The Let's Play Archive

Might & Magic: World of Xeen

by Thuryl

Part 29: Only Fools and Horses

Update 16: Only Fools and Horses

"Ever notice how nearly all the towns in Xeen have ominous names? Vertigo, Nightshadow, Asp and now Winterkill. It's tempting fate, if you ask me."

"Wait. Does anyone else see that?"
"See what?"
"That thing moving around in front of us."
"Oh, that. It looks... sort of like a skeleton, I think?"

"Our weapons not do anything. Just pass right through."
"Of course you cannot fight it! It is incorporated!"
"You mean incorporeal?"
"Eh, same result."

Spirit Bones are completely immune to physical damage. Apart from that annoyance, they're not too scary: they attack for some minor physical damage, selectively target Clerics, and can cause unnatural aging if they hit. Fubar can take one out in a couple of hits thanks to his fire-elemental weapon: if we didn't have that, we could simply use spells against it.

"Ooh! Free drink for Fubar!"
"What, are you just going to lick an unknown potion off the floor? Oh, of course you are. Why do I bother asking?"

"Ugh. That make two bad spirits Fubar find in town so far."

All of the broken bottles will damage you if you search them, but some will also yield potions. As usual, Clairvoyance can tell you which ones to search and which ones to avoid.

These aren't random: they're always Potions of Holy Words. If you're having trouble with the ghosts in this town, using one of these potions has a good chance to kill a group of them instantly.

There are small houses off to either side of the town square, containing beds and, in this case, a mirror portal. Some of the beds have pretty decent-quality random items hidden in them.

"You can count on Fubar! Fubar good at breaking bones, even ghost bones! Maybe especially ghost bones! Lighter, so easier to break!"

"Judging by our experience so far, this thing isn't doing a great job of making the ghosts visible."
"Ah, but our job is not to be making them visible! Rather, it is to be making them invisible, by destroying them until there is nothing left to be seen!"

"As usual, the town well's water is unfit for consumption. All the more reason to hurry and lift the curse!"

"Hey, you think these two gongs around the well have anything to do with the curse?"
"Don't be ridiculous, Trish. In every other town we've been to, we haven't been able to do anything about the well until after we'd removed the cause of the problem. If we could just bang some gongs to fix everything, don't you think someone would have done it already?"

There's an important secret passage here in the northeastern part of town. If you miss it, trying to help Winterkill will be an exercise in confusion and frustration.

"Someone left a set of directions for exterminating the ghosts, just lying around waiting for someone to use them? That's convenient. Would have been even more convenient if they'd actually followed their own instructions and saved us the trouble, but this way we get to be the heroes!"

The southern gong that the crystal ball is referring to is not the one immediately south of the well, but this one here, in the far southeast corner.

"We sure this not trap? Because it look like trap to Flench."

"He's got a point. Half of these crystal balls are giving advice and the other half are taunting us."

"And now different ones are giving us conflicting advice! How are we supposed to get anything done under these conditions?"

"There's no need to panic. We can always try hitting the northern gongs twice as instructed and see what result transpires. If that remediates the well, we can try following the other ball's instructions to see if they're effective in driving the ghosts out."

"What was that you were saying about having to solve the ghost problem before we could use the well, Anleisa?"
"Oh, look at that. You managed to be right for once, through sheer dumb luck. I suppose you're proud of yourself."

Winterkill's well obviously does us no good at all against the ghosts even now that we've fixed it, but there are other times when high Might comes in very handy.

"Fair ladies, why are you once again arguing? There is work to be done and spells to be learned!"

Winterkill's Mindmeld Guild mostly sells spells that can also be bought in Asp, but some of its unique spells are very useful. Most importantly, we finally have access to Teleport, which opens up a number of areas that are otherwise inaccessible.

"Do you see? A little magic will cheer anyone upwards! Now, let us be striking that southern gong and returning to the mayor!"

