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Archived articles (JoveTheHacker resource)

Benxander October 20, 2014 User blog:Benxander

Introduction to archived material

The following page contains a number of articles created by User:Jove the Hacker which are not encyclopaedic in nature, and thus were tagged with the Delete template for a lengthy period; deletion of articles such as these are currently part of a project to clean up the wiki.

Rather than delete the material entirely (as I believe it would be a shame to delete another person's content entirely from the wiki when so much work has gone into said content), I have grouped them here under my own personal blog, as their content suits the format of a wiki blog better (Note: I believe these articles were created before a blog feature existed on wikia). They are grouped under my blog posts, for I am unable to divide them into another user's wikia blogspace. They are only here as a resource should User:Jove the Hacker wish to reinstate them under the banner of his own Primal wiki blog.



User:Jove the Hacker's archived articles/blogs:

Article:Details

Insignificant details, which could be on a "walkthrough", but not on a Wiki. Besides, it might not be interesting to list them, for two reasons:

  • The "big fans" already know those things.
  • The others don't really care about it.

Artistic

Little touches you may not have noticed. Not important enough for Easter Eggs or Shout Outs.

General

  • When Scree turns to stone he has the look of an ancient statue.
    • Lichen growing on him.
    • Leprous look of corrupting marble.
  • At the end of "The Making Of..." video Jen and Scree's character models can be seen moving in the background. Scree is rocking out on air guitar. Jen is line dancing.
  • The Rift Gates have five Realm symbols equidistant upon circumference, instead of each of the four in a compass rose. The extra symbol is of Aetha, which gives it two representations on each Rift gate.
  • Energy fountains
    • There are a couple of energy fountains in the Nexus. Only usable if Jen and Scree return to the Nexus before completing a Realm.
    • easily exhausted. A single fountain won't completely refill Scree if he's out of energy.
  • Each Realm has a creature with a ranged attack.
    • Solum has the Ferai archers.
    • Aquis has the Glakk, when underwater, anyway. Spoiler: [King Adaro was well.
    • Aetha has the rifleman defending the Blood Machine.
    • Volca has the Ghul armed with an urn that fires lava bombs.
  • Jen and Scree's character models are affected by actions in the Realms
    • Jen's knife in Solum shows up thereafter.
    • Scree's rope in Solum shows up thereafter.
    • Scree's ear remains missing after the incident in Aetha.


  • Footprints
    • Scree
      • Doesn't leave footprints when walking very slowly, even in soft surfaces.
      • Leaves hands and footprints when moving quickly in snow or mud(in Aquis).
      • Leaves just footprints when carrying a torch. Appropriate because he doesn't use his hands to assist movement when carrying a torch.
    • Jen leaves footprints in snow and after walking through liquids.

Combat

  • Friendly fire isn't.
    • Enemies can be hurt by other enemies. Even killed.
      • Works best in a crowd of mixed enemies. Move in close and get the current enemy to make an attack with a different enemy in between. Tricky and dangerous.
      • Enemies with ranged attacks (the lava cannon Ghul in Volca), may be useful for this.
    • Jen can be hurt by her allies;
      • Jared in Solum, and
      • the Watcher and the Prisoner in Aetha.

Solum

  • Lady Deveena rides sidesaddle in Solum.
  • Jen's breath condensing into the air in Solum. In both her human and Ferai forms.
  • Jen shivers and rubs herself in her idle animation.
  • The snow falling through the air swirls realistically. Most noticeable when looking straight up with Scree climbing up a wall.
  • Ferai sleeping on his side in a corner in the Ferai burrows.
  • The drain in the center of the Colosseum looks down into the city sewers Jen and Scree passed through to reach the jail beneath the city. Specifically, the large chamber that Jen had to edge around on a narrow path.
  • The long benches with arms in Jared's room greatly resemble ancient Roman couches, lacking only the normal cushions.

Aquis

  • Schools of neon tetra fish in Aquis, with realistic "herd" movement.
  • Bubbles trailing off of Scree and Jen when moving underwater. Much more bubbles when movement is initiated. A real world phenomenon known as "cavitation."
    • The bubbles rise realistically as well. Most noticeable when Scree is climbing a ladder under water and the bubbles stay with him as he rises.
  • Birds in the sky with seagull calls and wave noises at the beach. Beautiful evening sky as well.
  • Water streams off of the "camera" lens when Jen surfaces while swimming.
    • When Scree comes out of the water as well.
    • When Undine Jen first enters the Bay Caverns after leaving Queen Aino, there's the remains of a giant crab on the sea floor to the left.

Aetha

  • Aetha is the realm of Air, the classical element that corresponds with the Tarot deck card suit of swords.
  • There are swords everywhere, even on rooftops as if they were lightning conductors.
    • Speartips on fenceposts may count, even the tips downward pointing on the portcullises.
    • Countess Empusa uses two swords thrust through her hair as hairpins.
  • Raindrops hit the "camera" lens when looking up and stream across the lens.
  • In one of the early rooms in Aetha, there's a ledge with four barrels on it that Scree must climb the walls to reach. One of the barrels has a Life Gem for Jen.
  • What is that symbol scrawled on the doors in the lower town?

(Edit the page to see the ASCII representation).

 xOx
x+++x

/ ||| \

  |
  |


  • Scree gets his left ear broken off in Aetha. It's missing from his character model for the rest of the game.
  • There's a lit lamp underwater in the Flooded Dungeons.
  • In the Torture room, one of the severed heads asks, "What's the difference between a roomful of aristocrats and a bucket of manure?..." The canonical answer to that ancient joke is: Spoiler: [The bucket.]
  • If subtitles are turned on, the subtitles for Count Raum and Countess Empusa are red, like selected other subtitles.
  • The moving orrery by the door to the maze is held up by a statue of a figure in chains in an Atlas-like pose. Also used in Tomb Raider: Anniversary in the Atlas room in St. Francis Folly.
  • Most of the statues in Aetha have their faces covered.
  • The stand for the iron maiden Jen is imprisoned in in Count Raum's laboratory resembles a person sitting on a throne. There are skulls at the ends of the armrests.

