Friday, September 10, 2010

I'd Rather Be a Fryhtan

(Note: The following images [which there are a lot of-sorry if your connection's slow] come from two sources, Seven Kingdoms and Seven Kingdoms II. Close observation would reveal that there's an additional variation-sometimes, the buildings are bigger in the 7KII images. This is a game setting difference-when capturing the raw versions of these images, my old computer puked and decided it would never read the 7KII CD-ROM again, so I moved over to my sister's old computer to finish, where she had her own default settings enabled. Also, the only way to retrieve images from that particular computer is through a 1.44 MB floppy drive... and 7KII takes screenshots as massive BMP files, forcing me to use Paint, of all things, to do sloppy JPEG conversions.

Long story short, it was kinda involved, and that doesn't even go into how long it took to upload four batches of five images on Blogger's super-slow image uploader.

Still, this post couldn't have done without them, so enjoy. This reads best if you've read the other post on Seven Kingdoms, by the way.)

In the world of Seven Kingdoms, there are two major forces.

The Fryhtans...

...and the humans.

Your first inclination might be to sympathize with the humans, seeing as how you are probably a human yourself.

Let me tell you though, humans aren't very nice.

They're always infighting.

This, even though Fryhtans, those supposed monsters, can get along with humans quite well.

(For those of you wondering about the title text above? RTS units are huge morons, especially in old games. Those units were almost certainly enemies, yet still ignored each other unless ordered to attack each other.)

Further, humans attacked Fryhtans, with the only major provocation for a long time being that Fryhtans had cooler stuff than they did. (Fryhtans drop gold and magic scrolls that let you summon Greater Beings, immensely powerful special units.) Eventually, Fryhtans wised up and decided to rectify things.

Note that in the above image, some humans have turned traitor against their own kind, due to the overwhelming power of the Fryhtan armies they faced.

Fryhtans have a decided disadvantage, in that they number far fewer than the pernicious human plague. They make up for this with their raw strength and power-some Fryhtans are the largest, toughest units in the game, comparable to many buildings in size and durability.

There is the fact that now Fryhtans slaughter humans to power their arcane magics, but it's not like it wasn't done to them first, now is it?

Fryhtans prefer to be close to the enemy if possible-it's easier for them to overrun humans if their lairs are near human starting points.

This is an unusually lucky instance of this.

These Fryhtans in particular, the Exovum, are essentially the smarmy jocks of the Fryhtan world, but other Fryhtans will put up with them, for reasons explained later.

Note that Fryhtans have a hierarchy quite similar to that of humans-instead of a King, they have an All High; instead of Generals, they have Ordos. You can tell the All Highs by the little crowns.

Fryhtans have always had edges in durability, speed, and raw power, even when they were just wild, independent raiders.

Other Fryhtans, such as the mighty Grokken, make up for their lack of speed with powerful ranged attacks and sheer durability.

An army of high-level Grokken can be nearly unstoppable-they may be the strongest "mortal" units in the game.

Others lack speed and raw power, and need other means to make up for it, such as the Ezpinez, who have a useful ability I'll go into in a bit.

The Kharshuf are slow and lack ranged powers, but they likewise have a formidable ability, and are tougher and stronger.

With their mix of strengths and weaknesses, Fryhtans' greatest strength may come from teamwork.

Each map in 7KII is dotted with independent Fryhtan lairs, and these can be potent sources of fresh Fryhtan blood.

The Ezpinez are, as noted, not powerful units, but their specialty is producing excellent war machines, which rival or exceed their human counterparts in effectiveness.

Kharshuf have one of the more unique abilities, the ability to make camouflaged units/buildings called Lishorrs. These will attack enemies nearby, and there is an even more interesting variant, the Wilde Lishorr (dig the olde tyme spellyng), which doesn't belong to you, but replicates itself and attacks all non-Kharshuf units.

These can easily take over a map if left unchecked, and will ambush foes foolish enough to attack your deep territory.

The Exovum, already champs among Fryhtans, also bring the strongest weapon to the table of perhaps any group in the game-the Mage Tor.

The Mage Tor (here surrounded by camouflaged Lishorrs to defend it from their Wilde cousins) is a devastatingly strong building that can wipe out even the toughest armies and structures, given some time and energy.

Sadly, the Fryhtans seem to have too many weaknesses to stand for long against the human threat to their existence.

Their species is doomed to a downward spiral, where they'll eventually be replaced by something generic and stupid, like demons.

Except that one Grokken there. It looks like he might do okay.

Let us lament the lost Fryhtans. Shall we?

-Signing off.

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