BALDUR'S GATE: DARK ALLIANCE Extreme Mode Strategy Guide/Walkthrough Version 1.0, August 28th 2003 Written by and copyright 2003 "Ti" Mike Ayles Email: firstname.lastname@example.org http://members.lycos.co.uk/igotyousucka/hob ============ 1. File Info ============ Version 1.0 - Second release of the guide, the walkthrough is now complete for the archer. Uploaded to GameFAQs on August 28th, 2003. Version 0.6 - The first publicly released version of the guide. Created July 2, 2003 and uploaded to GameFAQs on July 6th, 2003. =============== 2. Introduction =============== Welcome to my BG:DA strategy guide/walkthrough for the Extreme difficulty setting. This is my first FAQ, so I'd appreciate it if you don't judge too harshly. The purpose of this guide is to give you ideas for surviving the rather challenging Extreme mode of Dark Alliance, which is unlocked once you finish the Gauntlet mode (which itself is unlocked by finishing the game once with any character). This guide is, therefore, meant for people who have already finished the game once and thus do not need the basics of the game spelled out for them. Rather than write detailed walkthroughs for the different areas of the game, I will be giving out pointers for each section and working on the assumption that you've seen it all before. You'll find that playing Extreme mode requires some significantly different tactics, and approaching a certain room with a strategy that worked fine on normal (or even hard) can leave you lying in a pool of sewer water in no time flat. It's a humbling experience. Since you are required to import a character from a previous game when you begin, and since it would be foolhardy to import any character that had not already bested the game at least once, I'll be working on the assumption that your character has knocked off Edlrith at least once. That should put you on or about level 17, which is why I use that number so frequently in this guide. One final note: for now I'll be writing this guide from the perspective of the archer, since that's the character that I'm going through Extreme mode with currently. Obviously, much of what I say will apply to any character class, but some of it won't. =================================== 3. Welcome to Extreme Mode (It's going to be a bumpy night) =================================== The first thing that you will most likely notice as you begin your Extreme adventure is that you will be asked to import a character right off the bat. You will soon see why, as this play mode is hard enough to survive with a 17th level character - the average cellar rat could turn a first level character into hamburger in no time. The second thing you'll notice is that, unlike when you import a character into hard mode, here you start without any items. And there's the rub. They say that the clothes make the man, and this is equally true for dwarves and elves as well. Without any weapons or armor, even a 17th level archer isn't much to speak of. Bow skills? Not too useful without a bow. 200 HP? Doesn't last that long without any armor. NOTE: I have to assume that the sorceress would have the easiest time at the outset of Extreme mode since she would keep her spells, which are generally her most powerful attacks. I'll give it a try later on and get back to you. Something else that you'll probably pick up on quickly is that the store is stocking some much more appealing items than it used to. This is good, but also bad. While it's nice to know that you can look forward to kicking some serious tail with those fancy weapons, you won't be able to afford them for a while - in fact, there's nothing cheap to buy at all. So there's no low-level armor, no cheap swords, and above all, NO BOWS! I'll explain why that's such a problem in the next section. So what do you do? The answer is that you fight, tooth and nail, until the enemies start dropping weapons and armor. Once they do, you'll see your armament issues fading very quickly, as even the lowly kobolds drop an assortment of magical weapons that will make your like much easier. In fact, before you've left the first floor of the cellar, you'll start finding weapons as good as (or better) than those for sale for such expensive prices. So this brings me to the following handy tip: HANDY TIP #1: Save your money for potions Since you probably have between 150-250 HP, you're going to need potions of Extra Healing if you want to stay alive, and those will eat into your earnings quite quickly, at least during the first few levels. The reason that you'll need all these potions is because the monsters in Extreme mode are ludicrously powerful. The rats are hardy, the kobolds are actually dangerous and the bugbears (I think that's what they are) will have you fighting for your life. They all have tons of HP and do loads of damage. Furthermore, their armor classes are significantly better, and you'll find yourself missing them quite frequently with melee attacks. As they can put the hurt on so effectively, allow me to suggest a second handy tip. HANDY TIP #2: Learn to block When going one-on-one with a stronger enemy, try to block their attacks and strike them just afterwards. This wasn't really necessary in Normal mode, but it can help you a lot here. One thing you shouldn't look forward to is making a lot of levels, at least at the outset. Monsters don't give much experience in the beginning, and quest rewards haven't changed at all. Suddenly, that 200 experience for finishing the rat quest doesn't seem like such a great deal... One final suggestion is that you turn on the damage text in the options menu. This causes little numbers to pop up indicating how much damage you've done each time you hit an enemy, and it's the best way of determining how effective your attacks are. I never would have realized how ineffectual regular arrows were against skeletons if I hadn't seen it written down plain as day. HANDY TIP #3: Turn on damage text So, in summary, there are three things that you need to know about Extreme mode: 1. The monsters, even the smallest and least impressive of them, are deadly. 2. The items that they drop are much better than those that you would get in normal or hard mode. 3. The experience that you receive is, unfortunately, not really any better than in normal mode, so don't expect to get much stronger than you were when you finished the game the first time (at least for a while). ============================ 4. Suggested Skills (Archer) ============================ Extreme mode starts out, uh...extremely...challenging. You might not think that fighting rats, even super powerful rats, could be that difficult, but you probably weren't expecting to do it with a rusty dagger that does 1-3 damage, now were you? To get through those first few floors of cellar, here are some skills that will make your life easier. 1. Improved Critical is a must. Critical hits will be your only real damage dealers in the beginning (since you can't use bow skills without a bow, and you won't find a bow for a while), and if you have a few levels of Death Blow as well, your critical hits can easily deal 3 times the damage of your regular ones. Later on, these critical hits will activate the useful features of your weapons, like ice bursts and disruption. 2. Repulsion will save your hide, no doubt about it. This skill isn't particularly powerful, but for the archer, it'll be all you've got for a while. Until you find a bow somewhere, you can't even use any of your other active feats, so no more blasting your way through a level with Hail of Arrows (which is basically how I got through the entire game on normal mode). Repulsion will, of course, give you some breathing room when you're being mobbed by enemies. It also deals out a small, but nevertheless appreciable amount of damage. What's more, it also stuns some enemies briefly, which is especially useful against the spear-throwing kobolds at the beginning of the game. 3. Once you do find a bow, consider investing in Shock Arrows. Hail of Arrows does damage according to bow type, so it won't do you much good with the weak bows that you find early on in the game. Shock Arrows are the best of the elemental arrows and can do almost 50 damage on the very lowest level, regardless of bow type. They also work wonders on the pesky skeletons in the crypt, which take very little damage from piercing attacks (like normal arrows). 4. Intestinal Fortitude will help you become more self-sufficient, although it's a bit less of a priority. Still, it's a nice thing to have if you can't afford to buy any potions and you're low on health. 5. Of course, you can never go wrong with Combat Reflexes. More attacks=more dead enemies. Who says math is hard? Don't be afraid to pick skills that go with your playing style, too. Also, consider getting a point or two of endurance, since you'll be wearing heavy armor much earlier than you did last time around. ============================ 5. Act I Walkthrough The Cellar and The Sewers ============================ Thought you were tough, did you? Well I've got an army of giant rats here that thinks otherwise. Admittedly, the rats aren't really terrifying, but they'll give you a good idea of what you'll be up against. You'll find that it takes at least 4-5 hits to take out most of these rats, unless you get a critical. Don't be shy about repulsing them whenever you get surrounded by more than one. Go slowly and give yourself time to heal until you've accumulated enough money to buy some potions. I'd consider investing in a bit of armor, too, since your starting clothes are more or less useless. Loot like crazy, smash every barrel and urn you find in hopes of finding potions and money. You'll notice that you actually get a decent amount of gold here, a sign of good things to come. Your first challenge will be that small group of spiders, which will pose a more significant threat than the rats do. Keep them away with repulsion, don't let them mob you. Be sure to return to the bar once you've killed all the rats and you've found the bottle of wine for your pathetic reward. Proceed into the sewers, where you'll start seeing kobolds. The spear-throwers are a pain, so this is a good place to start practicing your blocking. The good news is that kobolds occasionally drop useful items (unlike rats), and you'll soon start seeing treasure chests. Ah, treasure chests! What joy lies within? Even in the first level of the sewers, chests can give you some seriously helpful items. Before long you'll be collecting decent weapons (no more vanilla short swords and axes), magical armor and the occasional ring or amulet. It's very much a luck-of-the-draw type thing here, so if you find a really good item, be sure to SAVE YOUR GAME afterwards. No guarantees that you'll see that enchanted half-plate armor again if you get killed and are forced to replay an area. The bugbears are a lot more dangerous this time around, you'll find. Try to fight them alone, either by killing the accompanying kobolds, running away from them (they are