The Let's Play Archive

Might & Magic VII: For Blood and Honor

by PurpleXVI

Part 7: Deyja Vu

Update 07: Deyja Vu

Hmmm... no, I'm siding with Zaggut on this one.
Sorry Stashley, me too.
I can't believe you two. Fine. FINE. Just tell me why we're going along with his idea.
Because he's clearly the wimpiest member of the party and we need to get him up to scratch before he gets us all killed.
Uh, thanks, I guess.

And so we're off to Deyja to make Zaggut a bit more useful because I really, really want Master Body Magic before dealing with the Red Dwarf Mine in Bracada and also because everyone voted for it. Thank you all.

Deyja has the somewhat odd location of being in between Erathia and Avlee, meaning that a blasted hellhole is located right between two lush and thriving territories.

Damn, Deyja's kind of a shithole.
At least the locals are coming to say hi.
Aw man, in a place like this they're probably all beggars or somethin'.

Even worse, they're pigeons.

Meet the harpies, the perpetual annoyance of Deyja. They're not quite as bad as Cliff Racers, but in my mind they get close. The base version can make you drunk, and the top-tier version can age you, while oddly enough it's the middle tier that can double-curse you, thus being somehow the only troublesome one. They never really did enough damage or had enough staying power to trouble me while I was here, so it was more a matter of feeling something getting stuck in Zaggut's hair and the party then hitting it with sharp things until it stopped moving. They'll also prioritize targeting male characters, which I might notice if they stayed alive long enough to hurt anyone.

Supposedly there's an event where a necromancer asks you to pay the ZOMBIE TAX or you get attacked by zombies, but despite walking up and down the road a bunch, I could never get it to trigger. Boo.

Everything here looks the same! It's all brown.
I think I see a house just off the road, maybe we should ask for directions.

Deyja, of course, has goblin peasants. Interestingly enough, it feels more cosmopolitan than either Erathia or Stone City(where everyone is either human or dwarven), or Avlee(where everyone is either elven or human), as the homes have all the four playable races represented. I guess evil doesn't discriminate. Anyway, about that house...

William Setag(hmmmmmmmm... almost like we've heard that name before...) is the dark path paladin trainer. Very nice fellow, though, very polite.

Ha ha for real though, fucking Bill Gates is the Villain Extraordinaire of Antagarich. Goddammit JVC. :v:

The actual city in Deyja is THE PIT underground, but we won't be visiting it this time around. Plenty of colourful locals to visit, though. Normally I don't show off the generic local homes much, but in Deyja, the interior decoration is a bit wilder than in, say, Tatalia.

I'm not quite sure I want to learn any of this magic.
Oh but I do, imagine it! The next time you die, instead of getting you raised, we could re-animate you as a mindless corpse! You'd complain a lot less.
Veto on that one, imagine the smell.

You almost get the impression these people might be... I dunno, evil or something. Let's stop by the inn!

What the hell is that.
It's rude to stare, Stashley, he's just an Enrothian goblin.
Yeah, but... you're a goblin, too, and you look like people, not like a compost heap. You also have the decency to wear a shirt.

I wonder if this inn screen is a leftover unused from MM6 or if the art direction on goblins got changed later during dev when it was decided they were going to be playable, considering that it looks more like the... you know, weirdo gobliny goblins, rather than the "green humans" goblins from MM7. Also the Arcomage game at this particular inn kept fucking with me and I had to replay it like five times to pull through, fucking thing.

Time to go back to the tour of the village, though.

Well, this is giving me a whole lot of ideas for when we renovate the castle, but it isn't getting us any closer to making Zaggut not suck.
Well, there's another village, to the northwest. Or a town, I suppose. It has some of the classier residents of Deyja.

For reference, the map of Deyja, because Deyja doesn't have any goddamn roads(at least not ones going where we want to go), it just has craggy wastelands full of harpies.




While I don't particularly enjoy killing, I have to admit to feeling like we're doing a civic duty this time.
What, you don't think someone wakes up every morning and looks forward to the harpy flock squatting on their gutters, squawking?
If there is, I'd rather not meet them until I've learned Cure Insanity.

