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Diablo II - Lord of Destruction Walkthrough, Hints and Tips for PC Games.

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 Diablo II - Lord of Destruction

 
   
 
 
Diablo II - Lord of Destruction

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|  |   |   | |  |  |   ---   |  |  -----  \  |  |     |  |   |  |  |   ------
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|          | |  | |  |     |  | |         |  |      | |         |  |         |
-----------/ ---- ----     ---- ----------/  -------- ----------   -----------

                             "LORD OF DESTRUCTION"

          Dedicated to Max, my most loyal friend who has at last found peace.

=============================================================================
¦      This walkthrough is copyrighted to Mister Sinister (2005-6)          ¦
¦ I don't mind it being lifted in its entireity, but if you do so, please   ¦
¦ make sure you give credit to the author (me) and DON'T pass it off as     ¦
¦ your own.  Thanks !                                                       ¦
=============================================================================

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                   INDEX                                   ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

           PART ONE              BEFORE WE GET STARTED
           PART TWO              CHOOSING YOUR CHARACTER
           PART THREE            ACT ONE   - THE ROGUE ENCAMPMENT
           PART FOUR             ACT TWO   - LUT GHOLEIN
           PART FIVE             ACT THREE - THE KURAST DOCKS
           PART SIX              ACT FOUR  - THE PANDEMONIUM FORTRESS
           PART SEVEN            ACT FIVE  - HARROGATH
           PART EIGHT            HINTS AND TIPS
           PART NINE             ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                  PART ONE                                 ¦
¦                           BEFORE WE GET STARTED                           ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

Hi there.  Welcome to my Diablo II: Lord of Destruction walkthrough.  There
are a few things I would like to clear up before we begin if that's ok.

You might get the impression from reading this walkthrough that I'm intending
for it to be read exclusively by newbies ... I'm not - however, I have
DELIBERATELY made my commentary for Act One flexible enough so that it CAN
be read by newbies, and I (hopefully) explain things clearly enough for them
to be able to pick up the game and run ... however, I think that there are a
few things in there that even a more seasoned player might have not
considered ...

... I hope so, at any rate !! =)

From Act Two (since the acts are kinda formulaic - not BORING - just
formulaic) I have tried to speed up the walkthrough a bit so that people of
any standard can flick through it ...

Also, I should point out that I'm British.  I say this because in the past
when I have done walkthroughs, people have commented that some of the terms
I use ... like ... slaphead for example, they just don't understand ...

... you can always e-mail me and I'll explain as best I can ;)

Also, when I give directions in this walkthrough - e.g. Alkor's hut is to
the north-east of your present location, I have tried to take into account
that the maps are always at an angle.

Therefore, imagine tilting the screen as if you were looking down on the
characters before you interpret my directions, or you *might* get a little
confused ;)

Right !!  Thanks for letting me get all that out of the way - LET'S GO !! =D

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                   PART TWO                                ¦
¦                            CHOOSING YOUR CHARACTER                        ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

This is obviously THE single most important decision you need to make in
this game.  You can only play one character at a time, and as you will see
when we play, a LOT of effort goes into developing your character.

That being said, there are seven characters available to you to pick from.
I won't bore you with their details too much, but my comments on each are as
follows :-

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                    AMAZON                                 ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

NOT BAD !!  Check out those DUDS !!  And the hair !!  We like her ... well
fitted armour is SOOOOOOO attractive =./

What's that ?  Get to the point ??  Ok ...

The Amazon is a VERY well balanced character to play.  She specialises in
both Bow AND Polearm skills, making her good in hand-to-hand AND at range.
She also has a good range of passive skills - i.e. skills which run all the
time in the background without having to be specifically called into play ?

GOOD POINTS :-

*  Very well balanced
*  Offers a broad set of skills to choose from

BAD POINTS :-

*  Lots of attacks costs mana, and given her ROF (Rate of Fire), if you don't
   have loads of mana available to you to draw from, you can quickly whittle
   down her reserves.
*  She's not MEAN enough for my taste.

CLASS-SPECIFIC WEAPONRY :-

*  There are certain bows in the game - e.g. Stag Bow, that can ONLY be used
   by the Amazon.
*  There are certain spears in the game - e.g. the Maiden Spear, that can ONLY
   be used by the Amazon; and
*  There are certain javelins in the game that can ONLY be used by the Amazon.

===========
CREDIT NOTE
===========

   Thanks and credit to Eric Norrie for pointing out that the Amazon has the
   second and third class-specific weapons in the above list (I only spotted
   the first one)

QUIRKS :-

*  Whilst she can use arrows with her bows, the Amazon has the rather
   fortunate fallback position of being able to CREATE magical arrows through
   the expenditure of mana.  This means that she SHOULD never be unable to
   fire her bow, if you're able to keep her mana in check.

HIRELINGS :-

Given that the Amazon has both ranged and hand-to-hand skills, she favours
perhaps the greatest variety of choice for a Hireling ...

   Rogue Sister      - Perhaps my LEAST likely suggestion, as she offers
                       nothing that the Amazon doesn't already have
                       skill-wise - SCORE: 1/4
   Desert Mercenary  - Good choice - his hand-to-hand skills reach MAMMOTH
                       proportions in terms of the damage they can do if he
                       is properly equipped, and given that he HAS to get
                       into hand-to-hand, she can either fight by his side
                       up close and personal, or back him up with her ranged
                       skills.  PLUS you can use his auras to great effect
                       if you pick him carefully - SCORE: 2/4
   Iron Wolf Mage    - The most versatile hireling you can get, as he boasts
                       both hand-to-hand combat skills, AND ranged
                       spellcasting abilities.  I would suggest that you
                       might like to look to using him, as he can back up
                       your Amazon in any given situation.  SCORE: 4/4
   Barbarian Warrior - The strongest fighter I would say, so my comments are
                       pretty much as per the Desert Mercenary (bar
                       Barbarian's Lack of ability to use auras of course).
                       SCORE: 3/4


=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                ASSASSIN                                   ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

OMIGOD !!  I tell ya, from the moment she did that first spin-kick at the
character select screen ?  I fell in LOVE with the assassin ... I love
assassins as characters anyway ... they are so PRO !  So she was my first
character (and is still my best even today !!)

The Assassin boasts a specialised set of skills, with a broad variety of
martial arts attacks that can be used to great effect if you feel like
getting up close and nasty ... for those of you who are keen to stay away,
you can rely on her traps instead - there are plenty of those to amuse you
too.  She ISN'T as versatile a character as the Amazon, but given the fact
that she's just so plain MEAN, I just HAD to play as her first of all.

GOOD POINTS :-

*  If you augment her skills intelligently, she can become DEVASTATINGLY
   powerful as the levels go on ... PLUS her ability to place traps means
   that she can pretty much avoid most difficult situations, by wearing
   down her opponents with fire and lightning before they get close enough
   to do her any real harm.
*  She just looks so MEAN !!!!! =D

BAD POINTS :-

*  Whilst she has a load of hand-to-hand skills at her disposal, when I was
   playing her I found that - even though they were varied - they weren't
   generally as powerful as her traps and, as such, I pretty much wound up
   focusing on increasing her trap skills at the expense of her other
   abilities.

CLASS-SPECIFIC WEAPONRY :-

*  Various hand-held weapons, including the hatchet hands, katar and quhab.

QUIRKS :-

*  The Assassin can automatically pick locks ... this means that she need
   never carry around keys, and can automatically open locked chests ...
   RESULT !!!!! =D

HIRELINGS :-

Given her versatility the Assassin should ideally look to choose a hireling
that reflects her style of play ... if you are a Trap Specialist, you might
like to go for the rogue sister (as I did) to afford you extra protection at
range ... if you focus more on the assassin's hand-to-hand skills, then you
might like to go for the desert mercenary or barbarian for more backup when
you are in the fray ...

As such, my comments are as follows :-

   Rogue Sister      - This is the hireling that I personally pick when I'm
                       playing the assassin.  I feel that her powerful
                       long-ranged bow attacks work well in conjunction with
                       the way I play my assassin - inflicting OPTIMUM
                       long-range attack damage rather than getting up close
                       and personal.  SCORE: 4/4
   Desert Mercenary  - Another good choice for the Assassin ... the Desert
                       Mercenary's Auras can provide her with benefits should
                       she need to mix it up a little, whilst his
                       hand-to-hand skills can provide her with enough time
                       to set up a couple more traps and wipe out some
                       enemies.  However, I personally find that the Desert
                       Merc's tendency to just run head-first into combat
                       frustrates my style, as it would be better if he just
                       held back that little bit longer ???  SCORE: 2/4
   Iron Wolf Mage    - A well balanced hireling, 'tis true ... if you are
                       the type of player that chops and changes his/her
                       style of play to suit the circumstances, and has
                       spread your upgrade points pretty much evenly across
                       your skills, then this might well be the hireling to
                       compliment YOUR style of play.  SCORE: 3/4
   Barbarian Warrior - Bless him ... I'm sure there is SOMEBODY out there
                       that would have a 4/4 for the Barbarian Warrior, but
                       it AIN'T gonna be me sunshine ... I tried using him
                       with my assassin, but I found that my comparatively
                       weak hand-to-hand skills (because I'd loaded up so
                       heavily on traps) meant that I couldn't provide HIM
                       with the kind of support HE needed when he was wading
                       up to his neck into trouble ... SCORE: 1/4

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                NECROMANCER                                ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

Looking mean as you would expect for a death-peddler, the Necromancer
specialises in curses and command of the undead.  He is the ULTIMATE when it
comes to mass-troop-management, and at high levels can have a small ARMY of
undead creatures following him around and mauling his enemies into little
bitesize chunks in seconds.

We like him ... but he ISN'T the easiest character to play ;)

GOOD POINTS :-

*  Being able to resurrect a small army of undead warriors to do your
   bidding means that the Necromancer SHOULD not need to directly involve
   himself in physical combat most of the time.
*  His curses can weaken your enemies en masse and can dramatically turn the
   tide of battle in your favour when used appropriately.

BAD POINTS :-

*  Generally weak in hand-to-hand combat, the Necromancer should avoid this
   wherever possible.
*  His skills are focused predominantly in inflicting pain and agony on his
   opponents, which leaves him kinda lacking in the "self-help" skills ...
   in MY opinion at least !! :)

CLASS-SPECIFIC WEAPONRY :-

*  Certain shields - almost invariably heads (e.g. the Demon Fetish and
   Unraveller Head) - are Necromancer specific.

QUIRKS :-

*  One of the best combinations that you can have when using your Necromancer
   (and I FREELY ADMIT THAT I HEARD THIS FROM SOMEBODY ELSE - Sorry mon ami,
   but I can't remember your name !!) is to create a Blood Golem, and then
   use the Iron Maiden curse on enemies that the Blood Golem is fighting ...
   health is transferred from the Golem to you, and so whilst he's fighting,
   you can heal at quite a rate of knots !! :)

HIRELINGS :-

Given that his forté is being able to command huuuuuuuge armies of undead
warriors and curse his enemies to b*llocks, my recommendation is that the
Necromancer focus on somebody that will be able to hang back from the fray,
and give him support ... as such, my comments are as follows :-

   Rogue Sister      - She's good !!  Give her her dues, she's good ...
                       whilst the Necromancer's army of bad@ss goons is busy
                       killing things up front, she can provide good ranged
                       cover, thereby reducing the effectiveness of the
                       oncoming enemy.  SCORE: 3/4
   Desert Mercenary  - Whilst undoubtedly a powerful hand-to-hand combatant,
                       he might not be able to get at the thick of the
                       action if the necromancer's boys have already sunk
                       their teeth into the enemy and, as such, his
                       effectiveness is slightly reduced I fear.  SCORE: 2/4
   Iron Wolf Mage    - Perhaps the best match for the Necromancer is the
                       Iron Wolf Mage, simply because he can provide ranged
                       support for the Necromancer's minions if they are
                       swarming over his enemies, and if they FALL he can
                       take their place, allowing the Necromancer enough
                       time to create more ... SCORE: 4/4
   Barbarian Warrior - Again, bringing up the rear it's the barbarian
                       warrior ... bless him, and all who follow him.  I
                       fear that the necromancer's powerful magic, whilst
                       great in the troop-management area, might not lend
                       itself to working in harmony with the barbarian's in
                       yer face attitude.  SCORE: 1/4

SUGGESTED PLAY TIPS :-

   Thanks to Eric Norrie for coming up with a couple of very handy playing
   tips with the Necromancer.
   
   Eric says :-
   
   "The necromancer doesn't need to be a summoner - in fact he can be an
    effective dueling master using Bone Prison and Bone Spirit.  He could
    also buff up Poison Nova and add that to the mix as well !!"

   Thanks also to DarkV0id for coming up with further comments on Mercs for
   the Necromancer.

   DarkV0id says :-

   "I play a pure summoning Necro, and the Offensive Act 2 Merc on Nightmare
    comes with a Might aura.  When you have 15+ of your own monsters running
    around bashing things, the aura DOUBLES all melee damage done by your
    own summons by the time the Merc is level 45."

