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> Mordor Walkthrough (*Spoilers*), A level-by-level guide to the dungeon
post Jul 6 2005, 07:39 AM
Post #1

Fire Master

Group: Mordor MP Prog
Posts: 1,613
Joined: 19-November 04
Member No.: 71

EDIT: Version 1.2 - numerous small changes and additions

There are two versions of this walkthrough: one that tells you about all the important stuff, but leaves you to explore and discover some things on your own (the file you're currently reading); and a Very Spoily version that tells you quite explicitly where everything is and what to do.

I recommend you read the "regular" walkthrough first (a little at a time) and only read the Very Spoily walkthrough after you've explored the dungeon a bit on your own.

One note: monsters and items which first make an appearance on a given level will also show up on deeper levels, so if something is found on Level 2, it can show up on Level 3 as well, or anywhere deeper in the dungeon.

Level 1: Tomes and Potions

The good ol' first level. Your characters will need to spend 10-20 guild levels or so on Level 1 before they'll be strong enough to venture onto Level 2.

There are no really dangerous monsters on 1, although you'll want to run away from Hiksae, Zombies, Margoyles, and Enchanters until you've got about 40 HP.

Pseudo-Dragons drop some nice loot, as does the Aboleth, laired far east of the stairs. But don't visit him until you're strong enough for Level 2. Slave Mashers are strong, and with their Slaves in tow are worth a lot of XP, drop a lot of gold, and some very nice items. Tengus are quite rare and powerful, and also drop good items.

The most valuable items you'll find on Level 1 are stat-increasing tomes and potions. You can either use them on yourself right away or save them up and give them to characters you create at a later time (aka "legacy" characters). Until you start vanquishing dragons on 3 and 4, they will also be your best source of money. (A note: most Undead from Levels 1-5 are programmed to drop Tomes of Endurance pretty often.)

Don't use tomes or potions without fully IDing them first. If their alignment is not the same as yours, they will go to waste. If their alignment is the opposite of yours, they will reduce your stats. And if it's a Tome of Lies, it will reduce your stats no matter what.

Aside from tomes, one of the best items you can find on 1 is the Warhammer, occasionally dropped by the Twisted Dwarves laired southwest of the stairs. It's the best weapon you'll find (for fighter-type guilds) until you reach Level 4 or so.

There are a few other items sometimes found on Level 1 which have substantial value. Potions of Youth will reduce your character's age by one year (and take off one point of Con; you'll have to boost it again with a tome). Aging is mostly only a problem late in the game when you start encountering monsters with Aging attacks, but by then you'll be thankful for every year you can get back. (Aging is also a problem if you don't heal up fully before returning to town... you do heal up before taking the stairs, don't you?)

A Scroll of Spells will add 50 SP to any character of the correct alignment. At first this isn't that useful, as it is usually easy to get back to the stairs and get back all your SP for free. But later on, when you're deep in the dungeon, scrolls can give you some badly-needed SP when you find you're in a tight spot. They are especially useful for Healers, who can keep your party alive indefinitely as long as they have spell points. They are commonly dropped by Mage types on Levels 1-3.

The SP granted by a Scroll of Spells is temporary. You can use a Scroll of Spells to boost your SP above its normal maximum, but when you return to town, your SP will return to its normal maximum.

I also happen to like Dust of Healing, found on Level 1. I always have my characters carry around a bit of it, just in case.

Level 2: Slaves

Proceed to Level 2 as soon as you're tough enough to survive it. There are several factors that contribute to survivability, but a Defense of 60 should be considered a minimum for Level 2.

The most distinct feature of Level 2 is a group of slave lairs in the northwest corner. Each lair is a little tougher than the last. These groups drop some great items and are worth a lot of XP.

There's a Slime lair on the way to the slave lairs; be careful of Green Slimes, as they can paralyze you and destroy your items.

Large groups of Ants are also great for XP. If you level a magic-user early on and use spells which work against large monster groups like these (Cold Blast, Flamesheet, Light Spray, Poison, Leprosy, Dazzle -- whatever works), you'll gain XP very quickly.

One rare item you can sometimes find on Level 2 are Bells of Kwalish, which cast Resurrect. I like to have my non-Healers carry them in case my Healer gets killed.

