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Adoration, by Peter Paul Rubens.
The Church of Sant'Andrea al Quirinale, designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

Baroque (pronounced /bəˈroʊk/, bə-rohk) is an artistic style prevalent from the late 16th century to the early 18th century.[1] It is most often defined as "the dominant style of art in Europe between the Mannerist and Rococo eras, a style characterized by dynamic movement, overt emotion and self-confident rhetoric".[2] The popularity and success of the Baroque style was encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church, which had decided at the time of the Council of Trent that the arts should communicate religious themes in direct and emotional involvement.[3] The aristocracy also saw the dramatic style of Baroque architecture and art as a means of impressing visitors and expressing triumphant power and control. Baroque palaces are built around an entrance of courts, grand staircases and reception rooms of sequentially increasing opulence.

Contents

Evolution of the Baroque

Beginning around the year 1600, the demands for new art resulted in what is now known as the Baroque. The canon promulgated at the Council of Trent (1545–63) with which the Roman Catholic Church addressed the representational arts by demanding that paintings and sculptures in church contexts should speak to the illiterate rather than to the well-informed, is customarily offered as an inspiration of the Baroque, which appeared, however, a generation later. This turn toward a populist conception of the function of ecclesiastical art is seen by many art historians as driving the innovations of Caravaggio and the Carracci brothers, all of whom were working in Rome at that time.

Aeneas flees burning Troy, Federico Barocci, 1598.

The appeal of Baroque style turned consciously from the witty, intellectual qualities of 16th century Mannerist art to a visceral appeal aimed at the senses. It employed an iconography that was direct, simple, obvious, and dramatic. Baroque art drew on certain broad and heroic tendencies in Annibale Carracci and his circle, and found inspiration in other artists such as Caravaggio, and Federico Barocci nowadays sometimes termed 'proto-Baroque'.

Germinal ideas of the Baroque can also be found in the work of Michelangelo and Correggio.

Some general parallels in music make the expression "Baroque music" useful. Contrasting phrase lengths, harmony and counterpoint ousted polyphony, and orchestral color made a stronger appearance. (See Baroque music.) Similar fascination with simple, strong, dramatic expression in poetry, where clear, broad syncopated rhythms replaced the enknotted elaborated metaphysical similes employed by Mannerists such as John Donne and imagery that was strongly influenced by visual developments in painting, can be sensed in John Milton's Paradise Lost, a Baroque epic.

Though Baroque was superseded in many centers by the Rococo style, beginning in France in the late 1720s, especially for interiors, paintings and the decorative arts, Baroque architecture remained a viable style until the advent of Neoclassicism in the later 18th century. A prominent example, the Neapolitan palace of Caserta, a Baroque palace (though in a chaste exterior) that was not even begun until 1752.

In paintings, Baroque gestures are broader than Mannerist gestures: less ambiguous, less arcane and mysterious, more like the stage gestures of opera, a major Baroque artform. Baroque poses depend on contrapposto ("counterpoise"), the tension within the figures that moves the planes of shoulders and hips in counterdirections. It made the sculptures almost seem like they were about to move.

The drier, chastened, less dramatic and coloristic, later stages of 18th century Baroque architectural style are often seen as a separate Late Baroque manifestation. (See Claude Perrault.) Academic characteristics in the neo-Palladian architectural style, epitomized by William Kent, are a parallel development in Britain and the British colonies: within interiors, Kent's furniture designs are vividly influenced by the Baroque furniture of Rome and Genoa, hierarchical tectonic sculptural elements, meant never to be moved from their positions, completed the wall decoratio. Baroque is a style of unity imposed upon rich, heavy detail.

Art historians, often Protestant ones, have traditionally emphasized that the Baroque style evolved during a time in which the Roman Catholic Church had to react against the many revolutionary cultural movements that produced a new science and new forms of religion—the Reformation. It has been said that the monumental Baroque is a style that could give the papacy, like secular absolute monarchies, a formal, imposing way of expression that could restore its prestige, at the point of becoming somehow symbolic of the Catholic Reformation. Whether this is the case or not, it was successfully developed in Rome, where Baroque architecture widely renewed the central areas with perhaps the most important urbanistic revision during this period of time.

Baroque painting

Still-life, by Portuguese painter Josefa de Óbidos, c.1679, Santarém, Portugal, Municipal Library

A defining statement of what Baroque signifies in painting is provided by the series of paintings executed by Peter Paul Rubens for Marie de Medici at the Luxembourg Palace in Paris (now at the Louvre),[4] in which a Catholic painter satisfied a Catholic patron: Baroque-era conceptions of monarchy, iconography, handling of paint, and compositions as well as the depiction of space and movement.

There were highly diverse strands of Italian baroque painting, from Caravaggio to Cortona; both approaching emotive dynamism with different styles. Another frequently cited work of Baroque art is Bernini's Saint Theresa in Ecstasy for the Cornaro chapel in Saint Maria della Vittoria, which brings together architecture, sculpture, and theatre into one grand conceit.[5]

The later Baroque style gradually gave way to a more decorative Rococo, which, through contrast, further defines Baroque.

The intensity and immediacy of baroque art and its individualism and detail—observed in such things as the convincing rendering of cloth and skin textures—make it one of the most compelling periods of Western art.

A rather different art developed out of northern realist traditions in 17th century Dutch Golden Age painting, which had very little religious art, and little history painting, instead playing a crucial part in developing secular genres such as still life, genre paintings of everyday scenes, and landscape painting. While the Baroque nature of Rembrandt's art is clear, the label is less often used for Vermeer and many other Dutch artists. Flemish Baroque painting shared a part in this trend, while also continuing to produce the traditional categories.

Baroque sculpture

In Baroque sculpture, groups of figures assumed new importance, and there was a dynamic movement and energy of human forms— they spiraled around an empty central vortex, or reached outwards into the surrounding space. For the first time, Baroque sculpture often had multiple ideal viewing angles. The characteristic Baroque sculpture added extra-sculptural elements, for example, concealed lighting, or water fountains. Aleijadinho in Brazil was also one of the great names of baroque sculpture, and his master work is the set of statues of the Santuário de Bom Jesus de Matosinhos in Congonhas. The soapstone sculptures of old testament prophets around the terrace are considered amongst his finest work.

The architecture, sculpture and fountains of Bernini (1598–1680) give highly charged characteristics of Baroque style. Bernini was undoubtedly the most important sculptor of the Baroque period. He approached Michelangelo in his omnicompetence: Bernini sculpted, worked as an architect, painted, wrote plays, and staged spectacles. In the late 20th century Bernini was most valued for his sculpture, both for his virtuosity in carving marble and his ability to create figures that combine the physical and the spiritual. He was also a fine sculptor of bust portraits in high demand among the powerful.

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Bernini's Cornaro chapel: the complete work of art

A good example of Bernini's work that helps us understand the Baroque is his St. Theresa in Ecstasy (1645–52), created for the Cornaro Chapel of the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome. Bernini designed the entire chapel, a subsidiary space along the side of the church, for the Cornaro family.

Saint Theresa, the focal point of the chapel, is a soft white marble statue surrounded by a polychromatic marble architectural framing. This structure works to conceal a window which lights the statue from above. In shallow relief, sculpted figure-groups of the Cornaro family inhabit in opera boxes along the two side walls of the chapel. The setting places the viewer as a spectator in front of the statue with the Cornaro family leaning out of their box seats and craning forward to see the mystical ecstasy of the saint. St. Theresa is highly idealized and in an imaginary setting. St. Theresa of Avila, a popular saint of the Catholic Reformation, wrote of her mystical experiences aimed at the nuns of her Carmelite Order; these writings had become popular reading among lay people interested in pursuing spirituality. In her writings, she described the love of God as piercing her heart like a burning arrow. Bernini literalizes this image by placing St. Theresa on a cloud while a Cupid figure holds a golden arrow (the arrow is made of metal) and smiles down at her. The angelic figure is not preparing to plunge the arrow into her heart— rather, he has withdrawn it. St. Theresa's face reflects not the anticipation of ecstasy, but her current fulfillment, which has been described as orgasmic.

This is widely considered the genius of Baroque although this mix of religious and erotic imagery was extremely offensive in the context of neoclassical restraint. However, Bernini was a devout Catholic and was not attempting to satirize the experience of a chaste nun. Rather, he aimed to portray religious experience as an intensely physical one. Theresa described her bodily reaction to spiritual enlightenment in a language of ecstasy used by many mystics, and Bernini's depiction is earnest.

The Cornaro family promotes itself discreetly in this chapel; they are represented visually, but are placed on the sides of the chapel, witnessing the event from balconies. As in an opera house, the Cornaro have a privileged position in respect to the viewer, in their private reserve, closer to the saint; the viewer, however, has a better view from the front. They attach their name to the chapel, but St. Theresa is the focus. It is a private chapel in the sense that no one could say mass on the altar beneath the statue (in 17th century and probably through the 19th) without permission from the family, but the only thing that divides the viewer from the image is the altar rail. The spectacle functions both as a demonstration of mysticism and as a piece of family pride.

Baroque architecture

Palace of Trier (Germany)
Ludwigsburg Palace near Stuttgart, Germany's largest Baroque Palace
Melk Abbey, in Austria in the Wachau valley (architect Jakob Prandtauer)

The Baroque style is noted as first being developed by Seljuk Turks, according to a number of academics like Hoag, John D (1975). Islamic architecture. London: Faber. ISBN 0571148689. In Baroque architecture, new emphasis was placed on bold massing, colonnades, domes, light-and-shade (chiaroscuro), 'painterly' color effects, and the bold play of volume and void. In interiors, Baroque movement around and through a void informed monumental staircases that had no parallel in previous architecture. The other Baroque innovation in worldly interiors was the state apartment, a processional sequence of increasingly rich interiors that culminated in a presence chamber or throne room or a state bedroom. The sequence of monumental stairs followed by a state apartment was copied in smaller scale everywhere in aristocratic dwellings of any pretensions.

Baroque architecture was taken up with enthusiasm in central Germany (see e.g. Ludwigsburg Palace and Zwinger Dresden), Austria and Russia (see e.g. Peterhof). In England the culmination of Baroque architecture was embodied in work by Sir Christopher Wren, Sir John Vanbrugh and Nicholas Hawksmoor, from ca. 1660 to ca. 1725. Many examples of Baroque architecture and town planning are found in other European towns, and in Latin America. Town planning of this period featured radiating avenues intersecting in squares, which took cues from Baroque garden plans.In Sicily, Baroque developed new shapes and themes as in Noto, Ragusa and Acireale "Basilica di San Sebastiano"

Another example of baroque architecture is the Cathedral of Morelia Michoacan in Mexico. Built in the 17th century by Vincenzo Barrochio it is one of the many baroque cathedrals in Mexico.

Baroque Architecture is "A style of architecture originating in Italy in the early 17th century and variously prevalent in Europe and the New World for a century and a half, characterized by free and sculptural use of the classical orders and ornament, dynamic opposition and interpenetration of spaces, and the dramatic combined effects of architecture, sculpture, painting, and the decorative arts." p. 133 A Visual Dictionary of Architecture by Francis D.K. Ching

Baroque theatre

In theatre, the elaborate conceits, multiplicity of plot turns, and variety of situations characteristic of Mannerism (Shakespeare's tragedies, for instance) were superseded by opera, which drew together all the arts into a unified whole.

Theatre evolved in the Baroque era and became a multimedia experience, starting with the actual architectural space. In fact, much of the technology used in current Broadway or commercial plays was invented and developed during this era. The stage could change from a romantic garden to the interior of a palace in a matter of seconds. The entire space became a framed selected area that only allows the users to see a specific action, hiding all the machinery and technology - mostly ropes and pulleys.

