Dark Cloud™ Emerges Onto the Playstation®2 Computer Entertainment System

Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. - 05/29/2001

Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. announced today the release of Dark Cloud™, a stirring, 3D action-adventure role-playing game (RPG) available exclusively for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. Featuring a strong character-driven story with six playable characters, Dark Cloud takes full advantage of the power of PlayStation 2. Combining traditional exploration and battle elements with real-time strategy, world-building and puzzle-solving gameplay, Dark Cloud will take gamers by storm, delivering a graphically spectacular and truly imaginative adventure this spring.

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The epic tale of Dark Cloud will captivate gamers as they undertake the role of Toan, an innocent young hero who witnesses the horrifying destruction of his world when the evil "dark cloud" is unleashed, wreaking havoc across the land. Toan awakens only to discover that the world has been plunged into darkness; he is visited by a mysterious figure known as the Sprit Emperor, who bestows him with the power to rescue the world. As the sole witness and survivor of the turmoil, Toan must bravely embark on an epic journey to rebuild the villages in the world while rescuing townspeople, battling monsters, restoring life and faith and unlocking the secrets of the land.

"Dark Cloud is an incredibly compelling narrative, realistically brought to life by the technological capabilities of PlayStation 2," said Ami Blaire, director, product marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. "With its beautifully-rendered graphics, imaginative characters, strategic gameplay, real-time interactivity and powerful storyline, this creative new offering will surely fulfill the appetites of gamers looking for something refreshing and original."

Dark Cloud introduces an innovative new gameplay mechanic called "GEORAMA." This unique element enables players to create, build and customize a fully interactive, three-dimensional world, and allows them to roam immediately through their newly constructed environments, all in real-time. As Toan, gamers will travel across vast lands uncovering clues for rebuilding the villages and unlocking hidden secrets. By utilizing predetermined objects such as trees, rivers, wells, homes and staircases, as well as hundreds of other items including treasures, magic spells, keys and vehicles, players can reconstruct the lush landscapes. Each community must be recreated accurately, as this will directly influence the prosperity of the environments, triggering clues for the player and unveiling pieces of the storyline as they progress.

Variable weather and time-of-day conditions add another strategic component to developing and managing the landscape. As the time of day and the weather begin to alter, items in the environment, events and conversations are also subject to change. Certain characters may be more willing to offer assistance during the daytime, for example.

Players must pay careful attention to all of the characters they encounter on their quest, as their assistance is essential to restoring the land. Dark Cloud allows gamers to unlock six different playable characters located throughout the universe, each with their own specific abilities and unique weapons. The game features a detailed weapons system, allowing players to change and increase their weapon strength. In addition, Dark Cloud contains many different types of real-time battles, encouraging players to strategically consider their opponents' strengths and weaknesses when planning attacks. Each playable character can also maintain up to 10 fully customizable weapons at one time.

Dark Cloud was released in Japan to critical acclaim last December. For the upcoming U.S. release, the Dark Cloud development team has enhanced the game further, adding additional content that amounts to a 30 percent larger game overall. New improvements to the U.S. edition include: a total new battle system, extra weapons, new monsters, enhanced enemy artificial intelligence (AI), an additional event battle in which pushing the right button combinations at the right time can mean the difference between success and failure, a completely new dungeon level with one hundred extra randomly generated maps and much more.

The independent Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rates Dark Cloud "T" for "Teen. For more information about the ESRB visit http://www.esrb.org/.

Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. continues to redefine the entertainment lifestyle with its PlayStation® and PS one™ game console and the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. The PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system is set to revolutionize the home entertainment market, offering the most compelling interactive content and the capability to be used as a network terminal in the coming broadband era.

Recognized as the undisputed industry leader, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. markets the PS one game console and PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system and develops, publishes, markets and distributes software for the PS one game console and the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system for the North American market. Based in Foster City, Calif. Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. serves as headquarters for all North American operations and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

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SOURCE: Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.

Contact: Charlotte Panther, 650-655-3542, or
charlotte_panther@playstation.sony.com, or Tina Casalino, 650-655-8102, or
tina_casalino@playstation.sony.com, both of Sony Computer Entertainment
America Inc.

Website: http://www.esrb.org/

Website: http://www.scea.com/

Website: http://www.playstation.com/

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