Series 4 Episode 3

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Re:Series 4 Episode 3

Post by Malefact » Fri Feb 10, 2006 8:47 pm

I wonder if BUT would have caused Mogdred to say something like "but, then again, perhaps I shall observe your fear a little longer!" and retract the sword, before leaving.
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Transformation/But

Post by AriadnesLayer » Sat May 10, 2008 1:10 pm

I haven't seen the full quest, just the clip on the site, but this has always bugged me.

The death caused by choosing a spell that took too long to spell out was, in my opinion, extremely unfair.

It had never been done before (or since), and unlike other advice such as "choose the right hand path", it was never told to teams. So how on earth could they have known that the length of a spell was a factor to be taken into consideration?

It's certainly not something that would ever occur to me if I had been in their shoes.

...Especially as in countless other quests, villains who are about exact death upon a dungeoneer noticably stand by and WAIT for the dungeoneer to cast the spell.

Furthermore, the team in S5 who defeated Aesandre found themselves in an almost identical situation, and had two spells - FIRE and FREEZE - to choose from as Aesandre towered before them about to unleash her wrath. THEY chose the longer spell, but weren't punished because of it (and let's remember that with TRANSFORMATION and BUT, the team had specifically been told that the first was the powerful spell, and the latter was not). What if the series 5 team had chosen FIRE, and died, but then complained to Tim Child that they were only following the example set by the show, of choosing the shorter spell?

My complaint is, how on earth is anyone, let alone a small child, supposed to know when ambiguous rules like this come into play, and when they don't?
Last edited by Anonymous on Sat May 10, 2008 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re:Transformation/But

Post by Drassil » Sat May 10, 2008 3:55 pm

Making comparisons between different quests in different series is sometimes unfair. 'FIRE or FREEZE?' was not a length-based puzzle; it was about the team remembering Hordriss' clues (one spell frees the quest object, the other defeats Aesandre - rather a giveaway, since compared to burning, how likely would freezing be to release anything?) and not being deceived by Aesandre's metaphor ("fight fire with fire"). And with FREEZE being only two letters longer than FIRE, length isn't really an issue in my opinion.

However, making comparisons between different quests in the same series is often less unfair, and here, as they say, is one I made earlier:
Drassil wrote: The spell choice facing Dickon's team a few quests later - FIRE or OPPOSITE against Malice - was arguably more straightforward.
In short, I agree that Helen's team seemed to get a raw deal in the harshness of their Final Encounter. But for all we know, there were other behind-the-scenes factors involved that made it justified and 'balanced things out'. For example, bear in mind that Helen's team got all the way to the Final Encounter without facing either the Transporter Pad puzzle or the Corridor of Blades, both of which Dickon's team had to negotiate.
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Re:Transformation/But

Post by HStorm » Sat May 10, 2008 5:01 pm

It might have been fairer had the effects of the BUT spell been made clear beforehand; we can still only speculate even today on exactly what it was meant to do. Had the team been informed, it might have given them a clue. In the event, the only clue they got was that TRANSFORMATION was more powerful, so it stands to reason that they plumped for it in confrontation with the arch-super-villain of the entire Dungeon.

Alternatively, maybe they could have been allowed to find a scroll with a cryptic clue on it in the bridge cavern, just before Mogdred first appeared? "The best spells come in small packages" for instance.
villains who are about to exact death upon a dungeoneer noticeably stand by and WAIT for the dungeoneer to cast the spell.
That was probably the worst way in which the series would, in effect, break the fourth wall, especially given how frequently it would happen, and how static the action would become. In that respect at least, Helen's death-scene is rather refreshing. But it was still very unfair.
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Re:Transformation/But

Post by sozboz » Sun May 11, 2008 9:38 am

They were in thrall to his Mogredian dark charisma. That is, they were just slow on the draw - they should have been getting ready to spellcast as soon as they saw him and that sword ( a bit slow on the crumbling walkway just before too). Obviously that's easy to say watching it back.

