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Lionheart

Platform(s): Arcade, Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Nintendo DS, PC, PSOne, PSP, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360
Genre: Adventure

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'Lionheart' Announced - Screens & FAQ

by Thomas on May 22, 2002 @ 8:13 a.m. PDT

"With Fallout, we created a post nuclear world that skewed in a distinct way from that of reality," stated Feargus Urquhart, President of Black Isle Studios. "With Lionheart, we have chosen to skew history earlier in the development of mankind to create a dark world where magic exists...Rome's power is in conflict with the reality of demons walking the earth, and Leonardo Da Vinci's blueprints have come to life."

In the year 1192, Richard the Lionhearted, King of England, ventured across Europe during the Third Crusade. At the height of this aggression the lines that define our reality blurred, allowing a short but devastating influx of magic and spiritkind to be unleashed across the Earth. Occurring some 400 years after this cataclysm, Lionheart(tm) diverges from traditional high fantasy by placing the player in 16th century Europe where the Renaissance has halted, casting a shadow over civilization by keeping mankind in an enduring Dark Age. To some who could comprehend the nature of these new forces, the introduction of magic has brought great power. To the common folk, magic is feared as the handiwork of evil. In this new, yet hauntingly familiar setting, the player must decide how to best develop their character's skills and abilities to triumph over obstacles in order to discover the meaning of their true fate.

"Lionheart(tm) will offer complex character development in a world completely unlike your generic fantasy CRPG", stated Chris Parker, Senior Producer for the project. "The player can focus their character on swordplay, archery, or the forbidden arts of magic - all options are laid before you in a classless and open ended system."

Unrestricted character creation and development using Fallout's flexible SPECIAL system allows player to create and advance characters in nearly limitless fashions. Played from an isometric view, Lionheart will offer the highest quality graphics yet seen in a PC role-playing game. This technology will allow the player to explore a beautiful, lush and diverse world filled with powerful magical artifacts, involving quests and unique characters. Players will face a mix of strategic and intense combat, clever puzzles and dialog interactions as they play though the intricate storyline. In addition to the single player experience, up to four separate players can join in for a multiplayer session.

Lionheart(tm) is under development at Reflexive Entertainment Inc. and will feature their Velocity engine. Lionheart(tm) will be available for Windows® 95/98/00/ME/XP-based computers in Winter 2002.

FAQ

1.0 THE GAME:

Q: What kind of game is Lionheart?

A:Lionheart is a computer role playing game for the PC. In Lionheart you will create a single character and play through a story. During the course of the story your character will gain experience and power. Your character will meet many other people and creatures who will have information, quests, or who just want to fight you. It's possible that some of the other characters in the world will join with you in your adventures. Depending on the choices you make for your character, you will decide what he or she gets better at and how your character can best overcome the obstacles presented in the world.

Q: Who is making the game?
A: Lionheart is being developed by Reflexive Entertainment. Black Isle Studios teamed up with Reflexive and is publishing the game. While Reflexive is responsible for the vast majority of the gameplay and design decisions, Black Isle oversees development and contributes wherever possible to ensure that the two companies can bring you the best gaming experience.

Q: Who is Reflexive?
A: Reflexive Entertainment is a game developer based in Lake Forest, California, about 20 minutes from where Black Isle Studios is located in Irvine. They have brought several games to the market including Zax and Star Trek: Away Team. To find out more about Reflexive Entertainment, visit their website at www.reflexive.net.

Q: Who is Black Isle Studios?
A: Black Isle Studios is the role-playing division of Interplay Entertainment. Black Isle was formed in 1996 but didn't start using the name Black Isle Studios until 1998 with the release of Fallout 2. Black Isle Studios has developed/published the following games: Fallout 1 and 2, the Baldur's Gate series, the Icewind Dale series, and Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance.

Q: When is Lionheart supposed to be released?
A: Lionheart is currently scheduled to be released in the fourth quarter of 2002.

Q: What platforms is Lionheart for?
A: Lionheart is only being developed for the PC. There are no plans to develop Lionheart on any other platforms at this time. Lionheart will run on all Win9x/NT4.0+ based systems.

Q: What are the system specs for Lionheart?
A: Lionheart is expected to run well on any PC with at least a Pentium III 300MHz or faster CPU with at least 64MB of RAM. Since Lionheart is not a 3D game, you can use any DirectX certified video card, as long as it has at least 8MB of video RAM.

Q: Is the game 2D or 3D?
A: Lionheart is a 2D game. The Velocity engine uses specially created pre-rendered backgrounds to create a dynamic and beautiful world for the player. The characters in the game are technically 3D characters, but they are rendered into 2D images at run-time and blended into the world for a seamless presentation.

Q: Do I need any special hardware to play the game?
A: You need a PC that meets the system requirements. No 3D hardware or other fancy gizmos are necessary to run Lionheart.

Q: What is the ESRB Rating for Lionheart?
A: There currently is no rating for Lionheart. We are making an effort to make the game accessible to the gamers as a Teen product, but this will be determined by the ratings board.

2.0 THE WORLD:

Q: What is the setting for the game?
A: Lionheart takes place in 16th century Earth where history has diverged from our own. In Lionheart, a catacalysm called the Disjunction drastically changed many things about our world. Much of the history leading up to the story in Lionheart is similar to our own, but nothing is quite the same. You will visit historical locations, meet historical people, and fight mythological creatures, but nothing will be exactly as it is documented in our history books.

Q: What exactly happened during the Disjunction?
A: To explain exactly what happened would ruin some of the story. However, during a war in the 12th century, several ancient arcane items came together in a small area causing a rip in the fabric of what we call reality. During the short period of time during which this non-reality was unleashed upon the world, spiritkind of all types flowed into the world along with raw magic. This is what is referred to as the Disjunction. Having no substance of their own, the spiritkind infused themselves into creatures, plants, and the land. In turn, portions of the world were altered completely, hordes of goblinkind and trolls descended from darkness upon unsuspecting cities, and the future of man was forever altered.

Q: What were the overall effects of the Disjunction?
A: In the game world, it has been a few hundred years since the disjunction. In many places cities that were destroyed have been rebuilt. In other places, nothing exists but ruin. Humans have been altered into four distinct races and still suffer from ignorance and fear of the unknown.Powerful groups, such as the Inquisition and the Knights Templar have been formed much as they were in our history. But the Inquisition exists to eradicate the use of magic while the Knights Templar exist to prevent another Disjunction from occurring. The empires of Europe still exist, but all are much weaker and have been influenced and changed slightly. The effects of the Disjunction on other parts of the world outside Europe vary greatly.

Q: What is the world like now?
A: The world is generally darker and more treacherous than historical Europe in the 16th century. Instead of the peasantry simply fearing monsters, demons, and witchcraft, these things exist. Humankind tends to stay huddled up in more closely guarded cities to protect themselves from the unknown. Power groups, churches, and governments exert their influence over the world and each other. Secret societies, which promote the use of magic, have been formed to oppose groups dedicated to destroying all magic. Overall, it's not a pleasant time or place to live.

Q: Is there anything that is historically accurate about the world?
A: In many cases, events in the world of Lionheart parallel historical events from our world. As well, while it is somewhat rare, many characters that have been famous for various reasons in our own history play some sort of role in Lionheart.

Q: Are there any geographically correct areas in Lionheart?
A: Many of the places and locations in Lionheart are roughly based on their geographical counterparts. However, the Disjunction destroyed most of the cities and population of Europe. As well, there have been some major geographical changes. For example, the northwestern portion of France sank into the ocean in a monstrous earthquake that also destroyed a good portion of England. People tend to rebuild in the same spots after disasters though, and that is what has happened throughout much of the land. Many things are eerily similar, but nothing is quite the same.

Q: How many types of creatures will there be to fight against?
A: A lot. There will be over 100 variations of bad-guys to fight against over the course of the game. These creatures vary from historically-accurate-mythological monsters to the undead to strange variations of humankind.

3.0 SPECIAL:

Q: What is the SPECIAL system?
A: SPECIAL is the name of the character development system that first appeared in Fallout and later Fallout 2. It is a classless system which uses statistics, skills, perks, and traits to define the strengths and weaknesses of a character. Just in case you were wondering, SPECIAL is an acronym for Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck. Coincidentally, these are the primary statistics for characters.

Q: Why should I care about the SPECIAL system?
A: If you like role-playing games, then you should care because it is a tried and true system that provides excellent character flexibility and growth. And it was used in Fallout, which makes it super-cool.If you don't like role-playing games, (you're reading the wrong FAQ and) just trust us that it's super-cool.

Q: Are there any new Skills?
A: In order for us to do magic, as well as account for the medieval setting, it was necessary to make a number of new skills and to remove some of the old (especially weapon) skills.

Q: How many and what kind of Perks are there?
A: Character's receive Perks every few levels. These special abilities that the character possesses come in a wide variety of types and effects. There are A LOT of perks. Some are the same, some are different, and there are even some very high level perks that will help characters to specialize themselves more.

