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Let's Play Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven

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TotemicHero Not a bug! from the next level
Not a bug!
Aug 7th 2010 at 3:54:15 PM

The Might And Magic series was always one of the classics that I enjoyed back in the day. I was recently planning to go back to some of the games in the series and play through again, for nostalgia's sake, but I decided it would be more interesting to turn it into a Let's Play thread, so here we are.

I would have preferred to do IV and V (collectively World of Xeen), but said games do not work on my current computer. Curse you, technology marching on!

Thus, the sixth entry is the one I picked. The first game of the series to have its story tie into the Heroes Of Might And Magic series, the classic gameplay still holds its own (even if the graphics don't).

Well, I'm kind of rambling now, so let's get started.

Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
Arilou Taller than Zim from Quasispace
Taller than Zim
Aug 7th 2010 at 4:10:18 PM

Ah, the Mandate of Heaven, I think I remember the intro narration by heart...

"They came from the depths of the Void, an ancient enemy of an ancient people, no one know why they hate us so, or why they have made war against us, but some say the struggle against their evil is the Mandate of Heaven..."

"No, the Singularity will not happen. Computation is hard." -Happy Ent
TotemicHero Not a bug! from the next level
Not a bug!
Aug 7th 2010 at 4:56:13 PM

Before we begin, I'll discuss gameplay a little, so those who haven't played aren't in the dark. In Might and Magic VI, you create a party of four adventurers to save the kingdom of Enroth (Fun!) Said characters gain levels via Experience Points, which allow you to raise your skills.

First, the classes. You will upgrade these via quests, which result in increased hit points and spell points, as well as getting a new class name.

  • Knight: Straightforward warrior, can use all weapons and armor types. The only class that cannot use any type of magic (and thus has no spell points), but in turn has more hit points than anyone else. Upgrades to Cavalier and then Champion. Starts with Sword and Leather Armor skills.
  • Paladin: Like the knight, can use all armor and weapons. Has less health than the knight, but compensates by being able to use Body, Mind, and Spirit magic. Upgrades to Crusader and then Hero. Starts with Sword and Spirit Magic skills.
  • Archer: The name may fool you at first. The archer can make use of any weapon, but cannot wear Plate or use Shields. In addition, it can also learn Fire, Air, Water, and Earth magic. (Insert Captain Planet joke here.) Upgrades to Battle Mage and then Warrior Mage. Starts with Bow and Air Magic skills.
  • Cleric: Roughly what you would expect. Limited weapons and also unable to wear Plate, but can still use Shields, making them quite durable. Can learn Body, Mind, and Spirit magics early, and later has access to the advanced Light and Dark magics. Upgrades to Priest and then High Priest. Starts with Mace and Body Magic skills.
  • Sorcerer: Squishy Wizard ahoy! Unable to use any armor except Leather, and also limited in what weapons can be used. Can use Fire, Earth, Water, and Air magics, and later Light and Dark also. Upgrades to Wizard and then Archmage. Starts with Dagger and Fire Magic skills.
  • Druid: Much like the Sorcerer, with the same armor and weapon limitations. The key difference, instead of getting Light and Dark magic later on, is that the Druid can learn Body, Mind, and Spirit in addition to the elemental magics, granting them the largest spell pool. However, Master of None is a problem. Upgrades to Great Druid and then Arch Druid. Starts with Staff and Earth Magic skills.

Next, the attributes. You raise these by equipping enchanted gear, visiting special shrines at certain times, or by finding barrels full of colored liquid to drink. (Ewwwwwww...)

  • Might: Increases melee damage, and at higher levels allows you to, er, "manipulate" certain objects. Fairly useful early on for melee-based classes like Knight and Paladin, all but useless by the endgame (and you will see why). Red liquid increases it.
  • Intellect: Increases the spell points pool for Archers, Sorcerers, and Druids. Completely useless for other classes. Orange liquid increases it.
  • Personality: Again, provides an increase in the spell point pool, but for Clerics, Paladins, and Druids. Useless otherwise. Blue liquid increases it.
  • Endurance: Increases total hit points. How much so varies from class to class. Green liquid increases it.
  • Accuracy: Exactly What It Says on the Tin, improves chances to hit with all weapons and certain spells. Yellow liquid increases it.
  • Speed: Not only allows you to attack and cast spells more often (duh), but also improves your Armor Class. Probably the most important attribute in the long run. Purple liquid increases it.
  • Luck: Provides minuscule bonuses to most of what you do, but most notably increases resistance to magical and trap damage. White liquid increases it.

Now for the skills. Each of you characters starts with four skills, two predetermined based on class and two that you can choose. Every time your characters gain levels, they gain skill points to allocate among their skills. There are also horseshoes, which grant an instant two skill points to whoever uses one of them. You can train your skills up to Expert and Master level to obtain bonuses based on your skill level, but you have to meet certain qualifications first. And then you have to find the trainers...

  • Weapon Skills: You will need these skills to use the weapons (duh again). Expert and Master grant certain bonuses. The Expert Dagger and Master Sword allow you to Dual Wield, the Master Mace allows your attacks to stun, the Master Dagger grants you critical hit chance, and so on.

  • Armor Skills: Leather, Chain, and Plate all have Expert and Master bonuses that reduce the recovery penalty of the armor. Shield bonuses just add to your Armor Class.

  • Magic Skills: The Expert and Mastery bonuses will vary from spell to spell. I'm not getting into that here. Look it up yourself! tongue

  • Miscellaneous Skills: We'll look at these one by one. Expert and Master just improve the effects.
    • Bodybuilding: Increases total hit points. Like Endurance, its value depends on the class.
    • Diplomacy: Improves ability to deal with NPCs effectively
    • Disarm Trap: Self-explanatory.
    • Identify Item: Self-explanatory.
    • Learning: Increases total experience points gained.
    • Meditation: Increases total spell points.
    • Merchant: Modifies buying and selling prices in your favor.
    • Perception: Increases chance to reduce or avoid trap damage.
    • Repair Item: Self-explanatory.

I haven't decided my party composition yet, so I'll see what you guys think. If no one answers, I'll go with the default party (Paladin - Archer - Cleric - Sorcerer). I'll probably seriously start in a few days (at most, by next weekend).

Edit: added more information.

edited 7th Aug '10 9:04:25 PM by TotemicHero

Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
Arilou Taller than Zim from Quasispace
Taller than Zim
Aug 7th 2010 at 5:11:00 PM

I don't remember, but in MMVI anyone could reach master level in any skill they had, right? (I know in MMVII they were far more restricted in how far you could advance in mastery of a skill)

That said, I say go typical: Knight, Sorc, Cleric, and... Something else :p

"No, the Singularity will not happen. Computation is hard." -Happy Ent
TotemicHero Not a bug! from the next level
Not a bug!
Aug 7th 2010 at 5:14:59 PM

Correct, if a class can learn a skill they can take it as high as you want.

Also, feel free to suggest names for these characters, for even more fun.

Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
Arilou Taller than Zim from Quasispace
Taller than Zim
Aug 7th 2010 at 5:21:35 PM

The classic one would be to use troper names.

I say: Ben, Reed, Sue, Johnny :p

edited 7th Aug '10 5:22:18 PM by Arilou

"No, the Singularity will not happen. Computation is hard." -Happy Ent
WillyFourEyes Skull Kid from some Netherworld Relationship Status: In another castle
Arilou Taller than Zim from Quasispace
Taller than Zim
Aug 7th 2010 at 7:39:27 PM

Four is the maximum.

"No, the Singularity will not happen. Computation is hard." -Happy Ent
TriggerLoaded $50 a day, plus expenses from Canada, eh? Relationship Status: Healthy, deeply-felt respect for this here Shotgun
$50 a day, plus expenses
Aug 7th 2010 at 8:06:14 PM

Only four characters?

Well, I propose to name the Knight Toblerone, after one of the fighters in my Let's Play of Bard's Tale.

edited 7th Aug '10 8:06:23 PM by TriggerLoaded

Don't take life too seriously. It's only a temporary situation.
TotemicHero Not a bug! from the next level
Not a bug!
Aug 7th 2010 at 9:13:36 PM

I added more information about the classes above, in case you needed to know. If you have any questions about how they work, let me know.

Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
TotemicHero Not a bug! from the next level
Not a bug!
Aug 8th 2010 at 9:09:07 PM

So far it looks like a Knight is set in stone. Bumping for more class and character name suggestions.

Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
TotemicHero Not a bug! from the next level
Not a bug!
Aug 9th 2010 at 4:29:12 PM

Since there weren't many suggestions, here is my final party:

This is filler text to make this post have better formatting. It would be nice if simply spacing it down would make it work, but noooooo...sigh. The things you have to do to make it look spiffy...You guys better appreciate this. A lot.

Filler line two.

And it takes three full lines to get this to look good. Dang it!

