The Martyrdom of Saint Alban - 301 AD
It is a RPG (a single) inspired by medieval chronicles written
by Venerable Bede, Gildas and Nennius.
The events take place in the early 4th century England.
From Bede, A History of the English Church and People.
The martyrdom of Saint Alban and his companions,
who shed their life-blood for Christ [a.d. 301]
<< When the unbelieving Emperors were issuing savage edicts against Christians, Alban, as yet
a pagan, gave shelter to a Christian priest fleeing from his pursuers. He was suddenly touched
by the grace of God and began to follow the priest's example of faith and devotion.
Word came to the ears of the evil ruler that Christ's confessor lay hidden in Alban's house.
When his soldiers arrived at the martyr's house, holy Alban, wearing the priest's long cloak,
at once surrendered himself in the place of his guest and teacher.
The judge was very angry, and said: 'If you want to enjoy eternal life, sacrifice at once
to the great gods.' Alban replied 'You are offering these sacrifices to devils, who cannot
help their suppliants. Whosoever offers sacrifice to idols is doomed to the pains of hell.'
The judge saw that no torture could make him renounce the worship of Christ, and ordered his
immediate decapitation. The appointed executioner was so moved [by miracles performed by Alban]
that throwing down his drawn sword, he fell at his feet, begging that he might be thought
worthy to die with the martyr.
The soldier was beheaded at the same time as Alban. And although he had not received the
purification of Baptism, there was no doubt that he was cleansed by the shedding of his own
blood, and rendered fit to enter the kingdom of heaven.>>
Sorry, but in this scenario human player has almost nothing to do. We would have been happy
to save St. Alban from decapitation, but it took place in 301 A.D., 1700 years ago.
It is a part of a whole series of Early Medieval England campaigns which we hope
to submit to your attention in the nearest future.
Any criticism would be much appreciated. Nothing we create is perfect,
but it is worth trying to bring at least something to perfection.
ENOTH DESIGN TEAM
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The Martyrdom of Saint Alban is a single scenario, a cut-scene. The historical story is about a Roman soldier named Alban, a pagan or better, a worshipper of Roman Gods. The ENOTH design team based the plot on the book of Saint Bede, “History of the English Church and People” and date the events to the time of the last, the 10th persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire, 301 A.D. under Diocletian. Historians agree that Alban’s execution happened about 100 years earlier, in 209 A.D., during the sixth persecution under Lucius Septimius Severus.
PLAYABILITY: This cut-scene is highly enjoyable and I recommend resolution 1280x1084 for the perfect game experience. The Roman town Verulanium/Verulam is very lively and it is great fun to watch troops marching in formation, to click on people, to see who is in town. There are Roman historical women misplaced in time like Octavia, Terentia, Quinta, Septima Zenobia queen of Palmyra and Agrippina, for me the most interesting, great granddaughter of Augustus, daughter of Germanicus, sister of Caligula, and the wife of Claudius, mother of Nero, who had her killed. Unique for cut-scenes is pace, which is excellent in this scenario, everything flows, the information displayed on your screen is short, the scenario speaks for itself and the replay value is high. 5
BALANCE: This category relates to the skill of the player and is somehow subjective, as the reviewer rates, if the scenario was too hard/easy to complete for him or if the scenario is well balanced. The scenarios goal is to show a cut-scene, where you do not have control of a unit and it is in the intention of the author that there will be no fighting. From the review tutorial: “One important item to note about scoring the balance category for scenarios where no fighting takes place, such as cut-scene scenarios, some puzzle scenarios and some rpg style scenarios, is that just because the player cannot die in such scenarios, that doesn't mean the scenario isn't balanced. You also need to take the author's original intent into account, giving the author some benefit of the doubt. If the author never intended the player to face a struggle to survive, then there's no reason to knock down the balance score if there isn't any fighting. So keep in mind that you do need to take the intent and goals of the scenario into account when scoring the balance category, especially for those scenarios where fighting is not included.” 5
CREATIVITY: The scenario is very creative, you witness over fifteen minutes of high quality cut-scene, good use of triggers and small details like the renaming of historical women and a group of ‘canis’. It shows a good stage of the events described, the appearing in front of the judge, the huge crowd attending the execution, which came from the theatre because initially Alban should die entertaining people facing gladiators as it was only during the trial the judge found out that he was a Roman citizen and thus saved from fighting until death. The solution to portray that Alban converted the executioner is good, but also the reason why I deducted a point as this was rather uncreative, not convincing. The scenario shows one miracle, the crossing of the river, witnessed here only by the Christian preacher. However, legend tells us that the bridge was too crowded, leading to the execution place outside of town and up a hill, Alban prayed and the river next to the bridge dried, so he could walk to the opposite shore. Reaching the hill, the executioner, impressed by what he saw, threw away his sword, refused to kill Alban who prayed to God for water and a wellspring started to run above them. Then a soldier beheaded him and the executioner who would not behead him. I am not saying that all this is easy to portray but one miracle to explain the conversion of the executioner would be sufficient. 4
MAP DESIGN: The map design is well above average, realistic, it is rather the map, the scenes than the story, which drags you into the scenario. 5
STORY/INSTRUCTIONS: A well-told story, information displayed throughout the scenario in the objective screen, a bitmap and an excellent history section based on the Paris manuscript, which Saint Bede used. 5
OVERALL: It is one of the best cut-scenes at the blacksmith, a masterpiece.
SUGGESTIONS: Make the final scene convincing, have Alban walk next to the bridge across the water and the executioner refuses to behead him as a result.
OBSERVATIONS: Saint Bede used the Paris manuscript for his version of Saint Alban’s story, deliberately ignoring the Turin manuscript, which is more reliable and naming Septimius Severus reign for Alban’s death. The reason why the Roman Catholic Church dated the events 100 years later, there was the myth that Alban’s death made the persecutions end. Granted, persecution paused for about thirty years after Alban’s death, but 209 A.D., the 6th major persecution of Christians out of ten did not fit to make him a strong martyr and now he figures no longer in the Vatican’s calendar, reduced to the Anglican Church’s one. Septimius Severus did what others, Nero, Domitian, Trajan, Hadrian, and Marcus Aurelius started and Maximus the Thracian, Decius, Valerian and finally Dioclethian repeated and no Saint could stop the Roman Emperors. For fundamentalists Alban had to be a strong martyr, they take him as an example that you cannot be baptised by your blood, as even Jesus could not become Christian by giving his blood, he was baptised in the river Jordan. As the wellspring was from God and thus holy water, fundamentalists believe that Alban and the executioner were baptised before giving their blood and not just being thirsty in the moment facing death. The majority of the Roman Catholic Church agrees on the version of this campaign, that Saint Alban and the Roman soldier were baptised by their blood.
IN CLOSING: Great download. I recommend all of ENOTH’s work; just enter the name in the search function. If you are interested in the Early Medieval England series, the other downloads are, 410 A.D. Romans Leave Briton, 429 AD The Life of Saint Germanus, 449 AD Hengist, Horsa and Vortigern and 635 AD Aidan comes to Northumbria.
[Edited on 05/08/06 @ 11:46 AM]