Robin Hood: Unique Abilities

Maid Marian has joined my party, at least for one mission. Her special unique ability is Spy, which clears the fog of war in a large radius around her. It’s not the best of powers, because fog of war really isn’t that big a deal in this game; people you haven’t seen are displayed, just rendered in a sort of mottled foggy grey devoid of details so you can’t tell if they’re friendly or not. (And you can probably take a pretty good guess about that anyway from their behavior; anyone flanking a doorway or marching in formation is probably a guard.)

At any rate, the choice of power is clearly meant to reflect her role in the story: she’s Robin’s “man on the inside”, maintaining a presence at court to supply the outlaws with information. (Which means it’ll be less narratively justified if she takes up residence in Sherwood, but these gameplay things are only loosely connected to their narrative justifications anyway.) All of the named characters seem to have such an ability like that, one loosely tied to their character. Robin’s unique ability is throwing coin purses, which isn’t quite giving to the poor (especially if he takes them back once you’re unconscious), but is at least adjacent to it. Will Scarlet, the youngest of the band, has a slingshot that can stun foes briefly. The manual tells me that Friar Tuck has a “put down beer” command, possibly to distract foes or make them less observant. Little John has the ability to give other characters a boost up walls — due to the reuse of maps in missions, I’ve seen walls with the cursor rollover for this action even though I still can’t perform it.

It seems strange that Robin’s special unique ability isn’t related to his famous skill with a bow. There’s a biggish problem with the source material in this game: it encourages you to avoid lethal damage, but that’s the only sort of damage a bow can do, so I’m avoiding doing one of the things that the title character is most famous for. It tries to make up for it a little in the non-plot-related ambush missions, where you attack various carriages and caravans carrying gold through the forest. These missions give you traps and snares triggered by shooting at targets, another fairly thin gesture towards the established character.

2 Comments so far

  1. Jack Brounstein on 27 Sep 2023

    This is apropos nothing, but you have the name of Jason Dyer’s blog misspelled in your sidebar. (You have “Regna” in place of “Renga”.)

  2. Carl Muckenhoupt on 29 Sep 2023

    Sometimes when I look back at old blog posts, I find and fix typos that have been there for years and years. This is the first multiple-years-old typo I’ve fixed on this blog that wasn’t part of a post. Thanks!

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