The Return of Talking Time

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  #121  
Old 03-04-2018, 08:06 PM
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So here Treehead is, on floor 14, with a sense of déjà vu. Interesting!



As Treehead helpfully explains, this looks like tar. But it’s red?



The scroll says otherwise. It’s mud!



And it seems Treehead can’t cut into it!



Aha! Mud is like tar, except the exact opposite: you can only cut it on the corners, not on the sides. This makes isolated clumps of mud much easier to clear than tar, because you can always get to the corners and can’t leave uncuttable blobs. But there are also some situations where mud can be a hindrance, especially when there are walls around; you can’t cut a path straight through it, like you can with tar, and it can block if you if it stretches across an opening in the walls.



Like tar, it leaves babies when it’s cut or grows such that there would be a single isolated square left. The babies behave the same as tar babies.



This room is just a playground to get used to mud, so Treehead cuts through to the orb and moves on to the north.



2N is a complicated-looking room. It has wraithwings, which return from DROD 1. Wraithwings have peculiar AI; they’ll close to about four squares, then stay at that distance, retreating if Treehead advances and vice versa. If they manage to approach Treehead on two different sides, though, they’ll start to close in for the kill. They’re like slightly dumber goblins. And, as the name implies, they can fly over the void, which can cause some issues for killing them.



This room is straightforward: kill the enemies, hit the two orbs. The only slightly tricky part is herding the wraithwings so they can be killed.



One way is to get them to close in a little, then strike quickly at one, causing the other one to be afraid and run away. Treehead does that to get rid of one of these. Then the other can be herded into a wall and killed.



Here Treehead encounters some of the difference between tar and mud. This patch would be easy to cut straight through if it were tar; but, as mud, he’s got to go all the way over to the right side to make progress. It’s often easier to hug the walls to get through large piles of mud like this one.



The rest of the room is just drawing wraithwings in through gaps in the walls and then trapping them against walls. Treehead finishes it and continues north.



This has a big pile of mud and babies, with a mud mother in the middle. Mud mothers are the same as tar mothers, but with mud instead of tar. Obv. Solving this room is a matter of getting to the mother as quickly as possible, then cleaning up.



Thankfully, there are enough walls here that Treehead can get close in just a few moves. If this were a large rectangular block of mud, he’d have to keep cutting down one entire side of the mud until he finally got close enough to the middle to kill the mother.



I’ll never stop appreciating how the mothers get nervous when Treehead’s sword gets close. Such a nice touch!



2N would be impassible from this side if not for these convenient crumbled walls.



OK, to a new room. Hit all the orbs, let out the roach, kill it.



Due to the nature of mud, many (all?) of these orbs are really easy to get to. One wonders why there’s a bunch of extraneous area to this room.



Anyway, the freed roach isn’t difficult to get to, and this branch off the main path is cleared.



Now this looks like a mess.
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  #122  
Old 03-04-2018, 08:07 PM
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Indeed, it is. The room is all about killing all the mud babies that can get to Treehead, then advancing to a new safe spot before the mud grows again.



Could be worse, though, and it’s not too hard to get to the middle, which makes the rest of the room trivial.



To the north is a room with a choice. Mud first, or roach queens first?



Treehead opts for convenience and takes out the lower-left roach queen on the way to the mud mother. It’s important not to leave the mud mother ahead too long, which would make cutting through the mud on each island very tedious, but as long as you get to it before it grows a couple times, you’re fine.



Further north is the exit, which will have to be saved for later.



Back down to the other path at the fork; it’s more mud! What a shock!



Hit the orb, open the doors, dive to the mother. Tale as old as time, beauty and the beast.



Then clean up the babies and continue forward. This floor definitely gets a bit stale. Floors centered on mud or tar tend to do that!



To the west of that is another mud room, but this one looks pretty simple! The path to the mother is right there, and there aren’t a million babies to deal with.



Well, there’s still some cleanup, but it is pretty simple! Wonder why there’s that orb and scroll over there in the corner?



Huh, even the game and Treehead don’t think it helps any. OK then.

c

North of that, the floor continues its inexorable sprawl with a room that’s about diving into mud to kill a mud mother. But this time, you use a mimic! Crrrrrrrrrrazy!



Again, dive in, get the mother, clean up.



Yeah, you and me both, Treehead.



I guess…



OK, now this one actually looks like a pain. Drop the trapdoors to kill the wraithwing…but they’re scattered all over the room, and some are even under the mud! *sigh*



Making matters worse, a lot of these long strips of mud can’t be cut through without unraveling the lattice, so to speak, by going to the side of the room where they start and cutting them from there. It takes a while.



So let’s fast-forward to the end. I think you can get a sense from the before and after here how this could take a while! I understand this floor is meant to introduce you to mud, and it does that, but it drags on for a long, long, time, and its mud-only nature makes it particularly tedious. Last floor had the much more interesting goblins, and about half the puzzles didn’t involve any goblins at all!



Circling back, 2N2W is The Same As All The Other Rooms: This Time With Trapdoors!



The key to this room is to get to the orb, then the mother, as quickly as possible, but to make sure to leave a way back to kill any babies that have formed. Has Treehead accomplished that here? That bottom-left corner looks dodgy!
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  #123  
Old 03-04-2018, 08:09 PM
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I failed to take any pictures of tackling that corner! Thankfully, though, there is just enough room for Treehead to dive down into that area, clear some mud, kill the babies, and make it back out. If there were only one trapdoor connecting the main floor to that little island, Treehead wouldn’t be able to do it.



Even getting out could be an issue if you aren’t careful! Always think before you trapdoor.



Finally, Treehead reaches 2W, which thoughtfully replaces mud mother diving with roach diving. At least the mud isn’t growing!



Hug the walls, kill the roaches, you get how all this works at this point.



Even the one roach closest to the middle that looks like it might be difficult to reach isn’t bad. Has Treehead at last cleared the floor?



Yes! Back to the stairs, and let’s say goodbye to floor 14 forever!



Where did these guys come from?

Quote:
ORANGE: Like I said, mud is better than tar.

PURPLE: You upstart muddies are all the same. Tar has been and always will be the superior substance.

ORANGE: Comrade tar technician, I respectfully disagree.

PURPLE: Your work skills are lacking! It seems someone even had the map upside-down when they built this place!

ORANGE: Why do you keep bringing that up?
These guys hint once more at something that’s been hinted at a few times: this floor is very similar to one that Treehead has seen before! In fact, it’s very similar to floor 8 of King Dugan’s Dungeon, from DROD 1.0, which had the same exact floor, but vertically mirrored, and with tar instead of mud:



I encourage you to go back through this update and look at how these rooms would have been more difficult with tar. Most would; some would be far more difficult! But a couple would be similar, or more easy. It’s kind of a neat conceit; but it makes this floor far too long, and frankly, not inspired enough, as general puzzling standards improved greatly from DROD 1.0 to 2.0. 1.0 had an entire (large) floor that was just a labyrinth! It was horrible!



But I digress. When Treehead gets close, our friendly tar and mud fanbois quit the level, and Treehead can too. He won’t waste any time at all doing so.



This doesn’t sound good!



At least the exit is close to the beginning!

NEXT TIME: I’m seeing double! Two Treeheads!
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  #124  
Old 03-05-2018, 08:14 AM
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Mud sounds a little easier than tar. I'm surprised they introduced tar first.
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  #125  
Old 03-05-2018, 08:29 AM
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Tar is carried over from DROD 1.0 and mud isn't; I think that's the entire reason for the order of introduction here. That said, they seem similarly complex to me, I don't know. You cut straight through tar and around the outside of mud, and otherwise they're the same. I guess it's easier to make tar uncuttable, but trust me, they've got some puzzles centered around mud becoming uncuttable coming up!

