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Every year I start a single game of Arx and try to finish on one life. Finally tonight I did it. As I wait for my nobel prize I would just like to heartily recommend this mode for people looking for a challenge. It makes the atmosphere and danger truly palpable!
You beat this with one life!? O_o

I'm at my first time with The Black Beast and holy crap-

DEAD... DEAD... DEAD... DEAD... DEAD...
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zoidstar: Every year I start a single game of Arx and try to finish on one life. Finally tonight I did it. As I wait for my nobel prize I would just like to heartily recommend this mode for people looking for a challenge. It makes the atmosphere and danger truly palpable!
A bit late, but...
that is one hell of an achievement! O.O

Mighty congrats on it!

Care to share a few advices to us, mortals, so that we may perform better on the perilous roads of Arx?
Thanks for the comments! I feel I could write a guidebook . . .

If you want to survive on one life I recommend:

Putting 10 in all stats at the start.
Blitz Goblin Kingdom, sell loot and get tooled up early.
Use Cyprian long sword and Oliver's Ring of Heroism for early stat gains.
Focus on combat skills early on then put everything into casting / lore.
Learn fireball, heal and harm. Have these pre-cast at all times.
Carry at least 10 health potions at all times.

The real dangers are Liches, Ylsides and the Black Beast. Also, the lever puzzle in catacombs can get you if you're sloppy.

Most of all always have a contingency plan and never rush!

Doing the same with Ultima Underworld 1 at the moment. I'd say it's a little more forgiving.
Post edited April 17, 2014 by zoidstar
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zoidstar: Thanks for the comments! I feel I could write a guidebook . . .

If you want to survive on one life I recommend:
<snip>
Thank you for all the info.
I will be sure to read it again when I will start playing it.

Funny though, I don't remember manual being VERY useful. Maybe I am wrong...
Hmmm? Was this feat hard? Before patching, Ylsides, the most dangerous melee adversary, was 1 fireball story long... After patching, they are 2 fireballs each, or 1 launched from far away and a lesser spell, or 2-3 quick, good swings. Every enemy was boring fodder, for your melee, if you had decent stats. Rat-men do not deal heavy damage to you, even if their attacks are poisoned, and their backstab does NOT multiply damage! The only REAL dangers left, are Goblin Lords in the beginning (low stats can give you trouble against), spider boss NEAR the beginning (but with some mana pots and 2-3 fireballs it is settled, and i think you get mana pot by then), and, those sitty liches!

Liches is another story. Especially those that come together at Poxsellis' Helm. They are mean and nasty. Also, if you specialize your build (fighter, rogue, caster), and dump more than 1 main stats, they can kill you instantly (with stat draining debuff; a stat falling at (?) or under 0, means game over). Try to confront them as later as you can. And raise the anti magic barrier (don't remember the spell name, it was high level with black aura around you), while you melee them with a worthwhile weapon and decent stats (like Cyprian Longsword).

That is why it is advisable to become a jack of all trades, balanced, with emphasis on melee, and heavily casting (something arbitrarily called a fighter/mage, as baldur's gate fans would both understand and conceive).

The no magic demon fight was hard, too, and you can die easily, but drinking health pots and going the bunny hop evasive dude while turning around to down arrow-left click hit its head, works wonders.

Getting your runes on time, gets lethal for enemies (big selection of spells). Same goes with items and equipment. But generally, quick-slotting (and you better prepare and quick slot items a lot, prudence saves lives) and launching one, at MOST two fireballs, can clean entire rooms (kidnapped girl daughter) or even hordes full of ranks (goblin city force set to exterminate you after liberating trolls)! That is why they even nerfed this single spell in one patch. Yet, despite the nerf, you can exploit it still for monstrous damage; if you aim manually at the head of your enemy, and fire it either from long distance (and it manages to hit target), or from point blank, touch range, it deals heavier damage, especially if you injured whatever it is you are fighting a little, or a lot, before the cast. This is not a theory, i tested it on the Ylside woman (locked her at Goblin City gate to have a cheesed out fight), which shows numbers of health when hit.

Try to attract enemies in low numbers, complete all quests however trivial they might seem, invest your points correctly. While not specializing in rogue talents, it is a good idea to raise your lockpicking, it is a vital skill. Traps are the most dangerous thing, and your environment, especially if it leads to your character getting stuck (bug). For traps, if they are on something interractable, use telekinesis from afar. or a scroll/spell of disarm. And kill the twin traders early on, in order to seize their runes (and get good spells early on). They are thieves, crooks, swindlers, you learn that later, so do short work on them without worries (you even get a journal entry after finding proof of their deeds).

Akbaa is difficult, but with proper maneuvers, and staying away from his life drain when he starts casting it (by hiding behind pillars), works well. Also, if you loot the woman ylside, her sword works better on him, than the meteor one. Plot wise, though, it is unacceptable. Hmmm, and by having high magic skills, a normal summon can lead to the rat king, or woman Ylside, being summoned instead; especially if you buff yourself with the spell that raises stats before casting! It is not a cheat, and not an exploit (hidden spell), although you can use these too, in order to summon her.

Finally, however ridiculous it may sound, be a glutton! You do not get fat, and on the other hand, if you neglect it for long (to eat), you simply die. When you get the feed spell, you can make apple pies with wine, and sell them all! They make a fortune!