Part 13: EquilibriumEpisode 13: Equilibrium
The day has finally come. We've set fire to everything in the entire empire except for the Emperor's palace.
All your work has been towards this very moment, Underlord! The Empire is in shambles; its army is decimated, its people are paralyzed with fear, and Emperor Lucius has sealed himself away in the hopes that the dark may hide him. Begin your siege of the Citadel, Underlord, and seize our final victory!
Welcome to the site of our final victory, Underlord!
This is the stronghold beneath the Empire's capital city, Uther's Landing.
At its heart lies their dithering Emperor, Lucius. He waits for us in his throne room
But be cautious, Underlord. A whimpering baby though he may be, he's now fully absorbed the Aum, and is wracked by powers not meant for any mortal His mind creaks under the strain of it, and madness eats away at him.
In order to reach him and finally destroy the Aum, you will first need to overcome the formidable defences of this stronghold.
We're getting back to basics with this final mission. We start off with two gateways and plenty of space to build, and we're up against the last of the Empire's forces.
Oh my, the Aum has certainly improved my complexion! Magic mirror on the wall, who is fairest of them all?
Scouting with the vision spell, I find a gold shrine to the northwest.
The Emperor is extremely talkative this mission. He's also stark-raving mad. Unfortunately, he's also very strong, so we will need to prepare before we can take him on.
East of the dungen, I find another gold shrine. Now that we've learned a couple of tricks from Kasita, the Underlord with rivers of gold, I have plans that will make these shrines very useful.
North of our dungeon is the main entrance to the citadel.
The keep is sheathed in protective magic I don't think they want us to get in, Underlord.
Unleash the Kenos to smash through this barrier and teach them a lesson in hospitality.
I'm warning you, Underlord! The hinges of my mind are falling off by the second. There's no telling what I might do!
We had access to the ritual to unleash the Kenos during the last mission, but it wasn't particularly useful. In this mission, we're forced to use it, so I build a large sanctuary and begin channelling the ritual.
While our cultists work on the Kenos ritual, I do a bit more scouting. I come across an unshielded Empire base to the northwest, near our first gold shrine.
It seems we've stumbled on something These Matriarchs are channelling a necromantic spell to raise the dead warriors entombed here! This could get out of hand, Underlord. Put these wenches down before they cause a real nuisance!
Mendechaus suggests taking out this base, which seems like a good idea. The priestesses inside are very high level, and defeating them will give us some powerful units to convert in the torture chamber.
To help us out, I'm going to summon a titan. I would normally summon a behemoth, as it tends to cause me the most trouble in the Mira mission, but LightWarden posted about the different titan types in the thread, and apparently the archon is very powerful. I'll try summoning one of those instead and see how it does.
While waiting for the titan, I build up defences around our dungeon core. The first time I replayed this map, the heroes sent a wave of extremely powerful high-level units charging straight at my dungeon core from the east while my units were stuck fighting the priestesses in the north-west, and the heroes actually managed to kill me that way. Now I'm very paranoid about hero attacks in this mission, so I'm going to heavily fortify the east and west entrances to our dungeon core chamber.
The ritual is ready, Underlord. Be wary: once activated, the barrier will only be disabled for a short time so make sure your minions are in position before you unleash hell!
The ritual is ready, but we are not. I don't intend to attack the main citadel before taking care of the priestesses and getting a few high-level traitor hero units. The hero units in the citadel are going to be around levels 8-10, which means they will absolutely slaughter our units in the level 1-3 range.
We summon the archon titan. This is a ranged caster titan that can summon undead minions from defeated enemies. I have literally never used this titan, so I'm interested to see how well it does.
Now that we have a titan, I'm ready to asssault the base to the north-west. Our giant sanctuary and sizeable library means that our army is unfortunately filled with useless cultists, but what can you do.
Inside the base, we find that the priestesses have summoned an army of ghostly soldiers. Luckily, they are actually very weak and easy to defeat, especially when we have plenty of mana regeneration from the Kenos to heal our army. However, as usual in this mission, the Empire's timing is impeccable: the moment I attack the base, they launch their own assault against our dungeon. But this time I am prepared! Whether they attack from the east or the west, they will face a wall of cannons and blade traps and steel gates!
What have I done to deserve this? I ruled my subjects as I ruled my toys as a child: pulled their heads off when I got bored.
The heroes charge in from the north, which is undefended.
I have a few units still in my base, but they are no match for these high-level hero elites. I shower the heroes with lightning spells, but their high health pools allow them to shrug it off. Is this the end?
No. We have a trick to pull. With our two gold shrines, we have a very high gold income, as well as a fortune of 40,000 gold saved up in our huge treasure chambers. Enter the Midas door.
The Midas door is impervious to harm as long as you have gold in your treasury. Kasita used the Midas door to stonewall our powerful invasion force in the last mission. In the end, we were forced to blow up the walls around her Midas door to reach her dungeon core. I quickly install a Midas door in front of our own dungeon core and complete it using magic. The heroes can cause all the trouble they like in my dungeon, but they are not getting past the Midas door before they deplete our enormous gold reserves.
The heroes feebly hit the Midas door for a minute or two, barely making a dent in our vast gold reserves while I strike them with lightning. Eventually the archon titan and the rest of our army return, but by that time the heroes are already defeated.
Pah, worthless! Who trained these morons? Oh, I did.
Behold our new and improved army! These guys are so much more powerful than my regular units, it's not even funny. I'll have them converted as soon as possible, and then use them to storm the citadel.
While our succubi work on converting the prisoners, I send the army back to the north-western base to take out the rest of the priestesses. It is slow work, mostly because the priestesses love to run away and hide behind doors, which makes clearing out this base take ages. After a few minutes, the heroes send another attack wave at us.
