RAVENSWORD: SHADOWLANDS (RAVENSWORD 2)

TIPS AND WALKTHROUGH

Jim Gagne, 1/24/2013

I don't even know why I'm such a fan of Ravensword: Shadowlands, or why I've
played through it three times. There is no characterization, not even at the
comic book level. (The only exception is the Archmage, and mostly what he does
is whine.) It's a standard "save the world by finding the magic sword to kill
the Foozle" RPG. There isn't really a plot, just one bunch of monsters to kill
after another. 

But I love it. The graphics are a little primitive but beautiful. The music is
effective and at times compelling. I found the various areas and their
inhabitants challenging and delightful. You're free to go almost anywhere in
the game, including spots where the monsters will kill a low-level PC in one
blow.

Ravensword has a lot of weird conventions and interface elements. If you're
the sort who thinks help getting with the interface is cheating, read no
further. Next, I'll present some general tips with some minor spoilers, and
finally the walkthrough.


=====================
*** THE INTERFACE ***
=====================

The introduction movie provides some pointers on playing the game, but I
missed a few the first time around. Here they are:

A. You move with your left index finger or thumb on the mid lower left-hand
side of the keyboard. Your PC won't turn but moves forward, diagonally,
sideways, or back while facing the same direction. BUT double-tapping the
center of the screen sends the PC into a fixed forward run (i.e., moving
forward at the same speed as usual), stopping only when you do something else
(e.g., use a weapon or run into something) or if you double-tap the center
screen again. This double-tap thing works over a fairly wide area of the
middle of the screen, and I kept sending my PC into a run when I didn't want
to. This especially occurred while I was trying to fire my bow.

B. Sliding your finger over the upper right half of the screen or almost
anywhere in the middle of the screen rotates both the direction of the view
and the way the PC is facing. For some reason, this area overlaps with the
Power Strike button, and I kept getting a false forward strike with my sword
while trying to move. Mostly rotating the screen while your PC is walking
works well, like moving around with the mouse and arrow keys on a PC RPG. 

C. It wasn't until the second go-round that I realized tapping the compass
indicator at the top center of the screen gives you a local minimap. This is
invaluable for finding where things are in Aven, particularly North Aven,
where otherwise it's impossible to find anything without a LOT of wandering
around. Even with the minimap, North Aven is incredibly confusing--no doors
are marked; there are lots of dead ends; and half the houses are eye candy
blanks without any content. The minimap will also show where some of the
hidden corners and caves are. These often contain treasure. (Many cubby holes
with treasure do NOT show on the minimap).

D. I played my first game in easy mode and then forgot where the difficulty
setting is located: in the Options screen right off the main game menu. It's a
slider. My first playthrough was at "0" (totally easy) and the last at "55" (a
little higher than halfway). I have more to say about the difficulty setting
below.

E. The button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen does two things. A
quick press toggles you in and out of first-person perspective. Holding the
button down puts you into and out of being Hidden, which only works if you're
not right near another character. You'll flip out of Hidden frequently,
especially at first. Move speed is about half normal. The game won't let you
Hide in many special situations. So long as you stay Hidden, you can change
your weapon, draw your sword, or do just about anything without being
detected. If you kill a monster with one hit, you stay hidden, but if not,
you're detected.

F. The last time around I bought a horse when it became available and I could
spare the 2500 gold. HUGE fun. The horse can move anywhere you can, and you
can fight from the horse. How to get off? Hold down the Hide button, since
there's no way to Hide when you're on a horse. Later in the game you get to
fly on a pterodactyl!

G. One of the most frustrating problems with the interface was opening a
locked door when I had the necessary key. Sometimes the door just opens when
you approach it. Sometimes the hand icon shows up, indicating you can click on
it. But often there's no indication at all. I thought I was locked out, but all
you have to do is click on the door to open it.

H. You can buy a small house in South Aven or a large one in North Aven. The
cost is prohibitive, and the only reason I can think of for doing so is to
have a place to stash your stuff. And there's an unbelievably expensive
furniture store in North Aven, again for no earthly reason or purpose I can
determine. It's near the equally inane fancy hat store.


====================
*** GENERAL TIPS ***
====================

A. SAVE FREQUENTLY!! It's easy to get killed, and the game lets you save at
any time. So far as I can tell, the game keeps EVERY save, so you can move
back incrementally.

