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4. Game considerations - Taking on tougher things (knockers, witches and the Wild Hunt)

--This section provided by AvL--

Knockers: Can become difficult. See 'Mines' below, for details.

Witches: Taking a witches High Sabbat is harder than you might think, witches and their companions can provide quite a fight! Make sure your stealth and fighting skills are not too poor. Don't get involved in too many combats, for that might reveal your true intentions and would resuilt in your being banned from the Sabbat. You should go to the feast first. There you say you'll help preparing, but then you convince the people to abolish such cruelties. Then go to the altar, perform a little sabotage and get to a secluded spot to wait for the next day until the ceremony begins. Invoke your sabotage and face the demon. The demon should be easy dealt with, but after that there are two or three waves of witches. And they are quite powerful, the kind you should better not fool around with! After defeating the witches, you've won. Virtue will be increased by one or two for every character of your party.

Wild Hunt: You can defeat him in battle rather easily, but he will show up again, until you have found a saint that helps you. On your travel you will meet the Holzfrau, she will tell you the saint. Of course, it's one you won't find in every library.

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Travelling by water

--This section contributed by CMB--

Once your wealth improves, you can travel by water. This is costly compared to travelling by land (usually 2/6 to 4 groschen), but will get you places much faster (in terms of player time, if not "real" time). For example, you can get from Speyer to Dresden or from Breslau to Flensburg by town hopping. Sometimes, you are lucky and upon arriving at a town, you can just continue on to a further destination without increasing the initial cost of transportation. Sometimes you have to wait a few days by taking on odd jobs (and checking the wharves every day for outgoing ships).

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Using your improving reputation to get jobs, instruction

--This section contributed by AvL--

Well, like I said before: some folk won't give you jobs, until your popularity has grown. While it is easier to get jobs at the Fugger, Medici and Hanse when you have high reputation, it's nearly impossible to get jobs at town halls or fortresses without such (but I pointed out previously that it might not be desirable anyway). Town leaders or fortress chiefs won't give you an audience if you're too low on reputation. Other merchants like the "everyday-items", the "foreign-trader" and the herbalist will offer jobs, too, from time to time, if you're a well-known party. Instructions for this are short: Do everything to increase your reputation, preferably by going after raubritters, in their castles, and knockers in mines. These encounters occur quite often and improve your reputation by an appreciable amount.

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--This section contributed by AvL--

This is an essential piece of the whole game and the appearance of knockers can be found by looking for rumours in city squares. You will usually be told there is a particular mine with problems.  Travel to the mine.  By the time you get there, the problem might have dissipated, but usually you will be offered the job of cleaning out the mine of whatever infestation there is. There are three different problems in mines. They can all be solved without too much effort and include a reasonable quantity of increased training, money and reputation. The opposition in the mines isn't too hard, but still considerable.

i) Problem One: Trouble with raising the dead. Undead folks have taken over the mine, and so the dwarves, who once co-existed in a friendly manner with humans, have driven out the miners in order to have a new home. Help the dwarves and kill the undead. You have to go through a couple of levels, facing skeletons which are serious enemies, perhaps the hardest of all three different tasks in the mines. You have to go deep in the mine; first you will recover a holy relic, captured by the undead people, then you're facing the gateway of the dead, which they're using to get into this world. I managed that by locking the gateway using the artifice skill of the party-member who's best at this.

ii) Problem Two: Uprising Dwarven-King. There's a rebellious dwarven- king and he has frightened away the miners. After meeting him, he offers you a reward if you leave him alone. Don't agree and he will flee. Follow his trail into the mine. He has a helmet that makes him invisible. When facing him in his throne room, try to shoot the helmet out of his hand. This could take several attempts and after every failed one you have to fight the dwarven-king's guard, but keep trying. There was that problem reported by, concerning the strange fact that after you've found the crown jewels of the dwarf you can't go any deeper into the mines. Yet, I haven't figured it out either; any hints are appreciated. Another thing is that you merely 'find' the jewels but you can't take 'em with you.

iii) Problem Three: War between Dwarves and Kobolds. A war between Kobolds and Dwarves has forced out the miners. You are asked by the Kobolds to aid them. You can either agree and fight the dwarves or deny and fight the kobolds. Or you can even fight both parties. However, you must defeat at least one of them to accomplish the mission. To be, honest, I always choose the first option and supported the Kobolds. This means a similar gameplay as problem two. Going deep into the mines and finding the leader of the dwarves. Now you have to meet him in battle and kill him.

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--This section contributed by AvL--

Well, if you've read through the DARKLAND.CAP file, you've probably seen my mail about this. I haven't got a clue about these beasts ! I mean, as I mentioned in the mail, I merely ran into some dragons by accident without any plan in particular. I'd be grateful about some knowledge of tracking down dragons methodologically.

However, an excerpt from the "Darklands Clue Book" is provided at the end of Section 5, all possible locations of dragons are listed there.

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High Sabat

--This section contributed by DA--

This is almost a walk-through of a High Sabat. I am assuming that players are in the right place at the right time. Otherwise the player encounters nothing but burned trees, bad smells, etc.

The first choice to be made is whether or not to announce your presence to a group of partygoers. The answer is yes -- seek an encounter. When the second choice appears, prepare an ambush. Then attack the group and get their clothes.

Enter the fair. Don the clothes to fool the wolves. Say that Klaus is ill and couldn't come.

Take each of the activities in turn and try to disrupt them and/or try to convince the people to mend their evil ways. Sometimes you convince them; sometimes you don't.

Pay attention to names and places when the "Summoning" comes. Then wait for the demon to be called and send him back to never-never land. That's the easy part. The hard part is fighting two or three waves of hooded klansmen and their alchemists. If you succeed, you can look forward to increases in virtue for all party members.

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Great Monastery

--This section contributed by DA--

The Fortress Monastery or Doin' the Fort


Prepare your party for the toughest task they will have yet faced in this game. They should be clothed in plate armor or the heaviest armor they can handle without becoming overloaded. It should be high quality, preferably 37 from Nurnburg. The weapons used should be top notch -- 38 quality battleaxes, greatswords, great hammers. Each member should carry some combination of Essence of Grace, Eater Water, and New Wind potions. Firewall and Hardarmor potions can be taken after entering the fortress to aid in maintaining armor quality. Otherwise, your 37 armor will become 05 armor or less when you're done. I have tried carrying extra armor, but it seems to degrade, too. Stone Tar potions come in handy to keep the party from falling into certain traps. Artifice skill should be as high as possible in one member so that the relics present in the fortress can be regained. Saints can be handy here as well in increasing artifice, armor rating, weapon skills, etc.

At this point in the game, my group has relatively high average religion and virtue, and each member has learned at least a few weapons, and that includes the throwing skill. In summary, this task will probably not be possible until at least a few years have passed. The earliest that I have cleaned out the Templars is around 4 years with a group of 25 year-olds on the expert level.

My favorite strategy for group battles involves getting everyone into the fray. I try to line up the party a short distance from a door leading to a battle like so:

            x x x x

------------|     |----------
Then I will send one member to open the door while the others fire into the guards on the other side. They use either potions like stone tar or arabian fire or just javelins (love those javelins). I try to get the member who opened the door back to the group as quickly as possible. I do not like one or two members fighting alone, and this is the way I avoid that circumstance.

2. WALKTHROUGH (for your reference)

Assuming you have reached Flensburg after opening the seal at a High Sabat, you will find a castle west of this city with a black roof (to distinguish it from a conventional castle). Go to it and enter the Graveyard area.

The first room on YOUR right has a bone (for possible use in getting additional information for defeating the great demon) and a high quality Essence of Grace potion. The second room on your right has 2 high quality New Wind potions.

After retrieving these items, go to the Graveyard on the left. Say aloud one of the names (you should recall the correct name from a High Sabat). A stairway leading down will open on the far left of the Graveyard.

The group will be in a large area with many doors leading to various Nasties. I am going to speak of the nearest two doors on the right of the GROUP as the more important ones. This path will negate the need for the bone.

If the group takes the first door on the lower right, it will find a stairway leading up to another room with three doors. Have the group go to the room on YOUR right. Approach the desk in this room. If your alchemist can handle the reading skill, he will end up with three new formulae. If not, your best reader will end up with the formulae. Of course you have to do the proper thing. It is the most logical thing to do -- "copy the symbols onto the silver paper using the silver ink." Leaving this room for the door in the middle leads to nothing. Opening the door on your left leads to 4 guards and an alchemist. Go ahead -- make their day!

Since you have exhausted the possibilities here, proceed to take the stairway back down to the lower level. Now take the stairway up in the second room on the lower right (after dispatching the guards). The group will be in an area with only one door. When you approach this door, a Templar Guard will ask you for the "Password." The easiest thing is to know the proper password. If you're feeling particularly macho, attack the guard.

In either case, after you get by the guard, you will find yourself in a room with a stairway up and a passage leading off to the lower left. If you want to shorten your stay here in the fortress, take the stairway up to the next level.

Now you will be in a passageway with a locked door in the lower center and another stairway up on the left. Again, for a shorter route to the bad guy, open the locked door (if you can't, pray to a saint to increase your best lock picker's artifice skill or use one of those Eater Water potions that you brought along-- otherwise, it's time to say bye-bye to the fort and increase your artifice skill another way). Passing through the locked door will lead to another passageway with another locked door. Unlocking this door will force the party to proceed down and to the right. There will be a trap here. If one of the party has really high Perception, you may even avoid it. Otherwise, have a Stone Tar handy for escape (other potions work, too). This path will eventually lead to a room with an up staircase.

Taking these stairs leads to a room with a treasure chest, 4 plate armored guards, and a door. One of the party must have high (>50) artifice skill to pick the lock on the chest and retrieve a relic. The best saint for the purpose of increasing artifice skill is Eligius (assuming the member who knows this saint has at least 29 virtue).

When the party is finished in this room, open the door to the next room. Therein lies another chest, six tough guards, and another door. This chest also has a relic if you can pick the lock.

When the party has finished here, open the door to the next room and find a third chest and some even tougher guards. The door in this room must be unlocked. When the party passes through this door, there is nothing in the new room except a couple of gaping holes on the far wall.

Take the party near the far wall to reveal the final room. Here you will encounter the "Great Demonic Form." You may have gotten some hints earlier about how to weaken the demon if you did some additional exploring. The saint, Dymphna, will try to weaken the demon also if you know her.

Finally, make sure you make a note or remember where your "ultimate fate lies."

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Defeating Baphomet

--This section provided by DA--

Your ultimate fate lies here in a black-topped castle near Salzburg (this location may vary; has anyone ever found Bapho somewhere else?).

Northwest of Flensburg leads to South of Salzburg
South of Gorlitz leads to South of Pressburg
Northeast of Graz leads to (don't recall, could be South of Salzburg)
Then, I believe it returns to the first combination.
You will not be able to enter unless you have closed down the Fortress Monastery and broken the second seal. Of course, the party must have excellent skills, weapons, armor, and varied potions such as Firewall, Essence o' Grace, New Wind, Iron Arm, Thunderbolt, and Sunburst potions. Hm-m. I wonder what those sunburst potions are for? The first area of the castle has some giant gnomes that are easy prey.

The first door on the left leads to the first gate where you must pass through fire and ice to do battle with some demons. I like Firewall potions for defense against the elements. Take the group near to the interesting area on the far side of the area for a surprise.

The second gate leads to a lake of fire. St. Cecilia is the only known way to pass unscathed. Use of a Firewall potion will help, but is not as good as Cecilia. Fighting Vulcans is nasty business. They use missile weapons to decrease your armor quality. Close in for battle as fast as possible and use firewall potions to protect yourselves. Take the party to the shipwreck for some very interesting information.

The third gate leads to a bunch of wild-eyed alchemists. Spread the party so that each member is fighting a different alchemist. Otherwise you will get pounded with their potions. Hopefully your leader is highly perceptive, because now you must run a gauntlet of traps to get the honey prize.

The fourth gate is rather easy and you must merely defeat various groups of skeletons to reach your goal.

The fifth gate leads to hordes of locusts. There are many high quality Essence o' Grace potions here if you want to defeat the locusts in each room. You will eventually reach one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, Famine. You must offer something over which he has no power. Pray if you need to.

The sixth gate leads to a hopeless battle with goblins. Either one of your party will suffer permanent damage or all of the party members will suffer some permanent damage. In essence, you will pay a dear price for the prize here, a little goblin sword.

The seventh gate leads to the Great Dragon. The dragon is immune to many battle potions. (I don't know whether we want to divulge the secret here, but Sunburst potions will keep the dragon from launching an all out attack as long as one member keeps firing them at the dragon while the others do battle either directly or with Thunderbolt potions).

Once you bring down the dragon, you will have to face Baphomet himself. Answer his proposal as the legendary heros that you are and then watch and listen to the final animation.

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Retiring characters, dead characters

--This section provided by AvL--

If one character grows too old, get rid of him. Just be aware of the situation. If preparing yourself for a greater mission, it might not a good idea to drop a character which is rich in experience and skill, just lacking strength and endurance. New characters have to be trained all over again to reach such a skill and experience. However, a character above the age of 40 should be designated for retirement.

RETIREMENT (from Microprose, quoted from the README.TXT with v7)

Characters can temporarily retire at any city inn. You can later return and invite them to rejoin the party once more. However, when anyone joins an existing party, be they an old friend or someone new, they come with NO equipment, just their knowledge. Therefore, before retiring someone, cache their equipment at that inn.

There is no specific screen for retiring the entire party. To retire, just save the game and erase all earlier saved games for that party. You can take them "out of retirement" at any time by loading that saved game.

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Continuing after you've completed the objectives of the game.

--This section contributed by AvL--

Of course, it's possible to keep on playing DARKLANDS after you've accomplished all major and minor tasks, just as it is mentioned in readme.txt of the DARKLANDS game. Perhaps you'll simply get tired of doing everything all over again, and your characters have suffered too much because of age. So one might prefer start a completely new game and try out some completely new strategy rather than going on in the same way (regardless of the fact that you could create new characters within the running game, retire all the old ones and keep playing with a new party (but old fame) and try new things by this as well).

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On to section 5: Lists, Tips and other Paraphernalia