Gordy, The Sqrlian Being (xyzzysqrl) wrote,

Dark Messiah of Might and Magic Post 3 - I Get Fed Up And Fast Forward

We are probably very close to done (but not there yet) with Dark Mess of M&Ms! For reference, this is chapter seven out of ten in the pop-up picture book that is the plot of this game.

Last time, Sareth said "I must seal the demons!" and Xana said "No Sareth we are the demons."
And then Sareth was a demon.

Let's actually look at that for a moment. Sareth's "super mode" is to turn into a demon (which drains health) and drain life-force (which regenerates health). It's not much of a power really, since you have to transform and then shred everything in sight and turn back before you come out with -less- health than when you went in.

Still, it's great for rapidly ending a war of attrition scenario. Or, you know, in a scenario like this where we have no weapon or armor. In fact, even when we find some interesting goodies, Sareth complains "I can't carry that! The Orcs took my backpack!" Well, that's okay. We still have our magic spells -- no, actually, we don't. They're represented as inventory items. So somehow the orcs stole the abstract concept of a healing spell from us, because that was in our backpack.

SARETH YOUR BRAIN IS SERIOUSLY WEIRD OKAY

So we demon up and maul some orcs, and Xana is all "er you'll get used to the tail pretty quick" and Sareth is all "THAT WAS AMAZING oh god so weak" and Xana reminds him that most people will not -understand- if he suddenly grows three feet taller, turns lava-textured, sprouts a tail and starts eating townies so maybe keep the demon powers on the down low.

Vulpis was right. This kinda feels like we're suddenly playing Bloodlines again. Enchanted sword, superpowers, draining others to keep ourselves going, not allowed to use 'em in public...

Anyway, our forced equipmentless section comes to an end pretty swiftly, yayifications. We end up dueling a cyclops to the death, but that's no trouble at all. As it falls, Xana muses. She had been thinking of Sareth as a worthy heir to his father. Perhaps instead, he's a worthy successor?

One thing's for sure. When Sareth rules, orcs will be illegal.

On through the... mines? I guess? Geography has gotten cloudy. And then there's an orc fortress for no particular reason, so we... just push through that. Finally we're at the beach, and Leanna's men take us back to Stonehelm, Xana mumbling all the while that we CAN'T LET THEM SEE this one weird trick we can do with only our new polymorphic body.

We sail on back to Stonehelm and raid Arantir's sewer base, where it turns out he has a portal set up to go to the Necromancer home city, because remember this is still a spinoff of Heroes of Might and Magic. So of course we cruise on through and just start stabbing people left and right. HEROIC FANTASY.

At this point, it kind of starts to plod a bit, honestly, so I'm just hitting the highlights:

- We save Leanna, who had been thrown in a spider pit and left there.
- We discover that Arantir's Big Plan is to kill everybody in Stonehelm to create a massive sealing ritual that will bind Big Daddy Demon forever.
- We head back to Stonehelm AGAIN, which is under attack by undead. At this point, Leanna wants us to go purge our demonic taint (and Xana) at a holy temple. ... We elect not to do this, because Xana's not that bad and also TAIL FORM.
- We discover that Stonehelm was built on a GIANT NECROPOLIS, which seems like possibly the worst place to build your city if you've got demon and necromancy issues.
- There are like twenty thousand boss fights seriously.
- I no longer care.

The thing is, around this point Leanna attacks us because we're still all demony. I don't really want to kill her! I don't want to kill EITHER of the two women of this game. For a little while I genuinely think about just letting her kill Sareth off. Probably a better ending for this game anyway. "Prophecy thwarted by mage girl, everyone has cake."

In the end, I exploit a loophole. We don't HAVE to fight and kill Leanna just because the plot expects us to. We whack her over the head with a box and SPRINT. Getting to the end of the level without killing her requires a LOT of mashing the quick-heal button, but damnit, we manage. As far as the plot's concerned she's dead, but you know what?

EVERYBODY LIVES, damnit.

So, we fight Arantir, he summons a giant undead dragon (as one does), we slay the dragon (and Arantir), and it comes to a choice. Do we free our father the demon from his thousand year bondage?

... Well. You know. ... The Dark Messiah is meant to free a demon. ...and freeing Xana from the service of Kha-Belath technically fulfills that particular part of the prophecy. Sareth slams the skull down on an altar and binds Kha-Belath back into another thousand years of screwing off out of everybody's way. The game narrator informs us that Sareth and Xana went on to RULE THE LAND.

It is a semi-happy ending. I presume that Leanna goes off and joins the Holy Inquisition and every five or so years she shows up at the Sareth Stronghold to duel and have tea and play with the unholy demonspawn kids.

That's not how it HAD to go, by the way. Your choices fork the plot like this:

If you show up with Leanna, you can bind the demon and have the Mega Happy Light Side Ending.
Or you can free the demon because you ... didn't pay any attention at all to the plot? I don't know. She dies, you and your dad rule. Have fun with that.

Or you can do what I did and rule with Xana alone... or free Kabalala the demon lord and RULE SIDE BY SIDE AS FATHER AND SON like a fucking Skywalker boss. Did we choose correctly? You decide. I don't really care.

But anyway: Dark Mess of Might and Magic is OVER.

That was pretty fun for a while, but I'm sort of glad to see the back of it. My game clock says 16 hours, and that's just way too much hacking and slashing for me.

Next up: We wrap up 2013!

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