A Fortnight of Fright: MediEvil

Posted: November 1, 2011 in Retro
Tags: , , , , ,

It’s Halloween night, and time for Chad’s final entry in A Fortnight of Fright! Congratulations to all who have made it this far, boils and ghouls! The horrific puns for article headers will soon be finished!

Getting It Through Your Thick Skull

Medievil Screenshot 1

Well, none of us look good when we wake up in the morning.

Sony’s original PlayStation was built on the strength of its third-party titles. Games like Final Fantasy VII, Tomb Raider, and Resident Evil ensured the console’s place as the most successful of its generation. However, Sony’s own internal game developers were no slouches, either – the Sony Computer Entertainment divisions were capable of making some solid games too, and nowhere was that more apparent than Sony Computer Entertainment Europe’s MediEvil. The game cast the player as the knight Sir Dan Fortesque, raised from the dead after rather unheroically dying in the first seconds of the only battle he ever fought in.

The sorceror Zarok has begun raising an army of the evil dead to take over the kingdom of Gallowmere, and Sir Dan is the only line of defense. To aid in his quest he can fill chalices with the souls of enemies scattered throughout a level. Once the chalice is full, he can visit the Hall of Heroes, where far superior warriors offer him their weapons. These include a crossbow, spear, and…a chicken leg. Dan has to hack and slash his way through zombies, scarecrows, and numerous other foul creatures of the night in his campaign through towns, churches, asylums, and farmland. It’s an entertaining quest, with plenty to do, allowing you to tackle some of the later levels in whatever order you prefer and giving a considerable challenge.

MediEvil Screenshot 2In addition, the game’s graphics are very appealing and well-rendered, especially considering the PlayStation’s rather limited graphical prowess. The art design maintains a cartoonish but gothic quality, similar to the art of Edward Gorey or Henry Selick’s stop-motion Nightmare Before Christmas film. It’s darkness with a light heart, if that makes any sense. The music and voiceovers also enhance the flavoring of the game, with Sir Dan himself mumbling through the whole game (as the poor fellow lacks a jaw).  MediEvil is one of those games that succeeds not just in being a lot of fun, but creating an excellent and compelling world to explore. While there was a sequel and a PSP remake, MediEvil seems to be one of those games that never quite gets the credit it deserves. Since we’ll probably never see another MediEvil, I’ll pour out a cold one for Sir Dan.

So, I hope you’ve enjoyed this Fortnight of Fright. It’s been a pleasure sharing some of my favorite ghoulish games with you all. Happy Halloween!

Previous Fortnight of Fright: Zombies Ate My Neighbors

First Fortnight of Fright: Maniac Mansion

  1. Michael says:

    I fondly remember this game from the days of my youth. Every so often the tinge of nostalgia creeps into my heart and I consider getting out the PSX for the sole purpose if playing this game, but I have yet to do so.

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