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Cupid's Poisoned Arrows: The Fall of Port Mirne
Johan and Dolotov are two of many messengers of "His Majesty King Rusage." Times are hard for the province of Port Mirne. A recent economic downturn is leading to overall decay. The monarch keeps spending gold and bringing the small kingdom further and further in debt. Outlying towns are becoming increasingly angered as famine and debt begin to prey upon them. Many people turn to lives of crime so they would have just barely enough food to survive another day. To make matters worse, Port Mirne has just suffered through one of its worst winters in many, many seasons. People are hungry and weak. King Rusage himself is no tyrant, of course, he figures that he must let up on his people to bring them good spirits. He prays to the Lord above each day to let this depression end, but to no avail: for when his Highness decreed that taxes were to be expunged, the people were greatly happy, yet in time the loss of public programs wilted away the economy even further.
As if this were not enough, trouble brewed in other provinces as well. The nearby kingdom of the Koltan peoples banded together and invaded. Not only do they prey on the helpless people of Port Mirne and its outlying towns, but they also have built fortresses on the islands surrounding the inner Harbor. Yet the Koltan Peoples are held at bay by another force. A country from many leagues away, Ruorck, saw its opportunity and snatched it. While no match for the elite mounted units of Port Mirne normally, the well trained Ruorckan Legions found that their heavy armor and long years of training would severly damage, if not completely destroy, the fighting ability of Port Mirne.
Then, just a fortnight after the Ruorckan invasion, a climactic battle was fought on the shores of the inner harbor. Hundreds of Ruorckan knights lined up facing the ill-equipped, but ably fierce warriors of the Koltan Peoples. And right in the middle of it lay the remanants of the army of Port Mirne and its allies. The soldiers of Port Mirne fought ferociously upon the battlefield. Though they knew the outcome was hopeless, they all drew their swords. The commander of the Port Mirne Garrison, Thane of Endeltown, shouted to his men before his charge, "My comrades in arms! Hear me! This sword can be broken, but a hundred knights will feel its steel flow through them ere this day be done!" The men of Port Mirne, D'elvela, Endeltown, and Tolton Marsh answered their Captain's call. Spears edged, swords drawn, and arrows tipped with flame, the soldiers rushed their foes with daring speed and ferocity. But all lay in vain. As the men of Port Mirne charged, the horns of the Koltan peoples answered the rumbling hoofs. The elite riders of Port Mirne shattered spears and splintered spears as they had never done before, but as they turned round from their triumph against the yellow banners of Koltan, the heavy footsteps of Ruorck began to echo like a beating war-drum of the primitive days. Twain of Endeltown re-grouped his men for a charge, but it was too late. The heavily clad Ruorckan foot knights caught Twain's cavalry in an uphill charge. The horses and men were shattered like glass dropped on a cold castle floor.
[i]The shores and rivers of the inner harbor flowed red with blood for three days.[/i]
Boosh is very proud to present [b][i]Cupid's Poisoned Arrows: The Fall of Port Mirne.[/i][/b]
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
I had fun playing this, a lot of fun actually, the story and map were magnificent, but there wasnt much fighitng and it was all small-scale. Now dont get me worng I ahve no problem with small scale fighitng and such it can be incredibly gripping and exciting, but this kind of small unit fighitng just wasnt that, it was fun and gripping, but the tactical small unit fighitng was lost as you simply followed the paths to get to your destination. It was a lot of fun overall though
It was a tad on the easy side, protecting the main characters was the main challenge, other then that I could start a softening volley with my archers then have my cannon fodder protect them, kind of easy yet still pretty fun. And the only other beef I had with balance was it was wayyy too short in my opinion
The story was masterful and your tasks and design was masterful and that itself merits creativiy, even if you dont have the fanciest tricks in the book in your scenario
Map Design: 5
Stunning. I especially liked Port Mirne, the city looked like it had been built FOR the terrain and not the Terrian for the city. That gave it a very realistic feel to it, I like that and i very much reminded me of a Port city in the North with the rocky cliffs and the harbors and everything. You did and excellent job of the country-side and of the smaller villages, they were all realistic and were a wonder to loook at. In my opinion this is the best and part of the game.
