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  #61  
Old 12-14-2018, 01:45 PM
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Gerad Gerad is offline
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Vex chamber, I think.

Is there any way to actually free that guy, or is he just doomed to a life in a cage or death?
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  #62  
Old 12-17-2018, 10:21 AM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default A Vexing Situation III: Strange, Funny, Heartrending

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Vex chamber, I think.

Is there any way to actually free that guy, or is he just doomed to a life in a cage or death?
The only way I can think of is to level up enough to kill all the guards before freeing him. I might give it a try later, and if there's any effect, I'll show it off in a bonus update. Anyway, on to the Vex Chamber!



It's on the other side of the island, which means that I have to bring up a bit of a Catch-22 that's come up - the monsters here are super-tough, have very high critical hit rates, and seem to have better AI than the monsters of Un or Culn, which means that I'm best off avoiding them, which means that I can't really level up or make money to buy better armor, so I can't really hold up against them. The fact that the only way I can really heal is with a finite-use herb and an expensive psionic doesn't help, nor does Katrielle's mediocre Nimbleness score. :P



Psionics seem to work well, though, and I gained a level in Hydromancy, to boot. However, I still only have enough PP for fifteen castings of my cheapest attack PSI and my Sour Blue Potion doesn't have many uses left, so I can't rely only on psionics against these brutes. After a brief rest stop in central Billsville, I continue onwards.



And, after far too many deaths, I finally make it to the mirror.



More importantly, since there are no monsters in Vex Chambers and the time limit only comes once you've gained the stat boost, I can rest here.



And here's the usual instruction note.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vex the Third Note
This is my Vex Chamber the Third, though I'm sure you'll agree it's really my second Vex Chamber, since the first was so, well, simple. Surely, though, the second was no great difficulty either: I do so hate to make it too easy on my subjects, as my work throughout the Archipelago can evidence to you. This time we have something that's virtually child's play, but I must warn you that in order to be successful here you need to play with only the toys provided to you in the ante-chamber. Any other goodies you may have picked up along the Archipelago won't do you any good in this Vex Chamber. But don't rush too much in your endeavors, or, presto! you'll be right back where you began. So, are you fully equipped for what is about to challenge your tiny intellect? Remember to always go in with only one toy handy. Do try not to take the escape path this time, tempting as it may be to your feeble mind. And as you question my justification for all this trickery, remember your staff. Always remember your staff, and that the only way you'll ever get it is by putting up with my annoying little thrills. But it's child's play, I assure you. Child's play. - N.


This is the antechamber in question. The "toys" are a Parchment Shield, a Black Rock, and a Pipsqeek's (sic) Dagger. Hmmm... a writing surface, a rock, and a cutting implement. Sounds familiar?



Yes, this Vex Chamber is a giant game of Rock-Paper-Scissors. What you have to do is have the appropriate piece of gear in your hand, and the wall will open. In this case, the wall is blocked by a rock, which is beaten by paper - or, in this case, parchment.



And, with that, we've entered the Vex proper. I honestly don't remember the exact solution, but rock beats dagger, dagger beats parchment, and parchment beats rock. There's another rock to the south, and I'm already using the Parchment Shield, so I might as well go that way.



Again, I take the path of least resistance by following the way of the rock.



This time, I have to switch equipment to proceed. South hasn't steered me wrong so far, so I remove the Parchment Shield in favor of the Pipsqueek's Dagger, since south is parchment this time.



The only way forward is east, so I switch back to the Parchment Shield, which is is also required for the east exit in the next room, so I take that one again. After that, both paths are marked with parchment, so I use the dagger to go east.



Which leads to a new area.



It contains the usual power rune. The reward this time is a 3-point boost to Katrielle's Sagacity.



And now to get out of here.



And that's three Vex Chambers solved. With that done, next time we'll start on Emas' main quest line... if I can survive the hordes of monsters. Until then!
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  #63  
Old 12-18-2018, 08:50 AM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default You laugh at me because I'm different...

Last time, I solved the third Vex Chamber and found out that Katrielle was no match for the monsters of Emas. So I decided to do a bit of backtracking to build up my weapon and psionic skills and raise some money for better armor. En route, I noticed an entire unexplored section of the lower level of the tunnels under Culn. Unfortunately, all it contained was a Silken Spear, a useless joke weapon. Still, I don't remember ever visiting this area before, so that's new.



And the Silken Spear sells for a rather generous sum, which, along with the proceeds from selling some obsolete armor, I can use to buy Katrielle a set of Field Plate. Anyway, today we'll be starting the main questline for Emas, but before that, let's take a closer look at the other two Billsvilles.



First of all, the central one.



As you can see, the Billsvilles all have the same basic layout, but there are some subtle differences. For one, the prisoners are different.



This is all he has to say, if you're wondering.



Another difference is that these cells are unlocked with the Slick Key, which is in the southwestern guard post.



And the shops have slightly different inventories.



This applies to all of the Billsvilles, but if you're on the street when the clothing color du jour changes, the guards will pursue you, and they are deadly. Fortunately, they're about as dumb as the Niacian guards, so changing into the correct clothing will get them off your trail. This is good, because I need to rest before showing off the eastern Billsville.



See what I mean about the monsters on this island? There are just too many of them to handle, so I had to use the Chameleon Staff just to get past them. :P



But at least I made it to the eastern Billsville alive.



This time the prison key is the Smooth Key, kept in the northeastern guard post.



Unlike the other shops, this one has a table, and the merchant is at the south end of the counter.



And his inventory looks like this.



As for the prisoners, only one is willing to talk, and he doesn't seem to like Katrielle much. However, that can easily be remedied by changing into something that isn't the "correct" clothing.



name: "My name is Pollux, but none of the fiends around here care."
job: "You know what they do for work here in Billsville? They trade off jobs every couple of days so that nobody gets too good at anything, the rotters. Just another way they stifle individuality - 'the nail that sticks up will be hammered down' - what a horrible way to think."
Billsville: "The island Emas, home of Billsville, really home of three Billsvilles, all sickeningly the same, all equally repugnant to anyone with a drop of real blood in his veins. I'd murder every one of these Billsvillians if I could, for the persecution they've put me through, for the pain they've caused anyone who wouldn't do what they do, who wouldn't be the same. Why do they do it? For the pure sadistic thrill... No they genuinely think they're right, the morons. I'll show them, one day... They'll be sorry."

Pollux, eh? Any relation to Castor?



He'd get along well with certain people on Tumblr, I think. Anyway, let's try asking him about the cage.



Interesting. Let's inquire further into how to do this. If nothing else, we can probably get a new weapon out of this deal.



That could be useful, and we've got the key, so let's do it.



And now we just follow Pollux for a while. Thankfully, the guards don't seem to care about hunting him down like the ones in the western Billsville did with Castor, so it's much easier.



At the end of the road, we arrive at his house, which he unlocks. Inside are Jordan's Scimitar, a Wooden Sphere, and a Small note, reading as follows:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Small note
I regret that I cannot tell whether the person reading this note is conformist-swine who deserve to rot and suffer for all of their days, or if you are someone who understand my pain and realizes the nature of the cleansing which needs to take place on Emas. In any event, this is a warning to whoever finds this sphere. It is for use in the cave to the east of this town, along with the five other spheres of its kind. Unfortunately, I do not know precisely how they are used, though I know one needs to be mentally brilliant to Incant. Furthermore, I believe that placement of the spheres is crucial, but I know not how, and furthermore believe that improper placement could bring newfound horrors to Emas. I have heard tell of a written document which instructs one on how to put it to use, though I do not have it. In any event, by taking this sphere, you agree, if you are at all able, to enact my revenge and slay all those who would strive to be like one another... Also, take the weapon I have left here to fight off any who may get in your way: may you bury it's sharp blade into the heads of many of my enemies. Your heartfelt compatriot or rabid enemy, Pollux.


This is what Katrielle looks wielding Jordan's Scimitar. As for the rest of the note, we've actually found the written document and one of the other five spheres, but there are still four other spheres, not to mention this "Incant" thing. However, it involves a dungeon crawl and I'm getting close to the image limit, so that will have to wait for next time.

On a minor note, according to the flavor text for Jordan's Scimitar, apparently Persia exists in this world. Who knew?

Last edited by Kahran042; 12-18-2018 at 10:35 AM.
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  #64  
Old 12-18-2018, 08:52 AM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default Bonus Update 2: Castor

So, I honestly didn't know that Pollux had dialogue related to Castor until today. Having discovered that, I decided to see if the converse was true.



And, it was. Granted, he doesn't have much to say, but it's still there.



This is what he has to say if you aren't wearing the correct color, BTW. Also, I used another save file to kill all the guards using psionics, then released him to see what he would do, but it was pretty disappointing - he just leaves the town and immediately vanishes.

Last edited by Kahran042; 01-05-2019 at 02:07 PM.
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  #65  
Old 12-18-2018, 01:28 PM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default ...I laugh at you because you're all the samE.

The next step on this questline is to find the Incant spell. I don't think this is hinted at anywhere, but it's in a cave on the southeastern shore of Emas.



On the way there, I find out that Jordan's Scimitar can take out just about any monster on Emas in one or two blows.



This is the cave in question.



Interestingly enough, it seems to be human-made. The plaque at the entrance confirms this.



Based on the number of monster here, though, the humans who made the cave are probably long-gone. The centipede-looking critters are Wretched Worms, which are among the rarest "normal" monsters in the game, only appearing in this and one other dungeon. I'm not sure if there's any significance to this. At any rate, they die to Jordan's Scimitar just as easily as anything else.



Like the Culn-Emas tunnel, Breamtown also has monsters from Un. I'm not complaining - at least they're worth some experience.



The door to the left opens to a room filled with Tentaclopes and a trunk containing an Eviscerator. It's a pretty mediocre weapon, but I can probably at least get some money for it.



And there's a Botanical Nightmare. I wonder why this cave has so many overworld monsters?



This room is a mixed blessing - it has a door, which makes it a good place to rest, but when I do, the monsters come by in full force.



After a bit of mass teratocide, I decide to actually move forward with exploring Breamtown. There's nothing in the room across from my rest spot, so I head north, then east, until I reach a pair of double doors.



Past them is a small empty room, which could at least make another good rest spot.



South of this "building", as I've decided to call these rooms, is another fork.



West of the fork is a door guarded by a Double Noggin and Tentaclops.



Behind it is a bedroom, which seems like an even better place to rest. The trunk contains a Yellowed note.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellowed note
I write this near the end of me. I do not understand what has happened. From nowhere, the monsters come. We try to fight them. They are too large for our size. We cannot win against them. They will kill us. Bryat and Innoc and Llyglelen offer us no support. They have gone mad. With the desire to be the same. If you read this, watch out. Behind you another monster may come. Our fishing cave is finished. No longer can Breemtown (sic) live with these creatures. I wish it were not like this.
Those towns mentioned are probably the Billsvilles before they changed, but other than that, there's not really much else to this room, so let's continue exploring.



At the end of the western fork is what appears to be some kind of dormitory of bunkroom, although it probably won't offer much protection with that one missing door. The items are some Silver Headed Arrows and The Armor Anthology, which is to armor what Bob Bushwacker's Weapon Guide is to weapons.



East from the fork is a small room containing Incant. You may recall that this is why we came here, but there's still more of this cave to explore. So let's get down to that.



South and east of the Incant room is a small bedroom containing some Silver Headed Arrows, two sets of regular Arrows, and another Long Bow.



North of the building with double doors is a large building containing some monsters and some Hide Piercing Arrows.



West of that, and due north of the cave entrance, is this large, but empty room.



Further to the west is another fork. South just leads back to the entrance hall, so let's see what's to the north.



The northwest corner contains a Tentaclops tension room, where I'm rewarded with some Moood Bolts. Nice, I guess, but I still don't have a crossbow. :P



The north center room contains an assortment of dyes. And with that, I've explored all of Breamtown and acquired the Incant spell. I'm ready to use it in the cave Pollux mentioned, but before that, I can use the dyes to make some mischief in Billsville, and that's exactly what I'm going to do. Remember the machine input?



Well, if Katrielle puts multiple colors into the machine...



...then it will start producing Striped Clothing. And what effect does this have on the Billsvillians?
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  #66  
Old 12-18-2018, 01:30 PM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default Continued from previous post.



Yeah, about what you'd expect. By the way, the ones who haven't changed into the Striped Clothing yet will still have the same dialogue as before if you happen to be wearing Striped Clothing. That little diversion finished, let's head to the cave!



It's located in the depths of the mountains east of the eastern Billsville, which makes it pretty hard to access, especially with the high monster activity.



Thankfully, there are no monsters inside, so it's a safe place to rest. It's also interesting to note that the Vex Chamber music is playing here.



The other four spheres that Pollux mentioned are also here. Clockwise from the upper-left, they are the Bone, Organic, Marble, and Iron Spheres.



There's also a plaque on the east end of the cavern, with a bit of advice. As you may recall, the Manual describes ways to set the spheres to not only wipe out anyone in any or all of the towns, but also listed settings for Static East/Center/West, Entropy, and to Clear Undesired Concomitant," all of which are "in development". Static freezes everyone in the chosen town, and I think Clear Undesired Concomitant wipes out all current monsters on the surface, but Entropy sounds like it could possibly fix Billsville's problems.



Looks like there was some sort of effect. Now to head to the nearest Billsville to see what, if anything, happened. Before that, though, I used Clear Undesired Concomitant, just to be safe.



Clear Undesired certainly seems to have worked. But as for Entropy?



The people of Joesville respond to the same topics as the people of Billsville, but the responses are different.

name: "I change my name every day to make sure I stay unique."
job: "We here in Joesville all work unique jobs, such that each person becomes extremely skilled at his and is, hence, unique. However, I will not tell you what I do for fear that you will copy me."
Joesville: "The town you are in is named Joesville. I hope you enjoy your stay, and I congratulate you on your radical appearance. Remember, the nail that sticks up is the one which is remembered."
clothing: "There was once a time when clothing was standardized... can you imagine? Some people would, on some days, by their own choice, wear the same clothes! Thankfully, the great machine has assured that all in Joesville will be unique in appearance."
machine: "The machine's history goes back before most can remember. It was invented to provide people daily with reliably unique clothing. It is located in the center of town."

Looks like creating entropy hasn't really changed anything. The people have just gone from mindless conformists to mindless non-conformists.



At least the prison cages are gone, so that's a good sign, right?











A lot of the signs around town have changed to indicate this new philosophy.



The shops no longer sell any of their former wares, but just give away Striped Clothing for free. This is why I was so determined to get some Field Plate - there are no shops on the next island, and the monster activity there make the monster activity on Emas look downright tame, so I wanted to make sure Katrielle would have the best possible armor there.



Unfortunately, the book depository still only has multiple copies of the same book. This time, though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Book: The Joesville Citizen
The very stuff of our existence is to live differently from each other, to never imitate each other such that all feel unique, none are the same as others. Though it is obvious to all why this is crucial to group happiness, it is important to put on paper why, such that those who are perhaps confused or hesitant about living as different from the rest of us shall be reassured and convinced. Why should any one person act the same as another anyway? Cooperation and conformity are out, good, healthy competition is in. If all are the same, than no one can be truly happy. What could be less obvious?
Mandatory nonconformity on Emas, specifically in Joesville, is carried out through several steps. The first is achieved through all people being able to wear unique clothing. The grand machine centrally located in the town has been created so as to make consistently different sets of clothing for all the inhabitants of Joesville. All go to pick up their day's clothing on awaking, and wear it throughout the day. If a set is soiled in work, a citizen is advised to continue wearing it to stress his difference. In this way all people of Joesville are equally different, and none will be able to group together in a way which would exclude those who are further different.
No person ever changes their job in Joesville, and each person works a job which is unique to them. All know their weekly work routine and theirs only. That way all people work their unique job and are able to master their craft, allowing for comparisons with other citizens, further emphasizing difference. People get days off always at times different from others, to emphasize their individuality.
Despite the obvious advantages to striving for individuality and non-conformity, some still insist on attempting to be like others. The reason for this remains a mystery. However it is these people who we should all fear. The conformist. He is the one will bring us our doom, who will tear us apart at our hearts and literally slay our happiness. For the protection of joy throughout Joesville, certain citizens have given up their own perfect happiness and work as guards so as to stifle the vile forces of anti-individualism. They make sure that these vermin do not wander the streets (as they do always in number, appearing alike to one another), and, when they do find conformists on the loose, slay them brutally. If only we all work together to be different from our neighbors in every possible way, we will all come closest to true happiness.
Remember: Happiness, we're all in it separately.
I think we might have inadvertently made things worse. I mean, at least the guards didn't "brutally slay" all nonconformists under the old regime. Now the prison cages being gone doesn't seem like such a good thing...

BTW, if you're wondering, the other towns have gone through almost the same changes, except that the eastern town is still called Billsville and the center one is now called Fredsville. The merchant in Billsville now uses Ye's sprite and Thomas' portrait instead of the generic male Billsville citizen sprite/portrait, but that's the only major difference between the towns now. Next time we'll move on to the fourth island. Hopefully things will go better there...
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  #67  
Old 12-18-2018, 02:25 PM
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Does Synthia say anything if you go back to her now?
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Old 12-18-2018, 06:46 PM
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Hmm...

