Thursday, April 2, 2020

Shadowcaster: Killing Veste

Its kind of amazing how long, yet not really long, this game is. Its below most FPS contemporaries in terms of length, but because of the regeneration system, its just as long. Couldn't get away with that today. Imagine Halo, but it takes twenty minutes to regenerate.
Hear that? That's the sound of dead skeletons...which doesn't make sense as a statement. After rekilling the undead. I have a map of the last level, and this isn't it, and I didn't bother getting a map of the bonus CD levels off my disc*. Time to fly again. No, wait, there's nothing here. I'm supposed to swim? In this acid looking stuff? Yeugh. Under...water...has fish, and then while I'm backing up, this happens.

The charitable description is that's an open wound. I won't tell you my uncharitable description.
Above...water...Is a place where the fatass Kapha can't fit. This is where I can to run around as the Caun. I suspect this was added because you didn't really need to do this in the past of the game. Literally everything involving a Caun could have been bypassed through trickery.
Fortunately, my foes in the small area are tiny spiders. They eat a lot of damage, but they don't dish it out. Good, considering I got a grand total of 1 kill previously. They're annoying to kill, but not difficult. If I run out of mana, I'm sure I'll get crushed. There are a few chains blocking off what I presume will be where I'll be going in a little while.
At the other end? Another freaking acid puddle. Every time I go into the water, I feel like I have no idea where I'm going. I end up in another cave, this one full of space, and full of these things. They're called Thorags. Three strips of them. They're actually pretty tough. Which isn't good.
Then there's this guy, looks like something out of a metal band logo, but dies to lightning easy enough. Its called a flying skull. They eat up physical damage like crazy, not a good sign. The area behind him seems to have an electrified floor. Now the flying can start. I found some bombs in a little tucked away corner. So, this is at least going to be okay.
The electric area has fire elementals and the ceiling stalker tucked away in addition to the flying skulls. They're not a problem, the flying skulls are. They're awful. If I'm advancing as the Ssair, which is almost always, they have speed, there's nothing I can do to them. So, I have to run back to a safe place, heal up, switch to the Opsis when they're close enough, shoot them, heal again. This is not a very good last level. I want to keep in mind, and I timed it this time, it takes about 5 seconds to regenerate a single point of mana. I have 175. I never actually reach the end and sometimes I don't reach the top, but that should give a good idea of how much time was spent waiting. Could this be better on an easier difficulty? I don't know, I don't remember this part before, I remember the necessity of the Caun and the Seaking in terms of late-game difficulty.
Eventually I make it past the neverending number of skulls into a small pool. Where I promptly die in combat because the Kapha's fist is total garbage. Right, forgot to save after that last eye, so mad dash it is. That leads me to this place, where this guy are just staring at me. Cool. What's behind him? A bunch of pillars showing items I can't reach from here. Which means, this is a dead end for now. One thing I am liking, is that the save description doesn't seem to mind what words you put in. I also think the wall textures here were reused in Heretic. Could be wrong. Doesn't matter at this point.
After more fighting through ever so slowly, I reach another puddle. The underwater monsters are no trouble against the trident. The real enemy is the teleporting thing on the wall. The puddle on the other end has another eye camping on it, so what do you know, more waiting, another kill, and then more waiting. Not exactly camping, but when you lose health and you hear shots going off, you assume the worst. Its an eye behind a door and a batthing in the corner. Oh, and the door is locked. You know, I could have done something productive instead of this. Don't play the CD version, just don't.
Okay, so I can reach the items with the Caun. I didn't have to look that up because that usage was of so little utility to me before or anything. This results in two trips back and forth. Two, because you try to quickly kill these skulls when you have a key in your cursor. I guess the real final boss of the game was the door all along.
The next level is some weird mess of tentacled walls and more of the superhard monsters. Now there's traps. Fortunately, it seems like the flying skulls don't damage the Grost too hard. Knocks him back like a donkey, which is just as good. Its just a maze. If the game needed a better endgame so bad, why not make ol' Veste harder? This is just busywork.
I spoke too soon, after a trap the electrifies the floor, there's another trap, whereupon I encounter the largest amount of enemies this game has thrown out so far. Well, maybe not the largest, but the strongest dumping of enemies thus far. They actually kill me in Grost form. That's a good sign. It legitimately takes a good chunk of the items I had saved up to this point to take them all out. This is where the new levels end.
Thus the real final level. The cleric from the dungeons is here, and says he has news of my grandfather. If I touch him, he hurts me. What the hell? Its Veste! He proves to be a tiring, but not really challenging, final battle. He shifts through the various bosses I've previously defeated, ending on some kind of winged demon.
The end cutscene, at least what I could find of on Youtube. Has Veste saying they are more alike than they know, and that the gods are treacherous. Its really lame. He's now king of the remaining People, and his grandfather has come back, but appears to be a demon. Who knows? Who cares? This game didn't exactly have a sequel.

*Obviously, later I did, and this level was called the bile sewers. That's not the word I'd use.

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