Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim

aka: King of Ardania: Madō ōkoku no yoake, Majesty: Realm of Arcania, Majesty: Sovereign of Ardania, Majesty: Władca Ardanii
Moby ID: 1277
Windows Specs

Description official descriptions

Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim is a real-time strategy game which, unlike other games in the genre, does not have the player directly control his units. Instead, all "heroes" are recruited from their respective guilds and as of that moment, their will is their own.

The player, the eponymous "majesty", can direct heroes by placing bounties on areas and specific enemies to motivate heroes. Some heroes like rangers are more keen on exploration, while rogues believe in the rule of gold. All heroes level up with combat experience, thereby increasing their statistics. Wizard's towers and certain temples allow the player to cast certain spells independently from spell-casting heroes. Some guilds and temples are mutually exclusive, and can not be present on the map under the player's ownership at the same time due to their respective heroes' rivalries. The only resource in the game is gold, and is gathered through tax collectors who patrol the player's buildings, through heroes' purchases in buildings such as marketplaces and blacksmiths, and by discovering treasure chests on the map.

The storyline follows the player as the new king of the fantasy kingdom of Ardania in the quest to reunite the once large state and reclaim it from monsters and evildoers. Missions range from the typical seek-and-destroy type to rescuing certain characters, and there is a random map generator available in single- and multiplayer in which tasks, map types and monster strength can be set at will. The main singleplayer campaign is split to regions, and the final mission of each region requires all prior relevant missions to be completed first. The final mission can only be accessed by finishing the entire rest of the campaign.

Spellings

  • 王权:幻想王国 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

129 People (111 developers, 18 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 75% (based on 39 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 43 ratings with 4 reviews)

A Simple, Fun Game

The Good
I liked the easy learning curve of this game. Graphics are pretty nice as is the sound. The tax collector's happily saying, "More gold you majesty" makes one feel like quite the "tax-and-spend" politician. grin It's just a fun game on the whole.

The Bad
I didn't like not having control over the different "heroes" you recruit. They basically go wherever they feel like in your town or countryside which is bad when you are under attack and don't have a lot of gold to "Recall" your knights.

The "Mage Towers" used for defense of your city cost money to activate. Fine. But there should have been an option to keep them active (subtracting additional monies if required).


The Bottom Line
Basically this is a simple strategy game that is a lot of fun.

Windows · by AstroNerdBoy (35) · 2002

A charming game.

The Good
This game was straight forward to play and combined a rather interesting blend of role-playing with an RTS format. I also rather enjoyed the lack of resource harvesting. This left more time for actually building up areas and coercing your heroes into fighting where you needed them. This game was unique to me in that you can not order your heroes around, but merely place rewards for them to collect and cross you fingers and hope they follow your desires.

The Bad
Not enough missions. Of course I never tried this game in multiplayer mode, so not having more than 15 missions or so meant the game didn't take more than a few weeks to play and had very little replay value after that period.

The Bottom Line
A rather interesting blend of role-playing with an RTS format in which you have no direct control over your unit.

Windows · by Jeff Watts (18) · 2001

A serious look into hero-based economy

The Good
So you want to be a hero? Then go away! This game is for the unsung protectors of the fantasy realm, the great thinkers and doers of the sword-and-magic universe, the ultimate quest-givers - his/her Majesty, The Fantasy Kingdom Monarch!

An unusual premise, but one fairly well executed. Unlike any other fantasy game where you're the one fighting the local wildlife with sword and spell, here you take a slightly more distant position of being in charge of the multitude of quest-seeking heroes, as the local monarch. You might ask "doesn't that sound suspiciously like a turn-based fantasy à la Age of Wonders?" Nope. Not only is this game real-time, but you're much closer to your "loyal" subjects than in any strategy game - you have one castle (if it's destroyed - you're dead) set uncomfortably close to lairs of vicious monsters and you're administrating a fairly small number of people and buildings. Your task is to keep your meager economy running while indirectly influencing your heroes to perform quests and reach the objective of each map.

