King’s Blather: Dissecting An Armoured Princess

By Alec Meer on November 11th, 2008 at 5:37 pm.

The RPS Klaxons sounded their loudest AWOOGAS in some time today, upon the news that King’s Bounty: The Legend, the mad, wonderful Russian strategy-rpg weird ‘em up, is to get the expansion pack treatment. True to the parent game, the details sound cheerfully batshit. So we figured that, rather than just post them, we’d go through each of its announced features and say clever/stupid (mostly stupid, really) things about ‘em.

Below the cut then, more details of the excellently-named Armoured Princess, and the sad sight of me attempting to have an actual conversation about it while Kieron alternately shouts nonsense and totally ignores me.

First, here’s what it’s about:

MOSCOW, Russia- November 11, 2008 – Leading Eastern and Central European publisher 1C Company and Katauri Interactive today announced development of King’s Bounty: Armored Princess. This will be an add-on to the critically acclaimed King’s Bounty: The Legend. Players will take on the role of Princess Amelie who travels around the world of Teana and searches for the renowned knight, and her tutor, Bill Gilbert.

This new world of King’s Bounty: Armored Princess is full of mysteries and dangers. The new character, the Princess, will encounter horrible creatures, huge monstrous bosses and a new race, the bloodthirsty Pangolins. As in the multi-award winning game on which this expansion is based, the player has many options to resist these new enemies. Various new skills and characteristics of Amelie as well as her chance to fly will help her overcome the hordes attacking the kingdom. The Princess is also accompanied by a tamed dragon, at the very beginning small and amusing, but its abilities develop steadily until it becomes an incredible ally. He will do his best to protect the Princess during the battles, starting with easy blows and treasure hunting and finishing with battle rage and volcano summoning.

And now, here’s us being asshats about it:

Alec: So, King’s Bounty: Armoured Princess
Kieron: GO FEATURE LIST
Alec: Of course, they’re all armoured princesses by the time I’ve finished with ‘em. (Um. I don’t know what that means. It just sounded funny in my head.)
Kieron: I find the armoured princess actually a heartwarming image of female emancipation in an all too patriarchal era. Also reminiscent of a latter day Elizabeth I.

#1: New fascinating story-line and a whole new continent to explore

Kieron: I LOVE NEW STORY-LINES AND CONTINENTS
Alec: I actually had very little idea what the storyline was in the first game. I just went around smacking stuff and collecting other stuff. And courting sexy zombie ladies
Kieron: I believe that was the story. Presumably, it’s gotta be Zombie blokes this time. Can I make a “They like it stiff” gag? Or am I on the wrong website?
Alec: Sssh. I’ve still not finished it, in fact. The last-ish continent was really quire dreary after all the bizarre love triangles and frog-wars of the earlier ones. So, the new continent had best be THE MOST AWESOMEST CONTINENT OF ALL. Though of course Sarah Palin would call it a country
Kieron: Yes. Next!

#2: A new female character to play – Princess Amelie

Kieron: Is that the little girl who was flirting you up disturbingly near the start?
Alec: (Will Kieron veer towards puritanical feminism or outright lechery? Readers, decide!)
Kieron: (I can totally do both)
Alec: Yeah, it was. She was oddly purposeless there, bar creepy uncle overtones
Kieron: (In fact, that’s kind of my idiom)
Alec: hopefully she’s all grown up here. I can’t go through a full game of her chatting up older men
Kieron: Go through another game, anyway. Maybe she’ll get to marry your original character As a Zombie.
Alec: a zombie frog pirate. She’s trying to find him in the plot summary, actually. I’ll include that in the post. Oh dear. I just saw the menu art. That’s really not very armoured at all, is it? King’s Bounty, you sadden me.

#3 – Medals giving bonuses can be received for special achievements

Alec: Like juggling 12 eggs? Or marrying a skeleton? Boring, anyway

#4 – Tamed dragon which becomes more powerful as the player does

Kieron: Presumably on your side
Alec: Which totally sounds like a metaphor for puberty
Kieron: That’s good actually – I can see that. Like Ginger Snaps.
Alec: “The Princess is also accompanied by a tamed dragon, at the very beginning small and amusing, but its abilities develop steadily until it becomes an incredible ally. He will do his best to protect the Princess during the battles, starting with easy blows and treasure hunting and finishing with battle rage and volcano summoning”, it says here
Kieron: So it does. I wish I had one of them when I was a kid. Princesses get all the luck. I bet Leigh Alexander has a pet dragon.
Alec: Leave your digi-mistress out of this
Alec: Volcano summoning definitely supports the puberty thing
Kieron: METAPHOR
Kieron: A heavy petting dragon? Does that even work? (Volca)No.
Alec: I’ll battle rage you in a minute. I guess the dragon replaces the Rage powers from the original, anyway. Which were a lot of fun. Apart from future cyber-ice lady, who’s a bit crap.

