Saturday, October 20, 2018

Crusaders of the Dark Savant: Danelaw

My map of the game world so far. I don't know if I'll ever get to stuff in that middle area, or whether I can just fill it with a solid color.
              
What has become clear--and what might have been clearer earlier, if I'd paid more attention to the game map--is that the wilderness areas are mostly incidental. The opening area held a few treasure chests and other interesting items, but I don't think I've found anything in the outdoors since I first entered New City. The wilderness basically exists to funnel you from one faction's territory to another's, and while there are diversions to map along the way, most of them don't stray far from the main road, and you could really spend all your time on the marked path.
            
The map that came with the game. I should have focused on the path and not the wilderness.
             
The paths lead to a variety of cities, castles, temples, and dungeons, each controlled by a different faction, each with one or more pieces of some map that I'll ultimately have to assemble. As we've seen, my failure to move quickly between places has meant that most of the map pieces have been looted by the time I arrive, and I've had to bribe or kill to reclaim them.

After my triumph at the Temple of Munkharama, I initially explored south, but eventually the combats grew too numerous and difficult, and I turned around. I returned to the opening area and the orchid field to the north, where my characters previously kept falling asleep. Now that I hard higher-level characters resistant to the sleep effects and a "wake up" spell, I was able to map and push through the area despite the constant drowsiness. I eventually re-connected with the road northwest of Orkogre Castle--well, not entirely "re-connected," since as commenters have pointed out, the developers messed up to the tune of one north/south square.
            
I hope someone was fired.
         
Along the way, I conquered the Tower of Dane, but before I describe that, let me grouse a bit about the world map. When I originally saw the game map in the materials, I thought the developers had adopted a Might and Magic approach in which the overworld would offer open exploration. Instead, unless something changes, you're pretty well limited to the loops of connecting trails, and a large section of the interior is destined to be colored in "inaccessible." The division of the map into six rows, A-F, and nine columns is a bit misleading, since you can't seem to explore the vast majority of it. (Among other things, A1 and A2 appear to be on the sun, while A8 and A9 are on the moon.) Not that I want the game to last a lot longer, but that's kind of bogus.

On to the Danes. They're tall, bald, blue creatures, like Zhaan on Farscape. I'd only met one of them before entering their tower; he had been sulking around Munkharama, spouting nonsense about the end of the world being nigh and such. Searching my notes, I found only a few other references. When I freed Captain Boerigard, the Gorn, from the jail in New City, he mentioned that the Gorn had survived numerous wars with the Munks and Danes. Brother T'Shober said he thought the evil Munks from the forest were plotting with the Danes. That was it. So you can see why I didn't feel overly informed when I arrived.

The tower consisted of six 10 x 20 levels plus a couple of final rooms at the top. I'm obliged to note that the "tower" wasn't visible from the outside and that somehow we went down a ladder in the wilderness to enter the first floor. On the first level, a priest told me that I would have to pass the Trial of the Fellowship, and he collected some initiation dues from me. I have this idea that I could have refused and just slaughtered my way through the temple, but I played it peaceful until circumstances wouldn't let me do that anymore.

Each level had a name, announced by a title card upon entering the level. The goal on each level was to find a golden idol and place it on an altar, which in each case opened the way forward. Before moving up to the next levels, I always encountered the Dane priest, who congratulated us on our progress, promoted us to a higher temple rank, and collected a new set of (increasing) dues.
        
None of these titles meant much in the end.
        
Each level had a different theme, with a set of related challenges. Specifically:
            
  • The Temple of the Initiate. A fairly easy level except for a single square, through which I had to pass repeatedly, where a "spray of choking gas" damaged my party and made a bunch of them nauseated. This square kicked off a theme for the tower, in which I repeatedly had to take unavoidable damage from certain squares, something that had me shouting some unprintable curses by the end of the tower.
  • The Temple of Divine Order. I had to get a Key of the Beast from a group of Dane and use it to enter the Lair of the Beast, where I killed a Psi-Beast and learned its secret word, which was--sigh--MOO.
             
This guy was freaky.
            
