Part 3: Pit Shenanigans
"I don't even know what meaning I'm supposed to take away from this. I guess that's true?"
"Oh! Hey there, long time no see. Now listen, about that whole "killing your master thing "
"I think I like where this is going."
"Technically, I caught up to you. You left quite an impression on the shopkeepers."
"Did you really think I'd give up so easily? After all, you not only destroyed my teacher, you've got quite a price on your head."
"It's all just a big series of misunderstandings wait, how much?"
"That's nice and all, but wouldn't we have to get out of this maze first? I think you might be even more lost than I am."
"So why don't you just give up quietly and hand over your sword?"
"Because this place is insanely dangerous, and if I do we'll both probably get killed. So why don't you put your staff away, and I'll put my sword away and we'll see about getting out of here?"
"I don't know where we are, but I believe that leaving would be to our mutual benefit. It's not the most hospitable of places, is it?"
"Exactly. And if we split the treasure down here, it's got to be more than worth whatever the price is on my head "
"Okay, you know what? Come over here and make me!"
" that was too easy. Ahh man, better make sure she didn't break a leg down there or something."
"I'm coming for you. Signed, Alexis."
"Wow, can't tell if she was super prepared or just a really fast writer. Either way, she's a bit strange."
Climbing upstairs we continue on to find the Yellow Key, which is distinct from the King in Yellow.
The doorway to this path of pits has some strange tiles on the walls. It doesn't appear to actually do anything, but it certainly changes the way the place looks.
"Man, I don't even want to KNOW what they'd worship down here."
Part of me can't help but wonder at this point just how many keys they could think up names for. Are we going to see duplicates of keys by the end of the game?
The path leads to a hallway of switches, some of which result in us getting arrows to the face.
"I think this is a worship room for either the God of Pain or the God of Pincushions "
If you're quick you can block them with your shield, but you can see how arrows kind of blend in.
If you're not quick, there's a healing fountain at the end to patch those up.
"Okay, I think I have a plan here "
This is about where the ability to move laterally comes in ridiculously handy. The boulder takes a moment to get moving, so it's perfectly valid to sidestep over to the alcove and then move forward.
Down a winding pathway we find the Sapphire Key just kind of sitting in the middle of the floor. I'm kind of sensing a gemstone theme here
"Yeah, tell me something I don't know. Some of them are pain in a box."
This might also be a generic warning against H. Poison and the likes.
The 300 gold in this chest and the Ring of Anger in its neighbor are exactly what they seem, however. Well, kind of. the Ring of Anger gives you a few uses of lightning magic. Maybe for smiting? There's also a new Short Sword and a spare Ring of Fire to keep us equipped.
"Well, this looks kind of religious but I don't see anywhere for them to really do the sacrifices "
"Holy crap, I hope that thing isn't to scale!"
"Would a 'you are here' sign be too much to ask?"
" this doesn't sound promising."
"I'll keep that in mind, thanks."
So, the Training Room's gimmick is these poles that extend and contract across the room. Getting hit with them hurts, and will knock you into the pits which will then pile on more damage.
This is what it looks like when you're navigating it. Notice that one of the poles just vanished due to perspective we kind of have to take a guess as to where it is now.
After an impromptu platforming session, we reach the halfway point. This log isn't actually moving right now, which is moderately helpful considering that the hallway is only one tile wide. I should mention at this point that you can rest by holding down the L and R buttons to regain HP. It's REALLY helpful in places like this, where there are environmental hazards aplenty but not any enemies.
Second half of the first room! It's actually not that bad, although you really don't want to end up getting caught up by those first two poles.
On the other end we find a mysterious switch, along with a chest that contains a Short Sword. I'm starting to accumulate a pile of the damn things...
I'm kind of disappointed, since Amber is less valuable than Sapphire or Ruby. The Gold Bar in the next room, however, is not disappointing. Speaking of which, we can stack like objects together now by opening up the dimensional box. Since we're allowed to move things into the box, we can also put two like objects on top of each other to add them together.
Turning around and heading backwards reveals a switch that we had missed before, which activates that center pole and smashes a hole through the opposite wall. We're going to have to sidestep and move smartly to get into that gap and cross over.
Unfortunately, at the moment we're kind of stuck. With that pole moving behind us, we really can't go back into this hallway very easily. Hopefully you got everything!
This unassuming switch freezes the motion of the poles in the first room. Unfortunately, we have no idea where the stopped. The stuck switch we passed earlier will restart them in case you accidentally trap yourself.
"Finally! After all of these traps, something I can just hit with my sword! And treasure, too!"
Unfortunately, some if it is bad candy. M. Poison isn't as bad as H. Poison, since magic regenerates naturally. We find some actual H. Potion, however, as well as 500 more gold pieces and some invisibility potion. So about 50% of the treasure is useful.
"Oh Gods, I take it back I take it back! Bring back the traps!"
These ugly things are magic worms, which spit blue projectiles at us from a distance. They're the first distance capable enemies we see, and the first thing that actually contests against magic endurance. If you've got a healing spring nearby they're a handy grinding tool.
Another treasure trove provides us with a weapon upgrade (I think I mentioned that these are +4 attack to the Short Sword's +2), yet another ring of fire, and some more hardening potion.
The final room in this area has a bit of a trick to it you can see a marker on the wall there, and a lever next to it, right?
The marker on the wall is linked to a pole, and the switch turns the pole off when pulled. The goal is to create a path by pausing the poles at strategic intervals.
At the end we're rewarded by 500 gold and a switch that will reset the entire thing if we've buggered it up to badly. Unfortunately, this means going back and redoing the whole thing over.
Of course, you only stop half the poles so you still have to dodge around the ones that are still moving and rest in the safe spots.
"Guess I'm well trained, then."
Next Time: Timestops, Propositions, and The Worst Thing.