aka: Armalion, Das Schwarze Auge: Armalion - Realms of Arcania, L.O.R.D.: Lands of Raising Demons, Sacred Plus, Sacred: La Leggenda dell'Arma Sacra, Sacred: La Leyenda del Arma Sagrada, Sacred: Neue Auflage
Moby ID: 12394
Add-on (official) Special Edition See Also

Description official descriptions

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).

Releases labeled as Sacred Plus automatically include the free patch which includes an improved multiplayer experience, smoother interface, some balancing of items and quests; as well as two new regions, many new quests, five new opponents, and lots of new items, weapons and armour.


  • Князь Тьмы - Russian spelling
  • 圣域 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

185 People (164 developers, 21 thanks) · View all

Executive Producer
Project Lead
Lead Game Designer, Level Design, Concept, Voice Directing
Lead Game Designer, Cinematic and Story Design, Atmospheric Supervision, Combat Directing, Concept Sketches, Conceptual World Design, Additional Level Design, Additional Sound Design
Lead QA, Balancing Lead, Game Design, Item Design
Lead QA, Additional Storytelling
Level Designer, Game Design, Additional Sound Effects, Additional Storytelling, QA Assistance
Level Designer, Additional Scripting, Environmental Storytelling
Additional Item Balancing
Lead Programmer, Software Engineering, Engine Programming, Tool Programming, Interface Programming
Programmer, Engine Programming, Special Effects Development, Editor Engineering, Sound Programming, Tactical Development, Converter
Programmer, Multiplayer Programming, Game Server Engineering, Unicode Programming, Multiplayer Design
Programmer, Quest Scripting, Build Coordination
Quest Scripter, Additional Storytelling
Quest Scripter
Programmer, Tool Programming, Additional Programming, Unicode Font System & Rendering
Art Director, 2D Graphics and Texture, Design, Concept Sketches, Artworks
Character Artist, Character Modelling and Animation, Special Effects Design
2D Artist, Combat Directing, Additional Storytelling
3D Artist, Armor and Weapon Modelling, Animations
Converter, Modelling and Animations, Database Supervisor
Graphics Artist, Conceptual World Design, World Style
Character Texture Artist, Side Character Concept
Graphics Artist, Armor and Weapon Modelling, Artworks, Additional Item Design
[ full credits ]



Average score: 77% (based on 42 ratings)


Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 63 ratings with 4 reviews)

Many good ideas, but technically a disgrace to game programming

The Good
The environment graphics are really good, very detailed and the world seems to be really huge compared to games like Diablo II, for example. I say "it seems" - read about that later. The storyline is nice, not too convincing but with a nice twist at the end and many really funny dialogues (yes, Ascaron knows how to make one laugh - unfortunately, this isn't always a good thing). Many really good ideas are built into the game, like horse riding and the countless subquests with sometimes hilarious results - like Glubba, the stupid Ogre who has taken over the main villain's tower since he found it empty. He simply renamed it from Shaddar-Nur to Glubba-Nur and claimed himself "ruler of Glubba-Nur" - and sounds like a complete retard while introducing those facts to the hero ;) Extremely funny tombstone inscriptions make every graveyard visit worth the time. The german voiceovers are very good for most of the characters, since Ascaron didn't save on the voice actors: Manfred Lehmann speaks the Gladiator, and since Lehmann also speaks Bruce Willis in Die Hard and all his other movies, the Gladiator is actually like John McClane, he even taunts monsters with his trademark "yippie-ka-yay pigface" line. The voice talent for the Dark Elf character is the german voice of Nicholas Cage - sounds very good and rough - and the Seraphim is spoken by the voice of Dana Scully from X-Files, I think.

Well, but that's it. Yes, really. That's all I liked. No kidding.

The Bad
Omg, here we go.

I expected a Diablo II style game, or better to say, Diablo II brought to absolute perfection. Hell, it's 5 years since D2 came out, someone could do it even better, I'm sure. From the box text, from the demo, from the previews - all sounded like it could be heaven for D2 addicts. I also expected the game to be full of bugs, like all Ascaron games were and will be.

On the first part, I was wrong. Yes, it has some D2 aspects to it, like the randomly dropped items, set items, unique items blah blah. But that's about all. Sluggish controls, sometimes not even responding to massive mouse button bashing, slow pace with some characters, extremely bad skill balancing (the dark elf has a skill which freezes ALL enemies in a certain range - even huge dragons - and they won't attack until the cloud has lifted), really lame item generation with stuff like unique items without any attributes, set items which drop 7 times in 10 minutes, set items which don't even have the set name (so you can't really see it's a set item, only if you equip it). The 500+ quests are basically the same - get this, get that, rescue that person, kill this person. Wow.

On the second part, I was damn right. The game has definitely more bugs than features. Not all of them are visible in single player, but the problems range from complete unplayability (game doesn't start thanks to the crazy copy protection, "old drivers" or some other hardware "problem") over skills which don't give you experience when using them, non working random quests pointing to someplace where the quest target is nowhere to be found, disappering items, items changing their type, name, attributes every time you drop them and pick them up again to really huge bugs like non working main quests (you don't get to know where to go next since the quest triggers don't work all the time...), non-working skills, bad item generation resulting in items you should be able to wear, but can't, and last but not least the absolutely hilarious multi player, on which I need to explain more so you get what I mean.

Since Diablo II, players are used to the online gaming service. It's free, it's easy to use, everyone can play with others or alone in their own games - it's a bit laggy at times, but otherwise no problem.

Ascaron seemed to want to create something similar, which would be the first company after Blizzard who tries this. Unfortunately, they failed miserably: they didn't make it so you can create own games in closed network! They open the games theirselves, but of course, for currently 15.000+ players, about 1200 slots are not exactly enough. So while 1.200 players are playing, the rest is waiting. And waiting. And waiting. Since the game servers aren't that stable, they tend to crash, making even less slots available. Sounds good? No. And that's only now - the international release will follow end of March 2004, so even more players will be waiting. Also, they messed up the interface. When you connect to a server, there is no cancel button and no timeout either, so it'll sit there four HOURS trying to connect to a crashed server.

Then, there are other bugs regarding multiplayer. Lost equipment when joining a game (all is gone or replaced by stuff like horses, goblin figures, healing pots; the latter resulting in your char walking around looking like a healing pot), lost characters because the game server didn't save correctly, dark elf characters looking like wizards or gladiators while still having dark elf skills... if you can read german and read the forums with the bug reports: it's a complete mess!

Ascaron issued a patch on the release day, but it didn't fix much. Multiplayer was enabled by it (the retail copy didn't even include it, regardless what it said on the box), but the game still doesn't run well. Needless to say that LAN multiplayer doesn't work properly either - desynched games, lost quest NPCs and extreme lags are just three problems.

The Bottom Line
All in all: don't buy it NOW. Maybe Ascaron can fix the bugs and build a proper multiplayer network, but at the time of writing, there is not much hope. I completed the game once, and to me, it has no replaying value. Other than D2, you cannot run bosses or something like that, also the items are boring as hell (no Windforce here, sorry). It gets old soon, and that's the main problem.

Windows · by phlux (4294) · 2004

Same as Sacred, but with a few additions

The Good
Sacred Plus adds several nice additions to Sacred, which was already pretty good. For instance, it adds 'survival rating' to the character information screen, which basically shows you how long your character has survived (dying resets it back to zero). Supposedly, a high survival rating is somehow factored into the game's calculation for your chance of finding rare items. Items are also redone, so that their properties are now color-coded, making it easier on the eyes when you're studying an item's attributes.

The Bad's always bugs. For one thing, the path-finding can still be terribly bad at times. Case in point: in a dungeon, my character was able to walk around two tightly placed barrels, going in one direction. However, I wasn't able to retrace my footsteps in the other direction, so I was stuck, and had to reload. More bugs include quest givers that will sometimes stop speaking, so that you cannot complete your quest, and enemies that are sometimes spawned in the walls (which can be good, since they're totally inaccessible, and can't hurt you).

The Bottom Line
A hybrid action/RPG hack-n-slash game that is similar to Diablo, but with much better graphics (in my opinion at least.) There are several nice touches, such as the random bits of humor, or the occasional Easter egg. And the fact that you can buy/sell/use horses makes it very nice. Replayability is average however, since the quests and the map is not random. You can only beat this game so many times before it starts getting tedious, regardless of which of the 6 characters you choose to play as.

Windows · by willyum (1020) · 2006

One lousy bug makes this game qualify for the worst RPG's in history...

The Good
Boy and this game had something really going. Respect that they still made it in 2D graphics which "supposedly" is more stable. Well, at least graphically anyways.

