||Role Playing Strategy
by Lord Basse and VonCorgath
The year is 1519, and the Sons of the Gods, the pale-skinned, beast-riding, metal-wearing Spaniards, are growing increasingly thirsty for Aztec gold and silver. The people of the Empire mostly believe that these weird men are indeed sent by the Gods, men sent out by the great war god Quetzalcoatl, which makes it very difficult for Emperor Montezuma to openly confront them. Montezuma instead resorts to appeasement strategies, and, having almost emptied the treasury with all the gifts to the Spaniards, he decided to go on the search for one of the greatest, yet undiscovered treasures in the world: The Jaguar Gold.
Montezuma sends out Tenoxte, one of his most loyal warriors, into the deep, uncharted jungles of the west to look for the treasure. But as it turns out, finding treasures isn't all about following a map to the X and digging a hole in the ground. Especially not when you don't have a map, and both native cannibals and Spanish conquistadors are trying to get you killed!
In this scenario, you play as Tenoxte and his band of treasure hunters. Your mission is to locate the treasure, and make sure the Spaniards don't get their hands on it before Montezuma can give it as a gift of appeasement. If that means killing a bunch of them, well, more fun for you!
• A two-designer scenario brought to you by Lord Basse and Voncorgath!
• RPS and some puzzle gameplay: no resource-gathering, just adventure!
• Relatively open gameplay, not just a single path to follow through the entire scenario,
• Beautiful (in my opinion) jungle and swamp design, primarily crafted by VonCorgath,
• Emphasis on adventure-like gameplay and atmosphere,
• A "cut to the chase"-type of story, no 10-minute dialogues or cut-scenes after every three steps you take,
• A spoonful of Basse-humour,
• Obscure references that probably only Basse will understand
• AoC compatible! (no mods, data changes or such)
Brought to you by StormWind Studios.
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"Jaguar Gold" is a long-awaited collaborative work by Lord Basse and VonCorgath, following a quest to find hidden Aztec gold, fighting jungle tribesmen and Spaniards and solving puzzles across the jungle.
For the most part, I enjoyed this scenario, but at times, it got a little repetitive. It seemed like a good deal of the scenario was spent wandering around killing the odd jungle tribesmen. Still, other elements like the music and the map design were enough to minimize the repetitiveness. I also encountered what I think may have been a bug in the final area where you discover the gold. Upon landing and entering the ruins, I immediately saw a group of Spaniards, but they didn't attack me or acknowledge me at all, even when i clicked on them and walked up to them. The same happened at the next group of Spaniards; they ignored me completely. I replayed the scenario just to check if the trigger had just not fired and it turned out that a number of triggers, starting at the second brother's temple hadn't fired (starting with when the group stopped and talked about how they needed a boat). I'm assuming that trigger was supposed to activate the next, and so on. Since this only happened once and I was unable to recreate it, I'm not docking points for this, just letting the designer know.
Balance was very good. The scenario did get more difficult with higher difficulty settings (more enemies, less time in timed areas, etc.), but regardless of the setting, it was never too hard to beat, but at the same time, there were parts where it was touch-and-go, and that took a few times to get through. Especially in the last part, it was very close at times, and I think that none of my warriors had above 25% HP when they escaped.
This scenario was very creative. I appreciated the fact that it was a Mesoamerican scenario, as I haven't seen many good ones. The design of the map and the music and background noise added a lot as well, especially using constant jungle noise instead of just music, although the music did add a good deal. The easter eggs and hidden characters were also good, as was the lack of specific directions. This, as the designer notes, is more realistic, as anyone who knew exactly where something was wouldn't sit around and would go get it. I also appreciated in the Crocodile Jaws the variation in dialogue for different difficulty levels. In most scenarios I see, difficulty levels will just change the number or statistics of units. In this, however, the story was twisted, albeit in a very minor way. Finally, the final temple in the cave exhibited a great deal of creativity, using rarely-used units (trebuchet projectiles and cannonballs), design tricks (units frozen in motion, unkillable units), and the design of the area itself.
Map Design: 5
I loved this map, and part of the reason it took me so long to complete was because I explored the entire map instead of merely going from objective to objective (allowing me to find the explorers and the designers' cameos). The designer used a great variety of terrains and eye candy to create an amazing jungle, and I especially liked how the lake was more than just a big expanse of water. The island, shallows, rocks, and fish made it so much more appealing and really gave it a jungle feel, almost swampy. The starting town was also well made, and some other highlights for me were the Crocodile Jaws, the hidden ruins deep in the jungle, both of the Brothers' temples (although i can't put my finger on what is so appealing about them), and the caves, especially the treasure cave.
I really liked this scenario and how the designer gave such a detailed story, including the dialogue in the prologue, the legends being explained in the game, the dialogue the characters speak, and the epilogue. I especially liked Beoru's attempts at being funny, the riddle, and how the characters were real and not over-idealized (questioning loyalty, over-aggressiveness, the way they dealt with the treasure, etc.) I also appreciated that the instructions were not so direct as to require no exploration. As I mentioned earlier, they were hints more than instructions, and I felt it benefited the scenario. The worst mechanical problem I found was the lack of capitalization on "Tenoxte" in the epilogue.
