Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Fourteenth Step: A Brief Interlude

It's been awhile, again, and this is gonna be a short one. The next one is all about Super King's experiences in the Arena (which, so far, is about the most amazingly lame part in a game that can be pretty amazingly lame). For now let's tie up a couple loose ends.

Super King, willful guy that he is, is easily distracted by a new quest that pops up on his roster.

You don't say...

Well there's no time to waste!! We hustle off to the frozen norths of Bravil to look up this Andragil lady and see what she has to say. Turns out she's the "Master" Block trainer, and if we complete a task for her she'll be only too happy to teach us everything we want to know about blocking and what have you.

Lay it on me, babe!

The quest is tooooooo... block for awhile while she hits you with a low damage weapon. Are you kidding me?! I thought I'd at least have to block a ferocious pterodactyl while falling off a cliff into a lake of searing lava a thousand feet below. THAT would've been a cool quest! Standing there for forty seconds with the right mouse button held is, uhm... not really as fun. Super King tends to agree with me, but as easy as it is it seems like it'd be a waste NOT to do it and have the mysterious secrets of the universe opened up to us. So we settle in our shield and she lays into us.

The test completed, Super King imagines himself soon behind a shield of crimson and gold, fending off the hordes of the uncouth barbarians that walk this land, their piercing barbs unable to find purchase due to his masterful skills at the protective arts.

It's actually not as fun as that... the lady just charges you money to level up your Block skill. Well Super King ain't no goddang SUCKER! Ain't nobody gonna charge him money for something he could get for free!! Or... that's what he'd say anyway, if it weren't for the fact that he's a lazy kannicker and he doesn't want to waste his time standing in front of a rat with his shield held in front of him. Alright lady, fine, sign me up for five levels of Block.

Now on to the next quest! Follow the creepy ghost!

Hey creepy ghost, I'm supposed to follow you!

Right into the bears... NOOOOOOOO!!!

Bears dispatched, the following of the ghost continues until we reach his hidey-hole, all locked up in the bottom of a sunken ship.

Well now. There's something you don't see every day.

The ghost's reward, and I don't want you to get too excited about this, is pirate booty. Normally pirate booty is totally cool, and Super King totally TOTALLY gets pumped up for dubloons and cutlasses, but instead it's a rotting underwater chest filled with worthless rocks and scrolls. In what universe is a diamond worth exactly jack and crap? That sucks!!

Next we're shipped out to some island to find a lady's husband. Strange statues greet our arrival.

This isn't some creepy Jesus island, is it? 'cause I'm not really into that.

It's true!! Dinosaurs have their own religion, it's called "being totally awesome and kicking ass all the time forever". Super King told me he'd let you join, but you sort of have to be a dinosaur to do it... better luck next time?

The kidnapped farmer has SO MUCH POWER that he BREAKS MY FONT COLORS!

Listen buddy, I have no idea what you just said.

But I sorta figure it out, it's like we're in that movie where Ice Tea is the hobo hunted by the rich guy for money. And if he wins he gets a whole bunch of cash and if he loses... well, you can figure it out.

The difference with this one is instead of being a naked Vietnam veteran in the forest that I get to keep all my equipment, and all I have to do is waste some losers in glass armor. It does give me lots of glass armor!

We try it on just to see what it looks like...

Wow. I'm not gonna be winning any fashion contests in this abortion they call armor.

Then the orc who organized the whole "game" jumps us and kills the farmer!! Goddangit, now I won't get sweet loving from the farmer's old lady!!

...or will I?

You'd be more intimidating saying that if your hair wasn't made up like an R&B Diva circa 1994.

Next! We have to reunite some twin brothers in Cheydinhal or something!! The townspeople don't seem to get that there are people that look exactly like other people, called twins, and call on the superior intellect of the dinosaur people to solve this peculiar dilemma. Super King accomplishes this feat with the ancient, lost art of INTRODUCING THEM TO EACH OTHER.

Are you sure I'm not just looking into a MAGICAL MYSTICAL MIRROR?!

Then we get to drink beer!!

Brother, you are speaking my language.

He doesn't, but only because I already stole it... er... I mean... let's drink some more!!

Returning to town, we find out that the magical sword we found in a nearby cave once belonged to the town of Chorrol, and what's more it was stolen by the father of the twins and that's why they were separated!! Or something... anyway, this Thieves Guild fence tells us to give it to him...

I will gladly waive all payment if you get a dang haircut

...but he just offers us some piddly sum of money. Instead Super King does the 'right thing' and returns it to its rightful owners, some bitchy noble woman in Chorrol's castle. We're justly rewarded with...

