November 10, 2012

Ancient Biruni Empire

This post contains HUGE SPOILERS, don't read before finishing the games

It is quite common for books, movies and videogames to have all kinds of quite advanced ancient, lost civilizations that somehow get destroyed and become a myth... In the case of Vandal Hearts, that would be the Biruni Empire. The Ancient Biruni Empire is so important to this game that, unlike in the overseas releases where the tittle is just "Vandal Hearts", the original Japanese title is: 

"VANDAL HEARTS ~Ancient Lost Civilization~ " ( ヴァンダルハーツ〜失われた古代文明 )


The actual name of the first game is "VANDAL HEARTS ~Ancient Lost Civilization~", referring to the Lost Biruni Empire. You can find information about the Biruni in the Vandal Hearts Wikia, but here I'm going to talk about it in a different way.

The first game is not complete: hardcore fans probably noticed but it was also officially stated by the creators in a interview. While the Biruni Empire is still pretty important for the plot in the 1st and 3rd games, they just don't explain most of the shit about it... there are moments in which it looks like they will but they finally don't. There are also times when they talk about some Biruni artifact or place that is never mentioned again. Back in the day, it was common for videogames not to explain everything about their fictional worlds, but certainly, in the first Vandal Hearts it was too noticeable that some of this stuff was lacking here and there.

For the first game, you can find -just- a bit more info about the Biruni in the game's official guide and in the japanese instructions booklet, but it still seems like they wanted the game to be longer and to dig more into the Biruni, and they really make the fans curious about it with their illustrations of ruins, the semi robotical dragon in the logo of the game, those android golems you fight at some point of the game, etc. As for the 3rd game, it includes an in-game encyclopedia explaining more about the Biruni... I added said info to the VH Wiki, if you are curious.


There is no mention to the Biruni in "Vandal Hearts II" (this game is located in a different time and place than the other two) In the first game, the Biruni Empire is almost completely lost, to the point that all about it is pretty much considered a myth. The Biruni Empire still exists during the era in which "Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment" -the third game- takes place (1000 years before the first game) and is said to be a place of great mages and scientists, with excelent universities and researching facilities, and foreigners aren't usually allowed into their borders, unless they are excellent students or the likes. Biruni is much older than the Kingdom of Urdu and the Kingdom of Balastrade (former name of the Republic of Ishtaria) and it's very advanced compared to them.

In the third game, the Biruni Empire is located to the northeast of the kingdom of Balastrade. In the first game, the Kingdom of Balastrade just turned into the Republic of Ishtaria, and the Biruni Empire has been long ago lost, considered by many as a myth. Some of its ruins remain to the northeast of Ishtaria.

Map of Biruni ruins and surroundings, as seen in the firs game (Chapter V: 'The Legacy')

Torog mountains and an Idol statue, as seen in the first game (intro video of Chaper V)


Both. At first they seem like some old poweful wizards from ancient times, but little by little you discover heir technology was light-years from that of the other nations. By merging and combining science and magic they created things such as androids, artificial forms of life, inmortality devices and teleporting stations. They also created the Flames of Judgment, the Royal Ring and the Vandal Heart sword.

Some of you may be confused. You won't notice all of this unless you play all 3 games a couple of times. It's quite interesting that they don't just directly state all of this, because it actually leaves places for your own researching, you notice a couple of things and then you start paying more attention to details so you can discover more and more! Replayed many times and still confused? I won't explain everything, it's too long, but the following should open your eyes:

Notice in the pic to he left the silhouette of a phoenix-like creature, symbol of the Biruni, in the chamber where Vandal Heart sleeps (first game). You'll see it several times, even in the intro of the game where the Magic Stone is found by Magnus; also as title cover for chapter 5 (see the picture above); during the first battle in chaper 5 the symbol is on the ground, it's shape formed by stones, and the game grants you an aerial general view so you notice it... it's the first -and last- time they point out this symbol, but you see it all over the game. So, after you notice the symbols, you can easily get to the conslusion that when you see it, it means those ruins, artifacts or whatever are Biruni-made. Ok, but wehre are the machines, you may ask? Well, remember the "magic train" that connects Kerachi and Shumeria? Some characters mention how it wasn't created by nowadays men, it was simply found while digging ruins up. And the android-guardians with buster-arms, blocking your way in Orome lake before reaching Vandal Heart's sealing chamber?

