Part 18: Parasite
Last time on Heroes...
What ever happened to maybe?
Chapter 18 - Parasite
Unfortunately, the Planes are pretty hard to explain through screenshots, and whether that or a combination of the adrenaline rush I don't think I did a very good job of screenshotting what's going on here. I tried my best to explain in text, but if there's any questions or clarifications, feel free to ask here or in the main thread.
OK no problem.
And we've made it to the first of the Elemental Planes, the Plane of Earth. Look who's come back to greet us.
Argh, this again?
When you enter the Plane of Earth, you'll immediately run into the Wizard of Yendor, an Elvenking, and a minotaur. Note that the Elvenking and the Wizard of Yendor share the same purple @ symbol, so don't waste a wand of death charge on the Elvenking. He's not worth it.
#5. The Wizard can be generated on the Elemental Planes, but he won't show up on the Astral Plane, so hopefully this is the last time I see him.
The Wizard of Yendor will always carry a spellbook of dig when you meet him on the Plane of Earth. The Elvenking is also guaranteed to have a pick-axe, and the minotaur will always have a wand of digging. Why? Well, the magic portal to the next level is hidden randomly in one of the caverns, and since the level is no-teleport, you're going to have some digging to do to reach the portal.
Of course, you need to find the portal first before you start heading for it. A crystal ball is one way of doing it, although it's arguably one of the worst ways.
Search for ^.
There we are. Time to get going.
I'm using wands of digging to carve out a path. The main enemy on the Plane of Earth is the earth elemental, who are really slow and don't do much damage. Their only real danger is that they can phase through walls and surround you, but even that's not really a problem. Just avoid them and keep going towards the portal.
Once you reach the portal, take a second here and prepare yourself. The Plane of Air is probably the most dangerous of the Elemental Planes, and it's a good idea to prepare yourself before entering.
I have a feeling these might come in handy. Also, put on a ring of levitation before you enter, since otherwise you won't be able to control your movements.
And here's the Plane of Air.
You start out on the left side of the stage. There's a large cloudbank in the middle (the # symbol), and the portal is placed randomly on the right side. Unfortunately, my crystal ball chooses this moment to run out of charges, and while I'm still burdened from carrying it (it weighs 150, as much as 7.5 potions), an air elemental decides to pop in and say hi.
Yup, that's all in one (burdened) turn. The air elemental is one of the most deadly enemies in the game - it's ridiculously fast and can hit you for 1d10 damage each of its turns. This fellow did 49 damage to me before I could even react. That's a lot.
Air elementals are so dangerous, in fact, that they have an entire spoiler dedicated to them. The easiest way to deal with air elementals usually is to use a ring of conflict so that they'll attack other enemies. Unfortunately, I don't have a ring of conflict, so I'll have to improvise here.
First, I'm going to zap a wand of teleportation at this guy so that he'll leave me alone.
Next, a forgotten spell to confuse myself.
Scroll of taming.
Ah, that's much better. Air elementals don't have very high magic resistance, so they're very easy to tame, either with a scroll of taming or the spell charm monster. Being confused increases the radius of the scroll of taming up to 11x11, which lets me tame all sorts of stuff around me. I'll let my pets take a few hits while I whip up another portal detection method.
I dig out my magic marker and a couple blank scrolls and take a stab at writing a scroll of gold detection.
As a non-wizard class with maxed luck, I only have a 38% chance of writing an unknown scroll successfully. Fortunately, my magic marker had 50 charges, and writing a scroll of gold detection only takes 4-7 charges. I can afford to screw up a few times.
Second time's the charm. Also, note that I got swallowed by something else - probably either a steam vortex or energy vortex or a fog cloud or something. Point is, it's not an air elemental. If you have fire/shock resistance, these guys won't do any damage to you. It's a good break from getting swallowed by air elementals, and it's a great idea to use this time to heal up and adjust your inventory before breaking out again.
Well, I'm pretty sure it's gold detection, anyway. That'd be a pretty dastardly trick if it wasn't.
Confusion + not-cursed scroll of gold detection will automatically reveal all traps, including the magic portal. They're usually the recommend method of detecting the portal, since the crystal ball has limited charges and could also fail depending on your INT. You can also write cursed scrolls of gold detection to similar purpose - they'll make the trap appear as a piece of gold. This tactic isn't too useful on the Plane of Fire, however, since there's a lot of fire traps on that level that will also show up as pieces of gold.
The other methods of finding the portal include a wand of secret door detection (but you have to be close) or by wielding the Amulet of Yendor, which will give hot/cold messages when you get near the portal. Still, scrolls of gold detection is by far the easiest way.
I write out two more blessed scrolls for the next two planes.
There's a ton more methods of dealing with air elementals. You can put them to sleep, which works reasonably well. Easier methods, though, include wands of polymorph (on the basis that whatever you polymorph an air elemental into won't be as dangerous as the air elemental itself) or wands of death (although you might want to save these charges for the Astral Plane). Teleportation is always a good backup as well.
Decide to use my last scroll of taming on this guy.
Two more pets! Also, whenever you're inside a cloudbank, you might get randomly struck by lightning and paralyzed. Don't do that. You can either sneak through at the thin point, which is what I did, or go all the way around at the very top.
Oh, this is too much fun.
Time to enter the Plane of Fire. After passing through the Plane of Air, Fire is really a cakewalk. Keep your rings of levitation and conflict on for this one - hell, you should keep them on through Water too.
Confused scroll of gold detection. See what I mean about a lot of fire traps?
If you have fire resistance (and you should get that before you even enter Gehennom), there's really nothing that can bother you on the Plane of Fire. In fact, the worst thing that can happen is you get distracted by all the "Foo steps into a fire trap! Foo is unharmed!" messages that you do something stupid, like take off your ring of levitation or something. Fortunately, blinding yourself gets rid of all those messages.
Tear. Bet one of my pet air elementals swallowed a blue jelly or something equally retarded.
Fire really is a joke of an elemental plane. Just walk around monsters and head for the portal.
The last of the elemental planes is, you guessed it, the Plane of Water.
You start out in a bubble on the left side, and the portal to the Astral Plane is in a bubble on the right side. The bubbles randomly move around and merge, so you can spend a few thousand turns waiting for your bubble to merge with the portal bubble. Or you can put on your ring of levitation and start walking around.
OK now Hiro, don't do anything stupid. You'll probably want to keep your blindfold on and give all ; a wide berth as you head towards the portal - electric eels can destroy rings of levtitation, and they can all still use their drowning attack. Water elementals are wusses and really not a threat. The portal moves with the bubble, so it doesn't remain visible all the time, but if you enter the bubble with the portal in it you'll know.
I'm...speechless. It's...so damn BEAUTIFUL. I must be in heaven already...
NO NO NO SAVE THE CHEERLEADER SAVE THE WORLD I swear, he polymorphed into a xorn, there was nothing I could do PLEASE GOD PETER I DIDN'T MEAN IT
Er...right. Back to business.
Hey look, it's a portal.
Next stop - the Astral Plane.
One last chance to dig out everything you might need. Wands of teleportation are a must - they're probably the most useful item on the Astral Plane. Also, if you have rings of free action or regeneration, you might want to dig those out too.
One giant leap later...