Thursday, July 9, 2020

Amberstar: I Finally Get Things

Oh. Uh . . . great. I'll . . . start . . . using it now.
My fortunes reversed after the last entry, and this one took me a lot of time to accomplish some meager things. I started by exploring an 8 x 8 sub-basement under the wine cellar. I had noted some down stairs while solving the quest earlier. The small area had a chest but nothing else to do.
I thought I would next try the villa northeast of Twinlake that had been owned by a man named Jonathan. He was an inventor, and his son told me there might be useful items there. There were, but I visited too soon. The first time you visit the villa, the game dumps you into the basement via a trap, and you have to search and fight your way out. Since the villa has three large levels, one with numerous sections that don't interconnect, it's a bit of a challenge. I lasted as long as I could, but eventually the orcs and goblins got the best of me, and I had to reload from outside.
One hit to any of my characters will kill them.
Not sure what to do next, I made another round of both Twinlake and Crystal. This was good because I'd missed a few things. Some notes from this experience:
  • After you rescue her cat, Sunny in Twinlake will offer to sell you hats if you talk to her again. They lower your armor class by one, and so far there haven't been any helmets, so it's a good deal.
  • Spike, the dog, cannot in fact join any guild. That must be why his stats are pretty good at the beginning--they're never going to get any better. 
  • There's a house in Twinlake that's presented in iconographic view, like it's important, but I couldn't find anything to do there. More on this later.
  • Although I found Trasric's orb in one of his plants, I had previously missed the owner of the greenhouse in Crystal: a gnome named Olfin. Olfin, like Gwendolyn back in Twinlake, is also seeking the Rose of Sadness. He relates that it was created for a desert princess named Jasmin. It's said to be found only in the "Sea of Peace," which he equates with the Desert of Sighs northeast of Crystal. 
Olfin gives some intelligence.
  • Knowing how to speak with animals didn't help me with the demon-possessed homunculus in the Lord Chancellor's house. It wasn't until after I visited Illien that I realized that the gobbledygook in which he was speaking is actually the game's runic language, decipherable via a reference card that came with the game. (You can understand my confusion: how do you speak runic?) It turns out what the demon is saying is: "MORTALS, LOOK DEEP INTO MY EYES AND SEE THE PAIN MY PRINCE IS PREPARING FOR YOU. NO ONE CAN STOP THE PLANS OF PRINCE BRALKUR. HE WILL SUCK YOUR SOUL FROM YOUR BODY THE WAY YOU SUCK AN EGG." Not to criticize, but the demon should have stopped after "body"; the rest just made us laugh. Anyway, the demon's words turned out not to have anything to do with how to get into the cellar, so that was a dead end.
  • The wine cellar in Twinlake has some kind of lock on one wall, and a wall in the basement of the villa has a similar lock. I suspect they connect if I can find some way to open it. (The fact that they share the same automap is also a bit of a giveaway.) I tried picking to no avail.
  • Breth, the innkeeper in Twinlake, tells us that his brother Orlando, innkeeper in Crystal, is having some issues with his wine cellar, and I should ask him about his PROBLEM. I then forget to do this when I'm in Crystal. Between Sunny and Breth, I've learned that I want to speak to NPCs again after finishing their quests because they sometimes have new things to say.
I return to Firlas, the sage who left his Bone of Wisdom in Twinlake. I correctly guessed that the bone that Spike possessed was the Bone of Wisdom. In return, Firlas--to my surprise--gives me a piece of the Amberstar! I don't know why I expected this, but I still expected that after all this introductory question and party-building, the pieces of the Amberstar were all going to be at the bottoms of a series of dungeons. If a simple fetch quest can produce one of the pieces, perhaps the game won't devolve into a boring slog through 130 dungeon levels.
1/13 done!
I am a bit concerned, though, at Firlas's statement that he found it at the bottom of a river "years ago." If everyone else treated their pieces so carelessly, it'll be a miracle if I actually find them all.
Wasting time in the desert.
Lacking anything else to do in the places I already visited, I start working my way around the continent counter-clockwise. I start with the top of the map, north of Crystal, but I don't find any Rose of Sadness in the desert, and a lot of the area is covered in deadly swamp that I avoid. I do find a bridge that reliably produces a troll when crossing it. So far, the combats have largely been fixed and non-repeatable, and the bridge is the only place I've found where one can reliably grind if necessary. The problem is that the troll offers only 4 experience points and can poison the party members, so it's not quite worth it.
Even with rats and trolls, the game couches poisoning as "casting a spell."
Illien is a small town inhabited by elves. It has a store, herb store, potion shop, food shop, and a temple. The elves call themselves the "guardians of the eyrie"--the home of great eagles to Illien's south. Statues in the town square pay homage to a lineage of elected or appointed guardians starting with Tillien (presumably the town's founder) and continuing until Pelanis, the town's current lord.
