Part 126: Taste The RainbowPART 126: TASTE THE RAINBOW
Bianca has ventured into the lost dwarven fortress of Amgarrak in search of a missing brother and a secret legacy. There she encountered vicious guardian golems, creepy magic smoke, a mysterious fleshy creature able to tear men limb from limb and a weird machine that turned everything blue...
[This episode of Dragon Age is brought to you by the color blue and a giant bear's ass. Goddamn, I could of framed that shot better.
Anyway, like Jerrik says, our next objective is to return to the mysterious blue specter of his missing brother, Brogan.]
[Now that we've lept into the Blue Dimension, we can interact with certain chests and doors that were ghostly in reality but are solid here. This is the whole gimmick of the remainder of Amgarrak. It is in no way ripped off from the Legend of Zelda games.]
Oh no, blue meanies!
Hide the pictures of Queen Victoria!
About the usual for dwarven scientists. Any excuse to kill the poor and flip off the Miners Guild.
[We can now open a door in this room that we couldn't in reality.]
Who wants to bet these corpses are all about to stand up?
You lose, Snug! Give me my money.
[The real threat is the Twisted Sentinel that pops into existence. It's a type of Arcane Horror, and throws out Blizzards and Crushing Prisons like they're going out of fashion.
Blizzard will hit everyone in the room and probably kill Jerrik if he doesn't flee quickly. Crushing Prison paralyses a character for a loooong time, certainly long enough to be beaten down by a crowd of angry skeletons.]
[My strategy is a suicide charge against the magic boy. He may be tough but the entire party whaling on him will cause his spells to whiff more often than not.]
This better have been worth it.
[It actually was worth it! +2 attribute points to spend as we please.]
[Anyway, let's keep searching for Brogan.]
Is that a book on the ground? Looks new... newer than the rest of this place.
We found a putrefying construct of meat and bone. It looked awkward, and headless, and the stench was unbearable.
Flesh golems? That may possibly be the worst idea a dwarf has ever had.
My grandfather invented mushroom schnapps.
Brogan! I'm here, you're all right...
No... no, Jerrik, can't stay. Get out. Go!
The light... was all around, went through me. Everyone disappeared. I... no, have to hide, Jerrik, have to hide...
Brogan, what happened?
Died. All dead. Torn apart, harvested.
Stop it. Destroy everything. Please, find... Darion.
I know Darion Olmech. He's a scholar who led the expedition.
Brogan, listen... is Darion Olmech still alive?
Yes... no... no, no, no. I don't want to be taken. Get it away. Stop the lights--dont touch it!
Rest easy, Brother. You did well.
Darion... I've seen pages of his journal.
[The blurring isn't an image quality thing. Everything is blurry in the alternate dimension.]
Darion probably has some understanding of this place. We need to find him.
I know my brother. He's a survivor. He might be a little... confused, but his sword-arm is as steady as ever.
Let's go. Brogan too.
[Brogan joined the party! A proper tank, at last.]
[Brogan's also a Reaver, a fighter specialisation we didn't see much of in Origins, because the only way to unlock it was by being very evil. Its abilities are Devour, which (metaphorically) eats corpses to restore health, Frightening Appearance which temporarily stuns an enemy and increases aggro accumulation, Aura of Pain, which is a damage AoE which also hurts the user, and Blood Frenzy which boosts damage the lower the Reaver's health gets.
I hope this has made clear that Reaver is the angsty teen of fighter specialisations.]
No... no, not the Fade. Here... but different.
[This room contains one of the hardest fights in the DLC. It's the alternate form of the room where we fought the golems last time, which is the one of the other hardest fights in the DLC. At least it's consistent.
Because it's so difficult, I'm going to cheese it. Fans of skilled strategy should look away now.]
[Sniping the Warped Watcher while ordering the rest of your party to hold their ground will draw him to you.]
Stay on target...
Stay on target!
It's all in the wrists.
[So the reason we wanted to lure that guy out was that when we enter the room, four Twisted Sentinels spawn in. Like their counterpart that we fought earlier they can spam Crushing Prison and Blizzard spells, but they do less damage and have less health. If we'd tried to fight them at the same time as the beefy swordsman, it probably would've gone poorly.
This fight is fairly easy if you follow that strategy, but it should still be pointed out what utter bullshit it is to spawn four powerful mages on top of you with no warning.]
[Anyway, to the victor the spoils.]
