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Heavenly Sword
HS.PS3.jpg
European box art
Developer(s) Ninja Theory
Publisher(s) Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Distributor(s) Sony Computer Entertainment INC
Designer(s) Tameem Antoniades
Native resolution 720p
Platform(s) PlayStation 3
Release date(s) NA September 12, 2007
EU September 14, 2007
AUS September 20, 2007
JP November 15, 2007
Genre(s) Action-adventure, Hack and slash/Beat 'em up
Mode(s) Single-player
Rating(s) BBFC: 15
CERO: C
ESRB: Teen
OFLC: MA 15+
OFLC: R13
PEGI: 15+
Media Blu-ray Disc
Input methods Dualshock 3, SIXAXIS

Heavenly Sword is a video game developed by Ninja Theory exclusively for the PlayStation 3 console and published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. The game was released September 12, 2007, in North America, September 14, 2007, in the United Kingdom, September 20, 2007, in Australia and November 15, 2007, in Japan.

Contents

Gameplay

The gameplay of Heavenly Sword resembles a martial arts title focused on melee combat while featuring opportunities for ranged attacks. The main character, Nariko, uses a weapon called the "Heavenly Sword" which changes into one of three forms depending on what attack stance the player uses as part of a unique fighting style. Speed Stance, the default, provides an even balance between damage and speed, where the sword takes the form of two separate blades. Range Stance allows fast, long-ranging, but weaker attacks, with the sword resembling two blades, chained together. Power Stance is the most powerful, but slowest style, where attacks are made with the Sword in the shape of one large, two-handed blade.

For exploration and certain battles, the game also makes use of "Quick Time Events" (QTE). During a QTE, a symbol for a certain button or for an action such as moving the analog stick to the right or left appears on screen and the player must match what is shown to successfully complete the scene.

In addition to Nariko, a secondary character, Kai, is controlled for some portions of the game. Many of Kai's stages take the form of sniping missions, using her crossbow to pick off enemies, in some cases to protect characters; whilst Kai cannot perform hand-to-hand combat, in stages that do call for her to explore the level she is able to hop over objects, as well as free herself from an enemy's grasp by temporarily stunning them.

Projectiles can be maneuvered to their targets using the motion-sensing capabilities of the SIXAXIS controller through a feature known as Aftertouch. Such projectiles include guiding Kai's arrows after she has launched them, and for Nariko, guiding a cannon or rocket launcher, or picking up and throwing objects.

Plot

Setting

Nariko's warrior clan believes in a prophecy of a warrior sent from the heavens with a godly blade (the eponymous Heavenly Sword), to defend them from the ultimate evil. When the warrior was finished with his task he left the blade behind on earth. Many men were immediately drunken with the desire to wield its power and murdered over its ownership. It was then that Nariko's clan ended the violence and took on the dangerous undertaking of protecting the sword from such corruption.

The clan believed that one day, in a year of the fire-horse (from chinese horoscope), a predestined male heir would be born and reclaim the sword as its rightful owner. Once this happened, peace and tranquility would return to the land and none would fight over the sword anymore. Their hopes were dashed however when the prophecy was nullified as on the day of the flaming mare, Shen's wife produced not a male child but rather a female child (Nariko) while dying in childbirth. Shen was first tempted to murder Nariko but guilt swayed him, and instead he brought the girl up and trained her to be a warrior.

Story

The game follows the story of Nariko (Voiced by Anna Torv), the fierce red-haired warrior whose clan has long protected the "Heavenly Sword", a god's blade of immense power that drains its wielder of their life force. A power hungry ruler known as King Bohan (Voiced by Andy Serkis) seeks to obtain the sword to gain its devastating power.

Upon beginning the game, the player is immediately thrust into the final battle with Bohan's army. After slaying many of Bohan's soldiers, Nariko can no longer resist the sword's deadly curse. She falls to the ground as the characters of the sword engrave themselves deeply into her skin. After dying, she wakes up and finds herself in an empty clearing. Nariko laments the sword's decision to take her at such a critical moment and begins to recall the last five days before her final battle.

Five days previously, Nariko's clan is assaulted by the first strike of King Bohan's forces. Before she joins the fight, Shen (Voiced by Ewan Stewart) thrusts the sword into the ground next to her demanding that she take care of it. Nariko fights alongside her father and her clansmen as their defenses are weakened and stretched by scores of Bohan's warriors scaling the city walls accompanied by catapults. As the warriors and Shen escape from Bohan's Army, Nariko protects them until spotting a catapult moving toward the fort. As Shen had earlier instructed her, she flees, as the fortress is apparently destroyed behind her. Whilst fleeing, she passes a large black bird with a golden head, which gives the impression that it is watching her. When Bohan's army captures her father and corners her in a retreat from the clan's city, Nariko has no choice but to wield the sword to defend herself in order to escape. She takes a flying leap off a cliff edge when Bohan's archers begin to fire at her.

