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Missile Guardian in G2, no SP spent after Level 5


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My accidental Geneforge 2 challenge:

  • Playing from G5, to 4, to 3, I finally decided to try a Missile Guardian in G2...
  • ...without canisters...
  • ...or Shaping/companions, except for the occasional (2-3 times) suicide fyoras...
  • and by the time I hit Level 5, I got so silly about keeping some SP free in case I needed to boost Lead/Mech that I just thought... hey, why not see how far I can get without spending any more SP? I mean, I'm only on Normal...


The Build:

+1 Dex, +4 Missile, +2 QA, +4 Parry, +5 Lead, +4 Mech, +1 Luck. 34 SP, bought by Level 5.


How it's going:


1. Everything up to Freegate wasn't a problem I would've got further in the Crystal Caverns if I hadn't brought out the damn Icy Spectres.


2. Sharon's Grove: got the Four-Fang Bracelet on first attempt. First two I could beat, and the rest (inc. the Battle Beta's glaahk minions) I led back to Sharon and just stole her kill.


3. Went west at Freegate, into Barzite territory, for RP reasons – my job's to find Barzahl and Shanti.


4. Upper Research Hall: insufficient Mech to disable everything, but you can sneak past most of them. Got the Quicksilver Chain with suicide fyoras and getting lucky with Parry.


5. Want to clear the Clockwork Maze. Don't have the Lead, Mech or power. To get up to 10 Lead, I killed the beta Learned Darian wanted: it could one-shot me, but with 9 AP I just kited it. (Any hittable, solo melee foe except Plated Bugs are trivial with 9 AP.)


6. Got an Infiltrator's Tunic earlier, but will need an Infiltrator's Cloak too to handle the Clockwork Maze. The journey through Awakened land to the Northern Pass to get the Infiltrator's Cloak was brutal. Then I decided to go further. Dead Pass made me cry, but I snuck through to Taker territory for fun.


6. With the Cloak, it's time for the Maze. vs. the Drakon Golem, I had four golems to distract it. I ran past it, grabbed the +1 Mech from a book, which was just enough: I ran back, hid until the golems damaged it enough, and disabled it. Area clear. Cue Infiltrator's Ring and Charm: my Lead/Mech can deal with anything now.


7. I found Shanti's corpse, met Barzahl, and knew Stanis had to die. But... yeah, can't touch him. Need a better weapon. Irritatingly, melee turned out to be the way. I sabotaged Rising, and then did something crazy...


8. I got a Puresteel Blade. Stealthed through Dead Pass back to Zhass-Uss. My target: Infested Pass, near Benerii-Uss. Taker Toll Road isn't so bad. Dryss roared one turn before I hit the Infested Pass.


9. Infested Pass. Oh good god. Everything can one shot me (that's not new), and it's a linear path. I had to observe sentry patterns, hide behind jagged wall edges, and even then it was horrific. But I got the Puresteel Blade, and even to Benerii-Uss. The Entrance is easy to sneak through by comparison to the Pass.


10. Time to avenge Shanti! Speed Pod, three fyoras to distract/pin him, Ensnaring Crystal, bit of luck: Stanis is down. You have a Guardian Cloak? Okay, I can forgive you now.


At this point I'm Level 20 with 76 SP unspent. Puresteel Blade for melee, have one Reaper Baton, one Acid Baton and plenty of lesser batons. Four-Fang Bracelet, Shaped Shield, Infiltrator's Ring, Girdle of Endurance, Guardian Cloak, Quicksilver Chain. Gives me 7 Missile, 8 QA, 8 Parry, 11 Lead/Mech even before specific gear.


I'm not sure where to go next, or how to put off spending SP even longer. I'm going to need better items and some skill-ups from training. I managed to get to Outer Gazak-Uss but don't have the cash for Guas's upgrades yet. This is my first G2 game, and the walkthrough's not as detailed as the later ones, so I'm not sure what my options are from here.

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1. Parry is amazing in G2 (like, seriously over-the-top broken). Ideally you'll raise it to 18. Since there are two items that each give +1 to Parry (one of which is the Guardian Cloak you already found), you probably want to raise your base Parry skill to 16 and let those items give the last two points.


2. Loading up on Missile skill would also be really helpful. Just keep pumping it as high as you can, basically.


3. Other stuff: IIRC, Leadership 10 and Mechanics 12 are good goals to aim for - there are times when you might want a more, but I'm pretty sure you can use items to boost you the rest of the way. Investing a little in Endurance might be helpful, just to help survive the occasional hit that will get past Super-Parry. You could also consider putting a few points into Blessing Magic and Healing Craft, just enough to give you access to spells you find in those disciplines. They can be pretty useful. Don't bother with any more Quick Action - it doesn't help if you're not fighting melee.



