Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tis a king's bounty I be seeking.

Of late I have been playing King's Bounty: The Legend, which is the 2008 sequel to the original King's Bounty from 1990. To put it succinctly, this game has all of the questing and fighting as in the popular Heroes of Might and Magic series, without the castle building. Heroes is one of my favorite series of games, and playing King's Bounty is ranking high on my geeky fun meter. I would like to share with you some of the fun I am having with the game. This will not be a traditional review. (For that, try metacritic.com.) This will be an introduction to the game told in the voice of the main character. Warning: the next few paragraphs contain spoilers from the first few hours of game play.

My name is Christian Tyler, paladin of the realm. Today is a important occasion. I have just completed the last tests of my skills, and I face my master to find out what position I will be awarded in the King's service. My hope is that I will be given noble and honorable service. Ahh, I must quiet my thoughts now and approach my master.

[Master] You have done well Sr. Christian. I am please to have had you among my students. I know you will serve the King with great honor and success. Is it therefore my recommendation that you receive the position of Treasure Seeker.

Treasure Seeker? Is he serious? I was quite startled by his proclamation. I struggled to pull myself together as I spoke: "Master, I .. I am honored by your words. Do you truly feel that Treasure Seeker is the correct position for me? I long to use my skills in battle."

[Master] You will see plenty of battle as a Treasure Seeker. Not all would give there treasures up willingly. Go now and speak with the King.

And thusly I was sent on my way. The King gave me a sack of gold to hire an army, and charged me with a series of tasks. The tasks ranged from the sensible to the absurd. (Can not some messenger deliver this missive to the King's brother?!?) My initial army was depressingly small, as not many men were willing to follow someone with so little experience. Soon however my leadership abilities were proven and I able to hire a mass which fit the tasks at hand.

All was going well when the King sent me to retrieve a chest from a mage tower in a neighboring land. The journey to the tower was fraught with peril. Sr. Christian does not give up however, and I valiantly fought my way through. Upon reaching the mage tower I spoke with the mage in charge and asked for the Chest of Rage (in the name of the king, of course). He handed it over... and the world stopped. I fear I do not remember anything from that moment. When I was once again myself, the infuriating mage explained that the chest bonded to me. The Spirits of Rage inside the chest are now mine to command, if I can convince them to play along. You see, binding of the chest does not control the contents within.

I returned to the King only to tell him that the chest was safe, but could not become part of his royal treasure. That is, unless he wished me to remain there with it. The King did not appreciate my joke. I of course forgave his royalness's lack of humor when he explained that an evil mage had taken up residence on a far away island. I was to fly there at once and see that the mage was removed. (Fly, you ask? In my journeys I aided a Dwarf in fixing his flying machine. We would be there in no time.) If I'd had more time to think about it, I might have wondered if the kind was merely trying to see the end of my life come sooner rather than later. My death was the only thing that would free the Chest of Rage. Do not shame me for thinking such things of the King. I have learned much in my time in the world.

When we landed on the island I approached the evil mage and demanded that he return with me immediately and face his judgment, or face it at the hands of my army. The mage did not seem perturbed. He raised his hands to the sky and called upon his evil minion to remove us from the premises. Knights do not cower in fear. I admit however my heart did skip a beat when what fell from the sky was a giant...

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Did Sir Christan ever learn to control the Spirits of Rage? And exactly what did fall from the sky, which made Sr. Christian tremor in fear? To find out those things and many more, my fellow geeks, you will have to play King's Bounty for yourself. Good hunting!

1 Comment:

Biz said...

The King's Bounty is much beter serial than HoMM. When I said that I refer to Amiga's Original King's Bounty from 1991, to The Legends and newly released Armored Princess.