Thursday 30 April 2020

April 2020 Review: Self Isolation

It turns out self isolation and working from home isn't so bad for me, though I am one of those putting on a lot more weight! It's the "See Food" diet I tell ya. I see food and I eat it. Anyway, I've started trying to do some exercise but as they say "you can't out train a bad diet". The isolation affects people in different ways though, and I thought I'd share this particularly creative and funny music videos with you.

Lastly, thanks to Blapril I've added a whole bunch of new blog links on the side there. Please have a look when you have the time! I'll be trimming them down as usual starting next week.

On to the task list...

    End 2020 with less weight (+2 kg from last month, running total: +6 kg)
    Make 1 web comic page (stiiill nope)
    try make a boardgame (idea written out, needs testing)

How to Survive 2 [gift]
Tomb Raider (2013) [free from Steam] (done)
The Lords of Midnight [free from GOG] (had enough)
Flight of the Amazon Queen [free from GOG] (done)
Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves [free from GOG] (done)
Doomdark's Revenge [free from GOG] (had enough)
Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius [free from GOG] (done)
World War Z [free from Epic Games]
Figment [free from Epic Games] (done)
Tormentor x Punisher [free from Epic Games] (had enough)
+Hob [free from Epic Games] (had enough)
+Gone Home [free from Epic Games] (done)
+Close to the Sun [free from Epic Games]
+Sherlock Holmes Crimes & Punishments [free from Epic Games] (borked!)
+Just Cause 4 [free from Epic Games]
+Wheel of Aurelia [free from Epic Games] (had enough)
+Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms [free on Steam]
+For the King [free from Epic Games]

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


One Year Ago

There was a fire at Notre Dame and Brexit was still perkalating away. Also finished up my Dying Light diary and started the tale of the Black Pits.

Five Years Ago

I was posting the Ambitious Dynasty story and was getting heavily into Payday 2. I also made one of my most popular posts so far: the Neverwinter Online Vigilance Quest Guide.

Most Viewed Posts last Month
Enderal: The Petrified
Enderal: Ark Siege
Enderal: Pulling Our Strings

Top Search Terms last Month
osrs infernal cape service price
osrs uim infernal cape
osrs infernal cape scythe

Seems like a lot of interest in my Enderal play through last month, though I'm very curious now as to what this "infernal cape" is. :P

Wednesday 29 April 2020

FTL: Boarding Parties

[Part of the Adventures in Space journal]

Upon reaching an Engi controlled system the Waverider overhears nervous chatter from the sheltered residents who are too shy to talk to the heroines, so they make Shirai translate for them. Apparently the Mantis have stolen some important Engi tech that needs to be retrieved. With a a wickedly beautiful smile Sara declares "We're the girls for your job!". Zari wrinkles her nose behind her.

With the Engi's approval, the Waverider follows the trail of the culprits - chasing down a powerful Mantis vessel that beams aboard four Mantis warriors! The thri-keen are very tough with even Sara and Amaya being pushed back, but even bugs need to breathe. Zari gets the crew to disengage into one fortified area of the ship and opens the airlock - expelling all four. Meanwhile Gideon uses the Glaive Beam to wreck their ship, disabling it.

Begging for mercy, the remaining Mantis reveal that they were only part of the thieving fleet - the rest are already in the Zoltan system up ahead. The Waverider leaves them stranded there in pursuit, only to be blocked by a Zoltan military craft. It becomes clear the Zoltan's paid for the heist!

They too send over four boarders to try apprehend the Legends, even killing Shirai using their electric powers. Despite this, they are defeated by the trio of girls who were so focused on the hand to hand they didn't realize that the Zoltan's had hacked and de-powered Gideon. By the time they race back to their stations it is too late, as a focused salvo from the Zoltan ship destroys the Waverider - killing everyone on board in a massive explosion.

And that's how these three heroes of Pre-Crisis Earth 69 met their end.

Sara died again!?


Insight: To best do the airlock tactic against boarders you need to upgrade your door system AND have someone manning it when you get boarded.

Tuesday 28 April 2020

FTL: Waverider

[Part of the Adventures in Space journal]

Yeah, lots of the team are busy elsewhere.

"Shouldn't we wait for the others?" asked Zari as she put on her seat harness. "Nah, they'll be fine!" assured Sara as they powered forward with their new goal, but almost immediately bumped into a Rock trade ship who, fearing pirate attack, were asking for an escort to a nearby planet.

"We have to help them," declared Zari. "It's what heroes do!"
"Not heroes," Amaya corrected her. "Legends."

Sighing with agreement, Sara turned the ship around - taking the Rock merchant safely to his desired planet, only to find the rebel fleet arriving at the spot at the same time! Sara is forced to use some advanced piloting to avoid blasts from the elite cruisers until the Waverider can FTL jump out of there! It is a time ship after all!

Flying into a nebula sector to lose them, the girls then encountered another Rock ship under attack from pirates! Without hesitation they flew in and rescued them, eliminating the pirates and freeing their Engi prisoner Shirai who joins the crew. As with all Engi, she gains a bonus to repairing while is less proficient at combat.

As thanks the Rock merchants who are actually Federation loyalists donate a good amount of supplies, as well as a powerful glaive beam which Zari installs. Sara manages to try it out on a few unfortunate rebel scouts. It takes long to charge, but it is awesome to use.

Insight: Hold down the mouse to draw a line for beam weapons to strike, hitting as many rooms as you can by specifically using angles and edges. You only need to touch a room to damage it!

Monday 27 April 2020

FTL: The Drifters

[Part of the Adventures in Space journal]

Steve somehow manages to vent all the fires on board using the airlocks and then repair the hull breaches and primary systems - then with no fuel to go anywhere, activates the Distress Beacon and waits. The first ship is a merchant who is unwilling to help without payment, and given the status of Steve's vessel can tell he can't pay anyway, so the merchant simply leaves.

The second ship is a Federation ally! "What luck!" Steve exclaims as he shares the important data with them while they give him a tiny amount of gas before parting ways. Now feeling blessed, Steve pushes forward into... the same auto-fighter that killed his friends. It recognizes him and without hesitation, tears him and his ship into space debris.


Meanwhile, on the Waverider - Sara had Gideon, the ship AI, analyze the data cube Steve had given her. "That guy really lucked out that we were passing by," noted Amaya as she entered the control room. "I'll say, did you see the way he looked at you?" joked Zari.

"It seems this is as important as he said it is," confirms Gideon, interrupting the giggling. Sara nodded.

Time for things to get weird.

"Alright girls, buckle up! We've got a job to do!"

Insight: The rebel fleet actually sweeps the sector map from left to right (marked with a very dangerous red highlight). If you are not moving for long enough they will get you.

Sunday 26 April 2020

FTL: Bugly Bugs

[Part of the Adventures in Space journal]

Escaping from the asteroid field, the Bugly Bugs arrived at the edge of an uncharted nebula where the next LRB sat in eerie silence. Much like the station they found Notch at, this one seemed devoid of life but desperate for fuel they decided to dock anyway.

Instead, they only found a terrible flesh eating virus that Notch comes in contact with. Steve and the direbugs quickly shut the airlock to save themselves, leaving Notch to die in a worse place than they found him. Haunted by his screams, Steve pushes the ship forward and past its limits - into the next nebula sector and right into a Mantis ship!

At first the battle is fierce, until it becomes clear that it is a stalemate with neither vessel being able to penetrate the other's shield. Eventually they tire of each other and move on, with the Bugly Bugs finally running out of fuel as it reaches a rebel supply point guarded by an automated fighter craft.

With no options left, they engage the fighter and are quickly hammered by its superior fire power. One of its missiles explodes Paylise and her station into dust while another causes a hull breach that pulls Buglybugs into the fatally cold vacuum of space.

That's never a good sign.

Sensing the Bugly Bugs' lack of fuel, the enemy fighter then picks up the supplies, and indeed, the entire supply way point then leaves his opponent to die helplessly alone in space.

Insight: Rushing early leaves your ship too weak to survive the later sectors. It also brings a severe lack of fuel.

Saturday 25 April 2020

FTL: Need for Speed

[Part of the Adventures in Space journal]

Steve looked quizzically at the data cube El Duce had placed in his hand as he boarded his Engi style spaceship 'Bugly Bugs', with his monstrous, space faring direbug friends Paylise and Buglybugs who have already proven their space faring skills by previously finding him at the center of the universe!

Armed only with an ion stunner and battle drones the Bugly Bugs had to rely more on speed to fly past any foes - reaching the first LRB in record time. There, a hauntingly empty station lured them in - rescuing the lone survivor, Notch, from a pirate massacre.

Fighting in an asteroid field is not a great idea.

Steve then opted to jump the ship into an asteroid nebula to avoid detection and were surprised to find a Slug ship already hiding there! The Slugs weren't in a sharing mood though and opened fire. Fortunately, a single battle drone supported by well timed ion strikes was more than enough to deal with them. They would have been permitted to leave, if their ship hadn't then been crushed between two large rocks.

Insight: A lot of this game is about unlocking stuff, such as ships and ship layouts by performing random feats. Unlocking the Engi craft only requires reaching the 5th sector which the Marauder (previous ship) was able to do.

Friday 24 April 2020

FTL: Abandon Ship

[Part of the Adventures in Space journal]

The Engi sector is relatively peaceful as they are allied with the Federation, offering many supplies to the passing Marauder - everything but fuel. While docking with a refueling station, the team are caught by surprise when a pair of pirates board the ship! It takes a team effort to eliminate the duo, and move on to a legitimate outpost to refuel and restock.

Space combat is more exciting than it looks.

From there they navigate through two nebula sectors which play havoc with the ship's sensors but keep the Marauder far ahead of the rebel fleet, and in a Zoltan sector fend off a few pirates who are let go once they offer tribute. The true reason for the soft hand is that Rattlesnake has been to liberal with the use of missiles, and they are now almost out!

Eventually they find themselves entering a Rock sector, and encounter a starship intent on protecting its borders. The vessel easily takes the damage from the lasers and remaining rockets the Marauders throw at it, meaning fleeing is the only choice for survival! Silverlight's piloting somehow accomplishes this feat, but soon run into a Rock scout ship hiding behind a planet.

The battle is intense, with the Marauder damaging the scout enough for it to flee. Alas, the damage taken in return is too severe - and with fire spreading quickly inside and having already roasted Nikola to ashes, Rattlesnake, El Duce and Silverlight opt to abandon ship - gathering what they can and using escape pods to flee to the planet surface. Good thing El Duce managed to make copies of that important data which they handed out at the Engi sector!


Insight: Using missiles as the main source of damage leads to bad situations like this. Need to use them more sparingly, specifically on shield systems so the lasers can do their thing.

Thursday 23 April 2020

FTL: All for One

[Part of the Adventures in Space journal]

As the small pirate fleet prepared to engage the civilian convoy, the Marauder suddenly flew in to intercept them. "Stupid fools," radioed the slaver ship. "Surrender one of your crew and we'll let you leave in peace."

Fricking space pirates and their space flamingos...

"Hell no," was Silverlight's response - followed by a full missile and laser salvo from Rattlesnake. While the enemies manage to deal some damage, the pirates are all vaporized with only the badly slave ship remaining at the end. "Wait! Please, take this tribute of one slave and spare us - they will all die if you destroy our ship anyway!"

Silverlight wasn't happy with it, but it did make sense - so the slavers were allowed to flee after they left Nikola the Engi with them, who helped repair the damage to the Marauder while El Duce accepted more supplies from the civilians they saved. Rattlesnake made use of the downtime by patching up at the infirmary.

With repairs complete they pushed on to the LRB (long range beacon) and as suggested by Nikola, jumped to an Engi controlled sector.

Insight: Power management is a big part of this game, as such turn off the infirmary when you aren't using it!

Wednesday 22 April 2020

FTL: The Marauder

[Part of the Adventures in Space journal]

After years of mercenary work, Rattlesnake looked on unhappily as the last of their mechs were traded in for coin. His wife, Silverlight, gave him a hug of assurance. "It's the right thing to do. This information needs to reach the Federation Fleet as fast as possible and the best chance for that to happen is with as many ships as we can afford."

"Are you two done?" asked El Duce from the boarding plank of their new, Kestrel class spaceship 'The Marauder'. With a nod, they waved goodbye to their other team mate Charybdis who was organizing a different space craft for the same mission.

The starting screen with the starter Kestrel class ship.

As the first ship out, they soon found themselves tailed by a rebel scout and engage it in battle, testing El Duce's engineering and Silverlight's piloting. The rebel had no chance against Rattlesnake's gunnery though and began trying to escape but was destroyed by a well placed missile. The mission was off to a good start!

Insight: Unlike lasers, missiles go right through most shields.

Adventures in Space

Starting up a new journal today - this one for game stories relating to space travel!

Book 1 - FTL 
Chapter 1 - The Marauder
Chapter 2 - All for One 
Chapter 3 - Abandon Ship
Chapter 4 - Need for Speed
Chapter 5 - Bugly Bugs
Chapter 6 - The Drifters
Chapter 7 - Waverider
Chapter 8 - Boarding Parties 
Chapter 9 - Above and Beyond
Chapter 10 - Who the F* Cares?
Chapter 11 - Number One
Chapter 12 - A New Sister 
Chapter 13 - Really Peaceful
Chapter 14 - Space Dust
Chapter 15 - Flagship 

Book 2 - Rimworld
Chapter 16 - Cassandra
Chapter 17 - Cold Snap
Chapter 18 - Killer Robots 
Chapter 19 - Year One

This story has finished for now. Thank you for reading!

