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Albion WHAT IS ALBION? Albion is a six character RPG with turn-based combat. You cannot create characters - you start with a predefined party of two and the program generally controls the addition and subtraction of characters thereafter. In the middle and end games you get more (but limited) choices as to the party composition. It is a true RPG, however, in terms of having character statistics that can be improved by magic or use of items, and a wide range of items to find, hold and use. The variety of monsters is average. The sound is extremely good, the interface is very playable and there are few bugs. The graphics are top-down in general and first person in some dungeon areas - an interesting mix. In combat you move your characters on two rows of a 6x5 grid and the monsters can move anywhere on the grid - it is not great but quite playable. The storyline is more complex and interesting than usual but there is plenty for the hack and slasher. This may be the commercial RPG of 1996 since its strengths outweigh its weaknesses (after a moderately slow start) and the competition is not fierce. TORONTO: You begin in the Toronto. You pilot a shuttle to the world where the game takes place. Click on items to see what is useful. If the menu includes "Manipulate" there is something there to do or use. But do read a lot of the "Examine" boxes for interesting if not useful descriptions. Check your initial room - there are some items there. After a while you are asked to go to the shuttle. Ignore this until you are ready - there is no disadvantage to delay. The best thing to do first is to talk to everyone you can. You have a friend named Joe Bernard who has his residence in the northeast of the building. Go talk to him. He will give you the code (1042) to enter the service level. This level is in 3D (first person). You will find the entrance in the northeastern most corner of the ship.The only critical item here is a pistol and some ammo for it. OK, now that you there you see a door right in front of you. Walk toward it. You see the message "Floor plate lights up" in the corner. Now the door should open and the road is clear. In the next room there are four floor structures (or should I say pressure plates?) in each corner of the room. Activating them all will open the door. Now you will enter a similar room but this one has no floor structures. It has two switches, one on either side of the door on the walls in the north of the room. Activate both to go ahead. The next room has two doors and two floor structures. You cannot open these doors. But be patient. A robot will arrive shortly that will open the doors for you one by one. When you have entered the third of these rooms, there is a switch in the western corner. Activate it to be able to pass through the door on the east. After a while you will enter a room with a cabinet on the north wall. Remember this, because you will need it later. Push the buttons to open the door and when you get to the door with the keypad enter the same code that Joe gave you. Now search the room (the COM room) carefully. When you find the gun, go back to the service level and deposit it in the cabinet. Now go back to the COM room and leave it. You leave by passing some security guards. Note that they will search you and take the pistol if you have it. Now go back for the gun - leaving the way you entered instead of past the guards (which you cannot do originally because you pass a one way door). Do search every room you can. You will also get to Snoopy's room then, which contains some more ammo. Healing potions are very useful. Lockpicks can open locked chests that do not require special keys - although the documentation does not make this clear you can click on a lock without having a pick and use your unlocking skill. If you get a message like "this lock cannot be picked" forget it! If you get "Tom cannot pick this lock" it often means he can pick it - he just needs to keep trying. There are no locked chests in this area to worry about, however. NARIKIDAANI: Explore the building you start in (called the House of the South Wind Clan). It does not pay to be cheap with your rescuers (the game generally prefers the "good" approach although any loose item can normally be taken with no risk or penalty). There is a mini-dungeon here, but it is recommended not to explore it until you have the next party member. The best thing to do now is to leave the clanhouse and explore. Find the stores and check them out. If you have items to sell this is done by going into the same mode as to buy items but clicking on your inventory - you do NOT use the offer item command in the conversation menu in stores - you use that to give items to NPCs where this ties in with the storyline. The documentation does not mention this! After two game days you automatically are taken to see the local ruler (she is the boss after all) and get a quest and a new party member called Drirr who greatly increases your party strength. You can now