Kai (Voiced by Lydia Baksh) finds Nariko after disobeying Shen's orders to hide and informs her of the temple where her father and clansmen are being held captive. Nariko infiltrates the temple and is ambushed by Bohan's general, Flying Fox (Voiced by Steven Berkoff). She defeats Flying Fox for the time being and continues on to rescue her father. Meanwhile King Bohan plots to set up a trap for Nariko with his mistress Whiptail (Voiced by Race Davies). Nariko sees her father dangling from a chain and falls for the bait. Whiptail's guards ambush her but are unsuccessful in their attempt to kill her. Whiptail decides to take Nariko on herself and tells Nariko the truth behind her father's original feelings about her birth - Shen wanted to kill Nariko shortly after her birth, but was unable to bring himself to do so. Nariko tells her father to leave her and fights with Whiptail. After Nariko impales Whiptail with the sword, King Bohan turns up and brutally snaps Whiptail's neck in her dying moments. Nariko passes out and is captured by Bohan.

Nariko awakens and realizes she has lost possession of the sword. King Bohan gleefully informs her that it is safely stored in his armory. Meanwhile, Kai makes her way to Nariko's holding cell. Kai is able to find where Nariko is imprisoned and begs that she comes home with her "like a good girl." Nariko explains to Kai that she needs to reacquire the Heavenly Sword to kill King Bohan. She asks Kai to retrieve the sword and Kai accepts the task. Kai eventually succeeds in finding the Heavenly Sword, only to also discover the corpse of her mother displayed as a gruesome trophy. In a flashback, it is revealed that, some years ago, Kai's mother was murdered in front of her eyes by Flying Fox. In the present day, Flying Fox suddenly appears and attacks Kai, who barely manages to escape with the sword. Bohan decides to throw a spectacle for his soldiers and forces Nariko to fight her own clansmen and Roach's monstrous pets (Orangumen) in a pit. During a battle with these creatures, Kai comes flying from the rafters and throws Nariko the sword. When Nariko defeats all the Orangumen, Bohan orders his own son Roach (Voiced by Richard Ridings) to murder Nariko. After defeating Roach, both Nariko and Kai flee from the pit. Bohan then commands Flying Fox to kill Kai.

As the two try to escape the temple, Flying Fox cuts Kai off from Nariko's safety and they are separated. Nariko desperately tails Flying Fox in order to save Kai from being murdered. When she finally catches up with Flying Fox, he hangs Kai from a rope, dropping her from a great height. Believing Kai to be dead, Nariko screams in grief and rage, before beginning battle with Flying Fox. As Nariko and Flying Fox battle with each other, Kai suddenly stirs and reaches for her crossbow, shooting an arrow into Flying Fox. Her shot pierces his forehead and he falls to the ground, dead. Nariko releases the injured Kai from the noose and returns her to the care of the clan.

King Bohan rallies his men to launch a final attack to regain the Heavenly Sword. Nariko fights alongside her father and clansmen once more despite being outnumbered a thousand to one. Nariko kills countless numbers of Bohan's troops with ease and destroys his catapults. Despite her efforts, the game is brought back to the beginning of the story where she fell to the ground dying. But this time, Nariko reverses her death by making a pact with the sword to protect it from becoming a useless and dusty relic.

Nariko descends back onto the battlefield as a glowing white goddess radiant with light. As Bohan looks out over his troops as they are slaughtered he turns to the huge, golden-helmeted raven that is seen repeatedly throughout the game and begs that it bestow him the power to destroy Nariko, referring to it as "my Lord". Bohan gets his wish and the raven spirit enters his body as a smokey black cloud, making Bohan the new, nigh-invincible Raven Lord. An epic battle ensues similar to the one foretold in the prophecy of the sword. After Nariko manages to defeat Bohan, the raven leaves his body, and, despite Bohan begging for mercy, pecks his eyes out and flies away into the sunlight, leaving Bohan screaming on the ground in blinded agony. As Nariko raises the sword to strike the final blow, Bohan's son Roach comes to his father's side and begs Nariko to let him take the pathetic, defeated King Bohan home, which Nariko allows.

