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Completed Let's play Wizardry 4!

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by Crooked Bee, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. CappenVarra phantasmist Patron

    CappenVarra
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    Wow, that's an... interesting level. :salute:
     
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  2. Occasionally Fatal Prophet

    Occasionally Fatal
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    Looking at that floor map makes me a little sick. Where are you pulling those maps from, some official guide or walkthrough? It would be great to see a player's own hand drawn map with annotations and frustrations.

    Er, I'm missing it.

    Oh man. I'll be there!
     
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  3. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    This is one LP I'm not drawing my own maps for, sorry. It's not a blind one anyway.

    Together with "Curse your soul!", it is likely a reference to (and a pun on) Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray.
     
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  4. Whisper Arcane Vatnik

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    Which is boring, overhyped game.
     
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  5. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Codex 2012
    What's "Boulder's Gate"? Any relation to Boulder Smash? :hmmm:
     
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  6. spekkio Arcane

    spekkio
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    ^
    nefwags

    :rpgcodex:
     
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  7. Occasionally Fatal Prophet

    Occasionally Fatal
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    Ha, don't be sorry, if it was blind we probably wouldn't get so much juicy extra info.

    Together with "Curse your soul!", it is likely a reference to (and a pun on) Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray.[/quote]
    My literature knowledge has increased. :salute:
     
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  8. Humanity has risen! Arcane Patron Repressed Homosexual

    Humanity has risen!
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    It's fun when you realize that all in all their humor is pretty much the meta humor indie game developers have today.
     
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  9. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    9: To Hell and back

    09wizfour416.png

    Wizardry IV is a kind game at heart even if it doesn't always show it. If we were to take the stairs up from the Maze of Wandering, the game would ask us if we have forgotten something. This is an important hint, because once we go up, there will be no turning back for awhile.

    09wizfour415.png

    There are actually a few things we can now get from the previous floors that we couldn't earlier simply because we didn't have the necessary items, and they even line up in a quest chain of a sort.

    09wizfour021.png

    The lowest floor we are capable of teleporting to is the Catacombs.

    Even better: we can teleport straight to the stairs leading up to the minefield on B8F. We do have some unfinished business to attend to in the Catacombs, but it'll have to wait a bit.

    09wizfour037.png

    With the help of the Winged Boots, Werdna can levitate over the minefield like a boss, so if we hadn't gotten all the items on this floor earlier, this would be a good opportunity to. Since we already did, however, our destination currently lies elsewhere.

    09wizfour072.png

    Namely, we fight our way to the ziggurat-like Temple of a Dreampainter. Most fights on these floors are trivial now that we have higher-level demons by our side, but there's no way to avoid an occasional one-hit kill or two in Wizardry IV even on higher levels.

    B7F.png

    If you remember, last time we were here there was no way for us to retrieve the item at (6,18). It was floating just out of reach.

    09wizfour076.png
    09wizfour087.png

    But now we can fly, so the situation has changed. No item can elude Werdna's grasp.

    09wizfour081.png

    Amusingly, we continue to get random encounters even when flying several levels above ground. These do-gooders sure are persistent.

    09wizfour091.png

    You have obtained THE ORANGE ROD.

    Gotcha, you orange rod.

    09wizfour095.png

    The flying orange rod we couldn't reach earlier turns out to be a Hopalong Carrot. In the universe of Wizardry IV, flying magical carrots make sense.

    09wizfour122.png

    Naturally, now that we're able to fly we can also explore the area to the east of the ziggurat, but there's nothing useful here apart from this advertising blimp at (17,14). Yeah, I know.

    09wizfour124.png

    The blimp is carrying an advertisement for Boltac's Trading Post, the famous item shop that first appeared in the Proving Grounds.

    To go back to the Hopalong Carrot, you might recall the clue that the wandering oracle gave us in the previous update:

    08wizfour059.png

    It is, of course, a Bugs Bunny reference. Bunnies and carrots go together, so is there anything on this floor we've missed?

    Actually, we have. On the map, there is an enclosed 2x2 area with an item at (7,8) that has a one-way door leading out of it but no apparent way in. Like all puzzles in Wizardry IV, this one is a bit obtuse. There are, however, at least three more oracle sayings related to it that make it considerably easier when pieced together: "Hop high to enter", "The temple holds an ancient secret", and "Take a step to the left, and a hop to the right!"

    09wizfour140.png

    In other words, to access the enclosed area we must stand at (5,8) and use the carrot to hop over the wall.

    This is the only spot where the carrot works, by the way. Elsewhere you only get the "Powerless" message if you try to invoke its power.

    09wizfour151.png

    Will You Search (Y/N)?

    The only thing in the room is the Dreampainter statue. We choose to search it, and a battle ensues.

    09wizfour156.png

    The "ushabti" was an Ancient Egyptian funerary figurine meant to act as a substitute for the deceased should he or she be required to do any labor in the afterlife.

    09wizfour157.png

    In a way, that means we're fighting the Dreampainter himself, but he isn't particularly strong for a god. He's only a Fighter, and as such isn't much of a threat.

    09wizfour184.png

    There is "A Feather" among the items he drops, which we pick up.

    09wizfour188.png

    The feather is the Dreampainter Ka. "Ka" is the Ancient Egyptian concept of the vital spark, breathed into each person at the moment of their birth, the part of the soul which makes them be alive and also a person's "double" that travels into the spirit realm during dreams or out-of-body experiences related to the divine realm or the underworld. The feather also alludes to the "Weighing of the Heart" ceremony, a trial in the afterlife where if the heart weighed more than a single feather of Maat (the personification of truth and justice), it was consumed by the man-eating monster Ammit. A person's Ka had thus to be in perfect balance with Maat.

    There is one further oracle clue related to this: "Seek the Dreampainter's soul". Well, we've just found and taken it. Does it mean the god is now dead? Not really, he'll respawn.

    Apart from being a key item, the Dreampainter's Ka, in keeping with its "life force" nature, casts Madi when used, which is a 6th tier Priest spells restoring all hit points to the caster. It is extremely helpful, particularly in the heat of the battle.

    09wizfour198.png

    Now that we have the Ka, it's time to revisit the Catacombs.

    B9F.png

    Earlier we chose not to explore the central area on the map, with the entrance at (11,6). Now, however, is the perfect time to.

    09wizfour207.png

    This area is the Gates of Hell. Literally.

    Intourist was the official state travel agency of the Soviet Union, responsible for the majority of foreigners' access to the country. Even Wizardry IV has its share of Cold War humor.

    09wizfour209.png

    Overall, the game is just packed with all kinds of references, much more so than the first three Wizardries.

    09wizfour213.png

    I don't suppose this might hint at the marshmallow hell? (Just kidding, of course. The actual reference is to roasted marshmallows.)

    09wizfour217.png

    At (9,8), the heat and glow are getting intense. We are approaching the Abyss.

    09wizfour218.png

    Will You Search (Y/N)?

    09wizfour221.png

    There is, however, a Hell's guardian in the way.

    09wizfour224.png

    This particular Hellhound isn't one of the Hellhounds that we could summon at B5F's pentagram. It is considerably stronger -- but nothing we can't handle.

    09wizfour238.png

    Defeated, it leaves just bones behind, weirdly shaped.

    09wizfour241.png

    The bones show up as Demonic Chimes in Werdna's inventory, a kind of hellish bell.

    09wizfour246.png

    Will You Search (Y/N)?

    Another guardian of Hell is placed at (10,9).

    09wizfour248.png

    It is even something cute!, and nothing cute can do without an exclamation mark.

    09wizfour250.png

    Aw, a puppy from Hell. Not much of a threat (unless it gets a critical and decapitates you), and no useful loot either.

    09wizfour265.png

    Kadorto is the name of a level 7 Priest spell that attempts to resurrect a character reduced to ashes, but also that of a god first mentioned in Wizardry III, where the High Elder of Llylgamyn wishes the adventurers luck by saying "may Kadorto smile upon you." We will come across this name again at a later point, so remember it.

    Having gotten this far, Werdna is unlikely to turn back. The Abyss has its uses for him, if he can survive it.

    09wizfour279.png

    But how are we supposed to even enter it in the first place?

    09wizfour281.png

    Unfortunately, we can't seem to bribe our way into Hell. Werdna's gold is useless here.

    09wizfour290.png

    In that case, perhaps we should ring the Demonic Chimes...

    09wizfour291.png

    ...then read from the Arabic Diary...

    09wizfour294.png

    ...and finally light the Black Candle...

    09wizfour298.png

    ...to blast the gates away.
    :yeah:

    A bell, a book, and a candle. Sounds familiar? In Ultima IV, a game on which Roe Adams worked as well (he collaborated with Garriott in designing the system of Virtues, and was the official scribe of the History of Britannia), you were required to read from the Book of Truth, light the Candle of Love and ring the Bell of Courage to enter the Abyss and recover the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom. A similar procedure showed up in Zork and Nethack, the original source being the Catholic excommunication ceremony.

    Anyway, let's have a go at entering the Abyss. What harm could it possibly do?

    09wizfour325.png

    Oops, too hot.

    09wizfour327.png

    Plunging into the depths of Hell unprepared. This kind of recklessness wouldn't end well for anyone, and Werdna is no exception.

    09wizfour329.png

    Note the fruit that Werdna can't reach. It's kind of important.

    09wizfour332.png

    But even being burned to ashes in Hell doesn't give Werdna peace, for he must restart his quest for the amulet, over and over again.

    But what if he equips the Winged Boots -- will they be able to protect him from the flame? Unfortunately, I can't find some of the screenshots I thought I'd taken, but here's the transcription of what happens in this case:

    So close! And yet...

    Without protection from the flames, Werdna easily becomes the Devil's plaything.

    Good thing we've obtained the Dreampainter's Ka, then. But what if we equip it without the Winged Boots?

    09wizfour302.png

    The flame doesn't burn us, which is a plus.

    09wizfour305.png

    But we can't reach the fruit without the boots.

    09wizfour308.png

    At least this is educational for Werdna.

    09wizfour309.png

    However, unable to escape from Hell, Werdna slowly goes insane.

    It looks like it simply cannot end well, unless we equip both the Ka and the Winged Boots.

    09wizfour347.png

    Better now.

    09wizfour349.png

    We even pluck the Jeweled Fruit, and exit the Gates unharmed.

    09wizfour353.png

    The Hell is mocking us, but we're good. The mocking itself is actually a clue, hinting that the item we've just received is just what we need to beat the upper floors of the dungeon.

    09wizfour355.png

    The Gates of Hell are back, and we can be on our way, too.

    You have obtained A JEWELED FRUIT.

    09wizfour361.png

    The fruit is a grenade. The Holy Hand Grenade of Aunty Ock, to be precise -- a pun on Monty Python's Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch. A "Holy Handgrenade" was also an item found in Bard's Tale. In this spelling, as "HHG of Aunty Ock", it seems, however, to be exclusive to Wizardry, if you don't count the official Touhou manga Inaba of the Moon & Inaba of the Earth, which features a "HHG of Aunty Ock" as a shoutout to both Wizardry and Monty Python.

    Interlude: Death by credit card fraud

    Finally, to conclude this update, there is one particularly silly way to die in Wizardry IV that I've been long wanting to show off and finally got the opportunity to on the way back to B4F.

    09wizfour393.png

    Surprisingly enough, it has to do with the Wandering Oracle of Mron.

    09wizfour395.png

    It only happens if you have the Mordorcharge card on you (you may recall we got it from Thorin of Thorin's Tramplers earlier), and choose to pay the Oracle with it.

    09wizfour396.png

    It doesn't take him long to notice the cardholder's name is a bit different from Werdna.

    09wizfour401.png

    And that's where Karl Maudlin* steps in, sending Werdna back to his grave.

    * A reference to the actor Karl Malden, who famously delivered the commercial catchphrases "What will you do? What will you do?" and "Don't leave home without them!" in a U.S. television commercial for American Express Travelers Cheques.

    Next time: The Return of Werdna, now in 3D!
     
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  10. Fowyr Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Fowyr
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    [​IMG]
    Marvelous.
     
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  11. Occasionally Fatal Prophet

    Occasionally Fatal
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    Is the screenshot after "To go back to the Hopalong Carrot, you might recall the clue that the wandering oracle gave us in the previous update:" correct? It says "You are about to battle a clay figure." Anyway, more good stuff.

    Also: [​IMG]
    TV Tropes is weird.
     
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  12. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Argh, fix'd now.
     
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  13. CappenVarra phantasmist Patron

    CappenVarra
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    Nice! Throwing artistically aranged bones into the eternal flames, reading from the Necronomicon, lighting a black candle made from human fat - ah, the memories, they still warm my heart :love:
     
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  14. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Not sure if I should be afraid of you now. :P
     
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  15. CappenVarra phantasmist Patron

    CappenVarra
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    Why, after exploring all those scary dungeons and slaying legions of monsters (and them pesky do gooders), be afraid of little o' me? Preposterous ;)
     
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  16. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    10: The Cosmic Cube

    Previously on Wizardry IV, we returned unscathed from the depths of Hell, and with a Holy Hand Grenade of Aunty Ock to boot. Things are going to get more prosaic now, but more confusing and unorthodox at the same time.

    [​IMG]

    As you remember, there was this message on B5F that warned us of "The Cosmic Cube." The Cube spans B3F to B1F, and it is Wizardry IV's most famous (and influential) level.

    [​IMG]

    Basically, Wizardry IV is the first RPG I know of that attempts to model something like a 3D dungeon ("The Cosmic Cube") by merging three floors into one continuous level. This is achieved by breaking each floor in closed-off subareas, or clusters, and connecting them by a fair number of chutes, stairs and teleporters, so that you constantly climb from floor to floor as you explore the Cube, as if there were a z-axis. The Cosmic Cube is 20x20x3, so this isn't really a cube; later, such RPGs as Dark Heart of Uukrul or Wizardry VII will have proper cube dungeons, 7x7x7 in Uukrul and 8x8x8 in Wiz7. The result is a little crude and not a little counterintuitive, but pretty impressive given what the designer had to work with, and being counterintuitive is something Wizardry IV takes pride in anyway. The Cosmic Cube is fairly non-linear, as there are different paths you can follow to reach the exit.

    This kind of design makes it impossible to map the Cube out floor by floor in the regular manner, forcing you to instead map it out by clusters and then figure out how they are all supposed to fit together, a non-trivial task at times. The exploration is also made considerably more frustrating by the fact that do-gooders respawn whenever you reenter a floor, and since this is a three-floor level, you do so very often. Another problem is the low-level trap pentagrams scattered around the Cube, which offer only low-level summons useless against the extremely strong do-gooders encountered here. There are also normal high-level pentagrams around, of course, but you can never tell them from the low-level ones beforehand. (Metagaming ahoy!)

    Overall, the invitation to spend "a lifetime or two" in here is correct, not only because the mapping is confusing and the do-gooders are more powerful than ever, but also because there is no regular exit from this level and the puzzle you have to solve to get out of the Cube is one of the most obtuse in the entire game. (Not to mention you can't solve it if you didn't obtain the Holy Hand Grenade in advance.)

    I don't want to dump three maps on you at once, so I will post each of them as we get to the respective floor. If you feel like following our route through the Cube step by step, I suggest you have all three maps open in separate browser tabs, because we're going to switch floors a lot.

    [​IMG]

    After taking the stairs up from B4F, we start out at (15,11) on B1F.

    Teleporters marked "X/Y" take you to X' on floor Y. I've also marked each separate subarea with a red capital letter, and I will do the same for B2F and B3F, so if I say we find ourselves "in B-2", that means "subarea B on floor B2F." Currently we are in G-1.

    10wizfour003.png

    The Cosmic Cube not only ends, but also starts with a puzzle.

    10wizfour004.png

    This is a logical puzzle -- a slight variation on one of the puzzles found in Raymond Smullyan's book The Lady or the Tiger? (1982):

    smullyan_tigerlady.png

    This puzzle, as well as the book's title and the other puzzles contained in the same chapter, is in its turn a reference to Frank R. Stockton's famous short story "The Lady, or the Tiger?" (1882), but as you can glimpse from the Wikipedia summary it wasn't originally much of a logical puzzle at all.

    10wizfour005.png

    The solution is pretty obvious. The lady is
    Show Spoiler
    behind the central door.


    Show Spoiler
    (Assume the central door isn't telling the truth, and reach a contradiction.)


    10wizfour007.png
    10wizfour012.png

    In this case, however, our prize is not a lady (Werdna is 100 years old, mind you), but a teleporter that sends us straight to (19,15) in F-3.

    [​IMG]

    F-3 is a very small subarea, with a crossroads and a sign:

    10wizfour013.png

    You will come across many of these signs pointing the way to the exit as you wander around the Cube, but in keeping with the nature of the game they are more often misleading than accurate. The nature of the game also dictates they will become more accurate towards the end of the Cube, just when you least expect it.

    Like many things in Wizardry IV, it is also a reference.

    10wizfour017.png

    We trap the Oracle again, and hear him praise the Kabbalah. This will prove to be a surprisingly relevant hint, albeit much later on.

    Instead of following the sign, we head west until we cross the one-way wall to E-3 and then take the teleporter at (12,15)...

    10wizfour026.png

    ...only to find ourselves at (3,5) in K-1.

    K-1 is an area with alternating darkness and spinner tiles. Our goal is to reach the northern teleporter at (3,9), and the only way to do so is by relying on Dumapic because, as you remember, spinners spin you around randomly.

    Another landmark here is the pentagram at (2,3), but it is a low-level one so you're better off avoiding it. This pentagram will raise your HP to 100, but give you some incredibly weak allies (Fuzzballs, Creeping Coins and the like) -- a pretty terrible trade-off. Whenever you see it, it also serves as an indicator that you're moving in the wrong direction and getting too close to the southern teleporter instead of the one to the north.

    [​IMG]

    K-1's northern teleporter sends us to (1,4) in G-2, right next to another trap pentagram.

    G-2 has several exits, with the one we currently need at (7,9):

    10wizfour036.png

    I don't know how this is supposed to work, but this is a chute connecting G-2 with F-2 on the same floor. It must be a ventilation shaft or something.

    10wizfour037.png

    F-2 is a pit area, but luckily the pits here only do minimal damage, 1 to 10 points at most.

    10wizfour047.png

    Do-gooders here mean business, and unfortunately we're still stuck with the summons we got on B4F. This complicates things, but it's still nothing compared to what we'd have if we had used any of the low-level pentagrams earlier.

    10wizfour083.png

    Buy Cream before it vanishes (Y/N)?

    The trader at (3,14) offers us to buy some "Vanishing Cream." I wonder if Werdna wears makeup.

    10wizfour087.png

    The "Oil of Ole'" shows up as Cleansing Oil in Werdna's inventory. It is a plot-critical item that has not one but two uses, and you can even already guess one of them if you've been paying attention.

    10wizfour094.png

    We also stumble on a wandering samurai called Bomart, and it is very fortunate we've encountered him. What we're interested in is, of course, the loot he drops.

