MediEvil is an action-adventure game developed by Sony Computer Entertainment Studio Cambridge and released in October 1998 for the PlayStation console. It tells the story of the undead knight Sir Daniel Fortesque as he does battle with the evil wizard Zarok and attempts to save the land of Gallowmere from his clutches. The game received positive reviews on its release and was noted for its unique sense of humour and varied arsenal of weaponry including swords, bows and guns. The game spawned a sequel, MediEvil 2, and was remade for the PSP under the title MediEvil Resurrection.
MediEvil's story borrows heavily from British legend and Medieval history, and there are notable references to stories such as the legend of King Arthur. MediEvil stamps an original seal on its story by lacing its historically themed events with a unique brand of humour.
The story itself begins one hundred years before the events of the game. Daniel Fortesque, a resident of the fictional realm of Gallowmere, entertained the King with vastly exaggerated tales of his past accomplishments as a soldier. Easily impressed, the King appointed Fortesque as a knight of the realm and head of Gallowmere's army. At around this time, the twisted sorcerer Zarok returned from several years in exile, accompanied by an army of undead mustered using dark magic. Fortesque was thrust into combat, and was killed by the first arrow fired in battle. The undead army was halted, but Zarok himself fled and was never found. To save the embarrassment of the truth ever being revealed, and to ensure his people felt save, the King fabricated an alternative account of the battle. He told his people Fortesque had died shortly after slaying Zarok, and the fallen knight was buried in a hero's tomb. The true events of the battle were lost to history, until Zarok returned...
The events of the game begin with Zarok returning to Gallowmere and once again using his dark magic to awaken the corpses of the dead, transforming them into an army of zombies. As a side effect of the spell, Sir Dan is also revived within his crypt. Now nothing more than an armored, one-eyed skeleton, Dan must live up to his false reputation and stop Zarok once and for all. The game follows Dan's quest through Gallowmere as he cuts his way through Zarok's armies and ultimately does battle with his arch-nemesis.
MediEvil's gameplay is comparable to that of most twentieth century action adventure games. The game's events take place across the land of Gallowmere, which is split up into several levels. Most of these levels consist of platforming and exploration, broken up by the inclusion of simple puzzles and combat.
MediEvil takes place in fully 3D environments, many of which are fairly open, something that was not common at the time of its original release. Exploring these environments is a major part of MediEvil's gameplay, in order to locate items, health vials and ammunition, and also to find solutions to puzzles in order to progress. The game contains many simple platforming elements, such as jumping across chasms or from one platform to another.
Most of MediEvil's puzzles revolve around finding Rune Stones and using them to unlock doors. Sometimes these magical stones will be lying around within the level environments, but often they will be located out of reach, and require the player to solve a puzzle to retrieve them. MediEvil's puzzles are for the most part simple, and designed to make the player think without frustrating them too much. Often, gargoyles will be situated near the site of any complex puzzle, offering cryptic advice on how to solve it.
Combat plays a big part in MediEvil. Each of the game's levels is filled with enemies, and as Dan moves through the game he amasses an impressive arsenal of weaponry with which to take them on. Defeating a level's enemies will fill that level's Chalice of Souls. When enough enemies have been defeated and the Chalice is full, it can be collected and exchanged in the Hall of Heroes for a new, more powerful weapon, or an upgrade to an existing weapon. Some of the game's levels will feature bosses, stronger enemies that require different tactics to beat.
Weapons and Inventory
MediEvil features a wide variety of weaponry and other useful combat items. Some of these weapons and items become available to Sir Dan as he progresses through the game's main quest, while others must be unlocked by filling the Chalice of Souls within one of the game's levels, collecting it and bringing it back to the Hall of Heroes. Most of the weapons fall into two categories; melee weapons and projectile weapons. Only one weapon can be equipped at any one time.
- Arm - Being one hundred years dead, Sir Dan's physical form isn't quite as whole as it once was. One of the perks of this is that he's able to remove one of his arms and use it as a makeshift weapon. Dan's arm can either be swung like a sword, or thrown as a boomerang-type ranged weapon.
- Small Sword - Sir Dan's own sword is located in his crypt, and is the first true weapon available to the player in the game. It is also one of the weakest. Two rudimentary attacks are available to Dan when equipped with a sword - he may execute a simple swipe, or 'wind-up' for a more powerful 360-degree slash attack.
- Club - Wooden clubs are littered throughout the realm of Gallowmere. A useful weapon, clubs can also be used to destroy some environmental obstacles, allowing Dan to progress or access hidden areas. Unfortunately, this power comes at a price - clubs decrease in strength as they are used until they eventually break. Additionally, clubs can be set on fire and used as torches.
- Hammer - For all intents and purposes the Hammer is a souped-up club, however it possesses two distinct advantages. First, the Hammer cannot be damaged and will not break. Second, Sir Dan can wind up and deliver a more powerful blow with the Hammer, releasing a small shockwave which pushes enemies away and deals splash-damage.
- Broad Sword - After a few visits to the Hall of Heroes, Sir Dan is presented with this more powerful sword. As well as doing more damage than the Small Sword, the Broad Sword may be imbued with a magical charge for a small fee. This charge makes the Broad Sword twice as powerful whenever it is in effect, and depletes over time when the weapon is equipped.
- Axe - Another gift from a resident in the Hall of Heroes, the Axe serves as a sort of upgraded version of the Arm. Like Dan's detachable appendage, it can either be used in close quarters as a melee weapon, or as a boomerang-type ranged weapon.
- Magic Sword - The most powerful sword available to Sir Dan, the Magic Sword is earned through collecting numerous Chalices of Souls. The bright blue blade deals as much damage as the charged Broad Sword, but holds its charge permanently with no need to restore it.
- Throwing Daggers - The weakest ranged weapon in the game, Throwing Daggers allow Sir Dan to attack enemies from long distance. Extra Throwing Daggers may be purchased from merchant gargoyles.
- Crossbow - Picked up early on from the Hall of Heroes, the Crossbow is much faster than the Throwing Daggers, and is also more powerful. Merchant gargoyles will sell Sir Dan more Crossbow bolts if he runs low.
- Spears - These Amazonian throwing spears are more powerful than the Crossbow, but at the cost of firing speed. Additional Spears are available from merchant gargoyles.
- Longbow - Another gift from a Hall of Heroes resident, the Longbow combines the firing speed of the Crossbow with the stopping power of the Spears. Merchant gargoyles will be able to provide Sir Dan with more arrows for the Longbow.
- Flaming Longbow - An upgrade to the Longbow which enables Sir Dan to fire flame-tipped arrows. These arrows can set enemies on fire, causing extra damage over time in addition to the initial impact. Flaming Longbow arrows are stored separately from regular Longbow arrows, and can be bought from merchant gargoyles.
- Magic Longbow - A further Longbow upgrade which bestows Sir Dan with enchanted arrows. These arrows do considerably more damage than the Longbow or Flaming Longbow. Magic Longbow arrows are stored separately from regular Longbow arrows, and can be bought from merchant gargoyles.
- Lightning - Arguably the most powerful weapon in the game, Sir Dan can use Lightning to shock his enemies into quick submission. Be sparing with it, though - it runs off a limited (and un-replenishable) supply.
- Good Lightning - Available only in the game's final battle, this variant on Lightning will heal Sir Dan's ghostly allies, albeit at the expense of his own health.
- Chicken Drumsticks - A novelty weapon. Enemies hit with a Chicken Drumstick will turn into a roast chicken, which Sir Dan can 'eat' to replenish his hit points.
Shields and Other Items
- Copper Shield - Found in treasure chests within game levels, a Copper Shield will absorb 150 damage points before it breaks.
- Silver Shield - These shields are also located in treasure chests throughout Gallowmere. More resilient than the Copper Shield, a Silver Shield will absorb 250 damage points before it breaks.
- Gold Shield - The strongest shield available to Sir Dan, the Gold Shield is a gift from a Hall of Heroes resident. It will absorb 400 damage points before 'breaking'. Unlike weaker shields, however, the Gold Shield can be repaired by merchant gargoyles, and used indefinitely.
- Witch Talisman - A special inventory item. If used in locations where witches are known to operate, Sir Dan can summon a witch. If he can then satisfy their wishes, they may reward him with additional items.
- Dragon Armour - A hard-to-earn, powerful suit of armour which transforms Sir Dan into a dragon. While wearing the Dragon Armour, Dan can breathe fire to torch his enemies, but is unable to wield any other weapons as long as he wears it. It allows Sir Dan to walk through searing flames that would otherwise be deadly.
- Earth Rune: A green magic runestone that allows Sir Dan to open gates or doors that have the corresponding-colored hand. Found in various levels. One-time use on each level (disappears from possession when used in game).
- Chaos Rune: A red magic runestone that allows Sir Dan to open gates or doors that have the corresponding-colored hand. Found in various levels. One-time use on each level (disappears from possession when used in game).
- Moon Rune: A blue magic runestone that allows Sir Dan to open gates or doors that have the corresponding-colored hand. Found in various levels. One-time use on each level (disappears from possession when used in game).
- Time Rune: A grey magic runestone that allows Sir Dan to open gates or doors that have the corresponding-colored hand. Found in various levels. One-time use on each level (disappears from possession when used in game).
- Dan's Crypt
- The Graveyard
- Cemetery Hill
- The Hilltop Mausoleum
- Return to the Graveyard
- Scarecrow Fields
- The Enchanted Earth
- Pumpkin Gorge
- The Pumpkin Serpent
- The Sleeping Village
- The Asylum Grounds
- Inside the Asylum
- Pools of the Ancient Dead
- The Lake
- The Crystal Caverns
- The Gallows Gauntlet
- The Haunted Ruins
- The Ghost Ship
- The Entrance Hall
- The Time Device
- Zarok's Layer