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                              IMPORTANT NOTE                               ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

I was originally quite happy with my above scores for the Necromancer's 
Mercenary compatibility, but then I got an e-mail from Cyrus Nunn who 
pointed out that the Mercenary is actually a blessing in disguise for the 
Necromancer, as his auras can lend support to the Necromancer's troops en 
masse - if he has defensive auras, so much the better !! :)

In fact I believe his exact words were :-

"If you get a defensive guy, his spells can turn even ordinary skeletons 
into serious meat(less) shields"

I like that !! :)

This has, of course, chucked my scoring totally out of whack, but Cyrus is 
right - I had TOTALLY failed to consider it as an option.  Therefore I am 
going to RE-GRADE the four mercenary's for the Necromancer as follows :-

                    Rogue Sister        now gets    2/4
                    Desert Mercenary    now gets    4/4
                    Iron Wolf Mage      now gets    3/4
                    Barbarian Warrior   now gets    1/4

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                BARBARIAN                                  ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

The undisputed KING of hand-to-hand combat, the Barbarian ROCKS when it comes
to bashing heads together, but his REALLY limited set of distance-based
skills means that he needs either good ranged support to make up for this
shortcoming, or just sack off range altogether and get stuck in there !!

I have to say that there are only 3 characters I have played in Lord of
Destruction that were able to kill Duriel in hand-to-hand combat WITHOUT
DYING EVEN ONCE.  The others are the Paladin, and the Amazon.

GOBSMACKED is the word I would choose to describe how I felt when that
happened.  ANYHOW ...

GOOD POINTS :-

*  His ability to use two single-handed weapons at the same time provides for
   TONNES of fun combinations of weapons that can be brought into play, thus
   increasing his appeal AND the amount of damage he can inflict.
*  He has a WICKED set of passive skills that can increase his effectiveness
   with almost any weapon ... AND he has the OH so entertaining Frenzy move
   at higher levels (which is REALLY fun to use, trust me !!)

BAD POINTS :-

*  As stated above, he is a bit pants in the ranged department ... he has no
   real magic skills to speak of - his specialities are warcries and combat
   techniques ... nothing so spectacular as a full thunderstorm, or chain
   lightning, unfortunately.
*  As a result, he has to get in close to harm his enemies, and this means
   that he is frequently outnumbered.

CLASS-SPECIFIC WEAPONRY :-

*  Helmets, such as the Lion Helm and Fanged Helm, are Barbarian-specific.

QUIRKS :-

*  His ability to search the bodies of the fallen for potions should not be
   underestimated - it means that (if luck is on your side) you can heal him
   back from near death VERY quickly. RESULT !!

HIRELINGS :-

This is a tough one ... the Barbarian is quite specific in terms of his
strengths - i.e. CARNAGE. He lacks the support of a ranged unit, but maybe it
would be better to just give him another hand-to-hand fighter to back him up
... let's have a think ... =./

   Rogue Sister      - If you want to give ranged support to your barbarian
                       (as I did when I was playing him), then the Rogue
                       Sister should not be overlooked.  Using her wisely,
                       and in conjunction with available terrain, means that
                       you can pick off the pain in the @rse baddies from a
                       distance - like those who are lightning enchanted -
                       and thereby reduce the likelihood of your Barbarian
                       dying in combat.  SCORE: 2/4
   Desert Mercenary  - A good choice, given that he can back you up in
                       hand-to-hand AND his auras give you an extra edge
                       whilst you're hacking and slashing away.  SCORE: 3/4
   Iron Wolf Mage    - Whilst he is VERY versatile as a companion, I feel
                       that the Iron Wolf Mage's versatility when put side
                       by side with the Barbarian's clear-cut approach to
                       playing dilutes his effectiveness ... really speaking
                       I would think that it would be better to have an "all
                       or nothing" hireling to go with the Barbarian, and
                       this AIN'T the Iron Wolf Mage ... =./  SCORE: 1/4
   Barbarian Warrior - What could be better than a Barbarian and his bro
                       kicking BUTT ?????  Given that they are BASICALLY the
                       same character, you should find that they play quite
                       well together, and increase exponentially the amount
                       of damage inflicted when they are fighting
                       side-by-side.  SCORE: 4/4

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                 PALADIN                                   ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

Ah yes, the Paladin.  I must admit that when I first saw him I just laughed.
The BOLD way he goes down on one knee ... the shiny armour ... the ...
(spit spit spit) GOODNESS of it all.

BUT, I have been converted to liking him ... his auras are REALLY useful, and
he really surprised me when he managed to best Duriel in hand-to-hand combat
without dying ONCE, taking his place alongside the Barbarian and the
Amazon ...

He's quite a surprise entrant in my opinion, because as with the Barbarian he
is predominantly a close-quarters combatant, BUT he has the advantage of
having auras to support him whilst he's fighting, which can aid not only him
but his party as well ...

.... we like the Paladin :)

GOOD POINTS :-

*  His use of auras is GREAT ... he can use them to achieve good results on
   his own, AND many of them can be used to aid his party too - this is a
   good thing =)
*  Whilst his hand-to-hand skills are not on par with the Barbarian in my
   opinion, he has the Zeal skill, which is KILLER cool to watch.  Stabby
   stabby stab.
*  His resist fire/ice/lightning auras

BAD POINTS :-

*  The lack of ranged skills makes him a largely close-quarters character.
*  He looks pants at first ... we just CAN'T like those green and yellow
   pants =./

CLASS-SPECIFIC WEAPONRY :-

*  Certain large shields (e.g. the Heraldic Shield and Aerin Shield) are
   Paladin-specific.

QUIRKS :-

*  Paladin Auras can extend beyond your party - e.g. on Act V your aura can
   actually protect errant Barbarians as they make their way up the Bloody
   Foothills, and so on ... this is kinda kewl !!

HIRELINGS :-

Given the Paladin's strengths being close combat and the use of auras, he can
lend strong support to any hireling he obtains ... however, my comments and
recommendations are as follows :-

   Rogue Sister      - One of the worst matches with the Paladin, as she runs
                       around a lot, and this frequently places her OUTSIDE
                       the range of influence of his auras.  SCORE: 2/4
   Desert Mercenary  - Hmmmmmmmm ... not good I fear ... the Desert Mercenary
                       has his own auras that he can use to influence the
                       party, and this may put him at odds with the Paladin
                       in terms of which aura is in use.  SCORE: 1/4

SUGGESTED PLAY TIPS :-

   Again, thanks to Eric Norrie for suggesting this tip :-
   
   "Using the Blessed Hammer skill at a high level means you can have 
    mass amounts of blessed hammers flying around doing ridiculously high 
    damage".
    
   Something to bear in mind !! ;)

=============================================================================
¦                                NEWSFLASH                                  ¦
=============================================================================

I may well have overlooked something with regard to the Desert Mercenary and
the Paladin, which Calvin82390 very kindly pointed out to me by saying that 
the auras won't necessarily conflict as, if the Desert Mercenary uses an aura
like Holy Freeze, and the Paladin uses ... say ... a combination of Zeal and 
Fanaticism, then the combination will actually work really well instead of
really poorly.  I shall leave it to you, our discerning viewers, to decide,
but Calvin is right - if you play it right you can turn what I had expected
to be a thorn into your side into a real kick in the nuts for your enemies !!

Thanks Calvin !!

=============================================================================

   Iron Wolf Mage    - My hireling of choice for the Paladin, owing (once
                       again) to his versatility.  The Iron Wolf Mage can
                       attack up close, or fall back to provide long ranged
                       support for the Paladin.  SCORE: 4/4
   Barbarian Warrior - Whilst there are instances in which I would think the
                       Barbarian Warrior WOULD make a great hireling to be
                       paired up with the Paladin, the Barbarian Warrior as
                       a hireling is perhaps not as versatile a companion as
                       the Iron Wolf Mage, from the Paladin's point of view.
                       SCORE: 3/4

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                SORCERESS                                  ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

The Sorceress ROCKS.  Plain and simple.  Her mastery of the elements - fire,
ice and lightning - make her a REAL force to be reckoned with in the game and,
whilst she should avoid hand-to-hand combat if at all possible, she can hold
her own in MOST situations at higher levels.

The obvious downside is, as I've just said, that she's VERY weak in
hand-to-hand combat ... but trust me, as with most sorcerer characters, if
you play them well, you can kick BUTT regardless.

GOOD POINTS :-

*  Arguably the strongest magic user in the game ... some of her spells
   inflict SOOOO much damage it's unreal !! =)
*  One of her passive skills (warmth) increases the speed at which she
   recovers mana naturally, and that's a BIG bonus if levelled up wisely ...

BAD POINTS :-

*  Weak in hand-to-hand combat, as is to be expected really.
*  Sounds very bitchy if you try and get her to carry too much stuff at
   one time.

CLASS-SPECIFIC WEAPONRY :-

*  Certain wands and staves are sorceress specific, e.g. the Eagle Orb.

QUIRKS :-

*  Telekinesis should not be overlooked for its usefulness, as it can enable
   you to a) pick up items that are lying on the floor in a Jedi Stylee, b)
   open/close doors, c) open/close chests and d) push back enemies.  It's
   VERY versatile and even if you just put one skill point into it, it's
   worth having.

HIRELINGS :-

Important to bear in mind when playing the sorceress is that she should NOT
get into hand-to-hand combat if she can avoid it.  Therefore, depending on
the PACE at which you play the game, my comments are as follows :-

   Rogue Sister      - Pretty much the same comments as with the assassin to
                       be honest with you, I find that when I am playing the
                       Sorceress I play carefully and deliberately.  I don't
                       just rush around here there and everywhere, because
                       she DOESN'T have the kind of troop support that the
                       Necromancer can call into play, so the Rogue Sister
                       suits my needs best.  SCORE: 4/4
   Desert Mercenary  - If you are diligent and keep an eye on him, he can
                       work quite well as a companion for the sorceress as,
                       even though he has a tendency to just barrel straight
                       into the enemy, he can lend you the protection of his
                       aura, and you can lend him the protection of your
                       NEO-THUNDERKISS-BLASTER 3000 !! =D.  SCORE: 2/4
   Iron Wolf Mage    - Almost ranking up alongside the Rogue, owing YET AGAIN
                       to his versatility, the Iron Wolf Mage can pair up
                       with the Sorceress very very well indeed. However, I
                       prefer to have my hirelings using their heads, and
                       therefore in order to compliment my "keep out of
                       harm's way with the sorceress" policy, I *really*
                       don't need the hassle of having to keep an eye on my
                       hireling, and this boi DOES sometimes just feel the
                       need to go off on one ... SCORE: 3/4
   Barbarian Warrior - Poor, poor little Barbarian ... whilst a REALLY
                       attentive sorceress could put his strength to good use,
                       you would have to keep an eye on him 24/7 for fear
                       he'd get in over his head and this would leave you a)
                       stretched to keep him alive mana and health potion-wise
                       and b) having to focus more on him than yourself, and
                       in my opinion a hireling just shouldn't be causing you
                       that much concern.  Sorry mate.  SCORE: 1/4

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                  DRUID                                    ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

Finally, we come to the rather peculiar-looking druid.  Representing mastery
over nature and the beasts, this lad likes nothing more than to adorn the
corpses of dead animals and march about making cute comments about planting
the dead and other oddities ... he's funny, and I do kinda like him, I must
admit.

In game terms, the Druid is the SECOND best troop management character,
playing second fiddle to the Necromancer ... however, the druids support
troops are, I believe, marginally more powerful than the Necromancer's (with
the possible exception of the Necromancer's Golems), and so the two even out
pretty well.

The Druid also has a good, varied command over magic and the elements.
Finally he has reasonable hand-to-hand skills ... all in all a good all-
rounder, without being a MASTER of anything ... except the beasts ...
but you know what I mean :)

GOOD POINTS :-

*  Can command multiple troops at the same time - e.g. ravens, wolves, dire
   wolves, spirits, etc.
*  Possesses a variety of skills from reasonable hand-to-hand combat skills,
   to varied magic abilities, to troop management skills.  A good character
   for a newbie.

BAD POINTS :-

*  His lack of total mastery of any one aspect of the game ... he's more a
   jack of all trades is our druid ...
*  His ranged magical skills, whilst reasonable, are not as effective as I
   would have liked them to be =./

CLASS-SPECIFIC WEAPONRY :-

*  Some headwear, e.g. the Griffon Headdress and Wolf Head, are specifically
   for the Druid.

QUIRKS :-

*  His ability to polymorph into either wolf or bear adds not only a physical
   combat aspect to his character, but the wolf is quicker, and can be used to
   get out of trouble, if you're in need of an out ;)

HIRELINGS :-

As he is quite a versatile character, the choice of a hireling will depend
largely upon your personal style of play, but I would make the following
suggestions :-

   Rogue Sister      - Good choice ... since the Druid CAN have multiple
                       units under his command at any one time, you might
                       find that the addition of a strong ranged unit is of
                       assistance to you.  SCORE: 2/4
   Desert Mercenary  - Probably a BETTER choice, as the Desert Mercenary can
                       not only lend support to the front-line troops of the
                       Druid, but his auras can assist as well ... SCORE: 3/4
   Iron Wolf Mage    - Ideally though, wouldn't you be better with somebody
                       that was REALLY versatile ?  Somebody that could
                       provide you with ranged cover to supplement your own
                       skills, OR get down and dirty in hand-to-hand ?  If so,
                       then the Iron Wolf Mage is your boi ... SCORE: 4/4
   Barbarian Warrior - Bringing up the rear, it's our trusty old friend the
                       Barbarian Warrior. I really DON'T have anything
                       against this guy - honest !!  It's just that he has a
                       tendency to be a bit ... um ... direct ?  And this can
                       leave HIM in situations in which he's fending off
                       attacks from all sides, and it can leave YOU in
                       situations where you are bailing him out, when you
                       SHOULD be able to just get on with looking after
                       yourself !!  SCORE: 1/4

So there we have it !!  My comments on the characters that you have to choose
from in the game.

I hope you found them of interest, and regardless of which one you've picked,
I'm sure you'll be KICK@SS !!  So let's begin ...


=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                PART THREE                                 ¦
¦                      ACT ONE - THE ROGUE ENCAMPMENT                       ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================


Your journey begins at the Rogue Encampment.  As you will quickly learn,
your path to find "the Dark Wanderer" is obstructed by Andariel - the Demon
Queen (one of the Lesser Evils of Hell and a follower of Diablo), who has
corrupted many of the Rogue Sisters, and blocked the path to the East behind
the Dark Wanderer.

It would appear that if you are to have any hope of following the Dark
Wanderer east, you will first have to help the rogues by liberating their
Monastery.

HURRAH.

So ... first off, I would suggest that you mill about the town for a little
while to get your bearings ... introduce yourself to the shopkeepers and chat
with the townsfolk ... you will find that depending on the character you have
chosen, some people react to you ... a little differently than others ... for
example, if you chose the Necromancer, Gheed takes an INSTANT dislike to you -
if you chose the Sorceress then you will find that Akara is VERY happy to
meet you, and so on.

Anyhow, for your information, a breakdown of the townsfolk is as follows :-

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                            ACT ONE - TOWNSFOLK                            ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================


AKARA  - Leader of the Rogue Camp - she is a kind lady dressed in a purple
         hooded robe, in the southeastern corner of the rogue camp.  Akara
         gives you several of the quests in the First Act of the game, and
         sells the all important TOWN PORTAL SCROLLS you will be needing ;)
KASHYA - Leads the Rogues into Battle - she has little time for those she
         sees as interlopers but, as you will find, her confidence can be
         won through good deeds.  Kashya will be responsible for providing
         you with your first Hireling as the First Act progresses.
WARRIV - A travelling merchant who gets about quite a bit ... recently he
         seems to have been outfitting the rogues with gear he obtains from
         the desert city of Lut Gholein.  Unfortunately of late he has been
         unable to leave the Rogue Encampment as his path through the
         Monastery has been blocked by Andariel's untimely arrival.
CHARSI - Charsi is the resident Blacksmith in the Rogue Camp.  She can repair
         your gear, and is quite skilled at fashioning new and interesting
         items in her shop.
GHEED  - A true merchant, Gheed is interested in precious little except his
         profit-margin.  You can "gamble" with Gheed - basically this is
         where you buy an UNidentified item from him (usually for quite a
         high price), and then find out it's UTTER CR@P !!

There ... now that I've given you the official line for each of the townsfolk,
here is MY view on each of them :-

AKARA  - SOUND.  Akara will replenish your life AND mana every time you visit
         her, so if you have run out of potions but have a town portal scroll?
         USE IT, go back to the town and visit Akara, and she will heal you 
         100%, free, no questions asked.  WE LOVE HER.
KASHYA - Aside from the fact that she gives you your first Hireling (which,
         in my humble opinion, is actually the best Hireling in the game -
         the Rogue Archer), Kashya is, I feel, an overly opinionated waster.
         She does NOTHING but gripe and whinge about your performance, and if
         I could throttle her ?  I would !!
WARRIV - Bless him ... he's in a bit of a fix isn't he ... nevermind ... we'll
         freeload on his wagon once we've beaten the sh!t out of the minions
         of Andariel ... Lut Gholein sounds like the happenin' place to be :)
CHARSI - She's pretty cool ... very friendly, but if you're anything like me
         you won't really wind up using her that much ...
GHEED  - Ah yes, Gheed.  What's the saying ?  There's always one pr!ck in
         every bunch of roses ?  Gheed is, in my opinion, useless.  I would
         NEVER gamble with him - especially when you see the prices he's
         charging ... 50,000 GP for a RING !?!?!??!?!  SHEESH !!!

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                            FLIPPING THIS AROUND                           ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

If you are looking for :-

Healing Potions               - then you should go to -     Akara
Mana Potions                  - then you should go to -     Akara
Town Portal Scrolls           - then you should go to -     Akara
Identify Scrolls              - then you should go to -     Akara
Thawing Potions               - then you should go to -     Akara
Antidote Potions              - then you should go to -     Akara
Stamina Potions               - then you should go to -     Akara
Keys                          - then you should go to -     Akara
Weapons and Armour            - then you should go to -     Akara, Charsi or
                                                                       Gheed

Anything to do with Hirelings - then you should go to -     Kashya

Someone to heal you           - then you should go to -     Akara
Someone to gamble with        - then you should go to -     Gheed
Someone to repair your gear   - then you should go to -     Charsi

You may also notice as you are walking around that there is (just to the
northeast of Warriv) a chest labelled "your stash".  This is exactly what it
is.  Basically it's a storage box for you to keep extra money and items in,
as you WILL find that you don't have enough space in your regular inventory
to carry all your items in.  The stash ROCKS !! =D

HINT: ALWAYS deposit your cash into your stash, as you can a) draw on it
instantly, and b) you won't lose any if/when you die ;)

If you wind up filling your stash ?  Drop excess gold on the floor in town
before you go back into the wilderness, for the same reasons ... just make
sure you remember to pick it up BEFORE you save and exit, or it (along with
anything else that you left lying around on the floor) will be WAPORISED !!

Also, you might notice to the east of Kashya that there is a waypoint ?
Basically because the Acts in Diablo II and LOD are so HUGE the game designers
came up with a quick system of teleporting back and forth between significant
points in the levels ... these are called WAYPOINTS and, once activated, they
will remain "on" for the rest of the game.  You can even teleport between
different waypoints in different acts if you like =)

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                              ACT ONE - MAP                                ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================


For your convenience, here is a VERY rudimentary but functional map of Act
One, geographically.

            ROGUE ENCAMPMENT

                    ¦
                    V

                BLOOD MOOR             -->          THE DEN OF EVIL; THE HOLE;
                                                                     THE CAVE

                    ¦
                    V

               COLD PLAINS             -->          BURIAL GROUNDS; THE CAVE

                    ¦
                    V

               STONY FIELD             -->          UNDERGROUND PASSAGE

                                                              ¦
                                                              V

                                                          DARK WOOD

                                                              ¦
                                                              V


                THE HOLE               <--               BLACK MARSH

                                                              ¦
                                                              V

                                                        TAMOE HIGHLAND

                                                              ¦
                                                              V

                                                        MONASTERY GATE

                                                              ¦
                                                              V

                                                        OUTER CLOISTER

                                                              ¦
                                                              V

                                                           BARRACKS

                                                              ¦
                                                              V

                                                            JAIL

                                                              ¦
                                                              V

                                                        INNER CLOISTER

                                                              ¦
                                                              V

                                                          CATHEDRAL

                                                              ¦
                                                              V

                                                          CATACOMBS


=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                            ACT ONE - QUEST ONE                            ¦
¦                                DEN OF EVIL                                ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================


Once you've spoken with Akara you will find that she has kindly given you your
first quest - The "Den of Evil".  Basically, she wants you to go and clear out
an underground hideout in the area just outside the Rogue Camp, as she is
concerned that the denizens of that hideout are likely to pose a threat to the
safety of the camp in the near future.

NO WORRIES LUV - I'll get right on it !!

So ... leaving the rogue encampment for the first time you will find that you
have access to oodles more options.  Basically, there are many things you
CAN'T do in town.  Here's a quick run-down.

1)  You will NEVER be attacked whilst you are in town.
2)  You CANNOT attack anybody whilst you are in town.
3)  You cannot use most of your skills whilst you are in town.

Basically you have to think of town as a stopping point that you can use to
replenish your supplies, hire and fire mercenaries, upgrade or sell items,
etc., etc.

OUTSIDE the town you can use all your special skills, kill practically
anything that moves, and so on.

Explore the area around the rogue camp and you will find it's inhabited by,
as you would expect, low-level baddies ... slow-moving zombies, little
porcupine-thingies that shoot their quills at you, imps (remember them from
the first game ??  Bless 'em !!) and other iddy-biddy bad guys.

This would be a good time to bring up the whole concept of levelling up.
Skip this bit if you're a veteran of the Diablo Games ... basically experience
points (xp) are gained for every kill you, or one of the members of your team
(when you have a hireling or minion working for you) perform.  When you have
gained enough xp you will level up.  When you level up in this game you will
gain :-  5 Statistics Points, and 1 Skill Point.  Statistics Points are used
to increase one or more of your character's basic statistics - strength,
dexterity, vitality and energy.  Your health and mana increase as your
vitality and energy increase.  Your SKILLS are peculiar to your character
and come in three "schools" ... each character has access to three sets of
skills, and by the time you've completed the game you should be conversant
with pretty much all of them.  Allocating a point to a statistic will
increase your level of power in that statistic ... allocating a point to a
skill will cause that skill to increase by one level.

As you increase in level you will notice that the number of xp you require to
reach the next level increases too ... by a larger margin than the previous
level.  It's all very obvious, and that is one of the reasons I LOVE this
game so ... the interface is a simple point-and-click one ... the plot is
immersive, and the mechanics are logical and simplistic. BUT IT'S STILL SO
ADDICTIVE !!!!!   I LOVE IT !! =)

So ... what I'm trying to say is that you might level up once or twice before
you get to even START your first quest ... so always use your xp points
wisely.  Once allocated, they cannot be removed ;)

Also, on one of your trips back to the town, I would strongly suggest that
you avail yourself of the opportunity to purchase either some more Town Portal
scrolls, OR a Tome of Town Portal. Basically the difference is that a Tome of
Town Portal can hold up to 20 Town Portal scrolls, thereby saving you space
whilst you're carrying them.  Town Portal is NOT a spell that can be learned
in Diablo II: LOD - unlike in the first Diablo title.

If you go too far in the Blood Moor you will encounter Flavie - a Rogue who
is patrolling the entrance to the second area.  She will tell you to turn back
and complete Akara's quest before venturing further into the wilderness.  No.
You can't kill her.  Go on ... hang your head and turn around ... go on ... I
won't tell ;)

HINT: If you start to take damage from bad guys in the immediate area, you can
always lure them back towards Flavie and she will try and help you out by
attacking them with her bow and arrow.

Eventually you will come upon the Den of Evil.  It's represented by a purple
and pink blip on your map (press TAB to overlay your map onto the screen at
any time, and TAB again to get rid of it), and you can go down and start your
first quest whenever you're ready !!

It's a VERY easy quest to complete ... there are (give or take) some 40 bad
guys in the Den of Evil, and your mission is to kill each and every one of
them.  Pay particular attention to the "Shamen" characters, as they can
resurrect imps of their corresponding type - e.g. Dark One Shamen can
resurrect Dark Ones.  Therefore, the Shamen should be your primary targets in
any group that they are a part of.

Having said that, it's NOT that difficult a quest, and you WILL know when you
have succeeded ;)

You are then told to return to Akara to collect your reward.  You can either
walk back to the town on foot or, if you've taken my advice and purchased
some Town Portal scrolls, you can simply warp your way back to the town.
Either way, go back and see Akara.

Akara is SO chuffed that you've sorted out her little problem, that she gives
you A NEW SKILL POINT !!  WOOOOOOOHOO !! =D

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                            ACT ONE - QUEST TWO                            ¦
¦                          SISTERS' BURIAL GROUNDS                          ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

Next you should go and speak to Kashya, who is eagerly waiting to give you
your second quest - Sisters' Burial Grounds.  Basically Andariel has
resurrected one of the Rogue Sisterhood's highest ranking warriors - a close
personal friend of Kashya - Blood Raven.  Blood Raven passed away in a tragic
toaster accident a few weeks back and, now that she has been brought back to
life she has started begun amassing an army of undead warriors in the Sisters'
Burial Grounds just off the Cold Plains AS YOU DO.  There are THREE ways out
of the Cold Plains.  Firstly through the Sisters' Burial Grounds; secondly
through the Stony Field; or finally through the Waypoint system.  Do not go
to the Stony Field yet.  If you get to the Stony Field ?  You've gone too
far ;)

A couple of quick hints about manoeuvering around and about the map.  First
off, if you are looking to get from A THROUGH B to C as quickly as possible -
e.g. from the Rogue Camp through the Blood Moor to the Cold Plains ?  Then I
would suggest that you skirt around the edge of the area to find the passage
to the next area.  It will be quicker as you won't waste so much time
engaging the HORDES of bad guys that obstruct your path, and the chances of
you dying are generally lessened too ............ RESULT !! =D

This is also a good time to bring up the concept of False Lairs, too ... so
bear with me ...

