POOL OF RADIANCE (NES) Walkthrough by Overdrive Version 1.0 For questions, comments, etc. : email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com ------------------------------------------------------------------------- TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Introduction 2. Copyright Notice 3. Version History 4. Important NES/Computer Differences 5. Tips/Hints/Stuff You Need To Know 6. NPCs That May Join You to Fight 7. Walkthrough a. The Beginning/New Phlan b. Slums c. KutoÕs Well/Catacombs/Podol Plaza d. Sokal Keep e. Kovel Mansion f. Textile House g. Wilderness Overview/Silver Dragon Cave/Nomad Camp h. MendorÕs Library i. Kobald Cave/Textile House (revisited) j. YarashÕs Pyramid/Lizardman Keep k. Buccaneer Base l. Zhentil Keep m. Stojanow Gate n. Wealthy Area/Temple of Bane o. Valhingen Graveyard p. Three Optional Quests q. TyranthraxusÕ Final Day 8. Monster Compendium 9. Commission Quick-Reference List 10. Stuff I HavenÕt Proven 11. Credits ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. INTRODUCTION Pool of Radiance is the only one of the classic SSI turn-based strategy RPGs based on the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons world to make it to the NES. My guess is that they may have originally planned to release Curse of the Azure Bonds (the second in the four-game series), because when you complete the game, there are passwords available for all your characters. However, that never happened, sadly. While this game is simplified/altered a bit from the computer version, it is still one of the greatest games ever for the NES (in my opinion). You have a lot of latitude in your decision-making; there are many dungeons, caves, buildings, etc. to explore -- and multiple ways to do a lot of them; all-in-all, this is as open-ended of a game as youÕll get on the old NES. Since a lot of people have been asking for a QUALITY FAQ on this game that actually caters to the NES crowd, I figured I do it. Gives me another reason to play the game again. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2. COPYRIGHT NOTICE This guide is copyrighted 2003-04 by Overdrive/Rob Hamilton. You may read and copy this guide for your personal use. You may use it for your website if you email me and ask for permission. You may not take this guide and post it wherever you want just because you feel like it. A lot of time is going into playing this game and writing the guide for it and I would appreciate it if you respect that. Believe me, I have no problems in letting anyone use this guide as long as I get proper credit. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3. VERSION HISTORY 1.0 (4/26/04) -- Took care of the entire walkthrough. Pretty much a done deal except for the stats for a number of monsters, which will be included whenever I get through the computer version of the game (unless someone knows something I donÕt). With all the options you have here, itÕs all too possible I missed something. Also, I may proofread this work a bit more carefully in the future and re-send it (probably when I get the remaining monster stats). ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4. IMPORTANT NES/COMPUTER DIFFERENCES a. In the computer version, you get something for every battle -- usually the armor/weapons the enemies were wearing. Actually, itÕs somewhat of a positive that this was not implemented, as when your party is all decked out with magical items, it gets rather tiresome to say no to the generic crap those pesky Kobald-type wimps drop on a regular basis. b. You can have six PC/recruited characters and two storyline NPCs in your party at any one time in the computer version. Here itÕs five and one. c. Conversely, a number of battles are much larger and/or tougher in the computer version. You have more characters --- enemy forces also are much larger. Nothing like fighting 20-25 Orcs at one time. LetÕs just say, you better be loaded on Sleep spells. d. In the computer version, there are a number of secret lairs that contain monsters and treasure in the Wilderness that may be found in random spots if you have the ÒsearchÓ function on. So far, no one has found any of those in the NES version (used to be a hot topic on the boards). One reason for this may be the fact that you are unable to use the ÒsearchÓ function outdoors... e. In the computer version, any time you either entered a period of extended dialogue or heard a tavern rumor, you were directed to read the appropriate paragraph of a book that came with the game. Some entries in the book were false, so you couldnÕt read everything and know all the secrets in the game -- but youÕd sure have a good idea. In the NES version, all the dialogue, rumors, etc. are in the actual hardware and will be displayed on screen. f. Money is a bit more complicated in the computer version. All the AD&D currency is there. Not only do you have gold pieces, you also have the more valuable platinum pieces and the less valuable electrum, silver and copper. g. In the NES game, you have an unlimited amount of arrows, sling stones, etc. In the computer version, you have to continue purchasing them or youÕll run out. h. HereÕs a funny one. Spell names with religious meanings were altered. For example Bless is now ÒEmpowerÓ and Prayer is ÒMediationÓ. Thanks, Nintendo for saving us from the horrors of religious words while putting us players in a world in which we have to kill most every life form out there in order to succeed. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5. TIPS/HINTS/STUFF YOU NEED TO KNOW PART ONE: Okay, the first thing I want to make clear is that this is simply a guide to THIS GAME. IÕm not going to rehash every AD&D rule, describe every single spell, explain the meaning of every stat, playing class, etc. If you go the the PC FAQ section for this game, youÕll find a well-written AD&D Rules FAQ by DSimpson that should help you figure out whatÕs what. However, I will mention a few stats/classes in particular that are of the utmost importance. a. Armor Class/Movement -- The lower the number, the better. You start out with an armor class of 10 (minus any possible bonus for class/dexterity) and lower it by buying/equipping armor. Characters like Fighters and Clerics can equip stronger armor, so they should be toward the front. Thieves and Magic-users should be in the back, as they only get weak armor (although the right Bracer can do wonder for a Magic-UserÕs AC. Now, one thing to take into consideration is that the heavier the armor you have, the more restricted in movement youÕll be. A Fighter with Plate Mail equipped can move six squares per turn. When fighting enemies with distance attacks (arrows, spells, etc.) that start battle far away from you, that can be troublesome. So, there always is the potential Òmobility vs. protectionÓ conflict for you to think about. b. THAC0 -- This number determines your proficiency in combat. It stands for ÒTo Hit Armor Class 0Ó. LetÕs say it is 20. That means whenever you try to attack an enemy, the computer rolls an imaginary 20-sided die. If the enemy had an AC of 0, youÕd have to get a 20 to hit it. If the computer had an AC of 10, youÕd get a hit on a roll of 11 to 20. This may lower when you go up in level. Fighters get their THAC0 lowered each time they go up in level. Other classes get a bonus less frequently, as their primary focus isnÕt brute power. Needless to say, the lower you get this number, the more likely you are to consistently hit enemies in battle. As a side note, no matter how low or high your THAC0 is, there always will be a five percent chance that youÕll either hit or miss. Example, you have a THAC0 of 20 and try to hit an enemy with an AC of -3. While it would seem that you have no mathematical chance of hitting this enemy, if the computer ÒrollsÓ a 20, you will connect. c. Magical Weapons/Armor -- So you have a few weapons and armor with +1 or +2 in front of them? ThatÕs good, because magical pieces of equipment are about the only way to improve THAC0 and AC easily. A Long Sword +1 will improve your THAC0 by one as long as you have it equipped AND add one point to the amount of damage you cause with a hit. A Chain Mail +1 improves your Armor Class by one more point than regular Chain Mail would. There are two ways to find out if something is magical. First, cast ÒDetect MagicÓ on it. Second (and more efficient), go to a store and act like youÕre selling it. If it is dirt cheap, itÕs a regular old piece of equipment. But if the store offers a ton of $$$ for it, itÕs magical. Now cast ÒDetect MagicÓ (or if you have enough cash, just pay the storekeeper to identify it). This way, youÕre not cluttering up your limited active spell selection with a bunch of spells that have no in-combat purpose. d. Spells -- When you start out, you have next to no spell-casting ability for your Clerics and Magic-Users. They might have 2-3 casts of a Level 1 spell, after which they must rest to re-memorize their spells. For this reason, whenever you set off for hostile territory, you have to be careful in allocating spells to characters. Early on, IÕd advise giving your Clerics nothing but Cure Light Wounds (so you donÕt have to run to town every time someone takes a hit). Magic-Users should have mainly Sleep (to incapacitate foes for easy kills) and maybe a Magic Missile (to cause a bit of damage). When a Cleric goes to memorize spells, they can choose between all spells of any level theyÕve obtained knowledge of. When a M-U goes to memorize spells, they can choose between whatever spells they have chosen to learn of any level theyÕve obtained knowledge of. When a M-U goes up in level, they get to choose a new spell(s) to learn. Picking the right spell is an important thing to do. Some are game-savers (Fireball and Hold Person), some are pretty limited/useless (Knock and Cure Blindness). The healing spells Clerics get are the most useful spells in the game, as they are the only cheap and easy way to regain lost hit points. Basically, the only quick way to regain HP is to go to an inn/safe point, have your Cleric used all their Cure Wounds spells, rest (to regain magic) and repeat until everyone is healthy. Characters do regain HP on their own, but itÕs something pathetically slow, like one per 24 hours. A more advanced Cleric should invest in Hold Person, as that spell will work on humanoid enemies a bit too powerful for the Magic-UserÕs Sleep spell. Magic-Users also have some crucial spells. Early in the game, you get access to two of them (Sleep and Magic Missile). Sleep is a lifesaver early in the game, as it effectively turns weak enemies into helpless practice dummies. Magic Missile is a good way for a M-U to attack, as it is 100 percent effective. Later, they will get Fireball, an area-attack spell that can devastate an enemy squad (or you, if youÕre not careful -- make sure none of your characters are within its sphere of influence). PART TWO: And now, letÕs just go into a few other useful tidbits. 1. Save often. As in constantly. You never know when a group of enemies might gang up on your Magic-User. You never know when your weak party that has been struggling to overcome Kobalds and Orcs will run into Trolls. Quite frankly, you never know... (well, this guide will give you some damn good hints, but there always is the element of the unknown while in battle). 2. The Council gives out quests. By doing them roughly in the order given, you wonÕt get overwhelmed. One exception -- save the cleansing of the local graveyard for immediately before the final assault on Tyranthraxis. It is brutal and you want to be as strong as possible before facing all the legions of the hatefully strong undead. And I wouldnÕt be running to MendorÕs Library as often as the game seems to prompt you to do so, as it will be a very humbling experience early in a partyÕs career. 3. Clerics have the ability to ÒTurn UndeadÓ. This is really useful since (as long as it works), some number of undead enemies will be forced to attempt to escape the battle -- meaning they wonÕt be attacking your party unless they get caught in a corner. Since a number of these guys (Wights, Wraiths, Spectres, Vampires) can steal experience levels and others (Mummies - disease, Skeletons - sharp weapons do half damage) have other unpleasant abilities, a high-level Cleric is important to have. 4. Speaking of experience, you can only advance so far in this game. Each of the SSI AD&D games has a level cap for characters. In the computer version, you could just train immediately in the second game, Curse of the Azure Bonds to gain more levels -- here, regardless of how many experience points you have, after a certain point you wonÕt be going up anymore. For the NES version, the best thing to do is have a couple of characters divide their experience between multiple classes. Not only does this make your party more diverse, but it also ensures that you wonÕt have everyone maxed out long before the end of the game. One thing I am going to do is include an experience chart for the various classes. This is because you have to train after reaching the experience requirements for any given level and the game itself wonÕt tell you itÕs training time. If you have the instruction book, youÕre cool. If not, youÕll be in the dark. To read the chart, the number on the left is the level number and the numbers under the class names tell how many XP are needed to obtain that level. All created characters start at Level 1 and have no experience. CLERIC FIGHTER THIEF MAGIC-USER 2 1501 2001 1251 2501 3 3001 4001 2501 5001 4 6001 8001 5001 10001 5 13001 18001 10001 22501 6 27501 - MAX LVL 35001 20001 40001 7 70001 42501 8 125001 70001 9 110001 5. Most importantly -- when you are rolling your character stats, do not be in a hurry. Re-roll and re-roll until you get great stats for everyone. For the most part, youÕre stuck with what you get, so donÕt short-chance yourself. The score of 18 is the maximum you get get, with the exception of a FighterÕs Strength. If you get an 18 here, then you also will get random number between 01 and (1)00. This gives Fighters the potential to get far better bonuses in this category than anyone else. Here are some rolling guidelines: Everyone -- High Constitution (a high score in this gives you HP bonuses for each level gained -- 16-18 is good). Fighter -- 18+ Strength (the bigger THAC0/damage bonus, the better). Cleric -- 16 Strength or better, 17-18 Wisdom. High wisdom affects spells. Since they are the next best attack units after Fighters, you want them able to cause some sort of damage on at least a semi- consistent basis. Thief -- IÕm not sure that anyone has ever found much of a use for these guys (in one or two areas, having one makes things easier, but overall they are inferior to all other classes). If you have one, give them good strength and dexterity. Dexterity improves their shoddy defense if high enough and may improve their trap-finding abilities. It also works to improve their THAC0 with missile weapons, which is important because you donÕt want these guys getting carved up in hand-to-hand combat. Magic-User -- Intelligence 17-18 for more spells. Dexterity also should be high so they not only can dodge attacks here and there, but also can move earlier in rounds to cast spells before the enemies attack. 6. Treasure gained may be somewhat random. I had originally started this game and then started over for the FAQ since some of my notes and maps were a bit vague. The treasure I got from OhloÕs quest was different both times. The first time, I got an awesome 2285XP, Bracers AC2, three potions, a scroll with three Cleric spells and a Necklace of Missile. The second time, it was a comparatively poor 425XP, three potions, two scrolls, but NO bracers. Basically, if you get XP or treasure I didnÕt get or I got something you donÕt get -- thatÕs life. Apparently, there are some variations in what you may get and those variations can make a pretty big difference in things. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 6. NPCs THAT MAY JOIN YOU TO FIGHT Note: NPC characters move and act on the direction of the computer. You have no real interaction with them, except to improve their equipment. However, you canÕt take anything from them, so donÕt hand them anything expensive unless theyÕll be with you long enough to make it worth your while. Of course, if you follow my walkthrough, the only NPC that will be with you for any time is Dirten, and he comes into your party with some good equipment. a. Dirten --- L5 Human Cleric HP: 26 10STR 15INT 16WIS 10DEX 9CON 15CHA Once you accept BracchioÕs quest (which is early in the game), this fellow joins you. Is he a wonderful character? No, but he gives you extra heal spells, so heÕs worth keeping around as long as possible. Note: In the NES version of the game, Dirten is NOT as good of a character as he is in the PC version. Why? Because of horrible AI. In this game, heÕs very fond of repeatedly healing himself -- even if heÕs at full HP -- and casting other spells at strange times, such as Hold Person against animals or undead. IÕd still keep him around simply to have a sixth character in your party for as long as possible (he is a decent melee Cleric and youÕll have more Cure Light Wounds spells for after battles -- but prepare to be frustrated by his frequent bouts of ineptitude. b. Genheris --- L7 Human Magic-User HP: 22 10STR 18INT 10WIS 10DEX 10CON 10CHA WhoÕd have thought that a Magic-User would be such a good NPC, given their horrid AI in battles? While youÕll likely only have this traitor to the Tyranthraxus cause on your side for two battles, he can make a big impact, as heÕll actually use his spells in your favor. In the final battle of the game, he hit Tyranthraxus with two Magic Missiles that caused nearly half the damage needed to kill the brute. Just be careful --- heÕs not overly cautious about who he hits with his Fireball spell. c. Mad Man --- L1 Human Fighter HP: 07 17STR 10INT 10WIS 10DEX 10CON 10CHA The most useless NPC in the game and not just because of his low starting level and his poor stats. This clown also has absolutely no courage. As a test, I kept him around for the two big fights in MendorÕs Library (where you find him) in the computer version. He ran from the Basilisk and surrendered to the Spectre. After that, I dumped him. d. Magician --- L6 Human Magic-User HP: 23 10STR 15INT 10WIS 10DEX 10CON 10CHA Two reasons why this graveyard spelunker is on the same level as Mad Man. First, heÕs a Magic-User and the NES version of this game really struggles with the AI of this class. Second, heÕs actually a servant of the Vampire that runs this block. When you reach the Vampire, heÕll betray you. So, just kill him on sight, so you donÕt have the hassle later. e. Princess Fatima --- L4 Human Fighter HP: 33 18/01STR 14INT 10WIS 18DEX 16CON 15CHA The Princess is a good member, but you only have her for a short time. You pick her up in the Kobald Cave and she will leave you the second you exit that place. But she is handy for the brief moment you spend on her side. f. Skullcrusher --- L4 Human Fighter HP: 39 18/81STR 10INT 8WIS 16DEX 18CON 12CHA CadornaÕs servant will be found prisoner in the Textile House. If you free him, heÕll join you until you completed the quest that brought you to this region. He comes unequipped, but since heÕs only going to be with you for a little while, only equip him with weapons and armor dropped by the local monsters. He is a powerhouse and will help you out in whatever battles heÕs around for. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 7. WALKTHROUGH Note: For this walkthrough, I used a Dwarf Fighter, Human Fighter, Human Cleric, Half-Elf Cleric/M-U and Elf Thief/MU. Just wanted a combo I didnÕt think IÕd used before. --------------------------------- a. The Beginning/New Phlan Common Monsters: See below. After creating your party, you begin in New Phlan. The basic plot is that you are a group of adventurers looking for wealth and glory. New Phlan is in need of adventurers, as their formerly huge city has been gradually taken over by the forces of evil. Currently they are crammed into one little section of the actual city and are in dire need of help before they become victims of the monsters. IÕll be giving coordinates to describe most of the points of interest here and everywhere else in the game. Here is a crude example of a level (not drawn to scale -- most are 16 by 16 squares) (0,15) (15,15) ______ | | | | | | ÑÑÑÑÑÑ (0,0) (15,0) Because I have no skill creating computer maps, IÕm just putting in the coordinates. Besides, IÕve always felt, itÕs better for the player to make their own map in a game like this --- that way you gain a more intimate knowledge of your surroundings. To help you, through the menus, you can access a vague map of your immediate surroundings. YouÕll have to fill in doors, points of interest and such, but youÕll be able to sketch in the walls and corridors. Anyhow, in Phlan, there are a ton of places to go. You have stores, inns, temples, a training ground, taverns, a dock. Yes, this is civilization. So, letÕs first look at the generic shops. All stores in a class are identical. At (2,1), (4,3) and (6,2), youÕll find Inns. These are the only places in town that you may rest without being disturbed by the city guards -- and you only have to pay a tiny fee of 5G. While resting, you may cast spells to heal party members, re-memorize spells, sleep, cast them again, etc. until you are completely healed. YouÕll be coming here often. At (8,2), (8,4), (9,2), (11,3) and (13,7) are Armories. These places are great early on, as you can buy any non-magical type of weapon or armor. However, as you find GOOD stuff in battles or in hidden caches, these stores become obsolete -- only good for selling off old items. Taverns are at (8,6), (10,7), (15,1) and (15,5). You can get rumors here, but the act of snooping for information can set off a drunken brawl. The encounters can range from easy (L1 Thieves) to not-so-easy (mid-level Fighters). At (9,5) and (12,5) are Jewelers. While exploring, youÕll find several gems and jewelry. Turn them to gold or vice-versa here. Silver Shops are at (10,2) and (11,5). You can get a couple silver weapons (stronger vs. undead) here. And at (9,4), (11,4) and (15,7), youÕll find Item Shops that contain a few assorted things that may or may not ever come in useful. There are a large number of other places that will be of great interest to you. The town has three Shrines dedicated to different Gods. The Shrine of Tempus entrances are at (1,12) and (3,14). The Shrine of Sune entrances are at (0,3) and (2,3). The Shrine of Tyr entrances are at (8,9), (8,11) and (11,12). At Shrines, you can have a number of healing services provided and you may purchase various healing/restoring items. As a side note, Bishop Bracchio of the Shrine of Tyr is located at (10,10). He will eventually give you a quest, so keep his location in mind. As you get a surplus of gold, Temples will be your favorite place to visit in Phlan, as paying to get healed takes a lot less time and is far less tedious than going to an inn (or other safe resting spot) and repeatedly casting and re-memorizing Cure Light Wounds until everyone is healthy). The party can do plenty of things at the Training Hall, located at (6,13). Most importantly, this is where you go after someone has gained the experience to go up in level. For a fee, that character will gain their new level. Also, you may compete in one-on-one arena battles (very little purpose to this) and hire replacement base party members (something IÕve never done -- if someone dies, IÕve always reset). Since youÕll likely want to know what youÕre supposed to be doing, go to the City Hall entrance at (4,11) and enter the ClerkÕs office at (5,10). She will hand out quests for you and give you rewards upon the completion of them. You start out with three quests and will get one new one for each one you complete until youÕve depleted the supply. Sometimes, a different member of PhlanÕs Council will have a quest for you. Usually this is the only time you may enter their office without resistance from the guards. Including among these people are Cadorna (6,10) and Bracchio (10,10). The first three missions that youÕll get involve cleaning out the Slums, investigating Sokal Keep and finding history books concerning the history of Phlan. To leave the civilized part of town, you have two options. To go to the Slums, leave at (0,11). To go to Sokal Keep, go to the docks at (15,14). After you clear Sokal Keep, when you go to the docks, youÕll be able to sail to a variety of destinations, giving you easy passage to the outside world and to some harder-to-reach areas of Phlan. The Slums will be your first destination after leaving town. WHAT TO DO IN PHLAN EARLY ON? Simple. After creating your party, go to an armory and buy everything you can. Odds are that you wonÕt be able to buy the best equipment for everyone at this point (Plate Mail is too expensive), so just make sure everyone has something to aid them in the Slums. YouÕll be running back and forth between the two places quite often for some time, so it wonÕt be too long before you will be able to upgrade your characters dramatically, as far as equipment. DonÕt forget to stop by the ClerkÕs office to start getting commissions. FIGHTING IN FRIENDLY TERRITORY? Yep, even in your only true safe zone (at least until you clear out other sections of town), you can get into trouble, but you never are forced to fight -- itÕs purely free-will combat. So, how do you get into battles? Three ways. 1. The arena in the Training Hall. Pick a character and they fight a solo battle for fun and (minor) experience. Personally, I feel this is a waste of time. 2. Taverns. By asking for information in Taverns, you may cause a fight to break out. Because of this, itÕs not good to go to Taverns until youÕve gained a couple of levels, as the power of the opposition is randomly determined. 