The Let's Play Archive


by Nakar

Part 21: Level Two: The Second Voyage, Part 1

Level Two: The Second Voyage, Part 1

The correct answer is Baudoin, and the logic already put forth suffices to explain it. Let me now go over how the game thinks you should explain it, just to see if it squares with what anybody else was thinking in terms of approach to the puzzle.

You think back to games of your youth. You played physical games, of course; but some of your friends, Persephone in particular, delighted in problems of logic such as these. You recall that it is often helpful to draw a diagram when considering such a problem.

The objective is to enter X in a space if the combination it represents is impossible, and a dot if the combination definitely occurs. This narrows down the possibilities, until one has solved the problem.

For instance, can Al-Gabri use the lance? We know that, when he does, Baudoin uses the bow. We also know that Al-Gabri and Califah never both use the lance, so Califah must also use the bow. But Baudoin and Califah never use the bow at the same time, so Al-Gabri cannot use the lance. We enter an X under Al-Gabri and Lance.

By following this and doing as the merchant said by eliminating the hunters who cannot change weapons, we end up with Baudoin as our answer. However, it only really works in this case because the other two hunters can't change weapons; solving it the way the game wants it to be solved is a bit awkward in this case. Still, interesting to see their logic, and Makound finishes it for us when we answer correctly.

"So," says Makound. "I will tell you this: Should you ever visit the palace of Osmet Khan, know that Hassan, the Master of the Guard, is a Son of the Desert, and will aid one who seeks Osmet's overthrow.

Now that's useful information. We don't yet know where the palace is, but knowing the Atarri have a man well-placed on the inside gives us something to work with. File that one away for the rest of the level.

"Now, whither go you? There are three ways from this place: westward, from whence you came; northeast, toward the Twisted Temple; and northwest, toward the Flame River."

None of these are where I want to go. Where is Osmet Khan's palace?

Makound appears surprised. "It is hidden. 'Tis said that only the soldiers of the Khan know how to find it. I know not where it lies."

Well, that's useless. What can you tell us about our potential other destinations?

River of Flames: "It is a mighty river of flames, said to be impassable. But it is far from here."

Twisted Temple: The desert warrior shrugs. "It is a temple of the faith, but lies many leagues and many mazes from here."

Consensus seems to be that the Twisted Temple is the way to go, and based on Makound's descriptions it doesn't sound like the River of Flames would be of any use or interest to us, so let's have him take us northwest. Bear in mind, if the name didn't give it away already, that "a temple of the faith" strongly implies that the Twisted Temple is a place of Mad One worship. We'd better be careful of that as we get closer.

For now, however, we'll move on to the next maze, the first on the "Temple Route."

Brown walls at night. We'll be spending most of the Temple Route in night mazes, for whatever that's worth; the "River Route" is mostly day mazes, so that makes it easier to distinguish which route one is on. We have two PoPs here and one is optional and rather out of the way, but we definitely don't want to miss this one.

I thought Makound already led us through this place! How much desert is there? Fun graphic though.

The desert extends off to the far distances. Knowing the troubles you have faced before, you load down your horse with all the water it can carry and pack away your armor so that you do not broil in it. Now, you are ready to face this parched plain.

You travel for days, travelling mostly in the mornings and evenings, finding whatever meager shelter you can during the heat of the day. Depsite your precautions, you are beginning to run out of water, more because your horse requires substantial quantities than because you do yourself. Off toward the horizon, you see what might be a lake. It is off your path, but you might be able to refresh your supplies.

No way. I've seen the old Looney Tunes stuff, that's definitely a mirage. We're ignoring it and continuing on.

At last, in the far distance, you see what must be the edge of the desert. You are down to a final water bag, but you believe you will make it. You top a rise, and before you stands...

This guy doesn't have a horse or a lance, though. Maybe they'll recycle this one.

Then, he falls, and the scimitar tumbles from his hand. He makes crawling motions in the sand, but does not have the strength to rise to his feet. You realize that he has been many days without water, and surely does not have the strength to fight you.

At this point we could finish him off, but that'd be pointless, as would abandoning him:

Kill Him: You butcher the helpless man. There is nothing of interest on his body.

Leave Him: Just as you consume the last of your water, you come to the desert's edge.

So let's take a third choice that the game offers us and give him our water in spite of his claim that he must kill us.

"It is my plain duty to kill you," he says, "but I am in your debt." He sits up and considers. "I know something," he says slowly, "that may help you in your quest. But it is my duty to keep this information from you, just as it is my duty to kill you. I will offer you a choice, therefore: In repayment for my life, I will offer you either your life, or the information I hold."

You ask what he means. "If you choose life, I will not kill you," he says. "If you choose information, I will tell you what I know -- and then we must fight to the death. But I must tell you before you choose that I am a superb swordsman."

This is an interesting conundrum: We want clues, and we could easily defeat the Tercelid soldier. He may be a superb swordsman, but he doesn't know that we wield a magical blade. So despite really wanting more information, I'll choose 'my' life as reward.

"I am glad," says the soldier, "for I would be sorry to have to kill you." Together you travel toward the desert's edge. To your surprise, before you reach it, you encounter...

Oh hey, look who's back.

It does not pause, but roars and leaps toward you. You realize that you may be able to outdistance it atop your horse, but if you do the lyon will surely slay the Tercelid soldier you have rescued.

