King's Field IV

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King's Field IV
King's Field IV.jpg
Japanese packaging
Developer(s) FromSoftware
Publisher(s)
  • JP: FromSoftware
Director(s) Rintaro Yamada
Satoru Yanagi
Series King's Field
Platform(s) PlayStation 2
Release
  • JP: October 4, 2001
  • NA: March 25, 2002
  • PAL: March 28, 2003
Genre(s) First person, role-playing
Mode(s) Single-player

King's Field IV, released in North America as King's Field: The Ancient City, is a medieval-themed first-person role-playing video game produced by FromSoftware for the PlayStation 2 in 2001. It is the fourth game in the King's Field series. Agetec published the North America release in 2002, while Metro 3D published the Europe release in 2003.

Plot[edit]

In the land of Heladin, something is amiss. Their king, smitten by a strange idol that was given to him as a gift, lies dying. The country was enveloped with a strange sorrow, a certain darkness that stains the soul of man. Ever since the idol was brought into the kingdom, the once prosperous nation fell into a state of corruption and decay. Fearing for the life of his king and home, the sword master Septiego took a battalion of his best men to return the idol which was believed to be the source of this tragedy. Alas, the party was neither seen nor heard from again. The idol was presumed lost forever, but the decay of the nation continued.

Meanwhile, in the adjoining kingdom of Azalin, a shrouded figure appears at the doorstep of Prince Devian. From within his cloak, the dark stranger produced the object of Heladin’s corruption: The Idol of Sorrow. The idol was originally taken from the ruined depths of the Holy Land, now known as the Land of Disaster, and given to the unsuspecting king of Heladin. If the idol remained outside of the ancient city, Heladin, and possibly Azalin, was doomed to mirror the twisted metropolis that spanned the vast underground caverns of the Land of Disaster.

With strong resolve, Devian embarked on his quest to return the cursed idol and return prosperity and vitality to his neighboring kingdom. His adventure though the ancient city would lead him to many discoveries long since lost after the collapse of the Holy Land. He would encounter the last vestiges of Septiego’s troupe, and eventually discover their master’s fate. Prince Devian would learn about the ancient and wise Forest Folk, the neighboring Earth Folk, and their war against the nightmarish Dark Folk. All of these secrets and more would be revealed to the young Prince, but does he have the strength of heart to harbor such monstrous truths?

Reception[edit]

On release, Famitsu magazine scored the game a 30 out of 40.[1] Game Informer magazine scored the game a 6.5 out of 10.[2]

Character names in the N. American localization[edit]

Before the release of the game as King's Field: The Ancient City in North America, there were a number of fans of the series using what is now called a Yahoo.com "Group". Discussing possible plotlines, characterizations, and aspects of gameplay in the upcoming release, they were noticed by a member of the group, who was also an ASCII Entertainment employee, in charge of translation and localization of the Japanese game for the English/N.American market. The group, known on the site as "The Verdite Inn", collaborated on a community-driven storyline based in the world of the first two North American releases. Out of respect for the group's opinions, imaginations, and their support for the games, the actual names or usernames of the contributing members were used as the names of certain NPCs.

These were often associated with a role they had explored in "The Verdite Inn" community website. For example, the first NPC shopkeeper in the game who attempts to guide and help the Player Character is David Bunch, real name of the only group administrator made aware of the naming before the game's release. He kept the plans to honor the club secret until the day of release, when a member found his character in-game and asked about it on the forum. His dialogue reflects some of his quotes from the website.

Many other characters, including Jamarc Neely, Duhrin Pathwarden, and Arx Angelos, are known to be derived from usernames of the site, and have dialogue associated with, or appearances similar to, their club personas.

Lee Maynor is either found wounded near a giant spider, wishing to die, or already dead and possessed. He is the only NPC in the game that can be killed without labeling the Player Character a murderer and limiting shop interactions, due to his eventual enemy status. Lee Maynor (his real name) spoke on the site about suffering from arachnophobia, so his character's poisoning by the spider boss fit in line with the nature of honoring the real people involved with the group.

Another NPC using a real name is Ramirez Martin, who was the webmaster of the now defunct kings-field.com, which continued to keep the group connected long after changes to the Yahoo.com site made "The Verdite Inn" less accessible. He is also an artist, who contributed a number of images of his related work to the group, which gave further detail to the localizers for tailoring the choice of members' in-game characters.

References[edit]

  1. ^ プレイステーション2 - KING'S FIELD IV. Weekly Famitsu. No.915 Pt.2. Pg.89. 30 June 2006.
  2. ^ 'Reviews - PlayStation 2 Quickies': King's Field: The Ancient City. Vol. XII. No. 4. Issue 108. Pg. 77. April 2002

External links[edit]