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Downloads Home » Campaigns » Ulio v3.0

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Ulio v3.0

Author File Description
Ingo van Thiel
File Details
Version: The Conquerors 1.0c
Number of scenarios: 6
THE STORY

In this campaign you will step into a dead man's shoes.

You will be part of a mad hermit's tale. A tale of hatred and vendetta, of schemes and noble motives... and of guilt.

Not only will your battle skills be challenged. You will be challenged to follow Ulio on his way into his downfall, and to only leave him behind at the very end. You'll be the actor, you'll be the spectator. And you'll be the judge.

No radiant victory waits at the end... only clarity about Ulio's fate.


THE GAME

Important: Sound files are a must for this campaign, unless you want to miss a lot of the experience. They are divided into zips of roughly 1,3 MB each, so that each of them fits on one floppy disk. You can get the music files here:

Sound File 1
Sound File 2
Sound File 3
Sound File 4
Sound File 5

Ulio 3.0 also has new sound files for the 3rd person narrator. Those files are optional:

UlioNarrator1.zip
UlioNarrator2.zip

The other sound files (1-5) have not changed. If you already downloaded them earlier, you don't need to download them again. If you wonder whether to download the voice files or not, the Ulio 3.0 zip contains one voice sample, which plays after the first battle in the Foundling.

The campaign also plays the Attack on Murron soundfile that comes along with Mark Stoker's classic "Tamerlane, Prince of Destruction" campaign. If you haven't got that campaign yet, I can heartily recommend it. Thanks to Mark for allowing me to use that file!

The campaign contains two cutscene scenarios and four playable scenarios. Style: "Storyteller campaign". A mix of Cutscene/Fixed Force/Role Playing. B&D elements are minimal, you won't build a single building - only train units at existing ones.

The playable scenarios are difficulty-level-dynamic. You should have at least some gaming experience even if you play on Standard. If you are quite familiar with the game and experienced at battle tactics and micromanagement, Moderate will offer you a good challenge. If you like to test your gaming skills to the maximum, check out the Hard level.


INSTALLING THE FILES

Unzip the campaign file and all soundfiles into your Age of Empires II folder. They should go into the right directories.


CHANGES IN ULIO 3.0

- Sound files for narrator are included as extra zips (see above).
- New soundfiles for the dream in the Lion & Cat scenario are in the Ulio 3.0 zip file.
- Some typos have been fixed.
- Foundling: The "Barracks with Child inside" gets renamed again after the battle.
- Lion & Cat: Punishment for Ulio if he walks away from the village (-10 hp).
- Triangle: Fast players who went North could still end up with the general circling in the arena. Fixed.
- Epilogue: Younger and elder traveler got mixed up at the beginning. Fixed.


MISCELLANEOUS

Here are some things which were new to me when I made them: Probably the first movie-like scrolling text on the screen; a developed version of the Pyromaniac's rain trick; thunder & lightning and other effects with light and shadow; a well; some slightly altered town centers; a touchy general; armies moving, stopping and moving again in formations; an armed villager (static); impaled people; sneaking up upon a guard; a stampede; sea gates and sea towers on solid ground; alert watchtowers with fast-footed watchmen; a slippery hill; a nightmare sequence with burning ghosts and lost souls; entering an enemy castle, and a couple more.

This campaign has been tested by many people, so most bugs should have been found and fixed. However, if you do encounter any more bugs, please email me at van-thiel@web.de, so that I can look into them.

Thanks again to everyone who playtested the campaign for me! The names of the playtesters are listed in the Aftermath message of the Epilogue scenario.
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AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Charlemagne1 Thanx Ingo ;)
Dr Lorenzo Anyone who counts has to leave a message saying how good Ulio is ;-)

Salud, Ingo!
Tidepool Ingo: What exactly causes the bug where nothing happens after you kill Aguric's men after waking from the dream sequence? I tried the patched version, but it doesnt seem to fix the problem. Anyway, great scenario so far. Good work!
Ingo van Thiel
File Author
Tidepool: Thanks for your email feedback, and for the saved game!

