A newcomer’s guide to the macabre world of MediEvil

More than 20 years since its original release, MediEvil makes a return to PlayStation with a shiny new makeover. If you’ve never heard of Sir Dan, let us bring you up to speed and find out why now is the perfect time to discover this cult classic.

 
 

1. What exactly is MediEvil?

An irreverent, action-packed adventure set in the spooky kingdom of Gallowmere, MediEvil is one of those PlayStation classics that has quietly endured over the decades.

Starting development all the way back in 1995 under the working title of ‘Dead Man Dan’, it was the brainchild of a small Cambridge-based developer called Millennium Interactive.

Riding the growing tide of 3D development, the fledgling team set their bar high, hoping to deliver on ambitious goals with a shoe-string budget, but found themselves beset with plenty of obstacles along the way.

“Like most other developers at that time, we were still feeling our way with 3D. Things like camera and character control presented a lot of interesting new challenges.”

 

Chris Sorrell, Original Designer

Despite these lofty goals, PlayStation’s publishing team loved the concept and hired Millennium to finish the game, later adopting the developer as PlayStation’s SCE Cambridge Studio.

Sir Dan would finally be unleashed on the world in October 1998, just in time for Halloween, winning praise from critics for its unique art direction and immersive atmosphere.

While a sequel would follow in 2000 and a PSP remaster in 2005, the PlayStation original forever remained in gamers’ hearts. Check out the original TV ad!

 
 

2. What’s the story?

MediEvil is a classic tale of good versus evil, with a touch of underdog charm. You play as disgraced hero Sir Daniel Fortesque, who was slain unceremoniously (by an arrow to the eye!) in a grand face-off with the evil sorcerer Zarok.

Fate delivers Dan a second chance however, rousing him from his grave as Zarok’s undead minions run amok in the Kingdom of Gallowmere. Fight your way back from the crypt and crush the legions of darkness and maybe Sir Dan will finally earn his place in the Hall of Heroes.

 
 

3. What do you do?

MediEvil is a classic action adventure that mixes together combat, exploration, puzzle solving and platforming to create a challenging, sprawling third-person romp. 

You fight!

Swords, shields, knives, axes, warhammers, cross-bows and many more besides… MediEvil boasts a wide array of weapons with which to dispatch Zarok’s unspeakable horde.

Collect them, learn their strengths and weakness, and clobber your way to glory! 

You explore!

Gallowmere is broken up into a variety of gameplay stages covering the entire kingdom. Each is an intricately designed maze of puzzles, collectibles, combat encounters and hidden secrets.

If you want to earn your place in the Hall of Heroes you’ll need to be thorough – luckily you can revisit previous levels as often as you like!

You overcome!

Throughout the world of Gallowmere, you’ll encounter all kinds of puzzling conundrums, from locked doors, to impassable rivers, to death-dealing booby traps.

Ponder, plunder and occasionally blunder your way through – you’ll need more than a stout sword-arm to overthrow Zarok!

 
 

4. Where is it set?

MediEvil’s original creators drew a lot inspiration from the kooky, stop-motion horror of the ’90s, mixing exaggerated proportions and skewed perspectives with a vibrant colour palette to create something both fun and creepy.

As a result, the land of Gallowmere feels like a Halloween maquette made life, with more than 50 over-the-top enemy-types to tackle and all manner of locales to explore, from dusty crypts and gruesome graveyards, to moonlit medieval towns and mire-choked forests.

 
 

5. Who's in charge of the remake?

The PS4 remake of MediEvil is being developed by Other Ocean Interactive’s Emeryville studio in collaboration with Sony’s own Worldwide Studios.

With development teams based in California and north-east Canada, Other Ocean has been creating games since 2006 and have racked up an impressive portfolio, including supporting development on the likes of Minecraft and Mortal Kombat. 

"It’s almost like an archaeological project, where you’re digging up all this material. You’re talking to the original team, trying to find out exactly what they were thinking and feeling at that time.”

 

Mike Mika, Chief Creative Officer

Working from the original games’ two-decade old source code, their modern recreation of Sir Dan’s adventures is built using the latest rendering technology, but is razor-focused on recapturing the original spirit of the series. 

You can see the full interview with Mike and Executive Producer Jeff Nachbaur on the left.

 
 

6. Is it appropriate for youngsters?

Nothing trumps parental discretion, but MediEvil – though it includes some light horror themes – is designed with a broad audience in mind. It boasts a colourful, characterful world, super-stylised visuals, and an irreverent, slap-stick tone.

If you’re in any doubt, we’d recommend checking out local guidance where you are, or you can read a full review from Pan-European Gaming Information (PEGI) below. They’ve rated the game suitable for ages seven and above.

 
 

7. Where can I buy it?

The full game is available in both physical and digital formats. For those with a lasting fondness for Sir Dan, we've even got a bumper Digital Deluxe Edition with bags of extra goodies!

On disc

Grab the full game on Blu-Ray from your local retailer.

On digital

Get the full game as a digital download from PlayStation Store.

MediEvil - Digital Deluxe Edition

Celebrate Sir Dan’s glorious return with a bumper bundle including the full game, the Golden Super Armour DLC, digital art book, digital comic, digital soundtrack and a Dynamic PS4 theme.

 
 

8. Celebrating PlayStation's incredible legacy

There’s never been a better time to rediscover PlayStation’s iconic heritage. PS4 is teeming with some of yesteryear’s best-known adventures, all recreated with the very latest tech. Check out some of these seminal PS1 gems rebuilt for PS4:

Resident Evil 2 Remake

Revisit the iconic locales of Racoon City in a modern reimagining of Capcom’s seminal classic.

Crash Bandicoot: N-Sane Trilogy

Save Wumpa Island from corruption in a complete remake of Crash’s first three adventures.

Spyro Reignited Collection

Unleash your inner dragon in a stunning recreation of Spyro’s original trilogy.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Join Cloud and Avalanche in a bold reimagining of Square Enix’s seminal RPG.