If mud and tar weren't enough, in DROD 4.0 or something like that they add gel! I'll leave it to you to wonder how that could possibly differ from the others. Maybe I'll get to LPing it one day.
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  #126  
Old 03-05-2018, 08:53 AM
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They both seem tedious, and I don't know why they thought it was a good idea to revisit the concept.
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  #127  
Old 03-05-2018, 11:32 AM
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Yeah, agreed. It's a lot better when mud/tar are used as components of larger puzzles, rather than trying to carry an entire floor on their own. As is, it's just the same puzzle over and over again.

Later games get better about not re-introducing old concepts quite so much.
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  #128  
Old 03-29-2018, 02:33 AM
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Holy crap, this is a blast from the past. So here's what happened with mud, because I have a story about how this level came about:

I disliked mud when it was first implemented. I thought it was a dead end, it was a lazy behaviour swap, it was trivial to clear unlike tar, and I didn't think it was worth putting into the game, and made a level demonstrating my distaste for it to try and say 'this is all you can do with this'. It backfired spectacularly.

However, that conversation inspired this level, where mud is introduced as a literal ripoff of tar, including ripping off its introduction level from King Dugan's Dungeon. Because mud's behaviour is quite different, the level plays very differently (and, hopefully, fairly trivially - we deliberately built levels like this mud one that were a bit easier than you'd expect given the progression, so that after particularly taxing levels you'd get a bit of a breather). It also let us hit the theme of the dungeon being made by people who are so caught up in their own structures they don't really notice how they're affecting the world, which becomes much more obvious later and is a big part of the wider setting.
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  #129  
Old 03-29-2018, 06:41 AM
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Neat!

Thanks for the cool insight!
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  #130  
Old 03-29-2018, 10:59 AM
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Agree, that's really cool to know! I didn't know you worked on this. Please feel free to share more insight as we move on through the game.
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  #131  
Old 03-31-2018, 07:46 AM
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I actually mentioned it in the first post when I started this thread long, long ago.

I'll try and remember to pop in; I wrote dialogue, helped with narrative, and I also designed a bunch of level 8, and you can tell I hadn't really designed levels before because they were very much 'here is a cool idea, I did not playtest this'. I have since learned that my game designs get way better after the first playtest.

I don't know what DROD would look like had it been made today (other than having an actual artist); it's a definite flaw in the design that you can essentially 'defeat' a roach horde by getting them in two columns, but then you have to press 30 alternating buttons to actually clear them (or in later engines, the same button, thank Christ). I don't know how you fix that without cutting roach queens.
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  #132  
Old 07-17-2018, 08:51 PM
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And we’re back! It hasn’t been a long time, no, not at all. You remember Treehead, his Really Big Sword, and all these roaches, right?



Well, if you don’t, here’s a ton of roaches! This is what they look like!

This room is pretty clearly certain death for Treehead; well, except for that new potion in front of him! Gonna guess that one will do something interesting!



Whoa, it’s Noir Mode! Cool!

More seriously, this is the placement interface, just like with mimic potions. But this one has a shaded square around the placement target.



Treehead pops it down by the upper roaches, and it kind of looks like a mimic. Except it doesn’t move when he does.



The other difference between this and a mimic is that enemies ignore mimics, but they’re attracted to this one as long as they’re within a 5-square radius from it. And that’s what’ll make this room possible to clear; the decoy (that’s what they’re called, by the way; who’d have guessed?) can block off half of the roaches while Treehead deals with the other half.



As long as Treehead doesn’t get too close to the decoy, that is. Enemies will “wake up” and go for Treehead if he’s as close or closer to them than the decoy is; here, peeling off a few enemies from the cluster around the decoy has trapped Treehead in a corner.



Placing the decoy farther away from Treehead makes the room a lot easier, and Treehead can clear it out with a whole lot of sword-swiping.



Continuing east, Treehead comes across another two-part decoy tutorial. On the top, he needs to lure the roaches out so that he can kill them, and on the bottom, he needs to prevent the roaches from swarming and killing him once he clears the tar. Can you figure out where the decoys should be placed?



The top one needs to go where it can lure roaches out of the pen on the right, then Treehead can draw them across the force arrow. This placement works nicely.



