The Story of Stronghold begins in a country divided by four enemy lords now ruling the land (the people have nicknamed them The Pig, the Rat, the Snake and the Wolf). Each of these masters rule and fight in a different way and none of them are particularly nice! Your goal is to help re-unite the country and restore the king now held to ransom in a foreign jail.

In the beginning structures will be simple, your resources limited. You will start with a simple motte and bailey. The importance of placement in the landscape will be quickly learned. You will need protection for the castle hall or keep, as well as usable land for farming and forest for lumber. As you progress through the campaign portion of the game, available resources and building techniques will advance. Final structures will be immense stone edifices with any number of fortification elements. The process is almost a mini history lesson on the evolution of castles, from simple wood palisades on to a Norman Keep and finally the massive killing machines of Edward I.

Popularity is a main factor in the effectiveness of your castle. It determines how many peasants are willing to come and work for you. If you manage the community well, your population will swell. Peasants will automatically take up trades such as stoneworkers, armourers, bakers, brewers, pole turners and your castle will begins to buzz with activity.

Building exteriors cut away allowing you a view of the interior and a glimpse of every day medieval life. Characters exhibit personalities. The can be bored, excited, disgruntled and with over 70,000 different frames of animation watching your characters is very entertaining. Don't worry about micro-managing because this world pretty much takes care of itself. It is your job to balance, keeping your peasants happy or slightly in a state of terror that will control. Give away free beer or alternatively place some heads on spikes to have an effect on that 'all important' popularity rating.

As time progresses you must survive the onslaught of increasingly ferocious sieges and occasionally you may be called upon to lay siege to a castle or two yourself. The enemy will become even more cunning, have better weapons, more men, then even more men. They will attempt to scale over, tunnel under and pound down your walls with a variety of machines. You on the other hand, you will have the benefits of fortification and castle tricks and traps to balance the scales. Boiling oil, hidden pits, moats and pitch trenches, rock throwers and ballista's, crenulations for your archers and sally ports for your knights, all to protect your Lord, who whilst a consummate fighter is the key to your castle, if he falls you have lost the day.
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Date Gold10/17/2001
Date Released10/31/2001
# of Players8
DeveloperFireFly Studios
PublisherGod Games

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