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King's Blather: Dissecting An Armoured Princess

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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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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