Getting Peter via Bloody Fortress w/Pope

So I looked around a few weeks ago and noticed two things.

  1. I still haven’t gotten Peter. I mean, I hate the SL/30 game and I flat refused to sit around for days trying to get Creator to drop his key in Arena. But then I remembered that…
  2. I got Creator like two months ago through 8 solid months of $1 and $3 purchases. Apparently I got so caught up in the Hell Frontier game that I just never looked at him. Also…
  3. There are zero guides on the entire Internet for doing a paid Peter run through Bloody Fortress. — Turns out this is wrong, my search somehow missed this guide in the Forums’ Files section (the best single G&D resource online, that Files section!)

And I thought “Hey, this is an opportunity to create something that at least a few people will probably appreciate!”  😀   So, to quote my favorite Super Mario Kart driver, “Here we go-ooo! Mwaaahahahahahahahahaaa!”

 

Maze: Bloody Fortress

Purpose: Unlock Peter and his piles o’ treasure.

Mainball: Captain — I wanted my Venture titles to be cheap, so Captain had to be the first in line.

Soul Link 1: Time Wizard — not much choice here.

Soul Link 2: Creator — See above.

Venture Title: Great Swordsmith (crucible) — I knew two things about this run: 1) it was going to be hell getting through F81-99, and 2) I was going to have facepunch my way as deep as I could to conserve spells. I couldn’t take Novice Warrior, so I really wanted that 15% counterattack reduction to  help me keep facepunching. And of course nothing gets you through a set of floor mobs quite like a 100% counterattack prevention.

Oh, also, going through Rune Master will give me 15% more Holy Bolts, which will actually matter.

Magic Title: Pope— Pope gives me double-damage, greatly-enhanced Holy Bolts — and the Key of Lore gives me 1 Holy Bolt every other floor, which means I won’t run out of ammo if I’m careful.

Artifact: Gloves of Great Swordsmith — Because yes, the 3 extra Swordsmith’s Runes are worth having an artifact you won’t use in the final 1/3rd of your run (see below).

Potion: Athena’s Tears — because you gotta.

The Rundown: The whole way down, I purchased every single ‘set item’ out of every special shop, as well as every Demon Spleen (that’s the +Power one) and most of the Demon Kidneys (+HP/MP one), and I kept a stock of ~1200 EP to keep buying those things when they showed up.

I started by one-starring my way up to Great Swordsmith (Crucible). Then I went back and filled in Rune Master right away, then Treasure Seeker so I could avoid activating monsters for as long as possible (to have plenty of things to pick up, so as to avoid flaming tiles). I grabbed all three stars of Magic Apprentice in time for the F30 boss (I might have had to buy the third star with the EP from beating the boss, my notes are unclear.)

Then it was one star in Priest, three stars in Light Master, and then Pope and all three MP stars in Pope to get the +75% to Holy Bolt. Then I backfilled Priest and Explorationist for the regeneration, took the Attack stars of Great Swordsmith because I needed to keep facepunching for a little longer, and then took the Power stars of Pope and Great Swordsmith. Then I basically just purchased whatever, whenever, and maxed out both Titles somewhere in the early F80s.

Key Management:  One of the more challenging aspects of any Peter run is remembering when to switch between Keys to maximize their effects. The three obvious ones are the Key of Sky (use immediately), the Key of Fate (use immediately), and the Key of Destruction (never equip it).

The Key of Time has an alluring trap built in, but don’t fall for it: as much as you might want to save it for late in the run to get the maximum boost out of it, don’t. Use it on F19, after doing absolutely everything you can to attain your current peak Power (primary importance) and HP (secondarily). Then equip the Key of Eternity and go into F20 to earn your free Timestill.

From then on, basically keep the Key of Lore equipped 90% of the time, swapping out the Key of Eternity in time to get your free Timestill every 20th floor. (When you use your one PoE, use it to get from just-after-a-20th-floor to go back to just-before-the-previous-20th-floor, so you get 2 extra Timestills from the deal. Timestill is your friend!)