much faster than the kobolds, who will get left behind) or repulsing frequently (which knocks the kobolds far away but doesn't do a whole lot to the bugbears). ---------------- THE THREE LEVERS ---------------- Remember the room with three levers and about 20 spear throwing kobolds? It's gonna be pretty tough this time around. I suggest that you move one of the large boxes into position to block some projectile attacks and try to take out a small group at a time. I had a lot of luck with repulsion here, since all of the thrown kobolds won't be able to attack you while they're moving. That can give you the breathing room you need to get in and wail away with your melee weapon. If you're feeling brave, head over to where the giant rat is (look for the bodies of a bunch of kobolds that you didn't kill yourself). While there's no huge experience reward for doing in the rat, there are a few decent treasures and a lot of cash scattered throughout its den. ----------------- BUGBEAR CHIEFTAIN ----------------- Here's the first boss of the game, big, strong and ugly. Don't even think about fighting him until you've taken care of most of his lackeys, they can be lured out a couple at a time and taken care of in the hallway. Don't forget that you CAN use recall potions during this fight, so if the going gets tough, hightail it out of there. Once it's down to you and him, just pound away and try to block some of his attacks. By now you should have the money to buy a decent supply of potions, so drink up! There's some good looting to be done once he's dead, so you'll be rewarded for your efforts. I think this is where I found my first bow... Proceed to the second level of the sewers, where you'll start seeing various slimes and gelatinous cubes. The cubes can drop some very nice items at this point, like the fine great sword +2 that became my primary weapon until Act II. They are immune to lightning damage, so forget about shock arrows, just get in close and let them have it. Watch out for groups of 2-3 bugbears, I recommend that you lead them through a doorway and make good use of any bows you've found so far. The rest is just more of the same, so let us move ahead to the crypt. =================================== 6. Act I Walkthrough The Crypt and the Thieves' Guild =================================== Finally, something new to bash. The crypt is basically full of skeletons and zombies, but not a whole lot of surprises. Here are some useful tips to keep in mind: 1. Blunt weapons do more damage to skeletons, swords/axes/bows and such all operate at reduced effectiveness. 2. If you have a half-decent weapon with disruption, use it. Those one-hit kills can save you a lot of hacking. If you don't have a decent disrupting or bludgeoning weapon, do what I did: use your regular weapon to take out the zombies and use magic arrows to deal with the skeletons. The zombies are slow enough that you can run circles around them, so you should never let yourself get surrounded. My weapon of choice was a greatsword, with enough range that I could hit them and they couldn't hit me. Nice. The skeletons are much faster, though, and they can surround you if you aren't careful. Repulsion will help if they do, but try to prevent it in the first place by taking them out at range. Unlike normal arrows, which do reduced damage against skeletons, shock arrows work quite nicely. You could also use flaming arrows or, even better, ice arrows that can potentially slow them down through freezing. This whole section is quite straight forward, just proceed slowly and save often. All is fine until you reach... --------------------- The Orb of the Undead --------------------- Two words of advice: stock up. You'll need arrows galore and gallons of extra rejuvenation potions. I personally took in some 600 arrows and maybe 25 extra rejuvenation potions - the arrows were barely enough to get the job done and the potions ran out some time before I finished. First things first, start out by beating on the orb itself with your strongest weapon. If you really maxed out on the arrows you could potentially use some here (a close range hail of arrows does good damage if all 6 connect), but you're going to need them more once the orb conjures up some undead for you to fight. Once you get mobbed, the real fun begins. Hit the orb until the last possible second, then repulse away the gang of skeletons that will have surrounded you. Start running and get them chasing you so that they are all on one side. Fire off a couple of shock arrows (or maybe exploding arrows, if you have them) and then run some more before they can catch up to you. I call this the "Tour de Cave". It'll take a while, but you'll eventually thin out that crowd that's been following you, and the orb will come back down. Lather, rinse, repeat 4 times and you win. Be patient, this fight can easily take 10-15 minutes to win, and trying to rush it will only cost you health. Now that the orb is gone, onto the thieves' guild. The thieves themselves are fast and hearty, I found myself reverting to hail of arrows at close ranges to take them out. They'll put the hurt on really quickly if a bunch of them gang up on you, so keep moving all the time. The little floating eye things aren't too dangerous, just stay far away and open fire with your bow. Watch out for the trapped chests, they'll put a real damper on your day. Make your way across the various pits and around the traps (this should be old hat to you, it's no harder than it was on normal mode) until you start running into spiders. The larger spiders are particularly traumatizing as they are fast, powerful, have tons of HP and can poison you. The first one that you fight shows up after you cross a large pit via falling platforms. The good news is that if you don't stray too far from where you arrive, you'll be protected from the largest spider by a narrow passageway that it can't fit through. Plug it with arrows (preferably shock arrows) till it goes down. Unfortunately, there's another one in the spiral corridor that will have very little trouble getting up close and personal with you. Attack, retreat, attack, retreat down the hallway until it's dead - depending on the bow you have you may want to use hail of arrows or shock arrows. I haven't tried using ice arrows yet, but it would probably help a lot to freeze the great beast. ----- Karne ----- Not to be confused with Karen, Karne is the guy in the helmet who's been talking to everyone in all those cutscenes. If I can give you one word of advice: stay the hell away from him! Karne's two-hander does monster damage, you're much better off staying back and using long ranged attacks, occasionally blocking his daggers. Incidentally, I brought 25 extra healing and 25 extra rejuvenation potions with me when I fought him, and I probably wouldn't have survived with 1 less of either. Also, watch out for vengeance from beyond the grave - Karne will chuck one last dagger at you after dropping all of his stuff. That'd be a pretty embarrassing way to die after beating him. Astute reader opi brought to my attention the fact that Karne will not enter the trapped part of the corridor outside his room. If you ever get low on HP or energy, retreat to a spot by the fireball columns. Karne will return to his room and you can rest up as much as you want to before rejoining the fray. Once Karne is out of the picture, you can move on to the final level of the guild. The trap rooms aren't really any more difficult than they were before, with the exception of the three bugbears at the end - but you should be able to handle them by now. This brings us to... ------ Xantam ------ Some people think it's dumb that your 7th level character can kill a beholder single-handedly on normal difficulty mode. I think it's dumb that the beholder in question sounds like he was named after some kind of perscription heartburn medication. But I digress. This won't be too hard, there are two approaches I can suggest. The safe, long way is to stay back and fire away with your bow. Xantam's long range attacks don't do much more damage than they did on normal mode, now that you have a couple hundred HP they won't do much to faze you. It's much faster, however, to run in a thwomp him the good old-fashioned way, but this brings you within range of his biting attack. Ironically, Xantam's bite used to be much less threatening than his magic attacks, but on extreme difficulty its power level has been bumped up significantly. One good chomp can take out 3/4 of your health! Still, if you block his biting attacks, the close-range method will get you through this fight pretty quickly. That's it for Act I. Now you're on your way to Act II, where things will get more interesting (I'll admit that it's my favorite part of the game). There are some great items to buy, and you'll actually start gaining some levels. If you can survive the Wind's Walk, that is... ============================== 7. Act II Walkthrough Wind's Walk and Burning Eye ============================== You might not have thought much of the Wind's Walk the first time you played through it, but I bet you that it will be the biggest challenge that you've faced so far once you get to it on extreme mode. Getting through it is a gruelling test of endurance; since you can't recall to town, you have to survive on whatever supplies you started with, plus what few you'll find along the way. To this end, I strongly suggest that you equip some rings or amulets to boost your strength, because you'll need the carrying capacity. Buy as many arrows and potions as you can hold (both types, you can save health by using your powerful bow skills to kill enemies faster). Keep a save game where you have access to the Elfsong in case you find that you just can't finish the area with the supplies you have. Your primary foes in this area will be gnolls, trolls and some sort of mud-yetis that throw dirt at you. The gnolls and yetis don't have tons of HP, but they are most certainly numerous. Since the path is narrow, you probably won't need to do too much repulsing to keep them off your back, but you'll be using plenty of shock arrows to take them out before they can get close. If you do end up toe to toe with a gnoll, don't forget to block its attacks. Unfortunately, blocking the rocks that yetis and trolls throw doesn't tend to work, you'll need to avoid them instead. This will, of course, prove very difficult what with the narrow trails and numerous enemies impeding your movement. The good news is that once you make it to the save point, you'll be more than halfway done. Remember, frequent saving may require a lot of backtracking, but every second you spend running is a second you spend regaining your health and energy. If all goes well, you'll make it out the other side and find yourself at the... --------------------------------- Dwarven Mining Camp/Shopping Mall --------------------------------- All right, remember what I said about finding weapons as good as those available in the shop? Forget