MANY areas in the game have false lairs in them ... the purpose of these
levels is to 1) throw you off-track, 2) increase the game's longevity (need
they bother ?  I'm hooked already !!), and 3) provide you with the chance to
get better weapons and up your xp if you like ... in the Cold Plains you will
find something called "The Cave" - you don't NEED to go into this cave if you
don't want to ... it's entirely up to you.  Each false lair contains a golden
chest at the end of it, and each golden chest is jam-packed with goodies ...
from gold to potions to magic/unique/set items (we'll get to those later).

Right ... so ... as you enter the Sisters' Burial Grounds you will notice
that you receive a Quest update.  It's time to WHOOP @SS !!  Again, your
mission here is quite a simplistic one - all you have to do is kill Blood
Raven.  HOWEVER, this is not AS simplistic as it may at first appear, as
Blood Raven has the ability (remember Kashya's original briefing ?) to raise
the dead !  Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees that's right ... SO ...
depending on which character you have opted for, this can prove to be
quiiiiite interesting.  ALSO, as Blood Raven is a fallen Rogue Sister, she is
equipped with a bow and arrow (as it seems are so many of the rogues), and
can fire flaming arrows at you that do quite a bit of damage, so BE CAREFUL.

There are two false lairs in the burial grounds should you wish to explore
them - the Mausoleum and the Crypt.

I would suggest concentrating your attacks on Blood Raven herself as, once
she has fallen, she will let out several large bursts of energy which will
kill almost all of the zombies and other undead warriors in the Burial
Grounds - and CERTAINLY the ones in your immediate vicinity. Also, the longer
you leave Blood Raven alive, the more zombies and skeletons you will wind up
having to fight, as she will continue to resurrect them during the fight ...

She isn't a stupid opponent, however, as she will try and lead you INTO
groups of zombies and other undead fighters if you chase her ... you must
try and outsmart her ... and always keep an eye out for her arrows, as they
ARE quite damaging.

Once Blood Raven has fallen, you will be told to return to Kashya for a reward.
I *personally* always visit both false lairs in the Burial Grounds - just to
gain xp and goodies ... I don't waste my time with the ones out in the
wilderness, but these I make a special exception for.

When you return to Kashya, you will be rewarded with ................... your
first Hireling !!

YEY !!

Hirelings ROCK.  You can only ever have one Hireling working for you at a
time, and they come in several different fruity flavours.  In THIS Act your
Hireling will be one of the rogue sisterhood.  They all look the same, but
they can either have fire or ice enchanted arrows, and they have the ability 
to cast amplify damage on their arrows periodically as well ...

In MY humble opinion the Rogue is the BEST Hireling you can get in Diablo II:
LOD, but I am of course willing to accept that opinion in this regard is
quite sharply divided.

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                 HIRELINGS                                 ¦
¦                              THE ROGUE SISTER                             ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

Now would, of course, be a great time to bring up a few points about hirelings.
A hireling is a follower - a subordinate character that follows you around
and provides you with backup as and when you need it.  There are FOUR
different hirelings in Diablo II: LOD, and I will detail each one as and when
we come to it.

Your first hireling, the Rogue Sister, is an archer and, as such, can be
equipped with a bow to increase her damage at range.  She cannot use any
"amazon specific" bows, however, nor can she equip any crossbows, but she
doesn't need arrows, as she has an infinite supply.  She can also wear one
piece of general headwear - again, nothing specifically for another class -
e.g. no griffin headdress or lion helm for her ... and she can wear one piece
of body armour as well.

Your first Hireling is given to you automatically upon completion of the
second quest in Act One and, as such, you don't have the option of picking
her from the outset.  However, if you go to Kashya and examine the list of
hirelings available, you will see that they have different skills ... some
can create fire arrows, other can create ice arrows, for example.  You can
replace your hireling with another one for a fee should you wish or,
alternatively, you can buy another hireling with yours dies (or, if you're
happy with her, you can resurrect her).

PLEASE NOTE that if you swap Hirelings, anything your OLD hireling was
carrying is dismissed immediately.  Therefore, it might make financial sense
(depending on what he/she is carrying) to sell off their items before
switching your hireling ...

Another thing about the Rogue Sister is that she (regardless of her
particular skills) has a chance of casting amplify damage when she is
attacking.

The POINT I am trying to make is that you should ALWAYS look to pick your
hireling with care, as he or she will be with you for a long time ... IDEALLY
for the duration of your character's game life !!

Since your hireling will naturally take damage as they fight, you will want 
to heal them periodically.  To do this, drag and drop a potion from your 
inventory onto your hireling's portrait and they will heal an appropriate 
amount of damage.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
HINT FROM BABYROAR & DIANE

Babyroar & Diane have been in touch with me to point out that you can also 
hold the SHIFT button and click on whatever potion you want, and this will
tell the game you mean for it to be given to your hireling instead of kept 
for yourself.  Thanks guys !! ;)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                            ACT ONE - QUEST THREE                          ¦
¦                             THE SEARCH FOR CAIN                           ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

To obtain your third quest you should go and see Akara again.  Your third
quest in Act One is entitled "The Search for Cain".  Remember Deckard Cain
from Diablo ?  That doddering old geezer that identified your wares at a cost
and gave you loads of "sage counsel" (aka useless ramblings) ??  Well as the
last living Horadrim he seems to have attracted quite a bit of attention, both
wanted AND unwanted these days ... and Akara, bless her, thinks that you
should go and seek him out.

Why not ?????  ONWARD !!

I will do this quest in three bite-size chunks for you, since we're still
newbies right ??

Okay ... here we go ...

FIRSTLY make your way through the Cold Plains to the Stony Field.  Find and
activate the Waypoint first and foremost.  Then look around for an exit from
the Stony Field called "The Underground Passage" - it will either be set into
the face of the mountain on one of the edges, or it will be somewhere in the
open ... if whilst you are hunting around you find a large group of stones
set into the ground ?  Those are the Cairn Stones and will become of
significance in a little while ... they are protected by Rakanishu and a load
of his little minions ... WATCH OUT FOR RAKANISHU AS HE IS LIGHTNING ENCHANTED
... basically this means that every time he is physically wounded, he emits a
charged bolt spell ... going against him in hand-to-hand can mean your death
if you're not careful ;)

Anyhow ... you don't NEED to do anything with the Cairn stones yet - you need
to move on and find the Underground Passage.  Once you have found it, make
your way through it. You may as well kill off all the baddies you find to make
sure you get oodles and oodles of that lovely xp, and then leave through the
exit that leads to the Dark Wood.

SECONDLY find and activate the waypoint in the Dark Wood, and then find the
Tree of Inifuss.  It's a HUGE tree that's protected by a load of Brutes led by
Treehead Woodfist - a captain ... once you have secured the area, walk up to
and touch the Tree of Inifuss to obtain a scroll.  Town Portal or use the
waypoint, and take this scroll back to Akara.

Akara will tell you that she has deciphered the runes on the scroll, and that
it pertains to the Cairn Stones.

THIRDLY you need to get back to the Cairn Stones in the Stony Field, so either
go back through the Town Portal you used to get to town and then warp back to
the Stony Field via the waypoints, or just go direct to the Stony Field from
the waypoint in the town ... EITHER WAY I would STRONGLY suggest that you take
at least one Town Portal Scroll with you before you go.

Once you are there, you need to find the Cairn Stones and either touch them in
the order that Akara has indicated on the scroll she translated for you ?  Or
just do what I do and punch them in a more or less random order until they all
glow.

Once they are all glowing, you will know you have succeeded ... and lo and
behold !!  A RED Town Portal appears in the centre that leads you directly to
TRISTRAM !!!!! =D

Saddle up, and prepare yourself to administer an @ss-whuppin ...

Go through the portal to Tristram, and CLEAN HOUSE BAYBEEEE !!  You are
looking for Deckard Cain - HE is your objective, and once he has been freed
you can leave Tristram and need never come back ... Deckard Cain is located
in the centre of town in a Gibbet (a big hanging cage).

I always deal with Tristram the same way ... from the Town Portal, which is
in the top right of Tristram, I work my way down to the bottom on the right
side of the area, taking out any Goatmen, Skeletal Archers AND Griswold, who
you will see has been cursed and transformed into an undead warrior now ...
bummer - I used to quite like him too !! ... and then along the bottom of the
map from right to left, where I search Wirt (remember him ?  The Peg-Legged
Boy ?)'s body for gold and Wirt's Leg (the significance of which will become
apparent later).

Then I work my way up the left hand side of the map, and then across the top
of the map to the middle, where I descend into the centre of town and take
out the skeletal archers and champions in the area (usually there are 2-3
captains plus Griswold and some champions/possessed/fanatics in Tristram).

Once the area has been pacified, I free Cain.

As soon as you release Deckard Cain he will town portal back to the Rogue
Encampment, and you are requested to go and speak with both him AND Akara.

Town portal back to the Rogue Camp yourself, Skeletor Stylee, and then have a
word with Cain and Akara.

Deckard Cain is so grateful to have been released from his captivity that he
offers to identify any unidentified items you uncover on your travels ...

.... clears throat ...

   ... puts on a big booming voice ...

      ... F-R-E-E   O-F   C-H-A-R-G-E ...

I mean REALLY how cool !!  SELL ALL THOSE IDENTIFY SCROLLS - you no longer
need them ... think of the SAVINGS !! $£$£$£$£$£$£

We like Cain - he's just gone up in our estimations ...

Akara will thank you for releasing Cain, and provide you with an already
identified magic ring, which is ALSO cool 'coz in your average game you
probably won't have picked up any jewellery yet ... so ANY ring she gives you
will be better than nothing !!

The quest completed, we move on.

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                            ACT ONE - QUEST FOUR                           ¦
¦                             THE FORGOTTEN TOWER                           ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

The next quest that you can undertake is one which you yourself must
activate.  To cut a long story short (because I am sure you are getting
tired of my ramblings aren't you ??), there is a Tower located in the Black
Marsh - an area just beyond the Dark Wood.  You will know when you have
found as a purply/pink box will appear on your mini-map (by now you are
doubtless familiar with this - it represents a way up or down from where you
are), and a HHEEAAUUUUUGE black tower will be visible on the map ... OR,
failing that, you can pre-empt this quest by finding a book called the
"Moldy Tome" in the Stony Field.  If you find it and read it (grizzly, I
know), you will acquire this quest.

Again, it's not TOO taxing in terms of its complication level - basically
you have to hack 'n slash your way through the FIVE levels of the Tower (and
no smarty-bum, that DOESN'T include the entry level), until you get to the
bottom level ... as soon as you get to that level, you will receive an update
to your quest, which is now to "dispose of the evil countess" ... so it's
time to put your pants outside your trousers Superman style, and GO GO GO !!

The Countess is located in a large room at the back of the fifth floor of the
Tower, and she is surrounded by minions ... you should prepare yourself to
fight Goatmen, Ghosts and fallen Rogue Sisters ... not to mention Zombies,
Skeletons and the like ...

The Countess is quite fast, but in all honesty most characters don't seem to
have that much trouble whupping her @ss ;)  She can create the odd wall of
fire though, so watch your feet !!

She is also Fire Enchanted, which means that when she dies she creates a
corpse explosion that will do damage to you if you are standing too close to
it.

Once the Countess has been slain, watch in awe as she turns into mist and
opens a chest in the middle of the room.

.... yes friends, not since Mary Poppins' Carpet Bag have we seen so many
items inserted into a single chest ... but are we complaining ???  HEEEEELL
no ... it's all good - grab the loot and SCRAM !! =)

This is your reward for completing the fourth quest - nobody in Town will
give you anything ....... tight-fisted !?!?"U£)"$£&$&"(!£"+$*£"$!"s

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                            ACT ONE - QUEST FIVE                           ¦
¦                             TOOLS OF THE TRADE                            ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

Fifth quest you can get from Charsi.  It's a quest to find and return an item
she seems to DESPERATELY want called the Horadric Malus.  Basically it's a
big mallet-type-thingy that she uses to forge weapons ... she says that if
you can get it for her, she will help you by strengthening your armour.

The Malus is being protected (as you would expect) by a guy called "The
Smith" ... remember the Butcher from Diablo ?  Same type of dude ... big,
ugly, fat, sweaty ... kinda reminds me of my high-school science teacher ...
only cuter =./

Anyhow ... in order to FIND the Malus (which is stored in the Barracks), you
will need to fight your way past the Black Marsh through the Tamoe Highland,
and up to the Monastery Gate.

Once you have reached the gate you will have to fight your way through and
into the Outer Cloister, and then into the Barracks.  Be careful, as the
Smith is no wimp, and there are quite a few minor baddies lurking around
him ... if I were you, I would make every effort to take out as many of the
little guys as possible - ESPECIALLY (as ALWAYS) the shamen who have a really
nasty habit of resurrecting their fallen comrades ... AND any captains in the
area as they boast better items (almost always at least one magic, set,
socketed or unique item), and do more damage if they hit you ... before you
try and take on the Smith.

