|Kameo: Elements of Power|
|Publisher||Microsoft Game Studios|
|Release dates||February 2, 2006 (JP)|
November 7, 2005 (NA)
|Modes||Single player, Multiplayer|
For countless generations, it has always been tradition that the Element of Power and the Wotnot (two legendary and powerful relics created by the Gods) are to be passed to the eldest heir of the royal family.
To prepare for this daunting and powerful responsibility, the eldest child must dedicate themselves to this intense training for many years until their 18th birthday, upon which they are coronated as the next ruler of the kingdom. Leading up to this, the current ruler must train the upcoming heir for both the Wotnot and the Element of Power.
When the Elven Queen and mother of the two, Theena, decides to break tradition by refusing to train Kalus and give everything to Kameo, the rightful heir Kalus is distraught and becomes furious for Theena's favouritism and betrayal. She flees the castle and breaks the Ultimate Curse that was cast against the violent but cunning Troll King Thorn, keeping him captive for 16 years. They come to an agreement to work together and take back the Enchanted Kingdom, the Throne and Kalus' birthright back by force, in exchange for the Tribal Lands.
Thorn, working with Kalus, kidnaps Kameo's family. Kameo, ignoring the warnings given to her by Ortho, heads to Thorn's Castle, breaking in with the help of the 3 warriors that she inherited from Theena. Making her way through the castle, she finds Kalus extracting her revenge against her family for everything they had done to her over the years, unaware of Kameo's presence.
Kameo is quickly ambushed by a giant troll, who hits her so hard that the 3 warriors (Pummelweed, Chilla and Major Ruin), are knocked out of her as she hits and bounces off a pillar, landing next to an unconscious Theena on the floor.
Theena awakes and sees Kameo before giving Kalus a dirty look but Kalus only smiles, no longer caring after years of neglect and abuse from her own mother and family, continuing to cast dark magic on Yeros, Lenya and Halis. The giant troll is about to crush and kill the badly wounded Kameo but Theena uses the last of her magic to teleport Kameo back to the Enchanted Kingdom before he has a chance to do so.
When Kameo awakes, she finds herself in a hut, only to hear bad news and to be scolded for acting so carelessly. The Mystic instructs Kameo to find all 10 Elemental Warriors, as she would stand a better chance against Thorn next time. After reclaiming the now fully repaired Wotnot, with Ortho (who accidentally trapped himself inside) Kameo heads out on her quest to recover all 10 Elemental Warriors, rescue her family and confront Thorn and Kalus, while learning some things about herself on the way.
Kameo's main objective during the game is the 10 elemental warriors, which she must collect to progress through the game. At the beginning Kameo has the power of 3 elemental warriors, but these are lost due to an attack from the game's villain, Thorn. Kameo must defeat shadow trolls to regain the elemental warriors, although the ancestors will also reward her with an elemental warrior. Also available throughout the game are elemental fruit, which can be either found or awarded to the player for helping the villagers solve problems. These can then be used to purchase upgrades for the warriors. The concept of playing a shape-shifter that collects more and more shapes was first used in the old Shadowcaster PC game.
The names of the elemental warriors are as follows:
- Pummelweed - A plant-like forest elemental warrior that packs a mean punch. Close combat fighter that uses jabs and uppercuts. The first elemental warrior you encounter.
- Snare - Another plant-like elemental warrior, but of the acid element. Snare has powerful jaws and has the ability to bite, swallow or spit out enemies, as well as spew acid.
- Rubble - Simply a pile of rocks. Though he may seem useless at first glance, this elemental warrior proves to be essential on Kameo's quests. Rubble is able to shoot his rock limbs at enemies. He has the rock element.
- Major Ruin - An armadillo-like, elephantlike elemental warrior of the spike element. He is able to roll up into his shell and plough through the enemy at high speed, sometimes picking up the occasional 'hitch-hiker'.
- Ash - A powerful dragon-like elemental warrior of the fire element, often underestimated by his enemies. Although he is relitively small for a dragon, he can easily turn an imposing Troll into a wildfire. His wings are useless as they cannot support his massive body weight.