3. Antagonizing the guards. There are a number of things you may do to get the attention of the town guards. To name a few: trying to ÒrestÓ on the street, being in a Tavern brawl and going in unauthorized doors in City Hall. Young parties or those not looking for trouble should comply with the guards. However, you can fight them and go up against a large group of Aides that are accompanied by a few high-level Fighters and a couple Sixth Level Magic-Users. In other words, this is a rough brawl. YouÕll want to incapacitate/kill as many Aides as possible quickly (Sleep, Fireball, Stinking Cloud, etc.) and also wear down the Fighters before they can get their hands on you. IÕll put a bit more detail on this battle later in the walkthrough. Now this opens up a whole new can of worms. By slaughtering the city guards, you will alienate the townfolk and you wonÕt be able to use most (if not all) of the services available to you. The only way to get back on everyoneÕs good side is by going to City Hall after completing a quest. Apparently the knowledge that youÕre still working to save Phlan causes the people to forgive your evil, bloodthirsty ways. So why would you ever want to kill the guards? The first time I played, I found this out by accident. By killing the guards, you unlock a very tough battle that gives a HUGE experience reward (perfect for getting that final level for a multi-class character before finishing the game). IÕll go into more detail about this encounter toward the end of the walkthrough (after IÕve done it again for the fun of it), but here is a brief synopsis. It is triggered by entering the Temple of Sune after killing some guards. Most Temples, stores, etc. simply refuse to serve you. In this one, there is a horde of Clerics and Fighters just waiting for the chance to ambush you. Good luck!!! ----------- But all that is only possible in the distant future. Try to attack a legion of guards now and your party will be wiped out with brutality. So, why not take a trip to the Slums to start the long quest to become powerful enough to eliminate guards (or beat the game....which is what your actual goal is). --------------------------------- b. The Slums Common/Set Enemies: Gnoll, Goblin, Hobgoblin, Kobald, Ogre, Orc, Troll. Goal to Clear: Win each and every ÒsetÓ battle. Reward for Clearing: 500XP and 500G For the most part, this level has easy encounters. The problem is that you are so weak when you enter here that those ÒeasyÓ encounters can be anything but an assured win. What looks to be a simple conflict with four Goblins and two Goblin Leaders can become quite an ordeal when your guys in the front line are whiffing with every swing and getting cut to shreds by the arrows fired by the Leaders. Speaking of Leader-class enemies, youÕll start meeting them here. They are just like their normal brethren (bit different color), but have a little more HP, a little better AC and possibly a new trick. For example, regular weak humanoid monsters (Kobalds, Orcs, etc.) use hand-to-hand combat. The Leaders of these classes have bows and attack from a distance while youÕre distracted with the others. Throughout the game, but especially in the early areas, keep a constant eye on your charactersÕ XP. The game does not tell you when youÕve earned enough to go up in level, so it is your job to watch and IMMEDIATELY train when youÕve reached the mark to be promoted. Early in the game, one level will make a mammoth difference. A character can double his hit points, get one or two more casts of a crucial spell, get a five percent better chance of hitting any monster, etc. When it comes to major battles, IÕll denote them with common RPG terms like boss, sub-boss, etc. While this game has few encounters that are actual boss fights, that is the easiest way to do things. When you first enter the Slums (at 15,11), youÕll want to stay close to the entrance, as your characters wonÕt be able to take too much damage. When participating in any set battle, use a Sleep spell as soon as possible. These encounters are tougher than random battles, so youÕll want want your beginning-level characters with store-bought (i.e. non-magical) weapons and armor to have any advantage possible. For random battles, just choose advance until youÕre close before starting to fight. That way, your melee characters wonÕt have to advance and you wonÕt have to worry about enemy leader-class monsters shooting arrows. Most random encounters involve weak humanoid monsters such as Kobalds, Goblins and Orcs. Very rarely, a Bugbear will enter the fray -- but that is more of a fluke than anything, since they are not really seen with any frequency until you are near the end of the game. There are a few lairs close to you, so clear them out first. At (13,14), youÕll find two Orcs guarding a scroll with two Cleric spells. A squad of Goblins will be found at (10,14). This battle was a bit difficult, as they have an Leader (archer) to go with four normals and you start some distance away from them. The best way to handle this is to use a Sleep spell to knock out a couple of the regular Goblins. This way, not only are they automatic one-hit kills, but you can rush the Leader before he gets the chance to do any real damage with his bow. They guard a Leather Armor +1. If you want to pick up your first treasure cache, head west to (6,13). When you enter this room, use the ÒsearchÓ option and youÕll find a leather bag containing 100G, 2 gems and a Short Bow +1. Oh, and your party also will split 950XP. A bit north of here (7,15) is a squad of Kobalds (five normal, one leader) guarding a Bracers AC6. This will likely help out your Magic-UserÕs AC, so equip it immediately. You also share 1262XP for the win and treasure. Close to the Kobalds, there is a building (2,14). If you go there and pass through the wall (secret door) that blocks you at (1,15), youÕll find a secret treasure room. Party members will share 2700XP and youÕll get 350G, eight gems and another Short Bow +1. Skip the room at (0,13) for now. You can fight the Hobgoblins there after getting a level under your partyÕs belt. A very helpful battle is just west of the cache at (6,13). At (3,12), there is another band of Orcs. Defeating these guys will deliver a bounty of magical weapons unto you and 1468XP to share. YouÕll get three Long Swords +1, a Flail +1 (nice for Clerics) and Chain Mail +1. This will improve your fighting prowess nicely, as when you have horrible THAC0, any improvement is key to extended survival. By the Orcs, there is a Fortuneteller (7,10), who gives a vague prophesy. You can kill her, but I donÕt know that it has any affect (the game gives a line about how you feel you made a big mistake, but IÕve never checked to see if that means anything down the road). Now, donÕt get the idea that you should be trying to do all this in one swoop. To assure that your party has at least a good chance of survival, you should be returning back to New Phlan often to heal and re-memorize spells after every one or two set battles (depending on how many random battles you fought and how many curing spells you had to use). Save after every battle, regardless of how easily you won. And, when youÕre going after some of the lairs in the west part of the Slums, it never hurts to try to Parlay out of random battles. If it works, thatÕs one less opportunity for enemies to wear down your young party. After youÕve done the early lairs, it is time to help out someone for some hefty rewards. Head down to (13,5) to visit the mage Ohlo. If youÕre polite to him, he commissions you to get a potion for him from a store farther south in the Slums. Since this game does offer a good amount of freedom, you also have to option to let Ohlo know who rules this city --- with a large dose of cold steel. This is a big mistake. YouÕll soon find out that Ohlo is not alone and the combination of he and his cronies are more than enough to put you in a world of hurt at this point. Fighting him might be viable if you ignore his room until youÕre strong, but the experience you get from helping him is pretty important at this stage of the game, so this walkthrough assumes you help him. In case you do want to tussle, here is what youÕll be going against: Ohlo, two Ogres, five Hobgoblins and two Hobgoblin Leaders --- pretty painful stuff there. To get to his potion, youÕll first have to find the entrance to the Rope Guild (6,5). The game warns of potential danger here...and theyÕre right. If you donÕt know where youÕre going, there is a 50% chance that youÕll find the Trolls instead of the shop. To avoid that danger, head east (on the map) and meander through the maze until you get to (15,3). In the shop, if you drop OhloÕs name, you get the potion with no trouble. Or you can choose the hostile route and get thrown into combat with the storekeeperÕs collection of four Ogre bodyguards. While this battle may be a bit easier than OhloÕs, it still likely is too tough for a Level 1 party. You can always try it and you might win, but itÕs more trouble than itÕs worth. After you procure the potion, head back to Ohlo and give it to him. Not only will your party share some amount of experience (I did it twice and got two dramatically different totals), but the grateful mage will also hand out potions, scrolls and (not every time) Bracers AC 2, which is an awesome reward by itself, since it gives one of your weak Magic-Users good armor. Both times, I did get a Necklace of Missile, though. This is a very useful item for several tough battles in the near future, as it casts the Fireball spell. The next place to go is back in the western area of the Slums. Meander west to (4,7) first. Going into this room will take you to a Òmonster meeting placeÓ. You can hide and get info here (such as Thieves living in the catacombs and that the shrine across the river is held by elite Orcs). Take the south exit and go east now. Go through the door and youÕll meet an Ogre, an Goblin Leader and five Goblins at (3,4). Put as many Goblins to sleep as you can and focus on the Ogre until heÕs dead. If you can take him out quickly, this is an easy fight. If not, he may create a bunch of trouble for you. For winning, I got 6443XP to split, 11G, 23 gems and a Leather Armor +3. Go into the next room. The message you get when you enter (4,5) should be a good warning to use the ÒsearchÓ command. Do so and find a loose floor board nearby with 1000G and 2 gems (amounting to a total of 1800XP to split). I also got a Shield +1 and scroll. Now, itÕs time to take out the Hobgoblins in the northwest corner (just to be complete). Go to (0,13) and fight four of them for some goodies. Kill them and youÕll also get some treasure. I picked up Chain Mail +1 and a Mace +1. That should have been the last preliminary battle (not counting the Trolls), so itÕs now time to take out the leaders. YouÕll have to handle two back-to-back battles to do this, so when youÕre ready, take the west exit from the Òmonster meeting placeÓ and head north. At (0,8), youÕll meet the guards -- an Ogre, two Orc Leaders and five Orcs. This is just a bit tougher variation of the Ogre-Goblin battle you did a bit ago. Orcs are slightly tougher than Goblins and youÕll be starting at a distance, giving the enemy time to mobilize and cause some damage before you can start casting Sleep. After winning, go through the door to (1,10) to meet the leaders. Note: if you are weak, go back to Phlan. You donÕt have to fight the leaders at this point in time --- theyÕre very patient and wonÕt be going anywhere. ----------- BOSS: Enemy Leaders You have to contend with the elite class of the Slums here. There is one Ogre Leader, one Gnoll and one Hobgoblin Leader. If you have a Sleep spell left, take out the Gnoll and Hobgoblin Leader with it and pound everyone down. Just donÕt let the Ogre Leader bludgeon you down and youÕll win. ----------- After I won, I did get a Dagger +1. Now, leave and go back to Phlan to rest up. Just killing the leaders isnÕt enough to get your commission, though. In the computer version, the Troll battle doesnÕt have anything to do with clearing the area, but it does here (of course, itÕs also an easier fight in the NES version). The battle consists of two Trolls behind four Kobalds. If you have a Necklace of Missile, just soften the Trolls up with one or (preferably) two Fireballs and (if necessary) finish the job with your melee troops. If you donÕt, things get more complicated. The best thing to do is go to the store and buy bows for your Fighters (or equip any +1 bows youÕve found, but havenÕt sold, on them). Have your Magic-Users cast Sleep on the Kobalds to form a wall between you and the Trolls (or try to simply move four party members up and hope that the Kobalds stay in their original formation). Either way, with the Trolls unable to reach you, gang up on one at a time with as many projectile attacks as possible. Winning netted me a total of 2862XP, a Broad Sword +3 and a Ring of Fire Resistance. It also gave me the right to collect my 500XP and 500GP from the clerk, who also will give a quest involving getting info on an auction to be held at Podol Plaza. --------------------------------- c. KutoÕs Well/Catacombs/Podol Plaza Common/Set Enemies: KW/C -- Gnoll, Kobald, Lizardman. PP -- Ogres, most small humanoids Goal to Clear: KW/C -- Kill Norris the Gray PP -- Get info at auction Reward for Clearing: KW/C -- 1250XP, 1250G PP -- 1250XP, 1250G Note: It really doesnÕt matter if you do Kuto/Podol or if you do Sokal Keep first. KutoÕs has tougher random encounters, but Sokal has a tougher major (boss) fight. In my computer walkthrough, I completed Sokal first -- so I figured IÕd do KutoÕs and Podol first here. You were commissioned to go to Podol, so you might think that KutoÕs Well is just some unimportant little area to sap your HP through random encounters. Nope. If you go down the well, youÕll be in a Catacomb region. Beat the boss of the tunnels (Norris the Gray) and youÕll get rewarded for clearing this area -- even though the Clerk never hands out a quest for it. While the random encounters here can get a little rough, it is worth it in the end. Lizardmen are the most dangerous random encounters, as they can attack multiple times per round and are generally a lot more vicious than other humanoids. You also fight bands of Gnolls and Kobalds (but in larger groups than in the Slums). So what is there to do in scenic KutoÕs Well? Well, in the overworld part, not much at all. If you go into the room at (11,10/8), youÕll get to fight two back-to-back battles with Kobalds (both are six leaders with two regulars. The well/entrance to Catacombs is at (7,8). The only important thing to do here (besides entering the Catacombs) involves entering the door at (7,5). This puts you into the base of operations for the Phlan branch of the Lizardmen. When you try to open the door at (7,2), youÕll face an attack from three Giant Lizards and three Lizardmen. Try to put as many enemies to Sleep as you can (these folks are somewhat resistant to that kind of thing, so it may not work as well as it did against Kobalds and the like -- but anything that knocks out some amount of these enemies is good). Finish off the battle and pry open the door to meet a woman who tells you that Òa wicked one has come out of the PoolÓ and that you wonÕt be able to recognize him easily. Far more importantly, there is treasure here if you ÒsearchÓ on (7,1), which is the square which you entered the room on. I got 2300XP total, Banded Mail +1, Bracers AC4 and a Quarterstaff +1. After doing all that, itÕs time to wipe out Norris. Enter the Catacombs and go one space south to (7,7). YouÕll have an arrow shot at you by an unseen assailant who will then disappear. From here, there are three ways to get to Norris. If you go through the door at (5,4), youÕll reach him eventually, but two more unseen enemies will get free arrow shots on you. Taking either the door at (7,6) or (7,4) will also get you there without getting shot at and a secret door at (5,7) will accomplish the same. No matter where you go, it will be only a matter of time before you are forced into a battle with Norris and his merry men. ----------- BOSS FIGHT: Norris the Gray, Ogre and five Goblin Guards. If you have any Sleep spells left (may be determined by whether you came here directly after the Lizardman compound or if you went back to Phlan or the cleared Slums to rest), use those to knock out some enemies. No matter what, Norris and the Ogre are the main obstacles to victory, but if youÕve gotten any sort of quality weapons and armor and gone up a level or two by now, this will be an easy fight. ----------- Victory yields a Long Sword +1 and letter in which ÒThe BossÓ commands Norris to follow some Ogres to Sokal Keep and Norris refuses unless he leads. You also are told that youÕll be rewarded upon returning to Phlan and that the Catacombs is a safe place to rest, now. Before resting, travel to (13,14) for the bandit treasure. I got 10300XP to split up, as well as 300G, 30 gems and a Manual of B(odily) Health. This item is weird. In the world of AD&D (I checked), itÕs supposed to raise a characterÕs Constitution by one point permanently if you read it. However, I tried it on every character in my party and nothing happened (and two of them were below 18 in this category). So, either my game glitched on this OR the makers didnÕt include the use of this item in the programming. If it doesnÕt work for you, sell it for the money. If it does, congratulations. Now rest and go back to Phlan to get your reward of 1250XP and 1250G as well as any possible level-ups. Now itÕs time to go to Podol. Podol Plaza is located directly west of KutoÕs Well. When you get to the border between the two areas, youÕll be asked what to do. For the purposes of this quest, disguise yourselves to reduce the possibility of hostile action being taken against you. If you stride boldly, odds are youÕll be besieged by Ogres and smaller humanoids quite regularly. Of course, if you are discovered by the opposition and donÕt want to fight, you can always Parley with a ÒslyÓ tone, which will lead them to think youÕre one of their leaderÕs human employees. By exploring, youÕll get to wonder who proofread the game (Òa naben doned houseÓ -- I didnÕt realized ÒabandonedÓ was such a toughy), as well as find a couple of interesting places, but for now, just go to the auction place. YouÕll find it at (7,9) and get there just in time. If a monster has blown your cover, donÕt try to sneak in closer or a battle will ensue. All you have to do is stay where you are, watch and wait. When the auction is done, head back to Phlan to get a 1250XP and 1250G reward. Your next commission will be from Councilman Cadorna, who will tell you to get his treasure from the Textile House. Do that later (as well as fully exploring Podol Plaza). For now, itÕs time to take care of business at Sokal Keep. --------------------------------- d. Sokal Keep Common/Set Enemies: Ogre, Orc, Poisonous Frog, Scorpion, Skeleton, Zombie. Goal to Clear: Tell ghost of Ferran Martinez the truth. Reward for Clearing: 5000XP, 1250G, 15 gems and the right to sail to places NOT named Sokal Keep. Go to the Phlan docks and set sail toward Sokal Keep. Getting to the final battle is supremely easy, as long as you take the proper steps. You start out in an entryway. Go to (6,2) and search the skeleton to get a scroll with some words on it. This is your ticket to getting through most of the Keep unscathed. Whenever you encounter wandering undead patrols in the Keep, you can use the words on this scroll to avoid a fight. Since you get very little XP for killing Skeletons and Zombies, but you can take damage, using the scroll is a very good idea. If you go west to (2,4), you can fight three Large Scorpions and a Huge Scorpion (Huge are tougher). There are three good reasons to avoid exploring this half of the Keep. First, the Scorpions are the only object of note here. Second, they have the ability to take out a party member with their poison. Third, you DONÕT have to come here. ItÕs not like the XP makes it worth it. Instead, go in the door at (12,8) and fight the four Poisonous Frogs. After the easy kills, you get find a Hammer +1 at (15,9). Then, go north and find the secret door at (15,13). Go to the northwest corner of the room (12,15) and youÕll find some secret treasure. I picked up 1250XP, a Shield +1, a Long Sword +1 and a Mace +2. After this, enter the center area through (6,10) or (9,10). You can also enter through (9,13), but I believe you start farther from the enemy. ----------- BOSS FIGHT: Ogre-led onslaught You have two Ogres, four Hobgoblins, three Orc Leaders and seven Orcs to contend with. Sleep spells work great here and if youÕre having trouble, donÕt hesitate to use a Fireball from the Necklace of Missile (if you have it) to thin out the enemy ranks. Basically, if you play smart, this is a pretty easy battle. ----------- For winning, I got over 4000XP, a Mace +1 and a Composite Bow +1. You also find a note that says that ÒThe BossÓ sanctioned the attack on Sokal Keep. Now, there are two rooms off this one to explore. First, go through the door at (7,13). Walk around in this room until you find ghosts and parley with them. The end result will be 1250XP, five gems and Ferran MartinezÕ diary, which describes the monster invasion. Now, go south from the main central room through one of the doors at (7/8, 9) to the KeepÕs shrine. At the far south of the shrine is the ghost of Ferran. Parley with him (have to choose ÒAdvanceÓ this time) and tell him the truth. He gives the names of Tyranthraxus, Edranka and Torath as those who destroyed Phlan searching for the Pool and notes the information about them is in MendorÕs Library, but that place is overrun by monsters. Note: If you want, you can fight Ferran Martinez, but that is not the best of choices. My guess is that for all intents and purposes, he is a Spectre, which means that successful hits drain levels. YouÕll get plenty of chances to fight Spectres down the road, so donÕt whack the friendly one. After talking to Martinez, you may leave the premises and return to Phlan. YouÕll get a great reward for your victory. Not only did I get 5000XP, 1250G and 15 gems, but you also have the freedom to sail to many points in the general area, now. I got quests to talk to Bracchio (clean out Bane Temple -- get Dirten the Cleric), to remove Thieves from Kovel Mansion and to prevent Nomads from joining the enemy. The Clerk also mentioned removing Valhingen GraveyardÕs undead population for a reward. So what do you do next? Well, Valhingen is out of the question, as itÕs too tough. Besides, if you wait awhile, the Clerk will sweeten the pot with some nice items. You could clear out the Bane Temple, but when you do, Dirten leaves. You want to keep him around for a little while, as heÕs the only NPC that you really have control over the duration of his stay. IÕd recommend saving the Library for a little while longer, as you have to fight two tough monsters there. That leaves the Textile House, Kovel Mansion and the Nomads. IÕd save the Nomad quest for last --- use it as a tune-up for the tougher Wilderness quests. And IÕd wait a bit to do the Textile House, as there are some tough wandering monsters there. While Kovel Mansion does have the potential for a couple of tough fights, the amount of experience you get for all the treasure you may find ought to help at least a couple of characters level up. --------------------------------- e. Kovel Mansion Common/Set Enemies: 1st Level Thief, 6th Level Thief Goal to Clear: Wipe out the thieves. Reward for Clearing: 1150XP, 400G, 3 gems. Since youÕve cleared Sokal Keep, youÕve noticed that you have a few options when you go to the Phlan Docks (for a cost of 5G). Well, letÕs use those options to pay a visit