Even though they look a bit like robots, you could argue if Biruni guardians are simply "magic golems" instead of high-tech androids... IF the second and third game didn't clearly show us more robots, a high-tech lab and even a freaking aircraft XD I still find it nice that all of this is hinted so little by so little... I didn't lthat they made it so clear in the third game but it had to finally happend... if you think about it, even the cover of the 1st game -the steam-punk dragon- hinted all of this! Isn't it amazing?

August 20, 2012

Vandal Hearts Wikipedia


I'm making this new post just to spread word about something: Did you know about the Vandal Hearts Wiki?

If you are a fan and have some time to spare, why not help us fill this wiki with any Vandal Hearts info you want? Everyone can post and edit and you don't even need to be registered. Just help with whatever you want, every bit of help is welcome! Thanks!

July 29, 2012

Vandal Hearts - Fanart

Hello, everyone!

So, up to this point I've been focusing on all the new Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment stuff I found, and it's about time I submit something related to the original Vandal Hearts games! I decided to start with some fanart... I know most fans can never ever find any VH fanarts, so I hope you enjoy these! I will be submitting more and more fanart, little by little, in future posts.

So, today I am bringing my own fanarts... they are just old sketches, but we got to start with something, no? I hope you like them!

I've always wanted to draw some full pictures of the character from the first Vandal Hearts game, but I never really did because I was lacking so many references to properly draw their clothes... In the picture to the right, Sara and Amon are wearing some civil clothes I designed thinking of how they would look after the war (that's why Sara has the bread, too *hint hint*)

And here another quick drawing of Sara to end this post... hope you liked these, please let me know if you want me to submit some of your art (and tell me where to link back and who to credit) We also have a Vandal Hears group in Deviantart with more fanworks, you can check it here (LINK)

See you next time!

VH: Flames of Judgment more Concept Art

Hello everybody!
I couldn't update these past months because I was living abroad and had no free time, I have loads of personal problems going on too. The situation in my home country is no good, either...
Anyway, I decided it was about time to update... this time I am bringing you some more of the concept art behind Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment, but not stages or backgrounds again, instead here you have characters' sketches and the likes. Let's start with the hero, Tobias Martin:

Tobia's sketches found in the artist's blog LINK

Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgement has been harshly criticized, especially the art. I will have to write a review on the actual gameplay, plot, etc. but for now, let's just review the characters' art.

Some of the most common complaints the fans stated, is that the "superdeformed american cartoonish style with large heads" didn't match the series and it's seriousness, and that the characters' designs didn't have the feeling of belonging to the world of Vandal Hearts, either... I agree for the most part. However...

... However, even if I agree that the art style of the characters doesn't fit the series, I don't think the art is so bad itself as some like to negatively point. Ok, so, apart from the unfitting "small body - large heads" style, I more or less like the looks of some characters such as Luce and Altyria, and I especially love Shance and Tobias. 

I don't think they went so wrong with Tobias's design: clerics and priests are common classes in the VH series and there is always an important character that is one, like Sara in the first game, or Yuri in the second game, and it's refreshing that, for once, the cleric is the main character; Tobias does look like one of the other healers in the series, his clothes are cool and that cross-sword is badass. Shance is a badass bad-gal and totally fits the VH series as well. As for the others... well, they look like coming from an average western fantasy game or cartoon, but still, I think the concept art and first ideas weren't so bad -yet again, apart from the "chibi" style- However, I don't know why the final result is so... ugly in general. I mean:

                                                 Connor at first               Connor in the finished game


In the first one I actually think he is kind of cute, even hot, and you can SO CLEARLY see what his personality is like thanks to that face full of expressiveness. The second makes him plain, ugly... and I am not the only one who thinks of Chucky from the horror films, am I?

You can see the final looks of the other characters in the two previous posts. I will finish this post leaving here some of the character sketches I collected, which show up while you are playing, as "loading screen". See you!

January 11, 2012

Vandal Hearts FoJ - Character Art


Today I bring you some of the characters artworks of Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment! I personally like a few of them, especially Tobias and Luce's! On the other hand, I am disappointed on Altyria's one, the avatar for her in the game it's quite beautiful compared to the full body artwork here!!! And I am sad I couldn't find Shance's full body art because she is my favourite female in the game!

