Bane of the Cosmic Forge
Solution Copyright © 2001 by Mike Marcelais.
Everything in here is based on information from the PC version of Wizardry VI. Other versions of Wizardry VI may differ.
Some parts of the walkthrough portion of the solution were borrowed from Wyvern's 1991 solution.
The summary is that for levels 3 to 11, you double the experience required for the previous level. Level 12 needs about 1.5 times as much as level 11, and every level after that requires as much more as level 12 did.
At low levels, the difference in classes is minimal -- one level at most. At high levels, the difference starts being significant.
The table should also show the value of switching classes. At 12th level, you can either earn around 375,000xp to gain 13th level Mage, or you could switch classes and gain up to 10th level. If you do your switching around 10-12th level, you trade gaining one level for gaining 9.
Given the length of Wizardry VI, you should probably plan to switch all of your characters to new classes once in the middle of the game, (probably when you find the River Styx as you have access to the castle still and can fight some weaker random encounters to get through the first few levels again).
There are advantages to having a high level: your base "to-hit", and the maximum power level that you cast spells at are both based just on your level. Stats reset to the minimum for your race and class when you switch levels (although they recover as you gain levels in the new class). Also, when you switch classes, some skills are no longer useful, or as useful. For example, you must be a Bard to play musical instuments -- having the Music skill is not enough.
Plan carefully when you create your party. You should have in mind, when you start the game, what your entire party should look like, and what classes (if any) you plan on switching characters to, and how balanced your party is for dealing with problems at low and high levels.
Creating the elite classes takes lots of patience: Rolling up dozens of characters until you get one that has the 15-20 bonus points you need. Getting those super characters really helps out at the start of the game, and most of the elite classes are well worth earning. Even if you are creating a basic character, keep in mind what class you want to switch to and allocate your extra points there, so you won't be relying on level gains to get those attributes.
My views on the different classes:
Fighter: A fighter is probably the best melee class in the game, but has little else to offer. Their only redeming value is the speed in which they go up in levels. Considering that there really isn't any good equipment that only a fighter can use, and the lack of magic that a fighter gets, having a character that is a pure fighter just isn't worth the party slot. Get one of the elite fighting classes instead.
Mage: A must-have for any party, although be sure to get at least a dozen bonus points when creating one. No other class learns Mage spells as fast, and having a mage is a necessity from the middle of the game on. Your Mage won't have a lot to do at the start of the game, but this is the best time to practice those skills, such as Oratory, when the danger of mishaps is low.
Priest: Also a must-have character. The priest's spells are much more important early in the game than Mage spells are, but the Priest's high level spells are also quite devastating.
Thief: Previous Wizardry's practically required you to have a Thief in your party, even though that class had value outside of opening locks. The Thief class is still a poor fighter with no magical ability, but you are no longer required to have one as both the Bard and Ninja can deal with locks as well. Compared to those classes, a thief just isn't worth it.
Ranger: Not as wide of a weapon selection as the other fighting classes, and learns alchemist spells instead of a more useful spellbook. The Ranger also specializes in ranged weapons, which are not as effective overall as melee weapons in Wizardry VI. You can usually get more from the other fighting classes.
Alchemist: Alchemy has two main advantages over the other spellbooks: They cannot be silenced, and their spells cannot backfire due to a poor Oratory skill. However, these do not make up for the inferior spell selection that Alchemists get. An Alchemist is no substitute for a Mage or a Priest, and most partys will not have room for three "pure" spellcasters.
Bard: A Bard is an excellent begin-game character. They have the ability to deal with locks like a thief, and have similar fighting skill, but they also learn Mage spells and can use magical instruments. Bards start the game with a Lute that can be used to cast Sleep spells as often as they desire.
Psionic: Psionics have most of the disadvantages that Alchemists have, but without their advantages. Not only are psionic spells not that great, but there are very few of them that are not also available to Mages or Priests. Pass on this class.
Valkyrie: A top-rate fighter, able to use virtually all equipment, and gets Priests spells as a bonus to help out with healing outside of combat, leaving your Priest's spell points free to cast combat spells. One of the best fighting classes in the game.
Bishop: A bishop is probably the worst deal in Wizardry. While a Bishop can learn from both Priest and Mage spell books, they don't gain new spells any more rapidly, and with having to spend skill points on both Thaumaturgy and Theology, both will lag way behind in getting the power spells that will be available to Priests and Mages. A far better option for creating a Bishop-like character is to create a Priest, and then class switch to a Mage (or vice versa). At 12th level priest, you'd know 6 priest spells and 7 mage spells (13 spells total). For the same XP, you can be an 11th level priest (learning 12 spells), and then an 11th level mage (learning 10 more spells), for a total of 22 spells. And you'd have more spell points to spend on those spells.
Lord: Okay, maybe a Bishop isn't the worst deal: a Lord is. A Valkyrie can do everything a Lord can do, can use any equipment a Lord can use (and a few things a Lord can't), but requires less bonus points to make one, and less experience points to gain levels. The Lord has no advantages over a Valkyrie. (Okay, there is one advantage -- if you switch to a Lord during the game, your stats don't drop as far, since your stats will be set to the Lord's minimums instead of the Valkyrie's. However, the penality is XP isn't worth this benifit since you'll gain levels (and the stat gains that come at those levels) more slowly.)
Samurai: Samurai are excellent fighters, have the ability to do critical hits, and they start picking up mage spells. Although it can be hard equipping them near the start of the game, as many of the more advanced weapons and armor they can use are hard to find early on, they make formidable fighters and are well worth the difficulty of developing.
Monk: Monks are a mixed bag. They get critical hit ability, and they can use their hands and feet effectively, saving you the trouble of having to equip them. However, they learn psionic spells, which is not a very useful spell group to learn. They can't use many of the powerful weapons (and their hand and feet attacks do not keep up near the end of the game), and they can't use most armors (making their AC during much of the game frightfully bad). When I tried one in my party, but found that he was always lagging behind the rest of the party, in both combat ability and spell usefulness, so I wouldn't recommend him.
Ninja: Ninja have more weapon and armor options than Monks do, and combine critical hit ability with the ability to hide and pick locks, making them a fairly well-rounded character. Ninja have excellent high level weapon choices, and they learn Alchemist spells (although wait until the 5th level to do so). There are some good Alechemist spells out there -- not good enough to justify replacing your Mage, but they are a good complement (particularly the "cloud" spells which are most useful in extended battles).
Always select a Male character unless you are making a Valkyrie. When you make a Female character, the character gets -2 to Strength, +1 to Personality, and +1 to Karma. The boost to Karma is not worth the point of Strength that you lose, and, for most classes, having that point of strength is more important than personality. It is helpful to have one female in your party, because there are a few items (some that you get early on) that can only be used by women.
Race really doesn't matter, except avoid Faeries. There is a lot of good equipment that specifically can't be used by Faeries, and their carrying capacity is much reduced. Other than that, just use the race that provides the best attributes for the class you have in mind. Felpurrs, Elves, and even Humans work well. I found the Dracon's breath weapon practically worthless.
I offer two parties to consider: two Valkyries, Samurai, Bard, Priest, and Mage. This is a good party that you can stick with throughout the game, or (at around 10th level), have the Priest and Mage switch classes with each other, the Bard switch to a Ninja, and the Valkyries and Samurai switch to a Ninja for only one level (picking up a skill point in Kirijitsu) and then back to their former classes, so as to not lose their previously banked skill.
The other option starts with the same party: 2 Valkyrie, Samurai, Bard, Priest, and Mage, but instead, Valkyrie and Priest swap (note that they both learn Priest spells, so you lose nothing in this progression), Samurai and Mage swap (again, with both learning Mage spells, you don't lose much here either), the Bard becomes a Ninja, and the second Valkyrie becomes either a Priest (same advatage as before), a Mage (like a Bishop, but cheaper!), or maybe some other class you fancy (possibly even sticking with a fighting class, or doing the Ninja shuffle as above to stay as a Valkyrie although you'll have to put one of the "fighting" classes in the back row then.) This more maximises the ability to learn spells after the shift, but since you gain almost no hit points following the class change (at least until you get back to your old class), your new front row fighters are likely to be very short in HP, and (for a while), your primary spellcasters will be short in MP.
