Tuesday 31 March 2020

March 2020 Review: Lockdown the World

With the coronavirus exploding around the globe it's a strange world at the moment with many working from home and normally busy public areas being deserted. Doesn't bode well for my current industry but all we can do is just wait and see what happens next. This "social distancing" order has also put our board game sessions on hold, which just leaves more time for the many free games available online - though most of those really old ones from the sudden surge at GOG (because I wasn't paying attention) are a bit too dated for my tastes.

As for the bloggers among you Blaugust has come early in the form of Blapril! Go check it out as it might be something that interests you! :)

On to the task list...

    End 2020 with less weight (+4 kg from last month, running total: +2 kg)
    Make 1 web comic page (you'd think I have the time now but nope)
    hire landscapers for back yard (cancelled for now due to the virus)
    repair roof leaks (done)
    +try make a boardgame now that you "have time"? :P

How to Survive 2 [gift]
Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain [gift] (done but want more)
NWO: Infernal Descent (2/2) [free to play] (done)
Faeria [free from Epic Games] (had enough)
Horace [free from Epic Games] (second chance) (had enough)
Observer [free from Epic Games] (second chance) (done)
Farming Simulator 19 [free from Epic Games] (second chance) (had enough)
Inner Space [free from Epic Games] (had enough)
+Gonner  [free from Epic Games] (had enough)
+Offworld Trading Company [free from Epic Games] (had enough)
+Mutazione [free from Epic Games] (done)
+A Short Hike [free from Epic Games] (done)
+Anodyne 2: Return to Dust  [free from Epic Games] (done)
+The Stanley Parable [free from Epic Games] (done)
+Tomb Raider (2013) [free from Steam]
+The Lords of Midnight [free from GOG]
+Stargunner [free from GOG] (had enough)
+Flight of the Amazon Queen [free from GOG]
+Jill of the Jungle: Complete Trilogy [free from GOG] (had enough)
+Lure of the Temptress [free from GOG] (had enough)
+Teenagent [free from GOG] (done)
+Postal: Classic and Uncut [free from GOG] (had enough)
+Worlds of Ultima: The Savage Empire [free from GOG] (Second Chance) (had enough)
+Ultima Worlds of Adventure: Martian Dreams [free from GOG] (had enough)
+Eschalon: Book 1 [free from GOG] (done)
+Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves [free from GOG]
+Doomdark's Revenge [free from GOG]
+Akalabeth: World of Doom [free from GOG] (had enough)
+Bio Menace [free from GOG] (had enough)
+Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius [free from GOG] 
+Cayne [free from GOG] (done)
+World War Z [free from Epic Games]
+Figment [free from Epic Games]
+Tormentor x Punisher [free from Epic Games]
+Drawful 2 [free from Epic Game and Steam] (nope, no single player)

Board games:
Zombicide: Black Plague Campaign (10/11)
London Dread Campaign (1/4)
Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage (6/13)
Mice and Mystics: Heart of Glorm (0/11)


One Year Ago

I began the Dying Light Diary and also said goodbye to the Foundry of Neverwinter Online. Ironic given that five years ago...

Five Years Ago

I was happy one of my Foundry quests got second place! It didn't stop me from hating Neverwinter Online's black ice design though, which has since rightfully been removed. I also made a Photo Story folder which is now defunct thanks to Photobucket, and watched a number of movies - the highlight of which is The Interview.

Most Viewed Posts last Month
Enderal: Dead Weight
LISA: What Luck!

Top Search Terms last Month
fish glue ffxiv
runescape enhanced fire cape
darklands tarnhelm e hanover

Sounds like people are looking for stuff in games, which is to be expected with more people working from home. Unfortunately I think this blog only has hints to the Tarnhelm in Darklands...

Monday 30 March 2020

Enderal: Meeting Sneaking

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Being wanted really makes it challenging to attend the next meeting in the Keeper's base. It takes a bit of the time stop perk and a number of invisibility potions to reach it without being massacred by all the guards and soldiers on the way in.

Grandmaster Tealor himself is not impressed by my tardiness or by my current status which he refuses to override. Instead he assigns me a task suitable for my skill set, and my being expendable. The Nehrimise army has sailed across the sea in what is the start of an invasion and I am to plant magical plates in their base to spy on them.

Since Jespar is just a greedy merc, he too is sent with me and our first task is to meet up with Firespark at an ancient temple which has the transportation means to reach the Nehrimise camp undetected. To avoid the local guards we teleport out of there to the Frostcliff Tavern, but the patrons there are also on the look out for me just proving the reach of Mael's pockets!

Sort of like this, but with everyone after Jespar and I.

A mass brawl erupts in which we kill a few people before managing to break free and flee towards the mission objective.

Insight: There are a surprising number of NPCs that can't be killed in safe zones, so don't expect to win fights by being the last one standing there. You won't be.