As for the bottom decoy, it’s easiest just to bottle up the roaches at the source, then charge in and kill them all in their pen.



As with mimics, there aren’t any direct repercussions for killing decoys, so stab away!



Decoys again! Don’t be fooled by all the bombs; the immediate issue is, again, how to prevent being flanked by roaches. It’s not tremendously difficult.



Block half of them with a decoy, yada yada. The room can’t be cleared from here, so Treehead moves on to (hopefully) more interesting pastures.



Of course, “interesting” can also be a curse…darn golems, always clogging up tight passages and such.



Six decoy potions are provided, along with six obvious places to put them; in the little vertical offshoots from each of the main channels. Just make sure the decoy’s sword isn’t pointing back up the channel! I think we can all see where this room is going.



Treehead needs to kill all the golems somewhere where they won’t block his path. This means killing a few of them in each of the little central chambers, killing some down each of the side passages, and killing some in the area where all the golems start.



The tunnels make it easy to lure the golems in with each decoy, then pop back in to kill the golem.



Fast-forward, and eventually there are few enough golems left for Treehead to finish off the rest in their lair.



There are still almost too many, but not quite.



The path onward leads back through 3E, which seems to be a sort of hub for the floor.
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  #133  
Old 07-17-2018, 08:52 PM
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Ew, wubbas. Come on, fifteenth floor, can’t you have some rooms with just roaches or something?



This is somewhat of a step in the other direction as far as enemy annoyance goes! The good news is that it looks like this room needs to be done while minimizing tar growth, so Treehead won’t have to deal with a constant stream of babies like in a lot of tar mother rooms.

Six decoys and one mimic to clear out the other side of the room. Where do they go?



The mimic will hit the orb in the upper-right, which will toggle all the doors. So the decoys need to set up each little chamber so that no enemies get trapped behind the doors. So far, so good with the upper-left two chambers.



Here’s a stab at the whole thing. That lower-right chamber looks iffy; everything else should be OK, as long as Treehead lets the tar grow once.



But that spawns an unreachable baby in the lower-right. Pretty sure we’ll need more than one decoy down there. At least everything else was fine.



This is worse! Now top-middle doesn’t work either.



OK, fixed the top. This is a good blueprint for those first two.



So close!



Finally! This looks promising!



Still good after killing the tar mother. Now it’s all about steering the mimic around to finish off each of the little chambers. Which can be done pretty easily by pushing the mimic off the walls, since Treehead has a lot of room to move around in.



Uh…this may not work after all. There’s no way to get at that roach behind the wall. Dangit.



Try getting stuck NOW, roaches!



That does the trick. Finally, everything is clearable, and Treehead can move on.



To a fresh hell that jiggles like Jell-O.



This is fine.



The trick here is to get as many wubbas to surround the decoy as possible, then loop back around and try to drive-by the rock golems. As long as there aren’t more than 15 or so wubbas following Treehead, he’s pretty free to move around where he wants.




A couple of surgical strikes later, the room is cleared…but Treehead still has to get by a corridor filled with wubbas to get out. Joy!



The first few enter on their own, but Treehead has to enter the corridor to draw the rest out. This means scraping as many as possible against the nearby wall so that he can pop in and out without being surrounded.



It takes a couple more loops to clear them out.



Now, back to the bomb maze, this time from a side it can be cleared from.
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  #134  
Old 07-17-2018, 08:52 PM
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The mimic drops the trapdoors near the start and is then free to clear out the upper and lower roach clusters.



Given the limited maneuvering space, this is easier said than done. Treehead can’t get the mimic in with the lower roaches because of all the bombs. So he gets the mimic to the top, and then will have to light the fuse and have a mad dash to the checkpoint to clear out all the bombs without dying.



Not even close! This turns out to be one of those times when sword direction matters a lot; up-right when lighting the fuse just isn’t going to cut it. What’s better than that?



How about up? Treehead can light the fuse…



…switch to up-left to get through the first half of the maze quickly…



…then switch to left to get through the second half.



