The Greatest Punch Wizard

Male protagonist, in the Hall for bold and athletic boys.
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Spandex Faffy
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Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:29 am

The Greatest Punch Wizard

#1 Post by Spandex Faffy » Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:19 am

So I was starting my second playthrough of Wolf Hall (a great game, thank you Hanako and Spiky). I remembered a challenge I did with a friend back in Horse Hall, the magic isn't real challenge, Mary Sue or whatever we called our Horse Hall hero punched all her problems away. We dated Ellen because she also thinks that magic is fake as hell and that we should do Science instead. We tanked all of the damaging tests and even ran past the Hodag somehow completing the year with a pretty neutral merit count (it pays to be friends with Donald).

So I tried this challenge again in the new Wolf Hall game, why not. Enter Kane Bergen, worlds greatest Punch Wizard. What is the point of learning pentachromatic magic when I am just gonna go home anyway. Long story short I dated Barbara because you have to do this challenge with a Wildseed and I had already dated Ellen first time around. I was able to complete 25% of the tests without a single spell (I deliberately failed the first test). Turns out that your character is completely redundant in the last test and your exam mates would have been fine without you as I passed the last exam without any issue. I have attached the yearbook entry below as proof of my dubious acomplishment.

http://yearbook.spikycaterpillar.com/?c=h328214

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Spandex Faffy
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Re: The Greatest Punch Wizard

#2 Post by Spandex Faffy » Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:48 am

I just had an idea and went back for some testing, turns out you can also do exam 7 without any magic (I cast breeze a bunch of times to save health but I could have acheived the same effect by keeping my smarts to about 21)

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Gotas
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Re: The Greatest Punch Wizard

#3 Post by Gotas » Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:17 am

Alright, you inspired me. http://yearbook.spikycaterpillar.com/?c=h328338
Bob likes the gym. He only likes the gym. Any time he could choose gym as an activity, he did. No studying magic, no getting smart, no sleeping (he makes up for it by having lunch at the mall every weekend). I'm not sure what Ellen sees in him, and Grabiner is totally right to say "I cannot imagine what purpose you find in attending a school of magic and not troubling yourself to study it." Somehow, Bob's grades are surprisingly decent.

It turns out that even without ever gaining a single point of smarts or taking a single magic class outside the breadth requirement for first week, you can still make it through every exam except for the third one. And the only times you need spells are for the first exam and from your hallmates on the final. Unfortunately, Potsdam refuses to count a bunch of your successes because she thinks you're supposed to use spells or something. At least you get an achievement for it.

Summary of my strategies.
Exam 1:
You're very limited in what you can do in the dark, so I don't see any way out of this without casting spells twice. If you don't want to have more magic on your hands than necessary, you can wander in the dark until you touch vines, then cast a single light spell, followed by inspection to learn about the secret button.

Exam 2:
If you've spent all your time in the gym you easily have the 41 HP you need to just tank the gas twice.

Exam 3:
There doesn't seem to be any way you can cross the pit, and while inspection let's you find the teleport circle, you don't have any spell that let's you use it. This seems to be the one exam that a student who never studies magic cannot pass. Which is very ironic, because it's the one exam that Ellen passes without using magic. (I tried examining the teleport circle like 20 times in a row to see if there's a way to brute force it like she did, but that doesn't seem to be an option)

Exam 4:
This one is pretty straightforward. Open the gates with the switches, wander through the darkness, tank all the monster's hits with your massive HP.

Exam 5:
This was the most hilarious one to play, and I was a little worried that my HP wouldn't be enough. With no investment in smarts, and no communication spell, you're too dumb to befriend the dog, so you just have to walk across the lave, taking damage both ways, tank the lightning damage from the trap, and then tank the hits from the ghost dog on your way back. With maxed out HP, however, you actually can do all that (who knew that going to the gym let you walk on lava and get struck by lightning).

Exam 6:
I believe that this one requires getting lucky (or savescumming like me), because if the toad gets lucky and finds the cup the first path he checks you'll never catch him. Basically I just wandered around until I found the gate, then camped there and waited for the frog to open it for me, then ran through and won.

Exam 7:
With 20 MP and 100 HP you just shrug off the purple trap. My experience was that if I just opened the gate, the Mothmen would move into the tile between the two of them and then get at least three hits each in on the red monkey and kill him. I think that if you were lucky enough you could just get damage rolls where he tanks all the hits. What I ended up doing instead, though, was intentionally waking the mothmen up so that they would move into the tile directly in front of the gate and only get two chance to hit the monkey before deciding that I was a more convenient target. With maxed out HP, you can easily tank them both until the little guy makes it back to his friends.

For some reason, Potsdam still gives you merits for passing this exam, even if you never cast a spell. I guess that's maybe because the point of this test was somewhat the downsides of your magic abilities?

Final Exam:
Interestingly, the biggest danger I found here is that the jelly drops you bellow 10 MP, preventing you from activating the crystal (when you only have 20 MP, it doesn't take much even if you're not casting spells). You can use Luke's track scent to try to make sure you don't run into the Hodag, then once you find the jelly, case Truesight, followed by Poison and Teleport other. Move him far enough away that by the time you get there he's already dead from poison). This way the jelly gets three hits on you (one when you first meet him, one while you're casting Truesight, and one while you're poisoning/teleporting him). As long as all three don't hit you, you're probably okay. You could reduce him to two hits by having Donald cast Truesight every step, just in case the jelly is there, but then there's a risk of Donald running out of MP. (although I haven't actually tested what the range on Track Scent is. Maybe you can predict exactly where the jelly will be?).

So yeah, in summary, with a little bit of luck, you can complete 75% of the exams without every casting a spell.

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Spandex Faffy
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Re: The Greatest Punch Wizard

#4 Post by Spandex Faffy » Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:15 am

I need to do some testing, do we think it is possible to gain enough merits to win the game while only sleeping? Have only done 2 playthroughs so I don't know all the ways of gaining merits outside of exams, any clues or outright spoilers for me or should I try to find out myself?

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Gotas
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Re: The Greatest Punch Wizard

#5 Post by Gotas » Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:11 am

Spandex Faffy wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:15 am
I need to do some testing, do we think it is possible to gain enough merits to win the game while only sleeping? Have only done 2 playthroughs so I don't know all the ways of gaining merits outside of exams, any clues or outright spoilers for me or should I try to find out myself?
I haven't tested it, but I think that even on a sleeping-only playthrough, you should still be able to pass half of the exams (and in fact, you might do better than the no-magic playthrough, since you can just cast a single breeze or something to make sure you don't miss out on the merits the exams you complete). In particular, you should still be able to pass exams 1,4,6, and 8 using the same strategies I outlined above (although you might need to get lucky with the darkness on exam 4 to avoid taking hits from the monster. I don't remember how much damage it deals).

If you only fail 4 exams total, your demerits shouldn't ever drop below -40, and you need -50 to get kicked out. Considering the +20 points from the four exams you pass, plus the 10 merits from the gardening (which I think just requires not making William hate you in the first couple weeks) you should be completely fine. I know that if you study in the library shortly before the Fall fundraiser, you can Donald to invite you to help make candles for merits, but I'm not sure if there's a way to get that with never studying (including on weekends).

If a sleeping-only run is possible, it would be interesting to ask if you can actually complete it with positive merits (or at least with no demerits). I haven't bothered to do a demerit heavy run, but I remember that in the first game there were some merit granting events that only triggered if you had demerits, so there may be more ways to gain merits that I've missed.

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Gotas
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Re: The Greatest Punch Wizard

#6 Post by Gotas » Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:18 am

Testing reveals that you can indeed beat exam 4 with base stats. I actually learned exactly how darkness works, thanks to finally asking Minnie for exam help (on my sixth playthrough, after I already know how to pass all the exams perfectly :P ). Apparently the effect is just that when you try to turn, you end up facing in a random direction (which explains how I was always able to walk right through the exam 7 darkness). That means you have a 50% chance of getting through the exam 4 darkness without accidentally backtracking, and if you do, then the blade beast doesn't catch up to you until you flip the switch for the final gate, at which point you're only two spaces away from the exit, so he doesn't have time to kill you before you get out, even at base HP.

Also, it turns out that you can pass exam 7 with base stats too. I spent all my mana casting spirit sense so I could walk through the purple light harmlessly, and then did the same "intentionally wake up the mothmen" strategy so that they'd move to the square in front of the cell when I flipped the switch and only get two hits on the monkey. This time, though, I just followed monkey out. Since the mothmen have to choose between attacking and moving, even if you're not in the cell to distract them, they'll only get two hits in on the monkey before you and he pull away from them, and then you'll just stay ahead of them until you get the monkey back to his friends.

So a positive merits sleeping only run should definitely possible, although I haven't put the pieces together (I did my testing with my old saves, seeing if I could pass the exam while losing less than 20 HP).

I wonder what the minimum number of stats you need to gain in order to pass all 8 exams is? I have a feeling it must be surprisingly low. The only exams that you can't pass sleeping are 2,3 and 5. I think you can get all three if you get up to 30 blue for teleport and get a blue charm to halve the teleport cost, even without studying or gym. That would mean gaining 29 stat points beyond the bare minimum of 20/20 HP/Mag and 1 in each color. I wouldn't be surprised if there's an even more efficient run, though.

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Emma E.
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Re: The Greatest Punch Wizard

#7 Post by Emma E. » Wed Feb 26, 2020 6:34 pm

Ohhh I am glad you brought this to the forums! I've been trying to find out if it is possible to pass every exam without using any spells, and if an achievement of some sort can be gained. I'm leaning towards no, not possible because of the 1st exam and the 3rd, but I am also holding out hope that I am just missing some way, and it's a really tricky puzzle

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Sardoc
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Re: The Greatest Punch Wizard

#8 Post by Sardoc » Fri Apr 10, 2020 11:47 am

The greatest punch wizard?

William. His sucker punch got him moved to Wolf Hall.

... I'll see myself out.

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