Atlantis - The Lost Realm
By Jatayu aka Sword of Storm
Atlantis, the lost realm is my last and probably best project. It is an attempt to make a good underwater scenario, and I put a lot of effort into making the map and storyline. My original intention was basically to make something Aok was never meant to be, and I'm not sure how successful it is. Also I wanted to put a certain amount of non linearity in the game, along the lines of Sabato Returns.
Style: Mix of RPG,RPS,FF,puzzle and cutscenes (no B&D)
In the 1580s, King Philip of Spain starts building a great armada to invade Britain. Reynold, the famous sea captain is summoned by Queen Elizabeth of England to sabotage the flagship of Spain by using a submarine that can travel underwater. On the way, they discover the lost realm of Atlantis, which has sunk to the bottom of the ocean. They try interacting with the Atlantean people, but when Reynold falls in love with a princess and a corrupt Atlantean plots to get rid of them, Reynold discovers he may have got more than he bargained for...
- Completely underwater scenario with lots of creative things.
- A certain amount of non-linearity where the player can make his choices.
- Ambient music and sounds.
- 6 cutscenes totalling not more than half an hour.
- Around 2 hours of gameplay (and much more if you try out every choice)
- Side quests involving a cave, shipwreck and a volcano.
- New Stealth system.
- A small puzzle.
- Finally, an interesting story with lots of twists and turns.
The campaign is difficulty level dynamic. Standard is recommended for those who are new to Aok, while moderate is a little harder. Hard difficulty is recommended for those who are well experienced in Aok, and is the best difficulty to play on. Some things are activated only on hard level.
At multiple places in the scenario, the player will have to make choices. Some ways are easier than others, however every way is winnable (even on hard).
Put the sound files (mp3) into sound/scenario folder and the cpx file into the campaign folder. Sorry about the large file size, but the sounds make a big difference.
Recommended settings: Fast speed, sound turned off. You can speed up or slow down Age of Kings by pressing the "+" and "-" button though. The game is meant to be played on fast, to reduce moving around time. However you can change it to normal during cutscenes , if you find the dialogue going too quickly, or during battles to micromanage.
Crash note: Some people have noted that the scenario crashes immediately. I would suggest replacing the data file with Renaissance, then trying, then quit and load it with normal data file, that somehow works. Please do not play it with Renaissance, several things will not work/look weird
There is also a better hints and walkthrough Word file, because I couldn't put in so much text in the hints.
Thanks to all who helped me with the scenario! Credits etc. are in the victory message. Comments and reviews will be most welcome.
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Hey! I liked a lot the playability of this map, but sorry, I have to rate it! I put a 4 on this point because you have to use your head and search trough the map for any options to complete a request. I put a 4 because maybe sometimes it becomes a little repetitive. Very, Very very very good, but not excelent!
This is the worst. For a newbie like me it was a challenge (a real challenge) to micromanage the troops. That thats the enjoyment of the game? Well, forgive me, Im a newbie!
Can anyone engage this story in any other better ocasion? The excuse is the best! The English want to destroy the spanish armada so they create a submarine! The idea is excelent, Sword of Storm. Just excelent. It fits perfectly into the story. Only a very creative man can create this kind of introduction. Also, many additional bonuses like going into a shipwreck are difficul to recreate. He has just done it.
Map Design: 5
Well. TRy to create an underwater map. Ok? Try Again. Ok? Well, you will notice that this is very, very difficult. The point is that he achieved it. The sounds, the dark dead trees (where you just DONT see trees, but dark artifacts) are vital to achieve an underwater atmoshpere. When I saw the screenshots, I said "He did what he could do", but when I played the game I understood that he had just made something so real. Its spooky and you dont notice the sounds of the bubbles at least you pay attention. I will count the sounds in Map Design because they are very important in this story as in Ulio.
I have alreadty mentioned the introduction. Now, the story about King Arkantos... its impressive, another time it fits to the personalitiy of the atlanteans and to the storyline. The instruction are clear and they are fair, but could be, maybe, more detailed, but because this isn't SO important, I just put you a 5.
