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Caravel Forum : DROD Boards : Holds : Val Unrich (Alternative/Shapeshifting)
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7.7/10 (21 votes)
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Author Name:Benhur
Submitted By:The spitemaster
Hold Name:Val Unrich
Theme:Alternative/Shapeshifting
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Number of Levels:10
Number of Rooms:92
Number of Monsters:1463
Version:DROD: The City Beneath (3.1)
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Hold Karma:5 (+6 / -1)
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File: Val Unrich v55.hold (63 KB)
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icon Val Unrich  
I hope that people are not discouraged by the necessity of needing to restore.

My only credits go towards:
Someone Else - for his great scripting work without it this would have never been completed.
Coppro - for being the one person who gave me advice.
11-17-2007 at 11:19 PM
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CuriousShyRabbit
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Sharpen your swords... er... beaks? talons? It's great to see Val Unrich finally hit the Holds board! :)

I very much enjoyed playing through this hold. Although there are many ways in which the hold is rough around the edges, I found the imperfections easy to forgive because of the originality and positive energy that permeates this hold.

This one is definitely for the optimizers. By now, you've all tried player role wraithwing puzzles. These have a twist. As a man, you're swordless. However your newfound powers allow you a certain number of turns as a wraithwing, so you can kill monsters. Can you become a wraithwing, fly off and clear another room, and make it safely back to land before you're a helpless man again? This is your challenge in progressively more difficult situations. I say, go for it! You'll feel really good after completing the last challenge. :D

(Oh, and I'd say the puzzles are more in the 6-7 brain range, not 9 brains.)
11-17-2007 at 11:39 PM
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Syntax
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icon Re: Val Unrich (0)  
Played a few rooms as HA but very happy it made the cut. This is a phenomenal take on what is achievable using the 3.x engine. This hold gets my second 10 for sheer ingenuity.

6.5 brains.

[EDIT]

Changed to 8 brains. The Great Divide is definitely a showcase of evil genius :)

[Last edited by Syntax at 11-19-2007 07:22 PM]
11-17-2007 at 11:59 PM
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Tahnan
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icon Re: Val Unrich (0)  
I'm impressed so far. Still working through all the implications, but I'll agree that it gets a 10/10 on ingenuity. Unfortunately, I also agree that it's a little rough around the edges...while I understand the "you may get stuck" aspect, I don't necessarily like it.

I've found myself having to restore back two or three rooms just because I've flown too far; that's a natural limitation of the form, I suppose. I also had to restore back and undo a conquered room because it turned out I didn't have enough flight-turns left to conquer the room beyond it, and that was just annoying. (Perhaps it could have used a warning voice to tell you "you may want to garner more flight-turns before attempting this room"? PSA to future solvers: don't miss the fact that you gain flight-turns as you conquer more rooms; if a room doesn't seem possible, it may literally not yet be possible.)

There are a few other little things here and there--dialogue which repeats on room entry, for instance. But all the same, it has drawn me in much more than most holds. (The Goblin did as well, again for its innovative approach to dungeon building. That's the main one in recent memory.)
11-18-2007 at 10:45 AM
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Chaco
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icon Re: Val Unrich (0)  
Here's another hint to avoid frustration and the redoing of rooms -

Before completing First Realm Twice South Twice West, I highly suggest having Thrice South Twice West already solved.

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11-18-2007 at 02:06 PM
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Rabscuttle
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icon Re: Val Unrich (0)  
In general you should return to a change station every time you conquer a room - conquering two rooms in a row is in most cases not a good idea.
11-18-2007 at 10:36 PM
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Chaco
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You have no choice in the case of First Realm: Once South Once West and Once South Twice West - you have to conquer both those rooms in the same sitting.

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11-18-2007 at 10:40 PM
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Rabscuttle
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icon Re: Val Unrich (0)  
True, but in that case both rooms contain a change station and the second room only requires you to fly long enough to kill the wraithwings. Although admittedly you won't know that until you beat the first room.

[Last edited by Rabscuttle at 11-19-2007 12:44 AM]
11-19-2007 at 12:43 AM
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Tahnan
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quote:
Rabscuttle wrote:
Although admittedly you won't know that until you beat the first room.
Hence my warning above. You also won't know until it's too late that you lose half your moves when you step on the arrows along the western edge.
11-19-2007 at 03:14 AM
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Watcher
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quote:
Chaco wrote:
You have no choice in the case of First Realm: Once South Once West and Once South Twice West - you have to conquer both those rooms in the same sitting.


Actually, it's quite possible to sneak around the monsters in 1S1W, and go on to conquer 1S2W first. That's what I did.

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11-19-2007 at 11:16 AM
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The spitemaster
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I think that I hyperinflated the difficulty of my hold. Being the first hold that I have done in over two years, I do not have a very educated opinion of my ability. Otherwise, I am very happy with what I made here. It was a very involved hold that took me a great deal of time. I hope that the play is not too frustrating for people.

I think that I might make a second hold along this thread shortly.

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11-19-2007 at 06:52 PM
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jbluestein
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icon Re: Val Unrich (+1)  
It's an excellent piece of work, no question. The puzzles are, for the most part, DROD-like in nature, but the whole hold feels very different.

I give it 7.5 brains of difficulty and an 8 rating.

Josh

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11-19-2007 at 06:53 PM
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Chaco
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quote:
The spitemaster wrote:
I think that I hyperinflated the difficulty of my hold. Being the first hold that I have done in over two years, I do not have a very educated opinion of my ability.


I'd agree with this appraisal - I'd certainly call this hold harder than HQ, but it's not quite a 9-brain hold.

Although I have to admit that some of the rooms in The Great Divide are making me feel like it's a 9-brain hold. :)

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11-19-2007 at 08:46 PM
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Syntax
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icon Re: Val Unrich (0)  
Yeah I've updated my brain vote to an 8 since discovering The Great Divide :)
11-19-2007 at 08:51 PM
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jbluestein
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quote:
Syntax wrote:
Yeah I've updated my brain vote to an 8 since discovering The Great Divide :)


There are several very difficult rooms in The Great Divide. In my opinion, however, that's the peak of difficulty. Everything after that point is a good bit easier.

Josh


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11-19-2007 at 08:58 PM
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Chaco
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icon Re: Val Unrich (0)  
Okay, I've just taken (spoiler for The First Realm Quarce South Twice East)

Click here to view the secret text


I had completed all rooms in Great Divide other than the following:

Click here to view the secret text


Will I still be able to master the hold, or did I need to do some more rooms in the Great Divide before I completed that action? I hear it's necessary in order to complete the Great Divide, and I'm inclined to believe that.

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11-19-2007 at 09:59 PM
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jbluestein
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quote:
Chaco wrote:
Okay, I've just taken (spoiler for The First Realm Quarce South Twice East)

Click here to view the secret text


I had completed all rooms in Great Divide other than the following:

Click here to view the secret text


Will I still be able to master the hold, or did I need to do some more rooms in the Great Divide before I completed that action? I hear it's necessary in order to complete the Great Divide, and I'm inclined to believe that.


I believe that that particular action can be taken at any time without affecting the outcome of the game. Whatever you get in the basement of your house, however, does affect your ability to master the hold.

Josh

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11-20-2007 at 12:05 AM
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CuriousShyRabbit
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quote:
Chaco wrote:
Okay, I've just taken (spoiler for The First Realm Quarce South Twice East)
Click here to view the secret text


That thing is supposed to affect your "score" at the end of the hold. I'd be curious to know if it actually does. Jbluestein is correct that it does not affect your ability to master the hold.
11-20-2007 at 12:09 AM
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Chaco
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That's good then - I'd much rather not have to restart the entire hold because of one decision.

Also, I don't think there was any way I was going to solve Great Divide: Quarce North without the four hundred and seventy-five or so moves I started out with. (That room is nasty to optimize - good luck to Rabscuttle, larrymurk, etc.)

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11-20-2007 at 12:22 AM
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jbluestein
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quote:
CuriousShyRabbit wrote:
quote:
Chaco wrote:
Okay, I've just taken (spoiler for The First Realm Quarce South Twice East)
Click here to view the secret text


That thing is supposed to affect your "score" at the end of the hold. I'd be curious to know if it actually does. Jbluestein is correct that it does not affect your ability to master the hold.


Well...

Herein I discuss the final rooms on the final level of this hold. Don't read if you don't want to know.

Click here to view the secret text


Josh

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11-20-2007 at 01:10 AM
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iamyum
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icon Re: Val Unrich (+1)  
It was very depressing when I couldn't solve the first room while seeing others posting comments about other rooms. :( It was even more frustrating that I took the cheat and still couldn't solve it with 700+ moves!! :~( Finally the light dawned on me and the first room cracked. :thumbsup Then the next, and the next, and the level becomes an RPG of sort where you gain experience [moves] and can go back to the inn to sleep after fighting a boss [or a room]. Great fun~
11-21-2007 at 05:04 PM
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The spitemaster
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icon Re: Val Unrich (0)  
For the scoring rooms at the end, there is two rooms that track which rooms you beat. The first one checks to see how many not required rooms you beat in the second realm. The first sees how many rooms you beat in the first two levels before using the fegundo's offer. You shouldn't be able to get first without beating all the rooms possible.

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11-22-2007 at 07:09 PM
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Chaco
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The holes in the borders of Val Unrich : The Great Divide : 7 North, 1 East and Val Unrich : The Great Divide : 4 North, 2 East should really be sealed up - they imply rooms are beyond them when in reality there are not.

Although I have to admit I used the hole in order to solve 7N1E and 4N2E's hole would have been a great hiding place for a secret room :)

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11-23-2007 at 08:19 PM
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Chaco
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I have conquered the hold, and I believe I am the first non-beta tester to do so. So I feel obliged to say what I think about this hold.

First of all - great idea. I really liked the player role changes and how they were implemented.

There were some very good, enjoyable rooms. The First Realm's first few rooms were easy enough, but the hold quickly shows you it's not messing around - it gets nastier faster, but it's still fair.

The Great Divide contains a lot of very difficult rooms. I enjoyed solving most of them.

Now, some of the downsides...

The Second Realm wasn't much fun - I had to run around and hope I didn't die. Then I skipped solving the rooms because I didn't know how many moves the rooms in the palace would take.

Many rooms were boring, tedious, and not much fun - for example Val Unrich : The Great Divide : 4 North or Val Unrich : The Second Realm : 4 South, 1 East. Then there were other rooms where you had to get really lucky with movement order, such as Val Unrich : The First Realm : 1 East or Val Unrich : The Great Divide : 4 North, 2 West. I recognize these issues can't ever go away completely due to the need to step on an enemy to kill it, but you could have minimized the issue a bit more.

Then there are rooms like Val Unrich : The First Realm : 2 South, 1 West or Val Unrich : The Great Divide : 6 North, 2 West where there's not too much difference between something that works and something that doesn't.

Also, I didn't like the arbitrary move draining on rooms like Val Unrich : The First Realm : 1 South, 1 West or Val Unrich : The Great Divide : Entrance

Let's not end the review on a bad note, though. This hold does a lot of things right - the small things, for one. Marking the recharge points with relay stations so we could find them was a good idea, and although you do have to restore sometimes, it's usually to a recharge point where you can just pick right up and keep going.

Many of the puzzles were quite ingenious, such as Val Unrich : The First Realm : 2 South, 2 West or Val Unrich : The Great Divide : 5 North, 1 East. Some rooms were quite impressively difficult to defeat, and made me feel good when I finally overcame them.

The aesthetics are also superb. Instead of just using boring old walls and rectangular pits, the rock outcroppings and intriguing scenery were quite interesting. In the first realm, I happily explored around, trying to find every room, and solving some along the way.

Overall, I'm very impressed. Spitemaster here has come a long way since his previous hold "HQ" and has made a really great hold here. Some puzzles might be a little disagreeable or annoying, but there are also some real gems. You might get a little frustrated or put off at first, but this is a good, enjoyable hold that I would recommend. It was fun and I enjoyed playing it through. Nice job! :)

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11-24-2007 at 03:58 AM
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iamyum
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icon Re: Val Unrich (+2)  
Wow........... it was a long way from struggling with the first room to completely conquering the hold. I feel that this hold has Larrymurk difficulty a lot of the times. Many of my sentiments to the rooms resemble Chaco's.

First Realm:
3S was fun
3S2W is ingenious
4S2E felt like luck
The rest are quite doable.

The Great Divide:
7N1E took a long time to find out how to clear leftmost eyes
5N1E is also an ingenious room
4N2E felt like a knob-room.....
4N1E was quite mad for me to fight against roaches and time.
4N1W quite hectic and took me forever to figure out.
Dunno if the extra elements of 5N or 3N1E are there to throw people (including myself for a long time) off....

The Second Realm:
Is 2S even possible?
4S wubbas put me off. It's a pure trial and error (for me) to conquer to left side.
5S is fun, but doesn't matter if I can fly or not~


Overall, the story is great, appearance fantastic, truly original puzzles, this hold deserves nothing less than 10 fun and 7 brain.
12-01-2007 at 08:03 AM
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Someone Else
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(5S) Actually, it does. You can't kill the guard unless you can, and 6S you need to be able to fly to cross.
12-07-2007 at 11:52 PM
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Someone Else
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In your house, there are two waypoints. Walk between them.
03-26-2008 at 03:01 PM
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Jatopian
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Um... no? You are aware that as a monster you can kill with your body, right?

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03-28-2008 at 10:29 AM
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The spitemaster
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That is why the room is difficult. You need to stop them from grouping like that.

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03-28-2008 at 05:37 PM
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Someone Else
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The monsters split if you go around circular routes. It is sort of like a maze.
03-28-2008 at 11:51 PM
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