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  3. The "complete weapons and armors" playthrough

User Info: Alushen

Alushen
4 weeks ago#1
I recently completed a playthrough which I will dub for lack of a better name, the complete weapons and armors playthrough.

The rules:

Every weapon and armor in the game must be used for at least one full level.

If a weapon or armor is upgraded mid- level , it must remain equipped until the end of the NEXT level. To avoid this , once a level is gained, fighting can be avoided by either death-warping to Tantagel, or in the case of other towns, running from all battles until the desired town is reached. In other words, once 1exp is gained, the equipped weapon/armor is locked in for that entire level.

A summary and my observations:

Level 1: nothing equipped: Even though it’s only 7exp, this was actually fairly difficult. Attempts to gain level 2 without returning to town proved fruitless, and I actually reset the first time rather than lose half my gold. Fortunately, the initial 120 gold was enough to afford a few inn stays and level 2 was reached.

Level 2: Bamboo pole, clothes, dragon scale. I wanted to go with the small shield here, but with the inn stays from level 1, just couldn’t afford it. Even with the stat increase, and the plus 2 attack from the pole, the eye test really didn’t notice much change in damage output. I DID feel like I could stay in the field longer and required less inn time, so the added defense was noticeable.

Level 3: Club, clothes (I won’t mention the dragon scale anymore since it will stay the rest of the game) I only had the cash for one upgrade, so I figured the offense needed the biggest boost. Level 4 will bring HURT so I can delay the copper sword some if necessary, but time to get the club upgrade out of the way. Finally up to the setup I’m used to starting with!
Zhuge Liang or Sima Yi?
(edited 4 weeks ago)

User Info: Alushen

Alushen
4 weeks ago#2
Level 4: Club, leather armor: HURT becomes a viable offensive strategy now, especially with the old man in the castle. Even though the leather armor and the small shield give the same defensive boost, the price difference between the leather armor and the chain mail is much less than the small shield to the large shield, thus making the armor easier to upgrade. With the price of the small shield being relatively low, and probably having it for a few levels, it will be easy to purchase next level along with the next upgrades. Still haven’t ventured to Garinham yet, but for the first time in a long time I read Erdrick’s Tablet!!! It feels like this is the pace the game was designed to be played at, very slow, steady and methodical. No Level 5 Rimuldar here!!

Level 5: Copper sword, leather armor, small shield. I could have possibly gone for the chain mail here, but I wanted to get Brecconary “finished” before I head on up to Garinham. On a normal playthrough, I would probably start saving for the broadsword now, but here, that’s a looooong way off!

Level 6: Copper sword, chain mail, small shield. Not too much of an upgrade here, as I also bought some herbs to prepare for some mountain cave farming. Right now, just grinding in the usual spots, after the bridge before the mountain cave, and around Kol, but those skeletons hit hard with wimpy armor!!

Zhuge Liang or Sima Yi?

User Info: Alushen

Alushen
4 weeks ago#3
Level 7 beginning: Copper sword, chain mail, small shield: I just didn’t have the cash on hand for an upgrade at the beginning of this level. I don’t remember why, perhaps it was staying out one fight too long, or bad money management, or maybe just wanting that upgrade before starting to farm the mountain cave, but by the middle of level 7, moved on to:
Level 7 middle, Hand Axe, chain mail, small shield. Time to experience the pleasures of the hand axe! I almost never buy this weapon, usually going straight from the copper sword to the broad sword. But, as I’m battling Druins and the like, it actually does make a bit of a difference. Something to think about on future playthrough, though I’m sure the subject of copper sword—-hand axe—-broadsword vs copper sword—-broadsword has been debated on these very forums. Since it’s in the middle of the level, I’ll have the hand axe at least until level 9, which is ok, as I’ll be grabbing gold from the mountain cave for more upgrades.
Zhuge Liang or Sima Yi?

User Info: Alushen

Alushen
4 weeks ago#4
Level 8: Hand axe, chain mail, small shield. I probably could have upgraded here, but in the spirit of “using” everything, I decided to equip the death necklace that I found on one of my forays into the mountain cave. After not selling it, and removing the curse, I was a bit short on gold so I just decided to grind out the rest of level 8.

