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The Sorcerer Apprentice DS

The Sorcerer's Apprentice DS boxart.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice is an action adventure third person shooter puzzle videogame for the Nintendo DS published by Disney Interactive based off of the movie of the same name. It is rated E and was released on July 13, 2010.

Plot

Prologue

The game starts with Balthazar Blake's brief narration about his past where he saw his master, Merlin, killed by the wizard's former apprentice, the evil Morgana le Fay, before being defeated herself and sealed within The Grimhold. He also claimed that he has searching for the Prime Merlinean for hundreds of years until he found the candidate in New York.

In the present day, the 20 year-old nerd Dave Stutler was visiting Arcana Cabana due to invited by the enigmatic shop's proprietor (who is none other than the Merlinean Balthazar Blake himself). Balthazar told the young man that he will become an important sorcerer due to his magic potential. In the middle of their conversations, Dave's presence somehow causes The Grimhold near the duo unlocking its outermost layer by itself, releasing the notorious Morganian inside. The Morganian, Maxim Horvath, demanded Dave to tell him what year it was, but is immediately challenged by Balthazar. Horvath immediately banished the legendary sorcerer to the magical dimension and left, but not before taking the Grimhold with him.

With the notorious Morganian sorcerer on the loose, Balthazar conjures his telepathical projection to guide the reluctant Dave on Earth dimension during his pursuit for Horvath as well as teaching him the crash course of magic and science along the way. As the sorcerer's apprentice, Dave must master the elements of sorcery using magical attacks and spells to defeat the 6 evil sorcerers and their army of monsters in order to save New York.

District: Chinatown

Domain: Elements

Entering Chinatown District, Dave Stutler found the district being overrun by an army of monsters made of trash bags, sewage pipes, oil slicks, and chunks of concrete streets. Fighting his way for Maxim Horvath’s trail, Dave destroys spreading crystalline structures that Horvath use to spread his forces all over the district.

When the apprentice arrived at a Chinese temple where Horvath supposed to be, Sun Lok jumped out of nowhere, apparently released from the Grimhold. The Asian Morganian prepared for fight Dave, with Balthazar Blake explaining that he confined Sun Lok in 1532 A.D. (which may be an error since his statement contradicts Horvath’s claim in the film that Sun Lok lives around 200 years ago, implying that the Chinese Morganian was sealed around 1800s). After the difficult fight, Dave emerges victorious and successfully beat Sun Lok into pulp.

Suddenly, Horvath entered the scene, both disappointed with Sun Lok’s loss and intrigued by Dave’s magical powers. Just then, Balthazar’s projection appears and instructed Dave to immediately get the Grimhold. Before the apprentice could do anything however, Horvath unexpectedly killed Sun Lok with the Parasite Spell as punishment for his failure and took the Asian conjuror’s catalyst with him. Horvath then teleported away, with Balthazar discovered that he now invading University District to look for a new Morganian ally there. Fearful with everyone’s well-being there, Dave immediately set out for the invaded district.

District: University

Matter: Transformation

As with in Chinatown District, the Morganians’ monster army have overrun the area, but it seemed they did not much damage as before, given that they mostly focused their attack on Dave Stutler. Unlike before, surge of Mana used by Maxim Horvath to empowering and conjuring monsters was from the Transformation domain. As Dave fought his way for Horvath’s tracks, Balthazar become suspicious that they may not be dealing with one of the Grimhold's prisoners, but rather other Morganian.

As it turns out, they are facing a present day generation of Morganian, a flamboyant stage magician and Morganian apprentice named Drake Stone who stood on a stage. Balthazar was dismayed that they are now facing an evil sorcerer who wasted his talent for fame and fortune, but nevertheless, the sorcerer told Dave what to do. The battle between apprentices then began, but not before Drake revealed that Dave is the Prime Merlinean Horvath spoke of.

The fight was slighty more challenging as the tricky Drake revealed to capable in performing teleportation with magic, conjuring clones of himself, and summon monsters to his side in addition of energy bolts. Fortunately, with Dave also having his own new tricks up his sleeve, the Merlinean apprentice managed to defeat the stage magician. The defeated Drake left confused with how the apprentice able to defeat him, and Horvath showed up and reprimanded him for wasting his talent for “pulling rabbit out of a hat”. As with Sun Lok before, Horvath kills Drake with the Parasite Spell and stole his ring before teleported away. This act left Balthazar wonder on what will Horvath do with both the stolen energy and the magic rings, while Dave expressed his interest with the spell Horvath just used.

The chase continues once Balthazar pinpointed Horvath’s next stop at Downtown on the East side. Before resuming the chase, Balthazar revealed to Dave that he was Merlin’s centuries- old apprentice and Dave is indeed the heir of his late master. It was apparent that their mission now is to destroy the founder of the Morganians, Morgana le Fay herself.

District: Downtown

Domain: Matter

Arriving at Downtown, Balthazar Blake warned Dave Stutler that the Morganian monster army’s attacks were just the beginning of the worst that yet to come. The Merlinean sorcerer ponders on what Maxim Horvath wanted to do from both stolen energy and magic rings from both Drake and Sun Lok which gave him power of 2 sorcerers added to his own magic, and its connection with a surge of Mana from energy Domains that flooded attacked districts. Following the Grimhold’s energy signature, the 2 Merlineans found that Horvath is currently visiting the harbour, with the area was flooded with Mana surge from the Matter domain.

Approaching the source of Mana surge, Balthazar finally uncovered what Horvath planned to do, and knows the next sorcerer that he will released. To their surprise, it was Marrok, lord of Matter Domain, whom Balthazar confined in the third layer of the Grimhold. Balthazar explained that Marrok more famous as a gangster in the 1930s and have a fancy car to cruise the city before confined by Balthazar in 1935 A.D. and had his car taken by Balthazar himself. During their conversation, Marrok is confused with whom Dave talked to, as he cannot see Balthazar’s telepathic projection, before challenging Dave for the fight.

Unlike Sun Lok and Drake before him, Marrok was more like a physical adept due to utilizing his magic to enhanced his physical attributes beyond regular sorcerers and had a golem fight with his side. Even so, Dave was already skillful with magic that the Prime Merlinean easily defeated him. Defeated, Marrok become scared for overestimating the seemingly weak apprentice, and began to wonder who really Dave was. Just then, Horvath came to the scene and claimed that he will help him regarding his car. Instead of helping him, Horvath kills Marrok with the Parasite Spell and stole his ring before left, again.

Balthazar realized that by stealing powers from 3 sorcerers, combined with the fact that he has unlocked the 2 outermost layers of the Grimhold, Horvath is working on gaining enough power to unlock Morgana’s doll. Acting fast, he tracked down where Horvath is heading now, and found that the Morganian has arrived at Broadway. At this point, Mana from the Love domain flooded the district, with Horvath working on releasing second to last layer of the Grimhold.

District: Broadway

Domain: Love

Arriving at Broadway, as before, Mana from the Love domain flooded the district, empowering and bringing monsters to life. Fortunately, Dave easily dispatch them with new spells on his sleeve. Balthazar Blake reminded Dave Stutler not to get cocky with his current skills, and he realized that they missed something: In spite of gained more than enough power to unlock the Grimhold, he may unlikely strong enough to break Morgana le Fay free from her enchanted prison. Just then, Balthazar realized that each place they confront evil sorcerers, they arre getting closer to the center of Manhattan.

Entering the center of the Love domain, Balthazar aware that only one more prisoner left in the Grimhold far worse than Marrok. Dave believes that they dealing with a monstrous-looking Morganian, but instead, they facing Abigail Williams, the 12-year old mistress of the Love domain. Abigail asked him whether he loved anyone. Either due to nervous or meant to bluff, Dave claimed that he loves his roommate's pet dog. The cruel witch then states that what she like about love is how fragile it is, which made Dave believing that she had misfortune "in prom night". Balthazar sarcastically commented that she once enrolled in Salem High School at the class of 1692, with Dave, whom not knowing that Balthazar actually meant to tell that she was responsible for the infamous Salem Witch Trials, commented that she was so petty about love before the battle commenced.

