Kingdom Under Fire: Heroes is an action strategy game, and is the sequel to Kingdom Under Fire:The Crusaders, released in 2004 for the Xbox.
Both games deal with commanding large armies in epic, magical battles. When the commanding unit enters a battle, the player can control the hero. Each group or army consists of 20 to 30 soldiers, but the player is limited to only five armies and two support units per game. A support unit, or a special unit, is an army whose main attack does not rely on the race that you control (Humans, Orcs, Dark Elves) but instead on technology for the humans and magical creatures for the Orcs and Dark Elves. Support units are directed and used as powers instead of regular army units and besides the Swamp Mammoth, all support units fly.
Besides a new storyline, commanders, and game type, there are also four new units that look like support units, but act as regular ones. The Fire Wraiths, Ice Maidens, Thunder Rhino, and Earth Golem use their respective elements to destroy enemy forces quickly.
In Heroes the player has access to seven new heroes, all of whom were in Crusaders: Ellen (Half-elf), Leinhart (Half-Vampire), Urukubarr (Ogre), Rupert (Human), Cirith (Dark-Elf), Morene (Half-Vampire), and Walter (Human).
Each character has their own campaign which determines the time period of gameplay. When playing as Ellen, Leinhart, or Urukubarr, the game takes place five years before Crusaders. As Morene, Cirith, Rupert, or Walter, the game takes place during Crusaders.
Five Years Before The Encablossa War Edit
A group of half Vampires, led by Valdemar, united the warring Dark Elf factions to establish one Dark Elf kingdom in the east of Bersian continent,Vellond. Vellond was the first united kingdom of Dark Elves in the continent's history, and the only one that was not ruled by Dark Elves.
Meanwhile, Valdemar was very aware of the fact that the Dark Eleves would revolt unless provided with a let-out for their discontent. Aiming to expand its territory and conrtrol the internal disturbance.Vellond invaded Arein and imultaneously tried to annex Hexter. At the time,Arein was an autonomous community of Elves within the Hironeiden territory, and it was a natural target for the Dark Elves whose aversion of Elves was well known.
Before Vellond's appeasement policy, about 30 Ogre and Orc tribes inhabited Hexter without much dispute. Vellond picked the most ambitous, but powerless,Hexter tribe and started supporting it with military supplies. As expected the tribe started absorbing other tribes in eastern Hexter, and Hexter was soon engulfed in a war between pro-Vellond tribes and anti-Vellond tribes.
It seemed as if everything was as Vellond planned, but they could not possibly account for every single possibilities. A small factor overlooked by Vellond did not stop at foiling Vellond's plan, but eventually triggered the Encablossa war which pushed the entire continent of Bersia into a perilous crisis.
Ellen is a Half-elf who begins her story serving under the command of Sir Justino, who in turn is under the command of Sir Walter the commander of the Ecclesian Patriarchal Emissaries. At the start of her story she is ordered by the Ecclesian army to assist the Castle of Arein, which is in Hironieden, and there she meets her future commander, Gerald.
Prince Leinhart is the Half-Vampire son of Lord Valdemar. He as a cool head, and is a natural leader. In the beginning, he helps assist Jubal and other Orc Warchiefs to obtain there assistance so they would help Leinhart in his mission to annex Hexter. At the rise of Kaedes (a faction of Dark Elves that fights for Dark Elve inderpendence) He and Jubal travel to inner Hexter to warn the other tribes of Hexter of the new threat of Kaedes. They split up to cover more tribes. However, the tribes had been destroyed, and Leinhart thought he would return to Arien to inform his father of the loss of the tribes and the rise of Kaedes. On the way, he is ambushed by Urukubarr's forces. All looks dim as the forces close around him, but Jubal comes to aid him and allows Leinhart to escape, thanking him for letting him face Urukubarr, the strongest Warrior in Hexter. As Leinhart makes his Escape, Devald reports that Jubal has been slain. On his Return to Arein, he finds out Valdemar already knows about Kaedes and demotes him for his poor efforts. Not long after Arien is assaulted and Lord Valdemar orders a retreat of the area, and allows the humans to secure Arien. Lienhart gets Angry at him for making him give up his Castle, but Valdemar Explains that they need all their resources focusing on Hexter. Lienhart is then put under Regniers command, and later on becomes Regniers Advisior, and turns on Vellond.
