Sunday, May 15, 2011

Might & Magic II: On the Main Quest

This is what happens when you try to jump steps in the main quest.
When I last wrote, I was about to visit Dawn's Mist Bog Cavern. But it looks like I can't get the Elemental Orb from her place yet anyway, so I retreated and started cleaning up other bits of the map and leftover dungeons. Here are a few final discoveries:
  • I mentioned in an earlier post that there are "message posts" all over the world's surface that give you nonce strings of letters and punctuation. I've found two colors of messages: green and yellow--specifically 4 green signposts and 9 yellow ones. A clue in a dungeon told me how to interleave the characters on the green messages, and they produce the following:
For each individual to become true, see the jury which resides at Mount Fairview. Travel in groups of appropriate class. A robber can aid all others with their task.
Oh, dear. Leaving aside the abysmal meter, the substitution of assonance for real rhymes, and the poor grammar in the final sentence, the real problem with this message is I already knew this! Hell, all of my characters but one already have their promotions! MM1 did this to me, too. These messages are useless. I don't have the interleave code for the yellow yet (I hope I didn't miss it somewhere), and I can't figure it out just by looking at it, but I hope it tells me something better than this.
  • One of my unsolved mysteries was on Map C3, where a voice kept asking for a password. I later realized the password must be "DRUIDS," since letters on the rocks in the surrounding area spelled this word. Sometimes I wonder how I ever finish a CRPG. Anyway, in the dungeon, aside from a bunch of traps, I found some cans of spinach that permanently increased my strength. I also solved a quest for the head druid, but all it got me was the Divine Intervention spell, which I already had.
This is one password that ought to have special characters.
  • In the dungeon of Castle Hillstone, I found a magic pool that, when I drank it, turned all my characters male--permanently. This is not good because there are some creatures that males can't damage. I was trying to figure out how to reverse this when the game solved it for me by having my party slaughtered by warbots (yes, hostile robots are among the monsters you face). When I returned, I didn't drink from the pool again, but I did find a magic well that accepted my gold in exchange for experience. There was one of these in MM1, too. I love this. Now I have an excuse to keep getting rich.
It is hard to imagine real-life adventurers doing this.
  • In a volcano named gemmaker, I found a lot of gems, and not a single combat.
  • I finished the quests for Lord Slayer and Lord Wood. At the highest levels, Slayer wanted me to kill a bunch of monsters around the various maps, and by the time he gave me the quest, I'd already done it. Similarly, Wood wanted me to recover three antique swords, and I already had them in my possession. Easy experience.
There are still a few quests open that I can't figure out or finish right now. There's a location on map B2 where a sign promises a circus, but the circus is never there. A guy on another map wants a cupie doll, and I suspect I need to get it at the circus. A dungeon full of dragons is too tough even for my high-level characters. Finally, I still haven't figured out the name of the guardian pegasus, and I have no idea how to find it. On to Queen Lamanda. She wouldn't speak to me until I dismissed my ninja hireling--the only character not to get his + yet. After dismissing him, she gave me what amounts to the game's main quest (I think). I took a look at the backstory in the game manual again. In the mid-ninth century, King Kalohn went to battle the dragon created by Acwalandar, the water lord. Kalohn had previously used the Orb of Elements to defeat and imprison the elemental lords, but apparently by the time he had to face the dragon, the Orb wasn't at full power. I'm guessing I need to retrieve it from Dawn's cavern and bring it back to Kalohn. But first I thought I'd just pop over and see if I could help him defeat the dragon, Orb or no. I used Lord Peabody's time machine to go back a century. I trudged around the Quagmire of Doom until I found the location of the battle. Alas, I was too late:
"If only you had the Elemental Orb of Talons," the game continued.
I then got slaughtered by the "Mega Dragon" (none of my attacks or magic could damage him) so clearly I need the Orb. From a message in Vulcania, I know I need the four elemental talons before I can get the Orb, so I headed for the first elemental plane: Air. I wandered around for a while, killing elementals, before I found the talon I needed, but I was missing something: Okay. Searching through my notes again, I see that I forgot a message from the Tundara dungeon: "The four discs are needed to get the corresponding talons." Messages scattered about other dungeons tell me that the four discs are in various locations in Castle Xabran, which is in...well, I can't find it on my maps. Ah, but here's a message from a cave in Map E3: "Mystic Castle Xabran, holder of secrets, lies unknown in the 9th century at C2 at 14,8." Thank god I took good notes. Returning to Lord Peabody's machine, I travel again to the 800s (I wonder if there's any point traveling to the earlier eras), and I find Castle Xabran at the given location (it's just a pile of ruins in modern times). Aside from the four discs (which I found quite easily), Xabran had an interesting "hall of spells," which told the locations of all of the spells in the game that you need to "find." How someone from the ninth century knew where spells would be found in the tenth, I have no idea. I also found the interleave codes for the yellow and red messages, which I started finding in the elemental planes (before, I thought there were just yellow and green messages), and a list of all the locations where I can find hirelings (again, in the next century!).
Acquiring the fire disc.
I was wondering how I was going to get out of the ninth century, but as soon as I left Xabran, for some reason I was back in my own time. That was convenient. Armed with the four discs, I made my way to the four elemental planes, slaying each of the elemental lords (I'm not even sure this was necessary)... ...and recovering the talons... This took several hours, so I'm wrapping up here for the night. Tomorrow, armed with the four talons, the todilor, the fluxer, the radicon, and the capitor, I need to storm Dawn's Mist Bog and get that Elemental Orb. It's feeling like the next posting might be a "Won!" posting!


  1. I'm exited to see how the elemental lords tie in with the SF plot.
    Have you tried going back to a different time period just to see what is there?

