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Rise of Legends (RoL) is a real-time strategy game released in 2006 and a spin off of Rise of Nations (2003). While it reuses many concepts from it's predecessor, it is not a historical game, but instead set in a fantasy universe with three entirely different factions.
When Lord Petruzzo Giamba, ruler of the Vinci city of Miana, tries to recover an alien artifact with his brother Giacomo Giamba, General Carlini, and his soldiers, he is attacked by the Doge Alessandri of Venucci, a bloodthirsty warlord. The Doge fires a laser beam at a nearby outcrop, causing an avalanche that crushes Lord Petruzzo and his men. Angered by the Doge's murder, Giacomo sets on a quest for revenge to avenge Lord Petruzzo.
During the campaign he breaks a Venucci siege in Pirata, and their leader Lenora joins him. They free the Doge's political prisoners and learn that Venucci has access to unknown technology.
Giacomo destroys Venucci with the Doge's weapon, the Doge Hammer. He later learns that the Doge has escaped with another Hammer to Miana during the battle at Venucci, which the Doge had already destroyed by the time he returned there.
Giacomo and General Carlini follow the Doge into the Alin Desert, where they are attacked by the Dark Alin Marwan. Their armies are saved by Giacomo's friend Arri, who brings them to her father, the king of Alin. The king tells them about the story of Sawu, another Dark Alin who was driven mad by an object that fell from the sky. Sawu began covering the land in a corrupting substance called Dark Glass, and he was sealed in the city of Mezkesh to stop the spread of Dark Glass. Giacomo leaves to break the seal and stop Sawu once and for all. He is accompanied by Arri, while Lenora returns to Pirata to gather her forces.
They battle Sawu, and cure his insanity upon defeating him, recovering the artifact that drove him mad. With help from Pirata's armies, Giacomo fights the Doge and kills him, but before he can recover the Doge's artifact an alien ship arrives to retrieve both the Doge's artifact and Sawu's artifact.
Desiring to know more about these "aliens", Giacomo advances into the Cuotl Rainforest, where reports of them were seen. He meets Ix, one of the False Gods who rule the Cuotl, who is searching for a device that is similar to the previous artifacts, which are revealed to be Cuotl technology. Giacomo battles Ix, but is nearly defeated until General Carlini arrives and kills Ix. Czin, another of the Cuotl gods, arrives to retrieve the device. Giacomo attempts to stop him, but is severely injured when the device explodes. General Carlini challenges Czin, and Czin easily kills him.
Giacomo has gained new powers from the explosion, which has altered his body and mind. He builds a robotic walker to stimulate Ix's powers to avenge Carlini's death. He is joined by Kakoolha, the rightful leader of the Cuotl, in his assault against the Cuotl gods. When they reach the Cuotl capital, Giacomo discovers that Czin is preparing an enormous machine to "talk to the Stars", and cause the destruction of the world in the process. Giacomo confronts and fights Czin inside the machine, and kills him. He destroys the machine while being inside it, and is killed.
Statues of Giacomo were set up everywhere in Vinci in remembrance of his efforts and Lenora is tasked with unifying the Vinci city-states. Arri travels the world, as she has been banished by her father for helping Giacomo. Cuotl is now ruled by Kakoolha, and its people are adapting to the technology that was spread by the False Gods throughout their land.
Most things from Rise of Nations are kept, like the city, attrition, borders, capturing cities, non-depletable resources and Conquer the World. As well, it also adds new things, like city districts, heroes, a simpler economy (the only resources are Timonium and Wealth/Energy), and neutral sites that act like Cities (or are neutral Cities) and can be bought and used or sieged and taken.
Another simpler move is for RoN to use 3 instead of 24 races. The Vinci are a technological steampunk race depending on clockwork, steel, steam and electricity, among other things; the Alin are a magical race using three types of magic: fast Sand, aerial Flame, and destructive Glass, and the sci-fi Cuotl are a nation that revels in the bounties of technology and worshipping gods. Rise of Legends also makes use of AGEIA's PhysX engine (as buildings take damage parts of it will fall off, explode, and/or fragment when it hits the ground).
