The Jewel of Atlantis (v2)
Posted on 12/25/06 @ 03:43 AM (updated 09/10/12
Proudly preseanted by:
Imperial Creations ('05-'07)
The year is 2000 BC, in the heart of the Mediterranean, a great kingdom is centred on the island of Atlantis, where the people live in peace and harmony, as the prophets foresee a disaster, the great jewel on which they rely on so heavily, is moved to a safe place, as the Atlantians prepare their journey off the great island before it's too late.
Please enjoy the cutscene and give any feedback you think is fitting :)
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OVERALL: 4.8!!! Well done.
**Spoiler Warning: plot details to follow**
This was a fun cutscene to watch. I enjoyed it immensely and I'm going to go watch it again after I finish writing the review I promised you.
Balance: According to the tutorial, this category gets a 5
I love it. This is a great idea, and I think you have done a wonderful job. You made a great storyline which I am sure you will continue with the rest of the coming campaign. The flood and receding was by far the best part.
Map Design: 5
WOW! The flood and receding water, again, was amazingly well done. The Volcano was good and I liked how you used multiple types of units’ explosions. It added reality to it since the entire explosive area would look the same. Atlantis was well done as well. One small side note, there were a few people whom you did not rename, mainly those who were getting on the ships to leave. Not a major problem, but a noticeable one. Still a 5 here though.
Great Storyline Idea. Wonderful. I don't think that I've ever seen this idea put together before. Great Job. The History Section is important and it was good. The main reason you didn't get a 5 here is that the story doesn't exist yet, only the idea of it; The Blacksmith mods poited this out to me and I concur. On a side note, no "Scouts" section write up? I always love it when people put in a Scouts section. You could have randomly described part of Atlantis or whatever you felt like. Just put in something. Don't leave it blank like that.
Well done overall.
If you continue like this, you will have a great campaign.
Wonderful cutscene. Well put together and well thought out.
[Edited on 01/12/07 @ 12:12 AM]
The Jewel of Atlantis is truly one of the best cut-scenes that has ever been submitted to the Blacksmith. With great music and map design combined with many camera angles and tricks, Dark_Reign, ByZaN and Dark_Blade has succeeded almost perfectly in making their cut-scene.
The reason I mention ByZaN is that he was in making with it in the beginning, but later resigned and his place was taken by Dark_Blade.
If you haven't yet seen the cut-scene do so first, before reading this review, or it wont be as fun watching the cut-scene as it should!
The Jewel of Atlantis has everything a mastermade campaign should have. A unique story, fitting and marvelous music, lots of tricks and great map design. Watching it is a great pleasure and more fun than you could believe when you downloaded. I was very surprised by the quality of the cut-scene. It was high over my expectations. And as this was the first of Dark_Reigns work, apart from his Cut-scene Competiton submission, that I've seen, I was positively surprised by the cut-scene and the outlay of it.
The Jewel of Atlantis has propably got something for everyone. It has action, a great map, many tricks and superb music.
Therefor I give it a 5. Its a great pleasure to watch!
It is a cut-scene. According to the Review Guidelines this cut-scenes receives a perfect rating, there is no element of balance to talk about, since you do not control a unit.
This cut-scene is surprisingly creative in its tricks and layout. It has more creative elements than many other masterpieces in the cut-scene cathegory. To sum them rather quickly here's a list of them:
- Very fitting music that fits perfectly with the action-scenes and calm scenes in the cut-scene
- A whole city being swallowed by the ocean, water coming in from the sea and filling Atlantis with water
- The water falling back, giving place for the sand that rebuilds the island again
- A volcano eruption, and smoke!
- A jungle growing up on the island that was raised from the sea, old Atlantis, covering the great jewel
And much more. These are only the bigger creative aspects that you see immediately when they come
So I cant give anything here but a 5. Great work!
Map Design: 5
As said before, the map design is awesome. The design of Atlantis with the aztec buildings and roads, making it really look like the center of a highly technological civilization, the map design tricks when the water swallows Atlantis, when the jungle grows and the ruins of Atlantis sticking up above sea level. Everything is perfect!
A clear and simple 5 here! Top notch!
The story is absolutely great. It's unique and brilliantly performed! The text stays a bit longer than it takes for me to read everything thorugh, being good for those who dont read english very fast.
With a thrilling story, and the guidelines saying quote: "If there is any story at all, the rating goes up to a 4
and if the story is really good, the rating can be a 5." end quote, I give this part a 5, suming it up to a 5.0 rating all around.
You already know that you're using same picture as I am for ADOC, but that's not something that should rack down the scores (Thanks Tanneur for pointing it out to me). I found the picture pretty empty. I was expecting more from such a superb cut-scene. Except for the native standing, the background is just as the usuall scenariobkg file, plus the designers names. If it was more detailed with more pictures it would have looked better and have given a much more impressive picture of the cut-scene as a whole.
Now, I'm not saying that the picture is bad made or something, but that it could be done even better to make the whole thing perfect from bottom to the top
Apart from that, this cut-scene is, more or less, perfect and worth its all round 5.0
Congratulations and thanks for making this!
Good luck on the project as a whole!
[Edited on 01/13/07 @ 05:10 PM]
Based upon the many different tellings of the famous Island-Kingdom of Atlantis and her dark fall into the abyss of the ocean many thousands of years ago, ‘Jewel of Atlantis’ is a fictitious telling, a collaborative composition by two authors. The story is a cut-scene; the notion by which the player merely sits back and watches as the story unfolds. It is a story that tells of the powerful Jewel of Atlantis, a jewel that gave men power far greater than any before, and tells of its mysteries, of its disappearance with the submerge of Atlantis. The cut-scene paves the way for a promising sequel, and lasts for around nine minutes.
The story of Atlantis is an enduring one, one that has fascinated and brought to the imagination in the mind of man a great tale of an exalted civilisation for many millennia. The tale of this glorious empire was first brought about by the Athenian philosopher, Plato, the references seen in his dialogues, ‘Timaeus’ and ‘Critias’ written circa 360 BC. The Kingdom of Atlantis supposedly existed some nine thousand years ago, before Plato’s time, and could be found on a large island beyond the Pillar of Hercules in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean. From there, it is said, one could travel to all nations of the world, and as it was, Atlantis owned it all. The Isle-Kingdom’s eventual downfall was brought about by the cataclysmic eruption of the dominating volcano, which caused a tsunami and the ocean to swallow her foundations. However, although this is the earliest such recording of the empire whose power knew no boundary, there have been other stories. People from over the ages and from all around the globe have found evidence of other possible island submerges, due to volcanic activity, and it has been speculated as such that perhaps Atlantis was an island kingdom in the Caribbean, in the Azores near the Bermuda Triangle, or as the cut-scene seems to adhere to, the Mediterranean. It is there in the Mediterranean that it has been scientifically proven that a great flood occurred, some twelve thousand years ago, and that wiped out and submerged much of the lower lands of Asia Minor, the Middle East and Egypt. It is this flood, one by which so many tales of the area are focused around, that is believed to have been Atlantis’s downfall. But the stories all vary, and the cut-scene has gone with the ‘Thera’ approach, a little-known island above Krete that sunk during a volcanic eruption in the year 2000 BC.
‘The Jewel of Atlantis’ is a fictitious narrative, a cut-scene, focused around the enduring tale of the fall of Atlantis and the powerful jewel in her possession that went missing. The story is a prologue, a teaser introducing us to the beginning of the tale, and though obscure, does indeed present the fall of Atlantis in all its complex and epical scope. The music from the ‘Last Samurai’ score helps to highlight this moment, as the world’s greatest and most sophisticated empire is brought to an end, swallowed not by war or corruption, but by Mother Nature herself, the ocean. Throughout the cut-scene you will see the great jewel, and be told of a great disaster coming to be. You will watch as the dominating volcano rocks its very foundations to pieces and into the very depths of the sea, causing a suffocating cloud of smoke to fall like a blight over Atlantis, draping her glorious rooftops in a cloud of black smoke. You will witness the sea rise and cover the streets of Atlantis, leaving her towering buildings for a short while to peak over the blue surface, and all under an atmospheric and imaginative design of Atlantis herself. The scenes are very well carried out, with heart-pounding moments throughout, the cut-scene itself very enjoyable to watch. In short, the cut-scene is epical, promising something unique and intriguing in the far future. However as a cut-scene, a prologue to a story yet to be told in full, it does not stand on its own and so falls short a perfect rating in this category. The player is still left wondering about the jewel, what it is, what it does, the story still yet to be told in full swing, still needing characters to be introduced. Still, the cut-scene is a good one, one certainly on the ‘must-see-before-you-die’ list.
As a cut-scene, a scenario with no playability elements, review guidelines here necessitates a perfect rating.
Creativity in this cut-scene is exceptionally well done; something that only full marks could be awarded for. In play you will see a volcano erupt in all its sheer greatness with explosions and tremors, a cloud of smoke conveyed with fog to billow out and fall over and envelope the buildings of Atlantis; the horrors of witnessing the sight of the ocean’s water rising to swallow Atlantis’ streets and buildings. You will then see water recede and plants re-grow across the barren lands of an island that reemerged from the sea, and the Jewel of Atlantis disappear within the thick undergrowth of nature, never to be seen again. The map design is particularly creative, with a jungle theme at its centre, and with many lush plants and trees topped by Aztec buildings to give a real sense of the ancient civilisation of Atlantis. Some of the dialogue was presented in a very creative, and if I might add, beautiful manner, such at the beginning where the chat messages introduced the authors of the work. In addition a great bitmap with a uniquely presented story about one of the world’s most revered tales, topped off by some great music and sounds that suited the cut-scene very nicely.
Map Design: (4.0)
The map design was overall beautiful, truly atmospheric, a design of the lush landscape of Atlantis featuring jungle, plants and road overgrown with fungus and flowers; the sea well mixed and with sea rocks and plants. Buildings were placed exceptionally well, and developed a great sense of age and cultural significance within the Atlantian race. However, most of the terrain lacked time and effort with alot of it covered in flowerbeds, flowers and plants to make up for the lack of terrain mixing. All of this looks randomly placed as well as either too thick or too thin in some areas looking ugly. The volcano was another thing, though dominant and conveyed quite well, looking a bit sloppy in regards to the use of Gaia of rubble, rocks, plants and flowers, which seemed randomly placed over the clifflines, with some cliffs distorted from the use of elevation. Nevertheless mud paths were used well with stone mines and craters to form the thick and heavy undergrowth around the volcano’s apex, the volcano crater itself conveyed very well and with detail. In addition good elevation and good jungle undergrowth to convey the rich and fertile island of Atlantis making for a highly atmospheric design, but in all lacking that extra touch.
Story/ Instructions (4.0)
Presented is an entertaining story, a thrilling tale of the disappearance of a powerful jewel during the climactic fall of Atlantis. The story in itself, however was probably too obscure, with much left to be desired in both written form and in game. What we had was good, entertaining, but nothing great. The dialogue was certainly excellent, flowing well, but in some areas lacking consistency with some wording written well, and others confusing, needing rewording. The use of the pre-game bars of History, Instructions and Hints, with Scouts left blank, were okay, but once again I felt that more could have been written to achieve the best possible outcome. In History I would think more to do with Atlantis would be appropriate, perhaps the various stories focused around her fall, because what we had, seemed a little disconcerting, not written very well at all sorry to speak, probably because of the overuse of commas. With the instructions presented in hints more could have been added, such as the identification as to what speed to play the cut-scene on and the kind of things as to not do to ruin gameplay. None of this however is anything too serious. I also encountered quite a few spelling mistakes, other than the over use of commas in History, in the victory condition mistakes that could easily have been fixed. “Thankyou” should be “Thank you”, “scearios” to “scenarios” and the sentence overall needing an ending. A full stop would suffice for this. From Hints, “cutscene” should be “cut-scene” and a full stop instead of a comma in between “cutscene” and “if you”.
Overall I thought the cut-scene seemed a tab rough in some areas and perhaps a bit unpolished, but it was a great watch nevertheless, truly entertaining and with plenty of heart pounding moments. The cut-scene sets a benchmark for which I hope the sequels can reach.
In a word – Thrilling.
In closing – A recommended download.
[Edited on 10/22/09 @ 08:46 AM]
The Jewel of Atlantis- Prologue is a single scenario, a cut-scene, the Prologue for a campaign yet to be completed. The story is legend, fiction, about the destruction of Atlantis.
