SWORD  OF VERMILION 

 PROLOGUE

 It was a beautiful, peaceful morning in the bustling town of Excalabria.
The people went about their business, and tended to the fields. At first,
nobody noticed the sound of hoof beats as mounted horses and armed soldiers
approached. The enemies drew closer, and attacked without warning. Vicious
fighting broke out everywhere as the army from Cartahena, led by the evil
wizard-king Tsarkon, swarmed all over the town of Excalabria. The townsmen
fought bravely, but there were three Cartahenans for every Excalabrian and
the townspeople were overwhelmed.

 As the castle of King Erik V began to collapse, Erik summoned his bravest,
strongest and most faithful warrior, Blade. He gave his infant son and an
ancient family heirloom, the ring of wisdom, to Blade. He ordered Blade to
save himself and the child. Blade did so, slipping out a secret passage as
the castle burned. Blade traveled to a small village named Wyclif, where
he settled down and raised the child as his own son.

 As the last of Excalabria burned, the evil Tsarkon learned of the child's
escape and began to search for him. Eighteen years have passed since....

 This is the beginning of the Genesis RPG, SWORD OF VERMILION. You assume
the role of Erik's son, now grown to a young man, and begin the perilous
quest to defeat Tsarkon and free the world of Vermilion from evil.

 You can give your character any name up to six characters long. Unlike any
other RPG, you may use both upper and lower-case letters. You can even use
numbers and a few symbols. I used the name Willow, and I'll henceforth use 
this name for uniformity's sake when referring to the character.

 WYCLIF

 You begin in Wyclif, your home these past eighteen years. For the moment,
all of the shops are closed, and you can't leave the village. Blade is at
death's door; you're urged to rush to his side.

 Your home is in the upper left corner of Wyclif. Go up to the second floor
to talk to Blade. The man you knew as your father will now reveal the truth
of your birthright. You are the son of Erik V of Excalabria, who met his
untimely death at the hands of King Tsarkon of Cartahena. Blade hid your
sole inheritance, the Ring of Wisdom, in a nearby cave. This ring can help
you save the world. Blade saved up a small amount of money to help you get
started. The armies of Cartahena are moving to conquer the world, and it's
your duty and destiny to stop them by destroying Tsarkon. Blade bids you to
fulfill your destiny, and to remember him always. Then he will die.

 As Blade is laid to rest in Wyclif's graveyard, talk to the villagers for
information. You will receive basic gameplay tips like the need to equip
armor and weapons, to obtain maps to find your way around, and to acquire
a few candles to explore a cave. You are advised to visit churches often,
so your game may be saved, and warned that the soldiers of Cartahena appear
human, but are so corrupted and evil that they're really horrid monsters.

 One of the villagers will give you an area map and rough directions to the
Peak Cave. Area maps aren't listed in your inventory, nor are they counted
toward the maximum number of objects you may carry. You may carry eight of
each of the following objects: spell books, armor/weapons, and supplies.

 Buy a Bronze Sword and Small Shield. Save the game and venture out to gain
experience and money (called "kim" in the world of Vermilion). Remain close
to the village, learning how to fight as you take on the weak monsters that
inhabit this area. Remember that you are currently weak also.

 When you can afford it, buy yourself Bronze Armor. Don't waste any kim on
Leather Armor. When you gain a level, you can venture further from Wyclif.
One of the wilderness pathways nearby leads to a dead end, follow it to a
chest with some money. Many of these dead ends in the wilderness will have
chests, often with valuable items. If a dead end has no chest, try facing
the sides of the dead end square. At least one valuable item is hidden in
this particular manner, although you won't find it until much later.

 Keep your patience as you build your strength up. Work yourself up to 3rd
or 4th level before entering the Peak Cave. When you're ready, buy three or
four Candles and an Herb or two, and go to the cave.

 PEAK CAVE

 The skeletons in Peak Cave do not hit hard, but they do not go down easily,
either. Learn how to approach enemies gradually instead of rushing at them,
sword swinging. You must also master correct distance to succeed in battle
with any monsters. Remember, some of the monsters can take several swings.
Take battle scenes slow and easy; you have all the time you want to fight.

 You will only have a view of the area right around you until you find the
cave map. All cave maps are found in the caves. You will then have a view
of the entire level (if the cave has several levels, each level will have
its own map).

 If your Candle burns out, light up a new one. Bring several so you don't
find yourself in the dark.

 You'll find an extra Herb and Candle in the cave, along with some kim. The
northwest corner is the hiding place of an old man who has been waiting a
long time for you. He will ask you to accept the Ring of Wisdom, which is
rightfully yours.

 When you have the ring, find your way out of the cave and return to Wyclif.
Rest at the inn and save the game at the church. The information given by
the villagers will change. They feel you are now strong enough to face the
tests ahead of you, and advise you to take care of your ring. They'll also
mention that the King of Parma has a similar ring; one villager will give
you a map of the route.

 Find your way to Parma. If your map view disappears, don't try navigating
through the area. Return to Wyclif, and talk to the villagers once more.
Make sure you find the person who'll give you a map of the way to Parma.

 PARMA

 At Parma, rest at the inn and go into the weapon shop. If you have the kim,
buy yourself a Sharp Sword. If you do not, walk around town and speak with
the townspeople. In the church, you will learn about a religion known as
"Gnostan," which the king forced the townspeople to convert to. The people
in the streets will advise you to go west and explore the area to gain in
experience and treasure; one of these people will give you a map. You'll be
told that the king has been behaving oddly the last few days; the keeper
of the tavern, who prepares the meals for the king, will say that the king
now eats much more than he used to. Nevertheless, you're advised to speak
to the king and ask about his ring.

 In the castle, two guards prevent any entry into a particular room. They do
not know why they guard it; only that the king decreed "no admittance." The
king will say that even if he were to give you his ring, you are too weak
to stand a chance against the armies of Cartahena. Nonetheless, the king
proposes a test: venture east and get the Treasure of Troy from Troy Cave.
Bring it to him and he will give you his ring.

