Evil Islands: Curse of the Lost Soul Tips and Strategies ******************************************************** The point of this document is to provide some guidance to players of Evil Islands. While a terrific game, Evil Islands has its share of frustrations and 'quirks' which I hope to mitigate with some advice. INITIAL ADVICE (no spoilers) ************** This is for those of you who have just started the game. Evil Islands, while an old-school RPG, does have some differences from other games you're probably familiar with. Here are some tips to help you along and prevent you from spending time trying to accomplish things that simply cannot be done: Unless you're a hard-core gamer or a sucker for punishment, turn the difficulty to 'Novice'. Don't worry about the name; in my opinion the difficulty levels should have been titled 'Normal' and 'Difficult' rather than 'Novice' and 'Normal'. Due to the game's "Critical" hit feature, you will still find yourself dying and the game will present a challenge. Believe it or not, there is no way to access your inventory once you're in the game zone. You won't be in a place to do so until you make it to the first village in Gipath. Once there, talk to the merchant and choose the "Buy, Sell..." choice to equip and so on. Yes, this does mean that if you pick up some armour or a weapon that you'll have to leave the game zone to put it on. However, don't worry about picking everything up. Your only weight concerns in Evil Islands come from what equipment you are currently wielding (ie: armour you wear and the weapons you carry). All other items are treated as if they are stored elsewhere...even right after you pick them up! Don't bother taking your ceremonial knife apart in Gipath. Although you would have access to the metal, there are no other blueprints that would make use of it and you'll simply waste your money doing so (especially because you'll have to put it back together!) Don't spend any experience on skills (and particularly, the "knife" skill) until you've read the "Experience Allotment" section of this document. EXPERIENCE ALLOTMENT ******************** This is extremely important. The skill-building system in Evil Islands is very powerful, but can also cause serious problems if you don't think ahead. Note that every time you select a skill, the cost for all the other skills doubles (while the cost of the skill you selected jumps considerably as not only did its cost increase from level one to level two...but that level two cost doubled as well!) Consider then, two skills you want that are 50 and 200 XP (experience points) respectively. If you start with the 50 point skill, the 200 point skill will now cost 400 points. Overall, to have level one in both skills it will cost you 450 points. But if you start with the 200 point skill, the 50 point one will double to only 100 points. You get both for a total of 300 points. This may not seem like much of a difference, but after acquiring a few skills the cost can be as high as 140,000 for one increase! With that in mind, two concepts become critical: 1. Select only the abilities you need. 2. Select skills in an order to minimize the cost (ie: most expensive first). Based on what I needed at the end of the game, I recommend the following order: - Backstab (level one - you start with this) - Encumbrance (level two) - Health (level one) - Weapon of choice (preferably sword, level three) You'll need Encumbrance to at least level two by the middle of the game to carry all your equipment (armour is the main culprit here). You may not need level three as better materials begin to weigh less as the game progresses. I recommend the Sword skill as swords come with a defence as well as an attack bonus. This will make Zak considerably harder to hit and you will find yourself orienting attacks so that the enemies are trying to hit him while your other two characters pound on the enemies from the sides or behind. If you are finding that Zak isn't hitting enough, invest in the Melee section. The "basic" skills of melee, archery, use/steal, and the three magics aren't linked to the other abilities. Increasing them only results in a progressively higher cost for the next jump. If this isn't sufficient, take a specific weapon skill before you have the others, but realize that this will cost you. Once you have the above skills, feel free to invest wherever you want, but with the following caveats: - You shouldn't need a different weapon unless you want Zak to be a skilled ranged fighter as well. This would be useful in killing a few of the dragons around the landscape, but I didn't find it necessary to kill them. - The magic skills are not needed. I was able to achieve a sufficient skill simply by using the "basic" magic increases. If you need an extra 5 skill points, just buy them one by one. - Night Vision is not needed as you can add this as a continually cast spell in your armour. Even without it, you'll find a helmet with Eagle Sight in it early in the game that mitigates the effects of darkness. ITEM AND SPELL CONSTRUCTION *************************** Generally, people shouldn't need too much assistance with this. Basically, make the best items for the materials that you have/can afford/can wear. For armour spell infusion, you should add Haste, Healing, and Strength. Haste and Strength should be linked to a Trigger rune (except if you have an archer as she won't be hit as often in which case link them to Continuous) while Healing to a Continuous rune. Note that this will not really be feasible until you have much better armour on the second Island (due to low item complexity). For weapon spell infusion, a three-pronged approach between your characters of Weaken, Deceleration, and an elemental attack will make short work of your enemies. Add duration increasing or multiple target runes (not forgetting to put an enemy filter in there) wherever possible. Again, to have the better spells, your weapons will generally not be complex enough until the third Island. Until then, consider a wand with the spell you want (Weaken was my favourite). As for the Continuous Rune, there is no easy way to determine if the item will recharge quick enough to keep a spell continually cast. Well, maybe there is, but I didn't figure it out. If you have a good method, write me at the address below and I'll update this guide. GENERAL TIPS (some spoilers in this section) ************ If you bought this game and typically enjoy playing RPGs as a magic-user, I'm sorry, but it won't really be possible. Magic in Evil Islands is much more used in a support role rather than as a sole method of adventuring. Concentrate more on building your character as a fighter. If you find you need more spell- casting abilities (as you may in some areas near the end of the game...see below) or to build a specific spell they can quickly be raised for little cost. At the start of the game you'll be stuck with that knife. It's a fine weapon and you should be in no hurry to replace it (as cool as the item building system is). You should only start considering it once you have a better material, such as silicon, available and you're thinking about making a sword. If the game starts seeming too large, don't worry: although there are three Islands in total, Gipath represents a hefty 50% of the game (or more, depending upon how you play). When you travel from the first to the second Island, and from the second to the third, you'll be given a chance to say goodbye to your companions. Use this chance to strip them of everything they're worth! Travel from one zone to another (through the yellow shroud) and enter the inventory screen. Take off ALL of their clothes and then travel back to where you were. Say goodbye to your near-naked partners and you can the use their stuff to either equip your new partners directly, or just to sell them for cash. When travelling through the caves after Death Canyon (third Island) search out and kill as many of the Lords of the Dungeon as you can. They carry a metal called Meteorite which is exceedingly strong, and you cannot re-enter the caves after you leave. The Fireworks spell can be very useful here for luring out the creatures one at a time to make a fair fight. After you've received the "Portal" quest in the third Island, ensure you have two characters who can cast the Fireworks spell with double area and one who can cast Clairvoyance for a mix of the max duration and area possible. I won't tell you why, but this will prevent much frustration and aimless walking about on your part. ***Larger Spoiler*** If you want to win the final battle on your first attempt, don't worry so much about having Zak in the fight. This is his chance to use some magic. Equip yourself with the strongest Protection from Lightning spell you can cast, as well as a strong healing spell (one target) and the longest duration Feeblemind spell you can cast. Use these to support the magician by protecting him, healing him, and preventing the Curse from casting spells. Incidentally, there is a door with a hand on it on the far side of the room. I opened it, but couldn't figure out what to do with it. If anyone knows, I would appreciate an email at the address below. ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND THIS DOCUMENT (Current version: 1.0) ********************************** At the time of this writing, there was no information about Evil Islands on the net except for a list of cheat codes (which I didn't need but if you do you can find them at www.gamefaqs.com). Playing through was occasionally frustrating for myself so as soon as I finished the game I threw this guide together. When referencing it, keep in mind that, since I didn't have this as a plan from the start, some things have grown a little fuzzy in my mind. However, I expect that I got most of it right. If you find any errors, please send them to the email address I've listed below. I've also never attempted any sort of guide before (and have no intention of writing a walk-through...people who do that must be CRAZY) so I would appreciate it if you have any feedback on the game: positive, negative, or even just "meh" to let me know. I hope this guide has helped. Good luck in your quest! Michael LeSauvage 19 Jun '01 firstname.lastname@example.org This document Copyright 2000 Michael LeSauvage and may be redistributed and copied from freely as long as credit is given to myself for all references used.