Defeated, Abigail feels broken-hearted when Horvath showed up. Abigail thinking Horvath come to save her, only for the Morganian master to kill her with the accursed Parasite spell and took her catalyst before left, again. This time however, Horvath cloaked the Grimhold’s energy signature from Balthazar’s sensor magic thanks to his increased powers, resulting the wise Merlinean sorcerer unable to track him. To Dave’s delight, Balthazar managed to locate Horvath’s current location at the Uptown, right at the Deco building. Mana from the Time and Space domain also flooded the area as well.

District: Broadway

Domain: Space Time

Arriving at Uptown, the Merlineans realized that Maxim Horvath is pumping Mana from the Space-Time domain to the entire district as before, which also helping him to summon monster army so no one can bother him when he unlocked Morgana le Fay’s layer of the Grimhold. Analyzing what Horvath do so far, Balthazar commented that his scheme was like dropping a map and teleporting something to other dimension through the Space-Time domain. Not only that, fighting Horvath will not be easy due to him have 5 rings including his own. Dave had to move fast, as Balthazar senses a Space-Time energy burst. He said Horvath was likely at the center of the energy surge, but he’s yet to sense Grimhold’s presence.

Arriving at the supposed center of the Space-Time domain, Dave and Balthazar did not sense the presence of either the Grimhold or Horvath. Suddenly, Horvath showed up, stating that its is not sporting if they keep following him, making him had no time to stretch his legs. Dave then demanded the Grimhold from Horvath, but Horvath refuses as he is yet to break Morgana’s doll and taunted him. Balthazar told Dave that he shouldn’t take it to the heart, as Horvath already like that for thousands years, and he confides that Dave can beat him.

As the battle between Horvath and Dave began, Balthazar warned Dave that Horvath was the master of Space-Time domain more than other sorcerers, which means he can slow his foes’ movements with his magic. Of course, during the fight, Horvath occasionally summon temporal displacing ectoplasm mines in form of white orbs that would slow down his foes. Despite this, Dave’s experience and skills as sorcerer eventually allowed the young apprentice to defeat him in the end.

Unfortunately for the heroes, Horvath revealed that he had released Morgana le Fay not long before they arrived, and at this point, she is looking for perfect place to cast The Rising, the power to control life and death for summoning an army of undead evil sorcerers. The former Merlinean then dangerously casted the Parasite Spell on himself before combining his extracted energy with those of other sorcerers he slain to open the Forbidden domain with the stolen catalysts as a conduit. Though the process seemingly killed him, he managed to open the Forbidden domain at Central Park as means to aid Morgana in casting the spell. Dave then set out to stop Morgana and put an end to this sorcerous war for good.

District: Central Park

Domain: Forbidden

Arriving at Central Park, Balthazar Blake and Dave Stutler are certain that Morgana le Fay already present there and Balthazar had a bad feeling about it. Central Park is overflowing with Mana from the Forbidden domain, and monsters Dave encountered there are stronger than the previous ones. In spite of this, Dave able to press on, with Balthazar encouraging him. Dave has overcome the odds and have gotten stronger over the course of his adventures.

Getting closer to the center of the Forbidden domain, a castle emerged in the park, Balthazar revealed that a Morganian sorcerer built the place at this precise location within the 19th century. Because of it, the place was like a magnet for Mana from the Forbidden domain. That is why they had to found her fast, as had the Forbidden domain fully opened, she will have more than enough power to summon the dead.

Once entering Battery Park, Dave found Morgana busily performing the incantation for raising an army of the dead. Sensing his presence, she mistaken Dave being Horvath in disguise, but Dave (under Balthazar’s suggestion), denied by claiming that he is the Prime Merlinean destined to destroy her. Undaunted, Morgana belittles Dave being a mere boy whom in turn, responded that he is Balthazar’s apprentice. Learning that Balthazar took Dave as his apprentice, Morgana sneers Dave for lacking Merlin’s strengths and skills, making him weaker than either her or Merlin.

