Ruts vs. Battlespire CH23: Abandon Every Hope

By Rutskarn Posted Thursday Aug 25, 2016

Filed under: Lets Play 94 comments


Q: Is it going to have as many bugs as Daggerfall?

A: Ha. Not this time. Battlespire is just entering preliminary beta testing and will not ship until it is bug-free.



“I looked, and there before me was a pale horse. Its rider’s name was Death, and Hell followed close behind him.”


My internet’s been out for two weeks. I’m not saying that’s Battlespire‘s fault. I may have blamed it, in a moment of weakness, but I’m also not saying that it’s intelligent enough to hear my outburst through my microphone–and I am not claiming that a videogame can recognize, contextualize, deliberately provoke and thoroughly enjoy human pain. That would be silly.

The exorcist agrees with me.

I didn’t bring any new screenshots with me today–I’m not quite ready to move on. Technically, I haven’t made any progress since the last session. Which is not the same as saying I haven’t played the game; I’ve played it for hours. I just haven’t progressed.

I haven’t saved my game in two weeks. And there’s a damn good reason for that, as I’m about to share. It just so happens I’ve entered the No Scum Zone.

Allow me to explain.

Let’s kick off with a small confession: I’ve been religiously consulting the UESP, the best and brightest Elder Scrolls wiki out there, since the earliest days of the series. At first I only read it prescriptively. Something would glitch or baffle or vanish, I’d get frustrated, I’d bring up the wiki page and see what I could sort out. For some while that was enough. By the third level and fortieth time I got stuck I started skimming the walkthroughs in advance, if only to know which obstacles were deliberate and which were design quirks or engine foulups. Which made me feel a bit guilty. Didn’t I owe it to you, the readers, to play totally blind? Shouldn’t I engage each whimsical turn on its own terms? Shouldn’t I experience this game the way it was, apparently, meant to be experienced?

I picked this exact moment to let you be the judge of that. The last of my own personal shame was doused when I looked up the page for Level 5 and caught this pro tip, rendered in the charming patois of the modest-traffic Wikia article:

The game creates useless object entries for containers every time a saved game is loaded after the game has been quit to DOS…Would you never quit the game, you could theoretically play on like in the other levels. Unfortunately the game quits and restarts automatically every time your character’s health drops to zero, or in other words, when you are defeated. This behavior of the game cannot be changed…

There is no solution for this serious bug except the advise to save as little as possible.

If I’m reading this right–and dear sweet Taco King, I better be reading this right–I can avoid the systematic destruction of my savegames, progress, and entire way of life by, uh, not saving at all during this level. I should mention that I’ve saved and loaded an average of about thirty times per level so far, so that’s a worrisome prescription, but not an insurmountable one. The main thing to do will be to avoid enemy spam, try to move in a straight line, and avoid any obnoxious glitches. From the map, I’d say this is largest and most sprawling I’ve yet seen in the game–so what meager words of comfort does the wiki have for me?

180 monsters on this level and all want to kill you


can only be harmed with the Spear of Bitter Mercy


need to find a Yehk entry sigil, 6 gatekeys, 6 pieces of the Savior’s Hide, and the spear case


simply won’t die, no matter how many times you hit it


around 10,000 hit points


opening menus on this level can cause game to freeze


windows can crash if activated


It’s a rare thing, when I read unofficial guides for ancient games like this, that the tone is less flat and room-temperature than an apocalyptic cola. The youth of the format and thanklessness of the job and culture of amateur professionalism saw to that, back in the ASCII days, and much of that carried forward into the next generation. Mostly the UESP is no exception, but–and I could be projecting –I’d argue that the calm deadpan of Battlespire‘s entries conveys something special–a sincere and lonely bafflement. Whomever wrote this knew their walkthrough would be practical guide second, freakshow exhibit first and foremost. You can’t sit down years after release and write something like sometimes standing still causes the player to take damage and think you’re going to get back a chorus of, “Oh, good to know, I’ll keep my eyes peeled for that.” You know that what you’re really writing for the few people reading is: don’t play Battlespire under any circumstances. That’s the “hot tip” that matters. It takes a bored, obsessed, or truly depraved cowboy to willfully put themselves in a position where knowledge like don’t touch the ceilings or the game might crash has a practical application.

I genuinely wonder how many people have made it even this far. How many people in the world bothered to get to level 5? How many saw the same hunt-and-gather quest writ even larger and decided to take up crochet instead? How many soldiered on and borked their savegames, sadly uninstalled Battlespire, and never even found out what the problem was? And how many informed or lucky people made it all the way through to the end of this level–to the end of the next one–to the end of this weird little videogame? A thousand players? A hundred? A dozen?

There’s no data on that. There’s no achievement for beating Battlespire, and if there was, it’d just say: Why?

At the end of the day, that doesn’t matter. If I want to be one of those lonely, surly few, I better get to work.

My internet’s not back up yet. I’ve had enough of a time publishing this post–I haven’t had a chance to upload the huge parcel of screenshots I’ll need for the next few weeks. Maybe that’s just as well; heaven knows I’m going to need a king-hell buffer. To be honest with you, I don’t know how many posts this is going to take. I don’t know how many of my bloodsoaked, profanity-capped iterations are going to be interesting enough to publish. We’re gonna play this one by ear–and we’re not gonna stop until they shut off the power.

After all, these fourteen components guarded by immortal daedric hounds aren’t going to assemble themselves.



From The Archives:

94 thoughts on “Ruts vs. Battlespire CH23: Abandon Every Hope

  1. MichaelGC says:

    They should have gone with:

    Ha. Not this time. Battlespire is just entering preliminary beta testing and will not ship until it does not have as many bugs as Daggerfall.

    which would have been strictly correct. Oh, and I can help you out with that last unknown, there!: all of them.

    1. Narkis says:

      “until it has more bugs than Daggerfall.”

      Fixed it for you.

      1. MichaelGC says:

        No fix required: strictly ‘not as many’ could mean it has more bugs, or that it has fewer bugs.

        It would normally mean ‘fewer’, true, and I’m thus playing playing fast & loose with the conventions of language. But Battlespire plays fast & loose with the laws of narrative, decency, baggage, and indeed physics, so I don’t feel too bad.

        1. Incunabulum says:

          Its a PR agent’s answer.

          Technically correct, completely useless except as an arsecovering exercise.

          1. MichaelGC says:

            Which was my original point. Well, we sure drove whatever infinitesimal humour I may have started with right hard into the ground.

      2. Kalil says:

        Numerically speaking, Daggerfall had the significant advantage of being gargantuanly humongous. It would be hard to match it for bugs, by number, simply due to the amount of space available to place them in.

        1. Sleeping Dragon says:

          On the other hand Daggerfall generally consisted of repeating (if often differently coloured) building blocks and so, while it did have a certain advantage of suddenly springing on the player the results of a bug they triggered many days or weeks ago and half the continent away, so it was mostly the same few bugs happening over and over again.

  2. Matt Downie says:

    Battlespire “will not ship until it is bug-free”.


    1. IFS says:

      They aren’t bugs they’re features!

      …Well at least they’re featuring quite prominently in this LP.

  3. Mokap says:

    “3. Bookcase graphic on Level 1 and Level 6 upside down (v1.5), of course it is a mage’s chamber so…???”

    Ah, the old “bug or feature” debate.

  4. Tektotherriggen says:

    Just checking – is that genuinely the official Bethesda FAQ? Because at this stage in the Battlespire nonsense, I’d believe you if you claimed the official Bethesda FAQ said, “April Fool!”.

    1. Tektotherriggen says:

      I’ve just Googled it, and it is. It is actually a real quote (either that or someone faked it so long ago that every other website was fooled).

      See also this gem:
      Q: Are the graphics really that good?
      A: Yes, they really are that good. Battlespire runs in high resolution (640×480) and high color (32K colors) … A goal of the artists involved was to make the environments so spectacular that every possible viewing perspective would make a great screenshot.

      1. Matt Downie says:

        I only wish I had a high-resolution 640×480 screen to play it on. But hardly anyone sells those these days.

      2. Disc says:

        I’m more surprised the game actually has a multiplayer component. This bit in particular:

        “Teamplay : You can team up and play the single player aspects of the game as a group.”

        Found only one decent video and it’s a couple of Russians doing co-op. Looks like a real trip.

        1. Matt Downie says:

          From my experience of game development, that explains a lot; they were probably trying to deal with the hundreds of issues that arise as a result of multiplayer features, and fixing them broke other things, and they ran out of time and someone decided to release it as it was and move on.

        2. Edward Lu says:

          Here’s a highlight reel of a friend and I playing through some of the first chapter:

          It was… pretty great. Surprisingly playable for a multiplayer game made in 1996. Unfortunately, he lost his side of the video, my voice is too low, and I suck at video editing, so the video will forever stay unlisted on Youtube.

  5. Eichengard says:

    I did one look forward to Cahmel bravely running away from whatever it is that can only be harmed by a spear while cursing his initially prefectly balanced point buy.

    1. Grudgeal says:

      At least he’s not a mage, having blasted his way through the game until this point. He’s at least competent in ‘taking hits to the face’ department.

    2. jawlz says:

      And now you realize why there was such an uproar over Bethesda removing spears in Oblivion. They were leaving players defenseless against any immortal daedra hounds they might run across.

  6. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The game creates useless object entries for containers

    What does that even mean?That it randomly spawns a useless object somewhere in your inventory?That it creates a useless object for every bag you are carrying?That its filling lootable objects on the level with crap?We need to know!

    As for no save scumming,couldnt you save before you enter level 5,then save scum in a different slot until you learn the level inside and out,go back to the previous save and go through it in just a dozen single go?

    1. Primogenitor says:

      Does it allow multiple save slots? That sounds too convenient for Battlespire.

      But the “copy save files to a different location” trick might work.

    2. Da Mage says:

      I think what this means that it start filling up inventory with broken items….which seems to then corrupt your save making it unable to load.

      1. Mephane says:

        May I suggest if nothing else helps, Rutskarn helps himself to some cheats or a trainer? I think in the case of Battlespire, cheating is not only morally justified, but possibly even mandated.

        1. Content Consumer says:

          I tend to agree. But on the other hand, it’s quite amusing in a sort of schadenfreude way reading these knowing he isn’t taking any shortcuts…

        2. Daemian Lucifer says:

          “Using cheats makes the screen flip upside down,and the controls to randomly change between regular and mirrored”.

          1. MrGuy says:

            Only now do you realize the true power of the Bugside. Come and take his place and we will rule the galaxy as father and A NEW CAR!!

        3. Leocruta says:

          Interacting with Battlespire at the intended level is already creating a beautiful cacophony of madness. I would expect messing with it at an even more fundamental level would cause Rutskarn’s computer to screech in twelve hitherto unheard of languages, before imploding (whilst simultaneously expanding) into a point of impenetrable darkness through which would emerge beings beyond the comprehension of those who understand Battlespire.

    3. Zak McKracken says:

      I read it and thought it might relate to objects in the computer science interpretation: A piece of data/code.

      Anyway, I wonder if it shouldn’t be possible to locate the file/folder where the game puts the savegames and keep a copy somewhere else. Savespamming the saves.

      You know the Battlespire is dangerous if it’s foiling even your meta-problemsolving and you need to resort to meta-meta-tactics.

      1. Andrew Blank says:

        That’s where my mind went. I guess cause I’m a computer scientist. I interpreted it to mean that it, for some insane reason, ends up creating junk data that isn’t anywhere in the game, it’s just sitting in memory and steadily starts to push other things out, corrupting the save.

