Dungeon Master 2: Legend of Skullkeep

     The   Hall   Of   Heroes  and  Champion  Selection  As  usual  in
multi-character  adventures,  it's  a  case of that old chestnut about
opting  for  balanced  parties,  with at least one of each of the four
character  classes  being  represented.  Magic  is  very  important in
Dungeon  Master  II  and  it's  useful to have sp ecialist Priests and
Wizards,  but  don't  neglect  the  beefy Conan-style bruisers because
you'll need some raw muscle power too. If you can get away with having
two  main  spellcasters  supported by a third back-up magic user, then
you're quids in. Of course p art of the attraction of RPGs is choosing
your own unique party, but just for reference (and this is by no means
the definitive group) we chose Graen Ozbor (a serious Wizard mana-wise
and useful multi-classer), Seri Flamehair (groovy Priest and Wizard co
mbo)  and  Bane Blade Cleaver (crazy name, crazy guy) to accompany the
all-round skills of Torham.

Outside Skullkeep
     Your  first  task is to gather the scattered clan keys which will
allow  you  access  to  Skullkeep itself. The village and the Sun Key:
Although  the manual covers this first section pretty comprehensively,
there are a couple of tips worth noting. Use the shop s to outfit your
party  with  the  best  equipment  you can afford and remember you can
trade  items  for  cash,  to  buy superior weapons and armour. Plan in
advance  for later hostilities and go well tooled-up. Also stock up on
waterskins (bota) so that everyone can replenish their own supply. The
Lightning  Key: Go north as far as you can, passing the Lightning door
until you come to the abode of the Thorn Demons. Take the path west by
a  large  tree,  then  go north and you'll find an arch leading into a
mist-enshr  ouded  area.  In  the middle of a mysterious stone circle,
you'll  find  the  Lightning Key nestling upon the altar of Lightning,
but  be  careful  of the whirlwinds. The Moon Key: After you've opened
the  Lightning  door,  head  east  and pick up a path by a small tr ee
which  goes  first  north  and  then east, to enter the wolves' swampy
lair.  Try  not  to  provoke  them, otherwise you'll end up as a dog's
breakfast!  Head  east  and  travel  north  via the left-hand path and
either  jump or use a rope to lower yourself into the p it. Push aside
the  boulder  and  climb the ladder, then grab the bone and hurl it at
the  wolves  to  keep  them  occupied  (no tins of Pedigree Chum here,
then!).  The  Moon altar can be found to the south-west, whereon rests
the  Moon  Key and some other useful it ems. Grab them quickly and leg
it  back  to the Moon door as fast as your little legs will carry you.
The  Energy  Key:  Saunter  intrepidly  through the Moon door and chug
south  until you come to a teleport pad. Nearby you'll find the Energy
door,  but head eas t into the axemen's domain and you'll discover the
Energy  altar  sitting  in the centre of this area. Use your magic map
and  dodge  and  weave  to evade the axemen's murderous attentions and
take  all  of the items from the altar. To the north you'll find three
new  shops  and  a whole new feast of consumer opportunities. The Fire
Key:  Through the Energy door and you should 'go west young man' until
you  find  an arch, and a vorpral blade residing in a nearby niche. If
ghosts  aren't  your thing, avoid the statue and the tomb in the eerie
cemetery then go south, slipping past the haunted trees, to ultimately
head  east  towards  the ancient temple Once inside the temple, you'll
discover  a  button on the right-hand side of a pit room that opens an
alcove,  to  reveal  the F ire Key. Close at hand is another room with
moving  pits; so cast 'Accelerate' and dash east and then south to get
to  the  Fire  door.  If  you  take a tumble, pick yourself up and try
again,  but  look  for  a secret button in a large subterranean room -
this  wil  l  yield a bucketful of gems. The Air Key and the last clan
piece:  Run  down  the  hall of Mummies, open the door and get inside,
then  rip  the tapestry from the wall and collect the Air Key, as well
as  a  fury. As the Mummies begin their assault, use the fury to lob a
few  fireballs and watch as they 'Burn baby burn!'. Use the Air Key to
open  the other door in the moving pit room and, casting 'Accelerate',
make  a  charge  for  the  Air door. Once inside, a simple coin can be
exchanged over the bartering table for the last clan piece. You're now
ready to enter the grim bastion that is Skullkeep itself.

