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Thread: Warlocked - an RTS for the Gameboy Color

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    ServBot (Level 11) Edmond Dantes's Avatar
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    Default Warlocked - an RTS for the Gameboy Color

    So a long time ago, Stop Skeletons From Fighting (formerly known as the Happy Video Game Nerd) covered this game in a video.

    Then I discovered it in a GameXchange and decided to buy it.

    It really is pretty good.

    If you haven't seen that video... basically, somebody thought "hey, let's take Warcraft II and put it on the Gameboy Color!" It's not just that its a fantasy-themed real time strategy but... well okay, that's the main thing, but its close to the point that I often felt my Warcraft II instincts kicking in.

    Admittedly this was sometimes a problem. One thing I learned fast is that in most cases, mixing footmen and archers is a bad idea--they should always be moved as separate groups. This is because the AI can be incredibly dumb and get so caught up in moving and positioning that they don't STOP AND ATTACK. I find this is less likely to happen if your group is not mixed.

    Pathfinding is also something you'll have to deal with. Generally you have to directly lead your units far more than you would in a PC game. You can't just tell them to go halfway across the map and expect them to make it--they'll often wind up walking in circles because they'll come to a dead end, start to go around but then go back to that dead end. You very much need to be there for these silly kids.

    Another thing to get used to is de-selecting units. You select by holding A and running the cursor over the unit(s) you want to control, and from there, its point and press A, with a cursor that changes to tell you what is gonna happen. To de-select, you have to hold A (the cursor will change to a hand when units are de-selected). The thing is there is a command for if you have units highlighted and click on another unit (it tells them to follow/protect that unit) and often I would have told soldiers to go to one place then be going to tell a peasant to do something, but I would have accidentally told my soldiers to go towards the peasant because I forgot to de-select the active units. However, it wasn't long before remembering to hold A was second nature to me. I think you can also de-select by pressing select.

    What mitigates this though is that Warlocked doesn't move anywhere near as fast as Warcraft II, and also--perhaps as a concession to the GBC's limited controls--you don't have as many unit types. What I mean by "limited controls" is, for example, this is how barracks are handled: Tapping the A over the barracks tells it to produce a knight (or is it a footman?), tapping B over the barracks produces an archer. Yep, its which button you push. Other than those two, your main hall can make peasants. I think those are the only units you can produce from a structure though.

    As for structures... I don't think you can build main halls (in this sense, the game might be more like Warcraft 1, but thankfully having Warcraft II's "you can place buildings damn near anywhere" logic). One neat thing though is that halls have guards in them that shoot at enemies, so they can defend themselves if attacked, which saved my bacon a few times. Peasants can build farms, barracks, and guard towers... all of which work like their Warcraft II equivalents.

    (Brief guide for those who aren't nerds like me and never played Warcraft II--farms: More of these basically allows you to make more units. Barracks: already described. Guard towers: shoot arrows at any enemy that gets within range).

    There is an additional mechanic tho... some levels have battlements which actually have a height thing going on: archers on the battlements can shoot down at the ground, but can't be shot at themselves... except by guard towers. There's also one level where some archer units are inside a forest and will attack when your chopper units chop them out, but again, towers can kill these (but normal archers can't shoot thru the trees).

    Or you can also summon wizards.

    Okay, Warlocked has two unique elements: Wizards and Dragons. Okay Warcraft II had dragons but not quite the same way.

    Basically, in a lot of levels (possibly every level?) you can find both a wizard and a temple (it looks like a stonehenge structure). If you find the wizard and touch him, you'll get a profile and control of the wizard. If the wizard makes it to the temple, then you can summon him at any time, in any level, as long as you have access to a temple. Wizards are free to summon and often have powerful abilities, like putting enemies to sleep or turning them into bombs or casting area-effect toxic clouds (which you have the option of either aiming at a spot on the ground or at a specific enemy, depending on whether you confirm with the A or B button).

    Dragons are a similar deal: In some levels you find a dragon egg that hatches when you get near it. Then you can control the baby and send it to your town hall, where it will stay until it "grows up" (which happens in, like, five seconds... I guess they have a lot of precious gemstones in the town hall to get the dragon good and greedy), at which point it comes out and can wreck your enemies. The only drawback is, in single-player at least, dragons can only be used in levels where you find them.

    .....

    Now, I have had one strange recurring experience with this game.

    There's a glitch that can sometimes happen, I call it "the invisible men" glitch. I have no idea what causes it, tho I suspect it has to do with leaving the briefing screen by pressing A instead of Start.

