The first entry in the Spell Force franchise: the original Spellforce: The Order of Dawn game, as well as its two expansions: Spellforce: The Breath of Winter and Spellforce: Shadow of the Phoenix.
Spellforce and its expansions provide examples of:
- An Ice Person: Notably, both Rohen and The Dark One (in-game, not in the opening cutscene).
- Animate Dead: Classic style and high-powered, magic-induced Face–Heel Turn style.
- Anti-Frustration Feature: Subtle, but it exists. A player can wipe out enemy spawn points before activating racial monuments, thus saving armies for the really tough enemies. The catch? Once the racial monuments are active, the enemy spawn points don't shut off, even upon leaving the map.
- Also, if the player character is in an unwinnable situation, the player can leave the map through a portal and return. This resets the "fog of war" for the computer as well, allowing you to catch your breath. Oh, and computer controlled enemies do not repair their infrastructure.
- Artificial Stupidity: Everybody in the game suffers from this, including the player character. Monsters and NP Cs are known to charge right into the thickest concentration of player towers before attacking buildings, artisans gathering resources will calmly walk right into an enemy base (or get killed trying), and some creatures, when they reach the end of their effective partol range will walk back and forth trying to decide if they want to attack the player's towers or return to base, repeatedly getting shot in the process until they die. Oh, and when the Player Character sees enemies coming, even if equipped with a bow, or ranged attack spells, they will simply refuse to retaliate or take any preemptive action unless attacked in melee, barring any contrary orders, and all player controlled characters will try to follow their given orders no matter how suicidal it is to do so.
- Awesome, but Impractical:
- The Racial Titans are the epitome of this. While they have insanely high maximum hitpoint totals and do massive amounts of damage, they require the Large Headquarters building (which is the tail end of the building tree), consume a great many resources in their summoning, they move slower than any of the slowest infantry units, even when above 15% health, and the player can only field one per race at a time. Their sheer size also causes movement and engagement issues in narrow paths, and when fighting in coordination with a player's infantry units.
- The trolls. Powerful units with plenty of hitpoints who hit hard? Yes. Take forever to make and cost a shitton of resources note with the resources taking even longer to gather because trolls have no building to double their production? Yes.
- Boring but Practical: The workers of all races except the dwarves. While they absolutely suck in battle, they can build towers to rain death upon enemy troops, especially the elf "freeze" towers that do damage and stun-lock. Often this can be the key to defeating bosses way above your level.
- Crippling Overspecialization:
- The elves can only recruit their strongest units if they have iron, but they CAN'T GATHER THAT RESOURCE ON THEIR OWN.
- They can, but are highly inefficient in it.
- Same with the trolls who also require iron for their strongest unit but are inneficient at gathering it.
- Crutch Character: Yellow runes in The Breath Of Winter and Shadow of the Phoenix. Powerful Runes that can be used at a relatively low level compared to normal ones and stay useful for quite a while, but ultimately you can't equip any armor on them, sometimes not even a weapon or anything at all, so they end up losing against high level Rune warriors who can have powerful enchanted armors.
- Horny Devils: "Seductress" demons.
- Hub City: Greyfell in The Order of Dawn, Tirganach in The Breath of Winter and Empyria in Shadow of the Phoenix.
- I Am A Humanitarian: Trolls can gather food with the Corpse Collector which, as the name implies, makes any worker in it collect corpses as food. This is Awesome, but Impractical for several reasons. First, the Corpse Collector is a large building which requires a lot of free, flat land to be built. Second, troll workers are easily slain by enemies. Third, corpses disappear very quickly so the Corpse Collector has to be built very close to a battle field. Fourth, enemy units will prioritize attacking your troll workers over your armed soldiers or the player character.
- Infinite Supplies: All your resources are technically infinite since they regenerate, even the trees after a while, but putting more than one worker on them means you use them faster than they reappear.
- MacGuffin: The Convocation Book. Later, the Phoenix Stone.
Spellforce: The Order of Dawn provides examples of:
- All Your Powers Combined: The final mission is composed of three sections: One with a monument for each dark race, one with a monument for each light race, and the last (where the Final Boss is) with two Heroes' monuments.
- Beef Gate: Of undead at the gate from Greydusk Vale to the Northern Windwalls. And another at the Frost Marshes made of Mecha-Mooks. Removed in a plot event by the Order of Dawn, at the cost of most of their manpower.
- Big Bad: The Dark One.
- Big Good: Rohen.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: The end of the Shiel mission. You have to fight more than a hundred orcs who will quickly inflict this on you if you try to attack them head-on. The solution? Ask for the help of the spirits of the forest, who gives you five dryads who then go on to inflict this on the Orc's army.
- Free-Fall Fight: In the opening cinematic, between Rohen and The Dark One.
- Heel–Face Turn: The Big Bad!
- I Hate Past Me: The Big Good is the future self of the Big Bad.
- Late to the Tragedy: You, several times. Most notably when the Order takes Frost Marshes from the Blades, being killed almost to a man in the process.
- MacGuffin Delivery Service: Just about every single MacGuffin you get your hands on. See Unwitting Pawn.
- My Death Is Just the Beginning: By the Big Good. He knew he would die and that the Big Bad would get the MacGuffin because, well, see Stable Time Loop.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Dark One.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The Dark One kills Rohen. The Player Character is pissed. Later, the Dark One kills Sartarius in the exact same way, the Player Character decides that they're going to kill him, even if it means having to follow him into Barga Gor (Hell).
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Rohen/The Dark One's goal at the end of The Order of Dawn. At some point while taking The Slow Path, he resigns himself to the Stable Time Loop.
- Stealth-Based Mission: The ruined city Mulandir. On your first visit, the city is full of high level Medusas who petrify your characters on sight. But Mulandir is only a stealth based mission the first few times you visit the place, because after some grinding, the enemies in the city are weak compared to your characters.
- Stock Shout-Outs: "The Raven". Specifically, an undead called the "Nevermore" drops an item called the "Ravencap".
- Unwitting Pawn: The Player Character. Repeatedly.
Spellforce: The Breath of Winter provides examples of:
- Unwinnable by Mistake:
- Present on the Firefangs map. Did you get the Shadow Ring from the hermit before activating the Dark Elf monument? Have fun restarting the campaign from scratch, provided you didn't just break the CD first. However, if you are not above cheating, you can cheat yourself to victory and continue your adventure as normal.
- Averted with the final boss. He stands on the other side of a chasm, so attacking him in melee is useless and you need ranged heroes to hit him. Fortunately, on your side of the chasm there's a chest with a mage rune and an archer one.
Spellforce: Shadow of the Phoenix provides examples of:
- Back from the Dead: Rohen, Animate Dead style.
- Face–Heel Turn: Rohen, as a result of Animate Dead.
- Love Makes You Evil: The emperor became obsessed with the dryad to the point of not giving a single damn about anything other than her and had her poisoned in the hopes that she would accept his offer of giving her a cure if she became his.
- Rebellious Princess: Alyah, the daughter of the emperor Magnus Arias, is the chief of the Thief's guild in Empyria. Sort of justified, considering her father became totally obsessed with the dryad and stopped paying any attention to her and even had her thrown out of the palace.