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Originally Posted by Kahran042 View Post
Looks like creating entropy hasn't really changed anything. The people have just gone from mindless conformists to mindless non-conformists.
Suddenly I am reminded of Monty Python's The Life of Bill Brian.
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  #69  
Old 12-19-2018, 08:36 PM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default Katrielle Latyon Goes Fourth

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Suddenly I am reminded of Monty Python's The Life of Bill Brian.
I can't believe I didn't think of referencing that! :P

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Does Synthia say anything if you go back to her now?
Her house isn't far from the tunnel to the next island, so I checked it out on the way, and she does not. Kind of a shame, really.



Speaking of the tunnel, here it is.



We're greeted at the start by a whole bunch of monsters. Nothing Katrielle can't deal with, though.



East of the entrance is a tunnel packed with Double Noggins, and a whole bunch of little tunnels branching off of it. From left to right, the side tunnels contain some Hide Piercing Arrows, a long and winding path ending at a ladder leading down, and a dead end. The ladder will be important later, but for now let's head back to the entrance.



Not far south of the entrance is a note, which turns out to be a page from a diary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diary Entry
[This note appears to be a page which has fallen out of a diary.]
Rian-322: Before leaving Emas I found a bizarre cave located in the eastern mountains; it is not dissimilar to the one I found on Morage, yet its operation seems to be much more complex. It appears that N. used this cave to carry out his experiments in this particular locale. It disgusts me how he uses these people as if they were ants under his feet, controlling their every action, their every emotion. I am still uncertain what the source of his power really is, but it must be truly immense. This cave I located appears to be just one way to tap into that power. It would seem that one such cave would be necessary on each of the six populated islands, but as yet I have not found any of them. I must remember to raise the cave before I leave this Archipelago...
Rian-323: One occurrence I found of particular interest were two non-conformists living amongst the conformists of the Billsvilles. Well, not really living: suffering would be a more appropriate term. The two are named Castor and Pollux, and, though they both refuse to conform, they are nearly opposite in all their other attitudes. Further research led me to conclude that they are another product of the strange - dare I say magical? - forces which have created the monsters on all the island. They are the direct result of a mutation which caused one of the two headed creatures which wander the island to literally split apart into two distinct, coherent, individually-aware beings; much more intelligent than any of the two headed creatures themselves. Whether C & P know this is still unclear to me, but the phenomena is one of the strangest I have ever encountered.
This entry has some interesting stuff in it, but most of it won't be relevant for quite some time, if ever. Also, the name Rian will come up again, so you might want to remember it.

That being said, you might have also noticed that we're at a crossroads. I'm close to the west side of the map, so I'll go that way first.



It turns out that the western "path" is actually just an alcove in the southern path...



...which leads to an dead end containing a Lantern and some Hide Piercing Arrows.



East from what I though was a crossroads leads to a long narrow path, with a side cavern containing a Torch and a Healing Herb. The latter is especially welcome.



Eventually the path bends to the southeast, leading past a bunch of Morcs and Gremlins, then south again, to...



...a rather complex junction.



East is a maze, containing a variety of monsters. The humanoid slime is a Three Mile Beastie, the power monster for the next island. Past this room are two side tunnels. The western one has some Hide Piercing Arrows, and the northern one has Silver Headed Arrows.



There's also a secret wall, which leads to a tiny room containing the psionic Profesional (sic) Glow, which would be nice if I weren't already using its upgraded form.



That ladder leads to the next island, but per usual, I'm going to finish exploring this tunnel before taking it.



South of the ladder is a winding tunnel, which introduces a new monster - the Insecterous. They're tough and hit hard, but fortunately only appear in caves. However, they'll be appearing in pretty much every connecting tunnel from now on, IIRC.



Further west is a vaguely spider-shaped junction of passages, which I will be referring to as the nexus. I came from the east, so I'll explore the other passages in clockwise order. The southern passage loops back around to the east, so it looks like the next in line is the southwest.



Unfortunately, it's a dead end. Northwest is the same, so it looks like northeast is the only way to go.



Huh, it looks like I was wrong about Wretched Worms - they also appear here.



Northeast of the nexus is a large cavern filled with rock formations, with two side tunnels. The western one just has a Three Mile Beastie, but the northern one has the psionic Acid Rain, a ranged water attack. That's all the paths from the nexus mapped out, and none of the other side paths lead anywhere, so let's head back to the ladder and move on to the fourth island.



Although it's hard to tell, this island already has a pretty different atmosphere from the others - it's mostly desert, and the music has a rather melancholic air to it. But we'll have to wait for further exploration until next time.

Last edited by Kahran042; 12-19-2018 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 12-20-2018, 12:06 PM
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Does that mean the third Billsville had a dude in prison just to conform with the other two?
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Old 12-24-2018, 03:13 AM
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Wasn't there a better solution for the Billsvilles? That one only made things worse.

Perhaps Pollux was right and nuking from orbit was the only solution here. >_<
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Old 12-24-2018, 11:53 AM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Does that mean the third Billsville had a dude in prison just to conform with the other two?
That would make sense.

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Wasn't there a better solution for the Billsvilles? That one only made things worse.

Perhaps Pollux was right and nuking from orbit was the only solution here. >_<
I don't think there is, although the Manual does only cover nine out of 720 possible sphere configurations, so there might be some Easter-egg way to revert Bryat, Innoc, and Llyglelen to their original forms using one of the unmentioned 711. It's not very likely, though. Anyway, let's get on with exploring this island.



We've already seen plenty of Three Mile Beasties in the tunnel, but the insect swarms are...Insect Swarms, the speed monster for this island. That being said, while the actual soundtrack for this game is a nice classical piano track that fits the somber atmosphere of this island very well, there's only one track I can really associate with a barren desert swarming with deadly insects.



This is the main town on this island, but it doesn't look like it's in any condition to receive visitors.



Fortunately, there's a small fort just down the coast. Let's hope that the inhabitants are friendly.



Unfortunately, the gates are closed and locked, but at least there aren't any monsters here, so Katrielle can rest, then talk to the man at the gates.



Katrielle is not, so might as well tell the truth.



If we say yes...



Sounds kind of shady, but might as well check it out. As for other topics...

name: "Everyone knows me, the great successor to Nimspleen the Magnifisplendent, Himan the Terrifigreat. A fine name, I must say. After all, I added the last bit."
job: "I am sole overseer of McTeaguian society, fragile remains tough (sic) it may be. I am here to carry out such vital functions such as the maintenance of law and order, through the use of my Scepter of Justice, and the collection of back-taxes. Pitor, he seemed such a likely candidate to serve me, but instead I had to excommunicate him for owing so very much money. Were he to pay, I might even let him return to society."
fort: "Fort Agrasse was constructed after the monster invasion by myself, with assistance by Pitor. With Skora destroyed, we had nowhere else to go. Carl, the weak-willed fool, refused to help in any way. Pitor was quite capable at many of the manual labor tasks involved in this fine structures' (sic) creation, but it was my guidance which really got the job done. Without my superior leadership in a time of grave crisis, I doubt Pitor, let alone Carl, would even still be alive. Of course, the fort, which was built with state materials, is now owned by the remains of that state."
Pitor: "Pitor is, along with myself, and that fool Carl, one of the few survivors of the great monster invasion of McTeague. Pitor is a sturdy fellow, not too bright and certainly not very civic-minded, but capable of menial, manual-labor type tasks. He used to be a citizen, but since he refused to pay his taxes since the great invasion, he has been officially ostracized by society. Even before the invasion, he had not paid his last taxes, and it is on that sum of money, with compound interest, that I now find him to owe me all of his monetary wealth: and, unbelievable as it may be, the upstart refused to pay."
Nimspleen: "The beautiful town of my youth, before the great monster invasion Skora was the only populated area on McTeague and boasted surely one of the finest leaders ever seen: Nimspleen the Magnifisplendent. His ability to regulate, investigate, deregulate, question, solidify, regulate-again, coerce, fund, deregulate-once-more, stimulate, foster, and finally reregulate is certainly unmatched. Unfortunately, those savage monsters destroyed the town, and all of the great majesty of Nimspleen with it. Luckily, I have maintained the civic majest of Skora here in Fort Agrasse."
Carl: "That imbecile: he spends all of his time lost in his own world of fantasy instead of actually accomplishing anything. His unwillingness to participate in the construction of this fort is testament to what a blight he is on society. He claims his contribution is his ideas, but what good they do anyone is beyond me, I must say. He was excommunicated from society as soon as he refused to help build this fort. I believe he is living out his futile existence in that horrible horrible cave. What a fitting place for him."
monster: "We still dont know why the monsters came and destroyed our fine city. Just one day, the appeared from nowhere, slaughtering nearly everyone, except us three, of course. Even Nimspleen the Magnifisplendent fell under their savagery."
cave: "The cave, though a horrible, miserable, wretched place, was what saved Pitor, Carl, and my lives after the monster invasion. The monsters ravaged Skora instantly and most everyone was killed. The three of us, by chance, escaped to the caves in the South. Deep in the cave, the monsters were unable to follow us and for several days we lived on this foul moss which grew on the walls and some dirty water which trickled by in a pathetic stream. I realized it was no place for men to live, and Pitor and I set about to build this fort, Fort Agrasse, using materials from the sadly ruined Skora."

As you can probably tell from his general douchebag attitude and +3 Mustache of Obvious Evil, Himan is probably not being entirely truthful, so let's head to Pitor's place to try and get his side of the story.



He lives in this hut near the east coast of McTeague.



Unfortunately, he's currently asleep, so I'll just rest to recover the HP and PP I spent getting here, then talk to him.



name: "My name is Pitor, and I am very glad to make your acquaintance."
job: "While Skora still existed, I worked there as a carpenter, architect, and some-time blacksmith. Now my only job is to survive: I have built this meager hut which will keep me alive, though Fort Agrasse would be a much better place to live. It is situated on the river, it is on better soil that (sic) this place... But after one has created one masterpiece- I would regard Fort Agrasse mine- it is so very difficult to create a second. If only some way I could live there, without the threat of Himan and his Scepter of Punishment... And without killing him, of course. I could never live there if it was only acquired over Himan's dead body."
Skora: "I have never seen so many horrors as I did when Skora was destroyed by those monsters... what a senseless waste of life. I was never actually too fond of Skora - entirely too much bureaucracy. And the leaders, both Nimspleen and his sniveling underman Himan, were entirely too proud of themselves. It seems a horrible injustice that Himan survived when so many others, such as my wife Agrasse, died. But, so it is. Despite all its injustices, I do miss Skora..."
fort: "The three of us created Fort Agrasse following the destruction of Skora. Actually, Fort Agrasse is mostly my creation. Carl had good intentions but proved unable to help, merely by his own clumsiness, and Himan constantly demanded to be in charge of the Fort's creation and proved more of a detriment than a help. I dragged most of the materials over from the ruins of Skora myself, constantly having to avoid or fight off monsters. I designed the fort, and built nearly all of it. It is the creation of which I am most proud. Its theft from me, and from Carl- it was to be a home for the three of us- is one of the things I can never forgive Himan for. My one true wish, at this point, is to return to Fort Agrasse and be able to live there, without Himan threatening me with his Scepter. If only there were some way I could return there."
Himan: "A fiend, a truly awful, greedy person. If I were to kill one person, which I surely would never do, it would be him. Himan used to be an assistant to Nimspleen in Skora, and named himself 'head of society' following the attack of the monsters. He stole the completed Fort Agrasse from us- using that powerful scepter of his as a threat- arguing that it rightly belonged to him since he was the head of society and the raw materials we used, salvaged from Skora, rightly belonged to him. But he put no good effort into its creation: does not a building belong, if to anyone, to the person who put his heart into it's creation? And in the end all he wanted was my jewels, the fool... He is obsessed by money."
Carl: "Himan loathes Carl, I think just because he's a threat to the way-of-life, of greed, that Himan has created. I believe that Carl is living now in the caves: he wanted to stay there from the beginning, but they are certainly not a place for men to live. After Fort Agrasse was built and we were thrown out by Himan, Carl went back to the caves as did I, but I couldn't stand it and struck out to build this place: Carl just didn't want to be used again. Carl has many strange ideas... I don't pretend to understand them and hence can't criticize. And he is hopelessly clumsy, through no fault of his own. Carl kept insisting that I should kill Himan, but I could never do that. I refuse to have blood on my hands."
jewels: "Himan has said he will not allow me into Fort Agrasse until I pay him some ridiculous 'back taxes' with 'my' jewels. But they are not mine: they belonged to my wife, rest her precious soul, and they are all I have left of her. In many ways they are all that is keeping me alive. If Himan ever took them... I would say I would kill him, but I never could. All life is precious, including his miserable one. If you ever do see the scoundrel, he should probably offer you some pathetic reward for bringing them to him, but he would never pay up. If he infuriates you with his talk of me, though, remember that you should not kill him, certainly never in my name."
monster: "The monsters came from nowhere. Just one day, McTeague was swarming with them and they made short work of destroying Skora. Carl, Himan and I are the only survivors, I believe. I am able to fight them off on a one-to-one basis, but I fear I would have little chance against two or more of them. They seem to be totally savage creatures, though I do feel some sort of guilt as I kill them... Some part of me believes their life to be precious, too."
Agrasse: "Agrasse was my wife, before the monsters came and slaughtered her: I saw her torn to... shreds. Before my eyes, it was hell for me, watching that. I named the Fort after her, luckily Himan doesn't know that was her name - he thinks I probably chose it at random - or he would defile her by changing it to some other name. Oh, how I miss her. Now all I have of hers are those jewels. I don't know what I would do if I ever lost them."

Looks like we've got a quest for this island - helping Pitor get into Fort Agrasse, but without killing Himan. But how to do it? There are quite a few places to visit - the southern cave where Carl lives, another cave in the northwest, and the ruins of Skora. Of course, we could always take on the fourth Vex Chamber. So, which shall it be?

By the way, it might be interesting to know that the island shares its name with the novel that was later adapted into the silent film Greed, but I'm not sure if there's any connection. Just wanted to mention it.

Last edited by Kahran042; 01-01-2019 at 11:40 AM.
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  #73  
Old 12-24-2018, 06:18 PM
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We need to go visit Carl and see what he can add to this soap opera.
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Old 12-24-2018, 09:13 PM
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I didn't realize extinguish being an insta-kill on most enemies was unintentional. I used it to obliterate the Billsville guards.

The first time I played this, I rested in Billsville after a long, tough journey, only to see the game over screen.
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  #75  
Old 12-27-2018, 05:23 PM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default No Relation to the Marx Brothers

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I didn't realize extinguish being an insta-kill on most enemies was unintentional.
Believe me, I was disappointed when I found out they fixed it in the freeware version. By the way, it's always nice to see a fellow Home Movies fan.

Anyway, Lucas suggested visiting Carl, so let's do that.



This is the cave where Carl is living. At least it should be safe, right?



Wrong. By the way, this cave uses the same music as the cave habitat back on Culn. Not really important, but I thought it was interesting.



After a winding, but linear, passageway with a couple Three Mile Beasties and an Insecterous, I come to a fork in the road. There are monsters to the left, so I go right first. Naturally, it's a dead end. After going to the left and fighting past the monsters, there's another long path...



...leading to another fork. Since I've been going south, I'll head west here.



Naturally, it's another dead end.



South from the previous fork is another fork. I remember west being the right way (although I should probably know better than to rely on my memory by now), so I'll go east first.



Those two paths to the south are obviously dead ends, but to the north is an Insecterous guarding a copy of The Collective. Not exactly worth it, but at least it's a section of the map filled out, and I was right about west being the right way, so there's that.



At the end of the eastern path is yet another fork. Again, I'll go east first.



Along the fork is one of many Insecterouses (Insecteri?) in this cave, which I am developing a serious hatred for, due to their possessing high HP, high evasion, and a high critical rate. I actually died the first time I attempted this passage, believe it or not. At least the spawn rate in this cave is low enough that resting is actually somewhat safe even without doors.



Actually, this seems too much like the right way, so I'll head back to the fork and see what's to the west.



And it's - surprise, surprise - another fork. North is an set of alcoves containing the psionic Characterize, which works like Bob Bushwacker's Weapon Guide or The Armor Anthology, but it gives the stats for psionics and has an activation cost of 10 PP.



And at the end of the path is a dead end containing... one torch. Yeah, that was worth it.



South of the fork, the rock walls change to dirt ones, which means I'm probably on the right path.



Eventually, I reach another fork. This time, I remember north being right, so I'll go west.



The western path leads to a large rocky room with an exit in the northeast, which I take. Oddly enough, there doesn't seem to be anything else in here, but I'll try to check again on my way out.



It leads to a long winding path, terminating in this room containing some books, a staff, a healing herb, and Carl himself.



