Part 60: The Tower of Shifting Floors (1)Update 054 The Tower of Shifting Floors (1)
This forsaken place!
More than any other dungeon in the whole trilogy, THIS PLACE I hate. And from comments in the thread, so to do many other people.
Therefore, I will be abusing the heck out of the game's cheat editor to restore my HP/SP every so often. This place is un-fun, far too large, and whose gimmick is just a pain in the arse to deal with. So I will be un-fun right back.
Meet Demon Golems. The final tier of Golem enemy in the game. They come with major spell casting abilities, and often open up with Summon Host, which gets them a Deva and four shades. And that's just the start. Shut them down with Anti-Magic clouds as soon as you can.
There are more Golems coming!
There are four rooms right by the entrance here that each contain a half-dozen golems of lesser types. Getting overwhelmed is a very real possibility and we haven't even gotten into the Tower itself yet!
Ah, Avatar. I am really beginning to love that spell. That little I on the shield beside Art's name indicates that she's Invulnerable at this point which means she takes no damage, and thus is also immune to friendly fire.
This is some welcome! It's almost like they were expecting this to happen eventually.
That Golem is down!
More still come!
That didn't happen.
Ni'aurrl! Throw up Force Barriers!
I totally forgot this spell has a casting radius of 2 tiles.
What will that do?
If we can't hold a choke point, we'll make one!
We just have to wait for another section of the anti-magic to fall down.
There are a lot of them!
Don't get ahead of us, dummy!
Bronwyn! Get back! I can plug the gap!
I just did
Sass! Fall back! We have a kill box now.
One battle that went MUCH smoother later...
And that's the last of them.
Just at the front door.
Hey, Matthias, can you call that map up again? I want to have a look at it.
Does anyone recongize anything that isn't floor or walls?
Take a look in the message log. You see that line You hear a distant clang.? Well, you will see that message many times during this LP. And every time you do, something very, very bad happens. I'll show exactly what later. Just know that it can happen anywhere from 10-30 turns or steps after the previous one.
What is this place...
Be careful, there is dust in the air. We can see well enough, but who knows what is in it?
I can't move against them though!
And here is the second gimmick to the map.
In the case with the above screenshot, Ni'aurrl is on a belt moving to the right. Because of that, she cannot move to the left, to the up-left or to the down-left as that would go against the movement of the belt she is on. You also cannot step onto a belt if it would be in the 'wrong' direction.
There is one way to mitigate the headaches this causes, though. And I will come to it later.
So, which way first?
Up and to the right. As that's where we're going anyway.
Be careful getting on and off it's like trying to walk across a slope that's falling down.
I can't go further.
Come back and we'll go around.
It looks like we can go around here.
Yes, we should be able to see what is inside this thing.
Except this floor is moving in the wrong direction.
This is bullshit!
These two screenshots were taken at the same time. As you can see, I can see a couple Golems on the map, but the one right in front of me isn't on the map when Detect Life is cast.
Neat! We can step off just as the floor turns around!
Except there is nothing here.
Due to the way the enemy AI works, when combined with the movement of the belts, you will sometimes get instances like this, where two enemies are stacked on top of each other. They will both be affected if I cast a single-tile target spell, but if I try to physically attack, then I'm not sure how it's determined, but only one target will be hit.
Fall back for now! We need to recover.
Probably a good idea....
Yeah, that's not good for you.
It's just the dust in the tower. I'll be fine.
When you're feeling better, we'll go back in. And cover your mouth.
Those Force Barriers have stayed up, giving me a cunning idea to help deal with the spawning points in these four rooms.
Now, Demon Golems do have the innate ability to knock down Barriers like this, like many high-level monsters, but it's enough to contain the lesser types for now.
South-east corner this time.
At least the moving floors are more spaced out this time.
I wonder what's in that chest.
I'm more interested in knowing how it got there.
And why someone would do so.
Yeah, I'm not going to 100% this dungeon.
In to the north, out to the south.
With an actual floor on the other side?
It's isolated, so it might be useful.
Just a pedestal.
This makes sense.
Yeah. This is the main floor with the entrance off to the right here.
The four power stone circles arranged around us.
One underground sections connected to the one in the north.
There is a symbol in the middle of the top. I suppose that's where the control point is for the whole thing. In the most protected, and hard to reach area.
I say we go down then north. Take out that last spire first. Then we come back and wipe this place out without any supports left for it.
Agreed. Now, let's get out of here.
Let's not take the paths that take us through the lava. Back through this weird machinery.
There's nothing we can do against these things. They're too tough.
Perhaps. I may have an option, but I'll need to think on it.
So, you may be wondering what these are. Well, every time you hear a clang, every one of these that you can't see spawns a golem of a random type. In addition to the normal spawn rate of enemies.