Overall, this is a very good and very creative campaign. It will stand in the top of the Blacksmith for 200 years.
Forgive my english please
[Edited on 09/28/07 @ 07:22 AM]
'Atlantis-The Lost Realm' is an adventure-style scenario. You play as Reynold, who was summoned by Queen Elizabeth of England to use an idea for defeating the Spanish Armada. The idea was to use a submarine to travel underwater without being detected and destroy an important spanish flagship. Reynold gathers a crew for the purpose and starts his adventure in the submarine. On the way when he discovers the underwater civilization Atlantis, he has much more to adventure.
Overall I enjoyed this adventurous scenario. I completed it after about 1 hour and 50 minutes. The gameplay is interesting and extremely creative. The submarine was nice to handle and I felt the feel of adventure. I like the airlocks system to enter the Atlantis city. The involvement of good story enhanced interest and enjoyment. Some of the gameplay is only moderately enjoyable especially the parts which were mostly succeeded by the usage of the bowman Henry alone. After I defeated the traitors of Atlantis, The Atlantean army were bugging us on the way. These parts I believe were won over mostly by Henry alone. The underwater effect is somewhat good but it was really difficult to move around underwater. There were regions where I could only move in very narrow paths underwater. This added to the advantage of Henry. However others were also useful especially when I had to engage in hand-to-hand combat in comparatively open areas. But I became really stuck in the puzzle areas. I recommend that the puzzles must be more solvable by intelligent means. The first gate of the Trident was a place that I was really stuck. It was really hard to save the villager when troops suddenly jump out of nowhere. Now I know the other solution to select and move the villager while he is invisible but its apparently hard for such ideas to come to mind. The overall gameplay was enjoyable and neutralized the negative points. One part I enjoyed was when I had to use lots of pikemen to counter the elephants which attacked the city of Atlantis.
I completed the scenario on moderate difficulty. The scenario is almost perfectly balanced. It was a good challenge that I faced in the scenario to micromanage the enemy troops and I had to use tactics for it. The fire demons' attack of the city was one which is really balanced. We can win it sure, but to conserve my troops I had to fight strategically which is a very good point. Overall balance is very good. I had to reload the game at some points in between.
This is the best point of this scenario. The story and gameplay are very creative and added great interest to play and complete the scenario. The idea of using submarine to travel undetected in water, the airlocks of Atlantis, the twists and turns in the story, underwater parts of the map, the variation in the gameplay all were really creative and interesting. I was in a feel of adventure while playing this scenario. Extremely creative and interesting ideas make this scenario very special.
Map Design: 4
The map design is better and much special compared to a random map and very different from the usual maps that I play. The underwater realms are very unique and make this scenario very creative. Whenever there came cutscenes in this scenario, the good map design kept open my interest to watch them. But some parts of underwater areas are too much cramped and I am only being able to move in narrow lines through them. Still this map is good and worthful to play on.
This scenario has a very good story with nice feel for it duing the gameplay. It made this scenario very interesting and fun to play. The instructions were all good and there were lots of objective changes that gave rise to varied gameplay. There is not just war but also love in the story which is a very good point. There was good background of story which gives reasons why the player has to fight in this scenario. There were also bit of fun in some of the dialogues.
Overall: This is a recommended download for all sorts of people. I can understand that the designer has done great hardwork in making this scenario. This is real skilled work. Sword_of_STORM, No need to strain too much but if you get lot of freetime in future, I hint you to make more scenario(s). I would be really interested to play them.
[Edited on 11/22/07 @ 12:07 PM]
In this scenario we have a rare concept coupled with some excellent and creative ideas. And the storyline is very decent as well. This is a scenario of above average quality and is definitely recommended, without having anything to rave about, except the creative idea, but you know that already from the author’s description.
