The royal jelly
For a list of all jellies, see list of jellies.
|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 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). Like other jellies, allowing it to consume items or shooting ammunition at it will restore its HP. 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 four central vaults that the royal jelly guarded turn from stone to transparent rock, making it easy to dig or teleport your way in.
- 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: Haste and a potion of might/potion of brilliance can help you deal lethal damage to TRJ before its reinforcements make life unbearable. Berserking also works, but might run out too quickly, and limits your other options considerably.
- 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. 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 stone corridors restricts how many monsters can reach you. Just be prepared for the angry jelly mob once you're done, possibly including giant eyeballs that can see through the now-transparent corridor walls...
- TRJ retreats behind its spawned jellies periodically, forcing you to fight through them. Attack wands, Bolt spells, 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 will have a hard time, as most ammunition heals it, but there are exceptions. Stones are never absorbed (although their damage is low), and the same goes for the always-useful large rock. For sling users, exploding sling bullets always mulch and cut through TRJ's low-AC spawns well. Penetration-branded bolts and javelins are fairly safe, so long as they land on an empty square. Dispersal arrows and tomahawks will always mulch, but the constant blinking is often more trouble than it's worth.
- Banishing TRJ via Lugonu's ability doesn't unlock the vault, meaning you'll need some way to deal with stone walls. Corrupting the floor will open the vaults easily, but you'll need to move fast if you want to collect any of the non-artifact loot. 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 prepared to have your own HP be affected, too! (rN+++, Statue Form, or undead are advised.)
- Freezing Cloud will reliably kill TRJ in 10 or so turns. If you you can hold your own versus TRJ's reinforcements, you can cast Freezing Cloud early and let it do its job.
- With only 4 EV, TRJ is fairly susceptible to Bolt of Inaccuracy. A hasted character with modest Evocations training can heavily injure or even kill TRJ by the time their rod of Inaccuracy runs out of charges, but don't be surprised if it only gets half the job done.
- 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 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 melted away.
- Hit 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. For example, Conjurations and Spellcasting at 20 means that Orb of Destruction reliably kills death oozes in one hit. Being hasted helps, giving TRJ less time to respond to your appearance and move out of explosion range.
- 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, elephant slugs, high-end dragons, or shrikes. If you do polymorph TRJ, it won't spit out extra jellies every time it's hit, and killing it will still unlock the rune vaults.
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.
- Don't panic and expect a scroll of blinking to save you; until TRJ is dead, controlled blinking is impossible on this floor. Of course, if you're surrounded by jellies on every side and the only available tiles to blink to are beyond the mob, even an uncontrolled blink should get you clear of them, and a hasted character should be able to outrun them.
- If you have high-powered Lee's Rapid Deconstruction or Shatter, you can avoid fighting TRJ by breaking open the stone wall loot vaults. Just be sure to grab any useful non-artifact items before the floor's jellies eat them. Be aware that both spells are loud and will attract attention.
- Summon Butterflies can be a lifesaver for the character who finds himself otherwise fatally adjacent to a lone TRJ. Alternatively retreating and casting Summon Butterflies can be a solution, provided you can withstand the several hits TRJ will deal you. Just remember not to damage TRJ at all or he'll spawn his auxiliary slimes, negating your retreat.
- Of course, if you wish to avoid this entire mess, you can simply worship Jiyva and open the vaults with a wand of digging.
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 0.11, the royal jelly was not able to regenerate naturally. This made the fight much easier to complete over several small assaults.