more easily do the mini-dungeon either before or after the quest. Before the quest might be better because you can use the ammo that you find there. You will be trapped by a cavein until you find a pickaxe. You will need this object in various dungeons - get used to clicking on walls to see if an object can be used on them when you run out of other things to do or are suspicious. You will probably need to use your pistol - save ammo since there isn't much but don't be too cheap - after a while you will be more powerful and can get by without it. Click on treasure piles to check them out - one of them (and only one, alas) has more ammo. There is also a clock - click on it after you get it to make it permanently visible in the screen - it is very useful. Don't forget to give Drirr something better to wear and fight with whenever you go search for the murderer or when you start to do the mini-dungeon. For example, give him the Iskai armor by stealing it. Stealing goes as follows: walk up to the bar and just before you reach it, click the right mouse button. You should be able to reach much further than you normally can. Keep in mind that this routine may take some time to get used to. And a good sword (are you also looking at the expensive Iskai lance?) is not a bad idea either. If you cannot find the first dungeon, ask the cattle breeder just outside. He will tell you. Check the map carefully or you may miss the dungeon once you are there. Walk onto it to enter. Before entering buy some torches to help you find goodies (the torches are very cheap) and a Music Crystal in the general store to give to an entity you find right near the object you are looking for (an Iskai Dagger). You do not have to give the Music Crystal to the entity. You can also buy it just now and use it on the next island. See below. Keep in mind that exploring this dungeon can be very useful. This dungeon is actually pretty straightforward, so I will only mention a few things. Note that outdoors or in dungeons monster pieces may be left after battle and they are usually sellable. This dungeon has two types of stationary plants that take the evolutionary niche of dungeon traps. Big mouths in the floor can be deadly but will close for a while if given chunks of meat that you get killing Krondirs (the big beasts). In town you may have been offered fruit to feed to the other type of guardian plant but it is cheaper just to turn the lights out - this puts them to sleep. Use Drirr (your local guide) as party leader - he sees better in the dark. Explore the entire dungeon for experience and loot (and fun for some). The entity will then tell you how to increase your attributes after you promised him the music crystal. This is critically important - you REALLY need this boost. But be patient - do it after you finish the quest and get a new member so she can share in the benefit, or wait (a LONG time) until you have all six final party members. You get three attributes up one at a time - to get the third up you need to pickaxe a wall. You have to make a path of light. What you do is walk from one glowing rainbow toadstool shaped like a triangle to another in the room where your footprints glow - this opens a wall. To finish the quest go see Frill, the old Iskai in the council house. He tells you to go see Bradir in the Former Guild in the northwest of town. Bradir will fight you but is not a challenge. After the problem is solved, you may think that it is a pity you could not keep that beautiful little Iskai Dagger. Well, you can. Although the leader took it away, go back to the Former Guild and talk again to Bradir. When you end the conversation, he will give you 100 gold and the dagger. I recommend that you give it to Sira (put it on her tail), because she can do with the extra strength. You can now ship out. DO NOT!!! The trip is one way until late in the game (that is what the stone outdoors that is shaped like an eye is for but it is useless to you now). Don't leave the island until you have the following: 1) Sira is level 12 and has Frost Avalanche (at maximum is best but it is essential to have it). 2) Sira and Rainer's Long Range attacks are at maximum (assuming you prefer them to attack long range. You probably do for Sira as she is better at this then Close Range). 3) Tom and Drirr's Close Range attacks are at maximum (if you prefer them to attack close range. Again, you may want this too as the Close Range weapons are more powerful, and Tom is better at it). 4) Drirr has the Iskai Armor (steal it) and the Iskai Lance (unless you prefer lighter weapons or armor). 5) Sira and Drirr each have the Iskai Metal Helmet. 6) Sira has lots of seeds (200+). (Find them outdoors or buy them in the Mages Guild (southwest)). Note: This is merely a recommendation but the seeds and Frost Avalanche seem all but essential. Kill the enemies and sell their parts, as I said before to get lots of money. Spells do far more damage and the frost spells last much longer after fully learned. GRATOGEL: The first thing to do here when you arrive is to talk to the king of the village. He will tell you he needs an amulet that you need to get for him. Then go to the east until you find the next village, and then north, following the path. That is where you need to be. If you have saved the Music Crystal from Narikidaani, go a little further north and give this to the man guarding the oak tree. He will give you a very good weapon in return. When you have the next party member, a Druid named Mellthas, train the spell named Small Fireball the he has. When it is on full power, go to the pass south of the Druid village (called Vanello). It contains a valuable supply of bandits (but they run out after a while, ) and it leads to a trainer, who only trains Close Range combat and a store. If you want to train the party, except Mellthas, who cannot be trained here, then do so, but this trainer is much more expensive then the Iskai warrior on Narikidaani. Another useful thing is to go to the shop there and to buy the Music Crystal, unless you saved the one from Narikidaani. The Dreamshield is also excellent. It is the only powerful shield that Sira is able to wear, so I suggest you consider buying it. And, of course, have a look for seeds outside. It is advisable not to enter the dungeon without a rope. In the dungeon part of Arjano, you will be stopped by fire. Use a bucket of water to extinguish them. There is also a place where there are nine grey pressure plates close to one another. Walk over the plates so that a + sign appears (you should not walk over all the plates but they can always be reset). Then the passage is clear. In the first party view part of the dungeon right near the start there is a secret button nearby on the right hand side. Push it. Now you can get through the first gate after you get to a switch and use it. After that, in the big room with the three flames, step on all the pressure plates. A door in the southwest will open. On the second level you need to step on a plate that releases moving flames. Step on it three times first to open the way to a button that will open up a passage in the east wall. Then keep on stepping on it until the road is clear. When you come to an area with a pit and two locked doors fall through the pit. There are three gates with Warniaks behind them. Open the gates, kill them and get the treasure. If you pull the lever behind one of the doors, the wall opens up, and you can look in a chest (guarded by a demon - a Fear 1). It contains the key to the doors you could not pass. On the third level, there are more tricky bits. In the large room with the big beasts trapped behind the red, transparent walls, only walk over the green pressure plates, otherwise they escape, and they are no joke. Of course, if you have Frost Avalanche at full power and make sure all party members stand on the last row of the grid and have lots of potions, then they are no big deal. On the next level you will find some force fields. There is one in the east that you will have to walk through. But later on, you will find staffs that will get rid of them. Only use them on the six in a row you meet at the end of the level. Talking about staffs, in the room where you get them if you do not want to fight, go to the exit of the room as quickly as possible and pull the lever again.This will trap the enemies. And in the room with the three levers on the south side, you need to pickaxe some walls. Look carefully, or right-click on the walls. If you fall through the pits a little bit further, do not worry UNLESS you do NOT have a rope. There is some minor treasure down there. MAINI: The first thing to do here is to look for your next party member. You can choose either of two, but the mage (called Khunag) is recommended by most people. It is up to you: somebody good at fighting or a poor fighter with good offensive spells only (no healing spells). The warrior is a woman called Siobhan. But Khunag will help you through parts of the Kenget Kamulos dungeon you need to go to much later. You will find both possibilities in Beloveno, the big city that you start in. Then it is a good idea to explore the countryside, and maybe even talk to the members of each town/ village. When you try to talk to Kontos, the leader of the mountain village Kounos, you will be stopped by a guard called Nodd. However, if you steer the conversation in the right way, you will not have to fight him. But you always can, of course. Then it is wise to explore the dungeon under the house. On the first level you will find a chest with a power amulet in it, but once you have it, it seems like you cannot go on anymore. But you can! There is an illusionary wall close by. If you then get to the point with the three pressure plates in a row in front of three doors, run over the plates as fast as you can, otherwise you will not make it through the doors. On the second level it is imperative that you explore all of it, especially directly south from the exit. You will find something that is needed to complete the game. The game itself takes a long time to complete