This is a game I have already played through, both in its original version and in the form of this remake. However, it was just launched on steam and I pirated it the first time around, so I decided to make this right this time. The game is well worth the money, what with being a Spiderweb game.
There’s that music in my head again…
Since then, I’ve loved every single one of their games. The only series I never played extensively was Geneforge, but I intend to eventually remedy that as well. Any CRPG fan should get each and every one of these games.If you actually are a returning reader of this blog, you probably know I absolutely love games by Spiderweb Software. It started with me playing the shareware versions of their Exile series, back in the nineties. I loved the world, the mechanics, the open-endedness and the dynamic progression it had. Nethergate pulled me in with the Celtic/Roman combination of mythology and atmosphere as well as the fresh new graphic system back then.
As I said, I already played through this one, but I got it anyway and I might play through it again,even
It seems the Selkies weren’t telling me everything. I’ve found the witches that rule Hagfen and they told me the only reason they’re hunting Selkies is because they killed one of their sisters. I spoke to the Selkies chieftain and he admitted this, but still refuses to end the feud. I guess I’ll have to pick a side in this one. I think the witches will be going down, but not yet because they can teach me some useful skills. I’m wandering around trying to collect some money to pay for the training in these skills before I kill them (hey, I took the evil Roman side, so I might as well be evil). The talking skull actually has some useful things to say. It pointed me in the direction of some powerful Nether spells. Thanks to it, I now know how to cast the spells Create Elixir and Hero of Old. Create Elixir uses up one skill point, but creates some powerful potions in return. Hero of old, on the other hand, temporarily turns one character in to an all powerful killing machine. While looking Sylak’s artifacts; Sylak’s Eternal Candle. No more need for carrying around candles and torches when exploring caves and dungeons. Besides the candle, I now own Sylak’s Exuberant Trash, Sylak’s Talking Skull and Sylak’s Clever Pen. I’ve also solved a few miscellaneous quests, and gained a few levels. I took a break here and will continue later.
EDIT: After killing some basilisks, I managed to find another Sylak’s artifact; Sylak’s Chaotic Dice. All it seems to do is roll a number, but it might have a hidden use like the skull. I also managed to finally enter the invisible castle. It seems there was no puzzle. All I needed to do is walk into an empty space where the gate should be. This got me to Chapter IV, Cathrac’s Eye. In the meantime, the Skull told me there’s a Nether Arts spell in the Burial Glen, and the Vale of the Sould. To get the eye, I had to kill the king’s brother. It was a long dungeon crawl through the castle. I got allot of experience and items which I sold for lots and lots of money. On the way out the sprites tried to steal the eye from me, but a Roman Legion came to help me. I gave them the eye and returned to the Fort. The commander had bad news. It seems someone stole the eye from the warehouse during the night. They actually dug u tunnel underneath the fort. The commander ordered me to clear the tunnel. After doing this, I got my next mission. I have to collect a crown from Annwn, the land of the dead. It seems there is a gate that can lead me there somewhere between Shadow Valley Fort and Nethergate. I decided to visit the Burrow Glen to get a spell the Skull told me about. I’ve found the altar that teaches me the spell, but it seems I didn’t meet the requirements to learn it. I will return to it later. I did finally burn the remains of that lost soul from the beginning of the game. I then returned to Hagfen and solved a pushing block puzzle which led me to the pelts the Selkies want. After delivering the pelts and getting the number five key (I already have 1 trough 4), I decided to kill the Selkies chieftain and skin him (evil, bwahahaha…). In exchange for the pelts, I got three points in craft circle. It still isn’t enough to cast Break Barrier which is probably the most important craft circle spell. Leaving Hagfen, I stumbled into a sprite village. Their chief asked me to kill a mean Fomorian that was attacking and eating them. In return, they gave me nothing except some experience. Solving miscellaneous quests, I acquired a few more Sylak’s artifacts including Sylak’s Dancing Cloth, Sylak’s Assisting Horn and Sylak’s Efficient Mortar
The Roman soldier was defeated, but he managed to teleport away before I could finish him. Now I have to find out where his base is. While searching the base, I ran into a griffin stuck under a huge rock. I helped him and he flew away towards the west so I decided to follow him. It was a good move, because it led me to a cliff inhabited by other griffins. After passing some tests that they’ve setup for me, I met their leader named Raven. He asked me to deliver a message for him which got me allot of experience. I’ve found the Hollow Halls where the Rose Lady lives that Desire wants me to kill. I won’t kill her jet because I think she has a quest or two for me in stock. I’ve also visited Selkiehome whose leader asked for my help with some people that hunt them. I couldn’t find the castle my commander mentioned. It should be in the southwest but it seems to be invisible. I guess I have to solve a puzzle to enter it.
EDIT: I did a little more questing. I got the jewel that fomorians stole from Moonfire and she gave me the Wand of Safe Descent. The wand helped me get the stones for Samael. In return, he taught me how to cast some powerful spells. I also killed another fomorian that was bullying some goblins. They gave me a special pen that belongs to the greatest faery inventor. I’ve also killed some fomorians dancing around an altar on a hill. It seems they where worshiping a talking skull of all things. I took the skull, and now it won’t shut up. Right now I’m fulfilling my promise to the Selkies about disposing of some creatures that are hunting them. I’ve found the location, and now I have to find the leader of the hunters. An interesting thing about Selkies is that at some point in their life they transform to seals for a while and then they turn back to their regular form. I also did some training and have bought a few nice items.
