The Let's Play Archive

King's Bounty

by Thuryl

Part 19: A Knight to Remember

Heffer posted:

So are the evil/undead troops that you don't use any good? I'd be interested in seeing you do a demonstration battle with them at some point before the end of the game.

I'll definitely use Demons at some point, because they have three very important advantages that more than outweigh the morale issues -- and if you're using Demons, you may as well use Vampires too, since they're also a great unit apart from the morale thing. I'll probably also use Ghosts at some point just for the sake of showing off what they can do. Skeletons and Zombies aren't all that exciting, though: skeletons are sort of like slower-moving wolves (decent attack, low HP), and zombies are almost exactly like gnomes.

The best strategy when putting undead in your army is usually to mix groups D and E, since group D (Wolves, Orcs, Ogres, Trolls, Dragons) aren't bothered by undead, and there aren't really enough endgame-worthy units in either group to make a full army on their own. (Although an all-group-D army is worth considering if you're lucky enough to find a lot of Dragons.) An army of Orcs, Trolls, Vampires, Demons and Dragons would be pretty potent. I prefer to use lots of ranged units, though, which is why I lean heavily toward group C.

Anyway, most of you wanted to see Ignatia crush Moradon before venturing on to Archipelia, so that's we'll do.

A Knight to Remember

"Ah, you have returned. Naturally, an honourable woman like you would never resort to exploiting advantages which her opponent did not possess, such as superior numbers or magic. Let us fight on equal terms, so that the victor may be decided by skill alone."

"No deal, beardo. You're going down."


Those of you who want to see a challenge are going to be kept waiting a little longer. Those of you who want to see me break the game... well, if you think this is breaking the game, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Moradon does have a few tricks up his sleeve, though. Those cavalry are going to run right down the screen and harass our ranged units if we let them.

"And that's why I prepared a Fireball spell. Well, that and the fact that I always prepare a Fireball spell. Or two. Or ten."

Our archers successfully finish the job.

"Not so fast! I still have an army of militia ready to charge down and cause trouble for your druids!"

"You may be able to defeat my militia force before it can attack, but my archers can shoot at yours directly!"

"Me and my big mouth."

This is what's left of Moradon's army at the end of round 1.

"What do you mean, 'what's left'? I still have a full army of knights and pikemen!"

Damn it, archers, finish what you start!

Our elves and druids continue the cleanup, and now all that's left are Moradon's knights.

"My knights will not be so easily defeated by your trickery! Already they stand before your archers, ready to wreak havoc! What will you do now, woman?"


"Is that the best you can do? You have to run out of spells or arrows eventually!"

"Not before you run out of knights."

30,000 more gold, and not a single death in this whole battle.

Garrisoning troops can be used to swap out a useful unit that you don't want to use at the moment. Not today, though.

Moradon's map piece was quite revealing: there's a tiny bit of land across the water to the northeast. I was pretty sure I knew where the Sceptre was before, and this just about confirms it.

Well, I guess that ends today's update. Time for a st--

"Wait just one minute!"

What's wrong?

"You haven't given my loyal retainers anything to vote on! If we stop here, all we'll be able to do next time is explore Archipelia!"

Good point. I guess this update is going to continue for a little longer!

But if we're going to do this, then please, no sea shanties this time.

"I don't make promises I can't keep."

Annoyingly, sailing to a new continent brings us to the end of the week and ends any Time Stop counter we have going. Also, take a gander at the Army section of that balance sheet. If our army gets much bigger, we'll have to keep Time Stop on just to avoid haemorrhaging gold every week.

How does that work, anyway? I mean, our army is marching around with us all the time, so obviously the spell doesn't affect them. Don't they still need to eat, even if time is stopped for everyone else?

"Oh, that's easy. I just stop time for their digestive tracts and keep everything else running."


"When you can bend the laws of physics to your will, then you can come back to me and tell me what does and doesn't make sense."

A town, a book, and a sign! Which shall we examine first?

"You're not going to ask them to vote on that, are you?"

... no, of course I wasn't. Let's continue, then.

This sign isn't at all informative, but at least it's not actively insulting like most of the other signs. Thanks, sign! I'll be sure to make myself welcome.

"This is the second time you've directly addressed a signpost, and yet you think I'm the crazy one."

Having one town that sells Town Gate on each of the first three continents isn't so bad, really. There are only a couple of spells we still want and can't yet buy.

The nearest castle is filled with a mildly threatening assortment of random monsters. We'll take care of them eventually. For now, let's go outside and pick up that book!

Hmm. Nice-looking book. Ignatia, what do you think of it?

Uh, Ignatia?

Ignatia, are you okay?

"Could you leave me alone for a while? I need some private time with this book."

Ah, of course, you'll want to read it in peace and quiet. Sorry. I won't disturb you any more.

"... yes. Exactly. I'm going to go and read that book now."

