Disciples II: Dark Prophecy

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Disciples II: Dark Prophecy
Disciples 2 cover.jpg
Boxart
Developer(s) Strategy First
Publisher(s) Strategy First
Designer(s) Danny Bélanger
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Linux (In development)
Release
  • NA: January 22, 2002 (Collector's Edition)
  • NA: January 24, 2002
  • EU: September 13, 2002
Guardians of the Light
  • NA: June 14, 2003
Servants of the Dark
Rise of the Elves
  • NA: November 25, 2003
Gallean's Return
  • NA: May 27, 2005
Genre(s) Fantasy turn-based strategy
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Disciples II: Dark Prophecy is a Microsoft Windows game by Strategy First that was released in 2002. The game is the sequel to the 1999 game Disciples: Sacred Lands, and has become significantly more successful in terms of both sales and popularity than its predecessor. A limited edition version of the game was released, which included a card game based upon the story and game dynamics of the video game called Guardians of the Light and Servants of the Dark. This game, along with the expansion packs Rise of the Elves and Gallean's Return, was part of the Strategy First "Fantasy Pack", which was released with 3 other games: Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood, Dragon Throne: Battle of Red Cliffs, and Prince of Qin.

A sequel named Disciples III: Renaissance was released on July 13, 2010 in North America. It includes the Empire, the Legions of the Damned and the Noble Elves. A port of Disciples II for the Nintendo DS was also under development, but never released. Disciples II: Gold Edition was released via the digital distribution services Steam, Direct2Drive, Green Man Gaming, GOG.com and Impulse (where it is named Disciples II: Ultimate Edition).

Gameplay[edit]

Disciples II is a fantasy strategy game, set in a fictional kingdom called Nevendaar (also referred to as 'The Sacred Lands'). The main focus of the story revolves around four dominant races in a state of almost constant war. These four factions are the human Empire, the dwarven Mountain Clans, the demonic Legions of the Damned, and the skeletal Undead Hordes. There are also several other 'neutral' races such as Merfolk, Greenskins and Elves (the Elves became a full-fledged playable race with the addition of the expansion pack 'Rise of the Elves').

The gameplay is divided into three main parts; building up the Capital City of your race so that you can research new Warriors and spells, and building up new armies (this involves careful resource management); using heroes (leading small squads) to explore the surroundings, procure resources and attack the enemy; and finally the battles themselves.

Each playable race's Capital City is protected by an extremely powerful guardian, who is nearly impossible to defeat except with a very strong hero. The Capital City is the only city capable of building structures. Other cities may only upgrade themselves to allow them to mount larger defense forces.

Battles consist of confrontations between a hero's squad (which can take up to five other Warriors, bearing in mind that some large creatures such as dragons take up the space of two units) and an enemy squad. High praise is given to the excellent graphics and animations in these battles. At the end of the battle, the winning side receives experience points. All surviving units receive the same amount of XP. If sufficient XP is accumulated by a unit, it may then upgrade to another, determined by the type of structures in the Capital. If no next-level structures have been built, the unit does not level up and does not receive any more experience until the structure is built. The only exception is if the unit is at the end of the "upgrade tree", in which case it will remain the same unit but gain small increases to health, attack damage, and accuracy stats.

At the beginning of a campaign, the player may select his or her class (warrior, mage, or guildmaster). Each class has advantages and disadvantages. For example, a mage player may cast the same spell twice in a single turn, while a guildmaster has the ability to carry out more types of spying/assassination assignments. Besides player classes, the game also features five types of heroes (or leaders): Warrior, Mage, Ranger, Rod Bearer, and Thief. The first three differ only slightly, as they are all combat leaders. The Rod Bearers are the only leaders capable of claiming resources on the map. Thieves may perform special actions on enemy armies and cities.

Spellcasting may only be done outside of battles and requires the use of mana to both research and cast a spell. There are four types of mana (life, runic, death, and infernal) with the fifth type (grove) added for the Rise of the Elves expansion. Each race's spells are mainly reliant on their corresponding mana type (e.g. Empire -> life mana), although other mana types are required for higher-level spells. Grove mana is only required for Elven spells. Only one spell may be researched per turn, and a spell may only be cast once per turn (twice if the player is a mage class). Also, a mage player researches spells at half the normal cost.

