Gemcraft: The Few Remaining Achievements

I currently have all but six of the 418 in-game Achievements in Gemcraft: Chasing Shadows.

Steam recognizes a 419th, for beating the game in “Iron Wizard” mode. Obviously you can’t get that in a normal game, so it’s not part of the in-game list. And I don’t think I’ll be going for it, or at least not soon.

One of the six that I don’t have right now is the “Grey Trees” riddle achievement I described previously. I’ve made some progress on that, figured out how to use the compasses to unlock a secret level, but I’m holding off on taking things farther, because getting that achievement as the last thing I do in the game just feels like the right way to do it.

One has the description “Kill a monster with shots blinking to the monster attacking your orb that would otherwise destroy your orb”. This seems like a very difficult Achievement to get, but I imagine you could set it up carefully if you know what you’re doing. Which I don’t; I don’t fully understand what “shots blinking to the monster attacking your orb” means, and without the text of this Achievement, I wouldn’t even have known that it’s something that happens. The “orb” is your base; when a monster reaches it, you automatically expend a certain amount of mana to “banish” it back to the start of its path, unless you don’t have enough mana, in which case it “destroys your orb” and you lose. So I’m guessing that “shots blinking to the monster” means shots targeting the monster at the moment it reaches the orb strike the monster instantly. But that’s just a guess. All I can easily observe is that the shots disappear in mid-flight.

The remaining four are all in the “Field” category, meaning that they require beating some specific level in a specific way, or with some particular constraint. And they’re all for fields that I can’t access and haven’t seen.

I assume they’re behind Visions.

Vision fields are the special ones I mentioned before where you don’t have your skill enhancements and thus actually have to work to beat. The overmap is divided into lettered regions, with (usually) seven numbered fields in each region, named with a letter-number combo: A5, J3, etc. The Vision fields are scattered throughout the regions, and all have the letter V instead of the letter of their region. As representations of visions of the past or future, they’re frequently repeats of maps from previous games in the series, although changes in the game mechanics mean that they don’t quite play the same, and sometimes they have other alterations besides. There’s one Vision that’s just the first level from Gemcraft: Labyrinth, but with the addition of a Shadow. Recall that a Shadow was the final boss in Labyrinth, and this is basically showing you what that game would have been like if the Forgotten didn’t secretly want you to win. It’s basically the only Shadow fight in the game that’s a real struggle.

Anyway, one of the possible rewards for beating a field is that one or more additional fields get added to the map. And although most Vision fields are leaves in the progress tree and don’t unlock new fields, some do. So my previous plan of “win all the normal fields, or at least enough of them to get all the Field Achievements, but leave the Visions alone” is not an option. I had been thinking of Visions as optional bonus challenges, but they’re as tied into the structure of the game as anything else. It makes me suspect that I really wasn’t supposed to have risen in power as quickly as I did. A more timid player might struggle with all the fields in a region equally as they’re discovered, Vision and normal alike.

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