Posted on 04/14/04 @ 12:00 AM (updated 06/02/04
||Role Playing Strategy
The Way of the Warrior - Part I
The Way of the Warrior - Part I
Bushido - the way of the warrior. This was the term for the Japanese code of honor of the samurai.
It was formulated during the 16th century, at the same time the class of the samurai was at it's climax. In this time Japan was divided between uncountable feudal lords, the daimyos. And there was a never ending civil war. They fought one against another, either honorably on the battlefield or by cunning, using spies which were called the ninja or shinobi. Out of 250 daimyos, only 10 survived in the end...
Slip into the role of Kato Tadaoki, a calm, but distinctive samurai in the service of the daimyo Yoshimori. The destiny throws him onto high tops and then again into deep abysses, but he does not believe in destiny. With all the murder, betrayal and intrigue around him, he tries not to behave according to the traditional way, but to his own mind and conscience. And this is definitely extraordinary for his time.
He tries to find his own way, the way of the warrior.
It depends on you whether he will find it.
Additionally you can play this scenario using an icon mod created by me as well. It changes the icons of some units and makes them look more Japanese. You can download it here (111 kb):
If you have a fast connection, please also download the addtional sound files.
You can get the music here:
And the recorded dialogues here: (3.4 MB)
NOTE: For the dialogues, you have to rightclick on the link and to choose 'save as', otherwise it won't work!
I created this scenario originally in German. That's a translation (the sound and trigger names are still German). So I apologize for all the mistakes that surely have occured. You can find the original version "Der Weg des Kriegers" at www.agearena.de
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
The Way of the Warrior (TWotW) is a dazzling campaign by one of AoK's rising stars. Already the designer of the smash hit Dracula (4.8), this campaign seems certain to emulate its success. This time the campaign takes place in Shogun-ruled Japan, where civil war is ravaging the country. You play as Kata Tadaoki, a samurai turned ronin. Great Emperor is able to replicate Shogunate Japan just as easily as he is able to do horror-novel Gothic Europe. The experience is enhanced by a repertoire of SFX sounds and music, ensuring that the atmosphere is spot-on. The scenario starts off on a spooky note, with a party of warriors walking through a dark forest. Flashes of lighting temporarily illuminate the scene, and then subside, leaving the scene shrouded in the fog of war again. Suddenly, corpses start appearing through the fog of war, and it is only when a lighting flash illuminates the scene that you realise that the soldiers have all been killed -- by Kata Tadaoki. A tingle actually went down my spine at that bit. As the scenario progresses, you learn how Tadaoki came to be leading a group of exiled samurai. Emperor has real talent in presenting campaigns in an enjoyable, yet realistic, manner. Gameplay itself is rich and varied, an appealing mix of RPG/RPS and B&D. Anything less then a five would be an insult to this outstanding campaign. 5
The only real fault I can find with it. TWotW is hard. Not so much of a "challenging" sort of hard, but more of a "slap the keyboard in frustration" hard. I felt adventurous, and played on hardest difficulty. I didn't even last fifteen minutes. I played it on easy, and still found it too difficult to complete. Like a black stain, this problem is found throughout the game. At the beginning, (which takes us back to the beginning of Tadaoki's story) where you are given some soldiers, and must march through enemy territory to reach the Portuguese, this campaign would be challenging for some, and downright impossible for others. Your army consists of a handful of samurai and some archers. I walked down the path, and soon found myself being attacked by twice my number of samurai and cavalry. I fended off the attack -- at the cost of almost half my men -- and continued. Soon, I was attacked by another force of archers and samurai. Oh joy! Due to an AI script writted by Doktor Mabuse, the enemy archers will back up and retreat if you get too close, thus making it extremely difficult to defeat them. I won that battle, but I was down to just three half-dead samurai. I finally made it to the Portuguese camp, and they gave me a cart full of gunpowder. I tried to go back, but found that the enemy units had respawned back on their original starting locations. I finally managed to get back to base, but only by using my remaining samurai as decoys so my main character could slip through. He had eleven HP when I reached the city. And keep in mind this was on EASY. As the scenario progresses, it is still fiendishly difficult. When you must raid the logistics of your enemy, you are only provided with a few troops to do it. The enemy economic sites are heavily guarded, and the towers can take units down in no time. It would have been better if I had been provided with slightly more advanced siege weaponry then one measly ram. If the player had been given more troops, and fewer enemies, then your score would go up. But for now, sorry. +3