What's the matter? Harpy shit in your hair?
Naw, something caught the sun, right in my eye. Blinded me.

By the gods! It's...

A quick way to riches?
A way to get immensely powerful?
It's a way to screw ourselves over quickly, is what it is. We should put this in Zaggut's backpack.

Thank you for your faith in-
Firstly, he's too boring to take any chances with it. Secondly, if he does, the results will be funnier if it's him.
-me. :sigh:

So, genie lamps suuuuuuuuuuuuck. You're probably gonna try using them(if you haven't played MM5 and thus have a serious aversion to the bastards, at least), and then regret it hugely, assuming they're just part of an RNG with mostly disappointing or disastrous results. Not so! Their results are entirely deterministic but also entirely bullshit. Their effects being determined instead by the calender!

Genie Lamps posted:

Stone: Friday Days 5, 26
Death: Saturday Days 13, 27
Eradication: Sunday Days 7, 21


January through July they give you between +1 and +4 to a stat, with the later days in the month giving greater boosts.

August provides money.(1000 to 4000)

September provides food.(5 to 20)

October provides skill points.(2 to 8)

November provides XP.(2500 to 10000)

December provides minor resistance boosts.

It should rapidly be obvious that you should never, ever use a genie lamp any other month than October. At least, as far as I'm aware, any temple in Antagarich can restore you from being turned to ashes(and yes, I know what the funny exception is, I'll see if I get a chance to show it off).

Anyway, let's get back to our thrilling content of more fucking harpies.

Woo! We made it!
Perfect, let's harass everyone in town.

Don't mind if I do!
Owen do- oh fine. Go ahead. There's a temple right next door.

In addition to brewing one hell of a cup of tea, Seknit here has a pair of chess-playing skeletons(one of them's a lich, I suppose) just hanging out in his foyer. Very classy.

His neighbour is Tugor Slicer who teaches Owen to dual-wield swords, which is fucking awesome. Hell yeah, Tugor. I'm not sure if the melee damage bonus from Armsmaster is applied separately to each weapon wielded, but sadly I suspect it's only applied once, so Owen will have to settle for only being two-thirds of a Cuisinart.

Does everyone just have a skeleton or two in their homes, here?
I know, it's so inspiring!

Hm, well, destroying an organization of violent brigands would be virtuous, I suppose.
Also the pirate booty.
Pirate booty. Pirate booty.
Pirate booty, pirate booty, pirate booty.
I'm quite sure they won't shut up, ever, unless I take the quest. So I suppose we're on the job, Mr. Falk.

And what's a nice, cozy necromancer town without a nice, cozy necromancer well.

Five gold says this one turns Owen into a toad or something.

Surprise, instead it just gets the entire party fucking sloshed to hell. :v: Like in MM6, it doubles your base Luck, so it might actually be handy to be drunk for some situations, like if one of the Games that spawn in various world areas end up being a Game of Luck.

Oh thank the Gods, some plain, honest zombies.
Aw, look at him like a kid on Christmas, excited to be fighting anything that isn't harpies.

The zombies here were defending the Deyja monolith. So far it's pretty safe to assume I've gotten the monolith and arcomage game for every area I've visited.

Look! This one got stuck on a cactus!
On the one hand, I'm tempted to leave him there, on the other h-
Rargh! Smash!
-as I said.

Deyja also has a rare, lovely resistance-boosting well in this little corner village. At this point I also decide to dip my toes into hirelings again...

This is terribly phrased. She actually provides a 20% boost which, yes, means it shakes out to roughly a 10% boost after her cut, but by the in-game phrasing it would basically just mean you rolled up even.

I don't trust bankers, but I do trust more money. She's hired.
Excellent! Now, to start with, have you been paying your taxes?
Hell no!
Good start, that'll take us a good part of the way towards that 10% bonus. Now let me tell you about tax rebates...

In any case, now we're skipping to Tatalia. There's nothing in Erathia of interest at this point, and won't be for a while.

So, do we have any idea where the pirate hideout is?
Not the faintest, which means we've got an excuse to poke around in every corner of Tatalia!

Since I legitimately don't remember the exact location of the Tidewater Caverns, I start by poking around up top on the snowy plateau, in part because that allows me to pick up the first of Zina's three altars on the way. I also pulp a bunch of trolls while I'm here, for the fun and XP.

In the northwest of Tatalia, there's also the region's obelisk. We've been getting up there in terms of how many we have, maybe we can tease out a message?

It's my expert opinion that this is gibberish. I think we should just stop collecting these.
While I admit that "Piraie One" isn't exactly a herald of some great revelation...
Hang on, "Piraie"? When we find a few more of these, that could easily be "Pirate." Pirates have treasure. It's my expert opinion that we keep collecting these.

Still, no pirate caves here on land. It might be time to bust out some of our new magic.

So, uh, what happens if the spell runs out while we're over water?
We plummet through the waves and drown horribly because none of us can swim.
Hey, I can totally swim.
While wearing a suit of full plate and carrying two swords?
Alright, alright, point made.

Out in the bay of Tatalia is this little island. Odd because it has an armor and weapon merchant, which you can also find on land and a non-interactible ship off its shore. I'm mostly puzzled they decided to make the two residences here stores rather than, say, trainers or fluff NPC's.

Well-hidden on the western side of the island is also the entrance to the Tidewater Caves, if you don't know it's here, it's entirely possible to just walk straight past it unless you're at an angle where you can spot the unnatural-looking overhang sheltering the entrance.

Welcome to the Tidewater Caves, they suck.

Like, not because the dungeon is particularly harsh or anything, it's just kind of flavourless. You'd figure that a cave full of pirates, skeleton pirates and ghost pirates, with half a pirate ship in it, would be hard to fuck up, but NWC managed it.

Mostly, I suppose, it feels a bit lame because it's a bit low-detail and very short. Aside from a couple of side chambers, mostly what there is to interact with is this central structure, the stranded half-ship.

It doesn't help that the enemies feel completely allergic to the pathfinding in here. For instance, like ten rogues just stacked on top of each other and wouldn't path around this hatch, allowing me to step over and beat them up from a safe distance(for some reason, the party's range for melee attacks is slightly longer than the monsters', so if they get stuck on something and don't have a ranged attack, they're practically free kills, and unlike MM6 where all monsters bar the most basic ones had a ranged attack of some sort, MM7 feels like it generally has a lot more melee-only enemies).

Up on deck, ghosts rise from the cave that the ship is stuck in to ambush you as you get near the railing or just spend too much time up on deck. They're not exactly ferociously threatening.

Rather than move out into the cave, though, which contains nothing of import, you're then meant to head back inside the ship again for a bit of exciting secret-hunting. In this case, the rude kind of secret-hunting, since you're poking around for a completely hidden secret door. Not even a little lever or misaligned texture or something as a hint. If you don't know it's here, or have sufficient Perception, you might well suspect the game's bugged and your quest item failed to spawn.

Frankly I consider it a bit poorly designed to hide quest items behind secret doors like that.

Speaking of pathfinding jank, on this ramp I also kept getting attacked by skeletons stuck inside the geometry. At least I could attack back, but it was still pretty annoying. In any case, I discover my quest item isn't down at the bottom of the dungeon and start trying to interact with every patch of wall until eventually one obliges me by folding down.

Yielding the map to Evenmorn Island! I'd say "finally" I'm free to leave this janky, unimpressive cave and get back to Falk, but because the party's honestly a bit overpowered for the chumps in here, it's only taken me about five minutes, including secret-hunting, to sweep through the place and mangle everything inside.

[a couple of in-game days later]

I'm not sure if we need to hand the map in to Falk for it to trigger, but now almost every boat in Antagarich has one day of the week where it sails to Evenmorn Island and, more importantly, Zaggut now has access to Master-level magic(once he gets the relevant trainers) for all his spell schools! We'll be going over the new stuff at the end of the post, but suffice to say at least one of the spells he learns will be extremely important for tackling the Red Dwarf Mines without giving me an ulcer.

I have to admit I'm almost as excited as Falk. Evenmorn is supposed to be a lost and mysterious isle, we'll be the first to see it in quite a while.
Well except for the locals.
The locals?
Oh, yeah, the Churches of the Sun and Moon have set up shop there since before the maps were lost. Been busy killing each other ever since. Very druidic.

