Saturday, March 30, 2013

9th Colossus

The land where trees nary grow... 
It sleeps in a dry lake bed...
A rude awakening.

Developer Name: Tortoise
Fan Name: Basaran (Nimbus Recanto) - Storm Echo
Location Name: Geyser
Map Reference: D3

Colossus 9 Hints
- The power of the earth shall shake even a colossus...
- Aim for the legs that support the body of the floating colossus...

Before the battle - a dark shape can be seen lurking inside the cave

You can see the ominous clouds of this colossi's area from the Shrine of Worship (below). Look north and you will see a huge plume of clouds blocking out the sky in that direction, so before you even have to fight this colossus you can tell there is something sinister about this place.

Head for the dark cloud on the horizon

Foreboding wilderness obscured in darkness

And when you arrive there it is clear why, the landscape is dotted with geysers that spew out torrents of boiling hot streams of water that mushroom into misty clouds of water vapour. The area certainly is a wasteland with just a few dead trees at the mouth of the cave.

You arrive at a wasteland of geysers and ash

Cave where the colossus awaits (I've lightened this shot)

Different designs of the turtle colossus from the art book

Early design of the tortoise from the NICO dvd (retouched)

Basaran Before Activation
Who knows how long Basaran had lain here in suspended animation until Wander arrived? Centuries? Millennia? Unmoving in it's dark cave as the eons rolled by in the lands outside the forbidden realm. In any case Wander's intrusion has roused it from its long sleep and it's not happy about it - not happy at all!

Basaran before activation

The waking giant

When Basaran wakes up, the ground shakes and rocks are dislodged from the roof of the cave. These rocks are interactive objects (like the trees Basaran knocks over) so when I turn off the background textures you can see them clearly. In fact I can make Wander stand on these rocks before the colossus is activated.

10 rocks that fall when Basaran wakes up

Here we see the rocks, trees and Basaran with background textures turned off

The colossal armoured quadraped

In a bad mood

Exploring Basaran's Lair
The first thing I did once I learned the jump hack was to get up onto the top of the cave. From there I could move further up and then behind the cave into an area few had seen. 

Top of cave - a few dead trees still linger here on the bare rock

Top of cave panned out - a large area

Higher up on cave

Although Wander can walk here he is drawn inexorably downwards by the invisible walls, but again, it's strange that this area is solid in the first place. Most games have no collision detection at places you are never meant to visit, but this game is unique as most off limits areas are still walkable.

Back of cave

Wander stands alone on the ancient stone

Back of cave panned out

End of the line - Wander gets stuck in an invisible crevice

Heading east  you follow a line of forked trees

You can get stuck in this cleft

Top of the mountains at eastern most point

High above east side crevice

 High above east side crevice (lightened)

Eastern cliffs

View of the four geysers from the eastern cliffs

Behind the cave video here:

Boundary Crevices
On either side of the plain of geysers are two deep crevices, natural fissures to keep the colossus from ever escaping. It may look like the colossus could just step over these crevices, but looks are deceiving...

Wander looking down into the deep chasm

At its most narrow point the east side crevice is only 12 metres wide but the far side is uplifted so I think Basaran would have a real problem stepping over the gap. In fact it would have to jump over and risk falling in which might explain why it avoids these areas.

It's the same with the west side crevice, they are almost mirror images of each other. Although in theory Basaran could raise itself up on its back legs and bridge the gap, I think the chasm is wide enough to make it think twice and not take the risk. We also have to take into consideration the idea that the colossi somehow 'know' at some level they must not leave their respective lairs as the reason they are there is to protect the part of Dormin's soul that they guard. Some deep innate knowledge keeps them land locked.

Basaran is also too wide to cross the narrow earth bridges. You can see from the image below that its legs do not fit over the bridge. I moved Basaran here manually to prove this. Its feet would slide down both sides of the bridge and it would be stuck there.

Bridge too narrow to hold Basaran

Launch Area
You can launch from Agro from the west side crevice to a small ledge and also onto the cliffs just above the ledge (it was Electronstowaves who first did this). Once on the ledge there appears to be a hidden cave in the wall but as you approach it Wander sinks down under the ground texture and can't go any further. The cave is nothing more than a dark wall texture next to a lighter one.

Launch area with ledge (on left)

On ledge after launch

What looks like a cave...

but it's just an illusion of the rocks

Above ledge on west side cliffs

You can't go very far here before falling into the void

Check out Electronstowaves video here:

Although it is possible to climb onto Basaran without using the geysers to tip it over (again via Agro launching), they are the main feature of this area. There are four geysers arranged in a circular pattern in the centre of the arena although there used to be seven which you can still see in the OPM demo. If you approach a geyser Wander or Agro will be violently thrown back by the force but it's not life threatening.

Seven geysers in the OPM demo

The powerful jet of water can tip over the colossus

Here I have turned off the geysers

Geyser from beneath the ground

Basaran Outside it's Lair
I first warped Basaran way south outside it's area (somewhere in D4) and noticed it immediately started walking back. The colossi are programmed to return once they have been moved outside so I jumped up onto the mountains and watched it return.

I then jumped down to ground level in the hopes of fighting it outside, but it ignored Wander and continued on its way back. It seems the colossi will only fight Wander in their native area, outside is off limits.

See video here:

Next I moved Basaran south, this time out the front of Barba's temple (#6). When it's so far away from it's native area there is no collision detection so I have to keep adjusting it's gravity code up and down so that it appears to be walking on solid ground.

Basaran outside Barba's temple

Here it is after death

At 13's desert - notice part of it's tail and feet are under the sand

After I had killed it (using the kill code) I moved it down under the surface slightly so it looked like an ancient ruin that had been there for centuries, overgrown with vegetation.

An ancient colossal ruin

See video here:

Basaran's Lake
In the Preview version there is water in the cave forming what looks like a small lake, a very small lake as it's only a few feet deep. Dormin's description of the area is also modified from the original 'It sleeps at the bottom of the lake...' instead of 'It sleeps in a dry lake bed'. So the lake was originally planned for this area even though it serves no purpose to the battle. 

There's no way to scale the colossus from the lake and Basaran can't seem to attack Wander either. If you stay in the lake you keep Basaran away from the geysers which is probably why they removed the water.

Other Hacks
I found these weird codes that make Basaran float around on its side or turn upside down. It's very strange the way it moves around like this. I also got Basaran on top of it's cave and increased and decreased it size.

Basaran upside down

Basaran floating on its side

Basaran on top of its cave

Mini Basaran - at just 10% of its original size

When mini Basaran stamps it's the same as regular Basaran

Mega Basaran at twice its size

Twice as dangerous!

Basaran Death Screen
Image you see when Wander dies during the fight with Basaran.