With stats more appropriately leveled to match HP, I ventured once again to the previously mapped caves of Moon and Madness. While there was much gold found, the marks were all the same (Kings and Fire). Getting through these two caves alone took 2 hours, and I was about to wrap up for the night defeated once again. That is until I remembered I didn't have a map for the Cave of Fool.
What was to be a quick jaunt to map this last cave became a full expedition. The layout looked very basic, so I ended up exploring most of the cave. For those more familiar with the game, you'll know that I was rewarded for my efforts by finding the Mark of Force.
I've given up on finding the pick for now (and thus the mystic equipment), and I'm placing all my bets on the fourth mark in order to finish the game. Once again, I haven't visited the fortune teller, so I'll be sure to do that first thing. I seem to have plenty of gold now, and maybe she'll give me some insight on the location of the fourth mark.
Having a higher Dex has helped Trick avoid more traps, but most are less of a threat being level 25; poison is more of an annoyance than a concern. This last trip through the Cave of Fool provided so much gold that Trick reached the maximum of 9999 gold. I'm actually not sure how, as I can't recall opening more than 100 chests (although I suppose it happened).
|Moments before Trick attempts to stuff 3,000 more gold into his pockets...|
Weight limits, inventory limits, max stats, party size limits, and so on all scream, "this is a game!" to me. I can see reasons for having them of course (some good, some bad), but most seem to boil down to limited memory or arbitrary limits. What is the reason to only have four digits of gold? Why not five? Phantasy Star had an inventory limit, which really boggled my mind considering a soda and a suit of armor (not to mention a hovercraft) each took one slot. Immersion is broken once again by the limitations of computers.
Limits can add to the challenge of a game, or attempt to keep it in some kind of balance; however, the benefit here is only for the game instead of the experience the player wants to shape. I'm probably rambling by now, so I'll stop now. Next time with enough luck will be the final part.