This premise is by far the strongest part of the game, mainly due to its uniqueness. The wonderful voice acting of your subjects (particularly the wonderful Royal Advisor) and the pleasant, but slightly cartoonish graphics really made me feel like I was playing an inverse RPG. A lot of thought has went into making this aspect believable. How do you accomplish tasks? You order the construction of buildings that further your goals. How do you defeat your enemies? You recruit heroes and then place bounties on progressively more difficult enemies and lairs so that your brain-dead gang-ho heroes will be suitably trained before they venture out to defeat the Big Baddy. How do you get money for all that? You build marketplaces and blacksmiths and other attractions for your heroes to spend their gold on, which will be used to hire new heroes and new quests, and so on and so forth. All in all this gives an impression of a chaotic, yet well oiled, machine with the so-called "heroes" and "heroines" as nothing more than puppets and you as the master puppeteer.

The strategical elements of the game boil down to deciding how to spend your money and when. Will you invest in marketplaces to booster your economy or will you spend it on hero guilds to give you much needed protection? The type of guilds you build is extremely important: each guild supports a certain type of heroes and each hero type has different strengths and weaknesses as well as a different behavior. For example, rouges are the most eager to complete your quests, but they're also fairly weak and will steal from your own buildings; rangers will explore the wilderness on their own, but will quickly perish if there are too many wandering monsters; fighters are solid tankers, but need support from ranged and magic oriented heroes to survive.

Furthermore, some options prevent you from building certain guilds. When your palace reaches its second level you may choose between building temples to Life and Order or to Chaos and Death. If you choose Life you'll eventually unlock the mighty paladin heroines that excel at melee and reliably answer your quests, but will also be stuck with some less useful heroes. If you choose Death you'll receive the deadly priestesses who can summon hordes of skeletons to cleanse your countryside and even charm powerful undead, but other heroes will be much less reliable. In addition to that all temples (as well as the mage guild) provide you with realm spells that you can cast at your leisure if you have the right amount of gold. Different temples give different (though somewhat overlapping) spells, which adds another dimension to your building choice.

Your enemies are equally unique: Each monster has their own strength, magical resistance, their ability to dodge arrows and to parry blades, and their behavior. A single Goblin might be a puny opponent, but they tend to attack only in huge swarms that have archers, warriors and shamans, easily overwhelming ill prepared defenses. The Dragon, on the other hand, is a powerful loner who is best taken down by a small band of experienced heroes. Similarly creature lairs have their own special qualities as well - most are destructible and occasionally spawn dangerous monsters, some (like the graveyards and sewers) are permanent part of your kingdom, cannot be destroyed, but their monsters are nothing more than nuisance, while others still (like the Goblin settlements) can spawn new lairs and even erect guardtowers.

The game has about 18 premade missions as well as a freelance mode. In each regular mission you're given a different objective (destroy lairs, slay a powerful monster, accumulate gold or defeat a rival kingdom) and often a handicap (limited time, restriction on certain buildings, and, amusingly, a curse of stupidity or laziness which makes your heroes even less heroic), whereas in freelance mode you may choose your own difficulty, objective and limitation.

The regular missions are fairly well paced, ranging from beginner to advanced to expert difficulty level and each designed to teach you to use some specific tactic. In one mission you must learn to explore without relying on your rangers, in another to defeat hordes of powerful enemies with the often overlooked barbarian temple (which prevents you from building any other temple guild), in another to master all aspects of the economy to accumulate a massive sum of gold and so on. The learning curve is smooth despite some randomness in the premade missions (and a lot of randomness in the freelance mode) which may affect gameplay.

The Bad
OK, so we a have an interesting game mechanic, well made missions and good immersion, how can we ruin it? I know - let's make hero AI - the one thing which you don't control but is essential to the entire game - as bad as possible!

