Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Statue of Ha'rach

In my previous post I wrote about the entrance to the hidden tomb of Ha'rach. The challenge of Ha'rach is much deeper. Once inside the temple you are greeted with the following room:
The Temple
The majestic temple glows from the majestic golden statue at its center. The statue stands about two times the height of a good sized half-troll. The gold is soft and warm to the touch. The statue is surrounded on all sides by golden columns stretching to the ceiling, though falling well short of their mark. The statue looks down on its visitors with a grim face. Its eyes are a hollow darkness. Its hands extend out, palms facing the sky, shaped as cups.  Looking high above, the gigantic cavern lets the smallest amounts of light through, a small speck barely visible.
Exits: east northeast southeast
(Trap) A vacant space in the statue's forehead awaits its piece.
(Trap) The right eye of the statue gazes with an empty stare.
(Trap) The left eye of the statue gazes with an empty stare.
(Trap) The right hand of the statue stretches out.
(Trap) The left hand of the statue stretches out.
This is the final puzzle before you can fight the Statue of Ha'rach. To start off with you need to get rid of the traps using either the detrap skill or remove traps spell. Even doing this you need to be careful as being unsuccessful results in:
>detrap eye
You are sliced by a razor sharp blade!
That really did HURT!
You wish that your wounds would stop BLEEDING so much!
Unlike most traps in the Realms of Despair which are mere nuisance these ones do some serious damage and can kill if you have low amount of hit points and no sanctuary spell. After successfully removing all five traps comes the puzzle. The five parts of the statue contain a container. They look as follows (before removing the traps):
You take a closer look at the forehead on the ground...
The empty spot in the statue's forehead is perfectly round.  It has a small lip around the edge that makes it look like a small compartment.
The forehead appears to be nearly empty.
The forehead contains:
     a trap
What you need to do here is place a gem in the containers. There are five different mobs throughout the area that have them when you kill them. Each mob drops five different coloured gems. The result is you need the right coloured gem from the right mob and to place it in the right statue part in the right order. One of the mobs with the gems is Kaerell - it always gives me a little laugh when I see his rodpedia entrance advising not to kill him. What this all means though is that there are (5!)³ possible combinations of gems/mobs/conatiners/orders for the gems which all up adds to 1,728,000 possibilities. Fortunately there are two things that can make this puzzle easier:
  1. When you place a gem correctly there is a message in the room to say so
  2. There is one mob in the area which gives clues to the puzzle.
This mob is the rich leader's wife found in the oasis part of the area. Bribe her with some gold coins and she will give you hints like:
A rich woman tells you 'A stone from a shopkeeper is affixed first, but let it not be red.'
 After putting the hints together I made myself a tree diagram on four pieces of A4 paper to help narrow down the possibilities. When exploring and trying to solve puzzles in RoD I often write pages of notes. A scan of them can be seen below:
While the above shows that my handwriting is rather messy and my scanner is cheap it also shows how I go about solving some puzzles. The end result was it narrowed down the number of combinations for the first gem from 125 to 12. Luckily for me I managed to get the right gem the first time I did this. After solving the puzzle you place the final gem and this happens:

You put a red gem in the left hand.
The statue's left hand grips the gem mightily and rises up!
The statue awakens from it's slumber and let's out a mighty yell!
The Statue of Ha'rach utters the words, 'zabrahpdjatz'.
The Statue of Ha'rach makes the earth tremble and shiver.
You yell 'Help!  I am being attacked by the Statue of Ha'rach!'
The Statue of Ha'rach's slice rips you!
While there is a sense of achievement in figuring out the puzzle there is also the sudden realisation that you are fighting an end of area boss mob. There are easier ways of killing the statue but the first time I led a group to it we used 3 barbarians rending and a paladin tanking. We didn't have too much trouble and finished off the statue:
Your slash tears the Statue of Ha'rach!
Your slash tears the Statue of Ha'rach!
The Statue of Ha'rach is DEAD!!
The Statue of Ha'rach's arm is sliced from its dead body.
You see nothing like that in the corpse of the Statue of Ha'rach.
The corpse of the Statue of Ha'rach holds:
     (Flaming White) (Magical) (Glowing) (Humming) sword of magic
     a pair of golden bracers
     (Flaming White) (Magical) a pair of golden leggings
The sword of magic and golden leggings are kind of junky items but the golden bracers are some of the nicest wrist equipment in the game.

Overall figuring out all the puzzles in the Desert of Despair and leading a group to successfully kill the Statue of Ha'rach is one of my proudest achievements in the game and gives an amazing buzz.