The Let's Play Archive

Exile 2: Crystal Souls

by berryjon

Part 45: Kothar

Update 041 – Kothar

“Well, it seems like we are on the right track for those Mutant Giants the Empire keeps using.”

“Why would they do thisss? The Empire, from my wizdom, doesss not approve of non-human sssentience. So why create thesse thingss?”

“Well, it seems like the Empire can't wait.”

“It would have been smarter to wait for the Giants to wear us down a little, right?”


“Eh, not the worst thing that's happened.”

“HEY! Watch where you're aiming that thing!”

I don't recall if I've shown off how the game shows off the area of spells. Well, here you go! Kai-lyss is casting Firestorm. The while line from him shows the target line, to check if the destination tile is blocked. And you can also see the area of effect for the spell.

And friendly fire is totally an option where the PCs are concerned, but for NPCs. Trust me, you don't want to get the NPCs angry at you.

“Apologiess. I am trained to aim for the center of enemy formationsss.”

“Don't do that again! We still have those Mutant Giants to take care of!”

“And here they come!”

We've encountered these enemies before, but this is their 'native' region. They also come with Empire Archers for ranged support, and a Mage who technically 'controls' them, though there is no mechanical aspect to that. It's just flavor.

“Not hard. We can rest by this small lake for a bit.”

“You know, I never came here often enough. I can't remember all these twists.”

“Why not?”

“No reason to. “

“And this entire passage is new. Look at all the rubble!”

“A Blue Passs.”

“We have two of them...”

This is actually the first place I've reached that requires the Empire Passes. Usually the game is good enough to let you know when they are needed, but sometimes you'll get surprised. And I'm still missing the last pass.

“Wow. Such discipline problems.”

“That was harrowing!”

“I agree.”

“We could have fought...”

“No, not really. Checkposts like that tend to be over-staffed.”

“Maybe they're discipline problems and are assigned to guard duty?”

“Az I underssstand human worksss, would thiss be a punissshment?”

“It could be. But we're through. Let's steal back the Orb.”

“I've been wondering. What is the history of the Orb?”

“Allow me. Thranli was a magus of the First Expedition.”

“He was also arrogant as Mage's go. During the Expedition, he was separated from the group.”

“However, his isolation was his undoing and he died somewhere in modern Slith territory, and his Orb – which allowed for flight – was lost.”

“That's... not quite the whole story.”

“Weird, I could have sworn this guy lived farther north. Maybe he moved?”

“Thank you!”

Nothing here worth buying as Marianna already has Magic Lockpicks

“And to finish off Marianna's story, Thranli actually starved to death in the Waterfall Warrens after his boats capsized. He couldn't fly to escape as there was no place safe to land. My team at the time found the place, killed a few basilisks, and recovered the Orb, quite by accident. There was a lich there too!”

“Even I'm not buying that. You probably found it washed up somewhere.”

“... I believe.”


“Suuurrreeee you will.”

One stomp later...

“You would think they would have chosen a better spot to pick a fight.”

“Any idiot could see it was a good choke point, so why did they attack?”


“Come on, let's find Kothar.”


“... discipline problems.”

Yes, there's no avoiding this encounter. I clear out all the hidden triggers because I don't want to have to deal with them when I come back here in the future.

“Back when I was on the surface, this would never have been a problem!”

“What was your position in the army, dahling?”

“I mean, it's pretty obvious you had one.”

“I was high enough that killing me discretely wasn't an option, and low enough that killing me overtly wasn't an option. AND THAT'S ENOUGH.”

“Yes's Ma'am!”


“We go south from here.”

“And deal with the Mutant Giants and their handlers along the way, obviously.”

“Or they could ask for our pass....”

“Where did thesssse come from?”

“Even odds says they escaped from an Empire mage.”

“Well, they are native to the region, maybe they just haven't been exterminated yet?”

“Pretty deep.”

“And someone dug this here, rather than fill in the passageway. The Empire at work!”


“Spies! Kill them all!”

“Well, so much for talking our way out.”

Another hidden-trigger battle which shows you're going in the right direction. Actually, that reminds me of a motivator which says “You know you're going the right way when more enemies show up to stop you.”

And I'm almost to where I want to be.

“Wow. They built this place on the old drake lair.”

“Anyone you know?”

“Why are you asking me?”


“Well, it is a fortress.”

“Let me guess. Frontal attack?”

“Sure! Why not?”

