Road to nowhere: Lap confirms ‘Realm of the Mad God’ theory about zones of difficulty

For as long as I’ve played “Realm of the Mad God,” I’ve had a theory about the game’s roads: I’ve thought they marked sections of increasing difficulty. And because when a player first enters a realm they start on the edges of the island, next to water, I’ve suspected that the roads take laps around each realm.

I decided to walk it out and test that theory (I probably could have easily confirmed it by looking up a map or talking to someone, but what fun is that?) by hiking a lap. I started out as a wizard and packed a Slayer Staff, Flame Burst Spell, Robe of the Conjurer and Ring of Superior Vitality. All these were collected from previous lives (this game is a very Hindu game, after all — what we do in this life prepares us for the next), obviously, because the pickins were never very good, outside of health and magic potions.

I started in the middle left side and took a clockwise trip. I never encountered anything too difficult to handle, just a lot of hobbits, goblins, pirates, elves and other distance pop-shooters. My health was never threatened. For those of you who haven’t played the game yet, the world map is displayed in the square in the upper right of the screenshots below. You can zoom in and out for either a close-up view or a distant shot of the whole island.

It wasn’t until about the 5 o’clock mark that it occurred to me that I should take screen shots. Right about that time, all hell broke loose.

Before walking through a desert portion at about the 6 o’clock portion, I just breezed by virtually every enemy. It just took up too much time, and they never spawned right in front of me. That changed at the desert. I walked into a horde of crabs, sandstorms and sandsmen, and had to fight my way out of it completely surrounded. (Man, I wish I had a screenshot of THAT.)

It took about an hour to make the lap. But before I completed it, Oryx shut down the realm. Oh, crap. Better hurry.

As the second pic shows, I made it. The upper right corner is the world map zoomed out as far as possible. The black squares are areas I hadn’t uncovered yet; the colorful loop is the road I followed. Because the enemies get tougher the closer you get to the center of the island, those roads help mark enemies’ difficulty. There are several looped roads in each island, like rubber bands of different sizes placed inside each other. Though my theory is proved, my lap around the Autobahn also shows how massive this game is, and how many secrets are hidden away.

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