to one of the more remote parts of the city --- Kovel Mansion. Pay the money and choose to go north. When given the option to enter the northern part of the city or Valhingen Graveyard, pick the city and youÕll be at northern reaches of Kovel Mansion. If you exit from the south, youÕll be in the Wealthy district, which you have to go through on your way to the Temple youÕre helping Dirten to take back from the forces of Bane. By exiting to the east, youÕll be able to go back to Phlan or to the Wealthy district. Also, whenever you leave the Phlan walls and get the option to go to various parts of Phlan, choosing the option ÒleaveÓ (if available) allows you to travel into the wilderness. As to Kovel Mansion, itself. While outside the actual mansion walls, there are no encounters. The only way in are the double doors at (9/10, 14). There are three doors on the west side, but they all are dead ends. Once in the mansion, until you get to the main battle, youÕll mainly have skirmishes with solo 6th Level Thieves, who arenÕt tough to kill. However, there still is a high possibility of damage here because the thieves have trapped virtually everything. Unless luck is with you, the traps will cause enough damage to make up for anything the thieves are unable to do. If you cast a Find Traps spell on the assorted treasure in the area, youÕll be able to detect the traps, but that doesnÕt assure that youÕll be able to disarm them. Prepare to cast healing magic and potentially make at least one trip back to Phlan for a stay at an inn (you canÕt rest at Kovel until the area has been cleared). For the most part (with a few exceptions), the encounters with thieves go the same way. Upon entering many rooms, a thief will try to sneak up on you, placing your party in an easy fight with one 6th Level Thief. Good fun, that. Of course, that thief may damage one character with his sneak attack, so this isnÕt just a walk in the park. Like I said before, while the enemies here arenÕt that tough -- there are other ways the game will find to deplete your HP. There are a number of traps at the entrance to certain rooms. They are present at: (4,13), (5,9), (3,4), (11,5), (12,2) and (13,4). Most trapped rooms have treasure in them. Here is a rundown of all the treasure caches and what they consist of: At (3,11) is a pile of weapons. The trap protecting them is the most dangerous of all in the mansion. If youÕre unable to successfully disarm it, gas will stun you and five 6th Level Thieves and 10 1st Level Thieves will assault you. Hopefully you can disarm the trap, because this is one tough fight. The 6th Level Thieves are all in the front row, they all get a free shot in on you and they are immune to Sleep spells. For simply disarming the trap (no fighting), I got 2400XP, Short Sword +1, Hammer +2, Halberd +1, Mace +1, Battle Axe +1, Chain Mail +1 and Shield +1. At (4,10) is a piece of paper telling you that Giants are stupid and will say anything when flattered. A table with four trapped caskets is at (6,8). The first one has 12 gems (worth 3000XP), the second has seven gems worth 1750XP, the third has three gems worth 750XP and the fourth has 20 gems worth 5000XP. At (3,2) is a cabinet with six scrolls, Scale Mail +3 and a Shield +3. Go to (5,1) to find a piece of paper warning not to steal the treasure in the Shrine of Bane, as they will hunt robbers mercilessly. The thievesÕ ÒbootyÓ is at (10,6). I got 1662XP, Short Sword +3, Leather Armor +4, Silver Mirror, Silver Scarab, Short Sword +1 and two Daggers +1. At (14,1), I picked up two fine tapestries and Splint Mail +2. Three trapped wooden cabinets are at (14,5). The first has documents noting the thieves have been spying on important people in Phlan, the second has a whopping 43G and the third has 1800G, which gives a total of 1800XP. There also are a couple other encounters with thieves other than the standard attempt to sneak attack you. First, at (6,10), two thieves fail to sneak up on you and run away. You have the option to follow them and if you do, youÕll have the option of which one to chase after they split up. If you follow the one that runs to the south, youÕll be ambushed by the bulk of the gang (5 6th Level and 15 1st Level thieves). If you follow the thief that goes east, youÕll corner him and heÕll beg for mercy. If you give it to him, heÕll taunt you and leave. Otherwise, kill him -- heÕs only a 1st Level Thief. So, either donÕt chase them or chase the one that goes east. DonÕt go after the one that goes south --- you want to wait before fighting the main group, as collecting all the treasure could mean a couple of characters will level up. If you take the south door at (11,4), youÕll be in a room converted to a jail cell. Ten 1st Level Thieves are beating an older thief to death, but take a break for you. Slaughter them and the old thief gives you a note before dying. The note says the boss may be a dragon and that youÕll need a code word when you pass a gate of the castle. After completely exploring the mansion, enter the gangÕs room through either the door at (6,1) or the south door at (8,3). ItÕs time for a big confrontation, as theyÕll be waiting for you -- meaning itÕs ambush time! Note: There seems to be no way to avoid being ambushed. Even if you make a beeline to this room, they still will be waiting for you. Well, anyway, time to fight! ----------- BOSS FIGHT: Five 6th Level Thieves and 15 1st Level Thieves First off, four of the 6th Level Thieves are in the front row, so youÕll have the toughest part of the fight first. IÕd cast a Sleep spell or two on the rows of 1st Level Thieves, so you have a very easy time after getting past the front ranks of combatants. After winning, youÕll get a total of 2500XP. ----------- At (8,1) in the headquarters is a piece of paper saying that when the Boss conquers Phlan, all important members of the town must be slain --- except Cadorna. Looks like our beloved councilman isnÕt so nice after all. Wonder how we can repay him? I know! LetÕs go to the Textile House, find his treasure and steal it! Before doing that, make your way back to town to get rewarded for this job. YouÕll get a total of 1150XP, 400G and 3 gems. The Clerk will then ask you to take the Valhingen Graveyard quest and reward you for saying yes (420XP, 2-handed Sword +1, +3 vs. Undead, Scroll w/ 2 Restoration spells). You also be given the commission to prevent a large group of Kobalds from joining the enemy. But before any of those quests, itÕs off to Podol Plaza and the Textile House. --------------------------------- f. Textile House Common/Set Enemies: Ghoul, Grishnak, Hobgoblin, Ogre, Poisonous Frog, Scorpion, Wight. Goal to Clear: Retrieve CadornaÕs treasure. Reward for Clearing: Giving box back to Cadorna -- 5000XP, 20 gems Before actually entering the Textile House, letÕs clear out a couple of places in Podol Plaza. While you have to fight a number of random battles to officially clear this block, you can explore all the buildings to get some goods and experience. To avoid random battles (unless you want to fight tons of humanoid creatures), simply parley ÒslyÓ to them and theyÕll think youÕre new recruits of the Boss. That tactic has not failed once for me. At (14,7) is a tiny Shrine to Bane. If you parley with the Orc Cleric on hand, heÕll offer to let you meet Mace, the primary Bane Cleric for this area in order so that you may ÒworkÓ at the Shrine across the river IF you come back in two hours. Agree to this, return in two hours and get assaulted by eight Orcs, three Ogres and an Orc Leader. Oh, and you donÕt get your hands on Mace, either. Instead, take the path of least resistance and simply attack the Orc. One very quick battle against one overmatched Orc Leader and youÕve cleaned out this little cesspool of sin. There is nothing of interest here, but the Orc. The Pit, a local tavern is at (4,7). The minute you enter, you anger a rowdy Buccaneer, who challenges you to a duel. While you could honor his wishes and fight him one-on-one with a party member, itÕs more fun to simply attack as a group. YouÕll be in a huge brawl. The Buccaneer (4th Level Fighter) has a crew of eight Hobgoblins and one Hobgoblin Leader on his side, but you have the assistance (whatever it may be) of eight Goblin Guards. Nothing like good olÕ fashioned drunken monster brawling fun to liven up a quest. You donÕt get any actual reward for smashing up the Pit, but itÕs a fun liÕl thing to do. Most importantly, a secret Temple for you is at (2,0) or (1,2), depending on which door you took. You can heal and rest here -- which is good because 100 percent safe spots in the Textile House arenÕt exactly present at this time. In the NES version, you get an added bonus -- you donÕt need to have memorized the Knock spell to get in, meaning you donÕt have to waste a spell slot with a generally worthless spell at this time. After those mini-adventures, take of the southern doors from Podol (preferably the one to the west) to go to the Textile House. Why should you pick the west-most door? Because, if you have a thief, you can take a shortcut here, which will cut down on the chances of you having an unfortunate encounter with a Wight or Scorpion. Speaking of Wights and Scorpions, while there are a number of monsters you may meet in random encounters, those are the two to worry about. Wights drain levels (something you see a lot of down the road) and Scorpions kill with their poison. Fortunately, both reloading or using freeze states (if playing on a computer) can take the severity of both situations away, but it still is annoying, to say the least. If you donÕt have a Thief, you have to walk through the north half of the block to the southern half. If you have one, go to (0,12) and pick your Thief to go down the well. That character will meet Restal, who (if you agree with him) will take you to (5,4), which is the heart of the enemy headquarters. He also lets you know to come back to the well if you want to see him again. Now, go due north through the door at (5,5) to get to a barracks. Fight eight Hobgoblins and two Hobgoblin Leaders. Beat them for some treasure. I got a cursed Necklace, a Potion and two Scrolls. Head through the door at (4,4) to meet the Hobgoblin Grishnak and his cronies in what seems to be a makeshift shrine. ----------- SUB-BOSS FIGHT: GrishnakÕs Hobgoblin Paradise Grishnak looks like a Hobgoblin Leader, but has about four times the HP. In the computer version, he also could cast Cleric spells, but either he canÕt in the NES version or he decided to spend two turns running up to one of my Fighters in order to attack him physically. He is with two Hobgoblin Leaders and eight regular Hobs. One Sleep spell should thin the ranks a bit, making this an easy fight. ----------- For winning, youÕll get a Brass Key and some minor treasure (scroll and potion). Go south with this stuff to (2,0). Note: in the room located at (2/3, 1) youÕll be attacked by a squad of Hobgoblins. If youÕve taken damage from the previous fights, you may need to use some spells to get through this battle. At (2,0), youÕll find CadornaÕs servant, a cheerful chap named Skullcrusher. With the Brass Key, you can free him. If you donÕt already have an NPC in your party, you can get him to join. While he is a VERY strong Fighter, he will only be in your party until youÕve retrieved CadornaÕs Box and returned to New Phlan. Regardless of whether he joins you or not, you will get some information from a piece of paper. To paraphrase the note: Giants and Trolls are entering the castle, Bugbears and Ettins are guarding the gate, smugglers have been able to sneak supplies through the gate. Before taking on the Boss of the area, there are a few other points of interest to explore. At (2,7) is another set battle with Hobgoblins. Same strategy as the rest. At (1,7) is a piece of paper from the diary of a follower of The Boss. It says that The Boss is angry because of the amount of undead at Valhingen Graveyard and that the writer guesses the reason is the influence of a Vampire or another powerful monster. There will be little messages from Skullcrusher (basically his name and possibly a Hobgoblin corpse) at (9,6) and (6,1). After looking around, itÕs time to take out the boss of this area and get your hands on CadornaÕs treasure. Go to (11,1) and go east through the secret door that is here (I believe that if you accept Skullcrusher into your party, he alludes to this door -- but if you donÕt have him, youÕll have no way of knowing about it without either this guide or by being very diligent in exploring the place). In this new room, youÕll be accosted by a huge Ogre, which leads to... ----------- BOSS FIGHT: Ogre and Hobgoblins YouÕll have the standard eight normal Hobs and two Hob Leaders that you should be used to from other battles. The only addition is that of an Ogre. If you want to put some of the Hobgoblins to sleep, itÕll reduce their numbers, so you donÕt have to worry about your fighters being ganged up on. However, this is a very easy battle (more so than a good number of the possible random encounters in this block). ----------- Win the battle to get CadornaÕs box. The game mentions that YOU can open it at the expense of permanently damaging the seal. DonÕt do that -- instead pay a visit to Restal who will open it and give you half the treasure... and then forge the seal, so it looks like it never was opened. My party got 8500XP, 1000G and 30 gems. With the empty box, run back to Phlan. As you enter town, the guards will take the box from you and tell you to travel to City Hall to get your reward (fortunately, Cadorna apparently has no interest in actually taking a peek at his ever-so-valuable treasure --- donÕt you just LOVE people who unquestioningly trust you). Your reward is 5000XP and 20 gems. I didnÕt get any new commissions from the Clerk, but that wasnÕt a surprise, since IÕd gotten two the last time (graveyard, Kobalds) and the one I just completed hadnÕt been given by her anyway. So, letÕs look at the Wilderness now (yes, IÕm still putting off MendorÕs Library -- I hate that Spectre!) and visit the Nomads --- with one small stop first. Note: You are likely not completely done with the Textile House. If you fight enough random encounters, they will eventually dry up and you can earn another reward from the Clerk. YouÕll never get commissioned to do this, so just go there whenever you feel like killing some time in battle. --------------------------------- g. Wilderness Overview/Silver Dragon Cave/Nomad Camp Common/Set Enemies: Wilderness -- just about everything. Nomad Camp -- Kobald. Goal to Clear: Protect Nomad tribe from invading Kobalds. Reward for Clearing: From Nomads -- 8900XP, 5000GP, items. From Clerk -- 4000XP, 16 gems. Take the boat out of Phlan to the north (without going into Kovel Mansion or Valhingen Graveyard) and youÕll pretty much be due south of the Silver DragonÕs cave (donÕt worry -- you donÕt have to fight it). Before exploring, though, there are some things you should know about the Wilderness. 1. While some monster encounters are relatively easy, others can be pretty tough. In other words, be prepared for anything and donÕt go outdoors until you have a reasonably strong party. 2. There are a number of places to go outdoors. However, you wonÕt be able to access many of them until youÕve been commissioned to do so. 3. Unlike the computer versions, the NES version does not give outdoor coordinates. This means that my directions to places will be a little more rough and vague -- and will be contained in the actual walkthrough section pertaining to the quest they are a part of (in my computer FAQ, I have a separate section telling the coordinates of every single place of importance outdoors). 4. One thing IÕve noticed is that if you know what sort of monster resides in a hidden outdoor dungeon, it can be easier to find if you pay attention to the sort of random encounter you run into. In the general area of Zhentil Keep, you may run into Guards (Corporals). The same holds true for other areas. Kobalds, Lizardmen and Buccaneers all can be found in the general area of their respective dwellings. To get to the Dragon cave, head north from the area you land when choosing to sail north from Phlan and follow the river. The Cave is located right where that body of water ends. Enter and play nice. When he (Diogenes) asks you to tell your intent, say you came for advice (unless you want to set a chain of events in place that COULD result in Mr. Dragon blasting you with a wicked Fireball attack). Diogenes will tell you that in the Kobald lair to the east, there is a bottle containing an Efreet that you will need. Note: You also could offer the dragon a gift. He says you have nothing he wants and tells you about the bottle in the Kobald lair anyway. The best way to find the invisible Nomad Camp is to go due north of Phlan until you find a Pyramid surrounded by water (weÕll be there later!). Walk in the area northeast of this Pyramid and youÕll find the camp. YouÕll know youÕre close if the game tells you that youÕve found a recently abandoned camp. Enter the camp and head north --- only to trip over a wire and get the attention of everyone present. While things look pretty grim at the moment, the Nomads are not an enemy. Simply ÒadvanceÓ and ÒparleyÓ to get the Chief to come out. HeÕll treat you like honored guests and you get to be their guest of honor. Sounds too good to be true? YouÕre right, but play along with them -- youÕll find the catch soon enough. YouÕll be led to a tent, so heal any wounds you suffered in the Wilderness. Upon waking up, youÕll be led away to drink ÒciderÓ for 18 hours or so (really, that is NOT an exaggeration -- the on-screen clock does rapidly scroll through that many hours). Hassad (the chief) will talk about dangers and wickedness in the Pyramid, the eastern marshes and the castle to the west....and then mention that Kobalds will attack his camp. So basically, you were treated like an honored guest as a bribe to ensure your willingness to help them. But since you are being commissioned to make sure they donÕt join the side of evil, it just might be a good idea to help out a bit. YouÕre given a night to think about it and then Hassad comes in to ask for your answer. Accept and then simply rest until you hear the sounds of battle. You will automatically leave your dwelling and run around to find a fight. ----------- BOSS ENCOUNTER: Kobald Horde This will be an easy warm-up for a few tough encounters youÕll face later in the game --- multiple-wave battles. You will fight three battles with Kobalds here with the help of some Nomads. While everything is very easy here, in future multiple-wave battles, youÕll have to use a good deal of strategy to come out on top. Wave 1: 12 Kobalds and 3 Kobald Leaders. You have the help of 5 Nomads. If you even break a sweat here, you are FAR too weak to be outside PhlanÕs city walls. After the battle, walk around until the second encounter happens (like I said, this is an easy multiple-wave confrontation. Wave 2: Same as Wave 1. Walk around more after this fight and the third band will come up to you. The chief pleads with you to finish off the Kobalds, so agree with him. Wave 3: 10 Kobalds and 5 Kobald Leaders. You still have 5 Nomads, but they are much better this time around (4th Lvl Fighters and the powerful Hassad join you, making this encounter even easier than the past two). ----------- After wiping out the Kobalds, Hassad rewards you with 8900XP, 5000GP, a Two-Handed Sword +2 and a Wand of Magic Missiles. As they escort you out of their camp, they promise to not join the Boss, meaning youÕve completed another quest. Good job -- now back to Phlan with you. Note: While the Nomad Camp is now visible on the map, you are barred from entering it. Go figure, when you need to be there, you have to step right on itÕs square to find it --- now that itÕs useless, youÕd have to be blind to not see it... The Clerk gives you 4000XP and 16 gems for your hard work in resolving this matter. Your new mission is to find out what is contaminating Stojanow River and put an end to it (hint, hint -- Pyramid). Determining where to go next can be a bit troublesome. The two main choices are the Library and Kobald Cave. Both have a few tough battles, though. Might as well handle the library now. ItÕs as good of time as any. --------------------------------- h. MendorÕs Library Common/Set Enemies: Basilisk, Kobald, Spectre. Goal to Clear: Get the ancient books and kill the monsters. Reward for Clearing: 1500XP and 1500G for killing the monsters; total of 1100XP and 1100G for finding four books (may vary). There really is very little in the way of opposition here. However, two encounters are very difficult and can have disastrous consequences, so it is never a good idea to come into this block thinking youÕll have an easy time of it. The Library is located directly south of KutoÕs Well, so head over to it. In the block, there are two doors into the actual building. Take the one at (9,1), so you can clear out the unimportant stuff before worrying about the books and monsters. By using the ÒlookÓ command at (10,2), (10,6) and (8,5), youÕll find boxes of gold foil worth 100GP and 100XP. ÒLookÓ at (8,4) for better treasure. YouÕll find three Potions of Extra Healing here. Going to (11,3) sparks an encounter with Mad Man. If you donÕt have an NPC in your party, you can get him to join you -- but there is no reason to have this worthless fool in your party. Go to (12,5) and meet five Kobalds who immediately surrender. DonÕt kill them to find out that the boss of the Textile House is in a secret room. If youÕve followed my walkthrough, you know that by now, so that info is worthless. Now itÕs time to enter the northern (and more important) half of the library. Go north through the door at (8,6) to get there. If you keep going west and try to go through the door at (7,6), youÕll briefly enter the garden, step into Green Slime, watch one person take a bit of damage and immediately leave the room. In other words, DONÕT go through that door! In the northern part of the Library, there are a ton of rooms, but only four of them have books in them. The Mathematic Book room is at (3,9), the Philosophy Book room is at (13,9) and the History Book room is at (11,11). It seems to be random when/if you get books from ÒlookingÓ. On one time through, I got a book from this History room the first time I ÒlookedÓ, the next time I played, I ÒlookedÓ five times and got nothing. Now itÕs time to enter the Literature Book room at (5,11). There may not be exciting books here (well there is one to find), but there is a grumpy Basilisk. ----------- SUB-BOSS: Basilisk Yes, there are only two real enemies in this block, but they both are boss-class monsters. This freaky lizard isnÕt afraid to use its gaze attack to try to turn a party member to stone. If it does (it isnÕt 100% accurate, but it is fairly effective), you might as well reload. ItÕs not cheap to unstone a character and youÕll want to be at full strength for the Spectre anyway. Basically, youÕll want to go all out here. Have all your melee fighters assault it and have your magic-users go after it with Magic Missiles. You want to kill it as quickly as possible because the more turns it remains alive, the more chances it has to take someone out of commission for a long time. Note: By purchasing Silver Mirrors in Phlan, it is possible to defend against the gaze attack. Just a piece of advice for those who find this beast problematic. ----------- For winning, I got 3368XP, two potions, a scroll and a Displacer Cloak (very useful, as it will lower someoneÕs AC by two points). ÒLookÓ and you will find one book here. If youÕve explored everywhere, then itÕs time to leave. Just take either door out of the building. No problems here. Nope, not at all. Wait! WhatÕs that!!!! ----------- BOSS FIGHT: MendorÕs Spectre After taking the books, any attempt to leave through either door is met with a hostile encounter with the ghost of the libraryÕs founder. After all, he spent his life guarding them. In the NES version, youÕll have some interesting dialogue with Mendor saying heÕll guard the books with his life and one of your party members coming back by saying that heÕs already lost his life. Anyway, if the Spectre hits you, the struck member will lose two experience levels. If this happens, reload. While you can use a Restoration spell to get the levels back, you wonÕt get any lost experience above the minimum needed to be at a characterÕs maximum level. If a character that was about 100XP from advancing gets afflicted this way, it could take hours to regain those points. The problem is that Mr. Spectre is very, very, very skilled in combat and has a pretty good THAC0 (not to mention a low AC). Regardless of your melee fightersÕ AC, getting through this fight unscathed is more a matter of luck than anything else. All I can really say for advice is to just keep trying until you get it and donÕt get discouraged. The discouraging part is when you get to the Graveyard and realize that youÕll have to fight more of these Spectres....and they arenÕt the toughest things there.... Use the same strategy I gave you for the Basilisk and hope you kill him before it connects. This time through, I did something I never have done before on either the NES or computer version -- won on the first try. It struck first and missed and then I got a couple big attacks (10HP), a 10HP Magic Missile and a couple little attacks to win. Needless to say, I was very relieved. ----------- Victory means you can leave this place and collect your reward --- which was a total of 2600XP and 2600G. The next quest given is to prevent a tribe of ever-lovable Lizardmen from joining the enemy. That Wilderness quest will wait for a while, you might as well head to the Kobald Cave now. --------------------------------- i. Kobald Cave/Textile House (revisited) Common/Set Enemies: Envoy, Kobald, Troll, Wild Boar, Wyvern. Goal to Clear: Take out the Kobald King so he doesnÕt join the Boss. Completely clear Textile House. Reward for Clearing: Kobalds -- 6250XP, 25 gems. Textile -- 1250XP, 1250G The Kobald Cave is located a bit east/southeast of the Nomad Camp. Look for a large mountain at the end of a river and youÕll have no problems in finding this location. YouÕll know youÕre close if youÕre thrust into combat with a large platoon of the little buggers. This fight is simply a slightly larger version of the Kobald battles you endured in the Nomad Camp battles. In my opinion, trying to do all the Kobald Cave at once will result in nothing but frustration, as there are some very tough battles in here, news that might surprise you, being that Kobalds are so weak. Well, they are. However, there are a lot of them AND there are some powerful foes working with them, such as Trolls and a Wyvern. So, you will have your hands full in getting through here. If you have the right equipment (namely strong armor, items with Fireball and/or Magic Missile-firing capacity and plenty of healing goods), you might do everything at once -- but if you see your stats, spells and items dwindling down to a dangerous level, then leave the cave, heal in Phlan and then come back to finish things off. Speaking of the Wyvern, letÕs take him out first. To do so, go through the large opening to the cave (you have two choices, but this way allows you to bypass a rather nasty trap at the expense of immediately fighting an angry lizard). The first thing youÕll notice is that this is the first official dungeon (NomadÕs Camp doesnÕt count) where the ÒareaÓ command is not present. In other words, if you want a map, you have to draw it by yourself. The second thing youÕll notice (whenever you enter a battle) is that this area is cramped (Kobalds are tiny by human standards). Because of this, your movement is very limited in battle. Take each characterÕs standard squares-per-turn movement rate and subtract four from that number. ThatÕs how far you can move per turn while in this cave. To start out with, by entering the large entrance, you are at (10,0). From this entrance, follow the path. You can trigger the battle by choosing to climbing the rocks at (13,6). Doing so will cause some stones to rattle, which serves to attract its attention. Or, you can simply continue north to (14/15,7), at which point youÕll be close enough to its nest to provoke it into action. ----------- SUB-BOSS: Wyvern If you were very unlucky like me, you may have fought one of these beasts as a random encounter in the Wilderness. For all intents and purposes, consider this fight just like the Basilisk battle -- except instead of potentially turning someone to stone with a successful hit, this beast will remove them from battle with a poisonous attack. So, hit it with everything you have and hope that it only causes damage when it attacks and doesnÕt wipe someone out with poison. On a bright note, I do not believe that the movement penalty applies to this battle. Maybe the WyvernÕs room is a bit more spacious due to its far greater size in relation to Kobalds. ----------- After beating it, head north to (14,9) and youÕll find the WyvernÕs nest. Now that the beast is gone, its treasure is yours! I received 3300XP, 7 gems, two scrolls, Short Sword +1, Leather Armor +1, Banded Mail +1 and a Mace +1. Not a bad haul. Go north to (15,12) and find a one-legged Kobald. If you give it water, it rambles for a bit before telling you to watch out for traps. Well, heÕs right. WeÕre going into the main part of the cave now and there are a few traps to get by in this area. Go up the rocks at (13,6) now and enter the corridor. Immediately (12,6), youÕll run into a sleeping Kobald. Here, you have three choices. If you pass by it, it will NOT wake up (at least it didnÕt for me), allowing you to move on unharmed. If you wake it, it will be groggy and offer to take you to the King (possibly a good decision if you have either already explored the tunnels or have no interest doing so at this time). Or you can kill it for no reward or penalty. Assuming you donÕt go to the King now, letÕs explore the rest of the cave. At (11,6), a spike trap waits to cause damage to you. Always is nice to get a little taste of Kobald hospitality, isnÕt it? Speaking of hospitality...walk one more square to the west (10,6) and a net will fall on you. As you struggle free, Kobalds will attack, so at least youÕll get to take your frustration out on the little critters. At (10,8) youÕll get a message saying that women and children Kobalds are running from you. This is the entrance to their dwelling area. Word of advice: donÕt bother going here unless you have a deep-seated need to map every inch of this cave. I have never found any treasure here and all you will likely do is run the risk of taking unnecessary damage in battle with random parties of Kobalds. At (8,3), there is a potentially lethal encounter with Kobalds. A solo Kobald waving a white flag comes up to you and tells you that if you spare him, heÕll lead you to the treasury. Any attempt to act hostile or any refusal of his offer leads him to trigger a trap to drop rocks on you for some pretty hefty damage, followed by a battle with a squad of Kobalds. If you accept his offer, though, heÕll just lead you to the WyvernÕs domain. Here, you may kill him with no worries. And since youÕve (if you follow the walkthrough) killed the Wyvern, there is nothing to worry about as far as thatÕs concerned, either. My advice for this area is to either follow my advice or not go to this square, as the damage youÕll take from the trap far outweighs any benefits youÕll get from killing a simple Kobald attack party. At (6,4) if you search the stones, youÕll find a map detailing a monster at the end of a small passage. My best guess is that itÕs a vague warning about the Wyvern, but I have no idea. Not that important of a clue, in my opinion. Go south to (6,2) and youÕll run into a pond. One character will fall in and possibly lose an item in the process, so be careful that you donÕt lose something important. A bit farther south at (6,0) is an exit from the cave. If you had originally entered through the smaller entrance, youÕd have started here. I would advise ignoring this entrance/exit, as youÕll have to walk through the pond to get to it and there is no point in risking the loss of an item when there is another perfectly serviceable exit from the cave. For the most part, the western third of the cave is quite unexceptional. However, Princess Fatima, a solid NPC Fighter, is at (1,12). If you donÕt have an NPC in your party, you can always pick her up to help out while youÕre in the cave. Just be warned that if you leave this region at any time for any reason, she leaves (that includes going to Phlan to heal and leaving after clearing the block). At (2,12) is a written note saying that the Kobalds are planning to attack a Nomad camp (the one you just saved). Meaningless, but adds a bit of story to the game. After youÕre through exploring the main part of the caverns, itÕs time to tackle the immense chamber in the center. By entering at (5/7,10), youÕll get a fair warning that something big is about to go down, as the game will inform you that your party hears the voices of Kobalds and Humans talking. By entering the chamber through the door at (3,12) or advancing in this chamber to (4-6,12), youÕll meet a large force of Kobalds in a meeting with some humans. Unfortunately, these arenÕt friendly ally-type humans. These are humans working for The Boss, who tell the Kobalds that killing you will do wonders for their standing with him. Get ready for a huge, multiple-wave battle!!! ----------- BOSS FIGHT: Legions of the Kobald King YouÕll soon find out that unlike the weak battles in the Nomad Camp, the Kobalds have come to fight. No longer will you be fighting weak groups of Kobalds with a lot of help from Nomads. Now, your party is on its own and itÕs the Kobalds who have enlisted the help. Watch out for some tough fights. I truly hope you have some way of casting Fireball multiple times (either the spell or a Necklace of Missile). After winning waves, choose to continue the battle, as this will be your only chance to heal party members (no breaks in the action). Also, you may get magical items for winning battles here. The first time I beat Wave One, I got a Wand. After forgetting to do the Òcontinue/healÓ strategy, I started the battle over and got nothing for conquering the first wave. Note: You have one big advantage in each of these fights in that you start the battle separated from the enemy forces. This means you can go wild with Fireballs without fear of hitting your own party members and that the monsters will have taken a good deal of punishment before reaching you. Wave One: Six Kobalds, two Kobald Leaders, one Troll. Not too bad, but donÕt let the Troll live for too long. Those guys can kick your teeth in if you give them half a chance, so make it your top priority. Wave Two: Before this round starts, the Kobalds assault you with a catapult for some added damage. Now, you get to fight four Kobalds, two Kobald Leaders, one Wild Boar and one troll. Try using a Fireball to wipe out as much opposition as possible. Wave Three: The lackeys of The Boss get into the mix here. You go up against four Kobalds, two Envoys, one Troll and one Wild Boar. Before the battle, the Envoys say theyÕll show you how a real soldier fights and if youÕre not careful, theyÕll back up that bit of bravado (especially if the first two battles took a lot out of you). Hit this group with everything you have. I used the Necklace of Missile twice to kill the Troll and constantly chipped away at the Envoys with a combination of the Fireballs, Magic Missiles and melee attacks. ----------- This fight netted me over 3500XP, two Two-Handed Swords +2 and a Ring of Invisibility. However, you will soon notice that the Kobald King slipped away during the battles. Now, itÕs time to decide if you want to finish him off now, or leave, recharge and then return. Either way, once you get back to this room, youÕll want to head east through the door at (6,13). YouÕll have one more little surprise in store for you here. The final group of bodyguards waits at (7,13) and this is a tough one. ----------- SUB-BOSS FIGHT: KingÕs Bodyguards This fight is tougher than any of the previous three, but it is only one battle instead of a three-fight endurance test. You go up against 10 Kobalds, three Kobald Leaders and two Trolls --- with the Trolls right next to your front line. This means you might take a good deal of damage in this fight, so I hope youÕve replenished the HP of your top three characters. Once again, blitz them with everything you have and hope that you wipe out the Trolls before they really cause some damage. ----------- I finished with a bit over 2000XP and a Leather Armor +1 for my efforts in this battle. Now move through the rooms in this area of the cave until you get to (10,14). Here, youÕll find that in his efforts to escape you, the Kobald King fell into a spiked pit and has perished. This is all you need to get your reward in Phlan (the Kobalds canÕt join The Boss now that they have no leadership), but itÕs wise to explore everywhere, so donÕt leave yet. The KobaldÕs treasure is located at (13,14). I got just under 4000XP, a Mace +2 and some assorted spells and junk. But youÕre not done yet. At (12,15), use the ÒlookÓ option and youÕll find a bottle. Try to pull it out of the wall and the cork comes off. Smoke comes out and forms an Efreet, who asks if your party is composed of Vampires. You can always attack him (or say ÒyesÓ), but the wisest course of action is to say ÒnoÓ. He tells you to only call him when there are Vampires near and then goes back into his bottle. You get 3950XP and the Efreet Bottle (I also got a Flame Long Sword +1). If that piece of advice didnÕt explain the EfreetÕs purpose enough, if you go back to DiogenesÕ cave and offer the bottle as a gift, the silver dragon will tell you that you need it and to go to Valhingen Graveyard to kill the vampire with it. Now, youÕre done with this area. Leave the Kobald Caves and head back to Phlan. Your reward is 6250XP and 25 gems. The new quest given to your party will be to find the kidnapped son of Bivant, who bears a heart-shaped mark on his shoulder. The clerk gives no clues as to his location, but a little Wilderness exploration will. Or you can just read a couple of chapters ahead. Next up on the Òto-doÓ list is solving the polluted water problem, unless you want a bit of (hopefully) quick and easy experience. Then, take a trip to the Textile House and fight enemies until there are no more random encounters. If you choose to do this, note that there are two spots that are now of NO interest in the northern half of the Textile House. At both (10,9) and (3,9) there is a diary entry that is the exact same as the one at (1,7) (about undead in the graveyard, if you donÕt remember). That diary entry is duplicated in the computer version, too, so this isnÕt a NES programming error. One important thing to keep in mind is to stay near the northern part of the Textile House to draw out random encounters. This way, youÕre near the Podol Plaza temple, so you can easily go up and heal/rest if need be. Remember that most of the encounters can be quite difficult under any circumstances, as Scorpions can incapacitate with their poison, Wights will drain levels with successful hits and Ghouls have the potential to paralyze party member (meaning the next hit will be an automatic death -- much like a Sleep or Hold Person spell). After cleaning out the place (no real way to know -- so just leave and go back to Phlan if you realize that you havenÕt been attacked in a while), go to the Clerk and youÕll get 1250XP and 1250G for your troubles. Personally, I donÕt feel that is much of a reward considering the time and risk factors involved, but if you want to be thorough, then go ahead and clear out the Textile House. When done with the Textile House (or the Kobald Cave, if you donÕt want to bother with CadornaÕs old stomping grounds), itÕs time to unpollute the water and solve the problem of the Lizardmen (since both quests are somewhat connected). --------------------------------- j. Pyramid of Yarash/Lizardman Keep Common/Set Enemies: 6th Lvl Fighter, 7th Lvl Thief, Displacer Beast, Drider, Drythfi, Dwarf Fighter, Giant Lizard, Kobald, Lizardman, Mutant Lizardman, Stirge, Yarash Goal to Clear: Get rid of water pollution. Prevent Lizardmen from joining The Boss. Reward for Clearing: Water pollution: 19,000XP, 250G, 75 gems Lizardmen: 10,050XP, 50G, 40 gems First off, letÕs do something about all that polluted water. If youÕve been running around outside, youÕve probably seen a Pyramid in the middle of a lake that seems to be the center of this polluted area. LetÕs take a look at this place. To enter the Pyramid, you must take a boat there. Fortunately, one is available if you know where to go. Step onto the forest square directly north of the Pyramid (bordering the lake). The game will note there is a boat here and youÕll be able to take it to YarashÕs Pyramid. Once again there is no map. For this area, it is tough to make a 16-by-16 grid due to teleporters, so instead of giving coordinates of important places, IÕll simply give directions on how to get to every location of interest. From the entrance, head up the long dark red (or brown) corridor. If you go all the way in a straight line, you will simply find another secret door leading back outside. Where you need to be in order to advance is the small area where the corridor widens to a two-by-two room. On the first square to the right, you are told that there are small stones on the ground and given the option to throw one, go forward or go back. If you choose to go forward, youÕll be teleported to a place with blue-colored walls. If you throw a stone here, youÕll go to another dark red (or brown) area. On the other hand, if you happen to step on the northern-most square to the right, youÕll be automatically teleported to the other dark red (or brown) area. So, what do these two areas hold? 1. Second Dark Red (Brown) area -- this area is a pretty nasty maze with some tough opponents. You might get the idea that something fishy is going on here, as many humanoid enemies act like youÕve saved them, but then attack you when you attempt to parlay. Things are not what they seem in the domain of Yarash... Then, you also have to encounter some monsters, like Driders, who donÕt bother with deceit, but are pretty straightforward with their hostility. So, what do you do if you're foolish enough to deposit yourself in this region (which is completely optional, has nothing worth your while and can be quite deadly to the average party)? Well, if you know, it's fairly simple. From where you start in this area (a three-way intersection), go east, south and east again along the corridor, ignoring all doors and branching paths. When the corridor ends in a door, take that door and take another to the south. Go east and you'll run into a human cleric, who asks you to help him finish off an escape tunnel. Do so and you be teleported out of the pyramid. I probably don't need to mention this, but be nice and don't attack him. You have enough creatures to treat like trash and kill without brutalizing the few friendly folk in AD&D world. Now, I need to add that there is another section of this maze. In the small room that you entered to take the south door to the final corridor, there also is a secret door on the east wall. If you go through it and follow the path to the north, you'll take a teleporter to a second section of the maze. My advice is don't do this. As far as I know, there are no benefits to being here and absolutely no reason for you to go here (unless you truly are masochistic). So, if you do this, you're on your own. If you find something extraordinary and wonderful, send me a message and I'll include it, but I'm not holding my breath. Yarash's little maze levels in his dungeon truly are painful to go through, holding much risk for no reward beyond the experience you get for killing enemies. Anyway, back to the quest Ñ the rest of Yarash's domain is a bit more lucrative. 2. Blue area -- This is the place you want to be. Luckily, there are no random encounters and only a couple of actual battles. If you're careful, this is a pretty simple place. The first step to being careful is to always remember the first rule of teleporters in Yarash's Wacky World: if you have the option of throwing a stone, DO SO!!! If you don't, you'll end up having to really retrace your steps, as you get warped to either the maze or the entry area of the pyramid. So, to start things off, go north and then west when you reach a fork in the road. Follow the hall to the north. Notice that area on the wall that looks different? That's a secret door. If you take it, you'll be in a recently used lab. Go through the secret door on the west wall and follow the hall to the north (south is a dead end, despite looking like a teleporter square). Go down the winding and meandering path and you'll reach an automatic teleporter (no stones necessary). This will zap you to a room with some Lizardmen. You can always fight them if you want, but they are friendly to you for the sole reason that you're not allied with Yarash. Exit the room through the secret door and you'll be right next to the secret door that started you on this little expedition. Fun, but worthless. Now, let's go past that first secret door. Just follow the hallway and it will end with another secret door. This room looks like a dead end, but if you move from the entrance, you'll be forced into a fight with three Mutant Lizardmen. They're a bit tougher than the regular variety, but have the same weaknesses (i.e. being semi-vulnerable to Sleep). Exploit that and if you can take one or two out of the battle, things will get quite easy for you. There is nothing of value in the room, though, and the monsters don't give much experience, so it's up to you to decide if this room is worth the effort. So, are you ready to actually start on your quest to teach Yarash a lesson? Well, this is pretty simple. Go back to the original fork in the road and go east this time. There is a secret door to your right, but it just leads to another boring lab. Just keep going and throw a stone when given the option. The triggers the teleporter to take you close to Yarash. In this new area, just follow the path and you'll get to another teleporter. Throw a stone and dive in. Go about two steps and repeat the process. Head around the corner and you'll see a closed door. Take a deep breath, open the door and confront...nothing. However there is some equipment spewing forth black water. Choose to break the equipment and then choose to leave the room. If you continue breaking things, you will get caught in a big explosion and take some damage. Leave the room, you'll be out of range. Go back into the room and you'll see a door right across from you. That is Yarash's chamber. We'll go there in a bit, but you have the opportunity to do some good first. Take the hallway next to Yarash's room and you'll find another room on your right. Enter this and you'll find some Lizardmen chained up and forced into labor. Be a good fellow and help them out and they'll tell you to go to their castle in the East Marsh for a reward. Warning: Do not take any sort of antagonistic tone (including ÒslyÓ) when parlaying with them. If you do, they will throw poisoned water on you, which will kill some number of your party members. BE CAREFUL!!! Now, it's finally time to take care of Yarash. Enter his room and the old wizard will discuss the possibility of using your party in his experiments. Since that sort of conflicts with your plans, you'll be forced into battle. ----------- BOSS FIGHT: Yarash and Creations Yarash doesn't fight you one-on-one, instead choosing to have six Mutant Lizardmen act as a barricade between you and him. Hopefully, you'll be able to put some of these guys to sleep or incapacitate them with a Stink Cloud, because this is one tough battle if everyone's awake and active. While the Mutant Lizardmen don't often cause much damage when they hit, they donÕt miss that often Ñ and all those small hits will add up quickly. Even though he's a wizard, Yarash does next to nothing. Every once in awhile, he'll throw some thing at you that can paralyze a character, but thatÕs the extent of his actions. ---------- After I won, I picked up 6121XP, 40G, Bracers AC4, Paralysis Wand and three Potions. If you go to the east-central square, there is a desk with some paper. It seems The Boss wanted Yarash to help him out, but the demented wizard preferred to work alone and refused the offer. Much more importantly, on the center square of the northern side of the room is a dial. When you first get there, it is set to Blue. This dial affects the teleporter which happens to be in the northeast corner of the room. If the dial is set to Blue, it will send you to the entry area of the pyramid. So, where do the other settings take you? Read on... Gold: a room with junk. With every step you take, you are greeting with a message that says there is a bunch of magical junk that looks useless. The first time you "look", you'll pick up some stuff. Bronze: same as Gold. Silver: same as the other two. Maybe it's not exciting, but it's free goods! When you're done playing, get out of there and go back to Phlan and get your reward. It's a nice one, too, as you get 19,000XP, 250G and 75 gems. Your new mission involves a fun chat with your ol' pal Cadorna. Cadorna tells you to take a letter to Zhentil Keep and not open it beforehand. But it's not like anything that Cadorna says is overly important, since he is somewhat of