Would the next wave of brave fodder please step forward.
Onwards noble soldiers!
Just to spite me, the heroes attack from the north again. This time I am prepared, and I've built a Midas door at the northern entrance to the base so I don't have to fight the heroes in my bedroom. Since the last attack, our gold reserves have swelled to a hundred thousand gold. It would probably take them several minutes to break down this door.
I had better write my last will and testament, just in case. Here, I shall dictate it: Ahem. To my people, I leave ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
Since the heroes are trapped in a small hallway outside our base, I decide to try out a new trap.
This is the well of souls trap. The well of souls is an expensive trap that takes a lot of trap components to build, does not do a lot of damage and has a pretty low range. This would normally make it a pretty poor trap, but it has a number of advantages:
- It has an area of effect attack that can go through walls.
- When attacking heroes, the well of souls trap can summon angry spirits to support your defence.
Especially the ability to attack through walls is incredibly useful in this kind of situation. The Midas door combined with the well of souls traps completely shuts down any kind of offense that the heroes might be able to muster at our north entrance.
The well of souls traps summon a bunch of ghost skeletons, but I don't even need them. They shamble around the guard room while the heroes waste away outside the door.
While that is happening, I am getting tired of my army failing to take out the rest of the priestesses. I possess the archon titan and hunt down the rest of the priestesses myself.
Is the end really the end, or the beginning? Or is it the beginning of the end? Or the end of the beginning?
That put a stop to their little experiment in necromancy! Let those Matriarchs witness the undead realm for themselves.
Since there was a hero base to the northwest, I decide to also scout the north-east to see if there is something there that I need to take out.
Underlord, there is a large forge to the east of the keep. They will likely be able to repair any defences you destroy while it is left in one piece.
While I move our army east to take out the forge, the Emperor launches another attack from the north.
Your loyalty will be rewarded if- I mean, WHEN, you return
Look, he's sending more meat for your grinder. How thoughtful!
Off you go. Like lambs to the slaughter.
Again, the heroes find themselves trapped by the Midas door. At this point, the skeleton spirits are getting restless!
Just for fun, I open the door to give the spirits something to do. They make short work of the heroes.
Meanwhile, our army is attacking the forge. At this point, I believe that we have more traitor hero units than actual monsters. The traitors are all very high level, and as a result, our army is ridiculously powerful.
We smash straight through the defences and quickly take out the forge shrines. I can't even capture the battle for the forge, because there is no battle. Any resistance just evaporates before our forces.
Good! Now they have no means of replacing their defences. Push on!
Alas, the clinking of metal on metal falls silent along with the last of my sanity.
Now that the crypt and the forge have been shut down, only the citadel remains. I position the army in front of the citadel and then unleash the Kenos.
The barrier is down! Get your minions inside before it recovers.
They should not even have bothered with those traps. Our army is huge and unstoppable!
The barrier has returned. There are sealing obelisks to the east and west, Underlord. Pound them into dust, and there should be no energy for the barrier to remake itself.
The barrier quickly goes up again. We'll want to take out the inhibitors before we proceed.
I'm warning you, Underlord! The hinges of my mind are falling off by the second. There's no telling what I might do!
Ah, they've mastered the ancient trick of building a drawbridge. Smash its winches and open a route for your minions!
To further complicate things, we have to take out the winches holding up the drawbridge to the inner keep of the Emperor's citadel.
Who said that barrier was impenetrable? Send them for the chop immediately!
BAM goes the first inhibitor to the west.
BAM goes the one to the east. I cannot overstate how much easier this mission is than the previous one.
The winches holding up the drawbridge are at the northern edge of the citadel. It will be a tough fight getting all the way up there to deal with them.
I'm just kidding, we waltz up there practically unopposed and smash the winches.
The drawbridge lowers, opening the way into the central keep for our army. This is it.
Speak clearly! Is the Underlord merely making good progress, or is he literally forging a head? A huge, giant head to consume us all!
Why hello there minions of the Underlord. I've heard so much about you! Would you like a cup of tea?
There stands the boy-Emperor Lucius! I have waited for this.
The Emperor is a very powerful single unit. But we have dozens of very powerful units.
Is it too late to call a truce?
Yes, Lucius, it's too late.
Something's happening to the Aum. I think I'm going to be sick
It's about time.
My my, the Aum is indeed powerful. With Lucius as my new minion, I can finally confront the goddess.
Are you so certain, Mendechaus? What does your Underlord have to say about that?
My Underlord has played his part. Now the curtain must fall.
Lucius, destroy the Underlord and retrieve the Kenos!
Kira, what have you done?!
Do not be afraid, Underlord - you are free of his influence.
Mendechaus did what he does best, and you fulfilled your purpose flawlessly.
Now the people shall build a new country, free of Lucius, free of Mendechaus, and worthy of my name.
Come, this should be as easy as waking up.
Why don't you open your eyes.
Welcome home, Overseer.
The War for the Overworld is over for the moment.
So enjoy the calm clouds and fresh breeze of the Aether. But for you, there are other realms to raze to the ground. Let us continue the game, another day.
Well, that was surprising. They have actually changed the ending of the game since the last time I played this game! The last time I played the game, Mendechaus betrayed you, turned the Emperor into his new servant and laid waste to all the land after killing you and banishing you to the Aether. This thing about the goddess Kira puppetmastering the whole thing is completely new to me!
To everyone who followed the LP, I hope you've enjoyed it! My aim with this LP was to show off this game as a worthy successor to the old Dungeon Keeper games, which I think it definitely is. If anyone decides to give the game a try after reading the LP, then that would be the best possible outcome.