move oh dumbass thats what i get for eating his feet i guess wait wait that means yeah get the garnity mud by the vomiting  __  vial but seriously this is a team member who is very very late for work tier mod theres also some fantastic single player additions like the fugitive maps and cal begin assault by tolmash that lets you play as an oh my god there was even an impressive attempt to port the game over to the doom 3 engine it is a shame nowadays that you only hear about this game from  __  list that dont even name drop the title because its been retroactively giving a genre for a game that didnt exist at the time im really hoping the october re-release gets more eyes on severance because it does deserve more success its hard for me not to recommend if youre a fan of hack and slashes or just melee focused games in general on the caveat that you dont go in thinking youre expecting youre gonna get a similar experience or something else youve played before and uh thats it i think the only things i couldnt find was the level editor the old flash website i also wanted to go over that negative edge review that gave the game a two out of ten but again a follow-up video will contain these severance had a core idea it was working with and knew what it wanted to be from a gameplay standpoint tons of enhancements and improvements can still be made heck with every idea i fit and i still had 30 more that i cant cram into this video or without pulling it from the original identity as a hack and slash alternatively some devs can always cobble something together thats clearly inspired by severance i suppose you would call them blade likes Music you how long to steam frozen dumplings wife swordTimestamps: 0:00 - INTRO 5:50 - CONTROLS 7:12 - KASHGAR 12:16 - MINES OF KELBEGEN 17:27 - FORTRESS OF TELL HALAF 20:45 - TOMBS OF EPHYRA 27:00 - ISLE OF KARUM 37:22 - SHALATUWAR FORTRESS 42:10 - FORTRESS OF NEMRUT 46:00 - GORGE OF ORLOK 50:25 - OASIS OF NEJEB 54:10 - TEMPLE OF AL FARUM 1:00:22 - FORGE OF XSHATHRA 1:06:46 - TEMPLE OF IANNA 1:13:00 - TOWER OF DAL GURAK 1:21:30 - THE ABYSS 1:30:09 - THOUGHTS AND COMPARISONS 1:31:16 - MARKETING AND COMPANY 1:34:36 - COMMUNITY 1:36:23 - FINAL THOUGHTS Socials : Twitter - Twitch - Email - Kofi lets me do this stuff better - Links : Blade of Darkness Steam - Blade of Darkness GoG - Emidoki - Blade 3D by R3D - Dev interviews - Mods : You need this handy tool to start modding in the first place - BOD loader - FogFix - Blade HD - Gladiator - QQSI / WWTBAI - Gorenity - Fugitive (this is a series of 4 levels, but to my knowledge 4 is unfinished) - Kelbegen Assault - Songs used: Carefree Yamada-Kun - Keiichi Sugiyama Xeno Arcadia - Mason Lindroth, Chuck Salamone steam games install location ostriv game steam steam won't start your transaction cannot be completed steam steam resident evil code veronica