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|Platform(s)||PlayStation 2, GameCube|
Summoner 2 is a action role-playing developed by Volition and published by THQ. It is the sequel to Summoner, It was originally released for PlayStation 2 in 2002 but was later re-released for the GameCube with some visual changes as Summoner: A Goddess Reborn in 2003. The player takes on the role of Maia, Queen of Halassar, who is the goddess Laharah reborn and can transform herself into summons. Maia must heal the legendary Tree of Eleh, the source of Aosi, the language of creation. Along the way, she meets a host of characters, including Yago from the original Summoner game.
Similar to its predecessor, combat is in real time, with spells cast over time depending on the complexity of the spell. The chain attack system from the first game was removed in favor of a more traditional button combo and guard system. Skills are increased as the characters level up, and equipment is collected, including skills that are specific for AI controlled characters, meaning the player can focus playing a specific character if desired. Some enemies will respawn over time, sometimes even appearing behind the party in certain areas that are open to the wild. Unlike the first game, overworld travel is done point to point, meaning there are no random encounters on the field.
Also unlike the first game, which was played with an unchangeable 5 member party (except for the summon), Summoner 2 only allows up to 3 characters to be in the party at once, although these characters can be picked from a group of 7. The main character Maia is usually required to remain in the party though, and some stages won't allow character switching at all.
In addition to forwarding the main plot, Maia can also directly influence the development of the kingdom. She can donate gold collected from her adventures to improve the health services, education, and military of her realm, and also issue judgements on a variety of political issues which have repercussions later in the game.
The game takes place 20 years after the previous. Halassar, a province in the Empire of Galdyr, distant from the kingdoms of Medeva and Orenia, was foretold as the birthplace of the Goddess Laharah Reborn. The priestesses of Laharah declared Maia as the goddess when she was an infant and armies rose up in Maia's name, led by the Emperor's brother Prince Taurgis, making Halassar independent from Galdyr and Maia, the Queen of the Halassar Empire. Traveling with her is Sangaril, an orphan trained by the Shadow Clan assassins of the Munari, who was sent to kill Maia as a child, but instead became her sworn bodyguard. While reclaiming the Book of Prophets from the Halassar Palace traitor Dama Sivora, Maia activates a rune stone embedded in the pirate island stronghold of Prince Neru, on the Isle of Teomura, gaining the ability to transform into one of the 4 Summons. After recovering the Book of the Prophets and returning to the Palace she learns more about her destiny.
The Prophecy states that the Tree of Eleh, which gave life to the world, was shattered by the Tempest, an evil storm. Maia, the Goddess Laharah Reborn, is tasked with restoring the Tree as prophecy dictates. Maia next responds to a surprise attack by the remnants of the King of Adamur, the kingdom which was greatly truncated when she was identified as the Goddess Laharah. Attacking the Imperial Sepulchre the Empire has seized, Maia encounters Krobelus, under control of the Tempest, and defeats him. Curious to Krobelus' knowledge of her Prophecy, she begins to track him to the Prison of Indubal, where he has been held prisoner after being seized by Imperial forces of King Azraman, King of Galdyr. Krobelus explains that he was possessed, and that they must travel to the ice caverns of Eleh to find the gateway to the Realm of Twilight so that he can free himself of the evil and where Maia hopes to discover the key to restoring the Tree of Eleh. They hope to use a flying vessel which belongs to the legendary Morbazan who lives in Munari City, home to an aquatic race that worship many gods. There they encounter Morbazan, who tells the Goddess he will lend them his vessel in exchange for Iari. Not knowing what that is, Maia delves into the Adytum of the Unseen, and finds Iari who turns out to be a sentient weapon machine. She returns to Morbazan, who agrees to lead them up north to the Eleh Caverns, where the group find the monk Yago of Iona, from the first Summoner game, who guides them to a fragment of the Tree of Eleh, which acts as a portal to the multiplanar Realm of Twilight. Maia finds herself in a place called the Wheel of the Perduellion, controlled by a race who define themselves by a complicated system of Masks and are intent on slaying all of their gods. The Perduellion inform Maia that her friends are trapped and can only be freed if she destroys their god, which entails complex quests in the Temple of the Archons, the Bibliopolis of Lost Tomes, the Tribunal, Vandal's Ruins to battle Vandal and his daughter, Nepenthes, and Paludal's Bridge with mud golems. She frees Morbazan from a trial by combat, discovering who he really is; that he and Iari are the last of the Unseen, the former gods and leaders of the Perduellion. Once Maia has freed all of her party, they must fight the Perduellion's new tyrant ruler Ushandul and travel to the stronghold of Sharangir to control his tower and therefore defeat the powerful Khargathalan. After this the party are automatically transported back to the Palace of Halassar except for Maia, who is sent alone to the Dream of Eleh to speak with the spirits of Rosalind, the Abbess of Iona and Yago's daughter, and the God Urath who was made whole again in the first Summoner game. She learns from them more about the path she wishes to go down in order to save the kingdom and defeat the Tempest. Maia's trusted friend and guide Surdama Kir betrays her and becomes a slave to the Tempest. In the Palace Throne Room, Maia and her friends travel to the Labyrinth of the Guardians, where they are attacked in four portals. After completion of the Labyrinth, Maia is able to access the 13th Summon and its powers. Showdowns at the Eye of the Storm and the Celestial Sphere follow, with the weakened Maia joining with Iari in a final desperate move, to become more powerful and defeat the Tempest once and for all. The game ends with Maia/Iari defeating the Tempest and becoming the Tree of Eleh itself.
Maia - The main protagonist of the game, Maia is declared the Goddess Laharah Reborn, based upon the mark on her hand (implied to be the Summoner's Mark) and placed on the throne of Halassar by the woman who raised her and devoted her life to the Prophecy, Surdama Kir. Maia loves her kingdom deeply, and has earned the undying loyalty of her main retainers, including Sangaril and Taurgis. Maia is the only character who can transform into the summons, which include Blood, Tree, Sand, and Eye, each with their own unique set of powers, strengths, and weaknesses. Maia also has the ability of using sword or blunt weapons, and is the only character that can equip a shield. She possesses the magic of Necromancy and Fire.
Sangaril - a Munari adopted by the Shadow Clan assassins, a distant sect of the Munari race, which trains and lives in the Fallen City of Hopiris. Sangaril was assigned to kill the young Queen Maia, but realized that the pure goodness in Maia outweighed the price of the Shadow Clan death contract. Sangaril is Maia's personal guard and saves her life many times. Sangaril has no magic skills but she has access to the unique skill tree Stealth, allowing her to sneak, steal, and pick locks. She also has the ability to craft poisons at a certain point in the game, making her attacks more powerful.
Taurgis - the General of Halassar, tutor and military trainer to Queen Maia. He is from the neighboring kingdom of Galdyr, younger brother to King Azraman of Galdyr. Taurgis left his brother's retinue to enter Maia's service after receiving a dream in which his deceased father confirmed Maia as the Goddess Reborn. During Halassar's Battle for Independence from Galdyr, Taurgis led Maia's armies to victory against Galdyr and won Halassar's independence. Taurgis can use sword, blunt or axe weapons, and is a pure melee fighter. He has no magic, but can hold his own with high defense and offense.
Prince Neru - a rogue Pirate Lord from the Isle of Teomura, which Maia and Sangaril visit at the beginning of the game to recover the stolen book of the Prophets. He is a "monk" character, with access to the Holy and Heal skill tree, and also the warrior tree. He fights hand-to-hand combat and uses a variety of martial arts techniques. Throughout the game his identity is questioned, as more and more people recognize him as different people, from different realms. This leaves him being a very uncertain character to the player.
Morbazan - Originally found to be a talented, unmatched gladiator of Mas Ora's arena in Munari City, his true nature is not uncovered until the group reaches the Realm of Twilight, where the gladiator is then put on trial under mysterious circumstances. Maia must stand in as his advocate, and later Morbazan explains his and Iari's past. He is one of the Unseen, and has access to Necromancy and Cold spells. But his biggest weapon is his ability to suck the soul from living things, and use them in gem crafting or to power his spells.
Iari - Originally found to be a weapon/machine that Morbazan desires as payment for lending Maia and her party his flying vessel and guiding them through the Eleh Caverns. She then states that her and Morbazan are the only two survivors of the Unseen race, feared by the Munari, and original gods of the Perduellion. Iari and Morbazan were lifemates but Iari was dying and Morbazan created the mechanical body as a vessel for Iari's soul. Iari is the only one that can power the siege tower and attack Khargathalan. She has the ability to equip gems, each with a specific set of attributes that can strengthen some and weaken others. She also has access to the Energy spell tree, and can first person mode aim at enemies.
Yago - a monk of Iona, cast out many years ago when Joseph the summoner from the first game was born. Yago left his wife and unborn child in search of the Summoner to help guide him to his destiny. He appears in this game in search of his daughter Rosalind who has disappeared from the monastery. Yago is met in the Eleh Caverns, and dispels the barrier he placed to let Maia and her party proceed. He is the only character with access to all the elements: Energy, Cold, and Fire. He also can use the Heal skill tree, but Yago has poor melee skills and low health, making him an easy, but powerful target.
Krobelus - The so-called Hierophant of Urath, Krobelus is first seen in-game in the Imperial Sepulchre, though he claims not to 'serve a god by that name'. After the battle, Krobelus disappears until later a Galdyran emissary appears in the Palace at Halassar, informing Maia that they found Krobelus. He serves in the Prison of Indubal, a horrid place that is reserved for only the worst offenders of the Kingdom of Galdyr. He was placed in a mechanism that is a complex puzzle composed of scorching light, a pit and chains, which he may only be freed by simultaneously pressing each release button. After securing Krobelus' release from Indubal, Maia interrogates the man who proceeds to explain a past venture with Morbazan to a fragment of the tree of Eleh. It was there he encountered the Tempest, the very entity that shattered Eleh in the beginning, and the monster who now dwells inside of Krobelus. Krobelus is a temporary party member, and leaves during the Fragment of Eleh stage. He cannot equip armor, but has access to Energy, Heal, Holy, and Cold spells.