Part 16: It's All Greek to Me
Update 15: It's All Greek to Me
"Tarquinn! It's great to see you again. How long has it been?"
"What, are we supposed to be friends now?"
"I'm thinking maybe we've got a common interest. McGuffin got fired by Gothmog again and Pthoth went back to Sandsobar to visit some 'old friends', so I'm short a couple of party members. How about joining back up with us?"
"Hah. I knew it. You need something so you come crawling back to me. Well, most of my party stayed back in Tundara to look for clues or something, so apart from that one barbarian we hired, it's just me and Drewjitsu here in Vulcania right now. Anything's better than being stuck here alone with him."
"Can I come along too? Team Phone Home ran into some, uh, financial trouble, and they had to let me go."
"Eh, we need a thief. Why the hell not."
"Anyway, Vulcania's boring, so I say we should move on to the next town."
"100 gold for a simple teleportation? You really are a devil."
"So go ahead and stay in Vulcania. We've already got Drewjitsu; we don't need another stupid paladin. I hope the volcano erupts and you're buried under molten rock."
"How uncouth! As a paladin, Cale Thomas is the most trustworthy ally we could ever ask for!"
"Dammit, don't tell me he's our cleric."
"Okay, I won't tell you."
"Man, Atlantium sure is a nice town. We didn't have anything like this back in Varn."
"Oh boy, this is awesome! C'mon, let's all be heroes!"
The Hero/Heroine secondary skill raises all stats. Unfortunately, it raises them by precisely 1 point, so like all the other stat-boosting secondary skills it's generally a disappointment.
"50,000 gold... very well. I see no better use for my share of the party's funds."
"If I'm going to drink every tavern in Cron dry, I may as well do it with style. Bring some of your finest ale."
"This really must be a classy establishment. You can tell, because everything's so expensive. Well, I'll try anything once -- give me the tongue of toad."
"This had better not get us attacked by a pack of angry frogs."
"Wait, we can be superstar athletes too? This is the coolest town ever!"
The Athlete secondary skill raises Speed. Of course, everyone in the party is insanely fast already thanks to the Nomadic Rift Cavern.
"It looks like my pilgrimage is nearly over. This is the last temple in Cron."
"Here you go, friend. Have some gold."
And here's the reward for donating money at every temple in Cron.
"Oh, there's no need to give us any change -- wait, is that what I think it is?"
"What? What is it?"
"That's an iron farthing! We should hold onto it until the next time we visit Feldecarb Fountain in Middlegate. First, though, I'd like to pay a visit to the local blacksmith -- my armour is getting a little rusty."
"Okay, then. If you think you're so good, show us what you've got."
"A black arena ticket, huh? I'm not afraid of a challenge."
"Are you sure this is a good idea? We're about to enter the most prestigious arena in Cron with the most expensive ticket. We'll be facing the strongest opponents Atlantium has to offer."
"What the hell kind of a man are you? Whatever they've got, we can take 'em."
"Hah! Just look at 'em. Who's scared of a couple of archers?"
"Okay, don't panic. Tarquinn charged into trouble like an idiot as usual, but if we can just--"
We've learned an important lesson today: in Might & Magic II, no matter how badass you are, there's always someone whose ass is even worse than yours. Archers have 250 HP and you've seen how hard they can hit; the party would be lucky to kill even one of them before being slaughtered. There's no point retrying this arena battle: no matter what monsters the party faced, they'd be hopelessly outmatched.
Instead, let's pretend that never happened and continue exploring Atlantium.
"Tarquinn, remember how we started our adventuring career by breaking into a prison in Sorpigal all those years ago?"
"How about we try it again, for old times' sake?"
"Mattybee, what on earth have you been doing without me to watch over you? This man is clearly a bad influence on you!"
"Oh, come on. It's not like I haven't done worse things that you already know about. If anything, I'm a bad influence on him."
"You'd think a wealthy town like this wouldn't have such a big rat problem in its jail. I suppose they don't care enough to do anything about it."
"Remind me, why are we breaking in here again?"
"Hey, Hong Kong Phooey's gotta practice his thieving skills somewhere."
"A bunch of ogres are the most dangerous criminals in Atlantium? Give me a break."
"Hey, who are those two guys in the corner there?"
"... the stodgy Atlantians. We are now available for hire at the Carriage Inn."
"It's true. The Atlantians are all a pack of stuck-up bastards. I mean, one of the prisoners chained up in your pleasure dungeon ends up dead, and suddenly they're treating you like a murderer."
"Good to know. Don't call us, we'll call you. What else is there to do in this town?"
"Hey, a statuary hall! Neat!"
"Ninja assassins? I'm a ninja assassin! Maybe I should go there sometime."
"Ybmug and Yekop? Strange names -- but still, I must free them if my plans are to come to fruition..."
"Is it really true, then, that Corak's soul has been separated from his body, and both still lie somewhere here in Cron? If so, I must do what I can to restore him to life. Such a great figure, legendary in two worlds, deserves no less."
"Hey, I'm a paladin! And it's been way too long since I slew a dragon. I should go do that sometime."
"I wouldn't mind tagging along to test my skills against a dragon either, if you've no objection."
"He won't be asserting his authority over me! I'll show him what I'm made of!"
"A mighty archer, huh? Sounds like I fit the bill."
"I can't turn down a challenge like that. Dread Knight, watch your back. I'm comin' for you."
As you've probably picked up on by now, each of these statues describes a class-specific quest. Every character in the party has to complete their quest in order to win the game. Robbers have no quest of their own, but have to accompany at least one other class on a quest (they're also the only class allowed to accompany other characters on class-specific quests).
There are a couple of other places in the game where we can learn most of the information about characters' quests -- in fact, we've seen the clues to the Sorcerer quest in dungeons already. But here it all is in one convenient place.
"But where's the rest of Odysseus?"
"Yes, a knowledge of arcane languages will serve me well..."
The Linguist skill raises Intellect. It's slightly more useful than the other stat-raising skills for one reason: there's an event in the game that checks whether any character in the party is a Linguist, so it pays to have one around.
"Finally, I return to the famed mages' guild of Atlantium. It has been too long. Show me the extent of your knowledge."
"Curses... my full powers have not yet returned. When will I be able to unleash death and destruction upon the world once again?"
Answer: around level 15, when level-8 spells finally become available. That'll still be a while away, though.
"I think we've explored the most interesting parts of Atlantium by now. What's say we return to Middlegate to try out our farthing in the fountain?"
"The Keep Atlantium Beautiful Committee wants us out of here, huh? I blame Tarquinn."
"Forsooth, I will flick my farthing with fervent force!"
This little trinket will allow the party to enter castles without having to fight their way through the guards. This is a good thing, because castle guards are deadly until much higher levels than we're at now.
"Well, that was an interesting diversion and all, but how about we return to Atlantium now? There are still a couple of places we haven't seen yet."
"Outdoors, for example. There's gotta be something outside of town, right?"
"There'd probably be more of interest outside if the town wasn't built on a small island in the middle of the ocean. Unfortunately, it is."
"With all the powerful mages in Atlantium, I bet this spring does something really cool!"
"Aww, it just cursed us all. That sucks. Maybe there's something else around here that's better."
"How about this?"
"Wait, what the hell? You're not seriously going to--"
"-- you did. Ugh."
"And I've never felt better in my life!"
Yeah, drinking the sewage temporarily raises all stats to 100, which lasts until the party rests. I don't know either.
"If even that did something good, this has gotta do something even better, right?"
"I'm melting... melting..."
"Huh. Well, so much for exploration."
"I guess we should probably go back into town and get Tarquinn fixed up now."
And this is why you shouldn't let characters get eradicated if you can help it. You can either pay through the nose for treatment at a temple, or cast Resurrect and suffer 5 years of aging plus an Endurance loss. Let's not do that again.
"Now we really have explored the whole of Atlantium, except for its cavern."
"With another fine day's work finished, it's time to check in at the Carriage Inn."
"You've heard of 'armed to the teeth'? Yeah, that's nothing. I'm armed to the Goddamned tusks."
"I suppose that makes me 'armoured to the proboscis'."
"I'm only armed up to about the lower jaw. Can we do something about that?"
"Uh, what are you guys all talking about? I'm holding my weapon in my hands like I normally do. It seems like it'd be hard to swing it properly if I tried to hold it in my teeth."
"I could really do with some better armour."
"It's a good thing that the blacksmith in Atlantium sells +5 Thief's Picks. Now I won't set off so many traps."
"With this wand and this grenade, I have the powers of Fireball and Lightning Bolt magic at my disposal. Why, then, must we still travel with that foul sorcerer Gothmog?"
"Because soon, I will recall the Finger of Death spell... and when I do, I will remember how you have all treated me."
We've also unlocked two more hirelings, Big Bootay and Cleogotcha.
Big Bootay is the first Cleric hireling we've found, and apart from his low Speed (which we can easily fix at the Nomadic Rift Cavern) he's pretty good. He'd have to level up a bit to catch up with the party, though.
Cleogotcha isn't our first Archer hireling, but she's the first one who can cast spells worth a damn. Her stats are slightly above average across the board, but like Big Bootay, she's at a low level.
Well, that's it for today. Time for you to vote on which party you want to see in the next update. Remember, the options are Team Brave, Team Ovaries, Team Phone Home, or Team Dial-a-Prayer (merged Ovaries + Phone Home). Vote now!