Starfield | Not Wanting Involvement
Tomb Of VARN in Dragonsands is a massive and difficult dungeon. I was sent there to retrieve the cube as requested by the oracle. This place had a correct way to clear it which I did not do right. Leaving a lot of backtracking and wondering around as I tend to do in games like this.
This ended up being one of those kinds of dungeons I did not run in a single sitting. While that might have been possible there were a lot of massive areas to clear. Not to mention trying to work out where to go next after looting a key.
Before all of that, however. I needed to head back to the control area after heading back to Free Haven and place each of the four crystals down in each of their wings. Each time I did so I gained 100k experience for each of my party members.
Between the dungeon, I just cleared and doing this I had a few levels to pay for training. After I was done talking with the oracle for the next mission of getting the control cube out of Tomb of Varn I went off and level up my characters spending almost the full 200k gold I had on me at the time.
One of the main things I needed to do here to retrieve the cube was to find all the codes and scrolls. Up till this point, I would say more times than not the game developer's enjoyment of Star Trek only hinted in a few places if you paid close attention.
This place was not too subtle in such things. The codes you would find would be for doctor code: yoccm. Along with things like communications officer aruhu. Not only strange words to be having in a game like this. They also spell backward names of people.
Even if you know the codes going into this. That would not be enough as you also are required to have the scrolls themselves. Otherwise, the body of water you step into for each role will only cure the radiation you are getting hit within this place. It will not prompt for the code.
Oh yes, even more, bizarre is getting hit with radiation in this zone once you get to a certain area. Thankfully radiation is aborted by crystal skulls. While I would end up finding some while inside this dungeon. I also happened to have looted one before and held onto it.
The crystal skull itself will only protect the person who is holding it. However, if it is their turn to get hit with radiation it ends up protecting the others since it absorbs the full blast. So many times my party was getting hit with radiation.
This is unless I find and spent a moment in the cleansing pools throughout this dungeon. While the radiation damage is not a lot over time it can add up. At the very least if you are taking radiation damage it will not prevent you from resting.
This place was for me quite heavy mana burning. The different creatures in here also have resistance to all kinds of damage spells. On top of that the hardened of each creature in many instances would be fully resistant to all but many a couple of spells.
Since I could only have each character that uses magic equipped with one spell at a time. There was a lot of time spent swamping out spells as I moved around and ran into different things in this dungeon. Which I’ll admit can be quite annoying.
With all the spell damage I was also resting or just porting out to town a lot. I ended up using two different beacon slots for this dungeon. Once I doped at the main entryway I then moved down to a large more open area of the dungeon. The other one I’d drop so I could teleport back to an area I was still working on clearing that I would constantly be changing.
As far as getting out to Tomb Of VARN itself in Dragonsands was quite easy. I just town-ported into Blackshire and then flew past some dungeons to the pyramid I’ve seen in the past which ended up being the Tomb I was looking for.
The first floor of this place consisted of a couple of winding hallways. They were filled with VARN and genies.
Up there were also some hieroglyphs on the walls that talk about the ship and the long journey to a world free of war. No, they are not talking about crossing the ocean. It's aliens talking about escaping a war that found this planet to hide on. Making the plot twist in this game go hard.
There was then a ramp I went down into the inner part of the pyramid There are quite a few different ways to wander around in there. With many locked doors. After having just run this I might be able to do it “correctly” a second time around. However, that was not how my first trip in this game went.
I ended up clearing out quite a lot of nasty things in the general area. Then I climbed up the pyramid itself. Till I found a door that I could open. This took me into a long tunnel and then up into a room where I had to click on the correct hieroglyph to get taken back down elsewhere.
All that just to after a lot of walking find a locked door I could not open. Darn it! At least now I have that way cleared out. I also clicked on the door and noticed it said locked and did not stay long enough to find out I was at the water temple. An area I’ll be spending far too much time later on to try and find.
I ended up going all the way back to the main large area of the pyramid. To the north of me were giant red doors that require the flame key which I did not have yet. So I headed west and cleared out that small section of the map.
In there after I killed everything I found a hieroglyph that ended up being a switch. This moved a hidden panel to show a chest that had the Flame Door Key in the chest. Along with my first scroll that contained a code. This allowed me to open the main doors to the north.
In that main room is when you start to get hit with radiation. It is always smart to remove it before going to other parts of the pyramid. Otherwise, you end up taking lots of small amounts of damage that you did not need to which I happened to do more than once.
There was also an insane amount of VARN in that room. I would run into the room and get damaged on quite a few things for aggression. Then try and lead them to the outside where I could run off to a side of the inner pyramid.
This would cause anything that followed me into a corner inside where they would try and hit me through a wall which they could not do. I then loaded up two of my casters with a ring of fire and took out as many as I could.
Ring of fire however did not work on all of them. So there be a point where I was no longer dealing damage and there still be some red dots left on the map moving around. I would then switch out my spells and head in to blast what remained of the tiny group I had pulled.
I would then usually have to portal to down to get mana and come back via a beacon I had set at the base. I would then repeat this process over and over again.
Once that was all cleared out I ran into the back of the room. Spent a moment in a cleansing pool to remove the radiation then I headed east.
