I am Lady Teresa II. My one goal in life is to destroy Alexander. I live only to defeat the monster and grind his bones into dust. Too many of my family have fallen to the abomination. Many of ancestors have challenged him, and as many have fallen to him or his minions. But unlike my ancestors, I am something new. I am an all powerful combination of mage and assassin. My blade is made of magic itself, and I possess all powerful spells. Be wary Alexander, I am coming for you!
After the jump, will the spellsword spell victory or another defeat?
The spellthief is an interesting character class that can’t be put into a box. While the spellthief is not as robust as a barbarian, they are not as weak as a mage. Additionally, they have the ability to steal an amount of mana that is proportional to the damage dealt to an enemy. This character is a true hybrid, and can be a joy to play when you get accustomed to the melee and magic combat systems baked into the game. One of the most distinct aesthetic differences with the class is the lack of sword. As you navigate the castle, you do not carry a sword, however as you melee attack, the spellthief summons a sword to its hand.
Lady Teresa is a spellsword, which is the upgrade for the spellthief class. The upgrade unlocks a special ability which produces a larger version of the standard spell equipped that does double the damage but at a higher mana cost. This cost can be easily offset by closing the distance to your enemies and laying waste with a few strikes from the sword to regenerate the mana. This class could be called “The Boss Killer” when outfitted with the time stop spell. Freezing the boss allows you to get up close and start hitting the boss with impunity, which in turns regenerates the mana spent keeping the time stop spell going. This particular class shines in new game, but in new game plus it really becomes powerful due to the high damage output.
I spent some money in the home castle before setting out on the “Haggle” upgrade. While normally the demon at the gate would steal all remaining money when entering the castle, this upgrade allows you to save some of the gold between runs. This maxes out at the ability to retain 30% of your gold, which may not seem like much, but as upgrades begin to cost more and more, retaining some of the gold between runs allows you to stockpile and upgrade on the next run if you don’t have enough for that shiny new ability on this run.
The previous generation had made it to Alexander, and died like so many of the generations before that. Anxious to be able to try out my new abilities on the boss I decided to use the Architect, a curious and strange gentleman, who has the ability to lock down the castle to the previous orientation. However, this service is not free, and it requires that you give up a portion of the gold collected on that run. Interestingly, in my two save files, the game charged different rates, in the first the architect only took 30% of my gold, but in my second the architect took 40%. Locking down the castle, however has the benefit of keeping any challenge rooms or boss locations in the same place. This can allow you to gain direct access to the boss, or come back to a challenge that you failed in the next generation with a class that is more likely to succeed.
Lady Teresa, having gained direct access to Alexander challenged the boss straight away. She was equipped with the axe spell, which launches a large axe in a hyperbolic arc. This spell allows you to hit a single enemy multiple times if the enemy is hit at the apex of the axe’s flight. Additionally, Teresa had ADHD, which increases the movement speed of the character. This combination of spells and speed allowed for a hit and run strategy on Alexander, and the many minions he summoned fell as mana fodder to Teresa’s sword. Ultimately, Alexander perished, dropping gold and stat bonuses!
Feeling accomplished, confident, and loaded with gold from my victory, I pressed on, back into the castle, seeking out the tower above the castle area. Along the way to the tower, I encountered a secret room which contained a shrine, at which I was offered the chance to pray for a blessing. Unfortunately the “blessing” I received was the Hedgehog’s Curse, which causes you to lose gold when you take damage. However, in subsequent runs, when praying at this shrine, useful items can be gained; from glasses that correct abnormal vision traits to a ring that allows you to revive once on death.
Sadly, when I did make it into the tower above the castle area, “The Maya”, I was killed by a mimic I thought was a chest. Even worse, due to the Hedgehog’s curse, I lost half the gold I had collected. In the end though, Alexander was dead, and I was free to set my sights on the next boss.
Andrew Kneller is a chemistry graduate student and avid gamer. When he isn’t busy kicking laser tables and trying to teach undergrads, he and his wife play videogames and watch movies together. You can find him on the Quarter to Three forums as TREOS.