|Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone|
|Developer(s)|| Stormfront Studios|
|Platform(s)||PC (Windows), PlayStation 2, Xbox|
|Rating(s)||ESRB: Teen (T)|
Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone is a video game that was released in 2004 for various consoles, including PlayStation 2 and Xbox. It is set in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting for Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), but the gameplay only vaguely models D&D's structure. The story was written by R.A. Salvatore and features the voices of Patrick Stewart as Khelben "Blackstaff" Arunsun and Michael Clarke Duncan as Ygorl.
The hero of many of Salvatore's novels, Drizzt Do'Urden, makes an appearance in the game; he is a playable character during a portion of one battle.
There are three playable characters in Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone, each with his or her own unique abilities. The human fighter Rhannek is a master of melee combat. Illius, a sorcerer, casts spells to protect his friends or attack his enemies. A half-drow, half-wood-elf rogue named Zhai easily vanishes into the shadows before sneaking up on her enemy for the kill.
The two villains are equally enemies of the heroes and of each other. The first villain —Ygorl—is the leader of the Slaad army. Cireka, general of the Githyanki, is the second. The game's introduction explains that the only thing keeping each of them from taking over the realm is their hatred of each other. Fearing that the realm would be at the mercy of whichever villain was victorious, the great mage Khelben Blackstaff sealed them both within a Demon Stone.
The story develops as the three heroes battle two orc armies near the jewel-rich Gemspark Mines. A great red dragon, sent by Ygorl, leads the group to these mines. Once there, they unwillingly release Ygorl and Cireka out of the Demon Stone and into the world. The three heroes must undo their mistake by joining forces to right the wrong they caused ...before the realm is lost.
The game starts with Rannek's arrival at the battle between two Orc forces, finding himself drawn into saving the captured Wood Elves, whilst avoiding the assaults of a Red Dragon and both Orc forces. He eventually comes across a Drow Female, who frees herself from her cage by stealing two blades from a nearby Orc. She flees into the shadows, using stealth and skill to slay her enemies in secret, until she too finds herself saved by Rannek, who threw her out of the way to avoid being hit by Orc Archers. This is when Illius, the Sorcerer, arrives after being drawn to the area through a portal, slaying the Archers and Orcs with his magic and staff. The three are eventually forced deep into Gemspark Mine by the attacks of the Red Dragon.
Inside they come across numerous challenges, including more Orcs and a rather vicious Orc 'King', who forces to three to work together to defeat him. It is learnt that Rannek is a self-exiled warrior who failed to protect his village from invading Trolls, and we also learn that Zhai is Half-Drow, though her other half is yet to be revealed. Unwillingly, the three unleash Ygorl & Cireka from their imprisonment in the Demon Stone, and whilst the three and Cireka escape, Ygorl vanishes alongside his Slaad minions. Once outside Zhai notes that they are near Caederleaf, a Wood Elf village, and the three rush to ensure it is safe, only to find Cireka there, summoning her Githyanki minions through a portal. Though the three work to distract her and slay her followers, Ygorl and his Slaad Army arrive to take the Silver Sword of Gith from Cireka, which Ygorl views as a powerful artifact. The two armies clash, with our three heroes fighting in the middle to ensure that numerous Wood Elves manage to flee. Eventually, Cireka flees herself, and Ygorl destroys the village, but not before a significant amount of Wood Elves, and our heroes, escape. Zhai reveals that her other Half is Wood Elve, and that her parents were in the village. Illius suggests they visit his mentor, Khelben.
The three do indeed go to Illius' mentor, Khelben Blackstaff, who tells them that they must acquire a Demon Stone held by the Yuan-ti people, who reside in Chult. He warns them that the Yuan-ti use it for 'unspeakable rituals' but is forced to stop from divulging further. Ygorl arrives at this moment to get revenge on Khelben, sitting astride the mighty Red Dragon found at the previous battle site. The three are forced to fight their way down Khelben's tower, fighting Bugbears manipulated into attacking the tower by Ygorl, although the castle's numerous defenses aid them along the way. As the three flee through Khelben's portal after defeating the Bugbear Chieftain, Ygorl flees the tower before destroying it, leading the trio to believe that Khelben has been defeated and, presumably, perished in the assault. The three determine that they must head to Chult, there to retrieve the Demon Stone, their only hope of capturing Ygorl & Cireka once more, to halt their destruction of Damara and Faerun.
At Chult, Illius is immediately incapacitated by some sort of Yuan-ti experimental-creature, though Rannek and Zhai defeat them. Together the three travel to where Illius can feel the Demon Stone's pull, encountering numerous spiders and experiments along the way, as well as the Yuan-ti themselves. The trio are forced to fight the Yuan-ti at their temple, even facing off against Mershualk of the Eternal Hunger, the Yuan-ti God. Defeating all who oppose them, the trio steal the Demon Stone and make for their next decision: they will head to Mithral Hall, there to see Drizzt Do'Urden about finding Cireka.
Mithral Hall is the heroes' next stop, where they meet the legendary Drow, Drizzt Do'Urden, a Drow known for renouncing the cruel and vicious ways of his people. Only moments after arriving at Mithral Hall, the great city comes under attack from a tribe of Trolls, which Rannek identifies as the Clan that attacked Nesme. Slaying the Trolls, as well as defending numerous Dwarves & the homes of the people, they successfully slay the Clan King. Drizzt informs them that whilst he can't journey with them, they can most likely find Cireka at an abandoned portal in the Underdark, where Cireka would feel most at home. Thanking him, that is where they journey next.
