Clive Barker's Jericho

Clive Barker's Jericho

Clive Barker's Jericho sees Clive working in partnership with Codemasters and Alchemic Productions to create this next-generation game which launched in late October 2007. Aimed at mature gamers, Jericho is designed to combine 'the darkest elements of Barker's horror fiction and films with an ambitious age-spanning story' and will be available for PC, XBox 360 and PS3.
Barker has created a storyline based on a quest through a lost city which has reappeared in a remote desert. Within the city is an evil from the dawn of time which must be hunted down and destroyed by a Special Forces squad using both conventional and arcane weapons. Developed by Mercury Steam, the game takes players through a maze of chambers - in which warriors of different ages are imprisoned, each one earlier than the last - until they finally encounter The Firstborn...
Complex gameplay features include 'threading' whereby players will be able to combine the unique abilities of more than one member of the seven-man squad, and have the ability to switch from one character to another. The Jericho squad comprises Frank Delgado (pyromancer), Billie Church (blood ward), Xavier Jones (seer), Paul Rawlings (exorcist), Abigail Black (telekinetic) and Simone Cole (reality hacker), led by Captain Devin Ross (psychic)... are running a video interview with Clive, Gamespot UK have an extended preview and Gamespy have included Jericho in their E3 Top 10 Best of Show awards whilst are running gameplay videos as Codemasters launch their official Jericho website.
Chosen for the project by Clive (see below), Cris Velasco's soundtrack can be heard on the introductory gameplay trailer, available from the archive / download section of the Jericho site. Check out the 'newly discovered' DOW dossier there too as well as the Jericho community website which now hosts four squad movies, personnel files and much more...
The long-awaited Jericho demo was heralded by the release of a new movie and is now widely available. Access the Games for Windows demo at, at Xbox Live Marketplace for the Xbox 360 and, in the U.S., from PlayStation Store for PlayStation 3. In Europe, the PlayStation 3 demo is now also available.
With Jericho now widely on release, watch out for the Oliver Smith-voiced TV spot...
Codemasters are taking orders here...
Philips and Codemasters have announced that amBX patches will be available for Jericho by the end of the year (at Shorthand for 'ambient experiences', amBX delivers a full 'sensory surround experience' by allowing developers to use light, colour, sound, rumble and even air flow through enabled devices, including the Philips amBX PC Gaming Peripherals range of LED colour-controlled lighting, rumble peripherals and variable speed desktop fans - phew!
Jericho has now sold over 100,000 copies and 20 November 2008 saw its re-release by Mastertronic on the MAD label at the value price of £9.99...
Talk of a sequel to Jericho looked good for a while, but now looks unlikely - catch up with Clive's thoughts here

Jericho - MAD release Jericho - UK PC

"I don't want to give too much away just yet, but the concept is that somewhere in northern Africa there is a walled city which is not just a walled city but walls within walls within walls. It's like Russian dolls, spaces within each other, and trapped inside each space is a slice of time where the warriors of good have gone against ultimate evil and have lost... Some are evil, some are not, and you have to make up your own mind
"It becomes a more primal experience as well, because the means of combat become more crude and the people become in a way simpler... I think the player is going to get quite a series of spectacles because they get closer to something that makes the devil look like Pollyanna."

Barker Hears Call, Creates 'Jericho' Game

By Chris Marlowe, Hollywood Reporter, 18 July 2006

"Players will constantly be given new challenges, new environments, and yes, new horrors and abominations to face every step of the way... However, unlike a conventional game in which the characters are attempting to escape at the end of their ride through Hell, our protagonists have a much more difficult task. The closer they come to the end of their trek into darkness, the nearer they get to the source of that darkness: Evil Incarnate, we'll call it for now... "

Major New Blast From Clive Barker's Cannon Of Nightmares To Appear As Supernatural Horror Video Game

By [ ], Press Release, Codemasters, 19 July 2006

"I'm excited about the game because the story is I believe fresh and because of that we have a greater chance of scaring the shit out of the players around the world! I'd [been] carrying the idea of Jericho around in my head before I'd even talked about the project, so I feel very close to it. I'd love people to think of Jericho the way I thought of, let's say 'Alien', when that movie was about to come out. Teased with glimpses but never given the whole monstrous truth until the story was told on the screen. Jericho should be the same. Unique and terrifying...
"I like to contribute both images and story to the game's projects I get involved with. Often the images are simply sketches to illustrate my thoughts for the designers. It's certainly useful to be able to 'talk' in both words and pictures...
"There's no doubt that if Jericho is liked by players we will take our psychic squad out on other adventures (assuming, of course, any of them survive.) The human appetite for mystery and terror has never waned even when, as now, the world is filled with very real terrors. Maybe that's the connection. Maybe we seek out games and stories that allow us a measure of control over the horrors of the invented world: a control which we do not have, regrettably, in the real world."

Q&A: Clive Barker's Jericho

By [ ], online for Xbox 360 print magazine 'Readers Only' at, 13 February 2007


"I have had for a long time the basic concept of this game... for four or five years, refining it, trying to figure out how I want it to use it... (perfect excuse, of course, for me to go into obscure bookstores in New York and in Europe)...
"This time Brian and I had the chance to make this from the ground up, and that is a whole different experience. Jericho is ours and that excites me. I feel that we have something up our sleeves which we can reasonably guarantee that no one has ever seen before."

Previews: Jericho

By Matt Leone,, 20 March 2007 (note - full text online at

"Cris Velasco's music for Clive Barker's Jericho is exquisite. Filled with yearning, dark energy, threat and redemption, it is the unstoppable engine in the terrifying ghost train of Jericho."

Clive Barker's Jericho To Feature Original Soundtrack By Cris Velasco

By [ ], Press Release, 17 August 2007

"[Jericho] is coming out at the same time as the book [Mister B. Gone] - it's two radically different kinds of fantastication. I think the game looks extraordinary, and it's visceral as hell - very much for a mature audience... This is a medium that people get a lot of pleasure from - it is a medium which allows you to create worlds, it's a medium where the technology is picking up with such speed that who knows what tomorrow is going to provide? And I like the idea of having fifteen hours of yes, mostly battle, in Jericho. I'm told it's great fun to play; I am now a voyeur of games, I just sit on my butt and watch but it's fun as hell to watch people play it. And it's very intense and very gross and dark and unrelenting."

Hellfire And The Demonation

By Phil and Sarah Stokes, 7 September 2007 (note - full text here)

"I want to take this opportunity, before we look at the demonstration and before we talk to each other - which is much more important to me than monologue - I do want to take this opportunity to say something which I know all of you know, but it is important to emphasise: the making of a game is not the work of one man. Even though my name is above the title, I was not alone in this huge endeavour.
"I have worked with the guys at Mercury Steam over a period of years now, developing, sending drawings backwards and forwards, sending ideas backwards and forwards, always trying to push the envelope, always looking for the taboo, the forbidden. Always trying to find images that have not been seen before. This is hard. In gaming there is a tendency, as there is in every other art form - and it is an art form - for games to resemble the games that came before them. So we have a lot of games that look as though somebody had been reading Lord of the Rings, a lot of games that suggest someone saw The Matrix and while, of course, you can never be completely new because it's not the nature of the human imagination to be able to push out everything that you know, wherever we found something in the work that looked too much like something else in somebody else's work, we threw it out.
"The folks at Mercury Steam have been extraordinary in their patience with my desire and ambition for this game. I have had, until now, bad experiences with games, but I have faith in the medium."

Jericho Presentation

Transcript of a press event with Mercury Steam at the Casino de Madrid, Spain, 10 October 2007

"There's no question that when I went to see Hammer movies back in the '70s I was enjoying - I was looking forward to those deaths. What I was really looking forward to with the murders and the big set-to at the end. But now I feel what I've lost is the power to care at all about most of the characters [in these newer horror movies], which is one of the reasons we've gone back [to rework Jericho].
"All of the Jericho characters are being re-voiced at my request because I don't feel you get enough feeling out of them. I don't think you get a sense of them being stirred up, panicked. A movie like Alien, I'd like to think at its best, that's how this game could work. You don't know that much about the characters, as in 'Alien,' but you know enough to care."

The Clive Barker Interview

By N'Gai Croal, Level Up,, 24 October 2007 (note - full text online at

"I'm sure I'm a pain in the arse and I'm sure I'm a difficult man to please but on the other hand I think most people that are looking at the material right now are damned pleased they went that extra mile with it...
"I had right of veto for the music and in March of last year I got a version of the game with music on it, music that I'd never heard before or been asked to hear, or whatever. I went ape shit. Music is such an important part of an experience and this stuff was like going back to gay disco from 1982, which went down like a lead balloon. I knew what the music was. I knew what I wanted it to be. I even had a composer in mind, Chris Velasco, who ended up doing the music and did a fucking fantastic job.
"It really irritated me that somebody had tried to whisk this by me without my being told. I have my name on this game and I'm very proud of it and I'd have done whatever I needed to do and if that means being a pain in the ass - live with it bitch!"

Jericho / Hellraiser: Clive Barker Reveals All!

By Mister Disgusting, Bloody, 7 November 2007

Barry Jafrato (Codemasters): "Clive's astounding skills in creating the darkest of fantastical scenarios that twist our dreams makes him the perfect creator for a rich horror video game. The visual and audio capabilities of the next-generation gaming formats will enable this project to be realised as an incredible experience with scenarios and cinematographic effects that will both thrill and terrify."

Major New Blast From Clive Barker's Cannon Of Nightmares To Appear As Supernatural Horror Video Game

By [ ], Press Release, Codemasters, 19 July 2006

Joe Falke (Chief Games Designer): "Jericho... is straddling a lot of fences: it's a squad-based shooter; a high-octane-high-action first-person shooter (FPS); and then a thoroughly suspenseful horror game. So we have to break the action up and do a lot of different things that you wouldn't normally do in any one of those [other] genres. We are paying very special attention to the sound - the themes, the music that's going into the game. We want to build up a central, typical horror film soundtrack to scare the player without him knowing why they are being scared. A very blatant example would be 'Jaws' - they use that theme the first four or five times in the film to let you know that someone is about to get torn to bits, but then at a later stage in the film they start to do it but nobody is actually torn to bits. It is one of the extra hooks you can use to play with people's minds.
"We are also using a lot of cinematic hooks from horror films to make the game scary. One of the challenges with our game is that we have six armed-to-the-teeth supernatural soldiers, which is very different from a title such as Resident Evil, where you are all by yourself with one shotgun shell. It is much easier to make someone scared if they are alone, so what we have to do is break up and pace the action. A lot of times the commander will say: 'Church, you're off on your own, this is a mission you're completing'. And we'll send Church off on this adventure by himself, without the rest of the squad, using that opportunity to present some sort of horrific situation.
"We're also using very, very high-quality interactive cut-scenes, which is nothing new, but I think we're doing it in a way that no-one's really ever done before - it's very intuitive... we're working very closely with MercurySteam to develop a subtly different approach to dealing with these interactive cut-scenes to make them seamless. We're trying to make you not think about what you're doing with the controller - you just know what you're doing anyway, and the movements become natural. I find the game becomes much scarier that way, much more terrifying."

Trick Or Treat?

By [ ], Scenta, 28 September 2006 (note - full text online at

Press Release: "Clive Barker's Jericho leads the Jericho Team toward a source of ancient evil so supremely powerful that it has broken through time into our world and is threatening to engulf the Earth. At ground zero lies the Middle Eastern city of Al-Khali, the site of a huge, secret archaeological dig and paranormal research centre, now the heart of a dimensional rift.
"Players must navigate Al Khali's labyrinthine of streets, alleys and structures, moving block by block in search of the rift. As the squad approaches the target, the city now crawling with hellish denizens emerging from the source, the team is forced to rely less and less on traditional weapons and instead on harnessing their combined psychic abilities to defeat the supernatural nemesis no matter how horrific their looks or attacks may be."

The Nightmares Begin As Clive Barker's Jericho Unleashes New Video Trailer And Screenshots

By [ ], Press Release, Codemasters, 31 October 2006

Jericho - Crusader

Enric Alvarez (Project Leader): "I think top talent is attracted to videogames because our art is getting better at telling stories in an interesting and interactive manner. Games aren't turning into movies, but games are maturing the same way movies did way back when. We're entering an exciting era - a time to explore and try new things...
"I know that Clive has always been interested in games because he sees the increasing narrative potential and recognises the level of immersion that only games can provide. When conceiving Jericho, as Clive puts it, the idea just 'felt' more like a game than, say, a book , movie or TV show."

