A New Hero Rises In The Three Kingdoms
Posted on 09/03/02 @ 12:00 AM (updated 10/19/02
Well, First of all, I posted this up at 9/1 and it still didn't show up in the campaigns section and I just receive a e-mail that said someting about errors (maybe its because the first time i upload it and in the middle of uploading I got disconnected from the net)so I'll post this again.
||The Conquerors 1.0c
||Role Playing Only
|Number of scenarios:
This campaign is a fiction story take place in the downfall of Han. I really can't tell much about this campaign because I'm not good at describing things :D. In this campaign, You will get exp and raise the level of the hero. Also There will be watersupplies instead of food supplies and you will lose if you ran out of water. Ummmm... Don't know what to say now, anyway,just enjoy the campaign. There will also be a bonus scenario in it, it is the ending of Warrior's Legend. Also plz excuse the spelling and gammar mistake in this campaign. English is not my first language.
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Working on a review.
During the second century a.d. the Han Dynasty finally collapsed after a long period of civil war. The throne was being ruled by a long line of dishonest emperors, and a spree of droughts and famines across China meant that their rule was generally unpopular. Zhang Jue, a self-styled magician and former imperial official, and his two brothers began a rebellion. He assumed the modest title of “Lord of Heaven” and created yellow banners and flags to denominate their cause. He and his followers created an army called the "Yellow Scarves", which according to Luo Guangzhong numbered 500,000. After a long and bloody war that lasted for years, the Yellow Scarves were utterly crushed, and thousands of insurrectionists put to death. But the peace was short-lived, as the very warlords that had been responsible for the Han victory revolted against their masters. The Han Empire fell, and three kingdoms came into being. The Wei under Cao Cao ruled in the north, the Shu in the west, and the Wu to the west. The war between these three factions lasted for almost a century. A New Hero Rises In The Three Kingdoms takes place in this turbulent period, where a man named Kan Fu is conscripted to serve in the Han army in battle against the Yellow Scarves.
If you like RPGs, you can't afford to miss this. If you don't you could be justified in giving this campaign a miss. I thought that A New Hero Rises In The Three Kingdoms was a blast to play, and that more than makes up for its buggy nature. It is comprised of four scenarios, one of which is playable, and one of which has nothing to do with the campaign. You control Kan Fu, who together with his companion Wong Ning journeys out to join the Han army. Once you leave the city, you will have to fight your way through hostile territory, negotiate with locals, and complete many side-quests before the final spectacular finale against the Yellow Scarves. This campaign is a vast piece of work, and has a sense of epic continuity that has rarely been captured in a campaign.
But it has bugs. And not just a few. Several times during playing I thought "Huh? How come that wasn't spotted during the playtesting?" In the first scenario, a random error seems to crash the game every now and again. In the second scenario, the player is able to walk through gaps in between mountains, avoiding a ton of enemies along the path (such as the jaguar warriors outside Liu Bei's town that RoboPaul88 mentioned in his review). In the village in the mountains, you have the option of buying a better horse (+100 HP) for Wong Ning in exchange for 100 gold. The trigger was looped by accident, so that if you select the villager to finalise the deal Wong Ning will automatically recieve +100 HP every time you get 100 gold. Take into consideration the fact that you gain gold every time you kill an enemy -- and that killing enemies is something you'll be doing a lot of -- and you'll easily end up with a hero that has thousands of HP. The trigger that allows you to win the third scenario is missing, you see Kan Fu standing beside Linly's grave and nothing happens after that. A victory trigger is a pretty basic thing, and its absence should have been easily detected just by playing the scenario through.
A lot of effort was put into combining all the features of popular RPGs and enhancing them, and in this the designer has partially succeeded. It is fun, with many options and a high replayability value. And yet some features were seemingly added just to piss the average player off. For example, the water system. It was a good idea, having your character drink water from time to time means the player can't just sit around and let his characters heal after each battle, he has to immediately hurry forward to the next water source. However, this campaign's water drinking feature got annoying. Several times I had to restart because my characters suddenly drank 100 water in one go, and died of thirst. The water drinking rate seems erratic at best, so you never know how long your current supply will last you. Also, several times I walked right up to a river, as told, but I didn't get any water. Frustrating... 4
This is a campaign suited to skilled players, and you'll likely need several restarts. A lot of your enemies are weak militia, but you'll ultimately face jaguar warriors, knights, and other foes. Even if you exploit the "bugs" in the second scenario mentioned above, it is still extremely challenging. If you want the full experience, don't use the mountain paths to skip enemies, and don't buy the horse for Wong Ning. I liked the way the scenario forces you to play to the strengths of your characters, using Wong Ning's speed and ability to regenerate for scouting and raids, while using Kan Fu's superior HP and attack for the fighting. The other three scenarios are cutscenes, and so get an automatic 5.
