The Let's Play Archive

Dragon Wars

by rujasu

Part 44: Purgatory Revisited

Part 44: New Game Plus - Return to Purgatory

When you start up Dragon Wars, you have two options. Begin a new game, or load the current saved game. (Multiple save slots weren't supported, but you could just copy the game to multiple floppy disks or multiple directories on your hard drive if you wanted to have multiple games going at once.) If you begin a new game, you get this screen:

Now, we could blow away all of these characters and create new ones, or delete some and create others. But for now, let's keep the 7 we just beat the game with.

Actually, if we want to be technical here, we're using the save from right before we threw Namtar back in the Pit, because we can't save after beating the game. Although, I do like the idea that after we threw Namtar back in the Pit, he just immediately rose again and conquered Dilmun all over again as soon as we turned our backs. One good thing: Kali is still alive, which is helpful since we won't be visiting Necropolis any time soon.

Also, our maps are cleared out, all items & equipment in our inventory are gone, and all event scripts are reset. However, we do retain all of our attributes and spells. That's a BIG advantage. Among other things, we have Create Wall and Soften Stone which are necessary for completing the game.

So anyway, our goal now is to, you guessed it, escape from Purgatory once again! Last time around, we escaped by way of descending into Hell and then popping back up somewhere else. This time, let's try a more conventional way out. But first!

Paragraph 4 posted:

You stand before the gate to Purgatory's great public arena. Bloodthirsty residents of the Dilmun interior come here to enjoy the spectacle of outlander scum such as yourselves fighting to the death on the floor of the arena.

A guard swaggers up to you. He is clad in the trappings of authority fine armor, a weather-beaten harness, well-oiled weapons. "Oy there, you filthy street scum," the guard growls. "you look fit enough to hold a weapon. Why not haul your butt into the arena and make yourself useful?" Why fight for another man's pleasure when life in Purgatory is adaily struggle for survival? You're about to turn away when the guard lays a heavy hand on your shoulder and adds,"You'll get your choice of arms...and if you defeat your foe, which I doubt, you might win Papers of Citizenship. Namtar help me - heathen dogs like you living in Dilmun! I don't like it, but the law is the law."

You may recall that the easiest way to get introductory weapons in Purgatory is to stop by the Arena. We get free weapons and leather armor, but we also have to tango with these guys:

You may recall us running away and letting them take our lunch money the last time around. The outcome will be slightly different this time.

Yeah, those spiky knee-pads and face masks don't do much against BEING SET ON FIRE.

Also, this is the "other" way to get Citizenship Papers in the game. Last time, we got them in Slave Camp, which made beating the gladiators rather unnnecessary. Either stack of papers will get us across the bridge. Two is redundant. Of course, we could also just set the bridge guards on fire instead of carrying around papers at this point, but still, roasting those gladiators is kinda satisfying. They kicked my teeth in a lot when I played this game as a kid.

Looks like none of the other gladiators really want to mess with us after that performance. Figures.

All right, now that we have our papers, let's get outta he-

Huh. Apparently being bona fide Dilmun citizens is enough to get us across the bridge to the next island, but not enough to get us out of Purgatory to begin with. Well, that's okay. Let's try a different route.

Yep, Soften Stone works in Purgatory. Naturally, the whole notion of being trapped in a walled city falls apart when you have a spell that erases walls.

Of course, you may have thought of a more obvious route out:

Nuking the main gate guards doesn't give us any special loot or paragraph or anything. It's just another way out of the city. There are a few others. Remember, the barkeep where we found Ulrik does give us some hints for getting out of Purgatory:

These two hints go together. There's a fake wall in the northwest:

We can just walk through this wall, but there's a catch. Purgatory has two walls, and this route (or going through the main gate) only takes us through the inner wall.

The "hatch" in the southwest is another fake wall which takes us outside of the city entirely. That's the easiest way out, but if you can't find it, you might find a path to freedom near the harbor:

Here, we can use the "Swim" or "Climb" skill to get over the wall.

One problem. We're in the water. This is the only place where we can swim, but anyone in the party who doesn't have the Swim skill will take 1 damage per step. It is very difficult to heal through this, especially if it's early in the game and you don't have much magic.

However, if you just walk a few tiles to the east and don't mess around, you can get out with everyone alive, and you're at the recovery pool behind Slave Camp so you can heal up easily. Speaking of Slave Camp...


16) Before you is a tumble-down collection of huts. A group of ill-clad unfortunates are gathered around a fire. They see you approach and rush to your side. "We saw you swim across the bay", says a toothless man who seems to lead the group. "Any enemy of Purgatory is a friend of ours. C'mon in and sit by the fire."

If you swim out of Purgatory, the slaves trust you, no need to use Bueracracy to explain yourself. That's fun. Also, this isn't the only way to swim out of Purgatory. If we stay inside the walls and walk up to the morgue near the harbor:


5) With distaste you discover the source of the foul odor. Before you is a low structure, not so much a building as an odd series of stone slabs leaning against one another. Some ancient stonemason identified this place with a legend carved into the 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 into a 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.

We can use the "Hiding" skill. Upon doing so, we are directed to paragraph 7...


7) You secure yourself in a bag full of only slightly stinking corpses and wait patiently. Someone sews the bag up as you lie motionless. After some moments, you hear a throaty voice call, "Oy, yew! Run yer sword throo them bogs, thar! You'membar wot hopp'nd last week! We don't wont any mar escayps now, do we?" You are bound and helpless!

Haha, just kidding. Paragraph 7 is one of the fakes they put in the manual to throw off potential "cheaters." It's actually paragraph 69.


69) When no one is looking, you crawl into an open sack filled with disgustingly fresh corpses. You lay still as the sack is crudely sewed shut. The darkness of the tomb descends upon you as the bag is closed.

None too gently, the entire sack is heaved onto the backs of the slaves. Dead arms embrace you, long fingernails claw at your hair, rotting grave mold seems to penetrate your body. There is a lurch and a rasp as the bag clears the wall, and then you fall.

Your flesh crawls with anticipation. Will you meet your end, smashed to death with a host of corpses on some unseen rocky spire? Or will you splash into the warm waters of Oceana, at long last free from the
stinking hell of Purgatory?

You splash. You sink. You struggle. At last you win free of the sack, and the dead hands that drag at you seemingly resentful of the life you display. Lungs bursting, you break from the water at the base of the harbor wall, and quickly clamber aboard some debris you find floating close by and strike out for shore.

Same deal, except you don't actually use the Swim skill and nobody takes any damage. This is the easiest way out, if you have the Hiding skill and weren't deterred by the bogus Paragraph 7.

And of course, there's the Apsu Waters which we used on our first playthrough. So there are a ton of different, interesting ways out of Purgatory. We aren't going to actually use any of them to get out, of course.

Nope, we're going to leave Purgatory by way of being sold into slavery! A brilliant plan! Hooray!


58) After a long wait, you shuffle onto the block with a host of other unfortunates. You are in better shape than the poor wretches that surround you, and your group is instantly the subject of spirited bidding. You shudder as you are sold to a man with a fat neck for more gold than you are likely to see in a lifetime.

You are led away from the slave auction and linked one to another by a continuous sequence of chains and collars. Presently your new master appears and introduces himself. "I am Master Mog," he says. "From this moment on, I am your mother, I am your father, I am your God, I am your world. I am Mog - Mog is All. Abandon all hope of freedom. You are my property, to do with as I please."

Mog leaves you to the hands of his slave bosses, who spend the next several weeks attempting to break your spirit. During this time you are loaded aboard a painfully slow cog and sail to Master Mog's estate.

You are afforded a brief glimpse of Mog's luxurious palace before you are led beneath the earth and introduced to Mog's salt mines.

Then begins a mind-numbing series of repetitious chores. You are not permitted to leave the mines. You work, sleep, and eat in the same series of identical tunnels, never permitted to see the sun.

Huh. Why did we do this exactly?

Next time: Let's Play Mining Salt For Master Mog!

By the way, there's one spot in Purgatory where you can't use Soften Stone - the arena. They really do not want you getting back in there. Even if you leave Purgatory and come back, you can only kill the gladiators once.