This is an excellent RPG. The only drawback is that the "dungeons" are very large and there are no Save Points within the dungeons. However with a bit of planning it is possible to keep your characters alive and earning Experience. But don't think that you can do any of the dungeons in one go, except for the first one. Use the Angel Wing, or the Return Spell, to return to a village, restore and save. Fortunately, even if the whole party is defeated, you won't lose the items and Exp points that you have gained since the last save. The pixies are very useful for a pre-emptive strike, especially when you have found a number of them. I used the Leprechauns as my default setting, particularly in caves or forests but I always changed to the Pixies when opening a chest or crypt in case anything sprang out of it. I also used the Auto Battle setting most of the time as the characters were better at judging strategy than I was. It took me 55 hours but that included checking everything and I still only got a 92% item collection total - better luck to you.
Shining the Holy Ark
by Iain & Ann Noble
DESIRE MINE Sent by Rilix, the King's advisor, Hero, Melody and Forte enter the mine and defeat Rodi. Unfortunately at the end of the battle an escape pod carrying three Spirits crashes into the mine and there is a cave-in. An evil spirit takes over Forte and he disappears. Hero, Melody and Rodi are badly injured and to save them the three Spirits infuse their bodies. Rodi has also lost his memory and cannot remember why he was sent to the mine by Sabato the sage. The party makes its way out of the mine. (Please note that "searching" should be done on all sides of a rock, pillar, hole, etc. or as much as you can get to). Items - Herb x4, Iron circlet, Leather glove, 160 gold coins.
DESIRE VILLAGE Talk to everyone and search everywhere. Agree to travel with the halfling. The party can't get a room at the Pub until after they have bumped heads with Basso and Lisa. Talk to the halfling in your room. Agree to find the lost dog for the boy outside the church. Items - Quick chicken, Arcane garlic.
FOREST OF CONFUSION Explore and search (every side of every tree) . When you get to the pond, collect the pooch and take him back to the kid in the village. Then go back into the Forest, to the pond and then through the cemetery. First Boss - Wraith. (Get Energy bread). Meet with the halfling who turns out to be a Ninja called Doyle and Rodi's right hand man. He puts a mask on Rodi, and unlocks the crypt to reveal a secret path. Items - Herb x2, Wooden staff, Bronze shell, Angel wing x2, Energy bread, Lucky cookie, Middle shield.
FOREST CAVE Make your way through, checking every hole, rock, pillar, alcove (you get the idea). Items - Antidote herb x2, Bronze staff, Feather robe, Bronze brace, Herb, Magic nectar, Mithril ore, Angel wing, Scale suit. Eventually you will reach the town of Enrich. Go to the pub and talk to everyone. When you come out the first time a young lady in red with white hair zaps the dog and then disappears (Elise). Talk to everyone in the town - the rumour-monger will also get zapped by the young lady but not until she has given you lots of information. You can only get into 2 houses but talk and search in them both.
CASTLE Against everyone's better judgment you go up to the Castle. Have a look round before you go into the throne room. Item - Stamina onion. After an unpleasant interview you are dropped into the dungeon. Doyle appears (on the ceiling, these Ninjas are versatile) and unlocks the door. Items - Herb, Fairy powder. He tells you how to escape, through the well and the waterway. In the dungeon well you will find the key for the doors. One door leads to Sabato who gives you a task and more information. The other door leads to a treasure chest.
ENRICH DUNGEON Work your way through the dungeon. You need to find the Goat, Snake and Eagle crests to get into new areas. There is an exit to the town via the town well so you can restore and save (but you have to walk there as the return spell and item don't work). The monsters are chunky so don't go too far each time; it's best to return when the Magic Points run out. Eventually you will find the key to the Aborigine Mansion and receive obscure instructions on how to find Galm. It's a good idea to write them down. Items - Antidote herb, Iron brace, Power juice, Potion, Slash dagger. Go back to town, talking to Sabato on the way. The two mercenaries in the pub have disappeared, presumably on their way to the Mansion and the little boy asks you to find his father who is one of them. (As there is a limited number of items you can carry, including equipment, you can pawn rare items which you have no immediate need for, such as the Crystal Key, at the Tool Shop).
