Posted on 10/09/01 @ 12:00 AM (updated 04/16/02
Avaris is not a regular scenario. Rather, it was Lighthouse Creations' submission to the Pretty Town Contest, having the contest's rules in mind; The object of the contest was to create a beautiful city, and bitmaps and music were banned. Everything else was completely optional.
Other PTC entries include Inquizative's Gaiku Airashii and AoK Dragon's Minas Dragon.
Unfortunately, none of the submissions to the contest were judged. Our entry is, therefore, uploaded to the Blacksmith for your leisure. This is its second version, with certain improvements and fixes to make the entry suit the Blacksmith.
Travelers, Merchants, Kings and Peasants - Welcome to Avaris, city of splendor and riches. We hope you will enjoy your stay.
You can find all important information and instructions in the metropolis. Your tour guide will be no other than His Royal Highness, Pharaoh Ramses II, who has invited you, Moses, to the most magnificent city in the empire in order to discuss the matter of the Hebrew slaves.
Enjoy all Avaris has to offer; Let the pride and joy of Egypt enchant you with its powerful palaces, magnificent markets, delightful docks, fancy fortifications and towering temples. See the plight of the Hebrew slaves in the slums. See Egypt as it really was.
Lighthouse Creations is one of the most praised and award-winning scenario-design teams in the industry, recieving a 4.8 out of 5.0 score for both AoK releases: Our debut From Prince to Renegade and its sequel Moses, Liberator of the Hebrews.
Note: In all of LC's biblically-based releases, we take considerable amounts of artistic license, whether due to dramatic reasons or because of the confinements of a computer game's scenario editor, so please take the phrase "See Egypt as it really was" with a grain of salt...
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Avaris was situated at the north-eastern part of the Nile Delta, in the land of Goshen. Avaris, built over the ruins of Rowaty, became the capitol of the Hyksos, who kept its name. The city was destroyed by the Pharaoh Ahmose I. Because of its ideal situation for trade, Ramses II built Per Ramesses at the same place. I have a problem with Ramses II, being the Pharaoh of the Exodus, because this does not comply with the greatest history book of all, the Old Testament of the Bible. The Israelites where gone long ago when Ramses ruled in Egypt. The Bible says that Jacob settled in the land of Rameses, but that was meant geographical, as people where familiar with the name of the region, it wasn’t said that it was the time of Ramses II. The same stands for the town. When the Bible was written nobody remembered Avaris or Rowaty, the towns name when Jacob arrived in the land of Goshen. In the Bible, the more popular name, Rameses was used for Avaris. The Israelites built Avaris and the Exodus started here, as described in this scenario.
This is the second version of the submission to the Pretty Town Contest by Lighthouse Creations. Improvements, like the adding of a bitmap, have been made, to fit better for the blacksmith. The other contestents that posted to the blacksmith are Inquizative's Gaiku Airashii and AoK Dragon's Minas Dragon.
The contest's rules were made by Fozby, who organized the contest. Warfare was not allowed, no music, no bitmap, no Modpacks. The map could be any size, preferably under giant, small and any size town, which doesn't have to be the whole map. You could have used more than one town, but one had to be pretty. There should be a unit to explore the map, but only for the parts the designer wants to be minded. Instructions like "Follow the paved road" or flags etc. were possible. The towns would have been judged entirely on aesthetics, triggers themselves won't have necessarily added to the score, but what they do would have been. Last not least, no cut-scenes, the scenario would have been rated down for cut-scenes. Everything else was optional. The playable part would be reduced to exploring a map with no enemies, which had as only object the creation of a pretty town. This is a city tour, were unlike as in a cut-scene you can get controll of your unit.
PLAYABILITY: You play Moses and your tour guide will be His Royal Highness, Pharaoh Ramses II, who discusses the matter of the Hebrew slaves with you, while he is taking you on his visually magnificent tour. It is a guided city tour and the unit, a king, is well coosen, as he is fast, which gives this scenario a perfect pace. Not a boring second, the dialogues are short and add to the pleasure of this scenario. To explore more of the map, you get from time to time controll of your unit and you set the pace, by clicking on your guide. Wandering around the city is like taking a vacation, to see the map revealing, is so fantastic, that I choose slow speed, in order to enjoy every fraction of this scenario. The replay value is high and you will certainly enjoy this tour more than once. 5
BALANCE: This category is related 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 was well balanced. You can not loose a city tour, as you have no enemies, but the review system demands a rating here, even though there is no balance. The category is rated by taking the average of the four other categories. If the numerical value has a fraction, the next higher figure will be the rating for balance. 5
CREATIVITY: To explore the map with a tour guide and have the map revealed by your unit is a creative solution for a city tour. The creativity of the map, of the story, the bitmap and dialogues are already reflected in the ratings of their respective categories, where the creativity is high. Only that is not enough. 3+
-Boats could leave and arrive at the docks. You should show mistreatments, to make understand the harsh words of Moses and the desire to leave. More triggers were allowed under the rules of the contest.
MAP DESIGN: From all city designs I saw from AoK, this is one of the best. The sights are spectacular, palaces, the docks, the slums in contrast with the gardens, where every tree has been placed individually. That is the most remarkable thing, the detailed work, which has been done, to make this city authentic, realistic and beautiful at the same time. Avaris about 4 square miles, was one of the largest and most beautiful cities of its time. I would like to give a higher rating, but the system does not accept. 5+
STORY/INSTRUCTIONS: A good story; an informative author’s description page; a bitmap fitting the scenario; a history section and ironical, funny dialogues throughout the scenario. 5
-The history section reflects the knowledge of 10/09/01, when the first version was posted, while my introduction reflects the situation of 04/13/02, the date of my first review. New informations and articles were released since these dates, as excavations are done right now at Tell el-Dab‘a the site of ancient Rameses.
Overall: Download this scenario and if you are interested in the story, play From Prince to Renegade and then Moses Liberator of the Hebrews, they are fantastic.