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  #121  
Old 09-13-2017, 06:47 AM
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No, just one bard singing will stack it in BT2.

If the AC song doesn't self-stack, it should at least stack with the out-of-battle AC song.
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  #122  
Old 09-17-2017, 09:48 AM
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I finished up in the catacombs tonight. Got my first taste of level drain. Glad that's healable without having to just level up again. I got an eye and some info about the mad god being a statue somewhere. There's a guardian statue of a dragon I haven't taken on yet in town, I guess it's time to go there.

My MVP at the moment is my bard. He's probably been the most useful the whole time, in fact. Early game he was my main source of healing. Now that I've got infinite songs from the bardsword he's a reliable source of buffs, some of which do seem to stack (not the healing, but the AC does). He's also my main damage dealer, using the fire horn. I've got him carrying two, in case the first one runs out or breaks or whatever, and I've picked up several more and sold them to the shop in case I need them back. It's a multitarget that doesn't drain MP, so I only use the magicians in fights if there's more than one enemy I want to get rid of in the first round.

My melee dudes are pretty much interchangeable. I don't really pay attention to which of them does what. The hunter seems to crit pretty reliably, the warrior seems to do enough damage to kill with each hit, and the monk is the same. Both the warrior and the monk have now reached LO AC, so I should probably switch the warrior back to the front spot since he's got double the HP of the monk. The monk does have the advantage of not needing equipment to get there, so he can carry drops.

My two magicians I mostly use for navigation. APAR is my favourite spell in the game so far, since it saves me having to walk back to wherever I was. PHDO is pretty handy when I can't be bothered going around something. Neither of them seemed to work in catacombs 3 though, which is a bit of a worry for the rest of the game. I wanna try out the sorcerer spell that improves your night vision when I remember. I wonder if it allows you to see in the dark zones, since it's supposed to work by improving vision rather than by lighting the area.
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  #123  
Old 09-17-2017, 01:13 PM
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Etrian Odyssey is one of my fave series but no other first person dungeon crawlers that I've tried has that same level of quality of level and overall polish. Are there any real stellar dungeon crawl-os that the boys could recommend?
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  #124  
Old 09-17-2017, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadrome View Post
Etrian Odyssey is one of my fave series but no other first person dungeon crawlers that I've tried has that same level of quality of level and overall polish. Are there any real stellar dungeon crawl-os that the boys could recommend?
This reads to me like you are looking for relatively high production values, so I can suggest Legend of Grimrock and its sequel, though they have more of a puzzle emphasis than Etrian Odyssey. And even though I haven't played it, a lot of people ITT have recommended Stranger of Sword City which seems to have pretty good production value as well.
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  #125  
Old 09-17-2017, 05:01 PM
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Have you tried the SMT dungeon crawlers? Strange Journey and Persona Q are both very Etrian Odyssey-like.
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  #126  
Old 09-17-2017, 08:15 PM
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Stranger of Sword City does have good production values, but it's just not as visually cohesive, and it has nothing remotely approaching the quality of EOs music. Also the bones of Wizardry are still poking through in a lot of ways. I think there's a demo though if you want to check it out.
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  #127  
Old 09-18-2017, 05:31 AM
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I've tried Sword City and it was 'eeeehh' and I 100% adore Strange Journey. I think it is one of the ultimate treasures of our time. I haven't picked up Q yet, though I'm sure I'd enjoy it.
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  #128  
Old 09-18-2017, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yimothy View Post
My two magicians I mostly use for navigation. APAR is my favourite spell in the game so far, since it saves me having to walk back to wherever I was. PHDO is pretty handy when I can't be bothered going around something. Neither of them seemed to work in catacombs 3 though, which is a bit of a worry for the rest of the game.
Yeah, you can expect to see that more often as the game goes on. The thing to know here is that it's applied floor-wide. Either you can APAR into a floor, or you can't, and it doesn't matter where within the floor you tried to go. The game helpfully does not inform you if your APAR failed to execute in the manner you had intended, so it's not a bad idea to follow up APAR with SCSI from now on.

But the good news is that few if any dungeons forbid APAR completely. You can still get mileage out of hopping around the early floors or warping from the (teleport-blocked) end of a dungeon back to the start.
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  #129  
Old 09-19-2017, 10:13 AM
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I know I've said things like this before, but I'm in Harkyn's Castle 2 and it feels like maybe the true Bard's Tale starts here. The map is confusing, with lots of open spaces along the edges meaning I have to think about the wrapping a lot. I've found two small enclosed areas with no apparent way into them (Phase Door, which erases walls temporarily, doesn't work on this floor, nor does teleport). Maybe there are teleporters, or holes from the floor above, or maybe there's just nothing there (I also went back to the Wine Cellar, which had some dead space on the map and had a look with phase door, and while there are some walls in the hidden areas there's nothing of interest). There are also a bunch of floor tiles that drain your HP while you stand on or walk over them. It's not announced, you just have to be looking at your characters' condition. There's the annoying smoke, which reduces your vision to what's immediately in front of you and doesn't seem to be healable aside from by waiting it out (which takes forever) or going back to the guild. Enemies also seem tougher. Groups of dragons are showing up a lot. Usually I run from them because if I don't get lucky in the first round I tend to lose a few guys to them, which means getting out and visiting a temple. The traps in the chests have also changed, though I haven't set any off yet so I don't know what they do. My current strategy is everyone inspects, if someone identifies it I disarm, otherwise I use the disarm spell.

There's some interesting stuff, though. I found a mouth with a riddle that I solved by thinking about it (not sure if there are clues anywhere else I was supposed to use), getting me a magical shield. My bard's fire horns have started breaking though, so I'm reluctant to use magic items now. I'm using Mind Blast a lot, which hits all enemies, and just teleporting out when I run out of MP. There's also a strange thing at the point on the map marked "R" (20 north, 18 east). There's a wall I can see when I stand there but which disappears when I move towards it. The game says "something is not quite right here" when you stand there, so I guess it's intentional. Or a bug they decided to lampshade instead of fix, I guess.
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  #130  
Old 09-19-2017, 10:26 AM
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The EO3 threads are dead, but this is active, and it applies, so I may as well talk here.

I've been playing EO3! It's really good! To summarize my initial thoughts from the Like What You're Playing Thread:

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Originally Posted by JBear View Post
Everyone else is excited about Etrian Odyssey V, but in typical JBear fashion I am currently excited about Etrian Odyssey III! I started it up during my week off and now it's 30 hours of play time later and I'm currently obsessed with it. I was lying in bed playing it until after 2AM last night. I loved both previous EO games, but this one has really got its hooks into me. I want to be home playing it right now!

I love my sailing ship. Whenever I get bored or fed up with the dungeon, I go sailing, and when I've had my fill of that, I dive back into the dungeon, and the two feed into each other. I just can't put it down.

Oh, and I love how I can give back-benchers XP via quest rewards. Is that new? I'm making extensive use of it, anyway, and it's a really nice mechanic. I've make a few skilling mistakes, but only one major enough that I felt compelled to rest (I gave my Hoplite some spear attacks, but she's way too busy defending to hit things, so I'd rather she be better at that, and she's already caught back up).

Also, I get to be a pirate.

ETA: I never had as much problem settling on a party in previous games. I just can't decide here for some reason. I've finally decided to just bench the Ninja/Zodiac (she was good early on for setting up chasers to her AoE sleep attack with low skill investment, which I leaned on heavily to clean up groups in the first stratum, but knives kind of suck and she just doesn't hit hard enough any more), and I had decided to relegate my Farmer/Buccaneer to the B/Farm team, but now this new lava stratum has a bunch of damage floors so she's back on the A team to prevent floor damage. My Hoplite/Ninja and Zodiac/Arbalist are the core, but the other slots are fluid. My other two front row slot alternate between 2 of 3 of my Buccaneer/Prince, Gladiator/Hoplite, and Monk/Gladiator, while my spare back row spot alternates between my Arbalist/Princess, Princess/Monk, and the aformentioned Farmer/Buccaneer. I should really just firm things up so I stop spreading my experience so thin, but I can't. I can't even decide on a healer. The Monk/Gladiator was just supposed to be a stop-gap until I got my monster of a Princess/Monk up and running (which requires a heavy skill point investment), but now I just find myself wanting to specialize them both differently. Anyway, these classes/talent trees are super fun and it's a fun problem to have. The sub-classing in particular was a fun/pleasant surprise/optimization challenge!
Anyway, I don't know how well anyone remembers EO3 at this point, but the game was being a real jerk last night. I ended up in a boss and got rolled so badly that I concluded it must be a scripted loss, but nope! All I got was a game over screen and a reload option! I ended up getting it after 1.5 hours and a half-dozen tries or so, but maaaan.

It was a pair of merpeople, a caster lady and a spearman that kept covering her. They had this bullshit combo where she'd hit the whole party with ice, and then he'd chase and also hit the whole party with physical. Also, they both had sky-high defense that took forever to chip away at. I was only able to finally do it by buying a bunch of the line heal consumable and spamming them to supplement my Monk healing. I was starting to despair that I was under-leveled or badly skilled, but random encounters all still feel right for where I'm at. I was about 2 more losses away from grinding, which I almost never do in games.

Also, on that note, I'm half-way through the 3rd stratum and I just discovered that there's a skill that gives your bench members XP, and now I feel like an idiot. Like, I am just inconsolable. So much wasted XP for my farm team. I think I'm going to rest my entire back-bench and give them all points in the skill, but if anyone can speak to how long it will take them to recoup that with the passive bonus (they're all at ~level 12-15, IIRC), I'd appreciate it. I might well be better off just giving it a pass at this point and continuing to level them via quest/mission rewards.
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  #131  
Old 09-19-2017, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yimothy View Post
There's some interesting stuff, though. I found a mouth with a riddle that I solved by thinking about it (not sure if there are clues anywhere else I was supposed to use), getting me a magical shield.
This is around the point where you should start checking new equipment for special powers. The Ybarrashield you found casts YMCA, for instance (although it's not especially good otherwise).
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  #132  
Old 09-21-2017, 07:19 AM
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I've just met the legions of Baron Harkyn, aka 396 berserkers. My summon and the character in the first slot are dead, but I managed to kill 251 of them in the first round, so I should be able to finish them off before long.
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  #133  
Old 09-21-2017, 07:22 AM
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A popular grinding option! Secretly, the spiked tiles in Catacombs 1 are better, and they're not-so-secretly safer as well.
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  #134  
Old 09-21-2017, 08:47 AM
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Guild Kraken destroyed the Guardian of the 3rd stratum on their very first attempt! It was almost a TPK after its first attack, but I clawed my way back and slowly figured its shit out (my Princess' buff that raises max HP ended up being key to surviving his full-party nuke), barely holding on by the skin of my teeth each time. It was a long fight, and hard-won (I was completely tapped on TP and TP-restoring items by the end, so I wouldn't have been able to survive another cycle), but I was super proud of myself.

I kind of can't get over how much better the bosses are in this game. The stratum bosses have all been fun puzzle bosses, which has been a nice change of pace from big bags of HP that hit hard.

So now I have a Shogun! Not sure that I'll ever use one, but I created one to jam on my bench just in case. Their abilities that order everyone else to attack sound pretty dope, but I'm not really feeling the rest of the stuff in their skill list, and I'm already rotating out 8 mains.

The faction choice was a no-brainer for me. I get this nervous feeling that the above-ground folks can't be trusted and that there's another shoe waiting to drop (I don't trust that shifty-eyed princess and her floopy hat, nor do I trust her pet shogun in the dungeon), but the other folks are demonstrably awful, what with the murder-bot killing reams of innocent adventurers, and her master with the giant pointy golden claw talking about exploiting us.

I'm pleased to hear that later EO games switch to actual skill trees, because I was super angry at myself last night because i was trying to unlock an ability but had been putting points into the wrong prereq (Fire Star instead of Fire Mastery to get Binary Fire), which would never have happened in a real tree with, like, arrows and boxes. I ended up having to Rest her to move the points around. :-/
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  #135  
Old 09-21-2017, 09:58 AM
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Kylearan's Tower is kind of brutal. Not so much in terms of staying alive, but the amount of darkness is crazy. I mapped about two thirds of it before finding a path back to the stairs, which I took because I need to go to bed. It appears I won't be able to get back in now without refighting the mad god, which I suspect means refighting King Aildrek to get the eye. Neither of which will be difficult, but it's a hassle. Then I'll have to navigate all that darkness again to get back to where I was (I didn't actually try to teleport in there but phase door doesn't work so I assume teleport won't either), maybe answering one of the riddles along the way again. Still, all that difficult mapping is a nuisance but it's kind of what I'm looking for.
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  #136  
Old 09-21-2017, 10:31 AM
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Yeah, Kylearan's is intense, and requiring you to traverse Harkyn's before each attempt was unkind to say the least. Speaking of unkind, there is a softlock in Kylearan's that a completely missable magic mouth near the start warns you about in riddle form.

The hint you're given is something along the lines of a sting awaits at the end of the serpent's tail. It's referring to a very windy passage that ends in a one-way door which leaves you completely stuck.

Kylearan is supposed to be the good guy. I don't know what the justification is for making it so hard to get in there.
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  #137  
Old 09-21-2017, 07:55 PM
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I found that clue but was thinking it had something to do with death adder street in town. I'll probably wind up trapped despite being spoiled on it because of my insistence on stepping everywhere, which is especially dumb since the game doesn't record your progress so far as I can tell, just your characters' stats and the shop inventory. There are a few squares on the map in castle 2 that I think can't be stepped on, which drives part of me nuts.
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  #138  
Old 09-27-2017, 09:02 AM
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I'm on the second floor (of I believe five) of the final dungeon and The Bard's Tale has taken it up yet another notch. I'm meeting groups of enemies that attack faster than me and inflict statuses I can't heal without leaving the dungeon and going to a temple. Luckily they still miss a lot, but I only need one party member turned to stone to greatly reduce my fighting capacity. So at the moment I run from basilisks and prioritise them highest for attacks if running doesn't work. Vampires aren't as bad, since they just drain levels, which is expensive to fix but doesn't make all that much difference in combat. Still worth running from. So far I've only had one level drained per character, not sure if they can stack it.

The entrance to the second floor is kind of clever: you find a magic mouth on a wall on level one that tells you to persevere and then teleports you up a level unannounced. The layout of the area it takes you to is identical to the same area on level one, so if you weren't paying attention you might think nothing had happened. Potentially you could really screw up your maps from this. Diabolical (I used scry sight after speaking to the wall, so I knew what had happened, but I was still briefly confused).

The item drops are getting really good. My bard has been a primary damage dealer with his fire horn for a long time, but now he's moved on to a frost horn and I've also got dragon staffs and a dragon shield on some other characters allowing them to do similar attacks (I'm trying to play pretty much blind, but I am using an item list to figure out which drops are worth it). I'm also getting quite good defence. My whole front line has had LO AC for a while, and my back line have almost made it there too, but as the items get better and their levels get higher I'm needing fewer items to get there. One problem I've had for a while is inventory management: if everyone's carrying a weapon and armor and a shield and gloves and a helmet and an accessory and whatever then they don't have a lot of space for all the drops (this makes my monk, who doesn't need any equipment to get LO, a worthwhile investment). That's not so bad in itself, but there are a few places where you get an item for stepping there, and if you've got a full inventory then you just don't get the item. There's no message saying "inventory full" or anything, it just doesn't happen. Luckily the two times it's happened to me so far (that I know of) I've gone back over the same ground with free space later, but it means I can't get complacent about inventory. I'm dropping lots of stuff all over.

I'm still enjoying this, but I will admit the first few times I had characters turned to stone I was thinking "Can I be bothered?". These first few floors at least you can teleport on, which makes getting back where I was fairly painless, and it does seem like I had particularly bad luck initially, since stoning hasn't happened often since then.
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  #139  
Old 09-27-2017, 09:30 AM
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I suspect the game expects you to run from pretty much everything at this point. Past the first floor, there's a chance for Speedboots to drop, which will guarantee escape from everything escapable.

I never figured out if "LO" is the lowest possible AC or if it merely hides your actual AC value as too low to display. It might still be worthwhile keeping that bardsong up.
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  #140  
Old 09-28-2017, 07:20 AM
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I tried out the speedboots: with them equipped to my monk in the first party slot, I successfully ran from every encounter until I hit one I actually needed to run from (multiple vampires, basilisks, and demons), when it failed and my entire party were wiped by breath attacks before any of them got to act. Kind of a bummer, I was hoping I'd be able to speed things up a lot by just not fighting anything I didn't want to. On the other hand, my two magic users are a few hundred thousand exp away from getting the last wizard spells and moving to their final classes, so I'm not ready to stop fighting yet anyway.

Regarding LO: I had a google, and someone on some forum reckons in BT1 -10 is as low as it goes but in BT2 it secretly continues up to -20. In conclusion: Dunno. I've been assuming it stops at -10. I'm not taking a lot of physical hits at the moment, mostly my problems are with breath and magic attacks. Not sure if AC has any effect on those.
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  #141  
Old 09-28-2017, 08:14 AM
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BT2 definitely shows lower (instead of going from -9 to LO, it goes to L0, L1 .. L9, L+), but I don't know whether that actually translates to better defense. In any case, you're right -- spells and breath are a bigger threat. Looking at the song list for BT1, it looks like #6 might provide some mitigation against magic if not breath. Then again, I could never tell that the equivalent BT2 song was doing anything... but if your bard has nothing better to do with his out-of-combat song, it's worth trying.

I'd definitely grind out the last of your XP against Catacombs Wraiths rather than trying to earn it in Mangar's, but that's just me
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  #142  
Old 09-28-2017, 09:30 AM
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I've been using song 6 when I remember to put it up, it seems to reduce breath damage quite a bit. Regarding grinding, I've just taken my two mages over the hump with a trip each into the catacombs. I don't particularly want to grind in Mangar's, but since I'm exploring the place anyway I'm happy to take the exp as it comes, whereas going out of my way to grind is unappealing. Once the two of them get their spells in their last classes, which I don't think will take many trips to the tower, I'll probably start at least trying to run from everything.
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  #143  
Old 09-28-2017, 12:20 PM
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A new dungeon crawler "Vaporum" released today on GoG: https://www.gog.com/game/vaporum

Too bad it has real time combat.
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  #144  
Old 10-01-2017, 10:10 AM
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Mangar's Tower 3 was pretty tough, just the way you constantly have to go into dark hallways between rooms and re-up your vision spell. Plus the spinners and teleporters in the dark. They weren't actually too bad, the real killer was the four way intersection with darkness, a trap, and antimagic. I seem to step off it facing the wrong way pretty much every time. Ultimately it's just annoying, since you can get the compass back afterwards to figure out where you wound up. The game lets you teleport in to 3 from other floors, but doesn't seem to allow teleporting within the level. Maybe that's because teleporting would reset the puzzle? Dunno.

Speaking of the puzzle, it wasn't too hard to find all the clues and figure out the answer (at first I thought the first letters would make a word, but that didn't work so I got it second attempt). I was kind of shocked to realise after solving it that I was now going to have to find the stairs, but I got lucky and found them without too much trouble. Annoyingly you have to go through a spinner and the dark antimagic square to get from the puzzle solution to the stairs. There's an empty square right next to the puzzle thing! Why not put it there?

Level four is pretty interesting. I think what's happening is that when you step on the square 20 north and 3 east all of the walls become doors and all of the doors become walls. I had to figure out how to draw it on my map, and settled on drawing the doors that are there initially normally, and the doors that appear later as my usual door -| |- with the line continuing through it -|-|-. I like floors with open spaces, speeds up the mapping, but it's a bit confusing on this one to figure out where I've been and haven't.

The encounters are getting kind of nuts. I'm running from everything, but not always succeeding. I never fail to escape easy encounters, it's always multiple deadly enemies that trap me (Greater Demons and Master Magicians are my worst enemies at the moment, though there are plenty of others I'm happy to escape from). Maybe that'll change with levels, but they're pretty far apart at the moment. I did some grinding in the catacombs, which is definitely the quickest and safest method I've come across, so my mages are both archmages now and level 14 in their finishing classes (conjurer and sorceror), and my other guys are level 23-25.
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  #145  
Old 10-03-2017, 10:18 AM
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I just beat The Bard's Tale. The last few levels were almost disappointing: not very complex to map (once I figured out 4's gimmick), but a fairly long walk to get back to them with random encounters that might at any point turn one or more character to stone necessitating leaving the tower to heal and coming back. That said, that only happened to me a few times. Level draining was annoying too, but I would just ignore it until I had to leave anyway, and I was fortunate that I never had both mages killed at once (except when I had party wipes) meaning I could always heal up.

Mangar himself was kind of weak, but his encounter was pretty tough. I first fought him accidentally. I was pretty sure of where he was on the map, but I'd found the back entrance and thought it would be a dead end. I got into the fight, killed Mangar himself in the first round but also took pretty bad damage, and ran away. I probably could have won, but I hadn't finished the map yet, so I healed up and did that, then went back, upped my buffs, went into party attack mode for a bit to restore MP with my mage staffs (bit of a flashback to the start of the game when party attack with the healing song was my main way of healing - I hadn't done it since getting access to REST), then took him on again. Four party members and my summon died in the fight, but we prevailed. This was mostly luck I think. You get a tonne of experience and gold for winning, and the game is nice enough to give it to dead characters, but the ending is kind of underwhelming. Afterwards it takes you back to the guild. I did a run to the temple to get everyone back on their feet, visited the review board for a level up or two each, sold off my excess stuff at Garth's, and went back to the guild and exited the game. Maybe I should've tried to leave town, but I suspect it wouldn't have worked. My fighter, hunter and bard were level 27, the monk 25, the mage who ended up in conjurer 17 and the one that landed sorcerer 15.

Here are some .gifs I captured of the final fight and ending:



Mangar looks like kind of a dweeb. He was the easiest enemy to kill in this fight.


The demon lords were the main threat, doing huge damage with group attacks and inflicting stone.


My second shot at the boss fight. The huge damage from the first attack is with the antimagic song active, which usually keeps breath damage pretty manageable.


The ending.


A much earlier boss I took video of but never posted. I recorded this when I was going back to it to get its drop again so I could reenter the fourth dungeon.
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  #146  
Old 10-03-2017, 10:30 AM
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Finished Vaporum, pretty good game. The only downside I found was that health itself is the limited resource in this game. It does not naturally recover, so if you run out of it, it's game over. Basically you need to be very careful with when you save so you don't get into an unwinnable situation. If you level up you fully recover it, so it seems like level ups are actually the checkpoints where you should be saving.
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  #147  
Old 10-03-2017, 10:57 AM
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Mogri Mogri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yimothy View Post
I just beat The Bard's Tale.
Nicely done. I am always a big fan of your GIF captures. Did you find the superweapon on the last floor -- the Spectre Snare? Finding the name of the weapon is a puzzle that spans multiple dungeons, IIRC. It's ridiculously good, not only dealing huge damage but also giving a chance to crit. Not worth going back into Mangar's unless you plan to take that team into BT2, of course.

I'd love to hear your overall impressions on the game as someone going into the series for the first time in 2017. Were the mapping puzzles what you were hoping for?
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  #148  
Old 10-09-2017, 10:05 PM
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Yimothy Yimothy is offline
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I did find the superweapon, having taken care to write down every message I'd found. I think only two were relevant: "Seek the Snare from behind the scenes" in Sewers four below, which made no difference because of my obsession with stepping on every square at least once, and "The spectre snare can catch a foe and bind him lest his spirit go..." in Mangar's Tower two above, which helped with the riddle: "What can bind the mightiest foes?". Unfortunately when I got it the in game message was "WILKS has found an item", which I took to mean I'd have to go back to town and identify it before I could use it (not true). I didn't check his inventory after that until I'd won the game, so I never equipped it. WILKS died in the first round of the Mangar fight before taking any actions anyway, so it wouldn't have made much difference unless it also increases turn priority.

As for my impressions of the game: I had a good time. It was a lot more playable than I expected and really got its hooks in me. There are a lot of irritations and interface issues, but there are also a lot of things that work in its favour. For example, you have to type in abbreviations of the spells. To know what these are you have to look outside the game at the manual, and to play effectively you just have to memorise them. That's kind of annoying, but at the same time it means when you want to cast a spell you just type "C", "5", "REST" (or whatever) and it's done. You've got to cast a lot of spells, so doing it this way is way quicker than digging through menus like you would in a more recent game (there is mouse support, but I tried it out for maybe two minutes and decided I was better off with the keyboard). It's unusual that the random encounters trigger with time rather than player action, but it means if you know where you're going you can zip to it with minimal interruption. There's a mechanism where a doppelganger can infiltrate your party, which sounds interesting but which I only had happen once and which wasn't great for me: one of the spells is supposed to reveal them but it didn't seem to work, so I had one of my guys kill off all the other guys until the game let me out of the intra-party battle it had started. It turned out to be the second last guy I killed that had been replaced.

The mapping was pretty great: challenging but not unfair. The game gives you the tools you need for it in the scry site and magic compass spells. Phase door and apport arcane are excellent for reducing the tedium of recrossing old ground. The blink of the screen when you get teleported is easy to miss, but if you're paying attention you'll pick up on it. Spinners are annoying, but again reward paying attention and are pretty much trivialised by MACO even if you're in darkness.

The combat was better than I expected. In some ways it's pretty dull, just hack at groups of enemies until they all die, but once you get deeper into the game it becomes a damage race: enemies all have low HP totals but can be really deadly if left alive, but you have to conserve your MP if you want to prolong your dungeon dive. Deciding whether to run, whether to cast spells, and which enemy to prioritise are small decisions but they remain just interesting enough throughout the game. Also fights play out very quickly, even the ridiculous grinding battles against huge enemy groups.

The game plays out in stages based on your party's development: first your melee characters just hack at enemies until they run out of HP and you have to go heal, and how far you can go is determined by how often your bard can sing. Then you get a bardsword and can sing as often as you like, meaning you can stay out until someone gets killed or you need to heal a status, but the cost of doing so is getting into an intra-party battle and defending over and over. Fortunately at that point you don't have a lot of HP to restore, but it's still not great. Then you get REST, and all your healing is done with that, allowing you to stay out until you run out of MP or someone gets killed. Eventually you get BEDE and can fix death, but at that point you're encountering stone, which you can't fix without going to a temple. But then you're running from everything and just focused on the maps and navigation.

Things I would probably want changed: an option to drop something when your inventory is full and you find an item rather than just the game not telling you you've found something (or just an "inventory full" notification). In game item descriptions. I guess figuring out what items do is part of the game as well, but not the part I was interested in, so I just looked up a list and used that. Better distribution of healing magic. The low level spells are not worth the MP, then you get REST which is the only one worth using 99% of the time. Before that I did all my healing with my bard, which is boring and slow. When you step on a square with a message, keep the message up at all times, including when paused and after any encounters you get into there have played out. I often had to step on a square multiple times to transcribe the whole message, and there was one message on a critical path that I think didn't reappear if you stepped back on the tile (the one telling you to equip the circle, square, and triangle).

It was definitely an interesting and challenging game, and I enjoyed almost all of it. I had a few things spoiled for me (the location of the first dungeon, needing a bard in the third dungeon, the uses of all the items, and needing the old electronic arts logo to proceed in the final dungeon), so not sure if I'd have liked it less if I'd gotten stuck on them (or more if I'd figured them out for myself). Also I didn't have to deal with loading times, dunno how bad they were back in the '80s.
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  #149  
Old 10-10-2017, 07:34 AM
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Mogri Mogri is offline
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Load times were negligible even back then -- not much to load.

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Originally Posted by Yimothy View Post
needing the old electronic arts logo to proceed in the final dungeon
!!

I never put that together. EA did publish the game, of course, but I wonder at what point in development Interplay knew that was going to happen.
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  #150  
Old 10-10-2017, 08:27 AM
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Yimothy Yimothy is offline
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It's in the review board as well, each of the three board members has one shape overhead. Again, I was spoiled on it rather than noticing myself. I got interested in playing the game reading the CRPG addict's blog, even though he kinda didn't like the game all that much by the end. That's where I found out most of the stuff I was spoiled on. I think someone mentioned the logo in one of the comments.
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