The game gives you some flavor text as you enter each new area.
Pelanis relates the town's current situation: A dragon has recently appeared and is threatening the Eagles. The dragon has also apparently laid an egg in its lair. Pelanis wants us to kill the dragon and steal its egg to be raised by the Eagles. The dragon lives in a cliff that I'll need to reach by raft, but Pelanis tells me I can use his, moored on the river to the northwest. He also suggests that we make a trip to the Tower of the Grey Wizard while we have the raft.
In the tavern, drinking morosely, I find Kelvin, a bard whose harp was swindled by a trickster called the Riddlemaster. I know this already because I found the note from the Riddlemaster to Kelvin back in Crystal, along with 5,000 gold that has been funding my level increases since then. Kelvin begs me to buy a ship, find the Riddlemaster's island, and get the harp back. As a reward, he'll give me yet another piece of the Amberstar, which he wears around his neck like it's not one of the 13 most important things in the world right now.
I guess we can't just kill him and take it.
I continue circling the map--there really isn't a lot on it--and eventually come to the town of Gemstone, another relatively small place. Among the standard offerings, it has a tool shop, where I could buy a crowbar if I hadn't found one in the barrel. I do buy a pick-axe, a shovel, and a rope, just in case. NPCs in the hallways warn me to heal illness as quickly as possible (otherwise, it can damage attributes permanently) and to be careful with which spells I choose to learn, as I only get a certain number of "spell learning" points.
Good tip.
In the tavern, I find my sixth companion, a dwarf warrior named Drobanir, who's already Level 6. His inclusion means that my party has become heavily melee-oriented, and I should probably replace Spike with a Grey Wizard and perhaps Gryban with a White Wizard. I need to look in the manual again to see how well paladines can serve in lieu of White Wizards. But I haven't found either of those characters yet, so my party is full for now.
My not-terribly-creative combat lineup.
The armory in Gemstone has a lot of high-end weapons and armor, and I can imagine I'll be back here once I've saved some more money. I assume getting insanely rich in this game is at least possible because there's a gem shop that sells gems whose only purpose is to convert piles of coin into something more portable (something we also saw in Pool of Radiance). Right now, though, I'm swiftly depleting the 5,000 stake I found in Crystal, and I still need to recover that so I can spend it on a boat.
This mithril mail is worth one and a half ships.
For some reason, I become disenchanted with "circling the map" at this point, so I make my way back to Twinlake. On the way, though, I find a house in the middle of a swamp. The map titles it the "guardhouse" of something called a "swampstation." An old man living in the house talks about a "plant" that closed years ago after part of the structure collapsed. There's a dungeon beneath the house, but it's guarded by a magic mouth that requires a password (this was also a common feature in Thalion's Dragonflight).
These are creepy.
By the time I return to Twinlake, I've realized that the "empty" house is probably not empty. Like most other parts of the game, it's probably just time-sensitive. Sure enough, when I wait around long enough, the owner returns. He's a wizard named Shandra. Clearly I was supposed to meet him early in the game, as he gives me a history book that holds the manual's tale of Tarbos and the Amberstar, which I guess I wasn't supposed to read until now, a map of Lyramion, which I guess I wasn't supposed to use until now, and a recommendation that I can find his apprentice in the Tower of the Grey Wizards. He also gives us a bunch of spell scrolls and potions.
I wonder if the original packaging had a clear note saying not to read the tale until you encounter it in-game.
I should have probably headed to the Tower of the Grey Wizards next, but for some reason I decided to try the villa again now that I had Drobanir (also, everyone had gained a level and I had some slightly better gear). It worked better than the first time, although I still had to reload a few times after some disastrous battles. The villa had been abandoned years ago after its owner, Jonathan, died. Orcs and goblins had moved into the place, using it as a base for their raiding parties, intent on breaching the locked door to Jonathan's old laboratory.
As I explored, I fought maybe a dozen battles with orcs, goblins, and rats. The big problem is that at this phase of the game, if the characters just dropped their weapons, they'd still somehow miss the ground. The enemies aren't much better. So round after round creeps in this petty pace as no one hits anything but air. I assume it will get more exciting as everyone gets better and spells become more of an option. Right now, Trasric runs out pretty fast--although he does have an awesome spell, "Tornado," that absolutely wipes the map of monsters. He can only cast it once before fully recovering his spell points, but when his mana is fully charged, I know I can win at least one battle.
Perhaps the largest battle in the villa: two hill orcs, two mountain orcs, two goblins.
