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A Man Alone

Author File Description
James Thomas
File Details
Version: Age of Kings 1.0
Style: Role Playing Only


Your name is Charles Martel. You and a group of soldiers were sent from England to the Arabian coast on a secret mission. However, but a few miles away from your destination your ship is attacked by a horde of Saracen renegades who feared another crusade. Fortunately your small ship somehow outruns the Saracen war machines, but your vessel is dreadfully damaged and about to sink. The place you were originally going to land therefore, is no longer an option.

You are forced to land about a mile away from your original destination. As the ship hits land, it collapses in to the Arabian waters, taking with it all your soldiers. As you crawl ashore you try to get your bearings, so you can somehow find Richard the Lionhearted, who is going to give you your secret mission directives.

All you have is a sword, and some food and gold you had with you. The land around you is a friendly place. However, with only a little gold and food, and the possibility that Richard will ask you to battle, means that you must find ways to make money to buy troops.
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Official Reviewer
Map Design5.0
I thoroughly enjoyed this scenario, especially the Map design, the creativity that James shows us and the Story/Instructions were very good.

My overall score on this is a 4.6, because as I go into more detail you will understand what marked this scenario down. I think that RPG's are delightful and very fun for the ones of us who enjoy them. Not everyone is into a RPG, but I happen to love them. Now for my review on this particular scenario. I must say Very well done James.

Playability, the playability at the first is one of the thing's that marked this scenario down. I do not mind a FF but I don't like to have to keep getting healed by someone else's monk. I found this a bit tedious, as I have to keep the main person alive and to do so you kill off some, then run back to a monk and get healed, other than that this I found it very enjoyable to play and to do the tasks put in front of me.

The Balance is a bit off as I have said by the first part, after that it seems to flow very smoothly. I just wish it was as smooth from beginning to end. I liked how once you do what you are suppose to it goes very well from one part to the next. On the whole though, it flows very well with just the beginning being a wee bit off, other than that this is worth the d/l.

Creativity, well here the author shows a very well thought out idea from beginning to end. James really put his all into the creative side and it shows, as you will see once you download this campaign. I would not have given this a 5 if it didn't warrant it, but everyone will like it just like it is. I like being able to go from a FF to a huge force to be reckoned with, and that is what you will get in this campaign.

The Map Design is just terrific.I happen to love maps that are well spread out and not all clustered together and James did this quite well. I have several favorites on this map, but I do not want to give away the awesome design without people downloading this cpn first. I will tell you that you will not be disappointed in it in any way, shape or form. Every town is well thought out and placed, so that this map is all covered not just parts of it. I also loved the fact that cheater's will not like this map at all. The author made great use of eye candy and the cities are laid out quite nicely. I gave this a 5 in Map design because it just lovely to look at and to go from city to city.

Story/Instuctions, well James delivered all you need to know in this area. It is one where as you go along you will see just what you need to know, not more nor less. I thought that he was very wise the way he tells you when you need it, not before time. All the instructions and hints are very clear and precise, no cluttering the issues. The story is just great and you know exactly what you need to know every step of the way and at the end it all makes sense. I can't say just how enjoyable the story was, as well as the very well laid out Instructions.

James thanks for a very nice piece of work, that everyone should enjoy, one way or another. I think that overall James delivered a very nice, detailed piece of work that deserves to be in The Best of AOK. Thanks for a welcome change of the plain hero and making him something worth playing.
Map Design5.0
b>NOTE: this scenario should be played with your AoK CD only -- it uses Charles Martel as your hero, a unit which recieved a massive boost in power in The Conquerors Expansion Pack. Playing with TC will make the scenario a cynch to beat -- it's possible to rescue the prisoners from Asmera using your starting hero alone.

Near perfect, but with a few blemishes. While the scenario is well-done, with lots of side-quests, open-ended gameplay, and James Thomas' own brand of humour, it forces you to do a lot of walking and exploring, which got a bit boring. The three cities are far apart, and you need to visit each one to succeed. Finding the gate key was annoying, having to spend ages searching for it isn't my cup of tea. The scenario was a bit slow, and finding enough resources to field an army can take a while. There are some annoying issues with the Object Area triggers, such as the exploding bridge. My hero commented upon how he should look at the sign, so I walked up to it, but nothing happened. You set the area a bit too far to the left. Perhaps making this scenario so reliant on the player finding the "trick" to winning wasn't such a good idea. 4

Playing the scenario the way it was meant to be played (without the Expansion, in other words) was challenge to complete. Your hero is a lot weaker, and he doesn't regenerate. You'll likely need to play through it several times before you can finish. Once again, it is much easier if you have the time to do some exploring. I think the scenario was leaning towards being too difficult. There were perhaps too many troops defending Asmera, and dozens of fresh enemies will appear on the path on your way back to Demascus after completing your primary objective. Perhaps these could have been left out, thus avoiding the not-so-fun issue of trigger nastiness. (Side note:Ingo Van Thiel included some annoying triggers in a beta version of The Quest, that would cause enemy troops to appear next to your villagers if you tried to rebuild a town center to the south of your base. This was taken out of the full version. There is a fine line between creating challenging gameplay and irritating the player.) 4

A Man Alone was a real treat to play. The synthesis of a good story, free roaming RPS gameplay, and lots of variety means this is one of those rare campaigns that can be played over and over again. I liked the idea of little in-game puzzles that can be found in the desert, nice touch. 5

Map Design was well above average. It doesn't attempt to replicate any part of the Middle East (Tehran, Mecca, Asmera and --- all in close proximity). The only issue to talk about is that massive road covering the dunes at the very beginning. Other then that, the map is visually attractive, but not overloaded with eye-candy. A Man Alone is a great example of how desert maps should be designed. 5

While A Man Alone's storyline isn't going to be challenging that of Ulio any time soon, it's a good one nonetheless. The hints are also good, but this campaign's humour is its strong suite. The dialogue of A Man Alone was simply hilarious, you'd need to be a member of AoKH's SD community to appreciate a lot of it. At the race track, the stuff the people tell you are all play-ons of the names of HG staff members. ("I have a friend whose name is Zu. When he finds something dirty, I tell him 'Wash it, Zu!'"). And I'll remember not to let my battering rams near monks that have a lot of redemption in them. :) 5

A great scenario, certainly recommendable.

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