Using Incan Gold to Downforce the Elden Ring

I realised I messed up updating a Video Game Challenge last week. I finished Elden Ring, and the choice before me was to choose if I was going to platinum it or not. So I should have completed my ‘Finish 5 other games’ challenge last week.

So this week, I corrected that oversight and added another 5 games to the challenge. Not quite halfway through the year, and I managed to finish my ‘other’ video game challenge. Now would be a good time to work on my backlog games, but there are so many games coming out I want to play as well!

After a week of basically no internet, it was great to catch up with Alpal this week and play a mutual favourite. Both Alpal and I are keen to play a particular game on Board Game Arena. With the work piling up that may be a couple of weeks away.

That said, Century: Golem Edition is now available on Board Game Arena. Can I talk Rabbit into another ‘swap things for things because’ game so soon after Splendor?

Incan Gold / Diamant

A super quick entry today for Incan Gold. We played a heap of Downforce, and Rabbit and I were both a bit mentally exhausted after a week. We were looking forward to curling up for naps for different reasons. But we had to play another game or two at least – we were having too much fun!

So I suggested Incan Gold. Push your luck, two choices, mindless fun where we could still talk. Hit the spot perfectly! We had a fun time chatting and razzing each other, as we always do.

I also managed to get a sub-game going with Rabbit. Every time an artifact appeared, I was able to pick when she would try and return to camp to claim it. This became a weird sub-goal to Incan Gold. It didn’t matter that I didn’t get the artifact, it became a game of Rabbit not having them.

20220606 - Incan Gold - I wonder who pushed their luck here
You would think having that many gems would be enough, but noooo

Alpal pushed her luck as always, which is always her own mini-game. But we had fun time flipping cards and chatting away. It let Rabbit and I continue to play, while letting our brains wind down.

Incan Gold was a great way to end the day, and I am super pleased we got to play it again. It’s been a few weeks!

Downforce

Alpal asked the other day if we could play Downforce. How could I say no? It’s the game that made me love racing games again, and my second favourite Restoration Games title next to Stop Thief!. Simple to learn, and as strategic as you want to make it.

There is also the benefit of Board Game Arena of having all the expansion boards ready to play. The base game is fun, but each of the expansion boards adds some silliness to a ‘proper’ racing sim.

For example, Downforce Wild Ride adds Savanna Stretch, which blocks the track with wild animals. So if you are in the lead, you have to work harder to get around the animals. Once you have passed them, they move on further down the course and make the race easier for those behind you.

20220606 - Downforce - Wild Ride
When the leader passes an animal tile, the space left behind makes the course easier

The betting in Downforce also allows some strange games at times as well. For example, we played the other Wild Ride track Aloha Sands. This adds jumps to Formula 1 racing. The jumps allow creative ways to race ahead and/or block opponents. This is of course on top of the mental image of F1 racing cars jumping off ramps!

But the first race we had I launched ahead a little bit first turn with the yellow car. Alpal decided that she wanted to make it jump, and could make it launch off 2 ramps at once. This put me massively ahead of everyone, and everyone decided yellow was going to win.

This meant everyone moved yellow and bet on it to win. Yellow had finished the race before anyone else was halfway through the race!

20220606 - Downforce - Well that was quick
Just because I came first doesn’t guarantee victory in the game

This might sound boring, but this is where the many layers of Downforce come into play. Just because everyone rushed my car into first doesn’t mean I was going to win. With everyone earning the same amount from betting, it becomes a game of balance. Who spent less up front and earns prizes from other positions?

We had a great time with Downforce, and I am glad Alpal suggested it. It did make me miss the physical copy though. While it was nice to have the

I do need to pull my finger out on fixing the reviews though. I can put them up (and have snuck Downforce in this week from the old site), but on the game page, they aren’t working the way I want. There will finally be a shenanigans update soon to talk about all that though.

In the meantime, play Downforce. Best recommendation I can give!

Elden Ring

Last week, I was trying to decide if I should go for the Elden Ring platinum or not. I needed to finish two optional bosses and two alternate endings.

Thanks to internet problems, I was in a good position to get one of the endings without playing through again. Known as save scumming, I had a save near the end of the game so I could download that and get the ‘normal’ ending. I had finished one of the tricky endings legitimately and only needed the basic Elden Ring ending. I didn’t feel bad about doing the shortcut under these conditions.

Now that I was so close and had finished Elden Ring, I didn’t mind making more use of guides. I almost wish I had delved further though – more on that in a bit! I had only two bosses left: Mohg the Omen, and Shardbearer Malenia. Looking up where they were, Mohg was under the capital and Malenia I had found earlier but noped out of.

20220606 - Elden Ring - Malenia
I lost to Malenia so many times!

So I reloaded my Elden Ring cloud save which put me after defeating the fire giant. This lets me travel straight to the capital and find Mohg. Turns out I was already super close to this fight as well. I thought I had explored the capital completely. Turns out not so much!

Jumping ahead a little bit, this is where I had wished I had read the guide properly. I was only looking for a location because I still wanted to explore on my own. Turns out this fight was the key to the third and last ending I needed to unlock. Elden Ring does not hold your hand in what to do, but this path I don’t think I could have ever found myself.

I could have continued messing with saves for the trophy, and I would have been tempted. I already have well over 100 hours in Elden Ring. As it stands, I still feel this was a legit Platinum. If I had played another reload for an ending trophy, that would have killed this feeling.

So after another few hours of grinding and a respec, I defeated Malenia and headed off to get my Elden Lord trophy.

20220606 - Elden Ring - Making my way to the Boss
You know when you are heading to the final encounter

I then started Journey 2 (Elden Ring speak for New Game+) for the final ending. I was surprised this took me so little time to complete. Because I had already explored the Lands Between, I didn’t need to do any optional tasks or sidequests. This was a pure trophy ending run.

This meant I didn’t have to fight many bosses. Margit, Godrick, Renna, then Mohg the Omen and meeting the Three Fingers. No side quests, no exploration, it was almost a straight path. I am still surprised that it took me only about 4-5 hours to get halfway through Elden Ring on my second journey.

Work got in the way a little bit, so I set myself up with a save right before the final encounter. I knew that I could work for a couple of days, then rest up and concentrate on the final fight fresh. I was so close. The Elden Ring platinum was going to be mine!

20220606 - Elden Ring - Final Fight Phase One
If you know, you know. Hoping it’s a no context spoiler.

So Saturday night came around, and I left myself an hour for the final boss fight after dinner but before work. I was expecting a fight, being New Game+/Journey 2 as well. In preparation for wrestling with servers, I was going to wrestle the plat from Elden Ring.

Ten minutes later, I watched the Lord of Frenzied Flame ending. Wow. I am not going to jump into details on the ending, but I hope this actually becomes the canon ending if there is DLC. There is a setup of things coming to a head that looks like it has so much potential! Not great for the Lands Between, but awesome for Elden Ring story wise.

So this ends my Elden Ring run for now. Unless new content comes out. Then I will be very interested. Now to decide if I go back to Horizon Zero Dawn that I have been neglecting, or try Vampire the Masquerade: Swansong.

20220606 - Elden Ring - Ghost Rider Dead Cell Vibes
I still get Dead Cells/Ghost Rider vibes, but that’s not why I love this ending

Whatever I play, I need to be free for Stray in July – just saying!

What about you?  I hope you got some great games in.  Or are you looking forward to a new one?  Let me know! 

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Until next time,

JohnHQLD