Tecmo, initially a supplier of cleaning equipment and now best known for Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive, was founded on this day in 1967!

Sacred (Windows)

Published by
Developed by
Released
Platform
77
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.5
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Not an American user?

Description

Sacred is an action role-playing game set in the fantasy world of Ancaria. You can choose from six different characters - Dark Elf, Battle Mage, Gladiator, Forest Elf (a female archer), Vampire Lady and Seraphim (a descendant of arch angels). Your mission is to save Ancaria from evil which comes in form of Shaddar, a Necromancer who spent his days creating monsters to roam the plane.

Each character starts out in a different location, but all of them are quite near to each other. Besides the main quests, which are divided into four so-called "acts", you'll get to solve more than 500 different subquests, of which some are randomly assigned. While the main quest doesn't get you anything but to continue in the storyline, the subquests award you experience, gold and sometimes items.

The character system is different from other games of this type, since your character can not "learn" the spells or skills he (or you) wants to use, but needs to find "runes". These runes can be read, which gives the character +1 to a certain skill. Besides this, with each level up, you can assign stat points - strength, dexterity, mental regeneration for spells, physical regeneration for life replenish and so on. The character level is not limited, it's possible to gain levels way over 100 but this of course takes time. Also, the skills are not limited; if you want, you can read 200 runes with one skill and thus have level 200 on one skill, but this has a severe disadvantage: the skills get more powerful, but they take more time to regenerate at higher levels (which can lead to extremely powerful attacks which can be performed once in four minutes, rendering them unusable).

There are large towns and small villages in the game, all with different inhabitants, different vendors and, naturally, many quests to solve. Travelling through the world can take hours, that's why the game offers horses to ride on, which make the player character move much faster, but can be killed by monsters as well.

The game features single player and network, open and closed internet play on four difficulty levels with up to 16 players at once. Player-killing is not possible in normal games, but it's possible to open special Player-vs-Player games where no quests are active, but players may be killed. Hardcore play is also possible - which means that once you're dead, the character stays dead forever (normally, you just respawn in town, the character loses neither experience nor gold).

Screenshots

Sacred Windows Buy a horse and travel faster! Fighting from the horses back is not to recommend though...
Sacred Windows Main menu
Sacred Windows The 2D graphics is really pretty.
Sacred Windows Vampiress transforms into her true form.

Alternate Titles

  • "圣域" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "Князь Тьмы" -- Russian spelling
  • "Sacred: La Leyenda del Arma Sagrada" -- Spanish title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Refreshing change to the Diablo-style games Riamus (8121) 4.71 Stars4.71 Stars4.71 Stars4.71 Stars4.71 Stars
Many good ideas, but technically a disgrace to game programming phlux (4143) 3.57 Stars3.57 Stars3.57 Stars3.57 Stars3.57 Stars
One lousy bug makes this game qualify for the worst RPG's in history... Indra is here (19677) 2.43 Stars2.43 Stars2.43 Stars2.43 Stars2.43 Stars

The Press Says

Gamigo Feb 26, 2004 8.7 out of 10 87
PC Gameplay (Benelux) Apr, 2004 85 out of 100 85
Worth Playing Apr 30, 2004 8.5 out of 10 85
ActionTrip Mar 26, 2004 84 out of 100 84
4Players.de Feb 26, 2004 81 out of 100 81
Thunderbolt Games Apr 18, 2004 8 out of 10 80
Computer Gaming World (CGW) Jul, 2004 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70
CanardPC Apr 07, 2007 7 out of 10 70
Boomtown Sep 11, 2004 7 out of 10 70
Absolute Games (AG.ru) May 12, 2004 60 out of 100 60

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
The cheat options....clarified 1 shade_of_mischief (1)
Sep 25, 2007

Trivia

Copy protection

Sacred has a rather original copy protection system. While the game seemed to work fine, at some point - usually upon entering a dungeon - the player character was teleported to a small island called Mal-Ork-A that he could not leave. The island could be visited by a legit player as well, but in that case, he'd still have the boat he came with.

Sadly, since Sacred was rather buggy already, the protection occasionally kicked in for legit players as well, making this kind of protection rather worthless.

Dwarf dungeon

The Dwarf dungeon world in Sacred were created using the renderings of The Light Works. They provided in-game graphics for this level and the water elements.

Multiplayer

Thanks to the game's advertising as being a Diablo II competitor, players believed they'd be able to play online like in Blizzard's game. While there was online multiplayer, it didn't work initially and had to be patched in. Frustration quickly ensued when it became apparent that Ascaron had saved on the wrong end - the servers. Instead of a Battle.net competitor able to handle hundreds, if not thousands of concurrent games, only a handful of servers were available, each hosting just one game with 8 players. Most of the time, these servers were either full or had crashed. If it worked, multiplayer was often plagued by synchronization issues - one player would get a quest the other didn't, or would see (and be attacked by) monsters the others didn't.

Also, it quickly became apparent that the multiplayer servers didn't actually do much more than store the character data. In fact, one could modify the client-side game files and get away with using ridiculous items online - the server never checked the client's files. It was also possible to cheat the client's memory in order to instantly level the character to max. level - this also was not detected by the server.

These issues were all fixed in the months after release.

References

There are many references in Sacred:
  • Sunglasses
  • A bunny costume (which is applied to cheaters only)
  • A light saber like in Star Wars
  • The ice hockey mask and machete from the Friday 13th movies
  • A dungeon which is made up like a Pac-Man game
  • A village which is a exact copy of Tristram from Diablo
  • Game boxes as quest items (all from other Ascaron games)
  • Tons of humorous tombstone inscriptions

Awards

  • GameStar (Germany)
    • February 2005 - Best PC RPG in 2004 (Readers' vote)
Information also contributed by Jeanne

Related Web Sites

phlux (4143) added Sacred (Windows) on Mar 10, 2004