Around August of 1998, an interesting tidbit of information came out. THQ and H20 were developing an RPG, but unlike most RPGs, they were developing it for the Nintendo 64. Now, this was not THQ's first Nintendo 64 RPG, Quest 64 was. This crew stated that this new game, tenatively titled NomenQuest, would be much more realistic than the cartoon style that Quest 64 had. NomenQuest would bring a more serious traditional RPG to the Nintendo 64 system for the first time.
However, it seemed that NomenQuest disappeared and then many months later another title from THQ popped up, called Aidyn Chronicles. There was some speculation that it was a different title altogether, but that can now be put to rest. Not only is Aidyn Chronicles: The First Mage the title formerly called NomenQuest, but RPGamer has obtained exclusive information about the entire game.
Aidyn Chronicles: The First Mage is tradtional RPG designed by a team headed by Chris Klug, the designer of the pen-and-paper RPG "DragonQuest" for TSR. It will feature a real-time 3D polygonal environment and beautifully animated 3D characters. The combat environment will also be completely 3D with many traditional fantasy weapons, such as swords, bow and arrows, and axes. All of these graphics can also be further enhanced, as the game will have full support for the Memory Expansion Pak.
As for the gameplay, there will be both action and turn-based combat, although at this time it is not known exactly how this will work. It is known, though, that there will be some sort of day/night cycle that will affect the way a character performs. There will also be random weather effects, such as fog and rain, and they will have an impact on the characters as well. As for the magic system, there will be different schools of magic to learn, but what those schools are has yet to be revealed.
The storyline for the game opens like this: Alaron was a young man who was orphaned as a baby, and was raised by Duke Lloyd in the capitol city of Iden, in the kingdom which is also called Iden. Alaron was raised there as a squire. When he was seventeen, he was sent to patrol in the deep wilderness, where he was nearly killed in an ambush. Oriana found him, and the wise old woman nursed him to health. As wise old women in RPGs tend to be able to do, Oriana detected something unusual about the boy, and suggested he go on a quest to find the truth about his past.
From there Alaron is sent into the world to travel to new and exotic places and meet strange and wonderful people. Some of these people will even join Alaron in his travels. However, they must always be wary, as it seems a force is always right behind him, waiting for just the right time to strike. Alaron and company must brave the deserts, mountains, forests, and monster-covered islands to find the truth. In case you were worried, the game's storyline will be rich and involving, but not completely linear, as the player has the freedom to choose in what order tasks can be accomplished.
As for the party system, you will be able to control four characters in a party at once, and there will be ten playable characters total. RPGamer has information on nine of the ten characters. The tenth is either a secret character or a character that cannot be revealed as playable at this time. Here are the characters so far:
- Alaron - The main character of the game. He was training to become a knight when Oriana, the wise old woman, told him that he needed to go on a quest to find out about the past.
- Brenna - Alaron's best friend and a fellow orphan. She had to make do as a thief to survive before finally being taken in. Alaron and Brenna fight constantly, but are very close.
- Abrecan - He is the captain of the guard, and a knight devoted to duty and honor. He is a weapons expert, and also is concerned that Alaron will not fulfill his promise to become a knight.
- Rheda - A young wizard who let's her passion and concern override her thought process. She is obsessed with curing her friend Niesen, who got a curse placed upon him by a necromancer. Rheda has a great knowledge of magic and is Alaron's teacher.
- Godric - He is the alchemist for the castle. He is very intelligent, but very, well, not there. He is best described as "eccentric." He knows a lot about potions and herbs, though.
- Becan - A hero who saved even the life of the King in battle. He, however, now detests war and seeks a life of peace as a woodsman. He is being pulled between his desire to help Alaron and his disdain for battling again.
- Arturo - The muscle-bound brainless brute of the group. He has one goal in life, to become a knight. His battle technique is questionable, but he is a powerful ally.
- Donovan - The daredevil swordsman who turns down no fight, he does not believe that anyone could possibly beat him. He has yet to realize that the sword alone cannot defeat all foes.
- Baird - This crazy character is a barbaric warrior, but also a poet. He fancies that he is the lead character in grand epic, and has been known to break into verse whenever he feels inspired, whether opportune or not.
As you go on your quest, you will most likely run into all of these crazy characters on your quest. Now, if you are interested in where you might be going on your quest, then check out this list of towns that you will find on your quest.
- Iden - The capitol city of the kingdom of Iden. It is the home of Alaron and where the king has his castle.
- Erromon - A city located in the mountains northwest of Iden. It is the home of the Mirari, which is a non-human race of some kind. Half the city is underground, and the entire city is protected by Mirari Elemental magic.
- Port Saiid - This port town sits on the north end of the Sundering Sea. It is a busy port with an ancient magic lighthouse. Most of the city is sailors and merchants.
- Terminor - They recently broke away and won their freedom from Iden, so the relationship between them and Iden is not exactly the greatest. The city is a major center for business, and is found in between Port Saiid and Talewok.
- Talewok - The magical city, where wizards are trained. This city south of Iden is basically the school and those who help run it.
- Ugarit - The city of the Jundar, another non-human race. Human eyes have not seen this city in well over a thousand years. The last of a strong empire, the city is thought to be the last Jundar settlement in the world. It is surrounded by a desert that used to be a rainforest.
When Aidyn Chronicles: The First Mage comes out this Summer, it will be the first "traditional" RPG to appear on the Nintendo 64 system. With features like the non-linear gameplay, the random weather effects, and the day/night cycle, this game aims to be more than just another RPG. THQ and H20 have worked very hard to put together a quality product, and it looks to make every RPG fan who bought a Nintendo 64 very happy.