     Stage  1: Mucking about with minions A fiendish puzzle awaits, as
Skullkeep's  doors  close  behind  you. First look at the tech eye but
retreat  sharpish  to  avoid  the  hail  of fireballs. Enter the small
alcove,  face north and press the buttons on your left and right, then
rush  the  gates as they open. You won't quite make it the first time,
so  return  to  the  now  deactivated  tech  eye, point south and cast
'Accelerate'.  The  best method here is to use the mouse on the button
and  the cursor keys to retreat backwards as rapidly as possible. Once
you'v  e cleared the third gate, they all remain open, but you can set
guard  minions  to  block  the  others  and buy some extra time. Next,
obtain  the  minion map and stand right on the Tempest square. Use the
map,  choose X and go back to the stairs. If you select t he icon with
the minion moving away, it will now bring the sword to you. You're now
ready  to  tackle  the  fearsome Dark Vexirks, so use the bell rope to
call  them, then retreat east, using minions to slow the Vexirks down.
Take  the  Numen  staff,  which you c an then use to defeat the Vexirk
king. The Numen staff is the hardest weapon in the entire game, and it
can  be  recharged via the cauldron. It also opens both the outer gate
and  inner  door.  To  reach  the tech eye hall, you've got to use the
minion  map  agai n. Mark the floor switch, stand next to the door and
send  a  minion to drop a coin on the trigger. Then, as it opens, dive
through and press the button to keep it open. Select the Ros button on
the map to reveal some false walls and use one to get behind the first
tech  eye  and open the plate to neutralise it. Concealed buttons will
open  the  rest,  but  remember  to  dodge the fireballs by scampering
behind  false walls. Repeat the process until you've secured the area.
You  can find your way into the boiler ro om by getting the large gear
and  placing  it  on  the device next to the door. You can stock up on
extra gears at the magic shop, or, if you're quick, you can snatch the
original gear and go on to each subsequent door.

Stage 2: Hoist by his own petard!
     The next phase of your quest begins in the boiler room, but first
you  should  slaughter  the minions and get the Earth Key. Place it in
the  lock  and  pull  the lever and a door will open, but the key will
disappear into a pit and plummet two levels down. To retrieve it, pull
the  lever  on  the  central ladder and go down, heading south. You'll
come  to  an  area  full  of boulders, so push one into a pit and take
another  ladder  down. Head west and then north to enter the home turf
of  the  dreaded  Dru-Tan.  Dru-Tan  hi  mself is quite hard and a bit
tasty,  so  a  spot of guile is required. Run west past the first door
and open the next with the lever. Ducking inside, face the spiked wall
and  wait  for big Dru to arrive, then run to the other end, springing
the  trap.  A  conc  ealed  button  will open the second door, so jump
through  and  close  it  behind you. Dru-Tan will be a goner! Open the
door from the outside and use the lever to reset the mechanism. If the
trap  fails,  you'll have to slug it out with sorcery. You can now get
both  the  Earth  and Blood Keys, so go through the Blood door and use
the  button.  Follow  the Rockies through the teleport, then head east
and  kill the enemy minion, allowing the Rockies to stoke the furnace.
Then  use  your  own minion to prevent it from bei ng blocked again. A
ladder  will  take  you back to the boiler room and you should use the
boiler  switch,  although  you'll  need  to  complete some other tasks
before the boiler lights properly. Open the other Earth door and stand
on the floor trigger. Now use your scout map to send a minion onto the
other  side  of  the  pit to block the Zo balls, while leaving the pit
open.  Your  way  should  now  be clear and a ladder will allow you to
proceed up and onto the next phase of your mission.

Stage 3: Puzzles, pits and perdition
     The  easiest  way  to  get the Master Key is to buy a vacuum fuse
from the magic shop. However, failing this, you're in for a bit of fun
with  a levitating chest, which you can blow away with fireballs. Once
you've  got  the fuse, place it in the device next to the west door to
open it and then check for illusionary walls once inside. A large gear
and  the  Master  Key will open up the lever puzzle room. Retrieve the
key  and fiddle about with the levers, leaving them in the up position
before  returning  to  the  pum  p  room. On the way, hack through the
barrels  and  use the Master Key to open the final door. The pump room
itself  will yield the Iron and Cross Keys but you should then restart
the pump, using another vacuum fuse before lowering the ladder. Return
to  wher  e  you  found  the  Master Key and prepare to enter the next
level. Loosen up your sword arm, smite your way through the table room
and  you'll  end  up  facing  the  ram puzzle. Cast our old friend the
Accelerate  spell  and,  starting  at  the eastern-most ram, use y our
niftiest footwork to slide past as it retracts into the wall. The next
double-ram  requires  an  even  defter touch. Wait until the first ram
goes  into the wall, then step forward, pausing for just the slightest
moment  before  dashing  past  the  second. You 've made it, phew! The
reflector  room's  problems can be approached in a couple of ways, but
the  simplest  is  to angle the centre and side reflectors and shoot a
fireball  north at the target п this will get rid of the pits. Go east
and  you'll  find  a ladder going up. However, you've also got to deal
with  the  mobile  teleport fields, so move all of the reflectors into
that  room,  aligning  them  south  to north and use the reflectors to
force  the  fields  east,  blocking them in. Be careful not to cut off
your  exit  s. The reflector room's locked door can be atomised by the
judicious  use  of  fireballs,  but the next door, beyond the teleport
fields, requires a bit more cunning. Send a scout minion to the middle
of  the pits and chuck a coin at it. It should deflect ont o the floor
trigger,  which  will  then  remove  the  pits  and open the door, hey
presto! The Master Key will then open the valve room's door.

