Part 15: Byzanople Alternate PathsUpdate 15: Alternate-Universe Byzanoples
In our last update, we turned traitor on the Kingshome Army, joined the army of Prince Jordan, and defeated the Kingshomers.
What if we didn't do that? Let's rewind time back to our first entry into Byzanople.
Remember, if we go up the middle, we go through the tunnel to the dungeon. If we go left, we get shot at.
What happens if we go right?
There are two things back here. The first of which is a very tough fight with a Hydra.
It's a pretty pointless fight. All you get for it is a few experience points. It would have made more sense if the Hydra was guarding something, but we can just walk right beside it to find:
As usual, use Strength with Piers or Ulrik to move the block.
This tunnel isn't any different from the other one. Get to the wall, use Strength, end up in roughly the same place. I don't really understand why there are two different tunnels. From here, we can navigate to Princess Myrolla. Let's try actually fighting her this time.
The 10 Royal Guards at 10' are a bit of a problem because they can all attack right away. They can also tank a ton of damage. However, like the Mercenaries, they don't deal much damage to us (though they sometimes stun for a bunch), so after some time we can take them out.
Hey look, new artwork!
Myrolla doesn't try to advance. Instead, she'll stand 40' away and cast Ice Chill. This would be a problem if she ever dealt more than 2 damage with the spell. We take her out fairly easily.
quote:It asks for a peaceful end to the war now going on, but scrawled all over the parchment are profane words and harsh statements that could only have come from the King as a reply.
You have killed a woman of peace. Your actions may have done more harm than good.
Oops. This isn't a game over or anything like that. You just get a message telling you how you fucked up. In fact, if we want, we can actually go back into the dungeon, fight our way to Jordan's secret room, and we're presented once again with Paragraph 108. That's this one:
Paragraph 108 posted:You are led to a secret throne room beneath the city of Byzanople. There Prince Jordan and several advisors huddle around a map in a council of war. Jordan is stunned when he sees his sister has brought you into the heart of his defenses. Jordan's private guards tense as they lock eyes with you.
Prince Jordan recovers his composure and listens with interest to his sister's story. He is very interested to learn you are infiltrators recently pressed into service with the Kingshomer army. "You are not native to Dilmun, I can see that," Jordan says. "This isn't your war. No Outlander reaches the interior without going through Purgatory...and Purgatory is administered by Kingshome. I know because my sister was formerly Governor of Purgatory."
Jordan invites you to sit and offers you wine. "My father is King Drake of Kingshome," Jordan says. "I haven't seen my father in over a year - not since Namtar rose from the Pit. My father is a peaceful man, and he loves his children...but hehas recently dismissed my sister from her post at Purgatory, and then layed siege to me here at Byzanople. My father loves me and the succession is not disputed. I want to see my father die in bed - I do not covet his throne. There is no reason for the King to make war on me. It must be Namtar's doing.
"My father is not perfect, but it was never his way to imprison Outlanders for no reason. Namtar has stolen my father from me; he has robbed you of your dignity. He is our common enemy. I make you an offer - reject Kingshome and join me in my struggle against Namtar. When my father is restored to the throne, I will see you are richly rewarded."
Of course, this paragraph makes no sense here. Jordan's sister didn't lead us to him, we just killed her.
Despite our murder of Jordan's sister and his failure to notice, we get the usual offer to join Byzanople, and from here we can put things back on the rails, go fight Kingshome, be heroes, and nobody will ever find Myrolla's body or notice her absence. But let's go full evil here and refuse Jordan's offer.
We say no again.
Like the Royal Guards, Throneroom Guards take a lot of damage, so these fights are a huge MP sink.
Prince Jordan doesn't get any special art, just the generic Adventurer sprite. He doesn't hit for a ton of damage or anything, though he does take a few turns to kill. We murder another hero and get another lecture.
quote:The bodies of the only hope for peaceful unity lay before your blood-stained weapons. Namtar may die someday but he will only be replaced with someone just as wicked without a strong leader to unite the realm.
Like it or not, you now have the unenviable task to lead the people of Dilmun to a better life.
Sometimes it isn't always best to be king.
So yeah, the game makes quite a point of letting you know that this is a bad idea. But again, nothing much happens. Note that if we lose the fight with Jordan or try to run away, there are consequences:
Don't save your game here. As far as I know, this is unwinnable.
