Thursday, 20 October 2016

Skyrim: The Bottom of the World

Adventures in Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Stumbling around the dark we are surprised to encounter Llavados, the Dunmer cyborg who first brought us to Lull-Mor, and he is surprisingly sane. Apparently if I can survive the bottom of the world I will find what I need to defeat Archeron. Inspired, we look around and find puzzles that mostly rely on sending lights back to open doors. This is really cool, and sets the stage for a boss fight against a giant robot who can only be defeated by laser light beams.

Finding the light in the darkest places.

He drops the Lullian Shield, which has the impressive ability of being able to throw people around through bashing. After practicing on a wandering golem, I get to use it for real as Masscroft comes down from an elevator (to the bottom of the world... sure why not) to make sure we are dead. Fortunately there's a handy hole in the center of the room (to the bottom-est of the world?) and regardless of his god mode or invisibility potions, it's pretty easy pushing him into it repeatedly. Eventually he fails to crawl back out.

Taking the lift back to Lull-Mor, Medeliu Hammar tells us that Archeron has sent through his whole squad of immortal experiments into the dig which doesn't bode well for Numinar or his folk. Sofia and I give chase and thankfully the caves give way to lava filled chambers, the type that's just perfect to push god-mode enemies into!

Tossing god mode baddies into lava. I'm getting good at this!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Dark Souls: Crystal Clear

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Oh sh...

After eating some bacon I was one elevator ride up to the grand library guarded by dancing wizards and crystal infected hollows who packed a decent punch, but were quite slow. Climbing up to the top I suddenly came into a room occupied by Seath the Scaleless dragon, and not expecting a boss fight so soon promptly got my ass handed to me. Interestingly I revived in a prison cell, one I could not warp out of so I had to bust my way out past the lizard guards and jellyfish people before returning to the other half of the library proper.

On the other side of it was a field with crystal golems, one of whom contained a person who was freed it shattering against my sword. Ser Chubby popped out! Well, no it's the daughter of Ser Chubby looking for her dad. I tell her to check Blighttown before proceeding on into a large crystalline cave with even more crystal golems, giant moth magi and invisible paths over drops to certain death (because those are always fun).

Running to the end of the cave (literal dead end) on a "suicide scouting run" I am again jumped by Seath, surprising me this time with a lack of a boss fog. At this point I'm also being chased by weird crab things so I just figure I'll try my best since I'm cornered now anyway. Fortunately between my blade and the dragon breath the crabs all die, along with half the decor in the chamber.

Due to Seath's strangely ineffective dragon breath which summons lots of easily avoidable crystal spikes and big gaps to drink from my Estus Flask I'm soon going toe to toe with the overgrown reptile and surprise myself when I finally kill it! One lord soul down. It was even nice enough to spawn a bonfire so I could teleport out of there!

Not this time, dragon!

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Skyrim: Into Darkness

Adventures in Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

So that's what an undead cyborg looks like.

These undead cyborgs turned out to be random undead critters that lived in a really dark forest. Skeletal charrus and skeletal mammoths which were tough but killable. The were somehow led by a skeletal giant which Sofia easily slew, but his death caused a great explosion which knocked me out. When I awake, I am back in Lull-Mor with two strangers who supposedly helped drag me out of the rubble.

It's starting to get crowded down here.

I don't get to talk long though because Lull-Mor soon comes under a Thalmor attack! Fortunately these are the regular types of bananas who are easily put down, but after the combat the same people who saved me frame me as the Thalmor's inside man! Numinar has Sofia and I locked up before departing to claim the MacGuffin. Alone with the two strangers, they shed their magical disguises revealing themselves to be Justicar Archeron and Masscroft!

Archeron gloats a little bit on how he played everyone and decides to drop our hanging cages down a "bottomless" pit. Nothing I haven't done before. This time though, Sofia and I end up at the bottom of the world.

Looks like this world is built upon gears!

Monday, 17 October 2016

Dark Souls: Lord Vessel

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

After that super easy fight against Smough and Ornstein (yeah right), I find myself rewarded by meeting Princess Gwynevere, daughter or King Gwyn who is huge in all the right places! She gives me the Lord Vessel and asks I serve her as a princess guard, I don't hesitate to say yes. Because I'm an idiot like that. She then tells me to return to the sock puppet, Kingseeker Frampt, and to take her father's place. "Yes, your highness!".

These player messages are great.

The Lord Vessel is pretty handy too, it lets me warp to almost any bonfire I've lit so in a flash I'm back at Firelink Shrine getting eaten by the sock puppet. Wait what? It's ok - he was just transporting me to the altar below which use unlocks four orange fog gates via cut scene, behind which are located the four lord souls I'd be needing. That's what Frampt tells me anyway, before bringing me back top side.

I notice that Ser Dick is gone, but a new merchant is now semi-hiding on the aqueduct bridge. From this fellow I purchase Ornstein's armor, which not only looks cool - it makes for very functional "scout" gear. Havel's set would still be my go to from bosses though, and since I only knew where one of those orange fog doors were, I headed there first: back to Anor Londo and up to the library known as the Duke's Archives.

A pair of armored boars guarded the passage leading to it, and there was no fire to let them run into this time. However, just like in a bed time story my dad used to tell me I ran between two trees (actually an iron fence and a pillar) where the boars got stuck and easily poked them to death with a spear.

The Uglaboogs method works again!

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Skyrim: The Boiling Foundry

Adventures in Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

The land of gears and pistons...

The Boiling Foundry is a dangerous place, filled with environmental hazards that liked to either spin or push you into the insta-death boiling water below so I let Sofia set out of this mission deciding to tackle it solo. Most of it was guarded by relatively weak robots, but one named the welding soldier was a definite test of patience. His room had pushing mechanisms to force him (or me) into the death hole in the center but that was a lot harder to do than it sounds. Especially since you needed to push him into it four or five times.

His god mode means there's no other way to beat him.

After that challenge I was greeted by an old friend: the steam dragon. He was the final guard to the titanium drill bit and while he did let me just take it, I couldn't leave the room without slaying him. He too had upgraded to god mode armor, but showering him in lava was enough to render him vulnerable to a fast kill. Finally I could take the elevator back to Lull-Mor.

Sorry old pal.

Back at the outpost I was tasked with fixing random things like monitors and clockwork guardians while waiting for Sofia. She successfully sabotaged Archeron's main mining operation while I was busy in the foundry. It wasn't long before Numinar had a job for both of us again: the drilling had run into an unexpected snag - undead fabricants (also cyborgs). This place just gets weirder and weirder.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Dark Souls: This is Dark Souls

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

This is Dark Souls: after training like mad, Ornstein and Smough still beat me easily. I thought I should fight fire with fire, by using Jolly Cooperation! While there happened to be many signs at the nearby bonfire, none of the players could connect to me. Fortunately I knew Solaire's summon sign was near the fog door so I hoofed it over there and of course, experienced Murphy's law. I was invaded and slain by a scythe wielding pvper who taught me (violently) that scythes go around shields! This is Dark Souls!

Sorry I didn't get your name Scythegirl!

In this game the way to avoid invasion is to be hollow, which is your natural state unless you use a semi special item to become fully human. Being human gives a lot of perks, heightened stats, and the ability to use summon signs for cooperative play - but it makes you a candidate for invasion. I decided I'd just have to fight O&S solo. And I was crushed. Repeatedly... this is Dark Souls!

Good lord, he gets... fatter?

But each time I'd get better. Then it happened, I managed to kill Ornstein. The result? Smough powers up tremendously and obliterates me. Of course returning to the room means both of them are alive again because this is DARK SOULS! I slaughter Smough first this time, only to have Ornstein powerup and impale me! Yes, this is Dark Souls!


I try again, and again. Sometimes getting obliterated before doing anything, but each time I learn something knew. Learn when to strike. When to dodge. When to run (which is pretty is like 80% of the time). I still f-up. I still die. This is Dark Souls!

And then finally. FINALLY, I find myself fighting super-Ornstein (after slaying Smough) - shooting gigantic lightning bolts and leaping around the hall like a mad man with his giant spear. Being point blank is his weakness. His health at half. 30%. 10%. I've almost got him! Then he does the bullshit lightning buttslam. This is DARK SOULS!!!

He shoots it out his ass too!?

But I've seen him do it before. I've seen him kill me before at this very point in the fight. I evade. Twice and run back to him. I swing my sword. He finally falls... I AM VICTORIOUS and the feeling of TRIUMPH IS AMAZING! THIS IS DARK SOULS!!!!!!!

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Skyrim: Modified Bananas

Adventures in Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

*pats her head*

With some forged documents and a magical disguise, Sofia and I step through Lull-Mor's teleporter and head to the Thalmor base. I have to ask her to sit outside though as to not blow my cover. Gaining entry is easy, and I am taken to meet the ex-psijic banana in charge, Justicar Archeron and his bodyguard, Banana Bane Masscroft. After a brief interview they head off somewhere and I am free to snoop around - finding that these Thalmor are not like any others I've encountered before, mainly due to Archeron's penchant for body modification.

Body modification: the Tamriel Edition.

While snooping in his laboratory I'm suddenly knocked out and awake trapped in a cell. Archeron shows up to taunt me and spill some of his plan before leaving to prepare his lab for my lobotomy. Obviously I break out of there before that happens. Interestingly all the modified guards are on god mode, which means sneaking out really involves sneaking. I manage to collect not only Archeron's journal but also my gear before leaving the place, getting to Sofia and extracting back to Lull-Mor.

Numinar is furious and rallies his Chronographers. The plan is to dig to the MacGuffin before Archeron can reach it and ambush his forces there. To do that though we require a titanium drill bit from the long abandoned foundries below and guess who is the lucky person tasked to get it?