Sunday, May 1, 2022

Lands of Lore: Enemy Mine

A beast that elicited more of a WTF than an LOL.
     
This is the penultimate week of classes at the University of Chester (not to be confused with the actual university of that name in Pennsylvania), always a very busy time, and three nights this week, I've managed to fall asleep in my office chair with Lands of Lore on the screen in front of me. Some evenings more than once. But each of those nights, I've eventually woken up and continued playing until too late, so the game does have a kind of grip on me.
 
As this session began, my team wandered into the Urbish Mines. We were out again in minutes. The upper level of the mine consisted of a long corridor connecting Opinwood with Upper Opinwood. There was one door. Behind that door was a slug creature called a  Lahrkon, which is not in the manual. It had a tremor attack that damaged both health and magic and wrenched our weapons from our hands. This was fine because even when held, the weapons seemed to do no damage to the creature. Neither did any of our spells. 
     
I was so sure this was the solution to one of our riddles that I held up the flask to it but I got nothing.
           
Conrad and Baccata fled out the other side of the mine, expecting to find the solution to the beast in Upper Opinwood. What they found instead were a lot of giant hornets, plus walking-dead enemies called molders. The hornets were particularly copious, respawning at four "nest" locations and choking my backpaths. "Freeze" took care of them, but it was almost impossible to find anywhere to rest and restore spell points. 
   
The hornets' nests had honey, though--I just had to hold an empty flask up to the nest. I know this is a fictional world, but I must point out that hornets in the real world do not produce honey. 
   
The two enemies in this area.
       
As we reached a northern part of Upper Opinwood, Scotia suddenly alit on the path in front of us, transformed into an old crone, threatened us, and erected a magical barrier to keep us from progressing any further in that direction. Unfortunately, "that direction," as she intimated, holds the very tower on which we must put together the elixir. 
 
Scotia is one of the few RPG bosses who can follow through on her threats.
    
I have to admire how well the game makes you feel like you're part of an ongoing narrative. Most games establish the enemy in the backstory but then leave him passive until you show up to kill him. Lore perhaps goes too far in the opposite direction, making you feel as if you're losing ground with every dungeon you complete. The main quest has followed this evolution:
  
  • Find the Ruby of Truth to counter Scotia's Nether Mask and kill Scotia.
  • Find the elixir to heal King Richard, and then (presumably) kill Scotia.
  • Find the four ingredients for the elixir, make the elixir, find the four keys needed to lower the magical barrier around King Richard's body, find King Richard, then apply the elixir, then kill Scotia.
  • Find the four ingredients for the elixir, find some way to lower the barrier blocking access to the tower where we have to make the elixir, make the elixir, find the four keys needed to lower the magical barrier around King Richard's body, find king Richard, then apply the elixir, then kill Scotia.
   
The next evolution of this type of system is to give the player some kind of agency in whether, how, and when these plot developments occur. Even modern games don't do a particularly good job of that.
 
Scotia seals off part of the forest.
     
I mapped the rest of the area. There were several tree stump treasure chests that delivered various weapons, armor, silver crowns, and other upgrades. One of them was a jade necklace that increased one character's thief level by 1; another was a green skull that turned out to be important. I had already found a green skull in "lower" Opinwood. An exit from the far western side of Upper Opinwood connected with the Gorkha Swamp, making this entire area a square.
   
I didn't find anything that explicitly dealt with the Lahrkon, so I returned to the mines and tried again with the usual weapons and spells. When they failed, I fear I had to Google for a hint. It turns out that the skulls are usable items that cast an acid spell, although for some reason they deplete your mana bar in the casting (other usable magic items don't do that). I should have thought to try them, but I assumed they were either junk to weigh down pressure plates (like all the other bones and skulls in the game) or solutions to some kind of puzzle. It took about six uses of the skulls to kill the creature. I had to run outside and rest to restore mana in between.
     
The skull's acid finally dissolves the giant slug.
     
Beyond the Lahrkon was a stairway down to the rest of the Urbish Mines. The first level held the mine's offices, and it was full of desks with miscellaneous papers and notes and amusingly modern-looking file cabinets. Tool inventories and monthly quota sheets hung on the walls, along with signs that said things like: "Notice: Only one meal per day! No exceptions for dwarves!"; "Sickness is no excuse! No work, no pay!"; and "Thomgogs do NOT get double pay!" In other words, the developers did a modest amount of world-building, which is always nice to see. One of the desks had a "Fireball" scroll.
   
Searching one of the desks on the mines' office level.
      
Monsters were these giant lobsters crawling along the ceiling. I was surprised that, like the Lahrkon, it is not mentioned in the manual. Neither were some of the other monsters I faced later in the mines. I had been gauging my progress through the game by the number of monsters I'd encountered, and before I had entered the mines, I had figured I was about 50% through the game because I'd met 50% of the monsters in the manual. Now I don't have any idea.

We found a clerk working in one of the offices. He said that everyone else had fled the mines a year ago "when the monsters invaded the mine," but he'd been trapped by the Lahrkon. We said we were looking for "a friend who may be in the mines," which was news to me. I don't remember anything specific that told us to enter the mines except that they were literally the only place to go. Searching my past entries, I realized that King Richard's knight Paulson had vowed to clear the Urbish Mines of monsters, and that, in fact, the Urbish Mines are where Scotia had found the Nether Mask in the first place.
      
Nice to see a man with priorities.
     
We picked up a mining pick and a helmet on the clerk's screen. By the time we finished with the first level, we were way overloaded with equipment, so I took the time to wander two maps back to Gorkha Swamp to sell a bunch of stuff. I made a full circuit through Upper Opinwood, Gorkha Swamp, and Opinwood, and there were a few places in which I got swarmed with hornets. I also had to reload once when I was killed by a pentrog. While in Gorkha Swamp, I paid the hermit for the last clue, which turned out to be to collect the swamp water itself.
    
At this point, I have all of the clues and 50% of the reagents.
    
There were four more mine levels to explore, but narrating in linear order would be boring, as there was so much backtracking. I think I spent as much time in the mines as in the entire game so far.
      
Little giggling weirdos attacked on the lower levels.
     
There were several types of new and old enemies. There were little worms that attacked fast but didn't do much damage. Iron grazers are small, round enemies who spit acid and destroy armor, so you have to (annoyingly) strip the moment you hear them. The easiest new enemy type were these small giggling things (again not in the manual) that sound annoying but weren't difficult to kill. The hardest were "avian worms," flying flatworms with toothed heads at both ends that respawned so fast I got completely stuck in a few areas because I couldn't kill them fast enough to get past them.
      
Flying worms overwhelm me.
       
Somewhere in the middle were "lightning jellyfish" who usually weren't very hard but occasionally managed to zap us for 50% of our hit points.
        
Electric jellyfish.
    
Finally, we met some tough rock creatures that were the source of the blood we needed for the elixir. At first, I tried holding up an empty vial to the blood splatter the creature left when it died. That didn't work. Neither did holding up the vial to a living monster. Eventually, however, one of them dropped a "bloodstone," which is clearly what I need. That's three out of four reagents.  
         
Rock beasts.
     
Puzzles were equally hard. There were a lot of keys to find and doors to open, pressure plates to weigh down, buttons to push, illusory walls to pass through, teleporters to activate, walls to attack with picks, and pits to both use and avoid. Several puzzles used wheels, including one that required me to interleave three messages to determine what order to spin the wheels.
       
A pile of rocks I must use a pick on.
  
One corridor dead-ended in a square that, as the game told me, was full of gas. I had to intuit that the way to progress was to cast a "Fireball" down the corridor, making the gas (and, thus, the nearby wall) explode.
       
Hitching a ride on a mining cart.
    
There were a couple of fun puzzle setpieces. One involved a mining cart that would take us in three different directions depending on what levers we had pulled. Another involved a water pump way back on the first level. We had to find a gear to repair it and coal to fuel it before it would pump out the water blocking a key stairway.
      
Just like my furnace at three o'clock in the morning.
       
The mines culminated in an encounter with Paulson. He'd set up a little office in the lower mines and was reading a book when we found him. He joined the party and brought his "key" to unsealing the spell around Richard, as well as something called "Vaelan's Cube." He also led us to a stash of equipment that he'd hidden nearby. Finally, I had three party members again.
     
What are you even doing? I thought you came here to clear this place of monsters!
      
Paulsen joined the party at fighter Level 5, rogue Level 2, and mage Level 3. At this point, Conrad and Baccata were both at fighter Level 5, rogue Level 2, and mage Level 4. The mines hadn't been difficult enough that I felt I needed to spend any time "grinding," but I did want to spend some time answering a few questions:
  
  • Does throwing daggers increase rogue skills even though they're listed as "melee" weapons, or do I need to throw weapons that are explicitly throwing weapons, like stars?
  • If throwing weapons don't cause a visible blood splatter on enemies, are they doing anything? Do they increase skill even if they don't cause damage?
  • Do missile weapons increase rogue skills even if you're adjacent to the enemies when you use them?
   
I went back to lower Opinwood to test these questions on orcs and pentrogs. It turns out that non-"missile" weapons do increase rogue skills, but only when they do damage. Meanwhile, I'd been neglecting a pretty powerful crossbow called "Valkyrie" because its "might" score is low and I wasn't sure it worked in melee range, something I could have tested a long time ago.
       
Good exercise.
    
One thing that annoys me is not knowing how much damage my weapons actually do. I've been assuming that their value is tied to the "might" score that they provide, but clearly that's not the case for missile weapons, and I'm not sure that some of the other weapons don't have special abilities not accounted for in that score. I don't know why Dungeon Master-style games are always so obtuse about giving you information about your equipment. This is doubly true about the few magic items that I've found, the uses of which I've had to guess or be told in the comments.
   
We went back to the barrier in Upper Opinwood. Paulson didn't have anything to say about it, but I assumed Vaelan's Cube would be the solution, and I was right. After a few uses, both the barrier and the cube were gone. Later, a monster dropped a second Vaelan's Cube.
      
The barrier warps and dissolves.
     
We fought through more giant hornets and exited Upper Opinwood to a new map, Yvel Woods. There, we met a new foe--giant, armored creatures that I would call "orcs," but they have piglike faces and this game has made it clear that its orcs are more ape-like. There were several versions of the creature, differentiated by color (this is true of most of the enemies, but as we've discussed, I'm so unattuned to color that I often don't notice or don't differentiate even after I do notice). An easy variety of these foes lulled me into a false sense of security, which was broken when they started slashing away half my hit points in one blow. I got completely trapped by the bastards several times and had to load much earlier saves. They were completely immune to blunt weapons and barely responded to most spells.
        
Damn these bastards.
      
In the northwest, they were so thick I couldn't get through them. I had to keep retreating to rest, during which time they easily replenished their numbers. A sensible player would have explored in a different direction or lowered the difficulty level, but I spent about two and a half hours stubbornly trying to clear the damned things, retreating, resting, and trying again. My characters all gained at least one level in each of their classes during this process. I was swapping the crossbow among them, and a couple of them gained two rogue levels.
   
I finally broke through the pack only to find that what they were guarding was the bridge to Castle Cimmeria, Scotia's headquarters, and they immediately demolished it as we approached. Thus, except for the grinding, the experience was largely a waste of time. I turned around, kept exploring, and found my way to the white tower where presumably we have to make the elixir. I still haven't found "Mother Earth," though.
     
Maybe they'll rebuild it by the time that we're actually ready to go there.
       
Aside from the frustration of the last couple of hours--which I suppose I can't really blame the game for--it was a fun and challenging session. I've mostly made peace with its linearity. The only way it could really go wrong at this point is to drag on. Another 8 hours would be acceptable, another 5 just about perfect. I'll know by next time.
   
Time so far: 18 hours
 

73 comments:

  1. "There, we met a new foe--giant, armored creatures that I would call "orcs," but they have piglike faces and this game has made it clear that its orcs are more ape-like."

    Maybe I'm missing something, but your NPC calls them orcs in one of those images.

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    1. Yes, noticed that, too, in the last screenshot. The LoL wiki calls these new tougher guys "Great Orcs"
      (https://lands-of-lore.fandom.com/wiki/Great_Orcs)

      as opposed to the 'regular' Orcs
      (https://lands-of-lore.fandom.com/wiki/Orcs_(The_Throne_of_Chaos)).

      @Chet: The entries contain details about their respective health/HP, immunities, weaknesses, damage, 'to hit', 'dodge', XP etc. and list their locations, in case you (still) consider any of that potential spoilers.

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    2. The NPC isn't necessarily referring to the creatures we fought in the forest. He's referring to the orcs that cut the bridge in the cut scene. But fine, "great orcs" for the forest guys, then. Busca, thanks for the links but, yes, I do consider them spoilers.

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  2. Those mine puzzles are better than I remember, and I like using Fireball for that solution.

    I never figured out the green skulls myself; I dealt with Lahrkon by luring him to one end of the tunnel, then walking around through the forest and entering from the other end. You can then make it thru the door he's guarding before he gets there.

    Scotia leaving a barrier, the same thing happens in Legend of Kyrandia. It's funny to see how these games likely shared a designer.

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    1. I can’t decide if the barrier thing is great or lazy. As in adventure games, a lot of puzzles are essentially barriers: The troll won’t let you pass unless you give him a fish; to get out of the airport you need to use your briefcase computer to make a passport. Using a physical barrier feels like they couldn’t be bothered to mask it; but at the same time it does half work as meta-commentary on what these things are. It just simplifies it down to the basics

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    2. Meh, if I wanted meta-commentary I would go play Stanley Parable.

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    3. I came to the game remembering some of the "this monster can only be hurt with this weapon", so the inventory puzzle take on the monster was something that I expected. So it was not hard for me to find out.

      The automap also made the hidden button puzzles a bit irrelevant tbh.

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  3. "One thing that annoys me is not knowing how much damage my weapons actually do."

    Let us know if you have a list of specific weapons you want us to give you the stats / details for, either open or in ROT13. I know this subject has been discussed on this blog before and I'm in the camp that usually prefers to have them revealed to you directly, too, and not through copious testing and note-taking for each of them, as much as that might be considered more 'realistic'.

    If you really love a game and don't have anything else to do, maybe, but usually I do have enough other things to occupy my time with, including the rest of the elements of that game and many other games.

    As the manual says, some weapons are magical or have hidden advantages - even if their pure attack stat (reflected in the character's 'Might' score when equipping them) might (hehe) be lower than others'. On the Crossbow 'Valkyrie' (if you haven't found out yet), the wiki says (ROT13'd): "Fubbgf sveronyy gung nyjnlf uvgf".

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  4. Some weapons increase protection in addition to might, which you can easily find out by equipping them. Generally speaking, picking the weapon which provides the best might/protection will serve you well. When you do little damage in spite of a high might score, you're probably up agains a monster with a resistance. You seem to have used a maul against those rock beasts, a sword with an equal might score would have done almost no damage.

    The White Tower was where I got stuck when I played this as a teenager. Replaying it a few years ago, I finally got past it and I found it the best part of the game. I'm not sure if playing it on ferocious will be any fun, though. Hope you remember what you read in the library.

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  5. "Lahrkon", huh? My friends and I had all kinds of more creative, and expletive-laden, names for it when we played this back when it was published. We tried everything we could think of to kill it, except, apparently, the green skulls. Having replayed it now, it seems designed to sell the cluebook.

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    1. I'd guess the developers just expected the players to try using the green skulls like a magic item at some point (right-clicking with the item on a portrait). It's just that many players seem to not associate a skull with that purpose, in contrast to a magic wand or the Vaelan's Cube, for example.

      Lands of Lore shares developers with the Kyrandia adventure series (such as producer Rick Gush and lead artist Rick Parks). Maybe they didn't think about the fact that RPG players are not used to "try everything on everything" like adventure game players do. (I exaggerate.) (But only a little.)

      As others pointed out, it's also possible to bypass the monster, or to kill it by throwing weapons, IIRC (which is very tedious, though).

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    2. To be fair, Kyrandia also has some really bad puzzles by adventure game standards. I'd chalk it up to inexperience (not with the RPG genre, but inexperience in general).

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    3. No, Kyrandia puzzles weren't specifically bad - the design was, because it was an adventure game done with a crpg mindset, hence the dead ends, the limited inventory and the randomness (without clues) of where to find certain objects or which ones to use.

      There is something that is said over and over again about adventure games and the "moon logic" as if that is the problem of the genre. No, the problem is not adding enough clues or text or guidance. If a nail cannot be used with a wooden plank but a nail straightened before with some pliers can, you should tell that to the player. I am playing Art Of Murder 3 right now and there are so many design flaws of that kind.

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    4. BTW Kyrandia 2 Hand of Fate is wonderful. Kyrandia 3 starts well and then it sinks fast.

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    5. You can't simultaneously claim that Kyrandia has poor adventure game puzzles because the designers had an RPG mindset, and at the same time LOL has poor RPG puzzles because the designers had an adventure game mindset. That's a pretty obvious contradiction.

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    6. I think the implication is that because Kyrandia 1 was originally intended to be an RPG (later changed to an adventure game), there are leftover aspects of its design not optimized for its final genre? LoL feels a bit more intentionally hybrid, I guess mileage may vary on how well that works.

