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Downloads Home » Single Player Scenarios » Haiku of the Ronin

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Haiku of the Ronin

Author File Description
Al_Kharn the Great
File Details
Version: Age of Kings HD: The Forgotten
Style: Other
Screenshot:
25Apr2014 Update: Added scenario instruction bmp

05Mar2014 Update: Added elevations by popular demand; added sea gulls; one minor trigger fix



Haiku of the Ronin

"Like a rotten log
half buried in the ground -
my life,
which has not flowered,
comes to this sad end."

- Minamoto Yorimasa (1106-1180)


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Go on a journey to Edo period Japan in the straw sandals of a Ronin seeking a master. Discover kireji to write seven haiku. These seven poems will tell your story. Are your kireji sharper than your katana?

Play a poetic adventure with a branching story-line. The ending changes based on the story you write. Recommended two play-throughs.

Requires AoK HD The Forgotten DLC!
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Story Snippet

Disgrace.

Disgrace is a kimono unstained with blood. Disgrace is a dry tanto blade. Disgrace is a ronin.

His master died seven years ago but the Ronin chose not to honor his master with a final act of obedience. His devotion was hollow, his honor was stained. In betraying the Bushido Shoshinshu, the Ronin condemned himself to that most empty life for a samurai: a life without a master.

So the Ronin wandered the land of the rising sun for seven years, adrift like a boat without a fisherman on Lake Biwa. His journey would bring him here to another kindred wanderer, the poet Matsuo Basho. On quiet rainy mornings in the garden of their secluded shrine. On sunny afternoons in the shade of the osakazuki maple. And on warm evenings in Basho's sukiya, place for poetic pursuits, over thick matcha tea, the two lonely spirits traded experiences and lines of poetry with the vigor of the shrewdest merchants of Nagasaki. It was Basho's spirited teachings that brought forth a new dawn out of the Ronin's winter sunset. It was Basho who taught the Ronin to see the poetry in life.

And so one day, as the songbird's melody rode a soft summer breeze, the Ronin emerged from his hermitage and set out again onto the world. He would regain his honor. He would find a master. He would write a new life.
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Setting

The poem begins on a secluded coast in a region of low land forest. Following a wooded path north then southwest leads to a fishing village honored to be the birthplace of a skilled tayu of an emerging puppet theater genre emanating from Osaka. The trail leaves the village leading north across rich rice paddies irrigated by a stream that flows down a waterfall overlooking the same fishing village. Beyond this stream is the Daimyo's hirajiro, a castle built on a flat plain. The hirajiro is bisected by another stream, across which lies the Daimyo's honmaru, or keep. An island off the coast and somewhere to the south is home to a band of fierce Wako pirates.
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History

Haiku noun: a poetic form of 17 on (syllables) which expresses much and suggests more in the fewest possible words; the essence of haiku is kiru (cutting): a juxtaposition of two images linked by a kireji (cutting word)

Ronin noun: a masterless samurai; a 'wave man'; a wandering man; a man adrift

According to the Bushido Shoshinshu (Code of the Samurai), a samurai must commit seppuku (ritual suicide) upon the death of his master. One who chose not to honor the code and consequently become a ronin, or 'wave man', would suffer great shame. Due to the shogunate's rigid class system and laws, the number of ronin greatly increased during the Edo period (1603-1867).

This period was characterized by strict social order, isolationist foreign policies, and popular enjoyment of arts and culture. Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) was the most famous poet of the period. He was recognized for his works in the collaborative haikai no renga form. Although justifiably famous for his haiku, Basho himself believed his best work lay in leading and participating in renku, collaborative linked verse poetry. He is quoted as saying, "Many of my followers can write haiku as well as I can. Where I show who I really am is in linking haikai verses."

