A Herculean effort courtesy of the godlike Matt Taylor, here is the definitive guide to kicking arse in the world of Moonstone.
Moonstone – A Bestiary (and how to make it unnecessary)
- TAKE YOUR TIME, IT’S NOT WORTH GETTING HIT FOR A RISKY SWING
- ALWAYS KEEP MOVING
- DO NOT RELAX UNTIL YOU KNOW THAT ALL THE ENEMIES ARE DEAD
The Beasts of the Misty Moors
On the rather fertile looking, field-laden plains which are the home of brave Sir Godber, there are three types of nasty creatures to do away with.
These are nasty-looking man things with a real body hair problem. They have an attitude with it, too. Early on in the game they come at you one at a time, which is acceptable, but at later stages start to come in twos and threes which can really take its toll on the old constitution. They have pretty much the same reach as you, and the same swing and overhead attacks, so it’s kind of like fighting the other knights but without the dagger-dodging. Keep towards the centre of the screen so you can see them coming, and move up and down, rather than side to side. Wait until they are drawing level and then swing at them. Personally I like the sideways swing (towards and fire) as a) it’s faster, and b) there’s something extremely satisfying about seeing the hairy buggers fall into two sodden halves.
With multiple enemies your goal (besides killing ’em all) is to avoid getting into the nasty ‘tennis game’ situation. You know the one. There’s two or three of the swine swinging alternately and lucky old you gets caught in the middle. To avoid this, pick one side at a time as your target. Keep moving up and down and bide your time. You’ll notice that they only swing when you change direction – pick one side as your target, and when the trogg behind you takes an overhead swing you have time to swipe your target without fear of an axe in the back. Repeat as necessary, and only swing if you’re sure. The only sideways motion you really need is to make sure your target is in range.
Classic Moonstone gore-fest ahoy!
I hate these bastards. If you can help it at all, get these out of the way before you get so hard that more than one appears at once. You do NOT want one of these behind you. My eyes are watering just thinking about it.
Tactics are pretty much the same as above, only use your thrust move (down-towards and fire) as it’s the only one with the necessary reach, and be more careful, as using the thrust you are slower than they are. Dodge up and down and thrust when they get level.
Guess I shouldn’t have beat up on his buddy…
Trogg War Beasts
These lovechilds of the king of the jungle and the mythical unicorn are speedy, and can leave you really understanding the term ‘chest cavity’ if you aren’t careful. So…
Wait in the middle until you see one run across, and move up or down out of its way. Then move to the side of the screen it’ll be running to next, face where it’ll be coming from and as soon as you see it coming perform an overhead swing. Don’t worry too much about being early with the swing, it’s very forgiving – I’ve killed them as my knight has been retrieving his sword from the ground. And even if you’re a little late and the thing hits you, chances are you’ll still kill it.
Whether you miss or hit, your next move is to return to the centre of the screen so you can dodge it on its way back. Then repeat the process.
A titanic ruck in the cornfields ends on a sharp note for our quest knight
The Creatures of the Forest
The only new creatures here are the rat-men.
Aaah. Small cute furry things. OW! The little Bastard bit me! I’ll kill ‘im!
Okay. Kill ’em then. Here’s how.
First, listen to the game. These things will eat you alive at full moon, so avoid the lairs in the forest like the plague at this time unless you have the corresponding moonstone.
Also, unlike most of the other fights in this game, you want to avoid the middle of the screen unless you really enjoy being garrotted. Hang about in one of the bottom corners instead, and don’t move too much. There, there are three places they’ll attack from.
Behind you – this is the only time in the game I found a use for the backward stab. It works like a dream on these things, though.
In front of you – a simple slash will sort these ones out.
From above – Use your upward stab (Up-towards and fire) as they’re heading downwards. No worries.
A nice gory forest scene for your delectation…
The Wasteland Dwellers
There’s Troggs in them thar hills! Only these guys wield hammers and aren’t afraid to outnumber you. Keep moving, and use standard Trogg tactics.
Who da man? Hammer time!
Also in the hills are the Baloks. They have manes, big teeth, and big feet.
Another monster with the power to crush you in one, if you’re not fast on your feet. Stay well away from the shadows as they leap onto the screen, as flat knights do not make effective warriors. Don’t worry too much about this as they bound about the screen, although it’s definitely a good idea not to get under their feet.
Your best bet for these things is to treat them like Mud-Men. Let them bounce in front of you, then execute a quick chop (I recommend the overhead if you have the time to deliver it as it’s stronger, although sometimes it’s better to use a faster strike) and then get the fuck out. Wait up or down screen (be prepared to dodge if he’s gonna land on you) and swing again. Repeat as necessary.
Now *that* is one right uppercut even Iron Mike would be proud of!
The Soggy Things from the Wetlands
Two new beasts here, and they are evil. Both of them can kill you in one move regardless of your hit points – if you aren’t careful. So BE CAREFUL.
These lanky blue apes are fast, and tend to come two at a time. Their Clubs (and yes, I believe they have earned the capital letter) can turn you into a fairly messy impression of a tin of spam if you don’t keep moving.
Use the same tactics as for the axe-wielding Troggs. Dodge up and down the centre of the screen, and swipe when your chosen target is drawing level. If there’s a troll behind you as well, then wait until he’s done an overhead swing before striking – the thrusts they do take no time at all and he’ll hit you if you’re cocky.
*note* If there’s two trolls on screen, and they both do an overhead swing at the same time while facing each other, the game will crash. If you can, save your state just before the fight. This will stop you going mad.
Oh Holy SHAG!
These scared the living piss out of me the first time I encountered them. If you’re jumpy, turn the sound off – I tried it and it really did help. Don’t get too close, either – they’ll dive on you and that’s it mate. Curtains.
As soon as one jumps up (it’ll do it right in front of you) walk away from it, then move either up or down and wait. As soon as it gets in range, do an overhead swing then walk away and up or down again. Keep this up and always be ready to walk away after one dies – there’s usually five or six of them in a lair.
If you move like that, there’s only one attack they can get you with. They tangle you in root-like hands. If they do this, use your special block (down and fire) and then RUN AWAY again. Do not cock about with these things. It’s not worth losing a life over.
Harrumph – Fraggle Rock was never this violent
Other fights you will have…
There are other fights in the game to have. Some of these are relatively easy (your enemy knights rarely cause much trouble) and the others are a pain in the proverbials.
The Black Knights
Like Troggs really, but not as prolific. Stay out of horizontal line with them to avoid the daggers, and get into a position above or below and slightly in front of them. As they move in, swing and then dodge away. Repeat. You may need to block occasionally, but if you keep dodging you won’t need to worry about much. Plus, you get to behead them after you win which is always nice…
If you can keep your head whilst all about you are losing theirs…
The Guardian of the Valley
Busty, Blustery and blue, this lady is half Siren and half Cyclone. She isn’t that hard, though – at least, not as hard as I was expecting.
The best way of winning this fight, I found, was to use the same tactics as the Baloks and the Mud men. Run away, up (or down) and then an overhead swing. Repeat.
Ha ha! Now I’ve got you *exactly* where I want you, you freaky blue bitch!
The main baddie. He’s Big, Red, Fiery and he’s really fucking HARD.
Thanks to the wonder that is YouTube you can now check out exactly how to slay the dragon in glorious moving image (plus accompanying hard rock soundtrack)
Once again many heartfelt thanks to Matt Taylor for this wonderful piece of work. A true Moonstone knight if there ever was one.