Both games deal with commanding large armies in epic, magical battles. When the commanding unit enters a battle, the player can control the hero. Each group or army consists of 20 to 30 soldiers, but the player is limited to only five armies and a support unit per game. A support unit, or a special unit, is an army whose main attack does not rely on the race that you control (Humans, Orcs, Dark Elves) but instead on technology for the humans and magical creatures for the Orcs and Dark Elves. Support units are directed and used as powers instead of regular army units and besides the Swamp Mammoth, all support units fly.
Besides a new storyline, commanders, and game type, there are also four new units that look like support units, but act as regular ones. The Fire Wraiths, Ice Maidens, Thunder Rhino, and Earth Golem use their respective elements to destroy enemy forces quickly.
In Heroes the player has access to seven new heroes, all of whom were in Crusaders: Ellen (half-elf), Leinhart (half-vampire), Urukubarr (ogre), Rupert (human), Cirith (dark-elf), Morene (half-vampire), and Walter (human).
Each character has their own campaign which determines the time period of gameplay. When playing as Ellen, Leinhart, or Urukubarr, the game takes place five years before Crusaders. As Morene, Cirith, Rupert, or Walter, the game takes place during Crusaders.
Five Years Before The Encablossa War
A group of half Vampires, led by Valdemar, united the warring Dark Elf factions to establish a single Dark Elf kingdom in the easterly Bersian continent. They called this kingdom Vellond.
Vellend was the first unified kingdom of Dark Elves in the continent's history, and this marked the first time the Dark Elves had been ruled by another race.
Valdemar knew that the dark Elves would revolt unless given a new target for their anger and resentment. Aiming to expand his territory and control the internal disturbance, Valdemar used Vellond to invade Arein and annex Hexter. Arein was an autonomous community of Elves within the Hironeiden territory. The dark Elves' hatred for the Elves made Arein the perfect outlet for their rage.
Before Vellond's appeasement policy, dozens of Ogre and Orc tribes inhabited Hexter, where they coexisted peacefully. Vellond selected an ambitious yet weak tribe from among the Orcs and began supporting it with military supplies. As expected, the tribe began absorbing other tribes within eastern Hexter, and Hexter was soon engulfed in a war between pro-Vellond and anti-Vellond factions.
Vellond's plan seemed to be working perfectly. But even Valdemar could not foresee every possibility. A single detail, overlooked by Vellond, not only foiled the plans of that nation, but plunged the entire continent of Bersia into turmoil. And so began the Encablossa War...
Ellen is a Half-elf who begins her story serving under the command of Sir Justino.She was chased by Ecclesian forces after Ebbard told the patriarch about her secret but joined her.At the start of her story she is ordered by the Ecclesian army to assist the Castle of Arein, which is in Hironieden, and there she meets her future commander, Gerald.
Prince Leinhart is the Half-Vampire, son of Lord Valdemar. He as a cool head, and is a natural leader. In the beginning, he helps assist Jubal and other Orc Warchiefs to obtain their assistance so they would help Leinhart in his mission to annex Hexter. At the rise of Kaedes (a faction of Dark Elves that fights for Dark Elve inderpendence) He and Jubal travel to inner Hexter to warn the other tribes of Hexter of the new threat of Kaedes. They split up to cover more tribes. However, the tribes had been destroyed, and Leinhart thought he would return to Arien to inform his father of the loss of the tribes and the rise of Kaedes. On the way, he is ambushed by Urukubarr's forces. All looks dim as the forces close around him, but Jubal comes to aid him and allows Leinhart to escape, thanking him for letting him face Urukubarr, the strongest Warrior in Hexter. As Leinhart makes his escape, Devald reports that Jubal has been slain. On his Return to Arein, he finds out Valdemar already knows about Kaedes and demotes him for his poor efforts. Not long after Arien is assaulted and Lord Valdemar orders a retreat of the area, and allows the humans to secure Arien. Lienhart gets angry at him for making him give up his castle, but Valdemar explains that they need all their resources focusing on Hexter. Lienhart is then put under Regnier's command, and later becomes Regnier's advisior, and turns on Vellond.
Rupert is an officer under the Hironieden commander, Gerald, 97 days into the war Regnier's intervention pushes Hironieden back to their capital city also named after their nation. Needing help from the dwarves and elves from Ecclessia who has decided to abandon them for their own goals in reclaiming the holy land, they send Rupert with a dignitary Paroth to go break through the enemy lines and request help. Gerald and Ellen escort Rupert and his band of soldiers past the walls of Hironieden and go their separate ways. Heading north Rupert encounters soldiers that had been left behind in the retreat and take them with him to the mountains north. At the dwarf encampment Paroth leaves to go meet with the elves. After two days Rupert goes looking for him and encounters Kaedes forces chasing Snowstone, the elven Queen. After rescuing her the three have talks and all agree to assist Hironieden in their war against Vellond. Escorting a convoy of Bomber Wings, and Mortars they arrive at Hironieden as it is under siege by a push from Vellond. During the chaos, Rupert clashes with the Vellond assault commander Lucretia and both fight until Lucretia is advised by Morene to retreat, commenting in over "three-thirds of their forces had fallen". This victory re-energizes the humans and push the dark elves out of their home. At his epilogue it is stated that he fell in battle against Regnier in the battle for the Holy Land.
