A recent Web trawl finally netted me the best strategy guide to Black & White 2 that I’ve ever found. It’s by Mark Iron, and it’s a real gem. It’s free, and it completely dumps over those “paid” guides you’ll find elsewhere.
I already knew a lot of the tricks to the game that are listed in the guide before finding it, but there were also quire a few items that were new to me. As the author no longer maintains the webpage, I thought I’d add new things that I’m aware of here. It’s not a game walkthrough, so I struggle to call the following tips “strategy”. They’re really tactics that help fill in a wider game strategy.
Anyhow, read Mark’s guide. Take a look at the extra stuff I’ve listed here, and comment if you’ve got something yourself you’d like to contribute.
- Water wells, when placed next to a lantern grant an extra 1% productivity.
- On the second Norse land (the one with the Wolf), you need a +200 impressiveness to count towards the goal of building on impressive ground. There’s a very small patch in your city, and a huge swag around the stone circle of the Norse city. I tend to drop a bunch of empty houses around the stone circle once the map is won to grab the extra tribute.
- A creature will not respawn if it dies after the land is taken. If you want your creature to get some sparring practice in, do it while the land is still being contested.
- The undead army available from a silver scroll on the 2nd norse land can easily take the wolf creature with little to no casualties, and will happily accept living solders to boost lost numbers.
- The fire beacons silver scroll quest in the 2nd japanese land is really hard (for me) to do following the “script”. An alternative that’s much easier is to learn the fireball miracle, and lob fireballs at your leisure from the most convenient edge of your influence ring.
- For all its differences, creature training turns out to be remarkably similar to the original Black & White. Persistent, very small punishment/rewards to influence behaviour do work. As at writing this, my lion beds himself when he is tired, and (mostly) feeds himself when he is hungry. Getting good eating behaviour is a real test of patience.
And that’s it for now. I’ll add more as I discover them, or if/when peeps contribute new things they know that aren’t listed either in Mark’s guide or here.
Lately, I’ve felt a very strong desire to revisit Black & White 2 (does that make me a retro gamer?). When I first bought my Windows 7 licence, it was so I could play Windows games without getting frustrated with the patchy experience of trying to run those games using Wine under Ubuntu.
For a small time, Black & White 2 worked, and all was good with the world. Eventually, a Windows Update came through, and it stopped working. I tried the XP and 2000 compatibility modes, admin and non-admin access, and got no joy. I tried upgrading to Windows 7 Professional for its greater XP backwards compatibility, and joy eluded me. I started looking seriously into buying a Windows XP licence, purely to run the games that Windows 7 now denied me. Given that I’d just recently blown money on a Windows upgrade that only saw me poorer, I was loathe to fork out even more cash.
So, it’s been a while since I last tried getting Black & White 2 running with Wine. The last attempt (maybe a year or two ago?) was not great. However, WineHQ’s AppDB entry had some interesting things to say on getting the game running with more recent revisions of Wine, so I plunged on in, and found immense joy. Here’s some key points on my getting it working:
- I’m using the Wine 1.3.19 development release
- Ubuntu 10.04 , running NVidia’s propietory 3D graphics driver
- I needed to switch from my preferred TwinView display to a separate X display per screen.
- It wouldn’t work out of the box until I extracted ‘d3dx9_25.dll’ out of the DirectX.cab archive (found on install disk #1), and dropped that dll into “Program Files/Lionhead Studios/Black & White 2”.
How do I extract a file from a Microsoft CAB archive under Ubuntu? The answer is a wonderful little utility called cabextract. Get it thusly:
# sudo apt-get install cabextrac
And done. Where Windows 7 failed me in playing a Windows game, Ubuntu and Wine came to the rescue! Now, please excuse me as I continue me squee-fest with my favourite giant lion!
Ehh!? What? Don’t believe me?!? Heathens! Ok, here’s a small gallery of me playing it in a window, with some ubuntu desktop surrounding it to keep the disbelievers from leaving nasty comments: