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Video Game / Queen's Wish

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Queen's Wish is the newest series from the veteran creator Jeff Vogel, who has been making Western RPG games with Turn-Based Combat for 25 years as Spiderweb Software, often completely on his own. The first instalment, Queen's Wish: The Conqueror, was funded on Kickstarter on June 29th, 2018, and released on PC through Steam on September 11th, 2019. The second installment, The Tormentor, followed on August 23, 2022.

In The Conqueror, you play as the youngest son/daughter of Queen Sharyn III, a Prince(ss) who is universally regarded as a spoiled brat and a failure. However, you are finally given a chance to prove yourself by being sent to Sacramentum - an island that once belonged the Queen's empire, but fell away long ago, and is now torn between its own warring factions. You are thus given a go at bringing this wayward, but relatively unimportant place back into the Empire's fold with relative restraint. Fail, and a ship full of veterans is waiting, and ready to go scorched earth.

Tropes present in Queen's Wish:

  • 0% Approval Rating: The Prince(ss) you play as is a clear failure in the eyes of everyone important in the capital, to the point s/he considers the royal guards' visible contempt customary in the opening monologue.
  • Alliance Meter: There are three main territories on the island that need to be brought under the Queen's control. In two cases, they are already being fought over by two factions by the time you arrive, so there are initially five reputation meters for the player to keep track of.
  • Amplifier Artifact: Every item can be augmented in a corresponding building at the fort. Moreover, these augmentations can then be moved to new items.
  • Anti-Grinding: To the extreme. The player does not get any experience or loot from defeating the regular enemies; while all bosses drop chests with unique equipment, the experience is still only obtained from discovering locations and doing quests. Moreover, the enemies in each area scale in level to always be one level below the player.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: The party must always include the Prince(ss), and s/he can have up to three other companions with him.
  • The Battle Didn't Count: The game is structured in such a manner that only the boss battles make any difference, as the player gets experience and unique items from defeating them. On the other hand, defeating normal encounters doesn't provide the player with anything, and moreover, they'll just respawn when the player re-enters the area regardless.
  • Cap: In The Conqueror, the player stops receiving skill points at level 20, and there's not enough available experience in the entire game to get beyond level 23. Of course, the player is expected to carry over that character into the sequel, and thus will get to continue levelling them up there.
  • Charm Person: There's a charm spell, and it is available to the enemies as well. One late-game area can become particularly difficult without equipment geared to raise the characters' mental resistance, since it is the only real way to counter the charmer enemies there.
    • This also counts as the Ahriel's "hat" in gameplay, making them invaluable in terms of both spreading and preventing the Charm status.
  • Combatant Cooldown System: Unlike previous Spiderweb Software games, combatants with higher speed can and will act more often in a semi-random manner. This makes speed-boosting augments and the Haste buff much more useful than before.
  • Damage Over Time: Poison and bleeding, which deal damage each turn and can be stacked up to five times.
  • Dialogue Tree: Present. You are allowed a fair degree of choice and consequence with your dialogue selections, while the way you speak about the in-game factions in even the general conversations slowly but surely affects your standing with them, since rumor spreads fast, and even stray words from the royalty carry impact.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: If you return home after allying with all 3 vassal states, but before confronting the Nisse, Sacramentum suffers a second Calamity and Haven is forced to withdraw from the continent all over again.
  • Equipment-Based Progression: In a large departure from all the previous Spiderweb games, this is practically the only form of progression here, as there are no classes and no character stats besides ability points provided when levelling up. Instead, only the equipment has stats that directly affect attack, defense, etc., which can be improved at the buildings in the forts you take over, assuming you upgrade these buildings first.
  • Fantastic Caste System: The Ahriel are divided into normal folks, as well as the Blessed, who regularly imbibe Elixir to the point of changing their appearance and mental health. Similarly, the Vol are divided into regular folks, the Owen, essentially thralls or slaves, and the Mascha, essentially slavemasters.
  • Fantastic Drug: Elixir, made by the Ahriel from quicksilver. It grants improved magical and mental abilities, at the cost of turning the user's hair white and their skin green, as well as a tendency to be lost in one's thoughts.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The three vassal races play with the trope a bit. The Ahriel are certainly the Mage, with their mastery of alchemy and mental magic. The Vol are a Proud Warrior Race yet have abilities that boost an ally's evasion, while the Ukatish are Combat Pragmatists whose racial abilities grant an offensive edge in combat.
  • Healing Potion: The player begins with a stack of them. They can also be converted into other types of potions with the help of the alchemist. Doing so will also provide a steady supply of them.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Exaggerated: the treasure chests are literally the only way for the player to obtain items. In particular, every time they defeat a boss, the chest with boss equipment will immediately appear in the middle of the room.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: The cultural "hat" of the Ukatish. Their tendency for infighting has made their self-loathing their biggest badge of cultural pride, making them disdain outsiders who even think of trying to get them out of this state.
  • Informed Equipment: Averted. Unlike the previous Spiderweb games, the character sprites do portray their current equipment.
  • King Bob the Nth: Queen Sharyn III, and for a more extreme example, King Borgen the 53rd.
  • Kingmaker Scenario: Your objection in each kingdom of Sacramentum is to pick a side, gain their alliance, and then send in Imperial troops to back them up.
  • Leaked Experience: Like in Avadon, every character gains experience at the same time, even if they were left behind at one of the forts while the others are out exploring.
  • Life Drain: One of the magical attack spells.
  • The Morlocks: The Nisse count, being an underground race of humans who not only are pale, but also manipulate events in Sacramentum to their advantage, causing not one but two Calamities.
  • Multiple Endings: You get various ending slides depending on your choices throughout the game. Moreover, a 12-character code is generated, which you'll be able to input at the start of the sequel in order to carry over your choices.
  • Non-Combat EXP: Exaggerated, as you only get experience for discovering locations and finishing quests, and not for killing any enemies. See Anti-Grinding above.
  • No Ontological Inertia: A strange example. The pieces of equipment worn by the player can be improved at specific upgrade buildings, which have to be constructed first. However, demolishing them afterwards will reduce the effectiveness of the corresponding equipment as well. This approach was implemented to prevent the players from gaming the construction resource system, and is somewhat unrealistic, but explained by the equipment requiring regular maintenance that stops being available when those buildings are demolished.
  • Old Save Bonus: You are given a Password Save at the end of The Conqueror, with the expectation of being able to use it in the sequel in order to see the world there altered by your choices.
  • Password Save: Here, the game generates a string of letters whenever you complete it, which corresponds to the world state at the end of your run. The idea is that entering it in the sequel will carry over your decisions there.
  • Respawning Enemies: If you leave the area before you manage to defeat its boss, all the enemies you did kill will respawn in the exact same places when you return.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Once you can reopen the portal, there's nothing keeping you in Sacramentum.
  • Skill Point Reset: Here, the skill points can be reset at any time, in what is another departure from the past Spiderweb games.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Played straight whenever fighting humanoid enemies that aren't bosses.
  • Walk It Off: Averted. Health will not regenerate outside of combat, and you need to either have someone cast a healing spell (and thus drain some of their mana) or drink a Healing Potion in order to regain it. Thus, it's possible to run out of ways to heal before being able to clear the area, and have to abandon the attempt until you are better prepared.

Alternative Title(s): Queens Wish The Conqueror