I cannot beat Death - Tips welcomed!

  • Subject line says it all… even with the very excellent guide on the wiki I manage to die every single time I get to Death. At this point I’m pretty much a master at every other part of the game but this just continues to stop me from beating it!

    If anyone has their own tips/tricks/whatevers that might help get me over my rut, please share! Thanks!

    Edit: Immediately after writing this I think I may have figured it out (although I still died, I was waaaay closer than any other run!). Tips still welcome!

  • Tiger Hat

    I’m the one who wrote the current version of the guide and having managed the 0 damage achievement and beaten the game multiple times using multiple equipment combinations (including the infamous Boom Spear), I think I might be able to help.

    So… what part of the fight is giving you problems? In short, what phase kills you? Or do you simply run out of health / get hit too many times during all of the phases combined?

    A description of your problem might help to give you specific hints relevent to you.

  • For a while I was having issues with the two scythe stages. I think your point about remaining clam and collected is really the key. One thing that might make it harder for me is that I -always- use the (golden) axe. IMO is by far the best weapon, but since you really need to bounce it off walls to score good hits, maybe something more rapid-fire is best for Death, although that’s mostly dependent on finding such a thing in the Crypt I guess.

  • Tiger Hat

    The Golden Axe is really overpowered, it’s true though in terms of raw firepower, the Fire Axe and the Assassin’s Blade (with spiky armor set equipped) will deal more damage due to Criticals.

    The big problem of the axes is that to do full damage to enemies, you must stay with your back turned to them, as to hurl axes toward them via trick shots. Death teleport in front of you in phase 1. So I recommend that unless you can time an axe so that Death teleport into it (tricky), focus on being on the defensive for stage 1 and 2. Namely, stay still and do not attempt to attack at all during phase 1 as to keep Death predictable in his teleports. With each teleport, shift your position a bit so the bouncing scythes doesn’t catch you. During phase 2, keep Death in sight and make sure to watch the patterns on his magic circles. If they’re pentagrams, run away as to give yourself room to dodge as it will either be randomly a spread in your direction or five axes all over the room and the distance will give you time to react accordingly. As for the cross and X patterns, focus on predicting their trajectory and staying safe over attacking.

    You’ll want to focus on the offense during phase 3 as this is where Death is really vulnerable. Given you use the Golden Axe, you do not need to really attack at all during the scythe phases due to its sheer firepower ; you’ll do better to wait until the fireball/iceball spiral phase, where he stay still for a long while and is thus vulnerable to the axe. For maximum effect, hug the walls and throw directly into them instead of trying diagonal shots ; a point blank throw from a wall do maximum damage (45 with the Golden Axe).

    Basically, the Death fight rely on you going on the offensive at the right moment ; with a sword, dagger, or other medium/short-range weapons, you want to attack during phase 1. With spears or axes, you want to attack during phase 3. Death is just too unpredictable and screen-filling with his attacks during phase 2 to attack (except for the occasional lucky shot).

    Mostly, be patient and let Death commit mistakes. If you are overly aggressive, Death will destroy you. Instead, let him act and punish him when he drop his guard.

  • Thanks for the tips! I’m going to finally beat the game soon, I can feel it. I’ve probably made at least 30 runs, if not more…

  • LDG

    having managed the 0 damage achievement

    wowwww that is impressive!

    I’m going to finally beat the game soon, I can feel it.

    Yay, congrats! FYI there will be some boss updates coming soon, as well as more content down the road :)

  • @richtaur said:

    updates coming soon

    Speaking of updates… does the game somehow update automatically? I’ve never noticed it doing anything obvious, but I also feel like new things have appeared on a couple occasions…

  • Tiger Hat

    I don’t think it does at the moment but once the Steam builds are done we’ll all be good to go. You know ever since it got Greenlit I’ve not touched it, this is so I can forget as much as possible and rack up 15+ hours when the Steam release comes out. There’s going to be Steam discussions, thumbs up/down reviews, achievements etc. Then we can do speedruns and Youtube videos etc.

    EDIT: Hey @Mew do you have any screen capturing software? You could be the early champion.

  • LDG

    @CrsBenjamin said:

    does the game somehow update automatically?

    A message should appear on the title screen when a new version is available. Though we’ve been doing a ton of work on the game, we haven’t pushed any of it yet. We’re going to do more dev and a few rounds with beta testers first. Sooo many changes!

    Steam builds

    Yah I think for Steam users, Steam will just take care of that for you.

  • Tiger Hat

    @Affordable_Desk :
    I don’t have screencapture but taking a screenshot while playing the game did the job pretty well.

    So here goes, 100% completion proof. The ‘All clear’ screen showing I took no damage + the achievement list showing I indeed did said no damage run.
    Completion proof

    @richtaur :
    Ha, so automatic updates? I take it that you’ll post an announcement when the next version is ready?

  • Tiger Hat

    @Mew said:

    I don’t have screencapture but taking a screenshot while playing the game did the job pretty well.

    So here goes, 100% completion proof. The ‘All clear’ screen showing I took no damage + the achievement list showing I indeed did said no damage run.

    Shame, I’ve got screen and game audio capture down but instead of actually using my Easter weekend to get my home ready for my move (now I have to cram the whole process into tomorrow) I’ve been trying to get this bloody Snowball iCE Microphone to work on Windows 8.1. I’ve given up and emailed support asking if they have a solution but assuming the answer will be no (also known as “please make sure you have the latest chipset installed”) I’ll have to toss it.

    That’s pretty cool that you got the 15 minute achievement as well as the no damage one on the same run. I hope we see even more achievements come Steam time, I’m holding out hope for a die on the first monster without hitting anyone and then complete in death mode achievement (except with a catchier name). Do you use keyboard or gamepad @Mew?

  • Tiger Hat

    I actually got the 15 minutes achievement a lot earlier than on this run ; finishing the game in 15 minutes might seem like a steep feat at first but become much easier once you get to really know the game.

    A large part of why I’m unhappy with the news of many monsters getting their HP nerfed (in particular, Angry Owls, Fire Elementals, and the Zombie Overlord) is that how long those fights take is REALLY relient upon your skills and weapon line-up. Using the Fire Axe, Assassin’s Blade, and the Boom Spear, I can blitz most enemies and bosses so quickly that they can barely get their pattern to loop (if I get lucky criticals with the Fire Axe/Assassin’s Blade and point-blank the boss, I can kill the Zombie Overlord within a minute). Once you recognize how the game works and know how to counter each monster type and how to ‘control’ each room, you can clear them insanely quickly with little to no risk.

    The hardest achievements are definitely the survival ones more than the time one ; once you know how to beat monsters quickly, there isn’t any room in the game that should take longer than two minutes-long to clear. The big, major obstacles for getting a no damage run are, in order of appearance:
    -Cemetary, the ‘horde of zombies + grave robbers’ room (extremely easy to get surrounded with no hope of avoiding damage. Very easy to get too distracted by the zombies and get sniped by the grave robbers. Become exponentially worse if maneaters and green goblins also spawn)
    -Cemetary, Zombie Overlord boss fight (he’s probably where over 80% of my no-damage runs ended. Beating him is no problem. Beating him without him tagging you at least once with his ‘spinning mace while running around’ attack is another)
    -Forest, Werewolf Ambush boss (the Forest as a whole is painful to no-damage but this room is most definitely the hardest in the entire game to do with no damage ; it’s worth avoiding the Forest on no-damage rooms because of this fight alone)
    -Sewer, H-shaped sewer river room (offer no cover from eyes sniping at you, often start you in one of the openings with baddies charging from close quarters)
    -Sewer, Sewer Hag boss (if the mushrooms spawn all over the place instead of clustering, it can ruin your run)
    -Den of Thieves, maces & arrows rooms (usually, the rooms with less explosives and more arrow traps are a mercy in this level since the arrow traps, though really hard to avoid especially when they appear off-screen or near safe spots, do little damage. When doing no damage runs, those rooms suddenly become a reason to avoid the Den of Thieves on no-damage runs)
    -Crypt, large ‘random’ rooms (off-screen arrow traps that you walk into was what ended almost all of my no-damage runs that the Zombie Overlord and Sewer Hag did not end)
    -Crypt, Resurrection Room (if it spawn a lot of Fire Elementals mixed with Cockatrices, this can end up nearly nigh-impossible without taking damage)
    -Crypt, Moto’s prison room (like the Resurrection Room but with little to no space and traps. Fire Elementals less deadly though)

    Surprisingly, Death is not the big problem with clearing the Crypt without taking damage ; for all of him being a great boss, he’s really not final boss material and really show it quite badly once you master the game. The big problem is that if he spawn in an intersection instead of leading only to the exit room, the ‘incorrect’ exit will almost always lead you to Moto’s prison room, which is an absolute hell to clear without taking damage (and is actually, alongside with a Resurrection Room filled with Fire Elementals, probably the single deadliest room configuration in the game).

    Generally, I found that if you want to clear the game quickly, the best tools are the Fire Axe, Assassin’s Blade, and surprisingly, the Boom Spear. All of them are very difficult to use correctly but give incredibly payoffs when used correctly ; the Fire Axe is awkward to use, being an axe but has the single highest ‘per hit’ damage ratio for any weapon in the game. The Assassin’s Blade, if you get lucky with damage-boosting armor spawns, can out-damage even the Fire Axe with none of the trick shot requrements. The Boom Spear, meanwhile, is excellent for most of the problematic rooms when handled correctly and bosses not having immunity to its blast effect, it absolutely shred them (the problem is that the Boom Spear is awkward in small corridors and other ‘mundane’ rooms).

    Although the Assassin’s Blade is definitely the single most destructive weapon in the game, its low range and requirement on attack-boosting armor to reach maximum potential made me favor the Fire Axe over it for survival runs. The Boom Spear allow one to defeat Fire Elementals and crowds of otherwise insanely dangerous enemies very easily but is too risky for narrow halls. The Fire Axe’s sheer power and its ability to bounce made it, to me, the go-to for survival runs (in particular, many of the more dangerous rooms can be cleared by hiding in a corner or small hall and then bouncing the axes off the walls to snipe at the foes. Only a few enemies are smart enough to try to go around the wall rather than through to get at you. Also allow to get rid of mushrooms safely in the otherwise insanely dangerous Mushroom Room in the Sewer).

    Oh and by the way… I play using the keyboard.

    EDIT: Hmmm… wondering if I should write & post a ‘no-damage run’ guide in a separate thread…

  • I really want to play this again now, it’d be so cool if they’d allow a submission to Speed Demos Archive, I’m still going to wait for Steam release because I’m getting closer and closer to cracking an Ittle Dew speedrun that’s taken up all my muscle memory. I definitely tried it once or twice on release night just to see how things went and I did make it to Death and understandably being first time and all I did find him hard and died, a couple of days later I played one more time because I wanted to find out what the hell was in the blue and red chests I didn’t get to look at. Did you see the version they gave out for streaming and review just before release? There was a version that I always wanted to play they gave it to one of the streamers, but basically it had this version of death that just kept hilariously spam-summoning Minotaurs and Cyclops from his throne and the streamer’s like “what the hell how do I do this!!”, I’ve got to find that video actually…done.. Whoa never noticed at the time but the streamer was actually green9090, I used to watch his Binding of Isaac vs matches with Zen all the time he’s great I can’t believe it was him that got spam-death, I’ve browsed around and found that he actually did a vs Zen with Wizard’s Lizard!, definitely watching that one.

    Outside of that not touched it but I do remember my favourite room in the whole game is not on your room list (unless they removed it after the Beta) and I’d like to nominate it because beating it with axe is not to be recommended (even fire). Green Zombie and Oil Drum room (sewer), you’re hemmed in with oil drums and the Zombie horde squeezes through a gap in the oil drums, you have to pepper them with daggers or any top-speed weapon and then move out of the way and knock an escape hole in the oil drums and get through that hole and repeat the process, it’s not typically a no-damage room for first-timers. I play with keyboard too because I can’t actually fire 45 degrees diagonally with my Xbox360 controller and 45 degree angle is the only way I’d take on an eyeball. It’s just really cool to see someone play it to death after the beta and understand the mechanics and pick it apart.

  • Tiger Hat

    I didn’t really get to see it ; I found that the game existed when Zeta of ZetaPlays played the game for the first time on his channel and then, I decided to give it a try. I did search for the betas a bit when I heard of the game’s rather interesting development history but didn’t really search for streams in particular.

    The room you mention still exist in the current version and isn’t in the problematic room list. It’s usually a pretty difficult room but with the Fire Axe, Assassin’s Blade, and Boom Spear, you can actually shoot through one of the openings and kill all of the zombies before they can get to you without a need to create an escape route. It’s indeed one of the most frantic rooms if you don’t have those weapons, though. As for the eyeballs, my strategy is a bit different and based off my experience as an oldschool Doom player ; I treat them the same way I treat Archviles. Namely, I locate convenient cover, hide behind it, pop out to take a couple of shots at them. When I see or hear them charging up for their spread shot attack, I hide behind the cover and wait for the attack to go off. Rinse and repeat. It takes a bit longer than strafing them diagonally but I found it more reliable as due to their attack’s sheer range and speed, avoiding it is difficult even from extreme range and trying to strafe them diagonally tend to run the risk of you running into the range of sewer pipes or wandering in range of Muck Monsters.

    I’m glad you find it pretty cool. As mentionned in my previous post, actually thinking of writing down and posting my full analysis of the game/making an in-depth guide. Will eventually get to it (must fill out the ‘Rooms’ section of the wiki + make the no-damage guide) but it’s not a priority for now.

    EDIT: Watched the video… and initially didn’t realize why the fourth attack was removed until I realized it both had the ‘spawn in a corner’ bug and was rather exploitable (players leaving one foe alive as to prevent Death from using his other attacks). If an attack like this is re-introduced, I think it would be better if the attack was timed (Death automatically switch to his other patterns after a set amount of time) and of course, if the ‘spawn in a corner’ bug was corrected.

  • LDG

    @Mew said:

    @richtaur :
    Ha, so automatic updates? I take it that you’ll post an announcement when the next version is ready?

    On Steam I think so, but not outside of Steam. It’s just a notification that you can go download the new version. Cuz we’re PRO like that :P Auto-updating sounds cool but will take some time to implement.

    Really fascinating to read your strategies :D

    One major change that might affect speed runs are puzzle rooms. Players have to step on the correct patterns of pressure plates to open the doors. Zelda-style!

  • Tiger Hat

    @richtaur :
    Glad you think so! And interesting on the updates.

    I really look forward to the new puzzle rooms ; as I’ve mentionned many times before, the two main defining traits of A Wizard’s Lizard that make it different from the usual roguelike are the death mechanic and the emphasis on puzzles instead of just monster layouts. Some of the most interesting points in the game are the graveyard puzzle, the Spirit Block side-quest, and the various Gelatin Cube optionnal mid-bosses. So I definitely welcome more puzzle rooms in the game.

    I’m definitely looking forward to discovering what other new stuff (and fixes) you’ll implement in the next version.

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