Though successful in protecting the sword from coming into the hands of ultimate evil, Nariko still must give her life for wielding it, for that is the price for using the almighty sword, and the story comes to its end.

Nariko reflects to her father that she believes they have fought in vain for the prophecy, that she is not a warrior sent from heaven, but rather she chose to be the one who was going to save her people from evil. She took the sword, paid the price and ultimately defeated Bohan's army, but nevertheless she was still a normal woman.

She also implies that the sword is not from heaven, as they believed it was, but somewhere else.

Nariko heals Kai and gives her the sword for safekeeping, before passing away. At the funeral, Nariko's body is placed into a boat filled with blossoms, and Kai and Shen cast her out to sea.

Development

Heavenly Sword began development in 2002[1] with footage of the original PC version published on TeamXbox.com in 2004.[2] It had, at one time, been up and running on an early Xbox 360 prototype, but this was abandoned in favor of the PlayStation 3 when the title was picked up by SCEE [1]. The game was developed using Havok Complete, a combination of Havok Physics and Havok Animation.[3]

Actor Andy Serkis, who is best known for his motion capture and voice work for the character Gollum in the The Lord of the Rings movies, performs as the voice and motion capture actor for King Bohan, one of the major characters in Heavenly Sword; he also acts as Dramatic Director for the game and is one of the writers of the story of the game. Serkis is not the only familiar name attached to the game as main character Nariko is voiced by Australian actress Anna Torv, who plays Agent Olivia Dunham in the television series Fringe, created by JJ Abrams.[4] Nariko's facial features are also based on Torv's, who participated in motion capture for the game in March 2007. [5]

A demo was released to the PlayStation Store on July 26, 2007 featuring a short, cinematic clip at the beginning and two brief enemy battles, lasting approximately five to ten minutes.

An eight-second clip of the game was seen in an episode of the TV series Heroes entitled "Parasite", ostensibly being played by Jessica Sanders and her son, Micah. It featured Nariko running across ropes as they were cut by Bohan's soldiers, before landing on the platform to face them.[6] Whilst the episode was broadcast over four months before the actual release of the game, the level displayed remained in the released build, including the rope sequence shown; the icons in the final game used to inform the player which buttons to press were changed from large, central icons as seen in the clip, to be smaller and positioned at the bottom of the screen.

A recent patch (1.10) released was for the inclusion of the DualShock 3 Vibration during certain parts of the game.

Sony and Ninja Theory have made five 'making of' videos about the production of Heavenly Sword, with each one detailing a certain aspect of the games production, from music to motion capture. The videos can either be unlocked whilst playing the game or downloaded from the PlayStation Store.

Soundtrack

Nitin Sawhney composed the music for the soundtrack. It was performed by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Stephen Hussey. Tameem Antoniades of Ninja Theory said "we have our big orchestral soundtrack but we wanted to add a more ethnic element and marry those two together. There are actually very few musicians in the world who are experts in both areas. Nitin Sawhney is one of them."[7] Sawhney stated that his creation of "musical textures take in everything from Hollywood, European and Chinese cinema to Indian and middle eastern instrumentation through the orchestras and soloists hovering between sonic tidal waves and reflective moments of intimate grace."[8]

Related media

Nariko as represented in Part I of the animated series

A series of Heavenly Sword animated episodes were released prior to the launch of the game itself, acting as a prequel to the events of the game. The series, which consists of five episodes, was produced by London production company Blinkink and animated by CHASE animation studios. The videos were made available both online[9] and through the PlayStation Store. The first two videos were also included on the retail version of the game; the latter three videos were not ready in time to be included.[10] The videos are based on where the heavenly sword is from, the clan protecting the sword, the origins of Bohan, divine birth, Nariko's training when she was a child and battles before the game.

The style of the animated series differs from the graphics of the game itself. The animated series relies on a simple and stylized 2D look, which allowed director Ben Hibon to "create a complete visual re-interpretation of the world and its inhabitants".[11] The videos were produced using a combination of Adobe Photoshop, Flash and After Effects. Initial reference frames were created with Photoshop, which were then animated in Flash and exported as separate layers into After Effects. The layers were composed onto a 3D stage with multiple foreground, middle ground and background elements, which allowed the use of 3D cameras and lighting to give depth and movement to the video.[11]

