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About this product
- Product InformationThe turn-based strategy/role-playing genre continues its late-1990s comeback with the release of Strategy First's fantasy-based world of magic, mayhem, and malevolence in Disciples: Sacred Lands. Set in a magical kingdom filled with a wide-ranging and diverse population, you can choose to play as any one of four major races in an epic struggle to rule the land or exact revenge.
Each of the four races answers to a higher god as the armies fight for total control of the kingdom through physical combat, magic spells, and cunning strategies. The individual races have completely different outlooks and their actions follow those philosophies with proprietary spells, creatures, warriors, and artifacts to help their cause. Once a race is selected, you then choose which of three Lord types you desire, each with inherent abilities, strengths, and limitations.
In Disciples: Sacred Lands, you can choose to guide the peace loving Empire, people trying desperately to overcome a terrible prophecy that speaks of poisoned soil and the advent of beasts and demons. Or, you may want to side with the fierce dwarfish race of miners and traders known as The Mountain Clans, comfortable in their mercantile community before the blight of war was unleashed.
You can cast your lot with the Legions of the Damned, led by the Prince of Hell Bethrezen, who has temporarily escaped the realm of exile where he was banished six thousand years earlier by the almighty Highfather. Also in need of your guidance is the horribly disfigured and depraved goddess of life Mortis, with her clan of The Undead Hordes, bent entirely upon revenge, not conquest.
The three types of Lords from which to choose include the Warrior Lord (strong fighter), Mage Lord (strong magic), or Guildmaster Lord (versatility). Other options include a campaign mode (Saga) where several chapters (or quests) link together to tell the overall story of Disciples: Sacred Lands or the "Quest" mode, consisting of single scenarios where nothing carries forward into the next one, unlike the sagas.
Each turn in the game represents one full day in the life of the kingdom. You can explore, build or upgrade your cities (both capital and regular), research spells, select and train new heroes and armies, manage your inventories by buying and selling artifacts, magic scrolls, or potions, and engage in combat against your enemies. Nearly all action is click-and-point with some keyboard shortcuts offered as well.
In addition to the aforementioned actions, successful gameplay requires such deeds as transformation of terrain, capturing enemy cities, looting, managing resources and cities, researching spells, diplomacy, management of armies, building structures, tracking unit statistics, and upgrading weapons and armor as experience is gained, spying, stealing, assassination, bribery and more.
Disciples: Sacred Lands supports up to four players over a LAN or the Internet as well as two players via direct link (modem or serial cable). All units and leaders are tracked in 16 categories and most units can rise to a maximum of eight levels. Each race features specific entities that are constrained by the type of character they are in terms of physical or magic capabilities and aggression, equipment and items or artifacts.
The game includes a Scenario Editor for creating your own quests, has over 100 magical spells, dozens of unique leaders and units for each race, more than 40 neutral units and characters and a huge array of items, tomes, scrolls, and banners (special attribute modifiers). Disciples: Sacred Lands can be played at four levels of difficulty ranging from easy to very hard.
- GameDisciples: Sacred Lands -- Gold Edition
- ESRB RatingE - Everyone
- Game EditionGold Edition
- ESRB DescriptorAnimated Blood, Animated Violence
- Control ElementsKeyboard,Mouse
- Release Year2001
- Game Special Features
- Vanquish foes by casting over 100 striking spells
- Venture through four campaigns as a Mage, Warrior or Guildmaster
- Multiplayer support for up to four players via LAN and Internet
- Vanquish foes by casting over 100 striking spells
- Game SeriesDisciples Series
Most relevant reviews
- opima05Mar 23, 2007by
A good game
At a glance, Disciples looks a lot like New World Computing's turn-based strategy hit Heroes of Might and Magic III. The resemblance isn't purely coincidental either - Disciples is clearly modeled after the Heroes games' basic structure. Despite its use of rather lackluster (and in some cases, downright lousy) rendered graphics in many parts of the game, Disciples is also chock-full of beautiful hand-painted art. The menu screens are adorned with gorgeous depictions of deities and legendary warriors, while in-game units are represented with excellent portraits that recall the stylized character designs of the popular sword-and-sorcery anime series Record of Lodoss War. In seemingly perfect accord with its graphics, Disciples' sound, particularly its music and speech, also ranges from the crude to the sublime. The main overland map music is a single looped affair that alternates between blandly ambient outdoor sounds and an interesting fantasy theme whose chanting baritone choir and tinny glockenspiel. Under the surface, Disciples is also a solid game to play. Though it borrows a lot from the Heroes games, it also makes several significant changes and additions to the formula. The most significant of these is the experience system; experience points are earned not only by your generals, but also by your soldiers. Though you must upgrade your castle in order for your troops to advance, those troops must first gain experience levels. This essentially eliminates the traditional tech-tree scramble of the Heroes series: Even if you quickly manage to build every single upgrade structure available, your troops won't actually improve until they've survived enough battles to gain the next level. Disciples' combat system also differs greatly from that of Heroes. There is a restrictively small limit on the number of units in each general's army, so padding a hero's ranks full of swarms of the best creatures available simply isn't an option. In fact, thanks to the experience system, high-level troops simply aren't available at first, as they must all begin as lowly greenhorns and gain experience levels. And when an actual fight breaks out - nobody moves. Combat doesn't unfold across a lengthy battlefield strewn with obstacles; it's a slugfest that takes place within a claustrophobically tiny box. Each unit in the game is limited to a single function; and since you have so few open slots in your roster to begin with, choosing a strategically sound war party is critical to your success. Of all Disciples' gameplay mechanics, the exploration component seems to most closely resemble that of the Heroes model. Your heroes explore the overland map in search of treasure and resources in the form of gold mines and four types of magical mana. However, you don't claim resources by simply walking over them; you must transform the terrain beneath the resource, either by conquering the surrounding lands or by hiring a special unit to plant a rod nearby. Though Disciples does borrow a great deal from the Heroes of Might and Magic games, it does many things differently and in interesting ways. Disciples is certainly derivative, though it draws much of its inspiration from worthwhile sources and uses these gleaned ideas to construct a package that looks good and plays just as well.Read full review