Looks familiar, huh?

name: "My name is Carl."
job: "Well, back before Skora was ravaged I wrote, and I still do though I fail to see the point of much of it. You can see some of my works lying about here - please take them and read them. I don't know how many people actually read my books, but I always hoped they'd be appreciated by someone. And perhaps someone would act on some of the concepts I wrote about. Like workers overthrowing the owners, for instance. But no-one in Skora seemed to care. Pitor and his like were happy to live their lives, despite the fact that they weren't getting their due. And materialists were in power, so they did everything to see that my thoughts against them were mocked and ridiculed. But, at least I tried to work for something better."
Pitor: "Pitor is a wonderful man. He works very hard, creates magnificent things - something I could certainly never do. It is his kind who did all the real work in Skora, his kind that were repressed and exploited by the owners. If it were not for his strong personal character, Pitor would have had his very soul sucked dry by those materialistic owners and their desire to take take take. I argued, in my various writings, that they must overthrow the owners and establish their own order, which is based not on owning, but on working. And I mean real work, not managing, governing, or ruling. But now, it's all worthless. There are only three of us, and one can hardly call that a society by any standard. That's why I'm staying in this cave. I do wish I could somehow help Pitor."
Himan: "Before the monsters came he was easily the sleaziest person in Skora. A sniveling assistant to Nimspleen, he appointed himself to power following the invasion and death of Nimspleen. Power over what, I'm not sure, since there are only three of us left. But Himan is just like his kind, those materialists... Always hoping to improve their own position at the expense of others, such as Pitor. If I weren't a clumsy old fool I'd kill him myself, but the real impetus for change derives from a mandate from the masses - say if Pitor were to kill him - a true overthrow of the owners by the workers. But, it's not to be anyway. None of what I say makes any difference if there are only three of us..."
McTeague: "Skora was the one town on the island of McTeague - before the monsters overthrew it and brought in their own form of Anarchy. That's the ideology that rules on McTeague now, as I'm sure you are aware. Survival of the fittest in its purest form - it's very fascinating, let me assure you. I'm actually writing a book on it. Skora was a wretched blight on mankind, however - in it those who did the actual work were oppressed by those who owned. Their lives were controlled by the whims of a wealthy madman, Nimspleen, and the repressive society he established, whose rules he twisted to his own liking. He called it justice, but few were happy, and hardly anyone truly controlled their own lives."
Nimspleen: "Talking about Nimspleen makes me ill. Please change the subject."
fort: "That fort - I don't even know what it's called. What a debacle, what an example of what's wrong with Himan's way of life. If I were Pitor I would have killed Himan, but he wouldn't do it, no matter how much I encouraged him. Himan proved to be useless in helping create it - Pitor slaved over that structure, dragging the materials down from the ruins of Skora, designing it, implementing it. Then, when it was all done, Pitor wanted us all to live there. But Himan stole it, using that scepter of his, making the common materialist argument that since he now ruled the town, he owned the town, and everything in it. Since Pitor used materials from Skora, Himan claimed the fort as his own and wouldn't even let Pitor in. After that, I think I'll never return to the surface."

He says he wishes he could help Pitor. Maybe we could ask him about that?



The artifact in question is another of Rian's diary entries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diary Entry
[This paper appears to be a page which has fallen out of a diary.]
Rian-263: N seems to have perfected his tunnel making powers for use by Red. I saw Red standing over an immense purple gem, lodged in the ground, concentrating intently on it. Then Red was able to walk onto the gem and was teleported into a tunnel which came out at a similarly sized green gem, a fair ways away. I tried walking onto the gem myself, later, and found it to have similar results for me: the tunnel made a perfect, straight path, underground, from one gem to the other. Presumably these gems are somehow portable, so that Red can make a tunnel wherever he needs, but I don't see how they could be moved. Perhaps this new system will allow for the paths between the islands to be more straight, instead of those horribly twisty ones N made before
You may recall having seen said purple gem in Fort Agrasse. Maybe we can find out more about it in Skora? We're also not far from the next Vex Chamber, and there's still the cave in the northwest as an option. Which to do next?

By the way, Carl's book reads as follows:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Book
The Failure of Materialism - A Decisive Investigation - by Carl
Introduction: Though many may argue that the people of Skora on McTeague are by and large not unhappy, it remains the case that those who actually work for the rulers and business managers do not get the share of what is rightfully theirs that they should. That is to say, those who work oft do not own their creations, nor do they receive the financial compensation which is their due. One must own something - raw materials if you will - in order to create. But in order to create thereby, in the system of government - nay the very way of thought - that Skora, in particular its rulers, has implemented, those who do the work must use the materials, or the workshops, or the financial backing of those who do not do the actual creating. It is these latter people who should gain the least out of any such transaction, and the former who should gain the most. But by controlling the means of production, the true creators of Skora - the toiling workers - receive not their fair share, but enough to keep them alive to work for the masters some more. The recent overthrow of the materialist rulers by the anarchistic monsters is a trend in the right direction undoubtedly, yet it caused the disenfranchisement of one true worker by one rabid materialist who took away the former's masterwork. This is a key example of the thesis detailed in this book.
[The rest of the book is fairly dense stuff, and you cannot stay awake while reading it.]
If it wasn't obvious that he was based on Karl Marx before, it is now.

Last edited by Kahran042; 01-06-2019 at 08:51 AM.
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  #76  
Old 12-27-2018, 06:15 PM
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Mogri Mogri is online now
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Your music link is broken, eating up a chunk of text as well.
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  #77  
Old 12-27-2018, 06:48 PM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Your music link is broken, eating up a chunk of text as well.
Fixed. It turned out that I was missing a quotation mark.
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  #78  
Old 12-28-2018, 02:26 AM
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I say do whichever's closest (Vex chamber?) then the next closest one, then the farthest.
Law of Minimum Effort, yay!

Also, man, this island is pretty much doomed no matter how you solve it, with only three survivors, all male.
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Old 12-29-2018, 06:25 AM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default A Vexing Situation IV: The Trilogy Continues

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I say do whichever's closest (Vex chamber?) then the next closest one, then the farthest.
Law of Minimum Effort, yay!
Sounds good to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sensenic View Post
Also, man, this island is pretty much doomed no matter how you solve it, with only three survivors, all male.
Glad that I'm not the only one who noticed that.

Now, before actually heading to the Vex Chamber, I'm going to finish exploring Carl's cave. So let's get that done. First, since he doesn't care about material possessions, he probably won't mind me yoinking that herb of his.



East of Carl's room is a small maze with no items.



It does, however, have a large amount of bones, including some that look disturbingly human.



Heading back through Carl's room, I remember that I never asked him about the cave before, but better late than never, right?



I was right about there being nothing in the big room, and there's nothing north of the fork in the dirt tunnel, but that path I thought looked too much like the right way contains a Lantern, some Bolts, and...a Crossbow!



It probably has the same flaws as most ranged weapons, but it has a damage rating of 12 and a wield rating of 7, compared to the Bow's 5/5 and the Long Bow's 8/7, and it means that I can actually put all those bolts I've been finding to use. That's the cave completely mapped, so now to head to the surface, and to Vex Chamber IV!



The entrance is at the tip of the island's southern cape. On the way there, I found out that the Crossbow sucks about as much as I expected, taking 39 bolts to kill three or four monsters. :P



There's the usual note, but before reading it, I'll rest off the beating I took while testing my new crossbow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vex the Fourth Note
Hello there again, visitor to the Archipelago. Your progress does impress me, but I must promise you it does not worry me. Do you grow tired of the little games I play with you? It must be rather tedious to find yourself here in my Vex Chamber the Fourth. You must be so dreadfully accustomed to these by now, I'll make this one a bit more interesting by not giving you any hints. As always, there's an escape path if you need it, and as long as you stick to the center of your objective you should come out quite well from this light-weight Vex. - N.
Well, darn. Not only is there no hint in the note, but the puzle in general doesn't really have any indication of how you're progressing.



Said puzzle involves first collecting these rocks.



As you can see, they're classed as melee weapons, and are listed as separate items in the inventory window. The difference is in their weights. Including these ones, there are a total of 21 rocks - three one-pounders, three two-pounders, four three-pounders, one four-pounder, two five-pounders, two six-pounders, four seven-pounders, and two ten-pounders.



At the end of the tunnel are seven pressure plates. You have to place the rocks on them in some order related to their weight, but the lack of hints makes it pretty much impossible to determine the order. I had to consult a walkthrough for this, but the correct order, from north to south, is 1, 2, 4, 1, 6, 3, 5. If someone can help me figure out the logic behind this, I would be very appreciative.