the plot for this continent and be allowed to move on, but all of us have found out through trial and error that you have to just be patient. You may also buy a map that may help you find a cave entrance but you can find it without the map if you explore. The cave is not absolutely essential but has some nice loot. It is the same one whose other entry is blocked by a door you can't get through except from inside the cave. Every morning between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., there is a trainer in the village at the house of the leader (where the dungeon is). He is the only trainer that is able to teach you critical hit. However, it costs 950 gold per point, so think twice. I found it very useful anyway, especially for Drirr and Tom. Sira already has her 5/5 score, so do not bother to train her. The entry to the cave discussed above is from the plateau lower than the village, and to the east. I strongly recommend that you explore it, because it contains some very nice stuff, including the best sword in the game, although it is cursed. But you have to have a rope, otherwise you will not be able to get out. It is also imperative to talk to lots of people on this continent, repeatedly in some cases, going back as you learn new things. Some examples are: the council members in Beloveno, the barkeeper in the Iskai village in the north of the land, and Kariah, the prostitute with her house on the market square. The barkeeper will give you the second piece of the vital item, after a while. There are also lots of seeds here. Collect and move on. After the problem is solved, you will probably want to go to the Iskai shrine and kill Kontos. He has a few goodies. DJI CANTOS: This mainly goes all by itself. You also get a new party member here, an Enlightened One named Harriet. In the southwest of the building, there is a woman who sells spell scrolls. If you got Khunag, buy all the spells that he does not know, as there is no other way to learn them. There is no hurry to go to the Toronto, despite the fact that Harriet pushes you to do so. The first thing to do here is to look for those Flowers of the Goddess you are told about. Stand on them for about 15 seconds, and the leader of the party will have one of his attributes (which depends on the flower) increased by three points. These flowers are for about 15 uses as far as I know, but save the game before you use them and think which party member needs this little boost the most. You will have to wait for 36+ hours until they can be used again. If you have visited them all (there are eight in total) it is wise to collect the two party members who took a vacation when you left the last continent, as they are very useful. UMAJO KENTA 1: If you have explored this city a bit, you will be told there is a prison north of the city. It is useless as far as I know, but if you are anxious, by all means go. You can free the prisoner, but it has no use that I am aware of. You cannot pick the lock, so you will have to wait until the guard comes (at 11:00 p.m.) to open it for you. You can follow the guard there (a long walk!) or find it on your own. First buy the preservative that keeps you alive in the desert. Get several. You get them from the man in the Equipment Makers Guild. To get to the Toronto, you will have to talk to some of the people in the bar, and in the Miners Guild. Bringing a jewel is recommended. The guide will then show you to a cave entrance. The southern exit from the cave leads right to the Toronto. The other exit is useless. TORONTO 2: Look everywhere for pieces of paper with numbers on them. The code for the door is 1001, in case you could not find the piece of paper with it. Once you are in the 3D part, have Joe wake up the robot so that it is able to open the door for you. In the long corridor, stand as far away from the switch as possible, so that you can just still manipulate it. Then run as fast as you can to the other end, and turn the second one. A little further on, free all the robots as then the doors open quicker. A little further on, make sure that the floor pattern on the west side matches the one on the east side. You should go to the east one first. Then turn all the switches as quick as you can. The next door to open has the code 4312 in case you cannot be bothered to try all the combinations on the pieces of paper, or were not able to find them. UMAJO KENTA 2: Fist thing to do here is to go to the building in the northeast of the city. You are now able to pass as the guards let you through. You are told to look for a man in the cellars under the Equipment Makers Guild. However, you do not have the key and you need a secret password. He told me the first time I went there and had to go back until I had the password. Well, in order not to have to make the trip twice, the best thing to do is to go to the Miner's Guild. Go all the way into the big room. You notice you only have access to one mine shaft. Go in there and stand in the niches so that.


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