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rojovision
May 13, 2015




Introduction
Legend of Grimrock is a modernization of the classic dungeon crawler. It features real time combat with a grid based movement system and more puzzles than you can Rubik's a cube at. Our party of 4 prisoners have been chained together and "pardoned" atop Mount Grimrock. The only thing left for us to do is survive - something no other prisoner has ever accomplished. The game was created by Almost Human and released for PC in 2012. A mobile version also exists.

I played through most of the game when it came out and it really reintroduced me to / rekindled my interest in dungeon crawlers. Oddly enough I grew up in the right era to play the old classics of the genre, but didn't end up playing many. What foolishness!

About the Playthrough
I'm familiar with some of the puzzles, particularly on the earlier floors, but I don't remember everything, and I've never been to a couple of the later floors. We're going to be going with what I would describe as a somewhat nontraditional party - four minotaur rogues! No fighters, no mages. Humans, lizardmen and insectoids are right out. This means we won't have any sweet, sweet magic at our disposal, and we have an iron wall for a front line. Plus we're going to burn through our food faster than usual (minotaurs are kind of fat). However, rogues aren't helpess. They can still jack up their evasion, backstab enemies, and wear light armor with some training. They can also specialize in four different types of weapons, so each of our party members will focus on a different weapon - one of unarmed combat, daggers, throwing weapons, or missile weapons (bows, etc).

Grimrock gives you the option of playing in "old school" mode which turns off the map forcing you to scrawl directions onto your walls like some sort of caveman. Since I'm neither Neanderthal nor masochist we won't be playing with that option enabled. However, I've decided to bump the difficulty up to hard which as I understand it makes the enemies a little smarter and a little faster.

The game is full of secrets. Through some internet searching I found some info that lists the number of secrets per floor without spoiling what or where they are. We'll be using this list to keep track of how well we're doing at finding hidden loot.

Update Schedule
This LP is complete!

Thread Rules
You don't need to worry about spoiling things for me, but as a courtesy to people who are unfamiliar with the game make sure to tag spoilers for stuff that we haven't gotten to in a video yet.

Episodes
Series Playlist

It's video games. Every day...ish.
http://www.youtube.com/rojovision
http://www.twitch.tv/rojovision

rojovision fucked around with this message at 17:49 on Mar 26, 2017

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rojovision
May 13, 2015


Reserved.

rojovision
May 13, 2015


Normally episodes will come out one or two at a time, but to start things off here are the inaugural episodes from this past weekend.





Episode 1 - Crafting Cowntenances
We make our prisoners, talk a little about game mechanics, and check out the game intro.






Episode 2 - The Art of Smoosh
No, no that kind of smoosh. Also, we tackle the first floor as the game begins to teach us what to expect.






Episode 3 - Cut in Corners
On to the second floor where we run into our first serious combat challenge.






Episode 4 - Staring Contest Surprise
We finish up the second floor and battle a nastier version of a familiar enemy.

rojovision fucked around with this message at 13:57 on Aug 31, 2016

CptWedgie
Jul 19, 2015


It feels nice to be in on this from the start. I remember I used to love this sort of game when I was a kid, though the only ones I can remember playing are Dungeon Hack (a possibly-obscure D&D single-character game for DOS. Yes, it was as unforgiving as it sounds) and, yes, the Wizardry series.

Anyway, on the topic of this game: Are parties a common thing for enemy humanoids? I doubt you could fit multiple monstrous enemies in the same tile, but those spearmen were NASTY, especially since you have trouble with them individually. I'd hate to run into multiple parties at once, but somehow I expect you'll end up doing that at some point.

Also: I think your punchy guy (how do you spell your characters' names? It's hard to read the text in your videos) might've had damage problems because he only had one point in Unarmed, which isn't actually a relevant quantity. As in, like, "estimated half a point of attack, and possible attack penalty for using an untrained weapon" levels. True, he's got the Unarmed trait, but that probably doesn't make up for the fact that, at this point, you'll be wanting to use weapons most of the time. Of course, I have no idea how much attack power you've got right now, so he might actually be statistically on-par with the other front-liner, but I have no idea about the damage algorithms either so maybe they were just resistant to blunt damage or something. That said, I think your projectile guys were doing so much damage partly due to having so much strength, and partly because those're some pretty drat big rocks they're slingin' around.