it, Brannoch has the best stuff going. I hope that you've saved up some gold, because there are two must-buy items here, as well as a number of others that are very worthy of your gold. But first things first: buy the Serrated Mithral Bastard Sword! It does 69 damage with every single hit, plus any strength bonuses you may have, plus Death Blow modifiers if you get a critical hit. None of the weapons you find for the next while will be even close to as effective, so treat yourself right. The other item that you should consider is the ring that gives you a whopping +14 bonus to your strength. While the law of diminishing returns applies to the damage bonus you get with higher strength (going from 21 to 35 strength only added 3 points of damage to my basic attack), your carrying capacity increases linearly. A strength bonus of +14 means an additional 140 pounds of carrying capacity, which means 140 more extra healing potions or 70 more extra rejuvenation potions in your pack. And yes, you'll need them eventually. Once you've gotten equipped properly, you should find that Act II is actually a good deal easier to get through than Act I was. If you sell off most of the treasure that you find, you'll always have plenty of cash for potions, so don't be afraid to drink them like they're going out of style. ----------- Burning Eye ----------- Out come the wolves, which aren't particularly dangerous or rewarding to fight. They'll go down in about 4 hits if you have the bastard sword that I told you to buy earlier, and they're also pretty susceptible to shock arrows if you prefer to keep them at arm's length. You'll also run into some more gnolls - I should point out that the armored ones have significantly more hit points, and they will become more and more common as you progress. The snow yetis are a pain, too, since the freezing action of the snowballs they hurl will reduce your movement and attack rates. Still, if you armed yourself properly, you should be able to cut through them without much trouble. The trolls will be chucking ice chunks at you too, now, making them even less fun to deal with. Run all around collecting the various bits you need to start the signal fire. Once you have them, start heading for the peak. The lightning orbs that used to be somewhat dangerous aren't too much to worry about now that you have tons of HP, just whack them with your sword. You can also pepper them with arrows, but don't waste your time using shock arrows, which don't hurt them. Light the signal fire and return to the mining camp for your reward. ============================= 8. Act II Walkthrough The Mines and the Ice Cave ============================= There is something seriously wrong with a game where killing drow is easier than killing zombies. You'll find this to be the case, though, as you venture into the dwarven mines. The drow come in three flavors: swordsman, archer and sorceress. None of them have any HP to speak of, although they all can do decent damage to you. The swordsmen and a piece of cake unless you get mobbed by them, but you should be good at avoiding that kind of situation by now. The magic-users aren't too bad, but they seem to come in numbers. I recommend fighting fire with fire and using your shock arrows to nail them from afar. The crossbowmen should be terminated with extreme prejudice - their arrows are poisoned and can cause you a lot of grief. Other than the three basic kinds of drow, you'll fight some spiders (but none of the really huge ones) and some mounted riders, which are basically like swordsmen with more hit points. Since you never see more than one rider at a time, they won't cause you too much distress. The umber hulks will, though, 'cause holy crap are they are tough. Since they are somewhat slow, don't hesitate to back up and give yourself some breathing room when fighting them. Keep your health high, one good swipe from these guys can take off half of it easily. Thankfully there are only a few to deal with. Grab the gears on the first level to proceed to the second and eventually the third. It's time to take out the ringleader of this dark-elf army. -------------- Drow Priestess -------------- Allow me to begin with a little anecdote: My friend and I suppressed a number of chuckles when we saw how much effort the development team put into animating the various female NPCs breasts in the first part of this game. We outright exploded with laughter when the scantily clad drow leader began to pole-dance for us with her staff. Is it possible to animate this sort of thing without realizing what you're doing? I doubt it. This will be an easy fight. Since shock arrows don't do any damage to this particular dark-elf, I recommend that you just hack away with your sword at close range. Her most dangerous attack is when she kicks you/knees you in the groin (actually, I bet that would hurt), but if you keep her at the outside edge of your sword range she won't even use it. I only needed 8 potions to beat her, compared to the 30 or so it took to finish Karne off. Take her key, free that dwarf, return to town and claim your reward. It's off to the ice cave! --------------- The Dark Forest --------------- Look, your map's already all filled in - how thoughtful. There's nothing new in the forest, although you will run into some kobolds, who will obligingly die for you in a swipe or two of your sword (still using the Serrated Mithral Bastard Sword, right?). I recommend killing all the monsters here, it's not too hard to do and there's enough