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OVERVIEW 

 
 
 
Shadows of the Tusk is a turn-based strategy game where a player can build a party consisting of characters recruited in various ways which serves as their "deck". It utlized Seganet's X-band system to allow players to compete online, which was fairly unique for a console of the era. Local play with a friend is also possible (fortunately!) 
  
 

STORYLINE

 
Richard and Zadok. 
 A terrible dragon was slain by the great knight and future King, Richard Rosewall. But the dragon cursed the land and the Rosewall family with its dying breath, and on the 18th birthday of Richard's daughter Rebecca a horrible fiend was born from one of the dragon's remaining teeth... Tusker! Tusker begins to manipulate space-time to merge many possible futures and recruit a huge army of ghouls and monsters from all time periods to destroy the world! It's up to Richard to once again don his armor and recruit a new army and destroy Tusker before it's too late.  
 

GAMEPLAY

 
Assemble your forces. 
The player builds their party or "deck" of units from a bank of units they have previously acquired; this can be through gameplay (doing the "special stages" generally results in earning an extra unit) or via playing opponents online in ante matches. Different characters have different rarities; some like Rachel or Tusker are extremely rare, while others (such as cuspids) are extremely common. The player builds a "starting team" which will be deployed on the field in that player's starting position; this team is regulated by a mana cost cap to be determined either by the stage or player consensus, depending on the mode of play. The player also has a "bank" of additional units that can be summoned at additional mana expense as the match progresses. The player also must select a "team leader" to be deployed with the rest of the starting team; they should be protected at all costs, as they can summon the aforementioned "bank" units! It is possible to have multiples of the same unit in a deck and indeed on the field at the same time; you can put out as many as you have in stock so long as you have the required mana!
 
STARTING A BATTLE:  
A battlefield. 
Each player begins in their starting positions; which player can act first is determined at random. Various tiles on the playing field are "mana tiles"; these generate mana so long as a unit is standing on it. Obviously, the respective unit's player will receive the mana. The team leader's starting positions are also invariably mana generation tiles; it is generally a good idea to keep your leader on their tile to build meter and summon additional units.  Certain units also generate mana simply by being on the playing field for their respective player. Each turn the player can use their leader to summon an additional unit if they have the mana to pay for it and have not depleted their "bank" of units; these summoned units will appear adjacent to the leader and cannot act in the same turn.
Each player can move his units and attack during his turn. As one would expect, different units are capable of moving different numbers of squares in a turn; some are less mobile than others. Once an action has been finalized it cannot be undone. In addition to movement and attacking, many units have special abilities which can fall in to several different categories. 
 
Active: These can be put in like a typical command. Many of them simply count as that unit's "attack" when performed, but some (I.E., fireball) can be performed repeatedly so long as the player has the mana to pay for each additional action. Some of these are offensive in nature, while others serve a defensive or medical purpose (I.E., healing or barrier spells)
Passive: These are abilities that cannot be activated by a command as such. "beast killer" or "regeneration" fall in to this category. Some of these abilities still cost mana (regeneration...) so keep that in mind when using them.
 
Combat. 
SPECIAL STATUS
 : The game features a number of status ailments or buffs that can be inflicted in one manner or another.
 
  • Berserk: A unit afllicted with berserk gets 3 attack power, but loses 3 HP per turn.
  • Poison: A unit that is poisoned loses 1 HP per turn.
  • Stone: A unit that has been turned to stone can take no action and loses 3 HP per turn.
  • Acid: A unit afflicted with acid loses 1 point of HP per turn. However, it can effect machines and causes them 2 points of damage per turn.
  • Magic Shield: No magic can affect a unit with the magic shield status, either positive or negative.
  • Flight: Units which have flight can pass over units or objects in their path when moving... and cannot be hit by certain spells.
  • Rapid: Units which have the rapid status get a movement increase of 2. 
  • Fall: Fall status removes flight from units, grounding them.
  • Wild: Beat type units with the wild status get an attack increase of 1.
  • Nightmare: Undead type units with the nightmare status get an attack increase of 1. 
   

