Part 105: Credits 'Dungeon'Credits
Time for famous(infamous?) Credits 'level', CW3 version. I was tipped off by the achievements list a bit on this; the relevant one here is Shhhh!, which you get for finding all hidden areas. Hidden areas? Since when are there hidden areas in Creeper World?? Also, the pop-up when you hover over the Credits 'planet' on the main menu says "Explore the dungeon ... " which also doesn't sound CW3-like.
We are taken to the Adventure system, and there is no sector map to explore. Nothing to do here but head to the Fortess of Ultimate Darkness. That's a rather imposing name for a level, if I do say so myself(and I do).
That last comment here contains a bit more foreboding than I first realized.
First time she's ever been speechless. Anyway, good words there by the Man of Mystery himself, developer Virgil Wall.
The top of the map is important; we have to collect keys here. Score is the usual who cares. 'We/I' are that Golden Man or whatever that we saw in Meso. I hope you like him, because we're going to be seeing him a LOT. We've got limited field of view here so that we have to explore to see the rest of the level, and we find that Virgil(development) and Finn M-K(music) are our first two credits. There'll be many more.
After getting a basic idea of how to move around(A and D to rotate right or left, W or S to move forward or backwards) I head over to the red barrier ... which is locked. Yellow the same way. Apparently we need keys for those. Soon I get the impression I'm playing Chip's Challenge.
Heading over to pick up the red key(there is no yellow one around), I grab it and it fills in at the top of the screen. So apparently there are five different keys to find. Four to go.
Now I just need to click on the door to get through, having the proper key.
We have Beta Testers. And creeper, and an emitter. They are all apparently of the same, unlisted strength - there's no reading on how much creeper they put out.
The mouse cursor controls where I shoot, so apparently this is the first room I need to clear. Let's have at it.
This red circle shows up when I get in range of the emitter for the PND(Personal Nullification Device).
After the countdown, it fires and the emitter is gone; I get 500 points as well.
After I've taken out all of the creeper, some more begins to appear at the west wall, which is strange. That'll be important later.
These goodie-boxes or gold crates or whatever they are surrender 100 points each.
I can go north or south from there, and choose south. More beta testers and another emitter greet me beyond the door in that direction ... the brown doors require no keys it seems, so I can just open them whenever I feel like it.
I get too aggressive, and discover what happens if you do ... I am consumed by the Creeper and 'die'. Not for the first time, as this merely respawns me back at the beginning.
*Poof*. Meanwhile of course the creeper continues to accumulate and flow, so all this did was make my job a bit harder.
This room takes longer to clear than the first one did, and I soon learn part of the why ... there's a tunnel connecting it to other creeper-filled rooms as well. But it still only takes a couple minutes or so to get close enough for this emitter.
No emitter here, just more creeper and beta testers.
I don't have the green key, so I can't get in to that side room with the treasure yet. Then ...
Oh look. Even MORE beta testers! Gee, I wonder what's down that hallway to the east that we can just see more creeper flowing out of.
It was around this time that I discovered one important element to killing off the creeper more quickly; target at least moderately deep areas as much as possible. I would eventually conclude that it's less efficient to attack creeper with a depth of less than 1, and it still flows at you down to less than 0.2. Of course you've got to keep the area around yourself clear up to a point, so alternative between the two is useful.
Shocking. However, not visible here - so I could show the names clearly - is that there's a blue key in that room. This is the final room of what I have to call the Beta Tester Wing. What else could it possibly be? And there's a considerable amount of creeper here.
Takes almost three minutes to clear. I'm now at almost 15 minutes into this level, and very clearly just nicely getting started.
I could have gone straight for the blue door, but instead I decided to head for the north door at the west end of the main hallway. Six rooms of beta testers, and how many more? And of course here the creeper has had more time to build up while I was dealing with that southern pathway.
This room took a lot longer than it should have, because I got frustrated with how long it was taking and did stupid things. I also noted a couple times that this level would, IMO, benefit from having a fraction of the creeper it does. It's a reasonably interesting concept and definitely a change of pace, but it's also SUCH.A.GRIND.
There's just enough creeper flowing in from the north to make this more difficult, so I'd press things a bit much, die, walk back having made things a bit tougher on myself, lather.rinse.repeat. Let the record reflect that I opened the door to this room at 15:14 mission time, and it was more than ten minuites later when I finally took the emitter down. In between I died four times, including once almost immediately upon walking back and once when I had the PND activated so I was almost finished. An additional couple of times I was nearly toasted, but retreated in time.