In short, this was a great scenario. I loved playing it and it delivered on all the promises made above in the description. I would heartily recommend this for download.
Edited: added the missing last part of the Balance section.
[Edited on 01/30/12 @ 01:29 PM]
The Jaguar Gold, is a not too long scenario started by Von Corgath and Lord Basse, some time ago until it slowly died. Lord Basse now took some time and effort to finish it, and that did indeed pay out!
This Scenario was very playable. You start as a single Warrior and you have to gather companions to help you to find the legendary treauser, called the Jaguar Gold. The game unfolds itself in a nice way. There were no bugs or anything else that keeps you from playing to be found. Its fun and its replayable. With replaying you can for sure discover something new! 5
The game was very well balanced between the three difficulties. A lot of parts needed micromanagement, and i often had to reload a game. Although in some parts it was simply too easy, and the difficulty suddenly increased a lot when you approach the final stage. 4
Some really good creative aspects in this scenario. I really liked the puzzle with the "Two Brothers", and also the final parts are very creative, and also puzzeling. Triggering was very well done. The Author made good use of advanced trigger tricks, and also the sound effects and music are well chosen and fit with the scenario, what makes it a very good addition to the scenario. 5
What amazed me most about this scenario, was the map design. The author made an amazing jungle which is very pleasing to the eye. Eye Candy and Gaia is seen a lot, but not overused. The huge lake had an amazing look with all the small islands inside it. Although most of the map is jungle and water, there are also other things to look at. The aztec villages looked creative, while areas like the mountain where one of the "Two Brothers" lives on is very realistic. But the highlight of the map, i think was the cave in the final section, and especially the crocodile bay. 5+
Interesting and puzzeling story, but well written, while the instructions were clear and simple to understand. There were a lot of good dialoges and good humor, so the player does not get bored to quickly. 5
The final effort Lord Basse put in here were worth it: An almost perfect scenario, you really have to download! Its for sure a must have, and another masterpiece of our great designer, Lord Basse! :)
The Jaguar Gold is a scenario about an Aztec warrior's quest to find a legendary treasure somewhere in Central America, to help Montezuma appease the Spaniards. Simply put, this is one of the best scenarios I have ever played.
This scenario truly had me hooked right from the beginning. It's great to see a good Aztec scenario, as not much is known about that part of the world at that time period, and my hat is off to Basse and VonCorgath for making one that is legit. While there was a bit of monotonous walking around, that was due to the fact that you have to actually explore to find things in this scenario, and the soundtrack and funny quips by Beoru make up for it. I was never bored, not for a second.
Unfortunately, I cannot make a 4.5 show up as a rating, but this is what I felt it deserved. The only points off are due to the fact that the enemies you meet wandering around are not very difficult, and therefore it is a little too easy until the "crocodile jaws" and cave adventure, where the challenge ramps up considerably. I did have to reload a few times, but it wasn't fiendishly frustrating, so a 4.5 for this. Hard, yes. Impossible, no. That is the definition of good balance. You guys nailed it.
A very creative scenario. The use of sound effects, beta objects, trigger and design tricks made it a great experience. (If you wouldn't mind me asking, how do you trigger the units to be frozen in motion, as well as the invincible soldiers trick?) The design of the cave allowed for a great ending with the chase and those greedy conquistadors getting nailed (yes!). Great work.
Map Design: 5
A perfect 5. Basse and VonCorgath stun me with their ability to design an absolutely beautiful jungle and an exquisite treasure cave. What I admire the most is the thought process that went into it. The lake is not just a mass of shallow water, but using shallows, eyecandy, and exquisite map design, a very realistic marsh lake is made. Everything is there for a reason, from the transport, to the temple and statues, and who could forget, the easter eggs.
Marvelous. The instructions are crystal clear, and the authors do a great job of making the premise legit by tying the story to Montezuma and the Spaniards. Through the dialogue, effects, and story, a great treasure hunting adventure is played out that is vaguely reminiscent of an Indiana Jones story, although the only tangible similarity is the genius shared by Spielberg and our two designers here, who I commend for producing a story that is on the level of the Indiana Jones adventures and the Dan Brown novels. Needless to say, a perfect 5.
I'm probably not the first to say it, and I definitely won't be the last, but this scenario is scary good. This is one that designers will try to emulate, and think of whenever they hear "AOK" and "Treasure Hunt". A true masterpiece, thank you guys for giving me a very enjoyable 2-3 hours.
"The Jaguar Gold" is a long-awaited collaborative work by Lord Basse and VonCorgath. Started in 2007, after a long hiatus, the project was finally finished in early 2012. Set in South America, 1519, you follow a group of warriors sent by Emperor Montezuma to locate the legendary treasure: The Jaguar Gold.
