Two major things happened since last entry. The first, is that I got MT32 emulation going in DOSbox-X, which means that I get superior music. Not really any sound improvement, but I guess that's to be expected. The second, is that I had to restart and run the game from a CD copy. Yeah, turns out the original floppy version had a horrific glitch where all your items start turning into different items and eventually disappear. This wasn't supposed to happen til the end game, but it happens if there are more than 724 or so items throughout the game. Seems like bad game design when you have enemies that throw lots of single items.
Side note, while this doesn't affect the CD version or the sequel, it does affect the Japanese-only PSX version. Part of what I'm planning on doing when I finally understand Japanese is going through all these effectively remade versions of western games. Not really something that's going to appear here very often though.
|Note the damage log there
Two more interesting things I discover on my second way through. The
gray goblin king is having trouble with a she-spider. Doesn't seem like a
quest, since clearing out the spider section of the map does nothing. I
also discover a way down in the southwest section, a jump over a river
south of the green goblins. I can open it, but I prefer to hold off
until I find that shrine.
It doesn't take too long until I get back to roughly where I was. I think I'm missing a couple of bats and spiders, but otherwise I should be where I was. Here's the thing, just before I had to restart I was taking out the goblins. This wasn't a lucky shot either, I pretty much always succeeded in taking out the goblins. Now though? My shortsword just gets destroyed, guaranteed.
|And the same thing happens yet again
Further, there was a skeleton, who last time, I had slain quite readily.
Here though, it took some time. I really hope that healing fountain
doesn't run out, because that's the only reason so far I can actually
kill some of these enemies. We'll get to that in a bit, but I felt it
was important that I made it through these fights with two shortswords
and full armor. I'm missing boots but I don't know where a pair is yet.
|The perfect person to graverob
So I go west to take out that trio of green goblins, and wouldn't you know it, they go down much easier now that I'm level 5. So, what we have is level gating. On one hand, my least favorite aspect of RPGs, on the other hand, I expect to be at level 16 long before the end of the game. I find a more standard path downstairs and another key. Unfortunately its just a copy of one I already have. Since bashing doors is a thing, I see if I can bash the one door I don't have a key for, but no dice. Maybe it needs a special item? I guess I go downstairs?
|If it quacks like a duck
I guess I should talk about trading. I'm not entirely clear as to how the system works, beyond the person I'm trading with having items I want and me having items I don't need. That's really befitting of most RPG barter systems.
|If RPGs have taught me anything, this man is perfectly trustworthy
Not too far from the mountainmen town is another mountainman, who seems to be slightly mad. This one is interested in finding his "blueprints". A map judging by context. The map is in the storage room. Which I go back and check, but it is locked. Curious, since it says free to all. Anyway, once inside, I need to use a flying potion to reach his item. Only problem is he knows where there's a flying potion, and a poison potion, but he doesn't know which is which. So I decide to ignore this until I find a key and a potion. Hey, saves!
|Not that this was the most original aspect of Pathways anyway
|I expect by the final floor I'm going to have to cut down hundreds of goblins just to go 10 feet
|You couldn't tell me that before I came here?
|Trying to mark something important down
Incidentally, let's talk about the map. As I mentioned the first time, its an item. One you have to find, albeit quickly, but still not some default icon on the HUD. It works mostly well, the distance it marks down is shorter than the distance I can see, so filling it out is sometimes annoying. What I'm not finding truly awful, is that the game has a note feature. Not unusual today, but unusual for the time. Thing is, that note feature just puts text on the screen. I'm not sure what I expected the game to do, but this is awful.
|I think I need more than a helmet for this one
|No substitute for practice? Maybe if this game didn't make me chant in front of an ankh
|Is this the she-spider?
|What's it take to have a fight that doesn't break every item in my inventory?
The large group of goblins just needed a couple of levels to properly take out. I am doing some moving around, but it seems like if I can actually deal damage to an enemy, I'm going to win the fight. Except if they can poison me. They're not really guarding much of interest. Hmm, this is everything except the monster and the headless. Looks like there's a lot of empty space on the river. Including an area where there isn't anything connected above. It turns out to be where this floor's healing fountain is. And after killing a squid, I have free access to it.
|Poison is a very mild annoyance so far
|This seems like especially bad game design
The headless are still too powerful for me, so I guess I'll come back. Back at the settlement, one of the keys opens the door. Only, there's nothing really worth getting in here beyond food, and there's certainly nothing I need a potion for. What exactly am I supposed to be doing for the crazy dwarf, anyway?
|I get that its intending for me to backtrack, but it feels really cheap this way
This Session: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes