LEGENDS OF CHILA
By Oliver, member of Tsunami Studios
This is a short cutscene depicting the events that took place ages ago in the legendary realm of Chila, where the Shapeshifters - people with the ability to turn themselves into animals - lived. The two brothers Virgil and Zanath return to Chila after a thousand years in exile, but they return to bitter tears and a Chila at war.
It is not likely that this will ever become a campaign, at least not in a two-year perspective. I made it because I wanted to explore the possibilities the AoK editor has to offer for fictitious fantasy stories. I attempted to express emotion, feelings, a kind of "Paradise Lost" atmosphere. It is also my mot poetic work so far. My ambition was to make art, not just a game.
This cutscene requires a high-performance computer. I've personally got a laptop with a 2,66 Mhz P4 processor and 512 Mb of RAM, and it runs this cutscene without the slightest lag. I also tested it on a six years old computer with a 1,4 Mhz processor and 128 Mb of RAM, and it managed to run it with some lag. The result was that the music went slightly out of sync with the cutscene. This can unfortunately not be fixed. So, if you have the opportunity to play this on a good comp, please do so. :-)
PS. Sorry for the big file size. I don't want to compress the music too hard. DS.
PPS. Thanks to Mashek for inspiration (not to mention a few excellent sounds I shamelessly borrowed from him ;-) DDS.
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Legends of Chila is a cut-scene about the an Old Man that decides to tell his youngster about an ancient land full of lush green land, and full of life. At first glance you may think this is just another scenario about an old man telling a story of former glories, but fear not. I can guarantee you, that you have never seen anything like this before, in AoK. Chila, as told by the author, held secrets known only to it's inhabitants, inhabitants with extraordinary gifts. Chilians, as I like to refer to them as, have to ability to shape shift. Though, there are limits to their powers. Rather than changing into anything they desire, they are allowed three basic forms. One, being of birds, another being of mammals, and final being of fish. To me this makes the whole history of Chila exciting, knowing that these creatures can travel by land, sea, and air. I do not wish to give anything away, since this scenario is well worth the surprise, so I will just focus on the parts that score in the review.
I've never been so excited to play a cut-scene. When Oliver sent this cut-scene to me, I was expecting something awesome. But I never expected something like this. I actually had to watch the whole cut-scene twice to get the full effect of it. I'm sure I will watch it a few more time today as well. If there is one piece of advice I can give you, in playing this cut-scene, it would be to watch this cut-scene at least three times. There's far too much that happens in this cut-scene, not to watch it more than once. And if you don't enjoy playing this cut-scene, I'll give you you're money back. *feels safe about not losing money* 5
There's one word that comes to mind when you think of this cut-scene's creativity, absolute-brilliance. Okay, maybe that's two, but for this cut-scene, it deserves to be shown as one. It's almost impossible to explain how creative this scenario is really. After watching this cut-scene, I felt as if everything I knew about AoK Map Design, was thrown out the window and stomped on. There's so many things in here that I've never seen before. For risk of giving away anything about this cut-scene, and taking away some of the surprise, I'll just say that you will have you're mind blown out by how unique and original this cut-scene is. While watching the beginning scene, I felt as if I was looking at a pop-up book. And if seeing a pop-up book in AoK isn't creative, then I have no clue what is. 5
Wow. Map design, how am I going to cover this? Well as most of you know, Oliver is known for his outrageous skill of creating art on his scenarios, and he has certainly kept that idea alive. His use of trees, plants, wildlife, and everything else, was perfect. What's also impressive is the amount of detail Oliver has put into this scenario. Simple things like clumping plants, and clumping units, may not seem incredibly impressive to the untrained eye, but I can tell you from experience, that these techniques Oliver has used through tout his cut-scene take time and care. He has certainly demonstrated these qualities and more throughout the whole map. I have to give Oliver credit for the sheer effort it must have taken to design this terrain. 5
This is where Oliver has really outdone himself. I loved the map design, I dropped my jaw at the use of new methods he used, and I was flabbergasted at the whole idea of Chila, and it's people. Above all these things, I loved the story and background the most. Oliver is truly gifted with words, and he didn't hold back with his latest project. And if he was holding back, I'm scared to think of what he could do. It's obvious that Oliver has taken a lot of time to think of this story. I've never seen anything like this in AoK, to this extent, and I'm sure no one else has either. And the writing, specifically, is incredibly detailed. Oliver has a great way with words, and he really shows it here. And my favorite part, above all else, was the way he manipulates the "Display Instruction" effect. When you watch this cut-scene, you'll see what I mean. I'd love to tell you exactly what I mean, but like I said before, this cut-scene deserves you reaction of surprise, so I'll keep it to my self for now. 5
Finally, I would just like to thank Oliver for not entering this cut-scene in Mashek's Cut-Scene Competition. If you did, I would have no chance at first, at all. And if you've read this whole review and you're still wondering if you should download this cut-scene or not, then you may need to go seek professional help. Even though this review pales in comparison to the cut-scene it's self, I was happy to write it. Good luck in the future, Oliver!
