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Overview

RUNE is a 3D action game developed by Human Head Studios Inc and was published in Fall 2000 by Gathering Of Developers. In RUNE, players assume the role of Ragnar the Viking, mightiest warrior of a bygone age.

Players can explore settings both above and below the mountains of the far north as Ragnar fights his way through the kingdoms to an ultimate confrontation with the Sark Amen, the shadowy warrior-masters of the netherworld.

RUNE is an intense action and adventure, inspired by Norse mythology and high fantasy. The game focuses on equal parts melee combat and exploration, with levels ranging from a Viking town to the caverns of the Dwarves, to a city in the mountains. Players will have access to a wide array of melee weapons based both in fact and fantasy as Ragnar moves deeper into the realms of myth and further from his old reality. In the game you can cut off limbs from your enemies, even in multiplayer. If you, for example, cut off someones arm he can't use two-handed weapons. But he can regain his limb if he gets more health.

Plot

Ragnar is a young Viking warrior. As his father prepares him for the final ritual of manhood, the atmosphere of his village is tense as stories of recent raids on the neighboring villages. Conrack, a cruel chieftain and follower of Loki, is said to be the cause of the raids, and his name is now spoken only in whispers for fear that he will appear, like some evil spirit. Ragnar's village is dedicated to the worship of Odin, all-father of the gods, and ruler of Asgard, the Viking heaven.

Ragnar begins his trial of manhood, but he has much to prove. Before the dust of the ritual has settled, however, word comes of another raid at a village close by. The warriors of Ragnar's village are called upon to put an end to Conrack and his evil. Ragnar's father joins the raiding party, as does Ragnar. After being completely destroyed by Conrack, Ragnar is the only one that survives. Odin tells him that Conrack plots to free Loki, and start Ragnarök., the end of the world in Norse mythology.

Ragnar ventures through all of kinds of places on Yggdrasil (the Norse world), and come across Goblins, dwarfs, demons, Gods and zombies in his quest to stop Conrack, and free Asgard from destruction.

The game has two different endings. There is a choice in the ending which can lead to either a good-, or a bad ending.

Gameplay

Ragnar is controlled in a third-person perspective using either keyboard and mouse or a compatible gamepad/joystick. For the most part, the game centers around melee combat. Throughout the game, the player will discover a variety of weapons and armor to equip Ragnar. The weapon types include: bashing, swords and axes. The player can instantly switch between the three types of weapons. The player may also cycle through all the weapons in the inventory of the current type with a press of a button. Combat is timing based. The attack button can be pressed once for a swift attack or multi-tapped with the correct timing to perform combos. Later weapons allow the player to string together up to four hits. The player has the option to use running attacks as well, which add more damage to the attack.

Each weapon has an ability that, when activated, uses Ragnar's Rune Power. Some powers include: unlimited throwing axes, area of effect slams, and powerful attacks. Rune Stones can be found throughout the game that augment Rune Power. These stones can increase the Rune Power pool, refill spent Rune Power, increase Ragnar's armor, or cause Ragnar to go beserk, increasing his blood lust.

Ragnar can be overcome with "blood lust" once the blood lust bar fills. Killing enemies and taking damage will increase Ragnar's blood lust. When the bar fills, Ragnar will go beserk. All damage taken while in beserk mode will be subtracted from the blood lust bar rather than Ragnar's health pool.

The player can also choose to throw their currently equipped weapon at the enemy. This should be done with caution as the enemy can equip the thrown weapon.

Shields play a prominent role. Shields have "health" associated with them and can break over a period of time. The health of the shield is displayed in yellow on the player's HUD.

When Ragnar is hurt, the player can consume food or drink found throughout the game by killing animals or my foraging. The player may interact with other objects in the game as well such as rocks, levers, switches, torches, and other various things. The game keeps track of Ragnar's oxygen level. When the breath bar depletes, health is taken away.

Multiplayer

Rune offers two multiplayer modes. RuneMatch is the typical "deathmatch" multiplayer mode where each player faces off against all others. TeamMatch breaks the players into groups for team-based combat. Rune offers LAN or internet based play. Players can provide their own hosting or search for public servers through the in-game multiplayer screen. Players may customize their character with a variety of skins. The game also supports a spectator mode.

An expansion, Rune: The Halls of Valhalla, expanded the multiplayer mode with thirty-three new maps, additional skins, and two new modes of play.

PC Requirements

  • Windows 95/98/ME/2000/NT with Service Pack 2
  • 300 MHz CPU (Min.), 450 MHz (Rec.)
  • 64 M RAM (Min.), 128 MB (Rec.)
  • 8 MB DirectX compatible video card
  • 88 MB hard drive space (Min.), 650 MB (Rec.)
  • DirectX compatible sound card
  • 4x CD-ROM drive

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