Some good .bmps, a morale and leveling-up system that actually works, a great story, and three kicking soundtracks, but unoriginal gameplay. A lot of the time I found myself just slashing and hacking through hordes of weak enemies. The second scenario takes about an hour to complete, and the map is completely stuffed with enemies. While fun for the first fifteen minutes, I soon found myself asking "is anything different going to come up?" While the boss fights are challenging, many of your enemies are just militia. They don't post any threat to the player, and seemingly were just placed to slow the player down. Ideally, fewer enemies and stronger ones. 4
The map design is patchy and inconsistent. At one end of the scale you find cities, towns, and scenic wilderness fit for a Pretty Town Contest. At the other end, large areas in plain view are grass 1. Such as in the first cutscene scenario, when the Yellow Scarves attack the Han city, the areas illuminated by map revealers are just grass and dirt. During the second scenario, the map is reasonably attractive, but a lot of the eye-candy added looks wildly out of place -- such as shipwrecks in the middle of the desert, millions of skeletons lying around for no apparent reason, and enemy horsemen standing on cliffs. An above average map, but it has a long way to go before it is truly a five-rated material. 4
Three Kingdoms has an outstanding story, a ton of dialogue, and the sad ending is touching in a way that few other campaigns have achieved. The bad spelling doesn't detract from the overall rating since the designer's first language clearly isn't English. The campaign's instructions, however, are extremely lacking. Such as in the second scenario, Kan Fu mentions that he must go to his house to get the letter, but the player isn't told where the house is. The instructions are also pretty vague in regards to where to find water, the hints say that most markets will sell you some, but I couldn't buy water from any of the markets in the game, they would either say that they had run out of stock, to go away, or nothing at all. I was pretty confused as to where to find the Han army base, it was only by using marco/polo that I located it. Throughout the campaign there is a sense of: "OK, what do I do next?" 4
A great RPG adventure, bugs notwithstanding.
(Just for the record, the fourth scenario has nothing to do with the campaign, it is simply an ending cutscene for the author's previous campaign Warrior's Legend. I don't really know why it was included here, instead of in an edited version of Warrior's Legend itself.)
Interesting camapign but it's too dificult,Ialso I didn't understood the last scenarios,
I still have a problem while playing the 2nd scenario: after the thieves leader is killed and this is reported to the traders, Kan Fu must talk to an old man (a monk) and answer 3 questions. How would the answers be sent? as text or as numbers? the monk says nothing and the game stops. Of course, the water is drunk and the game is lost.
Hey. I think your campaign is kinda good, but you have TC version right? You should rename them and... If you don't mind I could help you to add more triggers (yet mine isn't that good though =D).
Sorry for posting that long but it's an habit to find old campaigns and play =D
[Edited on 07/14/09 @ 07:26 PM]
Every place below, I would give it a 3.1-3.5 if I could, except for Creativity, which gets a 5. In many ways, it's a great campaign that could have gotten a 4-5 rating, but the bugs or flaws and lack of clarity in the instructions in a couple parts of Scenario #2 (the main scenario) hurt the score.
Scenario #2 (The Yellow Scarves) had a Playability issue because the objectives and steps for each new task were not clear and specific enough, particularly how to pass the old man's three question test without dying.
Scenario #3, the Cinematic about Kan Fu fighting Sima Yan, etc., did not have a Victory Trigger, so the scenario can't be beat.
The main (and practically only) serious fighting scenario is #2. The basic problem is that the water source runs out too quickly, because it forces you to make a desperate fighting attack to get to water instead of taking your time to wear down the enemy.
Using a kind of a trick or "exploit" of going around the orange bandits so that they don't attack you when you leave the NE gates of the western Aqua base, the balance was easy in my favor.
But I found that without using this trick (which the Designer didn't intend), the difficulty level was too hard on HARD and MODERATE because I need to fight through lots of enemies and I only have two soldiers, and meanwhile my water runs out quickly. If I could just run safely to the water sources, it wouldn't be as much of an issue. Maybe it's possible, but it would be challenging to even find the safest routes. I would want to use my cavalry to get to the middle of the river where there is an infinite supply of water, and I would want to have Kan Fu hide in the tower near it.
This was a very creative set of scenarios because of how many objectives, triggers, and stories there were.
Map Design: 3
On one hand, the Designer did a good job with making Scenarios 1 and 2 pretty, and making all the scenarios exciting. But Scenario #2 had enough flaws, like the trickiness of making it through the old man's questions even when you know the answers, that they really hurt the design. Not having a Victory Trigger is a simple but serious problem for scenario #3. And Scenario #3 did not really have decorations like Scenarios 1-2 did. Scenario #3 was basically music + units fighting + a bit of terrain basics like ice and jungle + a good story.
Scenario #1: The End of a United Empire is a purely cinematic scenario that I watched on HARD. The scenery and eye candy are good, and the music make it neat. It switches between different locations and events like the Yellow Scarves storming a walled town. I guess that the Yellow Scarves refer to the Yellow Turbans. One criticism that I have is that some of the units are medieval European units like the knights and pikemen that look out of place for China.
For Scenario #2: I played the opening intro (ie. the part about Linley and meeting the horseman Wong) on Normal speed and the pace was so slow that at times I thought it was glitched. Maybe for a non-English speaker, it's a good speed though.
The Story was great for the first three scenarios. But the instructions really need major improvement in terms of specificity and clarity to make Scenario #2 (the main playing scenario) workable, because I had to check the Scenario Editor a couple of times and read people's comments to figure out how to make it work.
A little downside is that there are no installation instructions. The scenario has 3 music files but it doesn't specify where to put them in your AOE2 directory. It turns out that hey go in sound\scenarios, which is where scenario sound files typically go.
For Scenario #1 "The End of a United Empire", a criticism is that although the storytelling is fun, it is also too superficial. The Designer gives little or no background on his characters. For instance, it makes it sound like Dong Zhuo held power and took over the government totally in a coup, but the story doesn't give any background as to who Dong Zhuo was or what power he held before his coup. Then it talks about the killing of General Chow Yen's wife and his desire for revenge, but it doesn't say who Chow Yen was.
The campaign takes place during the downfall of the Han Dynasty. That Dynasty's last emperor reigned in 189-220 AD. It also narrates the Yellow Turban revolt of 184–205 AD.
SCENARIO #2. The Story of a Tiger: The End of the Yellow Scarves.
The Scenario ends with the death of Zhang Jiao, which happened in 184. The Yellow Turban rebellion fully ended in 205 AD. The plot begins with Kan Fu leaving home to fight the Yellow Turbans. The Story section talks about warlords rising up after the defeat of the Yellow Turban rebellion, Cao Cao declaring war in 200 AD, and subsequent events, the last being Sima Yan establishing his rule in 265 AD and conquering Wu in 280, thus ending the Three Kingdoms period.
HINTS: Killing boars gives you water. The road to the first village has gold and boars along it, but the desert to the NE of that road has only enemies, not resources. When you make your way on the SE leg of the X crossroads after meeting the ruler Jen Liu, there is a cart that gives you armor, and south of it there is a pond with water. The market in the little Aqua village in the middle gives you water for every 100 gold, and you trade by clicking on the market after talking to the man there. The Sword of the Tiger is by a flag near the SE corner of the map.
After you leave the Aqua town in the west and go through the NE gate of that town, you can find a second healing priest (besides the one in the town). That second healing priest is in a cliff-pit that is near the middle of the map. It is almost directly south of the spot where the crashed ships are in the west end of the river in the middle of the map. The cavalry archer arrow special weapon is at the trade cart in the far east corner of the map.
PLAYING SCENARIO #2 ON HARD, I got supplies from the opening blacksmith and market and got water from above my market. Going to the pond with four signposts doesn't give me water. I died of thirst after looking for water in the area SW of the first town I need to reach. I died in the town area.
PLAYING SCENARIO #2 ON MODERATE, I got the spear from the blacksmith in the western village, although it says I don't know how to use it but that villagers can train me. The Market in the town said that they weren't going to give me water and I died. There is also a cliff waterfall directly to the north of the western village if you go around the outside of the wall in a counterclockwise direction. I reloaded and the man by the farms gave me a bag for his son in the next village. But I thought that the villagers could train me with the spear, but clicking on most of the villagers doesn't make them train me. It turns out that you get the training by helping a purple fighter named Chen in the Northern area of the map later.
