Wednesday, June 29, 2011

This Is One Of Those "Pickle" Moments

I saved my game when I got into the castle, past the bugbear gates. I have been trying

and trying

and trying

to survive up here but it just ain't working. My easiest fight is against 1 normal human, 1 6th lvl magic user and 2 ettins. I die fast. The harder fights are between me and about 9 bugbears. I die even faster. Sadly, i did save my game inside the gate so I don't actually have a save I can easily go back to... except that I have been periodically backing up my saves, 'just for old times sake'.

My 'closest  to todays date' save is 6/26/11 and I am not quite sure how far back I am and i'll thus have to re-follow my steps, but I am clearly way over my head here. I need to head back to New Phlan, go to the docks and look for Sokal's Keep  ( a tip o' the hat to The Enraged Geek for the head's up- thnkx!).

So, tomorrow or so I'll let y'all know how I've been doing. I never would have thought of the Docks on my own. I forgot they were there. I do suck after all.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Scorpions Feast On Our Flesh

Shouldn't it read "Scorpions approach; you are hungry"? Right?  Should I- should I just reload now?  (Ans: No, reload when all of you are dead. Should be any second now.)
I stuck all my maps in MS Paint, into one MegaMap. Interesting, so far. If I can get it made smaller, I'll put the pic below this paragraph.

Left 2 right, top 2 bottom: Podol Plaza, Kuto's f**king Well, the slums, New Phlan. Then the cemetery, I believe, and the library. 
Anyway, so I decided to try out the area above Podol Plaza. This brought me to a castle!
It's like those castles in Germany! Except way uglier, and lacking in detail completely.
Now,they didn't mention this place at city hall, nor did the city commissioner tell me I needed to bust the place up, but I still thought hey- Sokal keep, Arglebargle castle... maybe these are connected in some way...
It's like those castles in Germany! Man, that joke can be recycled  forever, I bet.
So's I watch this guy in a wagon get into the castle through the gate (in the theatre of the mind's eye- all I could REALLY see was this:
It's like those cast- yeah, yeah.)
For the measly price of $250 GP I bought a wagon from a guy, then bribed a bugbear
He's all cute and fuzzy. He's adorable.
to let me in and son of a gun, in I came!  I discovered that north of this area is what I presume to be outside- I didn't walk around, I just ducked back in, but the ground is all white and there is no overhead map. Sss, sss, the sun, it hurts me it does. So right now I'm trying to find ways of finding mission objectives so I can build up some XP- fighting monsters is a mug's game with the paltry XP reward for random fights.

I'll get it worked out. This Tyranthraxus is screwed when I find him!

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Need Of Money Makes Us Do Horrible Things

When Fimu didn't survive our last battle with ogres, I needed cash to bring her back because brother, money we didn't have. And it turned out I had a "manual" in Figtle's inventory. When I had it identified for $200 I could barely afford, it turned out to be a manual of "B" health. Hmmm. In the manual it turns out that is something that can improve your health by bumping up a stat (so I understand the less than helpful manual to mean). When I looked to see how much I could get for it, I could  get $25,000 GP.

Hmmm. $25,000 in cash right now, or a dead Half-elf who would stay dead but someone else would feel healthier?

I may kick myself, but we're not going to be short on cash for a while.

Wearily, Figtle Slammed his Sword Through the Ogres Chest.

Kaanus's beard, he thought as he dragged the chipped and slightly bent length of metal back through the ribcage of the now expired ogre. This doesn't get any easier. Which really wasn't true- the first time Figtle and the others had fought an ogre it took the five of them to bring it down and even at that, Ficle had had to use his magics to bring Thifling back to the land of the breathing.

Fimu'd killed her set of ogres using a spray of magic missiles, and her brother Feyemoo was still cutting the throats of the kobolds he'd put to sleep. Ficle was resting- using his flail to stave in three ogre skulls was very tiring work.Thifling wasn't to be seen but that was standard- his daggers,thrown from cover and shadow,had brought down another bunch of frightened goblins.

"God's beard," murmured Figtle, catching his breath. "We've become regular masters at this death business."

Hokey Smokes!

So, since the Plaza has become too dangerous for us at this time, I decided to check out this area just to the west of the Library. Can't be that bad, says I. Probably easier than the Plaza, says I. Piece of cake with ice cream, says I.

I enter a building in the map-area to the west of the library and inside I find this!
I hadn't realized I'd volunteered to be eaten at this particular restaurant. 
Ghouls! I try to turn undead (hey, it's a long shot but worth my time and money) and nothing.  Oh well, maybe they are not undead. But then the WIGHT attacks and unless I am thoroughly insane, a wight is something already dead. I learnt that by reading The Hobbit. Also by actually playing D&D, AD&D, and AD&D 2.0 when I were but a young one. (An aside- I like AD&D 3.5 much much better than the train wreck that is 4.0)
I got the color right, I just can't get the text shape right.
Anyway, the battle went about as well as you might guess- the wight and the ghoul paralyzed each character after every hit  and WAY too soon for my liking I got the
No caption is necessary or required.

So I am guessing I am in some kind of cemetery, maybe? The NES version is mighty mighty poor on text labels for anything at all. Anyway, I'm going to make my way back to the plaza and start work again there I guess, maybe make my way north of the plaza. I saw a doorway up there so I am guessing I can go that way.

See yez next posting!

p.s. Sorry if it seems like I am taking forever to play a game that probably shouldn't take this long, but with my schedule and my life, this is about as fast as I can get  through it.

p.p.s. Yes, Addict, it's actually spelled BASILISK. Whoops! Color my face red!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Where I Am Now

I finally managed to get out of Podol Plaza alive. A trifle shy on hit points, but we made it. When I got to the city hall, what I saw was enough to fulfill the requirements for the auction mission so we got a load of XP and  GP. Handy :) I can't finish exploring Podol Plaza however- I am not tough enough to handle all the fights right now and there are a lot- I am not given a choice to disguise myself any longer- so monsters are leaping in my face  every few steps to show me what for. Later I'll finish just to be completist.

I was also very tired the other night when playing, and something happened to my necklace of fireballs. It's just gone. I don't know if it ran out of charges and disintegrated, it ran out of charges so I threw it away, or I accidentally sold it at a shop. No clue. Went to use it earlier today and bloody gib-gab, the thing was gone! Too bad too, that thing was NICE.

So right now, I have to still clear Sokal Keep, visit and recruit some nomads, find Council Cadorna's fortune, and bust up an entire kobold army before before it joins with the enemy. Shucks, not bad- that easy baking for my five goof balls! :)

As a quick  by-the-by, their names are pronounced: Figtle = FIG-tul, Ficle = FI-cul, Fimu = FEE-muh, Feyemoo = F(eye)-moo, and Thifling = THIFF-ling.

Be good and I'll fill you in on our goings-on again soon!

This Is The Crazy You Have To Go Through

I just checked my people if they needed to lvl up after a successful Podol Plaza auction mission. It takes a metric butt-load of screens and button presses to check 5 PCs. This post is also pic intensive, but only so you will know the horror- the terror.

My sincere apologies if my posts look more incoherent than normal... I destroyed my normal keyboard, so I am using a rubber, waterproof, weird-chiclet-like-keys keyboard. No moving parts- you depress rubber buttons. The 's' key is missing so I have to be extra careful to depress the small diode in the hole and that is toughish, force me to artificial slowness. The space buttons are oddly shaped and easy to not press right. Wah, boo hoo, poor me. At least I don't live in India where they keyboards are made of rice and the children have to eat their keyboards at night or go hungry. Not sure where that came from.

Because this game is a NES game, I have a gamepad plugged in to play it with so as to be more authentic. When I enter the training hall, I am met with this screen.
1) Nice to know. Thank you, unnamed lady.

It takes a button press- either A or B, or a press on the D pad- to get this next screen.
2) One from column A, one from column B
D pad to my choice, then a press of the A button.
3) Good God man, you are ugly.
I D pad to my character of choice, press the A button. I choose Ficle.
4) Either fighter or magic-user, please.
I have to press A or B or D pad to get to the next screen.
5) Whoops, how about cleric instead? *blush*
I D pad, then press A at my choice.
6) Sir,I am not a tree.
I takes A, b, or D pad to get off this screen.
7) Probably. A good chance there is.
Another A B or D pad to leave this screen as well.
8) Yes or no, i would think.
I D pad and press A at my choice.
9) This is effectively step 3 again.
Here I either D pad and choose to start again, or B button to back out of this menu tree.

