Against Thee, Wickedly - Teaser
Posted on 10/13/03 @ 12:00 AM (updated 03/18/17
Today, it is exactly two years ago that the great conflict between Astypalea and Banceva ended in a draw, atop the Jezuaia Mountains. Both countries had fought each other for over ten years, and though both had tried whatever they could, neither side had won sway over the other for long. After those ten years of useless bloodshed, both countries had agreed to bury the hatchet, and withdraw; each to her side of the mountain.
It seems as though all has been forgotten. Tomorrow, our beloved Princess Resita will marry the noble Prince Agios, exterminating whatever hard feelings both countries could have left. Or should I say - the hard feelings the Bancevan population could have left? Banceva has still not recovered from the war. Which is a natural thing, since most of it has been fought on their territory. Banceva still lies in ruins. Prince Agios may very well be their last chance of survival. Still... I can't help but feel uncomfortable when I see all these Bancevan citizens pouring through our main gate, bearing looks that would burn our entire city to molten brick and wood... Were it not for the fact that looks cannot kill - and that brick and wood cannot melt.
Alas, I'm probably just over-concerned. But that, too, is a natural thing - I am a member of the Astypalean Royal Guard, and we are to take care of the safety of the Royal Family. And such we will.
Sigh... I certainly hope everything goes well tomorrow... Wish me luck.
Please note that the zips do not have a default path to which they unzip. My copy of Age of Kings is not installed in the default directory - so the mp3-files should be unzipped in /sound/scenario, while the cpx-file should be unzipped in /campaign.
This campaign is a typical story-teller campaign - meaning there will be a lot of dialogue and cutscenes. The gameplay is a mix of Fixed Force and Role Playing - no B&D is included in this demo.
Two difficulty levels are included: Easy and Moderate. This demo was designed for Moderate - Easy has been included in case things turn out to be too tough.
As a last word - thanks to the people who playtested this work. You can find your names back in the History section.
May 17, 2003: Fixed broken URLs.
May 20, 2003: Re-written description page.
October 13, 2003: Fixed URLs, again. Files relocated.
June 24, 2005: Updated layout to better fit the new download system.
March 18, 2017: Updated the file to include the sounds.
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
|The Viking Lord
Against Thee, Wickedly
An excellent campaign by Luke Gevaerts. After playing this, I sat back and told myself 'wow'. An stunning master piece, with both game play and the careful use of music. For those who have lower end connections, I guarantee that the time spent on the music will be fully paid back once you get the campaign open.
The story starts, "Two years after their realms had a great conflict which lasted for ten years, Princess Resita of Astypalea and Prince Agios of Banceva are tying the knot. The Astypalean Royal Guard fears for the safety of the royal family."
Aye, while much of the game is a mere teaser, it teases well. Leaving you thirsting for more, it carefully gives equal time to playability and cut scenes that further the story along.
Perfect balance in my opinion. After starting over, at least two or three times, I managed to skillfully use a bit of strategy to gain the hill with my units. The balance is neither impossible, yet not so simple, as your units do not have much in hit points.
Stunning, I myself am having difficulty understanding how to use the snow terrains effectively to portray a beautiful setting. Luke has done a worthy job of impressing me with his worth, and I was thoroughly captivated by his skill in making a 2D game come alive.
His story, while lacking the twists that make up Ulio, is entertaining and realistic. I had little trouble understanding the instructions and how I was to accomplish them. My only complaint is the text on many occasions remained too long on the screen and I had to sit there and wait till it passed. The author might be a slower reader and I realize, that if I designed it, I probably would have the text remain on the screen in an unreadable fashion.
For those looking forward to a good and fun scenario to occupy their evening, I suggest this. I am also looking forward to the full campaign.
[Edited on 03/19/17 @ 07:01 AM]
Review for 'Against Thee, Wickedly' by Luke Gevaerts-- "Two years after their realms had a great conflict which lasted for ten years, Princess Resita of Astypalea and Prince Agios of Banceva are tying the knot. The Astypalean Royal Guard fears for the safety of the royal family."