Sunday 29 March 2020

Enderal: Top of the List

[Part of the Cursed story line]

The search for Tara leads past a pus beetle hive to an Arp filled ruin where it becomes evident that Tara and her cultist buddies all killed themselves - probably part of the same group that I previously found at their island resort. Esme is obviously unhappy with the find.

The desert knights don't like being disturbed.

As she wants to be left alone I warp back to Ark and find every single guard hostile to me as I am now Ark's most wanted! Fortunately they don't give chase into the Undercity where the few remaining Rhalata, now led by the First Seer, grant me protection for my previous service - even from "Crocco" the previous most wanted man in Ark who had come to take back his "crown". A single Rhalata literally obliterates him and his crew.

For this I decide to help them out by killing the Blind Miner. It turns out he is one of a handful of legendary creatures that have books written about them. The lore for him indicates that a particular totem weakens him so I craft one and find it is super effective. Without his invincibility, he's just another lost one. His one handed axe is a magnificent bonus as it is one of the best weapons I've seen.

Insight: As I found out in this session - it pays to read books!

Saturday 28 March 2020

Enderal: The Petrified

[Part of the Cursed story line]

We find Mael strung up on the theater stage but alive, and in front of him a priceless gem stolen from the Golden Sickle caravan long ago. Dijaam tries to grab it but is immobilized by a dart trap, leaving myself to deal with the puppet master - Pennypouches who is suffering from Red Madness!

One of the hardest fights in Enderal.

He sends his two hired Petrified goons (they really work for anyone) to deal with me in what becomes a really long battle! I end up using a lot of my potions and ammo to defeat the two fools before finally killing Pennypouches and administering the cure to Dijaam. Despite Mael's very vocal protests and threats, we promptly abscond with the gem to a secluded beach where Dijaam can properly reward me.

In the morning, she and the gem are gone having left a note that reads "I'm sorry". Knowing Mael is not one for empty threats I decide hideout in Duneville for awhile, and run into Esme en route - just in time to save her from some bandits, and to rejoin her search for Tara.

Insight: The battle against the two petrified is one of the toughest ones I've come across due to the mechanic. You need to knock both down at the same time and keep attacking while they are down to deplete their psychic shields / do any damage. Easier said than done for an archer.

Friday 27 March 2020

Enderal: Pulling Our Strings

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Stealing the info from the the spooky manor is pretty straight forward, so Jespar and I return to Ark where a courier kid gives me a letter from Dijaam. Jespar goes ahead to report in while I visit the merchantess at an Undercity tavern and accept her request to assist in finding out who set her up to take the blame for the Golden Sickle ambush.

A speedy investigation has clues that quickly point to Mael, the Golden Sickle grandmaster, so Dijaam heads to the Sickle base in town to confront him but only find a shop full of workers. Things escalate quickly which results in their massacre! For this, Dijaam is quickly apprehended by the city guard and taken to prison.

Hang in there, pussy cat.

Fortunately I am a lot stealthier, and with no witnesses putting me at the scene of the crime I am free to head to the prison and break her out. Unfortunately the guards have had their way with her by then and I find her battered, beaten, and "thoroughly" searched, but she did learn from them that Mael is actually missing too. We conclude that whoever is pulling our strings is trying to put on a show and head to the old theater on a hunch.

Insight: Generic enemies respawn after a few days have passed, so don't assume things are clear if you haven't been there recently.

Thursday 26 March 2020

Enderal: Teammates

[Part of the Cursed story line]

With the bandits dead and Calia having disarmed the traps, Lishari's crew is able to descend to do their work. Since everything is under control here we head back to a myrad tower where I run into Esme, who is about to go do something stupid and/or dangerous. I volunteer to assist while Calia myrads back to Ark to report in.

We sneak into the Dark Valley, taking down the numerous Lost Ones and a random huge werewolf wandering within until we reach the haunted ruins of Castle Bleakstar that is inhabited by one stubborn phantom. Once it's dispelled we find proof that Tara may have fallen in with some nefarious cult with clues suggesting they moved to a location near Duneville. I hope it's not that suicide crew I found before.

Esme, you can't sneak with a lit torch...

Esme myrads ahead as I receive word of another urgent mission for the Keepers. This time I'm partnered up with Jespar to try retrieve knowledge from an eccentric artist at his distant, puppet-filled manor with specific instructions NOT to use violence at all. A small detour on the way to the manor rewards me with... a dragon fight!

Insight: Unlike Calia, Esme isn't a great fighter or tank. In fact, all she's good at is giving away your position to the enemy so expect to do some heavy lifting and prep health potions before hand.

Wednesday 25 March 2020

Enderal: You're F-Hired!

