Tips for playing the game
October 5, 2020 at 9:48 pm #3814
Had some time to kill this weekend and decided to give this game another go. I was surprised at how quickly I adapted to the controls and how much fun I was having. It only took me a couple of relatively short (1.5-2 hours) sessions to finish the game, so I thought I might give some tips to people coming into this for the first time.
– First off, read the (very short) manual and take your time get accustomed to the controls. This is very important!
– There’s a limited number of save slots, but you can save as often as you wish! Make sure to take advantage of this feature as the game has quite a bit of trial & error.
– Until you have a decent weapon, avoid fighting enemies, especially the werewolf that stalks you. This creature works on a similar principle as Nemesis in Resident Evil 3 and will always be around the corner waiting for you. While you can kill him early on, this will take a good part of 10-15 minutes and is not advisable, as you can make short work of him in the final stages of the game. Keep in mind, if you manage to hit him 3-4 times, he will start backing off and then you will have a chance to leave the scene.
– While initially very cryptic and bizarre, there’s method to Ecstatica’s madness! Navigating the world can be a bit confusing at first, so take it slow and explore every house in the initial stages of the game to get a good sense of the small town. Once you’ve done that, start venturing further just a little bit at a time and you’ll get a good sense of it!
– You can only carry two items at a time, and since one of them will usually be your weapon, it’s best to leave items that you might need at a later time in a location that you know is safe, so you can return to them without a lot of hassle.
– AFAIK there are very few respawning enemies in the game and they may only be the tiny goblins that you see. They are fairly easy to handle, so no need to worry about them. All other, larger enemies, stay dead once you get rid of them.
– VERY IMPORTANT! There’s no HUD in the game and as such no health bar. Your health is indicated by the main character’s posture. If he is hurt badly, he’ll start limping a little bit and grabbing his arm in pain. Thankfully, while there are no healing potions to be found, the game offers regenerating health. So, if you get hurt, find a good spot to hide and wait for your health to go back up.
I think that’s about it for starters! I’ll be sure to pop back in if anything else comes to mind. Have fun!
TijnKeymasterPodcasterOctober 5, 2020 at 9:54 pm #3815
Wow, you beat it already! Thanks for these tips, they seem very helpful.
firefyteParticipantPodcasterOctober 6, 2020 at 5:44 am #3816
Also for those interested, there are two endings, you’ll probably save enough to figure out both.October 15, 2020 at 11:42 am #3827
Thanks for all the advice – it was definitely helpful. I played through the game last weekend and seriously enjoyed myself. It’s perilously close to being a bit of a classic. Going back and playing games I know is fun enough but the best times I’ve had with DOS game club is finding something like this that I missed out on. The atmosphere put me in mind of Another World in some ways which is high praise from me.
I bought this when it was new and remember playing it quite a bit but not being too struck with it back then. The start of the game is punishing with the dubious control system, open world and constant combat. It pushes the player away when they are trying to figure out how things work. If you can break through that barrier, it’s actually a really well designed game. It was near enough always clear what I needed to do next and not frustrating in the same way as Alone In The Dark because of it. It’s also very short but this arguably works in it’s favour, I probably got through in 2-3 hours.
For anyone struggling at the start, the main trick I found to combat is that you need to dodge a blow with the dodge key (5) and then strike if you find yourself getting constantly pummelled before you can land a hit yourself. The combat is actually really simple when you get used to it.
ShatteredParticipantPodcasterOctober 17, 2020 at 4:30 am #3832
I am really struggling to get started. Minor spoilers ahead… fair warning, but hoping one of the pro’s here can give me a nudge in the right direction or something to focus on first.
First thing I’ve done was find this girl’s teddy and give it back to her. She ran off into a dungeon below a church in which I couldn’t follow her because the opening was too small. A wizard transformed me into a frog so I used that to go into the dungeon but nothing useful was down there…
Reloaded a save because I couldn’t figure out if I could unfroggify myself. I found a pretty cool ring of stones that talked and said I needed a relic and a magic book… Guessing I’ll have to remember that later.
I brought a drunk into a store, but the werewolf tore down the door and beat me to death…
Just wandering around aimlessly getting my butt kicked by EVERYTHING haha! Someone give me a quest! eg. “Focus on doing this next Shattered!”October 17, 2020 at 8:49 am #3833
Two tips for you. If you aren’t well armed yet, search the village until you are. You ought to be able to see off any enemy except the werewolf.
There is a house somewhere in the village with an unlocked front door…October 17, 2020 at 9:43 am #3834
Yeah, don’t rely on your punches!
Also, don’t try to kill the werewolf, if you do enough damage to him (needs 3-4 hits with one of the weapons), he’ll start backing off and you can just run away and he usually won’t follow you.
Other than that, try to make a mental image of the map. And avoid becoming a frog, I don’t think it’s beneficial in any way. There are other ways to become small enough to fit. Have you searched every house in the village thoroughly 😉 ?
ShatteredParticipantPodcasterOctober 18, 2020 at 4:19 am #3835
Beat it! Thanks for the tips guys! There was another part I was stuck at towards the end. I either missed a clue or it’s not super obvious what you need to get to the end part. Didn’t help random spear impalements led me to believe I wasn’t supposed to go a certain way, but apparently you’re just supposed to keep reloading until you can walk through? I dunno if there was logic to that part or what (going through tower basement area…)October 25, 2020 at 6:59 am #3840
I remember playing this game when I was younger and not getting very far. It’s been fun playing this again.
I’ve made it quite far. I think I’m near the end but now I’m wondering if I’m stuck in a un-winable state. Do you know if there is something like that in this game? Especially near the end.October 25, 2020 at 7:18 am #3841
Can’t think of something like that. There are a couple of unwinnable states but they are 100% obvious within 2-3 minutes of having done specific actions.
Perhaps tell us where you got stuck so that we can maybe help you?October 25, 2020 at 9:49 am #3842
I have the enchanted bone and used it to kill all the monsters in the village. I believe I have to go back to where the woman who is possessed under the church but every time I try the doors crush me.
Any hints would be appreciated for sure.October 25, 2020 at 11:02 am #3843
You are correct about what you need to do. There is another route down there from much later in the game.October 26, 2020 at 5:10 am #3844
Thanks everyone! Because of your guidance, I was able to persevere without looking at any walkthroughs and made to the final boss. It’s been 25 years in the making but I finally finished this game! Now I can’t wait to listen to the podcast.
TijnKeymasterPodcasterOctober 28, 2020 at 10:59 pm #3846
I’m a bit late to the party, but I feel determined to play through this game the coming days.
However I got myself stuck quite early on. I went up the church tower with the werewolf following me. I found a guide that says I can just wait a while and he’ll be gone. Thing is… I’ve been waiting all evening, going up & down the ladder several times, but every time I step into the church I immediately get attacked the wolf.
Is there a trick to this? Should I just fiddle with fighting him? Or can I actually get him to leave somehow so I can explore in peace?October 29, 2020 at 9:02 am #3847
Can’t say I tried running away up the tower but you should be able to get away from the werewolf easily once you get used to it. He will be attacking you throughout the game so you need to learn this skill at the start.
A lot of the time you can just run away before he gets too near but failing that the best bet is to hit him a few times until he backs off and then run around him. This is really easy when you have the hang of it but makes the start of the game tougher than it should be when you still haven’t got the hang of the controls and combat.
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