Koudelka (PlayStation, 1999)
The premise behind Koudelka takes place in Aberyswyth, Wales at a monastery known as Nementon Abbey. Found in a remote location, the abbey was built as a place of worship, learning and teaching; it was a place where scholars found peace.<br><br>As time went by, Nementon Abbey was turned into a prison and it's inhabitants were confined to suffer and die. This practice continued for many years until the facility was purchased by Patrick Heyworth, a wealthy criminal who turned the once peaceful monastery into a refuge for vagrants and law-breakers. After Heyworth took control over the building, rumors of horror and great riches echoed throughout the world; the rumors lured many thieves, none of which returned to their homes.<br><br>Forward to Halloween 1898 -- present day. Three adventures have entered the complex, each with their own significant purpose for scouring the halls of Nementon Abbey. Players assume the role of Koudelka Iasant, a young gypsy plagued with psychic powers that caused her to be ousted from her family; she's entered the abbey in search of answers as to who she really is. The fearless Edward Plunkett has come for excitement and a share of the rumored wealth. Finally, James O'Flaherty is a bishop sent by the Vatican on an unspecified mission.<br><br>Done in the tradition of Resident Evil and the Final Fantasy series, Koudelka is a role-playing adventure set in a gothic 3D atmosphere in which you must wander the ruins of the monastery looking for answers. Going from point A to point B, the gameplay is linear in that you'll hunt down certain objects and keys to proceed.<br><br>Battles are handled in a random, turn-based fashion. You'll come across all kinds of enemies including undead beings, bugs, haunted furniture pieces and weapon wielding soldiers. Once you've vanquished the monsters, your party is rewarded with experience points, items and even weapons; points are used to enhance your characters' attributes such as strength, accuracy and luck.<br><br>Along the way, you'll collect a multitude of spells, weapons and items to aid you on your quest. Spells come in the form of scrolls, each containing a specific element such as earth, water, air and fire; certain monsters are vulnerable to specific elements. Weapons range from medieval gloves, spears, axes and swords to knives, crossbows, pistols and shotguns. There are various items and accessories located throughout Nementon Abbey to aid your characters in defense and healing. While foods like bread and cheese will raise health, elixirs and herbs will cure and restore magical points. Additionally, armor can be found along with pendants and jewels that protect you from enemy attacks.<br><br>Koudelka supports the Dual Shock Analog Controller's vibration function and uses one block of memory card data for saving game progress. What truly lies in the cursed abbey? Answers to your hopes and dreams or the demise of your body and soul?