Tuesday 21 April 2020

Postal 1 & 2

Not for kids!


So many bodies...

In this isometric shooter there is only one goal - to kill the required quota of people in each zone. There's no story, no reason why you and many of the townsfolk are armed to the teeth with high powered weaponry, just pure violence over and over again. Unfortunately that sort of thing does get old quick, and so it falls into my not worth playing category with 1 machine gun of infinite ammo out of 5. Instead of this, you should definitely try its sequel...

Postal 2

In this now dated first person shooter, Postal Dude (you) must survive one week in the inappropriately named town of Paradise while ticking off a list of seemingly mundane things. It's great that the its an open map too for most of the time, albeit with clearly marked loading screens. Towards the end of the game it becomes more of a linear shooter but it still works.

They somehow got Gary Coleman in here too.

It's a good thing you can carry loads of weapons too because as the days go by more and more people are going to be coming after you which makes pacifism impossible. In case you ever run out of ammo you can always unzip your fly and pee at people. Hitting them in the face long enough makes them gag and vomit. You can also use cats to silence your shotgun. It's that sort of game.

Despite it's age, Postal 2 is still a fun though slightly perverted game - and a challenging one on higher difficulties. Enemies will pop out of thin air and in the later stages come in large numbers. Enemy dog packs and heat-seeking rockets that must be shot down will post the most danger. If all the above interests you then I definitely recommend trying it out and give it 3 gimp suits out of 5.

Insight: Dog treats befriend dogs. Donuts lure cops. Catnip lures cats, but don't use it for that. Eat it yourself to trip balls and slow down time!

Monday 20 April 2020

Sundered: Eldrich Edition

Mechanically long for the sake of length.

From the makers of Jotun comes this very nicely animated platformer with a good, responsive set of controls. Much like that other game, here you play as a female that finds herself in a strange and dangerous land. Unlike Jotun though, this one in far less user friendly. Tiles and art that can be interacted with aren't always obvious, and the sprawling map encourages much backtracking, which you will be forced to do right at the tutorial.

Indeed the start of Sundered is very weak, but the game does improve. A handy map gives you a hint of where to go, which is helpful in zones that are procedurally generated. Exploration is always rewarded, and at the center of it all is a massive skill tree that the devs clearly put a lot of work in.

How the bad guys are handled is interesting too - while there are bosses there are no static mobs. Instead a horde of enemies just tends to show up if you idle too long. While at first these are a nuisance they do become a threatening swarm further in. Alas, seeing lots of the same things quickly reduce the art factor though. This goes both for the monsters and the eventually predictable room types.

The swarm will always find you!

The main problem with Sundered though is that it is a grind. Everything gives you EXP and you lose nothing on death but in order to validate the massive skill tree, it feels like the player is forced to do a shit load of grinding as the game progresses. Also there is an irritating ploy per area where initially your exploration is gimped due to a lack of an ability, which feels like a very mechanical way to just lengthen the game.

Ultimately it falls into the "too much road and not enough destinations" category which is why I'm dropping it. It's not a bad platformer, but when it has to stand up to other games that want my time it doesn't have a chance. I give it 2 elder shards out of 5.

Insight: You need to attack orbs to open doors. I wish that was in the tutorial.

Sunday 19 April 2020

The Escapists

You need to breakout of prison. A lot.

In this RPG-maker like game you must get your custom prisoner to get out of each of the five prisons available (in the base game). As all but the first is locked you need to beat them in order of difficulty, and at the start can name all the other inmates and guards present too.

That translates as "someone's digging a tunnel".

Then it becomes a matter of learning routines, getting the right jobs and doing favors to get the right tools (like a guard uniform from the laundry), and escaping just like in the short tutorial which fails to cover MANY things which is frustrating. Almost as frustrating as trying to click on the correct character when they stack on each other and are moving. And is there a combat/non-combat indicator somewhere?

Ultimately, this is not a game for me as the main thing it requires is patience - and given that after using it once the program refused to open ever again, there wasn't really enough in my first foray to encourage me to fix that. Not one I'd recommend but if you are into this sort of thing then it's supposed to be very popular.

Saturday 18 April 2020

Totally Accurate Battle Simulator

It obviously isn't, and it's quite funny!

This skirmish based game pits two opposing colored rag dolls (red and blue) in a battle to the death with unit variety ranging from prehistoric to pirates and even the supernatural! Remember that time you sent Zeus to destroy a pair of vampires but some dynasty archers hit him with fireworks arrows that sent him flying off the map? It's that sort of game.

