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Good Ascension | Evil Ascension |
Irenicus and Bodhi
Here I'll provide a breakdown by times in the video.
0:00 - Some routine preparations, plus some final moments with Viconia, before I take the plunge towards the finale. An additional preparation is for Edwin to cast Spell Immunity: Conjuration on himself in order to protect himself against a Creeping Doom spell.
2:56 - At this point I pause immediately before the dialogue with Melissan begins. The key is to begin the summons so that they'll complete, even when Melissan begins dialogue. My summons includes a couple of Elementals from Asteroth, a Skeleton Warrior from Viconia, and a Fallen Planetar from Edwin. Melissan of course summons both a resurrected Irenicus as well as Imoen, forcing her to change into Slayer form.
5:50 - Thus begins the dialogue with Irenicus, who in turn revives Bodhi. Here is the trade-off for an evil character who can't gain Balthazar as an ally. Bodhi is willing to join me as long as my Reputation is 12 or below, and Balthazar has not previously joined. I happily obliged. She will not have all the powers that she did when she was my enemy, but she is still fearsome enough. She can drain 5 levels from any enemy she touches, and she can regenerate herself by turning into mist for a brief time whenever her health gets too low.
8:55 - Now combat begins. I send Sarevok and the Fire Elementals after the Fallen Solar to the right. Asteroth and Korgan decide to take out Imoen Slayer as quickly as possible with Greater Whirlwind Attacks. Edwin and Jan cast Protection from Magic Weapons on themselves. Viconia starts with a Storm of Vengeance, which will be operative should Irenicus get off a Time Stop. I also position my Fallen Planetar close to Irenicus, who can stay on top of him even while invisible.
10:20 - I send Edwin off to the left side, to try and evade the Creeping Doom that has been cast by the Fallen Solar to the right. Jan Jansen goes off to the right, and ends up helping Sarevok with the Fallen Solar.
11:50 - A Jon Irenicus Image has managed to get off Time Stop, which is often unavoidable during this fight. Fortunately he doesn't do much with it.
12:08 - Asteroth and Korgan have made progress by killing Imoen Slayer, which is perfectly acceptable for an evil party. They next target the Irenicus Image. Edwin meanwhile adds help with a Mordenkainen's Sword.
13:05 - Edwin tries to use Remove Magic to try and remove some of Irenicus' protections. Asteroth and Korgan continue to pursue the Irenicus Image, with Asteroth pausing to put up another Ironskin. Viconia tries to distance herself from the action as a caution. Meanwhile, Sarevok and Jan have made progress by killing the Fallen Solar to the right.
13:40 - Asteroth, Sarervok, and Korgan hunt down the remaining Fallen Solar as the second last enemy, since Irenicus' protections have not worn off just yet. Jan also approaches at a somewhat cautious distance in order to activate Find Traps, with the hoping of removing Irenicus' invisibility.
14:12 - I retreat both Korgan and Jan away from Irenicus. I leave Asteroth, Sarevok, and Bodhi on top of him.
14:26 - Enough of Irenicus' protections have worn off that Bodhi rapidly level drains him, and kills him in short order.
The video of the evil party making its way through the pools and fighting the Demons that guard them.
Another breakdown by times in the video.
0:00 - The video starts with my preparatory work. Jan Jansen lays 7 Spike Traps near where Abazigal, Balthazar, and Illasera will appear. Balthazar can apparently absorb a Spike Trap harmlessly, but the preparation will serve to soften up the other two. Note also at 0:10 that it is Korgan who has the Reflection Shield +1.
1:45 - This is the second phase of my preparation. Edwin has three Project Image spells memorized. He uses each one for the Project Image + Summons exploit, in order to summon a total of 6 Fallen Planetars. Remember, the name of the game in Ascension is to overwhelm the Five as quickly as you can, especially once Melissan joins the fray. Since I don't have a Fighter/Mage who can use Time Stop and Greater Whirlwind together, this is my alternative method. And besides, Time Stop can backfire here since Balthazar can cause problems with his Lunar Stance anyway. Korgan and Sarevok chop down an Image once it has expended its Fallen Planetar spells.
4:15 - Now Asteroth clicks on the last pool to both restore everyone's health and powers and begin the final fight. I then get in a few last minute preparations, like Remove Fear and Mirror Images.
5:45 - The mutual trash-talking with Melissan is in progress, and here is where she makes an offer to Sarevok. This reveals the end of the sure path to keeping Sarevok for the evil party, make sure you bind him with the Geas when you first recruit him, and pursue the dialogue options that involve you wanting to become an evil power to be reckoned with. He rejects her offer, and combat promptly begins.
6:40 - Now for my first steps in combat. The traps go off, denting Abazigal and Illasera somewhat. Asteroth, with his Scroll of Protection against Magic, heads towards Sendai. I sic Bodhi on Yaga-Shura. Jan hands his last remaining Scroll of Protection against Magic over to Sarevok, who subsequently uses it on Abazigal. The real point behind these two moves is to prevent Sendai and Abazigal from constantly keeping themselves protected with Protection against Magic Weapons and the like. Korgan, with his Reflection Shield +1, heads to the right with a view towards killing Illasera. Yaga-Shura, meanwhile, starts off with a Fireball.
7:25 - Viconia casts Harm with a view towards bringing Yaga-Shura to death's door. Asteroth has used his Scroll on Sendai, as has Sarevok on Abazigal. Both then head for Sendai, but she's protected by Protection from Magic Weapons as part of a Contigency, so they soon have to change targets to the Fallen Deva. Korgan meanwhile is scoping out the east side of the area, patiently waiting until Illasera reveals herself. My Fallen Planetars in the meantime are holding up both Abazigal and Balthazar, according to plan.
8:10 - Jan and Bodhi are distracting Yaga-Shura, and this provides Viconia with the perfect opportunity to hit him with her Harm spell. At just about the same time the Fallen Planetars have killed Balthazar, obliging Melissan to join in.
8:40 - Now it is time to kick into gear the plan of killing the remaining Five in rapid succession. Korgan aims a Greater Whirlwind Attack at Illasera. Illasera is an immediate priority because her Etherealness ability can make her quite a slippery fish during this battle, and also because of the Miscast/Dispel powers of her arrows. I also command the Fallen Planetars to concentrate their attacks on her as well.
9:00 - Yaga-Shura, having been reduced to 1 hit point by Viconia's Harm spell, is the next to fall as the next step in the sequence.
9:30 - I keep Asteroth and Bodhi close in order to keep an eye on Melissan. Asteroth is ready to use his Focus power in case Melissan tries to use Time Stop. Sarevok, Jan, and Viconia begin to pursue Sendai, but she's still protected against physical harm.
9:40 - Korgan and the Planetars have now killed Illasera. They immediately set their sights on Abazigal, who begins to run around continuously around the screen.
10:20 - Edwin has cut to the left in order to keep a safe distance from the action, and he now also has all three Project Image spells restored. He begins using them in order to bring in more Fallen Planetars, right around Melissan.
10:50 - One reason why Ascension can be challenging is that it can be difficult to keep track of everything that's going on. Here I got careless by letting Jan join the pursuit of Abazigal, but without keeping a steady eye on whether he still had Stoneskin up. Luckily, me managed to quaff a Healing Potion and then run away.
11:04 - Asteroth puts up a new Ironskin, while he and Sarevok continue their pursuit of Sendai. Sarevok weighs in with a Greater Whirlwind Attack. The Edwin Image brings in another Fallen Planetar. Korgan and the other Fallen Planetars continue their pursuit of Abazigal.
12:25 - Jan has made use of his breather by protecting himself with Protection against Magic Weapons, and then Stoneskin. Asteroth and Sarevok have killed off Sendai.
13:00 - Asteroth, Korgan, Sarevok, and the Fallen Planetars are now trained on the remaining member of the Five, Abazigal. Note that Viconia, the main healer, has also been keeping a safe distance from the fray. Thus when Sarevok gets seriously wounded, he heads over to her. She then goes to work with Mass Cure and then Heal for Sarevok.
13:40 - Now Melissan is all by herself, and vulnerable to final defeat.
14:15 - Korgan undoes his shield, and replaces Crom Faeyr with the Ravager +6, a weapon that can penetrate Melissan's use of Absolute Immunity. He also quaffs a Potion of Storm Giant Strength to make up for the loss of the strength bonus provided by Crom Faeyr.
15:50 - For my warriors, Bodhi, and the Planetars, it's all eyes on the prize, Melissan herself. Greater Whirlwind Attacks are in order in order to bring her down as quickly as possible. Notice also the Viconia edges closer, in order to make repeated use of Mass Cure in order to keep everybody's health on the up and up. Sarevok's Soul Reaver +6 brings down her protections. Korgan comes perilously close to biting it, but I managed to finish things just in time.
The remainder of the video marks my roleplaying decision for an evil Bhaalspawn to ascend as the new Lord of Murder.
And here are the Ascension Epilogues for Sarevok, Bodhi, Edwin, Jan Jansen, and Korgan, as well as the Flirt Pack Epilogue for Viconia.
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