experience in it to make it worth your while. Keep heading north and you'll arrive at the cave. ------------ The Ice Cave ------------ Hordes of yetis await you in the ice caves, as well as a few new monsters. Oh, and some more spiders. Anyway, the yetis are quite numerous, stay back and plug them with shock arrows until the path is clear. You'll soon find yourself up against some displacer beasts, which thankfully don't have very many hit points. You can use the electric trails left by shock arrows to spot them when they are invisible, but it's hardly even worth the effort, since they aren't exceptionally dangerous. There are also a number of frost wolves that don't pose too much of a problem other than the occasional freezing status. Don't ask my why there are ice spiders here. So far we've fought sewer spiders, guild-approved spiders, enormous spiders and cave spiders. Later on it will be soot-covered tower spiders, but right now it's ice spiders. There is one particularly large one, but this should be pretty easy to deal with by now. There are also a bunch of frost giants, which you should definitely keep at arm's length. Not YOUR arm, theirs. The ice projectiles are all preceded by a grunting sound and aren't that frequent, so you can avoid the most of them without much hassle (unless you're being attacked by some other kind of monster in the meanwhile). Anywho, those axes pack a real whallop, you don't want to mess with them if you don't have to. Since the giants don't ever move (perhaps they weren't animated for running?) you can just fire away and move when the snowballs are about to hit you. Continue like this until you reach the entrance to Ciraxis' cave. Now don't go in just yet, you'll need to resupply first in the mining camp. Once the dragon is dead, you'll have to make it through the first section of Act III without a safe spot to recall to. ------- Ciraxis ------- Thankfully, Ciraxis is pretty easy to put down. Again, I don't know why the dragon is easier to kill than a plain old fighter like Karne was, it just is. I don't suggest approaching Ciraxis, not that that's even possible when he's flapping his wings and pushing you back. Not surprisingly, shock arrows are the order of the day, and winning is mostly a question of patience. Use potions, stay back and try to avoid the falling ice. You've had worse. Right, with Ciraxis dead you can loot the numerous chests in his room and proceed on to Act III. What you CAN'T do is return to the mining camp, so I hope you heeded my advice and brought some extra potions and arrows before fighting him. A mysterious force, indeed. ======================================= 9. Act III Walkthrough Adderspine Road and Chelimber's Keep ======================================= Well, here we are, already the final act of the game. Things start out pretty easily with the sunken chapel, a short section filled with your usual undead monsters (skelingtons and zombees, as it were). Hack and slash until you make it outside, where the real adventure will begin. -------------------- Adderspine Road West -------------------- The zombies from before are still prevalent on the surface - do stay away from downed zombie corpses, they release toxic gases that can drain large amounts of much needed HP. You'll also meet a new kind of enemy here: lizard men. As far as I can tell, lizard men are practically palette-swapped gnolls with the exception of one particular sort. You've got your warrior lizard men and your magic-using lizard men, both of which aren't too different from gnolls or kobold spellcasters except that they have more hit points. There are also the bombardier lizard men and these should be terminated as quickly as possible, because they can do piles of damage in very short order with their explosives. I generally find that it pays to stay back and let your arrows do the talking in this section. Especially with the exploding zombie corpses underfoot, you are better off keeping your distance. The lizard man spellcasters may require you to do some chasing after them, though, and if you don't nail them they'll pepper you with poison clouds until the novelty has completely worn off. If you remembered to stock up before fighting Ciraxis, you won't have too much trouble getting to Sleyvas - and with him, your safe resting point. -------------------- Adderspine Road East -------------------- This is less of a road and more of a giant square, if you ask me. I recommend that you canvass the area and dispose of all lizard-beings encountered. There is a decent amount of experience available, some treasure too, and the threat isn't too great. This is pretty straightforward, so let's move on. ----------------------------------- Chelimber's Crown and Keep Exterior ----------------------------------- Lots and lots more lizard men await your bashing inside the fortress. They can be pretty dangerous when they mob you, so keep using your ranged attacks and proceed slowly. There are lots of goodies to be found here, so be thorough and clean it all out. The keep exterior is more or less the same deal as the crown, so it doesn't get its own heading. Kill everything that moves, take everything that glitters. ------------------------- Chelimber's Keep Interior ------------------------- Yes, there are more lizard men here. At least you're almost done with them. There are also a few umber hulks thrown in, just to mix things up, but not enough to really worry you. Feel free to proceed as usual, but you might want to consider not detonating