Part 47: Attack of the ClonesUpdate 25: Attack of the Clones
"We've been putting this off far too long. It's time to save Crodo!"
"That mean we have to bite ring off his finger and fall into volcano?"
"Crodo, Fubar. With a C."
"Oh. So we have to go back in time, replace him with clone just before he dies?"
"Crodo, Fubar. With a D."
"Ohhh. Fubar get you now. So we have to find out who killed him with candlestick in kitchen?"
"I give up. Let's just get going."
"Gotta love those mirror portals. I hope you're all ready to beat up some old rich guy!"
"I'm not sure what that thing on the other side of the grate is, but I don't like the look of it one bit."
"Aaaa, hands! Hands not supposed to float in air without body, and not supposed to have mouth! Also not supposed to bite people with mouth! Bad hands!"
Carnage Hands look creepy, but aren't all that scary to a party that's just faced down the Dragon King. They have a single strong physical attack and they've got 200 HP, so it can take a couple of attacks to kill them. If for some reason you're having trouble, Incinerate will one-shot them.
"I'm suddenly feeling an uncomfortable tingling sensation. A magical trap of some sort?"
"Gyah! This is an outrage! I have been rendered impotent!"
That's right, Darzog's Tower is another one of those dungeons with an SP-draining gimmick. Step on the floor sparkles, lose all your spell points. We're going to need magic in this dungeon, so if this happens we'll have to rest.
There's not much else to see on the first floor, except for some floor grates with mediocre random items hidden in them.
"Up we go! We've already fought hands and feet -- what do you think is next? Disembodied floating heads that scream at us?"
"Now that would just be silly."
"Darzog already? That make life easy."
"I am not liking the look of that floor. Let us pass it by with the power of jumping magic!"
"Wait. Something not right. Not smell like real Darzog."
"How do you -- never mind. I don't want to know."
"Whoever he is, those lightning bolts are real enough! Look out!"
Darzog Clones are the ultimate glass cannon. I'm not talking about that tough borosilicate glass that they make baking dishes and laboratory flasks out of, either. I mean that special glass they make out of sugar for scenes in action movies so that stuntmen can charge right through it, which is exactly what we're going to do to this guy. Darzog Clones can hit the entire party for up to 120 electrical damage, but they have 30 HP and no resistances to speak of, so just about any attack or spell will one-shot them. Even a volley of arrows is enough to finish one off, if you have decent missile weapons.
The floor traps on this level suck even more than the ones on the ground floor, and there are a whole lot more of them. They not only drain all the party's spell points, but warp us back to the tower entrance. We have to use Jump and Teleport to move around while avoiding the traps.
"Does this book mean to challenge us? Very well! Let us see how fast we can read it!"
"I feel faster already! Any more fasting and I will be in danger of starving to death!"
There's one of these books on this floor for every stat except Luck. These are another thing that would have come in handy before we fought the Dragon King. The stat boosts are even good enough to justify the amount of hopping, skipping and jumping required to navigate this floor.
The alcoves that don't have books have chests full of gold and gems instead, which ceased to be exciting some time ago.
"Isn't it funny how the stairs up were just a few paces away from the steps down, but we had to loop all the way around the floor to actually reach them while avoiding the traps?"
"Funny is one word for it. Whatever's on the next floor, it can't be worse than that."
"Wait, I take it back! More traps, please. Less electrocution."
The third floor is fairly straightforward and puzzle-free: the only threat is the large number of Darzog Clones. Even weak large-area spells like Cold Ray or Prismatic Light should one-shot them. In fact, this may be the only time in the game where casting Prismatic Light makes sense, so enjoy it while you can.
"Another treasure chest? Meh. Maybe the ones on this floor are better."
"Being robber must be tough job. Always get exploded."
"You've taken quite a serious wound. Not to worry. I'll have you back in peak fighting condition in--"
"No. No time. Look. Behind us."
"Now we're down to four on one? Well, that's hardly fair!"
The real Baron Darzog is very similar to the clones, except for three things: he has 150 HP, he's 20% resistant to elemental damage, and, most importantly, his attack can turn party members to stone. Still, 150 HP isn't that much, and an Incinerate spell or a powerful physical attack can one-shot him.
As far as I know it's not technically necessary to kill Baron Darzog in order to rescue Crodo or finish the game, but if you can handle the clones you can probably handle him.
Darzog drops some gems and a random item, which can be top-tier. This time we only get a Platinum Chain Mail, which is good but not stellar at this point in the game, especially since the main threats from here on in don't use physical attacks.
"I'd complain about having to heal everyone again, but honestly I've been itching for a good chance to use this spell anyway. Saves me the trouble of finding a way to petrify someone."
Stone to Flesh cures a petrified character, but doesn't restore any HP. Since being turned to stone normally drops you to 0 HP automatically, this can be a problem, so Divine Intervention is more reliable for in-battle emergencies.