Gameplay Features Edit
Rise of Legends has a few unique gameplay options unfound in Rise of Nations.
Unlike most RTS games and Rise of Nations where a player starts with a city and expands from that central point, RoL gives the player a city center but adds a second building class: Districts. Districts need to be attached to the city. The districts vary, but one way or another they're used for the purpose of expanding the central city, increasing the resource cap, and adding to the population limit. The other buildings include such things as turrets and unit production centers. There are four different districts:
- Military District: Increases the population cap, creates additional Imperial Musketeers/Desert Walkers/Sentinels. The Cuotl must perform research to benefit from the infantry.
- Merchant District: Increases the resource capita and allows for the creation of additional Caravans, excluding the Cuotl. The Cuotl Reactor District does that, but instead of allowing for more Caravans, increases Energy flow.
- Palace District: Used to increase a City's size. A Palace district can only be built when three other districts have been built, and only two can be built, turning the City into a Large City, and then a Great City. The first Palace places converts your City to a Large Capital. Upgrading the City unlocks more research, unit types, and buildings.
- Industrial/Magus/Holy District: The Vinci's Industrial District gives Prototypes which can be spent at the Prototype Factory. The Alin have the Magus District, which gives them Research. The Cuotl have the Holy District, which builds Holy Arks, the supply units of the Cuotl.
Master Units are gigantic warmachines that can crush nearly anything in their path. As such, they take long times to build and humongous amounts of resources to construct, and usually only one is built: if it's destroyed, by the time it's replaced there's no need for it.
There are three buildable master units: the Land Leviathan, which is a gigantic six-legged spider mech, the Glass Dragon, which is a very large dragon made of glass, and the City of Vengeance, a construct which levitates and uses electricity and sunbeams as attack forms. Three more can be built elsewhere: the Elder Glass Golem can be built at a Glass Spire, the Moon Gorilla can be built at the Moon Core, and the Scavenger Boss can be built at the Clockwork Scrapyard (although without the use of cheats and Conquer the World it cannot be built). There is another master too: Ix, the Moon God, the fourth Cuotl Deity, can be controlled if you have the Moon Temple.
Each side has its own set of Hero units. They must be summoned, and flying heroines take longer to summon than anything else.
- Giacomo, the Inventor of Miana-In CtW, he starts on horseback and gets his Walker in Mission 2. He eventually dies destroying Czin's doomsday device.
- Lenora, Pirata Captain-In CtW, her Flyer was shot down by the Sky Crusher and she forges an alliance with Giacomo in Mission 3. She is rumored to be Giacomo's love interest.
- Carlini,General of Miana -In Conquer The World( CtW), he is the companion of Giacomo and Petruzzo during the first mission. In the other mission, he must be summoned and sometimes he is summoned automatically.
- Doge Alessandri of Venucci-anIn CtW, he is an evil person who wants to control the world under his palms. He controls two puppets who are swiftly defeated by Giacomo. In the end, during the last Alin campaign mission, he destroys Giacomo's walker but Giacomo rips the wires for his laser. The Doge attempts to fire anyways, but the laser overloads d blows up, taking out the walker and waxing the former Doge.
In the intro movie a large spaceship blows in half in low orbit. it then flashes to a cuotl city with a part of the spaceship stuck into a cliff. in one skimish level the description mentions fallen gods, the spaceship, and the fallen warriors, the survivors. it is unknown if humans were on the planet beforehand.
Several patches had been released for Rise of Legends, however, they were never released as standalone patches, but instead had to be installed using the in-game menu ("Check for Updates"). Unfortunately, Microsoft shut down the update servers sometime ago and failed - yet again - to provide standalone patches as an alternative.
However, fans have made the patches available for manual updating. You will find the patches here (there are different patch sets for the US and European version of the game):
- Manually patching Rise of Legends at Rise of Nations Heaven
and - if you need it - a video instruction on how to install them here:
- Updating Rise of Legends Manually at YouTube
Note, that the DVD version released in February 2010 already includes all patches!