Ruts vs. Battlespire CH28: Hard Daedra’s Night

By Rutskarn
on Sep 28, 2016
Filed under:
Lets Play

Three daedra guard a house on the highlands. From my months of Battlespire experience I can tell that this house contains something important, or something optional, or nothing but glitchy furniture, or a bug that will crash the game. This is where my thirty seconds of reading the Battlespire wiki experience come into play. I have to do my research–otherwise I might miss something important, like an apology.

Not since the Jehovah’s Witnesses dropped by Innsmouth has anyone approached a front door with more flop-sweating white-knuckle tension. Not because of what’s inside, necessarily, but because of how close I’m getting. After several blurry weeks of grinding, juking, and cussing, I’ve finally got a full house. I’ve got the rune of entry. I’ve got the hidden spear case. I’ve got the six hidden pieces of armor. I’ve got the five hidden keys. There’s only a conversation, a hike, and a boss battle between me and the end of this level, which means the only thing that can stop me is absolutely anything.

Every pixel between skybox and interface can kill me--anecdotally, if not in my concrete and repeated personal experience.
Every pixel between skybox and interface can kill me--anecdotally, if not in my concrete and repeated personal experience.

So what do you call the guy in the shack? Is he really a hermit? I mean, on the one hand, he’s a dotty old dude who lives alone in a shack. On the other hand, the shack’s near a village. But everyone in the village is long dead. But this whole area’s crawling with daedra. But the daedra don’t bother him. But he’s right in the thick of their hunting grounds. But he’s literally the only mortal in the dimension. It’s an intractable semantic riddle, which is why I’ll compromise and call him “a twit.”

I commend his willpower. I know when I`m in the apartment alone I eat up all the snacks and potions and ambiguous healing crystals within HOURS. I don`t even have to be hungry, or, like, mortally wounded.
I commend his willpower. I know when I'm in the apartment alone I eat up all the snacks and potions and ambiguous healing crystals within HOURS. I don't even have to be hungry, or, like, mortally wounded.

But wait–there’s lore! Old Man Chimere here’s got a serious case of backstory. Ages ago he tricked the daedric prince Mehrunes Dagon and ended up getting the wish of his choice granted. “I want to live forever surrounded by the voices of my loved ones,” he supposedly asked. “That will give me time to catch up on my reading list. I’ve been meaning to get around to ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ for ages. Is it about zookeeping?”

So it turns out there was a slight loophole where everyone Chimere loved had to die horribly and he was doomed to eternal agonized isolation. So, listen–if you ever get a free wish from a powerful being, immediately answer “kick me in the groin right now.” With any luck they’ll be too confused to come up with anything really shitty. Also, the next time you get a chance to thwart the machinations of the daedric princes through cunning and proud ruses, consider taking a nap instead.

It’s too bad Chimere’s been alone all this time, because it’s separated him from his first love: exposition. Now that we’re here he’s going to hand it out like fistfuls of linty sweets–as soon as we best his gauntlet of fake quests, that is.

There’s a decent gag with this guy where you ask him what you need to progress and he sends you off after decreasingly plausible quest items. It may be immediately clear, and should at least become clear, that he’s just ageless and confused and sending you off on wild goose chases. In each case you can and probably should just immediately tell him “I couldn’t find the thing,” at which point he berates you for misunderstanding him. It’s a good joke, as long as you don’t buy into it and run out and scour the level for six hours and die to a daedra and have to start all over with no idea what you did wrong. Repeatedly. If you do take him seriously, then this videogame might just be the worst thing that ever happens to you.

I didn`t make that mistake, because I have the internet, but if you ever see someone who looks like they`ve been crying since 1998...
I didn't make that mistake, because I have the internet, but if you ever see someone who looks like they've been crying since 1998...

Once you’ve cut through that bologna Chimere comes to his senses and offers his quest solving services. Bring him the savior’s hide pieces and the spear case and he’ll provide you with the Spear of Bitter Mercy. A worthy addition to the Elder Scrolls canon, because the one thing that’s remained consistent throughout the series is the central and vital role played by spears.

The Spear of Bitter Mercy can kill the unkillable daedra on the level, which means that Most Dangerous Opponent on the Level status now belongs to an unnamed scamp that has 10,000 health, because I really have no motherfucking idea why. And yes–before you ask, I can use the Spear after all. I was sweating about that. I’m pretty positive I took spears as a forbidden weapon at the beginning; I guess that’s where the Mercy bit comes in. Heaven knows I’m acquainted with Bitter.

This sword is stupid. Why do they make the hilt so long?
This sword is stupid. Why do they make the hilt so long?

Only one thing left to do, really. I’ve got to do it wearing the Savior’s Hide armor instead of my hand-picked speed-and-agility boosting gauntlet gear, because I don’t really understand what I needed the armor for and it’s not like anything in the interface tells me. I’ve got to do it without the benefit of experience or much in the way of guidance, because I’ve never even kind of gotten this far and because the game’s less documented than D.B. Cooper’s Vegas wedding. I’ve got to do it without the benefit of all the potions I’ve nervously pounded. In short, I’ve got to do it live. How hard could it be?

