Firefly Studios (Developer) and Gamecock Media (Publisher) have announced the release in Spring 2008 of Stronghold Crusader Extreme, the new and (so we are lead to believe) improved version of the best selling Stronghold Crusader.

Stronghold Crusader Extreme takes the addictive Crusader game play to a new level, featuring huge armies and huge battles with over 10000 units on screen, a new heavy duty, 20 mission Extreme Trail that will provide a stiff challenge to any hardened Crusader player, and a new tactical aid bar which allows you to unleash super moves on your enemies. It will also feature new buildings, outposts to provide hordes of attacking enemies to deal with, together with battlefield powers such as reinforcement, bombard and heal powers to help fend off the waves of attackers.

Extreme carries on from where Crusader left off. For those new to Crusader, the original game has been provided too, in an updated form, and with all the limited edition content, previously only released in the US, such as all 8 new AI opponents and the second Crusader trail (Missions 51 to 80) showcasing the new AI characters.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Operating System: Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP/Vista
Processor: Pentium® III 500 Mhz (1 Ghz recommended)
Memory: 128MB (256MB recommended for multiplayer)
Hard Drive: 850MB
Video: 4MB DirectX 8.1 Compatible
Sound: DirectX 8.1 Compatible
DVD Drive: Required
Modem: 56k (for Internet Play

FIREFLY RESPONSES TO MEMBERS’ QUERIES

* On sale through Retail AND Digital outlets.

* Stronghold Crusader Extreme is a processor intensive game and relies most on the processor and not the graphics card. Many units on screen may cause quite a strain on the processor and therefore requires quite a fast processor to run without lag.

* No new units will feature in Stronghold Crusader Extreme but the game does include two new building types.

* No new screen resolutions have been added to Stronghold Crusader Extreme. Although units are as before in Stronghold Crusader, pretty straight forward to manage, just double click on the units you wish to select and this will highlight all of those types of units in that area.

* The original Stronghold Crusader game remains the same as before [ie, it can’t be played with 10,000 units on screen, etc], although it does include the Stronghold Warchest game sections as well. The Extreme section of the game plays differently from the original version.

* The map sizes remain the same as Stronghold Crusader.

* You can edit the csv file, which comes with the Extreme version to create your own trail. Also, we will be releasing modding tools, later on. [Concerning question re modding capabilities, if any, for Stronghold Crusader Extreme].

* There is no Stronghold One related content in Stronghold Crusader Extreme.

* One of the modding tools we will release will be an AI editor, which is very similar to the Stronghold 2 editor. [In response to a query about whether it was possible to create our own AI (like the SH2 AI editor). Was there a possibility of an AI editor, where we could edit the AI’s actions and such any way we desire?]

* Just to clear up any confusion, the 10,000 unit number is the maximum number of units that the Extreme exe will support. The AI players attacking strength has been beefed up substantially in the Extreme version of the game, with most of the new enemies’ troops attacking from the new ‘Outpost’ buildings. As a player, you will tend to have more troops, but it is your enemies that will have the big hordes! You will need to use the tactical powers effectively – to cope with them.

* Sorry, Crusader Extreme won’t feature troop formations.

* This [the cost of Stronghold Crusader Extreme] will be set by our publisher in the coming month or so. We will make an announcement on that as soon as we have a number from them.

* No, Crusader Extreme is very much an evolution of its older brother. This game is quite similar to the original Crusader in a lot of the interface mechanics. [Re questions asking whether there will be SH2 estate features, ie the ability to make small villages near your castle to, say, grow wheat and to mill it?; would it have autobuy and autosell?; and the ability to have an increasing number of units made per click?]

* Well, you will have the five new opponents from the Warchest edition, which quite a few people would have never seen before. Along with the three opponents which everyone could download with the original Crusader edition. That does make 16 AI opponents in all! [In response to a member’s comment that he is just slightly peeved that there will be no new opponents].

* Three of the opponents are freely available for download, but if we gave everything away then there would be no more new Strongholds to look forward to! [Demonstratively answering a query about whether it will be possible to get the opponents without buying the game].

* Don’t worry, it won’t take long to get large armies or lose them either for that matter! [Responding to a question about whether more peasants would be allowed around the campfire so that recruiting large armies wouldn’t take so long].

* Online play will be the same as the original Crusader. Although Gamespy Arcade does not work with Windows Vista. When using Vista only, you would need to use the standard connection options (direct connection by entering IP address). [Answering a query about whether online play would be as it was in SH1 and SHC or like it is in SH2 and SHL].

* They [the ‘special powers’] can (and should!) be used over and over again. You have a power bar which fills over time – as you use tactical powers they take points from the bar. Simpler powers take less – so that a full bar would allow you to use say ‘arrow volley’ several times before the bar was emptied out. A more advanced power, such as ‘call for knights’, would drain most of the bar and so you would need to wait until it recharged.

* Have you been peeping through our windows? This is exactly what will be happening in Crusader Extreme! [In response to a rather perceptive suggestion from Lord Amik that one of the new buildings might be a building like a bandit camp in Stronghold 2, it will just keep spawning soldier after soldier until it is destroyed. Perhaps two kinds of outposts, I think, one of Arab troops that sends harassing horse archers and slingers and a European one that sends knights and archers, perhaps].

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