        1. MichaelGC says:

          I think you’re both right, you know:

          Here’s a bug which might have actually helped Rutskarn:

          A magical cape found on Level 2a is worn as pants? (v1.5)

          and one that we know already has:

          Mobs get stuck easily on, well, anything (v1.5). Mostly corners and tight places.

          PS In keeping with tradition, when you search for the ‘useless object’ bug this very post is in the top three results…

          1. The Right Trousers says:

            Wearing a magical cape as pants is extra funny outside the United States. Imagine hiking your trousers up over all that bulky abracadabra.

            It’s the ultimate enchanted multipurposing.

            So how does one take advantage of arcane underwear? It depends. Ha!

            1. MrGuy says:

              That joke was kinda crappy.

              1. The Right Trousers says:

                Don’t get your panties in a twist.

      2. Anthony says:

        Your right, after reading the full text of the bug from the bug section of the wiki, the bug creates 20 useless object entries after each save and attaches them to the save file. This adds about 58k to the save file. After about 600k of useless objects has been added (somewhere from 30-50 saves), this corrupts the save and renders it unusable. It only does this during level 5 for some reason.

        So I’d advise that he not totally avoid saves, he should just limit them to under around 20. And keep a backup of the pre-level 5 save to return to should he exceed that limit. That will make things a lot easier than trying to do the entire thing in a single save.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Your right, after reading the full text of the bug from the bug section of the wiki, the bug creates 20 useless object entries after each save and attaches them to the save file.

          No,not after each save,after each LOAD.So you save before a tough fight,you die and reload 30 times,and your save gets borked.Yeah.Though,the description says after each load that follows a quit to dos,so technically you can avoid this if you never let the game quit.Considering that it quits every time you die(and it probably has some random crashes to boot),this is kind of hard(impossible) to do.

          I think this could be somewhat mitigated by keeping a backup copy of the original save which you get back every time your save gets fucked.But I dont have this game(nor a desire to ever try it),so I cant tell for sure.

      3. WJS says:

        Didn’t Morrowind through Skyrim inherit pretty much the same save game bug? I know I’ve seen utilities that purport to fix save files suffering from “object bloat”, at any rate.

    4. MichaelGC says:

      It’s del rather than strike for strikethrough.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Yeah,but this one is easier to copy/paste and does mostly the same thing.

        1. Syal says:

          And the spoiler tag carries the humorous implication that “They must never know”.

        2. MichaelGC says:

          Cool – I suspected there was a reason! They’re not really equivalent for me – with spoilertags I’ll tend to read the two things in the ‘wrong’ order, whereas with del I’ll naturally read the struck-out text first, and then there’s usually an abrupt change of direction which adds another element to the humour. However, I’ll certainly concede that’s not much of a consideration compared to easy cut & pastery!

    5. nemryn says:

      I’m assuming it makes invisible, unlootable, empty containers which don’t actually exist anywhere on the map, and don’t do anything except bloat the save file to an unmanageable size.

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Oh,I also want to retract something I said some posts ago:skyrim is NOT as broken as this game.

    1. Humanoid says:

      Vanilla Battlespire might be comparable to Skyrim with mods. ALL of the mods.

      1. With the load order being alphabetical instead of something actually correct? :P

  8. Primogenitor says:

    I want to see a stream of this game; but not of the screen, I want a stream of Rutskarn’s face while he is playing it.

    1. Tizzy says:

      Even the Lord of the Flies, He-Who-Delights-In-Human-Suffering, is thinking: “Nah. That’s too needlessly mean. Imma watch something else.”

    2. Grudgeal says:

      Allow me.

      /Safe for work, unless your boss has a hatred of the Expressionism movement.

    3. evileeyore says:

      It would be one of the few things that move me to tears.

      The other thing being those sad ASPCA commercials.

    4. Humanoid says:

      Isn’t that what the portrait in the bottom left corner is?

    5. Sleeping Dragon says:

      I seem to remember a bootlord stream when Rutskarn’s webcam turned on apparently without him knowing…

  9. Mephane says:

    It’s special kind of accomplishment when a game is so bafflingly terrible and buggy that at every turn you think “this is it, nothing can possibly surpass this level of broken” and prove you wrong every single time.

