ARTHUR: THE QUEST FOR EXCALIBUR Part 1
Bob Bates is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. His first effort for Infocom (SHERLOCK) was so rich in atmosphere and so well written, the player found himself immersed in the England of Sherlock Holmes. ARTHUR has the same power to draw you into the story and make you believe you're about to become the famous King.
You find yourself in the Graveyard, attempting to draw the legendary Excalibur from the rock in which it has been embedded for so long. Just as you feel the sword start to give, Merlin appears and tells you the true story of your birth. He tells you that before you can ascend to the Throne of England, you must prove yourself worthy. Then he vanishes, leaving behind only a torque: The Quest for Excalibur has begun!
GET TORQUE THEN EXAMINE IT. You will find that a torque is a kind of necklace, and this one has strange crystals embedded in it. EXAMINE CRYSTAL. Merlin will appear and tell you that by looking in the crystal you can obtain help from him (hints). However, you can also take temptation out of the way by typing HINTS OFF, which will remove the hints until you re-boot the game. Now WEAR TORQUE, so you don't lose it.
We'll assume you don't need a hint yet, so let's proceed. You've been assigned a Quest by Merlin, and every knight knows there's one thing you must do before setting off on a quest. Go east into the chapel, then PRAY. Now, go west and you'll hear voices approaching the graveyard. (If you don't, go south and OPEN GATE; you'll hear the voices then.) You can still be arrested for a curfew violation, so HIDE BEHIND STONE. You'll be a witness to the theft of Excalibur, but there's nothing you can do about it now, so just WAIT. You'll soon fall asleep. When you wake up in the morning, you hear Lot telling the people a cock-and-bull story about you being dead, his being in possession of Excalibur, and the rightful King. He plans to hold his coronation in three days, so you don't have much time to foil his plans.
GET UP, then go out and south, and you'll find yourself in the Village Square, face to face with the Village Idiot. He'll tell you to "Beware the Invisible Knight" ASK IDIOT ABOUT INVISIBLE KNIGHT and he'll give you a clue which you really won't need if you play your cards right. Since it's not very chivalrous to keep referring to him as an Idiot, ASK IDIOT ABOUT HIMSELF. He'll tell you that his name is FLOYD and reveal that he's not quite as stupid as people might think. THANK FLOYD for some extra chivalry points. (It pays to be polite!)
You suddenly remember that Merlin told you to come and see him beyond the Meadow, so you'd better go do that. Go west twice to Outside the Town Gate, then southwest. Uh-oh! Guess Floyd wasn't kidding about the Invisible Knight! And guess what? He'll steal everything you're carrying every time you go through the Meadow. But we'll deal with him later. Right now, just continue northwest twice where you'll meet up with Merlin.
Merlin will go into a lengthy explanation of how he's going to give you help (but not too much!). Read what he says carefully. You should probably jot down the five animals you can become. When it's time to use the spell, it should be obvious which one will be better for that particular task. Also make note of the restrictions. His warning about people becoming upset doesn't apply to Floyd; Floyd is not impressed by magic.
Go north into Merlin's cave. GET BAG, then LOOK INTO CRYSTAL BALL. This is the source of power for the crystal you're wearing. Go south, then southeast twice. Oh, well. It was a nice bag while you had it! Don't worry, we'll get it back pretty soon. Go northeast and east twice to the Village Green. Somewhere along here your stomach should begin growling, and we must do something about it. Go south into the Tavern, then south into the kitchen. You'll see some cheese and a bird. The bartender won't let you get the cheese; for now just EXAMINE BIRD. You'll find that he's jumping up and down in the cage and apparently trying to communicate. If only you spoke BIRD! Well, just WAIT until the cook is called into the tavern. You don't have a second to lose! CYR OWL, and you'll be able to understand what the bird says. Now, CYR HUMAN, OPEN CAGE, GET KEY, UNLOCK CUPBOARD, THEN OPEN IT.
TAKE BOTTLE AND CHEESE. The cook may come back just as you're getting the cheese and bottle, but just go north, and you'll escape with your booty.
Once back in the tavern, EAT CHEESE, then LISTEN for some interesting clues about getting in the castle. Keep listening until they lower their voices. Then, go north, east, and south to the Smithy. EXAMINE HOLE and you'll find that it looks like a badger hole. Ring any bells? CYR BADGER and go DOWN to his den. See those old stones in the castle wall? Piece of cake! PUSH STONE, then go east into the cell. CYR HUMAN (the prisoner is chained and he can't attack you). ASK PRISONER ABOUT GUARDS, and he'll tell you they come when he calls them. GET STONE, then HIDE BEHIND DOOR, and CALL GUARD.