But since we beat Jordan, we can just go up the stairs into Byzanople. Normally, this is where we'd get led down the secret path to the battle with the army. Instead, we're just dropped in besieged Byzanople, where we get to fight a ton of battles with the Byzanople defense force:
Win a few of these battles, and we can make our way to the city gates:
Sure enough, we can walk up to the gates, use Lockpick, and read Paragraph 71:
Paragraph 71 posted:Much to the garrison's dismay, the gates of Byzanople prove little obstacle for you. The Kingshomer army streams through the open gate and makes short work of the outnumbered city garrison. Byzanople has fallen.
After putting the garrison to the sword, the victorious Kingshomer soldiers gleefully get down to some serious pillaging. Buck Ironhead, the commander of the Kingshomer siege camp, appears from the chaos. "I've got to hand it to you," he says, "you really did a job on these Byzanople jerks! Now Namtar's control of Dilmun is complete. I'm sure the Beast From The Pit will want to thank you personally." Ironhead smiles when you remind him of your bargain. "I haven't forgotten, I assure you...but seeing as how you threw in with me so easily, I doubt you have any real sense of honor. I wouldn't trust you clowns as far as I could throw you!" Buck stands back as several of his soldiers gather around. "Put these traitors in irons!" he snarls.
The guards close in. It's an epic fight, but no heroes can long withstand sheer weight of numbers. Everything goes black as the last of your party falls to the dust.
So, opening the Byzanople gates lands us in the Kingshome dungeon. It's actually a place worth exploring, but there's an easier way to get there without selling out Byzanople.
If we don't want to open the gates, we can instead take the secret passage. Instead of fighting the big battle, we can just climb over the wall into Siege Camp, go AWOL, and play the rest of the game with the Byzanople quest unfinished.
Let's rewind once more. Remember how we got shot with arrows when we tried to take the left route?
Each step we take, everyone takes one damage. Try to walk the path without healing, and this will happen:
However, we can just use the Bandage skill after every few steps. Annoying, but this prevents the arrows from being any threat to us. We can't open the gates from the outside, but there's a locked door which leads to a secret passage around the western wall.
Paragraph 21 posted:You pick your way through the ruins and come upon a spy post maintained by the defenders of Byzanople. Several soldiers are gathered here. They are gaunt from months of isolation - you surmise that if the city does not fall by assaultit will soon succumb from hunger. The soldiers are led by a woman warrior dressed in white and red. As yet, you remain unobserved.
If we attack them:
Nothing else happens. We don't get a combat or anything, just a textbox saying we killed them and we're idiots.
If we hail them:
Paragraph 36 posted:You alert the warriors to your presence. The soldiers are startled when you speak, and when they turn you see they are pale with fright. They realize you could have killed them before they knew you were there. The soldiers regard you nervously as the woman in red and white approaches. "You're the infiltrators the Kingshomers sent from their camp," she says. "I see you are surprised - my city might be losing this war, but we're not without our resources." The woman shakes your hand as she introduces herself. "My name is Princess Myrilla," she says. "If you meant us harm you would have attacked us from behind. You don't look like Kingshomers; I choose to trust you." Myrilla barks some orders to her men in a language you don't understand. Turning back to you, she continues, "Follow me. My brother will want to speak with you." Myrilla leads you through a secret passage into the heart of Byzanople. It's odd this girl has so abruptly taken you into her confidence. You decide to play along...if she can't make you a better offer than the Kingshomers, this is certainly an easier way into the city than storming the gate.
That's Princess Myrilla. She's the sister of Princess Myrolla and Prince Jordan. We follow her and get the usual meeting with Jordan (Paragraph 108).
Also, it's possible to open the gates after agreeing to join Jordan's army. In fact, it's easier, because we don't have to fight the Byzanople defense force: they think we're on their side, so we just casually walk up to the gate and open it, betraying Byzanople and getting a free trip to Kingshome.
It's amazing to me just how many different ways the Byzanople quest allows us to be awful. And much like the Slave Camp, taking the "bad" route has no lasting consequences. This will not be the last opportunity for us to fuck things up horribly, by the way. When these situations come up, I'll be taking the good paths but showing off the bad ones as well.