Summoner (video game)
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Cover image of PC version of Summoner.
|Release date(s)||PlayStation 2
Summoner, developed by Volition, Inc. and published by THQ, is a third-person role-playing video game. It was released on October 26, 2000 as a launch title for the PlayStation 2 and was subsequently ported to Microsoft Windows and Mac OS.
After the bankruptcy of THQ in December 2012, the Summoner franchise was acquired by Nordic Games, who have since published Summoner on GOG.com on February 25, 2014 and the Steam Digital Distribution platform on March 12, 2014.
In addition to the main storyline, there are over twenty side quests that may be completed. The game includes an abundance of spells that are cast in real time.
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Joseph is a simple farmer from the village of Ciran, who is also adept at the art of summoning. It is revealed in flashback that as a boy a man named Yago gave Joseph a magical ring. When a band of raiders attack Ciran, Joseph uses the ring to summon a Demon of Darkness to save the village. Although the demon defeats the raiders, it also kills all villagers and totally destroys Ciran. Torn between grief and hatred of his new power, Joseph discards the ring and swears never to invoke his powers again.
Joseph resettles in the small village of Massad as a farmer, which is eventually besieged by the forces of Orenia, a continent ruled by Emperor Murod. Murod's four Riders - Ghost, Phoenix, Serpent and Tiger - and army seek a boy born with the mark of the Summoner. After fending off soldiers and escaping by river, Joseph journeys to Lenele, the capital of Medeva. Joseph attempts to enter the royal palace to speak to his former companion, Yago (now an advisor to the King), but is taunted and rebuffed by the guards. A disguised individual notices his difficulties and offers her assistance. Introducing herself as Flece, an agent of the local crime lord, Tancred, she suggests that they infiltrate the palace via the sewers.
They are successful, and Yago advises them to travel to the island of Iona, where the Abbot of the Monastery holds the Ring of Light: an item Joseph will need to move against Murod. Yago also gives Joseph the Ring of Darkness, which he discarded as a boy. On Iona they meet with the Abbot and Rosalind, the daughter of Yago. Although reluctant to aid Joseph as Yago once abandoned her mother to search for Joseph, she is ordered by the Abbot to accompany them into the Catacombs beneath the Great Library, where the first kings of Medeva are entombed. After battling undead warriors, the group find the tomb of Iona, the dead consort of Vadagar, god of the Earth. Also present is Sir Carados, a long lost knight and builder of the Library. Carados has gone insane, and believing he is Vadagar, attacks the group. After his defeat Joseph recovers the ring of Light.
After defeating the Ghost Rider, the trio return to Lenele. Together with Yago the group meet King Belias, Queen Galienne and the King's brother, Sornehan. King Belias commands Joseph's childhood friend Jekhar - who now hates him for inadvertently causing the destruction of Ciran - to join the group and journey to Saanavarh, the stronghold of the Khosani people. Yago advises that as the Khosani forged the rings they will have valuable advice and also possess the ring of Fire. After successfully passing several trials, the group gain the ring of Fire are informed of the history of the rings. After warding off an attack by the Phoenix Rider, the group travel to the swamp of Ikaemos. Once an ancient empire, Ikaemos was destroyed by their god's anger. To save his people from drowning, the Priest King froze his people in stone. The group find and negotiate the temple of Ikaemos, destroying the Priest King and obtaining the ring of Stone.
After a failed attempt by the Serpent Rider to kill the group, they return to Medeva to find Lenelle overrun by the Orenian forces, who were given access to the city by Sornehan. Locating Yago in the Old City, he instructs Rosalind and Jekhar to accompany the Queen to Iona for her safety, while Joseph and Flece travel to the temple of Urath. The pair arrive just as Belias is murdered by Murod' General Pijian and Sornehan crowned by a reluctant Hierophant. Joseph and Flece drive off the Tiger Rider and meet Yago in the Forge of Urath. Yago then instructs Joseph to wear all four rings and place his hand into the Forge to unite the rings. Despite Yago's guarantees that Joseph will not be harmed, his hand and the rings are destroyed - an act that frees the demons of Fire, Light and Stone. Yago reveals himself to be possessed by the demon of darkness, Machival. Machival advises Joseph that he accomplished this with the help of Flece and that he is now an Orenian prisoner.