That being said, dropping rocks on the plates does cause the opening in the wall to move a bit, so that could be part of it.



The corridor also seems to extend when you have the right weight on the right plate, but I can't think of any way to figure that out besides trial and error.



Once all the rocks are in place, the passage leads to a secret wall.



On the other side is a tunnel leading to the standard rune, which boosts Katrielle's Stoutness by 3. Now to beat a hasty retreat before the flame vanishes.



And with that, we're back on McTeague. Next time, Katrielle Latyon explores the ruins of Skora and progresses this island's main quest line.
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Old 12-29-2018, 01:01 PM
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Torzelbaum Torzelbaum is offline
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Originally Posted by Sensenic View Post
Also, man, this island is pretty much doomed no matter how you solve it, with only three survivors, all male.
Maybe some of the women from the Billsvilles could migrate there once Katrielle fixes everything?
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Old 12-29-2018, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
I don't think there is, although the Manual does only cover nine out of 720 possible sphere configurations, so there might be some Easter-egg way to revert Bryat, Innoc, and Llyglelen to their original forms using one of the unmentioned 711.
ResEdit tells me "no." I did learn that there is a "Mario Brothers Land!" which I never figured out how to get to and two Octavius's Huts.

Wait, gravy? Does he give you a special response?
I know that if you say colors like "sour" or "cat," he says "In all my days of livin and sippin and flippin and rippin I haven't heard of that color."
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Old 12-31-2018, 04:24 AM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default Searching the Ruins

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Originally Posted by Torzelbaum View Post
Maybe some of the women from the Billsvilles could migrate there once Katrielle fixes everything?
Maybe, and probably also some of the female workers from Culn.

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Originally Posted by Yama View Post
ResEdit tells me "no." I did learn that there is a "Mario Brothers Land!" which I never figured out how to get to and two Octavius's Huts.
Aww, I was saving that for post-game bonus content. At least there's still the list of unused items...

I think the two instances of Octavius's hut might be for before and after giving him the IR Helm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yama View Post
Wait, gravy? Does he give you a special response?
I know that if you say colors like "sour" or "cat," he says "In all my days of livin and sippin and flippin and rippin I haven't heard of that color."
There's no special response for "gravy," just the standard "Good color, good color" response. The "sippin and flippin and rippin" response is the default. Oddly enough, he apparently hasn't heard of brown or grey-with-an-E.

By the way, colors Wichelstein considers "fancy-shmancy" are, as far as I know, aqua, chartreuse, coral, fuchsia, indigo, jade, lime, magenta, maize, maroon, olive, periwinkle, puce, sage, salmon, taupe, teal, and turquoise, and he will give his "I hate purple!" response to either purple or violet.



Anyway, on with the update proper. Carl directed us to Skora, so that's where we'll go. On the way, I found out that the Eviscerator's high wield rating makes up for Katrielle's mediocre Nimbleness, and that Insect Swarms seem to be weak to fire, with Flame Javelin killing them in one shot.



The town looks even worse on the inside, being infested with Three Mile Beasties. There's no way I can fight them all off, so I'll just use the better part of valor and run away.



South of the entrance is a ruined building containing some Bolts of Slaying, a pair of Work Gloves, a Moood Shield, and another copy of Spontaneous Combustion. There's also a bed, but since there are no working doors to keep monsters out while I'm sleeping, it's kind of useless.



North of that is a restaurant, containing some Arrows of Slaying.



And north of that is the Grand Hall of Skora.



At the end of the small hallway in the northeast of the building are Nimspleen's and Himan's former offices. Nimspleen's is locked, but Himan's contains some more Arrows of Slaying.



West of the Grand Hall are two ruined houses. The east one contains another Crossbow, and the west one contains a Sixth Staff and two more useless beds.



South of the ruined houses is the Church of the New Satiation. Unfortunately, there's nothing inside except a Three Mile Beastie.



Further south is the Library of Greater Skora, which doesn't seem to contain any books, just a Long Bow. Another one for the pile, I guess.



Still further south is the town square, which contains a statue of Nimspleen and the green jem mentioned in Rian's diary entry.



Across the street from the green jem is the Skora storehouse. From the looks of it, it's already been looted, but there's still one trunk left...



Monster-in-a-box!

Yes, the trunk contains an Insect Swarm, and due to the game using attacks of opportunity, said Insect Swarm gets a free hit when you open it. To add insult to injury, there isn't even any loot in the trunk.



West of the square is another ruined building containing some Moood Bolts.



North of that is a building containing one of only three doors in all of Skora.



Behind the door is a bed, as well as another copy of Carl's book, which makes me think that this was his house when he lived in Skora, and a trunk containing a Midnight Star.



After getting some much-needed rest and fighting through a swarm of Three Mile Beasties, I head to the northwest part of town, which appears to be mostly composed of small houses. Said houses contain some Arrows of Slaying and Bolts of Slaying.



South of them is a part of Carl's old house that I missed, containing a Razor Boomerang, the best thrown weapon in the game.



And it's one-handed, so you can bet that Katrielle is going to be using it along with the Moood Shield she found.



At this point I realize that there's a whole section of the Grand Hall that I never explored, so I head over there.



It turns out to be Nimspleen's public office, and it contains a Ruby Key. It shouldn't take a rocket genius to figure out what this unlocks.



That's right, it unlockes Nimspleen's private office. Inside is a trunk containing the psionics Invisibility, Asudem Effect, and Dig. Asudem Effect is a ranged paralysis effect, and Invisibility makes the caster invisible. Dig, however, is the psionic alluded to by Rian. Based on this, I've come up with a theory about Nimspleen's true nature and what exactly happened on McTeague. However, it's kind of spoiler-y, so it will have to wait a while. Anyway, I'm getting close to the image limit, so join me next time as I conclude McTeague's main quest line.

Last edited by Kahran042; 12-31-2018 at 04:26 AM. Reason: Correcting malphabetization.
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Old 12-31-2018, 11:43 PM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default Fort Night

Last time, we found a psionic that may enable us to make a safe path into Fort Agrasse. Now to actually put it to use.



Unfortunately, it's pretty expensive at 110 PP, so I'll have to rest before and probably after using it.



Using Dig on the purple jem causes the ground to rumble below Katrielle's feet, which is probably a good sign. I'm going to want Flame Javelin for all the Insect Swarms on the overworld, so since casting Dig left Katrielle with 10 PP, I'll have to rest again. That being said, that's the only use Dig actually has. Kind of a shame, really.



And now to return to Skora and see if it worked.



It did! Stepping onto the green jem deposits Katrielle into a dark tunnel with plenty of monsters. In fact, there are so many that I'm going to want to get some rest in Carl's old place so I can use Highly Professional Glow and carry a shield.



Another Wretched Worm? They really are more common than I thought.



Eventually, Katrielle manages to slaughter her way to the end of the tunnel, and gain a level in Thrown Weapons in the process. But where does it exit?



Inside Fort Agrasse, of course! Let's rub this in Himan's smug face.



Looks like he does not take uninvited guests well. Let's see what he has to say about this.



The Scepter of Justice... that must have been how he attacked me. It's a physical attack, but ranged and using the same graphics as ice psionics. I'd better get out of here before he kills me. Fortunately, monsters don't spawn in the tunnel, so it should be a safe place to rest off my wounds. Still, it would probably be a good idea to get that scepter away from Himan. As the thread title implies, the best way to do that would probably be to sneak into the fort at night and swipe it while he's sleeping.



And we're in! Now to find out where Himan sleeps...



Looks like it's the building on the right. However, he's still up at the wee hours. This looks like a job for another psionic found in the ruins of Skora.



Specifically, Invisibility. After all, you can't attack what you can't see...



Now we're inside Himan's house, so we can just swipe the Scepter of Justice (which is called the Scepter of Punishment as an item), as well as the Healing Herb in the trunk, and vamoose. But first, let's see how Himan reacts to this.



Fat chance, asshole. At any rate, you should be grateful - that's probably the closest you'll ever get to having a woman handle your rod. Anyway, I'm sure Pitor will be very pleased to know that Himan has been symbolically castrated, so let's head back to his place.

By the way, I love the fact that Himan has a new portrait once his scepter is stolen.



There's Pitor, tending his crops. If we tell him about the tunnel...



Seeing as we've taken away his one claim to power, I would say yes.



It won't be easy, but I'll do my best.



Welcome to perhaps the hardest escort mission in the game.



It doesn't look so bad now, but the monsters seem to zone in on Pitor, and he sometimes just stops moving for no reason, even when there are monsters right next to him.