The orcs and goblins drop leather armor, clubs, and other items that I could sell if I could carry them all, but I soon run afoul of both encumbrance and space limits. I also start finding so much useful stuff that I end up having to drop most of what I've collected for sale. It kills me to leave so much on the ground because I don't know where else I'm going to get the money.
This stuff is probably worth about 300 gold pieces, and I have no room for it.
Eventually, we find our way to Jonathan's laboratory. A magic mouth requires the name JONATHAN to pass. We then have to pass through a room with a bunch of spinners, and then another one with a bunch of teleporters. Eventually, we arrive at the lab.
The beginning of a teleporter maze.
The trip is mostly worth it. The lab is full of diary pages that describe Jonathan's inventions along with clues to where we can find them. One entry describes the creation of a magical floating disc for Pharaoh Relanukh. It allows easy transport over flat land and still bodies of water. It was buried with the pharaoh in a great desert to the southeast. For his friend Melvin, Captain of the Construction Brigade, Jonathan created a locater device that shows one's coordinates even underground. It was lost in the Gralswamp when Melvin was attacked by subterranean monsters. I suspect this is the swamp that I visited recently, and I now have the password from Jonathan's diary: WATER.
Arriving in the lab.
From a fallen meteor with iron ore, Jonathan constructed a compass, and this was hidden right in his lab. I found it and activated it. Like the watch, it disappeared from my inventory and latched itself to my interface. At this point, I belatedly realized that was how the painting that I found in my house (which distinguishes day from night) must work. I used it, and sure enough, I now have a little diagram that shows a moon and star at night and a sun during the day. It's a bit superfluous with the clock (which properly follows a 24-hour system), but whatever.
Jonathan's diary describes the impetus for making a clock.
Jonathan also apparently created the clock, which I found in the sewers. A chest in his office held a "tunnel key" that I suspect opens the way from his basement to the Twinlake wine cellar (I was far away from it at this point) as well as a "mountain crystal" and a signet ring. The signet ring would seem to belong to the Lord Chancellor of Crystal, who left it behind after consulting with Jonathan about a clock. This might be what I need to get into his basement.
In one basement area of Jonathan's villa was a transporter that took the party to a small island. The island had some useful stuff--potions, scrolls, good equipment on the body of a dead orc, and in a chest, another piece of the Amberstar. The problem is, I can't get back from the island. There's a locked door in a house on the island that I assume has the return teleporter, but nothing I do will get me through the door. I don't know if I need a key or just higher lockpicking skill. So I regretfully had to reload from before using the teleporter. I also left a couple of chests in Jonathan's basement that similarly refused to yield to my lockpicking skills.
Jonathan apparently had a teleporter to a vacation spot.
Up on the main floor, a half-orc cook named Torg gave me some intelligence about the orc and goblin band. He offered to accompany us, but he was just a second-level warrior. I otherwise would have liked to take him. Aided by a lot of resting, we managed to clear out the rest of the orcs and goblins and eventually find the exit from the villa.
I really felt bad not taking him.
Miscellaneous notes:
  • I don't know why I would buy herbs from the herb shop. The manual doesn't say anything about a potion-crafting system, and there are no skills along those lines. Maybe some NPC teaches me later. 
  • The retention of every dialogue keyword in later dialogues has already become unwieldy.
I hope Pelanis didn't have anything to contribute about BALA or GWENDOLYN, because I'm no longer asking everyone about everything.
  • To speak to the elves in Illien, I had to activate my elvish character, Trasric. Later, I found a half-elf named Thaer who was willing to teach elvish to anyone, but for a lot of money. There's a dwarf in Illien that nobody could speak to; I'll have to try again now that I have Drobanir.
  • Major inventory problems already. Most of the problem is that I have too many scrolls waiting for a Grey Wizard or White Wizard to memorize them. (My two paladines can eventually memorize White Wizard spells, but their "Read Magic" skills are too low right now.) It doesn't help that Spike can't carry anything.
  • I like that the game shows the race, sex, age, and level of NPCs while you're speaking with them. 
I won't be messing with Shandra.
  • I like leveling up and allocating skill points. It's quite addictive. I just wish it happened more often. Now that I need several hundred points between levels, the 10 I get from a fight with a half dozen orcs seems relatively paltry.
  • I also like that it makes many of its encounters contextual. Rather than just having to fight eight orcs, for instance, you interrupt them playing dice.
This kind of thing just adds a little welcome flavor to the repetitive textures and enemies.
At this point, these are my quests and leads. I've ordered them roughly by what I perceive to be the ease. Some of the ones at the bottom, I'm not sure I have the right items or information to pursue yet.

