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Video Game / Ecstatica

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Ecstatica is an action-adventure game for MS-DOS that was released by Psygnosis in 1994 on 3½" floppy disk and CD-ROM. The game is notable for using a unique type of "ellipsoid" graphics to display characters. Each character is made of ellipsoids approximating different types of body. The environments, such as the trees and the shrubs, are also constructed in ellipsoids. This created the remarkable look of the game, as it looked much less angular compared to usual polygon-based games.

The setting is in Northern Europe in 928 AD. A traveler (the player) comes upon a town named Tirich hoping to find food and shelter. However, the town appears to be invaded by demons. The traveler must help the townspeople and lift the curse from the town by freeing the young sorceress Ecstatica from being possessed.

Has a sequel, released three years later.

This Video Game contains examples of:

  • Affably Evil: The lord demon is extremely polite and offers the protagonist a drink. If the latter agrees to surrender the relic he holds his side of the deal even though by then the protagonist is in his power.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Depending on the player. After the protagonist is knighted, they encounter a very large (or possibly pregnant?) lady who is very insistent about invoking Standard Hero Reward, and is guarding a useful item.
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  • Armor Is Useless: Early in the game one can find a suit of white armor. However it happens to be so ridiculously heavy that the protagonist can barely move, inevitably falling down soon and lying helplessly until his/her death. Inverted with a suit of grey armor found later in the dungeons that offers significant protection without any hinderance.
  • Artistic License – History: One character claims to have been a crusader. The problem? The game takes place in 928 AD - well over 100 years before the Crusades.
  • Baleful Polymorph: You can turn yourself into a squirrel in order to enter a tiny passage. You can also get turned into a frog if you approach a particular character.
  • Bare Your Midriff: The female protagonist invokes this to a degree.
  • Black Comedy: Despite some mutilated (and sometimes, nude) bodies, the game maintains a sense of humor in some parts.
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  • Brick Joke: The protagonist entered the village since he/she ran out of water. At the end of the game, the demon gives you water before he makes an offer to you.
  • Butt-Monkey: The protagonist is subjected to this from time to time.
  • Crossover Cosmology: The evil is beaten with help of both christian relic (spiced with magic) and pagan gods. Not quite unusual for early medieval setting.
  • Deal with the Devil: One of the possible endings has the protagonist make this.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: The bone relic. Once fully powered up, it shoots blasts of fire that annihilate pretty much any enemy in the game (you can finally get your revenge on that goddamn werewolf that's been chasing you all game), and is the only weapon that can harm the Final Boss.
  • Escort Mission: Inverted. Help the little girl reunite with her teddy bear, and she'll escort you! She happens to have a sling shot too.
  • Gorn: You'll find a handful here.
  • Implacable Man: The werewolf. Dear GOD, the Werewolf. It nearly gets comical how, from the start of the game, it was terrorizing you, yet up until you get the bone, even at your best, he just won't stay down! You can slash him and punch him as much as you like: whether it be through doors, jumping from ceilings, or just plain chasing you, he WILL be back for more.
  • The Klutz: Most probably your very first step in the game will end with falling down. Expect this to happen again and again...
  • Knighting: The protagonist is knighted by the lady of the lake.
  • Multiple Endings: The good ending has the protagonist fight the demon and rescue the princess as the both of them leave the village on a horse.
    • The bad ending has the protagonist surrender the bone while the demon allows him or her to relax with a quartet of hot servants of both genders.
  • Naked People Are Funny: You can find a woman with goat hooves prancing about the lake at one point. They're non-hostile and will vanish if attacked.
    • There are also a couple of super buff men who just stand at one spot to fan whoever is at the bed. Yes, you can make out their genitals too.
    • Not exactly funny when you find some people dead, who happen to be in the worst positions.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: The werewolf can invoke this to unsuspecting players, even dragging the protagonist to get tied up just to beat him/her some more. He does get bored of it, which he/she can then escape though, but you may be badly injured by then.
  • One-Winged Angel: The demon transforms into a dragon to fight you for the final battle if you decide to go against him instead of accepting his offer.
  • Place of Protection: The monastery is a safe place free from monsters (though one has to prove oneself christian to get in) It's not made clear whether the holy relic plays any role in it or it's solely thanks to high walls and a monk with a huge two-handed sword.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: You can play as either a male character or female character, with differences in voice acting.
  • Regenerating Health: If your character is limping, he/she is about to die. Take no more damage, and he/she will eventually stand up straight again, indicating that they are healthy again. Justified since there are no recovery items in this game.
  • Rescue Romance: Implied, as the protagonist and the sorceress end the game by riding into the sunset together. Made canon in the second game.
  • Save Scumming: You can save at anytime. You may want to save often too!
  • Summoning Ritual: The reason for all the monsters is a demon-summoning gone wrong.
  • Survival Horror: Nowadays, looking at this game can leave such an impression, considering other games released afterward. It DOES actually have elements that predate the latter two games and more.


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