The Let's Play Archive

Exile 2: Crystal Souls

by berryjon

Part 47: The Great Map Update (2)

Update 043 – The Great Map Update #2

Hello, and welcome to the second Great Map Update.

In the past 16 updates, we've covered a lot of ground, but the vast majority of it is empty space – the Great Cave, and the Eastern Sea. As I mentioned last time, we are now in a portion of the game where everything is important, and there are no more little spaces that are there for purely flavor reasons.

Thus, this update will be shorter than the previous one.

I also want to apologize in advance. This was a tedious process, especially once I had to go back and re-do certain dungeons to get pictures for the maps. Hopefully I'll keep better track of them for the next (and hopefully last!) Great Map Update of Exile 2.

Now, on with the show!

The Totem Tunnels are the only location to find the last Pass to access Empire Lands. It's a neat little facility, the only way for you to enter is via the lava passage – either bring lots of healing or the Fire Walk spell. Thankfully I have the latter. Fighting the Drakes can be a surprise, especially as they can walk on lava with no ill effect. Other than that, hit the place, get the Pass, and leave, never to return.

Almaria is still the largest city in Exile, at least going by the fluff. Like the other Great Cities, it utilizes the “Large” map space, requiring that I piece together four different screen shot to get this.

And because of that, it does suffer from design bloat. The entire north quarter has been refurbished into storehouses to support the war effort, and while it's nice to see the rooms piles high with crates and boxes, it doesn't feel right.

Also the 'secret' Empire Base shows off the true measure of the flexible scale in the maps. This is supposed to be a hole-in-the-wall behind the inn, but because of the way the map is built, it is almost the same size!

Fort Dranlon is back, and still under siege one way or another. I like how the priest is actually a local head of Scimitar, which could yet be a mistake on Vogel's part.

This town also gives you the quest to deal with the Tower to the north, that four floor hate-filled slog. Why would you do that to me, Commander Mairwen?

I mean, seriously? The Tower of Eldaran is a horrible experience, and I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be the hardest “Promotion” Quest in the game. The first floor isn't bad, but the second floor has a truly stunning encounter spawn rate. And when I hit the third floor for the screen capping, the enemies had not reset since the last time I was there. I had to slog through a half-dozen demons, the same Arch-Wizards, and dozens of Champions and Blademasters.

I'm glad that it didn't count for XP gain, as I updated my maps on a separate file....

Anyways, remember that the 1st Lever to ascend is hidden under a movable crate, and the other is in the furthest SW monster pen. Once past that, it's straight combat all the way to the top. And the way down through the center of the pillar is fairly quiet; you can rest as much as you want – just beware of the monsters that spawn on your way out! (Or cheat your way out...)

The Giant's Castle is neat, but it also shows that the Giants have been displaced from their usual habitat. Alas, you can't leave through the bottom, that's where the Gremlin Wives are....

And the less said about the death and doom in the SE corner, the better.

Much like the Barrier Tower, The Basalt Cube is a place we have found, but cannot access... yet.

Uh... I forgot about this boat I left behind at Fort Dolthar! Farewell brave Boat!

Fort Dolthar itself is a re-hash of Sss-Thsss' Castle from the first game. However, unlike that game, you're probably going to be coming back. You see, killing Limocelli is vital to completing the Fort Emerald Quest, which gets you the Dispel Barrier spell, which lets you come back and raid the Vahnatai wing of the second floor for the Evidence of a Crystal Soul – which in turn lets you go back to the Oglai and let them know what's up.

I do like this dungeon though. Better than some of the others I could name.

The Unfinished Fort! Come for the Empire Pass (if you didn't get one from the Cotra staging grounds), stay for the Undead!

Fort Emerald! A lot of fluff here, but the real vital point is the dispenser of that most vital spell – Dispel Barrier!

Just... don't poke to badly into the hidden rooms on the back sides of those buildings. There is a random Basilisk in one of them.

Gnass, oh Gnass... What happened to you? You were awesome back in Exile 1, and all the soul has been ripped out of you in this game, replaced with a generic “Find Person – Receive Quest – Complete Quest” pattern to you. Hitting up the Shrine doesn't even provide a vision like it did last time!

Blosk! I like Blosk! It's a nice change of pace that you get to conduct an investigation that spans from this city to Almaria and back. I would have liked it if it was contained to the city, and didn't involve the combat, but what else is there to expect? This game is all about beating up your enemies from point A to Point B.

The Castle actually hasn't been really touched upon yet. I've only had the goal of coming here to get my Promotions, but once I clear out Sixus' quest and achieve Royal access, I will be able to explore this place fully.

Please forgive the slight discontinuity in the lower-left, I misaligned stuff while pasting, and it was too late to fix it when I noticed it in post production of this update.

Show up at Camp Samuels, chat, get +2 Upgrade to weapons if you have the ~20,000 gold to spend and you haven't discovered the source of Skill Potions yet.

Dharmon is fairly unchanged from it's Exile 1 incarnation. The old Smugglers hideaway has been re-purposed into being a hidden hide away for a wizards doing research – note I'll have to come back here an talk to him once I know the right words to speak.

At least this place has a store that will buy anything, second from the top. On the other hand, the 'Hidden' store is likely to be never used as it's stock is behind what the party should have by this point. A natural thing given that Exile doesn't need to follow the idea that the party will always advance and thus get better equipment as they go forward? This is very much a proto-open-world gameplay mechanic here.

The Tiger's Den is full of the single worst enemy in the game – the magic immune Rakshasa. The only real reason for coming here is the Ring of Will which is hidden in the far back corner – a piece of gear which will make dealing with the final boss a lot easier.

Patrick's Tower is still important to the plot of Exile 2, but I haven't reached that point yet. There is also something hidden here that the party has no knowledge of, not even Art! I will enjoy revealing it, you can be sure of it!

Built past the ruins of the first Fort Remote, the new Fort Remote is reinforced and much more capable of handling what lay beyond it. The quest assigned here is fairly easy in my opinion, but that empty space in the lower-right of the Fort means something... I just know it....

I have a love/hate relationship with Kothar. On one hand, it's got the Orb of Thranli at the bottom. On the other hand, it's at the bottom. Add to that the high density of Giants and Mutant Giants thanks to the experiments being conducted, and you've got a heavy slog ahead of you as you try to get to the precious goals in the first and second basements.

Just remember that the Nethersword, while stupendously powerful, is also bad news and will poison/disease you often while it's in your inventory. It's made of the same Uranium that the Efreet are fogring.

First seen in Chapter 2, the Barrier Tower is now accessible through the Tower Teleporter. But there is no happy ending here as you have to carefully get the information you need without disturbing the balance between the arch-mage and the demon, lest the demon go free.

Believe it or not, but the teleporter code to access this place is written down somewhere in the overworld map. I just haven't been able to get to it yet, but I will!

Another place I've mapped, but haven't accessed yet, Erica's Tower has grown a bit since last we saw it – and is still under siege by the Empire. I really should take care of that someday.

And this is the sum total overworld exploration we've done since the last update. There is some overlap, but over 90% is new territory. Still, there are gaps to fill in.

Here's where things are located.

And this is everything.