Part 86: Bonus Update 46.5: Skyroads, Forbidden ZoneBonus Update 46.5: Skyroads, Forbidden Zone
Next update, the party will be rescuing Queen Kalindra from Castle Blackfang. For now, since we just explored the entire skyroads and a corner of the outdoors, I've got a whoooole lot of maps to show you. I'm not gonna be offended if you skim over these a little, I promise.
I don't think I've mentioned this before, but each section of the hintbook starts with a short introduction and an appropriate piece of art. This one's particularly cool, so I decided I might as well show it off.
As you might expect, the Mega Dragon is a very powerful enemy, but not intended to be practically unbeatable like it was in M&M2. I will of course be showing off how to defeat it in good time.
That diamond-shaped cloud in the northwest corner is where the Mega Dragon is. (It also happens to be directly above the top entrance to Castle Alamar, which rather complicates the process of entering from above.)
These four areas in the southwest corner are about as far as a low-level party can explore in the skyroads without getting murdered by Sky Golems.
There's actually quite a lot going on in these areas compared to most of the skyroads, but not all of it is lowbie-friendly: the Great Western Tower is pretty difficult early on, Castle Kalindra can't be reached from above until you've made quite a lot of progress in the game, and we still don't have what we need to make use of the boat to Olympus or the entrance to the Elemental Plane of Water.
I like how the game gives the Great Pyramid access up to a completely isolated and featureless part of the sky area, and acknowledges its uselessness in the hintbook. It's very Might & Magic.
That's the pyramid in the lower middle of the map, spanning areas C2 and D2. It's just far enough away from everything else that it's impossible to teleport to or from it.
That picture in the hintbok is probably the most noteworthy thing about this part of the skyroads.
The only feature of any kind in areas C3 and C4 is that one little cloud island. It requires a blind teleport to reach, and if you do manage to get there all that's on it is an evil genie. Isn't this game amazing?
We'll see next update what happens when the party tries to enter Castle Blackfang from above, so I've censored that for now.
Lots more islands reachable only by blind teleports here, although at least some of these ones actually have good genies on them.
The bit about a ride to the sky lake costing 1,000 gold is an error: as shown last update, the boat ride is free. Also, have some more cool 90s fantasy art.
If you tilt your head to one side and squint a little, the sky lake looks kinda like a bird.
Once again, I've redacted some stuff that's going to become relevant very soon (well, of course it is; we're maybe 3 updates from the endgame at this point, so "very soon" is the only time when it can become relevant).
The Forbidden Zone isn't really all that big: it doesn't have the huge lava lakes that the volcanic area in the northeast of Clouds did. Still, it's big enough and molten enough to be an appropriate place to put the game's final dungeon.
See you in Castle Blackfang!