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Folklore

Folklore (Games)

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Folklore, known in Japan as FolksSoul -Ushinawareta Denshō- (FolksSoul -失われた伝承-, FōkusuSōru -Ushinawareta Denshō-?, literally "FolksSoul: Lost Legend") is an action-adventure roleplaying video game developed by Game Republic and published by Sony Computer Entertainment, released exclusively for the PlayStation 3 in 2007 (12 years ago) on Jun. 21 in Japan, Oct. 9 in North America and Oct. 10 in Europe.

The game centers around a young blonde woman named Ellen, and a journalist named Keats, both playable characters who together unravel the mystery that the quaint village of Doolin hides, the mystery that can only be solved by seeking the memories of the dead in the dangerous, Folk-ridden Netherworld.

Gameplay

Folklore is an action-adventure game with minor role-playing game elements, where players control characters in a third-person view to both explore their surroundings and engage in combat. From the start, players will have a choice to play the game as either of the two lead protagonists, the young woman Ellen or the occult journalist Keats, both having different yet intertwining plots and play styles. The game is split into two worlds, the real world set in small sea-side Irish village of Doolin and the more fantastical Netherworld inhabited by folk creatures and spirits.

In Doolin, players lead their chosen character throughout the village and surrounding area. When in this state, characters are unable to engage in combat or utilize their abilities and instead will be limited to exploring the village’s locations and interacting with its inhabitants, containing multiple search and slight puzzle-esque quests that progress the main story and eventually lead them to and from the Netherworld, acting as a hub between worlds and subsequent quests.

When character’s pass into the Neatherworld, the gameplay shifts entirely towards the action-adventure side of its genre. Basic attack techniques are performed by utilizing “folk”, various creatures and spirits that upon defeat can be absorbed for the player’s use. When a folk is nearly defeated, it’s spirit will glow red allowing players to absorb it by locking onto them and (instead of simple button interference) use the Sixaxis motion control by performing shaking and yanking motions to reel in their energy for use. While the player can choose from nearly all folk encountered and absorbed, only four at a time can be mapped to the controller’s main four interface/action buttons and used in quick succession for combat with different kinds of folk being better suited for certain situations and techniques such as close-combat, projectile attacks or magic. The two playable characters themselves also differ between play styles. While Ellen uses a variety of folk as basic strategy and favoring a defensive stance with the ability to clock herself with folk powers, Keats uses more straight up brute force attacks with usually all round stronger folk along with the ability to release built up energy to become invincible and perform stronger attacks for a period of time.

Plot

The game takes place in the present day. A young university student by the name of Ellen is lured to the sea-side village of Doolin, in Ireland, led by a letter from her supposedly dead mother, telling her to meet her at the Cliff of Sidhe, Doolin. Meanwhile Keats, a journalist from an occult magazine called Unknown Realms, receives a telephone call from a woman in distress telling him to come to Doolin, and crying about Faerys who would kill her. Though he suspects it is a prank call, he pays a visit to Doolin Village. When Ellen arrives at the Cliff of Sidhe, she sees a cloaked figure resting at the edge. Thinking it is her mother, she calls out to the figure, but it does not reply. Keats arrives on the scene then, and asks Ellen if she was the one who called him. When she, surprised, says no, he wonders aloud if the figure at the cliff was the one who called him. A strong gust of wind suddenly blows across the cliff, and when it dies down, the figure has disappeared. Ellen, distraught, runs down to the beach to find the body and bumps into a girl from the village named Suzette. She questions Ellen, but she is so distressed that she faints. Keats arrives and, after questioning Suzette about Ellen, decides that the best thing would be to bring Ellen back into the village. Suzette brings Ellen to a small hut and Keats to a base on the edge of the village. That night, they are both visited by strange voices who invite them to the village pub, where they meet creatures they had never before thought existed, and are taken to a place that surpasses all imagination: the Netherworld, realm of the dead. Soon Keats and Ellen find themselves in a 17-year-old murder mystery, where the answers seem to only be found in the Netherworld, the land that can only be accessed from one place in the world, Doolin. To solve the crime and reveal Ellen's forgotten past, they will need to venture to the Netherworld as travelers, where Faerys and Folks alike await them.

Along the way they meet a variety of different characters, like Scarecrow and Belgae, who help out both of them in their quest. Throughout the game, players learn about the chaos the Netherworld was put into by a previous Netherworld traveller. The eventual goal is to reach the core of the Netherworld and "fix" it. The game takes two different perspectives in the story that shows the different views and opinions of many different characters. While traveling in the Netherworld, many mysterious murders start to occur in the village of Doolin after the appearance of "The Hag." The people murdered are the only ones who knew the truth (or part of the truth) of Ellen's past.


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