Ruts vs. Battlespire CH17: Super Spirio Bros

By Rutskarn Posted Wednesday Jul 20, 2016

Filed under: Lets Play 33 comments

So according to my map, those watery tunnels of questionable hazard have brought me to…Somewhere in the Battlespire. I don’t know what I expected, but a guy can hope.

It's hard for me to study this layout, since my eyes keep drifting wistfully back to the 'exit.'
It's hard for me to study this layout, since my eyes keep drifting wistfully back to the 'exit.'

To be more specific, “Somewhere” is a cavern full of unkillable wraiths, projectile spam, impassable magically-locked gateways, and wandering skeletons. None of them are faster than you, and none of them are worth fighting, so it’s not threatening so much as very unfriendly. If Tamriel had a mall, and a Christmas for it to be two days away from, this is what it would feel like.

You know how in the original Doom you would come through a portal or locked door into a demon carnival and be thrust into a lunging, strafing, exhilarating struggle for survival? This area lets me imagine Doom without the speed or fun combat or power fantasy.

Did you get the joke? It’s that the people who made this game own Doom now.

I find a way up to a platform where there’s two wheel-valves and a devil. This looks like it might be a poignant made-for-YouTube art film, or else one of this game’s more conventional wastes of time.

Despite the apparent yawning void, I can confirm that if I hopped off this platform I'd just land back in the room where I started.
Despite the apparent yawning void, I can confirm that if I hopped off this platform I'd just land back in the room where I started.

After a little freestyle tango with Mister Morphoid I twist both wheels and am presented with the classic metpahor at the heart of every fantasy hero’s journey: a sweet jump. Specifically, I need to jump from this platform to that second one to the third one. I sure wish the draw distance would let me see where I’m jumping to, but I suppose that can’t be helped.

Also, I am completely screwed, because this game’s jumping mechanic is a demented carnival game.

I'm sure an earlier draft of this level had six banana peels per square foot.
I'm sure an earlier draft of this level had six banana peels per square foot.

To recap:

I can’t just run and jump like in a normal game because in Battlespire, your jump needs to charge up. It demonstrates how charged it is by moving a floating marker. However, you need to be running for it to show accurately how charged up it is–the marker leaps forward as soon as you start moving, apparently without regard for speed or direction. However, you can’t move very much on a platform, and you need to know quite accurately where the marker will fall, as it has a wide range. So, in theory, the way to do this is to juke nervously around until the right moment is incipient, then place yourself in precisely the correct place to land where you want to while the marker is still moving.

Accidentally jump when the marker’s representing your standing distance, you’ll overshoot and die.

Accidentally jump too soon, you’ll undershoot and die.

Let go of the jump button a second after you let go of the move button, you’ll instantly revert to standing momentum, undershoot, and die.

Accidentally wait too long and let the marker reset, you’ll undershoot and die.

Accidentally jump while side-strafing so you can see where you’ll land with momentum, you’ll land too far to the side and die.

Jump at the exact correct moment after running to the proper position and releasing at the proper time without flying off the platform or aiming incorrectly, and you’ll probably land two feet short anyway and get stuck on the platform edge.

In the end, I finally manage to stick the landing. Just barely. By accident. On the farthest platform. At this point, I discover that there’s another platform that’s supposed to come up from the ground before I can reach the end of the jumping puzzle, way on the other side of the room.

Prepare for a tale of incredulous riddles, hidden artifacts, and bewitching conversations with scantily-clad NPCs as I attempt to raise this uncooperative landing. Then huff in disappointment, because instead I just kill a Jumping potion and hurl myself an unsportsmanlike distance on account of my hypercharged stats and Jump skill. Which is not without its aggravations, since it means all of the above trials plus an unusual jump distance and trying not to let a potion with a completely unknown duration wear off, but it’s less work than figuring out which statue I’m supposed to tickle to get out of here the correct way.

The standard leap-of-faith landing committee: an enemy to smack you back of the ledge.
The standard leap-of-faith landing committee: an enemy to smack you back of the ledge.

Oh, fine, I’ll look it up. One second.

Looks like there was a wheel in that underwater complex. Actually, it was in one of the major pools you enter the complex from. I literally would have found it if I’d gone right instead of left. I’d have never even realized what it did.

So, this was more work. But it was also more of a pain in the ass, and at the end of the day, that’s what really matters.

About twenty seconds later, a skeleton breaks my cuirass. The fortunate thing is that there are items in this game called Coffers of Restoration that a few scrolls I’ve read have alleged can repair items. I even tried to do so right before the equipment glitch kicked in. I was unsuccessful at repairing anything, but I was very successful at convincing myself that this was what was causing items not to equip properly.

(It wasn’t.)

The upshot is that I threw them all out and have no way of salvaging my armor. Thankfully, the universe’s armorers took pity on me, and in the very next chest I find a brand new helmet. And it matches my newly-revealed shirt perfectly!

Behold, our fearless, bloodsoaked modern gladiator:



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33 thoughts on “Ruts vs. Battlespire CH17: Super Spirio Bros

  1. Da Mage says:

    Does battlespire still do the ‘death cutscene’ and dump to the main menu when you die like Arena and Daggerfall did?

    Cause that shit makes trial and error even worse.

    1. Rutskarn says:

      Technically, it plays a cutscene then returns to DOSBox. Not knowing the technical reason for this, I’ve elected not to gripe.

      Unless someone tells me there’s no good reason it should be so.

      1. Da Mage says:

        Is that a feature or a bug/crash? Surely they wouldn’t make it drop to DOS since their previous games go to the main menu…….but at this point I have no idea.

        1. Mokap says:

          There’s a DOS Tetris game called Nyet III that plays a laugh sound effect and closes the game whenever you die. I’d reccommend watching the Ross’s Game Dungeon video on it.

          Maybe Bethesda just really hates the player that much.

      2. Miguk says:

        I think that’s considered a feature in the 1980s but not the 1990s.

        1. Humanoid says:

          The replacement feature in the 90s was formatting your C: drive when you uninstalled the game.

          1. Orphanmage69 says:

            AHA! The old “Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor” maneuver. Pretty Sneaky.

  2. Exasperation says:

    “Ruts vs. Battlespire CH17: Here to Kick Ass and Name Chapters…”

  3. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Degradable equipment on top of everything else?This game just keeps on giving!

    1. Michael says:

      It only took Bethesda… what, 20 years to figure out that item deterioration was a terrible mechanic?

  4. James says:

    Just when you think you cannot be surprised anymore, Battlespire provides.

  5. Galad says:

    3-5? That’s very little damage for your progress.

    Glad to see modern games are more sensible in regards to basic platforming, such as jumping

    1. Rutskarn says:

      That’s 3-5 fist damage, mind. My weapon damage is considerably higher.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        So its 5-7?

  6. Abnaxis says:

    I SO want the game to have a section where Cahmel gets shot out of a cannon now. That outfit…

  7. Content Consumer says:

    I’m getting mighty tired of seeing a basket in your inventory every time. It’s got to be ten times worse for the person actually playing, since presumably you open your inventory more than once per session for a screenshot.

    1. MichaelGC says:

      I think those are actually burlap sacks, although I agree they are very basket-ey looking sacks. Here’s a very rare screenshot with no basketsacks at all!

      Such are very much in the minority, though, as you rightly point out. And it gets worse. To the point where the less said about this, the better.

      1. Rutskarn says:

        You are correct; that’s most assuredly a sack. And I’m afraid unless I take special precautions you’ll nearly always see one, as its utility is undying.

        If it wasn’t for my grudgingly installed bag network, every trip to the inexcusably bad inventory screen would take 100% longer and inflict 40% more carpal tunnel damage.

  8. Flux Casey says:

    And here we have Rutskarn with the lilac undershirt and royal-purple spandex pants combo, capped off with matching helmet and brass-coloured armour accoutrements to set off a lovely contrast that really brings the whole ensemble together.

    Fabulous. Simply fabulous.

    1. Alright, fanwank time: Whose sense of fashion is better, Reginald Cuftbert or Cahmel Fightman?

      It’s gonna be a tough fight between two very tough competitors!

      Vomit here in the left bucket to vote for Reginald, vomit in the right bucket for Cahmel. The winner is whoever didn’t have to see either of them.

      1. Bespectacled Gentleman says:

        Have you considered the possibility that they are actually the alternate personalities of one single, horrible, awful, insane, race-fluid, outlandish hat-loving man (who constantly falls to his death)? I added so many descriptors that my point must have merit!

  9. BespectacledGentleman says:

    Battlespire: a Kingdom of dreams and madness. But the dreams are all nightmares, and it’s mostly madness. And bags.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Gudda Gudda approves.

  10. Gnoll Queen says:

    …you know i was going to make a comment about Rutskarn not being in the Battlespire any more but then i realized that the only reason i knew that this level is the Soul Carn is because i looked up minor realms of oblivion at some point and found out the Soul Carn is in battlespire (The game not the place).

    Also: Why is this game called Battlespire if only the first two levels are actually in the Battlespire?

    1. Ramsus says:

      Because that’s as much of the game as anyone who isn’t a masochist would ever see?

  11. Akhetseh says:

    Purple helmet! Helm, yeah!

  12. I think that outfit is EXACTLY what David Bowie would wear in the Battlespire.

    1. Rutskarn says:

      I mean, I did defeat an entire floor worth of beasties with Dance Magic (Dance).

    2. Geebs says:

      David Copperfield, more like

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