There's a fair number of skirmishes to enjoy and a few tough ones to solve as much like table top Warhammer, you only have a set amount of points to purchase units with. Sometimes you want a gazillion archers, other times a pair of ridiculously tough pirate queens will do. Outside initial placement, the only thing you can do is control some of your dudes in battle - which is rare. Often you will be a rifleman to force snipe units at the back as the AI is generally stupid. Move to closest, attack closest. Falling off ledges is common.

The reaper showcasing some lesser units.

Not a very deep game, but a pretty fun one - and one I recommend. I give it out 3 Da Vinci tanks out of 5.

Insight: You can position units on trees and stuff, and on a few maps can exploit the silly AI into killing themselves off a cliff by controlling an oddly placed unit to prevent them from moving.

Friday 17 April 2020

Hobbs & Shaw

When a lethal virus goes missing it's up to two unlikely partners Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), who have partnered before, to retrieve it from a cybernetically enhanced assassin. Much like the other Fast & Furious movies which spawned this spin-off, there is a mix of fast cars, violence, and ludicrousness. Is that a word? If not, I need the word that describes fat tribal guys beating up highly trained spec-ops teams. Yeah, that word.

The perils of being a panty inspector.

Entirely predictable, this one is definitely only for turn off your brain action buffs as there's more on the "beating people up" than car racing. The plot is so shallow there's not much else to say other than Vanessa Kirby is hot? I give it 2.5 surprise Ryan Reynolds out of 5. Probably not going to watch it again.

Thursday 16 April 2020


Not your usual adventure.

As a silly human who falls into the world of monsters, you must escape back to the surface - but it turns out the monsters aren't as bad as they are said to be. Despite the crude graphics, Undertale features great heart, story telling, music, and an option to not kill anything - which is actually way harder than the mass murderer route!

Some enemies are cute!

There are simple puzzles to solve, and a unique fight or not-fight system to get used to and the monsters all have their own desires. Greater Dog is easier to please than Tsundereplane for example. It's a neat little game that I highly recommend, I give it 4 cell phones out of 5.

Insight: Always protect your heart.

Wednesday 15 April 2020

Spiderman: Far from Home

Marvel's new flagship? Stark thinks so.

Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Peter Parker aka Spiderman (Tom Holland) is looking forward to a class trip to Europe in hopes with hooking up with his crush MJ (Zendaya). Of course that would be too easy without some superhero level bad things happening which involve one Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal).

Congratulations, you've been promoted.

The effects, acting and comedy all get the thumbs up from me here. I have to say my previous dislike about Zendaya's MJ is gone now since the plot let her shine a bit more. More so, Jake Gyllenhaal is fantastic... up to a point, but that's probably more a writing problem and possibly the biggest plot hole of the story.

You'd think SHIELD would know who works for and with people right? Especially for their important assets like those who are part of the Avengers? Yeah. That's what I thought too. Anyway, enough its still fun and crazy stuff happens to look forward to the next Spiderman outing, so it's best if you watch this regardless. I give it 3 Edith's out of 5.

Tuesday 14 April 2020

Into the Breach

It's like chess. With robots.

When giant bugs invade the planet, it is up to a team of mechs to push them away from civilan cities (until the timer runs out)! This turn based pixel game has your units and those of the bugs have unique properties for moving, attacking and moving "other" units. That's the key to most of the game: positioning.

The small play area and turn count obscures the actual difficulty.

Enemies will always telegraph what they are going to do, so its up to you on how to best defend. They don't use many tactics, but there's lots of them and only three of you. I found this to be a very well designed game, and fun too - though better graphics and music would have been nice. Definitely one worth checking out, I give it 2.5 reactors out of 5.

Insight: Protecting the buildings is your priority, even if that means failing secondary objectives or losing mechs.

Monday 13 April 2020

Alita: Battle Angel

In the future, there is only... motorball?

When a female cyborg is reassembled in Iron City she awakens with amnesia, and is given the name Alita (Rosa Salazar) by her repairman. Soon enough she learns that she's quite capable in a brawl and shares the dreams of many to earn the right to go to the floating city of Zalem above where "a better life awaits".

Better chocolate too!

Right off the bat, the CGI is beautiful - it has to be with a main character like Alita - and the plot pacing is on point which kept us glued to the screen the whole time. There are action scenes a plenty (as the title might suggest) though I'm more lukewarm on the hurried romance side of the plot.

Still a good action flick, but be warned - as it follows a manga, its ending leaves you wanting more (a second movie, specifically). I give it 4 out of 5 and would definitely watch it again.

Sunday 12 April 2020

Little Inferno

The game for pyromaniacs.

Do you like burning things? If so, this game is for you. In it, you sit in front of a fire place, buy digital goods, and then proceed to burn said goods which earns you more money to buy more goods (which come in a wide assortment of things). You can burn spiders, toys and even JPG images on your computer!

Threw in a screenshot from Assassin's Creed: Unity since it was fitting.

Uh, yeah. So, that got really creepy really fast. Not one for me, thanks!

Saturday 11 April 2020

Enderal: Explosive Finale

[Part of the Cursed story line]

After explaining the situation to Calia we decide to hedge our bets on the best way to save the world. Two of the less damaged Arps, who aren't goblins at all but puppets, are re-awoken using the soul gems of Pahtira (who has been listening to everything from my pack the whole time) and Goliath, both happy to be mobile again.

I tell them that they will be the ones using the escape pods to fly up to Starcity as that is where their knowledge of machines will be best served. Meanwhile Calia will take a shortcut to the Myrad towers to fly across the sea to warn the other countries and give them all the knowledge we gained.

As for me, I would need to destroy the Beacon. After a tearful farewell with Calia, I returned to the Sun Temple with the two Arps following behind. Taranor's forces had broken in, but he along with everyone else who wasn't already dead lay twitching and burning from inside. The Arps get to the escape pods and fly off while I walk up to the Beacon, finding Tealor lying on top of it, still believing he did something good.

There is only one thing to do now...

I wait as long as I can to give Calia time to flee before using the Blind Miner's axe to destroy the Beacon's power source and causing a continent sized explosion. Hah. Dying to save the entire world. If only the matron mother at Ust Natha could see me n... *KABOOM!*

Insight: What a cool game! I've obviously skipped a bunch of stuff and changed a few things to condense the story so I highly recommend experiencing Enderal for yourself! Maybe you'll make different choices than I did? I also didn't even touch a number of their custom skill trees nor did I visit every location on the map.

Friday 10 April 2020

Enderal: History Repeating

[Part of the Cursed story line]

I don't know how far I've fallen when I come to, but it's nothing a healing potion or two can't fix. Following a single tunnel I come across a massive chamber housing a huge, unfinished and immobile "Goliath" robot. Like that incident with Pahtira, This one is also inhabited by a person - one who has survived countless Cycles in the machine body as the Cleansing (last part) skips non-flesh organisms.

This thing is massive.

It also reveals that what starts the Cleansing is always the same: activating the Beacon without the Numinos! Just as it has happened many times before - it was happening right now. The robot says there are only two choices left for me: to flee back to the Starcity via the escape pods we used prior, or to destroy the Beacon which would limit the destruction from being world wide to just being the continent of Enderal.

As a final request, it asks that I shut him down so that he finally "dies" but too late do I realize this is a trick, as his consciousness begins to swap bodies with my own! Luckily Calia arrives to save me just in time. This angers the Goliath who then uses his own creations: Arps, to try kill us. This does not go well for them or for him, as by the end - he is the one lying broken from an explosion.

Insight: The glowy suicide bomb Arps were killing me instantly if they got into melee, make sure you kill them at range!

Thursday 9 April 2020

Enderal: Numinos

[Part of the Cursed story line]

The wisps and specters in the vault tunnels are easily navigated to reach the Undercity which is in chaos. People infected by red madness, looters and a contingent of tough Nehrimise all have to be dealt with before we reach a collapsed tunnel that Yuslan reopens.

This leads deep down into the lost city we are looking for and it is full of stairs, corpses burned from within and lost ones, including a ghost dragon who collapses the ceiling and separating Calia from the group. Tealor, Yuslan and I push on and at an ancient Beacon, find the Numinos. Doesn't the fact that we found it here means it didn't work?

It's the perfect place for a knife in the back.

It doesn't matter because Yuslan gets to it first and reveals that he too is a traitor, and is the one that let the Nehrimise into the city the first time - all because Tealor killed his family long ago. He also admits to killing Lishari as she was too close to the truth before using himself as a human bomb to destroy the Numinos, a final act of revenge.

I take the brunt of the blaze as Tealor uses me as a human shield. With no way to stop the cycle now, the grand master is resolute in activating the Beacon as is - which is just going to be one huge explosion to take down the Nehrimise with everyone else. I try to grab his leg to stop him but he just stomps me down through the wooden floor.

Insight: The Nehrimise and the Lost Ones at the temple stairs are strong and in big numbers. Hanging back and sniping from the shadows works well provided you brought enough ammo with you.

Wednesday 8 April 2020

Enderal: Loyalties

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Warping back to Ark, Calia and I report to Tealor and then share an enjoyable evening while we still can. The following day I am tasked with helping Yuslan to decode the map and finds that it points to the last place a Beacon was used, centuries ago. In the city deep beneath Ark itself!

