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Downloads Home » Best Files » When the Wheel Breaks ~ Chapter 1: The Prophecy ~

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When the Wheel Breaks ~ Chapter 1: The Prophecy ~

Author File Description
Ingo van Thiel
File Details
Version: The Conquerors 1.0c
Style: Fixed Force

A nameless Shogun is haunted by the same dream every night: He sees his carriage race through a gorge, fleeing from an invisible enemy. It breaks down on a bridge, and he hears his own death scream inside the smashing wood and metal.

A wise woman gives him a cryptic prophecy: "When the wheel breaks, the shogun breaks." The Shogun fears a rebellion and starts such bloody counter measures that this actually plants the seeds of rebellion in people's hearts.

The story is told by Ronin Akira, who lost his daiymo to the Shogun's suspicions.

His revenge seems out of reach. Then something happens which looks like the prophecy is about to be fulfilled...


Download the campaign file into your Age of Empires II/Campaign folder and the soundfiles into your Age of Empires II/sound/scenario folder.

Recommended settings: Normal speed, sound turned off. You can speed up or slow down Age of Kings by pressing the "+" and "-" button though.

This is a fixed-force scenario, but the difficulty level varies greatly. "Standard" is quite easy, "Moderate" gives experienced players a fair challenge. "Hard" is for people who like to micromanage and use every tactic trick in the book. I hope you'll enjoy this one-scenario campaign!


Thanks to everyone who playtested the scenario! The names are in the history section. Special thanks to Anastasia for providing me with a some great soundfiles.


25th June 2007: Added a bonus zip file with a PDF which tells the rest of the story, and an epilogue scenario.
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AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
morgoth bauglir Wohoo! It's finally up! Can't wait to see the progress...
Strange, wasn't here 5 minutes ago...
Official Reviewer
downloading now :)

Edit: Unbelievably awesome! Ingo has even surpassed his previous 'Ulio'.

[Edited on 04/02/07 @ 10:42 AM]

Lord Basse
Official Reviewer
It's out at last! I cant wait to see the final version :D

Dantares IV Glad to see it is out!

[Edited on 04/02/07 @ 01:50 PM]

Jeremiah I'm eager to know what the final result has become, Ingo, since the last time that I've playtested it. I hope you didn't blew it! ;-)

Checking it out! *downloads*
newIdea Very enjoyable, Ingo. Very well done. =)

Needless to say; a must download!

[Edited on 04/02/07 @ 06:06 PM]

Lord Basse
Official Reviewer
Map Design5.0
This scenario is a worthy ending to Ingo's long carrear in AoKH. He has made masterpieces like Ulio and The Kings Best Men ever since AoKH was founded. His scenario The Quest was the first scenario to recieve a 5.0 rating in the Blacksmith and he has inspired lots of designers all over the world, including me, to start designing again.
This is his last project, an open-ended scenario. His other interests and real life has caught up and he's leaving scenario designing, he sais. Tragic news to us, but it's his life - he's the boss.
Here is my review of When the Wheel Breaks.

This scenario is absolutely amazing. It might not be as actionpacked and filled with twists as Ulio or other of Ingos scenarios, but this is a welcomed different scenario. Using the japanese people, Ingo has created another masterpiece.
Playing is highly enjoyable. The difficulty levels suits all kinds of players and the music and sound effects bring up the experiense to the masterpiece-level. In my opinion, this game suits everyone. Well of course, not those who hate Fixed Force, but everyone else. It includes Foxed Force (mostly) with several RPGish elements, such as the duell versus the Ronin Leader and the fighting with the three mounted samurais. Its highly creative and introduces many new tricks and uses many of the old tricks too. That makes it very funny to play.
The thing that gives this a minus next to the 5 is the dialogue. Some times it flies by, sometimes 2 messages comes at the same time, and once, after the duell with the ronin-leader, the storyteller text was white instead of grey. When I playtested I tried tom point out all these misses, but I must've missed some. Or Ingo missed to fix them.
Anyway, these few bugs/misses are the only things that give this a 5-. Fix them and it will be a pure 5.0

As said before, the balance is perfect. The three difficulty levels are very different. The standard goes for more mediocre players, as me, or newer players. The moderate goes for more experiensed players and hard for hardcore players. The fights are hard to win on all levels, although strategy solves all problems. Thats the best part. Think correct, win. Think wrong, or if you're just lazy, then lose. It forces the player to think strategically. To use Akira in battle to heal your wounded is an excellent idea, since it forces the player to use the weak hero in combat (weak in HP) and take riskes.
To cut is short, there is a level for everyone - newbies and hardcores alike. 5.