Stage 4: Toe to toe with Dragoth
     Your  first  problem  is to get through the hall of lightning, so
time  things carefully, charge to the far end and a button will remove
the  threat. Take the Onyx Key but leave the Skull Key where it is for
the  moment  (one  key must remain in the niche at all times) and open
the  Onyx door. You're now ready to activate the Zo-link device and if
you  don't  fancy  messing around and want to opt for the brute-force-
and-ignorance approach, simply go through the Onyx door, pull all four
switches  in the Zo-link cham ber and fire the Numen staff straight at
the  central  crystal  to  open the portal. However, if you prefer the
more  delicate,  problem  solving method, do the following... Open the
Onyx  door and you'll end up by the Zo-link chamber. Lower the ladder,
return  t  o  the control room and retrieve the Onyx Key. Now swap the
Onyx  for  the  Skull Key and go back down to the teleport field room.
Climb  back  up  to  the Zo-link chamber and you'll trigger a teleport
field  which you should then enter. Fireball the nearest defl ector to
blow  apart a table then, pushing the brazier aside, destroy the other
table  and go through the door. Once you're in the storage room, shift
the  deflectors  into  the Zo-link chamber and put them onto the drain
gates.  Go  to  the short hall and push the switch to the portal, then
use  the switch on the south wall to send a stream of fireballs at the
crystal.  Repeat  with the other fireball switch, then go to the north
wall  and  release  lightning  bolts  with the last switch to open the
Zo-link  (this  won'  t  work  unless  you've  refuelled  the burner).
Whichever method you chose, you've now got to face Dragoth himself, so
beef  your party up to its full fighting fettle. Accelerate again past
the  moving platforms and when you reach Dragoth's lair, set guard min
ions  straightaway, keeping them close to him. Dodge his spell attacks
and  ignore the attack minions, but don't be afraid to get in at close
quarters;  either  sizzling  him your heftiest fireballs or frying him
with the Numen staff. Once Dragoth is no more, the realm is saved and,
presumably,  everyone  lives  happily ever after (until Dungeon Master
III anyway).

General Hints
     To  raise  your  characters'  experience levels, practice as they
say,  makes perfect. Keep extending the powers of your spellcasters by
experimenting  with  unfamiliar  spells  and higher power levels while
you're not engaged in combat. If you need fighting expe rience, find a
large  but  lowly  group of monsters and give them a good pasting with
your warriors. Ninja skills can be improved similarly and you can even
gain some extra experience by throwing things at inanimate objects. To
drum  up  some  extra money, sel l any fairy cushions you find and the
dead  axemen's weapons can be turned in for a tidy profit at the first
village.  The  magic  shop  offers handsome remuneration for any magic
items  and you can also buy the Kalan gauntlet here and sell it at the
weapons  s  hop  to earn some extra lucre. Certain armours can enhance
natural  abilities;  for  example,  the fire poleyn adds strength, the
tech  helm  increases  wisdom  and  the cloak of night aids dexterity.
Shields are also useful because some of them cast spells and in crease
resistance  to  magic and fire-based attacks. The rule is to check out
your  stats before and after wearing a piece of armour or clothing, to
see  how it affects you. Weapons-wise, the Numen staff is probably the
most  potent  piece  of  kit in the entire game but the NETA staff and
emerald  orb  are  valuable for both mana bonuses and healing. Vorpral
weapons are pretty meaty but as far as swords go, the Excsymyr is your
top  melee cleaver, with both lightning fast attacks and chunky damage
on offer. Happy hacking.

Priest Spells

Party Shield: YA IR
Spell Shield: YA IR DAIN
Aura of Strength: OH EW KU
Aura of Dexterity: OH EW ROS
Aura of Vitality: OH EW NETA
Fire Shield: FUL BRO NETA
Darkness: DES IR SAR
Porter Minion: ZO EW ROS
Reflector: ZO BRO ROS
Guard Minion: ZO EW NETA


Stamina: YA
Shield: YA BRO
Vitality: YA BRO NETA
Health: VI
Cure Poison: YA BRO
Dexterity: OH BRO ROS
Strength: FUL BRO KU

Wizard Spells

Magic Marker: YA EW
Poison Cloud: OH VEN
Invisibility: OH EW SAR
Lightning Bolt: Oh KATH RA
Accelerate Party: OH IR ROS
Daylight: OH IR RA
Firelight: FUL
Fireball: FUL IR
Poison Foe: DES VEN
Harm Non-Material Being: DES EW
Open Door: Zo
Attack Minion: ZO EW KU

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