A Dad In A Dungeon: The Final Part

By John Walker on May 10th, 2012 at 2:00 pm.

Remember snails? How friendly the now seem.

Dentist by day, dungeoneer by night, John’s dad Hugh has reached the very bottom of Legend Of Grimrock’s mountain prison. In the final part of this series, he meets dinosaurs, floaty wizards, checks out walkthroughs, and stumbles upon a rather big baddie. Obviously this edition contains slight spoilers for the end of the game.

It may come as no surprise by now to learn of the inevitable predictability with which I went back up to Level 7, realising that was where I had found the wretched secret bit on the south-west of The Shadow Maze – and another way down to Level 8. Oh? Do I really want to go down that way. It’s not very nice, is it? I already know the way down to Level 9 and going down is surely what this game is about, isn’t it? Maybe I’ll change my mind after I’ve died a little on 9.

Legend of Grimrock has been out long enough to have spawned a huge number of walkthroughs, and has finally received a quicksave patch. But what this game really needs an auto-save on resting. So, I had a look ahead and right now I think I need to be writing about something else. The first walkthrough Google found for me is hilarious. His name is Doug. His delivery is just terrific. I’ve found more useful ones since, but none of them feature Doug.

Game Banshee have done an excellent job but unless you have enough self discipline and control they can give too, too much information. Reading about some of the earlier levels, learning about all the stuff I missed, most of the time I was thinking, “How the $%&^!* was I supposed to think of that?”, which is more comforting than, “Why on Earth didn’t I think of that?”, I suppose.

Reading on makes me want to run back to the arms of Lydia. Oh yes! Despite her somewhat reckless behaviour, Lydia is alive and well, and after Legend of Grimrock has scared the living daylights out of me for the umpteenth time I often seek succour in that haven of relative calm and tranquility that is Skyrim. (If you haven’t played Skyrim this will mean nothing to you, but you really should play it – if you have, that comment may strike a chord of resonance, especially if you read Walker the Younger’s account of how he carried her lifeless body to a reverently secluded spot, instead of doing the decent thing and resuscitating her with the LOAD GAME technique).

We killed a tyrannosaur today, back in Grimrock that is. It was meeting this that made me decide I needed to go seek what I had missed on 7. But having found the other way down to 8, the tyrannous beast was looking positively attractive.

My goodness, those mushrooms were tough. And little previously had come near the blissful satisfaction of playing ‘Chase me! Chase me!’ with an ogre, and then watching the lightning bolts in “Electron Alley” (or whatever it is called) take it out. (Of course, you do have to hit it at least once to stop the lightning taking all the experience points.) And then, somehow, 8 was completed.

Dancing with the dinosaurs on 9 became almost – ALMOST – easy once I realised that my Rogue was so weighed down with hoarded bombs that if I didn’t use them soon, not only would she be unable to move but there was a distinct possibility that I would finish (or get as close to the finish as I would ever get) with an almost complete arsenal of unexploded bombs. I was doing quite well until ‘She-who-most-definitely-will-not-be-writing-a-“Mum in a Dungeon”-feature distracted me with calls to come to tea, “For the THIRD time!” Then a dino-chum turned up and we got cornered. Seldom has a lamb chop carried such a high price.

Level 10 seems a bit of a blur to me now. The discovery that those wizard-chappies can open doors was a bit of a shock. My whole game-plan needs rethinking. But it was very obliging of them to carry those lanterns so I could see when they were coming. Ambling on downwards down, not a care in the world, positively exuding peace and harmonious thoughts, Level 12 came as a bit of a shock, and involved a great deal of running upstairs. – and falling down pits (of course). It took me ages to find all the bits for the last puzzle – and just the occasional email to my Cultural Adviser, viz. “Is my game broken?” etc. Calm, courteous, encouraging and informative are just some of the words that could be used to describe the responses.

Oh yes, this game is scary! The game may not be broken but my nerves are – absolute rags! I have heard it said that mine is a high-stress job. Believe me, the jolly old day-job has nothing on Legend of Grimrock in that department.

So, here we are, sitting by a teleport on 13, weighed down with unexploded bombs, realising that we never will get back to the ‘Sleeping with Dragons’ bit and wondering if we really should have brought along that Minotaur chap instead, after all. I’ve been upstairs many times – and died each time. This really is the closest I shall get to the end: [Obviously the video contains spoilers for the ending – Ed]

I have faced this beast so many times and died. I will keep trying but, meanwhile, the vicarious excitement and triumph gained from watching this Doug fellow’s amazing digital dexterity – that I just know I cannot emulate – will suffice for now.

Thus ends the “Dad In a Dungeon Diary”. It’s been fun. Thank you for having me.

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35 Comments »

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  1. Ian says:

    Hooray for John’s dad. :)

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    G-Lord says:

    A great conclusion to an excellent series. Thank you very much!

  3. McDan says:

    Yay johns dad, at least he doesn’t just go on about how games make him feel and cry about them. More I say!

  4. adonf says:

    If you think that being a dentist is a high-stress job you should try being a dentist’s patient for once.

    • John Walker says:

      You realise that all dentists are also dentists’ patients, right?

      • adonf says:

        Don’t they have that special medicine that prevents tooth decay but that’s not sold to the general public? I read about that in Conspiracy Theory Weekly.

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          HermitUK says:

          The tooth is out there…

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            Rinox says:

            Nobody caries about your conspiracy theories!

          • Mattressi says:

            Don’t be so quick to dismiss him – I think he has great wisdom.

            I always seem to end up in the pun thread – I won’t say I’m a slave to puns, but perhaps an indentured servant.

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            Lambchops says:

            By gum! These puns are terrible.

          • therighttoarmbears says:

            Indeed, they are beating me to a pulp!

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            DrScuttles says:

            Part of me is sick to the back teeth of pun threads.
            But the other part of me finds that they fill a mirth-shaped cavity in my soul.

          • adonf says:

            I will hold the molar high ground and ignore those puns.

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            MacBeth says:

            I believe that theory was proved to be false… required some incisor-ive analysis through the amalgam of accusations and misinformation to get to the root of the matter though

          • Eddy9000 says:

            Allow me to make pun number canine.

          • sinister agent says:

            Dentistry is a specialist career and very impressive and all, but I think if we’re being honest, we all consider this series to be Mr. John Walker’s Dad’s crowning achievement.

          • lijenstina says:

            The big cheese!?

          • Hugh Walker says:

            I think it is essential to make a good impression right from the start and although I may be looking down in the mouth a lot of the time, how many of you get to tell a woman to close her mouth without being in BIG TROUBLE?
            Level 13 reminds me a bit of work and of that bit from the hymn ‘Abide with me’, “…glories pass away, Change and decay in all around I see”.

  5. Ian says:

    Has the question been asked in previous comments threads regarding how capable a healer he is?

    • Kodeen says:

      Well he’s a dentist, so naturally he heals through pain, which is always effective.

      Maybe John is a terrible healer because he’s too nice.

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    Smashbox says:

    The exciting conclusion.

    Now for the Dwarf Fortress edition!

  7. Fiwer says:

    Wait, he didn’t finish? Come on man, get it done!

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    Bluerps says:

    That was a really nice series. And even though he didn’t beat the last boss, I still think it’s great that he got to the end! :)

  9. Caiman says:

    With all those unexploded bombs, the final boss should be somewhat easier than he thinks. As long as you keep your distance and lob, you’re all good. Oh, and remember, the best escape route is often down…

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    sonofsanta says:

    But did your hands tremble at any point? If it managed to connect at that same level again, that’s all the recommendation the game could ever need.

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    DrScuttles says:

    Don’t want to spoil anything for those who didn’t watch the video, but that was a good boss fight.

    Anyway, come on Walker the Elder! You’ve watched the video, you know how to win, surely you can do it.
    This has been a good series, so thank you to the Walkers.

  12. Mattressi says:

    Can we expect more from Elder Walker? I’ve quite enjoyed this series and I’d love to see more from him.

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    PoulWrist says:

    I just realised how I never tried resurrecting Toorum :(

  14. Eddy9000 says:

    Picked this up but when I heard that it was coming out for ipad thought I’d wait, I can see this working perfectly on it and there just aren’t enough good games on the thing. Apart from Osmos which I think is the best game ever made.

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    lowprices says:

    Oh man. John, you need to find something else for Walker the Elder to write about. These have been great.

  16. tentacle says:

    The cube boss thing was kinda terrifying but actually very easy.

    MAYBE SPOILER —-

    I just went to a 3×3 area down at the bottom of the map and we did a circular dance in a 2×2 section of it. Easy peasy and I normally suck at anything faster-paced than nethack. Any neighboring spawned beasts would just get crushed, I didn’t really have to worry about them at all.

  17. Tuor says:

    Technique for making it through final boss:

    1) Use electricity whenever possible (air magic/lightning rod)
    2) Whack baddie once or twice.
    3) Fall down hole.
    4) Heal.
    5) Save
    6) T-port back.

    Repeat until he’s dead.

    This worked for me on hard mode.

  18. Was Neurotic says:

    Thank you Mr. Walker, that was an excellent read, from start to finish. Could you be persuaded to do a few more such things?