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MrPopo
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Re: RPG Progress Report

by MrPopo Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:55 pm

So a couple things I'll point out:

1. I'm assuming you're on the GOG version; take a look at the colorful map included. You see those creatures on it? Those exist, and will utterly kick your ass. So be aware.

2. Did you encounter the various statues in Sorpigal?
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Re: RPG Progress Report

by Ack Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:57 pm

MrPopo wrote:So a couple things I'll point out:

1. I'm assuming you're on the GOG version; take a look at the colorful map included. You see those creatures on it? Those exist, and will utterly kick your ass. So be aware.

2. Did you encounter the various statues in Sorpigal?


Ah, so it's not a "Here by dragons" kind of representation, it's a "No, really, here be something to kick your ass" kind of deal.

I haven't seen any statues in Sorpigal, but I didn't pick the locks on most of the doors, so I'm guessing they're in there. The only one I did had a monster encounter.
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Re: RPG Progress Report

by MrPopo Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:07 pm

Ah, so it's not a "Here by dragons" kind of representation, it's a "No, really, here be something to kick your ass" kind of deal.

Exactly. And the locations are roughly where they are. It's a fun little detail.

I haven't seen any statues in Sorpigal

If I recall right some (maybe all) of them are on the walls in the regular corridors; M&M1 does a lot of messages on the walls; frequently the terrain gets you to look in that direction to begin with, but sometimes it'll be down a long hallway and if you don't think to look to either side you won't see it.
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Re: RPG Progress Report

by Ack Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:49 am

Might & Magic Book One

Well, I booted up last night with my party in Algary, so I decided to go up and explore the climbing trees a little more. There's a grove covered in magical darkness just south of it, so I stuck my head in and received a challenge to climb all of the trees in the orchard to the north. Previously, the trees had contained nothing; now many had monster fights as well as status effects or other potential negatives, though some provided additional food to all party members. The fights by now weren't that challenging, so I mopped up the enemies and returned to the guy for my choice of gold, gems, or an item. I picked the item and was given Bells of Time. The one time I used them, they added ten years to the age of a character, so I sold them off for 500 gold.

Next up, since Popo had been talking about statues in Sorpigal, I figured it was best to go and check them out. Hey, when Popo says go, you go. It turns out I had actually seen one of these statues previously, but I had forgotten. It was a hint to finding Dusk. The others give some game information and rough ideas of what the overall goal is, along with a note about the Wheel of Luck and a bunch of giant monsters. I'm betting those are the four on that world map, so the giant scorpions I encountered are part of whatever quest that is.

Well, I know roughly where those suckers are, and I also have the desert map, so I figured why not go explore some more out there. Good thing I did, too, as I soon found the Clerics' Retreat, complete with different cleric groups that healed my ailments as well as a permanent bonus to the party's personality. I then wandered nearby to some mountains just to the east, but I stepped on the wrong square, and the party was teleported south out of the desert. My little desert adventure over, I headed back to Sorpigal to prep for my next encounter.

Now that I was kitted out fairly well from Dusk and my entire party was level 7, I felt it was time to try killing a particular monster for a quest: the medusa. I had to bring her head to the king of Castle Blackburn South, so I marched my forces from Sorpigal down to the mountains, through the Caryatid Guard that protected the entrance to the nearby glacier, and into the Medusa's Lair.

Unfortunately, medusas and basilisks are rampant in here, and while I was able to take them, a jerk basilisk still managed to turn both Prfsnl and Key to stone. Since Key is the only one who would have access to healing, I was now stuck without a proper healer. Hell with it, I thought, and I made my way through magic darkness, over snake pits, and past more basilisks until I found a troop of medusas hidden behind a locked door. The fiends turned Ack to stone. They then turned Elkin to stone. But in the end, Marurun and Noise proved victorious, and my boy Maru chopped off a medusa's head to take back to the king.

From there I snuck out as best I could, luckily avoiding any further encounters. With only two functional party members, I crawled my way back to the entrance and immediately teleported to Sorpigal for cheap healing and to sell the couple of treasures I had found along the way. Then I headed to Castle Blackburn South and turned in the medusa's head for a small experience reward. My quest complete, I called it a night.

Next up, I notice on the map that there is an area I have yet to explore with Wyverns a little south of Sorpigal. I think I may head there next.
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Re: RPG Progress Report

by prfsnl_gmr Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:07 am

We’re you able to turn me back into flesh and blood? Or, are you still dragging around a now male and relatively old prfsnl_gmr statue?
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Re: RPG Progress Report

by Ack Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:08 am

prfsnl_gmr wrote:We’re you able to turn me back into flesh and blood? Or, are you still dragging around a now male and relatively old prfsnl_gmr statue?


Yep, you're healed and back to being my designated door unlocker and treasure trap checker. Don't worry, dude, you fam.
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Re: RPG Progress Report

by Ack Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:13 am

Might & Magic Book One

I've been screwing up a name. They aren't Castle Blackburn North and South, they're Castle Blackridge North and South. Eh, easy enough mistake. Also, I usually don't include all the mistakes, deaths, and reloads I experience along the way, but I'm going to mention a few here to help you guys understand where I'm at in the game.

Anyway, when I booted the game back up, I decided it would be fun to simply walk around and explore a bit. I wandered away from Erliquin and Castle Blackridge and decided to see what was in the borderlands of map A-1, the upper left quadrant of the Book One world. You know what's up there? Tough enemies. But I was also pleased to discover a permanent stat boost that added to everyone's endurance. Still, this wasn't actually getting me towards a goal, so I thought I'd go check out those Wyvern cliffs and see if I could get the Wyvern Eye.

Nope. At the current level I was at, and with limited preparedness, the Wyverns kicked my ass. I decided it was time to go back and play it a little safer while still exploring, so I headed up to Dusk and explored the dungeon under there. There are a lot of traps there, but after a little exploring and avoiding the psychic traps that straight up killed a character on a few aborted attempts, I found a golden tapestry with a weird string of letters and numbers...like a password...

I left Dusk behind and headed back to Erliquin on a whim. There are two places that needed passwords that I know of in Might & Magic Book One, and I could teleport directly to Erliquin, so I decided to try there first. Boom, I input the password in the basement, and the electric barriers went down. I now had access to the treasure rooms! I looted all that I could and then discovered I could pass through beyond, where I found a way into the Quivering Forest to a cave up there. Not wanting to get ahead of myself, I returned to Erliquin and discovered the treasure had respawned!

An idea popped into my head to use the respawning treasure and the fountain that converts gold to experience in Dragadune, but after doing the math, I realized that I was only nabbing around 4k-5k gold each time I passed through, and leveling one character requires 20 times that or more. I dropped the idea and headed up to Castle Blackridge North to say I had been to the cave in the Quivering Forest.

Each of the three castles offers different quests: Castle Blackridge North usually wants you to visit places. Castle Blackridge South wants you to bring things. Castle White Wolf wants a mixture of exploration and combat. As I had knocked out the first of Castle Blackridge North's quests, I opted to find Blithe's Peak. Funny enough, the location of Blithe's Peak is actually presented in the background of the GOG Galaxy page for the Might & Magic Book One loader.

After a quick visit up there and turning in the quest, I was next sent into the desert to find the traders. While I found them and grabbed cactus nectar, I also explored an area previously near the Cleric Retreat that had teleported me away. There I found an alien spaceship revealing that their prisoner had escaped, as well as a permanent boost to my party's intelligence. I turned in the quest and had to go find Okzar's Shrine.

In case you don't know, it's in the dungeon under Dusk. Returning there to face the psychic traps, I finally did what I should have been doing the whole time and started buffing myself with protection spells, including one that blocks psychic attacks. This spell completely negates the psychic traps, and while I had to use magic to fix my alignments because they had been changed (if your alignment is wrong, the shrine pits you against dragons, which killed the party off VERY quickly), I used the shrine and also found a permanent boost to the party's accuracy. I believe that's all stats permanently increased now.

Upon returning to Castle Blackridge North, I was told to find the fabled fountain in Dragadune...which I had already found. Free experience is nice. I then had to solve the riddle of the ruby in the Warrior's Stronghold, which I previously visited for a Castle White Wolf quest. I marched my way down there and had to answer a riddle. The end result? Thousands more experience and a crystal key. I also had enough experience to boost Ack, Prfsnl, and Key up to level 8. The next quest from Castle Blackridge North? Defeat the minotaurs in the secret fortress that requires the ruby whistle. Eh...I decided to come back to that later.

Not sure of what to do next, I decided to check out the areas south of Portsmith and Blithe's Peak. I found Trivia Island and answered the questions successfully, but the reward was hardly worth the trip, and on the way back I encountered a ghostly pirate ship where the crew swiftly kicked my ass. Reloading, I opted to instead explore around the peninsula that Portsmith sits on and came to a cave. There are teleports inside this cave as well as a couple of nasty fights hidden deep within, but down one corridor I discovered Thundranium.

Thundranium is an interesting item. I don't think it ever runs out of charges, and when used, it boosts a character's Might stat by 15 for one fight. It can also be used multiple times on a single character for repeated boosts. Now stats can get up to 255, but around there they loop back to 0. That said, while I could cap earlier, there really is no reason to do so. In fact, having now researched how the stats provided bonuses in the original Might & Magic, the benefit caps out around 40, where you get the highest bonus you'll receive. Raising any stat beyond 40 is effectively pointless.

Still, this item helps immensely. While I still couldn't handle the hidden fights inside that teleport cave, I marched my way back to the Wyvern mountains. I used magic to grant me protections from fire and toughen my skin to take less damage, and then I boosted the party's might to 40+ with the Thundranium. Then I marched into the first Wyvern fight and kicked some ass. Rest, rinse, repeat, and the second Wyvern fight in the area went down. Rest, rinse, repeat, until I found a cave in the hill. Instead of going inside, wyverns burst forth along with an 8-headed hydra. I slew them all and received for my troubles a magic carpet, a couple of broad swords +2, and a large shield +2. Magic carpet gives a +2 to AC for wizards, so it brought Noise up to a slight level of survivability. The shield went to Ack to make him even more of a hoss, while the broad swords +2 are slightly better than the long swords +1 that Ack and Marurun carried.

Why is that? I discovered while researching stats that weapons have a damage range potential in Might & Magic Book One. The plus bonus is a permanent increase to damage, so while a broad sword's regular damage range is roughly 1 through 6, a broad sword +1 is now 1 through 6 plus 1, or effectively 2 through 7. While a long sword + 1 has an effective range of 2 through 8, a broad sword +2 is 3 through 8, hence making broad swords +2 a slightly better weapon because the average damage increases slightly. While this isn't a massive increase, I'll take all the help I can get.

You know what else I found along the way? A Crossbow of Luck. This is not only effectively a Crossbow +3, but it also boosts the Luck stat. While the damage is still far less than the Great Bow +1 that Elkin uses, it's a step up from Prfsnl's Crossbow +1, so I swapped it out. I then turned in the Wyvern Eye for the experience reward and discovered the next quest is for a dragon's tooth. Fun.

Well, I tried the dragon, and it stomped me. Stomped me hard in fact. I then explored more and found a cemetery with a lich who was happy to use disintegrate every turn. I didn't beat him. I found a massive Winged Beast. It killed me too. Exploring the glaciers, I met up with assassins and a black knight. Yeah, same thing. There was a lot of trial and error, though I inched along and found a couple more upgrades, such as a Mace +1 for Key and a magic potion which can be used a couple of times to restore spell points.

I also successfully managed to get the rest of the party up to level 8, though it felt like progress was halting. With my new knowledge, gear, and levels, I decided it was time to take another crack at the minotaurs. I went in and easily stomped a couple of fights that had been tough before, against werewolves and werebears, as well as a fight against deadly spores that had annihilated my party previously. Down there I discovered a dog statue...and a gold key! I returned to the surface and saved in Portsmith.

I then returned to the secret fortress and faced off against the minotaurs. I did far better this time, but they still bested me handily. I went back to Portsmith and searched for the secret...which is a succubus hiding behind a wall with a bunch of demons. The succubus does some kind of status effect, but I find I'm unable to act before the demons blast everyone to death with fireballs, so I never got a chance to see what the status effect was. Yeah, I died here too.

I guess it's time to go grind Wyverns and hope for better gear along the way. The big fights I need to do, against dragons, minotaurs, and succubi, are all proving too difficult at the moment. There are also optional fights that kick my ass, such as the aliens or the lich and his legion of mummies. I have yet to find the Wheel of Luck, and there are more islands to explore out there, but the ghost ship slaughtered me, so I'm hesitant to launch straight into that.

Yeah, grinding and hoping for some better gear may just be what I do. Or perhaps I should go back to that gauntlet where I cannot rest near Erliquin. I may actually be strong enough to handle that now.
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Re: RPG Progress Report

by prfsnl_gmr Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:24 am

So...is this game more or less complex than Dragon Quest? :lol:

In all seriousness, however, how does the NES(!) port stack up to the PC original? It’s hard for me to believe they could cram such an expansive, open-ended game into a NES cart.
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Re: RPG Progress Report

by Ack Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:29 am

From what I've read, the NES port was made easier in some respects. Stats give a slightly higher bonus around 35+, stat boosts are higher, you start with better equipment, a few of the fights were made less difficult, and so forth. I read somewhere that the experience requirements are also less, though apparently individual combat takes longer, so this might have been an offset as well as a way to cut some space. I'm not aware of any cut content, but adjustments for the two button controller must have led to some modification.
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Re: RPG Progress Report

by MrPopo Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:17 pm

I want you to know that I am highly enjoying your progress. You're definitely making progress along the main storyline, so keep it up. It also sounds like there's still some parts of the map you haven't explored yet, so you might want to focus on that.
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