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

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The Eye of the Beholder series is a trilogy of first-person dungeon crawler RPGs, in the vein of 1987's Dungeon Master. They're officially liscenced AD&D games published by Strategic Simulations, Inc (SSI) using 2nd edition rules. The first two games were first released in 1991, with the third coming in 1993. All three were released for DOS and PC-98. The first two have Amiga versions, and the original has console versions by Capcom for SNES and Sega CD. That latter version adds more cutscenes to the game, complete with voice acting. I will be playing the DOS versions that are buyable from GOG.

The first task of each game is to make a party of four characters. The sequels also allow importing from the previous game and come with quick start save files. Each game also has recruitable NPCs and a maximum party size of 6. You can even have those NPCs replace your own characters, which is what I plan to do in this LP. This won't result in the most powerful parties, but they'll be adequate to finish the games.

Spoiler Policy
There's not really a whole lot to spoil in these games. My only request will be to not discuss enemies that aren't listed in the manuals. Discussion of outside FR lore is fine since these games are mostly independent from it.

Table of Contents
Eye of the Beholder:
Intro
Character Creation Station
1: The First Level
2: Sewer of the Dead
3: Curated Fishman Ass
4: Walking Through Webs
5: Dwarf Plot Dump
Last edited by Alpha3KV on Sat Jul 31, 2021 2:28 am, edited 6 times in total.

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The first game was also one of the very first RPGs I played at a young age.

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As an aside, the SNES version used different box art from the others. I bet you'll never guess what kind of monster the final boss is!

You can watch the voice-acted Sega CD version of the intro here

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The plot is very basic.

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It seems that their meeting is being... beheld. :rimshot:

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The party, which may or may not resemble the one you create, is given this letter to read in the manual:

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Time to gear up.

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I'm kind of amused by the cleric praying rather than getting any type of equipment.

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That's right, we're starting with a sewer level, baby!

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Uh oh, looks like the heroes are about to be the victims of some major orb shit.

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The only way out is through now.
Last edited by Alpha3KV on Mon Jul 12, 2021 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Character Creation Station

I intend to have the final party be made of recruitable NPCs. In this case the ones who can be revived from their bones found throughout the game. You can get an early peek at them here.
Before that, we'll need to create an initial party to get through the first quarter of the game before anybody else can be recruited. That's where you all come in.

Dwarf
Stat adjustments: CHA -2, CON +1, DEX -1
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Notes: Can read dwarven writing, though you can recruit a dwarf the very instant you enter the part where that's relevant.

Elf
Stat adjustments: CON -1, DEX +1
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Notes: Have a hit bonus with bows and one-handed swords. Cannot be revived after death. I believe they can also read Drow writing found in the third quarter of the game.

Gnome
Stat adjustments: INT +1, WIS -1
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Notes: Limited to level 9 cleric. They also get a bonus to hit kobolds and can read kobold runes, both of which only appear in the first level.

Half-Elf
Stat adjustments: None
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Notes: Unlike full elves, I'm fairly sure they can't read Drow writing.

Halfling
Stat adjustments: DEX +1, STR -1, WIS -1
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Notes: Have a hit bonus with slings. Limited to fighter 9 and cleric 8, which is the lowest racial level limit.

Human
Stat adjustments: None
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Notes: No dual-classing in this series.

Gender affects portrait selection and nothing else.

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Those last 3 faces are usable by both genders. Different characters cannot use the same portrait.

As with all of SSI's AD&D games, there is nothing preventing you from doing this with every character:

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Alignment
Thieves cannot be lawful good.
Rangers can only have good alignments.
Paladins must be lawful good, and are mutually exclusive with evil characters. That's the only real effect alignment has.

Names are limited to 10 characters.

What I need:
Elf
Cleric
Single-class warrior who is not an elf.
Last edited by Alpha3KV on Mon Jul 05, 2021 9:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Well, then I humbly submit Fuckin' Garry

Garry has 18 in all stats, even 18/00 (ah, I miss that from ADnD. Little else though), and he is insufferable about it. He claims to be the ultimate human being. Which is strange, considering he is a Dwarf. Still, as a Warrior he is infallible, even if strange spirits keep telling him that he is a "filthy lucker" and "used dirty dice to make their character."

Beyond this, he is strangely bland for his 16 Charisma.

(Yes, I'm being silly here. But let's face it, somebody had to make the "All 18s" guy, and I decided to make him an insufferable asshole)

JamieTheD wrote:
Mon Jul 05, 2021 12:17 am
Well, then I humbly submit Fuckin' Garry

Garry has 18 in all stats, even 18/00 (ah, I miss that from ADnD. Little else though), and he is insufferable about it. He claims to be the ultimate human being. Which is strange, considering he is a Dwarf. Still, as a Warrior he is infallible, even if strange spirits keep telling him that he is a "filthy lucker" and "used dirty dice to make their character."