a shady character. Let's finish off the Lizardmen quest by going to their castle. The first thing you'll want is to be sure you have a good number of healing potions (you ought to have a ton of Gold by this point, so start spending. Go to the dock and pick "east". After leaving your boat, head north and go into the forest northeast of the Kobald Cave. The Lizardman castle is here. Enter and you'll immediately notice an anti-magic barrier in effect. See why I had you get the potions? You can't cast Cure Light Wounds here. There are a number of small crumbling rooms in this castle. Let's take a look at those first. To give you a sense of perspective, as there is no map to this place in the game, the entrances to the castle are at (7/8, 0). Many of these little structures are unimportant, but there are a couple of note. First, if you enter the doors at either (4,8) or (2,5), you will get into a fight with some Giant Lizards. By this stage of the game, this should be a very easy battle. Then, go on up to (4,12) to meet some Lizardmen and their Giant Lizard pet. Another easy fight. The main objective is the center of the keep, located at (8,6). Before I continue, there are three ways of doing the main part of this area. You can follow the heroic path and help the Lizardmen out, or you can take more of an unsympathetic stance toward their plight. To the best of my knowledge (essentially an educated guess), you should be able to earn the commission no matter what Ñ but itÕs a lot easier to do things if you take the heroic path. When you enter the center room, an old Lizardman comes forward in a peaceful manner. You to choose to listen to him, or attack. If you attack him, you'll quickly slaughter him and get stuck in an easy battle. After winning that, if you go back to Phlan, you'll quickly discover that you haven't accomplished your goal, as you'll receive no commission. You might be able to eliminate the Lizardman threat by going downstairs and clearing out the underground level of the Keep (detailed below), but I cannot confirm that at this time. If you listen to him, he'll ask you to help his tribe. Apparently, a Lizardman named Drythfi is attempting to take the tribe over in order to sway them to Tyranthraxus. Conveniently enough, immediately after the old fellow explains the problem, Drythfi appears and challenges him for leadership of the tribe. You can either champion the tribal elder or sit back and enjoy the proceedings. If you do nothing, Drythfi will easily kill the old guy and then lead his troops into battle with you. If you take this route, you may have to also clear the underground level to get credit Ñ I'm not sure. On the other hand, if you follow the path of chivalry, you'll have the opportunity to pick one party member for a one-on-one battle with Drythfi, who is essentially a Mutant Lizardman with a name. Pick your best fighter and you should should win without too much trouble (unless you have a massive run of bad luck in attempting to hit him or he has a fantastic run of luck in connecting with his high-damage attack). Win the fight and the old Lizardman will assure you that his tribe will never join Tyranthraxus. He'll then ask you to leave, as his tribe has a number of members that aren't fond of humans. But that's not the fun thing to do, is it? Instead go into one of the smaller rooms in this area and go downstairs. You're in the secret lair of the Lizardmen and there are a number of opportunities to get treasure and experience here. Scattered through this area are seven ponds. Whenever you walk up to one, the same thing happens. A Lizardman appears, throws a spear at you and attempts to escape into the water. If you catch him, you have a battle with five Lizardmen. Regardless of whether you catch him or not, you'll get the opportunity to dive in the water, an activity that will give you a bit of treasure (1500XP, 1000G, 2 gems). Find all seven ponds and get the treasure and you will have done all there is to do in this region. Return to Phlan to get your reward (10,050XP, 50G and 40 gems). The next quest on our agenda is to recover the missing heir to Bivant. In order to do that, you must contend with a whole bunch of Buccaneer slavers. You'll have the option to fight for the youngster's freedom or use other methods, so decide what you want to do. If you want to fight, be aware that you'll need a strong party to survive all the challenges you'll face. If you're not confident in your party's strength, fight random encounters in the western part of the Wilderness. A couple of chance encounters with Quicklings will do wonders for a party's power, as they are worth a ton of experience and can drop some fine items. Also in this area are Buccaneers, who are worth a good deal of experience, especially considering they are one of the weakest foes in the game. ---------------------------------- k. Buccaneer Base Common/Set Enemies: 3rd Lvl Fighter, 4th Lvl Fighter, 5th Lvl Fighter, Buccaneer, Captain, Sub-Captain Goal to Clear: Recover the missing heir to Bivant. Reward for Clearing: 3100XP, trinkets to sell This is an easy place to find, if you know where to look. Go to the Phlan Docks and choose to go to the west destination. After being dropped off, just keep going west along the coast. Shortly after the coast takes a slight dip to the south, youÕll find the base. When you reach it, youÕll be escorted in by the slavers, who think of you as a potential customer (which you just might be). First, hereÕs a brief overview of the area. After youÕve been taken into this area, go north until you get to the double doors that signify the exit back to the wilderness. On a map, these doors are at (7,15) and (8,15) -- the far northern edge of the base. The first thing to know is that there are eight guard towers on the perimeter. They are located at (6,15), (9,15), (2,13), (13,13), (0,5), (15,5), (4,1) and (11,1). Each guard tower has four Buccaneers in it and is a very easy fight that will net you a bit over 2000XP. The reason IÕm telling you this is because slaughtering the guards has no ill effect on your success on this mission. In other words, before worrying about the Bivant heir, kill everyone in the guard towers for a lot of experience. Now, as for the rest of the base. Just south of the entrance are two unimportant buildings. There is a row of four buildings just south of that. In this row, youÕll find the entrance to the slave pens at (7,9) and pens of livestock at (11,9). Well, youÕll find livestock pens all around the far east building, but this particular square is special, as you have the option to open the pens at this point. Then, there are three more buildings south of that row, with a shady individual at (2,4) who will sell you a pass to see the Captain for roughly 25,000G. Then, on the far southern tip of the Base is the CaptainÕs headquarters. The door to enter this place is at (7,4). Now that you have an idea where the important places in the Base are, here we go with a comprehensive look at how to recover the Bivant Heir. There are three methods you can use, depending on your partyÕs strength and your intelligence. 1. The ÒIÕm an idiot with more gold than brainsÓ plan: Go to the shady guy and buy a pass. Show the pass to the guards outside the CaptainÕs building and buy the Bivant heir for 30,000G. Leave and go back to Phlan. Sure itÕs easy, but you can also accomplish the same thing for no cost. 2. The ÒIÕm playing it safe because my party isnÕt that powerfulÓ plan: Go to the entrance to the slave pens and try to get in. When the guards stop you, attack them (simple fight with four Buccaneers) and then enter the pens and collect the heir. Now (very important or youÕll be fighting the whole base), go to the livestock pens and release them. Make your escape while the confused Buccaneers are running around trying to re-capture the animals. Quick, easy and no risk unless you accidentally get close to the gates before releasing the animals. Now, go back to Phlan. 3. The ÒTo hell with subtlety -- EVERYONE DIES!!!!Ó plan: After much experimentation, IÕve found the best way to pull this plan off is to suck it up and buy the pass from the shady guy. You could just walk into a random building and assault the Buccaneers there or walk up to the CaptainÕs headquarters and attack his guards (two 4th Lvl Fighters), but that sets off a tougher string of battles that climaxes with a huge fight with the Captain, Sub-Captain and a ton of 3rd and 5th Lvl Fighters. By purchasing the pass, you can take out the Captain and a small group of 5th Lvl Fighters first and then move on to a slightly easier string of battles. ItÕs going to be tough either way, but I found this method to be a bit easier to handle, as none of the fights are against overly intimidating forces. After youÕve beaten all the Buccaneers, simply enter the slave pens, collect the heir and go back to Phlan. Now that youÕre back in Phlan....huh? Oh, you probably would like a bit of strategy on how to handle the fine folk of the Buccaneer Base, wouldnÕt you? Well, here we go.... ----------- BOSS FIGHT: Buccaneers A-Plenty! If you follow OverdriveÕs approved method to slaughter these fellows, youÕll have to fight four consecutive battles. The first and fourth fights have the most opposition, but you canÕt really relax in the middle two conflicts, as you wonÕt want to take much damage in any single fight. Before deciding to do this, take a look at your party and go down this simple checklist of things you may want to have. LetÕs start with the Clerics and Magic-Users. YouÕll want plenty of Cure Light Wounds spells, especially to use between waves (by saying yes when the computer asks if you want to continue battle). Potions of Healing or Extra Healing are wonderful for this also. Clerics also will want plenty of Hold Person spells, which work wonderfully on 5th Lvl Fighters. Magic-Users will be greatly helped by Sleep (for weak enemies) and Stink Cloud (for stronger foes) spells. If you can cast Fireball (either from being at a high enough level or by having a Necklace of Missile), that will help immensely. Finally, having a Magic Missile or two on hand (or a Wand of Missiles) also will help in combat, as the Captain seems resistant to any hold/paralysis spell you may have. As for Fighter-types, just make sure youÕre at a decent level (at least Lvl 6) and that you have strong armor and weapons. Overall, while having high-quality Fighters is very helpful, this conflict (and the potential Zhentil Keep one that will be detailed in the next chapter) will be won by your Clerics and Magic-Users. The more effective they are, the better things will go for you. Now hereÕs what you fight: First Wave: Captain and four 5th Lvl Fighters. You start out with a tough one, as the Captain is very strong, solid on defense and has a lot of HP. He also starts in the back row and will use a distance attack on you until forced into melee combat. The quicker you can (hopefully) get the 5th Lvl Fighters to succumb to Hold Person and the resulting one-hit instant kill, the better off youÕll be. Second Wave: A combination of Buccaneers, 3rd Lvl Fighters and 5th Lvl Fighters. Much easier than the first fight. The Buccaneers will go out without even a whimper and the 3rd Lvl Fighters arenÕt overly imposing. If you can Hold some of the fighters, you may not even take one hit in this fight. Third Wave: A slightly tougher version of the second wave. There are a couple more Fighters here, but this is still an easy fight, even though youÕll be under a bit more fire from the 5th Lvl Fighters. Fourth Wave: Sub-Captain and a total of 11 3rd and 5th Lvl Fighters. With no weak Buccaneers in this fight, if your party is depleted they could be in for a bit of a fight. I like to bring out the heavy artillery here. Sleep works on the 3rd Lvl Fighters, Hold Person and Stink Cloud are potentially effective on everyone and Magic Missile does wonders on anyone left moving. Oh, and donÕt be intimidated by the cool-looking armor worn by the Sub-Captain. According to his HP total, heÕs just a 3rd Lvl Fighter that has a different look. ----------- After ending the Buccaneer threat, you will automatically release all the slaves, including the Bivant heir. Go back to Phlan and get a piddly reward of 3100XP and a couple of trinkets that you can sell to get some gold. Sadly, there is no side-quest that allows you to go to the house of Mr. Bivant and shake him down for the reward YOU feel you deserve, but life goes on. Well, hopefully it will continue to go on after you attempt this next quest, a foray into the hallowed halls of Zhentil Keep at the request of your good friend, Cadorna. ---------------------------------- l. Zhentil Keep Common/Set Enemies: 4th Lvl Fighter, 6th Lvl Magic-User, Aides, Commandant, Corporal, Dwarf Fighter, Guard Goal to Clear: Deliver letter and escape with your life. Reward for Clearing: 8000XP and 32 gems Before I delve into the meat and potatoes of this region, let me forewarn you that Zhentil Keep is much like the Buccaneer Base, in that there are multiple ways to do this region. ThereÕs an easy way for players not overly confident in the strength of their characters and/or their tactical ability and there is a hard way for skilled players with a strong party. If you have any doubts about your party, either choose to do things the easy way or at the very least, save your game before attempting to bust out of the Keep. Without going into an obscene amount of detail, here is the summary of events that will explain why youÕll need to fight your way out of Zhentil Keep. First, to find the Keep, go directly west of the Buccaneer Base until you see a group of armed men going into a Keep. Explore in that area and the armed men will come up to you, take your letter and escort you into the Keep to meet the Commandant. He seems like a nice guy at first, as he has his men give you a tour of the place before taking you to a room to rest from your trip. Basically the purpose of the tour is to let you know that there are a ton of soldiers here and that the Keep is very well fortified against outside attack. After a bit of rest (you can try to leave now, but letÕs just let things progress naturally), you will be collected and taken to dinner with the Commandant. It will essentially be a brief Q-and-A session with him, during which you will get a bit of information about various things going on in Phlan. Interestingly, youÕll also get the idea that the Commandant of this Zhentil faction that is supposedly hostile towards Phlan is in support of Cadorna being in charge of that city. If you didnÕt think your favorite councilman was shady before, you really should now --- and if you donÕt now, you will in a couple of minutes. When the meal has concluded, youÕre escorted back to your room for the night. Whatever you do, do NOT rest. Just wait, because in a matter of hours, a group of four soldiers will come in with the intent of slaughtering you. While this group of four Aides is not a tough battle, if youÕre asleep when they come in, they will do some damage. However, if youÕre awake, this will be an easy battle. Leave the room and youÕll immediately be attacked by a larger group of foes that consists of four more Aides and 16 Guards. No problem here, as Guards are very weak (sort of the Buccaneers of Zhentil Keep). You should win this battle without any problems, too. Now, itÕs time to make your choice. Do you make your escape now, or do you stay and kill everyone in Zhentil Keep in order to send a message that youÕre not to be trifled with? The consequences of both courses of action are listed below. 1. ÒFeets, DonÕt Fail Me Now!Ó method If you feel like you should run away, leave your room and take a left through the door in the hallway. You should now be in the main part of the Keep. Go south one square and then turn east. Note: If you turn east immediately after entering this part of the keep and move into the corner, you'll get stuck in a tough battle with a Dwarf Fighter and a number of Aides. While it's smart to fight this conflict now if you want to kill everything, as I'll explain later, it's not a good idea to do this battle if you're just trying to escape. Anyway, just keep going east until you reach an intersection. Turn left (north) and you'll reach the gates (due to the random nature of the battles here, you may fight once again against Zhentil's finest --- a host of Guards and Corporals). To escape, you'll have to fight a small detachment of Guards, but that should be easy. Also, if you make a wrong turn, there is at least one area along the perimeter of the keep where you can climb the wall to escape. So all is not lost if you fail to follow these instructions. 2. EVERYONE DIES!!!! Now, if you want to stay, you'll want to remain in this general area to fight the random battles. Or, a smarter thing to do is immediately tackle the set battle with the Dwarf Fighter and cronies I mentioned above, as this will eliminate a number of battles that would normally deplete your party's health and spell-casting capacity. Battle 3 -- Dwarf Fighter and 10 Aides: This is a very tough battle that good spell usage can make a walk in the park. Having Magic-Users cast Sleep will take out a few of the Aides and having Clerics cast Hold Person does wonders for removing just about any one left standing from the conflict. Have your Fighters take out anyone left standing and capable of fighting and then slaughter the helpless held/sleeping foes. If you play this battle right, you'll take very little (if any) damage. Winning this battle immediately puts you into conflict with the Commandant and his forces. ----------- BOSS FIGHT: Zhentil Commandant and his legions The Commandant sits way in the back and blasts you with items that cause electrical damage. There is also a 6th Lvl Magic-User in this battle, but because of the atrocious AI the computer gives that sort of chap, he'll be unable to chew you up with spells. That leaves 10 Aides and nine 4th Lvl Fighters, quite a formidable assortment of bodyguards due to the extreme numbers advantage and long-range attack capabilities they possess. Fireballs are a great way to start things out, if you can cast them. After that (or if you can't cast them), use Sleep on the Aides and Hold Person and/or Stink Cloud on the 4th Lvl Fighters and Commandant. Take note that all the Aides and Fighters do have long-range attacks, so anyone standing is capable of damaging any party member at any time. Try to cut a path to the Commandant as quickly as possible, as he is a very real threat with brutally damaging item attacks. If you can Hold him, that is perfect, as he has an unreal amount of HP and will not be easy to kill normally. One thing to keep in mind is that you WILL take damage in this battle, as no matter how strong you are or how many spells you have, they will get a few of their arrows into your party and the Commandant likely will blast someone with 10-20 HP of damage from his electrical attack. So, be sure that you have a powerhouse party that can not only create a ton of havoc quickly, but also can take a lot of damage, or this will be a painful battle for you. ----------- For winning, I personally got 11,693XP and 75G, as well as a ton of items, including a Lightning Wand, Ring of Fire Protection, Bracers AC3, Shield +1, Plate Mail +2, Javelin of Lightning and Long Sword +2. Also, the rest of the Keep surrenders or escapes. To my knowledge, there is nothing of interest in the Keep, so can leave now. Now, if you'd not challenged the Dwarf Fighter immediately (or if for some reason, his force didn't appear on the square immediately east of where you exited the hallway leading to your room), you would have been forced to fight about three more random guard battles that consisted of progressively more powerful assortments of Guards, Corporals and Aides before moving on to the Dwarf Fighter/Commandant battles. While a strong and smart party would be of no risk of getting killed by these groups, they will be at risk of getting worn down to the point where the Commandant fight becomes either impossible or near-impossible to win. Anyway, after escaping the Keep and going back to Phlan, the Clerk will give you 8000XP and 32 gems for surviving. You will also get a new commission to slay Cadorna for his attempt to betray you and the city. Also, Lord Urslingen will give you a special mission to slay the guards at the Stojanow Gate and slay the guards there. This gate happens to be located just north of Podol Plaza and will be our next objective. ---------------------------------- m. Stojanow Gate Common/Set Enemies: 6th Lvl Magic-User, Aides, Bugbear, Ettin Goal to Clear: Clear the two towers and wipe out the Bugbear patrols, so Phlan soldiers can secure the region. Reward for Clearing: 12,500XP and 50 gems After walking around for a little while in the southern portion of this place, you'll meet a merchant with a wagon. Offer to spend the piddly 250G to buy the wagon, as it will make getting past the actual gate a bit easier. Another thing you can do to make your time here easier is NOT go near the actual wall at this time. Just go to the gate after getting the wagon. If you run around the wall, you'll gain the attention of the Bugbear guards. As the merchant says, they are in a bad mood and will act in quite the hostile manner. Until you've cleared out the guard towers, you don't want anyone in this region angry at you, as the guard tower denizens will rain pain upon you from afar if you get their attention. When you reach the general area of (7,4), a Bugbear will demand a 15G bribe. Pay it and you'll be placed on the other side of the gate. Now it's time to empty the guard area of monsters. First, go west and through the door at (4,10). Go up the stairs and you'll run into three Ettins, an Aides and a 6th Lvl Magic-User. The Ettins are essentially a tougher version of the Ogres you've fought off-and-on throughout the course of the game Ñ a two-headed giant-class foe with two wicked melee attacks per round. Also, the Magic-User apparently has a Lightning Wand, as he fires off electrical bolts at party members. Winning this battle will give you a good deal of XP (about 4500 for me) and some items. Also, the alarm will start ringing. Now, it's time for you to move quickly. Leave the tower and the guards from the other tower will be waiting for you. This battle will be the exact same as the last, except you'll be starting from a distance. Take advantage of this to blast the opposition (especially the Ettins) with long-range attacks. If you did get a Lightning Wand from the final Zhentil Keep battle (or at any other time), the bolts that item fires off can be quite effective, as can a well-placed Fireball. I found this battle to be tougher than the previous one because it seemed that more Ettins would get involved in the action and because it always seemed that the Magic-User would fire off his Lightning Wand at least once. However, I also got a better reward, with over 10,000XP and a pair of items. After wiping out the guard towers, you're notified by the game that all you have to is wipe out the outside patrols and you'll have reclaimed the gate! Heal up and let's kill us some Bugbears. Go into the actual gate area via the door at either (7,9) or (8,9) and you'll be ambushed by the Bugbears. A Sleep spell or two will do wonders to knock out some of the 10 Bugbears in this battle. Look at this encounter as a more difficult version of a large battle with Gnolls or Lizardmen, as Bugbears are only marginally tougher than those two foes. Note: It's not a good idea to explore at this point, as brutally tough patrols from the Castle will be guarding the entrance to that area. Unless fighting large numbers of giants seems fun to you, just go after the Bugbears and save the Castle and its inhabitants for later. Win this battle and the Phlan guards will secure the gate. Congratulations, you'll be able to enter the Castle whenever you want, now. However, we still have a number of quests to complete before doing that, so let's go back to Phlan and get our reward. You can look around the entire Stojanow Gate block, if you want, but there is nothing of interest in any of the small buildings in this region. The Clerk will exclaim that now Phlan can be on the attack thanks to you and gives you 12,500XP and 50 gems. You will be led by guards to the Special Council, where Lord High Mayor Ulrich Eberhard tells you to go to Valjevo Castle and save Phlan. Before doing that, let's get rid of Dirten by clearing the Wealthy Area and Bane Temple. If you want, you can clear Valhingen Graveyard first, but in my opinion, a poor AI Cleric in a region jam-packed with powerful undead could be a liability, so let's just fulfill his quest now. ---------------------------------- n. Wealthy Area/Bane Temple Common/Set Enemies: Mace, Ogre, Orc Goal to Clear: Kill Mace and destroy the Shrine