Here's an example. There's no way I'll be able to get to that Insect Swarm before it attacks Pitor, and like almost all peaceful NPCs, he dies to pretty much any attack.



Once you get into the open desert, though, it's not as bad, since Pitor can keep up with Katrielle better without the movement penalties caused by hills and mountains.



From Skora, it's smooth sailing to the green jem...



...and, from there, Fort Agrasse. Let's see what Pitor has to say about finally being back inside his fort.



The armor he mentioned is the reward for this island's quest line.



It is, without a doubt, the best armor in the game, as both the flavor text and the defensive value state. Definitely worth the escort mission!

Last edited by Kahran042; 01-02-2019 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 12-31-2018, 11:44 PM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default Continued from previous post.



This is what it looks like on Katrielle, by the way. The treasure Pitor mentioned is in the middle hut and composed of three Sapphires, four Jacinths, seven Diamonds, four Emeralds, eleven Pearls, two Topazes, three Amethysts, an Opal, a Ruby, and a piece of Gold, for a total of 2231 GP. On a related note, Pitor has new dialogue now that we've finished this quest, as follows:

name: "Hah, very funny, you must know my name by now, good friend."
job: "I think my job is cut out here: keep myself and Himan alive, and perhaps from the ruins of Skora can come a more just society."
Himan: "Himan: I think there's hope for him, if only I can persuade him to overcome his grief, and to come to accept he cannot always be in charge."
Carl: "Carl may come back, but only when he's good and ready. The man enjoys his serenity in that cave, I think: he's free to read and work on his books all the time. Leave him to his happiness, I say."
Agrasse: "I will remember her always, fondly. You've helped to make her memory all the more precious, stranger. I thank you, friend."

As for Himan?



Yeah, I somehow doubt that he's going to change. Pitor is a much more forgiving person than I could ever hope to be. That being said, we may have finished this island's quest line, but we still aren't done. Next time, we tackle a subquest.

By the way, how can the Scepter of Justice/Punishment be "strangely weightless" if it weighs four pounds?

Last edited by Kahran042; 01-01-2019 at 05:11 PM.
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  #85  
Old 01-02-2019, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kahran042 View Post
By the way, how can the Scepter of Justice/Punishment be "strangely weightless" if it weighs four pounds?
That's what makes it strange!
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Old 01-03-2019, 08:28 PM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default Pain and Pleasure

Last time, we finished the McTeague quest line and were rewarded with the ultimate armor. However, there's still one more area to explore on McTeague.



Specifically, this cave on the northwestern part of the island. Like Breamtown on Emas, no one mentions it AFAIK, but at least this one doesn't have any key items.



It does, however, have numerous Three Mile Beasties and a plaque. In fact, there are a lot of these plaques throughout the cave. Not including this first one, they read as follows:

Quote:
Boys, have you written home to mother?
Nimspleen the Magnifisplendent

Let out your deepest inhibitions, enjoy to the maximum!
Nimspleen the Magnifisplendent

Happiness: The best of us are in it together.
Nimspleen the Magnifisplendent

And it came to pass that Sir Redg was tempted, and he gave in to the pleasures provided by ...
Nimspleen the Magnifisplendent

You'd be bored right now if it weren't for...
Nimspleen the Magnifisplendent

A body without contentment leads to all sorts of nasty things.
Nimspleen the Magnifisplendent

Before you leave, don't forget to thank...
Nimspleen the Magnifisplendent

Stud and Melagon were here

Without any communication between the heart and mind...

Those who are close to extasy (sic) remember...
Nimspleen the Magnifisplendent

Remember who is THE Master
Nimspleen the Magnifisplendent

While you're having a good time tonight remember who you owe it all to...
Nimspleen the Magnifisplendent


Just past the entrance are a number of paths. For those of you who didn't click on the link, the first plaque said to go to to the Eastern most chambers, which means that we'll be heading west first.



It contains a Lantern, a Sour Blue Potion, and an ornate, but empty trunk.



Just past the potion is a secret passage, leading to an area with a Pick Axe, another Lantern, an Emerald, and the psionic Pyromania, which does fire damage to all monsters on-screen, like the Rod of Firey Death from Culn.



Further down the path are a number of barrels and a Composite Bow, which has the highest Wield rating of any ranged weapon so far, at a whopping 10 - not especially good, but enough to make me want to give ranged weapons yet another last chance.



After that is a small room containing some Moood Bolts, some Moood Headed Arrows, a Glaive, and another copy of Asudem Effect.



At the end of the secret passage is a bed and a Buck and a Quarterstaff. Now to head back to the main cave.



Looks like there are Insecteri down here, too. Hopefully my Composite Bow wil be able to deal with them...



It was, in the sense that I killed that one before it killed me. However, I used up at least 31 arrows in the process. At least I'm close to leveling up Ranged Weapons, so I can switch to a decent weapon soon. That being said, northeast of the entrance is an empty trunk in front of a secret passage.



Inside the secret room is a bed, a trunk, a book, and a lantern. The book reads as follows:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miniature Diary
My body is ravaged and my mind is weak: I do not know for how much longer I can hold out against the wretched torture that Nimspleen and his lackeys have inflicted on me. It all started out innocently enough. I thought I was special, one of the chosen few invited to one of Nimspleen's grand parties which most only know of as myth. I was selected for my ableness of body, they said, and requested me to join them at an early morning hour in Skora. From there we would meet and go to the secret location of Nimspleen's grand festival. I was to tell no one, and fool that I was I did not. Now I shall never return. I have started this diary only to try and mark what has happened, in an attempt to maintain my own sanity.
The cave in which this diary is being written - and in which you have probably found it - has been the home to Nimspleen the Magnifisplendent's secret 'parties' for several years now. Oh what a fool we all were to believe Nimspleen to be a great ruler. He is a degenerate, a lover of pain - both giving and receiving - who cares not for the desires or wants of others. Myself, and too many others like me, have been taken to this cave, never to leave again. Here we are the slaves who can be commanded as he wishes, to do whatever he wishes. No one can say no: the specially trained guards - who block the only entrance as well as wandering the caves themselves - see to that.
Not all of the people here are slaves. Some are Nimspleen's select friends who are allowed to share in his bizarre, sick games. But there are few of these, and each one is as depraved as he. Indeed, some of these friends of Nimspleen, on arriving here and witnessing the horrors Nimspleen so enjoys, were revolted and wished to leave immediately. Others demanded that he stop. These people he usually tortured for a short while - a slimy grin on his face as he beat former friends to death - before killing them. No one could disagree with his notion of entertainment.
We are fed here, but only on wine and strange delicacies, none of which I find satisfying any longer. I long for an average meal, to be able to return to Skora. Though, I know that is never possible, and I shall forever be a prisoner here.
Who knows how this place was set up, how Nimspleen has been able to get away with this for so long. But we all trusted him so much - some argued that he was a heartless dictator - how right they were! - but others, myself included, saw him as adequate - certainly not perfect - but fair and just and someone a citizen of Skora could trust. I wish I never had, that I had done all I could to throw him out of power when I could. I guess we are all at fault, for not seeing through his lies. This place is so terrible... I wonder if Nimspleen is even human: no human could act so cruelly and without regard to his fellow humans.
I have found a secret room here in this vile cave. I know not how it came to be, or who made it, or who has been using it before me. But now, it seems unused and so I shall make use of it, to hide when I need to. I cannot keep myself awake out there - always ready for the next onslaught of depravity. So now I can come and rest here, and I can stash this diary here. I feared for a time they would find it and thought of burning it up. But luckily I saved it - luckily I say because it is the only thing keeping me in touch, with reality. Perhaps you will find this diary in my secret room? Some day after they've killed me? No, I cannot give up hope... All may seem futile, but I will not let myself die for nothing. I have found an interesting herb in here, which restores my health partially. It can keep me alive all the longer.
New victims are brought in every day. They come, as I did, expecting the festivals promised. But what they get instead is pain and misery, depravity and baseness. Why can we not all rise up to face Nimspleen? All of us - we greatly outnumber his guards. Are we so broken down and destroyed that there is nothing we can do to better ourselves? I shall go try that today... I cannot sit back and take it any longer - I have lost two limbs already, how much longer until I am dead? I shall go try and round up support. Maybe we can do it, just maybe... We shall tell the people of Skora, and they will help us, somehow. I shall return to you tomorrow, diary, to tell you how great our progress is.
I wonder if Himan was one of those "select friends"? Also, this adds a bit more fuel to my theory as to Nimspleen's true nature, but that will have to wait until it's no longer a spoiler. Anyway, as the diary implied, the trunk contains a Healing Herb, and those are always welcome.



