Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Game 26: Rings of Power (Genesis) - A Wall On The Horizon

I can see it. I'm about to hit a wall. My clues are drying up quickly. By the end of this post they're so few I have trouble planning what to do when I play next. If I can't find anything more, then I'll have to review everything I have once more and hope for a moment of inspiration. My main hurdle at this point is I still haven't located a place to buy dragons. (As I typed this I realized I didn't properly search the City of Commerce's vehicles, the most likely place to purchase rare items.)
So far not even close to the longest game, but who knows when it will end if I have to scour the map more than once
Last session I had just recovered the War Key from Sparta, and made my way to the paladins' fortress. The document locked in the chest to help me with one of the rings proved fruitless. It merely told me the order of Variation, something I'd figured out on my own (it's not too hard as they only fit in a certain order given the room and starting square). That was my one hope for the Ring of Advancing. I ventured back to the Great Cathedral for more research.
Are you telling me I need to find all 11 rings and then some other Foozle?
I started to despair, but I still had a few hints left. I decided the most tangible was the thief who stole the map from the sorcerer in Oxbridge. It was in Thieves Haven where I learned a bit more about the Ring of Mutation. The guildmaster there confirmed the ring had taken human form. He then directed me to speak with all the other enchanter masters to gather more clues. I then found the thief I was looking for, not in the thieves' guild but in the inn.
Another bit of dialogue no one saw as it flashed on the screen a frame before combat began
The map I picked up off this thief pointed me towards a piece of snow drift in the middle of nowhere. Some kind of orb was buried there, and while it took me a bit of time to find exactly which square was at the center, I exacerbated the issue by not reading the directions completely (missed a bit that told me it was at the center). What the orb does, or how it might solve the final piece of the sorcerer's message (a key given to a friend that vanished) I haven't the foggiest idea. I've tried to use it and show it to the sorcerer, but he doesn't acknowledge it at all. Another dead end, for the time being.
At this point I started revisiting old locations, and noticed I'd never entered this house
Well, I took a trip back to Sunrise/Sunset to check for anything I may have missed. This after I visited Sarah's parents' house and found her not returned, she's completely vanished. I found a house I immediately recognized I'd overlooked in my initial search. Inside were two youths; one that mentioned a missing key to the backroom. After a short search of the other houses I found it, unlocked the door, and retrieve the Youth Milk.
Because it does a body good
Returning it to the regent accomplished very little. He said he'd make sure the king got it, but the king wasn't any better. At least he trusted me enough to open all the doors (save the king's own). I used the iron key to speak to the king privately without angering anyone. He instructed me to kill the regent and retake the milk. I'm not sure why killing the regent at this point was okay, but before was not. I mean, the guards suddenly didn't care about it. Also, I wonder what would happen if I ignored the king's request and merely retrieved another carton of milk. In any case, I took the easy way out, killed the regent, and received the milk (instead of the castle key as I did previously).
A fairly simple ring to get once I found the right house
This bit of progress inspired me to return to Richi. The queen continued to insist I would need to gather intel on the key to the crypt below. I was most confused by these instructions because I thought it meant I needed to find a key somewhere else. There was a door locked with a ladder visibly beyond it. Apparently, this door opened once the lens was delivered. I believed it was for this door I needed the key. I stumbled upon the open passage in an effort to prove the door was still locked, only to find it wide open. The enchanted locked door was actually inside the crypt, with the key floating about on its own just out of reach.
The clue from Cathedral mentioned covering all my bases, and the floor tiles change when traversed, another simple puzzle
The key to this puzzle was to turn them all from one color to another. Then the key remained stationary and unlocked the door. As with the tomb in Necropolis, this crypt had some zombies roaming around. It also had Imino, another sorcerer. He claimed the right to the Ring of Advancing, and challenged me when I wouldn't allow him to leave. This fight was easier than the one at the Cave of Perfection.
I'm pretty sure I'm right before max level as I've stopped gaining levels as easily, but can cast most spells
This leaves me with three rings: Intuition, which I need to find a vanished friend who has a key (I have no idea what the key unlocks); Blood, which might prove incredibly simple once I have a dragon and access to the Power Lord; Mutation, which is a woman and very little else is known. I spent the remaining time gathering clues on Mutation from the Enchanter Guildmasters. A conjuror (spelled with an 'o' this time) noticed a woman at some inn that had the aura of a Ring of Power. You'd think he'd have marked the location of such an oddity. Another master enchanter reported a mutated object or person must be shown an image of its original form in order to be restored. I'm not sure if this means any of the rings will do, or if I need a mock Ring of Mutation.
My last stop for the night was at Mr. B's... the ring leader of the bandits
Not enough to go on for mutation, I set my sights on Mr. Belmont's residence. Sadly, the only thing I learned of was his interest in the town of Mesa. Nothing else moved him to divulge any secrets. Writing all this out, I believe the City of Commerce is my next stop. I hope to find a dragon for sale, and possibly another enchanter guild for another hint. I believe I've been to them all and only received those two clues. I'd hate to have to venture to all the inns in the world and hope that using the show command will transform a woman back into the ring she was. I could also try to return to the combat's I've skipped to see if they drop any helpful items. Maybe I can release this dove and it'll lead me to the mysterious friend with a key.
How about this, it's a town that can only be reached by a dragon... got one?
Elapsed Time: 2h04m (Total Time: 22h10m)


  1. I vaguely remember having a hard time with this one. You need to buy something that will summon a dragon, but not get a dragon itself (the name of the thing should be obvious, though). If I remember correctly, you can only get them from jnaqrevat zrepunagf (rot13, though not really sure if this counts as a spoiler?).

