The Metal Age
No preparations are allowed in this challenge.
The map contrains "trapped chests". These chests deal damage and always strike first, so you need to find a way to survive them. Each chest contains a different glyph:
- Level 1: LEMMISI glyph (always starts right next to your position)
- Level 1: GETINDARE glyph
- Level 3: IMAWAL glyph
- Level 5: ENDISWAL glyph
- Level 7: Pendant of Health item
- Level 9: BURNDAYRAZ glyph
Another unique feature of the map is that the monster distribution and placement is reversed: you have a huge amount of level 9 monsters, but barely any low level guys. As opposed to regular placement, the highest-level monsters will be closest.
The map has no shops or altars.
The boss is a level 9 Guard Captain (ATK 75/HP 480). It's identical to several other Level 9 guards around, so be careful. This captain is the only guard with dialogue, so make sure that you are always keeping track of where he is. He's easy to lose in the crowd, so maybe keeping him on the gore is a good idea.
The basic strategy is:
- Get LEMMISI and WEYTWUT;
- Accumulate enough attack and health bonuses that you can kill a level 2 guard with a single health potion, and level up on him with WEYTWUT
- Carefully work your way up levels with the help of WEYTWUT's and IMAWAL's experience bonuses;
- Deal with the Guard Captain.
You often start out in one of the corners of the map, and are surrounded by high level guards (all orange levels, but mostly 9). The map is made up of a lot of narrow corridors, with few areas more than one square wide. The only low level guards will appear on the map as the red monster symbols, and they will usually be on the opposite side of the map from you.
Open the level 1 chest and take LEMMISI. Casting it a few times will reveal important points on the map (boosters, chests, monsters, or one of the level 2 guys you want to kill); when you want to reach one of those, swap places with a nearby guard using WEYTWUT. It saves a lot of blackspace compared to going one direction and revealing all the tiles in your path. When you teleport to a new location, make sure you place the guard where it doesn't block your path anymore. You don't have to worry about getting trapped, since with your LEMMISI, you can always restore some mana to cast another WEYTWUT and escape.
As you move and teleport around the map, pick up attack and health boosters. Mana boosters are unimportant yet, no need to explore tiles for recovering them, same goes for trapped chests. Get to a level 2 guard, place him where you won't heal him accidentally by a finishing WEYTWUT, and kill him, using up a health potion. It's important to slow him with WEYTWUT so you level up and don't have to spend more potions.
Continue by killing 1 level higher foes and make sure to get a lot of bonus experience with WEYTWUT, and after you get it, IMAWAL too. Petrify level 9 guards, you have plenty of them and you don't want to kill more than 1 or 2. The kills will be easy and rewarding, so you will level without problems and won't have to use potions. After a few levels, you can ditch WEYTWUT in favor of GETINDARE, you will benefit enough from IMAWAL to not need +1 xp for the cost of 8 mana. But make sure to break the level 5 chest before you convert it, to avoid getting cornered. You are safe to convert LEMMISI by this point too for extra damage.
At level 6, you will be able to crack the chest containing BURNDAYRAZ. This will let you effortlessly gain 2 level higher kills with a hit-fireball-fireball-explore 1 tile-gettindare scheme. If you fireball first, you miss out on the bonus. In regular dungeons it would be a bad idea to kill too many monsters and reach high levels before the boss fight, but not here. There are only a few monsters who can be turned into popcorn anyways, and reaching level 9 with a a level catapult set up is fairly easy here.
Before the bossfight, try opening all the chests, and don't forget to convert unneeded glyphs. If you will reach level 10 don't bother stacking up stone skins, you will be stronger than your boss and will be even able to regen-fight it with your remaining blackspace. Between the level-up and regen-fighting, it's very likely you'll win without needing to drink a potion. If you don't want to regen-fight, you will still easily win with only a few potions thanks to your high stats.