to Bane. Reward for Clearing: 1500XP, 750G, 3 gems Take the boat to the north and enter the northern part of the city to go to Kovel Mansion. To enter the Wealthy Area, go through either door on the south side of this block. Now that you're here, explore all the buildings, as you'll find some useful items and some easy battles. Go through the door at (14,11) and you'll meet a seven Orcs and one Orc Leader. Kill them and go through the south door to (14,7). Free the Goblin slaves and one will tell you that you need a special symbol of Bane to enter the temple. That symbol is named "Leather Symbol of Bane" and you'll have the opportunity to win it in a random Orc battle during your exploration of this block. Other than that random Orc battle, it doesn't seem like there are wandering monsters in this area, so it should be easy to get the symbol. Go back to the Orc room and go west through the rooms. By "looking" in each room, you'll find a number of minor treasures, so be through in your investigations. At the end of this chain of rooms is an attack by an Ogre and some Orcs at (6,7). At this point of the game, this (like the other battles in this block) should be very easy. Win and you'll get to learn a little bit of the hierarchy around these parts, as there is a note saying that Mace is strong, the Boss (Tyranthraxus) is stronger and that Bane (evil god) is the strongest of all. Leave this large building and head to the southern part of the Wealthy Area to find the entrance to a mansion at (8,4). Enter and immediately fight a squad of Orcs at (8,3). Go through the mansion to (9,0) and search the bed there to fight another Orc patrol. Kill the Orcs and you'll find there was nothing in the bed. In another part of the mansion (5,0), there is a message alluding to secret treasure in the Bane Temple. After doing this, you've seen everything of interest in this block, so if you've gotten a Leather Symbol of Bane, you're ready to enter the Temple of Bane, so go through either of the two western exits from the Wealthy Area. In the Temple, you'll regularly get assaulted by bands of four orcs holding the Leather Symbol of Bane, as well as battles against larger Orc patrols. They are easy battles, so don't worry about getting worn down, though. Just kill everything that gets in your way make your way to the entrance to the actual temple (the huge building in the center of the block). At the entryway (2,7/8), a blind Orc will examine you. If one character holds the Leather Symbol of Bane, you will be allowed into the temple. At (14,7/8) is a shrine dedicated to Bane. Destroy it and the Half-Orc Cleric Mace, two Bugbears and 14 Orcs will confront you. ----------- BOSS FIGHT: Unholy Mace and his bodyguards At this stage of the game, this will be an easy fight. Add the facts that Mace has the same terrible AI that other magic-using characters have and that he and the two Bugbears are in the front row and you should have no problems here. Cast a Sleep spell or two on the Orcs to simplify things and you'll cruise to victory here. ----------- You'll get a small reward for winning his fight and true to his name, Mace will drop a Mace +1 for you to pick up. Dirten will tell you that the treasures of the temple are yours and then leaves your party for good. So, let's go treasure hunting! You'll find trapdoors at (5,10), (12,5) and (9,3) You will have to be in "search" mode as you walk around to find these places, as they are all well-hidden. Also, you should know that you will get a ton of minor magical items at each of these places, so watch your inventories. No point in unearthing the treasure if you can't hold it unless you're only out for the experience by this point. After you're done searching, go back to Phlan. The Clerk will give you 1500XP, 750G and 3 gems for this job, as well as the shrine treasure you took. Now, it's time to give yourself a real challenge to set the stage for the final couple of quests, so let's go to Valhingen Graveyard. ---------------------------------- o. Valhingen Graveyard Common/Set Enemies: Ghoul, Giant Skeleton, Juju Zombie, Mummy, Skeleton, Spectre, Wight, Zombie Goal to Clear: Wipe out the Vampire and his minions, such as the undead- producing Spectres. Reward for Clearing: Go back to the docks and once again, pick the north option. This time, instead of going to the northern part of town (Kovel Mansion), choose to go to the graveyard. You'll want to be very careful here and save after every battle. Many of the enemies here can drain levels with successful hits and you don't want to have to rebuild experience, as not even the Restoration spell can restore all the points you lose. Basically, your main goal is to slaughter the evil Vampire that is controlling the undead forces. However, there are a number of Spectres (remember Mendor?...) that you also have to focus on. They are in charge of producing various types of undead (Skeletons, Zombies and Wights). By killing them, you will put an end to the hordes of undead the Vampire is creating to overrun Phlan. There also are a number of other set monster encounters. Each of these is worth fighting as the rewards can outweigh the risks. The undead of Valhingen Graveyard hold plenty of wonderful treasures. Remember that for more encounters, the Clerical Turn option will be your best friend. When a Cleric reaches their sixth and final level of experience, their Turning ability can destroy Skeletons and Zombies, instead of simply forcing them to run away. You'll enter the Graveyard at (0,11). Your final goal is in the northeast corner, but we have a long and meandering path to get to that location. So head down the paths marked by gravestones and seek out the mausoleums to progress through this region. At (4,9), go through to door to fight a band of Skeletons. Win that battle and continue east to (7,9) to fight larger group of Skeletons -- led by a Giant Skeleton. The Giant Skeleton is very strong in melee combat, so try to wipe it out quickly or it will make life miserable for your party. After winning this battle, go south to (7,7) and "look" to find a marble box with a lot of treasure. I got 9050XP and four scrolls with two casts of Restoration each. Continue south and go in the mausoleum at (1,3) to trigger a Skeleton attack (as if the game's notice that bones were laying outside the door didn't give that away). Win the battle and enter the building to take a good deal of damage from poisonous gas. Go through the door at (0,0) and you'll meet the Spectre in charge of animating Skeletons. ----------- SUB-BOSS FIGHT: Spectre Uno Nothing but one Spectre, although that still is a formidable foe. Use the same strategy you used on the one in Mendor's Library, although this battle should go a bit easier due to all the weapon/armor upgrading you've been doing since that point. Magic Missiles are great because of the automatic damage they generate and your Fighters should be a bit more adept at landing blows. Don't bother with attempting to turn this or the other two Spectres, as that isn't going to work out too well for you. ----------- Beat him and leave this area. If you've taken too much damage from the gas or encounters, go back to Phlan. If not, then enter the door at (5,6) to visit another mausoleum. This building houses the Zombie-producing Spectre, so be ready for another fight. As with the Skeleton-producing Spectre's lair, you will face a battle as soon as you attempt to enter the place. Fight the 10 Zombies that greet you and then proceed into the building. Meander through the building until you reach (4,5). There you'll see the Spectre and get the opportunity to fight it. ----------- SUB-BOSS FIGHT: Spectre Dos Same strategy as the first battle. Show no mercy, as none will be shown to you. I was able to get the jump on the ghostly monster and get a free round of attacks in, which made this fight very easy for me. Two hits and three Magic Missiles later and it was toast. ----------- Now, if you go just a bit northeast of this mausoleum (8,7), you'll run into a helpful chap named Magician. Don't accept his offer. You already know how poor the computer AI is when it comes to magic-using classes AND this chap will betray you the minute you run into the Vampire. Yep, ol' fangy has himself an accomplice just waiting to trick stupid adventurers into falling into his trap. Just say no to him and watch him attempt to attack you. After having a hearty chuckle at the folly of solitary wizards attempting to take out five well-trained adventurers, slaughter him and continue exploring. Anyway, go north from here, so we can kill the final Spectre. As you step in front of the door (9,10), the game sends you a message about static electricity and lightning crackling the air and a tough crew of Wights approaches. Now this fight is cause for concern. There are six of these level-draining undead and they start out right next to you. You'll want to hope your Clerical folk can turn all of them (my L6 Cleric was able to do so). If that doesn't happen, you'll want your Magic-Users to inflict pain on them with a Fireball (being careful not to burn anyone in your own party). A number of factors for your success in this fight are out of your hands Ñ namely how quickly your Clerics get to act and how successful they are in turning the Wights Ñ so be sure to save immediately before stepping on this square. Beat the fight and enter the mausoleum. You'll immediately take damage from supernaturally being slammed into the air, but that shouldn't be anything to worry about. Go one step farther south and you'll find the Wight-creating Spectre. ----------- SUB-BOSS FIGHT: Spectre Tres Same drill as the previous two. Use your best attacking items and hope to finish it off before someone gets drained. ----------- All three Spectres are dead, so no new undead will apparently be created (you'll still have the occasional random fight until the block is cleared, though). Before taking care of the Vampire, there are a number of other mausoleums to explore, each with their own encounters and with their own treasure. At the entrance (10,0) to one building, located in the south-central part of the graveyard, you'll be greeted by Zombies loudly descending the stairs. Win that fight and enter the building to get challenged by the strangely named Juju Zombie. While this monster has more than twice the HP of a regular Zombie, there is only one of it, so this may be the easiest fight in the entire Graveyard. Win and you'll get to pick up "various objects" scattered around. I got 3280XP, a Lightning Wand, two scrolls and a potion. Now enter the building at (11,4). Hmmm....looks like it's empty. Take another steps and ...WHOOPS!!! Guess it's not so abandoned. If the picture that pops up on the screen doesn't make things clear enough for you, your lead party member will kindly inform everyone that a Mummy is on the loose before the battle starts. Once combat has begun, you'll find out that it's actually four Mummies Ñ making this a nasty little confrontation. Fortunately, these beasties don't drain levels. Unfortunately, they are still diabolical creatures. At the beginning of the fight, everyone in your party has a chance of being paralyzed (if my AD&D memory is accurate, I believe Mummies have the ability to cause opponents to be paralyzed by fright). You'll see "*name* was unaffected" for each one that avoided this nasty effect. To make matters worse, each successful hit by a Mummy can disease a party member. Oh, and all four of them start right next to your party. Wait, I almost forgot that they seem to be a bit too powerful for your Clerics to turn. Yep, this sure is a fun battle, isn't it? If you have a Fireball handy, use it, as you'll be able to severely damage three of them without hitting a party member. This can make the battle a lot easier to win without taking severe damage. If not, use melee attacks and Magic Missiles and hope for the best. I got 5656XP for surviving this battle. Immediately after it's over, go to your "encamp" screen and cast Cure Disease on any afflicted party members. While my AD&D memory doesn't recollect how being diseased affects a character, as unforgiving as the status effects are in that world, I didn't really want to find out the hard way. There seems to be no treasure here, but getting over a thousand XP for every character kind of is a reward in itself. Our next building is the one at (15,9), which is described by the game as a "large tower". Try to enter and some ghostly voices threaten to kill you if you donÕt leave. Ignore that advice and you have another six-Wight attack. Use the advice I gave for the battle outside the abode of ÒSpectre TresÓ for this one, as it is identical for all intents and purposes. Note: While undead turning is a very imprecise science, it should be said that my L6 Cleric turned all six Wights in the first such battle, but was unable to turn any here. It might have just been an unlucky attempt (as opposed to some in-game mechanism where that is an ÒunturnableÓ group), but I was forced to use a more direct way to attack (one Fireball and one well-placed blast from the olÕ Lightning Wand mixed with one or two successful melee attacks). After winning, enter the building and go into the small room inside (15,8) to meet a Wraith. The Wraith moans that it is protecting a body and that you should leave. Failure to comply means a battle. Think of a Wraith as a slightly weaker Spectre (or slightly stronger Wight, for that matter). It does drain levels, but also goes down quicker. Win the fight and youÕll get all the equipment the body possessed. For me, this was a Hammer +3, Sling of Seeking +2, and some scrolls and potions. Now, take the door at (9,14). Well, try to take the door. As you attempt to open it, youÕll be faced with another battle with a Spectre. ----------- SUB-BOSS FIGHT: Spectre Quattro The only difference between this and the previous Spectre battles is that you wonÕt get a surprise attack on it, so it will have a much better chance of taking a swing at you and draining someone of a couple of levels. Do your best to prevent that from happening (i.e. saving before trying to fight it). ----------- Now that this guy is dead, go through his building. In the final room (8,13), a ghost will give you a prize for your ability to meet his standard for bravery (or something like that). I received 2630XP, Plate Mail +2, Long Sword +2, Shield +1, Ring of Fire Resistance and a ton of scrolls. Now go through the door at (12,13) and go to the center of the room. Read the scroll and sanctify the coffin. Leave this room and go through either the door at (12,15) or (14,13). There is a secret door at (15,14), so go through it and go one step west. ItÕs Vampire Time! ----------- BOSS FIGHT: Vampire and Wolf collection If you got the Efreet Bottle from the Kobald Cave, the cork will automatically pop off and youÕll have an ally for this confrontation. Samir Ahwahl, vampire-hunting genie, will come out and threaten to kill the Vampire as a precursor to this battle. As for the fight itself, it wonÕt be easy. The Vampire starts right up next to your front line, the Efreet has no way of getting to him immediately and there are five Wolves getting in the way. The Vampire is another high-powered undead, capable of draining levels with ease. Really, this is another battle where strategy and luck must collide for victory to be yours. YouÕll have to unleash Fireballs on the enemies, hope your melee fighter can hit the Vampire and hope the Vampire misses once or twice, so you can win the battle without adverse side effects. The first time I tried things, the Vampire drained my Cleric immediately. The second time, he missed a Fighter early, two Fireballs killed four Wolves and did 30 damage to him, the Efreet killed the other Wolf and my Fighters finished the Vampire off. ----------- After the battle has ended, the Vampire will dissolve into mist and attempt to visit his now-sanctified coffin. ÒLookÓ on the square you fought him and youÕll get his treasure. I picked up a sweet 16,230XP, 9000G, 12 gems, Magic Missile Wand, Shield and a bunch of potions and scrolls. Now, go back to the building with the coffin and step to the square where the coffin was to fight him again. Once again, Mr. Efreet will assist you in this endeavor. ----------- BOSS FIGHT: Vampire II: Evil Never Dies No wolves this time. ItÕs just your party and the Efreet against the Vampire in a battle to the death. DonÕt hold back here! Have your Magic-Users use Magic Missiles or Lightning Wands and hope your melee fighters donÕt fall into a costly slump. And above all, hope that the Vampire misses with his attacks. Fortunately for you, the first fight depleted him and he wonÕt take as much damage this time around (my guess: 15-20HP). ----------- Now, go back to Phlan to collect your reward. You will get a great prize from the Clerk for completing this tough mission: a total of 26,035XP, 285G and 103 gems. After that, youÕll also get a special reward from the Council of 35,000XP and 140 gems for driving away the Vampire. Also, with the Vampire dead, you can sell the Efreet Bottle for 17,500G. Now, technically youÕre ready to challenge Valjevo Castle, but you might feel you need a little more experience to give some characters one more level. If so, read the next section and youÕll find a somewhat villainous way to get a ton of experience (as well as a ÒnicerÓ way to get a much smaller amount of XP and a questionable thing to do that will even give you fewer XP). ---------------------------------- p. Three Optional Quests Common/Set Enemies: See below Goal to Clear: See below Reward for Clearing: See below This section will be divided into three areas. First, IÕll discuss how to get a ton of experience by decimating New PhlanÕs defense. Second, IÕll mention how to clear Podol Plaza for a reward. Third, IÕll bring up Cadorna and the different paths you can take when you encounter him for the final time. So, you need experience? Phlan is the place to be, as you can get an ungodly amount without even leaving the City Gates now that you are powerful. All you have to do is anger the guards, which isnÕt that hard to do. The easiest way is to simply go to the Council building and try to enter any room besides the ClerkÕs. Or you can try going into most buildings at night. Or get in a tavern brawl. Or try to ÒrestÓ in New Phlan. Any of those actions will get the attention of the guards, who will tell you to move on. Instead of following orders, choose to attack. Note: It is best to instigate combat in a narrow area. DonÕt pick a fight in a wide-open area, as that will give the Fighters the opportunity to run around the Aides and immediately attack you. ----------- BOSS FIGHT: New Phlan Guards This is no easy battle, as you have 20 opponents. Up front, next to your party will be 10 Aides. Behind them will be two worthless 6th Lvl Magic-Users and a group of eight Fighters (four 6th Lvl and four 8th Lvl). If you follow my advice and picked the fight in a narrow area, such as the main hall of the Council building, all the opponents will be bunched up and will stay that way. You know what that means? Fireball-o-rama!! Two or three of these bad boys will weaken the Fighters and likely kill the Magic-Users and Aides that are in the path of destruction. Meanwhile, have you Clerics work on hitting as many Fighters as possible with Hold Person spells because high-level Fighters arenÕt easy to hit with melee attacks, regardless of your partyÕs strength. Basically, you want to be at full strength when you enter this battle and you want to hit the opponents with ANYTHING you can. DonÕt hold back, as you wonÕt have to immediately fight any battles after this one. ----------- Winning this war got me 10,400XP and 116G. It also alienates most of New Phlan. While the Clerk and the fine people at the Training Hall will still talk to you, Shrines, Inns and Shops all refuse to accept your patronage. That means youÕll need to go to the Slums and heal you characters the old-fashioned way (i.e. before you got a ton of money and could just throw it at Shrine clerics). So repeat the pattern of healing, memorizing spells and resting until everyone is at full health with full magic-casting capacity. Now go back to New Phlan. While most of the Òoff-limitsÓ buildings simply give you a message saying (in essence) that you arenÕt welcome there, there is one building that is a wee bit different. Remember the Shrine of Sune (southwest corner of town)? Save your game and go there. An ominous armored Cleric greets you by saying that youÕll pay for what youÕve done Ñ and then attempts to ensure you do! ----------- BOSS FIGHT: A Medieval Holy War! YouÕll be locked in battle with three 7th Lvl Clerics, seven 5th Lvl Clerics, three 8th Lvl Fighters and seven 4th Lvl Fighters. The 7th Lvl Clerics were at the front of the battle (adjoining my front row), while the 5th Lvl Clerics were right behind them. Behind the Clerics were the Fighters with the 8th Lvl guys being in front of most of the 4th Lvl ones. Here are a couple of very important things to know before jumping into action. 1. In the NES version, you get one H-U-G-E lucky break Ñ the horrible AI in this game. By all rights, the Clerics by themselves should eat your party up with a nonstop barrage of Hold Person spells followed by one-hit-kill melee attacks on your helpless characters. However, as IÕve probably said a million times in this guide Ñ no computer-controlled character with magical capacity shall ever do anything intelligent with said magic. The point of the story is that all 10 Clerics did nothing but melee attacks when I fought them. 2. YouÕre not home-free by any means, though. The 7th Lvl Clerics and 8th Lvl Fighters can give any character fits, there are enough 5th Lvl Clerics to add to that frustration AND the 4th Lvl Fighters will (if given the chance) pick you apart with long-range attacks. Since the 4th Lvl Fighters are the farthest away from you at the start of the battle, the odds are quite high that theyÕll have plenty of opportunity to do so. So what does all this mean? Essentially that your strategy will be much the same as the previous battle with the exception that flawless execution is a bit more important here. Have your Magic-Users target their Fireballs so that all the Fighters are in the area of effect. About three Fireballs should be enough to kill all (or nearly) all the 4th Lvl Fighters, which will take away what is perhaps the biggest danger to you. Have your Clerics focus their Hold Person spells on the 8th and 7th Lvl foes. While they wonÕt be 100 percent effective, you will be able to remove some tough opposition from the battle easily this way. Then, have your melee characters finish off what is left with a little help from some Magic Missiles and similar attacks. ----------- As a reward, youÕll get an incredible 211,670XP, 100,142G and 400 gems. In other words, for winning one optional battle, youÕll get nearly as much experience as youÕve gotten for almost everything youÕve done up to this point. Needless to say, anyone who still may advance in level will likely be able to do so at this point. So head over to the Training Hall and then go back to the Slums. Yep, you still arenÕt welcome in town. While not being able to go to Shrines and Inns arenÕt much of a problem (you can rest in many places and you can still go to the hidden shrine in Podol Plaza), not being able to identify and sell items could be a bummer. However, there is an easy way to solve that problem. Head back to Podol Plaza. Now, using the Shrine to heal when necessary, run around and fight all the monsters that you find. Eventually (like the Textile House), the random encounters will dry up. When that happens, go back to New Phlan and get 1250XP and 1250G from the Clerk. While that reward is insignificant, it has a very welcome side-effect. By doing a quest (even though you never were actually given it), you restore the faith of the townies and they welcome you with open arms again, allowing you access to everything. Finally, before officially tackling Valjevo Castle, there is one quick Òseek-and-destroyÓ mission you can do if you know what youÕre looking for and if you feel up to it. Go north from Stojanow Gate (through the northeast exit) into the Castle. At this point, youÕll be in the SW block (more on the blocks of the Castle will be explained below). Head north until you reach an east-west path. Go east into the SE block and continue going east until you reach the end of that path. Go a bit north and enter the door at (14,5) to find Cadorna. Apparently the villainous Councilman didnÕt meet with enough success for TyranthraxusÕ tastes, as he is now in shackles. You can choose to kill him or free him. If you kill him, youÕll be able to get a piddly reward of 850XP, 150G and 3 gems from the Phlan Clerk. If you release him, youÕll get a password which will come in handy as you explore Valjevo Castle. ItÕs really your call, as the experience is of much less importance than the password in the grand scheme of things, but you can get the password elsewhere. Anyway, when you feel youÕre ready, itÕs time to lay siege to Valjevo Castle and put an end to the evil reign of Tyranthraxus! ---------------------------------- q. TyranthraxusÕ Final Day Common/Set Enemies: 1st Lvl Cleric, 1st Lvl Thief, 4th Lvl Fighter, 5th Lvl Cleric, 6th Lvl Fighter, 8th Lvl Fighter, Fire Giant, Genheris, Giant Snake, Hill Giant, Medusa, Troll, Tyranthraxus, Tyranthraxus (Fake). Goal to Clear: Kill Tyranthraxus. Reward for Clearing: GAME OVER!!!! --Part 1: OVERVIEW-- The first thing you need to be aware of is that you wonÕt be completing this mission in one trip. Valjevo Castle is huge and is loaded with tough foes, including Giants, Trolls and high-level Fighters. The majority of the castle is contained in four 16-by-16 blocks, which you can consider a 32-by-32 block for all intents and purposes. The computer doesnÕt provide an automap, so youÕll have to do that on your own. To give a brief overview before delving into the details, think of the castle as a big square with a smaller square inside of it. The big square consists of a number of buildings with Giant guards, other foes and treasures/useful items. The smaller square, which can only be accessed by gates in the SE and NW blocks of the big square, is essentially the inner sanctum of the castle. YouÕll have to navigate a hedge maze and fight some tough battles to get to a final, smaller area, where Tyranthraxus and his inner circle of cronies are hiding. In my opinion, youÕll want to have a specific strategy for how to tackle this area. If you still need XP, you should look for battles. Tackle the Hill Giant rooms and the Smithy (and any other place I note that the battle is optional). Hell, even alert and assault the guard patrols if you want. However, if you arenÕt in need of experience, youÕll only want to go to a couple of places in the outer block before tackling the inner block and finishing the game off. So, if youÕre only looking to finish the game, here are the only outer block places IÕd recommend visiting (get coordinate from actual level walkthrough). SW Block: At the evil Shrine, the Necklace of Missile you can get from the dead body of a Cleric will give you plenty of extra Fireballs, which is always a good thing. NW Block: Not much Ñ the only important thing is that one of the entrances to the inner block is here. SE Block: CadornaÕs here (if you havenÕt gotten him yet) and thereÕs a pool with some swords in it). Also, the other entrance to the inner block is here. NE Block: There is an armory with free equipment and two places where you can obtain useful passwords. Finally, to save time, here is a strategy for where to go if you have to leave the Castle for various reasons. 