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    7. Where is the contradiction, what gotcha are you trying to show me? They are different games and you are talking about a specific puzzle of one specific game.

      And again I cannot understand the difficulty of it. You find the object, see that it's perfect for doing one thing, and after using it and checking what it does you restore the previous game. Or do I remember it wrong and it didn't work with the rest of the enemies? I even remember saving plenty of beehives just in case there was a specific use later. Even in modern RPGs I do that, saving objects I am not sure of their benefit in case I need them later and experiment with them. Part of the fun of a piranha bytes game.

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    8. I think you can reasonably claim that not having a good sense of which tropes are appropriate to which genre would cause both classes of problem

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    9. "There is something that is said over and over again about adventure games and the "moon logic" as if that is the problem of the genre. No, the problem is not adding enough clues or text or guidance"

      Quite. Many of the infamously impenetrable adventure game puzzles are only impenetrable when taken out of context. There's a very famously obtuse puzzle in Gabriel Knight 3, but in its actual context, they do a fine job of holding your hand through the logical process. The infamously hard babel fish puzzle from HHGG similarly gives you pretty good clues every step of the way (The HHGG one is still pretty unfair since you get fewer tries than it would take to see the clues, and because you can be locked out of victory at this point by about six different ways to not have access to all the necessary items).
      On the other hand, there's no real moon logic to the "walk the rooms as though they were a baseball diamond" puzzle in Zork, but there's no reason you'd think to do that unless you both recognized a Babe Ruth reference and also properly visualized the layout based purely on the rooms being called "oddly-angled".

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    10. Precisely that. The issue is not that Kyrandia was designed by an RPG designer, nor LOL by an adventure game designer. The issue is that in BOTH genres it's bad design to require an obscure interaction that isn't hinted at. Players can't read a programmer's mind, after all.

      This also applies to several other genres, like the infamous floating barrel in Sonic & Knuckles.

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  6. Fireballs destroy avian worm nests, and also, I believe, the hornet nests.
    I played this game around when it came out, and I have no recollection of why I knew to use the green skull on the larkhon, however I do remember that was the way I did it.

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    1. I don't remember seeing any "nests" for the avian worms. I wonder what I missed.

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    2. They look like holes in the top of wall corners.

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    3. Big diamond-shaped holes. If you click on one, your character comments "It looks like a nest of some kind." There are some near every place avian worms appear; in particular, there are two in the 3x3 room you fall into that's swarming with them.

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  7. Funnily enough, the laughing guys in the mine are called Gimlets!

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  8. Congratulations on conquering the Urbish Mines, I agree that the lack of documentation (for most items) can be bothersome.

    Regarding the second Valean's Cube and Yvel Woods (you want to know this beforehand, rot13):
    Lbh zhfg xrrc gur frpbaq phor sbe zbafgref ba gur frpbaq yriry bs gur Juvgr Gbjre, qb abg hfr vg ba gur frpbaq oneevre orsber gung, be gur tnzr vf cerggl zhpu ybfg (ubcr lbh unira'g cynlrq nurnq guvf sne ol abj).

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    1. This becomes an entirely different game if someone spoils you on what to do beforehand, yes.

      Gur tnzr vfa'g ybfg vs lbh qb gung. V qvq, jura V ercynlrq vg ynfg jrrx - nsgre nyy, gur tnzr genvaf lbh gb hfr gur phorf gb qrfgebl gur oneevref, fb V bs pbhefr qvq fb. Lbh pna fgvyy xvyy gur tubfgf ba yriry guerr bs gur gbjre jvgu fcryyf, naq ol ehaavat onpx gb gur frpbaq yriry gb urny jvgu gurl bar-fubg lbhe jubyr cnegl sbe zbfg bs lbhe urnygu.

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    2. No, you don't need to know that beforehand. I didn't know that when I played the game, and I completed it just fine.

      Just because the internet claims one particular tactic is required, doesn't mean that no alternatives exist.

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    3. V arire hfrq gur phor. V hfrq gur gjb rzrenyq oynqrf (gur yvoenel zragvbaf gung gurl jbex ntnvafg haqrnq) naq fcryyf sbe urnyvat. Gura vg'f uvg naq eha hagvy lbh znantr gb svtug guebhtu gb gur onpx cneg jvgu yrff zbafgref naq ubcrshyyl n punapr gb erfg.