It was tough but I think it was necessary to protect the main villain, and to preserve the mystique of 'level 3'. As the show's top enemy it would have compromised his character and by extension the programme to let him be defeated too easily whereas by contrast giving him a really harsh kill like this it makes him look like a real bad ass. Ideally the young audience are watching with suspended disbelief and are left with the impression 'wow, Mogdred doesn't mess around - he'is really hard to beat' rather than 'wow, the producers are gits who won't let anyone win'.

The team's chance to decide what to do may have been when he was making his big speech about how he was going to kill them, but Woodnut is so awesome in the role they could only watch and listen.
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Re:Transformation/But

Post by knightmaredave » Sun May 11, 2008 11:15 am

I do believe this was a very unfair death but think they died for 2 reasons.
1. if u saw mogdred would you wait to cast a spell oif he turned up in person especially with the old flashing sword appearing.
2. Team onhe always had it quite hard, so who knows first teamd bad luck i suppose
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Re:Transformation/But

Post by 123Pooka » Mon May 12, 2008 6:36 pm

I wonder, if the shorter spell had been made more obvious that it was defensive, would that have made a difference to their choice? Suppose it was 'block' or 'shield'. I think 'but' was pretty cryptic and the team went for something which they felt they could apply more easily to the situation. BUT, haha ::), I guess then there is the issue that the choice is made far too easy.

HStorm is probably about right with the scroll idea. My idea would be to produce a paradoxical clue - say for example: 'You could transform yourself later but wait a little while first' or words to that effect. Then it's still a difficult level 3 spell choice but the emphasis on 'but', if paid attention to, would allow them to use BUT on mogdred and then choose to use transformation later on in the level ;).

To sum up my thoughts, I think that although they were ill fated by bad luck, they might have got the blades afterwards - and would she have been lucky to survive that, especially as it would have been their first appearance.
Last edited by 123Pooka on Mon May 12, 2008 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re:Transformation/But

Post by Pooka » Wed May 14, 2008 7:26 pm

I would have tried to cast TRANSFORMATION - I mean, a clear final encounter with the main 'baddie', what would you have done?
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Re:Transformation/But

Post by Mystara » Tue May 20, 2008 8:13 am

My instinct would also have been to go for the longer transformation spell. Same logic - you want to use the powerful spell on the powerful opponent.

That said, when the spells were given, I remember thinking "But...as in "but" or as in the "butt" of a sword?"

It seems unfair, given that they weren't really given any clue. But perhaps the dev team made a mistake? I mean, if they hadn't prepared a response to "transformation" being cast, they were buggered. Even if they had a suitable response ready and the "transformation" spell was needed later on then they would only be prolonging the life of the team so they could die later on.

As always, we just don't know what was cut or what was planned. Maybe the dev team was upset with them. Maybe the players needed to go home in an emergency...maybe they did something utterly stupid that we didn't get to see. The only thing we know is the explanation of the death seems unfair :)
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Re: Series 4 Episode 3

Post by FaveWorstKnightmare » Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:45 pm

I hereby request to the Court Of Knightmare that the death of Helen be reviewed upon appeal and that she should be posthumously excused.

The Defence has just rewatched the evidence of the episode on youtube and presents the following case:

The team were given two spells by a Mr. Hordriss The Confuser, namely Transformation and But, and the crucial point in the Defendant's case is this:
The Transformation spell was descibed as "most powerful" and the But spell as "quite humble".

When Helen was then faced with the arch villain of the piece, a Mr. Mogdred, a spectral sword was hurled towards them. Helen's advisors naturally called upon the "most powerful" spell of Transormation. Nevertheless, they were killed by the sword, the aforementioned Mr. Mogdred stating the words "too slow, too slow". Following the killing, the Dungeon Master, a Mister Treguard, told Helen's advisors "Too long team, your magic was too long. What you needed here was the shorter spell".

However, at no point in their quest were this team given any kind of clue that the But spell was the spell they should have used. The Prosection's case of the death being justified on account of slow spellcasting does not stand up, on the basis that they were poorly advised by Mr. Hordiss The Confuser.

I rest my case.

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Re: Series 4 Episode 3

Post by Canadanne » Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:41 pm

If we had a forum medal for brilliant individual posts, I would nominate the above! ;D

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Re: Series 4 Episode 3

Post by FaveWorstKnightmare » Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:05 pm

Thanks Canadanne, however no personal glory necessary. I just wish to see justice finally prevail for innocent Dungeoneers after all these years. After all, they were wearing the Helmet Of Justica at the time.

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Re: Series 4 Episode 3

Post by Strike » Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:31 am

Just watched episode 3 but will rematch just to catch graffiti on wall. :)

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Re: Series 4 Episode 3

Post by Morghanna » Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:10 pm

Two very contentious points in this memorable episode. :-/
Team 1 entered level 3 and in the first room found the bracelet requested by Hordriss. They summoned him and in gratitude he gifted them two spells:
One was most powerful: "TRANSFORMATION", the other was quite humble: "BUT".
Next-up was a precarious bridge over a chasm. A vision of Mogdred appeared and asked them to pledge to him. They firmly refused and the bridge began to collapse, but they moved Helen across to exit safely.
In the next room Mogdred appeared again, to destroy them in person. They decided to use their most powerful magic to counter him, but before advisor Rachel could complete the lengthy "TRANSFORMATION" spell, Mogdred gloated, "Too slow!" and destroyed Helen with a spectral sword. :'(
Treguard told them that they should have used the shorter spell "BUT".

It was a really harsh ending for team 1 as they were a very good team and seemed to be going along well. (Rather reminiscent of Jamie in S2 or Cliff in S3.)
It felt rather like Hordriss' description of the spells had wrong-footed them. Faced by a malevolent sorcerer, it seemed logical that they would use their most powerful magic, not a humble spell. They had little time to realise that they wouldn't be able to complete the longer spell.
:idea: At a guess, "BUT" would have blocked Mogdred's sorcery and caused him to retreat, leaving them the longer spell for much later, at the end of level 3, to somehow complete their quest.

Team 2 started with a bang! 8-o
Alastair stepped from the spindizzy onto the pathway for the shield and seemed to fall off (onto the studio floor) but is allowed to continue.
I think this is an awkward opening room anyway. The pathways leading off are very narrow, leaving little room for error. Several things occurred to me:
1. Alastair's advisors told him to step off too late. He was never gonna land on the pathway safely.
2. I am convinced that the spindizzy is revolving faster than it did for team 1. Watch both clips and you will see what i mean. (I can't imagine why they would alter it tho.)
3. As they clearly received a first-room let-off, surely they would have just done another take. Why leave in such an obvious howler? (Unless this was the retake! ;D )

After their crazy start, team 2 settled down and made steady progress. They passed Dooris with no problems.
In the next room something was clearly out of place. A sorceress wearing an ornate hood and flowing black robes. It looked like Morghanna! >:D But surely not! She was the dark queen of level 3, found in the shadows, not someone who appeared openly in level 1.
It turned out that this lady was a new sorceress (who had shamelessly copied Morghanna's fashion sense) with the calling name of Merris. She offered them a pact to retrieve for her a green gem (last seen in the possession of Julie before she was terminated by goblins) in exchange for her assistance. She also left them in no doubts about her power and the consequences for them if they failed her!
In exchange they received the eye-shield.
Next encounter was with Bother Mace, who offered them advice on the path forward. He departed just as the bell sounded.
"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: Series 4 Episode 3

Post by JamesA » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:29 pm

Morghanna wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:10 pm
2. I am convinced that the spindizzy is revolving faster than it did for team 1. Watch both clips and you will see what i mean. (I can't imagine why they would alter it tho.)

Having now watched both of these clips side by side, the spindizzy in team 2's quest does indeed go round a fraction quicker compared to when team 1 faced it.

Well done Morghanna, another excellent observation... I'm learning new details of the smaller, minor aspects that happened throughout the show which I hadn't previously picked up on after all these years.
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