1. Minor healing/spell replenishment Ñ just go to Stojanow Gate, heal and rest. 2. Major healing/spell replenishment Ñ go to the Podol Plaza shrine. 3. Identify and sell items Ñ sorry, but you have to go all the way back to New Phlan for this task. Hope youÕre up for a long, time-consuming walk. Okay, now itÕs on to the actual walkthrough. When going north from Stojanow Gate, you will start off in the SW block of the Castle. First IÕll detail everything of importance in the outer square and then move on to the inner square, finishing with TyranthraxusÕ domain. --Part 2: SW Block-- The first thing you'll want to do after you get here is go through the door at (12,2). A woman here will be quite cooperative and hand you some clothes which you will use to disguise yourself. These clothes will be somewhat helpful in avoiding a few encounters, so be nice, take them and trust the woman when she says she won't tell anyone about you. Go to (3,1) and you'll be in the smithy. You can choose to attack or talk. Using "sly" or "meek" will start a battle with the Smith (4th Lvl Fighter) and three Fire Giants, as will attacking (duh!). Fire Giants are very strong melee combatants. They don't have the two strikes per round that an Ettin has, but they seem to have better armor and are naturally resistant to fire (no Fireballs for this group). A lightning attack (wand or spell) will work wonders against them, though. I got 25,694XP, 12,182G and a ton of weapons and armor for my work here. All that equipment was only +1 for me, so you may consider not picking it up, as it's a long walk back to the Phlan shops from here. The only area of interest here is a Shrine to Bane located at (1,12). This can be a tricky area, as most of the options lead to far more pain than you want, as the head Cleric here has a Necklace of Missile. When you get the option to attack, meditate, talk or leave, the only correct choice is "leave", which will put you in a fairly simple battle with one 5th Lvl Cleric and two 1st Lvl Clerics. However, if you pick "attack", the head Cleric will use his Necklace to devastating effect. Even worse, if you "meditate", you'll take damage from the evil god Bane AND a Necklace (Fireball) before battle. Both of those methods will be highly lethal to your party, as only the strongest members will survive. Win the fight and you'll get that Necklace of Missile, as well as a couple more pieces of equipment. At the back of the shrine (1,15) is the collection box and a pair of swords. Just ignore this stuff. Robbing Bane's collection box will attract his attention, causing damage to your characters (not worth it for 3G). The swords are cursed, making them pretty worthless, too. From here, go north to the Northwest Block. --Part 3: NW Block-- If you enter the first building on the left as you come in from the Southwest Block and go to (2,2), you'll encounter a group of five Hill Giants. Tougher than Ogres, but not quite on the same level as Fire Giants, these brutes can be softened up by a couple of Fireballs. However, doing so will set off an alarm, which will make things a bit tougher for you. Personally, I'd advise against entering this battle unless you in need of the XP, as you really have nothing to gain from alerting the attention of all the guards. There will be several encounters like this scattered around the four blocks of Valjevo Castle, so I'll be sure to inform you of each alarm-raising battle. Note: If you choose to fight this battle and alert the guards, there is an easy way to avoid the patrols, which are collections of human soldiers and giants. When they confront you, parley and pick "haughty". The leader will ask who you serve, so untruthfully reply that you serve The Boss. That will satisfy the leader and you'll be home free. Note: This fight and the other ones that IÕll label as Òunnecessary Hill Giant fightsÓ, as well as several other potential encounters throughout the castle, only seem to be triggered during the day. At night, the room will be empty. So, if you donÕt see something I saw OR saw something I didnÕt see, you were there at the wrong time of day. Enter the door at (2,8) and you'll have a bucket of sand fall on you Ñ an action that will cause light damage to you and alert six Hill Giants. While this can be a tough battle if they start to drill you with their powerful attacks, so do your best to connect with some Fireballs and other high-impact attacks. An entrance to the inner square of the castle is at (3,7/8). Ignore this for now, but weÕll be coming back here at a later time. Take note that a careful adventurer will find a useful password for entering this area. Go through the door at (2,12) and you'll run into a pair of Hill Giants. You can talk yourself out of a fight by parleying correctly ("haughty" worked for me). If you feel like fighting, just attack, as this is a fairly simple battle for this stage of the game. When you reach (5,12/13), you'll be accosted by a guard (6th Lvl Fighter). This could cause trouble for most players, so be careful if you choose to reach this square. The guard will ask you what you're doing here. If you flee, he sets the alarm off. If you fight, he sets the alarm off before attacking. Either way, you'll have to contend with the patrols (a Fighter with a bunch of Hill Giants) in which ever way you prefer to. However, it should be noted that unless youÕre trying to kill everything in this region, there is no need to try to get past this guard post. The room the fighter comes out of is empty and there are only empty rooms between this post and another one located at (5,12/13) in the NE Block. So if youÕre just trying to finish the game or youÕre just trying to hit the important rooms in this castle, just avoid both guard posts, as they are purely unnecessary. Note: If you donÕt kill the Hill Giants at (2,12), they will be in this battle. So, since you canÕt go from the NW block to the NE block without instigating these fights, retrace your steps and go to the SE block. --Part 4: SE Block-- If you go through the door at (10,2), youÕll be damaged by a crumbling ceiling. This room has no treasure or anything like that, so just avoid this place. Go through the door at (12,2) and your lead character will be disgusted by the amount of dusty cobwebs in this room. ThatÕs it, though. No treasure, spiders or anything interesting here. There is a pool of water at (15,5). Have a character dive in and they will come up with a couple of decent Long Swords. Also, in case you havenÕt been here yet, Cadorna is imprisoned next door at (14,5). Another entrance to the inner square of the castle is at (12,7/8). A nest of Giant Snakes is at (14,12). If you choose to fight this battle, get used to the enemy, as they are common foes in the hedge maze. However, there is no need to fight this battle, as there is nothing of value here. Also, two unnecessary Hill Giant encounters are at (7,1) and (14,7). Move on to the NE area, now. --Part 5: NE Block-- Go in the door at (3,13) and youÕll see an officer and some Hill Giants (only during the day). You can fight them and be put in a battle with a 6th Lvl Fighter and four Hill Giants, if you wish. I got a scroll after winning the battle, but I have no clue if the treasure here is random or fixed. Oh, and the alarm will go off, making this another unnecessary battle. At (15,6) is a report stating that Tyranthraxus is not just planning to conquer Phlan, but the entire region, as well. Across the street is a very important room. Go to (15,8) and youÕll find a Gnoll harassing someone. Kill the Gnoll (an automatic feat) and the grateful person will give you the password to the gates allowing access to the inner section of the castle. Very useful if you choose to kill Cadorna. An armory loaded with many pieces of equipment is located at (14,13). You may want to loot this place or you may not want to waste the time. Depends on if you feel your partyÕs equipment is optimal at this time. There are some really stupid Fire Giants at (13,9). How stupid are they? Well, if you parley ÒhaughtyÓ with them, theyÕll inadvertently give you both the gate password and the guardpost password. Speaking of guardposts, there is one located at (5,12/13). If you pick a fight here, the four Fire Giants from (13,9) will join the fray if they are still alive. ThatÕs a very negative scenario, right there. Note: I came here after getting the password from the Fire Giants and the guard still sounded the alarm, so I donÕt know if the game refused to recognize it or what. So my earlier advice to ignore the guardposts unless youÕre looking to kill everything still stands. Anyhow, once youÕve done enough exploring, itÕs time to go through the gate into the inner region of the castle. For the purpose of this guide, I will first enter through the gate in the NW block. --Part 6: Hedge Maze-- Go to the NW block and go to the aforementioned doors leading to the inner block. As you try to go through the door, you'll hear the guards demanding the password. Considering there are three ways to obtain this password, I would sincerely hope you have it. If you don't, you can force your way through, but doing that will set the alarm off and result in the guards dumping a rather large stone on you Ñ resulting in a hefty amount of damage to one character. You don't want to be taking unnecessary pain at this point and time, as you're nearing the endgame, so do yourself a favor and get the password. Besides, setting the alarm off will force you into occasional battles with Giant Snakes. Since, as I've said before, you DON'T want to take unnecessary damage, you don't want to trigger these battles. After getting through the gate, you'll be in a large and complicated hedge maze. Rule 1: Do not walk through the walls (which is possible here, as they are fences with plants on them). Sure, it's a nice shortcut and all, but one character will be killed by poisonous thorns. You don't need me to tell you that is a very negative thing to have happen. Rule 2: Draw a map. This place is a huge pain in the rump to get through and having me simply type something like, "go north two, then east one, then south one, then east three" seems way too ponderous. So I'll be giving vague directions with the coordinates included. If you draw a map, you'll be okay. If you don't set off the alarm, you'll be better than okay, as you'll get to explore at your own leisure while only worrying about fixed encounters, many of which can be avoided. Anyhow, if you go east and north, you'll get to (6,11). Open this door and you'll meet an old man, who begs to be spared. If you do, you'll get a note saying that Tyranthraxus gets his power and charisma from the Pool, along with some Magic-User items (bracers, wand, ring). Sadly, not everything in this area is as easy as this room. From this section, there are two gates leading into the SW block, one at (0,4) and (0,11). If you want a fight, take the exit at (0,4) and attempt to stay as close to a due south path as possible in order to reach a small guard post of Hill Giants. Kill them or talk your way out of difficulties ("haughty" followed by saying you follow The Boss still works). Or you can just avoid this room, as there is no real reason why you have to come here (by careful map drawing, you can easily find an alternate path). It all depends on how "complete" you wish to be when it comes to killing the followers of Tyranthraxus. Now go to (9,10) of this block. There is a teleporter that will lead you other teleporters (there is one in each block that you visit in sequence). This can quickly lead you to battle with a fake Tyranthraxus or to his actual lair, so keep that in mind. However, for now, ignore this place, as using it will get in the way of my descriptions. To make things easy for you if you take the teleporter, if you end up near an empty room, you're close to the real Tyranthraxus. If you end up near a room with a man inside, you're at the fake Tyranthraxus. If you do accidentally take the teleporter and want to get back to (9,10), just keep stepping through them until you're looking north at a dead end in the hedge maze (you always are teleported one space away from the teleporter, but looking directly at it). Anyhow, to take the long way to the fake Tyranthraxus, retrace your steps to the SW block and take the exit at (0,11). Go through here to the SE block and follow this linear path making sure to avoid the fork that takes you to the teleporter at (3,11). At the end of the path is a door (4,14). Take it to get to the fake Tyranthraxus. Parley with him and choose "haughty" and he'll admit to being a double and ask to escape. Let him and you'll get his trea sure (decent equipment). You can attack him, but that tends to trigger the alarm, so I wouldn't advise it. If you do fight him, he's listed as Tyranthraxus in the battle, but looks like a thief. It's not a tough battle, just a relatively pointless one at this stage of the game. Besides, you don't seem to get the treasure (at least not automatically) if you kill him. Included among his treasure (at least for me), was a Long Sword +5, which is a wonderful tool for the average Fighter. After taking care of the fake Tyranthraxus (one way or the other), retrace your step and exit the hedge maze. Now, go to the SE block's entrance and go in this way (using the password again). Once here, if you go west and south, you'll reach a room with four Fire Giants having a spirited discussion of the differences between frogs and toads (10,4). To get out of a fight, say "no" when one of them asks your opinion and then leave when the other giants prompt you to. To fight, do virtually anything else. If you feel up to it and have plans to leave the castle to heal at some point, go ahead and fight them, as this confrontation will not trigger the alarm. Now, if you want to clear the other corner room, go to the exit to the NE block located at (11,15). If you're just interesting in finding the real Tyranthraxus, skip this paragraph and go to the next. When in the NE block, meander around (taking note that this block's teleporter is at (6,5) until you reach a door at (9,11). Open it and you'll be ambushed by a very powerful group of eight Trolls. If you don't mind taking a few hits and you have a spare Fireball or two, this actually isn't a very hard battle. The Trolls are all bunched together and I had no problems getting seven of them in the Fireball radius, which made this a fairly fast-paced battle. To get to the end of the game, take the same entrance to the NE block, but instead of attempting to get to the northeast corner of the NE block, you'll want to go to the NW block. While there are two entrances, you'll want to ignore the one at (0,11), as it is a dead end. Instead, go through the NE-to- NW gate at (15,4). It's a pretty linear path to the final room in the hedge maze. Just be sure to avoid stepping on (12,4), as that is this block's teleportation square and there it's doubtful that you'll want to get lost and confused at this late point of the game. Go through the door at (11,1) and you'll be in an empty room. However, there are two secret doors in the two wall squares immediately to your right as you enter the room. Go through one of them and then go through the door immediately to your left to gain access to a staircase leading up to the final area of this game. --Part 6: Tyranthraxus' Lair-- Immediately, you should get a message telling you about a secret door on your left. This is where you will go, but if you want a potentially tough battle, go down the stairs in front of you (to your east). This will put you in conflict with a Medusa. The gaze of a Medusa can turn a person into stone, so be careful. Treat this foe much like the Basilisk, with one possible exception. While my memory is shoddy on AD&D rules and I slaughtered this monster with ease, it is possible that if she connects with a regular attack that you will be poisoned (because of how a Medusa's hair is made out of snakes). Regardless, Magic Missiles and melee attacks will make short work of this foe (hopefully before her special attacks make short work out of one of your party members). There is nothing special in the Medusa's lair and you only get a paltry XP reward for killing her, so the decision is yours if you want to fight or avoid this monster. Going through the secret door will lead you to another staircase going up. Take it and you'll be in a fairly small area. First go right (east) and follow the path to two doors. The door on the left just leads to a trap door. If you jump down in, you'll take damage and be back in the Medusa's lair. The other door leads to a dead end. Pretty meaningless trip, isn't it? So, let's go the other way. You'll again reach two doors. The one on the left leads to Tyranthraxus and his guards. The one in front of you leads to a potential worthless ally. Go through the door in front of you and you'll meet a messenger. He's only a 1st Lvl Thief, so kill him if you wish or let him live. Either way, enter the room to your right and you'll meet Genheris, a subordinate of Tyranthraxus. You can kill him easily if you wish, or you can parley with him ("haughty" and "abusive" are the quickest for this tactic). He'll think Tyranthraxus sent you to slay him and enlists your help to help him against his former boss. I'd pick him up. Genheris is surprisingly active for a Magic-User, although the Sleep spell he's fond of casting is worthless at this stage of the game. However, he may absorb a hit meant for one of your good party members or cast a useful spell like Fireball (even though he tends to abort that spell before getting it off and he may hit your party members with it if he does actually cast it). Plus, he has a Lightning Wand, so if he actually uses it, he may help you out that way. Note: as a L7 M-U, Genheris seems to be more proficient at getting his magic to work on Tyranthraxus, who is very resistant to magic. You may want to pick him up for the sole purpose of providing support for you melee characters in that battle. When you're ready to finally finish this game off, leave Genheris' chamber and go through the door you passed up. This is the stairway to Tyranthraxus, but you don't get to fight him yet. First, you must go through his guards. ----------- SUB-BOSS FIGHT: Minions of the Dragon Tyranthraxus has a total of 10 8th Lvl Fighters in his room just waiting for someone to attack their boss. I had a Necklace of Missile and plenty of Magic Missile and Lightning Wands for my Magic-Users to use to soften up the foes. My Clerics went into overdrive casting Hold Person. My melee fighters sealed the deal with their attacks. Overall, this has the potential to be a brutally tough battle. One key is to hold as many of the four lead row opponents. If they are all unable to move, the six back-row Fighters are powerless to attack and you'll have an easy time of it. If that tactic doesn't work, you still will win provided you use an all-out blitz attack against them, but you'll take damage, too. ----------- After winning the battle, repeated say "yes" when the game asks if you wish to continue the fight until you've healed your party members the best that you can. Coming up is the big fight with Tyranthraxus and you don't want to be short on HP coming into this battle. Tyranthraxus will give the typical big-time bad guy talk ("you're strong too make it this far, but now you have to die....") before offering to let you join him. You can choose to join him, but that gives you the bad ending, where you find out that you helped to destroy Phlan. Instead, choose to oppose him and get the final fight started. ----------- FINAL BOSS FIGHT: Tyranthraxus the Dragon If you get through the fight with the 8th Lvl Fighters in good shape, you ought to be able to win this battle fairly easily. While AD&D Dragons (which Tyranthraxus is) have the ability to use a breath attack that can hit characters for one-half their maximum HP, he never used that against me (possibly because he starts right next to you in a melee situation). With that said, heÕs still no slouch. Every time he hits a party member, theyÕll take damage from his actual attack PLUS a decent amount of additional fire damage. By this stage of the game, IÕd equipped all my melee characters with Rings of Fire Protection, which kept the fire damage in single digits, but that is an attack to be wary of, in any case. Tyranthraxus has one other thing in his favor Ñ magic resistance. Many spells you cast will be completely blocked by this resistance. When I fought him, my two Magic-Users were unable to hit him with either Magic Missiles or their Lightning Wands. However, Genheris (who was L7, as compared to my characters, who were L6) connected with both Magic Missiles he cast for over 30HP of damage. If you can get that kind of support from Genheris, this will be an easy battle. With TyranthraxusÕ low AC, the only melee character that will likely have an easy time of hitting him is the Fighter you give the Fake TyranthraxusÕ Long Sword +5 to (assuming you got it). Still, if you get the help from Genheris, youÕll only need two or three hits by Fighters to finish the battle off. If you donÕt have Genheris or he isnÕt being all that helpful, things will get more difficult. YouÕll need to hope your Fighters can hit reasonably frequently and youÕll probably be uttering prayers every time one of your Magic-Users attempts to utilize any sort of offensive magic. I never really recommend the Cleric spell Enhance (which gives characters a minor stat boost), but if you have trouble here, that spell may be what you need to push you over the top. ----------- Regardless of your methods, you will eventually defeat the monster. As the dragon dies, TyranthraxusÕ soul escapes and he threatens to enter your bodies. Fortunately for you, Big TÕs master, the evil god Bane, steps in and calls the demon back (as heÕs a bit perturbed by TyranthraxusÕ failures). Tyranthraxus is dragged into the Pool of Radiance and you go back to Phlan victorious. Watch the credits roll and youÕll be back in Phlan. Essentially the game is over now, but you can run around and kill anything you havenÕt killed yet. You may also go to the Phlan Clerk and receive roughly 50,000XP as a reward for killing Tyranthraxus. The Clerk also offers to give you a Character Sheet for your hard work. Essentially, that is a 144-character password that was probably created to port Pool of Radiance characters into a sequel to the game for the NES. However, that sequel never was ported over, so the passwords are worthless. So, ignore the Clerk (unless you want the XP just to be complete) and relish the fact that you just beat a very difficult game. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 8. MONSTER COMPENDIUM Note: This section is taken from my FAQ for the computer version (where they display them on the screen). Since weÕre talking about the AD&D world, IÕd be surprised if there is much (if any) of a difference between the HP of the same monster in two different versions. Note2: Enemy AC can vary slightly. IÕve noticed that (at least in the computer version), sometimes monsters of the same class may have different equipment. One example was in the computer battle with Norris the Gray. Some of his Kobald Captains had a bow and were AC7, while others had a melee weapon and a shield to be AC6. Note3: Enemies listed as ÒWilderness onlyÓ are only found as RANDOM encounters in the Wilderness. If they are found in any block of Phlan OR any of the Wilderness dungeons, they are not listed as such. Note4: Finally, there always is the chance I may have missed an enemy or two in my list. There are a few very rare encounters, which I may not have encountered. So if you find something I missed, donÕt hesitate to let me know and IÕll include it. ----------- Ahnkheg: Gigantic insect. It has very good natural armor and when it hits a party member, it can cause additional damage via acid. Found in Wilderness. It also have a very deadly acid-spitting attack, which seems to follow the Dragon breath rule of taking away half a characterÕs maximum HP. Tough random foe that arenÕt worth a great deal of XP. Wilderness only. Also, in the western Wilderness, a bit north of the BuccaneerÕs Base and Zhentil Keep, but just south of the mountains, there is a triangle of trees. If you walk into the center of them, there is a set encounter with them. Ahnkheg: 40HP 2AC Bandit: Less than imposing human enemy. They have few HP and are easy to slaughter. An interesting fact about them is that your Fighters will be able to "sweep" a number of them when they attack. "Sweep" attacks are only used on tiny monsters (Kobalds, for example), which means that apparently, these fellows are pretty small in stature. Bandit: 6HP Basilisk: Bizarre lizard with the ability to turn an adventurer to stone. Be very careful fighting them, as they can devastate a party with that gaze attack of theirs. Fortunately, they are extremely rare in this game. Basilisk: 31HP 4AC Buccaneer: Slave traders who have a base in the southwest region of the Wilderness. The basic Buccaneers are even easier to kill than Bandits (but worth a lot of experience). However, their Sub-Captain should be considered a 4th Lvl Fighter and their Captain is one tough hombre with a ton of HP. Buccaneer: 4HP Captain: Sub-Captain: 18HP Bugbear: These large humanoids are decent fighters and should be considered to be tougher versions of enemies like the Gnoll and Lizardman, but a step below Ogres. If you get unlucky and run into a couple in the Slums, it will be a tough fight, but by the time you get to Stojanow Gate, they are pretty easy to topple. Bugbear: 16HP Cleric: These warrior-mages should be brutally difficult to fight, as they are quite proficient with certain annoying spells, like Hold Person. However, with the lack of AI this game has, they essentially are nothing more than a slightly weaker version of a Fighter. 1st Lvl Cleric: 5th Lvl Cleric: 7th Lvl Cleric: Displacer Beast: Yep, all the fun mystical animal battles tend to be outside. These cat-like things have long tentacles and tend to provide a bit of a challenge. Not as tough as Ahnkhegs, by any means, but they can cause solid damage. Displacer Beast: 30HP 2AC Dragon: Very powerful and intelligent monsters. You meet two in this game, but only one is an encounter: Tyranthraxus. Yep, BaneÕs demonic henchman is in the form of a dragon for this gameÕs final encounter. Use caution, as heÕs very powerful and very resistant to magic. Tyranthraxus: Drider: Half man and half spider, these creatures are essentially evil versions of the Centaur. As I recall from official AD&D stuff, these guys are either failed experiments of the evil Drow Elves or are Drow that failed some sort of test. Either way, they are tough opponents for a young party thanks to their brutal range attack with a bow. They also can paralyze a character in melee combat. Drider: Dwarf: You might have some in your party. Short, powerfully-built humans that are natural tanks to be at the front of any battle. Long story short, youÕll like them a lot more when theyÕre on your side, as opposed to when theyÕre against you. Dwarf Fighter: 50HP Efreet: There is only one of these Djinn-like demons in the game and heÕs not hostile unless you provoke him. Vampires are what heÕs after, so I wonder if you can find him one to confront... Efreet: Enemy Leaders: Generic header for named enemies that tend to lead forces of monsters. While they might not all be aligned directly with Tyranthraxus, they are likely opposed to you. Commandant: 100HP The leader of the forces at Zhentil Keep, heÕs quite the tough cookie. Not only does he have a lot of HP and is a skilled soldier, but he also is lurking at the back of a large force of soldiers and will constantly blast you with a Lightning Wand until you reach him. Not a fun opponent. Grishnak: 24HP 5AC Stronger than average Hobgoblin in the Textile House. In the computer version, heÕs a priest and will attempt magic. Either heÕs not a priest in the NES version, or he simply chose to come after my front line in melee combat (bad AI if thatÕs the case). If he does have magic capabilities, the key is to keep up the offense, so he canÕt get any spells off. Either physical attacks or Magic Missiles work good here. If he doesnÕt have magic, then just treat him like a Hobgoblin with a lot more HP. Mace: Half-Orc Cleric in charge of running the Bane Temple. Like most of the enemy characters with magical capabilities, the gameÕs AI problems prevent him from casting spells. If you follow my walkthrough, he is a breeze as youÕll be overpowered for his region, anyway. Norris the Gray: 25HP 1AC Leads a force of Kobalds and Lizardmen. HeÕs vulnerable to Sleep magic, so his low armor class is nothing to be concerned about. Tyranthraxus (Fake): Appears to be a Thief from his battle-screen icon. If you talk to him, heÕll realize the folly of pretending to be the being you want to kill and offer to leave and give you his treasure. Since fighting him will trigger the Valjevo Castle alarm, you may as well let him escape. Yarash: The creator of a breed of Mutant Lizardmen, this wizard is the cause of the polluted waters around Phlan. Even though he is a wizard, he never did anything magical around me, making him an easy victim after I endured the attack of his bodyguards. Enemy Soldiers: YouÕll fight these guys from time to time. Basically, these are Fighters with more ÒmilitaryÓ names. They come in varying strengths, but arenÕt the toughest enemies in the game. Most common in Zhentil Keep, they are found in other places, though. Aides: 13HP Corporal: 13HP 6AC Envoy: Guard: 4HP Ettin: A stronger two-headed version of the Ogre. They can attack twice per round and can cause a ton of damage with each successful hit, making them an enemy to tread lightly around. Any character with fewer than 35-40HP is risking a quick death if they are near these shock troops of Tyranthraxus. Ettin: Fighter: Humans that have sided with the forces of evil. You have Fighters in your party, so you know what they can do. The basic rule with evil Fighters is that the higher their level, the better they are equipped and the stronger they are. 3rd Lvl Fighter: 18HP 4th Lvl Fighter: 30HP 3AC 5th Lvl Fighter: 39HP 6th Lvl Fighter: 8th Lvl Fighter: Ghoul: Undead creatures. They donÕt drain levels, but they do have the ability to paralyze party members, which makes them a bit on the unpleasant side -- especially since a paralyzed person is helpless and can be removed from the battle with one hit, regardless of how weak the attacker is (much like the end result of Sleep and Hold Person spells). Ghoul: 10HP 6AC Giant: A really big human-like monster. As far as this game goes, Giants are stronger versions of Ogres. Hill Giants are essentially Ettins that only get one attack per round, while Fire Giants seem to be better armored (and maybe slightly stronger) versions of Hill Giants. Be careful, as they have a lot of HP and can do a lot of damage. You will get a ton of XP for beating any type of Giant, though, so if youÕre still looking for levels at this point of the game, these foes are worth your time to hunt down. Fire Giant: Hill Giant: Giant Lizard: Big reptile that is kept as a pet/guardian by various intelligent monsters. Nothing overly special, but definitely donÕt ignore them. Giant Lizard: 16HP Giant Mantis: Big green insect that pops up from time to time outdoors. Not overly easy, but not that difficult, this is a pretty middle-of-the-road encounter. Wilderness only. Giant Mantis: Giant Snake: A big snake. Definitely can be dangerous. While I havenÕt been poisoned yet, I am pretty sure they have the ability to do that to you. Giant Snake: 25HP 5AC Gnoll: Large, but weak, humanoids. While theyÕre tougher than the average Slum-level enemies, they are barely more imposing than Orcs or Hobgoblins. Gnoll: 10HP Goblin: Weak humanoids. TheyÕre a bit tougher than Kobalds, but are among the easiest monsters to kill. Their leaders can shoot arrows at you, making them a bit of a threat in the early going. Goblin Guard: 4HP 6AC Goblin Leader: 7HP Hippogriff: Cross between a bird and a lion that you may find in the Wilderness. They have multiple attacks per round, but arenÕt too tough. Wilderness only. Hippogriff: 18HP 5AC Hobgoblin: Bigger brothers of the Goblins. They are marginally tougher than Kobalds, Goblins and Orcs, but are still basically footsoldiers in the enemy army. The only difference between Hobgoblins and their Leaders is the type of weapon used. Hobgoblin: 6HP 5AC Hobgoblin Ldr: 6HP 5AC Kobald: The weakest of the humanoid monsters. These little guys are only a threat in large numbers (and only then if the computer is generous with their to-hit rolls). However, they do have some strong friends at times. Kobald: 3HP 7AC Kobald Leader: 4HP 6-7AC Lizardman: Tough humanoid beings that are better at fighting than other similar opponents. YouÕll find them as both regular monsters and as the inhabitants of a castle. YouÕll know youÕre getting tougher when they guys start getting easy. Drythfi: 18HP Lizardman: 11HP 4AC Mutant Lizardman: 18HP Magic-User: Pretty easy opponents, all things considered. Mainly because this versionÕs crappy AI doesnÕt allow computer-controlled Magic-Users to cast spells. So, essentially, they are sitting ducks that youÕll be able to run through. Be cautious, though, as some of them have wands, which they will not hesitate to use on you. 6th Lvl Magic-User: Medusa: The Medusa is a very optional encounter in the final section of Valjevo Castle. If you choose to fight it, be careful, as it can turn party members to stone with a gaze attack. Medusa: Mummy: You only fight one encounter with these monsters. That probably will be enough. They can paralyze characters with fear and inflict disease, AND they are very resistant to L6 and below Clerics attempting to turn them. Depending on your luck, you may have to take more than one stab at this battle to get the result you want. Mummy: Nomad: Weak humans. There is no reason to fight them, as your quest has you help them and you can parley out of any random encounters. If you fight them, they can be dangerous because of their numbers and their projectile attacks. Hassad is their chief. You should never be fighting him. Help the guy out. ItÕll be worth your time. Hassad: 45HP 0AC Nomad: 6HP 6/5AC Ogre: Big humanoids with a lot of strength. Consider them as practice for the various giants youÕll be seeing late in the game (and more often in other games of the series if you play them). Ogre: 21HP 5AC Orc: Another of the minor humanoid enemies in the game. They are common early in the game, but you wonÕt see too many of them in the latter stages. Orc: 5HP 6AC Orc Leader: 8HP 5AC Poisonous Frog: Weak little critters that pop up now and then. Either their poison is really weak and ineffective or I just never have been affected by it, but they have given me no troubles at all. Poisonous Frog: 4HP 8AC Quickling: Tiny humanoids that are deceptively good in battle with decent defensive and offensive capabilities. However, they are very much worth your time in battle, because they are worth a ton of experience (over 10,000XP per battle) and drop nice items. And as another bonus, they are VERY susceptible to Sleep, which negates their low AC immediately. Quickling: 7HP Scorpions: Dangerous enemies. They have good enough natural armor to block a decent number of attacks and can take out party members with a well-timed thrust of their poisonous tail. Be cautious here and (if possible) wear them down from a distance. Huge Scorpion: 20HP 4AC Large Scorpion: 10HP 5AC Skeleton: Regular Skeletons are weak undead with one thing working in their favor -- the fact that edged weapons (like swords) only cause half damage. Just turn them -- the lost experience from not actually fighting them is meaningless. The gameÕs sole Giant Skeleton is a different matter as a successful hit by it can cause Ògiant-classÓ damage (i.e. 15 or more HP of damage). Giant Skeleton: Skeleton: 5HP 7AC Spectre: A very dangerous form of undead. They pretty much combine all the traits you donÕt want that genre of enemy to have. They drain two levels per hit, they have a low AC (making them tough to hit) and they are very accurate with their attacks. You only have to fight about five of these the whole game, but unless youÕre either lucky or masochistic, youÕll be thinking that is five too many. Spectre: 38HP 2AC Stirge: Bizarre combination of bird and bat. They are pretty weak with few HP. While they hit often, it is only for 1-2 HP, so you should be able to tear through them with little effort. Wilderness only. Stirge: Thief: The weakest human enemies. They donÕt hit or have good AC like the Fighters and canÕt cast spells like Priests or Magic-Users. They can (if given the chance) perform a backstab attack for extra damage, but that is their only effective attack. 1st Lvl Thief 4HP 4AC 6th Lvl Thief 28HP 4AC 7th Lvl Thief Thri-Kreen: A bizarre combination of insect and human, they seem to populate the western part of the Wilderness. They are pretty tough because of their multiple attacks and ability to paralyze, but are worth a decent amount of experience. Wilderness only. Thri-Kreen: Tiger: These ferocious felines donÕt have much defense, but they can be offensive juggernauts. When they strike, they can attack up to four times (three normal attacks plus a rake of the claws). Needless to say, that is painful regardless of the victimÕs current amount of HP. Wilderness only. Tiger: 38HP 6AC Troll: These rough monsters hit hard, have a good deal of HP and can regenerate damage caused to them gradually. They are among the tougher monsters in this game solely because of their brutal hand- to-hand fighting prowess. Troll: 36HP 4AC Vampire: The strongest undead creature in the game. Very skilled melee fighter that can drain levels and take a bit of a beating. Fortunately, thereÕs only one of them in the game. Unfortunately, you have to fight him twice. Vampire: Wight: One of the first truly scary enemies youÕll find. While they are not the strongest undead out there, they can drain one level with each successful hit -- which is something you donÕt want. Try to ÒTurnÓ if possible. If not, then try to wear them down with projectiles or spells before engaging in hand-to-hand. Wight: 23HP 5AC Wild Boar: This piggish animal has one special aspect to it, in that if you hit it hard enough to disable it (message: ÒxÓ goes down), but not hard enough to kill (message: ÒxÓ goes down and is dying), it will get back up and resume the battle. You have to flat out kill it to stop it from fighting. Wild Boar: 18HP 7AC Wraith: Mid-level undead. A bit stronger than the Wight, but not as imposing as the Spectre. ThereÕs only one in the entire game and it guards some decent treasure, so donÕt hesitate to kill it Ñ just make sure you donÕt get drained. Wraith: Wolf: Animal friends of the Vampire. DonÕt be distracted by them, since if youÕre strong enough to fight Vampires effectively, they are of no danger to you whatsoever. Wolf: Wyvern: A small cousin of the dragon. While this extremely rare enemy does NOT have the killer breath attack of the dragon, it does have a poisonous stinger on its tail which WILL kill a party member if successful in its attack. Wyvern: 42HP 3AC Zombie: A reanimated corpse. The average everyday Zombie has nothing going for it. Just think of them as an undead version of the Kobald or Goblin (although with more HP). The solo Juju Zombie in the game takes more of a beating, but didnÕt last long enough to show any special attributes. Juju Zombie: Zombie: 10HP 8AC -------------------------------------------------------------------------- 9. COMMISSION QUICK-REFERENCE LIST This is just a quick-reference list so you know what commissions youÕll get from the council and in what order the clerk (or other people) will drop on your lap. After that will be a difficulty rating which you may take with a grain of salt. Depending on your actions, any quest can be made easier or tougher. First off, when you start the game, you get three quests. 1. Clear Slums of monsters: Rating 7 -- you start the game so weak that any encounter is potentially dangerous. As you start to get better weapons and armor, and gain a level for some characters, it gets real easy here, though. Patience is a virtue. 2. Clean out Sokal Keep: Rating 4 -- Ignore Scorpion room and be careful in the main battle and this will be easy pickings (unless you attack Ferran for some odd reason). 3. Find rare books/info about PhlanÕs history: Rating 8 -- Only two fixed battles you have to fight, but they are brutal. Just because this is one of your original quests doesnÕt mean to do it early in the game. Save it until you start to get a few L4/L5 adventurers. As you finish off quests, the clerk (or other people) will give you new ones to occupy your time. In the order you get them: 4. Find information on weapon to be auctioned to enemy at Podol Plaza: Rating 2 -- Keep your disguise up and youÕll be safe. There are no mandatory battles for this quest. 5. Cadorna has you get his treasure from the Textile House: Rating 5 -- The rating is due to some tough random monsters in area. The set battles are pretty easy. 6. Bracchio gives you the Cleric Dirten and requests that you dispel the presence of Bane from a temple: Rating 1 -- That rating assumes you follow my guide. If you do, you will be quite overpowered for this area and shouldnÕt have in troubles at all in conquering it. 7. Eliminate Thieves from Kovel Mansion: Rating 5 -- A lot of high-level thieves and some diabolical traps make this a tough area for a low-level party. 8. Make sure Nomads donÕt join the enemy: Rating 1 -- The Slums have harder fights than this place...and you get very nice rewards for doing it,too! 9. Remove undead from Valhingen Graveyard: Rating 9 -- Tons of enemies that either level drain or have other nasty status effects (i.e. Mummies). Most non-random battles and a few random fights offer the opportunity for disaster. The only things keeping this area from getting a Ò10Ó rating is the fact that most battles are fairly small, allowing you to potentially overwhelm enemies before they can get much offense off and the fact that Clerics can potentially make many battles easier by turning a good number of the undead monster types. 10. Stop Kobalds before they can join the enemy: Rating 8 -- A few traps, a few tough battles and a three-battle endurance test. This is a tough area. Fortunately, you can get some good treasure and experience here. 11. Stop the pollution of Stojanow River: Rating 7 -- If you go into the maze, this can be brutally tough, but if you know where to go, only the fight with Yarash and company will test you. 12. Prevent Lizardmen tribe from joining the enemy: Rating 3 -- If you choose to fight Drythfi one-on-one, just make sure you have a good fighter and this shouldnÕt be too tough. 13. Find the kidnapped son of Bivant: Rating 1/8 -- ItÕs painfully easy if you either buy the kid from the Buccaneers or create a diversion with the livestock. However, if you fight your way through this area, things will get pretty tough. Not as tough as Zhentil Keep, but still not something to take lightly. 14. Take CadornaÕs letter to Zhentil Keep...and get out alive: Rating 1/9 -- If you immediately make a bee-line for the door, youÕll just fight a couple of battles that should offer no challenge. If you stick around, the battles gradually get harder until you fight a brutally tough conflict with the Commandant and a ton of cronies. It takes a lot of power and a like amount of luck to survive all the opposition this Keep offers. 15. Liberate Stojanow Gate: Rating 6 -- There isnÕt much fighting, but the second conflict with Ettins and company was a battle I found to be quite difficult. 16. Kill Cadorna on sight: Rating 1 -- Run into Valjevo Castle. Find Cadorna. Kill Cadorna. Run back to Phlan. Easy as pie. However, he will give you a useful password if you free him and you get a crappy reward for killing him, so you might consider being merciful. 17. Save Phlan (i.e. Beat Tyranthraxus): Rating 8 -- There are a ton of high-impact battles here, but many are optional. If you donÕt try to bite off too much of the huge Valjevo Castle area at once, you should be okay. Just be careful, as the Giants, Trolls and high-level Fighters in this place can all do a lot of damage quickly if you donÕt hit them with strong magic immediately. Also, you will occasionally find a non-sanctioned quest to undergo. While the Council doesnÕt commission you to do anything, they will be grateful. a. Kill Norris the Gray in the Kuto Catacombs: Rating 3 -- Random Kuto encounters are tough. Norris and friends are comparatively easy. b. Clean out Textile House: Rating 8 -- Very tough random encounters with enemies that can drain, paralyze or poison you. Also, the reward for beating enough of these encounters is pretty insignificant. c. Clean out Podol Plaza: Rating 1 -- If you do this at the end of the game like I suggest, this will be pitifully easy. Ogres, Hobgoblins, Goblins and Orcs just canÕt hold up to highly advanced parties. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- 10. STUFF I HAVENÕT PROVEN At this point, there are two items on this list. Both came to me via the GameFAQs message boards. Unfortunately, I never got the opportunity to prove either of them. However, IÕll mention both items here, so anyone who wishes to test them out may do so. a. Get a +4 Long Sword early in the game: To do this, head to Podol Plaza early in the game (before you complete any missions and are commissioned to go to Podol for information). Go to The Pit and fight the angry drunk Fighter in a duel. If you use a Cleric, you can Hold him and if you use a Magic-User, you can Sleep him for an easy win. Your reward is a +4 Long Sword, which youÕll keep equipped on a Fighter for the entire game. b. Manual of B(odily) Health works?: Apparently, this item will give you a one-point Constitution bonus....it just doesnÕt kick in right away. From what I gathered, you have to use the Manual on a party member and then complete a quest and receive your commission for the very beneficial side-effect kicks in. According to that same message board post, you can occasionally win them from Quicklings in random battles. While I didnÕt personally get one, I can believe that, as they drop some wonderful items. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- 11. CREDITS Myself for doing the guide; GameFAQs for hosting it; SSI for making this and other AD&D adventures; anyone who unknowingly supplied help on the message boards in the past or present AND any material which gave me any concept of various AD&D rules and whatnot, whether it be the gameÕs instructions, my instructions for BaldurÕs Gate II, that AD&D Rules FAQ by DSimpson or any other source I canÕt think of at the time.