Level 9: Hand axe, half plate, small shield. Another armor I typically don’t buy, as on a regular playthrough I’ll go from the chain mail straight to the full plate. I decided against the large shield this time, as the gap between the large and silver shields is so large in gold, that I’ll have the large shield for a few levels later on. After dropping the 1k on the half plate, I have to grind for gold, as well as experience for the next level.

Level 10: Hand axe, half plate, large shield. That gets all the sub 1000 g equipment out of the way and finishes off Garinham. An interesting aside: Just by location, it’s clear to me that the game intends you to go to Garinham before Kol, as It is closer to Tantagel and Kol has more expensive armor, however Kol doesn’t have the large shield, and the monsters are fairly consistent (with the exception of the random skeleton around Kol, they are actually fairly close timeline wise. I would think that most new players natural progression, would be to Tantagel, Garinham, Mountain cave, or even Tantagel, Kol, swamp cave, given the towns locations, having to go back and forth across the continent is a
little
odd, after thinking about it.
Zhuge Liang or Sima Yi?

User Info: Jay_Shaw

Jay_Shaw
4 weeks ago#5
That's an interesting challenge, but I think you've already gotten past the most difficult part of it. I just happened to wander in the direction of Garinham the first time I played this game, so I was always aware of its location and went there prior to trying to reach Kol in subsequent playthroughs....

It's funny that you don't usually get the Hand Axe - that's one of my favorite upgrades, and you can't get a Broad Sword until you make it all the way to Rimuldar. During prior playthroughs, I used to skip equipment more and save up for the best equipment you could access in a given area; however, during my most recent playthrough last year, I discovered that it was often to my benefit to purchase the cheaper equipment upgrade immediately since doing this would sometimes allow me to fight more difficult enemies without getting beat up too much....

--Jay

User Info: Alushen

Alushen
2 weeks ago#6
Got a nice rainy day off from work today so got some more time to play on this.

Level 11: Hand axe, full plate, large shield

Strictly did mountain cave looting on level 10, I was surprised just how much gold that I could get out of there for less than 1000 experience points. I felt like I could probably keep on going through there forever, though I did get in a bit of a sleep-lock with a warlock, and a it is dodging lock with a Drakeema, and yes, one of them was the dreaded Excellent move! It is dodging!, so I did make one trip back to Tantagel to inn and save. Which brings me to a question though:

Whats the earliest level that the mountain cave can be run infinite without going back for an inn stay? I’m thinking if I went in with 6 herbs, I could have nearly pulled it off on level 10, this is with hand axe, half plate and large shield, I’m sure the full plate would have made a difference as well.

But, in using all the equipment, and yes I’m using MP, because I like RADIANT!! Much easier than a torch, to me.

I will definitely upgrade to the broadsword next level, I probably could have pulled it off on this level, but I’m usually a cautious player, and I had to spend cash on some herbs to get through the swamp. Though on a normal playthrough I’m sure I would have had it already, probably a level or two ago.

I’d like to think I’m playing this challenge the way the developers intended, very slow, very steady, exploring everywhere, talking to everyone and buying all the equipment. Not exactly the most efficient way to playthrough, but it does have its charm.

Zhuge Liang or Sima Yi?

User Info: Alushen

Alushen
2 weeks ago#7
Level 12: Broadsword, full plate, large shield

The noble descendant of Erdrich, heroically walking back and forth on three squares of desert near Rimuldar cleaving enemies to bits with his axe. Either he’s guarding the town, or just enjoys cleaving monsters, you be the judge.

Grinding outside Rimuldar with the hand axe probably wasn’t the most efficient, but I only needed 1500 gold for the broadsword and the inn was right there, so why not? It actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, I started off using SLEEP on wolves, but after a few tries, I just kept on attacking and heading in to the inn every 200 exp or so. It probably helped that I did already have the full plate.

Now that I’m in Rimuldar, I’m going to take a short break from grinding and buy a full compliment of heys and travel the world listening to the people, gaining some experience and gold along the way. I don’t know if I’ve ever talked to the guard behind the locked door in Brecconary, probably once, but I’ll here what he has to say, and the two brothers behind the door in Garinham are good for a laugh.