Beyond this, he is strangely bland for his 16 Charisma.

(Yes, I'm being silly here. But let's face it, somebody had to make the "All 18s" guy, and I decided to make him an insufferable asshole)
I was actually planning on just pumping up the initial characters anyway. I edited in the fact that names can only be 10 characters. A dwarf fighter is also a suggestion I got on my SA crosspost, so I will definitely give this consideration.

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It does save time on many levels, although it does mean you somewhat miss out on guessing the increasing die rolls for certain actions, but yes, a dwarven fighter is the most stereotypical, minmaxing choice, very befitting of "Fuckin' Garry."

And I will repeat what I said in the discord:

My condolences in advance for Eye of the Beholder 3. If you need someone to talk about bits of DnD/Forgotten Realms lore, tidbits like Xanathar, the DC/Dark Horse comics (reasonably sure I have the whole bunch), and my speculation on why the "creative differences" that led to Westwood pulling up stakes and half-assing Lands of Lore, while SSI half-assed EoB3, hit me up.

EOTB 1: The First Level

The party that will begin this adventure is:
Garry Stew: LE dwarf fighter of unparalleled toughness.
Leonerdo: LG Ranger/Cleric emulating a legendary sewer hero.
Dave Grohl: CG Foo Fighter, Foo Mage, and Foo Thief.
Maskmaiden: CE Cleric/Thief and token lore-friendly character.
They each start with 5000 experience divided between all their classes, rounded down in Dave's case. Some of them will be staying around for quite a while due to the way recruitable NPCs are spread throughout the game and other things I want to show.

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When you begin, characters' health is shown via bars. You can change this to show numbers instead in the preferences menu. Everybody starts off wearing leather armor and carrying mundane weapons. Two of them are wearing boots, which don't really do anything. Multiclassing is permissive, equipment-wise: Mages can cast in any armor, and clerics won't be restricted to blunt weapons. The thieves have lockpicks, and the spellcasters have books or holy symbols that are used for casting. Speaking of which, your characters won't start with spells memorized in any of these games. This room is secure and a good place to remedy that.

Your top-left character will have a "Commission and Letter of Marque" whose text is also presented in the manual with better formatting:

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We're legally entitled to ALL the piss and shit! :q:

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Short swords are the only melee weapons that can be used in the off-hand. Dual-wielding gives a hit penalty to anyone other than a ranger wearing leather armor. Rangers do not get spells or any other special abilities at higher levels in these games. They are essentially just fighters who take longer to level up. Daggers in this series are strictly thrown weapons, which means they can be put in the belt slot along with rocks and darts plus some other small items. In the east side of the room, we find some extra lockpicks and a skeleton.

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The whole thing can be picked up and only takes up a single inventory space like anything else. These are the remains of Tod Uphill, a thief who we won't be able to revive until we reach the game's 5th level. I've also shown what happens when you click on that grate on the floor. Hunger meters are a mechanic of this series. If they get empty, that character will continually take damage and be unable to memorize spells. They must periodically eat rations, by dragging them onto the plate icon, to prevent starvation.

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Past the first door we find our first enemy, a single kobold. Since you have basically infinite mobility, it is possible to avoid almost any potential damage. The hallway it patrols also has a changing point for the rest of the level. Using the All-Seeing Eye shows that the way the layout changes depending on your path:

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Thanks to vilkacis for making this GIF from my map screens

I go east, which leads to this:

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Gnomes can translate this kobold rune, which is the only one in the game.

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After opening a door further on we come upon a larger group of kobolds. They can fit 4 to a tile. When this happens, the heroes and monsters can both only hit enemies on the same side.

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One of those kobolds had a mage scroll. Detect Magic is a spell Dave had from the start which gives magical items a blue glow. We also see a floor plate. This particular one opens or closes the door behind it when stepped on. Some later ones will require items to hold them down.

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Yum, rations from the sewer floor.

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These are purely decoration.

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Two paths from the furthest east hallway have buttons in the form of these slightly discolored bricks. They both remove walls. One of them makes a shortcut back to the center of the level.

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The other opens a room with some kobolds in it. After you get past them, you can get a +2 dart, though nothing can be identified until at least the second quarter of the game.

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When we get closer to the exit, we encounter the other enemies of this level, giant leeches. They have more HP than kobolds, but only one can occupy a tile. Enemies have very specific patrol areas that can be exploited. Moving just one tile to the left would make these leeches completely unable to get to my party.

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The southernmost hallway has a shelf on its north side. It has two scrolls, Armor for mages and Bless for clerics. Armor is the first spell that we could have Dave learn. It sets the caster's armor class to 6, but does nothing that mage already has an AC of 6 or lower. If you're not familiar with 2E AD&D rules, lower is better in this case. Since it's useless to him and he's temporary anyway, I won't bother teaching Dave this spell.

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This is also where we will find the game's first special quest. Each level besides the last has a special quest, often rather obscure, which give rewards like experience and items. In this case, putting a dagger on the shelf will upgrade it to +4. No, there is absolutely nothing in-game that would make you think to try that.

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The entrance to the second level has a puzzle slightly more complex that we've seen before. We have to leave an item on the pressure plate to the left then press the small button on the wall. We also find a single arrow, though we don't yet have a bow.

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This ladder is the way to the next level.

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Before we can actually get there, we're met with copy protection. Every other page of the rule book has a picture of an item in the top-right corner. The shield is on page 10, and "certain" is the password in this case. There are a couple more instances of this, but the GOG version is cracked to allow anything in response.
Last edited by Alpha3KV on Wed Jul 14, 2021 11:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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To be fair, the manual's actually pretty good, with a little bit extra to that commission, iirc.

Also, iirc, although the proc rate is hilariously low, the leeches can inflict a status effect. I forget which one, but I do remember it was no joke, and I raged when it happened. Which likely makes it poison.

And yeah... Kobolds and leeches. A great introduction honestly. The kobolds are relatively quick, but they don't do a whole lot of damage. Meanwhile, the leeches are slow, but more damaging. But doing the clockwork shuffle is pretty easy as a result, because enemies have to turn to face you, and the slow speed of the leeches makes that pretty easy.

Oh, yeah, before I forget... LOREPOST.

Why are the sewers such a threat? Why are kobolds in a populated city?

Ahahaha... The short answer is "Because Waterdeep is built on a dungeon."

But that doesn't do the poor decision making of keeping Waterdeep where it is justice.

Waterdeep is built over a big dungeon. A dungeon which created some of the most powerful and infamous wizards in the Realms (such as Halaster, the Mad Mage, who, by the way, founded Waterdeep.) Undermountain.

If you've played Forgotten Realms, you may well have encountered Undermountain. And said pretty unmentionable things in a loud voice, because the modules that I remember dealing directly with Undermountain are oldschool, filled with dickishness and encounters to make you tear your hair out (The 3.5 one, for example, has a goblin group... Not bad, eh? Now add in their pet, the Metalmaster Slug. It controls metal, and this ambush happens as you're leaving the first level to recuperate.) There are drow. There are entire ecosystems. There are, in some portions, Aboleths. And somewhere in the upper levels, there's a sea, which pirates use to smuggle shit, having made deals.

Undermountain has several entrances, including an inn run by one of the Masked Lords of Waterdeep. Guess what one of them is.

So yes... There is a massive, dangerous dungeon underneath Waterdeep, the City That Gets Attacked On An Almost Monthly Basis For Plot Reasons. Also The City Whose Town Planners Need To Be Hung For Crimes Against Common Sense.

...yeah that part about Waterdeep being a crime against urban planning seems like something I vaguely recall. Less so the bit about one of the entrances being someone's inn.

Also oh god this series, something I touched as a kid but never got very far into because it was too obtuse for me back then. Like what even alludes to the dagger thing there?

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I vaguely recall there's a shrine somewhere in the dungeon that hints at most of them. Notice I said most, reasonably sure one or two of the hints just don't exist.

But mostly, the answer is "Haha, fuck you, buy the hintbook."

Don't read the hintbook while watching this LP, by the way. There's a lot of stuff you don't want to be spoiled on.

Okay, there's some stuff you want to be spoiled on while playing, so you don't scream and throw your keyboard and mouse at a wall... But this isn't the place for that.

As to the Inn, it's mentioned in some sourcebooks, but the most recent mention of it is in the 3.5 Undermountain book I referenced. Oh god, that fucking encounter. I ran that module once, and I seriously had to fudge that one.

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I used to rent the SNES one with my brother and we eventually saved up for the Sega CD version. We got nowhere in either but loved attempting not to bash our heads into the walls. I'm looking forward to how this plays out.

JamieTheD wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 3:27 am
To be fair, the manual's actually pretty good, with a little bit extra to that commission, iirc.
This gave me the idea to put in the manual's version of the commission instead. It has the exact same text in a better-looking format. I also added Khelben's letter from the page before it to the post on the intro sequence.

The manual also has a section on Waterdeep's history. It doesn't mention the things from your lorepost, but that's fine since it doesn't really make a difference. I won't consider any outside FR lore as spoilers since I know very little about that and the games are pretty much independent anyway.

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Alpha3KV wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 11:30 pm
The manual also has a section on Waterdeep's history. It doesn't mention the things from your lorepost, but that's fine since it doesn't really make a difference. I won't consider any outside FR lore as spoilers since I know very little about that and the games are pretty much independent anyway.
Ah, but I kinda happen to know that it does contain spoilers for certain things (and the DC comics definitely do), so I've deliberately restrained myself.

