Akuji the Heartless
Akuji the Heartless is an action-adventure video game developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Eidos Interactive. It was released for the PlayStation on December 31, 1998, in North America and February 1999 in Europe. The game received mixed reviews from critics upon its release.
Akuji: "From my childhood, I'd been told that only the strong survive. That the strong will rule. That power is the reward of a virtuous life. I led a virtuous life. I'd mastered the art of life. My weapons were an extension of my will. For spiritual power, I studied the ways of voodoo. The rituals of blood sacrifice. To channel the gods and unleash their wrath upon my enemies. I was to wed Kesho, the eldest daughter of the Tanko tribe. The marriage of our tribes would have secured my family's control over the ruling class of Mamora. The wedding rites were interrupted by my sudden murder. Though my life was taken by bitter treachery, my struggles did not end. Sometimes death is just the beginning..."
Kesho: "Akuji, collect 100 Voodoo Dolls to increase your health meter."
Kesho: "You've discovered a Voodoo Spell. You'll find these scattered across the Underworld. Each shade of spell has a unique and powerful effect. But beware, you will only be able to keep your spells in the world in which you found them."
Kesho: "Akuji, gather 100 of these symbols and you will gain an additional life."
Kesho: "You've just gathered a soul of your Ancestors. They are few in number, but vital to your quest."
Kesho: "You found Health, Akuji. Be aware, you will have no need for these when your health meter is full."
Kesho: "You must place the Loa on an altar to open the doors."
Kesho: "Akuji! Akuji!"
Kesho: "It was your brother, Orad. He murdered our wedding guests. He cast the spells that entrapped me. His minions ripped your heart out and condemned you to wander the Underworld. Our families are preparing for war and your brother is preparing to sacrifice me to the gods. You must escape and stop him! Your only hope is to journey to Navo, the land that connects the realms of the dead with our world. You must seek an audience with Baron Samedi, only he can help you. To reach Navo, you must find a Spirit Gate. My powers are weakening, Akuji. You must be swift."
Baron Samedi: "Welcome, Akuji. It seems that at least one member of your family has honor. I thank you for cleansing Cocytus of the dregs of your legacy."
Akuji: "Baron Samedi, although I come to request your charity, I do not suffer lightly your insults to the honor of my family."
Baron Samedi: "Nor I your insolence. However, I can see that you are well-meaning although, perhaps, misguided. The legacy that I refer to is one that has placed you in your current predicament. Your family, Akuji, is evil. They have always been evil. In death, their spirits taint the realms of the dead. I will strike a deal with you. If you cleanse the Underworld of your ancestors, I will allow you to return to Mamora, and save your precious Kesho. Will you help to purge the Underworld of the souls of your family?"
Akuji: "Even if I agree, how can one man empty the Underworld of all of the souls of his ancestors?"
Baron Samedi: "You need not find them all, some are more corrupt than others. Explore all the lands of each vestibule of Hell and bring me the most powerful souls. If you have collected enough souls, I will allow you to meet the warden of the vestibule. If you can defeat the warden, I will send you deeper into your quest. You've only four vestibules, Akuji. Surely you can do this. I have opened the door that leads to Pluton. After gathering the souls of your ancestors, you must destroy the lightning spires that guard the Spirit Gate. Then, you may return here."
"I might have argued with the Baron when he slandered my family, or even killed him. But my mouth still retains the bitterness of the unforeseen evil of my own brother. I saw the truth of the Baron's words and bit my tongue. The warm taste of blood helped turn my anger to its true target... my ancestors." (Pluton intro)
"It disgusts me the ease by which I collect the spirits of my ancestors. Had I known the afterlife was a stagnant pool of festering memories, I would have done more to protect my flesh and life. And it drives me harder to save Kesho from it." (Khalas intro)
"The price I must pay for the sins of my family is high. I have been reduced from a prince, to an indentured assassin. I seek to ensure the survival of my beloved Kesho. And to obtain it, I will kill, and kill again." (Intro to Mahdi battle)
"This Arena of Death the Baron spoke of is nothing more than another slaughterhouse on the path of my redemption. If I ultimately reach Kesho and win her life, will she shudder at the sight of my blood-stained hands?" (Oinos intro)
"Baron Samedi speaks of totems as though they were tools with which to fight spiritual depravity. In this way, I am the Baron's totem, his weapon, of mercy. Bestowing a weapon with consciousness is a terrible curse. And if not for Kesho, I would slit this yoke and seek my own destiny." (Discord intro)
"After countless battles, and a river of blood, it is a relief to finally build, rather than destroy. If only I could build a statue to the land of the living, I could escape servitude and begin my true quest: to save Kesho, and send Orad here to take my place." (Stygia intro)
"It is now clear to me that the Baron's desire to cleanse the Underworld of my evil ancestors is not paramount to his aims. He seems to want me to rob the Underworld of its teeth as well. But if it will get me to Kesho, I will gladly do it." (Hutama intro)
"I have come to realise how many Hell guardians I have dispatched for Baron Samedi, in addition to the souls of my ancestors. One might think he plans to storm Hell itself and rule over this place of rot and decay. This journey must be transforming me. For I would now rather serve, in Heaven, than rule in Hell." (Intro to Okal battle)
"I know the Baron is taking advantage of my position. But I have not the mind nor the heart to care. I hear Kesho's cries in my deepest thoughts, and I find that I would do anything, for anyone, to calm her." (Ladhaa intro)
"As I walk, I glance back at the swathe of destruction I have left in my wake. Though I despise these errands I must perform for the Samedi, I can see that I will be much better prepared for my confrontation with Orad." (Seiomos intro)
"The fatigue in my limbs is matched only by that of my spirit on this endless quest. I have heard, in the mythology of another tribe, that the River Louth causes those who drink of it, to forget all they know. The temptation to drink away my burden is great, but I could not bear to lose my memories of my beloved..." (Limbo intro)
"I have to wonder what god could have conceived and engineered a place of such unremitted evil as this Underworld. And for what purpose? To provide a counterweight for the goodness and light which life is? Is no one's life without this hated balance?" (Intro to Purity battle)
"Baron Samedi says my time is short, but I know nothing of time. During my lengthy struggles, the land of the living may have experienced mere seconds, or countless generations. For the Baron's sake, and my Kesho's as well, the world had better be as I left it..." (Enoch intro)
"Ah... After an eternity of mayhem, finally... a goal to focus upon that is neither death, nor annihilation. In the Baron's view, demons are meant to be appeased, not destroyed. Which may give me insight into his true character. He had best live up to our bargain, lest he earn the wrath I am nurturing for my reunion with my brother." (Caina intro)
"Finally, I see the reason the Baron has ordered me through this complex maze of death. To retrieve the item which is the means of my restoration. He was wise to hide this goal from me, as I would have bypassed his petty battles and let myself out of this foul dungeon." (Gehenna intro)
"I have defeated the Mahdi, oh Great Baron. Please accept this sacrifice as a token of my good will..." (after defeating Mahdi)
"Take this gift wise Baron so my spirit and my bride can be free!" (after defeating Okal)
"Forgive me, Kesho. I make this sacrifice to appease the gods, to replenish my strength from the spirit world, so that we may soon be reunited. I do this for you..." (after defeating Purity)
"You are of pure spirit, Akuji. Capable of your next task. I have opened the door to Khalas. When you've captured the essence of your ancestors, you will need to find the ruins of the Temple of Goray. Inside these ruins you will encounter Vastu, Goray's minion. Defeat Vastu and you will gain access to the Spirit Gate. Then, return here." (opening Khalas)
"Yes, you serve me well, Akuji. You have collected enough souls. I've opened the door to Mahdi's lair. Defeat him and you may enter the second vestibule of Hell." (opening door to Mahdi battle)
"I've now opened the second vestibule for you to purge. Survive the Arena of Death, and you will reach the Spirit Gate that will return you here from Oinos" (opening the second vestibule)
"I have opened the door to Discord. To return here, you'll have to find your spiritual totem. Once you have transformed into your totem, you will be able to reach the Spirit Gate" (opening Discord)
"The door to Stygia is open. To reach the Spirit Gate, you will need to rebuild the statue of Malua, the snake god. Use it as a ladder to climb to the plateau. You will find the Spirit Gate there." (opening Stygia)
"I have opened the door to Hutama. To return from Hutama, you will have to defeat the shadow demons. They are invulnerable to magic or steel. However, they are said to fear the light." (opening Hutama)
"Okal, the warden of the second vestibule, must fall before you can progress to the third vestibule. I have opened the portal to his lair." (opening door to Okal battle)
"You have defeated Okal. You are now ready to descend to the third vestibule of the realm of the dead. Your next goal is simple, Akuji. After gathering the spirits, you must journey to the far side of Ladhaa, to find the Spirit Gate." (opening the third vestibule)
"Next, you will journey to Seiomos. The Spirit Gate is guarded by the Skull of Mantos. To return here, you must destroy it." (opening Seiomos)
"The portal to Limbo is now open. Your escape from Limbo will involve a trip on the River Louth. At the end of your journey, you will find the Spirit Gate." (opening Limbo)
"I can see an end to your suffering soon. You've almost gained access to the fourth vestibule of Hell. But first, you must defeat Purity, the warden of the third vestibule." (opening door to Purity battle)
"The fourth vestibule is yours to conquer. The Skull of Orwa guards the Spirit Gate of Enoch. Destroy it, and return here with the souls." (opening the fourth vestibule)
"To pass the land of Caina, you will need to appease the demon Balogun. Offer Balogun a sacrifice, and perhaps, you will be allowed to pass to the Spirit Gates." (opening Caina)
"Time is growing short for you and your Kesho. You must travel the flotsam of Gehenna, and obtain the Seal of Sadiki. Bring the seal to me, and your long journey will almost have reached its conclusion." (opening Gehenna)
"At last, the seal is mine! Ha ha ha! I'm free of this prison! You have served me well indeed. Without your help, I couldn't have circumvented the guardian spirits, your ancestors that bound me to this fate! You are a good man, Akuji. And a fool! You let love cloud your judgement. You have but one final task, Akuji: to fester in the abyss for all eternity!" (return from Gehenna)
Final Boss Intro
Baron Samedi: "How rude of me. I have forgotten something that's so very dear to you. Kesho, show yourself my lovely. Fear not Akuji, after your wife sees you die, she will have the honor of serving me, in ways that you could not. Ha ha ha ha ha! HA HA HA HA HA!"
Kesho: "Akuji! The Baron possessed your brother and ordered your murder. It was he who spoke to you through my voice. You must destroy him or all of Mamora will suffer!"
Kesho: "Akuji, I love you. Now you are whole again."
Akuji: "And our marriage will bring peace to Mamora."