I got water from the creek north of the western town, but then I got mobbed by tons of enemies when I went northeast on the road from the western town and I died from thirst about the time Kan Fu reached the Aqua mini base on the NW end of the X cross roads that is northeast of the western village. There is a pond and then a river on the SE leg of that X cross roads, but it's rather far to get there and there are tons of enemies.
I checked the Editor, and it turns out that in order to be able to drink from the pond, you need to first have your two units next to each other in an area that is between the line of trees that the road between the first two villages runs through. I consider this a Playability/Map Design flaw, because in my playthroughs before checking the Editor, I probably didn't have the units together at the same moment in that square area between the trees. Another big Playability/Instruction issue is that the village people tell you that you need to visit Jen Men Hu because you drank from the fountain with the statue. But when I send both units to him in his camp to the northeast of the X crossroads, nothing happens. It turns out that after I was told that I needed to meet Jen Men, I needed to click on the woman Jiang Lin again.
Another Map Design flaw is that you can pass by the north side of the Orange thieves waiting to the northeast of the western village without triggering them. However, it seems that I need to trigger them because I need 500 gold to pay the armorer south of the second X, which is to the east of that first X, and because when I got to the red Trader leader, nothing was happening. As I was exploring, I ran into another Map design issue, where after clicking on the stable to buy a new horse, my gold kept draining due to a constant purchase of more horses. Another reviewer noticed this problem, writing: "In the village in the mountains, you have the option of buying a better horse (+100 HP) for Wong Ning in exchange for 100 gold. The trigger was looped by accident, so that if you select the villager to finalise the deal Wong Ning will automatically recieve +100 HP every time you get 100 gold. Take into consideration the fact that you gain gold every time you kill an enemy -- and that killing enemies is something you'll be doing a lot of -- and you'll easily end up with a hero that has thousands of HP."
A map design problem is that Kan Fu doesn't regenerate his health every 8 seconds like he is supposed to.
The instructions say that there is a cliff area near the bridge that is supposed to give me a constant supply of water, but there are actually a few cliff areas on the river by the bridge, so it's not clear where the Designer means. Having my horseman (not Kan Fu) stand in the pond south of the tower by some cliffs in that middle river gave me water. As far as Balance goes, even after I got the special Tiger sword, I still got slaughtered on Moderate by the roaming bands of Orange thieves. It would be pretty helpful if I could buy the new horse from the Stable without it looping, because if I buy the constant horse HP boosts, then I can't use my money for anything else that the mission might potentially offer (although I already bought the armor).
After I killed the thieves' leader though, there was no new objective that appeared- going back to the Red leader in the NE edge didn't assign me a new objective. After I sent both units to him, I think that I was told that I can go see the old man now, whose location was above the aqua stone gate in the north of the map.
The instructions didn't make it clear enough that to play the old man's challenge question, you apparently must walk onto the highlighted (snow or dirt) square right in front of one of the three flags that corresponds to your answer, arranged from left to right, eg. "Linly" is the far right flag choice. Afterwards, you must immediately walk back to the big snow square where he asked you the first question. I was playing on AOK HD on Steam and as soon as I step on the right answer to the first question, the man says that I am right, and then I immediately die. The reason is because Trigger #180, which kills any unit that stands on that spot, is set to be activated at the Start of the Scenario. That button should have been set to "OFF" instead in the menu for Trigger #180. This is because Trigger 180 is intended to be activated by another trigger (the one involving Question #2 from the old man), instead of being always activated.
Playing on STANDARD in AOK:TC (CD version), I explored NE of the west aqua villager's map, using the trick where I bypass the orange army NE of the aqua village, and I got the arrow in the east end.
I beat the old man's challenge by playing footsy with it. I set the speed to Slow, and after he asked his question, I waited a while on my main snow patch and then moved north to just briefly touch the little snow patch for the first question and then immediately sent my swordsman back to the big snow patch.
I guess that the problem might be that if you wait on the little snow patch until the narrator tells you that you were right, then you have waited too long, and in fact you just need to basically hop right on the little snow patch and then immediately hop off even before he tells you that your choice is right. By the time that you will have left the little patch, you will be walking south again, and on your way south, the narrator tells you that you picked rightly and you don't get killed for being on the little snow patch at that point.
