MM6 level 0 knight with no magic, NPC or reloading based tactics.
Although I had found solo knight in MM7 mainly boring, an even more crazy setup was planned. MM6 level 0 knight with no leveling, no magic and no reload abuse. So many restrictions, because Arturchix had it already completed with the help of magic. I was not sure whether the game can be completed with chosen settings at all, and if theoretically doable, will I stop due to boredom before completing the game.
Character: Killer from the savegame where all your stats, including level, is set to 0.
Leveling: No leveling. No sweat dripping guy is going to tell you what to do and what not.
NPC: you are the peasant, not a peasant. No sharing of glory with others, including NPCs. Exception for quest associated NPCs for the time of respective quest.
Magic: you know most of the letters in alphabet, but your spelling speed is too slow for the magic to be effective when reading books or scrolls. Wands remind you the stick your father used in beating you. They give you phobias. Hence no magic from books, scrolls, wands or NPCs. Enchanted items are fine.
Alchemy: mixing a herb with water in a bottle is not too difficult. Mixing drinks, however, has always ended with a terrible hangover, hence better do not to try it again by yourself. Using bought or found higher than basic level potions is fine.
Reloading: take risks what you want and save as often as you want, but if a situation takes more than three consecutive reloadings; you should not be doing it. Change your tactics or return when you are better prepared. A trapped chest that kills you, may not be opened again after reloading unless risk is minimized.No reloading for better shops/loot. In other words: your progress may not require reloading at any stage of the game.
Miscellaneous: No use of teleport from New Sorpingal to shrine of gods. No use of NWC dungeon. Very well hidden secret passages may be used if other way are impossible.
You start like an average peasant with 6 hit points. Every goblin can kill you in single blow (experimentally verified :p). Frankly I did not believe that the nullified stats make so much difference. But in order to get stats boosted, some killing has to be made. Thus, delivered the letter for gold and used it to get the best bow available. Collected horseshoes and invested into bodybuilding. After these preparations, goblins, baa followers and mages were a fair match, although frequent healing was necessary. To get vital statistic to acceptable level, the plan was to pilgrimage. You will miss might in first January though, as its location can not be reached without decent endurance/armor class/magic. Endurance altar required some running , attracting fire archers to chase you and then return to the altar while the archers were still away. Also did cavaleer promotion too early. Cavaleers get more HP per endurance threshold, but with low endurance the modifier is negative. Thus promotion initially decreased my HP.
The first year
passed with pilgrimage, doing quests that needed minimal/easy fightning, shopping items and just hanging around. In the second half of the year, might, endurance, accuracy, speed and luck were all between 10 to 25, and some dungeons in New Sorpingal and castle Ironfist were cleared.
started again with pilgrimage (might), travelling around, visiting shops and in april(?) had accuracy at 75 from items and drugs. Good enough for going to circus. 25k gold transferred into about 25(?) golden pyramids. Traders of dragonssand gave a lot of magic oriented stuff, almost no resistance boosters, but nevertheless it was worth it. With reinforced equipment cleaned some moderate dungeons like Icewind fort, Silverhelms etc. For next circus tour (August?) boosted endurance to 125 and golden pyramides filled my inventory fast. Better luck at Dragonsand too. Decent resistance rings, plate with endurance boost and poison damage titanic trident. With the resistances, endurance and speed boosts I dared to take the shrine of gods
now. Died once due to my own stupidity, but second time wondered how easy it was. By the end of second year all vital stats were 60-120 and resistances 20-50. Damage 20-50, 10-30 with bow, 260 hit points. Of course by changing equipment one or other stat/resistance could be strengthened with the cost of others. Only accuracy black potion found and used so far.
Devils outpost and quests for lord Newton not done yet. But first it is time to get second promotion
. Warlord fortress has cuisinarts, who are among the strongest monsters in the game. One could run pass them perhaps, but without gating out it is risky. The trick here was the teleport doors in one part of the dungeon. Fight by one door, when things get bad, hit the door and you are safe. Run to a cleared area, rest and come back. One cuisinart took about 7 resting pauses. Quite a work, fortunately not very many of them here. Killed three and 4th lead into the labyrinth and let him rot there.
