[[caption-width-right:320:Four Realms. Two souls. One destiny.]]

->"'''''Civilization is only skin deep.'''''"

PerkyGoth Jen and her [[CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass gargoyle companion Scree]] battle through [[ElementalPowers four elemental]] realms to [[BalanceBetweenGoodAndEvil restore balance]] between [[OrderVersusChaos Order and Chaos]]. Along the way Jen gains the ability to transform into [[ElementalPowers four demonic forms]]. Pretty Tropetastic for a single game not in an already established universe.

A British counterpart to ''VideoGame/{{Ico}}'', ''Primal'' is as much or more about experiencing the game's universe and interaction between characters as it is about gameplay. Sometimes it's like a luxuriously animated old-school text adventure. In contrast to ''VideoGame/{{Ico}}'''s minimalist approach, ''Primal'' spared no expense in its presentation production values. Motion capture, BAFTA nominated soundtrack, machine band combat soundtrack, lavish object and character models, luxurious textures, top-quality voice acting, richly imagined worlds, cultures and races, realistic characters with sometimes extravagant amounts of dialog.

Developed by SCEE Cambridge, the development team responsible for ''VideoGame/MediEvil'' and ''VideoGame/MediEvil2'', ''Primal'' (2003) is a [=PS2=] exclusive. Even today, it can hold its own against more recent games. It is a single player, two character action/adventure game focusing on Jen, a mortal girl attacked when leaving a nightclub with her boyfriend Lewis, singer in the club's band.

The attack leaves Jen and Lewis unconscious in a hospital. A short, dark figure approaches Jen's bed and raises her spirit up out of her body. The figure reveals itself to be a small stone gargoyle named Scree. Scree explains that Jen's body is close to death and she must come with him to the Nexus.

The player can control either Jen or Scree, an animated stone gargoyle, as they travel through four fantastic realms to restore the balance between Order, represented by Lady Arella, and Chaos, represented by Abaddon.

Controllable Characters
* Jen, a snarky Goth girl.
** Slim enough to enter spaces too narrow for Scree.
** Jen obtains forms with different abilities in the various Realms. One of the forms is an almost unique aquatic form. This permits a full water level, as well as watery paths in later levels.
** Jen will do most of the fighting, using only melee attacks, despite the fact that some enemies have ranged attacks. During combat Scree freezes into immobility. If Jen can get clear of combat Scree will loosen up enough to let Jen heal by drawing energy from him.
* Scree, a possessed gargoyle statue. Powers include:
** Able to walk up some dressed stone walls.
** Carry a torch for light and incendiary purposes.
** Collect lodestones.
** Possess some statues, if he has sufficient lodestones.
** Store elemental energy from fountains, energy stones, blobs of energy and enemy corpses.

Jen's Elemental forms are healed by drawing elemental energy from Scree that only he can collect. Her human form is weakest, but regenerates naturally after a short time of not being hit.

Notable Voice Actors:
* Scree - voiced by Andreas Katsulas, who played G'Kar in ''Series/BabylonFive'' and the one-armed man in the Harrison Ford movie, ''The Fugitive''.
* Jen - voiced by Hudson Leick, who played Callisto as a recurring role in ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'' and ''Series/HerculesTheLegendaryJourneys''.
* Jared - voiced by Sean Pertwee. Son of Jon Pertwee of ''Series/DoctorWho'' fame. Sean also voiced the Aquis Engineer uncredited. (You can't mistake that voice.)

It has been released as a [=PS2=] classic on the UsefulNotes/PlaystationNetwork.

!!This game provides examples of

* OneUp: Life Gems for Jen automatically refill demon energy to full should she ever run out.
* AbortedArc: Scree grills Jen about her PowerTattoo, saying the symbol is very important, and asking where the designer saw it. While the same symbol is seen all throughout the game, we're never told why it's so important, or what it means.
* AccidentalMisnaming: Elizabeth calls Scree "Scream".
* ActionGirl: Jen kicks a surprising amount of ass for a waitress.
* AfterBossRecovery
* AgonyBeam: Raum uses this when you fight him in Aetha.
* AliensSpeakingEnglish: Enough of the demon tongue is spoken for flavor, sometimes to Jen, but the majority of communication with the races of Oblivion is in English on both sides.
* AllDrummersAreAnimals: When Jen and Scree meet Adaro for the first time he's descended into a savage beast that's tearing apart a corpse. Jen comments that the drummer of Lewis' band looks like that after a few drinks.
* AnnoyingArrows: The enemy archers can be troublesome, but deal very little damage.
* ApatheticCitizens
** The [=Helot=] peasants in Aetha, the Realm of Air. Hiding in a cellar, waiting to be killed and fed off of one by one.
** The Ferai commoners in Solum. They heard a terrible fight at Jared's camp. No one's seen Jared since. No one goes to check.
* AristocratsAreEvil: Wraith Count Raum, Countess Empusa and their daughter [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_Countess Elizabeth]] in Aetha.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking
** King Herne in Solum.
** King Adaro in Aquis.
** Count Raum and Countess Empusa in Aetha.
* {{Backtracking}}: Fortunately there are a number of portals which can instantly teleport Jen and Scree to any other portal they've found yet.
* BagOfSharing: Both Jen and Scree can pick up energy gems and keys.
* BalanceBetweenGoodAndEvil: More like OrderVersusChaos, but the chaos side has chosen to go for outright destruction instead.
* TheBaroness: Wraith Countess Empusa of the Aetha.
* BattleThemeMusic: by machine band [=16Volt=].
* BerserkButton: Don't call Scree "short."
* {{BFS}}: The large fire sword in Djinn form is the most powerful attack form in the game.
* BladeOnAStick: The demons of Aquis are fond of these.
* BlingOfWar: Wraith guards in Aetha. Armor as CostumePorn.
* BridgeLogic: A tree bridge in Solumn and a statue bridge in Volca.
* ButtonMashing: Combat. Sometimes it works great, often it doesn't.
* CameraAbuse: You see the raindrops hitting the screen when you look up or into the wind in rainy areas. You also see trails of water running down the screen when surfacing from diving.
* CarryABigStick: Herne's weapon of choice is a large mace on the end of a staff.
* CityGuards: Guarding a door in Solum. Jen and Scree must show them the talisman from Jared to pass.
* CoolGate: The Rift Gates.
* CaptainErsatz: [[{{Dracula}} Evil Count]] in a castle what could easily pass for the Carpathian mountains. Gains invulnerability, and perhaps immortality, by feeding off of the blood of poor villagers. {{Lampshade}}d by Jen's "I guess the ol' 'fangs in the neck' trick went out of fashion" when she sees the BloodMachine.
* CourtlyLove: listen to Scree the first time he describes ''Lady'' Arella. Since he's in her service and the only one of the party who can hold a flaming stick, he often [[IncrediblyLamePun carries a torch]] for her as well.
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: [[spoiler:Scree is really Arella's champion, Abdizur, forced to use a stone gargoyle body he used to escape captivity in Volca. Foreshadowed when Scree possesses a statue of Abdizur to fight Belahzur in the Colosseum in Solum. Arella addresses Scree as Abdizur in the next visit to the Nexus.]]
* CuteMonsterGirl: Averted. Though not ugly or overly monstrous, the demon forms are definitely not "cute".
** Elizabeth kinda qualifies with her mix of CreepyChild and CuteMonsterGirl.
* DeadlyDecadentCourt: The Wraith nobility.
* DeadlyDodging: [[spoiler: The final fight vs Ibliss in Volca. Jen must hide behind the largest lamps so the giant statue would destroy them trying to hit her.]]
* DeathGlare: Jen gives one to Scree when he proposes to just walk past her and turn on the switch that will start the turbine and kill Arturo, the Undine engineer. Scree later muses "We can't turn this on without chopping up Arturo. I kill him. Jen kills me. Hmmmm."
* TheDragon: Belahzur, Abaddon's right hand monster.
%%* DoingItForTheArt
* DownTheDrain: Aquis is a water level.
* DualBoss: Raum and Empusa are fought together.
* DualWielding: All of Jen's elemental forms have a two-weapon attack, claws, lightning, dagger and whip, or double daggers.
%%* DyingDream
* EasterEgg
** Walk up to the fire in the Hunt Camp after talking with the Shaman in a cutscene for an optional cutscene.
** Have Jen chat several times with Scree immediately after a return to the Nexus.
** When Jen gains the Wraith form, the grave stone she smashes says "RIP Laura Cruft", a (misspelled) ShoutOut to Franchise/TombRaider's Lara Croft.
*** Which can be seen as either HilariousInHindsight or [[HarsherInHindsight not]], considering that the then upcoming ''VideoGame/TombRaiderAngelOfDarkness'' bombed.
* ElementalPowers - Not strictly speaking, but the four realms of Oblivion correspond to the classical four elements, Earth, Water, Air and fire.
