Part 59: The Empire TeleporterUpdate 055 The Empire Teleporter and Guardposts
So, what is down this river?
I haven's seen waters so dark and cold since the trip down to the Vahnatai lands.
That can't be right, I've seen fish.
As I said, these waters lead down through the Abyss. From there, they pass by Erika's tower, and then out of the known cavern system.
But anyways, we're getting off here.
Those are swamps as far as I can see. Why?
There's Dragon nearby, and I want to reconnoiter.
Just... be calm.
Sir, Ma'am. You mentioned Dragon. You didn't mention all the other lizards.
Yeah. I'm pretty sure they took all the lizards out of Exile and brought them here just for us.
Don't be silly.
Those who remember this location from the first game know exactly what's coming. Everytime we reach a choke-point going through this cavern, we get ambushed by an encounter.
And because this is expected, I'm not adding the Basilisks that show up to the Random Basilisk Count. As an interesting note though, I managed to get through the entire run without a single Stoned character, though there were a lot of attempts.
Just repeat the preceding pair of images another four times, and you get what's going on.
And what was the purpose of all that?!?!
I don't sssse what the problem iz.
You're unharmed, of course not.
Oh good, a place where we can take a break.
Why would you touch that?!?!
Huh, more Basilisks.
We can handle thizzz many.
But can we handle that many?
That... Huh. More than last time this place got robbed.
YOU'VE DONE THIS BEFORE?
Yeah. How did you think I know where everything is?
Really good maps?
A moment, I have an option.
Guess how long I forgot I had Slow All and Curse All with a slightly lower range in my bag of tricks?
This had better be the single greatest weapon since Demonslayer for all the work we put into it.
Actually, come to think of it, I think I haven't seen you pick up a new weapon in... well... ever.
I have thissss....
And this is the new one...
WHAT? How? Why?
I agree that the spear is certainly easier to handle, but the sheer mass on the iron head makes for a more damaging weapon.
And we've been to how many places where we could have upgraded that?
So, a RANDOM drop from somewhere in the early game is still the most powerful weapon in the party. I slap Burning onto this, and with Aaarth-Tss' Assassination skill, I can look at doing triple damage to anyone this monster hits.
And why isn't the Magic Slith Spear noted as being Magic? Is it so you can put augmentations on it?
Let us never do that again!
Good, because our next stop is the actual Dragon.
Sssurely they would have fled the Empire, or been sssubdued?
I hope it's the the former and not the latter.
We should see just how bad it is...
We can't go past this point. There is an invisible wall, and touching it spawns a group of enemies to fight. Poor grinding too.
That's a lot.
Which doesn't bode well. That used to be Demon territory in that direction.
And the dragon?
Oh, that's really not good. We'll need to report that as soon as we can. We should get back to the boat and head south.
How do we get to the teleporter if the way is blocked?
We're actually past that point. I wanted to see if they closed off access to the Abyss from this direction.
Well, glad to know this is still here.
Look at the ground. There's no sign of the Empire coming this way, so we can hide out back here if we have to.
Like these traces.
Something iz here...
Where did all the lights go?
This is the first guardpost, is it not?
Anyone remember what the password was?
I didn't. So back to the FAQ, and finding the answer, because when I recorded this update, the forums were down for updates, and I wasn't about to go digging through my raw files for the answer. Which should be in the Imperial Archives. Or the Tower of Eldaran.
I had also recorded the previous update and this one in a single pass. Over 300 images taken, and I was at it for well over 90 minutes. I was getting tired and grumpy, but wanted to get it done. I also decided that I needed a new chair.
You're all fools. Sword, Crown, Crown, Crown, Sword, Sword, Crown, Crown, Crown, Crown.
How did you recall that?
It's the last ten leaders of the Empire. Sword if they were a General before their ascension, a Crown if they were not. The last four are Hawthorne I through Hawthorne III, then Empress Prazac.
Huh. I didn't even think of that.
We should be careful, there are still people ahead.
You mean were still ahead.
Just storerooms. Let's keep going.
Interesssting how we do not percssieve it from the outside.
And another one.
Large open chamber, smaller hidden rooms off to the sides.
It's a trap.
Yes, but what sort of trap? That is the question.
Let's take a peek ahead....
Nothing. It's empty.
Alright then. Let's have a look at these alcoves before we go too far in.
Guess what is worse than a DoomGuard in an enclosed location?
Two DoomGuards in an open location!
No word of a lie, I went right back to the guide for this. There are four levers around the edge of the 'arena' where the Doomguards spawn. You have to hit the levers in a certain order: North-West, South-East, South-West, North-East. There is no indication anywhere that this is the correct order. Hit them in the wrong order, and you'll have to start again. All the while the Doomguards are hounding you.
So, naturally, I cheesed it.
STEP 1: Go into Combat Mode. Bless and Haste everyone the Blessings are more to mitigate damage than anything else. STEP 2: Scatter!
You're going to trigger the Doom Guards, so what you want to do is get your two beefiest character sitting beside them, pulling aggro. Don't attack, but do use the Parry command (you know? The Shield icon? The one I've never pressed in my life?) to help preserve your characters.
STEP 4: Start pulling the levers in the order I pointed out above.
STEP 5: Run through the door while hasted you'll move faster than the Doomguards that way.
STEP 6: End Combat, and throw the switch, keeping the Doomguards out.
A cunning plan indeed.
Well, it's not often that splitting up becomes a good idea.
Don't go acting like you came up with the plan!
And one lasssst one.
If I had any lingering doubts as to breaking out the guidebook, this 'dungeon' puts that to rest. Do you all remember the little 'maze' that guarded the Orb? The one where walking on certain spots would summon monsters, or bring up fields to damage everyone?
Well, this has them too. So, let's start from the beginning, and I'll tell you why when we get to it.
Start here. Ignore the secret passage to the right behind the crumbling rocks there. It's the wrong way. Now, go down 1 square, then right five.
YOU GET TELEPORTED. That's the gimmick to this level, and I hate it! It's a frikken Teleporter Maze, that doesn't have walls, and if you go off the path that Vogel has set as 'safe', then the entire thing has to be restarted.
From here, go up two, right two, then up 1. You'll get this message:
Then get teleported again.
Now, down two, east six...
Ignoring the monsters, because fighting will take you off the track, necessitating a reset and restart, you head south six more....
Remembering to save often...
Then when you're in that corner, go left one...
And teleported back here! Then from this position, go left two, down two, left two, down two, right four, then south four to get out!
Except there is one last kick to the nads. On your way out, enjoy being dumbfounded! And good luck figuring that out on your own.
We shall never have to deal with that again, right?
Please let that be so.
While good thoughts are had by all, has anyone else noticed the lack of a boat here?
Don't worry, mommy's precious little Orb will get us across!
That's good, because there's another cavern in the way.
We are getting clozer. I can feel the energieszz involved.
I'm more concerned about those guys.
Oddly, not that much of a problem. Just rush the wizards, then sweep back to deal with everyone else.
You mean those everyone else?
That iz all of them.
Nothing left, but the Teleporter Fortress itself.
Are you still put out that it was reactivated, Art, dahling?
You have no idea.
The gate is barred. There's no way in.
You got that right, you maggots! Once the Commandant finds out you're here, he'll lead the extermination personally!
That just means you'll open the gates for us? How polite!
Laugh while you can!
Thiz plassse iz masszive.
What's that in the south-west corner?
Mold, that's what it is.
Oh, this is hilarious!
And into a supply room too. How convenient.
Welcome to the Portal Fortress, home to the end of one of Exile 2's Main Quests. It's got a nigh-unlimited reinforcement rate, so attempting to empty out the fortress first won't happen. If you've reached this far, then you should have the necessary power in the party to end it.
Naturally, I keep forgetting to stock up on Medium Energy Potions from Dharmon. That would have made everything so much easier.
Where is everyone?
This... might take a while.
They keep coming!
Actually, I think that's the last of them.
Not quite. Charge!
No more in sight.
Well, I think we've probably doubled that.
... that statement doesn't disturb me as much as it should.
Hold on, there iz a library still back there. We ssshould invezztigate, in casse there iz important information.
Keeping it behind a secret passage to keep the plebes out?
I didn't understand a word of that.
I barely did!
All you need to know iz that we can put power into the portal, enough to open one, without releasssing it.
And things with power explode better?
And we know from the Archives and from talking to people about portals and teleporters is that damaging the support structures should help.
But we cannot damage too much, lessss the szyssstem fail sssafely.
So, let's find what we need, then do it.
I think it's that open space in the North-East. Best place to have lots of people show up at once.
Oh, hey, did we interrupt lunch time?
More like supper time.
A raised platform? How ostentatious.
And it gives a nice view of the arrival area.
Didn't that one guard mention a Commandant?
No, she's not a fighter... oh no.
I know that voice.
It had to be you. No one else could have gotten here.
Take off your helmet.
Consider it politeness.
Rook, nominal second in command of the First Exile Escape Committee.
It's been a long time, Art.
Care to explain yourself?
What can I say? I was under orders to watch you in your Exile. Never expected you to go as far as you did.
Yes. I wasn't under orders from the Emperor, you know. Garzahd has my loyalty.
Which would explain why you helped kill the former Emperor.
