by Marko Susimetsä
previewed on PC
Allo(ys and Necro)mancers
The Mistborn series of high fantasy (think gods and abundance of magical powers) novels have received their fair share of fame and there has previously been a lot of talk of a tabletop RPG set in the genre as well as the possibility of a movie. Neither of these plans has come to fruition as yet, but there is a PDF format adventure game and Little Orbit is working on an action-RPG title called Mistborn: Birthright.
Brandon Sanderson, the author of the novels, is also known for the public service he did to The Wheel of Time series when he wrote the final three novels to wrap up the long-winded saga of the departed original author, Robert Jordan. He has certainly proved his mettle and it is therefore a promising sign that he is also responsible for authoring the story and dialogue for the upcoming video game.
Mistborn: Birthright will be set in an era preceding those described in the original trilogy. Hundreds of years before those events, during the early years of the Final Empire, a young nobleman Fendin “Fiddle” Fathwell learns that, in addition to having the silliest name in the Empire, he is also a so-called Mistborn. And if that was not enough, he also realises that he is the only one who can save his entire family from utter destruction.
That is actually all that is known about the plot at the moment. The main point that the developer seems to want to drive home is that the game will “put the unique metal magic system of Allomancy into the hands of gamers.” In addition, the mission of the game seems to be to “test your metal” but what that means remains shrouded in mystery at this time. The only additional detail about the plot that we know is that there will also be an important female character in the story.
For the uninitiated, it might be worth explaining that the Mistborn are also known as Allomancers, which is a nifty word based on “alloy” and “necromancer”. In short, the Mistborn are able to metabolise metals in their bodies for magical powers. Different metals have different powers and by combining these effects, the Mistborn are able to achieve several high fantasy special effects. The metals are categorised as physical metals, mental metals, temporal metals and god metals. Don’t ask me to give any more detail than this. Trying to read up on the topic, the sheer amount of data gave me a headache. I actually began to wonder if there should not be a card game set in this universe instead.
The Great Unknown
While the idea of a Mistborn game excites me, it is quite discouraging how little we know about it. Pretty much the only positive sign is that the author himself seems to be fully behind the project. Mistborn: Birthright has been pushed back to 2014 but even so, you would expect the developers to have revealed more information about the game mechanics and plot already. I’m more than a little wary about the project at this point but keeping my fingers crossed that my fear will turn out to be unjustified.