Let’s go through Darkest Dungeon together – 4

We’re back at the Iscariot Estate, where the city’s surrounded by monsters and people become the Joker from the stress. Where we last left off, we were beset on all sides by multiple bosses and our best guys think they’re too good to deal with the problems anymore. So, it was time for our okay guys to deal with them and hopefully not die.

I first decided to deal with the Siren haunting the Cove, because doing the quest would give a critical raising mask to the Leper, which Cairon would probably appreciate. Now, from my past excursions into the Cove, I’ve gotten used to the fact that the enemies of the Cove are fairly resistant to bleed, so I can’t really field my bleeding guys. In fact, I barely used them this week because I spent most of the time in the Cove. Maybe next time.

Peis the Bounty Hunter led the pack again, almost close to the coveted tier of “I’m too good to help you.” Ros, the only remaining novice healer, would be in the back for support and to provide mark to complement Peis’ attack. Couci the Plaguedoctor, who’s on her way to graduating to veteran status too, would also help for blight use. And Gary the Abomination tagged along too, both for blight as well as the useful stunning chain attack – of course, I’d be open to making him morb out if things got a little harry. I bought Peis the ability to uppercut a guy for a stun, so I chose to buy Couci Emboldening Vapors for a good mid-battle buff to replace her own stun for a bit.

As this set of heroes went to the Cove, the Ancestor rambled about how he used to go down to the beach before he became hated by everyone. He remarked that a girl used to follow him around, which he thought was cute at first but that it’d become troublesome later. So, I’m feeling that she wound up walking in on him during some ritual? I’m not sure, because he’s wondering what became of her.

The gang set out. At one point, they came across a weird piece of coral. I experimented with Couci on what item could interact with it and when I gave the coral medicinal herbs, it healed Couci of her crippling gambling addiction? Like, thanks I guess, but I don’t know how that worked.

Surprisingly, the Siren was found immediately. In fact, I didn’t even bother using the campfire since nobody was too banged up. The Ancestor admits that he gave the girl that followed her to the monsters of the cove, where she became their queen and their slave, soon morphing into the Siren. Jeez man.

Anyway, as per Siren Lore, the Siren can bewitch members of your team to fight on her side. Besides that being bad on its face, it also rearranges your party structure, especially since people that get broken out of her spell are sent to the backlines. Surprisingly, that ended up being the main threat of the fight. Whenever my guys got attracted to the Siren, they didn’t use any particularly effective moves. Peis dragged Ros to the front of the party and then immediately uppercutted him back to where he was earlier, which is a hilariously ineffective combo. She got Greg under her thrall for a bit and made him use absolution to heal himself and remove his stress. Thanks for looking out for him, Siren!

As thanks, the team killed her. They went to explore the Cove a bit more for some more loot before heading home.

Couci and Peis graduated into the next rank, just in time for a town decree encouraging people like them to stop being selfish for a week and help out the rookies on a quest. This was actually real fucking good timing, because Ros got stressed out and he’s the only rookie healer on the roster.

So, I decided that now would be a good time to take on the Swine Prince. Reynauld the Crusader and Cambrai the Vestal came out of their retirement to help out on this. On the side of the rookies, Beans the Flagellant and Fou the Jester would fill in the middle spots to bleed people. Aw, the mission select screen has a nice illustration to mark the occasion of the veterans helping people out.

Also, we’d get a status effect JO crystal that’d be pretty good on everyone whose thing isn’t dealing out status effects.

I equipped everyone with trinkets too while I was at it, and it was only then did I realize that the Warrior of Light quirk I gave Reynauld was completely contradicted by this Light Sensitive quirk that I kept putting off on removing. Whoops.

As I reflected on my mistakes, the Ancestor reflected on his experiences of trying demon summoning, because man was this guy really made being evil his special interest. He probably ended up summoning this horrible pig demon to haunt the Warrens. Not sure yet.

With veterans leading the way, getting to the boss was somehow even more uneventful than getting to the Siren. Without incident, the party ran into the Swine Prince, this horrible pig demon whose design is horrific and really cool… also, Wilbur, this tiny pig that marks people for the Swine Prince to hit.

Now, I’ve been told to kill Wilbur first. I won’t do it. The guy is a unique unit and has rally comparatively low HP to the Swine Prince. I know a fucking trap when I see one. Come on, man.

Sure, the Swine Prince had overwhelming strength, but I had overwhelming bleed on my side and combined with Reynauld constantly bonking it, it went down pretty quickly. Without a leader or any attacks on his own, Wilbur squealed at the team to stunlock them, but he didn’t last long.

With yet another boss easily dealt with, the gang wandered around a bit to look for more treasure. Fou once again tried to drink liquid from a pile of human remains and contracted the Black Plague, which wow holy shit dude, stop drinking from random things!!! The guy also ended up getting Hieromania, the thing that gives him religious visions and delusions, as an after-quest reward too, so I’d like to imagine that drinking from the body wagon is also responsible for that.

As soon as the gang got back, Fou was immediately sent to the Sanitarium to get rid of the plague, along with Reynauld to get rid of that Light Sensitive thing. Looking at the hamlet, I felt somewhat proud of the progress I was making. Most of the basic tier of bosses were down, and people were getting stronger.

So, I thought: now’s the time to do a veteran quest.

