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Gameplay Notes
General

We wrote this walkthrough using version 1.3 of the game (the version in the Forgotten Realms Archive) and the "veteran" (default) difficulty setting.

You can change the difficulty setting in the "encamp" menu. It is the "level" option.

You'll earn way more money (and jewelry and gems) than you can possibly spend. There isn't any reason to pick it up if you don't need it (it will just weigh you down). If you want to, you can store extra money (and equipment) in the vault in New Verdigris.

Magic items look just like regular items until you identify them. So if you fight a tough battle and find one object unlike the others (like a flail among ten long swords and ten plate mails), then you should hang onto it and check to see if it's anything special. Special rewards are almost always found at the end of the list of looted items.

There isn't a time limit in the game, so feel free to search and camp as much as you want.

Combat in the game starts out pretty easy (even if you create new characters rather than importing) but things get more difficult as you go along.


Party Creation

There are almost no checks on the race, gender, or class of your party members, so you can use any party of characters you like, and you won't miss anything important.

Outside of the Thief class (where every race can reach level 18), the non-human maximum levels are very restrictive -- to the point where there isn't much reason to use non-humans at all. For example, the highest level a non-human can reach as a Magic-User is level 11, which means non-humans can't cast level 6 or 7 Magic-User spells.

About halfway through the game you'll meet a Fighter who will offer to join your party.

You'll receive a Strength item right away in the game, and you'll find two more later on, so it's not wildly important to roll all of your Fighters / Paladins / Rangers until they have 18(100) Strength. The Strength equipment also means you can use some female characters without losing anything.

If you create new characters then they'll start out with 200,000 xp each, which is enough for at least level 8.

It's easy to earn well over 3,000,000 xp while playing the game, which is enough to max out just about any character.

This is the party we'd recommend:
  • Human Paladin
  • Dwarf Fighter/Thief
  • Human Ranger
  • Human Fighter/Magic-User (start out as Fighter and then dual to Magic-User right away; you'll need at least 17 Intelligence for this)
  • Human Magic-User
  • Human Cleric

Running the Game

Secret of the Silver Blades is an old DOS game, and it won't run without help on a modern computer. We used DOSBox (http://www.dosbox.com) when writing the walkthrough. It emulates an x86 computer, and it allows old games to not only run, but run at the right speed.

We installed Secret of the Silver Blades to c:\oldgames\secret.

Then we added the lines
mount c c:\
c:
cd oldgames
to the DOSBox configuration file (which means they're executed each time you run DOSBox).

Finally, we created a batchfile called secret.bat in the c:\oldgames directory, which included the lines
cd secret
start.exe
If you follow our example, then you'll just need to start DOSBox and then type "secret" to start the game.