"Lost Kingdoms is a fantasy video game developed by From Software and published by Activision in North America and Europe. The original Japanese version of this game is simply known as Rune. The game was released in Japan on April 25, 2002; in North America on May 27, 2002; and in Europe on August 9, 2002. Lost Kingdoms is a card-based action role-playing game where battles are fought in real-time.
A sequel, Lost Kingdoms II, was released a year later.
The story begins with a substance known in the game as black fog. This fog is known for consuming people, towns, and other signs of civilization or life, nothing ever to escape from within. In Lost Kingdoms, the fog invades the land of Argwyll, home of the main character Katia, who is also the princess of this kingdom. The fog has been terrorizing the land for a long time, and Katia's father - the king - eventually ventured out to help try and deal with the deadly substance. However, since her father hadn't returned in some time, Katia soon leaves to find him.
Before she leaves, however, she is granted access to the castle's runestone, a key item in this game. With the runestone, Katia is able to use special magic cards to battle for her against the monsters that have spawned inside the black fog. Using this runestone, Katia is granted to leave the castle in the hopes of saving the kingdom, as well as finding and possibly rescuing her father. Unfortunately for her, she later finds that monsters killed her father. Later Katia finds a new enemy in the form of another runestone wielder, a girl named Helena that she repeatedly runs into. Eventually, Katia fights and kills Helena, but before she dies Helena reveals to Katia that she was trying to save her own land from the black fog. Katia eventually discovers that a man named Thalnos is behind the black fog, as well as the existence a malevolent entity known as the God of Destruction. After fighting and killing Thalnos, it turns out that he was just a vessel for the God of Destruction. Katia then fights defeats the evil god as the final boss of the game.
Lost Kingdoms is best known for its unique system of combat. Battles are played in real-time, where the player has to keep their character moving to avoid enemy attacks and plot tactical points to attack. Katia uses her cards for battle purposes only, as she cannot fight. Lost Kingdoms also has a multiplayer system in which two players can use their own decks to battle one another. When compared to single-player, the multiplayer has various restrictions to make the fight fair. Healing and one-hit kills are forbidden. Since some cards have the ability to return used cards back to the deck, these types of cards are also prohibited.
There are three special types of cards. Along with the battle types are elements. The elements of these cards includes fire, water, wood, earth, and neutral. Each type has its own advantage over another: Fire is strong against wood, but weak against water. Wood is strong against earth, but weak against fire. Neutral is a special and rare element, as it has no weaknesses against the other elements. Aside from finding new cards, Katia can also buy, sell, transform, and capture new cards.
Katia is capable of purchasing, finding, or getting her foes to submit to becoming new cards. Katia can also sell unwanted cards, and have her old cards transformed into new and/or stronger cards. Only a couple of cards are available after each level is completed, and they are not always completely new. Transforming cards is a part of the games experience point aspect, since defeating enemies with a card will earn the card experience points. Once cards earn enough experience, the shop will transform them into a different card for a certain amount of experience points. Capturing cards is a special process that allows Katia to transform her foes into cards. By initiating a capture throw, Katia can force weakened enemies into submission and transform them. If a capture throw fails, then the enemy only lose a small part of their life.
A weapon-type card is a card for quick use. Upon choosing a card of this type, a monster will appear, attack, and then disappear. These cards can often be used two or more times, depending on the card.
A summons-type card is a card that will temporarily replace Katia with the summoned monster. This monster will then attack. Most summons-type cards can only be used once. Once the monster's attack is complete, it will disappear and Katia will reappear.
An independent-type card is a card that will act on its own after being summoned. After which, this monster will stay on the battlefield until either its hit points are depleted, or until the allotted time runs out. Most monsters are given a time limit as to how long they can be on the battlefield, but there are some exceptions. The action an independent-type monster will make varies; some will attack the enemy while others are only there for the sake of either enhancing allies or downgrading enemies, as well as decoy monsters who are used to distract enemies."
Source: Wikipedia, "Lost_Kingdoms," available under the CC-BY-SA License.