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Liberty or death is a game designed for the PC and Super Nintendo (Super Famicom) by the Japanese company Koei. The name itself is taken from a speech given by the orator Patrick Henry. This strategy game details the American Revolution, and players can choose to take either the British or American side in the war.

Whether you choose to play as the British or American leader, you must control the war; increase the popular support in the areas you control, maintain the loyalty of your officers, maintain the armies (hiring replacement troops, buying weapons, making sure training is done, even equiping units with cannons or boats). The myriad amount of responsibilities can be astounding. One may find that they spent too much money on say building ships, and are not able to pay there officers enough, causing desertions.

The game revolves around three maps, each detailing a part; of the American 13 colonies, of the very southeastern part of Canada and of northern Florida. These maps, split into the North, Central and Southern portions, display the current areas of control of the two sides, plus areas not yet under any control. You must manuever your armies, beating back your enemy and taking control of each province. Your battle is not done though... Even after expending time and effort taking the province, you may find that it supports your opponents. Whether through military parades or the circulation of pamphlets, you must raise the support of the areas.

Some people find themselves behind the curve. Having conquered large areas of the disputed colonies, they have failed to improve popular support and thus begin to run out of money. This can lead to defeats, which after long enough will lead to a vote of confidence. You may just find that the Continetal Congress (when playing as the American side) or British delegates (when playing as the British) from the rebellious provinces vote to oust you, and the game is over.

Every season you are asked to determine a budget, allocating money to various areas of the war effort and determining your key areas of the campaign. Whether you give money to building ships, the quartermaster general, paying your officers or soldiers, it all works together. Money left over is split evenly between your provinces and goes to buy weapons, print pamphlets and buy materials you may need. Completely ignoring one area for another is just as good a way to end the game.

You may see the events of history happen before your eyes; Thomas Payne may publish his pamphlet "Common Sense", the Declaration of Independence may be signed, England may be thrust into war with the Dutch, and as the Americans you can receive aid and mabye even troops from Spain and France.

Liberty or Death requires balancing a military campaign with the things needed to run it. Food doesn't just appear at each harvest. You need to buy it. The people can be swayed from one side to another by those who occupy their cities and towns. Ships need to be built. You need to guide all aspects of the war. Will you be successful? Will you guide Britain to reclaiming her rightful colonies, or will you guide the Americans to self determination.

“ I know not what course others may take;
but as for me,
give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry


At current I am unfamiliar with how available this game is through auction sites, or sites selling old games. As always, it is possible to find most old games at Emulation or Abandonware sites.

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