Monday, February 27, 2023

Shadowcaster (PC-98): Plumbing the Depths of the Monster Manual

You again?
The Opsis is a beholder-like creature. It flies, it has two tentacles, and a wide variety of spells and abilities. The first two abilities are a triple fireball and a single iceball. Why that way? Dunno. With the iceball, I can take out a protective fire, along with another Maorin skeleton and snake thing. The problem is...I have now run entirely out of power. All 175 points. I check how fast the regeneration rate is. By my crappy estimation, about 5 seconds a point. Or 15 minutes.

This thing has a lot of special abilities, most of which are of limited utility. The first two attacks are the most cost efficient, and thus the ones you would want to use the most. Because the key thing about the Opsis is, that levelling up with it doesn't actually improve it beyond increasing health. It doesn't do more damage or improve beyond that, to my knowledge. Only improving Kirt's base power does that. So while the Opsis has attacks that offer the ability to slow down enemies, make them afraid or instantly die, these are tied into resistances which soon enough get too high for these attacks to have any purpose. Well, outside of the attack which can kill enemies, which is too inefficent for my tastes to begin with.

It also has a spell which increases map distance, essentially useless since you only need the map to find out where you've been. For hands, the it has tentacles, which deal basically no damage, and while it flies, it does so slowly.

Its just those three that take up the path before the next area. A mine, full of Caun slaves and wereboars or "slave drivers". Imagine my surprise when I find out that the boars fall quite easily to ice attacks. And thanks to some red, blue and green bombs lying around, in general they're a joke. Unfortunately, so are the Cauns, and its very easy to accidentally hit these guys as they wander around. Which makes the Opsis not the most ideal at all times. Doesn't help that the boars run around like crazy.

Its actually kind of weird, because I remember last time not having so much trouble with these guys, even though I was probably using Kirt all the time, and he can kill just about one. Whereas the Opsis can consistently get a couple. Either way the length of time it takes to get through here has skyrocketed hard. I'm starting to mind it a lot more than I did before. I even fight with some dude who seems to just eat up damage. It drops an amulet of protection. Was that the boss? Huh.

There's a single tree in one corner of the area, next to a lever I can activate. This creates some restorative fruit, along with another message telling me to continue downwards and to be tenacious. This actually leads to the next floor, but I hold off for now to explore the rest of this one.

Ah, mushrooms. I remember these. They more or less just stand in place and shoot poison at you. In comparison to the wereboars, they're a joke. Kirt can usually take out two before needing to rest. There are just a few of them here, before I end up with an absolute wealth of items. Huh.
They're very hard to see even if they're this close, which is why you want to be on the alert for them at all times
It turns out that was very much needed, because the next floor starts off with an absolute ton of spiders. Betting I didn't like it the last time around either. So these guys hug either the ceiling (cool) or the floor. Because of their size, its easy to not hit them, and guess what's on the floor? Another shuriken. So you might accidentally pick up that with that while trying to kill a very tiny creature, possibly in the dark. Despite this, the situation feels oddly easy. The game is becoming generous to a fault with items so I can basically breeze past most of this. Its not like I'm going to be using any of this in the very late stages of the game.
Complete with creepy webbed up Caun
The bigger spiders aren't that special, they're slow, but otherwise they behave much like the slave drivers did, Kirt has enough health to take out one, and with a full power bar the Opsis can take out 2/3. Otherwise there are a lot of mysterious crystals on the ground which can't be used. This level is mostly fairly simple for a long while. The mushrooms return, and I try to stay in Kirt's form as much as possible so he can build up his power.
Gotta love a mine with a skull on it
The game gets a bit weird when these guys show up. These are mines, they're stationary and shoot fireballs at you, but what's curious is what's going on in this section around them. Fireballs keep shooting out from a set distance, causing the game to constantly switch from the generic level music to the combat music, then sometimes the victory music. Its strange.

This leads to an acid pit with a switch in the middle. Which I guess opened a door. There's another spider and then the next obelisk tip. Picking it up opens another door and...the obelisk. That's this section? Really? Right, the message. Now Kirt has the use of the aquatic Kappa, which can do things underwater. What I got was considerably more...simpler than I would have expected. Next time, the underwater areas...

Why the short length for this one? Well, outside of keeping a pretty tight ship this week on not counting time spent waiting, I don't count time I spend with it in the background, this was a pretty short section. Two levels, one of which was pretty tiny. I also hope I don't need those crystals later...

This Session: 0 hours 40 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours

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