I found that by waiting a minute until the question about Kan Fu's girlfriend disappeared from the screen and then moving onto the little snow patch and immediately moving Kan Fu back again onto the main snow patch kept him from getting killed.
The second and third questions from the old man are: Who is the main character in the Designer's other campaign, Warrior Legend (Chun is the answer), and what is Chun's weapon (a sword, IIRC). I don't really like making those the answers to the questions because someone who hadn't played those campaigns wouldn't know the answer. But I guess that the game could be taken in humor as a reference to the arcane style of the old man's questioning in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."
After finishing the old man's task, it wasn't clear what all exactly I needed to do. I knew I had to go through the Yellow Scarves' base, so I went there and the Yellow archers let me in and I walked around the Yellow base and then I got some training at the grey base in the far north corner, but then it wasn't clear what the next step was. I figured that I needed to find the Yellow scarves' leader, so I clicked on the main yellow units that I saw, but I didn't find one that met an objective like that. I checked the Editor, and I needed to keep my units right on the rubble area by the blue flags. Next, Liu Bei told me to get trained, so I did, but when I went back to him, nothing happened. It turned out that I missed clicking on the grey swordsman who is to the right of a column of grey troops. I found that I a "You are defeated" message came up giving me a loss if I chose to have my horseman turn into a cavalry archer unit, so that option must be glitched. I beat it on Standard without using the Cheat codes.
SCENARIO #3. "The Sword of the Ice Tiger" (I watched it on HARD) is a cinematic that runs from Kan Fu leaving Cao Cao's army and Zhuge Liang's joining of Liu Bei's forces up to the death of Zhuge Liang in 234, followed by Kan Fu fictionally killing Sima Yan (who in real life lived in 236-290 AD. The music and storytelling were good, and the ending was sad. The scenes could use more decoration, like using more Asian units than European ones, but they were still okay because they had different backgrounds like the ice terrain for finding the sword in the ice. The scenario didn't end because it needs a Victory trigger. There is simply no Victory Trigger. Conceivably, the author wants you to wait around with the sad ending at the tombstone, but he could have set a timer for the Victory to come after that. The Designer did intend for a victory trigger to happen, since he made a victory message.
SCENARIO #4. "The Ending of Warrior's Legend I": I beat it on Hard. It's the Ending for the Designer's "Warrior's Legend" I Campaign and he includes it here as a bonus. He asked not to include it in the review. IMO it would have just been better to just have it in the Warrior's Legend Campaign, because the story line is so different from the "A New Hero Rises In The Three Kingdoms" campaign, and to understand it, you would really need the Story section to explain in more detail and length what that campaign is about.
[Edited on 02/16/21 @ 11:49 PM]
I found the problem with the scenario's glitch with the Old Man's 3 Questions. Trigger #180 was bugged. The scenario designer mistakenly had it set to ACTIVATE ON at the start of the scenario, so that anyone stepping on the Challenge's Answer #3 / Spot #3 (the little snow patch) would die instantly, and he didn't deactivate the bug for Question 1, for which Answer #3 is the right answer. The Designer should have set TRIGGER 180 to OFF for the start of the scenario.
For Scenario #3, the last Trigger, #54 is set with its starting state activation as "ON". It displays a dialogue where Kan Fu says that he will join his wife on the other side. The Timer Conition for the dialogue is 25. What this in effect does is make the Dialogue for Trigger 54 show up only 25 seconds into the Scenario, yet the Player is only informed later in the scenario that Linley died. It seems that maybe this was originally meant as the ending dialogue.
It seemed like maybe the Editor did intend this to be in the original cinematic beginning, because Trigger 0 has a dialogue that lasts only 25 seconds, and the next Dialogue trigger (Trigger 2) is set to show dialogue at only 20 seconds after the first Dialogue ends. This puts Trigger 54's Dialogue right after Trigger 0's Dialogue, but 54's Dialogue is set to last 55 seconds, meaning that it overlaps into Trigger 2's Dialogue in terms of the timing.
Besides the out-of-context statement if Trigger 54 is put at the beginning chronologically, Trigger 54 is set to be activated by Trigger 49, where the narrator talks about Kan Fu coming home and finding out that Linley had died.
Also in Scenario #3, the Victory Trigger is #50, and its condition is set to activate at 30 units (seconds) into the Trigger. Its Starting State is set to "OFF." So it needs a Trigger to activate it.
I fixed the problems that I found in the campaign and submitted it here as Version 2:
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