Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Spear of Destiny: Dungeons

So far, Spear of Destiny has understood the limitations of the engine and what can be shown in-game. First, we were in tunnels. The engine does tunnels very well. Now, we are in dungeons, something the engine does very well. I would prefer, say, barracks, offices, maybe a cafe somewhere. That would require more static sprites, and apparently those are at a premium.
It occured to me I should probably look through the manual and hint book, maybe this explains some stuff I'm not clear on. Or maybe I'm just bringing it up because the manual describes the use of a boss key, which is thusly described "If your boss walks in during a hot firefight..." which doesn't really sound like a description of base Spear of Destiny, more like you got a mod that changed the enemies to attractive women. That means I'm probably going to have to do that at some point now, doesn't it? In the hint book, we get some subtle humor and the revelation that iD software spent some of their paycheck and a lot of their time on Fatal Fury for the NEO-GEO and Street Fighter II for the SNES. I'm sure by time and paycheck, they mean Romero. And when I mean Romero, I mean he was distracted by bazookas. Because those games are known for their authentic WWII-era rocket launchers. It's also interesting that they planned on adding more enemies and more depictions of the atrocities of the Nazis.

Starting with this map, levels have a distinct two areas. A blue dungeon, and another kind of area. I didn't notice anything very interesting on this level, but I didn't really write down any notes.
So a cross can hang on the wall, why a crown?
Sneaky, or so he thinks.

We first start off with a lone guard. Naturally, I take him out. Other enemies are alerted, so I journey in one direction quickly, as to avoid getting flanked. I encounter most of the enemies that were alerted, a few dogs and soldiers. I end at a lond dead end corridor, this guarded by an officer, who is also easy. A door opens somewhere, probably screwing up my 100% kill percentage later. A few SS members hiding next to some locked doors are also easy prey. This level looks like a dungeon, which is good, since it is a dungeon.
I go back, hoping to get whoever's wandering around before they get me. I see a door, but figure it doesn't have anything in it. I hear it open as I walk past and turn around, gunning down two SS and a guard. I've barely moved anywhere and its only been a minute, but I should be safe now. I gather up the ammo from the dead and slowly move into the already open areas, taking out guards and SS hoping to ambush me, but failing. A lucky officer gets a shot in, but it is just a flesh wound. Another I didn't see also gets a shot in. Lots of treasure out in the open, which is good considering this is supposed to be a dungeon.
I pick up a key somewhere along the way. I enter presumably some kind of admin area. By this point, its just the beginning of the level all over again. Take out a guard, hear a dozen cries, hide, take out enemy in hiding spot. Slowly come out of hiding spot, hunt down remaining enemies. A lot of hunting down enemies this time. I'm getting low and I haven't the faintest idea where a secret could be on this level, so much of it just cuts back in on itself. But I find a box just in time, hidden behind an SS and a guard. Now I can investigate some of these dangerous looking double doors. And as luck would have it, behind a bunch of Nazis is a key and a box of ammo.
I could just head towards the end now, but there's another area I hadn't looked in. I'm glad I did, since there was a secret, hidden in the walls, a very thin secret. Full of ammo, treasure and a 1up.
The elevator room contained surprisingly low numbers of SS. A few tried to hide in the little alcoves, but I'm too clever for that. I search for secrets and find another little corridor containing treasure and...another elevator. That must mean there's a trap in the regular elevator. As much fun as it would be to let him suffer for all eternity, I open it...and find nothing. I check the other elevator, and there's a 1-up in the otherwise normal elevator.

Guard post, huh? Box of ammo right outside the elevator. Another messy, entanglement of walls and seemingly endless Nazis. I've died quite a few times in game, especially now that I'm here its getting really annoying. I've been trying to get through the second campaign of A-10 Tank Killer, its part of the reason why there wasn't much done last week. I've basically hit a brick wall I'm trying to discover how to destroy and I just keep failing and failing to. As it ties into this level, this level is a maze of endless Nazis and corridors. There's probably a place and time I would've enjoyed this, but unfortunately it is not this time. If you look at the map for it, it seems reasonable, but when you actually play it, its not. So I do what I can't in A-10 and look up the map like a cheater. I kill a few of the neverending horde and camp out in a secret near the entrance. After a dozen or so dead Nazis, I sneak out and begin clearing the rest of the level. There's a room with three officers just standing next to boxes of ammo.
The end of the level features yet another elevator trap. I remember when I wanted that to happen.
Nice shading job guys.

We start off with a short, windy corridor before quickly getting directly into it. A single guard notices me and his death is noticed by a half dozen guards and SS. Most of them in little alcoves, not very difficult if they jump out of them. An officer hides further down, being very obnoxious, another one is also hiding in there, and he gets me.
The first half of the level consists of a room with the alcoves, a room with plants in the center, and a long noose-shaped corridor. The noose conceals a Y shaped room with meals and ammo on the floor. I stop to ponder what the purpose of this room was supposed to be.
Stranger still is a well room with walls in the shapes of letters. Is this supposed to be a message? A, Y, and something that looks like an F with a flipped F attached.
A further trap, a single guard, that when killed alerts the nearby soldiers. They guard long hallways full of treasure. I've always been confused by these, but they could be hanged on the walls. A curious vault-like room holds the key.
This opens up a more traditional set of hallways. Not too full of guards, although when I reach the room at the end of these, I do experience a short bout of terror as I almost fall to a few officers.
I final a secret, yet another area flush with gold and medikits. The one thing I hate about this game is that the medikits are always hidden. You want the good stuff you have to push the colonel's bookcase three inches, then pull out his copy of "How I Did it" by Victor von Frankenstein, then push it another ninety yards so you can steal his three-year-old meat and potatoes. Then in another secret inside there, you can find the photos of his seven kids and wife.
The end is a nice, big, elevator. Strange, its taken them 70 levels to do something like that. This is kinda why these places always felt very video-gamey and unrealistic, there's no way for any of this to be brought in.

Nice aim, fella!
Boss number 2. Barnacle Wil. It has been said that the German navy was the least sympathetic to the Nazi ideology. Guess Wil didn't hear that. This level starts off with an obvious trap if I've ever seen one. A lone SS standing by himself, two areas off to the side ripe to overwhelm me with officers. Doors that could be opened that could be full of Nazis. No, this is all a double-trap, it isn't one. It's just here to psych you out. From this, there are three doors, one locked, one on each side unlocked.
Of course, in the next room, it all goes out the window and all goes to hell. Half the level's population just woke up because of one dead guard and its all my fault. Gotta bumrush the level because I'm down to forty ammo after the first wave become my victims. A lucky splattering through and I find a key and some ammo. Now I have the portly sum of fifty.
More going through the treasure hallways, a few stray enemies, no obvious hidden rooms. I check out the other side, enemies, looks like a torture room. Joy. But a secret hidden here contains ammo, treasure and health. Bones too, for some really strange reason. You'd think these two things wouldn't go together, but apparently I'm wrong.
The locked door builds up ol' Wil. I've got to admit, having a warning side in front of the door really works for a boss. Twice is a bit much, we're entering artsy territory there. Wil has a really freaky looking face. Like he escaped from a horror game. He's not that difficult, well, he would be if I didn't find the secrets that are so expertly hidden here.

You know, I like this game, but I don't really think its worth going through in one long burst. You really have to write down things as they happen or its just pop straight out of your mind. I suppose its not a good sign when you remember nothing about the level design.

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