The three travel to the Underdark citadel told to them by Drizzt, but find themselves instead facing not an abandoned citadel, but one filled with Githyanki Warriors & Mages. Fighting their way to the portal, the trio is forced to destroy a shield guarding Cireka, but are momentarily halted by the arrival of Ygorl & his Slaad Minions. With the two villains fighting each other, and their forces clashing around them, Illius attempts to use the Demon Stone to capture both Ygorl & Cireka once more, whilst Rannek and Zhai hold the other enemies at bay. Ygorl, however, senses the presence of the Demon Stone, and forces Cireka into a portal before vanishing himself. The trio makes the quick decision to follow, leaping through the portal to an unknown destination.
They find themselves in the lair of the Red Dragon, seen earlier and controlled by Ygorl. Under the Slaad Lord's orders the Dragon attacks Cireka, who attempts to defeat it using her Silver Sword of Gith. Fighting off numerous Slaad, the trio follow Cireka as she flees and fights the Dragon, only to watch her untimely demise at the Dragon's claws. Taking up the Silver Sword, Rannek notes that the Dragon fears the sword, before the trio continues fighting off Slaad in an attempt to reach a nearby portal. Upon arrival, the Dragon appears once more, and the combination of the trio's ranged weapons results in the Dragon's wings being ruined, causing it to fall into the lava. As Illius attempts to open the portal, however, the Dragon pulls itself from the lava, and a dramatic fight ensues. In the end, Illius holds the Dragon in place with a spell, whilst Zhai forces his head to the floor with her acrobatics, and Rannek finally slays the Dragon with the Silver Sword. Illius notes that he now understands where Ygorl will be: Gemspark Mine, where he had one hundred years to harness the gems. They determine to see whether the Sword can slay a Slaad Lord.
The heroes return to the Gemspark Mine. Here they face more Slaad than ever before, who attempt to stop the trio reaching their Lord. Defeating the Slaad, they use a portal to go to Limbo—the Plane of Chaos—and engage in final fight with Ygorl. It is during this battle that Ygorl reveals that he manipulated each of the heroes life's: he forced Illius' father to give Illius the cold shoulder and reject him ... he caused everyone to fear and distrust Zhai ... he manipulated the trolls into attacking Nesme, but leave Rannek alive ... all in an attempt to gain the Silver Sword, and conquer Faerun. He hadn't, however, counted on the heroes banding together and becoming so strong, and the result is that the heroes kill him, before returning to Cedarleaf, which is recovering from the attacks. The heroes are welcomed as such, and from the portal that Cireka earlier tried to use comes the form of Khelben Blackstaff, unharmed and well. He brings them thanks from Gareth Dragonsbane, King of Damara and it's neighbouring realms, and also informs them that they have been given command of Vasa, an untamed and perilous land. When they accept, he gives them a final warning: the Sword of Gith is a revered Githyanki artifact, and they will surely come to take it back. The game concludes with this foreboding statement.
One of the game's unlockable features is Drizzt Do'Urden's journal, quoted as follows:
Perilous forces are at work. The bards report that Khelben Blackstaff has gone missing, and that his tower lies in ruins. And I have received word that Illius, his protege and my friend from Silverymoon, is headed here with two companions: a human from Nesme and a half drow female. Despite my concern for Khelben and the danger these accounts foretell, I cannot resist a moment of pleasure at the thought that Illius is coming to me for help. I remember the trepidation in his eyes the first time we met. Well placed, I admit, when confronted by a drow. For I cannot deny that my people have earned the reputation that gives strangers pause. In Menzoberranzan, city of my birth, far below the surface, treachery and murder are ways of life. Is it any wonder that the elven gods long ago banished the drow? But Illius quickly learned that he needn't be afraid. For though I share the same birthplace and blood as the drow, I do not share their beliefs. Nor do I serve the Spider Queen, Lolth, whose tenets of enslavement and wanton destruction run contrary to all that I hold dear. Indeed, I came to the surface world to escape that, to find a life worthwhile and I expect that Lolth is not fond of my work here. For with my friends, Wulfgar, Catti-brie, Regis and Bruenor, I serve the way of community, friendship and peace - three causes that boil Lolth's ichor. Word has also reached us of a Slaad Lord of tremendous power moving through the East. And I hear whispers from underground of a fearsome Githyanki general making her way to an ancient stronghold of her people. Somehow these events are all connected, and their outcome will no doubt have far-ranging effects across the face of Faerun. In my heart, I sense that the three travelers heading towards me are the key. I cannot abandon my duties at Mithral Hall in this uncertain hour. But if those travelers are searching for a way to find the Githyanki, then I must help them.
Players have control over all three characters and can change character at any time (after all three main heroes arrive). There are many fighting moves, and players must use each character's skills to play the game effectively. Rannek uses a sword and breaks things with his gauntlets. Illius fights with a staff and uses magic (the game's most powerful ranged attack; the other two can throw knives (Zhai) or axes(Rannek)). Zhai uses two daggers and becomes invisible in shadows—this is useful for sneaking up on enemies and killing them. Bosses overpower characters in one-on-one fighting but can be defeated with the combined power of all three heroes. Although much of the game is hack-and-slash, there are several tasks that require the use of various skills.
Similarities to other video gamesEdit
The development team which created Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone also made the Lord of the Rings video games. There are quite a few similar moves and the combat is almost the same. However, this game allows control of three different characters, as opposed to one character in the Lord of the Rings games. And where some of the Lord of the Rings games offered co-operative play, Demon Stone is single-player only.
- Cireka, voiced by B.J. Ward
- Drizzt, voiced by Robin A. Downes
- Illius, voiced by Christopher Nissley
- Khelben, voiced by Patrick Stewart
- Rannek, voiced by Dan Riordan
- Ygorl, voiced by Michael Clarke Duncan
- Zhai, voiced by Vanessa Marshall