It's a lot of screens to check each and every character. Oh, and as a by the by, I have tried to hire an NPC here, and I dunno why but they won't let me. Why? Dunno. I have a slot open. I'm not too high or too low in  lvls, I think. If I can hire one later I'll fill you in.
But- but why?? Tell me the problem so I can fix it!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I Which We Make Jaw Droppingly Terrible Disguises

I had an opportunity, in the plaza, to disguise my party as monsters.
We chose, MaGuyverlike, to tape cotton balls and bits of pig skin to our faces and pretend we were Kogorcs.
We then entered a shrine and the orc cleric wanted to hire us to go another shrine.
Are- are we supposed to disembowel them? We are good at that.
We had to come back in 2 hours, but when we came back our disguises slipped and a knock down battle ensued. Well, they got knocked down- a necklace of fireballs will put a cramp in anyone's style I aim it at. So now that bit of RP is gone- I'll have to see how this happens now. I left, fixed our disguises, and we're trying the old "pretend we are monsters" trick again. We'll see how that works out :)
At first I was pissed, then I remembered that this reaction was a good one.
One of our commissions was to find out what was going down with an auction- find out what thing was being sold, find out who buys it. How they got word of this is weird- who makes a rumour like that? Not the sort of thing I would want to get out if I had a powerful item and were trying to sell it. But then I'm not being paid to think- I'm being paid to hit nonhuman humanoids with misshapen chunks of sharp metal until the bodily damage causes them to expire.
Infinite recursion.
I did get to see the actual auction go down. The "powerful weapon" appeared to be a wand of illumination and the orc sold it because he can see in the dark. It was a mysterious man in black who bought it, and he quickly shuffled into the crowd. I was given no option to follow.
I told you.
I also spent a lot of time in the plaza exploring things labeled "A naban doned house", and it, I am ashamed to say, took me a long time to figure out what that meant.
What's a naban doned- oh, hell, I get it NOW.
Right now I am stuck in the middle of exploring the plaza. My disguise is blown and I keep getting attacked by monsters who shriek "HUMANS!", draw their weapons, and attack. I'm being nibbled to death by ducks bearing large heavy weapons. I'll fill you all in on what happens next soon.

And I'll probably have more words and less pictures in the future. I realize I am kind of going screenshot crazy lately.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Should I Keep Doing Intermissions?

I personally like my little non-game pieces where I write up the characters interacting like it's a story and not a game. But I dunno if anyone out there really likes it when I do that... Howzabout if when you read this post, you write me a comment telling me what you think! If you just want me to skip that and keep on with normal postings, all right then, I will. But if you like hearing about Figtle and the gang, well, I can do that too!

Please comment to me. I feel so... lonely :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Explorations And A Bullet Dodged

Fist pumps and fist bumps all around!
Yes, the slum is cleared and I have been working on the other areas around the place. Not sure what these areas are called, but they are being cleared.  One of the places I found was a large building in the middle of a large empty square. Being the curious fellow I am, in charge of a curious batch o' peoples, I decided that this building should be checked out. 
My guess is I'm in- a library?
So I checks this place out. I find a lot of boring shelves of philosophy, mathematics, and large hissing lizards. What?
Oh, THAT large hissing lizard.
I beat on this creature for a few smacks and had no real idea what I was fighting, until it took a turn, and I freaked when it said the BASALISK took it's turn! Luckily, there seem to be a quite a few charges in my fireball necklace! The Basalisk gazed once and I guess I was smiled upon by the Gods themselves because immediately after that it bit at one of my characters. I then slammed it for a mass amount of damage and it died. I recorded the fight in FCEUX FM2 format- I need to figure out how to convert/play and record into windows format so y'all can see it. I got a fair amount of XP for it but not nearly what I thought I should get.

I then continued examining and stealing everything I could get my hands on- a bunch of boxes of gold leaves in a couple of rooms, a couple other things I can't remember, then I came across these guys.
Thanks guys! Appreciate the info.
They begged for help and then told me the above when my help turned out to be not slaughtering them- and it turns out that's the help they were looking for :) I also found this guy.
I've fallen, and I can't get up!

Drat, stuck in caption mode again. Blogger is irritating sometimes. 
I wonder who he was?
I also found a book all about this Tyranthraxus guy. All sorts of history on this guy. Tyranthraxus, Tyranthraxus... Sounds familiar.
He sounds scary.
There was a lot of info on this guy. I'd show more pics, but Blogger is just being a royal pain right now and not putting pics where they belong.
Sigh. Except for this one, the last one.
And then when I am leaving the building, I'm faced with this blue guy.
Don't mean to belabour the obvious fella, but the lack of blood in your body says bad things about this "life" you mention...
Then it's another fight. Most of my guys miss him, but Thifling is in LOVE with his necklace and he fires a few fireballs. The others smack the blue guy around and he never hits me, and soon enough he too has become dead once again. I find out after when reading the rule book again that this SPECTRE likes to DRAIN LVLS, so I dodged another bullet.

