Fathers‘ Sins, Chapter 2: Jack Wolverine
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And the sins of the fathers shall be visited
upon the heads of the children,
even unto the third and fourth
generation of them that hate me.
Time has witnessed many events, when young ones had to suffer from their own fathers’ faults and misdeeds; sons and daughters needed to correct the old mistakes, glorify their families once more and expunge the old sins from everybody’s memory, what was often too hard to do. This is the second part of the series, and I hope You will like this mission, which is very unusual in every aspect...
Level: Very hard
Type: Stronghold Crusader invasion;
Map size: 400x400 (big);
Playing style – 3rd person action game;
Starting date: 16th, June, 1350;
Objectives – kill enemy lord.
Version - 1.0
Most of the kings dreamt about peace, racional income and glory; King Victor wasn‘t an exception. Wealth helped the king to firm pax in his lands, but Victor was a very kind-hearted person, who cared about every resident despite his age, riches and social order. Soon rumours were spreading throughout the country that the ruler has started a construction of a new castle, which is going to be a revolution in both architecture and inhabitation aspects. It was said that king Victor had a dream about the new fortress (no wonder it was called “The Dream Castle”) and spend most of his wealth on the prophetical structure (You can download the Dream Castle, the link is in the end of the story). Thousands of workers plodded day and night; with the lapse of time swamps were drained (only narrow channels were left) the castle was rising on the foundations. Years have passed and the legendary structure was finally completed. People became speechless when they saw that Victor’s wish came true: the most beautiful and insuperable castle worldwide has opened its gatehouses. It was a paradise on Earth, where everyone could feast their eyes on various fountains, monuments, bridges, extraordinary structures, visit the zoo, park, the baths, new docks, even a dancing school, enter various competitions, ride a medieval train and take part in other activities.
Later, random kings, lords and vassals started travelling from different countries just to make sure that this heaven on Earth really exists. It is known that human nature is sinful, mixed with grudge and anger, therefore the travelers were far from happy or pleased. Some of them were jealous, others tried to slander Victor and most furious threatened to destroy the most beautiful fortress stone after stone. King’s kind heart couldn’t stand such intolerance, it was just too much for him and soon Victor went mad. In the beginning the ruler started hearing random voices, which blackmailed and terrorized him, later horrible visions started to emerge: he was surrounded by traders and villains; the whole country was up against him. Victor’s sick thoughts and images frightened the inhabitants; they tried to help the madman in all possible ways, but it seemed the more they tried, the more Victor was maddened. Soon he started exiling and even sentencing the poor and innocent people to death. The “Sweet Dream Castle” became the worst nightmare.
Caliph the Camel, ruler of the Arabian Caliphate, got wind of the terrible situation in Victor’s lands and soon started a vast war campaign to free the people from the madman. To everybody’s astonishment king Victor’s army fought against the invaders with valour and devotion, however, it was only a matter of time when the country would lay down their weapons – soon the Caliph slew king Victor, who didn’t even resist.
It seemed that peace finally came to the land – the new ruler will probably be just and honest, but to their greatest regret, the Caliph turned out to be an inhumane, merciless, blood-thirsty creature. The beautiful fortress was soon transformed into a huge, horrible, structure with traps, mazes, dungeons and other cruel constructions. The only object which remained from King Victor’s castle was the channel, which later helped the whole country.