 The townspeople will now tell you to arm yourself well, for the cave is a
dangerous place with strong monsters. The cave of Troy is to the east; the
man in the house will give you a map. A woman outside this house will tell
you something foreboding: "Gnostan" is another name for evil.

 Listen to the townspeople and explore the western area. Work yourself up a
couple of levels, and get the kim you need to buy yourself Scale Armor and
a Silver Shield. If you don't have a Sharp Sword, get one first. After you
have the better arms, get the kim to buy the two spell books, Ferros and
Sangua. Ready the Ferros book so you may cast the spell in battle. Ferros
casts a fireball that circles around you a few times unless it strikes an
enemy. Most foes near Parma go down to one Ferros fireball.

 When you're about 7th level, with all the equipment mentioned above, go to
the supplies shop and buy some Herbs, a Lantern and a Gnome Stone. As the
people in the store will tell you, a lantern lasts as long as you're in a
cave, so you need only one. The Gnome Stone teleports you out of the cave
when you are ready to leave.

 TROY CAVE

 Troy Cave has two levels. Try to get the maps as soon as you can. If you
explore every dead end, you'll find a Candle, an Herb, Scale Armor, and 300 
kim, in addition to the Treasure of Troy. When you get this item, use the 
Gnome Stone and return to Parma. Heal at the inn and save the game.

 Bring the Treasure to the king. He'll be so impressed, he'll order you to
settle down to a quiet life in Parma. He won't take no for an answer. Agree
to his demand, and talk to him once more. He'll argue that Parma is "such
a nice place."

 The townspeople are shocked that you agreed to end your quest. Worse, the
guards won't let you out of town any more. Something's up. Go back to the
king to tell him what you think.

 Annoyed at your return, the king says he needs "a more permanent solution
to your problem." and then, you will find he "becomes rather beastly when
he's bothered."

 ARCHMONSTER!

 Now everything becomes clear, as the king transforms into a dragon. He is
the first Archmonster you face. Like all Archmonsters, he's immune to any
magic spells. Stay where you are for a few seconds to watch his movement
pattern carefully. As long as you do not advance, the dragon cannot reach
you. When you feel comfortable with his movements, advance slowly just as
his head lowers, swing once, and back up _quickly._ After a few swings, you
will cut his head off.

 The minister and servants are shocked at this turn of events; they did not
know that the king was an impostor. You can now pass the two guards, and
enter the forbidden room. Go down the stairs and find the true king.

 The king will thank you, and invite you to remain as commander of Parma's
militia, this is a mere courtesy; the king doesn't expect you to accept. He
will advise you to go to Watling for more information. For your service,
he gives you the Ring of Sky.

 The castle folk are grateful to you; their true king is back and Parma is
saved. The townspeople will give you praise for bravery and tell you that
Watling is east of Troy. Talk to the man in the house, who gave you a map
to Troy; he'll now give you a map of the way to Watling. One townsman will
say something odd: you will find only old people in Watling.

 Before leaving Parma, buy more Herbs and another Gnome Stone. Watling has
no equipment shops.

 On the way to Watling, if you make a little side-track, you'll find a Gem
Shield that's stronger than a Silver Shield. Equip it and continue to the
village. The monsters get stronger as you go: blue jellies give way to red
glunks, and dog kobolds give way to hyena kobolds. Move cautiously.

 WATLING

 As the townspeople said, there are no young people in Watling. In fact, all
of them seem senile as well as old. Was the king of Parma mistaken?

 Nope. The man in the house is shocked at the claim of "no young people." He
looks old, but he insists he is only 24! A monster in Verlin's cave came
to the village and drained everyone's youth. The cave is to the north; the
man gives you a map and asks you to destroy the monster.

 If you must rest at the inn, you will find a pleasant bargain. The keeper
doesn't remember the rates, so he'll let you stay for free! If you don't
have to rest, however, don't. You'll find out why shortly.

 VERLIN'S CAVE

 Try working yourself up another level before going into the cave itself. In
one of the side passages, you'll find a Lantern. Another one, past the cave
entrance, holds Medicine which heals more hit points than an Herb. You'll
find 600 kim, a Candle, and an Herb if you look for them. Near the right
side of the second level, you'll find a young man. Talk to him; he'll call
you a weakling and identify himself as the one responsible for draining
the villagers' youth. Now, he wants to do the same to you.

 The man will turn into a monster that looks like a giant Cyclops. He will
take a few steps, raise his arm, and throw a lightning bolt. If you have
moved close to him, and his arm comes up and his lips writhe, move backward
quickly and get well back. After he throws his lightning, close in on him
carefully and get in a swing or two before he lifts his arm again. Repeat
a few times and you'll kill him.

 Return to Watling. Everyone is young once more, and unsure if they had not
simply been through a nightmare. But one man is still old! Don't worry: he
was an old man before, as he explains to you, so he is an old man still.

 The man in the house will express his gratitude and tell you to speak with
the villagers for information on the rings. They will now tell you that
most of the regional kings each have a ring; there are 16 rings total, 8
of good and 8 of evil. The evil rings are now in Cartahena. Deepdale is the
closest town to Watling; a villager will give you a map and tell you that
Deepdale is to the southwest.

 If you have to rest again at the inn, you'll now know why it wasn't a good
idea to accept the "free room" offer. The innkeeper will demand payment of
an exorbitant sum of money for each rest you took at the inn. If you were
able to kill the monster before you had to stay there even once, he will
only charge the regular rate, which is only slightly higher than the rate
for Parma's inn.

 On the way to Deepdale, you'll find a small network of mountain pathways a
little west of Watling. In one of the dead ends, if you face a side wall,
you'll find a Sapphire Shield. This shield is only slightly stronger than
a Gem Shield, so don't try to get it before killing the Verlin monster.

 DEEPDALE

 Talk to the people in Deepdale. They will tell you that their town is very
peaceful; Cartahena has seen fit to leave them be. They all love the king
of Deepdale, who they say is a kind man, but he is not easy to meet. The
king owns the Ring of Wind.

 The two castle ministers tell you the king is not in right now. The people
in one of the halls will say that the king always thinks about his people
and, despite unusual habits, has seen that they have prospered.

