Legend of Grimrock is a deep and challenging game. Delving into the dungeons of Mount Grimrock can be intimidating for a first-time player, but there are several pieces of advice we can leave with you to make your dungeon-crawling a little easier.
Remember that as strong as your single characters are, it's your whole party that really matters. Therefore, you'll ideally want to have a well-balanced party that can fill every role. Generally, this means one or two Fighters, one or two Rogues, and a single Mage. You can certainly experiment, but having at least one of every class is definitely useful. If you're a bit bolder, you can try going with two Mages, a Fighter and a Rogue, but you'll have less of a meat wall in the way and will need to rely on your Mages' support to survive. Also note that formation matters - generally you will always want your Fighters in the front and your Rogues and Mages in the back, unless you have a melee Rogue. You can usually get away with most character and party builds in Legend of Grimrock, if you're smart, but one with a little thought behind it will serve you very well.
Early in the game you might not find Grimrock very challenging, with an abundance of food and weapons, but that changes as the game goes on, and a few floors in you'll be wishing for the easy days. It's best, therefore, to ration as much food, store as many weapons, and carry as many random trinkets as you possibly can, because you'll use them up later on. Even objects like rocks, burned-out torches and old weapons and armor can come in handy when you need to, say, hold down a switch, or throw something over a pit. Stocking up on food will also mean that you won't have to waste time trekking back to the few locations enemies do respawn in order to get more.
Legend of Grimrock is a game full of secrets - close to a hundred, in fact. It's in your best interest to examine every single wall, explore every nook and cranny, and generally be as thorough as possible. That even means falling down pits, which hold secrets more often than you'd expect! Leave no stone unturned, no lever pulled, no switch unpressed, and you'll find yourself with better gear and more supplies than you'd otherwise have.
Combat in Grimrock is simple, but deceptively so. There are a few things to keep in mind to maximize your battle performance. First of all, the game takes place in real-time, so take advantage by moving out of the way to dodge enemy attacks. When possible, engage them in open areas rather than hallways, and make the best use of the 3D space to circle around and find ideal angles of attack. Second, slow and steady wins the race. You might be able to take lots of damage, but a surprise critical can tear up your weaker party members, and getting backed into a corner can mean death; it's always better to spend a little more time dodging and taking pot-shots than to take an arrow in the knee. Third, pay attention to resistances. Your Fireball will be all but useless against a fiery Uggardian, but a Fire Shield spell will make the enemy far less potent.
The puzzles of Mount Grimrock are, at times, maddening. If you aren't interested in looking up specific puzzle solutions, then it's usually best to take a break and come back to the game later to approach a problem from a new angle. Many puzzles will play on your expectations, or offer subtle hints you might not notice the first time around, so if you prefer to figure things out for yourself, don't drive yourself crazy trying to shove a square peg into a round hole.
A few more random bits of information that will help you on your quest:
- Torches only burn out when you're holding them - put one in a wall sconce and it will last forever.
- Some enemies are resistant to different kinds of attacks. Unarmed strikes may be less effective against armored enemies, for example.
- Ammo for Bows and Crossbows can be reused - pick up your Quarrels or Arrows from the floor after killing an enemy.
- You can figure out spell rune combinations without having found the particular scroll for that spell, and many spells actually require you do some experimenting to discover.
- Similarly, you can brew potions without having obtained the recipes.
- Pits often lead to secrets or even their own mini-levels isolated from the rest of the dungeon, so drop down as many as you can if you're a completionist.
- And, of course, save often!