In my desperate, post-Slay the Spire doldrums, I decided to go back to Terraria, another game I’ve spent hundreds of hours on already. The last time I played, I tried to get to the Moon Lord and failed miserably. Details are poorly stored in my memory banks, but I think it was a mix of playing the game a) solo, b) on expert difficulty, and c) with a penchant toward less productive (for monster slaying at least) character builds. I remember getting demolished during all of the game’s Hard Mode exclusive events.
This return was different. I didn’t play on Expert. My previous world had been lost to reformatting, but my character was stored in the cloud. In my new world, I was a god for quite some time.
I did struggle a bit on the mechanical bosses. I had inherited a good setup for killing lots of enemies simultaneously, but the build had little to no single target damage. I had to rethink and rework my approach. I eventually settled on a ranged build (using a bow or gun, whatever I had that was better). From there, rather than be demolished, I became the demolisher.
I rapidly found where I had left off: post-temple but pre-Moon Lord. At a certain point, the power you can amass with just a little effort in Terraria sends you rolling downhill at whiplash speed. After some initial hiccups, I reascended to godhood …
… until I finally met the Moon Lord.
For those of you unfamiliar, the Moon Lord is Terraria’s (current) final boss. He’s a Cthulhu-esque monstrosity that takes up the majority of the screen and has two distinct phases. In phase one, you destroy the eyeballs in his hands and the one on his forehead. In phase two, you destroy the one on his chest. With my ranged setup, I was consistently able to get to phase two, but I never survived it for longer than a few seconds before dying.
Unfortunately, dying to the Moon Lord when solo means he flies off, and you have to resummon him. Resummoning him means doing a map-spanning event to slaughter around 400 semi-challenging enemies. It’s a time sink!
When I picked the game back up, I had intended to get all the achievements done. After playing for a bit, I did get a few more done, but there are some that I just can’t get interested in (mostly fishing related). Still, the Moon Lord had to die, regardless of all else.
I tried a few more times with different ranged weapons/builds, but nothing worked. Rather than continue to beat my head against a wall, I instead decided to cheese the boss with a build specifically chosen to outlast, rather than outplay, him.
It worked and I am done.
I absolutely still love Terraria. I do consider it one of the best games ever, and it holds up every time I revisit it. Sure, sometimes it feels a bit cheap for my liking, but that’s more due to the game’s open-ended design rather than its strict focus on punishing anyone. That you can farm or innovate around bottlenecks is just one of its many, many charms.
Also, it is embarrassing to admit this (for the wife, not me), but after vanquishing my fiercest foe, I ran out, mooned her and yelled, “I am the Moon Lord now.”
Why did she marry me?