Sunday, February 16, 2014

Might and Magic II - Final

Yes, you read that right. Final. As in Last. After four long years, I have finally finished Might and Magic II: Gates to Another World! This was no easy task, the game made progressing more or less impossible at times, but I have prevailed!

On with the epic conclusion!

So last update we ended with all the Elemental Talons, and all we had to do was find the Orb. The Orb is located in Dawn's Cavern.

Dawn's Cavern is in the middle of the swamp, which is annoying to traverse since it randomly teleports you.  Random teleports are REALLY annoying, for obvious reasons.  I actually had Ian cast the spell Teleport, which jumps you 1-9 spaces forward, you can select how many spaces.  It made it a lot easier.

There's a lot of junk lying around in Dawn's Cavern.  She needs a maid or something.  Occasionally you can find stuff in the rubbish.  The Monster Tome casts Identify Monster, which is pretty useless.  It shows the HP of the monster, whether its undead or not, and if it has special skills.  It doesn't actually say what skills the enemy has, it says something like "Special Skills (Y/N)."

Throughout the dungeon there were doors with random labels.  There was a lounge, an employee's room, a steam room, a weight room, and a cafeteria. I think each room had enemies more or less themed to the label.  Nothing of interest was found in these rooms.

The Top Dog Kennel was mildly interesting.  We got fought by a small army of Lucky Dogs.

After fighting off the dogs we found a bunch of lucky charms.  And hell yeah we're gonna roll around in them!  This probably increased my Luck stat, but since we're already with broken stats, I can't be sure.

In the Target Practice room we find some floating heads picking on some poor adventurers.  We freed them, but I can't remember who they were, as I totally forgot to screen capture them.

Finally we find Dawn's Throne Room, and fight Dawn.  She was not the least bit scary.  Most of the battles in this dungeon were more scary.  Strangely enough, she does not have the Orb.  Thats somewhere else in the dungeon.

The Orb Guardian was about as scary as Dawn was.  Ian blew him to pieces with the spell Implosion, I think.  Well, I guess Implosion wouldn't blow him to pieces, but you get the picture.  We annihilated it.

And the Orb is ours!  The problem is the Orb will not let us leave the dungeon.  The trick is to have hirelings.  You can give the orb to a hireling, and dismiss the hireling and the hireling will go back to the last inn you stayed at, allowing you to leave the dungeon. We went back to the inn and picked up the hireling, and take the Orb back.  Now its time to go back to the past!

We go back to the 8th century, where last time we saw King Kalohn get eaten by a dragon.  But this time it will be different!

Okay I guess, maybe it was the 7th century?  They call the 900's the 10th century so I guess so.  I always get confused when naming centuries.  

We return to Luxus Palace and King Kalohn tells us the password for the final dungeon!  But first, we must break the game!

Meet the Cuisinarts.  You may remember them from a few updates ago, where they totally owned up my party.  Well, they still do. But there's a trick to fighting them.  The trick doesn't work all the time, but it helps.  Cuisinarts only have about 1000 hp, so they're not THAT bad.  Basically just pray that your mage doesn't get killed.  The cuisinarts almost always fight first.  They hit EXTREMELY hard as can be seen in the picture.  2000 damage is a one-hit KO regardless of who it hits.  Fortunately that only knocks the character unconscious.  A second hit to an unconscious character kills the character.  The trick is to have as many people in your party as possible, so bring some hirelings.  Clerics and Paladins are helpful since they can heal unconscious characters, specifically the mage.  The cuisinarts are cheap though, and even with eight people in the party you can still lose the fight in the first round.  The cuisinarts have a frenzy skill which I've described in other updates.  When in frenzy the cuisinart will attack six random characters, but kills himself in the process.  If two cuisinarts use frenzy, you're screwed.  So basically the strategy is to keep the mage alive.  Hopefully the mage will have 8th or 9th level spells.  Implosion is basically an instant kill on these, but it only hits one cuisinart.  I use Megavolts, which does 4-16 damage per level of the spell caster, which can do MASSIVE amounts of damage, depending on your level.  Have the others finish off the cuisinarts, healing whoever is unconscious.  If everyone is alive, each character gets something like 10 million experience which is pretty much multiple instant levels.  The loot is crazy awesome as well, things with enhancements that can be higher than +20.  We trained here for A LONG time.  We got a lot of awesome loot, and now we're stupidly high in level.  So stupidly high that we can't even afford to level anymore.  It takes 20,000+ gold to use the training grounds.  I thought I was insanely rich, but from farming these cusinarts, I'm dirt poor now.  I can't even afford to keep the hirelings.  We have so much health that the game just puts "+++" instead of a number, indicating we have over 1000 hp.  In the character's status screen you can see the actual health.  

Anyways back to the story.  Final Dungeon Time.  This was a pain in the ass.  The Final Dungeon is right next to Middlegate, in a lone mountain in the middle of the river.  The layout of the dungeon is a long ass hallway.  There's a one space turn that always has a battle.  The battles are annoying.  Theres always 50+ enemies, and half the time, only the first two character are in melee range so it takes like 10 minutes to win a battle.  The enemies are stupidly easy for the most part.  More or less enemies you'd find in Middlegate's dungeon.  However, some battles will have insanely powerful enemies, making this dungeon horribly unfair.  You'll waste half an hour fighting retarded enemies, only to run into a single monster later towards the end that wipes the party out in one move.  The only saving grace is that the enemies are not set, so you can run away and fight again and the battle will be different.

