Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars

Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars
Shadow-of-the-Templars-01.gif
European PC version boxart
Developer(s) Revolution Software
Astraware (Mobile)
Publisher(s) Virgin Interactive (PC)
THQ (PlayStation)
BAM! Entertainment (Game Boy Advance)
Astraware (Mobile)
Ubisoft (Wii, Nintendo DS)
Revolution Software (iOS & Mac OS X (Director's Cut))
Kalypso Media (PC (Director's Cut))
Designer(s) Charles Cecil (director)
Barrington Pheloung (composer)
Series Broken Sword
Engine Virtual Theatre
Platform(s) PC (DOS, Windows), PlayStation, Game Boy Advance, Mobile phone, Wii, Nintendo DS, iOS, Mac OS X
Release date(s) PC
  • NA September 30, 1996
  • EU October 14, 1996
PlayStation
  • EU December, 1996
  • NA January 31, 1998
Game Boy Advance
  • NA March 17, 2002
  • EU March 22, 2002
Mobile phone
  • NA August, 2006
Wii (Director's Cut)
  • AUS March 19, 2009
  • EU March 20, 2009
  • NA March 24, 2009
Nintendo DS (Director's Cut)
  • AUS March 19, 2009
  • NA March 24, 2009
  • EU March 27, 2009
iOS
  • NA January 24, 2010 (Director's Cut)
  • NA May 26, 2010 (Director's Cut HD)
PC & Mac (Director's Cut)
  • NA September 2, 2010
Genre(s) Point-and-click adventure
Mode(s) Single-player
Rating(s) ESRB: K-A (Kids to Adults) (PC)
ESRB: T (Teen) (PlayStation, Game Boy Advance)
USK: 12+
Apple: 12+ (iOS)
Media/distribution CD-ROM (PC & Mac OS X)
CD-ROM (PlayStation)
Cartridge (Game Boy Advance)
Game Card (Nintendo DS)
DVD (Wii)
System requirements

486 with 66 MHz, 8 MB RAM, VESA 2.0 compatible SVGA card, 100% Sound Blaster compatible sound card, 2X CD-ROM drive (PC)

Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars is a point-and-click adventure game released to the PC on November 5, 1996. It was released on the PlayStation in December that same year and on the Game Boy Advance March 19, 2002. It has also been ported to the Mobile phone, and re-released to the Wii, PC, Mac OS X and Nintendo DS as a director's cut. According to Charles Cecil, it sold around a 1,000,000 copies in the mid-90's.[1] It was followed by Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror.

Contents

Gameplay

The game is a traditional point-and-click adventure, where the player has to logically come up with answers and solutions to riddles and problems that he or she encounters during the course of the game.

Audio features of the game include recorded Foley and sound effects, orchestral music and recorded voices of voice actors. The game graphics are animated in a style which resembles classic animated films. The game was directed by Charles Cecil and the original score was composed by Barrington Pheloung.

The game features a cast of voice actors led by Rolf Saxon as George Stobbart.

Synopsis

Extended story in the Director's Cut

The game opens in Paris with journalist Nicole Collard receiving a request to go to Palais Royale to interview a famous media tycoon and potential candidate for President of France, Pierre Carchon, also famous for his lecherous behaviour. A mime hangs around outside Carchon's home, whom Nico ignores and carries on inside the house. She meets Carchon's wife, Imelda, and Carchon reveals he knew Nico's father very well, Thierry Collard. Soon, there is a noise in the drawing room, Carchon investigates only to be shot. Nico rushes to the scene to see the mime over Pierre's corpse. She is knocked to the ground before she can do anything and wakes up to find Imelda going to call the police.

After persuading her that she wants to find the truth and help, Imelda allows Nico to access Carchon's room, which contains an elephant carving exactly the same as that of Nico's father and a stone cylinder, which contains a hidden code of letters. On Carchon's corpse, Nico discovers a ticket stamped "Bateaux de la Conciergerie" and goes to investigate the dock. By using the letters on the cylinder, she discovers a secret office area where Carchon and many others met for business. After writing her story up and publishing it, her editor tells her to drop the story at which Nico becomes angry. However, she receives a mysterious phone call from a man called Plantard who tells her he needs to speak to her about her story.

Original story

The next day, an American tourist George Stobbart enjoys a coffee at a Parisian cafe and sees an old man entering the cafe with a briefcase. Almost immediately, a clown arrives with an accordion, who steals the man's briefcase and drops his accordion. The accordion detonates and blows the cafe up. George manages to survive and investigates the cafe. He is soon interrogated by Augustin Rosso, a renowned police inspector who utilizes psychic techniques to question witnesses. George then meets Nico outside the cafe taking pictures, who explains that she was meant to meet the old man, Plantard. After agreeing to help with her story, George traces the clown's steps to the nearby sewers. Acquiring the clown's nose and a scrap of material, he exits the sewers and meets a war veteran, who explains a man exited the sewers before with a briefcase. Showing the scrap of material prompts the veteran to reveal the killer dropped his jacket and gives George the tailor's name and phone number. George attempts to find out more from the tailor, Todryk, but without the killer's name, Todryk is uncooperative.