This revelation is interrupted when a bunch of Keepers attempt to sabotage the current Beacon and while they are stopped, their other traitorous compatriots have let the Nehrimise army into Ark in exchange for a truce, one Taranor is unlikely to keep for long.

The end times are a bloody business.

With the temple being the final stronghold, Tealor assembles a squad composed of Calia, Yuslan and myself to use the tunnels of the old vault to descend into the Undercity and beyond to find the Numinos. Everyone else just has to hold position. As there is no beating the Nehrimise now, it is his hope we can still use the Beacon to end the Cycle before they can get through. All Calia and I can think of is finding a way to escape the madness while we are down there.

Insight: There's a handy "point of no return" message, so get everything you need done before accepting.

Tuesday 7 April 2020

Enderal: Contingencies Activated

[Part of the Cursed story line]

It doesn't take long for Kurmai to wander off in the facility and by the time we find him he has lost his mind, blaming us for the absence of his people and activating the defenses of Starcity - all the machinations previously dormant power up, including a robot dragon that uses its laser beam to blast Kurmai into little bits.

Calia and I are the only ones to make it back indoors, fighting through robots and eventually stumble into an electricity trap. Luckily Jespar saves us by opening a nearby access panel that leads to the maintenance tunnels, stating that he's the only survivor from the outside team too as the dragon mech destroyed the airship!

Calia and Jespar, back to back.

Fortunately the tunnels lead to a library of sorts where we learn about a possible location of a Numinos as well as an old map pointing out it's location. We then use a spherical escape pod each (these Starlings thought of everything) which crash back down to the snowy region of Enderal. While Calia and I emerge unscathed, Jespar is not so lucky.

Insight: The mech dragon is a plot enemy rather than a regular enemy, so just expect to be running a lot when it shows up.

Monday 6 April 2020

Enderal: Mile High

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Kurmai's flying boat is short a few materials so Tealor's advisor Yuslan and I are sent to retrieve said components - myrading out to Duneville and making our way up to the ravaged lands of Thalgard to do so. Thalgard is home to particularly nasty enemies, having been exposed to a huge magical explosion from an experiment gone wrong ages ago.

Our mission is a success, and after a few more hours of installation a crew is assembled to go with Kurmai to the Starcity which includes both Jespar and Calia while Tealor and Yuslan see us off. During the long flight Calia finally gives into my charms and I let her experience all I learned from the lust chambers at Ust Natha. I knew those would come in handy!

The need to defy gravity is so strong in this place.

Refreshed, we arrive at the spectacular floating city but find it abandoned which rattles Kurmai a fair deal as he believed his people were waiting for him here. Jespar and some of the crew remain to guard the ship while a small away team including Calia and myself follow Kurmai to search for any mention of a Numinos.

Insight: Thalgard is the Chernobyl of Enderal and has some high radiation of arcane fever, especially if you go to the original blast site called the Sunfire. Bring potions of ambrosia.

Sunday 5 April 2020

Enderal: Ark Siege

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Once Calia is being tended to, I hand in the stones which start to power up the Beacon. Alas at that very moment the Nehrimise decide to attack the city so I go with Grandmaster Tealor himself to fight through the infiltrators and push back their regular infantry to retake the outer gate. During this, Tealor also executes the traitor Squad Leader Jorek, who helped the Nehrimise gain entry.

With the city re-secured, we quickly head back to the Beacon but learn that activating it now will just end up killing everyone. It needs one more part, a "Numinos" to work safetly and the lead to find it comes in a most surprising form: crazy Kurmai the egg collector!

During the siege he was caught trying to steal material from the Keeper's headquarters to complete his flying ship to reach the Star City, which according to the researchers would be the best repository of knowledge to find a Numinos. I would have said it was far fetched, had I not already been inside a crashed star ship previously. At his workshop we find that his air ship is almost complete!

All these people wanting to be birds is absurd.

Insight: Tealor is ubertough and can kill all the enemies by himself if you prefer to just afk in a corner somewhere. Also, massive plot hole in that you'd think the Nehrimese would just get a bunch of "teleport to Ark" scrolls and open the gates again. :P

Saturday 4 April 2020

Enderal: What they do in the Shadows

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Calia has a lead on the final stone so I journey with her up to a well fortified castle in the mountains that was once the home of a renowned healer. It's obvious from the scattered research notes and the amount of lost ones that at some point he stopped being a healer and became more of a mad scientist though, apparently using the black stone on his dead child to revive her.

