The Let's Play Archive

Dragon Wars

by rujasu

Part 3: More Purgatory

PotatoManJack" post="441994252 posted:

Get your Explore on

Without looking for spoilers, is there any other way to get yourself starting equipment in Purgatory other than through the trick you used (like is there a weapon shop for which you could grind gold and buy stuff)?

Also, is there any way to actually see the damage value of weapons? One thing that always annoyed my about Bards Tale was that you started getting all this crazy equipment later in the game, but couldn't actually tell what was better without testing it out for a while and comparing the variable damage rolls over time.

Nope, there's nothing that tells you the damage value. This was annoying in the days before you could just look it up in an FAQ. However, the manual does tell you the damage ranges of spells.

The "arena trick" isn't really a trick. If you fight the Gladiators instead of running, they'll wreck your shit, but your whole party will just get "stunned" and you'll get kicked out of the arena minus your gold. I believe this is actually the "intended" way to get your starting equipment. There's not much lying around in Purgatory. However, in this update we'll see another way you can pick up equipment, so stay tuned.

MaskedHuzzah" post="441987354 posted:

I still have the manual that came with the Interplay collection a while back - if you'd like, I can post descriptions and info of the spells as we find them.

I actually have two copies of the manual, but I have enough on my plate with the LP, so feel free to post spell descriptions as we go along.

Update 3: More Purgatory!

After a night of spending Ulrik's few remaining gold on cheap ale and sleeping on the tavern floor, we'll go ahead and explore Purgatory some more.

Before we do though, I'll take a brief minute to talk about leveling. In the last update, our four characters all leveled up to 2. In Dragon Wars, every time you gain a level, you get two skill points. (And that's all you get!) You can distribute these points however you want, and whenever you want. It is actually quite possible, and sometimes beneficial, to just sit on your unused skill points for a while until you know what skill(s) you need. For example, if we pick up a really awesome flail, we might want to give someone a skill in flails to use it more effectively. Or if we didn't already have someone with a 3 in Lockpick, we might need to level up Lockpick to get through a locked door. It also means that if we wanted to give our friend Piers a skill in Low Magic, which costs 5 to get the first point in, we could wait until he levels up two more times and stockpile enough points to get there.

Since we know Piers doesn't want any Low Magic, we'll go ahead and distribute his points now.

Now, remember how I said Dexterity affects Attack and Defense value? Specifically, the formula is like this:

AV = (Dexterity / 4) ± (Weapon/Armor AV Effects) + (Weapon Skill)
DV = (Dexterity / 4) ± (Weapon/Armor DV Effects)

The key here is the Dexterity / 4 part. By increasing Piers's Dexterity from 15 to 16, we increase his base AV and DV from 3 to 4. And since he has a 3 in Swords, the AV is really a 7. That's a pretty good value. Accuracy is really important in this game because melee attacks miss all of the time. Fortunately, our enemies' attacks will usually miss as well, and we can use magic, which typically does not miss. Still, magic points are limited, so investing in Dexterity is a sound strategy.

Also, we want to make sure Kali's Bandage skill is sharp. After battle, she can use Bandage on all party members. Bandage recovers health up to a point: specifically, the number of the user's Bandage skill plus 10. Since Kali has a skill of 3, she can use Bandage to recover any party member to 13 Health. If their max Health is 13 or lower, it recovers all 13. If max Health is higher than 13, we'll have to use a heal spell to get them up to full health. So obviously, we want the Bandage skill + 10 to be as close to our party's max Health as possible.

We'll hold back on other stat increases for now. On to the exploring!

The tavern is in the northeastern section of Purgatory. Using my highly-advanced cartography skills, I've indicated where we are and where we've explored on the map below:

We've already checked out the tavern in the northeast and the arena in the north, so let's see what's over in the northwest.

On our way past the arena, we run into these guys:

(Please excuse the GIF quality. I'm working on it.)

This is one of the tougher fights in Purgatory, but it's not dangerous. At worst, your whole party will get "stunned" and you'll have to bandage up and re-fight.

