Part 7: You free us?Welcome back to this no-walk-in-the-park LP.
The nearest town is called Gangster's Guillotine, but we won't be going in there just now; I have other plans for this update.
New level of Hell means new enemies.
Augmented mutant Bugs, for example.
Or fire-breathing Death Serpents. (Slavers are simply updated Enforcers.)
Or little purple devils that look funny.
Or even quick draw rangers.
Massacrers are Loggers, but more powerful and with a fancier name.
Even Moaners are hostile around these parts; apparently, the deeper into Hell, the madder it gets.
Ball-and-chain wielding Dinosaurs?
Nothing compares to blood-spattered zombie Crashed Pilots, though.
Except Mongol Ninjas.
A conveniently placed road sign. Helpful!
First, however, we'll be heading to one of the (two) places the sign doesn't mention. It's just more fun this way. We're going south.
Unfortunately, Dante's Hell Sabre gets destroyed in a particularly vicious Hell Soldier attack.
We equip Dante with a Pistol, but it's just too weak to be of use against the new enemies, so we give him a Rifle instead.
Meanwhile, Khan has made level six.
The way south is guarded by Insect Guards. Those are even tougher than Roaming Bugs, so getting to where we're heading can be tricky.
And here we are, the Prison of the Damned. Hell is a prison in itself, but this is basically a Hell within Hell.
Some great prison design there.
Combat-wise, the Prison of the Damned is a relatively nasty place with a couple of fairly challenging fights.
Not only that, but we also lose almost half our HP as we enter the place. Damn automated defence system. Plus, 4 Hell Corporals immediately appear to finish us off. Nevertheless we prevail, mostly thanks to Khan's all-crushing Unholy Mace.
That was some welcome indeed.
Looks like we're still Hell's number one criminal at large!
This is so advanced a prison that it even has a number of shops.
Looks surprisingly cosy.
Compared to the standard Shotgun's 2 shots, this one has 20, and deals up to 30 points of damage to boot.
Dante is level 4 already, his attributes a bit more tolerable now. (I'm not really complaining, though; this game is mostly about equipment, not stats per se, so any companion is okay when well equipped.)
More barbed wire and tombstones later...
...we reach another fine in-prison establishment, Abe's Aquarium.
Still, if there is one thing of note in here...
...it's the unfortunate man in the large central tank:
Poor bastard. We may have the means of helping him... later.
As we approach the entrance to the prison proper...
...two cops momentarily exterminate us with their UZIs!
They blast some pretty damn wide holes in us.
That calls for serious counter action.
Much better now. We take out the Cops before they can fire a single shot.
Let's refrain from entering the prison zone just now, though, as there is one establishment we haven't visited yet. The local terrorist cell.
And here's the endless supply of bombs I mentioned earlier:
Terrorist singers, huh? Generous terrorist singers. They hand us a bomb whenever we talk to them.
Nearby, Abdhul teaches Richard the Explosives skill.
Explosives is an active skill, but truth be told I never found any use for it myself; nor does the GameFAQs walkthrough mention anything. I believe it may be used for some kind of alternative quest solution, but that's just a guess.
Richard finds a Heavy Raincoat!
Richard finds a Demonic Shield!
We loot the two chests we find here, as well as make sure to grab two secret items, one hidden beneath the bed and the other one behind the toilet:
It's a Dark Rifle and a Dark Pistol, two of the game's most powerful weapons! We're going to really need them, for a reason that will become apparent later.
The entrance to the prison holding area is guarded by a number of scary-looking heavy guns.
Oops, that didn't go well.
Somehow, we manage to make it past the guns and into the holding zone.
Interaction with 3 Starving Guys
We dispatch 9 Troglodytes next and approach a couple of Sufferings.
Interaction with 6 Starving Guys
Not yet, I'm afraid. That, however, is a hint at Alan being held somewhere on Hell's level two.
Even more prisoners to interact with!
Interaction with 2 Starving Guys
Hey, don't be so hard on Richard; he may have been dumb, but his Piety is already growing fast.
In the eastern part of the prison, Harry (Houdini thanks to Waffleman_ for catching the reference) has an offer for us.
In exchange for a Dark Rifle, Harry is willing to raise Richard's Pick Lock skill from 10 to 20, which is essential for a certain side quest later. Parting with a Dark Rifle right now, however, is most likely going to make things much more complicated for us (unless we get incredibly lucky and get another one in a loot drop, but the chances are slim to none). A better idea would be to come back later, so we'll be sure to do just that at some point.
Meet Sparticus, another joinable companion.
He's not half bad, really. For a gladiator, that is.
Even though he's only level 1, he's already got Max HP of 80, Strength of 18, and Stamina of 15.
Sparticus is, quite expectedly, good at melee. One thing he drastically lacks, however, is firearms training.
With the game throwing new companions at us, and quite a few still awaiting us on Hell's level two, do we stick to what we have or rather experiment around and change companions on the fly? The decision is, as always, up to you.
1) keep our party as it is or
2) recruit Sparticus?
In the latter case, Sparticus can either 2a) replace Dante or 2b) replace Khan.
Also, where do we head next?
A) To Los Diablos, the City of Devils, for a visit to Satan's Sauna, or
B) to Satan's Halo for a rendez-vous with a blonde, or
C) to Gangster's Guillotine for a few gallons of blood?
The game is pretty open at this point, and we can go wherever we want. Some backtracking will be in order, but it's no big deal. So pick your choice.