Q: Does the character have Tag Skills?
A: Tag Skills are skills that the character is exceptionally good at. These are chosen by the player during character creation. And the answer is yes, we do have Tag Skills.

Q: Are there Traits in the game?
A: Absolutely. Depending on your race, you get to select a set number of Traits when the game begins if you so choose. Traits are similar to Perks except that they have both positive and negative effects on the character, allowing further customization.

Q: Fallout didn't have magic or spells, how do those work in Lionheart?
A: Characters have Skills associated with casting different types of spells. These skills determine how powerful a spell will be, how likely or unlikely it is to being resisted, and other such things.

Q: How many spells are there and what will they be like?
A: There are close to 60 distinct spells planned for the game. We decided there would be fewer spells, but that they would evolve over time with your character. That is, rather than having 5 different healing spells, there is just one healing spell that increases in power with your skill.

4.0 THE GAME:

Q: How big is the game world?
A: The game world consists of nine main areas and over one hundred maps. Overall the game world is very large and covers all kinds of areas in and around Europe.

Q: How many hours of gameplay do you expect there to be?
A: The single player game is planned to be roughly as long as a Fallout or Icewind Dale game. This means that an average player will probably spend between 40 and 60 hours on the main storyline of the game.

Q: How much dialogue and story stuff is there going to be compared to combat type stuff?
A: There will be a large number of areas that are heavily combat oriented and many areas that are primarily quest and dialogue driven. We are trying to achieve a reasonable balance so that the player doesn't feel that all they do is fight, but there is still enough action to not make it feel like an adventure game.

Q: How does the multiplayer game work?
A: Multiplayer will allow up to four players to each control a character and play through the single player game. The combat areas of the game are designed to check the power level of the party and use appropriately difficult creatures, so using higher level characters in a new game should be equally challenging.

Q: Is Lionheart party based?
A: Yes and no. You create one character at the beginning of the game. During the course of the game you will be able to allow some other characters in the world to join your party and adventure with you for some quests, but this is your choice. You will also be able to summon magical allies to aid you during combat. So you can play with a party if you want, but if you want to solo the whole game, you can.

Q: Are their alignments? Can I be evil?
A: There is no statistic or ability that measures whether or not you are good or evil. If you want to be evil, act evil, there will of course be consequences to your actions just as in the real world.

Q: What kind of challenges are there going to be? Will there be multiple ways to overcome them?
A: In most cases there will be multiple ways to overcome the different sorts of challenges presented to the player. Challenges will come in many different forms, from navigating combat laden areas, to obtaining quest items or information, to solving puzzles.

Q: What kinds of items will there be?
A: Lionheart has a wide variety of items that you would expect to see in a medieval setting. There are various types of armor and weapons, shields, scrolls, potions, and jewelry. Many items have been infused with magic or spirits and so have special abilities as well. The game also uses a complex item generation system to create literally thousands upon thousands of variations of items. In addition to generated items, there are many legendary items of great power.

Q: Will there be any replay value?
A: Of course. The game system is set up to allow advancement through 60 levels. However, we are really only planning to have the single player game take you through level 20 or 25. As well, the items within the game can achieve much greater power than you are likely to find in the course of the single player game. On top of that, the way the game world is presented to a player will be different based on the type of character that the player creates. So for those people who want a greater challenge or to explore the game world again, or for those that just want to try a different character, there should be plenty to do going through the game more than once.

Q: Do I have to eat or drink or do other miscellaneous stuff?
A: Nope. You'll be able to rest if you want.

5.0 MISCELLANEOUS QUESTIONS:

Q: This game kind of sounds like Black Isle Studios: Torn. Is that what it is?
A: No. Torn was an internal title that was being developed by Black Isle Studios. The only similarity between Torn and Lionheart is the SPECIAL system and a fantasy setting. Beyond that however, the worlds are completely different, as is the story, monsters, spells, engine, etc, etc. They have nothing to do with each other.

Q: Is that game that was rumored to be Fallout Fantasy?
Is it Quincy, Jefferson, something else?A: Lionheart's temporary name was in fact Fallout Fantasy. So it was quite amusing to us when it was rumored to be a hack-n-slash PS2 game set in a post apocolyptic world with spells. It was called Fallout Fantasy just because that was a simple title that implied it used the SPECIAL system in a medieval setting. The presidential naming system was put in place by JE and only refers to titles developed in-house.


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