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Video Game / Divine Divinity

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Divine Divinity is a 2002 role-playing game for the PC, developed by Belgian developer Larian Studios.

Set in the Standard Fantasy Setting of Rivellon, Divine Divinity follows a very similar gameplay style and graphical style to the popular Diablo, but mixes in Baldur's Gate-style dialog tree conversations with humorous, sometimes lampshade-hanging dialog. The game has a linear main plot, but exposes you to a well-sized Wide-Open Sandbox full of little side-quests and secrets to find in the wilderness.

Divine Divinity was well-received at the time, but ultimately forgotten about, though two sequels were released. Thanks to digital re-releases on and Steam, the game and its sequels have slowly gained more appreciation.

The Divinity series consists of following games:

Chronologically, the games occur in following order:

  1. Dragon Commander (dating uncertain, but many thousands of years before everything else)
  2. Original Sin (1222 years before DD)
  3. Divine Divinity
  4. Beyond Divinity (20 years after DD)
  5. Original Sin II (24 years after DD)
  6. Fallen Heroes (at some point after D:OS2 but presumably before D2)
  7. Divinity II (82 years after DD)

That said, Larian's writers have never been sticklers for continuity, so most games a) can be played standalone without knowing the plots of the previous games and b) liberally apply Retcon to the events of previous installments for dramatic effect.

This game contains examples of:

