The Let's Play Archive

Vampires Dawn

by TheMcD

Part 18: Actual Progress?

So, last time, we made some rather ill-advised calls. Let's try and not do that this time! And I have a plan to avoid the rather grim fate we had last time, being murdered to death by status effects.

The first part of this plan involves going into this cave on the icy continent.

It's a bit of a mazey area, the loot to be found isn't particularly exciting...

...and the enemies, "ice zombies" and "ice demons", are a pain in the neck, especially the demons and their attack spells. So what's so nice that I still want to go through it?

This ghost here. What's so special about him?

He raises the power of our skeleton mage summoning. Now, this seems as good a time as any to go over this, so let's talk about summoning. Summoning is a rather simple system to get a little bit of extra firepower on your side. You spend soul stones and get a fourth party member for X seconds of not-fighting time. There are four different kinds of summons - regular skeletons, skeleton mages, golems and demons. We get the plain-ass skeletons just from advancing in the story (I think? Either that or leveling up, regardless, you can't miss it, is my point), the skeleton mages from the dungeon near Limm, the golems from the scavenger hunt from when we first arrived at Asgar's castle, and the demons we'll get relatively soon. Also, summons level up in two ways - either you have to find ghosts (in which case there are two, the first one you find boosts the level from 1 to 25, the second one you find boosts it from 25 to 50), or the summon just takes on Valnar's level. Now, let's go into those four in more detail.

Plain-Ass Skeleton:

Cost: 5 small soul stones
Leveling: Ghosts

Stats (listed as "at level 1" - "at level 25" - "at level 50"):

HP: 40 - 273 - 800
BP: 0 - 0 - 0
Attack: 16 - 79 - 220
Defense: 17 - 73 - 223
Intelligence: 15 - 56 - 123
Agility: 15 - 88 - 250

Attacks: Normal attack, attack that can cause bleeding (from level 25), attack that can cause instant death (from level 50).

Skeleton Mage:

Cost: 6 medium soul stones
Leveling: Ghosts

Stats (listed as "at level 1" - "at level 25" - "at level 50"):

HP: 40 - 215 - 600
BP: 40 - 215 - 600
Attack: 15 - 64 - 175
Defense: 15 - 48 - 120
Intelligence: 28 - 158 - 449
Agility: 20 - 108 - 300

Attacks: Normal attack, fire attack spell, both in single and multiple targets variety (from level 1), ice attack spell, both in single and multiple targets variety (from level 25), poison attack spell, both in single and multiple targets variety (from level 50).


Cost: 15 medium soul stones
Leveling: Valnar's level

Stats (listed as "at level 1" - "at level 25" - "at level 50"):

HP: 40 - 215 - 600
BP: 0 - 0 - 0
Attack: 15 - 112 - 330
Defense: 15 - 134 - 400
Intelligence: 20 - 108 - 300
Agility: 20 - 157 - 386

Attacks: Normal attack.


Cost: 15 large soul stones
Leveling: Valnar's level

Stats (listed as "at level 1" - "at level 25" - "at level 50"):

HP: 40 - 215 - 600
BP: 40 - 215 - 600
Attack: 18 - 154 - 460
Defense: 15 - 109 - 320
Intelligence: 20 - 167 - 500
Agility: 25 - 198 - 486

Attacks: Normal attack, shadow attack spell that hits all enemies and can also inflict Blind (from level 20), spell that has a chance of killing all enemies (from level 30), spell that randomly raises attributes of our party (from level 40).

So, what does that big block of stats and shit tell us? Well, here's what I think:

Plain-ass skeleton: Useless garbage. Gets owned in the face by bosses, and bosses are really the only time you summon things.
Skeleton mage: More useful. The spells it brings along can be very useful against mid-level bosses, though usefulness fades as enemy resistance to spells increases.
Golem: Hits shit. Hits shit pretty hard. Hitting shit hard is something enemies can't resist too well. However, late-game bosses will have defenses high enough that the golem won't really be able to deal any major damage.
Demon: SO GOOD. HOLY SHIT SOOOOOOO FUCKING GOOD. We'll get into exactly why once I start summoning him.

Now, we have one part of the skeleton mage boosting fun times done...

...and here, in a forest south of Thessa...

...we find the second part. This now brings our skeleton mage to level 50, and while it may lay waste to regular enemies, the effect on bosses will be more sedate. Oh, and are you wondering what's on that gravestone? If so, wonder no longer!

This gravestone says: "Hyuga - may his suffering be eternal!"
Do you know that person?
Well, I've heard that he was a vampire. Maybe he died in the Holy Crusade...