Walter is the captain of the Patriarchal forces and defender of The Ancient Heart. Encablosa who assumes the form of an emissary of the Ecclesian god whispers to Walter and the Patriarch to destroy the ancient heart. Walter destroys Greyhampton, which causes his troops to start down a path of depression and insanity. The burning of Greyhampton is blamed on orcs which causes Hironedein to go to war with Arein. This allows for Walter's troops to travel through dark elf territory freely to meet with Rithrin. Rithrin directs Walter to the location of the Ancient Heart, he is then slain by the Partriarchal forces. The Patriarch takes possession of the ancient heart and is soon clear what was his true intention. Sir Justino warns Walter of this who remains loyal to the cause and continues to follow the patriarch. The Patriarch's initial order is to bring the Ancient Heart to the Alter in the north of Bersia to be destroyed. Since knowledge of the past had largely been destroyed and censored no one really knew what the ancient heart was capable of it was simply assumed to be evil. Walter while escorting the Patriarch is ambushed by Regnier who retreats after the Patriarch commands him to denoting that by having the ancient heart Regnier is now his slave. Walter sees the true intention of the patriarch who wants to study the ancient heart instead of "following the will of god." Walter kills the Patriarch, takes the ancient heart and brings it to the Altar in the north. He is being chased by the Patriarchal forces while fighting through Kaedes, Orcs, and vellond. Walter gets the ancient heart to the alter of destruction where an all-out war has erupted between Kaedes, Vellond, Hexter, and Ecclesia. Walter destroys the Ancient Heart which causes the release of Encablossa who sends his army on the world. Walter survives, however he has been asleep for years of the Encablossa War.
Cirith is a bombshell of a dark elf who is deemed more beautiful than many other dark elves. After leaving Lucretia, Cirith meets with Nachmir, her sister, as well as general Dyesa, a dark-elf superior who is confident in her abilities as a leader and as a fighter. Cirith accompanies her sister and Dyesa as well as a love stricken dark elf man named Elcam. They arrived at Arein and are greeted by Morene Strident the half vampire, Cirith is entrusted with the task of stealing the ancient heart from the patriarch. Once reaching Lichenvale to intercept the patriarch they realise that the Ancient heart has moved on north towards the Altar of Nowart, Dyesa says that they should give chase. With Cirith controlling the bulk of the Dark legion forces they fight their way through the area but as they reach the large bulk of Patriarchal emissaries Regnier intercepts them and they are forced to retreat and make petty raids on stockyards and ecclesian camps.
- Sir Justino- A general of the Eccelsian Army but not the Patriarchal Emissaries, he has taken part in the battle for Arein and the war for the Holy Ground. He suggested to Walter to kill every villager and Grayhampton to protect the pact with Rithrin. His last battle is at Nowart, where he can either die or not, if the player fights well and heals Sir Justino's unit from time to time, it is possible to finish the mission without Justino dying.
- Ebbard- An officer under Ellen. He is an adept fire mage and is loyal to the Ecclesian Empire. He doesn't believe that Ecclessia would do anything not in the best interest of the entire continent of Bersia. After learning that Ellen is a Half-Elf he tells the Patriarch of Ecclesia which causes the Patriarchal Guard to hunt her till death. He joins up with Ellen later and Ellen forgives him. He continues to serve her thereafter.
- Paltor- An officer under Ellen. An expert archer and somewhat rebellious, he disapproves many of Ecclesia's tactics especially the order to kill Ellen on sight which causes him to defect along with an infantry troop and meets up with Ellen far north of Ecclesia. His left arm seems to have been broken at one point, though he still manages to use a bow with great skill.
- Paroth- Hironiden's messenger. Paroth has some fighting skills and is a brilliant tactician. He is reluctantly placed under Rupert's care however the two become very good friends near the end of the war.
- Devald- An Orc Lich sent to watch over Prince Leinheart. Although he is there to supervise the Appeasement of Hexter, Leinheart supersedes Devald many times and commands the army as and when he deems fit. Devald directly advises Leinheart in a respectful and non-confrontational way.
- Ilfa- The leader of the elite Vellond Yenicheri's. Ilfa is a direct advisor and bodyguard to King Valdemar. Ilfa and Morene usually dislike each other constantly but after the start of the Encablossa War the two drop their grudges and work together to get back to Vellond. At the end the player can choose to kill or spare Ilfa.
Edge reviewed Heroes in issue 155, awarding 7 out of 10. The main criticisms were that some troop types are still unable to flourish during situations when they should, some AI glitches and inconsistencies, and it feels more like a set of tweaks and fixes than a fully honed sequel. However, it was still recognised as a stirring, challenging experience which rewards a player for using levelheaded, adaptive tactics. The chaotic, brutal melee combat and support for online play was also highlighted
- ↑ Edge magazine, issue E155, November 2005
Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders
|Kingdom Under Fire: Heroes|
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Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom