Once again I spent most of my playtime as one character. Last time it was as Martak the Magic-User. This time it was Frodo the Fighter. There's a lot to get to, so let's get to it...
Frodo the Fighter Journal Entry #3: As they say, "we've a long way to go and a short time to get there." I've become a much better fighter since I last wrote in this journal. I was able to dispatch many goblins in a row, a large number of bandits and even a cheetaur or two. I'm also rich and have upgraded my armor! Things are certainly looking up for my adventuring career.
The first 'quest' I wanted to solve in this section, was getting into the hermit's cottage next to the waterfall. I'd been there as the magic-user by casting my 'Open' spell. My thief had gotten there by using his 'Climbing' skill, but I had neither of those as a fighter. I do have some 'Throwing' skill though. I thought I'd try throwing rocks at his door to see if that gets his attention.
|What light from yonder window breaks?|
|It is the east, and 'Enry the 'Ermit is the sun.|
I leave the cave and decide I need to improve my skills. I wander around looking for fights, I throw stones at the archery target south of town, and I go to the place I found earlier with a goblin hiding in a bush. I fight and kill the goblin, looting him afterwards. When I 'look' at the place, I'm told that it's the “Goblin Central Combat Training Zone”.
If I leave that screen and come back, the same thing happens but this time I fight 2 goblins.
|Double the goblins means double the experience!|
I sleep at Erana's peace, then decide to see if I can do anything about the spitting spirea without killing them. I figure if I can't come up with a good solution. To recap, the plants take turns spitting the seed at each other. My backup solution will be to try to kill one of them just as it receives the seed so I don't lose four times as many points by killing them all.
Before going to my backup solution, I decide to try throwing a rock at the seed while it's in between plants. I line up and throw, and nothing happens apart from a slight increase to my throwing skill. I keep trying – even if this isn't the solution I'll increase one of my skills, so why not spend a bit of time.
|Somewhere on this screen is my rock, hurtling towards the glowing seed that's about to land in the open spirea plant.|
Feeling confident, I go back to the goblin training ground and collapse from exhaustion while fighting the third goblin in a row. I'll keep working on that. I'm now regularly taking 60 minute rests during my day instead of waiting until I can sleep for a whole night. This strategy makes fights a lot easier as my stamina and hit points increase enough by an hour rest that I can usually survive at least one more fight.
I do more fighting, occasionally taking on the goblins again. Each time I fight them the fight consists of one more goblin. I also do more resting and dying/reloading, and my skills are slowly but surely increasing.
|Five dead goblins – definitely time to take a bow|
After all the fighting (and plant picking, but that doesn't sound nearly as heroic) I go back to town and attempt to buy some chain armor. I expect the chain armor might help me survive the hail of arrows I'll hit when I go back to the bandit lair. Unfortunately I'm still a long way short of the 500 silvers I'll need, having only 12 gold and 133 silver. Just so the trip isn't wasted, I buy a dagger for 20 silver and head to the castle to make more money. I clean the stables a few times, then meet the sword master. He gives me largely useless fighting tips.
|This tip is somewhat useful, but is very hard to do in the field as often as soon as I attack the bandit pops his shield back up.|
|For that price, they'd better have increased by a lot!|
|Six dead goblins, laying on the floor, and if one dead goblin should accidentally fall...|
|Come on ogre, work through the pain. Two more situps and you can have take a break.|
|This can be interpreted in multiple ways – I prefer to interpret it in the violent way.|
I throw a rock at him, which only seems to wake him up. I can keep throwing rocks at him which just makes him teleport from one ledge to another. I find I can also try using my sword to fight him which brings up the fighting interface to the bottom right of the screen, but no health/stamina/magic bar for either me or the kobold. I keep hitting him with my sword, which again makes him teleport. When he shoots a lightning bolt, I sometimes hit the 'Parry' button but I'm not sure if it does any good.
Eventually I'll be hit with a lightning bolt and die. For some reason I decide to persevere, not knowing if it's even possible to defeat the kobold this way. After many deaths, I eventually do kill him by by using this strategy. He drops a glowing key, which I take. I also take his food (mushrooms?).
Taking advantage of information I gained when my magic-user cast 'Detect Spell' in this area, I walk to where the invisible chest is.
|Thank you, those of you who suggested I play as all three characters|
|Um... what about us? Remember? King's Quest V???|
Good point, insect royalty. Sorry for lumping you all in the same basket. It won't happen again.
Anyway, now that it's night, I go back to the mushroom ring and try to do something about the fairies. I dance for them...
|When your dancing impresses the fairies, that's when you know you've got what it takes!|
One of the things I can ask them about is 'Fairy Dust'. When I do so, they argue about it for awhile, and eventually, Mikey the Fairy, who'll touch anything, is roped into giving me some dust
Once again I do some more fighting/resting/dying/reloading, including killing 7 goblins in a row! I come up with an error...
|The black message in the middle is unreadable, but when I get it at daytime it says “Invalid Palette”|
After getting back into the game and reloading my save I decide to spend the night at 'Enry the 'Ermit's house. This time I don't need to throw rocks. Once I know there's an invisible ladder there I can climb it even without having the climbing skill.
It turns out 'Enry's house isn't the best place to sleep.
|For some reason I also sleep in a really weird position when in 'Enry's house – it's actually the same as part of the 'climbing' animation.|
|I wonder if 'later' refers to actual time or will take place when I've passed a particular plot point.|
|The castle guards also play in a jazz band on Friday nights.|
|Good – because I was counting on you expressing your gratitude with lots and lots of gold|
He also mentions that apart from the ambush the bandits have set up for any who approach, there is rumoured to be another way into their fortress. This gets my mind thinking as well. Perhaps the troll cave near the antwerp leads to the bandit hideout and is a better entrance than the ambush I'd been killed at before. As a fighter though I wasn't (yet?) able to open the door to the troll cave so it might be worth taking the front entrance if I can work out how to avoid the arrows.
I also talk to the Baronet
|I think I'm starting to side with the kobold wizard on this one|
The 50 gold is exactly what I need in order to buy the chain armor.
|Kaspar wears a fez. Fez's are cool.|
|Perhaps a hint that there's a potion of embiggening or something, or just a hint that fighting isn't as good a solution as buying 50 apples.|
|I don't remember this from our Conquests of the Longbow posts – Alex! Sexy Robin! Anyone!?!|
This time I feel that perhaps my new chain armor will have arrows bounce harmlessly off it. Do you care to take a guess as to whether or not I succeed?
|If at first you don't succeed, reload reload again|
|I hope you bought tickets for both the archery AND the hurdle events!|
|This was the last bandit – I was so close|
I wandered around again, and killed my fair share of bandits, goblins and sauruses, including a full 8 goblins at their training ground. My skills had improved quite a bit so I had another unsuccessful attempt at Brauggi the Frost Giant. I take another lesson with the castle's Weapon Master. I even killed a cheetaur...
|Noooo. Not the face. Anywhere but the face!|
|This seems like a clue, but I'm not sure it's relevant to my fighter|
The door has a bell next to it, so naturally I ring it...
|… and naturally, I'm mudered for my politeness|
|Because smashing stuff won't attract the bandit archers for some reason|
I'm brought to another room, where a myriad of traps remain.
|How many traps can you find in this picture?|
- Directly ahead is a pit trap under the fur rug
- The bridge to the right has a sign on it that reads “Step Here” an obvious trap, so I use the other bridge
|The bridge is unstable and wobbles as soon as I step on it, dropping me into a pit full of dead heroes|
- Going around the barricades to the right shows a tripwire trap that pops up a jester head – this doesn't seem to kill me so that's okay.
- After passing the barricades the archers start shooting and will get me if I travel in a straight line, forcing me to switch to 'run' mode
- The second tripwire trap summons an antwerp that jumps on me after I trip on it.
After unsuccessfully trying to climb the barrels or wagon, I notice that 'look'ing at the wiretraps gives me the message of “Now that you know it's there, you can easily avoid it by stepping over it.”
The successful solution consists of the following steps, all taken quickly to avoid dying...
- 'Look' at both tripwires.
- Walk past the barricades to the right
- Take the right-hand bridge
- Switch to run mode and move erratically to avoid arrows but not too erratically to avoid falling down the chasm
- Take the door to the north
|Another fun room of multiple puzzles to be solved in order|
Then you must put the chair over the right-hand door.
Then you have to... oh, damn.
|Maybe you don't need to be so passive-aggressive about it after I've died, death-screen.|
I also push over the candelabra, purely because I can, before the three stooges enter the room.
|Remind me to kill you later|
It takes a few more attempts, but eventually I time it all correctly so that I topple the candelabra not-too-early and not-too-late then climb the table at the right time and grab the chandelier rope at the right time.
This all results in my kicking the stooges over, then dropping the chandelier on them, trapping them indefinitely.
|I've made a lot of noise - I think the fake shemp on the table must be dead.|
In the next room I find the bandit wizard, who I'd only recently surmised is also Yorick, the court jester.
|Did anyone think a joke like this was NOT forthcoming as soon as we heard the name Yorick?|
Anyway, I also find out that it was ten years ago that Yorick went looking for Elsa, and after two years he found her, posing as her warlock since then to keep her safe. Toro, the minotaur, has been Elsa's only other friend in this band of bandits – I'm now more confident that there's a way to spare the minotaur, but I'll leave that to the thief or magic-user to work out.
For now, I have to work out his warlock's maze. I try all the doors, press all buttons and pull all chains I can find, but haven't found a solution yet. Each door just leads to another door Scooby Doo style. I'm sure there's a solution, but I'll find it next time... I hope.
Looking at my stats at the start and end of this section, I'm pleased to see the significant improvement. Now I have to work on doing the same for the magic-user and thief, but I've taken enough time and will leave it here for now.
|A significant improvement in all fighter-relevant stats. I'm quite pleased!|
TREVOR: But now we don't have time to see what I've been up to... AGAIN!Session time: 5 hours 20 minutes
FRODO: Don't worry. You can have a turn next time.
TREVOR: And your title doesn't even make sense.
FRODO: I was going to refer to the bear as 'Smokey' so the movie title reference works, but when I didn't it was too late to change the title, so...
MARTAK: You're seriously breaking the fourth wall, now.
TREVOR: At least let me tell you how I got access to the Thieves' Guild password
FRODO: Probably the same way I did. By using your hand on the thief that sometimes hangs out just outside the town gate
TREVOR: Why did you even think of doing that?
FRODO: I use my hand on everything.
MARTAK: Me too. I'm using my hand right now.
TREVOR: Okay. Stop. I don't want to hear any more. Let's finish up and continue later.
Total time: 17 hours 35 minutes