This technology affected the content of the narrated or performed pieces, practicing at its best the Deus ex Machina solution. Gods were finally able to come down - literally - from the heavens and rescue the hero in the most extreme and dangerous, even absurd situations.

The term Theatrum Mundi - the world is a stage - was also created. The social and political realm in the real world is manipulated in exactly the same way the actor and the machines are presenting/limiting what is being presented on stage, hiding selectively all the machinery that makes the actions happen.

The films Vatel, Farinelli, and the staging of Monteverdi's Orpheus at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, give a good idea of the style of productions of the Baroque period. The American musician William Christie and Les Arts Florissants have performed extensive research on all the French Baroque Opera, performing pieces from Charpentier and Lully, among others that are extremely faithful to the original 17th century creations.

Baroque literature and philosophy

Baroque actually expressed new values, which often are summarized in the use of metaphor and allegory, widely found in Baroque literature, and in the research for the "maraviglia" (wonder, astonishment — as in Marinism), the use of artifices. The psychological pain of Man -- a theme disbanded after the Copernican and the Lutheran revolutions in search of solid anchors, a proof of an "ultimate human power" -- was to be found in both the art and architecture of the Baroque period. Virtuosity was researched by artists (and the virtuoso became a common figure in any art) together with realism and care for details (some talk of a typical "intricacy").[citation needed]

The privilege given to external forms had to compensate and balance the lack of content that has been observed in many Baroque works: Marino's "Maraviglia", for example, is practically made of the pure, mere form. Fantasy and imagination should be evoked in the spectator, in the reader, in the listener. All was focused around the individual Man, as a straight relationship between the artist, or directly the art and its user, its client. Art is then less distant from user, more directly approaching him, solving the cultural gap that used to keep art and user reciprocally far, by Maraviglia.[citation needed] But the increased attention to the individual, also created in these schemes some important genres like the Romanzo (novel) and allowed popular or local forms of art, especially dialectal literature, to be put into evidence. In Italy this movement toward the single individual (that some define a "cultural descent", while others indicate it as a possible cause for the classical opposition to Baroque) caused Latin to be definitely replaced by Italian.[citation needed]

In Spain, the baroque writers are framed in the Siglo de Oro. Naturalism and sharply critical points of view on Spanish society are common among such conceptista writers as Quevedo, while culterano authors emphasize the importance of form with complicated images and the use of hyperbaton. In Catalonia the baroque took hold as well in Catalan language, with representatives including poets and dramaturgs such as Francesc Fontanella and Francesc Vicenç Garcia as well as the unique emblem book Atheneo de Grandesa by Josep Romaguera. In Colonial Spanish America some of the best-known baroque writers were Sor Juana and Bernardo de Balbuena, in Mexico, and Juan de Espinosa Medrano and Juan del Valle y Caviedes, in Peru.[citation needed]

In the Portuguese Empire the most famous baroque writer of the time was Father António Vieira, a Jesuit who lived in Brazil during the 18th century. Secondary writers are Gregório de Matos and Francisco Rodrigues Lobo.[citation needed]

In English literature, the metaphysical poets represent a closely related movement; their poetry likewise sought unusual metaphors, which they then examined in often extensive detail. Their verse also manifests a taste for paradox, and deliberately inventive and unusual turns of phrase.[citation needed]

For German Baroque literature, see German literature of the Baroque period.

Baroque music

The term Baroque is also used to designate the style of music composed during a period that overlaps with that of Baroque art, but usually encompasses a slightly later period. Antonio Vivaldi, J.S. Bach and G.F. Handel are often considered its culminating figures.

It is a still-debated question as to what extent Baroque music shares aesthetic principles with the visual and literary arts of the Baroque period. A fairly clear, shared element is a love of ornamentation, and it is perhaps significant that the role of ornament was greatly diminished in both music and architecture as the Baroque gave way to the Classical period.