Horda Giants, first found on Level 2, sometimes drop White Sashes, which is the best spellcasting item you'll find on the first several levels of the dungeon. There are a few other monsters on Level 3 that also sometimes drop White Sashes.

Sashes are cursed items which cost only 1-2 gold to realign or uncurse. They're meant to be throwaway items which cast very high-level spells. Don't bother saving sashes when you come across them -- the Store won't pay you anything for them, so wear 'em and use 'em when you're facing tough monsters.

Level 3: Goblins and the Aard of Being

Now it gets interesting.

The best feature of Level 3 is a set of Goblin lairs located in the northeastern section of the level. These groups are tough when you first encounter them, but a bit of magic will soften them up considerably if you can get some. They drop a number of great items, as well as quite a bit of gold. The Goblin Shaman sometimes drops an "Aard of Being", an excellent item which will boost all of your stats.

There are a number of hazards present on level 3, so you should be careful while exploring it. Giving someone a few Seeker levels early on to cast Feather Essence on your party can save your butt.

Also found in certain rooms on Level 3 are two particularly nasty beasties: the Munsae and the Nastrum. Munsae can drain your stats, and Nastrums can stone you. If you can, get yourself a Sorcerer and cast Drain and Stone resistance on all your party members when exploring Level 3 and below.

Finally, two good early weapons, Steel Daggers and Silver Crosses, can sometimes be found on Level 3.

Level 4: Dragons, Dwarves, and Draining

There's a big leap of difficulty from Level 3 to Level 4, so spend a little extra time leveling your characters on Level 3 before you continue downwards.

If your party doesn't have Drain resistance by now, you're in trouble. Wraiths are commonplace on Level 4 and they drain stats aggressively. They can also paralyze you. Get a Sorcerer as soon as you can and cast Drain and Paralysis resistance on everyone, or wear White Cloaks or Amulets of Life if you can find them.

There are two different stairways leading to Level 4, leading to two different regions which are completely separated by a thick rock wall. The northern stairway is the easier one to reach, and the northern hallways are rich in dragon encounters. Once you reach Level 4, money will be much less of a constraint.

But beware! Teleport traps make their first appearance on Level 4. You'll be looking pretty stupid when your Thief suddenly disappears while opening a chest. If you've got a Seeker by now, cast Soul Search then Displacement and you'll reunite your party without too much trouble. Have fun getting back to the stairs.

Also first appearing on 4 are Withering and Fear traps. Withering traps are not dangerous, but if you fail to disarm them, they will Age the character opening the chest by 4 weeks. As long as you've got a decent Thief who can disarm them most of the time, they're worth opening.

Fear traps, if you fail to disarm them, will scare away all the companions of the character opening the chest. They will not scare away the companions of anyone else in the party, so as long as your Thief doesn't have companions, they're totally harmless.

The southern region of the map is home to three special monster lairs: the Dwarven Lord, the Flame Dragon, and the Element Mage.

The Dwarven Lord is just north of the stairs and often drops two very powerful weapons, as well as other good treasure. The Flame Dragon, well east of the stairs, is a very tough opponent, but also drops quite good treasure. The Element Mage, slightly east of the stairs, isn't that tough and doesn't drop anything special, but you'll almost never see one outside of its lair. They do make pretty good companions.

You can often find steel weapons on Level 4. They're not particularly powerful, but they're better than iron.

And finally, look out for Giant Leeches. You've been warned. wink.gif

Level 5: Twisted Elf, Cockatrice, and Poltergeist

Level 5 has a very fragmented and difficult-to-navigate layout. It's easy to reach Level 5 via the teleporters flanking the stairs on Level 4, but they place you in an isolated area of the level, far from anything of interest.

You have a few options. One is to walk. To the west is the Cockatrice lair. Cockatrices drop many good items, including Aards of Being -- but if you don't have Stoning Resistance, you're in big trouble. From the Cockatrice lair, you have to travel South, then East, to get to the Twisted Elf's lair.

A simpler way to reach the Twisted Elf is to enter the level via its southern stairway. You have to follow a somewhat convoluted route on Levels 2, 3, and 4 to use their southern stairways, although this route will bring you to the best lairs on 4, 5, and 6.