  • Use the tunnel key to bridge the wine cellar and Jonathan's laboratory. I'm not sure if I expect to find anything doing this, but the key needs to get out of my inventory.
  • Ask Orlando about the PROBLEM in his wine cellar.
  • Talk to the NPC dwarf on the streets of Illien.
  • Take the raft to the Grey Wizards' tower and recruit Shandra's apprentice.
  • Return to the Lord Chancellor's house in Crystal and try to figure out what happened to him.
  • Go to the Gralswamp and look for the positioning device.
  • Find the transportation device in the pharaoh's tomb.
  • Make 5,000 gold pieces, find a ship, take it to the Riddlemaster, and retrieve Kelvin's harp. 
  • Take another pass at Jonathan's place once my lockpicking skill improves.
I hated leaving this behind.
  • Find the Black Wizard guild so I can level up Trasric. I have a note about coordinates, but I don't know how to find coordinates until I find the device Jonathan talked about.
  • Kill the dragon and steal his egg for the Eagles.
  • Find the Rose of Sadness in the Sea of Peace for Gwendolyn and/or Olfin.
  • Visit Sansri's Insel, an island south of the main continent, find the necklace that can operate windgates.
I'll close this entry with a brief summary of the backstory, since I only got it "officially" during this entry. The story begins from the perspective of "Tar," a human toddler abandoned in the woods as a child. A couple from the pastoral town of Forkbrook adopted him. Bullied mercilessly as a child (he had black hair while everyone else in the village had blond), he became a lonely, aloof young man. One day, while walking in the woods, he met an undead bear that attacked and breathed into him, giving him some kind of power.

