Conqueror - A.D. 1086
- BEST voice acting ever
- BEST character generator
- Great atmosphere and immersion
- Court ladies at tournaments and get married
- Intriguing plot lines for the ladies
- Fun castle siege first person slasher
- It feels great as you get powerful and rich
- The strategic elements are poorly done
- Game gets repetitive except for the ladies
- Passage of time is wonky
Have you always dreamed of being the king’s champion, slaying the dread dragon, and marrying some fiery vixen? Nah… I’m sure you’d rather just borrow some money, buy a sword, kill everyone, and marry an evil, but undeniably attractive young maiden. You can do either. Heck, you can even mix and match! Ultimately, you’ll win by vanquishing the dragon or violently relieving the king of his crown.
Conqueror A.D. 1086 does something I’ve never seen in any other game: It takes a bunch of poorly done mini games, puts them together, and makes it a great experience.
The intro video is one of the most memorable I've seen, and sets things up well enough. You take the role of a young knight in Medieval England with many great adventures ahead. You can attend tournaments where you can joust and woo the fair ladies. This path is required to slay the Dread Dragon. Or you can conquer castles and grow powerful enough to challenge the King in London.
CHARACTER GENERATOR 5/5
The character generator is so good it’s probably the same one that made Chuck Norris! You roll for your character’s stats and then face a dilemma in each year of your development from the ages 12-17. This would be just like every other generator out there, except the developers did something CRAZY! Your choices have OUTCOMES based on and affecting your stats. So if your character isn’t very strong, waltzing into the fire breathing dragon’s lair with a short sword and a big ego won’t end well. I promise. On the other hand if you're so strong you make professional wrestlers question their masculinity, you’ll probably end up starting your game with a nice boost in gold and fame. I literally spent hours making different characters just to see the different outcomes I could get.
THE FIRST PERSON SLASHER GAME 4/5
You kick down the gate of the castle and immediately rush the surprised enemy crossbowman. Before he even gets a chance to shoot his bolt he falls at your feet. You rush up and down the castle corridors looking for the enemy overlord. As you trample up and down the rooms you find a dining hall with platters of pheasant du jour and mugs of ale. Obviously you stop for a quick snack. You notice while looking at your handy map of the castle that there seems to be a wall where there should be a door. You feel around the wall, and surely enough, a section swings open. Lo and behold! A suit of full plate armour rests on display in front of your greedy eyes. And to think your local blacksmith wanted 3500 shillings for a suit, when you could just waltz into your neighbour’s castle and find one that fits you just right.
Taking enemy castles is a very fun game. The mechanics are simple: you run around with the arrow keys and right click on enemies to attack them. Different weapons have different range, speed, and armour penetration. Essentially, unless you have a good enough weapon, you won’t be able to kill the enemy overlord, and that just happens to be your goal. A nice feature is finding equipment kicking around that you can use. You’ll also use the FPS mode for outdoor combat in tournaments and bar fights as well. Upon winning you’ll hear a smug laugh. Pure awesomeness.
THE STRATEGY GAMES 3/5
It’s that time of the month again…time to plant your crops. You’d honestly rather be pillaging castles and wooing the ladies, but let’s be honest, this is where you make your real money. You order your serfs to plant a bunch of grain fields and even more bean fields (those serfs love their beans). Then you have a lot of houses put up. More houses means more rent. You build a monastery too, since those monks seem to make everyone work harder. You’ve heard your neighbour’s been building more and more silver mines lately - what a fool. Why mine silver, when you can mine gold?
The strategy aspect of the game is a simple little thing; as long as you have lots of crops, and a few granaries, come harvest time you’ll have a lot of money. You can then spend that money to buy a few mines, and eventually get to the point where you’re making a decent monthly income. You’ll also need to build as many houses as you can so you get more and more serfs. You need lots of serfs to make huge armies. You’ll get more and more as each month passes by as long as you have houses and crops. You also gain serfs when you take over enemy castles.
The castle building aspect of the game unfortunately seems pointless. No matter what you build, you’ll always fight on the same empty looking map when defending your castle. If you don’t build anything at all, you’ll fight in your village, which at least looks nice.
The tactical battles are simple and usually too crowded to use much strategy. Halberds beat knights, knights beat swordsmen, and swordsmen beat halberds.
The portraits are very realistic. The first person sequences look fine. The various screens of towns, victory or defeat, and your own home are beautifully done. The overland map looks nice enough. The only letdown is in the jousting sequence, but you should be focusing on the enemy knight anyway. Overall the graphics are great.
The sound in this game is astonishing. The music is fine and the sound effects do the job nicely. The voice acting, however, is the best out of any game I have EVER played. The reason I say that is because, even if you only played the sound files for me, I'd still be able to distinguish each character. Each voice is memorable and perfectly acted. From the “Two hundred shillings is what some people earn in a lifetime!” of the moneylender, to the innocent voice of Jane asking, “What would you like to talk to ME about?” to the deep intonation of the priest as he says, “Good day, my son, how may I help you?” each voice is enthusiastic and immerses you perfectly into the game. All voice actors should have to learn from this game. If there's one reason you should play Conqueror, it's for the voice acting.
I have played Conqueror time and time again. While it has many flaws, it is one of the most fun games I've played. It's an experience really worth having. Play it!
There is a problem with the passage of time. You'll notice you can adjust the speed of time flow from 1x to 15x. Well, the rate at which you travel across the overland map is unevenly adjusted. At 1x speed I almost never make it to any tournament before the month is over, where as at 15x speed I can usually cut across the country in 20 days' time. Whenever you go to a tournament, use 15x speed and quickly slow it down as you get there. Use F and S to change the speed.
Jousting was a huge challenge for me to figure out, but oddly enough it is the simplest thing and once you learn it you'll win each joust. Simply point the tip of the lance at the enemy's shield and follow the shield as you get closer. The actual jousting is more forgiving than the practice tilting you can do from the main menu. Good luck.
Alt – O will take you to the options screen so you can save your game.
A special note from the uploader:
In order to make the game alot smaller, the in-game video was greatly downsampled - meaning it isn't nearly as high-quality as the original video.
Simply run CONQUER.EXE from the folder you extracted, and you'll be able to run the game!