  2. I noticed that you had mentioned that you have not fully explored the dragon dungeon. If you haven't received a great reward, I would keep exploring until you do.

  3. Some more random notes.

    1. Have you tried revisiting one of the stat-boosting spots after leaving the area it's in? Just asking...

    2. I think you mentioned in an older post that you couldn't get into 3x3 Ground Zero. There IS a way to get into the middle square (and there IS something there... a very nice something), but it's very indirect. Let me know if you need a hint.

    3. The Circus only appears towards the end of the year. I usually finish the game before it does... Dragon's Dominion has some very nice rewards in it, but it's the toughest area in the game.

    4. Apparently it is possible to kill the Megadragon. I've never done it, but I've read some guides with instructions on how to do so. Apparently you're not meant to though, so it breaks the game if you do.

    5. There's one more time-travel sidequest that you seem to have missed.

    6. To get the pegasus's name, you need a particular skill at a particular outdoor spot. Check your notes ;)

    Regardless, you're pretty close to the end. But Dawn's cave is a tough one.

  4. Canageek, I've poked around but so far I've only found the Mega Dragon and some encounters related to a quest that Ziad references in #5. I'll write about it in the next posting or the one after that. Right now, I'm stuck with a problem in Dawn's that's driving me crazy (see tomorrow AND NO SPOILERS).

    Ziad, on your points, thanks for the reminder in #5. I had taken notes about Spaz Twit and the Long One and forgot to go. That was worth 250,000.

    On #6, I'm guessing you mean the linguist skill, and there was something to do with runes on one map that I never figured out. Is the pegasus quest valuable enough to bother doing a brain wipe and re-learning skills?

    On #2, I know that the "Starburst" spell is in the center somehow, but if I teleport there, I just die instantly. I don't need the spell, since I bought an entire spellbook from a guy in a dungeon. But I AM curious how you can get in and out of here alive.

  5. Warned ya about Dawn's ;)

    Yes, it's the linguist skill. I think the reward is pretty small, but you can still do this very simply: take one of the useless hirelings, teach him/her Linguist, read the runes, then ditch the hireling.

    For Starburst, jump/teleport doesn't work. As I said, the way is very indirect, as you need another spell. Which one, and how do you use it? The answer is in Sandsobar.

  6. Looking over my notes from Sandsobar, the only thing I can see that might help is that "Day 93 is Nature's Day." Is the solution casting Nature's Gate on Day 93? Either way, I don't need the spell any more, so there's no point waiting for Day 93 to come along.

  7. Yep, that's the solution.

    I beat the Mega Dragon, but it required some Mass Distortions (one will get through eventually) and a super-maxed out party from the circus.

  8. Has anyone ever beaten the game without fully exploring Dragon's Dominion and earning the reward? I couldn't.

  9. I still don't know what the reward is, but I think I'm ABOUT to win without having done it.

  10. SPOILER:

    It is a massive hit point reward for beating an Ancient Dragon. Most of the time I take Mr. Wizard and a high level cleric hireling.

  11. Thanks, Jasper. I was curious about that. I just won the game without having gotten the extra hit points, though. Now I feel even more boss.

  12. "I had taken notes about Spaz Twit and the Long One and forgot to go."

    The quest for the Long One was the one that showed up in a book on CRPG's that I had read. Were you able to make use of the loincloth +7? (Or whatever it was.)

  13. Not really. I think I had to turn it over to the lord who gave me the quest.

  14. Now I wish I had taken notes as I played the game. Well, I was only a child at the time and all those secret messages mostly flew over my head. But I still feel nostalgic about MM2.

  15. Funny how you complain about already having Divine Intervention, thus not getting any valuable reward from Druid's Cave, while before when you (apparently) bought the spell book you claimed you did not need it, as you had all spells or knew there location...

    1. Funny that you describe as "complaining" simply relating things as they happened.


I welcome all comments about the material in this blog, and I generally do not censor them. However, please follow these rules:

1. Do not link to any commercial entities, including Kickstarter campaigns, unless they're directly relevant to the material in the associated blog posting. (For instance, that GOG is selling the particular game I'm playing is relevant; that Steam is having a sale this week on other games is not.) This also includes user names that link to advertising.

2. Please avoid profanity and vulgar language. I don't want my blog flagged by too many filters. I will delete comments containing profanity on a case-by-case basis.

3. NO ANONYMOUS COMMENTS. It makes it impossible to tell who's who in a thread. If you don't want to log in to Google to comment, either a) choose the "Name/URL" option, pick a name for yourself, and just leave the URL blank, or b) sign your anonymous comment with a preferred user name in the text of the comment itself.

4. I appreciate if you use ROT13 for explicit spoilers for the current game and upcoming games. Please at least mention "ROT13" in the comment so we don't get a lot of replies saying "what is that gibberish?"

5. Comments on my blog are not a place for slurs against any race, sex, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, or mental or physical disability. I will delete these on a case-by-case basis depending on my interpretation of what constitutes a "slur."

Blogger has a way of "eating" comments, so I highly recommend that you copy your words to the clipboard before submitting, just in case.

I read all comments, no matter how old the entry. So do many of my subscribers. Reader comments on "old" games continue to supplement our understanding of them. As such, all comment threads on this blog are live and active unless I specifically turn them off. There is no such thing as "necro-posting" on this blog, and thus no need to use that term.

I will delete any comments that simply point out typos. If you want to use the commenting system to alert me to them, great, I appreciate it, but there's no reason to leave such comments preserved for posterity.

I'm sorry for any difficulty commenting. I turn moderation on and off and "word verification" on and off frequently depending on the volume of spam I'm receiving. I only use either when spam gets out of control, so I appreciate your patience with both moderation tools.