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Downloads Home » Stronghold: Invasions » The Secrets of Sylvandell Ch 5

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The Secrets of Sylvandell Ch 5

Author File Description
Sulis
File Details
Map Size: 400x400 (Large)
Difficulty: Normal
The Secrets of Sylvandell Chapter 5

The Final Battle for Sylvandell



And so the journey nears its end. The reluctant King arrives at the mighty city of Sylvandell, exhausted and weak, cold and hungry. He is met by a small party of knights and quickly taken to safety. But there is little time left, for the Darkness of Neroli are preparing their final assault. Evril is briefed of the plans to defend the city and unexpectedly learns another secret Sylvandell has been hiding all these years. For all the grandeur, pomposity and elegance she reflects on the outside, Sylvandell is weak; a failing defence system that would crumble... a fortified city rotten to the core.

Evril is guided to the most secure part of the city. He will play no part in the battle that will follow, for his presence has been too long awaited and the royal bloodline is too precious be broken. The armies of Sylvandell will take up the fight, every one of those men prepared to die for the cause.

Looking across the battlements, out over the marshes, the fringes of Wilder Wood can clearly be seen. And there, just in front of the ancient forest, in a line stretching as far as the eye can see, tens of thousands of Neroli barbarians are awaiting their final orders before the siege begins. They prepare for war by beating their chests rhythmically and baying for blood. This battlecry carries over the marsh to the city, to Evril, to every man who now stands ready to face the Final Battle for Sylvandell.



AUTHORS NOTES

This is the final chapter in the Sylvandell series of maps. The idea here is really quite a simple one... to survive. Whilst the closing chapter may be somewhat formulaic (final big battle, lots of fighting, winner takes all), the key to this map is the city itself. If you have read the story as it unfolded, you will hopefully have a picture of Sylvandell in your mind. It is the principal city, a city built as a beacon, a city hated by the Neroli for everything it stands for.

The map is dripping with eye candy, and tries to resurrect some of the great things about the editor. There includes my own versions of a throne room, a jousting arena, pleasure gardens, streets and an arena, to name but a few (keep an eye open for the pub garden!) and the map is, admittedly, an exercise in eye candy creation too.

In terms of the battle, you will face a multitude of units, hopefully all hell-bent on getting into the castle. Use your troops carefully. The armoury is full, the tresury has a healthy sum there and the marketplace will allow you to buy more weapons. You will need them.

DESIGNERS' POINTS

-Due to the design of the keep area, when you recruit a knight, you will have to manually select it from the campfire and move it to your chosen location. I suspect that with the design as it is, the knight unit is unable to move freely to the barracks. Please bear this in mind. Leaving the knight at the campfire wil slow the game down slightly until it is manually moved.
-There are many, many buildings that the attacking AI will attempt to destroy. As a result, the full force of the invasion may not hit you until you are cowering on a corner deciding how to fight your way out of this. Whilst a map that doesn't have these distractions for the AI would leave a better battle, the map is purposely designed to be destroyed, and will be followed up in the epilogue to this story.
-I have suggested that you play the map on normal difficulty. There will be a lot of units on the map, as well as a highly developed city. Users of lower spec computers may experience a little lag when playing the map. Please be aware.
-The full story chapter is included in the zip file, and is also available to read in The Inn.


Final thoughts

As with any map I submit to Stronghold Heaven, I truly hope that you enjoy playing it. The campaign has taken months of hard work to finalise, hours and hours of playtesting and plenty of time back at the drawing board when things didn't go quite to plan! But therein lies the fun of designing for Stronghold.

And constructive reviews would be welcomed.

Finally, a special thank you goes to Jalis, for the map is built using his wonderful green player template. A wonderful creation that opens up new elements of map design.

Best wishes,

Sulis
Pages: [1] 2 » Last »
AuthorReviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
NAT
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
This is a stunning, unbelievable map and in my opinion the 'King of Invasions' The castle is stunning, with eye candy everywhere but done so well! Surrounding countryside is of course of a very high standard. Lets make a proper start - Playablity, the map really does shine, It is so great to be able to defend such a huge castle. I have played the map twice both on normal and the second time was more successful than the first (AI went a bit strange first time I played). Balance it does deserve a 5 - really close with hundreds of macemen everywhere. Howver the macemen did spend too much time though running around destroying buildings and not going to the keep. Did not matter though as most of the time especially on the outer wall the AI do work very well on the map. At the start it is brilliant as the AI swarm everwhere around the castle - stunning. Well for creativity and map design I think you know what I am going to say. But here goes... One of the best castles designed briliantly with well crafted towers and eye candy. Love the keep as well - makes for a good last stand position at the end. For story and instructions again very well written (very long) and entertaining. Overall a stunning map, very playable and a lot of fun. You must play this map!
talos_911
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Well, I really don't know how to put it all down, without being incoherent, so i'll take it one element at a time.

Playability : 5
Playing this map was a blast ! The map constantly keeps one at their toes as you have to manage the defense on two main fronts of attack... wether by design, or chance... the black troops of the wolf barely show up in the minimap against the swampy land... as a result, you must physically shift your view between the two places and it increase the speed of the game to a frantic pace.
The AI attacks beautifully, and quite realistically... Sulis has exploited the AI to its full potential, and the results have to be seen to be believed.

Balance : 5
Perfect. It took me a few tries to get a feel of how the AI works (also, the first few times I was just eyeballing the scenery and castle design :p).
Once you do get a hang of it, its still a memorable fight to the victory screen... a grand job done here... and considering the number of units that he was dealing with, it just shows the quality of his map making skills.

Creativity : 5
One of the most creative maps i've come across yet... To think up the entire castle and to execute it in such flair that it seems to be a real world location is a genius few, like UnikUnok, possess... and Sulis not only has it, but he's also mastered it.
The story is very creative, and is another testament to his quality... Sulis, I bow to you for your amazing creativity :D.

Map Design : 5
Phenomenal work here... the entire castle design is lovingly (and I can imagine, quite painstakingly) crafted and every little detail has been taken care of...
The map is just full of eyecandy, where ever you look. From the custom made wall-towers, to the fountains, to the jousting area and the main keep area... the entire castle looks beautiful, yet gives the feeling of a fortified castle, and overall, its fitting as chief city of the kingdom.
And to top it all off... AI does a great job at destroying it :P.

Story/Instructions : 5
A dramatic and well written storyline which really sets the tense mood for the map. The setting is well fleshed out in the story as has been consistently done in this awesome series. Great stuff.

After a few months of lying low, it seems Sulis decided to show everyone who's the boss, and why he's considered one the best designers for Stronghold...well, all I can say is, you can't miss the point he's made with this stunning map.
I'm sad that the Series has come to an end (and without a siege map too!)...but it is definetly a very satisfying end to one of the greatest series of Stronghold maps, made to date.

Keep up the breathtaking work Lord Sulis :).

-Talos_911
Figster
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
On my part this was an outstanding map. The map design is just beautiful, and the castle is self is just awsome to look at. Some great Ai although some mace men did attack random things, but..eh you cant win them all. The Balance is totally great, although i have not beaten the map on hard yet i had to struggle to make it through normal, so it is very well made. If anything this is surely the best map yet of 2004! well done!
Figster
-=TFI=-
Zebas
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
An excellent scenario. I'd give it a 6 if I could! Map design - Excellent, lots of new features. Playability is very good. Outer walls could do to be stronger, but hey - It's FUN - What do I care?! The story...well, what can I say...

An epilogue would be welcomed!
Jones641
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
This scenario is absolutely incredible. Sulis mixes in an awesome storyline with great gameplay. The creativity is unique, and I like the map. The balance is perfect. Overall I'd say this is a great scenario. Excellent download!
Jax Omen
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
I've been played the map enough, so I thought I would actually rate it.

However, upon rating, I couldn't thinl of what to put in the review.

The whole thing was so damn perfect...

It plays like a dream. Moving your men around, getting the best strategy, trying to finish it on very hard...
Admittedly, the first time you finish it, the harder difficulties become suddenly easier, but thats the joy of it.

Although it's little more than an invasion at heart, the city is massive, and contains just about every eye-candy under the sun, and a bunch of new ones. The design is brill too.

Download it. Download it now.

Nfp, though I disagree with your views, I silently applaud your honesty.
Baron la Dawson
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
This map was one of my first invasions i downloaded. Play ability i give a 5/5, the give you a great amount of bows and archers in the begining to replace your loss of crossbow man. Balance 5/5, you see depending on the diffulcty you can win or lose, just like an actual Firefly created map. Creativity 5/5, you have to be pretty stupid not to give this a five, the castle is not just a normal guarded fort, it is a whole thriving community within the castle walls, with gardens, a jousting ring, a meeting hall, and so much more. Map design 5/5, same reason as creativity because those traits go hand in hand. Story/instructions 5/5, the story is great, especially if you read the whole campaign. It is a strong hold invation for God's sake you dont need instructions.

So read it, play it, and enjoy this masterpeice
Jasper Tudor
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
I can do nothing but join the crowd and give this map a straight-through 5.

Playability: 5
Always very funny, keeps you on your toes in the harder levels.

Balance: 5
Not too hard, not too easy (I like easy fights :P).

Creativity: 5
A lot of new features...wow...everything has been said before by other reviewers.

Map Design: 5
Fantastic...what else is there to say?

Story/Instructions: 5
Great story, perhaps not a personal favourite, but indees well written.

Additional Comments:

Wow...
PrinceScamp
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 5
A really fun map and castle to defend on.

Balance: 5
I enjoed the map even though I havn't quite managed to win yet, it's still a fun last stand.

Creativity: 5

Map Design: 5
I spent the first couple of games just looking at the map bewtween managing my men.

Story/Instructions: 5
A good story and background that gives a reason to be defending the castle.

Additional Comments:
A hard but fun map.
Dragons Rider
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 5
This map went like magic, I couldnt belive it.The time You must have put into playtesting is simply amazing.

Balance: 5
My troops were locked in a head-to-head struggle with the enemy, yet no-one seemed to win until strived to tip the balance

Creativity: 5
The city is a perfect gem of creative ideas from the throne room to the pub to the theatre

Map Design: 5
What need I say on this? A perfect 5

Story/Instructions: 5
The story was creative and imaginative

Additional Comments:
Sulis, I understand you've come back, make some more maps!!
Pages: [1] 2 » Last »

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Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance4.9
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Statistics
Downloads:18,256
Favorites: [Who?]2
Size:891.03 KB
Added:01/12/04