You may have to WAIT once for the guard to enter the cell. If you do, read the description of what's happening carefully. When you see that the guard has his back to you and is looking at the prisoner, you'll be asked if you want to continue waiting. Say NO, then HIT GUARD WITH STONE. GET HELMET AND KEY, UNLOCK PRISONER WITH KEY, and GIVE HELMET TO PRISONER. Now, go north, and east twice; MOVE TAPESTRY, and go east again. Go north twice and you'll be behind the throne. WAIT FOR BELLS. The King will divulge the new Password. He'll give a Verse and Line number referring to the poem that came with the documentation. Stop waiting and go south four times. This is a good place to save your game. You're about to do something dangerous; besides, you want to LOCK IN the password because it's variable with every game.
This is a fine kettle of fish! You can't go back, and there's a fire in front of you. How can you get through the fire? Didn't you ever read "Fahrenheit 451"? Simple! CYR SALAMANDER, and go west through the fire. (You'll drop the key and stone, but you don't need them any more.) Once in the Kitchen, you'll see a pumice stone and a barrel. CYR HUMAN. LOOK IN BARREL, and you'll discover there's water in it! It's too heavy to lift, but if you PUSH BARREL, the fire will be quenched. The prisoner will join you. You never know when a polishing stone will come in handy, so GET STONE, then OPEN DOOR, and go northwest.
Go south into the Armoury. Ah, just what a Knight needs! WEAR ARMOUR (you can spell it the American way if you wish), and TAKE SHIELD. A Knight can't be seen with a tarnished shield! POLISH SHIELD WITH STONE, then DROP STONE. Go north and west. The guard will ask you for the password, so type SAY "xxxxxx xxxxx xxxx xxx" and you'll find yourself outside the castle where the grateful prisoner will tell you where you can find a hidden sword. At this point, he'll leave.
ARTHUR: THE QUEST FOR EXCALIBUR Part 2
Before going after your sword, you'd better retrieve what you dropped when you became a badger. Go south and GET BOTTLE. Then go east twice to the Village Green. CYR BADGER (handy little creature isn't it?) and DIG IN ROOTS. Aha, there's the sword! CYR HUMAN and GET ALL. Go west, north, northwest, and north to the Edge of Woods. You'll see a Knight's pavilion there. KNOCK ON DOOR. (For an amusing sidelight, instead of knocking on the door, BLOW THE HORN to see what happens. Actually, a Pavilion is a tent, so I don't know how you could knock on the door, but who am I to argue?)
A Knight will appear and invite you to a joust. He'll tell you to mount up, so MOUNT HORSE, and he'll offer you your choice of lances. It doesn't matter which color you choose. Just type COLOR (whichever you want), and he'll give you that lance. You'll receive a series of questions about what you want to do. Remember that a joust is a chivalrous event. Nobody is supposed to get hurt. A good Knight will never aim at an unprotected part of his opponent. Since neither of you is wearing any leg protection or a helmet, always chose the option to PROTECT YOUR BODY and AIM AT HIS BODY. After about three sorties, he will fall from his horse (and so will you, but he goes down first). He will declare you the winner, present you with an ivory key, and leave.
Now, go north three times. Here's a beautiful Ivory Tower. Any idea how you might get in? Right! OPEN DOOR WITH KEY, and you find yourself in a circular room. Go down, and you notice that it gets very dark down below. Who can see well in the dark? Ah, you're getting very wise indeed, Arthur! CYR OWL. Go down into a dark room with writing on the wall. READ WALL and write down what you see there. (I'm going to make you do a little work here, even though it's a walkthru!) Go up, CYR HUMAN, and GET ALL BUT KEY. Go up three times, and you'll see an intriguing crack that's too small for you. CYR SALAMANDER, go west, and write down what you see on the wall. Go east back to the stairway, and CYR HUMAN. Leave your stuff; for now, just OPEN DOOR.
You'll see an old man who says he'll reward you if you guess his name. You don't have to guess! The words in the Abandoned Room are a cryptogram of his name. The two lines in the cellar are the key -- a substitution code. Every letter in "RIOTHAMUS" appears in the words in the Abandoned Room. The letters above "RIOTHAMUS" are the substitutions. In other words "S" appears above the "R" in "RIOTHAMUS" so every time you see an "R" in the cryptogram substitute an "S" for it, and so on. Once you've figured it out, type "SAY xxxxxxxxxxx".