    10wizfour100.png

    Namely, wandering sumarai like him are the only way to obtain a Blade Cusinart', another plot-relevant item. Being a wizard, Werdna can't equip it, so into the Black Box it goes.

    10wizfour105.png

    And finally a proper pentagram. This is B2F, and the last pentagram we used was on B4F, meaning Werdna gets two level-ups at once, raising his HP to 90 and his attributes to 17.

    10wizfour107.png

    You might remember Murphy's Ghosts from the time you were grinding on them in Wizardry I, since they were the only first floor monsters to give decent exp. But even though they were worth fighting there, they aren't worth summoning here; or rather, it isn't worth summoning, as you can only summon one Murphy's Ghost at a time. Not even AC of -3 and 10d10+10 HP makes this ally less pathetic. Manticores, strange animals from Wizardry II, are just as worthless as Murphy's Ghosts, with AC of 0 and 7d8+10 HP but no special abilities whatsoever apart from regenerating 5 HP per round -- a negligible amount at this point. Liches, undead monsters first introduced to the Wizardry series in this game (the New Age of Llylgamyn remake offers a unique sprite for them), are considerably more powerful. Again, I should rather say "a Lich" than "Liches" since you can only have one Lich by your side. A Lich has 20d4 HP and AC of -5, is capable of casting Mage spells of up to 6th tier, as well as inflicting poison and paralysis and draining up to 3 levels at once. It also has some strong magic resistance; all that makes him one of the best options at this pentagram.

    Frost Giants could be encountered on the lowest floor of the Proving Grounds, but their AC of 5 and lack of anything except regular attack makes them a rather useless ally. Same goes for Fire Giants, also from Wizardry I and sharing the same sprite, whose only differences from Frost Giants are a bit higher HP and a somewhat lower AC. Hatamotos, Ninja warriors from Wizardry I, and Masters/Summer (another AD&D Monk title; have a look at their New Age of Llylgamyn picture) can both decapitate on a critical and have AC of -1, but are otherwise unremarkable. Hydrae, first encountered in Wizardry III, are 7-headed monsters whose regular attack hits seven times per turn for 2d5 points of damage each; you can, however, only be accompanied by one such creature, and its special abilities boil down to regenerating 5 HP per round and inflicting paralysis. Succubi, supposedly feminine demons from Wizardry II, are a more intriguing beast -- not just because of the way they look, but also due to their level drain ability and their knowledge of lvl5 Mage spells. Add to that 100 HP, AC of -2, and resistance to spells, and you have a decent summon, if inferior to a Lich. Firedrakes originate in Wizardry III. These dragon-like creatures are distinguished by their fire breath attack which targets multiple enemies at once, but do not have any other features worth speaking of. Dragon Zombies from Wizardry I are another fairly attractive summoning option. Like Firedrakes, they have a mass target breath ability, but it is more powerful since it can lead to attribute drain, and they are also capable of casting 5th tier Mage spells and resisting instadeath and all kinds of magic. Individually a Dragon Zombie is inferior to a Lich, but being able to summon up to 4 of them somewhat makes up for that. Keep in mind that, being undead, Dragon Zombies and Liches alike are in danger of being dispelled by a lucky do-gooder Priest.

    Note that there are no creatures capable of casting Priest spells at this pentagram. However, we can also summon monsters from the previous floor's (B3F's) pentagram here.

    10wizfour108.png

    Brass Dragons, first introduced in this game (here's the way they look in New Age of Llylgamyn), can cast 4th level Mage spells and breathe cold on opposing do-gooders. They are, however, inferior to Dragon Zombies in every possible way (apart from being resistant to Dispel, but that isn't usually that much of a problem anyway). Wizardry III's Fiends are good, because they have both Mage and Priest spells of up to lvl3 at their disposal, and not only can you summon up to 6 of them, but they can also call for reinforcements, as well as resist enemy spells. Their HP is decent if not high, and their AC equals zero.

    You might remember Will O' Wisps from Wizardry I (they had a funny-looking character sprite in the Apple II version), where they sometimes appeared on the second dungeon floor and gave a lot of exp, but were hard to kill or even hit with their AC of -8 and 95% chance of resisting any spell. Not sure why you'd want them to accompany you, though. Berserkers (from Wizardry III), as well as Major Daimyos (from Wizardry I), are pure Fighters, and therefore of no interest to us either. Nor are Chimeras, originating in Wizardry I (same sprite as Dragons), who only have a breath attack to boast of. Xenos, those alien slimy things from Wizardry III (Apple II; IBM PC), can only be summoned alone, but once they're in your party they can call for help so that more of them arrive, as well as petrify foes. Their high Armor Class of 6 and average HP make them relatively frail, however.

