February 17, 2012

Wizardry II - End Game

Things went pretty much as expected.  There was some blood, sweat and no tears shed but also many yelps of triumph and variations of the "Suck it, Wizardry" motif.  The previous assumption that there was ten levels was in error; there are only six.  Each map makes efficient use of the available space and would probably equal about eight of Wizardry I's levels in terms of usable area.  The difficulty was about the same as the first part and the monsters shared the same range of abilities except for having different names and pictures.

Just have a few stories/rants to share.  The first involves the party as they were exploring the fourth level.  The thieving Tetravus had an excellent record for disarming traps.  His failure rate was somewhere in the region of one in a hundred.  Even when he failed on a chest with a teleporter trap, it was of no big concern; the level only has six squares that are solid rock (on a 20x20 map, a 1.5% chance).

The monsters felt bad enough
for us to make tombstones.

Luckily they were available for resurrection at the temple of Cant and moneybags Mr. Nung was able to cover the costs.  I guess even Wizardry isn't harsh enough to perma-death the characters based on one very improbable chance event (thank goodness).

It is, however, harsh enough to get me to break one of my precious rules.  A little back story first though.  The whole Knight of Diamonds deal is that there are pieces of his armour and sword scattered throughout the dungeon.  All five parts need to be collected in order to finish the game.  To acquire each piece, the party must first defeat it in combat.  For example, the breastplate was first and had high hit points and defense but did little damage.  The sword was pretty much the opposite.  This was nice in that each fight required different tactics in order to defeat them.  For the first four, the battles were tough but fair.  The last piece consisting of a pair of gauntlets, however, was a different story.  The first fight with them resulted in the party being surprised and being subjected to a double dose of Tiltowait (most powerful attack spell in the game).  All members dead before I even get a chance to do anything.  I couldn't say exactly how loud the expletives were but I'm pretty sure the other Shen Nungs throughout the multiverse heard it.

Preparing to Kamehameha
our collective asses.

Now, I don't mind having a full party wiped out but I want at least a 1.5% chance of surviving.  So I cheated and restored a previous save state.  If any game was going to make me break a rule, it would be Wizardry.  The second attempt was far less rage inducing.

These are acceptable losses.

With all of the pieces of the Knight of Diamond's equipment in hand, the party was ready to head down to level 6 and begin the final search for the staff of Gnilda.  The bottom level is filled with the nastiest creatures of the game, of course, and this means after every couple of fights, it's back to the town to get healed.  Mapping and light generating magic is banned down here lending to the same creepy atmosphere that the beginning of the game had.  Unfortunately, this means that sprites of some of the sweetest monsters are always dingy.

I like dragons because they
don't travel in packs.

Finding Gnilda was quite easy, as she is located near the sixth floor stairs.  However, she will only allow one character, decked out in the Knight of Diamond's stuff, into her room.  With no party splitting abilities, the group is forced to return to the town to split up.  JexPaine is chosen as the one who will complete the quest, as he is quite mighty and there may be additional trials awaiting.  Given a Ring of Movement to teleport as close as possible, Jex finds out that no more hardships face him as Gnilda straight gives up the staff and teleports him back to the first floor.

Who's up for some lacrosse?

Upon entering the town, Jex is greeted with a hero's welcome and given the highest honour the town can bestow, the Mark of Gnilda.  Five other characters are given less awesome knighthoods as well.

How much will Boltac pay for this?

The use of a few special items gained during play means that some of the characters will begin as prestige classes in Wizardry III.  We will see how the samurai and lord classes stack up against the basic fighter.  A ninja also snuck in as well but since he'll be evil, he may not get used.  Enjoy your rest, my mighty warriors, you'll need it for Wizardry III: Legacy of Llylgamyn.