But, with the bomb about to go off, he’s one step short of safety. Where is that last move that can be trimmed out?



I’m not sure! But it got done!



Then a little push from the west exit gets the job done.



To the south! Which…ugh. There are three decoy potions that Treehead needs to use to block enemies from going over the arrows; two mimics in the southwest and the third in the northeast. But he can’t reach all the potions before enemies begin spawning, and the decoys can’t cover all the area, so he still needs to get through the room quickly, before the enemies can overwhelm the decoys and sneak out of their luring area. It’s really tough and took many, many restarts.



Decoy 1 goes to block the upper two roach queens.



Then there’s barely enough time to get to and set the second before enemies in the lower-left get to the arrows. But…then what about the upper-right? Yep, restart time! One of the first two decoys has to go in the upper-right, and the other has to block the whole left side.



Maybe here, if Treehead can run down quickly enough to make sure all the left-side roaches get snagged by it?



Nope, too aggressive; the roaches from below kill him.



Leaving the upper roach queen alive is floated and quickly abandoned as a terrible idea. Treehead moves way too slowly when he’s constantly being flanked.



New idea: let the bottom roaches get to the arrows but no farther. This should catch the maximum amount of roaches from the upper-left.



Nope, Treehead is too close to them and they lock on to him instead!



Same issue with this placement.



At last, something that will let Treehead reach the third decoy potion! Oh frabjous day!



With the third decoy in place, Treehead can work his way through the corridors. Which is, of course, still a slog.
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  #135  
Old 07-17-2018, 08:54 PM
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Once he reaches the northeast chamber, he can take out the things inside it. But the left side is getting worse and worse…



And, if you take too long, this happens. At least there are checkpoints!



Some careful optimization later, Treehead is finally on the path to glory!



Haha just kidding. As Treehead nears the last room, a roach latches on to him and sneaks behind the arrows. Gotta place those decoys better! And do the damn thing again!



FINALLY! I’m skipping the rest of the cleanup because I’m sick of posting screenshots of this room, while skipping a hundred others.



To the east, everything looks simpler. Though there are a whole bunch of wraithwings hiding in that background!



And oh yeah, also a conversation in the bottom-right!

Quote:
1: A slayer is calling for help. Says there’s some trouble heading down to the Empire. The cunning delver, Treehead Woodfist…

2: Say no more! I’m on it!
Somehow I feel more needed to be said.



Anyway, back to the puzzle. Use the decoy wisely to distract the wraithwings!



Then kill a bunch of them!



Kill the others!



And trap the rest. Wraithwing-only rooms are often easier than they look. Though “runs away when alone, swarms you when in numbers” sounds intimidating, their AI is kind of wonky, and you can often escape from situations where you’d be clearly dead if the wraithwings were roaches instead, since they’ll decide to flee for a turn or two when they shouldn’t. Goblins are the much more dangerous intelligent enemies.



Next is another quick trip through wubba-land, avoiding going over the arrows.



And then…wait, stairs? What about that “clear the level” door back at the very start?



Oh well, to the puzzle it is. First Treehead walks the line of the arrows, and draws out a bunch of the eyes doing so. But how to get the last two and continue, with only one decoy potion?



Easy! Get both eyes to see the decoy and wake up, then lure them out! And then it’s down the stairs and onward.



To the next level, the fourteenth. Wait…



…what?

NEXT TIME: Zero Steps Forward, Two Steps Back
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  #136  
Old 07-18-2018, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerad View Post

There are still almost too many, but not quite.
Maybe I'm not understanding all of the mechanics here but couldn't you have killed more of the golems in those little chambers in the middle and/or near the tunnels along the right?
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  #137  
Old 07-20-2018, 06:20 AM
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I probably could have killed one or two more in each of the chances, as well as one up at the top. If I lured any more into the tunnels, though, I wouldn't have any way of getting out!
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Old 07-31-2018, 08:46 PM
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Down the stairs to 13 again goes Treehead. Stupid goblins and their backstabby ways.



