Part 28: Fuck The Ocean
Update 27: Fuck The Ocean
"So, where to next, huh? I'm getting stir-crazy hanging around this inn."
"Wasn't there a message in the cavern under Atlantium about two prisoners in the Pearl Islands? We could free them and see if they want to work for us, I guess."
"The Pearl Islands -- those are off the southeastern coast, right? So if we head through the mountains south of Castle Pinehurst..."
"Hey, what's this? Well, I am a little thirsty, but I dunno. It looks kinda suspicious."
"Come on, what's the worst that can happen?"
"Well, we're definitely not drinking from that other fountain on the left now."
"We already did that. Once was more than enough."
"Wait, if he doesn't want us to drink from this fountain, and he wanted us to drink from the poisonous fountain instead, that probably means this one's good!"
"You know, if I wanted to set up a trap like this, I'd poison both fountains."
"Where's that voice coming from, anyway? It must be from somewhere nearby..."
"I found him! I found him! Look at the big green man, everyone!"
"Eww, that's what we caught? Throw him back!"
The troll is really nothing special at all and dies in one or two attacks.
"Well, that was a little disappointing. How about we head south to those islands now?"
"These must be the prisoners we're looking for!"
"Trolls and white knights? What is this, the Pearl Islands or an internet forum?"
"If they're prisoners, why are they wearing armour and attacking us?"
"What do I look like, a psychologist?"
"Gertrude think puny men too cute to kill!"
"What's wrong with all of you? Defend yourselves!"
Yes, White Knights are another of those enemies that can only be attacked by male characters. They're still more annoying than dangerous, since Preacher is now an overlevelled killing machine who can take them all on singlehandedly.
"Huh. Maybe those two guys on the next island over are the ones we're looking for."
"Well, hi there. You don't look like the usual lot. I'm Fumbler and this is Flailer. Say hi, Flailer."
"That's not -- ah, never mind. So you're here to rescue us, right? Come on, I gotta catch a break sometime."
"I guess so."
"Oh, you know how it is. You're having a nice drink in a tavern, some guy walks up to you and says he's got a business proposition, then when you tell him you're not interested he slips something in your drink when your back's turned. Next thing you know you're stuck on an island waiting for slavers to untie you once a day and make you dive for pearls. It's a livin'. Hey, I'll see you around, alright?"
"Wait, where did they just go? We're on an island!"
"We can catch up with them later. There's still a whole ocean to explore, after all."
"Technically, the proper name is a tsunamiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii--"
The ocean is full of annoying hazards. Tidal waves do a bunch of damage to the party and deposit them back on the coast.
Whirlpools don't do damage, but...
... they leave the party all the way down in the southwest corner of Cron, near Atlantium.
"Come on! There's gotta be something good in all of this water!"
"Okay, this is kinda cool."
That's right, there's an encounter in the ocean that kills off all males in the party with no warning whatsoever. Hope you didn't bring an all-male party to deal with those White Knights!
"Whoa. Those are some ugly fish."
"Big teeth, too."
Mutant Fish can poison party members. Chompers can frenzy for minor but irritating damage to the whole party. Gnashers just attack.
Sea Monsters are less benign.
"Whew. That was a little too close for comfort."
"Great. We won and now we're rich."
"And we even found some new weapons! Now how the hell are we supposed to get our petrified allies back from off the ocean floor?"
The Dark Trident is actually a very good weapon, and this encounter is a guaranteed way to get one: apart from a very high damage rating, it also increases AC by quite a bit. Unfortunately, this one doesn't have any magical bonuses, which makes it much worse than the +12 weapons the party's already got.
Well, time to limp back to town, get everyone healed and keep exploring.
"Perhaps it's not such a good idea to continue exploring here. I've died once already, and that was quite enough."
"Aw, we'll be fine. How many more horrible sea monsters can there be?"
"Jostiband, I'm starting to suspect that you say things like that on purpose to bring monsters down on our heads."
"It's not my fault that I get bored easily."
"Gertrude's weapons not working again! Gertrude confused and saddened by this turn of events!"
That's right, folks: Phase Spirits are immune to all physical attacks, and they can drain all of the party's spell points. Might & Magic II hates you and wants you to suffer.
Time to run away, rest and try that battle again -- and this time have Preacher cast Holy Word at the first opportunity.
"Much better. As long as I live, none of you have reason to fear any undead!"
"How the hell is a copper box floating?"
"It's very light copper."
"Well, that wasn't really worth the trouble. What else is around here?"
"What's an epicurean? Am I one? Is that a good thing or a bad thing?"
To satisfy the Gourmet, it's necessary to have a character eat every meal in every town. If a meal is spoiled, it doesn't count and you have to eat it again. Getting the Gourmet's reward also resets all meals to the "uneaten" state, so (for example) you'll no longer be attacked by Mad Peasants every time you step outside of Sandsobar. Basically, this all amounts to a cheap but slightly tedious way to trade gold for experience.
"That's another area fully explored. Now let's never come back here again."
"After getting into that mess with the sea monsters, we're just lucky to get home alive. Hey, why'd the siren's song only affect Preacher and Jostiband, anyway?"
"I'm afraid I can't think of any reason at all. It must simply have been bad luck. Yes, that's it. Bad luck."
"Who say barbarians no have good armour? Gertrude armoured like tank! Like tank wearing lots of armour!"
"I'm an epicurean! Yay!"
"My armour's worse than Gertrude's now. That's kinda sad."
"As an archer I am apparently cursed to never, ever have decent armour no matter what."
"I can't wait until I've got some shiny new spells just like Preacher!"
"At least I can cast Fly now to get the party out of trouble if Jostiband gets herself killed again."
"So, uh, should I just hang on to this trident until we find a way to enchant it to be worth using or what?"
Well, that wraps up that update. Time to look at the two hirelings we've picked up!
Notice something odd about Flailer's character sheet? Apart from being a high-level Knight with good but ridiculously lopsided stats, Flailer is the only character in the entire game with a sex of "None". This means that he (she? it?) can attack any monster that's normally immune to attacks from males or females (like White Knights or Seductresses). It's an advantage that only comes up under limited circumstances, but an advantage nonetheless.
Fumbler's an unremarkable high-level Robber with far more balanced stats than Flailer. He's powerful enough to be useful without being as expensive as Slick Pick.
We've now got every Knight hireling in the game, and I've got enough content for the Knights' plus quest to merit a separate update, so I'll end this here and probably show off the plus quest tomorrow. Stay tuned!