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Returning from Duneville I manage to wrap up a number of lose ends at Ark - completing a relic collection for the SHOES guild, an egg collection for crazy Kurmai who wants to start an aviary in his floating "Star City", and the ingredients to reproduce the poison Mael was interested in - but not before first warning his rival Dijaam that she's under suspicion. Since she confronts Mael directly about it, I promptly get fired from the Golden Sickle.

Just as well as right after Calia and I get promoted into the Keeper guild, and Grandmaster Tealor puts us to work immediately - sending us to assist a nearby dig crew to retrieve an ancient artifact. Turns out this crew is led by Lishari, and her progress into the site is being held up by trap savvy bandits who have made a home of this place.

I happen to stumble into one - a giant pit but luckily land deep water. From there I can work my way back up, assassinating the entrenched bandits as I go. Only their leader gets the drop on me but Calia, who also fell into the pit but managed to hang onto something to find a different exit, shows up just in time to save me - using her menacing "shadow form"? She later explains that she has some other being in her that comes out to kill people from time to time.

More than just a pretty face.

Insight: Even without her shadow form, Calia is a decent tank and does good damage with her two handed sword so let her take point in combat. Comparatively Tharael does more damage with his twin swords but can't take many hits.

Tuesday 24 March 2020

Enderal: A Sandy Vacation

[Part of the Cursed story line]

After the crazy events in the temple I need a change of scenery so I travel East into the Powder Desert, home of big cats, mini rhinos, and gorilla trolls - eventually reaching the little underground village of Duneville.

Here I help where I can - acting as cupid for a couple of villager, helping the watchdogs solve a murder, hunting bounties down including a wild myrad who is luckily a terrible shot, and exploring a distant isle that seems like some suicide cultist resort now over run by rats, bone rippers (death claws), and one scary spider.

Myrads are so cute! This one is a little shy...

I also do some artifact hunting and solve a ruin comprised entirely of puzzles which is easy thanks to the hints at the start. It's a good vacation, but with all the tasks in the area completed it's time to return to Ark. I have a graduation ceremony to attend after all.

Insight: While it's in the air, just strafe to avoid the myrad's breath attack. Once it lands it gets a lot more accurate so take cover!

Monday 23 March 2020

Enderal: Winning until you Lose

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Before we can start the ambush, the Father reveals he knew about Tharael's plan all along. Furthermore, those children he took from the orphanage were all dying of disease and he tried save them the only way he knew how: transcending them into simulacarums. In fact, his own body guard was once Tharael's best friend and Tharael himself is in a false body.

Unable to process this, Tharael beheads the body guard and begins to fight the Father (who I'm pretty sure is a dragon in a mannequin). I stick to the plan and partake in the epic fight, sniping the Father and his summons while Tharael holds his aggro.

It is a long though simple battle for a well placed sniper, and we take the Father down... until we don't. He literally gets up and defeats us with his voice. The last thing I remember is him leading his chosen Rhalata to the ascension chamber, stating that us merely "existing" is punishment enough.

When I awake properly, there is a gaping hole where the ascension chamber once was. Tharael, standing at the edge says he saw it go in a bright flash of light. He doesn't know if the process worked or if the temple simply killed them all. What he does know is that he doesn't deserve to live and commits suicide by gravity... stepping off the cliff.

It was all for naught.

Insight: When the Father summons illusions one will always be beside Tharael, and the second one beside YOU so look out!

Sunday 22 March 2020

Enderal: Temple of Abomination

[Part of the Cursed story line]

It isn't long before the Father summons me, having heard good things from the First Seer. There in his lab he describes the Rhalata belief that one must transcend their own body. He even has simulacarums (fake bodies) that he had tried for years to ascend to but the process is flawed.

To this end he is assembling an expedition to an ancient temple from a past civilization that already achieved this, and wants me as one of the mercs on the tip of the spear. I accept and we ship out post-haste. I am grouped with Tharael and a female sell sword named Zar'ah to be one of the many squads exploring the temple.

Tharael watches the giant rise.

Horrid abominations are fought within, including one tower sized one, and Tharael executes Zar'ah as a sacrifice to get one door open to reach the ritual ante-chamber. As planned, he then summons the Father and his bodyguard - sealing the gate behind them. The time for murder is now!

Insight: The towering abomination moves FAST. I barely had enough time to shoot him down from the very edge of the room.

Saturday 21 March 2020

Enderal: Kidnappers

[Part of the Cursed story line]

As the graduation ceremony will take time to prepare I head on back to Arkham and find card-shark Esme in the district, and give her the log book from the Morning Dew which indicates her girl, Tara, disembarked early to meet a noble in town. I help her snoop a bit in the absent noble's residence until she gets a new lead to follow.

Afterwards we part ways as Tharael makes contact and wants to take me to the Rhalata temple to meet the First Seer. Goes without saying they are a strange bunch, and the First Seer assigns me a test to kill a defector hiding among savages and return her heart.