PLAYABILITY: Probably my expectations were too high. The Jewel of Atlantis- Prologue is a technically well-made cut-scene with limited entertainment value, suitable as a utility and unless you find volcano eruptions as a campaign entertaining, you will be disappointed. It is about a disaster to hit the island and to leave a jewel, which gave power, at a safe place. You witness a volcano eruption, the flooding of Atlantis, then water retreating and people arriving to search for the jewel of Atlantis. That was it, the moment it becomes interesting this "single-scenario-cut-scene-campaign" ends. 3
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 you will not face a struggle to survive. 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 best part of the cut-scene, a good creative use of some old tricks, well orchestrated together, earth trembling, different explosions, the flooding swallowing Atlantis, receding water and the nature, jungle covering the civilization's traces. In addition, a good use of sounds, music and a BMP is always a creative touch even though Atlantians were not American Indians. 5-
MAP DESIGN: Good above average map design with an unrealistic design approach to the legend of Atlantis. The scenario locates Atlantis in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, but it looks like Mesoamerican jungle. The other probable location would be 2500 miles far from Egypt that is why Plato situated Atlantis beyond the Pillars of Heracles, beyond the street of Gibraltar in the Atlantic Ocean. Nevertheless, whatever the location was 250 or 2500 miles from Egypt, the vegetation was not jungle. According to Plato, the Atlantian culture, architecture, civilization was the most advanced of its time and this compared to Egypt and Greece. What we witness here is a design approach of fields, forage bushes and jungle in town, broken road with fungus, a shame for any developing country or so-called banana republics. I could not even enjoy the good trigger work seeing flowers in bloom, plants, and jungle trees on top of the volcano during the eruptions. In addition, the crater filled with water, which would vaporize in seconds, gave the impression of an extinct volcano. 4
STORY/INSTRUCTIONS: An objective is not necessary for this cut-scene, hints in general are not necessary either, but here I would have appreciated a hint on which speed to play. I played first normal speed but the effects left to desire something better because of the unsightly exploding demolition ships, easy detectable. The effects were better on fast, but near the end, I got strange noises of probably overlapping music. So I guess normal is the intended speed, which should be part of the hints or instructions. The history section was the worst part of the scenario, but as you do not need it, no deduction made. The authors do not even mention Plato; misplace Atlantis with regard to location and time without any given reason to which I will refer under observations. There was no story, maybe just the beginning of a story, nevertheless I stretch the rules here and count it as 'any story' and the bitmap adds to give an above average rating for the category. 4
OVERALL: A Prologue.
SUGGESTIONS: You have to maintain the standards of historical accuracy established by the creators of AoK. You should at least support your opinion that Atlantis location was in the Mediterranean Sea around 2000 BC with some sentences in the history section.
OBSERVATIONS: Plato was the first to mention the legendary island of Atlantis in his two dialogues, Timaeus (Timaios) and Kritias (Critias), merely mentioned in Timaeus, but we find a complete description of the island, the history and its rulers in Kritias. According to Greek Mythology, Poseidon's son Atlas carried the sky west of the Pillars of Heracles, street of Gibraltar; hence, the Atlas mountain range in Morocco and the name for the Atlantic Ocean derives from him. Plato mentions him as the first king of the Atlanteans, so either Atlantis, meaning island of Atlas, named after Atlas or Atlas named after Atlantis, who knows.
There are different approaches to the myth of Atlantis and I will not take sides here, as it would probably fill a book to make ones point.
The easiest is of course to say Atlantis is fiction, a metaphor for Plato's dialogues in his books Timaeus and Critias. Arguments against, Plato states several times that it is true, his description of Atlantis goes far beyond the need to support the points made in the dialogues, indicates too much detailed knowledge to be fictional.
If you take Plato's story for real the destruction of Atlantis, size equal to Libya combined with Asia Minor, located west of the pillars of Heracles took place about 9'000 years before his time. The island had all the different kinds of food, animals: bulls, horses, elephants and resources in abundance. The Atlantians, advanced in many techniques, built palaces, temples, a silver and gold temple dominated the island's center, harbors and docks, and they were unlike the early Greek a naval force. The Atlanteans ruled over Libya and many parts of Europe, but when they went to war against Greece they pushed them back, out of the Mediterranean area. One possible place would be the Azores situated ca 1500 km west of Portugal, in addition, 9'000 BC was after the height of the last ice time, sea level 150 meters lower than today and islands west, close to Gibraltar disappeared slowly between 12'000 and 11'000 BC, now 50 to 100 meters below sea level.
Another theory, probably applied for 'The Jewel of Atlantis', implies Plato an error of a 0, of ten times due to a translation fault from Egyptian into Greek. Meaning the events took place about 900 instead of 9000 years before his time, the location was not 2500 but 250 kilometers far and the size of Atlantis and its places were ten times smaller. Without investigating this any further, two remarks, 900 years before Plato would be around 1260 BC too late for the volcanic explosion and it said clearly that Atlantis preceded the Egyptian culture. To locate Atlantis in the Mediterranean Sea refers to the Minoan culture on Crete and the island of Thera north of Crete, known as Santorini, a volcanic island. Around 1500 BC to 1600 BC a volcanic explosion contributed to the sudden downfall of the Minoan civilization, in other words the Atlantians were Minoans.
IN CLOSING: I recommend this creative cut-scene.
[Edited on 01/12/07 @ 08:19 PM]