::LP01, Part Two: Endings

Welcome to part 2 of this pictoral Let's Play. Are you ready for tons of filler and constantly shifting narrative perspective? Then read on.

When last we joined our hero, he had just finished vanquishing the filth on level three of the Dungeons of Doom. He had also just finished running around in the dark, terrified of every footstep and echo that found its way to his ears from out the looming blackness. His Goddess, Venus, had answered his prayers and delivered unto him a staircase down which he might descend farther into the depths of this perilous labyrinth.

Unfortunately for our hero, brave James the Ranger, this newest level of the dungeon was no better than the last.

Your movements are slowed slightly because of your load.

... So yeah, I'm encumbered at this point. I'm not sure what's causing it, but I'm pretty sure it's the crystal ball I found a floor or two up. Did I not mention that? Well anyway, I found a crystal ball. When I use it, I can attempt to see enemies on the map of a certain type, so I don't want to get rid of it just yet. Sadly, I had to... can't deal with being weighed down just yet, and since I don't know the game well enough to make full use of this thing anyway, I might as well get rid of it.

The creeping darkness was still prevalent, and our hero has yet to procure anything that could emit for him any amount of light. Indeed, his only choice once again is to walk blindly into the dark, where he will mentally map the walls that he bumps into and shoot his enemies at contact distance with his bow.

Actually, it's not quite as bad as it seems. For whatever reason, our hero is able to see his immediate surrounding area pretty well. Perhaps there is a bit of light, just not enough to see more than five or ten feet away? In any case, it's time for our hero to move on.

It isn't long before our hero is confronted by more pesky Dwarves and Gnomes. Why are these people so hostile to brave James the Ranger? Are they employed by the wicked sorceror, dreaded Whatshisface? I can only assume so, and the one realistic course of action to take in this scenario is obvious: Shoot them in their stupid faces with my bow.

Odd creatures, these dungeon kin. Both shorter than a man or an elf, with the Dwarf standing at about four feet and the Gnome being considerably smaller. The Dwarves tend to have long, full beards whereas the Gnomes do not. In most ways, a Dwarf is quite simialr to a man if a bit more stout than average, while the Gnome is not. Its features are more exaggerated and knobby, almost comical in an ugly way. Is it their shortness that unites these specimen, or are they bound together by their mutual love of of the wicked wizard's gold?

TWANG! TWANG! Two arrows leave the bowstring at high velocity, crossing the distance between me and the Dwarf - at this point, probably three feet or so - and putting an end to his fetid existence. Well, the second one does, I missed the first shot but whatever. I treat the Gnome to a similar fate and notice that, suddenly, I feel more confident in my weapon skills.

You feel more confident in your weapon skills.

I continue strolling through the darkness, attempting as best I can to find an exit from this place when suddenly, to my southeast, I hear a terrible buzzing sound.

Egads! A giant killer bee!

Fortunately, these insects prove not to be arrow-resistant and are soon oozing husks of exoskeletal lifelessness, more pincushion than bee. I make quick work of another one, and another, and... uh-oh. What's... what's going on here?

With horror, our hero realizes that he may have stumbled into a hive of some type. Not wanting to die an agonizing death of a thousand bee-stings, our hero books it the fuck back the way he came, hoping to outrun this new menace or at least find a bottleneck so as not to be swarmed on all sides.

Along the way his path is blocked by an imp with god-awful timing. Our hero is lucky however; not only is the imp easily dispatched, but the killer bee menace turned out to be a bit less overwhelming than previously assumed, as there were only two remaining before the raging bee inferno was quelled.

And so onward do they trek, brave James the Ranger and his canine companion Molly the Labrador, into regions unexplored on this level of the dungeon. Before too much longer, they are confronted by a new threat, one deceptive in its charm and its beauty.

A Mountain Nymph appears from the darkness, strolling gracefully toward him with an alluring half-cocked smirk decorating an already beautiful face. She's small, comparable in height to the Dwarf though perhaps just a bit taller, with delicate features and a very slender figure. She is dressed in a soft, flowing gown that matches her deep brown eyes and hair, hips swaying back and forth as she approaches our hero who is struck, mouth agape before this near-flawless young woman.

The mountain nymph smiles seductively at your displaced image...