As the fateful final battle began, Balthazar told Dave that she is susceptible with electricity-based spell due to her shield deflects and nullifying other forms of magic. Since they are dealing with the evil sorceress that responsible for the Morganians’ foundation, the fight will never be easy as she can conjure Marrok’s signature concussive bolts from the ground, summoning monsters, performing Abigail’s red mine bolts, advanced version of Horvath’s temporal displacement ectoplasm mines, and armor-piercing blue bolts. Fortunately, with both his experience and learning Morgana’s attacking pattern, Dave finally managed to defeat her and sealed her back into The Grimhold.

With the Morganians all defeated, Balthazar asked Dave to returned him to Earth's dimension, a request that Dave fulfilled once Balthazar hinted Dave that all Mana residue left behind by Morganians can powered the necessary spell to returned him. To celebrate their success, Balthazar suggested that they buy a pizza, humorously stating that his prison had no food. To Dave’s dismay, Balthazar stated that Dave had to pay since he still had much to learn. Before they left, Dave asked whether they had to worry about Horvath, with Balthazar stated that they never have much to worry about him.

However, Horvath was revealed to survive his suicidal attempt to open the Forbidden domain, with magic in his cane and the stolen rings placed on it that has kept him alive.

Gameplay

Overview

The player take the role as Dave Stutler, who is tracking down Maxim Horvath whom escaped from the Grimhold and invading Manhattan alongside his fellow Morganians and an army of monsters. Whenever Dave encountered monsters, he had to endure and defeated few waves of them before proceeding.

The game is primarily controlled by handheld features and the process of activating Merlinean Spell is via using stylus on the touchscreen. Ricochet Bolt, spell of Elemental Domain, is Dave's first basic spell that he used until he proceed to new area where he later gained other basic spells from other domain. Out of six basic spell that Dave gained, only Ricochet Bolt that not consuming Mana. Had Dave's Mana reserves depleted, he will automatically switch to Ricochet Bolt. To activate a Merlinean spell, Dave must collect 3 Domain Shards required for that spell and when accessed via stylus, the player will play a minigame to either split, fuse, mix, and touch molecules until they dispersed completely before time runs out. Had the time runs out before the process finished, the spell will failed and the player had to start all over again.

Health and Mana

Health Meter TSA

Health Meter

When combating enemies, the player must keep an eye on Dave Stutler's health and Mana reserves. Dave's health bar is the white bar located on the upper left of the screen while his Mana reserve located on the upper right. Had Dave's health bar depleted completely, the player had to start all over again from the entrance of the area or portal where Dave emerged from. The player can restore Dave's lost health by taking medkits scattered around the area.
Mana Meter TSA

Dave's Mana Bar in Purple when Space-Time is chosen.

Also, when Dave casting spells with exception of Ricochet Bolt, it consumed his Mana reserve. Had his Mana reserve depleted, Dave will automatically choose Ricochet Bolt and cannot switch to other spell until his Mana reserves refilled itself after few minutes. Dave can also refill his Mana reserves by absorbing Mana-imbued objects around him where the said object glitters with energy. Unlike his health bar, the color of Dave's Mana reserve bar will change color depend on chosen spell.

Obstacles

Over the course of the game, Dave would face many obstacles around him, which gave him both advantages and disadvantages.

  • Magic Shards: Maxim Horvath’s conjured crystalline structure that serves as a teleporter beacon for transporting his monsters to designated area and (possibly) as conduit to bring objects near it to life.
  • Oil Barrels: Barrels that randomly found in the game. As with cars, they can explode if attacked with magic projectiles.
  • Cars: Parked Cars would explode if given enough damage.
  • Trash Bins: Horvath has enchanted some trash bins to periodically spewing forth hot steam that will harm Dave if struck. He had to avoid its steam blast as it cannot be destroyed.

Items, Power Ups, and Upgrades

  • Medkit: Restoring health.
  • Domain Shards: Domain shards are items needed so Dave can conjure his Merlinean Magic.
  • Portals: Portals are gateway for magical realm where Mana surge from the Domains of theMerlin Circle come from. Though during the events of the game the whole magical realm were overrun with monsters that Horvath conjured and gathered there before transported to strategic locations through magic shards at Manhattan, the monsters' presence in the realm made it perfect for Dave to fully mastered his Merlinean Magic. Upon entering tge magical realm, Dave must enter six different area of the ream each overflowing with Mana from different Domains and survived waves of monsters there to fully master hi Merlinean Magic. Each area can only accessed thrice (if he survive each battles in there) and had all areas have been entered, Dave will lost access to the magical realm.

