|Call of the Ancients|
The Sun Hall as seen in Call Of The Ancients
Design & Style
Find all diamonds and the checkered finish marker
Featured Game in CY Newsletter
Call of the Ancients is a game on ChallengeYou.
This game was created by babywinter, and is canonically considered babywinter's first game, as listed in her present roster of games. This game was entered in the Castle Contest, babywinter's first contest appearance, but was not eligible to win any placing, because the game had "too many diamonds". The game however caught ChallengeYou's attention, and was featured in the CY Newsletter. The game took babywinter a month to complete.
The game was last saved on April 10, 2011, as babywinter's effort to overhaul design on her older games. The game was first published in 2008. This game became the precursor in babywinter's signature style in creating games: epic-sized maps and intricate details. Many members would even jokingly quip: "If it doesn't lag, it's not babywinter's game." Most games lag because of the amount of elements and details put in the creation of games.
This game paved way to Epic Map games staple in ChallengeYou. CY himself commented of the game: "Quite amazing and huge! I'll have to try to speed up the aMazer to handle games like this."
You begin the game inside a castle prison. You are informed by a supernatural voice that the "power of the sun" is inside the fortress. You also learned that you are a young warrior destined to everlasting glory. The voice tells you to go retrieve this power, which is divided into four groups of four shards in the castle. You escaped the prison floor, and to your awe, you learned that other glorious warriors had previously freed their "soul" in that same prison floor you were imprisoned. This gave you the inspiration and the hunger to seek this power and free your soul.
The Castle. The floor plan of the gigantic stone castle is laid like a four-petal flower with the main hall in the middle. The main hall is called Sun Hall. The four extension rooms of the hall, joined by a narrow crevice and stone ramp, serve as challenge towers, with each of the towers posing a mission to be accomplished by the player. The four towers to be championed are as follows in order: Labyrinth of Blood and Sky, Labyrinth of Theseus, Conundrum at World's End, and The World is Round at San Salvador. Colorful banners representing the colors of the rainbow can be seen hanging around the castle. Floor designs in different colors and patterns can also be seen.
Prison Floor. Players begin their adventure in the prison floor the fortress. The prison floor contains "souls" rambling behind the bars. Some of the cells are however empty and epitaphs for heroes who were able to free their souls can be read. There are eight epitaphs as of the latest save of the game.
Mazes. Just like the games published before this game, Call of the Ancients used mazes as an in-game challenge. In this game, babywinter used three mazes. All of these mazes utilized a "Theseus Yarn" effect to guide the players in-and-out of the maze. Players are guided by following a specific color pattern seen either on the ceiling (Labyrinth of Blood and Sky and Labyrinth of Theseus) or the floor (Highest of Highest).
Number Combination. If the babywinter's mazes in this game require players a memory to remember color patterns, the two other tower challenge of the game (Conundrum at World's End and The World is Round at San Salvador) requires players a background knowledge in history, as the challenge requires the player to produce a four-number combination that stands for a specific year in history. These four numbers hide the diamonds the player must collect. There are two variations used in this game, the use of doors to conceal the diamonds from player's plain sight, and the the use of ladders to conceal the diamonds in a higher position.
Game Play Edit
The player must "find all diamonds and the checkered finish marker" to complete the game. There are sixteen diamonds in the game. You must collect four diamonds in each of the four challenge towers in the game. Keys are also used as transition to opening the next challenge, as the challenges must be tackled in a predetermined order. Once the sixteen diamonds are collected, a fifth challenge at the top of the tower separates the player from the checkered finish marker.
Message Boards also give clues to the player where to go next or what to do in a specific challenge.
The game begins in the prison floor area. The player must follow the message boards lined up in the area to sprint to the other side of the area where a hole in the floor connects the prison floor area to a tunnel, and then to the Sun Hall where the player must grab key #1 floating in the middle of the hall. A message board will instruct you to proceed to Labyrinth of Blood and Sky.
Labyrinth of Blood and Sky Edit
The player must grab key #1 in the middle of the Sun Hall. Then he must proceed to the room labeled Labyrinth of Blood and Sky and unlock the doors leading to a balcony protruding outside the castle facing the sea. The player must read further instructions and step into the teleporter, which will teleport him to the challenge area.
In the challenge area, the player must tackle a maze. At the entrance, a cryptic clue is given to the player: "Pay attention to the colored sky over your head as you enter the labyrinth—for BLOOD, SUN, and RAIN goes in perpetual cycle to the ends of the world." This means that the player must follow RED-YELLOW-BLUE pattern that leads to the diamonds at the opposite end of the maze. The maze ends in RED.
Once the four white diamonds are collected (and four minutes of game time saved), you must retrieve key #2, and exit the maze. Further instructions will tell you that the pattern has been reversed and you must follow RED-BLUE-YELLOW. Once out, you must proceed to the Sun Hall and unlock doors in Labyrinth of Theseus.
Labyrinth of Theseus Edit
After grabbing key #2 in the Labyrinth of Blood and Sky, the player must proceed back to the Sun Hall and to the room labeled Labyrinth of Theseus. Just like in the previous challenge, the player must unlock the doors and teleport to the challenge area. The player will then be confronted by yet another maze similar in Blood and Sky. However this time, the maze winds longer and the pattern different. The message in front of the maze says: "In the skies you must seek the answer, for the ancients have favored the hue of SAHARA, the beauty of ROMAN WINE, and the sparkle of AMAZON EMERALDS—these three are gifts of them to the right path to tread."
The pattern from the beginning is ORANGE-PURPLE-GREEN. The maze ends in ORANGE, so returning to the start, the pattern must be reversed to ORANGE-GREEN-PURPLE. The maze is very similar to that of Blood and Sky, but the "fake" colors of beige, lime, and black might confuse the players a little, not mentioning the the maze is more winding.
The player must collect four white diamonds at the end of the maze. He must carry with him key #3 before proceeding back to the Sun Hall.
Conundrum at World's End Edit
After grabbing key #3, the player must proceed to Conundrum at World's End, unlock the specified doors, and teleport to the challenge area.
The challenge in this area is a quiz. The player must read the instructions and cryptic hint carefully: "Number the ladders from zero to four—decipher the year the earth will turn to crumbles as [predestined] by the Mayan Gods." In this case, the player must assign each ladder numbers zero to four (there are five ladders in each row; there are four rows that determine the position of the diamonds creating a four-digit combination). The number combination is "2012", the year of the end of the world according to the Mayan calendar.
Once the white diamonds are collected on top of the ladders, the player must proceed the door at the end of the rows of ladders to retrieve key #4.
The World is Round at San Salvador Edit
After grabbing key #4, the player must proceed to The World is Round at San Salvador. The player must unlock specific doors and teleport to the challenge area.
The challenge is similar to that in Conundrum at World's End: a quiz. The message at the beginning of the door puzzle reads: "He that cometh from the east believed the earth was round, he explored the lands in the west only to find no spice—now be guided by the year he first stepped on San Salvador." The player must grab the Master Key and spell out the combination to save time checking all doors. The combination is "1498", the year Christopher Columbus supposedly first stepped in San Salvador (Americas).
After collecting all sixteen keys from the four challenge towers, the player must proceed to the door at the end of the door puzzle. A fifth challenge awaits at the very top of the castle, separating the player to the checkered finish marker.
Final Challenge: Highest of Highest Edit
After collecting all sixteen diamonds, the player must tackle the Highest of Highest. It is a color-pattern maze. At the beginning of the maze, a message says: "You have come to the HIGHEST OF HIGHEST—the way to eternal glory and freedom for your lost soul is by the colors [that] hung in the SUN HALL—recollect it in your mind or follow the hues of a rainbow by heart." To tackle the maze, the player must follow the color of the rainbow as pattern: RED-ORANGE-YELLOW-GREEN-BLUE-INDIGO-VIOLET.
After finishing the maze, the player is led to a hall with crystal-glass floor, then to the finish platform. The game ends with the note: "You have done it well great warrior—you have freed your soul—now step into your destiny as the power of the sun blesses you with eternal glory."
