King's Bounty - The Legend

Monday, 10 June, Year 5 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

As you might imagine my life is pretty intense, what with IPOs and haxxors and political grassrooting and administering an empire cumi a bunch of naked chicks. Consequently, how better to spend my valuable timeii than catching up on all the gaming I didn't get to do in 2008iii!

So therefore, let's give a look to King's Bounty - The Legend, which is a relatively recent installment of a glorious francise.

kings-bounty-legend-2 kings-bounty-legend-1 To the right, my delicious pirate wife-to-be (if only I feel like it). She doesn't want to have children on the grounds that her current clothes wouldn't fit anymore. She wants to yarr and arrrr and blow me down matey! all over the high sees with her trusty crew of pirates by her side. To the left, the speaker for a stack of demon chicks, ever so subtly veiled by the irisations off a phoenix' wings.

But seriously now, you can get married in this game. So what, right ? The target demographic of computer games are computer dweebs, of course you'll be able to game-marry. Well... first off it's single player, so no dweebery. I never thought I'd live to say this, but there can be too much of a good thing and there can certainly be too much of the Internet thing (just look at the cloud scam for that matter). Second off, it's not just getting married. One possible wife is this chick that was an unruly child, ran off with the local robber baron to be his bitch, got a ring as a present which was stolen from a grave and cursed so she turned into a zombie, you end up buying her from her thief... boyfriend, shall we say, and give her four babies (because she only has four slots and once she fills them she won't kiss no more). These are cheapo artifacts, I had a +5 defense babe which really helped early on.

But then you divorce her and either get the pirate chick or the frog princess (which you gotta keep kissing if you don't want to give her babies because she keeps turning into a frog, and you don't want babies because you have artifacts by now and your artifacts are better than her babies could ever be - just like irl!) if you prefer intelligence. Or the demon chick, if you like demons, or the elven princess. In short, you are well catered to, harem game all the way.

I went into all this matrimonial detail exactly to illustrate that the detail is there. The lengths to which Katauri went to cater to the player are nothing short of outrageous. The game is well polished in all the angles, it has this old HoMM rock-like stability and roundness to it. The quests (about 100 of them or so) are intricate, well written, muchly inclined to subvert tropes. The rock which doesn't want to be just a rock is an unbearable pile of cute. They're all touching, warm, intimate - a world apart from the purple prose and rambling nonsense most quest writing had become before the Massive Multiplayer revolution came thundering and washed into the bottomless oceans any consideration of player experience and such stuffy old antiquated notions.

The graphics are very good, the maps are very well built (and there's a whole lot of them), the entire game is nothing short of a jewel.

The only drawback is that well... there's not so much strategy involved. Whatever you do, you'll win. Wanna play animals only, sure, take red and black dragons, griffins, royal snakes and perhaps eyes or cyclops. Wear the druid staff (+50% animal attack), perhaps the griffin regalia (+30% more troops) and you're well set. Wanna play snakes and spiders ? The +3 Int frog princess gives you +100% snakes and spiders attack in her frog form, add the druid staff for a whopping 150% total and there's truly ample supplies of them all over the world, you'll never run out. Want to play all human knight ? Sure, get the coupla human morale bonus items, load up on knights, mages and inquisitors and again, you're set. Same thing with elves, get the princess for her morale bonus. Or demons. Or even piratesiv.

I did pick a mage and leveled magic with a passion, which gives me the significant advantage that I can cast twice for the first three rounds, and that can either be Fire Rain for ~4k damage per square, so if you hit three squares it comes to 4k x 3 x 2 x 3 = 48k damage right off the bat (not counting the spirits of rage, notably Death, which does 30% of a stack so I've seen 20k damage on occasion) or alternatively Demon Gate yielding something to the tune of 50 Succubi or ~35 Demons per. Nominally I could do this six times in the first three turns too, but my mana restricts me to about fourv.

I have no idea how a warrior type game would play, but I can't readily imagine the advantages. As it is I have 17k leadership (which allows 6 black dragons!) and unless the warrior gets something like 50k to compensate for the loss of the magic damage pump (plus somehow more money to pay for all his proportionately larger losses) I tell you I don't see it. At any rate, seeing how the dragons have ~60 Attack and Defense naturally, the paltry 10-20 the hero could be adding seems a complete waste of effort. Much better concentrate on Intelligencevi and Mana (some rage is also useful, especially because the Spirits make it easy to keep it filled).

If you haven't ever played this I do advise you to get it. And if your spouse complains of the resulting neglect you can either threaten her with turning into a zombie or kiss her preemptively so she doesn't turn into a frog. The choice is, of course, yours to make.

  1. It's a Latin word, it means "with". Honestly. []
  2. I have people making summaries for me. It usually works thusly :

    person Which # of "I've worked my ass off and I am not sleeping/personal problems/busy" is this? It must be a self-perpetuating phenomenon. You have to really give it to people who got shit done that they've thwarted the seemingly inevitable point at which said phenomenon just up and eats the world completely.
    "I believe one of the main problems of Bitcoin is the lack of professionalism that a lot of trading sites have" headdesk. I wonder what the Giancarlo guy sees in this clown.


  3. Because I was busy then catching up on 2003 because etc - I tell you, one missed night when you're 15 and suddenly one thing leads to another and before you know it your entire life becomes unescapable turmoil from which you shall never (ipso definitio) ever escape. []
  4. Early on I always carried a Mercenary troop and painstakingly looted every body on the battlefield - it turns out a mostly pointless exercise, I am sitting on ~1.5mn I have no real use for at the moment, other than perhaps paying alimony if I divorce. That's right, you can send your wife packing, she will take some of your dough. My original zombie wife got ~100k, took her four chitlins and settled down somewhere.

    Incidentally, since we're all into cryptocurrencies these days : the game does make the firm statement (in one of the quests) that 10k gold coins equal 1 kilogram of gold. Thus therefore my virtual ex virtual wife's virtual divorce cost me about 150k dollars at today's prices, right ? Fascinating what computers can do, I have four babies somewhere and an estranged wife to whom I've paid the average Romanian wages for ~2.2 lifetimes. All in game money, to boot! []

  5. I have 130 mana, I also have the +3 mana per turn belt x 2, and the predator thing (turns 5 rage into 5 mana each turn) and the +6 mana per turn from the skill tree, for a whopping +17 mana per turn, aside of whatever the Ice spirit's Chargers add (about 24 or so). Even with all this, at 35 mana a pop the Demon Gates are expensive as all Hell. []
  6. Mine is 35, which means my spells get duration +2 turns (not that I ever use anything with duration) and my damage gets +40%, which matters. []
Category: Trolloludens
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8 Responses

    1:20-1:50. Real bounty.

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Wednesday, 12 June 2013

    A se conspecta din urma. Pentru ca pe Trilema noi scriem ca contemporanii, atunci cind se naste Mohamed, nu ca copchii atunci cind descoperim ca s-o nascut ala, secole dupa moment.

  3. lol

  4. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Wednesday, 12 June 2013

    So I finished the game (Normal difficulty) in 35 days. Level 29.5 with 93 quests completed - speaking of which they're pretty straightforward minus the very early Polar Bear quest, you get the snare and have to Use it. I carried the snare the entire game thus missing out on 53 xp or something.

    20647 Leadership, 6 Attack, 12 Defense, 35 Intelligence, 60 Rage 142 Mana. 119/113/215 Runes, 380 Crystals, 998k gold (plus about 30 Black, Red and Emerald dragons stashed away). Battle count 460, killed enemies 360k, casualties 21k, killed 3 bosses. 46% of damage from army, 47% from mage book (ha!), 7% from Spirits of Rage (Z 13, S 11, L 16, R 25).

    Most effective creatures : Black Dragons (68), 11.5% ; Demons (summoned), 10.0% ; Royal Snakes (1854), 9.4% ; Cerberi (summoned),7.3% ; Griffins (1700), 7.0% ; Unicorns (909), 5.3% ; Red Dragons (54), 5.3%.