All: As I said, the v3.07 fix from 11/24/03 doesn't have the bug at Aguric's camp anymore. If you want to make sure you have the fixed version, you can check this in-game:
a) Type marco + polo 10 seconds after the "Birthmark" scenario begins.
b) Look at the Southwest of Ulug's castle.
c) If the two halberdiers near Luanna's wagon belong to Gaia (grey color), you have the fixed version. Type marco and polo to cover up the map again, and enjoy the game. ;-)

If the halberdiers still belong to the red Aguric player, you are playing an older version by accident. In that case, please make sure you really updated the campaign file in your folder with the fix.
lyrabelacqua_859 This was the first scenario I have ever downloaded and played. This is the scenario that got me started on design. And yes, I am not ashamed to admit that I cried at the end. Absolutely wonderful. Ingo, you have a real gift with the editor.
Sacrilegious Wow! Effing amazing! Definetly the best AoK scenario ever made. Did you make up the story?
Lord_Fadawah
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
PLAYABLILITY

How can you describe Ulio? The typical "Greatest campaign ever" still seems like an understatement to me.

Ingo van Thiel, the creator of smash hit campaign after smash hit campaign, has done it again. Ulio is so addictive it should come in a syringe.

Ulio starts off with two rainsoaked travellers searching for shelter against the downpour, and are invited inside the house of an insane hermit. While waiting for the rain to cessate, the hermit tells them the chilling tale of Prince Ulio.

The player is then transported into an absorbing land torn by war, and by hatred. The two contestants are King Aguric and King Ulug, who wage a war against one another that has gone on for decades. All the while, a few peasants and renegades try to flee to a safer location -- and with them is a baby with a destiny no-one could have guessed. I'm not going to spoil it for you, but let is suffice to say that the plot takes a few interesting twists!

The playability of Ulio is unmatched. Incredible feats of triggerwork, tough yet winnable challenges, and amazing depth and storyline are all hallmarks of Ulio. The four playable scenarios are a combination of B&D (Triangle of Hate) FF (The Foundling, and The Birthmark) and RPG (The Lion and the Cat), but they all so well done that its difficult to tell which is best. The thing I like about Ingo's work is the depth and length of it, you can be sure that you will have criss-crossed the map several times before the scenario ends. Take "The Lion and the Cat". You must escape from Ulug's village, rescue a town, find the battlefield, lead the army to victory, cut down a tree, defeat an enemy paladin, and return to Ulug's village all in the one scenario. I think that most scenario designers would be hard pressed to put so much length and detail into one scenario, but Ingo makes it look easy.

For this: I dispense a 5.

CREATIVITY

I was absolutely blown away by this campaign, its very fresh and original. Although creative objectives certainly help, I found the atmosphere was what made it so original. Imagine how irritated I was in the second scenario when the monks were forcing me to cut down an errant tree, while I was longing to hear what the mysterious visitor was saying inside the monastery. If I had been in Ulio's shoes for real at that moment I would have felt like slashing something other then the tree with my axe! :)

Another thing I like about Ulio is how everything is made convienient for you. No, I don't mean easy, its anything but. What I mean is that its user-friendly with no boring bits. In Ulio you will never have to trudge to the other side of the map (snore) without something to alleviate the tedium -- like luring enemy soldiers down the slippery hill in "The Birthmark". The "Triangle of Hate" scenario was probably the most creative, where you had to set up a camp with some preliminary troops, without letting the King's nosy commander see what you are doing. I especially liked it how you could choose which soldiers could accompany you on your journey.

For this: I dispense a 5.

BALANCE

I have already addressed the fact that the scenarios are tough, but not unbeatably tough, just like all of Ingo van Thiel's campaigns. If you are skilled, you should be able to make it. In Ulio, nothing is left to chance or luck. Note that the scenarios are difficulty dynamic, which means that the higher the difficulty level, the harder the game. While an obvious concept, very few designers bother to do it. Ingo, however, has turned it into an art form. Like in the first scenario, "The Foundling", you must defend a small camp against enemy attacks. If you play it on easy, all of your units recieve increased armor, HP, and attack. You also recieve a knight. On hard, you get none of these little luxuries, but must make do with the bare bones of an attack force. No matter what the difficulty level, its tough. But hey, who said that Ingo's campaigns were for beginners anyway?

Heheh, I remember when I first tried to play Ulio on hard. I had to restart several times to win, but that just made it more fun. As you face a defeat message you think, "hey, I could have won if only I had done so-and-so different", and then you find yourself restarting and playing again.

For this: I dispense a 5.

MAP DESIGN

The map design of Ulio is insane! Through the scenarios, you see pattering rain, slippery ice, beta units, armies that move and stop on command, terrifying beasts, castles that automatically disappear revealing scenes inside them and more! But its not just this, its the general atmosphere. One thing that never ceases to annoy me is how many scenario designers think that good map design means throwing all the tricks in the book together without any regard to placement or theme. No so Ulio. The scenario takes place in eastern europe, so scrubby grass and marshland is the go.