Toblerone the Knight

  • Might: 14
  • Intellect: 5
  • Personality: 5
  • Endurance: 14
  • Accuracy: 12
  • Speed: 12
  • Luck: 12
Starting Skills: Sword, Leather Armor, Bow, Bodybuilding

Cate the Archer

  • Might: 10
  • Intellect: 20
  • Personality: 5
  • Endurance: 12
  • Accuracy: 14
  • Speed: 12
  • Luck: 12
Starting Skills: Bow, Air Magic, Dagger, Fire Magic

Huaryu the Cleric

  • Might: 10
  • Intellect: 7
  • Personality: 20
  • Endurance: 12
  • Accuracy: 12
  • Speed: 12
  • Luck: 12
Starting Skills: Mace, Body Magic, Mind Magic, Spirit Magic

Eno N'foretsam the Druid

  • Might: 10
  • Intellect: 20
  • Personality: 20
  • Endurance: 12
  • Accuracy: 12
  • Speed: 12
  • Luck: 12
Starting Skills: Staff, Earth Magic, Water Magic, Body Magic

I do know of an early Easter Egg that makes the game a lot easier. However, I'm not touching it with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole, so relax.

And now...

Prologue: Mandatory Backstory (Here There Be Intros)

Some odd years ago, the brothers Archibald and Roland Ironfist fought a brutal civil war for control of Enroth. Roland won, and had Archibald magically imprisoned as a statue. He married Princess Catherine of the allied kingdom of Erathia, and their son, Nicolai, became heir to the throne.

Three years ago, a strange force of devils appeared in western Enroth. Running rampant, killing people, and generally doing devilish things, they laid siege to the village of Sweet Water, hometown of the player characters. The party barely managed to escape with the aid of the sage Falagar, and Sweet Water was destroyed.

In response to the devils, King Roland mustered an army and headed off to try and stop them. However, an evil cult working with the devils had a traitor in Roland's army, who arranged a trap. The devils attacked, and Roland vanished.

The party, in the meantime, trained under Falagar near the town of New Sorpigal in an effort to get revenge for the destruction of Sweet Water. At some point during this training, they stumbled across an abandoned camp, where they found a set of letters linking the cult to the devils, and revealing the identity of some of the cult members.

Armed with these letters, limited supplies, and some basic adventuring know-how, it falls to these four people to stop the devils and the cult, and save the world.

Edit: Linked intro video is not mine.

edited 9th Aug '10 7:00:14 PM by TotemicHero

Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
TotemicHero Not a bug! from the next level
Not a bug!
Aug 9th 2010 at 8:24:17 PM

Chapter 1: Welcome To Enroth, Population Falling Daily

We kick things off at the front gate of New Sorpigal. The game date is January 1, 1165. Despite this, it actually appears quite spring-like in this area (graphical limitations for the win).

The first move is to go through our inventories. We equip the crude weapons we start with, memorize spells from the spell tomes we begin with also, and then check our rings. Each character starts with one ring, which may or may not be magical. As it turns out, two of the rings are enchanted. One of them is simply a +1 Armor Class ring, and thus not very useful, but the other provides a very nice boost of +5 Endurance. We give this ring to Toblerone, and as for the other gets tossed to Eno.

With that done, we head into town. The central fountain has healing powers, so Toblerone takes a few drinks (putting on the +Endurance ring only increased his maximum HP, not his current total). We then head to the well on the west side of town, and everyone takes two drinks from it. The well provides a +2 permanent Luck boost to whoever drinks from it, but comes with two restrictions: Your party only gets a total of 8 drinks from said well, and it doesn't have any effect if the character's Luck is 15 or higher. This is why it was set up with each character's Luck attribute at 12, making it so every character is able to get their Luck to 16.

Having done this, we head to the local tavern to meet Andover Potbello, who is supposedly the local agent for the sinister Cult of Baa (although how they manage to be sinister with a name like that is beyond me). He was the original recipient of the letter we have obtained, and was instructed to give gold to the person who showed him said letter. In the interest of making the Cult of Baa look like complete idiots, we show the letter to him and receive 1000 gold, revealing him as indeed a Baa follower.

Potbello also has a request for us: the first side quest of the game. Yay! Said quest sounds simple enough: retrieve a lost candelabra from the Abandoned Temple of Baa to the west. However, this quest is a little too advanced for us at the moment, so we file it under "do this later".

Heading out of the tavern, we walk across the street to the stables. Snooping in the stalls (at least, what is supposed to be stalls, graphical limitations again) gives us two horseshoes. Deciding not to use them yet, we talk to the stable master and arrange for a two-day carriage ride to Castle Ironfist, the seat of the Ironfist dynasty.

Arriving at the castle town, we snoop around the supposed stalls of this stable and find two more horseshoes. The castle town is divided into two halves: the lower half, which is where we are now, and the upper half, which sits on an acropolis and is where the castle itself is.

