Posted on 12/28/08 @ 03:13 PM (updated 12/10/09
|Number of Scenarios:
The Heavenly Escort - A campaign for Age of Empires/The Rise of Rome Expansion
The Yakuzo Tribe is in desperate need of a new leader after the unexpected death of Zhe Yu, former ruler of Shengato. Wo Long, an old Saint, decides to call for help from a neighbouring tribe, the Ikuzi, which is commanded by you, Tageshu, a noble young warrior. Will you be able to guide the Spirit of Zhe Yu safely to the Holy Temple, complete the holy ritual and become the new peaceful ruler of Shengato?
Age of Empires - Version 1.0b
The Rise of Rome Expansion - Version 1.0
Fantasy, Puzzle, Build and Destroy
Important notes before playing:
This campaign MUST be played on AoE 1.0b or RoR 1.0 versions. You will not be able to continue when playing using the AoE 1.0c or RoR 1.0a patch.
Difficulty setting MUST be set on "Hard".
When Saving your game, you MUST reload your initial saved game again to continue in the normal 3 x Hitpoints Mode/Lengthen Combat Mode, otherwise the hitpoints for every unit is tripled once more and the campaign becomes unbalanced.
Extract and copy "The Heavenly Escort.cmp" to your Campaign directory, default path:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires\Campaign
Optional - Extract and copy "language_THE.dll" to your Age of Empires directory, default path:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires\
Rename the file to "language.dll" (without quotations) after making a backup of your original "language.dll" file.
The "Making of" The Heavenly Escort:
Place these in your Scenario directory and open them using the Scenario Editor. These cover nearly all the design stages and tests I did to create this campaign.
The making of 'The Heavenly Escort' - Part 1:
The making of 'The Heavenly Escort' - Part 2:
The making of 'The Heavenly Escort' - Part 3:
This campaign was created to celebrate my 10th anniversary playing AoE/RoR - PhatFish/LvB.
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
Prepare to be overwhelmed! And dizzy if you suffer from claustrophobia. It's an astounding micro-microscopic scenario that will change the way you look at Age of Empires forever!
I'm glad this was released before I was banned from AoE again, because I'd have missed out on a heck of a good time!
What is heaven like? Playing this was like getting a new car, I didn't know where to place my attention because everything was competing for my attention. This is such a departure from AoE that it feels like a new game. A great use of the computer ally transport trick, but that's one of the problems here; it won't work on certain difficulty settings and you have to wait a while for it to work. The triple hitpoint mode can cause problems, and I played halfway through only to realize that the bug was making it impossible. I had to restart from the beginning, but I knew how to do it then and it was much faster the second time around. The special terrain presented some problems as well, after a certain point in the game, any unit that passed over a certain area of the map would become frozen.
I know I'm being picky here, but if I were to list all the great stuff here, not only would I spoil the surprise, but it would take me hours to write your praises. It's that good.
The balance was not to be found in military struggle, the map was way too small for war; the balance was in the difficulty of the puzzles and the way they meshed perfectly to create a challenge that was always beatable, but required you to think. I feel honored to have been able to play this work of art.
I'm not going to waste my time trying to describe the genius displayed here, it defies description. Sum it up in two words? Major Hex Editing. Okay, that's three, but whatever.
Map Design: 5+
Every pixel was planned to perfection; every click that placed a decoration on the map was guided by an artist's hand. The map was designed to fit perfectly with the puzzles and gameplay planned. The whole effect is a seamless whole, yet the level of detail is mind-blowing. The use of hex-editing further perfected the way the map reacted to the player's units.
The story was just long enough without dragging anywhere. Captivating, with a storyteller's keen perception and style. The instructions were very complicated; I had to complete one objective, go back, and read the next. Just do them one at a time and you'll do fine. The hints were short and didn't spoil anything. Now for the bitmap: It was like a painting, while describing the details of the map to perfection. I've never seen a better bitmap.
I've said it all! What are you waiting around here for!? Go download it already!
If you're wondering about the 5.0 score when the scores add up to a 4.9, it's because creativity and map design go beyond 5.0 and make up for any shortcomings and then some.
[Edited on 01/06/09 @ 04:33 PM]
Newcomer here to the forums, but I've been an AoE fan for many years - just found y'all last fall - great site.
I downloaded this short campaign yesterday, and had a fun hour figuring out exactly what made it tick.
I really had no trouble with the ferryman on Moderate or Hard. . .All of the triggers and conditions worked perfectly for me. It IS, however, a challenge to beat this campaign - something that you would not expect on such a minuscule map.
Not a whole lot to say about the balance - the puzzles presented were varied but beatable, if a little time was taken to pause the game and examine one's options.
I've been playing/designing AoE for many years now, and this has to be one of the most creative campaigns I've seen in a long time. The objectives were varied and challenging, and the map design (more on that below) was innovative, to say the least.
Map Design: 4.9
The textures and layers of people, buildings, and scenery were eye-popping, and obviously carefully placed. Perhaps just a bit busy for my taste, but this could hardly be avoided on such a small map.
The story made sense in connection with the scenario and its objectives - creatively done, to say the least. I believe I noticed a typo or two in the instructions, but this was easily glossed over by the rest of the well-written paragraphs.
This is a real treat to play and review - I would recommend it to any seasoned AoE enthusiasts who are up for something new and challenging.