Years passed, the land was in the cold, fierce and bloody grip of the Caliph. People were more dead than alive because of the horrible torments, merciless punishments, and constant persecution. When few people saw horrible sacrificial ceremonies, whispers started spreading, that Caliph was the devil’s incarnation. Villagers noticed that Caliph got sick during the long summer days, later a couple of witnesses spotted strange, sparkling creatures at night; the witnesses’ heads were soon stuck on spikes… The poor inhabitants didn’t even think about resisting the cruel, outrageous tyrant, except one - Jack Wolverine, the son of King Victor, who has been preparing an incursion for a long time. When Jack’s father went mad, he was only a boy; childish eyes saw the horrible misery, injustice and death. During the incredibly hard years he had grown into a strong, fearless, tough young man. He knew that time has come to bring justice to these lands. It seemed that God heard his thoughts and will, when the local river burst the banks and flooded the huge fortress with the surrounding domains. Lots of inhabitants drowned, others ran away, most of the troops were disturbed and alarmed, only the Caliph’s elite warriors were dispassionate and unresponsive, while the tyrant was still sick. Jack Wolverine realized that he couldn’t waste this nascent situation and needed to strike immediately…
Jack Wolverine’s Diary (Extracts)
June 12th, Monday
Approximately two hundred men agreed with my plan to charge suddenly and siege the parricide’s manor. Their armament is weak, but courage and desire will be our deadliest weapon. The castle is still far away, but I expect to reach its walls in two days. We took the old, oblique trail - it will help us to avoid Caliph’s spies.
June 13th, Tuesday
We keep going. In a small village, we saw rotten bodies, crows feeding on them. A young boy ran out of the ruins, we shared our food, gave some water, but he died in a couple of minutes; I could hear him whispering “They butchered my family… They butchered…”
June 14th, Wednesday
Where were You, God?! Why did You leave us?!
How could I know that they followed us? They knavishly cut everyone’s throats, at night, when everybody was sleeping. I’ve found parts of guards’ bodies – no wonder they didn’t warn us. I was just lucky to survive, a simple thirst made me leave the camp. I’m the only one who’s left, I’m the only hope. No time to eat, or drink – I have to travel further. Rest in Peace my poor friends.
June 15th, Thursday
A huge storm began in the morning, I had to stop and rest. My clothes were completely wet; I went to a nearest cabin and lit a fire to dry them. I couldn’t keep the fire for too long, they could spot the smoke. The rain has finished, and now I am moving onward. I can feel the evil spirit, I’m getting closer with every step.
June 16, Friday
Dawn. I constructed a small tent behind high trees, I hope they won’t notice it. I can see blazing creatures in the distance, they’re probably seeking for my flesh. Come and get me, you fuc*ing cockroaches! The air is filled with specific scent – death approaches, I can feel it. My father’s jail for outlaws and vermin… Now it is used for torturing innocent people. I know that there are people, who could help me get inside the castle, the front gate is flooded and well defended, so I have to sneak quietly, using the side wall. Great! I can see a couple of mechanics or engineers trapped in that boat. But it’s flooded too. I must think of a way to get inside the castle...
God, please help me…
Firstly, I would like to forwarn everyone, that the extra files, which You’ll find in the archive, are necessary: in order to play this mission, the original files must be replaced with the new ones. This action won’t do any harm, but it will help to reveal the idea, map design and playability factors.
Step 1: Find your Stronghold Crusader folder (Usually the directory is C:\ Program files\Firefly Studios)
Step 2: Find a folder, named gm, open it.
Step 3: Replace the original files(first extract them from the archive named GM, which is in the downloaded folder with the map) with the new ones.
What is more, whenever You’ll want to play with the original files, they are in the miscellaneous files section (Click here to download). You will also download the detailed walkthrough.
The playability and scenario of this map are very different in comparison with other missions. While playing, You will actually control only one person, this aspect allows to name the mission as a third person action game. The map is very tricky, a lot of thinking and luck will be required, so expect to spend a lot of time. I don’t want to spoil all the fun by revealing secrets, but here are a few basic hints:
• I’d advice changing 1024x768 resolution to 800x600 for a more detailed view.
• Remember, that the jail was Your father’s so You know everything about it: this allows You to open the gatehouses, see traps, etc.
• The blue troops are elite warriors and will spot You from distance, while the yellow ones will fight only if You get close to them.
• Be very careful and attentive – a simple mistake won’t kill You, but in the end You won’t be able to defeat Your enemy. A lot of clues, which help to overcome obstacles, are hidden.