Suffice to say, I'll be talking about the particularly spoilery thing when we come to it, and no sooner.

But thanks for reminding me to talk about that grumpy salt'n'pepper bastard next time.

I made further edits to that update since I didn't pay enough attention to the starting spell list for mages. I also talked a little about what the spells on those scrolls do.
Alpha3KV wrote: One of those kobolds had a mage scroll. Detect Magic is a spell Dave had from the start which gives magical items a blue glow.

...

Armor is the first spell that we could have Dave learn. It sets the caster's armor class to 6, but does nothing that mage already has an AC of 6 or lower. If you're not familiar with 2E AD&D rules, lower is better in this case. Since it's useless to him and he's temporary anyway, I won't bother teaching Dave this spell.
I have the images for the second level and will likely have another update ready in the next couple days.

EOTB 2: Sewer of the Dead

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At the start of level 2, we find our first key along with our first locked doors. There are doors to the north, east and south. We can use this key on any of them or try picking the locks since we have thieves. I go north first.

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First thing to find is a message, which is easy to miss but nothing particularly important anyway.

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Pressing a button only opens this door partway. It must be forced, by clicking on the door, to get it up the rest of the way.

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Further on we find a skeleton behind a grated door. Skeletons take half damage from sharp weapons, and attack quickly when they get into melee range. This one won't do that, since the grated doors allow projectile weapons through them. Not magic missiles though. On that note, since I haven't talked about it yet, only characters in the front (top) row can hit with melee weapons. Projectiles can be used from any position, and are retrievable as long as they land on a walkable tile. This grate must also be forced to enter the room behind it, which contains an unidentified green potion.

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Another grate with a button right behind it. We can't just force this one. We could throw an item through the grate to hit the button, but I'll show another way.

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Just before it is this dagger-shaped carving. We have several daggers dropped from kobolds, so we put one in and open the grate. There are three more of these carvings throughout the level, which make up the special quest. Unlike the previous one, this is actually intuitive since doing it at least once can help you progress. The button removes the wall behind it, and we find another button to remove another wall.

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We encounter the other enemy of this level, a zombie. Zombies don't have the speed or damage resistance of skeletons, making them less dangerous. We also see Maskmaiden using her ability to turn undead, which makes the zombie walk away and avoid attacking. The highest-level cleric will automatically attempt this when undead get into melee range if their holy symbol is in hand.

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Past the zombie is a shelf with rations, a potion of giant strength, and another key. That last one is only there since I used the first key to open the door at the beginning. If I picked the lock instead, it wouldn't be there.

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I take the south door next. A sling, which makes rocks do more damage, is on the ground ahead. But the tile right in front of it will rotate you 90 degrees clockwise every time you step on it. In this case it points me west, where I find this:

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This indicates an illusionary wall. AFAIK no particular race is necessary to translate these runes. Behind it is a mage scroll of Shield, another spell Dave started with that blocks magic missiles and improves AC against projectiles. Another illusory wall to the south leads to a room with two zombies and another dagger carving.

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At the end of the south path we seemingly get closed in, and turned to this carving. When we put a dagger into it:

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The wall created was fake the whole time, though it is not marked with an orc rune.

On the eastern path there is a room with hidden teleporters that also turn your party around:

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Behind the key shelf, there are runed illusionary walls that lead to two arrows (still no bow) and rations. Other runed walls in the middle are needed to exit this room.

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The east door brings us to our first pit. Walking into it causes fall damage and takes you into a subsection of this level. To the left is a ladder that goes in and out of that area, where a potion of healing can be found. To the right is a switch that closes the pit.

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After getting past that pit we find another one. This one is closed by the floor plate behind it, so you need to throw an item across. This leads to a room with more pits closed by various buttons and switches, making a path to another key shelf. On the way back, taking the item off this plate will reopen the pit in front. You will have to leave something behind or take damage.

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Taking items from the shelves removed walls from the north path, opening up a new hallway.

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What looked like a normal dagger on the ground was actually this, which will be important when I get out of the sewers. I do not have Detect Magic active, that blue outline is always there.

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I find the last dagger carving. Inserting the dagger completes the special quest, which drops rations at each carving.

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This teleporter is a shortcut to the end of the level. We still need something before we can leave.

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Near that teleporter is a small room with nothing but a button and some text on the wall.

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It's an elevator. Closing the door and pressing the button will take you between the main level and two sublevels.

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The correction facility has several rooms each occupied by a pair of skeletons. To prepare for the battles, I used a couple of second-level cleric spells. Aid gives one character the hit bonus of Bless and 1-8 temporary HP, which can go above their max. Leo also cast Flame Blade, which does full damage to skeletons. Only one at a time is allowed. There is a bow in this room, allowing us to finally use the arrows we have. Another has a mage scroll of Invisibility. Monsters will mostly ignore characters under its effect, which is broken by attacking or casting. They are less likely to hit an invisible character if they do attack.

