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Video Game / Chains of Satinav

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In the Kingdom of Andergast, there lives a much abused young man named Geron. 13 years ago, an evil mystic called the Seer was burnt at the stake, following an attempt on his part to take over the kingdom using the power of an artifact called the Fairy Harp. Before he died, he picked Geron out of the crowd of people who had come to his execution, and proclaimed that the boy would bring doom. Ever since then, most people in Andergast have taken to treating Geron as a walking bad-luck charm. It doesn't help matters that Geron does have a certain magical knack for breaking things, and that he's an orphan and a peasant. He makes a difficult living as an apprentice to an old bird-catching trapper named Gwinnling.

One day, King Wrathling declares that there will be a festival in celebration of the visit of the Queen of Nostria, a neighboring kingdom against which Andergast has waged 14 wars. As part of the festivities, he calls the older boys of the town to a contest - whoever can find four hidden metallic leaves first will receive an audience and honors from the King. Geron, determined to prove his worth, manages this feat, for which the King awards him with... the job of clearing the crows out of his castle's guest bedchamber.


Unfortunately, these are no ordinary crows - they're far more aggressive, destructive, and intelligent than normal birds. After his attempts to catch them conventionally fail, Geron turns to Gwinnling for help. Gwinnling remembers a time in which crows like these haunted the skies at the Seer's command, and bids Geron to go and catch a fairy in order to make a special remedy for cursed crows.

Geron, peeved by what he thinks is foolishness, sets off into the woods to seek out a fairy at the site of an old Fairy Gate that Gwinnling told him about, and "catches" the fairy Nuri. When he comes back, he finds that he has several problems. First, Nuri is no Disney Fairy - she's human-sized, and just intelligent enough to get herself into a lot of trouble without constant supervision. Second, Gwinnling has been brutally murdered and his eyes plucked out. Last and worst, the Seer apparently is making a return to the world, somehow - more and more of his birds are in the sky, and dark fairies twisted by his abuse are hunting Nuri. And then things get complicated.


Chains of Satinav is a 2012 point-and-click adventure game set in the world of The Dark Eye, developex by Daedalic Entertainment. A sequel, Memoria, was released in 2013.

Tropes in this work include:

  • All There in the Manual: This game has a ton of off-hand references to The Dark Eye, without most of the context you'd get from reading the tabletop game's rulebooks.
  • Always Save the Girl: From the word go, Geron refuses to sacrifice Nuri for anything, even though he knows killing Nuri would throw a wrench in the Seer's plans.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Initially, Geron is disinclined to believe Gwinnling's warnings about the Seer, despite living in a fantasy tabletop game setting. But by the end of the game, Geron has matured into an Unfazed Everyman.
  • Artifact of Death: The Fairy Harp can only be played by a fairy - any human trying to play it just dies. Cue the hunt for Nuri.
  • Big Bad: The Seer.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The seer's command word to activate his soul-swapping ring is "Corvus." Guess what the latin name for the family of birds to which ravens and crows belong is?
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the end, the Seer is defeated, but Andergast has suffered much from his depredations and Nuri is now stuck in the body of a Raven.
  • Black Speech: The orcs in the game only speak Orkish. The subtitles are given, but the translation is not.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: It's not as bad as certain other games by the same publisher, but the game features many awkward lines due to too-literal translation from German.
    • Inanimate objects, plants, animals, and the like are sometimes referred to with gendered pronouns (as they would be in German): for instance, Gwinnling refers to a harp as both "it" and "she" in one conversation.
    • Some individual words are too literally translated as well, e.g. Wasserspiel (an old word for a fancy fountain): Geron's line meaning "A fountain?" is confusingly translated as "Some water games?".
    • The fairy realm is called "Neirutvena" several times in the English script, instead of "Neirutneva" as in the original (it's supposed to be a Sdrawkcab Name).
  • Blind Seer: The Seer, who has Prophet Eyes and the ability to foretell the future. Olgierd refers to him as such in the opening scene.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Geron and Nuri, with some shades of Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl. For extra Foil points, Geron's basic magical power is the ability to break things, whereas Nuri has the power to mend them.
  • Burn the Witch!: The method of the Seer's execution thirteen years before. Also, when the citizens of Andergast see Nuri using magic, an angry mob threatens to do this, which is the catalyst for Geron and Nuri fleeing the city.
  • But Thou Must!: You have to lie to Nuri about Fanglari. No, you can't tell her the truth later.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Using any significant amount of magical power causes Nuri physical pain. So during those two months when she was bound to the Harp...
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Nuri spent most of her life in the fairy land, or in a small section of the Stone Oak forest. She has no idea how normal human society works, and it shows.
  • Creepy Crows: Andergast is dealing with a plague of them.
  • Determinator: Geron, although his troubles are more psychological than physical. He has to deal with contempt and abuse from nearly everyone, especially in the early game, but he never quits, or talks about changing course. Ever.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: For reasons which she will not explain, Nuri refuses to consider the idea of going back to the fairy land, even when her life is at stake.
  • Earthy Barefoot Character: A Friend to All Living Things who Does Not Like Shoes? Gotta be Nuri.
  • Easter Egg: Coupled with Shout-Out. During the section where Nuri and Geron traverse the mountains and stumble upon an Orc camp, there's one background where the camp directly is shown. On one of the tents, a small, crude drawing of a stylized bovine skull can be seen. A fitting image for a nomadic warrior culture that's an Expy for (Hollywood) Mongols, right? It's actually the logo of the Wacken Open Air (a metal festival in Germany, one of the largest in the world), even with the letters W.O.A. underneath it.
  • Fake Longevity: To get all the achievements, you'll have to play the game through many times. That, or do a lot of Save Scumming.
  • Fairy Companion: Nuri is an unusually large one. Her talents include magical mending, the ability to understand the speech of all people and animals, and being adorable.
  • Grand Theft Me: This is how the Seer stayed alive despite being burned, and this is how Geron is able to defeat him in the end, with the Seer's ring as his petard.
  • Lighter and Softer: Than the tabletop game this was based on.
    • To be fair, it's on the level of the setting's early days, in which it was quite idealistic and less grim than many RPG universes. It did get much Darker and Edgier and slowly turned into a Crapsack World, but even now, quite a few published "adventures" (modules) for beginning players and characters take place in small, faraway regions of Aventuria which were not as affected by all the demonic invasions and whatnot, and which are close to the game in tone and general outlook. Regardless, the game itself does turn noticeably darker towards the end.
  • Love at First Sight: Invoked and defied. When Geron sees Nuri for the first time, he's speechless. Nuri promptly asks if he's in love, and Geron promptly denies it.
  • Mind Rape: What the Seer does with the citizens of Andergast after taking over.
  • Mind Screw: The fairy world.
  • Musical Assassin: Anyone who plays the Harp, and the Harp itself to the player.
  • Mystical Waif: Nuri. She's the only known fairy in Andergast, and maybe all of Aventuria, which is why the Seer needs her for his evil plan. Meeting her, and realizing that he has to protect her, serves as the Call to Adventure for Geron. In addition to the power to repair broken things, she has several magical abilities. Her bright orange clothing contrasts in both color and style with what most of the rest of the characters are wearing. And she ends up as Geron's love interest.
  • NPC Amnesia: Getting access to Harm's ship requires several goes through the conversation with the guard so that you know what questions you need to answer (and what they're called in smuggler's jargon). Also, the conversation with Olgierd near the end where you try to convince him not to kill himself can be very repetitive if you fail to address his arguments satisfactorily and have to start a dialogue tree branch over. However, this latter conversation is optional since you'll get the item you need regardless of whether he kills himself or not.
  • Romani: There are no Romani people as such in this universe, but Isida is a clear fantasy counterpart of them.
  • Royal "We": The Fairy Queen addresses herself with this.
  • Sarcastic Confession: When Geron poses as one of Aarauken's messengers to gain access to Harm's ship, Harm is suspicious because he's never seen Geron before. You can choose to tell the truth or lie to him. If you pick the former, Geron explains that he's not a messenger and he's there to steal Harm's magic prism. Harm thinks he's joking.
  • Scenery Porn: The painted backgrounds of this game are beyond beautiful. Someone at Daedalic must really like landscapes.
  • Schmuck Bait: The fairy scholar emphatically warns Nuri not to touch the fairy crystal, and she immediately touches it. Disaster ensues.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: "Neirutneva", the name of Nuri's home world, is "Aventurien" — the name of the continent the story takes place on (called "Aventuria" in the English translation) — spelled backwards.
  • Smart People Know Latin: The fairy scientist certainly does. So do the magicians at the Academy: stone tablets with Latin mottos on them adorn the walls.
  • Stock Scream: The dark fairy lets out a Wilhelm Scream when he falls for Geron's trap in the mill.
  • The Wonderland: Nuri's former home of Neirutneva is one of these, complete with whimsically bizarre creatures, climate, and architecture.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Geron doesn't think much of his breaking talent. And if you spend a lot of time trying to use it on things that Geron can't break, you may feel the same.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: A recurring theme. "The Chains of Satinav" refers to a bit of Dark Eye mythology about a 13-horned giant who tried to control his own fate by hijacking the Gods' Barge of Time. As punishment, the Gods shackled him to its helm, condemning him to follow the flow of the river of time forever. Such is the fate of all mortals, allegedly...
    • Although said giant, the titular Satinav, was not a mortal, but either a TDE counterpart to a Titan (as in Greek Mythology), one of the Primal Dragons (effectively demigods) or even the thirteenth Demon Prince, who "switched allegiance". All three theories are represented in-universe and among fans, and none of them have been explicitly confirmed. What is clear is that he's not a mere mortal, but that only serves to emphasize the point - if even such beings cannot fight fate, who can?

Alternative Title(s): The Chains Of Satinav


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