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 Darkspyre

 
   
 
 
Darkspyre

DARKSPYRE (1990): General Guide
By DStich87@gmail.com
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_
Created by Event Horizon, Darkspyre is an overhead, RPG with real-time 
fighting. The Gods of War, Intelligence, and Magic created the 
Darksypre, a labyrinth filled with monsters, puzzles, and traps 
designed to find a worthy specimen; and, if not, destroy the world. 
Many heroes have fallen trying to best the 39 levels, now it is your 
turn.
_______________________________________________________________________
_
ABOUT THIS GUIDE
This is my first guide; its main purpose is to provide all the 
information an individual needs to make their way through the game.  
Darkspyre was designed to be a “learn as you play” game, so the manual 
leaves out a lot of information. I recently returned (from 17 years) to 
this game, in the hopes of finally making my way to the end. While the 
graphics and sounds are simplistic, I found that the mix of combat and 
puzzles challenging (and still do). How can you not love a game that 
calls it’s high score list “Hall of the Humble.” 
_______________________________________________________________________
_
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Character Creation: Starting the Game, Character Attributes
Controls: Keyboard, Mouse
Items: Weapons, Armor, Magic, Amulets, Runes, Special Items, Objects
Levels: General, Monsters.
_______________________________________________________________________
_
CHARACTER CREATION
_______________________________________________________________________
_
(You can hold spacebar to skip the title screen)
At the start of the game, you are giving 4 options: Start game fast 
with male character, start game fast with female character, generate a 
character. Restore old character (from saved game). The start fast 
options immediately take you to the first level with your character 
attributes filled out. It is recommended that you do not do a fast 
start because you cannot design your character to your own preferences.

Generating a Character:
This begins with your characters history (a gifted child in an unhappy 
world). You choose sex, name, whether you are right or left handed 
(weapons in your favored hand do more damage) and between 
Healing/Sorcery (which ever you select, you will start the game with a 
beginner level of magic in that skill). I would recommend healing as it 
will be the main way in which your character regains health points 
(HP). Now you are to choose your method for choosing your character’s 
attributes - you are given 3 options: Quick, Assign, Base/Assign. Quick 
automatically selects all your character’s attributes (I do no 
recommend this option). Assign gives you a large pot of points that you 
can spend on the 6 attributes while base/assign gives you points in all 
6 attributes but also a small pot of points to customize your 
character. I recommend using assign because it seems to give the most 
total points to be used in attributes (throughout the game, your base 
attributes never change)

Character Attributes 
Strength: Determines damage from non-projectile fighting

Agility: Determines the speed of the character
character

Endurance: Determines how tired your character becomes from fighting, 
carrying items

Accuracy: Determines damage from projectile/hurling fighting

Talent: Determines how quickly your character learns spells

Power: Determines the damage and longevity of spells (also speed of SP 
recovery)
	
Strength + Endurance + Random number = Starting Hit Points (HP)
Talent + Power + Random Number = Starting Spell Points (SP)

Character Attributes make or break your character. The pot of points 
are based on a random number. It is worth restarting the character 
creation process if your pot of points is low (83+ is recommended). 
While most of the attributes are useful, Accuracy is probably the 
weakest of the bunch. By simply avoiding using projectile weapons 
(crossbow w/bolts) you can use the saved points to increase the stats 
in the other attributes. One you have finished completing you 
character, you are taken to the first level of Darkspyre.
_______________________________________________________________________
_
Controls
_______________________________________________________________________
_
You will notice that the game operates on a split screen. One screen is 
an overhead map the other screen is your character sheet. 

Keyboard Controls 
Arrow Keys (or keypad): control your characters movements
Number Keys 1-6: Control the items in your character’s hands
F1-F7: Cast spells that you have prepared.
F8: Displays Name, score, level, music and sound status
+: Scrolls character sheet down
-: Scrolls character sheet up
T: Takes an item laying on the ground
Enter: Toggles a lever
A: Displays attributes
W: Displays weapon proficiency
S: Displays magic proficiency
P: Pauses the game.
R: Take you to Restore Game Menu

Mouse Controls
Character Movements: Place you curser on the screen and push/hold down 
the left mouse button.

Use Items in Hands: Click on the corresponding commands to the right of 
your avatar.

Cast Prepared Spells: Click on the corresponding commands to the right 
of your avatar.

Equip Items: Click and drag an item to the location it belongs on the 
Avatar and release the button.

Scroll Character Sheet: Click and Drag the grey bar dividing the split 
screens.

Pick up an item: Move your character to stand over the item and your 
curser will turn into the item, place it in you inventory.

Toggle a Lever: Move your character to stand over the lever and click 
your mouse button.

Display Attributes, Weapon Proficiency, Magic Proficiency: Under you 
avatar there is small screen, beneath it are 3 icons. Click on the 
armor icon for attributes, the axe and sword icon for weapon 
proficiency, and the scroll icon for magic proficiency.

To pause the game: Click on the hour glass icon to pause and unpause 
the game.
Information: Click on the question mark icon for name, score, level, 
music and sound status

Restore Game: Click on the diskette icon.

The character sheet shows you your inventory (one item per slot), your 
health points (HP), spell points (SP), and Encumbrance (ENC). ENC is 
how much weight, in items, your character can wear/have in inventory 
before your speed is affected. 
_______________________________________________________________________
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ITEMS
_______________________________________________________________________
_
There are several items found within the Darkspyre. Some are used to 
attack monsters, others to defend. Some items are for magic, while 
other objects may be vital or worthless.

Weapons
You will gather, use, gain proficiency, and break weapons throughout 
the game (Weapons are your primary source of dealing damage to 
monsters). Each weapon has 1-3 attack option varying in speed and 
damage. Some weapons even have a magic attack, which can be used a 
limited number of times. All weapons are subject to breaking which 
occurs randomly (some may last 1-2 fights while others will last a few 
levels). Each weapon is part of a weapon types. Using weapons within a 
type will increase your proficiency of all weapons of that class 
(example, using a spear will increase your proficiency in all thrusting 
weapons).

Weapon Types
1) Clubbing: Average speed, average damage, 1 handed 
2) Hurled: Fast speed, low damage, 1 handed (can be thrown)
3) Large: Slowest speed, highest damage, 2 handed 
4) Long Edge: Average speed, average damage, 1 handed 
5) Projectile: Fast speed, average damage, 2 handed (need bolts to 
use).
6) Short Edge: Fastest speed, least damage, 1 handed 
7) Thrusting - Slow speed, high damage, 2 handed (some can be thrown).

Some items serve duel purposes. Throwing a Thrust weapon increases 
hurling proficiency . Attack with a shield increases clubbing 
proficiency. However, hand-to-hand fighting with hurling items 
increases hurling proficiency.

Weapon Proficiency
1) None
2) Beginner
3) Neophyte
4) Novice
5) Average
6) Skilled
7) Stalwart
8) Adept
9) Savant
10) Expert

The higher your proficiency with a weapon type, the more damage weapons 
of that type deal. Also, you will can more options with a weapon as you 
improve proficiency.

Weapon Tips
As I stated in the attributes section, projectile is a weak weapon 
type. You must have a bolt in hand and as you fire. Once you use up 
your bolts, you’ll have to chase them down, or use another weapon type 
(but you won’t have much room in inventory for weapons since each bolt 
takes up an inventory slot). Hurling Weapons are, by far, the most 
common weapons in the game so do not neglect training with them. 
Because weapons can break at any time, you will want to train in 
several weapon types (because monster become exponentially harder and 
you do not want to be stuck with beginner weapons on higher levels).

Armor 
Armor (body), helmets, and shields increase your protection levels. The 
higher your protection levels, the less damage you take from monsters 
and traps.

Protection Levels
1) Unarmoured 		
2) Well Clad			
3) Safe Guarded					
4) Well Protected				
5) Stoutly Clad 				
6) Rugged					
7) Mighty					
8) Shielded			
9) Reinforced			
10) Fortified				 	
11) Iron Clad						
12) Steel Plated 
13) Unyeilding
14) Impervious
15) Invincible

Armor (body) does not break (like weapons), but they do wear down 
overtime decreasing their effectiveness. Jet Plate and Chain Mail are 
the best, none gold, armors (Field Armor weighs 45 kg); both weigh 18 
kg.

Armor Conditions
1) Shoddy
2) Poor
3) Fair
4) Good
5) Fine
6) Excellent
7) Perfect

Shields get weaker as well (no conditions) and will break if you use 
them as weapons, but helmets do not wear down, nor break. All helmets 
(except gold) provide the same protection and have the same weight.


Magic
Throughout the game you will find magic scrolls; each scroll is a spell 
that you can attach to your spell book (found on Level 1) for repeated 
use at a cost of spell points (50% of a spell’s cost is from preparing 
it, the other 50% if from casting it - so a 10 SP costing spell costs 5 
to prepare and 5 to cast). Once you place a scroll into you spell book, 
place the book in an open hand to get the option of “prepare spell.” 
You will get a red menu of the spell types. Select the type of spell 
you wish to cast to get a green menu of the spells of that type (if 
there is only one spell of that type, it is automatically selected).You 
can also put a scroll into you hand for to cast for free (but this is 
only a 1 time use).

Spell Types and Spells
Healing: spells that heal you and create potions	
Liquify  (10 SP) - creates a potion. Must have empty flask/chalice to 
cast spell. Can also have a gem in hand to create other potions
1)Nothing in hand - Jera Potion (heals HP)  If you are below a beginner 
level, you make water.
2) Emerald - Isa Potion (poison) 
Drinking it poisons you, but when in a flask it can be thrown to create 
a poison cloud to damage monsters
3) Ruby - Algit Potion (cure poison)
4) Amethyst - Teiwaz Potion (restores attributes)
5) Diamond - Ambrosia (Increases HP, SP, Encumbrance)

Sorcery: Spells that effect objects within the game
Knock (16 SP) - opens some gates
Zap Away (10 SP) - Teleports large blocks and large balls to another 
part of the level.
Hold (30 SP)- prevents targeted monster from moving/attacking

Wizardry: Offensive spells
Fireball (20 SP) - High damage attack spell. Can bounce off some walls.
Magic Gas (20 SP) - a projectile that can explode into a gas cloud, 
causing confusion (below skilled), or a poison cloud (skilled or 
above).

Conjury: Spells that create illusions
Abstraka (20 SP) - invisibility (cast again to become visible). 
Disguise (30 SP) - temporarily look like a monster (attacking cancels 
the spell)
Magic Wall (30 SP) - A temporary, moveable wall

Diviny: Informative Spells
Compass (30 SP) - Creates a pulsing aura showing you the general 
direction of the exit	
Magic Map (30 SP) - Gives you a map of level
Sight (10 SP) - enlarges items on the ground
	
Enchantry - Defensive spells
Dispel (36 SP) - ???
Freeze (40 SP)- Temporarily stops all monsters from moving/attacking

Like weapons, there are also levels of magic proficiency. The higher 
the proficiency the more effective the spells (more healing, more 
damage, longer lasting effects, less likely to fail).

Magic Proficency
1) None
2) Novice
3) Average
4) Skilled
5) Sage
6) Maren
7) Master

Magic Tips
Making Jera Potions is your primary way of healing (keep an empty 
chalice over a flask because chalices don’t break when accidentally 
thrown). Enchantry spells seem to fail more than any other spell (and 
are tougher to learn). Magic Wall (at sage level) is helpful in solving 
puzzles.

Amulets
Amulets are worn on the neck and provide boosts to areas that they are 
named after (ex. Amulet of Strength increases your strength, Amulet of 
protection increases protection, etc). While some of the boosts are 
helpful (mainly strength and protection), Amulets break with ease (most 
of them only last 4 attacks). So wear an amulet, but don’t waste 
inventory slots stocking up on them.

Runes
Runes are similar to magic scrolls in that they only have 1 use (or 
none). Most of them mimic a spell or potion but the most common run - 
Raido - is used, or “invoked,” to save your game. Raido runes are the 
only way to save your game and are typically found at the end of a 
level. Runes go by a Norse name, an English translation is provided 
(from the manual) as well as the effects of the runes. The other runes, 
in general, are rare and you can complete the game without seeing some 
of them.

Norse - English - Invoke (effect)
Algit - Protection - Cures Posion
Ansuz - Omens - ???
Berkana - Enhancement - ???
Dagaz - Discovery - Destroys a monsters
Ehwaz - Agility - N/A
Eihwaz - Accuracy - N/A
Fehu - Wealth - Becomes a knock scroll
Gebo - Alliance - Magic Map
Hagalaz - Progress - ???
Inguz - Talent - N/A
Isa - Stagnant - Poisons you
Jera - Sustenance - Restores HP
Keno - Opening - Knock spell
Laquz - Progress - ???
Mannaz - Illusions - ???
Nauthiz - Force - ???
Odin - Hidden - ???
Ophelia - Severance - ???
Perth - Initiation - ???
Raido - Quest - Saves Game
Sowelu - Unity - Cures Poison and Confusion
Teiwaz - Endurance - N/A
Thurisaz - Gateway - Takes you to next level.
Uraz - Stength - N/A
Wunjo - Charm - ???

Agility, Accuracy, Talent, Endurance, and Strength runes are each found 
on a specific level. You need to hold onto these runes until level 36 
in which they will be exchanged for items from the gods.

Specialty Items
There are 2 functional items with the game: Chime of Opening which can 
open up almost any gate (including ones that knock spell cannot). Chime 
of Opening can be used 3 times (but does not effect gates on the last 3 
levels). Horn of Fear: Makes monsters run away from you.

Objects
Levels are littered with objects that seemingly have little use. While 
keys obviously serve the function of opening a gate, ferns, onions, and 
nails are also used for this purpose (though it is possible to find an 
item that has no use. WARNING - even armor, potions, scrolls and 
amulets can be used to open gates/portal. It’s a good rule of thumb to 
not use anything that you find on a level until you are sure that it’s 
not needed. WARNING - Driftwood (level 5) is needed on the final level, 
so hold onto it until that time.
_______________________________________________________________________
_
Levels
_______________________________________________________________________
_
You need to make your way through a total of 39 levels to complete the 
game. However, there are a total of 50 possible levels; some levels you 
will not see (obviously) but some levels do occur in fixed positions -
Level 1, the 5 levels for the strength, agility, accuracy, endurance, 
and talent runes, level 36 (where you exchange the 5 runes for items 
from the gods) and the final 3 levels: War, Intelligence, and Magic.

General levels are a maze with a few monsters, but some levels are 
basically one giant puzzle. Each level is basically made up of several 
1x1 squares, there is a wall surrounding the level, and all level are 2 
dimensional (there is length and width but no height). 

General Parts of Levels
Balls: Giant black spheres sometimes found moving and other times 
stationary. A moving ball will cause damage to monsters or characters 
in its path. You can move a stationary ball; though not at an angle so 
if they are against a wall, you cannot move them away from that wall. 
Balls, like blocks, can be used on weight plates and occasionally 
plates and levers can trigger a ball to move or stop. If a ball is 
stuck in a closing gate, it is destroyed.

Blocks: Block are a 1x1 section of wall that is moveable. They are 
moved to gain access to an area, to find items hidden under them, to 
put on a weight plate, or used to block monsters, traps, or balls. 
Moving a block for a long period of time reduces your endurance. If a 
block is stuck in a closing gate, it is destroyed. 

Gates: Unsurprisingly, gates are barriers that normally prevent you or 
monsters from getting to an area (some times they are used as part of a 
puzzle). Gates can be opened many ways; a weight plate, lever, knock 
spell, chime of opening, or by sacrificing a specific item (normally 
keys, but almost all objects/items may be required to open a gate). 
Some gates can be open and closed repeatedly (normally those operated 
by lever or plates) and they can be used to destroy balls or blocks, 
but also deal damage to monsters or characters.

Levers: Levers are yellow, with the handles facing west They are mainly 
used to open a gate(s) or portal(s), but they can also turn off traps 
to make another lever/weight plate functional. Some levers won’t budge, 
meaning some other lever or weight plate is needs to be activated to 
get the lever to function.

Portals: A pulsing ring that allows characters, monsters, hurled and 
projectile weapons (as well as some spells) to travel from one area to 
another. Most of the time, the locations are fixed, but some portal 
teleportation go to a randomized location and there is not always a 
portal to take you back (never save after walking through a portal). 
Some portals need to be activated via toggling a switch or stepping on 
a weight plate. If you teleport onto a block/magic wall/ball or monster 
(or a monster teleports onto you) they are instantly destroyed.

Skulls: Skulls are floor icons that provide information about a gate, 
level, trap or game play. Simply standing over a skull activates it. 
Most of the time the information is important in completing the level 
successfully, so make sure to pay attention to every skull you find.

Weight Plate: A gray square that is a pressure pad. Stepping on or off 
a plate can open/close a gate(s) can activate/deactivate a portal(s), 
lever(s), and/or a trap. Sometimes a plate will do nothing (normally 
when among several other plates as part of a trap) or you will need to 
hold down a plate to keep a gate/portal open. Plates take varying 
amounts of weights to trigger: 1kg, 2kg, 5kg, 10 kg, 
character/block/magic wall. 

Monsters
Like any RPG, fighting monsters is a part of the game. As your progress 
through the game, the monsters deal more damage, take more damage, and 
work in larger groups. Monsters have a wide area of movement and will 
track you for a great distance. When a monster is near death, they will 
run away (again, for a great distance).

Monster Types
Ground, Melee: Wraths, Crustaceans, Samurai, Gargoyles, Crystal Ninjas
These monsters walk on the ground (can trigger weight plates), and can 
only attack via hand-to-hand (h2h) combat. They will use a weapon or 
fist, and much like you, will pause between attacks. It’s advantageous 
to use hurling/projectile weapons and fireballs to kill them at a 
distances. This is the most common type of monster found.

Ground, projectiles: Jesters 
This monster is the only one that walks and uses projectiles. They also 
are the only monsters that use multiple projectiles: Fireballs, and 
both gas attacks (smoke, poison). They are less likely to use 
projectiles when in range for h2h and have a weak melee attack. Their 
fireballs can hit in the 40s, and they will use smoke clouds which make 
you frequently miss attacks. Use hold/freeze or fireball spam them 
quickly to limit damage.

Slither, poison: Slimes and Creepers 
They don’t activate weight plates, but they can slither under gates and 
blocks. They are slow moving, but poison on contact while being immune 
to all projectile attacks (they simple pass over them). Avoiding slimes 
is best (though if you have to kill them for a drop you are out of 
luck), as are creepers, but you can melee creepers safely. You can get 
in 1 attack and run away before they poison you - simply repeat until 
they are dead.

Flying, Melee (only): Vultures, Manta Rays
These creatures fly (they don’t trigger weight plates) and can only 
fight h2h. Like their grounded counter parts, hurling/projectile 
weapons and fireballs are the best way to fight them.

Flying, Projectiles: Beholders, Electric Storms, Banshees, Djinns
Again, these monsters do not activate weight plates, and like to attack 
from a distance. Beholders use fireballs, Electric Storms use magic gas 
(smoke), Djinns use magic gas (poison), and Banshees use bolts. They 
are less likely to use their projectile attack when in h2h range and 
their melee attacks are very weak. So either cast hold/freeze to get in 
your damage (particularly for beholders and djinns) or trying and run 
around their projectiles and get into h2h range.
 

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