We head up the path to the acropolis and make a beeline for the castle. We are ushered in without delay, and come face to face with Wilbur Humphrey, the elderly regent (Queen Catherine is away visiting her homeland in order to attend her father's funeral, among other things), and crown prince Nicolai Ironfist. Ignoring the clearly bored crown prince, we speak directly to the regent.

The elderly Humphrey apparently has a lot on his plate already, and seems distracted, although not distracted enough to not reward us for the information we had. Thus we are 5000 gold richer, but Humphrey is still worried. Between dealing with running the kingdom, attending to Nicolai, and trying to locate the various missing people like King Roland and Lord Kilburn...wait, who's Lord Kilburn?

Apparently he was a noble who vanished near the town of Blackshire, and the regent is determined to find him (or proof of his demise) and wants us to help. In return he promises that he will being willing to compensate us greatly, even giving us his favor on the High Council if need be.

Some background: The High Council consists of the representatives of the six foremost nobles of the kingdom. Obtaining the collective favor of the High Council is (dun dun dun) the first step on the main quest. As you can guess, there are six quests you must do before you can get this favor, and Humphrey, being one of said nobles, has just given us the first one.

We also discuss the nature of paladins, and Humphrey says he will be willing to promote us to honorary Crusaders...provided we rescue a Damsel in Distress first. While initially he is unspecific about how to do this, he eventually lets on that he heard that Melody Silver has been abducted by "ruffians" on the island of Mist.

Sadly, we have to file both of these under "do it later" also. Leaving the castle, we head down into the lower town. It's now time to start joining guilds, and the house just at the base of the hill is the place to start. Inside lives Andrew Besper, who can grant us access to the Berserker's Fury guild, all for a one-time payment of 50 gold! <Insert Billy Mays joke here, despite it possibly being Too Soon>

Besper also has yet another quest for us: recovering a lost harp from a group of brigands. Sadly, we are left to wonder if someone will ever actually give us a quest actually in line with our (limited) talents.

Conviently enough, the local branch of Berserker's Fury is right next door, so we head over. Guilds can teach their members how to use new skills, in exchange for cash. This guild, focuses mainly on armor skills. We pick up Plate Armor and Repair Item for Toblerone; Chain Armor for Cate; Chain Armor, Shield, and Bow for Huaryu; Bow for Eno. Each of these sets us back 500 gold.

I would also like to issue a correction. Apparently Druids can learn the Shield skill after all. Not that Eno would actually end up using one, but still...sorry.

We head to the nearby weapon shop. Most weapons shops tend to specialize in a particular weapon type, and this one happened to pick bows. We buy two cheap crossbows for Huaryu and Eno, and sell off the useless clubs every character starts with.

Unfortunately, the Cult of Baa has wised up to us. A small group of their members are now entering the town, intent on our deaths. Will we be able to prevail?

edited 9th Aug '10 8:41:58 PM by TotemicHero

Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
TriggerLoaded $50 a day, plus expenses from Canada, eh? Relationship Status: Healthy, deeply-felt respect for this here Shotgun
$50 a day, plus expenses
Aug 9th 2010 at 8:51:08 PM

Ahh, bad early-generation CG animation.

So who thought it would be a good idea to jump into a well?

Don't take life too seriously. It's only a temporary situation.
TotemicHero Not a bug! from the next level
Not a bug!
Aug 9th 2010 at 10:05:31 PM

Disclaimer: No wells were harmed in the making of this Let's Play.

Chapter 2: Much Ado About Random Quests

Computer game AI is a funny thing. The attack of the Baa followers was not at all scripted, but just them standing just close enough to detect us as we went to and from the castle...and followed us in.

We quickly retreated out of town, in order to avoid having innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire between us and the followers of Baa. However, our retreat was so fast that most of the Baa-ites gave up the chase...all except one.

Enemies in general usually come in three varieties of the same creature. Each of these varieties has slightly different stats and abilities, resulting in differing levels of difficulty. Naturally, each of them varies in color as well.

The one chasing us is called a Fanatic of Baa. The most health of the three types, but can only melee and is notable for a greenish tint. Oddly enough, all three types look like they are wearing Sikh-style clothing, including the turbans (which, in an example of how you learn something new every day, are called dastars). Smell the Unfortunate Implications here? I know I do.

Anyway, it's time to put our new bows into action! Combat can be handled in turn-based mode or real-time mode. Turn-based mode prevents you from moving at all or attacking as rapidly, but enemies are limited in movement and attacks too (although they can still move). real time, nothing fancy there. In general, turn-based is better when you are using spells, and real time is better when you are just slugging it out.

