||Empires: Retail Release
In the year of our Lord 1241 Subotai's Mongolian hordes were covering the eastern Europe with blood. Hundreds of cities and villages were slaughtered and many others were threatened. Among these ones there was Silistra, a rich and impregnable city located in the Danubian Rumania built on an island in the middle of a lake. Sebastiano Venier, a Venetian merchant-prince, followed by Bishop Colonna and by a little escort, was reaching Silistra for business and for love but he was unaware they were running into pain and death.
Fantasy single player scenario totally invented for Empires: Dawn of the Modern World.
Fallen city is a fixed forces map fully based on the micromangement of few units. Have fun!
-Extrat all the files from the zip archive.
-Put the Fallen_City_1.0_version.scn file in (name of the directory in which Empires is installed)\Data\Scenarios directory.
-Put the six audio files .mp3 in (name of the directory in which Empires is installed)\Data\Sounds directory.
-You need the 1.01 version of the game to play this map (if you have no patch installed go at the following link: http://www.activision.com/en_US/game_downloads/6521f0df-6279-481c-95b9-d8aa1b54acdd.html . Downaload the 1.01 patch and install it.
-This map has been created and playtested with an Atlon 2000+, 1.67 GHz, 256 MB ram, GForce2 32 mb, so on a less powerfull pc this map could be laggy.
-The map is very big and it's full of objects so your pc could take a long time to load it.
-Save the game often.
-The starting timer at the beginning of the game is necessary to load all the objects before the first cinematic starts on those computers that are not very powerfull.
-Sometimes the Stop Music effect at the beginning of the last cinematic doesn't fire so before the cinematic starts please go in the audio options and turn down the music.
-Because of lack of room the objectives that you will see at the bottom right of the screen are very synthetic. To see the complete objective move the curson on the objective and at the bottom left of the screen will appear a mirror in which you will see a full version of the objective and also some tip to solve that mission.
-The tips located with the full objectives are not just simple suggestions but the only way to solve the mission that is often very hard. I advise you to read them carefully (I'm sorry for my bad English :) ).
The soundtrack during the last cinematic has been taken form the Metal Gear Solid soundtrack and its original title is "End Title - The Best Is Yet To Come".
Scenario ideated and created by Oscar Baldessari.
A special thanks to Mbb for advice and to all those great designers of empires.heavengamers.com that with their guides, editor articles and maps have provided me with help and support.
Every comment/suggestion is welcome, post a comment or conctact me at the following email address: email@example.com.
|Author||Comments & Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
This is quite a fun scenario to play. It is one of the few (perhaps the only?) pseudo-RPG that has graced this heaven and, as such, is a very welcome addition to the downloads sections. It is very well balanced, leading to challenging but not anywhere near impossible (if you micromanage your units) gameplay. The scenario is quite creative and the map design is incredible. Finally, the story/instructions areicredibly well done and leave nothing more to be desired from them.
The balance is pretty good, it all depends on how you array your units. As you cannot lose even a single crossbowman else you lose the game, there are sometimes some tense situations as you have to micromanage like hell to make sure that someone doesn't die (especially that unarmed bishop!). The marsh bears are your first challenge--they come at you in packs, have quite a decent amount of HP and pack quite a punch. It's quite lucky for the player that they're gaia units and, as such, by default don't attack unless provoked (such as standing around them too long), this made those battles easier than they might've been otherwise (but in a good way easier, not a bad "this should be penalized" easier). Overall, the scenario was quite well balanced from beginning to end.
This is definitely one of the most creative pieces in the downloads section. For one, it is not a World War 2 piece, which has been rather overdone in general, but rather a medieval project. While it is true that there are several others, this is not one of the many generic England vs France type B&D scenarios but rather an FF/RPG type scenario, which may perhaps even be the first of its kind to grace this downloads section. The storyline is quite original, given the relative confines of the game, and sees the awful might of Subotai Khan tearing through some small part of Europe--and you, a merchant, are caught up in the middle of it all. A classic sort of scenario, being caught in the middle of something, but not yet seen either in Empires, nor placed in a Europe that has an angry Mongol Horde running through it.