[Edited on 06/25/06 @ 03:10 PM]
Legends of Chila is a cut-scene that runs for a little over ten minutes, and I must say, is without doubt the greatest cut-scene that has ever graced the pages of Age of Kings Heaven Blacksmith. I guarantee folks, no, I swear, you have never seen anything like this before. Nothing will prepare you for what you are about to embark upon once you have clicked the ‘download file’ button! Oliver has manipulated the map editor to precise perfection, emotion to its saddest, beauty to its most beautiful and a story to its most original and intriguing quality!
The story begins off with an old man, over-burdened with the weight of his plaguing memories, memories of a forlorn time, struck with the narrowness of loss and fatigue, telling his grandson of a land, hidden with the undergrowth of time, Chila, and the war that had taken her inhabitants by surprise, left her civilization shattered, and by God, leaves you dazed and wanting more!
I actually found myself feeling sorrow as I watched the story unfold in this cut-scene, but then, maybe that was just because of how disheartening it was to watch? You stare upon the map design, which the author has manipulated to perfection, jaw literally dropped, eyes scourged from its beauty and wonder, stomach churning because of the sense of realism, fantasy and emotion conveyed. Folks, I tell you now, and I am not just talking crap, that this cut-scene sets the benchmark that I am certain no one will break for a very long time.
Chila erupts into a convulsion of war as an enemy “as swift as it is efficient” sweeps through the deep green of the land, lush and fertile, leaving it destroyed, and soaking in crimson and the limbs of its victims that had fallen prey to its unambiguous desires of greed. The two characters, Virgil and Zanath vie to defend their lands, holding onto the death that has broken them, and filled with fiery rage at the sheer sight of their enemy, erupting over the horizon in all its gargantulam sized legions, under banners of scarlet. I loved this cut-scene; pure quality never before seen in such beauty and undeniable sadness. Watching this cut-scene, I sat dumb-founded, not exactly knowing what to expect, instantly caught at surprise by the opening scene. The way the dialogue is manipulated, the way the scenes are carried out, the way the music perfectly plays with the story and leaves you inspired, motivated and depressed because of the sheer brilliance of it, will all probably leave your scenario and or cut-scene looking like filth! Folks I cannot stress enough –download this now! Don’t read any further, just, for God’s sake, download it now! And Oliver, wipe that evil grin off you face!
A cut-scene under the review guidelines gets an automatic 5.0 in this category since ‘Balance’ cannot actually influence a cut-scene, rather only deals with the difficulty in a scenario that is playable.
Creativity: (5.0) +
I cannot utter the words at how beautiful and creative this cut-scene is. No words in the English language will tell you how greatly creative this scenario is! This scenario is utterly spectacular! Oliver has taken your dreams that few extra steps further, bringing out tricks you would never expect to see, and manipulating the display-instructions, the triggers and the map design to its sheer quality and… God I can’t even think of the word! It is just brilliant! Oliver’s use of music and sounds are superb. The sounds are so crisp perfect and have unlocked that beauty that I have so striven to one day achieve. It is so real, so calm, so… beautiful. Creativity is just something that stands out so well that one cannot help but to feel knocked to the ground, utterly overwhelmed and defeated. The story is driven forward so well too that it really leaves you wanting more, desiring more! Oliver has used things like the mass armies trick, display instructions trick, the ‘pop-up book’ trick and much, much more. An unbelievably brilliant job! Also, I loved the idea of Chila, a spirit land stuck in the fatalities of war, and her people being the shape shifters who have the powers to transform either into a bird, a mammal or a fish.
Map Design: (5.0) +
The Map design was incredible. I have no words to describe it. The lands of Chila were so beautiful, lush, deep green and fertile. The sound effects really enhanced its beauty, and make you stare in wonder, like the film, ‘The Last Samurai’ did to me when I first saw it at the cinemas. The superb use of flowers, clumped plants, bushes and trees add perfection and creativity to the cut-scene. Oliver has certainly put in a lot of time, effort and thought into how he went about his work. The atmosphere was another brilliant quality of this cut-scene too. It was so great. An atmosphere of serenity, beauty, but as you will find, quickly falls waste under the insuperable feel of chaos, demonic evil and danger. Lastly, the effect of the tricks to enhance the map-design was once again, superb! A marvelous job, Oliver! Well done!
Story/ Instructions: (4.0)
Oliver is a master with words and an aspiring author at the same time. His use of detailed words adds colour, vision and emotion to his story and cut-scene alike. Oliver is adept at manipulating metaphors and similes to add vision to what he writes, and all the while keeping with that mystical flow that helps to develop a sense of true fantasy that I myself have hardly ever witnessed in an AOK cut-scene, or scenario for that matter before. The cut-scene and the story itself are so in-depth, so serene, that you really can’t help but to become attached to what Oliver is presenting to your eyes. Also, the use of the display-instructions is splendid, eye opening, and, you are just going to have to download and see what I am talking about. This will literally sweep you off your feet, and leave you wondering at how someone could so easily manipulate the AOK editor to present a work of pure quality. However, I encountered a few grammatical errors. One in the Scenario-Instructions section. You said “it was a long long time since…” put a comma between the two longs. Also there were one or two sentences that could probably do with some restructuring, but I won’t go into that. No one’s perfect and I seemed to be running into these problems all the time when I write too.
My reasons for giving this category a 4.0 is because it is an unfinished cut-scene, an unfinished story, and according to the cut-scene review guidelines, it is reasonable to deduct one point if the story does not stand up on its own or is unfinished. For this, I would recommend the author to include any further updates of this cut-scene or further sequels into this one file to help solve the problem and so that the scenario may be able to get its deserved, perfect rating.
Oliver, you have presented a true masterpiece! No words will express how disheartened I am at seeing your cut-scene. You make my cut-scenes look like, and I unwaveringly admit it, like crap! But also, Oliver you have helped to unlock that true sense of beauty I have been trying to achieve for a very long time. I always wanted to create a beautiful land, under emotional music. Now I can finally do that, using your scenario as a guideline. I really thank you for this. People, you have read this review, now watch the cut-scene, you will be surprised, disheartened, but most of all –captivated!
In Short - A beautiful cut-scene, one that has captured hearts!
In Closing - A definite download!
[Edited on 07/02/08 @ 10:32 PM]
‘Legends of Chila’ is probably the best cut-scene that has ever reached the Blacksmith. With the most suiting music ever, sound effects, lots of tricks and blending map design, oliver has succeeded in creating a masterpiece, which I would rank together with Ulio and Sabato Returns, my personal favourites.
I find my old review of it too short and undetailed so I decided to review it again. Its pretty much same facts, but in a better style and more detailed.
Playability is rated for how much the watcher/player enjoyed the game. I certainly enjoyed playing, or watching, Legends of Chila. Everything from the pre-game instructions to the enemies marching on Castle Nea was perfect and the in-game music gave me gooseflesh. It suited the story perfectly and the scenario design blended perfectly with the buildings and walls. I certainly enjoyed what was presented, more than any other cut-scene. No other game has spell-bound me more than Legends of Chila, time after time. Several times when I watch it, I find new things that I didn’t notice before. Therefore a 5+
As all pure cut-scenes, i.e. cut-scenes with no playable elements at all, they don’t include any moments when balance can be seen. The guidelines therefore say that all these kind of cut-scenes should get a 5, since there is nothing to score from and nothing to judge.
The theme with shape shifters is not new. It has been featured in for example Sabato Returns and Sabato Lives, and probably a few more of whom I don’t know about. But in the big perspective, the theme is used in a new way. The Sabato campaigns did not use shape shifters as the good guys and they didn’t take place in a green paradise. This is an all new type of world in AoK perspective, as far as I‘m aware. I’ve never before seen a paradise-campaign in AoK and so it makes this theme all new.
Apart from the theme there are many in-game things too that bring this up to a 5. First, the high grass on the fields where deer go eating look fabulous. I used that idea myself later on in one of my projects and I have to thank you for showing it to me. Another thing, the thing that first struck me when I started the scenario, was the midnight stars in the sky, made out of signs from the ‘Display Instructions’ effect. In the same time, the chatbox was used for the dialogue, that gave the whole part a feeling of silent talk and whispers, a secret happening in the middle of the night. This gave a wonderful effect to the game.
After that, there’s the hawk and macaw flying over huge landmasses and oceans. In here, ocean waves were used, to give a great effect to the ocean. Sound effects give the feeling of cold winds and breezes in the high mountains and cold tundra. Then when you actually get to Chila, the green nature is pure pleasure for my eyes. The green grass blends perfectly with dark trees, flowers and paths. I could really feel like being in Chila, standing next to Virgil and Zanath. The music is fitting from beginning to the end. It is as if the music was composed for one purpose only – to make Legends of Chila to what it is.
The Nean buildings in the Aztec style suits the nature perfectly, as newIdea expressed it. They blend well with the nature and the whole theme.
And for a last thing, the enemy forces coming in the last scene comes in a new formation, different to the basic ones. I found out how it can be made by looking through your scenario and it’s a brilliant idea.
When the dialogue comes in Display Instructions form, it develops from short phrases into longer sentences, without removing the first phrase. This style might be confusing at first, but you quickly get used to it.
It all sums up into a 5, a strong 5.
MAP DESIGN: 5
Absolutely a 5. The nature sparkles from the very beginning, the first scene with the statue and bushes, and the dark sky with the stars. On the way to Chila there are ocean waves, high mountains and rocky tundras. Well in Chila, the green colours match each other perfectly. The high grass beside the path is the home of deer and the trees beside the path sit tight and eveyrhting i filled with life and sprucing green colours. It’s a wonderful scene.
And then the garden comes, a couple of yurts surrounded by bushes, making it look realistic as a house with a garden. Then the forces on patrol to Nea comes, all marching from different locations, meeting up with Virgil and Zanath. The terrain with dark trees and green grass gives a beautiful look to everything.
I think I summed everything up in the creativity cathegory and up here. For an overall comment, the terrain is marvelous, every detailed has got time for thoughts by the authour. It may not be the most detailed map, but it suits its purpose and looks realistic, and simply awesome. No other score than a 5 would be fair.
STORY & INSTRUCTIONS: 5
This story is unique and a thrilling one to watch. The authour has made a superb job when composing the pre-game instructions, as well as the in-game. Everything comes when its supposed to come, when the player is on high tense and eager to get the continuation. There are no sign of flashing text or slow speed text, everything goes smoothly.
The story used is unqique and I’ve never seen anything like it before, nothing even comes close. The story is not yet finished, even if the authour has started Part 2, though its not likely he completes it. An unfinished story gives more room for thinking for the player, and I like these kind of games/cut-scenes. I do prefer finished ones, but these are a good variation to classic games and cut-scenes.
As for a bonus, there is a beautiful bitmap for the pre-game instructions. It all rounds up to a 5. This is one of the best stories I’ve seen so far, definately the best in the cut-scene section.
OVERALL: A masterpiece
IN CLOSING: A thrilling story, utterly creative and atmospheric – a must download for everyone
[Edited on 09/27/07 @ 04:14 PM]
The BEST Cut-Scene in the entire Blacksmith, hands down. Dont even argue with me, it's simply THE BEST.
Perfect, The Cut-scene was perfect
The best effects, sounds and map design as well as plot and script came together in a perfect poem-like cut-scene that was a work of beauty
Map Design: 5
The map was intriguing and well done, I especially liked the way that Oliver included all of the different terrains (ex. Sea's, Desert, Mountains) and of course the Fortress was awe inspiring
The plot is deep and well concoted and definately left me wanting more of Chila and it's war
Download no matter what. even if you do get serious lag just sit it out, or in fact buy a brand new computer simply to watch this cut-scene in it's full effect and glory
Great job Oliver
“Legends of Chila” by Oliver, is a cutscene scenario about an old man’s tale to his son about Virgil and Zanath, exiles from Chila who return to a nation at war.
Playability: - The playability for a cutscene was immense. Whereas cutscenes have gradually got more and more complex, this seems like a giant leap forward, in both how it draws the viewer in and helps keep there interest throughout. There were elements, which seemed a little cliché by idea, having the characters travel over different types of land and sea. Despite this, the cutscene recovered well from this and continued to impress.
Balance: - According to the review tutorial a cut-scene rates five for Balance.
Creativity: - There are tricks in this cutscene that will copied a hundred-fold. The star’s idea with the Display Instructions was great and I’ll remember for a long time. Tricks are here in abundance, including the remove all revealed areas trick, patrol use simulating marching armies, revealers being used for dawn. The idea of having shapeshifters isn’t new unto itself, the Sabato series is also noticeable for that. However, it’s the way the author has gone about pulling it off that is different, with the custom sounds helping a great deal.
Map Design: - The map design was of a high standard throughout, I myself would say at some times it seemed a little too much, with the first view of the lands of Chila having perhaps too many plants. This did help depict a lush, green landscape however. One of the first scenes impressed me the most with the way the bushes around the statue as Virgil and Zanath looked up at the stars stood out, and was particularly impressive.
Story/Instructions: - Well the story is really what brings this piece to life, despite as I have briefly mentioned some elements that have been well used before, Old Men depicting stories and travelling over many different landscapes. As the story drew on I was compelled to watch more, my only gripe was that I was expecting to see a large fight at the end. However, as a designer I understand the need to keep a viewer left wanting more and for that I commend you.
Overall: - I think part of the success of the "Legends of Chila" is down to the music, moving at times, which fitted it perfectly at the start. As the cutscene continued the music got moodier in time with the plot. I was kept deeply engrossed during the time I spent watching this cutscene and the last time I enjoyed a project as much was under Mark Stoker or Ingo Van Thiel.
If you don’t download this cutscene, I’d be highly surprised. Oliver has been talked about as a great designer, and this is exceptional work. Roll on Lighting & Thunder!
[Edited on 07/23/06 @ 09:05 AM]
This is a pure cutscene, but even if you don't generally enjoy them it's well worth a look. The author makes excellent use of music and sounds to build atmosphere, and that with the high quality composition and story makes this probably the most entertaining cutscene around. It is almost cinematic in some respects and absolutely deserves the full rating.
The cutscene works in accordance with the designer's intentions, with the player never intended to face a struggle to survive. A straight five.
The cutscene excels again here, with the designer using the same old editor to create some quite brilliant effects. Of particular mention is the night scene at the start with the stars suspended in the sky in an ingenious way. The creativity just as much lies in the details however, such as the way shapeshifting is done, a subtle trick to keep dead bodies from rotting away and various intricate pieces of map design. One of the most creative scenarios in the Blacksmith, and again easily full marks.
Map Design: 5+
The map design is green and fantastical and is also of the highest quality. A dramatic fort, mountains and rolling countryside are all portrayed very well, and in a way that perfectly suits the story and cutscene. There is excellent attention to detail, and the end result is aesthetically impeccable.
The story is well written and very well conveyed in the cutscene, although little of it is given away, as this is more a prologue than anything else. The story itself has enough new about it to keep it interesting, and I can't fault the designer's story telling ability in AoK. However, the story is very much not finished and lacks any sort of conclusion, and there is not even any implication of how it would continue. It seems a shame to mark down such an otherwise exceptional scenario, but the guidelines state to be harsh in uncompleted areas, and the story here does not stand on its own. This is, unfortunately, critical, as the story is nothing like substantial enough to be carried off in this format alone. Therefore I award a high four.
Despite being unable to award it full marks in every category, I absolutely recommend downloading this, or you'll be missing out. It has some of the best map design, story telling, creativity and direction of any scenario or campaign, despite being unfinished.