Tar returned to his village and used his new power to kill one of his bullies. His horrified parents took him to the local wizard, Latheoz, who in turn took him to a school of magic called the Seekers of Perilous Knowledge. Tar rose fast in their ranks and started courting Princess Mylneh, daughter of King Marakahn and niece of Grandmaster Kantuon.

Tar became the youngest student to ever pass the Master's Trials. For his first trial, he decided to summon a demon, which requires the wizard to actually enter Hell. Usually, demons are summoned from one of the less-dangerous upper levels, but the ambitious Tar descended all the way into the bottom, where he ran into the King of Hell, Thornahuun. Thornahuun called him "Tarbos" and revealed that he was Tarbos's father and that his mother had been a mortal witch.
I realized after writing this entry that I never included a screenshot showing all the interface elements together, so here's one. I assume when I get the locater, it will display coordinates in the middle.
The encounter led Tarbos to delve into forbidden books and scrolls, which got him kicked out of the school. He used his knowledge to summon Thornahuun and bind him, then used his horrific new power to destroy the 13 grandmasters of the Seekers. He raised an undead army and announced his intention to take Marakahn's lands and daughter. As he conquered the northern lands, a dozen wizards (four grey, four white, four black) gathered at Castle Godsbane with Princess Mylneh to create the Amberstar. They used it to banish Tarbos to one of Lyramion's moons, then to seal Godsbane so no one could enter and perform the counterspell that would return Tarbos to the world. The Amberstar, now needed to unlock the castle, was split into 13 parts and hidden. An order of paladines was established to guard the castle.
A thousand years later, the new King of Hell, Bralkur, Thornahuun's brother, made a deal with a dark wizard named Marmion. Bralkur's magic got Marmion through the castle's barriers, and Marmion has begun the counterspell. (Apparently, it takes a long time.) The seal of the Amberstar thus has become a liability, as it needs to be reassembled so that someone can enter and stop Marmion.
It's a somewhat original story but with very familiar trappings. I think a better story would be that the party has been commissioned to find a way to destroy the moon so that Tarbos can't return. Maybe that's what Ambermoon is about.
Time so far: 16 hours


  1. You now have dodged one of two possible dead ends with Jonathan's Island. The other is just as obvious.

    Try shopping with Silk as leader, his Charisma has an impact.

    You can "use" herbs to find out what they do.

    That's already enough tipps, seems like you do fine. You party will probably change as soon as you outgrow Spike.

    1. I believe you can also get deadended if you fall in the villa basement without having a crowbar.

    2. Deadends as in walking dead scenarios? Can't complete game anymore?

    3. Don't know about the "missing crowbar" scenario but you'll be stuck on the island (which is actually inside a crystal ball if I remember correctly) if you don't bring the key. I found the starved orc to be a nice hint, though.

      On the other dead end, I would disagree with sucinum: you get a good idea that it might be a dead end but confirming it takes much longer. Making it much more likely you save in between.

    4. I suppose I don't spoil too much with saying this about the other dead end: the dungeon door closes behind you and you leave through another exit. So you should priorize what you have in your bag when leaving.

    5. @Pedro Q
      Yes. The lost island and the villa are quite evident, as you end up in a very small area with no way out; but if you happen to save there, you are effectively screwed.

      The case mentioned by sucinum is more egregious as you can be cut off from and endgame item, but it shouldn't happen to an experienced player like Chet.

      That said, making regular backups of the game directory is really not a bad idea.

    6. Might want to Rot13 some of that.

    7. As you'll see in my next entry, what I experienced in the Tower of the Black Wizards isn't precisely "walking dead" but man did it suck for a while. Yes, I could have reloaded a backup, but I don't want to lose several hours' progress any more than I want to lose the entire game. Having only a single save game is simply unforgivable by 1992.

    8. This game definitely is making me paranoid about checking that I always have a way out of a dungeon before saving.

    9. I only ever completed the game maybe two thirds, but Black Wizards tower was the one part that I still remember as "that very hard and very annoying bit".

    10. I solved the tower of the Black Wizards with role-playing. After nearly getting killed, I figured Trasric should know who the founder of the guild is, looked it up in a walkthrough, and took the shortcut.

    11. I was pretty pissed at Trasric for not speaking up.

    12. That really sounds a lot more like you solved it with a walkthrough.

    13. I found another walking dead scenario that I don't think is the "second" that sucinum mentioned. In the pharaoh's tomb, you have to collect a series of items and then "use" them in an appropriate place. All of the items are equippable, and one of them is cursed and can't be unequipped. While equipped, it can't be "used." Thus, if you put it on an don't have any way to "remove curse," you can't go forward, and the way backwards is closed.

    14. Oh, I have never been in this situation, since the gold brooch in the sewers I never equipped unidentified items. :(

      I don't know any legit method you fix this. But others.

    15. Son of a bitch. Don't mind me--I just mixed up the gold brooch from the sewers with the Brooch of Gala. That was a lot of hex-editing for no reason.

    16. Oh right, I kept wondering which of those items was cursed, torn between the brooch and the two-handed bow. The uselessness of the Bow of Sobek differs between versions afair, sometimes it's a melee weapon.

    17. Does the second "walking dead" situation happen to involve a whirlpool?

    18. If you finished the pyramid and left with the Amber Piece, you are past it.
      The whirlpool is another trap door situation, but doable. You don't get poisoned in swamps if you avoid the bubbles.

    19. Thanks. It was taking a long time, and I was worried I'd get to the end and still not have the object I needed to return to the main world.

      WTF is with these octopuses? Each battle takes an hour and absolutely exhausts me. For 33 experience points!

    20. They are sturdy and have lots of attacks. No special tricks, but I think some elemental weakness (Mana is a factor, though - and I'm not sure if your party ever experienced a warm bed. That's something I overlooked very long). Seems like you were there quite early. At least you can now use a new transportation device after crashing your ship.
      Attack animations are the worst part of this game. If I could hex edit those out, I'd happily do it. You can speed those up in Albion...
      I usually optimize my starting character and party for speed, so that they are quicker than the enemies.
      Also I use the party grid in a way that monsters have very few attack targets and move only heroes who can't attack. Ranged attacks are totally worth it for that, even the handling of ammo.
      I mailed you some spoilers/information about character class balancing in rot13 a year ago you quite obviously didn't read. This will answer some more questions. Can send again or you can see more details on my website. Guess it's too late to change anything substantial anyways, so you can read after completion. I am confident you will beat the game now either way, you didn't choose the easiest route. And there are some good parts ahead.

  2. If I'm not misremembering (which I might), you can use the chest in your house in Twinlake to store excess stuff.

    1. I think I have tried but the game it doesn't give access to chests once they are empty(including that in your house), in some cases even if you leave items in them. There just not seems to be a "store item" menu option.

    2. You can store items in chests in Ambermoon, I don't think it's possible anywhere in Amberstar. Better only take what you need.

    3. That's one of the many improvements in the sequel, Ambermoon - you can store items, gold and food in any open chest in the game.

  3. I'm a bit surprised about the reported difficulty level. I remember being very happy about including that half-orc from the villa in my party - indicating that it happened rather early in the game. But maybe it was just to have a hand in carrying stuff and not about combat. Has been some years and I don't remember the details. Or is there a version with adjusted difficulty? Like update from German to English version?

  4. "...he found it at the bottom of a river "years ago."

    I hear the Dwarf-lords have seven pieces of Amberstar. You'll find them in their halls of stone.

    " kill one of his bullies. His horrified parents took Tar [Ender] to the local wizard [colonel], who in turn took him to a school of magic called the Seekers of Perilous Knowledge [The Battle School]."

  5. Your passing allusion to classical literature nicely complements your laser focus on classical CRPGs.

    1. Either you're perceiving something I didn't intend, or I dropped it so casually that I didn't remember it. I just re-read my entry, and I'm still not quite sure what you're talking about.

    2. I think he's talking about this line..."So round after round creeps in this petty pace as no one hits anything but air."...Which sounds similar to this one from Macbeth...."Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
      Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
      To the last syllable of recorded time"....that's only guessing though.

    3. Oh, ha. Yeah. I don’t know if I did that consciously.

  6. I really struggled with the early dungeons until I found Drobanir.

    I think all characters return to the place where you found them, with their inventory intact, so you can change the composition of your party later (you're just "wasting" some experience points that way). I finished the game without the white mage (didn't find him until near the end), so it's certainly possible.

    1. What I probably won't finish is Ambermoon, since it started crashing near the end of the game when using an essential form of transportation. If anyone knows how to edit the map position or items in an FS-UAE save state (should have been a warning that you can't save properly in the game package I used), I'd appreciate any help.