 Exit the castle and talk to the woman who will suggest you double-check the
castle. Go back in and talk once more to the people. They will now explain
why the king is not in: in an effort to always find out what he can do to
keep his people happy, the king often disguises himself as a normal citizen
so he can mingle with them. He is a master of disguise, and he isn't very
likely to reveal himself without good reason. There is one sure way to make
him reveal himself: the king has one indulgence he can't resist. Truffles,
which grow in Bremen's cave, are his favorite food. The man who tells you
this will also give you a map of the way to Bremen's cave.

 If you have the kim, it's time to get your arms upgraded. Don't settle for
the lesser arms in the shop because you'll just waste kim. Buy the Silver
Sword, Platinum Shield, and Crystal Armor. The Sapphire Shield, if you've
found it, will fetch you 2000 kim in the shop, which will help greatly in
affording the gear you need. Sell the Ferros book in the Magic shop and buy
a Volti book. Ready it so you can use it in battle.

 Explore to the west, building up more strength. Try to get yourself up to
10th or 11th level before going into the cave.

 BREMEN'S CAVE

 Beware the mushrooms in this cave; if you touch one; you'll be poisoned. Be
slow and methodical when you approach and attack them. You'll find money,
a Magic Shield, a Large Shield, some Metal Armor and some Herbs as well as
the Truffles. The truffles look like small, yellow mushrooms; they aren't
contained in a chest. When you get them, use a Gnome Stone to leave and
return to Deepdale.

 Now it's just a matter of talking to everyone, until you find somebody who
will ask you to share the Truffles. If you're a good guesser, you'll find
this person right away; it's the man in the house near the town entrance.
Sheepish at how you unmasked him, the king will still hand over the Ring of
Wind agreeably, since he knows of the reason why you want it. He'll ask you
to keep his secret, and complete your quest before Tsarkon changes his mind
about leaving Deepdale alone.

 The townspeople will now tell you to visit Stow, far to the east. Near the
town is a cave; you're advised to go to Stow first, but visit the cave to
see "something interesting" prior to leaving the area. One townsman gives
you a map of the way to Stow.

 Buy some Medicines before leaving the town of Deepdale. Heal at the inn and
save the game. It's a long way to the town of Stow, and the Black Glops,
Conjurers, Cave Bats and Pythons will give you a lot of trouble.

 STOW

 Stow is a very busy town; most of the people, including those in the town's
castle, won't have time to talk with you. Heal at the inn and go into the
church to save the game. Buy the book of Copperos Spells and experiment to
see if you are comfortable with it. Only use whichever attack spell you,
personally, are most comfortable with aiming and throwing. If you like it,
use it; if not, sell it back.

 SANGUIOS CAVE

 Buy some more Medicine, a Gnome Stone and a Griffin Wing. Enter Sanguios
Cave and explore it. You'll encounter mostly mushrooms in this cave, so be
sure to have a Poison Balm or two. In this cave, you'll find Skeleton Armor
(stronger than Crystal Armor), some kim, and an extra Lantern. There's a
little girl on the second level, who will ask you to buy a book of spells
for a mere 1000 kims. Since she seems to need the money, don't make her beg
you; buy the Sanguios book.

 This book is like a portable inn; it restores all hit points for a mere 2
magic points! You may not even need to use the Gnome Stone and/or Griffin
Wing to get back to Stow (but be sure to have them just in case). This is
very important, work yourself up to 15th level before talking to the king
of Stow. Stay near the town, fighting monsters and using the Sanguios book
to stay outside longer.

 ACCUSED

 After you have the book, most of the townspeople are more talkative. They
will tell you that the king is a good man, and he has the Ring of Fire. One
woman will tell you she saw a shadow in the castle window, as if a child
were running away. One man will want to know where you got the Sanguios
book. The ministers will be courteous to you but say nothing useful.

 The king will agreeably give you the Ring of Fire, since knowledge of your
deeds has spread and he wants to do his part in helping. But then he will
see the Sanguios book. It happens to be his personal property, and he now
thinks you're the thief who stole it!
Confiscating it, he will say that you can claim innocence, but having been
caught red-handed, the burden is upon you to prove it. He will take all of
your rings and hold them to make sure you don't run off.

 The townspeople like their king, and are reluctant to accept your protests
of innocence. But one woman will tell you the obvious solution: go to the
little girl and confront her. But go to the fortune teller first to hear
what he has to say.

 Buy more Medicine, and if you do not have them, a Gnome Stone, Lantern and
Griffin Wing. Seek the little girl at Sanguios Cave. She is astounded that
the Stow people think she stole the Sanguios book, and she'll beg you to
believe her claim of innocence. She's sweet and naive looking, but you know 
she's lying. The girl will admit that she "borrowed" the book, and then try 
to cover her tracks by killing you.

 The girl will change into a horrible Archmonster with two heads and fiery
fingertips. Her right hand shoots out fireballs at your head; her left hand
shoots them at your feet. You'll find her extremely tough to beat. Duck the
high ones, and slash the lower ones. Don't be surprised if she kills you;
just go back and try again. She's one powerful opponent.

 When you defeat her, she changes back to a girl and tearfully apologizes to
you, then thanks you for teaching her right from wrong. She will promise
to return to Stow to clear your name. Use the Gnome Stone and Griffin Wing
to return to Stow.

 FOOLED

 When you arrive at Stow, you see that the child has deceived you. She came
to town, and attacked everyone in the streets with her monster form. All of
the people are still terrified. The monster didn't attack anyone in the
buildings, but the castle was entered and looted. The king, with a broken
leg, will beg your forgiveness, and tell you that the girl fled with your
rings to Asti's cave to the north. He will tell you that the tavernkeeper
has a map. Get this map, restock on supplies, and get ready to teach that
impudent child a real lesson.

 ASTI'S CAVE

 When you have the supplies you need, find your way to Asti's Cave. On the
way, you'll pass by three short dead ends. The middle one contains a Ruby
Brooch, which you should keep for the time being. Find the map to the first
level, and if you are confident with your fighting ability, you can look
for the Royal Shield, which is a bit stronger than a Platinum Shield.