The scenario was very fun. There was a good storyline, fun and enjoyable missions and some great and creative fight scenes. The music and humorous dialogue allowed for the player to interact with the scenario a lot more and made it much more fun. I found no bugs or lag in the scenario which is always a plus. However, I found that some parts of the scenario got quick repetitive and just spent wandering the jungle killing the cannibalistic Aztecs. I also found that the scenario was rather short, which disappointed me slightly. After all the time waiting for it to be released I expected more interms of game hours. Overall I give a 4 here.
The Game was well balanced. It had three difficulty levels and a lot of tactics and sneaking are needed during this scenario. I found myself restarting at several points but there nothing impossible in the scenario. In fact I found the majority of the scenario rather easy. There was not really anything challenging in the scenario expect maybe the final part in the caves. I give balance an overall score of 4.
This is where the scenario starts to shows its strengths. “The Jaguar Gold” is an extremely creative scenario. As soon as you start the game and enter the village you are hit by a wave of creativity. The humorous dialogue from the townsfolk, the extraordinary map design and the background music that fits perfectly to the scenario. The whole treasure hunt idea is quite cliché but I found that the authors made it enjoyable and fun due to the creativity of this scenario. First of all the idea of searching the map for the clues to the Treasures location and then travelling through caves to get it. I thought that the part in the Crocodile’s Jaw with the currents was ingenious. I also loved the last part of the scenario where you have to choose your protector. Brilliant! The Creativity of this scenario scores a 5.
Map Design: 5
Map Design is the strongest part of the scenario. I find that Jungle's are probably one of the hardest maps to design without making it look too boring or making the whole map look the same. Von and Basse achieved this. The map was beautiful, consisting of a jungle in the north, and huge lake in the middle and the caves in the south. There great use of eye-candy and terrain mixing. I especially love the tiny islands spread throughout the lake. The extensive eye-candy used made the map look very pretty but it was never overused. The map design look very natural and realistic. A well deserved score of 5 given here.
In my opinion the storyline is the most important aspect of any scenario. In this case, the story was humorous, interesting and enjoyable. A lot of detail was given, especially in the prologue and epilogue. The background to the legends and characters were especially detailed. Most of the dialogue in the story was funny and made me chuckle a couple of times. As for the Instructions, they were clear and helpful at most points. The Hints really helped especially when I got stuck at the cannibal ambush (where you have to destroy the bridge). I think there was only one bit where the instructions didn't tell me what to do but common sense did.
Overall a highly enjoyable and creative scenario. I highly recommend it if you what to kill an hour or two. It's hilariously funny and has some great fight scenes.
Thanks a lot Lord Basse and VonCorgath!
This scenario is very well thought and fun to play from the start to the end thanks to the precise instructions, the absence of bugs and the good balance between fight and puzzle/exploration gameplay. Despite the pace being always very fast, becoming even faster in the last part, the player never feels overwhelmed. Each task is well defined and there is always some time to breath between two challenges. I found the fights against the jungle tribes a little bit repetitive, but I understand that the authors wanted to keep things simple in order to concentrate on the main plot, instead of making up more elaborate challenges around every corner. The exploration of the map is entertaining thanks to the beautiful map design and nice hidden locations, and it doesn't become boring or too repetitive at any point.
I played on moderate and the balance was quite good. The fights against the jungle tribes were very easy and a little bit repetitive, while the final challenges (expecially crossing the bridge and escaping from the cave) were much harder and I had to restart a few times. To reach the second brother I easily ran through the Spaniards camp despite setting off the alarm, and I didn't understand if that was the proper way or if in principle there was something more elaborate to do.
Both the plot and the challenges were quite creative. I liked the idea of having a poem telling me what to do, and the crocodile-jaws part was very well realized. Among the many challenges, I found very original the crossing of the bridge, the choice of the statue and the escape (This is similar to the one in RoA, but it was designed before!). Some design tricks were used in a very clever way in order to make the scenario even more original.As usual in LB's scenarios, the humor adds a great touch of fun and creativity!
Map Design: 5
The map, which depicts the surroundings of a lake in the Mesoamerican jungle, is beautifully designed and together with the sound effects creates the perfect atmosphere for the story. I really enjoyed the design of the locations of the two brothers,the "crocodile's jaws" and the secret cave where the treasure is hidden. Other gems are the gold mine in the initial village and the tower in the middle of the lake. The jungle is not just a concentration of palm forest trees, but is made interesting by the great use of eye candies,terrain mixing and hidden paths.
The story is very linear and not particularly elaborate, but it serves its purpose greatly. Some things are a little bit clichè, like the two brothers that keep the secret and the race for the gold against the Spaniards, but in my opinion it is good to have a simple plot that allows the player to focus on the gameplay. The poem is very well written and tells you everything you need to go on, if you are careful enough. The objectives are very clear at each point of the adventure, and they are displayed in a very nice way. Hints, on the other hand, are quite vague and not very useful.
Overall this is a very entertaining scenario, and is recommended to anyone who enjoys fast paced gameplay and pays attention to the map design. It is the perfect example of how to create a great gameplay experience out of a simple adventure story.