Babywinter used epitaphs in this game to honor players who have succeeded in finishing this extra-difficult game. These epitaphs are positioned in front of "opened" cells in the prison floor to symbolize the "freeing of soul" or certain champions. The use of epitaphs became a precursor in babywinter's games, where she interacts with and rewards certain members of ChallengeYou by putting their names in her games. There are eight epitaphs saved in the game:
- SZITANK your robust soul equates that of the elated warriors in Valhalla in terms of rank
- ROIVILLE your once imprisoned soul is now a pacifying tour de force to hinder the blood to spill
- SENEEI your [kindred] soul has been set free from the mires of savagery, now your heart is as calm as the breeze of the sea
- BLIND SORROW your warrior soul has unleashed from fury to peace of mind, and so will your glory runs every day after tomorrow
- ELIDOR67 you have sent your burdened soul [to an] eternal bliss in heaven
- KIMIHARO you have freed your soul from an almost eternal mire, now you gain a great divine halo
- METAMAN911 your soul has freed from the crowd, and it soars to the heaven like the one
- ORLFAN your soul has escaped the prison mire, now your spirit freely ran
Here are some fun trivia regarding the game:
- The name of the castle in this game is Castillo del Sol, which means Sun Castle.
- The initial concept of the game was the "flower" floor plan with the four rooms on the sides as maze. However, this proved to be constricting because the allowable items per floor at that time was 500 items. Babywinter thought of moving the challenges in different floors, thus creating the towers, with the main hall still in the middle. The teleporters proved to be useful for players to magically switch from one floor to another.
- The initial story was supposed to be a sci-fi lab of an evil scientist or an alien in the distant future. Initial workings on the first maze (Labyrinth of Blood and Sky) were rendered "sci-fi". This was directly inspired by CY's youtube video "Make a SciFi game with aMazer at Challengeyou.com"
- The "sci-fi" theme was scrapped when babywinter decided to enter the game in the Castle Contest. A new storyline was generated for this project. However, the "sci-fi" theme was fully materialized as a futuristic time ship in babywinter's next game Journey To Eden.
- The title Call of the Ancients came from Soul Calibur III OST. Babywinter is a big fan of Soul Calibur as evident in some of her games:
- Journey To Eden was initially conceptualized as Talim Windmill. Talim is a Soul Calibur character. Her arena is a watermill.
- The dragon in Life Before Dragon is modeled after Lizardman, a character in Soul Calibur.
- This is the only game of babywinter that does not give you the full glimpse of a construction or a model. You cannot see the full castle, as the game restricts the player to see just the inside.
- This is one of the two games of babywinter that does not have a centerpiece model. The other one is Pueblo de Mendoza.
- There was no Prison Floor in the initial launch of the game. That area was just a covered bridge.
- The game became a precursor of rainbows in babywinter's game. The flags hanging in the Prison Floor and the Sun Hall carries the colors of the rainbow. The final challenge carries the rainbow pattern.
- Babywinter and the rest of the aMazers invented the use of including names of members in games as a form of game update. In this game, babywinter used epitaphs to reward people who successfully completed her game.
- Babywinter uses her style of using "bar" walls to create geometric effects. This however make games lag, according to CY. Babywinter abandoned the stlye in newer games, when she starts using models and colors more often.
- Call of the Ancients is not technically babywinter's first game in ChallengeYou. Titay House is her first game, but babywinter removed this game because "the title is less than 15 characters long", making the title appear bigger in the game preview. All games starting Call of the Ancients exceed 15 characters.
- Instead of going down to the Sun Hall when transferring from Conundrum at World's End to The World Is Round At San Salvador, players can opt to use the mezzanine that connects the two rooms.
- The combination for The World is Round at San Salvador is 1-4-9-8. This combination is however historically erroneous because Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas in "1492". 1498 is his third voyage.
- The puzzles for Conundrum and The World is Round is supposed to be similar: door puzzle. This is to attain symmetry as the two Labyrinths have the same maze style. The ladder puzzle was however made for Conundrum because babywinter has reached the optimum amount in doors per level. This means she cannot use doors as item in the game.
- The top of the castle has crystal-glass floor. A pattern of a sword is shown imprinted on the floor.
- The finish platform has a ladder beside it, in case the player fell off the nearby battlement. Without the ladder, and if the player accidentally fell onto the battlement, the player must restart the game.