Monday, October 5, 2020

The Summoning: Terrible Swift Sword

Warmonger awakens.
          
After my last entry, a lot of commenters suggested that I ought to have found out more about Warmonger. I haven't been feeding WARMONGER to most NPCs, which was probably a mistake, but I realized that I was carrying a bunch of NPCs with me--the sorcerers' skulls. Only two of them allowed dialogue keywords, and only one (Firefang) had anything to say about the sword. He only said that it was the only being that could teach me the "Mending" spell, which I will ultimately need to put the two pieces of the Staff of Summoning back together.

Reluctantly, I equipped the sword and started using it in the combats in the Crimson Domain. The first time I struck a blow with it, against a griffin, the sword spoke to me. It related that it was rusted and weak from a lack of blood, but if I would "feed" it in battle, it would grow in power. Every time it "leveled up," it would teach me one gesture of the "Mending" spell. He also said he would need to be at peak power to defeat two sentient swords that guard the entrance to Shadow Weaver's quarters. He also confirmed that Abighael was the daughter of the God of Magic, not Borel, but that Borel and Abighael regarded each other as father and daughter regardless. When Borel disappeared in his failed quest to end the danger of the DarkSpyre, Abighael was devastated. "Thus was her hatred of this world, and its people, given birth. In the years to come, her hatred would only grow stronger."
        
Warmonger remembers Borel.
     
These lines, plus later information from another NPC that Shadow Weaver is female, strongly suggest that Shadow Weaver is Abighael, but that ruins my theory that Abighael is Rowena. Also, multiple other NPCs refer to Shadow Weaver as male, including Warmonger, who seems to know a lot about it. I have to say, this game has done a much better job than DarkSpyre in creating a real interest in the plot.
     
Anyway, once awakened, Warmonger was capable of a base 60 points of damage. I figured I'd better use it exclusively until I had all the "Mending" gestures because who knows how many enemies that will take. Although the sword "leveled up" several times over the rest of the session, giving me four letters of the "Mending" spell, the damage never increased. I think maybe it started swinging a bit faster, though.
        
Warmonger improves . . . but at what cost?
        
If you don't mind a little digression, all this business with Warmonger got me thinking about sentient swords. They seem to be a big part of my life these days, what with having recently created one in Ultima VII and re-reading about one in Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive books as I gear up for the release of Rhythm of War in November. I think I first encountered the concept in the Dungeons and Dragons module called White Plume Mountain, which introduced the famous Blackrazor. You will wonder how I know this when I've always protested I never really played much tabletop D&D, and the answer is I don't quite remember. I think perhaps a friend had the module and we either role-played it with no character sheets or dice (I wonder if there's a word for this) or just read it like a novel.
    
I understand now that the concept goes back at least to the novels of Michael Moorcock. The common theme among all of these sources is that a sentient sword is by nature an evil sword, and using it is a danger. Even the friendly Nightblood from the Sanderson books will suck you dry if you wield it too long. But what also occurs to me is that sentient weapons always seem to be swords. I don't think I've ever read about a sentient morningstar or glaive-guisarme. (I don't doubt they exist, and I am soon to be educated in the "comments" section.) This goes along with another trope that I've noticed, which you might call something like, "The Supremacy of the Sword." (The TV Tropes entry called "Heroes Prefer Swords" is close, but not exactly what I mean.) Dozens of games suggest that your character can specialize in any weapon, and perhaps they can, but all the cool weapons are swords. There are plenty of exceptions, of course, but they're notable as exceptions. The Summoning is not an exception. No matter how much you might prefer to level up with axes, eventually you have no choice but to spend much of the second half of the game with Warmonger.
       
Three griffins, about to die.
      
Back to the game. The first level I explored after the Green Domain was the Crimson Domain. Early on, I met an NPC named Mael, a former master swordsman who had lost an arm. The amputation was punishment from Balthazar from an unspecified offense. Mael told me that Shadow Weaver was keeping Balthazar's soul in a glass Decanter of Lost Souls, and that if I want to defeat Balthazar, I'll need to free him by smashing the Decanter.
   
The Crimson Domain was basically a group of small areas accessible from a "transportation hub," a group of teleporters each behind a locked door, each door requiring a different key. The puzzles were relatively easy. I had fun with one puzzle involving two rolling balls, both of which I needed to coax onto pressure plates by using other plates to start and stop them and change their directions. It would have been more interesting if it were truly necessary, but the same plates could be weighed down by corpses of enemies (griffins, on this level) that I dribbled over to them. A lot of this game's puzzles are like that. Later on the same level, I spent a lot of time weighing down pressure plates to activate a teleporter, and all it did was return me to a place I'd already been.
         
I'm seeing pressure plates and rolling balls in my dreams.
          
I had to double-check that, however, because around this time, the game started introducing the theme of double-destination teleporters. That is, the same teleporter leading to two destinations, alternating every time you step into it. I'm not sure I like that. I suppose it's no less deterministic than a one-destination teleporter, except there are a lot of teleporters in the game, and having to check all of them twice is becoming annoying.
   
Elsewhere in the Crimson Domain, a man named Ogotai sold me a djinni bottle for 10 gold pieces. Jera was appalled at the price, but I was dancing in my seat at the thought of freeing up so much inventory space. The djinni, Rukn, appeared when I rubbed the lamp and said that Ogotai had been lying; that by giving up the lamp, he had "freed" the djinni. But he was an honorable djinni and granted me a wish anyway. My choices were a Figurine of Resurrection, a Bag of Lightness, a Cloak of Invisibility, Rancor (the magic sword), a suit of elven chainmail, and knowledge. I frankly already had most of these items (though Rukn accidentally told me how to use my Figurines of Resurrection), and I think it's pretty clear that in most cases like this, you're supposed to choose knowledge. 
        
Why didn't I just try "MORE WISHES"?
        
Unfortunately, Rukn just reiterated that to foil Shadow Weaver's plans, I would need to seek out the skulls of the 8 defeated sorcerers. He said that one of them would tell me of Warmonger, which I had already figured out. Finally, he offered:
 
In the end, you will have to make a choice. The right decision may not be clear. But after you have made the choice, everything shall be made clear. I hope, for the sake of others, your choice is made wisely. Beware of another's words . . . 
   
The culmination of the level was a fight with the Crimson Knight. I had learned how to use the Figurines in just enough time, because I used one in the battle. I eventually killed him with a combination of "Lightning Bolt" spells and Warmonger, with a couple of "Freeze" breaks before the end. I took his medal form his corpse.
        
       
The Crimson Domain held the exit from the area, including the slots in which I would need to insert each knight's medal. But I still needed the Ebon Knight's medal, so I returned to the Green Domain and took the exit to the Ebon Domain.
    
The Ebon Domain started with a teleporter maze, and I'm a little annoyed that they screwed it up. The maze consisted of 9 identical square-shaped rooms and two cross-shaped rooms. Each room had four teleporters, each one connecting to a different room and some of them double-destination teleporters. I had to make my way from beginning to exit.
    
I have solving this kind of puzzle down to a science. You made a node map of each room and its destinations and use dropped items to mark and name the rooms. If you don't want to have to spend a lot of time picking up items, you save, spend a lot of time making the map, reload, and traverse it a final time for real, with no need to drop anything on the last pass.
        
The game ruins a good puzzle.
      
Unfortunately, the developers must have decided that the maze was too hard. Right at the entrance, they give you an NPC named Vortigern who gives you a map to the maze. The map is actually printed in the manual, but Vortigern's parchment reminds you to consult that page. The page has all of the teleporters, including the double-destination ones, already annotated. You just have to follow it dumbly. I don't know why they'd screw up their puzzle that way.
    
After a few easy assassins, the level brought me into combat with the Ebon Knight, easily the hardest battle in the game so far. I couldn't last more than a few blows in combat with him, so I tried hitting him with missile weapons and spells from afar, then "Freezing" and fleeing when he approached. This was hard because he is quite fast. Early in the battle, I managed to blast him with a poison globule from the sword "Rancor." Eventually, he accidentally stumbled into a teleporter going back to the entrance. I followed him there and found him dead when I arrived. Either something about the teleportation process killed him, or poison killed him shortly after he arrived. No matter; I grabbed his medallion and his head and returned to the Green Knight.
       
The Ebon Knight pounds me while I stop to take a picture.
      
I had expected betrayal, but the Green Knight took the Ebon Knight's head and gave me his own medallion. 
         
Thanks. I hope your movie eventually gets released.
       
With all five medallions in hand, I returned to the Crimson Domain and opened the door to the map called End Four.
         
I suspect the "appointed time" never comes no matter how long you wait.
     
Rowena approached as I entered the new area. She said that Shadow Weaver probably had his piece of the staff in his quarters at the top of the citadel. She said there were two ways to get there: the main gate and the sewers. She suggested the sewers would be the harder choice, but that either way, once in the citadel, I should not enter the "lowest region" because there are "unspeakable horrors" there.
          
So what you're saying is, good grinding opportunity.
     
I started to map End Four. It appears it's going to consist of a lot of back-and-forth between the main level and its basement. In the basement, I found a dwarven armorer named Steelsmiter, who said he would make me a suit of magical plate mail if I found a strip of leather, a chunk of iron ore, and a chunk of mithril. Later, I ran into a dwarven miner named Earthborn who said he'd trade a chunk of mithril for an enchanted battleaxe called Mithras.
     
I started to explore more, but the Ebon Domain gave me the seventh skull, Pale, who also told me about Balthazar and his Decanter. In the final room of the Crimson Domain, I picked up the skull of the sorcerer CloudBurst. Between the two of them, I had the final gestures needed for the "Gateway" spell, and I was curious to try it out. 
      
Tearing a hole in the fabric of space and time.
      
The spell opened a portal to a map called "Otherworld One." The building has blue walls and transparent floors, showing a field of stars all around us. I soon found a man sitting on a throne, and he introduced himself as King Evermore. He knew of my quest for the Staff of Summoning, but suggested that he and his people are True Neutral in the affairs of those from our plane. I could have the staff if I could find it.
      
This may be a dumb question, but what is your term of office?
     
After a few light puzzles, I ran into Qasar, a fanged humanoid. He and his brother were each charged with guarding a piece of the Staff of Summoning. Each half of the staff was transmuted into some other object, and only Qasar and his brother know the "Alteration" spell needed to change it back. Shadow Weaver killed Qasar's brother to get her piece of the staff. Qasar is the only NPC so far to refer to Shadow Weaver as a "she," but he suggests it's more complicated than just him being right and everyone else being wrong. "When the time comes, Jera, you will know. Remember that things are not always as they seem." Anyway, Qasar is bound only to show the "Alteration" spell to one of his own kind, but he suggested that within the walls of the fortress is the solution to the paradox.
         
Shadow Weaver needs to put a gender pronoun line in her signature block.
        
The rest of the level included balls of lightning as enemies and a couple of puzzles where I had to find two Kano runes and two Eyes of Sight (fortunately, the level provided them) to pass. As I wrap up, I'm in the middle of another teleporter maze, this one not annotated in the book, so it's becoming a bit of a challenge. 
         
These didn't look like "creatures" at first.
         
I learned three new spells. Scrolls in the Crimson Domain gave me "Bounce Fireball" and "Zap Away." The former seems to be a regular fireball that bounces off walls if it misses; the second temporarily teleports enemies away. I suppose I could use it instead of "Freeze." An NPC in the Ebon Domain taught me "Magic Skill," which improves all the magic schools temporarily.
     
Encumbrance is a thing of the past. Now that I'm using Warmonger exclusively, I got rid of my extra swords (though I kept other weapons for leveling). I also found a second Bag of Lightness, and of course I can use "Gateway" to get to the lobby of Otherworld One whenever I need to, so I can use it as infinite storage.
         
The sequence for "Magic Skills"
        
Leveling has essentially halted. Jera is exactly where she was last time with magic and weapon skills, and she's still a "Warder." She did gain one level each in the magic skills and has maxed out her leveling in healing magic, of which she is a "Master." I think this has more to do with Perth runes than actual advancement.
   
I'm enjoying the game quite a bit and there's no question that I'll see it to the end, even if the blog suffers a bit from repetition. This is why I play two games at once.
    
Time so far: 31 hours
   

49 comments:

  1. I hope you haven't cast Gateway while in Otherworld, IIRC that can make it impossible to leave.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, and on a more positive note, a lot of what you've mused about in this entry will feed into the ending in delightfully clever ways. Seriously, this game has one of the most ingenious endings in RPGS.

      Delete
    2. This is the warning I rot13'd before. NEVER cast Gateway in the Otherworld. When King Evermore teleports you back, he teleports you to the location of your last Gateway spell.

      Delete
    3. I can't imagine why I would have cast the spell in the otherworld, but I appreciate the warning.

      Delete
    4. It just the paragraph about encumbrance made it sound like you might have already started using the Otherworld lobby as your closet while still being there.

      Delete
    5. It is entirely plausible to cast another one thinking it will port you back (that's how I discovered this, even though it was something like my fourth playthrough). Or to cast another one to get back to the starting location when stuck (instead of Gebo/Teleport).

      Delete
  2. Yeah, when a game gives you a bunch of specialisation options, choosing anything but 'swords' feels like it's just going to reduce the number of cool/relevant gear you find. For games set in higher-tech worlds the equivalent is 'rifles'.

    The best sentient weapon is of course, Megatron ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "The best sentient weapon is of course, Megatron" - Lexx would like a word.

      Delete
    2. Well...that took me on a journey. Don't recall ever hearing about that show.

      Delete
  3. trivia: Lawrence Schick, who wrote White Plume Mountain, was the Loremaster for Elder Scrolls Online until last year.

    I read through all the Talking Weapons listed on TV Tropes and it does seem like sentient non-swords are either science fiction (like talking guns) or played for humor (like a talking slingshot named Steve in the first Dark Cloud game). There's apparently a sentient axe in Order of the Stick but I haven't read that far in yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I recall correctly, the sentient axe in OotS was a one-off joke in a print-only bonus strip anyway.

      Delete
    2. The Sentient Axe is a very very minor point, then. I've read everything 3-5 times. Apparently, it's only in the bonus section of printed book 5. I'll try to see if I can find them.

      Delete
  4. IMO, my favorite talking weapon is Sledge Hammer's .44 Magnum.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What do figures of resurrection even do?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When you use it it allows you to revive after beign killed

      Delete
    2. Specifically, you have to "use" them, which causes them to disappear, and nothing obvious happens on-screen, but the next time your health bar makes it to 0, it automatically regenerates.

      Delete
  6. The earliest reference I can find to an intelligent weapon is the Singing Sword from the Ulster Cycle of Irish Mythology. It also appears in the Prince Valiant comics (starting in the late 1930s).

    I'm not sure how intelligent it is beyond singing. According to TVtropes, this concept has never been taken seriously after Prince Valiant (such as one used in a Bugs Bunny cartoon).

    And the trope you're looking for, of the best weapons always being swords, is SwordAlmighty. And yes, intelligent weapons are overwhelmingly swords.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great. Now I'm imagining a sword incessantly bellowing: "SHE'LL BE COMIN' ROUND THE MOUNTAIN WHEN SHE COMES!"

      Delete
    2. Another early talking sword appears in the Finnish Kalevala, though it only gets one scene. Here in Kirby's translation:

      Kullervo, Kalervo's offspring,
      Grasped the sharpened sword he carried,
      Looked upon the sword and turned it,
      And he questioned it and asked it,
      And he asked the sword's opinion,
      If it was disposed to slay him,
      To devour his guilty body,
      And his evil blood to swallow.

      Understood the sword his meaning,
      Understood the hero's question,
      And it answered him as follows:
      "Wherefore at thy heart's desire
      Should I not thy flesh devour,
      And drink up thy blood so evil?
      I who guiltless flesh have eaten,
      Drank the blood of those who sinned not?"


      Delete
  7. About teleporters. They generally kill enemies if you step in the teleporter right after them (I suppose you're teleporting inside them which is probably a mess). A handy way to dispatch difficult to defeat mobs like the Ebon Knight, but unless you're desperate this is not advised because you receive zero experience for defeating them in this way, and experience is limited in this game.

    Revisiting impaled wizards can reveal new dialogue.

    The Ebon Knight's teleport maze was likely 'ruined' to ensure the game would be much more difficult for those who copied the game and didn't possess the manual.

    You get some experience for advancing skills the normal way, but not advancing by using runes. Runes like Mannaz and Perth then become much less valuable as they seem to be. Since at this point in the game you'll be scraping for experience to advance levels.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I think the same. Teleport maze was meaned like a copy-protection thing, because it is quite impossible to pass it without manual. Of course if you don´t solve it in the same way how Addict did. I was quite proud on myself, when I came with this solution at my 15 or 16 :-)

      Delete
  8. Tolkien began writing the story of Turin Turambar in 1917, which features an intelligent sword Anglachel, later renamed Gurthang. Here's what it says, from the Silmarillion: "Then Beleg chose Anglachel; and that was a sword of great worth, and it was so named because it was made of iron that fell from heaven as a blazing star; it would cleave all earth-delved iron...but as Thingol turned the hilt of Anglachel towards Beleg, Melian looked at the blade; and she said: ‘There is malice in this sword. The dark heart of the smith still dwells in it. It will not love the hand it serves; neither will it abide with you long.’"
    And later on it speaks: "And from the blade rang a cold voice in answer: ‘Yea, I will drink thy blood gladly, that so I may forget the blood of Beleg my master, and the blood of Brandir slain unjustly. I will slay thee swiftly.’"

    This is based on an epic from Finnish mythology with a similar sword which also speaks. Cursed swords that must perform evil deeds are featured in Norse mythology. The story of Turin Turambar is in a separate book now, The Children of Hurin, which I strongly recommend!

    The original publication of D&D only had options for randomly generating intelligent swords, not other weapons or items. Interestingly, it seems an intelligence and alignment was to be rolled for every magic sword. There were also no cursed weapons or armor other than swords.
    "SWORDS: Among magic weaponry swords alone possess certain human (and superhuman) attributes; Swords have an alignment (Lawful, Neutral, or Chaotic), an Intelligence factor, and an egoism rating (as well as an optional determination of their origin/purpose)." (from the Monsters & Treasure book).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I think of cursed swords, the first one that comes to mind is Tyrfing. Whenever you draw it, it must shed blood, which leads to unfortunate deaths of people you didn't want dead if you're quick to anger and draw your sword as a threat.

      Delete
    2. The swords produced by the Japanese smith Muramasa have as similar legend.

      Delete
    3. It's not so an uncommon trope, also sometimes implemented as honour code. Like the Crysknifes of Dune.

      Delete
    4. Seems kinda overkill (literally) to kill someone just to draw blood, when you could just as easily nick a finger ;)

      Delete
    5. These aren't your 'just the tip' kind of swords.

      Delete
  9. Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos books (and the associated Phoenix Guards series) have semi-sentient weapons of any type. Usually swords, but there are daggers and even a chain. Of course, they require you to kill someone to make them, but...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course, the chain eventually turns into a (shape shifting) sword. Great books?

      Delete
  10. Just encountered Lilarcor while replaying BG2. A jackass subversion of the trope of talking swords being evil?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, I'd forgotten about him. Now I remember, but I don't remember where you get him. By the time I get to BG2 again, it will be like a new game!

      Delete
    2. It'll be a delight to read when you finally get back to it... in a decade or two. After 15 years or so since I played it, my own memories of the game were pretty scattershot. Lilarcor was one of the three things I remembered, though.

      Delete
  11. I worry this newfound appreciation for isometric RPGs will last about as long as it takes for Chet to reach Shadoworlds on that upcoming list. At least he found one he sorta likes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If Shadoworlds still has the unkillable rats from the original, expect a very short experience.

