After being beaten up and bruised by The Pit, I was eager to put a cap on House D quests and move onward — but there was one little teensy quest left, and I figured I should do it before heading back to the marketplace to take a level. Unfortunately for me, the quest turned out to be an (ahem) EXTREME CHALLENGE DUNGEON called Spies in the House.
Every time I see “extreme challenge dungeon” mentioned in this game, I get nasty Mountain Dew commercial flashbacks from the ’90s. DO THE DEW! CRUSH THAT DUNGEON! WOO!
Anyway. I wasn’t too keen on taking this on, but I figured that if I survived the Pit and lived to tell the tale, I could do anything — including this. Onward I went! And boy, let me tell you, if you have a healthy appetite for both traps and platforming, this is the dungeon for you. That isn’t me, by the way. At least not the “platforming” part.
After dropping down the world’s longest sewer access ladder, I started my quest back up again. This quest takes place in a large vertical space where the object is to go from the bottom to the top. While there are fewer enemies than you might expect, the traps, falls, and perilous jumps make up for the danger quotient. At some points, the entire floor is electrified, which had me frantically reapplying my elemental armor (which is one of the most useful spells that I’ve found in the game so far) to keep me shielded while I dashed across it. My dumb metal dog wasn’t so forward-thinking.
I have to say that while I was anticipating a lot worse of an experience, this one wasn’t too bad. Long, yes, but not terrible. I didn’t even have to consult a walkthrough to get through it — and I even found all of the prisoners. Go me!
Toward the end are a pair of arguing gargoyles, and I enjoyed the brief respite of humor that they provided. Naturally, they’re there to distract you from all of the traps on both sides, but still, I love it when quests throw in this sort of thing.
The quest and House D done, I returned to the Marketplace and finally grabbed that 13th level. The big reward this time around was a transformation spell that would let me hulk out with increased stats if I needed a fighting power boost. I also leveled up my dog, who had been lacking enhancements so far. Whoops.
With House D done, I checked my adventure compendium for the next quest up in level, and it turned out that I had a rash of them to do in the Necropolis. This is actually an area that I can’t ever recall visiting, and from the name alone, I figured it would be a run-of-the-mill graveyard. So imagine my surprise when it turns out that it’s this gorgeous landscape full of pretty trees, still ponds, and ornate structures.
There are just a TON of quests here, so I figure I’ll be working on these for a while. First up was Tomb of the Shadow Knight, starring the Mummy up there. I thought I could do it on hard, and while I managed to make it through, I think I learned my lesson about artificially jacking up the difficulty level when I don’t need to. It was a long, long slog through countless mobs who would phase in and out of reality (thanks, ghosts), really nasty traps, and at least two deaths and resurrections (thanks, cleric).
Difficulty level aside, I like this quest thematically. It was a really gloomy crypt full of mobs I hadn’t seen before (including my new nemesis, the Phase Spider) and a couple of secret passages.
I also dashed through Tomb of the Burning Heart, which was horrible for picture taking due to the whole place being in a sort of hazy infrared, so I’ll spare you that. The only big trick here was trying to figure out how a solo player could stand on four pressure plates at once to open a gate (the solution? Me, a dead corpse, a cleric hireling, and my pet).
Tomb of the Unhallowed was a much longer trip, although fairly straightforward in terms of progress (I like not being confused as to where to go next). While it was fight after fight after fight in this one, I didn’t mind so much for two reasons: first, the designers brought out pretty much every spooky creature type to play, so it felt like a Halloween party, and second, the place was a new tileset to me. I enjoyed the semi-castle look of it and carefully made my way through four minibosses and one nail-biting final showdown with a very ticked-off mummy.