The story was very deep and after the heroes boldly snuck through enemy lines to the far North it left me begging for more. The background was pretty good, not too long to make me bored but just long enough for me to get the feel of everything, the plot is good and done
Excellent scenario, a must donwload for pretty much anyone who isnt obbssesed with huge battles. My only beef is the length, wayy to short
Under the cold, crisp wind of the merciless winter the army of Mirne lies shattered over the fields of Widowing Shores. The bodies, nine hundreds in exact number, the same number that left its homes to meet an engulfing enemy, lie intermingled among one another, blood steaming the white earth. The poles of banners, driven into the earth, flutter rags in the wind. Spears, splintered in age scatter among the corpses, and swords, rusted and frosted red, describe bloody slaughter. It is as everyone of the hapless province feared; the whole of the army of Port Mirne had been defeated, dead to the last, overcome by an enemy so strong, so vast –the Ruorckan Invaders; an army bent on the annexation of this forlorn Kingdom, suffering under a blanket of depression, both economically and socially and lack of fighting men. While King Rusage has seemingly fled to the north, absent of his throne, frightened of his people’s future, his Kingdom is growing restless and distasteful towards the war and the King himself growing unpopular as well. One is left to wonder about the absence of the King, whether he is a coward, or up to some secret plan that will ultimately save his people from this unrelenting enemy force. However, as you will come to see, this aspect will be very much doubted.
And so, the story begins here. You play as the veteran fighter Johan, and his young student, Dolotov whose job it is, under the cold chill of winter, to inspect the battlefield at its end. Seeing that the army of Mirne lies butchered, man for man, your job is to report Johan’s and Dolotov’s findings to the King, whom they do not know is absent, at the capital of Port Mirne and make way for a defense of the province in hope that the Ruorckan invaders may be repelled, and the reprisal with peace and freedom made once more.
‘Cupid’s Poisoned Arrows; the Fall of Port Mirne’ by the author Boosh is a FF with RPG elements, scenario one of a soon to come series of sequels and is truly a cold, atmospheric and thrill of a game. I enjoyed every ounce of it. It had great playability, a fitting story that is both attractive and intriguing, but is yet to unfold in its entirety and felt as if I was reliving a historical scenario all over. It is a game that I would think everyone would enjoy. Though this scenario may only be presented on a small scale, do not let this aspect ruin the gameplay for you! The gameplay is quality, as is everything else. The atmosphere is cold and dark, perfect for the winter scheme applied, the characters well named and the scenario overall creative in many regards. There was a lot of walking, which may bore the player, but in my playing, I was not bored once, and I think this maybe because of the author’s quality map design and story which helps to keep one interested right from the beginning, to the end. Although the idea of the game, at first, may not at all seem very creative, being the story of a Kingdom under siege –do not let this blind you! Many stories use the idea of a people beleaguered to convey the ‘true’ message of the story. Though we are not told much in Cupid’s Poisoned Arrows; The Fall of Port Mirne, the author will undoubtedly bring out the lives of his characters, Johan, Dolotov and Flora and around them detail the internal troubles of their Kingdom, and the people caught in them, and I think, this will be what is lying at the heart of the story. After all, no good story sits on the one thread, its sits on many!
However, I encountered a few problems in my travels. The music repeatedly overlapped one another throughout the game, distorting sounds and gameplay alike and really disappointed me because it is such beautiful and atmospheric music. Furthermore, although the music was great in every aspect, and did help to develop a sense of atmosphere, it had no distinct place in any part of the game. It played in continuos loops, and did not offer any real emotion while playing. However, this is strictly my personal opinion, more of an idea, and does not effect the rating of this category (the overlapping of music does). The only time the music played in accordance with the respective scene was at the start when ‘A Cold World’ played and when Port Mirne was attacked and the hard, fast-paced music, ‘The Hammer Falls’ came on, but even then more music yet again overlapped it. More on this in ‘Suggestions’. Another problem commonly encountered was that you used the name ‘Heiman’ a few times instead of Johan. I believe that this was the name used in the previous version of this game, and you had forgotten to change it. The three instances encountered were 1) found at an objective, being that it said you were to take “Flora, Dolotov, ‘Heiman’ and the Royal Guard to the Castle” in Port Mirne, straight after you get the people from Tolton Marsh to follow you in your cause, 2) Being that you used the name ‘Heiman’ in the victory condition and 3) during the introduction when you had both ‘Johan’ and Dolotov run past you, Johan was actually called ‘Heiman’. Overall, my only ‘real’ problem was that the game lacked in detail in some parts where I would have liked to have seen the story go for longer. More on this in ‘Suggestions’ below too.
On standard, the game is a reasonable ‘challenge’. Early in the game, when you have only your two individual heroes, Johan and Dolotov bands of Koltan people and Ruorckan invaders prow the snowy surface of the province of Port Mirne and patrol the roads in search for a lone villager or two. It is here that you must use plenty of micromanaging and hill tactics as to not get killed by the Ruorckan heavy armoured troops. Later in the game, when one gets a fair amount of volunteering soldiers, the battles with the bands of enemy troops become degraded as it is more a matter of charging and attacking, while using archers to back your lines up, your numbers swamping theirs to kill them (although this may have been the nature of the game). While fun, it is hardly a challenge for the player, but may be exceptional for players of inexperienced skill. On moderate and hard, the difficulty faired no better. It may have been a tab harder because since it is on moderate, but nothing to make you really try out smart attack moves and such. Nothing to force your heroes to run from the enemy, no chance of killing them, except of course at the end of the game, but that hardly counts since the enemy force was eventually crushed by the Mirnan garrison, when in truth, the Ruorckans probably should have won so that it does not become anti-climactic. However the difficulty level, it will prove not too much of a ‘challenge’ to anyone who plays, namely people who have been with the game for some time.
Though this scenario is not in the way of tricks, it ties that off with a great and creative story set around the late winter of Port Mirne when the Ruorck armies invaded. There are many other instances that ties into creativity, such as fairly extensive unit renaming, the ability to talk to every villager and most soldiers to hear their thoughts on the war and the original and distinctive map design which is a pure joy to look at. The story is not an original one at first thought, but the idea of a country being invaded as I said before, is just the background of the story, used to bring out the people caught in it. In truth, what is happening lies within the characters. The author also hints at ‘love’ in two instances, so I can only assume that this is what the ‘true’ meaning of the story is. The names used for the characters presented in this scenario are very distinct and creative, and charms the eyes and ears at the same time. The music is also very suitable for the game, because it has a cold, wintry feel to it, and yet welcomes the coming of spring. The music is highly atmospheric and helps to develop a sense of grief and or a sense of theme to the province of Port Mirne. The bitmap is striking and effective, and the tone is brilliant, giving the appearance of a weathered picture, that is both old and perhaps had been drawn by “18th century archaeologists” to convey the story told on pottery fragments found in the 1700’s (as detailed by the author in ‘History’). Yet one gets a sense of grief when looking at this bitmap, and a link between it and the story becomes strongly evident. A man on a horse looks down at a tombstone, as if his friend had been buried there. His head is down in silent reverence, as with his horse’s, as if sad at the sight of it. Remembering. I am certain that what is happening in this bitmap is that what will happen in the story, and an emotional connection is developed. With such a relevant bitmap, that is a creative aspect in itself.
The invaders themselves are realistic and creative; with the Koltan tribes being a nomad like people, their offensives into surrounding territory clashing with Port Mirne and their troops lightly armed and armoured, as one would expect. The Ruorckans are a fierce, battle hardened and heavily armed and armoured people from the northeast tundra of Siberia come to annex the province of Port Mirne. With such depth in the invaders, the characters, the map design and, the bitmap, this pulls this category to a perfect rating.
Map Design: (5.0) +
Ice rings and caps the bays and many inlets. Snow clods the lush green of the land, and snow flecks the pines white. Boosh has developed one of the most distinctive, beautiful and most detailed winter landscapes in the entire Blacksmith. The use of flowers and undergrowth to covey the thriving nature is beautiful and eye opening in every regard and is realistic for the slow thaw of winter, as the weather warms and the sun joys with its rays with the coming of spring. The use of mud paths is superb, and really conveys a sense of darkness and a natural feel in the forests. The mud paths are like a signature of Boosh. He always uses them in copious amounts in his scenarios, and once more he has done so again and I must say, I love it! The terrain mixing is nothing short of perfection. It has been beautifully woven with many a terrain, such as snow grass with snow dirt and grass 1 and 3. The effects are eye opening and jaw dropping. Map design is without doubt the strongest feature of this scenario, by far. Elevation is used to top quality, and detail lies in every corner of the map. The city of Port Mirne was by far my most favourite place to be. The battlements are excellently placed, with houses and the many buildings still speckled with snow huddling among the white streets. People flock its roads and a towering Cathedral and castle dominate the centre, and the right of the city. Snow covers farms, while villagers’ tiredly plow at them, hoping to get enough food for the storage. Deer abound the land with the sense of the approaching spring and the rivers have thawed relinquishing thirst alike for both humans and animals. The Townships surrounding Port Mirne are detailed with thought and care as to how the buildings are placed, and thrive with the hard working villagers as they slave away, hoping to put food on the table, or to extinguish thoughts about lost loved ones, fallen at the uneventful ‘Battle of Widowing Shores’. Then there are the small details like of the occasional tombstone sitting idly by the roadside or in some depth of forestry, all bringing this category to a more than perfect rating. A job brilliantly done.
Story/ Instructions: (5.0)
Featuring a great BMP, beautiful and well-written dialogue and creative story, ‘Cupid’s Poisoned Arrows’ earns its name as a truly great scenario. Centred around a war avalanching across the province of Port Mirne, the story not only conveys the story of Johan and Dolotov, but details the afflictions of war on people, its unpopularity and its degrade of confidence among not only the soldiers, but the families back at home. Many does a man and women in ‘Cupid’s Poisoned Arrows’ weep for the loss of their loved ones who had fought and died at the unfortunate battle of Widowing Shores. Many does a man and woman spit and curse at the sight of Johan and Dolotov as they request yet again ‘more’ help to slow the advance of the Ruorckans. There is one honest truth about war, a message Boosh helps to get across to his audience, and that is that it is as futile and destructive as anything else! Boosh also helps to convey the impact of how one decisively lost battle can cause on an entire people, namely the battle of Widowing Shores. However lost, the battle was a Phyrric victory for the Ruorckan invaders –a victory gained with great loss! Such was the staunch stand by the Mirnan soldiers at the battle of Widowing Shores, that the Ruorckan army was forced to regroup its strength to make up for the loss of its numbers. But the death toll was so great for the people of Mirne that her fighting strength was irreparably damaged.
Boosh seems adept at tying off the points with masterly crafted and beautiful dialogue, which both reflect the atmosphere and era. The dialogue is very poetic, and really attaches ones eyes to the screen. It really helps to ‘juice’ up the game and give voice to each character elected in the scenes. While not much in the way of writing in ‘Instructions’, Boosh gives us a great historical account of this intriguing fictitious story in ‘History’. Boosh identifies this fictional account with an event that happened in the late 10th century AD, with only pottery fragments and the remains of Widowing Shores left for Archaeologists to find later in the 18th century. Such an insight and link with our world is a creative idea that helps to add depth to the story and more inspiration to play the rest of the series-to-come. Lastly, Boosh’s brilliant use of the ‘Journal’ technique to convey Dolotov’s feelings and what is happening around him is a great idea, and the poem in the ‘Loss’ condition is superb and helps to bring this category to a perfect rating. However, I encountered a few spelling mistakes. For more on this see ‘Suggestions’ down below.