Click on the image below for a video of the attack on Kothar, or at least the initial battle.

“This gets easy sometimes.”

“Meeting room...”


“Nothing worth looting...”

“We'll go down later, after we've secured this floor.”

“Um... we're here for training?”


“They will never believe you.”

“I think this level opens the gate into those caverns.”

“Training pit... gates to caves.... Yeah, it's pretty obvious that there are Mutant Giants back there.”

“Shall we?”

“Actual Giant!?!”

“Before they are magically modified, it ssseemsss.”

“Let's put them out of our misery, then rest up.”

I was running out of MP, and new a quick rest or two would not be enough to reset the enemies on this map.


“Really? You're trapped in the circle there. You can't do anything to us!”

“Interlopers! My demons shall kill you!”

“Yeah, no.”

“Thisss is not good.”


“Nothing interesting in here.”

“Except for the random invisible guardians, right?”

“Not Basilisks.”

“You have a point, and I concede it.”

“At least I don't have to sanctify this one.”

“Just have to deal with its guardian.”

oh shit. Avatar. The day Art gets this spell is the day she can kill the final boss solo. On a Haakai? I'm gonna take a pounding. But at least I'll win. If there were helpers? I'd be screwed.

“I knew I was keeping thisss for good reazon...”

Thank you, Anti-Magic Cloud! Too bad the damage is already done, but it'll help stem the bleeding.

And it's done. Look at my HP/SP, and realize I'm going to run out and get some camping done RIGHT NOW

Camping after checking out the nice brook

“I can sssensse foul magicsss below us.”

“That's not magic that's foul. The air itself is.”

“This iss.... I don't know.”

“Health and Safety Inspection! Everyone, drop your tools, wands and other implements and prepare for sanitation!”

“Where did you even learn that word?”

For some reason I didn't take a picture of me beating up Mutant Giants, and a half-dozen mages. I suppose by this time, they're pretty hum-drum enemies, and just statistics.

“There is sssomthing over there.”

“Ah, another path up, to the cavesss above.”

“Not yet.”

“You think this is enough for the people in Dharmon?”

“I hope ssso.”

“Allow me.”

I love that spell.


“An escape route that's closer to the front than the labs. Come on, back down.”

“Wow, this is not a good place to be.”

“Much up and down to be had.”

“The Drake's lair was never this big. A lot of digging has been happening.”

“Sounds like... a smith?”

“Ugh, singed fur...”

And meet the Efreet! A fire-elemental enemy, they are very hard to see against the lava. They are also out of the party's ability to clean out, especially as we're fighting on Lava. However, they are working on those metal bars, and I want one...

“Ah, there are other creatures nearby.”



This time, I snipe a Bar of Metal (capitalization!) and GTFO.

“This stuff is heavy!”

Actually, don't do this. These Bars of Metal aren't normal. They're Uranium, which I thought was an E3 thing only! As long as you're carrying around any of these bars, you're going to get diseased and poisoned at random intervals. I didn't click for a few minutes as to what was going on, then I had to take a break from doing the LP.

“Out of the fire, and into the marsh. How lovely.”

“Ah! A good selection of materials. I think I can do good things with this.”

“Come on, let's go back, there was places past the... experiment room we haven't checked out yet.”

“And maybe we should come back later?”

“Too late.”

“Um.. why are Children being affected by that spell?”

“... Careful.”

“I don't know.... Be careful!”

“I don't know what they are, but kids they ain't!”

“What do baby goats have to do with this?”


Random Basilisk Count posted:

“Aright, everything is now dead, including those not-children. Pardon me while I quietly worry about that particular development.”

“It iz not poisssoned.”

“This is good!”

At this point, I see Chester has reached the HP cap through a level-up I didn't make a note of. Oh well.

“Based on the distance, I think this goes down to that left section of the lowest level.”



“At least they are being thorough with their experimentsss.”

“Though only the experimentsss are here.”

“Great, more undead. At least it's easy to note where they've set up their lairs, what with the cold and all.”


“We go left. There's more this way.”

“Always going for the largesst concentration?”

“Of course!”

Oh great. I love Ruby Skeletons. I really do. But 10 of them is a bit much, plus the two undead Vahnatai. This is going to be a slog.

And at the end of it are two Vampires. You know, this entire place is optional. But it was a massive pain, and I didn't want to try again. I'm pretty sure I spent about three hours on this place, with coming, going, resting, fighting, exploring, and hidden reloads. Let's just say by the end, I just wanted the damned Orb, and to get out.