Rupert is an officer under the Hironieden commander Gerald, 97 days into the war Regnier's intervention pushes Hironieden back to their capital city also named after their nation. Needing help from the dwarves and elves from Ecclessia who has decided to abandon them for their own goals in reclaiming the holy land they send Rupert with a dignitary Paroth to go break through the enemy lines and request help. Gerald and Ellen escort Rupert and his band of soldiers past the walls of Hironieden and go their separate ways. Heading north Rupert encounters soldiers that had been left behind in the retreat and take them with him to the mountains north. At the dwarf encampment Paroth leaves to go meet with the elves. After two days Rupert goes looking for him and encounters Kaedes forces chasing Snowstone, the elven Queen. After rescuing her the three have talks and all agree to assist Hironieden in their war against Vellond. Escorting a convoy of Bomber Wings, and Mortars they arrive at Hironieden as it is under siege by a push from Vellond. During the chaos, Rupert clashes with the Vellond assault commander Lucretia and both fight until Lucretia is advised by Morene to retreat, commenting in over "three-thirds of their forces had fallen". This victory re-energizes the humans and push the dark elves out of their home. At his epilogue it is stated that he fell in battle against Regnier in the battle for the Holy Land.
Walter is the commander of the Ecclesian Patriarchal Emissaries. His story goes through some major events of the Crusaders plot, which it is strongly suggested he knew more than was revealed in the original, ending with Encablossa's arrival.
Cirith is a bombshell of a dark elf who is deemed more beautiful than many other dark elves. After leaving Lucretia, Cirith meets with Nachmir, her sister, as well as general Dyesa, a dark-elf superior who is confident in her abilities as a leader and as a fighter. Cirith accompanies her sister and Dyesa as well as a love stricken dark elf man named Elcam. They arrived at Arein and are greeted by Morene Strident the half vampire, Cirith is entrusted with the task of stealing the ancient heart from the patriarch. Once reaching Lichenvale to intercept the patriarch they realise that the Ancient heart has moved on north towards the Altar of Nowart, Dyesa says that they should give chase. With Cirith controlling the bulk of the Dark legion forces they fight their way through the area but as they reach the large bulk of Patriarchal emissaries Regnier intercepts them and they are forced to retreat and make petty raids on stockyards and ecclesian camps.
Minor Heroes Edit
- Sir Justino- A general of the Eccelsian Army but not the Patriarchal Emissaries, he has taken part in the battle for Arein and the war for the Holy Ground. He suggested to Walter to kill every villager and Grayhampton to protect the pact with Rithrin. He is eventually defeated at the battle of Nowart.
- Ebbard- An officer under Ellen. He is an adept fire mage and is loyal to the Ecclesian Empire. He doesn't believe that Ecclessia would do anything not in the best interest of the entire continent of Bersia. After learning that Ellen is a Half-Elf he tells the Patriarch of Ecclesia which causes the Patriarchal Guard to hunt her till death. He joins up with Ellen later and Ellen forgives him. He continues to serve her thereafter.
- Paltor- An officer under Ellen. An expert archer and somewhat rebellious, he disapproves many of Ecclesia's tactics especially the order to kill Ellen on sight which causes him to defect along with an infantry troop and meets up with Ellen far north of Ecclesia. His left arm seems to have been broken at one point, though he still manages to use a bow with great skill.
- Paroth- Hironiden's messenger. Paroth has some fighting skills and is a brilliant tactician. He is reluctantly placed under Rupert's care however the two become very good friends near the end of the war.
- Devald- A Lich sent to watch over Prince Leinheart. Although he is there to supervise the Appeasement of Hexter, Leinheart supersedes Devald many times and commands the army as and when he deems fit. Devald directly advises Leinheart in a respectful and non-confrontational way.
- Ilfa- The leader of the elite Vellond Yenicheri's. Ilfa is a direct advisor and bodyguard to King Valdemar. Ilfa and Morene usually dislike each other constantly but after the start of the Encablossa War the two drop their grudges and work together to get back to Vellond. At the end the player can choose to kill or spare Ilfa.
Critical reaction Edit
Edge reviewed the game in issue 155, awarding 7/10. The main criticisms were that some troop types are still unable to flourish during situations when they should, some AI glitches and inconsistencies, and it feels more like a set of tweaks and fixes than a fully honed sequel. However, it was still recognised as a stirring, challenging experience which rewards a player for using level-headed, adaptive tactics. The chaotic, brutal melee combat and support for online play was also highlighted. It also got a GAME OF THE YEAR award. As well as best of show at E3. The Official Xbox Magazine gave Heroes a 9/10 rating.
A Korean heavy metal band named Crash composed the soundtrack.
In Walter's campaign when he receives a vision from "god" the voice of the god is a female voice, when the "god" speaks in Crusaders in Regnier's campaign it is actually a male voice and the god's avatar is a male.