The Let's Play Archive

Might & Magic: World of Xeen

by Thuryl

Part 7: Toil and Trouble

Update 4: Toil and Trouble

"So it's settled, then. We're going to stop these witches and their curses once and for all."

"But first, we can be stopping to smell the roses, and then to be picking the useful alchemical plants."

See that small, easily missable plant with the red berries near the bottom of the screen? That's what Phirna plants look like.

"Ugh. Not good to eat. Too bitter. Also, still covered in dirt."
"Fubar, you great galoot, we're not picking them to eat. We're giving them to Myra the herbalist to make potions."

The game doesn't let you have more than one root at a time, so if you want more than five antidote potions you'll have to run back and forth between the meadow and Myra.

"That herbalist said the witches have been turning people into toads, right? So does that mean all these toads we're fighting used to be--"
"Let's look at this rationally. We can't do anything to help them, the witches sure aren't going to help them, and they're trying to eat us. What I'm saying here is it's probably best not to think too much about the implications, and just make sure the witches can't do this to anyone else in future."

Quoting another monster entry from the hintbook because this one is seriously kind of depressing: Giant Toads are peasants transformed into monsters by the Witches of Toad Meadow. The toads stay close to the tower as though hopeful the witches will release them from their curse.

"Everyone ready to take on some witches? I wonder what kind of magical secrets they'll hold..."

"Oh great, another guy who won't let us in. Can't we just kill him?"
"Might make us feel better, but not help us get door open. Find other way."

"Look! Lonely hut! Maybe we find lonely hut buddy to help us!"

"... were trying to capture her. I vowed that day to keep Falista safely hidden and I have these many years. But now she has disappeared, and I fear the witches may have killed her for her Alacorn's magic. Here is the key to their tower. Go quickly. Destroy them."

"Don't worry, the Epley Manoeuvres are on the case!"
"Wait, the what now?"
"Every team of heroes needs an impressive name. I took the initiative to come up with one. See, I was thinking, we fixed Vertigo, so--"
"I don't care what cockeyed explanation you have, I'm not letting you call us that."
"Aw, you're no fun."

Welcome to the Witch Tower. Overall, I'd say it's a bit easier than the Dwarf Mines. It's certainly smaller, although the rewards are correspondingly lesser and there are some irritating enemies.

"Why goblins look like that?"

Goblins are quite weak: the main notable thing about them is that they selectively target Sorcerers. A group of them could knock out Vandesloof if we were careless about keeping him healed, but that's about the extent of the harm they can do.

"We came here because we heard in the tavern that these witches were rotating children into goblins, did we not? Then by killing the goblins, are we--"
"I think this is another one of those things we'd really be better off not thinking about."

Depressing monster entry time again! Goblins are the result of a magical process where a witch converts a child into a monster. Tortured creatures, it is a mercy to slay them.

"What this? Free clothes?"

"Oof! Something bite Fubar! Not fair! Fubar meant to be on top of food chain! At least above clothes, for sure!"

Some of the rags contain low-level random items, but others will do some damage and inflict Disease on whoever searches them.

"Is it just me or is there a snake crawling in and out of that talking skull?"
"Flench think it might be carnivorous worm."
"Oh. Well, that makes me feel so much better."

"Thanks for help, talking skull! Fubar friend to all skulls now!"

"Thank heavens -- a heartening sight at last! It seems we may be able to help at least a few of the witches' victims after all."
"Putting people out of their misery is a kind of help, you know..."

"It is about time for somebody to be saving these children! Their parents must be adjacent to themselves with worry!"
"You mean 'beside themselves'?"
"Eh, same thing."

Rescuing children gives a cool 5,000 experience to the entire party.

The Witches' Tower, being a tower, has multiple floors. The stairs up to the next floor are normally quite near the entrance, making significant parts of the tower optional. But why pass up treasure and experience?

"These kids taken by witches, turned into goblins, enslaved, then killed by us. They really not catch a break. Wish we could do more."

"No point beating ourselves up about it. We can't prevent every evil in the world. All we can do is kill the people responsible and take their stuff. Like so."

There's a room with four treasure chests on the second floor: two are empty and two contain some gold and gems.

"Ahead we go to the third floor! And unless I do not hit with my guess, that is a witch!"

Wicked Witches hit the entire party for minor magical damage and can attack from range. It's a good idea to close to melee range while avoiding standing in a straight line from them, so they have fewer opportunities to wear you down. They drop 5 gems when killed.

There are skulls in the alcoves around the outside of this floor that will teach individual characters Sleep, Pain and Beast Master for 5 gems each (6 gems, really, since it also costs a gem to make the skull talk to you at all). We already know the first two, but the third wasn't available in Vertigo: it's a Clerical spell that puts animals to sleep, with higher reliability than the normal Sleep spell. It has its uses.

We can also pick up Toxic Cloud, Clairvoyance and Lightning Bolt for 10 (or 11) gems each. Toxic Cloud we already have; Lightning Bolt is a powerful attack spell that does 4-6 Electrical damage per level of the caster to a group of monsters, and Clairvoyance is one of my favourite spells in the game.

See the pair of stone heads in the upper area of the screen? See how the left one is shaking its head while the right one is nodding? That's what Clairvoyance does.

The left head tells us whether an action is safe: if it's shaking its head, doing it may put us in some immediate danger. The right head tells us whether there's some immediate reward for an action. In this case, we're about to do something dangerous but rewarding.

"That sound like a job for Fubar!"

Searching a vat does quite a bit of damage to a character, but many of them have treasure inside.

"Fubar try on new armour! ... Or at least, Fubar do that just as soon as Fubar can take old armour off! What happen?"
"All of our equipment seems to have been cursed by the witches. It's completely useless."
"That's not good."
"Really? You think so? What a piercing observation! Perhaps next you will regale us with your insights as to the colour of the celestial firmament, the religion of the Bishop of Rome, or the biome in which bears defecate?"

Wicked Witches have a nasty trick up their sleeve: their attack has a high chance to curse the gear of anyone it hits. Weapons, armour, accessories, and even usable items are all affected, and nothing can be used or unequipped until the curse is removed at a temple.

A couple of the vats, instead of treasure, will contain one-time stat boosts for a character. Flench may not be looking so hot at the moment, but he just got a little better at everything he does.

"I suggest we take a quick trip back to town to restore ourselves and our equipment before we go any further. Who knows what dangers could lie in wait up there?"

On our way back, we turn in the Phirna root and receive five antidote potions. We could hang on to them in case they come in handy, but they sell for 155 gold each, so that's kind of an appealing option too.

"If we keep coming back here to be healed, we're not going to end up looking like that guy in the back, are we? I mean, that's not a side effect of your style of magic or anything?"
"Did nobody ever tell you that beauty is on the inside?"
"Be that as it may, I'd rather not be green on the outside."

"Hmm. I'm curious about something. Just give me a minute here..."

"Look at that! It worked! That'll be a time-saver."

The mirror portals no longer run on secret codes like they did in M&M3. Almost any location name that appears on the game's map can simply be entered into a mirror portal, and it'll take you there.

"Right. Fourth floor. Time to finish this."

"Um... please?"

"This skull not have very good manners."

"Well, it warped us back to the entrance, but it doesn't seem to have hurt us at all. Time to climb back up and see if we can find that password, I guess."

"Or just run straight into the witches' leader without needing the password. That works too."

The Head Witch does much more damage than her underlings, and instead of cursing the party's equipment, she skips the middle man and curses the party. She only has a little more HP than a regular Wicked Witch, though, and her only resistance is to magical damage, so a couple of rounds of good hits will take her down.

In addition to some gems, the witch dropped a Warrior Brooch, which grants a handy +5 bonus to Might. It's one of the better bits of treasure we've picked up in this tower.

"Is this what I think it is? Did the head witch enchant talking skulls to continually flatter her?"

"Apparently so. Well, now I really have seen everything."

The two vats in the head witch's chambers both give +1 to all statistics.

... voice and whispers, "It's Rosebud!"

"Thanks, kid. Watch out for giant toads on the way home!"

"This must be the head witch's personal treasure chest! Maybe there'll be a moledo in it!"
"Moledo? What that?"
"Aw, dammit, you're ruining it. Somebody else ask me."
"Ask you what?"
"What's a moledo?"
"Digs holes in the ground, mostly."

"Well, here goes nothing."

"I wonder what this secret passage leads to, if not the head witch?"

"We save kids, kill head witch, and now save unicorn. Not too bad."

"Nor have we triggered any horrible traps of death by taking it."
"Fubar see one more stair going up. If witch boss and horn both here, what for?"

"Oooh, nice view. Doesn't look like there's much up here, though."

"Unless you count murderous bird-women as 'much'."

The Harpies infesting the area around the tower roof are quite powerful, hitting for a good amount of magical damage and selectively targeting archers.

"Hey, Fubar remember talking skull say something! Something about... enter cloud world. Worth a try!"


"Now Fubar remember! Cast Levitate before enter cloud world. Whoopsie. Time to go back to temple again."

Obviously, we're not going to be able to do much up there until we learn to cast Levitate.

"Let's all resolve never to follow Fubar's advice again. At least we managed to finish our quest."

The party earns 60,000 experience, enough to bump everyone up a level, and the Crusader skill, which is necessary to complete the game.

In fact, it's so necessary that Falista sticks around to grant free Crusader titles to any other characters you bring along in future. Once again, I've made a video just to show off the voice acting:

"Well, how about that. Looks like I'm just too strong for Vertigo now."

Vertigo's trainers can train to a maximum of level 10, and our party's soon going to be pushing up against that limit. If we ever want to go higher (we do), then we'll need to find somewhere else to train.

"Fubar learn from mistakes, not walk off top of towers any more."

"Really, I'm not sure what we were all thinking when we followed you over the edge. It's one thing for you to try it, but for us to see what happened and still join you..."

"Water under bridge. We get job done. Flench satisfied with that."

"There's always more to do, though. And the stronger we get, the more we can achieve."

"Perhaps on our next journey we'll run into some wild animals, and I'll have a chance to try out my new spell."

"And it may be that I will be seeing an enemy worthy of being struck by a lightning bolt cast by the great Vandesloof!"

And that's another update finished, and another job well done by the party. Next time, should they visit the cursed town of Nightshadow, explore the Temple of Yak in search of Mirabeth's elixir, or maybe follow the advice of one of the Vertigo tavern patrons and travel to scenic Rivercity? The choice is yours: vote now!