  • The Temple of Eternal Night. Most of the squares were dark, and I had to navigate with my map and by bumping against walls.
  • The Temple of Aerial Wimsey. The level's theme was a bunch of teleporters that I had to map and master. The golden idol was found in a room where a lack of air made the party collapse into unconsciousness. They had a vision of a young woman doing something with a sparkling globe. The young woman would seem to be the mysterious Vi Domina from the backstory (otherwise unencountered in the game so far), and I'm guessing the globe is the Astral Dominae.
              
This had better make sense at some point.
        
  • The Temple of Deadly Coffers. Annoying as hell. Not only were there numerous chests that exploded every time I faced them (chests containing necessary keys), there were squares that damaged and "veggified" my party members, which I don't even know what that means. I had to continually rest to undo the damage.
            
"Oops" suggests I did something wrong. All I did was turn and face the chest.
              
  • The Temple of Wanderers. Another annoying level where stepping into various squares--not levers, buttons, or anything you could actually see--opened gates and hidden walls. 
             
There was a corridor on this last level with a series of grates on the west wall. Some maniac was on the other side of the grates, with a "wild orgy of bodies," casting fireballs at my party. There was no way to open the grates and get to him, just move forward down the hallway. "Fire Shield" didn't seem to do anything to protect us. The damage continued for four squares, and it got so bad that I had to stop and rest several times in the middle of the corridor. When I got to the end, it turned out there was no way to progress further in that direction, and I had to turn around and walk back through the corridor--again stopping to rest several times--as I continued to take more damage.
            
This was pretty infuriating.
           
The lunatic turned out to be the head of the temple, Torquesade, the "Magna Dane," who I encountered when I went up and back down. He presided over a "decadent" group of followers, "ripe with wine and orgasm." In a long ALL CAPS speech, he demanded that we face the "challenge of the Spawning Pit," kill a fiend, and return with his demon horn. I had an option to just attack the idiot, and I was sorely tempted, but I had already collected some items necessary to perform the ritual at the Spawning Pit, and no role-playing option motivates me more than seeing a quest item fulfill its intended purpose and get out of my inventory.
          
The head of the religion doesn't seem very religious.
              
The top level of the tower had a pit where we performed the ritual to summon the demon, first by throwing the Munk Innards from Gorn Castle, then by throwing the Ashes of Diam found earlier in the Dane Tower, then by tossing in the Stone of Gates found in Munkharama. (Until this moment, I had been hoping that the Stone of Gates would somehow warp us from location to location.) This sequence was found in a book and also explained by the Magna Dane.
            
 
Well, that's disgusting.
          
The demon appeared and attacked. He is called * S P A W N * in the game; I remember from Wizardry VI that Bradley is fond of putting asterisks and spaces in the names of boss-level creatures. [Edit: as a commenter pointed out, this goes back to the first game and not something that Bradley introduced.] He had some mass-damage attacks but wasn't that hard overall. When he was dead, we jumped into the pit and took his horn.
              
The graphics and animation were pretty cool with this guy.
            
Immediately, the voice of the Magna Dane stated ringing through the levels, shouting things like "KILL THEM, SEIZE THEM, BRING ME THE HORN!" as if I wasn't going to bring it back to him. When I returned to his location, he attacked me with his army of followers, but my growing arsenal of mass damage spells (including the mage's "Nuclear Blast" and the alchemist's terrifyingly-effective "Asphyxiation") made short work of them.
         
The "boss" battle of the tower.
           
After they were dead, it took me a while to realize I had to search the area to find the Magna Dane's ring, use it to enter his chambers, and loot the treasure chest with the "Temple" map. I also got something called the "Coil of the Serpent" and a "Jeweled Cushion."
           
         
When I left the Temple, I finished mapping the pathway and forest north of it, which reconnected with the part I'd already mapped at a new location called Nyctalinth. This appears to be the T'Rang capital. On the way, I did have one weird encounter in which I found a Helazoid battling a group of T'Rang and chose to help her. She gave me the banner of her people and suggested I visit the home of her people. Incidentally, she introduced herself as "Jan-Ette" and said that her queen's name was "Ke-Li." I don't know how much more of that I can take.
           
But not the Crusaders of the Dark Savant, right? Because wouldn't they be bad?
           