Clive Barker's Jericho: Oh, The Horror

By Evan Shamoon, Computer Gaming World, Vol 0 Issue 1, 1 December 2006

Joe Falke (Chief Games Designer): "The city of Al-Khali, or in modern times, the ruins of Al-Khali, is always present. During key moments of conflict or strife, a giant sandstorm envelops Al-Khali and everyone in it. Each time the growing storm appears, a team of spiritual warriors has entered the storm, banishing it, but never returning...
"Each time the storm has appeared and been banished, a different version of Al-Khali has been taken into another dimension. When the Jericho Squad enters this storm, they're entering into this dimension comprised of all the different versions of Al-Khali from times past. All those who were in the city at the time are trapped in a state of undeath, warring and fighting for power over their dominions.
"Previous Jericho Squads include Sumerian priests, Roman centurions, Knights Templar and British commandos. Some have succumbed to 'the Box' and become servants of the evil force that rules there. Others have held out, attempting to aid the next generation of warriors who must save their world. All have been altered by the experience... The game is basically the Argos Catalogue of foul. It depends on what sir requires to sate his desire for the disgusting. How does a child who's been ripped in half and attacks you with its entrails sound? A suicide bomber who puts the explosive inside his body? How about a woman who makes her furniture out of human flesh? A man who's been nailed to a cross, every joint in his body fused to that so that he suffers for eternity? How about a guy who's flayed the skin on his back into wings and dug the flesh out around his eye sockets so he can better see his prey? Take your pick. Sick bags sold separately.."

Clive Barker's Jericho

By [ ],, 6 January 2007 (note - full text online at

Brian Gomez (Alchemic Productions): "A lot of villains in Clive's novels and his books could just as easily be the hero of their own story if you just saw it from their point of view. And that's exactly the type of villain we've got the player coming up against, so we didn't want to just do the mindless evil that's going to corrupt the world for the sake of it - he's got an agenda. And once the team sees what that agenda is, they're going to be posed with some very interesting decisions."

Previews: Jericho

By Matt Leone,, 20 March, 2007 (note - full text online at

Joe Falke (Chief Games Designer): [How long will Jericho be?] "Fifteen hours, we would shoot, for the single player experience - we feel that's quite long these days. We're very, very proud of it - it's a very deep story, it's a very engrossing fifteen hours...
"Because we are working with Clive, story's number one, you know what I mean?"

E3 2007 Interviews: Joe Falke

By [ ], Game, July, 2007 (note - full interview online at

Tim Woodley (VP Branding, Codemasters): "Obviously the game is quite plot-driven, so it is not going to include multiplayer. We thought long and hard about first-person-shooters, and how people expect them to include multiplayer in this day and age. When you think about what Jericho is, and how the storyline delivers and provides the ability to bend time and slow down time, this creates all kinds of physical difficulties. If you were to create a multiplayer that had any real worth you'd have to strip away all of those special things that are so crucial to the single-player. Ultimately all you'd be left with would be the maps we'd created and a bit of deathmatch and capture the flag. Rather than put that in and get marked down for a weak multiplayer, we thought 'no, we're going to concentrate on creating what is essentially a multiplayer game in a single-player world'. It was an agonising decision but we feel we've made the right one...
"The way I look at it is that it happens to be told from a first-person perspective, but it could just have easily been third person. If you look at Resident Evil or Silent Hill it is all about the single-player storyline. And again, how would you include a character that slows down time in a multiplayer space?"

Clive Barker's Jericho Interview

By Will Freeman, Pro-G, 23 July 2007 (note - full text online at

Joe Falke (Chief Games Designer): "You play as Devon Ross. He's useful in that he can possess the other characters and use their weapons. Casper the Friendly Ghost can't tear your house down with a minigun, but Devon Ross can. Playing as a dead character is the dynamic by which we can justify giving the player control of all the characters in the squad. The character switching isn't some kitschy, throwback games thing. It's all part of the narrative. That's what you get with Clive: justification. There are no crates of ammo lying about for no reason. You don't walk over medipacks."

Joe Falke Exposes Jericho

By Duncan Lawson,, 14 August 2007 (note - full text online at

Rod Cousens (CEO, Codemasters): "Everyone within Codemasters is extremely excited to have both Clive Barker's Jericho and Turning Point: Fall of Liberty playable at this year's Games Convention in Leipzig.
"We have very high hopes for both titles and, as we continue to increase Codemasters growing presence, we recognise the significance of allowing our fans and consumers to get an early taste of what's to come, and this year's Games Convention in Germany is the perfect opportunity to do so."

Codemasters Spotlights Stellar Line-Up At Games Convention, Leipzig

By [ ], Press Release, 15 August, 2007

Cris Velasco : "We wanted to set an almost religious tone for a lot of the score. I used a choir singing text right from the Latin Mass to help achieve this. I also wrote for a boy soprano to represent the Firstborn. There's no other sound like this and it was perfect to give the Firstborn an air of innocence but at the same time with a very creepy quality to it. I wanted his theme to lure the player in like the Siren's song. Sort of 'everything's ok, I won't hurt you' but with a hint of danger and malice behind it.
"Clive and I also listened to a lot of really cool late 20th century writing like Ligeti and Penderecki for that unsettling, something's not right kind of vibe. This was an important tone to get across to the player since we're talking about a horror game. I really just wanted to keep things a bit understated and subtly accent the visuals since they are already so disturbing.
"Another really cool idea that Clive had was to include some type of chanting theme. Something that represents evil. So I recorded both the choir and the boy soprano doing this chant which basically translates to 'evil approaches.' I had them go from a whisper into an angry, guttural shout as if they were raising a demon from the earth and trying to force their will upon it. Hopefully, this chant is experienced by the players the way I intended it to come across. It should be growing in intensity, as it's sprinkled throughout the game, the closer you get to the final confrontation....
"[The soundtrack] will be packaged with the game. I'm currently working with London Green Studios on assembling a CD that is meant to tell the story of Jericho while listening to it. The whole soundtrack is meant to be listened to from front to back as one long track."

Interview With Clive Barker's Jericho Composer Cris Velasco

By [ ],, 17 August, 2007 (note - full text online at

Cris Velasco : "The challenge is always to strike the right tone for the game. This is always the first step in writing any kind of score. How do I capture the essence of Jericho musically? Something I strive to do in any project I take on is to try to make the score work even if the narrative and visuals are stripped away. I want people to be able to hear the music and say, 'that sounds like Jericho'...
"Codemasters was kind enough to lend me a 360 devkit so that I could play through the whole game myself. I can't begin to tell you how much this helped my creative process. I've gotten quite used to working with very little material from the games I work on. Being able to play through Jericho in its entirety allowed me to make sure the score was working every step of the way.."