[Some chests in Amgarrak contain no treasure, instead they give us a free upgrade to our Golem pal.]
[This one lets our Golem set our weapons on fire. Fun!
Besides the immediate boost, finding all the golem upgrades grants us a new piece of equipment back in the main game.]
[There's another upgrade chest in the room that gives the golem six free attribute points, as well as some potions and grenades for Bianca.]
[We're retracing our steps back to the entrance. There's a sealed passage in the entrance hall that we can access now we're blue.]
Why are there so many human corpses down here?
Hands reaching out, reaching up. Movement in the dark.
Fine. I don't want to know the answer anymore.
We have to. This is the only way, Brogan.
Hey, another journal. Maybe it has some advice.
There is something in here with us.
Cool. Thanks Darion.
And we're back... Ooh. Purple switches.
[Before we go further, there's a journal in the 'real' entrance hall that I missed earlier.]
...learned of an old laboratory, called Amgarrak, where a man of Orzammar and a mage of Tevinter tried to recreate Caridin's research.
Branka's notes mentioned Amgarrak, although she did not pursue it. What kept her away?
OK. Here we go again.
Ow. I think my migraine got worse.
Oh, poor old evil researcher. Killed by your own creation. Who could have anticipated such a turn of events?
[Now we're purple, the final barrier in the entrance hall can be passed through.]
Brother, please can you only share cheerful observations from here on.
That's the second biggest mystery cube I've ever seen.
Took a souvenir, her pretty head...
[There's a bad golem and a few spirits in the room beyond, but Brogan's powerful tankiness makes golem fights a lot more straightforward.]
[Jerrik still died, but he dies in basically every fight.]
Follow the lights. No, don't follow the lights!
Heck with this. Back to reality.
[The latest journal can only be interacted with in the real world.]
They called it the Harvester." They knew it was a terrible mistake and they trapped it within these tunnels.
Our foolish greed led us here, and now we are trapped along with it.
Our only hope is to destroy everything--the creature, the research, the magic that sustains this place.
I must get to the forge, but the doors are sealed. It will take a specific combination of switches. I must think more.
This is madness! He wants us to destroy everything, after all we've done to reclaim this place? All the men we've lost?
Trust him. Darion understands. Darion sees.
Or in plain language: Dude, there's a flesh-eating monster on a rampage and enough holes blown through the fabric of reality to give even the craziest archmage pause. We're levelling this place and not looking back.
[Besides the journal, this room contains four wall switches- Yellow, White, Magenta and Cyan. Near the switches are four dormant golems, which will probably get upset if we try pushing buttons randomly. Darion's journal mentioned a 'specific combination' of switches necessary to unlock access to the forge, but we'll have to search Amgarrak further to find the right code.]
[Crossing the bridge gets you swarmed by some spectral warriors and a primal phantasm. It's a mage with a fancier color scheme. He isn't defended very well, so it's straightforward to burn him down before dealing with the fighters.
Based on their location, I think the game is implying these are the ghosts of Brogan's expedition. ]
Get him! Eat that ghost!
This must be the forge entrance. And... another journal.
It created a body--harvested flesh from the dead. It hurled my friends' limbs at me. I tripped in their entrails.
Ran. Still alive. Only one alive.
Wish I'd never read that now. Wish I'd never read anything in this place.
Wanna bet that golem's about to attack us?
You're no fun anymore.
[Darion's corpse was meant to be there, but it faded away while we were fighting the golem. Excellent programming guys!]
There's another journal here.
I can still hear it out there. It knows I'm here. I cannot get back to the forge.
There's a shaft of light. I can see my escape, but I cannot reach it. The ground is too damp, the rocks too slick.
I could go out there and make it quick or... stay here. Either way, death is certain.
Well, we found him poor bastard. Ancestors look kindly on him.
Darion gone? But together. Not in pieces... luckier than most.
He was holding a piece of paper...
His last message... an expression of how much fun it is to stay at the Young Men's Wizard Club.
[In the back of Darion's death room is this chest.]
[This is completely useless to us now, but completing the DLC unlocks it in the main game. Where it will also be competely useless to us.
Onward to better loot!]
[By reentering the purple dimension and retracing our steps to where we found Brogan, we discover this door is now open. It's sealed in both reality and the blue dimension.]
[It contains an empty room and a reality switch...]
[The real room contains eight angry golems and a green switch. Death is certain, unless...]