    Although an interesting game for its time, I don't particular remember enjoying the user interface or design. I wonder if it ever passed on its design to other games, or where it got it from in the first place?

    1. Yeah, I think I'll read through the manual before I play next (I barely made any progress). The manuals mentions Dragon Stones purchased from either wandering merchants or the Mesa general store. Of course, to reach Mesa a dragon is necessary, so wandering merchants are a necessity. The problem, I haven't run into any. The only one that might be considered one is Rashiid, but I haven't found him ever selling dragon stones. Maybe there's one particular oasis where he does so. I'll add that to my short list of things to explore next time. Interface is a bit sluggish, and combat is a pain most of the time, but I have enjoyed piecing things together so far.

    2. I'll leave this here for future reference in case anyone who's unlikely playing this game has troubles with the DragStones: The wandering merchants mentioned are the ones traveling the world on vehicles. Any Dino, boat or ship (or dragon, but you can't interact with those) that you see is either an enemy party (easy to recognize cause they ram you directly and shoot you Dino fireballs or ship cannonballs) or a, guess what, wandering merchant (in this case you'll see them minding their own businness, just wandering around randomly). You need to approach them (the bottom screen will show something like "this is another party") and press B, hoping they'll not change direction while you do this as it would result in you examining the tile you're in, making them disappear. BTW, that can be used as a trick to avoid encounters when your party is weak. If you see a party running directly at you (therefore being hostile) just press B before they reach you and they'll be gone.

    3. Good to know it's intended to be random, and I didn't just miss the one merchant in a town that sells it. I got really lucky finding the one stone that I did.

  2. Self-imposed no-FAQ rules such as yours remind me of when I was playing CRPGs and there were no FAQs. Instead I got to wait up to six weeks for the hintbook I ordered to arrive. Or in the case of Shadowgate, learn how to beat it from a classmate in the high school lunchroom.

    Yeah, I don't miss any of that.

    1. Yeah, I do wonder whether it was a good idea in the first place, but I'm doing my best to stick with it unless I become stuck for very long. I'll give it another night, but I've barely made any progress.

  3. So I looked at an FAQ. It lists the ring of blood and intuition as both being hard in difficulty to get. But it lists the ring of mutation as being easy. I think you'll figure it out. As far as the orb, reasoning what you are suposed to do with it, since you already attempted it I don't think it is too spoliery, you said you showed it to the Sorcerer. Since you tried it already and you aren't going to find it anywhere else. The FAQ did say you show the orb to the the sorcerer in Oxbridge, and he is suposed to give you the next clue. I'd hate for you to waste time when it something you tried already.

    1. okay... well, I just confirmed that showing him the orb does nothing. Also using the orb at him does nothing. Maybe I bugged the game out somehow (e.g. getting the dove from him early)?

      My only progress last night was acquiring the picture of the ring of mutation from the enchanters, but I went to every inn that I can reach and showed the picture to the woman upstairs... no ring found yet. Unless the inn and girl I'm looking for is in Mesa I'm going to need a hint for all these rings.

      I've also been to every Rashiid oasis I could find and none of them sell dragon stones. I'm not sure what's meant by "wandering merchant" if not them.

      So, since my game seems to be bugged I definitely want to see what the sorcerer is supposed to say (I hope he isn't supposed to give me an item or something... other than the dove). Someone please copy paste if you can.

      Please someone also post rot13 hints for where to find the merchant that sells dragon stones as well as any hints I missed on the ring of mutation and a separate one to spoil the location in case I need it. I don't want to spend another night wandering around aimlessly, or necessitating going back to every town, every person, and selecting every option hoping something clicks.

    2. nevermind, I peeked at one part. Seems there are two sorcerers in oxbridge, one inside a house. I will look into that and maybe explore all the towns again. I guess I wasn't as thorough as I thought, and maybe I should re-explore all the towns.

    3. and thinking on it more, I've really only visited locations during the day... I wonder if the dragon stone merchant and the ring of mutation are only around during the night.

    4. Wandering merchants nyjnlf geniry ol fuvcf, obngf be qvab. V'z cerggl fher lbh unir gb jnvg sbe gurz gb fubj hc (v.r., vg vfa'g Enfuvvq).

    5. Thanks. Good to know it's here. I haven't looked at it yet. I'll check it out after I talk to the new sorcerer in Oxbridge, and recheck all the towns off the main continent. Seems I wasn't thorough in visiting every house.