Months later, Flece, realizing that she had been tricked by the demon of Darkness, travels to Orenia to locate Joseph. Flece discovers that Murod is using Orenian slaves to construct a replica of the legendary Tower of Eleh. Originally made by the Children of Ghuval to siege Khossos, Murod likewise wishes to storm heaven and become lord of all creation. Using her clandestine skills, Flece finds and frees Joseph from the tower. Flece and Joseph escape and flee to the lakeside village of Wolong and meet a local healer who states how Joseph's hand can be restored. After obtaining several minor aids, Joseph is told he must now seek and ingest a rare plant located in the caverns above Wolong, and then plunge his hand into a sacred underground pool.
They reunite with Rosalind who explains that there are in fact eight rings of summoning, and that the final four rings are in Orenia. Joseph, Flece and Rosalind journey ascend a mountain overlooking the village and enter the caverns. After defeating multiple foes they locate the plant required and find the healing pool, successfully restoring Joseph's hand and retrieving the Ring of Water. The trio return to Wolong, and after defeating General Pijian and his troops encounter Aoqi and her Jade Temple troops. Aoqi reveals that she is the missing daughter of Emperor Gaodi, who was usurped by Murod. During a royal visit to Medeva, Aoqi fell in love with King Belias and they had an illegitimate daughter, Sihua. Aoqi reveals the treachery of Queen Galienne, who ordered Sihua to be killed by Tancred. The thief, however, could not bring himself to murder the child and raised her as his own. The group then reunite with Jekhar, who forgives Joseph, gives him the Ring of the Four Winds and states they must now seek the Ring of the Forest.
The party then visit the forest of Liangshan, a now-poisoned wasteland that was once occupied until a battle between a demon and a dragon. After defeating the native Oni, the Phoenix and Serpent Riders and a small force of Murod's soldiers, Joseph claims the Ring of the Forest from a priest. The party return to the Jade Temple, defeat Murod's soldiers, the Ghost and Tiger Rider, and then fight an intense battle with the Emperor himself.
After defeating Murod and retrieving the Ring of Jade, Joseph and his companions return to Medeva, now devastated by the Four Demons. Prince Sornehan and Queen Galienne, using the power of the Nhuvasarim, now rule Lenele. Expecting Joseph and Flece, the pair and their allies are actually defeated by Rosalind and Jekhar. The party then return to Saanavarh, and after assisting the Khosani with several other missions use three of the newly forged Summoner rings to recapture the Demons of Fire, Light and Stone. Returning to Lenele, the party then confront and recapture Machival. Wearing all eight Summoner rings, Joseph then falls into the forge and is reborn as the god Urath. The threat ended, Flece becomes Empress of both Orenia and Medeva as Sihua, Rosalind and Yago return to Iona to rebuild the monastery and Jekhar remains to rebuild Medeva.
Joseph - The protagonist. Born in Ciran with the mark of the Summoner on his hand. He was given the Ring of Darkness by Yago, and once tried to use it to save his village from attack but unable to control the great power, the demon he summoned razed the village. Joseph was exiled from Ciran and travelled with Yago for a while, before throwing the dark ring down a well and running away to Masad, a sleepy town on the Darhu river. He promised himself he would forget all that happened at Ciran and never use his powers again. When Medeva is invaded Joseph is forced to find Yago, and somehow regain the power of summoning. As well as being able to summon monsters, Joseph is also a good warrior and has access to healing and fire magic. At the conclusion of the game, Joseph reunites all the demons and dragons, and becomes the reborn form of the god, Urath. Or as an alternate ending, players have the option to ignore his destiny and walk away.
Flece - Flece was brought up as an orphan in the "Old City" district of Lenele where crime was prevalent.She now works for Tancred, who has crowned himself "King of Fleas" and controls Lenele's underground. Later in the game, she is revealed to be result of a tryst between Princess Qifeng, and King Bellias, thus making her the heir to the thrones of both Orenia and Medeva. She appears once briefly in the sequel looking for Rosalind of Iona.
Rosalind - Estranged daughter of Yago. She studies Aosi, the language of Creation and is the party's primary spellcaster. She originally joins reluctantly by order of Abbot Laurent, but in the end is the one who compels Joseph to accept his destiny. She plays a minor but important part in the second game and seemingly appears to Maia, the sequel's main character in a dream sequence. Later Maia and her father, Yago, learn that she was consumed by the Destroyer of Eleh aided by its agent Krobelus. The Tempest takes her form and Rosalind is no more.
Jekhar - Joseph's childhood friend whose family was murdered in the massacre caused by the demon unleashed by Joseph. Jekhar is now a soldier living in Lenele working under King Belias VI. He hates Joseph, but is ordered by King Belias VI to join in Joseph's quest for the rings, instead of helping fight off the invasion. As a result, he does not help Joseph as compared to Joseph's other comrades. When Fleece asks Jekhar to help her rescue a one-handed Joseph from life imprisonment, he turns his back and instead decides to stay on Iona guarding the queen of Medeva. He appears once briefly in the sequel alongside Flece, but it is only a cameo and he is left unnamed.
Murod - formerly the leader of the society of the jade temple, Murod betrayed the emperor, murdered his family, and seized the throne of Orenia. Murod has enslaved his people to rebuild tower of Eleh and install himself as the emperor of Heaven. Because of the jade temple's prophecy, Murod has invaded Medeva to find the summoner.
Sornehan - Sornehan is a member of the royal family of medeva, he lives in the palace of Lenele and told the guards to check the palace for spies. Some citizens believe he murdered some family members to ensure that he would gain the crown of Medeva one day.
Galiene - Galiene is the Wife of King Belias and Queen of Medeva.
Pijian - Pijian is a General of the orenian Army and serves Murod, under his command he slaughtered many civilians in the orenian village Wolong as he know that the Summoner would come here to search for the process of healing.
Yago - Yago is known to live in Lenele after the massacre in Ciran, he serves as Sornehans consultant. He told Joseph about the 4 rings and what he has to do to defeat Murod. Rosaland is his Daughter.
4 Riders - The 4 Riders are creatures of dark magic that once served Lahara in the wars of the gods. Their names are: Ghost Rider, Phoenix Rider, Snake Rider and Tiger Rider
4 Demons - There 4 Demons in total: Machival (Demon of Darkness), Luminar (Demon of Light), Titus (Demon of Stone) and Pyrul (Demon of Fire), the Demons were about to destroy the entire world if the Khosani's Hero Rhukha wouldn't defeat and trap them in magical rings.
4 Dragons - The 4 Dragons were fighting the 4 Demons long time ago, their war nearly destroyed the world.
- After completing the game and viewing the credits, a computer animated version of the Dungeons and Dragons sketch titled "Summoner Geeks" plays automatically.
A sequel, Summoner 2, was released in 2002.
- Summoner for the PS2 received a 74 out of 100 from 16 different reviews at Metacritic.
- Summoner for Windows received a 78 out of a 100 from 14 different reviews at Metacritic.
THQ Bankruptcy and IP Acquisition
On December 19, 2012, THQ filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy  and its properties were auctioned off in individual lots. The Summoner franchise, among other THQ properties including Darksiders and Red Faction, were sold to Nordic Games. Nordic Games have subsequently re-branded and published Summoner to the Steam Digital Distribution Platform.
- "Summoner PS2 Reviews:". Retrieved 2007-10-15.
- "Summoner PC Reviews:". Retrieved 2007-10-15.
- "THQ Is Dead. Here’s Where Its Games Are Going:". Retrieved 2014-03-13.
- "THQ's franchises and studios to be auctioned off on a "title by title" basis:". Retrieved 2014-03-13.
- "Going once, going twice! Gearbox picks up Homeworld in THQ auction:". Retrieved 2014-03-13.
- "THQ auction results: Nordic Games takes Darksiders, Red Faction; 505 Games is Drawn to Life:". Retrieved 2014-03-13.
- "And Everything Else From THQ Went To… Nordic Games?:". Retrieved 2014-03-13.
- "Now Available on Steam - Summoner, 20% off!:". Retrieved 2014-03-13.
- "Steam Publishers - Nordic Games:". Retrieved 2014-03-13.
- Official website (archived from the original)
- Summoner at GameSpot
- Summoner at IGN
- Summoner at MobyGames