Live, Die, and Reborn by the Blade

Gabriel Silvas, Columnist

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Up within the throne room of the Temple of Lantimor, the God King waits, as he has always done for centuries. Riding up on the lift is a warrior, determined to slay the Deathless and end his tyranny. He faces off against the God King’s right hand, the Dark Knight, but is quickly disarmed and rendered helpless. The God King then summons his ultimate weapon: The Infinity Blade, a sword that absorbs the souls of all slain by it, becoming more powerful than before. He does just this to the warrior, running him through with the blade and leaving his lifeless corpse on the floor. Impressed by this one’s powerful bloodline, he orders the Dark Knight to continue to spread the legend throughout the region, ensuring that the bloodline of this warrior continues to throw themselves at the God King, ensuring their certain death by the Infinity Blade. With that, the Deathless continues to wait for when the next warrior arrives…

Debuting in 2010 for iOS systems and receiving two sequels in 2011 and 2013, Infinity Blade is the critically acclaimed science-fantasy action series developed by Chair Entertainment, the minds behind 2009’s Shadow Complex. Taking place in a future so far off that advanced technology is mistaken for magic and civilization has been reduced to a medieval-like state, the series has a surprising amount of story for a mobile game series, featuring a rather extensive lore, interesting characters, and an excellent voice cast in the second and third games. The games received two books, written by Brandon Sanderson, that further expand on the world and bridges the plots between games.

The protagonist of the series is Siris, a young warrior the ends up becoming the first person to actually strike down the God King. An extremely skilled fighter, he wants to free the world from the iron grip of the Deathless. Siris himself is one of them and a VERY ancient one at that, though his memories of his previous self were wiped long ago. Even so, he refuses to be like the others and treats others as equals. Initially working alone, he manages to gain various allies and friends to help him, the closest of which is Isa, a stealthy fighter from a foreign land that came to Lantimor in search of the Infinity Blade. She did try to kill Siris during their first meeting, but the two eventually came to trust each other deeply and she is capable of dealing out just as much hurt as Siris, though she tends to start her conversations with two crossbow bolts to the chest. Other allies include TEL, a small drone that serves Siris, and Eves, a former Devoted of the God King.

The main antagonists of the series are the Deathless, immortal beings that can never be killed, only regenerating when their current body is destroyed. The only way to permanently end them is to slay them with the Infinity Blade. The owner by the first game is Raidriar, the God King and Siris’ rival. As one of the strongest of the Deathless and the ruler of Lantimor, he was the one that cultivated the growth of the Infinity Blade by killing warriors for centuries. As tyrannical as Raidriar is, he is an honorable warrior with a sense of justice. There are a few that are far worse than him, namely the Worker of Secrets. One of the single oldest beings alive, the Worker, real name Galath, is the creator of the Infinity Blade and the Deathless, having existed for potentially millions of years. He was sealed inside the Vault of Tears, but was eventually released by Siris in hopes of stopping the Deathless and threw both him and Raidriar in so that he could continue his plan to cleanse the entire world and rule over it once again. However, the single most evil person in the history of the world, the one who trapped Galath inside the Vault and disgusts both him and Raidriar, is Siris’ original self, Ausar the Vile. While not much is known about Siris’ previous life, what is known firmly proves that Ausar lived up to his title (and proudly so) and is perhaps even older than the Worker. Being the one who slew Ausar on the Plains of Koroth, Raidriar has nothing but utter contempt for him and sees Siris still as the Vile.

The gameplay is reminiscent of Nintendo’s Punch Out! series, in which the player controls Siris or Isa in one on one battles against various enemies and monsters. Swiping across the screen has them swing their sword in that direction, dealing damage to the enemy, tapping the edges of the screen dodges to the left or right, the icon on the bottom of the screen brings up their shield to defend, and if timed correctly, enemy attacks can even be parried by sword swings to create long openings to attacks. On top of this, Rings of various effects can be used in battle, from healing, gaining defenses, increased attack affects, or causing status effects against enemies. Some enemies fall within certain types, so knowing the tells of attacks is key in winning a fight. If defeated by a normal enemy, the checkpoint is right before the fight, but if Siris is killed by a boss, he will have to run the area again until he defeats them.

While the first game didn’t have that much of an expansive story, it massively opened up with Brandon Sanderson’s two books and the second game, with the latter featuring impressive voice acting on the part of veteran voice actors Troy Baker as Siris, Laura Bailey as Isa, Alastair Duncan as Raidriar, and John Noble as Galath. Infinity Blade: Awakening takes place between the first and second games, following Siris after his defeat of Raidriar and his journey to learn more about the Infinity Blade and the Deathless, meeting Isa and Tel along the way. Infinity Blade: Redemption sees Siris and Raidriar freed from the Vault of Tears after the second game and their goal to stop Galath from completing his apocalyptic plan. Throughout these two books, the personalities of the main cast is further expanded on and even explores Siris’ struggle in trying to keep his long dormant Ausar side repressed.

The series is widely toted as the iOS’ killer app, and with impressive visuals running on Unreal Engine 3, smooth and addicting gameplay, an intriguing story and lore, and a solid voice cast, it’s easy to see why. Every so often, the games to be available for free on the App Store, so if there is available space on the iPhone/iPad, this is a must-have for mobile users that want more action and depth on their devices.

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