Part 45: Salt MinesPart 45: All is Mog, Mog is All
Last time, after becoming bona fide citizens of Dilmun and watching Purgatory bow to our will with the power of magical fire, we sold ourselves as slaves to Master Mog!
"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, kupo."
You may remember Mog from the Slave Estate in our first playthrough. We'll get to that.
Right now, let's contend with this issue of our entire party being in chains.
They also took everything in our inventory, not that we had anything useful to begin with.
Everyone is "equipped" with the Chains which are -15 AV. I don't know if they count as a weapon, armor, or what, but they make it damn near impossible to do any melee damage.
Walking out of our cell, some guards yell at us to get back to mining or whatever it is we're supposed to be doing, but it's just flavor text. We can walk around and mostly do what we want here.
This includes starting fights with the guards, of course.
Like I said, with our AV so low, we have pretty much no chance of doing any damage.
However, the chains do nothing to prevent us from using Inferno to make the guards extra-crispy. (Before you ask, no, Soften Stone does not work in the mines.) Also, we have to be a little bit careful with our MP, as we do not have any Dragon Stones.
Anyway, let's look around for a way out of here...
Ah, there's the exit. No problem, we'll just roast the guards and...
Damn. They are protected by a force far more powerful than Inferno - scripting. We get booted into this room:
60) These cramped quarters serve as home for Mog's unfortunate slaves. Men sleep fitfully on the cold rock floor, encumbered by the stout chains that bind them one to another. An examination of your companions proves your chains will never be removed - some of the sleeping men are still chained to companions who have long since passed away.
Obviously, we're going to need to find water for this poor guy, which means we'll need to find both a source of water and a container for said water. So let's go check out the other rooms!
The enemies around here are so weak that we can just cast variable-cost spells for 1 MP to kill everything. Nothing here is a threat, which is good when you don't have any weapons or armor.
Ulrik: Don't look at me, that was all Louie.
Yay, we found our stuff!
Of course, we have to break our chains before we can get our stuff back. Next room...
For whatever reason, we're allowed to pick up this cup even with the chains on. So now we just need to find some water. Next room...
This looks promising.
We use the Battered Cup here, filling it up with water, take it back to the dying man, and read paragraph 61.
61) The dying man gratefully gulps water from your cup. "You are angels," he says. "I want to die, but not alone, and certainly not thirsty!" The man wipes his mouth with his wrist. His parched lips crack and smear his wrist with blood. "Not much longer," he says with a wan smile. "When I'm gone, I want you to have these." The dying man shows you his boots. The soles are entirely worn away, but the tops are still secured by stout leather laces. "The boots aren't much good, but the laces are strong - maybe you can do something with them." The old man is abruptly seized with a coughing fit. You know the end is near. "I hope you fare better then me," he croaks.
Well, he offered us his shoelaces, so we don't have to feel quite as bad about taking them off his corpse.
Clearly these shoelaces are going to be part of a contraption to get out of here. Let's see what else we can find.
I think you can see where this is going. All we need now is a rock.
There we go. Plus an MP recharge, in case we needed it.
49) After a few hours of cautious work, you're able to lash an appropriate rock to the broken pick handle with the laces you received from the dying man. The result is a serviceable if makeshift hammer. The hammer probably isn't worth much as a weapon, but it might hold up long enough to break the chains that bind you.
It's Hammer Time!
NOW let's get outta here.
Of course, the "boss" here is a complete joke.
62) The last of the guards drops dead and silence claims the mines. A ladder leads up out of the salt mines. In the dim distance you can see sunlight for the first time in uncountable hours, days, or months. Freedom is at hand. But what awaits you at the top of the shaft?
Actually it took me like 20 minutes in game time, but I did already know the solution to the puzzle.
Oh, I should probably go back to the rubbish pile and pick up our stuff. If we go up the stairs without getting it, we can't return and it's lost forever.
Not that we had anything useful to begin with. No wonder they threw it in the trash heap.
And yeah, it's just the crap that we had before we were sold into slavery. We don't even get our gold back. The crude hammer is destroyed when we use it, so the only "extra" loot we come out of the mines with is the 9 Dragon Stones and the Battered Cup. The Battered Cup is useless, we can just discard it. Dragon Stones aren't hard to come by. Bottom line, the Mines are mostly just a useless detour. However, it is somewhat interesting from a story perspective.
If you remember the Slave Estate update, Mog was the owner of the estate (making it the "luxurious palace" mentioned in paragraph 58), and he had been replaced by the Gaze Demon. Speaking of which...
That was fun. We don't get anything for killing him, just like we didn't get anything for using a mirror on him. It seems to me like you really should get some kind of reward for defeating the big boss of this area, but nope. I still really like the storytelling behind this quest, even if it is effectively just a pointless sidequest. Also, it's kind of funny how we could technically have killed Mog here before selling ourselves into slavery and reading paragraph 58 about Mog buying us.
Speaking of paragraph 58, I have no idea whether Mog is the man or the demon when we meet him there.
Anyway, it's also possible to go back to Purgatory and sell ourselves into slavery again. If we do, we get paragraph 58 again, and we get dumped in the exact same mines again, except this time around, the game is in an unwinnable state because the dying man is still dead and his shoelaces are long gone. Hope you didn't save! Since Soften Stone doesn't work in this dungeon, we might as well use Create Wall to box ourselves in and make things especially hopeless.
For the love of God, Montresor!