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The Crucible

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Starting setupEdit

ObjectivesEdit

  • Destroy the Megalith.
  • Destroy all of Marduk's manaliths.

The megalith can't be really destroyed before it's deactivated. To deactivate it you have to destroy all of Marduk's manaliths. After that, the megalith in its deactivated form offers no resistance whatsoever.

After the initial destruction of Marduk's manaliths, you have to make sure he doesn't rebuild them, for even a single standing manalith can reactivate the megalith. To do this, simply seize control of the mana founts by building your own manaliths on top of them (and guard them from Marduk's attacks).

WalkthroughEdit

ZYZYX: There was one other thing.
ELDRED: We did encounter a zombie, fleeing from the desolation of the South. He told us of a massive artifact of very strange appearance.
MITHRAS: You think it may have something to do with Marduk?
ELDRED: That is my hope.

Holding the LineEdit

This is it. After nine missions of solving godly squabbles, you have arrived at Marduk's final stronghold, and Marduk is on his way to greet you with a large army consisting of a multitude of Locusts, a Hellmouth, and an Abomination. You can expect no backup from anyone else apart from any leftover heroes from your campaign. If you have sufficiently many leftover heroes (especially the high-soul ones such as Sirocco and Toldor), then meeting Marduk in a pitched battle may be fine. Use your Area-of-Effect spells liberally and focus on healing the heroes. Cast your soul-stealing spells, if you have them, at Marduk's Hellmouths. Your high-soul creatures will wipe out Marduk's 1-soul creatures with health to spare, and you can focus on topping their health up. The only threat is Death: if you see this spell, run until it expires. If it chases you, summon Manahoars to feed it.

Without heroes, meeting Marduk head-on in a pitched battle is much more difficult, so quickly claim the two mana founts in front of you and prepare for a siege. Use your starting souls to summon your strongest Snipers or Artillery (Pyro and Charnel players could consider at least one Warmonger/Styx) and guardian them to the manaliths.

Marduk's tactics are simple: He will rush your manaliths in a dash towards your altar, usually on the left flank, while employing Wailing Wall, Plague and Death spells liberally in an attempt to kill your guardians and sap your mana. After the battle is joined, cast your ultimate spell (Meanstalks, Bore, Tornado, Volcano or Death) at his feet. The aim is to wipe out Marduk's army and preferably kill him as well, forcing him to retreat and allowing you to convert any leftover souls. Bore is the best of the lot, since as long as you don't lose any souls you will eventually win the war of attrition.

Marduk himself is extremely tough to kill, and has the ability to absorb your blue souls simply by walking over them. While his AI isn't programmed to fully take advantage of this, it nonetheless makes the prospect of him walking around in your front lines and absorbing stray souls from your dead creatures unappealing in the least. Fortunately, he tends to be distracted by the deaths of his own creatures, so focus fire on his Locusts and Manahoars from long range and employ your own wall and other delaying spells to delay his approach (though save any Erupt or Explosion spells you have; you need them to disrupt Marduk's casting).

Once Marduk is sufficiently distracted by the deaths of his low-cost creatures, focus your fire on him and try to make him retreat. Save the Hellmouth and Abomination for last, unless you can get rid of the Hellmouth with Soul Stealing Spells: The time it takes you to kill them is time not spent distracting Marduk, and they provide a bounty of souls should you kill and convert them while Marduk is down for the count. Once Marduk is gone, quickly convert any leftover souls and prepare for the next wave: Marduk will keep attacking you as long as he has souls to spare, and may summon Silverbacks for subsequent rounds. Depending on your god, and simply your luck, this can take up to multiple iterations, but sooner or later your souls will start to increase while Marduk's will go down. Once Marduk stops coming at you, it is time to go on the offensive.

Striking BackEdit

As you can see from the map image, Marduk's manaliths are guardianed by titans so prepare accordingly. As you gradually steal souls form Marduk, your army should be a better and better match for them. Pyro's players can make heavy use of the Warmonger because a few of them can safely dispatch Marduk back in the spirit form and allow Eldred to collect the souls. Artillery units can be a great help here too, especially against the Hellmouth guardians. They can be incredibly tough with their life draining attack and the Guardian regeneration. Do not allow them to land a strike and they will fall. Other options include Soul Stealing Spells, Volcano, or freezing them. Marduk will try to defend the manaliths but as you have weakened him in the beginning, his locust summoning is not too dangerous now. The Manaliths are in a circular formation around the megalith and there is a handy counter available if you come closer to the megalith. Once the Manaliths are down, you can leisurely watch as the megalith deactivates and is smashed by your creatures. Once this is done, you still have to kill Marduk one more time. Enjoy it as this is the last objective in the whole game. Congratulations on saving the world!

EpilogueEdit

After the carnage, your god (except for Persephone; she is replaced by James) will speak to you. Some (Stratos, Pyro and Charnel) give you an offer: You can either accept and become the ruler of the god's land or continue wandering. As the game has ended already, the choice has little impact. It just makes a different dialogue play out before the game fades to credits.

Previous Missions: Mission Category: Next Mission:
MS-backwardPE-09
MS-backwardJA-09
MS-backwardST-09
MS-backwardPY-09
MS-backwardCH-09
Missions CreditsMS-forward
Missions in Sacrifice
Missions 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Persephone PE-1 PE-2 PE-3 PE-4 PE-5 PE-6 PE-7 PE-8 PE-9
James JA-1 JA-2 JA-3 JA-4 JA-5 JA-6 JA-7 JA-8 JA-9
Stratos ST-1 ST-2 ST-3 ST-4 ST-5 ST-6 ST-7 ST-8 ST-9
Pyro PY-1 PY-2 PY-3 PY-4 PY-5 PY-6 PY-7 PY-8 PY-9
Charnel CH-1 CH-2 CH-3 CH-4 CH-5 CH-6 CH-7 CH-8 CH-9
Intermissions IM-1 IM-2 IM-3 IM-4 IM-5 IM-6 IM-7 IM-8 IM-9
Others Prologue | The Wanderer's Tale | Respite | The Crucible

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