The Let's Play Archive

Exile 2: Crystal Souls

by berryjon

Part 20: The Three Tests

Update 017 – The Three Tests

"I'm trying to figure this out."

"What confuzzess you?"

"The notion of thessee Tessstsss."

"I think it's obvious."

"But what if we're missing something?"

"Like what?"

"Let's just go over what we know, alright? Make sure we're all on the same page when it comes to what we're doing."

"Following you. That is quite obvious."

"{The cutlure of the Vahnatai is quite interesting. They recognize the existence of outsiders, and have rituals in place to acknowledge and admit them into their tribe. That they call themselves the Vahnatai-Olgai, and that there is a pace by that name tells me that there are multiple tribes of Vahnatai.}"

"You're doing that 'speaking in Vahnatai thing again."

“It's a good thing to learn. The Empire has instituted a common language, so many local dialects are dying out.”

“But having a common language is a good thing!”

“I agree, but you have to remember that there is a difference between picking up a common tongue and having one forced on you to the exclusion of all else.”

“{Anyways, from what Bon-Ihrno and the other Ponders told us, we are utilizing a legal loophole in their laws and customs to be able to plead our case before their Council.}”

“But before we can do that, we need to pass their initiation tests.”

“I'm betting that someone will interfere.”

“But would they?”

“Initiation ceremonies tend to be quite sacrosanct.”

“You're putting Human cultural norms onto these Vahnatai. Which, I have to add, we have known exist as a living culture for less than a week.

“Perhaps there will be someone at these Tests.”

“Ssshould we not head back to Avit to learn more from the Captain?”

“Maybe. Or we could follow the road.”

“Crystals, not tests.”

“Perhaps this is where the Empire raided?”

“Or Exile.”

“We're leaving! We're leaving! Can at least one of you tell us which way to the Tests? No one has told us!”

“{Back the way you came. Behind Olgai.}”

“And a random soldier has been of more help than half a dozen Ponders.”

“Are you ever going to stop opening random doors?”


These set-piece battles are the only difficult things in this chapter. Well, that and the Test of Speed, as you will see later. After winning the fight...

“There iz no meanss to activate thesse Cryssstalsss.”

“Then we should leave them be.”

Wandering around the Vahnatai Lands, you can encounter patrols, like so:

If you haven't done the Ritual of Welcoming, then you wind up in combat with a large group of Vahnatai. But they're not fun fights. Just do the Ritual, and they turn from combat into this:

“The Ritual worksss.”

“Are these... hills?”

The implication being that the Vahnatai built a city so large it would take multiple tiles on the world-map. And now it's in ruins thanks to time and the elements.

“What do you want?”

“Information about the Tests.”

“There are three of them. Being Strength, Speed and Mind. You need to complete only one to make your case before the Council.”

“Any further information? Like where they are?”

“No. Begone.”

“Behind Olgai...”

“Well, we have three options.”

“I'm out.”


“It wants strength.”

“You are strong!”

“Wrong Ssstrength.”

“Think about it. The tree tests. Strength, Speed and Mind. They're not asking for mental fortitude here. But physical prowess. And that's you or Chester.”

“What would be the point of this test? For people who want to join the Vahnatai?”

“Duties of Strength? Like, say, Guard?”

“Oh. That makes sense. But still, why not you, Sir Ma'am?”

“Asss you and I are physssically sstronger in our bonesss.”

“Correct. Chesster sshould go.”

“Why? Why not Aarth-Tss?”

“Three tests, three species.”

“You mean for Dmurr to go through Speed, and yourself through Mind.”

“That iz my intention. Yesss.”

“Um... what?”

“You are the fastest one, your kind has a natural agility the rest of us lack.”


“Chester, your choice.”

“I'll go. But I want to gear up first.”

“Of course.”

Welcome to the Test of Strength. As you may have already guessed, it's probably the simplest and easiest test to pass. Just put your best fighter in and get going. Very important though is that whoever goes in has a source of healing. Be it Priest Spells, or, like Chester here, Healing Potions.

“So I teleport into a hallway. Man, thanks Kai-Lyss for that map. It made things so much easier.”

“You are welcome.”

“Weird thing, that first room. All those Statues.”

“Of course, they make for nice choke points to deal with the Larva.”

“Larvae is the plural.”

“Either way, pretty easy.”

“Oh, Dmurr. Found these for you.”


“I'm serious about those thanks, Kai-Lyss.”

“Although I can't say much for what's in there.”

“At least they aren't mobile.”

“I don't think they were supposed to be in there in the first place.”

“They thought they were sneaky.”

“I think this is a healing potion, but I didn't want to drink it when I had my own supplies, which I hadn't tapped into yet.”

“I think the hardest fight was against that Skeleton that threw out Fire.”

I love Ruby Skeletons. I always will.

“Although I had to use one of those Potions during the fight.”

At this point I notice Chester's Level. He's 11. Art is 18. I'm going to be doing some off-screen grinding before the next update to balance things out.

“The slime was easy.”

“Although I'm sad to say I used the potion when there was healing right there.”

“Do not fret.”

“Last room was just a bunch of undead. Nothing serious.”

“And then I was done.”

And that is the Test of Strength. You can go back to Olgai now, but I'm going to finish off all of them for you guys!

“Maybe the road east will be better?”

“Are the Tests on this island?”


“Thank you.”

“Not swimming over there.”

“I could.”

“Kai-Lyss, you're up.”

“<Let's see if you are worth my time.>”

For those of you reading in the Archives, the Test of Mind was actually performed in the thread. I posted the various questions on the forums and asked that those who answered to provide proof of their answers. What you see next is the relevant Q&A.


Test of Mind posted:

STAB is 1
FORCE is 2
ENDING is ...

GodFish posted:

This one is pretty straight forward, the number refers to the number of vowels in the word, so ENDING is 2.

To elaborate a bit, if you take STAB and FORCE, they both have 3 consonants, so that isn't why the number changes. STAB is 4 letters long and FORCE is 5, so you could have some odd rule like "take the number letters minus 3", but then VAHNATAI is 8 letters long, so that would make it 5 not 4. Neither STAB or FORCE have double letters, and they don't share any letters, so the number can't be based on that either.

Test of Mind posted:

Words? A Sword.
Veil? We Live.
User? You Sure?
Hate the ...?

wiegieman posted:

Heat is the only anagram of Hate.


Test of Mind posted:

BOON is 2 and LOSS is 12.
EVIL is 5 and GOOD 7.
YOU are 25 and WE are 23 and it's hard to get much higher.
But what is HIGHER?

wiegieman posted:

H is the 8th letter of the alphabet.

Test of Mind posted:


SineNobilitate posted:

Starting with 4, each number is the sum of the two preceding numbers in the series. The next number should be 123.

begedin posted:

(These are) Lucas numbers, before someone jumps on Fibonacci. At least I think they are.

NewMars posted:

Technically speaking, the Lucas numbers are 2, 1, 3, 4, 7, ect. While the Fibonacci sequence is 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, ect. So it's neither.

“<I suppose those would be challenging to a child.>”

“<I see no method of getting into that corridor. Perhaps some back-tracking is required?>

“<Interesting. After mapping out the effects of the floor tiles, I have determined that their is no combination to open all three doors at the same time.>”

“<Therefore there must be an alternative exit.>”


“<Interesting. You can use this path to lower the two wall sections, but there is no method here to lower the third.>”

“<What I need to do is find a way into that northern segment, as I suspect the required pressure plate is in that small corridor hidden away.>”

“<That took far too long.>”

“<That was more a Test of Patience, than one of Mind.>”

“<One last series.>”


Test of Mind posted:

BROAD is lucky, it's a 5. AID is a 2,
INFIRM only manages a 1, while VAHNATAI is a 3.
SITTING is only a 0, the slacker, while tiny A is already a 1.


... I wish I was making that one up.

Bob Locke posted:

Looks like the letters B R O A and D all add a value of 1, so the answer is 11.

Kliff posted:

If you want to be specific about it, the BROAD puzzle is looking for letters in the word or phrase that contain an entirely enclosed space.

Test of Mind posted:

0, 2, 6, 14, 30, 62, 126, 254, 510, ..?

wiegieman posted:

(510*2)+2 = 1022.

(N1+1)*2=N2 is also an acceptable method of writing the sequence.


Test of Mind posted:

I look like you,
but much more pale.
I can't escape
from wind and hail.

What am I?

wiegieman posted:

A statue? As long as it's marble.

Test of Mind posted:

I can climb trees
without a sound.
But must still always
touch the ground.

What am I?

GodFish posted:

Bark? Or vines maybe. I remember getting it because I couldn't figure out the BROAD puzzle.

And some interesting commentary I got from the thread:

Whybird posted:

I have to admit I thought the Test of Mind was a pretty weak dungeon. The riddles a culture tells can be very revealing about what it is like, so this was a fantastic opportunity for some subtle world-building.

But as it turns out they have the same meter, rhyme and metaphor as human riddles. Also, they know what hail is, apparently.

Cardiovorax posted:

Cheesy pseudo-ethnic riddles would have just made it worse. At least it's mostly an actual test of mind, if probably cribbed from some online IQ test, so I'll give it that.

Glazius posted:

Oh, this is going to be interesting to see. I do love the occasional riddle in an RPG, as opposed to say sliding puzzle bullshit.

TooMuchAbstraction posted:

The remake replaces the Test of Mind with the Test of Patience. Guess what it consists of.

“<I wonder if there is some degree of cultural translation involved?>”

“How did it go?”

“I will tell you the riddlessss I encountered.”

“Can we pick someone else?”

“Don't worry? How bad can it be?”

“How bad could it be, he asks?”



That was my third attempt. The previous two both resulted in Dmurr dying to Quickfire. The issue isn't the combat, but the locked door in the way. Take too long, and the fire will kill you. Now, there are two tricks to survival. First is that Quickfire only moves in the four cardinal directions. It doesn't directly expand on the diagonal. Second, you can bar the path of Quickfire either through the use of (semi)permanent fields, or, as Dmurr demonstrated...


Guys, Quickfire scares me as very little has done in the decades I've played RPGs. There's just something so insidious about how it moves, and it's used to great effect in this game because it's used so sparingly. This is the Test of Speed, and for the most part, it's behind you, or you have a way to escape.

I will avoid using it for the most part in this LP simply because I respect it too much, and want to keep the moments where it is used more spectacular for it.

“I hate you all.”