MediEvil is a platform game released in October 1, 1998 for the PlayStation in Europe and North America, and in June 1999 in Japan. The game was followed by MediEvil 2 in 2000. Then, in 2005, the original game was remade as MediEvil: Resurrection for the PlayStation Portable. In 2007, the original PlayStation version was made available via the PlayStation Store to be played on both the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable. In August 2010, the game was made available for free to PlayStation Plus subscribers.
The original PlayStation version of MediEvil was later re-released as a Platinum title.
The game starts with a flashback in the 13th century in the fictional English Kingdom of Gallowmere. The game puts the player in control of Sir Daniel Fortesque: the reanimated skeletal remains of a deceased champion knight whom history holds in high esteem, due to his supposed heroics in battle against the evil sorcerer Zarok who, in 1286, had raised an army of demons and set out to take over the kingdom. The legend has it that Fortesque led the King's army into battle against Zarok's demonic hordes and that Sir Daniel himself killed the sorcerer during the battle - despite having actually been mortally wounded at the outset - cementing his posthumous status as the "Hero of Gallowmere".
This official version of events is later revealed as being vastly exaggerated and that Sir Dan's entire reputation is based on a lie. It turns out that Fortesque was not a hero at all and was in fact the first to die during the Battle of Gallowmere as he was hit in the eye by an arrow while leading the first charge against Zarok's undead armies. Although Sir Dan's troops still managed to go on and win the battle without him, Zarok was able to escape and went into hiding, leading everyone to assume that he was dead. The "fog of war and the shrouds of time" ultimately conspired to portray Fortesque as being the great hero of the battle.
One century later, in 1386, Zarok unexpectedly re-emerges from the shadows, robs the citizens in a nearby village of their souls and awakens his undead army. But the waves of necromantic energy he has unleashed upon the countryside have unwittingly revitalized the skeletal corpse of Sir Fortesque, still missing the eye where he was hit and unable to speak clearly having lost his jawbone. Sir Dan pulls a cobweb out of his eye socket, shakes off the trauma and then grins at the player. Unable to go to the Hall of Heroes in death due to his failures in life, Sir Fortesque sets out from his crypt to exact his revenge upon Zarok and prove himself a true hero now that he has been given a second chance.
After finding a way out of the cemetery, getting through the rest of Gallowmere, making his way to the entrance of Zarok's lair and getting past every other obstacle the lair has, Dan finally makes his way to the lair's arena, where Zarok is waiting. There, Zarok sends out his fleet of skeletal warriors. But before doing this, Dan places one of the chalices he collected throughout the game onto the white circle in the middle of the arena. This summons the souls belonging to the soldiers who fought in the war a century ago. Seeing that they are all ghosts, their weapons will affect Zarok's warriors, so they charge straight towards them and start fighting while Dan keeps his side alive by zapping them with good lightning (if the player fails to do this, Zarok's side will knock Dan out, resulting in an immediate game over.)
Once Zarok's side loses, Dan's warriors cheer while turning into health vials that Dan collects to get as much energy back as possible (he loses it while using the good lightning on his side.) Zarok then summons his champion, Lord Kardok, a skeletal man wielding a mace riding a skeletal horse. After Dan defeats him, Zarok finally has enough of Dan getting in the way and goes to his lab. There, he tries to turn himself into a monster capable of defeating Dan, while humorously having trouble casting the right spell. Zarok eventually gets it right and then goes downstairs while revealing himself to be a wingless dragon of some sorts. The two fight, with Dan ending up victorious. Zarok then explodes into his normal form, while admitting defeat.
Zarok then gets up and states that if he is to fail, then all shall perish and that Sir Dan is doomed to stay in his lair forever. He then zaps the ceiling with his trident, which makes the roof cave in. While this happens, a big hunk of debris falls on top of Zarok with a humorous squeak. Dan then escapes and makes his way out to the arena entrance while the lair is falling apart. A small flying creature flies towards him, then the two get blown back by the explosion of a sundial that was next to them. Dan manages to hang onto one of the floating cogs from The Time Device till he gets to a small cave. After brushing the dust off of his amour, Dan runs away from the fire caused from the lair blowing up and falls to his doom. Luckily, a vulture who helped Dan out earlier, catches him and takes him back to his crypt while the stolen souls return to the people. The vulture then drops him, Dan goes back inside and returns to his eternal rest.
