Culdcept Saga plays like a table top game with some TCG (Trading Card Game) elements. It can be best described as a cross between Magic: The Gathering
. The goal of the game is to amass a predetermined amount of of total gold. Total gold is often abbreviated in Culdcept as TG. TG is acquired in many ways, including territory control, spells, and completely laps around the board. By winning a match, the player earns new cards, which he or she can use to augment their deck. This allows the execution of better strategies, resulting in more victories, and in turn, more cards.
The story takes place on one of the many worlds born from the Book of Creation, Culdcept. Culdcept was created by the goddess Culdra, but it was tainted by the evil god Baltias. This curse caused the book to have a hidden darkness that would consume its user if they were not careful. When a world is created using the Book of creation it is shattered into thousands of pieces called 'Cards'. Certain people of the new world are able to wield the power of these cards and used them to summon powerful creatures and cast spells. These people are called Cepters, and, as you probably expected, you play as one of these characters. The story begins with the main character being sold into slavery by his village so that they will have enough money to provide for themselves. He is noticed by Faustina, a princess of the empire. She realizes the main character's potential to be a Cepter, and frees him from slavery. She recruits the player and gives him a deck of cards so that he can realize his power. She intends to use this power to defeat the High Priest; a powerful cepter who is using his power as a Cepter to instigate wars and conflict among the kingdoms. This pursuit takes your character through a coliseum where he must fight for his life and through many other trials and tests. Through all of this he grows to be a very powerful Cepter, able to use more and more advanced cards. Along their journey together the main character falls in love with Faustina, and, even though she seems to reciprocate the feeling, this doesn't stop her from falling victim to the darkness of the cards and eventually following the High Priest. You spend the majority of the game fighting the High Priest's lackeys and searching for Faustina. You eventually reach a place called the Harbor of Winds. Here you have to make a choice between going to the Altar of Darkness and the Altar of Light. It doesn't actually matter which one you go to because at both of them Faustina dies, and, even though you have the power to create a new world, you have lost all desire to do so. Because of this Culdra sends you back in time to the Harbor of Winds where you chose the other Altar. But once again you see Faustina die, and you choose not to create a new world. And once more Culdra sends you back to the Harbor of winds, but this time you have a new option. Finally you go to an island that lays between the twin continents. In the center of the island there is a hidden temple where the first battle between Cepters on this planet occurred. Here, with Faustina at your side, you defeat the high priest and walk up the Stairway of the Gods. To your surprise this is not the end. You must win one final battle again the ancient god Baltias himself. After that is finished you finally reach the top of the stairs with Faustina and Culdra allows you to use Culdcept to create a new world.
There are two primary modes in which to play Culdcept Saga. These modes are:
- Story (Campaign) Mode
- Versus Mode: Online or Versus AI
The gameplay behind all modes are based on the following stages
During preparation, the player designs a book (or deck) of cards. Each card has various effects on the game such as summoning creatures, equipping them with items, casting spells on creatures and other Cepters, ect.. How the deck is constructed will determine the player's strategy when playing the game. Deck building strategies are detailed below.
Battles take place on a board consisting of an array of squares. Each square has either an element or a building on it. The elemental squares consist of. Fire, Water, Wind, Earth, Multi-Element, Neutral, and squares that change to the element of the first creature placed on them. These elements can be changed for a price. The building squares are as follows. Castle, Fort, Fortune Teller, Light Shrine, Dark Shrine, Reflecting Mirror, and Temple. Each player is represented by an avatar and moves across the board a number of places depending on a die roll. The goal of the game is to gain a set amount of Magic Power (Also knows as total gold or TG). Magic Power is gained through the following methods:
- "Lapping" the board: By moving a player's avatar around the board, the player gains Magic Power. Throughout the board are multiple "Keeps" squares. These square provide the player with Magic Power. Additionally, there is one "Castle" square which also provides additional Magic Power depending on a number of other factors
- Controlling the board: A player can control a territory by summoning a creature upon it. When the player makes a lap, the player gains bonus Magic Power depending on the amount of territory controlled. In addition, if an opposing player lands on a controlled territory, he/she must pay the territory controller an amount of Magic Power or "Toll". Alternatively, the trespassing character can choose invade the controlled territory with a creature of his/her own. The value of the territory as well as the toll increase when the player pays to levelt he land up.
- Spell use: There are a variety of spells that can be used to drain magic from other Cepters or reward the played with magic base on other things such as number of territories or lap number.
- Symbols: At temples Cepters are able to buy symbols. These are like the stock market of Culdcept. By buying symbols a Cepter is purchasing 'shares' of a certain element is a certain area. As the value of those territories increases the value of the symbols increases. They can then be sold for the higher price.
Players take turns in which to take actions. Each turn consists of the following phases
- Draw Card: When the turn begins, a single card will automatically be added from a player's deck to the hand. Players can only use cards that are in his/her hand. The maximum amount of cards a player can hold in the hand is 6. If at any point a player has more than 6 cards, he/she must discard down to six cards.
- Cast a Spell: The spell card is a specific type of card. Spells cast in this fashion must be done so during this phase. Spells typically inflict special statuses or effects on players, land, or creatures.
- Move: The player's avatar is moved across the board. Normally, the amount of randomly determined by a die roll. However, the number of squares moved during this phase can be predetermined based on other factors such as spells.
- Summon a Creature/Territory Command. Depending on what square a player lands on, the player can do a number of options. If the player lands on a territory, the player can opt to control the territory by summoning a creature on it. If the territory is already under the control of another player (has an opposing player's creature present on the territory), the player can invade the land by summoning a creature of his/her own.
The player can also opt to use Territory Command. By using Territory Command, the player can perform special actions on territory that the player already owns. These actions include upgrading a territory's value, exchanging creatures, etc.
Players take turns until one player reaches the Magic Power limit.
Battle is complete when one of the players total magic reached the levels requirement. This is gain via tolls, lap bonuses, and also raising the level of your lands. Once the battle is complete, each player (regardless of win/defeat) will receive a set number of cards added to his/her collection.
For the most part you have to worry about two main aspects when getting ready for a battle.
General Deck-Building Strategy
For general decks without a specific strategy, the main goal of any deck will stick to the standard plan of "summon creatures onto territory, level them up, and protect them for profit." Each of the four elements of cards (Air, Earth, Fire, Water) has the capability to do this; your deck should consist of roughly 50% creatures, 20-30% spells, and 20-30% pieces of equipment, depending on your preferences. The costs and prerequisites of cards are important; include enough creatures that both cost-efficient and have no conditions for summoning so that you draw them in your opening hand.
Protective spells and equipment are superior to offensive; cards such as Counter Amulet and Gaseous Form prevent all damage dealt to a creature, which renders any amount of attack bonus from an opposing spell of equipment ineffective.
Specific Deck-Building Strategy
With over 500 different cards in the game, the amount of decks that you could construct is nigh-limitless. Going beyond the standard strategy of “get territory, level it up, profit” will be much more successful against tougher opponents with stronger decks.
To reach this level of play, you need to not only have an understanding of the game and the cards, but you also need to answer questions like, “How many people will be playing in this game?” “What strategies are my opponents using, and how can I counter that?” Even when you select a strategy, you need to be aware of what cards are effective counters to it.
Here are the most popular and powerful strategies that are commonly found online:
Kelpie decks: These decks revolve around Kelpie, a creature that forces players to stop on its space. The deck’s single goal is to place a Kelpie onto a water space, level it up to increase the toll, and to protect it when the opponent(s) land on it. Key cards include: Kelpie, Land Protection, Counter Amulet
Goblin/Redcap decks: These decks try to flood the board with free goblins from Goblin’s Lair, to acquire large amounts of territory. Multiple Goblins also power up Redcap, which has 20 attack and health for each Goblin in play. Key cards include: Goblin’s Lair, Redcap, Borgess
Mass Damage: These decks use all the spells that deal damage to all creatures on the board. These decks can be very effective at destroying every single creature in play by casting two spells. These decks often use neutral creatures, as colored creatures are constantly being damaged by their spells. Clay Idol is the best counter to this deck, as it reduces all damage dealt by spells and abilities. Key cards include: Burning Hail, Freeze Cyclone, Insect Swarm, Tempest
Idol Decks: These decks play with a lot of the idol cards that have continuous global effects that hinder or benefit all players. These decks usually play with idols that hamper players. The most used idol is Lead Idol, which prevents all players from moving any creatures once they are placed on the board. There are 13 different idols in the game, each with different effects. These decks try to break the symmetry of the idols, having them affect the opponent(s) more than the player. Key cards include: Lead Idol, Granite Idol, Basalt Idol, Borgess
There are limitless possibilities, these are just a few of the popular ones!
Avatar Parts are rewarded for doing certain tasks and for winning by certain means.
|Head Parts||Back Parts||Hand Parts||Body Parts|
| Black Cat Ears|| Air Cloak|| Air Shield|| Cepter Robe|
| Chain Helm|| Fire Cloak|| Fire Shield|| Chain Mail|
| Cowboy Hat|| Earth Cloak|| Earth Shield|| Darkness Robe|
| Crown|| Water Cloak|| Water Shield|| Dwarven Armor|
| Dwarven Helm|| Angel Wings|| Aura Blade|| Gladiator Mail|
| Goat Helm|| Black Cat Tail|| Battle Axe|| Jester Suit|
| Golden Brave|| Champion Cloak|| Blade of Culdra|| Leather Armor|
| Jester Hood|| Demon Wings|| Buckler|| Lion Heart|
| Leather Helm|| Neutral Cloak|| Claymore|| Magma Armor|
| Lion Helm|| Squirrine Tail|| Holder Blade|| Mummy Tights|
| Ninja Mask|| || Knight Shield|| Ninja Suit|
| Mummy Mask|| || Mace|| Pirate Coat|
| Pirate Hat|| || Magic Shield|| Plate Mail|
| Plate Helm|| || Masamune|| Shining Robe|
| Scale Helm|| || Prismatic Wand|| Scale Armor|
| Shogun Helm|| || Storm Causer|| Shogun Armor|
| Snake Circlet|| || Wizard Staff|| Snake Armor|
| Squirrine Ears|| || Trident|| Soldier Armor|
| Wizard Hat|| || Vorpal Sword|| Training Coat|
| Valkyria Helm|| || || |
Xbox 360 Game Installation
Culdcept Saga requires 5.2GB of space to install on an Xbox 360 HDD.