    If I didn’t know better, I would assume the game itself is the most elaborate prank in video gaming history, and it is all not just broken by design, but broken as intended…

    1. Zak McKracken says:

      My thoughts exactly. The makers of this game tried (and succeeded!) to make the game hard on every level because of course they know that most players will try to meta-game it, thus removing the challenge.

      In some indie game, this would even make sense as a series of escalating challenges: In level one you have no weapon, level two is full of traps, level three has invisible enemies, level four won’t let you save, in level five the floor is lava and level six has an unsolvable riddle which requires you to edit the game code.

      1. Matt Downie says:

        I like this idea.

        Back in the day, I played a similar RPG – I think it was called Hexx: Heresy of the Wizard. It was fairly buggy – certain switches that were supposed to open doors just didn’t seem to do anything. I was still able to make my way through the game by using glitchy teleports and wall-melting spells. It was quite satisfying.

        So, in this Indie game, we create delibarate bugs. Some of these bugs make things hard for you – like you suddenly find you can’t attack anything, or a character says they’ll give you a key if you can answer their riddle, and then they don’t.

        But we intentionally put in an equal number of exploits that allow you to overcome these trials. You get past the enemies you can’t attack by creating an infinite stack of healing potions. The ally who won’t give you the key is killed if you intentionally walk into all the nearby fireball trap, and you can take the key from his body.

        After you defeat the final boss, it crashes to desktop, displaying an error message about a missing video file. The solution is to watch the ending on YouTube.

        1. Ninety-Three says:

          They already did that, it’s called The Magic Circle. Very promising gameplay mechanics, far too short, didn’t use the mechanics to even half their potential, and a sad tendency to focus on the linear cutscene-driven story to the exclusion of its novel, expressive mechanics.

          1. I remember watching a video about that game from someone who’s a bit popular around here. :P


            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Who is that guy?

      2. Eric Meyer says:

        “…and level six has an unsolvable riddle which requires you to edit the game code.”

        This reminds me of how I finished Darwinia (maybe it was the Insurrection mod). One of the levels has a bunch of those trumpet-like things that fire eggs that hatch into spiders, which I'm completely useless at dealing with””basically, one spider can kill my whole squad, regardless of my upgrade level. The egg-trumpets are way off in the distance, well out of your range. After a few very frustrating tries, I quit out of the game, dug around my desktop until I found the level's scenario file, and edited out the egg-trumpets. With those gone, it was still a tough fight to reach the finish, but I made it.

        So, yes: I edited the game's code to remove several bugs which prevented me from finishing.

  10. Galad says:

    In my humble, hopefully not-offending opinion, you are not getting payed enough to deal with that shit :>

    “How many people even made it to level 5” – no way to gather that kind of data, unless GoG somehow sends a survey to every owner of Battlespire, something they have not done so far, but even if they did, and they get 100% participation and correct answers, that’s still only part of the owners.

    1. Grudgeal says:

      In my humble, hopefully not-offending opinion, you are not getting paid enough to deal with that shit

      But we don’t pay him to- ohhhhhhh, I get it.

      I guess we should all chip in to his Patreon, at least to cover the costs of the anxiety medication.

      1. MichaelGC says:

        That’d be great from anyone with disposable to dispose!:

        No one should feel bad for not doing so, though. (He is currently a little below the level at which we’re supposed to get these very posts (and the GMinar ones), so it’s very nice of him not to cut us off!)

        1. Galad says:

          Yup, already chipping in with a modest amount, can’t really justify anything more than a modest amount on Patreon really.

      2. evileeyore says:

        But if Rutskarn were properly medicated, he wouldn’t be crazy enough to keep doing these things to himself and thus our entertainment would go away!

  11. Content Consumer says:

    I don't know how many of my bloodsoaked, profanity-capped iterations are going to be interesting enough to publish.


