Monday, 28 September 2020

The Legacy - A Dangerous Meeting

Written by Morpheus Kitami

After escaping the basement, it was clear that I needed to lighten my travelling load. I need some place to put all these magical artifacts and doodads. Unless this M16 "clip" is a cruel trick, there's probably an M16 lying around, and if I'm lucky, maybe a M60 or M67. Regardless, I needed to drag up some of the items from the basement. Unfortunately, this means going back in the basement. Whether or not I'll need to put it lower down is irrelevant, the ground floor is now effectively safe. Fortunately, I have more options now than I did before. I enter from the south, picking clean anything that looks useful.
"Document wallet", and here I just called them document holders...

Clearing out anything useful, I take my approach through the southeast, the darkened hallway from earlier. A doorway, wedged innocently enough just outside that hallway, contains another gargoyle and another fusebox. I so hope it isn't going to go out. Especially since the doorway isn't that far from where I ended up dragging the other gargoyle, on the eastern VHS-shaped hallway. Now, that note...
My investigations have led me down here to the basement. Here I have discovered degenerate once human creatures. These ghouls feast on rats, spiders, each other, and myself, if I am not careful. One almost caught me. I suspect that one scratch from its poisonous claws would prove fateful.
He careful whoever follows. 
Marcus Roberts

There's also a document holder nearby. I don't think I'll need that, but I'm going to bring it up anyway. Might just be handy.

But let's take in Roberts note here. Ghouls...whether or not that's his professional opinion as a magical professional or just a turn of phrase...in addition to zombies. Dunno if the voodoo zombies are hungry either, but this is looking like someone collecting backstories to late '70s early '80s zombie films. We've got Cthulhu somewhere, voodoo, and now these viral fellows. Don't tell me they're not supposed to be viral! "Poisonous claws". Am I going to meet some Asian or Haitian immigrant with a butcher knife and an ear-to-ear grin? Because it is a safe assumption that I'm going to meet a vampire and a crazy person. With those two "zombies", we've got the complete collection, to my knowledge, anyway.
Okay...why is it in a random room downstairs?

Of course with that, I've gotten pretty much everything there was downstairs...that isn't behind the horde of ghouls. Entering the northern area the same way I did last time reveals a lack of a gargoyle...I must have gotten him side-tracked somehow. Or maybe the ghouls are eating him. Doesn't matter, not my problem anymore. There was one area I left untouched, the western half. There's not a lot here, in fact, there's nothing here, just ghouls.
This is just going to be every entry now, horrible death

Unfortunately, the ghouls managed to get in a few good hits...and then when I tried to retreat to the safety of the triangle, I get killed because a ghoul walked in. Trap or bad programming? You decide. I need to consider how I'm going to reapproach this. In the mean time, I manage to take a look in that big room with a gargoyle from last time. Its got a note in it, I won't bore you with the badly-written early 18th century-styled writing. All it is is some guy named Maitland exploring the mansion in the time of Hildebrand and only finding "fiends made of rock", I.E., these gargoyles.

Now if only I could hurt him from here

So, I go through the northern sections, taking everything I can find. Its not that hard when you're not trying to explore. I'm just about to go into a room with a stairs down before I think, hey, why not get rid of this ghoul before moving onward? He's not walking past the secret wall. I shoot at him. All sixteen small calibre bullets, gone. I throw the gun at him, because that'll work, and then start stabbing him. Doesn't work either. Reload, run past him, shoot at him inside the room, dead again. I'm starting to suspect that combat here is going to be...unfun.

Let me explain. I shoot a gun, no real sound comes out, and the only indication I hit my foe is a small bloodstain briefly appearing on my opponent. No sound. Same if I punch or stab him. There's a mild computer generated sound if he hits me, and that's it. It generally doesn't matter if I'm playing with the sound on or the sound off. The music's generic, if you have the slightest ability to make music you could probably do the soundtrack to this. That doesn't matter either. It's not really great that combat depends on a roll of the dice to begin with, given how scarce supplies are, but feedback is the real killer. Everything feels like I have my speakers on mute, and they're not bad speakers either.

Now...what am I going to do with all this stuff?

After all that I have everything from downstairs. Except a pitcher of oil and a couple of holy waters. But that's okay, I've got three of those up here and it isn't that difficult to grab the ones down there. What am I going to bring upstairs? Eh, I think I'll just look around. I can grab this stuff later if need be. Later turns out to be the second I walk upstairs. Its pitch-black Ah, flashlight, batteries, and probably the toolkit for the fusebox. My light load of only filling up six slots in my briefcase turns into a moderate load of 10, with four for items lying around.

The 1st floor has a lot of stuff straight off. Matchbox, fire is good. Can I light the gallon can of gasoline later and use it as an impromptu bomb? Considering how well combat is going for me I might just score a hit with it. Then a bottle of holy water next to a page out of a diary. Usual Lovecraftian stuff, stars have aligned, he thinks he can control them. What's interesting is that this is Robert Pretniss, the last owner of the mansion and somehow related to the player. Gee, I wonder whatever happened to him...

But did I teleport, or did someone really fast move me?

Then there's another note. Pretniss was trying to use magic to locate his sister, then accidentally summoned fire spawn into the asylum. "I hope the doors continue to hold." "It must be that I am The One." No word if he's the angel of your desire. Yatta, yatta, yatta. He's going to make his sister pay and then kill her. Then I walk back out into the hallway and randomly teleport.

I'm not saying this is suspicious, but I am saying not to follow her

Then there's the usual stuff, the ugly green eldritch horror that touches everything in this mansion. Some woman randomly walking around. I figure her for a trap as soon as I see her walk away. She had to have seen me, and I'm not walking with the fetish either, regular gun. And as I take a picture of her walking away I notice blood on the ground, highly suspicious. I think I'll walk around those puddles, that might just be a wise move on my part.

If you open the door to your bathroom and see this, its not my problem

It was. Next to the puddles of blood are buttons that teleport you across them. There's a problem solved. Now, there are a lot of locked doors on this floor. A lot. One of them even has someone knocking on the other end. I assume its knocking, that's what the soft-spoken midi sounds like anyway. Then I pick the wrong door to open, what I assume is a water daemon jumps out and attacks me. Dead again. Well, there's a big cross hallway, let's try south.

I question the usefulness of this encounter

Door number 1, and gold. A bullet-proof vest. I check around, shoot, water daemon. I rush for the vest and prepare to rush out...he's still there. Is...this guy friendly? Why? Turns out he's some kind of ghost, I'm sure there's a technical name for what he is, but I don't know it. Him and the rest of the "water daemons", as I called them, are former members of a cult belonging to Melchior, he deceived them, they got magically chained to this floor. I have to find a painting and burn it. Hey, matchbook. Now I just have to figure out where the painting is.

Also, after donning the bullet-proof vest I discover it makes opening the inventory a bit more tricky. Considering I need to do that every time I switch floors or save my game this could potentially screw me up.

Meanwhile, across the hall I find another crystal and another note:
I am not alone in this place of evil. In the asylum above I caught glimpses of a white robed figure clutching an axe. Fear overcame me and I fled rather than investigate further. I will attempt to return there later.

Marcus Roberts

Has Roberts actually don't anything yet? So far all he's done is run away, screw things up for me and place items in locations monsters can easily kill me in. Is he actually going against the forces of Agatha or is he just trying to sabotage my efforts?

Is that because I'm seeing double or because the ghouls turned the heater off?

Continuing my way south, I am once again forced backward by an unseen force. Joy. I guess I'm going east then south. Why break up a good routine just because the game is being a jerk? Might be able to open that boarded up door. Assuming I can find a hammer first. I continue going into each room I can open, and now the ghosts are getting clever. Waiting outside of visible range and then when I turn, approaching me. Nice. Then there's another one of the button-puddle-woman traps. I set this one off because there's a disorientation effect this time. It reverse the player's controls, except against a wall or in front of a door.

Remember, every time they pre-render a room like this, it means it's supposed to be important.

A bedroom. There's nothing that makes this room special, except for one thing. Take a second to look at that, can you guess what it is? Its not the item, by the way.

The statue. Not the painting, the statue. You right click and examine it, no problem. You left click, the statue comes to life, attacks you, then returns to being a statue. As if to say "Screw you, this ain't yo daddy's adventure game. Get yo grubby paws outta my face or I'll kill you dead." You know what's even better? This room isn't unique. There are a dozen or so bedrooms exactly like it, but lacking the gem.

After that charming encounter, I'm starting to collect more useless crap. Another .38 speedloader, that's what, 24 rounds now? Some museum plaque that says shuriken. That fills up my inventory. I hate having to find a safe place to put stuff.

I don't have a clever screenshot for this section, so instead here's another pre-rendered bedroom

The entire southeast portion is essentially a trap at this point. Its got a spirit wandering the halls with the greatest chase radius of any monster I've seen so far. I'm readjusting my inventory to pick up a baseball bat, ghost's nowhere to be seen, and suddenly he shows up. Getting away from him is painful. The movement in this area is reversed. But its not turning, you go normally when you're against a wall or going into a door. Its worse than actual reversed controls because at least then you don't have to remember which situations are like normal. Anyway, in a big room I find a Colt/10 "Police Positive", which takes the place of the .38 revolver. Fun fact, it was made for exactly the same kind of ammunitions as the Model 10. Anyway, I don't think it'll be very helpful right now, since I still haven't found anyone to use the M10 on yet.

Once again the so-called safe zone gets me killed

From the room with I find the second revolver, I can finally enter the southwestern section of the map. This doesn't work out in my favor. First, there's another ghost. Then I hear something like water going through pipes, which I figure probably isn't supposed to be a good sign. I find a niche into another room, and it has the triangle. So I should be safe. I see an orb zoom past. Oh, that's what it was. Then the spirit walks in, and then comes this fellow. Is he the water daemon? Do I care? No, because in a second he kills me.

To really hammer in this bit of failure, there's also a southern door in that big room. Its locked, but I figure you break it open. As it turns out, one J. Olson dies by doing this. I think that really encompasses this mansion. Turns master magicians incompetent and investigative journalists into punching bags.

Inventory: Medikit (x2), kitchen knife, S&W M10, speedloader of small calibre ammunition (x2), keyring, briefcase, flashlight, batteries, holy water, electronic tool kit, Colt Police Positive
Spellbook: Shroud of the Shadow Walker, Agatha's Iron Fist, Belgor's Mental Violation, Elixir of Health, Aura of Mystic Defense

This Session: 2 hours 00 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 00 minutes

2 comments:

  1. And just like that, finally up to date!

    I'm not going to lie Morpheus, I don't envy you this game. It feels to me like an RPG that wants to be played as a straight adventure game with combat. I did read through the adjoining playthrough by CRPG Addict, and felt he was disappointed with the RPG credentials.. It's awfully like they made a game of two halves, and in doing so hurt their ability to make either. Still, interested to see if the game maybe picks up from the "adventure" styled playthrough.

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    Replies
    1. Playing it, it doesn't really come off well as either a RPG or an adventure game. Intentionally limiting supplies is a bad design choice in RPGs, not because they're by default bad, but because very few people can do it well. Adding random chance to adventure games is just a bad idea in general.
      It doesn't help either way that most of the current puzzles amount to very obvious item usage or just figuring out how to kill enemies.

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