This is pretty easy, and the defector herself asks for death as she suffers from prosopagnosia (can't see faces) so I oblige. This impresses the First Seer who says words of my deeds will reach The Father's ears. Just as planned. While that happens Tharael and I revisit his childhood orphanage deep in the Undercity which is now crawling with Lost Ones.

Prosopagnosia as depicted in Hannibal.

There he spills the beans on how the Father bought children, his friends, from the caretakers. Those children were never seen again.

Insight: Can't get by through archery alone anymore as the mob density just keeps going up. To this end I'm using a sword and shield when an enemy horde draws near. It also means I open by sniping the hardest hitters first - enemy mages and those carrying two handed weapons.

Friday 20 March 2020

Enderal: Selection by Drinking

[Part of the Cursed story line]

While selling the loot from the deep ruin, I run into the mage Firespark again who suggests that the Grandmaster of the Keepers (the religious-militant order here) is interested in me joining their ranks and if I'm interested, should join the try-outs at a nearby Myrad tower.

I decide to do just that, meeting up with squad leader Jorek and recruits Dunwar and Calia. They aren't thrilled that an out lander like me is doing the trial, and are even less so when I rope them into helping take down a bounty nearby.

As expected, this is a stupid ritual.

Apart from fighting a few pus beetles and Dunwar executing a person with Red Madness on the road, we easily reach the "holy test site" which simply involves drinking a hallucinogenic potion. I awake back in Ark, which according to the also awake Calia is a sign that I passed the test. Dunwar on the other hand never wakes up. Turns out failure is death.

I make a note that my first suggestion for this order is that they remove the "pilgrimage" part of the test. That's just idiotic.

Insight: Pus beetle spit puts a poison stack on you. Having multiple stacks can kill you quickly so evade! On the flip side, drinking multiple health potions at once will heal you faster than consuming one at a time.

Thursday 19 March 2020

Enderal: Arena Upset

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Warping back to Ark from the starship, I make it just in time for my next arena match - this one against a giant undead brute, except he is immediately cut down by a Rhalata thug who challenges me instead. I beat him easily and he teleports us out upon surrender - introducing himself as Tharael.

The fight that didn't happen.

Having experienced my combat skill first hand he asks for my help in killing the leader of the Rhalata - "the Father". As he effectively ended my arena career (no one fights friends of Rhalata as win or lose they would die), I agree and start out by helping him shake down some lowlife in the Undercity for information. A lowlife he kills afterwards.

While he has to set a few cogs in motion before the next stage and because we are near the ruin of the Blind Miner, I opt to go exploring again - this time sneaking past the invulnerable Miner and clearing the rest of the massive ruin of Lost Ones as well as the hive of spiders at the very end.

Insight: I used the same solution for all the arena fights - run forward past the enemies and time stop, then jump up to the rocks on the left, which is a safe sniping spot.

Wednesday 18 March 2020

Enderal: Starship Trooper

[Part of the Cursed story line]

From the shipwreck I then head East into a massive ice valley guarded by powerful Lost Ones and Starling machines!? Luckily I can just sneak past the lot of them and into the ancient Starling Starship entombed in the glacier.

Would have been nice to see this vessel in its entirety.

Inside I meet Pahtira again (guess she is sneaky too), and help her collect a power source from the vessel while fighting off Starling machine spiders, Starling centurions, and a handful of frost spiders that had nested in the vessel.

All goes well, until Pahtira enacts her "surprise" plan to transfer her consciousness into one of the Starling centurions with the belief that a robotic body is superior to her flesh one. She decides to see just how powerful she has become by fighting me!

The answer is pretty powerful, but also very slow. As an archer she has no chance to catch me while I dart around the room and disable her mechanized form. It's pathetic to see a big robot beg for mercy so I unplug her (she's now in soul gem form) and keep her in my pack - which is an odd place to put a prisoner.

Insight: The game rewards exploration! Collecting magic sigils gives XP while Ice Claw mushrooms permanently increase your carry weight by one.

Tuesday 17 March 2020

Enderal: The Journey North

[Part of the Cursed story line]

I am soon venturing away from Ark again, back towards the Frostcliff mountains and on the way try cure a farmer's wife of bellyworms - though the potion fails because the diagnosis was wrong. She had rabies "Red Madness" and killed the farmer. Sigh.

I also retrieve a stolen painting for a painter hermit but it turns out the "paintings" are people she traps in there magically - hence the work is so life like. It seems she only does this to douche bags but I tell her to stop or I will come back to end her. She agrees.

Upon reaching the snowy North I begin encountering Frost elementals and wisps. The elementals are easy enough to snipe but those wisps are great at dodging. There's a whole bunch of them with Lost Ones in a ruin that I decide to clear, the final hallway of which is one massive trap. Luckily I can use the minor time stop ability to outrun the chopper fans at this stage.