  • 11th-Hour Superpower: The skills in the Path of the Divine aren't available until you reach the final area. They're very powerful, and the game encourages you to invest in them by giving you a lot of levels and skill points even at such a late stage.
  • All Trolls Are Different: Big, mean and ugly trolls as standard enemies. They crumble into broken pieces of rocks when they die. One troll king said he practiced Troll Bridge before soldiers drove him off.
  • Angry Guard Dog: All dogs will attack you if you did the same to any of them. Fortunately, you can slay them without losing any reputation.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: If your identify skill is high enough, any unknown items will be identified without even picking them up. Otherwise, you need pay a shopkeeper to do it for you.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Subverted with the teleporter pyramid stones. Set one where you want, for example a bed, and carry the other around. You can teleport around whenever you want.
  • Badass Boast: Upon confronting Rak'Sheen the dragon rider:
    Rak'Sheen: "You dare to oppose Rak'Sheen of house Hamunabi? You are indeed a fool, human! When I am finished with you, my dragon Goranthol shall feast upon your hide."
    Player: "I've battled your kind before. You are no match for me."
    Rak'Sheen: "You are a fool to think such human! No living mortal can stand against me. Prepare to embrace death human!"
    Player: "I -am- death, dragon rider!"
  • Bad Boss: One neutral Orc will ask you to find an axe, named Slasher. When you return it to him, he test the Slasher on one of his fellow Orc by hacking him dead.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The Big Bad is dead, but he managed to complete the ritual, so the Lord of Chaos has returned as a child. Attempts of the hero to raise him properly would fail.
  • Being Good Sucks: The only way to save a child from a vampire is to let the vampire bite you. As a consequence, you lose 1 point in every attributes.
  • BFS: Two-handed swords are available, but they require lots of strength and agility to manipulate.
  • Big Bad: The Demon Of Lies AKA Duke Janus.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: No RPG will be complete without giant spiders, giant beetles, oversized wasps, steel scorpions and other annoying vermins.
  • Big Fancy House: Sir Dante and Sir Patrick both the largest mansions in Verdistis. There are several rooms with many valuables and take many screen scrolls to fully explore.
  • Big "NO!": Standard last words by enemies slain by you.
  • Big "WHAT?!": When you denounce Doctor Elrath as the culprit for plaguing the poor, commander Ralph will let out a shocking big "WHAT?!". Same with the high priest when to tell him that Vinny peed on the sacred wine.
  • Bittersweet Ending / Downer Ending: Sure, The Demon of Lies is dead, but his ritual is performed, and Lord of Chaos has returned as a child. Though the hero will try to bring raise him as a good man, he will fail.
  • Boring, but Practical: Aura of guarding, Spellshield, Magical Barrier boost your resistances against physical and magical attacks. Nothing flashy or amazing, but they do their job just fine.
  • Brick Joke: Near the beginning in Aleroth, you open the catacombs by magically launching a sealing statue into the sky. Later, on several instances in other places people will remark about the "mysterious flying man". Finally, in the ending cutscene, it drops out of the sky. At this point you'll probably have forgotten about it and it comes as a complete surprise.
  • Bonus Boss: Shrimpo (a giant hermit crab) who is also very fast and a Damage-Sponge Boss.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Using a bow or a crossbow gives you limitless projectiles.
  • Camera Screw: Some doors can't be seen because they are in the back of the building. You need to press the ALT key to reveal them. Same with monsters who stick close to walls.
  • Cats Are Snarkers: Cosmos the talking cat.
  • The Chosen One: You are The Marked One, who is the only one who can stand up to the forces of evil. However, there are two other Marked Ones, and they are just as likely to be the ones to fight the battle. Until they're both killed off. Guess it's up to you after all. There is also The Divine One, an even more important title, which Duke Janus claims. No, that's you too.
  • The Computer Is a Lying Bastard: One of the loading screen tips tells you to kill Otho's pigs because "he really likes that." He doesn't. If you kill the pigs, he'll retaliate immediately, and likely incinerate you in an instant. As self-aware as ever, another loading screen will say: "Don't believe everything you read."
  • Cool, but Inefficient:
    • You can place makers on your area map, but they don't show up on your mini-map.
    • Putting points in the Wisdom skill boost the amount of XP you gain, up to 10% more. However, you'll probably only gain a single extra level which isn't much.
    • Survivor's Instinct provide Regenerating Health, but the healing rate is so slow, it's better to just quaff a healing potion or cast Restoration.
    • Heaven's Gift allows to get a random item ranging from gold to magical items. You'll get this skill at level 24 which by this point, money isn't an issue anymore for most players.
    • Flash Attack jumps you near an opponent and strikes him, but drain all of your stamina. Hope you don't need to run.
  • Critical Encumbrance Failure
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Later in Divinity II, its revealed that the canon version of the Divine One is a paladin named Lucian.
  • Death by Cameo: Drizzt's corpse can be found in the wilderness. You can loot an amulet from the body with Cattie-Brie's initials on it.
  • Dem Bones: Skeletal mooks are a fairly common enemy, especially in the catacombs which is typically the first dungeon most players tackle. A couple of them throw shade on the inherent silliness and impossibility of the trope, which causes them to collapse in a Puff of Logic.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Divine Divinity. Even mocked in this article about the 50 most ridiculous game titles ever.
  • De-Power Zone: Some areas of Stormfist castle prevent you from using magic, which is pretty bad for wizards.
  • Digital Piracy Is Evil: A loading screen will warn you to not pirate the game, or else it will blow up your system. Also see Blatant Lies.
  • Domino Mask: The female survivor wears one when not wearing a helmet.
  • Double Weapon: Double-axes are used by Lizard Warriors against you. You can't loot them however.
  • Dungeon Bypass: It's possible to skip close to the end of the Catacombs just by warping to the teleporting pyramid using the one that you're given earlier by Lanilor. It's not recommended though, because the pyramid happens to be smack dab in the middle of a lot of enemies that are pretty high level for that stage of the game.