She beams a smile in our hero's direction, and once again he finds himself grateful for the cloak of displacement that he wears. This perfect creature, this Mountain Nymph has mistaken our hero's shade for the man himself, and as she tries to seduce the shade our hero sees a glint coming from the creature. Is it the steel of a readied dagger? The glass of a vial of poison? Or is it just the hint of malice in her eyes that betrays her intention? In an instant, brave James the Ranger recalls the lessons he'd learned about Nymphs and the warnings he'd been given about this dungeon.

"Nothing is safe, everything wants to kill you," they said. And he could believe it.

Before this lovely woman is given the chance to destroy our hero, he brings his bow to bear and fires two rounds into her face, destroying it and leaving a pretty, crumpled corpse on the floor. He hates to have ruined such a perfect thing, but alas, his Goddess demands the Amulet and he does not want to die.

Walking around for some time, our hero finally comes across a most interesting item:

a useful item (pick-axe, key, lamp) (lamp)

HALLE-FUCKING-LUJAH. A goddamn lamp! Finally, after all this time, I can see where the hell I'm going. Time to explore this level of the dungeon a bit, now that I can actually see.

A gush of water hits you!  Your lamp goes out!


A fucking water trap? Are you... seriously, game? Seriously?

Luckily, turns out that I was able to reactivate the lamp. I find I'm soon ready to leave, so Molly and I decide to blow this popsicle stand. That is, after waiting around for the dog to show up by the stairs for a million goddamn years. Whatever. We descend to level five.

Do mine eyes deceive me, or is this room... lit? Finally, we're done with that darkness crap! Alright! Come on Molly, we'll find our way out of here in no time I'm sure. This should be a bit easier too, since I can actually see stuff before I have to run into it with my ranged character.

a staircase

Oh.. well, that was quick I guess. I suppose we should go down.

Wellllll... then again, there's no telling what sort of cool shit is on this level. And hey, leveling up is always fun, and so is honing one's martial prowess. Damn. Looks like our hero's explorer's instinct has kicked in and it's time to see what this level's got to offer. Stairs can wait.

What's all this, then? This looks like a city or something. Is that what it is? I didn't know this game had cities. I guess I'll look around, then.

WHAM! WHAM! Our hero bravely kicks down a few locked doors and murders a Gnome or two. More hostile Gnomes! Geez, what is it with these guys? Can't they see I'm on a noble quest to plunder their homes and steal the Amulet of Yendor for my Goddess that doesn't seem to be entirely thrilled with me anyway? They will pay for their crimes, I guarantee it!

TWANG TWANG! More dead Gnomes. WHAM! Another bravely kicked-in door. Some asshole shouts something at me about "How dare I break his door" or something, I wasn't paying attention... until he started shooting at me with some wands.

Bnowr Falr zaps a uranium wand!  The wand misses you.

Hmmmm... this could be bad.

I guess this is a shopkeeper's place, then. I bravely flee the scene of the crime - and by crime I mean that jerkoff who started shooting at me for no reason of course - and try to bravely make my way back to the staircase to run away. If Molly wants to come along, she better move her doggy ass. Sadly, it doesn't look like our hero is fast enough to outrun the clerk and his wands, so in a last-ditch effort to save my life, I begin reading some of the unidentified scrolls in my inventory, hoping that one of them will teleport me away from this horrible situation I find myself in.

So I manage to read a scroll of Detect Treasure (you know, that spell I already have memorised) before I'm gunned down by the shopkeeper's magic.

You die...

Alas, it seems this is the end of the road for brave James the Ranger. Death is permanent in NetHack, as it is in other Roguelikes, so this is the last we shall see of this particular hero. What an end, to be viciously murdered by a shopkeeper for no good reason at all.

Tombstone:  REST IN PEACE, james, 165 Au, kill by Mr. Bnowr Falr, the shopkeeper, 2011.  Goodbye James the Ranger...  You died in the Gnomish Mines on dungeon level 5 with 4607 points, and 165 pieces of gold, after 3600 moves.  You were level 7 with a maximum of 42 hit points when you died.

That's the end of this Let's Play. I may end up doing another, since I feel this one was cut a bit short.

For those interested, here's a text dump of James the Ranger. Keep in mind that almost none of this was identified, so most of this is as much new to me as it is to you.

:: james_RanHuMaNeu_2011-08-18.txt