Part 4: Basements-Weapons-Runes-Lurkers-SpellsWe return to ground floor and discover that the undead haven't bothered to just lay down and die.
Thankfully, our newly found Kevlar protects us from the majority of their attacks, reducing the ones that do hit us to minor damage or none at all.
But now we will need an appropriate method of fighting back. Something that compliments our skill in blades.
To do this we must make a mad dash down the corridor.
Avoiding all the zombies that we can.
And down another flight of stairs into the mansions basement.
Welcome to the basement. Like everywhere in the Winthrop mansion, its a hostile place. A little too hostile for us at the moment, but we won't be down here for very long.
Hidden from this angle at our feet is another note from our buddy Marky Mark.
Sound advice. But we won't be running into any of those this time.
Further ahead we find a Document wallet lying on the floor.
These can be used to hold the documents you find throughout the game. It has a limited capacity however and there's no real reason collect documents anyway. Then again I know this game inside out so it might be useful if you're new to the game and need to refresh your memory. Another problem is it takes up inventory space, we shall be ignoring it.
Something approaches us from behind.
We'll cover what these are in a later update. For now all you need to know is that they're quite dangerous. We run away.
Heading into the door south of us the stone flooring become tiled.
One of the inner walls of this area is false and we stumble across a helpful little cache.
This is holy water. Drinking it will restore a small portion of health as well as magic points too. It can also cure you if you've been poisoned. It has one other very special property, but we shall cover that in the next update. There's a ton of this stuff scattered through the first few floors of the house. Grab as much of it as you can.
But we didn't come down here to get all holyed up. We're looking for a weapon.
Entering the north west door causes us to be shot back by a force field. There's no way of crossing through into this room at any point so we can ignore it.
The Western most door on the other hand, reveals exactly what we came down here to find...
The Kitchen Knife!
This is the best starting weapon you can find, in my opinion. It's fast, it does a good bit of damage and should be enough to keep us alive for a long while yet. With the knife in hand we're ready to cleanse the ground floor of the cursed dead!
We run into another one of these things, it gashes Henry's leg quite badly as he dodges past.
It's time to take back the ground floor once and for all!
That was the note from earlier by the way.
We meet our first victim and the little fucker still manages to hit us despite our body armor!
Let's talk combat.
To attack in this game, all you have to do is push the hit button next to the hand you intend to do damage with and Henry will take a swing with whatever is in that hand at the enemy. You can also use the aim button to select a specific target when fighting multiple opponents.
If you see a red mark appear on the enemy then congratulations you have successfully landed a hit. There are a number of these marks and they vary depending of the level of damage inflicted. A small cut or splash usually indicates a low level of damage. A large, deep looking puncture, tends to mean heavy damage.
Finally just below Henry's portrait is the attack bar. Every time you attempt an attack this will go down slightly, the amount it decreases and the speed at which it fills back up depends upon the speed of the weapon wielded and possibly your weapon skills.
If the bar is completely empty, you are unable to attack until it fills up to an appropriate level. The lower the bar is, the more you appear to miss. So I recommend just attacking at a slow and constant pace ensuring the bar fills back up each time. I'm also convinced that the lower the bar is the more vulnerable you are to getting hit but I'm not 100% on that. As with everything in this game, there are no numbers with any stat, so all this must be gauged through trial and error.
With the knife in hand and the Kevlar about us, the Zombies provide no challenge for us.
All monsters turn red and vanish when killed, followed by a crash of thunder.
Now we can finally begin to explore properly. Nearby we find a rubber flashlight on the ground.
We take it with us as this will soon come in handy as we'll need to shine into the eyes of some Zombies that are DUI.
The Zombies, sensing they're own demise, form a ragtag mob to bring down the Tyrant Henry. Even managing another hit on him.
But their inability to organize correctly causes them to fall to the might of the the kitchen knife!
Henry makes a beeline for the foyer, cutting down anything that stands before him.
Entering the room east of the foyer we find an empty bottle of wine next to a comfy looking chair.
This is the weakest weapon in the game and while it will give us a disadvantage when we're later forced to glass someone up in a bar fight, Henry decides to leave it be.
Behind it however is something more interesting.
It's the first gun we can find. The Smith & Wesson Model 10 Revolver. It's the weakest gun we can find, but we'll take it along with us anyway. I don't really like guns in this game but they can still come in useful and I'll try and show them all off.