We go turn-based, and after a few well shot arrows and well aimed blows, the fanatic dies. We loot his body for gold, and head out to face the rest. Fortunately, they have positioned themselves out of town, so we are able to pick them off with arrows. We loot their bodies too, and then head back to town.

As this shows, bows in general are more than a little broken at this point. Later on they become a little less effective as enemies acquire more ways to deal ranged damage. Still, bow skills are very important at first. As such, we use our horseshoes at this point, one per character, and apply the skill points to Bow skill. To raise a skill, you have to spend a number of skill points equal to the level you are raising it to.

Having done this, we go back to the stables and hire another carriage to return to New Sorpigal. It's another two day journey. Once there, we begin to take a grand tour of the town. The first stop are the houses to the southeast, which grant us membership to two more guilds: Buccaneer's Lair and Blade's End, at 25 gold each.

Next stop are the northeast houses, which have people who can give membership in the Elemental Guild and the Guild of the Self. These are the spellcaster guilds, and cost 100 gold each to join. We need to join these, as they are the best way to get new spells.

However, guild membership is not all that these people offer. Violet Dawson, who grants you Self Guild member status, is concerned that her daughter has gone missing, and she thinks the little girl ended up in the Abandoned Temple of Baa. Buford Allman, the Elemental Guild go-to man, apparently has arachnophobia, since he's complaining about giant spiders that no one else seems to have a problem with. He wants us to kill the queen spider, which can be guessed it, in the Abandoned Temple of Baa.

Now, you may be thinking the game is trying to point us into this Abandoned Temple. This is a bad idea. There is actually an easier dungeon you are intended to do first...but it only has one quest, which we will get to soon.

Directly across from these two guild recruiters / quest givers is the Blade's End guild. The only thing of import it has to teach anyone is to give Eno Leather Armor skill, for 375 gold. Skills be expensive, yo.

By this point, we're able to visit the town hall of New Sorpigal, which is only open from 10 am to 2 pm. We head there and speak with the mayor, Frank Fairchild. Mr. Mayor is worried about the local healer, Sherry, who was kidnapped by the Shadow Guild (a thieves' guild), and taken to their hideout near Castle Ironfist. Guess who he wants to rescue her?

After chatting up Fairchild, we talk to his secretary, Janice (no last name). Mayor's secretaries issue bounty hunts, which require you to kill one of a particular kind of enemy by the end of the month. Sadly, the bounty hunt this month is for one of the most powerful creatures in the game...a Gold Dragon. We are not even able to touch that.

However, Janice does have a more concrete task for us. A local keep called Goblinwatch stands on a hill to the south. Recently, goblins overran the keep, and stole the scroll containing information about the keep's mechanical security system. Janice wants the scroll back. In case you were wondering, this is the starter dungeon that we are supposed to go to first.

Our next stop is the training hall on the west end of town. Here, we pay money to gain levels, provided we have earned enough experience. What's that, you say we haven't earned any experience? Wrong. We got a nice-sized chunk of it from showing the letter to Humphrey. It's enough to allow all of us to go up 2 levels and reach level 3, giving everyone 10 skill points!

The cost of training up one level is equal to 10 gold multiplied by our current level. Also, this gets doubled and then tripled if you upgrade your class. Furthermore, training in game takes in at least a in-game week. Keep an eye on the date, as a lot of stuff in game is fairly time-sensitive.

We use the rest menu to wait until 6 pm, and then hit Buccaneer's Lair, which is only open in the evenings. We pick up Disarm Trap, Merchant, and Identify Item skills, and give them all to Toblerone. The reasoning here is that since he doesn't have to worry about magic skills, he has the skill points to burn.

With that done, we allocate our skill points...or some of them. We're trying to save points for magic skills, so most of the points go there or into armor. The result leaves Cate, Huaryu, and Eno with some points to spare.

Now, we are ready to begin tackling the local goblins, culminating in an assault on Goblinwatch. But that shall be another day...

edited 10th Aug '10 9:27:56 AM by TotemicHero

Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
TriggerLoaded $50 a day, plus expenses from Canada, eh? Relationship Status: Healthy, deeply-felt respect for this here Shotgun
$50 a day, plus expenses
Aug 10th 2010 at 4:44:51 PM

Toblerone's going to be the skill monkey, eh? As long as he does so... For JUSTICE!

Don't take life too seriously. It's only a temporary situation.
TotemicHero Not a bug! from the next level
Not a bug!
Aug 10th 2010 at 5:57:14 PM

Just think of him as the Badass Normal. tongue

Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
TotemicHero Not a bug! from the next level
Not a bug!
Aug 13th 2010 at 10:44:31 AM

Before we begin, just be aware I am adding a few role-playing elements of my own invention to spice this up. Said elements do not occur in the actual game, but I'm doing it to flesh out some of the otherwise flat story. Now that I've got that out of the way...

