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Video Game / Ancestors Legacy

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O Baldur, O Brage note  in Valhalla !!!!

Ancestors' Legacy is a Real-Time Strategy game developed by Destructive Creations (who also developed Hatred and IS Defense) and published by 1C Company. It was released on PC on May 22nd, 2018, with Xbox One and Playstation 4 versions released in August 2019; the Nintendo Switch version was released in June 2020.

The game is set in the early-to-mid Middle Ages and focuses on several real events and historical characters. There are currently five civilizations in the game: 4 in the base game (The Vikings, The Anglo-Saxons, The Germans, the Slavs) and the Saracens being added as the fifth civilization through a DLC. Each civilization also gets two single-player campaigns (except for the Saracens, who only get one).

The campaigns are:


  • Ulf Ironbeard: A fictional jarl who took part in the raid on Lindisfarne in 793, an event considered to be the start of the Viking Age. The first few missions of this campaign are the game's tutorial; completing them is required to unlock the rest of the campaigns.
  • Rurik: Founder of the Rurik dynasty, which ruled the Kievan Rus' and its successor states, including the Kingdom of Ruthenia, the Principality of Tver, Grand Duchy of Vladimir, the Grand Duchy of Moscow, the Novgorod Republic and the Tsardom of Russia, until the 17th century. The campaign maps his rise to power and greatness.
  • Edward the Confessor: Dramatises the tensions between Edward and Harold Godwinson during the crisis of 1051-52. Supporting historical characters include Eustace II of Boulogne, Edward's brother-in-law. Godwinson, depicted as the Earl of Wessex, is the narrator of the campaign.
  • Harold Godwinson: Depicts the struggles between Godwinson and his first rival for the English throne (Harald Hardrada of Norway), although William of Normandy (the second claimant) was also mentioned.
  • Rudolf I: Charts the trials of Rudolf I of the Habsburgs as "Holy Roman Emperor" note . Supporting historical characters include Ottokar II of Bohemia, Rudolf's great rival, and Meinhard, Count of Tyrol, Rudolf's vassal. Meinhard is also the narrator of the campaign.
  • Teutonic Order: Depicts the Great Prussian Uprising. Historical characters include Herkus Monte, a Teutonic Knight who was a forced convert, but renounced Christianity and joined the pagans after witnessing the Order's brutality. Herkus is also the narrator of the campaign.
  • Mieszko I: First Christian ruler of Poland; he is of the Piast dynasty, the first historical ruling dynasty of Poland.
  • Bolesław I: Mieszko's son and the first crowned king of Poland. Mieszko II Lambert, son of Boleslaw I and future king of Poland, is the narrator of the campaign.
  • Salah ad-Din: Better known as Saladin to Western audiences. His campaign depicts his exploits against the Crusaders, starting with the Battle of (the Horns of) Hattin. Also uniquely, he's the narrator of his own campaign.

The game contains examples of:

