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Video Game: Warlords Battlecry
Warlords Battlecry is a series of RPG/Real-Time Strategy games and the Spinoff of the well-known Warlords franchise, published by SSG/Enlight Interactive/Ubisoft and released on the PC from 1999-2004.

The series' plot focused on a continuing struggle between the Civilized (Human, Dwarf, Undead), Barbarian (Orc, Barbarians, Minotaur) and Elvish (Dark Elf, Wood Elf, High Elf) races, who are all vying for power. In the two sequels, several races end up forging alliances to stop the Horsemen of the Apocalypse from plunging the world into eternal darkness.

The series was created by Warlords founder Steve Fawkner, and predominately featured a mixture of real-time strategy and roleplaying elements, including a customizable hero leveling system, various factions and races to choose from, a wide variety of missions and scenarios, and various special units that players could add to their retinue. In each mission, the hero starts with a small selection of Starting Units and amasses more troops, spells and resources through upgrades, the discovery of special temples (Shrines/Mausoleums) and spellbook. Later installments of the series added more races (including Chaotic Evil factions like the Plaguelords and Dark Dwarves), the ability to travel around a world map completing story missions and bonus scenarios, a multiplayer mode, new upgrades and a Diplomacy system, which allows players to forge alliances with other factions.

The games all shared the same graphics engine and user interface. Players could craft a new hero and level up any one of several different skills and bonuses, complete campaign missions, discover new armor and weapons to augment their strength and take part in skirmish or fan-created missions outside of the main storyline. The series still maintains a loyal fanbase, and modders release new missions and storylines on a regular basis.

All three installments are available for purchase at GOG.com.

This series provides examples of:

