February 26, 2013

Glory of Heracles II - Medusa & Griffins & Minotaurs! Oh My!

Here, in these new lands, no one knew of my humble beginnings as a rustily equipped messenger boy.  I finally started getting missions befitting an up-and-coming hero such as yours truly.  Important missions like rescuing sled dogs and brass automatons.  Homer's associate, Hesiodos, also gave me the skinny on where to find two of the three parts, called zuis, needed to build the Chaos Axe.

Buck up, champ!  Your info is actually
more useful than Homie's.

The Chaos Axe can only be wielded by Heracles, who we haven't even met yet and isn't even located in the Prime Material Plane.  Here's hoping that he decides to contact us.  The first piece is in Laos but before heading there, Abrax and I decide to clear out a tower full of monsters because that's what heroes do.  In addition to the many lovely treasure chests strewn about, we found a man made of brass who is fixed to his pedestal and would like to be cut out.  He would also like a soul which he says can only be got from his creator, Hephaestus.  We didn't have a cutting tool but we could certainly pass a message on to Hephaestus (I'm a level five delivery boy).  Whereabouts would he be living, oh man of brass?

Okay, but I better get a massive tip.

As we slaughtered our way through the rest of the tower, we eventually came across the head honcho, the fearsome Minotaur (or Mintaur, as the game calls it).  He was guarding two chests and did this cool back-and-forth movement where he would always be vertically aligned with me.

For whatever reason, it totally reminded me of
the hamburger bun from this old commercial.

His defeat saw Shen getting the powerful but heavy Minos Axe and also a cutting tool.  What a coincidence!  We had JUST met someone who could benefit from such a tool.  After freeing the man in the brass body, he offered to join and requested a name instead of us just calling him statue.  I dubbed him Talos and he impressed us with his refusal to wear or wield most weapons and armour.  Instead, he nakedly punched his way into our hearts and then astonished us even more when he started gaining offensive spells.  This nicely balanced out Abrax's healing and defensive spell list — and there are a lot of spells.  Both Abrax and Talos get a new spell every other level, on average.  Some are just more powerful upgrades of previous spells, but there are a bunch that have status effects or party buffs.  And, get this, those spells actually work in boss fights!  In a later fight, we actually managed to put a boss to sleep... for two whole rounds!  That almost never happens!  Another nice bonus is that most spells are fairly cheap to cast; there isn't a need to keep the magic points stockpiled for only healing spells.

With our new friend in tow, we headed off to Laos to find the first Chaos Axe component.  We had to enter an underground tunnel to cross a river at one point and within the tunnel lay our ticket to the heavens.  A priest of some sort told us he kept the silk reins that would allow one access to the heavens.  He was just waiting for one worthy enough.

And what — a level five delivery
guy isn't good enough?

In the town of Laos, we found out that the first zui is not there but in the Ice Tower to the north.  Unfortunately, the icy tundra cannot be traversed without taking damage unless we have a pack of sled dogs, which have been imprisoned in a large tree.  To open the tree, we have to head into the Tower of Darkness and defeat the Medusa there to obtain the Tree Key.  *sigh* I should have known a major quest item wouldn't just be sitting in some town.  Okay, so the Medusa wasn't too hard since I had found a mirror shield which protected me from her gaze.  The Tree dungeon had multiple pathways but all were fairly short.

Or, should I say, multiple branches!  LOL!

Soon we were knee deep in poochies and we tickled and chased them all the way back to Laos.  The owner of the dogs was so happy he let us take his sled to the Ice Tower to finally attempt to get the first zuis.  I sat through most of the journey facing backwards as the view was somewhat gross.

One of the few times I lacked appreciation
for the anatomical attention to detail.

The Ice Tower was apparently not noteworthy enough to warrant a screenshot except for the Cyclops boss at the end.  I'll throw him in with the rest of the bosses in the final montage even though he was pretty easy.  With the Sorrow Zui in our possession, we headed to the town of Temis.  Here, we found out that Iris was going to be sacrificed to a griffin in a cave nearby.  Who the hell is Iris?  Why, she's some dame I got to name way back in the first town and haven't seen since (which is why she was never mentioned).  Well, I guessed that she would fill the #4 slot in our party so it was off to rescue her.  The griffin had a lot of HP but fell prey to Talos's status ailment spells.  Fully expecting a new group member, I was surprised when Iris took off right away.  This brought the total number of complete sentences we had spoken to each other to around three or so.

Darn it, and I thought she was "the one".

Hrmmm... welp, I suppose we'll be off to find the second zui now.  I have a sneaky suspicion that the very next town will have some details about it.  Anyway, here's the titular boss montage plus Cyclops I promised:

Keepin' it real on the Greek mythology tip.