B. The game requires that you keep a supply of food in your inventory. You'll
automatically eat it over the course of your adventures, generally pretty
slowly. If you run out of food, you can't fight or use skills, meaning you're
dead. You'll kill a lot of food early in the game. HANG ONTO IT. You'll have
to buy food later in the game.

C. The game says you can be a magic-based character, but there really isn't
any magic in the game. You have some runes that will do things like freeze a
monster temporarily. The fire rune is wimpy.

D. Sneak attacks are by far the most powerful way to kill things. Yes, you
move really slowly while Hidden, but you start with a 100% attack bonus that
your can increase to 200%. One-hit kills then become almost too easy,
especially with a ranged weapon.

E. A few monsters continually respawn around you: the rats on the Terraces,
the deer and boars in the Eastern Forest, and the orcs near the entrance to
the pass. Otherwise, monsters are gone after you kill them but respawn if you
leave an area completely and return, or if you Fast Travel into the area (even
if you're already there!).

F. Strength is the most important Attribute early in the game. It helps you
kill things, and it's essential for carrying around your loot. Boost Endurance
as needed to keep up your hit points and Vigor for your Energy.

G. At a low difficulty level, I didn't find potions all that useful. Usually,
if l was being mauled, a potion didn't help, and otherwise I didn't need it.
But at normal difficulty, potions often came in handy, especially with mobs or
bosses.


=================== 
*** WALKTHROUGH ***
===================

1. While you're in Guild Hall at the very beginning, pick up every spare
goblet and pitcher you can find. Get the dagger on the first table. No one
will mind, and they are worth a few gold. (The game warns you if you're about
to steal something, and the object highlights red. Nearby characters will
object unless you're Hidden. You can only sell stolen goods at the gipsy
trailer just outside  the west gate.) Go outside into South Aven and use your
sword to break every barrel you can find all over town. Each one contains a
few gold. Level up, putting points into Strength.

2. Go to the blacksmith and sell your dagger and goblets. Agree to the quest.
Buy a shield and cloth helmet. EQUIP all your new stuff.

3. In one video review on YouTube, the guy starts the game, runs out the west
gate, attacks a grizzly bear, and is killed in one hit. You need to be AT
LEAST level 6 to take on a grizzly. But DO go out the west gate only so far as
the painted wagon, speak to the guy, and buy some lock picks. (You can talk to
the girl Leah. If you accept her quest, you don't need to spend any gold until
later. Nice bauble VERY late in the game.)

4. Go out the SOUTH gate to the Terraces. Stay on the top level and kill rats.
They'll keep spawning. SAVE THE MEAT. If you're at any difficulty level higher
than easy, at first the rats will occasionally kill you. Save often. Kill
about 15-20 rats, higher on more difficult settings. This is a good place to
practice Hiding. Keep leveling up, and get your sword and defense skills up to
at least 30. You should be able to kill a rat with one hit.

5. Go back to the Guild Hall and get your first main quest: speak with the
wizard outside the east gate. 

6. You'll see Rebecca standing in the street, who asks you to watch her child.
Agree. Save the game. Go into her house. The outcome is the same if you
confront the situation or flee: once outside, speak with Rebecca, and she'll
give you a nice ring.

7. Go out the east gate. Kill deer and boars. Sneak. Get your next quest from
the guy next to the tent. He'll buy all your boar hides. (Actually, every
merchant in the game will buy anything, no limit, so long at it's not stolen.)
Kill 15-20 boars. Go to the wizard's house and get your next task.

8. Head east to the goblin ruins. Go slow the first two times you're here or
you'll get swarmed. Kill goblins. Raid the two chests to solve the
blacksmith's quest and find a nice helmet. Fast travel back to South Aven.
Sell all your loot to the blacksmith, and wind up his quest.

9. I'd recommend going back and forth to the goblin ruins a few times. Each
goblin you kill is worth about 100 gold, and there are 8-12 of them right
there. If you keep upgrading your strength, you'll be able to do several
rounds before returning to South Aven to sell your loot. You can Fast Travel
to the goblin ruins even when you're already there, and it resets with all new
goblins. So it's easy to get enough gold to vastly upgrade your sword and
armor. The guy in the painted wagon sells the best ranged weapon in the game:
a 4000 gold crossbow. It's worth every penny. Don't buy another bow.