Basho made a living as a teacher but, renouncing the urban life, wandered throughout Japan to gain inspiration for his writing. His poetry was influenced by his firsthand experiences of the world around him, encapsulating the feeling of a scene in a few simple elements.
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Screenshots



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Discussion at AoK Heaven Forums

If you enjoy this campaign, try Children of a Dying Sun, a four-scenario campaign set in post-conquest Mexico!
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Rewaider Good campaign, with creative tricks (like cutting the weeds), but you could improve a bit more the scenario design and the instructions. Some time yoy get bored by going and backing to villages, churchs...
Al_Kharn the Great
File Author
Thanks for playing, Rewaider. My intention with the travelling back and forth was to convey the feeling of wandering/journeying that constitutes a Ronin. I thought condensing the experience geograpically would needlessly diminish this feeling (the scenario should only take about an hour to complete). Adding events or conversations would do the same. Instead, I opted for Soji to recite actual poetry by Matsuo Basho about rice paddies, waterfalls, trees, etc. as he passed these features. In a flair of self-referentialism, I even used a poem that references the walking itself on one trek (This bright harvest moon/keeps me walking all night long/around the little pond). I will explore the possibility of changing this but I fear it will lose something of the intended aesthetic.

Thank you again for playing and your kind and helpful words!
Rewaider [quote]I will explore the possibility of changing this but I fear it will lose something of the intended aesthetic.[/quote]
You dont need to change any trigger or part of the story. I'm just saying to improve your scenario design. It's a lot less boring walk around in a very good scenario.
Rewaider
Rating
4.0
Breakdown
Playability3.0
Balance3.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design4.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 3
In my opinion, this scenario is not focused to the gameplay, it is not necessary, but it is a criteria, so I must give you a three.
This scenario presents a new way of playing, like making choices. It's very creative, but it have not much action. The most part of the game you read texts; I am not depreciating it, but the people likes more action in the scenario. It would gain additional downloads if you put some more action, that do not disrupt the main story, of course.

Balance: 3+
Medium balance, because it is not changelling nor too easy.
As this campaign is not focused to the gameplay, again, I will give you a three (medium).

Creativity: 5
There is something new here. Eye candy, good story, well writen dialogs; not just well writen, but outstanding. I see you've put much effort in this scenario. And I mean, not only about the story, but even in some tasks, like cutting the weeds to plant a flower; and many other things I have not seen yet!

Map Design: 4
In overall, it is a good map. I see you made a much use of gaia objects (Rocks, stones, waterfalls,...). I would give you a five if you've put some elevations -- May you think they ugly :p, but they're not; they're essentials to every scenario.
I liked the forests along the road. Composed by bamboo trees, oak forest trees and flowers. You've spreaded them to the point of not becoming repetitive.
I see you have some experience in scenario designing, and a new way of doing it. But it still needs improvement.

Story/Instructions: 5
Very well made dialogs, very detailed history, many poems trough the game, a very different course from other campaigns. Again, I see you've put much effort to do this, and it became awesome!
Story/Instructions are very well writen (and enormous :p), explaining all about this story and the campaign.
The only missing thing is sinalize where are you supposed to go. But that is not very relevant.
I think it is the main and the best criteria of this campaign, where your attention is concentrated.

Additional Comments:
This campaign is very good in almost all criteria.
It was outstanding in the story/instructions part.
The creativity's section was great too. There are many things in this campaign that I've never seen before.
The scenario design was good, but not "that" good; You could add more atmosphere and realism to the scenario. I see you don't care much about elevations...

[Edited on 03/06/14 @ 05:06 AM]

Al_Kharn the Great
File Author
That wasn't the review I was expecting :/ I got a lot of compliments for the map design. I guess different people have different standards. I don't know what sinalize means.

[Edited on 03/03/14 @ 07:38 PM]

Rewaider edited

[Edited on 07/19/14 @ 07:03 PM]

Rewaider Review updated

[Edited on 07/19/14 @ 07:03 PM]

BrandNewCar
Official Reviewer
Al Kharn,

I enjoy all your work mate am sure this will be no different! Love myself a good samurai story and will check this out when I get a quiet moment :)
If I have a few days off I may even get round to reviewing it!

All the best,

Will
Al_Kharn the Great
File Author
Thanks, Brandnewcar! Tell me what you think!

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HGDL v0.8.0

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Rating
4.0
Breakdown
Playability3.0
Balance3.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design4.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Statistics
Downloads:877
Favorites: [Who?]0
Size:6.16 MB
Added:02/13/14
Updated:04/26/14