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The second sublevel is this very normal part of a sewer.

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Despite the ominous name, it's far less deadly than the correction facility. Only three zombies behind a grate, though they have room to move away from it.

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The zombies guarded a gold key, needed to reach the third level.

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The northern half of this level is pretty much entirely filler. These skeletons guard a button that moves some walls around, and a switch that opens a nearby room with zombies and a healing potion. There's nothing really special up here and you can skip it all with the teleporter.

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The northeast corner has the gold key door leading to the level 3 entrance.
Last edited by Alpha3KV on Sat Jul 17, 2021 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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And this level introduces a simple, yet important adage: Keep rocks. A fair few rocks. They don't do much damage, but you can huck them pretty quickly, and, more importantly, you're not leaving something decent behind if you do... Although in RPGs like this, it isn't always the case that a rock (or up to... 16 rocks, I think it is? It's a multiple of 4, anyway) will do.

Anyway, yes, zombies are slower, but they hit harder. Which you'll almost never see, because you can dance around them with the greatest of ease, shuffling tiles and walloping them, shuffling tiles and walloping them, shuffling tiles and... Look, unless there are multiple enemy spawns or a small corridor, moving from one tile to another, waiting for them to move, then juking again, hitting them once your weapons are charged... Will flummox enemies for a while in this game.

But alas, not forever. We'll get to that when we get to it. In the meantime...

A (brief) loredump: Khelben Blackstaff, Protector of Waterdeep, And Generally An Asshole.

So yes, Khelben Blackstaff is one of the biggest Wizards in the Realms that is currently active, alongside Elminster, Elminster's Hot Elf Girlfriend, Elminster's Goddess Girlfriend, Khelben's Nephew, Khelben's Nephew's Mate's Family, and Khelben's Girlfriend... I'm using general names here, but most of the most powerful mages in the Realms are related in some fashion to either Halaster, Khelben, or Elminster. Blackstaff is actually a nickname, and his real surname is Arunsen.

Yes, he did indeed have a dad called Arun, a half-elf.

Anyway, he's a grumpy as hell git, grim as all get out, although he has a very good reason: He's one of the Thirteen Masked Lords of Waterdeep (At this point in the meta-story, anyway.) Except, like Lord Piergieron (the guy on the throne you saw in the beginning), he's not really anonymous like most of the rest. And, as such, he's seen Waterdeep invaded several times, by evil wizards, by invading armies of demons, and even a miniature war between the deities of the Realms, banished to the Realms as mostly humans as a sort of moral lesson by That Highest of Gods Who Only Appears Once In The Fiction As Far As I Know. So... Yes, add in the general buttload of tragedies that come with living a long life in a fantasy world where doom seems to visit every six months (at most), and you have a man who's very devoted to his job, and really, really dislikes visitors.

But yes, he has family. Most of them aren't alive at this point (with the exception of Danilo Thann, his nephew), but he has them. Also he is, naturally, friends with Elminster. He also ran with The Harpers for a while (an organisation of magic using do-gooders wot do good), but decided he wasn't being treated well, and made his own called The Moonstars, which he presides over with an iron fist.

They are also seemingly unmentioned outside of once or twice. Let's just assume after this game we're part of his Moonstars, because he's much friendlier to us than he is with the vast majority of people in Waterdeep, and indeed, the Realms in general.

Good ol' rock, nothing beats that. Until the enemies that need magic weapons to hit show up but hey.

Nice of the game to have an auto-turn undead feature, at least.

Also Khelben's Girlfriend, who is also the sister of one of Elminster's Girlfriends because Mystra (the first one) decided what Faerun needed was entirely too many Wizard Jesuses (which Khelben also is along with Elminster and his girlfriend(s) because of course he is) because ??? and IIRC pulled an immaculate conception.

I made an edit noting that you don't actually need to put any daggers into carvings. I also replaced the two big images showing a hidden teleport with a single smaller GIF.

EOTB 3: Curated Fishman Ass

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The first thing you hear when entering this level (if you have sound activated of course) is a very loud *blop* sound. All monsters have distinct walking sounds that change volume based on proximity. This does not account for any walls between your party and the monsters. I start with the east fork from here.

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In the hallway is another instance of that beloved mechanic, rotating tiles. I was facing south before this. After this is a room with a key followed by another hallway that does this.

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The first monster we encounter in this level is a flind. They're quick to attack when they get in melee range and sometimes drop their maces upon death.

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Soon after we meet the other monster of this level, a kuo-toa. This was the source of the noise at the beginning. As seen here, they can also throw a lightning bolt. This makes them the first enemy with a ranged attack, which fortunately doesn't penetrate like the spell.