The single scenario is long and varied, with objectives varying from exploration, to a battle, to a prison escape to a puzzle. With plenty else in-between. It is overall fun to play, but it is not without its flaws. The objectives are interesting, original and coherent, and they certainly keep you on your toes with plenty of variety to keep it from getting dull. The downsides however lie not in the ideas and concepts, but in parts of the execution. The obvious example is the extreme annoyance encountered when attempting to move my modest army around underwater. While it’s easier than it has any right to be in real life it is nevertheless a real thorn in your side when you’re being asked to withstand fire and transport your delicate little soldiers around the map when they keep getting stuck, treading on one another’s toes and choosing to take inordinately long detours due to lack of space. I realise it can’t be easy to set something out like this, but nevertheless I have to count against it due to the problems caused by the map layout, the shipwreck in particular was a nightmare. To the author’s credit there are no bugs to speak of, not that I noticed anyway, there are a few glitches here and there but nothing that’s going to cause problems. One or two parts of the scenario unfortunately are not entertaining at all, the shipwreck is hellishly difficult with my fragile little heroes being shot to pieces by gunfire when they can’t move an inch without being sliced apart by sharks. My only other complaint is that some areas of the scenario seem rather unpolished and feel like they were squeezed in when there wasn’t really room on the map or just to fill time, a case in point is the stealth aspect when trying to break into the prison, when you can barely see your enemies behind giant great buildings and, even stranger, it doesn’t seem to matter. On the plus side the replayability is very good, with choices at more than one point that affect gameplay.
Very good, but considerably on the hard side, even on standard in some areas (I draw your attention once again, to the shipwreck. My congratulations to you if you can get out of there alive). However the difficulty levels provide a good choice, and although challenging you never come up against something impossibly hard that is necessary to go on. Even I, with my measly skills, can manage to stagger through on moderate. Difficulty isn’t consistent throughout the scenario which might disappoint some, but I personally found it refreshing to have something not too taxing after a furious fight for my life at the hands of fire demons/soldiers/Spaniards/all three.
No question here. Underwater maps are few and far between, I know of only one other and there’s no question that this is better. Throughout the scenario originality and creativity abound, and while some parts are a bit of a stretch (sadly, underwater mushrooms in AoK were probably never meant to be) there are many more areas that are excellently carried off. I won’t spoil it all for you here but suffice to say that the city of Atlantis, submarine warfare and airlocks will probably never be better represented than they are here.
Map Design: 4-
I have mentioned the creativity and the playability issue with the map already. These are probably the features of it that most stand out. The design, being primarily underwater, is difficult to judge against a random map, so I’ll justify my rating in the following way. The map functions well and is moderately well set out, however there is the problem I mentioned earlier with moving units around that really hurts the functionality aspect, so overall it was about average here. The quality of design is good, nothing particularly stood out for its brilliance and there were some rough patches, but considering the difficulty of designing underwater, the admirable job the author has pulled off and the competent aesthetic quality it would be harsh indeed to call it equal to a random map.
Story and Instructions: 5
The storyline contains nothing startlingly new (Boy meets girl. Girl is the queen, sends him on a mission. Boy meets new girl, marries her. A bit of betrayal and fighting in the middle), but as we know a 4 is the standard fare for a story and I believe that this story, competently written, has characters that are more than your usual cardboard cut-outs with their stats changed and a little picture, and is good enough to keep the interest is perfectly adequate and provides the main reason for playing the scenario. I cannot fault the storyline itself and I see no reason to deduct a point from this finished story which is considerably better than average. The instructions don’t stand out as unusually clear, but again, they are fit for purpose and you won’t be confused at any point.
- One or two parts of the map were a little bare or left a little to be desired
- Ease of use. This may not be the game for having your men dance a mazurka but it isn’t half annoying to constantly nanny your units as they struggle through narrow and twisty paths.
- There is actually very little to improve overall apart from the above, a few specific minor issues but that’s all
- Extremely creative ideas
- Good, interesting and moderately entertaining story
- Varied objectives
- Challenging balance
- Good use of sound
[Edited on 11/15/07 @ 03:55 AM]