      Delete
    2. Even if the appreciation for early 90s isometric RPGs is temporary, there definately shouldn't be issues by the late 90s

      Delete
  12. Good job on the Ebon Knight! A very nice telefrag a year before Doom was released.
    The trivial solution is to use a Dagaz rune.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Ebon knight is a huge difficulty spike, Chet got off easy.

      With no Dagaz left, it took me probably a dozen tries at least, depleting all my best stuff.

      Delete
  13. I suppose making a compact to never manipulate the bodies of your foes for puzzle solving purposes would be surplaying. :)

    I wonder if you're going to bump into your samurai-armoured character from The Legacy after going through the dimensional gateway and wandering around the Otherworld.

    ReplyDelete
  14. So glad you are enjoying the game Chet; I always bring it up when talking about forgotten gems. When I was a teenager I got Darklands, Wizardry 7, Might and Magic 3 and this game almost at the same time and I couldn’t stop playing it until I finished it. It was probably my first 50+ hour game and I always remember it fondly

    ReplyDelete
  15. The alternate teleporter is by far my most hated trap in the game, and the main cause of walkthrough checking on my part for later levels.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Maybe this is personal preference, but I love it when games let you use things like enemy corpses to get around puzzles. If anything, it's way worse when there's a logical solution to a puzzle (like, say, put some other weight on the pressure plate!) that doesn't work because you haven't done things exactly the way the game designer wants you to. (and the absolute worst is when there's a logical solution, and you figure it out, and its the correct solution, but the game doesn't recognize it because you were supposed to go find the journal entry or talk to the NPC or whatever that tells you the solution to the puzzle before you can do it yourself.)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've been playing along for a change, since this game has been in the backlog since '93 or so, and my solution to the Ebon Knight was Freeze spell followed by a Dagaz (Zap Away) rune I'd been hoarding.

    The Crimson Knight is actually far far easier. Freeze him near that plate, and then run to the other side of the wall. He'll wander back and forth, hopelessly trying to reach you through the wall while fireballs fire away, chipping off his life.

    End 4 has the best armor in the game, which greatly reduces incoming damage. It's a pain in the arse to traverse, and I ended up screen shotting the two maps, and leaving the images open next to the DOSBox window to get through.

    Once you get Warmonger, you no longer need any weapons. There's little point to downgrading just to level your other skills.

    I've taken a different path though, having not cast Gateway yet. I continued on, and then found that I was short of gold later and had to backtrack, possibly all the way to the Green Knight's level, to find a gold piece. Oops.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought "Zap Away" just teleported the enemy to a nearby place. It actually kills him instead?

      Delete
    2. I miswrote my notes. It's actually a spell of slaying from the Dagaz rune, not Zap Away. My fault; I wrote those notes ages ago, and I think I've never actually cast many spells other than Freeze, Kano, and Liquidfy.

      Delete
  18. Can anyone (rot13) confirm if Warmonger is actually needed for anything, and if so can you just use it when the time is right (using other weapons throughout the rest of the game) or do you have to have leveled it up. Forcing the player to use a badass talking sword named Warmonger that gets stronger by drinking blood comes off as... a little puerile and betrays what appears to be otherwise fairly-level-headed plot and writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You must level it up, because you need that Mending spell, which nobody else can teach you. I am not sure, what would happen if you would find that spell in some walkthrough, but that is not regular way how to play the game. Probably it needs to be leveled up for something else too.

      Delete
    2. Without spoiling anything, yes, you need to level up Warmonger. Since it's also the best weapon in the game AND doesn't break, it's not a bad thing to use, and you'll have it maxed out long before you'll need it. Talking to Warmonger when it first wakes up will tell you about why you need it beyond mending.

      Delete
  19. Damn now you're making me want to give this another shot.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hey! Replay and beat Wizardry IV! You did it for Knight of Diamonds and Legend of Lylgamin, now it's Return of Werdna's turn!

    ReplyDelete

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.

3. Please don't comment anonymously. It makes it impossible to tell who's who in a thread. Choose the "Name/URL" option, pick a name for yourself, and just leave the URL blank.

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?"

Also, 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.