True. And I was rewarded well for that service. He gestured to the Portal Fortress around him. My newest assignment, and probably my last, now that you're here.
The Master was quite put out by your raid on the Ziggurat. It was spite, pure and simple. I... do not and did not approve of that, but he was possessed of the idea that he had to do something to retaliate against you. It was wrong.
So what then?
Well, I was curious about you, I had to admit. What was your crime that executing you was out of the question, and yet required a watcher, even in Exile?
Funny, no one told you it was going to be a life sentence, right?
I do as my Master commands. Why do you think he did not intervene during your murder of the Emperor.
That was a different man entirely, the official records will show. But still, even with my authority, I could not find out what you did.
What? You expect me to tell you?
You're here. I know you, and what you're capable of. I know you survived the Cydonia Incident, but after that... nothing. I'm hoping for a little closure before you kill me.
What about the others?
Peregrine and Karmas are too well protected. And honestly? Ember couldn't keep her head down, so I suspect she's already in custody. I... never looked that up. I should have. But anyways you?
No. My past is my past.
Very well. Shall we get this over with?
Search the place.
Nothing, Sir Ma'am.
Let me hold that. I know how to handle such fragile objects.
That's... That's a lot of room.
But that iz enough. The Teleporter iz to the nor'easssst, the Control Tower we have szeen to the Nor'Wezt.
We ssshould ssecure the Tower firzt.
Fine by me.
Golems. Not that difficult.
And Magesss az well in the control sssenter.
Tight quarters like this? Should be easy.
And to make it eazier... Ssshockwave.
Alright, location secured. Let's go damage the Teleporter.
More guards ahead.
And that's the last of them. Man, really thin defenses for such an important location.
Better for uz. Now, smash one of theze crystalsss.
I stood here once... long ago. I hope I never have to come back here again.
Nice thing about wielding a magical mace. I can do this!
Back to the tower!
So, um... you know that these locations aren't labeled? We have no idea which panel does what.
Trial and Error?
No, it and the middle panel is wrong az well. It muzt be the south one.
50/50 for the next one. We know Bestas is the next one, so...
North one it is! Last one, then we get out there, right?
Why could we have not had Art wait by the Portal while thiz iz done?
Too late now. Kai-Lyss?
WHAT ARE YOU STANDING AROUND FOR? FLY YOU FOOLS!
Careful! The energiezzz will hurt all who approach!
Good thing I can heal...
Into the Black Hole, by Lunar Alienism
"Break it! NOW!"
"This is worse than then..."
"Sssuch a wazte of power...."
"LESS MOPING, MORE RUNNING!"
"IS EVERYTHING ON FIRE?"
"Open the Gate! Let us all out!"
"No. You burn with us, maggot."
"Come on! The broken wall!"
"What? Come back here!"
"Come on! Now is not the time for a locked door!"
"I've got it open!"
"Move! Out of the way!"
"I'm the officer, I go first!"
"It slipped through the front gate!"
Victory! I'm sorry if it seemed rushed, but to be fair, I did a lot of ground work ahead of time, and this entire segment was recorded in one go. There is no real change in mechanics for the presence of the Empire at this point they can still reinforce their position, but their major teleportation hub had just been broken beyond repair. In theory, the Exiles can conserve their strength and push the Empire back, but that would be a long, gruelling slog. More still needs to be done.
"Anyone want to look back there? Is it safe?"
"The energiez have dizzipated."
"There's nothing left here. It's been scoured clean..."
"And good riddance."
Well, that's that, but there is an alternate way to end this questline. You see, there is no requirement to get the Onyx Scepter, and the mission can be completed without it. So, let's crack open the game's Editor, and see what we can do.
I've opened the save file from just before I closed the portal, and this is the list of all the special items in the game. I've crossed out two that we haven't encountered yet, as they are required for the last Crystal Soul and killing Garzahd. So, let's get rid of it.
Gone now! Now, let's make sure that I'm saving to my alternate file....
exile2.sav is my primary game file. EXILE2A.sav is my backup file, just in case. EXILE2_C.sav is my Cheat everything! file for checking ahead in case things go wrong. MAP1.sav is the file I use for my map updates.
Now, we're back here, and you can see that we no longer have the Onyx Scepter. If we try to close it, the game gives us this message:
Now, let's find someplace to wait it out. I mean, it's not like the Portal is locked into a self-sustaining loop of cataclysmic destruction, right?
Huh. Well, that's what happens if you fail to bring the Scepter to the Portal. You destroy half the over-world map in the process, kill tens of thousands of soldiers, civilians, assorted animals and probably Khoth and Erika and caused untold amounts of damage to the caverns and the surface.
Thankfully, that didn't happen. Right?