Those are some strange crystals.

Eventually I reach the shore and find Glacier hounds (walruses) who are aggressive and tough but thankfully very slow and it's not long before I find the shipwreck of the Morning Dew,  taking the she-captain's log book for Esme from her cold, dead hands. I suppose I was lucky she threw me off the boat when she did.

Insight: Frost eles have radiant cold damage if you are within melee range so have heals ready if fighting up close.

Monday 16 March 2020

Enderal: Arkham

[Part of the Cursed story line]

On the way back to Ark I run into a Golden Sickle caravan getting raided by some black clothed thieves who flee after a short skirmish. I initially thought they were Rhalata but apparently they belong to a different guild called the Petrified. Odd name.

The Golden Sickle guild master, Mael, is very impressed when he hears of my combat prowess and hires me on as a protector. The first job is to simply deliver a letter to a Dijaam, rival merchant representative who I find in the bath house. This simple task evolves into a dinner with the enchanting merchantess at the nearby tavern which goes well but is totally crashed by Lishari, now returned from her dig site, who has had too much to drink.

She works fast...

I must have too as on a whim, I decide to purchase a house in the Nobles District of Ark... which I call "Arkham" (couldn't resist).  The next morning Mael tasks me with reconstructing the trace poison used by the attackers of his caravan crew. Poison he believes was supplied by Dijaam. Argh. To clear my head I go win more arena fights.

Insight: Yes, you can name your house and you can manually decorate it too, though I am glad there's an auto furbish option that just costs a little more money to put it into a functional state.

Sunday 15 March 2020

Enderal: Treomar

[Part of the Cursed story line]

While Pahtira secures the relic, I myrad on near the next quest spot of Fogville - fighting both Lost Ones and Arps (goblinoids) to retrieve more research and mushroom samples that could be used to heal a section of cursed wood, or as a bioweapon.

I opt to think on what to do with it at the Frostcliff tavern where a traveling gypsy named Esme challenges me to a game of Gwent "Battle for Treomar" - a card game involving armies. It goes without saying that I lose spectacularly. Esme eventually asks for my help in searching for her girlfriend who was a passenger on the Morning Dew (what are the odds).

It's like Gwent basic.

She's heard rumor that the ship ran aground near the frozen north of the island and I promise to look into it if I ever head that way. Not right now though, as I want to get back to Ark and hand those shrooms in for destruction. I don't think Enderal can handle any more plagues at this point!

Insight: Meshing works properly in this game and by that I mean you can shoot through a cracks in a wall or through a jail cells if you aim well enough. It also means head shots count - usually scoring as critical hits.

Saturday 14 March 2020

Enderal: Lawbreaker of Justice

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Now cured by Lishari, I take my time heading back to Ark - doing some bounty hunting as well as killing a troublesome troll which earns me an "amazing" steed: Whirlwind... the Donkey. Such an insult! I then investigate a farmer for the Golden Sickle merchant's guild to find why he hasn't been delivering crop on time.

It serves its purpose.

Turns out his neighbor had been poisoning the soil below with giant spore shrooms as revenge for the farmer getting the contract with the Golden Sickle through underhanded means. As justice is balance, I get the farmer arrested and the neighbor a loan and a contract from the Golden Sickle in his stead. The Sickle Quartermaster, a bald man named Pennypouches, is unhappy with this result as it is a nett loss money wise.

I then Myrad off to another excavator camp also suffering from the local bandits. These ones are extremely tough for some reason, especially the wild mages who use frost spells to slow you down and fire spells to kill you simultaneously. Anyway, I manage to rescue one excavator, Pahtira, and manage to swipe the ancient device she was looking for from the bandit boss who is far too strong to defeat in combat. Luckily I had a few invisibility potions to get past him.

Insight: Myrad towers usually have secure chests. Also, myrads are super cute! :D

Friday 13 March 2020

Enderal: Firefighting

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Opting to join the arena death matches, the first battle is a rookie free for all where I quickly learn the ropes. By that I mean I find a nice rock to stand on where they can't hit me and archer my way to victory.

Alas it will take a few days to organize the next match so left to my own devices and with no more tasks in the city itself, I venture out and head directly to Lishari's excavation and meet the buxom mage. She immediately asks for help as raiders had come, killed her team and are now torching her research on the lower levels!

Of course I agree to help since I need hers in return, so we split up and what follows is a crazy sprint through a dungeon to put out fires before they do lasting damage while fighting a large band of thankfully poorly armored thugs. We are successful in both saving the info and eliminating the scum. As thanks, Lishari performs a ritual to finally quell my arcane fever.

She likes talking dirty.