  7. "Go suck an egg" is an old-timey way of telling someone to take a hike, but that's obviously not appropriate here. I feel like the odd phrase "suck an egg" could be a reference to Aleister Crowley's Book of Lies, chapter 69 (!) of which is entitled "How to Succeed and How to Suck Eggs", in which case it could be a reference to oral sex (the demon will suck your soul from your body the way that you... you know).

    1. This is a German RPG, so it's probably a reference to making Easter decorations by sucking out an egg (an alternative for blowing an egg, nowadays people do this by using a little plastic injector).

      Martens also like to suck chicken eggs out (apparently a known problem on farms) and there are even weirdos who eat raw eggs by sucking them out.

      I have no idea how much of this is a thing outside of Germany's borders.

    2. In America, at least in my family, the decorated eggs were hard-boiled, kept in the fridge until the day of, and we ate them later. Destroying a perfectly good egg just for Easter seems a bit wasteful.

    3. Well you can still make scrambled eggs

    4. Yeah we didnt drain them for easter egg hunts - hardboiled them - but if you're creating easter ornaments intended to last years, you drain the egg from the shell.

    5. I heard that old folk used to get their protein that way though - sucking a raw egg through a hole in the shell. Not sure of the truth of it.

    6. thus, one assumes, the old saying about 'teaching your granny to suck eggs'.

    7. My old man used to. You can suck an egg out if it was absolutely fresh, i.e. laid by the chicken the same day. Do not try it with supermarket eggs!

      Still, a German friend of mine found it weird, when I did it in her farm.

      By the way, in my country Easter eggs are made of chocolate wrapped up in colorful paper. I think the same is true in many European countries. And I think chocolate eggs taste better than real eggs.

    8. Yeah you get chocolate ones too but for the Easter dinner after fast breaking (well figuratively, hardly anybody really fasts anymore nowadays) is always sweet bread, cured meat and hard-boiled eggs, best you took all of it to church beforehand and let it get blessed by a priest.

      But for the decorative one Tristan meant you hang in a tree or an bouquet of fresh cut twigs you are using the egg shell or plastic ones.

    9. Believe it or not, I too grew up blowing such eggs out after poking small holes on both sides (never sucking) before dyeing and/or otherwise decorating them. That being said, I'm not sure how common this was in the US, even back in the 80s when my family was doing it.

    10. I encountered that in Minnesota in the early 2000s (described as "Ukrainian eggs").

  8. "How do you SPEAK runic?!?"
    Boy, Chet's gonna have a blast with Undertale.

    1. Sure, it will only take him another 20 years or so to get to blogging about 2015. He hasn't even gotten to the introduction of the CD-ROM yet.

    2. By then AddictCorp(tm) will have taken off and he'll be sitting pretty on a private island while interns ghostwrite his entries.

    3. Yeah the methodology will have to change before that happens - but I'm looking forward to Chet experiencing Undertale.

    4. Mmmmmmh, child protagonist, heavy JRPG/anime tribute... everything points out to Chet hating Undertale with a passion :)

    5. Not to mention action-based combat and a lot of really catchy music.

    6. The problem with Undertale is that the experience is let down by knowing anything at all about it.

      Including what its own promotional material says.

    7. Does Undertale count as an RPG under Chet's rules? It satisfies point 3, but if you're going for the good ending it doesn't meet point 1 or 2 at all, really.

  9. The rune translation sheet "works" like the map or the novel, you find it as an object in the game and only then you are "allowed" to use it. As weird as it is, I guess it is a similar concept to the Gold Box games journal entries.

    1. No kidding. All right. Well, so far I don't think translating runic has gotten me anything so far. The homunculus's rantings didn't actually help solve anything, and neither did Captain Brix's note. However, I suppose without being able to translate runic, I shouldn't know the names of the guardians of Illien, which means I shouldn't be able to get into the dragon keep yet. Fortunately, I only just got there, so I'll leave off until I actually find it.

    2. It's not like the game enforces this rule - there is already a language system in place. On the other hand, there are few other hints in which order you should hunt for the Amber Pieces or visit other places and you can try almost everything.

  10. Please get my harp back. I miss it so.

  11. Totally irrelevant, but I read it as "Bridget Roll" instead of "Bridge Troll"... tired eyes! lol



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