Thursday, July 14, 2011

THEPLAYGAMER3: Shadow of Destiny








Shadow of Memories​ (シャドウ・オブ・メモリーズ Shadou obu Memorīzu?), also known as Shadow of Destiny in North America, is an adventure video game developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo for the PlayStation 2. Originally released for the PlayStation 2, it was later ported to the PC and Xbox in 2002 by the now-defunct Runecraft company. A PlayStation Portable version was released on October 1, 2009 in Japan and on January 26, 2010 in the United States.

Gameplay

The objective of Shadow of Memories is to guide player character Eike Kusch through the fictional German town of Lebensbaum (Life's Tree) as he travels through time to prevent his murder and unmask his murderer. The game takes place in three parts: a prologue, eight chapters, and an epilogue. In the prologue and each chapter, Eike dies, is resurrected by the non-player character Homunculus, and travels back in time before his death with the intent of changing events to prevent it. Shadow of Memories lacks traditional action elements, and Eike cannot attack nor does he have a bar displaying his health. The digipad, an time-traveling item given to Eike by Homunculus, requires energy units, which the player can find scattered around the town. The gameplay primarily consists of time-traveling through the different eras, finding items, and interacting through dialogue with the non-player characters. Actions taken in one time period affect future ones; for example, if Eike removes a seal from the squire's manor in 1580, the seal will not appear in the present era.

Additionally, the game keeps two digital clocks: one depicting the time in the present-day era and another for whichever era Eike time-travels to. The amount of time Eike spends in the different eras also passes in the present-day one. The cut-scenes and dialogue takes up varying amounts of in-game time. When the clock arrives at the time of Eike's death, the chapter restarts; however, if Eike is not in his time period at the time of his death, the game ends.

Plot

Set in a fictional German town named Lebensbaum (Life's Tree), Shadow of Memories revolves around a 22-year-old man named Eike Kusch, who dies in the beginning of the game from being stabbed after leaving a small diner. However, he is resurrected by Homunculus, a djinn or genie, who offers to send him back in time to prevent his death and gives him the time-traveling digipad. Eike explores four eras—2001, 1980, 1902 and 1580—as he attempts to unmask his killer and figure out a way of stopping his own murder at various points in the present. Along the way he encounters several characters: Dana, a modern-day waitress whom he accidentally brings back to the year 1580 and loses; the present-day fortune teller, who tells Eike the hour of his death; Eckart Brum, the curator of a private art museum who lost his wife in a shooting; Dr. Wolfgang Wagner, an alchemist living in 1580 with two children, Hugo and Margarette; and Alfred Brum, the great-grandfather of Eckart.

Given a red stone by Dana, Eike follows the Homunculus' instructions to give the stone to Wagner. Time-traveling ten days later, Eike discovers that the result of Wagner's experiment destroyed the lab and caused Hugo, already upset by his mother's death, to build a time machine and track Eike down with the intent of killing him. Depending on the player's actions, Hugo holds either Margarette or Dana hostage in the present and plans to use the red stone, revealed to be the Philosopher's stone, to resurrect his mother.

Endings

Shadow of Memories consists of eight endings, with six available at first. The last two must be unlocked by achieving the first six. The endings are presented in an alphabetical format, A–E, with B having two variations, and then two "EX" endings. In all endings, he discovers that Homunculus was using him to ensure that he would be "created" (actually unsealed) by Wagner, and returns the digipad to him.

In Ending A, Eike discovers that Homunculus switched the infants Dana and Margarette, making modern-day Dana actually Margarete Wagner and medieval-Margarette actually Dana Brum. Furthermore, it is revealed that the fortune teller is the trapped, disembodied spirit of Hugo's mother, Helena Wagner, brought back after a failed attempt by Hugo to revive her. Homunculus creates a puppet resembling Wolfgang Wagner to attempt to dissuade Hugo from his plans, and after a short discussion, the puppet and Hugo disappear in a haze of smoke. Homunculus reveals he couldn't call up the spirit of the real Dr. Wagner-as Eike had requested-because he was not dead. While returning the digipad to Homunculus, Eike accidentally drops the device and kills him. Sometime later, it is mentioned that Margarete is now reunited with her biological parents, the Brums, who adopted her, though it appears that none of them are aware of their true relation to each other. Depending on the outcome of a certain time-travelling sub-quest, Eckart's wife and Margarete's mother, Miriam Brum, may or may not be alive as well (she was implied to have been killed by a seemingly stray bullet while taking a walk with her baby, in the original time-line). While meeting up in the square, Eike and Margarete return to the spot where Homunculus died, only to discover a full-grown tree which contains the Philosopher's stone.

