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Baldur's Gate 2 No-Reload Challenge


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#1626
Shadow_Leech07

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Alesia_BH wrote...

AnonymousHero wrote...

I don't believe that RoAC + CoND has ever worked as one would expect in a fully patched game -- I don't know about unpatched. The CoND only worked in conjunction with HiS.


To me it seems exactly the opposite. I wouldn't expect it to work but it did. :P

The CoND was and is supposed to only work with HiS but it actually did work with some item created forms of invisibility- most notably the RoACs. It didn't work with book spells, scrolls, invisibility potions and such (as it shouldn't), but it did work with the RoACs. That's one of the reasons why solo warriors and such used to run around with gem bags full of the things.

Personally, I was always ambivalent about using it since it seems like an exploit, but the_truth encouraged me to try it when I did my Avenger Druid solo and I've since found myself using it as a crutch for non-arcane characters at times.

It still works in SCS/G3- at least in 15 (not sure which G3 version I have right now). Alastria used that trick in her run since it gave her a means of refreshing her untargetability while Shapeshifted. It worked.


The reason I said it was less significant in SCS (for my character) is that there are better ways to foil Breach now since Spell Protections intercept it. You needn't jump through hoops anymore- Spell Deflection scrolls will do.


Best,

A.

It doesn't work in the vanilla game if you were wondering, I believe that might be what he was talking about. My archer tried to use it in conjunction with it though several times.

#1627
AnonymousHero

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Shadow_Leech07 wrote...
It doesn't work in the vanilla game if you were wondering, I believe that might be what he was talking about. My archer tried to use it in conjunction with it though several times.

Indeed it was.

#1628
Alesia_BH

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Then it appears there are different flavors of vanilla. I can't say I'm surprised to hear that.

It has always worked in my installs (vanilla or otherwise) and I've known others who use it regularly. It works against True Sight specifically.

Best,

A.

Btw. I just nosed through the G3 Forums. A poster reported CoND + RoAC foiling True Sight as a possible bug. Camdawg and DevSin replied that it appeared to be intentional and chose not to address it. This was back in 2006-2007. It's possible they took subsequent action.

Edited by Alesia_BH, 03 July 2011 - 11:14 AM.


#1629
Shadow_Leech07

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I'll go ahead and test it again, it could've been another divination spell.

#1630
Alesia_BH

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Reading further, they seem to have taken a different tack on it in 2008. I think I understand the discrepancy between our experiences now.

My hiatus from BG started in 2007. My discussion with the_truth took place around then as well. Back then, the RoAC and the SotM were known as the two items that "worked" with the CoND- something easily reconciled with the 2006-2007 judgment on the G3 forums. In the 2008 thread, they stated that the SotM is the only item that should be flagged non-illusionary and thus work with the Cloak of Non-Detection.

In all likelihood, the flagging on the RoAC was changed between 2007 and now. That would explain my prior experiences as well as your recent experiences.

As for my recent experiences...When I got back into play with Alastria's game, I wasn't very serious about it. I may have just slapped SCS on top of my old Mac install.


Best,

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH, 03 July 2011 - 11:21 AM.


#1631
Shadow_Leech07

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Alesia_BH wrote...

Reading further, they seem to have taken a different tack on it in 2008. I think I understand the discrepancy between our experiences now.

My hiatus from BG started in 2007. My discussion with the_truth took place around then as well. Back then, the RoAC and the SotM were known as the two items that "worked" with the CoND- something easily reconciled with the 2006-2007 judgment on the G3 forums. In the 2008 thread, they stated that the SotM is the only item that should be flagged non-illusionary and thus work with the Cloak of Non-Detection.



Best,

A.

I just tested it, you're right true sight doesn't seem to dispel the improved invisibility. Whatever dispelled it for my archer was definitely another divination spell. That was unexpected I guess. Sorry I probably should go out and retest things before I make claims like this.

#1632
Saint of Sinners

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Well, I've got a rather nice news for everyone.

Seems like I've pinned down the problem. It is indeed ToBEx. However, no need to worry about uninstalling/reinstalling it or SCSII. Granted, Anonymous_Hero's method works. All you need to do is change Disable ToBEx to 1 and reinstall SCSII.

However, a simpler solution is to just rename ToBEx.dll to something else (ie. I use ToBExdisable.dll to be perfectly clear). This will allow you to keep SCSII the way it is, minus some other things. Sad to say that some really useful things will be removed and some bugs that ToBEx managed to pin down might appear more often. It is actually quite stable, just that the magic damage resistance is problematic.

I will harp on this for a while. For now, I might only lurk as I pretty much don't want to repeat my run without a clear solution to such a gamebreaking bug. I know most of ToBEx's benefits are actually hacks (dual-class for other races, multi-class for humans, etc.) but some are actually pretty useful like the following:
  • zero damage will not cause spell interruption (good for those times that you are immune to, say, Magic Missile and still getting interrupted)
  • concentration checks on spell casting (chance to avoid being interrupted based on 1d20 + luck bonus)
  • allow changing armor in the middle of combat (your mileage might vary on this one but think of the possibilities, especially with NR Wizard Slayers!)
  • Chain Contingency can detect the Select Spell opcode (really great because now you can put Shapeshift, Polymorph, or Spell Immunity specifics inside a contingency)
As I don't want to derail this any further, seeing as to how the last 20 posts or so aren't really NR updates, I just want to say that I won't be putting forward any NR runs for now. I will still play around but definitely not an NR for now. Most probably, I'll just explore new kits and enjoy new changes.

I'll still comment but I'm out of the running for now. Besides, honestly, if Alesia fell at her Ascension run, should I really just wing it with a blade when it's the first time I've played the class? I know my limits and my limits are telling me that I shouldn't wing it, not even with 100 PfMW or Spell Immunity scrolls. Heh. If I ever do come back, it will be on Insane already, as Alesia and Saros has done before.

Anyway, thanks, guys. Will be posting random stuff outside of this thread for a while. :D

#1633
AnonymousHero

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I thought I'd just add on to what SoS is saying: If you do the SCS/SCSII install with TobEx disabled, then you do get some of the bugfixes via the "backup" .exe patching. I'm not sure, exactly, what that covers.

EDIT: Have been held up a little playing, but the save game from before my reinstall seems to be ok. I've played quite a lot further and there haven't been any apparent problems. I'll do a proper NR post soonish (maybe not today, though).

Edited by AnonymousHero, 03 July 2011 - 12:23 PM.


#1634
Saint of Sinners

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@Anonymous_Hero

Actually, a lot of the fixes are still there, but the other things I've installed aren't, like the dual-class options for other races or multi-class for humans, etc. I actually find the SCSII reinstall much less worrying than renaming the ToBEx file. If it weren't for SCSII's really long installation, I wouldn't mind repeating it again and again.

@amanasleep

I apologize for not checking the last few pages. Yes, there is nothing on Mel's creature file that states that she is immune to Hold or Stun. She's immune to both PW:Sleep and PW: Kill, but there's no mention anywhere of PW: Stun.

Also, the immunities granted by the other five do not confer her with immunity with both effects either.

===

I would actually like to change my point of view for a bit and I hope others would see some wisdom in what I'm to say.

I rely on ToBEx. I don't cheat using ToBEx with the various things it can give like starting XP boost or whatever. However, since its Magic Damage Resistance bug is very game-breaking even though it applies to enemies, I think I will proffer something.

I will still repeat my NR run of my Blade with ToBEx activated. However, I will turn it off for high-level battles like with Kangaxx or the like. I don't know if this will keep the spirit of an NR, since I'm basically going to hack my files for some battles, but I don't see any problem with it. If, at all, it will put the game on an even ground because if this keeps up, I will end up using ADHW and Spell Immunity to kill even the whole of Ascension.

A quick test using some custom-made items and the CLUA console yielded that all I need is 9 ADHW at lvl50 to kill the Five in a span of one minute. Even Melissan's Magic Damage Resistance is not considered by the game with this bug activated.

Anyway, if anyone objects, then I won't put it up as an NR run. :whistle:

Thanks and good luck to everyone else.

Edited by Saint of Sinners, 03 July 2011 - 12:55 PM.


#1635
xler3

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I rely on ToBEx. I don't cheat using ToBEx with the various things it can give like starting XP boost or whatever.


Tobex doesn't actually provide an experience boost, that is just a display fix. In vanilla, apparently there was a hidden 10% bonus. Tobex just displays the XP you gain correctly. Atleast thats what is reported on the official tobex forum. Tobex actually removes that hidden bonus if you choose to install it.

#1636
Saint of Sinners

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xler3 wrote...

Tobex doesn't actually provide an experience boost, that is just a display fix. In vanilla, apparently there was a hidden 10% bonus. Tobex just displays the XP you gain correctly. Atleast thats what is reported on the official tobex forum. Tobex actually removes that hidden bonus if you choose to install it.


Actually, beta0200 allows you to set the starting XP in Shadows of Amn. There's even a component that allows you to set stats or whatever. I don't know much modding so I might have misunderstood, but there it is. Lemme take a look at my ToBEx.ini file...

-----180 Correct Experience Reporting [F]
Fixes a bug where the game incorrectly reports the amount of experience gained by the party
While the party normally gains 110% experience of that coded in creatures, the game reports the 100% amount instead

Options:
-0: disabled
-1: enabled

-----950 Custom Shadows of Amn Starting Experience [C, T]
(overrides any mods that directly modify the starting experience in the executable, including Baldur's Gate Trilogy-WeiDU)
Allows setting a custom amount of starting experience for Shadows of Amn

Options:
-(-1): disabled
-Other value: Shadows of Amn starting experience set to this value

-----960 Custom Throne of Bhaal Starting Experience [C, T]
(overrides any mods that directly modify the starting experience in the executable)
Allows setting a custom amount of starting experience for Throne of Bhaal

Options:
-(-1): disabled
-Other value: Throne of Bhaal starting experience set to this value


There it is. They're actually grouped together in the file. :)

#1637
xler3

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Saint of Sinners wrote...

xler3 wrote...

Tobex doesn't actually provide an experience boost, that is just a display fix. In vanilla, apparently there was a hidden 10% bonus. Tobex just displays the XP you gain correctly. Atleast thats what is reported on the official tobex forum. Tobex actually removes that hidden bonus if you choose to install it.


Actually, beta0200 allows you to set the starting XP in Shadows of Amn. There's even a component that allows you to set stats or whatever. I don't know much modding so I might have misunderstood, but there it is. Lemme take a look at my ToBEx.ini file...

-----180 Correct Experience Reporting [F]
Fixes a bug where the game incorrectly reports the amount of experience gained by the party
While the party normally gains 110% experience of that coded in creatures, the game reports the 100% amount instead

Options:
-0: disabled
-1: enabled

-----950 Custom Shadows of Amn Starting Experience [C, T]
(overrides any mods that directly modify the starting experience in the executable, including Baldur's Gate Trilogy-WeiDU)
Allows setting a custom amount of starting experience for Shadows of Amn

Options:
-(-1): disabled
-Other value: Shadows of Amn starting experience set to this value

-----960 Custom Throne of Bhaal Starting Experience [C, T]
(overrides any mods that directly modify the starting experience in the executable)
Allows setting a custom amount of starting experience for Throne of Bhaal

Options:
-(-1): disabled
-Other value: Throne of Bhaal starting experience set to this value


There it is. They're actually grouped together in the file. :)


Oh I never realized. The only tobex I've used was the one packaged in scsii v19, and the incorrectly reported exp really freaked me out at first.

#1638
AnonymousHero

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Alright, we're rapidly going way off-topic. (Btw, I apologise for contributing to that.) Can we please try to get back on topic?

Here's a little summary of the last bit of the Spellhold as penance:

Arya the solo F/M:

Level 2 of the Spellhold Maze was pretty easy: From pure laziness Arya just let a few skeletons and the Planetar lead the way.

Once through the Maze and the apparition's challenges, Arya put on her CHA ring and convinced Lonk the Sane to release the inmates.

The ensuing fight with Irenicus was thankfully very short, Arya just wailed on him with the FoA+4 (under buffs, of course) until he gave in. He didn't get any spells off.

