Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition

aka: Cult, Kult: Heretic Kingdoms
Moby ID: 15291
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition takes place in a land where religion is illegal and the Inquisitors do their best to destroy it. Ever since the GodSlayer sword was used to destroy the God of the Land, religion became taboo. In the years following, the sword was used by the descendants of the man who slew the God of the Land to control the lands. Through sacrifices to appease the hunger for blood that the sword had, the descendants worked to rule through tyranny. Finally, these descendants were defeated and the sword held in safe-keeping by monks.

This is where your story begins. You are marked with a God Symbol (a mark some people have from birth that marks them as possibly able to become a mage) and are a female Inquisitor mage. You were sent to destroy the GodSlayer sword, but when you arrive, it has been stolen. So begins your main quest... to capture and destroy the sword.

The game is a typical isometric RPG, but with many features not seen in other games of this genre. Every equipable item has an attunement. If you use the item long enough, you will learn that attunement. Attunements can be magical abilities, or skills. In order to learn all the attunements, you will need to use all the items you find. This makes it important to actually use everything you find rather than sticking to a single weapon/armor combination.

Your character has a limited number of attunement slots that can be active at one time. As you gain levels, this number will increase somewhat. It will be up to you to decide what attunements you want to have active at any one time. For example, if you plan to use a Fire-imbued sword, you will want to use an attunement to add fire damage to your sword. Having an active attunement to add lightning damage (air magic) to your weapon will not help as the magic types are different.

One of the most important features of the game is the Dreamworld. This alternate world can only be accessed for short periods of time (unless you are using the Dreamform attunement). In this world, you will find bonuses that will help your stats, as well as dangers. Ghosts are found in this world, as are werewolves and other creatures. Most creatures and people can only be seen in either the real world or the dreamworld, and not both. This can make switching between the worlds a way to escape danger.

As you gain experience, you will want to improve your main skills (melee, range attack, magic, etc). These skills start out at an F (think school grades), and can be improved from there for every 100 improvement points. You will have the opportunity to improve 800 points worth when you create your character.

One final unique feature to mention is that healing items never disappear. However, you will lose maximum HP every time you use them. The maximum HP will remain lost until you rest at a campfire, inn, or your house (if you bought it).

Expect your actions to have consequences as the game reacts to your actions. Choose the path of good or evil and expect to have different reactions from others. Your path will determine the ending to the game, from 6 different endings.

The gameplay is similar to other games of this genre. You will need to explore the world around you, talk to NPCs, improve your stats and skills, and battle enemies in real time.

Spellings

  • Культ: Королевства Ереси - Russian spelling
  • 祭典:异教徒王国 - Chinese spelling (simplified)

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Credits (Windows version)

48 People (38 developers, 10 thanks) · View all

Core Team - Programming and scripting
Core Team - Design and visual supervisor
Core Team - Animations and PR
Main Team - Graphics
Support Team - Original story
Support Team - Additional art
Very special thanks to
Special thanks to
  • Cuti
  • Strapo
  • Satan
  • Peto
  • our family and friends
Publishing Europe - C.E.O.
Publishing Europe - C.O.O.
Publishing Europe - Development & PR
Publishing Europe - HW Testing by
  • PMTC
Publishing Europe - Games Testing QA Manager
Publishing Europe - Project Leader
Publishing Europe - Very special thanks to:
  • Project 3 QA Team
  • Jim
  • Mike
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 70% (based on 23 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 22 ratings with 2 reviews)

Great addition to the RPG genre

The Good
One of the most interesting things in the game is the Dreamworld. This dreamworld has many things to offer you. In most cases, you can avoid even using it if you don't like switching between the two, so that's a nice aspect of the dreamworld. But, using the dreamworld can make the game that much more interesting. The dreamworld is a world where most people cannot enter, but where you can find ghosts and other spirits and demons. Because most creatures and people cannot be in both places at once, it allows you to use it as a hideaway if you find yourself outnumbered without an escape route. Just be careful if you haven't cleared out the area in the dreamworld because you'll likely have a battle as soon as you enter, otherwise. The dreamworld can also allow you to get past those ranged units and pop out into the real world right next to the unit instead of taking damage from the arrows while trying to run over to him. And, a final useful thing about the dreamworld is that you can gain essence (improves attunements) and get hex marks (gives points to improve stats). You can gain those same things by fighting in the real world and the dreamworld, but the bonuses are only available in the dreamworld.