any explosive barrels, since they can be useful later on. Thump away on the baddies until you get to the important-looking room just after a save point. Inside, as we all know, lurks the king of the lizard men. And he won't be happy to see you. -------- Sess'sth -------- Whoa, that's a lot of s's. Sess'sth is big, ugly and EXTREMELY strong, not to mention resilient. That club of his can take off three quarters of your health with one swing and blocking can't save you. In fact, were it not for something of a bug in the enemy AI, it would be nearly impossible to defeat him at all. Thankfully, Sess'sth has a weakness that he shares with many other monsters in the game - he'll only attack you when you are directly in front of him. This, combined with the fact that he moves slower than you do, means that you can literally run circles around him. As long as you stay behind him, he can't hurt you at all, so just run tight little circles around him and attack each time you end up behind him. If he does manage to hit you, heal up completely, because a second swipe might be more than you can stand at half-health. If you're having trouble with the big-guy and want to even up the odds, try the following tactic from Andrew Liu. If you've been careful not to detonate any of the explosive barrels, there should be a number of them scattered throughout the level. Push them all to the entrance of Sess'sth's room before you begin the fight and retreat immediately once it has begun. Run into the hallway (jumping a lot will help you move a bit faster) and detonate the barrels with an elemental arrow once the lizard is next to them. This should take a nice chunk out of his HP for you right off the bat. ======================================= 10. Act III Walkthrough Bog, Temple and Tower ======================================= All right, you've made it this far and now nothing's going to stop you from finding Eldrith and whomping her pasty undead hide. Which is not to say that nothing will TRY to stop you, they will, but you can handle it. So let's get to work. --------------- The Rotting Bog --------------- Rare bog, this rotting bog. It starts out as a rehash of Adderspine road, but without the lizard men. Zombies, zombies everywhere, so cut them down and stay away from the corpses as they are prone to emitting clouds of poison. Eventually you'll run out of zombies and into trouble, namely the infamous bullette (pronunciation guide: bull [as in, male cow] - AY [as in, the Fonz]). I never imagined bullettes to be quite so comical, but I did expect them to be dangerous, which they are. In fact, they're damn dangerous, with a ridiculous rate of attack, lotsa HP and a pretty decent movement speed. If you're going to take them on, it will be suicide to use anything other than the block-attack method outlined earlier. Personally, I don't think it's worth the effort... and no one said you actually have to kill them. I suggest that you just keep running until you get to the entrance of the sinking temple, then walk right on in. ------------------ The Sinking Temple ------------------ Whole lot of minotaurs going on in here. They have strong attacks but not a huge number of hit points, so I recommend attacking them from a distance. The ever-popular lightning arrows will certainly get the job done admirably. You can recall when you run out of potions, so just don't rush too much and you'll be done before you know it. Up ahead is Sleyvas, and this time he warrants his own section. ------- Sleyvas ------- This is your last chance to shop before the final confrontation, so don't let's be stingy. First order of business: if you don't have two rings of +15 strength, then buy them right now. With them equipped, you'll be able to carry some 500 pounds of loot or, more importantly, potions. Also, if there are any small upgrades you can make to your armor, you might as well. You can also get a nice weapon if you like, but you'll be finding much better stuff inside the Onyx tower shortly, so I don't know if it's worth it. One thing you don't need a ton of are arrows, as they are in great supply inside the tower. I don't think you could possibly run out, short of firing them at walls for hours on end. So, buy potions. Many, many potions. I left with about 125 of each kind (no, I didn't buy any recall potions) and was glad to have them. Personally, I found that I was largely able to maintain my potion stocks throughout the tower (well, I gained a few healing potions and lost a few rejuvination potions), but it's nice to have a safety net. Also, you'll want to have a decent number left over when you get to Eldrith. Right, we're all stocked up now, so let's go visit the elemental plane of water. -------------- The Onyx Tower -------------- I think that the biggest disappointment for me in the game is that you never really get to see the plane of water. Oh well, you're in the tower now and things are going to be tough. But take heart, for while the tower may be difficult, it's far from impossible to complete. You may die a whole bunch of times, but as long as you're somewhat careful you'll make it through eventually. The treasure chests here are your best friends in the world, as they can contain the best items in the game, or at least a couple of potions. Be on the lookout for an amulet of constitution +15, which I think is indispensable if you want to get out of here alive. It will grant you some 300 extra HP and also will increase the rate at which you regenerate. One thing to note is that the chests will give you different items every time you open them; if you don't get what you need, you can always reload and try again. Anyway, you'll probably die a large number of times, and these are opportunities to look for new goodies in the chests. If you get something that you really want, SAVE THE GAME! It might not be there if you die and redo a portion of the tower. When progressing, keep an eye on your potion stocks. If you find that you're using a lot more than you are finding, consider reloading an older save and proceeding more slowly. Remember, you can always find a safe spot and rest up! Also, don't get greedy - carrying a ton of magical weapons or armor that you aren't using will prevent you from picking up much needed potions. Don't forget that you'll never have a chance to sell any of your loot! With that in mind, I also suggest that you don't insist on completely clearing each level out. If you find the stairs, move along - killing all the monsters will just use up your potions and you'll need them all later. Let's see, what kinds of enemies can you look forward to facing inside the tower? The gargoyles are fast and dangerous, particularly if they mob you. One at a time, you can probably take them out with your melee weapons without too much difficulty, but they can drain your health in no time if they surround you. If you see more than one, open fire from far away and switch back to your sword (or what have you) at close range. Golems come in three sizes: big, huge and bloody massive. The big ones spit poison, which is a right pain in the rear, but they aren't too dangerous. In a few instances, you'll run into more than one, and then you should throw everything you have at them. The slightly bigger golems have nasty twin swords that the swing around impressively, and you don't want to get near them at all. You can, however, chop off their arms, which makes them a lot less dangerous. The really, really big golems carry huge spears and can stick it to you from half the screen away. Keep them on the edge of the screen, or you'll regret it in no time. There are some minotaurs and spiders, and they are the least of your worries. There are also some very, VERY annoying fire creatures that are quite hard to dispose of, but they are thankfully few in number. Just don't attack them with any kind of fire and you'll get them eventually. The Onyx Golem is quite dangerous, but there's only one and it's relatively slow. Stay behind it if you want to attack at close range, otherwise just fire arrows from as far away as possible. The Onyx Sword that it drops is just about the best thing going for weapons, since it has that lovely 90 minimum damage. Good luck fighting your way through the tower, if all goes well you'll eventually make it to the Hall of Remembrance and the final battle. The hall is filled with potions, so make sure you take all that you can carry before going into the last battle. ------- Eldrith ------- Eldrith is a tough cookie, but is by no means impossible to beat. Sadly, all electricity based attacks are useless against her, and as the archer the only other thing that does comperable damage is your melee attack. So get right in there and start hacking, or else use a very short range hail of arrows. Either way, you'll have to be up close and personal. Eldrith leaves herself open when she throws her sword like a boomerang, use this time to hit her, but be sure to stand out of the path of her weapon while doing so. Don't bother attacking her while she's "growing", you can't harm her and you'll take damage from the lightning. I used about 100 extra healing potions fighting Eldrith, but I also beat her on the first try (more than I can say for a number of the other bosses). I'm sure that it can be done with a lot less potions if you are more careful and you fight her a few times to learn her attack patterns. I'd be interested to hear your war stories! Once Eldrith is down, walk out the teleportation gate and savor your victory. Not only have you bested the hardest level of difficulty the game has to offer, but you can now load up saved games with Drizzt! Congratulation, a winner is you. ======================== 11. List of Contributors ======================== The following people have offered good strategies that are included in this guide: opi - Tactics for recovery during the battle with Karne Andrew Lui - The exploding barrel approach to Sess'sth Ok, there aren't too many contributions just yet. Send some in and your name might end up on this list too. Think of the glory! ================= 10. Parting Shots ================= Thanks for reading this FAQ, I'm happy to have a chance to contribute to the site that's helped me through some of the toughest spots I've faced in gaming. You should only find this FAQ on www.gamefaqs.com or my homepage, http://members.lycos.co.uk/igotyousucka/hob. Anyone else has stolen it, and you should tell me about it so I can punish them. I did indeed write every word of this FAQ, so please ask my permission before using any of it for purposes other than getting through the game yourself. If you spot any errors/gross oversights, feel free to tell me about it at email@example.com. As long as you're nice about it, I'll be happy to get any corrections you have to send. If you have any questions that ARE NOT COVERED IN THE FAQ, please send them to me. If they have been covered, I may respond in a grumpy and unsympathetic manner, so consider yourself warned. Happy hacking, and don't forget your helmet.