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Unlike the previous three Geneforge games, the player character is no longer a Shaper, and is not restricted to the original three classes (Shaper, Guardian, and Agent). The player can choose from five separate classes (all rebels), including playing a servile, which can alter the way other rebels or Shapers speak to the player.
The screen in Geneforge 4 is considerably larger, with a bigger map, and smaller icons, leaving much more room for viewing. The graphics were improved somewhat, with better animations and cut-scenes than the previous three games. The sounds and general flow of the game were still the same.
General Greta, having survived the events in Geneforge 3, has returned to lead the Rebels against the Shaper army. You are one of three prospective rebels, ready to be transformed (via the Geneforge), into powerful beings able to fight against the Shaper tyranny. Unfortunately, while on your way to Southforge Citadel, the group is attacked by very powerful creations and you're forced to flee with Greta into the safety of the citadel. The other two prospective students were lost in the carnage.
Your first few missions involve preparing for the retreat and safe transport of the rebels from the citadel to the last safehouse in the Ilya Province; Southforge is about to fall to the Shapers. It's at this point you can make a serious choice that will alter how you play the game: you can join the Shapers (in secret), or continue to help the Rebels. Either way you choose, you end up at the safehouse. Along the way you run into a Trakovite (Drewry) - someone who believes that Shaping, regardless of which side, is inherently 'wrong'. Regardless of which side you've chosen, you can 'join' the Trakovites (but not officially), and alter the ending in another way.
Once at the safehouse, it's learned the Shapers have cut off Rebel reinforcements by placing three extremely powerful Shapers underground in the Barrier Zone. These Shapers use their incredible powers to maintain a large army of dangerous creations that patrol and kill anyone that attempts to pass. Unfortunately, Moseh, one of the three, has become a bit unstable and is threatening both Shaper and Rebel alike. If you're playing for Shapers (in secret), you'll be commanded to restore him. If you're playing for the Rebels, your goal is to kill him (and the other two if you can manage it).
After you cros the barrier zone, you enter the Fens of Aziraph. Here, the Shapers and Rebels have joined forces to fight the crazed Shaper Monarch, a madman who seeks to dominate the world. The quests for the shapers and rebels are the same in this area: you need to defeat Shaper Monarch. Afterward, you can either give his Shaper papers to the rebels or Shapers, depending on which side you wish to join. You can also spare Monarch's life and set him loose on Shaper lands if you really want to help the rebels while creating chaos along the way. Here you also meet Nakel, another Trakovite and Khyryk, a former Shaper who is leaning toward the Trakovite side. Both give you some more information on their views.
Once you exit the Fens, you enter Burwood Province, the heart of the Rebel lands. You learn that the Shapers have sent several "infiltrators" into this area to harass the rebels, and have also landed a massive army in some ruins. The Shapers request that you aid their infiltration and help the army. The rebels request that you kill the infiltrators and destroy the army. Either way, you are then given a quest to meet with Ghaldring, the leader of the rebellion, who then tells you to enter the Grayghost mountains and complete the Unbound, the rebels' secret weapon to turn the tide of the war.
Once into the mountains, it's time to awaken the Drakon's final creation, the Unbound: amazingly powerful, completely mindless, and almost indestructible drakons of enormous size. The goal of the Rebels is to release them, amok in Shaper lands, to finally end the conflict once and for all. You have three choices at this point: you can help the rebels and reap the rewards of the Unbound, assist the Shapers, destroying the Rebel leadership and ruining the Unbound, or you can join in with the Trakovites and put an end to shaping here for good.
Once you've made your choice, you'll be presented with one of over a dozen possible endings, all depending on the actions you took throughout the game.
- Jeff Vogel, creator of the series
- Spiderweb Software, Jeff Vogel's company
- Exile series by Spiderweb Software
- Avernum series by Spiderweb Software
Other installments in the series
- Geneforge, first installment of the series
- Geneforge 2, second installment of the series
- Geneforge 3, third installment of the series
- Geneforge 5: Overthrow, final installment of the series