Next, are the attunements. These are spells, skills, and abilities for your character. Unlike most other games, you can only gain these by using various equipment items. This makes it so that you really need to use almost everything you find in the game, for at least a little while, so that you can gain the attunement. Once you have the attunement, you don't need to use the equipment anymore. Using the equipment just lets you learn the attunement. Once learned, it can be used at any time (if you equip it and you have the right requirements met). You have a limited number of active attunement slots in the game, though they will increase as you level up. Whenever you rest, you can choose which attunements to have active. So, as an example, when you know you're going to fight undead, activate the undead killing attunement that will give bonus damage to the undead. And, if you plan to use a Fire weapon, activate an attunement that adds bonus fire damage, and another that has a fire spell. The wide variety of attunements will let you customize your character over and over. And requiring you to use equipment to gain the attunements forces you to not use a single weapon/armor combination all the time as you might in other games.

Another interesting thing about the game is how your character's role is defined. You are an inquisitor whose goal is to stamp out religion of any form. However, it is up to you to decide whether to maintain that goal, or choose to help religion to grow once again. Many games offer the "light" and "dark" paths, but usually your tasks aren't much different. In this game (once you're far enough into the game), your choices create rather distinct paths.

As a note about the latest patch (v1.1), the ability to open more than "bag" inventory at the same time is very useful. This way, you can open two bags and also see your main inventory screen, so you can move things between them easily (or sell things from them or purchase things and place them directly into the bags).

The Bad
Even with the latest patch (v1.1), the game is buggy. Creatures can get stuck in walls and objects, making them easy targets (or difficult-to-hit targets since you might have to be in just the right location to hit them instead of the wall). I also have problems when resting... about 1 in 10 times I rest, the game will crash.

The Bottom Line
If you want an RPG that offers some unique characteristics not found in most other RPGs, try this game out. It's really worth playing and, as a bonus, the graphics are very nice.

Windows · by Riamus (8480) · 2004

Flawed and not quite original, but still enjoyable

The Good
The game starts out different from most RPG games I've played. The heroine is not a novice (according to the story, of course, in game your character IS weak); she is not introduced to the player oversleeping, unconscious or having weird dreams; she is not lost or amnesiac. She knows exactly what she has to do, which involves a sword, the God Slayer. Now this is not very original. How many medieval / fantasy RPGs don't involve a sword in its plot? However in Heretic Kingdom, the main character doesn't seek the sword for its power, but because it should be destroyed. Within 5 minutes into the game, you know what you have to do; the game is straight forward, and that is good.

The gameplay is quite enjoyable. The "Attunement" feature - skills, spells or abilities are not learned when you level up, but are hidden in weapons, armors and unlocked after you have used them - is not original (I know at least one game, Final Fantasy 9, has this feature, with a different name) but still fun as it allows customizing your character and can potentially improve the game's replay value . All in all, the difficulty was moderate, and I didn't find any part in the game particularly frustrating or annoying.

Another note worthy feature is the ability to go into and out of a parallel world. It is already covered in the other review, so I won't repeat it here. However, the only good thing I can say is that it's promising. Yes, promising, and nothing more. I'll explain in the "Bad" section.

The Bad
The parallel world feature is a great promise that the game made but, unfortunately, was not able to keep. At the very beginning my character saw a mutilated body in the 'real' world, and switching to the other world let her see a ghost in its place, seemingly incapable of moving on. The ghost gave my character instructions on how to finish the current quest (which can only be done in this 'other world'). As I finished this quest I started to imagine quite a few possibilities that this 'ghost talking' ability can imply. Sadly, this is the only time the heroine can talk to anyone in this parallel world; in the rest of the game, it is reduced to a place to just kill more things and evade enemies in the real world. A result of a hasty release, I presume.

I did say the Attunement feature can "potentially improve replayability", but how it is handled virtually destroyed that potential. You gain Attunement by using a particular weapon to kill, yes, but you can also gain it by just HOLDING the weapon and absorb the essence left behind by killed ghosts. And there are more ghosts than you need to attune yourself to every weapon you find in a single play through. Another minor problem is that you can only switch attunements when resting, but there seems to be a limit on how often you can rest, which is rather inconvenient.

I also find a 'slight' imbalance between characters, and between character progression and the difficulty. About two third of the game, as my archer improved the firing rate to inhuman levels, acquired the "Stun" ability which, guess what, stunned any enemy hit by my arrows, VERY few enemies (those would be the rare ones immune to the effect) could get close to my character before dying. And the final boss is, sadly, not immune to this effect. And I didn't even enter the bonus area which might as well be named "Level Grinding Place".

The Bottom Line
Heretic Kingdom is one of the games that held my attention and enjoyment long enough to finish it. It was almost bug-free (at least my copy was) and no part of it were particularly bad. If only the developers had more time to polish this flawed gem ...

Windows · by Anh Ngo Hai (2210) · 2010

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Riamus.

Macintosh added by Kabushi.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Kabushi, Klaster_1.

Game added November 2, 2004. Last modified May 18, 2024.