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Old April 9, 2015, 09:39   #30
Dean Anderson
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 124
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Originally Posted by jevansau View Post
Thanks for the advice on ^X. I was sure I'd tried that, but obviously not .

I would love some more information on how the quests/guardians works.
I got to the guardian level of Nir (7) and ended up leaving the level. It still shows as having a guardian, but he isn't present. Is this a one-shot thing?
It's likely that the guardian was on the level somewhere and you just missed him.

If you visit the level again you should be able to find him and kill him.

For general information about guardians...

When you start a new game, it creates a whole bunch of quests, each of which is to kill one or more guardians.

A number of these are fixed. Every out-of-town dungeon or tower has a guardian on its last level, and some have a second guardian on another level. The dungeons under three of the towns - Kadath, Ulthar and Nir - also have a fixed guardian or two. These fixed guardians are all uniques, and are all themed for the location in which they appear.

In addition, a large number of random guardians are generated. These may be single uniques or they may be groups of non-unique monsters. Each of these is placed on a random level in a random dungeon/tower; and the guardians will usually be slightly out-of-depth for that level. Since the dungeons under most of the towns are so shallow, it's very unlikely (and might even be impossible - but I'd have to check the code to confirm that) that they'll get random guardians.

When a level with a guardian or group of guardians is generated, the guardian is always placed on the level alongside whatever random (or themed!) monsters are also placed. If the guardians are a group, they are not placed together, but are scattered throughout the level. Monsters that reproduce can't be chosen as guardians, and there may be other restrictions that I can't remember (I don't have the code in front of me).

Also, a level with a guardian doesn't have any down-stairs generated (or up-stairs if it's a tower level).

When you kill a guardian (or the last of the guardians if it is a group), a stair case of the appropriate type is generated unless the level is already the deepest/tallest that the dungeon/tower is allowed to be. Note that in the case of non-unique guardians, the monsters placed as guardians are not any different from other non-guardian monsters of the same type. For example if the game has picked "Adult red dragon" as a guardian type and places five of them on the level as guardians, and it happens to also place an adult red dragon on the level as a random monster, you don't have to kill all six. You only have to kill five of them and it doesn't matter which five you kill. The randomly generated one counts just like a specially placed one. However, since guardians are normally out-of-depth for their level, this situation doesn't often occur.

Finally, you no longer win the game specifically by killing Nyarlathotep/Azathoth (the game's equivalent of killing Sauron/Morgoth). While you do need to kill them, and it's likely that you'll kill them last - they are the fixed guardians of the deepest of the dungeons - you do need to kill all the guardians, not just them. So if you've left any other dungeons/towers unexplored then you will need to go back and finish them off before you get your winner status.

Also, how does recall work?
This is from memory, since I adapted the recall code for the multi-dungeon layout over 15 years ago and I don't have the source code in front of me...

I think how it works is that whenever you enter a town, the game remembers that this is the last town you were in.

When you recall from a dungeon/tower, the game takes you back to that last town, and remembers which dungeon/tower and which level you came from.

When you recall again from the surface, the game takes you back into the same dungeon/tower and same level.

For example...

Let's say you start in the town of Celephais. Celephais is a nice starting town since it has lots of shops, but has the problem that the dungeon under the town is very small (from memory it's only three levels deep). You explore those levels for a while to get yourself a bit more powerful - powerful enough to survive a wilderness journey - but because it's so shallow you never have to use Word of Recall. Once you've got a few levels under your belt you've outgrown this small dungeon so you set off to Nir.

Nir is a small village and hasn't much that's useful in terms of shops, but it does have a decent dungeon underneath with a guardian at the bottom. This one's much bigger than the Celephais one.

After some more dungeon delving, you're at 250' under Nir. You've got a pile of stuff to sell and you're in need of some Identify scrolls; so you Word of Recall back to town. Since Nir was the town you last visited - you walked there from Celephais - you appear there. Nir's a bit rubbish when it comes to shops, though, so you decide to walk to Ulthar because it's closer than walking all the way back to Celephais.

You arrive at Ulthar, and do your shopping; and then use Word of Recall again. It remembers that the last dungeon level you were on was 250' under Nir, so it sends you back there.

Some more exploring later, you decide to WoR back to town again. This time, because the last town you were in was Ulthar (you teleported from there to the dungeon under Nir without actually entering Nir itself), you appear there even though you were in the dungeon under Nir when you cast the spell.

At least, that's how it's supposed to work. I don't recall (pun intended) there being any bugs in it, but I didn't exhaustively re-test it in the new version because the code hasn't changed.
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