Minamoto the Executioner, Part I and II
Minamoto the Executioner, Part I:
||Role Playing Strategy
|Number of scenarios:
Japan 1460 – The Muramachi period has ended and a land has entered a period of civil unrest. One of the most powerful daimyo’s in the land is the Yoshiro, led by a ruthless leader named Yoshiro Magasuki, his rule enforced by an army of 50 strong samurai.
Of these strong numbers the daimyo has its’ executioner, and a lord such as Yoshiro Magasuki has his, procuring the services of Minamoto Shikaku. Minamoto, a cunning and feared swordsman has indebted his services to the Yoshiro for over twenty years, and has maintained his lord’s power by killing all of his opponents and those loyal who dishonor him.
However, there is a dark cloud looming over the land of the Yoshiro, taking form of the Ikeda clan. The brothers Musashi and Nobunaga rule the Ikeda. Minamoto does not trust the Ikeda and their true plans with Yoshiro land and his master.
Minamoto the Executioner, Part II:
Japan 1468 – Minamoto Shikaku, the executioner has wondered the land for eight years, searching for those responsible for the deaths of his master, the Lord Yoshiro as well as the deaths of his wife and son.
Minamoto was framed for the death of his master’s murder by the Nobunaga brothers, who were eager to take over the Yoshiro daimyo using any means possible, including convincing Yoshiro’s army that Minamoto was power mad and would do anything to gain control of the Yoshiro daimyo, including murdering his own wife and son.
But when Minamoto wanted to name the true conspirators the Nobunaga had ordered Minamoto to be banished from the lands of the Nobunaga.
Now masterless and bitter, Minamoto had resorted to selling his skills as an assassin and mercenary to anybody with the gold to offer.
But when some village Nanushi, or town elders, recognized Minamoto’s true identity.
They told Minamoto that the loyalty within the Nobunaga daimyo wasn’t as strong as they were led to believe. They gave details of mass desertions within the ranks. They also gave stories of Lord Yoshiro’s killer’s whereabouts, having fled north with a band of Yoshiro ronin.
Minamoto decided to leave the next morning, wandering in no particular direction, needing to collect his thoughts and find his spiritual strength. This included a code of silence which he followed, as punishment for the shame felt he brought to his master for failing to protect him.
Seven long years passed and Minamoto began his search. Holding a cloth with the Yoshiro daimyo emblem on it, the elders in each village would shake their heads, not knowing what to think or say. Nobody knew a thing …
Until one day, Minamoto got a response and was told by an elder that there may be a village to the north with the answers he was looking for. But the bandits and ronin there were ruthless and would kill their own mothers for gold.
At hearing this, Minamoto felt no fear. He had dealt with much larger warriors in his time, and had lived to tell the tale …
I would like to thank the following for the use of their Mods and AI’s:
- Zanzard Lothar for the use of Immobile Units AI GOLD
- The Vampyre Slayer for the use of Asian Statue Mod
- Wildfire Studios for the use of Various Asian Eye Candy mod.
In addition I would like to thank Takahashi Shinsei for his invaluable advice in regards to samurai custom and the meaning of Japanese names and its’ language.
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
This was a two part campaign and i played both on hard.I found the first part to be rather easy and the second part very interesting.Although the first part is slow,it does lay the groundwork for the great second part.
This was a pure role playing campaign.In the first part i found the hero to be superior to all opposition and it took away from the game.The second part was a different story.I found the hero to be more balanced with the game play.Also the second part had alot more content,with better missions.
There was alot of though went into this campaign.From the map design and layout to the triggers.If the first part was lacking in content,the second part made up for it.
There were 2 different maps to play and each one was laid out beautifully.There was a good use of elevation,plenty of eye candy,the roads and waterways were splendid.
The campaign had a good story with plenty of dialogue and the Instructions were easy to follow.
In closing i would reccomend downloading this campaign.It is a top notch role playing campaign.
Minamoto, the Executioner Parts I and II has many minor niggles which have yet to be solved. Fortunately these problems should not take much to fix, with absolutely no bugs, and updates with them ironed out will hopefully achieve far higher scores. It is fun to an extent, but these problems stretch from the map lacking in any eye candy other than the basic methods as seen in the design articles, to the ability to simply walk past many enemies before they start attacking your character. And although intended, your character having up to 1026HP and 233 Attack does give the game an unreal edge. Starting off on the wrong foot, there is several minutes of intro text that would actually be quite good if it had been put in the instructions screen, or (for something slightly more original) spread through the game.
Despite being made in TC, there are few name change triggers, and in the first scene Minamoto could just as easily have been his son; he is simply called ‘Villager’. Some of the main characters do have the trigger applied, but the entire purpose is, IMHO, lost when most possible cases are ignored. Text colours, however, are present. There also seem to be a lot of villagers standing around in the towns and cities, but there are no click-talk triggers, and none of the units are patrolling. This gives the impression that the city is populated entirely by cardboard cut-outs. Something I am quite sure Brendragon wants to avoid.
Similarly, there is little spoken text outside briefings and meetings with soon-to-die enemy leaders. Additionally, any text that is spoken is normally lacking in eloquence. Also removing credibility is the bug that that the map revealers are not removed soon enough. When Goku says that your wife has been killed, you can actually scroll down and see her standing outside your home. The final complaint under the credibility heading is that there are no freezing triggers. For example, by changing my stance to enemy (the AI never responds), I can kill all of the samurai assassins while they stand about, and there is nothing whatsoever to prevent me simply walking through the bandits at the start of part II before they even mention attacking me. While obviously this is not how the game is designed to be played, it does make you feel disappointed.
Then are the pointless parts: priests occasionally appear, but until the second part there is not enough damage being given to the HP-regenerating Minamoto to make them useful, and Lord Nobunaga can be found standing outside a castle complex in the Southwest edge of the map which you can visit, but there are no triggers there.
The eye-candy is fair, but rarely goes beyond that which appears in the aforementioned AOK Punk Design Articles: orchards are rarely seen, and fields of crops are a nice touch, except that they are sometimes inside towns!
Combat in itself is not pointless, but it is when you only have one unit and he has, as I pointed out earlier, up to 1026HP and 233 Attack in Part I alone. Fighting generally involves Minamoto against a small army, and requires the player to click once on an enemy, then almost immediately after do the same on another, or just leaving Minamoto to his work: most units are taken out in a single sweep of his katana. What would be far more interesting (at least in Part II) would be to give the player the ability to hire out or earn troops in some way to fight the Rodin, perhaps from the villages, and to lower Minamoto’s stats to a level that a mere mortal might realistically reach.
Part II suffers from many of the same problems, but I will make a brief note that the map is acceptable but barren (a read of the ‘Texture Mixing’ article wouldn’t have gone amiss in amongst the highly contrasting terrain), that the AI given to the players is unsuitable, and that the story is straightforward enough...but it does give an impressive premise for Part III, which I would look out for.
On the plus side, it shouldn’t be too hard for Brendragon to become a good designer, as the basics are all here. There is playability here for some, and there are no bugs in the triggers that do exist.
Playability: 4 – A strange attraction made me play this to the end, although there is no replay value whatsoever.
Balance: 2 – When you have attributes like that, there isn’t much that can stop you. I completed the game first time, with few problems. Given 2 for making loss a possibility.
Creativity: 3 – Although common knowledge, you don’t often see orchards or fields used. The outcast idea is also quite original, but there is nothing truly groundbreaking or previously unheard of here.
Map Design: 3 – Performs reasonably well, is hand drawn, and has some eye candy.
Story/Instructions: 4 – Bog standard conspiracy, but with some nice extras. A few spelling errors, and a so-so bitmap.
Overall a very average scenario, but one with plenty of opportunity that Brendragon assures me will soon be taken advantage of.
Minamoto The Executioner was a very interesting campaign, I was excited to download the game. Very excited... because I love Japanese Samurai type scenario's and movies and It seemed like it would be a blast to play and review.
Well, this scenario is the only game that gave me such fits that I had to have another person play and help me evaluate it. After the first person played, the review was mediocre. So, I said, 'Lets give it another try with a completely different person.' The second try went better then the first but still was not to revealing. After the third attempt went as the other two, I had no choice but the accept the verdict. This campaign was hard for me to review!
Some category's score fairly high because pieces of the game were of high quality. The only thing that prevented a higher score in the playability area was an over all binding effect that carries this quality through the entire series and each specific scenario. Spelling errors and trigger misfires also take points off. As mentioned before map revealer’’s allowed characters to be seen when they should have not have been. Taking time and slowing down to look for these errors can improve this aspect.
Balance got a lower mark because in this game because it is very possible for some players to win easily. I did not feel my skill's being overly tested during the two scenario's. Also on another point, luck seem's to play to much of a major role in fights . Fight's should be based on tactics, and learning but when one has so much attack points and HP it is very hard to learn much of anything when your enemies our already dead. I understand the author did this in order to balance out the sheer amount of enemies encountered but a healing trigger may have worked better in this situation.
Nothing was really new and different in the creativity area, as Samurai type Campaign's are common. But as parts are crafted so that they reflect the story I will not take to much off here.
Brendragon shows a very good amount of knowledge in map design I say good amount because I see a lot of quality aspects of it in his scenarios ie-rolling hills and farms and His towns are nicely crafted and show some realistic aspects. But I also see where it could have been better. What takes away from the map design is non logical placements of rocks and cliffs and low texture mapping. This by no means is a fatal flaw but when combined with large parts of massive black forest this lowers the score in that area. More variety and random placements can help to improve this in the future.
The story and instruction score is lower because it is not easily followed in some parts, as their was a large opening sequence which got a bit tedious. Upon getting more into the game however I found a wonderful story with not to many holes in it. I found that all 3 of the people that helped evaluate did not argue about this point. One of the few suggestions in this area would be to add more in game character conversations but still keep them concise. As I can not put (.) marks and it deserves higher then just a 4 in this area I have to round and so we get a 5.0.
After my experience I believe I will play the campaign again. But not to many time's more, I do not think I will be alone in feeling this way. My reasoning behind this is because it got less exciting in some parts as the game progressed but still showed a great overall effort.
I really wanted this game to be good and it turned out not to fall short in my opinion.