Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader Interview

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Eschalon: Book II

Publisher:Interplay Entertainment
Developer:Reflexive Entertainment
Release Date:2003-08-13
  • Role-Playing
Platforms: Theme: Perspective:
  • Isometric
Buy this Game: Amazon ebay
With Lionheart set for a late summer release date and our last interview with Reflexive being close to a year ago, we thought we'd get an update on how the development progress has been going. Enjoy!

GB: Last time we spoke with you, Lionheart was close to being "feature complete". Can you tell us where you stand in the development cycle of the game now? Are you on target for an August release date?

IH: We are in the final stages of bug fixing and multiplayer testing. Multiplayer bugs are definitely are largest outstanding problem at the moment, but we are squashing those right and left. There is no more new content being added, and we are tightening up the quests, game play, spells, experience values, and just about everything else that comes with putting an RPG together. We'll make it.

GB: How has the multiplayer aspect of the game turned out? Is it still cooperative-only (no PvP)?

IH: It has turned out very well! Actually, the game is a blast to play with other people, especially ones that are into working together. One of the best scenarios I have put together is when one person is a ranged character with some thought magic spells (for direct damage and area affect spells) or divine healing spells and at least one other person is a melee character (one-handed, two-handed or unarmed). The melee guy buffs up his AC and melee attacks as much as possible using buffing spells, traits, perks, magical items and skill points, with a few points in the absorb spirit spell. The ranged character buffs up his ranged weapon skill and some magical direct damage, and they go to work. The melee guy wades in, slaughtering everything, while the ranged guy plunks them off. They are usually busy with the melee guy and the ranged character can do a lot of critical hits from range. After the battle, the melee guy sucks the spirit from the corpses, giving himself some much needed health. Really a blast!

And yes, it is cooperative only, just as we designed from the beginning.

GB: What foes will players be facing throughout the game? Care to elaborate on some of the more powerful adversaries?

ED: There are a wide variety of adversaries in Lionheart. Many enemies in the dungeons will be generally hostile to any intruders no matter what your business is. Other monsters and characters will be your adversaries if you are pursuing a specific faction path, while it's possible to befriend that same group if you choose another faction point. For instance, the Inquisition asks you to rescue a captured Inquisitor who is being held hostage by a particularly vicious tribe of goblins. If you rescue the Inquisitor, you will likely have to fight the goblins, unless you have a very high diplomacy. Alternatively, if you wanted to play a meaner character, you could become friends with the goblins and do quests for them, for instance the Khan himself might ask you to take care of a powerful bounty hunter who has been killing goblins outside of the village.

Beyond the hordes of undead, goblins, trolls, and other enemies you'll fight in Lionheart, there is a powerful group of '˜demon spirits' that oppose you. While I don't want to spoil too much, I can say that they each take a different form and wield their own special power and are pretty tough boss monsters. In my opinion, these '˜demons' constitute some of the most challenging and fun encounters in the game.

GB: Can you tell us a bit about some of the in-game characters that have been announced, such as Isabel Forfienda, Miguel Cervantes, and Gorond?

ED: Most of the NPCs that offer to accompany you have something they want to accomplish and have their own agenda. Miguel Cervantes has been hunting a dangerous spirit across the streets of Barcelona and when you encounter him he asks you to help him join his cause. The problem is, no one else can see the spirit that haunts Miguel, so you will have to trust him and follow him across the city. Suffice it to say, the city guard have had enough of Miguel's antics, and it will fall to you to keep him out of trouble. I won't get into specifics of how the quest resolves, because that's entirely up to you..

Another character who needs your aid is Hernan Cortes. After a disastrous expedition to the New World, Cortes is penniless and in serious debt to a moneylender in Barcelona. He has a daring plan to raise money to save his last remaining ship, but it will require remarkable bravery on your part to even begin the expedition, because Cortes lost his arm during the expedition and is unable to wield his sword. The quest to help Cortes is a fairly large one and I think one of the most rewarding in the game.