Zarok

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Zarok
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MediEvil2019-Zarok-BookOfGallowmere.png
Biographical information
Title(s) King Peregrin's Advisor (1286)
Court Magician (1286)
Gender Male
Born Early 13th century
Gallowmere, Britain
Died 1386 (aged over 150)
Gallowmere, Britain
Weapon(s) Trident
Behind the scenes information
Designed by Jason Wilson
Voiced by Paul Darrow (English)
Norio Wakamoto (Japanese)
Appears in
"Sir Daniel Fortesque, my old nemesis, so we meet again!"
― Zarok, upon seeing Fortesque for the first time in 100 years.

Zarok (died 1386) was an evil sorcerer who tried to conquer the land of Gallowmere. Although he was declared dead after the Battle of Gallowmere in 1286, Zarok managed to survive. He went into hiding and would not re-emerge until 1386, a hundred years later. His second attempt at conquest was thwarted by his nemesis, the knight Sir Daniel Fortesque.

History

Early life

Zarok was a smart but scrawny boy who came from a poor family in Gallowmere. His childhood days were spent with Mr Snuffy, his canine companion. However, on the day of King Peregrin's coronation, Mr Snuffy was killed by a Royal Guardsman who thought the pup was going to attack the newly crowned king. This event changed Zarok's life forever and marked the beginning of his obsession with necromancy. Zarok left Gallowmere to take up an apprenticeship with an infamous dark sorcerer.[1]

Return to Gallowmere

50 years later, Zarok returned to Gallowmere, causing the land's crops to fail in order to expose the incompetency of Peregrin's Court Magician Mazok the Muddled. Mazok's attempts to save the kingdom from the famine failed, forcing the king to seek help from Zarok. Zarok was all too happy to oblige. Once the famine was dealt with, Zarok became the new Court Magician.[1]

Zarok begins to summon an army of demons.

As part of his secret plot to take over the kingdom, Zarok would go on to kill the king's champion by spooking the champion's horse with a toad, causing him to be thrown in a well where he drowned. Zarok then convinced the King to appoint none other than Sir Daniel Fortesque to be his new champion, as Zarok knew that Fortesque was incompetent and would doom the king's army during his planned invasion.[1] At some point, Zarok summoned Shadow Demons from another dimension to help him build a vast castle on top of a faraway mountain.

War with Gallowmere

A day before his planned assault on the land, Zarok informed the King and his Champion about the approaching horde of undead, making excuses about why he cannot stop them. As part of his plan to weaken the King's army, he made the Jabberwocky attack the castle. He was surprised when the Jabberwocky was defeated by Sir Dan. Later, Zarok discovered that it was indeed Sir Dan who repelled the Jabberwocky attack, but an undead version of him from the future. He ordered his henchmen, Boris and Merek, to take this Dan to The Mystic Maidens to kill him.

Under the cover of night, Zarok's dark army spilled forth from their corrupt haven. The army marched south across the Silver Mountains and through the Silver Woods. Zarok's army had eventually overtaken the flood lands. This lead to the Battle of Gallowmere, in which Sir Daniel was killed. However, the history books said that he had defeated Zarok, just seconds before he died himself. Zarok survived the battle, however. He remained in hiding, preparing for a second invasion.

Some time after Dan's death, Zarok discovered a book of Black Magic which would become associated with him.[2] He also gained possession of the Shadow Artefact, the key to the tomb where his Shadow Demons were imprisoned. However, the Artefact was stolen from him by The Town Mayor before he could free them.[3][3.1]

The Evernight

100 years after the war, Zarok returned to Gallowmere once again. Using the powers of a spell book spell, Zarok stole the souls of the townspeople and resurrected the dead. While passing through Gallowmere's many locales, Zarok left behind him a green, slimy trail of magic. He was looking for the Shadow Artefact that was stolen from him.

Daniel first encountered Zarok at Cemetery Hill. Zarok tried to trap Dan in the necropolis by bringing two Boulder Gargoyles to life. Later in his quest, Daniel released Zarok's Shadow Demons due to needing an item located within the tomb to make further progress. The demons were killed however when Daniel released lava upon them in The Haunted Ruins.

Zarok awaited in his lair. He sent Fazguls and later his champion Lord Kardok to kill Dan, but Daniel managed to outsmart them. In the end, Zarok decided to confront Dan himself and transformed into a beast. Once defeated, Zarok accepted his death and cast a spell that caused his lair to collapse, which he hoped would bring Dan down with him. Zarok was crushed in the wreckage, his magic was undone.

Legacy

Five hundred years later, pages from Zarok's spell book resurfaced and were used by an evil sorcerer called Lord Palethorn to conquer London. Zarok himself was reduced to an exhibit in a museum in Kensington where he was described only as a coward.

Characteristics

Appearance

Zarok had pale gray skin. He wore somewhat feminine attire which consisted of red robes with gold highlights and a hat with pointed horns. He was rather thin, and he had two horns growing out of each cheek as well as his chin.

Personality

Zarok was a creepy, bitter and twisted soul. He was petty and vain yet intelligent, terrifying and evil yet charismatic, tough and dangerous yet at times campier than a Caravan park. He berated Dan and called him mocking nicknames. He also seemed to be held in high regard amongst his minions.

Abilities

Using the power of his staff and spellbook, Zarok could resurrect the dead, animate the inanimate and steal the souls of living beings. He was also able to build his own boiler guards and city; The Time Device - using science.

Gameplay

MediEvil

Zarok's Beast Transformation
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Biographical information
AKA Zarok Beast, Zarok Figurehead
Gameplay information
Health MediEvil (1998): 1500
MediEvil (2019): 2000
Previous boss(es) Lord Kardok
"None shall defeat the mighty Zarok! So prepare to die Fortesque!"
― Zarok, after transforming into a beast.

After Lord Kardok is defeated, Zarok will undergo a transformation into a beast. This form is known as Zarok's Beast Transformation.

Book of Gallowmere entries

Zarok

It is said that Zarok's preoccupation with necromancy stems from an obsession to resurrect his childhood puppy.

Let's just reflect for a moment: isn't that just tragic? All this poor, troubled soul has ever wanted is to command the forces of darkness, enslave mankind, and play ball one last time with dear old Mr Snuffy.

Zarok's Beast Transformation

Psychologists all agree that the final, desperate form adopted by an on-the-ropes evil sorcerer once his minions have all been felled tells us a great deal about his particular psychosis.

What does this form tell us about Zarok? Well, I'm no psychologist, but if ever there was a clearer case of narcissistic agora-paranoid kleptomaniacal dysmorphism then... my name's not Geraldine.

Strategy

Zarok's initial attacks are him chasing Dan around, spitting acid at him and swiping at him. He has a magical shield around him, which is disabled when he stands up on his hind legs. That's when Dan should strike. Dan should use a weapon like the Magic Sword, Dragon Armour or the Spear. Beware, though, once half of his life is diminished he'll start performing another attack which involves creating a powerful force field around him which will not only harm Dan, but will also set him on fire for a while.

MediEvil: Resurrection

"But how are you with snakes? Hmm? Do they SCARE you? Big snakes? Find them agreeable, do, we? How about huge MONSTROUS snakes Forty-darling?. How about... MEEEEEE!"
― Zarok, transforming into a giant snake.

Unlike in the original game, Zarok transforms into a snake-like monster instead. This form is known as the Zarok Serpent.

An Adventurer's Guide to Monsters entry

This huge serpentine variant of the twisted madman is almost too horrific to contemplate, but a determined adventurer must of course face up to his responsibilities. Rumours abound that the only way to stun the slithering beast is to attack his hissing mouth. However this is unlikely to be an easy task when the beast is issuing forth devastating shockwaves, spat venom balls, and a writhing uncoiling tail of gargantuan proportions. Do your best dear adventurer to avoid these lethal offerings if you can. Legend has it that the heroic questor must find a way to injure the serpent's tail tip in order to vanquish the beast, but seeing as no would-be assassin has ever before been victorious in such a battle, one can only speculate.

Strategy

The Zarok Serpent attacks Dan by sending out shockwaves and spitting out balls of green goo. Al-Zalam tells Dan to attack his mouth. Doing so will decrease a very small portion of his health. After Zarok swipes with his tail, attack the cage-like end. Zarok's tail swipe is his deadliest attack. Jump over it. Attacking the tail does more damage than attacking his mouth. After you attack the mouth and tail a few more times, you will win the battle.

Behind the scenes

Development

MediEvil

Zarok was designed by Lead Artist Jason Wilson. Wilson imagined Zarok as both "thin and fey" and "an evil puppet."[4][5] Wilson also noted that the character ended up being "rather camp" which gave him "an endearing quality as a villain" and suited the "quirky fun nature" of the game.[6]

In pre-release versions of the game, Zarok's Beast Transformation featured a pair of breasts.[7]

MediEvil 2

An early iteration of MediEvil 2's plot involved Zarok being trapped in the Tower of London. Dan would have had to free him in order to form an uneasy alliance with him to recover his spell book from the clutches of an evil cult.[8] However, Zarok ended up not playing a major role in the final release.

Fate's Arrow

Zarok would have been the main antagonist in the 2003 MediEvil 3: Fate's Arrow concept pitch, teaming up with Kiyante, an evil sorceress with similar ambitions.

Portrayal

In English, Zarok was voiced by the late Paul Darrow, famed for his role of Kerr Avon in Blake's 7. According to Jason Wilson, Darrow was very enthusiastic about playing Zarok and was one of the reasons why Wilson wrote fictional biographies for the game's characters.[9] Darrow also liked to improvise his lines during recording.[10]

In Japanese, he was voiced by Norio Wakamoto who is famous for his roles of Oskar von Reuenthal in Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Barbatos Goetia in Tales of Destiny 2, Charles zi Britannia in Code Geass, Xemnas in the Kingdom Hearts series, Cell in Dragon Ball Z, and Count Dracula in various Castlevania titles, and DIO from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure drama CD's and many others.[citation needed]

In other media

1996 – Creatures

An image of Zarok appears in Creatures, an artificial life program created by Millennium Interactive. This is because the backgrounds for Creatures were rendered by Jason Riley who also rendered all the full motion videos for MediEvil.

2013 – PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

"Zarok, again? Could the evil wizard somehow have returned once more?"
― The narrator describes Sir Dan's thoughts.

Zarok appears as a minion, a type of support character, in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. He was made available for purchase on February 27, 2013 as part of the Super Minion Pack 2, Minion Pack 5 and as standalone DLC. Zarok is also mentioned several times in Sir Dan's arcade mode.

Gallery

Main article: Images of Zarok

Trivia

  • Zarok makes a possible joke about the practice of sheep sodomising before the final battle when he says "Oooh... Oh not right now!" after he accidentally transforms himself into a sheep.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Game Prequel icon.png MediEvil: The Game Prequel. Written by Chris Sorrell. Art by Jason Wilson. Published by Titan Comics in 2019.
  2. MediEvil 2 MediEvil 2 manual. Written by Jim Sangster. Designed by Steve O'Neill. Published by Sony Computer Entertainment America in May 2000. Download.
  3. MediEvil 2019 icon.png MediEvil. Developed by Other Ocean Emeryville. Published by Sony Interactive Entertainment on October 25, 2019.
    1. Book of Gallowmere in MediEvil 2019 icon.png MediEvil. Developed by Other Ocean Emeryville. Published by Sony Interactive Entertainment on October 25, 2019.
  4. MediEvil on JASON WILSON - PORTFOLIO: Art and Game Design.
  5. ProBoards MediEvil developers - Q&A; on MediEvil Boards. Published November 3, 2013.
  6. Zarok on atomic-city concept art and design of Jason Wilson (archived version).
  7. MediEvil Rolling Demo. Developed by SCEE Cambridge Studio. Published by Sony Computer Entertainment in September 1997.
  8. ProBoards MediEvil developers - Q&A; on MediEvil Boards. Published February 10, 2012.
  9. Twitter "I’ll never forget writing fictional character biographies for the MediEvil voice actors, mostly because of Paul Darrow."Jason Wilson (@GunnWriter) on X (formerly Twitter) (archived version at Internet Archive Wayback Machine). Published June 3, 2019.
  10. Twitter "Paul was prone to improvising and we very much enjoyed tweaking and playing with the script during recording."Jason Wilson (@GunnWriter) on X (formerly Twitter) (archived version at Internet Archive Wayback Machine). Published June 29, 2019.

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