Level 4: Archives

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1 - Arrival & Herder Battle

Level 4 is a unique one in that, rather than being a long and sprawling dungeon, it focuses on a relatively small core area with four major challenges that you'll need to complete to reach the end. Some of these puzzles are pretty devious, and combat is kept to a minimum compared to some of the other levels.

Not this room, however. Upon entering you'll be locked in with two Adult Herders, larger versions of the mushroom creatures you've seen before. These ones are different in that they can create persistent clouds of poison, and are also tougher to take down than their smaller cousins. Dodge quickly to avoid their poison gas, and they should go down eventually. One will drop an Iron Key, which you can use to open the gate leading out of the room (this also opens the gate near the stairs back up).

2 - Supplies

In this room you'll immediately notice a scroll in an alcove. Read it to learn the formula for an Energy Potion, 1 Flask and 1 Blooddrop Blossom. You can also find a spare Flask and a Grim Cap nearby.

3 - Main Hall

This hall is the center of the level. You'll first need to clear out the Skeleton Archers that inhabit it (there are two groups, with two Archers in each), who will also leave behind Frost Arrows when you kill them.

Once that's done, walk around to get a feel for the layout. There are four portals, one in each corner of the room, four slots on the pillars in the middle of the room, and, near the east end, a gate - the stairs lie just beyond. Also take note of the Iron Door in the hall nearby.

This dungeon, if the layout doesn't make it clear, consists of four specific challenges (about two puzzles each). At the end of each you'll end up in another central room, and you'll be able to grab a scroll from the floor. Based on the contents of the scrolls, and the runes near the slots on the columns in the main room, you'll have to put the right scrolls in the right places to open the way forward. Let's get started!

Once you've collected all four scrolls, you'll want to turn your attention to the four shelves on the walls. Each has some runic text nearby with a verse - your goal is to match the verses to the scrolls, and place the correct scroll on each shelf. The combinations are as follows:
  • "Put to sleep" - "but still dreaming"
  • "Eternally imprisoned" - "to depths beyond measure"
  • "Caverns still echoing" - "by his call"
  • "Crimes forgotten" - "but never forgiven"
Placing the final scroll will cause the walls on the south and north ends of the room to open, and you'll come under attack by a horde of Scavengers, green lizard-like creatures that move in groups and bite ferociously. Though they don't do a ton of damage, their numbers can lead to a "death of a thousand cuts" scenario. If you need to, place the scrolls and then rush east to the Crystal of Life beyond the newly-opened door, where you can choke them off one-by-one and heal if needed.

When they're all dead (there's around 10 groups in total), search the new areas that have opened up - the north hall contains a Tar Bead, Cave Nettle, and a Battle Axe, while the south hall contains a Tar Bead and a lever that reactivates the portals in the room. Move on past the now-opened gate to (13)!

4 - Beast Gardens & Menagerie

The Beast Gardens are an interesting area, with a single puzzle. The entire place is inhabited by Skeleton Warriors - in fact, they continually respawn in the darkness. That's not a bug - you need them to solve the puzzle inside.

There's one quick puzzle to get by the first gate. The switch on the wall will open it, but the spectral orb fired by the statue will close it. You need to hit the switch, then strafe to the side and block the spectral orb from reaching the receptacle on the wall. Easy peasy.

Before going, you'll want to examine the wall of the southeast cage for a hidden switch. Pressing it will open up a hidden room in the northwest corner of the area, containing Leather Boots, Pitroot Bread and Ring Gauntlets.

5 - Skeleton Warrior Puzzle

The name "Beast Gardens & Menagerie" is a pretty good clue for what to do in this area. Looking around, you'll notice there are three floor switches held within three cells around the area. In order to proceed, you'll have to open the cells and lure the Skeleton Warrior inside, trapping them on top of the switches. And no, you can't hold these witches down with items.

Near each of the cells, you'll find a button on the wall. Press it to open the corresponding cell, and step inside. This will cause the gate to shut. Fortunately, there is a switch in each cell allowing you to open it. Simply wait for a Skeleton Warrior to get too close, and back off - the trap will spring closed. Repeat this for the remaining two and the door to the south will open.

Before you leave, search the alcoves in the room for a few of Blooddrop Blossoms. Note that the Skeleton Warrior here will keep respawning, so you can technically use them as a source of unlimited XP - however, this is slow and probably not worth the trouble.

