|Arriving at the last castle.|
I'm sure everyone thought my comments in the "Final Rating" posting for Drakkhen were just lip service, and that I had no intention of playing it to the end. But I did give it a try.
On Saturday morning, I was messing around with Space, but I had Drakkhen running next to it. I found an area in which to sit and grind and see if I could get a couple more levels before attacking the Prince of Water again. As I mentioned before, it's easy to grind in this game because the characters attack automatically. You just sit around and wait for enemies to show up and the characters start wailing on them. The only danger is that the characters might die, either from an unusually tough enemy or from an accumulation of combats, but I was in a relatively low-level area.
As the day dragged on, I forgot that Drakkhen was running. When I got back from my Christmas shopping, I realized that my PCs had been grinding for nearly 12 hours. My fighter had died at some point--early on, given his low level--but everyone else was up to Level 18! (They had been Level 10-12 when I left.)
|Berowne can kill anything.|
That turned out to be enough. The Prince of Water died so quickly I didn't even get a screen shot.
|Price Hakkahen's subjects, looking very non-Draconian.|
With his tear, I went on to the pyramid of the Prince of Fire, which was a bit of a pain. There were scattered clues about the area that let me to believe I needed to enter at a particular time of day, or be facing a particular way. I couldn't quite decipher them. It turned out to be a facing direction (roughly north) that finally got me into the castle.
|"Fire and death?" All the other princes just got an element. What makes this guy so special?|
The castle itself wasn't too hard for my high-level characters. In one area, there was a suit of armor that boosted my fighter's AC over 100 from around 80 before I found it.
The bearded guy showed up again and said that he'd "infiltrated" the castle.
There were a couple of other odd NPC encounters. Eventually, I found the Prince of Fire's throne room, and with about as much difficulty as I had killed the Prince of Water, I slew him.
|An odd dragon that correctly knows how to use a semicolon.|
After that, nothing happened. No one showed up to congratulate me, or to give me the next stage of the quest even though I had all eight tears. I wandered around for a while, trying to find someone to tell me what to do, to no avail.
Sick of the game, I broke down and read through several walkthroughs, but they weren't really any help. They all said that the endgame takes place at that flashing dragon road that kept killing me, but every time I visited, the dragons just attacked. (Ironically, my mage and priest, with their "Shield" spells active, are now capable of killing them.) I even tried one site's suggestion that I remove all my equipment before stepping on the path, but that didn't do anything.
|He won't speak to us, so we'll just kill him.|
A couple of the walkthroughs suggested some "priest" (the bearded old guy?) was supposed to show up after I killed the Prince of Fire. But I replayed it several times, and he simply doesn't.
If anyone has any suggestions, I'm open to them, but beyond that, I'm done with the game. If you want to see the ending, YouTube has the Amiga version and the SNES version. It doesn't really clarify anything. Four dragons show up and cast some spell on the 8 gems to create the Ninth Tear. They say some nonsense about returning order to the world and send the party back to their own lands with a warning to stop killing dragons. As with the rest of the game, any tie-ins with the back story presented in the manual are extremely thin. The bearded priest and the "escaped human" are left a mystery.
I am glad I kept playing for one reason, though: I popped over to the inn, and flush with cash, I got a lot more tips. This one explains (sort-of) the demon dog's head that pops up every time you run into a grave marker:
I didn't see anything in the last act to change my rating. On to the next game, for good this time.