Im kind of glad that I’m out of the Magician/Magidrakee phase of the game, even with 40-50 Hp , get hit with a couple of high rolled HURTS and you could be down 20 hp before you can even get anywhere. And at this point of the game there really is no defense against it.

Outside of the Demon Knight, I feel that Poltergeists are the most annoying enemy right now, they seem to dodge a fair amount of hits, and the reward really isn’t worth it. I’d much rather fight it Druin.

In case anyone was wondering, I’m using a STR/HP build, because, why not. Typically I use a STR/AGL build, but I’ve never done this one, and if I do decide to take it to level 30, it would be kind of neat to have the highest Hp possible.

Level 11 featured a 55 attack, 53 defense, I don’t know if I’ve ever had values that close before. Anyone ever have defense Higher than attack? It feels different with the premium this game places on offense.

Off to travel the world……..
Zhuge Liang or Sima Yi?
(edited 2 weeks ago)

User Info: Alushen

Alushen
2 weeks ago#8
Level 13: Broadsword, full plate, large shield. No upgrade here, if I was more prudent with my gold, possibly I could have upgraded to the magic armor, but I guess that will be next level. Stocked up on keys, and decided to go back and talk to everyone behind locked doors. While I was in Garinham I took a spin through the grave, did manage to get the silver harp, but then got demolished by a wraith knight dealing 20-21 damage a hit, and suffered the first Dragon Warrior death and a loss of about 2000g. The wraith knights seem almost out of place as they’re so much stronger than anything else in the grave. Oh well. After that, a grabbed the stones of sunlight and the fairy flute and headed back to grind south of Rimuldar. Got level 13 and then used a wings to go back to Tantagel— one more item used!

The plan is now to grind out one more level, upgrade to the magic armor then start the process for the silver shield, flame sword and Erdricks armor. If I get the magic armor at the start of level 14, then I can go for the Erdricks armor at 15. Of course this is new territory for me, as I would be grinding for the silver shield, not the magic armor, but it’s fun playing through a bit differently.

Officially adding Warlock to the annoying enemies of all time list, sleep lock can be lethal no matter what level you are. It’s sort of like para plink on Final Fantasy.
Zhuge Liang or Sima Yi?

User Info: Alushen

Alushen
2 weeks ago#9
level 14: broadsword, magic armor, large shield

Just hit level 14 and had enough gold on hand to “upgrade” to the magic armor. This is another piece of equipment I usually don’t bother with, by now, I either have Erdricks armor, or am very close to getting it. As per the rules, I must use each piece of equipment for at least one full level before upgrading to the next, so Erdricks armor will be a level 15 upgrade at the earliest. I still have the flame sword and silver shield to purchase as well, so grinding is t yet just for experience.

On another thought, I actually got hit with a HURT for a damage of 2. At least the magic armor is doing something!! This armor really needs to be better to justify its cost. I understand it has the very gradual HP gain, and the protection from HURT, but, let’s give it at least a plus 2 or even 4 defense from the full plate, or at the very least, let it protect you from swamps!! I was actually surprised I was still taking damage from the swamps heading back to Rimuldar, some magic this armor has!! If it’s magical, it should protect from poison!! Maybe not barriers, but at least swamps!! Ok, rant over. It was from a specter in the Grave of Garin, that did the 2 dmg HURT, I still needed to grab the cursed belt from there, and while I was wandering around that happened. I also ran into the elusive Druinlord in there. Don’t see many of those, even ran into 4 or 5 Drollmagi, but only one Druinlord.

Back to grinding!
Zhuge Liang or Sima Yi?
(edited 2 weeks ago)

User Info: Jay_Shaw

Jay_Shaw
2 weeks ago#10
Glad to see you're able to proceed with your playthrough again, Alushen. I recall fighting enemies right outside Rimuldar to gain gold and experience during my playthrough last year, myself.

I have always felt that the Wraith Knight was out of place in the Garin's Grave dungeon. I think the game developers just stuck it in there as some sort of "bogeyman" to give the cave more of a frightening feel to it - running into a Wraith Knight in that cave definitely is scary!

--Jay
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