The Bravest Coward in Gallowmere
“It has risen again - Sir Daniel Fortesque see? The hero of Gallowmere who fell at the first charge! The fog of war and the shrouds of time have conspired to turn the arrow fodder into the savior of the day. But we knows better…” said the first gargoyle. “I’ll show you!” mumbled Sir Daniel. “Let it alone! Fate has given it a second chance, a chance to forget the ignoble truth, a chance to defeat Zarok and live up to the legend. We hope it does well.” Those are the words to the beginning of one of the best video games ever made. The game is called MediEvil, and it’s about a disgraced warrior who comes back from the dead to fight the evil of the land. MediEvil is one of the best games ever created due to the ease in which the player is able to immerse themselves into the virtual world around them. The three most important aspects of any game are music/effects, game play, and story. If any one of these qualities are lacking, one is stuck with a sub-par playing experience. MediEvil is one in only a handful of games that delivers in all aspects of judgment.
A roaring orchestra greets players of MediEvil as they begin their gaming experience. The music in MediEvil, offers a vast amount of depth to the overall mood of the game. In the beginning level “Graveyard” the first thing the player hears is the crackling of lightning and the loud ominous ringing of a church bell. The task given to player is to escape the zombie infested graveyard. The music begins with a slow shimmering medley from a single violin, which expands into a loud union of organ notes followed by a spine tingling chime. The harmony in which the music interacts with the environment is top notch. The orange glow of torch lit fires mingles perfectly with the jumping sway of the violin twang. The sound effects in the game mesh perfectly in all areas that they are applied. The moans of restless zombies is classic, sounding like a person yawning while chattering there teeth. The thwacking, screeching sound of swords against stone sends chills up my spin to this day. Bubbling muck drips and oozes from the ground in the enchanted forest level. Players navigate Dan threw ensnaring trees and shrubs. The music and effects of this game are so good they have become a permanent soundtrack to my life, whenever I go into a graveyard the sounds of MediEvil come to mind as fleeting ripples in my eardrums. Players have not experience true terror, until they stagger into an area, and have the music thump and pound as a new wave of enemies appear out of green mushy soil.
Fluid movements and simple range of motion are required attributes for good game play. MediEvil delivers these two perks nicely for a game of its time. Players are able to perform a variety of attacks and movements with general ease, weather its jumping from rune stone to rune stone, dogging fiery blast from an uptight dragon, to attacking an defending oneself from deranged mental patients with a fetish for head butting, MediEvil’s controls are tight and simple to master. Terrain plays a large role in overall game play, if a character is unable to proceed further due to sloppy placed land masses, or complex level navigation a generally fun game can turn into a nightmare. Everyone has seen or heard something so unbelievable that it is hard to except that the events occurred, even though it happened right in front of you. These events occur in videogames frequently and have the effect on the player to cause them to yell out obscenities that would make the late George Carlin blush, then slam the controller into a wall and watch it shatter into tiny pieces. Unfortunately MediEvil suffers from this symptom of bad game play. Areas that involve large amounts of jumping can be difficult to maneuver on because the player can get confused into believing they can move places they really can’t. The bad aspect is that this can cause some gamers to simply stop playing the game altogether. The positive aspect is that it forces the some players to try harder to overcome the challenges faced and try an find an inventive solution for their problem. MediEvil is lucky in that the few bad aspects of the game play can be used as justifications for prolonged play
An amazing story can bring people to tears of joy. Faulty or bad stories however can cause frustration, anger, and rebellion in a once loyal follower. The journey of Sir Dan, his quest to save the people who honor him based on a lie, his struggle to earn the title of hero instead of relying on the clout of a lie is one that personally raised the bar when it comes to heroics. After playing MediEvil, the image of a hero in my mind is no longer that of a broad shouldered, square jawed man of steel, but that of a Brittle boned everyman who acted on the needs of those around him over the needs of himself. As the game progresses Dan, who is initially angry at his disgraceful death an eager to have legitment heroic achievements as quickly as possible, transforms into a caring humorous guy, who makes the best out of bad situations and never takes shortcuts for personal gain. He grows as a human being and becomes a hero of heroes. Sir Dan taught me how to humble myself under presser, and always look for the best in a bad situation. From personal character growth to the interactions Dan has with other characters and enemies the story of MediEvil ever ceases to ensnare my attention and imagination when I think of ways heroes could become more relatable.
Rare is the game that is able to encapsulate the player into the story as completely as MediEvil does. I have been playing videogames for more than 14 years. Scarcely have a come across a game so good its characteristics and overall moral have stuck with me for such a long time. Many games suffer due to weak story, poor sound/music, and bad game play, MediEvil shines like a beacon in space as an example that good games can and will be created given time. Gamers nowadays tend to allow bad games to thrive instead of tank. Gamers have become complacent with the true idea of what it is to be gamer. They allow themselves to be force fed garbage and be told it’s good, so as not to anger the companies which these games were spawned. As a Gamer it’s my duty to be objective and honest when it comes to gaming. MediEvil is such a great game because it’s a prime example of what real games can be. I believe that if gamers want real change in our community we must end this “season” of complacency, and trust in the old school ways of judgment based on real merits, not flashy effects, and expensive commercial. I sincerely hope that one day MediEvil is given a proper sequel, and presented to a new generation of gamers. Hopefully I will be there, if it happens… hopefully I can tell the youngsters what it means to game. And show them what a real videogame master piece is. Hopefully they will listen