The Let's Play Archive

King's Bounty

by Thuryl

Part 10: Exploring Continentia, Part 1: Artifact or Artifiction?

Cidrick posted:

Edit: According to GameFAQs, here's what the Ring of Heroism does:

It's probably like having a high luck in the HoMM games, where you can get lucky and do maximum damage with a stack of troops every so often.

Makes sense. It'd explain why my elves suddenly got even more awesome than usual.

KnoxZone posted:

Its worse when you recruit vampires or ghosts without knowing what happens if you exceed maximum leadership ability. Sending ghosts after that massive stack of peasants turned out to be a horrible idea.

Vampires can't exceed their original unit size with their healing ability, so they're actually a very good unit to have (except for the fact that they're undead and therefore ruin everyone else's morale). Ghosts, though... yeah. I'll get some, but only to show why getting them is generally a poor idea.

SynthesisAlpha posted:

Get ye some artifact! Find more shooters! I want to see an Elf / Druid / Archmage / Giant / Cavalry army stomp everything in its path and never lose a unit, except to dragons.

Because fuck dragons.

That's pretty much how I normally play. I once managed to beat the game on Impossible, defeat every villain, and only lose a total of 3 followers, all of them to Arech Dragonbreath. (And yes, I fully intend to show everyone how I did that when the time comes.)

Well, Ignatia went ahead and explored the rest of Continentia, as per the orders of her loyal retainers. It ended up being huge, so it's going to be split into two updates.

Exploring Continentia, Part 1: Artifact or Artifiction?

Since we've already got a boat parked handily outside the castle we just conquered, we might as well start sailing north and fill in the gaps there.


Even after our promotion, our army is eating up close to half our weekly commission. Gee, if only there were some kind of artifact or something that made us earn more money.

I can already tell that I'm going to be doing a lot of fist-shaking in this update.

"Ooh, a sign! Let's read it and see if it says anything helpful!"

Ignatia, I know you're only making me go over there because you want to test how flammable it is.

As you may have guessed, there are a total of about five signs in the game that say anything even remotely informative.

wait what? A treasure that's actually somewhat generous? It's a miracle!

A little further to the west and we find a new town.

"We haven't found a town that sells Lightning yet. Maybe this is it!"

"Actually, that's not so bad! We can see what new troops I summon now that I've got my promotion!"

It's still going to be something useless, but we buy one spell anyway. While we're in town, let's check on the nearest castle!

Random monsters, and not particularly tough ones. We might as well conquer this castle while we're in the area.

"Can we go back and get some more Fireball spells first?"


This group of monsters that we ran away from earlier has followed us, and if we try to retreat we'll just get chucked back into town, so there's no escape. Time to fight!

Nothing here is a threat to us with our current army, but Trolls are high-level enough that they're still worth a lot of money. Easiest 1285 gold we ever earned. Having just won back the cash we spent on our Instant Army spell and then some, let's try it out.

Well, isn't that something. 12 gnomes.

"We're attacking a castle, right? So we can always use them as a garrison."

It would have been cheaper to just hire them...

Anyway, time to get back in the boat and keep exploring. I wonder what this treasure will be?

Resurrect is one of the best spells in the game. It sells for 5000 gold, and resurrects a number of fallen troops from any one unit, up to a maximum equal to the caster's Spell Power. There is one catch: it can only be used during combat, and it can only resurrect troops that died in the same battle in which it was used. (It also doesn't lower your "followers killed" count: followers that were killed and resurrected are still counted as killed.)

Hey, is that a cave in the northwest? I wonder what's inside...

Another dwarf lair. Why couldn't we find a new kind of monster?

Urge to kill fading.

Well, no, that's a lie. Urge to hire a bigger army to kill more effectively rising. Anger fading, though.

Further west along the river, we find a passage leading north through the forest to Castle Wankelforte.

What kind of a name for a castle is that, anyway?

"Maybe it's powered by a rotary engine?"

Well, whatever. Siege time!

This is... pretty much like a normal wandering encounter, only bigger. I'm not going to bother giving a round-by-round account. Instead, I'm just going to show you one thing:


On the bright side, the money was good and we only lost a few gnomes.

Losing a few gnomes is a good thing, because it means we pay less to garrison them.

"One of these days somebody's going to report you to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Midgets."

We find a suitable replacement garrison bitch nearby.

Or not. Our elves are our MVP right now and we can't have anybody dragging down their morale.

Orcs are good troops, but not when there are only five of them and definitely not when they're pissing off Ignatia's precious elves. Out they go, and off we go down the river to explore some more.