With the EXP from this fight, Arya broke the EXP cap and leveled to F24/M20. She picked Katana proficiency (1 star total). Her HLA pick was Critical Strike (5 total).

On the way out of the asylum, she encountered Saemon again and agreed to his self-serving plans.

Before heading off back to Brynnlaw she reentered the asylum and retrieved a few minor items from Jon's quarters.

That's it for now.

Edited by AnonymousHero, 04 July 2011 - 05:06 AM.


#1639
BelgarathMTH

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@Saint of Sinners: What does NR mean?

@Anonymous Hero: Congratulations on your Spellhold victory. And this is nothing personal or even aimed at you particularly, but I am seeing more and more people saying "wailed on". The expression is "whaled on". It originated from bringing to mind a huge whale flopping its huge mass around. If you are letting it "whale" on you, you are letting it flop its mass against you. It has nothing to do with letting it scream at you.

Sorry for that - it's been bothering me for a long time.

http://www.urbandict...p?term=whale on

<sigh>, and what's an FoA?

Edited by BelgarathMTH, 03 July 2011 - 11:47 PM.


#1640
AnonymousHero

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[quote]BelgarathMTH wrote...
@Anonymous Hero: Congratulations on your Spellhold victory. And this is nothing personal or even aimed at you particularly, but I am seeing more and more people saying "wailed on". The expression is "whaled on".
[/quote]
Thanks for the correction. Damn these homophones!

[quote]BelgarathMTH wrote...
It originated from bringing to mind a huge whale flopping its huge mass around. If you are letting it "whale" on you, you are letting it flop its mass against you. It has nothing to do with letting it scream at you.
[/quote]
This disagrees with urbandictionary about the etymology, though:

   http://dictionary.re...om/browse/whale

says

Origin:
1780–90;  origin uncertain

[quote]BelgarathMTH wrote...

<sigh>, and what's an FoA?[/quote]
[/quote]
Flail of Ages.

#1641
Alesia_BH

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Alesia's Ascension: The Battle That Should Have Been

As many of you know, my Bounty Hunter fell in the final Ascension Battle. After experimenting with the fight, I now see that she had little chance of getting it right on her first try given the resources and knowledge she came in with. Now that I understand the fight though, it shouldn't pose problems in future runs. That's a good thing.

As an epilogue to Alesia's run -and as much for my reference as anyone elses- I've decided to post a simple, stripped down version of the fight: no summons, no simmies, no item switching, and few scrolls. Any single class Thief can execute this with limited resources.

First a caveat: the screenshots are going to belie the true nature of the battle. After seeing them, you'll be tempted to think: "Oh. She cut The Five to pieces with a Black Blade of Disaster, blasted Mel with the Wand of Frost, and then finished her with some backstabs. Simple." With summons, the Cloak of Mirroring, and a load of ProMW -or any one of many flavors of cheese- it would be. But if I had a video of this fight, I could literally point out dozens of moments when using a spell equivalent action 3 seconds earlier (or later) could have led to Alesia's death and still other moments when being 15 feet from Mel as opposed to 8 feet could have gotten her killed. It was a twitchy, nerve wracking ordeal with an excruciatingly narrow margin for error. She had to nail dozens of Focuses within a 3 round segment window. If she missed once, she'd get Time Stopped and Mel would literally land on her head and Greater Whirlwind her to Death- cruising to dead in a heart beat. There were a lot of ways for Alesia to exit stage left here- even though it looks like she breezed through.

In any event, here is the fight.

The Plan: Buff with Pro Acid, Pro Cold, Pro Elec, and Pro Fire Green scrolls. Layer in Potions and Pro Magic Energy to reach +100% Resistance to all. Get saves into the highly negative range with items and Potions of Invulnerability. Keep Potions of Invulnerability, Potions of Stone Form, and Potions of Magic Shielding, at the ready to insure they'll remain so throughout the fight. As for arcane scroll buffs, keep it simple: Stoneksins and Minor Spell Deflection.

