It’s time to talk a little bit about map exploration in Phosphoros: The First Paladin. Freedom to come and go as you please has been one of the design goals of Phosphoros from the start. From the time the game begins, there is nothing preventing the player from exploring any of more than thirty local maps.

There is no world map in Phosophoros, as the game largely takes place in the same region. Don’t take this to mean there aren’t secret or exotic locations to be discovered however, as there are many waiting to be discovered. Crisscrossing the landscape on foot affords the player ample opportunities to peek into nooks and crannies.

Hidden caches, secret areas, recruit-able characters.

Important to note, is that while there are wandering monsters as indicated in a previous post, there are no mounts and no fast-travel stations to avoid them. That said, there are no pointless random encounters to trouble the player. While it’s a stretch to call any place safe, exploration can proceed largely uninterrupted.

It’s also worth noting that there are no empty maps in Phosphoros for “padding.” Whenever the player is called upon to travel to a location outside the game’s main region, the game makes use of the time advancement system to relocate the player and move the clock forward to represent the travel time.

This makes it possible for the player to travel to dungeons or other locations days, or even weeks away from the game’s central adventure location without loading screens or excessive travel animations. (Who really wants to stare at the back of a horse for several minutes on end? Or boat. Or hippogriff. Or the back of anything, really.)

“Go pretty much anywhere,” doesn’t mean there isn’t a reason for the player to travel most places in the game. Along with the secrets and lairs and wandering monsters, there are numerous shops, shrines, and such scattered throughout the region, peopled by unique characters for the player to discover and interact with.

There are a number of different characters for the player to recruit, so it’s best to find them all, and find them early! And no two shops are exactly the same. For that matter, none of the shops are the same, so it’s probably a good idea to find the equipment merchants right away and make a note of where they are for future reference!

Explore! Find stuff!

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