RPG Community |OT| Take the Epoch to a New Era

Oct 27, 2017
547
Make sure you take a trip to Watcher's Keep before you wrap up (if you haven't already), it's by far the best part of the expansion.
Yeah, that's what I meant by taking a side trip in that final line. 😃 I'm planning on tackling Watcher's Keep before getting back to the story portion.
 
Oct 25, 2017
987
Since we can't have a thread, I'll post this in here if anyone wants to discuss it further.

RPG Codex 2018 GOTY





I've been so busy the last few months that I missed out on playing Pathfinder: Kingmaker and ATOM RPG on release. I'm looking forward to playing both this year.
 
Oct 25, 2017
159
Since we can't have a thread, I'll post this in here if anyone wants to discuss it further.

I've been so busy the last few months that I missed out on playing Pathfinder: Kingmaker and ATOM RPG on release. I'm looking forward to playing both this year.
I can't speak for ATOM RPG, but you lucked out by not playing Kingmaker on release. It was pretty touch-and-go for a while. Even though the team was doing rapid-fire bugfix releases, lots of people got far enough fast enough that they broke their save because the end hadn't been thoroughly beta tested.

That said it's a pretty good game now. Even though I didn't get very far in it, I can see why it would be the GOTY for a lot of people. Mechanics that reward investigation and thought, good sidequests and exploration. The kingdom building system could be better, but it provides a neat layer of strategy-lite that's a bit of a break from the core game.
 
Oct 27, 2017
547
I'm definitely hyped for Kingmaker and I own it already, but I'm still going to wait for at least one more patch release before I get started on it. I've got plenty to play in the meantime.
 
Oct 27, 2017
547
double post, sorry but unrelated topics.

Baldur’s Gate 2 Cavalier’s log 1/22/19: Throne of Bhaal edition
Side quest time! This journey involves a trip to Watcher’s Keep. This is an area of the map that opens up as soon as you start the expansion, but doesn’t seems to have any connection at all to the main plotline and nothing ever directs you to go there. But it does seem to be one of the biggest dungeons in the whole series and has some decent loot to boot, so I’m going to work my way through it before dealing with my Bhaalspawn troubles. It’s not like the fate of the world is in the balance or anything.

At the foot of the Watcher’s Keep are a bunch of followers of the god Helm, and they implore my help. There is an ultimate force of darkness (no, a different one) that was sealed in the keep by Helm during the time of troubles. The seals are weakening though, and monsters have infested the tower as a result. The priests need me to use a special scroll to renew the seals on the darkness, but it has to be used at the bottom of the tower and they are too weak to fight their way down there.

So like a good Paladin I take up the quest, and they teleport me to the top of the tower. Turns out here I have to start from the roof and work my way down. Each floor is only connected to the lower ones by a portal, and a different gimmick/puzzle needs to be solved to activate the portal. The first floor was straightforward enough. The rooms on this floor were populated by the kinds of enemies found in the earlier portions of the main game, so trolls and golems mostly. Not a real threat at this point. I have the feeling I probably could have come to this floor at least earlier in the course of the expansion, then worked through the main story some more before coming back to the harder floors. The gimmick here was ritual with the “bell, book, and candle” trope. I need to find those three items among the shelves and chests here, along with some scrolls to tell me the correct order to place them on an altar and use them. Simple enough tasks but once complete a room full of statues comes to life and attacks all at once. This game really has a thing for statues lately. Anyway with them defeated I can take the portal down to the second floor.

This floor is an elemental gimmick. In the first room there is a caged Chromatic Demon who says he has the key to the next portal but I need to free him using four elemental rods on this floor. I don’t really believe him but it looks like I don’t have much choice in the matter. The rooms on this floor used to be occupied by four competing wizards, each specialized in a different element. They have long since passed away, but the guardians they created are still active and very strong. Fortunately they all had libraries and took notes on the weaknesses of at least one of the other guardians. The way these weakness work was actually kind of clever and fun to work out, so I won’t spoil it here. But with the four rods obtained I open the cage and of course, the demon calls me a fool and attacks me. But I kill him quickly and take the key to the portal from his corpse. Who’s the fool now? Dead demon, that’s who.

The third floor is a teleporter maze, the kind where going back through a teleporter doesn’t take you to the room you just came from. Joy. But I encounter an elf who’s gone insane from being trapped in here so long. He’s not so much help on his own, but he fortunately did keep a journal before he went insane that details the teleporters I need to take to reach the next floor. Only problem is there’s a malfunctioning portal here that’s been bringing in all kind of demons. And the staff needed to activate the portal to the next floor is missing three gems that have inconveniently been taken some of these demons. So even though I have the directions out I have to explore anyway to get these gems back.

One such demon is in possession of a fabled Deck of Many Things, and wants to gamble with me. If I can win three times he will give me the gem. But for the stakes he wants me to wager some of my life force (max HP), some of my XP, and the entire key to the portal. I’m not in much of a gambling mood so I have Imoen try to steal the gem from the demon. She’s kind of a shitty thief anyway so the demon becomes aggro and I end up killing him. I take the gem from his body and the deck of cards to boot. That could prove to be interesting to play with. I look up a guide and see there were a handful of other things I could have won if I had successfully played the game with the demon. But hey, I’m a Paladin, I don’t gamble with demons, I kill them. Problem solved.