Other notes:

  • The second level of the tower had a room called Belcanzor's Magik Emporium. A note on the door said that Belcanzor is in New City at nighttime and in the tower during the day. I guess I mapped his shop but didn't realize there was something to find there if I re-visited.
  • In between the various areas, you get attacked by members of the various factions in generally unavoidable combat. In random battles, I've killed plenty of Danes, Munks, Gorns, and Helazoids in their hovercraft. I feel particularly bad about the latter. They're pretty, and I have nothing against them even if they don't seem to fit in to this setting.
                 
They look so happy. Why are they trying to kill me?
          
  • NPCs have started offering "Lore" when I click the associated button during encounters. The lore mostly indicates which individuals have what pieces of the map. The Magna Dane was supposed to have both the "Temple" and "Fools" maps, but I only found the Temple one. Some Munk has the "Dragon" and "Legend" maps. Ratkin have the "Crystal" map. Other lore talks about alliances; one tidbit I received late in the expedition is that "Lord Galiere has formed an alliance with Magna Dane."
  • Supposedly, when you click "Lore," you're actually trading lore, and the NPC finds out everything you know, too. I'm not sure what consequences this has for the game.
           
I guess I'll have to return to Munkharama.
          
I'm still waiting for the plot to resolve into anything sensible. Despite taking copious notes in a very text-heavy game, I never really understood why I was at the Tower of Dane, what the Danes were about, or what consequences their demise at my hands might have on the game world. Crusaders feels like it was developed by someone who had a strong internal sense of the plot, the characters, and the various factions, but he forgot to seed the world with enough clues for the rest of us.

Time so far: 47 hours

56 comments:

  1. I wonder if those hostile Helazoid were just "sparring" with you. Or maybe it's like the Munk where there are good and bad Helazoid. After all, they are called "Xenozoid" in the screenshot.

    It's interesting that you've already logged many more hours on Crusaders than you took to finish Bane. Is it a much bigger game, or just more combats?

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    1. It is a much bigger game, especially by the number of squares. New City alone has more rooms and locations as the entire castle in Wizardry 6.

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    2. It's just a weird factor of DW Bradley wizardries. Everything wants to kill you all the time. At least in Some places it's clear you are fighting "renegades" or something. The T'Rang town makes no sense whatsoever.

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    3. "Xenozoid" is just what they are called before your party has high enough Mythology skill to identify them.

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  2. You never mentioned the content of the maps. You did try to read them? Especially reading the temple map might give you an idea what they are for.

    Did you return and use the secret word, as silly as it is?

    The traps traps in the Dane tower can be deactivated by pouring Jonga powder into the urns you find on each level. I only found that out afterwards, too.

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    1. No. Duh. I tried to "use" them and saw that nothing happened, so I figured the solution would appear later.

      Yes, I meditated on MOO and got some psychic abilities, although I didn't realize the cause and effect until someone else commented about that.

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    2. Oddly, I've played this game over a dozen times and never knew I could put something into those urns.

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    3. It's not uncommon to play games again in the same way. There are games I've played off and on for years that I still find new things to do in them.

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  3. Our favortie addict likes order in his games it seems.
    Chaos, especially *silly* chaos, annoys him to no end :-)

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    1. I'm okay with chaos. It really is just the silly part.

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  4. Yeah, that map snafu is really irritating... I think there's one or two other spots that don't line up right because of it too that you haven't mapped yet.

    Here, I "fixed" it for anyone whose OCD is bothering them: https://i.imgur.com/9OotQx2.png

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    1. There are two other spots, both on water tiles. One is where they just "skipped" some tiles, the other is a misalignment like above.

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  5. I think Dane tower is as hard as it gets, before the end game. Those stupid friggin fireballs.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the plot, nothing DW Bradley writes ever makes much sense.

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    1. Also, can't help but notice that incoherent plots never seemed to bother Chet in M&M games.

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    2. I was just rereading his Might & Magic III posts, and he complained repeatedly about the goofy setting making it hard to take the game seriously.

      Also, M&M is very plot-light (at least through the first five games; I haven't played the later ones). The silly plot serves to vaguely explain where and why you're adventuring, and then it shows up again in the endgame. Wiz VI is, as Chet says, "text-heavy". With all that text there comes an expectation that there's a reason you're making the player read it.

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    3. MM8 isn't loved by all, but arguably it's pretty focused, plot-wise. You have a good deal of choice, in terms of the order in which you do things and even which factions to support, but you always know what you are up to in the broader context.

