The Let's Play Archive

Might and Magic 6

by PurpleXVI

Part 19: Kriegspire and Beyond

Update 019: Kriegspire and Beyond

It's bullshit, why does saving the world have to involve so much cardio?

Wah wah wah, suck it up.

I wonder what we'll meet in Castle Kriegspire!
Well, according to Agar's notes, certainly minotaurs.
But it couldn't just be minotaurs, could it?
If there are any more of those flying eyes in there, I'm going to take a smokebreak outside and I'll see you guys when it's over.

Well I've noticed that we've almost never met the same enemy in more than two dungeons, except for humans and goblins.
Spotted that, too? Perceptive.
Why thank you! So clearly, there'll be something new in here.
Oh, oh! Maybe Flying Feet! Or Hands!

That's the dumbest suggestion I've ever heard. What sort of wizard would have a tower full of flying feet and hands? What're they gonna do? Wave at you?
Well maybe they'd have little mouths or somtehing...
Flying hands with little mouths... the drivel I have to put up with.

Alright, if you're so smart-
Why thank you, very perceptive.
-what do you think is going to be in there?

Well Agar was set on coming back here, right? Enough to even make the Flying Eyes just for that purpose. So I'm gonna guess this place was loaded and guarded by some sort of... diamond golems.
Pfft, yeah, right. For the price of one diamond golem Agar could've just hired a dozen cuisinarts. Anyway, heads up, we've arrived.

So an interesting thing about Castle Kriegspire is that it has multiple doorways. Only one actual entrance, but the doors around the sides and in the turrets...

Are actually homes for people! You know, people who don't mind living in a volcano surrounded by minotaurs and with monsters in the basement. Normal, sane people.

Most of them are just normal chatter NPC's, but one is a semi-hidden master trainer, behind the double doors on the roof.

He represents the only real power boost that bows get, since no skill level gives them a straight damage+, and they don't benefit from Heroism, this effectively doubles their damage and is necessary to make them in any way useful. Mind, unless you're doing a full Knight or hybrid caster party, where you have either no mages or very limited SP, you'll probably be relying more on spells than bows for ranged combat in any case. The only one really making notable use of theirs is Bobelix, because Cleric spells almost purely do magic damage(even fucking Flying Fist does magic damage rather than physical), which almost every monster in the game is resistant to.

Time to get this sorted, though, memory crystal three out of four.

Kriegspire is mostly populated by three enemy types, the first of which is minotaurs. We've met them before. Normal minotaurs go down in a couple of swipes, Mages take some beating but don't output enough damage to hurt us and Minotaur Kings can still do enough damage to give the healers some work, but unlike when we first met them, a single one isn't a boss battle any longer.

The dungeon itself is a network of narrow corridors with mostly small rooms and a few larger ones. Despite the description sounding like Castle Alamos, however, it takes nowhere near as long to handle, the battles are generally more compact, the layout is simpler to parse(being almost purely on one level) and you don't need to chase down multiple unmarked clues to get to the Memory Crystal.

It's also normal that rooms have "windows" into neighbouring rooms to help you orient yourself and have an idea of where you are in the overall geography of the building.

It's sort of a midway point between the People Place dungeons and Abstract Cube dungeons, in that while it lacks anything... people-ish, like beds and kitchens, it has enough little flourishes like gratings and arches that it feels like some parts were designed because people thought them aesthetically pleasing. Also these particular gratings are a trap, there are two minotaur kings behind each, and as you pass by, they get enough view on the party to lash out through the bars and hit you. Very rude.

The Jeweled Egg for the guy in Kriegspire is also just casually lying around in a chest accessible without any excessive bullshit, riddles or keyfinding. Kriegspire really only has one notably rude thing, but also a bypass for it that is, for once, designer-intended.

I still can't get over how, despite all these dead ends, Kriegspire remains more easily navigable than Castle Alamos.

The one dick move about Kriegspire is that we need to retract these "bars" so we can pass through, but the button for it is extremely well hidden. I only found it because of special feature about the dungeon that I greatly appreciate, later.

These four round rooms are where that dickhead well in Kriegspire village would teleport you if you happened to take a sip from it. What happens when you walk into them?

Why would anyone make a room that just makes monsters appear?

It spawns a ring of Agars' Pets(of various difficulties), which are easily dispatched, or it spawns minotaurs, or a mix of minotaurs and pets, which are a bit harder to deal with since you often get a nice helping of minotaur kings in those.

This is like exploring someone's basement. Damp, poorly lit, full of twisty corridors.
You have to admit the minotaurs are a bit un-basement-like, though.
I don't have to admit a damn thing. Castle Kriegspire is just someone's basement with better loot.

...well, it appears we've found the owners of the basement.

Now, I turned this corner and I was like "ooooooh shit, dragons!" because dragons are, alongside Titans, one of the monster types that can still hit the party decently hard and take a hell of a lot of pounding before going down. But then I accidentally brought the cursor over one of them and...

Yuck, I hate rats., Bobelix, those are drakes.
But they look so weak... I mean, if they were drakes, would I be able to do this?

Well, whaddaya know, they really do go down like vermin.
Okay probably not rats, with the wings they gotta be seagulls.

The only real danger are the limited supply of red(Energy) drakes, since they hit us with Energy damage that we can't resist and thus eat the full brunt of every time. The elemental drakes, meanwhile, have a real hard time hurting a party that defaults to reducing all their damage by 50% most of the time, and even Richmond can two-hit enemies with his daggers.

It's another one of those odd rooms, though.

The chest contains some nice loot, in particular an MP regen belt, and then the little corridor next to it...

Just loops back and overlooks the room itself. I'm not really sure why it exists except to confuse the player. :v:

In any case, the real excitement is in the northern half of the castle, in a sense.

This guy actually gives you a full heal for ten grand! It's a bit of a ripoff since even a non-Baa temple would do that for a mere 500 to 1000 gold assuming we didn't have any severe conditions that needed curing. Still, it's nice to know that Castle Kriegspire cares about customer service.

More seagulls!
...yeah no kidding, a lot more. Time to deal with this one seriously.
True, it'd be hard to gloat about you being a worrywart if one of these lizards blasts me to ashes.

So yeah, odd thing about this. There's a chasm in front of the drakes that you need to cross, and a bridge, but you literally can't cross the bridge since it's blocked at this end and, as far as I know, the block can't be lowered, so in any case you need to Jump past.

Once again, the primary target is red drakes because of their energy bullshit. This battle has a twist, though.

A dense swarm of Agars' Pets swarm out of the chasm and chase after you as soon as you cross it, the little fuckers. With this one I almost felt out of my depth, everyone was hovering at around 50% health all the way through as I pounded away.

The last of the drakes has an appropriately dramatic end, dropping flaming into the chasm. Mind, when going down to find it, I also learned the chasm has a weird trait, which is that there's a teleport trigger at the edge that warps you to the bottom, rather than just a normal fall, which is... odd. The game has never been shy about letting you drop to your death at any previous point.

Now for that sweet, sweet drake hoard! Let's see what they've got!

What the hell, were these drakes or magpies? They just collected every shiny thing lying around!

It's all trash, aaaaall trash, like low-level, starter-grade trash. :v:

That's one hell of a price for a "secret."
On the other hand, a place like Castle Kriegspire is sure to have some secrets we'd want to explore.

So, you'll probably end up dropping the 50k on this one, but also at this point you should be able to afford it. What does it do?

It teleports you across the map and plops you down right in front of the button that opens those bars from earlier. :v: On the one hand, I appreciate that they have a "nooo, i can't find it, please help me"-option, on the other hand, having it at all seems to be an admission of the fact that this one is just sort of hidden away in a hard-to-find niche on the second floor above the FIGHT PITS where there's little motivation to otherwise search around.

Still, it works and we're on our way through Kriegspire in record time with, really, only two rooms left to poke at.

One of the prisoner cages holds an easily-missed note since like 90% of the cages you find after the first cave in the game contain nothing.

And it only just, you know, contains a shitload of lore about the devils having kidnapped the king. :v: Totally a thing you should stash in an easily-overlooked corner in a winding dungeon. :v:

Just around the corner is the "secret" boss for the dungeon, Lurch. Unlike Q he's actually behind a marked door, rather than a secret door, and he has a "mere" 2000 HP rather than Q's 16000. Unlike Q he also doesn't spam instakill spells and in general he gets wiped out in moments, though part of that is be discovering a bug with Richmond. Sometimes, in turn-based mode, the game lets him have like ten attacks in a row for no clear reason. Maybe there's some aggressive RNG involved with recovery times between swings, and as the guy with the fastest weapon he just lucks out more often, or it's something to do with spamming the attack button during easy fights.

Either way it's wildly effective when it happens.

Lurch becomes ground beef. :smug:

This room is a bit odd because it has no stairs or other real entrance, you just gotta hop through one of these "windows" to get access, and then we've got it!

Score, that's three out of four for us.
Much as I want to go pound the stuffing out of some Baa pricks to get the fourth one, I need a break. Anything left on the list? There's gotta be some dungeon or something we haven't cleared yet.
Hm, we've cleared out everything we've seen...
Oh! Oh! I've got an idea! What about the obelisks?
Shit, I knew we were forgetting something. Uh, I haven't really been noting down any of that gibberish written on them...
Good thing I have, but we're missing one to complete the code...
First things first, let's get the hell out of here.

We've also got that Jeweled Egg to hand off.

Well, that was pretty thankless. Next time that asshole can go find his own invaluable jewelry.
Where's that last obelisk? I bet we missed one in like Bootleg Bay or some other godforsaken shithole.
It's, er, in Sweet Water.
...oh, that's real bad.


-look I'm just saying that for once, a bit of tactical cowardice might not be a bad idea.
And I'm saying that no one would set up something as elaborate as those dumbass obelisks without burying some good stuff. The sort of thing we might need.

Like powerful magical artifacts to aid us in our quest!
See? When's Bobelix ever gotten something wrong.

Despite all the hype, outdoors Sweet Water isn't really that bad. It's mostly a danger if you're on foot, and if you go to Sweet Water before you can Fly everywhere, you're making poor decisions in any case.

Also all wells and fountains here just poison you. :v:


It's also super desolate.

The obelisk isn't hard to find, but while we're here I decide to also finish up Twilen's quest, since his last statuette location is here, and the route there takes me through a little village...

You see that meteor shower, though? That's not mine. The mid-tier of winged devils can cast Meteor Shower, which would be very rude against a non-flying party. I cannot imagine playing this game without an elemental caster.

Finally, let's get back to Twilen's and laugh at him for still being old, in the meantime Richmond can decipher the stupid obelisk riddle.

...huh, didn't expect it to actually work.
Well, damn. Remind me to use magic action figures to regain my youth when I'm 90, apparently it makes you hot.

As far as I know Twilen isn't guaranteed to drop artifacts for you, just very likely to. Hercules is, sadly, outclassed by dual-wielding, but Apollo is absolutely an upgrade for Deadeye.

Yo, Richmond, any closer to the treasure yet?
I'm working on it!

obelisks posted:

I t o t e c t h o t h e s a i p
n h r h _ a h e r h e a t v d i
_ e t e c p e _ _ e r s o e d e
t _ h a a t _ l t _ _ e n _ l c
h d _ s c a w e h S f d e w e e
e r b t h i e a e u u , _ o ' d
_ a y , e n i s _ n n _ a n s .
l g _ _ _ _ a t S _ c l n ; _ _
a o f l o ' h . h b t i d _ p _
n n a i f n t _ i e i f _ t u _
d _ r e _ e _ H p f o t y h z _
_ t _ s t a o i _ o n _ o i z _
o o n _ h t f d o r s t u s l _
f _ o t e h _ _ f e _ h _ _ e _
_ n r h _ _ t f _ _ c e h r _ _

It appears to read...
"In the land of the dragon to north by far northeast, lies the cache of the captain 'neath the least. Hid for the Ship of the Sun before her functions ceased, lift the stone and you have won; this riddle's puzzle pieced."
At least "in the land of the dragon" is easy enough to figure out...

Now ,"north by northeast" and we have to look under some stones.

Boulder field at twelve o' clock!

So the Obelisk stash always has certain pre-defined drops, and for a few reasons it's important to go for it late-ish. Firstly: You can only ever have, I think, 12 artifact spawns in the game. These do not count as spawned until you discover them. Secondly, the artifacts in here do not count as spawned until you grab them, so they can actually be doubled if you find them elsewhere first.

It's also the only source of Divine Intervention and Dark Containment, an "oh fuck" spell and a "never cast this, ever"-spell.

The artifacts, though? Oh baby they're fucking good.

They're "of X"-artifacts for every school of magic. Plus, remember how Richmond already has an "of Light Magic" ring? They stack. Not multiplicatively, it appears, sadly, but still, betwen those two, his Light magic skill is doubled in effect. It is muy bueno.

...does anyone else feel an overwhelming sense of power and arrogance?
Pretty much always.
Anyone other than Deadeye?
I feel like we finally have the power needed to go smite evil! guys wanna go own the Church of Baa?

So, fun fact: If you pick the wrong place to re-enter Hermit's Isle, you're greeted by like two dozen Titans who want you to consider the therapeutical advantages of getting curbstomped.

The foggy weather doesn't help navigation either.

Wow, they've really gone masks off out here, haven't they?

Ooooooo, porch lava! I bet that's cozy when you've got cold hands in the winter.
The skulls are a bit worrying, though, yes. I think we've got all the ethical justification we need for this.

Time to stay on our toes, no telling what's in here. Could be more flying eyes, could be dragons, liches...

I hear something moving around the corner!
Right, let's find out what's in here. On three. One... two... three...

Are you fucking kidding me?

The great secret of what's potentially(but quite likely, since it's the most remote) the third-last storyline dungeon you'll ever encounter, is that half the enemies inside are what you've been killing since what was likely your third dungeon at all.

Oh, he fell over just because we ran at him. Do you think we scared him to death?

Our goal is to reach the (almost) bottom of this shaft. Now, we could just hop the edge and drop down using Feather Fall, but what's the fun of that? We finally get to take some damn revenge.

Nothing in here is a challenge. There are some fire elementals, but we scythe right through those as well.

The altars in this room are the "altars of pain," they hurt whoever touches them, predictably, but also each unlock a later altar that gives a single character a permanent +10 to a single resistance type. Every little bit helps.

Cute, they brought some devils to help them, too.

I can't believe these things were ever a threat.

We've come a long way since Snergle's Mines where they were mini-bosses each time we met one. Now even Richmond can just spin-kick them into non-existence with minimal effort. I don't think I cast a single offensive spell in this dungeon, the party just goes full Cuisinart on everything inside.

Occasionally the path loops back through the main chamber. Once again, could just hop over the edge and land on one of the ledges down there, but that would mean leaving something in the temple alive, and we can't have that.

Any bets on what happens when we close this chest?
Hmmm. Maybe a teleporter?
Oooh, oooh! I bet the walls drop down and enemies flood in!

Aw, I'd like to win a bet for once.
I'm sure Bobelix will share his extra rations with you if you ask nicely, Richmond.

Goddamn, this is why I became an adventurer! Well, one of the reasons, anyway.
To smite evil and do the right thing?
Nah, priority one is gold. But priority two is becoming so powerful that anyone who ever gave me shit can be effortlessly sliced in half.

After looping all around the temple complex at least twice, we finally come to this hallway. You can technically just run down it, but if you do, then enemies hiding in the rooms off to the side come out and attack you, so the smart move is to walk in and murder them first. That'll teach them to set up so incompetent an ambush.

The Memory Module is just faintly visible on the far ledge, and, once again, you could cast Jump twice to get over there, or you can pull the lever on this ledge, which extends a bridge to the ledge on the right, which has a lever which extends a bridge to the ledge we want to get to. As per standard for this easy-ass dungeon, I pick the bloody option.

Devil Warriors are without a doubt the most "challenging" thing in this final temple of Baa.

Deadeye's makeup gets slightly smeared during the following struggle as he grabs one of its wrists and makes it punch itself until it dies, that's about the only difficulty the party faces.

First time I ever destroyed a major religion. Not sure if I feel accomplished or what.
Perhaps we should just get to the Oracle before it becomes a habit.

At least now, nothing else can stand in our way of getting the Oracle's help.
Richmond, despite being the smartest member of this party, you are absolutely the dumbest boy alive. Never say things like that.

For once, Agnes, I'm going to call you silly. Look, we just slotted the first one in and nothing happened. No army of ogres or evil liches. We're home free, we're going to do this!

Deadeye, if something pops up, I'm going to need you and Bobelix to hold Richmond while I cast Mass Distortion on his kidneys.
Roger that.

Creative threats won't make you any more right, Agnes.

Last chance to say you were being ridiculous!

...oh dear.
Bobelix, stop him before he reaches the door.
Got him!
Wait! No! You still need me to cast Lloyd's Beacon!
Man's got a point. You're off the hook, Richmond.
Thank the g-
Until this adventure's over. Then you better run.

And when we return this stupid artifact, whatever a "control cube" is, I need Richmond bound and gagged.

So, personally I hate this runaround, despite liking most things about MM6. First we gotta collect the votes, that's fine. A single runaround in the form of needing to expose Slicker, also fine. Runaround two, collecting the memory modules... acceptable. But then a THIRD runaround to go get a fucking control cube? It's a bit much.

Doesn't help that I remember this next dungeon, the second-last storyline dungeon, as being hell.


Promotions: 12 of 12
Countil Votes: 6 of 6
Traitors Exposed: 1 of 1
Memory Modules Returned: 4 of 4
Magical Polyhedrons Recovered: 0 of 1

No voting this time, since there are no more places to go except onwards.