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In the northern hallway there is a hidden teleporter that moves you to the east end the first time you walk into it. The "T" on this map marks a non-hidden sparkly teleporter like the one in the previous level. Like that one, this is also a shortcut to the exit. You can skip pretty much this entire level, but not before another hallway that does this.

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After getting past there, a small button opens up a wall. This leads to a cleric scroll of Cause Light Wounds, a spell that can only be used from the front row.

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The key we found earlier can open up these panels, which reveal buttons.

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The two on the sides spawn kuo-toa that drop keys.

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The middle one removes the wall behind it.

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Later on is a pit that opens up in the tile directly in front of you, so don't rush too much. This will drop you to level 4, right into a giant spider lair. We're not well equipped to deal with poison yet, so let's avoid it. Behind it are a red gem and a +3 dagger called Backstabber.

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This door has two different locks that can open it. Using this one will spawn kuo-toa at your flank and back. There is another one around a corner to the south that won't do that. Either way, that room has another kuo-toa and a couple of healing potions.

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Another pit that opens up right in front of you and drops you into a spider lair.

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There are two doors with these sockets next to them. Putting the red gem found earlier into one will open that door.

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One of them leads to this room, with a floor plate and pit puzzle. At the end of it, you get four arrows, a potion of speed, and another red gem. Falling into one of these pits won't take you to level 4, but a small room of level 3.

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It actually might be worth doing since aside from 3 kuo-toa, it has the game's first wand. Unidentified wands can be annoying to keep track of since they all look exactly the same. This one casts Magic Missile. Speaking of which, Dave has his spellbook open even though it shouldn't be usable right now. If you use a spellcasting item then move it, the spell menu will stay open and allow casting.

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Another grated door. The kuo-toa can't shoot their lightning bolts through it, so you can kill them with impunity.

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In the southwest corner are the remains and possessions of Anya, a human fighter. Alongside the bones are leather armor, a long sword, and a spear, a weapon that can only be thrown.

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I backtrack to get to this room.

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:yosbutt:

It has 3 flinds and 4 kuo-toa that stand perfectly still and won't attack unless you do first. If a monster becomes hostile, all other monsters of the same type will activate. Taking this potion of healing is another way to activate the kuo-toa, and the most advantageous position to do that.

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The exit is accessed from a square hallway, with hidden teleporters of course. Can't get enough of those. It has outlets on each side containing shelves with blue gems.

Insert them into eye sockets in nooks on each side.

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Once all four are in, they change color and walls are opened on the north and south sides.

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After that, you can take them all back out for this level's special quest.

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The last room has two exits to level 4, on the north and south sides. Near each exit is a shelf containing iron rations, which restore more of the food meter than regular ones. Near the north one we find some chainmail, the first improvement over leather armor. The north exit leads to a safer part of level 4, so we'll be taking that one.

...I think this might be the only D&D-based computer game that acknowledged flinds were even a thing unless I'm badly misremembering something. I'd question why they're in a sewer but it's probably just Undermountain things.

I also forgot about the whole kuo-toa throwing lightning thing.

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Errr, no, I don't think you're misremembering, Kesaran. Also, fun fact about that lightning. Normally a Lightning Bolt would only be normal if it were a Kuo-Toa Mage, or two or more Kuo-Toa Priests holding hands.

I suspect each Kuo-Toa we meet is actually two priests in a trenchcoat. And yes, Waterdeep's sewers are one entrance to Undermountain. Anyway, yes, now we've gotten spoilered about the spiders... This is where dual/multi-classing can screw you over. Because you might not get the XP to get the Cleric of your party to the right level (5th/20, iirc) to get 4th level spell slots.

Which is where Neutralise Poison is. And even then, you get one slot of it until later levels.

Basically? Fuck the 4th level... EDIT: So if you are going to fall into these pits, pick the right one to fall down (Unless I'm misremembering and all the pits that drop you to L4 go to the same place.) I'll explain that a bit better once Level 4's shenanigans come around.

There ARE flinds in the first Baldur's Gate. They're a type of gnoll and appear as a gray palette swap. That's an interesting note about the Kuo-Toa, but they're clearly not wearing trenchcoats here. Didn't you see the lovingly rendered butt I named the update for? :v:

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Alpha3KV wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 4:13 pm
That's an interesting note about the Kuo-Toa, but they're clearly not wearing trenchcoats here. Didn't you see the lovingly rendered butt I named the update for? :v:
Clearly, one is poking their hands and head out, and the other is an exhibitionist showing their entire ass to the world.

Ohgod, we're going to end up talking about spiderbutts, aren't we? :kimchi:

I'd rather talk about mantis butts, mmmm, mmmm, mmmm

EOTB 4: Walking Through Webs

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Entering the second quarter of the game means some new surroundings. After one step forward:

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First, I choose talk (see voice-acted version here):

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You can still tend his wounds after that:

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If we refuse his offer:

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I accept him into the party since even just the extra inventory space is useful.

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Taghor is the very first NPC who can join you. He starts severely injured and near starvation, but you should be more than capable of aiding him at this point. He comes equipped with chainmail and an axe.

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Just north of where we met Taghor, there is a rectangular hallway with moving walls that will follow you in a counter-clockwise direction. Just past the northwest corner of the hallway is a dwarven key. I take another lap around so that the walls are arranged this way:

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Note that this level has a north-south wraparound in the east corners. The party's current location is here:

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Pulling on this chain keeps the moving walls in their current positions, and solves the Special Quest when they are as above.
There will be some HP discrepancies in the following shots since I didn't do things in the order I decided to present.

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Northwest from there is a hallway with three pits which would drop us into level 5. Just before it is some text referring to this gargoyle with a raised hand. There are two more like it in rooms to the south and east, and each one closes a single pit.

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South from there is a room with three doors. The east one leads to another gargoyle lever, and the west one has another key. I go to the locked middle room first.

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If you go there while the other two doors are closed, there will be an opening to this nook with a +3 axe and a chain that removes a wall to the west.

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With that, you can bypass the pit puzzle.

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Going south down that hall, there is a very sneaky button that opens a room to the southeast.

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It has another one of those pits that opens up right in front of you. It will toggle every time you step on this tile. On the other side are a dwarven helmet and shield, which use different graphics but are functionally identical to their normal counterparts.

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I go up to the northernmost hall of the level. In the center room I have my first encounter with this level's only enemy type, the giant spider. As you can see, it's also my first experience with poison. Poison causes damage in intervals, though those don't seem to be consistent. Resting is a death sentence to any poisoned character. I cast Slow Poison on Garry to delay the effects.

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The room with the spider also has the portal carving Taghor mentions if you reject him, with that text appearing next to it. These are activated by stone items like the dagger found on level 2. We don't have the item to activate this one yet.

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The next room has four of these potions. Since nobody can cast Neutralize Poison yet, they are the only way to actually remove the poison effect right now. There is a limited number of them so don't use one until you know that you're done fighting spiders for a while, or the character(s) might just get poisoned again.

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In the room after that we find a shelf with this text next to it. If you place an Orb of Power into it, all your items will be identified. However, it will be a little while before we get one of those.

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Going back all the way west, we find a room with one tile surrounded by four doors. There's a spider in there guarding a key. When a door is opened while the other three are closed, there will be a healing potion on the floor. You can repeat this for each side to get four potions. The spider and key appear only once.

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We could go down to level 5 at this point, and could even have done that as soon as we got access to the west hallway without ever encountering spiders. I bypass the stairs down to go into the area the south entrance from level 3 leads to. That plate will close the door behind you.

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These webs can be hacked down with any melee weapon, including bare hands. A good way to deal with them is to unequip a shield, take them down with the offhand, then quickly re-equip it. It's important to be ready to attack since there are often spiders directly behind these webs. Both of those will periodically respawn in this area.

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Among the items here are two rings. One of them does nothing while the other is a Ring of Protection +3.

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There is also another stone portal key, though not for the one on this level.

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After collecting those items along with more arrows and such, we finally cure Garry's poison and go down to the next level.

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Yup. Fuck spiders, because this is basically going to be your experience. Thankfully, because spiders are Large enemies in this game, only one can hit you at a time... From a single cardinal dimension.

I have only been attacked by spiders from all sides once (suffice to say, I was extremely not-smart that one time), but being attacked from the front and the side or back is common in this area, and being multi-poisoned before you earn Cure Poison is a death sentence. Save in this level, and save often. Anyway, it's important to remember (while it works) that most enemies can only hit one side of your formation at a time. However, just like polearms will let middle rank characters in your party attack, polearms in a monster's hands will be able to attack your middle rank. Or, in the case of attacking you from the side, your entire party.

God, I can't wait for one of EoB2's large enemies. They're so god-damn ridiculous.

I'm pretty sure that polearms are only usable from the middle row in the third game, and the only enemies in the series that have them don't appear there. Those enemies move quickly and often appear in numbers, so there's a fairly high probability of getting flanked by them.

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Alpha3KV wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 4:48 pm
I'm pretty sure that polearms are only usable from the middle row in the third game, and the only enemies in the series that have them don't appear there. Those enemies move quickly and often appear in numbers, so there's a fairly high probability of getting flanked by them.
I'll have to replay to double check, but, weirdly, I'm reasonably sure they can be used by first or second rank.

But maybe it's because I've never had any earthly reason to equip polearms in the front row that I'm thinking this.

And yes, I can't wait for those enemies. I'm sure PurpleXIV on the SA thread is also eagerly awaiting them. My favourite bug-baes... And my less favourite status effect.

Ah, yes. I do remember seeing those enemies in EoB2 and young me being very confused about them being there.

Poisonous enemies before having Neutralize Poison is a pretty big dick move, and considering that's a 4th level spell that seems like it'll be a while off yet.

EOTB 5: Dwarf Plot Dump

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Entering the heart of dwarf territory, we immediately come upon this. Like the orc runes in level 2, these signify illusory walls. This is the only way to the rest of this level, but I'm getting some things here first.

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Scale mail is not as good as chainmail, but still superior to leather armor.

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There is a set of three locked doors all leading to the same room. This marks the only instance that there is not a key for every locked door, even ignoring the redundancy of these. I pick all three locks to use the key elsewhere, and go west.

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The enemies of this level are more spiders. Behind a removable wall is a mage scroll of Dispel Magic, which there's no real reason to cast in this game since no enemies cast debuffs.

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I go east past some stairs to level 6 and find this message. It is next to a lever that resets a puzzle to the south.

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When you enter this area, pits to level 6 will open behind you after every step. Items on the ground can distract you from an optimal path, shown on this portion of the map from the GameBanshee guide:

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7 represents useless items, including two -3 weapons that luckily aren't cursed to be stuck in the character's hand. C is a teleporter to the reset lever, and 8 is for keys of a type exclusive to this area.

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9 is this Ring of Feather Fall, whose wearer takes no damage from pits.

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At 10 we find the best armor type and a spell to make the entire party invisible. A lock will remove this wall, revealing teleporter D to a new part of the level.

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After killing some more spiders, I pass through some unmarked illusory walls to get a Wand of Frost. It casts Cone of Cold, one of the best spells in this series which causes major damage to everything in front of you.

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North from there is a teleporter puzzle that ultimately leads to another way to level 6. Those items on the ground are unobtainable due to the teleporters.

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Backing up, this plate opens up a permanent pit on the tile to its north. Southwest of it is a button that opens up a wall into the room I unlocked earlier.

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The special quest for this level is putting 5 normal rations into the pantry shelf to upgrade them to iron rations. This potion will poison whoever drinks it. Things like it and the weapons from the greed puzzle have minor use as weights or for puzzles calling for certain item types.

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The west side of the room has a door that must be forced.

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We make our way to these stairs, which lead to a part of level 4 disconnected from the rest. I use the key from the start there to get a healing potion and a couple of scrolls. Incidentally, the transitions between levels 3 and 4 are ladders going into these stairs.

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The east door of the pantry room leads us to where the dwarves actually are. Prepare for :words:, which you can listen to in a silly voice here

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TL;DR we agreed to find their prince and accepted a new recruit.

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In addition to all that plot, Armun also dumped some rations on the floor. This stone medallion activates the portal in level 4.

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Several dwarf guards stand around this room. It is possible to attack them and make them hostile, but that's not a good idea right now.

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The northeast corner of this room has the priest who can revive the bones we've been carrying from the sewers. On that note, the dwarves don't seem to mind much that there are three floors of excrement on top of their old civilization now.

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The north wall of the pantry room has this gargoyle. They are common decorations on level 4, but this is the only one on level 5 that is not a lock. This particular one is a sneakier version of the earlier runes, marking an illusory wall.

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Behind it is this portal, whose key is in a shelf to its east. This leads to a hub of these portals in level 7, next to the dagger portal to level 9. This leads us to a major decision point:

Option A: Linear path
I can make an all-NPC party right now, with three fighters and a thief, after which I will continue through the levels in order. This will be more difficult at first, but won't have much interesting strategy.

Option B: Pseudo-speedrun
I'd keep the original party intact for a lot longer, using the portals to go through levels 9, 10, and 11. This would ultimately allow for more use of unconventional yet overpowered tactics available only in the first game.

Either way, levels 10 and 11 won't be cakewalks, and the final party won't be fully assembled until just before the last level. In the second game I should be able to fully replace the party very early on.

:siren: VOTE IN THIS POLL :siren:

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The items you can't get are apparently eh anyway, according to the hintbook. It's nice that they tell you what they are, though.

And ohhhh, boy... This is where the level skipping begins. And new friends, and utter assholes appear. Although it opens up a little more, becomes slightly less linear from this point on.

-3 weapons that aren't cursed? Kinder than I thought the game would be.

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RandomKesaranPasaran wrote:
Sat Jul 31, 2021 4:34 pm
-3 weapons that aren't cursed? Kinder than I thought the game would be.
Ahahaha, hahahahahahaha... Hahaha... Haaaaaaa...

Ohhhh, it's saving those dick moves for later. I would be shocked if this LP didn't have savescumming (behind the scenes or otherwise) at some point.

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