How does that look like? Well, each hero type has their own tendency to either go berserk (attacking all enemies with no regard to self preservation), flee in terror or follow a quest flag. However, heroes have no coordination so you can send an army of twenty heroes against a powerful boss monster and then watch in amazement as most of them decide to flee (despite having the numbers to defeat the monster) only to leave the weakest heroes behind who blindly charge to their doom. Or how about ranged heroes never retreating to fire from a safe distance and instead shoot their bows and spells from melee range, even when a melee hero is already engaging that monster. Or how about watching heroes respond to quest flags in waves - first go the rogues (who all get slaughtered), then the fighters or paladins (who might survive the encounter) and only much later your wizards deign to show up and provide cover fire. Even better is to watch the idiotic AI try to navigate inside a densely built settlement with some heroes or henchmen trying to escape, others trying to engage the monster, each blocking the others' way while they try to go around one side, then the other, then the first one again, only to end up comically dead. Hell, some heroes don't even try to buy healing potions or don't bother drinking them in battle, effectively dying stupid, easily preventable deaths.

Basically, when it comes to the really tough fights, the ones where heroes are essential, they can never be relied to show up or perform as expected. The most success I had is either repeatedly resurrecting one or two berserking heroes (combined with immobilizing the enemy, if possible) until they gain enough levels to defeat the monster or using a combination of spells and auto-defenses to kill the monsters without bothering to call heroes altogether (though, truth be told, this only happens in a small fraction of the total fights, and occasionally your heroes do perform as planned).

Building design is equally annoying. When enough buildings are built small sewer grates pop up near them. From the sewers come Ratmen that can steal thousands of gold coins from your marketplaces, seriously damaging your economy. The only way to deal with them is to build guardtowers or watchtowers around your marketplaces (since heroes rarely care enough to fight them) and hope that those auto defenses will distract the ratty menace. However, the game, in its infinite wisdom, also auto-builds houses and other structures in random locations which may prevent you from properly securing your vital installations.

Finally, let's look at the game as a whole. The freelance missions are utterly random and I find them unappealing, which leaves the fairly small number of regular missions to complete. All of these missions suffer from one single flaw - they are difficult only at the very start. The moment you figure out how to survive the initial wave of attackers (for instance, by abandoning regular tactics in favor of relying entirely on mage guild spells for defense) you're pretty much set for the entire mission. Even if a boss monster will appear in the end or some other complication, as long as you've survived the first few days intact you'll be able to grind your way to victory one way or another. What's worse is that there usually exists one and only one survival tactic in each map so the moment you figure it out the mission loses all replayability. This closed-minded approach to gameplay (which is most evident in expert-level maps) sucks all the fun out of gameplay. The game turns into a routine: start a mission -> note which monsters attack you in what way -> restart the mission -> assume a proper tactic (repeat these steps as necessary) -> achieve victory as dry and exciting as a dehydrated cracker.

And the worse part is that the number of these puzzles-masquerading-as-strategy is limited to the number of expert-level maps, and the maps don't take that long to play (most can be done in 30 minutes tops) so you'll very quickly run out of things to do.

The Bottom Line
While the game is interesting in its premise and well executed in most superficial aspects, the game itself is far too short and the gameplay offers very little reply value. The core game mechanic is lacking and the entire experience is fairly mediocre.

Nevertheless, the first several hours you spend familiarizing with the game are extremely fun, the voice narration is deliciously good and the game is fairly unique.

Overall, it's neither very good nor particularly bad, but it has enough charm to be worth a glance if you can fit it into your schedule/budget.

Windows · by Alex Z (1856) · 2015

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

Extras

The box contains 3rd edition Dungeons & Dragons pen and paper RPG rules as well as a summer sneak peek book of Wizards of the Coast's book line-up.

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • April 2001 (Issue #201) – Pleasant Surprise of the Year

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Jonathon Howard.

Macintosh added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: Kasey Chang, Unicorn Lynx, paul cairey, Kabushi, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger, Karsa Orlong.

Game added April 5, 2000. Last modified January 18, 2024.