Voila! He'll give you a ring, instructions on what it does, and how to use it! THANK OLD MAN, OPEN DOOR, GET ALL from the Landing, go down twice, OPEN DOOR, and you find yourself back in the Clearing. Going south twice will put you at the Enchanted Forest. Go northwest twice, then north. When you try to pass the horse chestnut trees, they'll start pelting you with conkers! You better act quickly or you'll be pelted to death. CYR TURTLE, then PULL IN HEAD AND FEET. Now, WAIT and continuing waiting until you are told "the hail of conkers ceases." CYR HUMAN, and GET ALL. Going north will take you to the Glade where you'll see some tiny footprints.
Aha! The Little People! This might be your chance to get some gold! Since they obviously pass this way, maybe you should hide and wait. HIDE BEHIND ROCK. You'll hears some sounds, so LISTEN, and you'll hear someone complaining about the flatness of the food. Maybe that bottle you picked up will come in handy after all! Go OUT, DROP BOTTLE, then HIDE BEHIND ROCK again. WAIT. The leprechaun will soon appear. Keep waiting until he is engrossed in the bottle, then stop waiting, and GRAB LEPRECHAUN.
Oh, well, you didn't get your gold, but you did gain some points, and who knows when you might want a good, stiff drink? Go south, southeast, then a quick trek north. Take a look across the chasm. Wild Boars are very dangerous. Your first problem is getting over the Chasm. Well, that's easy, but you'd be over there without any weapons! Better think about this for a while. Meanwhile, let's deal with that pesky Invisible Knight. The way back is south, southeast, south twice, southeast, south, _and_ southeast.
Oops! You've lost everything again. Well, not to worry: We'll soon fix that! RUB RING. Voila! The Invisible Knight is no longer invisible to you! Go east into the Pavilion and confront the Knight. He'll hand over all your stuff voluntarily, then he'll ask you if you want a brass raven's egg. Since you like oddities, answer YES, and he'll pose a riddle. The answer is fairly obvious if you think about it long enough. The first part of the sequence he's giving you is firST, secoND, thiRD, fourTH. The answer is obviously SAY "TH". He will give you the egg. PUT ALL IN BAG. (Some things won't fit, but it's easier to do it this way. By the way, the bag can't be filled.)
Now go west, then southeast to the Field of Honor. Go east, and the Red Knight will give you a list of things you must bring him before he'll let yo pass. Go back west and south into the Shallows. Since you're not a very good swimmer (especially in chain mail!), you'd better use some magic.
CYR EEL, and go south. Going east will take you to a window in an underground chamber. LOOK THROUGH WINDOW, and you'll see a beautiful woman. This is Nimue, the Lady of the Lake. Nothing you can do about her now, so go west, then southwest. You'll see a Kraken and a sunken rowboat. EXAMINE KRAKEN, and you'll see an interesting bracelet on its tentacle. EXAMINE ROWBOAT, and you'll have proof that Lot lied about Excalibur!
That bracelet looks valuable: Let's get it! (You might want to save here, first.) ZAP KRAKEN. He'll be unimaginably mad! Quickly go northeast, then north into the Shallows. CYR HUMAN, then GET SWORD, and CUT TENTACLE WITH SWORD. You're safe, but unfortunately, the bracelet has gone into deep water. Not to worry. CYR TURTLE, then go south where you'll see the bracelet. SWIM THROUGH BRACELET, and go north. If you try to become human again, you'll choke, so PULL IN HEAD, and CYR HUMAN. GET BRACELET, then WEAR BRACELET.
ARTHUR: THE QUEST FOR EXCALIBUR Part 3
It's time to resume our journey, so CYR EEL again, go south, southeast, and northeast, and you'll see a slow minnow. Don't bother to try to catch it now, but remember it for later. Continue north three times. Along the way, pay attention to which way the river flows -- it's important. When you reach the Ford, CYR HUMAN. Go east, northeast, and up to the Dragon's Cave. If you try to go north into the cave, the Dragon will say something that is a hint as to how to deal with him. If it doesn't ring a bell, try to go north again for an even broader hint. (The first was a quote from W. C. Fields, a drunk.) If only you could have brought the jug with you! Oh, well, for now, go down and southwest. GET APPLE from the tree, and EXAMINE APPLE. Looks pretty toxic. Might come in handy. Go west to the Ford.
