Ruts vs. Battlespire CH9: Ruts vs. Regular Spire

By Rutskarn Posted Wednesday May 18, 2016

Filed under: Lets Play 39 comments

There’s really no way to sugar-coat this: I am having some troubles saving the multiverse. I’d been doing pretty well up until now. Turns out I’m a whiz at hacking daedra, I’m the champion at slowly navigating platforms over lava, and nobody reads and superstitiously obeys notices on buttons quite like I do. And while these have so far been the primary job requirements, it seems there’s still a few holes in my repertoire. Example: I’m currently stuck in a goddamn attic.

That shadow down there is a pit of lava. Apparently it's just out of range of my light source.
That shadow down there is a pit of lava. Apparently it's just out of range of my light source.

That hole in the floorboards is where the lift that brought me up very briefly was. There is no way to summon said lift from up here, and I have found nothing online to suggest that its failure to return is the usual or expected state of affairs.

But I’m not saying it’s a glitch. It could just be an act of guerrilla cruelty from a disgruntled developer that somehow escaped documentation until, technically, these words you are currently reading. Sure; let’s go with that. In fact, while I’m in the neighborhood, I’ll be extra charitable and attribute to malice everything wrong with this game so far.

Sigh. You know–sooner or later in the grousing process you run out of things to complain about. Then there’s nothing for it but to take a deep breath, take a good long look at your situation, and find new and overlooked subjects for complaint. Or a solution, if it’s not too inconvenient.

So here’s what we’re cooking with. I’m on a thin wooden platform with a big hole in the middle and little holes on its four edges. Beneath each is a sheer drop to a few skinny wooden platforms and a big, fat, Dungeonowner’s Association-mandated lava pit.

So what happens when I drop straight down onto the elevator? I don’t know. Nobody knows, because it’s impossible to do. Moving willfully toward a ledge in this game causes your character to shuffle and skip ambivalently–you need a little speed, or a hop, to clear the edge. Regardless, early experimentation uncovers no obvious route through these holes without flying at a forty-five degree angle straight into a wall–where I promptly get stuck. That’s right, I’m leaping off a ledge toward a pit of lava and my problem is not falling.

The good news is, you get all the time in the world to study this wall. The bad news is that as walls go, it's not very challenging.
The good news is, you get all the time in the world to study this wall. The bad news is that as walls go, it's not very challenging.

But though fortune favors the bold, it tolerates the stupid and will kick scraps to the persistently mediocre. A dozen save-and-reloads later and I’ve successfully calculated a NASA-grade flight pattern which puts me on a far shallower course. Instead of crashing into the wall, I successfully undershoot and crash into the pit of lava. THE EAGLE HAS LANDED. REPEAT, THE EAGLE HAS LANDED.

The good news is that every lava death means I get a brief glimpse at the platform I'm aiming for. The bad news is that THIS IS MY LIFE.
The good news is that every lava death means I get a brief glimpse at the platform I'm aiming for. The bad news is that THIS IS MY LIFE.

I cannot stress enough that this process of re-calibrating and re-positioning and re-plummeting is not an exact science. Maybe it’s the game’s weird movement physics, maybe it’s the shonky controls, but I quickly learn not to expect consistent results from my aeronautics. I take gravity’s whims as they come and just thank the game’s jumping mechanics for being a good sport about all this. Meanwhile, both eat my lunch.

But a combination of mutations and good fortune eventually bless me with exactly the result I’m looking for: I finally hit neither wall nor lava, but the platform waiting below. My character gives a little groan of celebration and sinks to his knees in gratitude. That’s probably made easier by the fact that his kneecaps are, presumably, somewhere inside his buttocks at that time. I’ll have to check an autopsy report–turns out falling from this distance is an instant game over.

So the elevator won’t come back and I need to reach the ground–but if I’m very very careful, I can avoid dying in lava and die on regular boards instead. This is what we call “progress.”

Let’s see what kind of potions I’ve got. First and most obviously foremost, there’s a potion of jumping. Experiments reveal I can use this to hurl myself twice as fast and hard towards my death. Next up is a potion of “etherealness.” At some point in midair, I reflect that–even if, charitably, this potion applies to my situation at all–the most likely result is that I’ll fly through the solid platform and come to a softer lava landing. Turns out I had nothing to worry about. The platform is still very solid.

Finally–and this is a bit of a punt–I try those glowing sigils. Now, I happen to have figured out that these give you a very brief window of immunity. My theory is that if I snarf one on the wing, I might just be able to stick a landing without dying instantly. So that’s just what I try to do: I hop through the hole, use a rune at the last minute, and observe the landing. The good news is, I land totally safely. The bad news is, it’s on the lava. Needless to say, when my immunity wears off in a few spicy moments, I…continue to take no damage? Find myself standing indefinitely and indifferently in a lava pit?


Seriously, I can just take a stroll around here. The dremora up top seems affronted.
Seriously, I can just take a stroll around here. The dremora up top seems affronted.

But there’s no way up, so it’s a wash nonetheless. So I try the hop-and-pop approach with my sigils a few more times, and finally, after about an hour of concerted efforts, I find myself back on the correct platform, hale, hearty, and ready to get on with the oh shit dremora he’s gonna knock me–

Okay, that’s it. I’m done monkeying around this infernal labyrinth. Over the course of the next twenty minutes after I land, I successfully scour the entire level for all the remaining McGuffins, pound them into place, tip a final middle finger to the wizard I leave behind, and hop into the obligatory danger portal. Let’s get on with this.

I use Star Galley for all my nonspecific game-progress commuting. Now with easy collect-five-cogs payment plan!
I use Star Galley for all my nonspecific game-progress commuting. Now with easy collect-five-cogs payment plan!

I don’t know what’s up ahead, but the bad news for it is, there’s a hell-raising pants-grazing eye-glazing bandit rolling up on its six–and Gods help me, but he is angry. And let me ask you a sincere question:

Is this the sort of guy you want to see angry?



From The Archives:

39 thoughts on “Ruts vs. Battlespire CH9: Ruts vs. Regular Spire

  1. Rivlien says:

    Maybe I have just forgotten in the abyss that is glitches, shoddy design and Rutskarn suffering.. But what is the story here again? I didn’t play battlespire or arena, and I never got around to looking it up.

    I could google it, but asking here is much more fun.

    1. Locke says:

      I’m gonna try to do this from memory.

      Rutskarn is here to pass some final test of magery, and thus naturally has shown up with nothing but melee warrior skills. For some reason, the test involves preventing the end of the world, which is accomplished via pushing some buttons or something? An asshole wizard then asked him to run an errand and…uh…

      That’s all I’ve got.

    2. Felblood says:

      So, the final exam at wizard school takes place inside a Hell portal. It is generally agreed that this is a terrible idea, but you know how academia can be about traditions.


      Unsurprisingly, A horde of demons has overrun the place and pushed all the buttons.

      Now that he has successfully (un?)pushed all the buttons, Ruts had to do a BS filler quest, which involved retrieving a cog from an attic with a buggy elevator, to open the door to the next zone. With that out of the way, he can advance to LEVEL 2, and be one step closer to slaying the leader of the demon invasion.

      I’m assuming that level will contain some similarly implausible roadblocks.

    3. Da Mage says:

      The real story is basically you are sent to the battlespire for your final exam to become a Battlemage (or something) only at the same time you arrive, Dagon invades and pulls it into Oblivion.

      Then you must find a way to get back to Tamriel.

      1. So basically it’s a giant version of all the Oblivion Portals in that one game, what was it called, oh yeah Oblivion.

        Climb tower
        Poke sphere

        1. The Rocketeer says:

          The jury’s still out on that “Profit” part.

          1. Syal says:

            But the ‘??????’ part is unquestioned.

            1. The Rocketeer says:

              We have seen a lot of ?????. There might need to be another bullet point or two for it.

  2. Dragmire says:

    Well, I kinda want to see him angry… If only for the change in expression.

    1. Content Consumer says:

      Seconded. Although to be fair his current face is very good, capable of expressing anger, fear, boredom, or massive constipation, as the situation warrants. A very versatile face.
      The sword, on the other hand, still just looks like a LARP foam weapon. If I saw a pissed off guy coming at me with that, I’d probably suffer some serious injuries – falling over, rupturing important internal organs laughing, that kind of thing.

      1. swenson says:

        I just kinda like how the GIANT SWORD can still be seen under the inventory items, so it looks like random garbage is attached to it somehow.

        1. Trix2000 says:

          It took me a minute to realize those WEREN’T actually part of the weapon.

          …And then another minute to convince myself it wasn’t just something silly Ruts had added to the picture afterward. It would be fitting.

        2. Liam O'Hagan says:

          I was wondering why he had paddlepop sticks attached to his sword. Thanks for the clarification!

    2. Cuthalion says:

      I also wish to see him angry. The silly outfit would be great.

  3. Galad says:

    You can be immune to enemies but you can’t be immune to bugs and level design oddities :>

    1. MichaelGC says:

      Right – and I’m assuming there’s no immunity to fall damage either. Or we’d have it.

      1. Galad says:

        Immunity to fall damage is pointless without the ability to climb up to wherever you need to go though

    2. MrGuy says:

      Though that does seem like the Best Perk Ever.

      Naturally, it will be a DLC-only perk, but I’d buy whatever bullshit crappy DLC Bethesda’s hawking today to get access to that perk.

      Seriously, Bethesda. Money to be made here!

  4. MichaelGC says:


    *gasp* What a twist! :D

  5. John says:

    Wow. This game. Weirdly enough, I can easily imagine Battlespire as a contemporary game. You wouldn’t even have to change the graphics or fix the bugs. You just call it “retro” and release it in early access.

  6. Abnaxis says:


    Does this mean all those labyrinthine walkways over lava you had to laboriously navigate despite being chronically incapable of moving in a straight line, could have been trivially bypassed by jumping into the lava while popping a mystery-rune?

    1. Akuma says:

      Maybe in the end, that was the real magic test.

    2. krellen says:

      It’s likely the mystery-rune made him immune to the fall damage, and all the lava had left after that was fire damage, which he is naturally immune to.

      That’s my operational theory, anyway.

      1. Abnaxis says:

        He died from lava in the entry I linked, though.

        My guess is that there’s a collision check on the top of the lava, that once you’ve fallen through the collision plane the game stops checking to see if you died. If Ruts was capable of jumping straight up after the immunity wore off, he would probably die on the way down

        Actually, I kinda wonder if the other “death pit” type obstacles work this way. Maybe the death pillar that required all the button un-pushing wouldn’t be deadly with a well-timed rune? Probably wind up falling down the shaft forever…

        1. guy says:

          I think the main problem is that the runes don’t let him actually move in the lava.

          1. Abnaxis says:

            I thought he actually could move, he just couldn’t jump up to the platforms suspended twenty feet above the lava?

            In contrast, the maze suspended over lava from ealier was only a get feet above the lava. Perhaps it would have been low enough to jump on?

        2. Cuthalion says:

          Another option could be if the lava only deals damage (or just insta-kills) once, on initial impact. If the rune makes you immune, then by the time it wears off, the danger’s already passed.

  7. Novo says:

    I don’t understand the picture with the alt text ‘off’.

    is it funny because Ruts has apparently cut the Dremora in half? Is it funny because the elevator activated and both of them are back in the attic (wait, no, there’s an exit). Is it funny because that Dremora must have been blocking the lift? Is it just for drama, since he got this far an ON NOES HE’S SO CLOSE?

    I obviously am having hard time parsing.

    1. Matt Downie says:

      Text preceding picture: “he's gonna knock me”“”


      He finally made the jump correctly, and a Dremora shoved him back into the lava.

      1. Novo says:

        Yes? But then the next sentence he’s kicking the crap out of the rest of the map, instead of having to make the amazing jump(s) again.

        But I see it now, thanks.

  8. Tizzy says:

    Wooden platform over lava: classic!

    1. Peter H. Coffin says:

      No such thing as convection or radiant heat in this universe!

      1. Trix2000 says:

        Convection? Radiant heat? STOP MAKING UP THESE SILLY THINGS.

        Everyone knows lava is perfectly safe so long as you don’t poke it with your finger – it which point it incinerates you instantly.

        1. Humanoid says:

          It’s even better when the lava behaves as a solid, allowing you to place objects on the surface and use them as stepping stones like so.

          (Blatantly stolen from the definitive Ultima 8 walkthrough)

  9. NotSteve says:

    What are those bits on your sword? Is the inventory glitching and showing you the objects behind it, or does it actually have a couple handles on the part you’d want to be shoving through people?

    1. Nixitur says:

      It’s not glitching, the game just renders the inventory items above your equipment. It’s certainly better than the other way around.

  10. MrGuy says:

    That shadow down there is a pit of lava. Apparently it’s just out of range of my light source.

    Technically, when it’s still in the pit, it’s called a meteroid.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      You have waited to use that for a long time,havent you?

Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.