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Myth TFL:
Force Ten from Stoneheim
Index Myth TFL:
Ambush at Devil's Overlook

This is level seven of
   Myth: The Fallen Lords.
Go to the Journal for literature and interpretation of the level.
I guess the worst thing about having a reputation for being a bunch of hardasses is that the Legion always finds itself where the fighting will be ugliest. So we're up here as the first line of defense against an attack by The Deceiver.

Remember the Myth demo? Crow's Bridge - right, I get the idea here! Whack whack, bomb the Thrall, shoot the Soulless and you are done. I'll Dance on Your Grave Last man on the Hill on the demo Bungie.net - teams, chatting, camping, foolish rushes and disastrous retreats. Man, this game rocks!

And then there is Bagrada. I could feel the frozen white landscape suck the warmth from my bones. The Soulless - they are waaaaay up on top of hills. How the hell am I supposed to deal with that? The Myrmidons keep jumping the Archers and Dwarves while I wasn't looking. How am I going to get through this thing?

And then Reinforcements! Ahh, the sweetest word I ever did hear. By now I am on my fifth game and I have assembled a nice cadre of somewhat damaged troops. I move cautiously to the smoldering camp fire. Before long I see more Soulless, Thrall, and Myrmidons coming down the pass at me.

A sense of expectation hangs in the air. I line up my troops and prepare to meet the foe. But what is that drumming sound? (By now I have a patch cord running from my Mac to my stereo system.) And the drumming gets louder and louder and louder.

And then stops.

My Archers and Dwarves fall back and the Berserks, which will jump the bad guys at the slightest provocation, start butchering the Thrall. But I don't even notice because that damned drumming sound had started up again and then, out of the snow comes into view a Trow and I realize that I am no hardass at all.

My God! The thing was HUGE! Twice as wide as any of my units and almost twice as tall. I couldn't even conceive that I had enough troops to kill him. But I tried and failed.

Lining up my Archers and shooting him was a joke. With a few snaps from his powerful legs I had no more Archers. He would wade right into my troops and kick the Dwarves, which seemed to do more damage to me than him. Is there no stopping him?

On my seventh try. I hadn't taken a casualty so far. I had learned to line my troops up and keep them well ordered. I once again advanced to the smoldering campfire.

The advance units were quickly dealt with and the Trow began pulverizing my troops yet another time.

What a mess. Nobody could get into position to surround him. The Berserks would just wander around not fighting. The Dwarves started throwing cocktails into my own units! The Archers were shooting my Warriors in the back. I knew I was doomed again.

Then, suddenly, a deep crackling sound and the Trow turned gray! He stopped attacking my units! The Warriors kept hacking away until the Trow was only dust and rocks. I had won the level!

And that was such a very sweet moment. One that I remember fondly from time to time.

I will never forget the day I killed my first Trow.

Level Origins

Forrest Cameranesi and Dennis Taylor forwarded this to us from alt.games.myth

In article <cfool-ya02408000R1605981454380001@news.isomedia.com>,
cfool@mail.isomedia.SPAMMERSSUX.com (Cool Fool) wrote:

    > Everyone knows that Bagrada is the first mission where you see Trow, right?
    > But I doubt anyone knows what the name means. Here's the story:
    > Back in the days of Jesus Christ, the empires of Rome and Carthage were at
    > war. After years of fighting on the open seas, Carthage invaded Italy from
    > across the Alps. Although the Carthiginian army was inferior to Rome's, the
    > Carthiginians had a secret weapon: the elephant! The Carthiginians would
    > sit a few men with bows on arrows on top, to turn the animal into a mobile
    > firing platform. But the main advantage of the elephant was that it could
    > go stomp people.
    > The first time the Romans met the elephants was at Bagradas Pass in the
    > mountains. The elephants actually inflicted relatively few casualties, but
    > all the infantrymen were afraid of them, the more so after seeing a couple
    > men squished to a pulp. See any parallels?

Good Work Cool Fool. The Elephants most likely parrellel the trow you must face at the end of the level. I know that certainly terrified MY infantry. =)

Tom Lusco sends us some clarification of the Bagrada Pass

    "Bagrada is a river in Tunisia. There was a great and decisive battle there, between Hannibal (Carthage) and Scipio (Rome). Scipio won the battle decisively, earning the name Scipio Africanus. Alas, it was not nearly the first Roman-Carthaginian confrontation, and the presence of elephants is (to me) unknown."

It was also noted that this was not the first instance that elephants were used in battle. So, many of the parallels are lost, unfortunately.

Special Effects

Tyrfing just came running into camp bellowing that our scout's signal fire has gone out. That means trouble.

As you arrive at the scout's campsite you only find the smoking remains of their fire and some assorted bloody body parts. However, despite the horror depicted in the cutscene before this level, there was actually little loss of life. In fact, nobody died!

