Azurik: Rise of Perathia is an action-adventure game developed by Adrenium Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios in 2001. Azurik has the distinction of being an early Xbox game, being the first to support anti-aliasing, a relatively new rendering technique for consoles at the time, and featured a score by famous game composer Jeremy Soule.
The game centers around the main protagonist, Azurik, as he journeys through the vast world of Perathia gathering elemental disc fragments scattered across the many realms. Azurik is part of the order of the Lore Guardians along with Eldwyn, the grand master and leader, and Balthazar, a professional scholar and combatist. After Balthazar teams up with the guardian of death, they murder Eldwyn and destroy the balance of the elements by destroying the elemental discs, leaving Azurik alone. Now he must defeat Balthazar and bring back all of the disc fragments in order to restore balance, or else face the end of the world.
The game received a wide range of reviews but the average ranking was low. In spite of that, the game broke even, and launched the Adrenium Studio.
In addition, G4 show X-play named Azurik:Rise of Perathia the third worst game for Xbox.
- Azurik: Azurik is the protagonist in the game. He is a young Lore Guardian and apprentice to Eldwyn. His quick learning and fighting prowess has earned him the right to wield the Axion, the staff of the elements. After Eldwyn's death and Balthazar's betrayal, Azurik becomes the last Lore Guardian to protect the elemental balance in Perathia.
- Eldwyn: Eldwyn is the master of the guild of Lore Guardians and mentor to Azurik. He is very wise and powerful and viewed by Azurik as somewhat of a father figure. He often scolds Balthazar for his aggressive actions and ambitions for great power and calmly tells him to meditate. Despite his power, he was murdered by Balthazar and the death guardian while trying to protect the elemental discs. He still guides Azurik throughout much of the game in spirit and through a device called a Deluvian Oracle.
- Balthazar: Balthazar is a very fierce fighter and Lore Guardian. His aggressive actions and desire for power has concerned Eldwyn for many years. Although he is very strong and powerful, Eldwyn felt his desire to become Master Lore Guardian is more for personal gain and greed rather than noble purposes. This is shown when he finds the elemental disc of death and allows himself to be possessed by the death guardian in order to gain ultimate power. Together, they eventually kill Eldwyn and destroy the balance of the elements by destroying the elemental discs.
The Elemental Guardians
- Water Guardian: The water guardian has the appearance of a large female water elemental with spiny fins on her head and sits in what seems like a large egg sac which is evident in several sea creatures. Her weakness seems to be her four tentacles made of water. The way to defeat her would be to freeze her tentacles, then attack it with steam and continue the process until the tentacle is gone. Then repeat the steps. Her main attacks are sending out giant bubbles to capture Azurik until they burst, send out water elementals to attack him, using her tentacles as a whip should Azurik get close, or sending a shockwave of water from a distance.
- Earth Guardian: The earth guardian strongly resembles a giant mechanical mole. This seems to be a fitting reference as moles are tunnel diggers, in turn symbolizing the earth realm. He sits atop a pagoda like structure in the middle of the earth realm desert and awaits prey to attack. The way to defeat him would be to find any acid blocks in the desert, melt them, avoid his many minions, and let the wandering sand tornadoes recoil and hit him. The earth guardian's attacks range from merely throwing rocks at Azurik to spawning rock shard monsters everywhere and getting them to attack him.
- Fire Guardian: The fire guardian resembles a mechanical man that has no legs and floats on what appears to be some form of a jetpack. Ironically, despite him being the fire guardian, he is somehow immune to any water based attacks, as he only laughs at Azurik's attmepts to hurt him. The way to defeat the fire guardian would be to simply get close to him and attack him with lava (this is obviously drawing on the "fight fire with fire" phrase.) The only three attacks seen by the fire guardian appear to be striking from a distance by causing a stream of fire which curves into a hook-like shape, creating shards made of fire that are set to attack Azurik from the air, and creating a wall of fire around him upon being struck.
- Air Guardian: The air guardian's appearance suits her role as the guardian of air. Her home is in a floating castle high above Perathia. She has the appearance of a black elemental with huge fins on her head (much similar to the water guardian) and she sports a slithering black tail and two pairs of wings bearing the symbol of air. The way to defeat her is much similar to that of the fire guardian, but instead of fire, the player may use any power in the axion to stop her. Her attacks are more varied as she can strike with her tail, create little tornadoes, summon wind elementals, disappear and reappear from lightning, creating copies of herself, and shooting blasts of wind to hurt Azurik.
