The Successor - Act One: The Renegade Prince (v. 1,1)
Posted on 09/09/11 @ 08:55 AM (updated 12/23/11
*** This scenario received the award Best Story in the Game of the Year Awards of 2011 ***
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The sequel to this game is out! Download The Successor - Act Two >>> HERE <<<
Ravenia is a land without a King, a land plagued by civil war and foreign invaders. And it has been like that for 15 years now, since the death of the old king, Navar the 3rd. Now, there is finally hope... The prophecy is about to be fulfilled. The Renegade Prince is returning home...
This is the first Act of "The Successor" trilogy, which you might be familiar with if you have played my previous cinematic scenario. If not, don't worry! Everything you need to know is right here, in this download, including a revamped version of the prologue cinematic!
This campaign contains two scenarios, the first is playable, while the second is 100% cutscene.
- An emphasis on the narrative aspect. If you've enjoyed the intense storytelling of campaigns such as Ulio, spiced up with a little bit of humor, you will probably not be disappointed.
- Two epic 15-minute-long cutscenes, at the beginning and the end of the game, as well as many other shorter ones during the game, that will drive the story forward.
- Gameplay diversity: Role-play, Fixed Force, Defend the Spot, even a little bit of Puzzle, plus a couple of suspenseful one-on-one duels. There should be something in here for every gamer out there, except for hardcore b&d-ers.
- Varied and detailed map design, a whole country with different landscapes, one major city and several towns and villages.
- An interesting cast of characters, including a protagonist who does not fit the "prince charming" cliche.
- An epic soundtrack to match the story. The main character even has his own theme song!
- A detailed .pdf guide, containing all you need to know about the game and its background.
- A total of around 800 triggers.
This game is best played on normal speed with a resolution of 1024X768 and music off. To install it, just place the .cpx file in the campaigns folder and the sound files in the sound/scenario folder.
I hope you will have fun with this game, and I urge you to comment, review and give your suggestions and feedback. I need all the feedback I can get if this is to become a trilogy ;)
All credits are in the beginning cutscene and in the .pdf guide. A particular thank you goes to my playtesters, Bf_Tanks, Dtrungle and Popeychops.
V 1.1 - UPDATES SINCE THE PREVIOUS VERSION:
- fixed all detection area bugs that have escaped playtesting and have been brought to my attention after first upload;
- "relic doesn't show" bug from Teophil's quest fixed;
- turkey now always changes ownership to p1 after little girl quest;
- minor spelling mistakes fixed;
- "Super Tarran" bug which I believed to be fixed is still appearing sometimes. Will probably be fixed in a newer version.
- added one bonus non-playable map, as a teaser for the up-coming sequel!
Thank you to everybody who gave their feedback and contributed to identifying bugs.
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Oh yeah, that should definitely be the east.
I'm working on Act II almost on a daily basis, after work. It takes a lot of time to get done but it will probably be out in a few months.
The Successor – Act One concerns the story of a land, Ravenia where the rightful King of Donaria’s heir has been disposed following the Kings death, and an invading army has placed a puppet Lord, Willan, in control. The player takes control of Krall and his followers as they embark on a campaign of war to regain the lost kingdom.
The first task is to cross a river, there are enemy patrols and it is possible if they don’t pay attention you can lose your transport ship, the first main battle is broken into three different attacks, quickly here the difficult task the prince has undertaken is set. I found myself resetting a few times here trying to keep as many units alive as possible, it sets the tone of the challenge that awaits the player. The next portion of the game involves the player recruiting people to their cause, and there are some optional side-quests to undertake as well. The final task involves capturing Kron, the capital which involves taking three separate points of the map. The game uses a fixed force style throughout, with moments where the player is moved to the inside of buildings and the game-style can change here. If I was to mention one flaw is that there is quite a lot of travel, generally this was broken up by the skirmishes, but there were times where I had to wander a long way across the map and then back, it felt pointless. Overall though the enjoyment of the game is amazing and I hate to see what the battles are like on Hard, I’ve struggled greatly (in a good way) in moderate! There are also moments that require the player to do particular things (walk on scroll, talk to certain character) for them to understand how to proceed, so I felt this impacted on the score.
Even on Standard it may be required for the player to restart more than once, it’s a very well balanced game and I feel most players should be well tested and challenged, I found myself desperately separating weaker units from the stronger ones, and running back to monks with these units just to keep them going. Every group of units you come across, while quite possible to defeat can cause you to lose quite a lot of units, there are some truly challenging moments such as taking the castle which requires the player to plan and time their assault, or defending the Sylvanian village. More than likely there are moments where, while you may be successful, I will still require a reload if your losses are too great.
Map Design: 5
There’s a great use of terrain mixture and some great design effects, using the jungle trees extensively, there are some neat touches throughout the design and for a map this size to be done so consistently well is great! We move from swamps to mountainous passes and beautiful forest paths in between. There’s a huge use of different tree types which keeps everything fresh and stops the monotony that can occur in forest terrains. There are so many strong points here.
While there’s nothing ground breaking in The Successor in terms of creativity the thing that impressed me most was the thought and planning that went into certain moments of the game, generally what I would refer to as the "RPG" elements, boss fights, exploration sequences and so on. The trigger work is splendid, and there are some nice touches, "rugs" acting as scrolls. The player is treated to some nicely done "indoor" scenes and the humour is also quite well done.
Story / Instructions: 4
The story is good, it concerns the recapture of a realm that has been conquered, through the use of assassination. Some of the dialogue is strange, and doesn’t work, though that may be down to my next point. The player moves quickly from moments to moment but there is one ‘flaw’ I couldn’t get over, and that is the lead character himself, I honestly found it hard to like Krall, and though this may the designer’s intention, it can ruin the enjoyment of the game and the story, however the intro cut-scene and the closing one are really well done, setting the scene quite well, and perhaps suggest at something more sinister, so we will wait and see, it is possible Act II and III will adjust my opinion when we get the whole story arc. Perhaps my problems are rectified by the final cut-scene outro, but it felt like too little too late, perhaps these moments would have been better served being dealt with throughout the main scenario rather than dealt with at the end. Instructions are top notch, no complaint.
Great work panel, I am excited to continue the story, especially because of the hints about Krall towards the end, and the following Acts may affect the score for Story/Instructions, which was the hardest part for me to judge, I flipped and changed my rating numerous times! I disliked Krall, I know some appreciate his "no nonsense" attitude, but it just seems unlikely he can so easily win people over with the way he treats them!
Thanks a lot for the review :)
You're the first to dislike Krall to this extent, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I won't give any spoilers, but the entire story goes much deeper, and both you and the people who liked him will probably enjoy the way it unfolds.
Act Two should be out in less than two months!
I downloaded the scenario yesterday [The Successor - Act One: The Renegade Prince (v. 1,1)] and this is my first experience of playing customized scenarios. I should tell u I am the first person waiting for the second part (Though i have not completed the first part completely).
I am stuck in the first part thought u might b able to help me out. I have killed the relic gaurd and both come out of the mousoleaum. The monk doesnt carry the relic and when all three reach the monastery as stated in objective, the objective is still unachieved. (I even tried taking mohan with them) I want to finish this asap. Kindly assist.
bhusanu, if the monk can't pick up the relic try reloading to a point just before accepting the mission or before you "entered" the mausoleum.
panel, I had big issues with the score for that reason, I don't know best how to express it, and from reading the other reviews other people loved his attitude and demeanor, and I think it was refreshing, I just felt the reactions of people around him were strange, perhaps it may involve a replay when II is out and a reconsideration. :)
bhushanu: After you finish the crypt quest, the relic should show next to the mausoleum, a bit to the right of your characters. After that you need to task your monk to it and take it to the monastery (garrison it). If the relic doesn't show up there, something has gone terribly wrong and I'd advise to reload a previous game.
WildCardDow: everyone is entitled to his own opinion. I wasn't expecting everybody to like him, I think he was too much of an asshole at times too, but I was aiming for realism more than creating a pleasurable character, he had to fit the psychological profile I needed for my story, and I also use his ruthlessness for comic relief sometimes :p
The way people react around him is explainable mainly through his position of authority - Krall is modeled basically around medieval rulers. Only in the storybooks do you read about their heroic deeds,and how nice and curteous they were. Take Vlad Dracula for instance (Krall's main historical source of inspiration). He is considered to this day one one of my nation's greatest rulers, a just and brave man. Medieval German stories would have you believe otherwise, they described him as a depraved, cruel and bloodthirsty ruler. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. He was what our nation needed at that time, but he was also a very violent and self-centered man, like most medieval rulers were.
Krall is such a ruler. He puts himself above all else, which is why how he gets in a position of authority, and physical power doubled by intimidation is his way of dealing with problems, in a world where these things are valued above all else.
I will not tell you how (and if) his personality evolves during the trilogy, suffice it to say it's a lot more than meets the eye. You have a little glimpse of it in the ending cinematic of Act One, but you'll have to play through the whole trilogy to get the big picture.
