Exploration in a new RPG is always a process wrought with nervousness. This is not unique to the short draw distance I seem to be finding myself seeing in the RPGs that have qualified here. In Might and Magic 6 and 7 this feeling was highly encouraged by the game. One look over the horizon and seeing enough dragonflies or goblins or beholders to fill an army in its Heroes spinoff was enough to give me pause the first time I played it. This is admittedly not a logical thing to think, since I have saves up the wazoo and this isn't Wizardry.
|There's a lot of water here.
|You sure you don't want to stab me or anything?
|The walls of text in this game put Pathways into Darkness to shame
|I'm genuinely torn between writing this all off or calling it genius
- We've got lizardmen, who don't speak common/English and instead speak Sseth and click for yes and no. I do not know which is which yet.
- There are knights here...are they the same as the humans? They kill the trolls.
- Sir Cabirus collected eight great Talismans, each embodying a virtue. (That is, a virtue the religion that exists in Britannica, they're big on this) The green goblins have never seen them.
- Diplomacy may not be possible, as Vernix tells me if I should met the gray king or queen to stick a knife in them.
|I should have named my guy after the Deadly Rooms of Death dude
|I miss Dungeon Master's selection of enemies
|What mysteries lie within?
|Oh, I so don't care about the politics of this place
North of that section, which is west of where I climbed up, is a door leading to an area with more green goblins. These fellows are hostile, and attack me on sight. Well, I'm going to friendly if you are, but I'm not about to let myself be killed. Combat in this game is...not fun. In order to do any damage you have to hold down the right mouse button to charge the attack and then release it. There is very little feedback, it doesn't feel like I'm doing any damage until they are dead. In this case, I don't kill them, for there are enough of them to kill me, and escaping doesn't work too well.
|How do I still have a dagger then?
So I go back east, where I first fought a goblin, along the way finding
an alcove with two more runes. I don't think its anything helpful yet.
Heading north leads me to a fight with some gray goblins, who seem to be
slightly hardier than their green cousins. Further, weapon damage is a
thing in this game and this fellow is dealing a lot to mine. I don't
think I've had an encounter yet outside of the first fight that didn't
involve multiple goblins, so straightforward isn't working. I don't
think a siphoning them off will either, since they have ranged attacks.
Without any better choices, I go back to the area with the red bat. I also put the dagger I've been using away and instead use an axe. Curiously, despite being skilled in swords, I'm doing as much damage and hitting as much. This time I succeed in killing the red bat, with nary a scratch on me. Unfortunately, he was guarding water, and I don't know how well I can swim.
|Yes, I need space to cast the game's attack spells
Back up north, there was one path I hadn't yet advanced on. There's a door with the symbol of Cabirus, meaning there are friendly NPCs there. I ignore this at first to kill some spiders I find further down. This brings me to level 3. There doesn't seem to be much point to levelling up yet, but at least there's quick progress.
|What charming people
|Its not any less obvious when its closed, which is actually a good thing
One of the interesting RPG elements of the game include thieving mechanics. As a paladin, this is something I probably shouldn't be doing. I'm not entirely sure how this works or even how I'm going to improve it, but the game has traps, locked doors and secret doors. In the room with the silver tree down south, I noticed a secret door in the wall, albeit I didn't check it very far because I heard bats. Well, just outside the gray village is one of those secret doors.
Inside is a lockpick, a fountain that heals me, and another part of the river. If I had any points in swimming I would explore this, but I don't just yet. Actually, I should check the manual, shouldn't I? I can only increase skills if I pass by a shrine and recite a mantra. Mantras are an Ultima staple, but I didn't realize you had to recite them to gain any skills. What an obtuse system.
While exploring the section with the spiders again, I start to wonder if I screwed myself over by drinking a bottle of dark ale I found on the ground. The recipe I got from the green goblin calls for port. Because it is just like a game in this period of time to screw you out of the best ending by not having the ingredients to a stew or something.
|I feel like recoloring your enemies to have some special status affect is the best use of recolored enemies
I find a red spider, I guess the differently colored enemies are all the poison variants. The red spider nearly kills me, once again bringing the game's difficulty in a questionable situation. I'm either cruising through things no question or dying horribly. The only reason why I survived this time was thanks to that fountain, hopefully it isn't going to run out or anything.
|We're gonna be here a while...
|Something tells me if Tomb Raider played like this it wouldn't be very popular
|Limited draw distance and platforming is also fun
Into the southern secret passage, and oh, that's a problem. I absolutely understand why they put this in. Hey, real 3D, and jumping in real 3D. They didn't know that jumping in this game was terrible. Nobody had even done something like this before. I would have done the same in their shoes. Do not mistake this as saying this is good. Its not. Not with these controls. Remember, I have to press S to move forward and while doing it press J to jump. There is no turning or anything during this, and if I hit a corner or hit the J key at the wrong time its a very awkward fall down.
|This should be more exciting than it is
|Definitely not a modified green goblin, no sir
|As if I need to know what time it is in a dungeon
This Session: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes