LotR Helm's Deep, Fixed Bugs, Movie Version
(Updated on 01/26/05
Ive fixed all the bugs i new of but if there are more email me
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Helms Deep, Movie Version is a scenario based on the siege of the Rohan fortress as portrayed in the Two Towers movie. The gameplay is a sort of role playing FF, where you play as only Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas, beside you allied armies. You must defend as best you can, then retreat further inside the fortress as the enemy forces gain the upper hand.
The bit at the start where you must select a horse to begin seems unnecessary; I’m not sure why this was added.
The enemy units keep pouring in, being moved through the walls with trigger effects like in other such scenarios. Their forces keep flowing in, eventually overwhelming you, but there isn't much to the first ten minutes, it's almost cutscene like killing, with no strategy. It's just a wait until their forces overwhelm, with no apparent reward for e.g. kills, which would encourage good micromanagement.
You were asked to retreat, but the gates were however locked, as Stephen reported, making it impossible to get inside the fortress. I died out here on my own. The gate was locked from the beginning I noted on restarting, so I didn't play again. This is a disappointing sort of bug, and it could only indicate the designer didn’t playtest the level.
Tanneur has pointed out to me that the gate opens, but only for 20 seconds, so be sure to stand by it the whole time lest you miss your chance. Knowing this I have been able to replay the level and finish it. I would advise others do the same with gates, staying near the entrance gates to both areas when retreating, so that you don't get locked out when the time comes.
Retreating back and then playing out the story like it happens in the movie was basically the rest of the scenario. Again, there wasn't much in terms of gameplay. The highlights for me in this part were watching the reinforcements come, and fighting the Uruk Hai captain. As Tanneur points out, there is a fairly significant bug at the end that the Berserker units keep being created with triggers, so you have to stand on the spot they come from to stop the flow.
The scenario lagged a bit, though at the end the lag seemed appropriate almost, as it cleared with the last dark forces being defeated, like a dark cloud clearing from the sky.
As I said in the playability area some form of reward for being active and killing enemy troops would be good, e.g. reducing the number of enemy forces that attack later based on kills, and showing a count of them, or having to kill orc commanders with specific heroes and gaining a HP bonus for that hero. Without anything like this, the difficultly is largely non-existent in the early scenes, which do last a long time.
Throughout there is really no reward for playing well and attacking, and you take the risk of dying as well. You can sit back and let it play out like a movie really. If this was intended as a cutscene it would get a 5 for balance, but that has not been indicated as the case. It doesn't have the quality of cutscenes to be a cutscene really, instead there is still a strong focus on gameplay, with scenes playing out over a long time.
I think most who play will be disappointed, expecting to get a challenge. Still, I'll give it some benefit of the doubt and avoid giving it a 1 for balance score.
Okay, so this is probably the 50th Helms Deep scenario, but it is creative. It’s approach is to use a plot similar to the way the battle went in the movie, and to allow you to control only a small party of the three heroes, beside an allied army. I liked how you had the captain standing on the cliff like in the movie. The gates explosion was another impressive feature, among others.
Map Design: 4
The level is constructed well, with some tight choke points and fairly accurate recreation for an AoK map. The swampy look is neat. Very skillful choice of units too, like the Elven Archers, Uruk Hai Captain, Eomer and Gandalf etc.
There is little story, only hints with a mixture of instructions in them. The scenario itself does have a little plot in it, but this ‘watch the movie’ approach is disappointing for me. The weather ambience sets a nice mood and is a good background for the battle, and can be turned off at will. The scenes in the scenario make up for the poor instructions and background. Remember, the objective is conquest, so defeat every last unit (including those rams).
This scenario is a fairly buggy playable cutscene based on the movie. It is too weak in the cutscene and playable areas to be a good movie or playable scenario, but is still okay for a half hour long romp if you feel like some LOTR, AoK style.
[Edited on 01/19/06 @ 06:07 PM]
I amar prestar aen, han mathon ne nen, han mathon ne chae a han noston ned 'wilith. 'Helms Deep, Fixed Bugs, Movie Version' is a RPG in a FF environment, based on Peter Jackson's movie The Two Towers (2oo2), staging the siege. You play as Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, download and disprove Saruman prophesying, "If the wall is breached, Helm's Deep will fall".
