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Video Game / Lair

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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.

The game relied on and originally required the motion control of the PS3 Sixaxis controller for movement and many attacks, a fateful decision that led to critical panning based on control scheme alone. The alternative of a button-only control scheme was made available a few weeks after launch, but far too late for the game and for Factor 5, which soon shut down. The game's orchestral score was by first time video game composer John Debney.

Tropes found in this game:

  • Anyone Can Die: At the start of the game, Loden assassinates Atta-Kai and Talan. Rohn kills Loden during the battle at the Maelstrom and the Diviner and Koba-Kai die at the end of the game.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Coral Snake, oh so much.
  • Big Bad: The Diviner is the main antagonist of the game.
  • Big Good: Atta-Kai, the leader of the Mokai.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Diviner is dead and the war between the Mokai and Asylians are over, but Atta-Kai and Talan are dead and Koba-Kai helps save his people at the cost of his own life.
  • Bond One-Liner: Rohn yells "See you in the afterlife, Loden! May God show you mercy!" to Loden after he kills him during the battle at the Maelstrom.
  • Broken Pedestal: The Diviner becomes one to Rohn over the course of the game. It starts when he learns that Atta-Kai and Talan have been assassinated and releases the dragon from Loden's grasp. Then, the pedestal is shattered when he takes part in a mission to attack the Mokai armory, only to discover that it's actually a temple where the women and children were hiding in.
  • 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.
  • Disney Villain Death:
    • Rohn does this to Loden during his assault on the Maelstrom.
    • At the end of the game, the Diviner is sent falling to his death.
  • The Dragon: Loden is this to the Diviner, leading the enemy forces into battle and the Diviner's most skilled dragon rider.
  • 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.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Rohn's reaction after Loden's assassination of Atta-Kai and Talan as well as the attack on Mokai City is utter shock.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Asylian attitude toward the Mokai, including Rohn. At least at the start of the game.
  • Heel Realization:
    • Rohn starts to realize what he is doing when Loden kills Atta-Kai and Talan on the Diviner's orders. He eventually turns on Loden after destroying the temple at the Mokai City.
    • Jevon and the Asylians are faced with this as well when the Guardians are executed.
  • The Hero: Rohn is the main protagonist of the game.
  • Heroic BSoD: Rohn suffers this when he realises he's unwittingly killed innocent civilians, including women and children.
  • He Who Fights Monsters:
    • Rohn starts to realize his actions as a Burner for Asylia midway through the game.
    • Towards the end, Jevon and the Asylian Burners realize this as well when the remaining Guardians are executed, and join Rohn and the Mokai in their cause to kill the Diviner.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Rohn kills Loden this way.
  • It's Personal: Atta-Kai's death causes Koba-Kai to deeply resent the Asylians for their involvement in the war with the Mokai. Well, until he makes amends with Rohn at least...
  • Kill It with Fire: The dragon's firebreath, of course; also, the bombs you can pick up. They have a surprisingly large blast radius.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Talan serves as the captain of the Sky Guard for the first half of the game. Then, Loden fatally stabs him in the chest.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After destroying a Mokai temple during his airstrike on the Mokai City, Rohn comes to regret his actions and turns on Loden.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • Loden imprisoning Koba-Kai and seriously wounding Rohn come back to haunt him when Rohn joins forces with the Mokai and releases Koba-Kai.
    • The Diviner ordering the executions of the remaining Guardians causes Jevon, the Asylian Burners and Sky Guard to side with the the Mokai and stop the Diviner's madness for good.
  • Noble Savages: The Mokai.
  • Press X to Not Die: When fighting the Coral Snake.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Ren-Kai, the Mokai elder who helps Rohn rescue Koba-Kai and helps the Mokai take down the Diviner.
  • Recycled In Space: Ace Combat with dragons. Or, to pull an example from the same developer, Rogue Squadron, with dragons.
  • The Scapegoat: The Diviner views the Mokai as pagans and savages.
  • 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.
  • Stock Scream: A Wilhelm scream can be heard at the conclusion of the Battle for Asylia.
  • Suicide Mission: Rohan invokes the trope name after Loden sends him on a mission to take out the Mokai's power supplies at the Ravine of No Return.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Steam cannons (Mokai) and large animals (Asylian) 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.
  • Tech-Demo Game: Sony intended this game to be a showcase for both the PlayStation 3's graphics and motion controls. YMMV on whether it succeeded at either.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: Despite killing the Mokai, Rohn eventually sympathizes with them and helps them regain their ships and kill the Diviner.
  • Wrong Side All Along: By the second half of the game, Rohn becomes suspicious of what the Diviner's really like when the latter has Loden kill Atta-Kai and Talan. Then, after bombing Mokai City, he realizes what he did as a Burner was wrong. Upon making amends with Koba-Kai, he joins forces with the Mokai to stop the Diviner's plans for good.
  • You Killed My Father: Koba-Kai blames Rohn for Atta-Kai's death and the slaughtering of the Mokai. Rohn, however, truthfully states that he wasn't involved in his father's death.