The Return of Talking Time

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  #151  
Old 02-13-2019, 11:07 AM
WallyHackenslacker WallyHackenslacker is offline
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I'll vote proving grounds too. Might as well showcase it!
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  #152  
Old 02-13-2019, 02:18 PM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyHackenslacker View Post
In all honesty, I built an account just to participate in this thread. I love this game dearly and have examined it thoroughly. I can even add a few tiny things you missed. May I contribute? I won't undermine what you've done here here without your permission. I love it!!

Thank you for putting this all together!
You're welcome, and thank you for the encouragement! Of course you can contribute - the more the merrier.

It looks like it's unanimous - we're heading to the Proving Grounds.



As I said earlier, the first time I played this, I didn't know there was anything outside Castle Rochelle. It turns out that there is. Mostly, it's just a bunch of sand.



However, in the northwest corner, there's a small mountain range containing a cave.



It's pretty straightforward for the most part, with the only obstacles being a few Gremlins, Insecteri, and Morcs, plus a single Skanky Skeleton towards the end.



However, about a quarter of the way through is a small secret nook containing the psionic Zelig Power. As the name implies, it enables Katrielle to take on the form of a targeted monster, similar to the Chameleon Staff. It's also the only spell in the Transmancy category other than the Morph family.



There are two more secret walls at the end, but all they contain are a bunch of Insecteri. Like all monsters, they have a chance of dropping money, but since there aren't any shops past this point, there's no point to visiting them.



Instead, we'll just head up to the Proving Grounds. This is actually the third-largest island (only Un and Emas are bigger), but has no towns or other inhabited areas. Instead, it just has a metric cred-tonne of monsters.



Despite what Red said, it doesn't have every type, but it comes pretty close. I've encountered Green Flesh-Threshers, Slime Mauls, Morcs, SpOrcs, Botanical Nightmares, Double Noggins, Three Mile Beasties, Insect Swarms, and Hoppers here.



There's also a single Monster from the Id.



So, as you can imagine, it's a great place for last-minute grinding. By the way, I can't help wondering who those two graves are. Any theories?



There's also another reason to come here. See that brown thing west of Katrielle? It's a cache of 5 Deaths Head Bolts - one of only two in the game. Not really especially useful, but nice to have.



As far as I know, that's everything of interest on the Proving Grounds, so next time we'll head back to Rochelle proper and explore the upper levels of the castle. Until then!

Last edited by Kahran042; 03-10-2019 at 03:04 AM. Reason: Fixing Zelig link.
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  #153  
Old 02-13-2019, 03:27 PM
WallyHackenslacker WallyHackenslacker is offline
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Default Fun things to try

More where this came from, but I'll start you off with these. Talk to the old man on Un after doing either (Or both. Same result in any case) escort quest. After using the quartz key to open the door on Un, and getting the note from N, go back and pay the old man in the hut a visit. (Save first. You'll crash the game if you make a certain obvious decision)

Deliver the IR helm to Octavius, then extinguish the perpetual, then visit him again. Curious no? I assume the perpetual was the direct source of their power, and destroying it destabilize their bodies. If he doesn't have the helm he continues as normal if I recall.

Equip the warm boots and warm helm, independently or together. Watch your stat bar.

Ask Rose (The nameless prisoner on Emas who answers to "by any other" I call her such for reasons I assume are apparent) about individuality or soul. (Her presumed most prized possession) note her reply. Foreshadowing??

Open the door for the elderly prisoner begging to be let out. Talk to him again. It's all contingent upon the door.

Take Pitor's jewels. (You can snag them right before bringing him to Fort Agrasse and he'll never miss them). Note that they add 30 to your gold total. Save. Spend all your treasure. Pitors jewels will count toward your total, but never disappear from your treasure list. You may spend them perpetually, long as you're okay with limiting yourself to the 30 gp value they offer. (If I knew resedit well enough i'd try adjusting their value and having some fun.

Almost every locked door in the game with several minor exceptions is accessible if you're persistent and clever. Explaining how can come in another installment. It's not simple.

More to come!

Last edited by WallyHackenslacker; 02-13-2019 at 04:18 PM.
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  #154  
Old 02-15-2019, 04:13 AM
WallyHackenslacker WallyHackenslacker is offline
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Odyssey combat: an overview

Odyssey combat is nothing to marvel at. It's clunky, unsophisticated, not especially balanced, but it's just one component of this beautiful game. There is still depth and detail to explore.

Basic Play-styles:

Single handes weapon+utility. this is the basic approach. A weapon in one hand, and a light or shield in the other. Ideal for dungeon crawls where want to save power points on light or psionic defense. Very viable

Two handed weapon. These tend to be far more effective than one handed weapons. Most of the best weapons in the game are 2 handed. Such tends to demand more power points invested in utility psionics. Very viable

Dual welding: two one handed weapons, one in each hand. Not very practical for fighting, useful for levelling up disciplines. If your main hand attack weakens a target considerably, you can finish them off with a weaker offhand attack of a different discipline for some easy experience in it. Somewhat viable.

Psionic juggernaut: you may equip 2 offhand items as long as they aren't the exact same item. Large shield and moood shield are possible. 2 moood shields is not. If you simply have no intention of hitting things and want to engage psionically, this is quite effective, but best purely for levelling. A dedicated dungeon crawl should be done with a weapon because psionic combat is very draining in odyssey. It's designed to be done with sparing discernment. Not very viable.
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  #155  
Old 02-15-2019, 11:59 AM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default Keys to the Castle

Thanks for the contributions, WallyHackenslacker! I'll be sure to show the fun things off in a bonus update, and you will receive full credit. The insights into the combat system are quite interesting, too. To add one of my own, two-handed weapons become even more viable once you've gotten the Glowing Rock, since you no longer need to spend PP on Glow psionics.



Having explored the Proving Grounds, it's time to head back to Rochelle proper and storm the castle. We've already explored the first floor, so we'll start off with the second floor.



Directly south of the landing is the room where Ronan's mirror leads. We've seen it before, but Katrielle hasn't visited it in this timeline, so I might as well show it off again, and gain a bit of experience off the Minions within.



The two doors north of the mirror room lead to this room, which contains a Healing Herb, some Blue Clothing, and an empty trunk. You can never have too many Healing Herbs, so I take this one.



At the end of the west corridor from the landing is a set of double doors leading to a small room containing a Moood Plate, an Axe of Obfuscation, and a Silver Key.







The Silver Key unlocks the cell doors on the south end of the room, which lead into the beastiary mentioned in Rian's book.

By the way, the book isn't entirely accurate - it doesn't have specimens of every monster. Specifically, there's no Skeletant, Tentaclops, Rolling Zapmonger, Oozasaurous, Ephemeral One, or Monster From the Id. The last four are understandable, since they're implied to be Nemesis' direct underlings, but why the first two? Anyway, this place can be used to gain some experience, but I prefer to just observe the monsters.



With the second floor explored, it's time to move on to the third floor.



First of all, the west corridor, since that's where most of the stuff on this level is. These doors require the Glowing Key to access, so it's a good thing that Katrielle already has it.



The southern door leads to an interestingly-shaped room with one of the power runes from the Vex Chambers. I don't think that there's anything to do here, but maybe someone has discovered something. The northern double doors, though...



...lead to my favorite room in the game. Individual screenshots couldn't do it justice, so I patched a complete map together. As you can see, it contains elements of almost every puzzle and Vex Chamber so far, as well as some Industrial Strength Poison, two Healing Herbs, an Herb of Immenant Health, a Glass Key, a Wicked Mace, and 887 GP worth of assorted valuables. My one disappointment is that you can't really do anything with any of the puzzle elements, other than extinguish the flames. It would be nice if you could create a tunnel to some secret area using the jems, or put something into the machine input, but that's just the way it is.



This small passage is as far as you can get without the Glowing Key.



Once you have it, though, you can open the southern door...



...and climb up to the fourth and penultimate floor of Castle Rochelle.



This floor is much more complex than the previous ones. Might as well go straight ahead first.



This is probably the second-most awesome room in the castle. It's a floor map/scale model of the Archipelago, and the only place where Katrielle can move onto water tiles.



As a side note, Solitude is shown on the map, but Rochelle is too small to even be seen. Just an interesting little thing I've noticed.



Adjacent to the map room is a small storage room containing a Pearl, a Dagger, and a Glowing Key. Kind of strange, seeing as you need the Glowing Key to even reach this floor.



