Evil Islands: Curse of the Lost Soul, originally The Cursed Lands (Russian: Проклятые земли), is a PC game by Nival Interactive that combines role-playing, stealth and real-time strategy. It is the third game of the Allods series, after Rage of Mages and Rage of Mages 2: Necromancer. Evil Islands introduces a new interface and full 3D graphics.The game was published in October 2000 in Russia and CIS (Russian version) and a few months later in English.The game's story consists of a man called Zak who finds himself at a base of ruin in an unknown land called Gipath. After he wakes up, Zak finds a group of people praying and as they spot him, they run off and alert a nearby village shouting, "The chosen one has come!" Zak soon finds this village and the people who live in it. While inside the village the village Elder, named "Silver Tongue", briefs Zak on how they believe he is this chosen one and how he has come to save their village from Goblins and other such threats that roam the land. Soon after he has done these Quests, he finds a plot about a traitor who plans on killing him. And the story also unfolds even more over three different lands, and how he wants to regain his lost memory over the course of the game's story.Evil Islands also has an online muliplayer feature allowing you and other people to do quests, level up and generally do the things you do on the single player side of the game but with human players. Quests are different from those of the single player story and have different objectives and rewards. The multiplayer portion of the game is also much harder than normal play especially without other players, encouraging people to group up. Multiplayer gaming at the time when the game was released was still fairly new, making Evil Islands stand out from other roleplay games for its time.
This game contains examples of:
Always Accurate Attack: All offensive magic works that way (though it doesn't necessarily have to deal damage). That's why most enemies wielding it have less hp than other monsters in the area. It's also the reason why Kharad's spear is so powerful.
Back Stab: Backstab does extra damage but does not guarantee a kill. If you're attacking a strong enemy, you must be sure to aim to the head if possible to perform the most damage possible. You can also spend your EXP points into a backstap upgrade that increased damage when attacking from behind (the hero starts with this).
Beef Gate: A few throughout the game, worth noting a couple of dragons in Gipath and an Imperial Guard in Suslanger.
Crapsack World: Let's see. First, an After the End environment (Gipath) with ruins everywhere and people living in Stone Age. Second, an empire (Ingos) governed by The Caligula, and where just leaving the city means you'll get ruthlessly shot either by rioting villagers, the incredibly powerful gang of local thieves or the Private Army under orders from the local merchant. Finally, an empire (Suslanger) with basically no freedom, soldiers everywhere, and with legal slavery. What a happy world, don't you think?
Dungeon Bypass: Can be done a couple of times, although you still want to complete all quests because of the experience bonus.
Instead of doing the long set of quests related to entering the Dead City, you could just traverse the cave that is available very early in the game. The other entrance leaves you about ten metres far from your objective in the Dead City.
If you don't want to avoid all of those quests, you can still shorten them. Getting to the observatory is far easier than the game tells you. Instead of making peace with the Lizard Men living in the Middle Mountains, you can just lure the ones near the dragon to kill them elsewhere, and then just sneak the dragon. Similarly, you can avoid the quest for freezing the lake by taking a side path that goes around the lake. There are some Lizard Men there, but you should have killed many of them already by that point, and they're anyway weaker than the skeletons you're forced to fight to get the crystal required to freeze the lake.
Elemental Crafting: The game has cloth, leather, hide and fur for armor, stone and bone for weapons, and metal and diamond for both. Wood is strangely absent.
Elemental Tiers: Zigzagged, even though it seems the designers wanted to play this trope straight. Fire magic is rendered obsolete because of this trope, but it's averted with acid magic, and lightning magic is the ultimate magic instead, despite coming at the middle of the game (check the Last Discmagic entry for more info, but to be short, some reasons are lightning magic doing extra damage against enemies wearing metal armor, and high mana cost and magic requirement on acid magic combined with a low range of attack).
Fishing For Mooks: This is the purpose of the Fireworks spells. It creates small purple fireworks that attract the closest enemy, and only it. You can spam it to lure it far from the other enemies. Considering that most of the time you encounter mooks that are too strong to be killed in groups, and there's no good way for Level Grinding, it's one of the most useful spells in the game.