- Thermite - A small termite-like elemental warrior, that carries a large volcano-like cauldron on his back. He is capable of unleashing several devastating attacks out of this cauldron. He is of the lava element.
- Chilla - A snow elemental warrior that resembles a yeti. He has multiple ice spikes protruding from his back which he can detach and throw at enemies. Chilla is also able to climb ice walls and grab small enemies and use them as clubs.
- 40 Below - A large, legless ice elemental warrior that travels around atop a snowball limb. 40 Below has icy breath and can create a large, spiky snowball that he can use for a variety of attacks.
- Flex - An electricity elemental warrior with four tentacles with the ability to stretch his body and grab and attack enemies from a distance. And whereas most people would use Deep Blue to go through water, not many think to use Flex to skim ontop.
- Deep Blue - A water elemental warrior resembling a squid and a jellyfish who is most at home underwater. He is a weak-out-of-water creature that should mainly be used for underwater fights and fire creatures. He is able to swim at fast speed and can shoot torpedoes underwater, as well as shoot water and oil when on land. Combine oil and fire to create a better flamethrower than Ash.
- Kameo also gains the companionship of a war horse and a war raptor with mounted canons in the Badlands.
Kameo was originally planned for the Nintendo GameCube and was set to be one of Rare's flagship titles for the system, along with Star Fox Adventures and Donkey Kong Racing. However, when Microsoft announced its purchase of Rare in late 2002, Kameo's future was put in question. It was decided that work would continue on the Xbox and a planned release date of 2003 was given. The game was almost completed but after several revamps, causing repeated delays, Kameo was put on indefinite hold in late 2004.
Following this, rumors began that the game was once again undergoing a platform change, this time from the Xbox to the Xbox 360, where it was officially the first game for the system, being exclusive to the new console.
- Throughout development, Kameo's appearance and the story changed, with rumors that Kameo initially had plans for the Nintendo 64 with a few videos to support this. Between Nintendo 64 to GameCube and even on XBOX, Kameo had a white outfit and the primary focus was on catching Elemental sprites, training and feeding them until they grew into their adult forms (the Elemental Warriors that we know today) with over 60 monster designs. This was cut down to 12 with 2 air elemental warriors (the most famous being the Whirlybird Warrior) but these warriors were removed, as it allowed players to bypass puzzles.
- There were dragon companions for both Kameo and Kalus, the popular and much loved former sidekick Meepo, and the less known companion of Kalus, Kreepo. Meepo and Kreepo were known to have a fierce rivalry. Meepo was used to allow Kameo to capture the Elemental babies, playing as their baby forms to catch critters and train them, so they would grow into their adult forms as the warriors. This mechanic, as well as Meepo, Kreepo and Cailem (who would have been Kameo's twin brother) being scrapped and reworked or tweaked to be used elsewhere in the game.
- Kreepo's model was reworked to be the red dragons seen flying around Thorn's castle, while some speculate that Meepo was possibly reworked into Ash, but those are just rumours. Cailem was reworked into Farron, but the focus of his story was dropped to being a mysterious stranger that helps out in the war, on the battlefield. Whether his plot was left to be used in the sequel or dropped all together is unknown.
- While the game doesn't go that much into the character's history or backstories, there are external, canon sources to cover this, such as the official manga, the 8 episode podcast, content from the official Kameo website, but most importantly, 2 journals written by both Kameo and Kalus. If anything is vital for Kameo players to read, it's these two entries. They describe events that lead up to the game itself, starting a week before the game. It explains many aspects of characters that the game did not, including Kalus frequently being neglected and abused verbally by Theena in favor of Kameo, as well as Kameo being aware of this favoritism.
- The expert mode was actually meant to be a DLC but because of the file size being 8GB, at the time it was unrealistic, so Rare reworked it to already be part of the game. It was initially set as a trap for Kameo after the story-line was completed, where she would have to fight her way back to return home (thus why the levels are flipped as well)
- The launch of the game brought with it the sale of an official soundtrack featuring 27 musical tracks from the game. There are also tracks that can be found from the XBOX version of the game online, which include sound effects, such as Meepo yelling in a fight, or dialogue from the XBOX version when they stopped using Rare's 'Gibberish' language it is well known for.