If you go west from here you'll pass a Black Knight, and he won't let you go back east without a fight, for which you're not equipped. You can't go any further west from the Knight because of a bog in which you'll get lost and drown. The only way back is BACK. But how can you carry an apple when you're an eel?
Remember, I told you to pay attention to the flow of the river? It flows from north to south! CYR EEL, you'll drop the apple, and it will float away toward the south. Go south three times (ignoring the minnow again), southwest, northwest, and north. Lo and behold! There's an apple floating here! CYR HUMAN and GET ALL. For some reason the bag doesn't like the apple, so you'll have to carry it.
Go north, northwest, northeast, north, northwest, north twice, northwest, and north to the South Edge of Chasm. Time to deal with that boar (remember, the Red Knight wants a tusk). THROW APPLE AND SWORD ACROSS CHASM. The boar will eat the apple and fall over dead. CYR OWL and go north across the chasm. Once on the other side, CYR HUMAN, GET SWORD, and CUT TUSK WITH SWORD. Now, THROW TUSK AND SWORD ACROSS CHASM, CYR OWL, south, CYR HUMAN, GET ALL, and PUT TUSK IN BAG.
We're off on another adventure. Go south, southeast, and northeast twice to a tall tree. You can't climb the tree, but it looks interesting, so CYR OWL, then go up. You'll see a raven's nest with an egg in it. One of your Quests! The raven is circling around, and you can't get the egg with it here, so LAND IN GROVE. CYR HUMAN, GET BRASS EGG, then DROP BRASS EGG, CYR OWL, and go up again. The raven will swoop down to investigate the brass egg. LAND IN NEST, CYR HUMAN, and PUSH EGG FROM NEST. CYR OWL, and the raven will chase you from the nest. LAND IN GROVE, CYR HUMAN, and GET ALL THEN PUT EGG IN BAG. (We could have done this directly without first investigating, but how would you have known the nest was there? Besides, by going directly from point to point, we're going to have waste a lot of time somewhere along the line.)
Go southwest twice, south twice, southeast, and northeast where you'll find a cabin. OPEN DOOR, and you find an injured peasant whose fire is about to go out. OPEN DOOR again, and you'll be outside. A crutch and a slean are here. If you EXAMINE SLEAN, you'll discover it's a device for cutting peat (a great fuel for fire). Go northeast, and you'll see a sign warning you not to proceed, but the peat here is dry and firm. So, CUT PEAT WITH SLEAN, then DROP SLEAN because you've broken it. Go southwest, GET CRUTCH, then OPEN DOOR.
PUT PEAT ON FIRE. The peasant will wake up and thank you for your kindness. GIVE CRUTCH TO PEASANT. He'll thank you again, then you should ASK PEASANT ABOUT BOG. He'll give you directions. You should immediately save the game because this is a variable. THANK PEASANT, then OPEN DOOR to leave the cabin. Now that you have directions, go back northeast to the Edge of Bog, and follow the directions you were given. (If you're using the MAP feature, the entire map through the bog will appear after you make the first correct move.)
Well, _this_ guy looks familiar. I think you're ready to fight him now, so try going east again, and he'll tell you you have to fight him. FIGHT KNIGHT, and watch the descriptions. Use "G" (for again) to keep fighting him until you see he's lost his sword. CUT MEDALLION WITH SWORD, and the Knight will vanish, leaving his armour behind. It's useless, so ignore it.
Now we can deal with the dragon, but for some reason Merlin's bag is not welcome East of the Ford; we'll have to carry what we need. GET JUG then DROP BAG. Now go east twice, northeast, up, and GIVE JUG TO DRAGON. WAIT until the Dragon passes out, then stop waiting. You probably should save the game here. Go north into the cave, then northeast. When the Basilisk starts looking for you, POINT SHIELD AT BASILISK, and he will turn to stone.
Go northeast and you'll find yourself in a very hot room. And it's getting hotter by the minute! A demon will tell you you have to give the password to pass; he will even tell you the password! If you try to SAY "NUDD" you'll find you can't speak. You're about to boil, so go back southwest to get out of the heat. Go southeast, then northeast, and you'll be in a room where you can see your breath freeze!
