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Downloads Home » Campaigns » Blacksun Beta Series Version The Last One, Dammit!

Blacksun Beta Series Version The Last One, Dammit!

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(Updated on 12/01/03)
Author File Description
The Kestrel
File Details
Version: The Conquerors
Style: Role Playing Strategy
Number of scenarios: 6
VERSION THE LAST ONE, DAMMIT!:
Essential. The battle can now be won in Part III. No seriously, this time I don't even think I'm making an ass out of myself by saying that! The crash after the battle that Tanneur found by fixing the triggers has also been fixed. The gate bugs in Part 3 have been fixed. No new spelling corecctions have been made, though it is till definatley not error free.

VERSION BLAH BLAH BLAH:
Essential. Fixed bug in Part 3 that stopped you from advancing after the battle, (I think) slowed down the speed that the enemies attack you when fighting the final boss (for all of you that cheated to get there) and revised the diolauge in Part 1 and and the first conversation in Part 2. If I didn't really fix the bug, then by all means, rage at me.

VERSION 1337:
I can't remember what I did.

VERSION SOMETHING OR OTHER: If you rescue the guys from the elephant in Part 4, they will now join you. The anti-cheating bug with the ship in Part 3 has also been fixed.

VERSION I HOPE THERE WON'T BE ANOTHER-
Not essential. Fixes some bugs in Part 4, changes the effects of finding a secret item in Part 3. Edited a certain line of diolauge in Part 4 by a request that I understood. The rest of the bad language stays. You can't censor art.

VERSION I'M OUT OF NAMES- Fixes crippling bug in part 3 after Arone is killed, disables the ability to garrison and illegally heal in Part 1. This version is also essential.

VERSION PANTHER FOOD- Same as version Who Cares, but bugs in Part II have been fixed (I think) and a story element has been changed. Unlike Who Cares, this version is essential.

VERSION WHO CARES- This is the same as the previous version, but with the spelling errors in Part 1 corrected and a few story holes filled over in the conversation with Ebric. If you have the older version, don't bother to upgrade.

For those of you who have never played Blacksun, it is a simple RPG-type campaign with a few fixed force elements in each chapter. The original version of Part one was released nearly two years ago, and since then, it has recived much praise from people other than myself (!).

WARNING: Contains liberal use of bad language throughout. Player descresion advised. (What am I SAYING? I could care less if I offend anyone). Besides, they're just words.
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AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Lord_Fadawah Not a bad effort, LoserWithCoolName. Just one bug. In the first playable scenario, just after you depart from Boltaca by boat (after rescueing Torrias) a cutscene begins. A scout rides up to a camp... and then nothing happens! Please release an update fixing the bug.
Andanu Trisatya I remembered how great this game was when I signed up to playtest it back then.

Good to see that it's still up here. Sadly I no longer have the music files.
Tanneur99
Official Reviewer
Thank you for your comment Andanu, I remember play testing too. If you find more files with missing sounds, could you post in the blacksmith thread of the SD Forum please? I will look if I find the music and sounds on an old computer.
Andanu Trisatya Okay, Tanneur. I'll keep that in mind.
panel
Official Reviewer
incredibly good campaign that somehow managed to pass under the radars all this time.

a review is on its way.
panel
Official Reviewer
Rating
4.8
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions4.0
It's been 3 years since I first played the popular campaign "Ulio" by star designer Ingo van Thiel. Since then, I thought I had seen the most epic thing ever created for AOK. Now, upon finishing this game, I am starting to question it.
I've made this introduction just to give you an idea of just how incredibly epic and awfully underdownloaded this campaign actually is. I had stumbled across it by mistake, and after receiving a very positive reference from Andanu, one of its playtesters back in the day, decided to give it a try. And I did not regret it. This is without question one of the most complex and enjoyable RPG's the Blacksmith has ever seen, and it comes from a time when insanely epic 6-scenario-long RPG campaigns actually got finished, though some of them faded into obscurity, as was the case here unfortunately.

Playability: 5-
Don't let the minus sign here fool you...this was one of the most enjoyable games I have ever played. It is an RPG that starts of with a very "Lord of the Rings" kind of premise, but soon develops into having a very personalized concept and style. The enjoyment that stems from it comes from all aspects of the game: a great and well-developed story, a beautifully detailed and varied map design, and a good balance. Though it is mostly RPG wherein you control two (sometimes three) characters, the game also has a few parts closer to fixed force gameplay, in which you control an entire army. Every scenario has its own merits and its own style. The first and the last are cinematics, the second puts some emphasis on pure RPG gameplay with lots of sidequests and items to discover, while the next two are more oriented towards the main quest, and the fifth is an excellently built-up final quest and final showdown, with a setting that fits in perfectly with the climax of the story. One element that unifies all of these scenarios is the similar upgrade system for the characters, in the form of items that you can find scattered through the map (armors, weapons, shields, amulets etc). They are optional but more often than not your fate depends on finding them. A great touch is the fact that they are all signaled in a similar way (broken cart), so after you find the first one you know you need to be on the lookout for them.

Now to explain the minus sign...It is mostly related to the fact that the gameplay itself gets repetitive at some point. In many cases it's about killing demons, as you get from one point to the other, but taking into account the beauty of the map design and the inventivity of the other quests that you run into, this is only a very slight drawback. A more serious one for me was the bug that I encountered close to the end of the third playable scenario ("Eternal Night"), during the elf-demon battle, and which killed my game in one instance. However, taking into account the vastness of this campaign and the huge amount of work that has made it virtually bugless apart from this moment, it is forgivable and I will not deduct an entire point because of it, especially since it might have been a random bug.
Unfortunately, the original sound files for this campaign are no longer available. I can easily imagine them adding to the playability, but to be honest this work speaks for itself very well even without them.

Balance: 5-
Generally speaking the balance was wonderful. There were however a few places in which it was a bit off. I found it great that the game starts off easier and it gets progressively tougher, in the spirit of a true RPG. However, during the first playable scenario things were a bit too easy, while on the second one it was sometimes incredibly hard to keep my heroes alive before I reached the elven port city, i had to save very often and be very careful not to attract enemy attention. Most of the time during the campaign, the author has made sure that the player is not outpowered, and there are many save points where monks that heal your wounds are provided for a short amount of time to replentish your forces before major clashes occur. Overall the balance has been very well studied.

Creativity: 5
This is without a doubt the part where the game shines the most. The level of creativity is really insane for AOK standards, and forces me again to make the Ulio comparison. There are many RPG-related aspects in which creativity is very visible, such as the items you find along the way and the sidequests. You will also discover map-design related originality such as a "moving forest" and a wonderfully well implemented active volcano. There are a lot of small but very creative objectives such as blowing up an enemy camp , or pushing a ship until it reaches the sea and becomes sailable ...I can't even remember all of them, but you will have a lot of fun discovering them by yourself. A very important aspect of an RPG's creativity is the atmosphere that it can convey, and Blacksun is very good in this department. Almost all of the NPC's you meet in cities and the likes will talk to you and will provide you either with good info, with a sidequest or with a good laugh, making you sometimes forget that you are playing Age of Kings and feel like you are really part of a fantasy world.

It must be said that profanity plays an important part in the dialogues, which means some people might be turned off by it. I however enjoyed it a lot. It was very refreshing, not to mention funny, to see the inhabitants of a fantasy Tolkien - like world act and act less pompously and closer to real-life behavior and language.


Map Design: 5
This particular aspect of the game was constantly good throughout, but I feel that it has slightly improved during the making of the 6 scenarios. This is not to say that the first scenario was badly designed, quite the contrary. All in all the author has managed to create a believable and quite beautiful fantasy world, and map design plays a huge part. It's diversity is great, but not overwhelming, maybe because every scenario preserves it's own atmosphere. The first scenario is set in the "human" realm, which presents a temperate climate kind of map, the next ones are in Elvish territory which is mostly jungle-like, and the last playable scenario presents a wonderful snowy design.
The highlight of the map design was for me the Elvish capitol , which I felt looked marvelous and could always be a contender in a "Pretty Town Contest".


Story/Instructions: 4
Even though in the beginning it feels a little bit like a "Lord of the rings" cliche, the story soon finds a road of its own, and even though the similarities with the Tolkien works are still there, it is hard not to see the originality and merit of this particular narrative. There is a Chosen One, which needs of course to save the world by defeating the Evil One. This is by no means something new, or original, especially in the realm of RPG fantasy. However, the way in which the story unfolds, with a lot of cutscenes driving it forward and key playable moments, and the fun that you have playing it and discovering the plot makes it very fresh and prevents it from falling into cheap plagiarisms. The author even managed to sneak in a little bit of romance without being too cheesy. I will not give any spoilers as to the story itself, it's enough to say that this particular story basically has it all, and it is without a doubt one of the greatest ever told on an AOK platform. Ulio probably surpasses it in originality, but not in overall entertainment value.

Though I had initially given this category a full 5 mark, upon replaying it I couldn't help but notice quite a few imperfections as far as grammar is concerned. This, along with the fact that the plot is not really that original, has made me rethink the rating for this particular category, though I still feel that it is close to getting a 5, and it would get it if it were a little bit more polished.

Additional Comments:

If you are reading this, and if you've made it this far into this novel of a review, then you should know by now that you absolutely NEED to download this file. You will not regret it. I hope that this review is enough to convince you of that, and I honestly hope that this masterpiece will be finally given the credit that it deserves.

In one word: A masterpiece. Thank you , The Kestrel, for a most enjoyable experience.

[Edited on 12/27/11 @ 12:03 PM]

Dtrungle
Official Reviewer
I've encountered a bug. When you meet the monk at the start, he walks after an introduction and if you follow him too slowly or if you make him move away from his position (to heal you), the game comes to a halt.

I'm now inside the northern city and the objective is to find someone who can help me as the King won't. Who am I looking for? I wandered around the city and spam clicked a lot of units and nothing.
panel
Official Reviewer
the quy you've talked to (Boltac i think is his name) is not the king, he is just a lord in charge of that city (who will later have an important part to play as you will see). You need to go to the capital, and to do that you will have to get a pass that allows you to leave the northern city by the eastern gate. you will first need to do a quest in this city if I remember correctly...help out a dwarf or something.
Dtrungle
Official Reviewer
The TK dwarf at the very top doesn't respond. The conquistador by the pond loves his gun. And the two gunners by the samurai says their dialogue. Where is this person?
panel
Official Reviewer
so many things happened during the whole game that I can barely remember the beginning :) IIRC, while you are exploring the city you run into some soldiers threatening to attack a dwarf and you help him out. He is grateful and then he helps you out, telling you how to get out of the city.
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Rating
4.7
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design4.5
Story/Instructions4.0
Statistics
Downloads:2,483
Favorites: [Who?]4
Size:530.66 KB
Added:10/19/03
Updated:12/01/03