Reception

Reviews and awards
Compilations of multiple reviews
Game Rankings 81% (based on 68 reviews)[12]
Metacritic 79/100 (based on 60 reviews)[13]
Publication Response Award
Edge magazine 7 out of 10[13]
Game Informer 8.75 out of 10[14]
GamePro 5 out of 5[15] Editor's Choice
Gamespot 8 out of 10 [16]
IGN 7 out of 10[17]
Official PlayStation Magazine (Australia) 9 out of 10[18] Silver Award
PlayStation Universe 10 out of 10 [19]

Heavenly Sword sold over one million copies by May 2008.[20][21] The game has been praised for its graphics and combat system, while criticism has stemmed from the short length of the game and lack of online capabilities. Currently the game holds an average score of 79 out of 100 on Metacritic (based on 60 reviews),[13] while Game Rankings has an average score of 81% (based on 68 reviews).[12]

Possible sequel

According to Ninja Theory co-founder Tameem Antoniades, the story for the sequel has been already written; in fact a whole trilogy is being planned. He stated, "We've had the story for the sequel for a while now. Hopefully, if this game is successful, then there's no reason why there shouldn't be a sequel and we'd very much like to go into that."[22]

On March 21, 2008, on G4's Attack of the Show it was listed on the scrolling banner that Ninja Theory is not planning to create a sequel for Heavenly Sword, and instead has decided to work on a new project. Though information on the decision and the aforementioned project was sparse, it was stated that production time for the new project will span well over two years, and that the project, like Heavenly Sword, will be extremely cinematic.

On May 21, 2008, IT Manager “Peonic” announced that a follow-up to Heavenly Sword would be extremely unlikely due to Ninja Theory's decision to pursue opportunities within multi-platform development:

"We’re not abandoning HS just on a whim because we want to go off and do something different - there’s a great huge raft of reasons behind us taking the direction we are - and it’s also the nature of the business that I’m not allowed to share any of those reasons with you.

As for the ‘you’re just not doing HS2 NOW’ comments - well one thing you learn in this industry is that you never say ‘Never’. So I’m not going to say we’ll “never” go back and make HS2 - but it’s something I personally see as extremely unlikely."

Nevertheless, since SCE retains the IP of Heavenly Sword, there is always the possibility of production on a sequel being outsourced to another developer.[23]

References

  1. ^ Ninja Theory (2004-11-16). "JAM Saved to become Ninja Theory". Press release. http://www.ninjatheory.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=26&Itemid=56. Retrieved 2007-09-27.  
  2. ^ "Heavenly Sword (Xbox)". TeamXbox. http://games.teamxbox.com/xbox/1028/Heavenly-Sword/. Retrieved 2007-07-29.  
  3. ^ Havok (2007-09-25). "Heavenly Sword Emotionally Engages PS3 Audience". Press release. http://www.havok.com/content/view/548/53/. Retrieved 2007-09-27.  
  4. ^ "Wonder Why Fringe’s Anna Torv Looks Familiar?". Kotaku Australia. http://www.kotaku.com.au/2008/09/wonder_why_the_fringes_anna_torv_looks_familiar/. Retrieved 2009-11-29.  
  5. ^ "Anna Torv's IMDB Biography". IMDB. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1396022/bio. Retrieved 2009-11-29.  
  6. ^ "New Heavenly Sword footage to premiere tonight". GamePro.com. http://www.gamepro.com/news.cfm?article_id=103908. Retrieved 2007-07-29.  
  7. ^ "The Making of Heavenly Sword, Creating the Music". Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. http://www.us.playstation.com/heavenlysword/media_video.html?v=16647. Retrieved 2008-01-05.  
  8. ^ "Interview with Heavenly Sword composer Nitin Sawhney". Music 4 Games. http://www.music4games.net/Features_Display.aspx?id=168. Retrieved 2008-01-05.  
  9. ^ "Media - Heavenly Sword - Animated Series". PlayStation.com. http://www.us.playstation.com/Media/List/HeavenlySwordAnime. Retrieved 2007-09-29.  
  10. ^ Valledor, Mark (2007-08-09). "Heavenly Sword Prequel". PlayStation.Blog. http://blog.us.playstation.com/2007/08/09/heavenly-sword-prequel/. Retrieved 2007-09-29. "We couldn’t get all the videos done in time to include in the code before QA and manufacturing submission"  
  11. ^ a b "Interview with Ben Hibon". It's Art Magazine. http://itsartmag.com/features/hibon/ben-hibon.html. Retrieved 2007-09-27.  
  12. ^ a b "Heavenly Sword Reviews". Game Rankings. http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/928391.asp. Retrieved 2007-09-27.  
  13. ^ a b c "Heavenly Sword (ps3: 2007): Reviews". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/ps3/heavenlysword. Retrieved 2007-09-27.  
  14. ^ Juba, Joe. "Heavenly Sword". Game Informer Online. http://www.gameinformer.com/NR/exeres/E26F6086-624A-402A-9D74-4CB9EAB903F6.htm?CS_pid=270011. Retrieved 2007-08-29.  
  15. ^ "Review: Heavenly Sword for PS3". GamePro. 2007-08-25. http://www.gamepro.com/sony/ps3/games/reviews/130968.shtml. Retrieved 2007-08-29.  
  16. ^ Thomas, Aaron. "Heavenly Sword for the PlayStation 3 Review". Gamespot. http://www.gamespot.com/ps3/action/heavenlysword/review.html. Retrieved 2007-09-10.  
  17. ^ Roper, Matt (2007-08-24). "Heavenly Sword Review". IGN. http://ps3.ign.com/articles/815/815721p1.html. Retrieved 2007-09-27.  
  18. ^ O'Connor, Anthony (October 2007). "Heavenly Sword (Review)". Official PlayStation Magazine (Australia) (8): 60–64.  
  19. ^ Pinter, Justin. "Heavenly Sword Review". PSU. http://www.psu.com/Heavenly-Sword-Review--a0001347-p0.php. Retrieved 2007-09-18.  
  20. ^ Ninja Theory staff (May 17, 2008). "Official site news". http://www.heavenly-sword.com. Retrieved 2008-09-16.  
  21. ^ Blattberg, Eric (May 27, 2008). "Heavenly Sword surpasses one million mark". PSU.com. http://www.psu.com/Heavenly-Sword-surpasses-one-million-mark--a0003783-p0.php. Retrieved 2008-09-16.  
  22. ^ Inzauto, Eddie (2007-07-23). "Heavenly Sword 2 already written, trilogy planned". GamerNode. http://www.gamernode.com/News/3391-Heavenly-Sword-2-already-written-trilogy-planned/index.html. Retrieved 2007-07-25.  
  23. ^ "Heavenly Sword sequel extremely unlikely:". Ripten. http://www.ripten.com/2008/05/27/heavenly-sword-sequel-extremely-unlikely. Retrieved 2008-05-21.  

External links

Official Websites


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Heavenly Sword is a video game developed by Ninja Theory exclusively for the Playstation 3 console and published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. The game was released September 12 2007 in North America, September 14 2007 in the United Kingdom, September 19 2007 in Europe and September 20 2007 in Australia. A Film entitled Heavenly Sword based upon this video game was made in 2008.

Contents

Nariko

  • There are few things in this world worth fighting for, but when you find them there is no greater fight.
  • Once I fought because I had to, because there was no other choice; but now I see the divine in the heart of battle, the beauty of bloodshed.
  • So many people have died because of this sword, and what did it ever bring in return? Nothing. Nothing. You have won. You have damned us all, and now you deign to say my time has come? You hold me captive and you choose this as your moment to destroy me? No. All you do is corrupt. You waste our lives, and what power do you really possess? It's me that's holding you. You can't even kill me. I won't let you kill me!
  • Every lifetime has one moment. You stand alone and you see it all so clearly.
  • To save my father's life I betray his whole reason for living.
  • I know its death that I'm holding now. Did I ever have a choice?
  • I do not need to be remembered. All that will matter is that I was here... in this moment.
  • [Clansman] How could a man like Shen trust you with the sword?
    • [Nariko] There was a time when I cared what the clan thought about me ... but that time is passed.
    • [Clansman] Then I shall pray for the world Nariko.
  • It's so much better when you're angry!
  • Belief can change worlds and change lives but it can also make us blind.
  • It is hard to remember who I was before I held a sword in my hand ... it is even harder now to face who I have become.
  • All you do is corrupt ... you waste our lives ... and what power do you really posess?
  • My clan believe this sword was forged in heaven for a deity. No mortal may wield it in battle without it's power draining their life. The clan's duty is to protect the sacred weapon. Even in our darkest moments the sword is never to be used ... But I wielded the heavenly sword, savored the grace and fury in my blows, never once forgetting what I was offering for such power. Days ago I made my fatal choice. The pact is at an end, now I must pay the price.

General Flying Fox

  • I'm beginning to get bored playing with this twittering doormouse and when I begin to get bored i start to get messy ... so please

refrain me from indulging in any futile exercise with this little ... peppercorn

King Bohan

  • (After Shen and Nariko scream) AAAAAAAGGGGHHH!!!! (pause) Kill her.
  • (To Whiptail, about General Flying Fox) There's something about that man I don't entirely trust.
  • But most of all... we must destroy that female hellhag, that demi-devil, who lures me ever towards her, waiting, waiting for the moment when she can sink her slavering jaws... into my... sacred... GENITALS!