Map Design: 4.8
The map is, simply put, beautiful. There is incredibly good use of terrain mixing and gaia objects to fill the map and make it look quite pretty indeed. There is a reason this isn't a 5.0, however, and that is that sometimes the author still has somewhat large-ish expanses of one terrain. The swamp is a good example, on one side of the road, there is terrain mixing but on the other I presume the author forgot, is it is just dirt in three or four of the bodies of water. This is a little thing, yes, because it isn't too noticeable (the dark of night + water makes it a bit unnoticeable), but it'd be nice to see that this is fixed. Also, another thing with the marsh is that there is very little in the way of actual water plants, which is (I think) somewhat odd for a marsh. These two problems, however, are easily fixed and doing so will bump map design up to the 5.0 it clearly deserves.
The story/instructions are very well done (albiet with a few spelling errors, but they aren't really important). The story is told through an omniscient narrator and through the occasional dialogue of the characters (mostly you, the merchant, and the bishop). Though not complicated or flowerful, the narrator and dialogue get the point across very well. The instructions are also incredibly well done, they're clear and to the point and the background/hints given sometimes comprise several relatively lengthy paragraphs, filling in details and, occasionally, "how-to"s and are generally very well done. As the author makes I point that his English isn't very good, I'd like to say in return that, except for a few small errors that don't detract anything from our understanding, his English was flawless.
- If you improve this scenario some more to get that 5.0 in map design, I suggest packaging it as a campaign instead of a scenario. I assume the music was nice, but I didn't hear any of it while playing (I extracted to the data\sounds folder, I assume that's correct?). With a campaign, the players shouldn't have this problem.
- Congrats on being the first author with a 4.0+ project in the scenario section! :D
Hello Talon Karrde, really thanks for the constructive criticism of your review. I'm happy someone besides me appreciates the rpg/ff genre. After having played hundreds of times b&d games online or vs the cpu with empire earth, age of mythology, age of kings I've become tired of them and I don't bear the b&d genre anymore. The single units loose their role and their importance and the only significant thing to win is a efficient economical system that allows you to remedy quickly to your military losses at least from my point of view. Luckly with the heroes of raf the situation should change.
About the marsh terrain I'm sorry but because the dark light I forgot to mix the terrain textures, I'll fix it in the new version.
Abaut the water plants instead, yes, I should add them but the file is already very big and If I place more objects it will become even bigger as the time to load it...
Arghhh... the last cinematic without music is prettily ugly but I really don't understand the reason music doesn't work on your pc. ...data\sounds location is right and if you open the map with the editor and if you check the trigger 86 you will see the right play sound effects that in my non english version of the game are called "riproduci...". Well maybe there are two possible reasons:
-your version of Win Zip extracting the files has created a new folder in the sounds directory so the mp3 fles are in the wrong location;
-in the audio options the sounds volume is maybe disabled. Try to raise it.
To finish, well I haven't yet figured how to create a campaign and then how to extract from a campaign file the various files...
as far as I know, you can't extract the seperate files from a campaign, making it a fairly decent bet for a completely finished project as its simple and easy--everything is in the .ssa file. I also believe that the files, at least the sounds, are extracted when you play, or are at least made available to choose in the editor.
and yes, I love RPGs. currently playing Chrono Cross, Arx Fatalis and Septerra Core ;)
ciao oscar sono bandenere. hi oscar i'm bandenere!!!!!
BIG BIG oscar!!!!
To create a campaign, go into the Campaign Editor. Choose which files to put into the campaign, choose a password and name for the campaign, then save it. If you need more detailed information, I I can give you that.
You don't need to extract the files, just put the .ssa file into your /data/campaigns directory and open the campaign from the Single Player>Custom Campaigns menu. That's the beauty of compiling scenarios into Campaigns: It's just one file to juggle instead of several. And that's why 90% of the scenarios for Empires are encapsuled into campaigns, even if they consist of only one scenario.
Benefit two is that if you password-protect the campaign, no one can else than you can open the scenario in the editor.
Oh, and to extract a campaign (for sound files, for example), download ssaextractor or ssaextract (forgot the name). I think it comes with EE Studio.
[Edited on 05/26/06 @ 04:15 PM]
ciao bandenere, sono felice di vederti :)
Thanks for your campaign tips, I will keep them in mind.
Two more things I just remembered:
1. You'll need to rename your scenario file to put it in a campaign file (remove the '.' marks).
2. If a scenario file is part of a campaign, the scenario background picture WILL show during loading. If it is stand-alone, there'll only be the default Empires picture no matter what you do (to my experience).
This is one of the best custom scenarios made for Empires.No bugs,slight lag(which is due to my slow pc!) and very creative story .
Unfortunately this is the area where I have to decrease the points because sometimes the difficulty was too easy and sometimes it was too hard.I've finished the scenario completely and wished for both minimal challenge and maximal challenge.Some of the boss battles were too easy due to the hints provided.And some of the normal battles required a lot of micromanagement.Forgive me for a low score but excessive micromanagement was difficult particularly because the increased graphic scale made it difficult to navigate and micromanage.But I won't lower the score of map design , even though this is a problem because the map was simply beautiful
Excellent.Very impressive trigger work and cinematics.Good storyline.I'm still wondering how did you make the monk float in air?That was the best part of all!
Map Design: 5
Simply beautiful.Beautiful design of the countryside and beautiful design of the cities.The eyecandy and graphic scale increases made it look more impressive.Good job!
The instructions was crystal clear and helpful.However there were some grammatical and spelling errors.Sorry but I'm a strict reviewer and hence a lower score.But not enough to make me consider this true scenario design masterpiece any less than the highest rated campaigns!
Obviously the author is not English speaking and hence I increased the score for story/instructions part.It is much better than the scenarios created by English speaking people.Watch out Gordon, you have a new rival!hehe :D
Well done overally!
[Edited on 08/19/06 @ 08:35 PM]
I'll give this map only 2 words simply beautiful.....
Looks like I'm 11 years late to the party, but nonetheless I'm gonna make a review of this awesome scenario, since it really impressed me a lot. :)
3 words: Wow, just wow. The fun factor in my gameplay soared up to new heights and surpassed almost every other scenario and campaign I've downloaded thus far, bar Gordon Farrell's only campaign and a very few others, so it's only logical that - virtually - the highest accolades is awarded for such a scenario.
Unlike many other campaigns or scenarios, this isn't your usual B&D type of gameplay, but instead, it features the unique FF type, and in this scenario, you can't lose a single man, so whatever challenges you face will demand micromanagement to ensure all survive. Indeed, there were quite a lot of tense moments in my playthrough, and the first challenge with the bears actually scared me half of death; something which bears should really do but apparently fail in EDMW, apart from this scenario (and the first Yi campaign, iirc).
Unique aspects of gameplay are also intertwined (like using only the main character to kill a monster that breathes fire!!), and a very creative way of healing using a medikit was weaved in together, providing even more aspects of micromanagement.
The terrain mixing and the countless features this map provided every time a fog of war is lifted also contributed to the fun factor, inviting and motivating me to continue further.
With a fun and thrilling scenario as this, how can one be not excited with the playthrough? :)
- I can say that a few optional objectives won't hurt. :) For instance, the prisoners you rescued after entering the harbour could be transported to safety to a nearby island, and you could be awarded with something helpful in the next objective or w/e.
- Maybe when the party head into bear-swamp territory, ensuring that the party is surrounded by a few bears attacking from all sides of the swamp would make the first challenge more fun, imo. :) But then again, it could impose a penalty of balance from other players aside from me.
- One thing about this scenario is that it kinda forces the player on only 1 path. It would be nice if it had something that gives replayability, like giving choices to go whichever direction, or optional objectives that would grant benefit, if I wished to complete it.
With every single challenge, it is evident that the creator has imposed as much balance as he can to make his/her scenario truly noteworthy.
From bears, to pirates attacking the village (nice addition of units there - it really made it feel like a pirate raid), to using only 1 member of your party to accomplish a mission, there were a lot of challenges that provide nice micromanagement aspects.
