3 decades of dungeon crawling: Let's play the Eye of the Beholder series

Put your Let's Plays in here.
EOTB 7: Ate Nine

Level 7 is the start of drow territory, and we are immediately confronted by their guards. Listen to them be absolutely not intimidating here.

Image

I try to bribe them but don't have what they want right now.

Image

This is not enough to make them hostile, which is good because a fight with them would be a pain in the ass. There's no room to maneuver and these drow can paralyze with their hits, which we currently have no way to remedy. I go back and get what he's hinting at:

Image
Image

NB: Be sure to leave at least three eggs behind, they are still used for something later. Yes, I did just sell kenku into slavery, but I also just explained why fighting the drow would be annoying, so I clearly made the right moral choice. :colbert:

Image

Here's the layout. The orange arrows are paths of fireballs, and the letters are places their launchers are activated. Note that one of the arrows goes through a red circle. That means the drow's brilliant security protocols stationed a guard where he can get hit by a fireball. If that happens, it counts as an attack against them and earns their hostility. My destination is the northeast corner. The button at the first tile marked B will close the pit ahead of it and launch a fireball over the next one. The other B tile will launch a fireball every time you step on it, but that won't harm you if you just wait for it. Incidentally, the B tiles are also the area where drow guards start spawning after they become hostile.

Image
Image

We get there to find three doors all opened by this plate.

Image

Two of them are occupied by skeletal lords, which are among the most dangerous monsters in this game. They move and attack very quickly, and can do damage up to the teens with each hit. They also take half damage from sharp weapons - the Chieftan Halberd's bonuses give it damage on par with a mundane blunt weapon with better chance to hit. Luckily they only approached one at a time, to the 2x2 room where the plate is (this is the second one).

Image

The third door has the remains of the half-elf cleric Ileria. Their presence here suggests she was going to be turned into another skeletal lord. The holy symbol might be what prevented that.

Image

On the way back I use a key I got to unlock some stairs up.

Image

This leads to a small, isolated section of level 6 where we find the key to that level's portal.

Image

There are several items on this level guarded by drow that you can only get by attacking them. All of the drow here are male. There is exactly one drow woman in the game, who we won't meet until we leave their territory (on that note, this is the only drow level that actually has them). Strange considering their matriarchal society is one of the few bits of D&D lore I'm aware of.

Image

Ileria's name is misspelled in her introduction. The skeletal lords we fought were likely her previous companions. If her offer is refused:

Image

I take her and also drop Taghor to increase everyone else's experience gain. The dwarves are not going to be in the final party.

Image

Ileria has the minimum possible wisdom for a cleric, and is also "officially" male in a presumable error.

Image

This is the northwestern "A" plate. I step on it and quickly dodge the fireball it launches, thereby declaring war on the drow. The loot I get from this includes a Luckstone Medallion (which I think improves saving throws but I'm not entirely sure) and several scrolls, including some I got while they were still peaceful:
Bless
Create Food (brings everyone's hunger meter to full, making rations pretty much obsolete)
Fireball (the only mage scroll)
Protection From Evil 10' Radius (whole party defense buff)
Remove Paralysis (does what is says for the whole party, right when it becomes relevant)
Slow Poison (despite the drow love of spider motifs, there are no spiders anywhere further on, nor any other monster that poisons)

Image

The southeast portion of level 7 is separated from the rest by a section that goes through all three drow levels.

Image

It is a series of short hallways with lots of stairs and locked doors. I find a red gem and a drow key here.

Image

This is an illusory wall, leading to a locked door. The key I just picked up is not the one to unlock it. Annoyingly, the locks are all identical-looking for three different key types.

Image

A button will turn a gem on this shelf into a jeweled key.

Image

On the opposite side of that room, there is text we can't translate.

Image

Until now. Dorhum won't be a member of the final party so I don't mind doing that. I bring the party gender balance while I'm at it.

Image

Translated or not, the writing marks level 9's special quest. Throw or fire an object over it to remove the wall and get three orbs of power. They allow items to be identified at the Oracle of Knowledge in level 4.

Image

A different section of level 9 labeled "Storage" gives an early introduction to one of its monsters, the displacer beast. If they have their image projection ability here it's in the form of being harder to hit. The room next to this has scrolls of Armor and Flame Blade.

Image

This sneaky button removes the wall next to it. That opens a path to another illusionary wall with a spider mark which hides a drow key. This one does not directly open a door, but is instead used here:

Image

The button will turn any key on the shelf into a red gem.

Image

Put that gem in here to open this door. Behind it is a ruby key, the type needed to open the door at the start of this section. (I slightly cheat and use ASE's teleport to get there and back to save myself having to remember or look up where all the stairs go).

Image

These items are in the room behind it, along with another ruby key. The drow bow is functionally identical to the one I already have, but better-looking IMO. Vampiric Touch drains life from an enemy and can bring the mage's HP above max, but requires them to be in the front row to do so.