If I find more of them, I'll definitely share! Here I leave you with the ones I have and source links!



Random soldiers and citizens art too! 

And that's all for now. The source is this blog again [LINK] from one of the artists who worked on the game, obviously! XD I always love this kind of illustrations, makes me think of my Characters Design class and my days studying Fine arts and Audiovisuals.

Well then, see you!

January 6, 2012

Vandal Hearts FoJ - Voice Acting

Hi again!

It seems like I only write about Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment lol Nah, in reality the thing is, it's the latest installment in the Vandal Heart series so it's just natural I find more new stuff about it than about the more than 10 years old first and second game. Soon I'll upload lots of stuff from the other games as well!

So as the title says, this time I bring you those who put voice to the characters in Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment! Most of this voice actors and actresses has participated in many other videogames, anime, etc. You can know more about them clicking on their name!

TOBIAS MARTIN                       ALTYRIA JONO          
voiced by VIC MIGNOGNA            voiced by ALICYN PACKARD


   LUCE VALENCI                          SHANCE AYA            
voiced by  ALICYN PACKARD            voided by CINDY ROBINSON


CONNOR GANSON                         CALVIN ATRIAS    
voiced by SPIKE SPENCER            voiced by CINDY ROBINSON


GREN SILAS                           DALDREN GRAY 
  voiced  by  RYAN ALEXANDER             voiced by RICHARD EPCAR

After playing the game a couple of times, those are the characters I pretty much consider as "main characters".  But of course, there are many other support characters who have their own voice! The thing is, most of the rest have the same voice actor (and as you can see above, some of the main characters do share the same voice actresses) and I don't have the portrait art or voice actors names of all of them -for now hu hu hu- so I'll just mention some other relatively important characters:



Chris Kent not only voices Kelbrun and King Everest but also, like, HALF of the cast, for example Dumas the First or Sebastian Horne (I don't have the portraits sorry! Will update when I get them!) I'll notice for stupid reasons related to my fangirlism, most anime fangirls seem to love Vic Mignogna (who voices Tobias Martin here) and so do I. Thanks to him, English dubs for Japanese anime and videogames are much better nowadays. Like really.

The source of the info is [LINK] I'll try to find another couple of sites to contrast and confirm the info when I can!

More stuff coming up soon!

Vandal Hearts sites of your interest

This blog is not enough to cover all of the Vandal Hearts material and it's not exactly informative and "tidy" in the way a Vandal Hearts Wikipedia could be, and for those reasons you can't find exact information as quickly and precisely in my blog as you could in Wikipedia, so I am linking you to other Vandal Hearts sites in which I participate -in one way or another- just in case they are of your interest!!!

Also, other fans told me that obviously not everyone who is interested in following this blog or just Vandal Hearts news has a Google account, so you can follow the news from othes sites as well:

- Vandal Hearts fangroup on Deviantart fanarts and more!

- Vandal Hearts on Twitter with quick news & updates

- Vandal Hearts Wiki which you can help completing!

January 5, 2012

Vandal Hearts FoJ - Background Art

Hello everyone!

Today I am here to share with you more art from Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment. You know the pictures of towns and shops and landscapes you see in the background while the characters are talking and stuff? Well then, that's exactly what we have here:

BACKGROUND ART from Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment

click for full view

These pictures above come from this blog [LINK] The second picture is one of the last towns you are to visit in this game, and I think it's actually the Capital Sumeria from the first game -but I need to recheck it- The forest is one of the first stages you visit. The desert is about the middle of the game.

And I have more stuff that, while not being the background art you see when the characters are talking, are also beautiful pictures from the game that show some more of this world in which the characters of Vandal Hearts live.

The "Astral World" 
also known as "Purgatory" to those who are religious


Daldren Gray in the "Purgatory"
concept art for one of the cinamatics in the game 


In the first game, this place full of pretty critals was called "Astral World", but in Vandal Hearts Flames of Judgment, the religious people call it "Purgatory" lol I'd like to talk about this place, the Astral World in the Vandal Hearts series, some other time.

As for these last pictures, I found them in this other blog [LINK] by the artist Joy S. Lee, who you can guess worked in the game.

More stuff coming up soon!