Thursday, December 12, 2019

Bram Stoker's Dracula: Round 1

Its finally time. I've already taken six hours to get to here, but today is the day I kill Dracula...for the first time. In this game, I may have killed him in a different game first. After moving some ammo out of the puzzle area first. If I end up needing it I don't want to futz around with the same puzzle again. First, I'm going to deal with that big group of enemies I labeled "the chaos". thing I don't have to say about this game is that it has easy-to-understand level design. Also, apparently despite somehow making it through the first won't budge door I didn't remember.
I take a detour at another group of enemies I didn't finish off the last time. Man, Dracula's gonna be a snap with all this ammo lying around.
Making it back to the "parallel" corridor, and making sure to bring the emerald key with me across the teleporter, I begin my reign of terror upon the chaos. I think reign is less of a fair comparison than, slaughter, but slaughter of terror sounds tryhard.
Huh, that's a lot easier when you can destroy the tombs. Now, what does this lever do? Oh, it does remove the teleporter. So, by ignoring it, I basically cheated. On the other hand, I don't think you can by this section without having a few wafers saved up, something you aren't going to do without knowing about it in advance. Either TAG here expected people to replay this or have multiple saves within a level.
I also have to add that some of the triggers for stairs seem weird today. Sometimes just walking against a wall next to the stairs causes you to go down, full music and all. Sometimes walking straight down the stairs does no music.
With basically the same kinds of encounters as before, there's not much to note behind yet another locked door. This one's got the coffins further away from each other. There's a spinner here, which caused me to think I had been behind this door before.
Another area. With four coffins. The anticipation is building, my excitement too. With each new coffin I destroy I'm one step closer to Dracula. Now, where will he spawn? I think he'll spawn near the crystal door-
JESUS! Dracula just appears out of the last coffin you destroy. The music changes to the music that played before you did anything on the title. My strategy of holding onto bullets was a wise one. Dracula takes more than 80 at the least. I say at least, because the first time I fight him I get wrecked. I manage to kill Dracula as Dracula, but he turns into a werewolf (which takes more damage than a normal one) before getting killed. Oh, and I didn't save at all this session. NICE. NICE. NICE.
Checking out the rest of the area I didn't clear out before, we have a lot of bullets. A lot. And a little food tucked away behind a door. Also nice, if you move the mouse around on a black screen, like during stairs, you get a ghost image.
Dracula has three phases, 1 and 3 are his human form for this stage, and the second is the werewolf. He takes a lot of punishment but if you're accurate it shouldn't take you more than a full load of ammo. There's an element of strategy, since the last coffin you destroy becomes Dracula. You want an open space so Dracula doesn't drain your health. The manual also states that Dracula has a health bar, this is malarky, he doesn't. Thanks TAG. After this, I naturally backtrack so I have close to full ammo and health, plus a full inventory. Okay, now I can finally say this, onto the next level.
Carfax Abbey:
I can't hear that without thinking of a certain other company. As I begin the level, I hear the screams of two enemies spawning. Good. I still have only two wafers. Also good. There are two enemies in the first area and now I have no wafers. Even better. There are no wafers nearby. I could not be happier. Tons of doors and stairs leading to various other places making this a confusing mess of what to do next. Yeah...yeah...but on further examination there are three doors, one of which is the level exit and one set of stairs.
It appears at first that the enemy graphics have changed and certainly the interior isn't the same as the first level. A good sign. If this level doesn't have an outside floor I would not care at all.
Oh, hey, a painting. A child could do a better job than that. Did they just copy into and fit it into their palette? Come on!
Upstairs there are two coffins each with vaguely Arabic looking fellows. What's the level theme? Sinbad? The wandering enemies are troublesome pests, as I manage to find a key but become unable to find out where to use it. There's a puzzle involving a rotating switch wall and a rotating corner corridor. I'd tell you the solution, but a child could figure it out. I mean that, its not that hard.
The werewolf replacement for this level is a werewolf. Man, that sucks. Ten wafers on the floor in a line individually. Annoying to pick up. There's a clever little level design choice here, once you kill the werewolf, you're supposed to pick up one of the wafers and rush it toward the coffin. I think I should stop here while I'm ahead.

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