And finally, you can always just use Ethereal Portal. About halfway between the northern entrance and the Twisted Elf's lair is the Poltergeist's lair, which is easiest to reach by using Ethereal Portal. The Poltergeist, like the Cockatrice, drops many good items.

The Twisted Elf, however, drops some of the best items in the game. He drops a variety of powerful spell-casting rings which can be vital if you don't have good spellcasters in your party. Most of the rings he drops are rare, but if you keep visiting him, sooner or later you'll get each of them. Among the rings he drops are ones that can heal, cast offensive spells, open chests, cast Levitation and Invisibility, and even charm monsters.

Adamantite weapons start making their appearance on Level 5, and are a bit better than steel weapons.

One unique and rare item makes its first appearance on Level 5: the Orb of Life Domination. It casts Life Domination, which will bind any companion to you permanently. They are rare, so you should save them for use on only the rarest and best monsters.

Level 6: Medusa, Minotaur, and ZBrats

Weapon Resistance is a common problem when first visiting Level 6. If you're still using weapons from the first couple of dungeon levels, they'll suddenly stop working against several monsters on Level 6. Switch to steel or adamantite weapons, or other weapons found on Level 4 or deeper.

There are several interesting lairs on Level 6 containing very tough monsters. If you happen to find the ZBrats, you'll be hurting. Although they're dangerous, a full lair of ZBrats is worth quite a bit of XP. Use powerful spells to wipe them out.

There is a cluster of lairs near the southern stairs from Level 5 which contain several large monster groups. The last lair in the chain usually contains Medusa, who can sometimes stone you even if you have full Stoning Resistance. She drops a number of good items and is worth a lot of XP.

The Minotaur can be found to the west of her, at the center of a set of rooms laid out in a spiral. The Minotaur is tough. He's totally immune to all magic, hits really hard, and takes lots of hits to kill. He does drop excellent items, especially weapons -- but it's less dangerous to hunt for them on Level 7 than to face the Minotaur.

There is a small "lake" just north of the northern stairs which is a good source of XP. The Water-Dwellers found there can be easily defeated by a number of medium-power spells or spellcasting items.

Blue Pelagons make their first appearance on Level 6. They are usually accompanied by several regular Pelagons, and sometimes drop as much as 10 million gold. They can be found throughout the level.

Mithril Daggers first appear on Level 6, although all the other mithril weapons are Level 7 items.

Any items first found on Level 6 or deeper can never be IDed beyond their basic type (Potion, Sword, Gloves, Leather Armor, etc.). If you find an item you can't even identify that well ("Weapon", "Head Protection", etc.), you know you've found something really good. Items from Level 5 or earlier can be identified up to their specific type (Potion of Fitness, Steel Dagger, etc.), although to find their alignment, you'll have to ID them at the store.

Level 7: Water-Dwellers, Hooded Thief, Demonist, and Butcher

Level 7 is one of my favorite levels. There are several laired monsters which drop great items and a large "lake" full of Water-Dwellers worth tons of XP. You can gain dozens of guild levels quickly on Level 7 without facing much danger.

The level is effectively divided into four different regions. The biggest region contains the lake and two of the laired monsters: the Butcher and the Hooded Thief. It is also the easiest-to-reach region, accessible via the stairs at its northern edge.

The Butcher drops several excellent items, including the best sword -- maybe even the best weapon -- you'll find until you reach Level 15.

The Hooded Thief drops several interesting items, many of which are useful to thieves. The Hooded Thief is the only non-Slime monster in the entire game that can Destroy Item (not just Steal), so when you visit him, kill him quickly with a spell.

The lake is a large L-shaped area full of Water-Dwellers. They're easy to defeat and give great XP. The entire region is worth tens of thousands of XP. Leprosy, above a certain spell level, is particularly effective, although several other spells work well too. If you plan to spend any time on the water, you'll definitely want your party to be Levitating.

The second region on Level 7 is on the east side of the map and is accessible via a southern set of stairs. There are no special monsters to be found here, just ordinary Level 7 encounters, although it's still worth checking out. There is a stairway in the middle of this region which provides an alternative route down to Level 8.

The third region, more or less in the center of the map, holds little of particular interest except a few rooms that sometimes hold dragons. It is accessible via a central set of stairs as well as a via a pit-strewn route that connects it to the "lake" region.