That was enough for tonight, so tomorrow I’ll attempt floors 4 and 5 and see if I can take care of this side big-bag once and for all.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
987
I can't speak for ATOM RPG, but you lucked out by not playing Kingmaker on release. It was pretty touch-and-go for a while. Even though the team was doing rapid-fire bugfix releases, lots of people got far enough fast enough that they broke their save because the end hadn't been thoroughly beta tested.

That said it's a pretty good game now. Even though I didn't get very far in it, I can see why it would be the GOTY for a lot of people. Mechanics that reward investigation and thought, good sidequests and exploration. The kingdom building system could be better, but it provides a neat layer of strategy-lite that's a bit of a break from the core game.
I suppose this has been a pretty common theme for a while now. That is that it's often much better to play a game several months after release.

I have a lot of games I want to play through this year.

For anyone that has played ATOM RPG, how would you compare it to The Age of Decadence and Underrail?
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,607
So, I've played some more TitS 3rd over the past few days. Chapter 6 is pretty long with lots of boss fights and locations and it took me a while compared to previous chapters. Thought I was going to finish it last night, but it seemed the boss I thought was the last wasn't and I had more to do. Went to do that today and it turns out just walking there changed the chapter to 7, so I am on chapter 7 now. Didn't get much further tonight but it was a location I really wanted to visit and then the emotional story that had kind of been put on hold by the sheer length of chapter 6 reached a climax. It was powerful stuff.

It is interesting. Ries loses her ribbon and Kevin follows her to what ends up being his hell, determined to save her. Moreover, it becomes his hell because he defies her certain death, activating his stigma. Then Ries loses her veil literally falling into hell, falling because she defies Kevin's eternal damnation. Kevin then, again, follows her and her trailing veil into hell, determined to save her, and, for that reason, also himself. There is a lot of parallelism going on that speaks to their mutual love.

(Also noteworthy is the condition, under which you get Spear of Loa earlier in the game--it also parallels these two events in some core respects, which must have left a mark on Kevin at that point.)

And this is just one facet of the event. There is also, of course, Rufina and with her there is another set of parallels. She seems like both a first love and a second mother to Kevin and dies, as Kevin sees it, much like his mother and because he doesn't want to die himself. Chances are Kevin's mom was going to kill herself after killing him, yes, but the way it plays out he survives and is left with the guilt of knowing that his mom couldn't handle raising him alone and impoverished and sickly and this drove her to despair and ultimately death--death undoubtedly made worse knowing how she left her child. She stabbed herself to death and bled out, or--as Kevin sees it--he stabbed her to death. Similarly, Rufina dies because in a fit of desperation for both his and Ries's life Kevin activates his Stigma and goes berserk and she sacrifices her own life to save Ries from his madness.

Moreover, Kevin explicitly says that in that moment he identified Rufina with his mother and in his madness sought revenge--reinforcing both his interpretation of his mother's death and his guilt at killing Rufina. This also parallels how Kevin has reinvented Rufina, as his foe and his ultimate judge, namely as his antagonist, much as he saw his deceased mother in Rufina back then. And this speaks to the way he sees the world and the guilt he feels, namely it recasts the parties as in conflict when, in reality, they weren't. It gives him an active, voluntary role in their deaths--which is definitely how he sees it--and also casts them as seeking vengeance upon him, which speaks to his guilt. As Ries points out this is a distortion and perversion of the nature of Rufina. This is reinforced by Kevin expecting the same from Ries when he reveals the truth to her. But she is the one woman in his life who is actually there and not just a product of his own mind and she does not meet his expectations, underlying just how perverse his re-imagining of them has been.

And this is the crux of a lot of guilt and self-hatred, perhaps: it often demonizes those outside of ourselves in such a way that, internally, it doesn't seem like demonization but rather like they are avenging angels, justified in their zealous prosecution of exacting our debt. From the outside, cutting through it is quite simple--Rufina is wearing all black and red, she has red eyes now, she's floating, she's damning people she once saved to hell. How could that possibly be Rufina? It is ridiculous to assert she is. Yet, internally Kevin's perspective is warped such that that is the voice of Rufina and, moreover, there is nothing wrong with what that voice propounds. This speaks to how Kevin views himself.

I also think it is interesting that of the women in his life, Ries has been the most outwardly judgmental of him. I spoke about this above in how that is her cold exterior masking a warm interior but it is still a facet of her character. She has been the least "motherly" and nurturing of him, after a certain sense, even as she looked out for him in ways he didn't quite realize or quite appreciate (e.g. caring for him from a distance when he ran away from her or letting him sleep in even as she scolded him for it). And yet she is the one embracing him now, in the face of all the revelations and without, really, any hesitation. She threw herself into hell for him. I guess my point is the voice and the mode of the love is different this time--it is less on the face of it sacrificial (it is sacrificial) and angelic (it is angelic) and more mundane and, well, even. Moreover, he is called upon to also save her. There is a more even playing field, less aspiration. It is a sort of recalibration of the cycle. (This paragraph gives me some pause).

Finally, it all obviously parallels Estelle/Joshua where, much like Joshua, Kevin is caught up in himself and his demons and, much like Estelle, Ries wants him to cut the bullshit. (It also echoes the quasi-familial nature although here it might stay familial? IDK.)
 
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Nov 16, 2017
1,690
Phew, Ys: The Oath in Felghana is getting hard now, which honestly just makes me happier. I normally hate hard games but I'm enjoying the challenge in this.

Currently up to Genos Island, beat the nun lady, got the third emerald, found the special armour, then proceeded to get one shot by some enemy lol
 
Oct 25, 2017
914
Finished Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories on the PS3 1.5 HD Remix last night. In a manner of speaking.

The final boss gave me some difficulty. I fought him for a little more than an hour before finally defeating his first form. As soon as the fight for the second form started, the battery in my controller died and I stood there helpless as he destroyed me. I switched controllers to see if the game let me pick up from the second form (nope!), took one more crack at him, was defeated, and really needed to go to bed.

My understanding is that the story introduces some important plot elements for the series, but I found the combat system to be somewhat vexing. Running out of cards was a constant problem for the later levels even though all I did was level up CP. I'll watch the ending on YouTube and I may take a few more stabs at him but I'm just not crazy about the game and have so many other games to play, both within the series and elsewhere. I may jump into KH 2 on the 2.5 HD Remix, but all the Trails in the Sky talk also makes me want to play SC.

In other words I'll probably play something totally different.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,575
I didn't vote for goty since I didn't play pathfinder or DQ11.
Usually I don't care that much about missing a few games, but both of these sound incredibly promising to me, so it just didn't feel right.

I will get pathfinder soon, but I'm waiting for the switch version of DQ11.
 
Oct 27, 2017
547
Baldur’s Gate 2 Cavalier’s log 1/23/19: Throne of Bhaal edition

Tonight’s agenda was to tackle the next two floors of the Watcher’s Keep. The fourth floor was interesting, its main gimmick was a mage who was stuck inside a bizzare contraption created by the infamous Forgotten Realms character Lum the Mad. He is completely impervious while in this machine, but he cannot ever leave it. There’s a ton a buttons and levers inside that will have various effects, but the ones he’s most fond of are the kind that summon in a bunch of different types of creatures to fight for his amusement.

So my goal for now is to find the crystal hammer that is the only thing capable of opening this machine up. Of course it’s a multi-step process, involving interacting with different camps of the creatures that have been summoned here against their will. There are githyanki, mind flayers, and even a red dragon. Thankfully the dragon doesn’t need to be fought, he can be spoken to and give me information about this place. Eventually I do obtain the hammer and open the machine. The mage snivels away as I spare his life, but does give me his journal with the instructions on which levers to pull to open the portal to the next floor. Also throughout the first four floors of this Keep I’ve been finding strange notes from L.T.M. that give hints on the other things this machine can go. So far I’ve been able to get it to give me a couple permanent stat increases and a magic mace that my pet imp is able to upgrade.

The fifth floor is another series of trials, so I can prove my worth and obtain the keys of Mind, Body, and spirit. These include challenges such as fighting yet another dragon, a test of endurance against many waves of orcs, and solving the riddles of a demon. The most interesting was the test of Spirit where I was placed into another body and had to go through an old-fashioned text adventure. Head North. Pick up wand. Bludgeon goblin. Good stuff.

The center of this floor has three keyholes that are needed to activate the final portal. Each key summons a bunch of enemies when turned. The first two weren’t so bad and were defeated fairly quickly. The third key was a whole other story though. It summoned pretty much the highest level version of beholder, fire elemental, snake-ish demon, and a badass mage and archer to boot. This took several attempts and re-memorizations of my magic setup, but I still haven’t beaten it yet. Things were dragging on a bit too long, so I’ll have to save this battle and the finale of the Keep for tomorrow.
 
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Oct 27, 2017
547
You mean the fight I'm currently on? Seems like it, everything is very magic resistant and even after I start throwing out spell breach and the like they're still pretty tough. Or you mean after I get past this and to the final floor?
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,383
I’m forcing my way through Star Ocean 5. I’m probably not too far from the end. Did some side quests and unlocked some more specialities. This game reminds me of Infinite Undiscovery in all the wrong ways. Ironically, I thought that SO3 and SO4 were better games but I never beat those.
 
Oct 27, 2017
547
The final seal battle is much harder then the fight against the thing being sealed ironically.
Damn it i was finally doing good and the game crashed. This was the first time it's crashed at all for me, across both BG1 and 2. Grr

Edit: And now when I go back, it's soft locking when I try to use that key. Wonderful.

Edit 2: Going to the pocket plane and back fixed it. And the fight is done, with only 2 casualties. I'll take it.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
914
I’m a stubborn ass that can’t let things go.

This is relevant because after telling myself last night that I was done with Re: Chain of Memories I spent the last five hours fighting the final boss and finally beat him. I’m going to be tired all day at work tomorrow but damn it I won.

Now I want to check out Reverse/Rebirth. I thought I was moving on but now I’m intrigued.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,575
The final seal battle is much harder then the fight against the thing being sealed ironically.
The end boss of the dungeon got nerfed before the release, because the fight was too hard.
The original version is an optional part of the ascension mod if you want to see it yourself.
 
Oct 27, 2017
547
The end boss of the dungeon got nerfed before the release, because the fight was too hard.
The original version is an optional part of the ascension mod if you want to see it yourself.

Well, I beat in whatever form the EE is, and I've already started to move on so I have no desire to go back now ;)
Somehow though along the way pretty much all my wands disappeared? I know I've been stockpiling the Breach wands I've been finding in this tower but now I can't find a single one, even though they were spread out among my character's inventory. Do they disappear if I leave the tower and go to another area? I thought maybe I had forgotten to pick them up after dying, but I scoured the upper floors again and I couldn't find anything.
 
Oct 25, 2017
914
Yeah I figured as much. Oh well things to do, other creatures to slay.
So what next? Icewind Dale? I've been enjoying reading your recaps. It has been many years since I've played Baldur's Gate II. Peak Bioware in my opinion, although I did enjoy the Mass Effect Trilogy.
 
Oct 27, 2017
547
Thanks! I'll get to both Icewind and Torment eventually since I got them in a bundle a while back. But I probably won't journal Torment, it'll just be too much writing. I have other games in my backlog I want to play soon (Nier:A, Tales of Berseria, Earthbound) but none of those really make me want to journal like this. Nothing like a CRPG for making a story that really feels like your own.

I might do it again for Pillars of Eternity 2 or Pathfinder: Kingmaker when I get around to those as well.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,607
Of all the assorted hellspawn I have contended with in TitS 3rd, the Fishing Baron is by far the naughtiest and the most vicious. Opening his door is truly folly. I cannot slay this beast.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,606
Just finished Amberstar for the Amiga. What a bizarre mess of a game that was. Was still relatively entertaining but god damn did it do everything in its power to annoy the shit out of the player.
 
Oct 27, 2017
547
Baldur’s Gate 2 Cavalier’s log 1/24 and 1/25/19: Throne of Bhaal edition FINALE

Only a handful of fights this time so I combined couple days worth again. Back to the Final Seal battle, which I had been notified through this thread is actually tougher than the creature that is being sealed. That is, in the release version. The Imprisoned One was apparently nerfed before release due to being too difficult, but that can be restored through a mod.

Like most of the tougher fights in this game, the solution came through finding the right combination of positioning, spell preparation, and a good dose of luck. After taking down the toughest demon and the beholder first, the other fell without much of a problem. Having my archer continually pelt the mage with arrows to interrupt their casting helped too, so I’ve been using a weaker but faster bow for these occasions.

Down on the very bottom floor I find The Imprisoned One, who claims that the priests of Helm who sent me in here were lying to me when they sent me in here. I don’t believe him, but I go out to check with the priests and it turns out to be true. They really aren’t serving Helm, they are feeding off the energy of the demon. The scroll they gave me to renew the seal would have trapped me in there too so they could devour my essense too. Bastards. Because I didn’t finish the job they go in to do it themselves, and I am visited by an actual spirit of helm. The spirit gives me another scroll that I can use from the outside to seal the Keep away right now, or I can go in and try to kill the demon myself. What kind of cavalier would I be if I didn’t try to kill the demon?

So I go back in and the fake priests have been killed, and I can see the true form of the demon (it was invisible before). Turns out it is the lord of all demons, the Demogorgon. Oh hi Stranger Things! Anyway it’s true this battle isn’t too tough, the demogorgon just requires some high level dispells to remove his protections. I had picked up at least 5 spell breach wands in this keep, but for some reason they are all missing along with most of my other wands. I thought maybe I had forgotten to pick them up when a character had died in the previous fight but I don’t find anything when scouring the previous floors. And they’re not in anyone else’s inventory or the bags of holding. That’s a shame but I beat it anyway. The keep closes off once again when I leave so I can now head back to the main quest, a good deal better well equipped and more experienced.

Ok now I’ll use a tag for the rest, since it’s the end of the main story.
We need to head back to the desert city, since Balthazar was revealed to us to be the 5th Bhaalspawn general. I’d gotten some info that there is a way into his stronghold that some smugglers know about, among them Saemon, the idiot pirate who betrayed us back at the Mage Asylum back in the main game. Screw it, I don’t want to deal with him and just charge through the main gate. One of the guards was holding a key anyway.

Inside Balthazar is waiting for us right in the main room. Good, I’ve had enough of super long towers for now. He says he is the last Bhaalspawn, and that he had been conspiring with Melissan. She had lied to use and was gather the other bhaalspawn not to protect them, but to have them more easily killed when she opened the gates to the city under siege. But Balthazar isn’t evil. He wants to kill all the remaining Bhaalspawn so he can be the last one with the power, then he will perform ritual suicide to end the evil power once and for all. It’s a good concept but it involves killing me and Imoen so it’s not happening. Bal fails to see things my way so we fight and kill him.

After he’s dead I’m pulled back to the pocket plan by the Solar once more to do some more ‘splaining. The Solar summons Melissan, and she explains that she is really Amelyssan, the highest priestess of Bhaal and the one who came up with the whole Bhaalspawn idea to begin with and has monitored its progress all these years. But now she’s decided to betray Bhaal and keep all the collected power for herself instead of resurrecting him. Typical. Anyway she goes outside and says that I have to destroy my pocket before I can fight her. First I have one more challenge room to open in here though. Turns out it’s the Slayer inside here again, I need to face my true self, yada yada yada. Dead.

