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The Opening Cinematic Sequences, Your Introduction to Tyria

by Balandar on 19 Jul 2012

From ArenaNet:

Once a player has chosen a character, class, and name, the first experience you have with the story of [i]Guild Wars 2[/i] is the opening cinematic.

Some of you may be thinking: “A cut scene? Skip, skip! Where’s the gameplay?” But hold on there! These gorgeous cinematics aren’t just a warmed-over reiteration of the box text; they tell the history of your chosen race and set the stage for the grand drama that’s about to unfold. Plus, the opening cinematic offers you a chance to see the concrete results of your character’s history and personality choices. We wrote them for [i]you![/i]

[i]Guild Wars 2[/i] is like an epic, interactive fantasy novel in which your player character is the main character, and the cinematics are the prologue. To give you a taste of what’s in store for you character, over the next few days we’re going to show you the five opening sequences that kick off players’ [i]Guild Wars 2[/i] storylines.

These are not the complete sequences you see when you create your character; we’re just going to show you the first part of each cinematic, which immerses you in the lore of the races. Your character actually appears in the introductory cinematic, and since every player will experience a different cinematic sequence based on your race, the biographical choices you make, and the appearance of your character, we want you to experience that for yourself.

Let’s take a look at the intro sequences that are well-known to most people who’ve played in our betas: the human, norn, and charr cinematic introductions.

[b] [size=5][b]Human[/b][/size][/b]

[left]We wanted to establish several key points in this cinematic: humans were once the predominant race, a people with many kingdoms spread all across Tyria, but now they are in decline; and despite these dark times, they still have faith, even if it feels more distant. Visually, we wanted to show the amazing vistas of Divinity’s Reach and the last great human nation of Kryta.[/left]

The second half of the cinematic is set by a player’s choice of social class—is your character a member of the gentry, a hardworking commoner, or do they hail from the streets? The moving imagery in each option is very different, and the writing is designed to convey the mood and give you a distinct feel for each background and setting.


[size=5][b] [b]Norn[/b][/b][/size]

[left]Because the norn are a less familiar race, we wanted to establish their place in Tyria. They are a hearty race of shape-shifting adventurers who have been pushed south by adversity, but fighting every inch of the way. The norn are an incredibly adventurous race who prize the glory of accomplishment above all. We wanted to present images that showed their snowy landscape, their courage, and their deep spirituality.[/left]

[left]In the second part of the cinematic, we illustrate the player’s past history, their outlook on life, and which Spirit of the Wild—Bear, Snow Leopard, Raven, or Wolf—they feel the most affinity for.[/left]


[b] [size=5][b]Charr[/b][/size][/b]

[left]Those who played the original [i]Guild Wars[/i] will recognize the savage charr, the implacable foes of mankind, and they will have certain expectations. We needed to live up to those player expectations, but, much like with the humans, we also need to make sure that players know who the charr in Tyria are [i]now,[/i] 250 years beyond the time of the first game.[/left]

The charr are fierce, militant, and uncompromising. But their point of view on history had yet to be told, and it’s an important perspective in understanding their story in [i]Guild Wars 2[/i]. For the first time, the charr aren’t just “the bad guys.” They have a reason to be angry, and have reclaimed much of the land once stolen from them by humanity. The defining aspect of a charr’s life is which legion they choose; their training, culture, and lifestyle all stem from the legion in which they were raised. Therefore, the opening cinematic is designed to play up the differences between those legions.


We’ll talk about the cinematics for the other races in an upcoming blog! Stay tuned.

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