* EmergencyWeapon: Jen's carries a knife she can use in human form. It's not as strong as the demon forms, but it does the trick if she's out of energy.
* EmperorScientist: Count Raum
* EnfantTerrible: Princess Elizabeth, who amuses herself buy killing small animals and carrying around their corpses.
* EpicFlail: Used by some wraith guards, paired with a large [[LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe shield]].
* EverythingsBetterWithSpinning: Lots of spinning control wheels, and rift gates.
* ExpositionFairy: Jen can ask Scree for help. In Count Raum's Mansion in Aetha an array of severed heads serve this purpose in a cutscene. In the mansion proper various severed heads randomly hanging around shout advice and encouragement.
* FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler:Jen, when possessed by King Iblis' Djinn energy. Lewis, presumably possessed by similar means.]]
* FakeKing: [[spoiler:Ferai Queen Devena]] of Solum is actually dead. She's been replaced by a demon magically to imitate her.
* FinishingMove: Jen must kill some defeated enemies with a finishing move or they quickly recover some of their health. Weak {{mooks}} like the Malkai and lava people are exceptions.
* FireIceLightning: Jen's Undine form uses lightning attacks. The Djinn form uses flaming blades. The Ferai Realm is permanent night, winter, and snow.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Concerning Jen's origin, [[spoiler: and Scree's true identity and Lewis involvement]] are scattered almost liberally.
* FlamingSword: Jen's Djinn form wields these and can alternate between [[DualWielding twin blades]] or one [[{{BFS}} very large one]].
* ForgotAboutTheMindReader: When Jen sees Chronos for the first time in a Nexus cutscene she says, "Jeez... he's looking at me!" Scree replies "Perhaps he can ''hear'' you, too."
* FriendlyFireProof: averted. Jen can be hurt by her few allies. Opponents can be hurt by each other. It's even possible to lure one opponent into the line of fire of an opponent with a ranged weapon.
* GameplayAllyImmortality: Scree disguises himself as an ordinary gargoyle while Jen is in combat, and enemies completely ignore him.
* GetBackHereBoss: Raum and Empusa have an annoying habit of flying out of range of Jen's attacks and raining down magical [[BeamSpam beam attacks]].
* GiantEnemyCrab: The Glakk is bigger than Jen.
** On land it's slow and tough. Frequently fights in pairs.
** In water it fires damaging pulses of water at Jen, in addition to being slow and tough.
* GirlishPigtails: Jen. They mostly carry over to her elemental forms, as well.
* GorgeousPeriodDress: The Wraith Royalty in Aetha, also Jen's dress at the masked ball.
** The armor of the various Wraith guards, the Wraith musicians, and the Wraith at the masked ball is pure CostumePorn.
* GraveClouds: Aetha is perpetually covered by these.
* GraveHumor: Wraith Jen breaks a tombstone for '[[Franchise/TombRaider Laura Cruft]]' with a death year of 2003, the year ''Primal'' was released.
* GuideDangIt: Even with the hint system it can sometimes be somewhat confusing knowing where to go. Scree tends to be somewhat vague.
* HeroicBSOD: [[spoiler:Jen, after Aetha. Scree's pep talk is classic. "Now, my girl, stop that. Right, the best thing to do when things get as bad as this is to look at the facts. Agreed? Good. Fact number one- and top fact on the list- I'm still alive. Agreed? Good. Fact number two... you're still here to take care of me! Thank goodness for facts."]]
* HeroicWillpower: Abdizur manages to project his spirit into a stone gargoyle through sheer force of will.
* HideYourChildren: Played straight with the Helot children.
* HornedHumanoid: The Ferai.
%%* HorseOfADifferentColor
* HubWorld: The Nexus
* InASingleBound: Jen in Ferai form, can jump twice her height.
%%* InformingTheFourthWall
* InsurmountableWaistHeightFence: Scree can climb on much fewer walls than he should be able to.
* IShallTauntYou: Jen has a taunt move in combat. It does northing, but taunt.
* JigglePhysics: Jen, a B-cup at best, has a slight wavy motion on her cleavage when she runs. More of a graphical distortion than actual physics model.
** When Jen transforms to/from a beast form, she rises into the air, tilts back, and the camera centers on her torso as she vibrates up and down.
%%* KillItWithFire:
* KingIncognito: [[spoiler:Iblis of Volca]] pretends not to be the king when he actually is.
* LivingStatue: Scree not only is an animated statue, but possesses and animates other statues to progress in the game.
* LosingYourHead: The [[DeadpanSnarker snarky]] severed heads in the torture chamber.
* ManOfWealthAndTaste: Wraith Count Raum in Aetha.
* TheMaze: A small hedge maze in Aetha.
** Lampshaded when Jen remarks, "Eugh. Mazes suck," on encountering it.
* MisterExposition: Scree at great length the start of the game and each realm. Generally at least two other characters per Realm.
* MobileMaze: There's one in Aetha. A switch in the maze causes it to change. That permits the player to advance to another switch that changes the maze again, but to a much simpler form.
* MoodDissonance: Jen is pretty snarky, sometimes even when