Across the hall is a larger storage room containing the following items (clockwise from the door):
  • Book: The Billsville Citizen (the conformist version)
  • Red Clothing
  • Blue Clothing
  • Green Dye
  • Green Clothing
  • Red Dye and Blue Dye
  • Pearl
  • Sour Blue Potion
  • Tuning Fork
  • Meat Cleaver
  • Walking Stick
  • Blood Stained Ruler
  • Woodsman's Axe
  • Pick Axe
  • Industrial Strength Poison
  • Horrific Halberd
  • Niacian clothing
  • Elban clothing (2 sets)
  • Scale Mail
  • Beast Hide Armor
  • Lantern
  • Torch


There's also a door at the northwest end.



It leads to a mirror, which does 50 damage to Katrielle if she steps into it. That's everything on the east side of this floor, so let's check out the west side.



As you can probably tell, this is a prison. The trunk contains two Healing Herbs and a Sour Blue Potion. The Bastitch Sword on the southeast table isn't especially interesting, but the book on the northwest table is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thick Notebook
[This notebook has had the first section of pages ripped out of it. Only the last several, along with many blank pages, remain.]
10364: I cannot decide whether Red has brought me the most insipid, useless subjects possible, or if these are truly the average on the islands. In the process of the trials each has been placed through on their respective islands, they have only grown more and more hostile, unfriendly, petty, self-centered and anti-intellectual. Some are almost happy to be here, however, stating that this examination area is much better than what they were putting up with back on their own islands. Today I performed the examination and cognitive interview on the subject from the island of Culn. He was unable to truly articulate any thought at all, basing all his thoughts around what the priests would think of them. He has mentioned the fire I created - which the priests call perpetual - numerous times as being the center of his being, as it is for all on the island or anywhere in the world. Though his current near-brainwashed state is deplorable and pathetic, interviewing him has proved so fruitless that I have truly learned nothing about how to prevent it.
10365: Today I had hoped to interview the subject from the island Emas, but he has died in his bed, a wide grin on his face. It was such a disturbing sight, that I have decided to take the day off. Damn Red, damn him. Does he do this to me on purpose? Now, what am I to do with the body? If I were to tell Red, he would simply chuckle his insufferable head off. I hope the replacement hurries up and gets here soon.
10366: We skip the fourth island, now, since there are only three people left on it. I consulted with Red but he insisted that removing any one of them would upset a sort-of delicate balance that is found there. Is he lying to me, who can say? Next, then, we have a man who has been transformed, in appearance only, into a horrible creature, a condition with which he cannot cope well. It appears he has been transformed back and forth, between human and monster, several times. Is this the best example of the island, then? Shall I ask Red? This poor soul seems more confused than anything else, and surely is hardly the best subject one could find for our purposes. How can my work progress with such a pathetically incompetent assistant as Red? How?
The only thing left to do here is to try to talk to the prisoners. After all, they might have some insight into their captor.



I'll go north to south, starting with this one.



name: "My name is Peter."
job: "What's my job? Why, I'd say its sitting tight here in this cell and not making trouble, answering questions when I'm asked. Oh, you mean before I came here? I had been unemployed for some time... in Niac, if the military isn't the job for you, there's no job for you. Unless you're an artist, but I never showed much talent for that, really. My girlfriend did... I mean, really my job was moocher, pretty much."
him: "Yeah, he sure is a tall, weird, kinda freaky-looking guy. He keeps telling me how important I am, for the future of... I don't know what he's talking about. But he says I must answer the questions truthfully, or... or it won't work. I don't really know what 'it' is, too many questions though, I know that."
girlfriend: "Look, I haven't seen her in a long time, since I been here, it's kinda a sore spot with me, so let's not talk about it, OK? OK."

Asking him about Elba or Niac will terminate the conversation, and asking him anything else will have him ask you to get him out. Unfortunately, there's no way to do so. By the way, we have met his girlfriend - way back on Un. It's a shame that there's no way to reunite them, but at least that plot thread has some closure.
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  #156  
Old 02-15-2019, 11:59 AM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default Continued from previous post.



Next in line is this guy.



name: "My name is Guido."
job: "I worked in the mines before, just a simple mine worker. Then one day I go to sleep and I wake up here and I don't understand what's going on. How does it fit into what the priests know is good for us? They wouldn't let it happen if it wasn't for our own good."
mine: "Dark and hard, but good, for we worked for a good cause, for our gods. Normally people didn't ask me questions like you or the man do. It was better back them, simpler, nicer."
priest: "I haven't seen a priest in so long it seems... I'm lost, spiritually. I don't know what to believe, what to think. The man who comes here, he seems to think himself a God, I don't understand. Why don't the priests kill him for everyone's benefit. And there are others here, but they don't know of the priests, how can they not... this is all so confusing."
man: "The guy... who comes in here. Then he takes us from these cages into that other one over there. Then he asks us questions, and I try to answer, but he just keeps asking other questions. And he writes it all down. All of it... writes it down. And he won't stop asking asking asking..."

These two are the only ones who really have anything to say. The inhabitant of the third cell never leaves his bed, presumably being the Ematian prisoner who died in his sleep. The fourth cell is empty, and the fifth...



...contains a Man Spider.



Like the ones on Morage, he's still able and willing to talk. Unfortunately, this is all he has to say. However, there is something fun you can do with him.



If you use D Morph on him, he turns into a staticky square, presumably because the developers never made a sprite for his human form.



If you talk to him in this state, he'll say the same thing, but have Bertrand's portrait. That's everything on the fourth floor, so this seems like a good place to end the update. Next time, we confront Nemesis himself.
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  #157  
Old 02-15-2019, 03:21 PM
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Yama Yama is offline
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In 1.0, the game merely crashes upon d-morphing the Man Spider.

I seem to remember you receiving the Axe of Obfusciation in the demo upon reaching the door to Culn.

Quote:
This is probably the second-most awesome room in the castle. It's a floor map/scale model of the Archipelago, and the only place where Katrielle can move onto water tiles.
But only horizontally and vertically, not diagonally.
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  #158  
Old 02-16-2019, 12:54 PM
WallyHackenslacker WallyHackenslacker is offline
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Default Getting where you don't belong

You can get almost anywhere if you are clever enough.

The cartographer: Once you get the Chart Master psionic it becomes a fair deal easier. You can map any area, above ground, below ground or indoors, and see where to go before you get there. It's a good way to find secret areas. (At least one was missing in the walkthrough.)

The creeper: most locked doors exist for the benefit of an NPC. Most doors have nothing important behind them, but if you want to be a a flawless klepto, just follow each NPC through their day and find where they go. A fair amount frequent a room to themselves for sleep or work, and a fair amount of those have something you can pillage. Wedge an item in their doorway as they emerge. Fairly basic.

The Carmen Sandiego: a more complex way to get where you don't belong. Some doors aren't part of an NPC patrol, but do have something to steal. For this you want the invisibility psionic and Asudem effect for good measure. (Luckily they are found together.) Cheese off a guard with an attack or unwelcome clothing, lure them in front of a door, and ninja poof! Save. The guard will wander aimlessly looking for a you to pummel, and will enter locked doors of any kind if they randomly enter. You can stone them even if they aren't next to you right away and wedge the door before they find you. This is possible in Niac, any Billsville, and the community (If you didn't remove the priests yet.) And Flog.

The Chessmaster: this is the hardest one. Required for Elba, because the guards somewhy forget to unlock doors when they're angry. (They'll do it on patrol) luckily, there's another way. You need Asudem Effect, Push, and Push Delux. F Wall helps too. Most Elban NPCs follow an incremental patrol pattern that stays the same until they need to change direction. Note the pattern, use Asudem effect on an NPC to freeze them when you know where their patrol will direct them, and use pushing to place them by a door they should open for you. They'll walk right in until they realize they're in the wrong place. You may have to lock them in an enclosed area to refresh psionics. It's all very draining. Take advantage of the Spamalopes. (Unless you arbitrarily denied them their lives. Serves you right. You're a stalker and thief, not a sociopath.) The Spams will remain stationary by themselves if removed from their pen via push. Place them such that you can fence in a ln NPC and refresh your psionics so you can rest before shoving them around again. Most Elban doors requiring this have nothing interesting but some do.

The Xray: pop F Wall on a door. Boom. You can see through it. You can't get to the other side, but if you just wanted to see inside, now you can. Use ethically.

I've yet to find a way to open the last unlocked door in Exin, and there's clearly a mace of some kind in there. None of these methods will make this door openable, as creative as I've been. It may not be possible. None of these will avail doors fenced off by tables or counters of course. The mysteries of the Elban bakers inner sanctum remain unsolved. Maybe you'll have some better results if you're creative though.


Use your evil for good adventurer!!

Last edited by WallyHackenslacker; 02-18-2019 at 09:48 AM.
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  #159  
Old 02-18-2019, 07:17 AM
WallyHackenslacker WallyHackenslacker is offline
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Default Weapon disciplines.