Playability-- This scenario's playability is awesome! About an equal amount of cut-scene time and playing time. The way Luke Gevaerts introduces mystery to his campaign is very interesting, making this teaser surely a tease. I spotted no bugs in 'Against Thee, Wickedly' (ATW), and I enjoyed every second of gameplay and cut-scene. This is one of the best playable cut-scenes I have played so far.
+ Plus Points +
¤ Very fun and interesting
¤ No bugs
¤ Great cut-scenes
- Minus Points -
Balance-- I found the balance for this great. You have to use strategy to get past the enemys... if you do not use it, you are pretty much dead. I like it also because it makes you think, "If I bring my units down here, will they live?" You have to save often if you want to survive the many attacks of the Rebels. I lost a few times, but then I got the rhythm of the terrain around me right and I came out of it victorious.
+ Plus Points +
¤ Beyond strategic
¤ Pretty much perfect balance
- Minus Points -
Creativity-- I do not think there is anybody who can play this scenario and think it is not creative. The characters, the great gameplay, and the hidden surprises (drowning at the beggining) make this scenario very creative. The cut-scenes play right along with the storyline. For a while, I thought this was a movie. Also the way the buildings and map blended in with the sounds and storyline is very creative indeed.
+ Plus Points +
¤ Great map (blends in with everything that is going on)
¤ Creative ideas (buildings, characters, hidden surprises)
- Minus Points -
Map Design-- I look at this category, and I instantly remember the map I saw in ATW. By looking at a section of the map, you can tell Luke Gevaerts is a great map designer. By using the snow terrain mixes, it instantly made me shiver as the story began. How his map blends in with the sounds and the story is excellent. There is a lot of eye-candy in this scenario, which truly brings out this map's design.
+ Plus Points +
¤ Tons of great eye candy
¤ Excellent overall map
- Minus Points -
Instructions-- Perfect instructions and great storyline. The objectives tell you exactly what to do, and all you have to do is try to survive and complete it. The storyline is wonderful and it looks as if it is a book. While entertaining to read, it also tells you about what is going on and continues through gameplay and cut-scenes. When you start, it is as if you can feel what is going to happen. The hints were great as well. They were informative and gave great tips.
+ Plus Points +
¤ Informative hints
¤ Great storyline
- Minus Points -
Final Thoughts-- This is a great scenario, and I applaud the author. It deserves a 5.0, even if some disagree. The author worked hard to make it the best, and the author has succeeded.The author, Luke Gevaerts, is indeed a great scenario designer.
I recommend this campaign for you to download. It is fun to play, and exciting to watch. I await the full campaign when it is released. This is indeed an excellent teaser. If the author has any questions/concerns about this review, they can feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com.
Against Thee, Wickedly is so far a promising, unfinished single scenario, a teaser. It is a RPG, alternating interactive cut-scenes and cut-scenes in the beginning. Two years after their realms, which are divided by the Jezuaia Mountains, had a great conflict which lasted for ten years, Princess Resita of Astypalea and Prince Agios of Banceva are getting married in the Astypalean city, hosting Bancevan citizens in its walls. The Astypalean Royal Guard is alerted worrying for the safety of the royal family, while a stranger has a conspiratorial meeting outside the city walls.