The creativity of this campaign was excellent. Most campaigns these days seem to focus on Europe, and a Japanese campaign is a refreshing break from this trend. there are 445 triggers in TWotW, all of which were bug free. There were no impressive trigger tricks, but a campaign doesn't need them to be creative. Rather then relying on complex trigger gimmicks, Great Emperor relies on a synthesis of a great storyline, solid gameplay, and interesting angles of scenario design. He takes everything good about Dracula, and reworks it into a Japanese setting. The opening five minutes were unforgettable, and the campaign in general was very well plotted and presented. The campaign is also historically accurate, with your samurai being the elite corps of your army and all the other guys taking a backseat. To compliment the experience, there is an extensive set of SFX and a 3MB music pack that can be downloaded seperately. 5
The map of TWotW was nothing short of breathtaking. There were scenic waterfalls, flooded rice paddies, realistic foamy waves, and generally good use of terrain mixture all round. It seems that each individual tile has been placed by hand. There is perhaps a bit too much clutter, however, which impedes the progress of the player. But overall, a very good representation of Japan. 5
Although the storyline of TWotW is fictional, but is based on real events that were happening at the time. The Portuguese "black ships" had arrived, bringing with them the knowledge of gunpowder. And the objectives are very clear and concise, so at no point should the player be confused about what to do next. There are numerous hints, and a .bmp.
An excellent campaign. This one well and truly cements Emperor's position as a designing great. The only problem being the aforementioned balance issue, there is no excuse for not downloading this. If you like challenging (to say the least) campaigns, this one could be your instant favourite. If you don't like challenging campaigns, TWotW is still worth downloading for its strong playability. Save often!
-- Gorgeous map
-- Very tightly-structured and plotted
-- Good gameplay
-- Far too hard
Yes, I know that reviewing a file that is so old is not really useful for its designer. But when I love something, when I really love a scenario and when I think it deserve a better overall score that what he have when I downloaded it, I take the time to write a review.
I particularly like the way of Great Emperor to divide his creations in numerous small parts, all with different objectives. This greatly improve the game play of The Way of the Warrior, in which we experiment many game styles, from the Fixed forces to the Build and destroy, the Defend the spot and the Role-playing game. We can also complete different optional objectives, which are helpful in some situations. To don’t say many, because on harder levels, some help is always welcome to defeat a fairly strong enemy.
The second reason why every good AoK player should try this scenario is for the tactical challenge that it offers on Hard. Each part needs a lot of micro-management in FF, and effective strategies in B&D, because the poor human player always faces opponents that greatly outnumber him. And the last battle is a tough one, in which the littlest piece of land is conquered and defended tooth and nails. I spend many hours before to finally beat the most challenging AI I ever met, and each minute was one of hard fight. An awesome
As I explained above, this scenario is really hard and challenging. Many players said that it was too much, but, in my opinion, the balance is perfect. Great Emperor created something difficult to win, but not impossible, and this is the thing that I particularly liked. In most of the Build and destroy, we reach a point in the game after what we are hardly beatable by the computer. This never happened to me in The Way of the Warrior
On many aspects, this scenario is similar to Vlad Dracula, but it is still fresh when we play it. I wrote about the multiple parts, the mix of many styles and the optional objectives, but there are also some really interesting missions, such as becoming a shinobi and trying to murder a foreign daimyo with a good variety of tactics to achieve this. Incorporating the possibility to trade with Portuguese was another nice idea.
Map Design: 5
More than a well designed map, this is a well used map. We are travelling (and fighting) across magnificent landscapes, and we explore it entirely during the game. The destroyed city of the beginning can become our forward base few times later, the mining camp we almost destroyed sooner can be essential to our survey in the final battle… We clearly understand that the author fully used each square of his map, and, when the map in question look so good, it is almost with sadness that we raze forests and build barracks everywhere in the last part.
The story is highly detailed. We slowly discover the main character as the events goes, and if most of the stories with samurais are speaking about honour and vengeance, this one never look too “cliché”. I noticed phew mistakes in dialogs, but nothing terrible. You should understand that, for a designer of foreign language, translating is work is not necessarily an easy thing, and the overall quality of the story will easily make the player forgetting these small details of typo.
In conclusion : a must to download, and one of the best samurai story I played, if not the best.