  12. Bubble181 says:

    I’ll admit I gave up….somewhere half-way through. I’m not entirely sure anymore whether it was on Level 4 or 5; based on screenshots and such I’m thinking 4. I had a LOT of time, no console and had *really* enjoyed Daggerfall, so I was willing to put up with a lot, back then. Ah, the sweet sweet time of youth….

  13. Bespectacled Gentleman says:

    I’m starting to get a “Seeking Mr. Eaten’s Name” vibe from these posts. Are you feeling alright, Rutskarn? Have you recently gained a fixation on the number seven? Maybe an exceptional hunger, the sort that would lead to you having dinner with Mumbles? I hope you know what you’re doing…

    1. LCF says:

      Eaten was reborn as a Daera hound. He would very much like to exist in London again, but is unallowed to due to a Battlespire bug, resulting in him unexisting and unappearing.

  14. Christopher says:

    Oh my god, this thing sounds even more frustrating and unbearable than usual. How did this thing ever ship? I hope the next series will be video content where a)you burn Battlespire to discs of some kind and b) you then destroy all of those discs. You have more than earned some catharsis.

    1. Bespectacled Gentleman says:

      I think it’d be more like tracking down every original shipped disc and setting them on fire.

  15. shpelley says:

    Beginning to think the “official wiki” for this game would be better served by being replaced with a low-quality animated gif of a tire fire.

    1. Mephane says:

      Or how some would say, a tyre pyre. :)

  16. RJT says:

    If you are going to do this, and I’m not saying you should, you will only start to see game-breaking amounts of object adding if you save/die many times (there’s a guy on the discussion section of the wiki page that tested it on a more modern computer). I would save once and then copy the save file to another location. Whenever you make a lot of progress without dying, save again and backup the file. Copy it back as necessary. The problem back in the day is that the save file will get too big for contemporary computers to load into memory, but your computer should be okay.

    For those who aren’t sure what this bug means, the save file is telling the computer to keep track of things that aren’t in the game, more every time you save or die. Eventually the computer will really start to chug, and with older computers, you were at real risk of running out of memory.

    1. Droid says:

      I think you cannot just make the assumption that modern computers do not have this problem because of memory. Sure, 58 kB increases are not realistically going to fill 32 GB of memory, but the problem is not the free memory, but that the game is no longer able to read the file because it has reached a size between 2.5 and 3.5 MB, and the game is not written in a way to handle that. Probably has to do with indexing all the objects or something. Anyway, if you check Rutskarn’s source, you’ll see the problem is not your computer, but the program. Really running out of memory means your computer stutters like hell and the FPS dies, reaching an arbitrary limit determined by the developers is the only way it could react like this: “Once this point is reached the game will drop to DOS every time you try to load the polluted save file while saying it couldn’t allocate object memory.”

      1. Phil says:

        Wonder how difficult it would be to make a quick savegame editor to easily strip out these extra objects. Just run it on the save file every dozen deaths/restarts or so. Game seems like it should have been far enough back in time, or the programmers bad enough, where they wouldn’t have put in any real encryption or such.

        And a quick google shows UESP has a couple pages on it, and it seems to be all text-based. So, someone get on that for him, heh.

      2. silver Harloe says:

        If the games old enough, it can’t address all your modern memory, anyway. It will have been compiled with a small pointer size and the “emulate stone knives and bear skins” program that has been wrapped around it can only do so much to fix that.

      3. RJT says:

        Yeah, that the first guy in that discussion thread on the page is the guy I was talking about. He says he saved 400 times in this level and was still able to continue without issues (well, unless you count actually wanting to continue the game as an issue). The save file size did grow abnormally, but it does not appear to break the game as badly these days. If the original game would not have been able to load the file size, it’s possible GOG adjusted the file size limitations when they released Battlespire. They do sometimes patch games themselves. Or perhaps DosBox attempts to handle the issue?

        1. Sleeping Dragon says:

          Some versions of DosBox also have their own savestates, I don’t think the one that GOG uses in their wrapper does but I seem to remember substituting it without any issues for some game that I really wanted to savescum the heck out of.

