Video Game: King's Bounty
was a video game made in 1990 by New World Computing back when they were still young and filled with hope and dreams, the game play was much like the Heroes of Might and Magic
games of today – enough that 3DO would release a Playstation 2
port titled Heroes of Might and Magic: Quest for the Dragon Bone Staff
a decade later – but rather then controlling an entire kingdom you played a single hero with a salary and unit limit determined by level, rank, and other things.
King's Bounty was popular enough in Russia
to spawn a couple of unofficial fan sequels for the Amiga called King's Bounty 2 and 3, unrelated fan remake for MS-DOS also called King's Bounty 2 (neither of these are available in any language but Russian), several spiritual successors
of varying quality and finally a series of modern sequels for the PC which got translated into English. The first of these sequels is called King's Bounty: The Legend
, and was followed by King's Bounty: Armored Princess
, which got a expansion pack called Crossworlds
with additional models. A third game titled King's Bounty: Warriors of the North
was released in October 26th, 2012. Most agree that King's Bounty: Armored Princess
with expansion is the best of the three, while King's Bounty: Warriors of the North
is weaker due to being developed by another developer with previous developer only supervising the beginning stage of creation and also being mainly the same game with numerous yet not groundbreaking changes and additions.The original can be beat in under 0.3 seconds
All of the modern sequels can be purchased through Steam
The series makes use of the following tropes:
- Action Girl: Amelie in Armored Princess
- Actually Four Mooks: As usual, groups of enemies are represented by the model of the strongest creature on the map but can be composed of up to nine stacks in actual combat. One of the possible skills a hero can take in Legend and Armored Princess is centered around improving how accurately the number of mooks in a stack is displayed.
- And in combat itself, you can have thousands of peasants represented by a single peasant model.
- Affectionate Parody: The recent Russian reboot of the game doesn't take itself very seriously, and constantly lampoons fantasy tropes. Possibly an Indecisive Parody, because it plays many of the stuff unflinchingly straight.
- All Trolls Are Different: They change depending on the day and night cycle. At day, they are thougher and turn to stone when killed, providing an obstacle. At night, they got a lot more movement and regenerate.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Demons, though you can find (and even marry) an Affably Evil Succubus.
- Animate Dead: The Necro Call spell
- Arbitrary Minimum Range: Ranged units are limited to melee attacks if there's an enemy unit adjacent to them- not only can they not use their main weapon against the adjacent enemy, they can't fire at anyone else either. In most cases, they only attack at half strength, but there are some exceptions to this rule.
- Ascended Extra: Baal goes from a minor sidequest villain in Legend to the Big Bad of Armored Princess.
- Attack of the Monster Appendage: In Legend you first see the Kraken's tentacles on the man sinking the ship of the pirate captain who lead you there. Later you have to face the whole beast, but you have to kill the tentacles.
- Badass Adorable: Amelie's pet dragon pup. As cute as the name suggests, and spends most of it's time idling next to the battlefield sleeping and eating. Also capable of a wide range of powerful attacks and useful utility skills.
- BFS: Zerock's basical attack consist in turning in a colossal sword and dive on the target.
- Beef Gate: You can go almost anywhere you want from the start, but good luck outrunning the guards in high-level zones.
- Better Than a Bare Bulb: The remake lampshades its tropes to hell and back.
- Big Bad: The Wicked Dragon Haas in Legend.
- Arech Dragonbreath in the original.
- Big Good: King Mark.
- King Maximus in the original.
- Big Red Devil: One of the villains in the original game is Urthrax Killspite, alias "The Demon King", who is a big green devil. Demons are also a higher-tier army unit (of course Urthrax has some) that line up almost perfectly with the trope description; instead of pitchforks, they attack with Eye Beams that have a chance of instantly slaying half the members of any unit they attack.
- Boss Bonanza: In The Legend near the end of the game you have to venture forth into the Dragon Labyrinth and fight the seven incarnations of Haas, the Big Bad dragon. Each of them is an optional boss fight, but killing all seven of them will grant you an easier passage across the maze. After that there are the Orclands, which are full of bosses (as in: hostile armies led by a leader, hence more dangerous and capable of spells.)
- Breast Plate: Amelie on the cover of Armored Princess. That's only the mage version of her, though. The warrior and paladin versions have relatively realistic armor.
- Class and Level System: The more recent games offer 3 different classes: the might-oriented Warrior, the magic-oriented Mage, and the Paladin, a mix between the two with a side of holy powers. Most talents are available to all of them, but leveling up mainly rewards the runes of their specialisation tree (Might, Mind and Magic).