Also in this area is Purgatory's only store, the Black Market:

They have the same junk from the Arena, and it's not too expensive, but even after a handful of fights we don't have much money. They do have some higher-end weapons such as the Greatsword and armor such as the Brigandine, but buying it is unnecessary.

Moving on a bit further...

Paragraph 67 posted:

This is an open-air slave market, filled with the cry of fleshmongers and the laughter of a perfumed crowd. Here men and women are for sale - people such as yourselves - to the jaded residents of the Dilmun interior. From the gate of the slave market you watch as several young men are auctioned off. They seem less healthy than yourselves - maybe they've been in the city longer than you. It seems a sad way out of this place, to make yourself a slave... but isn't anything better than a life of misery and slow death in the streets of Purgatory?

You scan the crowd, anxious to measure the character of citizens of the Dilmun interior. Their faces seem cruel and aristocratic, with a faint hint of the more-than-human. Here and there you spot a face that seems kinder than most, but if you were on the block, what guarantee would you have of receiving a kind master? Could you truly live with yourself as a slave? There is a long line of lost souls waiting for the auction block. Nothing will stop you should you decide to join them.

And now, I present one of my favorite screenshots from this game:

Ulrik: Didn't we JUST have a conversation about how we didn't want to be slaves?
Madrick: Hands off, slave-traders! These are MY minions!
Piers: I hate you so much, Madrick.

So yeah, I wasn't kidding about the selling ourselves as slaves thing. Remember, I was about nine when I first played this game. Anyway, being sold as slaves is technically a way to get out of Purgatory, though the whole "being a slave" part might be a bit of a problem.

For now, we'll make our way through the western section of Purgatory, passing by Namtar's statue to spit on it. We run into this guy on the way:

Easy fight, nice payoff:

Again, we'll sit on the points for now and make our way to the south. There is a temple off to the side, let's check it out.

NOTE: There are a lot of enemies with recycled art in this game.

Anyway, there's a statue here, so let's check it out:

Paragraph 3 posted:

This is a shrine to the dark lady Irkalla, queen of Magan, the underworld of Oceana. Of all the structures in this area, this is the best preserved. Simple offerings of weeds and rocks lay before Irkalla, indicating some residents of this world worship the dark queen. Irkalla's image is blasted from bronze. She seems serene and confident, with a terrible sort of beauty
lurking in her fierce countenance. The black pits of her eyes stare at you without emotion. Here is a deity to be feared - perhaps also to beloved.

Note that every statue in the game looks like an old bearded dude with a stick. You have to use your imagination a bit.

Anyway, we'll pray to Irkalla while we're here. You are prompted to sacrifice an item. Fortunately, we had Madrick stash a few extra Low Magic scrolls recently. Let's offer one of them up...

Kali: She wants more! Offer all the scrolls!
Madrick: Nooo! Not my scrolls!

From what I can tell, it's completely random whether you get "silent" or "pleased" per item. I tried sacrificing the same item multiple times, etc. and it seems to be a coin flip. As you might expect, "pleased" is what we're looking for here. We don't have to do this now, but it will important later. There's also something else to check out here:

Paragraph 94 posted:

You recall learning of waters like this during your mystic studies. The pool of water ahead fits the description of Aspu Waters...waters of the world ocean that underlies the surface of Oceana. Apsu Waters are coterminous with the world of Oceana, the mystical Magan Underworld, and dark dimensions where gods and devils reside.

Given the "mystic studies" bit, this might be something you need Arcane Lore to be able to see. I've never played without Arcane Lore, so I'm not sure. Anyway, the Apsu waters are a possible way out of Purgatory (unrelated to the Irkalla statue), so we'll keep that in the back of our minds. Leaving the temple, we venture a bit further to the southwest of Purgatory.