At least the entryway is well-decorated. And Treehead can always go right back upstairs, correct?



Well, not without getting insulted! 13 was the goblin floor the first time around, so it stands to reason that it still is.



In we go to a fairly simple puzzle. How can Treehead get the snake out of its chamber so that it can be killed? He can’t, so something has to go in; and it’s not hard to guess what that is.



Hit the orb, lure the goblin up…



…and jam the goblin into the snake’s chamber. Guess there’s some use for the crafty goblins! Pop in quickly to kill the goblin, and Treehead can move on.



To see the Goblin King once more, and what’s more, Halph! Unsurprisingly, there’s a bunch of dialogue here!

Quote:
HALPH: Unka Woodfist!

GOBLIN KING: Hodeyho, Woodfist! Gots my money?

TREEHEAD: You know there’s no gobbin’ money.

GOBLIN KING: Ha, ha, ha! Yez yez, I liked to tire you some just for jokes. Now we gonna kill you up good. Cuz I hates you sooo deep, Woodfist! I hates you deep as pits!

TREEHEAD: Never trusted you anyway.

GOBLIN KING: But little Halphie, bouts him I tell you a secret: We knows not to touch him. He gots immunity. He’s marked so any neathlum sees it. We don’t killum.

TREEHEAD: What do you mean?


At this point, the conversation pauses, and Treehead is free to fight off some goblins. The two goblins surrounding Halph are plot-related, but the rest will track Treehead; it’s important not to let too many come down to Treehead and overwhelm him.



Even two goblins at a time are tricky to handle. The only way I know is to use a wall to herd them into a corner, then kill them there.



The next lone one is much easier to kill, once lured out.



Once Treehead gets close enough, the king takes off, and the conversation resumes:

Quote:
GOBLIN KING: Stow our Halph away, brother greenskins!

HALPH: Don’t worry Unk, I’ll be fine.
And they take off. There’s no catching them; they move one step for every step Treehead takes, and they have a head start.



Just…be more careful than this about not getting ambushed by the remaining three active goblins at once.



Either that, or lure them into this handy section, where only one goblin will come in at once and can be easily dispatched. After them!



To a small interstitial room. In a nice touch, goblins will periodically walk along the little path in the southeast, going about their regular business. It makes it feel a lot more like there’s an actual goblin town down here.



It’s imperative to keep these goblins in the vertical corridor they start in. The first two are easy to dispatch using the other two as a wall to prevent them from retreating.



But the other two won’t die so easily. Looks like Treehead will have to lure them out.



This time, the corner lets Treehead trap one goblin against the other. It’s a tricky little room for only using about an eighth of a screen’s real estate!



OK, what fresh hell is this?



Letting the goblin out prompts another conversation!

Quote:
TREEHEAD: Hey, clammypants! What are you doing in there?

GOBLIN: Don’t shisk me up, Butcher Woodfist! I tastes nasty. I sits rumblish in your stum, but snakes don’t know it. So I helps you fool some.

TREEHEAD: (Hmmm…I’m not trusting anothing gobbing goblin. I bet I don’t even need to clear out those serpents.) Keep on moving.
Treehead’s right; the room is pink and so it doesn’t need to be cleared to complete the level. He can continue on to the right with no issue. But they put a puzzle here, so why not take a go at it?



This is another “lead the goblin to the snakes” puzzle, just like a few rooms ago. But this one is a lot more complicated due to all the arrows. Let the goblin get across those arrows – or even on most of them – and it’s gone, the room is unfinishable. It’s a real test of your goblin-herding skills, which of course are typically near-nonexistent at this point.
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  #139  
Old 07-31-2018, 08:47 PM
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There are two ways to lead a goblin around: with the goblin leading, and with Treehead leading. With either method, it’s easy to move in straight lines: get your sword pointing directly at it, and move straight toward/away from it. The goblin will follow like it’s on a string.



