Initial release date 31 August 1999
Mode Single-player video game
Genre Action role-playing game
|Publisher Infogrames Entertainment SA|
Developers Infogrames Entertainment SA, Spiral House Ltd
Platforms Microsoft Windows, Dreamcast, Macintosh operating systems
Similar Infogrames Entertainment SA games, Role-playing video games
Silver, released in 1999, is an action RPG for Microsoft Windows, Dreamcast and OS X. The game was produced by Infogrames initially for Windows, and later on the Dreamcast. The story focuses around a young warrior called David and his quest to retrieve his wife from the clutches of the villain Silver. On his journey he gains a number of followers and visits many different landscapes. The game sold over 400,000 copies.
The game features polygonal 3D characters drawn against a pre-rendered 2D background. The character design is inspired from manga/anime culture.
The battle system of Silver is notable for being completely real-time, as opposed to many similar light role-playing games, which usually have turn-based combat. The player may choose any character in his adventuring party to control, and the rest of the characters are handled automatically by AI. The story focuses largely on collecting eight magic orbs representing different elements, Fire, Ice, Health, Earth, Acid, Lightning, Time and Light. Each orb is located at an area themed around the orb, and the player may use the collected orbs to cast different kind of spells against his enemies.
The game was distributed with PCs sold by Tiny Computers, a computer company based in England, founded in 1990 which went into administration in 2002.
Silver takes place in the island region of Jarrah, commonly known as the 'Wheel of Life' for the fact that it is shaped like a wheel. Jarrah is controlled by Silver, an evil sorcerer residing on an island of blood. Fortunately, not all of Jarrah is under his cruel influence. In the faraway Forest of Verdante, David, a young man, peacefully lives together with his wife Jennifer and his grandfather.
[Spoilers from now on] The story line begins as Silver decides to take a new bride. He orders his army to bring all women to his island, so he can pick any woman he desires. David's wife Jennifer is kidnapped personally by Silver's son Fuge, who seems to know David's grandfather from the past. Together with his grandfather, David leaves the forest to free his wife, but they come too late. His wife is already on a ship that just left the harbor. They hear rumors about the resistance, a rebel group with the goal to finally set an end to Silver's reign.
David and his grandfather journey to the Archives of Gno. On top of the archives lies a giant telescope, able to see where the ship with the captured women is heading. On their way back, they are confronted again by Fuge, who kills David's grandfather and unveils that he also killed David's father (Fuge mocks David to fight him, but doing so will result in David's death).
After his escape, David, now full of pain and anger, finally joins the rebels to fight Silver. As prophecy foretold, Silver can only be defeated by collecting eight magic spheres, each resembling another region of Jarrah: Fire, Ice, Earth, Lightning, Poison, Regeneration, Time and Light. Together with his new rebel friends, David starts his search for the spheres. Also in knowledge of the prophecy, Silver previously found some of the spheres and sealed them in other castles under his control, but most of them are still lost. Thus, David and his friends have to travel to differently themed locations like a lost underwater station or a castle made from ice. Most of the time, at the end of each path, a giant creature has to be defeated to obtain the sphere.
In David's absence, the rebel hideout is destroyed by Fuge, who murders most of the rebels. David and his friends are shocked as they return. However, David and his companions are able to obtain a coin that allows them to travel to the realm of the dead, where they hope to get information about how Fuge found the secret rebel base and whether there are any survivors left. They actually find a former rebel member amongst the ghosts. He tells them that there are survivors held in a secret prison in the main city and that they were betrayed by another rebel member, in the hope that Silver would spare his wife.
David fights his way to the prison, finally confronting Fuge. Fuge paralyzes David's companions for a one-on-one fight with David. After a hard battle (one of the toughest in the game), David is able to kill Fuge and get revenge. He then frees the rebels and they collect the remaining spheres. On their way to Silver's castle on the island of blood, it is revealed that Silver plans to form a pact with the demon of apocalypse. By sacrificing all of Jarrah's inhabitants, Silver would gain the ultimate power.
The story reaches its climax in Silver's throne room. The betraying rebel begs Silver to free his wife, but Silver only laughs and kills him. The final fight commences and with the aid of all eight spheres, David and his friends are able to defeat Silver. However, the demon of apocalypse still threatens to end the world, with or without Silver. With the help of a mysterious warrior, David defeats the demon, preventing apocalypse forever. David and his wife are reunited and the story ends with a bright future for the world Jarrah.
Aside from this main plot, there are many subplots which evolve around side characters and special locations of Jarrah.
Verdante is in the top-right corner of Jarrah. It is even more fertile than Haven, but its forests have been burned away or turned into swampland by battles against Silver. David's house, a monastery, and many forests await here. It is home to the Lightning orb.
Haven lies on the center of Jarrah. It is a very fertile island and has a lot of flora and fauna. In its center lie the Oracle's Tower and the Rebel Camp (a player can change his party here). Later in the game, the Time orb is found in the ancient ruins.
Gno is an island which houses a big library with a large telescope at its top. The Library Of Gno also has caverns underneath it, and, in the beginning of the game, has a lot of trouble with imps and summoned demons.
Rain is the main city of Jarrah and has its name for a good reason: it never stops raining here. The large, dark city hosts several important places like Chains, Silver's dungeon, the pub and the harbor. The fire orb is found in a wizard's tower and the Acid/Poison orb is found in the sewers.
Winter, as the name foretells, is covered in snow and ice and is a key area in the game. It houses two orbs (Ice and Earth) and has caverns underneath, on top of which a big icy castle awaits (the property of Glass, Silver's daughter).
Spires is an underwater cathedral near Rain, which is Atlantis-themed. The enemies in Spires look like amphibians. The Healing Orb can be found here while battling a poison dragon.
Deadgate is the barren realm of the dead. When a person dies, his ghost will be sent to Deadgate until his death is avenged.
Atro is the northern exterior of Deadgate. It is an alien-themed realm where the final orb is found (Light). It is the most minor and unknown location in all of Jarrah.
Metalon is the last island visited in the game, and the location of Silver's palace. As its name suggests, the city that covers the entire island is made completely out of metal, with the exception of the palace. The island is pitted with rivers of blood, the source of Silver's power. The player can only reach this island by being teleported there by Silver's daughter, Glass. Once the player is teleported there, he cannot leave.
David is the game's protagonist. He lived with his wife Jennifer and his grandfather, until his wife was kidnapped by Fuge and the soldiers under his command. He is also a skilled fighter and learned the way of fighting from his grandfather. His father and grandfather are both killed by Fuge. During the game, he joins the rebels and sets off to find the eight magical orbs that will aid the player to defeat Silver.
Grandfather is a very experienced fighter. He accompanies David when his wife is kidnapped, and together they travel to Haven and Gno. In the library of Gno, he sacrifices himself so David can escape from Fuge.
Silver is the ruler of Jarrah and the main antagonist of the game. He has two children, Fuge and Glass. His palace in Metalon is also the source of his power, with the magic source and the blood river. He kills his wife with the excuse of being cheated. He has a great lust for power, so he plans to form an alliance with the evil god of apocalypse.
Duke is the leader of the rebels who have their camp in Haven. He is captured by Silver's troops and David sets off to rescue him from Silver's dungeons. He is a patient, careful man and a good strategist.
Fuge is Silver's son and the second antagonist of the game. He is an extremely powerful fighter and even his name causes fear in all around Jarrah. He follows his father's orders strictly and is extremely loyal to him. He kills David's father and grandfather, and is killed by David in a one-on-one fight.
Glass is Silver's daughter. She is a powerful sorceress and lives in the ice palace of Winter. Her dragon guards the earth orb. Since the murder of her mother by Silver, she hates Silver and even aids the rebels by teleporting David and his companions to Metalon.
The Chronicler: The player can save the game by telling the chronicler of his adventures. In the entering cutscene, it is implied that the world of Jarrah is actually trapped inside a magic book.
Sekune is the female fighter in the rebel camp. She is especially skilled in long-range weapons, and travels with David when the rebels enter Rain. It is unknown how she avoided capture by Fuge and his guards along with most of the women of Jarah, but it is likely that she saved herself thanks to her training.
Vivienne is another female fighter who David knew for a long time. Her sister was kidnapped by Fuge, but Vivienna was able to save herself thanks to her combat training.
Jug is a barbarian-like warrior David meets in the tavern of Rain. He is exceptionally strong, though not skilled in magic.
Cagen is one of the monks from the monastery who survived the madness that spread amongst the monks. He is dexterous and skilled in unarmed martial arts and magic.
Chiaro is a wizard apprentice. After learning from David that his master was killed by Silver, he joins the rebels. While not very strong, he is exceptionally skilled in magic.
Ben Griffin of PC Gamer writes "With Final Fantasy VIII, Suikoden II, Baldur’s Gate II and Diablo II as contemporaries, Silver was somewhat lost in the shuffle. In my opinion, it was better than all of them." and praises the characters, the writing and the control-based combat. He ends his article saying "for those who do remember it—its great characters and innovative controls—Silver shines bright."