PLAYABILITY: There was not much to do apart from following the hints. Still I enjoyed the scenario with the well-done map, good adaptation of the movie, watching the fierce battle that took place around my overpowered units. It was as the title says a movie, a cut-scene like experience and apart from the retreat to the keep in a twenty-second time window without challenge. Unfortunately, the scenario has random bugs, on many occasions, the game discontinues after the last retreat, the one to the great hall. This has multiple reasons referred to under suggestions. The player should try a saved game when the enemy does not attack the first gate to the great hall with a ram. It may help killing the units pouring in around the one, most likely two or even three rams attacking the main gate before retreating to the great hall as these units often block the rams. Another issue, to receive a victory signal you have to set one of your units on stand ground and block an enemy spawn point, if a Rider of Rohan blocks it, you can call it a lucky bug. 3-
BALANCE: I played the scenario on hard, missed any difficulty, it plays the same on all levels and the only way to lose was to ignore the hint section. It is difficult to guess the author's intentions on this, it feels like an interactive cut-scene but he calls it a RPS, a Role Playing Strategy Game and I wonder what strategy I should use to win. 2
CREATIVITY: The creativity of the scenario is above average, a creative adaptation of the movie. There were good, creative triggers for gates closing, opening, closing again and/or reopening to support the plot, triggers for enemies disappearing outside, reappearing inside the walls, as if they would climb the walls with pendraith. Creative and convincing, the arrival of the Riders of Rohan, impressive the gate explosion, thoughtful the Uruk-Hai captain on the cliff, realistic to open the gate when the wall breaches for fleeing fighters and to close it shortly after for the safety of the keep. For me, the most interesting feature was to select an Elite-Cataphract to "start the battle", to choose your own difficulty level. If you do not click the Cataphract at the beginning, Aragorn still shouts, 'A Eruchin, ú-dano i faelas a hyn an uben tanatha le' and the Uruk-hai attack, decimating your allies, giving more challenge the later you enter the battle. Clicking the Cataphract triggers map revealers, the change ownership of Arargon, Gimli and Legolas, gives cartography, initializes the sound loop and starts the timer to open the gate to the keep for twenty seconds for a save retreat. Press F11 and the recommended entering into the battle are after 2 minutes for easiest, 5 easy, 9 moderate and 12 hard, hardest whatever you feel suitable for a better playability and balance. Unfortunately, there was nothing in the objectives or hints about this option and I based the review on entering the battle when the in game text asks you to. 4+
MAP DESIGN: The map shows a good recreation of Helm's Deep, well above average design with a technical design fault, double gateposts, one of many reasons why the game discontinues. 4-
STORY/INSTRUCTIONS: No story, no main objective, the objective screen reads, - Welcome To Helms Deep - This version is based on the movie - Fixed Version 22/1/05, in game you read to retreat to the keep and then to the great hall. The good, helpful hints, to set Legolas to stand ground to shoot from the gate and to go to the keep immediately after the wall breaches boost the rating. 2+
OVERALL: A potential best of AoK after some fixes.
SUGGESTIONS: Edit your scenario and I will edit my review.
For a better playability and balance, change the text in trigger 'Intro' to something like, 'Select your own difficulty level, the later you enter the battle the more challenging, select the horse when ready'. New trigger '54', starting state on, condition timer X, place the following effects from trigger 'Start The Battle' into '54', effects 0 - 8, effects 10 - 11, effects 13 - 15.
Blocking the path to the gate, trigger 'Ram', condition objects in area 4, effect 0 - 1, if the player selects the Cataphract at the game's start it is unlikely that the trigger ever fires before the gate closes again and on rare occasions, the path blocks the player 1 units. The enemy needs to defeat most of the allies to gather four units in that area, which happens about 14 to 15 minutes into the game while the gate closes 11:30. Add effects 0 and 1 of trigger 'Ram' into trigger '2'.
Discontinuation of the game, Trigger 'Rams 2', did not fire, condition objects in area 15, there were never 15 player 3 units in that area reduce unit quantity and enlarge the area. Trigger 'Rams' effects 0 - 2, most of the times two rams created, sometimes one and only once all three, player 3 units block the spawn points. Trigger 'Kill Bug' is useless, the effect to destroy player 3 objects should be effect 0 in trigger 'Rams', to create the rams effect 1 - 3. Trigger 'Timer B' effect 0, tasks the rams created in trigger 'Rams' to the gate of the great hall. Units block the rams, to the left the rams go right behind the blacksmith, left and right, the rams destroy the wall opposite the gate and stop, at the gate because of double gateposts, the passage is too small. Fix, move and then delete the double gateposts, have the wall opposite explode so the rams can go straight if blocked. Effect 1 creates a ram that destroys the blacksmith, set the position to the gate.
Victory condition, Trigger 'More Men' spawns Elite-Berserks, does not deactivate and with victory set to standard the player has to block the spawn point to win which is not bug free either. With many units, sometimes the game engine does not follow with the correct unit placement during a battle, often you find a unit on water, behind walls or up on cliffs, which was the case here. Out of reach for the Riders of Rohan, Legolas had to kill him. Leave the spawn point, change trigger 'Vic' condition fewer objects player 3 military quantity 3.
Miscellaneous, trigger 'Timer B', effect 3, activates trigger 'Bug', you have two triggers by that name and the second stays deactivated, name it 'Bug 1' and add effect 4 to activate. The horses gather with the units in the great hall, which looks peculiar, change the ownership of the horses. Try a story, why they fight, what happened before and who they are.
OBSERVATION: Some of the review text is in the Elfish language. Translation, pendraith (ladders), Hannon le, mae carnen mellon nîn (Thank you, well done my friend). A Eruchin, ú-dano i faelas a hyn an uben tanatha le (Show them no mercy for you shall receive none). I amar prestar aen, han mathon ne nen, han mathon ne chae a han noston ned 'wilith (The world is changed; I can feel it in the water, I can feel it in the earth, I can smell it in the air).
IN CLOSING: I recommend one of the best Helm's Deep to download but wait some minutes before you select the Cataphract. Hannon le, mae carnen mellon nîn.
[Edited on 07/28/08 @ 01:17 PM]