The lights are on
Earlier this month we highlighted the central squad members who fight by your side in The Order: 1886, but who do you control along the way? Today we shine the light on Galahad, the central character of the story, and glean some insight from the developers about what we can expect from this new protagonist.
“Galahad is one of the elder knights in the Order,” says creative director Ru Weerasuriya. “He’s connected with a group of people in the knights who have given him purpose, and that purpose happened to be to never question anything. He comes to the point, when the game starts, where there are things he’s always taken for granted and he realizes things are not as they seem.” As a character, Galahad begins the story as a steadfast and mostly unquestioning soldier in the ranks, even if he sometimes has doubts about the current doctrines that guide the knights of the Order.
When designing Galahad for The Order, the development team looked to the historical use of the Galahad name in Arthurian legend, and drew inspiration from those stories. Like the Galahad of real-world legend, Galahad in The Order is renowned for his gallantry, and being among the best of the knights.
However, the world of The Order’s alternate history 1886 challenges Galahad’s gallant nature with complicated ethical issues and gray moral quandaries. Over the course of the story, we see Galahad attempt to redefine himself in the light of these new challenges. In particular, the emerging threat of an opposing force of rebels in London fighting against The Order offers a dilemma. The rebels believe that the knights have failed to protect the poor, and that Galahad and the rest of the knights only look out for the aristocracy. This complex class warfare is an emerging dilemma for Galahad, who has spent his life in battle against the supernatural threat of horrible half-breed creatures – it’s hard for him to wrap his mind around fighting his own kind. Through the course of the game, we learn who he is through his responses to these conflicts. “He’s the blank canvas that you start painting on,” says Weerasuriya. “Everything that is going to happen in this game is going to define who he is. And it’s going to bring back who he was – who he has repressed.”
Beyond the events of the game, Ready At Dawn is also putting a big focus on shaping the main character through the people around him – both friend and foe. “Every person, every relation, every event, is going to define this character. Sometimes the best heroes are defined not only by their friends, but by their enemies – and that’s true for Galahad.” While the identity of these enemies remains undisclosed, our early look at the game offered a potent glimpse of the relationship he shares with the rest of his squad.
Sir Percival fits comfortably into the role of an older brother – the part of the team that always does the right thing, no matter what. Meanwhile, Lafayette offers a humorous foil for Galahad’s more serious tone, keeping things light in the midst of dark events. Finally, Lady Igraine offers yet another angle on Galahad’s personality. Originally, Galahad helped to train Igraine, but as the years have passed, Igraine is as much a partner and rival to Galahad as a former student. The two are equally skilled, and their long friendship might have evolved into something more if not for their sworn duty as knights.
Beyond his relationships to both the characters and the world around him, our time at Ready At Dawn revealed Galahad as an impressively expressive protagonist thanks to the powerful visual technology of the game. Above and beyond Galahad’s unabashedly awesome mustache, the game often takes time to show off cinematic moments in which Galahad emotes and speaks with startling facial realism. This potent sense of authenticity is juxtaposed with the unusual and fantastic elements of The Order: 1886, and helps its main character of Galahad to stand out as a hero to watch in 2014’s increasingly crowded list of next-gen games.
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