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Myth: The Fallen Lords is a innovative 3D real-time tactical game created by Bungie Studios and released in 1997. Its innovation stems from the discard of the resource-based economy structure found in most RTS games of the time, and its implementation of 3D graphics, a first for the genre.
The Storyline of Myth The Fallen Lords is an epic tale of Men, Monsters, Swords, Magic, Bravery, Deceit... and Hope against all odds. It details the 17th year of fighting in the West, in battle against the Dark. The Dark is lead by 6 Sorcerers of breath taking power known as The Fallen Lords, and are lead by Balor. The war effort in the West is lead by a council of 9 powerful Avatara known as The Nine. In the middle of all of this lies a elite group of soldiers within the Armies of the North known as The Legion, and the story revolves around their exploits, and journey, within the war.The Story is told from the perspective of a journal writer within the Legion, and follows his perspective on events, often with historical inaccuracies and rumors of events.
Spoiler Warning: This section contains spoilers.
Players control small armies made up of diverse units, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, and abilities. If deployed correctly and micromanaged, a weak force can defeat a much larger, more powerful force, and can even accomplish this with few or no casualties, a heavy contrast to the "meat grinder" style of some strategy games. This is because, in general, artillery units strongly counter melee units, melee units strongly counter ranged units, and ranged units strongly counter artillery -- though there are exceptions to this rule in many cases.
Formations are important as well. In order for an army to be effective, it has to be facing the right direction. Ranged units must have a clear line of sight in order to fire, and so must be in front of the army, but they must also have a way to retreat and be protected by melee units if rushed. Flanking maneuvers can be highly damaging, as the enemy will have to reorient while under fire in order to fight effectively. Because healing is a rare ability, units do not regenerate health, and there is no way to construct new units, hit and run skirmishes are effective and unit conservation is essential. In light of this, each point of damage can be significant.
Terrain and environmental factors are also important. Rain or standing water will put out some explosive attacks. Archers on the high ground will have an advantage, because they can shoot further than those on level ground. Archers will also be less effective in a strong wind. Unusual for a strategy game, most units will flinch when damaged, interrupting movement and attack. This has many strategic implications; for example, if two or three melee units gang up to attack one enemy melee unit, that unit might be eliminated without dealing any significant damage, because it will be too busy flinching.
Each unit has a name and gains individual experience for each kill it makes or battle it survives. Experience may increase attack rate and accuracy, and decrease damage received in combat. All else being equal, an experienced army will destroy a comparable force of fresh units. A cap of 5 experience per unit has recently been added to Myth II.
Myth employs an unusually realistic physics engine, which affects gameplay. Unlike in Warcraft, when an archer fires an arrow, the arrow is a distinct, independent object that arcs through the air and only deals damage if it strikes a unit -- this allows projectiles to be dodged mid-flight by the skilled player. There is no protection from friendly fire; firing arrows into a melee is just as likely to hurt you as the enemy, and units with explosive attacks are especially perilous if mishandled.
Limbs and heads of dead units can bounce around the terrain, fly into the air from explosives, and roll down hills trailing blood. Weapons also fall from dead units' hands. Although most units cannot pick up new weapons, objects can go flying from explosions further damaging units they strike. Although a flying sword will not do terrible damage, if propelled by an explosion it can be a deadly object. Blood permanently stains the terrain and bodies do not decay, giving battles in Myth a gritty, unsanitized feel. The events of battles can be deduced from battlefield detritus, which is important in multiplayer free-for-all games and some single-player missions.
In single player, the player starts with an army and must use it to accomplish specific goals, such as reaching a distant location, defending a hill or other strategic position, escorting an important unit through the mission, evading a superior force, destroying a bridge or breaching a wall, or anything that the story may require. Rarely, the player may control a small squad of heroes, powerful variants of standard units. Single-player missions can be played cooperatively over the internet or on a LAN. In each level you are given a new set of units, usually including experienced survivors from the previous scenario.
In multiplayer, the player starts with an army and may usually customize it by trading units, using point values that approximate the value of the units. Games generally are either "free-for-all" or FFA, where each player has his own army and competes with everyone else, or "Team," where a group of players under the leadership of a captain control different forces within a very large army. There are many different kinds of multiplayer games, ranging from simple "Body Count" to more complicated games involving flags, balls, or animals.
The number and variety of multiplayer game types are one reason why Myth has remained so popular online. For each game type, different strategies are employed.
- Body Count: The player or team that deals the most points of damage within the time limit wins.
- Capture the Flag: Each player or team has a flag at their starting location. If the flag is ever lost, even for a second, the player is eliminated.
- Last Man on the Hill: A flag is in the middle of the map. The winner is the player who controls the flag when time runs out. If multiple players contest the flag, the game goes into sudden death, and the first player to get uncontested control of the flag for five seconds wins.
- King of the Hill: A flag is in the middle of the map. The player is credited for every second that he controls or contests the flag. The winner is the one with the most time when the game ends.
- Territories: Several flags are scattered across the map. The winner is the one who controls the most flags when time runs out. If any flag is contested, the game goes into sudden death.
- Flag Rally: Several flags are scattered across the map. The winner is the one who tags all the flags first (where "tagging" means taking uncontested control.)
- Steal the Bacon: A ball is in the center of the map. Any unit can move the ball by running into it, and clicking directly on the ball will cause the unit to follow it and bump it roughly in the direction the unit is running. The ball can also be blasted around with explosives. The winner is the player who controls the ball when time runs out. If the ball is contested, the game goes into sudden death.
- Captures: Like Territories, but with balls instead of flags.
- Scavenger Hunt: Like Flag Rally, but with balls instead of flags.
- Balls On Parade: Like Capture the Flag, but with a ball instead of a flag.
- Assassin: Each player gets an assassin target, usually a helpless Baron but sometimes more powerful units. If the assassin target dies, the player is eliminated.
- Stampede: Each team has one or more flags and a herd of animals or peasants. For each animal that reaches an enemy flag, the animal is teleported away and a point is gained. The winner is the team with the most points when all the animals are dead or safe, or when time runs out.
- Hunting: Dozens of computer-controlled wildlife units such as deer and hawks are placed on the map. For each animal killed, a point is scored. The winner is the one with the most points when time runs out.
Due to Myth being bought by Take 2, it is not yet freeware.