Saturday, July 17, 2021

Mysterium: Tarnished Silver Key

The dragon has seen me in his crystal mirror, I must find his lab and create the Golden Wand. Yeah, sure, whatever. I get a scroll that should help me, pour mercury into acid twice to create a deadly weapon. Wasn't mercury about 5 levels back? No, mercury is here too. I'd guess now I'm about one weapon away from max attack power.

This level is sneaky. The first key works well on one door, but that doesn't lead to anything but another key. That key doesn't work on the nearest door. I have no lizard, so this is pure trial and error. But I figure that the key I got when I put the mercury into acid once is the key I'm supposed to use. Oh, and then for the next door I'm supposed to have a gray key, that's something I wouldn't have figured out if the mercury on this floor didn't create a lizard when put in water. The gray key? You need antimony to make one of those, fortunately, I still had some healing items made with the stuff.
When I finally get a piece of mercury I can transmute into a weapon, I decide to drop my old one into the acid as well. Since that spawns a monster who drops something. Well, the something it drops is another weapon that raises my attack power by a sliver on the bar. Oh, hang on, the mercury isn't something I've had before, its been the pools. Its a relatively uneventful level despite that, but I am getting really low on torch strength, using up any just barely before I completely run out. I don't think I've completely run out yet. There isn't an end of level crystal here, which is good.
Level 9, oh nice, quality game design, monsters at the starting point again. The intro dialog is something about how this makes sense to the ants but not to me. Yeah, the scroll they say should clear up my confusion. Put a key into water to alter its nature...oh, yeah, that's real helpful. The material here is silver again.
And the level is over just as soon as it began. There's a crystal near the exit, another flowery bit. I would mess around up here, but I checked quickly and the next level seems to make any progress I've made here moot, so...
Level 10, here there are materials of each type. I guess this is the final exam. These things make the rest of the game feel like a tutorial that ends just when the game gets good. Well, I must admit I don't think that's the case here...since I don't really care for the game, even at this point, but I'm here and I might as well beat it. There are four pools and one door. I have no lizard. Great, so I handle things cheaply, make a lizard with mercury, see what key, a glass one, then reload.
In the next room, more materials, a scale of fire, and a scroll with more flowery text. Ah, the game wants me to use the notes with the crystals to find the correct materials to make something. I don't remember what was in the crystals. Okay, let me think, how would I do this? Hmm, iron has dark in its description...but so does another material. I eventually get something out of tin and iron, but wrong answers blow me up. It takes less with each successful pair, but I manage to get four combined elements...uh, does this mean I should put in the combined elements until I only get one item? This gets me a dragon key, which I can use to open the only locked door. It doesn't disappear like the others, which is really nice, for a change.

Oh, wow, I found Cadmus. That's the guy who came before me. I need the golden wand to free him and his ant friends. Interesting. This looks like the black mage from Final Fantasy. I'm sure that's a coincidence.

His ant friends just look ridiculous chained to a wall. Anyway, I don't really care for this level on the whole. Running through, when you find a locked door you don't have the key for, you have to go all the way back, and there are still spinners in this level.

There's yet another scale puzzle, this time on mercury scales. This isn't that confusing either, and with that you get the Golden Rod of Hermes, which is another key. This leads me to another pit, taking me to the final boss.
Its not that impressive. You have to wait until he's finished breathing fire, then attack by rushing in. There doesn't really seem to be any fail state at this point, or at least you'd have to try to reach that. This gives me another wall of text, spits me back to the level and I can use the rod to free the prisoners.
This seems triumphant, but it doesn't seem like I've won? Wandering around the level again and I can open some more doors with the rod, but these don't lead anywhere. Returning to the pit, I fall down, only to fight the boss again, this time he's even lamer. What I'm supposed to do, and I wouldn't figure this out if I didn't look it up, is go to the upper right corner of the map and then use the rod. What amazing design, the actual end-game state is tied to something that should be dedicated to secret hunting. So much of this game is questionable, and I think its fitting to end on that note.

This Session: 50 minutes

Total Time: 2 hour 40 Minutes

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