There are two endings:
- Not all chalices collected: After Dan goes back to being dead, the camera will zoom into the eye socket where Dan wasn’t shot till the screen is completely black. The player is awarded with a simple "The End" message. Then the credits roll.
- All chalices collected: The same thing happens, only this time, Dan ends up going to the Hall of Heroes. When he arrives, the rest of the heroes have come to life (to the point where they're not even statues anymore) and are partying. They then notice that Dan has arrived and stop at once. Dan then does a few acrobatics on the table till he lands into a chair and catches a cup that he flipped into the air with his foot. One of the heroes fills it up with wine, Dan then unsuccessfully drinks it (he is still in his skeletal form, therefore he has no throat) and the other heroes applaud Dan for finally having the courage to defeat Zarok once and for all. The camera then zooms out of the Hall (it also shows that it was really on Earth, not in the heavens as suggested) and into outer space till it stops at a constellation of Dan preparing to defend himself. The message from before pops up and the credits roll.
- Sir Daniel Fortesque (Born in 1250, died 1286), a.k.a. Sir Dan, was King Peregrin's champion of Gallowmere. Sir Dan was apparently an adventurer and something of a braggart; he humored the King with entertaining and engrossing stories of his past heroics and deeds. He quickly became a favorite within the Kings court and was subsequently knighted. As the captain of the King's guard, it was not long before Sir Dan was chosen to lead the King's armies against Zarok's undead horde of demons in 1286. Sir Dan's unit had the privilege to lead the first charge against Zarok's horde. When Sir Dan and his soldiers charged at Zarok's demons, Dan is mortally wounded straight through the eye with an arrow during the first defensive volley. With the remaining soldiers outnumbered and without Sir Dan to lead them, they continue the charge. Sir Dan is subsequently left for dead and dies on the battlefield. In the end despite suffering tremendous losses, King Peregrin’s forces are victorious in pushing back Zarok and his demons with the cost of Sir Dan's life. Over the years Sir Dan grows into something of a tall tale. Determined to make Sir Dan's memory last, people along with King Peregrin began to make up stories of their version of the battle, and with that made Sir Dan out to be a tremendous god like legend who single handedly defeated the demons only to then kill Zarok with his last dying breath. Songs were sung on how demons fell before Sir Dan like wheat before a scythe while Sir Dan flung himself into the accursed multitude. Gallowmere's citizens built and laid Sir Dan to rest in an elaborate necropolis with all the honors of a hero. 100 years later in 1386, Zarok comes out of hiding, and with him a special spell which awakens all those who are dead who in turn become the living undead. However, unbeknownst to Zarok, he also awakens his old dead enemy, Sir Dan. With Zarok wreaking havoc across the land the now resurrected Sir Dan is immediately aware of what he must do. Sir Dan has now been given another opportunity to defeat Zarok and prove that he is indeed a true hero, something he could not do in life. He was voiced by Jason Wilson in the English version, and by Kenyu Horiuchi in the Japanese version.
- Zarok is the evil necromancer who uses a magic spell book to control all the bodies of Gallowmere. He has the intent to use necromantic power to bring the dead back to life, and also to hypnotize the people of Gallowmere into attacking Sir Dan. Zarok has used science (referred to as "the darkest of all magics") to create The Time Device, a city of large and dangerous machinery controlled by complex cogs and levers, which merely seems to only calculate and manage time. Zarok has his own personal train which has rails surrounding his lair. Zarok has some problems casting spells in the last level of the game, which, after transforming into a dragon monster , cause him to cluck like a chicken. Zarok gains control of the Stone Monsters and the Shadow Demons, which Sir Dan encounters. He is voiced by Paul Darrow in English, and by Norio Wakamoto in Japanese.</li></li>
- The Boat Man a.k.a. Death. This character ferries all the souls on their final journey to the world of the dead. Ever since Zarok raised the dead he is constantly going about his job a bit too much. He offers to take Sir Dan to Mellowmede once he has collected 8 souls in the level " the pools of the ancient dead".</li></li></li></li>
During the game, the player may go through several places, from graveyards full of zombies, to a flying ghost ship full of undead pirates and to a levitating game board in an enchanted forest with flying demons. There are also several collectible items found in the levels in order to proceed to further areas or levels. Some items collected early on are required in later levels.
There are several books placed upon stands all over areas in the game which may offer advice to Sir Dan, or generally the history of the area. Some of them are placed in hidden places, some contain humorous jokes, but most of the time they are found along the path that Sir Dan takes. They can be read if struck with a close range weapon. One example of a book says:
|“||Welcome back to your beloved Gallowmere. The stinking dead have risen up to dance with the lifeless living, and they want to do it over your dead body.||”|
Gameplay starts in Dan's crypt, which starts Sir Dan off with Dan's Arm and no green life bottles. One life bottle counts as 300 health points, and the maximum amount of life bottles is 9. When a life bottle is depleted after damage from an enemy or the environment, Dan loses a life. Life bottles are collected in the game and can be replenished using energy vials or green fountains that emanate energy. If Dan loses all his life, it is game over and Dan must play from where he last saved. The game will also be over if Dan fails certain objectives.
When attacked by an enemy, Dan's health reduces minimally, but when Dan falls into water or magma, or falls from a great height, he loses a whole life. If he has fallen, Dan will first lose a life, and his body will also be automatically returned to a safe position.
Dan's current life meter is placed at the top of the screen in the center, indicated by a moving green bar. If this bar has been emptied during battle, any remaining bottles and life points will automatically replace empty ones. Dan glows with green dust particles when he has been replenished with a new life bottle. Usually only one life bottle is found per level.
Dan can replenish his health by standing over a glowing "green eruption" of slime called a "Fountain of Rejuvenation " or "Health Fountain". This chimney will run out after 600 points, which will fill two life bottles. Once a fountain in one level has been used up, it will refill if the level is replayed.
Life Vial give Dan 225 health points, and are much thinner than the life bottle. Life Vial are usually found with one or two others as to replace a whole life quickly. If all of Sir Dan's Life bottle are full, Dan will still take the life vial, but will not gain any more health points from collecting it.
Chicken Drumstick give Dan 20 health points.
Dan starts the game with just his detachable arm, which can be used as both a melee weapon and a projectile, but is incredibly weak. Soon however he obtains a small sword. The majority of weapons Dan encounters are received from the Hall of Heroes by collecting the Chalice in each level, and range from swords, axes and hammers to projectile weapons such as crossbows and spears. There are other weapons that Dan encounters through the course of the game, such as a club that can be used as a torch, but breaks after too much use; Dragon Potion that lets Dan breathe fire and protects him from flame attacks; and Chicken Drumsticks that can turn enemies into Roast Chicken for health recovery. Dan is also able to find a variety of shields to protect himself, ranging from copper to gold in strength. Here is a list of all weapons in the game. They are aranged in Strength. SWORDS: Small Sword , Broad Sword , Magic Sword . SHIELDS: Copper Shield , Silver Shield ,Golden Shield. PROJECTILES: Throwing Daggers , Crossbow , Longbow , Flaming Longbow , Magic Longbow , Spear . HEAVY: Club , Hammer . OTHER: Arm , Axe , Dragon Armour , Good Lightning , Lightning .
In MediEvil: Resurrection , the Dragon Potion has been changed into a Dragon Armor; the effects are nearly identical.
Dan can also collect money, which can be used to buy products or services from merchant gargoyles. Money comes in the forms of red bags, which give Dan 10G; Kill Rats or Hands, which give Dan 1G or 2G; and golden treasure chests, which give Dan 50G. Red gold bags appear often during early levels, and golden treasure chests appear if long tasks are completed as a large reward. Parts of buildings that are initially concealed also contain several chests.