#5 – New Pangolin race

Alec: I don’t know what a Pangolin is. But it says they’re ‘bloodthirsty’
Kieron: Dude, I’m crazy for Pangolin. I’m a world expert on Pangolins.They call me Mr Pangolin.
Alec: It’s an anteater, according to Wikipedia. This sounds like the best enemy ever
Kieron: A bloodthirsty anteater.
Alec: “No! Don’t eat my ants! My precious ants!”
Kieron: I can sort of picture the developers sitting there trying to work out what race to have in next, and then just pressing “Random” on Wikpedia and going with whatever turned up.

#6 – Possibility to turn your horse into a Pegasus which can fly

Alec: Er. If it couldn’t fly, wouldn’t it be, well, just a horse?
Kieron: It could be a horse with wings. But vestigal wings
Alec: like flappy tumours
Kieron: Yeah. Sorry, that’s a bit factual this time. I’m still thinking of Pangolin.
Alec: I look forward to flying, anyway. There’s a lot of small hillocks you can’t quite get over in KB. I hate small hillocks

#7 – Fast travel between opened continents

Alec: On the same theme. Hooray! The enormo-treks between continents are another reason I never quite finished it

#8 – Hire companions

Kieron: Like Pangolin?
Alec: The word ‘companion’ will forever mean something else to me as a result of watching Firefly
Kieron: You mean the one from the series who can’t act?
Alec: Yeah, Wooden-o-prozzer. The image of a teenage girl hiring gigolos is a disturbing one
Kieron: This game just sounds better and better. I mean horrible and disturbing.
Alec: I’m not sure how companion characters will work. Will they be a unit? A special power? Just someone to talk to? A replacement for the wives? Tell me, Kieron. Tell me.

#9, 10 & 11 Resurrection of the classic system of contracts and headhunting; Improved role playing system including more abilities and the chance to achieve level 50 and higher; Brand new spells and new Adventure Magic spell for game map

Alec: Stuff! In an expansion pack! Imagine!
Kieron: That’s amazing. That could catch on. A pack which expands the game’s content. These programmers are jolly clever chaps
Alec: I do like the sound of headhunting, though. The quests start to run out or are crazy-hard, so a sort of time-biding, levelling thinger would suit it. Especially if you get to keep the heads

#12 – New unique bosses: Borer Robot, Gremlin, Archdemon Baal and many others

Alec: I read that as ‘Beer Robot’ initially. Now I’m really disappointed
Kieron: Yeah. I can see why. Unless it’s just a really tedious robot. That’d be impressive too.
Alec: I’m amused that they’ve managed to stick ‘gremlin’ and ‘archdemon baal’ into the same category
Kieron: All these demons look the same to them. Demonists.
Alec: what’s wrong with being demony?
Kieron: I was waiting for that
Alec: Hang on – that they’ve got a robot at all in a swords & sandals game is quite the thing. There’s a cyberspace entity in the first game, too. I do love their total disregard for their chosen genre.

#13 & 14 New engine supporting the latest graphic effects; Beautiful, hand drawn environments

Alec: The latest. THE VERY LATEST. World’s first ray-traced game announced?
Alec: Er. That’s it. Anything to add?
Kieron: Pangolin are amazing.

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37 Comments »

  1. James G says:

    There’s a shop near me called Pangolin, it sells toys, and has a picture of a curled up ant-eater thing in the window. Except it looked more like an armadillo to me, so your wikipedia revelation wiped the slightly smug look off my face, as I was sat here thinking, “I know, its an armadillo.”

    And now I’m hankering after a Dime bar. That’s some damn impressive advertising to be effective after all these years.

  2. Kyle K says:

    This article has inspired me to actually purchase this game. Its downloading as I type this.

    I can only hope it isn’t good enough to draw me away from Wrath…

  3. Fox1 says:

    Pangolins are awesome, and I’d consider armadillo an acceptable off-the-cuff comparison, since they’re sort of anteaters wearing clothes they stole off an armadillo and weaponry borrowed from a skunk.

    Yes! “Pangolins can also emit a noxious smelling acid from glands near the anus, similar to the spray of a skunk.” I am smitten!

  4. Kieron Gillen says:

    Pangolin are amazing.

    KG

  5. Flubb says:

    They also make good eating (according to the numerous shacks selling them when I was in Cameroun)

  6. Nick says:

    They’d better have that as a special ability. I am not far into King’s Bounty but it is just the sort of game I want to play (and much better at the HoMM thing than HoMM 5 I feel).

  7. cheeba says:

    @Nick: Agreed. I found HoMM 5 a decent enough way to pass the time, but King Bounty really showed up that game for how bland and charmless it really was. Bounty’s not without its own faults, but it’s still better in every possible way.

  8. Pags says:

    Pagolin more like.