It should be noted that the application of the term "Baroque" to music is a relatively recent development. The first use of the word "Baroque" in music was only in 1919, by Curt Sachs, and it was not until 1940 that it was first used in English (in an article published by Manfred Bukofzer). Even as late as 1960 there was still considerable dispute in academic circles over whether music as diverse as that by Jacopo Peri, François Couperin and J.S. Bach could be meaningfully bundled together under a single stylistic term.

Many musical forms were born in that era, like the concerto and sinfonia. Forms such as the sonata, cantata and oratorio flourished. Also, opera was born out of the experimentation of the Florentine Camerata, the creators of monody, who attempted to recreate the theatrical arts of the Ancient Greeks. Indeed, it is exactly that development which is often used to denote the beginning of the musical Baroque, around 1600. An important technique used in baroque music was the use of ground bass, a repeated bass line. Dido's Lament by Henry Purcell is a famous example of this technique.

Baroque composers and examples

Etymology

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word baroque is derived from the Portuguese word "barroco", Spanish "barroco", or French "baroque", all of which refer to a "rough or imperfect pearl", though whether it entered those languages via Latin, Arabic, or some other source is uncertain.[6] In informal usage, the word baroque can simply mean that something is "elaborate", with many details, without reference to the Baroque styles of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The word "Baroque", like most periodic or stylistic designations, was invented by later critics rather than practitioners of the arts in the 17th and early 18th centuries. It is a French transliteration of the Portuguese phrase "pérola barroca", which means "irregular pearl", and natural pearls that deviate from the usual, regular forms so they do not have an axis of rotation are known as "baroque pearls". Others derive it from the mnemonic term "Baroco" denoting, in logical Scholastica, a supposedly laboured form of syllogism.[7]

The term "Baroque" was initially used with a derogatory meaning, to underline the excesses of its emphasis. In particular, the term was used to describe its eccentric redundancy and noisy abundance of details, which sharply contrasted the clear and sober rationality of the Renaissance. It was first rehabilitated by the Swiss-born art historian, Heinrich Wölfflin (1864–1945) in his Renaissance und Barock (1888); Wölfflin identified the Baroque as "movement imported into mass," an art antithetic to Renaissance art. He did not make the distinctions between Mannerism and Baroque that modern writers do, and he ignored the later phase, the academic Baroque that lasted into the 18th century. Writers in French and English did not begin to treat Baroque as a respectable study until Wölfflin's influence had made German scholarship pre-eminent.

Modern usage

In modern usage, the term "Baroque" may still be used, usually pejoratively, describing works of art, craft, or design that are thought to have excessive ornamentation or complexity of line, or, as a synonym for "Byzantine", to describe literature, computer software, contracts, or laws that are thought to be excessively complex, indirect, or obscure in language, to the extent of concealing or confusing their meaning. A "Baroque fear" is deeply felt, but utterly beyond daily reality.

See also

References

  1. ^ Fargis, Paul (1998). The New York Public Library Desk Reference - 3rd Edition. Macmillan General Reference. pp. 262. ISBN 0-02-862169-7. 
  2. ^ Piper 1984, p. 44-45, cited in Wakefield(2004) p.3-4
  3. ^ Helen Gardner, Fred S. Kleiner, and Christin J. Mamiya, Gardner's Art Through the Ages (Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2005), p. 516.
  4. ^ Peter Paul Rubens The Life of Marie de' Medici.
  5. ^ "Cornaro Chapel" at Bogelwood.com.
  6. ^ OED Online. Accessed 6 June 2008.
  7. ^ Panofsky, Erwin (1995), "What is Baroque?", Three Essays on Style, The MIT Press, pp. 19 .
  • Wakefield, Steve (2004), Capentier's Baroque Fiction: Returning Medusa's gaze, Great Britain: The Cromwell Press, ISBN 1855661071 

Bibliography

  • Andersen, Liselotte. 1969. "Baroque and Rococo Art", New York: H. N. Abrams.
  • Buci-Glucksmann, Christine. 1994. Baroque Reason: The Aesthetics of Modernity. Sage.
  • Gardner, Helen, Fred S. Kleiner, and Christin J. Mamiya. 2005. Gardner's Art through the Ages, 12th edition. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth. ISBN 9780155050907 (hardcover) ISBN 9780534640958 (v. 1, pbk.) 0534640915 ISBN 9780534640910 (v. 2, pbk.) ISBN 9780534640811 (CD-ROM) ISBN 9780534641009 (Resource Guide) ISBN 9780534641085 (set) 0534641075 ISBN 9780534641078 (v. 1, international student ed., pbk.) ISBN 9780534633318 (cd-rom)

Further reading

  • Bazin, Germain, 1964. Baroque and Rococo. Praeger World of Art Series. New York: Praeger. (Originally published in French, as Classique, baroque et rococo. Paris: Larousse. English edition reprinted as Baroque and Rococo Art, New York: Praeger, 1974)
  • Kitson, Michael. 1966. The Age of Baroque. Landmarks of the World's Art. London: Hamlyn; New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Lambert, Gregg, 2004. Return of the Baroque in Modern Culture. Continuum. ISBN 9780826466488.
  • Martin, John Rupert. 1977. Baroque. Icon Editions. New York: Harper and Rowe. ISBN 006435332X (cloth); ISBN 0064300773 (pbk.)
  • Wölfflin, Heinrich. 1964. Renaissance and Baroque (Reprinted 1984; originally published in German, 1888) The classic study. ISBN 0-8014-9046-4

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BAROQUE, a technical term, chiefly applicable to architecture, furniture and household decoration. Apparently of Spanish origin - a barrueco is a large, irregularly-shaped pearl - the word was for a time confined to the craft of the jeweller. It indicates the more extravagant fashions of design that were common in the first half of the 18th century, chiefly in Italy and France, in which everything is fantastic, grotesque, florid or incongruous - irregular shapes, meaningless forms, an utter lack of restraint and simplicity. The word suggests much the same order of ideas as rococo.


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also baroque

Contents

English

Etymology

From the Portuguese barroco (irregular pearl)

Adjective

Baroque (comparative more Baroque, superlative most Baroque)

Positive
Baroque

Comparative
more Baroque

Superlative
most Baroque

  1. from the Baroque period in visual art and music.

Proper noun

Singular
Baroque

Plural
-

Baroque

  1. A period in western architecture from ca. 1600 to the middle of the eighteenth century, known for its abundance of decoration.
  2. A period in western art from ca. 1600 to the middle of the eighteenth century, characterized by drama, rich color, and dramatic contrast between light and shadow.
  3. A period in western music from ca. 1600 to ca. 1760, characterized by extensive use of counterpoint, basso-continuo, and extensive ornamentation.
  4. The chess variant invented in 1962 by Mathematician Robert Abbott, or any of its descendants, where pieces move alike, but have differing methods of capture.

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Gaming

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Template:Infobox VG

Baroque is a console role-playing game developed by Sting Entertainment and published by Atlus, originally developed for the Sega Saturn and later ported to the PlayStation. It was later remade by Sting, where it was to be a planned exclusive for Japan. However, Baroque was scheduled for release in the United States on March 18 2008 for the PlayStation 2 and Wii.[1] Atlus USA eventually released both versions of the game on April 8, 2008.[2]

Contents

Plot

Baroque's story takes place following a world-altering cataclysm called the Blaze that took place on May 14, 2032. The world, now existing in a twisted state, is populated by Meta-Beings, creatures that were once human but that have lost their hearts and minds to the Baroques inside them. The player's goal is to reach the bottom of the Neuro Tower, the former home of the Order of Malkuth, a religious organization seeking to save God. At the beginning of the game, the protagonist is told that by purifying the Meta-Beings within the tower and reaching the bottom floor, he will find redemption for sins committed that he cannot remember.

As the story develops it is learned that the Archangel removed noradrenaline ("pain") from the Absolute God and poured corrupted data into the Consciousness Orbs to keep the Absolute God from fixing the distortion growing inside of itself. He then harvested the Absolute God's pain as the Littles. Littles, the embodiment of pain, are creatures that can only live inside "ampules" and were cultivated by Doctor Angelicus and Longneck. Their purpose was to be used as bullets for the Angelic Rifle, so that the Archangel can purify the Absolute God and take its Idea Sephirath to become the new Absolute God.

The Koriel, a group of False Angels within the Malkuth Order, tried to stop the Archangel by attempting the Dabar fusion (fusing a human with the Absolute God to "hear god's will"). The protagonist had a conjoined twin brother and they shared one heart. Only one of them could function at a time and both were dying. They sacrificed the older brother and picked the protagonist for the fusion. When the Archangel learned about the Koriel's plans, he interrupted the fusion and caused the Blaze.

The Absolute God created multiple divinities (Alice and Eliza) to fill the gap left by the protagonist. It gained the protagonist's ability to speak, while the protagonist gained its power to purify. The consciousness of protagonist's deceased older brother got absorbed by the Consciousness Orbs and fused with him during the Dabar. The protagonist gets chosen by the Archangel for the Sisyphean task of heading to the bottom of the Neuro Tower to purify the Absolute God, because he is the only person with the power of purification.

In the end, the protagonist fuses with the Absolute God along with Alice, Eliza and the Littles. The world is still distorted, but they decide to form a consensus reality (purification of the world is impossible) by merging with the Baroques of the Meta-Beings.

Characters

The Protagonist

This young man carries the burden of a sin he cannot recall. He's lost his memories and cannot speak. The Archangel finds him wandering the deserted city, and orders him to head to the bottom of the Neuro Tower. He is the only one with the ability to purify the Meta-Beings.

Archangel

The leader of the Malkuth Order has large wings and red eyes. He hands the Angelic Rifle to the protagonist and tells him to go to the bottom of the Neuro Tower. However, his reason for doing so is unknown.

Alice

A short-haired, rebellious girl. She seems to carry a slight grudge towards the protagonist. She is one of the Wandering Maidens.

Eliza

Long-haired girl who seeks Pure Water. She doesn't talk much and tends to avoid the protagonist. Another of the Wandering Maidens.

Doctor Angelicus

A false angel who was called the "Doctor of the Angels" in the Malkuth Order. She assists the Archangel.

Littles

These characters are flying within the Neuro Tower. They have wings and look somewhat like angels.

Fist & Scythe

Armored soldiers of the Malkuth Order known as the Massacre Angels. They wander the Neuro Tower looking for something.

Neophyte

A False Angel wandering through the Neuro Tower searching for traitors within the Malkuth Order. He is absolutely loyal to the Archangel.

Sentry Angel

He stands guard in the Outer World.

Baroquemonger

A man who stands in the corner of the Outer World. He has the ability to read the information contained in an Idea Sephirath.

Collector

A boy who loves to pick up items from the Outer World and stuff them into the bag on this head. He doesn't seems to have any interests other than item collecting.

Gameplay

Baroque plays very similarly to a standard roguelike, with the main difference being the player moves in full 3D space in real-time rather than being confined to a turn-based movement system based on grids.

The player begins the game outside of the Neuro Tower, the game's primary dungeon, with no items. Before entering the Neuro Tower for the first time, the player is presented with an Angelic Rifle, a special weapon that can purify any Meta-Being with a single shot. However, the rifle has an ammunition capacity of five shots. There is no way to reload the rifle while in the tower.

Once inside the Neuro Tower, the player must advance to the bottom by exploring each floor and finding the exit. The player can find items, swords, and equipment scattered around the tower at random and by defeating enemies. Defeating enemies also grants the player experience points which allow the protagonist to gain levels and become more powerful. However, should the protagonist die before reaching the end of the dungeon, the player will be returned to the starting point outside the tower, will lose all items that were either equipped or in the inventory, and will return to character level 1. An exception to these rules is through the use of consciousness orbs scattered throughout the tower. By throwing an item into a consciousness orb, the item will reappear outside the tower and be picked up by a character called the Collector. Up to five items can be saved in this manner at the start, but the number can increase if certain conditions are met.