Time for a quick exit!
Uhhh. I feel... unwell.
Well, you are looking a little green.
[This room contains a huge amount of treasure, including some potent potions, two new magic abilities for our golem (AoE lightning attack and party heal) and this shiny new cudgel.]
[There is a catch though.]
[The door out is sealed in the Green realm. And there's no switch to go back to the Purple dimension. The only way out is in reality. With all the golems.]
[I am convinced there is no way to win this fight fairly. So I'm going to cheat.]
[Warping back to the green room will instantly drop you out of combat. Damaged golems will heal back to full, but dead golems stay dead. These two facts form a strategy- focus fire on one golem at a time, returning to the green dimension when most of your party is dead.]
Back to the green!
Are you sure it's okay to keep doing this?
I'm hitting the switch!
Are you sure it's okay to keep doing this?
Are you sure it's okay to keep doing this?
Hit the switch! Hit the switch!
?this doing keep to okay it's sure you Are
Well, we defeated the golems and everything worked out fine. Let's move on, both literally and emotionally.
[The last bit of treasure to be found is in this room, which we first explored in the Blue Zone back at the beginning of this update. Opening it in the Blue opened it in reality too, for some reason, and we can now get the sweet goods within.
There are also golems, because of course there are golems.]
[There's only four, and they're considerably weaker than the ones we just fought.]
[Our reward is another special chest that lets our Golem revive fallen party members. This lump of rock is now a better healer than Wynne.]
I'm sick of this place. Let's blow this joint.
[The note on Darion's corpse gave us the code- YMWC.]
[Inputting it turns the room's blue dimension switch into an ominous red.]
Here goes nothing...
This must be the cheerful dimension.
[The final door is open.]
No, Jerrik. Can't you hear it? Chitter, skitter... in there, waiting.
It'll wear your face, Jerrik. Take it off in rips and strips...
[One final treasure before the boss.]
[A side room off the forge contains the last golem chest. It gives us another six attribute points for the golem, although that's not the real prize.
The real prize is that finding all the golem chests lets us use Jerrik's amulet 'The High Regard of House Dace' in the base game, which boosts all our rogue stats. Useful!]
[Time for the end.]
[Hey, we're back in reality. This room flickers back and forth, which is weird and may be a bug.
Anyhow, the Harvester is a) revolting and b) a real tough fight]
[It can vomit corrosive goo over everyone, it can lash out with its arms knocking down everyone in range and it can pull out its own guts and throw them as a grenade which damages everyone in an area and spawns a new walking corpse. It can also buff itself stronger, if it really wants to screw you over.
All of its attacks are area damage, so positioning is key. Your positioning can be disrupted when it spawns more adds though.]
[Players of Dragon Age 2 are probably having traumatic flashbacks right around now. Yes, this is where the idea for that game's most infamous boss came from. This big fleshy golem thing.]
[Once down to 50% health it will start alternating vulnerability to magic and physical attacks. It's not immune to attacks that are 'no longer effective', it just takes much less damage from them.
As our only mage is the Golem, who only has a very limited selection of attack spells and is mostly serving as party healer, the Harvester becoming resistant to physical attacks is very annoying indeed.]
[Now is the time to burn all your health poultices and grenades. Eventually the Harvester will fall...]
[...Psyche! Two stage boss fight, baby. The Harvester head is much weaker than the body, but it can effectively teleport around the room and resurrect any previously killed zombie.]
[The hardest part of this section is catching up with the thing long enough to damage it. The second stage has less health than the first though, and it soon dies.]
Aw man, I liked that golem.
No! It can't come down, not now!
Time to go, Jerrik! The forge is destroyed, like Darion wanted.
The creature is dead! There could be other notes, more information to--
No, Jerrik. Not worth more death.
Listen to your brother.
I'm sorry your bear died.
Ah, he does that sometimes. He'll probably be fine. Now, let's get out of here!
We got out just in the nick of time.... Huh, that could be my catchphrase.
That's it... it's over. Everything's lost.
No, brother. We're still alive. Let's go home.
C'mon, Jerrik. Drinks are on me.
...And unbeknowst to the beautiful Bianca, hundreds of Harvesters crawled from the ruins of Amgarrak into the Deep Roads, where they still wait, in the darkness, hungry for the flesh of travellers....
The end dot dot dot question mark!
NEXT TIME: Girls just wanna have fun