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Thursday, February 8, 2001

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Summoner Story, Cinematics
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GameSpot has produced the first half of a two-part article dealing with the story line of Summoner, a PS2 title created by Volition which is in the process of being ported to PC and Mac OS. The article contains an interview with Jason Scott, author of the story behind the game, which cites his influences, inspiration and the challenges of designing a story for a non-linear game.

Here's an excerpt considering what sets Summoner's story apart from typical RPG fare:

GS: The hero, Joseph, is somewhat unique in that he's not only the hero, but also the catalyst for the plot. Can you tell us a little more about Joseph and what makes him stand out from the traditional role-playing game hero?

JS: At the risk of sounding facetious, the one thing that sets him apart from the crowd is that he doesn't have amnesia. Joseph knows who he is at the very beginning. The journey is about coming to terms with that knowledge, its consequences, and its potential.

GS: Most characters within a role-playing game evolve either physically or mentally. How do you think Joseph evolves as you progress through Summoner?

JS: Joseph begins in complete obscurity, a poor and landless farmer near the bottom rung of the feudal ladder. He has no confidence in his abilities, no faith in his prophecy, and the last thing he wants to do is use his summoning power. Only the Four Riders and the invading armies of Orenia can goad him into action.

By the end of the game when he confronts Murod and his other enemies, Joseph has embraced his destiny and will do all in his power to fulfill it, beyond what any summoner before him has been able to achieve. The characters do evolve visually as well. The armor and weapons they gain by the end of the game are very shiny. I think you'll be impressed.

Accompanying the article and interview are several quite impressive screen shots; Summoner will support OpenGL graphics acceleration on both PC and Mac. The game will also feature online network play, which the Playstation 2 version does not include.

In related news, RPGVault has posted a gallery of still images captured from the opening cinematic from the game. The cinematic seems to be a mix of pre-rendered footage, hand illustrations and in-engine cutscenes. The entire gallery is quite impressive, and sets the scene for this anticipated RPG. Summoner for Mac OS will be published by GraphSim, and is expected in early summer if all goes well.

Summoner Cinematics Gallery
Summoner Web Site
Summoner Preview/Interview
Buy Summoner

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