Ending B contains two variations: B1 and B2. In B1, Eike discovers the fortune teller's identity and convinces Hugo to enter the hut to meet with her; Helena causes the building to collapse, killing Hugo, who agrees to commit suicide in order to be reunited with his mother (though it is not mentioned if her spirit is actually freed by this). He then returns Margarete to the past in which she grew up (though the present is actually her birth-era). B2 sees Hugo attempt to abandon Margarete in the present, only to have Eckart subdue and scold him (neither he nor Margarete are aware of their true relation to each other). Hugo apologizes and returns to the past with Margarete. Both variations conclude with Eike's decision to have a drink at the bar in celebration of living.

In Ending C, Eike travels to 1580. Hugo searches for his father's research while an elderly Hugo appears with a time machine and offers to teach him to use it. When Eike reveals his presence in an effort to stop young Hugo from listening, the older version panics and tries to escape up the stairs. Margarete gets in his way, and he threatens and tries to strike her with his cane. Hugo rushes to stop him, and the two make contact, causing both Hugos cease to exist due to a dimensional paradox. Margarete collapses, and Eike returns to the present, where he gives the Digipad back. After Homunculus' departure, Eike lies down in the street to look at the stars, only to be run over by two drunk men in a car.

In Ending D, Eike enters the ruined lab and burns Wagner's notes about the stone, just as Hugo and Margarete enter. Unable to read the burned notes, Hugo apparently never learns about what his father was working on and thus never desires revenge or create a time machine, causing the Hugo and Margarete in the present to disappear. Hugo then decides to live his own life. It is revealed that Homunculus is actually a djinn or genie imprisoned in the Philosopher's Stone, and not at all an artificial lifeform created by Wolfgang Wagner. Wolfgang realizes that he has ultimately wasted his life and neglected his wife for nothing. Extremely depressed, he wishes to be young again like Eike (who he had met earlier and who impressed him with his youth), so as to have "do-over". Homunculus grants his wish in gratitude for being unsealed but after Wolfgang tries to reseal him with a pentagram, he curses him "to suffer the eternal night of youth": eternal youth coupled with perpetual recurring amnesia. Eike is then revealed to be a de-aged twenty-something Wolfgang Wagner who permanently loses his memories on a periodic basis.

In Ending E, Eike asks Dana, the actual Margarete Wagner (his biological daughter, based on Ending D, though neither is aware of this), to return with him to the present in which she grew up, and she agrees. She is held hostage by Hugo (again, neither of them nor Eike are aware of their true relation to each other). Eike goes to get Margarete and brings her to the present, where she slaps and scolds Hugo. Tearfully, she tells him she can try and be more like their mother was to them and take care of them both. Hugo apologizes, then returns to the past with Margarete, who had managed to warn Eike about Hugo's plans. Eike then walks Dana home after returning the digipad to Homunculus. It is made clear Dana only thinks of him as a father-figure, prompting the two to laugh and joke around. This is most likely to avoid speculation about a romance blossoming between the two, due to them actually being father and daughter. In a flashback, it is shown that Homunculus made Wagner disappear(possibly killing him), after he had wished never to see the creature again. It is possible this is not actually a flashback, but an epilogue, revealing what happens after Eike gives Dr. Wagner the stone, which contains the Homunculus he sealed away in another timeline. This also explains how Eike is able to encounter Homunculus in the ruins of Wagner's house after the experiment fails and why he did not recognize him.

The EX Ending has two variations. Awakening from his first death with all his memories, Eike gets the red stone from the diner before Dana comes looking for him. He can either give Dr. Wagner the stone, which allows him to make an elixir and heal Helena, or die in the bar fire to enter Homunculus' dimension and throw it at him, causing him to cease to exist as a result of coming into contact with himself. Both result in Eike fading away. Regardless of either choice, the final scene is the same. A young man who resembles Eike is walking through the streets in present day and struck down like before. The object turns out to be a soccer ball that hit him, and the man returns the ball to a boy similar in appearance to Hugo.

Development

Developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo, Shadow of Memories debuted at the Tokyo Game Show in September 2000. The game went through several development titles: The Day and Night of Walpurgisnacht, Days of Walpurgis, and Time Adventure. Konami released Shadow of Memories for the PlayStation 2 in Japan on February 22, 2001, in North America on March 5, 2001, and in Europe on March 30, 2001. In 2002, the now-defunct Runecraft company ported it to the PC, while an Xbox port appeared simultaneously in Europe and Australasia; a PlayStation Portable port arrived in 2009.

No comments:

Post a Comment