I juke back up the hill to the castle, shiver my way up a suspiciously geometric staircase, brave a trapdoor, and find myself face-to-face with the final boss of the level. The lord of the hunt. The master of the hounds. The guardian of the sixth key.

Herne, I’m hooome.

NEXT WEEK: SO A MAN WALKS INTO A BOSS…

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2020242 comments. (Insert played-out "meaning of life, the universe and everything" joke here.)

From the Archives:

  1. Matt Downie says:

    Secret Elder Scrolls lore: the Daedric Lords were so afraid of the Spear of Bitter Mercy that they used their powers to make all humanoids forget what spears were.

  2. Mr Compassionate says:

    So if you die now… actualy lets not think about that.

  3. Sleeping Dragon says:

    Please don’t tell me you got physically stuck in the boss…

  4. Sleeping Dragon says:

    If you do take him seriously, then this videogame might just be the worst thing that ever happens to you.

    Aaaand this changes things how?

  5. Da Mage says:

    So Battlespire is now actively trolling the player…..

    Are you sure that Bethesda didn’t create this game with the sole intent of causing this very blog? Cause at this point….

  6. Nixitur says:

    Frankly, at this point, I would have just bitten the bullet and saved. Even if it’s repeated loading which fucks up save games (which, again, I heavily doubt), I’d be going on the assumption that I’m probably not going to have to reload this one specific save more than 10 or so times. Even then, you’d still have the original save before entering this lovely place.

    • Abnaxis says:

      That’s a good point–can you just “save scum”–ie copy your entire saves directly to someplace safe so they can’t be corrupted– so you can make a pivotal save here and be prepared to restore everything if it goes south?

      • Matt Downie says:

        Almost certainly. By the sound of it, the problem is that each time you successively save, the game data gets bigger and more inefficient. Rutskarn is being extremely cautious (in terms of not doing anything that might wreck his save files) or extremely reckless (in terms of risking losing all his progress yet again).

        • Tizzy says:

          I feel like distressing inflation of the size of save files was a common problem back in those days. It seems like the development of cross-platform games helped with that problem. I suspect some drastic rethinking of save mechanics was involved.

          • Bryan says:

            …Like checkpoint saves? Which have their own downsides of course, on the “don’t annoy the player” side. But they do make the save files way, way, way smaller…

            • Richard says:

              I suspect it was more “not doing a straight dump of the allocated RAM” but actually serialising and deserialising the data.

            • WJS says:

              Why do you think checkpoint saves are inherently way, way, way smaller? Storing the player’s position rather than checkpoint is literally three floats. That’s not even kilobytes, that’s just bytes. Or are you just referring to how the type of game to have checkpoint saves is so hugely simplified compared to Bethesda RPGs? In which case, changing those games to use checkpoints rather than the player’s actual location would do between diddly and squat; you’d still have to save everything but the player’s location just the same anyway.

              • Daemian Lucifer says:

                Because the checkpoint saves are the ones that store just the players position(and inventory and skills,where those exist),while regular saves also have to store enemy positions and explored map.But also,where you are allowed to save mid combat,they have to store ai behavior at the moment too,as well as various bullets and debris that is flying around.

  7. Ninety-Three says:

    So Ruts, have you been keeping track of your deaths/clipping-induced-restarts? I’m curious to know what the total is, or at least an estimate for this hellhole.

  8. Grey Cap says:

    How the hell did this company get to make another game? (Also, Hircine looks pretty cool.)

    • Da Mage says:

      They almost didn’t. Battlespire and Redguard ALMOST sunk the company. ZeniMax bought them in 2001 after Bethesda went bankrupt and they basically got one last roll of the dice with Morrowind. If Morrowind had been just as bad I doubt Bethesda would exist like it does today.

  9. MrGuy says:

    I’d stop you, but I haven’t heard any of this before.

  10. Tektotherriggen says:

    Judging by the two most recent 20-Sided posts, Windows 10 Anniversary Update is what happens when the Battlespire developers decide to move into operating systems.

    • MrGuy says:

      Now I’m imagining someone attempting to buy Battlespire FROM the Windows 10 store. I’m pretty sure it’s one of the signs of the apocalypse.

      • Philadelphus says:

        At that point things would probably wrap around to “so bad it’s good,” making the entire purchase, download, and installation process an entirely pleasant and glitch free experience. Of course, then you’d actually get to play Battlespire, so…

  11. Daemian Lucifer says:

    It’s a good joke, as long as you don’t buy into it and run out and scour the level for six hours and die to a daedra and have to start all over with no idea what you did wrong. Repeatedly. If you do take him seriously, then this videogame might just be the worst thing that ever happens to you.

    I wonder which choice was yours.

  12. Sunshine says:

    I’m still enjoying the way the dialogue is either “Foolish mortal! For disturbing my slumber you shall suffer all the pains of the Plains Of Torment!” or “Oh yeah, you know, like, whatever.”

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