A crew of veterans set out toward the Coves to clear room battles. Peis and Couci returned to the Cove with Dismas, while Mantel served as Peis’ replacement Ros. This was an important quest for me because it’d give deeds, which was a building material I desperately needed to upgrade the town’s facilities, along with a nice melee oriented trinket for Couci.

After finding a hole in reality that gave lucrative (but space filling) treasure, the gang ran into their first instance of a stealthed enemy. Much like how our dear Grave Robber can enter stealth, enemies can do that now too. While the stealth didn’t give me too much trouble, it was an omen for the trend of enemies getting better and stronger.

Anyway I haven’t really commented on it, but one of the Cove enemies really is just a big snail, huh? Easily the least threatening enemy in this game so far. The dev’s should have gone into doing Uzumaki vibes to make this thing terrifying.

The gang went on and holy shit it’s this guy again. Now that I’m playing on a harder difficulty of quests, it’s way tougher than it was when I initially encountered it. In fact, it’s done a better job than the previous two bosses at trying to kill me.

Despite Couci drifting into death’s door, the gang prevailed, and as an award, they get… Barristan’s Head! I don’t know who Barristan is. But building off of Dismas’ Head, I’m guessing that it’s one of the default names for one of the classes. I just have it to Peis since he had a trinket slot open.

I found that enemies are tougher beyond just stat increases. Before, the basic fishman’s “Spearfishing” was just an attack, but now it shuffles people around – which was a good thing for Dismas, since he could respond to that. Besides that though, there was also new jerks like this huge fucking crab who, on its own, was more threatening than the bosses sans Collector I fought before because besides it being really sturdy, it loves bleed as much as I do. And then there’s also the slavering ghoul pictured above, who kept inflicting horror on people to give stress per turn and also chucked skulls at people to stun them while it was at it.

But that said, despite being a much harder challenge than everything before, the heroes emerged from the Coves alive and making out like a bandit. I’m also guessing that people heard how cool it was, because for some reason a bunch of people chose to come to this dump immediately afterward. Unfortunately! The current roster is full and I wanted to use the deeds for upgrading the skill and equipment places instead. I’m doing you nerds a favor, turn back now.

But that emphasized a problem in that I’ll need more space for new recruits soon in order to keep doing the basic apprentice level quests. While I had enough veterans to field another veteran team, the difficulty of that last mission emphasized my need to get everyone upgraded. So, I needed more resources and more money.

A team, which the game dubbed as the Lost and Damned, set out back into the ruins to reclaim Light religion artifacts to give to the church. After the fantastic haul Durandal brought in last time, she was a must to bring in for the mission. At this point, I’m confident in using everyone else, so I don’t really need to worry about not having a proper fourth fighter to pitch in. Besides, I learned something useful since the last run with Darkest Dungeon – the Antiquarian’s gotta be the one checking stuff so that I can get those fancy sellables.

There really wasn’t much to say with their mission, actually. All the relics needed were found by the halfway mark of the dungeon, so the rest of the time was spent treasure hunting. In hindsight, bringing Durandal on a mission like this was a bit of a bad idea because the required quest items took up valuable treasure space, but we still made out like bandits.

To celebrate these holy relics being delivered from the Estate, the church held a free event. However, Dismas was really the only one that got to benefit from this, since he was Enlightened and could only stress heal through meditation but the dang Caretaker was too busy taking up the slot that week.

However, the best part of the mission was that I finally gathered enough building materials to do some upgrades. Combined with the haul brought in last mission, I decided that I should end things off with one more veteran excursion.

I’m kinda sick of the Cove, so I chose to go the Weald to gather medicine that was dropped during transport. Reynauld led the way – a foolish move, because I completely forgot that he was a wasting sickness that made him more vulnerable to diseases. Whatever, he gets some sick brawler’s gloves if he survives. Heuze followed behind, along with Couci and Cambrai. I spent most of money dripping everyone out with the finest stuff they could have and sent them out.

The quest immediately opened with Heuze checking out a rotting animal corpse and getting zoophobia. Then Reynauld stole everything in the pack that he saw immediately afterward. Off to a good start, here.

Things started okay, but then the veteran freaks of the Weald showed up. See that giant? You’d think the biggest threat about it is the tree it’s carrying, and it does hit hard, but no. The biggest threat is its confusion spores that reshuffles the entire party. It’s an incredibly rude move, especially since Heuze is the only one with movement capabilities.

Thankfully, that was the only time in the quest that the giant was encountered. Thanks to all the new gear, the rest of the mission was smooth sailing. Despite immediately getting on my bad side, Heuze reminded me of how cool she was at the campfire, where she proceeded to heal Cambrai of some diseases she was building up. Cambrai then immediately upset me afterward by contracting the quirk that makes her more stressed out when it’s bright, which is pretty bad considering my playstyle.

And because the gang brought all those herbs back home… health care became free that week! Hell yeah! The world of the Darkest Dungeon has better health care than America, baby!

Anyway, I was indecisive on what to do with the newfound power given to me, so I decided there was a good place to stop. Everything went well and everyone’s getting stronger. Hell, at this rate, I can get a team good enough to invade the Darkest Dungeon itself within a month. That endgame goal’s been looming over everything, and we grow closer to finally taking it on.

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