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Wahwah*

Below Is Out Now

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I think that supposition was correct about the lantern - you need it immediately afterwards to clear the way forward.

 

The leather armour seems to be a constant drop for me in the second room (after having opened a shortcut from the initial bonfire).  There is another path upward I have found which led me to my first "light piece" - whatever that may be, or do - also it's a good source of food.  Some features seem constant and others change from run to run, it is a little confusing.

 

Gradually finding more crafting recipes.

 

I like this but doubt I will be scoring any more achievements in the short term - virtually no-one has any of the other 5.

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I dunno. Some parts of it seem too wilfully obscure, which fez got away with due to the beautiful wrapping and conceit, and the fact that you couldn’t die and spend the next ten minutes getting back to where you were just to die again.

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I assume light pieces power up the lantern to do more things - I found another "hot spot" in L3 but had insufficient gems to activate it at the time.

 

I also found a gem repository but you can't seem to withdraw.

 

Cool shortcut to the beach - > L2 but sometimes the dogs (easy meat + leather) aren't there.

 

Reached L4 and collapsed from hunger but at least the way is open now.

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Feeling a bit more like "oh fuck this" after walking into an insta-kill again.  

 

It's just not fun getting back into the game, wandering up the beach and so on. 

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11 hours ago, Wahwah* said:

Feeling a bit more like "oh fuck this" after walking into an insta-kill again.  

 

It's just not fun getting back into the game, wandering up the beach and so on. 

 

Haven't you opened any short cuts yet?

I don't know if all islands (?) are identical in this but in mine I've got (just started exploring the levels accessed from L4 which are not cold ones)

Spoiler

Shortcut from the cave just behind the first bonfire - not big but saves the yomp up the cliff.  Also allows quick access to a chest and the armour/spear/fire arrow drop in the next room.

Shortcut between the starting cliffs and the North Beach area which allows access to L2 and the side bonus of food and materials from the beach itself

 

Obviously there will several more opened up in due course.

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Thanks for the reply @Cosmic_Guru in the shortcut you mention....

 

 

there's a bridge but it's twisted - there's a rope holding it up. I've tried fire, bomb and regular arrows to cut it but gave up as I assumed I'd need something else to do it. I'm thinking now that I'm supposed to untie the rope from the other side? That I should come to it from within the caves?

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I dont have as much time as I would like to indulge in this at the moment, but I feel Im making progress with each play. So far Ive mostly spent my time clearing levels 3 and 4 over again while finding shortcuts and stocking the Pocket, and there seems to be 2 paths going down from level 3 - one being the shortcut from the North beach which goes into the Ice Caves, and then the path on the other (right side) end of the map which is unlocked with a dungeon key and leads down to something that looks like a system of catacombs (erroneously marked as levels 18+ according to Capy). I managed to find the key on level 18 and unlock the elevator to 19 but I died horribly from some masked voodoo zombies who seemed to take a ton of damage, and also killed me in a few hits. This section appear to be for later, after the Ice Caves, but I still need to go there for bomb material (skulls) of which I need at least one to open the cracked door in the Ice caves for the tuque with frost resistance.

 

From the Ice Caves Ive opened a shortcut of sorts that leads to a hole in the wall of the stairs down to the catacombs so at least there is a connection there which will come in handy.

 

Ive found 4 of the light bits so far, and 4 of the marbles, which has upgraded my Pocket to have double rows in each storage. I think the last one I installed (Hungry Marble) did something to the campfires, because it added some equipment to the pocket campfire which I think makes the fires not go out if you leave the room they are in and come back later. I think thats what it does, but Im not sure.

 

There are plenty of blue mushrooms dotted around the ice caves, and always at least one spawn of it in the big campfire room with the stone ruins on the way down there. These and the frost cap should make life in that section a lot easier.

 

I lost my lantern in the catacombs so I need to retrieve that somehow - its stuck at the end of 19 at a spot where there also seem to be these voodoo zombies every time I try and get it back, and they make mincemeat out of me in a second. Im going to try and bring some nice arrows, melee is really tough at least without any decent gear. The leather armour from the chest in the ship graveyard to the north of the beach disappeared from my inventory at one point, which makes me think it had some kind of durability to it. It would be great to be able to craft stuff like that at some point. I got the crystal skull from the 200 shop in level 3 but Im not sure exactly what it does other than light up the invisible rock inscriptions when you get close to them.

 

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I think the Crystal Skull is just an emergency light you can use when you don't have a torch. 

 

I just played a couple of hours of this, the cold timer in the caves is just too punitive. Both times that I've died there recently has been immediately next to a fireplace as I was frantically clearing little red dots so I could light it. 

 

It'd be good if those status icons showed up a bit earlier too. It's all a bit "you're gonna die unless you... Dead"

 

Overall though, it keeps drawing me back so there must be something good in it. I think the Dark Souls comparisons are quite apt.

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Like this a lot now. Even though the spikes and cold timer does my face in. 

 

Does anyone know if the leather armour helps with cold? I think it's just a combat resistance thing. 

 

I'm not sure what the different "soups" do for you either (aside from the health / heart one). 

 

There seems to be sword, gem too. 

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Im pretty sure the leather armour is just a basic defence item for melee combat.

 

There is a frost res cap behind the cracked door in the left-most room on 4, which needs a bomb or bomb arrow to be opened. That plus the blue elixir (1 blue shroom in the cauldron) should slow the meters enough to make exploration a bit more comfortable in the Ice Caves.

 

Recipe list courtesy of Polygon:

 

https://www.polygon.com/below-guide-walkthrough/2018/12/20/18150229/recipes-crafting-cooking-ingredients-inventory-campfires

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Now that i've read the Polygon beginners guide which explains the basic mechanics, and that death can equal progress loop (which the developers should've included from the off, rather than alienate half their prospective audience), i'm thoroughly engrossed in this game!

I'm a massive sucker for ambience and dark, brooding musical scores, which this has in spades, but on top of that its still a very tight, top-down, explore-em-up.

I've been trying to ignore the comments about the survival aspect being at odds with the progression, so i'll forgo the developers that design choice, for now.

I'm happy to be wrong about my initial impressions, but it still makes you question why make it so impenetrable? There's vague, and there's being wilfully obtuse. And this game is the latter...to its detriment.

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Completed the game yesterday, and got all of the achievements in the process since they are linked to key points in the narrative. Still a lot of impressions to take in, and that ending was some 2001 levels of crazy shit.

 

There doesnt seem to be any option for a ng+,  unless playing through the game several times changes some of the progression up. The combat feels great, the environments are really well put together both visual and sound design, and I would have loved to play around with all of the stuff a bit more before the final section. I finished it at 46 hours or so, but there are speed runs on YT at around 3 hours.

 

Maybe it was the rohypnol kicking in at the time, but I thought the opening cinematic was a perfect introduction. Set the mood just right. And it was great how they managed to wrap the linear journey around to a circle at the end where you are left back at the same spot where you began. There is some kind of mythical aspect to the introduction, where it appears to point to the stars in the night sky, which you first think you are seeing (at least I did), before the clouds part and you realise that you are looking at the stars shimmering on the ocean on a moonlit night, and very slowly the game pulls you in to focus on a single boat that for some reason is travelling to this lonely island in the middle of nowhere. Tons of ships are already marooned around the north shore, what actually happened here in the past? Is he really travelling on the ocean or is it a metaphor for someone, a deity or mythical hero, on a quest across the galaxy? 

 

And then its unlike other roguelikes I have played, in that you dont recover your own belongings when you corpse run. Another wanderer lands on the island who, because the player knows this, can go to where the previous wanderer succumbed and get all of his hard earned gear. Other than that, the only connection between the wanderers is made through the Pocket, where they are able to share the items of the game through space and time. Each wanderer builds upon the work done by his forebears, so the first dude who picked up the lantern on top of the island is a kind of first hero out, in a long line of heroes that appear to fulfill the task. How much time has passed between them? Hours? Weeks or years? Or different timelines? 37 wanderers met their fate in my playthrough.

 

I didnt manage to unlock all of the doors on my way down and found a key item quite late in the game so never got to use it. There are also some spots which draw attention to themselves through design and placement but maybe this is it and there are no more dimensions to the gameplay. Fez was a pretty complicated affair, and I will be a bit surprised if there arent more discoveries to be made in the game.

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