You may also benefit from swapping over to the Key of War whenever it will give you a good chance to OHK an enemy with a facepunch. I actually wore a complete set of Giant’s stuff for a good portion of the middle of the maze to get the 33% chance to double damage plus, when needed, the 50% from Key of War for a solid 83% ‘crit chance’, which let me continue to play Mostly One Punch Man well into the mid-F60s, and Two Punch Man until the mid-F70s.

By that time, I had 8 Timestills and 104 Holy Bolts, and 12 Swordsmith’s Runes — which means I could mostly-freely-facepunch (Bolting down only distant Ranged mobs) my way through F87-F99. So I only had like ~15 floors worth of floor mobs and 3 Bosses I had to kill with magical might. In other words, Key Management is a super-critical part of the success of this run, as it provides like 50% of all the resources you need to make it through the difficult part! Another 20% comes from your Titles…

Faith Management: …And here’s the last 30%. 🙂 It’s crucial to get the +100% to damage spells (and all of the other bennies) from maxing out all 5 Faiths, which means you have to start intelligently to get lots of set items quickly.

Step 1: Every time you reach a Lich or Beholder (Eye Tyrant) statue and you have at least one full set*, sacrifice every full set you have to that statue. Continue until the Lich is level 8 and the Beholder is level 11. Then sacrifice exclusively to the Fire of Wisdom until it’s level 10. Equip the Torch (yes, giving up your Gloves of the Swordsmith!)

Go back to sacrificing exclusively to Lich and Beholder until Lich is level 18 and Beholder is level 19. Unequip the Torch and get your sweet Gloves back, you’ll need the stats by now. Then max out both Lich and Beholder for the items.

Now, start doing the same “sacrifice whenever you reach X statue and have stuff” with both Fire and the Knight, because you’ll need the +Attack bonus about now but you’ll also need to start mitigating the Manticore’s Roar ability, as it’s the one thing that is genuinely run-endingly powerful if left alone.

Once you max out Fire, feed either Knight or Victoria as you have stuff handy — you’ll be happy to have the HP and the -Spell Forbidden Effect from Victoria, but you’ll also need to keep your Attack up in order to continue facepunching.

* – Also, sacrifice Mephisto’s Soul Gem because it sucks and Demon Hunter’s Blade because you can’t do anything else with it anyway. And if you’re close to making an important level, go ahead and sacrifice any normal equipment you’re not using — it’s better used for Faith than being disenchanted for EP, as you’ll end the run with more EP than you know what to do with anyway.

Floor Strategy: Open as many non-enemy tiles as possible, leaving all the stuff sitting on the ground so that you can pick up 5 items to end Burning Tiles efficiently if needed. Then, if Captain’s ability is active, reveal an enemy, see how many of the missiles it will take to kill it, and if you’ll have missiles left over, reveal another enemy. Once all three missiles are ‘assigned,’ set the ability off.

Once that’s done, or if the ability isn’t active in the first place, just open one enemy and kill it before you open another. If it’s a Spiky Skeleton, you can choose to ‘kill it’ by grabbing some floor items and sucking the damage (or mitigating it with Curse, Ice Shield, or Stoneskin), or by hitting it with nukes (not Holy Bolts unless you can kill two with a single casting via Pope-iness.)

Boss Strategy: Punch down F30. Holy Bolt F40. Holy Bolt and Icicle F50. Starting with F60, use Electrostatic Field when you’re going to use Icicle, and Electrostatic Field+Disrupting Ray when you’re going to Timestill instead. Use one Timestill on F70, two on F80, three on F90, and as many as you need on F100, ’cause you’re done once you beat that big beast.   If you play your spells right, you should literally never see the Boss’ attack animation through the entire run.

Is It Worth the Effort? HELL YES. Getting through the Gate of Creation is pretty sweet — 100 Gems, a crapload of coins and Relic Fragments, and of course Peter. You also get a metric sh!t-tonne of in-maze bonus stuff that would make it relatively easy to bust through another 20 or 30 floors…but who cares? Once you get Peter and his Gems, get the hell out of there!