Erfar takes it to its logical extreme, Zerg Rushing you with at least fifteen Mooks who you will likely two-shot by then (the boss himself included).
A less serious and way more dangerous example would be Bandit Chief's Lieutenant. Encountered fairly early in the game he has an assortment of six to eight bandits that will come to his aid once engaged. It's possible to pick them off one by one before the main fight though, otherwise you're in for a slugfest.
Improbable Power Discrepancy: Mostly played straight, with a few aversions. The different types of Underground Monkey have completely different health depending of the island you are, and the giant spiders you fight in the Death Canyon (that you're forced to complete while alone and with obselete equipment) are strangely weak compared to the ones you fight elsewhere in Suslanger. However, in Suslanger you encounter hyenas which have about the same power as the dogs you encountered in Ingos. This actually has some logic, but makes hyenas look pathetic when compared to the rest of enemies in Suslanger.
Inexplicable Treasure Chest: Averted. The few treasure chests that you find usually have some kind of background that you can check accesing the quest menu.
Infinity+1 Sword: An equipment made of diamond. An odd case since you don't really need to work for them as Tka-Rik hands them to you on a silver platter, for free, just before the final battle.
Item Crafting: Taken Up to Eleven in this game, as you have to craft even spells. Also, disassemble a suit of armor and then assemble the metal into a sword and a helmet.
Last Disc Magic: Completely averted. The best offensive magic is not acid, the Suslanger magic, but lightning, which is already available in Ingos, and there's even a way to craft a Lightning spell in Gipath, although it will be very expensive. Concerning non-offensive magic, the high price, required skill and stamina cost and the low duration of Suslanger's spells makes most of them useless, while the game's most useful spells are already available in the previous islands. To drive the point home, The Curse uses lightning in its attacks.
Lizard Folk: The most dangerous regular enemies in Gipath.
Lord British Postulate: Many monsters were designed as unkillable by giving them tons of HP and rapid regeneration. However, with the introduction of easy mode in a patch, most of them became technically possible to kill, even though the process was long, difficult, and involved a share of luck. Enthusiasts posted a detailed guide to killing every single creature outside of towns, except two dragons that are too tough to kill even this way and a frog in the tutorial, which only survives because the player has no ranged weapons at this point. This slaughter, nicknamed "Project Genocide", completely breaks the game scripts, making quests play in the wrong order, NPCs making references to future events, and corpses and empty spaces participating in conversations.
Luke Nounverber: Everyone and their mother is named like that in Gipath. Examples include Erfar Silvertongue, Gort Skullcrusher and Babur Tightfist to name a few. Hilariously, a handful of non-human NPC's such as Goblin Chieftain Gogo averts this. It's also averted in Ingos and Suslanger.
Money Spider: Mostly averted, as slain beasts can only be looted for body parts, and only humanoid enemies drop money or items. Played straight with unicorns and Woodsfolk, who, for some reason, drop bars of iron.
Multiplayer Difficulty Spike: The game doesn't allow importing your SP characters to co-op (so you have to make new ones from scratch), makes all enemies a lot tougher than in SP, and drastically reduces the XP and money rewards for quests and combat.
My Rules Are Not Your Rules: Enemies never run out of fatigue needed to run (no pun intended) and cast spells. Thus even a frigging troll (an ugly, pimply, lumbering bulk—you know the kind) can always outrun the player.
In one instance, your base of operations is a village where you are praised as the "Chosen One", but the village merchant is so infamously stingy that he explicitly warns you right away that he will still charge you with all your purchases. Later, all the village money happens to be stolen and he once again clearly refuses to supply the village guards with weapons for free... because they didn't stand for him against brigands.
Another time you join some rebels and obtain all the gear from their blacksmith. He actually apologizes for his shameless prices and explains that he has to smuggle the weapons and bribe the officials of the Evil Empire.
However, at the very end of the game, it's subverted; the very last 'merchant' you meet before the final battle will give you anything he has in stock and perform all services for free.
Non-Combat EXP: The game gives you experience points for each completed quest. Note that you only need to do the quest rather than return to the quest-giver to gain exp.
Our Zombies Are Different: They come in two flavors: normal, lumbering ones(including recruits, warriors and experienced ones) and better preserved ghouls that for all intents and purposes behave like human enemies.
Regenerating Mana: Staying still restores magic. To be more precise, there is no separate Mana Meter; instead, both running and casting magic use the same resource, stamina.
Resources Management Gameplay: Very important. You'll want to grind as much as possible, not only to gain experience, but to earn money, since Money for Nothing is completely averted in this game. Besides, the best materials in each island are not available in shops and you'll only be able to get a few from enemies.
Hard leather (the best leather in the game) is mainly acquired from the Lizard Men (also from Ogres, but there are few of them). You can stock it without too much difficulty, as you'll fight lots of Lizard Men in Gipath. However, although you can craft stronger leather armor in Ingos and Suslanger, you can't get hard leather anymore, meaning you can only use whatever you saved from Gipath.
Strangely, the opposite situation to the one just above happens with fur: you can get lots of snow tiger skin in Ingos, but there is no new fur armor, so you can only upgrade the one you saved from Gipath.
Zig-Zagged with hide, as the best one, red dragon hide, can't be acquired by killing red dragons (they drop red dragon bones instead), but by buying it in Suslanger. Before that, however, there's only troll hide, acquired from trolls, who are seldom encountered, and buyable only in Ingos.
Obsidian, the best type of stone, can only be acquired from elite Orcs (standard Orcs drop just silicon, although you can't buy it either).
The best type of bone you'll be using is shell bones, acquired only from Armadillos. There's one type below (hard bone, acquired from skeletons) and several above (several types of dragon bones; in Gipath they're only acquired as a quest reward, making them Too Awesome to Use, and in Suslanger they're made obsolete by metal).
The best metal in Ingos is steel, acquired from both the Woodsfolk and Wormheads, so you'll be able to get lots of it. However, Meteorite, the best metal ever, is mainly acquired from Black Wormheads and Imperial Guards (also from Desert Ogres, but again, they are seldom encountered); the first ones can't be encountered after you complete the Wormheads' Cave, and the others are the toughest regular enemies in the entire game, so good luck getting some Meteorite.
Rock Monster: Stone Elementals, and Golems (the latter are made either of steel or diamond).
Spell Construction: You must craft spell before you use them, using a keystone and then adding runes to increase the attributes (damage, range, duration...) of the base spell.
Sprint Meter: The game combined the Sprint Meter with the Mana Meter: it was depleted by either spellcasting or running, and it only replenished when the character was motionless.
Subsystem Damage: Most enemies have several parts that can be targeted, usually body, head, arms and legs (some enemies lack some of these parts, however). Damaging arms affects attacking speed, damaging legs affects moving speed, and having the body or the head depleted of life point means instant death. Although it's usually harder to aim to a specific part, doing a backstab gives you more chances to hit, which proves invaluable against enemies who are too strong to be killed otherwise.
Thunderbolt Iron: Meteorite is the strongest metal available for crafting weapons.
Tomato in the Mirror: It's eventually revealed that Zak's identity is that of the mysterious Joon you've been looking for during the Suslanger arc.
The Unchosen One: Zak, in an odd case. He is originally hailed by the villagers as The Chosen One by sheer coincidence, and most energetically by the village elder — but then it turns out that the prophecy is more or less a scam, the village elder is actually a spy for The Empire, sent there in search of a fallen meteorite. Naturally, he becomes a hero anyway.
Underground Monkey: You'll find several types of wolves, boars, toads, tigers, trolls... that look the same except for color or size.
Vendor Trash: Most animals and monsters drop this instead of money, materials or items. At least each type is given a short description which explains why it is sellable and what the buyers would do with it.
Video Game Cruelty Potential: At one point in Suslanger you're required to sneak into city choke full of guards and ordinary city folk. Normally killing non-aggressive NPC's such as deer, rabbits or workers yields very low rewards. Here, however, townsfolk drop amounts of gold that can make you reconsider going on a city-wide killer spree... that is, if you don't get caught.
Warp Whistle: Completing some quests will allow to travel instantly to certain areas of the map.