Image

The gem door goes to a short hallway with an upward staircase on each end. The western one leads here. There is a skeletal lord behind a door next to this message. It's in a 2x2 room, but likely to meet you at the door due to its fast movement and thus force you to fight with no space to move. The Aid bug saved me some healing here.

Image

Past that, you must give up a small item to proceed further.

Image

In one corner of a square hall is the only pit which will not cause fall damage. Another corner has a Ring of Protection +2.

Image

It leads here. This teleporter goes back to the gem door. There is a room behind it with a scroll of Raise Dead and a Potion of Extra Healing.

Image

The east stairs go into this hallway. It has two doors that will close behind you, along with another message saying "Fight for your freedom." This will lock you into the final section of level 7 in the southeast, which will be covered in the next update.
Last edited by Alpha3KV on Mon Aug 16, 2021 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Site Admin
Okay, couple of things. First up, there's a reason all the drow soldiers are male. Because that, and magicians, are one of the few positions of relative power that they will ever have. And they'll still be some drowish princess' toy (in multiple senses.)

As to the Displacer Beasts, yes, they do in fact have their ability, however, there is no visrep, only the crunch. Essentially, you'll miss attacks on them more than you normally would. This used to frustrate me to no end, but is not a big deal unless you're in a tightly enclosed space.

Oh, did you notice that there are far more encounters in corridors now, less open spaces? Yes, the developers were easing you in at this point. They know damn well what they were doing.

And Drow technically cast sleep, but since I can't recall if the status is in the game, it may be represented as single target paralyse. Any which way, as much as it burns your ass, yes, being peaceful with the drow is the best way. Any which way, folks playing along? you'll be grateful for the anti-paralysis very soon.

Because my lovely baes will be entering the picture at some point. :smuggo:

Well uh that's a cleric, I guess.

Sleep not being implemented seems weird but being replaced with paralysis is definitely the sort of fuck you I'd expect.

JamieTheD wrote:
Sun Aug 15, 2021 10:33 am
Okay, couple of things. First up, there's a reason all the drow soldiers are male. Because that, and magicians, are one of the few positions of relative power that they will ever have. And they'll still be some drowish princess' toy (in multiple senses.)

As to the Displacer Beasts, yes, they do in fact have their ability, however, there is no visrep, only the crunch. Essentially, you'll miss attacks on them more than you normally would. This used to frustrate me to no end, but is not a big deal unless you're in a tightly enclosed space.

Oh, did you notice that there are far more encounters in corridors now, less open spaces? Yes, the developers were easing you in at this point. They know damn well what they were doing.

And Drow technically cast sleep, but since I can't recall if the status is in the game, it may be represented as single target paralyse. Any which way, as much as it burns your ass, yes, being peaceful with the drow is the best way. Any which way, folks playing along? you'll be grateful for the anti-paralysis very soon.

Because my lovely baes will be entering the picture at some point. :smuggo:
I edited in the correction about displacer beasts, as well as a note on where drow start spawning after they become hostile. I also pointed out a small bit of environmental story-telling about Ileria's remains.

The game manuals talk about (half-) elves being resistant to charm and sleep despite those spells not otherwise existing in this series. The cluebook for the first game says that the drow guards coat their swords in a paralyzing substance, which of course is no longer on them after you pick them up. It does only happen if they land hits. Speaking of drow, the details of the way their society is stratified along gender lines doesn't really explain why there's just one female drow in the game. Guess the others are all hiding somewhere out of reach.

User avatar
Site Admin
Alpha3KV wrote:
Mon Aug 16, 2021 5:51 pm
The game manuals talk about (half-) elves being resistant to charm and sleep despite those spells not otherwise existing in this series. The cluebook for the first game says that the drow guards coat their swords in a paralyzing substance, which of course is no longer on them after you pick them up. It does only happen if they land hits. Speaking of drow, the details of the way their society is stratified along gender lines doesn't really explain why there's just one female drow in the game. Guess the others are all hiding somewhere out of reach.
Essentially, this is an expeditionary force led by said Drow maiden, I can't remember if it's implied she's dominated by Xanathar, but the drow don't send big forces for things like this because another part of their character is that they're overconfident. It also might be, due to politics, that she's literally on her own with what forces she has to muster.

But in terms of outside that... Well, we have to speculate, because the designers no doubt thought "Shit, it's the Realms, and it's Undermountain, gotta have drow somewhere."

That doesn't explain my baes or kenku however, but, y'know, Undermountain big, Undermountain has lots of portals leading to pretty much everywhere in the Realms and at least a few other planes of existence, and Undermountain often shifts. So... Anything goes.

EOTB 8: Magic Stones, Swords, and Darts

Image

The last major challenge of level 7 is a prison area with ten cells. Most of have one or two skeletal lords within them. You open the cells yourself, and there's a 3x3 room in the middle, which make this manageable. As you can see here, they can be turned like other undead, though a 6th level cleric won't often do it successfully.

Image

The main reward is four keys (two drow, two jeweled) that will allow you out of here. Other loot includes the second-best armor type and a scroll of Lightning Bolt, which damages a single column of enemies and won't bounce off walls like in other games.

Image

The four locks all look the same, so it takes guessing or trial and error to know which key to use for each.

Image

This leads to a hub with five stone portals. These are the medallion portal to level 4, the necklace portal to level 5, the dagger portal to level 9, and two more (on perpendicular walls not visible from here) we don't have keys for.

Image

Across from the portals are three shelves. One has a wand with no magic (amusingly identified as "Wand of Stick"), one has the item you "sacrificed" in the trial from the previous update, and one has this black rock which is +1. Level 7's special quest is to put a stone portal key on each shelf, which creates scrolls with hints about where some of them go:
Around the neck
Made of gold
The sign of dwarves
You've been told

The light of the stars sparkles in the gem.
Follow one to see the other.

The orb leads to great evil.
Image

Past stairs down to level 8, there is a cell with two more skeletal lords across from a teleporter to a vault room. The vault has three doors with a single item behind each, and opening one permanently locks the other two. They each have labels on the opposite side:
Weapon - Slicer, a +3 short sword
Armor - Bracers of Protection +3
Magic - A Ring of Wizardry, which doubles a mage's 4th and 5th level spells.
I take the last one since it's the most unique. I'll find things that are the same as or better than the others early in the second game.

Image

One of the first items found in the main part of level 8 is this. It's -3 though that's still a net improvement over no armor (equivalent to scale mail) and it can be taken off with no problem.

Image

Level 8 is the only one in which both monster types occupy the same area. In front is a hell hound, which attacks quickly and requires a lot of hits to bring down. Behind it is a drider, who throws spears, but not over the hell hound despite the height difference. The manual suggests that they can cast spells, but they don't.

Image

There are two scepter portals in level 8. One in the west, one in the east. Using the western one will take you down to level 10, and using the one there will bring you to the eastern one, which cannot be activated.

Image

A hallway in the south re-introduces rotation tiles and the much more annoying hidden teleporters. Getting past those and a drider leads to this. If it has any special effects I have no idea what they are.

Image

This is the start of a gauntlet. Certain tiles will launch fireballs from the north, the direction you are trying to go, with three two-tile alcoves to dodge on the sides. Two of those have pits in one tile. Past that and more hidden teleporters, I find a Ring of Sustenance in the northeast corner. It's supposed to keep the wearer's hunger meter from depleting, but doesn't seem to actually work in this game.

Image

Behind an unmarked illusory wall in the northern part, you can find a +3 longsword.

Image

A row of pits toggled by plates to the west (the direction I came from) and another +1 rock.

Image

In the southeast there is a split hallway. The one you go into first will close off a section of the other, blocking access to an item. I take the northern one to take scroll of Ice Storm (does damage in a + shape, the most likely spell to harm your own party) over a set of lockpicks, which are entirely useless at this point.

Image

This room has twelve empty launchers. Putting a dart into each one solves level 8's special quest.

Image

Activating the trap causes ten of them to come out upgraded to +5. This room also happens to be close to the stairs down to level 9.

Image

The start of level 9 is a room with doors at each corner. The northeast one leads to two of these doors. The item needed is not a gem like before.

Image

Rather, a hall to the south drops another two +1 rocks which can open them. However, neither room has anything I really need, so I just keep the rocks.

The northwest door leads to several displacer beasts and a locked door. The key is behind one of the rock doors, but there is another way to the same places:

Image

The southwest door leads to another with four plates requiring certain item types. This one says "sword" but any weapon besides a bow, sling, or dart will work. The others ask for "armor" (otherwise-useless helmets work for this), "food" (rations), and "missile" (arrow, dart, or rock).

Image

Level 9 is mostly populated by displacer beasts, but also has a few rust monsters. Their hits do very little damage, often none at all, but they can eat any metal item that character's inventory. This includes weapons, armor, and jewelry. I made sure the ones my front-liners had were useless before coming here.

Image

I speed through a gauntlet of dart launchers and find the remains of Beohram. Despite what this holy symbol might lead you to believe, he is actually a fighter. His other items are plate mail, a helmet, a shield, and Severious, a +5 longsword. That's the best weapon in the entire series right there.

Image

This room has buttons that activate Magic Missile launchers, but you don't need to engage with any of them. You can just pick up a key on the floor and unlock the door at the opposite corner. The remnants of a scrapped puzzle, I guess.

Image

It leads to this, a puzzle that definitely wasn't scrapped. It's one of the more complicated and least intuitive ones in the game. It might look like you should just throw an item over this pit to the plate, but doing that just makes it come back at you. Instead, you throw it through the top of the north wall, where it ends up landing in the middle. That uncovers another plate to the west (past another pit), which opens up another way in from the south. That's how you press that plate to close the pits. This ultimately leads to one way into level 10, but I'll be taking the other.

Image

The southeast door from the entrance leads to this corridor full of shelves. They will each take a small item from your party as you walk past, true to the name.

Image

At the end is this plate, which deactivates the robbery and changes the message at the end to "You forgot something." That allows you to go back and retrieve your stuff.

Image

The other end of the dagger portal, and another pair of drow boots. I don't know if those are any different from other boots.

Image

Behind another unmarked illusory wall is a +3 shield, the best one in this game.

Image

Giving up a small item to this shelf removes the north wall, leading to a Wand of Fireballs and the other way to level 10. Before that, I take the portal to identify my items and revive our new companion:

Image

If you refuse him:

Image

He replaces Dorhum, though is a bit of a downgrade:

Image

One last thing in level 9:

Image

This works like the Oracle of Knowledge in level 4, but destroys the orb in the process. The Oracles are both very close to the portals in their levels, connected by the hub in level 7, so there's not much point in using this one over the other. Granted, Orbs of Power only have one other marginal use anyway. I take the south path to level 10, fighting one more rust monster along the way.

Little odd that the guy you're meant to think is a paladin and certainly has all the reqs to actually be one isn't but I guess that's not terribly relevent in this game either way. Having less HP than everyone else despite being a fighter with 18 CON is a bit depressing though.

User avatar
Site Admin
Ah, the Scepter of Kingly Girthiness Might. I don't think it does anything this game, although in the other two, it becomes a common mace. I suspect it might have been cut content along the lines of saving somebody, then giving them the scepter to upgrade them from a handsome plinth. Or maybe an important component in the 12th secret quest of the game. In any case, it does nothing that I remember.

Ah yes, driders. They, too, suffered under the rushyness, although that's compensated for by the rust monsters. Aren't you grateful the portal stones are, in fact, stone, and thus don't count? I'm not sure if that applies to a McGuffin, but either way, we're shot of them. I hate them in tabletop, I hate them in this game, but they are still not the biggest dick move in terms of monsters this game has to pull.

EOTB 9: Moss, Mantises, Meetings, Mind Flayers

Image

Welcome to level 10. We're greeted by a mantis warrior. They are extremely fast, and attack the instant they are facing your party in melee range. What's more, their hits can paralyze. The Remove Paralysis spell will be valuable in the next couple of levels.

Image

The manual neglects to mention their ability to paralyze, instead describing their completely mundane halberds as if they're something exotic. They can drop those or daggers.

Image

Speaking of weapons, three of them must be left on pressure plates to open a door to the north. I use the cursed axe from level 5, the actually good axe Drow Cleaver, and Night Stalker, since this game's power creep has spiked to such a level that +3 weapons are now throwaways.

Image

Doors here look like this, by the way.

Image

In a section north from the central hallway, we find the remains of the ranger Tyrra as well as a key.

Image

This room is at the end of that central hallway. Pressing this button will hit you with a fireball. Another button next to the message "In case of fire..." will hit you with an Ice Storm. Just ignore them and use the key from earlier to unlock the southern door.

Image

That leads to a short hallway with a message that will hit your party with a fireball when you read it.

Image

What it really leads to is Shindia, the game's only female drow who led the attack on the dwarves. If you select "Kill her" she'll fight back. That option and letting her go result in no further words, so let's hear her out:

Image

The room Shindia is encountered in has both of level 10's stone portals. The scepter portal to level 8 is on the west wall, and the ring portal to level 6 is on the east. There are doors to the north of each leading to small rooms.

Image

The east room has three shelves. The alcoves next to them are initially occupied by mantis warriors, who can be lured out one at a time. This is level 10's special quest. Take the items from the shelves (scroll of Flame Blade, Potion of Poison, Wand of frost), and replace them with kenku eggs (the level 6 portal is near the nest room). This will spawn another four mantis warriors in the alcoves, so retreat quickly to avoid getting surrounded. Each of them will drop a ring: one Feather Fall, one Sustenance, and two Rings of Protection +2.

Image

South from the portal room is a long hallway with seven teleporters, each with a lever next to it. The levers will change their destinations, but it's much simpler if you don't. Simply go into the first teleporter, then stepping east from there will land you on a plate at the end that removes all the teleporters.

Image

Getting past the teleporters leads to plate mail and stairs to this isolated portion of level 9.

Image

West of the portal room, we release the captive dwarf prince. Voiced version here.

Image

Using the portal to level 6, we bring him back to his people. Listen to his homecoming here.

Image
Image

We also revive Tyrra.

Image

Our new companions:

Image

We return to level 10 via the north entrance, which is a more direct path to level 11.

Image

A slight detour to this pixel hunt of a button, opening a room with a scroll of Cone of Cold.

Image

This pit is the only way into level 11. Shelves on the east and west walls have a Potion of Giant Strength and a Ring of Feather Fall. With three of those rings and three Aid spells, I take the plunge.

Image
Image

The starting area of level 11 is three concentric squares with a stone portal in the middle. Each square has a message, a star, an opening, and a button that changes which sides they are on. The messages in the middle and outer layers read "Leave no stone unturned." and "Alignment must be true" respectively. The goal is to get the stars and openings on each wall on the same side. Doing so will remove a wall in front of a door on the open side.