The different ways to fight are one of my favorite aspects of this game. I'll summarise them here, since they do have notable distinctions.

Bulky armor offers no constraints of any kind in Odyssey, but some disciplines are designed to make being hit back less necessary, while others rely directly on your ability to soak damage. Your armor and psionic defense could influence your choices in some regards, but there no valid reason not to get and keep reliable armor. The reviews for each discipline reflect this opinion. If you choose to play with loose defense, you might prefer more flexible weapons, but it will only be inconvenient at the worst times.

*Bare handed*
The good:
This discipline available from the start of the game, and becomes viable after a brief island track.

The N and E fighting styles are attainable quickly and by themselves are as effective weapons as you'll ever really need.

Max's style is among the best weapons of all, attainable mid to late game.

Requires no money spent, and choosing to rely on it (and sell weapons) means more money to buy armor early game.

The bad:
All fighting styles are two handed. Basic bare handed combat is not an effective weapon in the least. That means you're not carrying lanterns or shields.

Overall: if you want to be a Kung Foo master, you can expect your fighting to go fairly smoothly. Pick up Antonio's training early, and lean primarily on the style that gives you the best balance. You can swap for different monsters too. If you are more nimble than stout or the reverse, you can easily choose the style that best compensates. Max's style will effectively replace both, and is excellent for any non-psionic combat scenario
Bare handed is easy to level as a side discipline for more hp at most any point in the game. A great overall discipline.

*Long Bladed*
The good: viable from the very start of the game and easy to level.

Has a decent one handed option for early game, though the it is essentially a two handed discipline.

The operatic sword, available on the last island (no going back once you're there) is perhaps the best overall weapon in the game.

The bad:
Offers limited power for most of the game since other weapons will quickly outshine your long bladed weapon.

Overall: If you want to take up Bushido, pick up a Bastiche sword from William's shop in Niac. It will be your best long bladed option for the vast majority of the game. It's perhaps worth buying for more hp levelling too, since you won't find one by yourself until late game. It's a smooth discipline to level mid game, but not the best. The operatic sword may be better than your other weapons by late game, but it's not better enough to justify depriving yourself of nicer options in other disciplines mid game. A good overall discipline.

*Melee weapons* (axes, maces, knives)

The good:
A tremendously versatile discipline with an incredible array of options. Easy to pick and choose for different monsters or to compensate smoothly for your own stat imbalance if any.

Becomes extremely viable early game via the Niacan life ender.

Offers both one handed and two handed options.

The kick axe and the axe of obfuscation, available late game hit very hard. Great for armored enemies.

The dagger of doom is powerful and very reliable, available mid game.

The bad:
The Niacan life ender sells for so much that you might let it go right away to buy other things if you prefer another discipline. There are better melee options available later.

Melee weaponry loses some of its competitive luster to other weapon classes mid to late game, getting it back in the last two islands.

Overall:If you want to scrap like a berserker, this might be the easiest and smoothest discipline early game, serving as an excellent power foundation. It will remain smooth for the entire game and serve well. For one handed purposes a wicked mace and/or morning star (the former offers power, the latter, reliable hitting) will serve in early dungeon crawling. The Niacan life ender will be all you need for general melee until mid game.
For up training the life ender makes it smooth and easy, but you might still sell it off and pick it up later once you find the dagger of doom. More reliable, just as strong, and one handed. A great overall discipline

*polearms*
The good:
Polearms are a limited ranged weapon. You may strike enemies a space away from you. This is especially helpful in dungeons where monsters will struggle to find the best way to get to you around the instructions.

Polearm discipline has some powerful and reliable options mid to late game.

The best polearms are one handed, and used correctly, will destroy many enemies before they close their distance from you.

Reaching weaponry can be a good supplemental skill if you prefer to fight with psionics, since you can weaken enemies before they get close. Fewer spells means more power points leftover. The killing blow is what decides where the experience points go.

The bad:
This discipline offers few reliable options early game. Even with the reach, killing a tough enemy can take long enough to allow another to spawn, sometimes in a less confined position.

Overall:If you want to fight like a lancer, or even a wizard, there are 3 notable pole weapons to pick up early game. The eviscerator is one handed and hits fairly reliably. The horrific halberd offers power, and is probably the most viable option for general fighting. The buck and a quarterstaff does pathetic damage, but it hits as reliably as any weapon you'll ever find. You can use it to clear monsters that evade attacks often but aren't hardy, like insect swarms. Sometimes that's better than burning power points. Edward's trident from Morage offers an answer to all major polearms struggles. If you miss out on it, the trident of tribble from Ronan's tower is almost as good. If you intend to invest in the discipline casually, waiting for Edward's trident to do so is reasonable, at least after level 3. A fair discipline early game, a good one later.

*ranged weaponry*
The good:
Offers the best power and reliability in the game for ranged attacking aside from high cost psionics.

Over the course of the game you will have access to enough treasure that buying large quantities of the best ammunition available at any given time will not limit your capacities in other areas. Buying gear is not strictly necessary at all, and all the best items are discovered, not bought.

The best replenishable ammo is moood bolts from Morage's arms store. They are powerful and reliable with The Beast.

The Beast is a powerful and reliable weapon as ranged options go, and with good ammo, it's as effective a weapon as you could ever ask for. It's sister weapon The Green Bow is not as amazing, but it's powerful enough to justify the use of your arrows if you have any leftover by the time you get it.

The bad: early to mid game this discipline feels like a joke. You shoot, you miss, you waste your time and ammo both. Each miss is money wasted.

Shooting farther away decreases hit chance. If you have to let them get up in your grill just to hit them why use ranged at all?

Dedication to ranged demands money spent on ammo. There's more than enough to spend on it, but it may mean less spent on better armor and other kinds of weaponry.

Running out of ammo on a long expedition really bites, and you can expend it faster than you might initially assume. You should buy a lot if in doubt. 500 shots to spare between visits to town is safe. More if you're on a long trek and don't know when you'll buy more.

Offers no respectable one-handed options for general use.

Overall: if you want to be a ranger, prioritize the best bow available at any given moment. Buy the long bow from William's shop and load on arrows. Upgrade to the composite bow as soon as able, and respect the crossbow as superior to all basic bows but the green one. Crossbows are generally better, but you may as well keep a bow just to use your arrows. The one handed crossbow is useful for casual levelling since you can use it to finish off weakened monsters with dual weilding, but for general use its just a creative way to waste ammo next to The Beast. A fairly weak discipline overall, but it redeems itself late game, especially in the form of death's head bolts and slaying ammo. Nonreplenishsble, but powerful. Moood bolts are almost as good.

*short bladed weaponry*
The good:
This discipline will never force you to rely on a weak weapon. The early options are decently reliable even next to superior options in other disciplines.

All short blades are one handed.

The best short blades are available mid game, and remain reliable to the end.

It's a good discipline to rely on in general. The early struggles are tolerable and the best weapons make it very smooth.

The bad:
Weapons in other disciplines will outshine the best short blades, if only by a little bit.

Overall:If you want to sword and board like a noble knight, a scimitar is waiting for you in Un's tunnel in a secret room, but you may as well get a scimitar of smiting from William anyway. (Scimitars cut, not crush. Why smiting?) It's slightly more reliable. Once pollux on Emas avails Jordan's scimitar to you, your struggles with this discipline are all over. If you lift Edward's Ferocious Falchion on Morage you'll find it hits slightly harder and slightly less often. Between the two it's purely a matter of preference. One might be slightly better for your character's stats. If you choose another specialty, short blades are easy and natural to fall back on to raise your hp max at any point in the game, but more after you get either of the two superior short blades. A great overall discipline.

*thrown*
The good:
All thrown weapons (besides the silken spear) are one handed.

Thrown weapons can be very useful for dungeon crawling early game, since you can hit stuck enemies without dropping your light source.

Thrown weaponry offers superior ranged capacity without any ammo constraints.

The razor boomerang is decently reliable with investment in thrown, and is available mid game.

The bad:there are no especially good thrown weapons early game. The only reason it's ever viable at this point is that the monsters are weak enough that it doesn't matter much yet.

Resilient monsters are generally a waste of time and energy to kill with thrown weapons of any variety. More turns spent means more spawns to contend with.

The razor boomerang is fairly reliable, but still lackluster next to other weaponry, and it's the best (only) respectable thrown weapon available mid to late game.

Overall: if you want to hunt monsters like a hunter or fisherman, you'll want to buy a javelin from William's shop first thing. It's the best you'll get for a while by far. Once you reach Billsville you can switch to a slightly more reliable and more slightly less powerful feathered javelin. Don't assume the Silken spear will offer you an answer to your struggles. It will do closer to the opposite since its a joke weapon. (A literal spear woven from silk. Furthermore, silken spear is more of a literary metaphor than a weapon. Google "silken spear" in quotes. It has several meanings, none related to weaponry, and only one is actually phallic) Make looting the razor boomerang from Skora on Mcteague a priority. You'll never need to use anything else in this discipline once you get it. For casual levelling, the razor boomerang is still worth getting and keeping, and it's fair to invest very lightly in this discipline until you get it. Throwing things is the weakest overall discipline, and it's good points are highly situational. A mediocre overall discipline.

Last edited by WallyHackenslacker; 02-18-2019 at 09:26 AM.
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  #160  
Old 02-18-2019, 06:24 PM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default Rise and Shine. Forever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yama View Post
But only horizontally and vertically, not diagonally.
I was wondering why I would sometimes still get blocked in that room. Thanks for clearing that up.

WallyHackenslacker, I love your tips and analyses! Would you mind if I added a special section in the table of contents for them?

By the way, according to the manual there was originally going to be another drawback to thrown weapons - you would have had to pick them up manually every time you used them. Fortunately, that's not actually the case. Anyway, on with the update proper



It's been a long journey, but today we confront Nemesis. The one ultimately responsible for everything so far, from the famine that motivated Katrielle's initial journey to the enforcement of Ronan's tyranny on Agressat. Here we go...



As a cool little touch, the music changes from Debussy's La cathédral engloutie to a more intense, final-boss-type track on this floor. I wish I knew what it was so I could link to it.







As soon as Katrielle passes through this door, she's greeted by someone who can only be Nemesis. Despite him saying to stand on the rune to talk, he can still give all of his responses from here. Still, might as well do as he says.



name: "My name? Why surely you've figured that out by now."
job: "Why, a finer job I do not think I could imagine: you are to be my research assistant, as it were, helping me in my vitally important scientific research into the more... carnal nature of man. All very scientific I can assure you. Up until now I have granted you some powers, but it is just but a taste of what you will have once you are my assistant. I will give you far more than I ever gave Red, that I can promise you. And your work will help mankind through the scientific endeavors we engage in. So, will you accept, then, or do you wish to ask further questions?"
red: "Why you know all about Red, after all you did slay the poor fool. He did have it coming, as they say, ever so much. But now he's dead, and you need not worry about filling the space he made: you are far too large, you will be one hundred times the research assistant he ever was."
staff: "I had a feeling you might bring the staff up. Now, I understand that you brought the staff to this island, and, to some system of logic, perhaps it rightly belongs to you. But just as scientific importance morally justified my takeover of the archipelago for my experiments, I must use that staff to further my abilities to assure my experimenting can continue. With such important work as mine to be done, I feel confident you will understand. And, as my assistant, you would stay in close proximity of the staff at least some of the time, so perhaps you should accept my generous offer?"
island: "When I chanced upon this island chain approximately a century and a half ago, I was amazed at how perfect it was for my devices. I had long mastered the ability to prolong my own life, to influence others, to channel power out of the land... But here was the perfect subject for my study, research that was so important that no cost could be too great, for by studying man's failures I strive only to eliminate them. Each island then, I isolated from the others, creating unique situations on each, so each could be studied separately. And so, the greatest undertaking in mankind's varied history was begun."
castle: "I do trust that you have enjoyed your stay in my castle, wondered to the many marvels, perhaps explored my scientific labs on the second and fourth levels. If you choose to accept the position I have offered you, you would, of course, call this castle your home. Just another reason to accept."
science: "Long mankind has wondered what makes some so... evil. But I have discovered conclusively, through my studies here on the Archipelago, that all have a propensity for evil, all it needs is proper stimulation. For it is beyond my abilities to cause the evil, hatred, and stupidity you have seen on the islands. No, no, I just put the merest suggestion of it into their heads, by presenting them with certain situations, and they provided the evil. By studying this, I hope to one day find a cure for that... strain in mankind's life, that strain of evil."
evil: "But is it not evil that mankind has struggled to fight off for all of history? Why has ridding ourselves of it been so difficult? I realized, because the scientific method has never been quite applied to it. And now that I have, I come so very close to understanding where that vile impulse in man rests, what causes it, and how to eliminate those causes effectively. If only had a decent research assistant, such as yourself. Do accept my offer, you're doing the right thing for yourself, and the rest of mankind as well."



Now, you may be wondering why we can't just walk up to him to talk. See that line on the floor?



If you approach it, he'll give you this warning. He's not kidding. Cross the line, and you'll be in for one hell of a melee. So let's not do that just yet.



Instead, let's go with the obvious sucker trap. Specifically, accepting Nemesis' offer.





Even the game knows that this is a bad idea.







As soon as Katrielle moves onto the bed, the bad ending immediately occurs. The "The End" button in the last window just quits to the title screen, with no option to revert.
Next time, we'll go for a better ending. Shall we cross the line and kill Nemesis, or head into the sublevel to claim the staff we've been seeking for so long?

Last edited by Kahran042; 02-18-2019 at 08:10 PM.
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  #161  
Old 02-18-2019, 06:25 PM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default Bonus update 7: Alternate Nemesis dialogue

As you may recall, Red didn't drop the Glowing Key when killed. Instead, it was in a trunk in his room. As is such, it's possible, but difficult to get it without killing him. Doing so changes Nemesis' relevant dialogue.



This replaces his congratulations for killing Red.



And this is if you ask about Red directly.

Nice bit of attention to detail, I must say.
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  #162  
Old 02-19-2019, 03:59 AM
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Quote:
I wish I knew what it was so I could link to it.
Frédéric Chopin, Prelude no. XIV in E Flat Minor, op 28.

Oh, and cross the line.
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  #163  
Old 02-19-2019, 04:50 AM
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Head into the sublevel, get ye stick, leave the old man powerless.

Or better yet, show us both possibilities.
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  #164  
Old 02-19-2019, 05:30 AM
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Yimothy Yimothy is offline
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Yeah, both, but cross the line first.
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  #165  
Old 02-19-2019, 09:24 AM
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For the question, I agree with Yimothy:
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Yeah, both, but cross the line first.
I would also like to note that I love the map room and the storeroom with all the leftover Vex Chamber parts.
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  #166  
Old 02-19-2019, 01:59 PM
WallyHackenslacker WallyHackenslacker is offline
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Please do feel free to add my contributions. While you're here, feel free to include the "taking the boat without confronting Nemesis" ending.
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  #167  
Old 02-19-2019, 03:05 PM
WallyHackenslacker WallyHackenslacker is offline
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Default More curiosities and tidbits.

If you go to the food storage area in the community on Culn, and try to walk through one of the tables you get "the water is too cold to swim in" a bug, clearly, but was this table perhaps meant to offer other possibilities in the game's planning stages?

You can give Synthia more books, but she won't offer more rewards. You'll still make her real happy!

You can get Eric on Elba talking about the tunnels if you are thorough. The Niacan elder too, if you follow his suggestion. (Fierce denial)

What does the luck psionic do? I've yet to figure it out.

Wooden lizards: 3 in the game. 1 from reuniting Russel and Bertrand, 1 in Flog sewers among the Spiral Architect's possessions. One in Ronan's private room in his inner sanctum. What's the connection?

Castor will discuss Breamtown (the ruined fishing village on Emas) if asked.

The incant&sphere manual was written by Abby Fishington, who does not appear in the game. We have no other evidence that N had any other cohorts besides red. Is this name a pen alias? Red is cunning, but not patient or sophisticated enough to write this. N would not need to explain to himself how his own laboratory functioned. According to The Odyssey of Simon and Rochelle, the side story that accompanies the game files, N's former associates would never use psionics in the manner the book describes as possible. Who is Abby Fishington? Abbey? Fishing town? Is this perhaps suggestive of Breamtown? Even The Community or Shoreland on Culn?

Emas's psionic laboratory offers a few ways to toy with the lives of Billsvillians. Most aren't the least bit honorable or helpful, even if Entropy is interesting. (I assume such exists to illustrate the pervasive depth of the experiment upon these people's malleable minds. I'll discuss it further later) There are numerous unexamined combinations though, especially if you assume that you can use the same sphere type twice. (There's other copies attainable later) could there be an easter egg in here? What kind of words can W,I,M,B,G,O make?

Once you cure the people of Morage you can change them right back into monsters via reversing the same method. Edward will go nuts on his people if you do this. You can transform Edward too. He'll break his patrol and flail around randomly. I've yet to find any useful or illuminating potential in doing this though.

You can use the previously described Carmen Sandiego method to make the Morage prisoner on Rochelle open other cell doors. The other prisoners become accessible, but won't talk.