PLAYABILITY: The unfinished scenario, which does not even use half the map at this stage, gives the impression of being an introduction to an epic tale. Your lust to play is repeatedly interrupted by small cut-scenes and dialogues. Good interesting start which gets you well into the story, exciting to play the bad guy longing for a nice tall one. It was a pleasure to play the great map, exploring the detailed great design of the landscape and city. Fantastic scene with the exploding bridge, thereafter my fingers itched to take the mouse, but was hold back reading a long conversation at the cardinals residence and the text at the statue would fit the history section better. Overall the cut-scenes have no pace as the text often stays too long on the screen. I enjoyed ATW and will certainly play the finished version, expecting more action at the other side of the Utay river. 4
BALANCE: I played the teaser on moderate and had a couple of reloads. Your path is narrow and your enemy has the terrain advantage on his side, allowing on the two small fights only hit and run tactics against the stronger enemies. The uphill battles were challenging and well balanced, but the design hurts game play and balance, causing deaths. 4
CREATIVITY: In this category every aspect of the game is rated and the creativity is well above average. The map is highly creative having its own style and I spotted some new things like an open air theatre, a bridge burning after its destruction and I was confronted with a surprising death by drowning. Renaming of many buildings and units, sounds and music file, two level dynamic balance and scenes like the practising longbow man, the opening cut-scene, choosing an answer and the exploding bridge. 5
MAP DESIGN: Luke is not only a good designer; he has found his own personal, artistic style. The burning mining location has a good design, you almost smell the fire. Detailed map, terrain mix and realistic elevations. Great harbour, good discrete map copying, like the mansion, taverns and a mountain tunnel. 5+
STORY/INSTRUCTIONS: As for most great campaigns the good impression starts with the author's description page. ATW is introduced with a very personal BMP. There were almost no spelling errors, which is excellent, as English is not the author's first language. The "Rustled Wistle" probably reads rusted whistle, it is exciting when silk stockings rustle, but a whistle? I liked the dialogues, they made sense and some were really funny. The hints are sufficient, clear objective and a good, in game developing story. 5
OVERALL: A successful teaser, I am left wanting more.
OBSERVATIONS: This is an edited version of my review posted on 2002-10-09, I replayed and increased the rating. I initially underrated the scenario, probably because it was a teaser, a demo. Maybe because I was disappointed because this lovely scenario was over too fast, not letting me fulfil my objective to reach the other side of the Utay river. Maybe because I did not know which information the stranger got in the Tavern "The Iron Heel" and if the female voice belonged to a nice tall one. Maybe I was simply frustrated because I chose moderate difficulty and died too often. Whatever the reason was, I am sorry for any confusion my review might have caused.
SUGGESTIONS: Let the player play. There are some solutions to the problem. Click and talk triggers or have the text pass faster or make text optional, like "if you want to know more about the history click the church otherwise proceed with your objective". This becomes important, as your scenario has a high replay value, especially because it is difficulty dynamic. I first played moderate, then standard and moderate again. It becomes boring to see the text pass thrice, without being able to click it off. Another solution would be to have the interactive cut-scene as a first scenario, ending with the conversation at the cardinals residence. Have some challenges where the player can use micromanagement with various tactics. On moderate the main tactic was to run, heal and back again. That was practically the hard level, standard with plus 10 HP is perfect, probably moderate would play best with increased HP only for the archer. You did a great map, but you should be aware that it can hurt game play as one can hardly move sometimes in the wanted direction. I don't mind to loose in a good fight, but it is annoying when your champion walks away from the enemy instead of towards him, leaving your archer unprotected.
IN CLOSING: I recommend downloading the teaser and to hope, pray for a finished version.
This is one of the best campaigns I have played.
I loved this scenario, and enjoyed every minute of it. The cut scenes were great, the terrain excellent, and trigger tricks fantastic. I especially enjoyed the first scene (the secret meeting), and loved the effect of the stranger charging the citizen to kill him. There were no bad parts, no annoying parts, etc.
Balance-4. Every part was rather hard (I had to try several times!!) but it wasn't impossible. You had to use a lot of strategy to kill people, and I found myself retreating often. It might have been a tad too hard, but this may just be because I suck :-).
Creativity-5. The plot was original, the map was at it's best, the triggers were great. Need I say more?
Map Design-5. The snowy forest was beautiful. I spent a few minutes just looking at it, and found that time not at all wasted! I loved the look of the bridge, and especially the town. But, my favorite place was the mine. Every building had been named deserted house/storage, and were on fire, making it look great. The pathways through the forest around the mine were excellent looking as well.
Story/Instructions-5. The plot was thick and entertaining. And, regarding instructions, I was never EVER clueless as where to go.
In conclusion-A MUST download, looking forward to the full version!
Playability-5. I have to say, I totally LOVED this campaign. The objectives weren't impossible, you didn't have to go back and forth for long periods of time, there were a perfect amount of enemies, etc. Quite simply, one of the best I've ever played. Little/no spelling errors is a definite plus as well.