Speaking of serious druid business, we should head off to Avlee before we sail for Evenmorn, there's another stone circle there.
Should be easy business, we could basically just walk past the trolls to get to the one in Tatalia.

[several days later, in Avlee]

So, people might have gotten the impression that MM7 is easy. Aside from a few early roadbumps, I've kind of been steamrolling most enemies and commenting on how they're not really a threat.

What the hell are those? Dire seagulls?

Ha ha, no, they're wyverns. Want to see what wyverns do?

Aw hell, Zaggut's dead again!
Please try not to die, everyone! Resurrection expenditures will damage the party's liquidity!

Yeah speaking of liquids, I'm more concerned about how wyvern venom appears to be turning my internal organs into liquid.

So yeah, let's talk about why wyverns kick my ass.

Normal and Horned Wyverns are somewhat unimpressive, mostly being able to poison the party and able to do a huge fat chunk of damage(7 to 42 and 9 to 54 respectively), but Ancient Wyverns, the purple ones, are a whole other business. Firstly they're very durable(almost 250 hit points, when our average damage is ~40 per strike). Secondly, they do assloads of damage(12 to 72). Thirdly, they skip the middle man and rather than poisoning the party, simply attempt to apply the "fucking dead as dirt, my man"-status effect. They also prefer killing druids and rangers, which is why Zina got thwacked into unconsciousness almost as quickly as Zaggut got killed.

Thank you all for getting me back on my feet, for a moment I was worried I wasn't going to see the light of day again.
We took a vote on it, Zina and I wanted to pick you back up, Leora and Stashley figured we should leave you somewhere and recruit a new cleric.
I hate to point it out, but that's a stalemate. How come I'm back?
I pointed out we were missing your vote and we'd have to revive you to get it. So, how you feelin' about it, Zaggut? In favour of us having you revived?
...extremely so, yes.

Alright, I feel like our usual approach isn't working well for this one.
Aw, but I like just running in and swinging my sword at everything that moves.
Sorry, big guy. Zina, you're our wildlife expert. What's the play when you're being chased by a wyvern that can stab you in the brain with its stinger and inject you with enough venom to liquefy your skull?
The technical term for that situation is "run the hell away."
Brazen cowardice? We can do brazen cowardice.

So yeah, that's the play here. Basically any enemy in the game is slower than the party as long as we're moving away from them in a straight line and moving forwards rather than backwards or strafing.

It strikes me that a drawback of this strategy is that if we get caught or stuck, there are now twenty wyverns who want to eat us, rather than three.
Consider it motivation to not get caught.

So, uh, Zina, how long does this druidic meditation usually take?
Generally I'd need to spend a week purifying my mind and body before attempting to commune with the forces of nature and the seasons.
...there's an abridged version of that, right?
I think the spirits of nature would understand if I just had a real hard think about one of the seasons.

So I rush in there, have Zina think real hard about the month of October while slapping one of the rocks, and promptly tumble off the cliff and almost drop into the sea. :v:

Then using Water Walk to run across the ocean to the nearest docks, wyverns in pursuit, to flag down a ship going to Evenmorn. Good thing for the locals that the wyverns spawn back to their original locations rather than hanging around when I do that. :v:

...I feel like I might've gotten oversold on the transcendent vistas of Evenmorn Island.
Never doubt the powers of the Antagarich Board of Tourism.

So yeah, welcome to Evenmorn Island.

We've got skeletons!

Dead trees!

Some skeletons that aren't trying to kill us!

A hut in the middle of the water that turns out to be the highest-level Water magic guild in the game! Too bad we'll never have a use for it. Ha... ha... ha ha ha...

An extremely busted-ass village!

Hm, a well surrounded by the walking dead...
Maybe it's full of water that fucking kills you.
Or it's water so delicious that even the undead want it.
Sounds like a worthwhile risk to me!

The well is actually a teleporter that lobs you across to the other side of Evenmorn.

They should really have called this the Evenmorn Archipelago instead, since it's actually made up of multiple smaller islands.

Evenmorn also has a few advanced trainers, a couple of grandmasters and masters hanging around. The only one we can make use of is the Master Merchant, which is a bit of an "interesting" skill in that the only class that can really leverage it well is the Cleric. See, the only other class to get it as better than an Expert skill is the Thief, but to level it to Master, requires 50 Personality, which only the Cleric(who can get it to GM) is likely to have. I had planned to make Stashley my Merchant(she's already got Expert), because I figured Zaggut would be busy levelling his magic, but then I got this surprise! So far no other skills had any stat requirements or quest requirements, like they sometimes had in MM6, so I thought they'd completely scrapped that... but whomp whomp.

Huh, how's enlightenment feel?
Hell if I know, I just figured it was an excuse to take a nap. I just hope that guy back in the Tularean Forest buys it and hands over the promotion.

In addition to the ghosts and skeletons, there are also some gargoyles hanging around guarding the Temple of the Sun. The Temples of the Sun and Moon are the two Evenmorn Island dungeons, which I'm not touching for the moment in part because I don't have(much) of a reason to go there and also because, as implied, the locals can cast Dark and Light spells that would ruin my day hardcore.

Alright, we killed everything above ground and not indoors. Bored now.
Yeah, let's get back and cash in.

An odd detail is that even though any non-Avlee port can take you to Evenmorn, Evenmorn itself can only take you to Tatalia or the Tularean port.

And with that, we now have Master access to all magic types except for Dark and Light, which we still have zero access to. It also represents a decently chunky boost to Zina's magic and HP, percentage-wise.

In hindsight, though, I realize I've hardly been casting any spells compared to MM6. Almost all my magic has gone into buffs and heals for melee casters. Fire Aura, Heroism, Regeneration, etc. and I've hardly been doing any offensive casting since Emerald Isle, in part because my melee combatants can reliably land hits.

I guess there's no longer any way to put off going to the Red Dwarf Mines in Bracada.
We could burgle Castle Gryphonheart for extremely valuable paintings for our shady art dealer friends.
How's he your friend? We hardly know him.
Hey, he offered to pay me money.

Extra: Master Magic

Spirit Magic

Master Spirit Magic has a big effect on the duration of Bless and Heroism, two of our workhorse buffs. It additionally makes Preservation a party-wide buff, which could occasionally have some uses.

Raise Dead: This'll be more useful when Zina eventually has all the cleric magic mastered as well, so she can pick up Zaggut when he eventually eats shit again.

Shared Life: Turns Owen into a big fat HP bank for the rest of the party. It does a lot to make having a Knight along extra valuable. Like in MM6, it also adds some extra HP on top of redistributing what the party already has. I expect it to become a workhorse healing spell.

Spirit Lash: The only Spirit offensive spell. It deals 10+2d4/skill point damage, which is a decent amount, but only works at practically melee range. It has the advantage that practically nothing in the game is immune to Spirit damage(except for elementals), and even enemies that resist it tend to have it as a very weak resistance.

Mind Magic

Master Mind Magic has next to no effect on non-master spells in a way that matters.

Cure Insanity: It's a less crippling effect than in, say, Wizardry, but being able to cure Insanity is still good since it's expensive to make the temples take care of.

Mass Fear: I suppose it has its uses, since you could drop it on a swarm of enemies and then just attack the enemies that don't run away. It would allow you to whittle down large swarms to manageable chunks. Monster status resists work mostly like in MM6, but monster levels and resistances are generally lower in MM7 and MM8, so they might be more worth using! I'll try to test it out.

Psychic Shock: 12+1d12/skill point damage is fucking huuuuuge. Psychic Shock is a very good spell, even though it'll bounce off a large category of enemies(most undead, all elementals). Anything it doesn't bounce off has the chance to get fucking shredded, though. I'm a fan.

Body Magic

Master Body Magic does a lot for our generic Heal and Regeneration spells. Heal is now almost twice as effective per-SP as it was when we first learned it.

Cure Disease: Just another generic ailment-curing spell.

Flying Fist: 30+1d5/skill point damage means that Flying Fist starts out pretty strong and is very consistent, but scales poorly. Body resistance and outright immunity also feel very common, but thankfully Zaggut can just hit things with a large hammer when all else fails.

Protection From Magic: This spell is just so incredibly poorly named. It does not, in fact, protect you from any magic. Instead, what it protects you from is a laundry list of conditions: Poisoned, Diseased, Stoned, Paraylzed and Weak, adding on Dead and Eradication when you reach Grandmaster. It only averts a number of effects equal to the skill of the caster in Body Magic. What I'm not sure of, though, is whether it prevents that many procs(i.e. if the save is failed), or whether each attack that could cause the effect eats up a use(i.e. before the save is even rolled). In either case, though, it's a fucking godsend for dungeons like the Red Dwarf Mines.

Fire Magic

Master Fire Magic boosts our workhorse Fire Aura, making all our melee attackers stronger against anything that isn't fire immune.

Immolation: Like Ring of Fire from MM6, except rather than a pulse, it's an enchantment that does damage over time to everything nearby. I'm unsure if it still allows us to melt enemies through walls but, once again, it bears experimenting to learn. With 1d6 damage per skill point, it also has decent scaling and might well be a consistent cast in battle.

Inferno: 12+skill damage to all targets in sight, only works indoors. Thanks to being Master magic and having such terrible scaling, it would only be useful if you wanted to rush through a dungeon you'd bypassed and are now overlevelled for.

Meteor Shower: Like in MM6, this is the spell you use to vaporize everything outdoors. 8+skill damage doesn't sound a lot, except it's explosive damage and it's for each of the 16 meteors it drops.

Air Magic

Wizard Eye now shows "points of interest," i.e. doors, levers, chests, etc. which can be helpful for some dungeons.

Fly: After Water Walk's brief time in the sun, Fly now leaves it in the dirt. Without anything like the Dragon Towers around in Antagarich, there's no reason not to just Fly.

Implosion: 12+1d10/skill damage to a single target is punchy as hell just like in MM6, except now it's elemental damage(Air) rather than Physical, which means more things are going to be resisting it. Still, it's a very effective single-target "fuck you."

Invisibility: The advantage is that enemies don't see you and you can laugh at them while you steal all their shit and walk past them. If any dungeon was as fucking annoying as Castle Darkmoor, it would be a pro cast. The disadvantage is that enemies you don't kill can't be looted and don't provide XP. Undertale this ain't.

Water Magic

Nothing we were already using is particularly boosted by Master Water Magic.

Enchant Item: Like in MM6, allows you to slap a random enchantment on a non-magical item. Good for any high-quality piece of non-enchanted gear that isn't a weapon, since it being enchanted will prevent Zina from dropping a Fire Aura on it, and most weapon enchantments will not be as good as a Master-tier Fire Aura.

Ice Blast: An ice ball that explodes into seven smaller balls that each do 12+1d3/skill damage. Theoretically good except most shards probably won't hit anything. Really not my favourite spell.

Town Portal: It's been nerfed in that it now doesn't work if there are any hostiles nearby, so it can't be used to warp out of danger(except at Grandmaster Level, which we'll never get). At anything less than 10 skill, it also has a chance to fail when cast.

Earth Magic

Once again, no boosted spells.

Death Blossom: Outdoors-only. Fires a MIRV that explodes into smaller projectiles, not unlike an oddball version of Meteor Shower. Each shard does 20+2/skill damage, meaning it has higher damage potential than Meteor Shower.

Rock Blast: Weird spell. It only launches its projectile straight ahead at eye level(can't be targeted beyond that), and it explodes for 1d8/skill damage(not bad scaling). It seems greatly like a spell that'll blow the party's own dumb ass up more often than not.

Telekinesis: Allows you to interact with anything in sight as though you were right on top of it. Aside from probably breaking some dungeon areas, you can also use this to open some containers from a safe distance and thus obviate the need for a thief. Not all containers allow you the necessary range while maintaining line of sight, though. Still, it has uses if you're in over your head in terms of trap difficulty.


A: Do we get back on the storyline train?

B: Now we know that we can take [guys] of the Sword a lot of the time, do we fuck up some more nobles and do some side quests in general?