Part 57: Level Three: It's Still Kinda Racist If They're CatmenLevel Three: It's Still Kinda Racist If They're Catmen
Last time we covered quite a lot of maze and ended up returning to the main trunk in a weird place, so let's reorient ourselves. We're in the top, red/night segment of this map now, one floor down from the ring of stones with the puzzle chest:
The PoPs here are somewhat out of the way and easily missed, especially if you take the southern ladder down from the floor above. One gates the other in a separate maze segment, so let's investigate that.
Nice shaman mask, idiot.
As you approach the village, four of its inhabitants come to meet you. Two are armed and appear to be warriors; a third looks older and, by his ornamentation, might be a chief or headman. Lagging behind is a fourth Tiggeree, costumed in shamanistic fashion -- a witch doctor?
Hello there, random tigerpeople.
Interesting. Perhaps an offering of some sort would break the ice?
I certainly have no intention of offering them anything but money, of which we effectively have an infinite supply. So let's hope they like gold and jewels.
You give the chief gold and jewels from among the treasure you have accumulated in your adventures. He breaks into a delighted, cat-like grin. "Good!" he says. "Good giftie. We take."
The tension is gone. With the witch doctor capering behind, the chief leads you to his hut in the village. There, you are offered delicacies, such as roasted lizard eyeball and whortleberries.
With any luck, these guys aren't Mad One fanatics, so it shouldn't be a big problem to explain our quest to them.
The chief listens gravely to your request. "We know little of bugs or slizzards. Mad One, we stay away from." He shivers. "If you want help, I say go to Mooko Oracle."
"What?" you say.
"Not far," he says. "Big mountain, Mooko Mountain. Oracle live up there, by caldera. Go there, drop offering in caldera, call out Mooko's name. He help you."
"He lives by the what?" you ask.
"Caldera," says the chief. "Big lake of fire at top of mountain."
So we need an offering. What sort of offering does Mooko want?
"Gecko livers." He motions to one of the warriors, who leaves and returns with a gourd full of limp, brown things you take to be livers. You are given the gourd.
And then I call the oracle's name? What name?
The warriors snigger. The chief stares at you as if you are simple-minded. "Mooko's name Mooko," he explains.
Ah. Right, that'd explain it. Thanks then.
After a delicious dinner of raw gecko livers and pit-baked pterodactyl, the Tiggeree folk send you on your way, telling you to return soon, preferably with more gold.
More than likely, then, the next PoP will be...
Before you stands a mighty mountain, from the top of which steam rises.
This must be the place. Up we go!
The Tiggeree said to drop an offering, so let's drop something.
That's quite a list! I like that the game remembers we're still carrying that stupid magic lamp around. But we're making an offering, which brings up another menu:
Another very impressive list, but we shouldn't even have any of those things except the gecko livers, so...
After a long moment, the very earth thunders with a belch. Particularly sulphurous fumes waft from the volcano. You call out Mooko's name, and the oracle of the volcano responds.
"MOOKO LIKE," it says, the volcano rocking with its voice. "GOOD OFFERING. WHAT YOU WANT?"
You ask for its assistance, but before you can outline your problem, it responds.
"HOKAY," it says. "GOTCHA. TWO THINGS. REMEMBER GOOD. 'PULL THE PRIMES.' ALSO, 'ORANGE IS HUNGRY.'"
Uh... is that it?
"IS GOOD CLUES," says Mooko. "LEAVE NOW, OR MOOKO GET VERY ANGRY."
Well thank you very much then, Lord Mooko. I'll just be getting the hell out of here now.
Back to the maze, let's focus on the southern, white/day section now. You'll notice there are two PoPs, but both are tricky to reach, each requiring leaving the white maze for the red one and then looping back into an isolated segment. They do empty out into the main branch, but that's no help to us. Let's check out the western PoP first, for reasons that will become apparent next time.
Depicted: Not the two sides actually engaged in this battle.
Above you, a battle rages. A group of pterodactyl riders are attacking a cigar-shaped vehicle, from which crossbows are fired. But what side is which?
A pterodactyl swoops low over you, and you see that its rider is not human, but an insect of some kind.
On the ground as you are, you cannot intervene directly in the fight. The only way you may do so is by using the Talisman of Chugotai. This will reveal your ability to wield magic to both sides. Do you still wish to intervene?
Another Talisman puzzle! This one's a bit trickier than before, as we don't know a whole lot about this battle or who is who in it. We've got two things to decide on:
1) Which side should we assist, the pterodactyl-riding insects, or the airship crew?
2) What powers of the Talisman should we call upon to attack whoever we side against?
I suppose "don't intervene" is also an option, if you suspect that it might be better to let things play out without revealing our true strength.
Alternate Solutions & Deaths
We can be violent when we first meet the Tiggeree, again purely out of psychotic urges or something.
But should we stick around to try to kill them all...
The witch-doctor completes a spell with an eerie keening. Lightning crackles about you. Your heart stops, stunned by the force of the spell. You fall to the ground, convulsing.
So that won't do. We can also screw ourselves over by offering them Valterre:
Giving them our armor works out slightly better, though we still have to flee.
And of course, giving them the Talisman is a terrible plan as well, albeit for a slightly different reason:
We can also offer them the Nectar of the Aphidae, but they don't care for it much.
The chief takes a sip, then spits out the greenish liquid with disgust. Frostily, he hands the nectar back to you.
At Mooko, we can do a lot of things, but most of them will kill us. One thing that won't is using the Talisman, though it won't help us either:
The Talisman seems unresponsive, as if it were, somehow... terrified by its surroundings.
Right. So let's pick the first option and leap into the volcano.
You fall into the lava and quickly die.
We can also pray, which is a terrible idea around a mighty volcano god.
You begin your prayer. Suddenly, there is a roar of anger, a roar that seems to vibrate all of creation. Liquid fire spurts up from the volcano. "WHO DARES TO PRAY TO OTHER GODS ON MOOKO'S VERY RIM?" The volcano erupts. Needless to say, you don't live very long.
We can drop a variety of items into the volcano. Some, like Valterre, the Talisman, or the lamp, are magical. Others, like gold or a chicken (the game just assumes you have whatever offering you make), are not. Either way...
Magical: The object plummets into the volcano. After a long moment, there is a groaning. The ground shifts beneath you. Then, a plume of liquid fire erupts from the volcano. It is not a true volcanic eruption, more like a little splash of lava, perhaps caused by the release of the magic stored in the object you tossed so heedlessly. The splash catches you, killing you instantly.
Non-Magical: The object falls. There is a long pause, and then the very heavens and earth reverberate with a loud and angry voice, a voice that says, "BAD OFFERING! YUCK! TASTE BAD!" And then, the volcano erupts. Needless to say, you don't live very long after that.
I think there was a huge missed opportunity here; the "a virgin" option should've given the same text as jumping into the volcano. I mean, I don't see any other virgins around.
Lastly with Mooko, we can refuse to leave when he rather clearly wants us to, with predictable results: