Monday, August 7, 2017

Game #71: Might and Magic III: Isles of Terra (SNES) - A Key Divining

I've really been overthinking this game
This time after being eradicated, and resurrected, there were no negative effects. Maybe due to already going through the process he's now paid his due, or it's random. Moving on, I started to go through the rumors at each inn, but noticed how little they told me. I stopped after Baywatch. Using the red and green keys I went through both dungeons, and gathered 2 Ultimate Power Orbs and a hologram card from each. It makes me think there are two orbs in each colored key dungeon, and a hologram card. Rather than try for all orbs, spread out to all kings, I'm focusing on the neutral king Tumult.
6 keys + 6 hologram cards is nearly an entire character's inventory
I tried to create a couple of characters to hold onto quest items until I found a use for them, and to offload keys to dungeons I've already completed. I then remembered that I'm unable to discard these items. To trade an item, you first have to choose discard, select no, then select yes and pick a character. Problem with these quest items: the option to discard them is disabled completely. This also means even if I found a hireling with a key, I would need to take them along in the dungeon.
The game still surprises me with random bugs as I somehow stepped outside the bounds of the map -- luckily etherialize brought me back in bounds
After completing the red and green dungeons I looted the castles (except Whiteshield's password locked chests as I still haven't solved the countersign puzzle). As I suspected, most of the treasures in the castle led to more gold and gems rather than quest items. There were some ancient artifacts, which got me experience for characters of matching alignment. I also freed up some inventory slots by selling off items that only offered 4 or less AC as I'm running 70+ AC due to mostly obsidian gear.
I'm pretty sure I don't need anymore treasure at this point -- I can probably live off the interest
Now done with most dungeons, I went back through the riddles I had noted. Yud in Swamp Town was the oldest. I tried lake, mountain, town, things that might go up and down without moving. I thought the answer might be something that exists in the game since Yad's answer was. With someone in chat asking if I had just tried ladder, my mind went nearly directly to stairs, which I can't recall actually being represented in the game. So, a small hint, and I received that password, which I still don't know how it'll help though I'm certain it's near the end game.
Did I just find the main quest?
Having avoided the main lands for too long, I decided it was time to fully populate the auto-map on every isle. The swamp land had the most clues. Once a king had 11 power orbs, I would receive something I needed to take to the pyramid on Fire Isle. There I would present the hologram cards. It makes me wonder if the remaining 20 power orbs are spread throughout the other four pyramids. On the Frozen Isles there's a fountain that increases all attributes 100 points, and combined with a well that increases effective level by 50 (which stacks), I temporarily overpower my characters with buffing spells. I managed to tear through three dungeons before the buffs ran out.
There are some statues that say they'll remember me, but even after activating them all I got this same message
Dragon Cavern produced a couple more orbs and a lot of treasure. The Magic Cavern on the desert isle produced the golden key, and the Cursed Cold Cavern delivered the black key. With those I should be able to access the last two dungeons in the swamp land, and gather up the last two hologram cards. I delivered all the quest items I gathered, and returned to the Cathedral of Darkness to get the hologram card there.

This was a lot easier when I took the clues as they were
Again, I was overthinking this puzzle. I thought I needed to apply the key to the full phrase Mighty Moose, which didn't include 'ighty'. I also copied down each letter in the surrounding rooms on a single line, not considering until this time that it was a substitution key where the columns matter. The puzzle of the five heads, however, continues to confound me. I'm just not sure what combination of north, south, east, west, would unlock the orbs. I might be able to brute force it, but time involved is too great. I also try not to do that if there's a clear clue.
I'm just not sure how this applies
So, I feel like I'm staring down the end game. With the fountains and wells at my disposal, it's really only riddles that could hold me up. My next goal will be the two dungeons: Tomb of Terror and Diabolical Maze. Then I hope I have enough orbs to enter the fiery isle pyramid. If not I might need to explore another pyramid for them. Either way, I expect to wrap it up this week.

Elapsed Time: 11h02m (Total Time: 58h04m)

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