Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Karnage Chronicles -- Through the Eye of the Dwarves

Well team, I finished up the final dungeon of Karnage Chronicles, and it was pretty challenging. I was playing normal mode, but I can't even think of what this would be like on impossible difficulty. I might make an impossible difficulty game, but all this gets easier once you know the basic tricks of the game. Anyway, let me see if I can break this dungeon down for you, and how it played out for me.

The entry room for The Eye of the Dwarves is all about setting the mood. There aren't any enemies here, just nodes to mine, a howling wind, waterfalls, giant statues of dwarves, and a giant seal between you and an army of undead.

Laser Beams, Chains, Waterfalls, Giant Dwarf Statues -- this club has everything!

Once you beak that seal, you enter into a town, and it's immediate combat with enemies that are tougher than anything you've gone against. Of course, it's the same flair as before, but with a tougher, more intimidating skin. You have skeletal warriors, skeletal archers, skeletal crossbowmen, and skeletal brutes. Possibly the most annoying enemy however are the half skeletons missing their legs. You'd think missing your legs would slow you down, but not these guys. They speed up and crawl across the ground almost like a skeletal spider and reach up to claw your eyes out. It's terrifying.

Not your typical slow, half-bodied skeletons at all

The worst part of Karnage Chronicles continues to be the enemies that pop behind you and the jump scares outta nowhere. I hate taking two steps forward and pausing just waiting to get jumped, but I'm always prepared when it does. You just flee back 50 steps and kite. easy. 

The shop in the Eye of the Dwarves is actually up a flight of stairs in the town area. Don't think that just because it's a shopping area that it'll be safe. Nope. It's full of gosh darn skeletons. The best of which is the shopkeep! He's the only skeleton that actually doesn't attack you. He just smiles and waves as he watches over his shop. Once you buy some equipment from here, things get a lot more manageable with the OP skeletons.

An undead shop keep hoping I buy some of his cheese

Down further is an interesting fork in the road, and they've done something here kind of unique with their save points. During the past two dungeons everything has really only been linear in nature. Sure, there might be a fork in the road, but these typically led to dead ends, and you'd have to backtrack to the main path.  In this dungeon, it feels LESS like a ride path and MORE like an actual town . . . well, for at least the first half of the dungeon.

You see, this whole section of the game really revolves around collecting three items so you can craft a magic wand that . . . opens doors.  Disappointing, I know.  You were hoping to hurl fireballs, weren't you?  Well, I was.  Anyway, to get each of the components, you have to travel to the different parts of the town.  The magic potion is hidden in the tavern.  The metal ore is down by the docs.  The crystal gem is around the back of the farmer's house. Return to the Alchemist's hut, combine all three, and voila . . . you have a crazy magic wand that opens doors.

A wand from a cauldron, who woulda thunk it?

It's kind of a cool trick actually, you hold the wand inside the spider egg looking thing and it busts open for you to proceed. Of course, once you do that, you're instantly jumped by some hell hounds.  OH, did I forget to mention those?  Yeah, it's not all skeletons down here.  You'll also be fighting some super fast, fire breathing hell hounds. Have fun with that.

Another cool thing that I got along the way was a pipe that heals you when you smoke it. Yeah, so . . . again, this game has its rating . . . and if you're anti-smoking, feel free to ditch the pipe here as you don't really need it, but man, what a cool effect!  You hold the pipe up to your face and smoke comes out of your mouth. It also somehow seemed to match my actual breathing. I don't know if it accessed the built in mic on my VR headset (I doubt it), but it was possibly my favorite item in the game.

Smoke break before the bridge of a billion enemies

Once you're past the town, the winding passageway begins again. I'm so disappointed in something this game did here by the way.  At one point early on in the dungeon you pick up a magic flower.  Later, around the base of a coffin 3/4ths of the way in, you finally find a place to put this magic flower and release the trapped spirit inside.  The spirit hops out and begins to SING. So he's singing about "necromantic lore" that was a gift to elven kind, and I'm like THIS IS AWESOME!  He continues on about a king getting stripped of his throne when bam . . . enemies around the corner start attacking, so I do my running away kiting thing, and . . . accidentally get out of range of the song. WHYYYY?!?!?! CURSES!!! Well, at least the coffin gave me a cool magic necklace for my troubles.

Just beyond the coffin here you have another long passageway and eventually end up on what I have termed, "The bridge of a billion enemies." This was quite the battle my friends. I ended up clearing a ton of the bridge and facing off with one of the caster mushroom men people. Right as I was about to enjoy my victory, I spun too far in a circle . . . and promptly disconnected myself from my tethered VR connection to my computer . . . and died. MOTHER FREAKING MMPHER!! As I talked about in the last post, when you die in an area, it all respawns again, so I had to kill the billion enemies all over again. Sigh.  No worries. Where'd I put my virtual pipe?

Maybe it's not a billion per se, but it feels like it

After lowering the bridge by shooting out a couple weights on the sides, you finally enter the end boss room, which is a big circular arena. Basically you fight a giant ogre magi.  Every few seconds, the portal nearby spits out a goblin add, so you have to keep taking them out while hitting the boss.  When you take him down to zero health, he wanders back into the center of the arena and a light from above heals him.  

The Ogre Magi and his goblin buddy in a footrace, starring me as the finish line

Now, I actually didn't figure out that I needed to hit the gem at the top of the arena until after he fully regenerated 5 times, but it was getting frustrating and stupid.  Eventually I figured out that I needed to bust that gem above him, and then he only healed to half life . . . but when he did, he gained the power of shooting slime balls at you as well.

After taking him down to nothing once again, I hit the heart above him one last time, killed the adds, and the treasure trove was mine!  Two big fat chests in the back alongside his club for loot. It felt pretty great.

Just past the treasure you once again find your old buddy the collector, and he tells you all about who you are and what you're doing here along with some info about his position in life as well. It involves a council of 12 magicians and you being a kind of servant to them? I think? Anyway, after this chat, you hop on a boat, click the exit button, and watch a giant thanks for playing message rise with the moon as your ship sets sail over the ocean. The crowd goes wild.

You're welcome.

I really enjoyed my time in Karnage Chronicles. I'd like to go back to Vanishing Realms and play it again after playing this to see how much they are similar and different.  This game seemed to be a much higher quality experience. I'd buy a sequel game if they made one.

Happy Dueling!

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