“Your Majesty! Your marketplace now serves you better!”
Majesty: A Fantasy Kingdom Sim
Majesty is a real time strategy game developed by Cyberlore Studios. Don’t let the release date of being in the mighty year 2000 put you off. This game is a classic.
Why? Well because you can’t control your units.
Wait… An RTS where you can’t control your units is absurd. Well yes, it is. I have spent over 20 hours playing through the 19 non arching quests and have finally managed to conquer them all. Most quests are unlocked at the start but it is highly recommended that you start with the beginner quests which serve as an introduction to the mechanics. Quests have varying objectives, from slaying boss monesters to finding fabled artifacts. You start each individual scenario with a castle from which your NPC controlled villagers, your tax collectors and your palace guards spawn. Villagers automatically move to build the buildings you place and to repair ones under attack. Tax collectors collect gold (the games only resource) from pools within most buildings. These pools either gradually increase or heroes drop off gold from killing monsters in there respective guilds or spending money at the marketplace.
Guilds are the main buildings you can build and from them you can produce your hero’s. Each guild can hold 4 heroes of there particular type and each hero has there different uses, for example warriors are all round good survivability good damage fighters, whereas rangers are weak fighters and survivability but gain significantly more experience from exploring the map and will tend to explore more.
Since you cannot control your heroes directly, you have to place reward flags on what you want them to do. There are two types of reward flags, attack flags and explore flags. You can increase the amount of gold on the flags to increase your heroes interest in completing the task. Your heroes do things on there own such as protecting buildings and adventuring but reward flags give them some direction.
Now that you understand the basic mechanics you can now hear why this game is so great. I want to give you an account of my most recent game a few nights ago.
An unstoppable wave of strong enemy creatures have just spawned along with the boss I had been waiting so long to have the chance to fight. Dragons, Rock golems, Deadwood trees all start plowing through my guilds as my heroes make a last stand defending there homes. The death sounds of my wizards keep playing over (The weakest defence heroes in the game) I think ‘Shit, I’m not going to hold off this wave’ In a final push attempt to complete the quest I spam my final 4000 gold onto an attack flag on the Witchking’s head. Only two heroes dare leave there guilds undefended to fight the boss, the level 6 rogue Beedo the Lesser and my mighty level 10 paladin Rytilla the Purifier. The Witchking turns towards Beedo and fires a lightning bolt, instantly killing him. I put my head in my hands. It is lost. The dragons have destroyed my guardhouses and are almost at my castle. Rytilla starts on the boss. The intensity rises as I realise she is actually doing damage… Each hit from the Witchking she instantly takes a health potion to regain herself to full health. Come on Rytilla! The villagers are now desperately repairing my castles depleting health. I frantically flick across the minimap, checking and comparing my castles health with the Witchking’s. “You are victorious your majesty!” Sean Connery shouts. I slump back into my chair, heart racing. And feel pride for my single paladin who fought back the evil from my kingdom.
There are also moments where the outcome isn’t so positive. Situations can occur where if you could simply click once or twice to control a hero, you could stop yourself from losing a half hour long quest. An example of this is when commonly your level 3 fully upgraded marketplace (your main source of income) gets attacked and destroyed, despite being surrounded by champions and their guilds. A large amount of shouting at the screen ensues. Yet this is what gives the game charm. Sometimes your heroes really do show some heroism yet other times they seem completely useless.
Arguably one of the best parts of Majesty is the sound files. The voice acting from the Sean Connery impersonator as your advisor to the extremely camp tax collectors, the top class cheese and deliberate cheapness adds even more charm to this lovely old game.
It is not perfect. There are bugs with the steam version that requires deletion of the backing songs to prevent freezing and sometimes the inability to directly control your heroes can be frustrating, depending on luck whether they carry out what you wish them to do. The end expert levels are also too much luck based due to random creation of the map spawns and a tight time limit. But if you can stomach the old school graphics and a few of the games niggles, there is honestly much fun to be had.
Majesty: Gold (Majesty + The Northern Expansion) can be purchased from steam for the low price of £3.49