The Swallowed Realm is my newest campaign series. Following my surprising success with Shadowmind, I decided to create another series, based on a story I created sometime ago. Follow this link for a pic.
-Enterable homes and quaters. You can enter buildings and speak with the owner.
-Talking units, using the basic click=talk method
-Beautifuly composed soundtrack.
-Weapons and items can be discovered to increate attack/hp, this will take more affect in scenarios to come
-Detailed map, a large detailed river pushes through the elegant forests surrounding the world of Darron.
-Numerous triggers,around 200, but keep in mind. This scenario is half RPG..half B and D, so triggers were not used as much.
-Medicore difficulty, not to hard, not to easy.
More information on features...follow this link
Elves,Xaxerns,Humans,Dracions, and Dwarves living in a frightful world of war. Following this link to find more information on the story.
I would like to thank EO for making the BMP as he always does for my scenarios. And to The Great Alexander for his great testing skills which finds almost every bug.
Well that is it, if you have any questions or comments, either submit a player comment, email me at Shadows166@cs.com, or stop by the AoK Dragon Forum (AoK Dragon Forums)
The story continues in The Swallowed Realm Chapter 2 and in The Swallowed Realm:Chapter Three
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You start in a magical world full of Elves, Orcs, Humans, and other races. The humans are the lowest creatures that are taking beatings from the Orcs. You, Yrdsil, and your friend are both elves interested in the humans. After you get permission, you set off to find some humans. From here you make more friends and try to help the humans with the help of the Dwarfs.
This scenario had a mix of RPG and just fighting. You have small quests but at the end you end up just fighting another race.
What is there to say? The scenario was fun with an interesting plot making me want to know what happens next. It never really got boring and I never found myself stuck.
This is hard to say, near the ending parts of the story the scenario got hard for me on the first try. I died in a short period of time after I received a town to attack the Orcs. On my second try I was more conservative and was able to destroy the Northern Orc city easily with plenty of resources. The Southern City was fun to take out with my tens of thousands of resources so I could just send waves of armies. Still if you cannot play multiplayer very well or be able to keep some of your units than you’ll die easily.
The first most amazing thing was the map design. No doubt the use of normal Europe Forests and Frozen snowy lands made it great. Also I noticed some small tricks that really made it great like renaming many of the units/buildings, the walk able water, the transporting docks, and more. The story was also a twist with different kinds of magical creatures.
It was one of the best I’ve seen. There are two main large lands on the top and bottom of the map with a large sea in between. The South and East parts of the map are completely ice snow lands. The North and West parts of the land are normal grass and forest. You can also notice the hilly terrain which can get annoying. Overall though the map was great.
The scenario always gave clear instructions on what I must do so I never got confused. The story was also amazing with a great plot throughout the scenario. I mean this wasn’t just something like “X killed Y and you Z must kill X now”. It had a real story although there are few unknown parts good for the next scenario. I did notice though some spelling mistakes.
One thing I found was that the scenario does crash often at least on my computer when trying to reload a saved game for the second time. Over all the scenario was wonderful although much more detail was put into the story and map design than the playing itself, but they balanced out.
Also I must note the music was a good bonus it even mixed in good with my mp3s.
"The Forbidden Children" is a single scenario, a mix of RPG and B&D with a Death Match or Multiplayer like finish. The scenario became the Blacksmith Feature on February 28, 2002 and won two Orion Awards, best Story/Instructions first award and best Music Featured in a Scenario second award. It is the first part of the unfinished three-set Swallowed Realm Series.
The story is fiction and stages on the world of Darron. Two young Elves, Yrdsil armed with the classic bow and Davub who, other than most of the elves, had chosen the sword over the bow as his weapon, are about to leave their home village of Vinfird, to find out more about the humans, who seem to get into trouble with everyone else. All they knew of the human history was scribbled across an old papyrus. Over the years the Elves had hidden in the woods, watching the humans being constantly defeated, recording their history. The ancient humans were Nomads, travelling all over the land of Darron, until they settled on Dracion soil and founded a big city called Vector. Years later their city was completely destroyed by southern invaders, the Orcs, who followed them for years, killing them whenever they could. It was for the new leader named Horth that they have not been extinct long ago, he gathered the survivors, built a town and an army, but gave in after fierce fights against the overwhelming forces of the Orcs, heading to the lands of the north. They settled in the land of the Xaxerns, a race of sorcerers and sages, practicing the art of necromancy. They were conquerors using their skill to create powerful armies. The Xaxerns, self assured, occupied with extensive conquests, never discovered the human settlements on their land, until they controlled half of the region. The Human-Xaxerion war, brutal, filled with hatred, lasted for years and in the end the human boarder towns were destroyed. The Xaxerns regained control of their land, driving them away, pursuing and slaughtering them until mere existence. The Humans fled to the Elven land and at this moment, the Orcs and the Xaxerns are pursuing them once again, while the elves as always just watch, leaving the Dwarves as the only potential ally.
PLAYABILITY: The Forbidden Children is a fantastic scenario, in my top favourites, fun game play, great challenge, not a boring moment, one of the best maps I have played on, captive story, addictive music and very creative. On the downside, my computer crashed too often, either during the game or loading a saved game. The transport system made my computer crash, by clicking the harbour, moving the curser or taking control of the units after disembark. The "Marco" or "Polo" cheat can heal the problem and you can undo the revealed map or no fog by typing your cheat again. The other areas where my game crashed are the four harbours of the northern boarder city and to the east of there. To avoid crashes it would be better to attack the southern city first. There is also a short cut avoiding the transport system, eight enemy units and an annoying missionary. There was no market with white pendants, the item for the bellflower was double and the gate of Soques was open, which was confusing. 4
BALANCE: The beginning balance is fair for a RPG, putting you under pressure from the start by in game messages of your enemies advancing through the ages. When you take control of your village in the Dark Age, fortunately with some advanced units, you are confronted by early attacks of an Imperial Army and after your build up, the fantastic map gives many strategically options, the perfect balance for the experienced player. You have to use terrain advantages, attack different enemy town sections at the same time for distraction and choose the right units. The north masses Berserks, Scorpions, Monks, Archers and Rams, while the South trusts in Paladins, Teutonic Knights, Monks, Cannoneers and Scorpions. The scenario is at the same time winnable for non experts by just outnumbering your enemy with mass of resources which are plentiful on the map. 5
CREATIVITY: Outstanding creative story and map design; enterable homes; beautiful, perfectly fitting music file; walk able water; renaming units and buildings; creative balance and I like the click and talk triggers. 5+
MAP DESIGN: Without a shadow of doubt, one of the all time best maps at the blacksmith. The north of the map has forests and hill terrain; it is the cape of the south, where the higher region is covered with ice and snow. Magnificent landscape, cities and towns, a pleasure to play on, the design has everything for the highest rating and more. The map supports perfectly game play and balance, giving different strategically options. The Tesin River, which streams through the beautiful landscape, is a masterpiece of design, with fjords, small islands and shallows, supporting battle tactics. 5+
STORY/INSTRUCTIONS: The good impression starts with the author's description page. You get in game instructions, hints are not necessary, an informative scout section and a bitmap. The fantastic story, which keeps you interested, is so good, that I wanted to rate the category with 5+, but noticed spelling errors. 5
OVERALL: One of the best scenarios at the blacksmith with a fantastic story and outstanding map.
OBSERVATIONS: The scenario has everything to cause lag. A giant map full to the brim; a population limit of 200; many elevations and trees; items like rocks and flower beds that stand out from the map; trees, towers and buildings placed at the very edge of the map and a transport system firing triggers at the same time. The Swallowed Realm series should be placed in one .cpx file, which would be more users friendly. To play the entire campaign you have to do three downloads, provided you know they exist and it takes some time.
SUGGESTIONS: Change the text of the bowman in Vinfird or give the promised market with the white pendants. Have the gate to Soques closed until Tijis appears with the key. Delete the second flower patch. Get rid of the lag causing transport system, a conventional changing ownership transport is better than an annoying "creative" idea, which causes lag. You can also fix the transport system; they work in Prince of Persia, The Revenge of the Templars and Dragonfly. Either way the enemy avoiding short cut should also get some challenge. Last not least reduce lag, fix also chapter 3, bring the three scenarios into one .cpx and tell us the end of the story please. :-)
IN CLOSING: The Swallowed Realm series start here D/L now! I also recommend the four chapters (three downloads) of Shadowmind of the same author, they are entertaining, challenging; have a very special atmosphere and a great, complete story; a must have.
"Swallowed Realms" is a RPG combined with B&D that focuses on the travels of a pair of young elves who explore the world to see for themselves how the humans fit in to the grand scheme of things. Its a game that the reviewer played long ago in the past and revisited to see how it stacks up now.
The game was rather dull on both segments, as the RPG section had alot of walking with few interesting points while the B&D was very unpleasant to play, as the player had a terrible base and the map is not suited for this at all;elevation usage was so crazy i couldnt even place down a second TC. The AI was damaged in its own way by the map, and i didnt really have much fun at any time.
This is probably the biggest issue, and contributes heavily to the game being unfun. Its so incredibly easy on both segments. First the RPG game sees you heavily powered up, but the enemies are just normal units who get killed with ease. Secondly the B&D is very easy with a safe start, a tributary ally, and tons of resources. The only difficult part is pushing into the enemies land base, when they rally with tons of troops that are awkward to defeat with the lack of land for forward building;still, they soon run out of steam and have no economy on which to recover. The naval enemies are far worse, being entirely passive and in the end it was easy enough to land some villagers and tower push their base, killing off their mass skorpian+monk combo.
The game had a decent variety of RPG elements, alongside an interesting if flawed map. But the real highlight is the world of Shadowed Realms, which i found to be highly creative in its delve into a LotR style universe, and explores the role of humanity within it, albeit in a somewhat immature and clunky way at times.
Map Design 3
The map certainly is one of the more eclectic maps ive seen in awhile, ranging from the quite nice to somewhat bizarre. At the opening of the map, it looks good with the snowy elf village being well detailed and interesting, if a bit green and grassy. Towards the human area, it started getting very poor with great numbers of gaia mountains some simply placed out in the open with no cover. The massive heap of rocks around the human base doesnt do what it was intended to do and trying to make it green with mass gaia grass was probably not the way to go. There are also a number of the exposed cliff diagonals, from having cliffs cross elevations with no cover provided. The road to the dwarf village was crazy as well, with a mix of ice into the road terrain that seemed quite out of place. The dwarven village itself looked nice, although i wouldnt have expected the jungle\aztec theme for dwarves. The players B&D seems fairly odd with a lack of defined borders for the village, its alright to look at once but gets ugly during play fast. The land orc base looks good, but you dont see it during gameplay as its covered with bombard towers and you raze it flat at that point. Literally the entire map has had its elevation adjusted, which is a bit overwrought at times, its fine to have some flat areas especially in a B&D.
On the whole, its really some odd and poor parts dragging it down, as the terrain mixing and forest detailing combined with some nice bases is probably enough for a 4.
The story is quite interesting and for me the highlight of the game. The objectives, hints and scouts are what you would expect, while the soundtrack provided does much to lend the scenario its own individual atmosphere. There is a good amount of dialogue and an ingame integration of the storyline. Most characters on the map have their own dialogue lines, which is good.
Now, im far from a grammar nazi, and can overlook some typos and spelling mistakes. But they are taken to an absurd level i have never before recalled seeing in Swallowed Realms, as it seems every other sentence has a key word misspelled, for example getting "hope" turned into "home" which im not sure how that happens, as the "p" and "m" keys are not even adjacent. These grammar issues are so extreme i cant avoid knocking it down a point for them, which is something i rarely do.
Final thoughts: Its an interesting game, but far too easy, with an obtuse B&D section.
[Edited on 07/29/17 @ 10:43 AM]