With that I make my final preparations, make a new save file for good measure, and close off the pocket plane. Now I’m in the true plane of murder, the Throne of Bhaal if you will. Melissan has a new demonic form and is absorbing the Bhaalspawn souls. I start the fight and she immediately summons some big nasties to her side. The gimmick to this fight is that each time I get her to low health, she jumps back into the well of souls to recharge and I have to find one of three power sources to shut down before she will come out. Of course each power source is guarded by super high level creatures, including the elemental princes. Once it’s shut down he comes out and summons even more baddies, rinse and repeat two more time.

There are two real difficulty points with these fights. The first is that I have to focus Melissan down as fast as possible while mostly ignoring the other monsters, because she will just continue to summon an infinite number of them until the end of each phase. The second is that everything has such high level protections from even magical weapons, so nothing can hurt them unless I use the highest level spell removals. Level 3 Dispel Magic doesn’t even come close the cutting it. And the number I have is limited. I’m able to heal a bit and save thankfully in between phases, but no resting so I don’t get spells back. I’ve stockpiled a few scrolls that can do the trick and I use them all.

So after a grueling almost 2 hour fight (with all the saves and reloads) I defeat Melissan for the fourth and final time. The Solar again appears and declares me the victor. She gives me two options, either I can give up the last of my own essence of Bhaal’s godhood inside me and it will be destroyed along with Melissan, erasing every last trace of Bhaal forever. Or I could absorb Melissan and truly become the new god of Murder myself. Note that even that won’t be a walk in the park because I will instantly have enemies among the other gods, namely the Mad God Cyric who originally killed Bhaal and took his place, and also the allfather.

But I’m the good guy, right? The Cavalier paladin, the paragon of virtue. I give up my godhood and return to mortal life. Hurrah, it’s the end for real this time. I get some quick vignettes about the lives of each of my final party members. Aerie has been my love interest choice in the game, and through party chat earlier she had told me she was preggers. Turns out we have a boy, and then later a girl. Hey IRL I have a boy and girl, what a coincidence. And eventually we take the journey to find the mythical winged Avariel elves, so she can be reunited with her family and we can official be married in a sky elf ceremony. Aww how nice. Roll credits.

And so ends a saga that I first started 20 years ago. For one reason or another I had started both BG1 and BG2 when they first came out but never made it further than about 8 hours in each. Chalk it up to college workload, shorter attention span, and other games at the time like Unreal Tournament. I am so glad I finally got to the point in my backlog that I gave these games another shot. No other game genre lets me truly live as a character like this that I can so satisfyingly keep a running journal. I started BG1 August 2018 and now I can call the series done in January 2019. I don’t know how much journaling I’ll do after this, but I want to play through the other Infinity Engine games, at least some of the Gold Box games, and some newer CRPGs like POE2 and Kingmaker so any of them are fair game.

Thanks for reading!
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,607
Hmmmm....I should play BG (1&2) some day. Thanks for all the write-ups!

Going to try Ultima IV within the next couple months, I think. Maybe that will get the ball rolling wrt CRPG and me.

Closest thing I could compare it to is Ultima's 3 - 5. Mix of top down and first person/grid based exploration. Big world to explore, multiple towns, text parser NPC interactions, turn based combat.
Thanks.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,138
Baldur’s Gate 2 Cavalier’s log 1/24 and 1/25/19: Throne of Bhaal edition FINALE

Only a handful of fights this time so I combined couple days worth again. Back to the Final Seal battle, which I had been notified through this thread is actually tougher than the creature that is being sealed. That is, in the release version. The Imprisoned One was apparently nerfed before release due to being too difficult, but that can be restored through a mod.

Like most of the tougher fights in this game, the solution came through finding the right combination of positioning, spell preparation, and a good dose of luck. After taking down the toughest demon and the beholder first, the other fell without much of a problem. Having my archer continually pelt the mage with arrows to interrupt their casting helped too, so I’ve been using a weaker but faster bow for these occasions.

Down on the very bottom floor I find The Imprisoned One, who claims that the priests of Helm who sent me in here were lying to me when they sent me in here. I don’t believe him, but I go out to check with the priests and it turns out to be true. They really aren’t serving Helm, they are feeding off the energy of the demon. The scroll they gave me to renew the seal would have trapped me in there too so they could devour my essense too. Bastards. Because I didn’t finish the job they go in to do it themselves, and I am visited by an actual spirit of helm. The spirit gives me another scroll that I can use from the outside to seal the Keep away right now, or I can go in and try to kill the demon myself. What kind of cavalier would I be if I didn’t try to kill the demon?

So I go back in and the fake priests have been killed, and I can see the true form of the demon (it was invisible before). Turns out it is the lord of all demons, the Demogorgon. Oh hi Stranger Things! Anyway it’s true this battle isn’t too tough, the demogorgon just requires some high level dispells to remove his protections. I had picked up at least 5 spell breach wands in this keep, but for some reason they are all missing along with most of my other wands. I thought maybe I had forgotten to pick them up when a character had died in the previous fight but I don’t find anything when scouring the previous floors. And they’re not in anyone else’s inventory or the bags of holding. That’s a shame but I beat it anyway. The keep closes off once again when I leave so I can now head back to the main quest, a good deal better well equipped and more experienced.

Ok now I’ll use a tag for the rest, since it’s the end of the main story.
We need to head back to the desert city, since Balthazar was revealed to us to be the 5th Bhaalspawn general. I’d gotten some info that there is a way into his stronghold that some smugglers know about, among them Saemon, the idiot pirate who betrayed us back at the Mage Asylum back in the main game. Screw it, I don’t want to deal with him and just charge through the main gate. One of the guards was holding a key anyway.

Inside Balthazar is waiting for us right in the main room. Good, I’ve had enough of super long towers for now. He says he is the last Bhaalspawn, and that he had been conspiring with Melissan. She had lied to use and was gather the other bhaalspawn not to protect them, but to have them more easily killed when she opened the gates to the city under siege. But Balthazar isn’t evil. He wants to kill all the remaining Bhaalspawn so he can be the last one with the power, then he will perform ritual suicide to end the evil power once and for all. It’s a good concept but it involves killing me and Imoen so it’s not happening. Bal fails to see things my way so we fight and kill him.

After he’s dead I’m pulled back to the pocket plan by the Solar once more to do some more ‘splaining. The Solar summons Melissan, and she explains that she is really Amelyssan, the highest priestess of Bhaal and the one who came up with the whole Bhaalspawn idea to begin with and has monitored its progress all these years. But now she’s decided to betray Bhaal and keep all the collected power for herself instead of resurrecting him. Typical. Anyway she goes outside and says that I have to destroy my pocket before I can fight her. First I have one more challenge room to open in here though. Turns out it’s the Slayer inside here again, I need to face my true self, yada yada yada. Dead.

With that I make my final preparations, make a new save file for good measure, and close off the pocket plane. Now I’m in the true plane of murder, the Throne of Bhaal if you will. Melissan has a new demonic form and is absorbing the Bhaalspawn souls. I start the fight and she immediately summons some big nasties to her side. The gimmick to this fight is that each time I get her to low health, she jumps back into the well of souls to recharge and I have to find one of three power sources to shut down before she will come out. Of course each power source is guarded by super high level creatures, including the elemental princes. Once it’s shut down he comes out and summons even more baddies, rinse and repeat two more time.

There are two real difficulty points with these fights. The first is that I have to focus Melissan down as fast as possible while mostly ignoring the other monsters, because she will just continue to summon an infinite number of them until the end of each phase. The second is that everything has such high level protections from even magical weapons, so nothing can hurt them unless I use the highest level spell removals. Level 3 Dispel Magic doesn’t even come close the cutting it. And the number I have is limited. I’m able to heal a bit and save thankfully in between phases, but no resting so I don’t get spells back. I’ve stockpiled a few scrolls that can do the trick and I use them all.

So after a grueling almost 2 hour fight (with all the saves and reloads) I defeat Melissan for the fourth and final time. The Solar again appears and declares me the victor. She gives me two options, either I can give up the last of my own essence of Bhaal’s godhood inside me and it will be destroyed along with Melissan, erasing every last trace of Bhaal forever. Or I could absorb Melissan and truly become the new god of Murder myself. Note that even that won’t be a walk in the park because I will instantly have enemies among the other gods, namely the Mad God Cyric who originally killed Bhaal and took his place, and also the allfather.

But I’m the good guy, right? The Cavalier paladin, the paragon of virtue. I give up my godhood and return to mortal life. Hurrah, it’s the end for real this time. I get some quick vignettes about the lives of each of my final party members. Aerie has been my love interest choice in the game, and through party chat earlier she had told me she was preggers. Turns out we have a boy, and then later a girl. Hey IRL I have a boy and girl, what a coincidence. And eventually we take the journey to find the mythical winged Avariel elves, so she can be reunited with her family and we can official be married in a sky elf ceremony. Aww how nice. Roll credits.

And so ends a saga that I first started 20 years ago. For one reason or another I had started both BG1 and BG2 when they first came out but never made it further than about 8 hours in each. Chalk it up to college workload, shorter attention span, and other games at the time like Unreal Tournament. I am so glad I finally got to the point in my backlog that I gave these games another shot. No other game genre lets me truly live as a character like this that I can so satisfyingly keep a running journal. I started BG1 August 2018 and now I can call the series done in January 2019. I don’t know how much journaling I’ll do after this, but I want to play through the other Infinity Engine games, at least some of the Gold Box games, and some newer CRPGs like POE2 and Kingmaker so any of them are fair game.

Thanks for reading!
great write up. I played a lot of Bg 1&2 without ever finishing them. I’d just end up going off and doing side stuff forever and forgetting where I was. Particularly fighting dragons in BG2 way too early.

Good reads all around and I now feel like I dont need to play them ever again :-)
 
Oct 27, 2017
547
Hmmmm....I should play BG (1&2) some day. Thanks for all the write-ups!
great write up. I played a lot of Bg 1&2 without ever finishing them. I’d just end up going off and doing side stuff forever and forgetting where I was. Particularly fighting dragons in BG2 way too early.

Good reads all around and I now feel like I dont need to play them ever again :-)

Haha thanks! At least means something productive came out of this endeavor.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,575
Taborcarn well done.
I honestly always considered the normal final boss a bit underwhelming, but that what mods are for.
The endings are still great though.

In case you are wondering about the difference in the ascension mod :
Pre nerf Demogorgon use time stop right away, which usually turn the fight into a huge mess right away.

Tougher version of the first boss is now an actual fight if you have a full party.