Gargoyles are large stone heads found upon the surface of walls. Gargoyles can be called upon by hitting them with weaponry. The game is paused when speaking to a gargoyle, so any enemies nearby cannot attack the player.
Green gargoyles tell of old stories about the history of Gallowmere. They usually speak in the collective first-person narration, and offer advice to Dan in his quest. However, generally all the gargoyles criticize Sir Dan and emphasise his failure in battle a century ago. They tend to be clairvoyant, and tell Dan exactly how to perform some tasks. Some of these gargoyles automatically start a conversation with Sir Dan when he walks in their view, depending on how important their speech is and if they have been listened to before.
Merchant gargoyles will offer Dan a variety of armour supplies and ammunition in his quest, for an unbelievable price. It is the player's responsibility within the game to collect as much money as possible in order to buy services and supplies. These gargoyles may also offer weapons that have been traded by the imps that steal from Sir Dan, categorised under "Second Hand Goods".
Throughout the levels Sir Dan is presented with an opportunity to collect that particular level's chalice, by filling it up with the souls of his enemies. This mystical item enables him to visit the Hall of Heroes after the conclusion of the level. Dan can only collect the chalice in each level when he has dispatched enough "defeated adversaries" to reach 100%. Chalices are hidden well and are not always at the end of a level, so Dan must back-track to the beginning to find it. In the " Hall of Heroes", he can converse with past heroes, "await spiritual guidance" and receive useful items or weapons to help him in his quest. Collecting all the chalices allows the player to see the true ending.
In order for Dan to access different areas of the levels, he must use a range of collectible runes that are found in awkward places or revealed in secret areas. Each rune, which may be Chaos (red), Moon (blue), Earth (green), Time (silver), or Star (gold), will either open a door or gate or activate part of a sequence in order to proceed to the next scene or room. Runes are placed upon stone hands, where they remain for the rest of the level.
Alongside certain weapons, there are also many colourful and varying enemies, though particularly zombies in the opening levels, which Dan must defeat. Later on through the epic journey through Gallowmere, Dan will encounter a number of other monsters and creatures, most of which are modelled after gothic demons associated with the time period (and a few made just for fun). Sticky-fingered Imps, demonic Scarecrows, and mechanical Cossack-type guards with Russian accents are but a few of the ghastly and varied monstrosities that inhabit the levels.
Very simple weapons will require much use in order to finish off a single enemy. Some enemies can only be attacked either at certain times or using specific weapons, such as the Scarecrows. Many weapons, such as swords and throwing daggers, can be charged up to produce a more powerful attack to finish beasts off more quickly.
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The original soundtrack of this game was made using electronic synthesizers to simulate an entire orchestra and organ. The 2005 PlayStation Portable (PSP) game MediEvil: Resurrection used parts of the Medievil score along with original elements composed by the artists Bob and Barn and performed by a live orchestra and choir. An album was made from this music and signed copies can be purchased from the artists' website.
The official MediEvil website, designed to contain several flash elements, information about the game, and free downloads, has been shut down. However, the site for the game's sequel still exists but is not updated anymore.
MediEvil was one of the first games to support a DualShock controller on the PlayStation.
There was to be a level in the game where Dan had to escape the dragon that chases him in the cutscene before The Ghost Ship level. However, it was removed before the game was released. A few seconds of the level can be seen in the trailer for the game . There is also an unused music track that can be found within the files on the disc which Bob and Barn, the soundtrack composers, said was written for a scrapped level where you played as the worm that lived within Daniel's skull.
Inside original copies of the MediEvil PlayStation box was a poster featuring an insight into MediEvil's sequel, MediEvil 2. This detailed new characters and levels, set in 19th century London.
On the reverse of this image are map instructions for the first four levels of the game. These include details of the locations of vials, the chalice, life bottles, rune stones, gargoyles, rune hands, bronze and silver shields, primary weapons and other secrets which may only be accessible after finding certain items or completing certain tasks.
The weapons that are described for the first few levels are: a small sword, throwing daggers, a crossbow and a club. There are several more weapons available.