And how is this possible?

The game starts with four piles of body parts at the campsite. Each pile is set to spray up and out, leaving a bloody mess indicating the scouting party's demise.

Future solo map makers take note. This is unique way to add favor to your maps.

If you want to see this for yourself you'll need to do it in a LvD game.

Markers and Statues

Here are the marker stones from Bagrada and the netmap Ground Zero. I had not realized that they were (mostly) the same images on the stones in both maps. But Kallikanzaros #CP#g of the venerable Clan Plaid sure did!

As he so succinctly put it:

During a dull afternoon I took these pictures... There are 3 different types of marker stones. All three can be found in Bagrada and GZ. In Bagrada they seem to mark the paths. Marker stone 1 (left) is found along the shortest path to the Trow. Marker 2 (center) seems to appear before dead ends. I'm not sure what the 3rd marker (right) signifies. In GZ one can be found near each start [position]. There is writing on them, but I can't read it.

So, after having my memory prodded, I closely examined each of the stones. Using a technique I learned from deciphering Marathon term pix, I was able to enhance the lettering on the Ground Zero markers enough to read them. You can see my efforts on the first marker on the right.

The other two markers were much more difficult to translate, but I was able to make out the word "Waterslide" on the second marker and "Ferris Wheel" on the third.

Omer Shenker adds:

"I think that the stones were placed there by the locals as markers. We know that to hold Bagrada takes at the least 30 groups like the ones we have on the level. (OK, I'll grant that the reinforcements could be another group joining up with you.) It must be really hard to get past, and markers to tell you which way to go would sure help. As to the meaning of the patterns, I see no real possibility beyond decoration or something which we'll only find out later."

Also, these big guys grace the snowy passes of Bagrada right where you start the game. Who are they?

Well, looking at the back of them may give you a clue. Notice the squares on the back? They sure remind me of the way the gold tiles hang from the back of a Journeyman.

Hmmm... where did I read something about Journeymen and Bagrada? Ahh, in this alpha screenshot right here.

Perhaps the Journeymen were instrumental in holding Bagrada during some long past battle?

Omer Shenker offers this theory regarding the statues.

"First, remember that Bagrada is an ancient site of 'battle since time immemorial'. The pre release screenshots show that Journeymen were fighting there since 1156 at the least. (Whatever that date means.) Bagrada (the level) seems to be full of strange things. Most obviously, the two huge Jman statues at the start of the level. Come on, those things must have taken organized effort to create, and it must have happened in a time of relative peace. Oh, and it happened after [Connacht] fell to become Balor and The Fallen came to cause havoc. Why? The Heron Guards didn't take on their nine gold tiles until Muirthemne was sacked by the dark. The Bagrada stones are obviously of "tiled" Herons.

So, the Jman statues were erected by forces honoring their assistance there (perhaps in the battle of 1156?) at some time after the dark had been there. That means there had been a victory for the light at Bagrada, and the pass had been held long enough for locals (perhaps from Silvermines before it was abandoned?) to make those statutes. Follow me? And if there was time enough to erect those statues, don't you think there was time enough to make the dead ends in the trail, and the fastest way through the pass? It thus seems possible that they were made all at once, and are not era markers of any sort. Further evidence is their similar style and language."

It seems likely that these statues were erected in honor of the Herons but by who? It does seem likely that the markers were written to offer information such as dead end or correct way to get through the pass. Perhaps they were created so that in the future the light would have an advantage over the fallen by knowing where each path went.

Chris Stelnick also offers his opinions regarding the statues purpose.

"We all know that the City of Muirthemne was the seat of the Emperor, and the Journeyman, or Heron Guards guarded him. Well, the area known as the Barrier now was all apart of the Empire and perhaps the Bagrada pass was the only or most used way to get through the Cloudspine to the Empire. So, the Heron Guard statues signify your entrance into the Empire.

Or maybe, the Emporer himself is buried in Bagrada and the statues are there to guard his spirit and his grave? A symbolic way of guarding him, much like the Egyptians."

Journeyman are referred to as Heron Guards in their flavor text from the game btw, if you'll recall. This is all very interesting.

Myth TFL:
Force Ten from Stoneheim
Index Myth TFL:
Ambush at Devil's Overlook

Written and compiled by the Myth Nontoxic crew.

Found anything we've missed? Got a theory that fits? Have a correction to make?
Please post it in The Asylum so others can add their ideas and thoughts.

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Legends and Lore is really Forrest's baby, though Gholsbane probably does more work on it nowadays. It also contains a lot of work from the Myth Nontoxic days whose exact authors have been lost or forgotten. Some of these lemurs include Joshstar, Orange, Lacrymosa, and poena.dare. Original "Journal of the Legion" concept by poena.dare and Hamish Sinclair. Other authors are credited as appropriate in their individual articles.

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