Spells in Game

Merlinean Spells TSA DS

Merlinean Spells in-game

Spells that Dave mastered came from 6 domain of Merlin Circle where the domains in game are Element, Transformation, Matter, Love, Space Time, and Forbidden. Unlike in the film, Love and Forbidden are separate Domains and Mind Domain is absent.

Element Domain

Special Attack: Rock Storm (Summon a rain of rocks and boulders around Dave)

  • Elemental spell (Turquoise Bolt): Energy Bolt that can bounce with anything it hits. Holding the spell allowed Dave to aim where the bolt will go.

Transformation Domain

Special attack: Plasma Bolt (Summoning a lightning pylon from the sky that seek out and electrocuted enemies around Dave)

  • Transformation Spell: Green Plasma Surge: Firing a beam of green plasma blast. Can be fired in form of either a short-range salvo of 6 plasma beam, a medium-range 3 salvo of plasma beam, or long-range single plasma beam.
  • Green Shield: Passive spell where two orbs would protect Dave from enemies’ green bolts.

Matter Domain

Special Attack: Vacuum Sphere (Conjuring protective shield around Dave that also resulting any magic projectile that hitting the shield explodes. The explosion cannot harm the shield, but is very harmful to enemies within its radius. This defensive spell is perfect tool to turned enemies’ projectiles against them.)

  • Matter Spell: Grenade Yellow Bolt: Hurling yellow energy grenade.
  • Yellow Shield: Passive spell where two orbs would protect Dave from enemies’ yellow bolts.

Love Domain

Merlinean Spell: Absorption (Upon casted, Dave’s body enveloped by red aura that shoot out energy-draining tendrils that leeches energy from nearby enemies to heal his injuries) from nearby enemies to restore health)

  • Love Spell (Sweeping Red Bolts): Conjures a sweep of red bolt burst around Dave. Holding the spell allow to widened the radius of the attack.
  • Red Shield: Passive spell where two orbs would protect Dave from enemies’ red bolts.

Space-Time Domain

Merlinean Spell: Time Slow (Slowed down time around Dave that resulting him faster than he supposed to be)

  • Space-Time Spell: Rapid Purple Bolt: Conjuring rapid-firing purple bolt. Holding the spell would increase the rapid-fire of the bolts.
  • Purple Shield: Passive spell where two orbs would protect Dave from enemies’ purple bolts.

Forbidden Domain

Merlinean Spell: Outcast (Conjuring 3 homing blue orb around Dave that can banish monsters back to magical dimension)

  • Forbidden Spell (Blue missile): Conjures 3-5 homing blue bolts.
  • Blue Shield: Passive spell where two orbs would protect Dave from enemies' blue bolts.

Enemies

Monsters

Morganians

The Morganians as seen in the videogame The Sorcerer's Apprentice on Nintendo DS.

See: Monsters

Horvath and his fellow Morganians have enchanted objects in Manhattan into monsters that Dave must face as he track down escaped Morganians. At first, they seemingly left to cause destruction under their masters' command, but it is apparent that they actually conjured by their creators to deter Dave from succeeding. They must be dealed with extreme caution.

Bosses

Sun Lok

Sun Lok the Wizard

Sun Lok

So... You fight like a true sorcerer.
~ Sun Lok
Domain: Element

Dave can only move on the Yin-Yang Symbol as Sun Lok levitates around and fire either orange or green bolts. When Sun Lok stopped moving and switching between his orange and green bolts, the Asian Morganian is vulnerable, so blasted him when he do this until he defeated. After losing 1/3 of his health, he will infuse either Yin (green) or Yang (orange) part of the floor that resulting it glows and would harm Dave if he stood there. As with switching elements, he was vulnerable when casting this spell. Once he lost 2/3 of his health, he will use both attacks and attacking more aggressively.