One of the Billsville prisoners sleeps 24 hours a day, or so it seems. Might they be wakeable?

Casting vicious circle to make fire, then using extinguish on your own fire crashes the game. Actually using it on fires anywhere but Culn, Ronan's tower and Castle Rochelle crashes the game. Richard Rouse is brilliant a brilliant and diligent game designer, but perhaps less than thorough with Odyssey.

In Culn catacombs, you can pinpoint the exact space that sets the door trap. (The one that boxes you in if you remove the book from the doorway) there's a slight movement delay and the music resets. Interestingly, this space closes all doors in the catacombs, even the innocent unlocked ones if you left them open. The charred key is all you need to get out the other way if you fell for this, but you'll need to douse the perpetual to get it.

Jay is a unique escort NPC in that he's the only one who don't stop following if asked once he starts. Use psionics or doors if you need to ditch him, or better still just bring him home. The poor kid sleeps in bushes behind a shed.

Are there more uses for the tuning fork than the obvious two?

Boots made for walking. Have they a non-referential purpose? If so, I've not found it.

Barbara's bedroom is locked by 3 doors. The first key is offered by her son Alonso. The second key is in a box in Shoreland. The third key seems not to exist. Barbara theoretically keeps the only copy to herself. The poor woman must have been through a lot huh?

Speaking of boxes, try luring a monster or person onto one and just closing it. Interesting isn't it? They won't stay there if you sleep or vacate the zone, but they won't be doing much while you're still poking around their area. *evil cackles*

If you really go out of your way, you can pick up Chart Master before you visit even the first vex chamber and use it to explore the structure of each one. I consider then beautiful and creative pieces of coding work. Respect to Mr. Rouse III!

If you really really go out of your way you can complete the game within a very short in-game timeframe. I finished it in 9 game days and without visting a single vex chamber. The endings were exactly the same, and the dialogue failed to reflect my unique choices on N's island amusement park. I assume the day count is wholly irrelevant aside from RP flavor and imagination fun.

If you choose not to except the mysterious old man on Un's help, he'll remain unmolested after you finish your business on Un. (You can take his items without getting stated permission) It can be assumed N or Red choose to punish him for helping you otherwise. It's no wonder why he chooses to keep some secrets eh? Those are dangerous connections he's got.

I managed to duplicate Himan's scepter once by somehow taking it without relieving him of it. I completely failed to understand how I did it or repeat the circumstances however. Suffice it so say it's possible.

2 N staves are rewarded for finishing Vex chamber 5 and 6, one for each. Use either and the staff is depleted.. so actually drop the staff and use the other one! You can go right back to Rochelle tower lobby. Useful if you get stuck in the arrow maze. A trap if you use it after passing N's timed Tetris puzzle since the walls will remain closed forever afterward.

Last edited by WallyHackenslacker; 02-19-2019 at 03:40 PM.
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  #168  
Old 02-19-2019, 06:10 PM
WallyHackenslacker WallyHackenslacker is offline
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Default All that beautiful classical piano music.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...AB3672E8204528

You might dismiss using public domain music and not hiring a composer as laziness for a game like this. If you did, you might be correct, at least in part.

My reply to such would simply be "Doesn't matter."

It's beautiful, flavorful, thoughtful, very well chosen, and offers gaming nerds who might never pick up a book some cultural exposure, along with the numerous literary references within this ingenious game.

Please enjoy and by all means look for more by these long dead and rightfully famous classical composers.
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  #169  
Old 02-19-2019, 07:50 PM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default Crossing the Line

Thanks for the links and tidbits, WallyHackenslacker!

Looks like the general consensus is to show off both of the endings, but to show this one off first.



As soon as Katrielle crosses the line, Nemesis steps back and summons some help. Specifically, four Rolling Zapmongers, four Oozasauri, and four Monsters from the Id.



Once you've angered Nemesis, he has something new to say.



It's possible to completely cheese this battle by using Megadeath, so I won't be doing that in the main timeline.



In addition to the onslaught from his buddies, Nemesis will psionically attack Katrielle, and can do so no matter where on the level she is.



However, this narrow corridor makes a good choke point to hold back Nemesis' minions, and the fact that the door is the kind that automatically shuts makes it even better.



As an added bonus, the ladder back to the fourth floor is nearby, so if things get really bad you can go there and rest.



Eventually, I manage to get rid of all four Monsters from the Id, which as you may recall are the real tough ones. So getting rid of the rest of the monsters is easy, even with Nemesis' psionic barrage.



Putting a force wall over the door and equipping Edward's Trident helps a lot, since I can hit the monsters without them hitting me. It doesn't block Nemesis' psionic attacks, but nothing is perfect.



With all the monsters gone, it's a straight shot to Nemesis, who's surprisingly easy. All he has is his psionic attack, which does a whopping seven damage - not exactly a threat without being reinforced by the monsters' attacks. He does seem to evade a lot, though.



Eventually, Katrielle strikes the final blow. Oddly enough, Nemesis is worth 10000 experience.



With its master dead, Castle Rochelle goes up in flames.



These flames now block the path back to the lower floors. In the commercial version, it was possible to extinguish them, but not anymore. The only way to go is forward.





The Brass Key that Nemesis dropped opens the northwestern door in his room, which contains a Dagger of Doom, seven Pearls, an Emerald, a Jacinth, an Opal, and a glowing mirror.





Unlike the other mirrors in the castle, this one isn't a trap. Instead, it leads to a small room connected to the area where the N Staff led. The door is locked with the Brass Key, so you can't just teleport right to Nemesis' inner sanctum as soon as you arrive.



You may recall that the note that was originally here mentioned a boat that Katrielle could use to return to Thrall.



As soon as she steps on deck, the boat sets sail. Keep moving east, and eventually...





...we get the first real ending. Next time, I'll show off the ending if you go for the staff.
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  #170  
Old 02-20-2019, 05:40 AM
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Yama Yama is offline
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Quote:
What kind of words can W,I,M,B,G,O make?
Big Mow and Mob Wig.

You can get to that boat after you reach Rochelle via N Staff
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  #171  
Old 02-20-2019, 07:48 AM
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Gerad Gerad is offline
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goblin with a lisp

GOBWIM
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  #172  
Old 02-20-2019, 02:47 PM
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Soren Highwind Soren Highwind is offline
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I missed the update from a couple days ago, but reading it now I think using La cathédrale engloutie as the final dungeon music was a very interesting choice. I'm not sure it entirely fits here, but it does give Nemesis' castle a somber quality that it might not otherwise have had by relying on graphics alone. I'm tempted to rip that off if I ever make my own RPG, honestly =V

Also, I know I haven't chimed in much for a while, but I've been reading along with every update; I just haven't had much to add is all. I've really enjoyed this deep dive into an obscure game I might not have heard of otherwise; it's an interesting game, warts and all, and I appreciate you sharing it with us, Kahran!
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  #173  
Old 02-20-2019, 04:42 PM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default All Good Things...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yama View Post
You can get to that boat after you reach Rochelle via N Staff
Indeed, and this is what happens if you do so.





Interestingly, this version of the ending refers to the island as "Isle Nemesis". It's also, I think, the only halfway-decent exterior shot of the castle, since Rochelle is the only island without an overworld map.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soren Highwind View Post
I missed the update from a couple days ago, but reading it now I think using La cathédrale engloutie as the final dungeon music was a very interesting choice. I'm not sure it entirely fits here, but it does give Nemesis' castle a somber quality that it might not otherwise have had by relying on graphics alone. I'm tempted to rip that off if I ever make my own RPG, honestly =V

Also, I know I haven't chimed in much for a while, but I've been reading along with every update; I just haven't had much to add is all. I've really enjoyed this deep dive into an obscure game I might not have heard of otherwise; it's an interesting game, warts and all, and I appreciate you sharing it with us, Kahran!
You're welcome! I'm glad that I've been able to spread awareness of this wonderful game to so many people.

Last time, we killed Nemesis and may very well have destroyed the entire Archipelago in the process. Maybe it would be a better idea to strip Nemesis of the source of his power, which was also the motive for Katrielle's entire journey in the first place.



This door leads to the access shaft mentioned in Rian's book, which in turn leads to the sublevel where the staff is kept.



As soon as Katrielle steps into the doorway, Nemesis gives her this warning, but she's not backing off now.





The access shaft is composed of four functionally-identical rooms. Despite being part of the maps for the first to fourth floors, the music for the fifth floor continues to play in these rooms...



...and on the sublevel.



Having the final boss music continue to play here is appropriate, because those masses of yellow sparks are possibly the nastiest monsters in the game. They're called Staff Infections, and they hit hard, are hard to hit, and don't take much damage when you do. To add insult to injury, they're also only worth two more experience than a Ronan Minion.



