Now that I actually have the weapon I bought equipped rather than sitting in my pack while I get beaten senseless by early-game enemies, we’re finally cooking with fire and things can start happening. The world is my oyster! The inexplicably capitalized Labyrinth is ripe for the conquering! Surely this won’t end with numerous horrible, preventable deaths to various low-level creatures! Surely!
Yes! Eat that, Slimy Ooze!
One combat encounter later, the window turns yellow to tell me that my health is becoming less than ideal. Still, I just found an herb, so how bad could things get? I’m sure that I’ll have time to heal anything that monsters could possibly—
Oh right, this game was made by Climax Entertainment. The same people who made the soul-crushingly difficult Landstalker. Still, I guess it could be useful to see what happens when you die since it’s bound to happen so often.
Wait wait wait wait wait. A Valkyrie randomly enters the Labyrinth, scoops up my remains—the adventurer who was beaten by a slug—and then carries it back to town to be resurrected? Are Valkyries lugging dead bodies around a common sight for the people who live there? This just raises so many questions.
“Darkness”? With a capital D? I thought I was saving a princess from Dark Souls, not fighting some kind of literal manifestation of the absence of light. It often feels like everyone knows what’s happening more than I do, like they’re all sitting around in the bar watching me die to slugs on a big screen TV and laughing it up each time the Valkyrie bars my passage to the afterlife and denies me the sweet release of death. That would certainly mesh with the lackadaisical monarchy that gave me enough money for one sword and no armor. This country needs democracy.
My friends: “We’ve checked every building except for the shrine where the mythical Valkyrie just dropped off a corpse that looks like our friend, but that’s probably nothing, so let’s wander around aimlessly and be impossible to find.”
I went around town looking for these friends, but they don’t exist until later in the game. This is one of those old-game-isms where things aren’t communicated as clearly as they probably should be, making otherwise obvious progression a needlessly vague thing. For now, all that exists in JERK’s world is the Labyrinth.
Since the Labyrinth evidently loves me more than my friends do, I spend a lot of time with it. Most of that time is spent killing low-level enemies and leveling up before bees show up and sting me to death, but then I suddenly realize that I’m losing chunks of money each time I die. What the hell? Is the Valkyrie saving up for a new jacket or something? Oh, I bet it’s the guy in the shrine who resurrects me. My guess is that he goes through my pockets and steals just enough gold before I come back to life that I won’t notice while stumbling around in a post-death haze.
Angel Feathers teleport you out of dungeons, and in doing so, save you money so that you have more to spend on silly trivialities like armor. I’ve also discovered that Wisdom Seeds show you a map, which is way too expensive to use except in emergencies. Then there are herbs, which heal you like in 99% of other games. Other than that, I know nothing about this game, but this should be enough knowledge to stay alive a bit longer (probably maybe hopefully).
Also, the alkemist—that’s how her shop is spelled in-game—sometimes winks at me, but I can’t tell if she’s being flirtatious or sarcastic. Either way, I’m noticing that shopkeepers’ animations move forward one frame each time a letter appears, so their faces twitch crazily whenever they have a lot to say.