Note both parties start with a Bard, but then trade him away. A bard is essential in the start, for lockpicking and for his infinite sleep spells via the Lute. However, later in the game, this advantage is minimal, and you can still take advantage of the Bard's ability to hide, and his lock picking ability in any other class, although it works best when shifted to a Ninja, who also has these two abilities as class abilities. I also never spent any skill points on Alchemy after making the switch, buying up Kirijitsu was a much better deal. It also might be worth it to not buy up Thaumaturgy while being a Bard, getting Ninjitsu and/or Skullduggery instead. (Yes, you can train those, as stated below, but by midgame, you'll only have around 50s in them, so you aren't throwing anything away if you spend 20 points each in those skills.)
The Ninja class was used as a "shift through" class primarily because you are only one point of Piety to shifting back to a Valkyrie immediately (assuming a race with an 8 minimum Personality, like a Felpurr), and only 3 points short (2 in Speed, 1 in Intelligence) to shifting back to a Samurai. Hence, its the easiest class to temporarily park yourself in to avoid having to find too many stat-gaining in order to shift back. If you're lucky, you'll regain those stats when you gain 2nd or 3rd level. Picking up a point in Kirijitsu (which means you can continue to buy more points from thereonafter, regardless of what class you're in) is also a bonus.
When you create your characters, there are some decisions you need to make: Where to put your additional bonus attribute points, what skills to select, and what spells to learn.
Placing your attributes depends on whether your copy of the game is affected by the Carry Capacity bug. Your carrying capacity is basically 9lbs per point of strength and 4.5lbs per point of vitality. (Faries can only carry 2/3rds this amount.) The original release of Wizardry VI had a bug where once you created your character, the character's carrying capacity was never changed, even when that character's strength or vitality changed. Because "important" items cannot be dropped and many of them are never used up, plus some of the better weapons and armor are fairly heavy, having a high carry capacity is relatively important by the end of the game. If this bug is in your copy, and you aren't using a savegame editor to work around it, then put all of your excess bonus points into strength. In particular, try to get up to a 16, as you get much bigger benifits. (Normally, gaining 1 strength lets you carry 9 more pounds. Going from a 15 to a 16 gains you 33lbs. 16 to 17 gains you 10.5 lbs. 17 to 18 gains you 37.5lbs.)
I have written a tool that will load a savegame and correct everyone's carry capacity to be what it should be. Just run it from the same directory as where you have Wizardry VI installed, and it will print out your character's names, and their new (and old) carrying capacities. Click to download it.
If you are not affected by the Carry Capacity bug, are working around it, or have already gotten an 18 Strength, the next most stat is probably Intelligence as that determines how many skill points you get. Vitality (for hit points) is probably the next most important, followed by Piety (for spell-casting classes) for spell points. The remaining attributes are roughly equal in importance.
As far as the initial spell selection:
Priests should learn Cure Wounds, and one of the two spells from the Mental group. Those two groups contain the majority of the Priest spells and you want to start building up spell points in both groups as fast as possible. While Make Wounds is probably more useful in the short term than either Bless or Charm, having more spell points in the Mental group for Hold Monsters and Sane Mind is worth it. You can select Make Wounds at second level.
Mages should take Energy Blast and Chilling Touch. They may seem redundant at first glance, but Chilling Touch tends to be more effective at lower levels, and you definitely want to take Energy Blast now to start building up Fire spell points for use with Fireball, Firestorm, and Nuclear Blast. As soon as you can, take a spell from the Magic group, as some of the best high level spells are in that group. Because Mage spells cover all six areas roughtly equally, you will want to take one spell from each group to start with, so that you have spell points in all six groups.
Alchemists should definitely take Acid Splash. I'd recommend taking Poison as well, so that you start earning spell points in Air, which is the Alchemist's biggest group. Heal Wounds is a very useful spell, but it is the only spell an Alchemist will ever learn in the Magic group, which limits the number of spell points that an Alchemist will have available in that area.
Psionicist are probably best off taking Mental Attack and Heal Wounds. Both are useful spells, and both are in important categories. More than half of a Psionicist's spell are in Mental, and while Magic has very few spells, Lifesteal and Resurrection are both very useful ones.
These same guidelines hold for the elite classes selecting spells when they get to third level. However, you'll want to concentrate on noncombat spells for those classes. In combat, they're usually much more effective with weapons and their Oratory skill won't be that great. You instead use them to cast restorative spells (like Heal Wounds) preperatory spells (like Enchanted Weapon), or information spells (like Identify) and save the spellpoints of the combat casters for combat.