During the single-player campaigns, the player may transfer one leader and five artifacts (including potions and one-shot spells) to the next level. At the end of a campaign, an option is given to save the player's top leader in a file for use in custom or multiplayer games.

Plot[edit]

In the beginning, there was nothing. The elder god Highfather had many angel servants, one of whom was his favorite - Bethrezen. The Highfather adored Bethrezen so much, the elder god granted him the power to create and left him to his own devices. Bethrezen, striving to impress the Highfather, created a new world and named it Nevendaar in the angelic tongue. Once the world was complete, Bethrezen called on other gods to help him populate Nevendaar with living things. Gallean and Soloniele created the forests and the seas and populated them, besides wildlife, with elves and merfolk, respectively. Wotan created the dwarves on the mountains, only to have them dig back into the rock. Bethrezen created the humans. More gods came and created other minor races, but the main stage has been set. Bethrezen left to tell the Highfather of his creation, leaving other angels to watch over Nevendaar. Unfortunately, the angels resented Bethrezen being the favorite of the Highfather and decided to sabotage the new world. When the Highfather arrived to look upon Nevendaar, all he saw was war and destruction. Infuriated that Bethrezen would create such a world, the Highfather cast his favorite down into the core of his own creation for all eternity.

Ten thousand years have passed. Bethrezen, trapped inside the molten core of Nevendaar grew mad with anger and thirst for revenge at the Highfather and the creatures of the world. Unbeknownst to everyone else, he created a race of demons from the fiery lava of the core to be his army. Unable to escape his prison, Bethrezen sent forth his legions to destroy the humans, dwarves, elves, and all other living beings of Nevendaar. As it happens, the demons first struck in the elven lands, setting their forests ablaze. The elves panicked and fled their homes into the mountains of the Clans. The dwarves assumed the elves were invading and attacked the refugees. This prompted Gallean and Soloniele to demand that Wotan punish his children for the slaughter. Infuriated at their arrogance, Wotan killed Gallean and threw his heart into the sun. Soloniele jumped after it and managed to save it, but her own skin was burned away. Not only that, but she also changed inside. She found that she had the power to effortlessly kill people and then bring them back as her undead servants. Changing her name to Mortis, the fleshless goddess led her new undead minions on a crusade against the Mountain Clans to punish Wotan for killing her lover. Thus began the First Great War.

Reception[edit]

Dark Prophecy[edit]

Disciples II: Dark Prophecy
Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 84/100[2]
Review scores
Publication Score
CGW 4/5 stars[3]
GameSpot 8.4/10[4]
GameSpy 87%[5]
GameZone 8.8/10[6]
IGN 8.6/10[7]
PC Gamer (US) 82%[8]
PC Zone 75%[9]
X-Play 4/5 stars[10]

The game received "favorable" reviews according to the review aggregation website Metacritic.[2]

Guardians of the Light[edit]

Disciples II: Guardians of the Light
Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 72/100[11]
Review scores
Publication Score
CGW 3.5/5 stars[12]
GameSpot 7/10[13]
GameSpy 2/5 stars[14]
GameZone 8.4/10[15]
IGN 7/10[16]
PC Gamer (US) 78%[17]

The Guardians of the Light expansion pack received "average" reviews according to Metacritic.[11]

Servants of the Dark[edit]

Disciples II: Servants of the Dark
Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 65/100[18]
Review scores
Publication Score
CGW 3.5/5 stars[12]
GameSpot 7/10[19]
GameSpy 2/5 stars[20]
GameZone 7/10[21]
IGN 7/10[1]

The Servants of the Dark expansion pack received more "mixed" reviews than the first two games according to Metacritic.[18]

Rise of the Elves[edit]

Disciples II: Rise of the Elves
Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 80/100[22]
Review scores
Publication Score
GameSpot 7.6/10[23]
GameSpy 4/5 stars[24]
GameZone 8.8/10[25]
IGN 7.9/10[26]
X-Play 3/5 stars[27]

The Rise of the Elves add-on received "favorable" reviews according to Metacritic.[22]

Gold Edition[edit]

Disciples II: Gold Edition
Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 78%[28]
Review scores
Publication Score
GameZone 8.5/10[29]
PC Format 61%[30]
PC Zone 70%[31]

The Gold Edition received "favorable" reviews according to the review aggregation website GameRankings.[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Adams, Dan (July 22, 2003). "Disciples II: Servants of the Dark". IGN. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Disciples II: Dark Prophecy for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  3. ^ Kapalka, Jason (May 2002). "Disciples II: Dark Prophecy" (PDF). Computer Gaming World. No. 214. pp. 82–83. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  4. ^ Kasavin, Greg (January 25, 2002). "Disciples II: Dark Prophecy Review". GameSpot. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  5. ^ Abner, William (January 30, 2002). "Disciples II: Dark Prophecy". GameSpy. Archived from the original on January 12, 2005. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  6. ^ Lafferty, Michael (February 20, 2002). "Disciples II: Dark Prophecy - PC - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on October 2, 2008. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  7. ^ Adams, Dan (January 28, 2002). "Disciples II: Dark Prophecy". IGN. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  8. ^ Brenesal, Barry (April 2002). "Disciples II: Dark Prophecy". PC Gamer. p. 70. Archived from the original on March 15, 2006. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  9. ^ Anderson, Chris (March 9, 2002). "PC Review: Disciples 2: Dark Prophecy". PC Zone. Archived from the original on September 12, 2007. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  10. ^ Jackson, Jonah (February 22, 2002). "'Disciples II: Dark Prophecy' (PC) Review". X-Play. Archived from the original on March 6, 2002. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  11. ^ a b "Disciples II: Guardians of the Light for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  12. ^ a b Jackson, Jonah (October 2003). "Disciples II: Guardians of the Light/Servants of the Dark" (PDF). Computer Gaming World. No. 231. p. 117. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  13. ^ Kasavin, Greg (June 18, 2013). "Disciples II: Guardians of the Light Review". GameSpot. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  14. ^ Abner, William (July 10, 2003). "GameSpy: Disciples II: Guardians of the Light". GameSpy. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  15. ^ Lafferty, Michael (June 16, 2003). "Disciples II – Guardians of the Light Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on October 3, 2008. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  16. ^ Adams, Dan (June 23, 2003). "Disciples II: Guardians of the Light". IGN. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  17. ^ Morris, Dan (September 2003). "Disciples II: Guardians of the Light". PC Gamer. p. 75. Archived from the original on March 15, 2006. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  18. ^ a b "Disciples II: Servants of the Dark for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  19. ^ Kasavin, Greg (July 16, 2003). "Disciples II: Servants of the Dark Review". GameSpot. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  20. ^ Abner, William (August 16, 2003). "GameSpy: Disciples II: Servants of the Dark". GameSpy. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  21. ^ Lafferty, Michael (July 25, 2003). "Disciples II – Servants of the Dark Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on February 19, 2008. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  22. ^ a b "Disciples II: Rise of the Elves for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  23. ^ Kasavin, Greg (December 3, 2003). "Disciples II: Rise of the Elves Review". GameSpot. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  24. ^ Abner, William (December 23, 2003). "GameSpy: Disciples II: Rise of the Elves". GameSpy. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  25. ^ Tha Wiz (December 2, 2003). "Disciples II: The Rise of the Elves [sic] - PC - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on October 2, 2008. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  26. ^ Adams, Dan (December 5, 2003). "Disciples II: Rise of the Elves Review". IGN. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  27. ^ Bemis, Greg (February 10, 2004). "'Disciples II: Rise of the Elves' (PC) Review". X-Play. Archived from the original on April 5, 2004. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  28. ^ a b "Disciples II: Gold Edition for PC". GameRankings. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  29. ^ Hollingshead, Anise (March 17, 2005). "Disciples II Gold [Edition] - PC - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on October 5, 2008. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  30. ^ "Disciples II: Gold Edition". PC Format. No. 173. April 2005. 
  31. ^ PC Zone staff (April 2005). "PC Review: Disciples II: Gold Edition". PC Zone. Archived from the original on January 26, 2007. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 

External links[edit]