I have gone from being accursed by God to being the luckiest guy on the planet! 
Hey, I guess that madman wasn't so crazy after all.

I'm rocking the joint like a hurricane. I have to head back to the city commisionors (How is that spelled?) office then up to the training hall. I have no guarantee I've gotten enough XP to go up a lvl, but I'm a hopin'!

I'll see you all later with more news :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Behind The Scenes

Figtle was still worried that the dynamics of their little party would change, and change was rarely for the better. That morning he'd slept in since he and Fimu had been awake later than usual. The orc blood spilt during the day had left them both rather more randy than usual that night and by the time they were both spent it was very late.

Ficle had burst in at cock's crow to waken his sister for the day, and woke Figtle as well, still sleeping in Fimu's bed. The fighter cleric hadn't batted an eye, however, merely including Figtle in his morning's greetings.

But now Figtle was worried, hiding it behind morning sleepiness as they discussed the revelations of the last few days. He took a long drink of morning's beer.

"While I'm cheered by their new building in what were the slums," he grumbled, "I can't help but be worried about this 'Boss' person."

"I was nice being recognized by the city," said Fimu, referring to the ceremony a few days back when the city of New Phlan had given them all symbolic Keys to the City for their work in clearing the slums of dangerous beasts. "I've never had anything like that done before."

"That one worries me most," said Thifling, nervously playing with a butterknife as they ate breakfast. "It's bad enough that this 'Boss' doesn't like us already, and now this- letting everyone know we were the major reason the slums are cleared out and new work is being done. This 'Boss' scares me to death."

"Aye,"said Figtle, peering into his mug. Almost half empty and they'd just started eating. Hmmm. "We'll have to keep our eyes and ears open. I want to find out who this 'Boss' is, what this bloody Pool is about. I rather like New Phlan. If this is going to be my new home instead of just a stopping point for a month or two, I'll have to do something about this 'Boss' sooner or later."

"Us too," said Ficle, smearing a huge blob of greasy butter into a steaming biscuit. "I like the place too and I'm not so sure I want to hit the circuit of arena fighting. "I'm getting all the physical action I need right now."

"Depends on what the Watch is going to be like once the monster population keeps falling,"said Thifling. "If  the law keeps their eyes too open I'll be gone before you've time to whistle 'Johnny Law'."

Well, I beat The Trolls/Kobolds/Flour Bags Combo

That bint of a city commisioner had me open a CHEST in the middle of her OFFICE to get my reward for killing Norris. How weird.
I thought that with the XP bonus I got for slaughtering Norris the Gray like a bug I might be tough enough to take on the trolls. My fighter/cleric is like 2/3 now, and although I ain't thrilled with the lvl 2 clerical spells, I ain't gonna spit in my diety's eyes, if you catch my drift. My fighter is lvl 3, my thief is lvl 4, and my two fighter/magic users are both 2/2. So I headed in to take them on. I have a wand of magic missiles too- that might help tilt the see-saw in my direction.

Well, I put a few kobolds to sleep and that's... nice, but big whooptedoo, I always do that. I hit the one troll with magic missiles- pfah, might as well have kicked him in the leg. Then I notice, while checking out my thief in mid-combat, that I still have this necklace I got from someone. I can't remember if it changed my AC any, but what if it does something else? So I USE it, and a great big circle appears.

I remember what happens to my characters when the square casting mark touches them (SNORE along with the monsters), so I move the circle until it touches only two kobolds and both of the trolls. Then I hit the A button, and watch...

There was no animation for it, but I pretended to be appalled as both kobolds were BURNED to DEATH by the fireball, and both trolls also took massive damage. COOL! So we stepped on the baby kobolds a bit more until the thief was able to lay hands on his nifty necklace and FRUUUMT. The fireball killed both trolls this time and that left us with one kobold child left. To slaughter like an insect.

The poor adolescent kobold fell beneath our weapons and we left his corpse to rot with his fellows and my three conscious characters lifted the unconscious characters to the temple. I had never really paid attention to the impressive list of services offered there before, but they really offer a quite varied menu of services for a very reasonable price range.
5,000 GP isn't that hard to get if you want to risk dismemberment.
I think I am, and as such my characters as well, really starting to get along in this game. It's no longer a frustrating hose-a-thon and more of a challenge. I'm really liking it, even though it's a NES game. So far they've done a really nice job of it. Sadly for myself (and thus, all of you as well) I have never played nor, obviously, ever finished the PC version of this title, so I can't really contrast and compare as well as someone who has played and solved it. But then- I don't think anyone who has played and solved the PC version would be able to stomach this version anyway :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mega. Things A-Flapping. Mysteries. And Violence!

Wow, a lot happened last night before I went to bed (at 4 A.M. Whoops!) I had more characters lvl up!
Oh yeah! I'm rocking the house with ten HP!
And the game kept stressing that I was near Kuto's Well. Never told me why, but if I came within 30 feet of Kuto's Well, it lept out of it;s chair and yelled- "Hey! Kuto's Well! It's right behind you!" Well, I can take a hint after it's been shoved in my face ten times- I went to look at Kuto's well.
That's a- safe looking hole in the ground situated right where children play- in the dark.
This was after I had fully mapped out the entire map area that contained Kuto's Well. I mean- hey, I have work to do.
On the whole I really like the images they have when they put the small box up to give greater detail. Things are more realistic, more colorful, more detailed. And while this doesn't look like any ladder or well I've ever seen, it gives a proper mood to the proceedings.
So I sneaks my way down the ladder in the well...
And at the bottom I find this. Looks like a secret door to me, dunnit?
And then I am presented with this map of the area. The whole, entire map.

Which leads me to the weirdest part of this whole game. I understand that it does this on the PC version as well. But when I enter an area, I am given an entire map of the area- sans doors or labels of what a building holds within it. How does THAT work? my "mapping" requires me to walk around and hunt down doors so I can place them on the already provided walls. In New Phlan, I also went through and added labels of what each building was. If I showed you my map, you'd not be able to read it :)
I warned you- I. Told.You. You'd. Be. Sorry!
So mapping is pretty easy and pretty weird. Anyway. I get down into the area below the well, and I am presented with this-
After all, they tell you in creative writing classes- "Don't tell-  show."
And I thinks to myself- hey, didn't I get a snippet of information in the monster meeting grounds (where I was hiding in the shadows before they could see me) that said 'thieves use the catacomb as their hideout'? Yes, I sure did! But then, before I could really make a move-
Oh no they di'int!
However, rather than take me to a combat, or hit one of my guys for some unavoidable damage- nothing else happens. I can continue mapping and exploring as if nothing at all happened. So I did :)
I wonder what journal entry this would have been in the PC version?
Gad, he's an ugly s.o.b. ain't he? Sho ain't human, I can tells you dat. I like his ears though.
Norris the Gray and his merry band of thieves leap out of the shadows and confront my merry band of adventurers! I am given the option of surrendering, or of leaping into combat. Given the fact that I am deep in monster territory, and given the fact that "The Boss" seems to be in charge of the monsters in this area, and given the fact that "The Boss" does not like us at all, I thinks to myself that surrender probably isn't the smartest choice of action. So I choose to fight for my life!

When I saw what I was faced with, I thought I was toast. 6 goblin guards, Norris the Gray, and an ogre, my heart sinks. However, my fighter/magic users 'sleep'ed the goblins right quick and boom, they were out of the equation. My one magic user kept zapping the ogre with a wand of magic missiles (gad, I wonder how many charges are left in that thing!) until he went down, and between my fighter and my fighter/cleric, Norris fell pretty quickly as well. Then we simply walked around the sleeping goblins and cut their throats with our daggers. Tout de Suite!

After we divvied up the XP, the GP, and the one piece of actual loot, we discovered that Norris had secreted a letter upon his person. He and his band of thieves were to head to the port and follow the orders of the ogres there. However, Norris had written his reply on the back (dunno if he sent it, since he still had it with him. We must have disemboweled him and force fed him his bloody length of colon before he had a chance to pop it in the post). 
Aside from the fact that Norris appears to be a damned dirty hob/goblin, he also appears to have his head on straight (before we removed it from his neck)
But he does- did, excuse me- suffer from delusions of grandeur.

In the end I got enough XP to lvl up a character  or two, and I financed it by selling a metric busload of gems (well, 17 gems). Thins are looking up. And now that my 2 arena fighting magic users also have Magic Missile and Shocking Grasp... I think I'm going to go try those trolls again. I'll fill you in when I'm done, but I'll try not to make it a huge post like this one again :)