Cris Velasco On Composing His 'Dream Project' - Clive Barker's Jericho

By Louis Bedigian, GameZone, 6 September, 2007 (note - full text online at

Cris Velasco : "As a composer I'm influenced by many things. Seeing other creative endeavours in any medium usually sparks something in my head and makes me want to write... In regards to Clive Barker and his work all I can say is that something just clicked with me when I was first introduced to his novels years ago. When I read his books I really believe in these characters and get wrapped up emotionally in what's happening to them. It's just a simple step to take these emotions he's elicited from me and translate them into music. I've always felt that the worlds he creates have been begging to have music written for them, and with Jericho I finally had the chance to try my hand at that...
"What was most challenging for me was feeling the responsibility of doing justice to Clive's story. I wanted the music to really help with immersing the player into this wonderful world he has created. In that sense it almost felt more like scoring a film than a game. I wanted to capture the arc of the story rather than just scoring it as a series of interchangeable fight and ambient cues. One of the hardest things for a composer to do I think is to give a film or game its own unique voice. I truly hope that when players listen to my score they'll say, 'This sounds like Jericho.'"

Clive Barker's Jericho: Soundscapes From The Dark Beyond

By Spence D, IGN, 17 September, 2007 (note - full text online at

Cris Velasco : "Writing the music for Jericho was an intense but rewarding experience. Clive is obviously a well-rounded artist, and his knowledge of music is quite extensive. He and I had several meetings at his studio where he played me some pieces in the style he had in mind for the game. By adding some of my own influences, we came up with a score that's terrifying, disturbing, epic and even beautiful as it unfolds."

Composer Talks Barker's Jericho Game

By Sean Decker,, 19 September, 2007 (note - full text online at

Raul Rubio (Designer, Mercury Steam) : "Problems are intrinsic to any project. Fortunately, we have a bunch of talented people to solve any unexpected situation. Perhaps, the biggest challenge was to merge the tactical action with the horror genre. It's difficult to create tension with six elite soldiers armed to the teeth supporting you. Another one was the integration between the action and the story... In fact the original ending had to be changed when the game was almost completed, but everything went alright...
"Jericho's AI is possibly one of the things we are most proud of. We usually joke saying that Clive Barker's Jericho won't be remembered for its AI, which is wonderful. People tend to remember the things you did wrong. When an NPC gets stuck on the wall with that unfortunate running animation, then everybody talks about that game X horrible AI. But seldom there's a review that says 'the path-finding calculation and its dynamic path-smoothing are brilliant and quite optimized', 'the sensorial control for enemies is configurable' or 'the NPC's decision tree is influenced by its surroundings'. Average players do expect that enemies smell you when approaching from behind; they do expect that monsters turn around if you shine torchlight on them; do expect that patrolling enemies warm his pals when spotting you. And, of course, they do expect that enemies can dodge all the obstacles while on the middle of a battle. And all this while the AI manages a 6-member squad able to take cover, work as a team, help other team members when they are in trouble, and take care of themselves looking for advantageous positions... Yeah, piece of cake..."

Clive Barker's Jericho

By Dan Webb, Xbox360 Acheivements, 27 September, 2007 (note - full podcast online at

Andrew Wafer (Product Brand Manager, Codemasters) : "The game is Clive's idea - he had his vision, not as a book, or as a film or a painting, but a game. So this game is very personal to Clive and really, apart from the really technical stuff, he's had input across the board. We obviously learnt a huge amount about cinematics and translating horror into the game using sound, design and pacing. Clive also had sign off on the project - if it didn't meet his expectations or visions, it didn't go in. Which is great, because it shows his commitment to games as a medium - it's not a cash in, but a medium in which he can contribute something meaningful and provide a unique experience."

Clive Barker's Jericho - Developer Interview

By Neil Vaughan, Totally, 25 October, 2007 (note - full text online at

Jo Cooke (Chief Marketing Officer, Philips amBX) : "The patches for Overlord and Clive Barker's Jericho demonstrate that we can amBX-enable games even after launch, making them fully amBX-enabled and quickly distribute them to gamers through the web site and magazine covermounts.
"These great games continue to build on our relationship with Codemasters, which will see us amBX-enable many more titles from this award-winning British publisher over the coming months."

Philips Summons amBX To Overlord And Jericho

By [Mark Ward], Press Release, 15 November, 2007

Rod Cousens (Chief Executive, Codemasters) : "[Clive] is one of the more interesting men I have met. He has one house to paint in, another to write in and one to live in...
"We were not in horror and to have an alliance with one of the greatest horror writers in the world was a great asset to us. He is passionate about games."

Cracking The Code Is All In The Game

By Terry Murden,, 18 November, 2007 (note - full text online at

Preview: "Do we really need another psychological FPS in the vein of 'Condemned' and 'F.E.A.R.'? Well, according to Clive Barker and Codemasters we do, and we're bloody well going to like it as well... There's certainly potential with Barker's new videogame... Clive is no stranger to videogames. Undying was released for the PC and Mac back in 2001 and immediately received rave reviews due to its highly impressive visuals - which Jericho is easily matching, along with interesting gameplay mechanics and a tense atmosphere.
"Suddenly the prospect of a horror author creating a next-generation videogame starts to make a whole lot of sense..."

Clive Barker's Jericho

By Darran Jones, X360, Issue 16, February 2007

Preview: "In Jericho, it's all about leaping between the minds of your military cohorts, combining their prodigious paranormal powers and turning the poor denizens of Al-Khali into a bloody pulp...
"With a cinematic edge, interactive cut-scenes and enough disturbing imagery to cause an entire collective noun of nuns to collapse and die, there's much to get excited about with Jericho. Whether the gameplay manages to match the concept remains to be seen, but in a year where squad combat is in the minority shooter-wise, it's a leading light in horror gaming and the most disgusting thing we've ever covered. Ever."

All Fall Down... Clive Barker's Jericho

By Will Porter, PC Zone, Issue 179, April, 2007

Preview: "You know how some games really try to creep you out but yet fail miserably? Well, looks like Jericho may actually do what it's intended to do: Give you nightmares about little baby chickens running around with their heads cut off."

Jericho: A Game So Scary That It's Considered To Actually Be Scary

By Robert Summa,, 19 March, 2007 (note - full text online at

Preview: "You will die in the first half hour of playing Jericho. This has nothing to do with the difficulty level or a surprise enemy attack, and everything to do with the story... and, well... the rest of the game. It's also a convenient way of explaining why you control multiple characters later on.
"See, Jericho's hero - Captain Ross (a.k.a. you) - gets into a bit of trouble early on and actually has to sacrifice himself in a noble way. But due to various circumstances that you will presumably learn about as you proceed, he doesn't just die like a normal man would. Instead, he becomes a spirit that can jump between members of his (former) squad and take over each of them...
"Though much of what we saw of the game took place in dark, cavernous locations, towards the end of the demonstration, Codemasters gave us a brief tour of other locations as well. These ranged from a giant government building to a Roman bath house, and ended with a two-second-long glimpse in a coliseum of one of the largest bosses ever in a videogame - proving there is plenty of variety in where you will be fighting and that not all the backdrops are as dark as they appear in the early screenshots.
"Given Barker's history with games like Undying -- which turned out far better than most celebrity/game tie-ins -- we have a lot of hope for Jericho. It's going to have a ton of competition from other big name shooters this holiday season, but hopefully the unique setting and gameplay twists will produce something that can challenge the Halos of the world when it ships later this year."