What makes this worse is that these Clang'd golems DO NOT COUNT against the spawn and kill limits for the dungeon. Which is already set to max. That's right, this dungeon can have more enemies active than any other in the trilogy, but in any given instance, and in total.
About the only good thing I see of this is that we can deal with them piecemeal, rather than letting them marshal and move as a unit.
That didn't happen.
We'll rest up and try again. And replace the cloth over your mouth.
North or south west?
I'm confused about the sizes of some of these devices. There appears to be no correlation between the devices and the type of Golem they produce. Yet...
Watching these moving floors act in sync is kinda impressive, especially given the engine and the time frame this game was made in.
I wonder why there are metal bars?
I can collect one?
No, that won't be necessary.
This corner seems pretty convoluted.
Lots of things!
NOW I'M DIZZY!
Get off to the left! There's a gap in the machines!
So there is.
Does this count as sarcasm?
That teleporter takes us here, where we can now access that hidden treasure box. Which has a Large Steel Shield in it.
That didn't happen.
OK. So the secret to crossing this section is to start on the right, move up against the wall, then move west until you can't go any further, so south and angle into the empty area. Then no north-west around the machinery and west to where I am standing now. Easy!
Took me ten minutes to figure out.
I COULD USE SOME HELP HERE!
Another exploit to use is that when you're moving in combat mode, when you stop, the party is connected in a central location to all party members. So, I can get half the party into this little corridor, end combat mode, and everyone else will teleport over and join up. This makes things so much easier in a few cases.
Not where we want to go.
No, but we might as well go though here, just in case.
And is that a temple over there?
Yeah, I see it too. Let's get to it. Somehow.
The only way out is to the south.
We still need to be careful. There are golems on the belts.
We should go north, then east here.
It's not like we can go south.
Do you hate Conveyor Belt mazes? Well, welcome to Floor Two! Your personal nightmare.
Which led us exactly nowhere.
No, this is nowhere.
As long as him being sick doesn't make things harder for us. This place is annoying already.
And we're back where we started. Now just going further south.
At the end of this is that large pool of molten whatever.
But we can still cross over.
Collecting those will mess with our kill count. But then again, we are missing some gems from ones that didn't drop any.
While you discuss that, could I get some more help here?
That looks like bookshelves in the south-west corner. That would be worth investigating.
At least this belt goes in the right direction.
But it doesn't make it there.
Look! A fish!
No. That's the symbol for Alpha. Written in an old alphabet.
So, only one way to go.
I wonder what's in there?
Support pillar, I think. But too tough to take down.
Moving away from the library. Matthias' map says this is the only way to the south-east corner of this level.
That's a way out!
Yeah, out and to where we are.
But it looks like we can circle around.
Forced to go back north. But this is odd. There's a large chamber to our north.
Not unguarded though.
Hey! A switch!
I WANNA THROW IT!
What did that change?
Uh, Art, we could have gone back south here.
I wanna see where this teleporter goes.
I don't want to wind up in the disposal!
Still not sure if that's sarcasm or not...
I also don't think I've caught the teleporter special effect before!
We appear to be in some sort of crew quarters.
There's money on the table!
This is Empire coinage.
Nothing. Exile recognizes it as legitimate currency, and the Vahnatai do when dealing with us.
I hear something moving to the south!
A Hraithe? That's a Vahnatai undead.
I know ... Rentar-Ihrno told me that they had agents on the surface, but this...
A horrible mistake? An agent becoming like this?
I don't know. I found this in the drawers.
This has to be a mistake.
Regardless, we can use this passage to go back south for now.
And pulling that lever turned this section backwards.
Those are ...
More waveblades. Ceremonial.
Has to be a fake.
Has to be.
Buttons on this one!
STOP THE FACTORY!
PRESSING THE BUTTON!
Not Authorized? Well, of course that would be too easy.
What do the rest of these even mean? Golem activity is set to high. General tactics is also set. We shouldn't mess with that as General Baziron already has that figured out. Power crystals, Mind crystals, two belts. Furnace Draw and Belt Star? And what is Thalen?
No ideas. What can we change?
Not much. Just the three belts, the Furnace draw whatever that means, and the Thalen intensifier.
Well, there was that symbol the Alpha by the library. Perhaps this affects that belt?
Might as well flip them all, and hope we don't screw ourselves over.
This other pillar is just as interesting.
The man is a hero. No two ways about it.
Agreed. And if Gale were to actually support him, rather than hiding behind their walls, the Golems might have already been destroyed.
But they don't have the information we do.
No. They don't. And we'll tell them after we finish this all off.
There appear to be supplies in the corner.
These aren't stacked like someone put them down. These are stacked so they can be grabbed and thrown at the entrances to this place.
I think we should take a breather. There's still a lot more to go.
A good idea.