    Wizardry I's Bleebs are, like Will O' Wisps, resistant to pretty much everything (and their character portrait is also unique), and can summon reinforcements, but are totally useless otherwise. Rocs, mythical birds from Wizardry III, are another "filler" summon without any special properties worth mentioning. Trolls, who first appeared in Wizardry I (I'm linking the PC version sprite because they look the same as all Giants), are only remarkable for their magic resistance and regeneration speed, regaining 15 HP per turn. Vampires, also from Wizardry I where they look just like skeletons, are notable for being able to inflict paralysis and level drain, as well as their magic resistance and knowledge of 3rd tier Mage spells. Speaking of which, Champ Samurai are Wizardry I's spellcasting samurai capable of using Mage spells of up to lvl 5.

    Overall, there are several good summoning options available at B2F's pentagram. I go for a Mage spell-based party of Fiends, Dragon Zombies and Champ Samurai, and then we make our way to the stairs down at (10,8), which take us to (10,9) in B-3.

    10wizfour128.png

    B-3 is a large empty cluster, but it compensates for the emptiness with its high encounter rate.

    10wizfour129.png

    B3F's first do-gooder party is Blackthorn's Blackguards.

    10wizfour130.png

    They are intent on crushing Werdna, and like almost all do-gooders in the Cube they have enough power to back up the intention.

    10wizfour131.png

    Blackthorn himself can cast Tiltowait, no less, Manta is capable of a Litokan, and the Ninjas have a high chance of decapitating on a critical hit.

    10wizfour156.png

    The Company, however, are even more powerful.

    10wizfour157.png

    Together with Mordor or Bust!, "The Company" is probably a Lord of the Rings reference, where the Company (or Fellowship) of the Ring's purpose was to take the One Ring to Mordor in order to destroy it.

    10wizfour159.png

    Argon, Dry Gimili and Grandoaf even seem to play on Aragorn, Gimli and Gandalf, respectively.

    A poster at SomethingAwful has also been kind enough to point out the following:



    10wizfour173.png

    The Company drops a "White Cap" (Wizard Skullcap) and a "3-Sided Cloth" (Skull's Cap) when defeated. The latter is cursed, and the former lowers your AC by 3, enhances your spell damage, and lets you cast Masopic when used. Do not confuse them.

    10wizfour186.png

    I won't lie if I tell you the game is packed with Tolkien references. Case in point.

    10wizfour201.png

    Nighthawk, on the other hand, is a Marvel Comics character.

    Entering the teleporter at (8,17) in B-3 takes us to (2,17) in A-3. Next, the teleporter at (1,16) transports us to (8,11) in C-3. And finally the one at (9,12) brings us to (12,16) in D-3. I wonder if you're still following.

    10wizfour220.png

    D-3 has a nasty trick. It forces you to summon weak allies at (17,19) to traverse it. I go for Gas Clouds, Creeping Coins and Zombies.

    10wizfour229.png

    Then we head east and take the stairs up at (19,7), ignoring the "This Way To The Egress" sign that points us in the wrong direction.

    10wizfour236.png

    Ascending the stairs, we immediately find ourselves atop the pentagram at (16,3) in I-1. Time to summon some real monsters.

    Greater Demons rocked in Wizardry I, and they rock on now. Resistant to magic and capable of attacking up to 5 times per turn for the maximum of 52 damage, Greater Demons know lvl5 Mage spells, inflict paralysis and poison, and call for reinforcements when needed. Poison Giants, also originating in the first Wizardry game, possess the poison breath ability and some magic resistance, but not much else. Gold Dragons too can breathe at all enemies at once, and are capable of casting 5th tier Mage spells to boot. They first appear in Wizardry IV (here's their New Age of Llylgamyn portrait), have AC of -2, and attack 3 times per round for the total of up to 52 points of damage. (D&D 2nd and 3rd editions listed Gold dragons as good-aligned, but in the first edition all dragons were evil by default.) Maelifics come from Wizardry II (EDIT: it turns out they were also there in Wizardry I, but under a slightly different spelling); you can only summon one, but it is capable of draining 3 levels, casting 7th tier Mage spells, and causing paralysis and poison. It also has 25d4 HP and AC of -5. A Vampire Lord, too, always appears alone; in Wizardry I it spawned alongside Werdna in the final battle. Capable of using 6th tier Mage spells, inflicting paralysis and draining 4 levels at once, it was a formidable opponent then, and nor does it disappoint here.

    High Masters are Wizardry I's Ninjas who are extremely strong in melee, dealing up to 104 points of damage per turn in addition to having a chance of decapitating the enemy. Lycurgi originate in this game (New Age of Llylgamyn sprite). They are powerful demons that are resistant to magic, and you can initially have only one of them at your side. It can, however, summon reinforcements, and also cast 6th tier Mage spells, inflict paralysis and petrification, decapitate, and drain two levels. Black Dragons (sprite) have the same abilities as Gold ones, as well as more HP, but their AC is higher. Foaming Molds arrive from Wizardry II. They turn enemies to stone, but that's about it. Iron Golems are again exclusive to Wizardry IV (New Age of Llylgamyn portrait); they resist magic and breathe poison, but there is little reason to rely on poison this far into the game. A Fleck (or Flack, as it was known in Wizardry I) has 14d12 HP, AC of -3, and is capable of inflicting paralysis, poison and petrification, as well as breathing cold on the enemy group. Finally, A Demon Lord, taken from D&D, first appears in this game (NAoL has a particularly badass portrait for him), knows 7th tier Mage spells, decapitates, inflicts poison, paralysis and petrification, resists magic, and drains 5 levels. With its HP of up to 300, AC of -12 (sic), and regular attack that hits for 60 to 120 points of damage, it is the most powerful ally in the entire game. When summoned, a Demon Lord for some reason shows up as an Entelechy Fuff in your party. It is pretty much a perfect summon unless a high-level enemy Priest happens to dispel it.

    10wizfour294.png

    B1F's pentagram is the last one in the game. Werdna doesn't get more powerful than having 100 HP and all 18s for attributes.

    I-1 is a darkness cluster, but there is one important thing to do here.

    10wizfour273.png

    Buy some "You Know What" (Y/N)?

    This is a blind buy, but hey, it's cheap -- and totally worth it.

    10wizfour279.png

    The "Holy Reliquary" turns out to be the St. Trebor's Rump, and it has a miraculous property.

    10wizfour287.png

    Invoking Trebor's Ass lifts the curse on Trebor and rids you of Trebor's ghost permanently. Finally we can take our time without worrying about it touching Werdna unto death.

    10wizfour244.png

    It is telling, however, that Trebor's ghost isn't the main trouble here anyway. Do-gooders are. The Rump is just a formality at this point.

    10wizfour246.png

    In case you didn't figure out how access Hell earlier, Applet's Angels tell you how to do it. This is a retroactive hint, though, and a mockery at the same time, as there is no way to exit the Cube without the Holy Hand Grenade apart from Malor'ing all the way back down to the Catacombs.

    10wizfour250.png

    Expectedly, B1F has some of the most difficult encounters in the entire dungeon. This party shows it, with two Lords with "Low" AC, a Lakanito-casting Bishop and a Mage with a Tiltowait at his beck and call.

    10wizfour269.png

    The Angels drop "A Hair Remover", or Adept Baldness when identified. It lowers your AC by 8, but it is cursed and cannot be removed -- I imagine Werdna goes bold when using it.

    I don't think low AC is worth the loss of our hair, and Werdna's Skullcap is more useful than the Hair Remover anyway because it makes our Tiltowaits stronger, and in Wizardry 4 offense is generally more important than defense.

    10wizfour297.png

    Another do-gooding group on B1F is Loktar's Lucky Laddies.

    10wizfour299.png

    Their motto is basically "Ireland forever."

    10wizfour302.png

    This party isn't as dangerous as Applet's Angels, but they can still pack a punch. Megathus' Dispel is particularly unpleasant given that Werdna is accompanied by demons.

    10wizfour331.png

    There is also a plot reason to fight the Lucky Laddies. They drop another Holy Reliquary; this time it's a Holy Limp Wrist, used in the endgame. (Feel free to guess its use on the basis of the game's backstory.) Aside from plot relevance, the Limp Wrist also casts Dialko, an anti-paralysis spell.

    At (8,2) is a chute to (16,19) in D-2.

    10wizfour348.png

    D-2 is an encounter-free area with lots of 1x1 rooms. The one we need is at (18,2), containing the stairs up to B1F that bring us to (0,7) in H-1. Then we head to (9,9) and descend the stairs to (11,5) in I-3.

    I-3 is just long twisting corridor eventually leading to the crossroads at (7,2).

    10wizfour452.png

    Another clue is ours as we catch the Wandering Oracle again, and you can't beat the game without figuring this one out.

    Next, going east at the crossroads, we arrive to the stairs up to (3,0) in L-1 and then follow the wall northeast until we reach the stairs back to B3F, this time leading to (3,8) in H-3. Here we fight The Company and Blackthorn's Blackguards again, until we make it to the passage at (1,2) that takes us to (12,7) in J-2.

    As you can see from the map, J-2 is a spinner cluster, making navigation extremely tricky. Again, like in the Realm of the Whirling Dervish, you can't even rely on Dumapic here because the spinner triggers after you cast it. The walls are your only navigation landmark, and your goal is to make it to (8,2), a not so easy task. Otherwise you risk losing a lot of progress.

    10wizfour513.png

    Elindull's Evil Elites is the first of B2F's adventurer parties.

    10wizfour514.png

    So evil they chuckle all the time.

    10wizfour515.png

    Elindull the Lord and Darkhorse the Bishop are your main headache here. The Elites drop an Entropy Cloak when slain, which improves your AC by 4 but makes you lose 3 HP every step. Nothing to hold onto, really.

    10wizfour932.png

    The second do-gooder group on B2F is Joachim's Jihad.