While exploring the castle we get separated by a portcullis shut by some crafty mercenaries that were shadowing us to take the artifact for themselves. Calia is captured easily, and she becomes their plaything for a time while I continue the mission and collect the stone. Turns out resurrection by black stone has a side effect - it gives the person a "shadow form monster". It's pretty clear that this child was Calia herself.

She did not have a good time.

Upon returning to her, I find the portcullis blasted open and Calia stripped naked and unconscious. Pieces of the merc crew lie scattered everywhere in pools of blood and things that shouldn't be on fire somehow are. Guess they didn't know who they were fucking with, literally. I wrap Calia up in a blanket and take both her and the stone back to the safety of Ark.

Insight: It just occurs to me this game is kinda dark. I'd better stop recommending it to younger people. :P

Friday 3 April 2020

Enderal: Wishbreaker

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Jespar and I return to Ark to meet up with Grandmaster Tealor who is facing many critics upon the coming war, most vocally from Squad Leader Jorek, but Tealor refuses to surrender the Beacon. Instead he tasks us with finding three black stones to power it. To help in this endeavor, Tealor commands the guards to lift the kill on sight command previously on me and after paying an exorbitant fee I'm free of the law men again. It also helps that Mael, the instigator of that command, has left the city, presumably to pursue Dijaam across the sea.

The first of the black stones actually belongs to Jespar's family, most likely with his estranged sister since he doesn't have it. Our search for her reveals that she is also the vigilante known as the Bone Judge. When we finally catch up to her, we find the stone is what gives her her power and since Jespar can't talk her into surrendering I end up killing her. Jespar hates me for this, and spirals into a dark place full of powdered drugs, alcohol and whores. 

Sorry kid, the greater good is always better than a single person's happiness.

I track the next stone to a village near Duneville where everyone seems pretty happy. The owner of this artifact is a little boy whose only hope is to find someone to play with and using the power to create a "reality" where people like him and refuse to leave. I have no choice but to take the stone from him by force and kill the deformed child. As a result the people in the town die too, since they haven't eaten anything real for years and were just being sustained through the boy's wish.

Insight: Not sure why I couldn't pay my fine earlier, I guess I needed to wait long enough for the NPCs to respawn without aggro?

Thursday 2 April 2020

Enderal: The Cycle

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Getting caught turns out to be the fastest way to meet the Nehrimise commander, Taranor, who finds and uses the magic plate to contact Tealor. Apparently there's significant evidence about of a cycle here in Enderal, one nearing its end in which all life simply vanishes.

The Keepers have been trying hard to stop it but the atheistic Nehrimise don't want that. They believe the cycle ends with evolving into something else, something greater. Hence they have come to wage war to stop the Keepers plans, unless Tealor agrees to stop constructing the device Lishari's team recovered from the dig site which they call "the Beacon".

Tealor flatly refuses, so the war is on. Being a good sport, Taranor decides against simply executing Jespar and I there and then - instead putting us on a raft  to let chance decide our fate. Fortune favors us as a passing fishing vessel picks us up after a few hours and takes us to Duneville.

They also didn't take any of our gear, that's convenient!

Here I find Esme once again, who lets all her feelings off her chest. With nothing left for her here, I urge her to find passage elsewhere before she gets caught up in the coming war. Or the end of the cycle. Whatever comes first.

Insight: This is unrelated to the current post but don't try attack any of the Rhalata in their main base (or do it off a save). The result is clever, humorous and fatal.

Wednesday 1 April 2020

Enderal: Undertrain

[Part of the Cursed story line]

After defeating some crystal elementals Jespar and I finally reach the temple and find Firespark waiting with the front door open. Not far in a trio of pressure plates that need to be stepped on simultaneously splits up the party in this trap filled temple which likes to play mind games.

Let's split up! What could possibly go wrong?

By the time I meet up with Jespar and Firespark, the old mage has already gone mad - another victim of "Red Madness". I shoot an arrow into his mouth, killing him before he can cast any spells. Not long after Jespar and I find a corpse that looks exactly like me!? No, this temple sure knows how to play with people's minds. I am the true Solaufein!

We push on to the lower levels, defeating numerous lost ones and find the Undertrain and get the ancient vehicle working. It takes a few hours to reach our destination which is another station filled with lost ones, but once those are clear it's just a short hike before we are within sight of the main Nehrimise fort.

It is then that both Jespar and I get knocked out and captured. In hindsight, the Undertrain is not the stealthiest of approaches.

Insight: Did I mention I hate railroading? Because I hate railroading. Anyway, have a melee weapon ready once you reach the arrival station. The lost ones are literally swarming the door as you step out.