Count Raum's Mansion (The Chateau)

  • In Count Raum's Laboratory there's a beheaded Helot corpse lying on a table. Its head is at its side. An open book/journal is propped up on it's leg.
    • The "stand" for the iron maiden is in shape of a throne with a hooded and robed man sitting on it. The occupant's hands are on oversized skulls.
  • The statue in CountRaum's library seems to be wearing a Darth-Vader like helmet (minus the breathing mask).
  • Many large mirrors throughout the Mansion, including Elizabeth's garret, indicative of great vanity.
    • Elizabeth's garret
      • Huge mirror
      • The swing hanging by chains from the ceiling is moving.
    • Raum and Empusa's bedroom - the bed is hanging from the ceiling by large black iron chains.

Volca

  • Jen's idle animation will occasionally be a two-handed wave, as if to a crowd.
    • This may be a callback to her "Helloo, Volca" in one of the early Volca cutscenes. It's not the same animation. Her hands are moving too much.
  • The hawk statues and predatory bird heads of the Ghul and Djinn are occasionally reflected in their movements. King Iblis moves his head like a bird a few times. Spoiler: [So does EvilJen just before she pushes Scree down the hole.]
  • Stand in the Central Shaft at the last Flame Igniter. Look up using R1. That distant outline is the hawkshead sticking out at the top. There was a lodestone at the tip of it.
  • When tipping the final giant statue in the Hall of the Gods in Volca, the tags of the burned support ropes sway realistically.

Technical

Usually artistic as well as technical.

  • Penumbral shadows. Scree especially.
    • More on shadows - when moving down one of the halls in the Nexus Scree's shadow is always cast by the nearest light source.
    • Jen's shadow when moving down one of the halls in the Nexus is particularly striking. It revolves around her through almost 180 degrees to reflect the changing position of the nearest light source.
  • Shiny marble floors were a standard graphics test object. Partial reflection, tesselated, complicated near random patterns. In Count Raum's Manor a dead guard lying on the marble floor with primal energy is pretty enough. The reflections in the marble floor, particularly of the energy dots, makes it into a gorgeous galaxy.
  • Scree's wings are semi-transparent and make a flapping movement when he moves.
  • Scree's tail when moving or climbing.
  • The movement of Jen's twin hair pigtails.
  • The movement of the leather ties for the vambrace. In specific the excess hanging loose.

The Four Elements

The four realms of Oblivion correspond to the classical Four Elements of Alchemy.

  • Earth - Solum
  • Water - Aquis
  • Air - Aetha
  • Fire - Volca

This classical symbolism carries over to the Tarot Cards. The royalty of each realm is in the suit of the Tarot classically associated with its element.

  • Earth - Solum - Pentacles
  • Water - Aquis - Cups
  • Air - Aetha - Swords
  • Fire - Volca - Wands

The TV Tropes article on Elemental Powers currently has a good discussion of the aspects of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.

Article:Discussion

Why in the world was there never a sequel? Did Primal not sell very well?

symach posted at 5/20/2009 10:42 PM "Its a shame, Primal deserved better..."

Yes it did, but I'm not sure how SCEE Cambridge could have accomplished that. The art exhibition, a special edition of the game provided to reviewers, top-notch voice talent with reputations in live action sci-fi and fantasy series, great story and plot, advanced graphics, not one but two great soundtracks, lavish motion capture, great characters, huge fascinating worlds to explore Primal seems like a shoo-in.

(Also: A punk-rock goth scene girl as the protagonist. Action Combat with lavishly motion captured and lovingly animated combat. Complex array of moves that get bigger and flashier as the game goes on. Shame the combat starts out with Jen's clumsy looking human combat. Worse that combat isn't explained very well. A good tutorial might have helped a lot. The M rating would have kept both those target demographics from purchasing the game.)

I can only look back on my initial reaction to the game.

"It doesn't need better gameplay. It needs some gameplay, period."

Look at the opening sequence of the game.

- Long cutscene at the club. - long cutscene at the hospital. - brief period of player control arriving at the Nexus, probably intended for the player to look around and "ooh and ahh" at the visuals. - Vambrace cutscene. - Long walk into the Nexus. Nothing in there but a collectible and a difficult to use energy fountain. - Chronos cutscene. - Cutscene about Jen's tattoo - down the corridor to the Solum Rift gate - Solum introductory cutscene - Gatehouse cutscene (optional) - Malkai cutscene at entrance to cave

It's only then, for the first time in the game, the player actually needs to do something. Even then it's just travel ahead as Scree, meaning no decision about which character to use. Find the only thing that can be found and return. Simple enough, right? Even that's spoiled in "The Making of" video.

And those huge, lovely levels are a pain for players just wanting to get to grips with the game, but we're not finishing with the movies yet.

  • Scree's "I can climb walls!" cutscene.
  • King Herne cutscene.
  • Scree goes ahead again. Again, only one thing he can do and it's after a long travel.

Finally, combat! Confusing combat because the controls seem random. (And in Jen's clumsy fighting human form. There's much better to come, but not for a while yet.) This is due to Primal actually relying on the PS2 controller's pressure sensitivity. One of maybe two games to do so. I have trouble with melee combat games to begin with. An added unspecified variable was suicide. Luckily I found the one-hit kill cheat.

From Wendy Despain's classic "Play Like a 3-Year-Old" http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/issues/issue_132/2801-Play-Like-a-3-Year-Old http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/6.53274

"'This isn't a videogame,' he said in that accusatory tone only 3-year-olds can truly master. 'This is a movie. I don't want a movie. I want a game.'"

Not written about Primal, but it might as well have been.

Article:Disk Maintenance

Clean the bottom of the disk thoroughly with rubbing alcohol. Do the same for the inner gripping ring top and bottom. That's keeping my copy of Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando working. ("Invalid Format" my foot.) You may have to do it more than once.

If that doesn't help, check the bottom of the disk for scratches. Particularly look for deep scratches that run parallel to the circumference. Scratches from from the center to the outer edge are less likely to cause trouble.

If you do spot potentially troublesome scratches, you have some options.

  • Take the disk to a game store to be re-surfaced.
  • Buy one of those gadgets and resurface the disk yourself.
  • If you're feeling adventurous place the disk upside-down on a hard flat surface and work on the scratch using toothpaste and your finger. I fixed a scratch that way with toothpaste and an electric toothbrush.

Article:Enjoying the Game

The trick to enjoying Primal is to downshift to a lower gear.

I usually run at top speed through the early part of a game pretty much keybashing. Helps to find everything that can be done and everywhere than can be visited, especially with games with a lot of gameplay. I figure if the game lets me do it, it's okay. Easy way to learn what's possible. Then I'll just try those things later on.

Primal's not like that.

  • Walk around.
  • Look around.
    • Notice the lighting effects and motion captured animations.
    • Use the view key (R1) to look around,
      • especially as Scree when climbing a wall. Etc. etc.
      • Or when high up at a good vantage point.
  • Listen to the sound effects.
  • Listen to the music
  • Even in combat try to take in the visuals, sound effects, and music.
  • Press Triangle as Jen to hear what Scree has to say.

Article:Just a Dream

"Was the whole game a dream as Jen lay unconscious?"

I saw the "Dying Dream" page at TV Tropes, and realized that Primal could easily fit that. A stone gargoyle that might have been Scree appears as the camera flies to the club in the opening cutscene. If it was just a gargoyle statue then Jen could have seen it and put it into her hallucination.

Then I thought that Belahzur's attack in the real world proved it wasn't a dream, but it doesn't really. The form that assaulted them might not have anything to do with the Realms of Oblivion, which might only be a trauma-induced dream.

If there had been a sequel this could have been a perfect setup to go in an entirely new direction. But I'd be much happier if Scree, Lady Arella and the Four Realms existed.

RAZOR0018 posted at 1/10/2009 4:57 AM "The opening and final scene after the credits pretty much refutes that..."

How so? The opening cutscene shows an immobile gargoyle that looks like Scree. If Jen has seen it it could easily be the inspiration for Scree in Jen's dream. Nothing supernatural there. We did see the figure of Belahzur attack. But with no explanation in the cutscene that's not evidence for the existence of the worlds of Oblivion.

The final scene after the credits just shows Jen waiting by Lewis' bed in the hospital. Nothing supernatural about that. The two doctors in the hospital in the opening cutscene talk about Lewis' being admitted to the hospital. So that didn't change over the course of the game.

furryfiend posted at 1/12/2009 2:29 PM "Easy tiger! Jove's just trying to make conversation. Personally, I have no doubts that it's all 'real' - the initial attack proves that for me. If it weren't for that, I could go for the dream theory - after all, I've had some freaky dreams lately and I've only had 'flu!."

Thanks, even if your support is partly based off of your own freaky dreams! Hope your flu's better. :)

I do think it's real. Just interesting to think about. Frex, Jen was talking about getting into college. Part of her own personal struggle with the balance between Order and Chaos. When she and Lewis were attacked by a supernatural creature it's natural to fit it into her personal problems. Also how Scree said "Where he travels, pain and suffering will surely follow." Describes Jen's experience with the creature exactly.

Also note that she initially put off Belahzur with "No autographs." Further tying with her trying to keep Lewis and her lives more under control. Given how things played out from there, it may be even more interesting speculating on the results if she'd let the monster speak what was on its mind.

furryfiend finished, "As for the gargoyle statue... I find it hard to believe Jen could have spotted it, after all it's perched pretty high up."

Maybe, but Jen seemed to be on a self-improvement kick. Remember her speech on entering Aquis, "'Course, most parents took the trouble to take their kids swimming... some even went horse-riding, too! Girl scouts... tap classes... with me you get none of that extra-curricular crap, okay?"

It wouldn't surprise me if she'd taken advantage of what was available and convenient to tour. Doing what she could to make up for non-existent opportunities. Not to mention that there could well have been more than one copy of that gargoyle shape.

Rest assured, I'm doing penance for this heresy. Sly 2: Band of Thieves was making me appreciate the variety of other games. Then the second half of the disk seemed to be bad. So I switched to Tomb Raider: Anniversary. Well. What a miserable game. Dinky little puzzles in big bland environments. Tons of fake difficulty. No imagination. It's supposed to be an updated version of an older Tomb Raider. No wonder SCEE thought they could take down Lara Croft. Aquis is better than the first three levels combined.

Article:Motion capture

Primal made lavish use of motion capture.

  • In the final scene of "The Making Of..." bonus video the character models of both Jen and Scree are moving in the background. Scree is rocking out to the 16Volt on air guitar while Jen is performing disco line dancing moves.
  • Jen pointing at her extended tapping foot in the second cutscene with the Ferai shaman.
  • Jen's combat moves in all of her forms.
    • Particularly her finishing moves and taunts.
    • Jen's "Bring it" move in the cutscene in Volca.
  • The rope, both climbing up in and rappelling down it.
  • Ascending and descending ladders.
  • Lifting portcullises.
  • Opening doors
    • both alone and with Scree.
    • possibly a separate motion capture for doors that won't open.

Aetha

  • Count Raum, almost every speech he makes seems to have been separately motion captured. Even his conversations with Countess Empusa.
  • The Watcher's speeches.
  • Princess Elizabeth.

Article:Pressure Sensitive Keys

A rather stupid question - Discussion of PS2 games that take advantange of the Pressure Sensitive keys on the Dual Shock 2 controller.

  • MereMare Posted 5/16/2009 3:42:57 PM
    • Will a PS1 controller work on the PS2? I did a search to find similar topics but found none, so I'm asking.
  • WolverineFan Posted 5/16/2009 3:52:07 PM
    • It may work for a few titles but the ps2 controller introduced pressure sensative buttons s it won't work with a lot of games. maybe just early releases. It also depends on if it's a dual shock ps1 controller or not...
  • izza20 Posted 5/16/2009 8:59:31 PM
    • A lot? The only ps2 games that really NEED the pressure sensitive buttons are the MGS games. Pretty much everything else a ps1 controller will work just fine with.
  • MereMare Posted 5/16/2009 9:59:47 PM
    • I'm asking because I'm currently playing Alundra, and after that, Dragon Warrior 7.
  • izza20 Posted 5/16/2009 10:10:55 PM
    • Ps1 games in other words? Well yeah, it'll work 100% fine. It'll even work fine with 95% of ps2 games.
  • CalamityJohn Posted 5/17/2009 2:35:38 AM
    • izza20 wrote: "A lot? The only ps2 games that really NEED the pressure sensitive buttons are the MGS games. Pretty much everything else a ps1 controller will work just fine with."
    • There were more, actually. I remember Dead or Alive 2 (early game) having a provision for the analog buttons, although you could turn it off in the options. Another game using them is Mad Maestro, which would be impossible to play without a Dualshock 2. There were probably a few racing games using them too.
  • JoveHack Posted 5/17/2009 2:48:50 AM
    • Only game I have that uses the pressure sensitivity is Primal. Made the combat even more difficult for me. Because of all the games before it that said "press harder" when they really meant "press longer."


  • izza20 Posted 5/17/2009 3:54:07 AM
    • I said needed. Dead or Alive 2 didn't need, it functioned just fine without them (better, in fact, if you actually knew how to play the game and didnt' button mash). And yeah, there are a few more examples, I realise that, but in now way does that constitute "a lot" of games needed them. A very small minority of games need them.

Article:Prestige games

General

I think Primal was intended as British Sony prestige work, as Ico was a Japanese Sony prestige work. Developed by SCEE Cambridge. It had

  • an art exhibition
  • One of the relatively few PS2 games to support HDTV in any way.
    • 480p and 16:9 aspect ratio.
    • Actually true letterbox aspect ratio.
  • regular soundtrack performed by the City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus,
    • BAFTA nominated.
  • combat soundtrack by 16volt, an American industrial music group.
  • Great voice acting by Hudson Leick and Andreas Katsulas
  • Tremendous graphics. Even today I've never seen fire&smoke effects to match its.
  • Tremendous atmosphere.
  • PAL "Collector's Edition" was part of the initial release.
  • Vast amounts of motion capture. Not only the custom combat moves for each of Jen's forms, but each cutscene seemed to have unique motion capture just for it.


Technical Notes

  • Part of a prestige game is advanced graphics and higher res graphics modes.
    • The PS2 version of Primal can be displayed in progressive scan with component cables.
      • Progressive Scan is a limited version of HDTV, aka ETV, aka 480p.
      • Strongly Recommended if your TV is capable of it.
    • Another aspect is taking full advantage of the Sony PS2 hardware. Primal is one of the few games to use the pressure-sensitivity of the Sony Playstation 2 DualShock controller buttons.
      • PC keyboards and mice are not pressure sensitive. Easy to check for duration of keypress though.
      • For a game ported to multiple platforms it's easiest to go with the lowest common denominator control system.
      • Even the Playstation exclusive Ratchet and Clank games just check for duration of keystroke, not pressure. While the game help says "Press harder to rise faster" it means press longer.

Prestige Games

  • Beyond Good And Evil
  • Ico
  • Primal

Here are some more details. The metal boxes floating in the Slaughterhouse remind me a lot of the boxes pushed around in Ico. The same 'X' like design on the sides. After that I noticed how similar Jade's box pushing motion is to Ico's. The same rhythmic movement.

When in camera mode, moving the right joystick left and right seems to move the camera position itself a little. As though Jade were leaning to the left/right. Ghost Hunter (Primal's brother game). has that same mechanism when in first person mode. Ghost Hunter also has a "floating through giant glowing tube maze" section, like Beyond Good And Evil does on the moon. The music's reminiscent.

I'm also currently on a Primal kick. Among other things noticed similarities with Ico. Now I'm seeing similarities between all three games, BG&E, Primal, and Ico.

Commonalities

  • They're all single player, two character games.
    • The two characters are male & female. Great graphics and imagination.
    • The female of the pair is magically special, or ends up that way.
      • Even Ghost Hunter has this with Astral, in an AbortedArc.
  • "National" games
    • Ico's Japanese.
    • Primal's British.
    • BG&E's French.
  • Fake Deaths
    • Pey'J in Beyond Good And Evil.
    • Scree in Primal.
    • Lazarus in GhostHunter.
    • Yorda in Ico (Turned to stone).
  • Innovative unique art style.
  • Mysterious huge backstory left unexplained.
  • Made up languages, well spoken by excellent voice actors.
  • Great music.
  • Great voice acting.
  • Accessible in multiple languages
    • Beyond Good And Evil and Primal provided voice overs in many different languages.
    • Ico used minimal dialogue to bypass language barriers.
  • Primal, Beyond Good And Evil, and Ico all introduce new areas with BossSubtitles.

Compare and Contrast

Anyway, just noticed that Jade puts her back to the wall and slides through thin spaces. Jen in Primal does exactly the same thing. The same for edging along ledges.