Fleeing isn't the heroic thing to do. Let's stand our ground! We already know lyons ain't a thing for us to fight.

You wheel and charge the lyon, the Sword Valterre in your hand. A lyon may be a fearsome beast, but even thirsty, hot, and tired, you are a superb fighter when you wield Valterre. Soon, the lyon's corpse lies broiling in the desert sun.

For a while, you and the Tercelid travel in silence. Then he speaks. "I am again indebted to you," he says. "For you saved me from the lyon. Nay, I am doubly indebted, for I see that you are a superb fighter. Had you chosen to fight me, you would have surely slain me. Therefore I shall tell you what I know."

Oh no. Did he just say...

"The what?" you ask.

"The roc is a mighty bird, the largest creature known to man. It is as large as a house, as large as a palace." You raise a skeptical eyebrow. "It is true," the Tercelid insists. "They eat elephants."

"So I must get a roc to carry me to its nest. How may I do that?"

Our mouthpiece is acting way too nonchalant about this idea.

You thank the Tercelid soldier, and together you continue to the desert's edge.

Let's continue on to the PoP guarding the maze's exit. I'm sure it will be completely fine and-

I'm starting to think this route might be perilous.

You stumble across the desert plain. As far as the eye can see there are monstrous skeletons, each with the twin tusks of an elephant. A horde of the animals met their doom here. And across the plain is scattered a fortune in ivory!

I suppose there are upsides though.

You trot across the plain, marvelling at the skeletons. You wonder at their number. Then, overhead, you see...

It flies away, a living elephant clutched in its claws. This must be where it drops the skeletons when it consumes its prey. A shadow passes over you. There is another of the creatures, but this one bears no prey in its claws. It wheels; perhaps it has spotted you.

We're given the option to press on, flee, or hide. I don't like my chances trying to outrun a bird the size of a house, so we'll see if maybe it hasn't spotted us yet.

You find a declivity within the shade of a boulder, and persuade your horse to lie. You lie with it, hoping the shade will hide you from the roc's gaze. The huge creature wheels overhead, as if searching... searching... At last, it wheels and heads off toward the north. When the skies are clear, you stand up and resume your journey.

There are innumerable bones and a fortune in ivory about you. Do you gather any of them, or continue without burdening your horse further?

We can gather ivory or bones, but since the game doesn't keep track of this, it doesn't know whether we actually have either. That makes collecting ivory pointless, as we will never get the opportunity to sell it, and if we "need" it later we can always claim we picked it up. The correct thing to do here, however, is to grab a breastbone, even if we don't need to do so.

You strap several to your horse and continue onward. You come to the end of the plain.

New maze! We'll hit a decision point here in a bit. Looks like two mandatory PoPs, so we're routed right into one of 'em.

This is a phenomenally bad idea.

Far overhead, a roc soars, a desperately trumpeting elephant clutched in its talons. Around you is a grassy plain -- dry by comparison to the land around Weith, but far from a desert. Not far away, a herd of elephants crop the grass, keeping a wary eye on the roc but otherwise at calm. The path ahead of you is clear of obstruction.

We can bypass this entirely by just riding on, but what we need to do is approach the elephants. Which, incidentally, is also a phenomenally bad idea.

Okay folks. There's a really obvious solution here, which is to produce an elephant's breastbone to calm the elephant herd. That much we knew already. However, there's another solution available that will do the same thing. Any guesses?

Note that if we choose to pray, we may pray to no one in particular, or to one of eight gods: The Mad One, The Lady, The Hunter, The Smith, The Creator, The Warrior, The Dancer, or The Sea Lord. Yes, we can pray to the Mad One. People do funny things when dealing with house-sized elephant-snatching birds, it seems.

Alternate Endings & Deaths

Should we get his riddle wrong, Makound won't help us:

"Faugh," hawks the Bedu. "It is as I thought. Franks are fools indeed." And in an instant, Makound has disappeared back into the desert from whence he sprang.

Meanwhile, what if we did go for that lake in the distance?

You travel toward the lake for hours. Gradually you realize that you should have come to it by now. Off in the distance, the lake still beckons; you realize that it must be a mirage. But now, you have exhausted your supplies of water.

We're given the option to continue or turn back, but at this point we've doomed ourselves regardless.

Your horse stumbles and falls. It lies in the brutal sun, panting heavily. No matter how you belabor the beast, it will not rise.

Stay With It: Despairing, you crouch by the body of your horse in the broiling desert sun, hoping desperately for rescue. It does not come.

Abandon Horse: Horseless, you drag yourself across the desert, the last of your water gone. You abandon all your possessions save a water bag, now empty, and the Sword Valterre. You stumble, rise, and stumble again. At last it is too much effort to rise, and you drag yourself on hands and knees across the desert. Finally, you collapse, your strength entirely gone. Vultures land and peer at you, waiting for you to die. They do not have long to wait.

Supposing we'd chosen information when the Tercelid soldier offered it? He'll tell us the same thing about the roc he did before, but then...

The last of your water gone, you and your horse are desperately thirsty when you reach the desert's edge, but you find a spring where you may slake your thirst.

And things continue on from there. So technically an alternate solution, but the less heroic of the two, and I don't think you get the information about the breastbone as he cuts it off early.

What if we'd left him behind at the lyon?

Welp. Anyway let's get ourselves killed by a roc by trying to outrun it.