The Story Of The Waterprincess - Prologue
Be part of a world in another dimension. The campaign starts in the world of Otranam, created by the god called Alrund. The life of the elnaghranians (worshippers of the god of the waters) has nearly ended - The living dead servants of Urdehnan (The god of Fire and Ice) have attacked on this religion and you are to find out why. You play as alrundian merchant called Michael who's life will be dramatically changed because of the Urdehnan's minions.
||Role Playing Only
This is the prologue of the campaign:
THE STORY OF THE WATERPRINCESS
By: Art Of Black
Many thanks to Playtesters:
The Great Alexander
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"The Story of the Waterprincess" is one of those scenarios that has managed to pass by almost unnoticed for almost ten years, despite being an above average design. It bears some resemblance to Luke Gevaerts' "Against Thee Wickedly prologue", in the sense that they both are prologues for very promising RPG games that we will unfortunately never see finished... most likely, anyway.
The player assumes the role of a merchant called Michael, in a quest to find his wife, amidst the attacks of strange warriors coming from the sea that threaten the world of Otranam. The story and the fantasy world created by the author are interesting and immersive. The gameplay itself is pretty standard RPG, pretty simplistic, your hero can upgrade only his attack skill at a blacksmith along the way of his quest. He can also choose a sidekick from a band of mercenaries, and this was a nice interactive addition. The money to purchase these things is gained simply by killing jaguars in the jungle and selling their pelts. There is also a sidequest promising gold at some point, which I didn't manage to complete (I didn't find the item that was required). The main quest on the other hand involves mainly exploring the map and finding a select few people that you need to talk to and get information from.
The thing that has really kept me into the game is the map design more than the gameplay itself. I didn't encounter too many enemies during the quest and for long periods of time nothing was happening except me walking towards my next destination (or trying to figure out what that was). This is the weaker point of the game in my opinion, the long distances to walk with no significant events taking place.
The enemies overpower you initially, but as you gain attack points at the blacksmith (you can gain a lot, I had around +40 attack in the end) and you also get a sidekick, they will not pose much of a threat anymore, especially since they don't get stronger or more numerous as the game progresses. Sometimes it is harder to figure out where you need to go than to defeat your enemies. However, the exploring is not a bad experience in itself, and we have the good jungle design to thank for that.
As I said, the game is more or less standard RPG, but executed at an above-standard level. There were some interesting tricks implemented such as the transport ship which changed ownership when you boarded it. The story itself is a creative highlight, with each region of the map and their stories being described in the "scouts" section.
MAP DESIGN: 5
One of the best things about this game, the map design stands out as one of the better jungle environment maps I've seen in the blacksmith. The terrain mixing is very good and the whole map has a very good look to it. Not many things are in need of improvement here. Perhaps the abandoned jungle town could have used some more attention though. There are very good terrain combinations that give the map a really good aspect, and show how much of an asset terrain mixing can be to a map, when done properly.
The in-game story gives a very good idea of the imaginary setting of the game, and sets the premise for an interesting continuation. Unfortunately, since it's been almost ten years, a sequel is not really in the books anymore.
The hero of the game is a simple man with no special training, to which we can all relate, and who simply wants to find his beloved spouse. I would've liked to see more things actually happening to him. It seems that most of the game is spent travelling, with few narrative parts and dialogues in between. Maybe the percentages of action/exploring/storytelling should have been balanced a little bit.
The ending that we get in the "victory" message was a bit surprising to me and left me a little bit sad. I will let you discover it for yourselves.
Instructions and hints were extensive and helpful, nothing there to complain about.
This is a nice download for RPG fans, and it could well have been one of the old-time classics here at the blacksmith considering the time it was released. For some reason it did not get proper recognition. Here's hoping this review will change that to some extent.
"The Story of the Water Princess - Prologue" is a scenario that, after 10 years in the Blacksmith, has gotten much less attention than it is worth. While it is by no means a masterpiece, it has some qualities that makes it a gem, and definitely worth downloading if you want an atmospheric game.
The gameplay in this scenario primarily consists of exploring a vast, uncharted jungle, taking on mysterious demon warriors and trading. While it is fun, and the atmosphere and story keep you wanting to finish the scenario, there is a lot left to be desired.
The walks between the different locations on the map are *long*. This is not a problem initially, when you're exploring the land and dodging demon attacks, but whenever you want to get back to the Village of the Horns to restore your health, it becomes a tedious march back and forth with nothing else to do than watch your militia treck across the jungle.
While you can upgrade your attack to ridiculous levels, there is no way to gain more hit points, which forces you to go running back to the Missionary whenever you've been in a fight or two.
The few fights throughout the scenario are also rather dull. They last for only a few seconds, and they never really vary from one to another, and they force you to go running across half the map to be healed again.
All in all, there are many things that bring the entertainment level of this scenario down. However, it still has some strong elements. The atmosphere is great; the first act of the scenario does really well in establishing a mysterious story and it gets you involved with the plot. The story of a regular man who loses his wife is a welcome change from more common war epics, and it keeps you interested throughout the scenario.
The scenario was definitely hit-and-miss when it comes to balance. The fights you get into are initially quite difficult, but get gradually easier as you level up your weaponry. In the end, though, with +50 attack points there is little the demons can do to harm you, not to mention the poor jaguars.
Apart for the actual swordfights, the overall difficulty of the other quests was quite good. Finding your way through the map took time, but it was never overly hard, or blatantly obvious, where you should go. Overall, the fights are far from perfect, but the scenario overall was rather well-balanced.
Taking into account that this scenario was designed ten years ago, there are still many things in it that are definite creative touches. There is a inventory and quest system, although it isn't greatly developed, a boat system which is great for going between the islands fast, trade systems, mercenary hiring, and a rather unique story. The scenario might not shine with creativity, but it's certainly not just a randomly generated map. And, given that it was made ten years ago, I'll cut it some slack as well.
MAP DESIGN: 4-
The design of the scenario ranged from well-crafted and pleasant, to seemingly random and mediocre. Most of the shallow, rocky shores were very well designed, and some design tricks used like the burning bonfire definitely stood out. Most of the map was, however, not too great. The terrain was often mixed rather oddly, and in many places the use of flowers got a little out of hand. However, the designer has definitely put a good effort into the map, and it has a structure which I quite enjoyed: the paths around the jungle are unpredictable, which makes it feel a lot like you're actually exploring a jungle, and here and there are ruins of an ancient civilization, which adds to the RPG-adventure feel of the scenario.
All in all, the map is far from flawless, but its structure and some parts of the design are well-crafted. In a word, it is wholesome.
STORY & INSTRUCTIONS: 4
As I have mentioned before, the story is one of the scenario's strong points. All except for the ending. While I won't spoil exactly what happens, it seems as if the author somehow wanted to wrap the entire story up in a couple of sentences instead of making a second scenario, and it really comes like lighting from a clear sky. There are a bunch of spelling errors as well, but not enough to bring the score down.
You could say that the instructions are inadequate, but while they are indeed scarce, I think they are more than enough to get you through the scenario. The instructions don't tell you what to do, step by step, as we often have become accomodated to with modern scenarios (and modern games in general, for that matter); instead, the initiative lies with you. You have to get searching for your wife, and no one is going to help you do it, unless you're willing to pay.
Overall, the story is unique and quite solid, except the ending which I didn't like much at all, and the instructions are few but adequate. A solid four.
IN CONCLUSION: If you enjoy story- and atmosphere-heavy scenarios, or if you, like me, enjoy scenarios that have certain unpolished features, this might definitely be worth downloading. If you want the high-paced action of a 5-star campaign and nothing else, move along.