FOREST OF ABORIGINE Check every tree... Don't bother to do the Cemetery yet.
ABORIGINE MANSION Explore and check. The green doors with broken door knobs can be smashed open using the Dash action. Basso will join your party (slow but powerful). Find the Old Key which will open the red doors. Find the Holy water to use in the room with the floating furniture. Pick up the Book and use it on the bookshelf with a gap in it. Then collect the Wind-up Key for the clock. Boss - Time Warrior. After you defeat him use the lever in the room he came out of to open the door in the graveyard catacombs. Items - Iron shell, Broadsword, Royal crest, Potion, Fairy powder, Druids robe, Holy water, Old key, Wind-up key, Mithril ore, Silver tiara, Power staff, Steel suit.
CEMETERY Check every tree, tombstone and crypt. Find the stairs to the catacombs. Items - Chain mail, Power shield, Angel wing, Steel sword.
CATACOMBS Explore and check. Go up the stairs. Boss - Vampire. After you defeat him, Galm appears and after talking to you tells you to go to the South Shrine and gives you the Gravity Stone. (Sell the Aborigine key and the Old key). Items - Fairy powder, Lucky cookie, Quick chicken, Protect milk, Haste ring, Potion..
MOUNTAIN CAVE Very long and very tortuous. The snake keeps on blocking your path so you have to detour through frozen areas where you slide on the ice. (Warning - some very nasty enemies appear from the holes in the ice so put the right or left pixies on). You will have to fight the Tail Viper three times. After the third battle with it the Head Viper (Boss) will immediately appear before you have a chance to heal the party. It's very easy to be defeated at this point. Items - Life ring, Lucky cookie, Power brace, Mithril ore, Potion.
FAR EAST VILLAGE Rodi's home village. Full of Ninjas hanging around being enigmatic. Again talk to everyone and check everywhere. Upgrade your equipment, looking at the sale items as well as the usual stuff. If you have enough money you may be offered special equipment that is not listed. You will be told more about your destiny.
SOUTH SHRINE It's very easy to get lost, and confused here. The only good news is that you don't get attacked while on the ceiling. Find the Magic Mattock in B2 on the East side. The only way to get into the North side on 1F is via the spiral and the ceiling. Make your way through the shrine on the floor and the ceiling; although it looks very complex, there is usually only one route you can follow. You will reach a place where there is a gate for which you need a key. The Stone Key is in B1, south side on the ceiling, in a crypt. Open the gate and continue until you find B1, centre. I leave you to work out the puzzle (the only hint is - Aquamarine is 1). When you go to pick up the sword, a Witch (Boss) appears. After defeating her, pick up the sword and exit the shrine. Items - Shield tiara, Elixir, Angel wing, Protect milk, Quick chicken, Stone key, Dragon orb, Mithril ore, Arcane garlic, Power juice, Magic mattock, Critical juice, Energy bread.
FAR EAST VILLAGE Heal, save and pawn anything you don't need. When you visit the Master of the village, various characters burst in. Akane will join the party to guide you into the Enrich throne-room. (As this is the first time you have reserve team members, you will be relieved to know that all the party, including the reserves, get the Exp points).
ENRICH DUNGEON and CASTLE Return to Enrich and go into the waterway. Make your way to the Northeast of the dungeon until you find the pier where Akane summons the magic boat. Warning - once in this area there is NO way to get out; as there are 2 major battles in the throne-room it might be worth saving your Magic Points. Items - Life candle, Brave apple, Potion. When you reach the throne-room, you will fight 2 Evil Spirits (Bosses), and then Rilix and 2 Evil Spirits. This is probably the toughest battle so far. After Rilix is defeated, Panzer takes her away to Godspeak. You receive the thanks of the King and more information from Sabato, now reinstated as the King's advisor. Forte joins the party. Pop down into the dungeaon where all the doors are now open and find the Light of Hope. Go into town and talk to everyone. (At some point Doyle will join your party but only if you look for him. Go to Far East village; if the Master talks about Doyle, then go to Desire Village where Doyle is disguised as a tree).
