The Let's Play Archive

Might & Magic: World of Xeen

by Thuryl

Part 93: An Ancient Grudge

Update 50: An Ancient Grudge

"Charge! Victory or death! Hopefully victory!"

"No guards at the entrance? Feels like we're walking into a trap."

"Ah, that's more like it."

Annihilators hit 12 times per round (yes, twelve) for 5-250 energy damage, and they have 200 Speed so they're practically guaranteed to get an attack in before you do. Energy resistance helps a lot against them, but a high-level Sorcerer or Archer's Day of Sorcery is your best defence here: the Power Shield effect will skim a significant amount of damage off each hit.

They have 1500 HP, which isn't a massive amount by this point in the game, but they're 80-100% resistant to all damage types except energy and magic. Implosion spells are the fastest way to deal with them; wearing them down with strong melee attacks also works pretty well.

"Prince Roland of Cloudside is somewhere in this castle's dungeon. This is the perfect opportunity to rescue him, leaving us free to defeat Sheltem without worrying about the prince being used as a hostage against us!"

The dungeon is packed with Annihilators. It's pretty linear, so most of them can't be avoided; teleportation magic doesn't work in any part of Castle Alamar, so we can't even bypass them that way. We'll just have to fight our way through.

We also start running into these weird little hovering dudes.

"Hey! Autobots supposed to be good guys! Did morning television lie to Fubar?"

Autobots hit harder per attack than Annihilators, but only attack twice per round. What this means in practice is that energy resistance is more important for dealing with them, and defensive buffs less so.

Overall they're less of a threat than Annihilators; they have more HP and higher AC, but lower resistances. Also, unlike Annihilators, they can only attack from melee range. The same tactics that work against Annihilators will work against them.

"Xeen Power Juice is healthy start to day! High in Vitamin X!"

This bottle is good for two doses. There are a couple more like it deeper in the dungeon. I feed most of the levels to Ms Swallow and Flench, because Fubar's tough enough already, and stronger casters mean stronger buffs, which act as a force multiplier for the whole party.

"Is it? It seems I need to be adjusting my pocket watch."
"You have a pocket watch?"
"It used to be a wristwatch, but I have removed the strap. Impracticality is the mark of a gentleman!"

There are a couple of levers here that open important passages, so be sure to pull them.

"This dungeon goes deeper than one floor? Ooh, I bet this is where Alamar or Sheltem or whatever he's calling himself lately keeps his treasure!"

"Aw, it's just the legendary city of Shangri-La again. Big whoop. Back up to the dungeon we go."

Remember how Shangri-La had two exits, one to Clouds and the other to Darkside? Yeah, the Darkside exit leads straight to Castle Alamar's dungeon.

"Oh great, now a skull's giving us lip. It doesn't even have lips!"

"Yesss! Finally! What kind of treasure do you like to keep around, Sheltem?"

"Guess we'll be taking a little detour after we've saved the world."

"By the Gods! I think I'm having a vision of the future!"
"Anleisa? You've been granted the gift of prophecy? This is proof of how much you've grown as a person since we began this journey -- your virtue is being rewarded. What do you see?"
"I see... I see us needing to remember this sequence for a really obnoxious puzzle!"
"... I suppose I only have myself to blame for expecting miracles."

... his defenses. But know this, O enemies of Alamar the Benevolent, that Alamar takes pleasure in the failure of his opponents, especially when they come close to success. And you WILL fail.

"Wow, even the statues in this place are jerks. We should get a couple of these things for Newcastle."

"No sign of Prince Roland: perhaps that skull was barring the way to him. For now, all we can do is continue exploring the castle and prepare ourselves to face Sheltem."

... lucky enough to benefit from Alamar's wise counsel and firm guidance, crime has decreased and production increased. Further, social deviance has virtually disappeared while complete obedience, a behaviour desirable in lower life forms, has risen dramatically.

"Wow. Creepy, much?"

... of the Ancients' attempts to separate Alamar from his rightful guardianship of Terra, Alamar has persevered in his heroic struggle to return to Terra to protect the planet from harm, both internal and external. Though many years have passed, Alamar's resolve to return to his sacred duty persists.

"From what we see of Sheltem so far, Terra probably better off without him anyway."

... Ancient science projects to the subversion and theft of the Xeen structure, Alamar has caused more damage to the Ancients' works and projects than any other rogue AI the Ancients have ever had the misfortune to create.