At the end, there were still villagers in Endeltown and De’elvela even though the town was under sword and flame. I suggest removing them. Also, the people all at the surrounding townships and Port Mirne itself still talk if you click on them even though they are being killed by the Ruorckans at the end of the game. I would suggest deactivating all of the speech triggers here. As for the music overlapping one another, I would suggest timing it correctly so this does not happen. Also, I would suggest deactivating the looping music before the respective scenes with which other music is activated, for instance at the arrival of Port Mirne when the music, ‘Gates of Mirne’ plays and at the city’s fall when, ‘The Hammer Falls’ plays. The spelling mistakes I encountered were namely ones in the ‘History’ section of the opening screen. You spelt Siberia as ‘SIberia’, with the capital I, and Mediaeval as ‘Midieval’. As for the ‘lack of detail’ I mentioned in ‘Playability’, the instance I was referring to was when your heroes arrived ‘safely’ at Port Mirne with which you arrived to with all of the volunteers from the surrounding townships. I was hoping that when you got to the castle that there would be more dialogue and story, but however, there was not and it ended as fast as you got there as the Ruorckan invaders attacked. It was quite disappointing, because after a long walk around, one was hoping for some more story with which to go off from, but there was nothing. This may have been the nature of the game, but in my opinion it doesn’t seem right. There should have been a bit of talking between the four heroes and perhaps even plans of preparations for defending the capital. Then, in the middle of this would the city be attacked.
Another thing, to show that you are truly grateful for your sources and play-testers, be sure to acknowledge who they were in the ‘Victory’ screen or something.
In a word - Atmospheric.
In closing – A must download!
[Edited on 11/06/06 @ 06:32 PM]
|The Wolf Hunter
I really enjoyed this scenario. I think that small battles are better than large and there was lots to do for a "novice" player like me. The whole scenario lasted me 2 hours and I was gripped all the way through (I normally just give up after a while.)
The only problem was that once when I went to talk to the Royal Guard. He didn't change ownership so I tried to carry on but none of the triggers fired.
The scenario was very fun to play on Standard, I found it hard to keep
Dolotov and Johan alive but not so hard that it was frustrating. I thought
the battles were very balanced and fun and it was good that it gradually got
harder instead of being really easy then suddenly impossible.
I liked having to escape at the end, I found it difficult and kept on having
to visit the monk but eventually I broke through and I felt great when I had
The scenario is also suitable for all players so everyone can have a try.
The scenario is very creative and rich. Although set in Russia, it is
completely fictional (I think!). I think these kind of scenarios do require
creativity because you have to sit down and think "How is my scenario going
to work out?" instead of researching on Wikipedia about a famous battle.
I thought the names were good and I thought it was good that a main
character wasn't a Champion! :)
The names were Russian-sounding, but I thought maybe the town names sounded a bit English...
Map Design: 5
The map design was very high standard all the way through. I thought the
winter landscape was fantastic and the land did really look like a Russian
land. Port Mirne was very well made and realisticly built, I could feel
I also thought the country villages were good as well and they blended very
well with the snowy wilderness. Nothing much was overdone. The mud (paths)
looked decent and not too fake.
The story was extremely well thought out, and was easy to follow. It wasn't
too complicated or simple and it was realistic. I liked the idea of fantasy
(not historical) but without wizards and magic.
The instructions were very easy to follow and I always knew exactly what I
was doing and I wasn't walking around aimlessly. However the instructions
weren't dead simple, telling you exactly how to complete the scenario.
Its the best I've played since Ulio and Sabato Returns. I think this scenario shouldn't be overlooked and everyone should download
[Edited on 02/16/07 @ 09:12 AM]