Doing the Winterkill quest correctly can be kind of annoying. If we bang the southern gong before destroying every single one of the ghosts, or if we revisit the mayor before destroying all the ghosts and banging the gong, all of the ghosts in town will respawn.

"It's always just one damn thing after another, isn't it. Fine, we'll deal with the next batch of ghosts for you. Not like we've got anything better to do."

"Now is the time to turn this clown upside-down!"

Polter-Fools are almost exactly the same as Spirit Bones -- both are immune to physical damage, selectively target Clerics, and cause aging -- except they have slightly higher stats across the board. More HP, higher speed, more damage. Fubar still fs them ubar with his flaming sword.

We deal with the Polter-Fools in exactly the same way as the Spirit Bones: destroy all the undead (making sure we get every single one), hit the southeast gong and report back to the mayor.

"This had better be the last one. If a shiver of ghost sharks starts swimming through the streets of town after this, you can take care of them yourself."
"A what of ghost sharks?"
"A shiver. It's the collective noun for sharks. And a serviceable enough one for ghosts, too."
"School and shoal also acceptable terms. But possibly not for ghosts."

Ghost Riders are to Polter-Fools as Polter-Fools are to Spirit Bones: a bit more HP and significantly more damage output. They're still not particularly scary, but we'll have to take some care to keep Anleisa healed up between fights.

"At last! It is to be hoped that hauntings come in threes, and no more."

"Wow, we actually did it this time? That wasn't so bad."

As annoying as Winterkill can be, it's not really all that difficult or dangerous, and the reward is well worth the trouble.

"Oh, please, don't mention it. We're simply happy to have helped."

"Fubar not afraid of no ghost!"

I haven't done a full writeup on the party's progress since the Tomb of a Thousand Terrors, and we've gained about two levels' worth of experience since then. Fubar remains an indestructible rampaging death-beast: in one more level he'll have 5 attacks per round, further cementing his superiority in melee combat. I've also managed to find him some better armour, not that he really needs it.

"Winterkill's curse smells of the work of Lord Xeen. We must find him and stop him, to save the rest of our world from a similar fate!"

Ms Swallow hasn't changed much, but she doesn't need to: she's still a very respectable melee fighter and backup clerical spellcaster.

"We save all towns of Xeen from monsters now. Job well done. Worry about Lord Xeen later."

Flench finally has (barely) enough SP to cast heavy-duty spells like Mega Volts and Day of Sorcery, which is nice.

"So what next? We still need to get around to finding Carlawna's scarab, but then there was that prophecy about the Cave of Illusion and a key to magic and whatever, which is probably important for something too."

Trish is still keeping ahead of the rest of the party in levels, and will continue to do so, helping to keep her HP total from falling too far behind the frontliners.

"Frankly, I'm in favour of any place where I won't be mobbed by hordes of spirits hungry for mortal life-force. I noticed a few grey hairs today."
"Sorry to break it to you, but those have always been there."
"You're one to talk, snowcap."

Anleisa is doing fine: I've upgraded her equipment a bit since the last rundown, and she's picked up a couple of excellent spells in Winterkill. I'll eventually want to do something about that aging, though -- it's not a problem yet, but if she ages 3 more years she'll suffer stat penalties until restored to her natural age.

"If the two of you are wishing to fight, then it will be easy to find more monsters to fight against. Until then, rest! Anger will only make your wrinkles develop faster."
"Wr... wrinkles? Quick! Somebody find me a mirror!"

There's not much I can do about Vandesloof's HP being the lowest in the party: even if I raise his Endurance even further, I'll start to get diminishing returns. Still, his armour is decent, he's got some good resistance-boosting gear on and he's still a powerful spellcaster.

And that's it for Winterkill -- a nice short update for a town that's fairly simple once you know what you're supposed to do there. Next time, should the party explore the mysterious Cave of Illusion, or do some quests and exploration outdoors? Vote now!