UNITS

 There are, as one would expect, a large number of units in Shadows of the Tusk. Units fall in to four classes: Human, Beast, Undead, and Machine. Each class has a couple of its own general characteristics (for example, machines are immune to most status ailments) 
UNIT NAMEMANA COST HP AP MovementOTHER COMMENTS
 Richard12 12 4 2      One of the starting units and the protagonist of the story mode. He boosts all of your nearby unit's attack power slightly (including his own, so he technically has an AP of 5!) He also has a powerful "cut off" skill which hits enemies in a row.
 Zadok 8  6  0 2 Zadok is a wizard who cannot attack, but he has fireball and the powerful (but difficult to use effectively) fire wall skill. He can also cast "strengthen" on allies, which will boost their attack power.  He is another starting unit.
 Sienna 8 10 2 2 The last starting character, she is a female warrior who generates a small amount of mana each turn. She also has a support attack ability to help adjacent allied units and her own attack power goes up when she is damaged by an enemy because of her "revenger" ability, making her a well-rounded and handy character.
 Tusker 15 16 5 1 The lich-like main antagonist of the game. He has many overwhelmingly powerful skills, such as dark breath which causes 10 damage to ALL enemies in a large area... but it costs a whopping 50 mana to use, making it extremely impractical for use in a battle outside of the CPU's use of it in story mode.
 Tarla 11 11 2 2 An undead witch with many threatening abilities; she can boost the attack power of all undead units or cripple other characters by rendering their attacks useless with a curse. She can regenerate when she dies if the player pays 10 mana.
Rachel  9 11 2 2 Rachel generates a small amount of mana for her controlling player each turn. In addition she gets an attack boost if Rebecca is present AND attack boosts for every adjacent friendly unit, making her a potentially very powerful attacker.
 Kendra 7 7 2 2 Kendra is a risky character; her attack power is raised by 2 for the remainder of the match every time she takes damage AND she drains mana from any enemy she damage (half of damage value, rounded down).. but her low HP makes her tricky to utilize effectively. Damage her yourself with area effect spells and heal her for a cheesy attack boost!
 Graveyard Knight 13 12 4 2 A powerful undead attacker. He loses 2 HP every turn, but also drains HP from enemies, so keep him in the thick of battle if you're using him.
 Garyu 9 11 3 1 A slow flying monster. However, his skill "magic sword" does as much damage as you're willing to pay in terms of mana, so he can be instantly lethal to even powerful units.
 Savage 12 21 5 1 An expensive and slow but powerful fighter unit. He can send opponents flying with his "knock down" ability, but he has an upkeep cost of 2 mana per turn; if the player doesn't have that mana, he can't do anything that turn.
 Harry Webb 14 16 8 1 A mighty soldier from the future who is tasked with protecting time, he joins Richard in the story mode. He loses 2 HP per turn, but can inflict the "fall" status ability to all enemies at any time, removing their flight ability. This can be an effective combo with abilities like "earthquake".
 Black Bison12  13 6 1 A gorgon-like beast that has the ability (for the expensive cost of 13 mana) to turn an enemy to stone.
 Maximillian 19 20 10 2 A very powerful and mobile fighter with a devastating "roar" ability which inflicts 5 damage to all enemies in the 8 surrounding squares! However, he loses 5 hp per turn!  Can YOU use him effectively?
 Hellhound 13 12 4 2 A powerful and  mobile attacker. In addition it can dispel all buffs from a target via its "bite" ability, does 2 damage against beast-type enemies, AND can be regenerated for 12 mana when it dies.
 Badelos 12 15 6 1 The Badelos loses 1 HP per turn; it can also fire a laser that will damage all enemies in a straight line.
 Hangman 9 10 1 Hangman is a bit slow, but he can inflict the berserk status on friends or enemies and regenerates 1 HP per turn, giving him good survivability.
 Cloud 6 2 Another friend from the future, Cloud is a versatile attacker. He can inflict damage to a group of units with his "hand grenade" (hits 6 squares around the targeted area) and does 3 damage against machines.
 Rebecca 5 8 2 2 Richard's daughter. She has many excellent abilities and is a virtual must. Her "excalibur" ability causes her attack power to go up by 1 with each regular attack for the remainder of the match, her attack power is raised by 1 if a Rachel is present, and her "bless" ability negates penalties on characters who suffer from them (I.E., Harry Webb's HP drain) next turn!
 Cyclops 13 24 4 1 The mighty cyclops can expend 6 of his own HP to cause an earthquake which deals 2 damage to all non-flying units on the playing field.
