Sunday, June 10, 2007

Nethack: It can wait...

[Hildegarde's quest continues...]

Ok, I'm doing alright. I just got in a tad over my head...

I played it close the the cuff, like I learned to. I picked up the right stuff, and didn't take any stupid risks (drinking unidentified potions, reading unidentified scrolls), and I took copious notes. I even lucked out and found a djinni in a bottle, and I lucked out AGAIN that he was kind enough to grant me a wish! Hellooooo Blessed +2 Grey Dragon Scale Mail!

Making good progress through the dungeon, I decided that I was going a bit fast (slow and steady wins the race), and decided to go back to explore the Mines. I kept playing it light, and safe, so when I hit a bit of bad luck, and dropped down too many levels, I had little trouble getting back up. When I hit the mine town, I was sad to find that the temple was oppositely aligned with me. I could still use it to identify blessed/cursed status but I wasn't going to be offering any sacrifices to my god for fabulous prizes. I could try to convert the altar, but that makes the priest(ess) angry, and they can be tough sometimes. Oh well. I haven't found any other altars yet, so I should be finding another soon...

I checked out the shops, reworked my inventory a bit, and headed deeper. I took my time, and made sure I kept track of all the items of possible use. I ran into a bit of trouble when the Random Nethack God (Random Number Generator) decided to drop me down a few levels by hidden trap doors, but it wasn't anything I couldn't handle. A few more rough battles and I was feeling pretty good. I made it to the bottom of the mines and decided to go back and sort out my inventory and do a little R&R up in the town.

Back up in the town, sorting the useless stuff from the somewhat useless stuff and the possibly useful stuff from the useful stuff I was eyeing the priestess of Loki. Hildegarde is a lawful female Valkyrie, decked out with Dragon Scale Mail, a +1 long sword, and 15 daggers she can throw at 1-3 per turn. The priestess of Loki is just putzing around my storage area. I'm trying to sort stuff out, and she's getting in the way, and bugging me for donations, this isn't the way to do things. I'm pretty tough. This bitch is going down.

I step out to find a suitable sacrifice just as a cockatrice steps up, 5 daggers drops it from a safe distance, and (after making sure I have my gloves on) I pick up the corpse, and bring it to sacrifice it at the altar in the hopes that my faith for Tyr will overpower Loki's altar and convert it.

Your sacrifice is consumed in a flash of light! --more--
You feel a conflict between Tyr and Loki. You feel the power of Tyr increase. --more--
The altar glows white.

WIN! On the first try too!
The priestess of Loki is angry!
You got a problem??? Bring it.

The fight was on. She was tougher than I though, but I was sure she was going to drop any moment... yep... ANY moment... er... uh oh... Ok, she's soaking up a lot more damage than I thought she'd be able to... Ok, now she's just kickin' my butt.