  • Action Bomb: The Dark Dwarves use this as their standard method of warfare.
  • A Load of Bull: An entire faction, serving under the horseman of war. They're fans of fighting, hard hitters, and have what's possibly the strongest general in the game, in the form of a huge minotaur with an axe that could chop a tower in half.
  • Animate Dead: Used by several races (notably by the Undead) to summon cheap armies.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Averted - it's possible to amass hordes of allied units onscreen depending on the player's level, charisma and number of upgrades, although this runs the risk of crashing the game.
  • Artificial Stupidity: In the first game, enemy heroes can sometimes go on a suicidal charge with a small group of units into the hero's camp if the player controls/destroys enough resources on the map.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: The hero's retinue units can gain XP and level up to a maximum of eight ranks. This gives them a larger command presence (which gives bonuses for units inside that field), more damage and speed.
  • Bad Ass Boast: The Doom Knight unit delivers his with much conviction.
    Doom Knight: "I am INVINCIBLE!"
  • Black and Gray Morality: The most "idealistic" groups are bound to be jerks and the worst you can find are warmongering psychos that kill even their own, even if the player character takes the more "idealistic" route, the most your customization is going to do for your dialog is to make the hero serious, that's it.
  • Blade on a Stick: The human Pikemen units.
  • Bonus Boss: There is an island inhabited by Undeads and Daemons, you don't really have to go there but if you do, expect to find yourself fighting a lvl 75 undead hero who can cast a lv 2 ice ring without it's status screen even suggesting it has access to such an spell, did we mention that the game can't process a player controlled hero past lvl 50, and that the undead faction is backed up by 3 daemon heroes and that the "difficulty" settings is only for the A. I. while their level and skills are rised to match those of the player character?
  • Boring, but Practical: The lowly Pikemen is the second human unit that's unlocked, only gets two upgrades (one of which is unlocked by building a better castle) and is cheap to produce. Yet, the pikemen are reliable and tough units that can carry a skilled player all the way to the end of the game.
  • Colour Coded Armies: All factions have unified colours, and enemy heroes carry a flag with the colour of their faction on it.
  • Command And Conquer Economy
  • Confusion Fu: In III, the Empire has the option to recruit a "Foreign Mercenary", be it a basic unit, something stronger or even a general, from a random faction. This can be done as much as needed (it's slightly expensive unless you research a couple things, which makes them pretty cheap), and neither you nor the enemies have any idea what you'll get each time. Throwing orthodox strategy to the wind and amassing an army of random units from everywhere in the game can be surprisingly effective, not to mention entertaining.
  • Critical Hit: A somewhat odd variation. Blows can be a whiff (Scratch Damage), do half damage, full, twice the damage, crit for triple damage AND an effect based on the type of damage, and a lethal blow that's usually a One-Hit Kill, or close, accompanied by a Pre-Mortem One-Liner.
  • Defeat Means Playable: Across the entire series. A player can amass defeated armies from various factions and integrate them into their retinue, where they can then be part of the player's team in future missions or matches. In the first two games, captured buildings can produce enemy units.
  • Defog of War: Some races in II and III can research a series of upgrades that remove the fog of war and eventually expose the whole map.
  • Demonic Invaders: The (Five) Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Demons are also a playable race, and judging from the reactions a Demon hero gets, they're doing this all the time. Pretty easy when there's a whole island turned into a Hell Gate.
  • Elemental Embodiment: A strange case in that they're a lot more amorphous than usual: earth elementals are mounds of dirt with a huge damage bonus against structures, air elementals are whirlwinds with splash damage, fire elementals are fast floating flame and water elementals are hard hitting blobs of water.
  • Enemy Exchange Program: Played straight and averted. In the first two games, you can convert buildings and produce enemy units (including special faction-exclusive ones). In the third, you can still capture enemy buildings, but you cannot produce enemy units unless your faction is already capable of doing so.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The imposing Doom Knight from III.
  • Faction Calculus: 12 factions in II, and 16 in III.
  • Fetch Quest: Visiting a Shrine or Mausoleum will sometimes give the player a quest to obtain a certain amount of resources in order to get unique units or valuable armor/weapons.
  • Final Death: Ironman Mode in II - if you are killed for any reason, your character is deleted and your save file is erased.
  • Glass Cannon: Siege units. Particularly dark dwarven siege engines: an upgraded flame cannon can hit harder than some titans, and hellbores are similarly strong, but both will get pulverized in a couple seconds if anything survives the first volley.
  • Heal It With Fire: The Pyromancy spell "Cauterize".
  • Hell Gate: Sundered Island, where the prince of Dark Elves tried a massive summoning spell to bind and control a powerful demon, and instead killed himself and his army, caused planet-wide earthquakes and tsunamis, and ripped the fabric of reality a new one. A new one large enough for the Horsemen to ride through.
  • Hellish Horse: Nightmare, the horse used by the Horsemen, has no skin and is covered with spikes and glowing red eyes.
  • <Hero> Must Survive: If the player hero or storyline heroes get killed during a mission, the campaign ends in failure.
  • Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Used throughout the entire series - the third game introduces the fifth member, Destruction.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Averted. The player character can wield several pieces of armor and one weapon, with a small chest set aside for bonus pieces of armor. These pieces can usually be accessed or changed when the player finds a loot chest during a mission.
  • Leprechaun: The Fey faction, which uses leprechauns as a basic unit.
  • Light Is Not Good: Among the "light" races you have the High Elves, who suffer from the typical elven arrogance, and don't care about the fate of other races as long as they can serve their idea of a greater good; the Empire, whose main trade is invading other countries for treasure; the Dwarves, who like the Empire, are driven by greed; the Knights, who usually like to act chivalrous but still see orc-slaying as an sport and aren't above trying to invade the Empire themselves and finally, the Fey, who are kind of the only (maybe 2) not invasive or highly arrogant races, but enforce Good Is Not Soft and have some in-universe Nightmare Fuel
  • Mana Drain
  • Mayincatec: The Ssrathi in III, right down to the part where they're invaded by a colony-craving empire.
  • Mighty Glacier: The Dwarves and Dark Dwarves, both in individual units and strategy as a whole. While neither get very good units in the first two stages (dwarven warriors are average and stone golems are slow), their generals can tear down bases without much trouble (dwarven generals can plow through bases easily, and bronze golems can punch down anything that doesn't shoot lightning).
  • Mission Pack Sequel: The latter installments of the series were built on an upgraded version of the engine used in the original game - they look, play and function almost identically.
  • No Fair Cheating: In the first game, players who enter a cheat code during a mission will not gain any experience at the end of the level.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: The Orcs in the series are of the Tolkienian type, who fight each other as often as they fight civilized people.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: In this case, they're "merely" seriously huge orcs, as tall as a tower and three times as wide, that double as their army's generals. Oh, and they're also hungry as hell, as they'll constantly remind you.
  • Pieces of God: Various pieces of the Lord of Minotaurs, Sartek, are collected over the course of the series. In II, the Skull of Sartek is the minotaur's titan unit. In III, collecting the Hand of Sartek gives the player bonus combat power and a minotaur faction ally.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse:
    • Dwarf Lords are no bigger than any other dwarf, maybe even smaller than Berserkers, and yet those axes of theirs can easily outdamage most of the other generals in the game, especially when buildings are concerned.
    • Fey units, without upgrades, are fragile, easily squished, and only a danger by dint of swarming, which is certainly possible, as they're fast and cheap to train. Let the player run away with the Orb of Wonder upgrades, however, and they'll each start to get cranked out with several levels right off the assembly line, their health still not being too impressive, but their formerly pitiful damage turning into an actual menace in smaller groups. Toss in the fact they haven't lost any of their speed or cheapness, and you realize why the prime strategy to deal with Fey is "Kill them as soon as possible".
  • Poisoned Weapons: Used by the Dark Elves.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Particularly powerful blows come with one, depending on the unit. And even workers have some.
    Quasit: Bite my tail, monkey boy.
    Doom Knight: DOOOOOM IS AT HAND!
    Bronze Golem: I squaaaaash...!
    Khazrimi Guard: Hail the king!
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning
  • Regenerating Health: Heroes can regenerate lost HP, even if they're down to just a few points.
  • Ridiculously Fast Construction
  • "Risk"-Style Map: II and III did away with the linear story in favor of a world map that players can travel around, allowing them to attack different regions or try bonus scenarios.
  • Snake People: The Ssrathi, who have the lower body of a snake.
  • Spider Tank: The Dark Dwarves' Firebomb unit.
  • Square Race, Round Class: Any class can be combined with any race, producing many different variants.
  • Straight for the Commander: A valid tactic in Warlords Battlecry 3 is to go straight for the commander- since he's the initial builder unit and able to capture resource sites, taking him out will seriously hamper the enemy activities, possibly even crippling the AI side completely, if they have no alternative builders or heroes.
  • Stock Weapon Names: In III, the titan (a unique powerful unit) of the Dark Dwarves is a giant mithril golem named Grond.
  • Suspiciously Small Army: All three games have many missions where both you and the enemy start most missions with a pitifully small unit of soldiers and/or builders. Even at its peak, you'll usually see a cap of around 50-60 units on each side on average.
  • Villain Team-Up: War and Death in III.
  • Weather of War: Certain races get bonuses and/or penalties depending on the type of weather and time of day.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: The four elements (Gold, Metal, Stone and Crystal). Some races have a reliance on one element over the others, leading to the game announcing that they need more elements when they try to build a new structure.

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alternative title(s): Warlords Battlecry
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