The Let's Play Archive

Dungeon Crawl

by Chakan

Part 52: GreatZebu, SpEn - Three

Spriggan Speedrun, Part 3

It's been a long time, but we're back with the next installment of
Spriggan Speedrun. Last time, we cleared out the lair and the orcish
mines before finding the vaults. Now, I'm going to dip my toes into the
vaults, with the idea of getting some loot and some experience before
diving to D27.

The vaults have a characteristic "city" layout, as you can see here thanks to
magic mapping. I used the mapping scroll because there's a labyrinth somewhere
on the level, and I'd prefer not to miss out on the loot. I find that it's
usually worth blowing a mapping scroll to increase the odds of getting to a
timed portal if you have one to spare.

En route to the labyrinth, we run into Saint Roka. This guy comes with a big
pack of orcs, and he'll smite you all day long. He's also pretty beefy in his
own right.

Generally it's smart to lure St. Roka's entourage away and dispatch them while
he's not smiting or bashing you. I take out some of the pack, then head off to
the labyrinth.

The labyrinth is generally pretty boring. Just keep in mind that the inner part
of the maze is made of harder material and it's pretty easy to home in on. Every
so often you run into a hungry ghost or a trapdoor spider to break up the
monotony, but the risk of actually starving or dying is just about nil if you
brought food with you.

We find the minotaur. He never wakes up.

We head down a level, leaving Saint Roka alone for the time being, and we run
directly into Norris. Norris is Real Dangerous, but fortunately he's asleep.
Let's just sneak up and...

Crap. We get the stab in, but we don't come close to killing
him. We could probably use another few points of stabbing.

This is an odd little vault with loot we can't use. Fotunately the stone
giant is courteous enough to go down in one shot without waking up,
unlike some uniques I know.

Sphinxes are some of the most dangerous monsters in the vaults. They
sense invisible, can smite you to death, and their paralyze attack
leaves you helpless. I lost a 14 rune MdFi to a pack of sphinxes once,
due to hubris. Tragic. Fortunately a combination of confusion and
stabbing does the trick on these guys.

Here we see the sad consequences of invisibility. If you don't manage it
carefully, you'll build up serious contamination, and can very easily
end up mutated. Your contamination level doesn't decrease as long as
you're invisible, so it's very important to manage carefully. This
particular mutation happened after just one turn of yellow-level
contamination. Decreased strength is a pretty lucky bad mutation,
though. Shoutitis or teleportitis could have really ruined our fun.

Hmm, this is an interesting looking vault.

I try to grab the loot with apportation, but an Indiana Jones-style
pressure plate foils me, and I'm left with some very unwelcome mummy

Also the exit is sealed. Welp. The guardian mummies are too bad, since I
can outrun them. The greater mummy is a much bigger problem, if it wakes

Situations like this are why you always want a source of teleportation

Once I escape the mummies, I get back to the important business of
trying to stab uniques and having them laugh at my attempts.

Finally, a scroll of acquirement! My resists are terrible, so armor is
an easy choice.

Hmm, a +1 cap? I guess I'll take it.

This book store is a much luckier find. The book of Wizardry is
especially good, because it has haste, which is quite possibly the best
spell in the game. I also really want book of War Chants for
regeneration and repel missiles. I grab wizardry and make a note to come
back if I need the book of war chants later.

Then I decide to dip into the hall of blades, hoping to find a
quickblade. Instead, I find Boris. Still asleep. An irresistable target.

Of course he wakes up on the turn I get next to him. One of these days
I'll learn to be more careful.

I blink right to the exit, and I have no plans to ever return.

Oh look, an even more dangerous unique. Surely if I stab Mennas, he'll
die without waking up, right?

Yes, I slice Mennas like a ripe choko! Err, wait. He's not quite dead
yet. Unfortunately, as a Spriggan enchanter, I have almost no way of
killing him now, even though he's critically wounded.

He laughs my wands off pretty easily. I can't take the risk of taking
shots from him. I've had too much of this nonsense. It's time to head
back to the main dungeon.

Finally, a unique who'll go down politely in one stab.

I find what I'm looking for on level 21: a portal to the abyss. It's
finally time to pick a god.

Conveniently, there's an altar to Lugonu waiting for us on our arrival.

Lugonu is a nice choice for us for several reasons. She gives you a
banish ability that sends enemies to the abyss, which is awfully handy
when you accidentally wake up a powerful monster that you can't kill.
She'll give our dagger a distortion brand when we hit max piety, which
is probably the most valuable brand for us, since it'll blink guys out
of our way or banish them from time to time. We're not going to be
killing anyone through normal combat damage, so those side-effects are
pretty nice. She also gives us two abilities that will come in handy
when we need to extract certain valuable items from the dungeon, which
I'll cover later.

It's not that hard to survive in the abyss, as long as you're faster
than the monsters and not afraid to run away. Flight helps a lot, but
we haven't been lucky enough to find it yet. Flight will get you across
water quickly and quietly, and it gives you a persistent stealth bonus.
We can get by without it, though.

I find a portal out relatively quickly, but I'm feeling greedy, and
decide to stick around until I find the rune. Lugonu increases your
chances of finding exits and of finding the rune.

Golden eyes are actually one of the more dangerous enemies down here.
They'll confuse you right through your magic resist. Best to stay out of
their sight.

Sometimes the abyss seals you into a wall. Just gotta wait it out.

I manage to resist the urge to convert to Xom, despite the many
convenient altars.

Finally, I find the abyssal rune. It's surrounded by lightning spires,
which I assume will kill you with lighting.

Apportation is really great for grabbing runes from dangerous places.
This isn't the last time it'll come in handy.

Ok, nothing else for us in the abyss. Lugonu lets us get out quickly and

I decide to take a quick crack at the vesibule of hell. Geryon's horn
would let me open that treasure trove I found so long ago.

Everyone's asleep. Just the way I like it.

Well, that turned from great to shit in a hurry. I get out in a hurry.

And take my frustrations out on a sleeping Frances. I decide to stop
screwing around and dive for D27. On a side note, you can really see the
cost of my inexperience with stabbers in this update. I'm leaving myself
vulnerable over and over again because I don't know which enemies I can
one-shot and which ones I can't. Sometimes knowing exactly how powerful
you are is much more valuable than being really powerful. Sadly, I'm a
little optimistic about what I can take down, which puts me in a lot of
really dangerous situations unnecessarily.

D26 is dominated by a giant vault that I don't even try to explore. I
just murder these deep trolls and head downwards.

Here we go, the entrance to Zot. Just 5 short levels away from the orb.
Sadly I need two more runes before I can get in.

The plan now is to run back to the lair and grab the runes in as few
turns as possible. I'm all the way up to level 19, so it will be
substantially easier. Whether I'm successful or not, I won't be gaining
many levels from here on out.

Unfortunately, I wasted a lot of time screwing around in the vaults and
the abyss. It's currently around turn 36,000, so if we're going to meet
our goal of winning by turn 50,000 there's not much time left to grab
the last two runes, make our way down to the orb, and escape.

Next time on Spriggan speedrun: thrills, chills, runes, and a few very
poor decisions.