(updated 05/31/03) Age of Wonders II Heaven :: Gigan's Throne The Beginning V2.0
Age of Wonders II Heaven Julia with Gameplay background
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Gigan's Throne The Beginning V2.0

Author File Description
Outlier
File Details
Ruleset: AoW2: TWT - TS Standard Rules
Map Size: S
Levels: 2
Single Player?: Yes
Co-Op vs. AI?: No
PBEM/Hotseat?: No
Multiplayer Online?: No
# of Wizards: 2
# of players: 1
Skill Level: Advanced
Password Protected: No
Surface Minimap:
Cavern Minimap:
Gigan's Throne - The Beginning V2.0
(Revision notes at the end)

Map Description

"There was darkness first ... before there was light."

It's the dark times as Nekron the Lord of Death prepares to rule the land. An unholy deal has been struck between the mortal and the DemonGod. Even the mighty King Gigan of the Humans will be imprisoned by the dark lord and left to die in the desolate dungeon ...

The only hope of saving this land lies on the shoulder of a young apprentice ...

This is the official release for the mapmaking competition. This single-player map is a three-part epic depicting the rise of King Gigan. In the first part, it involves solo hero-gaming with a choice of one of three starting heroes. There are many goodies, loads of events and lots of opportunity for training. The second part is typical of AoW2 game play, with an emphasis on resource exploration, army building and speed is of essence. In the last part, it's suitable for strategic maneuvering ... but brute force would work too.

This map is best experienced with simultaneous play but classic play would also be possible. It is meant to be for advanced players but should be a good tutorial for beginners and intermediates as well, since it is necessary to be adept at many aspects of AoW2 to win!

Revision history:

v1.0 (May 10, 2003)
- initial release
v1.1 (May 14, 2003)
- fixed seemingly endless death knight spawning bug;
- adjusted event so the third part can be played as intended;
- modified initial solo-gaming part to make it more enjoyable;
- added/modified signs and messages to help gameplay.
v1.2 SP Version Release (May 26, 2003)
- further improved the initial solo-gaming experience;
- fixed the vehicle join bug and turned it into a side quest;
- some general script improvements;
- added some more terrain and even more messages to enhance general gameplay.
v1.2.1 SP Version Release Revision (May 28, 2003)
- minor modification so one spider spawn event would not give endless training. opportunities.
v2.0 SP Version Official Release (May 31, 2003)
- clarifications to some unreadable/ambiguous signs/messages;
- changed certain trigger events so that it's player-specific only.
- continue-play for King Gigan is now easier if the hero should die in the first part.
- removed a potential exploit in the first part.

Note: An AoW2 forum thread on "Bugs, Comments, and Hints" for this map can be found at http://aow.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forums/display.cgi?action=ct&f=26,2276,,60].
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Dafyth
Rating
4.6
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions3.0
Playability: 5
I really got caught up and involved in this scenario; the "just one more turn" syndrome hit on day 1. Also, with so many branching sequences (including the starting hero) the replayability is awesome.

Balance: 5
Overall it was perfect. Some lulls and easy spots, and some truly difficult challenges that required thought and preparation.

Creativity: 5
It's a pleasure to play an epic that's not straight from the LotR clone bank and that doesn't take 300 days to complete. The ideas were original and woven well together. The choice of a starting hero was boss.

Map Design: 5
Outstanding. Every hex on this map served a purpose, and the sprites and layout were beautiful AND functional without it being cluttered or sterile.

Story/Instructions: 3
The story line was solid and continued throughout the game. Nothing grand or epic, but it was much better than the usual fare one gets with "It's you against the other 7 wizards set on emperor -- go get'em tiger!" starting message scattered with the few signs that read "go this way or you'll die". Also, the story line whetted my appetite for Gigan part 2 :)

Additional Comments:
Overall the best SP map that I've played thus far, and I've played and reviewed many good ones (and a few bad ones as well). Plus, the MC version is a wonderful practice ground to hone your MP skills. It's a must play and it'll keep you busy for hours.
jamieJME
Rating
4.4
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance4.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design4.0
Story/Instructions4.0
Playability: 5
This is a very nice map to play, personally I found the first part especially very fun to play. The three heros give some choice but I wouldn't say that it adds to the replayibility because the route is still the same. Definatly worthwhile playing once but I couldn't see myself playing it again due to the fact that you are controled quite heavily in where you can go.

Balance: 4
A few places were to0 easy and some too hard but mostly it was jsut right


Creativity: 5
A new type of map with some good ideas and events used.

Map Design: 4
The scenery could have done with a bit more attention in places but most of it is better than average. There are many places where one could get around the events (Eg. by being given swimmingat the very begining as a level up.) In that instance it could have been made harder by having a full ring of mountains around the begining.

Story/Instructions: 4
The storyline is good and there are nice events which keep it going. In places it requires the player to do things for the story to work and unfortunatly I didn't explore with my snow witch which left me feeling a bit lost in the frostling area! Possibly a stronger message would have ensured that I did take the snow witch...

Additional Comments:
As I said, a very nice map, still with a few small bugs and glitches but they are happily being weeded out!

[Edited on 07/10/03 @ 07:20 AM]

Shadowolfe
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Wow this scenario was great! It is definitely challenging and also very clever. Do you like choices (of course you do) then you will love this one! Read on...

Playability: 5
Super job! I was never ever ever ever bored with this one! The map maker on this baby gives you sets of choices at the beginning and through out the scenario. (The "eyes" I liked alot! Got it right the first time although is the Shadowolfe greedy, I'm not telling... oops!) All the events seemed well planned and worked as far as I could tell. There was enough encounters and nothing seemed too drawn out. Would I play it again, heck yes and I did which turned out a bit different too!

Balance: 5
I think this was balanced with a good mixture of both easy and hard battles. I had to restart a couple of times but eventually succeeded. (You probally shouldn't be able to simply just win the first time anyway... Say did you know that the word "if" is in the middle of the word "rift" and "or" is in the middle of the word "lord"? I thought you did!) Oh yeah, I had to literally go "hunting" for paleface which was great! Get your wagons ready!

Creativity: 5
Five paws here! Excellent concept with the tournament section. Also great use of land separation with the sea and of course zippidy do you're here, then there and back again! (That would be teleporters for the dizzy ones!)

Map Design: 5
I once knew a girl named Roxanne and man did she have nice map design! Oh I'm sorry I was suppose to be reviewing this map... Anyway great job here! Just enough terrain to give you a feeling of desolation expecially with the use of an open sea. Hmmmm... open sea, what lives in an open sea? Oh yes I remember, mermaids! Go check the one out at the south end!

Story/Instructions: 5
The sign says five miles of fun! The "player" (that was me) is told throughout the scenario as to what to do, how to do it and of course hey I would not do that if I were "you" (that would be you). The part on the "terra" items was neato! (I tried like heck to go on and off again to take that baby with me!) Not nice to tease the Shadowolfe... growl.

Additional Comments:
Additinal comments!...I already gave a few! Ooops I think I need to learn to spell additional better. Alright I liked this scenario alot and think you should try it... like a pair of silk underwear... yes I like that one. Now honestly (because really I was lying the whole time. No, I wasn't, it just makes me laugh when people use that word and you wonder... were they lying before?) But really this scenario is a very good scenario. It's one of the best I have played and it is what a single player scenario should be... simple but challenging and not too long and of course lots of fun!
omega
Rating
3.8
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance2.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design2.0
Story/Instructions5.0
There were lots of ways to get out of the "channel" where you were meant to follow. Once you had done this, the map realy fell apart. One solution has already been meantioned, however a better solution would have been to set the whole map underground or to use underground walls to signify "no go areas"
However, as long as you follow the correct route, you will have a great game.

Like JamieJME said, the difficulty varies, map is too easy at the begining and too hard in the middle.


Overall a good short map to play but using events like it does, it needs to be made more watertight.
Outlier
File Author
Thanks to all who have reviewed my map thus far. All your reviews have been insightful and will be helpful for possible future works. You have all been very kind so far; even a score of 3.8/5 is still a B+. :)

However, I would like to clarify some possible misconceptions regarding the map design and balancing. The remarks by a couple of the reviewers, namely, omega and JamieJME, on the hero being able to 'cheat' around the map is a bit 'misleading' ... This is actually a "feature" of the game, so that even the first part is not too one-dimensional! The game certainly would not "fall apart" if the hero deviates from the "normal" route, or even if the hero should die!! I encourage that reviewer to persue that option further and try to finish the game up that way! Just keep in mind that King Gigan needs to be free from his cell before Nekron can be defeated! ;)

Regarding the balancing, there are definitely "easy" and "hard" battles to be fought throughout the game, but isn't that supposed to be the case? The map was also designed so that it can provide "training" for beginning and intermediate players. The beginning of the solo-hero part is "easy" because it is meant more as a quest to enter the dungeon only. Once in the dungeon, the hero needs to search it to find a way out! Some of the fights are not as easy and certainly luck may come into play ... The comment by omega that the middle part is "hard" is a bit puzzling unless this refers to the middle of part one - the "hard" fights in the battle tournaments (note that there's an option to bypass the second and third round battles!) ;) Anyhow, this part is actually still the "beginning" part of the game ... the first part only ends when King Gigan has been rescued from the cell and claim his first town on the surface, if the game is played the normal way. Then there are more possibilities to play the second and third parts ... :)

If anyone needs further help/hints to play the game, or simply wishes to make more comments, feel free to visit the AoW2H forum game thread at http://aow.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forums/display.cgi?action=ct&f=26,2276,,60. Hope you would enjoy the game! :)

Outlier out ...
Galahad_2nd This is a great map with an interesting story. I haven't finished it yet but I wanted to let you know about a bug in the version that I downloaded. Your event to teleport from the first island requires exactly 50 gold -- no more, no less -- but you have a random pile of gold on this island behind a tree, and that messes it up.
Galahad_2nd
Rating
4.4
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance3.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design4.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 5
A fun, exciting map with lots of turns and twists.

Balance: 3
A bit too tough; I played it three times and couldn't win. The Trials at the beginning are impossibly tough if the player doesn't find the Sword of Magic; it should be a little easier to find or there should be some clues about it. Also, there is supposed to be an event to let the player get an Airship in mid-game but that event is broken; and without it an assualt against Nekron's two cities on the surface are very tough.

Creativity: 5
Lots of great ideas, and this map is a great change of pace.

Map Design: 4
The map is well-designed, attractive, and functional. But there are couple of bugs (see below).

Story/Instructions: 5
Great job with the story. I seldom try to play a map three times.

Additional Comments:
This is a great map but it could be even better if a few bugs were fixed:
1. The extra, random pile of gold on the 1st island; see my previous post.
2. The event to teleport to the Stone Ring won't go off if the player has by-passed that spider, and King Gigan won't be rescued. Either move the spider to block the path, or take out that condition for the teleport event.
3. The Albin's Eye item doesn't really give the +1 defense because it is a miscellaneous item and can't be equipped; it only gives Night Vision.
4. The Messages suggest that the player use Level Terrain to get the Production Resources. But actually Summon Zepher Bird is a much more efficient way to do it; a bird can grab up all the production resources, gold piles, etc. all over the map and even clean out the Evil Woods without any risk.
5. The biggest problem is that Airship is mentioned but never materializes; this makes the late game play balance very difficult. It is really needed.
PetrusOctavianus
Rating
3.6
Breakdown
Playability3.0
Balance2.0
Creativity4.0
Map Design4.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 3
What could have been a very enjoyable little map was made frustrating by some unbalances and design flaws.

Balance: 2
Some of the encounters are just too hard, with no way to improve your odds.
Defeating the mole is a 50/50 chance, while defeating the Rift Lord is only doable by pure luck or by "cheating" by picking the Phase item from the three possible prizes, then use Phase and run back and get healed once wounded, then rinse and repeat.

Creativity: 4
Lots of good ideas.

Map Design: 4
Map looks very nice and detailed.

Story/Instructions: 5
Very nice background story and lots of messaged during play.

Additional Comments:
Map has too many flaws.
Summoning Zephyr Birds breaks the map. Since they have Vision I, you can the see outside your Wizard's cell and be able to summon a new bird *outside* the cell. Then you can Teleport to the surface and you get a message that your escape has been detected, when you have in fact not escaped.

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Rating
4.3
Breakdown
Playability4.7
Balance3.5
Creativity4.8
Map Design4.0
Story/Instructions4.5
Statistics
Downloads:3,220
Favorites: [Who?]0
Size:33.95 KB
Added:05/14/03
Updated:05/31/03
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