Part 8: Team Suave
Update 7: Team Suave
"Well, if you're all ready to set out, we can start on our quest to visit the temples in all the towns of Cron."
"Okay, see, here's the thing about that. Your quest doesn't mean much to me, and Gothmog just creeps me out way too much for me to keep following him around for no good reason."
"I have no love for Gothmog either, but he seems willing enough to help us, and he'll be less of a public menace if I can keep an eye on him. Still, if you want to leave, that's your decision."
"I'm afraid I may have to go with her. I've heard terrible things about some of the towns, you know. Sandsobar is a den of thieves, Atlantium is run by an arrogant elite, Tundara is full of strange monsters and stranger people, and, well, Vulcania is built on an active volcano. Perhaps I should stay in Middlegate for now."
"I've, um, kinda got other stuff to take care of too. Can you get by without me for a while?"
"Well, great. Now we're short an archer, a cleric and a robber."
"I could help you with one of those, if there's something in it for me."
"Perhaps there is. What can you do for us?"
"The name's Mattybee, and I used to be the best archer in all of Varn. I still would be, if I was in Varn any more."
"Where is Varn? I can't say I've heard of it."
"Ah, never mind. So, do I get a share of the treasure or don't I?"
"I like your style. Welcome aboard! Now, all we need is a cleric and--"
"Do mine ears hear the sound of a party in need? I, Schildkrote, fair of face and bad of ass, shall answer the call!"
"Why, Mattybee, it is you! The gods themselves have brought us together! A vision in a dream told me that you had travelled to another world, and now that I have found a way here, there you are!"
"Wait, you seriously followed me all the way to Cron? How?"
"So, are you two, uh, you know? Not that there's anything wrong with that."
"What? No! It's nothing like that! Ugh. He's my brother. I mean, my actual brother. We had the same parents. I know, I find it hard to believe too. Anyway, there's no way he can be in the party. He'll just get himself killed."
"Without a cleric, you are all liable to get yourselves killed. As it happens, I am a cleric. We all stand the best possible chance if we fight together. Besides, even if you refuse to let me join, I can just keep following you until you relent."
"Aw, dammit. Fine, you can come along. Just... don't die, okay? Because there's no way I'm paying anyone to resurrect you."
"Well, I'm glad that's settled... I think. We still need a robber. Anyone see any shady-looking customers around? I mean, shadier than this place's usual clientele?"
"Did I hear that you're passing by Sandsobar? I'd rather like to revisit there. It holds... pleasant memories for me. Besides, the warm weather is good for my health."
"We are indeed destined for Sandsobar. Who are you?"
"I'm Pthoth, and I have... some experience in the thieving arts, among other things. I'm sure I can be of assistance to you."
"You don't look like much of a fighter to me."
"Perhaps not, but I can handle myself in a fight when I need to."
"Well, I'm in a hurry to leave town, so if you're ready to go right away, I'll give you a chance to prove yourself. The rest of our party is already here. This is Gothmog, our Sorcerer -- I'd keep my distance from him if I were you -- these are the brothers Sir Hyron and Drog--"
"Another pair of loyal brothers! We can be Team Brotherly Love!"
"No, we can't."
"Er, perhaps we should save the introductions for later. Let's just get a move on, shall we?"
"First, we'll visit this town's temple. After we're done there, we can head straight for Sandsobar."
"I'm just here to donate 100 gold. You don't mind, do you?"
"Cool. Maybe we should donate more often."
We just got a bunch of magic resistance and various other handy status bonuses for the rest of the day. This occurs randomly, so it's possible to pour 1000 gold or more into the temple and get nothing.
"Yes, we're done here for now. Take us to Sandsobar, sir!"
"What's in Sandsobar, anyway?"
"Sand, mostly. Lots and lots of sand. Also, rampant poverty and crime."
"I'm making it sound terrible, aren't I? It's really not such a bad place, if you avoid the slums."
"What did I just say?"
"Silence. We must search the entire town, including the slums."
"It's fine for you to walk through sewage. You don't even have feet to get dirty. What about the rest of us?"
"If you think this is bad, you should see a minotaur's lair sometime."
"We must save him! Quickly, everyone! To arms!"
"See what happens when you try to help out? We just ran right into the hands of a gang of thieves using that guy as bait for idiot do-gooders like you."
"So? We can just kill them and take their stuff."
"A cavern directly underneath an open sewer probably isn't the nicest place in the world. Let's keep exploring above ground for now."
"What the hell? Okay, uh, I guess I'll watch out for eyes, then."
I found out while consulting a FAQ that this text is buggy in the Mac version, due to being in a non-fixed-width font and having some lines cut off. Here's what it's supposed to look like:
Those random letters make a lot more sense now, don't they? Well, a little more sense, anyway.
S 1,51 Em Pleh H S X l N i p O uR W Beware of o X mu C Eyes! M rO rl o kr ae G The m c t a Meisters a s m n e Kilroy was here The Cripples R Studs
"I find that hard to believe, considering that we are on the edge of a desert."
"Perhaps we should have heeded that warning about the eyes after all. Those monsters look fearsome."
"Oh, come on, how bad can they be?"
Paralysis is bad. It prevents a character from taking any actions, and can only be cured by rest or with a spell we don't have yet.
"Well, we're obviously in over our heads. I'm outta here."
"Damn it all! I'll stand and fight to the end!"
Note another engine difference from Might and Magic 1 here: using the Run command once you're already in combat only makes the currently active character attempt to run away, rather than letting the whole party try to run away. On the bright side, it's much more likely to succeed. High Luck seems to help somewhat.
So, what happens when some characters run away and the rest of the party is defeated?
Well, this happens. Everyone who ran away escapes to the area's designated safe spot, but anyone who was rendered unconscious or otherwise incapacitated in battle will die. Don't think too hard about how the survivors managed to retrieve their bodies.
There's a fun and exploitable bug related to this: if any characters are Eradicated (by a disintegration spell, for example), you can get into a fight and have everyone else run away, and they'll revert to merely being Dead, which is much easier to cure.
"This is... unacceptable. I still have need of this party, but their strength is insufficient."
"But perhaps even this can be used to my advantage... yes, it will be worth it just to see the look on his face."
"Do we need help? We just dragged five dead bodies into your temple. What do you think?"
"Well, there goes half the party's money."
Another of the perks of having a hireling: temples will heal them for free.
"I... I'm alive! I thought we were done for!"
"You were. We brought you back. Just so you know, this is coming out of your share of the party's funds."
"You owe me your life now, paladin. Do not think that I will soon forget this day."
"You think you can use my honour to shame me into doing your bidding? You know nothing of honour... but I owe you a great debt, all the same."
"Hey, in the meantime, how about we get some training in so that this doesn't happen again? I don't like dying very much."
"That's not a bad idea. I may be a bit more out of practice than I thought."
"Aaand there goes the other half of the party's gold. Great."
Training in Sandsobar costs more money than training in Middlegate, but grants more HP. It's easy to earn more gold, but much harder to permanently increase your maximum HP, so it's a good idea to train at the most expensive town (Atlantium) whenever possible.
"Well, we've somehow survived our first day in Sandsobar--"
"If you count dying and being brought back as surviving."
"Don't remind me."
"At any rate, I think it's about time we turned in for the night, so we can risk our lives another day."
"Hey, where'd my short bow go? Eh, it's not like I needed it."
"Gothmog, you fiend, don't expect me to stay in your debt for long..."
"I've already got some nice magic items. In no time I'll be just as stylish as I was back on Varn!"
"Look at my sling! Isn't it cool? It's magical and everything!"
"I've got some nice armour now, so hopefully I won't get killed too often."
"Our bodies may die, but our spirit and our noble cause shall live on! All the same, it would be nice if our bodies didn't die again for a while."
"Well, at least I'm not likely to set off any traps by accident. I've got a nice sword, too."
"Ah, the whip. Always such a pleasing weapon to use, and this one also increases my Might. More importantly, I've learned some new spells..."
Level 4 Sorcerer Spells
1. NAME: Cold Beam
COST: 1 SP/level + 3 Gems
TARGET: 1 monster
DESCRIPTION: Attacks with a beam of intense cold that penetrates to the monster's heart and inflicts 6 points of damage per level of caster, unless the monster is immune to cold.
"A further improvement upon Acid Stream. If anything causes me trouble, I can freeze it solid where it stands."
2. NAME: Feeble Mind
COST: 4 SP + 3 Gems
TARGET: 5 monsters
DESCRIPTION: Erases the monster's brain, removing all its abilities for the duration of combat or until the monster overcomes the spell.
"In essence, this is a paralysis spell: but there is a certain appeal to destroying the very minds of one's foes, is there not?"
3. NAME: Fire Ball
COST: 1 SP/level + 3 Gems
TYPE: Combat, not in hand to hand
TARGET: 6 monsters
DESCRIPTION: Rolls a deadly ball of fire into the monsters' midst, inflicting 1-6 damage points per level of caster.
"Between this, Cold Beam, Acid Stream and Lightning Bolt, I can burn, freeze, melt or shock the life out of any opponent that is not immune to all elemental magic."
Unfortunately, unlike in Might & Magic 1, you can't blow up your party by casting a fireball into melee: the spell will just fail.
4. NAME: Guard Dog
COST: 4 SP
TARGET: Entire Party
DESCRIPTION: Places a supernatural guard over the Party, preventing surprise attacks for 1 day.
"An important spell to use when traversing dangerous areas, to ensure that the party is always allowed a chance of escape."
5. NAME: Shield
COST: 4 SP
TARGET: Entire Party
DESCRIPTION: Creates an invisible shield which surrounds the Party and protects all characters from most missile weapons for the duration of combat.
"This spell is sometimes effective, but it cannot be relied upon. Better to destroy your enemies utterly before they have a chance to attack."
6. NAME: Time Distortion
COST: 4 SP + 3 Gems
TARGET: Entire Party
DESCRIPTION: Creates a warp in time that enables the Party to retreat safely from most battles.
"Escaping this way will allow the entire party to flee without anyone dying, which will prevent another disaster like the one with the Gargoyles. That is, if I want to prevent it..."
Well, that's it for today. Next update: we explore the rest of Sandsobar with Team Brute Force! Don't miss it!