- Comic Book Fantasy Casting: Amelie, as she appears in Armored Princess, is modeled after the eponymous heroine from famed French film Amélie. Compare the covers of the film◊ and the game◊.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: You can either hire a truckload of weak units or a handle of very powerful units as you prefer.
- Cursed with Awesome: The main character of Legend accidentally cuts himself on the Chest of Rage, binding the artifact to himself (originally, he was supposed to bring it back to his king so he could entrust it to someone else).
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Higher difficulty playthroughs tend to favor the AI when it comes to RNG. The AI can also field a lot more unit stacks than the player, and AI heroes got a lot more mana than it would be possible for the player character (however, they can't regenerate it).
- Dark Is Not Evil: While mostly played straight, there are several undead and demon towns that are friendly towards you. The Nameless Island in Armored Princess in particular. A necromancer took it over after the population was wiped out by a plague, and reanimated everyone to continue their lives, so to speak.
- One of the people "living" there even gives you a quest to bring money they worked up to their living relatives on another continent.
- Reaper, the Rage Spirit, looks like Death himself, but is actually on your side, if you help him.
- Deadpan Snarker: You, on many occasions.
- Dem Bones: Common undead units, as melee or archers.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Zerock, the Rage Spirit of rock can smash enemies with boulders, form walls or crystal spikes and even turn himself in a gargantuan sword to impale his foes.
- Distracted by the Sexy: The Dryad and Succubus units have the Beautiful ability, which causes any attacks made by male humanoid units to have a 30% chance to miss because they are "Befuddled by the image of a beautiful girl"
- The Dreaded: In the newer games, the Black Dragon is the most powerful unit in terms of raw power by a fair margin and has a unique passive ability called "Dragon Power" that scares all enemy units that are not level 5.
- Elemental Powers: Fire and Poison have their own element, everything else is considered magical. Ice technically has its own element, but it's hidden.
- Enemy Exchange Program: Happens quite often, as you'll find buildings in every area offering creatures to hire that tend to be the same set as the ones you fight the most.
- Enemy Mine: In The Legend, after fighting your way through a lot of orcs, you end up convincing them to help you.
- Fantastic Racism: Most races have one or two races they do not get along with, usually demons and the undead. Putting such a combination together results in morale penalties. The Tolerance skill will negate the aversion to demons and the undead; it won't, however, negate any other aversions such as Elves Versus Dwarves.
- Interestingly, demons and the undead avert this by being the most tolerant races; demons consider the other races to be beneath their notice while the undead are apathetic. Neutral units avert it as well due to being a catch-all category for everything else that doesn't fall into the racial factions.
- Fearless Undead: They can, however, be poisoned.
- Fisher Kingdom: The Four Continents are linked to King Maximus by the Scepter of Order, and when Arech Dragonbreath steals it, Maximus begins to sicken and die, and the Four Continents descend into chaos and anarchy. The object of the original game is to recover the Scepter to save both king and country.
- Foreshadowing: Hidden quite well in the beginning of The Legend. When asked about Amelie, King Mark remarks about his daughter's various gifts as a result of her divine origin such as Dreaming of Things to Come. Despite that, a conversation with Amelie herself goes as would be expected from a typical child princess. But that dream she tells you about as an aside? It happens. On a more mundane level, the player will also see all the things she heard about from Di Virre, the previous Treasure Searcher.
- Geo Effects: depending on where the fight takes place, the walkable terrain, preset obstacles and other objects vary. A few units also prefer certain types of battlegrounds.
- Giant Spider: Available as low-level monsters capable of poisoning and spinning webs. A really big one (and with big I mean... the size of a castle) is a recurring boss in the modern series.
- Global Airship: In Armored Princess and Warriors of the North, your horse can turn into a pegasus later on. You still need to travel by ship between most areas though.
- Good Bad Translation: The Legend's translation while bad still manages to be pretty hilarious in a rambling walls-of-text sort of way.
- Gotta Catch Them All: The original 1990 game revolved around gathering the scattered pieces of a map showing the location of the Macguffin you needed to get to win the game.
- Although you don't really need all the pieces to figure out where the Macguffin is
- Guardian Entity: The four Rage Spirits:
- Idle Animation: Tend to play so often that they cross into Most Annoying Sound for some units.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: Armored Princess replaced the Chest of Rage with a pet dragon.
- Infinity+1 Sword: The Equilibrium Sword in Armored Princess, which can turn into either the Sword of Light or Darkness depending on your choices. Both provide a hefty bonus to Attack, which doubles at day or night, and either increases or decreases the defense of good units on the field.
- Killer Rabbit: Cute pet dragon.
- Legions of Hell: Various kinds of demons. You can summon them with the Demonic Gate spell.
- Lethal Lava Land: Demonis.