Set a group of damage Snares and a Time Trap near Sendai's position pre-batte. Leave a MIslead out of the way(*). Take a Black Blade of Disaster and Improved Haste just before the fight begins.

As soon as the battle starts, time will stop. Get behind Balthazar, and drop him with BBoD backstabs. When he dies, step behind Illasera and go to work on her. Mel will interupt, but Illasera will fall quick. If Sendai survived the damage snares, finish her off.

The death of those 3 will put Mel on her keist for a few rounds. Use the rounds to read a Time Stop scroll and then finish off Yaga-Shura and Sarevok. Try to get a start on Abazigal.

Next, drop Abazigal with standard rogue tricks- traps, backstabs, and hit and run attacks. Be patient, keep it simple, stay safe. Never, ever, ever, prioritize anything over hitting Focus just before Mel Time Stops. Keep your aura clear whenever she can potentially cast TS and listen to her every word.

Once Abazigal is dead, pound Mel with the Wand of Frost and Sling bullets. For fun, finish her with Black Blade of DIsaster backstabs and an Assasination while running ProMW and a Fire Shield. As earlier, hitting Focus is the most crucial thing- that along with keeping saves negative and maintaining hitpoints out of PW:K range. It'll take a while, but eventually she'll die.

(*) I'm usually not comfortable using Mislead with backstabbers. but Mel's a big girl- she can handle it.

Execution: The battle went according to plan- as you'll see.

Here we see Alesia's pre-battle prep. Her Traps and her Mislead.
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The battle begins, the Time Trap trips, and Alesia drops Balthazar. One down.
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When time resume, Sendai is killed by the damage snares. Two down.

Step to the side, and finish Illasera. Got a nice backstab here. 3 down.
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Mel's on her butt now so it's a good time to use a Time Stop scroll and drop Yaga.. Just remember: her Time Stop trumps yours- you still need to Focus if she says "Gracie"

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Sarevok was dropped as well. But sadly, so was Bodhi.
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Time for Abazigal. Just good old fashion rogue tricks here.
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I'll note the Mel had an incredibly annoying habit of fouling things up in this phase.

You are just about to set a Spike Trap: Mel lands on your head and foils it.
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You are just about to unload 500HP worth of backstab damage in a round on Abazigal: Mel lands on your head and pushes you aside.
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That was irritating. Eventually, Abazigal fell though.
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I need a break. I'll post the Mel phase of the fight relatively soon.
Posted Image


Best,

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH, 04 July 2011 - 12:39 PM.

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#1642
Aldain

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Alright, haven't posted for a bit. Odrelomp is still alive and well, he just hasn't made any progress whatsoever. I've had time to play, just not feeling like it for some reason..

Anyway, just thought I'd drop a line saying Odrelomp lives and I'll pick his run back up when I get hit with the urge to play.

#1643
Shadow_Leech07

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Nice work Alesia! You tore through them like a knife through butter.

#1644
Alesia_BH

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Shadow_Leech07 wrote...

Nice work Alesia! You tore through them like a knife through butter.


Thanks. She pretty much has the fight down now. Her next Trilogy run should end the right way. :)


Best,

A.

#1645
touch_of_the_void

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Alesia let me check I am understanding the Mel Time Stop no sound thing: sometimes you hear 'Gracie' before TS, but not every time? And this is different to Ascension without SCS because there you could hear it every time?

#1646
Windfoot

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Awesome run Alesia!

#1647
BelgarathMTH

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Congratulations on your victory, Alesia. I may need to refer to your blog when I get to that battle myself on my current run, probably in a couple or three weeks. I don't have any difficulty mods installed though, so it may not be as hard for me.

Thanks for the correction and the acrostic info, AnonymousHero. I should have begun my sentence about whales with "I think it may refer to....", so it would have been more clear that I wasn't speaking with any authority on that point.

Edited by BelgarathMTH, 04 July 2011 - 04:41 PM.


#1648
Satyricon331

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Congrats, Alesia!

#1649
Saint of Sinners

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Monty the Blade Update:

Monty is back in the running. I've restarted the game, and did mostly minor quests. This time around, pure munchkin was done. I've no room for roleplaying much because I lost some really precious time with my first run which ended disappointingly.

Anyway, Monty is lvl20 and is still entrenched in doing minor quests. He's going munchkin as he's just running around invi, killing only the small fry, and stealing the really powerful items around (FoA gotten but keep still not saved, gotten Dragonslayer, Lilarcor, etc).

Monty will start getting to the end of these quests when he's done collecting what he needs. He's got some really nice spells, which came earlier than expected (like Pierce Shield, etc.). I will post a proper update soon enough. Ten hours worth of running around reclaiming the lost glory is hard work. Oh well. At least I can build him better now.

Cheers and good luck to everyone else's runs.

#1650
Alesia_BH

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Alesia's Ascension: The Battle That Should Have Been (Part 2)

Ok. Here is the Melissan phase of the battle. Like the earlier phase, this will seem easier then it really was- Alesia had a very narrow margin for error in this phase as well.

The Plan: The plan for Mel was described earlier, but I'll do so again here. Keep it simple, stay safe. Keep out of Melee contact with Mel. injure her from a distance using the Wand of Frost and Sling Bullets. Resist the temptation to Breach her or lower her Magic Resistance. Doing so would provide transitent advantages, but ultmately, it would just complicate the fight and decrease the likelihood of missing a Focus. Every Focus must be hit. That is the highest priority. In addition, saves must be maintained in the highly negative range at all times with Potions of Invulnerabilty, Potions of Magic Shielding, and Potions of Stone Form. Check saves each time your come into melee contact with Mel (her Staff lowers saves on hit) and counter as appropriate. Damage must be managed as well. Never let HP total get into PW:K range- that's a recipe for death. At the same time, don't heal over-zealously: you need a clear Aura when she says Gracie. Rember to use the Tree of Life nuts or Sendai's Homebrew if you get seriously injured.

To finish, buff up at a time when TS isn't available to Mel and then take her down with Black Blade of DIsaster backstabs and an Assasination. The Wand of Frost would do the job just as well, it would also be simpler and safer. This move is just for fun.

Execution: Happily, this phase went according to plan.

For the most part, this battle was Mel's Bone Blades v. Alesia's Wand of Frost.
Posted Image
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Saves had to be kept negative. Every focus had to be hit. TIme Stops and the rounds that immediately follow are a good time to refresh buffs and take offensive actions. Those are the only periods of the battle where Alesia could lead and pay less attention to her Aura.
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Wand of Frost + Cloak of Mirroring beats Bone Blades. I don't like using Mirroring though so Stoneskins and damage management had to do. If you are No Reloading -and your fragile heart will just break if you don't make it- go ahead and use the Cloak. You can get the job done without it though.

This took quite awhile. Lot of running, stopping, running, healing, checking, fretting- stuff like that.

I'll note that Mel displayed some quirks in this phase. Every now and then, she'd slam Bodhi's dead body with a Comet- whose to say what made her think that was a good idea. She'd also get stuck and twitchy sometimes. You can give her some cheap shots in the kidney if you like. But it you are at all sporting, you'll drop back soon and let her Teleport Without Error to you.

She was stuck here. Alesia moved to help her Teleport Without Error to freedom.
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That's a good girl...
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Now how about some ice cream!
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And that's how it went. Hitting Focuses, keeping safe, and damaging her when the opportunity arises. This could have been done much, much quicker and easier with a fat stack of ProMW scrolls and some Fireshields.
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I have to say, that when you do this long enough, you start to feel a real kinship with Mel. Sure: she's dropping Comets on you dead friend, attempting to steal your destiny, and trying to stab you through the heart with a fracking huge spear.  But you've been through so much together. And nobody is perfect...

Mel becomes kind of like that ex that won't stop texting you: you want to kill her, but you know you'll miss her when she's gone...

Anyhoo. Once Mel was into Near Death range, Alesia switch to Backstabbing mode. The ProMW scrolls were used here.
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That wasn't the killing blow- I couldn't get a shot of it because of the cutscene. It is basically how it all ended though.

Fin!
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Best,

A.


Btw. Thanks for your comments everyone!

Edited by Alesia_BH, 05 July 2011 - 12:17 AM.