Previews: Jericho

By Matt Leone,, 20 March, 2007 (note - full text online at

Press Release: "Clive Barker's Jericho is currently in development at Mercury Steam. The game will utilise the Madrid-based studio's new proprietary next-generation graphics engine to bring the monsters and demons from the depths of Barker's imagination to life. The engine marries photo-realistic art with hyper-realistic colour and lighting effects to achieve a uniquely dark and almost surreal visual atmosphere, dropping players into the heart of Clive's chilling interactive nightmare.
"The game's atmosphere will be built using every tool from film and game design, such as lighting and shadows, colour and texture. For a player to truly be frightened by a game, they must believe (or at least suspend disbelief) that the experience is real. The closer the graphics seen on-screen are to real life, the better.
"Almost all textures will come from photographic reference ensuring this level of detail and realism. Achieving the dark, almost surreal atmosphere of the game will be achieved by coupling this photo-realistic art design with hyper-realistic colour and lighting.
"Enemies will be disturbing and gory themselves, showing horrifying wounds and mechanical appendixes grossly attached to flesh and bones. Taking advantage of the engine's technology, these wounds will recreate flesh and blood in a believable manner. Blood will be served using the particle system - gushing forth from wounds or clouds of blood created in the same instant as an explosion."

Clive Barker's Jericho

By [ ], Press Release, Codemasters, 19 April 2007

Preview: "Thanks to the timing of a recent visit to Codemasters' headquarters, we were lucky enough to be the first people in the world to see Jericho in action on the PC. The seeds of the game were planted by Barker, who came up with a story that fuses religion, government conspiracy, and superpowers. It was then fleshed out by Barker's frequent collaborator Brian Gomez, while developer Mercury Steam translated all these ideas into game form. The overarching plot is that before creating Adam and Eve, God's first attempt at a man was a complete disaster who was banished forever into a parallel universe referred to as 'the box'. Inevitably, this aggravated the young whippersnapper somewhat, and he makes frequent attempts to reclaim his place on Earth. Each time, a group of US supersoldiers called the Jericho squad are there to send him back to his immortal plane, and that's where you come into the story.
"It was clear from the developers' explanation that they didn't want to give too much of the heavily scripted game away, but at the end of the day their enthusiasm for the project got the better of them. Basically, the game will see the Jericho squad travelling through time to the World War II, Crusade, Roman, and Sumerian eras, in addition to a final era that they definitely want to keep a secret. Each time, your squad will have to sacrifice itself in order to send the firstborn back to his box and restore peace on Earth."

Clive Barker's Jericho Impressions

By Guy Cocker, Gamespot UK, 19 April 2007 (note - full text online at

Preview: "'Visceral' is the word. No other even gets close to summing up this game, and I'm in no way just talking about the level of gore - though it is excessively high. There's something wholeheartedly nightmarish about Jericho, and where many abuse that overused term in order to describe anything scary or slightly surreal, I'm using it as literally as I can here.
"Real nightmares throw everything at you. Sometimes they'll be creepy and atmospheric, other times they'll be out and out gore-fests, and they'll usually keep switching between the two so as to never even allow you the comfort of getting used to either one. And they'll always, always wrap everything in a relentless, thick blanket of dense, inescapable dread of something you can't quite define, but which you can sense surrounds everything you can see and touch. Jericho does that, and it does it horribly well."

Codemasters At The Cabinet: Clive Barker's Jericho: Hands-On

By David Houghton,, 16 July 2007 (note - full text online at

Preview: "Graphically, I was beyond stunned. Much of my time with the game was spent just gawking and saying how obscenely gorgeous everything looked. The way the developers have been able to make things look so... slicked with moisture is amazing. Monsters and bloodsoaked walls look like they're wet and sticky and it continues to amaze me. Believe me when I say that this game may very well have set a new benchmark for what new-gen graphics can do."

Codemasters At The Cabinet: Clive Barker's Jericho: Hands-On

By Jim,, 16 July 2007 (note - full text online at

Preview: "We weren't expecting much [from Codemasters], plus I had just left a Take Two meeting where I was able to play Bioshock. So I was coming off that high and then going into the unknown that is Codemasters. The company's entire line-up was first-rate but Jericho was the standout...
"The atmosphere is fantastic; this being a Clive Barker game you expect that. What you might not expect is the sheer awesomeness of the powers of your team members. There's a guy whose hand is covered by a metal device that, when removed, shows this flaming snake-thing that incinerates foes by raining fire upon them. But it also does massive damage to the hero's hand - he can only use the snake so long before the skin starts to peel off the bone. How cool is that? There's also a sniper who has the ability to control bullets via telekinesis. The demo showed the hero firing off a round and then proceeding to land three head shots with one bullet in slow-motion. Lee Harvey Oswald's magic bullet has nothing on team Jericho. The game just looks unique. It's creative, fast-paced, and exceptionally gruesome. Sign me up."

The Annual E3 Awards: 2007 Top 10 Best of Show

By Bill Abner, Gamespy, 18 July 2007 (note - full text online at

Preview: "This game is nasty with a capital 'N', but Jericho's grisly design is what makes it such a promising title. The textures on the monstrous enemies will remind you of beasties such as the Berserkers from Gears of War. But the monsters themselves and Jericho's overall imagery are much more grotesque than anything seen in Gears of War, Resident Evil, Doom, or any other horror-inspired video game for that matter. Even the game's main menu is gruesome - flies hover around a wall of moist stretched muscle tissue. The official ESRB rating is still pending, but you can bet your life's savings that a Mature will be slapped onto Jericho."