        2. GDwarf says:

          @RJT: Unlikely on both counts, I’m afraid. Memory allocation, especially in the DOS days, was a pretty finicky part of a program, and not something that could be easily changed. Even allowing an extra byte of space to load the save file into would break vast swaths of code that almost certainly used hard-coded memory addresses and other fun things.

          DOSBox, being an emulator, should actually go out of its way to *not* fix bugs like this. The job of an emulator is to be as accurate to the original as is possible, after all, and messing with DOS memory management like that would almost certainly introduce lots of fun, hard-to-track, bugs.

          The person who had 400 successful saves may just have been lucky. Their setup or playthrough, for whatever reason, didn’t trigger the bug. Or perhaps it isn’t saving, per se, that causes the issue but saving and some other action that hasn’t been isolated yet but that’s fairly common, perhaps it hits if you’ve been playing for more than x hours total and then save on that level, or, or, or… Good software QA is *incredibly* time consuming because there are thousands of factors that have to be tracked and manipulated before you can authoritatively say what causes something to go wrong.

  17. Fists says:

    You should publish a ‘companion book’ or something for this let’s play where you just write down every single thing you mutter under your breath while playing. No context or flowery ‘structure’ just every single ‘Shit’ and ‘Why did it do that?’. Could also be a twitter account.

  18. Kerethos says:

    Well, at least your brave suffering through this game has made for fun reading.

    I await the glorious day when you stand triumphant, one of but a few to have achieved this victory and conquered the Battlespire.

    Yes, this might also be the day when the orderlies strap you down and the nurse administers the second intramuscular dose of Haloperidol. But that’s for your own good, because you’ve been rambling for days about dancing demons, invisible monsters and your spider-sex frenemy and your loved ones had to bring you in. But before that second dose put you to sleep, you’ll tell them all:

    “I’m going to play “Shadowkey” next. It’ll be better, I know it will, it has to be! I’ll finish it in a day or two, it’ll be good! They’ll see, I’ll show them, I’ll show them all! If I could just remember in which of the sacks in my sacks in my sacks in my sacks in my sacks in my sacks in my sacks in my sacks in my…”

    Then the darkness takes you and the healing can begin.

    1. MichaelGC says:

      Chillingly plausible.

    2. evileeyore says:

      “Then the darkness takes you and the healing can begin.”

      Healing? If Rutskarn finishes this thing he’ll be the last needed to complete the unholy ritual that through his madness and all previous players shall call forth across all time to the end of days and summon forth the Behemoth, that which couches, and in their crowning glory the tune of creation shall be sung backwards undoing all good works that came before…

      1. Philadelphus says:

        …and summon forth the Behemoth…

        …which immediately get stuck on a corner and begins spinning endlessly in place…

  19. Dusk says:

    From The UESP Battlespire FAQ:

    Battlespire: The Story

    You will have to fight your way through a nightmare where the rules are non-existent and all bets are off….”

    They didn’t even realise how much they were not kidding. o__o

  20. Cahmel should totally take up crochet. Then he’d be a hooker (yes, that is the word because the crochet tool is a hook. Why knitters are knitters and not needlers is likely because needles are way older than knitting)!

    Also, that twitter feed of “Things Ruts Says While Battleborn Tries to Drive Him Mad” sounds like a brilliant idea! Put on a mike, turn on speech recognition, and go to town. The inevitable misunderstandings by the speech recognition will only add to the feeling of incipient madness.

    My sympathies on the internet thing. Sucks massively, hope it gets fixed (properly and well) very soon.

    1. Phill says:

      Or possibly because deriving ‘knitter’ from ‘knit’ is relatively sensible, but ‘crocheter’ on the other hand is awkward as hell to say (and even knowing it comes from ‘crochet’ I’d still have a hard time not reading it as having a hard ‘t’). Hooker is just easier to say (as well as the joke value).

      So what do you call an arm knitter? A knotter?

