"A land of innocence, has no need for Gods...
...until fate intervenes.
When people pray, a God is always born... able to change eternity.
That God is you.
Are you a blessing or a curse?
Be what you will, you are destiny."
- Black & White intro speech
Black & White is a 2001 "god game" created by former Bullfrog Productions founder Peter Molyneux, developed by Lionhead Studios and published by Electronic Arts. In it, the player assumes control of a god in a quest to become the most powerful deity in the fictional world of Eden. To achieve this, he/she will have followers, a creature and powerful miracles at his/her disposal.
One of Black & White's central elements is the concepts of good and evil, and how the player's choices affects the world. The player is given free will to act as he/she wishes and decisions will have direct impact in the game. As explained in Lionhead Studios' official website:
In a perfect world, people wouldn't need gods. But perfect worlds can't exist and sooner or later someone, in trouble, desperate, will pray to the heavens. This is what happens in the beginning of Black & White.
As you grow in power, you acquire a Creature, a wondrous being capable of doing anything you can do. Capable of learning and being trained and capable of making his own decisions. The people of Eden, whether they believe in you or not, can't failed to be impressed by this beast, and more are swayed to your cause through their admiration of the Creature and the god that owns him.
But on other lands there are other gods. They have their own Creatures and their own followers. You must vie with them for power. You must use your Miracles, your Creature and your cunning to steal followers from these gods, and to do battle between the Creatures for supremacy.
The ultimate goal is the Creed. Elements of these live within each Creature, and he who controls the parts of the Creed can control the whole land of Eden.
You may do well. You may sway the minds of the tribes, but can you gather the parts of the Creed? Can you defeat the god of gods, the enemy of enemies? Can you defeat your Nemesis and rule over the whole world? That is a question only you, and only time will answer.
The game begins as a family walks toward a shoreline. The kid runs to the sea while the parents are distracted. With the boy too far into the water and sharks approaching, the desperate parents pray to the heavens for divine help. That prayer creates a god, the player character which, moving in amazing speed across the many universes, rescues the child from certain death.
The player is then introduced to his conscience, which are always giving advice about everything in the world. The grateful family takes the player to their village so that he/she can be worshipped. In there, the player goes through a tutorial, learning the basics of the game, claiming a creaure and learning even more about it.
Eventually, the player meets a giant creature known simply as "The Guide", which tells the player about Nemesis, the most powerful god on Eden, who wishes to destroy all other gods and their creatures so he can achieve "ultimate power", and about the parts of the creed, which are the only defense against him.
Nemesis eventually locates the player, kills The Guide and proceeds to destroy the player's village with a powerful storm, forcing him/her to escape through a mysterious vortex to another land. In this new land, Khazar, another god, reveals that he saved the player from Nemesis and requests help in his losing war against Lethys, yet another god and an ally of Nemesis.
Just as the player begins to turn the tide of this war, Nemesis reappears, using the power of three combined creeds to destroy Khazar and his creature, and having Lethys steal a piece of the creed with his creature in the process. The player's objective is now clear: he/she must obtain and unite three parts of the creed to be able to destroy Nemesis before he can do the same to him/her.
Cornered against the player, Lethys steals his/her creature and escapes through a vortex to his realm, followed closely by the player. He traps the creature with magical pillars and has his creature torture him. After the player manages to free his/her creature, Lethys begs for mercy, returns the stolen piece of the creed and opens a vortex to a land that contains the second part of the creed (it is up to the player to spare or destroy Lethys, but that doesn't impact the storyline).
The vortex takes the player back to the first land which is now devastated by Nemesis, who has abandoned it in a precarious state, with fireballs raining from the blood-red sky and a powerful storm terrorizing villagers. The player is asked to remove the curse from the land, in return for information about the creed.
After curing a cursed village who opposed Nemesis, the player manages to retrieve the second piece of the creed which is revealed to be hidden within The Guide's remains. Nemesis then opens a vortex, claiming that he and the player are the only gods left, and invites him/her to his realm, for a final duel.
In this realm, Nemesis tries to hamper the player's progress at every opportunity, by cursing his creature, shielding up entire villages and even destroying wonders, so that they may not fall in the player's hands. When Nemesis gets desperate, he morphs his own creature to match that of the player in every way except for the alignment, starting the final battle of good versus evil.
The player defeats the Mirror and Nemesis vows to return more powerful than ever before, hiding in his temple. The player deduces that the final creed is within his own creature however, and uses this power to wipe Nemesis out of existence, becoming the one true god.
System Requirements Edit
- Windows 95/Mac OS 8.6
- Pentium II 350MHz/G3 333MHz
- 64MB RAM (96 on Mac)
- 8MB video RAM (4MB will suffice & "on board" will work, slow)
- 8X CD-ROM, 600MB (750 with Direct X & save)