Quickly SAY "NUDD" and then, as your words freeze, GET BLOCK, and go southwest before you freeze. Ignore the ghosts. Quickly go northwest and northeast where the block will melt, and the password will be said. The demon will usher you north into the Hall where a girl is manacled. She's sitting on the Golden Fleece that you need for the Red Knight, and she makes you a very attractive offer if you'll free her.
KISS GIRL, and as you approach you see she has some very strange features! Suddenly you realize who she is. Type HELLO NUDD. The monster will reveal itself to you and try to strike a bargain. If you unlock the manacles, you'll get the Golden Fleece you need. But as the future King, you cannot let this evil creature loose in the world! If you don't agree to do it, you won't get the Fleece! Wise Knight that you are, you conceive a plan. AGREE to release her. She will drop the Fleece. GET FLEECE. Then GET KEY from around her neck. Now, follow your part of the bargain: UNLOCK LEFT MANACLE, LOCK LEFT MANACLE, UNLOCK RIGHT MANACLE, and at this point, Nudd will catch on to what you're doing. You have fulfilled your part of the bargain, but the demon won't be free! Nudd will put a curse on you, and expel you from the Hall.
You'll find yourself at the Dragon's lair again. CUT HAIR WITH SWORD, and you have the final object you need to deal with the Red Knight! Go down, southwest, west twice, and GET BAG. Then PUT FLEECE AND HAIR IN BAG. Go back through the bog.
From the Edge of the Bog go southwest twice, south, southwest, southeast, and east to the Red Knight. Now GIVE TUSK, HAIR, EGG, AND FLEECE TO KNIGHT. He will let you pass. Go south twice to the Silver Door. Ring any bells? UNLOCK DOOR WITH SILVER KEY, and go down. You are now in the chamber where Nimue is being held captive. If you've read Merlin's warning in the Instruction Book, you'll know how to revive her. But right now you just need to kill some time.
Type WAIT UNTIL CHRISTMAS EVE, and keep waiting until you are told you're getting sleepy. Now, stop waiting and SLEEP. When you wake up, you will be hungry and will have dropped everything, but don't worry about it. Just go up, north twice, west, and south twice to the shallows. CYR EEL, then go south, southeast, and northeast to the minnow. EAT MINNOW. Go southwest, northwest, north, and CYR HUMAN.
One more item to get. Go north, northwest, northeast, east three times, and south. CYR BADGER. I'm going to give you directions through the maze, but just so you'll know how, the way to map the maze is to DIG IN DIRT each time you enter a new room. Dig ONCE in the first room, TWICE in the next room, etc. That way every room will have a unique number of scratches, and you can find your way through the maze.
From the Smithy go down, south, up, down, up, and you'll find yourself on Thorny Island. A thorny sprig has fallen from the bushes. GET SPRIG, then go down, north twice, up, and CYR HUMAN. GET SPRIG again, and go north, west three times, southwest, southeast, east, south twice, and down.
Nothing to do but kill time now. If you read Merlin's warning in the documentation, you know how to wake Nimue. Type WAIT UNTIL CHRISTMAS. When you become sleepy, stop waiting, and SLEEP. When you awake, GET ALL. When conditions are right, take the appropriate action to wake Nimue. Pay attention to what she says. After she vanishes, GET GAUNTLET, and go back to the castle. Now, go up, north twice, west, northwest, northeast, and east twice to Floyd. When you woke up you were hungry. You can finish the game before starving to death, but for the maximum points you should eat. GIVE RED GLASS TO FLOYD. He will give you the dead mouse. It's not appetizing, but to some creatures it might be a delicacy! CYR BADGER, EAT MOUSE, and CYR HUMAN. GET ALL, and proceed east three times to the Great Hall.
In the best tradition of Knighthood, SLAP LOT WITH GAUNTLET. You will be immediately escorted to the Field of Honor where you want to FIGHT LOT. Since Lot is quite a bit more experienced than you, he'll probably beat you, so you're going to distract him. DROP BRACELET, then FIGHT LOT again. Being a true chivalrous Knight, you should SPARE LOT. He will swear eternal allegiance to you, but I wouldn't trust him for a second!
CALL NIMUE as she instructed you to do, and whes, 101 Experience points, and 100 Quest points. Congratulations!
When prompted for a last wish, you can learn a lot by asking for HINTS, and reading the Notices and Bibliography.
ARTHUR: THE QUEST FOR EXCALIBUR is published by Infocom, Inc. and distributed by Activision.
This walkthru is copyright (c) 1989 by Merlin. All rights reserved.