• Rotate the map, lower the landscape frequently – this might help to have a better a view or find a solution to an obstacle.
• Save as often as possible, You will avoid restarting.
• DO NOT RESTART THE MISSION! This will lead to Stronghold Crusader .exe shut down, if You want to start the mission all over again, quit it and launch it once more from the “play a map” section.
Please note, that you have no gold (don’t mind the starting 2000 in the upper left corner)
Things to notice:
The map contains various themes and objects, which were created with a bit of modding and the map editor. The story tells us, that the land was flooded, and so it is. The buildings are built on “Hades”, this circumstance creates the impression of spate (view image)
I’ve also added custom tunnels, which are hardly noticeable, and people can walk over them (view image)
The landscape is mixed with Stronghold terrain objects (view image)
Strange, sparkling creatures, which were also mentioned, are haunting the lands(view image)
Caliph’s throne is created using “higher than highest plain” (Himalayas)(view image)
You will find other minor details while playing, like a refuse collector in jail (view image), fighting with a ghost(view image)and much more!
While creating a map, I always try to add something new and original in every aspect. The idea of creating a mission that would be similar to an action game came a long time ago, but I just couldn’t find a way to mix thrilling playability with original map design features and other aspects. I’ve worked almost a year on this map, there were long pauses while trying to find solutions for emergent mistakes and problems, mostly with AI actions. Months of playtesting and experimenting finally came to good. Sad, but I wasn’t able to add eyecandy, which is created with 1000 stone trick, due to modding. Excluding the new type of playability, I’ve also tried to create a distinct theme in map design and terrain aspects (a huge flood). What is more, the main character, which You control, is a bit similar to action movie heroes. I know, that some of You will find the mission rather boring, as walking through submerged domains, fighting, solving puzzles and mysteries, overcoming traps and obstacles may linger. However, I expect that patient and ingenious players will have fun playing my map; there are some barriers, where You will have to trust Your luck, though…
1. Fathers’ Sins, Chapter 1; Beyond Good and Evil
2.A Sweet Dream (King Victor’s castle)
3.Fathers’ Sins, Chapter 2; Jack Wolverine (Trailer)
4.Original files and the walkthrough
Don’t forget to replace the gm files before launching the mission!
Have fun playing!
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
OK ! So, in a word, it's an incredible map. Before starting the review, on my forum, we do a map like thaht : a man, and a lot of troopts to pass for killing a Lord. The map was creathed for the second version of the KOH Mod. We do a very hard map (I think I'll post it on this website soon), but, well, compared to your work, we do a work less developed.
The first time I saw your trailer (I was very enjoyed about it), in a part of my mind, it was necesary that I play on your map once finished. Well, that's done for months, but I'm quite slow. Well, so, I put your GM files after saving mines, and launch the game. When I saw the map, I didn't believe my eyes. What's this hell ??? After a couple of minutes, I saw the Enemy Lord, surrounded par hundreds of troops (Mama Mia). So, I begin by going on the North, trying to climb the high wall protected by some blue slingers very irritated. Here, I realized the assassin couldn't climb. So, how could I pass ? Maybe another passage somewhere...
As this point, I saw the fort at the SW of the map. So, I restart the mission, which create a crash of the game (a radical method). I launch the game, launch the mission, and go directly to the West of the map in order to deliverer a pikeman close to death. What can I do with this pikemen ? Is it a joke from the author ? Delivering him was quite easy. With this pikemen, I saw later four engineers, and a tent protected by a spearman. Now, I unterstood the utility of ther pikemen. With the siege tower, I can reach the wall with my super-assassin who couldn't climb the walls, to be in a very irritating position. In the little court full of ruins, I was blocked, well, about twenty minutes. I was searching a way to free the two engineers, but it was impossible. Desesperated, I tried to kill the slingers by destroying the walls, in order to bring my pikeman. Indeed, I saw a pice of dig moat. Yet, killing the slingers take all the life of my super soldier. He was close to the death. Poor man... So, I searched another way, and I found him :) I can now pass in a terrible step, the court of killing pits.