External links

Wikipedia
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Gaming

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

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

Heavenly Sword

Developer(s) Ninja Theory
Publisher(s) SCEE
Engine Havok
Release date September 12 2007(NA)
September 14 2007(EU)
September 20 2007 (AU)
Genre Action adventure
Mode(s) Single player
Age rating(s) ESRB: T
Platform(s) PlayStation 3
Media Blu-ray Disc
Input SIXAXIS controller
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Heavenly Sword is a video game in development by Ninja Theory for the PlayStation 3 console. It is a martial arts action-drama game with a freestyle combat system.

Contents

Gameplay

The gameplay is similar to God of War as a hack and slash action game. The player plays as Nariko, a female warrior who carries the heavenly sword. The levels are mostly linear and the player spends most of his time killing crowds of enemies. Players can use combo attacks to unlock more combinations and bonus content such as making of movies and artwork. The player is able to choose from three stances when playing as Nariko. Speed Stance, the default, provides an even balance between damage and speed, where the sword takes the form of two separate blades. Range Stance allows fast, long-ranging, but weaker attacks, with the sword resembling two blades, chained together. Power Stance is the most powerful, but slowest style, where attacks are made with the Sword in the shape of one large, two-handed blade. Each combo attack performed by the player, without getting damaged, will fill a meter with style points. When the player achieves enough style points, he is able to hit the circle button and trigger to see a cutscene of Nariko finishing the enemy. The player can also play as Kai, a female character who uses a crossbow. Kai has fewer combos than Nariko and is more vulnerable to melee attacks. The arrows can be controlled with the SIXAXIS controller.

Features

  • Player can switch between three distinct stances for different fighting styles
  • Advance AI: Enemies employ intelligent squad-based dynamics in large groups or can fight the player one on one with sophisticated intelligence.
  • Physics based Combat using Dynamic objects. Player can throw enemies & objects at other enemies or use the scenery to their advantage.
  • In-game Cinematography which tells the story.

Storyline

The player plays as Nariko a women whose clan has long protected the "Heavenly Sword", a god's blade of immense power that slowly drains the user's life-force (if wielded by a mortal). King Bohan is obsessed with the swords power. Bohan sends his forces to capture Nariko's clan and retrieve the sword. The game starts with Nariko explaining that she was born on the day that the Heavenly warrior was suppose to be born. Kai ask Nariko if she want eat a bird or a worm and Nariko ask her what happened to Shen and the clan. Kai explains that they told her to hide and that they were captured by Bohan's army. Nariko then is shown explaining to Kai that she must find her father Shen and that Kai should keep a look out.

King Bohan's forces captures Shen, but didn't have the sword. Shen is seen being chained and tortured by Roach. Bohan tells Nariko's father that his purpose of possessing the sword is to bring order to the tribe of the land. Bohan then starts laughing and Shen spits in his face. They then stop laughing and it was then revealed that Roach was Bohan's son and King Bohan despises him. Bohan then tells Roach to hang Shen somewhere high so he can be seen by Nariko. Nariko then battles her way through several enemies and defeats General Flying Fox.

Nariko enters a prison and free members of her clan. She tries to convince them to help her rescue her father, but they told her that she should not find her father and that he is probably dead. Whiptail is seen explaining that the King told her stories about Nariko and the sword. Nariko is then seen reviving her father. Whiptail torments Nariko by explaining her that her father wanted to kill her when she was a baby because she was a violation of the prophecy. Nariko ask her father if it was true. Shen explains that it was not a simple decision. Nariko tell him that he should have killed her and to leave her. Whiptail then decides to battle Nariko.

Nariko battles and kills Whiptail. After the battle King Bohan takes the heavenly sword out of Whiptail's chest as she dies. Nariko gets captured by Bohan. Kai shoots the guards as Shen escapes and he tell Kai that they must leave, but Kai explains that she must go and finds Nariko as Shen sits on a crate near by. Kai makes her way through several gates and corridor and frees Nariko. Nariko uses a long sword to fight off the enemies and then fights Roach as Kai makes her way to an armory where the heavenly sword is held. Kai then swing from above Nariko and hands her the heavenly sword as she battles Roach.

Kai is then captured by General Flying Fox because she took the heavenly sword from the armory. Nariko makes her way through groups of enemy to rescue Kai and eventually fights General Flying Fox again and defeats him with the help of Kai.

After making her way through several hoards of enemies, Nariko then gets surrounded by King Bohan and his troops. He ask to exchange the heavenly sword for her father who he has captured and Nariko refuses. Shen tells Nariko to run but she stands and fights. Despite her efforts, the game is brought back to the beginning of the story where she fell to the ground dying. But this time, Nariko reverses her death by making a pact with the sword to protect it from becoming a trophy of war.

Nariko descends back onto the battlefield as a glowing white goddess radiant with light. Bohan looks to his raven and begs that it bestow him the power to destroy Nariko. Bohan gets his wish and the raven enters his body making him a dark raven winged demon. They fight an epic battle similar to the one foretold in the prophecy of the sword. Nariko defeats Bohan in a series of final moves.

King Bohan gets pecked by a his raven as he begs for mercy on while lying on the ground. The creature pecks out both his eyes and flies away. As Bohan screams and rolls his eyes he is approached by his son Roach. Nariko is shown slowly approaching them in the scene. Roach takes his father home. Nariko then approaches her father and some members of her clan. Her father tells her she was chosen from heaven, but Nariko tells him that she is not and neither is the sword. Nariko then heals Kai and tells her to hide the sword. Nariko then falls to the floor and tells her father to take care of Kai. The scene cuts to Nariko's funeral where she is put on a boat off with many flower petals. There is a narration by Kai of how Nariko used the sword and the clan watches as the boat flows down the river and out to the ocean.

Characters

Nariko is the main character of the game, a young warrior who belongs to a clan headed by her father, Shen. A prophecy once foretold that a son would be born who would act as a saviour to the clan; with the birth of Nariko, a daughter, the clan have come to shun her, and even go so far as to blame their misfortunes on her. After King Bohan launches his destructive tirade to find the Heavenly Sword that the clan protect, Nariko decides to wield it herself as a final act to avenge the people who sacrificed themselves fighting to defend it.


Kai is the adopted sister of Nariko, and a member of the clan which protects the Heavenly Sword. She is a child-like character who seems innocent, but is highly skilled in the use of her crossbow, a "game" which she names "twing twang". Previously belonging to a once-great clan, Kai is the last survivor; her mother was murdered by one of Bohan's generals, Flying Fox (portrayed by Steven Berkoff). Kai was eventually found by Nariko and her clan.

Shen is both the father of Nariko and the leader of the clan that protects the Heavenly Sword. He acts as Nariko's fighting tutor first and father second. For ages he has protected the sword from the forces of evil and corruption. He was once a fellow student with King Bohan before they became the leaders of a separate clan and kingdom, respectively.

King Bohan (portrayed by Andy Serkis) is the main villain in Heavenly Sword. Bohan is a power crazed king desperate to get his hands on the Heavenly Sword. He leads his army in a search to obtain it, attacking Nariko's clan in the process. He obeys and worships a crow which has a gold face plate covering its face.

Flying Fox is the first of King Bohan's war generals. Flying Fox is a rather shifty character, who is capable of appearing in a different spot in an instant. His back is covered with several metallic wings on both sides.

Whiptail is King Bohan's lover and mistress. She has a moray-like like appearance with a tail, forked-tongue, gills, and sharp pointy teeth. She has a love of extreme body modification, as evidenced by her forked tongue, sharp teeth and gill-like cuts on her cheeks. She wears the corpse of an eel atop her head and down her back. She possesses the ability to delve into people's minds.

Roach is King Bohan's illegitimate son. Roach is mentally slow and he often seeks his father's approval. He is very large in stature and his torso resembles a roach's thorax.

Development

Back in 2003, a "concept trailer" for Heavenly Sword appeared, and the game was apparently destined for the Xbox. The game's developer, then known as Just Add Monsters, made one game for Microsoft and then went bust. A year later when next gen consoles came out the game was made exclusive for the PS3.

Heavenly Sword first debut in a video clip on May 16, 2005 at E3 2005. The clip featured a female protagonist, Nariko fighting off many enemies and a dynamic environment in which player can move surrounding object in the environment. It also shows the player ability to swing around enemies and the clip ended with the player firing a cannon with fire at a massive amount of enemies.

On October 25, 2005 Ninja Theory released 10 screen shots of Heavenly Sword on Gamespot. At E3 2006 Heavenly Sword had a playable demo. On May 8 it was announced that Andy Serkis was going to play the role of the King Bohan in Heavenly Sword. Serkis is famous for his CG roles as Gollum in "The Lord of the Rings" and Kong in "King Kong". Serkis is using motion capture for his role. At E3 2006 on May 8, 2006 a trailer for Heavenly Sword was shown which featured gameplay and the features of the AI. Several playable demos of the game was also featured.

The first trailer was released on September 22, 2006 at TGS 2006. It starts with King Bohan explaining the legend of the heavenly sword. Then it shows clips of the gameplay with Nariko killing enemies and ends with the king yelling "Kill her. Wipe her out."

On March 7 2007 a video of the motion capture development was released. The video explains the motion capture used in the game and movements for facial expressions.

On June 7, 2007 a Heavenly Sword trailer was available for download at the PlayStation Store.

On Thursday July 26 the demo was released for the PlayStation Store. The 1GB demo featured a few enemies for the player to combat, and the player can also slide on ropes. The demo is approximately 5-10 minutes long. After the demo the game screen reads, "Redemption arrives in September", tying in with the game's scheduled for release on September 12, 2007 for the U.S. On August 3, 2007 Sony announced that the game will be released in America on September .

The dialogue for the game takes up 10 GB of data and three and a half hours of music and 4500 lines of voice over work, in eleven languages.

On September 11th 2007 A TV ad for Heavenly Sword was released. It features Nariko fighting a mass of enemies in slow motion and a voice saying "Vengeance has never been so beautiful".

Anime

On August 13, 2007, two Heavenly Sword anime films were released for PlayStation G.A.P. members. The anime is in a dark style, using mainly a combination of black and very bright colors.

Heavenly Sword Part 1 - The Legend of the Sword

Heavenly Sword episode one describes the origin of the Heavenly Sword. The anime begins by describing the Raven Lord is a warlord thirsty for power and blood lust. The scene shows a battle field with many soldiers fighting and many people getting killed and burned. Later, mankind was given hope by a warrior who came from the heavens and fought the Raven lord. The warrior was white and had light shining from his body. After the battle was over the warrior vanished, but he left his sword. Thus the legend of the heavenly sword was born and thousands would die for it.

Heavenly Sword Animation Episode 2: Guardians Of The Sword

The second episode describes what happens to the holders of the sword. Men tore each other apart and murdered one another just to obtain and keep the sword. The sword itself also started to feed on the blood of men. Those who wielded it were consumed by it and the sword became a curse upon mankind. The narrator's clan acquired the sword and kept it away from mankind, waiting for the legendary warrior to return and reclaim his sword.

Heavenly Sword Animation Episode 3: Rise of Evil

Episode three was released on August 20th 2007. It features how King Bohan came into power. The scene starts with two boys fighting to become king. Bohan lost the fight and tried to cheat with a dagger but accidentally cut himself in slashes himself across the eye when the other boy blocked him. It then showed Bohan giving the boy who became king a drink with poison which the king drank. Bohan becomes king and wanted to become a god, thus he needed the heavenly sword.

Heavenly Sword Animation Episode 4: The Divine Birth

On August 28, 2007, the fourth episode was released. It featured the clan who protected the heavenly sword from mankind and their hardships. It shows the clan defending themselves from warlords and warriors. It explained the day that the heavenly warrior would return in a divine birth and lead civilization into an age of peace and glory.

Heavenly Sword Animation Episode 5: The Day of the Warrior

Episode five features the birth of Nariko. They explained that the divine birth was a violation of the prophecy because the warrior was born a girl. Her father prevented her from getting her killed and she was to live and grow alone. She was blamed for the hardship of the clan. Her father trained her to become a warrior. The clan was then outnumbered and she was their only hope for survival.

Praise

The game won Best Graphics of E3 2006 from MTV and Game Critics Awards for Best Fighting Game. Heavenly Sword also won the Best Action/Adventure Game Award from Game Critics at E3 2007.

Reviews of the game have been generally positive. Heavenly Sword was praised for its excellent voice acting, graphics and playability. The game mainly got good ratings for its fighting combos and beautiful animations.

Gamespot: 8.0/10

IGN: 7/10 (press average 8.1)

Game Informer: 8.7/10

Criticism

The game is generally criticized for being too short and having to less varibilities in enemies and their artificial intelligence.

External links

Anime

  • Episode 1
  • Episode 2
  • Episode 3
  • Episode 4
  • Episode 5

Trailers

  • E3 2005 trailer
  • Motion Capture video. Featuring Andy Serkis
  • Trailer from TGS 2006
  • Development commentary
  • Heavenly Sword TV ad

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







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