Part 45: Brokedown TowerUpdate 5: Brokedown Tower
With all that said and done, we finally get our first look at the world map well, half of it anyway. It's very green, and very difficult to actually see where some plot relevant areas are located. The first of these is just north of us, and looks almost like a straight peninsula sticking out into the water.
It doesn't improve up close. Our first destination is the tower of the wizard Fastillion, and it's a cheerful place for someone who's supposed to be a good wizard.
"So, d'you think that we're not welcome here?"
"Nah, that sign obviously doesn't apply to us."
"Some people will do just about anything to keep people from finding out they haven't bothered to clean up recently."
"For a given value of recently."
"Is it me, or does this pit go up and down?
"Looks more like a central shaft than a pit."
"If it were anything but some kind of orc, this might actually be a dilemma. But it is, so it's not."
"You'll get no argument here."
"We should be used to this by now, right? Being outsmarted by spiders?"
"I for one welcome our new spider overlords."
There's a lot of areas that haven't exactly been well kept, which makes navigating difficult. Most of the teleportation squares in this dungeon are one way trips.
Random encounters are also pretty frequent, and usually not terribly dangerous other than the whole poisonous spiders thing. Huge bats are new, but they're very similar to the mobats we saw in previous titles.
Many of the staircases are also blocked off. That's not to say that you can't usually find a way to get up to the next floor, it's just that you'll have to look around a bit to find a stairway that's clear. That said, we're not taking the stairs up today we're taking a shortcut down the pit to the second basement. Naturally, however, we'll get interrupted on the way there.
"Somebody might want to hook this guy up with a good exterminator."
"That's kind of what we're doing here."
"Then we charge by the hour."
I'm sensing a theme with these humanoid monsters ettins are a bit weaker than the trolls, but otherwise similar. The trolls seem to regenerate, even when you kill them with fire, but I've never seen it actually bring them back to life or anything. I suspect the game doesn't have the support for it.
"So there's something worse than the spiders here? I think we need to not find out any more about it."
"Let's not look down."
"We might be better served by looking around instead."
"I think that's just about everything in this entire basement."
"By the hour, plus expenses, plus a bulk rate."
"We're gonna need to find a bank before we collect our fee, at that rate."
Just by sheer numbers (I didn't even catch everything in two screenshots) and poisonous creatures, this is probably one of the hardest fights in the entire tower. Having a few fireballs prepped can make quite a difference, but there's no real back line to keep your wizard(s) safe so you'll probably be interrupted with standard fireballs.
My first try didn't go so well and since Boo doesn't have raise dead memorized and can't use resurrect, we're just a bit stuck at this point.
On the plus side, the experience award for a single character is pretty amazing.
Boo doesn't really get a chance to enjoy it, though, despite using every healing spell he has memorized. Party wipe #2, so let's reload and try that with a couple of more fireballs on the books and continue on.
"I never thought I'd say this, but I'm not sure I want the treasure that badly."
"I think yes, that's a pair of boots over there."
After looting the basement to your heart's content, you can go back to where you fell and climb a literal mountain of shit and dead bodies to get onto the first basement. There's a teleporter right next to the pit that takes you back up to the first floor.
"Hydra? I'm not sure if they're even native to this area."
"Maybe Fastillion found the creatures around here a bit boring and imported some new creatures?"
What do you do with big meat walls with a lot of attacks and poor survivability? Pack as many of them onto the map screen as you can! It doesn't change the effect, it just makes it last a bit longer. Especially when they're packed in such a way that a well placed fireball can toast most of them.
The other gimmick in this dungeon is that sometimes teleportation squares just spin your party around. There's one in the middle of this hallway that spins you around 180 degrees.
"No way for this to go wrong and in we go!"
"Quite a difference. I think we've stumbled into the master's residence."
"The fact that there's a gnomish device here isn't reassuring."
They love making large closets secure rest spots for some reason. This is our first real opportunity to rest since entering the tower, so it's definitely worth taking.
"Ahem excuse me, sir?"
"Well, here you are and it can't be helped. You might as well tell me what you want."
"This is what's been going on "
"That would be pretty helpful. You really seem to know a lot about what's going on around here."
"We hadn't actually found any beholders, but thanks for the heads up."
"Wait, gorgons? You intentionally brought gorgons in to act as your guards? You're insane!"
"Well, I have to get back to work now. You can go out by the north door."
"That's pretty direct. Thanks!"
"Oh, that son of a "
It's nice to have options. None of them will keep you from falling, but it's still nice. Falling damage doesn't scale based on height in this game, so we just take about 10 damage, climb right out, and go rest for a minute before coming back to pay Fastillion back for his jack-assery.
Hey, Boo gained another level. Yay, Boo! Other than that our magic users are continuing to climb up, which mainly gives them more endurance at this point. For long dungeons that's pretty important, and although I haven't made a point of it the Tower of Luminari is actually 11 floors if you don't take the shortcut. More stamina will be very handy as we punish Fastillion for that whole "just head out the north door" trick. Other than that, we haven't gotten any equipment upgrades to write home about, but that's mainly due to the fact that our characters are imported. Starting out with +3 and +4 gear means it takes a while to get anything better than what we've got.