Part 5: Wizard and Crab
As soon as we step through to Area 9 we're immediately accosted by a fire breathing man who's not wearing a shirt. It's a bit different on this floor.
There are also armored Samurai who pack a pretty decent wallop and can actually block your sword attacks from the front. Enemies in this area won't return after they're killed, unlike on pretty much every other floor.
Other than that, Area 9 is pretty much a giant pile of treasure waiting for you to clear it out. In addition to these 400 gold pieces there is (deep breath) a Rapier, some Invisibility Potion, H. Potion (twice), 700 gold pieces, M. Potion, Short Sword, H. Poison, and a Gold Bar.
Of course, not everything is all roses and puppies...
Although this is. The Ring of Life gives you essentially a free life. If you're killed with it on, it'll bring you back to life and break immediately. This only works if the ring is in your main inventory, though, so you don't want to put it in a Dimensional Box.
A little bit later down the road, we've got a magic shop, even though it's not terribly useful yet.
"Well, you seem to be doing pretty well for yourself.
"Oh, don't you worry yourself about me. When you get to be as old as I am, you don't thick twice about things like that."
"I guess you have pretty much seen everything by this point and probably ran out of fucks to give a long time ago."
"Well, if you ever get lonely there's someone who'd love some company over a little bit on the time stop floor."
"So, forget about me and take care of yourself. If there's ever anything you need, just feel free to stop on by."
And with that, we're done with this area. It's actually surprisingly short!
The first obstacle in the next Area is a teleport maze, with invisible teleport squares scattered between the pillars. Unlike the ones back in Area 7, though, these give you a visible indication of when you've been teleported.
The enemies tend to stay in place because of the teleport maze. This particular guy is particularly nasty to kill, since he turns very quickly and starts blocking. Within the teleport maze, we've got two major goals.
Well, you can actually do them in any order but you want to do this one first, since it's the key out of the maze.
"The hell's a 'Gogond'? Now you're just making shit up."
Once we've got the key, the exit is tucked away on the north end of the maze. It's a bit tougher to get to than you'd think, since two of the directions you can enter from are blocked by teleporters. You actually have to teleport around to find an indirect route and come at from the side.
"Hey, I haven't been listening to your advice before and I'm not going to start now!"
A little bit down the road we come to what looks like a three way split in the road, but all three are actually dead ends.
Dead ends full of treasure! A Saber is the next step up from the Rapier, giving 8 attack power as opposed to the Rapier's 4. There's also a Ring of Anger and some Master Keys tucked nearby.
Perspective does funny things in this game. I'm not sure what this was, but I definitely killed it.
Down the other path we have this Gold Bar, some M. Poison and a nice spare Rapier. We're actually building a bit of a stockpile of weapons at this point.
The final path actually takes us to one of the two magic shops on the floor.
"Ha! We'll see about that!"
" I think I'll just be leaving now."
"Seriously, who the hell would put a broken sword in a treasure chest?"
Heading in the opposite direction from the three pathways, we find the other magic shop. It's a bit more difficult to get to, and I've actually been a bit misleading by saying there's two magic shops.
"If I had 100 gold for every time I've heard that..."
"Are you crazy! You mean you made it through that place with all the monsters!? I guess you really can't judge a book by its cover."
"So, still nothing here that I can afford?"
"Actually, there are several weapons here."
"Now we're speaking my language."
Practically next door...
"Whoa kid, one question at a time. I'm Varik, I fell down a hole because an idiot sorceress blew up the ground underneath us, and I'm here because I had nowhere else to go."
"It's too late to save them now anyway. Everyone is gone. Everyone but me. My father, my mother everyone."
"Seems like you're not completely with it kid. Pretty sad story, though."
"A four legged spider? I thought they all had eight legs y'know, kind of one of the qualifying aspects of being a spider."
"Where are my parents? Why aren't I with them? What's going to happen to me? Do I have to spend the rest of my life here?!"
"You really are full of questions. The bad news is that your parents are probably spider chow, but the good news is that you definitely won't have to spend the rest of your life here well, not exactly."
Before leaving the ghost girl's room, let's take a look at Varik's stats. After climbing through ten areas, he's gained 13 levels and a good bit of points in all of his direct stats. Attack strength is leading far ahead of defense, which makes sense considering that we have no stat that ties into it.
Through the next door we've got our first Boss of the game, who's actually just kind of chilling in the room until we step in.
"Excuse me, do you think you could just kind of let me walk on through that other door without a fuss?"
"That'd be a no."
Meet the Wizard. His whole schtick is creating two clones and pelting you with spells. His are a lot faster than the ones we've seen from Conjurors. He can cover a good bit of the area this way, especially since the room is actually fairly small. There's really no other option than to pick one and start swinging to see if you've found the right one. You can pretty much tell by the sound.
Our reward is a key to let us proceed. That's just great. Of course, we have to go through that locked door to find yet another key to proceed as well as some Gold Bars and an utterly useless Short Sword. Just past the treasure room we move into the next area, which is a bit of a transition spot inhabited by an old man.
"Yeah, kind of. Had to kill a wizard. You're not a wizard, right?"
"But nevertheless, this is as far as you go. All your efforts were for naught! There's no way out. Oh no! No way for me no way for you."
"That's pretty depressing, old man. I don't know what stopped you, but it's not going to stop me."
"That town, the rocks, this whole world is just an illusion. This place is nothing more than a nightmare. You're in it, and so am I."
"I'm gong to have to have a word with whoever decided that my illusion needed a crazy sorceress to make it complete."
"What? Ugh! You might want to have a doctor take a look at those."
"I no longer hunger, nor do I thirst. But I am so very lonely. Be kind to an old man. Stay here, with me, forever "
"Oh hell no. I could be hanging around banging an immortal magic shop owner, and if I'm not going to stick around for that I'm definitely not staying with you."
Right through the doorway near the old man we've got our next boss, who might or might not be the four-legged spider that the ghost girl talks about. The guides I've seen refer to it as a Giant Crab, but it doesn't exactly look crablike either well, whatever it is this guy is a big skittery pain in the neck who likes to lay eggs that hatch into smaller versions to harass you. They're not terribly dangerous, but it's best to nip it in the bud. Magic won't do any good in this fight, but he's also got such thick armor that you're going to want to pull out your higher end weapons. You also need to use some of your maneuverability and tactics, because it's going to sting if you stand in front of him and try to trade blows.
Our prize is another key which actually won't help us yet. We've got to do a bit of backtracking now. First, let's see what the old man has to say for himself now!
"Still playing the same tune? C'mon old man, tell me something I don't know."
"In order to get into the tower, you have to pass through the gates. But the guards who watch the gates have all been eaten by monsters. And only the guards hold the key necessary for passage through the gates. So you're stuck like me."
"Eaten by monsters, you say? I think I know somebody who knows a lot more about that."
"Or a guard's kid, maybe they had to let families in somehow, right?"
"Wait, don't go into the light!"
"Taking a dead girl's jewelry. Stay classy, Varik."
Coming back to the Foot of the Tower we also find some Hardening Potion and a Gold Bar before approaching the actual Tower.
The actual path forward is hidden behind a weakened wall, which makes you wonder which side it was blocked off from.
"Awfully polite for a notice to trespassers."
Now, we could have gotten to this locked door immediately after killing the Giant Crab, but it would have stalled out here. Getting the armband first just cuts down on some of the backtracking.
Inside is another treasure room, which can be seen as a reward for our hard work. This includes a Rapier, some H. Potion, M. Potion, and a Short Sword.
The Short Sword is something special. If you look at it closely, you can see that there's no number of uses next to it. This is the first of our permanent weapons, which basically guarantee us a base level of offense. It's also a good reason to get rid of all of our non-permanent Short Swords. With that, we can climb the stairs and move on to the next section of our journey.
"As you turn around, your gaze passes over the ruins that surround the tower. Nothing but ruins Above you, the cavern ceiling stretches out as far as the eye can see."
Next update: A new tile set, new enemies, and a rescue mission.