Again this is not a cure, but it significantly lessens the magnitude of the disease to more manageable levels.

Insight: As Arcane Fever worsens, so do your stats. At 100%, you die.

Thursday 12 March 2020

Enderal: Sticky Fever

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Appearing in the marketplace, I immediately bump into Jespar who is now ready to take me to the "doctor", a mage named Firespark who happens to also be Jespar's employer. Firespark examines my fever symptoms and gives me a referral to one of his associates, "Lishari", who happens to be at an excavation outside the city at the moment.

Unwilling to leave until I've explored it fully, I thank them and continue doing in-city tasks including opening a bank account that actually gains interest per day! This is quite interesting, but not fast enough for my liking so I also rob as much as I can - including from the local crypt. Why is there a crypt when undead are rising? Sigh. Idiots. 

They aren't smart enough to remove bucket hats either.

The guards eventually catch wind of my sticky fingers and confront me so I kill them all? nope because they are immortal! pay the 40 penny fine and get all the stolen goods confiscated. Obviously I promptly steal them all back and sell them at the Undercity fence. On this trip, I also notice there's an arena down here... interesting. I'm starting to really like this place.

Insight: Remember to use your Meditation -shout- ability to unlock skill upgrades.

Wednesday 11 March 2020

Enderal: Bad Guys can't Jump

[Part of the Cursed story line]

As Ark is massive, I decide to explore its dark underbelly first where all the poor, sick and unwanted folk are. The city guards don't even patrol down here, leaving it up to the brutish enforcers of the Rhalata cult who happily extort beggars for money. Meh, I've seen worse.

They ignore me for the most part, and let me reach the deepest mine shafts beneath the city where I find some really tough bandits. Luckily there is a handy scaffolding I can jump to to snipe all of them down. Ah, jumping - the skill of heroes!

I suppose the Blind Miner classifies as a boss monster...

The mine shafts also lead to an ancient ruin filled with Lost Ones, but one in particular - "the Blind Miner" seems immune to everything I can throw at it so I'm forced to retreat back to the surface via teleport scroll as the elevator I used to come down has broken (as in bugged broken).

Insight: That elevator issue could have been a game ending bug. Make sure you have teleport scrolls handy - everyone seems to keep handing them to you anyway. Or look up the no clipping cheat so you can "fly" back up.

Tuesday 10 March 2020

Enderal: Across the Mountain

[Part of the Cursed story line]

With all the jobs in Riverville done, I go meet up with Jespar at the remnants of the teacher's house and find evidence that he was suffering from the "Red Madness", much like most of the wild life around.

Satisfied with the work, Jespar keeps his end of the bargain by leading me to the capital - Ark - to cure the sickness. Since the Riverville Myrad is sick (Enderal's fast travel system), we go on foot and it is a long walk through forests and over a mountain. Jespar isn't bad in a fight, but his twin daggers are shit for damage.

The city is an impressive sight from a far!

We eventually reach the visually stunning city and Jespar tells me to hang around for a day or so while he contacts whoever it is that needs to cure me. That's fine because Ark is HUGE and will take sometime for me to explore. It is much larger than Ust Natha!

Insight: There are "secure chests" scattered around civilized areas which are a god send for inventory weight management as they hold a global inventory. Put something in at Riverville and you can get it out in Ark, etc.

Monday 9 March 2020

Enderal: Riverville

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Not far outside the tomb I encountered another mud elemental, and despite my best efforts can't slay the regenerating creature so I'm forced to flee down a waterfall... which happens to also be the front to a hidden pirate base? I decide to take their stuff, and their lives before following the crab filled coast to finally reach the town of Riverville.

Crustaceans grow big in these parts.

Not only is this near the place Jespar wanted me to go, it also has shops to sell items to and even more quests - from bounty hunting and retrieval of stolen property to exposing a rapist hiding in plain sight. I complete them all. Not bad for an outsider.

The pennies I earned are spent on skill books and salt to go with all the raw meat I need to cook. Having cooked food seems to be the best way to regenerate health outside combat. Inside combat, I have to rely on potions or spells - both of which increase Arcane Fever.

Insight: What a great gold sink idea! Earning levels gives a number of "learning points" which are spent in conjunction with consuming a skill book of a particular skill (+1). Lesser books are cheaper but are only effective to a point. Master level books are pricey but are the only ones that can get you to skill level 100.

Sunday 8 March 2020

Enderal: Lost Ones

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Upon exiting the ruin, things just go downhill with this strange fever I found myself with. Luckily I run into a friendly merc named Jespar who welcomes me to this island of Enderal and is familiar with the symptoms and provides a potion of ambrosia to lessen the effects of this "Arcane Fever" temporarily.

A proper remedy is much more involved, and one he'd arrange if I helped him with his current job: to find out why a magic teacher went mad and decided to immolate his entire class. Without much choice I accept. Armed now with basic gear and a map, he sends me on my way while he finishes up hunting some bandits nearby.

Damn these things are scary.

It isn't long before I deal with some highwaymen of my own and fight a Vatyr goat man. Turns out the packs of deerstalkers are far deadlier! Exploring some land marks on the way I also meet the "Lost Ones" or undead who seem to plague this place. Inside one tomb I even kill a lich with stealth and archery. A useful combination.

Insight: The AI pathing can be easily exploited by finding vantage points to fire from while melee enemies can't hit you back. They will "take cover", but you can always lure them out by baiting them.

Saturday 7 March 2020

Enderal: Dead Weight

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Stowing away in the cargo hold of the Morning Dew turned out to be a bad idea, but it was the most expeditious way to escape Ust Natha in the chaos caused by the deaths of that bitch Phaere and her mother. Having been found out by the crew, I was taken up to the deck where the she-captain decided to simply sink my plans. Literally.

Almost exactly what she looked like...

Tied to a weight and thrown overboard, it was only through sheer luck that I awoke on the sandy beach of some forgotten cove with no gear to speak of. Opting to venture inland I found some form of ruin, littered with blue crystals that made me feel sick every time I walked near them.

Of course, a troll lived in here too and with no gear to deal with it I had to lure it into an ancient trap to slay the beast. There was no such trap available further up in a room guarded by a mud elemental. I had to result to good old stealth to sneak past that one...

Insight: Traps do good damage on NPCs (and you), and can be reset for continued use.

Thursday 5 March 2020


[Part of the Wasted Land story]

Winning the battle is not without cost as Brad - now bleeding, bruised and full of arrows and bullets stumbles forward towards his daughter. Lisa backs away, revealing that of everyone it is was Brad - her mean, terrible and awful absent step-father who hurt her the most by taking away her choices. With that, she leaves Brad in the dirt to die.

"Did I do the right thing?" Brad asks before everything goes dark...

"No, you did not."

Elsewhere, Stormlord returns to the wrestling circuit with his new tag-team partner Rage Metalhead while Guin, now free of enslavement, joins Yazan on his quest to find the mythical feline paradise.

The en...

Brad's eyes suddenly shot open. "Lisa..." he groaned in a monstrous voice.

Brad was no longer a terrible and awful person. He had become a terrible and awful Joy titan who had one goal: to worm his way towards his daughter... and...

The End.

Insight: Drugs are bad. Don't use them.


[Part of the Wasted Land story]

Upon arriving at the island Fardy loudly proclaims what he's going to do to Lisa for stealing his boat, and for being the only female in the land. This leads to Brad killing him, and then proceeding to the lonely cave where he finds Lisa taking Joy while his old, abusive, and very much still alive father watches over her.

Despite his dad's change to be mellower, Brad flips out in a rage - exploding him into little bits despite Lisa trying to stop them mid-fight and getting hit for her trouble because Brad is a terrible and awful person. She runs away and steals Brad's boat. Royally pissed, Brad uses Fardy's corpse as a boat to give chase - eventually ending up on RANDO island where Brad finds a random creep leaving a permanent mark on Lisa's face with his knife. Brad annihilates the scum while Lisa runs away again - directly and purposefully into RANDO's army.

RANDO has a cool costume.

Brad attacks like a madman, finding some of his old gang - Crisp, Clint and Buff now among the RANDO forces each wanting a piece of Lisa. He kills them all with his massive supply of diesel firebombs (thank you empty bottles and unguarded generators). All 31 of them, to fight RANDO himself. Brad uses all his remaining firebombs but it is not enough - it comes down to a massive Karate battle before RANDO is defeated.

Insight: This fight would be much harder and longer without firebombs. You'll also want horse meat and RANDO rations for full heals as required.

Wednesday 4 March 2020

LISA: To Build a Boat 2, the Epic Conclusion of Boat Building

[Part of the Wasted Land story]

When Brad's gang arrives at the Motorcycle crew's headquarters they are greeted by a horrible sight. All the crew save one are dead and partially eaten. The last remaining one has turned into a titan, and Guin takes most of the credit in taking it down. Unfortunately, bits of Beastborn are visible in a gigantic steaming turd nearby - probably having been the titan's first victim.

With no option but to look for more boat parts, the gang follows Birdie to a bath house he found. The door guard is a bit tough, but the mutant spiders within the maze like baths are no match. Neither is the yakuza gang chilling inside, as Stormlord zaps them all while they bathe. Brad takes their giant, oriental fan. They get lost on the way back out though and encounter a bathing titan which bites off the heads of Birdie and Olan before Buff slays it.