6 - Central Room

This room is where all the separate puzzle areas converge (it's inhabited by Crowerns). You'll find one scroll on each path, and a portal in the middle taking you back to the main hall (3). You'll find the following scrolls on each path:
  • Beast Gardens & Menagerie - "but still dreaming"
  • Time and Tide - "but never forgiven"
  • The Catacombs - "to depths beyond measure"
  • Trails of Thought - "by his call"
Note that falling down the pits in this room will take you to a hidden chamber on Level 5. See (14) for more details.

7 - Time and Tide & Secret Room

This area's puzzles are centered around timing and movement -- specifically, moving across a series of pits and making an effort not to fall in (although you'll be able to return just fine via some handy portals).

The first puzzle involves stepping on a floor switch and waiting for a portal to appear, which deposits the thrown item on the necessary switch. Three Throwing Knives are provided nearby for just that purpose. You'll get three "clicks" when standing on the switch, and the portal will appear on the fourth, so throw at that exact moment. If you're successful, the pits should close up and you'll be able to proceed.

Note: For the object to fly far enough and land on the floor switch, you'll need to equip it in one of your weapon hands.

What you may realize after completing this puzzle is that you can teleport yourself once the platforms have been raised over the pits -- simply place an item on the floor switch and stand on the second platform from it, and you'll appear inside the room visible through the bars nearby. There's a very nice Book of Infinite Wisdom waiting for you, which grants its reader +5 Skill Points.

Falling down the pits in this room will take you to a hidden chamber on Level 5. See (14) for more details.

8 - Moving Bridge Puzzle & Secret Passage

This next puzzle looks intimidating, but isn't too bad if you prep a throwing weapon first. Step on the switch and a "moving bridge" will move along as the platforms over the pits close and open in sequence. If you time your movements with each one (counting just a second in between) you shouldn't have much trouble. Two things complicate matters: a Crowern that likes to get in the way (kill it as quickly as you can, preferably in a single strike), and a floor switch that opens the door out. If you have a throwing weapon ready, this isn't a problem - just toss it at the floor switch as soon as you see it to open the gate, and step through before the platforms disappear.

There's a neat little secret hidden in this sequence. After stepping on the floor switch, keep an eye to the right-hand wall and hit the button visible on it, and a hidden door will open. Follow the platforms and you'll soon find an alcove in the wall with the Chitin Mask inside. Note that you may be blocked by the rogue Crowern mentioned above, requiring you to attempt the secret again. From there, you can complete the puzzle by throwing an item onto the distant floor switch as previously described. Move on into the central room at (6) and grab the scroll.

Again, falling down the pits in this room will take you to a hidden chamber on Level 5. See (14) for more details.

9 - The Catacomb, Secret Rooms & Toorum's Note #3

The Catacomb is actually a fairly simple challenge area. As you arrive, the platforms in front of you will lower and Skeleton Warrior and Archers will attack from your left and right. Defeat them and then turn your attention towards the task at hand. Your goal is to find the three floor switches, and remove the objects pressing them down. There's one at the northwest corner, one at the southwest corner (pull the lever to let the Skeleton Warrior group out), and one in the middle of the area (directly behind the portal). With all three switches un-pressed, the platforms to the east will be put back in place and you'll be able to move to the central room (6).

There's another note left by Toorum in the room on the south side of the area, as well as two Crossbow Quarrels in an alcove on the north side. You'll also find a Rock and Burrow Rat Shank holding down two of the switches, and plenty of Frost Arrows left behind by the Skeleton Archers you'll have killed.

There are two secrets to find in The Catacomb. Inside the cell with one of the floor switches, you'll find a button on the wall. Press it and the rear wall of the cell will retract, revealing a Skeleton Warrior. Destroy it, then step forward to claim a Sack (contains two Tar Beads, Leather Gloves and a Burrow Rat Shank) and a Bone Necklace (needed for a secret later in the game) as your own.

The second secret can be obtained by searching the west end. Look for a hidden wall switch near the metal gate to the southwest, (X) on the map above, and press it to open a hidden room down the long hall at the northwest. A group of Skeleton Warriors will attack you from inside the room, but your reward, the Flarefeather Cap and a Fire Bomb, are well worth it.

Note that the pits in this room will take you to the same area described at (8).

10 - Trails of Thought

This section of the dungeon features a very annoying maze of portals and floor switches. The goal here is to move from spot to spot, first to reach the switch on the wall opening the door, and then to reach the door itself.

