Author Topic: Ragnarok  (Read 31335 times)

Vanguard

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Ragnarok
« on: September 26, 2009, 02:48:45 AM »


I think that the ADOM thread has been useful and interesting, so think it'd be good to do similar threads for other games.

Ragnarok was the second roguelike I have played, after the original Rogue, and it's an old favorite.  I'd like to encourage those who haven't tried it before to give it a shot.  Anyway, here are a few tips to get you started:

*THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SPOILERS*

Upon reaching mastery (after 10 level ups), the classes that offer the most powerful abilities are the sage and the alchemist.  Beginners may not want to start with these, as they offer almost nothing to the player before that point, and they're two of the weakest classes starting out.

Note that you can change classes every 10 levels, so you're not "stuck" with a bad class for the late game.  If you have a hard time beginning, pick viking or woodsman, and change to sage or alchemist later.  With that said, I would recommend beginning as a sage once you're more confident.  In addition to having what I consider to be the best special ability of any class, they also begin with an otherwise hard-to-find stylus, which is needed to make use of that ability.

Scrolls of wonder are huge wildcards.  They can summon destructive monsters that are far too powerful for a low level character to deal with, but they can also offer permanent resistances that are otherwise difficult to obtain, and can even polymorph the player into new, powerful forms.  I would consider the best things to be polymorphed into are either borgon viles (high hp, high strength, speed of 20, can wear equipment and can create destructive whirlwinds without limitation), or swordsmen (high hp and strength, incredible speed of 40, can wear equipment, gets the useful origami and weaponmaster abilities).  By far the best way to become one of these is through a lucky scroll of wonder.

When reading scrolls of wonder, I recommend choosing a map where the player will not need to pass through often (in case of the "mud" or "retchweed" effects), and where the player has already gone through and taken all the worthwhile items (because they can be turned into enemies), and the player should also have deposited every potion they intend to keep in another map (because all potions on the map, including in the player's inventory can be drained, leaving empty bottles, which can be useful themselves sometimes).

When the player is confused, reading scrolls has different effects.  For example, reading a scroll of extinction while confused creates a new, chaotic species.  A scroll of identification hides the player's identity.  Perhaps the most useful is that a common scroll of blessing, if read while confused, will have a chance of enchanting (as with the very rare scrolls of enchantment) every scroll and potion in the player's inventory.  It is possible to exploit this the sage's writing ability, and a rare wand to create a wish engine.

Experimenting with mixing potions is fun (pick alchemist as your starting class if you want to play with this, expect to die almost immediately), but it isn't particularly useful until the player has become a master alchemist, at which point it will allow the player to create potions granting tremendously powerful things, such potions of immortality, or potions that allow the player to become a five-dimensional being.

*END OF SPOILERS*

So does anyone else have tips on how to play, or would anyone, starting out on this game like any more information on it?

Note that since this is an old DOS game, you may need DOSbox to run it.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2009, 11:06:26 PM by Curseman »

Z

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Re: Ragnarok
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2009, 12:54:32 PM »
You forgot to say that some of your post is quite spoily.

More heavy spoilers follow.

IMO the best thing to polymorph into is a draugr (although your suggestions are also very good). Has no special power (like the borgon vile has - enemy draugar are able to spring back from death, but unfortunately you don't get that one), but has roughly 1000 HP, 60 speed, lots of strength. Play a sage, reach level 10. You should be able to be write the scroll of switch bodies (only once, beware). Using a potion of phasing or a wand of transmutation, pass through the mountains to the South from the southeastern corner of the Midgard Forest (the last one). You will find yourself in the Halls of Grynr. Don't spend much time there, it's very dangerous, just drink a potion of soul seeking and look for a blue 'd'. If you see it, read the scroll of switch bodies, you are a mighty draugr now, go kill your old self. If you don't see any draugr, look one screen to the West (drink another potion of soul seeking). If no draugr there... I don't see any easy way to find a good body.