- Limit Break: Rage abilities and the "adrenaline" specialty of the orcs in Crossworlds
- Lost Forever: In The Legend, if you decide to do the optional quest to complete the dwarven key and use it to close the portal to Demonis, you will not be able to re-enter Demonis.
- Also in The Legend, the extremely powerful artifact Anga's Ruby is easily lost forever since the quest that rewards it requires talking to a certain pirate captain in the Islands of Freedom... who looks like all other enemy pirates and is only friendly in daytime. If you happen to come across him at night for the first time and proceed defeat him, you'll most likely never know what you missed.
- Nintendo Hard: Impossible difficulty.
- Obvious Rule Patch : Armored Princess brought about many balance changes to curb various Game Breakers from The Legend. Most noticeable are the removal of certain spells, the Higher Magic skill now having a Mana cost limitation, and Amelie's pet dragon not having an analogue for every previous Rage Spirit skill.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Fairly standard except for the Emerald Dragons, which don't have a breath attack nor the usual immunity to fire (but does have good fire resistance). Instead, they can drag enemies to them and damage nearby enemies while restoring some mana to the hero. They also hail from a dying world called Ultrax where they lived in caves because even the rocks burn due to the purple light of its iridescent sun.
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: The most technologically advanced race
- Our Elves Are Better: Not one, but two archers.
- Our Orcs Are Different: Tolkienian to the max, but not always evil.
- Optional Party Member: All of the wives/companions in the newer two games. You're bound to meet a few of them without even trying (in The Legend, three of them are involved in the main questline), but you're free to go solo all the way, or abandon them if you find a better option (however, divorces are costly, and some of the companions also want money before they leave you alone)
- Poisonous Person: One of the Rage Spirits can spit poisonous goo and turn into an acidic raincloud to kill your foes.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Giant snakes. One of the Rage Spirits is the only exception to the trope.
- Road Cone: According to Armored Princess, the hero of Legend was canonically Bill Gilbert the Warrior.
- Rock Monster: Cyclops.
- RPG Elements: Quite a lot of it. In The Legend, you can even get married and have kids!
- Sadistic Choice: In The Legend, one sidequest has the ghost of a king murdered by his chancellor demanding justice. However, confronting the chancellor reveals that he didn't murder him. The previous king was in fact an ultra paranoid tyrant who died because he accidentally drank a poison he had himself made to weed out his alleged enemies, and the chancellor became the king by default. So it sounds like the ghost is the enemy now, right? Not so fast. As your character points out, the king had an heir to the throne, but the chancellor claims that the heir is too incompetent to rule. You have to choose between siding with a deranged ghost so his heir can ascend to the throne, or side with the chancellor and hope that he's actually right and does a good job as king.
- Cleared up a bit, though, if you do another sidequest relating to the king's widow who flat-out tells you that her husband was murdered and she was forced to marry his murderer. While there's the possibility she was just mistaken, it does tip the moral scales somewhat in favour of killing the chancellor. Although the chancellor IS correct in pointing out that the king's heir is actually a bastard who isn't the king's son- he's the son of the king's wife and her dragon ex-lover.
- Sequential Boss: The Driller in Armored Princess.
- Some Call Me Tim: Dragon NPCs in The Legend adopt localized names since others can't pronounce their actual names.
- Spiritual Successor: The remake, to Space Rangers.
- Standard Fantasy Setting
- Stripperiffic: Mage Amelie.
- The Succubus wears nothing but a collar with two tiny straps extending on their breasts to cover their nipples.
- Troperrific: The remake plays with every fantasy cliche in the book. It's up for debate whether it makes the game itself impossibly cliche or not.
- Turtle Power: The very first boss in The Legend is a colossal turtle manipulated by an evil orc shaman. After her defeat you can summon her to depower said orc shaman when you find him.
- Videogame Cruelty Potential: The Sacrifice spell in Legend and its sequels allows you to sacrifice one troop to reinforce another. Nothing stops you from sacrificing hordes of peasants in order to summon demons, while still getting hailed as a hero...
- Unwinnable by Mistake:
- It is possible to run out of troops and money to buy them, making it almost impossible to continue since money is mostly gained from killing wandering armies and completing quests (which mostly involve killing wandering armies).
- In the Legend reboot, one can find eggs, seeds, and such on the ground that can be converted from items to troops, as well as occasional friendly troops that join for free; it's possible to scrape together enough forces this way to win a few fights and start putting your army back together. But those are only available in limited supply, and if you run out...
- Worthy Opponent: Karador the Death Knight in The Legend considers you one when defeated.
- Zombie Apocalypse: In Warriors of the North, the main villains are an army of undead that have overrun the entire world, including Darion, the Big Good nation of the setting.