Part 48: Fifteen Minutes of Fame
Update 46: Fifteen Minutes of Fame
"Well, uh, we're the Chosen Ones, right? Here goes!"
"Huh. Who's the guy with the fruity name and what's he keeping in this cave here, then?"
Square Lake Cavern is a long, linear path filled with monsters. Lots of monsters. Some are weak...
... while others are more of a threat. On the other hand, we have a level 150 party with maxed-out weapons and armour class.
If you still actually need more money or items, you can count on monsters here to drop some good loot.
"So, there is a level of treasure security above even the Doomsday Box? Most interesting. I shall have to study its design."
"Since I'm technically good now, I guess that means I should make some token effort to fight evil. Okay, come on, let's get this over with."
"Hey, uh, guys? Smiting evil is cool and all, but are you sure we can actually handle this?"
"Radaso (may his light shine eternally) is on our side! We cannot fail!"
"I hit something and it didn't die! That's not meant to happen!"
"Hmm. Uh, I don't wanna make anyone nervous or anything, but when was the last time we saved again?"
"Huh? Saved what?"
"Doesn't matter. I'll find out soon enough."
You know you're overlevelled when a direct hit from a black hole only takes off a tenth of your HP.
"See, this isn't going so badly. At this rate we'll win in no time!"
"Aw, Mattybee, why'd you have to go jinx it?"
"Gertrude think discretion better part of valour. We go away now, come back even higher level to stomp devils flat."
A few hundred defenceless Cuisinarts later...
"Woohoo! I bet I've got enough experience to gain at least a hundred more levels!"
"Awww, that's no fun. Well, time for Take 2!"
"I'm at level 255 with a +63 weapon and I still can't hit these things more than half the time?"
Oh, look at that: another disadvantage of being level 255. Your chance to resist magic is based on your level, and goes a little screwy if it gets too high. The end result is that you'll almost never resist hostile magic any more.
"That didn't really go very much better than last time, did it? Well, time to run away."
And once again we get to take advantage of the bug where running away from combat turns any eradicated characters into merely dead ones.
"Perhaps we had better leave the Devil Kings alone for now, since they seemed content to let us pass. We can return to exterminate those fiends later."
I'm sure it's possible to kill the Devil Kings, but it's not like we need the experience or treasure at this point.
"Hello, signpost! How's life treating you?"
"I sure am! How about you?"
"Not that there's much to be ready for, I guess, since all you really do is stand around with one end stuck in the floor."
"Is there a surprise at the end of the cavern? I can't wait!"
"C'mon, just tell me what the surprise is! I promise I won't blab!"
"Hey, am I really going to have to comment over screenshots of all of these? I'm running out of material here!"
"Jostiband's started babbling about stuff that makes no sense again. Preacher, can't you do something to keep her under control?"
"What can I do? She is what she is."
"I knew someone who talked to signposts once. He was crazy too."
"Wha? Who said that?"
"Aw, but I've gone so far already."
"My feet hurt. Preacher, can I have a piggy-back ride?"
"Not a chance. Don't think I've forgotten what happened last time."
"Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy! Here it comes! Where's the surprise?"
"How much longer is this going to go on?"
"I hope we're ready for, uh, whatever's coming next."
"We'd better be. There's nowhere else to go. Wait, that guy over in the corner looks familiar. Is that--"
"Sheltem? That escaped alien criminal who was impersonating the king of Varn? Didn't we help recapture you?"
"Wow, alien prisons must be even easier to get out of than Arkham Asylum."
That's right, it's time for a rematch with the villain of Might & Magic I! In some versions of the game, there'd be a fight with Sheltem and a few elementals at this point. He's pretty easy: his attacks can instantly render a party member unconscious, but he only has 500 HP. For some reason, you don't fight him in the Mac version, and it skips straight to the next part of the endgame...
"Wait, collision? With the sun? Wouldn't that be... bad?"
"Fairly bad, yes."
"So this is what King Kalohn's password is for. But how could he possibly have known that this would happen?"
"Whew. Guess we saved the world, huh, guys? That wasn't so hard."
"No! Don't say that! Every time somebody says--"
"See? Now you've done it."
"A cryptogram? Seriously? Sheltem's final challenge for us is a cryptogram?"
"Last time, he made us map out a maze to find his name."
"Did somebody say 'fiery death'? Because I thought I heard somebody say--"
"You again? Who are you?"
"Jostiband, stop talking to yourself and help us solve this puzzle!"
"Oh, that puzzle? How hard can it be? It tells us what to do right there!"
"Not that easy, huh? Well, it was worth a try. Hey, Preacher, you must know a bunch of prayers and stuff to say when facing death, right?"
"Okay, let's think rationally about this. The word we have to encode is 'preamble'. Maybe that's some kind of clue."
"A preamble is an introduction at the start of a country's constitution, isn't it? You know, like 'We, the people--"
"That's it! Sheltem's from a world called Terra, right? So this is probably the preamble to Terra's constitution, and it starts with 'We, the people of Terra'! It fits perfectly!"
"Hey, how do you know what a constitution is? Varn didn't have any constitutional monarchies, and I don't think Cron does either!"
"So how do you know what one is?"
"I never said I did!"
"Could we perhaps pick up the pace? We have only five minutes left before a collision with the sun is unavoidable."
"Oh, right, we're all still facing a horrible death, aren't we? Let's see here... 'we, the people of Terra' gives us P, R, E, A and L, so we just need to find M and B."
"Let's see... what else does a constitution normally say? Uh, 'we, the people of Terra... in order to... form a more perfect union... establish justice... ensure tranquility... provide for the common defense'? Yes! It fits!"
"Hmm. I believe the cryptogram actually decodes to 'insure tranquility', does it not?"
"So either Sheltem can't spell or Terra is run by insurance salesmen. Do we have to talk about this now?"
"The code! Quickly! Somebody enter it!"
"Man, I sure hope this works. I don't know if my fire resistance spells are that good."
"We saved the world! Groovy!"
Back when New World Computing was still in business, they'd mail you a certificate if you sent them your final score. Also, we just earned enough experience to go up at least 50 levels or so, just in case we needed it.
Oh, and yes, the world of Cron is a giant colony ship and Varn from Might & Magic I is just one of its satellites. Pulling weird sci-fi bullshit out of nowhere at the end of the game is pretty much what the Might & Magic series does.
"We should return to King Kalohn and report the good news!"
"Sweet! Man, I'm never gonna get tired of this."
"We're getting a reward for this, right? We saved your life and your world, so you could at least give us all your best magic weapons."
"Hey, mister king dude, can I get like a job here or something? I'm just thinkin', there's not gonna be much call for adventurers now that we pretty much explored everything and killed everyone already."
"So that's it, huh? This is what saving the world feels like? I guess it's not so bad."
"Gertrude tired of risking life for ungrateful adventurers! Going to take money, retire to mountains, learn hobby. Maybe cross-stitch."
"With all this armour, you might say I'm a Sherman tank!"
"We came to this world simply so that we could say we were the first travellers from Varn to set foot on it. From that humble beginning, we revived Cron's beloved king and saved this world in its time of greatest need. But my job here is not done! I must still convert every soul in Cron to the true faith of Radaso (may his light shine eternally)!"
"We travelled through time, beat up a bunch of ancient gods and saved the world. We're pretty awesome, when you think about it."
"With the power I now hold, I could rule this world -- if I wanted to. But what would it prove? What pleasure would it bring me? I must take some time to think about this."
Well, that's all there is to see in Might & Magic II. Next: bonus content! Stay tuned!