Every switch you step on will toggle the other portals around it, except the one you move to. You'll need to be careful to avoid cornering yourself. If you want the easy solution, the correct sequence, viewed top-down like a computer keyboard's numpad, is:

2, 5, 8, 9, 6, 5, 2, 3, 6, 5, 2, 1 (press button), 4, 5, 2, 1, 4, 5, 2, 3, 6, 5, 8, 9 (exit)

There are probably other solutions you can come up with, of course, but that one above should work every time.

11 - Floor Switch Puzzle & Secrets

This is the final puzzle, if you've been following this guide in order. Your goal is to step on the floor switches in such a sequence that allows you to cross the gap. For simplicity's sake, the way across is to step, from the gate: forward, forward, back, right, left. If performed correctly, all three platforms should be raised. Grab the Iron Key from the wall shelf and use it on the door ahead to proceed to (6).

Before going on, there are two secrets you can uncover. The first is simple - in the puzzle room, check the south wall for a hidden switch, which will open a small chamber in the room to the south. Check inside for a new weapon, the Venom Edge, an enchanted dagger that fires poison bolts.

In the hallway leading to the central scroll room, step into the alcove and you'll find a hidden switch on the wall. Press it to temporarily activate two platforms in the central room, and quickly follow them to another button on the wall. Press this one and quickly head to the ledge - the portal is gone, and there's a pit left behind! Drop down, and you'll be able to claim the Gear Key at (14).

12 - Iron Door

This is the fourth Iron Door, and rather challenging to open (at least without this guide). You'll need the Gear Key, located at (14), in order to open it, although you'll actually need to head to the Trails of Thought at (11) and follow the instructions there to reach the Gear Key itself. Once it's in hand, use it with the Iron Door's lock, and you'll find the Chitin Greaves waiting for you.

13 - Crystal of Life & Supplies

At last, a Crystal of Life! Heal and save up, and collect a few items from the room: a Scroll of Frostbolt, a Frost Bomb, and a Burrow Rat Shank. A well-deserved reward, no? When you're ready, head down the stairs at (B) to Level 5: Hallways.

14 - Lower Level

There's a rather large area below Level 4 that can only be accessed by falling into several pits scattered about - technically, it's on Level 5, hence the new look to everything. Different pits around Level 4 will take you to one of four chambers below:
  • Central chamber - fall down at (6)
  • West chamber - fall down pits at (8)
  • East chamber - fall down at (11)
  • South chamber - fall down at (9)
The east, west and south chambers are only accessible by falling in, but they connect to the central chamber via hidden doors, and each contains its own loot. The west chamber has a Tar Bead and some Cave Nettle, while the east chamber contains two Slime Bells, the south chamber has a Tar Bead and two Crossbow Quarrels, and the central chamber has a Baked Maggot on its floor.

The main prize is in a locked cell inside the central chamber, the Gear Key needed for the Iron door at (12). To get it, you will have to fall directly inside the cell, down the pit in the middle of the central room at (6), by solving the secret explained at (11). Flip the lever to get out of the cell, and take the portal in the central chamber to head back to Level 4.

Note that there is another secret visible in the west chamber, a barred wall you won't be able to pass. You'll only be able to reach this later in the game.

15 - Slime Dungeon

This area can only be accessed via a secret on Level 3 - please see that page for details. When you arrive, you'll find a dark corridor and a demon statue with the text "feed me" nearby.

To proceed past the statue, you'll have to fight off an army of Green Slimes, a new enemy you may not have seen before. Green Slimes are tough and can cause the Disease status effect, which prevents natural Health regeneration.

16 - Treasure

You'll find one of the dungeon's seven Treasures here - the Golden Deity Figure. There's also a Slime Bell right next to it, an alchemy ingredient that can be used to brew Antidote, useful in case you're afflicted with Disease while you're around the Green slimes.

17 - Green Gem

The Green Gem needed to feed the statue at (15) can be found here. To open the hidden door, you'll need to press a semi-hidden button on the southwest wall.

18 - Reward

Your reward for completing the Slime Dungeon area is in this room: a Crossbow, six Poison Quarrels, and two Poison Bombs. Enough green thinking for one day? Note that completing the Slime Dungeon counts as one of the game's secrets.

A - Stairs Up to Level 3

B - Stairs Down to Level 5

C - Stairs Up to Level 3 (Slime Dungeon)

X - Hidden Switch for Secret at (9)