Next in queue was devils outpost
. That proved difficult. Boosted fire resistance over 100, hit the +30 levels well and waited until regenerated my health to full. Oh right, put a disease resistant cloak on. It was a lousy one, but once you get diseased it is pain to get rid of it in Kriegspire. With all preparations done, run into the hall, confronted the first weakest kind of devil and killed it. Run out, rest and take next one. The fights were close, so not each time I could kill one, but had to retreat . Each devil took more than a day this way. Some strong healing potions would have been handy, but had none. When all the devil spawns were done, tried workers, but they had so much more HP, that I gave up for a while. Went for a new circus-dragons sand round. Got some useful stuff, including a chain mail of medusa. With immunity to stone and paralysis (from another item) cleaned medusa infested areas. The temple of moon has nice stat boosting altars. After completing Newton quests felt my fire resistance and AC ready for a new try on devils outpost. Indeed, probably due to high AC it was no big problem now. The last two devils took down in one round.
Newton quests: both, the Gharik forge
and Corlagon estate are nasty places. First because of strong monsters, second because of knock-out spectres (=instant kill in solo game). With endurance over 125 and high AC the spectres knock-outed me just three or four times in entire dungeon and because I was too lazy to keep the distance and pushed my luck too far. Corlagon himself and most of sorcerers in Gharik forge had to be killed using a corner for cover. The trick was to find a position where they cannot hit you (or hit infrequently) but you can hit them. Against ranged enemies such trap is not very difficult to set up. Other way was to lure single enemies out of a big group and engage direct melee. Forge required frequent resting, but nothing caused real troubles.
Superior temple of Baa
. With all council quests done it was needed to prove the evilness of mr. Silvertongue. Minotaurs and earth elementals in front of the temple were a pain. No idea yet how am I going to deal with mino mages and kings in castle Kriegspire. The temple itself was rutineous killing/resting. The same strategy as in Gharik forge.
Time for oracle quests and hunt for memory crystals. Picked castle Kriegspire as first due to believing it the most difficult. The others may be tedious but minotaur kings and mages can potentially make the kriegspire impossible for our little hero. First cleaned the surrounding of the castle. Minos are easy for bow in open fields, mages and kings had to be taken in melee with an object (corner of a building) blocking their ranged attack. Most of their hits missed, but nevertheless each mage took 2 resting pauses. Probably due to size or thirst the kings got stuck in front of tavern. When it happened they they were easy preys. Getting them into the position was another matter – one chased me five or six rounds around the tavern. Anyway, in open areas where I could run to safe part and rest without letting enemies to regenerate all minos could be handled. What about more limited castle interior? Killed two minos in entrance hall. There was a mage too, but decided to run. Only plan I saw at this point was to attempt running through the dungeon. I was not totally sure of right direction and ended up where the jeweled egg is hidden. At this very place I realized what the castle has to offer and in the end killed pretty much every monster in about 4 days and requiring a single reload due to unexpected hit by finger of death. The hardest monsters were the drakes. While at some places trapping monsters seems to be associated with bugs or AI weaknesses, then here it seems a part of castle design.
Supreme temple of Baa.
Traditionally the easiest memory crystal quest. Devil warriors required resting during battles and fire elementals were annoying because of floating at heights not reachable in melee and breaking items. Nothing unusually difficult.
For next the place that gives nightmares for most might and magic players. Dispel magic did not bother me, had bow of acid at master level and high resistances. Mainly feared the energy type of attack from power liches. And indeed the power liches were the worst. Nevertheless, the sheer amount of monsters got at some point so tedious to fight that I made another dungeon for the shake of variety before finishng Darkmoor. Briefly the start was easy, because ogres are not that strong. Worst moment was when the first large room got cleared and had to move to the second part of the dungeon. There are large open areas with eyes and liches. Real time running and shooting like mad at everything replaced usual more careful tactics. Here I also made the break and took Snergle iron mines. The last room, where Lich King resides, was relatively easy again. Dunno is it just my games or there are some semipermeable invisible walls. Neither you nor monsters can shoot at certain places, while at some other places it can be shot out, but no missile can come in. Even if it is a bug, there was no way to avoid it, and I happily used it for my own benefit.
The plan was not just to take the crystal, but to collect password. Therefore nearly all monsters got eventually killed. Warlocks were dangerous and matrons needed special care, but otherwise the problem was just the size of the dungeon and multitude of monsters. Luckily there there is a temple right next to the castle, allowing fast healing.