Balance-5. I do not enjoy having to repeat a campaign over and over against impossible odds. I had to do this once or twice, but at least it wasn't impossible or annoyingly easy. A good challenging campaign.
Creativity-5. Lots of great tricks. My favorite was the assassin killing the person getting him equipment, the way he seemed to run him through with his blade. Never seen that before.
Map Design-5. Beautiful snowy forests made this campaign come to life.
Story/Instructions-5. Clear objectives, not hard to understand at all. A good plot really made this come to life.
Summary-One of the best campaigns I've played. I really got into this, which I usually don't do with most campaigns. A good job done. Looking forward to the full!
I confess that I was sceptical when I first downloaded this campaign -- I imagined it would be another of those cheap FFs that seem to be flooding the blacksmith at this sad day and age. Nothing could have been further from the truth. "Against thee, wickedly" (ATW) is an incredible experience that you'll want to play again and again. Its almost on a par with Ingo van Thiel's work. Frankly, I'm surprised that it has escaped attention for so long.
Unlike most campaigns today, this clean little teaser begins with a wedding instead of a war. The lucky couple are Princess Resita and Prince Agios, rulers of kingdoms that until recently were enemies. The glittering marriage of these two seems certain to bring peace to the wartorn realms of Astypalea and Banceva. With the wedding ceremony being held in Astypalea, many people are not happy about it. Patriots and former soldiers want Prince Agios to leave, and think that the peace treaty was the biggest mistake ever made. With riots on the streets, wedding preparations, and the Astypalean city guards having their hands full keeping the populace under control -- no-one realises that unknown forces in high places are hell-bent on ensuring that the newlyweds DO NOT live happily ever after!
When the wedding ceremony is marred by a premeditated explosion in the city and panic on the streets, Prince Agios sets out on a journey to find out who is responsible for the attack. With a trusty, overworked guard called Tomorr as his guide, he must travel forth. But it is not that easy, as rebels have taken to the hills, laying waste to nearby villages.
If that sounds like an unusual and interesting plot, just wait until you actually start to play the game. Its true that most of it is spent as a cutscene watching text roll by, but the playable bits are sheer magic. Most of the time you play as Tomorr and Agios, trying to find a way across a river. This scenario makes use of the "HP reduction" trick, so they each have about 30-40 HP apiece. With HP so low, you have to constantly watch them, turn your back for a second and you will find yourself facing a defeat message. ATW is not for those who detest micromanagement, which is essential when you consider that you are normally hemmed in by trees on every side.
But there is one thing that irks me -- namely, a bug. Mid-game, there is a loophole in which you can sneak through an unintentional passageway and gain access to areas that were intended to never be viewed. I've e-mailed the author about the problem and it will hopefully be fixed in the full version. I've considered that it is not a big deal, so ATW still gets top marks from me.
For this: I dispense a 5.
Everything about this little gem smacks of originality. Instead of some lonely plain you find yourself as a harassed guard in a busy metropolis buzzing with rumours -- the exact opposite of the formula of most campaigns. It would have been nice if you had been able to talk to the various citizens, but then you can't have everything.
One of my pet peeves in campaigns is long intro-sequences, as anyone who has read my review for "Tannenberg, 1460 ad" will attest. However, I found myself wishing the numerous cutscenes in this campaign had been longer -- I was that absorbed. Another thing that was fun was the sort of open-ended quality of it -- anything was possible. I felt rather chastised when I accidently trod on a blowhole and my hero was killed by a jet of water, you've got to really watch your step in ATW.
For this: I dispense a 5.
Unlike other campaigns, ATW is not difficulty dynamic. There are the same number of enemies on every level, and your heroes get the same number of HP. All round, it is challenging, but not unbeatably so.
As I've said, micromanagement is of the essence. The enemy archers seem to have been upgraded with ballistics, so dodging around won't help you much. A tactic I find helpful is to lure the enemies out of their cover with Prince Agios' fire, and then ambush them with Tomorr midway. Multiple units appearing on the scene can prohibit this tactic, however.