%%* MotionCapture
* NoBodyLeftBehind: Averted, all dead monsters leave corpses.
%%* NoFlowInCGI
* NonMammalianMammaries: the female Undine.
%%* NotQuiteDead: [[spoiler:Scree]]
* OminousLatinChanting: During the boss battle with [[spoiler:Adaro]].
%%* OneWingedAngel
* OrderVersusChaos: The entire premise of ''Primal''. Arella was the literal personification of order, and is explicitly named to be so. Her polar opposite is Abbadon.
* OurGargoylesRock: Scree
* OurMermaidsAreDifferent: The Undine have a very fish-like appearance, with visible gills and fins in place of hair, but still sport NonMammalianMammaries.
* PerkyGoth: Jen is pretty cheerful overall, when she does get down in the dumps it's perfectly justified.
* PimpedOutDress: Jen wears one to the masked ball in Aetha.
* PowerTattoo: Jen has a circular design on her back that glows when she adopts various demonic forms.
%%* PuzzleBoss
%%* RightInFrontOfMe
%%* RoyalBrat: Elizabeth.
* RoyalRapier: Count Raum's weapon of choice.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: In Oblivion, chances are if they have a royal title, they're very proactive.
* TheReveal: [[spoiler:Jen's boyfriend Lewis is working for Chaos.]]
%%* SaveTheVillain
%%* SceneryPorn
* SexyBacklessOutfit: Jen's default attire.
* ShieldBearingMook: Appear in all demon worlds, except Aquis.
* ShockAndAwe: Jen's Undine form uses electrical bolts as its primary means of attack.
* ShoutOut
** The opening cutscene is just like the first person travel scenes by the angels in ''Film/TheProphecy'' (1995).
** ''Film/TheTerminator'' - The opening scene of a killer stalking through the dance floor of a nightclub.
** ''Franchise/StarWars'':
*** "[[Film/ANewhope Aren't you a little short for the Grim Reaper?]]"
*** The Tauntauns from ''[[Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back]]'' make an appearance in Solum. The Queen even rides one.
** ''Franchise/TombRaider''
*** Jen has a "look" mode, where she moves her head around and the camera follows, much like Lara Croft's "look" mode in the series.
*** Screen does a forward handstand/legover to move from climbing down a wall to the ground. Lara Croft has a similar special move when climbing over a ledge.
* ShownTheirWork: Take a look around the [[http://primal.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page Wiki]]. Many characters and their names have meaning or relate to some other works in the world.
** An example would be Queen Aino's namesake, from a Finnish poem about a girl who drowns herself rather than be married to an old man. Aino is introduced by "drowning" herself with air (She's from the underwater realm) as a sacrifice.
* SinisterScythe: Jared's weapon of choice.
%%* SleevesAreForWimps
%%* SlidingScaleOfVisualsVersusDialogue
* SpeakingSimlish: The "Demon Tongue", as Scree calls it.
* SpikesOfVillainy: A common sight on Wraith guards.
%%* SpringJump
%%* SuperpoweredEvilSide
* SuspiciousVideogameGenerosity: Lodestones appear just when needed.
** This may be partly due to a unique feature of the game. After playing an unlocked cutscene the game continues on from that point.
* TakeThat: at [[Franchise/TombRaider Lara Croft]]. Wraith Jen breaks a tombstone for 'Laura' Cruft with a death year of 2003, The same year both ''Primal'' and ''VideoGame/TombRaiderAngelOfDarkness'' were released. ''Angel of Darkness'' is also known for being a major bomb.
* TarotMotifs:
** The four worlds Jen visits are each based around one of the Minor Arcana Suits (Solum is Disks, Aquis is Cups, Aetha is Swords, Volca is Wands).
** The game also features an unlockable Tarot Card Gallery depicting some concept art pieces of characters from each of the realms.
* TimedMission: Shortly after you enter Aquis (the UnderTheSea level) and get the "Undine" (fish-like creature) form, Queen Aino is raised out of the water. You have to turn two valves on the other end of the lake to get her back into the water. There's no visible clock, just her [[HellIsThatNoise increasingly desperate cries of "Help me!" every 15 seconds or so]], and if you don't rescue her, she will eventually die... [[GameOver and so will Jen]].
** If Jen runs out of health in human form, the rift gates will open, and you, as Scree, have to get to one to bring Jen back. Just like the Aino mission, there is no visible clock, but you still have to move it, or risk a Game Over.
* TransformationSequence: Whenever Jen transforms into one of her demon forms, which will obviously happen very often. Unfortunately, they're rather longer than needed.
** They can serve a practical purpose too; switching forms in the middle of a fight will knock back adjacent enemies, giving the player a moment to strike back and gain the upper hand.
* UnderTheSea: A full-blown underwater level.
* VoluntaryShapeShifting: Jen, the female main character, can shapeshift into unique monster-like forms.
* WalkItOff: In human form Jen regenerates health when not in combat. Fighting in human form also saves LifeGems, which are automatically used when Jen runs out of energy in beast form. So there's a double reason to fight in human form as much as possible.
* WallCrawl: The gargoyle Scree can climb 'any stonework surface.'
* WhipItGood: Jen's Wraith form.
* WolverineClaws: Jen's Ferai form.