Tomb of VARN:
When I entered the tomb and fought first genies I was pretty sure that the journey ends here. In some sense it did. I am not convinced that the start of tomb can be done without being lucky or using a lot of reloads. There are groups of genies, little chance to take them one by one and you cannot rest during the battle. Maybe you could run through to the main tomb and rest there, did not try. Once the first genies are dead you approach a ramp sliding down to a guard room. This ramp proved to be a nice trap for VARN defenders – by standing at the upper ledge you could hit monsters below, while they could not hit you as often. Flame door key and free path to the back door were gained via real time hit’n’run missile exchange combat. Narrow corridors are problematic to VARN guys and they always got stuck in the back door (and later in water temple). At these points they were easy to kill. The two pool rooms in front of bibliotheca full of genies were a pain, but the nices and wall curves give you enough cover to handle them one by one. Water temple key and one of the codes is located downstairs, near the control cube room. On the way there is a large room with spiralling ramp. Again this ramp was a good asset for fooling the defenders and killing them with not too much problem. The tunnels below have some designed traps in them. Probably meant to annoy you in normal game, but in this case they were a blessing. In conclusion once the entrance area of the tomb was cleared, it was just a matter of time to get the cube. In fact, the codes were entered on run as it was too boring too kill all enemies in that radioactive room. The few robots were also ignored at this point and just run away with the cube.
This place is needed for blasters and blaster skills. No great need to explore it all. Robots do prefer attack in range and hence using corners it is not very difficult to kill them with minor problems. Killed around 15 of them and gained blaster rifle and the skill.
Some quests I did not manage or did not dare to do in early game.
Paladins promotion quest is eye to eye battle with dragon, with no place for cover or rest in. With healing potions/magic it would be doable with ordinary weapons, but there was a shortage of healing potions. Blaster rifle was fast and efficient. Quest done.
: In your way to kill Snergle you will be trapped at some point. To stand and fight is no good option for a lonely low level hero, even if he is named Killer. Yet it was not that difficult. One trick to get into the throne room. Then run around there until dwarves summoned by the trap moved out from the corridor and then run back to safety and start taking them out one by one. Could have been done earlier.
: In wolf lair the large rooms are easy to clear. Narrow corridors and KO specialty of greater werewolves make the second half a pain though. In fact, it is the only quest I did not complete. Did not try very hard, beacause it is not important quest and has dangers that cannot be countered effectively. Gave up at this one.
I had forgotten how frequently this dungeon renews and where all the key locations are. Therefore I had harder time than should have. Anyway it is 7 days between monster resets and you cannot rest(sleep) inside the dungeon. In first attempt I was greeted by 3 devil warriors. That was too much. Retreated to Paradise valley and had fun with killing titans and hydras. A few weeks later Hive welcome party had two warriors and a bunch of weaker ones. These devils went where all devils go after death. I spent a lot of time and energy clearing the large pit. Easiest would have been to jump in and run into the nearest left hole leading to endless health restoring barrel. Once I made it to the barrel, killing devils became a slaugther. Even unequipped plate armor in order to reduce recovery time even more. So far I had found Mordred as the only artifact. Hive had 4 artifacts, including Zeus plate mail and Conan the devil slaying axe. With no identification (and axe) skill they were useless at this point thought. Immobile reactor was easy. Demon queen required two reloadings. So far I had went in real time mostly. Here the minor devils found my hidding place in RT, but in TBM they got confused and stayed in main hall. Again, there was a spot where I could shoot the queen and she could not hit me. With nearly 200 fire resistance the cover was maybe even not needed. Job done.
It is possible to complete MM6 with a solo knight, starting with all stats zeroed, not leveling, not using any magic or excessive reloading. What is required is patience and knowledge about the game mechanics and AI behaviour. Against well-developed parties it may not be obvious, but IMO AI is actually pretty decent. Not always predictable enough to feel safe with a solo hero. Main weakness in AI is inability to see obstacles on the path of a missile. And the fact that monsters do not co-operate in any way. Most difficult parts throughout the game were beginning when endurance was below 10, and then specific situations:
A. Large rooms with lot of/strong monsters and no cover (devils outpost, longfang witherhide, dungeons where entrance room has many strong enemies)
B. Creatures with special killing attacks against which no immunity exists (spectres,greater werewolves, minotaur kings, supreme titans, earth elementals )
Skill points are rarer than in MM7 AFAIK. Expert perciption and master item repair are kind of must have in order to complete the game. I would also say mastery in bow was worth it although gained late in game and reaching the teacher is tricky. A druid or sorcerer may end up with only two or three schools at expert at best.
Circus can be used for gambling and replaces the need to reload for better items. It does not give every type of items though AFAIK. Never got a bow for instance. And it likes to repeat itself. Once got 3 identical high end maces of thunderbolts.
Except the oversized dungeons (VARN, Alamos, Darkmoor) it was enjoyable.
The time can certainly be shorter, but it was not an aim this time.
Right before destroying the reactor: