ShadowCaster is a first-person shooter/action game developed by Raven Software, and published by Origin Systems in 1993. The game's engine is based off the Wolfenstein 3-D engine, but modified to put emphasis on exploration, rather than combat.
You play as the character Kirt, who learns from his grandfather that he is not actually a human. Kirt and his grandfather are descendants of an ancient race of shapeshifters, who live in an alternate dimension than that of Earth. Centuries ago, there was a large war between the good and evil shapeshifters, called the Shapestealers. Eventually the Shapestealers were destroyed, however the good shapeshifters were nearly wiped out , and have since the war almost completely lost the power to change shape. However, one Shapestealer name Veste survived the war, and has gained enough power to even strike fear in the shapeshifter's gods. These gods could forsee a dark future, in which Veste ruled the world. The gods could see the future of the entire world and of all the people in it, except one. One child's future was cast in shadow, and this filled the gods with hope. Hope that he could defeat Veste and stop this dark vision of the future. The gods named this child the ShadowCaster, and sent him and his grandfather to Earth to be protected from Veste's wrath. This child was Kirt, and his Grandfather tells him he must go back to their home dimension to defeat Veste and return the power of Shapeshifting to his people. But, right after telling this story to Kirt, he and his grandfather are attacked by a magically animated gargoyle. Kirt's grandfather then uses his powers to send Kirt to the alternate dimension to fulfill his destiny. Along the way, Kirt finds and activates six magical obelisks, each of which grants him an additional shape shifting form.
Throughout the game, Kirts comes across, and activates the power of six magical obelisks. These obelisks provide him with the power to shapeshift into 6 different forms in addition to his original human form. Each form has it's advantages, disadvantages, abilities, and separate inventory. Each form is vastly different from the other, with vastly different abilities, so throughout the game, you'll be shifting back and forth between forms very often.
- Human - Kirt's first, and default, human form. Kirt must return to this form in order to shapeshift into any other form. This is the only form in which magic regenerates naturally, along with health out of battle.
- Maorin - A large, four-armed, humanoid feline creature. It has superior fighting prowess than the human form, so this will be the most used form early in the game. Along with superior power, the Maorin form has a "cat vision" ability, in which the player can see hidden switches and clues. However, being feline, this form cannot swim, and drowns rapidly.
- Caun - A tiny, leprechaun-esque creature. This form has poor strength and defense, however it moves quickly, jumps highly, fits in small places, and can heal itself. Also it has magic spells to lighten up rooms and summon insects (which is needed to open a door at one point in the game).
- Opsis - A floating, tentacled eyeball.This form is very slow, but is able to fly over obstacles. Also, it has a wide variety of magic spells from fireballs, to ice, and even death.
- Kahpa - A green, amphibious humanoid. This form is an average fighter, but has the unique trait of being able to breath underwater. The Kahpa can also shoot lightning and sonic waves at enemies.
- Ssair - A red, legless, winged dragon. This form, like Opsis, can fly over obstacles, but where Opsis uses magic, Ssair fights hand-to-hand. This form is stronger than the Maorin, but is weaker defensively, and can also use a fireball attack at long-range.
- Grost - A large, stone golem. This form is the strongest fighter, the best defensively, and it has an earthquake ability. However, it is the slowest of the forms, except when it walks on lava, which makes the Grost run very quickly, but damages it as long as it remains on the lava.