For thousands of years, the fantasy world of Keanor had known peace as a result of the actions of a good mage who grew mighty enough to fend off the dark forces of evil and chaos. Nearing the end of his life, the mage transferred all his energy and wisdom into a single powerful Crystal. For a millennium after his passing, his apprentices guarded and used it to suppress the forces of darkness. Then, unexpectedly, another super powerful mage was born -- one who threatened to rule the world after successfully stealing the Crystal.
Unable to defeat this mage or recover the Crystal, the apprentices managed to thwart him by casting a spell on the gem that would turn the mage into stone should he attempt to use its power. The spell worked and the mage disappeared but, unfortunately, so did the Crystal. Without it, the good spells that held the dark forces at bay began to inevitably weaken, thus allowing the Potentate of Darkness to build strength.
Using his Messiahs of Evil, Greed, Treachery, Fear and Indolence, this lord of darkness steadily destroyed the peace and prosperity of the people and gave rise to fear, turmoil, and starvation instead. It is now a time equivalent to the Dark Ages -- a time ripe for a leader to step forward and take control of Keanor. The time has come for a new leader to take control and smite the forces of evil and accept the burden of the crown for the sake of peace once again.
Tzar: The Burden of the Crown allows you to command one of three factions in an attempt to rule Keanor and eventually restore peace to the land. Choose from one of three civilizations: European, Asian, or Arabian. Each medieval empire has unique properties in addition to common units and buildings. Through development of military, resources, and technology, your kingdom strives for supremacy against the others utilizing a number of possible strategies such as trade, military might, religion, or magic.
This real-time strategy game provides both single- and multiplayer action. Single-player options include a major campaign (18 scenarios), fully customized scenarios and unlimited random scenarios. Up to eight players can compete via LAN or Internet in highly customizable scenarios that include options like random map generation, map size, map type, terrain, resources, game type (standard or deathmatch), difficulty level (easy, normal, or hard), victory conditions, fog of war, population limits, and more.
Maps contain elements such as water, ground, trees and bushes, mountains, cliffs, a myriad of objects, indigenous life forms, and four major terrain types: grassland, summer, winter, and desert. Each civilization has a large base of unique military units, non-military units, spawned creatures, buildings, weapons, ships and items that form the basis of development and interaction. Resources in the world of Keanor include gold, stone, wood, and food.
Trade, gambling, diplomacy, borrowing resources, development of items such as spell books, scrolls, potions and researching technologies are all aspects encountered during gameplay. Various guilds (merchants, warriors, mages, religious) pave the way for development of strategies and forces. Environments filled with dragons, magical artifacts to uncover and ancient ruins to explore fill the fantasy landscapes with adventure. The CD also contains an electronic strategy guide as well as a scenario builder.
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