Legendary manga writer Kazuo Koike once said, "In my world, the whole world is character," which highlighted the importance a good character represents in the telling of a story. After all, you might remember an iconic character more than you remember the entire surrounding story. Although Koike was referring to comics, that precept is no less true in video games. The characters in the upcoming Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom look to be memorable in their own ways. In this spotlight, we'll take a look at two of those characters: the Ecclesian noble Duane, and the half-vampire prince Leinhart.
Leinhart and Duane entered the dimension of Encablossa to halt the transition of the Ages during the last war, depicted in KUF: The Crusaders. We chose these characters because they were sucked into the dark dimension in the previous game, and Circle of Doom takes place in that location to tell their story. Given that no female characters went into the dimension of Encablossa, we had to recruit Celine from the original PC game as well.
Weapons: Flail, Morningstar, Pistol, Gun Sword, Gatling Gun
Attack Style: Ranged attacks
Age: Late 20s (young), mid-50s (old)
Arrogant and vain, the Ecclesian noble Sir Duane is the epitome of narcissism. He may be balding, battle-scarred, and pot-bellied, but in his mind, Duane has always been an awe-inspiring warrior...and an irresistible ladies' man.
Born into a wealthy noble family, Duane used his connections to obtain a respectable (and profitable) position as Kendal's officer during the Encablossa War. Yet the position was more than he bargained for, and he too disappeared with his commander at the end of the war.
He has only two things left in his mind: the will to survive, and an unyielding narcissism. So pure and focused are these two thoughts that Duane is able to hold off mutation by strength of will (or vanity) alone.
What role is left for Duane to play in the drama of Bersia? Is it his turn to shine as a true hero? Or is he too self-absorbed to care?
Duane appeared in KUF: Heroes as the typical spoiled brat whose ambitions far overshadow his capabilities. But this time, we wanted to reveal a small side of him that may or may not compensate for his utter lack of discretion.
Evolution of Design
At first, Duane will wear the ragged and worn clothes of a once-wealthy noble. As his armor improves, more and more delicate and splendid engravings and decorations can be seen. His last set of armor is a full suit of well-worn plate that has ancient gold markings and mechanical parts (just for fun).
Weapons: Dual Katana, Daikatana, Wakizashi, Shuriken, Kusari-gama
Speed: Very fast
Attack Style: Melee attacks
Half-vampire prince of Vellond, Leinhart is as greedy, ambitious, and ruthless as his father, King Valdemar...but he lacks His Majesty's wit and wisdom.
Leinhart's life has been a series of disappointments. After losing his lover to his father and being demoted to a mere overseer, Leinhart has never risen higher than office under Regnier's command. Yet Leinhart's thirst for power has not abated. With the nation of Vellond now fractured by the Encablossa War, can Leinhart rise to the occasion and restore his kingdom? How far will this foolish prince go to satisfy his ambition?
All Leinhart dreams about is to return to the Age of Light, reunite the kingdom of Vellond, and win the heart of Morene, whom he longs for. This is captured in his dream sequences.
Both half-vampires like Leinhart as well as elves have pure will (whether it is good or evil), such that they cannot be affected by the mutation of the Ages. However, after having heard that a bodily mutation will let him gain great demonic powers, Leinhart yearns to be mutated so that he may become a powerful overlord of Vellond.
Evolution of Design
Leinhart's first-level character design is taken from the previous KUF game, but in COD he differs in a small but significant aspect: He doesn't seem to wear better armor, but rather his skin seems to change and mutate. As his armor improves, the line between his skin and armor begin to fade, and he becomes this scaled, spiky creature with a streamlined body that stresses his lightning-fast movements.
Leinhart is a half-vampire; thus, he cannot be mutated no matter how much he wishes it. But he yearns for it so much that he actually tricks himself into believing that his body is mutating! (That, and the fact that it was nearly impossible to create six armor designs with a single character design.)