After spending upwards to an hour we finally get to the end of the hallway which is guarded by 66 devil Kings.  We're up for the challenge, until we see that they cast 8th and 9th level spells, and are kicking our asses.  We run the fuck away.  Now the interesting part here is, you get a choice.  You can't really see it, since the floating head is in the way, but there is a door behind the monsters.  I figured these were a guardian, and you had to kill them to get to the door.  Thats not true.  You can choose to fight them, or not.  If you choose not to fight them, you can walk right through the door.  So we decide against fighting them, and go through the door, which leads to another hallway.

The hallway has no enemies, just signs that are pretty friendly sounding.

Maybe, probably not.  I mean we couldn't kill the Devil Kings, so I doubt we'll be able to kill the boss of the game...

Well, you certainly are, Mr. Programmer.

Jesus Christ, shut up!


God dammit!  Fuck you, game...

Better not be shitting me again...

Are you for real this time?

AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!! Its another floating head!!! 

I'll try to explain the plot of the game involving the VARNs and CRON and things at the end of this post.  Its weird.

 We're also fighting the version of the game itself apparently?

This was just sad.  No other way to explain it.  We killed the elementals first, because I knew I could kill them fast and just wanted to get them out of the way for the real battle.  Ian attempted to cast Implosion on Sheltem, but Sheltem was immune to it.  I don't even remember what Sheltem did in his turn.  Hein killed him in one hit.  It was pathetic.  I was seriously expecting this to be hard as hell.  And then I was like, "Oh, this can't be the end of the game, there's gonna be another boss battle, right?" Nope.  That was it. An hour long dungeon for a boss I killed in one hit.  Wow.

King Kalohn told us the password earlier.  It was WAFE.  We save the world of Cron just in time.  

Or not...

This was just pure hate.  I have no idea how cryptograms work. Apparently the cryptogram is randomly generated too. I had to look online for the answer, but every fucking walkthrough online does not tell you how to do this.  They all say "Translate Preamble into the cryptogram to get the code."  LIKE ITS THAT FUCKING EASY!  What it means by "Answer= Preamble" it really means that the cryptic message is a cypher of the Preamble to the United States Constitution. "We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union" etc.  Substitute Terra in for United States and you can see that the US Preamble word sizes match with the cryptogram.  I still have no idea how to solve the cryptogram, but I found a way to answer it.  Too bad it was too late in this attempt, and I got game over.  So I had to go ALL the way through the dungeon again, and murder Sheltem again, and do it.  For those of you that may ever play this game, here is the solution:

P = Row 1, Word 3, Letter 1
r = Row 2, Word 1, Letter 3
e = Row 1, Word 1, Letter 2
a = Row 2, Word 2, Letter 1
m = Row 2, Word 3, Letter 1
b = Row 2, Word (last), Letter 5
l = Row 1, Word 3, Letter 5
e = Row 1, Word 1, Letter 2

You may need to capitalize the first letter, whatever corresponds to P.  So in this case the answer is "Apesqwfe"

After entering the right code, we finally save the world.  After viewing this screen, the game takes you back to Middlegate, and you can continue playing for whatever reasons.  

If you go back to King Kalohn, he's the only person that seems to recognize you saving the world.  

And my Game End Stats for each character.

Now to try and sum the game's plot up.  I never played  the first game, Might and Magic: The Secret of the Inner Sanctum.  I'm basically just summing whats on Wikipedia.  MM1 takes place on the world of VARN, which is really a giant spaceship thing.  Thing is the the heroes don't know this (at least I don't think they do), and to them VARN is their world.  It has outside environments, towns and castles.   The heroes learn of Sheltem when they enter a crashed space ship.  Aliens tell them that Sheltem was their prisoner and he managed to escape when the ship crashed.  Corak apparently came before the heroes and is already trying to stop Sheltem..  The heroes stop Sheltem, and enter a Gate to Another World (The subtitle of MM2) and are transported to the World of CRON.  The heroes never actually defeated Sheltem, and Shletem escaped to CRON as well.  It turns out that CRON is another spaceship thing, and Sheltem is trying to steer it in to the sun.  Apparently King Kalohn tried to stop Sheltem by changing the past or something, which resulted in tragedy with his death, which we then had to fix.  I guess Sheltem stole the power orb in the present time, hence why we had to find it and give it to Kalohn to save him from the Mega Dragon.  I don't really know.  Its pretty convoluted, especially since Sheltem was pretty much never mentioned in the game.

So I've finally finished Might and Magic II: Gates to Another World!

Overall I'm glad I finished the game, but I doubt I'll be playing it anytime soon.  The game was fun at some points, but it was also brutally unfair at other points.  If you like dungeon crawlers, maybe you'll like this, but its definitely not for everyone.  

Stay tuned for my next Let's Try and Play Project: Might and Magic III: Isles of Terra!  I promise it won't take as long as this one did. I hope.  MM3 is my favorite game in the series, so I'll probably play it more frequently.

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