They do manage to rescue a child from within though, and blackmail his multi-sword wearing brother Crisp into joining the gang. Afterwards, the team checks out a large semi-trailer truck they bypassed earlier and find Satan inside. Rage, Guin and Yazan help Brad defeat the monster in an epic battle with Yazan being the MVP while Brad somehow survived getting his neck broken.

That's pretty close to what Satan looks like in the game!

With all the boat parts ready, Brad helps Fardy assemble it while his gang rests - and once it is complete promptly abandons his people to sail with Fardy to the island Lisa is at. This is because Brad is a terrible and awful person.

Insight: Rage is NOT the person to bring to the Satan fight, he wasn't very effective!

Tuesday 3 March 2020

LISA: To Build a Boat

[Part of the Wasted Land story]

When Brad's naked and unequipped crew arrive at the next village they meet Tardy, brother of Fardy, who tells them the girl stole his boat and sailed to a nearby island. They can give chase, but must first assemble a boat of their own. To begin, they climb to the top of the mountain and defeat the American Football Gang there - making great use of Shocklord's AOE and Clint's debilitating attacks.

Those shoulder pads make his charges deadly!

Their leader, Buff, is disillusioned by his teams' weakness and joins Brad's instead - helping him take down the mountain titan higher up and providing a tool kit necessary to build the boat. Next, they visit the Pretty Boys again where Clint outshines their leader and takes his fine cloth. Alas Queen Roger, previously their hostage, had been killed and sold to RANDO's gang, to make their super RANDO rations. The Pretty Boys are all executed for this.

Collecting wood is next on the agenda so the team travels to the nearby hills where there is exactly one tree remaining. This is fiercely guarded by natives who are all killed, with Olan's rapid fire arrow taking down their chief. Brad then chops down the last tree on the hill, and perhaps on the continent with a single Armstrong chop. Brad is a terrible and awful person.

Brad hates it when I type that sentence, and so when Beastborn is kidnapped by the Motorcycle Crew while the team rests, he mounts a rescue mission to save his slave and prove me wrong.

Insight: If Brad suffers from withdrawal, use his fireball skills instead.

Monday 2 March 2020

LISA: Hopes and Dreams

[Part of the Wasted Land story]

With the Bullies all dead, Brad pushes the team forward to chase Lisa - but stop at a nearby Wrestling establishment. Brad has always wanted to be a wrestler, so this is more important than his missing daughter. Brad is a terrible and awful person.

After passing the "test" by intentionally losing his first match, Brad is free to fight in three divisions. Free for all is just party EXP grinding. The solo circuit is easy, but the last match is another "fixed" one where he must lose  the match or lose wrestler privileges, and tag team where he is partnered up with Shocklord who joins the gang once the pair win the title belt!

This game has some really nice fan art!

Victorious, the gang press on, finding another one of Brad's "friends" who sold Lisa out. Brad kills him too, and just like last time is caught unaware when the Joy gang jumps them. Their leader holds out Lisa and makes Brad choose: either he cuts off one of Lisa's nipples, or he'll have his men shoot three of Brad's guys.

Brad chooses to protect the girl, and so Ajeet, Garth and Bo randomly lines up and are mercilessly machined gunned down like ugly, rabid dogs. During this, Lisa manages to slip away but the Joy gang doesn't let Brad pursue - forcing one more choice: for Brad to give up an arm, or for them to take all the stuff from Brad's team.

Brad cowardly lets them take all his gang's gear. The Joy gang does so, laughs and leaves Brad's gang naked in the wasteland.

Insight: I highly recommend joining the wrestling group if only to unlock a save point next to a safe "only wrestlers can sleep here" bed.

Sunday 1 March 2020

LISA: The Fate of all Bullies

[Part of the Wasted Land story]

A music record held by the monstrous neck titan convinces Bo the bard to join, as does Garth the artist for dirty mags, Clint Olympic for a hell of a lot more dirty mags, and Ajeet Mandeep the joy hating playboy - just for kicks. With a decent sized gang now, Brad searches the area in earnest finding a cult of fast food worshiping nutjobs.

After using some TNT to kill the guards, his crew climb the "sacred mountain" and defeat their clown god in his restaurant. Entering a crack in the wall they fight past a cavern of mutated spiders and eventually find Lisa! Only, she doesn't want to go back with Brad. She wants to help the world. Brad won't take no for an answer. He's very rapey that way. Brad is an awful and terrible person.

You tell him, Terry!

As soon as they step out of the cave, the Joy gang ambushes them - takes Lisa and flees with Brad's crew in hot pursuit. Alas, the Bully gang gets in the way - whom Terry "can't beat em, join em" Hintz is now apart of. Despite that, they are woefully outnumbered and are all beaten to death by Brad's gang, save for the Bully leader who runs away feebly. Once Brad catches up to him, the Bully leader opts to shoot himself in the head instead of getting massacred like the coward he is.

Insight: Clint has low HP but his moves rock!