At this point, I realized a thing. The man who did this map was really a vicious person. Crossing this court take me sometimes, before I realized there is clues to help us. So, I passed, and here, I must admit I've used your walktrough. Well, in fact, I freed the two engineers, but I was blocked in front of the swordsman. How can I pass ? I tried to destroy the walls in order to create a passage, but it doesn't work. I was desesperated, so I looked your walktrought, and I can burn all the swordmsan. I can swear you I didn't use anymore the walktrough.
Next, I go in the court full of iron. Here, crossing was very hard. The little passage are very little, so I made a lot of mistakes. Instead of clicking on the little passage, I click on the court, so my man comes back. After a lot of minutes, I finally entered in the labyrinth, the last and cruel step. Well, I don't want to make too much spoilers, but I was lost here. I didn't use your walktrought, because I finally found the two engineers who were blocked. Next, I used the smelter, burning the men who were at the exit of the labyrinth. I can finally enter in the last part of the city. I made a big incendy, and, finally, I killed this damned Lord (when I was on the last step, my super assassin has lost the half of his life).
In conclusion, it was a very good map. I was totally inside, absorbed by it. There's quite some differents steps to do, and it's very a long and difficult map.
Well, the map is very hard. It's not the same kind of difficulty than the map of my forum. Here, the difficulty comeds fron your mind. We need to use your head, in order to think the best way to pass to the other step, hoping this would be the last step. The diffrents steps of the castle are also quite differents. We must cross a labyrinth, or use the weaopons of the enemies against himself (when we must deliverer the pikeman, for instance), go through a strong army, etc... Everything is hard, si it was a real pleasure for me.
Well, if someone put a note under the 5, it could be very surprising... Well, except KoH 13 (the map me and my friends did on the French forum), I've never seen a map like that before. Moreover, the idea of KoH 13 was inspired by the trailer of this map you made some months ago. Everything is original in this map : the concept, but also the super assassin, who is in fact a Lord. Like for "Europe and Asia Will Kneel", I kneel too before this great and incredible work.
Map Design: 5
The castle is really very good. You made a work very precise. This work must be very long to do, but it's a real success. I don't think it's necessary to develop this point ; the simple fact to see the map is bluffing.
Well, in my precipitation, I didn't play on the Chapter 1 of "The Father's Sins". Anyway, the scenario or the instructions are very good. The personality of Jack Wolverine (who is really a courageous guy) is developed through his diary. About the sotry himself, well, I read you draw a parallel with the "Dream Castle". Well, it's the map "A Sweet Dream", isn't it ? If it's the case, you create a real "world", if I can use this word... Otherwise, the fall of this castle by a war which lead the Caliph to the head of the castle is really good. In a word, eveyrthing is perfect in your map.
Well, I think I've said everything. A very great work, you're really an excelent mappeur. Now, well, I think I'll upload KoH 13. If you can try it, this would be a real pleasure for me. Anyway, to conclude, congratulations.
