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Timeline (ver 3)

Author File Description
File Details
Version: Age of Kings 1.0
Style: Role Playing Strategy
Timeline (ver 3) is a fixed force RPS scenario. It is loosely based on background events from the novel Timeline by Michael Crichton. It has been thoroughly reworked and polished. The opposition at Castlegard is more challenging. In the Mill Monk and Green Monastery regions the storyline and adherence to the Timeline background have been improved. The puzzles have been made a tad more difficult and thanks to a helping hand, the map now has some artistic touches as well.

The player must recapture Castlegard by destroying the British held castle within that fortress. Then he must find, among the Monks, the "key" to the fabled secret passage into the fortress at LaRoque. Finally Oliver, the Brits lead knight hiding out at LaRoque, must be captured.

This is NOT an uneventful romp through the French countryside by the Dordogne River. The scenario is quite difficult. When (and if) you finish it and see the screen "YOU ARE VICTORIOUS" you will feel like shouting, "YES"!!
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Official Reviewer
Map Design5.0
Timeline was first uploaded by PuzzleMan under his real name, Larry Haughwout 12/25/1999, then updated as Timeline Revisited 02/14/2000. Timeline (version 3) is a Mix of RPS and FF, loosely based on the novel by Michael Crichton and like in the book; there are two castles, a mill and a monastery. The events take place at an archaeological excavation site before time travel was possible, in the British occupied Dordogne region in France, during the Hundred Years war in 1375. You get to travel back in time and play Arnault (Lancelot) head of a private French army, your mission to capture Oliver, the British leader in La Roque.

PLAYABILITY: Timeline is one of my all time favourite scenarios. I love scenarios that make the grey cells work, and this is a masterpiece. Well thought out, enjoyable from start to finish, challenging enough to keep you on your toes until the very end. There is a lot to discover, hidden places full of surprises, a good siege, annoying monks, a puzzle, a secret entrance, a maze and a race against time. Over the years I played all versions and the actual one improved to perfection, the replay value is high and the pace breathtaking. I encountered no bug or lag. 5+

BALANCE: This is ingenious, not because of a high number of enemies, it is not because of elevations, it is about monks and a timeline, the timeline to reach LaRoque to complete your mission. Besides being fast, the player needs some tactic and micromanagement, best to save often.The scenario shows a perfect use of the standard AI for the red player. According to the level the player chooses, the defences of LaRoque improve early or later. I recommend playing easiest for your first game, if you are an expert, easy to experience your tactical options. On moderate, I could not wish for more in terms of challenge and was not anxious to try the hard level until this version. It was a great experience, a true challenge. 5+

CREATIVITY: Timeline is a very creative adaptation of Michael Crichton's book, for the period, the plot, characters, and the places and especially for the use of the double meaning of the books title "timeline". You have to hurry, fight monks and save often, which brings this into the top creative balanced scenarios at the blacksmith. In addition the map with the beta units from Rasher's template, a good use of triggers and sounds as well as the special atmosphere, best described with "walking through a forest in the night", brings the rating up to perfect. 5

MAP DESIGN: The map was creative with map copy features and a good technical lay out that suited well the game play. The design has a realistic approach with different terrain, elevations and a sparse use of eye-candy. I especially liked the water fall and the mill area with its sounds as well as the unique water gate which abut instead of overlap in the edges, all of which existed already in the earlier versions. 5

STORY/INSTRUCTIONS: Exemplary, the categories good impression starts with an informative author’s description. The introduction screen comes with an appealing bitmap, a helpful overview of the area, which replaces well the missing scout section for original AoK. This helps the player to know from the start which way to take, to be fast. In addition, a comprehensive instruction part with clear, creative objectives and the necessary hints. The hint section contains a walkthrough to consult in case the player is stuck. Furthermore, a history section for the good fictional story, which develops in game and plays during the 100 years war. This third version treats more details of Crichton’s book than its precursors. It might help to know the book to solve the mystery and to appreciate this adaptation even more, but it is not necessary, you will probably order the book after this marvellous game experience. 5

OVERALL: Timeline (version 3) is a creative scenario with an ingenious balance.

OBSERVATION: The concept of the scenario plays only on original AoK; do not spoil it with the conquerors expansion. If you do not get a victory signal, there are two solutions to achieve the sweet noise, play a lower level, the scenario is quite difficult or play AoK instead of the Conquerors Expansion.

IN CLOSING: Download this great adventure for expert players.
Map Design5.0
Playability: 5
(I found this scenario very enjoyable. I encountered no bugs and the puzzles where challenging. I felt that the Battles were too short and easy, but I guess this scenario was designed for players of all experience level. It is apparent that the author has spent a lot of time making and play testing this map)

Balance: 4-
(The balance was the worst part of this map. The biggest problem was that there are easy ways to bypass some of the challenges. For example, when fighting the mill monks the player can set his/her units to no attack stance. Then when the units get convert, they wont move or fight back, which makes it very easy for the player re-convert the unit with his/her own monks. Another problem was with the final objective. The player can easy place monks behind the pond out of harms reach and then lure Oliver in with a knight and covert him. I think it would have been better if the player had to kill X number of units or destroy certain buildings and then have Oliver spawn)

Creativity: 5-
(I would have given this a 4+, but considering this scenario was made in 1999, I gave a more generous rating. The trigger work is great and prevent the player from cheating for the most part. I am glad to see that the author had put in the time to add beta units. I especially like the maze and the use of disappearing objects to prevent the AOE path-finding)

Map Design: 5-
(The map is very beautiful. The use of terrain mixing, map copy, elevation and gaia objects is great. The author did a good job at making sure certain areas are seal off and adding eye-candy )

Story/Instructions: 5-
(The story was interesting and present throughout the entire duration of game play. Although, I strongly detest puzzle maps since I easily get confused, the hints were able to help me out immensely. I didn't have to resort to cheating, or rage quitting as I usually do with puzzle maps. The hints guided along without flat out telling you what to do. )

Additional Comments:I strongly recommend everyone to download. For such a good map made in 1999, I am surprised it doesn't have more downloads

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