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