I went from 'cool level dude' to 'I really don't like this tedious thing and I'm only finishing it because of the LP' here. And stayed in that mindset of 'just make it end' for most of the rest of the level.
I'm actually really impressed by the size of the testing team here. That's unusual for what is still mostly a one-man development team. Kudos to Virgil on that. One thing you do have to say unreservedly about Creeper World is that it is not a buggy mess. Rule #1 about game development AFAIK is actually finish the game -- and I haven't seen a CW title yet where that didn't happen. Hilarious writing and not always in a good way? Yes. Questionable game mechanics decisions? Sure. But for what it is, which is still fairly good, stuff works like it's supposed to. That goes a long way with me.
Here I try the 'fire through the door' idea. It doesn't really work. I'm damaging a bit of creeper due to blast radius, but I can't do much without actually opening it. This room had no emitter and a gold chest, so it didn't take that long to clear -- it was just a matter of getting rid of the rest of the creeper that had been built up.
You don't say. I got impatient again and died again. That's six times now for those of you scoring at home.
Made it to the end of another wing! You know, it might have saved time and space to list the people who weren't beta testers on this game. I wax a bit sarcastic at about 34:20 for a couple minutes here if anyone wants to laugh at my pain.
I head down into that side room next, with my newly-acquired Green Key granting me access to these chests.
Back at the start, I've got a choice of whether to go green or blue here. That yellow door at the very beginning ... I don't have a yellow key yet. And what are those things past the green door? They look like medicine bottles, but on a tripod. So Tripod Bottles they are. But they move around. And they don't appear to like me.
I go green. At first the Tripod Bottles just sit there and I slowly damage them ... but all of a sudden they charged. And I died quickly.
Oh yay. Frozen creeper comes back. The whole thing is 40 depth ... and it's one of those things where I just have to say, what does 40-deep frozen creeper that's just a grind to get through add to the level than 10-deep creeper wouldn't?
Another yellow door to the east of this ... and what's that red thing? Regardless, clearly I need to go north here.
Another one here, and I've got to decide whether to go north or east. I decide that I want to find about that gun, which seems to be pointed east, so I need to tackle the Tripod Bottles to the north first to get there.
This time I have the sense to retreat after opening the door, and only a few of them come after me. For a while some of them get stuck, and I can just pour bullets into them. Then they get un-stuck, charge, and kill me again. 8 deaths.
Shooting the gun does nothing, but once I actually reach it, a chime sounds and it turns grey ... and starts shooting what appear to be Anti-Creeper blobs to the east. Well, that certainly seems to be a helpful thing.
Heading back to the eastern door, I get four more chests here, and then need to fight my way north to get into the next room.
This red thing looked dangerous at first, but turns out it's just a welcome mat. As I started clearing creeper out of this next bigger room, the AC blobs began to make a home for themselves.
That'll work as good as anything as a safe area, and here we have an entire wing devoted to the graphic design. And another key. And three emitters. Once I take those out, I basically leave the AC to eventually clean up the rest. I tried moving to/shooting that black remote/droid/whatever, but it doesn't do anything but fly around in there.
The blue door is literally the only way I can go now. No idea what that pink key goes to.
This room is a royal PITA. 20-depth creeper to start, a narrow access hallway, an emitter on each side to replenish it. Yuck.
This is five minutes later. I haven't even made it to the end of the hallway yet, so I can't angle to shoot the deeper parts(it'll just bounce of the walls). A couple minutes later, death #9 as I get a bit too aggressive moving in more. Not long after, same thing again. An even 10!!
I did discover another thing about being better at this once I neared the end of this room. I seemed to start doing it better at about 1:12 on the video, give or take. When targeting deeper creeper sections, it's better to move the pointer/gun in a smooth arc, not waiting for the bullets to get there but learning to trust that they eventually will. That gets the most out of your window of opportunity before you must return to defensive firing closer by or retreat/die.
In the end, it took me 16+ minutes from room entry to taking down the west-side emitter. Sorry, but that's just STUPID.
A few more chests, another emitter, and at least some compassion as the rest of the wing is blocked off from flooding even more creeper in with a door.
A big room with lots of creeper and tripod bottles. Let's have ourselves a ball! I took some damage even kiting backwards immediately at full speed. Three of the hostiles followed me and paid for it. Once again I failed to survive the later rush when I returned to the opening, and died once more.
After a few minutes I was actually able to get all the way to the entrance of the room(whoop whoop) and here's an example of the classic spread pattern that is the most rewarded: keep the pointer moving so you never shoot at the same place for very long at all.
Once the worst of it is cleared out, this depressed area in the center helps collect it and makes it easier to reach the nullifier.
East is more creeper and another AC gun; south is something else, looks like a big empty room. But I sort of want to flank the creeper here and get to that gun faster, so south it is.
That's a fairly unique 'title'. Approach the figure at the bottom and click on him and he says stuff
** "forty-three species of parrots!"
** "I made myself. I cannot be unmade." - true in this level at least, I can't destroy him/it.
** "How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?" - yes, of course
** "I would have started with lasers, eight o'clock, Day One!"
** "What sort of Supreme Being created such riffraff?"
** "No one created me!"
** "Shut up, I'm speaking rhetorically"
Cool story bro. I'm just going over there to grab that yellow key though, and then ...
Well we can't get into that big room from this way, but I can start thinning out the creeper with this gun. Once activating it, I move back around the other way, and ...
** "I shall have understanding of video cassette recorders" - MORE to say have you?
This is past the yellow door, and a pink door(ok fuschia, whatever) opens into that same room we just saw from below. And notice the gun above here with a yellow door to access that?
Good for you. I didn't at the time. After cracking open the door and taking out the Tripod Bottles - at least without dying this time, thanks to them being nice and coming at me gradually - I saw it and decided to go investigate.
After nearly getting myself killed stupidly pushing in, I was more patient and cleared out this room, activating the gun and snagging the gold chests just because I can.
Now I had a pair of artillery pieces on my side as I renewed my attack.
This reads "Special Callouts April, Dax, and Cricket" Whatever that means. I'll take that advanced position afforded by the AC.
Hmm, maybe that wasn't such a good idea after all. Four emitters and a flashing trophy ... but I'll deal with that after my one-dozenth time getting killed here.
14th?? At least now most of the Tripod Bottles are gone. And this time I died approximately 10 pixels away from the spawn point.
After using the AC as a base to take out two of the emitters, I got annoyed at the final couple of enemies not doing anything ... and waded down to kill them, dying again. Can this just be over yet? Upon going back and grabbing the golden chest in the upper-right corner ...
Oh, heya Virgil! Haven't heard from you in the 90 minutes I've been playing this forsaken level!!
You actually call it 'Reverse Polish'? Seriously??
Gold Man!! I have a name!!! A generic, merely descriptive name, but a name nonetheless. I'm owning it doggone it.
I salute this idea to make it possible to do strange stuff with custom maps. I applaud it whole-heartedly. Standing ovasion, even. It makes me feel better about this level. Not good, mind you, but better.
Last emitter. And hi, Charlie! Notice anything strange about the wall below that text? We'll get back to that. After this, I didn't want to end the level yet till I'd checked everything ...
That gem in Graniaud's room does do something I see. Cool, 2k points!
That's really not nice, game.
After fighting it off for a bit, I retreat into the guy at the bottom, and this happens, complete with G-Man achievement. That'll definitely help clear it out. I probably would have survived without it, but it would have taken a longer time to clear than I wanted to spend.
Confident that I'm done after I take out all the creeper that spawned, I head back and grab the Trophy. Victory is mine ... but no Shhhh achievement. Sigh. So I do what any LPer with zero self-respect would do: I cheat and google it. Reading further may be spoilerish if you want to figure it out and haven't done so already.
I did notice there's something strange about the wall over here. The first hint I found in my search is shoot at the walls and see where the bullets don't stop until they get past the wall. I tried that here and yep ... this is one of the 'secret areas'.
Only way to reveal it is to walk into the fake wall. The second way you can tell is by the creeper. Remember early on in the mission, when I walked down the hallway to the west, and the creeper started appearing out of nowhere for a bit? Apparently that's the other room.
So the game gives you no overt hints, but a couple subtle ones, if you want to try and find these. Very possibly you wouldn't even know they were there without the achievements list. And in spite of my self-effacing snark, I don't feel the least bit guilty about cheating to find these. It would be a shame not to show them here, and I put up with this level for far longer than I wanted to already. I wasn't about to spend hours more walking around firing at every wall or testing them all by trying to walk through to try and find them.