Once you construct the wish engine, the game becomes very unbalanced. First, teleport to Azare's Plane (you can do that easily with the power of Dimension Travel, but I think there might be also some other options, I don't remember). Check your Luck value, and wish for that many empty vials, until you have enough to try each pool that you don't recognize. Find the pool of Holy Water. Drink from it (using your remaining empty vials), and wish for a new set of empty vials if you run out of them, until your luck is 100. (You can use the scroll of blessing trick if you want to conserve wishes, but it's not worth the trouble, you have an infinite amount of them.) You can now wish for 100 empty vials and try other pools, letting your stats rise as high as you wish. You can also wish for 100 hel dragon corpses (eat them for a quick bonus ~250 in constitution), 100 +100 shurikens, +100 runesword (unless you already found this unique weapon), +100 katana, +100 armor of all kind (including rings of agility), -100 armor if you want to be hit for some reason, %100 ring of protection, scroll of knowledge, etc.

Vanguard

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Re: Ragnarok
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2009, 11:15:25 PM »
You forgot to say that some of your post is quite spoily.

Right, my mistake.  That's been corrected.

More heavy spoilers follow.

IMO the best thing to polymorph into is a draugr (although your suggestions are also very good). Has no special power (like the borgon vile has - enemy draugar are able to spring back from death, but unfortunately you don't get that one), but has roughly 1000 HP, 60 speed, lots of strength. Play a sage, reach level 10. You should be able to be write the scroll of switch bodies (only once, beware). Using a potion of phasing or a wand of transmutation, pass through the mountains to the South from the southeastern corner of the Midgard Forest (the last one). You will find yourself in the Halls of Grynr. Don't spend much time there, it's very dangerous, just drink a potion of soul seeking and look for a blue 'd'. If you see it, read the scroll of switch bodies, you are a mighty draugr now, go kill your old self. If you don't see any draugr, look one screen to the West (drink another potion of soul seeking). If no draugr there... I don't see any easy way to find a good body.

Draugr are certainly powerful, but a bit more risky to access, since you can't become one form a blessed scroll of wonder.  Can they use equipment?  If so, they're a serious contender for the best form in the game.

One more spoily thing for newer players:

If you're serious about winning with your current character, do not under any circumstances pick a fight with any of the gods (good or evil) at any point in the game.  It does not matter how powerful you are.  You will lose.  Even if you win, you still lose.  The easiest one to find is Jormangund.  If you're really curious and want to see what he looks like, you can usually hang around until he appears on screen if you're very careful about it, and always stay one space away from escape, and immediately leave the map once he's within sight.  He's very fast, no form of attack will succeed against him, and he can still easily take out a character whose level is in the triple digits in one round without any trouble.

Fenrir

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Re: Ragnarok
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2009, 12:19:44 AM »
Right, my mistake.  That's been corrected.
By the gods, it's too la-aaaaargh!

Oh well, I'll get over it.

I usually recoil in disgust at roguelikes with graphics, but I can't resist all the Norse Mythology. I'm going to go play this one again.

Vanguard

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Re: Ragnarok
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2009, 04:08:56 AM »
Sorry about the spoilers.

If you really don't like the tiles, the always-visible map at the top of the screen is ascii.

Z

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Re: Ragnarok
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2009, 01:14:35 PM »
Draugr are certainly powerful, but a bit more risky to access, since you can't become one form a blessed scroll of wonder.  Can they use equipment?  If so, they're a serious contender for the best form in the game.

They can. I don't think that the method above is very risky... except that you might not be successful at finding a draugr. (Remaining in human form is also risky, after all.) You are there just for a few turns in human form, nothing is likely to find you. Except a zardon, who can attack from afar, but I think it won't kill you in one psionics attack (it will kill you in two), so you can run. After you successfully become a draugr, you are rather safe.

And for quickly gaining experience, you can abuse some bug (there is some bug with XP draining which allows getting levels quickly... or a bug with animating and deanimating and golemizing a corpse, which creates some buggy beast which gives lots of XP), or (when powerful enough) stand in a safe place in the forest, zap the wand of polymorph at a tree, and start slaying an endless stream of faleryns. Don't eat faleryns, unless you think that it is fun to become a faleryn and multiply yourself.

Fenrir

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Re: Ragnarok
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2009, 02:04:41 PM »
Sorry about the spoilers.
No big deal.
Quote
If you really don't like the tiles, the always-visible map at the top of the screen is ascii.
I do like the tile representing Fenrir. I look adorable!

Vanguard

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Re: Ragnarok
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2009, 01:55:38 AM »
(when powerful enough) stand in a safe place in the forest, zap the wand of polymorph at a tree, and start slaying an endless stream of faleryns.

Yeah, that's a good method of quick xp gain.

One time I did something similar by reading a scroll of wonder (I don't remember if I was confused or if it was blessed/cursed or what) one one of the sea levels, and every single water tile became a water elemental.  I don't know if it's really a practical thing to do due to the random nature of wonder scrolls, and the ease of using the above mentioned faleryn strategy, but there aren't many games out there where you can say you killed - not destroyed, killed - the ocean.

Early game tips:

Don't fight an anssk in hand to hand combat.  Shoot it, zap it, whatever, just don't hit it.  They're pretty harmless if you ignore them, but eating an anssk corpse will give you a sort of weak telepathy that kicks in if you get blinded.  It's not extremely important, but it is a nice fall-back to have, and pretty simple to obtain.

Buying the grappling hook and pick axe in the first shop (these are always generated) can save your life, and they're both helpful in several situations.  You start with enough gold for both.

I don't recommend fighting the shopkeeper at this point, as he's very strong and fast.  There are a few safer methods of robbing him, such as picking up everything in the store, drinking a potion of phasing, and walking through the store walls.  You can also try shooting him from outside the shop, running the edge of the map, and luring him away from his shop by entering the map boundaries and walking away, then going to another map when he gets close.  Once he's a good distance away, you just enter the map near his shop and claim everything.

With that said, I probably wouldn't steal from him either, at least in the early game, unless there's something really nice that you just have.  In addition to the shopkeeper himself being dangerous, some "immoral" acts such as theft and using scrolls of extinction can summon rangers, who can knock you out and summon more rangers when you fight them up close.  If you ever manage to make it to the bazaar, don't try to fight/rob them.  Even if you can effortlessly take down regular shopkeepers, those guys are not like regular shopkeepers.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2009, 02:06:05 AM by Curseman »

Z

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Re: Ragnarok
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2009, 10:15:28 AM »
I don't remember, but I thought those watery forms could drown a character, even if they had lots of HP?

IIRC the bazaar traders could be killed by exploiting a bug with terraforming... (the bug was that you could kill one of them, and the rest would not care, and all the bazaar was yours)

Vanguard

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Re: Ragnarok
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2009, 10:41:22 PM »
I don't remember, but I thought those watery forms could drown a character, even if they had lots of HP?

Maybe.  The character in question was ridiculously powerful (> level 100 with artifacts, overly enchanted equipment, mastery of every class, and most of the skills from scrolls of knowledge), so if they do have that ability, it didn't help them.

Dalton

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Re: Ragnarok
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2009, 08:59:26 AM »
What's the creature that makes you never exist? I played this a loooong time ago. I remember something I tried to fight. I hit it a few times, then it was like "You never existed."

Then my tombstone screen was something like:
Dalton
Never Existed
on blah blah blah

Vanguard

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Re: Ragnarok
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2009, 03:21:32 AM »
What's the creature that makes you never exist? I played this a loooong time ago. I remember something I tried to fight. I hit it a few times, then it was like "You never existed."

Then my tombstone screen was something like:
Dalton
Never Existed
on blah blah blah

Vanishers.  They're ruthless.

You know you're playing a good game when you can die to things like never existing and walking off of the edge of the world (it's even better that, if I remember correctly, you can potentially survive walking over the edge of the world).

Vanishers are a good choice for using a scroll of extinction on, in my opinion.  I think my most hated enemies that I choose for extinction are Archmages though.

Dalton

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Re: Ragnarok
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2009, 07:11:48 PM »
(it's even better that, if I remember correctly, you can potentially survive walking over the edge of the world).

What's off the edge of the world? o.O

Z

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Re: Ragnarok
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2009, 07:46:39 PM »
I don't remember vanishers ever do anything to me... But archmages can ruin your game, e.g., by eliminating the potions of curing, or somehing else. Archmages drop lots of stuff when killed, but that's not enough reason not to genocide them.

You can obviously survive walking over the edge of the world if you have levitation ;) Other than that, in some places you just fall to a lower plane (Niflheim). Although not if you have too much sins and an Edgewort pu(ni)shed you off Bifrost, I think.

Vanguard

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Re: Ragnarok
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2009, 12:56:48 AM »
(it's even better that, if I remember correctly, you can potentially survive walking over the edge of the world).

What's off the edge of the world? o.O

If you dig through to the edge of the map while underground and then jump off you land in Niflheim and take a bunch of damage.  You should be able to survive if you have enough HP, and ice resistance to survive in Niflheim.  Even without the freezing and the fall damage, it's one of the deadliest areas in the game.