A shield.

This is what the Romans used to call 'irony'.

I know it's not irony.

Well, at least that block training won't go to waste!!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Thirteenth Step: Same As It Ever Was

So you know how I got to be king of the Assassin's Guild? Turns out that the 'great prizes' that come with being king of the Assassin's Guild amounts to an ASTONISHING 200 gold a week, if you actually can be bothered to struggle through traveling to one town, getting a mission from the psycho ghost under that statute, relaying the information to that boneheaded Assassin chick, and then waiting a couple days to get your payment. Essentially three days of work for a SOLID 200 gold. I can make more than that by killing a bandit and -leaving- his corpse there. You profit from the dividends! Try it, I swear!

Super King has an idea, and I am never one to poo-poo his suggestions. We're gonna join the Mages Guild!!

The Mages Guild is a little irritating. It seems that half the quests involve pleasing every single guildmaster across the realms so you can actually get -access- to the Guild. Irritating, sure, but at least relatively few of them so far have involved outright FedEx quests.

Shall we begin?

Oh wait... FedEx quest...

But it has a twist!! A comely dinosaur lass tells us that this guildmaster has some sort of vendetta against wannabe members of the guild. He's sending me down there on a suicide mission! I guess the idea is I'll pick up the ring, which weighs the weight of ten thousand rings, and summarily be unable to move.

Baby, I'd trade it all for one look under your skirt.

Apparently Mages Guild initiates aren't that smart. Super King and I come up with a devious plan. Stop me if this blows your mind... but the general idea is this: if we can't move while holding the ring... we're just gonna let go of the ring.

Also, Super King's a FREAKING DINOSAUR. And, last time we checked, ain't nobody drowning no dinosaur.

100% Breath! GILLS 4 LIFE, BITCHES!!

Then there's another quest where I can't remember how it started. We had to get some amulet for some chick, and I start to realize that me saying there were no FedEx quests in this chain was sort of an outright lie. My bad!

Raiding strongholds: never seen one of these before.

After about ten doors...



I know what you're thinking, and it's true. They were both delicious AND nutritious.

Super King doesn't let himself get distracted by silly ideas of man-sized crabs with a similar amount of delicious meat to compensate. He has a job to do!!
Also... we forgot to put our pants on again. I'm not doing this as a joke. It's seriously always been an accident.

Why does this keep happening??

So we get the amulet back, and then some guild lady tells us a long boring story. Blah blah blah, lady! Can you just give us the chore so we can get our stupid recommendation? Seriously, I'm getting a little tired of being the Mages Guild's gopher!

Yeah, I know. I just killed a whole bunch of people in this TOWN for no reason at all.

Get this one: Someone's stuck in a cave... and we need to help them. Super King reminds me of ALL THE QUESTS WE DID FOR THE FIGHTER'S GUILD THAT WERE EXACTLY LIKE THIS. And I tend to agree. We both take a moment to worry about the fact that if we keep rescuing people from caves at this rate there really won't be any more people to rescue eventually and our main source of questing is just gonna outright dry up.

Turns out the sissy in this cave was trapped by, get this, ZOMBIES. You know, Zombies... the ones I frequently engage in fisticuffs with because they're slow, the very same zombies around whom you can walk at a comfortable crawl and still get away safely. The Mages Guild is raising a series of barnyard country-fine sissies, and I don't care for it.

As soon as I get my recommendation, you're totally dead.

Then, I don't know, we have to make some guy like a girl or something. But the guy doesn't like us!! What shall we do? What shall we do?

Oh, right, we have a charm spell and it raises disposition by like a hundred points. Good thing the Mages Guild doesn't seem to have any restrictions about corrupting people's minds with the power of magic. You know what I'm doing basically equates to torture and mind control, right?

Look into my eyes... ZAP!

It's all in the name of love!

I guess we got the girl to like the guy, or something, but it was a total pain in the ass. 'Next time' I told the lamer, 'Just buy her some damn flowers or something. Come on!'

Next up... let's go into some guy's dreams and totally kick some ass!

Finally, an original quest!

I'm ready!! Let's go save this g... wait a minute. 'Save this guy'?? Oh... oh no...

Little did Super King know is that 'dream' was secret code for 'cave' and this is really just another rescue mission in disguise. Crap...

We get weapons, for some unknown reason.

Then we swim in a tunnel.

I guess you're supposed to be smart enough to use the scrolls of Water Breathing they pepper in your path. Really tough puzzle, I know, but I figured it out.

Also, we had to jump on some falling blocks or some dumb crap like that.

Here's hoping the next one will be better!! It involves... SUBTERFUGE!

It's not really that much better. We have to stop some lame-o bandit from robbing merchants on an isolated road. I guess it's better than saving some dude from a cave, but not by a whole lot.

Lady, you picked a fight with the wrong dinosaur.

I totally slay that whacked out chicky with some serious SUBTERFUGE! Super King meditates that we may have a new buzzword to call our own. FISTICUFFS! hasn't really come into play in awhile, and it's always nice to try and spice it up, right?

Back to the guild...

Well, no... not unless I KILL YOU! GIVE ME MY RECOMMENDATION!!

Then, in the next one, some lady tells us to get her a book from some mountain, and I'm all like 'okay', but it turns out that the very same book is one that the dinosaur guild leader of the Mages Guild. Then again, other dinosaurs haven't really been cool to me recently, and the chick promised me a spell of unmentionable power if I retrieve the book for her.

You make an interesting point, dino-dude...

So, spell of unmentionable power or scrap of paper with a recommendation on it...

You can guess which one I picked.

It wasn't the scrap of paper.

But I save, just in case I screw myself over.

High up on the mountain I find the ruins she's looking for, and the book in question. Its owner seems to have suffered from an untimely demise...

Soooooooorta not feeling too confident about the book right now, dude.

When I give the lady the book she tells me to come back later, which I do... intending to steal the book right back from her and give it to the guildmaster. Unfortunately, she's on to my SUBTERFUGE(!!) and is already in the room and ready to pounce!

Curses! The subterfuger has become the subterfuged!!

Fortunately, Super King is able to talk it off with his gilded dino-tongue. Soon we've got the directions to get a spell that's so powerful that we can't even cast it.



It's fortunate that I'm able to steal the book back and give it to my dino-buddy. No harm, no foul, right? Riiiiight.

Here you go, dude!

In the next guild I'm starting to get a little tired of this mishmash of events. Super King decides to take out a little anger the old fashioned way... by smashing crap up!!

Hah, suckers! Where's your books now?!

Oh shiiii...

It is here that the mages of Bravil reveal that they have the ultimate in stealth technology. They are the quintessential subterfugers, and they have caught me in the act. I have no option but to submit myselves to their will, which involves stealing some book from the guildmaster. They assure me that this little prank will get me my recommendation from the guild master.

Fair enough, I do it, and I'm in the Mages Guild, hooray!!

Oh right, this place...

I hope nobody remembers me here. I sorta... stole a whole bunch of stuff.

You're goddang right!! Lay the magical items on me, homey!

Apparently I'm not allowed to have any magical items 'laid on me' until I get the staff, which is so weak that even the weakest of weak deeds wouldn't be able to compare to it. Super King stares at the wizard, positively dumbfounded, but it doesn't work. We're forced to trudge to a forest near town to retrieve wood for our magical staff. Totally weak!

Also, 'forest' is apparently secret code for 'cave' and 'retrieve wood' is secret code for 'rescue some more people from said cave'.

Also, there's Necromancers.

Fortunately, Necromancers are total tools.

Skeleton Guardians... not that tough.

Super King tires of the Necromancer's tomfoolery and decides to attack these cretins on his own terms. He lures the fools into an untimely demise in his natural habitat. The rest, like lemmings, are quick to follow.

Water, my one weakness, how did you know!

Soon we find the grove, and the leader, but she's easily dispatched.

What, swords? Don't you know who I am? I'm the SUPER KING, bitch!

The rescuees are already dead by the time I get there, but no biggie. I get my staff wood anyway and I don't have to escort anyone home. Everybody wins!!

Okay, hurry up and make my staff so I can go play with the magical item generator.

When he finaaaaaaaaally get his stupid staff done Super King is finally free to roam the grounds. He discovers large varieties of everything. Altars that allow you to create magical items, altars that allow you to create spells that, in turn, totally allow you to cheat and auto-raise your magical skills. The sky is the limit!

But most interesting...

Dude. I'm gonna get so high toniiiiiiiight.

To bad I capped my alchemy skill like ten levels ago. That might've actually been fun.

The magical altar is a lot more interesting, but also a pain in the ass in some ways.

I really don't see why this item is too powerful to create...

Eventually we settle on a more reasonable compromise, however...

It took hours, literally hours, for me to get this name just right.

Alright Bootylicious, let's kick some ass.