Part 13: Bonus UpdateBonus Update: Extras of the Beholder
Before moving on to the second game, I'll be showing a few more things from the first. I played through the Sega CD version to record videos, so I'll detail a few of its other unique features.
One of the first things is a different portrait selection. Many of them are very anime, and show up in other Capcom-developed versions of the game. This version supports multiple save files and has background music. It also has a default party, with characters creatively named Fighter, Thief, Mage, and Cleric.
This is also the only version with in-game maps. These aren't automaps, but items which look like scrolls on the ground. Trying to pick them up immediately puts them into a special map slot, where they don't take up space and can be accessed from any character's inventory screen. Green squares indicate doors, and blue ones represent movable or illusory walls. Squares that are red or yellow (which can be hard to see on this background) indicate stairs/ladders, but have no consistency about which direction they go. The white square, which flashes, is the party's current location. Any map can be seen from any level. If you look at a level you have no map for, the only feature (aside from the party marker if you're there) will be a flashing red square showing its location.
Maps are also one of the things tracked on the screen after the credits. "Quest" got changed into "search" by the translation into and back from Japanese. For some reason arrows are the other thing reported here. This playthrough set out to get all the voice lines. I obviously skipped a lot of other things but didn't really rush it. How quickly can this game be beaten? The current world record on the DOS version is just under six minutes. It takes teleporters to skip large portions of levels 2 and 3, dives into a pit as a shortcut to level 5, and from there uses stone portals to immediately get to level 9.
Speaking of the DOS version, let's go back to that for a while. There's no autosave after killing Xanathar, so my last save is just before meeting him. Back to level 11.
And from there to the hub in level 7.
Using ASE's teleport feature, I show the unique graphic of the short sword I passed on for the Ring of Wizardry. I then take the portal to level 9.
In the previous update, I mentioned that Cone of Cold will go through partially-open doors. Turns out that was underselling it. A partially-open door is for all intents and purposes still closed. Here are two displacer beasts dying to a Cone of Cold from behind a locked door. Notice that other red circle in the middle of the walls. I use ASE to go there too.
It's a rust monster. Stoneskin doesn't just prevent damage from physical attacks, it also stops any other effect of the hit landing. That means poison, paralysis, or in this case, the rust monster eating items. That's good here since wands count as metal. Kirath has Vampiric Touch active.
Hitting with it brings his HP up significantly above max. Nobody has Aid cast on them here. I finish it off with the other mage melee spell, Shocking Grasp. However going into the walls wasn't necessary to do this. Closed doors are functionally the same thing as solid walls. Cone of Cold can can go through those too, as shown here:
Near the northwest corner of level 5, there's an isolated room with two spiders in it. There's normally no way in there. The pits in level 4 go to the corridor east of it. The only real indication of it is the spiders' very annoying walk sound when you're in an adjacent room. Unless you chose no sound on startup. Speaking of those options:
There's a CGA mode for those who can't get enough of magenta and cyan.
The drow levels are the ones that come out looking best in this mode. This portal has no key item. The stone gem doesn't even seem to exist in the game data. The Cutting Room Floor has more details on unused things. There is an unofficial version 1.9 of this game that adds it and makes it go to an unfinished part of level 2. Since I'm not using that, I go to level 5 instead.
Levels 10 and 11 look kind of similar to the dwarf levels. Our final party is unable to translate anything, though still have a decent idea of what "pantry" is.
Other dwarf text will just give this.
Orc runes are also no longer translatable, though it still gives a good idea of what they mean. It's a gnome that specifically identifies them as such. You may have noticed that despite these runes, there are no orcs in this game. There aren't any in the sequels either. On the way here, I encountered a zombie that respawned. Ileria's turn undead instantly destroyed it.
That's enough of that. Back to the grind:
The kenku in level 6 don't just have abnormally high experience values, they also have one of the fastest spawn rates of the game's monsters. Just walking around the level can make a lot of them. There's apparently a limit, and spawning one can't be done without killing another at that point. You can get experience from them without directly engaging them or even just blasting them with Cone of Cold from behind a wall. I get everyone above 200K experience like this (they were fairly close to start) and then add 1 million with ASE. That brings everybody up one level each time XP is gained. Hit Dice are still rolled in this game after levels where that should have stopped by AD&D rules. Which ultimately leads to this:
Anya started with 45 HP at 4th level and gained 12 for each level up to the max of 11. 12x7=84+45=129, but character HP is a signed byte in this game so it wraps around to the negatives. She gets the faded unconscious portrait but is otherwise treated as dead. She gains no experience but also takes no further damage in this state, even from things like fireballs. Perhaps our strongest warrior has ascended to Valhalla. With that, now seems like a good time to move on.