WEST SHRINE Use the Sacred Sword to break the magic barrier and make your way through the dungeon using the turtles, and geyser lifts. Find the Eyes of Truth (they actually reveal an invisible path) and try them when standing at the north end of the island with the slates . When you walk across the path, you will immediately be attacked by the King Snail (Boss). After you defeat him, Galm appears with Lisa whom he has rescued from Elise. Lisa joins the party. Pick up the Mirror Shield. (Try for Doyle if you haven't already found him). Items - Goddess tears, Potion x2, Heat axe, Mithril ingot, Elixir, Evil ring, Battle armor.
EAST SHRINE Use the Mirror Shield to break the magic barrier. Make your way through the shrine up the plant ladders, picking up the first four Crystal pieces (rod, shield, eyes and scales). You will need to fall down some of the holes to get further. Use the 'dash' and 'strafe' movements to get through the triggered doors. Use the Crystal items on the statues holding the stone tablets. This will re-activate the Water of Life. Then use the Crystal Jug on the Water of Life and take it up to the fourth floor. Warning - when you use the Crystal Jug (full of the Water of Life) on the withered plant, it will immediately attack you. (No gratitude). Mad Blossom and 4 Spit Seeds (Bosses). After you defeat them, pick up the Holy Pendant (aka Serpent's Tooth). (Try for Doyle if you haven't already found him). Items - Mithril ore, Holy crest, Mithril ingot x2, Life candle, Goddess tears x2, Lucky cookie, Holy rain, Fairy powder, Power juice, Elixir x2, Power juice, Stamina onion.
TOWER OF ILLUSION Go back to Enrich Castle and talk to Sabato and the King. The doors to the Mural room will open and you can get into the triangle on the wall. Talk to everyone in Mirage Village and upgrade your equipment. Items - Stamina onion, Elixir, Protect milk Solve the riddle of the stone tablets (this is the most difficult/irritating puzzle so far, the complete solution is at the end of the walkthru). Make your way through the first floor using the levers to change the direction of the water flow. Pick up the Lunar Shard. Get to the lever on the centre of the north wall. This will bring down the main stairs to the second floor. Work your way up the floors until you find the Moon bas-relief and use the Lunar Shard; the ceiling will come down and you can then activate the stairs to the next floor. Then find the chest with the Solar Shard on 6F and take it to the second floor and use it. All the water in this area will drain away and you will find a spiral to get onto the ceiling (you don't need the gravity stone). Then drop down (up) the holes until you reach the area that was blocked off on the top floor. As soon as you walk into this area Blader (Boss) attacks you. He is fast and attacks twice in each round; try and keep everyone alive. Then stand on the circle in the floor and you will be transported to the High Priest who performs the Evolution Ceremony. Items - Elixir x2, Force blade, Mithril ingot, Power juice, Potion, Dragon mail, Protect milk, Angel's robe, Light of hope, Holy rain, Energy bread, Shining mail, Elemental orb.
SOLUTION TO THE TOWER OF ILLUSION PUZZLE
The Tower is north. Stand on the first tablet (closest to the village). Turn to the left and walk to the SW corner. Do not turn round but stay facing the same way (out of the square). Press the B button and move 4 steps to the right. This will land you on the left-hand tablet and you should hear a click. Turn to face the Tower and walk round to the NE corner. Do not turn round but stay facing the same way (out of the square). Press the B button and move right 4 paces. This will take you to the right-hand tablet and you should hear a click. Stay facing the same way and walk backwards 4 paces to the centre tablet. Again you should hear a click. Assuming that you have heard 3 clicks, turn to face the Tower and walk forwards to the top tablet. The Tower should now appear. If you don't hear the clicks, shuffle around on the central row of tablets until it works.
Thanks to Falcon for helping me with this.
GODSPEAK Go into Desire Mine through the opening that you exited from at the beginning. Work your way through the mine on the ore carts (beware the Cart Ghosts). You need to change 2 points to progress further. Items - Potion, Mithril ingot x3, Royal circlet, Demon claw, Elixir x3, Demon staff, Shining sword, Goddess tears. Then you arrive in Godspeak and meet Rilix and 2 Evil Vampires (Bosses). After defeating them, Galm appears and then Panzer activates the Holy Ark. Then you fight Panzer and 2 Evil Bodies (Bosses). At this point you will need Hero to be at level 28/29 and the others just a little lower. If you get beaten (as I did the first time) go to the East Shrine and find a place where a Hattari - 3333 Exp points + 999 from 10 Leprechauns - always appears. You should be able to get everyone's levels up quite quickly; plus they occasionally drop Dragon orbs.
Eventually Hero walks off into the sunset. Hooray!
PIXIES (44 out of a possible 50)
Maple (Forest of Confusion - pond)
Cherry ( Desire Village, on return of dog)
Willow (Forest Cave, B1, South side)
Palm (Mountain Cave, B1 - water)
Apple (Far East Village - barrel)
Lime (Enrich dungeon, B1 - jar)
Pear (West Shrine, 1F, east - water)
Baldric (Desire Mine, 3F - jar)
Daisy (Forest of Confusion - tree)
Iris (Forest Cave, B1, North Side - limestone pillar)
Camellia (Enrich Dungeon, B2 - alcove)
Peony (Forest of Aborigine, graveyard - tree)
Sisal (West Shrine, 1F, west - water)
Mimosa (East Shrine, 1F - tree trunk)
Primrose (Tower of Illusion, 4F - stone statue)
Clyde (Desire Mine, 2F - alcove)
Muran (Desire Mine, inside - alcove)
Dahlia (Enrich Town - alley wall)
Roberia (Enrich town well - alcove)
Orlea (Aborigine Mansion - painting)
Ripanos ( Mountain Cave, B1 - alcove)
Kathorea (South shrine, 1F, North - alcove)
Viola (Mirage Village - wall)
Lunaria (Tower of Illusion, 1F - alcove)
Natasha (Desire mine, 2F - alcove)
Lantano (Desire Village - box)
Enjewel (Forest Cave, B2 - rock)
Masakari (Enrich Town - fireplace)
Krupis (Forest of Aborigine, graveyard - crypt)
Liknis (Aborigine Mansion - painting)
Cypress (South shrine - crypt)
Aster (Enrich Dungeon, B2 - chest)
Adonis (West Shrine, 2F - grey pillar)
Croton (Tower of Illusion, 1F - stone statue)
Dana (Desire Mine, outside - wall)
Tak (Forest Cave, B2 - hole)
Morgan (Enrich Dungeon, B2 - treasure chest)
Kokus (Forest of Aborigine, graveyard - tombstone)
Zircon (Aborigine Mansion - pendulum)
Mangus ( Mountain Cave, 2nd icy area - treasure chest)
Darbie (South shrine, B1, south side - statue)
Solo (East shrine, 3F - stone pillar)
Stilt (Mirage Village - desert)
Eric (Tower of Illusion, 5F - alcove)
Plus the ones I didn't find - Lacey (Graveyard cataconbs, B1), Lily (Mountain cave), Azalea (Far East Village), Plum (East shrine) and 2 others. My thanks to Hooi-Hong Lee for his list of items and pixies. Has anyone found the last two, incubus 10 and pixie 9?
Also three major puzzles remained at the end; is it possible to get Freddie (Julian's father) out of Mirage Village? Did anyone find the little girl or had Elise eaten her? What was the significance of the "suspicious looking wall" in the Castle?
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