For this: I dispense a 5.

STORY/INSTRUCTIONS

All of these things are great, and without a bug in sight. However, I'm inclined to say that the high-water-mark of Ulio is its storyline. For me, hooked wasn't the word. Even if the gameplay had been total crap, I would have kept playing just to find out what happened next to Ulio, Aguric, Luanna and Ulug.

Frankly, I have never seen a better storywriter ANYWHERE (except perhaps for Stephen King and maybe Dean Koontz). Fantasy storylines are normally paper thin -- both in books and in custom campaigns. I'd like to register a complaint on that score. They all seem to follow the shopworn formula of evil-threatens-the-world-and-hero-swoops-in-to-save-the-day. Not Ulio.

The instructions are clear and easy to follow (and there is even a walkthrough if you get REALLY stuck!). In all, perfect.

For this: I dispense a 5.
Tanneur99
Official Reviewer
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
REVIEW of ULIO v3.0 dated November 24, 2003

The campaign contains six scenarios, two cut-scenes and four playable ones; the game style is a cut-scene supported mix of RPS, RPG and FF with few B&D elements. With the update to Ulio v3.0 new sound files for the 3rd person narrator are added, which give a new feel and experience to the storyteller campaign. The aspect of a third person narration has not changed, new is the designer's voice in five of the scenarios. Shortly after its release, the campaign became the Blacksmith Feature on September 10th, 2002 and won the Orion Award 2002 for best-balanced scenario, best map design and best campaign. It has its place in my personal hall of fame since I first played the beta version from the SD forum and after more versions, more testing and improvements, Ingo van Thiel presented a perfect campaign.

History, story, places and people are fiction; the events take place in the middle of a long war, somewhere in Eastern Europe, during the Middle Ages. It is a personal war, its outbreak not remembered and the war objective long forgotten. There were intrigues, conspiracy and evil plots reported, nobody recalls the details. Hatred and vendetta have fuelled the pugnacity since years. This war has no noble cause, many deserted and renegades infest the vicinity. Killing people is everyday life in times of war and civilian casualties routine, until one cold winter day soldiers found a baby after a skirmish, between dead corpses, men and women alike. You play Arun, the commander of a subunit, and war confronts him with a new, unusual responsibility. Be prepared for great entertainment, a campaign on the highest imaginable level and a story, a tragedy inspired by an antique myth. Witness the war of the two Lions, a war that lasted thirty-five years, a war between two kingdoms, two kings, whose children fell in love.

PLAYABILITY: The campaign grabs you right from the start, without loosening its firm grip until the very end, like the old hermit when he grabbed the shoulder of the young traveller. The pace is excellent and I enjoyed every fraction of the campaign, the astounding scene with a slippery hill; challenging battles requiring micromanagement like the attack on the camp, Ulio’s first battle, conquering, defending or destroying a castle; exciting tasks like sneaking around patrols, a river crossing and destroying watch towers. Very creative the multiple options, to take different paths, varied challenges, diverse outcomes, which are all intended and this is one, not the only reason for the campaigns high replay value. In every game, you can play parts different, in The Foundling confront the patrols or avoid them; run fast or lure some enemies from Aguric's castle to the southeast. In The Lion and the Cat fight the wolves, run to Ulug or to the castle; on your escape task Ulio on the mini map, pass the blacksmith or seek refuge at the monastery. In The Birthmark follow Luanna before and check the ruin after the battle; dismantle the onager or use it for the rest of the scenario. I refer to more options in the other categories, but some secrets will remain for you to find out yourself. I encountered no bug, all triggers and taunts are perfect to the game play. 5+

BALANCE: The campaigns balance is not only challenging and perfect on all levels, but also very creative. For Standard, Moderate and Hard the scenarios had units added or spared with less or more hit points or even different units and upgrades. Good examples for the perfect balance are the three options to reach Aguric's castle after you razed the Yeri north camp in The Triangle of Hate. You arrive by boat, through a narrow path and onager fire for the north route or with a frontal attack through the main camp for the southern option. I always arrived with four to six survivors. In the Birthmark, you can take possession of the gate from land or sea; raze the castle and docks arriving by boat, through the gate or by a combined land and sea attack. To win on Hard, you have to use every known tactic. You cannot just wait for the enemy to become weaker or try to overpower him; this would lead to a sure loosing situation. You have to think, plan with restricted resources, look for elevations, lead more than one attack at the same time, avoid enemies, be fast, hit and run, use living shields and choose the right units for counterattacks throughout the game. After you finished the campaign on standard or moderate, hard is a new game, another experience. 5+

CREATIVITY: It is amazing how many new things "Ulio v3.0" offers with AoK in its fourth year. Sounds, music, noises, voices, the Mp3 and wav sounds bring this campaign to another level of AoK scenario design. Impressive, a castle being removed and without view change you see the inside at the same place; frightening, a nightmare with phantoms and a burning ghost; stunning, armies stopping and moving in formations repeatedly. There are impaled people; a horse stampede; a villager armed with a spear; a new colour type for bitmaps; the movie-like scrolling text on screen; entering an enemy castle; thunder and lightning; effects with light and shadow; a well with splashing water; an iced slippery hill; alert watch towers; an advanced version of the rain trick; random unit reaction; counting survivors; sea gates and sea towers on solid ground and town centres variations. Astounding how the author anticipates the various moves of players, in the Foundling conquer Aguric's castle, attack the camp at the sea first, the swordsmen will arrest Brother Thomas wherever more enemies survived. Check a blocked path before you leave that area and save game In The Lion and the Cat when you walk away from the screams; when you seek terrain advantage between the spectators or kill the stable lad. I am referring to more creativity aspects in the related categories. 5+

MAP DESIGN: The map design is far above average and deserves its high rating. Different seasons, many elevations, detailed terrain mix, not overloaded with Gaia, which is a strong plus-point to suit well the story that takes place in the middle ages during a long war. The creative design features attracted my attention, like the bushes, which look good in that surrounding and you doubt the designation jungle tree in the editor. The berries of the Pyracantha, raw uneatable for humans, serve birds throughout the winter as forage bushes so to speak and are another evidence of the creative map design. Mind you, you cannot rename those trees and most plants in the editor. Creative also the blacksmiths, the appealing town centres, I spotted town centres with walls, palisades and broken carts or haycocks. The sea gates, tall walls and sea towers fit perfectly into the sometimes-mysterious landscape. 5+

STORY/INSTRUCTIONS: Rain, thunder and lightning, the excellent, surprising prologue cut-scene brings you well into the story. Cut-scenes explain your objectives, serve as introduction or support the story. You always have clear objectives; enough hints and the player can scroll down to use some spoilers if stuck. The campaign includes a new type of bitmap and there is one for every playable scenario. The story, supported by the narrator sound files, develops in game and between the scenarios, is definitely one of the best of AoK, well told with twists and has a surprising, dramatic ending. Do we really know the truth? Did it happen as we are told? After all, it was a mad hermit’s tale. 5+

OVERALL: Ulio v3 is like a new era for AoK; it is the campaign to witness what level scenario design reached after four years.

OBSERVATION: Ingo van Thiel is not only a designer with talent, skill and experience but also an extraordinary perfectionist. With three years in the making, Ulio was already a classic before it came out; and even after reviews with an overall rating of 5.0, Ingo made the effort to improve his campaign to perfection.

SUGGESTIONS: With the approval of the author, I recommend two mod packs for Ulio v3, East European Castle v2, by neinnunb and Monastery, by BullsWool; to install you will need Mod Pack Studio 2.0, by JC Alsup, aka j_c_a.

IN CLOSING: I also recommend Gyda’s Challenge, a historical scenario from the same author as well as The Quest and The King’s Best Men, which are challenging, funny and entertaining; you will love Charles and Siegfried. Ulio v.3.0 is the campaign every skilled player should have, so download and do not forget the sound files.

Was Ulio the last campaign of the author? Definitely not, his most recent campaign is Chou Kung for AE:RoR uploaded at Heaven Game's Granary.
Aragorn_98 This campaign is possibly the best to have ever been submited to the blacksmith. It's where I get most of inspiration for my scenarios! Ingo, you're the best!Download NOW if you don't want to go to hell!!!

Aragorn_98
Rome_Uberalles This was an awesome campaign! It was honestly the best I have ever played for Age of Empires! Excellent Job, Your work was well spent!!
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Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Statistics
Downloads:40,021
Favorites: [Who?]44
Size:1.33 MB
Added:08/24/02
Updated:11/24/03