One not-so-hidden-reload while Darth Marianna takes a seat on the Vampire's chair.

“And now that everything is twice-dead, we have no reason to come back here, ever.”

“Back downstairs?”

“Back downstairs.”

“For a place that can only be accesssed through Lavawalking, it seems like there should be more....”

“You did say it!”

“Irrelevant. Let us leave.”


“Oh, shut up.”

“This is just begging to be a trap.”

“You mean the kind that leads us right back where we started?”

“Yes, the one we go around.”

Let me explain this particular little 'maze'. It is a set of 2x2 rooms, arranged four across and three down. Certain rooms are filled with Shock Barriers, and every door is magically locked, which requires the spell, and not the skill to bypass. And may doors are simply unlockable in the first place.

Rooms that don't have barriers either have a Golem in them, or a mutant giant. In order to get through this maze, you have to follow the rooms without barriers in them up and around to the top edge, then back across to get to the right.

All it will do is drain your resources, and I was already aggravated enough at this point.

“We shall be careful of other trapsss.”

“Like that Quickfire?”


“Let's just keep going then, and ignore rooms that aren't complete yet. We're almost there!”

Raise your hand if you saw that coming.

This time, we're on the other side of the barriers. It's the same stuff to get past to get back upstairs at this point.

“This is stupid.”

“And what's really stupid would be if we had to knock down this barrier in front of us to get past the traps, only to unleash the quickfire because we didn't know it was there in the first place because we didn't have Magic Map.”

“Grumpy much? I'm sure Dmurr has something for that.”

“The Orb is close. I can feel it. In my bones.”

“You have used it much then, to be so sensitive to it.”

“Of course, walking through all that would be quite sensitive as well.”

“No more distractions!”



Here's the gimmick of this room. Every intersection delineated by the columns in this room generates one of three things; it either covers the entire room in a Frost Field, like those surrounding Ice enemies. Or it covers the entire room in a Blade Barrier, the most damaging version of it in the game! Thirdly, it could summon enemies.

And you could think you're smart, and try to move diagonally, but there are many hidden, invisible walls between pillars.

Moving straight to the middle, and the target results in this:

Ice Fields, Blade Fields, then about a dozen gazers around the edge of the room.

But that's not the path to the prize. If I was feeling particularly vindictive of myself, I would map out this room-maze (actually, I think I might for the next Great Map Update). There is only one way to get to the Orb, and even then it's a pain and half, even for this room full of BS.

From the room entrance, move straight left – until you reach the wall. From there, go two spaces north, to where the torch is. Save Long-Wait to restore your HP/SP, and SAVE YOUR GAME.

From there, run north as fast as you can into the farthest corner. You're going to trigger Blade Fields and Golems.

Keep everyone stacked in this corner, and bunker down. Wait for the Golems to come to you, taking damage on the fields as they come. Only two can attack you at a time here, so you can handle this. Once that's done, rest up and wait for the fields to dissipate naturally.

Two Nagas spawn next. However, they spawn in behind some of the invisible walls, so you can't attack them directly. Your only option is to run, hope and pray.





“Are you happy now?”

“Oh, my beautiful, beautiful Orb of Thranli. Did they hurt you? Scuff you up? Tell mama...”

“Of everything that has gotten to this point, I think her being... maternal horrifies me the most.”



“An egg?”

“No, just appreciation for power.”

“Before we leave, I think we left somethings behind unchecked.”

“Like what?”


“Well, you and Marianna are the only ones who use blades, and you have that Vahnatai weapon.”

“Of course there would be quickfire.”

I'm not going to reset the dungeon to eliminate this, it will just be quicker to grab things and go.


“Come on! Quickfire can't go up stairs!”

“One lassst place to look.”

“I don't feel so good...”

“Let me see that blade....!!!!!”

So, I mentioned that Uranium earlier? Guess what was being made from it? I drop this like the lethal potato it is. And to think, it is an awesome weapon – that kills you faster than you can kill the enemy.

“Shock barriers, not a problem.”

“What does it say?”

“All the proof we need.”

“I can use that spell, can't I, Orb?”

“I think we need to leave before things get weirder.”

“So, report back about the Orb and the Giants. Then what? Go and get that Crystal Soul?”

“I think we should head back to the Castle. Talk to the people there.”