Time for another installment of SHETGDS! This time, I ventured into Stonefang Tunnels, after finding out that I can’t advance any further in Boletarian Palace until I defeat the Archdemon or something. This was a mine level, complete with levers turning on crude wooden elevators and zombie miners and/or lizard men (it was dark, I couldn’t really tell…). Remember how I was complaining about my stupid piercing strong attack? Turns out these trash mobs are weak to pierce, so my Broad Sword +2 was my new best friend :3 this level also introduced the crazy clown magician. He can see you from about 30 yards away even with the Thief Ring and shoots fireballs at you. He’s also got a nasty physical attack if you get close and don’t back away quick enough.
Next, my new (least) favorite enemy is the fire salamander. They’re anklebiters, so the broad sword definitely sucked here. In addition, they also spit fire and leap at you with their fiery bodies. This is annoying because a) apparently you can’t block fire and b) whenever you hit them, apparently you also take fire recoil damage. Somewhere along the way I had found a +1 axe, which has a longer range than the scimitar, so that worked decently well against the salamanders. However, the situation was not great with 3 of them trying to burn my sandals.
Despite all the stupid new baddies I had to deal with in this level, I still somehow beat it with only (technically) 2 deaths. Before my first death, though, I met my first Black Phantom. Whoever it was did pretty piss-poor job of trying to kill me, since I was able to chain attacks of 3 pretty easily, and he didn’t wait for me to fight other mobs or anything. I guess I don’t know the rules of the Black Phantom, but I definitely though “That’s it?” after I killed him. So shortly after killing the invader, I died against the first clown magician, since I sucked at dodging fireballs and then got smacked in the face. The rest of the level was kind of lackluster. I missed at least 1 early treasure because I let the bridge collapse on me; wasn’t aware that I had to run. Met salamanders, cursed their fiery asses. Killed some miners, killed some wolves, and then… I saw spider webs on the cave walls. Sigh, I should’ve known this was coming. Every underground mine level has either a balrog or a giant spider as a boss.
So even though it was really really hard to dodge the armor spider’s attacks, I had enough healing items to just heal through it, since he has a decent number of pauses in his attacks for me to chew on some weed. From a distance, the spider spits out fireballs, shoots webshots at you which pretty much immobilize you, and shoots some short-range triple fireballs. Once you get in melee range, he’s got a horizontal swipe, a vertical knockdown move, and he’ll use a short-range AOE flame burst. Immobile bosses are definitely easier to maneuver, since you know it’s 100% pattern-based. The only problem was getting back in range after you step out for the flame burst; it’s easy enough to dodge the single fireballs, but the triples come in bursts of 3, and the webbing is shot too fast to reliably dodge, so most of the time I ended up taking 75% health in damage from web + 3 fireballs. Once you’re in melee range, though, you can block the swipe, avoid the knockdown (he uses his forelegs and attacks in the shape of a fork life, so if you stand right in front of his face, which is incidentally your target, you won’t get hit), and then run out for the flame burst very easily.
I did end up running out of herbs, though, so I was praying he wouldn’t use too many AOE attacks before I was able to kill him. Funnily enough, we killed each other at the same time, so as “YOU DIED” was coming up on my screen, “You killed the demon! You have been revived.” was also flashing. So, the game kind of froze with me being dead but still able to move the camera around, and then it finally reloaded me into the start of the level… but alive, not in soul mode. Odd… not gonna complain though.