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    4. If I'd gotten back here sooner, I would have made the same argument as stepped pyramids. Review my entries for the MM games, and I think you'll find PLENTY of complaints about the plot. But there is a difference in that I think the MM series has some interesting things going on underneath the silliness, and I'm not yet convinced that the same is true of this game.

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  6. "He is called * S P A W N * in the game; I remember from Wizardry VI that Bradley is fond of putting asterisks and spaces in the names of boss-level creatures."

    This goes back to "**W*E*R*D*N*A**" in the original.

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    1. I had forgotten that. That one wasn't Bradley's fault. Correction appended.

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  7. "...no role-playing option motivates me more than seeing a quest item fulfill its intended purpose and get out of my inventory."

    This may be the greatest quote in history

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    1. I as well heartily endorse this sentiment.

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    2. There is something deeply satisfying about it, like inserting the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle.

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  8. There's a meditation circle on one of the tower levels. If you succeed in meditating there (each character rolls separately) you gain the Personal Skill of Mind Control. As with all skills, it gets better the more points you put into it, though Personal Skills (except Firearms) don't go up with use. Mind Control gives you a bonus to saves against mind affects, such as sleep. And it makes you immune to the flower field.

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    1. Also, that demon horn is a bard instrument.

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    2. THAT's where that came from! I was wondering why I suddenly had an extra skill. That makes sense.

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    3. This is one of the places where you can run into the "no room for skill points" bug. Maxing Mind Control through meditation then leveling up.

      Most of the Personal Skills come from invoking a unique item. Other than Firearms and Mind Control you only get one of each of the other four per game.

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    4. The DOS version available on GoG doesn't have that bug.

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    5. The Steam version is equally patched. They're both the rerelease from Nightdive Studios.

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  9. I was about to say "for all his dumb jokes, at least Bradley didn't call their chief the Great Dane" until I realized what Magna means in Latin.

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  10. If nothing else, I can say I hate Wizardry VII for the simple fact that Grimoire : Heralds of the Winged Exemplar exists because of it. And Cleveland Mark Blakemore being a fan of it doesn't help either.

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  11. As a die-hard fan of the Crusaders trilogy I am a bit saddened by your focus on Bradley's weaknesses. I certainly would not want to argue that they are not there, and I agree that the slow-rolling of all the dialogue should be a crime, but there are also a bunch of things that Bradley does extremely well in Wizardry VII and it feels like you almost don't notice that in your contempt for Bradley.

    Admittedly I played W7 as a kid, but I really liked his world-building. The races that Bradley created for Guardia are very different from each other and less derivative than most other mainstream games of the era. The quests they offer to the player are also very different in nature and fitting for the style of the race.

    Personally it never worried me a lot that you don't get much of the main quest for the most part of the game. There is a lot to see and do. You let yourself get sucked into the world, meet the inhabitants and get rewarded for your troubles with these weird maps, that you don't know what to do with. I wouldn't go so far as to say it all makes sense in the end, but the transition from the midgame to the endgame worked decently for me (despite maybe not making too much sense).

    I also think Bradley did a really great job of making the different places feel individual. In modern days this is easy with different looks, but the W7 engine seems to be extremely limited despite its much improved looks (compare to W6). And yet New City always felt crowded and dense, Munkharama is very open and spacious, Dyionsceus feels almost claustrophobic, Nyctalinth feels like a deserted place inhabitated by evil creatures. Ukpyr feels like a military complex etc. How did Bradley do that, having basically only three sets of walls and ladders at his disposal? Evocative text and a very clever use of the layout of the places.

    Another strength in my book is the non-linearity of W7's midgame. Sure the game is not as open-ended as M&M or presumably Ultima (never played any), but Bradley created a world that has an open feel, but also funnels you to the right places. While M&M3-5 to that too and maybe even a little better, I don't think the lawmower approach that you have to apply to those games makes a whole lot of sense, or makes for great gameplay (saying that despite loving M&M, too). W7's constrained wilderness is much more elegant here.