Henry tries to break out of a nearby window but finds himself unable to.
The windows in this mansion are rather oddly placed. I should know I rebuilt this entire mansion in Minecraft once or twice...
I think I'm a wee bit obsessed with this game.
Over in a nearby lounge room we find the dead, lounging in fear.
According to the map, this room is slightly bigger than it appears to be. Hmmm.
Aha, A secret passage!
A security key for a safe. Yoink!
We get the drop on a few hapless zombies.
But what's this strange mark on the wall?
This is a rune. There are a number of them scattered throughout the mansion. They currently serve no purpose to us, but we will come back to them at an appropriate time.
Carrying on with the exploring.
More holy water!
A strange crystal! These are very useful. They're essentially mana potions. Whenever you need extra magic points, you can simply meditate on one these to draw magical energy. Much like the medkits however, they have a finite number of uses and it's not always guaranteed to work. The chance of success depends upon your meditation skill. Collect any you find for later use.
Up ahead we have a clock.
They tell you what time it is! Isn't that neat?
Up ahead we find another document...
...this time from someone other than Marcus.
We enter a room with our first puzzle.
There are trapdoors on the floor. If we step on one, we'll fall through into the basement, taking damage as we do. We don't want to go back down there just yet and there appears to be another key on the other side. How to cross...
The solution is incredibly easy.
There are two buttons on the opposite door, each button is rigged to one of the trapdoors. Pushing them both removes the trapdoors and we collect our second key. Easy.
At last another very useful item.
The keyring. This is an item that a lot of 90's RPGs really could have used. As well as having the keys to a number of locked doors already on it. You can add any key you find to it removing the need to keep track of all the keys you'll be finding, freeing up precious inventory space and reducing micromanagement. We also find some pistol ammunition lying around somewhere too.
The room northwest of the foyer contains the safe to the safe key.
We deftly unlock it.
And out falls a video tape. The tape is actually labelled "My Brother and I." I don't think there are many tapes locked up in safes called that that we'd really want to watch... Henry reluctantly takes it with him.
We come across our first locked door.
Thankfully our new found keyring has the correct key.
In the corner of this room we find a bookcase.
While the bookcases themselves cannot be interacted with, the note on the floor sure can!
Hmm some sheet music. We take it with us as it's probably important somehow.
At this point we're starting to get a little loaded down with stuff. As we're not done looting the ground floor yet, Henry decides to dump a few things at the foot of the stairs to the next floor.
I generally find this is a useful thing to do. Just leave a pile of stuff you'll need later at various level exits throughout the game.
We find another locked door in the northwest corner of the house.
This time however, we do not have the correct key yet.
This room is rather interesting.
It has a different wall paper pattern. I'm not really sure why, there's nothing else in here at all.
We enter the west most portion of the house and discover its floor pattern is a little different. And there's a key on the floor.
Hmm there's another one of those horrors up ahead. Despite Henry's objections to its form, let's get a closer look at it.
Still too far away. It doesn't appear to be threatened by us at least...
Dammit! Hold still!
There we go.
Now we can have a formal introduction. Meet the Lurker. This wriggly mass of tentacles is by far the toughest monster in the game and you can find one on every floor.. It has a ton health and will fling every single damage causing spell in the game straight at you.
There is one trick to these guys however. They are completely docile. They will happy just float around whatever room they happen to occupy and so long as you don't provoke them they let you go on your merry way. They seem to induce the most fear out of any monster too. Their passiveness isn't a bug either, you tend not to realize this the first time you play the game. The main issue is making sure a ranged enemy doesn't try and hit you through a Lurker. If they do, the Lurker will take it out on you. They won't ever chase after you so you can always just run away if things turn nasty.
Inside the lurkers lair we swipe up some health and ammo. But the real prize is to the left.
This here is the Juju Fetish. If you carry it in your hand, all the zombies will just ignore you. This counts as the first real way of dealing with monsters properly in this game. You see, you don't actually get experience by killing monsters in this game, so straight up killing everything isn't really necessary at all. So one way to deal with the undead is to simply keep them passive with the fetish and kite them into side rooms where they won't bother anyone. This can be difficult to do because if there is a monster occupying the same square as you, then you are unable to interact with anything else in the square till the monster is killed or otherwise disposed of.
As zombies pose little threat to us anyway. We will simply be killing all that we find, we'll end up saving more room.
This is another blatantly obvious secret passage. To enter any secret area you simply just walk through the wall as if it weren't there at all. Inside we find our first spell.
I forgot to get a picture of the room itself but have a picture of what spell books look like instead.
Iron Fist of Agatta:
This is an enhancement spell that increases our Strength stat and by extension, supposedly, our Damage output. Not sure if it really does all that much but Buff spells last a hell of a long time in this game, so it's generally worth casting one the minute you find it. I'll hold off on casting this at the moment however as we don't really have any need for extra strength.
You can spend extra experience points on any spell too, which as far as I know, decreases the risk of spell failure.
Spell failure will become a big problem later on as our crystal supplies dwindle. Still not worth wasting our precious exp on this spell though.
Suddenly the lights go out!
And a zombie tries to grope us to no avail!
Thankfully our trusty torch comes in handy. This is a random event that will happen on a few of the floors. The lights will give out, sometimes they'll go back on, but eventually they switch off permanently. In order to fix this we'll need to find the fuse box and possibly someway of repairing the fuse box. I think it's possible that the torch can run out of batteries eventually but I'm not sure. I might be confusing this game with Maniac Mansion.
There's also a fire poker in the area too. Odd, considering the lack of fireplaces in this house. It's a semi-decent blunt weapon. But that doesn't change the fact it's still a blunt weapon.
Another document lies before us.
Just a bit of history on the mansion to build atmosphere.
Oh boy some floor Lasagna!
This is food. If I had lped this game a week or two earlier I would have told you that this does absolutely nothing. There seems to be a slight chance that your character will start the game hungry, otherwise you never get hungry at all and I would have chalked it up as another bug. As it stands there is actually a use for this and I will explain in another update. There isn't a shred of information anywhere that I've ever been able to find about this too. Not in the manual or any walkthrough. So this will be the first time this is documented, what fun!
We'll hang onto it for the time being and carry on. And we've stumbled across one of the unique set piece rooms in this game.
These kinds of rooms are usually bad news, but there is something important in here.
Behind the curtain in the back is the body of hanged man. I don't know if this is supposed to be anyone in particular, but the revelation sure gives Henry a bit of a fright.
There's some flavor text attached to all the furniture in this room. The table saying "Death Awaits!" for one. The record player is playing some horrible looped noise as well. Let's touch the dumb water on the left.
And a severed head falls out. If we touch it, it shrivels into a shrunken head. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth Henry pockets the gruesome trinket.
We find yet another note from Marcus at the head of some stairs.
FYI the stairs in front of us lead to the family Mausoleum. We've got a whole number of reasons to go down there and a whole number of reasons to stay the hell away from there. We leave the music sheet at the head of the stairs for now.
Another document lies in a far off room.
It's a bit hard to read but that's the Winthrop family tree. Here, the manual has a far better image of it.
Elias Winthrop is the dude getting burnt at the stake back in the Foyer. It also appears as though Hildebrand Winthrop reproduced Asexually.
We kill more monsters and collect more health kits and ammo.
I forgot to get a picture of it but this room also has a rune stone you can get in it. It's like a portable version of the ones we find on the walls. Every time we take a step in this room you're turned left, I don't know why, it makes navigating a bit disorienting.
The rune stone looks like this
We also find another spell nearby.
Shroud of the Dark Walker:
This spell will protect us against physical attacks against monsters. This is always a handy thing to have. We'll tuck it away for a future update.
Well that about does it for this floor... All the dead are purged and we've made a fine stash.
I wanted to give you one last look at Henry's stats. You'll see we've gained experience. Seeing as you don't get experience in this game from killing monsters I feel I should tell you where it does come from. Most of it comes from reading documents you find. The rest comes from doing other things. Talking to NPC's, or simply solving the various puzzles throughout the game. I generally don't bother spending skill points till I feel I need them. For now our stats will do us fine.
At this point I'd realized I had forgotten to unlock that door from earlier.
Inside was one last zombie and leather pouch full of coffin dust.
I dump it next to the sheet music for the time being.
And here's a map of the completed floor, apart from the door in the northwest, which is the one I forgot about, all other doors cannot be opened in this update.
And with that we're ready to tackle the next floor.