Currently playing: Icewind Dale 2, Demonicum

August 28, 2011

Shadows over Riva - The story really catches on

I am beginning to realise that this game will take a lot of time to complete. After surprisingly having been invited to the guild as informers we were tasked to find out more about the pirates that also is a threat to the guild. While exploring the town it happened that we rescued a Holberkian from being abused and as thanks for our help he gave us food and shelter and all of the slum area where they dwelled in turned more friendly towards us. It seemed they also had problems with the insane mage that reportedly was stealing pets to his tower outside the city. One of the Holberkians offered to row us over there to investigate so we followed this new lead.

The island was overgrown with weeds, fiercly insects and sunken grounds.

The island with the strange mage tower
While exploring the island I finally found a door but before I managed to open it I was attacked by two swamp creatures jumping in on me from behind. After having disposed of them we broke in and found a lot of cages filled with dogs. Probably the dogs the Holberkians have had stolen and so we let them out before trying to get into a big mansion - or rather walled garden with a tower inside. A servant opened but refused to let us in or to speak with the magician. We had to dispose of him and then entered the inner garden. It took some while to discover how to get into the actual tower because the front gate was impossible to either break down, force open, pick lock or use the spell foramen on. I actually had to check the walkthrough here to be told that one of the hedges was an illusion and so we sneaked into another area with another rear door. On our way we saw fresh graves with bones. Probably a result of the experiments being done by the magician.



Anyway, we finally entered and was met by the magician himself. He told us to leave but we where of course not so easily convinced and so we had to fight him. We took him out fairly easy and moved on to explore this tower. It consisted of four levels in total and was quite a joy to explore. Many interesting and logical places. Full of items. We had to return at least two times to sell off stuff and to rest. At later stages we found coloured gems that would be put into certain doors to open and we where also trapped behind one of theese with no way of escaping back. We had to fight the magician two more times in the tower. He always came back in some form or another until we solved a mosaic pussle and finally got rid of him and freed the place of this evil. The game showed its strong sides in this quest. We had to split the party and use special skills to accomplish this.
This was one of the statuse we destroyed in the tower
After having completed the Sorceres Tower and helped the Holberkians we did not know what to do. We looked around the old sewers with the entrances that was hidden within each temple in Riva but found nothing of interest. We did, however, receive information about a particular person that was said to have been given gifts to the orcs and so we interrogated him in his home. It yielded little information and we was roaming around for awhile until a guy came up to us and said someone wanted to meet us at the Maiden tavern at night. We went there and was captured in a trap by the landlord who put something in our drinks (cutscene for this). We woke up aboard some sort of ship. Probably the pirate ship. We where given the choice of signing some documents that we was there of free will or try to escape. We choosed the latter and managed to break out of our bonds and escape the room we where held in. We looked around the ship. It was full of chests and items but somehow I got the impression that my time was limited.

The Pirate Ship was full of chests with items but time was of essence
How right I was! If you linger around for too long you will be swarmed by sailors and automatically captured and sent overboard. An instant death! So I had to reload a few times until I found a way to escape. I first destroyed the steering mechanism of the ship and then entered the Boatswains cabin. From there we escaped through the towed longboat. The problem was though that we´ve had to get rid of a lot of equipment to be able to climb aboard the boat. I had to drop almost all my armour just to save the most important items and weapons. Then we managed it and arrived at night to Riva city again. Pew!

Another irritating this after our escape from the cabin was when we found our equipment. All items had to be manually distributed to each person and you had to remember who wore what item. A  very time consuming and unneccessary thing to have the player go through. It would be better if it saved everything and let you reequip yourself automatically.

But back to Riva after our escape with the small boat....

As if that wasn´t enough we where soon arrested, accused of torture of a man we earlier interrogated for information about the pirates. The judge did not believe him though since he could´nt backup his alleged wounds and so we where set free again. After having reaquired all my lost equipment we where approached by the informer Tarik who said the we should go to the new guild HQ and that the the  guy accusing us now was murdered. Everything was set up so that we would be the prime suspect. We had to go into hiding and looked up the new HQ which was below the marketplace in the sewers.



Their leader asked us to get rid of the vampiress Malandra which now had become a major problem as several guild members had been killed. We went after her.

This is the Guilds HQ

The story is really good so far and that´s what keeping me playing although I know this game will take a lot of time to complete.