  • Adapted Out: In the Anglo-Saxon campaigns, many of Godwinson's family were left out, including his father Godwin note , his sister Edith note  and his brothers Gyrth and Leofwine note .
  • Altar Diplomacy: In Rudolf's campaign, the epilogue mentioned that he married his youngest daughter Judith to Ottokar's son and successor Waclaw in order to secure peace with Bohemia. note 
    • Mieszko I married Dobrawa of Bohemia in order to secure an alliance with Bohemia and to give the various Christian powers fewer excuses to attack him. note 
  • Annoying Arrows: Averted, as archers are, on average, the deadliest unit type in the game, as they are not subjected to rock-paper-scissors balancing of the other classes and are similarly effective against nearly all of them, with shield-bearing infantry in a "shields above heads" stance or cavalry charges being the main counters. However, they become practically useless in the rain, are prone to causing friendly fire, and drop easily once the enemy advances into melee range.
    • In the campaigns, both Harald Hardrada and Harold Godwinson were killed by arrows.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You can control a maximum of ten squads. Your opponents are under no such restrictions.
  • Arrows on Fire: Archers can do this, and it's realistically poor for normal combat, but great for burning down buildings.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The release version of the game received plenty of criticism for the state of its AI, especially for the frequent inability of units, both allied and hostile, to respond to nearby carnage unless they were explicitly damaged by someone. There were other flaws common to the RTS genre.
  • Artistic License – History: An Enforced Trope for Rurik's campaign, as historical records on him were limited to one source dating centuries after his death. However, it is fairly certain that Rurik did not commit fratricide, or promise filicide for a blood sacrifice.
    • The Teutonic Order was lumped in together with the Holy Roman Empire; historically, they were very separate organizations (although the Order did pledge allegiance to the Empire).
    • The Crisis of 1051-52 was greatly dramatised and exaggerated. note 
    • Boleslaw I's feud with Yaroslav the Wise was historically more complex than what was depicted. note 
    • The Teutonic Order campaign gave the impression that the Great Prussian Uprising lasted for a relatively short period; historically, it lasted well over a decade.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Your own units are subject to this, as they'll get so caught up in the excitement of the battle once they start attacking that getting them to retreat if the battle starts going south and before their morale gets broken is rather difficult. This is true regardless of the faction, to reflect the wild character of the warriors who weren't subjected to organised drills. However, there are squads which amplify the trope (e.g. Viking berserkers), as they cannot be given the order to retreat.
  • The Berserker: Vikings obviously have these on their side.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Averted, as battles often leave dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of bloody corpses lying on the ground, and the victors will be thoroughly splattered in the blood of their enemies.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Historically, Rurik's ascension and the Crisis of 1051-52 were less bloody and violent than their depiction in the campaigns.
  • Book Ends: The raid on Lindisfarne is considered to be the start of the Viking Age in the British Isles; the death of Harald Hardrada at the Battle of Stamford Bridge is considered to be the end of said Age.
  • But Thou Must!: In the Battle of Lubawa, Konrad can choose not to follow Helmrich in pursuit after meeting him; the scenario will still treat him as having done so, resulting in him being left severely injured and without a horse for the final segment of the mission.
    • In The Final Straw of Saladin's campaign, the player can pretty much ignore every objective except the one to attack Jerusalem; doing so triggers the final segment of the mission, where the player has to survive until Saladin arrives.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Defied with squads. The game tracks the health of individuals in squads; a squad with large numbers of heavily wounded members can theoretically retreat in the heat of combat to escape to a safer area, where they can then heal up and rejoin at a later time. Played straight with heroes, though.
  • Death of the Old Gods: The Teutonic Order's campaign focused on their forced conversion of Old Prussia, and crushing any resistance.
    • Mieszko's conversion to Christianity was treated as a major event, as it was historically.
    • Averted with the Viking campaigns, as they were set in eras whereby Christianity had not yet taken root in the peoples depicted.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Herkus in the Teutonic Order campaign. He stays as a narrator however.
  • Everything Fades: Averted with the corpses, which will stay on the map up until you finish the entire mission.
  • Eye Scream: During melee, the victorious warrior will occasionally gouge out the eyes of a downed enemy before finally ending their life. Also Harold's death.
  • Finishing Move: Warriors will automatically pull off a range of these during the melee battles.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Averted. Positioning archers behind your own troops is often a really bad idea, especially if they are not veterans with upgraded accuracy. Maneuvering archers into positions where they can fire at the enemy without hitting friendly troops is an important aspect of the game.
  • Geo Effects: Standing atop hills grants increased sight range. On the other hand, tall grass will make it more difficult to spot the warriors moving through it, while the forests provide even better concealment.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: There are heavily armored troops note , but their obvious durability is offset by their decreased movement speed.
  • Hero Unit: The leaders of each faction are frequently real historical figures, and they can take on plenty of enemies on their own, typically requiring dozens of blows to put down. They also buff the morale of their allies and intimidate rank-and-file enemies.
  • Historical In-Joke: In the epilogue of Harold Godwinson's campaign, Dunstan (who was a noted archer during the campaign) mentioned that he was made the Earl of Locksley, the attributed birthplace of the legendary Robin Hood.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: Encouraged in-game. Squads who employ tactical retreats in order to heal/ replenish manpower are likely to grow in veterancy, giving them the edge against their enemies. Cavalry benefit immensely from the tactic due to their mobility and charge damage.
  • Justified Tutorial: While the narration made it clear that the Norsemen taking part in the Lindisfarne raid had raided before, it is implied that this is their first raid from a position of weakness. That, along with their numbers scattered by the weather prior to landfall, meant that they had to learn to survive and gather strength before rejoining the main raiding group.
  • Knight Templar: Not only the Knight Templar themselves but rather their sister group, The Teutonic Order has a whole campaign dedicated to them, and this is pretty much their whole campaign.
  • Morale Mechanic: Present, and is adversely affected by getting ambushed, stumbling upon a trap, or other such nasties. Leaders will buff their troops' morale, and can also intimidate their enemies.
  • No Fair Cheating: The game allows the player to set a maximum of 9 traps in one map. Given how powerful spike traps can be, this is a Justified Trope.
  • No Indoor Voice: Played with, as your warriors are generally a rowdy bunch and converse almost exclusively in shouts and war cries during the day, but will only speak in whispers while moving at night.
  • Pit Trap: You are allowed to dig out two types of these - a muddy pit that gets people and horses stuck really well for a while, and a pit full of stakes that deals with the enemy warriors in a more permanent fashion.
  • Ridiculously Fast Construction: Like many other strategy games, the peasants are capable of putting out fires and building homes and other structures in very little time.
    • In fact, capturing a village always begins with burning its town hall down, with many other buildings likely getting hit alongside it. It then gets rebuilt in seconds after the village becomes yours.
  • Screaming Warrior: Almost everyone, except maybe archers
  • Spikes of Doom: The staked pits that can be dug up by your troops amount to this.
  • Stance System: Here, every unit type has a range of stances. For instance, shield bearers have a normal stance, fully defensive one, and one where they raise their shields above their heads to protect themselves from the arrows.
  • Supporting Protagonist: In any given campaign, you can spend a good deal of time as a subordinate of the campaign's hero rather than as the hero himself. For example, most of Edward the Confessor's campaign has you take control of Wilburg of Normandy.
  • The Hero Dies: Harold dies in the end of his campaign. Of course if you are familiar with history or played one particular mission in Age of Empires II where you are actually playing as the other side, this shouldn't come as a surprise.
  • Veteran Unit: Your units will be tougher and stronger as you level up, thus you should try to keep your units alive. Even if a squad survived with just 1 soldier remaining, the replacements will keep the veterancy.
  • Villain Protagonist: Arguably the Teutonic Order campaign.
  • Walk It Off: Wounded troops on foot can heal pretty quickly once they are out of combat. This is especially true for the leaders. Averted by cavalry, who can only heal when near certain buildings.
  • Weather of War: Rain drastically cuts down the effectiveness of archers, and also makes it difficult to set buildings on fire. Sight radius is substantially affected by the time of day, presence of torches and fireplaces during night-time, etc.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: Some missions will be instantly failed if the historical figures on your side die.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: Food is one of the resources that must be managed. While it is not spent on any construction, it is needed for upkeep of troops, with starving warriors obviously becoming far more vulnerable.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: Wood and metal are the two resources needed for all of the construction, upgrade and recruitment actions. However, food is required to maintain troops' effectiveness.