It’s also easy to shift the goblin in the perpendicular direction by stepping diagonally away from it, in either case. Here Treehead moves northwest and the goblin mimics him. These two types of movement would be enough to lead the goblin anywhere in a large, wide-open room, but definitely are not enough when taking corners with force arrows as in this room.

It’s also possible to swing the goblin around 90 degrees, either when it’s leading or following. To do so, turn your sword one direction away from the goblin, then back toward the goblin until it’s facing the goblin again. Here, after Treehead and the goblin move two squares east to get clear of the force arrows…



…Treehead can swing his sword counter-clockwise, then three times clockwise to get the goblin pointing down towards the bottom snake. Then he can force the goblin on at sword-point.



There’s a problem down at the bottom, though. There isn’t enough room to turn the goblin around and get it into the snake chamber. Is there another, more advanced maneuver that Treehead can use to get it in there?



Well, it wasn’t that one.

Quote:
TREEHEAD: Ack, stupid goblin got away. I bet he was planning that all along. I’ve got more important stuff to do anyway.
No you don’t, liar. Back to the checkpoint!



After some trial and error, Treehead gets the goblin turned around by standing just east of the checkpoint, turning the goblin almost all the way above him, then taking a few steps southwest until he can complete the turn and get the goblin following him. Now he can back down to the bottom.



With the goblin behind Treehead, it’s a simple 90 degree turn right and a few steps to get the goblin in with the snake.



Wham, bam, dead snake, and Treehead can retrace his steps to get the goblin back up to the checkpoint.



Now to go along the much more difficult-looking windy path to the second snake.



Treehead and the goblin do a little do-si-do around most of these corners. It’s kind of cute!



After a while, Treehead gets the goblin to the point where the passages get even tighter, and he’ll have to get even more creative. As you can see from this screenshot, it is possible to recover from getting the goblin on the inner corners of the arrow path, as it can move diagonally off them.



But Treehead sees no way to get the goblin through with it leading, and has to go back up and turn around.



Better. With this orientation, Treehead can backtrack through the arrows below, with him and the goblin both stepping on and off corner arrows, to get through the choke point.



Like so.



A spin gets the goblin around the next corner…



…but some inventive maneuvering fails after that. Back to the checkpoint (sigh).



OK, we’re back. A straight turn won’t work here, as it’ll get the goblin stuck on the arrows above Treehead.



So instead Treehead gets himself and the goblin north 1 square, then moves a step southwest, to produce this result. And we’re back in business! From here, the turn can be completed as normal.



And Treehead can ram the goblin home. Whew, that was tough.



The goblin, of course, gets killed for its troubles. Not sure if this is what it had it mind when it told Treehead it could help him trick the snakes…in any case, the north door is now open!
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  #140  
Old 07-31-2018, 08:50 PM
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Gerad Gerad is offline
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And it leads to a secret room, where there’s a man with a mysterious message. But wait – the stairs are open! Down we go!



Oh boy oh boy oh boy!



Drat. Guess that guy knew what he was talking about. Maybe Treehead can explore this place someday.



Back up he goes. It wasn’t that weird, just some stripy walls. In any case, Treehead proceeds to the east of the snake arrow room, as he could’ve the whole time.



Yikes – an overwhelming amount of goblin guards. How can Treehead avoid certain death?



By using their curiously rickety bridge against them, of course. Leaving a gap like this will let Treehead lure one goblin at a time out, where he can dispose of them trivially. On to the east he goes.

(Incidentally, we’re back to territory that Treehead got a glimpse of the first time he visited the 13th floor.)



Here’s that goblin fort again. But this time – wait, is that Halph?

Quote:
GOBLIN: Killum! Killum fierce with scratch and tooth!

HALPH: Unka Treehead, I’m over here!

TREEHEAD: Don’t worry, I’ll make short work of these goblins.

HALPH: What? Don’t kill them!


Sadly for Halph, Treehead only knows how to do one thing, and that’s kill things with his Really Big Sword. Each of these little chambers has two goblins that test the limits of Treehead’s goblin-herding capability, so he has to tackle one chamber at a time.



