The Mark of Kri
|The Mark of Kri|
|Developer(s)||SCE San Diego Studio|
|Release date(s)||NA July 29, 2002
With an art team consisting mostly of former 2D animators, The Mark of Kri offered a juxtaposition of cartoonish character designs and graphic violence while employing a unique visual style influenced by various Polynesian cultures and art. The game was followed by Rise of the Kasai, which was released in April 2005.
The protagonist, Rau Utu, is known as a great warrior. Trained by his mentor and adopted father, Baumusu, he was taught stealth and extraordinary skill with his sword. He was also taught to help those in need rather than act as a mercenary. The games begins with Rau being asked a favor by the village tavern keeper, he says that bandits are keeping business away and asks Rau to look into it. After Rau takes care of the bandits, news of his prowess as a warrior spreads far and wide.
This leads to a mysterious man showing up in the tavern and offers Rau money for his services. Rau travels to the forest is of Heiadoko, where he was asked to take a piece of parchment from the tomb of Sambu-usu. This parchment actually being one of the marks of Kri - human skin. Despite the uneasy feeling that Rau has about the man he accepts his offer. Rau returns home from his job to find that he's been taken advantage of by the mysterious man.
The man was a member of the Kasai, an evil organization devote in its efforts to rule the world, and that the money Rau received was counterfeit. He then is told by an elderly woman to head north to find a tree and eat its fruit. This tree informs him of the Mark of Kri and his destiny to protect a captured boy holding the fifth mark that the Dark One will soon have in his possession. This oracle tells him he will be among the gods and has a great destiny. She also tells him that the sixth mark - the last one - is well protected.
He then travels to the heavily guarded temple of Meifiti, to save a boy from being sacrificed. However, when Rau reaches to the boy, the boy was sacrificed by someone known as the "Dark One". Upon returning to the Inn, he discovers that his village has been attacked and destroyed. His mentor and adopted father, Baumusu, tells him of his path in life and that Rau must find his sister who was taken during the attack on the village, because his sister has the final bearer of the Mark of Kri. Rau travels to Rahtutusai, and encounters the Dark One. After defeating his hoard of Zombies, the Dark One asks Rau to join him on his quest for world domination, Rau declines, by throwing an axe at his head, killing him. Rau successfully rescues Tati after killing the Dark One . At the end, it is revealed that the Narrator of the story was Kuzo, the crow who accompanied Rau during his adventure.
The Mark of Kri received favorable reviews upon release, as GameRankings gave it a score of 81.46%, while Metacritic gave it 80 out of 100. The game was given a score of 8.5 out of 10 and awarded Game of the Month in the August 2002 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly.
Entertainment Weekly gave the game an A and called it "the most surprising, and visionary, action-adventure game of the summer." Maxim gave it a score of 8 out of 10 and stated that "As an engrossing adventure, Kri doesn’t cut very deep, but where quick, visceral payoffs are concerned, it goes straight for the jugular." However, The Cincinnati Enquirer gave it a score of three-and-a-half stars out of five and said the game was "a little on the short side (about 10 hours to complete or so) but does prove to be a fun fantasy romp for those who prefer action, stealth and attractive visuals."
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