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Sacrifice last level: how to defeat Marduk without cheating

Sacrifice was one of the first “decent” games I ever played on my first ever “decent” PC 10 years ago or something. Lately I installed it with Wine under Ubuntu on my Satellite laptop and wanted to revamp an old and undying, clever classic.

I went all-Stratos, as I remembered he was the subtle evil of the group, and tingled the most my curiosity (my first run years ago was a mix of Persephone, James, Stratos, Charnel, and maybe Pyro as well, I wanted to try them all), and I remember I had to cheat my way out of the last couple levels as I couldn’t really beat them well enough; having grown in the meanwhile, I also developed more of a “strategic mind”, and having beaten the 9th level without much difficulty, I wanted to give a try with Marduk (the toughest scare being the fact he can steal your souls without using convert and sac doctors).

The general strategy that worked throughout all the game for me was:

  1. build manaliths near your altar
  2. guardian the most creatures you can summon around them
  3. eat away the enemy’s souls as they attack you wave after wave, until you have enough stock to launch an attack yourself

Stratos’ ranged one-soul attackers are Sylphs, and I found them to be overkill in any kind of situation up to level 8, just summon full 12 groups of them and attack, you deal a lot of damage before the enemy can even reach you. I needed tougher fighters only to overcome the enemy manaliths closer to the altars to desecrate; guarded Sylphs have been especially useful until level 9, but they are simply too weak against Marduk’s huge waves, and there’s too many souls scattered around when they die, to gather before they are stolen.

So I summoned and guarded a Silverback for each manalith close to my altar, and with the remaning 2 souls I guarded a Storm Giant. That, together with wise use of Tornado and Cloud Kill, made me erode little by little Marduk’s souls, until he hadn’t any more spares to attack me with, and stopped coming to my altar at all.

When Marduk doesn’t pay any more visits, you know you can launch your own attacks on his manaliths, given the proper army; I only went around with Silverbacks guarding my back, casted Tornado+Cloud Kill on his altars, and as soon as the lightnings from Cloud Kill went off I launched my Silverbacks to kill the forces still alive; up until the latest manaliths, you can actually convert the souls without Marduk even showing up, I reached a small army of 11 Silverbacks with me, just make sure you make them flee as soon as Death is casted.

I surprised myself with how simple this strategy is, I remember that even cheating 99 souls on my deck last time I played, I still had problems winning, while this time Marduk was rendered unoffensive pretty soon.