Silver (video game)
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European cover art
|Developer(s)||Spiral House Ltd (Dreamcast)
|Distribution||2 CD-ROMs (WIN)
1 GD-ROM (DC)
Silver, released in 1999, is an Action RPG for Microsoft Windows, Dreamcast and Macintosh OS. The game was produced by Infogrames initially for Windows, and later on the Dreamcast. The story focuses around a young warrior called David and his quest to retrieve his wife from the clutches of the villain Silver. On his journey he gains a number of followers and visits many different landscapes. The game sold over 400,000 copies.
The game features polygonal 3D characters drawn against a pre-rendered 2D background. The character design is inspired from Manga/Anime culture. The battle system of Silver is notable for being completely real-time opposed to many similar light role-playing games, which usually have turn-based combat. The player may choose any character in his adventuring party to control, and the rest of the characters are handled automatically by AI. The story focuses largely on collecting eight magic orbs representing different elements, which are Fire, Ice, Health, Earth, Acid, Lightning, Time and Light. Each orb is located at an area themed around the orb, and the player may use the collected orbs to cast different kind of spells against his enemies.
The game was distributed with PCs sold by Tiny Computers, a computer company based in England, founded in 1990 which went into administration in 2002, and was very well received by players.
'Silver' takes place in the island region of Jarrah, commonly known as the 'Wheel Of Life' for the fact that it is shaped like a wheel. It consists of seven islands, but nine locations in all.
Verdante Verdante is in the top-right corner of Jarrah. It's even more fertile than Haven, but its forests have been burned away or turned into swampland by battles against Silver. David's house, a monastery, and many forests await here. It is home to the Lightning orb.
Haven Haven lies on the center of Jarrah. It is a very fertile island, and has a lot of flora and fauna. In the center lie the Oracle's Tower and the Rebel Camp (you can change your party here). Later on in the game, the Time orb is found.
Gno Gno is an island which houses nothing more but a big library with a large telescope at the top of it. This library (the Library Of Gno) also has caverns underneath it, and, in the beginning of the game, has a lot of trouble with imps.
Rain A large, dark city sits on Rain. It always rains here. Important places here are Chains, Silver's dungeon, and the pub. The fire orb is found in a wizard's tower and the Acid/Poison orb is found in the sewers.
Winter Winter is covered in snow and ice and is a key area in the game, although not a large one. It houses two orbs (Ice and Earth) and has caverns underneath, and a big castle (property of Glass, Silver's daughter).
Spires Spires is an underwater cathedral near Rain, which is Atlantis-themed. The enemies in Spires look like amphibians. The Healing Orb can be found here while battling a poison dragon.
Deadgate Deadgate is the barren realm of the dead. When a person dies, their ghost will be sent to Deadgate until their deaths are avenged.
Atro Atro is the northern exterior of Deadgate and it is an industrious realm where the final orb is found (light) after defeating the lady of light and her invisible minions, it is by far the most minor and unknown location in all of Jarrah.
Metalon The last island visited in the game, and the location of Silver's palace. As its name suggests, the city that covers the entire island is made completely out of metal, with the exception of Silver's palace. The island is pitted with rivers of blood, the source of Silver's power. The player can only reach this island by being teleported there by Silver's daughter, Glass. Once the player is teleported there, they cannot leave.
David The protagonist. He lived with his wife Jennifer and his grandfather until his wife was kidnapped by Fuge and the soldiers under his command. He is also a skilled fighter and learned the way of fighting from his grandfather. His father and grandfather are both killed by Fuge. During the game, he joins the rebels, sets off to find the eight magical orbs that will aid the player to defeat Silver.
Grandfather David's grandfather and a very experienced fighter. He accompanies David when his wife was kidnapped, together they travel to Haven and Gno. In the library of Gno, he sacrifices himself so David can escape from Fuge.
Silver The ruler of Jarrah and the main antagonist of the game. He has his palace in Metalon and he has two children, Fuge and Glass. His palace is also his source of power with the magic source and the blood river. He kills his wife with the excuse of being cheated and lets all the women in the age of giving birth bring to his palace. He has a great lust of power, so he planned to form an alliance with the evil god Apocalypse.
Duke The leader of rebels that have their camp in Haven. Later, he is captured by Silver's troops and David sets off to rescue him from Silver's dungeons. He is a patient, careful man and a good strategist.
William One of the most important men of Duke. He is impatient and weak, so he betrays Duke and forms an alliance with Silver to save his love interest. After Silver is done with him, he kills him.
Fuge Silver's son. He is an extremely powerful fighter and even his name causes fear in all around Jarrah. He follows his father's orders very strictly and is extremely loyal to him. He killed David's father and grandfather and is killed by David.
Glass Silver's daughter. She is a powerful sorceress, has an ice palace in Winter, possesses the Earth orb and an ice dragon, which is defeated by David. After the death of her mother, she hated her father and even aided the rebels by teleporting David and his companion to Metalon.
Sekune The female fighter in the rebel camp. She is especially skilled in long-range weapons and travels with David when the rebels enter Rain.
Vivienne Another female fighter who David knew for a long time. Her sister was kidnapped by Fuge, but Vivienna was able to save herself thanks to her combat training.
Jug A barbarian-like warrior David meets in the tavern of Rain. He is exceptionally strong, though not skilled in magic.
Cagen One of the monks from the monastery who survived the madness that spread amongst the monks. He is dexterous, is skilled in unarmed martial arts and magic.
Chiaro A wizard apprentice. After learning from David that his master was killed by Silver, he joins the rebels. While not very strong, he is exceptionally skilled in magic.
User Interface (PC version)
The game uses pie menus that open around the mouse cursor and let the player select different items or submenus by choice of a wedge in the pie menu.
The player character can be controlled by use of the mouse. Apart from point-clicking to make the character walk, this includes masking attack moves as mouse gestures in (real-time) battles.
Playing on modern PCs
Silver was developed to run well on Windows 98 with a varying 3D acceleration cards which don't include more modern cards like NVidia GeForce series. To play Silver in a modern PC with a more modern OS such as Windows XP, some various unofficial patches are required. One of these patches is the so-called GeForce patch which fixes graphic errors with GeForce series. Another major problem is the "Exception: Access Violation" error which crashes the game completely. This error may happen when the game is paused with F12, the inventory screen is opened or even when a new game has been started. Another unofficial Silver Patcher which sets the background width to a user-defined value fixes the problems partially but doesn't allow the user to pass some certain scenes since they open the inventory screen automatically. The game can also be played through hardware virtualization software. The game works without the problems mentioned above on Virtual PC and a virtualized Windows 98 system. On 15th May 2012 the game was published on GOG.com without DRM and it is playable on modern systems with Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit), however, the "Access Violation" bug still occasionally occurs.