Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Alchemy in Computer Games

I recently posed the question on these pages about why there is not more adaptation going on between the large body of texts collected under the title alchemy and computer games. Alchemy was/is a very spatial field, lots of transformation and quest type scenarios and so on. Well it appears there has been plenty of adaptation going on. While much of it seems to have little connection with the alchemical texts I have found online the general theme is no doubt present. Look at this from the wikipedia:

In the Castlevania series, the legendary whip, the Vampire Killer is made with alchemy. In Castlevania: Curse of Darkness, the player can collect various metals and elements to combine to make weapons, armour and potions for use by the player.
Alchemy is a major theme in the game Haunting Ground. The player can collect medallions, which can be transformed into explosive or toxic materials that can be thrown at the enemy for self defense.

World of Warcraft, an immersive MMORPG, has a player based trade & profession system including Alchemy and Herbalism, which give the user the ability to make potions that aid or give the user special abilities, such as speed increase, invisibility, restoring health and mana, and stats bonuses. The Alchemy profession also has an operation called Transmute which is used to turn some metals gained from the Mining profession into their next higher neighbors.

Sega's Chakan, Genesis and Game Gear video game (1992). The immortal swordsman collects potions around the elemental planes—each with ingredients of four elements. Chakan has the option of mixing any two potions whether its fire and air, earth and earth, etc. A variety of Alchemic solutions occur healing Chakan, damaging surrounding demons, enhanced abilities in jumping and strength, as well as granting elemental properties of fire, ice, thunder and lightning to Chakan's two swords.
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Fantastic Four comics (ca. 1962–). Villain Diablo is an alchemist.

Darklands, PC game (1992). Alchemy features prominently throughout the game.

Aidyn Chronicles: The First Mage video game. Alchemy is featured as a skill.

Verant Interactive's smash hit computer game Everquest (1998-). Shaman characters may learn and train in this skill.

Nintendo's Golden Sun video game (2001). Psynergy is a force that threatens the world, which is connected to many displines: Ki, Chi, Ply, and of course, Alchemy.
Nobuhiro Watsuki, Buso Renkin manga, the title literally means "Arms Alchemy" (2003–2006).

Square Enix's Final Fantasy series features the Alchemist as a job in several games (for example, as a Dresssphere in Final Fantasy X-2). MMORPG Final Fantasy XI also has Alchemy as a crafting skill. Alchemy is used to make various potions and powders, as well as items like fireworks. One item that can be used in certain alchemy recipes is the Philosopher's Stone.

Cristal Chronicles- In this final fantasy game user pick a family job as they start their quest. One of the Jobs is an Alchemist, as an alchemist your family makes you weapon scrolls which are plans to make weapons.

Bethesda Softworks' The Elder Scrolls series prominently features alchemy as a method of creating various potions for use by the player.

Konami's Shadow of Destiny is a cinematic "mystery" videogame where a young man named Eike is given the chance to avoid his own unescapablee death by using an odd, yet simplistic arcane device unsing energy scattered around the world by a frail "artificial" being of unknown gender who calls himself "Homonculus". That being suggests to Eike to go back in time using that device and to thward his own death while trying to find the "Philosopher's stone". The stone is eventually discovered and given to an alchemist living in the past, who uses it to either make the elixir of life in an effort to save his dying wife or to create said "Homonculus", who then grants the alchemist a wish... making him "forever young" but taking his memory as toll. That being wanders the earth lost as "Eike" for centuries until his destiny comes full circle and he is given his chance to make or break his fate by making or not making "Homonculus".

Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb, computer game (2003). A large portion of the game is centered around a castle in Prague formerly owned by an alchemist king.
Ultima Online computer game (1997). Alchemy is one of the player skills and professions.

Zork Nemesis video game (1996).

Secret of Evermore (1995) for the SNES, uses an alchemy combat system where the player mixes ingredients for combat effects, in lieu of typical magic systems.
RuneScape, the massive online mulitplayer game by Jagex, allows a player to turn items into gold with spells once they have achieved a certain mage level. There is also a quest in which a player creates a homunculus, guiding it in the path of magic or logic.

Alchemy is a key plot point and aspect of gameplay in the Playstation 2 RPG, Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana.

In the popular MMORPG Ragnarok Online a playable character class called Alchemist is able to create potions, explosives, simple plant type monsters, and homunculi that fight for them.

In the video game Haunting Ground (2005), alchemy is a large plot point, and the main character is trapped in a castle owned by powerful alchemists and their creations, whom chase her in order to obtain "the Azoth" in one way or another. The stalkers are all clones of a great alchemist from the Middle Ages, and the whole story revolves around enlightenment and purification, rife with symbolism for alchemy in general and what its practitioners believed.

In Square Enix's Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, Alchemy is a trade that a character can learn in the shops.

The Atelier Iris games revolve heavily around alchemy, where spirits of nature (Mana) are used to extract elements from the environment, and transmute them into a variety of items.

In the game Devil May Cry, a character named Dante uses the Philosopher's Stone to enter the underworld.

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