All Along the Watchtower
- A tribute to Bob Dylan -
Maybe you know the famous song "All Along the Watchtower" written by Bob Dylan and performed by himself, Jimi Hendrix and many other musicians.
Much has been discussed about the meaning of the lyrics. The internet is full of different interpretations. Some say it is about the bible, other point out the parallels to Dylan's life.
This scenario is about what I think of the meaning. It is the struggle of two human beings - the Joker and the Thief - with their fate. They seem to have an idea what to do but still they are captured in a cycle of destruction and rebuilding.
Maybe you can help them to find a way out. What is the true fate of the two riders? Is it your fate, too?
This one-scenario campaign is a 25x25-minimap with elements of FF, B&D and puzzle. But the core element is a new system of goals and instructions that has never been done before in AoK (or at least I have never seen it).
Get the feeling of Dylan's songs by playing the scenario and find something out about your life.
Please enjoy it and tell everyone if you loved the map (if not tell them anyways, let the others fall for it, too :P)
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'All along the watchtower' has the of the most unusual playstyles, it has elements of RPG and fixed force as well as being somewhat of a puzzle scenario. The fights are very interesting and the way to 'get out of the cycle of death and war' are creatively done. I enjoyed playing this scenario a lot. Nothing much to say here, except that the capped ram seems to be bugged or something because it keeps switching ownership.
Firstly it's a puzzle scenario, so half the trick is finding out how to crack the puzzle. But even if you do, it's far from a walkover. The fights were intense, with my characters many times just inches away from death. You have to micro really carefully, because the mangudai in particular is really squishy. I played on hard, and had just the right amount of challenge.
The general theme of the scenario is well conceived and creatively implemented. I liked the interpretation and display of the lyrics, men and women walking around the watchtower, a jaguar growling, etc.
Map Design: 4
Map design is excellent, good usage of terrains and forests. I would say that the north eastern edge of the map with elevated farms looks a bit odd. Also could use more eyecandy ( small plants, hay stacks, skeletons, stone mines mixed with regular rocks, that kind of thing ).
The author's take on the lyrics is creative to say the least. The instructions are a bit confusing, but that's the nature of the scenario. The victory message comments certainly gives someone something to think about our own life, work, etc.
It's a good game with a philosophical bent of mind. Recommend all to download and try.
I want to start off saying that I don't know the song and its interpertations.
This small scenario is presented well but I didn't get much enjoyment out of it. My limited enjoyment came from solving the puzzle or whatever they are. There's three of them I believe. I followed the instructions and had it repeat itself three times, hoping that something would happen on the second confrontation at the camp but sadly it was the same so I took a different route. Watching the same cutscene the second time around was bad as it is and when I had to go through it a third time, I just went and ate something while it went along.
After destroying the barracks, I did not understand where the villagers came from and why I got wood as tribute. I understand that it's part of the objective but it doesn't make sense at all. I'm under the impression that this is a story, made up or not, but having illogical things just throws it out of the water. Was this a dream? Was it a magical fantasy world? I don't know.
The second part of the scenario had crazy micromanagement in it. I reloaded more than a dozen time and got really fed up. What's funny though is that on my first try at this part, I just rushed in and managed to complete it, but then I died at the third puzzle and had to redo the second. The hint on the sign is misleading. It says spear and bow but the triggers are set up so that the spear must be first.
The third part of the scenario wasn't done very well to me. All that I can think of is to lure the enemies out and then attack with the ram. There wasn't much to it.
I tried the game on Standard and Moderate and did not notice anything different. The scenario is short and quick so replayability is limited. Unless you enjoy the song/lyrics and its meaning, I don't see this game being played a second time.
As stated before, the second section of this scenario requires a lot of skills. The map is very short and reloading as much as I did proves that the balance is off. Considering that first try fluke I accomplished, I must have been extremely lucky. I manage to overcome this task by luring them out and around requiring quite a bit of luck. Trying to beat this part any other way would require immense luck on your side. Since luck is such an important factor in this area, the balance is hindered.
I can't say much here except for what others have mentioned about the author displaying his own thoughts about the song/lyrics. The concept of the first puzzle was neat and new to me. Everything else in the scenario was simple and nothing caught my attention. All in all, the only wow factor was the deja vu feeling.
Map Design: 3+
The design was pretty to look at for the small map that it was pasted on. Nothing in particular stood out but it deserves a good rating nonetheless. There were some flaws that I noticed though.
There were a few jungle/palm trees in the mix with pine/oak/bamboo which looks ridiculous to me. The road consisted of broken grass/land while the outlining was made with dirt. If you think about it, that too is pretty ridiculous. Shouldn't the road be dirt because of all the trampling?
The farm area to the right looks very strange. Unnatrually odd. Some design changes needs to implemented there. Lastly, there were instances of straight elevation and I'm not fond of those. I like looking at it with variety and the way it is now is like looking at straight edge piles of trees.
This scenario has a somewhat short and confusing story bundled with a lengthy commentation at the victory page to close up the game. Even so, I did not find much of it enjoyable. There's not much to say in my part about the story. It consisted of a few lines from a song and there were a couple of lines during gameplay. Now that I think about it, I don't think there was much of any story actually. But since this is not a normal game, what was displayed will suffice.
The instructions are hard to breakdown for a review. The beginning instructions were accurate and useful but when the first puzzle task is given, the instruction is false. From that point on, the instructions becomes true. Most of the time, the instructions did not give much of a hint and the player has to try to solve it themself by trial and error, or thinking logically. This alone is not a good idea because some people just can't solve it. If people like that play this, they would become very annoyed and there would be no extra hints to get them through.
This scenario is designed well and the concept is fresh but it still has its flaws. I hope the author takes some of my comments into consideration for any future work heshe pursues.