Oh, and minor nitpick: I think you left a few rocks lying around on switches on the first couple floors. Personally, I would've swapped them for those otherwise-useless scrolls you've picked up along the way. Never know when you'll need more ammo, right? And while I'm on the subject of nitpicking, I'd switch your torchbearer's weapon slots around, just because I'd always try to click on the left weapon to attack (like you did), and having a non-reach weapon there kinda complicates things.

...Gotta say though, that "staring contest" trap was EVIL (in the good way- keeps you on your toes). It was a nice touch how you found a helmet and a skull in the same spot, too- it was like the skull was actually WEARING the helmet!

rojovision
May 13, 2015



There aren't too many enemies that roam in parties like the skeleton phalanx, but there are at least a couple more that can. Not a super common thing as I recall. Also you're right, I probably left a little ammo lying around here and there. Definitely not something I want to get in the habit of doing, especially when we start using arrows someday. The names of the characters are Brusaad (unarmed), Darba (daggers), Chuk (throwing), and Ponzy (missile).

I picked up all the Wizardry games and Dungeon Hack on GOG, as well as a bunch of other similar games (Eye of the Beholder, etc). I'm actually finishing up Wizardry 6 on the channel in the next week or so, with plans to do 7 and 8 someday with the same party. I did a thread here on SA for a game called Anvil of Dawn as well. There's definitely a fine legacy of games for Grimrock to pull inspiration from, though thankfully it's not nearly as punishing as a lot of the older titles.

Stabbey_the_Clown
Sep 21, 2002

Wanna see a demonstration of my school? It's called "Eight Leaves, One Very Big Stick"!


Taco Defender

Oh right, I remember this game. I think I'll play a bit more of this game.

CptWedgie
Jul 19, 2015


Well, good to know that enemy parties are a minority, at least. Small mercies are better than none. Still doesn't get rid of my suspicion regarding multiple simultaneous enemy parties, though.

Would going back to pick up the rocks you've left behind be worthwhile, or is it just a sort of "oh yeah, I should really stop doing that" thing? I'm assuming the latter, unless you're planning a second stack for Chuk to use.

More game mechanics-related questions I just thought of: Is there a level cap? If so, what is it? Is there a point where it becomes impractical to gain more levels ("soft cap," I think it's called)?

And a gameplay-related question: Would you consider teaching Chuk and Ponzy a bit of Unarmed as a backup? Obviously you wouldn't get it nearly as high as their respective specialties, but it might be worth considering just in case they run out of ammo at some point. I know, that'd spread their points a little thin, since you're already putting a dozen points into Ambushing, but... well, benefits vs. drawbacks. How much would it set them back in their specialties if you put, say, one point per level in Unarmed?

rojovision
May 13, 2015


CptWedgie posted:

Well, good to know that enemy parties are a minority, at least. Small mercies are better than none. Still doesn't get rid of my suspicion regarding multiple simultaneous enemy parties, though.

Would going back to pick up the rocks you've left behind be worthwhile, or is it just a sort of "oh yeah, I should really stop doing that" thing? I'm assuming the latter, unless you're planning a second stack for Chuk to use.

More game mechanics-related questions I just thought of: Is there a level cap? If so, what is it? Is there a point where it becomes impractical to gain more levels ("soft cap," I think it's called)?

And a gameplay-related question: Would you consider teaching Chuk and Ponzy a bit of Unarmed as a backup? Obviously you wouldn't get it nearly as high as their respective specialties, but it might be worth considering just in case they run out of ammo at some point. I know, that'd spread their points a little thin, since you're already putting a dozen points into Ambushing, but... well, benefits vs. drawbacks. How much would it set them back in their specialties if you put, say, one point per level in Unarmed?

I might pick up the rocks...I think I left a shuriken behind in the very first episode that I was considering going back for as well, but we'll see. I'm planning on doing a little traveling soon so I've recorded ahead for this weekend so I have episodes to upload, but perhaps after that. We probably won't need them long term though. Most parties end the game somewhere between level 12-14 according to my research. There are a couple places with respawning enemies that you could farm, but there's not much need to do so, and it might take a long time to grind up extra levels. As far as a little unarmed for the back row - it's something I've considered. I probably won't do it, but I can see a decent argument for spending some points there. I can also see a decent argument for not spending any points in the Assassination tree at all for the back row folks.

CptWedgie
Jul 19, 2015


Ah. If you're expected to finish with levels in the early teens, then yeah, spreading your points around is probably a bad idea.

If you do decide to backtrack for collecting stuff you left lying around, I think you should put the "collect-a-thon" in its own video so people can skip it if they want (or just do it entirely off-screen, possibly with a list of inventory changes somewhere). It seems to be the norm for such things.

Anyway, I haven't really kept track of most releases for about a decade or so now, so I didn't know this game existed until I saw it in the "New LPs" thread. Now that I've seen it, though, I'm tempted to grab a copy of my own so I can try it for myself (a reaction which is arguably the whole point of an LP).

rojovision
May 13, 2015


CptWedgie posted:

Ah. If you're expected to finish with levels in the early teens, then yeah, spreading your points around is probably a bad idea.

If you do decide to backtrack for collecting stuff you left lying around, I think you should put the "collect-a-thon" in its own video so people can skip it if they want (or just do it entirely off-screen, possibly with a list of inventory changes somewhere). It seems to be the norm for such things.

Anyway, I haven't really kept track of most releases for about a decade or so now, so I didn't know this game existed until I saw it in the "New LPs" thread. Now that I've seen it, though, I'm tempted to grab a copy of my own so I can try it for myself (a reaction which is arguably the whole point of an LP).

If I backtrack for those it's something I'll just do offscreen and then mention in the following video. I highly recommend giving the game a try, though! There's also Grimrock 2 which is a much larger, more open ended game.

rojovision
May 13, 2015




Episode 5 - Going Down
We explore some pits on level three and hear more from the mysterious stranger.

Stabbey_the_Clown
Sep 21, 2002

Wanna see a demonstration of my school? It's called "Eight Leaves, One Very Big Stick"!


Taco Defender

A slightly cleverer way of dealing with those 4 undead pikeman in the room with the button opening the pit is simply to stand outside and place an object onto the pressure plate to trigger the skeletons and locking the gate, then using the button on the wall to open it up and let them out one at a time.

Also, in that room divided in half by the pits so you had to walk around, where was that light coming from?

Alavaria
Apr 3, 2009


Obviously one should equip like them and have a 4man shield-spear party.

CptWedgie
Jul 19, 2015


Somehow, those dreams're making me paranoid. Maybe it's just the "I know you can hear me" bit. If I were in there, I'd wanna find out just who's talking to me before I do their bidding in any capacity other than "I was planning to do that anyway." Is that just me?

Anyway, you may have realized by now, but the rock you couldn't find in that room with the four spearmen? You threw it at one of them just before it got dropped down by its buddy. You got it back when you jumped down after them. Speaking of which, did you get experience for killing one by landing on it?

And I'd recommend NOT taking Alavaria's suggestion (which may or may not be joking- hard to tell in text). True, spears can hit from the back row, but that's probably all they're good for- there's no weapon skill associated with them, from what I've seen, so you'll do more damage with pretty much anything else (including your bare hands). The shields... definitely useful for the front row, for obvious reasons, but the back shouldn't be getting attacked so you should use the off-hand for something more useful (like torches).

Alavaria
Apr 3, 2009


It was a joke because at least one of the party uses their fists.

But can you even see your party? I imagine it might be a bit tight to have 4 minotours on one square

Stabbey_the_Clown
Sep 21, 2002

Wanna see a demonstration of my school? It's called "Eight Leaves, One Very Big Stick"!


Taco Defender

Wow, if you're playing this mostly blind and going for all the secrets, well, good luck. There is some seriously devious crap in this game just for the required progress. Secrets are a whole lot tougher to puzzle out. I am up to level 6 on my first playthrough since Dec 2012, and I've forgotten so much.

rojovision
May 13, 2015




Episode 6 - Spider Kisses
Spiders and not our friends.

rojovision
May 13, 2015


Alavaria posted:

Obviously one should equip like them and have a 4man shield-spear party.
....

But can you even see your party? I imagine it might be a bit tight to have 4 minotours on one square

I had actually considered that as an option for the playthrough, most likely with fighters. As far as I know you don't ever see any of your party members, but I agree it's probably a bit of a tight squeeze to fit all of them in one spot!

CptWedgie
Jul 19, 2015


In chronological order of when they came up:

First (and rather belatedly), I would assume that the secrets are counted by the floor they're found on rather than the floor you access them from, just to be safe. I would've said this earlier, but my browser's been kind of crashy lately.

Second, those 4F switches: I'm pretty sure the one at the entrance to that little hallway with the teleporter alters its destination to one of the secrets you found in the area. The second one I can only assume did something upstairs.

Third, and relevant to your next upload: The gate that button you left off next to opens should be accessible now, since you removed a wall that was in the way.

Anyway, I'm honestly not surprised about your arachnophobia- that IS one of the most common phobias in the world, after all. I mean, I'm not very comfortable around them myself.

Is it safe to assume that you're still debating whether to backtrack for ammo collection purposes, or have you decided already?

The MUMPSorceress
Jan 6, 2012


^SHTPSTS



Gary’s Answer

I'm really enjoying this LP, but boy do I have some problems with the premise of this game.

So basically they toss criminals in here and "pardon" them knowing that they can't really escape. I buy that, sure. Lets the kingdom feel morally just while doing backdoor executions. But it breaks down almost immediately:

1)If this mountain is so treacherous that no one ever escapes, who the gently caress built this huge labyrinth in the first place? Seems like you couldn't do it without planning to lose a lot of masons and artisans.
2)It seems that much of the danger in this mountain comes from the well-armed and -armored soldiers crawling all over it. They have uniform armor and weapons, so they're clearly an organized regiment of some sort. Do they work in shifts? If so, there has to be an easy way in and out so Joe and Dale can go home and see the fam after their labyrinth shift is over. If not, how the hell do they get people to volunteer to just go live in a labyrinth for a while? How are they being supplied? Where does their food come from? If the place is impossible to escape, why would you agree to be a labyrinth soldier? I don't buy that those guys are criminals too, because even the worst sociopathic murderer would recognize that it's in his own interest to work together on escape.
3)HOW ARE ALL THESE TORCHES STAYING LIT?

CptWedgie
Jul 19, 2015


LeftistMuslimObama posted:

I'm really enjoying this LP, but boy do I have some problems with the premise of this game.

So basically they toss criminals in here and "pardon" them knowing that they can't really escape. I buy that, sure. Lets the kingdom feel morally just while doing backdoor executions. But it breaks down almost immediately:

1)If this mountain is so treacherous that no one ever escapes, who the gently caress built this huge labyrinth in the first place? Seems like you couldn't do it without planning to lose a lot of masons and artisans.
2)It seems that much of the danger in this mountain comes from the well-armed and -armored soldiers crawling all over it. They have uniform armor and weapons, so they're clearly an organized regiment of some sort. Do they work in shifts? If so, there has to be an easy way in and out so Joe and Dale can go home and see the fam after their labyrinth shift is over. If not, how the hell do they get people to volunteer to just go live in a labyrinth for a while? How are they being supplied? Where does their food come from? If the place is impossible to escape, why would you agree to be a labyrinth soldier? I don't buy that those guys are criminals too, because even the worst sociopathic murderer would recognize that it's in his own interest to work together on escape.
3)HOW ARE ALL THESE TORCHES STAYING LIT?

I'm not the OP, but I can at least give an answer to one of your questions, and another's not really important to the gameplay.

1) That may or may not be explained later. We'll see when the LP gets further, I'm sure.
2) Maybe they're UNDEAD soldiers, and thus don't NEED to do any of that stuff. Ever consider that?
3) Magic torch holding thingies? I dunno, and it doesn't matter anyway.

rojovision
May 13, 2015




Episode 7 - Secret Spider
We finish up floor 3 and hunt for secrets we may have missed.

rojovision
May 13, 2015


LeftistMuslimObama posted:

I'm really enjoying this LP, but boy do I have some problems with the premise of this game.

So basically they toss criminals in here and "pardon" them knowing that they can't really escape. I buy that, sure. Lets the kingdom feel morally just while doing backdoor executions. But it breaks down almost immediately:

1)If this mountain is so treacherous that no one ever escapes, who the gently caress built this huge labyrinth in the first place? Seems like you couldn't do it without planning to lose a lot of masons and artisans.
2)It seems that much of the danger in this mountain comes from the well-armed and -armored soldiers crawling all over it. They have uniform armor and weapons, so they're clearly an organized regiment of some sort. Do they work in shifts? If so, there has to be an easy way in and out so Joe and Dale can go home and see the fam after their labyrinth shift is over. If not, how the hell do they get people to volunteer to just go live in a labyrinth for a while? How are they being supplied? Where does their food come from? If the place is impossible to escape, why would you agree to be a labyrinth soldier? I don't buy that those guys are criminals too, because even the worst sociopathic murderer would recognize that it's in his own interest to work together on escape.
3)HOW ARE ALL THESE TORCHES STAYING LIT?

