Kingdom Under Fire: A war of Heroes is an RTS/RPG hybrid action strategy game, the very first Kingdom Under Fire game in the series and was released in the year 2001 for Windows.
The core aspect of this game is in its RTS elements, you build a base, field an army and crush the opposing sides for most of the missions. You can play as two factions, The Human Alliance and the Dark Legion. You progress through 28 missions in total between both factions, some missions which act out similar scenarios but end differently depending on the faction you are playing. You can recruit units such as melee, ranged, mage, support and air units which you can then use to destroy the enemy base. The RPG aspect of the game consists of dungeon crawler style missions similar to that of Blizzard's Diablo IP that flesh out the characters for those missions, in these RPG missions they allow you to customise each hero involved with weapon pickups, armour and accessories. Once the RPG missions have been completed, all equipped items prior to finishing the missions will carry over to the RTS style missions and cannot be changed until another RPG mission commences for that hero.
The First War of Heroes
"Bersiah, a land of magic, is home to the humans and all other races. They lived together peacefully for many prosperous centuries, until the day a great evil arose, It's not known whence he came from or even what he was. But he was searching for a source of great power. He swept like a storm from the East through Hexter, the land of the orcs, and corrupted everything in his path. Then, there rose seven heroes to face this evil. Through their brave and sacrificial deeds, the evil was vanquished. It was later known as 'the War of Heroes'. There heroes became the Xok Knights and peace once again reigned in Bersiah."
100 years prior to the events of the game, the Dark Legion at that time controlled by the Lich Keeliani had threatened the entire continent of Bersiah. Seeking the Ancient Heart the lich had brought conflict between the elves and orcs, his intention was to summon Encablossa, an ancient dragon to bring the Age of Dark and to put an end to the Age of Light. The elves retaliated by sending envoys Karl and Cellin with the Ancient Heart to the Human Kingdom of Hironeiden in an attempt to convince them to help prevent Keeliani from obtaining it and using its power to bring an end to the world that they know. Their attempts to convince this kingdom looked bleak for the elves until reports came through that orcs and ogres were invading Hironeiden's borders. Some of the human kingdoms had no choice but to retaliate and declare war. Due to the invasion by the Dark Legion, Hironeiden had been cut off from it's human allies of Ecclesia, an envoy had been sent to the Dwarves in the Stone Kingdom to join in this war of heroes. By the time the humans, elves and dwarves combined forces, Keeliani had completed the Altar of Destruction but was lacking the most important part to bring his plan forward, the Ancient Heart. Many battles were fought throughout the lands in the Dark Legions attempts to claim it. The heroes sought out to confront Keeliani directly, during their attempted ambush the hero Rick Miner had been Slain by Keeliani as the lich had foreseen the attack. The group of heroes were forced to retreat. Moonlight suggested to revive Rick Miner with unimaginable power using the Ancient Heart as a Catalyst. With Rick Miner reborn they were able to defeat the lich and bring down the Altar of Destruction. This marked the end of the First War of Heroes and the key figures involved were known as the 'Xok's Knights'
The Second War of Heroes
This is where the game's story takes place and depending which faction you play the game through, events are told differently.
"Over time, the people of Bersiah forgot about the terrible war that wrought such great destruction. The heroes faded away and became the stuff of legends and bedtime stories. Until one day, when just as they had done 100 years ago, the orcs came again. And just as they did 100 years ago, heroes rose to combat the evil!"
The opening act introduces Curian, one of the new heroes of the human alliance, returning to his home village after being six years abroad what he is yet to encounter a sudden and savage invasion of orcs. His village is decimated and he is forced to retreat with a small number of settlers to the Castle of Hironeiden.
Not long after they reach Castle Hironeiden, the orc invasion are not far behind and they have begun to setup an outpost before commencing an attack. Curian and the forces of Hironeiden hold out long enough for King Gernot of Azilla and his reinforcement of cavalry to flank the invasion force of the orcs. Both sides sustain heavy casualties and the Dark Legion are forced to retreat back to Hexter in order to recuperate their forces.
Curian is ordered by King Gernot to act as an emmisary and to discuss terms with Lord Demetrich into joining the war against the Dark Legion, little does Curian and Demetrich know, King Gernot has already set up a sieging force onto castle Kenderlief, his plan was to take the castle as his own regardless of Demetrich's decision. Learning of this; Demetrich orders the execution of Curian. Curian ultimately survives, slaughters Demetrich's personal guard and Demetrich himself before escaping back to the main force.