  • Female Characters
    • Jade and Jen are similar names.
      • Neither female knows anything about their parents.
      • They're both magical in nature.
        • Yorda fits in here. Is the Queen really her mother? Can that be physically possible? Father is even more speculative. Definitely magical as well.
      • Both can duck under obstacles. Jen automatically. Jade manually.
      • Combat is inverted between them.
        • Jade's combos are all from one button, although there's a second button for dodging.
        • Jen's combos come from 4 different keys, and have intricate combinations.
      • Jen and Jade, more than once, float as beautiful spirits... wearing bluejeans and extremely mundane, practical footware.
      • Both have avuncular companions. Many jokes are made about the makeup of those companions
        • Jen's rock and stone puns to Scree.
        • Jade and Pey'J both make jokes about ham and pork.
      • Scree and Pey'J are short and scamper. Similar catch-up moves when far behind their partner.
      • Scree and Pey'J are almost joke characters to begin with, but are later shown to be very important. Spoiler: [Scree is Abdizur. Pey'J is the head of the IRIS network.]
      • Jade and Jen are similarly underwhelmed when their companions demonstrate their first special ability. Scree's wall climbing. Pey'J's jet boots.
  • Hide behind the partner.
    • In the boss combat with Count Raum Jen can hide behind Scree when Raum is floating in the air using his distance attack.
    • In the boss combat with the DomZ Priest Jade can hide behind HH to avoid the ranged attack.
  • The frond monsters in Aquis ("Anemone") in Primal are very similar to the ones in the first cave ("Anemonia Mutabilis") ("Be careful with those mutant anemones.") in BeyondGoodAndEvil. Tentacles coming out of swollen nodules. Have Scree brush up against an anemone to see the tentacles retract and the nodule swell, like the ones in Beyond Good and Evil when Jade hits them.
  • Both Ico and Beyond Good And Evil
    • have sections named "The Trolley" with trolleys. Not much, but interesting.
    • Have characters making leaps across chasms and failing. Only to be caught by their companion. HH catching Jade in BG&E. Ico catching Yorda and vice versa, in Ico.
  • Both Beyond Good And Evil and Primal have major boss fights with a gigantic figure. Goliath in Primal and the DomZ Priest in Beyond Good And Evil
  • BG&E and Primal are not platforming games. In fact, it's impossible to fall off of an edge. Never the less, the maps are multi-level, which can be confusing. There are precipices, and chasms and gaps which are jumped automatically.
  • Focus shift to give a scene depth and shift the audience's attention from foreground to background or vice versa. Faked, since the games are all CGI.
    • Primal in the cutscene in the Nexus dressing room.
    • BG&E, the cutscene when Jade first enters the IRIS den.
  • The Yaag in Primal and the Sarcophagus Domzii both sometimes crawl down walls when they first appear.
  • Non-human humanoids.
    • In Primal everyone Jen meets.
    • In BG&E many of the inhabitants of Hillys seem to be human hybrids. Goat, Whale, shark, rhino, cat, etc. Spoiler: [Even the Alpha Sections are no longer human.]
  • Horn engraving.
    • Primal - Jared's horn tip was engraved with a family pattern. ** BG&E - The rhinos at Mammago's Garage engraved patterns on their horns.
  • Time
    • Primal
      • Each Realm in Primal was at a fixed time of day. Probably to make the local lighting effects both easier to implement and more noticeable.
    • BG&E Day/night cycles every 20 minutes or so. Probably to show off general lighting effects. Since the game does not emphasize local lighting effects.
    • Ico - Fixed time of day as in Primal', and for the same reasons.
  • Each of Ico', Primal and BG&E had special graphics modes.
    • Primal had a hidden progressive scan mode to enhance its 480i to 480p
    • BG&E had a progressive scan mode to enhance its 480i to 480p on most systems.
    • Ico had a lower than normal resolution at 240p. Perhaps to accomodate the load of special lighting effects and long visual range.
  • In BG&E the top of the lighthouse, with its arms extended for the shield, resembles the top of the final filtration station in Aquis in Primal, with its permanently extended arms.

Article:Shout Outs

  • The beginning of the opening cutscene is just like the first person travel scenes by the angels in The Prophecy (1995).
  • Movie The Terminator - opening scene of killer stalking through the dance floor of a nightclub.
  • Jen starts calling Scree "Rocky" after Scree's insistence that possessing statues is useful.
  • Xena Warrior Princess - Jen says 'Hold it, Xena!' to a Wraith Guard Captain Valeera before they fight.
    • Hudson Leick, who voiced Jen, played Callisto in Xena.
  • The young noble Elizabeth seems certain to grow up to be the Countess Elizabeth Báthory, also known as the Blood Countess.
  • Stargate - The Rift Gates, shape and usage.
  • "Ooh, shiny!" has to be Shout Out to something, right?
  • "Bit short for the grim reaper, aren't ya?" = Jen upon meeting Scree for the first time.
    • StarWars - "Aren't you a little short for a Storm Trooper?" - Princess Leia on meeting Luke for the first time.
      • The riding beasts in Solum look a lot like Tauntauns from "The Empire Strikes Back." Queen Devena rides on in a cutscene. Jen is shown riding one in an early trailer. One can be examined close up in the Hunting Camp.
    • In Aetha the Amazons have a strange listless pose they go into when Jen walks by dressed for the costume ball. It's almost exactly like Jill's idle animation in the original ResidentEvil.
      • Hip cocked to their left.
      • Right arm hanging down loosely.
      • Head hung as if in shame, chin down almost to the chest.
      • Even the name of the characters. In the final confrontation in ResidentEvil the helicopter pilot shouts to Jill "You're our Amazon, Jill!"
      • Only the almost crossed legs vary from Jill's slightly wider stance.
    • Jen and Scree seem to bear a strange relationship as that of Sarah and Hoggle from Jim Henson's 1986 movie, Labyrinth. Hoggle and Scree both being short (about 2-3 feet tall) both are considered ugly in appearence and are allies to the main female character They also have british accents. Jen and Sarah both are more or less teenager females (Sarah being 15 and Jen being 21) with american accents, who venture into magical realms.
      • Sarah is also played by Jennifer Connelly, Jennifer being the same name as Primal's main character's name.
      • When in Aquis, scree comes back to the surface, after recieving a "gift" from the Queen Aino, he tries to hide this gift from Jen before handing it to her, Jennifer also called it a "present", without her knowing what it is. This is very similar to the scene when Hoggle hides the Peach that the king of the Goblins, Jareth, had given him to give to Sarah, Jareth refers to it as a "present", Sarah was also unaware of what it really was. But in both situations the girls have a "dream come true" as Jennifer is able to swim, something she has never been able to do while, Sarah has a beautiful ball room dream which allows her to get closer to her goal while Jen is able to swim her way through the aquis level.
      • When Jen and Scree ever need to open a door the grunting and quotes they make are somewhat similar to that of when Hoggle and Sarah are trying to push a door down so they can escape in "the cleaners" scene.
      • Hoggle and Scree both have utlity belts
      • When in the Aetha, Jen is dressed in a 18th century masqurade dress while she has to dance with the male antoganist of the level who wants to be more "intimate" with Jen. Sarah is dressed in an 18th century masqurade dress (minus the mask) while she has to dance with the male antagonist of the movie who also seems to also have "intimate" desires for Sarah.
    • The Wizard of Oz - Cout Raum calls Jen "My pretty" similar to that of the iconic phrase given by the wicked witch of the west to Dorothy "I'll get you my pretty and your little dog too". All though ironically at this point Count Raum has caught Jen.

Tomb Raider Reverse Shout Outs

Reverse Shout Outs -

  • In Tomb Raider: Underworld
    • Lara kicks open clay jars like Jen.
    • Swims like Jen in Undine form, with full body wave. Jen keeps her arms at her sides. Lara keeps her arms spread.
    • Can now rappel up and down like Jen.
    • In the Lara's Shadow DLC the Doppleganger can slow time like Jen's Wraith form. Both use it to move through falls of lethal fluids.
      • Jen slows the oil falls to move through them.
      • The Doppleganger slows the dripping [eitr].
    • Lara gains the ability to regenerate health in Underworld.
  • Other TombRaider games
    • Lara can do a handstand followed by a forward somersault to get up onto a ledge in Legend and Anniversary. The forward somersault is much like Scree's forward somersault to dismount from a wall.
    • The Comment icons in Anniversary are diamonds floating in air that shift color, much like Jen's Energy Gems.

Article:Similar Games

Ico

Ico is a one person adventure game from Team Ico. Noted for its minimalist approach, lighting effects and environmental puzzles.


See this video for almost wordless character development.

ICO ヨルダさん接写 part2

Differences between PAL and NTSC versions

  • There's another special weapon, the light-sword. Maybe only available on the second playthrough.
  • The Queen's and Yorda's strange language dialog is translated in the subtitles on a second playthrough after winning the game.

From the comments at ICO ヨルダさん接写 part1

In the PAL region version (Europe and Asia), there are very significant differences. Such as after Yorda opened the gate her hair was white, the Queen's shadows look different, Yorda's AI is much more improved, etc.


The NTSC (north america) region rushed to get ICO here so that's why in cutscenes the animation isnt as nice and Yorda is a bit dumb sometimes. In the PAL she'll help you with puzzles and you can hear her speak too.


Speed demos comments

From http://speeddemosarchive.com/Ico.html

Here are quite a few differences between the different region versions of this game, and it is widely known that the EU version has many nice extras and better packaging. There are some advantages when it comes to speedrunning, however.

  • 2 player mode, which lets you get around Yorda's at times unresponsive AI... also, you can get some concurrency on things such as ladders
  • slightly improved framerate, which allows for more precise control and less lag
  • basically all the cutscenes are skippable
  • Yorda's AI is improved
  • shadow AI is also improved, and they are more aggressive, which is faster because you don't have to chase them around
  • Most importantly, if you set the framerate to 50 Hz, there is a glitch where you can do a superjump (much farther, one "block" higher) by hitting square right after you hit triangle to jump. This allows massive sequence breaking, such as in the room just beyond the crumbling bridge, you can go straight forward instead of up the rising stairs, then jump across the gap to skip all the way to the chandelier room. And so forth.


Ico board on GameFAQs post

Differences between PAL and NTSC

Druff Posted 5/28/2009 11:44:12 AM message detail To clarify, it's more accurate to say that there are differences between the North American version, and the Japanese/European version. The JP and EU version is basically the same aside from the text language, but JP is NTSC and EU is PAL. Anyway, as Jove said, the NA version was rushed out the door. Apparently Sony wanted it on store shelves well before the 2001 holiday season. Probably because they were afraid that it would be crushed by Metal Gear Solid 2. Aside from the differences already mentioned, there are a lot of little design differences throughout the game. e.g. in the large hall with the huge chandelier you have to climb on, the structure up near the chandelier is very different. In the NA version, in a certain section there are these two huge staircases with stairs so big that it's a pain for Ico to climb up them one by one. In the JP/EU version they made the stairs slanted, so he can just run right up. In most of the areas with crate/box puzzles, the boxes are placed completely differently. There's a puzzle in the JP/EU version that doesn't exist in the NA version.


Ico and component cables

My game wont play with component cables...weird

frotchy posted at 5/23/2009 6:32 PM "My game wont play with component cables...weird. So I have no idea why, but my version of Ico will not play via component cables. I can get sound but no picture.

I tried other games, cables work fine, I tried a different set of component cables, still did not work. I was ready to freak out, thinking I would never be able to play Ico again, then I thought to try my old cables I used on my old tv.

Luckily the game works fine with my svideo cable or composite cables. Anyone else see this or hear of this type of issue?? Also maybe if someone out there cant get their version to play at home they should try switching cables, it saved my day."

Your post worried me enough to fire up Ico with my component cables. Ico had already been tested with that configuration. I remember noticing how much better it looked, particularly Ico's red tunic. But I rechecked anyway. It was fine.

There's a problem like this with PS1 games on a PS2 over component cables. PS1 games output a lower quality video format (240p) that most HDTVs won't recognize over component cables.

Here's a discussion of it. Can't Play PS1 Games On HDTV Via PS2 W/ Component - Anyone Else?

"All PS1/PS2 games have the ability to render natively in a 240p mode (lower than standard definition). Almost all PS1 games use this mode. Tekken 3 is one exception (ugh, the combing is terrible). Almost all PS2 games use 480i. Ico is one exception."

and

"The little publicized fact about HDTVs is that they vary WILDLY in their SDTV upscaling solutions. Some are absolutely horrendous (you'll find yourself thinking it didn't look this bad on my old TV), some are excellent, and unfortunately, some are incompletely implemented. Most cheaper HDTVs are engineered to make HD content look good, so they spend less money on SD issues."


I didn't know that Ico as an exception to the general run of PS2 games as far as video signal. Based on that I'd say you probably couldn't play PS1 games on your PS2 over component cables, either. I must have just gotten lucky with my setup.

Notes on the Game

Ico is a great game because it does what it does very well. That pulls the player into the game.


The theme is "Small boy. Big Castle." Ico can't do much, but what he can do is well thought out and expressed. Puzzles seem appropriate to the setting.

It's a minimalist game. Combat is small and quiet instead of big and flashy. That pulls the player in since there are no noisy lights and colors forcing their attentions. Like they say, "If you want to get someone's attention, whisper."

A big part of it's the atmosphere of the game.

Here's the trailer.


Ico has one boss fight at the end. Nothing like the ones in Shadow of the Colossus.



Threads about games similar to Ico

Combat Tips

From the thread I hate the battle gameplay

There may not be any strategy, but there are definitely tactics.

  • The best way to help Ico recover from being knocked down is to keep it from happening in the first place.
    • Watch the spirits for attack and evasion patterns.
  • Use Yorda as a stalking horse.
  • When surrounded sometimes Ico can grab Yorda's hand and lead a tactical retreat.
    • Then wait for the dark spirits to come to him.
  • Spoiler: [If there's a door guarded by idols get Yorda to it asap. Opening it will wipe out the dark spirits.]
  • If possible, concentrate on one shadow at a time. Take it completely out before attacking the next. This cuts their numbers down as quickly as possible. (It's also how Ico defeats the Castle. One part at a time.)
  • Ico can hit multiple shadows with one swing. This is easiest when mobbed. Which makes it more likely he'll get hit from behind. Try at your own risk.
  • Use the jump + strike for quick attacks from a distance. Then jump out again.
  • Shadows picking up and carrying Yorda are vulnerable. Show them no mercy.

Beyond Good and Evil

Granny Player Alberta on BG&E

grannyplayerAlberta posted:

"I bought this game while it was new/recent for GameCube. It has proved to be a nearly perfect game in every respect and certainly ranks among the top 3 games in my collection. I frequently play it simply for the pleasure of the company of the protagonists, having long since satisfied any need for 100% completion. I will be beyond annoyed and frustrated if the sequel isn't released for Wii, which is the only other platform I own. I cherish the original and have longed for the sequel to answer so many obvious questions ~ first among them, the significance of that gem of a teaser in Pey'j's hand at the end of the credits. Ubisoft originally released this for every platform available. I hope and pray they have the great good sense to do it again ~ don't ignore ANY of us who have touted the original in every forum available to us (including with our wallets)!!!

For those who haven't experienced the original, the points of excellence were:

  • a female protagonist whose IQ exceeded her cup size
  • a pair of supporting protagonists who were both entertaining and likeable
  • a battle system that made sense and worked; intuitive controls
  • a coherent storyline that was interesting and at times surprising
  • voice acting of the highest level
  • beautiful scenery, haunting and memorable music
  • emotion-evoking major and minor events (I laughed, I cried, I gasped in surprise)
  • sufficient sidequests of sufficient challenge and interest

Its one failing? One-dimensional villains.

Listen up, Ubisoft ~ don't exclude any of us who supported the original. Go whole hog and make BG&E2 available to all."

Beyond Good and Evil Links

Ghosthunter

Ghosthunter is Primal's brother game. Made by the same developers, SCEE Cambridge and using the same game engine.

Article:Walkthroughs

Text and image Walkthroughs

Video Walkthroughs

Text Walkthroughs

Tarot card locations


Game Manual

Strategy Guide

  • IGN Primal Main
    • Online Primal Strategy Guide
    • Cheats
    • Reviews
    • Images
    • Videos

Asking for help

  • Neoseeker has a Primal Board that doesn't require registration to post. Currently (2009-05-27) being monitored.
  • GameFAQs Primal Board is currently (2009-05-27) active. Requires a GameFAQs or GameSpot registration.

Article:What Is Primal?

An interesting thread on GameFAQ's PS2 page.

VCarterMoss posted 8/16/2011 2:33:07 AM

Is this an action/adventure game? Or is it a horror survival? Is there any platforming? How is it from a technical standpoint?

metaIslugg Posted 8/16/2011 8:02:10 AM

Action/adventure, the action parts are sort of like Godhand. The premise is that you can switch between the statue and the girl, so it has a lot of puzzles that make use of that. And the girl's different forms.

Technically it's very good. Graphics are solid, but what's really good is the voice acting. It's what really makes the game. If you played Beyond Good & Evil, it's a lot like that.

G4me_0ver posted 8/16/2011 8:16:27 AM

Yes it's an action adventure/puzzle game. There is not really much platforming... Occasionally you will have to climb a ledge or something but you mostly run around exploring and solving puzzles. If you do not like that kind of thing do not bother because the combat is bad.

^ What the hell? How can you compare it to God Hand? The game nor the action is nothing like Primal.

metaIslugg posted 8/16/2011 8:27:26 AM

What I mean is the perspective and style. Because when you say action/adventure you could be talking about hack-n-slash like Devil May Cry or God of War, and that's not how Primal is. Primal's action is more beat 'em up, like Godhand.


YoYoLeFtToRiTe posted 8/16/2011 9:46:36 AM

Uh, Primal is nothing like Godhand. Primal's combat is very basic and underwhelming (overall great experience though) while Godhand's combat is very intuitive while getting better as you progress.

JoveHack posted 8/16/2011 12:14:20 PM

Primal is a game you experience as much or more than you play.

I was underwhelmed at first. When someone commented that it needed more gameplay I retorted that it needed gameplay, period.

The game has since grown on me. Everything else is great, story, characters, imagination, art, BAFTA nominated orchestral music soundtrack, variety, plot, voice acting, machine music combat soundtrack, graphics, etc. etc. There's even some excellent motion capture. So be sure to check out all of Jen's combat taunts, especially in Djinn form.

It's technical excellence really supports a good setup. You'll want a good speaker setup to appreciate the music and voice acting. The game supports widescreen mode, and has a hidden progressive scan option menu (hold X and Triangle while the game is booting up).

If you're sick of gray/brown "realism", Primal will cure that. More than once I turned a corner and just stopped and stared.

The game's got a nice sense of understatement and humor. It's about some deep themes, but doesn't take itself too seriously. In that sense it's the antidote to games that feature "teenagers being improbably awesome", in Yahtzee's immortal phrase.

If you do get the game, be sure to chat a lot with Scree with every return to the Nexus. And use the taunt in combat.

It's got a brother game, Ghosthunter, by the same studio. It's got everything Primal has, plus gameplay.

GamesRadar wants an HD remake of the game.

I agree with metaIslugg that the game reminds me of Beyond Good and Evil, with a good sense of place and imagination, and excellent likeable characters. (No vehicles, though.)

I replay Primal to see Jen and Scree again, and visit the locations. Just as I'd replay Beyond Good and Evil to visit Hillys and see Jade again.

Primal's entry as Number 63 of IGN's Top 100 PS2 Games

"Female leads on the PS2 were pretty hard to come by, and even when they did appear, they were either ridiculously proportioned or the epitome of a weakling woman stereotype. That's just one of the reasons why Primal was so refreshing. Jen, even though she had the special power to assume the form of demons, was an everyday gal. She was attractive but with normal sized breasts, and she was smart and funny. She was also the one who was on a quest to save her boyfriend, rather than the other way around. Accompanied by a wise little gargoyle (who was also playable), Jen traveled through numerous demon realms on her adventure. Primal was a gorgeous, cinematic game with an in-depth story that truly focused on character development. While the gameplay had some issues, it was still a wonderfully satisfying experience with one of the best stories we'd seen in a game up until that point."

Never thought Primal would make that kind of list, much less be that high on it.

Number 63 out of 1800 released PS2 games puts Primal in the top 4%. A solid A, maybe A+.

Article:Wild Mass Guessing

Speculation about the game.


Contains Spoilers.

Dying Dream


Jen is the child of Lady Arella and Lord Abaddon

  • "You were brought into Oblivion as a baby. Your soul tainted by the touch of Chaos." - Scree to Jen
  • "You are a hybrid, Jennifer; half mortal, half demon. One of only two in all existence, and to me that makes you more important than an army of demons. Did you think it was just those trinkets on you arms that allowed you to change form? You have powers that even Abaddon does not fully comprehend. You can go anywhere, do things that Belahzur could not if he had a millennium. The laws of the Nexus are yours to break." - Lady Arella,

Lady Arella points out that Jen never knew her parents. Jen was rescued from Abaddon by Abdizur and Lady Arella's legions. Abaddon calls Jen "daughter." If Abaddon is Jen's father, then an equally strong and opposite force would have to be Jen's mother. That other parent could only be Lady Arella.


Dead Shaman's Spirit Visit

The spirit of the shaman Devena had killed persuaded the Ferai Shaman to aid Jen and Scree.

Primal is a game where almost everything is explained at great length before it's encountered. Everything else is explained as we go along. There's just one exception. The second shaman in Solum. The one at the Ferai Hunt Camp. The one Jen and Scree speak with more than once. That shaman, with his combination water buffalo and antelope horns, speaks some sense, and some nonsensical non sequiturs.

The shaman summons Green Ferai energy up from the fire as Jen and Scree approach. The shaman seems to sense them behind his back before they announce themselves. "Two are come..." he says in English, where previously he had been speaking the Demon Tongue.

-- From Babigurl94's game script on GameFAQs:

"Talk with the Shaman"

Shaman: "No further! Do they know they approach the sacred grounds?"
[There is a long pause, and the Shaman nods to himself.]
Shaman: "Doubtless you are right..."
[Jen and Scree look at each other in confusion and shrug.]
Scree: "We saw your fire, that's all."
Jen: "We're kinda asking everyone... have you seen Prince Jared? We're trying

to find him."

[The Shaman shakes a little, then lunges towards Jen.]
Shaman: "Spirit! A spirit... walking with... well, why don't you ask him? Ha!"

--

The Shaman is obviously speaking to someone else in the phrases indicated with italics. Someone present, but not sensed by the others.

The best, perhaps only candidate, is the spirit of the shaman killed in the earlier cutscene "Encounter with Devena". There is no evidence for this other than the second Shaman's behavior.


Here's the dialogue from the second cutscene with the Ferai Shaman at the Hunt Camp. Note one more mention of "the spirit", by the Shaman, towards the end.

Jen: "Listen up - I'm sorry, but there's something you need to know."
Shaman: "Hmm.... she will speak..."
Jen: "That sacred place of yours isn't quite so off limits as you think, it's crawling with people!"
Scree: "Jen, allow me to handle this... Sir, the Necropolis... We have evidence of Ferai presence there... guards, archers..."
Jen: (indignantly) "'S what I said!"
Shaman: "You have dared to set your dirty feet there?!"
Scree: "My... companion here lost her bearings and uh..."
Jen: "The point is... they ARE there! You know about that? What are they doing?"
Shaman: "It is a sacrilege."
Scree: "I'd say they're there for a purpose. They are using the cover of sacred land - guarded by yourself here warning people off - as a hideaway. And the one who is hidden is Jared!"
Shaman (shaking his head violently) : "Stop!"
[Pause while Jen and Scree look at each other quizzically.]
Shaman: "Now continue."
Scree: "Sir, the only path to... sanctity... the Kingdom's survival... is for Jared to be found and then Herne will be able to relinquish his throne. We need to explore the Necropolis."
Shaman: "No one passes this point."
Scree: "We're asking your blessing... Meanwhile, there are soldiers stamping all over that hallowed place..."
Jen: (Extending her foot and tapping it on the ground while pointing at it): "Stamping with their dirty feet!"
Scree: "...yes... and we're willing to get them out of there."
Shaman: "No more!"
(Shaman turns his back and paces about, then returns.)
Shaman: "You have my blessing... in these accursed days... we look beyond our first desires."
(Shaman takes something from his pocket and holds it out to Jen and Scree.)
Shaman: "For the spirit?"
(Jen takes green crystal from the shaman.)
Shaman: "If you are to enter the Necropolis, you will need this."
(Scree bows. Jen curtsies awkwardly.)

Article:Writing Style

Write good stuff.

Style guidelines:

"Write good stuff."


Rationale:

Grep that spool

"That’s it. I hereby give up on Wikipedia. It’s doomed.

What did it was their article on Kibo. Right there at the top is a notice that says:

This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article.

What half-educated stuffed shirt came up with that dictum? I worked for years as a literary criticism reference series editor without once hearing about yon “formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article.” The editors in our department weren’t slangy—it wouldn’t have been proper—but Wikipedia’s current article about Kibo would have been well within our standards. It’s certainly better written than most professionally produced encyclopedia entries. " - Teresa Nielsen Hayden, [Grep that spool], May 5, 2007.

Great Quirky Stuff

"The great quirky stuff is exactly the sort of thing that the idiots at wikipedia are trying to get rid of. Why would they try to be just like a print encyclopedia? If I want a print encyclopedia I can look on my bookshelf." - David Bilek at [Comment] in "Grep that spool", May 6, 2007.

Turgid academic prose is bad writing

"What, does the self-proclaimed arbiter want people to write in one of those lethal to comprehensibility (assumed one hasn't gone to sleep from sheer tedium within three sentences) turgid academic prose styles? I have a piece of information for that person, turgid academic prose is bad writing! That's the dirty secret, all those articles written in the passive voice, are in the passive voice because the writers can't write well or are getting forced into writing abominable prose, and either the editors are lousy at grammar and editing to make something readable, or have inflated inane views regarding what appropriate writing styles are!" - Paula LIeberman in [Comment] in "Grep that spool", May 6, 2007.

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