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Lasting Impressions

Author File Description
File Details
Map Size: 400x400 (Large)
Number of Players: 8
Balance: Unbalanced
Difficulty: Hard

For years the southern county of Concord was the jewel of the kingdom. The once aptly named "Land of Orchards" was set amidst a lush valley in the middle of the arid countryside where a beautiful stream flowed, supplying the bountiful orchards there. Duke Longarm ruled those lands peacefully in those days, with you as his royal retainer.

But for fifteen years drought has ravaged the land. The stream has dried up to nothing but a single tiny oasis that shrinks with every year. With the desert encroaching, the once fertile valley is now reduced to a sterile, rock-strewn hardpan. Now nothing but cactus and a few stunted trees in the foothills can grow here. Having given up the Duke left last year, biding you come with him. But you, with an unwavering faith, stayed in the hopes that the rains would someday come back and renew the land.

"Here then", he said, as he handed you the deed to the estate, "If you must stay, I leave this all to you. The land is nothing but a shadow of its former glory, and I fear will only remain so." With that, he spat on the ground and muttering, "cursed desert", left with the last of his court and peasantry.

A year has passed and now even you must leave. There simply is no food left and the oasis will soon dry out completely. But as you sleep the night before departure, something strange happens.....

It isn't long after you've closed your eyes when you hear a distant 'thud' and a faint vibration in the earth. A moment later you hear another, then another, each time the sound seemingly nearer. The ground vibrates more and more until the earth is literally shaking, and the once distant thuds become crashing booms! Furniture topples, plates crash to the ground, and the building starts to cave in on itself. You race outside, narrowly escaping certain death. It is a moonless night and the only light afforded to you comes from two torches near your crumbled manor house door. As you look wildly about it's a struggle even to keep your balance, as every second there's a thunderous crash and a momentous earthquake. You look up, and in the torch's dim light you make out an enormous green heel hurtling towards the ground, making contact perhaps just forty feet away. The sound is deafening and the resulting collision shakes the earth so much your thrown completely into the air! You lose consciousness soon after you hit the ground, but in the few dazed seconds before you do, you swear you hear a booming voice, and the words were, "HO HO HO!"

When you come to the next morning the sun is already burning high above the horizon and your head is killing you. As you struggle to your feet, you can hardly believe whats happened, but when you see your manor house in ruins to your left you know this can't be a dream. That's when you notice the footprints. Huge footprints! Prints so huge, a wheat field could fit in the craters left by the big toes! When you walk to the edge of the nearest footprint you notice something equally strange. As you kneel down squinting at the ground, you see a few blades of grass growing quickly right before your very eyes! Soon the entire print is covered in a sparse, but healthy blanket of grass and weeds. "This is too good to be true", you think to yourself as you race to the remains of a nearby shed to retrieve some apple seeds. You sprinkle the seeds on the footprint and within the hour there are full grown apple trees with ripened fruit.

In the coming days you plant the rest of the footprint, producing the greatest crops you've ever seen; fields thick with wheat and hops, apples the size of chickens! And what's more, the food never seems to go bad. Soon word gets out of the great enchanted footprints, and Duke Longarm returns along with two of his allies. The deed was passed to you a year ago so your now Duke of the county, but you allow him and the others to stay. After all, there's plenty of foot prints to go around.

But four others have moved in also, and they intend to keep the land for themselves. Now both sides prepare for battle....


Another long story, and a silly one at that. Here's my latest map, an 8 player skirmish. I used a technique commonly refered to as "hades level" to mask the green of the footprints. Don't let their look fool you, you can grow anything in them (and yes, a wheat field can fit in every big toe!). The story suggests 4 on 4 battle, but ofcoarse, you can play it anyway you like. Close quarters fighting, should be good for multiplayer or computer AI.


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AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
File Author
Thanks Will, what does XD stand for?
dethrone666 Yasko

Were u the first to come up with the idea of this type of hidden farmlands (question mark) i think this is the first time i've witnessed the true and remarkable editors trick(full stop) u've placed the user/players keep in the near centre. This created a real challenge and most of the stone/(slash!!!)iron were placed in edges of the map. Remarkable, Ai's could even biuld mines and quarries which they normally wouldn't.

File Author
I stumbled upon this technique of masking oasis a while back in the map editor, but by no means was I the first. Later I learned its called "Hades Level" in an article on, and it has other applications as well. Basically Hades Level is 8 clicks below minimum terrain level and is the level rivers and oceans is at (also beaches, I think, not sure though). So placing oasis 8 clicks above where it should psychs out the program and the handy by-product is hidden farms. If you take a look at the eye candy in my Springs of Arda map, you can see Hades level was used to create the illusion of flowing water between the fountain pools and shoals. Put the river water at minimum level and you'll see the shoals are 8 clicks above the water. I'm sure other designers have used Hades Level, just not in ways so obvious as my Lasting Impressions map.

NclsCnl dude, the playability in this map is sooo cool, its just awesome, thanks for the map.
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