There were a few pictures on the walls that ended up being doors. I would always make sure to click on them to see if it was just a door or a normal picture. Along with checking to make sure they did not have anything hidden within them. After all, I was looking for a bunch of scrolls in this dungeon.
I ended up clearing down to this interesting room. This was one of the many points of interest I made a point of recalling. As this place was like a maze in many areas and I would keep finding myself returning to this room.
I was also at that time taking radiation damage. I did not remove it from the last mana break I went for. It was also at this point were I decided I had enough of running back from the first beacon I had placed. So as I rarely do I ended up using a second one for a dungeon.
I usually try and keep only one of my beacon slots for dungeons. As all my other beacon slots are placed in outdoor areas in the game I can’t just town portal too. I ended up using the one for Ironfist since that is a rather easy place to get to and I have not been to the seer in quite some time where I had it placed.
Once I realized the blue title room was a central point. I wrote down the different directions I could go such as southwest and made sure to explore everything in that one direction that I could. In an attempt to avoid repeating exploring an area, I had already done so beforehand.
I believe it was the southeast path that I took that ended up leading me to a chest with the Water Temple key in it. Along with a scroll with some code on it. The very place I had already cleared quite early on but had no idea what the name of it was.
I ended up clearing out everything in that area. Before returning to the main inner pyramid where I had my first beacon placed. I then ran through the room with the radiation and this time I went west. While I needed to clear that way anyways that is not the correct way to go next. I would only discover that once I had it fully cleared out.
The west side was filled with two large massive rooms with a giant pool in the middle of them. There were also a lot of short side areas that many times had different creatures such as genies or VARN in them.
I decided the best attack plan was to go from left to right and move up. While doing so I would get aggression from the other side. It was however a lot less than just trying to do all the small areas on the left or right side first as you would get aggression most of the time on both sides.
This was also an area of the map that showed a lot of loot on the ground. While most of the time it was just flowers to use in making potions or potion bottles. There were also a lot of genie lamps to be looted that you can sell for gold.
I then had to do that all over again for the second area which was rather similar. Expect in the back there was one side area that lead to a much bigger area. One of the creatures I killed even dropped an artifact called Conan that I had no use for so I ended up selling it for around 13k gold.
When I say this dungeon had a lot of creatures in it I was not joking. This was one screenshot I got of clearing out the area. My group got rather smashed up here. The room was also set up in a way I could not just fire ring from a distance and have an easy time of this spot.
That little side area ended up being a dead end so I went back the way I came and went further up. This lead me into a room that had a lot of bookshelves. Each one of the bookshelves had a high-level spell that I already had learned but they have a value of 3k-5k gold each so I was rather thrilled regardless for getting over 1k per book.
I also ran into a chest that was locked. I would later learn from finding the key to this area I was in Bibliotheca. Knowing this now would have saved me a lot of time searching to find where that key I found later on opened. It seems I just enjoy clearing this dungeon in the wrong order!
In the Bibliotheca area, I also found two scrolls that I needed. This put me up to four of the six I needed. They were hidden in the wall painting next to a chest. One of them was the Engineer's Code.
After far too much exploring. I ended up finding the hard way back to what ended up being the Water Temple door. I did after some exploring around wonder if I had the key to this spot now which I did have. It was however a bit of a journey you could say trying to work out how I got there in the first place.
Inside it was rather small. I was expecting a lot more VARN than I ended up running into. Since there was not a good place to hide I mostly blasted them since there did not appear to be too many.
After clearing the place out I wound discover another chest. That chest contained the fifth scroll I needed. Along with the Bibliotheca Chest key which I figured at this point had to be the chest I could not open in the prior area.
I then had to find my way back. I however noticed there was a section I had yet to explore. There was an insane amount of genies in a corner. Not too far from a door. It took me at least 5 mana breaks to clear them all out.
The door they ended up being rather close to was the backdoor. Quite early on in this run, I had looted the backdoor key. While one could swear I was supposed to go this way back into this area. I ended up going down a tunnel and opening yet another door that I’m certain I clicked on the painting for that never opened.
I then worked out where I was and made my way to the Bibliotheca chest I had yet to loot. It contained a VARN key and the final scroll I needed. Along with some loot.
It was then time to head back into the area where I was getting radiation every time I walked in there. Now all the pools that I was using to clear the radiation when I stepped into them asked for a code. If I gave the wrong code the group took some damage.
The final code to be put in was the captions spot which was “krik” for Kirk. The pool of water for that pad then slide open to reveal it was hiding a passage down below.
This is also when any doubt that you were dealing with advanced aliens was certainly made known. Down there I had to fight off drones. There was also one final chest with some gold and the Control Cube in it.
It was then time to head back to Free Haven and turn in the Cube. That takes me into yet another dungeon and a tale for another day.
This ended up being one insane dungeon run. I ended up looting four upgrades for my group. Along with making over 300k gold from all the loot. Sometimes I found myself porting back to town just to sell loot as I was looking at quite a few rings, chest pieces, and bulky weapons.
Screenshots were taken and content was written by @Enjar about Might & Magic 6.