By Al Giovetti
Raven Software was founded in 1988 by brothers Brian and Steve Raffel. With the goal of creating a 3D dungeon game, they rounded up Rick Johnson, Ben Gokey (programmers) and Kevin Schilder (musician), and the Black Crypt project was underway. Approximately a year later, a demo was sent to ten different companies. Within three days there were six contract offers. Raven eventually signed with Electronic Arts. The Black Crypt was published in March of 1992. Along with a nomination for Game of the Year in the Arcade Adventure category, it won the Super Accolade Award from Amiga Action magazine.
Raven then went on to create Shadowcaster, published by Origin Systems, Inc. Shadowcaster was also nominated for Game of the Year in its category. At that point, the company grew from four to ten employees. Next came the action-packed, sci-fi adventure, CyClones, published by Strategic Simulations, Inc. (SSI). At around the same time, Raven was teaming up with id Software to create the fantasy action game Heretic. The company has grown to 20 artists, designers and programmers. Hexen, the eagerly-anticipated sequel to Heretic, was released to great acclaim. Most recently Necrodome, Raven's Win95 native 3D car combat game has exploded on the scene. Stay tuned, for with Hexen 2, the third installment in the Heretic/Hexen adventure, using the vaunted Quake engine, comes the most eagerly-anticipated game thus far in the company's history.
Diablo and Blizzard opened the door for more third person action adventure games. Ultima and Origin started the genre of third person, overhead perspective fantasy role playing games zand has kept them alive, but other developers were reluctant to compete in a market where they felt there were dwindling dollars. Diablo changed all that when a first time role playing adventure game from Blizzard jumped to the top of the charts in 1997.
MageSlayer is a top down, 3d, fast paced, action oriented, Direct X game. The player is immersed into a totally 3d environment with realistic lighting effects and completely devastating enemies. Players have the option to play any one of four character classes. They are the Warlock, Earthlord, Arch-Demon, and Inquisitor. Each character class has a unique set of four spells plus a special ability. MageSlayer can be played alone or in several different multiplayer configurations to include head to head combat and cooperative.
The MageSlayer Story... MageSlayer is set in a fantastical world of magic. The five MageSlayer clans were formed to free the people of the lands from the power hungry Mages that had enslaved them. The MageSlayers learned to harvest the power of two very powerful meteors that fell from the sky. The SunOrb was studied and they learned to control powerful magic, without the megalomaniac side effects that the Mages experienced.
The StarStone was crafted into five powerful Relics. Using these two forces the MageSlayers drove the Mages into retreat. When the Mages fought back, the Clan of Knowledge was sacrificed in order to save the other clans. The MageSlayers were victorious, but it cost them the five Relics crafted from the StarStone and the Clan of Knowledge was destroyed. Each of the clans passed the knowledge of the SunOrb down through the generations. A single leader of each of the clans was selected to guard the most revered of the Clan secrets. These leaders were called: The Warlock (of the Clan of Chaos), The Arch-Demon (of the Clan of Diabolism), The Inquisitor (of the Clan of Redemption), and the EarthLord (of the Clan of Earth).
A top-down third-person perspective action adventure game involving real time fighting on a three dimensional landscape. The Mageslayer will have thirty levels of kill fest, Doom like battles. Gone are the traditional classes of cleric, fighter, mage, and thief. The game will support four classes of Mageslayer including Warlock, Arch-Demon, Inquisitor, and EarthLord.
Characters will have statistics or atributes, including heath, speed, and strength. Special abilities and attacks will round out the character development and creation with class specific powers. Experience will be gained by killing and other tasks which will be allocated to skills rather than character class levels. Each character type will have vastly different moves from each other character type.
On a world far away, in a time of fantasy, a shower of meteorites called Starfall dominates a time in history. The meteorites lie about everywhere pulsing with radioactive power which the people of the land scramble to exploit. Of the people only thre professions had the power to exploit the radioactive stones; Mages, Mageslayers, and LoreThanes. The meteorites were used to create powerful artifacts that became old enough to call Relics of the bygone age of Starfall.
Mageslayers reach the top of the heap, save one evil undead LoreThane named Wyark. Scribes, named Archivists, noticed the coming conflict with Wyark, who would rule the world. The archivists determined that the retrieval of five special relics would enable the Mageslayer forces of good to defeat the evil Wyark. You take the role of the Mageslayer tasked to retrieve the artifacts and defeat Wyark.
Cheats, Hints, Walkthrough
ReferencesRob Smith, PC Games, volume 4, number 4, April, 1997, pg. 61.
Glenn Broderick, Computer and Net Player, volume 3, number 12, May, 1997, pg. 38.
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