TLDR: boost Parry and Missile a bunch. :D I hope that helps!

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(Now Level 26, 106 skill points unspent.)


Good advice, both, but... I'm still trying to see how far I can get without spending a single skill point since Level 5. : )


Sadly that rules out being able to cast Speed. I bought Blessing up to 2 from a trainer, but can't hit 3 (for Speed) without wearing an Agent Cloak and don't have the Energy to cast Speed even if I did – it takes 100 and I have 33 (Int 2). Leadership and Mechanics are fine. Parry... I'm up to 9, having got the Thrusting Gauntlets (the other item you're referring to, I guess, Triumph). It's been invaluable, but that's the limit without spending SP. Buying Blessing was really useful though, as was getting the Physician's Charm: I can finally cast Augmentation and/or Essence Shield (but not both without an essence pool).


I'm not a missile specialist anymore... I may have Missile 7/Dex 6 to Melee 4/Strength 3, but it doesn't matter: I do better with a Puresteel Blade than an Acid Baton and don't have enough Reapers. I nabbed the Guardian Claymore, but the Puresteel Blade has a higher hit chance and damage even with the Strength bonus on the Claymore. I'm trying for the Emerald Chestguard now, but the Bound One, Rotted Demon and Mutated Battle Gamma are all a bit much for a pseudo-Level 5. I'm going to try to buy Melee up to 6 and Strength up to 4 or 5, but it's crazily expensive. Going to try to rob some drayk lairs for cash. I think getting about +15% to my hit chance will be enough to make the Mutated Battle Gamma and Bound One killable, at which point I can finally grab the Emerald Chestguard.


Is there any shield that increases any skill other than Leadership/Mechanics? I'm still using a Shaped Shield for the armour, but obviously I'm dying for stat/skill boosts.

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Level 34, 146 SP unspent. I've 'made it' – managed to take out the Mutated Battle Gamma and Bound One (the latter with a hit and run tactic), getting the Emerald Chestguard. The Belt of Purity from Gazak-Uss took luring Hideki Eye to Learned Guas, and I got the Forbidden Band. Using a Puresteel Shield now – couldn't find a shield that gave me any useful skill-ups. I've now bought from trainers Strength +2, Endurance +2, Melee +2 and Blessing +2.


My level 5 is just about as strong as he can get now, so I'm going to see if I'm strong enough to win the game from here. Strength 10, Dexterity 6, Intelligence 4 (still can't cast Speed), Endurance 7. Melee 6, Missile 7, QA 13, Parry 9. Lead/Mech 13 each with the right gear, Healing 3, and Blessing 2.


It's a shame I abandoned missile weapons, but trying to win from level 5 it just didn't work out to be practical to rely on them.


Not sure if my pseudo-Level 5 Guardian is going to be able to win from here. Should be able to, but I'll have to be very cautious. Drakons don't seem too bad, but every rotghroth and gazer is almost unbeatable. I'm never going to have a hit chance against a rotghroth higher than about 50%, or be able to survive two turns around any gazer, so I'm never going to be able to let my guard down.

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Keep in mind that Jeff designed the Geneforge games to be winnable (or least mostly winnable) by a leadership-mechanics-sneaking route. I know it's possible to beat G3 without personally striking a single blow, and I believe this is likely true for the other games as well (note that winning the game isn't the same as completing every quest or clearing every zone). If you find the combative approach isn't working, consider that "There are alternatives to fighting."


Which route do you plan to take for the endgame?

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Good point. I love Spiderweb games for that. Still, that might let me off too easy...


Level 44, 196 SP unspent. I just beat Inner Gazak-Uss. Took some serious patience and the Agent Robe to cast Speed. The Drakon Master was worst: eventually I led him away, assassinated one guardian once separated, and repeated, until he was alone. The constant enemy spawn in the NE can't be blocked, so I made breadcrumbs of fyoras leading the wrong way to slow them.


I haven't aligned with anyone. I just wiped out the Barzites. Roleplaying a true loyalist: I'll destroy the Takers, kill Tuldaric, sabotage the Barrier of the Winds, spare Learned Pinner and execute Zakary but spare his people. Should be fun.

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For comparison, here's what he could look like if he'd spent those SP:




To be honest, once I had the Emerald Chestguard it got a lot easier, and after Inner Gazak-Uss nothing was really much of a challenge. The Radiant College's entryway was the Barzite's toughest challenge, so I played a hit-and-run game again: hid just behind a corner, ended combat, and took them one at a time as they came into sight. Killed one, ended combat again, got my turn back.


I then swore an oath to the Takers just to be a troll. Swore it, gave Toivo the artifact I already had, told Amena I'd already killed a leader (Barzahl), and then I like to think my Guardian said this to Syros: "About that oath of loyalty… just one problem. A man can't swear an oath to a pet." Syros himself wasn't too bad but a long chain of forces came after me – I used the same trick as with the Barzites in Radiant College, hiding just around a corner and taking them on once at a time. 16 AP (Chestguard, Victor's Boon, Haste) made it a bit trivial. Benerii-Uss wasn't too bad after, and I emptied it all except for Easss.


Then went to Learned Pinner and said I'd help the Awakened, nabbing a level's worth of XP from cashing in on missions I've already done the work for. Then I destroyed the Barrier of the Wind and executed Tuldaric, cashing in on the reward from the sealed demon. Purely for RP reasons, I entered Medab without killing anyone and went up to Learned Pinner, destroying his Battle Betas for as long as I could. I like to think, in RP terms, that my character told Pinner something like this:


"You may be right that serviles should be free. But tell me this: are the Council wrong for controlling the power to create life too strongly, or not enough? You make the case that it's not enough, yet Shape serviles to cast magic you don't understand, seal demons you can't control, and try to develop creations with the power to defeat the entire Council. You're more sane than the Barzites and the Takers, but you're still out of control. Your resistance will kill plenty of Shapers, but all the bloodshed you could dream of will still see you all die in the end. And in the meantime what will you unleash? What will you do to the legitimacy of your cause for future generations?"


"I'm returning to the Council and I'll beg them to consider your case. It's a slim chance, but it's a chance, and now I've removed Tuldaric and your ill-considered 'defences' they might just be in a position to listen. I doubt I'll see you again, Learned Pinner, but I honestly, genuinely, wish you luck. But just so you know, my unwillingness to kill any more of your people ends if you send any after me. Good day."


The last bit was Zakary. Irritatingly, it turns out you can't join the last faction standing and then leave it – the dialogue option isn't there. So I used the clearallsects cheat to keep to the Unaligned ending – I wanted to nab an entire level's worth of XP cashing in on all but the last Zakary quest, but then leave him. (I probably optimised the XP path quite a bit: sold all Shaper equipment and iron bars in one go as late as possible in the game.)


My RP for dealing with Zakary was, again, a bit different to how the game really had to go down. In my head, my Guardian delivered an ultimatum to Zakary's guards: "Zakary is a traitor to the Shaper Council, and the Council will demand justice. Everyone here, you have three options. One: you can protect this traitor and die with him. Two: you can be loyal to the Shapers and assist me in his capture. Or three, you can choose to be a coward and look away."


I only killed Zakary, and then left. I RP'd that the others mostly chose option three. I mean… really? They're going to try to protect a dead man walking against the will of the Shapers and the Guardian who just razed Rising, Zhass-Uss and Benerii-Uss to the ground?


That was fun. Nice continuation of my theme of choosing weird endings to Geneforge games, too:


5: sided with Taygen, with the RP that I was actually a Trakovite who believed the Purification Agent was necessary and planned to turn on Taygen immediately after.

4: played a Rebel Infiltrator who played them off each other a bit, but ultimately alienated Alwan. But she was very much a human/servile-type Rebel. When she saw what the drakons were doing in Northforge she couldn't support that, and she destroyed the Unbound. At the very end Alwan didn't believe she wanted to work with him, so she was forced to kill him.

3: played a borderline canister junkie loyalist Shaper – but mostly just someone who hated Litalia and wanted revenge. Went through looking like a loyalist, but RPishly 'lost it' at the end with Rahul… he didn't want to go to the mainland, and he was frightened the Council would kill him for his use of canisters. So he killed Rahul instead and my RP canon was he went on to become a Monarch-like figure in the Ashen Isles.

2: killed almost… everyone.


Whoo. That was fun. So… G1 now?

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Officially, my G3 ending was that I took the boat Rahul had provided for me after I murdered him. I reported in to the Shaper Council and told them I'd destroyed the Geneforge. They were happy with me for that, but said that killing Rahul was unforgivable. They threw me in jail (as they did in a save/load alt where I was still a canister junkie but didn't kill Rahul), and wars went on.


At some point the camp was under attack, and one of the Shapers came in and executed me to prevent me having any chance of escaping in the chaos.


If I hadn't killed Rahul, the Guardian councillor would have come in and released me, forgiving me for being a canister junkie and saying they needed all the help they could get.


But hey, my RP'd canon was I never even left the Isles, I just conquered them. But I had to finish the game and see what it said. : )

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