In the tougher yaga shura you have to hold out a lot longer and his army is a bit stronger.

abazigal comes with 3 wyverns and another freaking dragon.

You don't have fight Balthazar, if your stats are high enough he can join for the final fight you (if you Re good) or he kills himself.

The final boss is totally different. In Phase one Amelyssan summons Bodhi and Irenicus as well as 2 fallen Solaris.
Also, she forces Imoen to go Slayer Form for a while.
If you are evil, bodhi might join you.

2 phase are just the pools, but with demon's. The pools heal you can give you knew abilities. With the turnabout mod, you can summon fallen allies, which is neet.

In the final phase she resummons the Five + Sarevok if he isn't in your party and on your side (luckily, no dragon from this time around).
Killing one of them means she will join the fight soon enough.

However killing the other bosses means she takes 100 points of damage and is stunned her for a moment.

Shit, now I want to replay the game again.
 
Oct 27, 2017
547
Taborcarn well done.
I honestly always considered the normal final boss a bit underwhelming, but that what mods are for.
The endings are still great though.

In case you are wondering about the difference in the ascension mod :
Pre nerf Demogorgon use time stop right away, which usually turn the fight into a huge mess right away.

Tougher version of the first boss is now an actual fight if you have a full party.

In the tougher yaga shura you have to hold out a lot longer and his army is a bit stronger.

abazigal comes with 3 wyverns and another freaking dragon.

You don't have fight Balthazar, if your stats are high enough he can join for the final fight you (if you Re good) or he kills himself.

The final boss is totally different. In Phase one Amelyssan summons Bodhi and Irenicus as well as 2 fallen Solaris.
Also, she forces Imoen to go Slayer Form for a while.
If you are evil, bodhi might join you.

2 phase are just the pools, but with demon's. The pools heal you can give you knew abilities. With the turnabout mod, you can summon fallen allies, which is neet.

In the final phase she resummons the Five + Sarevok if he isn't in your party and on your side (luckily, no dragon from this time around).
Killing one of them means she will join the fight soon enough.

However killing the other bosses means she takes 100 points of damage and is stunned her for a moment.


Shit, now I want to replay the game again.


Those mid fights sound insane. My party probably wouldn’t have made it. I was going for a more goodie two-shoes “I fight for my friends” role play party than full min max. Although I probably would have ditched Jaheira and Imoen long ago if I was.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,383
Star Ocean 5 done. Thank God for that. I suppose the final fight was fun until the last boss phaze. Boss glitched, doing nothing. I just sat there, pressing buttons on my controller and getting a 999 combo.

Time to move on. I’m most likely going to hook up my PS3 again. I have around 1000 hours worth of rpgs to beat.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,607
Star Ocean 5 done. Thank God for that. I suppose the final fight was fun until the last boss phaze. Boss glitched, doing nothing. I just sat there, pressing buttons on my controller and getting a 999 combo.

Time to move on. I’m most likely going to hook up my PS3 again. I have around 1000 hours worth of rpgs to beat.
Congrats. Interesting glitch.

Which RPGs are you looking at?

...

Just about ready to go to the final dungeon in TitS 3. If it is like FC and SC, I'm guessing it is pretty meaty. I finished up the remaining doors today, namely I had Nightmare Fishing and Nightmare Arena left, and got my fourth Zemurian Ore. Now I just need to spend said ore and tinker with my orbments/equipment for the extended cast and then I'm ready to go.

Yes, this means I defeated Baron Fisher. It was glorious. He killed me on the 15th round several times, with a big catch to come from behind. He once again got a big catch on the 15th round--landed it too--but I was too far ahead of him that time. Last couple rounds I only had that polychaete (or whatever its name is) bait and so was just coasting by on mostly angelfish. I'd still built up enough of my lead, particularly with my two big catches, that he could not catch up. Even pulling his routine 15th-round-big-fish out of his ass, he failed to kill me and it was just such a cathartic moment. Very glad to stem the tide of his evil.

Nightmare arena wasn't too bad. I died on the final battle the first time when I was almost done with one of the bosses--he just went crazy and for a while I tried to salvage it but he was just cutting me down as quickly as I could raise people (at full health). I was a bit more conservative the next time and it paid off although he still fucked me up when he was under 10k :P. I had loosened up a bit but I still had a good position to recover from before the final assault ended his madness.

Finished up the Moon and Star doors yesterday. So Moon 5 (I think Moon goes up to 5? But the last one!) and Star 13-15. Star 15...

...

Overall, I'm really enjoying this game.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,383
I’m looking at TitS 2 (PC), Cold Steel, Tales of Xillia 2, Arc the Lad or Yakuza 5 (the rest on PS3). I’ve already started Arc some time ago, so it’s likely that I will just boot that up.

What will actually happen: I’ll play them all. There’s also DQXI that I have to finish, but I really want to finish all PS3 games that I own.

I managed to complete my last PSP game this month, and I only have two Vita games left (not counting PS+ offerings).

I’ve been effective this year. 9 games beaten, 4 which are rpgs.
 
Oct 25, 2017
914
I’m looking at TitS 2 (PC), Cold Steel, Tales of Xillia 2, Arc the Lad or Yakuza 5 (the rest on PS3). I’ve already started Arc some time ago, so it’s likely that I will just boot that up.

What will actually happen: I’ll play them all. There’s also DQXI that I have to finish, but I really want to finish all PS3 games that I own.

I managed to complete my last PSP game this month, and I only have two Vita games left (not counting PS+ offerings).

I’ve been effective this year. 9 games beaten, 4 which are rpgs.
I finished my final DS game this year and I have one PSP game to go: Tactics Ogre. Tons of PS3 games sadly. Nice work!
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,607
Well I beat TitS 3rd. I liked it a lot. Quite possibly my favorite among the three. Strange to think I've completed TitS now. Maybe I'll mull that over in the coming days.

I'm going to play Cold Steel at some point, I think. I don't know when, though. I guess at the moment I'll plan to get it on PS4? But I'll keep an eye on CS3 being ported to other platforms up until I decide to take the plunge. Guessing there are still clear file carry over bonuses? If so I'm going to want them all in the same ecosystem. There's a lot more negativity surrounding Cold Steel so I'm curious how I'll feel about it. Just coming from TitS, I'm curious about its setting: I like Olivier a lot and am intrigued by Erebonia. I'd have been really looking forward to Cold Steel if I were playing these games as they came out.

Hope we get the Crossbell games in the west someday. Those sound quite promising.

...

This was intended to be a game for the next blitz--I was just getting a head start before it came to that and here it is finished before this blitz even ended :P. Hmmm...

So I'll probably continue on with Megami Tensei now. I started it the same day I started TitS 3rd but TitS 3rd quickly ate up all the oxygen in the room. I kind of want to get through it so I can play Megami Tensei II, which, well, probably isn't fair to MT but it is what it is :P.

Might also try and get some of EOV in. It is kind of awkward to just pick it up again, but I want to finish it someday. Or maybe I'll buy Nexus. IDK.

My sister also got me FE Echoes for Christmas so maybe I should get to that. Skipped it at release. Ultima 4 is also on my near horizon, I think.

Going to be playing RE2 in February sometime, so there's that to keep in mind.

Thinking my Blitz 2 list will look something like: Ultima 4, Megami Tensei I/II, FE Echoes, and maybe EOV again. Hmmm....
 

Kalor

Resettlement Advisor
Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,315
Well I beat TitS 3rd. I liked it a lot. Quite possibly my favorite among the three. Strange to think I've completed TitS now. Maybe I'll mull that over in the coming days.

I'm going to play Cold Steel at some point, I think. I don't know when, though. I guess at the moment I'll plan to get it on PS4? But I'll keep an eye on CS3 being ported to other platforms up until I decide to take the plunge. Guessing there are still clear file carry over bonuses? If so I'm going to want them all in the same ecosystem. There's a lot more negativity surrounding Cold Steel so I'm curious how I'll feel about it. Just coming from TitS, I'm curious about its setting: I like Olivier a lot and am intrigued by Erebonia. I'd have been really looking forward to Cold Steel if I were playing these games as they came out.
There's carry over between Cold Steel 1 and 2. Though nothing carries into 3 since they were on different platforms originally.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,575


Those mid fights sound insane. My party probably wouldn’t have made it. I was going for a more goodie two-shoes “I fight for my friends” role play party than full min max. Although I probably would have ditched Jaheira and Imoen long ago if I was.
Jaheria is pretty good actually, mostly because of ironskin and insect swarm to annoy spell caster.
I Imoen is still a mage but Edwin is better if you just want a pure spell caster.

There are way worse characters you could pick for your party, like the other druid.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,607
There's carry over between Cold Steel 1 and 2. Though nothing carries into 3 since they were on different platforms originally.
Ah interesting. I'll have to keep that in mind. Will still probably just do them all on the same platform, so presumably PS4 unless other options appear.

Speaking of that though: Does the Third save link up with anything?
MoonFrog

Grats on clearing a very special game and seeing the end of the TitS series.

Did you take notice on where the individual groups where going?
Thanks and, yep, the groups they left in made sense going by where they were going in their doors!
 
Oct 26, 2017
7,409
Dropped a bunch of RPGs for the pettiest reasons possible.

Lunar Eternal Blue: I hate the sprint limit in the game. Every time I thought I could avoid the encounter I ended up getting caught because I couldn't sprint long enough. It frustrates me. I'd rather have random encounter.

Earthbound: The press A for menu and press A again to talk system is terrible. I think Shining Force has the same system. Why? Why can't they just be normal? Luckily Mother 3 is normal.

Super Mario RPG: I don't like real time element in turn base game. I hate it in Shadow Heart and I hate it here. The sole purpose of turn base is that it doesn't require reflex at all.

Dungeon Traveler 2: I don't like the enemy design. Doesn't feel right to beat up little girls.
 
OP
OP
FiveSide
Oct 25, 2017
2,453
Taborcarn all of these were awesome to read and I'm sure it feels pretty damn good finally bagging the whole BG series. Much respect, if only I could do the same for the CRPGs I have on deck...
Earthbound: The press A for menu and press A again to talk system is terrible. I think Shining Force has the same system. Why? Why can't they just be normal? Luckily Mother 3 is normal.
There is actually a shortcut for this in EB, if you just press L it automatically interacts with stuff instead of having to go into the context menu. The Select button can also be used to cancel out of things, meaning that the game can be played entirely with one hand, presumably while the other holds a cup of coffee!