The game makes use of two life gauges to measure the protagonist's health. The hit point gauge displays the current and maximum values of the protagonist's hit points. The vitality gauge displays similar values representing the protagonist's vitality. The vitality gauge constantly drains during gameplay. If it empties, the hit point gauge will begin to drain. Both gauges can be refilled by eating various forms of flesh and hearts to restore hit points and vitality respectively. If flesh or a heart is consumed while the relevant stat is filled to maximum, the protagonist's maximum hit points/vitality will increase by a fixed amount.

Like a traditional roguelike, the layouts of most of the Neuro Tower's floors are randomly generated, meaning that the map changes each time the player ventures inside. However, certain aspects, such as special rooms and characters will always appear on specific floors.

Death and plot advancement

More of the plot is revealed as the protagonist dies and restarts. Certain story-revealing cutscenes and conversations will only occur if the player has died or by reaching the bottom of the Neuro Tower and starting over.

Music

Originally, the music for Baroque was composed by Masaharu Iwata, with assistance from John Pee, and Toshiaki Sakoda.

The remake was composed entirely by Shigeki Hayashi, and features a new style, with a stronger emphasis on a more industrial rock feel, as opposed to the ambient material in the original.

English voice cast (Wii and PlayStation 2)

  • Kyle Hebert as Archangel
  • Mary Elizabeth McGlynn as Eliza
  • Michelle Ruff as Alice, Urim
  • Dave Wittenberg as The Coffin Man
  • Karen Strassman as The Horned Girl
  • Wendee Lee as The Bagged One
  • Derek Stephen Prince as The Protagonist, Longneck, Thummim

Spin-offs

Baroque inspired a sequel, Baroque Syndrome, as well as several spinoffs, such as Baroque Typing and Baroque Shooting.

Reception

Baroque received mixed reviews, with a combined score on Game Rankings of 53% for the Wii version[3] and 58% for the PS2 version.[4] The most popular complaint focused on the game's extreme difficulty curve. RPGFan explained "...it is not for everyone. Only those who truly appreciate rogue-like RPGs will be able to get the most enjoyment out of it."

GameFAN awarded the game its "Best Audio" award for 2008 while lamenting that the gameplay does not match the quality of the music.[5]

See also

  • Baroque (Manga)

References

  1. Baroque - New release date, Wii details update, new items, site updated. Go Nintendo. Accessed January 18 2008.
  2. Drones hold Baroque in the dungeon until April. Siliconera. Accessed February 27 2008.
  3. http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/944292.asp?q=baroque
  4. http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/937839.asp?q=baroque
  5. Alexander Lucard. Diehard GameFAN's 2008 Gaming Awards. Diehard GameFAN. Retrieved on 2009-01-24.

External links

  • Official site
  • Japanese Site
  • Atlus USA talks Baroque: localization, gameplay, market positioning
  • Baroque trailer at YouTube
  • Information about Baroquefr:Baroque (jeu vidéo)

ja:バロック (ゲーム)


This article uses material from the "Baroque" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

Baroque is a style epoch. It was between the styles (or epochs) of Renaissance and Neoclassicism. This means it lasted from about 1575 to about 1770. At that time, there were absolutist monarchs in Europe. Baroque art is usually very playful and has many ornaments.

The movement started in Italy. It then spread to the Catholic countries in Europe. Finally, it also spread to the Protestant ones.

The word Baroque comes from Portuguese. There, barocco means something like strange.In Portuguese, it was first used for irregularly-shaped pearls. It was first used in France to mean works of art that did not follow the current trend. The baroque period was from 1600s to the 1750s

Gallery

Other pages

Baroque music

Links

The difference between Classicism and baroque in video.


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