BUT spell

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wombstar
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Re: BUT spell

Post by wombstar »

It's a tough one. BUT being a 'humble' spell wouldn't be my first choice of spell when being attacked by a magic sword and a madman, it's hard for the team to use a spell that they have no idea what it is or does.

Just been watching it on youtube and yes it seems Mogdred maybe did drop a hint.. a little cue. Not sure what the spell would have done though. I can't see Mogdred casting another spell on them afterwards.. that would have been the finial encounter, he would have been defeated, going by other winners, but we'll never know for sure.
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Re: BUT spell

Post by s4t8brett »

I agree with all the points you made in your previous post, wombstar!
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Re: BUT spell

Post by PookasRule »

My own theory on what the 'But' spell would have produced is that it would have thrown Mogdred into a state of confusion and he would have begun arguing with himself over how best to kill Helen, (e.g. "the sword is mighty and powerful, BUT lightning is more effective, BUT then again magic is more powerful yet" and so on) leaving the sword poised in the air and allowing Helen to slip past him. It would prove to be Mogdred's undoing, as he is always so sure and proud about himself. Just look at "Look upon Mogdred now and quail" as proof of his self-assurance. Take that away from him and what is he left with?


BUT (sorry, I couldn't resist) we'll never know for sure.
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Mystara
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Re: BUT spell

Post by Mystara »

OR, Tim knew the team was going to die and simply picked a random word out of the dictionary, knowing that the spell's true purpose (and even its spelling) would never be revealed? :)
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Re: BUT spell

Post by Mashibinbin »

Now a BUTT spell would have caused equal calamity surely... ;)
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Re: BUT spell

Post by PookasRule »

Mashibinbin wrote: 06 Sep 2018, 21:42 Now a BUTT spell would have caused equal calamity surely... ;)
I suspect it may have involved a certain degree of flatulence. ;D
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Re: BUT spell

Post by Drassil »

Mystara wrote: 06 Sep 2018, 11:00 its spelling would never be revealed
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Mystara
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Re: BUT spell

Post by Mystara »

Ummmm....

Damn autocomplete!
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Re: BUT and TRANSFORMATION spells

Post by Drassil »

Having rewatched Series 4 Episode 3 on BritBox, I've been thinking about this again. So just before we become a cashless society, here's another ha'pennyworth from me.
  • The baddy confronting the dungeoneer in a 'final encounter' on Level 3 is not strange - Morghanna, Malice, Aesandre and Lord Fear all did it;
  • The baddy sending a floating weapon to menace the dungeoneer on Level 3 is not strange - Mogdred did it in Series 3 Quest 4 (Leo), Morghanna did it Series 3 Quest 6 (Ross);
  • The baddy sending a floating weapon to menace the dungeoneer on Level 3 while staying yet doing nothing is strange - Morghanna dispatched an axe to make Ross "squirm" but didn't bother to hang around, whereas in Series 3 Quest 11 she killed Martin personally with a serious double trepanning. This implies that Series 4 Team 1's two spells were meant to deal separately with the two threats.
In other words, I agree with previous theories that BUT, a "quite humble" spell, was intended for the sword: to pause it or ward it off.

To address the other half of the puzzle, I'm going to speculate more wildly.

Why would Mogdred need a glorified letter opener to do his bidding anyway? Could it be that something prevents him from killing a dungoneer directly? Is he restricted by his status as Merlin's alter ego? (This could also explain why he tried to trick some dungeoneers into destroying themselves with questionable gift spells, and why he had to trap Tony (Series 2 Team 5) in a "playpen".)

A couple other things we do know:
  • In the History of Knightmare on this website, Tim Child says that by Series 4, 'the Merlin/Mogdred scenario was exhausted (I had always found it annoyingly derivative)';
  • David Rowe's Art of Knightmare book suggests that in Series 1 Quest 6, the OPPOSITE spell was intended to turn Mogdred into Merlin (as Canadanne has discussed in another topic). This is corroborated by information gleaned via David Rowe during the Knightmare Convention in 2014.
I'm suggesting, therefore, that to avoid wastage of the unused OPPOSITE idea, and to give a 'last hurrah' to the 'Merlin/Mogdred scenario', the "most powerful" TRANSFORMATION spell was intended to transform Mogdred into Merlin. He'd then have urged Helen on as he did for other dungeoneers he met on Level 3.

What I'm less sure about is how the team would have been given the time to cast this long spell. Mogdred just standing there and letting them do it could have been an anticlimax. Perhaps BUT would have sent the sword at Mogdred, distracting him for as long as the team needed, but could a "quite humble" spell have gone as far as to turn the sword against its master?
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Re: BUT spell

Post by s4t8brett »

Probably not, Drassil ... but it might've moved Mogdred to give the team a little extra time - a 'sporting chance' - during which they could've cast the longer spell...
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Re: BUT and TRANSFORMATION spells

Post by Drassil »

After all his highly threatening remarks to Helen about ending her quest, personally I can't see anything moving Mogdred to be deliberately charitable, especially in the final stages. But we'll probably never know.

Having speculated on what the spells would have done, I've also been thinking about the scenario itself.

Other teams also had to choose between two spells, mostly in final encounters. The challenge was far from equal. Here are some comparisons.

Series 6 Team 5
Choice: between TRICK or TREAT from a spell scroll
Hints and prompts: Treguard told them to consider not just Lord Fear, nor just Lord Fear's sense of humour, but "Lord Fear's so-called sense of humour"
Outcome: won

Series 5 Team 4
Choice: whether to use FIRE or FREEZE against Aesandre; when to use the remaining spell
Hints and prompts: "The one defeats the sorceress Aesandre. The other releases the object of your quest" (Hordriss); "You must of course fight fire with fire" (Aesandre)
Outcome: won

Series 4 Team 6
Choice: whether to use FIRE or OPPOSITE against Malice; when to use the remaining spell
Hints and prompts: FIRE is "most powerful", OPPOSITE is "quite humble" (Hordriss); "You must eat or drink something now" (Treguard); "Now, you must eat or drink something now" (Treguard again, when the team tried to guide Dickon out); "And? Go on!" (Pickle, after the team cast OPPOSITE)
Outcome: won

Series 4 Team 1
Choice: whether to use TRANSFORMATION or BUT against Mogdred; when to use the remaining spell
Hints and prompts: TRANSFORMATION is "most powerful", BUT is "quite humble" (Hordriss); no other hints or prompts
Outcome: lost

It was therefore considerably easier for the later teams than for Helen's team.

In choosing to call one of S4 T1's spells BUT - not something descriptive or defensive, like PARRY, STOP, OFF or even NO - Tim Child deliberately made the puzzle more difficult than it could have been. Likewise, he could have asked Hugo via the earpiece to give a hint, such as encouraging them to act quickly and thereby discouraging them from using the longer spell.

He didn't. Why?

Maybe because the team had had plenty of hints and prompts to get as far as they did, such as Treguard reminding them how to respond to finding the bracelet on Level 3. Tim may have felt that the team had got (in Mogdred's words) "quite far enough", introducing watchers to substantial parts of a radically changed dungeon along the way, and that making it easy for them to win would have gone too far. He knew that his job was to entertain watchers.

On Level 3, Helen's team did have a chance. But not, it seems, a 'sporting chance'.
Knightmare: Kid-worthy, Naasty, Inspiring, Groundbreaking, Humorous, Treguard, Mesmerising, Adult-worthy, Rewarding, Essential.
s4t8brett
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Re: BUT spell

Post by s4t8brett »

Good observations as usual, Drassil. I would add that Mogdred arguably gave a further clue when he said, "You are too proud... you ride too high..." especially after Hordriss had described BUT as a humble spell.

But these subtleties of dialogue, it seemed to me, were not so important in Series 1-3 and so in Series 4 you wouldn't necessarily be expecting to have to analyse them and pick up on them; the format was changing somewhat. Also, deciphering important clues from entertaining filler in the heat of the moment is tricky enough sometimes. For example, I tried to write down Mellisandra's strange and confusing directions on our quest but it turned out not to be necessary.

Happy Easter, by the way,
Brett
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Re: BUT spell

Post by Morghanna »

Drassil makes some great points above.
I agree that S4 T1 got a tough deal with these two spells. Tougher than the other teams mentioned. Perhaps because it was deemed undesirable for a series-opening team to win.
Faced with the chief antagonist, who was about to destroy Helen, it seemed logical to cast the spell which had been described as "most powerful" rather than the "most humble" spell. They hardly had a moment to realise that Rachel wouldn't have time to complete the very long "TRANSFORMATION" spell.

As others have stated, i assume that the "BUT" spell would have temporarily stopped Mogdred, causing him to adopt a stance of, "BUT, why should i kill you just yet? I enjoy watching fear, so i shall enjoy watching yours.... >:-] " (Rather like his threats to S2 T3.)

:idea: It seems highly unlikely that this scene with Mogdred was intended to be the final encounter.
The team had barely arrived in level 3. Compare the quests of Dickon and Giles (and even Alastair) and it would appear that Helen & co still had some way to go. Probably the transporter pad puzzle, surely the corridor of blades and Dooreen, before the final quest-object room.
Also, Treguard uses "DISMISS" which was still used for teams who fell early in level 3, (S3 T6, S5 T3) not "UNITE" which was saved for teams who fell at the final hurdle. (S3 T4, S3 T11)

The "TRANSFORMATION" spell might have been intended for use like Dickon's "OPPOSITE" spell, or to transform something into their quest object at the end.
"I think it's about time you got wise to the ways of real magic. The kind that is borne on the dark side." >:D
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Re: BUT spell

Post by Canadanne »

Morghanna wrote: 04 Apr 2021, 19:58 As others have stated, i assume that the "BUT" spell would have temporarily stopped Mogdred, causing him to adopt a stance of, "BUT, why should i kill you just yet? I enjoy watching fear, so i shall enjoy watching yours.... >:-] " (Rather like his threats to S2 T3.)
Perhaps it would have sent Mogdred into a loop of indecision ("But perhaps I should watch you squirm a while longer..." "But then again, why waste any more time?" "But on the other hand..."), and they could either cast the longer spell (if it was meant to be used on him) or simply escape the chamber while he carried on talking to himself.
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Re: BUT spell

Post by Morghanna »

Yes, i like that idea. :)
"I think it's about time you got wise to the ways of real magic. The kind that is borne on the dark side." >:D
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