And there are a LOT of them, or they just respawn super-fast, or both. It might just be a good idea to use Invisibility or Zelig Power to rush through them, seeing as killing just one took 183 HP off Katrielle.



Yep, Invisibility was definitely a good idea. However, I honestly was half expecting the Staff Infections to be able to see through it somehow.



There's the staff, but there's one more trick. See that message about the intense energy that courses through the room injuring you? That happens on every tile of the pathways leading to the staff and does 13 damage. I'm guessing that either this, the Staff Infections, or both are the "interesting manner of defense" Nemesis spoke of. Good thing I stocked up on Healing Herbs back on Morage.



Although you can't see her, Katrielle is adjacent to the staff. You can probably tell from the fact that she's able to look at it, though. When she takes it...









And that's the other ending. It's honestly hard to decide which one is better, but I think I prefer this one, in that it has potential for some interesting sequel or fanfic concepts involving the Archipelago being brought out of a century-long period of isolation and trying to recover from Nemesis' machinations while re-establishing ties with the world. It would also have the added bonus of not having to assume a particular gender for the hero, which I know has been a point of contention in some sequels to games where the hero's gender was selectable.

Either way, this is the end of the last storyline update of the game, but it's been fun. Credit where credit is due:



And special thanks to everyone in this thread for supporting me.

Next time, I show off some of WallyHackenslacker's fun things to try.

Last edited by Kahran042; 02-26-2019 at 06:48 PM. Reason: Broken link.
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  #174  
Old 02-21-2019, 07:44 AM
WallyHackenslacker WallyHackenslacker is offline
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Question More to share

Things I still intend to share:

Overview of psionics, the 4 buildable disciplines and general ways to use them.

Commentary on each island and the the social afflictions that vex it, from Un to Rochelle

Bonus coolness I'll share right now:

almost every npc responds to the word "who" the old man on Elba responds to "where" I'm going to try it on more people.

I also believe I came up with a way to open the last locked do it in exin, but it demands a fresh game to test my theory, and a careful plan. I'll report the results after.

If anyone knows resedit well enough let's talk please. It could help solve some mysteries!


Kahran042, thank you for all your time, effort, and good taste in old School games! This thread makes me so happy!
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  #175  
Old 02-21-2019, 04:18 PM
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Yama Yama is offline
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Quote:
Interestingly, this version of the ending refers to the island as "Isle Nemesis"
Maybe this is because you never learn that it's called Rochelle.
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  #176  
Old 02-21-2019, 06:39 PM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default Postgame update 1: WallyHackenslacker's fun things

Quote:
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Maybe this is because you never learn that it's called Rochelle.
That's a good theory. Granted, the name is mentioned in the Nemesis Note, but it is possible to take the boat without reading it.

Welcome to the first postgame update! A while ago, WallyHackenslacker provided a list of fun things to try, and this seems like the perfect place to do so. So, here we go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyHackenslacker View Post
More where this came from, but I'll start you off with these. Talk to the old man on Un after doing either (Or both. Same result in any case) escort quest. After using the quartz key to open the door on Un, and getting the note from N, go back and pay the old man in the hut a visit. (Save first. You'll crash the game if you make a certain obvious decision)


I did some independent research, and it turns out that the exact trigger for this seems to be entering the tunnel to Culn. On doing so, the cave is consumed in flames, with no sign of the old man. Considering that he may have some sort of ties with Nemesis, it's likely that N. murdered him as punishment for helping Katrielle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyHackenslacker View Post
Deliver the IR helm to Octavius, then extinguish the perpetual, then visit him again. Curious no? I assume the perpetual was the direct source of their power, and destroying it destabilize their bodies. If he doesn't have the helm he continues as normal if I recall.


That would make sense, since Octavius mentioned that the hut was created with his priestly powers, and with the power gone, it would also be destabilized. In a mechanical sense, this also explains why Octavius' hut is listed twice in the Maps file. However, it does beg the question of why the Sour Blue Potion and Highly Professional Glow don't revert to a Sweet Red Potion and Glow when Perpetual is quenched, since he mentioned using his powers to upgrade them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyHackenslacker View Post
Equip the warm boots and warm helm, independently or together. Watch your stat bar.




The Warm Boots boost Nimbleness by 2, and the Warm Helm does the same for Sagacity. If I had known this earlier, I probably would have used the Warm Boots as Katrielle's footwear of choice as soon as I got them, since they're only two points weaker than the Battle Boots and Katrielle needed all the Nimbleness she could get. Kudos for finally solving this mystery!

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyHackenslacker View Post
Ask Rose (The nameless prisoner on Emas who answers to "by any other" I call her such for reasons I assume are apparent) about individuality or soul. (Her presumed most prized possession) note her reply. Foreshadowing??


I'm guessing that this is a hint at Incant and the spheres. By the way, I never would have thought to ask her about that. I also didn't know she was a woman until you mentioned it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyHackenslacker View Post
Open the door for the elderly prisoner begging to be let out. Talk to him again. It's all contingent upon the door.


Nice little Easter eggs here, especially with Rose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyHackenslacker View Post
Take Pitor's jewels. (You can snag them right before bringing him to Fort Agrasse and he'll never miss them). Note that they add 30 to your gold total. Save. Spend all your treasure. Pitors jewels will count toward your total, but never disappear from your treasure list. You may spend them perpetually, long as you're okay with limiting yourself to the 30 gp value they offer. (If I knew resedit well enough i'd try adjusting their value and having some fun.
I'm guessing that this works because Pitor's Jewels have monetary value, as is shown in their flavor text, but aren't one of the standard treasure items.

A list of items that cost ≤30 GP:
  • Blue Clothing (Wain)
  • Green Clothing (Wain)
  • Industrial Strength Poison (Wain)
  • Lantern (West Billsville, Center Billsville, Wain)
  • Red Clothing (Wain)
  • Torch (Elba, West Billsville, Wain)
  • Battle Boots (Elba, Niac)
  • Boots (Elba, Niac)
  • Helm (Niac)
  • Work Gloves (Elba, Niac)

Oh, and Striped Clothing in Entropy!Billsville, Fredsville, and Joesville, but that's free anyway.

On a side note, I love the fact that Pitor stops caring about the jewels that he would have once given up on life if he'd lost once you've started escorting him.
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  #177  
Old 02-23-2019, 11:26 AM
WallyHackenslacker WallyHackenslacker is offline
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Far as I know, I'm the first and only person to figure out the warm boots and helm. Won't pretend I'm not happy about it!
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  #178  
Old 02-23-2019, 11:29 AM
WallyHackenslacker WallyHackenslacker is offline
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Default Overview of Odyssey Psionics. (Don't drown. It's long!)

Psionics encompass the most fun and interesting aspects of this games mechanics. There are your arcane spells, but they're totally different than magic. Magic is based in fantasy and follows no clearly defined scientific laws. Psionics.. are exactly like magic, but it sounds slightly more sophisticated and grounded when you use that word. So it's the difference between being a wizard over a sorcerer in Dungeons and Dragons. Psionics are a scientific and intellectual pursuit. Even the priests in Culn who were granted the abilities by N are mistaken about its spiritual connotation. It takes training, dedication, and maybe a little boost like N gives you in vex chamber 1. He could in theory take it back as easily. Don't harbor any illusions that you owe him anything for it. It wasn't mercy or kindness. You're his guinea pig, and what he's offered you, right from letting you live upon washing up on the coast of Un, has all been for his own ends. You are the master if your destiny, or lack thereof!

You get to play with most of the traditional rpg elemental types in odyssey, but understand that the differences aren't relevant in the traditional ways. There are no damage types. No resistances, immunities, or vulnerabilities. All spells do the same things across the board. To use psionics effectively you must understand their mechanics and their purposes. Almost all spells are useful in the correct context, even if some of them are very specialized. So let's examine the ways to use psionics.

Cryomancy spells:
The good:

All relevant ice spells are available early game.

Quite efficient on the power points.

A versatile discipline.

Black sleet, from the tunnels of Un, makes levelling this discipline mind numbingly easy, and is found conveniently in a perfect spot to do so in.

Touch of frost is decently strong, and easy on the pp. A perfect spell to fall back on under single target pressure through the whole game.

The bad:
This discipline has no particularly hard hitting spells at all.

