For in this world, consumed by strife, there was one belief shared by all. That whoever controlled the skies had dominion over the earth.Lair
is a fantasy flight sim released by Factor 5 for the Playstation 3 in 2007.
The world the game takes place in was once peaceful and united under a single faith until the emergence of deadly volcanoes. Poisoning the air and destroying much of the land, the people of the land soon became divided into two factions. The Mokai looked to forge a new life in the harsh land of the north, whilst the Asylians took refuge in the safe mountains of the south.
Predictably, the factions eventually clash when the Mokai launch an offensive to take the desirable lands of Asylia by force. This is where the player steps in to take control of Rohn Partridge, a "Burner"
of the Sky Guard. You must defend your noble land from this threat with the aid of your fire-breathing friend. However, despite being painted as savages by the Asylian spiritual leader "The Diviner", it appears the Mokai's attacks may be motivated by desperation.
Lair was hugely anticipated whilst in development. It looked gorgeous, it was made by Factor 5 of Rogue Squadron
fame, and best of all, it had you riding atop a dragon
. But when it was released, it became clear that its control scheme was deeply frustrating for a lot of players — movement and many attacks required the motion control of the PS3
Sixaxis controller, many people just couldn't get in sync with it, and at launch there was no
alternate control scheme; everything had been bet on the Sixaxis. A few weeks after release, a button-only control scheme was released, but by then, the damage to the game's reputation had been done.
Lair is largely remembered most as a missed opportunity
with flawed controls, and as the game that killed off
Factor 5, who went out of business when it bombed. It likely was also a major factor in the quiet abandonment of the Sixaxis by Sony. However, some film score geeks remember the game for the kick-ass orchestral score by first time video game composer John Debney
, which could be considered part of the best things that came out of such a failed project (does that ring any bells?
Tropes found in this game:
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Coral Snake, oh so much.
- Badass: Loden; sure, he's evil, but when a guy single-handedly takes down an attacking dragon like it's nothing, he's badass.
- Big Bad: The Diviner
- Charge Attack: Occasionally tapping the fire button = giant fireballs. Rapidly tapping = smaller fireballs. Hold for continuous stream.
- Corrupt Church: The faiths born from the volcanic disaster were fueled by fear and paranoia. The Diviner is obviously a corrupt leader of Asylia's religion.
- Creator Killer
- Disney Villain Death: The Diviner.
- The Dragon: Loden is very much this to the Diviner.
- Dragon-in-Chief: Loden is very much the biggest threat, considering he's leading the enemy forces into battle, is very skilled both on and off his dragon, has the biggest dragon in the game, and is undeniably Badass.
- Dragon Rider: For once, it actually makes sense, as the special kills involve some combination of the dragon and the rider attacking to bring down an enemy dragon.
- Fantastic Racism: The Asylian attitude toward the Mokai, including Rohn. At least at the start of the game.
- Heroic BSOD: Rohn suffers this when he realises he's unwittingly killed innocent civilians, including women and children.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Robin Atkin Downes as Rohn, Crispin Freeman as Koba Kai, John Cygan aka Solidus Snake, Phil Proctor and Peter Renaday aka Warren Vidic and Al Mualim aka as Guardians, Fred Tatasciore as General Atta Kai, Dorian Harewood as the only black guy, and Carlos Alazraqui as The Diviner.
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: John Debney's score was only made available through iTunes (in a condensed release, the complete score runs 150 minutes). A CD release is expected to be unlikely due to the game company selling the score rights to an outside company. Debney and La-La Land Records have expressed interest in getting the soundtrack rights for a future release, but nothing has happened yet.
- Kill It with Fire: The dragon's firebreath, of course; also, the bombs you can pick up. They have a surprisingly large blast radius.
- Noble Savages: The Mokai.
- Press X to Not Die: When fighting the Coral Snake.
- Recycled IN SPACE!: Ace Combat with dragons.
- Scenery Porn: Like Heavenly Sword, Lair was treated just as much as a Tech Demo as a game, complete with massive sprawling environments, Motion Captured cutscenes, and highly detail main characters and sound.
- Spiritual Successor: Factor 5 show their Rogue Squadron roots off quite a bit.
- Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: Steam cannons (Mokai) and large animals (Assylian) will often be used to counter whatever friendly units are available on your current mission. Thus, your job is generally removing them so your allied units can do their job. Apparently, dragons trump everything.