This scenario introduces many new tricks and uses many old ones too, and some newer. The new ones where the swifting signs, masks on poles, women in kimono, enterable enemy towers, spearmen throwing javelins, a man puking, a new mill, a new way of swimming and much more. Together with older tricks, like water splashing from Gydas Challenge and Ulio and more. Then there's the blacksmith hammering a sword, lying on the anvil when being hammered and that you can pick up the hot sword and use it in combat.
Simply, there are lots of creative aspects in this game and they're everywhere. A undiscussable 5.

The map was utterly detailed, yet very realistic. The roads and paths wheren't cluttered with eye-candy but they still looked very good. The mountains sat tight, yet they where climable in a few places, like outside the ronin camp, where the cliffs and forests is very tight set so that you precisely can walk through. There's also a fake-trick that makes it look like you actually walk through a forest, not on a path in the the forest.
This is so much different to Ingo's older project and he shows that his skills are not limited to snowy landscapes (Ulio, Gyda's Challenge) and green hills (The Quest, The Kings Best Men) but that he also can make realistic, rocky Japanese terrain. Ingo is THE master, no doubts. There are many great designers, but Ingo plays in a class for himself. Its truly sad to see him leave designing, but this is a truly worthy ending to it. The design is superb in all means and realistic. A 5, of course.

The story featured is unique and its well developed. There are lots of scenarios that take place in Japan. One of the best is "The Way of the Warrior" by Great Emperor. My only fear when I signed up as a playtester was that these two scenarios would be much like each other. But what I feared wasn not true. This story is much different. Ingo gives his charactors a deep personality in the way only he can. You should start writing books and become rich, Ingo.
The whole scenario starts with a Haiku (a japanese poem to those who dont know what it is. The shortest poem-type in the world) and that alone gives a feeling that Ingo has done everything he canm to make it as Japanese as possible. I dont know if he does it with ease or if he uses all his intelligense to make these kind of scenarios, but one thing is sure - he succeeds.
The instructions are very useful. Without them its hard to win and they're never misleading. The scenario even has a bitmap included, the background is a little Ulio-like with AoK terrain with changed colours, to make it look more paperlike, or what to say.
To round off, I give it a 5, and that's not surprising is it?

OVERALL: Yet another masterpiece

IN CLOSING: A worthy ending to Ingo's carreer. A must download for everyone that doesn't hate everything with the words FF. A few minor misses stops this from being all perfect, bu it's very close.

A superb job Ingo. I'm glad I could be here to help you test it out and find most of the "runner-text". One thing I must mention is that my name is spelled with a space, not an underline :p
Overall superb. I hope you do as Luke Gavaerts did, say its your last project and that you're not going to finish it, and then return a year later or so and start working again :)

The best of wishes on your future life, from a helper, fellow designer and fan (:P).
Good luck with the music
cataphract_fan Just downloaded, and I have to say it is a VERY good scenario...especially in terms of difficulty. Too many scenarios are too easy yet I die regularly on Moderate and even Standard...

Excellent work and I'm amazed Ingo came up with even MORE ideas (I would have thought he had used them all up in his previous campaigns but I guess I'm wrong).
dave_earl I must say, I was sceptical (I don't usually enjoy RPG style games), and arrogant (hell, I thought knew all the new tricks!), but this really blew me away.

Congratulations, Ingo! It is a truly great game.
Stu183 Hey Ingo.

I have a problem. As I get to the ronin camp you have to kill the people in side the tower. When i garrison in the right tower it is fine. If I go in the left it crashes. Any ideas?
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