Overlord PDF Print E-mail
Written by Silver Sorrow   
Thursday, 23 August 2007 15:44
Article Index
An Aside About The Minions
Did you say... Mistress?
There's a catch, I just know it
Ha-Ha! How Hard Can It Be
Would someone tell me...
All Pages

Title: Overlord
Alternate Title: Maybe I Should Have Invested In A Gamepad
Made By: Codemasters, Triumph Studios...I think that's all of 'em
Official Website: http://www.code...om/overlord/
Game Demo: from Codemasters
ESRB Rating: T for Teen (13+) [Blood and Gore, Crude Humor, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence, blah, blah, blah]

Reviewed By: Silver "Unquotable Quotes" Sorrow
Catering By: The Happy Ending Chinese Restaurant ("Where You Get More Than Eggroll!")


Note: In case you were wondering if there were any guidelines for being an evil overlord, never fear: The Top 100 Things I'd Do If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord can still be found online, even after all these years. Astounding.


I'm Evil. Get Used To It.
Good morning, sunshine! You've just been awakened from your death and given control over a bunch of impish minions. You're the inheritor of the ultimate evil that once resided with the previous evil Overlord. Why it's you is not really clear until a specific moment near the end of the game, but never mind that now. There are things to be done!

You have a dark tower to refurbish -- the important features of which have been scavenged by various parties over the years (probably the Democrats, always recycling old stuff in hopes of assuaging their guilt over being born...as opposed to the Republicans, who'd want to just blow the thing up) -- and there are plenty of asses out there that need kicking. Best of all, you don't have to mess up your boots doing it, either: you have minions who are more than happy to tear crap up for you. Why, you ask?

C'mere a moment and lemme 'splain somethin' to yer head, Lucy:

Because. All. Evil. Overlords. Have. Minions. Willing. To. Do. Their. Bidding.

All clear? If you can wrap your IQ around that concept, we'll get along just fine.

So as you recover the stolen pieces of your tower and rediscover the missing tribes of minions, you'll also gain new spells and stuff to help you defeat the once-great heroes who killed your predecessor, but are now depraved and obsessed with their own vices, each one a metaphor for one of the Seven Deadly Sins. You know: Sloth, Gluttony, Greed, Doc, Grumpy, Sleepy, and Dopey. Wait...no. Never mind.

Anyway, I just hope that my own evil greatness (good badness?) doesn't go to my head, making me take a Beyonce down the stairs.

What Are These Things Clinging To My Ass?
You may be the big, bad Overlord, but it's the minions who are the real star of the show, the reason this game is so much fun. Minions are small imp-like creatures varying in their strengths and effectiveness, depending on type. You can command only five in the beginning, but by the end you'll be able to command a lot more than that (50, I believe), if you upgrade your helmet all the way...more on that later.

Minions are divided into four types:

Browns are your workhorse(s), the all-purpose type. They are most useful in all-out assaults and will swarm foes mercilessly...not that you should use them for every problem; certain minions for certain situations, you see. But you should always keep a few close by.

Reds are immune to fiery conditions (and weapons) and toss fireballs, as well as being able to eliminate any flaming barriers. They are physically weak, so it's best to keep them at a safe distance; they'll normally do this themselves, mostly, by relying largely on their ranged attack.

Greens are your assassins. They are immune to poisons and can dispel any poison barriers. They aren't as strong or effective in obvious assaults as the Browns, but they aren't weak, either. One tactic is to sweep them behind a foe and have them jump on the offending party's back(s). The fun part is what they can do when you set a Guard Marker (explanation forthcoming): set your Marker and they will cluster around it...and turn invisible. When an unsuspecting enemy gets close, they will jump the poor dope and shred the crap out of him. Great stuff.

Blues are water-immune healers. Your other minions die quickly in water, but Blues love it. They are the weakest of the tribes, so the best uses for them are when you're in water-based areas, and resurrection support in combat when minions die. When directed to do so (or if they are stationed at a Guard Marker close by), they'll run over to pick up fallen comrades, carry them away from the action, and bring them back to life. This can be useful, you see...

Minions can be selected by type or collectively; selecting Browns, for example, will make only them respond when you give a command. So if your next action is to send minions forth to wreak hell on something, only Browns will swarm whatever it is you want demolished. Selecting all types will cause all of them to implement your Will. (Reds, however, will hang back and just throw fireballs at the target.)

Commands, thankfully, are very simple: you can send them forth (mouse 1), call them back (mouse 2), or Sweep your minions to a certain spot (mouse 1 and 2 together, then moving the mouse to direct them). Sweeping is useful for getting your minions to places you cannot reach, although it isn't a perfect system. I had some problems here and there with getting minions to go exactly where I wanted them, thanks to a certain awkwardness moving the mouse; I've read that having a gamepad makes the command a little easier to control.

Anyway, say there's a crank that needs turning to activate a bridge (something you'll see plenty of by the end); unfortunately, the crank is on the other side of a chasm. But there will likely be a ramp-like object nearby (such as a fallen log). You can Sweep your minions down the too-narrow-for-you path, around hazards, and up the opposite slope to the crank.

Minions can also pick up bomb-like objects and carry them to a place you specify, and, if there is still time left on the timer (meaning: it doesn't explode while they're carrying it), run like hell back to you. This is used more than once in the game (slight understatement), so you will have ample opportunity to practice. Sometimes the objects will be things like eggs; commanding a minion to grab one and take off will divert attention away from where you need to be or put other minions, or lure the offended parties somewhere else (such as over to a water hydra that is blocking your progress).

Guard Markers are these things you can use for placing your minions in a certain spot. You can use them as traps with your Greens, or station Reds on a high platform to rain down fireballs on enemies. You can station Blues a safe distance away from the action and call upon them as necessary for resurrecting minions that have died. You can also Sweep minions to a certain spot and set a Guard Marker there...for whatever reason you may have for doing so. And so on.

It should be pointed out (I suppose I've just volunteered to do so): minions will sacrifice themselves to restore your health and mana if you so choose...but only if there's a health and/or mana font close by. Send a minion to his doom, get some health points back. You gotta love such devotion.

Minions will also do your mundane dirty work, such as carrying really heavy things, pushing blocks, moving obstructions, breaking barrels and crates so you don't have to. (They'll also go after flowers and such, but that's just for fun...mostly.) The reason for breaking containers is that sometimes they'll hold such things as loot and potions (health, mana), as well as weapons and armor that your minions can equip to make them more effective (enemies will sometimes drop such useful items too). It's always heartwarming to see the little nippers triumphantly wave their finds over their heads while cackling delightedly.

While some of the items may be quite effective, some of them are just there for fun. Striding through Mellow Hills with my army of pumpkin-helmeted minions does something for one's morale...I'm just not sure what.

One further note: minions can increase their effectiveness briefly by getting drunk. If there are mugs of beer around, you can sweep them over to the beer, they'll drink it, and you can sweep them over to your foes with devastating (to your foes) results. When your minions return to you, they will tap a kidney, sighing in relief. I kid you not.

In summary, minions are fanatically devoted to your every whim. You can send them directly to their death (if you're stupid or incompetent), and they won't complain. One may wail "Why meeeeee???" when being directed to carry a bomb, but that's all the complaining you'll hear. They're eager to rip your foes a new one, as well as rip a new one in anything else in the vicinity. Why deny them?

And they have other uses as well. Read on...but knowing myself, I can't guarantee actually shedding any further light on the subject.


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