The fourth region is inaccessible except via movement spells (like Ethereal Portal) or random teleporters. It contains the Demonist's lair.

The Demonist and his Astral Demon companions are fairly tough opponents. He drops several interesting items, many of which are of particular use to spellcasters.

Mithril items are common on Level 7. One particularly nice weapon is the Mithril-Shod Staff, which can be wielded at a lower guild level than many other weapons of similar power.

Slime traps first show up on Level 7. These nightmares are the primary reason you want a good Thief in your party -- it really, really sucks to lose a good item to a Slime trap. If you're smart, you'll never even attempt to open a Slime trap -- unless you just know there's something good in it. Oops, there wasn't.

Also first showing up on Level 7 are Blackout traps. They are more annoying than harmful: if you fail to disarm them, you will lose any Resistance spells cast on your character, and will have to recast them. You will also lose Sight Veil, See Invisible, Feather Essence, and Protection, if they were cast on you.

Blackout only affects spells, not items: if your Resistances/Visual Spells/Feather Essence come from wearing an item, they will remain in effect. Furthermore, only the character failing to disarm a Slime or Blackout trap will be affected by it; other characters' items will be safe and they will not lose their resistance spells.

Level 8: Wisps, Illusionists, Death Hawks and Ninjas

Level 8 has little of interest. There are no special laired monsters, and it is home to quite a few monsters you'll want to avoid.

Although Wisps first appear on Level 7, they are common on Level 8, and they frequently cast Summon Shade. If your party doesn't have Mental Resistance, a Wisp encounter can leave you hurting. You may just wish to dispatch them with an offensive spell.

Illusionists, first appearing on Level 8, are another annoying monster. They are common encounters in the corridor leading to Level 9. They cast Summon Shade as well as Damage spells like Cause Fatal Wounds and Draining Touch. Because of this, both Mental and Magic resistance are worth considering once you reach Level 8. Wiping them out quickly with offensive spells is a good idea.

The two monster groups that pose the greatest threat on Level 8 are Death Hawks and Ninjas. They're uncommon, but are pretty dangerous when you first encounter them.

There are no stairs down to be found on Level 8. Instead, there are a pair of teleporters (and a pair on Level 9 which will bring you back).

The Elixr of Fate first shows up on Level 8, as do Fate traps. Items which cast Fate simply randomize your HP and SP, anywhere from 1 point to your maximum. If you are out of SP, Fate can change your, well, fate. This is especially useful for Healers -- if you get any SP back, you can heal up your HP.

Level 9: Vampire, Mundragons, and Boots of Levitation

Mundragons are tough creatures that appear in large groups and drop lots of gold. They make excellent companions, and are easy to charm with various items that cast Charm Dragon. Their breath attacks are pretty damaging, so it might be a good idea to give your party Fire Resistance if you haven't by now.

(Resistances are only 50% effective against "natural" attacks -- fire or cold breath, electrocution, acid spit, and poison and disease. This means if you have 90% resistance, you'll have a 45% reduction in damage; if you have 50% resistance, you'll get a 25% reduction, and so on. They are still important when you are facing a lot of natural attacks -- half damage is better than full damage, and they are fully effective against all spells: if you have 95% Fire Resistance, you will only take 5% of the damage from Fire spells. They are also fully effective against natural Drain, Stone, and Paralysis attacks.)

There is a laired Vampire east of the teleporters from Level 8. Vampires are common on lower levels and drop a variety of nice items, including the Vampire Fang, the second-best dagger in the game. Mid-to-high level spells (such as Abolish Undead or Flesh to Stone) may be useful against this fairly powerful foe.

Boots of Levitation can first be found on Level 9. They are the first item you will come across that grant Levitation without having to cast a spell.

Also first found on 9 are Static Sashes. They cast Static Mesh at a high level and are effective against quite a few monsters.

Level 10: Giant King, Asteryex, and Dalyn's Tear

Located to the west of the stairs is the Giant King, one tough monster. You can defeat him using melee, but you'll probably need to heal up a few times before you can finish him off.

The Giant King drops a variety of great items, the best of which is the Giant King's Hammer. It is possibly the hardest-hitting weapon in the entire game. Its only drawback is that it is a 1-swing weapon -- so you'll be limited to 2 or 3 swings total when using it, depending on your guild. If you have a Giant in your party, it might be good to give him a GKH to slow down his XP gains and give your other characters a chance to catch up.

Making its first appearance on Level 10 is the Asteryex. They have massive hitpoints and great resistances, but are not especially dangerous. They can drop several excellent items.

Blue Gremlins are first found on Level 10. They occasionally drop Dalyn's Tear, which will never be dropped by any other kind of monster. Dalyn's Tear is perhaps the best artifact in the game, granting its wearer two very important resistances.

Monsters with Electrical attacks show up in increasing numbers from Level 8 onward, and by Level 10, they begin to be a problem. Giving your party Electrical Resistance at this point is a good idea. Shields of Defense, first found on Level 7, grant Electrical Resistance, and you can always just cast a resistance spell.

Level 11: Water-Dwellers, Silent Eagles, Master Ninjas, Magical Dust, and Dragon's Blood

Much like Level 7, there is a large lake on Level 11, rich in XP. You will encounter many Piranha groups there. They aren't very dangerous, but they're worth almost no XP because they have only 1 HP each. You should avoid them instead of fighting them -- although they are a good source of gold. If they have an unlocked chest, sometimes I stop to open it without bothering to kill them all.

The real creatures of interest in the lake are Kyu t'Salli, Lamurian Outcasts, and Hammerhead Sharks. Unlike Level 7, you can't kill them with spells very effectively unless you have a pretty high-level spellcaster (level 150 or better) and use mid-to-high-level spells.

Silent Eagles and Master Ninjas are new to Level 11, and are mighty dangerous. You should get into the habit of using a "panic button": buffer your most powerful spell or item and hit it as soon as you bump into the most dangerous monster groups.

First appearing on Level 11 is one of the most valuable items in the game: Dragon's Blood. Drinking one will reduce your character's age by 10 years.

There is pretty much only one thing that can wreck your characters for good: complications from a raise. Any character that has been Rocked will automatically have complications. There is also a chance of getting complications from any raise, although the chance seems to go up as you get older, especially when you reach your race's maximum age.

Towards the end of the game, there are a few nasty monsters that have Aging attacks, who will do everything they can to force your premature retirement. Dragon's Blood is the fountain of youth: without it, sooner or later, you will die. For good.

There are several creatures from Level 11 onward which breathe cold (including White Dragons), so it might be worth it to start casting Resist Cold on your party.

Magical Dust is first found on Level 11. It functions just like an Elixr of Fate -- it casts Fate -- but comes with an average of 4 charges.

Finally, Magenta Sashes first appear on Level 11. They cast Sphere of Flames at a high level, and work well against a variety of large monster groups. They work quite well, for instance, against the Water-Dwellers you'll find on the lake.

Level 12: Mother of Serpents

The monsters are hitting pretty hard by now, but you're tough. You can take it.

There's only one thing of particular interest on Level 12, but it's a doozy. The Mother of Serpents, in the northeastern portion of the level, is possibly the single best item-dropping monster in the entire game. The Mother of Serpents can drop nearly any item from as deep as Level 14, and is your best source for quite a few rare and powerful items.

She's tough, but not too tough. You might want to give your party Acid Resistance before facing her: her acid attacks can be pretty damaging.

The Genie is the first monster you'll encounter in the dungeon which can cast Word of Death. Although they can't cast Word of Death at a very high level, it is still a very damaging spell, so Magic Resistance is pretty useful from Level 12 onward.

The good news is that Pure Mithril, an item which grants Magic Resistance, can be found starting on Level 12. The bad news is that it's quite rare. (In theory an Asteryex could drop it as early as Level 10, although Asteryexes are quite rare too.) The Mother of Serpents occasionally drops them.

Level 13: Pariahs and the Graveyard

The western portion of this level is informally known as "The Graveyard". It is full of rooms containing nothing but Demons and Undead. Many of these monsters can Drain, so be sure you have Drain resistance -- ideally via a spell, not just an item. Items only give you 90% resistance, whereas a spell will give you 95% resistance -- which means you will get drained half as often.

Despite the high chance of getting drained, several monsters found in the Graveyard sometimes drop Dragon's Blood, so I like to visit it frequently.

Pariahs, first appearing on Level 13, occasionally drop Blessings of Morash, an extremely rare item that in my opinion is even better than Dragon's Blood. Blessings of Morash boost your stats, and you can wear an unlimited number of them, so you want as many as you can find. They are probably of greatest use to Thieves, whose ability to disarm traps is dependent on a high Dexterity -- the higher, the better.

You have to be careful on Level 13: there are two Stud rooms which sometimes contain Golden Eagles, an extremely dangerous group of monsters normally found on Level 14.

Tarantulas first appear on Level 13. They are a large but harmless monster group which are worth quite a bit of XP. I like to use either a Static or Magenta Sash to kill them quickly.

One curious item first appearing on 13 is the Vorpal Blade. It has a low damage modifier but gets an amazing 7 swings. Most players agree that because of its low damage modifier, it's a poor weapon: you don't get each extra swing if you don't kill a monster with each prior swing, and since its damage modifier is low, you probably won't get all 7 swings. It may still be of use to a Thief, who will benefit from the +1 to Dexterity it confers.

One rare and powerful item first showing up on 13 is the Cap of Death. It casts Word of Death at a high level and is your best weapon against the most dangerous monsters in the dungeon if you don't have high-level spellcasters.

Level 14: Lamurians, Dragons, and (eek!) Gargantuans

You can think of Level 14 as a proving grounds for Level 15. If you can survive the toughest encounters on Level 14, you can survive most of what's on 15.

The two toughest encounters on 14 are Gargantuans and Golden Eagles. And boy, they are tough. You can't kill them using melee combat alone -- they'll cut you to pieces. Your only hope is to blast them with a powerful spell, or run away -- if you can.

There is a large ring-shaped lake on Level 14, containing many tough Lamurians and other Water-Dwellers. Lamurian Guards are quite tough. You can defeat them in melee, but you'll lose quite a bit of HP in the process. They have a very damaging Electrical attack as well, so if you don't have Electrical Resistance by now, you'll need it. The good news is that Lamurian Amulets, which grant Electrical Resistance, first appear on Level 14.

There is a Stud room on the level that often contains Slithers. Slithers are an enormous but not dangerous group which are worth more XP than any other monster group in the dungeon. If your characters pin while fighting them, come back and finish them off after you've leveled up so you don't waste the XP. Be careful, as this room also sometimes contains a Daemon Lord, who has a fairly powerful Aging attack. Be sure to kill him quickly, before he can do much damage.

The corner rooms of Level 14 can only be reached via Ethereal Portal or teleportation. They contain several Dragon lairs arrayed in a fairly-easy-to-spot pattern.

Several good pieces of armor can be found on Level 14: the Spectral Shield, Helm of Brilliance, White Flame Gauntlets, Girdle of Giant Strength, and Boots of the Elven Lords. Any of these can sometimes be dropped by the Mother of Serpents back on Level 12.

The Gold Sash is the best healing item in the game. It casts Restoration at a very high level, comes with dozens of charges, and can be used by any guild. It is rare, but a few monsters from Level 14 and 15 occasionally drop it.

Like Level 8, there is no down stairwell on Level 14. To get to Level 15, you must figure out which one of several teleporters on Level 14 will take you there.

Level 15: Here be spoilers.

Last stop. Everybody off.

Most Level 15 creatures are not more dangerous than the Gargantuans from Level 14. They're tougher in general, although Gargantuans are still the most dangerous monster you'll see on a regular basis. However, in the Stud rooms on Level 15, there are about a dozen "Level 16" monsters. Two of them are exceedingly dangerous: the Demon Prince, and Asmodeus.

Asmodeus is the ultimate "boss" of the game -- defeat him, and you "win" the game. (You can keep playing, though, and can encounter and defeat him many times more.) He is accompanied by Flame Devils, which often show up without him, and are quite dangerous in their own right.

To kill Asmodeus, you'll need the best spell you can find. Good luck figuring out which it is. When you encounter him, you should either hit your "panic button" (your best spell, buffered), or leave the room immediately. Even if you do hit him with a good spell, you should still leave immediately after casting it: you will probably need to heal up several times before you can finish him off.

Once you have left the room (hopefully alive), you can plan your attack better. Heal up fully and set your characters' default action to the best buffered spell or item they have.

The Demon Prince is accompanied by a horde of Daemon Lords and is probably a little more lethal than even Asmodeus himself. He hits harder and more often, and is susceptible to an entirely different set of spells. Like Asmodeus, be prepared to leave and heal up before you can finish the Demon Prince off.

Hit Points are a big factor in surviving the toughest encounters on Level 15. A few of the monsters can do 500 points of damage or more in a single attack. Ideally, your Defense score should be 400 or better if you want to spend any time on Level 15.

Although death is a frequent risk on Level 15, aging is an even greater hazard. Asmodeus, the Demon Prince, and the Reaper of Souls can all Age you up to 5 years with a single touch. Don't let them touch you. Kill them as quickly as you can (with spells), or run away. Daemon Lords have less powerful Aging attacks, but are far more common, and should be killed right away as well.

There are a few high-level spellcasters on 15 that can cast every spell in the book, so you'll need almost every resistance. You can get away without having Poison and Disease Resistance, although it's still useful, and you won't need Acid Resistance. You can probably survive without Cold Resistance too, although if a monster casts Arctic Storm, you'll be hurting.

The northern half of Level 15 contains a large lake with tough Water-Dwellers. The most dangerous are Great Whites, which you should either avoid or kill with a powerful spell. Lamurian Warriors are common in the lake, and can be killed in melee, although you might be better off using your best spells on them, especially when you reach a high level.

There are three monster lairs near the center of the lake. One is usually home to a Lamurian Mage (with Lamurian Warrior companions). The other two are behind secret doors inside what appears to be a solid rock wall. The first contains a Lamurian Lord, accompanied by a Lamurian Mage or two and several Lamurian Warriors, and the second contains a Lamurian High Priestess, who is accompanied by a Destroyer of the Deep.

The Destroyer of the Deep is the most lethal creature on 15 short of Asmodeus and the Demon Prince. It can inflict hundreds of points of damage in a single hit. You should use a powerful spell to take it out quickly. The High Priestess is highly resistant to nearly every spell, so you'll just have to finish her off in melee.

Several outstanding armor types can be found (rarely) on Level 15, including Warrior's Armor, Thief's Armor, and Magician's Armor, which is the best armor in the game overall. You have to be very high level to wear some of these items, but once you get most of them, Level 15 will start to become somewhat survivable. Somewhat.

Other outstanding items found on Level 15 are the Lamurian Crown, Gloves of Light (extremely rare!), Pendragon, Cloak of Enchantment, and Bracers of Destruction.

Some of the best weapons from earlier levels stop working once you reach Level 15. In particular, any weapon from Level 7 or earlier will not work against the Level 16 creatures in the Stud rooms on 15. Switch to a Giant King's Hammer, Vampire Fang, or other weapon from deep in the dungeon.

Soon you will start finding several of the outstanding weapons from Level 15 itself. The Dagger of Swiftness, Lightning Blade, Sword of Flames, Eliminator, Staff of Destruction, Warlord's Mace, and the Hammer of O'landra are each useful to different guilds at different levels.

Several powerful monsters make their debut on Level 15. The larger groups are worth tremendous amounts of XP. The entire level contains about half a million XP in total. (This drops as your guild level goes up; Level 500 characters earn about half as much XP as Level 100 characters do from killing exactly the same monster.) As long as you're careful, you can visit Level 15 safely time after time, building up an incredibly powerful party.

Very high-level spellcasting characters are the kings of the dungeon. Once their best spells reach their minimum cost, they can eliminate nearly any monster group in a single casting, earning XP quickly and safely.

Fighter types are very powerful too, particularly because of their high maximum A/D (usually attained at Level 400+). It is possible for characters to have A/Ds above 500/500. In combination with powerful offensive spells and healing, it is possible to make Level 15 relatively safe to visit.

You can solo Level 15, but it's obviously harder than with a party. All the damage monsters dish out will be focused on a single character, and you might not even survive their first attack. There are several players who solo Level 15 routinely, though. Get your Defense score as high as you can and be ready to use your best spells at a moment's notice, and Level 15 is survivable even by a solo character.

This post has been edited by Nudibranch: Jul 27 2005, 12:03 AM

I would have started with lasers. Eight o'clock. Day one.
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