Paragraph 77 posted:

Amid the ruins you come upon a remarkable sight. A bonfire illuminates a shattered city square. Scores of people cavort about the fire this is the greatest gathering of people you've seen since arriving in Purgatory. The occupants of the square constitute a cross-section of Purgatory's citizenry. Blind beggars, mad poets, dog-faced children, and drunken priests swarm about the fire like moths to a flame; drinking, singing, loving, bleeding, brawling. Above them all, seated on a rude throne of stacked masonry, you see the man you surmise to be the king of this place. If he is a king, he is a king of thieves.

Astounded by this strange sight, you do not notice until it is too late a score of scoundrels sneaking up on you. Surrounded by rogues, you are urged toward the fire, where you come under the gaze of the figure on the throne. "Outlanders!," the king roars, teetering atop his perilous perch. "You've strayed far from your homes, little does and kittens. This is the Court of Miracles, gathered to pay homage to the King of Purgatory..." the king pauses, awaiting the proper moment before continuing, ", Clopin Trouillefou!"

Despite the fact that we have two party members with thievery skills, we're going to opt for No here.

Clopin Trouillefou posted:

You must then prove yourselves to me! Defeat the dreaded Humbaba and you will know honor in my court. You will find him at the northeast corner of my realm.

Kali: Well, what are we waiting for? Let's go fight the Humbaba!

We make our way to the northeast section of Purgatory.

Well I guess we know why he's "dreaded."

Like everyone else in Purgatory, he misses his target a lot, but when he connects, he does some damage. That's 7 points of health damage, but also enough to drop her Stun rating from 14 to 0 in one hit.

We have some heavy hitters too though.

When a party member is stunned, they get shipped to the back of the party order at the end of the round. This means when Kali is healed, she is in the 5th slot and unable to melee. She's still able to finish off the Humbaba with a fireball, however.

Everyone is Level 4 now! These first few levels come quickly, but that will slow down quite a bit soon. Let's go back to Clopin and collect our reward.

We get 1000 gold for kicking some Humbababutt. Huzzah!

So that covers most of what there is to do within Purgatory. There's one area we haven't checked out yet, and that's the harbor in the southeast. Remember that the barkeep told us a good swimmer could escape through the harbor! Let's investigate.

Paragraph 5 posted:

With distaste you discover the source of the foul odor. Before you is a low structure, not so much a building as an oddseries of stone slabs leaning against one another. Some ancient stonemason identified this place with a legend carved intothe rock: "Morgue". A more recent hand has added its own opinion: "The way out, chumps!".

The stench of the dead is overpowering, but sensing there's something important about this place you hang around onthe fringes and observe the routine. Sallow work gangs of malnourished slaves, themselves more dead than alive, slowly carry corpses from the building and stack them in sloppy piles. You dimly wonder what crime or heresy landed these poor souls a job as salves in a city of criminals.From time to time additional corpses are brought here by the more tidy citizens of Purgatory. These are deposited in the house or stacked in the piles without seeming purpose. After a time, several of the slaves bundle one or more corpses intoa crude canvas sack and hurl the bundle over the wall. Distantly, you think you hear a splash. you judge you're near the harbor wall are the dead of Purgatory hurled into the waters of the city's harbor?

It occurs to you a living man could lay with the dead, and journey with them in a sack over the wall and to freedom in the harbor beyond. How far do the sacks of corpses fall? Are they really tossed in the harbor, or do they tumble into a well? Could you escape from a bag of cadavers before it sank to the bottom of the sea, maybe forever mired in muck and weeds? Perhaps the overpowering smell of this place is starting to get to you. or perhaps this is your ticket out.

(That was more than a paragraph!)

Anyway, this is either a possible way out of Purgatory, or a good way to get a cheap game over. Only one way to find out! Besides looking it up in the FAQ, you cheating bastards.

It's time to get out of Purgatory. How shall we do it?
- Find the hatch in the SW tower
- Try to swim the harbor
- Apsu Waters
- Sell ourselves as slaves
- Play dead and leave Purgatory in a body bag

Note that regardless of what option is chosen, the others will be explored in some fashion later in this LP, so don't go and spoil them all. Thanks!