Well this rivew must have messed me up in every direction. As you know I spend the most of the time explaining my tactics and overall balance. But here it's rather a short one which dissapoints me because I like to write a lot for big maps like yours dude. Again Im sorry for taking so long you can expect a Fathers Sins 3 review shortly Im almost ready with my notes. So to start my first impression was that this map wasn't getting the attention it deserved. I mean a FPS how often do you guys see that. I have no idea how you mess with the files mate, but the results are priceless. As the author said the GM files have a huge part in the game and I think all would look rather fake if you guys don't add them. So as The Dragonheart mentioned this map is a bit more fantastic or rather it'll be pretty hard to recreate in real live. However I don't see any reason why SHC can't accept such masterpieces. I felt like in wonderland dude but in the good way. It's pretty hard to explain my feelings when playing this map but I can say honsetly that from looking at the minimap and story I felt it was a sure 5. And that was the biggest problem for me while playing the game. You designed it to be really hard and it requred a lot of patience and a strong mind. Unfortunately I had a bit more problems than usual. I must have restarted this map more times than any other dude honestly. I even though to myself that if I do pass the stage even irritated I wouldn't lower the score because so much work went into it. But after game and game I was forced to use the walkthrough. And from there the game took another turn. I was constantly following and as you might have guessed I passed it relatively easy. And thats why Im not explaining my strategies or plans, because I simply used youres mate. I hope youre not dissapointed I know a lot of work went into it and you were really hoping for a good score, but I just had no chance in winning. I hope youre not mad or anything abbout that but I tried a lot of times and it still didn't work out. But I think my problems started somewhere around the fort in the lower part of the map. I didn't even get to the main part of the map.
:( But nevertheless this was still an amazing map I managed to finish it and saw in detail all the little details you put into it. The eyecandy was really nice mate. I really loved the tents gave an outcast feeling. Also when starting I saw some wicked thing that when I read the description turned out to be a sparkling creature. But this map is simply overflowing with eyecandy. I spent so much time to notice everything in the 1 chapter. An attempt to see all the work put into this will be definately suicide. :D A well deserved 5 for the creativity. As for the story like your previous work, it bonds perfectly with the map I must addmit that the dictionary is a really cool aspect I get some grim feeling XD don't know why. But the biggest creativity marvel was the lord-assasian. I wonder if some AI could be changed like that. Weak once make strong castles etc. The map design wasn't something new (extraordinary ground features etc.) however I liked how you took advantage of it. The flooded area looked pretty cool as for the small channels pumping or sucking the water :D I think your landscape idea is briliantly exicuted I would have given it a lot of thought before I decide how to incorporate such a big event. But as I said I think the flood basicaly the water solution was the PERFECT solution great job dude. And that leaves the story.
I just don't know how you manage to write in such detail. There are a lot of people who have awesome ideas for a story but only a handfull can explain that story before the others. I just admire youre writing skills, because when I read your works I always have a feeling of being there and thinking what you were thinking. An effect really hard to achieve. I just don't know what else I could say about the story. No amount of great awesome wonderful can explain my interess when reading your maps. *shakes hand*
Well Im sorry if I didn't come to your expectations mate. Im really still wondering wether I should have posted my review. I hope you still like it. As for chapter three I can tell you that it's going to be a sure 5 no doubt about it. Im practicaly finished with the map I just want to add more detail to the review and Im playing it over and over ;)
You may read the chapters in this maze-like order: Begin with Story/Instructions and proceed to the always next chapter upwards.
(Of course I won't tell a walkthrough here, but want to speak allusively.)
The opening scene directly shows that this map is completely different. A single figure has to make it through the mission. All economy buildings are submerged.
In a corner, you start as a lone, unprotected assasin. As you move him you notice his unfamiliar behaviour (the figure doesn't respond, moves comparatively slow, and fights very strong). Let's call him what he is – a Prince. Around you some sparkling creatures are on patrol. And the terrain looks somehow old-fashioned. Where's the way out? (What is to be done?)
You can see three stairs leading somewhere. Are they necessary, all of them and in which sequence? Suddenly Prince Jack has disappeared, only flattened view enables to watch him walking. Better save now.
Distinct scenes await you. Each a puzzle in itself, but surely parts in the one riddle and aim of the mission. Before you walk, stop and look. What do you see? And what don't you see?. Test and check out what and who is there. What is that unit able to do? What is such an architecture built for? Try around with the cursor. What do you need now? And if you are about to loose any hope, just point where you'd like to go. Az' magic may help you and reward the patience.
Sometimes it's better to kill rather a soldier "too much". Sometimes you can only act corresponding to the choreography of a formation. Once split seconds may count, or exact touch with the mouse. Ever led a Prince accurately to a millimetre? Once you just need luck.