For this: I dispense a 5.
The map design of ATW is simply nonplussing... it seems that every tile has a different terrain on it. Have a look at that raft stuck between the rocks -- and the flaming bridge as the anarchists blow it up. The vibrant, thriving, yet snowbound feel of the city has not been seen since Titulus Invadere was uploaded. In ATW, you really feel like your part of it, and thats what makes a good campaign. Extravagant use of beta units lent a very original feel to it -- the Infiltrator unit renamed as a militia was very cleverly done.
The triggerwork was very good, as most buildings (not ommiting inns and churches) are renamed to seem more authentic, and they sure as hell do!
For this: I dispense a 5.
The gripping storyline makes the player want to keep playing, and the whole game is steeped in mystery. Who ordered the attack? Who were the two strange men at the beginning scene. Such mysteries remain unanswered, and will presumable remain so until the release of the full version.
It would be fair to compare this storyline with that of Ulio, its so good. The instructions are also decent and easy to follow.
For this: I dispense a 5.
This is an excellent campaign, and I advise that you download it even if you are not such a fan of the genre. There are only two complaints I have. 1, the impassable road bug, and 2, it doesn't go on for long enough. Why can't people make decent sized trailers these days???
I've been taking a trip down memory lane recently, and decided to return to one of the very first scenarios I ever downloaded. 'Against Thee, Wickedly' by Luke Gevaerts is the author's sole upload, but what is otherwise just a teaser features superb map design, an excellent soundtrack and memorable game play about as well as you will ever find at the Blacksmith. Even after a decade, this file more than holds its own.
PLAYABILITY: There are few designs that manage to capture your attention the moment you become enthralled in the cold wintry backdrop of Astypalea, but 'Against Thee, Wickedly' does this almost effortlessly. Years have passed since the great war with arch rival Banceva, but emotion runs high among the common folk as both Prince Agios and Princess Resita marry to unite the war weary kingdoms in their differences. One thing leads to another, and a mysterious explosion at a nearby bridge crossing disrupts the festivities. As a member of Astypalea's royal guard, it is your job to figure out who's trying to sabotage the newly-formed alliance. What follows is an intriguing quest in which the cold and often mysterious setting, interspersed as it is with small lakeside towns, burning mountains villages and hallmarks of past wars, tells as much a tale of a deeper yet untold past than the main story you follow. For what is essentially just a teaser, this scenario has the enjoyment of a good campaign and never fails to deliver with its original storyline and RPG-based design. You are always left wanting more. 5+
BALANCE: The scenario was designed for moderate difficulty, with an option in standard for newer or less experienced players. Despite the majority of the scenario being fairly story centric, the player is faced with great difficulty when the challenge to survive does come. Often you're pitted against larger forces and in frustratingly confined spaces, while your two heroes with little HP really do need watching over. Smart micromanaging is needed here, and saving often is highly-recommended. 5-
CREATIVITY: The scenario begins with a gripping cut-scene and from there you never look back. The original premise and developing intrigue are complimented by the cold backdrop of a fictional world, while the RPG-inspired design choices and excellent soundtrack adds an extra layer of immersion to the game play experience. 5
MAP DESIGN: The cold backdrop of Astypalea is mesmerising with its stunning attention to detail and unique design style, and really compliments an RPG and story-driven game play. The design often captures your imagination with the stuck raft in the ice, the frozen over port forbidding an easy journey over the Utay river, or the mysterious mountainside haunted by the ruins of past wars and defeats. 5+
STORY/INSTRUCTIONS: Everything about the story draws the player into its immersion. The dialogue is very well-written and descriptive in its characterisation, while the hints leave nothing to be desired. If there is any issue to cite it is because this lovely teaser finishes too soon, and just as it was starting to really take off. 5
CONCLUSION: This is a classic and deserved 'Best of' at the Blacksmith, as well as one of my personal favourites.
In a sentence - Cold, mysterious and immersing.
In closing - This is a must download!
[Edited on 03/22/17 @ 10:31 PM]