Part 8: Then again she is very good looking...
You asked for it, folks: we're replacing the poet with the gladiator and then heading to Satan's Halo to have some fun with a blonde. As you're going to see pretty soon, powergaming-wise the best option, weirdly enough, would've been to get rid of Khan, not Dante. But hey, it's more fun this way.
Sparticus is even more powerful in melee than Khan, so the Unholy Mace goes to him, while Khan equips a Rocket Launcher. Along the way to Satan's Halo, Sparticus reaches level two:
Which adds 26 points to his Max HP and one point to his Strength. Not much of an improvement, but he had already been quite powerful anyway.
Turns out Sparticus isn't half bad with firearms either, despite having no relevant ranged weapon skills. Which only serves to demonstrate just how rudimentary the character system is in this game, equipment and Max HP being the things that matter most.
Is it possible to bomb the glass aquarium? You should attempt to bomb everything, to figure out what to use that skill is for.
Nope, bombing the aquarium doesn't seem to work unfortunately (which goes to show just how restricted active skills are in this game), and off to Satan's Halo we go.
Suddenly, just as we approach it...
...Khan deserts! Without any kind of prior warning. And we have a party of two now. Serves us right for recruiting a Chaotic Evil NPC into our ranks, I guess. On the plus side, it's the first time the witness the game's desertion mechanic in action! (Good thing I knew he would probably leave our side and transferred the most important items he was carrying to Richard and Sparticus.)
Khan has left us just in time for an intense battle, to boot. We equip Richard with a Mac-10 and Sparticus with an UZI, and enter Satan's Halo.
The 9 Hell Soldiers, equipped with Unholy, and not just Broad Swords, give us one hell of fight.
Taking them out ASAP is the only sensible tactics here. Thanks to the group target weapon we have equipped, we manage to do just that.
And now we're free to explore the place.
Hey, Richard is level 5 already. He gains one point in Intelligence, two points in Piety, and one in Agility. By the way, did I ever tell you it is Intelligence, not Agility, that governs out ability to use ranged weapons? Did I even ever explain what the stats (are supposed to) do?..
Intelligence: Adds to overall ability to use long range weapons and ability to hide.
Piety: enhances all capabilities.
Agility: enhances ability to hit with close range weapons and ability to defend.
Stamina: enhances potential Hit Point increase for each increase in level.
Stealth: enhances ability to Hide.
Evasion: enhances ability to defend.
Comprehension, Perception and Psychic Force: enhance magic item effectiveness.
All clear now.
Meanwhile, a moaner is wandering alone.
It's Copernicus, and the word POWER is all upper-case, which makes me think it should be a clue of some kind. Hmm.
To the east is Phu-do's restaurant.
A cowboy is enjoying his noodles in here.
Must be a reference of some kind, I guess?
The waiter brings us an order of... noodles (what else did you expect?), and they even make it into our inventory, but as far as I'm aware they're totally useless.
We trigger the alarm by entering the back room, but meh, whatever, all the guards are already hostile anyway.
In any case, entering this room would've been worth it. Both the vest and the weapons are going to really come in handy.
To the north of Phu-do's is an area that is quite well-guarded: 4 Hell Soldiers and 9 Giant Demons there.
Soon, however, the path is clear.
Sounds like fun! In we go.
The liquid on the left desk diminishes our companion's HP when consumed. Whatever it is, we better stay clear of it.
The drawer remains locked despite Richard's Pick Lock skill of 10. To open it, I assume we need to learn Pick Lock 20 from Houdini once we've found a spare Dark Rifle.
The Arch Demon in Training goes by the name of Billy Bob.
We're in dire need of a new recruit, and I think we could use an Arch Demon in our party, but Billy Bob wants a pair of Mirror Shades to join us, which we don't have. The only way to get the shades would be either from Melrose Amber in the City on the Edge of Eternity back on Hell's level one or in a random loot drop... Which means recruiting Billy isn't likely in the near future.
Let's now approach the TV, shall we?
"I hurt only because I see my fellow comrades tormented. I wish to save you, at any cost to myself. Join together. United we will rise above the Devil himself. He is not all powerful. I still live, and I oppose him! Richard runs freely and he opposes him. Tormented have aided him, even adventured with him! They are still free of the devil!
Believe me, we CAN BE FREE OF LUCIFER!"
The transmission stops for a moment... then repeats.
Hitler leading the rebellion against Lucifer... Ironic, isn't it.
Exploring the area further, we discover a Moaner hiding behind Billy Bob's place.
The only area in Satan's Halo left for us to visit lies to the south east.
3 Cowboys turn out to be...
...Lord Byron! What do they call it, triune?
It's party time!
In the fenced area near Club Moranda, there's a secret spot hiding a Bomb Mk. II. I'll do my best to keep it, just in case it might prove useful later, but truth be told I have no idea about its usefulness, and with the game's very limited inventory space carrying it around will be a pain in the butt.
Nothing else interesting outside. Let's head inside, then.
The club is, expectedly, a (relatively) lively place.
Interaction with 1 Temptress'
"The only way to get to level 3 from this level is to use the teleporter in Capone's City and that's heavily guarded."
Capone's City is another location not mentioned on that road sign we came across in the last update, and of all the level two locations we're going to visit it last.
Three Singers nearby turn out to be bored rappers. They present us with a Gold necklace but, as we already know, trinkets aren't worth anything in Hell.
Rap is not the only kind of music that gets you into Hell, though...
Poor guy! I feel for him, I really do. We can't help him at the moment, though. Maybe later.
(As to the reason why Mozart wound up in Hell in the first place, that's probably because of his masonry.)
Deceitful Penguin posted:
Actually Lil Mozart had a spat with the Pope this one time over a misunderstanding.
He did also write a song called: "Lick my Ass", so he wasn't exactly a saint.
Moranda, the owner of this fine establishment, tells us the Hell's higher-ups want our head. Bah, old news.
In a lame scripted event, the guards turns on us. Naturally, they pose no real threat.
And here's the blonde I promised you!
I wonder if the game would really allow us to take the blonde instead of Allison out of Hell.
Since we're short on a party member, the blonde joins us automatically. Let's see what she has to offer. Besides being blonde, I mean.
Misogynist, aren't we, Richard L. Seaborne?
Our future with the blonde sure looks bright.
Still, there's something inherently cool about being accompanied by a blonde with an UZI.
In yet another demonstration of Escape from Hell's really advanced skill and stat system, the blonde turns out to be one hell of a marksman, making it from level 0 to level 1 in no time.
Not much of an improvement, eh? At least there's now less chance of her being one-shot into oblivion.
Anyway, we'll be heading to Gangster's Guillotine next, a really nasty place. Stay tuned to find out if our new companions can handle that...
Next time: blood!