Skill points are probably the most valuable resource in the game. You can only get them when going up levels, and there is often no alternative. When you go up a level, here are the skills you should spend your points on:
Thaumaturgy, Theology, Alchemy, and Theosophy: These skills determine what spells are are allowed to learn and how effectively you can cast those spells. They can only go up by spending spell points on them. If the character's class isn't eligible to learn spells yet, you could wait on spending skill points this level if there is something else useful to spend them on.
Kirijitsu: Critical hits are very cool. Despite what the manual says, it seems that you never learn Kirijitsu without spending points on it. Its probably worthwhile to have the martial classes split their skill points between their magic school and Kirijitsu, or even give up learning magic and concentrating only on critical hits. (This is especially true if you would end up switching classes that don't share the same spellbook list, like from Bard to Ninja.)
Skullduggery: Skullduggery learns itself from its successful use. However, unless you have a skill around 10, it is almost impossible to pick any locks or disarm any chests. When you create a new Bard or Ninja, you should spend points in Skullduggery to get started.
There are some skills you should almost never spend points on:
Any weapon skill: As you use a weapon (or a shield), you automatically gain skill points in that weapon, and do so rather rapidly. There's no point in wasting skill points here, when they can be easily earned. For similar reasons, you shouldn't worry about switching weapons: skill in the new weapon type will come soon enough. (Note that if you don't have the skill that the weapon requires, you will never get better in using it and always have a skill of zero, so avoid those weapons, even when your class can use them. An example would be the Bullwhip for a Mage.)
Scout: Like the magic skills, you can only improve Scout by spending points in it. Unlike the other skills, it is completely unnecessary. Having the scout skill lets you find secrets. All of these secrets could be found by observation, searching, casting Detect Secret or reading this solution file.
Music, Ninjitsu: Both of these skills go up automatically when you use them, and you can use them every combat. Ninjas and Thieves should hide every combat unless they are actually needed in the first round, just to improve their Ninjitsu skill. Bards should play the Lute first round and hide the second round every combat to improve their Music and Ninjitsu skills.
Oratory: Oratory gets better as you cast spells in combat. You may want to add a few points here anyway, but most of the time you can get good Oratory by casting low level spells near the start of the game (where the spell's success or failure isn't that important) and you'll have a reasonably high Oratory when you enter the midgame.
Artifacts, Scribe: I've found that the ability to use items or scrolls in combat is not worth the trouble. You can sell the ones you find and buy much more useful equipment with them. Hence, spending any points on these skills is a waste. If you do frequently use items or scrolls, then these skills will go up automatically with use, although you may want to seed the skill with a few points spent manually.
Ledgerdemain: You want to stay on friendly terms with most NPCs. In addition, once you get past the midgame, gold is relatively plentiful. This means that stealing is usually going to get you into more trouble than its worth.
Mythology: Knowing the real monsters name is rarely important. In addition, the skill goes up on its own without having to train it.
Of course, when the key skills you do want to spend points on reach 100, spending skill points on the trainable skills is certainly reasonable. Oratory and Ninjitsu should probably be your first choices.
General adventuring tips:
Save often. Save before major encounters. Save before opening chests. Save before trying to pick a lock (as failure often jams the door shut). Just save. You'll rarely be upset because you saved once too often.
Equip your characters when you start the game. Takes just a minute, but it can be a life-saver. Also, ensure that your backrow characters always have Extended ranged weapons available. Once you get to fifth level or so, be sure all of your front row characters have two weapons equipped, if possible. The ability to get a second attack far offsets the benifits of a shield.
While you're playing, pick a "home base" -- typically a fountain that restores HP or Magic (or both). Return to this "home base" whenever you need to recharge. Don't try to take on too much at once.
Playing on "Hard" difficulty has its rewards. You encounter twice as many creatures, but that means you get twice as much experience. The end result is that you get more powerful characters quicker. Of course, you'll need those more powerful characters to deal with the more numerious creatures. Easy has the same drawback, as you encounter fewer creatures. However, you end up worse off as the unique encounters don't really get any easier, but your characters will certainly be weaker.
For all maps, this key is used:
All map coordinates are relative to the square you start the game in, squares east or west, north or south, and levels up or down. The starting square is (0, 0) on level 0.
Gates can never be picked or forced open. They can only be opened by using a key, pushing a button, or performing some other trigger that opens the gate. Typically there will be a note near where you can take action to open the gate. Many gates cannot be opened.
Most doors can be picked, forced, or Knock'ed open. However, if you fail, you stand a chance of jamming the door. Once you've done that, only a Knock-Knock spell can open the door, and you're likely to not be able to cast one at a high enough power level to work. Always save before attempting a pick, and restore if the door gets jammed.
Some doors cannot be picked open. If you encounter a door, and one of the tumblers is already jammed when you go to make the attempt, then that door can only be opened be a key.
Secret walls will usually have a note stating what you have to do to open them. Pits that are not "bottomless" will drop you down one level. Stairs will always take you up (or down) one level.
Here's how the solution is organized. For each area, a map of that area will be given, followed by a description of all of the numbered areas in that region. It may be followed by a text description of how you should complete the area. Many sections are simple enough that no follow-up explanation is listed.
Most areas cannot be completed in one pass -- you have to do some tasks here, go to a different area, and then return with some new items or knowledge. At these times, the walkthrough section will say something like "go downstairs and complete that area, then return here." That means that you can't just read through the solution from top to bottom to get the complete answer, but you have to jump from section to section to as your party physically moves from section to section.
One advantage of this organization, is that if you're looking for a specific hint, you always look in the area based on where your party is. The few times that won't help (you need some item that you forgot to get from some other area), you'd have to search the entire solution for that item anyway, so it doesn't really matter how its organized.
Anyway, enough chatter. You probably want to start playing.
When you start the game, equip your characters, open both chests, and head downstairs to visit Queequeg to get better equipment. Sell the Amulet of Life as you can put the money you get into much better equipment, and you can just restore your game to avoid death. Return to him periodically to sell loot and buy more equipment.
The locked doors on this level are the easiest for starting parties to open (although you'll need about a 10 or so in Skullduggery to get started, but each successful lockpick gives you one more skill point). When you are done exploring the level, head downstairs to the Castle Basement.
Many of the locked doors on this level can also be opened with Iron or Copper Keys. However its more worthwhile to pick them for the skill points.
You'll complete this area in three passes. At the start of the game, hurry down to QueeQueg's, sell the Amulet of Life, and buy good equipment for everyone in your party, especially second hand weapons for your front row characters and extended range weapons for your back row characters. Then return to the first floor, as most of the encounters in the rooms on this level are too difficult for a first level party, but return to QueeQueg's whenever you have more equipment to sell.
When you have finished exploring the main level, you should be able to handle most of the rooms down here. You won't be able to get into the Captain's Den yet, and the Fat Rat battle may be more than you can deal with immediately, but you should be able to fully explore the rest of the level. When you're done, explore the four corner towers and the upper level of the castle.
Many of the locked doors on this level can also be opened with Iron or Copper Keys. However its more worthwhile to pick them for the skill points.
After returning from the Hazardous Area, you can finish the Captain's Den.
This level should be put off until after the Basement and Main Level have been explored, as the encounters and locks on this level are significantly more difficult than on those other levels. Explore this level, learning a lot of history about the castle in the process. When you are finished, explore the corner towers (if you haven't already), then head down to the Sub-basement to get the Book of Ramm, then return and do the ceremony at the Altar.
Following the ceremony, you will be forced into the Hazardous Area.
Most of the locks on this level can be opened with a Chrome Keys, or they can be picked for the experience. Chrome keys can be found in the left of the two central towers. You won't be able to do anything with the Bell Tower at this point in the game.
Stairs lead down to the previous level of the Castle Towers.
South is the Castle Basement.
Explore this area, getting Dungeon Key (allowing you to return to the main castle), and the Bell Key. Use the Bell Key to get to the top of the Bell Tower to get the Heavy Rope, and with the Dungeon Key, you can complete the rest of the Castle Basement and get the Hook. Use them to cross the chasm, and reach Giant Mountain.
Although it isn't obvious, the walkways in Giant Mountain are divided into several separate sections, and the only way to get between the sections is to go through the Mines.
Be sure you have fully explored the Mines, before crossing at the catapult (location 5), as it will be a while before you return.