    [/nomenclature pun]

  9. Leeks! says:

    I think “Pangolin” is probably the least threatening sounding word I’ve ever heard. That’s like the name of some indigenous tribe of anteaters the Care Bears have to team up with to thwart Gargomel’s plans to steal their love for baby sealions or something. Pangolin is an adorable word, not a blood thirsty one.

    Of course, hyper-cute enemies you then have to genocide would be a very Russian turn.

  10. Homunculus says:

    Coulda sworn Amelie was blonde in King’s Bounty. Still, more King’s Bounty!

  11. Duoae says:

    “New engine supporting the latest graphic effects; Beautiful, hand drawn environments”

    I coulda sworn hand-drawn graphics were ‘invented’ many years ago. Maybe they weren’t ‘beautiful’ enough? Surely you guys coulda made a funnier comment about this – you dropped the ball! :)

    Alec: “No! Don’t eat my ants! My precious ants!”

    Has to be my favourite quote of the article :D

  12. roBurky says:

    No fantasy armour porn for me, thanks.

  13. Confidence Interval says:

    I’m not a girl so I can only wonder but: wouldn’t that armour chafe her nipples something awful?

  14. qrter says:

    .. walk….. veeeeeeeery….. slowly…..

  15. Acosta says:

    Pangolin is my new hero.

    I’m disappointed, not a commentary about the “armor” of the princess. I guess she try to distract opponents showing her tits because that chest doesn’t look protective at all.

  16. tmp says:

    The new character, the Princess, will encounter horrible creatures, huge monstrous bosses

    So say, if you lose a fight… does that mean tentacle sex? Not to bring up the bloodthirsty anteater sex, of course.

  17. Confidence Interval says:

    All I can think of in relation to the Pangolins is the anteater from the cartoon that ran alongside the Pink Panther:
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=5QNIMueWjG4&feature=related
    Maybe the “bloodthirsty” bit just refers to ants.

  18. Dreamhacker says:

    I hope they can find some decent publishers in Europe. I would love a box copy of Kings Bounty, especially a Collectors Ed! :D

  19. windlab says:

    @Confidence Interval
    How about uncomfortable, freezing and offering less protection than jeans and hoodie?

  20. Devin says:

    @homunculous

    I was towheaded as a kid, blond through at least third grade or so. My hair’s almost black these days, though. So it’s perfectly believable to me that she had the hair she did in the original, and the hair she does in the expansion.

    In fact, I would like to voice my complete support for that menu art from the neck up. I am pro-sword, pro-lady, pro-A-line, and even mildly in favor of hazy otherworldly blue rock formations.

    I’m fairly opposed to cleavage armor, though.

  21. James G says:

    @Acosta

    Alec mentioned it actually:

    Alec: a zombie frog pirate. She’s trying to find him in the plot summary, actually. I’ll include that in the post. Oh dear. I just saw the menu art. That’s really not very armoured at all, is it? King’s Bounty, you sadden me.

  22. tmp says:

    http://www.1cpublishing.eu/screenshot/3583

    it’s good to see game maintains its special kind of crazy; really looking forward to the release.

  23. Larington says:

    I do like the face & hair on the artists depiction of the lady, but the armour (If you can call it that) is frankly ridiculous.

  24. tmp says:

    but the armour (If you can call it that) is frankly ridiculous

    Well, that’d place it right in line with zombie frog pirates and bloodthirsty anteaters, then.

  25. Evan says:

    Cleavage+Armor= Frikin Awesome.

  26. Mr. President says:

    Damn, I could of used a bloodthirsty Pangolin or two, when I was liberating Graditch in Fallout 3…

  27. Acosta says:

    @James G
    You are absolutely right, I was too busy laughing, sorry Alec.

  28. Larington says:

    I wonder how that would look if they had put chainmail into the gaps in the armour on the torso, oh if only I was a photoshop whizz-ard.

  29. Digit says:

    Yay!!! Just yay! This game is great, just great, I could say lots of wonderful things about it but that means I don’t get to play it as muc-

  30. Ergates says:

    All this talk of Pangolins is making me feel uneasy for some reason….

  31. Ian says:

    I still haven’t played King’s Bounty. :(

    It has to be done, given the game sounds absolutely bonkers.

  32. Cooper says:

    I thought it said turn your house into a Pegasus.

    Says something about King’s Bounty that I didn’t question that misreading until I read Alex’s comments…

  33. YogSo says:

    @Cooper: The same thing happened to me :)

  34. Idle Threats and Bad Poetry says:

    The Armoured Princess has heavy armour protecting her shoulders while the center of her chest is completely vulnerable. It makes perfect sense.

  35. pkt-zer0 says:

    People complaining about chainmail bikinis in King’s Bounty, of all things? I thought that including every single fantasy cliche ever was pretty much the point of the game.

  36. Azazel says:

    /googles for Pangolin…

    Oh my! That’s a wondrous beast.

  37. Benjamin Finkel says:

    I must say, I’m insulted at the jab at Firefly’s Inara. But that’s because I’m a fanboy. Carry on!

    Ben