The Let's Play Archive

Might & Magic: World of Xeen

by Thuryl

Part 106: All Good Things...

Update 57: All Good Things...

"... earn!"

"We saved the world twice. Isn't that enough already?"
"We've come this far. We may as well see our efforts through to the end."

"Plus, if we think he's not rewarding us enough, we can always skim a little extra off the top..."

Apparently the Thievery requirement to get the Dragon Pharaoh's private safe open is somewhere between 250 and 280, because this time the game gives us the correct combination and Trish opens it successfully.

"Hm. So Dragon Pharaoh is Guardian of Xeen like Sheltem was Guardian of Terra. Except less evil and crazy. For now."

"Time for destiny!"

"Nice view. I guess if you have to get married, this'd be a pretty cool place to do it."

... The Dragon Pharaoh

"If the worst thing we are needing to worry about is fatigue, then this will be a walk in the cake!"

The clouds above Darkstone Tower are a kind of victory lap for the player. There are no monsters or hazards, so the only danger is accidentally falling off the clouds because you stepped in the wrong place or your levitation wore off.

Fortunately, there are plenty of rest stops where you can sleep on solid ground and recharge your buffs if 5:00 a.m. is about to come around.

It seems like New World Computing saw this as an opportunity to take a victory lap of their own, too. There are signs scattered around the edges of the clouds memorialising every game franchise they'd developed or published.

King's Bounty was NWC's fourth game, released in 1990. It's a fun little strategy game, whose gameplay eventually gave rise to the Heroes of Might & Magic series. It's also spawned a series of recent spiritual successors from a Russian studio; I liked King's Bounty: The Legend well enough, but in later games the writing loses its spark a bit and the gameplay is more of the same.

Inherit the Earth, Wikipedia tells me, is an adventure game about anthropomorphic animals searching for an ancient human artifact on a post-apocalyptic Earth.

Spaceward Ho! was developed by Delta Tao software, but New World Computing was involved in publishing early versions of the game. It's a very simple but pretty enjoyable 4X strategy game.

Empire Deluxe is another strategy game: it's an upgraded version of Empire, which was originally written way back in the 70s for the PDP-10 mainframe computer. I haven't played it, but it seems to have been a reasonably big deal back when it came out.

Wikipedia doesn't even mention this one, but it's safe to guess that it's a set of simulated casino games.

Planet's Edge is an RPG about bringing back the planet Earth after an alien ship accidentally teleports it through a wormhole. I haven't played it, but now I kind of want to.

I'm familiar with Tunnels and Trolls as a tabletop RPG system, but apparently New World Computing developed Tunnels and Trolls: Crusaders of Khazan, a computer game based on it, in 1990. Looking at screenshots it seems kinda primitive and text-heavy, or in other words right up my alley.

Nuclear War was NWC's third game; it's a 1989 computer adaptation of a satirical card game first published in 1965. Good timing on NWC's part there, getting it out just before the fall of the Soviet Union.

And of course, we can't forget the series we're playing right now. Might & Magic was NWC's first game, published (if selling discs out of your apartment counts as publishing) for Apple II in 1986 and later released for a wide variety of other platforms. It ended up being wildly popular; a sequel was released two years later with similar success, leading to another sequel... and now, well, here we are at the end of the fifth game in the series.

"It's been a long journey to reach this point. We've faced many dangers and troubles, and come through victorious every time."

"Man, wouldn't it be embarrassing if we came here without all the stuff we needed to complete Xeen's destiny?"

"Good thing we're prepared, then. Even if we still don't really know what this whole 'destiny' business is all about."

It's taken the party a little over seven years to reach World of Xeen's true ending, counting from when they started afresh at level 1 in Darkside. A normal first playthrough will probably take even longer, since I already knew where I was going and was able to rush through Clouds with a comically overlevelled party; the first time I played through World of Xeen from start to finish, it took me around 12 years of game time.

A bonus update after the ending would feel anticlimactic, so let's get the hintbook entry out of the way now. We've seen almost all there is to see on both sides of Xeen, and now we meet all the criteria to see World of Xeen's final ending.

Given the number of rest stops provided, you'd have to be careless to let your buffs run out and fall. Pay attention to the time of day and you'll be fine, just like we were.

"Only way to find out what happen next is to go into pyramid! Fubar on edge of seat! All this time fighting together with friends, seeing new places and new people, and now time for big payoff!"

This is going to be our last chance to see the party we've followed in their adventures across two worlds. I'll spare you a detailed inventory of every little piece of gear, since for the most part our equipment is similar to what we faced the Mega Dragon with, give or take a couple of lesser materials being upgraded to obsidian or smaller stat/resistance boosts being replaced with larger ones. Fubar's much the same as he's always been: strong, tough and reliable from start to finish. Attacking in melee is all he can do, but with 36 attacks per round that's all he needs to do.

"Indeed. We've cleared aside every obstacle in the way of the Prophecy's fulfilment: monsters, undead tyrants, insane servants of the Ancients from other worlds, even a legendary dragon. None of them were a match for our strength and determination. Together, we're unstoppable."

Ms Swallow's been one of the most vital members of the team throughout the postgame, and a worthy contributor for the rest of the game too. Even back at the very start of Clouds, her high Speed and good armour options already made her excellent at tanking physical attacks, while now her sky-high level, maxed-out Might and clerical magic make her a formidable all-around combatant and supporter. Before doing the Dungeon of Death I should probably have taken one or two speed-boosting accessories off Anleisa and put them on Ms Swallow so that she could break 200 Speed, which would have let her outspeed Vampire Kings and Skeletal Liches and Holy Word them back to death before they could act. Oh well, it doesn't matter now.

"Royalty and nobility from both sides of world all here to watch ceremony. But Flench hope this mean better life for ordinary people of Xeen too."

Flench had a bit of a slow start: despite his excellent stats, his orcish heritage and hybrid caster class meant his spell point total took a while to become respectable. That's not a problem any more, thanks to his level and Intellect. He's not half bad in melee combat either, especially since his inability to use a shield means there's no reason for him not to use a two-handed weapon. I've got him wielding an Obsidian Flamberge right now, the strongest weapon type in the game.

"I know this isn't what y'all expect me to say at a time like this, but it really is an honour to be here at the most important moment in Xeen's history, and just bein' a part of it is payment enough. ... I won't complain if there's an extra reward, though."

In the postgame, Trish has continued to do the same thing she's done all game: making sure the party doesn't miss a single treasure by opening every locked chest and gate we come across. Her Thievery score is now 288 even without any accessories to boost her boosting. That's more than enough to pick every lock in the game easily, but that's not all she can do: I've stacked enough stat-increasing accessories on her to make her a member of the maxed-out-Might club, and a force to be reckoned with in melee.

"While we're making awkward confessions... for all the complaining I've done, I enjoyed seeing the world with all of you. And the way you kept getting yourselves beaten up and poisoned and killed made me feel needed. So thanks. You're a bunch of violent, reckless lunatics -- and I can't think of anyone I'd rather have shared this journey with. And if you repeat any of that to anyone I'll deny every word."

Anleisa's contribution in the early parts of Clouds was priceless, healing wounds and curing ailments so that the party didn't have to rest or run back to a temple after every fight. She's fallen off in usefulness a bit in the post-game, since her main asset is a near-limitless pool of clerical spell points and Ms Swallow kinda has that covered at this point. On the bright side, I finally got her an Obsidian Mace from the Dungeon of Death to make her somewhat effective in melee again.

"I too am having a confession to make. My Common has been perfectly good all along. I am just, how do you say, affecting the accent because it is a magnet of babes."

Vandesloof has an Obsidian Staff from the Dungeon of Death, so like Anleisa he can contribute in melee when his magic isn't needed -- not that there's anything left to fight against now, but still. Also like Anleisa, his high SP pool was most useful in the early parts of the game, when melee attacks were still unreliable and he could use magic to wipe out groups of powerful enemies. He especially shone against monsters with immunity to physical damage, which continued to show up occasionally even in the postgame. While he was fragile at first, feeding him Endurance bonuses has mostly fixed that.

The party's earned an impressive list of awards and honours in the course of their journey. I already showed off the party's Cloudside titles at the end of Update 26; the Darkside ones begin at "Master of Words".

The order in which they're listed is a bit haphazard: there are early-game awards and postgame ones all mixed up together. But the important thing is that each one represents an adventure the party has shared together.

Look at that "Super Goober" title, bearing witness to our completion of the Dungeon of Death. It's too bad there's no award for killing the Mega Dragon.

"Enough talk. At this rate, we miss ceremony. Which would be bad, because we still have cube and scepter needed for ceremony to go ahead."

"Take a look at the sun shining brightly in the sky. If it weren't for us, Sheltem would still be pulling Xeen away from it and our world would be slipping into an endless night."
"Don't look at it too long, though. Healing cataracts is a pain."

"How many people do you think are going to show up? I know it's a big event, but the location's pretty out of the way."

"Looks lively enough to me. I guess we're meant to get in one of those egg things?"

"That, ah, huge monster up above us holding the chain. It is normal for it to be there, yes?"
"Not worry. Harmless when not hungry."

"Good thing we have seats reserved, or else no chance we could get in. Too bad nobody serving fresh food. Hot dog vendors could make killing here."

"When you think about it, it's a good thing these two want to get married. Imagine if one of them didn't show up. We'd all have come here for nothin' and this whole Xeen destiny thing would be stopped dead in its tracks."

"And what's with this ceremony, anyway? I mean, he's got a staff and she's got a box? Really? Little heavy-handed with the symbolism there."

"Trish, sometimes you have a filthy mind. This is a sacred ceremony!"

"Hey, if you can tell me with a straight face that that didn't remind you of anythin' just now, I'll believe you. And I'll also say you need to get out more."

"Aaaand now there's a big ol' beam of light shootin' out of the tower. I rest my case."

"A great magic is being worked here! Do not mock it with your perversions!"
"You're one to talk."

"Whoa, I think I feel the ground shifting under us! I'm not sure if that's a good sign or a bad one."
"If it turn out we secretly play into hands of evil plot to destroy Xeen, Flench not going to be pleased."

"Calm down, all of you. The Dragon Pharaoh's been nothing but trustworthy so far."

"Yes! Do you see? The shaking has stopped, and we are still alive!"
"So this is the prophecy we've fulfilled. The world's round now. Anyone can travel to any part of Xeen just by walking far enough. There's just one thing that bothers me."
"Isn't this actually less convenient than using the travel pyramids?"

"Huh. Well, I guess the Dragon Pharaoh's got his reasons."
"Maybe so. Anyway, what do we do now? After spending so many years running around saving the world, it feels weird having time to ourselves again."
"We've got our own castle stocked with food and booze. How 'bout we host the wedding reception and get all these bigwigs good and plastered?"
"Works for me."

"Wooooo! Best party ever! Fubar not just help finish destiny of Xeen, but make new friends all over world on the way! And now, Fubar wish new friends good night!"
"I hope you've been enjoying this world! That's what it's for!"
"Flench have important message for all of you: be good to each other, and be happy!"
"And if any of you ladies are ever lonely, look me upwards!"
"Don't ruin the moment! We've come a long way to get here, but y'know, this isn't really the end. After all, it's just the start of a new chapter in our lives."
"Right now, though, I think we could all use some rest. Good night, everyone! And thank you for being a part of this!"