Hm. This is where things get... interesting, for lack of a better term. I know who Hyuga is. He is indeed a vampire. Here's the thing: He's a vampire... in Dunkle Schatten, Marlex's previous game. Dunkle Schatten has previously been established as a book in this universe. And do you remember that cult near Iranis we were supposed to be taking care of but decided that they were slightly too capable of murdering us at this point? We will eventually find out that they worship Gargasch, the main villain of that game/story. I'm really not sure what to make of this. I just presume that Marlex got his signals crossed at one point and decided to write in characters from his previous game as a little joke, forgetting that he had already done that earlier in a way that contradicts. D'oh well.

Next stop, this lonely mountain on the icy continent. I think somebody in Iranis pointed us towards this place?

And I guess this is how mountains work - a bunch of raised platforms with stairs going up and down them.

Enemies here - "small ice dragons" and "ice demons" - look intimidating, but aren't. Alaine's fire spells make short work of them.

Now, there's not a lot here, and I deliberately ignore all other loot in favor of bee-lining it to the main prize, this red chest. What does it contain?

Aw yiss. The "Vampire Sword" - "Valnar's strongest weapon (+200 ATTACK, can cause Bleeding) - is a great thing to have, as is all of the vampire equipment (well, not entirely, but we'll get to that). We're going to bee-line for some of those equipment pieces now that Valnar has enough Intelligence to open most of the chests.

In one of the towers of Asgar's castle, we find a "Vampire Shield" - "A truly powerful shield (+140 DEFENSE)", and with it, we come to the one piece of equipment that isn't that nice to have. As a regular player, you would just take this shield and forget about the rest. However, I, not being a regular player, know that the shield I currently have is the best shield in the game, thanks to its status effect blocking properties, and the slight uptick in Defense isn't worth it in the slightest. Status effect blocking is the #1 thing you need in this game, by a LOOOOOOOONG shot. Combine that shield with an item we'll get later, and you become damn near immune to them, which goes a long way to defanging some of the more powerful bosses in the endgame.

We find the second shield in the island mine. Seems like Marlex knew that the shield wasn't that great to begin with, so he just put it in places you'd probably have checked beforehand at some point.

Next stop, this forest area, which is probably the easiest place to find - it's a single tile of trees surrounded by mountains, of course you're going to check that out at some point.

Inside, we find another set of vampire armor. This is always welcomed.

With that, we've pretty much found all the vampire gear we can find at this point, so let's actually continue the story for once. We're back to that cave north of Limm where I evacuated on the second level after remembering that this was the next story bit. We've already gone through the first level, so let's skip forward.

Level number two is home to a strange little puzzle. Essentially, what we have to do is move in a certain way to light all the gargoyle statues (moving over some points lights certain statues and turns others off), and then we can advance to the hole at the top and go down another level. Now...

...the guide I'm using tells me to use this path. I follow that path, and it doesn't work out. I don't know if I'm just being stupid or the guide is wrong - both could be right - but I arbitrarily fuck around a bit and get it to work, so I guess everything's cool. Still, don't ask me how exactly to solve this puzzle, I don't quite know.

The next level has nothing of real interest to us.

As does the next. I mean, there's some kind of useful loot here and there, like the blood rune I find in a red chest here, but all in all, it's really just white noise at this point. We have more money than God, and if we can't buy it, we probably didn't really need it anyway. The only REALLY interesting stuff at this point is vampire equipment, which we don't find here, and some other assorted goodies like the demon summoning spell, which we also don't find here. There's some ghosts around here, but they don't give us anything interesting either - at this point, nothing is left that is really interesting. Wolf/bat transformation time increases are pointless, we have enough blood to just keep casting the shit, skeleton summoning upgrades are pointless because skeletons are shit, summoning time increases are pointless because we can mash through any boss dialogue fast enough that we don't need the extra time, healing rate is pointless because we just use healing items, of which we have a near infinite supply thanks to the aforementioned money.

However, there is something interesting here!

It's the door that would have blocked us from advancing, had we not murdered Aysha and heard the code for it!

There's a keypad on this door! Seems like we have to enter some kind of code!
This door will definitely also be secured with magic... so no chance of you going through it, Asgar!
But we have the code that Abraxas unintentionally told us...
Oh, right!
What was it again? 4...2...6...6...5.

There we go!
Abraxas, we're coming!

We head down the staircase.

Hm, looks like everything's peaceful around here! Abraxas must have fled to a safer place!
I knew this would happen! But let's take a look around, maybe we can find a clue!
We'll get him eventually!

The chests just have some money, save stones and an antique vampire ring, nothing that neat. What is neat, however, is this:

Take a look at this map! It's full of red crosses... I wonder what those mean.
Maybe all the places where he's already killed vampires?
That's a likely possibility...
Look over here! There's an island that's circled!
Hm... I'd call that a clue!
You don't really think that Abraxas is going to be on that island?
If he is, then this is either a trap, or he forgot to take the map because he was in a hurry. I'm hoping for the latter...
The island is west of this continent!
Well, let's just go and have a look around...

And that's this dungeon! No boss this time or anything, just go in, find some stuff, and head out again. Next time, we'll follow this clue, meet some new friends, and take care of some old friends!