Part 4: Second Floor, Same as the First?
The group returned to the dungeon and made their way to the stairs to the second floor.
Zudak: “So what can we expect to find on this floor, Fearless Leader?”
Emptyeye: “Well, let’s see…the way we came down here, it looks like there are a couple statues, plus a third key. Huh, that’s interesting..we could also have arrived here by elevator. Doesn’t look like there’s much of interest on this floor going the elevator route though.”
mahel042: “So where to first?”
Emptyeye: “Let’s try for those statues. Then we can head for the key, and if we’re still feeling good, maybe explore the rest of the floor to make sure the mapmakers didn’t miss anything.”
So the party made their way to the first of the statue rooms. Along the way, they passed something on the floor, but they didn’t know exactly what it was.
Emptyeye: “This must be what we needed one of the keys for. Damned if I know which one, though.”
(LIVEBLOG NOTE: On “important” dungeon squares, you’ll see a square outlined on the floor, be it flavor text or some kind of barrier. If you already have the item needed to pass, you’ll see the square, but nothing else—and if you get the item before you ever encounter the barrier, you’ll forever be left wondering exactly which item lets you through)
Continuing on, the group came across a statue of a bear. The sign near the statue said “I’ve got a million of ’em!” Zudak took the statue, and the group was immediately beset by…friendly Zombies.
Zombie: “All we wanna do is eat your brains!”
Emptyeye: “Hmm. You know, I kinda like my brain, but maybe we can compromise here.”
Zombie: “Okay, how about this. You turn your backs to us….and we eat your brains.”
Nyperold: “Compromise rejected! Die, monster!”
Emptyeye: “Okay, I must admit Nyperold, you had the right idea this time.”
As it turned out, the battle was difficult—joining the Zombies were a group of Creeping Cruds. Nyperold paid for his bloodlust, getting first poisoned, then paralyzed, which moved him to the back of the group.
Xanatos: “Whoa…now’s my chance to show what I’m made of!”
It happened that Xanatos’s assessment of the situation was incorrect—Emptyeye quickly cut down the last of the monsters before anything including Xanatos could react.
Xanatos: “Oh well…Dialko!”
And Nyperold was cured of the paralysis.
(LIVEBLOG NOTE: Floor 2 is the first difficult floor [Relative to the rest of the game, anyway]. The near-constant threat of being poisoned is probably the main reason, but it isn’t the only one.)
After a Potion of Neutralizing, the group made its way to the next statue, again passing a place where one of the keys allowed them access. It was a statue of a frog wearing a red and blue cape. The statue was strangely animated, and shook its legs while yelling “Yeah…yeah…” Rocky took this statue.
Emptyeye: “Okay, one more thing on this floor…the Key!”
On their way to the statue, the party encountered some Level 1 Clerics.
Xanatos and Rocky: “Ow! We’re supposed to be safe back here!”
(LIVEBLOG NOTE: You also meet enemies that can cast magic for the first time on this floor, meaning your back three members are no longer totally safe in battle.)
Fortunately, the Clerics posed little threat to the front lines, and, after going through two more mystery squares where, by their best guess, they were allowed through thanks to possessing the two statues they found on this floor, the crew made their way to a statue identical to that found by the Bronze key.
Xanatos: “Yep, it’s another key all right. We should probably go back to the surface and replace those Neutralizing potions we lost.”
Zudak: “Good idea.”
Emptyeye: “Yeah, let’s go.”
Back on the surface, the group took their wares to Willy.
Willy: “Yep, those are Frog and Bear Statues all right. Also, this is a solid gold key you have here!”
After that, the group replaced their potions and headed back down to explore the rest of the floor. This was difficult, though—one person or another was being poisoned at seemingly every opportunity. The enemies were indeed more difficult than they had been on floor one. Shockingly, the threat of poison wasn’t even the most worrisome thing on the floor.
Emptyeye: “Holy crap, Ninjas! I’ve heard about these guys…they can flip out and kill people!”
(LIVEBLOG NOTE: Hey, remember way back when I wrote that Ninjas were super-powered fighting machines with a chance of an insta-kill attack? That applies to enemy Ninjas too. Yeah, this game is difficult.)
Zudak: “Hey Emptyeye, remember when you had wanted me to make people’s heads explode? Well, it’s not quite the same thing, but I think a column of fire would be a decent idea right about now.”
Emptyeye: “Yes, fire, good idea. Nyperold, mahel and I will take the smaller group of Ninjas, and you fry the bigger group.”
The strategy worked brilliantly; when the round of combat was done, 8 Ninjas lay dead at the feet of the group, having never even gotten a chance to attack.
Rocky: *Whew* “That could’ve been ugly.”
After the last excursion into the dungeon, Zudak went to Boltac’s and purchased a Rod of Iron (The last one in stock!). Emptyeye, Nyperold, mahel042 and Xanatos all picked up Iron Shields, while Rocky bought a suit of Padded Leather.
Emptyeye: “The risk-reward ratio of that floor doesn’t really seem to be worth it. Let’s check out Floor 3 next time.”
Next Time: The third floor!
Intense Bonus Commentary!
- Originally, the part about the poison not being the most dangerous part of floor 2 began with “indeed” (sic). I took the opportunity to correct the misplaced lack of a capital letter by simply replacing the word with “Shockingly”–poison is pretty dangerous, so anything more dangerous (Like the Ninjas that have a chance of instantly killing you) is obviously nothing to be trifled with.
- Speaking of the Ninjas, I wrote that they were super-powered fighting machines in a post before the liveblog proper. The full writeup on Ninjas was: “Ninja: Super-powered fighting machines; they fight best with no equipment whatsoever, gaining natural Armor Class bonuses for fighting without armor as they gain levels. Can insta-kill enemies (The Wizardry I NES TAS uses this amongst other things to finish the game in under a minute). Must be either class-changed after meeting the (ridiculous) stat requirements or made via a Thief invoking the power of the Dagger of Thieves. Also disarm traps as well as Thieves do. Evil only.” great in your party if you’re patient enough to build the stats; unfortunately completely impractical for most people.
- I love the massive run-on sentence that begins “Fortunately, the Clerics posed little threat…”