More Games, Your Majesty

Jul 06, 2015
majestygoldhd copy

There are plenty of top-down RTSs in the world: Warcraft, Starcraft, Command & Conquer, and Age of Empires, to name a few. So why, with all of these bigger titles out there, would I get excited over a game I'd never heard of that was released way back in 2000?

First and foremost, Majesty meets the prime requirement for a Sprites and Dice article: It's just fun. It's got the tried-and-true gameplay style of building your kingdom, upgrading buildings, upgrading units, fighting and winning. It's a nice blast of nostalgia from my old Warcraft II days, while at the same time still giving me some concepts I hadn't experienced in the games I had played before.

What set this apart from those other real-time strategy games is that it really made me feel like a king, rather than a general. I decided what got built and where, what got upgraded when, and how many of each type of unit to train, which is all well and good. Like I said before, Majesty is a quality example of this type of game, but there was nothing extraordinary in the kingdom-building aspect of it.


A thriving kingdom. This should be able to handle the game's zombies, ogres, rat men, gorgons, dragons, abominations...

The really interesting part is that the individual units follow an AI that I can, at most, only influence. There's no selecting units to patrol a certain area while designating others to scout and attack the enemy. The best that I can do is offer rewards for accomplishing certain tasks. Now, different units will tend to do different things: for example, Rangers like to explore, Fighters like to fight, and Rogues will go for anything that has a reward flag on it (including your own buildings).

While having less control in a strategy game might seem like a bad thing, it allows you to focus your efforts on the kingdom-building and management aspects of the game. ... even if sometimes things backfire.


There was a 100 gold bounty on it.

Aside from construction and offering rewards, there is one other way you can influence the game: Spells. Wizards' Guilds, Sorcerer's Abodes, and Temples offer access to various spells. These range from simple lightning bolts and healing abilities to things like earthquakes, portals, and resurrection.

What I really enjoy about this game is how a well-built kingdom becomes more or less self-sufficient. You'll need to keep an eye out for dying heroes so that you can resurrect or replace them, but aside from that, Majesty becomes pretty laissez-faire in the late game. The early and mid game are exciting, as you build up your kingdom and desperately fend off waves of whatever the current map is spawning, but there's definitely a certain satisfaction when I realize that I've become strong enough to sit back, grab a drink, and let my subjects take care of things.

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Yup, that should do the trick.


Finally, though it's not a major part of the game, the voice acting adds just that little bit extra. The narrator/adviser sounds enough like Sean Connery that I actually checked to see if it was him (it wasn't). Each unit type has its own voice and lines, ranging from the straightforward fighters to the goofy-sounding tax collectors, to my personal favorite, the gnomes.

When a gnome reaches level 8 it becomes a Gnome Champion, and starts using weapons and casting spells and WHY ARE GNOMES DOING THESE THINGS?

So, there it is. While civil engineering normally isn't my go-to pastime, Majesty is very enjoyable. It's held up well despite being 15 years old, boasting solid gameplay and an interesting twist on the normal RTS style. I decided a long time ago that I'm not much of a general, but this game makes me think that I might just be cut out to be a king.

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Eric Henn

Head Writer