Part 6: Big Damn Hero
A new area means a new tile set, accompanied by a convenient shop as soon as we walk in! Things are a bit harder to spot in the tower, including pits. There's actually a pit just to the right of the short sword in this image, if you can make it out.
"Up. And out. Especially out, because this place is nuts."
"Oh? I didn't see you killing a wizard or a giant crab spider demon thing just now, did I?"
"You've probably realized this by now, but the higher you go, the worse the monsters come. And there's more of 'em too! If there's any way ou tot here, I'd have found it by now. But go ahead and do as you like."
"I think I'll be fine, thanks."
"Nah, I got that covered. For a change of pace, though, how about YOU buy some of MY weapons?"
And with that, we continue. This floor introduces floating blue jellyfish, which are referred to as "electric tentacles." They zap you with electricity, which is pretty inconsequential right now given our magic endurance. They're also fairly strong against magic, so you're best off just hitting them with weapons.
The tower does some pretty weird things with perception. This screen shot and the next screen shot are only one step apart...
But somehow we can now see all the way around that corner and know what is on the other side of the wall. Probably done as a hardware consideration, but it's definitely strange. Also, all that's on the other side of the wall is a lever to unlock a nearby door.
This leads us to a room full of pits, which the electric tentacles can just float over to attack you. We've also got our first Goblin Fighter, who can do damage in the teens with a single hit. They're actually very weak against magic, however, so they're easy to kill from a distance.
Oh, and small spiders as well. They're basically there to be squished with whatever method you prefer.
"After the giant wasps, I'm actually okay with foot wide spiders."
Finally, our first treasure in the tower. We also find a Rapier, which is still useful for the higher attack power. It's tempting to just use the permanent weapon, but there's no reason not to use up your slightly better weapons to make fighting easier.
A bit further down the twisty corridor we come across four doors...
With four matching switches. It's not hard to work out, I promise.
Unfortunately, only one of the rooms actually has anything of value.
The rest have either nothing or spiders.
"Sometimes you get a shiny piece of metal, sometimes you get nothing, and sometimes you get a spider in the face. Pretty much life in a nutshell, really."
With that, we've pretty much exhausted all possibilities for the floor, and it's time to move on.
I've decided to start including completed floor maps to give you all an idea of how expansive some of these areas can be. And thus, Floor 1.
The next floor opens up with a twisty area full of columns, complete with some of the monsters we've already seen roaming the area.
It's also where we find our first special wall in the Tower. See that blob of darker brings above the normal bottom two rows of dark bricks? That's how you spot a breakable wall in the tower although this one is a bit special.
It's actually an illusionary wall that you can just walk right through. Using a hammer on this will have no effect. You don't have to examine the wall, either, just try to walk through it and see what happens.
On the other side, an electric tentacle infested room with a number of trigger plates hidden behind pit traps. Hitting all the triggers will open a door in the center.
There's also some treasure scattered around the area, including the Skull Key located in the aforementioned locked chamber. Now that we've got that, it's time to head back to the main area for a bit.
Stationary figures like this one usually indicate someone you can have a conversation with.
"Well, you're the first goblin who's actually tried talking to me so I'll give you a few seconds to explain yourself."
"You look like you're carrying quite a bit of gold. Well, how about trading some of that gold for some valuable information? Say 5,000 pieces?"
"5,000? This had better be pretty damn good for 5,000 gold."
"But they're hard to find, so most of the other guys that made it this far ended up getting lost."
"But, those magic walls are not really there. If you look very carefully, you will be able to tell the difference. The rest is up to you. That's all. Now off with you."
"Bullshit! Give me back my 5,000 gold pieces you little son of a bitch!"
And that's how we didn't pay 5,000 for a very basic bit of secret info. Seriously, though, they scatter those illusionary walls all over the place on this floor but they taper off afterwards. This one, for example, hides yet another Saber.
The funny thing about them is that you can actually find yourself fighting monsters on the other side without being able to see what you're hitting. You just kind of have to hope it's nothing too dangerous.
Treasure amounts have increased in the second area, too. Next magic shop I run across, I am completely getting a new spell.
Seriously, everywhere. There's not a single non-illusionary wall on this floor.
One more gold bar, and we're pretty much finished with the second floor as well.
As you can see, it's quite a sprawler. The stairs down are in the lower left hand corner, and the locked off room with the Skull Key is actually the one in the upper right hand corner, with the exit in the upper left hand corner. Everything else is random monsters and treasure.
The third floor is actually pretty much entirely optional. The first thing you see at the end of a short path are the stairs for the fourth floor, and there's no requirement to go exploring at all. That said, we're all about money and treasure so that's not going to happen.
The third floor is composed of about eight different pathways radiating out from a central room that also houses our first giant spider. They're super weak to fire, so a couple of blasts will clear him out pretty quickly.
"I really don't wanna know who that thing ate."
First path we take is a treasure room that's opened via this lever...
Which contains a Gold Bar and something I can't even recall. The lever also opens two doors down the hall a bit, which contain rapid spawn points for goblin fighters. You've basically got to open the door, grab the treasure, and then close it back or you'll be up to your balls in goblins in no time. It's definitely not a good time to be messing around with your inventory trying to fit everything in, especially if you don't know what's coming.
Moving on, the enemy that looks like an aborted fetus is a guard wolf. They're fast movers that vary their speed and will come after you like a shot. It's hard to hit them with magic, and they like to use hit and run attacks. They can do some serious damage, so you want to hit them pretty hard with a sword as quickly as possible. Like their name would suggest they tend to stick to certain small areas and patrol them. This one is guarding 800 gold pieces.
Next pathway takes us to this treasure chest, which you might think you're going to have to just take the damage from the pitfalls if you want to open it.
Of course, you'd be an idiot for thinking that. There's a nearby lever that makes all the pits disappear so you can just walk on over and get a Green Key from the chest.
Some of the paths are shorter than others. There's absolutely nothing hidden in here, just a pit to screw with you.
Next to the pit path we stumble upon a new trap, which you can see as the four squares that are barely visible directly above Varik. These are concealed spikes, which will pop up every second or so and do about 25 damage each time. If you're not paying attention or have slow reflexes, they can end your game before you even realize there's a problem. The spikes still pop up when you jump over them, but don't do any harm.
I believe the Green Key was needed to open the door to this room, which contained a guard wolf in addition to this chest. Ignore the item to the right, that's just something I tossed out so I could open an inventory space. Even with the dimensional box, you still have to shuffle things around a bit. Before going on, we finish out the rest of this path by grabbing a useless short sword and some H. Potion.
"Dear diary "
"Not at all Miss, Varik the Swordsman at your service. I wouldn't call myself a hero, but you can if it makes you feel better."
"Oh! I almost forgot! Mr. Warrior, could you do me a favor? My boyfriend's in trouble."
"Uh I guess? I mean, you could just go on forgetting about him and I could stay right here. Probably got ate by monsters or something anyway. Here, let me comfort you."
"Wait, you can talk to monsters? I mean, I talked to a goblin a minute ago but most of them haven't really had anything to say alright, if he's alive I guess I kind of have to."
The Twisted Key opens the other door in the room, explaining why she didn't go after him herself.. you can miss this door if you're not careful, and end up wasting a lot of time looking around the other two floors looking for him. Also, the fact that there are guard wolves in both adjoining rooms is a pretty good incentive for her not to leave.
To rescue her boyfriend we have to go down a couple of flights of stairs that are completely isolated from the rest of the lower floors. This should explain a bit of the unused space in the previous two maps.
"Yeah, she did. Nice job being a cockblock from two floors away."
"Oh, well that changes everything then! Thanks! I'm going to get all of the treasure down here and haul it back up there. Mark my words!"
"D'you think that just maybe you're in a bit over your head, since you got captured and had to be rescued?"
"Well, I can't stand around here all day jabbering with you. Somebody else'll find all the loot. See ya, pal."
"And that somebody's going to be me. Go find your girlfriend and be grateful that I'm leaving you with that much."
There's a total of 700 gold pieces and some H. Potion scattered around here. It really is kind of a dick move to take healing items for yourself when somebody just escaped from prison and might need them, but we're the protagonists so our need is greater.
"Probably buggered off to go cheat on you or something. Although he did say something about treasure you might want to consider some preemptive revenge.
"What?! He went off somewhere in search of some treasure?!"
"Aww, it's okay. Tell me all about it."
"Mister! I've got to stop him! This isn't much, but take it with my thanks. I'll leave it right here."
" fine. You go do that. I swear, there's just no helping some people."
"On second thought, I forgive you for everything."
So, we've got our second dimensional box! This means we've now got a total of 34 inventory spots, but it also means that the shuffling around of everything has increased dramatically. While these boxes do help you carry more, they also take up space in your basic inventory. Right now we can only carry 10 items for instant swapping out, which includes necessary things like spare weapons, magic, sledgehammers, and potions.
Of course, we're not done with all the branches yet. The next one has this gold bar in addition to the normal confusion of H. Poison and H. Potion.
There's also a wall you actually have to break! I'd almost forgotten about those and tried to walk through it once or twice. The only thing on the other side is some M. Potion.
This treasure chest is guarded by a ring of teleport traps that dump you into the same room and can't be evaded, although they can be turned off with this nearby switch. The treasure inside is some scale mail, which is a nice free upgrade to our chain.
With that, we're done with the completely optional third floor and with this update.
Varik's actually gained a good few levels following those two boss battles and increased his stats significantly, although I probably need to do something about that magic endurance. Maybe let some electric tentacles sting him for a while, or something. It's not torture, right?
Next update: Possibly torture. Definitely new enemies, new magic, and a mid boss.