Peter comes into the game at 5 stars, which is a huge boost to most Ranger’s Song airships right off the bat, and his Exclusive Skill is basically a big pile of Nether Wicks on a stick, which is a great if unusual pairing with Flagellant’s big pile of “kill the sh!t out of any one boss” on a stick, as the two together can make short work of any dungeon’s F91-F100 for easy Boss Prize hunting down the road. 🙂

By the way, if you’re actually using this guide, I’d like to personally thank you for supporting my favorite game. It’s thanks to people like you that G&D is still around for me to enjoy, and I appreciate your contributions to my play time! 🙂

 

 

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Wife’s Run: Maxing the Magic Vine and More w/ some Highly Unexpected Synergy

Maze: Forest of Whispers

Purpose: Hit the ‘magic vine to level 50’ DP quest, and the ‘get the frozen mushroom to level 5′ quest.’ As it happened, she was also able to get ‘Max out Planar Prophet’ and ‘Go backwards 45 floors in a single PoE’ on the same run. That last one is where the excitement came from, actually.

Mainball: Tarot — Because no single gumball can get you out of more scrapes than Tarot. Also, Venture-main for Farplane Ranger for to get Jack’s Soul for to reduce the total Seed cost of the vine quest.

Soul Link 1: Saladin — This guy can trade useless spells for stats — and there are a lot of useless spells. What’s not to love? There’s even a tiny bit of synergy with Tarot’s “gimme a random spell” card!

Soul Link 2: Lionheart King — She wanted Planar Prophet early, but she had a Venture title main, so Lionheart King was the key to her entire strategy.

Venture Title: Farplane Ranger — Nailing Jack’s Soul on F1 makes the level 50 quest a huge 50 seeds shorter.

Magic Title: Planar Prophet — She didn’t want to go deep, she wanted easy seeds, so multiple and early trips backward were on the menu.

Melee Title: Novice Warrior — Didn’t care, she finished her quests rather than pursue a melee title. 🙂

Artifact: Hell God of War’s Ring — Because some amount of punching people in the face was vital.

Potion: Nightmare Potion — She needed the 300 EP to get Farplane on F1 so she could get Jack’s Soul, and the extra point of Power was useful.

The Rundown: Was pretty straightforward for most of it. She punched things in the face until F40 or so, then mixed in some spells when the opportunity presented itself (like Dark Ripple in caves, etc.) and as her Power rose as she traveled down the path to max Planar Prophet.

When she hit F49, she decided she didn’t want to deal with another Boss, having found the Sunflower Seed on F40. So, she hit the PoE button, went back 28 floors, and kept going down. When she hit F49 for the second time, she had maxed out Planar Prophet and most of her other potential sources of Power.

That’s when she noticed that her PoE was going to take her back 44 floors. Forty-four. ONE SHY of getting a valuable XP quest (she was like 24 points away from getting Tarot up to 5* at this point, so every single point counted.) But she had already spent all her EP on Titles that provided her with extra Power. She had no EP, no better-Power equipment, heck, no other equipment she was willing to Disenchant, and she had already cast Electrostatic Field.

But she was determined to find a way to eke out that last floor. She pored over her items, her skills, her spells, her Gumballs, her Titles — everything she could find. And finally, she looked up at me with that gleam in her eye that told she had found it.

“I have ten Aurora Barriers,” she smugged.

“Umm…and?”

“And why do I have ten Aurora Barriers?”

“Because you have Sala–oh!” Understanding was slow for me, but it hit.

“Because I have Saladin! Which means I have two Aurora Barriers…and 2,400 XP. Which means I can take all three Power stars of Farplane Ranger. Which means I’m nailing that damn Quest!

And she did. Without Lionheart King, she wouldn’t have had the EP to max out Planar Prophet in time. Without Tarot’s +25% to spell effects card, she wouldn’t have hit 45 floors. And without Saladin, she wouldn’t have had the Power she needed to break the barrier, either. Those three gumballs appear, at first glance, to be almost entirely without any internal synergy — but this is Gumballs and Dungeons, and nothing in the game is ever as simplistic as it appears.

Let’s Playtest Phoenix (and Earth Elemental’s Talent) to F100!

Maze: Saint’s Tower

Purpose: To see just how sweet Phoenix can be when given optimal conditions (i.e. +50 Power from Angmar’s Curse.) Also, to see what it looks like when Earth Elemental’s talent combines the Earth Set into an Earth Orb. Also, to collect an Earth Set and a Water Set for the Honor Quests.

Mainball: Phoenix — Because seriously, a gumball that plays Legendary Archer all by his lonesome deserves to be in the front of the back. (OK, really I just wanted the high power.)

In case you haven’t seen it yet, Phoenix’ main trait is that every 8 turns, he deals .6*Power to all visible enemies. Despite being called Eternal Fire, it’s not buffed by effects that buff Fire. Or anything else. Even Electrostatic Field. Nope. Just .6*base Power. But it’s more than enough.

Link1: Future Cat — Almost mandatory for playing Phoenix, so that you can use the Hidden Cloak to quickly reveal all enemies so they all get nuked every 8 turns. All the other fun, ridiculous stuff that comes with him is just a bonus. 😀

Link2: Merchant — Yup, no Melee titles this run. It’s more important for me to get lots of chances at equipment so I can fill out those sets.

Magic Title: Dark Priest — Because with Phoenix burning through the floors, I’m going to want a strong tool to take down the lower-floor Bosses…and 3 free Implosions with +75% effect and +60% effect and a 50% chance at 200% damage sounds like my kind of math.

Venture Title: Great Swordsman (crucible) — Because I know Phoenix is going to stop keeping up at some point, and I might need to go a few floors deeper. Every Swordsman’s Rune is 1 floor with no counterattacks, so bingo. Also, the standard-issue 15% counterattack reduction stacks with Crystal Dress and Crystal Shoes to great effect.

Artifact: Belt of Time Lord — Because it’s the only slot that isn’t taken up by either the Dark Suit, the Water Suit, or the Dimension Bag/Phoenix Feathers.

Potion: Hell Crimson Reagent — Because I thought it might buff Eternal Flame. Oh, well.

The Playtest: Made it to F101 after a Limited Broom, a time Machine, and a 31-floor PoE, for a total of 177 floors traveled. Who says you need all three Title types to go deep? 😀 I didn’t max out until about F70 (after all three of the above go-backs, so effectively F146). But I did spend about seven sh!tloads of EP on gear, mostly Magic Toffees, Magic Brooms, and upgrading bits of the Water and Earth suits.

The Phoenix power itself reached the limit of its usefulness somewhere around F70, too. It does an amazing job of allowing you to clear floor after floor after floor with minimal expenditure of resources for those first 60 floors, and after that it can get enemies significantly damaged (but not kill them) for another 10. Past F70, it’s best to play as though you don’t have the ability and just enjoy it when it happens to go off usefully. I imagine that if you built around Fighter stats, it would probably peter out around F50.

However, this was Saint’s Tower, so the Phoenix Power not keeping up just meant it was time to switch tactics. First, I ran through the several Blades of Ruin that you get from running Phoenix main (one per 20 floors, and I had arranged my go-backs so that I always landed on Fx9 so I could get another BoR upon going down one floor). Then I just went all-in and used my level 50+ X Roars to nuke everything, popping the occasional Magic Toffee so I could keep doing it.

I finished the Earth Elemental set around F65 (the first time past it; I went past once more later). Turns out that when Earth Elemental turns the Earth Suit into the Earth Orb, it becomes an Accessory item that gives:

  • +8 Attack and +8 Power,
  • A 40% boost to all Earth spells,
  • A free random Earth scroll every floor (not PoE, sorry), and
  • Access to the spell Earth Elemental Ball, which costs 10 mana, uses no scroll, and does damage equal to your Power to one target.

As a side benefit, once it’s fused, you can put on a second copy of any Earth Suit item (except Thorn Orb, natch), and the 40% bonus from the Earth Orb stacks with the 25% bonus from that item. Good times.

I would’ve quit way earlier in the maze, but I got punk’d by RNG: I was able to easily gather every piece of the Water suit…except the FIRST ONE. I went the whole run without seeing a Water Spirit’s Cape, and I kept pushing on only because I really wanted to see what the difference between a 2* (water) and 3* (earth) Fused Orb would be.

Alas, F101 saw me locked into a corner with a No-Spells Ward up that I had no Light Crystal to break, and I had used up all of my Swordsmans Runes getting from F91 to F99. Sigh. Next time, Water Suit. Next time…