The members in your party are also modified, such that each member provides a role to ensure survival of the entire party. Crossbowmen for instance, can dish out heavy damage, but are more brittle, so this is where your swordsmen come in, which act like tanks that can protect your crossbowmen. However, swordsmen are weak attackers. The bishop can heal your troops, but he doesn't dish out any damage. The MC (main character) is quite all-rounded: can tank damage, has decent attack, and can also act as a lure.
As you head deeper into the city however, you'll soon discover a small twist into these roles, as against certain enemies, your swordsmen dish out more damage than your crossbowmen and vice versa, inventing additional layers to balance as well as to micromanagement.
However, some aspects seem to hinder balance, and this is why balance is rated the lowest of these categories for this scenario, imo. For instance, berserks and assassins give out miniscule damage to your swordsmen, which are kinda already tanked; they have 1,000 HP (which is alright imo), yet they suffer miniscule damage from nearly all melee attackers in my game which is kinda strange. Also the bishop getting additional 4,000 extra HP in the city wasn't really necessary imo, and it hindered the whole micromanagement challenge with it.
Also, some of the tactical suggestions in the objectives were a dead giveaway - it was like I'm reading spoilers some of the time, which kinda destroyed the whole "expect the unexpected" aspect for this scenario (the hints for defeating the giant though, was necessary - I would never know what to do if I didn't read that). :)
Gorgeous, Stunning, Awe-inspiring. Need I say more? :) There were many design tricks being used here, like the "replace" trick with buildings for instance, resulting in a building that gave an impression of a city-centre, or a set of buildings that emphasise the "fishing village" setting, or the "chapel" setting etc. Heck, we even spot a flying sorcerer! This is amazing in so many different levels! :)
The cinematics also displayed some awe-inspiring features, like the overview of the city, a mongol pirate ship attacking the village, and even the camp that set the beginning of the scenario.
The overall layout of the city as well as the camp was very nicely made. The bridge, the swamp, the terrain mixing of the map, the use of trees, rocks, brain corals, cobblestones, exhausted stone mines and exhausted gold mines etc contributed to the final maze of wonders you see in the scenario. Highest marks deserved indeed. Congrats for this. Also, wise use of the ships! The war cog really emphasized the merchant-like aspect as intended, and the fooshow battleship also gave the feeling of a pirate attack!! Nice work. :)
Improvements: Not at all necessary, but minor suggestions could improve this even more.
- Substituting names for the plethora of replaced structures could do wonders, instead of seeing "town centre" here and there, or "brandenburg gate" and "trafalgar square" in the city... Something like.. fletcher's workshop or blacksmith or city chapel - a name that gives a little realism vibe. :)
- Substituting the civ names to "Silistra" as well as something like "Mongolian Pirates" to describe the attacking mongols in the village and stuff like that might add some more realism vibes, because all I see is "England", which I guess is not where this scenario is set in. o_O Nevertheless, this doesn't take away creativity, imo. :)
Map Design: 5
Absolutely flawless!! The terrain mixing, the layout of the city, the fishing village, the bridge, the camp, the old street leading to the city as well as the harbor and the threat of the sorcerer's men really invited me into this scenario.
Everything was simply immersive, it invited eye-candy to this scenario and given the setting, all these additions made sense - for instance, use of conifers and deciduous trees instead of a bloody palm tree would emphasize the setting of where this period took place.
- Maybe a small fish or two in the water might give more feeling of a fishing village, but that's just a minor thing really. :P
Along with a great scenario, comes along a great story. It's basically a free package that comes along with the scenario. :)
A merchant who comes to Silistra during a troublesome time, who's later revealed that he's looking for his love or something, only to have his hopes defeated last minute by the sorcerer in the end. Stunning!! :)
But the cinematics were kinda cringy-ish however (imo), which contributed to the quasi-perfect rating. It was like I was looking at paper-made humans talking with their faces in front of me (not the designer's fault, it's how they're put in the game - but nonetheless it's kinda creepy), and seeing the bishop just posing for the camera and looking like a pedophile, whilst talking as if something troublesome is afoot was quite disturbing imo. xD
As far as I read the comments, I understand the designer's reluctance to flesh out the scenario even more and make it more enjoyable, so granted that you're still here (which is unlikely), you can improve and update it even more, if you choose to do so of course. :)
But nevertheless, beautiful scenario.