A town, a castle, and treasure, all in one place. I like where this is going.

"My wishlist: Fireball spells in the chest, Lightning spells in the town, and enemies in the castle on which to test out both of the above."

Not an auspicious start.

Clone is one of the spells that we will eventually use to break the game. Like Resurrect, it adds extra troops to a unit. Unlike Resurrect, it's less effective on troops with high HP. But it does have one huge advantage over Resurrect: it can increase a unit to greater than its original size. The catch is that if you increase your unit's size above what your Leadership can support, it will go out of control and start attacking you.

Unfortunately, getting the best use out of Clone requires better troops, more spell power and other spells, none of which we have right now.

Nothing in the castle sounds like much of a challenge at all, but neither Ignatia nor I is the type to turn down easy money.

Speaking of which, here are some more monsters. The monster groups in random encounters seem to be pulled from a list of specific numbers of specific monster types: every group of "many Sprites" I've run into has had exactly 26 Sprites, and every group of Dwarves has had 8. I think the size of each group is one of the things that changes with difficulty level, which means that higher difficulty can actually help you by giving you more money from battles.

"Enough for a Fireball spell plus change. Let's fight dwarves more often."

More treasure nearby. This one's pretty average, but I'm going to shake my fist anyway.

In the forest to the south is Hidden Grove (according to that sign), and a monster lair. I wouldn't mind finding Elves or even Druids, but I have a sneaking suspicion that we're going to find...

... I was going to say Sprites, but close enough.

We needed a fresh garrison bitch and now we've got one. Time to attack.

And when I said "we've got one", I meant it. That one gnome's not gonna be doing any fighting, nor will it need to.

Someone needs to teach these archers how to hit things.

See what the elves can do? Why can't you be more like them?

Our elves just did at least 41 points of damage to an enemy unit with skill level 3. Our archers managed to do 12 points of damage to an enemy unit with skill level 1. This is beyond incompetence. Clearly the archers are deliberately attempting to sabotage our mission.

We win anyway, just to spite them, and for our trouble we barely earn more than we got from that wandering encounter outside.

Bye-bye, gnome! I guess you're gnome alone now, huh?

The next wandering encounter we run into has Ogres and Ghosts, but we breeze through it as easily as everything else we've been fighting. I mention it for one reason...

... it gives us significantly more money than we just got from raiding that castle. What the hell, King's Bounty?

Those peasants will take that 100 gold and they'll like it.

As usual, King's Bounty taunts me with the promise of units that I have not seen hide nor hair of on this entire continent. If it turns out that there isn't a single Nomad dwelling in the entire game, I won't be surprised.

We head back south through the Hidden Grove and find another exit on the other end.

"Let's read that sign! At least one of them has to say something useful!"

"Hey, another sign! Third time lucky, right?"

The sign says "Irok guards the north". Irok is the castle to our north. Just trust me on this, okay?

The castle's going to be full of random monsters, since we already know that the last villain on Continentia is in another castle (and I know what the obvious joke is here, but I already made that joke in my last LP). We don't have a garrison bitch in our army right now, so I won't attack just yet.

But what's this? Some kind of scroll to the northwest? Time to plow through those monsters and pick it up!

I swear, it must be breeding season for Sprites and Dwarves or something. Every second wandering encounter has had one or the other. At least the Dwarves give good money; we got 1430 gold for this battle.

"Or, as I like to think of it, 95% of the cost of a fireball."

What? We didn't do any of that stuff! We just found an old scroll lying on the ground!

"The scroll clearly states that it has been granted in recognition of my service to the Kingdom in freeing a virtuous maiden from the clutches of a despicable criminal. I have the scroll. Ergo, I must have performed said service to the Kingdom."

I'm getting the uncomfortable impression that every time you say the word "ergo", it's a veiled threat to set someone on fire if they disagree.

"You're a fast learner."

At any rate, these are the Articles of Nobility. They increase our weekly commission by 2000 gold.

Our finances are looking very healthy now, although Ignatia is going to make me blow half our cash on Fireball spells on pain of being set on fire.

Wait, how does that even work? If I don't let her buy any Fireball spells, she can't--

"No thinking. People who think too much get set on fire."

Yes, ma'am.

The Articles also came with another piece of the map to the Sceptre, revealing that the northern end of the mountain range is directly to the Sceptre's west.

We've explored most of Continentia now: all that's left is the far north and the western edge. Tune in tomorrow for the rest!

"Or else!"