Its best to save before trying to climb up or down the mountain (as you can fall and take significant damage doing so), or before using the Catapult (because going and getting an extra Heavy Boulder is annoying). The more encumbered your characters are, the more likely they are to fall when climbing up the mountain.
The stairs up lead to level -1 in the Pyramid. However, that is just a tiny corridor that leads to another stair up to level 0. Since you cannot complete anything on level -1 until after most of the rest of the Pyramid is completed, that map is presented after the rest of the Pyramid.
Stairs lead up to the previous level of the Mines.
The button and chute on this level is the only way to get to the section of Giant Mountain that leads to the Pyramid entrance.
Note that the only way to get to the second half of this level is by jumping into the pit at (40W, 37N) and climbing out the other side.
The river wraps around from north to south. Row 2S is the same as 70N, and every time you wrap around the map, you move 12 squares to the east (or west).
When you first arrive here is a good time to switch classes if you're going to. You should be around 9th or 10th level, and you have access to the main castle to take in some easy battles to get a few levels back easily. You should probably hang around unti you're back to 3rd level or so before trying to take on the River. (Alternatively, switch classes after you have gotten the Winged Boots, as you'll have more flexability to choosing encounters, and you'll have access to the healing fountains.)
Use the Horn of Souls to cross the River, clear out the area in front of the Tomb. These battles will be difficult, but not impossible, for a low level party, and each one should give you enough experience for another level. You should have two Cylinders that you can give Charron now for the stat increases. Head into the tomb to get the Book of Sirens. When you return, use the raft to get the Winged Boots.
With the Winged Boots, you can explore all of the locations on the River, including the Swamp area. Head to Mai-Lai's first to get some nice equipment, then explore around, collecting treasures and items. When you have gone everywhere else, and you're ready for a challenge, give the third Cylinder of Ash to Charron to get the Key of the Dead, and head over to the Isle of the Dead and descend.
Stairs lead up to the River Styx.
Stairs lead down (eventually) to the River Styx.
Stairs lead up (eventually) to the River Styx.
The Hall of the Dead is a great place to build up experience.
The four Guardians on this level are all optional combats, there for you to measure the strength of your party (or for the game designers to remind you how inferior your party really is). However, the experience and treasure that you can get from those four encounters make the effort of getting through them worthwhile.
The key to the two sets of endgames is whether or not you believe the Queen when she talks to you at location #25. If you believe her, you will keep the Silver Cross to use against the Bane King. If you do not believe her, then you will throw away the Silver Cross. The particular endings are described at the Temple of Ramm.
Note that once you meet with Rebecca, it is not possible to return to the Castle (or any other area that you have been before) until the game is over.
Stairs lead up to the Enchanted Forest.
Stairs descend to the Enchanted Forest.
After completing any of the endings, you are teleported back to the Enchanted Forest.
Item: The name of the item, as it appears in the game.
Type: How the item is equiped (and for weapons, what its range and skill category is).
Wgt: How much the item weighs (in pounds)
Value: The base value of the item is worth. NPCs will list the percentage of the base value that they will sell and buy items for.
Dmg: For weapons, how much base damage the weapon deals.
TH: The bonus chance to score a hit in combat.
Mode: Which attack modes the weapon is capable of delivering. The first initial of the mode is listed (except for "Thrown" which is listed in the table as "R"). See the manual for the effects on to-hit and damage that each mode gives.
PS C!: For weapons, P is listed if the weapon can be used as a Primary weapon; S if the weapon can be used as a secondary weapon. If the weapon is two-handed, then "2H" will appear in the PS area. For all items, C means that the item is cursed, and ! means that the item is "important". You cannot drop important items.
AC: The armor class of the item. The lower, the better. Note that shields and misc. items modify your total armor class while other equipment modifies only the part of the body it covers.
Profession/Race/Sex: The classes, races, and sexes that can use each item, listed by their first initial, in manual order. The character must qualify in all three categories to use the item. (This is the same display you get when you assay an item.)
Count/Charge: For stackable items (like potions), this is the number of that item that appear when you find that item in treasure. For charged items (those witha "use" or "invoke" power), this is the number of times you can use that item before it vanishes.
Special: Items can have many special abilities.
Information in this table was taken from the internal data tables on the Wizardry disk, and checked (when possible) against actual gameplay.
|Dagger of Ramm||Weapon (S)|