"Yeah, this guy's got some issues."

... dedicated to honouring Alamar's true name. It is: kdkiendlshj**:and dugli (crackle) I am the statue...

"You think Sheltem screwed up, or is it that way on purpose just to mess with people? Not that it'll work on us, since we know his true name already."

There are four fields like this, one for each element: the Air field is made of clouds, Earth is dirt, Water is... water. If we step anywhere inside a field, we just get warped back in front of the corresponding head. They don't serve any useful purpose (well, presumably they're useful to Sheltem).

"Huh, interesting choice of decor for the second floor. Good thing we can swim, levitate, and mostly ignore lava."

"What? Oh, that's totally unfair!"

Stepping into the water dumps you into the water power field back on the ground floor. If we somehow managed to step into one of the other elements, we'd be dropped into that element's field instead. There's nothing for it but to climb back up the stairs and carefully make our way around the outside of the floor.

"Ooh, that Fubar's sixth favourite time, after breakfast time, lunch time, dinner time, snack time and Rivercity Stock Exchange opening time!"

"Sundial must be more than it seems. Not much use indoors, after all."

As the hints in the dungeon and Olympus suggested, we have to turn this dial until it reads 9.

We then have to repeat the process for the other 3 dials on this floor.

"It seems there's something else we have to do beyond setting the dials before we can continue our search for Sheltem."

Setting the dials correctly has opened up a path in the elemental barriers, leading to a stone head in the middle of the level.

"Wait, I bet it's a trick question! His real name was Alamar all along -- it's Sheltem that's the fake name!"

"Hey, it was worth a shot. Okay, okay, his real name's Sheltem."

"Perfection! Let us ascend to the third floor like birds on the wing, except with less flight and more climbing of stairs! And probably also less chirping and squawking!"

"What's this? Could it be... a really obnoxious puzzle? It's true! I am a prophet!"

"Fire, earth, water, air..."

On this floor, the party has to step on elemental squares in the exact order listed by the code in the dungeon. Make one mistake and you drop straight back down to the ground floor. Note that the clouds and lava still act like clouds and lava even if you're stepping on the correct squares, so make sure you've got Levitate and some form of fire protection active for this part.

While following the directions will lead us straight to Sheltem, there is one small detour we can take along the way. When you reach the west wall of the main area on this floor, face north, cast Jump and keep walking north until you come to a pair of alcoves.

"Flench have bad feeling about those stairs. Maybe try them later."

In addition to the stairs (you can probably guess where they lead), this little side area contains another two doses of Xeen Power Juice.

"This may be our last chance to prepare. Are you all clear on our plan?"
"Yep, although it's not exactly the most heroic thing I've ever done. Basically we throw the Soulbox at Sheltem and hide while Corak does all the work."
"That's my favourite kind of plan!"

"Oh, we will be coming. And we have brought a special gift! You may have control over the four elements, Sheltem, but we have the fifth element: the element of surprise!"

If we didn't have Corak in the Soulbox when we came here, we'd get this message, and then the whole party would instantly die. No fight, no cutscene, just death. Since we do, though, let's watch the ending:

"Come to me!"

"Yeah, yeah, we heard you the first time."

"Gods, I hope this box thing works."

"He's supposed to be a skeleton at first, right? That's meant to happen?"

"Yes! It is I. You have nowhere to run, Sheltem."

"Nor do you."

"I'm ready for you this time, Corak. This fight will be your last!"

"I cannot fail -- Gyaaah!"

"Maybe good idea to step in at some point? Corak not exactly winning this."
"No. This is his battle. We'd only distract him."

"Admit your defeat, Corak!"

"I do."

"Okay, now can we step in and help?"

"Initiate self destruct, code 001."

"Oh. Uh, probably we'd better stay out of this, then. And stand a little further back."

"What? No! Nooo!"

"Oh yeah."

"Wow, that was awesome. I mean it was also sad, what with Corak dying and all, but still."
"Save your breath for running!"

"Second castle we blow up. Hope Queen Kalindra not consider us unacceptable risk next time we want to visit."

The party's saved all of Xeen from Sheltem's cold-hearted plan -- but as the Dragon Pharaoh tells us, the game's not quite over yet.

Here's where the party stands as of the end of Darkside. Next update, they'll begin a journey across both sides of the world to achieve the true ending of World of Xeen!