The scope of the spells in Gothic II is such that their division into seven strata or 'circles' of power was required. As players become more proficient in spell-casting, so the number and power of spells they are able to cast will increase as they attain the next circle of magical ability.
The initial Circle gives players the opportunity to cast Light Healing spells should they get injured and cast a Holy Arrow attack, but as players develop experience they can progress to the First Circle of Magic proper. At this stage they can summon a menacing Goblin skeleton to aid them in battle.
The Second Circle of Magic opens further possibilities, allowing players to unleash a powerful Fireball and invoke the Wind Fist, a dramatic spell that allows the player to propel dangerous enemies away from them.
The Third Circle gives players the ability to cast Fear into the minds of their enemies, causing them to flee in panic, whilst the Ice Block spell causes the enemy to become temporarily frozen, enabling the player to escape or launch a powerful attack.
As the player gets deeper into the game, the Fourth Circle beckons. This adds, amongst other things, the ability to call forth lightning down from the heavens; a useful spell in the dark, where the sizzling bolt will illuminate everything around it for a brief second, at the same time as barbecuing an enemy.
The penultimate Fifth Circle is one that only an experienced Mage would dare to dabble in. The opportunity to summon a malevolent Demon who will attack everything in sight, including perhaps a careless player, means its power must be employed wisely to ensure the Demon's destructiveness is correctly focused. The player can also cast a truly incredible Firestorm - a spectacle to behold as it rains fiery death upon hapless foes.
All Mages aspire to the legendary Sixth Circle of Magic which allows them to bring forth an entire army of sinister Undead or perform the Veil Of Death, a curse able to instantly snuff out the life force of an enemy.
Gothic II provides players with a number of ways to develop their magic skills. Players can spend time searching the land to discover new spells, uncovering them in a wide variety of places, or if they are feeling wealthy, top up their collection at the local marketplace. Players will also be rewarded with the ability to cast certain spells upon the completion of some of Gothic II's many quests.
In addition to the incredible range of spells, players who choose the path of the Mage or Paladin will also gain the ability to metamorphose into other creatures. To wander around undetected for instance, the player need merely exert his will and transform into a discreet sheep or wolf form to wander the countryside unmolested. The player can also use this ability in battle to shapeshift into beasts like the mighty Snapper to defend himself.
Commenting on the game, Rebecca Lindon PR Manager at JoWooD Productions said: "In the 1980s we saw Paul Daniels and in the 1990s David Blaine, but in the year 2003, we will see players of Gothic II taking on the role of the great magician with 50 excellent spells under their control. Summoning demons, bringing entire armies of the Undead into battle, casting lightning bolts and meteor showers and even change into animals will give Gothic II players magical supremacy."
Gothic II will be released in the UK in Q1 2003 on PC CD Rom with an ELSPA rating of 15+.
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