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    4. V qvq gur fnzr, V qvq abg ernyvmr lbh pbhyq hfr gur phor.

      Zl oebguref unq qebccrq gur rzrenyq oynqrf "fbzrjurer" orpnhfr ur pbhyq abg fraq gurz, naq ur arire cnffrq gur gbjre.

      Another place where there are several solutions to one problem.

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    5. Alright, you smarty-pants, first I said that he 'wants' to know beforehand, not that he 'needs' to, plus going into the second level of the White Tower with the monsters on 'ferocious' difficulty might just prove a little too painful. We'll see how he handles it...

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    6. It was a struggle, but I don't think I'll be unscrambling any of the above until later.

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    7. Aaaaaaaaaand yet another solution to the problem:

      Gur terra fxhyyf nyfb jbex avpryl ntnvafg tubfgf

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    8. I love how one reader claims that the game is utterly LOST if you don't do one particular obscure thing, and then it turns out there are several other options.

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    9. Just to be clear, Chet had to google the use of a specific item just to defeat the Lahrkon, and this was about pretty much the same thing , simply four dungeons later. The second level of the White Tower can make you rage-quit if you don't know what you're doing. You're welcome!

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    10. Vg'f gur guveq yriry (abg gur frpbaq)

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  9. Ah, just as you complained that the dungeons were too small you hit the mines.

    I remembered I brute forced with hand combat the Lahrkon without too much difficulty ; I probably exited the mines from time to time for rest & repair, but I am not sure of that. In any case, the different "status" of the Lahrkon (where it looks more and more damaged) is probably either a way to signal you can kill it with your hands, or as a way to "store" its HP even if you leave its area. Another commenter mentioned a third solution, so you could have not Googled it :).

    There are a few other places where there are several solutions like this (and you seem to have missed "quality of life" actions, like destroying some spawners with fireballs). On the other hand, I remembered getting stuck for a long long time in the swamps because I did not understand how to walk on the quicksand pits ; and I also got stuck stupidly quite a long time at the "it smells gas" area of the mines - I thought you needed an object to ignite it ; in practice it is probably a way to make sure you don't miss the fireball scroll.

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    1. Wait, so you're telling me he's immune to all weapons but can be defeated by NOT wielding a weapon, using your bare hand instead? Is that even hinted at anywhere?

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    2. IIRC it is not really immune, it is just that it disarms you almost immediately when you have a weapon.
      The fact that you can actually kill it with your bare-hands is hinted by the fact that you see the small number for damage dealt when attacking.

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    3. Wow, what a delightful, puzzle-like moment! You are conditioned by a lots of game that weapon losing is BAD, that monsters disarm you for a REASON, that they DISADVANTAGE you in this way; so the most reasonable thing is to re-arm yourself again before going back into combat. By making the monster do something seemingly beneficial (but in reality harmful) for the monster itself the game uses this conditioning for the players themselves ruining their chances for victory? Oh how clever and how funny =)

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    4. Yeah, when a game makes it obvious that something's bad, then suddenly makes it good with the only way you'd know to be doing something that seems like a horrible idea I'm inclined to call that outright bad design more than anything

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    5. The mines were busy, but geographically, I still think they felt small and claustrophobic like the previous maps.

      The only "spawners" I've seen are wasps' nests, and I wasn't 100% sure they were tied to spawning. What are some examples of others? I'm wondering if I've looked at certain things and only perceived them as graphical flavor rather than something that can be destroyed. Do all monsters have "spawners"?

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    6. To my knowledge, only certain monsters have "spawners"....at least that I've seen. The Hornets, and Flying Two mouthed things in the mine are the only ones I've seen so far.

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  10. "I got completely trapped by the bastards several times and had to load much earlier saves." - yep, that's exactly where and why I dropped my playthrough. I've heard that the tower is even worse.

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  11. ERRATA CORRIGE
    You wrote "an LOL" instead of "a LOL" unless... do you say "ell-o-ell" instead of "lol"?

    I still can't get over the youtubers who say "Annie Ass" instead of "Nes" (anybody I know personally says "nes" or "ness", depending on the accent). The whole point of abbreviations is to make things shorter. To anybody concerned: go all the way through, instead of wasting time spelling out your abbreviation! Otherwise, do like me: avoid abbreviations when possible and enjoy the beauty of full words.

    I wonder if there are people who, instead of saying "Wow", say "double-you-o-double-you". That would be... nonsense (to avoid profanity), since saying "World of Warcraft" is faster.

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    1. It is probable that I have never "said" LOL in my entire life. I've only ever written it ironically. But in my head, yes, it is "el-oh-el."

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    2. Same, and I grew up with the internet. For me if it's an all-caps abbreviation, or at least used to be one, I'll pretty much always pronounce it as letters instead of a word.

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    3. One of the big disagreements on the internet is whether SQL the database language is pronounced Ess-Cue-Ell or Sequel (or Squill, if you're into XKCD). So yes, I can entirely imagine both pronounciations of LOL being commonly used (and yes, I would pronounce it "loll" myself).

      Delete
    4. Personally, I look at that and can only see it as being pronounced as S Q L, with Sequel seeming really forced. Squill sounds perfectly fine though.

      Delete
    5. I think most people pronounce (e.g.) JPEG as jay-peg and not as jay-pee-ee-gee; and the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena genre as moh-bah and not as emm-oh-bee-ah.

      I'd say any all-caps abbreviation that includes vowels (and even some that don't) is meant to be pronounced as a word, not as a sequence of letters.

      Delete
    6. As far as I know, people from France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, and Portugal pronounce abbreviations (with vowels) as words. It is so much faster!

      Nevertheless, I enjoy taking my time and select polysyllabic (long) words in their integral form.

      Delete
    7. Well, I do pronounce MMORPG as more-peg :)

      Delete
    8. So how do people pronounce FAQ? I pronounce it like a four letter word.

      Delete
    9. What the faq is going on here?

      Delete
    10. Back in my day we pronounced it "Nintendo". None of this "any ess" or "ness" nonsense. It was just "Nintendo".

      (It was definitely "Ess Any Ess" though; "Sness" makes my skin crawl)

      Delete
    11. Super Nintendo in Spain

      Delete
    12. When I was a kid, calling a NES a "Ness" istead of "N E S" or "Nintendo"; or a SNES a "Sness" instead of "Super Nintendo" or "S N E S" was something that would get you bullied and ridiculed for literal years. Likewise, anyone around here who says "loll" instead of "L O L" is an instant laughingstock.

      Probably a regional thing.

      Delete
  12. Too bad I never played LoL1, I just know part 2 which (for reasons I don't remember) I wasn't able to finish. It seems I didn't get the better part of the trade (part 2 was weird. Like, REALLY weird, with odd cinematic animations and all).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yeah, the decision to use real people in the cut scenes but cheaped on the make up and costumes was bad

      Delete
  13. Replies
    1. Rick Parks at the top of his game. There were more talented artists at Westwood, but it really showed when he unfortunately passed away.

      Delete
    2. This picturesque art style was almost impossible or very difficult to achieve with realtime 3D polygon graphics for a long time. Eventually the level of detail in 3D games caught up and now there are similarly picturesque 3D games such as Operencia: The Stolen Sun. And Elden Ring has some particularly evocative scenes. But I still would like to see new games in the style of Dungeon Master / Lands of Lore with painterly 2D graphics. It's more realistic for a small indie team, too.

      Delete
  14. Tool inventories and monthly quota sheets hung on the walls, along with signs that said things like: "Notice: Only one meal per day! No exceptions for dwarves!"; "Sickness is no excuse! No work, no pay!"; and "Thomgogs do NOT get double pay!"

    And they say no one wants to work anymore! Open your eyes, sheeple, these abysmal conditions are why!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh my god, what are these phantom snakes? Are they enemies? Traps? Special attacks from the other ghost characters? What?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People with firsthand experience may confirm this - according to a quick internet search: gurfr ner vaqrrq fcryyf pnfg ol Jenvguf.

      As to how to deal with them: gurer vf nccneragyl ab jnl gb nibvq gur fcryyf gurzfryirf / gurve qnzntr.

      Delete
    2. That is assuming you are speaking about this area: Juvgr Gbjre, Yriry 3.

      As to solutions to said area, other commenters have given several potential ones in ROT13 in the thread above starting here: https://crpgaddict.blogspot.com/2022/05/lands-of-lore-enemy-mine.html?showComment=1651401766356&m=1#c5949707767246365458.

      Delete
    3. The previous thread might still be unsafe to unrot13, depending on where else you've been so far.

      Delete
    4. Ahhhh, the snakes. The reason yours truly dropped Lands of Lore in frustration. Hope you will persevere through, Chet!

      Delete

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