    Some quick notes for the powerplayer :

    - You want to play mage, if the 47% from spells didn't make it obvious. For the record that grossly understates reality : 47% from direct spells, and the #2 and #4 best troop for damage is also summoned (not taking into account how much damage they soaked up dieing). In general magic carries the game nicely.

    - You want 35 Intelligence. Int is useful by 7s (each 7 points give +10% to damage), and I doubt it is possible to obtain 42. That 35 is made out of a Druid Staff (+4, there's the better +5 Archmage staff, but this gives +50% to animals' attack, which includes Dragons) + Feanora (3) + Wizard Hat (1) + Sun Cloak (2) + Old Skull (3) + Ancient Amulet (+4). So 17 off items, 18 native (about 3 or so available off the map), 15 from levelling. So this means you pretty consistently pick Intelligence whenever it is offered levelling up.

    - Skillwise you want Destroyer, Higher Magic, Chaos Magic, Wisdom, Concentration, Rage Control, Master of the Spirits, Reserve maxed out. The other skills are irrelevant. Reserve allows you to carry large supplies of units (Like 30 Black, 30 Red Dragons) and replenish your troop as needed. You'll discover that dragons don't take much damage and a set of 2 (later 4) summons carries you through literally any battle. There's no such thing as "Impossible" group for the power mage, I've spent the entire game battling Overpowering, Impossible etc. They're all easy.

    - Spellwise you want Demon Portal, Fire Rain, Ice Snake, Poison Skull and Armageddon maxed out. The rest is irrelevant. I did max out Healing and Resurection, but soon enough I discovered I have no actual use for them. Flaming Arrow and Greasy Mist are also useful, especially early on, so you might as well level them up - God knows there's no shortage of Crystal. Necro Call seemed promising but unfortunately it always brings in less army than a summon, so no real place for it. (perhaps on a dragon stack later in the game, but by then it doesn't matter anyway). Pain Mirror might be a good thing to have just in case a huge stack gets lucky and you punish it into the ground. A few words aside for Armageddon : the spell seems like a total waste, especially because it affects your own dragons at full strength in spite of what it claims (35%), and in spite of what they claim (immunity for BD, high resistance for FD), even though the spell is fire. Amusingly enough the same is not true if the oponent casts it. Nevertheless, the final battle is particularly tough (a dozen or so enemy stacks, all level 5). An Armageddon midbattle significantly altered the odds and it is possible I would have been defeated without it. So, keep it just in case.

    - You want the Rage Spirits and the Rage to power them. Death is by far the most useful. Soul Draining should be at 20 rage / 30% ; Black Hole at 500-900 dmg and 45 rage. The Rage Draining should be at 5 rage - the cheaper the better. All with rest 1 ideally, or as low as possible. Ice is the second most useful, because of the Chargers (use with summoned Archdemons to get the bonus mana). The rest are pretty much useless.

    - You want mana. Lots and lots and lots of mana, and especially mana regen. The game cheats, in the sense that you don't get the regenerations skills promise for as long as the battle lasts, but only a few turns. Thus they have to be supplemented : The Rage Predator (-5 rage + 5 mana each turn) is a must have. The Well of Mana belt I wear in duplicate. This means 6 + 5 + 3 + 3 = 17 mana per turn originally, dropping down to ~11 later on in the battle.

    - You want all the rage and mana potions you can get. Buy them all on sight.

    - It's a good idea to build up a stash of the scroll versions of spells named above for that one battle when you run out of mana but somehow the opponents aren't all laid to waste just yet.

    - It doesn't really matter what army you use. Just as long as there's some meat there to sustain you while summoning all is good.

  5. subSTRATA`s avatar
    Saturday, 15 June 2013

    Older game but highly recommended:

  6. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Saturday, 15 June 2013

    A yeah, Dungeon Siege kicks ass.

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