I contemplate one of my many escape methods and decide on using the wand of teleport to escape. Wait a minute; this is Tyr's temple now, SHE's the intruder! SHE gets to leave. I pull out the wand of teleport, and use it on her! Take that! I quickly close and lock the door. I put on my blindfold to focus on my telekenesis. The image and location of all intelligent creatures on this level coalesces in my mind. Ah, she's a ways away, and she can't get in here until I unlock the door. But now what? I'm locked in a room, I can stay in here until I heal a bit, but I can't stay in here forever because monsters keep spawning in, and if I wait too long, I won't be able to leave without facing more than I can handle... I can't even sacrifice anything because I'm trapped in here and monsters don't generate in temples... Wait a minute... I dig around in my bag and find what I'm looking for, a wand of create monster! I create a slew of monsters and sacrifice them all getting tons of luck, and finally Tyr granted me what I was hoping for; Mjollnir, the hammer of Thor. Kick ass, lets see what that priestess has to say about this! I dig back into my bag and pull out two other wands I found, wand of speed monster and wand of slow monster. I put on my blindfold and watched her move around outside the door until she was in the right position. Perfect! I took off the blind fold and zapped myself with the wand of speed, then I unlocked the door. Come on in... As soon as she appeared I zapped her with the wand of slow and started beating on her with the hammer of Thor. She summoned insects; damn, I forgot they could do that. No matter, my armor class is low enough that they're not going to do much damage, and since I'm moving so fast, I should be able to take care of her and worry about her pests later. I continue to attack her. She's missing me a lot, no way she'll be able to handle much more of Mjollnir... Ok, she's still coming, but she's not doing that much damage... WHOA, she just did 30 damage on that attack! Ok, it was probably a fluke, she's gonna drop any second now... BAM! She just did 25 damage! 8 health! Those damn bugs! 3 health!!! I dodge her second attack! Thank god, it's my turn! I can't teleport her out because the bugs will still be around, and I might not be able to take them like this, I teleport myself somewhere random on the map and wind up in a corridor on the west side of the map when the stairs up are on the east side. Don't worry, you didn't use your prayer on that last fight, you can use it now. I pray to Tyr and he protects me for a few turns while I complete my prayer, and he heals me. WHEW! I just start thinking of how I'm going to make it to the stairs when the second worst monster to have you at a distance in a corridor steps into my corridor; a red naga. I've been in this position before. It sucks. At a distance they use their fire breath excessively, but up close, they just bite and I can take them. I try to remember how far their fire breath attack goes but I compulsively jab the key to run for the door before I completely think out my move. Fire streaks across 10 spaces and hits me hard. Two potions bubble and explode, a scroll burns, my cloak smolders! I can make it to the doorway! I run another space; fire shoots shoots toward me again, my +3 shield gets burnt! My armor class increases 2. Shit! My shield! Fuck this! I hope this wand has another charge in it! I zap myself with the wand of teleport again and find myself much closer to the stairs up. I don't want any more surprises! I put on my blindfold and spot my escape route. I note that Lule (my dog) is still in the temple, but wisely stayed out of the fight. I back track a bit to get the priestess to the opposite side of the group of shops so I can make a clean escape with her behind me instead of heading me off near the exit. I make it to the stairs and note that the Naga is not too far off. I blow my magic whistle and teleport Lule to my side just before I run upstairs. I lick my wounds and think about my next move. I update my notes to reflect the immediate death I'd suffer upon returning to that level. After I rest up to full health, I realize a that I should probably go back and soften the the level up as much as I can before leaving to find something to take care of that priestess. Fortunately I managed to leave with most of my daggers. I put on my blindfold and return to the level fully healed to deal with a few imps, a gargoyle, and that damn naga that burned up my shield. The gargoyle took more damage than I thought it would, and I took out the naga at close range where it didn't use its fire breath, and the Priestess was still a ways away.

I need to stop playing. This is when I'm going to do something that I don't think completely through, and get Hildegarde killed. Just remember the lessons you learned from the Ellora, when shit happens, don't react. Stop playing the game. Think about it. Then come back, and choose your moves carefully.

Ok. I'm going to stop. Wait, why don't I take a screenshot for my blog?

There we go.

Click for full size

Wait, why don't I write an explanation for any readers?

There we go.

Click for full size

Why don't I write this blog post to tell any readers how I got here?

Done! :D

So, what do you do in nethack when you've got an obstacle you can't defeat with brute force? Get creative. Find a wand of polymorph, and change your foe into something more manageable (like a newt :] ). Try chucking a potion of sleep or paralysis at them (damnit, I had a potion of sleep). While I was writing about locking the priestess out, I realized I could probably lock her IN one of the many rooms on the level if I could get around her (which is also good because if the priestess of a temple is killed the temple becomes haunted, if she's still alive but trapped, I won't have to worry about the minor inconvenience of a haunted temple). Find a wand of death, and just give her one good zap. Find a cockatrice corpse and beat her with it to turn her into stone. Dig a hole down to the level below and get her to fall into it. Or just get a gnarly wand (magic missile, striking, cold, fire, lightning) and just pound on her until she gives. I'm sure there are more ways of dealing with this problem, but I'm leaning toward the polymorph idea. Maybe after I sleep on it, I'll come up with an even better solution.

Until tomorrow...

[To be continued...]


Anonymous said...

The first step is admitting you have a problem.

Fletch said...

I don't see what the problem is. You guys just don't get it, that's all. I can quit whenever I want... I just don't want to right now.

Not mine, holding for a friend, etc...

Josh said...

*sigh* Step one IS denial...