 On the second level, the map is right around the second corner you round,
_if_ you don't face forward. You must turn to face one of the side walls to
find the map. There is a long way and short way to reach the center, where
the girl awaits you.

 The girl will still speak courteously to you, but she won't bother trying
to fool you anymore. She'll tell you that she's reported to King Tsarkon
about your actions, and she's holding your rings. Of course, you'll have to
kill her to get them, as she says in no uncertain terms.

 This cave is the source of the girl's power; when she transforms into her
monster form, she will hit noticeably harder than before. Treat her the way
you did before and keep your fingers crossed. Good thing she doesn't have
more hit points as well.

 Killing the demon will enable you to recover the rings. Return to Stow and
report to the king. The king will beg you to journey to Keltwick and return
with a famous doctor named Basil, who lives there. The king gives you a map
to find your way.

 KELTWICK

 Use the Ruby Brooch, which will lower the number of encounters you'll have
en route to Keltwick. But beware the Melters and Scorpions that may still
pester you. Luckily, Keltwick isn't too far from Stow.

 In Keltwick, you'll learn that Basil, though a good doctor, is a very lazy
man, and is probably taking a snooze somewhere. You'll also learn that a
man named Bearwulf lives with his son who is named Anselm. This will not be
important until a bit later.

 Buy the Alarm Clock in the Supplies shop and find Basil in the inn. He's
on the second floor, napping. Use the clock to wake him up, and talk to him
to inform him of the trouble at Stow. Basil will agree to hurry to Stow at
once; follow him to make sure.

 Back at Stow, you'll find that Basil has done his work and healed everyone
to full, robust health. A woman will say that the king wants to thank you
himself for your heroism.

 The Stow king will present you with a book of Sanguia spells, which isn't
as good as Sanguios, but is a great deal better than Sangua. He will also
suggest you visit Malaga, far to the north, past Keltwick.

 Walk back to Keltwick (a griffin wing won't work because it takes you back
to the last town you entered), go to the inn to heal and save over at the
church. Buy the books of Luminos and Toxios, but try to carry one Lantern
and Poison Balm with you for backup when exploring caves. Aero and Chrono
are not very effective overall; Hydro is a sure killer on all Firering-type
monsters but less effective against any other monsters.

 Talk to the people and they will tell you that Bearwulf wanted to see you,
but he has been gone a few days now. Anselm, his son, said that Bearwulf
went to Blazon's cave to retrieve the Poison Shield for you, but he hasn't
returned yet and everyone is worried.

 You'll also learn that there is some trouble in Malaga; the king died two
years ago, but a new king has yet to be chosen. Get maps to Malaga, and to
Blazon's Cave; then head out to the cave to look for Bearwulf.

 BLAZON'S CAVE

 You'll find Bearwulf in the cave near the stairs down to level two. He says
he cannot fight his way past any more monsters and must return to Keltwick.
He urges you to locate the Shield he hid here for you long ago.

 Find the Shield, the Mirage Sword and the Emerald Armor. When you equip the
shield, you will be immune to poison. If you can, find the chest with 1000
kims. Then return to Keltwick.

 Back in Keltwick, find Bearwulf, and talk to him. He'll give you a key to
pass through a locked gate in a cave you must go through to find Malaga.

 Before you leave, be sure to talk to the old man in the town square. He'll
tell you he's lonely and looking for a friend. If you can find him a good
friend, he'll give you some help.

 MALAGA

 When you arrive in Malaga, you'll be told about Thar and Luther, the two
ministers to Princess Wynifir. These two men both want to be the new king
of Malaga. Most of the villagers say that if either of them becomes king,
Malaga will be in serious trouble. A few people support one minister over
the other. Even the town guards have chosen sides.

 The tavern is incredibly crowded. The food is free today, which is a major
attraction. If you have the patience to wait for people to break a pathway
for you so you can question everyone, you'll learn something shocking. King
Tsarkon of Cartahena was once a good man; in fact, he was Erik's closest
friend. Nobody knows why they turned on one another.

 Something extremely important happens in Malaga; please be sure to follow
these instructions _precisely._

 You should have about 70-80,000 kims. Go to the magic shop and buy a book
of Aries spells. Now buy two books of Aerios spells, and leave. Don't sell
any spell books yet.

 When this is done, go to the weaponry shop. Sell your Royal Shield, if you
have it, and your Skeleton Armor. Buy Knight Armor and two suits of Silver
Armor. _Don't_ buy any swords or sell any other equipment.

 Go into the equipment shop when this is all done. The owner will force you
to buy one of three items: a "Small Bomb," a "Joke Book," or a "Vase." He
doesn't say how much they cost; only that they are very expensive. He will
take all of your money, claiming that you don't have enough. He will then
take all of your swords, hand over an Iron Sword, and throw you out. He'll
be hostile any time you return.

 Select the Vase from the owner. After leaving, sell one of the two books of
Aerios spells you bought and sell the book of Volti spells. Now sell your
Emerald Armor, Platinum Shield, and the two suits of Silver Armor that
you bought. Leave Malaga and use the book of Aries spells to teleport to a
town with an equipment shop (any one will do) and sell your Vase. You will
gain back a total of around 25,000 kims. Return to Malaga; buy a Golden
Sword and a Diamond Shield. Equip all your gear and go to the castle.

 The princess will beg you for help in her time of need. Her father, aware
of the two ministers' greed, gave the Ring of Water to his most loyal and
faithful servant, Bruno. Bruno hid in Harmony Cave to wait for you. She'll
give you a map and ask you to talk to Bruno.

 Thar and Luther both think that Bruno is wrong in the head. They both want
the Ring of Water. You don't like the personality of either of them. Maybe
you should try and get the Ring of Water for yourself? Absolutely!

 HARMONY CAVE

 On the way to Harmony Cave, you will notice a lone tree sitting square in
the middle of no place. Ignore it for now and enter the cave. Go down the
first branch to the right you see; it leads to the map for the level. Now
find Bruno. Bruno doesn't believe you are the same "Willow" he waits for.
Willow is a nobleman, but you do not look like one, he says. He asks you
if you're a spy from Thar or Luther, and then suddenly challenges you to
bring him the Crown hidden somewhere in the cave. Bring it to him, and you
will get the Ring.

 On the second level, you will find a Phantom Shield. It's just a whisker
less powerful than a Diamond Shield. Find it, along with the map, if you
can. Then find the stairs back up to the first level and locate the Crown.
Take it to Bruno. He'll apologize for being rude and hand over the Ring.

 Return to Malaga. If you were able to get the Phantom Shield, you can sell
the Diamond Shield for the kim. The Phantom Shield is only one point less
in defensive power, but worth less if sold, so sell the Diamond Shield.

 The Malaga townspeople are happy that you obtained the ring; many of them
will admit that they never really did like either Thar or Luther. Malaga is
united once more, with you as king.

 Talk to Thar and Luther. They'll both make obscure threats and disappear.
The princess says she will wait for you to return after your quest.

 When you leave the castle, speak with the guard and the woman near the gate
and they'll tell you Bruno has come back. Go back into the castle to talk
to him. Bruno will make you agree to marry the princess and to rule Malaga
after your quest is done; not that he is forcing anything bad on you! One
of the people in the castle will give you a map to the town of Barrow.

 BARROW

 Find your way to Barrow. Restock on supplies and talk to everyone. They
will give you a map to Tadcaster, and tell you that the people there are in
danger. One man will recount a legend of 15,000 kims in Burgandy Cave, off
to the southwest. He'll warn you that the monsters are powerful, but if you
want to try and get the treasure, he will give you a map.

 Two new pieces of equipment are found in Barrow: Agate Jewels and Banshee
Powder. The Jewels restore a few lost magic points. The Powder kills you if
you use it. It's a good way to return to the last church you visited if you
are low on both hit points and magic points, and don't think you can make
it back to a town. You revive at the last church you visited, with all of
your kim and in full health.

 BURGANDY CAVE

 This step is optional, but you should clean the cave out; it never hurts to
get more experience and treasure. The 15,000 kims is distributed throughout
three levels. On the third level, in the northwest corner, is a powerful
Graphite Sword. Get as much treasure as you can and return to Barrow.

 Be sure _not_ to talk to the man who gave you the map to the cave; not for
the time being, at least. If you do, he will claim that he is entitled to
half the treasure since he knew about it before you did. You can give him
the 7500 kim later if you want, but for now, you can use it.

 TADCASTER

 Tadcaster has no inn, magic shop, or equipment shop. Teleport to any town
(Wyclif is cheapest, but Deepdale is a better bet, since the supplies you
can get there are better) to rest at the inn, then return to Tadcaster and
save at the Church. Now talk to the people. Something terrible is up. The
townspeople are terrified of you. It seems they think you've been bullying
and tormenting them! Even the king is afraid of you; when you visit him and
ask about the ring, he says that he'd given it to you yesterday. You have
never been here before; something is going on that you don't know about.

 See the fortune teller, then head to the town square. Several knights are
now walking about. Talk to one; he'll call you "Master" and ask how you got
here so quickly from Darmon's Cave. Suddenly, he'll realize you are not
his master, and you will be attacked.

 A single Aerios spell should take out the knights. The people now realize
that someone impersonating you is the culprit who has harassed them. They
ask you to defeat him; one of the men gives you a map. The king apologizes
for his error; he gave the impostor the Ring of Sun.

 Go to the weapon shop, and get a suit of Gold Armor. The Ultimate Armor is
a bit stronger but it doesn't have a good resale value like the Gold Armor
does. Also buy a Diamond Sword and a Knight Shield.

 DARMON'S CAVE

 This cave is actually two caves near each other. Try to find the powerful
Grizzly Shield in the first one, and the Barbarian Sword in the second one
before tangling with the impersonator (if you meet him, you don't have to
fight him until you talk to him). The Barbarian Sword is much stronger than
a Diamond Sword; the Grizzly Shield a whisker less powerful than a Knight
Shield. The Grizzly Shield is in the northwest corner of the first cave;
the Barbarian Sword in the southwest area of the second cave.

 When you talk to your impersonator, he boasts that he already sent out a
messenger to deliver the Ring of Sun to Tsarkon. Then he transforms into a
Necromancer and summons several tough skeletons to fight you. Sometimes he
also hurls a bolt of energy at you. Hack through the skeletons quickly,
and be ready to duck. If you kill the skeletons quickly enough, you will be
able to reach the Necromancer and dispose of him.

 Return to Tadcaster. The king and the people are grateful to you. One man
will give you a map to Helwig, your next destination. Helwig is a little
tricky to find: after going west for several areas, at one point you must
turn north. If the map view vanishes, you've overshot your mark.

 HELWIG

 You only meet women in Helwig. Speak with them, and they will explain that
all the men have been forced to labor in Methuen's Cave to mine gold for
the Cartahenan army. One woman will give you a map and beg you to rescue
the men of the village. Restock on supplies, rest at the inn, and save
the game. Great new spell books that you can buy are Inaudios and Extrios.
Mercurios is sometimes more powerful than Aerios; sometimes not. Do a bit
of experimenting to see which one you prefer, and sell the other book. If
you change your mind later, you can always buy back the other spell.

 Be careful of the woman in the inn. If you say "yes" to her question, it
could put you in the mood for a few aspirin....

 METHUEN'S CAVE

 The first-level map is waiting in the southwestern corner of the level. To
get the second-level map, just take the first northerly branch while you
are heading east. Take the right set of stairs on the second level and you
will find the area where the men are working. Set them free and they will
invite you back to the village for a celebration.

 Back at Helwig, the women are joyous at having their husbands, boyfriends,
and fathers back. One man will give you a "Secret Key" he found. He does
not know where it can be used. There is a man in the northwest part of the
village who arrived here just now to look for the Dragon Shield, which is
supposed to be in Helwig.

 One elderly woman has no mate. She'll give you a sketch of herself, and ask
if you would be willing to find her a friend. You don't have time to play
matchmaker, but....

 MATCHMAKER, MATCHMAKER

 Teleport to Keltwick and give the old man the sketch. Then talk to him. He
likes what he sees, and gives you a sketch of himself. Talk to him again,
and he'll tell you about that single tree in the middle of no place. Walk
over to it; a chest will now appear. It contains Crimson Armor; sadly, it
is weaker than Gold Armor. Maybe you can pick it up after your quest is
over and keep it for a souvenir.

 Teleport back to Helwig and give the man's sketch to the old woman. Talk
to her and she'll promise to write a letter to the man. She'll then give
you the Dragon Shield.

 Before leaving, talk to all the women again to get a map to Swaffham.

 SWAFFHAM

 Swaffham has no inn, but it has great supply and weapon shops. Buy Diamond
Armor and an Ultimate Sword. Then, if you have the kim to spare, pick up a
Carmine Shield, the strongest shield in the game. The Argentos spell is a
powerful fireball that homes in on an enemy and strikes multiple opponents
until its lifespan expires; however, there is no way to aim the fireball.
You can aim it at one monster closing in on you, only to see it turn toward
a different one further away. So stay with Aerios or Mercurios, whichever
one you are using.

 In Swaffham, you will be told how the town of Excalabria was destroyed by
Cartahena 18 years ago. You will also learn some things about the king: he
is a very stingy and greedy man; he refuses to marry because he thinks a
queen will just spend his wealth. He desperately wants a jewel hidden in a
nearby cave with a terrible monster in it; only he has a key to the cave.

 Unfortunately, as you will learn from a man here, maps are hard to come by
in these areas; you won't get an area map from anybody or in any other town
past Swaffham. This will make it hard to get from place to place. For now,
however, talk to the king.

 The king feels his ring is worth too much to simply give away. If you want
it, you must go to Ivory Cave to the southeast and bring the White Crystal
back to him. The Dark Demon protects this jewel, but the king is certain
it will be no match for you. He gives you a key to the cave and sends you
on your way.

 IVORY CAVE

 Stock on supplies, teleport to a town with an inn so you can rest, then go
back to Swaffham to save the game. Go southeast. Your map view will vanish;
when this happens, draw a rough map as best you can. Watch both the fore
view and top view screens carefully to see where the trail forks. At the
east-west fork, go east; at the north to south fork, go north. You'll find
a man who will give you an area map. Now go back to the fork and go south
to enter the Ivory Cave. Open the gate with the White key.

 Try to find the cave's map as soon as you can. There is only one level to
Ivory Cave. You'll see another gate to the northwest. Go over to it, heal
yourself completely, and go through.

 The Dark Demon is one tough beastie. Charge at it as soon as you meet; it
will fly upward and backward. If you can pin it against the right side of
the screen, it will just fly up and down instead of trying to get over to
the left. Expect to get killed once or twice before you learn its attack
patterns and can overcome it.

 When you kill the demon, you will get the White Crystal. Bring it to the
king; he will renege on the agreement and insist that you bring him another
jewel. You must go to Ruby Cave, far to the southwest, destroy the Blood
Demon and bring back the Red Crystal. He gives you a key and sends you off.

 RUBY CAVE

 Go west, then south to reach the Ruby Cave. Open it with the Red key. Ruby
Cave has two levels. Find the maps if you can; the cave is not too easy to
navigate without them. If you find a gate, heal yourself completely before
opening it and going through.

 The Blood Demon hits a little harder than the Dark Demon, and can take a
little more punishment. Fortunately, its fighting pattern is the same as
the Dark Demon; treat the Blood Demon the same way you did its cousin, and
you should be able to defeat it.

 Take the Red Crystal back to the king of Swaffham, and he demands you bring
him a third crystal! Now he's really pushing his luck! Are you going to do
this third errand? Of course you are, because the king absolutely refuses
to hand over his ring until you do. The third crystal, which is blue, is
hidden in the Sapphire Cave, over to the west, and protected by the Gray
Demon, which the king thinks should flee in terror from the likes of you
(it won't). The king gives you a key you'll need.

 SAPPHIRE CAVE

 This is the largest dungeon in all of Vermilion. It has five complex levels
and worse, you must go through four of them twice to reach an area on the
second level where the Gray Demon is penned. Find all the maps if you can;
the map for level 2 is _not_ found in a dead end (hint-hint). Find the gate
on the fifth level; behind it is the Critical Sword; more powerful than an
Ultimate Sword. It's tedious to cross this cave more than once, but leave
it and save the game back at Swaffham after finding the maps and the sword.

 The Gray Demon hits a bit harder, and can take a little more damage, than
the Blood Demon. Again, the fighting pattern is the same. Defeat it, and
you will get the Blue Crystal. Bring
this back to the king.

 Overjoyed at having all three of the crystals, the king _still_ refuses to
give you the Ring of Earth! Only with a fourth offering, your sword offered
to his throat, will you convince him that he'd better hand it over. After
he does, he throws you out and orders you not to show him your face again.

 Talk to the townspeople one more time and they will tell you that you must
cross three caves to reach the ruins of Excalabria. Once you see it, they
say, you will know the fear inspired by Cartahena. Some people are shocked
that anything you did was enough to get the king to give you the Ring of
Earth; such is the king's reputation.

 THE THREE CAVES

 Just before reaching the first cave, your area map view will vanish. Take
the south fork in the trail to reach the entrance. By using this entrance,
you will find the exit quickly. When you find an east-west fork on the way
to the second cave, go east to find another man with an area map. Then go
down the other path to get into the second cave.

 The second cave has one level and the third one has two. The third cave is
hard to navigate, but once you find your way through it, the ruins aren't
far away. If you need to return to a town with an inn before finding the
ruins, do so. Survival is your first concern.

 EXCALABRIA

 The ruins are not much to look at but be sure to go through them. In one
of the ruined buildings, you'll find a man. His name is Knute, and he was
one of your father's servants. He'll ask you to show him the rings you've
collected so far.

 Suddenly Knute turns horrified. Turns out that the king of Swaffham is also
a liar. The Ring of Earth he gave you is a fake! Knute urges you to hurry
back to Swaffham and get the genuine Ring of Earth. Leave Excalabria, and
teleport to Swaffham with a good old Aries spell. You rush into the town,
ready to strangle the king if need be, but....

 TSARKON HAS STRUCK

 Somebody's already beat you to it. In fact, an entire army, like the one in
Cartahena, beat you to it. The hordes of Tsarkon didn't bother to leave the
rest of Swaffham in any better shape; the town already looks just as bad as
Excalabria. All of Swaffham has been obliterated into smoldering rubble.

 The king lies at death's door outside the palace gate. Aside from blaming
Swaffham's destruction on Cartahena, something you already know, he'll say
that the monsters stole all his money and treasure, plus the true ring of
Earth. Just before he dies, he'll beg you to stop them.

 Return to Excalabria and tell Knute the bad news. Knute will say that the
last three rings are all in the hands of Tsarkon; he stole the Rings of Sun
and Earth, and the Ring of Power is his family's heirloom. You must seize
these three rings to confront Tsarkon and defeat him. Knute tells you that
another village is between Excalabria and Cartahena; you can get some more
information there.

 You won't have a map of the route to this village, but if you choose the
"correct wrong turn," you will find a man who will give you a map.

 HASTINGS

 Hastings is the name of this village. As soon as you get here, heal at the
inn and save at the church. Then talk to the people. You will be warned of
the Cartahenan army, which is looking for you everywhere; in fact, a spy
from Cartahena was at Hastings asking about you. A man who was one of your
father's servants will tell you that he buried a special treasure, which
lets you see the land without maps, in Excalabria under a tree. Another
man says he worked in a Swaffham shop but moved here because he didn't like
the king; maybe the treasure he hid in the shop is still there.

 Another man here, who was also among your father's servants, will tell you
something crucial. Someone whom you consider an enemy, he says, is truly
a friend. He stole something from you but only to craft it into a stronger
and more deadly shape. He urges you to visit him again, since you'll need
his creation desperately.

 Four other Excalabrian servants await you in Church. One of these men tells
you that a special pass is needed to gain admittance to Cartahena. To get
this pass, you need to visit Barrow.

 Hastings has no weapon shop, but its magic shop has the strongest books of
spells available. Buy Sanguio, which heals you completely. Terrafissi and
Voltios are the most powerful attack spells available, but they gobble up
lots of magic points. Don't overuse spells like these.

 TROUBLE

 If you talk to a woman in a house in the upper left corner, she will serve
you a special dinner and speak with you at length. But after leaving, two
people in Hastings will say something disturbing. First off, you look ill.
Second, nobody lives in the house!

 Confront the woman, and she will call you a fool. She poisoned your dinner,
and you'll soon die; this will please Tsarkon greatly. The woman will then
make good her escape.

 You might think, no problem: a Toxios spell or Poison Balm will rid you of
the poison. Oh, no it won't. This is an abnormally virulent poison, and it
resists all your attempt to purge it!

 You can avoid being poisoned simply by not going into this house. If you
are poisoned, talk to everyone again. They will explain that the poison was
given to you through an Eracle plant. To cure it, you must locate the Digot
Plant in Whisby Cave to the east. It will neutralize the poison.

 WHISBY CAVE

 This is an optional step, which you will need to undertake if you consume
the Eracle Poison. Bring a number of Medicines and a Banshee Powder. This
way, if you run out of supplies and Magic Points, and haven't located the
Digot Plant, you can use the Powder to return to Hastings without losing
half your kim. When you do find the Digot Plant, use it at once to purge
the Eracle Poison.

 I recommend exploring Whisby Cave to find the Old Nick Armor, even if you
avoid being poisoned. I'll explain why a little later.

 GATHERING ITEMS

 It's time to gather the special items you were told about. First, teleport
to Excalabria, stand to the left of the tree, face it, and search. You'll
find Titania's Mirror.

 West of Excalabria is a hidden cave. use the mirror to find the way there.
The Secret Key will unlock one of the many gates in the cave. Go down the
right passage, and you'll locate the Death Sword. But don't equip it!

 Teleport to Swaffham and stand in the right side of the destroyed weaponry
shop. Search, and you will receive Rafael's Stick.

 Teleport to Barrow. They'll tell you about a man named Uncle Tibor who can
be found in the forest. A secret path east of the church leads to his home.
Stand right where the woman who tells you about the path is, and walk to
the right. You will pass through the forest to Uncle Tibor's house.

 Passes to Cartahena are not easy to come by, so Uncle Tibor wants you to
pay a fee of 50,000 kims before he'll give you a pass.

 Teleport to Malaga and speak with the man in the Supply Shop. At last, he
can explain his actions. He needed as much gold as you could give him; this
is why he took all your kim. He also needed a powerful sword, which is why
he took your swords. With the sword and the gold, he has crafted a weapon
for you. He was rude to you for the benefit of the Cartahenan spies which
he was sure were watching everyone in town. The Sword of Vermilion is ready
for you; he will give it to you and wish you well. This will fulfill the
prophecy of the Malaga fortune-teller who saw a man in a shop who "first
looked cruel, but then was smiling."

 Teleport back to Hastings and rest at the inn. Get the Old Nick Armor from
Whisby Cave if you haven't already done so.

 Settle down in the Church and prepare for a lengthy step. Put the Old Nick
Armor on. This is the most powerful armor available, but it's cursed. You
cannot cast spells while cursed. Use Rafael's Stick to remove the curse.
Your Armor Class will have gone down by about 190 points. Reequip the Old
Nick Armor and use the Stick again; repeat until your Armor Class drops
below zero. It will suddenly read as 5500-something. Repeat the procedure
again, over and over, whittling down your armor class little by little.
The second time it drops below zero, it will read as 9500-something. Equip
your Diamond Armor. This will drop your Armor class to the 7400 range, but 
this is still high enough to make you nearly invincible. You will take only 
one point of damage from any foe you are battling, even Tsarkon. This trick 
is called "Invincibility."