      (Arm knitting is the thing that really drives home to me that knitting and crochet basically amounts to making very complicated knots). That shawl you just crocheted? It’s just a big knot).

  21. Cybron says:

    Thank you for suffering for our entertainment, Rutskarn. We will remember your sacrifice.

    1. LCF says:

      Playing “Taps” for Rutskarn’s sanity, right now.

  22. Andy_Panthro says:

    I do feel slightly bad that this game has been such a infuriating experience for you, because your posts about it have been highly entertaining!

    I’m sure Redguard won’t be so bad though…

  23. Changeling says:

    The UESP Battlespire FAQ mentioned up to eight players in multplayer CO-OP.

    I cannot even imagine this kind of impending chaos.

    1. MichaelGC says:

      I guess at a minimum you’d have a ready-made support group.

  24. formyer says:

    Stop whining already and get back to the game. It’s not like it’s trying to break you, it just happens to do that as an added bonus for us readers.

  25. Obviously, you must give us video(s). Ideally videos with Jibar, Shamus, Mumbles, Josh, or Campster heckling you, but I’ll settle for a solo let’s play of this one level.

  26. Anthony says:

    After reading the full text of the bug section from the game directory, it doesn’t look like you get 0 saves. You just have to keep it under 20-30, before the game gets corrupted. So I would advise just limiting the amount of saves you make, not avoiding them entirely. As well as keeping a backup of the save you made before you entered level 5. At the very worst, you corrupt it and have to go back to the beginning. Which you would have had to do every single time anyway if you keep to a no save rule.

    (To be safe, I’d go to the file directory and make a backup of the pre-level 5 to somewhere else in the file system outside of the game directory, just to ensure the game can’t mess with it).

    Here’s the full text below:

    “There is a very severe bug in the version 1.5. In the worst case it can cause unusable save games. Luckily this bug occurs only in Level 5. Due some reasons the game creates useless object entries for containers every time a saved game is loaded after the game has been quit to DOS. As long as you don’t quit the current game to DOS, these useless object entries won’t increase. Would you never quit the game, you could theoretically play on like in the other levels. Unfortunately the game quits and restarts automatically every time your character’s health drops to zero, or in other words, when you are defeated. This behavior of the game cannot be changed.

    As soon as the game quits to DOS and the latest save is loaded, there will be about 20 new entries (58 kB) when you save again. The next time the game quits to DOS and your latest save is loaded, you will have again 20 new entries (or 58 kB more) when saving, and so on. This goes on until there are too many objects in your save game. Once this point is reached the game will drop to DOS every time you try to load the polluted save file while saying it couldn’t allocate object memory. This occurs usually when there is a total of 600+ containers. This will be the case after you have start a saved game for the 30th to the 50th time, depending on how many entries are generated per save. In other words, since the file size at the start of the level will be about 823 kB, this will occur when your “SAVETREE.DAT” file has reached around 2563 – 3723 kB. You can observe this phenomenon easily if you take a look into your save games. If you count the containers that are present in your save games (the “SAVETREE.DAT” file) you will notice that their number increases with each new save, which was previously loaded from a polluted save.

    Although the README.TXT of v1.5 says that this bug has been corrected when compared with previous versions, this doesn’t seem to be the case. It is very unlikely that this error has been even worse in prior versions.

    It is assumed that the mixture of exterior and interior cells, which is encountered in this level is the cause for this phenomenon, since prior to Level 5 there is only one cell, the game level itself and Level 6 and 7 have only one interior cell, a single building. But no other level beside Level 5 has so many interior cells (houses, a cave, horned temples, a crypt) and even an interior cell in an interior cell (the tower in the cave behind the waterfall).

    There is no solution for this serious bug except the advise to save as little as possible.

    There is nothing more frustrating than encountering this error near the end of the level with the only solution to re-start the level from the scratch, provided one has an according save game.”

  27. natureguy85 says:

    Ah, so these are all features then. Got it. Thanks Bethesda!

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