Overall: a very good discipline as psionics go. Perhaps the best of the buildable four. Power point replenishment is in limited quantity through the game, so resting and saving are key. Efficiency beats power on any dedicated expedition into dangerous territory. Even though it's not technically the most efficient discipline, the weak low cost spells it offer allow you to ration out ok carefully. Ice blast is ranged and hits the hardest, but costs almost 3 times as much as touch of frost. Though weak, touch of frost is the general go to cryo spell. Black sleet is for clearing large groups, and it pays off nicely used this way. If you love cryomancy for nothing else, respect it for how easy it is to level, raising your pp maximum. A good discipline.

Electromancy:
The good:
Offers its staple spell of electro grasp early game, which is decently strong and low cost, so levelling it isn't hard.

Good for hitting hard. Offers a powerful option late game in Angel of Death, which is capable of killing most enemies in a single if used skillfully.

Offers an area spell late game called ride the lightning, doing strong area damage. Potentially useful for the duel with N, if you've invested in the discipline.

Presents itself as the singular alternative to cryomancy on the first island, making it a good way to raise pp mac early on.

The bad:
Not a versatile discipline. Ride the lightning would be far more useful if attainable earlier, and there are no other multi target options.

Offers nothing competitive with electro grasp most of the game. Lightning crashes offers range but for double the pp of grasp with the same strength. Might as well rely on grasp and save pp to use it more.

Overall:
A smooth easy discipline to level without going out of your way, and never really stops being useful, and offers enough power and efficiency that it's reasonable to rely on. Probably the most balanced of the four disciplines, offering some of everything that makes each other one stand out for itself. A good discipline.

Hydromancy
The good:
Of the buildable four, hydromancy offers superior efficiency for killing a target with the pp spent.

Offers dehydrate, a very hard hitting spell available while entering the second island.

The bad: a very straightforward and inflexible discipline. Single target only, and only two spells. One ranged, the other melee range.

Overall.
Might be a bit slow to level at first. Even though both dehydrate and acid rain are efficient and hard hitting spells, they both cost enough ok to demand rest periods for levelling them. This discipline benefits from some prior investment in cryomancy and electromancy just for more casting fuel. With a little work, hydromancy can make you a real psionic monster. You won't want for more power or efficiency, mid to late game, and one cast, maybe two will kill most enemies they won't be able to hit back much. A good discipline.

Pyromamcy:
The good:
Offers the most deadly spells in the game within the scope of the four buildable disciplines.

A very versatile discipline. Melee, ranged and area options are attainable before the last island.

The bad:
Hard to level, especially to begin with.

Remarkably inefficient on the pp, and the spells tend to be power expensive for what they offer.

Overall: the first spell you get in pyromancy that actually offers exp on a kill is flame lance. It's a ranged spell that costs 25 pm and doesn't offer much power at level 0. It's a hard spell to level off of. White heat red hot is perhsps better, but it's in the tunnel to the third island. It might be tempting to hold off on this, but there are smart ways to level pyromancy, and with skill it offers much. The extinguish spell, regardless of power and level, will extinguish a life for 80 pp. This is usually an unjustifiable waste of power, but it can be used to remove tough obstacles. (Like Culn priests, which are with 100 xp each. Sorry, was getting around the Community supposed to be hard?) White heat red hot makes this discipline smoother to level, and pyromania later on makes it a warm breeze. Perhaps best leveled in deliberate exp grinds, but for killing tough enemies quickly it's the best overall if invested in. A good discipline.

All four are valuable and viable if used intelligently, and any will serve well as a psionic specialty, but keep good weapon ready too. Weapons are how you keep from running out of pp, and what you fall back on when you inevitably do anyway.

Psionic shields:
There are four such spells, each in a different discipline. The discipline is not important and levelling it doesn't seem to affect the shield. Psionic shielding is important. Unless you're already taking 1 damage for the worst attacks, you want your shield up for any combat.

Healing:
Zenoheal. Named after the mathematician zeno. Worth a read about! It is not an easy to use spell, and is intentionally designed that way. It heals half your missing up, and that's it. I frankly respect the design tremendously. Most rpgs make healing so powerful and so obvious a strategy that it leaves other means if caster defense and survival in the shadows. Zenoheal makes the opposite so. If you want to make it stronger, get more max hp to heal and more max pp to spend. It scales with your power, but it's for emergencies. If depend on it too much you'll be out of pp fast.

Crowd control:
Don't underestimate the value of these spells. Confuse, terrify, befriend, invisibility. These will save your life in moments of high pressure. Cast them when a large group closes in to disperse and escape, or use it to improve your position in regard to the enemies. Confuse can let you engage selectively and pick off enemies in s group in isolation. Terrify will clear the field fastest. Befriend is like confuse but adjacent monsters will ignore rather than attack invisibility works mechanically like befriend, but will work on intelligent creatures.

Some monster looking enemies are actually intelligent like people. You can distinguish them by noting focused pursuit, immunity to basic crowd control, and a lack of treasure dropped. Monster from id, rolling zapmonger, etc.

Light:
Essential if you don't want to rely on lanterns and torches most of the game, which you surely shouldn't. It would mean no two handed weapons in the dark. Of course a glowing rock will help when you get it, but by that time there are practically no dark places left to explore. It just saves you pp during night time on island walks. Learn to respect psionic light, and keep some pp in reserve to refresh it. Even the humble glow spell with its short range and gentle pp cost is better than nothing, even if you want to save the extra pp the more powerful light spells cost.

Trap finding: specialized and limited. Worth maintaining in Flog tower, and few other places.

Pushing:
Good for manipulating NPCs. Little else. If you care to spend the pp to push an enemy you may as well have killed it for that amount of power.

Story spells:
Incant and dig. both usable once in the game for a plot point and seemingly safe to discard after.

Death morph serves no purpose but to ruin your heroism if you carelessly activate it. D morph is usable at one key moment exactly where you find it. You may consider hanging onto the the morph spells for the prisoner from Morage on castle Rochelle. Otherwise you may leave all of then in Morage's psionic laboratory. (Red has new copies of the spells in his workroom waiting for you anyway.)

F Wall: it's best use is to see through doors. Otherwise it can supplement pushing NPCs to specific places. It lasts a short time. You could use it to hold off monster advances, but there are more practical spells for such a purpose, like terrify and Asudem effect which cost fewer pp anyway.

Damage over time spells:
Spontaneous combustion is the first you get. The stronger Vicious air comes after, and the incredible Megadeath layer. These spells seem unaffected by psionic discipline skill, and you cannot gain exp for killing enemies with them. If you just want something dead, and are willing to wait several turns, they're incredible though.

Try spontaneous combustion on an enemy in the dark! Utterly inefficient to rely on for light of course, but hilarious!

Megadeath is fun, but very impractical for the power cost generally speaking. A few pyromania casts could nuke the field for you at a fraction of the cost and quicker. If you just want enemies out of the way, even invisibility or terrify are usually enough.

Damage traps:
Vicious circle and gas annulus. I don't like these spells much. If you must use psionics to defend a position and clear enemies, orgomancy is fine with good planning. So is just pelting enemies with spells and weapon attacks. These spells place a damage trap in all squares around you. They'll hurt you too if you step out. If you are care less enough to get surrounded by 5 or 6 enemies such to warrant such a spell, you are likely out of pp already. Otherwise you could have cleared them before they surrounded you. Try then and see if you like them, but I think they won't offer much. Vicious circle will of course make light, but on a temporary and confining or painful basis.



Asudem effect:
An amazing spell. Essentially a death sentence for any one creature if you want it to be, including Red or N. Frozen villains can't monologue though, so you might find it lame. You might find how easy this makes any serious fight lame too. Freeze a target, and push them around. Hit them without being hit back. Use them to block a choke point and hold off other enemies. Hold a person in a doorway long enough to stop the door from closing. Freeze Himan, shove him outside fort agrasse, and close the door if you like. This spell never stops being awesome.

Luck:
No obvious purpose.

Characterize:
Learn the power of other psionics. Costs pp to use. Best used in a safe rest area, since it offers no direct help on a trek, but does help you understand your spells.

The collective:
Costs 5 pp by itself. Automatically casts your best psionic defense spell, best light spell, and The warning and trap finding if you know them. It also charged you pp for each of them. A useful time and effort saver. Not ideal for saving pp though. Sometimes a lesser light spell or shield will suffice. Sometimes you don't need trap alerts or warnings. Use consciously.

The warning: notifies you when a creature enters your area within 2 spaces. It's best use is to save you a severe pummeling from wandering monsters while sleeping. You'll wake right up before they arrive. Also usable to wait for NPCs, or know enough to prepare for a monster around a dungeon corner.

Infinite dreams: let's you rest more efficiently, but only for one rest shortly after the cast. A waste if you're likely to be interrupted, a boon if you aren't.

Of course red has some other options in his workroom, but they're long past being relevant by the time you get them. Good for some fun in the proving grounds perhaps!

Last edited by WallyHackenslacker; 02-23-2019 at 03:23 PM.
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  #179  
Old 02-23-2019, 12:08 PM
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Yama Yama is offline
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I like using terrify during escort missions.
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  #180  
Old 02-23-2019, 01:52 PM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default Postgame update 2: Theories, and more fun things

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yama View Post
I like using terrify during escort missions.
If only I had thought of that... it probably would have made escorting Pitor much less aggravating.

Today, I'll be looking at WallyHackenslacker's curiosities and tidbits, and giving some of my own thoughts and theories on most of them. If one isn't included, it means that I don't have anything to say that hasn't been said already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyHackenslacker View Post
If you go to the food storage area in the community on Culn, and try to walk through one of the tables you get "the water is too cold to swim in" a bug, clearly, but was this table perhaps meant to offer other possibilities in the game's planning stages?


This is pure speculation, but maybe there was originally going to be a hunger system, and this table would have been a source of food. Food certainly does come up surprisingly often in NPC conversations, if nothing else. I'm not sure if I would have liked that. On one hard, hunger mechanics are always annoying, but on the other, I have an odd fascination with video game food, and it would have been interesting to see what kind of food was available on each island.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyHackenslacker View Post
You can give Synthia more books, but she won't offer more rewards. You'll still make her real happy!


Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyHackenslacker View Post
You can get Eric on Elba talking about the tunnels if you are thorough. The Niacan elder too, if you follow his suggestion. (Fierce denial)


To be exact, ask Eric about "monster" and "tunnel".



To get the Elder to discuss (or not) the tunnel, give him the Elban medical book, similar to giving the Niacian military book to the Elban elder. And, of course, since he denies the tunnel's existence...

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyHackenslacker View Post
What does the luck psionic do? I've yet to figure it out.
I'm not sure myself, but my personal theory is that it increases your critical and/or evasion rates. I haven't really tested this, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyHackenslacker View Post
Castor will discuss Breamtown (the ruined fishing village on Emas) if asked.


It's a shame that you can't take him there, but then Emas is probably the least escort-mission-friendly island in the game due to its heavy monster density, so maybe it's for the best.

BTW, I've always wondered why it's underground myself. Any theories?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyHackenslacker View Post
The incant&sphere manual was written by Abby Fishington, who does not appear in the game. We have no other evidence that N had any other cohorts besides red. Is this name a pen alias? Red is cunning, but not patient or sophisticated enough to write this. N would not need to explain to himself how his own laboratory functioned. According to The Odyssey of Simon and Rochelle, the side story that accompanies the game files, N's former associates would never use psionics in the manner the book describes as possible. Who is Abby Fishington? Abbey? Fishing town? Is this perhaps suggestive of Breamtown? Even The Community or Shoreland on Culn?
The only other person I can think of with connections to Nemesis is the old man on Un, but somehow I don't think that it's him. But one never knows...

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyHackenslacker View Post
Emas's psionic laboratory offers a few ways to toy with the lives of Billsvillians. Most aren't the least bit honorable or helpful, even if Entropy is interesting. (I assume such exists to illustrate the pervasive depth of the experiment upon these people's malleable minds. I'll discuss it further later) There are numerous unexamined combinations though, especially if you assume that you can use the same sphere type twice. (There's other copies attainable later) could there be an easter egg in here? What kind of words can W,I,M,B,G,O make?
Not sure, but if you add the extra spheres from the tunnel to Agressat you get an extra M, O, B, and W. So I plugged WIMBGOMOBW into a Scrabble word finder, but didn't get any six-letter words. However, in addition to the combos mentioned by Yama, some other semi-intelligible possibilities are BIG BOO, BIG MOB, BIG WOW, and GO BOMB, and there are probably more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyHackenslacker View Post
Once you cure the people of Morage you can change them right back into monsters via reversing the same method. Edward will go nuts on his people if you do this. You can transform Edward too. He'll break his patrol and flail around randomly. I've yet to find any useful or illuminating potential in doing this though.


As a side note, if you attack the D Morphed Deborah, she'll still be considered a Man Spider for all intents and purposes. In fact, it appears that anyone who wasn't initially a monster retains their human stats and name when Morphed, and vice versa.



In addition, only the people who were initially monsters will still be able to talk in monster form. This particular Man Spider used to be Edwards. I'm guessing this has something to do with the portrait involved.



This can have some pretty amusing results.

Also, a heartwarming little fact related to this: Edwards seems to still recognize Deborah even if she's a Man Spider, since he will never attack her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyHackenslacker View Post
You can use the previously described Carmen Sandiego method to make the Morage prisoner on Rochelle open other cell doors. The other prisoners become accessible, but won't talk.
To be fair, according to the notebook, one of them is actually dead. It is a shame about the other, though, especially since he isn't mentioned in the notebook.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyHackenslacker View Post
One of the Billsville prisoners sleeps 24 hours a day, or so it seems. Might they be wakeable?
I think that that prisoner might actually be dead, like the one in Rochelle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyHackenslacker View Post
Casting vicious circle to make fire, then using extinguish on your own fire crashes the game. Actually using it on fires anywhere but Culn, Ronan's tower and Castle Rochelle crashes the game. Richard Rouse is brilliant a brilliant and diligent game designer, but perhaps less than thorough with Odyssey.
To be fair, it is one of his earlier works, if I recall correctly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyHackenslacker View Post
In Culn catacombs, you can pinpoint the exact space that sets the door trap. (The one that boxes you in if you remove the book from the doorway) there's a slight movement delay and the music resets. Interestingly, this space closes all doors in the catacombs, even the innocent unlocked ones if you left them open. The charred key is all you need to get out the other way if you fell for this, but you'll need to douse the perpetual to get it.
I actually found out about that on this very playthrough. Unfortunately, on my first playthrough, I went down without Extinguish and fell for the trap. :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyHackenslacker View Post
Barbara's bedroom is locked by 3 doors. The first key is offered by her son Alonso. The second key is in a box in Shoreland. The third key seems not to exist. Barbara theoretically keeps the only copy to herself. The poor woman must have been through a lot huh?

Speaking of boxes, try luring a monster or person onto one and just closing it. Interesting isn't it? They won't stay there if you sleep or vacate the zone, but they won't be doing much while you're still poking around their area. *evil cackles*




I wonder if this is how they set up the Insect Swarm monster-in-a-box trap in Skora?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyHackenslacker View Post
If you really go out of your way, you can pick up Chart Master before you visit even the first vex chamber and use it to explore the structure of each one. I consider then beautiful and creative pieces of coding work. Respect to Mr. Rouse III!
Of course, you'd still need to complete Vex I to get the PP to cast Chart Master, but at least you can do it before leaving. I might try that sometime soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyHackenslacker View Post
If you really really go out of your way you can complete the game within a very short in-game timeframe. I finished it in 9 game days and without visting a single vex chamber. The endings were exactly the same, and the dialogue failed to reflect my unique choices on N's island amusement park. I assume the day count is wholly irrelevant aside from RP flavor and imagination fun.
I was actually wondering about this for a while. Thanks for confirming my initial belief.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyHackenslacker View Post
If you choose not to except the mysterious old man on Un's help, he'll remain unmolested after you finish your business on Un. (You can take his items without getting stated permission) It can be assumed N or Red choose to punish him for helping you otherwise. It's no wonder why he chooses to keep some secrets eh? Those are dangerous connections he's got.
That does make a lot of sense. By the way, it's a shame that you never actually learn who the old man was. If anyone has any theories on that, I would love to see them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyHackenslacker View Post
I managed to duplicate Himan's scepter once by somehow taking it without relieving him of it. I completely failed to understand how I did it or repeat the circumstances however. Suffice it so say it's possible.
I believe it. I know I've also seen a guide that mentioned getting two scepters from the table. But then, this was the same guide that convinced me that you could find loot by jumping into the empty firepit on Culn...

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyHackenslacker View Post
2 N staves are rewarded for finishing Vex chamber 5 and 6, one for each. Use either and the staff is depleted.. so actually drop the staff and use the other one! You can go right back to Rochelle tower lobby. Useful if you get stuck in the arrow maze. A trap if you use it after passing N's timed Tetris puzzle since the walls will remain closed forever afterward.


Fortunately, the ladder down still works, so you can leave. However, it's of limited use because the arrow maze is one-way, so you can't go back to the lobby anyway.

Great analysis of psionics! I would have never thought of most of these. In particular, the usefulness of non-damaging ones, or the fact that MFtI, Rolling Zapmonger, etc. are immune to Orgomancy.

Next time, I'll be showing off some dummied material found in ResEdit.

Last edited by Kahran042; 02-26-2019 at 06:33 PM.
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