Okay, I'll wait. Meanwhile, I'll explain the artifact we just found.

The Book of Necros doubles spell capacity. Ignatia can now prepare up to 58 spells at a time instead of 29, and all future boosts to spell capacity will be doubled as well.

... what's that noise?

Let's see what kinds of monsters and treasures we'll find on Archipelia!

Do we want giants in our army? I believe the answer to that question is a resounding "fuck yeah".

Giants have all the advantages of a fast unit, a strong unit, and a ranged unit. Not only do five giants hit as hard as ten knights, but they have a high movement rate and can throw boulders six times per battle.

The jump in treasure value from Forestria to Archipelia isn't as dramatic as from Continentia to Forestria, but that's still a lot of money. Ignatia has plenty of leadership, so she takes this gold for herself.

Thanks, signpost, but I'd kinda figured that out on my own.

Every continent is now open to us! Ignatia's army of fiery death knows no bounds!

Please tell me this town sells something other than Time Stop. Enough is enough.

Hell yes. Admittedly, we'd get more use out of Resurrect if any of our units were actually getting killed, but what can you do.

That's a strong army, and the first we've heard of enemy dragons. They're the most powerful unit in the game by far, but he's only got a few of them. Who is this Mahk Bellowspeak, anyway?

On the second ship, a hesitant knock woke Mahk Bellowspeak from his well deserved rest. Mahk lived up to his name and bellowed, "It had better be good for you to wake me. You know I get cranky when I don't get enough sleep."

A voice quivering with fear answered, "The Dread Pirate Rob signaled us, sir. We have arrived."

A slow smirk passed across Mahk's green face. The cabin boy would live, it was time to fight! Mahk dressed quickly, picking up clothes off the floor of his cabin haphazardly. With care, he took his mighty two-handed sword from its protective coverings. It shined brightly in the dim lamplight.

Mahk left the cabin and waited.

He's... either a troll, a really big orc, or a human with a serious skin condition. He masterminded Dread Pirate Rob's raid on Castle Maximus to break Moradon, Aimola, Bargash, Johnno, and one other traitor out of prison. Also, he has no concept of an indoor voice.

A crown! I wonder what that does.

"Eh, it can't be as good as the Book of Necros."

Maybe not, but it's pretty close! The Crown of Command doubles Ignatia's leadership, and doubles all leadership bonuses she receives from now on. From now on, her army will be limited more by her ability to financially support it than by leadership.

This had better not be full of peasants.

Barbarians! They have more HP than Knights and a movement rate of 3, but their attacks are weak, so they're mostly useful as highly mobile meatshields. They're in morale group C, though, so they play well with units like, oh, Elves, Druids and Giants. Hmmmm...

I'm calling it right now: that tree is full of Elves.

Five trees full of elves would be just peachy if I couldn't get them more cheaply with Instant Army. As it is, it's mildly infuriating. Let's see if there's anything in that town to calm me down.

Castle Gate. Useful, except that we already have a source of it. Meh. What does the local castle have to offer?

Whew. That's quite an army: maybe even a worthy challenge for Ignatia? Who is this man who commands such forces?


The Czar Nickolai, a strange and wild looking man, paced around his tower suite in a frenzy. His disheveled appearance made him look more like a crazed conjurer or a possessed soul than a king from a foreign land.

His eyes, which some said revealed madness, darted back and forth across the room, glancing at everything and recognizing nothing. Nickolai's fists clenched and unclenched constantly, moving in a strange cadence with the mutterings which passed under his breath. It sounded as if he was arguing with himself. "If it were anything but a demon I would have no problem. Yet they have so much power to offer. Demons bother me, nothing else does. I don't let them bother me. Demons don't care what I let them do or don't do, they do what they want. What are you going to do?"

The Czar conspired with Princess Aimola and Sir Moradon the Cruel to try to overthrow King Maximus. He also slit the throat of a servant who listened in on their plotting. He's the fifth of the prisoners broken out of Maximus' dungeons by Murray, Rob and Mahk's plot.

"Wait, so his name is Czar Nickolai the Mad, and his alias is The Mad Czar? That shows some real originality right there."

Anyway, now that we have a lead on two villains, it's time to end the update.

Ignatia is going to clone as many of those giants as she can.

2288 leadership. 58 spells. 140,000 gold. This is sheer madness.

Those two artifacts revealed even more of the map. I bet more than a few of you who have played this game can guess where the Sceptre is by now.

And that's our map of the currently-explored region of Archipelia. Not much to see yet.

Today, you have not one, not two, not three, but four options to vote on! Ignatia can either crush Mahk Bellowspeak, annihilate Czar Nickolai the Mad, explore Archipelia, or, for the real sequence-breakers among you, move straight on to Saharia! Vote now!

"Capturing more villains will bring me closer to my final promotion, and you all know what that means!"