    Here's what happens: you select a unit or group... and they turn invisible. In fact, they count as dead now, and if you ever de-select this unit, then they will indeed die... but until that happens, you have full control of them and they can do all their normal actions. In fact, I found out by accident that if this happens to soldier units, it allows them to attack without fear of repercussion--the enemy literally can't retaliate!

    The first time I played, I thought I was doing something wrong and disbanding my units, it wasn't until later I realized it was a glitch, and at first hated it... but then I had the level where I found its hidden uses, and now its a decent scouting tool, and possibly a game-breaker in any level where the goal is to destroy all enemies and where you start out with army units. Levels where you start out just with peasants tho, its pretty useless except maybe for scouting (peasants can't attack, except in some levels where they can activate deathtraps).

    .....

    Anyway,

    So one day I need to find another person who still has either a GBC or a GBA, and a working copy of Warlocked, and challenge them to a match. It's not quite as good as Warcraft II (which I still consider the best RTS ever) but I mean.... its a game that's basically that, but simplified and which you can take with you on the go. That counts for a lot.

    It's almost too bad its the only portable RTS that I know of, actually.

    Anyone else ever played Warlocked?

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    Apple (Level 5)
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    Yes I got it as a gift maybe around the year 2000. I couldnt figure out how to play it at the time but I remember liking the music.
    On a quest to buy every video game magazine- PM if you have any for sale

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    ServBot (Level 11) Edmond Dantes's Avatar
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    I've now beaten both campaigns.

    Yeah the controls took me some getting used to, but it turned out to be only because I thought the game would be more complicated than it was and wondered if I would only ever have basic archers and footmen units through the whole game (turns out you do).

    So now that I've 100%ed the game (I found everything in each map in both campaigns, not sure what else I could do).... I did wind up finding ways to cheese the game.

    One level in the Beast campaign has you getting sporadically attacked from all four sides, and at first it seemed overwhelming, but in desperation I tried a Warcraft II tactic--farmwalling (that's where you build a line of farms that act as a wall).... and I noticed something about the AI then. Apparently if they come with the purpose of attacking the town hall, they are so single-minded that they'll ignore any enemy unit that doesn't attack them. But the pathfinding is so bad that they will START to look for a way around, immediately forget what they were doing and go back to their main path, find it blocked, start looking for a way around again....

    After a few seconds I had a huddled bunch of archers trapped below my town, just confused like they couldn't find a way in.

    At this same point I also had both Goldwiz and Fuelwiz (who have the ability to turn enemy units into either gold or fuel, respectively), so these bunches were basically like the game was giving me free resources. Also these wizards getting close enough to use their abilities doesn't count as attacking so the huddled archers would just ignore him as they mulled around (enemies that were just standing still somewhere, however, WOULD react if they got too close).

    In general I found that wizards and--believe it or not--peasants were the best units in the game. Like seriously it got to a point where I wasn't even building barrackses anymore because Quakewiz could safely take out guard towers, Windwiz could deal with dragons (you have to attack with the B button, which signals you want to attack a specific space on the ground instead of an enemy, because Windwiz doesn't think he can hit dragons but he can), and various "transform enemy into something else" wizards to just plow through the forces... and Stealthwiz.... oh god Stealthwiz. I got in a pattern of using him to make my units invisible to the enemy, which apparently even extends to being able to harvest gold and fuel without being seen, and build structures. It is way OP.

    Oh, Quakewiz and Windwiz both do splash damage and can be directed to attack an area instead of a specific enemy (press the B button). I used this a lot to make sure I was never in range to be seen/attacked by a tower or dragon, but still do damage. Makes it take longer, but its better than losing a wizard.

    Here's an oddity though... some wizards are supposed to be human or beast-only, but that's not hardcoded into the game... you can summon Princess Azarel while playing as the beasts!

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    Pretzel (Level 4) Natty Bumppo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    .
    It's almost too bad its the only portable RTS that I know of, actually.
    There was a game called Mech Platoon which IIRC was an RTS for the gameboy advance. Never played it so I can't tell you anything about it.



    There was also an original gameboy version of Rampart that was rereleased on the Advance with Gauntlet. Sort of an rts (depending on how you define it.) The SNES version was a blast - and normally I don't like that sort of game. I would imagine the SNES is a lot better than on the gameboys.
    When I come home from a long day in Hell, there's nothing I'd rather reach for than a fire-brewed bottle of Styx Beer. Made from the filthiest waters from our own River Styx. Styx Beer is a third more toxic than any other regular beer. The worst beer - the filthiest beer - the deadliest beer. It's Styx Beer!

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