Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Game 19: Swords and Serpents (NES) - Finished!

Now just connect your official Nintendo printer to the NES and save this certificate
I was all set to write up an intermediate post. I even had a post title picked out, "and Downward Winding Ways," as the game was quickly losing steam. I nearly called off the final expedition as my spell points started to run low on the 14th floor; I just so happened to bump into a magic fountain as the thought passed. I then decided I'd press on for a bit more, and ended up beating the game.
Thanks for ignoring the warning signs; here's some experience
The last session left off as I started to explore the 9th floor. The stairs down from the 8th proved to be a dead end, although offered another hint about "victory" that I wrote down. The real entrance was back on the 4th, which I previously found. While I was up there I ran through the 3rd and found the gold key, which allowed me access to another useless ruby item (Ruby Glasses).
I missed the hint that explained zoom tubes entered backwards can lead to a different level; glad it wasn't necessary
The only helpful zoom tube on the 9th led to the 13th, which had yet another that connected to the 10th floor. After reading a FAQ, I now know all the tubes on the 13th result in the same destination, but at the time I wondered where the other seven tubes would go.
You have passwall right?
On the 10th was the last temple, stairs to level 11, an old man who likes to count pieces of ruby equipment, and an armory. The temple works like all the others, free healing a recovery; I learned the starting temple after loading a game is based on the floor the party stopped on, not the last temple visited. I also learned the horseshoe can be used every time a game is loaded, not that it's needed.
Two things wrong with this picture; can you spot them?
It was about this time I noticed max HP and SP is 31. This was reached long before max level, which is 16. Attributes still go up, so there is that, but since gold is useless, and experience is now useless, the only thing combat has going for it are item drops. None compare to the Plus 3 or Ruby sword, and once I found the Magic Plate, items were nothing more than a burden that required disposal.
Stop it, Norck! We don't need anymore useless yellow metal
On the 11th floor was the Ruby Sword, found by dancing on its tip (the floor map looks like a sword). Piecing together two earlier clues to turn seven times and the sword was hidden at the point was simple enough. The 12th level contained the Black Crystal, an item sought after since the beginning.
Wow, this looks important, but I never did figure out its meaning
The 12th level was really simple, and I still don't understand the clue. I found the crystal in the very last unexplored room. At least it wasn't all for naught since I picked up the Regenerate spell, which fully heals a character. Delivering the Black Crystal to the old man on level 1 transports the party to an unreachable section of level 13 that is completely walled off.
And so, the noble party starved to death; Luckily a wandering monk brought them back to the temple
I was too loose with my magic, and ran out in the middle of a Passwall maze. With no way out, I had to use "Last Resort" from the menu. This caused all HP to drain, and I awoke at the temple on the 10th floor. On my return trip I learned I was only a single Passwall away from a magic fountain, but I was blocked by a group of mages that had a good chance of wiping out my party anyway. At least it was easy to get the Ruby Amulet on my second attempt.
Teleport to level 14 without escape!
With all seven pieces of ruby equipment the old man who likes to count them teleported me without warning to level 14. I should have expected it by now. Levels 14 and 15 are heavily connected with stairs going up and down all over the place. It was rather uneventful. I ran from most fights I could, but found some encounters were set. I managed to find the stairs down to level 16 before completely running out of magic.
Each level has a name, this one is Dragon... I wonder why
And so began the end game. I looked back over my notes, and they all seemed to line up. I just hoped I hadn't missed any.
Nowhere else in the game does specific movement trigger a teleporter without a trigger message
Even following the messages I became a bit lost, but found my way to the inner sanctum of the dragon. Fighting the serpent was a simple matter of having the mages first buff and then heal the party while the fighter and thief wailed on him. He went down without much fuss.
We all knew there was a dragon, and no one brought a protection from fire spell?
Finally got a fourth silver helm!
I'm a bit glad I pushed through to the end. I mean if I hadn't, then the actual finishing post would have been ultra light. Although I suppose I could have tried to fill it with all the "victory" messages pieced together. That's it, game over guys, time to go home. The ending has the screen flash wildly, displays passwords for all characters, and then the final screen up top. Those loop until you turn off the NES.
Kilian the fighter returns to his barbarian lands with his new dragon head trophy

Norick the thief steals off into the night as he counts his ":362" pieces of gold

Weavil decides to become the new dragon
Pathos attempts to take over the temples and turn them into a resort
Good times, glad this one is over (I always say this) since it was really becoming a bit of a chore near the end. The rewards for combat dropped out completely, and I'm a little disappointed by the ending.

I've already written up the final rating post, just need to review the draft and put pictures in it. I'm eager to start Dragon Warrior II, so I'm hoping to wrap up that post by tonight. And, in case anyone wants the intermediate passwords, here they are:

Norick - X29R7NT9P3BRK
Weavil - WA49YMFGAQQB?
Pathos - 4RZMTMGK6B2K
Game - SQERS???XS94VK

Kilian - XEH6Z73TP9SWCH?
Norick - 279F7PXEP3GJ?
Weavil - ?J4EZ6OKUUZQ3B?
Pathos - NNZI7FK?6C?CW
Game - GQERS??4X7XX9K

Session Time: 5h25m (Final Time: 12h10m)


  1. Man recaps and password trading of their game in progress via blog post online between presumed adults in 2013, I wonder how the devs would have responded if someone had postulated that eventuality way back during beta...


    1. Not really sure if anyone is using them or would find them useful, but why not, right? ;)

  2. Congrats on another victory. Looking forward to the scoring.

    Including the passwords is rather moot as far as functionality - but for the blog / story telling aspect you're doing / etc - I think it's cute and awesome.

    You'll want graph paper for the ending pushes of DW2 (cave to rhone has lots of pitfalls / reset-to-start-of-this-floor stuff).

    Otherwise, pay attention to what towns folk say (as you've been doing in all of your game plays anyway) and you should do alright. The game does *hint* at everything and your memory of it should kick in too.

    In my current play through I did some glitches and am currently looking into maxing out my levels just so I can do X number of end boss runs to see what % fail (and X number of end boss runs without the 3 sub bosses alive). Just grinding out that last 200k of exp is boooorrrrrring :(.

    1. I was playing DW2 in 2001 when my son was born. He was a bit time-consuming, so I never got back to DW2. I remember making it through a bunch of dungeons and not being quite sure where to go next. It was pretty open-ended. I wish I could dig up that save and keep at it. At the very least, I'll get to read about it here.

    2. @unfy: that's quite a task. What is max level? I remember grinding up to get the Chance spell.

      @Cush: hopefully I can get through it without much trouble then. I already had my first set back, save battery doesn't seem to function after turning off the system (it works with a soft reset, and turning off the system for only 10 minutes).

  3. What was the purpose of giving you passwords for all the characters after you finished the game?
    Hopefully not just to restart the game with them.

    1. I really didn't bother to check if those passwords would load in the beginning. I would need a game password as well to load them, so I can only imagine it was an option to port characters to another game.