Constricted situations change with action scenes of big dimension. Though they are a bit repeating in the measure used, the executions are varied (as are the dangers thereby).
Finally, it's a pleasure to dare the fight against another sparkling, winding creature (which then dies in a well-known performance).
A word to the re-playability of the map. A month lay between the rounds that I played it. Some clues I had forgotten and felt surprised like anew. Other parts had stayed alive and played like visiting a friend's house. Fun and joy and inspiration were present all the time. At last will remain the challenge to pass throughout the map without a single new beginning (no re-start, you know!).
Great. At first sight it seems forlorn: One hero (and some vulnerable, irreplacable helpers) against huge armies of the evil spirit. More challenging – and pleasable – is the balance on the level of the game as a puzzle. You must carefully, comprehensively look around, watch, note, try out, and combinate. Some things aren't easy to recognize. On the surface: some passages can be seen best in flattened view, others in normal view. In the interrelations: player colours, troops behaviours, sequence of actions, the next minor aim itself.
The game requests a lot of attention and patience from the player. (And humour to loose.) I think it's in accordance to the special game type.
Death awaits at many spots and in many ways. Had a dozen saves, once made after each few metres of progress, and these were all worth being done.
Desire for -> playing?
For the map is also a collection of brilliant puzzles and tricks which emerged out of AZ' dedication to the game and creative imagination. His patience to watch the behaviour of units and measures resulted in unique (and crucial) performances of some AI troop types who aren't commonly used in the game. Including a certain assassin. And even when you know the below-mentioned techniques are used in this scenario, they often appear at unexpected locations as if invited for the game's purpose alone.
Unique is the RPG style. Crusader allows very limited effects for personal tasks of a hero by the triggers. Az used the two strong component of the game – building and fighting - as well as the editor tricks to engage the fighter and the player.
The main parts, prison, first and second castle complex could constitute maps of their own. Single situations funtion like mini-games. But the game flow goes forward. With overview Az composed an original and coherent masterpiece.
Map Design: 5
Already on the minimap no Crusader map looks as special as this one (besides Part 3, The City of Elsyium) Erratic, mysterious, conveying a feeling of "deep structures" both in design and storyline. A flooded land, insinuating the evil atmosphere. Some "isles" and three unfamiliar and of course unclear installions. E.g., the brown-yellow square looks supernatural. Are the round forms ot the southern building more invitang or the recognizable labyrinth structure in the north? Is the western part easy?
The map is an elusive collection of advanced editor techniques and eye-candies. There is continuous play on terrain and building heights, going from "Hades" (the flooded land) to "Himalaya". Secret passages (custom tunnels)are often used, once as an incredible maze itself. Terrain files from Stronghold 1 bring in a warm feeling, but moreover allow to create beautiful surface patterns. A fighting ghost. Modding Crusader units into others.
Ok, for all these techniques tutorials are provided at Stronghold Knights and partly at mapmaking 101 of our site. But we ordinary players can be glad to even know of their existence. A different matter is to master, combine and appropriately adapt them all. Only a genius mapmaker can make them work in a single -> creation.
For I'm a newbie in these things I'm sure that I cannot fully appreciate, only anticipate the efforts needed for and the succes gained with this map. As a player my feelings were definitely ones of being surprised, entertained, presented by a phenomenal, stunning game.
A single event: win.
The game must be approached by careful preparations, reading and exchanging files.
Everything is provided clearly. In the description Az introduces and explains every aspect of the map. The story, narration and diary, carries you off to the legendary dream land.
Included are hidden hints! Let's consider the -> design.
Many thanks and respect to you, Az.
Best played and appreciated if you're in a relaxed, patient mood, ready for something special. Sit back, with a good glass of whatever-you-like at your side, enjoy ...
PS: Don't miss the video trailer in the Miscellanneous section.