DROD RPG: Secret Level

drod-rpg-secretSo, I managed to get through the alternate exit in chapter 1, the one behind the wubba. I don’t want to give away too much, but it involved exploiting a special property of one of the useable items, a property that I had read about when I found said item, but which I had forgotten about, because it didn’t seem important at the time. When I read about it again during my second playthrough, knowing what lay ahead, it suddenly clicked. I had access to another wubba-slaying tool all along and didn’t know it.

But using it in that way meant that I couldn’t use it elsewhere, and consequently getting through the necessary areas involved massive loss of health. But that’s okay, because I had massive amounts of health to lose. This game doesn’t use a D&D-style hit points system, capping the benefit you get from healing potions at your “max hit points” attribute determined by your experience level and other stats. Instead, it’s more like the healing system in Ultima 1, where the only limit on your hit points is imposed by how much healing you have available.

Past the alternate exit is an entire secret bonus level. Many tools are scattered around this level, of various degrees of familiarity, including the long-anticipated tool for jumping over 1-square gaps. (It turns out to be a grappling hook.) I hope I manage to get back into the previous level to take advantage of it — by the time you get it, you’re past a bunch of one-way arrows and have no direct route back. The game also makes you ditch your weapon and use far weaker ones for their special properties. I had seen a Wooden Blade already in the course of chapter 2: its whole purpose is that it can be used in places where metal weapons are forbidden. I hadn’t seen the “briar hacker” before, but it was pretty clear from its name what it’s good for: cutting through briars. But what about the “lucky blade” that I found deeper in the corridors? I have no idea what its special attributes are, but I assume they’ll be crucial to getting through the level, so I suppose I should keep playing chapter 2 at least up to the point where it’s explained.

4 Comments so far

  1. NiroZ on 10 Feb 2009

    Lucky potions double the amout of greckles you get from monsters.

  2. malkav11 on 10 Feb 2009

    It’s becoming increasingly apparent that I need this game and need it now.

    Unfortunately, I run into the same issue I’ve had with The City Beneath, which is that while DROD’s not precisely story-centric, there is one, and it’s interesting, and I’m still on King Dugan’s Dungeon, so playing TCB or DROD RPG would spoil things. :P

  3. Philipp Lenssen on 12 Feb 2009

    Hi! I want to quote a passage from your Time Quest review for a book I’m assembling, and for this wanted to ask your name. Would you mind contacting me?

  4. Tom on 6 May 2009


    I think you found an unintended way to get into the secret level here, if you haven’t found a grappling hook before the level.

    You’re supposed to kill the wubba with the hook, and the snake with the Wyrm Smiter (another sword). The bomb is used on an entirely different snake elsewhere in the first part, which in turn gives access to another item in the ‘rat race’, as DROD forumites like to call it.

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