 After completing it, equip the Death Sword. It's also cursed. Do the trick
with Rafael's Stick and the Old Nick Armor over again, this time equipping
the Death Sword instead of the Armor. Your strength will be whittled down
to zero and then shot up to the 9500 range. When this is done, equip the
Sword of Vermilion again. This drops your strength to the 7500 range, but
that is enough to destroy any enemy -- even the archmonsters you have yet to
face -- with one or two blows. This trick is called "Super Strength."

 One word of warning: if you should go up a level while these tricks are in
effect, you will lose their benefits and must repeat the equipping/de-curse
procedures over again. So it is best to do the tricks when you attain your
maximum level, which is 31st level.

 CARTAHENA

 Cartahena is south of the village of Hastings, though the villagers won't
tell you this unless you complete the subtask of being poisoned and getting
the Digot Plant. The road to the town is very long and twisted; the last of
the road coils around Cartahena in a spiral. Use Titania's Mirror to find
your way to Cartahena.

 A guard is at the entry to the town; he will block your entry unless you
have the Pass. You will see something funny about the women around the town
houses. They won't talk to you. A man is hiding in the first house on the
town path. He'll tell you that all of the men in Cartahena were turned into
monsters or soldiers, while the women were turned to stone. He escaped by
hiding.

 You'll find a man in the castle. This man will tell you that Tsarkon went
east to Thule Cave, but he left you a present: the town as your grave.

 The man changes into a dragon; treat him like the phony king of Parma. If
you have Super Strength; one blow is all you need. Talk to him after you
defeat him. He'll say that you might have bested him, but you will never
beat Tsarkon.

 Go back to the man in the house and he'll say he stole the key to Thule
Cave, which he'll give to you.

 ROAD TO THULE

 This is a very, very long and twisted road. The strongest creatures in all
Vermilion infest it. Bring some Topaz jewels so you can cast an Inaudios
spell or two along the way. Casting a well-timed Chrono spell will give you
the time to flee any encounters with no damage. If you have Invincibility,
you can weather the road with little harm.

 There are two items you should search for in Thule Cave. The bottom level
is divided into four regions. In the northeastern region, you'll find the
Mirror of Atlas; use it to receive a set of maps for the whole world. In
the southeastern region, you'll find Secret Armor which is even stronger
than Diamond Armor.

 Get ready for some big fights in the cave itself. You will face not one,
but three Archmonsters. Your good old friends Thar and Luther asked Tsarkon
to change them into monsters so they could get revenge; Luther will claim
credit for leading the attack which destroyed Swaffham, and after he gets
you, he's off to visit Wyclif. Treat him the way you did the monster over
in Verlin's Cave. Thar will turn into a version of the Stow Demon; battle
him the same way you did her. There is one more Archmonster to kill: the
spy-lady who poisoned you in Hastings (assuming she did poison you). She'll
turn into a dragon. If you didn't get poisoned, you'll just meet a girl who
tells you that you'll die. These are all tough opponents, unless you have
Invincibility and/or Super Strength.

 Each of the Archmonsters guards a key to the gates in back of them; behind
these gates are the last three rings of good: Earth, Sun, and Power. Hang
on to the keys since you'll have to use them again to reach Tsarkon. You
must get the last three rings of good or Tsarkon will not appear before you
when you find his hiding place.

 TSARKON

 When you find Tsarkon, he'll call you "son," even though he is (as he says)
only your stepfather: he claims that your mother is now his wife. He will
invite you to join your rings with his, and rule the world with him. You
can say Yes if you like; it will only end the parley and make you have to
restart it. When you tell him No, he will ask you to reconsider so you do
not break your mother's heart; tell him No again, and he will acquiesce
that it's time for the final showdown.

 Tsarkon will turn into a Necromancer, and summon several skeletons. Super
Strength will hack through them with ease and let you wipe out Tsarkon in
just one blow. Regardless of whether you use neither, one, or both of the
special tricks, you will have to beat Tsarkon twice. Crush his Necromancer
form, and he changes into a horrible beast which resembles two amorphous
heads on long necks sprouting from a mass of goo. The two heads shoot out
repeated balls of flame at a downward angle. Even with Invincibility, you
will have to stand back and just wait for a break in the fireballs that's
long enough for you to get in and hit one of the heads. After taking a few
blows (or just one if you have Super Strength), a head's neck will grow a
little shorter. Shorten it enough and you can cut it off. Only by cutting
off both heads will Tsarkon be beaten once and for all.

 When you defeat Tsarkon, he will tell you his entire story. He and Erik had
wanted to make a better world, and so they set about collecting the sixteen
rings. They found the eight rings of evil first, which turned them evil.
Tsarkon turned faster than Erik, and by the time they became aware of what
was happening to them, it was far too late to fight it. Tsarkon killed Erik
and wanted to kill himself, but the evil wouldn't let him. Before dying,
Tsarkon will tell you to go back to Cartahena.

 You will get the eight rings of evil, and hold all sixteen rings. After you
defeat Tsarkon, you will not have any more hostile encounters of any kind.
Go into any town except Cartahena and everyone will thank you or sing the
praises for you. If you want a good laugh, name your character "Kong" and
go about from town to town after you defeat Tsarkon. Listen to all of the
people who will proclaim: "Long live King Kong!" (snicker, har, haw,
hee, guffaw).

 In Cartahena, the women will be free of their stone shape, and all the men
will be back. They'll tell you to go into the castle; your mother and some
of your father's servants await you there.

 Your mother will say she was never Tsarkon's wife; she refused him, and
he turned her to stone. The servants will tell you that it is up to you to
create the kind of world that Tsarkon and Erik wanted, and heal the wounds
of the world. To do this, you have to stand before the throne and use the
sixteen rings. When you do this, the rings will rise out of your hands and
into the sky.

 SWORD OF VERMILION'S closing sequence is nothing outstanding but it's nice.
You marry the princess, and rebuild Excalabria. Of course, some say that
evil always returns sooner or later; hopefully that means there will be a
sequel. Where would we be without any sequels?

 SWORD OF VERMILION is published and distributed by Sega of America.

 This walkthru is copyright (c) 1992, by Voltron. All rights reserved.
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