- Death Guardian: The death guardian has an ominous appearance, that of a black creature with large horns, long hoof-like legs, thin spider-like arms, and extra-long three fingered hands. In the beginning of the game, the death guardian is seen taking possession of Balthazar after finding the death disc, and promising him more power. The death guardian would later appear in the game in only a short movie, but still be in control of Balthazar. This is evident with the added mechanical appendages and other materials seen on Balthazar's body. The death guardian appears again when Azurik finds his way into the death realm and finds the death disc. It is revealed that the death guardian only possessed Balthazar in order to restore balance to the elements and Perathia. Azurik doesn't engage in a fight with the death guardian, for he handed the death disc over to be put in its proper place. This is short lived when Balthazar destroys the guardian and takes up his position as the controller of life and death in Perathia. The death guardian's final appearance is at the end of the game, when Azurik defeated Balthazar and left him in the death realm. Balthazar is laying on a lab table when the death realm minions come and restrain him. Balthazar is then greeted by the death guardian's disembodied head as it merges with his. This seems to mean that the death guardian has found a new host body.
The entire game takes place in the mythical land of Perathia. It is a vast world that is split into six elemental realms, one for each elemental force. In the center is Town, the hub of the elemental realms and home of Azurik and the Temple of the Elements. The temple consists of a tall tower with four floors. The first floor has three elevators leading to the next floor and in the center of the room is a gate to the life realm, which will become active when the Azurik gains three of the four missing pieces of the life disc. The second floor contains another elevator in the center of the room which leads to the third floor. Around the elevator are ten objects that Azurik can gain each time he collects ten or more obsidian jewels. The third floor is an empty room with an elevator in the center that leads to the final floor. The top floor is where the elemental discs were held prior to Balthazar's betrayal. The disc holder comprises a machine in the center with different colored lights indicaitng where each disc is put. On the grounds of the temple are four large objects representing each element. A floating spherical rock represents the earth realm, a complicated fan system represents the air realm, a bowl of lava represents the fire realm, and a large fountain represents the water realm. Each object will do a specific function once Azurik has completely restored a disc and put it in its proper place. There is no specific time period mentioned in the game, but the architecture and the opening movie suggest a time of primitive technology, although some signs of advanced machines like large drills, tunnel borers, generators, conveyor belts, mine carts, and electrical equipment are seen throughout the realms and the Temple of the Elements.
Azurik has a long balded staff called an Axion. It was used by previous guardians and has the power of the elements.
The Elemental Realms
The Water Realm: The water realm is divided into several different sections. There is a hub section centered on a large whirlpool, a lagoon surrounded by a massive coral reef, and a vast ocean leading to the rest of the realm. A mountainous part of the Water Realm contains a lake with an island covered in a wall of fire which is only accessible via waterspout. Travel across the central ocean and through a misty gate will lead to the stormy part of the water realm. The stormy part conatins massive searchlights, rusted platform fans, and cranes.
"Perathia, an ancient world, where elemental forces are harnessed. Earth. Air. Fire. Water. Life. Death. Mystical discs, technology of the ancient Deluvians, are keys to the realms that harbor these violent forces. The Lore Guardians protect the elemental discs. The guardians are sworn to a life of honor, mastery the elements, and the ways of the ancient Deluvians. Generations ago, the death disc was hidden and to this day remains unrecovered. Now the balance of the elements is lost, and Perathia is doomed to chaos. The prophecy of the elements foretells that two men will battle for control of the discs. One with selfish ambition. And one with a pure heart."
Azurik, the protagonist and namesake of the game, is an adept in an unnamed order of warriors. Their job is to protect and preserve the balance of the six natural elements in the world. These elements are Fire, Earth, Air, Water, Light and Darkness. The essence of the elements has been locked within special 'Disks', which are kept in the tower in the middle of Town. All that is, except one; the disk of Death had been lost a great deal of time before, its location unknown. Regardless of that fact, the world has managed to maintain the natural order.
In the opening sequence, Azurik is practicing the use of his 'axion' staff weapon. He is quickly confronted by a fellow member of his order, the dark and troubled Balthazar. The duel for a short time, culminating in Azurik's near-death at Balthazar's hands. After Azurik leaves, Balthazar throws his axion at the wall in a fit of rage, shattering a small vase. When he does this, he accidentally reveals a secret room, in which is contained the Disk of Death.
Balthazar is possessed by the Disk, and releases the other Disks out into the world. Azurik, one of the sole survivors of his order, is tasked with retrieving all the fragments of the shattered disks and returning them to their original locations. To do this he must battle through a sequence of elementally-themed landscapes, solving various puzzles and acquiring new abilities.
The game lacks a comprehensive backstory to explain the series of fantastical and occasionally ridiculous landscapes he encounters. While many of the enemies he fights are the product of science or pseudo-science, he encounters just as many or more that seem as simple beasts. No explanation is given for why the elements are contained within the Disks, or what super-advanced race put them there. It can be supposed that this same race is responsible for leaving the various ancient ruins and hostile automatons that Azurik encounters along the way.