Creeper 11 10 5 2 The creeper has the ability to damage and poison enemies with its skill "poison drop". 
 Zigue 9 12 2 The Zigue is a relatively cheap, fast moving and dangerous unit with a "fire breath" skill that can damage enemies two squares in front of him for 4 damage at a cost of 3 mana.
 Ranka Chank 13 16 1 The mechanical Ranka Chank is slow and powerful. It can poison enemy units with poison gas and has an anti-magic barrier. However, this can be a double edged sword as it also prevents him from being healed.
 Guardian11  15 5 1 The Guardian, as its name would suggest, is primarily a defensive unit. He has a mana upkeep of 1 mana per turn; if the player cannot pay, the Guardian instantly dies. His "around heal" ability heals all friendly units adjacent to him for an amount of HP that the player is willing to pay in terms of mana; he can also cast "protect" on allies. 
 Celeste 8 12 2 2 Another unit who primarily fills a support role, Celeste can heal units for 3 hp at a cost of 2 mana. She can also cure allies of status ailments. She also has a nice bonus; her "holy rod" does 4 damage against undead units!
 Rumble 9 19 3 1 A low-cost high HP unit, but he's fairly immobile. His "pushing" ability will cause 2 damage and move an opponent 1 square backwards.
 Lagon 8 14 4 1 Lagon's aqua edge ability does 2 points of damage to targets in a selected direction. It does double damage to machine units.
 Albrecht 8 12 2 2 Albrecht has the useful light saver skill (obviously intended to be saber, but the v and b sound are the same in Japanese) as well as the ability to cast flight on himself and the 8 squares surrounding him for 4 mana. Light saver inflicts 3 points of damage to a target of choice up to 2 squares away for the reasonable cost of 2 mana.
 Infantroyd 8 12 3 2 "Infantry Droids". A fairly useful mechanical soldier with the "magic shield" status and the air-lance ability, which increases his attack power by 3 against flying opponents.
 Chrissy 7 3 2 A mechanical girl who has the support skill (she gets a free attack on units an adjacent ally attacks) and the only unit in the game who can cast "magic shield" on other units.
 Krlov 10 15 2 1 "Karloff", an obvious reference to the noted horror actor. He has the powerful "18-mon kick", which inflicts 8 points of damage on the target but inflicts 8 points of damage on Krlov as well. However, to compensate for his heavy HP expenditures he has the regenerate skill; it costs 12 mana to revive him after death.
 Cavalry 9 2 Cavalry has a number of unusual abilities which make her useful. She is the only unit who can cast "rapid" on units to increase their movement; in addition she can cure allies of status ailments and has the "sacrifice" ability, where she destroys herself and her remaining HP is converted back to mana. This can be invaluable when using moves which cause damage based on mana expenditure.
 Pamera 7 8 1 1 Pamera (Pamela) is a supporting magic user with several powerful spells; she's best left in the rear. She can cast thunderbolt which deals 3 damage to a target unit anywhere on the map for 5 mana, heal which can heal allies for 2 hp, and the potentially lethal "rotting mist" which deals 2 damage to all beast type units on the playing field.
 Carcass 7 12 3 2 Carcass is a useful beast with the "wind lance" and "wild" abilities. Wild causes all beasts on the field to gain the "wild" status ( plus 1 to attack) and wind lance causes 2 damage to all units in the 8 squares surrounding Carcass.
 Tsu-Lung 5 8 3 2 A cheap undead unit with several spells. Dark Seal prevents any expenditure of mana until the end of the opponent's next turn, which can severely inhibit one (or both) players. He can also dispel all field statuses (I.E., wild) or dispel ailments or buffs from a single unit.
 Galvados 5 3 2 A cheap beast with the acid ability. It also gets an attack boost of 2 if any other "tusker"  units of the controlling player's are deployed.
 Hsu-Wang 7 2 2 A human with a couple of helpful skills. She can dispel all land enchantments, heal allies for 3 hp at the cost of 4 mana, and with her "kunfu" ability lowers any unit that attacks her's attack power by 1 point for the remainder of the match (this stacks each time she is attacked by the same unit as well!) 
 Jolly Roger 4 6 1 2 A simple undead pirate. With his "band" ability he gets 1 attack for each adjacent Jolly Roger, and he can regenerate for the cheap cost of 6 mana.
     Cuspid  3 2 Cuspid is a seemingly simple wolf-type beastman which can be used either as a throw-away soldier or in an unusual way. It has the bite ability, which removes all status buffs from a target and inflicts 2 damage at a cost of 3 mana. HOWEVER, if cuspid is used as a leader, its "super healing" ability activates and all units under the player's control regenerate 1 hp every turn for free! This is a risky proposition, though... Cuspid is very weak and vulnerable!

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