, lit. "The Land of Golden Mountains") is an obscure Role-Playing Game
series developed by the Russian studio Burut CT. Based on the Russian Mythology and Tales
, the first game is set in the eponymous mythologized version of Kievan Rus
on the eve of the Mongol invasion
and follows a nameless hero on a quest to defend his homeland from enemies both foreign and supernatural. Gameplay-wise, the series is reminiscent of Fallout
, what with a multitude of Skill Scores and Perks
, an Isometric Projection
, and Turn-Based Combat
The series consists of following games:
The original game contains examples of following tropes:
- Action Girl: Two possible companions:
- Siguriena, an Albertian shield-maiden who is actually the Sole Survivor of the Golden Helm convoy by the (mis)fortune of taking a leave the day you slaughtered her group.
- Velena, who joins pretty much for the final battle and is actually your long-lost (twin?) sister. She is extremely good with a bow.
- Amazon Brigade: The trio of Albertian shield-maidens convoying the Golden Helm, which you need to steal for Burivoi.
- Armor of Invincibility: The Armor of Chernobog, which you get from Buyan, as well as Gromoboi's Golden Armor.
- Back from the Dead: Once you finally find Gromoboi, he is already dead, so you have to find the Living Water to revive him.
- Badass in Distress: At the start of the game, Gromoboi, the bogatyr who had singlehandedly defeated Drakh-Shu earlier, has gone missing (captured and kept imprisoned by Koschei the Immortal), and you have to rescue him.
- Big Bad Ensemble:
- Azarga-Tan is the great khan of The Horde threatening the land from the south-east.
- Koschei the Immortal is the one who imprisoned Gromoboi but lets him go if you retrieve the egg containing his death from Drakh-Shu's priests.
- Drakh-Shu is the ancient evil that is behind most supernatural troubles that have befallen the land.
- Belobog is ostensibly a God of Good, but since he sees you as a rebirth of his nemesis Drakh-Shu, he is a possible Final Boss of the game.
- Chain of Deals: To get to Koschei's castle, you need to get an Apple of Youth from Iriy for Baba-Yaga, but the goddess Zhiva will only give you the apple if you deliver her wine to the Inn on the Three Roads...
- Distressed Damsel: Vresinka, whom you have to save from the wolves near Berezan.
- Escort Mission:
- Subverted by Porela, who asks you to escort her to Berezan but actually leads you into a trap where she and her cronies try to mug you.
- Played straight, however, in the quest for Radogor, where you have to defend a merchant's caravan against marauding Albertian brigands.
- Fetch Quest: Two of the earliest quests involves taking a parcel from Berezan to Belovodye and another one, from the latter to the former. The XP you get for them is enough to get you your first Level Up, but it is somewhat of a Luck-Based Mission, since it relies on getting to Belovodye and back without running into any Random Encounters (which would easily kill you at this point).
- Infinity+1 Sword: Moonlight, the sword you can only purchase from the hidden merchant Ivlis the Ghost, easily outperforms every other weapon in the game.
- In the End, You Are on Your Own: Double Subversion: You cannot take any of your hired companions to the Final Boss battle... except Velena... who is actually a part of you.
- Isometric Projection: The game is played from top-down perspective.
- Kleptomaniac Hero: After finishing his quest, Burivoi can teach you the lockpicking technique, allowing you to clean out every chest in the game (except the ones protected by a Plot Lock) with total impunity.
- Multiple Endings:
- Noob Cave: The Lair of the Bookas—by far the easiest combat-related quest in the game, owing to the fact that it stars the game's weakest enemies.
- The Obi-Wan: Volkhv Yelovit, who sends you on the quest to rescue Gromoboi, is mysteriously murdered towards the end of the story—yet he still appears to you as a ghost later on.
- The Original Series: The game's own title doubles as the series' title, though this isn't preserved in the English translations.
- Perilous Old Fool: The old bogatyr Buyan will charge Drakh-Shu priests with his bare fists and is pretty much guaranteed to die, leaving you without the Armor of Invincibility, unless you keep healing him.
- Point-and-Click Map: You start off with just Berezan, Belovodye, and Svetlograd marked on your map, with additional locations added either temporarily or permanently to it. Traveling between locations is simply a matter of reaching the edge of the location and choosing the destination, but you may be ambushed by Random Encounters along the way.
- Plotline Death: If Gromoboi survives the fight on the White Mountain, another Drakh-Shu priest will spawn and kill him in one shot—the issue of reviving him with Living Water, just like you did just a while ago, is never brought up.
- Puzzle Boss: Gologol the Archer projects about a dozen visual copies of himself and you have to figure out which one is real before he kills you (you can either memorize his clothes during the preceding dialogue or figure out which copy actually deals damage to you).
- The Reveal: Just before the final battle, a Drakh-Shu priest recognizes you and your sister Velena as two pieces of Drakh-Shu, the resident God of Evil, who has been defeated by Gromoboi and then insidiously attacked by Belobog (ostensibly the God of Good) and dismembered into two bodies, male (you) and female (Velena), as well as the spirit, which Belobog then manipulated you and Velena to destroy because it Takes One to Kill One.
- Skill Scores and Perks: The list of skill scores and particularly of available perks is extensive, but most of them sadly have no real impact on the core gameplay.
- Turn-Based Combat: The game is played in real time, but switches to turn-based whenever you enter combat.
- The Unfought: Koschei is set up as a major villain but is actually quite amicable and lets you and Gromoboi go free once you deprive the Drakh-Shu priesthood of means to blackmail him into cooperating.
- Unwinnable by Mistake:
- The quest to kill Azarga-Tan is impossible to turn in, since both Quest Givers, Yelovit and Gromoboi, are dead at that point and Prince Yaropolk is conspicuously uninterested in the death of his greatest enemy. Luckily, this oversight does not prevent you from advancing the main story.
- While retrieving Koschei's Egg, a glitch when leaving the Pavillion before grabbing the MacGuffin prevents you from going back inside and makes the main quest impossible to complete.
- Vain Sorceress: Murena, who is so jealous of her sister Sphirka's marriage to Prince Yaropolk, she sends nightmares onto Svetlograd.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: The Volkolak on the outskirts of Belovodye is waaay too tough to beat without some preemptive Level Grinding and/or ridiculous luck.
- War God: Volkh, who tries to kill you immediately after meeting up with Velena.
- What Did I Do Last Night?: After a night partying with Buyan, you wake up in an underground dungeon stripped of your gear and guarded by Drakh-Shu priests.
The sequel contains examples of following tropes:
- Expansion Pack: Cold Heaven is almost a Mission Pack Sequel, being a continuation and conclusion of the game with very little in terms of new gameplay.
- Famed in Story: The protagonist of the first game and Velena, although long dead, have been deified for their victory against Drakh-Shu and are now venerated by the Cult of the Heroes.
- Time Skip: The second game is set roughly 300 years after the first.
- Sequel Number Snarl: Since the first game was titled Heath: The Unchosen Path for the English release, the sequel is simply titled GoldenLand in English (it should be either Heath 2 or GoldenLand 2).