George goes to Nico's apartment and she discovers an address inside the clown's nose for the costume shop where it was purchased. George goes there and learns the killer's name, Khan and that he hired both a clown and a pixie costume. Todryk then tells George of the Hotel Ubu, the killer's accommodation. Outside the hotel are two shady characters, Flap and Guido, who search George's pockets searching for something important. With the help of an English aristocrat, Lady Piermont, George obtains an ancient manuscript from the hotel safe, which Khan deposited. While infiltrating Khan/Mourlin's hotel room, he also finds a matchbook from the Club Alamut, which seems Middle Eastern. After evading Flap and Guido who are searching for the manuscript and returning to Nico, she deduces the manuscript is related to the Knights Templar, a wealthy and powerful order of knights wrongly accused of heresy and burned at the stake by the Inquisition. The plan was hatched by Phillip IV of France[disambiguation needed ] and Pope Clement V in a bid to gain the Templars' amassed wealth but the treasure remained hidden. On the manuscript, there are several pictures: A knight with a sword and a bull, between them a gem is balanced on a tripod; A knight with a crystal ball; A man weaving on a loom with a ship in the background; a woman looking at a looking glass to see three bearded faces. Seeking help at the Crune Museum, George discovers the tripod on the manuscript is in the museum itself, being discovered in Lochmarne, Ireland. Nico explains a professor named Peagram had an excavation in the village.

George travels to Lochmarne, Ireland and questions a man named Sean Fitzgerald about working at Peagram's dig. Fitzgerald reveals they found a hidden Templar chapel beneath the local castle ruins and Peagram entrusted a package to him, to be delivered to a 'Jacques Marquet'. Fitzgerald panics and attempts to flee, only to be run over by a Ferrari driven by a man in a pixie costume (Khan). George offers to fix the landlord's beer pumps and goes into the cellar, discovering Sean's package, a gleaming gem that Peagram discovered, identical to the one on the manuscript. Making his way inside the castle, George uses some plaster of Paris to open a secret door where he discovers a mural of a hanged man with 'Montfaucon' underneath. Meanwhile, Nico attempts to find out more about her father's involvement with Carchon. She deduces quickly that Imelda is in danger and rushes to Palais Royale to save her. Nico is too late but the dying Imelda gives Nico a key, which fits the box her father gave her. Nico opens the box and finds out the truth. Her father and Imelda were lovers and her father worked for the government as a sort of spy against Carchon's secret organization.

Back in Paris, George tracks down Jacques Marquet to the Hagenmeyer clinic. Posing as a doctor George gains access to Marquet's ward and finds him suffering from serious wounds. Marquet reveals he has hired Flap and Guido to steal the tripod from the Crune Museum. Another doctor soon intercedes and George exits. Soon, Marquet's ECG machine goes haywire, prompting security to bust open the door. They discover Marquet has been suffocated and the bogus doctor has escaped. George then asks Nico's old colleague, Andre Lobineau at the Crune Museum for his help with the manuscript. He also reveals Montfaucon[disambiguation needed ] is a place in Paris. George hides in an Egyptian sarcophagus until nightfall when Flap and Guido attempt to steal the tripod. George is successful in distracting them until he loses consciousness, when another unidentified thief breaks through the skylight and steals the tripod. Back at Nico's, Nico reveals she herself was the thief and gives George the tripod. George goes to Montfaucon and enters the sewers, where he discovers a secret meeting of important people including a Nobel Prize winner George met at the hotel, claiming to be the Templars. They discuss that they are looking for the Sword of Baphomet and that one of them, Klausner has gone to Syria to get a lens. George deduces that Plantard and Peagram were members of this organisation as well. The player also assumes Carchon was involved too. As they leave, George uses the tripod and gem, which splits a beam of light and lights up letters spelling 'Marib'. Nico explains Marib is a village in Syria.

George travels to Syria and discovers that Khan has already been here and asked about George and Klausner. A taxi driver named Ultar offers to drive to Bull's Head where Khan requested to go. Exploring Syria, George meets Duane and Pearl Henderson, an American couple looking for ancient souvenirs. He also deduces that the crystal ball on the manuscript is in fact the lens that Klausner was meant to obtain. George finds a statue on a stand belonging to a boy, Nejo. George sells this to Duane for $50, allowing George to pay to go to Bull's Head Hill. At the Bull's Head, George finds Klausner's corpse and takes the lens. He also discovers an idol with three bearded faces (Baphomet) and a Latin inscription describing Britain. Khan then arrives and holds George at gunpoint but George manages to escape jumping off the cliff onto Ultar's truck.

Back in Paris, Andre has deciphered part of the manuscript and it leads to the De Vasconcellos family in Spain, who were once connected with the Templars. George travels to the Villa of the family, discovering only the Countess and her gardener Lopez remain. Sneaking past Lopez, George manages to convince the Countess of his intentions and she leads him to the De Vasconcellos mausoleum, where George discovers a chessboard puzzle. Solving it opens up a panel with the De Vasconcellos chalice inside. The Countess entrusts it to George and wants him to find her missing ancestor Don Carlos.

Back in Paris, George travels to Montfaucon where the local priest polishes the chalice. Meanwhile, George uses the lens on the statue in the church and looks through it to discover a hidden image of a burning man. The image on the chalice matches a tomb in the church, and George deduces that it is in fact Don Carlos' tomb. Andre reveals that an idol of Baphomet has been discovered in Paris. George visits the site, and manages to create a copy of the guard's key using the remaining plaster of Paris, soap and paint. He gains access to the excavation and puts the chalice near the idol where the reflection shows the image of a church with a square tower. George visits the Countess again with Biblical references on Carlos' tomb. They show the way to a secret area inside a well where George discovers a chessboard mural with a river running through it.

With the clues they have (the river, the church and the Latin phrase), George, Nico and Andre work out that the Templars are heading for Bannockburn in Scotland. George and Nico catch a train there, but Flap and Guido are aboard having followed them. George discovers Nico along with an old woman are missing. He reaches the guard's carriage where the old woman (Khan) throws Flap out of the carriage while Eklund (the bogus doctor who killed Marquet) is knocked out after shooting Khan. George and Nico reach the church in Bannockburn and witness the Grand Master of the Templars acquiring a strange power from two huge Baphomet idols (the Sword of Baphomet). Inspector Rosso is revealed to be in league with them as well. After trying to tempt George into their ranks, the Grand Master orders Eklund to kill them, but Eklund is killed by Rosso, who is then killed by the Grand Master. The couple try to escape but are blocked by Guido. Nico saves the day when she throws a handbag of C4 (from Khan) onto some burning gunpowder. They manage to escape as the church explodes which kills Guido and the Templars and presumably the Grand Master.

Afterwards, George and Nico return to Paris and go on their first date on the Eiffel Tower.

Characters

Development

Original

Director's Cut

On March 21, 2009, Ubisoft released a special edition of Shadow of the Templars for the Wii and Nintendo DS. The special editions are extended versions of the original. Unlike in the original, players control Nico for selected portions of the game. In addition, new puzzles designed specifically for each platform. The Wii version is titled Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars - The Director's Cut and features new character artwork by Dave Gibbons during conversations and a new first person view for certain puzzles. Unlike the original game, the updated version also allows for multiple solutions to puzzles and a new co-operative mode for two players. In the DS version, there is no spoken dialogue, only subtitles. [2] A version for iPhone and iPod touch was released on January 20, 2010. In May 2010, a version with higher resolution and a digital comic was released on the iPad. A PC version was released on August 27, 2010 on various digital distribution services. It Wii version won an Europian Games Award for Best Adventure.

Censorship

The director's cut made several changes to the original game. Apart from including a new storyline and puzzles the game also removed several interactive hotspots that were originally in the game. Cutscenes have been edited and cropped, in some cases removed altogether. The game has also been censored in numerous places.

  • During the first Spain scene when the Countess de Vasconcellos shouts to the gardener Lopez to bring down the chess set to the mausoleum she shouts "bring the chess set, yes the old one", the "Damn the game"-sentence has been removed.
  • When Sean Fitzgerald gets hit by Khan's Ferrari, there is a cartoon star effect during the exact frame when he is hit.
  • Blood has been also removed from the cutscene.
  • Rosso does not kill Eklund by throwing a knife into his neck but instead shoots him - a gun and a puff of smoke are animated in his hand, yet Eklund still grasps his throat as he did in the original game.

Also it is impossible to die in the Director's Cut.

Reception

PC Gamer US awarded the game a score of 80/100, and praised its "thrilling blend of quality puzzling, sumptuous graphics, and intelligent story line". The magazine criticized its voice acting, however; the reviewer said, "Although the actor portraying the main character does a good job, [...] many of the characters are so completely off the mark -- and, at times, so annoying -- that you’ll probably switch the text subtitles on and turn the speech off". The reviewer summarized it as "an entertaining game that may not blow everyone away, but if you’re a traditional adventure fan that yearns for the days of old, it’s an adventure you can rely on".[3]

References

  1. ^ Charles Cecil (2011). "Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars sold around 1,000,000 copies". Adventure-Treff.de. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=nm1Ba_rdPHI#t=106s. Retrieved 2011-05-28. 
  2. ^ Charles Cecil, Dave Gibbons (2009). "Broken Sword: The Director's Cut First Look". IGN UK. http://wii.ign.com/articles/955/955773p1.html. Retrieved 2009-02-23. 
  3. ^ Wolf, Mike (January 1997). "Circle of Blood". PC Gamer US. Archived from the original on December 5, 1999. http://web.archive.org/web/19991205111210/www.pcgamer.com/reviews/251.html. Retrieved April 14, 2010. 

External links

P.S. the sword of shadows of legend is called the twilight.


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