  • Ear Fins: The cosmetic options for Lizards include fanlike sets of fins where a human, elf, or dwarf would have ears. Not all Lizards have them, however; some may have spikes, horns, plates, flexible combs, or nothing at all.
  • An Economy Is You
  • Elves vs. Dwarves: They typically do not get along and are on the verge of war before the player can step in and resolve the conflict.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Warrior-Mage-Survivor (a rogue/ranger hybrid). Although all classes could learn all skills, this determined to what degree their stats affected their health, mana, damage, accuracy and evasion. Increasing the agility of a survivor grants a large boost to accuracy and agility, for example, while increasing strength only has a small effect on the melee damage of the mage.
  • Fog of War: Any unexplored areas will be covered by a black fog. Some skills allow you see further or reveal a large area.
  • Giant Mook: Watch for those giant-sized orcs, they hit hard and are harder to hit.
  • Giant Spider: The game has various giant spiders as enemies and yes, they have poisonous attacks.
  • A God Am I: Duke Janus.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Early in the game, you suffer a major reputation loss for failing to protect Duke Janus from orc assassins.
  • Hide Your Children: Both averted.
  • Hourglass Plot: Maria is a former rich noble who lost everything and was forced to live in the slums, all because of a rival merchant named Malcom who framed her family for wrongdoings. She asks you to find proof of Malcom's illegal actions. Once this is accomplished, Maria is reinstated and Malcom is thrown out of the Merchant Guild. You also have a chance to buy Malcom's house, leaving him dirt poor.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Eating certain food items will restore your health. However, eating too much and you'll get a message saying that you're stuffed.
  • Improvised Weapon: Rakes, kitchen knives, shovels and other tools can used as a weapon, even though their damage output is lame. Rocks, barrels, broken glass bottles and other stuff on the ground can also be thrown at monsters for minor damage.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Holy Weapon and the Dragon Armor.
  • In the Hood: The male Survivor always has a hood up when he's not wearing a helmet.
  • Ironic Echo: The child who leads Wouter to his death tells him "Money is money, sucker!", which is repeated by the Dragon Rider who recruited him when he is double-crossed.
  • The Law of Conservation of Detail: Thoroughly averted. The game is littered with realistic junk and books about all sorts of topics. Also many, many NPC characters can be asked, helped or killed without much plot-relevance.
  • Lizard Folk: They're mostly antagonistic and are found mainly in the sewers and the dark forest. However, the first one you're likely to meet is quite friendly.
  • The Magic Goes Away: Not all magic, but the very start of the game sees Source magic stop working. This is particularly troubling to the healers of Aleroth who use it extensively. It's only temporary (as Original Sin II shows) but seems to be gone again by Ego Draconis.
  • Monster Compendium: The game has a log for all the monsters you killed the game. It will also include harmless animals and innocent people that you've slaughtered.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The Dwarves plan to make war with the Elves for the theft of their sacred relic, the Axe of Stone. They even tortured the alleged perpetrator, an elf. When you revealed that the Black Ring has fooled everyone, the Dwarves are horrified by what they did to the elf. After setting him free, they nurse him back to health and many contributed their gold as a compensation for his ordeal.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Just about every Orc in the game is hostile, with the exception their Council representative, Kroxy. Same for the Lizard Folk; Goemoe is the only friendly one you'll encounter.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: One of the Black Ring's higher mage is named Demona. The name evokes demons and it kinda reminds you of another Demona from Disney.
  • Navel-Deep Neckline: The female survivor's default clothing exposes a lot of her skin.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: At the end of the game, instead of killing the newly born Antichrist while he's still a baby, the Hero instead adopts the kid and tries to raise him as a good guy. As the sequels show, that didn't exactly work out so well.
  • No Hero Discount: Averted. Heroic deeds improve your reputation plus you can give shopkeepers more money so they like you more and give you even higher discounts. You can ALSO kill them just fine (it's possible the guards will try to stab you then, however).
  • Non-Indicative Name:
    • The Burning Wall spell is wall of lightning, not fire.
    • Sadly, Meteorstrike doesn't drop a flaming rock at monsters, it's just a fancy name for a fire bolt spell.
  • Not Me This Time: When you confront a cave vampire for murdering George, he denies any responsibility in the matter. He's telling the truth, it's another vampire who killed George.
  • Oculothorax: Cyrion, a blob of flesh floating in the air with many eyes, tentacles and mouths. It use melee attacks only however.
  • One-Winged Angel: Duke Janus
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Stout angry vikings who hate elves, swing axes, and hoard gold. They also find the human practice of shaving facial hair to be strange and confusing.
    • The hoarding of gold is averted a bit. The Dwarves like their wealth, but the main reason they keep all their gold locked away because none of the other races understand monetary inflation. Letting them into the Dwarven treasuries wouldn't make everyone rich, it would just devalue gold to the point of worthlessness.
  • Our Ghouls Are Creepier: They look like walking grey corpses. Oddly, greater ghouls have red spikes all over their bodies.
  • Our Liches Are Different: Liches are regular enemies in this game and they have both melee attacks and magic spells.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: They lean more towards Blizzard Orcs.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Unlike most RPG games, zombies in Divine Divinity are not low-level monsters, they are at least level 20 or more. They should not be underestimated for they hit surprisingly hard.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: The game is littered with this:
    • Restoration potions heal both health and magic better than their lesser cousins, health and magic potions.
    • Elven Sight increase your sight and attack range. So does Ranger's Sight, but to a lesser degree and is only available at higher levels compared to Elven Sight.
    • Whitering Curse and Curse both debuff monsters' resistance, but Curse also reduces offensive rating, defense rating and can't be resisted.
    • The Poison Weapon skill works on any weapons while Poison Arrows and Poison Damage are restricted to projectiles and melee weapons respectively. And they do less damage than Poison Weapon.
    • The Skeleton Wall skill summon multiple skeletons at the first level while you need to maximize Summon Skeleton skill just to have five skeletons.
    • Fade from Sight is way better than the Survivor's sneak and Embrace Shadows skill. While it continually consume mana while invisible, it isn't affected by light sources (which breaks invisibility) and works under any conditions.
  • Pixel Hunt: Several items can be found just lying around on the floor, and sometimes even behind bushes, rocks, etc. This includes items like keys.
  • Point Build System
  • Protagonist Without a Past: Your character just sort of woke up in village somewhere.
  • Puff of Logic: While exploring the Aleroth catacombs, the player character comes across two skeletons having a conversation. One of them is in the middle of explaining that they don't have to eat because they have no stomach, and so the other responds by saying that they shouldn't be able to talk because they have no vocal cords. The first one agrees and adds that they shouldn't be able to hold themselves together because they don't have any muscle or skin. The other one says that it's best they don't get into thinking about their existence because he doesn't want to fall apart because of it, but it's already too late by then and they quickly collapse.
  • A Real Man Is a Killer: The Orcs don't consider their young ones mature, until their first kill.
  • Real-Time with Pause
  • Royal Brat: Duke Janus.
  • Save Scumming: This method can help you buy skillbooks or charms from merchants. Just be prepare to reload your game A LOT.
  • Schmuck Bait: The self-aware writing lends itself to this. Basically, if something explicitly tells you not to do something, doing that thing will tend to have some consequences.
    • Jake's grave in the Aleroth cemetery says he doesn't want flowers, especially not from his wife. If you drag the flowers from his wife's grave on to his, he comes back as a zombie and attacks you for disregarding his wishes.
    • Every single post marking the ancient battlefield tells you not to touch the stone in the middle. Touching the stone will have the player slowly read aloud the engraved words, along with one last warning not to touch it... while an army of skeletons appears behind them.
  • Scotireland: Joris, the third Marked One, has a Scottish accent for some of his lines and an Irish accent for others.
  • Sequel Hook: The game ends with the Divine One adopting the baby that the Demon of Lies turned into. This sets the stage for the stories of Beyond Divinity and Divinity II: Ego Draconis.
  • Shield Bash: Shield Expertise allows you to attack with your shield. It start with 5% chance and goes up to a maximum 25% at later levels.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Smooch of Victory: If you free Penumbra she'll give you a kiss on the cheek before leaving.
  • Socketed Equipment: The Charm System is basically this with a different name. Also a Game-Breaker when you only use the golden charms, which boost your stats through the stratosphere.
  • Spoiled Brat: Duke Janus. One entry in the Player Character 's diary mention him as such and God is it true.
  • Spin Attack: The warrior's exclusive ability is a spin attack that hit multiple monsters. You need stamina to use it however.
  • Sprint Meter: You can run as long as you have you have stamina. Once depleted, you need to stand still and wait for the meter to refill itself or take a stamina potion.
  • Standard Fantasy Setting: While on first glance it's a Cliché Storm, the game proves itself to be rather self aware on many occasions.
  • Stripperiffic: The female survivor and warrior. The wizard is a bit more modest, but her robe is still quite short. Downplayed when wearing armor and greaves, which (mostly) cover you.
  • Squishy Wizard: Builds that prioritize Intelligence over Strength have a high pool of mana but are unable to wear any of the better armors. The game also lacks class-based armors, so investing in Strength is the only real way to make your character more durable.
  • Succubi and Incubi: As expected, Succubi are demonic wenches with bat wings, a barbed tail, heel shoes and don't wear a lot of clothing.
  • Summoning Ritual: One side-quest is helping a mage summon a demon. There's no reputation loss or evil outcome, but if you botched the ritual, the mage will die.
  • Take Your Time: Don't take your time as some quests are on hidden timers and will fail pass a certain amount of time.
  • This Loser Is You The character screen (where you level and stats are displayed) makes it quite clear that you suck at early levels.
  • Tickle Torture: When the Dwarves' sacred relic was stolen by an elf, they torture him with a peacock feather. However, there are strong indications that this wasn't the only means of torture.
  • Time Skip: Many months have passed after your "death" and rebirth as a Divine One.
  • Useless Useful Spell:
    • True Sight detects invisible monsters, but they aren't many in this game. True Sight can also counter the effect of blindness, but only four bosses use this spell.
    • Evade Trap protects you from the effect of traps which aren't plentiful in the game.
    • Averted with the Freeze spell, which works at pretty much any enemy except two or three types, and the final boss is not immune to it, either.
    • Polymorph. It's supposed to have a short duration, yet it doesn't run out. Ever. And on at least one boss, if you use it on them, they'll actually show up in a later cutscene, still polymorphed.
  • Unnecessarily Large Interior: The last level of the Aleroth catacombs is larger than a football field.
  • The Vamp: Josephina who is also much more powerful then the other members of the Quirky Miniboss Squad.
  • Vampires Sleep in Coffins: A vampire that has been plaguing Rivertown sleeps in a coffin hidden in a cave behind a locked grate.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Each of the Black Ring's top mages will run away from you when you injured them enough.
  • Waking Up Elsewhere: In the opening movie, the hero is fighting against orcs, only to be hit by a flash of light. He wakes up in a village of healers he doesn't recognize.
  • Warp Whistle: Two teleporter pyramid stones. You can drop one on the ground and carry another with you to enable instant recall to a location, or set down the second stone to make a two-way portal.
  • We Buy Anything: Part of the series's trademark is the ability to trade with almost everyone you meet. You can batter any objects for other goods, not just cash. Even quest items can be traded so beware.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: Practically said word for word by the Dwarves to you when you recover their stolen sacred relic. They genuinely complimented you without realizing the racist implications.
  • You Are Too Late: The final quest is stopping the Demon of Lies from releasing the Lord of Chaos in the world of Rivellon. No matter how fast you are, you can't stop the ritual and the Demon of Lies will taunt you with these exact words.