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Siege of Avalon Walkthrough

Chapter Five

This is the Mage's chapter, in which an Apprentice can turn into a Mage. The entire chapter is optional for other character classes, and is the only one I personally considered skipping in my second play-through.

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Combat with enemy magic-users is hugely buggy in this game, resulting in lots of frustrating random deaths when you haven't made any tactical errors. And you pretty much have to change all your equipment as you move from plane to plane (fire protection for everybody on the fire plane, cold protection on the ice plane, etc.), which is a real problem with the barely functional inventory screen you're saddled with (which cannot even hold one complete change of armor.) Just to rub salt into your wounds, there isn't even a chest in Elarath's room for you to stash the clothing changes in. You have to drag extra NPC's over just to stand there and hold your crap for you!

But there's great loot and some very important spells to be learned, cool areas, some excellent plot stuff including the resolution to the Lurkers quest, and a nifty story arc for Phelic's apprentice, if you've ever had him in your party. So I certainly wouldn't skip this chapter if it was your first and possibly only time playing the game.

Chapter Six

This finale chapter is the most ambitious of the six (with forking paths for knights, mages, and rangers), but is unfortunately also terribly written. If you follow the general adventuring style you've needed to succeed in the rest of the game--talk to everyone until you get a side quest, solve it, then repeat--you will end up missing everything of any conceivable interest in the entire chapter, as you are whisked abruptly from boring cutscene to too-easy battles to slightly less boring cutscene to more too-easy battles to the final too-hard boss fight. There are interesting sequences available in here, but the only way to discover them is to deliberately NOT complete any quest noted in your adventuring journal until you've explored everything else available to you. Since these particular quests involve life-or-death situations, this is particularly unintuitive, but there it is. To be more explicit, DON'T cure Elazar until you have done everything else available to you, DON'T leave the crypt to report the lich's demise until you've explored a new area that has suddenly opened up down there, and DON'T seal the South Gate until you've explored the village. I did all three of those things 'wrong' the first time I played, and I thought it was just a piece of crap ending. It's not, it's just poorly enough designed that you'll miss most of it if you blink.

The calm before the storm

You can wander freely around the entire keep chatting with everybody and doing side quests (many of which are class-dependent) until you save Elazar's life. As soon as you do that, it's all lost to you forever.

The linear stuff in the middle

The long cutscene with Queen Nanesi seems like it's going to be interactive, but it isn't. No matter what you say, nothing goes any differently. The series of quests and battles that follows is equally linear. There are some new NPC's to talk to (including Corvus, who can join your party) but you couldn't miss them if you tried. The only previous NPC with worthwhile new lines in this section is Anora the cook, who has relocated to the Inner Bailey.

The tests in the crypt

The graphics bugged out on me in Bones' crypt (the walls and floor all disappeared and I had to grope around it blindly to get anywhere.) Either because of this or just because it didn't occur to me that a new level would have suddenly opened up for no apparent reason once the lich was dead, I missed the Tests level of the crypt completely my first time through. The stairs to the new level are to the far east of the level Bones is standing in.

The ranger test can only be accessed by a ranger character, but Xanthus the ghost (who administers the knight test) and Krog the madman (who administers the mage test) can both be reached regardless of your character's class; there's just no way to pass their test. This is at least obvious with Xanthus, but Krog is extremely annoying for a knight or ranger character to encounter--he has a long, rather stupid dialogue tree, several conversational choices result in a pointless instant kill of your character, and all the others just result in your running away from him. I spent a long time trying to figure out something useful to do with Krog, including boosting my charm and perception scores very high. It's all useless. There's no way for a non-mage to do anything with Krog besides run away from him or be killed by him. Don't waste your time.

The endgame

The final fight with Mithras

Up till now it has been possible to complete the game as a pure fighter, a job made even easier if you bring along a magic-using NPC like Icarus casting "heal" at you repeatedly. Well, no more. Your NPC's are removed from your party with no explanation and no real reason other than to make the final fight harder, and--surprise!--Mithras can only be defeated by magic. (There's an exception that makes life easier for rangers, though I suspect it's a bug: instant-kill arrow shots now work on Mithras.)

Maybe I should rephrase that. Mithras can THEORETICALLY be defeated with a sword by a character with no magic-using capabilities at all, in the same sense that I, theoretically, could kill a polar bear with my bare hands. It might have a brain aneurysm at the appropriate moment. Hey, it could happen. If I reloaded 250 times. But practically speaking, there is no way to beat Mithras without using magic yourself (other than scoring an instant-kill ranger shot) because he can cast healing spells faster than you can injure him and he regenerates mana faster than healing spells can use it up. If you've failed to build your character accordingly, I recommend using a cheat to make yourself impervious to damage during the fight. You'll quickly see what I mean--it takes an ungodly long time for even a completely invulnerable knight to manage to win this battle.

If you're playing a mage, then you should be able to win this fight on your own, though you will still be bedeviled by your buggy protection from magic and the fact that Mithras, unlike you, does not have to struggle with that irritating drop-down spell menu and can choose a new spell to cast without losing any time between spells.

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