Haven’t played much today. I’ve spent most of my day installing Ubuntu on my system and trying to get Internet access. I’ve cleared most of the cave, and then got stuck killing the deserting soldier. He summons some snakes, and my weak characters get surrounded. The snakes do lots of damage even to my fighters, so you can imagine my mages don’t survive for too long. I’ll do another attempt tomorrow.
I managed to escape Goagh-Nar. It turns out there’s was a secret way out to the east. When I got out, I got ambushed by sprites and they stole the Skull. The commander wasn’t pleased, but he immediately sent me to get the next artifact. It seems to be located in a castle to the southwest. I did some more exploring afterwards, solved a few quests, got a few nice items, and learned a few new spells. I’ve found the temple where the golden goblet is located that Desire wants, so I’m currently in its lower levels.
EDIT: Cleared the temple and it wasn’t easy. I brought the goblet back to the crones and got a measly resistance ring for it. Even the items I’ve found at the temple were better. I did some more training and exploring afterwards, got a kid his ball back, found another lost soldier, and now I’m at some cave where a Roman soldier asked me to help him catch some deserters that stole an artifact from him. I took a break here.
I’ve been playing a little more, and have cleared most of the abandoned mine. I ran into a drake or a dragon (it’s definitely a huge lizard) named Mozanos, who wanted to die in battle so I granted him that wish. He had some nice stuff in his lair including a nice armor, and a Fury helm. The only place I didn’t explore is a room past a huge cliff because all my characters die if I jump off (ill return when I get stronger). After the mine I did a little exploring around the valley and found some locations. I met the Giant Intelligent Friendly Spiders (G.I.F.T.s) whose chief asked me to help them with a problem. It seems the female spiders keep eating them after mating so there’s less and less of them every day. I have to visit their Queen in a place far away from there and ask her what to do. I also visited an undead city, but I couldn’t do anything there (all the doors were locked) so I’ll have to return later. I also helped some Roman soldiers defend from a goblin attack, and was ambushed by some goblins myself (they wanted revenge for destroying their mine). I’ve found a goblin village but decided not to attack it (they might have a use later), and have located the residence of the three crones that seem to want to help me. I decided to take a break now and continue later.
EDIT: I have visited the three crones. Their names are Vengeance, Mystery and Desire. Desire wants me to steal a golden goblet from a temple to the north. After that I returned to the undead city and managed to open a few locks. I didn’t find much, but I did meet a spirit that asked me to burn his remains and give him peace. Some locks remained closed, so I couldn’t help him yet. To cross a bridge and continue north I had to pay a toll to some giants (they are too strong to fight now). I managed to find the Ruined Hall where the meeting I have to attend takes place, and I also had some tea with an old woman named Pearlblossom. She said she used to live in a castle, but they accused her of stealing some earrings and threw her out. Some witch on a hill to the north asked me to find two skulls that goblins to the east stole from her. I also met a hermit that wants me to deliver a message to another hermit to the north of his house, and a skeletal warrior that needs my help finding his soldiers scattered across Shadowvale. I think I have work to do 🙂
EDIT2: I went and explored the Ruined Hall. I met a faery warrior there and found out the names of my archenemies (Auberon and Titania). The papers I needed to find where in the level below the hall. On the way out the faery warrior (Dolojan) tried to ambush me so I had to kill her. After bringing the papers to the commander, he gave me my next mission. It seems the enemy is looking for three artifacts and I need to get them first. The first one is the Skull of Stone and is located in Goagh-Nar. I did some exploring and got a few quests. I also found three of the skeleton warrior’s soldiers. I stumbled in to the Vale of the Sould. It’s a facility that deals in selling souls for protection and is owned by a weir faery named Samael. He wants me to retrieve some stones from the goblin mine. They are past that deadly cliff I mentioned before. He told me I should be able to find something to help me survive the fall in the Faerie Bazaar. I went there and a merchant named Moonfire told me he can give me a wand that protects the user from falls if I help him find a Fomorian thief. I’ll do that later. I went to Vanariaum and hired a druid there before I continued to Goagh-Nar. This got me to Chapter 3.
Goagh-Nar turned out to be a Fomorian city. Their queen asked me to help them with a fomorian tribe that went crazy living in the caves beneath their city. I have to destroy some weird tablets that make them crazy. On the way down I’ve found the Skull of Stone. After destroying the tablets, the passage I used to get in got blocked so I guess now I have to fight my way out. I stopped there and will probably continue later.
It’s a shareware game from Spiderweb software. I love other games from them so I decided to try this one. I chose the Roman side and started a new game. My party is made up from a spear fighter, a standard sword/shield warrior, a missile user (that also picks locks), and a general magic user. I’ve spent some time cleaning up the starting city (Shadow Valley Fort) and picking up everything that isn’t nailed down. After selling all that stuff I spoke to the commander and received a quest to retrieve a satchel from a nearby abandoned mine (cliché, anyone?). Off course the mine turned out to be infested with goblins. After fighting a bit, I ran in to a giant lizard and my main character got killed. Naturally, the last time I saved was before I even entered the mine. Grrrr….
EDIT: I’m being careful about saving now. I’ve found the satchel, and returned to town to give it to the commander and restock. I got a new mission to go to a Hall and find out what’s happening on a meeting there, but I decided to return to the mine first. The mine goes deeper than the level where I found the satchel so I decided to explore for a bit. I’m at level 3 now, and fighting mostly lizards and cave rats. The missile guy will have a problem because javelins are scarce, but for now, I’m doing ok…