The east wall of this safe room contains another secret passage, which leads to more beds, a plaque, and a trunk containing a Topaz and a Diamond.



Further down are even more beds, which make me wonder about what kind of "games" Nimspleen was playing here.



Near the west end of this room is a statue, marked with a sign.



Unfortunately, none of these beds are safe resting spots because of that Insecterous, and probably other monsters, roaming about.



Fortunately, Katrielle takes it out with a total of 48 arrows and heads to the northeast corner of the room, where she finds a Trident.



The opposite corner, sadly, is not as rewarding. However, there are a number of pathways off of this... dormitory, for lack of a better term, which I will be exploring in counterclockwise order, starting from the south.



Just off the south passage is a small room containing a Boomerang, a Torch, a Lantern, and a Healing Herb, of which only the last is really important.



The end of the passage is a small storeroom guarded by a Three Mile Beastie, containing a Jacinth, a Diamond, a Sapphire, a Woodsman's Axe, a Pearl, a Torch, a Shovel, and two Pick Axes.



The southeast passage is far less interesting, containing only some Lanterns, a Torch, and a Horrific Halberd.



Last and least, the western passage leads back to the entrance, by way of this room, which contains a Lantern, a Torch, and a statue marked with two signs, which are interesting simply because they make it one of the few caves with an official name - the Cave of Pleasure. ResEdit, however, refers to it simply as "Forgotten Cave." And with that, that's everything in the cave explored and acquired. Next time, I show off alternate conclusions to the saga of Pitor and Himan.

Last edited by Kahran042; 01-06-2019 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 01-05-2019, 02:04 PM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default Bonus Update 3: Citizen Latyon

Recently, we saw the best possible outcome of the McTeague storyline. However, there are other ways it could have gone. First of all, you may recall that Himan asked Katrielle to give him Pitor's jewels. Obviously, this is a bad idea. But what if she had?



They're in this unguarded and unlocked trunk in Pitor's hut. Despite being called Pitor's Jewels, they're a single item, complete with a unique description. If we take them to Himan, he has this to say.





If you say yes, he'll ask to see the jewels. If you then drop them outside the gate...



...he steps out of the fort, takes them...



...and leaves behind a note.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Citizenship Certificate
To the bearer: this note grants thee citizenship in the upstanding, morally sound, and generally superior society of McTeague. Let it be known that inclusion in the aforementioned requires the bearer to maintain his own self such that he acts in a way that is morally sound to the mind of the ruler who is, at the time of issue, Himan the Terrifigreat. Citizenship has its benefits; far too many to list here, though key among them is the right to pay taxes and the right to follow the decrees of the ruler. Such that it were, there are several aspects of existence on McTeague which citizenship thereon does not grant the right to.
Citizenship on McTeague does not grant the admission to towns on that island, regardless whether they are the domiciles of the issuer, or not, forthwith. It similarly does not grant the right to any services not directly expressed in this certificate. For further disclosure of vital information such as that which has been stated heretofore, see the Rules of McTeagueian Society located in the city hall of the current place of residence of the ruler, at this point in time in the storeroom of Fort Agrasse.
Citizenship on McTeague seems highly overrated. Let's see what Himan has to say about it. BTW, if you're wondering, the "Rules of McTeagueian Society" are not in the storeroom of Fort Agrasse, nor are they anywhere in the game.



There's no way to pay these back taxes, as far as I know. You can drop all the gems you want outside the fort, but Himan will never acknowledge it. Anyway, let's see what Pitor has to say about the theft of his gems.





No sign of Pitor, but there is a note on his table.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hastily Written Note
To the person who stole Agrasse's jewels - Following the invasion of the monsters, there was little to keep me going. Agrasse, my wife, left me her meager jewels just before she died - as a way to remember her, I supposed, as a way to remember the love we had shared. Following the theft of the work I had thrown myself into - Fort Agrasse - I was disenheartened, but thinking of Agrasse kept me going. She wouldn't want me to give up, and the jewels, those that I guarded with my very life, kept me going. Now they are gone - I know not how - but to you, thief: I hope that they are of good use to you, since they will be no use to me any longer. 'Death greets me warm, now I just say good-bye.'
So, to recap, we've just driven a really sweet guy to suicide in order to give his most treasured possession to an obviously evil prick in exchange for a "citizenship certificate" that's probably not worth the paper it's printed on and a billion gold in debt. Yeah, I'd say we screwed up here.

Now, the other alternate route. Pitor was very insistant that Katrielle not kill Himan. But it's easy to do, since he's just a human NPC.



Personally, I prefer doing it with his own scepter. >

If you escort Pitor to the fort after killing Himan, this will be the result.



Obviously, doing so will forfeit the reward for escorting him, which is why I didn't do so in the main path. And that should be everything on McTeague. Next time, we actually move on to the next island.

Last edited by Kahran042; 01-06-2019 at 08:53 AM. Reason: Fixing broken tag.
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Old 01-05-2019, 02:42 PM
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Is it even possible to have 1,000,000,000 gold pieces?
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Old 01-06-2019, 08:27 AM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default Backtrack Your Own Road

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yama View Post
Is it even possible to have 1,000,000,000 gold pieces?
It may be possible with ResEdit, but I seriously doubt it, partially due to the way that the money system works. The minimum loot you'd need to reach that would be 11,111,111 Pearls and a Topaz, which most likely wouldn't fit in Katrielle's generous, but limited, inventory.

Anyway, on with the LP. As you may know, Katrielle has thoroughly explored every location on McTeague, but found no way to go forward. So, she'll have to head back into the Emas-McTeague tunnel.



Remember this ladder near the Emas entrance to the tunnel?



It leads into a whole new tunnel, which will hopefully lead to a whole new island.



Not far from the ladder, we come to a side room containing some Insecteri, a pair of Warm Boots, and two psionics - another copy of Kinetic Barrier and Push Deluxe, which pushes a targeted monster about five spaces away or until they hit a wall. As the name implies, there's also a regular Push which I haven't found yet, but pushes monsters only one space away.



Past the room is a tunnel filled with monsters, including even more Insecteri.



Past that is a side tunnel, containing more Insecteri and another copy of Professional Glow. I guess it would be nice if I hadn't done Octavius' subquest, but I did, so it's not.



After all those Insecteri, it's nice to encounter some weaker cave monsters.



As you should know by now, those notches in the west wall indicate a secret passage.



This one leads to a secret room with even more Insecteri, guarding a Horrific Halberd, some Battle Boots, a Buck and a Quarterstaff, a copy of Pyromania, a Jacinth, an Opal, a Sapphire, and another entry from Rian's diary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diary Entry
[This paper appears to be a page which has fallen out of a diary.]
Rian-409: My backtracking through the pleasantly linear tunnel to Morage has lead me to an interesting little hidden cave. Did Red create this as a rest stop for himself, to hide out of the way of Nís ever-present watch? It is well equipped with the finest in furniture, which must have been created magically for only a fool would have hauled such heavy stuff all the way down to here. But it is a good place to rest before the trials of Morage to come. Though it is a great sadness that the monsters are picking off the people of Wain one by one, something strange is going on, and I wish I had more time to investigate. There is something about Edwards that I just do not like. Perhaps he has been overly-hardened by the monsters of Morage, which seem worse than anywhere else, nearly intelligent in the way they fight back against my never-ending onslaught. They are nothing but a creation of Nís power, and as a result deserve nothing less than death. But no matter, a few hours rest here, and Iím on to Morage...
So, there's a hint about this secret room in the secret room? Kind of strange. Anyway, resting here probably would be a good idea, since fighting four Insecteri took a lot out of Katrielle, and it's a safe area with a bed.



As Rian said, the tunnel is pleasantly linear. A few more monsters and one curving passage later, and I'm at the stairs out.



They lead into what appears to be a human-made structure.



East of the stairs is another copy of Zenoheal. What is with all these duplicate psionics, anyway?



Looks like we've come out of another restricted area, like on Culn. Hopefully the people here are friendlier, or at least not members of a death cult.



Judging by all those barrels, it's probably a wine cellar. The stairs up are right there, so let's head up.



And right off the bat, there's someone to talk to. However, you'll have to wait until next time to find out what he has to say. Until then!

By the way, I'm genuinely surprised I didn't encounter any Wretched Worms in the tunnel to Morage, since the game seems intent on proving my memories inaccurate.
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Old 01-06-2019, 11:19 AM
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Yama Yama is offline
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Quote:
Past that is a side tunnel, containing more Insecteri and another copy of Professional Glow. I guess it would be nice if I hadn't done Octavius' subquest, but I did, so it's not.
Of course, if you didn't do his subquest, you'd still have the IR Helm.
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