Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled
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|Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled|
North American box art
Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled is a role-playing video game for the Nintendo DS developed by Studio Archcraft, a video game developer which is based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Black Sigil was published by Graffiti Entertainment on June 9, 2009. The game was originally planned for release on Nintendo's Game Boy Advance system, but Studio Archcraft made the decision to move the game to the Nintendo DS as by the time the game was nearing completion, the GBA market was starting to dry up. When the game became well known around the Internet in 2006, it was called Project Exile.
Bel Lenora is a magical kingdom where everyone can use magic. A long time ago, a man who could not use magic named Vai entered Bel Lenora and brought about a great tragedy. At high cost to the kingdom, Vai was banished by one of the kingdom's Generals. Fifteen years after that event, a young man named Kairu ventures into Bel Lenora, and it is found that he is also unable to use magic.
Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled is fully compatible with the DS touch screen and stylus. Players can choose to play the game completely using simple button, the stylus, or a combination of both. The game follows the traditional console RPG format dividing the game into different segments of exploration, combat, and plot scenes. The game allows for traditional data recording via "save points" as well as a quick-save feature which can be used at any time (but isn't as reliable as a "real save"). An interview with Graffiti at E3 2009 confirmed that the game has seven endings along with lots of sidequests and NPC dialogue that changes each time the lead character changes.
The game is a console styled RPG, and features the traditional turn-based combat style that usually accompanies the genre. Where Black Sigil differs from most RPGs is its attempts to add a tactical aspect which requires the player to observe the positions of his or her characters and also the positions of the enemies. Seven of the eight characters have a predetermined skill-set, and the eighth can be customized. Enemies are not visible during exploration as the game uses the traditional random encounter format.
The world of Black Sigil is quite large and contains anywhere from 50-60 locations. Over 1000 maps were made when the game was in production. Players can travel on the world map in various vehicles that are found throughout the game.
The game's protagonist is a calm and collected young swordsman in the service of Duke Averay, the man who defeated the "magicless" General Vai long before the events of the game. A war-orphan taken in by the duke, but is unable to use magic which causes the people of Bel Lenora to mock him and view him as a threat. He only seems to open up to his younger sister, Aurora.
By orders of the King, Kairu is eventually exiled into the cave Vai was banished to after his defeat. The duke hands him the Averay blade before sealing the cave.
Kairu's weapon is the sword, and his element is Water.
Daughter of Duke Averay; an assertive, and strong-willed, sorceress. Aurora usually looks out for her adopted brother, Kairu, even going as far as using her magic on those who insult him in her presence. When he is banished from Bel Lenora, she follows him into exile.
Aurora's weapon is the whip, and her magic element is Fire.
A smooth-tongued stranger Kairu and Aurora run into at the beginning of their journey through Artania. He appears interested in Averay's sword that Kairu wields. Nephi helps the pair numerous times, and seems to especially care for Aurora, but he vanishes mysteriously over and over again.
Nephi uses throwing weapons such as knives, darts and balls. His element is Dark.
A white-haired woman who wields magic in the world of Artania, and currently works as a commander in the Genufan army. The Sammarkans refer to her as the "witch" but repeatedly fail to capture her. Isa is quiet and aloof, but becomes especially sensitive whenever the subject of her home village is brought up.
Isa wields dual scimitars. Her magic element is Wind, and she has command over some powerful healing spells.
The only other person known in Bel Lenora to have no ability to use magic at all. 15 years before the beginning of the game, he betrayed Bel Lenora and led an army of demons and their worshippers against the kingdom. He is a playable character as a member of the party.
Vai's weapon is the rapier; his element is Light.
A hearty treasure hunter who claims to be the best at the trade. He is originally an upperclassman from the town of Tradefair. Rogurd ventures the land in search of a treasure he refers to as "IT". He has a rival named Gavin, who is also something of a friend, and the two repeatedly bump into each other in their hunt for "IT". Rogurd helps Kairu's group a couple of times before joining them.
Rogurd uses the axe as his weapon of choice. His element is Earth.
A young Ashen Eye with the special ability to use summons in battles.
Nym's weapon is the javelin, and he can use special magic in battle.
An optional party member, in the form of a living Doll open to wide customization. Doll's skill set is determined by what he has equipped. He is found in the doll factory east of the house of white stone entrance in the corridor of clouds.
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- Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled at MobyGames
- Official website of Studio Archcraft
- Graffiti Entertainment's Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled page
- Project Exile's message board at Studio Archcraft's forums
- Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled Hands-On Impression at RPGamer
- Interview with Graffiti at E3 2009
- Lead Art Designer's portfolio and art for Black Sigil