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Sacred Reviews: Mercenary - Episode 1 - Betrayal

Getting the Game to Work

. . . you'll need to add the harmony.dll file, set the game to launch in compatibility mode for Windows XP Service Pack 2, as well as add a bunch of files from a game like "Chase for Divinity" in order to get it to work. Though which files you need to add isn't exactly clear to me so I basically just copied over everything.

I would name specific files, but the game crashes before they can even be named.


"Mercenary: Episode 1 - Betrayal" is a turn-based RPG created by Mewd and Blue Boo using RPG Maker 2000 and features a word that I absolutely dread to see in the title of any project on here. Though unlike the Knights of Ni in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" who refuse to specify their hated word. I'll make this known by saying it's the word 'episode' since many projects that split themselves up into multiple parts in my experience are never actually completed. As far as I know this episode is the only episode to ever exist for this series. So the hint that there was a lot more in store for our point of view character in this project only serves to annoy me since I'd like to know what happens to him in the other parts. Though, I suppose I should move on from complaining about the title to discussing the actual narrative.


You play as a group of mercenaries that have been hired by the king to help capture/kill the kingdom's greatest hero. This is because he's recently turned his back on the kingdom and butchered an entire garrison of soldiers in their sleep as part of his plan to join an enemy nation. Though the game never really explores why the hero decided to switch sides. And I'm guessing people that largely work for hire really wouldn't care about the why. After all, if they cared about the kingdom they would have become soldiers instead of sellswords.

At any rate the game's narrative does raise some moral questions as well as make a few jokes here and there. Albeit the most notable of the moral choices involves killing an enemy scout in his sleep.

And while I'd like to side with Mona on this issue. It's hard to deny that the smart choice is to simply slit his throat and move on. After all, the amount of resources you'll need to spend on him even if take him on in a fair fight simply isn't worth it in my opinion. So despite my love of fair fights I really have to agree with Will on this one.

As for comedy that game does make a few jokes here and there involving quips and straight up insults.

Though how funny it is to tell a scout trying to ambush the party that he smells so bad that everyone already knew he was there will vary.

Point of View Character

While we do play as a band of mercenaries it's pretty clear that the player is meant to identify with Tyler, a relatively new mercenary, whose also the son of the prime minister. Apparently he decided to become a sellsword since his father wouldn't let him join the army. So this is the only way he can contribute to the war effort in a way he feels he's actually good at.

It's also clear that your playing as Tyler because you have to select his mercenary name as well as be the one to make decisions on siding with certain characters during the narrative. So you can either side with Mona, your angel, or go with Will, the devil, when it comes to moral choices. At least it feels like they are meant to be your should angel and devil, but the devil seems to give more realistic advice.


Gameplay wise this game relies on the default combat system that comes with RPG Maker 2000. The only real change the developers made was to implement touch encounters instead of random ones. Admittedly this was probably a good idea in this game's case because the healer at the kingdom's base camp can only heal the player three times. So it's best to use your resources wisely since you'll want to save your final free heal for the grand finale since the kingdom's former hero is pretty dangerous when cornered.

Though on a more annoying note the game features a lot of backtracking as well since you'll need to go over the woods with a fine-tooth comb in order to find all of the scouts. And you'll sometimes take enough damage from them and the various monsters in the woods that you'll need to head back to base camp for a heal. A process that would be way less annoying if the player could run, but this isn't an engine that permits that.

Graphics and Sound

On the graphical and audio front I'm pretty sure the bulk of the material comes from the RTP. Unfortunately I'm not sure if some of the custom sprites used in this game are actually sprites for this project in particular since I had to jump through some hoops in order to get this game to work. And one of those hoops was copying tons of graphical and audio files from "Chase for Divinity" in order to get this game to even start.


On the whole I'd say this project is simply average. While the basic story concept of a hero turning on his former kingdom and being hunted down by mercenaries is interesting. The game never really explores why the hero did this. And why the hero switched sides is far more interesting in my opinion. Or at least it could be more interesting then playing as a band of mercenaries who simply work for money. After all, being a mercenary pays a lot better than joining the army. So while I won't recommend against this game I think this project was dependent on future projects that never happened to truly shine.