BTW, Krall doesn't play such a big part in Act Two. Let's just say he'll take a step back for a while and allow a different character to take the spotlight. Maybe you'll enjoy it more for that reason :p
Also, you may not have liked Krall as a character, but I can't help but feel you're kind of intrigued by him. Which is what I was aiming for in a way ;)
[Edited on 02/08/13 @ 02:43 PM]
PLAYABILITY: This is a thoroughly enjoyable campaign with a variety of challenges ranging from solving puzzles to defend the spot to luring enemies and using your heroes as snipers. The boss fights are also a blast, and they take a couple tries before you have mastered them and can proceed. It took me about four and half (in game) hours to play through the campaign, not counting the cut-scenes; while there were some frustrating challenges (e.g. the crypt) and a lot of long walks, overall it was very enjoyable.
Two things bog down the gameplay to some degree. The first thing is that the red player, the civilians, isn't allied to you, but rather set to Neutral. This means that you often attack buildings and innocent civilians by accident. If you change diplomacy to ally to get around this, you get the unintended benefit of seeing half the map thanks to the Cartography research.
The other issue, which is more of a plot hole, is that you keep losing your entire army at every other battle. Krall is attempting to gather a large army, but in the end he has about as many soldiers as he had when he disembarked at the shores. He hasn't really built up an army, which he claims in the native camp. Perhaps it would've made more sense to give the player a monk/missionary at the start of the game, who could heal your units after each fight, meaning your army would actually grow over time.
Despite these flaws however, the scenario is still loads of fun, and very much deserving of a top score. 5-
BALANCE: The balancing is mostly very good, as the entire campaign provides you with challenge after challenge, never giving anything away too easily. One part was next to impossible though: the battle with the Tugai in the mountains. When I reached this point, I had an army of 30 men, most of them 20-30% damaged, and I was now up against wave after wave of cavalry and onagers. After five or six failed attempts and changes in tactics, I gave up and cheated out. I ran out into the open field outside the village, and then used Tarran to lure the enemy out of their starting points, a few at a time. This took a long while, but I eventually managed to win, albeit not in the intended way. Again, having a monk early on, or adjusting the number of Tugai attackers depending on how many units you have, would take this down from impossible to a good challenge. 4.
CREATIVITY: The setup of the story isn't all that new, but Panel takes a spin on it with a rather complex character that keeps it interesting throughout. There are also a lot of creative bits in the scenarios like well-made map-copied palaces, the music and the sounds, the intelligent boss fights, the indoors scenery and the dark humour. Little things like the sniper mode and gossiping villagers also bring it up. All in all, 5.
MAP DESIGN: Perhaps it is only a matter of taste, but parts of the map design don't hit home for me. The splashes of ice on otherwise very open terrain looked weird and not appealing, the cave walls sprinkled with rocks, gold and stone looked more randomly assembled than they resembled a tunnel, and the rather blocky use of elevation seemed half-finished. At times the terrain mixing also looked more randomly whipped together, in some of the roads for example, rather than there being an aesthetic purpose behind it.
All that being said, the map design is still a strong point of the campaign. The central scenario is made up as an entire country (or rather two) with the city of Kron at the center, the sea to the east, marshlands, mountains and rivers to the north, and so forth. It makes for a very vivid design, and it really feels like you are travelling across an entire country, rather than going through a map designed specifically for the events planned in the story. The design of Kron is also very good for strategy, although some sections look a bit too blocky and plain. All in all it's a good-looking map, despite some flaws. 4+
STORY & INSTRUCTIONS: The setup for the story is pretty basic. You have the hero underdog, rising up against an unworthy king, and you help him in his way to restoring order throughout the kingdom. If that was all there was to it, it would still make for a pretty good campaign, but it wouldn't stand out. What elevates this campaign above the rest is the character of Krall.
As opposed to most protagonists in AoK scenarios, Krall isn't just a tool to get the player from point A to point B, he is an actual somewhat complex character. While the black comedy and modern talk occasionally make his seem a little gimmicky, the character still holds up. Krall really bring the story to a whole new level, putting this very high on my list of great stories. It's no Ulio just yet... but there are two more acts to go!
Oh yeah, and the instructions are good, and the hints are plentiful and helpful. An unquestionable 5 here.
This is the best campaign i have played so far. I am in the last duel but connot kill willan though he slips 3 times. Any help would be appreciated.Again a great campaign. Dont forget to help.
[Edited on 07/11/13 @ 08:32 AM]
Hello Lohith Nv, glad you've enjoyed it.
For the final duel you need to remember two things, that Willan can slip if you lead him into holes in the ground, and that you have a better attack when you are higher than him. Use elevation to your advantage every time, especially when he is unable to attack. That way you will surely win.
Please bear with my lengthy oratory. This is my first comment/post here. I created an account here only to have my opinion heard. Not that my opinion really mattered to many, if not all, of you anyway, but it goes to show how badly I like to tell everyone how much I like this scenario.
"The Successor" is a masterpiece -- Almost! We'll deal with the 'almost' part later in this post. Hear now why even a Devil enjoys The Successor.