We'll learn more about Grimrock itself as we play the game. It's been awhile so I can't quite recall when that'll happen, and I can't promise it'll make much more sense when it does!

rojovision
May 13, 2015




Episode 8 - Slime Time
We find something we missed and deal with what lies beyond floor 3's secret stairs.

CptWedgie
Jul 19, 2015


Well, at least the game's SOMEWHAT merciful with bows. I mean, the special ammo may lose its "special-ness" when you shoot it, but at least it doesn't break on impact, right? (Breakable weapons would be the bane of a game like this...)

In other news, slimes are MEAN in this game, aren't they? Hope THEY aren't one of the "enemy party" monsters like the spearmen were- I don't think you'd be able to win against more than one at a time.

Edit: Do you think there's an alchemy recipe to imbue ammo with special properties? That sounds like it'd be a thing.

rojovision
May 13, 2015


CptWedgie posted:

Well, at least the game's SOMEWHAT merciful with bows. I mean, the special ammo may lose its "special-ness" when you shoot it, but at least it doesn't break on impact, right? (Breakable weapons would be the bane of a game like this...)

In other news, slimes are MEAN in this game, aren't they? Hope THEY aren't one of the "enemy party" monsters like the spearmen were- I don't think you'd be able to win against more than one at a time.

Edit: Do you think there's an alchemy recipe to imbue ammo with special properties? That sounds like it'd be a thing.

Yeah that's a tough section at our current level. It's not just that the slimes are tough, but they can hit you through the walls in that room as we saw, which is pretty brutal if you try to run in there swinging. I believe there is a way to imbue arrows in this game, but I think you'd need a wizard for that...sadly no alchemy recipe (as far as I remember).

IthilionTheBrave
Sep 5, 2013


rojogames posted:

Yeah that's a tough section at our current level. It's not just that the slimes are tough, but they can hit you through the walls in that room as we saw, which is pretty brutal if you try to run in there swinging. I believe there is a way to imbue arrows in this game, but I think you'd need a wizard for that...sadly no alchemy recipe (as far as I remember).

You remember correctly. Every element of magic learns a spell that enchants arrows, so it is possible to keep all your ammo magicked up after every fight. I can say from experience that it can get pretty tedious, though!

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


I have to admit that the magic system is probably the only thing that genuinely annoys me a bit about the Grimrock games. It's cute at first, but eventually tracing out the same spells over and over rather than just pressing a spell name gets a bit tedious. Also in both games, Earth magic is absolute garbage and a miserable trap option that's a waste of points.

Stabbey_the_Clown
Sep 21, 2002

Wanna see a demonstration of my school? It's called "Eight Leaves, One Very Big Stick"!


Taco Defender

I kept both bow and crossbow as well, but eventually you get a decent amount of quarrels.

rojovision
May 13, 2015




Episode 9 - Cataquadrant
Floor 4 has 4 main puzzles that block our progress. We take on "The Catacomb" first.

CptWedgie
Jul 19, 2015


...Are the dreams starting to get creepy, or is it just me?

rojovision
May 13, 2015


CptWedgie posted:

...Are the dreams starting to get creepy, or is it just me?

It's not just you. I kind of think they were a little creepy from the get go.

rojovision
May 13, 2015




Episode 10 - Beast and Tide
We take on a puzzle that was pretty tricky in my first playthrough, and another that still takes some careful thought.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


The only thing I dislike about this LP is when there's a button or piece of loot clearly in view and you walk over/past it five times in a row.

It's something that shouldn't frustrate me, but it does.

rojovision
May 13, 2015




Episode 11 - Watch Your Ankles
We finish up the last puzzle of floor 4, but not without unleashing a nasty surprise.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


I have to admit, I didn't expect a thief party to have such solid damage output. I always felt like my wizards and fighters were pulling most of the weight when I played.

rojovision
May 13, 2015




Episode 12 - Suddenly Crabs
Why are there crabs in this dungeon?

CptWedgie
Jul 19, 2015


Why wouldn't there be crabs in that dungeon? The real question is why they're so nasty.

rojovision
May 13, 2015


CptWedgie posted:

Why wouldn't there be crabs in that dungeon? The real question is why they're so nasty.

There's no water. It's madness, I say! They're absolutely one of the toughest enemies I remember from the game. I guess the devs know their true nature - just armor clad demon sea spiders.

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PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


What strikes is me is that the PC's will happily eat walking poison mushrooms and giant snails. But they won't eat giant crab claws, which seems like way more conventional food.

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