"How many floors does this tower have? My legs are killing me. Which is admittedly a nice change in pace from everything else that's trying to kill me, but even so."
"You're complaining about the stairs? In case you hadn't noticed, I'm four feet tall, and I just got blown up by a treasure chest!"
"Hmm. If we look behind tapestry..."
"Aha! A clever contrivance, but once again we have outsmarted our foes!"
Note the change to the minimap between the last two screenshots. We just opened up a passage.
The passage leads to a chest with a little cash and a few high-level random items...
... and a second tapestry, with a button that opens another passage.
We could cast Teleport to bypass these buttons entirely and get straight into the rooms they open up, but eh.
"Aaaa, more hands! We not kill enough already?"
After clearing away a largish pack of Carnage Hands in the secret passage we just opened, we reach both a set of stairs leading up and a ladder leading down.
"Seeing as we know Lord Xeen is nearby, and we still lack the weapon needed to defeat him, this may be a warning we'd do well to heed. Shall we go back and try the ladder instead? After all, we haven't rescued Crodo yet, and he's most likely still in Darzog's Tower."
"Wooo! Nap time!"
"Wait a minute -- look! Someone's under the covers! It must be Crodo!"
"It okay, bed man! We not here to torture you! Can come out now! Bweet bweet bweet!"
"What on earth are you doing?"
"Fubar make wizard call to call him out!"
"... army from the Darkside to conquer our world."
"See? Fubar never fail when call birds, hogs or wizards!"
We get a full level's worth of completely useless experience, since we're already at the cap for Clouds.
"There is no time for losing! The dungeon of Newcastle must be elevated--"
"That also! As I was saying, we must be getting the dungeon excoriated, and finding this sword! To Castle Burlock!"
"A 'thank you' would have been nice. Better still, how about a real reward?"
"He's helping us save the world, you know."
"Yeah, exactly! If the world is saved, that helps him too. It doesn't count as a proper reward."
"He is? Perhaps we can finally have a proper conversation with him about the dire threat to Xeen's safety."
"... or perhaps it will have to wait."
"Good thing I hung onto all those spare Megacredits, huh?"
"Lightning fast and strictly business. Good qualities in an engineer. Also why nobody wants to date them. Well, that and the fashion sense. Seriously, what is that purple thing? Did some kind of swamp beast wrap itself around you?"
"Right, right, getting sidetracked. Back to saving the world now."
"After save world, Fubar have to think lots about what to do with dungeon! Probably all dark and damp and filthy in there. Maybe grow portobellos?"
"Flench remember this one. Notes hidden in castle spell out 'Laboratory.'"
And here we are at last in Newcastle Dungeon. It's a straightforward area with no enemies, although it's not completely free of hazards.
The dungeon consists of a ring of interconnected rooms, separated by grates that need to be unlocked or false walls that need to be bashed down.
"These musta been the researchers who were in here when Newcastle was destroyed. It's kinda spooky to think about how they died here doing the same thing we came here to do."
"Then let's find that sword and kill Lord Xeen before we meet the same fate."
"Hey, just 'cause it's creepy doesn't mean there isn't time for some looting."
The random items you find by looting bodies in Newcastle's dungeon can be pretty high-level, although not quite top-tier.
"Wooo, free drinks!"
"Buh. Exploding free drinks. Oh well. Price still right."
Many of the potions in alcoves around this dungeon will just damage and poison whoever tries to take them. Some, however...
Potions of the Gods cast Divine Intervention when used, fully healing and curing everyone who isn't Eradicated. Spread them out among the party and save them for dire emergencies.
"At last! Now we have what we need to take the fight to Lord Xeen."
"Also, we have cool new sword!"
We now have the most important weapon in the game.
The Xeen Slayer Sword is a bit of an unusual item. While in most respects it's treated as a normal two-handed weapon, it's not possible to drop or sell it. The only way to lose it is to delete the character who's carrying it, and even then there's a cheat code to get another one (say "I lost it" to a mirror portal).
Any character class can use it, but it does mediocre damage for this point in the game and has no to-hit bonuses. Still, it has the unique property of ignoring physical immunity on enemies attacked with it, which makes it essential for taking on Lord Xeen.
"Now Fubar have new sword, Fubar ready for anything!"
"Don't be overconfident. We are strong, but so is Lord Xeen, and the world depends on our victory. We have no right to fail."
"Flench ready to fight. Got weapons, got magic, got guts."
"Let's do this, then. Whatever barriers and traps Lord Xeen has set, they're no match for me!"
"And I'll keep all of you idiots alive no matter how hard you try to get yourselves killed. Just watch me."
"And of course, what is a party without the great Vandesloof? Other magics may be stoppable, but not mine!"
We're almost done -- or rather, almost half done. Next update, get ready for the final confrontation with Lord Xeen, the ending of Clouds and the beginning of Darkside!