Drake Stone

Drake Stone the Magician

Drake Stone

How did you do that? No matter... I have plenty more tricks up my sleeve.
~ Drake Stone
Domain: Transformation

Drake at first, only teleport on the stage where he summons two Mailboxes to his side. He only vulnerable when stood in front of red boxes on the stage. Upon losing his 1/3 health, Drake replaced two Mailboxes with two Fire Creepers to aiding him and began to personally attacked Dave by summoning explosive purple bolts whilst positioned himself behind speakers for cover. Once he lose 2/3 of his health, he began more aggressive attacks by dismissing his Fire Creepers before replacing them with a pair of clones of himself that firing yellow and purple bolts respectively. Both clones must be destroyed so he will stand before the red boxes on the stage where he was vulnerable. Once this happens, Dave must give everything he got to attack him. Repeat the process and Drake will be defeated.

Marrok

Marrok the Crime Lord

Marrok

What the…. ? No one messes with Marrok. Get ready, kid.
~ Marrok
Domain: Matter

Marrok is a powerful Morganian sorcerer who focused his magic for enhancing his physical attributes beyond that of regular sorcerer, giving him superhuman strength that allowed him to create shockwave by hammering his fist to the ground. When he sprinted for Dave, magic shield would appear around him for protection, but the shield dissipates when he hammering his fist to the ground for releasing shockwaves, which during that point, he was vulnerable. Upon losing 1/3 of his health, he will summon volatile yellow bolts from the ground that would explodes on the surface, releasing shockwaves that will harm Dave. Once he lost 2/3 of his health, he will temporarily retreat with a golem appears in his place. Dave must defeat the golem to continuing fighting Marrok.

Abigail Williams

Abigail Williams the Witch

Abigail Williams

How dare you manhandle me like that?
~ Abigail Williams
Domain: Love

Abigail is the evasive opponent throws 3 black volatile bolts called Heartbreaker from the top of neighboring building. To attack her, Dave had to use Matter spell to attack her whilst she firing her Heartbreaker. Once lose 1/3 of her health, she conjures 3 red mine-like bolts called Unrequited Love Spell and simultaneously summons Mailboxes to her side. Fortunately, the battle will not be difficult as those monsters drops Love Domain fragment to build up Absorption spell both to regain health and attacking Abigail. When she lost 2/3 of her health however, her attacks become more aggressive since she switches between either Heartbreaker or Unrequited Love and summon either Mailboxes or Sewage Pipes to her side. The fastest way to defeat her is by using Absorption spell.

Maxim Horvath

Maxim Horvath the Sorcerer

Maxim Horvath

It’s not over yet, Dave.
~ Maxim Horvath to Dave Stutler
Domain: Space-Time

Horvath is the powerful sorcerer whom capable in teleporting and his basic attack is purple bolts. Upon losing 1/3 of his health, Horvath will summon mines in form of white orbs that had Dave get too close with it, the bolt explodes and resulting his movement become slow for brief of time. Once losing 2/3 of his health, Horvath would summon Scorpion Bots, Spinners, to his side.

Morgana le Fay

Morgana le Fay the Sorceress

Morgana le Fay

So Merlinean… you do have some skills after all.
~ Morgana le Fay to Dave Stutler.
Domain: Love, Matter, Space-Time

Morgana can be considered as tge most powerful adversary considering that she was both founder and leader of Morganians. Because of it, she mastered her fellow Morganians’ special attacks. She can conjure Abigail’s signature spell Unrequited Love to throws 6 red mine-like bolts randomly alongside her basic spell blue energy bolts. Upon losing 1/3 of her health, she will summon Paper Tornadoes, Scorpion Bots, and Trash Bags to her side as well as conjuring Marrok’s volatile yellow bolts from the ground that Dave had to avoid before it explodes. Like Marrok, after summoning her minions, she retreats until her summoned minions destroyed. After losing 2/3 of her health, she conjures purple version of Horvath’s temporal displacing ectoplasm mines and summon a straight piercing blue bolt which shape similar with Dave’s Forbidden spell bolt.

Reception

The game received a 66 from GamingXP and a 3\10 for Gamestop user reviews. Critics complained about the game being slightly generic and typical for a game of it's kind.

Gallery

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