Chapter 3: Of Goblins And Glory

It's time to hunt some goblins!

The first step is to have Cate cast the spell Wizard Eye. An Air Magic spell, Wizard Eye reveals the location of wandering NPCs and monsters on the minimap. Expert and Master allow it to reveal more, but we're obviously not at that point yet.

The spell reveals there are enemies to the north, at the Self Guild. We head up there to investigate. We head up there, and discover a small group of goblins have set up shop (so to speak) and the second floor balcony. However, the goblins have made some key errors.

  • There is a hill next to the guild, allowing us to climb up and see them.
  • These goblins have no ability to cast spells or used ranged attacks.
  • These goblins lack the intelligence (bad AI strikes again!) to take the backdoor ramp down to ground level.

End result: Party 1, Goblins -2.

We head up to the balcony and loot their bodies for gold. We need the gold after all. Occasionally enemies drop items, but these goblins aren't exactly big on material wealth.

We then head over to the local docks to the east of town, because I somehow have psychic powers and know there will be goblins there (either that, or I have done this before, which obviously could never be the case). We polish off the goblins quite easily with arrows, then we investigate the docks.

Near the docks is a crate and four barrels. Toblerone is the Designated Chest Opener due to his disarm trap skill, so he opens it. Inside is an assortment of loot. Of most importance is a suit of chain armor (which is given to Cate) and a potion of cure poison. We will need a lot of said potions in the future.

Nearby is an herb known as phirna root (hereafter referred to as the blue herb. There are three kinds of herbs in the game, and they are used in the brewing of potions (which, oddly enough, is not skill based). Brewing potions being very important, we go and collect said herb.

Unfortunately, we have attracted the attention of a different set of locals...the mages. They seem determined to pelt us with spells. It's too bad there happen to be hills between said mages (who are to the south) and us. Nonetheless, there's a few too many to deal with at the moment, so we retreat back to the town.

Next stop is the southwestern bridge, which connects New Sorpigal with Castle Ironfist. Along the way, we stop to pick fruit from the local orchard, increasing our food supplies. Mysteriously, no one complains about us stealing the food of the village.

The bridge is slightly more heavily guarded by goblins, and also happens to have a "Goblin King". These bigger, badder, and redder goblins can shoot Fire Bolt spells in addition to hitting us with swords. Going toe-to-toe with these goblins, we emerge victorious, but not unscathed. Eno and Huaryu chip in with the First Aid spell (Body Magic), so we can heal.

There are two more crates at the bridge. One contains nothing but gold, while the other has the usual mixed loot. This includes a healing potion and a pair of shields. We give one shield to Huaryu, and the other will be sold.

Next stop is Goblinwatch itself. We need to clear the outer keep of goblins before entering its depths. However, this is easier said than done, as the goblins have taken up positions around the keep. We don't have a choice except to take them head-on.

The outer defenses are apparently under the command of a Goblin Shaman. While not as physically robust as Goblin Kings, a shaman can still shoot you with fire bolts. Fortunately, the goblin defense is very poorly organized, and we are able to take on the goblins a few at a time.

Having killed or driven off all the goblins that surrounded the fort, now we must ascend to the ramparts of Goblinwatch and finish off the remaining defenders. This is where it will get hard, because the goblins have access to a bottleneck and beat you off. Luckily, none of the goblins on the walls are very strong, and thus we are able to defeat them.

We now come face to face with Urok, the apparent leader of the goblins. Rather than fight us, he wants to talk, so we oblige. As we had previously found out from Janice, Goblinwatch was built to fend off the goblins, then abandoned due to costs and a lack of actual goblin attacks. Urok tells us that the goblins took control of the keep (or "castle" as he calls it) in order to keep watch on the humans. Oh, Irony, thy touch is unsubtle...

We decide to spare Urok, so long as he leaves. He agrees, but before he departs, he reveals that he was only in charge of the outer defenses. Ergo, goblins still inside the keep will try and fight tooth and nail for it. Fine by us, we can handle it.

As Urok heads off and night falls, we prepare to enter the inner keep and recover the scroll.

edited 21st Aug '10 7:52:26 PM by TotemicHero

Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
TotemicHero Not a bug! from the next level
Not a bug!
Aug 20th 2010 at 4:45:52 PM

Sorry for the lack of updates, been a combination of busy and lazy. I'll have something tomorrow.

Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
TotemicHero Not a bug! from the next level
Not a bug!
Aug 21st 2010 at 10:17:08 AM

Chapter 4: Those Who Watch Goblins

We are now ready to tackle the depths of Goblinwatch! It's the first dungeon! Be aware certain spells will work differently or not at all when you are in a dungeon. We will cover those spells as we get them.

The entry room is a octagon shape, with a door in front of us and a passage to the right (we are facing south). The minimap shows there is something odd about the left wall (namely, it doesn't appear there), but we can't do anything about it...yet.

Since wealth comes our way when the righteous choose right, that's the direction we head first. We open a door to discover...a rat. You'd think we would have encountered rats much earlier, but noooo...

Anyway, we come to a door at the end of the corridor, and open it. We peek to the right of the door, into the next room, and...goblins! Three of them, one of the king variety and two regular. They go down pretty easy. Then we go into the room, only to discover there were three goblins on the left side too. (Big surprise.)

After quickly cleaning up these goblins, we check out the room. There are a dozen little storage compartments build into the walls. Nine of them are empty, but three of them have various loot. A suit of chain mail for Huaryu (making him the most heavily armored character at this point), a few potions, a ring and a scroll which Toblerone can't identify just yet (ah the joys of being a noob). However, the most important thing we have found is...the Goblinwatch code scroll, which details how the security system works! Quest complete!

Well, that was certainly easy, but we're far from done. We backtrack and head to the door in the entry room. It leads to a corridor that splits and goes opposite directions. Having had our fill of going right, we take a left and end up at...another door. Inside is a room with more goblins (easily killed), and a control panel. This control panel operates the system of doors that guards access to the lower portion of the keep. We'll come back to it in a minute.

We head left and open the door on that side...and come face to face with two Goblin Kings, a normal goblin, and a brand new type of enemy: a cross between a bat and a leech, called a Blood Sucker. A very tough fight ensues, but some dedicated healing from Huaryu and Eno sees us through. We retreat from the keep, and rest up.

The next morning, we head back in, ready to rock some goblin faces! Okay, that sounded bad. On our way back through the keep's halls, a lone goblin attempts to kill us. We laugh in his face and cut him down. We head back to the room where we came from, only to find not only another Blood Sucker, but his larger and nastier cousin too: A Brain Sucker. (Clearly they need to work on their monster names.)

For some reason (bad AI's revenge), the blood sucker flies off into the corner, making it us versus his cousin. We win, naturally, and then move in and kill the blood sucker too. At this point, we use our incredible powers to break reality and kill a rat who is behind one of the walls. (Remember, taking advantage of glitches like this is completely ethical. tongue)

Toblerone being a bit of a klutz (or maybe it's just me), we accidentally trigger a button lowering two walls in the room, revealing doors behind them (along with a dead rat). There are two doors behind the walls. We then search the room, as the goblins apparently left their gold (and a hammer) just laying around the place. We, being who we are, naturally take it all.

The doors, as it turns out, are linked: Opening one opens the other. We take the eastern door and find a room with three more rats. They die and make funny noises while they do so. The western door leads to another room, but this one has goblins guarding a chest. They die fast, and we loot the chest, which has more unidentifiable stuff (a helm and a scroll).

Now back to the door room. There are sixteen buttons, and six doors between us and the deeper parts of Goblinwatch. The scroll we obtained tells us exactly what each button does (which is why we haven't turned it in yet). Each button is labeled with a letter, corresponding to the first sixteen letters of the English alphabet.

The scroll also tells us the security system was designed by the Drawkcab Monks. That, coupled with the letters, is supposed to give you a clue as to what the correct combination is. In reality, there are actually a number of working combinations you can use. However, the two shortest ones use only six buttons, and one of those is the correct one.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, fine. We put in the correct button combo (N-I-L-B-O-G), and all the doors open. Behind them are a group of angry rats, including two Giant Rats, which are pretty dangerous. We kill them off, but not before one of them succeeds in knocking Eno unconscious (which is what happens when you hit zero hit points.) Healing gets him back up. Beyond the rats' nest is a double door. Beyond it lurk undoubtedly more nasty enemies...and we are going to take them head on!

Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
Arilou Taller than Zim from Quasispace
Taller than Zim
Aug 21st 2010 at 11:24:11 AM

(Remember, taking advantage of glitches like this is completely ethical. )

I have fond memories of using Ring of Fire to decimate the dwarves in that mine.

"No, the Singularity will not happen. Computation is hard." -Happy Ent
TotemicHero Not a bug! from the next level
Not a bug!
Aug 21st 2010 at 11:26:49 AM

That's not really a glitch though. And yes, I will probably end up (ab)using that spell later.

Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
Arilou Taller than Zim from Quasispace
Taller than Zim
Aug 21st 2010 at 11:32:36 AM

I don't think it's supposed to work through walls...

"No, the Singularity will not happen. Computation is hard." -Happy Ent
TotemicHero Not a bug! from the next level
Not a bug!
Aug 21st 2010 at 11:40:50 AM

Given the fact that they were capable of designing a spell only to work on things you could see (Inferno), I'd say it's intentional.

However, let's save the debate over this spell for when I'm actually using it. All things in good time.

Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
TotemicHero Not a bug! from the next level
Not a bug!
Aug 21st 2010 at 1:01:21 PM

The views expressed in this Let's Play are solely those of Totemic Hero and are not in any way representative of TV Tropes.

Chapter 5: Down The Goblin Hole

We open the double doors, and discover a huge horde of monsters waiting for us. You know what this means for our party, who has low MP, right?


However, we can do better than simply resting. We go back to New Sorpigal, and hand the scroll over to Janice...or not. She lets us keep the scroll, which is...odd. We get paid a couple thousand gold, and we get more experience...and you know what that means. Time to level up!

After gaining a level in the training center (another week goes by), we decide the gold is burning a hole in our collective pockets. Thus, we visit the Self and Elemental guilds, and flesh out the skills of Cate and Eno. We won't have to be buying many more skills after this.

Now for skill points. Eno spend his points in magic skills, as does Cate. Toblerone gets more ranks in Body Building and Identify Item, and as for Huaryu...hmmm. I guess he gets more points in magic skills too.

Despite this, Toblerone still can't identify those items, except for one of the scrolls. Not surprising, as Identify Item really is somewhat useless until you get Expert in it. Now for something else: A report on the brewing of potions!

I talked about this briefly before, but let's get deep into it now. Potions can be created by combining one of the games three herbs with an empty vial. It is then possible to combine said potions to make more powerful potions. We already have a blue herb and an empty vial, so we combine those to make a blue potion, which restores MP. Nice, but we also have a red potion which restores HP. Guess what happens when we mix the two? We get a purple potion...which is of the cure poison variety. Again, we are trying to stockpile such potions, so we are happy.

One more thing: If we were to mix an incorrect potion combination, the results would quite literally explode in our face. This is easily capable of completely killing a low level party such as us, so naturally we are not going to experiment. Successful combinations, once you make them, are recorded in your in-game notes, which is quite convenient. We'll get into more advanced potion making later on.

Back to Goblinwatch! We head in, and position ourselves so only some of the army of monsters will come at us. Get used to this, the game loves throwing mass waves of monsters at you. Anyway, the first two monsters happen to be a blood sucker and a brain sucker. They are soon joined by another brain sucker and a rat, with more enemies on the way. We kill the rat quickly,and keep killing as the rats and, um, suckers leechbats keep coming. Some healing here, one briefly unconscious Huaryu there, lots of melee, and the enemies are dead.

We head through the double door, and discover a couple of suckers leechbats are still here. Arrows make everything better. This doors led to a large cavern with a strange blue altar (or something, not sure what it is), in the center. A pit in the cavern floor lies in the southeast corner. There being no other way to progress, so naturally, we jump in!

Now for another engine glitch: wall hugging. Supposedly, falling long distances is supposed to hurt your party. However, by pressing against the wall, you slow your fall and prevent said damage. Thus, we descent the pit safely.

The bottom of the pit contains a corridor that leads to a room. We are naturally cautious, and with good reason. Said room is full of rats, along with a few suckers leechbats and goblins for good measure. Luckily, we have mastered the art of ninja stealth and are able to pull a few at a time, killing them with mostly arrows at our leisure.

The room has four chests to the side, but we are ignoring those for now. We follow the corridor leading off the other side of the room, easily disposing of a couple of rats along the way. The corridor zigs and zags upward, leading to a mechanical wall that is easily shifted, revealing two paths: one straight and leading upward, the other a stairway going down to the left. We take the straight path, and come to a rusted metallic door. It opens, revealing...the entrance room! We're back where we started.

We backtrack to the room with the chests, and prepare to open them. The second chest from the north has a spawn trigger (activating or using this objects makes monsters appear), and three goblin shamans appear behind us. We manage to fight them off, and then loot the remaining chests, one of which has magic gauntlets that boost electrical resistance. Weakened by the fights, we head outside and rest.

We head back down, and this time take the staircase. It leads to some sort of dining room, albeit one filled with rats, goblins, and suckers leechbats. We clear them out, claim the loot left on the tables, and then discover there are two long cave tunnels leading off of this room under the keep. What lurks in them? We will soon find out...

Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)

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