Hands-On: Clive Barker's Jericho

By LongHairedOffender,, 26 July 2007 (note - full text online at

Preview: "Jericho is a brand new story written specifically for a video game, so this is no adaptation we're seeing here. So, some original thinking, from an English author picked up by an English publisher. In fact, this is the first deal of its kind Codemasters has struck, and the publisher hopes that any success of this project will result in future collaboration...
"The representation of Barker's work is stunning: you can clearly see his auteur stamp in the dark, damp caverns and beefed-up militia that you control. I was told that the author is (refreshingly) very passionate and constructive throughout the project and has a clear vision of how he wants the product to be...
"I hassled for details on a potential multiplayer mode. I was assured that Jericho will not have one. The reasoning for this derives from a tried and tested industry line: developer Mercury Steam's passion is to make the single- player experience as good as can be. Therefore, including multiplayer mode would - apparently - result in a removal of all the unique features of the campaign such as character switching, telekinesis and fast-paced action. Mercury Steam isn't going to skimp on all online features, however, downloadable content is assured following the game's release."

Previews - Clive Barker's Jericho

By Svend Joscelyne,, 1 August 2007 (note - full text online at

Preview: "Despite initial worries that having six squaddies at your disposal - all with their own unique abilities - might be even too much for our well-honed game-brains to cope with, that turns out not be the case at all. That's mainly thanks to the character selection mechanic which enables you to select a squad member either by looking directly at them and pressing A or by bringing up the easy-access selection menu. This works surprisingly well and you'll soon be flitting from person to person like a spectral slut.
"What's more, alongside decent AI for the Jerichos, developer Mercury Steam has also used some black magic to pull off realistic enemy AI. You see, a big aspect of the terror here is forcing you to get up close and personal with the hideous inhabitants of Al-Khali - just to see how horrible they look. Enemies don't just slowly lurch about waiting to be picked off - instead, once you're spotted, they charge in, weaving out of your line of sight, ensuring your skills get a good airing. It's an incredibly unnerving experience when a bloody, spiky-limbed creature from the pits of Hell itself runs toward you at full pelt while you fumble with your gun.
"Even better, those boss encounters are surprisingly imaginative for an FPS. Rather than simply blasting at them with your gun, some encounters have puzzle elements too. For instance, one battle saw us playing as only Black (the sniper) and Jones (who can spectrally project himself). The first portion of the fight involved shooting at a floating another creature emerged from the fiery pit below, running straight at us, engulfed in flame. Once obliterated, we needed to use Jones' astral projection to beam ourselves into the writhing body of an enemy trapped inside a suspended cage, in order to press a nearby switch. This opened a spinning sarcophagus - which, obviously, spat blood everywhere - and inside was another giant enemy to annihilate. Mercury Steam is certainly bringing some interesting ideas to the table - and then spilling plenty of blood on it."

Previews - Clive Barker's Jericho Hands-On

By Rob Burman, IGN UK, 10 September 2007 (note - full text online at

Preview: "Part of Jericho's strength is that Barker's literary creativity underlies much of the action, giving it substance and meaning, instead of it just being another shell of a shoot-em-up. The rest comes from the innovative squad-based psychic gameplay which will test both your dexterity and your brains. Clive Barker's Jericho looks set to be disgustingly deranged - in a good way; you want to look away, but it keeps you going back for more, like a morbid passerby at an accident scene. If you've ever wanted the starring role in a Clive Barker horror film, Jericho might give you the opportunity you've been waiting for next month."

PC Preview - Clive Barker's Jericho

By [ ], Worth, 20 September 2007 (note - full text online at

Official Statement: [regarding German rating of Jericho] "Following a review by the USK ratings board, which declined to give an official rating, Codemasters has decided not to change the artistic vision of the renowned author and filmmaker Clive Barker though cuts and extensive changes.
"Codemasters respects Mr Barker's creative ideas, despite the German distribution and marketing consequences for the title. Therefore Codemasters will release the PC version of Clive Barker's Jericho in its original form on the 26th of October for adult gamers and Clive Barker fans."

Official Statement

By [ ], Codemasters, Germany, 25 September 2007

Jericho - The Game

Jericho takes place almost entirely within the city of Al Khali, a modern Middle Eastern metropolis that has been built over the layered ruins of several lost civilizations.
When the forces of this unknown evil breaks through the temporal rift into the world, layer upon layer of instances from the city's turbulent and bloody past are formed.
Through the game, the Jericho squad will be forced to pass from one time slice to another, encountering new threats and challenges as they descend into Al Khali's hellish history...

Clive Barker's Jericho

Jericho - Design

Codemasters have kindly given us this exclusive sneak look behind the scenes to see the development process involved in creating a single character - Lichthammer, the crazed commander of the German soldiers.

Clive Barker's Jericho - click for full image

He would later be seen on screen like this:

Clive Barker's Jericho Clive Barker's Jericho

Jericho - Time Slices

  • Modern Al-Khali - a seemingly regular Middle Eastern modern city.

    Unbeknownst to its residents, below those ruins is the most unholy ground on the face of the earth... Outpost Vigil, a monitoring post for The Department of Occult Warfare, the U.S operation that investigates supernatural activity, reports that a massive sandstorm has engulfed the ancient ruined city of Al Khali.
    Vigil suspects that a local death cult - the Brotherhood of the Dark Rapture led by former D.O.W. agent turner renegade Arnold Leach - to be directly responsible for the emergence of the storm, which is further identified as paranormal.
    All attempts with contacting the doomed citizens of the city have failed. With tensions already running high in the region, this is just the sort of thing that could trigger the Apocalypse.
    The Jericho squad, led by Captain Devon Ross, is dispatched to investigate. Battling through the storm, the seven-strong team enter Al-Khali en route for Outpost Vigil. Then the Brotherhood emerge from the shadows; they have twisted themselves into forms gruesome to behold, and even worse to fight.
    Jericho discovers that a Breach - a dimensional rift and passage to another time - is within the city and leave outpost Vigil to close it. However, as the squad fight on, Arnold Leach launches a direct and devastating attack. As Ross falls to his death, the squad find themselves heavily outnumbered and are forced to retreat through the Breach...

  • World War II - a city already destroyed because of the war itself and Nazi occupation.

    After emerging from the Breach into a destroyed bunker, Jericho is still reeling from the apparent loss of their leader, only to find he has survived in spirit form. Ross can now possess any squad member at will and control their actions.
    Jericho fight their way out of the bunker and onto a road paved with human remains. Then realisation strikes: they have travelled back in time to a twisted version of WWII era Al Khali. From the darkness come new attackers: fused together German soldiers wielding chain guns, flamethrowers and grenade launchers.
    Encounters come hard and fast - Jericho comes face to face with Lichthammer, the leader of the freakish German forces. The attack is almost overwhelming until Lichthammer is chased off by a group of ragtag soldiers. Those liberating soldiers then reveal themselves as a Jericho squad from the 1940s, dispatched to close a Breach during WWII and impart crucial intelligence on the source of the evil that lurks within Al-Khali...

  • The Legend of The Firstborn.

    The Firstborn, God's aborted attempt at creating mankind, was an entity that was neither male nor female, dark nor light, but a singular being that was both beautiful and terrible to behold.
    Disturbed by the power of his creation, God left it unfinished, banishing the Firstborn to the Abyss, forsaken and unloved.
    But something remained behind. On the spot where it first touched the mortal world, The Firstborn left a taint so powerful that even God's expulsion couldn't keep it from breaking through into the mortal world to reclaim its birthright.
    Each time the Firstborn has made a foray into our world he has been banished by a Jericho squad. Banishment results in Al Khali, its inhabitants and the Jericho squad of the time being trapped inside the Firstborn's dimension, a place called the Pyxis. A place where death is no release, death simply transforms you into a tool of the Firstborn.

    The Breach beckons once more, but not before dealing with the reappearance of Lichthammer...

  • The Crusades.

    Classic Arabia when crusaders have influenced architecture with massive, aggressive structures built directly on old walls and buildings.
    Jericho emerges in the same place, but a different time. At the base of a massive fortress, a battle is raging all around them; horrific creatures literally rising from the blood, mud and gore of the moat.
    Inside the labyrinthine fortress, an encounter with a former Crusader tells them of Bishop Maltheus and his army of child Crusaders. Jericho then fight on, through the sewers and catacombs towards Maltheas' Chapel in preparation for an almighty battle.

  • The Romans.

    Occupation of the city by Romans as the empire expanded, looks like an unrefined, rough version of Rome.
    During Roman times, Al Khali was the domain of Cassus Vicus. Vicus, a famously obese pervert and cannibal, was effectively exiled from Rome by Caligula and given Al-Khali as a distant outpost.
    He has erected himself a coliseum for his depraved entertainment and forces Jericho to participate in his twisted games, pitted against his devilish creatures and Vicus himself who are intent on pummelling the squad into oblivion.

  • The Tower of Babel.

    Arnold Leach reappears, flying straight to the top of the Tower of Babel. Jericho, however, must take the long way up. Huge stone statues of Sumerian Demons come to life and one by one, tear the squad apart...

  • The 4th Millennium BC...

    The climax.
    The original domain of the Firstborn - a massive chasm lined with the imposing faces of demons - and a place where Jericho find their very powers turned against them...

Jericho - The Squad

Jericho - Sgt. Frank Delgado Jericho - Cpl. Simone Cole Jericho - Cpt. Xavier Jones

  • Sgt. Frank Delgado (Pyromancer)

    Delgado is a Pyromancer - "one who speaks with fire". In Delgado's case, the fire he speaks with is an entity of living flame that he says is Ababanili, a flame spirit. After contacting the spirit, Delgado Jericho - Sgt. 'Billie' Church offered it his right arm as a sacrifice to win its cooperation, which it accepted. Now his right arm is encased within a protective shell that contains the living flame - the source of his power.
    In combat, Frank opens the containment shell and releases Ababanili, where it immediately sets to wreaking as much havoc as possible before being forced back into containment. When loose, Ababanili responds to Delgado's commands, and so becomes a formidable tool and weapon.

  • Cpl. Simone Cole (Reality Hacker)

    Cole is a programmer/numerologist, which affects everything she does. Cole's gifts are purely intellect based - she has no psychic powers other than an incredible level of intelligence that allows her to work extremely complex mathematic problems in her head.
    Augmented with a wearable computer, gesture-based UI, and HUD interface, she runs custom-made Cabalistic and chaos mathematic sequences that have a profound effect on the physical world. She can activate save points by creating "anchors" to a particular spot in time/space, slow or speed up time. She also carries an assault rifle capable of 900 rounds/min and a variety of customizable grenades.

  • Cpt. Xavier Jones (Seer)

    Jones is a seer, which allows him brief, cryptic glimpses of past or future events. Using his second sight, he can spot paranormal elements in the game world that others cannot.

  • Jericho - Lt. Abigail Black
  • Lt. Abigail Black (Telekinetic)

    Lt. Black is a top rated sniper, thanks in great part to her telekinetic ability to steer rounds, in flight. She carries a highly modified and personally customized US XM-110 SASS sniper weapon.
    Jericho - Father Paul Rawlings Lt. Black can telekinetically steer her shots mid-flight. She can also use the ability defensively by stopping or redirecting incoming projectiles. The greater the force she exerts, the weaker she becomes. The ability physically drains her health points, causing bleeding from the ears, nose and mouth in extreme cases.

  • Sgt. 'Billie' Church (Blood Ward)

    Sgt. Church doesn't believe in firearms, even though the army requires that she at least carries a small machine gun as her primary firearm. Church is positively lethal with her samurai sword if she can get in close.
    Church's powers come at the most obvious physical price. Through the ritual of drawing her own blood with her dagger and writing potent sigils with it, she can cast powerful wards, enchantments and banishments.

  • Father Paul Rawlings (Exorcist)

    Despite being a man of the cloth, Rawlings is still an experienced soldier with tours of Vietnam and Iraq under his belt. Her prefers to use the standard army special forces infantry weapons, augmented by his own personal luck charms and talismans.
    Rawlings power comes from his intense academic study of magic systems from around the world (especially in the areas of consecration and exorcism) and just pure faith. He is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to dealing with malevolent spirits and otherwise hostile paranormal entities.

  • Captain Devin Ross (spirit/ghost)

    As a spirit/ghost, Ross doesn't have any physical weapons. Like Rawlings, he is able to heal incapacitated team mates but this ability is far from being comparable to Rawlings'; Ross needs to physically touch wounded mate to heal him/her, while Rawlings casts powerful spells that can heal at any distance. Through the careful training, Ross has learned the art of "threading" - psychically linking one team mate with another so that their own psychic or paranormal powers mix to create a new one.

Clive Barker's Jericho

Jericho - Gameplay

  • Character Switching

    The player is able to switch character anytime/anyplace - although this may be restricted at certain points by specific events. Generally, this means player has full use of all available weapons and powers from the squad members present at any given moment.

  • Conventional Combat

    Players will be able to use conventional weapons from any squad mate he is able to transform into at any given moment. Weapons are specific from every character and use specific ammo that is supplied in special places - kind of connections between real world and game world. Gameplay with conventional weapons is about hitting moving targets.

  • Magic and Threading

    In Jericho, players can control any of the squad members, each with special appearance, weapons, paranormal powers and even attitude. Players are even able to thread their powers to obtain new ones and linking two team mates gives players access to powers that they would not have individually. For example, Black is Telekinetic and can guide her bullets to any target she can see, making her preternaturally accurate. However, if she is Threaded with Jones, a Seer who has the ability to project his consciousness out of his body, Black gains the ability to steer her bullets around corners and hit targets that are completely hidden.
    This process works in one direction: It creates the new power only for the character the player is playing. The player may use the threaded power as long as he controls the same squad member. Once he/she jumps to any other squad member or decides to create another thread, the previous one vanishes. Therefore, there can only be one threading active at a certain moment.

  • Life and Death

    The player and his team mates are vulnerable to all manner of physical attacks from the enemy. Each player has a set amount of "hit points" that are reduced every time they receive damage from enemy or trap in the environment. Hit points are naturally recovered after a few seconds.
    When the player or his squad mate's health reaches zero, that team mate is out of commission, remaining incapacitated in the place for a minute or so. Then, two scenarios are possible:

    • Rawlings can revive the fallen team mate. To do so, it is enough that the team mate is brought into Rawlings' line of sight; Rawlings casts a healing spell and team mate comes instantly back to life. This ability improves along the game.

    • Ross is also able to heal team mates but he only can do that via physical contact, so he needs to get close to fallen mate and revive him.

    To sum up, casualties are not allowed. Jericho squad never abandons its members.

Clive Barker's Jericho

Jericho - The Enemy

Just a selection of the early foes...
  • Melee Crusader

    Crusaders have become a truly twisted shadow of their previous human forms moving more like crazed beasts than men. The Jericho squad will find them everywhere, hidden, patrolling, guarding sections of the keep... Like wolf packs, they ferociously protect their territory and most of times attack in group, although they also like to ambush, waiting for the squad in the most unsuspected places. Remarkably, these enemies are able to make superfast dodge movements while closing to target, jumping from one side of the way to the other.
    They are able to perform the following attacks:

    • Long range attack: Crusaders melee have a device attached to its right arm which launches small blades at high speed. This allows them to attack target almost from any distance. Crusaders are also able to sprint+jump+strike.

    • Medium range attack: Instead of left hand they have a harpoon attached to a wire. When they are at a certain distance from the target - about 6/7 meters - they are able to launch the spike to hit the target and then to coil up the wire. They perform this attack as a way to daze target, leaving it unarmed for a second, then they jump+strike a blow.

    • Close range attack: Instead of right hand they have a huge round axe they use as a weapon and as shield. When they manage to get really close to target, they are able to perform several fast melee dodge/attacks with that weapon. As said, they can also use the axe to shield them if attacked. They put shield in front of them and keep advancing towards the objective.

  • Children Crusaders

    These once-children creepy monsters wander around the crypt where all of them were savagely knifed and buried thousand of years ago, during the crusades. They were sent into battle, believed by those who sent them that the natural innocence of children whould protect them and lead to victory, but this never happened. Instead, all children were slaughtered and then buried. Then, resurrected by the source of evil, the children realized their new horrible condition and have been struggling for hundreds of years.
    Children crusaders adopt two very different shapes: They fly around the crypt in spectral form, going through matter. While in this form, they can't attack, but they are invulnerable. When they spot the enemy, they start flying around it, looking at it from close distance. Suddenly they switch to physical form and start attacking using their unnaturally large veins they have instead of arms. They use veins like whips hitting and poisoning enemy with their corrupted blood. Also they have the ability to switch back to spectral form if they feel they are in danger, so it's critical do not give to them enough time to do so, it's critical to finish them off really fast. These enemies are able to switch back to their spectral form when they feel in danger.

  • Cultist

    Cultists are acolytes to the ancient evil that is breaking through to our world from its dimensional prison where it has been locked since the beginning of times. They commit suicide in horrible ways as they believe in self-inflicted pain, death and rebirth. Immediately after they are reborn they are transformed in horrible beings.

  • Explosive Cultists

    Cultists don't fear being killed because each rebirth approaches them a bit closer to perfection. In the specific case of the Explosive Cultists, this is obvious through the nature of their attack: they suffer thousands of illness and have bodies of toxic, pestilent blood and insides that causes deformations on their body. They commit suicide when enough close to target by knifing themselves, exploding and scattering their toxic load.
    They prowl everywhere; if they perceive the presence of the Jericho squad they run towards them, trying to get distance to perform their attack: Instead of right hand they have kind of hook. When they manage to get really close to target, they knife themselves with that hook and explode, scattering their toxic insides, poisoning everyone inside the cloud of vaporized blood that remains for a seconds after explosion.

Clive Barker's Jericho

Jericho - The Backstory

In the beginning, God created the Firstborn...
According to certain Gnostic and Apocryphal texts, before Adam, before Eve, there was the Firstborn, God's first abortive attempt at creating a being in his own image.
In a remote desert in the Middle East, near the cradle of all civilization, the earth was wounded. The presence of The Firstborn continued to fester, eon after eon, breaking down the fabric of reality as human civilization flourished around it. The prophecy states that The Firstborn will break through into our world several times. With each appearance, it will ride disease, corruption and perversity like an all-consuming wave until seven mystics sacrifice themselves to drive it back into the Abyss...
The Firstborn has made previous attempts at escape, always returning to the spot of its conception. Due to the immense power contained within it, this piece of earth has been contested for thousands of years by conqueror after conqueror, each with his own agenda for the Firstborn.
On its first appearance, seven Sumerian priests entombed the Firstborn within a holy ziggurat and guarded its prison until the desert and their enemies consumed their great civilization and the site was lost. The Roman Empire was the next landlord, the Crusaders the next... on and on until the present day. This is the bedrock on which the modem city of Al-Khali now stands.
Every time the Firstborn is banished, it takes with it a larger piece of the earth to add to its realm, the Pyxis. Whenever it next returns, those layers of time and space overlap with reality, creating a place out of place, a time without time. Like a Chinese puzzle box, the city of Al-Khali has been transformed by the Firstborn into layer after layer of time and space. The further you go into the city, the further back in time you travel until you reach the point of origin, the moment the Firstborn came into being.
The Department of Occult Warfare was founded in WWII to investigate reports that the Nazis were pursuing the development of supernatural weaponry. At first, the D.O.W. was concerned only with analysis, poring over reports and intelligence gathered by the Office of Strategic Services. But soon it became clear that Hitler, guided by the mystical Thule Society, was not only obsessed with procuring a supernatural advantage, he was actually succeeding.
Thereafter the D.O.W. began taking a more active role in the war, working closely with their British counterparts on missions ranging from the acquisition of powerful supernatural relics to psychic assassination.
It is now the most powerful and clandestine special forces unit in the U.S. arsenal.

Clive Barker's Jericho

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