Curian meets up with the King to report what had happened, King Gernot is pleased to hear that Demetrich is dead and brushes off Curian's qualms about being used in such a manner. Curian is forced to grit his teeth and bare what had happened, the Azillian forces continue to siege what is now under the control of Demetrich's son. As the mounting siege continues, the Dark Legion use this opportunity to launch a counter attack on the Azillian forces. Ultimately the son of Demetrich is killed along with the remainder of his forces, the Dark Legion had been pushed back and the surmounting damage taken from all sides had forced the Azillian army to retreat and regain their strength back in their home country.
It is at this point where Moonlight reveals himself to King Gernot and gives him information that Rick Blood is the new Emperor controlling the Dark Legion, Moonlight is one of the original Xok Knights from the First War of Heroes. On hearing this news, Gernot sought out to rally the human's former allies, the elves and the dwarves, just like 100 years ago. They begin by sending Moonlight as an envoy to the elves of Essex Woods, Curian was ordered to be Moonlight's protection, with the elves of Essex Woods convinced to join the alliance other elves from adjacent woods would follow suit. Along their travel to Essex Woods, Moonlight brings a 'Mysterious Knight' to also serve as his protection, they discover that orc raids have been tearing through the Essex Wood and they rushed to the aid of local elves. Fighting bands of orc to the temple of Ehlonna they then pushed out all enemy forces from the vicinity. They encounter Rick Blood, Richter, Lily and Likuku. Rick Blood has successfully obtained the Ancient Heart from its protector, Cellin whom is reported slain later on. Rick Blood announces his plans to complete what began 100 years ago and leaves Richter and Likuku to a small skirmish between the 3 heroes. The fight comes to a stalemate and the Dark Legion leave the area.
After rallying the elves of Essex Woods, Curian was appointed as an envoy to convince the dwarves to now join the alliance. Curian reaches the Hall of Stones and speaks with the dwarven Thane. It took much convincing, but after going through trials set up by the dwarvern Thane, Curian won over his respect and they joined the alliance.
At some point during Curian's persuasion to have the dwarves join the alliance, King Gernot had been assassinated by an Ecclecian spy, Curian learnt of this news after his successful endeavour. The populace of Azilla was in turmoil and to restore order, Curian rallied his nation and as newly appointed Commander in Chief of the allied army. He ordered his generals to march towards the Altar of Destruction. The Dark Legion was prepared for this and setup up defensive lines to buy as much time for its completion as they possibly could. After defeating Likuku and Richter's defensive lines, Curian continues to march the allied army towards the Altar of Destruction, the construction of the altar is almost complete at this point and their greatest foe yet awaits before them.. It is here a bloody battle between the alliance and the Dark Legion wages, by the time the alliance reach the altar, it had been completed. The Mysterious Knight reveals himself as Keither, another Xok Knight from the First War of Heroes. Rick Blood stands between them and the altar, he recognises Keither but says he is too late, what begun 100 years ago was about to come to prophecy. Rick Blood taunts Keither to fight him, they both draw steel and whilst Rick appears to have the upper hand in their duel, it is revealed that Keither is drawing power from the Ancient Heart as well, it is at this point that neither warrior could best each other or be killed. During their fight, Moonlight seeks the opportunity to destroy the Altar of Destruction, using his magic he obliterates the altar and the consequence of this being that Rick Blood vanishes mysteriously after being brought to his knees and Keither is significantly weakened.
With the Dark Legion's emperor gone, they scattered and routed. Likuku and Richter go into hiding. Seeing as the threat of the Dark Legion was no more, the alliance parted ways and headed back to their own countries. Moonlight headed back to his tower and Keither was not convinced that was the end to Rick Blood so he went to search for signs of him. Curian returned to Azilla and since King Gernot had no successor, he was crowned as King. As first order of decree as the newly appointed King he sent an ultimatum to the Priest King of Ecclesia: "Surrender the assassin of King Gernot, or suffer the immediate consequences." With no compliance, the two countries went to war. Ecclesia's forces were quickly mowed down and the High Priest's Generals had been killed in the field of battle.
With Curian's focus set on claiming Ecclesia, Richter saw this as the prime opportunity to strike back, the sentries of Curian's army in Hexter were crushed and Hexter had been claimed by the Dark Legion once again. Alarmed by this Curian seeked to fortify back in Hironeiden, with Ecclesia in tatters, Curian offered the Priest King a treaty in which he had no choice but to accept. With his efforts focused back onto the Dark Legion, both forces intercept each other at the borders of Hironeiden. As the battle wages out, Amaruak appears and surprise attacks both sides with his army of undead, though it is wiped out both forces retreat back into their territories to re-mobilise and to gain intelligence of what they just encountered.
With this new found knowledge of Amaruak resurfacing, Curian summons Moonlight to aid him once more, and in turn Moonlight notifies Keither of these events, with these three heroes back together they send news out to their allies who mobilise to counter the threat once more. They march towards the old site in which the altar was destroyed as scouts reported that Amarauk intended to rebuild it. They discover that ancient candles had been constructed around the old site to draw power from the land as a substitute to the Ancient Heart, Keither is alarmed because the Cavern of the Ancient is close by and that Amaruak intends to draw power from Nible the Ancient Dragon in which he resides. To stop this, the alliance march and destroy the ritual that the ancient candles are channelling, laying waste to the armies of undead that were attempting to protect it. Unfortunately the alliance came short of destroying the ritual in time, as the altar had been completed. The only force that could stop its immense power from laying waste to the whole of Bersiah was the awakening of Nible.
Moonlight and Keither enter the Cavern of Ancients to attempt to wake Nible, upon reaching the entrance they found it infested with Amaruak's undead. They eventually overcame their enemies and reach the dragon, Moonlight begins to channel his energy in an attempt to inflict enough damage to merit Nible's awakening.
Both the alliance and the Dark Legion make their final march towards the Altar of Destruction. Curian is first to arrive and mobilize his forces, after clearing out a small encampment Amaruak has created shadow versions of the heroes in an attempt to toy with them, this plan does not succeed however as Curian bests Shadow Curian in a duel. Not long after beating Shadow Curian, Rick Blood and Likuku arrive with their Dark Legion to the north and have a similar situation, they fight a Shadow Likuku counterpart and destroy the encampment to the north to then setup their very own, with the Eastern part of the battlefield in the control of the alliance and the Dark Legion, the two factions acknowledge a peace treaty with each other and order each army to advance towards Amaruak. At some point during their advancement, Keither rejoins the fray and brings an army of dragons to help fight the undead. They eventually reach Amaruak, Rick Blood standing before him, it as at this point that Rick realises that Amaruak is actually Keeliani from 100 years ago, they have a short duel before the altar activates. A cutscene then plays at the end of the game where Nible awakens from his cavern and smashes through it towards the altar of destruction, it then lays waste to it and the surrounding area. In the final scene the air is calm and the battlefield is quiet, where Rick Blood had been standing he is now nowhere to be seen, all that remains is his giant greatsword pierced into the ground. The cutscene fades out and the credits roll.
Curian is a human who originates from Azilla, he became an orphan at a young age and had been raised by the loving guidance of a faithful priest, he grew strong and noble under his wisdom. As soon as he came of age, he left his quiet village in search of adventure. After six years abroad, he now returns home to face an adventure he would never dare to dream. The savage invasion of the Orcs.
- King Gernot
Gernot is a human and the King of Azilla, he is introduced reinforcing Castle Hironeiden from Likuku's invasion, Curian and Russelant fall under his banner from this point on throughout the story until he is assassinated by an Ecclesian spy. He is very brash as he sends Curian on a suicide mission to avert Lord Demetrichs gaze buying them time to setup siege without having to fight to their way to castle Kenderlief. Even though he treats his General's as pawns he does merit them. He praises Curian that he had done more than he was expected to when he kills Demetrich and his elite guard.
Moonlight is a human and a member of the Xok Knight's from the First War of Heroes, he was a Court Wizard of Azilla during that time. Moonlight appears before Gernot to provide him intelligence on who is controlling the Dark Legion, Rick Blood. It is at this point he sees that the land is in too great of a threat to not involve himself.
Keither is a human and a member of the Xok Knight's from the First War of Heroes. He is first introduced by Moonlight as the 'Mysterious Knight' who at the time is providing protection for him. He reveals himself as Keither when he clashes in battle with Rick Blood, he is empowered by the Ancient Heart along with Rick and is therefore considered immortal as neither himself or Rick could be killed with the Ancient Heart still active. Moonlight has enchanted Keither's armor which bounds him to this dimension as Keither is well over 100 years old.
A red ogre chieftain, one of the last of his kind. He is a savage yet cunning beast, he commands the bulk of the Dark Legion and is one of Rick Blood's right hand men. He meets with Laurianna during his assault on Curian's village and Laurianna falls under his command.
The Emperor of the Dark Legion, he is immortal and was once known as Rick Miner, one of the Xok Knight's during the First War of Heroes. After being resurrected using the Ancient Heart he gained immense power which he was able to use to bring an end to Keeliani. He vanished after the First War of Heroes and resurfaced as a force to be reckoned with and instigated the Second War of Heroes. He seeked to bring about an end to Bersiah by putting his efforts into rebuilding the Altar of Destruction, using the Ancient Heart as a catalyst.
A half Vampire from the land of Vellond, he is the son of Baron Rosenheim and one of the right hands to Rick Blood. With Rick Blood vanishing after the events of the first Altar of Destruction, Richter assumes control of the Dark Legion until he goes on a mission to locate Rick. He succeeds and frees him from the traitor Amarauk. Once they are marching towards the second Altar of Destruction, Richter remains behind to clear the last of the Ancient Candles to rally all the ogres to the Dark Legion. After this he abandons the Dark Legion and seeks out his own agenda. He heads back to his father in order to slay him, as he has gain immense power with his time spent with the Dark Legion.
An undead Lich, also revealed to be Keeliani, infiltrates the Dark Legion and serves as a constructor of the Altar of Destruction. He reveals his true intentions once the first attempt at rebuilding the Altar of Destruction fails. He kidnaps Rick as he is in a weakened state and leaves him imprisoned in the Dungeon of Lava. With the Ancient Heart of no used to him since it had been destroyed. Amarauk sought out his own agenda and betrays the dark legion by attacking both them and the alliance during the Dark Legion's assault on Hironeiden. Amaruak was able to create the second Altar of Destruction and came close to annihilating the populace of Bersiah. His actions were ended when Nible the Ancient Dragon had resurfaced and obliterated the second Altar of Destruction, supposedly him with it.
Minor Heroes Edit
Russelant is a human who originates from Azilla, he is a warrior who lives in Curian's village, they both meet each other in the midst of an orc invasion. Russelant either fights to the last man to defend his village or joins the company of Curian with a handful of survivors to warn the people of Hironeiden depending on your actions.
Cellin is an elf and a member of the Xok Knight's from the First War of Heroes, she is first introduced in the Dark Campaign with her being charged to protect the Ancient Heart.
- Dwarvern Thane
His name is not mentioned in game, and he is not a usable hero within the Human Campaign, but he provides the alliance with his support of dwarvern cannons and glider bombers when Curian gains his favor.
Considered as one of the more beautiful dark elves, she has a dark brown skin tone compared to her sisters which are generally a dark pink, she lead a band of dark elves to surprise attack Curian's village leaving it no hope of survival. She introduces herself to Likuku and the Dark Legion gain the service of the dark elves.
A succubus demon, she is freed by Rick and Richter during their trials in the Ruins of Lost Souls. As 'payment' she attempts to allure Rick into doing her bidding, Rick was far too powerful to be charmed in such a manner, and Richter was too cunning to bow under her whim either. Taken back by how powerful these two were, she decided to follow them. She had helped Rick in obtaining the Ancient Heart and she continued to serve the Dark Legion out of admiration.
Minor heroes can be slain and will not affect the overall outcome of the story, Cellin for instance is killed in the Dark Campaign by Rick Blood and Lily to obtain the Ancient Heart, Cellin cannot be used in the Human Campaign but can during a skirmish battle. Russelant can be killed in the same mission you meet him, triggering a cutscene where he defends to the last man and requests Curian to warn the inhabitants of Hironeiden. He can also be killed at any point past this with no ill affects. Laurianna has no ill affects to the campaign later in the game, she will be a game ending factor during the earlier missions however if she is killed. Lily has no ill affects to the campaign later in the game, she will be a game ending factor during mission 5 where she is with Rick Blood attempting to claim the Ancient Heart, if she dies in this mission then it results in failure.
'Kingdom Under Fire: A War of Heroes' is inspired by such titles like 'Diablo' in its dungeon crawler segments, the RTS elements of the game can be compared to such titles like 'Command and Conquer' where you build a base, troops and seek to destroy the enemy factions base and troops.
A much easier way to level your heroes is to use peasants or gnomes to build shelters, just the foundation with as minimal health as possible and have your hero attack it, to do this you should issue the attack move command 'A' key on the keyboard and click the building. Each building regardless of tier grants 500xp, you can max out your characters as you progress through the story far more safely and easily albeit at the cost of several thousands of gold, this is especially useful on squishier heroes like Likuku who overall has a low armor rating and can quite easily get killed by elven rangers when flocked with numbers. Further to this, in the late game on the human campaign, you can summon stone golems which are free and only cost mana. Use these as an alternative if you need the gold.