Image

In the outer square I find this rock, which is +2.

Image

I line everything up to go west. There I find this pre-identified longsword and banded armor +3. That's the best individual body armor in this game, though plate mail paired with a Ring of Protection is equal to or better than it (they don't stack with magic armor).

Image

A door in the north path brings our first level 11 monster, the xorn. They hit hard and are hard to hit, but attack very slowly. There's another +2 rock in this room.

Image

South from that door, we find the potion needed to cure the dwarf king. You can have one of your characters drink it, and from experimenting I've found that it cures poison. But it's best used for its actual intended purpose.

Image

The room that potion is found in is also the location of level 11's special quest. This room is at the end of a hallway with eight levers, some of which change the positions of others. If you can get all of them up (just click each one once from its initial position), there will be a Wand of Frost on the shelf, but that's not what the quest is.

Image

Put any scroll on the shelf, and arrange the levers so that only those second ones from each end are up, and that scroll will become this one.

Image

The northeast section of level 11 has a whole bunch of xorns in it. They never enter that middle tile, so you can go in and retreat to take them out one by one. That method is of course slow. This part is the biggest stumbling block for speedruns, since there's really no reliably fast way to get through it.

Image

After getting past the xorns, you need to find and press this hidden button.

Image

The room it opens up has this, the only way in and out of level 12. The portal it activates is not the one at the beginning. The key for that one is also in level 11. Speaking of which, it's now time to open up the east path from there.

Image

This section introduces level 11's other monster, the mind flayer. As you can see, they can do a lot of damage if a hit lands - I think it might be percentage based, but I'm not sure. They can also paralyze multiple characters with their psionic powers. Note that Ileria's spell menu is still open despite being paralyzed. Using a spellbook or holy symbol beforehand can enable you to cast through paralysis. They have 90% magic resistance, so using offensive spells is pretty much pointless. They all inhabit 2x2 or 2x3 rooms and go down pretty quickly to physical attacks, though meeting them at the entrance can be a problem.

Image

Here we find the remains of the mage Kirath, our final party member for this game. He was pretty decked out: in addition to the spellbook, there is a Robe of Defense (+5), Bracers of Defense +2, a Ring of Protection +2 (doesn't stack with the other two), and a +5 dagger named Flicka. We also find the key for the portal at the beginning. It goes to the hub in level 7, with easy access to the oracles and the dwarf cleric.

Image

The room with Kirath's remains was also occupied by a mind flayer, the likely cause of his death. It dropped a regular robe. I'm finally showing what Detect Magic does. Since robes are all blue in the first place, you still can't really tell the magical one apart. Before coming here, I opened up the south path from the level 11 starting area. From there I went through a series of square rooms with hidden teleporters and collected some items. These include a Wand of Lightning, a second Luckstone Medallion, and a Scroll of Hold Monsters. I'll go into spells a bit more next time when we finally have another mage.
Last edited by Alpha3KV on Sat Aug 28, 2021 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Site Admin
Oh boy... There's a lot to unpack in this one. Let's start with Shindia, because she's actually pretty easy to deal with.

Image

Hey, remember this? Oh, look, it's Shindia, and, as you might expect from her being on Level 10, she is the last of the named minions of Xanathar, whoever they are. In the game, she is, for her brief screentime, not very drowish at all. Drow are schemers, not cowards, so, uhhh... Well, pretty much everyone who's played this game was disappointed with Shindia, moreso than Ilserv, who was basically "Arrogant Minion #53"

And, sad to say, she's no better in the comic. Repeatedly dunked on in the final two fights, she ignonimously falls into a swamp and is eaten by alligators after a brief hostage situation. Honestly, every villain's fate in the EoB arc was shite and SatAm-ish.

Aaaanyway, onto our monsters! There's three, and the origins of all three was in 1e, believe it or not! In fact, the Mind Flayer predates both the Xorn and Thri-Kreen as far as official statblocks go, and yes, Thri-Kreen have been a fixture of the Realms from the beginning, albeit in a "Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Film" way.

But where Thri-Kreen were most famous was Dark Sun, because they finally got one of the more comprehensive splatbooks in AD&D

Image

That's right, an entire book about my sleepless, hierarchy and hunting obsessed bug-baes. And yes, they do coat their weapons in paralytic poison quite often. It's one function of their spit.

The Xorn are an interesting one, because they have an ability you don't actually see unless you're specifically looking for it, or you're running the fuck away: They can walk through walls, just like Xorn from 1e onwards. The first time you're likely to notice this is when you suddenly get ambushed from behind when you know damn well no-one was behind you previously. Beyond this, there's really not a lot to say.

Finally... Mindflayers. What Alpha's not mentioned is one of the most aggravating thing about Mindflayers in this game...

There is no visrep for their mass paralyze, iirc. Not a fucking sausage. And, being a spell, it's ranged.

Good fucking luck.

I somehow forgot to include my shot of a mind flayer initially. I have rectified that now.

Fuckin' mind flayers, of course you actually have to fight some.
JamieTheD wrote:and yes, Thri-Kreen have been a fixture of the Realms from the beginning, albeit in a "Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Film" way.
Oh, I guess that explains a few things.

User avatar
Site Admin
RandomKesaranPasaran wrote:
Sun Aug 29, 2021 12:55 am
Fuckin' mind flayers, of course you actually have to fight some.
JamieTheD wrote:and yes, Thri-Kreen have been a fixture of the Realms from the beginning, albeit in a "Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Film" way.
Oh, I guess that explains a few things.
Yeah, even I was a bit surprised at this. In 5E, they were mostly in the Shaar, but before that, Vilhon Reach.

Which, considering very few games even bother with the Vilhon Reach (I certainly can't remember any FR computer games that went there), means... Well, like I said, nobody really associates my bug-baes with Forgotten Realms.

And I like it that way, because the Dark Sun setting is fucking cool, even if the meta-plot and a lot of the splatbooks were fucking awful.

EOTB 10: End of the Beholder

We return to the dwarves on level 5 and give them the potion. Voiced version here.

Image
Image

Here's what we're given:

Image

Wand of Slivias? Excuse me, it was supposed to be the Wand of Silvias. Bunch of scam artists here. As with any other wand, only a mage can use it. We can also take care of that right now.

Image

Here are his stats and initial spell list:

Image

Two standouts among his spells. Burning Hands causes damage to enemies in front of you, which increases with the caster's level. It is notable mainly because it has no scrolls, so recruiting Kirath is the only way to cast it in this game. Stoneskin is an incredible buff. It nullifies a certain number of physical attacks, dependent on the caster's level (1d4+3 at level 7). Better yet, it is not time-limited. It will stay on after rest, so you can easily cast it on the whole party. Since only a few enemies are capable of anything other than physical attacks, this essentially means nigh-invulnerability. It does not protect against spells, however. A scroll for it is also behind one of the rock doors in level 9.

Image

I also have him scribe some of the scrolls we've collected. I cancelled out after the first screen since it was listing spells he already knew. The most useful among these is Haste, which lowers the whole party's attack cooldown. Unlike some other games, it has absolutely no drawbacks in this series. Time to make use of some of these spells.

Image

I'm getting revenge on the dwarves for their misspelled wand bullshit. This is two of them lined up in a row near the door. That latter part is important because it gives me an escape to avoid being surrounded. Nothing other than the party can open doors, not even the humanoids who built these places.

Image

Kirath is not a high enough level to cast Cone of Cold, but I have four Wands of Frost. Here's a nice property of the spell: It can be cast through partially open doors. Any other spell would just hit the door, and the party if that spell was Fireball or Ice Storm. With this you can use it to kill enemies before they have a chance to reach you.

Image

I use Hold Person on these stragglers and show what Burning Hands looks like.

Image

The way into level 12 is a portal behind a locked door in the southwest room of level 11. There are two xorns in the room and a mind flayer behind the door, so you can encounter both enemies in the same place.

Image

Level 12 starts in a closed square room with no visible door. These things found around the level are fireball launchers, though this one seems to be inactive.

Image

The way out of the starting room is clicking this lamp to remove the wall behind it.

Image

When you do, you see this message on a wall. In the next room, accessed by a normal door, is another sign saying "You were warned."

Image

That room has a door to the west and this pixel-hunt button that removes the wall to the north.

Image

Taking that path disables a fireball launcher and allows us to get the drop on this level's main enemy type, the stone golem. These are weaker versions made by shortcuts, and they can be hit by non-magical weapons. Spells don't seem to work against them, though. There are four in this room, one of which drops a skull key.

Image

To the north we find where they are made. Two other pedestals are labeled "Stone for substance." and "Potion for strength." Anything besides the Dwarven Healing Potion will work, including Potions of Poison. When each pedestal has the appropriate item, pressing the button on the right will create a hostile stone golem. The only reason to do this is getting some additional experience.

Image

In the south there's another room with three pedestals. The middle one has another skull key. The outer two have Potions of Extra Healing and useless jewelry, but will steal small items from you if you take them. It's best just to ignore them.

Image

This locked door is unique because it will close and re-lock itself when you come back out.

Image

It leads here, with three golems in a corridor at the end. However, they don't come for you until you cross between the two pedestals, unless the whole party is invisible. You can also just pelt them with projectiles from here and never face retaliation. The shelves contain Potions of Invisibility and Vitality, which bring a character's hunger meter to full.

Image

Level 12 is split into three isolated sections: west (where we started), central, and east. Each one has a room arranged like this. Two of the buttons will warp you to one of the other rooms, and the third will push you into the east wall, where you can go forward into another room or back where you came from.

Image

The east section has a different room with three buttons. The outer ones create shelves with items: an Orb of Power to the south, a Potion of Speed to the north. The middle one launches two fireballs that turn onto its location.

Image

North from there you can find a Wand of Magic Missiles between two locked doors.

Image

The northwestern room of this section has a pedestal with three Orbs of Power. They can be used in the central section.

Image

There we find this room at the end of a long hallway. Put an Orb of Power on each outer pedestal to remove the large eyeball. Put another orb there to remove all three pedestals. The orbs will return to the pedestal they came from. The room behind this has two doors that only open from the inside, connecting to that room with the orb pedestal and the golem factory. With the three sections connected, it's time to go back east and finally confront the titular beholder, Xanathar.

Image
Image

Beholders are extremely terrifying monsters that can very literally kill you just by looking at you and are immune to magic. Taking him on in a fight could be a very deadly mistake, so I do the sensible thing and surrender.

Image

Your characters drop everything in their hands if you do that.

Image

Damn, who could have guessed the villain was untrustworthy? Xanathar has two "insta-kill" abilities, the death spell and disintegration, that do exactly 100 damage. As you can see here, death doesn't happen at 0 HP, but -10. From 0 to -9, a character is unconscious: not able to do anything, but can still be healed back into action. Anya would survive this. In this case, Ileria is not a high enough level to cast Raise Dead, and I forgot to take any of its scrolls along. Oops. Luckily, the Wand of Inconsistent Spelling is still in Kirath's inventory. What it does is push Xanathar back. This is important because he stupidly put a deathtrap that he is vulnerable to right in his own quarters.

Image

You have to get him through a corridor first, which reveals another mistake I made: neglecting invisibility. The beam launches a fireball from the north, but is not broken if the whole party is invisible. Granted, invisibility is no help against Xanathar himself, who follows this up with his own more powerful fireball that kills Kirath. I'll have to go back for my weapons and do this the old-fashioned way.

Image

This is going pretty badly. Discretion is the better part of valor, so Ileria flees the battle and drags the barely-alive Tod Uphill with her. Obviously, when your last party member gets killed, that's a game over. But if you drop the last survivor, that last kill never happens. That means you can keep playing even with your entire party dead. In this state, while unable to attack or cast spells, you can still pick up items and throw them to damage enemies. I could kill Xanathar that way, but I'm not letting a perfectly good deathtrap go to waste.

Image

That conspicuous bloodstain marks its location. Since I'm no longer able to push him back, I make him follow me instead. Protip: that's a better way of doing it even if you're keeping your characters alive and not using ridiculous exploits. To actually get him in there, I'll have to use the A.I. of the Beholder to my advantage. When a monster is at your front-left position, it will move ahead to flank you. But if you move forward at the same time, the monster will keep going in the same direction. This also works with groups of four staying in formation.

Image

It took a few tries to do this since he often turns around at the last tile. It seems to work most reliably when you follow him closely but don't bump into him.

Image

When this happens, the special quest sound will play. I'm not entirely sure if specifically for getting him into his own trap, or just killing him by any means. In any case, we have achieved (pyrrhic) victory!

Image

In the DOS version, the ending sequence is an anticlimactic text dump.

Image

Completing all special quests gets you this as well before abruptly kicking you back to DOS. I have no idea where the password is used.

Videos
My absurd strategy in motion.
The Amiga ending, in which the Lords of Waterdeep act like pricks.
Sega CD endings, with and without getting Xanathar into the trap.
Last edited by Alpha3KV on Tue Sep 14, 2021 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Incredible. Simply incredible.

User avatar
Site Admin
On the one hand, it is for getting the special quest. And you only have the one hint for this, which is that the wand will save you in your darkest hour. And it is the only item in the game that does this, to my knowledge.

By the way, you can run out of charges for the fucking thing. And you can also trigger that trap yourself, if you're a real berk.

Well... Onward, to Eye of the Beholder 2: The Anagram, An Oddly Friendly Khelben, And The Bullshit Encounters!

To be fair, though, EoB2 definitely has some interesting, if under-utilised things. I'll save talking about the DC Forgotten Realms comics in a bit more detail until later, because it can serve as a nice complete sidenote (EoB2 and 3 were not represented in the comics), but, of the trilogy (we do not talk about the GBA game), 2 is definitely my favourite.

User avatar
This was great! I love the dead party glitches and such in these games.

EOTB Bonus Update

Before moving on to the second game, I'll be showing a few more things from the first. There's no autosave after killing Xanathar, so my last save is just before meeting him.

Image

Back to level 11.

Image

And from there to the hub in level 7.

Image

Using ASE's teleport feature, I show the unique graphic of the short sword I passed on for the Ring of Wizardry. I then take the portal to level 9.

Image

In the previous update, I mentioned that Cone of Cold will go through partially-open doors. Turns out that was underselling it. A partially-open door is for all intents and purposes still closed. Here are two displacer beasts dying to a Cone of Cold from behind a locked door. Notice that other red circle in the middle of the walls. I use ASE to go there too.

Image

It's a rust monster. Stoneskin doesn't just prevent damage from physical attacks, it also stops any other effect of the hit landing. That means poison, paralysis, or in this case, the rust monster eating items. That's good here since wands count as metal. Kirath has Vampiric Touch active.

Image

Hitting with it brings his HP up significantly above max. Nobody has Aid cast on them here. I finish it off with the other mage melee spell, Shocking Grasp. However going into the walls wasn't necessary to do this. Closed doors are functionally the same thing as solid walls. Cone of Cold can can go through those too, as shown here:

Image

Near the northwest corner of level, there's an isolated room with two spiders in it. There's normally no way in there. The pits in level 4 go to the corridor east of it. The only real indication of it is the spiders' very annoying walk sound when you're in an adjacent room. Unless you chose no sound on startup. Speaking of those options:

Image

:sickos: There's a CGA mode for those who can't get enough of magenta and cyan.

Image

The drow levels are the ones that come out looking best in this mode. This portal has no key item. The stone gem doesn't even seem to exist in the game data. The Cutting Room Floor has more details on unused things. There is an unofficial version 1.9 of this game that adds it and makes it go to an unfinished part of level 2. Since I'm not using that, I go to level 4 instead.

Image

Levels 10 and 11 look kind of similar to the dwarf levels. Our final party is unable to translate anything.

Image

Apparently that does include the orc runes. It's either a dwarf or gnome that specifically identifies them as such. You may have noticed that despite these runes, there are no orcs in this game. There aren't any in the sequels either. On the way here, I encountered a zombie that respawned. Ileria's turn undead instantly destroyed it.

Image

That's enough of that. Back to the grind:

Image

The kenku in level 6 don't just have abnormally high experience values, they also have one of the fastest spawn rates of the game's monsters. Just walking around the level can make a lot of them. There's apparently a limit, and spawning one can't be done without killing another at that point. You can get experience from them without directly engaging them or even just blasting them with Cone of Cold from behind a wall. I get everyone above 200K experience like this (they were fairly close to start) and then add 1 million with ASE. That brings everybody up one level each time XP is gained. Hit Dice are still rolled in this game after levels where that should have stopped by AD&D rules. Which ultimately leads to this:

Image

Anya started with 45 HP at 4th level and gained 12 for each level up to the max of 11. 12x7=84+45=129, but character HP is a signed byte in this game so it wraps around to the negatives. She gets the faded unconscious portrait but is otherwise treated as dead. She takes no further damage in this state, even from things like fireballs. Perhaps our strongest warrior has ascended to Valhalla. The sequels don't use a signed byte and allow higher HP totals, so now seems like a good time to move on.
Last edited by Alpha3KV on Sat Sep 11, 2021 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Oh of course they used signed bytes for HP and forgot to put in the early D&D HP gain parking brake. Ain't nothing like dying because you became too good at not dying.

Also lol cone of cold being able to fire through walls, that's definitely not the kind of busted I'd have expected.

If Garry Stew from the starting party stuck around, he could have 135 HP (-121) at level 9. A player-created dwarf fighter can overflow even at a "legal" level.

I finally got around to rendering and uploading the higher quality version of my "battle" with Xanathar, now edited into that post:
https://www.polsy.org.uk/play/yt/?vurl= ... OlPb9e-1UA

Image

This game was released within a year of the first, built on the same engine. It doesn't have graphics and sound options at startup. The intro scene can be watched here.

Image
Then a note was slipped to you. It was from your friend Khelben Blackstaff, Archmage of the city. The message was urgent.
He didn't just send a letter, he also included five whole pages of attachments in the manual.

Image
Image
Image

The party heads to Khelben's place.

Image
Image

Going by what the letter in the manual says, the party should damn well know this considering they've already agreed to his task.

Image
Image

The party climbs some stairs...

Image

...and finally meets the man himself.

Image
Image
Khelben wrote: Ancient evil stirs in the Temple Darkmoon. I fear for the safety of our city.
Image
Khelben wrote: Three nights ago I sent forth a scout. She has not yet returned. I fear for her safety. Take this coin.
Image
Khelben wrote: I will use it to contact you. You must act quickly. I will teleport you to Darkmoon. May luck be with you my friend.
Image

And so the next adventure begins.

Image
Image

I'm making the spellcasters Kirath and Ileria required. The other two will be decided by a poll.

:siren: VOTE HERE :siren:

User avatar
Site Admin
Ah, EotB 2. As with a few Westwood products of the time, it was a reaction to people saying the 1st game was too easy. We'll see how that went. XP

But while there's not much to note here, beyond Khelben being unexpectedly friendly (Seriously, if you see a book with Khelben in it, the odds are about 60-75% that he's either irritable, or outright being an asshole)... Except that intro stuff in the manual. It's a useful document, in its way, and spoils a few minor points. As a good intro document should for an RPG, give you a little info for the early game.

It's a shame, really, that we don't have a Paladin in our party for this one. Because we're going to miss out on something in the first damn update, iirc. Hope you know about that one, Alpha!

Post Reply