10. When you're ready, head through the troll cave and get the holy water. Use
the minimap to find the two chests in the cave, one of which requires a lock
pick. Fast travel to the wizard, resolve his conundrum, and advance the main
quest. Then go to North Aven and see the Archmage, but don't start his quest
yet. Wander around North Aven. I particularly recommend the Fine Steel store,
which sells the best weapons and armor, and the Jeweled Finger store, which
offers terrific stats-enhancing rings. (You'll find a great sword in a cave
soon. All you need now is a good sword.) Go to the House Carrowen and House
Pellemon and get your first quests from each. What? Eight grizzly skins?

11. Time to go out the west gate to Avenshire Hills and kill some grizzly
bears. AVOID going north in this area; the orcs will slaughter you. Using Hide
and a crossbow makes it almost too easy. If you keep getting killed, go back to
goblin ruins or troll caves and level up. Bring the hides to House Pellemon and
sell the rest.

12. This is the grind part. How long it takes depends upon how high your
difficulty setting is. You want to keep killing grizzlies and keep leveling up
until you can enter the cave at the top of the hill on the west and kill the
Elder Bear. He's tough: you can't hide in the cave, and you have to use your
sword. Until you're ready, he'll kill you with one hit. The nearby chest has
great stuff.

13. Now go south in this area and kill Giant Yetis. I found a terrific sword
in a nearby chest. Go in the cave and loot the skeleton. SAVE HIS JOURNAL!!
You'll need it later. There's other great loot on the skeleton.

14. Go back to the Terraces and go down the stairs into the valley. For now
ignore the castle on the left for now and instead head to the cabin near the
center. Get the quest, enter the castle through the cellar, and save the
princess from the bad men. Return to the cabin and then keep going towards the
ocean. Once on the beach, kill a couple of giant crabs and go to the right of
the ship, swimming along its side until you can jump up onto the deck. What
you want is in a chest. Fast travel to North Avon and House Pellemon. Their
third quest is a simple "kill the guy in a nearby house."

15. The House Carrowen quests are easy. The first is find a book in the
library and read it. The second was impossible to figure out until I stood on
a black square not far from the archery target near the fountain. (You have to
equip a bow.) The contest is then automatic. Return for your reward. You
already found Sir Robert's journal in #13 above. Also, go the the Guild House
in South Aven for the Trouble in Aven quest.
 

 --------------------

* First Ravenstone *
 --------------------

16. Now exit out the north gate in North Aven to North Meadows. Head for the
farmhouse. Buy a horse and get the quest from the owner inside. A bug in the
game means you can speak with him again and complete the quest without doing
anything. You get a nice sword, but you should already have a better one. The
dino cows are easy to kill and a great source of meat.

17. In this large grassy and snowy area, the only chest I found was in a watch
tower in the northeast guarded by a few orcs. The rest is eye candy.

18. Go through the cave in the north center of this area and head north to
White Iron Peaks. If you like, you can enter the pass ahead on your left and
kill some orcs, but in fact the pass doesn't go anywhere. The road north goes
on forever, so this is a nice place to try out your horse.

19. You'll wind up at the Mining Camp. Sell your loot and get the quest to
rescue the miner. Straightforward, with a nice gem at the end. The Snow Yeti
is in a cave on the other side of the road, east of the camp bulidings.

20. Head north, burn down the ice barrier, and start killing Ice Giants,
starting with the cave just northwest of the ice barrier. I didn't find any
other chests in this area. Kill your way to the Ice Giant Lair.

21. Make your way through the hallways to the dining room, loot the chest, and
grab the key from the table. Open the door to the next section of the lair and
fight your way to the end. Grab the key, click on the door, and go kill Gulch.
He's a wuss. Loot the chest and retrace your steps. Talk with the Archmage.


 --------------------
* Second Ravenstone *
 ---------------------

22. The hardest area to find is the Crags. Pass through the Terraces, up the
hill behind the cabin, into Tanglewood Marsh. The monsters are a bit more
challenging here, but you can avoid many of them. There's a nice chest ahead
on the left (east), but mostly you want to go to the right (west). Hug the
boundary of this area as you head west and then south. Pass two large stone
faces. Kill swamp goblins, who are tougher than their woodland cousins. The
path to the Crags is hard to spot but well marked on the minimap. There's a
chest tucked in along the way.

23. The Crags is my favorite area. Gorgeous. There are no enemies unless you
land on the sand below. Talk to Cribbon, get the quest, and fly to the nests
to get five eggs. It takes some searching. In the southwest corner there's a
cave at ground level with a chest, well marked on the minimap. I didn't find
any other chests. Get the Rune of Winds from Cribbon and retrace your steps to
Tanglewood Marsh. Head to the Citadel of Ror-Dan.

24. Ror-Dan is the most difficult area of the game. Be sure you have enough
food before entering. You can Fast Travel to and from the front door. The
enemies are skeletons, who aren't that difficult if there are only one or two.
One room has some spiders. Enter and travel straight ahead past the spider room
until you get to the statue. Use the Rune of Winds to retrieve the crystal key.

25. Back to the spider room and open the door on your right with your new key.
Fight your way onward and downstairs until you get to a room filled with green
fluid. If you touch the fluid INSIDE the room, you die instantly. You'll die
several times in this room, so save after each step. Use the Rune of Winds to
move the stone blocks to form a pathway to the other side. The right-hand
control with the rune moves things side to side; the left-hand movement
control moves things from front to back. You'll need to grab the blocks from
behind you and move them in front of you so you can get across the room. This
is tricky, and the ease of moving your PC when you intend to move the blocks
means you'll fall into the fluid several times. But once you get used to them,
the Rune of Winds controls work fairly well. This section is both the most
frustrating and the most elegant part of the game. Take time to enjoy it.

26. You're welcome to maneuver the blocks near enough to the statue to grab
the the Rune of Force, but all you really need to do is reach the opposite
side. Once you touch the stairs on the opposite end, there's a click, and the
fluid drains away for good. Now you can walk through the room without risk.
Then it's easy to get the Rune of Force if you haven't already done so. 

27. Up the stairs, kill skeletons, and reach a door that opens only when you
stand on a pressure plate. But the door closes before you can get to it. Go
back to the fluid room and drag some blocks up the stairs with the Rune of
Winds until you can get one block to sit on the pressure plate. If you try to
move just one block up the stairs, it rolls back down, but several seem to
brace each other long enough to get one to the top. Now the door stays open.

28. At first nothing happens in the final room of this section, and then
skeletons appear and start to swarm you so long as you stay in this room. Run
back into the hallway to keep the head count down, then back to the final room
for more skeletons. After you kill about a dozen, there's another click, the
skeletons stop spawning, and a statue appears with a crystal key. Grab it and
return to the spider room.

29. This time head through the remaining locked door. There's a chest and more
skeletons. The final door reveals an octagonal room with a central pool filled
with poison. A giant snake pops out of the pool, attacks, and dives back into
the pool. He'll knock you over unless you're at easy difficulty, meaning your
sword strikes have no effect. Standing next to one of the snake statues
prevents you from getting hit or from striking the snake, but a few inches out
from the statue allows you to strike back without getting knocked over. Kill
the snake. The second Ravenstone then appears on a statue. Leave Ror-Dan and
return to the Archmage. Update your quest. A man appears as you leave the
Archmage's tower and asks you to find his daughter Marissa, who's in the
Wastelands. Agree to do so.


 --------------------
* Third Ravenstone *
 --------------------

30. Sell your loot and be sure you have enough food. Buy the Ring of Feathers
from the Jeweled Finger, and upgrade your armor to the max. If you accepted
Leah's quest (#3 above), go to the Wayward Inn and pay her the 500 gold. Go
through the west gate to Avenshire Hills and head north, killing the 3-4 orcs
who guard the entrance to Grim Pass. Though the World Map shows two plank
bridges, in fact they're destroyed, and you can't jump the gap. No need. One
or two orcs aren't too challenging, but three or more can kill your PC
quickly, so avoid being swarmed. When you first enter the area there's a nice
chest to your right (east). Fight your way north. Watch out for the two caves
along the way with orcs who can swarm you. Each cave has a chest if you can
stay alive long enough to reach it. Continuing north, you'll reach a dead end,
but you'll discover a crack in the rocks you can jump and wiggle through.
Eventually you'll reach the path to the Wastelands.

31. Go to the guy standing at the tents ahead and to the right, killing
gorgons as you go. Keep their skins and get the quest to bring him eight
Gorgon skins. You can wander this area killing gorgons, but there will be
plenty ahead. He'll tell you the nomadic tribes to the west know how to get
into the secret tunnels under the citadel. The only way to get there is to
jump over the two smoky crevasses blocking your way. Continue west until you
reach the nomad tribe. Speak with Marissa, who agrees to take you to the
tunnels. You'll find Leah nearby, and her boyfriend Jordan gives you a nice
gem in reward. When you're ready, have Marissa take you to the tunnel entrance
and open it. As it happens, the tunnel entrance is near the entrance to the
Wastelands.

32. You're about to enjoy the best loot in the game, so go back to the guy
near the tent and give him the eight gorgon skins for 3000 gold. Fast Travel
to South Aven and sell everything you don't absolutely need. Then Fast Travel
back to the Wastelands and enter the hidden tunnels.

33. There are a bunch of Dark Elves to kill and a prisoner to free. Work your
way down the path, up the ladders, and to the boss. There's a chest after the
first ladder with elven armor. The only thing I found useful was the shield.

34. The prince will strip you of all your possessions (no runes, jewelry, or
armor). You'll fight him with just an elven dagger, so you need sufficient
Strength to beat him. It may take one or two tries before you succeed. Third
Ravenstone! The game then moves you to the entrance to the tunnels.

35. The best loot in the game is the ten or twelve elven bows, each worth
about 650 gold. (Ignore the elves' swords, which aren't worth their weight.) I
didn't have enough extra carrying capacity to get them all unless I left the
bows on the first three elves I killed and then came back to retrieve them
after killing the Prince. (I put my Strength enhancing gems on my sword but
used my bow for most of my attacks. Strength determines how much you can
carry, so my load capacity was higher when I equipped the sword.) Exit the
tunnels and Fast Travel to South Aven to sell your loot. Back to the Archmage
to discover the Ravensword is hidden somewhere in Aven.

End Game
36. It's actually in the middle of South Aven. Great sword! Be sure you have
enough food and potions. When you're ready for the final quest, return to the
Archmage. Have him open the portal. Kill the evil apprentice. Pop through the
portal into the Shadowlands. Head straight ahead to the narrowest part of the
river of lava. A nearby chest has a Ring of Jumping, which you will absolutely
need in a moment. Cross to the other side of the lava, kill some spiders, and
find the stone monkey skull head nearby. Equip the RIng of Jumping and jump up
a series of platforms to the top. Save along the way because you'll probably
fall once or twice. STOP at the top and get ready for a fight. Equip your best
combat ring. Step forward to fight a shadow troll, and then the foozle himself.
Victory!

37. You pop back into the Archmage Tower. You share final thoughts with the
Archmage. When you're ready, leave the tower. You'll wind up in a nice ending
cut scene. The game then leaves you free to do whatever you wish.


=================== 
*** SIDE QUESTS ***
===================

* Family Conflict * 
See #3 above. When you're ready to pay 500 gold, meet Leah in the Wayward Inn
(North Aven). Collect your reward in the Wastelands (#31).

* Assist Rebecca * 
See #6 above.

* Missing Shipment * 
See #2 and #9 above.

* Robbery * (Lady Katrin's house in North Aven)
This one drove me crazy until I realized you don't have to CHASE the robber.
He'll wait forever for you to cross the rope between the two houses. First
person perspective helps; if you fall to the street just go upstairs and out
the window again. Go to the far edge of the roof and shoot him with your
ranged weapon. He'll come at you and you'll finish it up on the street.

* History *
* Lost Heirloom *
* Debt Owed *
These are the House Pellemon quests described in #10-14 above.

* Bear Hunt *
* Tournament *
* Sir Robert *
These are the House Carrowen quests described in #14 above.

* Lady Catalina *
She's the lady in distress in the castle; see #14.

* Trouble in Aven *
Obtained from Guild Hall. Break into Silas Brown's house in South Aven and get
the letter. Present it to Silas in the Strongarm Tavern, learn the whereabouts
of the White Hand hideout in the abandoned house. Head there and kill eight
thieves and their leader. Their crossbows are worth a tidy sum, so be sure
you're not carrying anything extra so you have the capacity. Don't forget to
loot the two chests. Return to Guild Hall for a pat on the back.

* Snow Yeti *
See #16 and #19 above.

* Lost Miner *
See #19 above.

* Find Marissa *
See #31 above.

* Gorgon Hides *
See #31-32 above.