After 8 episodes and about 10 hours of play the Enchanted Cave 2 has been beaten. The dragon-man I started out with has taken down not only the Necromancer but his ultimate creation the demon he crafted using the souls of 999 adventurers and capped off with his very own soul.
For such a significant sounding threat, the demon was surprisingly passive. It seemed content to squat on floor 100 waiting for me to show up and in the meantime just the big evil thing it did? Make it rain. Once the summoning is complete the rain begins and does not let up until it is destroyed, I guess sometimes demons are a bit odd.
Last time we made it down to the Necromancer and instead of confronting him and taking him down decided that maybe right now was a good time to go get some fresh air, maybe a beer. Leave fighting evil and saving the world for another day, one where we are a little less concerned with self preservation and perhaps just a little less sober too. Today is that day let’s take down that necromancer.
Finally the long dungeon crawl reaches the end. I meet the Necromancer and epically run away. I like to try to learn from my mistakes and when I originally played this game just after it was released on Kongregate I had a similar run where I made it through half of the dungeon and then fought the Necromancer who utterly crushed me. Net result was that I was reset to outside the cave as if the previous run had never happened. This might have been fine for a short dip in the cave but for an extended run which contained a very large amount of progress. Well let’s just say I closed the browser tab and didn’t look back until the steam release.
In general I don’t really like losing large amounts of progress at a time, as much as I love Spelunky and NecroDancer, when I die in them I lose that current run, somewhere between 5 and 30 minutes of play. Losing hours of progress at a stroke is the kind of thing that gets me to abandon games, especially when they are built on slow and steady progress like an RPG.
The longer this run lasts the more I am leaning on that heal spell, effectively I am substituting mana for health. This approach clearly has its limitations but they are pretty straightforward to work out, none of the information I am using is hidden. The cost of the spell is standardised and the amount I heal is shown every time I cast it.
So how much is a single point of mana worth? Well, depends on my magic, but at the start of this episode, 1 mana was a little over 6 (122/20) health. Even there that means that a single point of mana regeneration is worth more than the most health regen I have ever put on an item via enchantment. Time to slowly phase out health regen in favour of more mana. Heck spare mana lets me get away with a bunch of other things too, I can convert mana into attack via spells, I can convert mana into gold via transmutation and lastly I can convert mana into knowledge by revealing the entire level. I don’t know why I didn’t start this transition earlier.
Today we continue our latest extended trip into The Enchanted Cave, reaching ever further trying to at least reach the next store before we return to town and I have realised that perhaps my focus on only ever using artefacts is a bit of a mistake.
It turns out that gear I have been ignoring because it isn’t gold bordered lets me boost my attack and defence much much faster than relying on the much less frequent artefact upgrades. As long as I also keep an eye out of enchanting tables I can really extend the viable length of this trip and with my shiny new Transmute spell I can even keep these otherwise temporary items. The ability to extend this trip is growing fairly important because there is an unusually large gap between stores here and my supplies have started to run dangerously low…
In this episode of Ranchanted Cave I unlock the Transmute spell, now literally anything I can pick up can be turned into an artifact and kept. Does that mean that they also get a slot in the museum? Do I have to collect everything now?
I definitely picked the wrong approach in this episode, starting at level 0 every time is technically optimal, but it isn’t really very fun, it just makes the game tedious as you wipe easy floor after easy floor on your way down to the challenging areas. At least the viewers can skip that part but it is something to keep in mind, maybe stop letting the early levels give rewards, or simply remove access to Max Depth-20 and above. I am sure the Necromancer can justify it somehow. All I know is that it made it a lot harder to go back to the game for the next episode even though I had entered that higher risk zone again.
After our last couple of quick trips into the Enchanted Cave 2 we are geared up and ready for our first deep, long dive we need to try reach significantly further than we have gone before and uncover more of the secret history of this famous tourist trap. I quite like the justification for the set up here and honestly even knowing this why would we stop? We aren’t rich yet and we are definitely smart enough not to push our luck too far right?
I was caught completely off guard by the new NPCs that you can encounter occasionally in the dungeon and they are great. I love the way they make you reevaluate that decision. How likely am I to make it to the next pair of wings? Can I afford to rescue this person or should I keep it to myself just in case the next level is a bit too tough. Eh, I reckon I can take it, what is the worst that could happen?
The Enchanted Cave by Dustin Auxier was a free flash game and a paid mobile game where you play an adventurer exploring a mysterious cave full of monsters, gold, weapons and the occasional rare artefact. The aim being to push your luck, get as far as you can but stop before you die.
The Enchanted Cave 2 is very much in the same vein, except prettier, bigger and with a lot more story. I especially like the town which is a bit more dynamic than I expected. It really sells the idea of this cave as a tourist attraction, leaving it up to the player to actually explore the cave and find out why it exists. I doubt that it is just the fantasy equivalent of the World’s Largest Banana.