The Royal Jelly
|A particularly rich and golden gelatinous thing. Smaller jellies swim and pulse just below its surface, ready to burst forth at the slightest touch.|
The Royal Jelly ("TRJ" for short) is the jelly boss of the Slime Pits. Located in the center of Slime:5, it will not emerge until you've entered the stone structure it resides in (or you make enough noise nearby to awaken it), giving you plenty of time to clear the rest of the floor first.
It has an impressive amount of HP, powerful acidic melee attacks, exceptional speed, and an unusual defense mechanism: whenever it's damaged, it spawns various powerful jelly-type monsters to attack you (azure jellies, death oozes, and acid blobs). Fortunately, it cannot pursue you up stairs, allowing you to abort attempts at killing it that you don't feel confident you can complete.
Killing the Royal Jelly causes two things to happen:
- The translucent walls of the four central vaults that the Royal Jelly guarded will come crumbling down, allowing you access to the slimy rune of Zot and the piles of treasure.
- Jiyva, the god of slimes, immediately ceases to exist once its only sentient worshiper dies. You can prevent this deicide by worshiping Jiyva yourself before killing TRJ, but killing such a high-ranking jelly will result in penance.
Tips & Tricks
How To Kill It
- Melee fighters should not simply charge in and bash the thing. Even with corrosion resistance and heavy armour, having eight corrosive opponents attacking you repeatedly will quickly send your offensive capabilities and your AC plummeting, leaving you weak and very vulnerable. Always soften it up before engaging it in melee, and buff heavily: Potions of haste, might, and/or brilliance can help you deal lethal damage to TRJ before its reinforcements make life unbearable. Berserking also works, but it greatly limits your other options and might run out and leave you helpless while surrounded by angry jellies.
- Stealthy stabbers may be tempted to try to kill it in a single blow, followed by a timely teleport to safety. This is entirely possible, but TRJ has enough HP to survive all but the most highly-skilled assassination attempts. Furthermore, several enemies guard the corridors leading to its chamber; should any of them wake up, the noise you make while fighting them might be enough to also wake TRJ. Try it at your own risk: equip a dagger for maximum stabbing damage, and be prepared to change strategies should it suddenly wake up.
- Fighting TRJ in one of the central corridors restricts how many monsters can reach you. Just be prepared for the angry jelly mob once you're done.
- TRJ retreats behind its spawned jellies periodically, forcing you to fight through them. Attack wands, bolt spells, weapons of penetration, and smite-targeted attacks will all help to pierce through the surrounding jellies. Or, summon your own allies while adjacent to TRJ and box it in before attacking (works best in the corridors).
- Ranged weapon fighters can just pelt the Royal Jelly with projectiles. Kiting it will still be difficult, as it's almost as fast as a centaur and you'll likely have to deal with the ranged attacks of the acid blobs it spawns.
- Banishing TRJ via Lugonu's ability doesn't unlock the vault, meaning you'll need some way to bypass stone walls. Corrupting the floor will open the vaults easily, though Shatter can also do so without unleashing an abyssal horde. Failing all else, a trip to the Abyss to kill TRJ will be necessary.
- TRJ is a natural creature, and thus vulnerable to torment. Reading two or three scrolls of torment will drop it to near death, and a few bolt spells or smite-targeted attacks will kill it despite the surrounding army. Just be aware that this strategy will also leave your own HP dangerously low (rN+++, Statue Form, or being undead are highly recommended).
- If you decide to use summoning magic, you can't do better than Dragon's Call. Interspersing this with other high-level summons can create a wall of units capable of matching TRJ's allies. You'll need to plan ahead, of course: 18 or 19 Summonings skill, high intelligence, a ring of wizardry, and Recall are the bare minimum, with a method of channeling or spare potions of magic being highly recommended.
- Worshipers of Trog can also benefit from summons; a small pack of berserk iron trolls or stone giants should survive long enough to deal tremendous damage to TRJ before being dissolved.
- Attack TRJ 1-2 times so it spawns jellies/oozes, read a scroll of immolation, then kill any of the spawns to set off a chain reaction. This strategy risks self-immolation, so ensure that you can kill one of the spawns at a distance immediately after reading the scroll (orb of destruction or a cloud spell work well). Being hasted helps, giving TRJ less time to respond to your appearance and move out of explosion range. Having rF+++ or a potion of resistance is useful as a failsafe in case you get caught in the blast.
- Spawned jellies are unaffected by several combat Necromancy spells like Borgnjor's Vile Clutch, Infestation, or Death Channel, and nothing in the Slime Pits can be zombified or turned into simulacra. Characters relying on Necromancy should consider avoiding TRJ until other means of fighting it are acquired (though Agony will chew through its HP if you can manage to get past its magic resistance).
- TRJ can be polymorphed if your Evocations is fairly high and you reduce its MR with a scroll of vulnerability or two, but this is generally inadvisable. Succeeding will immediately create a very large number of jellies, and due to TRJ's high HD, whatever it turns into will also be dangerous; expect titans, high-end dragons, or shrikes. If you do manage to polymorph TRJ, it will no longer spit out extra jellies every time it's hit and killing it will still unlock the rune vaults; after dealing with the army of jellies, taking a polymorphed TRJ down will be fairly simple by comparison.
How To Escape It
- TRJ will not follow you upstairs, but its generated slimes will. If you plan on running back upstairs mid-fight, expect some of its spawns to follow you.
- If you need to escape the floor without pursuing jellies following you up, Haste will also allow you to make a fairly safe escape; TRJ will keep up with you, but nothing else will. If you wish to actually outrun TRJ, you'll likely need both Haste and boots of running or a timely casting of Swiftness.
- If you've accidentally created an army of jellies and need to abort, heal up and then stair dance so you can clear out the reinforcements without dealing with too many of them at a time. Entering the floor from different staircases will let you avoid being immediately surrounded.
- Shatter, while ineffective against everything you'll find in the Slime Pits, can be used to break open the loot vaults and skip the fight entirely. It is, however, very difficult to cast as well as very loud and will likely attract the attention of every slime on the entire floor.
- Of course, if you wish to avoid this entire mess, you can simply worship Jiyva and waltz in when your piety is high enough. Most of the treasure will inevitably get eaten, but you'll at least be able to make off with the rune and whatever artefacts were present.
- Prior to 0.23, exploding the Royal Jelly with Uskayaw's Grand Finale didn't generate any jellies.
- Prior to 0.19, the Royal Jelly could eat items and could heal itself when shot with anything other than stones.
- Prior to 0.16, the Royal Jelly did not immediately spit out a large number of jellies when polymorphed, making it a viable combat strategy.
- Prior to 0.15, hitting the Royal Jelly could generate brown oozes as well.
- Prior to 0.11, the Royal Jelly was not able to regenerate naturally. This made the fight much easier to complete over several small assaults.