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    dkirschner's Legend of Grimrock II (PC)

    [August 1, 2016 11:36:18 AM]
    Iím absolutely loving Legend of Grimrock II (LoG), and I'm totally annoyed that school is starting and I won't be able to finish it for a while. Oh summer, I will miss you dearly.

    One of my absolute favorite things about LoG is that I'm always learning something (often after being stumped by a puzzle). It's interesting playing this after coming off of Grim Fandango. The latter follows that bizarre adventure game logic, while LoG is highly rational. It's more rational than I am used to thinking. For example, I was stumped yesterday on how to gain entry to the Crystal Mines. At the entrance were three pressure plates in a line and two statue heads flanking the last plate in front of a gap in a stone wall. Obviously you are supposed to go through that gap to reach the Mines. I stepped on the first pressure plate, and a gate sprouted from the ground, sealing off the gap. Crap. I stepped on the next pressure plate. Nothing. And walked to the third. The two statue heads shot a poison bolt at me, ew.

    No worries. There's always some trick to the pressure plate puzzles. But it seems that this one triggered that gate when I stepped on the first plate, and the gate won't go back down. Maybe I should place an item on each pressure plate. Hmm, these are a bit different. It seems only my weight will trigger the plates (usually you can place rocks and other items on them, but not always). What to do, what to do? I suddenly remember finding a hint some time earlier about how to get in the Mines. It said something about walking the path of the snail. Hmm. I went and stood on the first pressure plate for a minute. No click of a mechanism, nothing. Hmm. I'd put a snail figurine on a pedestal for another puzzle in another area, so I went and retrieved it. But what do I do with it? I walked across the plates with the snail in my inventory. No luck. I put the snail down on each plate. No luck. Hmmmmmm. No other snail-related items around...

    So I did what I do in these situations in LoG: turn to the walkthrough. I've used a walkthrough about 5 times to help me when I'm out of places to go. I've always failed to get a key puzzle. One time, I knew I had to do something with pressure plates on the other side of a gate, but I couldn't figure out how to get to them or how to get objects on them. I'd try to throw a rock through the gate, but you can't throw things through gates. I eventually looked up the puzzle because I couldn't figure it out for the life of me. And do you know what? You have to *drop* an item through the gate, not throw it. Who knew?! Well, I should have because when I was reading my entries for Legend of Grimrock 1 which I played last year, and I quote: "I admit to looking at a walkthrough one time only, and that was because I didn't realize I could drop items through a gate (hint: you can drop items through gates)." I also didn't realize in the previous game that you could put items into sacks that you picked up (and I wondered why my inventory was always full), but I figured that out quickly this time.

    So back to my snail story. I said that LoG was highly rational in its logic. To get the gate to open, you have to walk...really...slowly...across the pressure plates, standing on each one for a few seconds before progressing. Omg. So literal. I was close. I would have figured it out if there were some audio cue like a switch sound when I stood on the first plate for a while thinking, but there was no audio cue, so I didn't know I was on the right track. Such a clever little puzzle! And as it has been with LoG II, I'll explore the Crystal Mines, and hopefully solve the important puzzles and make my way to new areas, but will probably peek at a walkthrough after another few hours of unaided exploration.

    A couple other odds and ends: LoG II is HUGELY expanded over the first game. The first one was set in one dungeon that you went down, down, down into. LoG II is set on an island and there are many dungeons and caves and locations (30 in all, versus 13 in the original). There are so many secrets, hidden paths, items to find, puzzles to solve. It is really fantastic level design. Since a large part of the game is outdoors, there's a day/night cycle, which is of course key to some puzzles and secrets and things. Carry plenty of torches until your mage (I hope you have a mage!) learns the Light spell. I feel like I've learned a lot of spells, though I have mostly relied on the basic fireball spell for most of the game.

    I've had a couple mishaps in character creation. My shortbow-wielding rogue is supposed to also be an alchemist, but I realized probably 10 hours in that I *really* should have figured out how to make potions by now. Turns out I missed picking up a mortar and pestle early on. Oops. Glad I didn't put more than one point in Alchemy. On the bright side, his inventory space is freed up after throwing away 100+ flowers. Then my minotaur fighter was supposed to be dual-wielding two-handed weapons by now, but I misread: the heavy weapon feat to wield 2-h weapons in one hand does not state that you can dual wield these 2-h weapons. You can only dual-wield 1-h weapons. Though I wonder if you get the feat to dual wield 1-h weapons, if you can have a 2-h in one hand and a 1-h in the other. I can interpret the rule either way.

    Aaaand finally for now, there are other cool additions, like the rope, shovel, and timepiece. These items are practical. The rope lets you descend into pits without falling and taking the accompanying beating from that; the shovel lets you dig for secret buried chests and items; the timepiece lets you know where in the day/night cycle you are, which is super useful in no small part because night time is scary in LoG. It's nice to be able to rest until you know it's dawn and skip the night.

    That's all for now! More...later.

    *Edit on 8/4* I ended up finishing sooner rather than later after all. Nothing new to report. Technically, I watched the end on YouTube. The last boss was really hard, but I could have gotten him if I were more patient. Excellent game.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Aug 4th, 2016 at 17:51:05.

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    dkirschner's Legend of Grimrock II (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Thursday 21 July, 2016

    GameLog closed on: Thursday 4 August, 2016

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Intense, hard! Lots of secrets, really enjoying it. ----------- Great game, such thoughtful puzzles.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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