Sacred is an action role-playing game for Microsoft Windows released in 2004. It takes place on the magical continent of Ancaria, with characters of various races (dark elf, wood elf, vampiress, etc.) each with their own missions. More than 1.8 million copies of the game were sold worldwide. In 2008 Template:WP:Linux Game Publishing announced that they would port the game to the Template:WP:Linux operating system .
Sacred was developed by Studio II Software and Ascaron Entertainment and published in 2004 by Encore in the USA release. It is often considered very similar in style to Blizzard Entertainment's Diablo series, often referred to as being in the Diablo clone class.
Upon beginning the game, players are given a choice to start with one of six different character types :
- Gladiator: a strong, barbarian-like fighter
- Dark Elf: a cunning, trap and poison-using warrior
- Wood Elf: a long range sniper
- Vampiress: a knight-like fighter who can turn into a vampire
- Battle-Mage: a mage who may also acquire weapon skills
- Seraphim: an angel-like fighter with many blessings and light-oriented spells
Each character begins in a different part of Ancaria (the continent that Sacred takes place within), and with a different starting quest. For example, the Gladiator starts in a colosseum, enslaved by his master, while the Seraphim starts in a church. The Dark Elf starts on a cliff with a Wood Elf companion. Throughout the game, the characters all receive different sub-quests.
Each character class is also restricted to a certain set of items, and has a different set of skills. To increase these skill levels, characters must find runes which correspond to those skills, a rather novel system in contrast to the more mainstream model of skill points. Some character classes have identical skills, but the runes from one class cannot be used to advance skills in another class. Runes may be traded.
A great Sakkara demon was conjured into existence by the necromancer Shaddar. The conjuring went wrong, and the Sakkara demon is now loose in the world of Ancaria. The heroes must find the five elements of Ancaria (wind, fire, earth, water, void), and use them to defeat the monster. Each hero has different objectives along the way, but eventually, they all lead up to this one final quest.
At the first glance, the graphics of Sacred looks like a mixture of 2D and 3D: the floors and walls are in 2D, while the player, monsters, and all objects that the player can interact with are in 3D. Unlike in Diablo II there is no perspective effect to give a pseudo-3D movement to the user, so the environment looks very static and therefore two-dimensional.
Despite the optical illusion the floor is in fact a three-dimensional plane, modelled to resemble slightly irregular natural ground. The light radius surrounding the player (which is usually a perfect circle on flat floors) is affected by the floor variations, which reveals slight differences in height and texture. This does not affect the gameplay or movement of the character (which is still restricted to 2D movement) and is therefore purely cosmetic.
Because of this rather minor effect, embedding 3D-objects into what resembles a 2D-environment more than a true three-dimensional gameworld, Sacred has on occasion been referred to as a semi-3D game.
The whole of Sacred takes place on the continent of Ancaria, where there are several towns and villages to be visited. Even when you begin the game more than 70% of Ancaria is already available to be traveled on. To the south of Ancaria, there is a vast desert and lava-ridden plains. In the north, there is a wall of mountains and an icy backdrop. In both the east and the west there are large forests, blocking the way and stopping further travel. In the game there is an option to buy horses, which can be used for faster travel and to battle opponents, but will not affect your ability to traverse difficult terrain in most situations, and you cannot equip any special moves except the default horse special move.
Sacred features a vast array of items that can be obtained from shops, various containers (chests, barrels, graves...), dead monsters or "magical hiding places" in many of the rocks and bushes throughout Ancaria, which are indicated by a yellow sparkle. Many of the items can be only equipped by one type of character, like wings, which can only be equipped by a Seraphim.
There are also several potion types, such as the typical health heal, but there are other types, like Potions of Undead death, which stops Undead from reviving once you kill them, and "Potions of Concentration", which regenerate your combo attacks so you can use them faster. There are no mana-heal potions in Sacred, because mana is not a feature of the game. Also, monsters occasionally drop a rune that increases a certain skill for a certain character, if used.
If the player owns a horse several different types of saddles can be bought to be used on it. These saddles increase the speed, defense, and damage done by the horse. Only 1 horse may be owned at a time, and the horse can be damaged and killed.
The names of items are in five different colors, which represent different quality classes of equipment:
- white - basic item
- blue - magical item
- yellow - rare item
- brown/golden - unique item
- green - belongs to a set
Sometimes, a monster drops a set item. Much like in Diablo II these set items will become much more powerful when gathered together and are very useful and sought-after in multiplayer games. However, this is not to say that unique items are inferior to set items. Unique items are usually individually better than set items.
Some items also can be imbued with better stats. If you take an item with a number of "slots," indicated by small boxes in the inventory screen, you will be able to imbue it by taking it to a blacksmith and then using either jewellery, a rune, skeleton skull or one of the blacksmith's techniques on it up to as many times as there are slots in it. Once imbued you can remove 1 rune or piece of jewellery from it, but all other items in the slots are lost when you do this. Though you can't use a rune or jewellery which isn't of your class, you can socket it in an item and then benefit of its magical and possible stat-raising properties.
Every character in Sacred has a different set of skills that are available to them. The only way to obtain them is to find a rune of that particular skill and use it to make it available to use for you. Each character has between 11 and 22 different skills that can be unlocked and used. To increase your level in a skill, you must find another rune for that skill and use it.
To use a skill, you have to drag it to one of your available skill slot, or right click it in your inventory.
There are also several "combo masters" spread throughout Ancaria, which can combine up to four separate skills into a combo, which you can use in the game. The combo masters can also trade runes you cannot use or don't need for a rune of your choice. You can trade 2 runes for 1 random rune or 3 runes for a random rune of your class. If you give him four runes of any character class and pay him 2000 gold pieces, he will give you a rune of your choice from within your character class.
Ancaria has many enemies, such as: bandits, deserting soldiers, elves, undead, animals, monsters, and demons. There are also several powerful dragons in Ancaria of which all but one can be fought and defeated. Enemies respawn whenever a player loads a game and are generated in random positions throughout a certain area. Occasionally, a player encounters an enhanced version of a monster.
- Sacred - the original game, was released on February 2004
- Sacred Plus - Free expansion pack, was released on October 2004. It adds 2 regions, monsters, quests, items
- Sacred Underworld - Expansion pack, was released on April 2005. It adds 2 player characters (Daemon and Dwarf), 6 regions, 2 acts, new monsters and items
- Sacred Gold - Released on August 2005, this version is the full release. It contains: Sacred (original), the Sacred Plus expansion, and the Sacred Underworld expansion
- Sacred 2: Fallen Angel - September 2008. A prequel to Sacred with Upgraded 3D graphics and opposing quest lines (good and evil). The Ascaron trailer from E3 2006 can be viewed here.
Region differences Edit
There is a difference in the USA release because of the publisher Encore's concern for sales. Encore wanted a Teen rating for the game so they had Ascaron remove the ability to turn on/off the violence in the game.
Recently, a patch has been released for Sacred Gold which updates to version 2.28 (all releases.) This patch happens to revert it back to the original format before Encore asked to make the game Teen rated. By making a change in the settings.cfg, Violence can be re-enabled. Also the copy-protection scheme happens to get disabled by this patch in the USA release.
Easter eggs Edit
One tombstone reads "Here lies A.R.Malion" which is a reference to the fact that the game had begun development as Armalion - a game set in The Dark Eye-universe - by developer Ikarion Software. Ikarion was forced to declare itself bankrupt and was acquired by Ascaron, who built Sacred on top of Armalion.
In one Section of the map, the items are west of Drakeden there is a secret path leading through the woods from behind a barn, at the top of this path is a lake and just off this lake is the hockey mask and machette of Jason Vorhees from the Friday the 13th series, this gear can only be worn by the Gladiator at a certain skill level.
Also, in one of the missions start in a tavern called Ascaron, the creators of the game.
German power metal band Blind Guardian is expected to participate in the game's soundtrack.
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