I've been a silent visitor to this site for some time now, habitually downloading high-rated campaign scenario files listed in the Blacksmith, and eagerly tried out each scenarios on weekends while having a pot of hot coffee and a fresh pack of cigarette on table side. But I have another habit -- I lose interest easily. The file found its premature death in Delete.
No doubt those scenarios were rated four or five star in here I found them tasteless nevertheless. They maybe in good taste to you kids but I ain't kid much longer. Been playing AoE for over a decade, I know what to expect. Each time I got bored or frustrated or felt cheated for have downloaded the craps I then committed the 'sinful' things... such as... 'marco polo' or 'map editor'.
Last weekend I tried out "The Successor", half expecting it to be worthy. What a surprise, for a change I took a user-customized campaign scenario seriously. Two packs of cigarrete later, I completed my mission, with our protagonist beheading Willan and pissed on his carcass. I was already on high alert right from the moment Prince Krall, Tarran and their troops in a leaky transport crossed Tarel Sea and set foot on the mainland. That guard tower worked like a machine gun with longbowmen garrissoned inside (*Spoiler?). Good micro would save you troops, esp when they're still suffering from disorientation after the sea voyage.
This scenario asked for a player's ability to employ his natural gift -- Commonsense -- in some situations while in a certain situation it requires one's wits to decipher riddles, esp about casting out all impure or that ice-fire stuff (But ironically in Krall-Willan case it's fight fire with a bigger fire). Another important part is of course combat knowledge, knowing which unit to counter which unit. Thankfully, my nimble archers survived many attempts by onagers. But of course such a Ravenia Story couldn't have been be completed without many Saved Points to fall back to after things went awfully wrong, which in my case happened awfully frequent, which made the game experience all the more worthwhile.
This scenario is all interesting, never a dull moment especially when clicking on villagers offer some kind of an entertainment in meantime. I laughed aloud, literally, after I curiously clicked on a girl villager as she was pacing back and forth in a Sylvanian village. She said she always do that when she's panicking. But I couldn't find any humour in Krall's dialogue. We'll deal with that in short while.
The rest of my positve comments have been articulated with a much better style in many reviews here. Offering praises of my own is merely a repeat of what others have said many times over towards the ingenuity of this campaign scenario.
But maybe I can add something new. To those who were bemused and felt a dislike towards Krall's antic which do not befit a prince I have you know Krall is a bastard anyway, never been trained in the lifestyle and customs of a palace. Hence no surprise he speaks and acts in the manner of a common rascal or vagabond. Panel is correct by portraying him as such a person.
Speaking of Prince Krall as a character in the scenario. Krall is only a man who loves to flirt with danger, takes unneccesary risk (such as taking a little girl along with him while knowing the journey ahead could be hazardous for even a group of men... and for what in return -- a turkey?). He's also inconsistent. He said several times he hated the mention of his father in his presence and he actually slashed a man to death for that. Yet in another scene he proudly showed off his father's amulet to Mohan.
This further convince us that Krall is only a blood-thirsty war-warmongering leader to begin with. But as the story progresses some nobel quality is slowly felt in his demeanour. But of course just about when we're about to like Krall, Panel designed something else for him.
So many things I wanted to say about The Successor but I fear I probably would forget the main reason I created this account. As Krall loves to put it, "Let's cut to the chase!"
Here's for you, Panel.
When a colleague of mine introduced AoE to me many, many years ago I quickly disregarded it as a childish plaything. But out of respect I took the CD back with me. Three days later I knew I had the highest respect for Ensemble Studio to have come up with such a great masterpiece. The RTS game is not childish at all. It is in fact PROFESSIONAL. It seems every single aspect of the creation is done with extreme great care, including the sound effect and language. It was their use of excellent English, suitable style of narration, that further gave CLASS to the CD game.
When I played your scenario last weekend I got the same awe feeling, I was very impressed. Your creation is professional. You're almost a god in your own right. Except for one thing -- English.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying your English is wrong or possess weak grammar. I'm not even native English speaker. But I love English literature, English story books, English movies. I'm talking about the dialogues between characters in your scenario.
From the Guide you gave in the file and your comments here I can see you have no problem with English. Your problem probably is scriptwriting, as in writing for a play. The story is set in medieval time but the style of English is 21st Century Urban Dictionary, especially that of Prince Krall, owhhhh especially him. Prince Krall's English is way, way ahead of time. In other words, hip-hop Krall interrupted an otherwise excellent medieval story.
I'd suggest you get a friend from literature class to help you out with the characters and their dialogues next time you make a scenario. That's the only thing lacking in your otherwise brilliant creation.
I may sound rude for that I apologize. Constructive criticsm. Because I loveeeee your work. Hence the spanking.
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