Or in this case, four goblins. How can Treehead handle these?



Definitely not like this!



Opening the door, then immediately closing it again is a much better solution!



After that, Treehead can continue hopping one room at a time.



For some reason, this door is trapdoor-locked instead of orb-locked.

Unrelated: in a cool touch, the goblin over on the far right is a prison guard who constantly paces up and down.



Until Treehead gets over to him, at which point he finally realizes what’s going on.



He bails and closes the door behind him. What’s worse, the goblins have constructed a Treehead-proof door! If only there was someone around who could open doors; if perhaps that were his only skill…



Nope, not here!



Nor here!

Incidentally, this purple guy, normally an NPC, can be killed for some reason, while the seep below, normally an enemy, can’t be killed. Go figure!



Ah, here we go.

Quote:
HALPH: Grobus, Grimbolt, Merky…all dead. Wisco will never tell another joke about how ugly your mother is. Brollup will never carve another wooden lampshade. Boy, am I glad to see you.

TREEHEAD: What good is a wooden lampshade?

HALPH: Well—

TREEHEAD: Let’s go before the guards bring reinforcements. Why are you waiting around? We gotta go!

HALPH: You killed all my new friends. This is horrible!
Attaboy, show him you emotional intelligence, Treehead.



Despite his protestations, Halph has no qualms about letting Treehead out of here.



There he is! The king!

Quote:
GOBLIN: AAHHHHH!

GOBLIN KING: Wutza? You sposed to be puddling up dead.

TREEHEAD: Come here, kingy. I want to have a word with you.

GOBLIN KING: I thinks you wants to have a blade through me.
Ah man, he didn’t fall for that one.
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  #141  
Old 07-31-2018, 08:51 PM
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Gerad Gerad is offline
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Even sprinting as quickly as he can, Treehead can’t catch the goblin king before he closes a door behind him.



He can follow him north through the other door, though!



Get him!



No can do, though. The goblin king escapes, presumably to kidnap and befriend someone else’s nephew.



The room south is just some simple roach-killing and goblin-luring: nothing you haven’t seen before. And Treehead trudges back up the stairs. Halph appears to have stayed behind in his jail cell, but he’ll probably turn back up again. He has a way of doing that.



How apropos!



Don’t mind me, just walking on the clouds.



Yes, yes, we get it.



And we’re back to floor 15. But the blue doors aren’t open yet?



Of course! Another puzzle!



Some easy roach kills, heading to the last roach…oh, cool, another pair of messengers!

Quote:
RUNNER 1: Hey, (puff, puff) Runner #339! Message (puff) for the Empire! The delver (puff) Treehead Woodfist is (puff) trouble. Slayer says (puff) he’s cunning. Send (puff) help.

RUNNER #339: Did you say-

RUNNER 1: Get going, before he gets down here.
Amazing that Treehead can get down here as fast as these guys, running down their little paths.



Well, this is just one step slow. And Treehead didn’t even waste any time! Guess he’s gotta try a different approach from the beginning.



OK, sword SW. After a little bit of waiting at the start, the roaches are placed just right for Treehead to move through, killing one a turn.



NW, NW, SW, NW kills these guys.



But still, just a step late.



Once more, with feeling!



Compare this to a little above, and you’ll see Treehead is in better shape. Avoiding that wait at the start of the room has made a difference!



Come on…



This time, Treehead is just in time, and the snake is trapped. This is a cool little room, keying on those small optimizations that can be made, even in starting sword position!



And with that, we’re on!
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  #142  
Old 07-31-2018, 08:51 PM
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Gerad Gerad is offline
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Well, I guess we know what enemy type is getting introduced this time!

NEXT TIME: …

Wait, hold on a second. What about that blue door, back at the beginning of the 15th floor? You know, the one with the cracked walls behind it?



Backtracking…backtracking…good thing Halph is still hanging out in his old jail cell here…



Right, that one!



This is intimidating. OK…let’s just pretend we never delved this deep.

NEXT TIME: Has anyone who made this game ever even seen a snake?
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