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    1. As to the linearity vs non-linearity: The early game and the endgame are very linear, which is as it should be. In the midgame (basically after New City) most places are somewhat comparable in difficulty. There is definitely a progression, but not so much that you end up getting frustrated by going in the wrong direction. If you go to Nyctalinth or the Rattkin Ruins early then you realize that you cannot do much there, but you are also not getting wasted every single combat. You just travel there, explore, and leave the place for later after a while. Or you could try to solve the place anyway like you did with Dionysceus. I think the normal progression of the game would be to at least to solve Ukpyr first, and probably visit Nyctlinth, too. Then you go Dionysceus and after learning the Meditation skill you have a convenient route back to New City through the field of flowers. You didn't do that and the game didn't butcher you for it. And yet your characters progress and you notice that they are getting stronger (at least till level ~13). I find this is all pretty well done.

      Another limitation are the enemy pics. Bradley actually used this limitation for something interesting. Instead of just having a bunch of different enemies sharing a picture, they often work more like unidentified items. For example when I pick up a sword in DCSS I know it is a magical sword, but until I identify it, I have no clue what kind of sword it is. Enemies work similar here. You encounter a crow, but at first you don't know if it is a firebreathing Dragon Crow, or a mundane Black Crow. Your party of foreigners learns to tell them apart as they wander this new world (aka their Mythology skill rises). Again I think this is a pretty elegant way of doing something cool with what appeared to be a limitation at first.


      Either way I can sympathize with what you dislike about Bradley, although it never bothered my much, I just think you should give him more credit for the things he does well.

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    2. When I played this game as a teen, when it came out, I found it evocative, it marked my imagination. Dyoniceus in particular, with the themed levels, the progression in ranks, the demon summoning (which was kind of lifted off the 2nd Conan movie btw, with the horn and all), was for me one of the highlights of the game. When I was younger, I brushed off the silliness part of it and saw in the game something that resonated. You and commenters seem to have strong opinions about the creator: I had no idea who he was then, and I still don't have a clear opinion today either. It doesn't affect my enjoyment of the game.

      Reading your perspective on it, I now see how the text is overpompous and silly at times and there's a bit too much of it. The backstory feels indeed full of holes, but at the times, rare were the games which didn't. But indeed, you seem to be underlining this all the time in every post, and seem to pass very quickly on the strengths of the game in terms of gameplay, combat, mechanics and level design. Following what the previous poster said about environments, in Dyoniceus, every level felt so individual despite a single wallset - I don't know many exemples of such individuality in dungeon design.

      It's your playthrough and your enjoyment of the game of course, but I feel you're a bit harsh with it.

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    3. These are fair criticisms. I do enjoy the game's mechanics, combat, approach to inventory, leveling, and non-linearity, and I feel like I've praised it for those things, but I suppose I should praise it repeatedly if I'm also going to repeatedly complain about the things I don't like.

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    4. "Another limitation are the enemy pics. Bradley actually used this limitation for something interesting. Instead of just having a bunch of different enemies sharing a picture, they often work more like unidentified items." We can't credit Bradley for this. This goes all the way back to the first Wizardry.

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    5. It was not really my intention to suggest you should make more repetitive posts. I enjoy reading your blog and I think it is one of the coolest things on the web. However, being an avid fan of W6-8, the way you write about Bradley's games comes across a bit too harsh and unforgiving to me. If that is how you feel about the games it is of course totally fine to write it like this (no need to please the fans), but I am happy to see that you seem to be enjoying the W7 nonetheless.

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    6. Trust me, I have never written in a way intended to please commenters. But your comments suggest that only my negative feelings about the game are coming through, and I don't feel solely, or even predominantly, negative about Crusaders.

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    7. I have told you this before. It is very weird how you complain about not knowing the main quest while Might & Magic did the same by only revealing the villain at the end and I don't remember you seeing that as something negative. I for one prefer enjoying the world itself and let the plot unfold when appropriate

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    8. I wouldn't characterize my discussion above so much as a "complaint" as an acknowledgement that the main quest is still unclear. I talked about that repeatedly during M&M, too, and when the endgame did arrive, I noted that it was a bit silly.

      There are two notable differences, too. First, while M&M had a goofy end, most of the plot along the way was interesting and tantalizing. Here, most of the plot (through this entry) has been mostly silly. (I think it got better after this, though). Second, at the 50-hour mark, M&M was already wrapping up, whereas this one doesn't even seem half over.

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  12. You complain about the wilderness just being a few squares off the beaten path, and not serving any real purpose here... but seeing your world map, you just haven't seen yet where wilderness exploration yields real benefits, and is actually necessary to continue.

    There's few treasures just lying around in the wilds, true; but not none. You actually missed a great treasure by just a few squares – I'll just leave that dangling there to torment you... ;-)

    The entrance to one of the major settlements (or "settlements", really) can only be found through extensive exploration, not just following the road (to a degree, that is also true of Orkogre, of course). The five flowers quest that you've already received will be solved by pure wilderness exploration on more than one area. Off the top of my head, at least two other quests also require thorough scouting in uncivilized areas. Finally, there are several optional areas (caves and such) that are hidden around somewhere.


    A different thing: I'm a bit mystified how you cleared the entire Dane tower (not just the first few levels) and just wiped the floor with the Great Dane... but exploring south of Munkharama was too hard for you?

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    Replies
    1. Unless he's made an error in his mapping, how can he have missed anything? I don't see any incomplete squares in any of the areas where he has explored. (Obviously, he hasn't explored to the Ratkin Ruins or Upkyr yet, but those are "not yet explored" rather than missed.)

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    2. Paul is talking about something that could easily be missed, and the way the addict talks about the wilderness areas you expect he actually might, but looking at the map I have no doubt that the place Paul talks about will be visited, probably in the next update even. It's not too hard to find anyway.

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    3. "You complain about the wilderness just being a few squares off the beaten path, and not serving any real purpose here... but seeing your world map, you just haven't seen yet where wilderness exploration yields real benefits, and is actually necessary to continue."

      That's good to hear. It always has to be understood that my reactions are based on my playing so far, and if there are events still to come that will change my opinion, those will be reflected in the final summary but of course I can't anticipate them ahead of time.

      "A different thing: I'm a bit mystified how you cleared the entire Dane tower (not just the first few levels) and just wiped the floor with the Great Dane... but exploring south of Munkharama was too hard for you?" It's not so much that they were "too hard" as that they were just hard (and frequent) enough that continuing to explore in that direction--which I had no real reason to do anyway--was a little frustrating. The Dane Tower was harder, sure, but there was a clear purpose to the dungeon that kept me motivated to finish it.

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    4. Although there is stuff in some of the wilderness, the empty areas I mentioned before are way off in the wilderness. You have to be exploring to find them though.

      I'm looking forward to you finding the rattkin ruins. Either it's going to be fun (no pun intended) or very annoying.

      Delete
  13. My first wizardly as a kid was wizardly gold and all i remember is being stuck in the first dungeon..

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    1. Wizardry Gold...(shakes his head). My gaming buddy played this game back in the days, and I remember being revolted by the very weak voice acting in the beginning. It made me disregard the game for two decades. And then I played learnt about the superior DOS version.

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  14. "Crusaders feels like it was developed by someone who had a strong internal sense of the plot, the characters, and the various factions, but he forgot to seed the world with enough clues for the rest of us."

    This soooo sums up Wizardry 7. I liked most of the game mechanics, but the story? Weird, even more weird.
    We had a discussion in our Ultima FB group exactly about this topic earlier in the year actually.

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  15. Since you have cringed at every other bad joke in this game, I'm surprised you didn't notice the two jokes for Magna Dane. First, it's literally "Great Dane". Second, Torquesada is one letter off of Grand Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada from the Spanish Inquisition.

    And since you made a comment about getting things out of your inventory, I should note that you can drop critical items and that some items you think are critical are not. I typically would drop critical items I no longer needed in an empty room in New City.

    If you can sell it, it isn't critical.

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    Replies
    1. And I guess that Bradley changed the letter deliberately, as "queso" is cheese in Spanish. Addict, thanks for relieving me from the task of ever wanting to invest many hours in this game.

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    2. What am I saying. "Quesadilla" is pretty international. I'm going to bed. With the "you found a battle" tune of this game in my head.

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    3. I have to leave some of the stupid names for my commenters to seize on.

      I assumed "Torquesada" was some kind of fusing of Torquemada and the Marquis de Sade. Frankly, Carlos's explanation sounds more plausible.

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    4. Alternate, perhaps even sillier explanation:

      Torque-MAD-a -> Torque-SAD-a

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    5. Oh god you're probably right.

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

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

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.