Another Diablo-style game. Well, at least this one carried a little bit more, although regardless it did copy more than 50% off Diablo 2 which is technically a clear copycat.

Though regardless, any RPG that has a Vampire class in it almost immediately withheld any ill attention I had towards the least for the moment.

The game tutorial was pretty helpful. It skillfully and easily guided you at the first parts of the game and the storyline was helpful enough or at most points straight forward enough as not to get irritating, as the world of Sacred is quite large.

Character development was quite fun. I thought did fared a little better than Diablo 2, where some skills are totally useless in higher levels. Then again, maybe Sacred followed the same footsteps...can't quite remember. Although I do recall it was extremely difficult to upgrade certain skills as you need the "item" to advance and not experience points. Though a bug I found kinda ruined that experience...(later on da bad)

One of the most fun things about the game was the multitude of enemies. They're not that difficult to beat, but there's a whole lot of them. I remember the first time I encountered the place that was crawling with goblins. Yeah, I can out run them. Apparently it wasn't possible, since the whole goblin football team AND their fans were chasing you too. That was quite fun really. Obviously it was a big hint that you shouldn't explore there now.

One of the things I enjoyed most was actually this the first real-time RPG to my knowledge that has horses to ride. The first RPG I played that had horses available was Ultima 6 (that were graphically visible, of course). I really enjoyed horseback riding, although they kinda stunk when it came to fighting on horseback, but I suppose its a start.

The Bad
The game was "this" close to become a well received RPG from where I was playing...until...I found a bug.

Not just any bug. But one of the worst bugs you can possibly conjure in a game. The one that inhibits you to progress in the game.

There I was, stuck in the middle of an Orc infested desert, near an oasis where the primary mission states that I had to give water to a dying soldier. Just get a bottle at the oasis and bring him the water. Fine.

Went to the oasis, that small thing-a-majig at the oasis must be the bottle. For the next 15-30 minutes, I was circling that dang thing trying to figure out why I couldn't pick it up. After almost an hour I gave up, thinking there must've been a sidequest or something I missed. So I explored everywhere else possible and after many gaming days, I returned to the spot of the ol'bottle problem. Still couldn't pick it up.

I could've easily gone to an internet cafe to find out what was wrong, but I have a policy to "almost" never look up walkthroughs, cheats and other stuff that is against my code of ethics as a seasoned gaming veteran. I still thought that I did something wrong in the game which prevented me to progress in the game.

Guess what? I restarted the game. Twice...same result.

If you know at this point in the game, that's where you have some serious anger management issues. Especially when you have high blood pressure like I have.

So out of frustration, I forced myself to go online and see WHAT IN THE HELL I DID WRONG. Apparently, I didn't do anything wrong. There was a bug in the programming. You had to enter some idiot code in the game debug? to fix it. Now that really pissed me off. That meant technically, there was nothing I could humanely possibly do to progress in the game without entering that code. After that, my interest just shut down. Anything good about the game just went poof! in the void.

(Coincidentally, I was in North Sumatera when the Tsunami occured. Though I the Tsunami was only one province away, I still did experience the 7.9 richter scale earthquake. That apparently became more entertaining than playing Sacred).

I met up with some gaming pals and they more or less were bummed as I was because of the bug, some others fared worse to discover more bugs. So when the sequel of Sacred came out, we avoided it like the plague or worst. We were curious, but not curios enough to go through the same emotional irritation the first Sacred gave us.

All just because of one lousy dang bug in the programming. Fortunately I didn't play the multiplayer. I hear my bug problem was heaven compared to what the multiplayers had to go through.

Way to go programmers! !%#$%!##$

The Bottom Line
Well, I wouldn't go near it now, later or any possible distant future. Maybe you should get it after they've released the 20th patch. That is if they've fixed everything.

Windows · by Indra was here (20633) · 2006

[ View all 4 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
The cheat options....clarified shade_of_mischief Sep 25th, 2007


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.


In order to receive an ESRB "T for Teen" rating, the North American version of the game removed blood and gore effects in such a way that they can not be restored by modifying the settings.cfg file.

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.


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 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.


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


  • GameStar (Germany)
    • February 2005 - Best PC RPG in 2004 (Readers' vote)

Information also contributed by Jeanne

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by phlux.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, JRK, Sciere, Xoleras, Patrick Bregger, Plok, Rainer S, Danfer.

Game added March 10th, 2004. Last modified December 2nd, 2023.