Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Bram Stoker's Dracula: Burnt Offerings

Last time, I knew what I was going to do, I just didn't want to do it yet. A single button leads the path forward. What does the button do?
It opens a pillar. What's behind pillar no. 1? Wait, I've been here before. A good sign seeing as the way back was a hole in the ground. Its the spinner hallway. It takes me a few minutes, but I eventually get back to where I need to be.
Well, I have to save a hundred bullets for Dracula an another hundred for the next level. Better use the knife. Post-undead thrashing, the area has yet another mysterious lever that I don't know what it does. On the other hand, there's a wall texture with two wooden pillars in the corner, so I can probably predict the ending of this conversation. Huh, you know, this lever is doing anything. I guess its a toggle? I wonder what's-
That will wake you up. The switch toggled the pillar behind me, which was not what I was expecting. Hence why it surprised me. Once inside the new area, I see some more wafers and quickly get to work on the coffins. I'm at fifteen now, with thirty-three coffins. I suspect there will be another pack of wafers followed by some loose ones. I could be wrong. There's some stairs here, I wonder what's up there?
Why, some more undead, and a werewolf. With a bit of luck, I dispatch the werewolf quickly, allowing me to deal with the undead carefully. The area is empty, save for a single key. A ruby key. The key to button that rotates the rotating switch. That is a sentence used completely correctly in the English language. Now I have to walk all the way back there. The button just removes the pillar, but what does the switch do?
Aha, rotating corner. As I battle through this new area, I notice a lot of buttons and pressure plates. I smell a big puzzle coming. Button no.1, near the entrance...does nothing as far as I can tell. Please don't tell me this is going to be a multi-level puzzle. Button no.2 is behind a pillar, no doubt in a spinning wall puzzle. There's another rotating corner past button no.2, but a pressure plate is in front of it. The pressure plate does nothing, but the corner is in the wrong position. As I walk back across the plate, the button appears in front of me. That leaves me with one less monster, two stairs up, and a button that possibly does nothing. On a hunch, I walk all the way back to the first rotating corner and see a path to a new door, one locked with a gold key. Aha!
The first set of stairs I is like a window in design, a cross in the middle and a square on the outside. Containing in little hidey-holes, two werewolves, two undead, a gold key and a gold door. This is not difficult in theory. If you don't put spinners in front of the coffins. I really want to know what would happen if someone were to adapt this kind of level design for a Doom WAD. What would be the reaction? I don't think this is bad, just weird. Certainly does wonders on bringing down my ammo and health supply. I know two things at this point, one, I have passed the in-game 50% mark, meaning I'm half done, and two, I have a single gold key and two gold doors. Choosing unwisely will screw me.
So, I choose the one where I already am, but not before making sure I've saved...don't die here, because I'm not saving before another gold key.
This level is really choosing the wrong time to open up. Two doors, a button and another stairs up. What will I do with all this choice? The one next to the button doesn't budge, no doubt because the button opens it. The other door opens. Two monsters inside, plus another door. Nothing I can't deal with. Next, I see a coffin without seeing its owner, quickly rushing to destroy it. Its owner was a werewolf, I discover as I turn around, as if he wasn't even alert before I did so. These actions bring me down to two wafers. This section is going to end badly.
How did I figure that out? Behind the button door is a locked door, an unlocked door, a rotating corner and one less wafer. I try to retreat, but the door closed behind me. Thanks. Thanks a lot. The unlocked door has a monster I'm not going to deal with now a door locked with a night key. I think this probably leads somewhere I've already been. That's great. The rotating corner is a series of rotating corners. I eventually find a button that takes me to a new area, with two monsters. I finish one off, take another emerald key before finding a locked door near the other one. It requires a sun key. That smells like a reload to me.
I still have one area left in this though, before I reload again and try the other gold door. Upstairs starts off generous with a magazine of bullets. A lot of long hallways here. Its generous with a lot of supplies, a surprise for this session. More wafers too. Well, I think I should try out that button door again, now that I have the wafers to screw around with.
The series of rotating corners turn out to be a puzzle. Each corner is connect to the longer hallway and to at least one side room. Each of these side rooms contain something, be it a locked door or a key. Always, of course, monsters. I will not bore you with the specifics of the puzzle, but I pick up before an emerald door, containing a werewolf, and hopefully a key.
Key, yes, sun key. Door locked, requires ANOTHER emerald key. Werewolf, dead, a pack of bullets at his feet. Amount of time to return to the sun door, more time than I care to admit. Inside, a ruby key, taking me across the corridor puzzle again. Which leads me to an emerald key. More undead, and the night key. The night key's room is a long hallway with yet another undead, now one I can't kill. I think I shall make his coffin the last. And a silver key. What I just described was 10 minutes of gameplay boiled down to a key hunt. Inside, some very useful supplies. Enough holy wafers to end the level, a button to get out of this area, and another silver key.
Another five minutes wandering around to where I was later, I am at a different set of stairs up. An empty room greets me, with an unlocked door. The room after that proves to be the usual room with a coffin, until I turn into a crevice and discover a gold key. I think that, is where I shall end this session.

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