Recently, Syl linked this music video from Chrono Trigger. Besides this giving me some warm, fuzzy feelings it also made me want to replay Chrono Trigger. The last time I played it must have been about 20 years ago, when I was still a teenager. Back then I didn't appreciate it as much as I should, just like many games of the time. I mean, I knew it was a good game back then but due to a combination of factors I just treated it as just another game to be played. There are a few reasons for that I think, the first is that like all things at a certain point in time we never consider that it may change. In this case, I never ever stopped to think there might never be other games like Chrono Trigger. I thought games like that would end up being made until the end of time. Or at least they would only get better and better. That the games that would be developed from that point, that even my tastes and gaming systems would change so much over the years were not something I ever considered.
Then there were the fact that I don't think my english (which is my second language) was still very well developed back then. Mix that with it being a rental that I would only keep for a day, maybe two, didn't give me much of a chance to appreciate the story or the characters.
All that makes me think of how much I missed, not only of the games I did play and forgot so much about, as well as a lot of other games that for a reason or another I missed.
Spoiler Warning: This post contains spoilers about Icewind Dale's story. If that bothers you then you might want to skip it. If you want to read this series from the beginning you can check the "Let's Play" section up on the top menu.
When we last left our heroes, they had just retrieved the McGuffin (also known as the Hearthstone Gem) from a bunch of snake people in the mountains. Then they went back to Kuldahar to give to the only person, Arch-Druid Arundel, who could use it to find out the identity of the great evil that has been plaguing the region. They almost got fooled into giving it to a doppelganger of Arundel but fortunately they were able to perceive the deceive before that. Unfortunately the real Arundel was dying on the floor of his home and only had enough strength to tell the party there was actually someone else who could use the gem, someone called Larrel. There was only one small problem... Larrel was as prisoner in a place called "Severed Hand". Also, apparently all of them forgot that at least two of them could cure wounds (Hansel with Lay on Hands and Snow White with her Cure Wounds spells) not to mention all the healing potions they were carrying. Or maybe they just thought this would make for a more dramatic story for when they release their auto-biographies later on. Who knows?
We finally get to the start of chapter three! Like the start of any chapter we get a nice background artwork with some written and narrated description of the events.
So, in a previous post I said I would try to explain some of the mechanics in Icewind Dale so folks who are unfamiliar with the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition (AD&D for short) rules which the game is based on. This is just so they can have an idea of why I have been having so much trouble with fights lately. Well, besides being a terrible strategist that is.
Now, before I begin, there are a couple caveats:
1. I never played AD&D in its tabletop, original form. The little I know of the rules has been by playing computer games that use the AD&D rules. So my explanation and analysis of the rules may be off. Also I am not going into any deep detail about them. Just a very superficilal explanation to understand my current situation in the game.
2. Like I said, I am a terrible strategist.
Oh, keep in mind these rules apply only to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition. For other editions of D&D things are different and anyone curious enough about it should just seek the books for those.
( Spoiler Warning for Icewind Dale! If that bothers you, skip this post. If you are starting now wit this "Let's Play" you can find an index of it on the archives on the top menu. )
When we last left our heroes they had just killed a bunch of snakemen pretending to be priests living a peaceful life deep into the mountains. They also saved another group of adventurers who were prisoners from said snakemen. Those adventurers were even cool to watch over our heroes while they rested. Once they were fully recovered it was time to explore what lied beyond this farce of a temple.
The first thing they found is something really unexpected: a weird little girl delivering some cryptic message!
Before they can ask anything the girl just teleports away. As the party cuts their way through snakemen, the girl appears a few more times doing the same thing. Each time though the message becomes slightly less cryptic and more like "get out of here unless you want a very painful death."
(Spoiler Warning about Icewind Dale! If that bothers you just skip this post. You can also find an archive of this Let's Play series on the top menu.)
When we last left our heroes, they were standing in front of another door which is turning out to be an horrible trope for this series as well as a convenient breaking point for each post. Anyway, it was time to find out what was behind this particular door. It looks like it is some sort of temple and the party is immediately greeted by someone who looks like a priest, concerned about their well-being. Hansel, however, having sensed the evil aura of the "priest" tells him to drop the act and reveal their true nature. The "priest" is glad to oblige, does some trash talking of his own and then almost the entire place comes swarming to attack the party. Good one Hansel!
Now to be fair for Hansel, if you don't have a paladin in the party, the "priest" will give some excuse about how they are able to have a temple deep down in some caves even though they are surrounded by trolls, giant spiders, lizardman and undead and the party would just go with it. Eventually they will poke around, either stumbling on an area they shouldn't be or finding things that don't match up with the priest's story. Then they will have to fight almost the entire place too.
(Spoiler Waning about Icewind Dale!If that bothers you then just skip this post. If you are just beginning there is an archive of this series that you can find in the top menu.)
When we last left our heroes they were facing the entrance to another series of caves while I feared what could lay beyond it. Well, it was time to find out what was behind it.
It wasn't exactly what I expected instead the party was received by a commitee of undeads that are quick to threaten them verbally. Hansel however realizes the voice does not come from the undead but from someone else in the area. Not only that but he also decides to do some trash talking with this new enemy!
This is another case of a fight that the monster by themselves aren't too hard but becomes somewhat challenging due to their numbers. It didn't help I wasn't unprepared (read: didn't buff my party) and hadn't played the game in a few months so it took me a few tries to win this battle.
(Warning! This post contains spoilers about Icewind Dale. If that bothers you, skip it.)
When we last left our heroes, they had just killed the Lizard Man King and declared themselves supreme rules of all lizardmen. Or they would if that was the actual souce of the evil plaguing Kuldahar. Since it was not and they want to get to the bottom of this mistery they kept pressing forward, exploring the caves within the Dragon's Eye.
And what do you know? As soon as they get to the next area of the caves they are attacked by more lizard men!
(Spoiler warning! If you don't want to be spoiled about Icewind Dale's plot you might want to skip this post!)
When we last left our heroes they finally got a literal tangible clue. Confident that they were finally in the right track they travelled to the area in the mountains called Dragon's Eyes. This also triggered the start of chapter 2!
(Warning! This post contains spoilers about Icewind Dale. If that bothers you then just skip it. Also it is brought to you by... Gretel! Since this post is less boring than hearing Hansel preach about Ilmater)
Before beginning there was something that I forgot to mention in the last post. The party delivered Mirek's family heirloom back to him, the one they retrieved from a yeti. As usual, he was thankful for the party assistance as it was the only thing he had left to remember his family now that he was all alone in the world.
Ok. Continuing from the last time, our heroes had rested up, resupplied and were ready to travel to mysterious temple in the mountains. The travel took them almost two days and they arrived at their destination during the night. As they approach the temple a Verbeeg, which seems to be a type of giant, comes running at them. Fortunately, he isn't running to attack the party but rather running away from the temple.
(Warning! Spoilers ahead! Skip it if you that bothers you. Also this post is brought to you by... Snow White! Because according to her elves are better than everyone else. So is this post. Her words. Not mine.)
When we last left our heroes, they were dealing with Kresselack the Black Wolf. Or at least whatever left of him in spiritual form. Kresselack claimed to not be the one responsible for Kuldahar's troubles but he could give some information to the party if they help him out. Unfortunately such help required the killing of a priestess of Auril, a goddess of all things cold. In normal circunstances the party would reply with a "No way!", kill the undead and call it a day. Kresselack however made a good point that the priestess could end up attacking Kuldahar next though, thinking that such a place of warmth in the middle of a region filled with extreme cold would be an abomination. After a brief discussion the party agreed to at least investigate the case and if Kresselack was lying there would be hell to be paid! Or some sort of holy hell because Hansel is a paladin and dealing with normal hellish forces would not fit with him and... ah, that is a terrible analogy. Let's just go back to the plot, ok?
So, Kresselack told them that the priestess was currently somewhere in the Valley of Shadows and off they went to search for her. And what do you know, within the yeti cave they cleared earlier they did find someone!
As usual when meeting a new stranger the party decided to interrogate them about everything which may have included a question about why the sky is blue.