    10wizfour933.png

    With a stereotypically Jihadic motto.

    10wizfour937.png

    Joachim's Jihad is an all-spellcaster party, the most dangerous kind. They are tough, and don't mess around.

    10wizfour944.png

    They drop "A Silk Cloth" that appears as a Pennonceaux (a forked flag attached to the knight's lance) in the inventory. This flag doesn't, however, belong to them originally, as we will find out in due time.

    10wizfour607.png

    Spells=Wishes is a beautiful name. There are also Bishops by the names of La Spells, Firestorm, Sunburst and Master Caster roaming the Cube, as well as Priests called Eldosaberry and Trevor Lockleer, Thiefs known as Frodough and Bilbous Baggins, and Ninjas named Titan, Blacktooth and Black Lantern. Then there's also Conan Coffee the Fighter. And many other wonderful names.

    10wizfour744.png

    The teleporter at (8,2) brings us to (18,14) in F-1. This is the Cube's ending area.

    10wizfour745.png

    For once the sign, located at (18,15), doesn't lie. The exit from the Cube is to the west from here. It is, however, far from obvious.

    10wizfour748.png

    Another truthful sign, but you can never tell because it points at the wall. What could it mean, then?

    That means it's time for a particularly obscure puzzle.

    10wizfour753.png

    First, let's take the Cleansing Oil and the Holy Hand Grenade out of the Black Box.

    10wizfour754.png

    Second, let's equip the Holy Hand Grenade...

    10wizfour755.png

    ...only to find out it's cursed. We cannot drop a cursed item, however we need to throw the grenade for it to work. So there's the rub.

    10wizfour759.png

    For now, let's suicidally invoke it anyway. Invoking the grenade amounts to pulling the pin.

    10wizfour768.png

    Fourthly, to lift the curse on the grenade we must invoke the Cleansing Oil.

    10wizfour775.png

    Fifthly, now that the grenade is no longer cursed, we're free to drop (i.e., throw) it. Let's do it.

    10wizfour777.png

    With that, the countdown begins, and Werdna will blow himself up if he just stays there in one place.

    10wizfour781.png

    Every action, be it moving one step or turning around, brings us one moment closer to the explosion.

    10wizfour782.png

    So we run away.

    10wizfour784.png

    Until just one second remains.

    10wizfour785.png

    And finally, the grenade goes off.

    10wizfour790.png

    And the wall that blocked the way is no longer there.

    This is the only destructible wall in the entire dungeon, and the only spot where you can use the Holy Hand Grenade in this manner. Wizardry IV is unintuitive like that.

    10wizfour793.png

    We can now exit the Cosmic Cube by climbing up the stairs at (15,16).

    10wizfour800.png

    Incidentally, that means we're at long last out of the dungeon and into fresh air. Sweet!

    (I bet you wanted to explore the castle of Llylgamyn in Wizardry I, but the game wouldn't let you. Now we can.)

    10wizfour805.png

    And at long last, Werdna is free to commit whatever atrocities he's long wanted to commit.

    Or is he? Because we have some unfinished business to wrap up first. But then we're gonna pile corpses upon corpses. Or maybe do some fetch quests. Or both.

    Next time:
    Show Spoiler
    Trebor sux.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 13
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  17. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
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    7,814
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    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Codex 2012
    Awaiting the conclusion eagerly. :kfc:
     
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  18. CappenVarra phantasmist Patron

    CappenVarra
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
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    2,127
    Location:
    Ardamai
    St. Trebor's Rump :roll:
     
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  19. spekkio Arcane

    spekkio
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Messages:
    7,463
    Somebody still wastes time on doing LPs?

    :hmmm:
     
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  20. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    15,021
    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    spekkio I'm still waiting for you to get back to wasting time on LPing, too. :(
     
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  21. spekkio Arcane

    spekkio
    Joined:
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    Messages:
    7,463
    Not ATM.

    I'm too busy with fine-tuning my PC, PS2, GCN, Wii, NDS, PSP & Metart collections.
    I also exposed myself to Starcraft - The Grahical Update and Some DERP a.k.a. Starcraft 2. :oops:
     
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  22. Occasionally Fatal Prophet

    Occasionally Fatal
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Treading water, but at least it's warm
    Another brutal level(s) down. I would think by description it would feel good to not have to worry about Trebor's ghost, but you didn't really mention it that much so it sounds like it wasn't much of a problem.
     
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  23. LusciousPear Savant

    LusciousPear
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
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    Location:
    SF
    MCA Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    I need this LP inside me. Oh god itz hevan.
     
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  24. Sceptic Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    Sceptic
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
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    10,505
    Divinity: Original Sin
    ITS ALIVE

    I had forgotten how entertaining your LPs were. Good to have you back :love:
     
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  25. Fowyr Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Fowyr
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
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    6,100
    Post no bills! Heh, it's still funny.
     
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