If you stumble upon him and he starts to knock you about ?  DO THE SMART
THING AND RUN !!

Fall back to a more stable position and wear him down ... use your head ...

Once the Smith has fallen, grab anything he drops and then leg it to where he
was and pick up the Horadric Malus.

Once you reunite Charsi with the Malus she tells you that she will imbue one
of your items with magical powers.

Now ...

.... let me explain something to you here ...

     .... this may sound REALLY cool ?  And it CAN be ?  But it can also be
          REALLY limiting.

Charsi *WILL* imbue any one item with magical powers, PROVIDED that item :-

1)  Doesn't already have any magical powers
2)  Isn't a set item
3)  Isn't a unique item
4)  Isn't a socketed item (whether it has gems/runes in it or not).

                                    .... see what I mean ?

At this stage she can make you a MEAN pair of Horadric Socks ... or the
Horadric Sash of Jock-Itch, but that's pretty much it ...

If I were you, I would get her to imbue an item that you are NOT liable to be
looking to upgrade in the near future - a belt/gloves/boots ... probably not
a weapon, as you're most likely to swap that for something else ... OR heed
my note, below.

NOTE:  You don't HAVE to have her imbue anything yet ... you could wait until
you get something really special, and then come back ... for example, if you
wait until you're strong enough to carry and wear a Plated Belt ?  THEN you
might want to come back to her and have it imbued ...

.... come to think of it, I might do that with MY next character !! =./

Anyhow ... ONWARD !!

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                            ACT ONE - QUEST SIX                            ¦
¦                          SISTERS TO THE SLAUGHTER                         ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

The sixth and final quest in Act One you pick up from Deckard Cain.  After
you have completed the Horadric Malus quest for Charsi, he gives you the
Sisters to the Slaughter quest, where your objective is :-

(Queue Fanfare)

To Find And Slay The Demon Queen Andariel

(End Fanfare)

Riiiiiiight ... so ... armed with your Horadric Booties of Worthlessness or
whatever you've got, now is the time to find that biatch and make her PAY for
all the trouble she's caused the rogue sisters during her stay here.

.... yeah ...

.... bitch ...

Talk to Deckard Cain about this quest to gain more information - basically
he will tell you a VERY very useful thing about Andariel, which is that she
does not like fire.

Excellent !!  So now we know that we REALLY need to have some type of
flame-based attack so as to make sure we whup her butt, right ?

RIGHT !!

Go back to the Barracks, and then fight your way down and into the Jail.
Activate the waypoint in the Jail, and then fight your way through (it's
three levels deep) and into the Inner Cloister.  From the Inner Cloister
enter the Cathedral, and from there (be careful of the Captain who's standing
at about the centre who can poison you quite badly - you'll know him 'coz he
glows bright green) ;)  fight your way into the Catacombs, and then down down
down, activating the waypoint on your way to the fourth level of the 
catacombs, which is Andariel's level.

.... hee hee ... didn't you just love the way I crammed all that into those
four little lines up there, when we ALL know that it's going to take you AGES
to do it all ??

Don't worry ... I'll wait ...

.... g'wan girl ... kick sum @ss !!  I'll have a little nap ...

All done ?  Right ...

As you will have noticed, when you arrive on the Catacombs Level Four, your
quest is auto-updated.  This is the place alright - it's time to take on your
first Lesser Evil !!

Level Four is divided up into THREE rooms.  The room you are in is safe at the
moment - there are no bad guys there.  The NEXT room - room 2 - contains LOADS
and loads of villains ... mostly shamen and their lesser kin, zombies, and so
on.  Possibly even some mis-shapen.

Before you go into room 2 ?  Do yourself a favour and follow Mister Sinister's
BASIC rules to beating bosses :-

1)  Cover your butt.  Create a Town Portal in the first room.  You don't need
    to use it, but this way, if you die ?  Which you might well, you won't
    need to walk back from the last waypoint to where you are - you can just
    jump back through the portal, grab your corpse and keep on fighting.

2)  If you do die ?  Make sure you create ANOTHER town portal to replace the
    first one as soon as you arrive back in the midst of the action.

3)  If you die, the hireling dies ... but if the hireling dies first, you
    obviously do not automatically die.  This means that your DARLING
    hireling CAN be used as cannon fodder if you need to get clear.  Your
    life is more important - weemember dat Liu Kang.

Now ... armed with this knowledge (and having just created a Town Portal),
move forward and into the second room.

Clear out this room IN ITS ENTIREITY.  Do NOT attempt to enter the third room
until you have, or you are just making a rod for your own back.

Once the second room has been cleaned up, enter the third room.

This room is shaped like a large ... um ... hang on a sec ...

(confers with colleagues)

Space Rocket ... with thrusters ... and everything ...

.... effectively it looks like this :-


                                                -----
                                               ¦     ¦
                                               ¦     ¦
                                               ¦  x  ¦
                                               ¦     ¦
                                               ¦     ¦
                                               ¦     ¦
                                               ¦     ¦
                                       --------       --------
                                       ¦                      ¦
                                       ¦                      ¦
                                       ¦         ---          ¦
                                       -----------------------
                                                  ^
                                                  ¦

                                               Way In

Andariel is directly ahead of you - at the x.  She won't see you just by you
opening the door and, if you're VERY careful and keep that hireling of yours
in check, you should be able to clean out the left and right sections of this
third room before you take on Andariel.

When she finally comes to you ?  Draw her back into the second room.  There
is a large pit in the middle that you can run around like a little girly-mon
if you need to (and you most likely will need to).

Andariel's thing is POISON ... she loves to poison you ... she can fire either
a single string of poison gas at you (which moves like a snake towards you),
or a big cloud of poison gas that spirals out from her in several different
directions at once.

If you get into hand-to-hand with her, she WILL smack you one ... your best
bet is to play to her weakness - FIRE.  If you have any fire-based magic,
flaming arrows, that sorta thing ? Use it like it's going out of fashion ...
your rogue hireling (assuming she is still with you) can be sacrificed as
cannon fodder if things start to get REALLY tough, as I mentioned above.

Also, MOST important in this room ... WATCH OUT FOR THE FLAMES THAT WON'T GO
OUT ... I will illustrate this with a real example.

See the flames in the second room that are always burning ?  Like the ones
near to that rogue that's staked to the spear in the ground ?  You know you
take damage from those, right ??

Well, last time I fought Andariel, I was doing REALLY really well ... I was
playing a Paladin and took her on in hand-to-hand whilst my rogue was pinging
her with flaming arrows from afar. GREAT!  I thought ... I killed her in
hand-to-hand with practically no health left and let out a sigh, and then I
realised (all too late, 'coz my Paladin died in near slow-motion to my eyes)
that I had been fighting her whilst standing in a set of flames that weren't
going out ...

.... in what can only be described as David Timing, as Andariel died, SO DID
MY PALADIN.  This wasn't the end of the world, as I had created a Town Portal
in Room 1, so I just came back through it and picked up my corpse ... but do
you know what REALLY annoyed me ??  APART from my own stupidity ?????

I didn't get ANY experience points for killing Andariel, because the game
felt that as she died, I was dead too, and corpses obviously can't gain any
more xp.

I was GUTTED !!!!!!!!!

So PLEASE don't make the same mistake I did.

Now my son ... daughter ... whoever you are ... GO KICK THAT B!ATCH'S
@SS !!!!!!!!!!!  =D

Once you have killed her, a town portal will be created for you to return to
the Rogue Encampment, and you will be congratuled by the Townsfolk.  Once
you have healed, id'd, sold off and upgraded your weapons/armour, etc., it's
time to talk to Warriv and take the caravan outta here, which you can now
do, as he can travel out of the Rogue Encampment through the Monastery.

                      WELL DONE !!  YOU HAVE JUST COMPLETED ACT ONE !!!!!

Now relax and watch the cutscene, as we follow the path of the Dark Wanderer,
who it would appear is already ahead of us ...

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                 PART FOUR                                 ¦
¦                           ACT TWO - LUT GHOLEIN                           ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

.... sooooooo ... the Dark Wanderer has beaten us to Lut Gholein eh ... what
a BUMHEAD !!  He's probably already rented all the best movies and been to all
the local bars ... that SOD !!

*sigh*

Lut Gholein is a city located in the desert and, as such, there are plenty of
desert-stylee villains you will encounter ... BUT FEAR NOT !!  I am here ...
(cheesy, I know ... sorry ...)

At the start of Act Two you are approached by Jehryn - the ruler of the city.
Hear what he has to say ... basically he will give you a low-down on the
peeps in the City, which I will also do (with my own comments), and then
direct you towards Atma to pick up your first mission.

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                            ACT TWO - TOWNSFOLK                            ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

The Official Line ...

JEHRYN   - Jehryn is the keeper, if you will, of Lut Gholein ... he is
           responsible for looking after the city, and has hired Greiz and
           his mercenaries to help him do so.  Jehryn cares deeply about the
           safety of the townsfolk, and the keeping of the peace in his port
           city.
MESHIF   - Captain of a ship that travels all over the place and, from time
           to time, between Lut Gholein and the Eastern City of Kurast
           (although Meshif hasn't been back there in quite a few years it
           would appear).  Meshif is a good man who's heart lies with the
           open seas.
ATMA     - The owner of the Tavern in Town, Atma is much loved by the
           townsfolk, and tragically lost both her husband and her son to the
           monster that lurks in the Lut Gholein sewers - the Radament.
GEGLASH  - A drunkard who frequents the Tavern, Geglash is reputed to have
           been quite a warrior in his day, but too many ales have dulled his
           senses, and now he is about as much use as Farnham was in Diablo.
LYSANDER - A potion peddler in the Town Centre, Lysander is a little cranky,
           but his shop is well worth a visit should you need to pick up some
           healing potions ;)
DROGNAN  - A wizard who resides just outside the town square, Drognan sells
           scrolls and magical items to you during the second Act.  He is
           well versed in arcane lore, and knows much about the events that
           unfold as the Act progresses.
FARA     - Fara is a Paladin who was trained in Kurast in her youth.  She
           runs a weapon shop in the town centre, and you will doubtless be
           visiting her often, to stock up on weapons and sell those you have
           brought with you.  Fara has a strong set of principles, and will
           come across to you as being unbending in her beliefs.
ELZIX    - Keeper of the "Desert Rain" - an inn in the city.  Elzix used to
           lead a band of ruffians in his youth that terrorised the city for
           a time, but now in his old age, and having suffered serious wounds
           during his youth, he has settled into the life of an innkeeper.
           Elzix can be gambled with ...
GREIZ    - Greiz is the leader of a band of mercenaries that has been hired
           to help police Lut Gholein and keep the peace.  He is having a
           tough time, but his mercenaries are managing to hold things
           together.
WARRIV   - Now that he is able to move back and forth between Lut Gholein
           and the Rogue Encampment, Warriv is perfectly happy to take you
           back there should you wish to go back and visit your old friends
           at any time ...
CAIN     - Deckard Cain has come with you from the Rogue Encampment, and is
           still quite happy to identify items for you at no cost
           (WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOO !!!!!)

Now for my comments on these plebs ...

JEHRYN   - Jehryn is a nice guy, but there is one point on this level where
           he actually made me laugh out loud (I'll tell you when you get to
           it).
MESHIF   - Friendly enough, and you WILL need him to get outta here so don't
           tread on his toes JUST yet ;)
ATMA     - Poor lassy ... ever since she lost her husband and son in that
           tragic beetroot-mincing incident last year she just hasn't been
           the same :(  Seriously tho, I do quite like Atma, and I did enjoy
           doing the first quest, just to placate her :)
GEGLASH  - A drunken wastrel that I have no time for.
LYSANDER - Grumpy, but funny - I like Lysander :)
DROGNAN  - The COOLEST guy in Lut Gholein, Drognan just ROCKS !!  He's old,
           but he still kicks BUTT, and his subtle understated way of saying
           things makes me chuckle.
FARA     - Ordinarily I can't be doing with goody goody characters - they
           make my SKIN crawl.  Fara, however, has a logical approach to
           things that makes her that little bit aloof, so I kinda warmed to
           her after a while.  Also, she can heal your health and mana for
           free, so we have to give her big luv for dat.
ELZIX    - Think of him as Gheed Mark II.  Elzix is another rip-off merchant
           that I have absolutely NO time for ... he's just a pain in the
           @rse basically !!
GREIZ    - Cold and aloof, Greiz is just a man doing his job ... he is ALSO
           the keeper of the OH SO COOL Desert Mercenary Hirelings ...
WARRIV   - Whilst I think it's really sweet of Warriv to offer to take you
           back to the Rogue Encampment in his caravan, there isn't REALLY
           any need, as you can get back to it via the waypoint system.
           Therefore, he is now superfluous and can be disposed of.  HURRAH !!
           =D
CAIN     - Deckard Cain is useful, even though his accent drives me up the
           wall after a while.  His ability to identify any unidentified
           items in your inventory free of charge is DEFINITELY a cool thing
           to have =)

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                            FLIPPING THIS AROUND                           ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

If you are looking for :-

Healing Potions               - then you should go to -     Fara
Town Portal Scrolls           - then you should go to -     Drognan
Identify Scrolls              - then you should go to -     Drognan
Thawing Potions               - then you should go to -     Lysander
Antidote Potions              - then you should go to -     Lysander
Stamina Potions               - then you should go to -     Lysander
Keys                          - then you should go to -     Lysander
Weapons and Armour            - then you should go to -     Fara, Drognan,
                                                                      Elzix

Anything to do with Hirelings - then you should go to -     Greiz

Someone to heal you           - then you should go to -     Fara
Someone to gamble with        - then you should go to -     Elzix
Someone to repair your gear   - then you should go to -     Fara
Someone to id your items      - then you should go to -     Cain

*  Nobody sells Mana Potions in Lut Gholein

It should now be quite obvious to you that your first port (no pun intended)
of call when you arrive in a new area should be to visit all the merchants
and see who they are, what they do, and look to pick up any quests and
information you can from them.

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                               ACT TWO - MAP                               ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================


Here is a VERY rudimentary but functional map of Act Two, geographically.

    ----<---   LUT GHOLEIN
    ¦
    ¦               ¦
    ¦               V
    ¦
    ¦          ROCKY WASTE             -->          STONY TOMB
    ¦
    ¦               ¦
    ¦               V
    ¦
    ¦           DRY HILLS              -->          HALLS OF THE DEAD
    V
    ¦               ¦
    ¦               V
    ¦
    ¦           FAR OASIS              -->          MAGGOT LAIR
    ¦
    ¦               ¦
    ¦               V
    ¦
    ¦           LOST CITY              -->          ANCIENT TUNNELS
    ¦
    ¦
    ¦
    ¦
    -------->    PALACE                -->                HAREM

                                                            ¦
                                                            V

                                                      PALACE CELLAR

                                                            ¦
                                                            V

              CANYON OF THE MAGI       <--           ARCANE SANCTUARY




=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                 HIRELINGS                                 ¦
¦                           THE DESERT MERCENARY                            ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

As you will see when you speak to Greiz, he is the hireling-guy in Lut Gholein
and he has a bunch of "desert mercenaries" working for him.

The Desert Mercenary is the second of the four hirelings that you can pick up
in Diablo II: LOD, and I HAVE to say that many people do really favour using
this hireling at the expense of the others ...

The Desert Mercenary can be equipped with a helmet, one piece of body-armour,
and a polearm or spear-class weapon, such as a halberd or glaive.  He cannot
use anything that is "Amazon only", but at higher levels he does do PLENTY of
damage.

Also, the Desert Mercenary's BEST feature is his ability to use auras that
enhance the performance of the GROUP - i.e. NOT just himself ... I cannot
say his whole list of auras by rote, but I do know that they include
(depending on the difficulty setting you are playing on and what his
speciality is - e.g. defense/offence) thorns and defiance.

My comments with regard to choosing the right type of desert mercenary for
you are the same as for the rogue sister ... pay close attention to his
speciality - is it offence or defence that you are interested in ??  before 
you pick him.

=============================================================================
¦                                 NEWSFLASH                                 ¦
=============================================================================

With regard to the Desert Mercenary, I have been approached by Louis 
Nassraway, who has the following advice to give :-

"You should REALLY give the Act2 merc some more credit (expecially the
nightmare difficulty defensive 1 (holy freeze aura). This merc has got
to be the BEST 1 for the sorc. Try doing this and you'll know why I
say it. http://www.battle.net/diablo2exp/items/runewords.shtml#new
find the Insight rune word. Get a nightmare difficulty Act2 defensive
merc and give him a (POLE ARM NOT SPEAR (I made that mistake once = \)
and you will never need a mana pot again... seriously. The runeword
gives a 12-17 meditation aura.. I mean at lvl 1 that aura almost has
as much mana regen as a lvl 20 warmth! Then he has his holy freeze
aura too which makes him do more dmg (holy freeze gives cold weapon
damage to the user) and he slows the enemys so they take longer to hit
(?) and they take longer to get to you.

There's another way to do that merc that makes him insanely powerful.
First, either get the normal or hell difficulty defensive merc. Then
give him Bramble runeword armor (lvl 15-21 thorns). Then give him Doom
runeword weapon which gives a Holyfreeze aura and tons of damage. Then
give him a vampgaze for helm or a tals helm (vamp is better but tals
is cheap)

And here's one I just thought up that would be expensive too and don't
know how good it would be. First get an Act2 nightmare difficulty
defensive merc. Then give him Dream runeword (goes onto helm) for a
lvl 15 holy shock. Then give him a weapon with "Hands of Justice" rune
word (lvl 16 holy fire). And then give him the bramble for armor.
Thats 4 Auras on 1 merc (3 of them add elemental damage to his attack
too)."

Thanks very much Louis for those very cool tips - definitely food for 
thought :) :)


=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                            ACT TWO - QUEST ONE                            ¦
¦                              RADAMENT'S LAIR                              ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

The first quest you pick up in Act Two is called Radament's Lair.  You pick
it up from Atma at the tavern just to the northeast of Deckard Cain.  Atma
tells you her tragic tale of woe, which, out of respect to her, I won't take
the p!ss out of.  Basically there is a demonic creature living in the sewers
under Lut Gholein that has begun to terrorise the populous, and kidnap people
from the City, dragging them down into the sewers where it devours and
mutilates them.  Both Atma's husband and her son have fallen to the Beast,
and she is DESPERATE to see it slain.  She pleads with you to help her, and
I think you should.

In fact ?  You don't really have that much of a choice ... but it's worth
it - trust me !!

The Radament, as this beast is called, is actually a Horadric Ancient - an
embalmed Horadric Mage who has somehow been respawned and has violated his
sacred crypt to wreak havoc on the living.

You must make your way into the Lut Gholein sewers and destroy it.  There
are TWO ways to get into the sewers - you can either take the ladder beside
Greiz, or you can take the stairs beside Meshif.  I always take the ladder,
but it's entirely up to you.

Whichever way you go, you will wind up on the Sewers Level 1.

There are THREE levels to the sewers, and you should be aware that there is
a waypoint that you should really activate on the second level of the sewers.
The sewers are infested with predominantly zombies, skeletons and the OH so
annoying skeletal archers.  If you find yourself out in the open being pinged
by flaming arrows ?  RUN AWAY !!  Fall back to a secure area - like around a
corner or something, and pick off your enemies as they come to you ...

So - basically all you need to do is make your way all the way down to the
third level of the sewers and search out and slay the Radament.

I should point out that the Radament is a PAIN in the @RSE because he has the
ability to resurrect fallen undead warriors, AND raise new ones, to fight for
him.  Focus your attention on the Radament as, even though he is quite
strong, if you just spend your time killing his minions, you will never get
around to attacking him directly !!

(Same rules as for Blood Raven then, basically !!)

Once the Radament has fallen, open the chest near him and you will receive
LOADS of goodies, PLUS the Horadric Scroll !!!!!  (Um ... what is that ??
GO SEE CAIN !!) =D

When you are back in Lut Gholein, first off you should speak with Atma who
will thank you for slaying the Radament, AND tell you that by way of a
reward, she has spoken with the townsfolk on your behalf, and they have
agreed to reduce the price of their wares for you.  This is good as it means
that Drognan, for example, will now start selling you Town Portal Scrolls
at 90 gp per scroll, instead of the regular 100 gp you're probably used to ...

This can't be a bad thing as you are bound to need a lot of these scrolls on
this act !! ;)

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                            ACT TWO - QUEST TWO                            ¦
¦                             THE HORADRIC STAFF                            ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

Next up you should go and speak to Deckard Cain who will give you the second
quest on Act Two, entitled "The Horadric Staff".  Basically he tells you that
the Scroll you have just brought him details how to create a Horadric
Staff - a device you will be requiring in order to gain access to Tal Rasha's
Tomb, where Tal Rasha struggles to keep Baal - the Lord of Destruction - in
check.

Just to recap in case you were having trouble with the plot thusfar, the Dark
Wanderer has arrived in Lut Gholein ahead of you, and is seeking Baal, whom 
he has identified as his brother.  Baal is locked in eternal combat with the 
Mage 'Tal-Rasha', and the Chamber that is the arena for their battle is 
located SOMEWHERE in the vast expansive desert.

Essentially you will require three items to create a Horadric Staff :-

     1)   A Horadric Cube
     2)   A Horadric Staff's Shaft Piece (aka the Staff of Kings)
     3)   A Horadric Staff's Head Piece (aka the Viper Amulet)

Once you have all three items you can place the shaft and the head piece into
the cube, and transmute them.  Don't worry - we'll get to all this in a bit ;)

So !!  Armed with the knowledge you must now set off to find yourself a
horadric cube.

Q.  Why couldn't Cain be satisfied with the Horadric fluffy dice we had 
    Charsi make us during the First Act ??

WHO KNOWS !?!?!

Nevermind eh.

You need to leave Lut Gholein through the main gate and head out into the
desert to start this second quest.  Head through the Rocky Waste to the Dry
Hills, and activate the waypoint there BEFORE you go into the Halls of the
Dead to look for the Horadric Cube.

You might find a place called the Stony Tomb in the Rocky Waste.  This is
just a sub-level, similar to the Hole or the Pit - you can go there and
clean it up if you like, but this isn't necessary in order to proceed with
the quest so I won't go into it in any great detail.

I will go straight on to the Halls of the Dead.

Once you have entered the Halls of the Dead, be aware that it is also three
levels deep, and that there is, as with the sewers, a waypoint on the second
level.

Again this level represents a regular cleanup job - however you will
doubtless note that there are plenty of Horadric Ancients and other nasty
things kicking about that intend on causing you harm, and so I would
strongly suggest re-checking your weapons and armour before you head down
there.  You don't want to be caught short !! ;)

Once you have found the golden chest on the third level down of the Halls of
the Dead, you will have found yourself the Horadric Cube.

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                               HORADRIC CUBE                               ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

This is one of the COOLEST items you can get in the game and you MUST keep it 
in your stash AT ALL TIMES.  Basically you should think of the Horadric Cube 
as a melting pot.  You throw in items, and use the cube's "transmute" function
to turn them into other items.

Examples (and please note that this is NOT an exhaustive list) include :-

1)  Three gems of an identical type become one gem of the next type up
    (chipped > flawed > normal > flawless > perfect).  This also works for
    skulls.
2)  Three healing potions (needn't be the same strength) + Three mana potions
    (again, any strength or combination of strengths will do) become one light
    rejuvination potion.
3)  3 light rejuvination potions become 1 FULL rejuvination potion (WELL
    WORTH IT !!)
4)  Quest items can be assembled in the Horadric Cube - like the Horadric
    Staff and Khalim's Will (later in the game).

ALSO, you can just place items into the cube for storage reasons, as it only
takes up 4 points in your stash, but it can hold many more points worth of
items inside it ...

                                   !!! THE HORADRIC CUBE ROCKS !!!

Right ... anyhow ... now that you have the cube and have spent a wee while
transmuting all those lovely little gems you've been picking up, AND cleared
up your stash a little, it's time to go find the shaft portion of the Horadric
Staff - the Staff of Kings.

In order to do this you must travel through the Dry Hills and into the Far
Oasis (again, please activate the waypoint there before proceeding).  This 
time you are looking for a way down into the *shivers* Maggot Lair.

IMPORTANT : DO NOT ENTER THE LOST CITY, so do NOT go down any tunnels that
lead from the Far Oasis - I'll explain why in a bit ;)

The Maggot Lair is ANOTHER three-level structure, but this one DOESN'T have a
waypoint located inside it, which is cool 'coz it's not INSANELY difficult ...
unless you encounter scarabs inside it, and then you're screwed basically ...
=./

ANYHOW !! =)

Make your way down to the third level and find and slay Coldworm the Burrower
to obtain the Horadric Staff's shaft portion.

Hints for this level are as follows :-

1)  Stock up on antidote potions, as you are going to need them when you come
    up against Coldworm the Burrower.  You should be aware that poison cannot
    kill you unless it is accompanied by impact ... what I mean is that if you
    have 100% health and you are hit by an arrow that does 20 points of damage
    to you (leaving you with 80 health), even if the poison does ... say ...
    120 points of damage over 10 seconds or something, you won't die.  You
    WILL be reduced to 1 point of health, but you cannot die in this fashion.

    HOWEVER.  YOUR HIRELING MOST DEFINITELY CAN DIE IN THIS WAY, SO BE
    CAREFUL !!

    You CAN die if you have ... say ... 10 health left, and a poison bomb
    hits you, the bomb doing 20 points of damage and the poison doing 120
    points of damage, as the INITIAL IMPACT of the blast will kill you ...
    hokay ?

2)  Coldworm has THE most effective poison attack I have ever seen ... it
    lasts for AGES and is MEGA bad when compared against Andariel's
    comparatively pathetic poison attacks ...

3)  Swarms look and sound far more menacing than they are - it's just 'coz
    there are so many insects that it looks like you're going to get your
    butt kicked ...

4)  If you see Scarab Beetles, RUN AWAY unless you are playing the Paladin
    and/or have good lightning resistance.  Scarab Beetles are semi-lightning
    enchanted in that they will EITHER emit a charged bolt upon death, OR
    with each hit - depends on the type of impact I think.

5)  It is worth exploring the maggot lair as there are several rooms that
    branch off that contain powerful magic items ... so I would suggest you
    take the time to have a proper look around before you kill Coldworm.

Once you have slain Coldworm the Burrower, take the Staff of Kings and go 
and see Cain again.

Cain will give you a good pat on the back and tell you that you are now well
on your way to being able to create a Horadric Staff, and that all you now
need is the head piece ...

Place the Staff of Kings into your Horadric Cube (or carry it if you prefer)
for safe-keeping, and let's GOOOOOOOOOOOOO !! =D

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                           ACT TWO - QUEST THREE                           ¦
¦                                TAINTED SUN                                ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

The next thing you need to do in your quest for the Horadric Staff is to go
back to the Far Oasis and through it and into the Lost City.

.... you remember ... that place I told you NOT to go into earlier ??  Well
here's why ...

Almost as soon as you enter the Lost City, you will witness an eclipse, and
everything goes REALLY dark, making it tough to see where you're going, who's
in the area and what's lying on the floor (most importantly).

You will have just acquired the third quest - "Tainted Sun", and are told to
visit Drognan to ascertain what has caused this sudden eclipse.

Drognan will tell you that he believes it to be the work of Claw Vipers, and
advises you to go and find their temple and put a stop to WHATEVER they are
doing down there ...

.... sounds like a plan !!  Let's do it ... the Horadric Staff thingamajig
can wait ...

So ... go THROUGH the Lost City (activating the waypoint there) and into the
Valley of Snakes.

The Valley of Snakes as an area is miniscule, as you've probably noticed if
you've gone around the edges like I suggested back in Act One ??  There is
really only one structure worth looking at in the Valley of Snakes, and it's
that very impressive set of stairs leading down into the desert sands, with
the two snakes standing proudly one on either side of it ...

                      .... which we're about to take ... so ... down we go !!

You'll be pleased to note that the Claw Viper Temple is only TWO levels deep,
although once again there is no waypoint to activate, but I would make a
suggestion.

When you find the way down to Level 2 ?  Create a Town Portal at the TOP of
the stairs, as the second level is really compact and there are a few nasty
boys in there to contend with ...

.... same suggestion as I offered when you were fighting Andariel ;)

So ... when you go down to the second level you enter an area that looks like
this :-




                                          ----------------
                                          ¦              ¦
                                          ¦              ¦
                                          ¦              ¦
                                          ¦               ----------
                                          ¦                        ¦
                                          ¦       y              x ¦
                                          ¦                        ¦
                                          ¦               ----------
                                          ¦              ¦
                                          ¦              ¦
                                          ¦              ¦
                                          ----------------

x = the stairs leading back up to the first level.
y = the altar

You need to get around to the Altar and activate it to complete the third
quest.  HOWEVER, don't just go charging in because to the south of y is a
bunch of snakes led by a lightning-enchanted purple claw viper called
Fangskin.

BE V-E-R-Y CAREFUL.  As you will most likely already be aware from having
fought them on the first floor (and perhaps elsewhere), Claw Vipers,
Salamanders and their kin can shoot from a fair distance away, DIRECTLY into
combat range ... this isn't good ;)

.... of course, if you do die it's not the end of the world as you've already
heeded my advice and created a town portal in the vicinity that you can use
to get straight back into the fray, non ??? ;)

Once you have activated the altar you will be rewarded with the completion of
the THIRD quest, and the Viper Amulet (which is actually the head piece of
the Horadric Staff !!)

NEAT !! =D

Now you need to go back to Lut Gholein and see Cain, who will tell you exactly
what I just have, and also confirm that you now need to assemble (or
'reunite', as he so quaintly puts it) the shaft with the head piece in the
Horadric Cube.

Do so now, and transmute the two pieces to make the Horadric Staff - your key
to entering Tal-Rasha's Burial Chamber !! =D

You will find that you HAVEN'T yet completed the second quest, however, as
your final chore in that quest is to physically lug the Horadric Staff into
Tal-Rasha's Burial Chamber, which we are obviously not yet ready to do ...
LARGELY because we haven't a scoobies where it is !!

Hmmmmmmmmmm ... =./

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                           ACT TWO - QUEST FOUR                            ¦
¦                             ARCANE SANCTUARY                              ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

In order to obtain the fourth quest on Act Two you need to go and speak with
Drognan.  He will tell you that he believes he has uncovered a way to
ascertain the correct burial chamber of Tal-Rasha ... the Arcane Sanctuary !!

The Arcane Sanctuary was the residence of the ancient Summoner, Horazon.
Horazon used to keep beasts that he summoned as his slaves within the
Sanctuary, and from his position he kept eye on many of the most significant
events that unfolded in the world of man ... he would most DEFINATELY have
been watching when the Horadric Mage Tal-Rasha chose to embody the spirit of
Baal and, if you're lucky, you MIGHT find reference to the location of the
Tomb of Tal-Rasha in Horazons Journals ...

.... Drognan tells you that the Palace is the site of an ancient Vizjerei
Tower, and that there should be a way to get into the Arcane Sanctuary from
within the Palace.

He also suggests that you go speak with Jehryn.  Do that now, please.

(waits whilst you haul @ss across town).

Ah Jehryn.  It's been a long time ... how are you old friend ??

(whips out his Jehryn glove puppet and wibbles it about a bit)

What's that ???  You've got a problem ?????  What's that then ???????

(wibble wibble wibble)

Oh my !!  That IS a problem ...

(takes off glove puppet because he suddenly realises you are watching him).

Ahem ... Yeeeeeess ... sorry about that ...

(kicks glove puppet out of sight).

So yeah !  Jehryn made me laugh out loud when you speak to him this time
around ... I was like .... oh REALLY how generous of you to let all those
terrified little Harem Girls come into the safety of your big palace you
little pornking.

I mean REALLY !!!!!!! =O  Does he think we're stupid or what !?!?!

Jehryn's tale of woe (IF you can call it that) is that when the troubles
began in the city, he allowed the Harem Girls to join him and his guards (for
a tea party I'm sure) in the Palace.

HOWEVER, one night his guards heard screaming from the palace cellar, and
went down to find the Harem girls being mercilessly slaughtered by a bunch of
demons that had started pouring forth from a mysterious rift in the cellar.

His guards fought the demons back into the cellar and barracaded them in, but
more kept pouring forth from this rift and things got to a stage where
Jehryn's men couldn't cope on their own ...

THIS is when he decided to hire Greiz, to keep the peace.

AND with that in mind ?  It's time to go down into the Cellar and see what's
cooking !!

Now, the Palace Cellar (before we go any further) is LARGELY static in its
layout, so whilst the things I'm going to point out to you may move about a
little bit ?  They are invariably very near to where I'm going to tell you
they are, so you should be able to find them no problem.

Since I've not done a numbered list for a little while ?  Now might be a
good time ...

This is how to get through the Harem and Palace Cellar levels as expediently
as possible.

1)  Enter the Palace
2)  Descend into the Harem
3)  Work your way to the bottom left hand corner of the Harem Level 2 and
    descend into the Palace Cellar.
4)  Activate the waypoint just south of the CENTRE of the Palace Cellar 1
    level.
5)  Descend to the Palace Cellar level 3 - the way down is in the bottom left
    hand corner of the Palace Cellar Levels 1 & 2.
6)  Make your way to the CENTRE of the third level, and activate the portal
    to the Arcane Sanctuary.

Once you are in the sanctuary, activate the waypoint !!

The OTHER way of dealing with the Harem level is just to clear out room by
room.  It's kinda satisfying because there are quite probably going to be
some demons in there that you've not yet encountered - like Dune Beasts and
Marauders ... but there are SHEDLOADS of archers and spellcasters in the
Harem and the Palace Cellar, so please make sure you are prepared !!!!! :)

Once you have entered the Arcane Sanctuary you will see that BROADLY speaking
it looks like this

                                                -----
                                                ¦   ¦
                                                ¦   ¦
                                                ¦   ¦
                                                ¦   ¦
                                       ---------     ---------
                                       ¦          X          ¦
                                       ---------     ---------
                                                ¦   ¦
                                                ¦   ¦
                                                ¦   ¦
                                                ¦   ¦
                                                -----

X marks the spot where you enter the Arcane Sanctuary from the Palace Cellar.

Let me just point out one thing here.

THREE of the points (picked entirely at random, so I cannot help you
unfortunately) contain GOOD things at the end - usually three chests loaded
with gold, gems and magic items.  That's three chests, PER stalk of my cross.

THE FOURTH POINT is the resting place of ... not Horazon himself ... OH no ...
but a Vizjerei Mage that came to Lut Gholein a while back, looking for the
Arcane Sanctuary.  Drognan knows him.

This FALSE Summoner has EXTREMELY powerful ranged attacks, so WATCH OUT for
him, as he will be able to kill you from afar, very Very VERY quickly.

It doesn't matter which order you attempt the stalks in, but here are a few
pointers for you :-

A)  On the stalk with the teleportation pads, don't worry if you seem to
    teleport to a place that you can't quite work out whether you should be
    in or not ... just keep on going - it'll all turn out right.

B)  When you get to the end of a good stalk you have three options ... either
    1) fight your way back down the stalk using the side you DIDN'T use to
    come up this stalk; 2) go back down the way you came up, thus avoiding
    confrontation with any baddies (as you must have killed them to get here);
    3) Town Portal back to Lut Gholein and then use the waypoint to get back
    to the centre of the Arcane Sanctuary and try another stalk.

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                           ACT TWO - QUEST FIVE                            ¦
¦                               THE SUMMONER                                ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

C)  When you receive new quest information ?  FALL BACK IMMEDIATELY as it
    means you have found the stalk that contains the False Summoner.  Now,
    Sinister says you should fall back to a safe location, and create a town
    portal just in case.  The False Summoner attacks with a variety of VERY
    powerful magic attacks - predominantly curses, Glacial Comet, and Wall of
    Fire ... DO NOT stand on his wall of fire as you will die VERY quickly -
    it does MEGA damage !!  If you can get up close and personal you should
    find that the false summoner falls to your blade(s) quickly, as he is
    very weak in hand-to-hand ... it's just at range that he is a bumhead ...

Once you have slain the false summoner, read Horazon's Journal and you will
learn that there are SEVEN tombs out in the desert, and that ALL are touted
as being the "true" tomb of Tal-Rasha.

However, only ONE of these tombs is the true tomb ... the other six are false
tombs designed to help keep the location of the true tomb secret.

HOWEVER, fortunately for you ?  Horazon knows the symbol of the TRUE tomb, and
he will inscribe it for you into your quest screen (so you don't need to copy
down the symbols of the six false tombs onto a piece of paper like I did when
I first got here - what a muppet eh !!) - you just need to either press 'Q' on
the keyboard, or click on the Quest button and highlight the sixth quest on
this act to see the symbol of the true tomb of Tal Rasha.

You will doubtless note that you have also created a red Town Portal when you
opened the Journal, which you should go through now.

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                           ACT TWO - QUEST SIX                             ¦
¦                             THE SEVEN TOMBS                               ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

As soon as you get through the Town Portal, head upwards and activate the
waypoint ... then go back to town and sell your goodies for cold, hard,
keesh.

The layout of the Canyon of the Magi (into which you have come from the
Arcane Sanctuary) is as follows :-

                                     --------------------------
                                       1       2       3        \
                                                               4 \
                                                                  ¦
                                                                  ¦
                                                                  ¦
                                                                 5¦
                                                                  ¦
                                                                  ¦
                                                X                 ¦
                                                                 6¦
                                                                  ¦
                                                                  ¦
                                                                  ¦
                                                                 7¦
                                                                  ¦


*  X marks the waypoint - you start this portion of the game just south of
   the waypoint, at the Town Portal that you used to get here from the Arcane
   Sanctuary.
*  1-7 mark the locations of the 7 "Tombs of Tal-Rasha".  Bear in mind that
   only one of these seven tombs is the TRUE tomb, and that the symbol for 
   this tomb is in your quest screen.

If you want to check the symbol that represents a particular tomb ?  Look on 
the smashed pillars at the entrance to the tomb ;)

I MUST POINT OUT that it is a very good exercise in xp-gaining AND item-
pickups to clear out the six false tombs before attempting the real one ... 
this is because each false tomb has a golden chest at the end of it, and we 
ALL know how cool those can be :)

HOWEVER, in ONE of those tombs (it's almost always in one of the fake tombs,
although I'm sure it COULD conceivably be in the real tomb from time to time)
you will find a Horadric Ancient called "Ancient Kaa".

When you find Ancient Kaa, fall back ... he is VERY very powerful, and 
normally lightning enchanted, so again, unless you're a Paladin with kick@ss 
lightning resistance ?  Don't even GO there !! ;)  Fortunately in most 
instances you can trick Ancient Kaa into following you back out and into 
areas that you have already explored, and you can then actually trap him in 
... say ... a room that you've been in before ?  And then leave him there and
go off and finish exploring that particular level.

ANYHOW ... enough of the six false tombs, onto the REAL one.

The exact layout of the true tomb varies ... but in one of the rooms you will 
find, inset into the floor, a circle with a point in the centre into which 
you can insert an item.

Find this point, and then insert the Horadric Staff into it.  When you
choose to let it do its thang, each of the points around the outside of the 
circle will light up in turn, and then a HUGE blast of lightning will strike 
the wall to the north-west of the circle, and the way to Tal-Rasha's Burial 
Site will be opened for you.

STOP !!!!!

Make 3,000% sure that you fully heal, AND (and this is MOST important) create 
a Town Portal in THIS room BEFORE you go any further, ok ?

So ... leaving an open town portal behind you, IN THIS ROOM, you may descend 
to your next big battle.

.... which ISN'T with Tal-Rasha OR Baal, as you might have been led to 
believe ?  It's with ...

-----------  ----       ----  -----------  ----- -------------- -----
¦          \ ¦  ¦       ¦  ¦ ¦           \ ¦   ¦ ¦            ¦ ¦   ¦
¦          ¦ ¦  ¦       ¦  ¦ ¦  -----    ¦ ¦   ¦ ¦            ¦ ¦   ¦
¦  ------  ¦ ¦  ¦       ¦  ¦ ¦  ¦    ¦   ¦ ¦   ¦ ¦    --------  ¦   ¦
¦  ¦    ¦  ¦ ¦  ¦       ¦  ¦ ¦  -----    ¦ ¦   ¦ ¦    ¦         ¦   ¦
¦  ¦    ¦  ¦ ¦  ¦       ¦  ¦ ¦           ¦ ¦   ¦ ¦    --------  ¦   ¦
¦  ¦    ¦  ¦ ¦  ¦       ¦  ¦ ¦    -------  ¦   ¦ ¦            ¦ ¦   ¦
¦  ¦    ¦  ¦ ¦  ¦       ¦  ¦ ¦    ¦        ¦   ¦ ¦            ¦ ¦   ¦
¦  ¦    ¦  ¦ ¦  ¦       ¦  ¦ ¦     \       ¦   ¦ ¦    --------  ¦   ¦
¦  ¦    ¦  ¦ ¦  ¦       ¦  ¦ ¦  ¦\  \      ¦   ¦ ¦    ¦         ¦   ¦
¦  ------  ¦ ¦   -------   ¦ ¦  ¦ \  \     ¦   ¦ ¦    --------  ¦   ¦-------
¦          ¦ ¦             ¦ ¦  ¦  \  \    ¦   ¦ ¦            ¦ ¦          ¦
¦          ¦ ¦             ¦ ¦  ¦   \  \   ¦   ¦ ¦            ¦ ¦          ¦
-----------/ --------------- ----    ----  ----- -------------- ------------

That's right ... DURIEL.  And he is P!SSED !!!!!

(So would I be if I looked like that ... I mean DAMN !!!!!)

Duriel is kinda like a gigantic bug on rollerblades ... he moves REALLY really
quickly, and he can slow you down by virtue of an aura he has ... although you
can't really see it because it is under his blubberbutt.  Basically it's 
identical to the Paladin's "Holy Freeze" aura ?

He does MEGA damage in physical range, and he has been responsible for killing
my characters more times than ANY other creature in Diablo II: LOD., with the
possible exception of Diablo himself.

I HATE Duriel with a passion, and I have found that the surest way to wear him
down is to simply keep on using that Town Portal trick I told you ... if you
fall to him, you will die, and you will be brought back to life in Lut Gholein.
Go back through the Town Portal you created and you will be back in the
chamber outside your fight with Duriel ... create a replacement Town Portal,
and head back into the fight with Duriel.

The only THREE characters I have ever been able to use to defeat Duriel
without dying themselves have been the Paladin (through judicious use of his 
thorn aura and a LOT of healing potions), the Barbarian, through his plain 
coolness factor !! and the Amazon (again, through lots of healing potions and 
her use of a really cool Spear I picked up).

I should also point out that, during this fight ?  You CANNOT retreat back to 
the town portal you created in the earlier room.  You're stuck in THIS room 
until you either kill Duriel, or he kills you, but TRUST me it's easier for 
you to create a town portal in the EARLIER room than it is to do it in THIS 
room.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
HINT FROM BABYROAR & DIANE

Babyroar & Diane have also been in touch with me to point out that there is 
a VERY useful technique you can apply in the Duriel fight if you are playing
the Sorceress, and that is (assuming you have the appropriate power of 
course), you can teleport around the arena avoiding Duriel, whilst allowing
your Hireling to attack him ... obviously the Rogue Sister is particularly
good at doing the job as she attacks at range all the time.

Thanks again guys =)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
¦                               ADDITIONAL HINT                             ¦
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jonty30 has suggested that it might actually be a good idea TO create a town
portal in the same room as Duriel, since you can repeatedly retreat through
it to Lut Gholein, provided you don't return from Lut Gholein THROUGH the 
portal to Duriel again.

This means that you COULD, should you choose, face Duriel as follows :-

1)  Create your town portal in Duriel's lair as soon as you enter it;
2)  Face Duriel, and retreat through the portal before he kills you;
3)  Heal up in Lut Gholein and then return to Duriel's portal by going through
    the waypoint to the Canyon of the Magi, and then legging it back from 
    there to Duriel's lair.  Then go back to step 2 when you're done !
    
I must confess that this isn't a technique I would use *personally*, but as
it does represent a valid and playable alternative to the one I have already
presented to you, I thought I would include it as a matter of course.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
¦                            END OF ADDITIONAL HINT                         ¦
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Once Duriel has finally fallen, ransack his corpse for cool items and then 
head through the hole in the north-western wall to find Tal-Rasha's burial 
site, and the Archangel Tyrael who, it appears, has been waiting for you for 
quite some time.

He will create a Town Portal for you, to take you back to Lut Gholein.

Go there, and then speak with the townsfolk ... sell any items you don't want,
heal up, the usual ... and then go and speak with Jehryn.

Jehryn will tell you to go and speak with Meshif, to arrange safe passage to 
Kurast, as it appears you have arrived too late to stop the Dark Wanderer, 
who we now understand to be Diablo himself (!?!?!), from having freed Baal 
from his eternal unrest in battle with Tal-Rasha.

It looks like the only hope for our world now is to head them off before they 
free Mephisto from his imprisonment in the Eastern Temple City of Travincal - 
the Capital of Kurast if you like - otherwise the three Prime Evils will be 
reunited and this would NOT be a good thing as, let me assure you, their 
first plan will NOT be start a soccer team ... OH no ... they'll probably do 
something MUCH more sinister ... like ... replace all regular coffee with 
decaf or something like that ... *shiver*

When you are ready, speak with Meshif and get him to transport you to Kurast.

WELL DONE ON BEATING DURIEL, BY THE WAY !!

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                 PART FIVE                                 ¦
¦                        ACT THREE - THE KURAST DOCKS                       ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

Ooh !!  COOL cutscene eh ??  I really enjoyed that one - I don't know about 
you ?  Unfortunately it's not good news as that DIPSH!T that's been following 
Diablo around has just made a CATASTROPHIC mistake in releasing Baal into the 
world ... but we're secretly glad he did 'coz it means that we can now proceed
with the game !! ;)

So ... Meshif has taken you to the eastern city of Kurast and, lo and behold, 
it's a jungle.

Great.

A ... Jungle ...

JUST what we needed, eh !!

Well there's no sense in stopping ... let's get cracking.

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                           ACT THREE - TOWNSFOLK                           ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

The Official Line :-

MESHIF  - By now you are doubtless familiar with Meshif - the ship captain 
          that brought you to Kurast.  He's a nice gentleman that will give 
          you free passage to and from Kurast and Lut Gholein should you wish 
          to return there.
HRATLI  - Hratli is a mage who specialises in enchanting weapons and armour 
          with magic.  He does come up with some quite cool goodies for you 
          to buy during the level, and he can repair your weapons and armour, 
          so keep in touch with him.
ASHEARA - Asheara is the leader of the local group of hunters - the Iron 
          Wolves.  She can hire out a mercenary to you, should you need one.
ORMUS   - A Skatsimi Mage who speaks in riddles, Ormus may confuse you, but he
          is arguably the most useful character in Kurast, as he holds the 
          scrolls you need to buy and will heal you free of charge whenever 
          you visit him.
ALKOR   - Alkor is an Alchemist who does not like to be disturbed.  He is, 
          however, open to the occassional gambling session, and can provide 
          you with insight into the troubles that lie ahead of you ...
NATALYA - A representative of an order that is sworn to hunt down and slay 
          corrupt mages, she offers to aid you with information that she 
          picks up during her travels, for as long as she is in Kurast.
CAIN    - Deckard Cain has, we see, tagged along with you for this new 
          adventure as well.  This is good, as he is always a sight for sore 
          eyes.

.... and now for my Sinister Spin on it :-

MESHIF  - Meshif is a nice guy, but can you IMAGINE spending days at sea with 
          him ?  He'd drive me demented !!  We don't need him to take us back 
          to Lut Gholein, as we can get there via the waypoint in the town ...
          but he will still prove useful to us ;)
HRATLI  - Hratli is ok, but his voice annoys me after a while ... he IS, 
          however, a skilled blacksmith and, as such, I suppose I shouldn't 
          gripe about him too much.
ASHEARA - Aside from being leader of the Iron Wolves, and able to resurrect 
          YOUR hireling if he/she dies (which will probably be the case), 
          Asheara isn't that much use.  Natalya reckons she's all mouth and 
          no trousers, and whilst I think that's perhaps a little harsh ?  
          She's probably not THAT far from the truth.
ORMUS   - Yes, I agree with my comments earlier (shocker eh !!) - Ormus IS 
          the most useful character in the town, as he will heal you and 
          replenish your mana free of charge, and he is literally just around 
          the corner from Deckard Cain, so he's the handiest person to sell 
          any items you don't want to.
ALKOR   - Omigod how funny !!  We LOVE Alkor - he is DEFINITELY my favourite 
          character in Kurast.  He is dry and cutting, and I REALLY dig his 
          accent.  He can stay.
NATALYA - A TOTAL waster !!  Natalya is USELESS.  She DOES nothing, she GIVES
          you nothing, she TAKES nothing ... she just wastes your time with 
          her drivel ... stamp reject and move on honey.
CAIN    - As per usual, Deckard Cain is here ... he's kinda like an old piece
          of comfy furniture, but ... not as fun to sit on ... he's always 
          there, and you need him to always be there ... but ... he's not 
          really very exciting is he, bless him.

Ah yeah ... so as we can see, we have another motley crew to work with, but 
nevermind !!  I'm sure you'll soon whip them into shape ;)

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                            FLIPPING THIS AROUND                           ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

If you are looking for :-

Healing Potions               - then you should go to -     Ormus
Mana Potions                  - then you should go to -     Hratli (very very 
                                                                     rarely) *
Town Portal Scrolls           - then you should go to -     Ormus
Identify Scrolls              - then you should go to -     Ormus
Thawing Potions               - then you should go to -     Alkor
Antidote Potions              - then you should go to -     Alkor
Stamina Potions               - then you should go to -     Alkor
Keys                          - then you should go to -     Hratli
Weapons and Armour            - then you should go to -     Hratli, Ormus,
                                                                       Alkor

Anything to do with Hirelings - then you should go to -     Asheara

Someone to heal you           - then you should go to -     Ormus
Someone to gamble with        - then you should go to -     Alkor
Someone to repair your gear   - then you should go to -     Hratli
Someone to id your items      - then you should go to -     Deckard Cain (as
                                                                       always)

*  I'm not sure whether it's just a quirk this one time I played the game ?  
But Hratli actually sold me mana potions ... and no I didn't sell them to him 
and then forget and then buy them back - I'm not THAT stupid ... as I say it 
only happened the once, so whilst I've put him on my list up the top there, I 
wouldn't rely on him being able to supply you with any if I were you ...

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                 HIRELINGS                                 ¦
¦                             THE IRON WOLF MAGE                            ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

If you are bored with either your rogue sister of desert mercenary and fancy 
a change ?  You can go and speak with Asheara ... she leads the mercenary band
of mages called the Iron Wolves, and she will be quite willing to hire one out
to you if that is your wish, once the second quest in this Act has been 
completed.

Iron Wolf Mages are the most versatile of all the hirelings that you can 
commission to work with you in Diablo II: LOD.  They all possess one of three 
types of ranged attack - fire, ice or lightning, and can be equipped with a 
helmet, a single piece of body-armour and a single-handed sword and shield for
close-quarters combat.

As you will see from my compatability analysis at the top of this walkthrough,
I have ranked the Iron Wolf Mage quite highly and, whilst I INVARIABLY use the
Rogue Sister (as I will freely admit I DO have a soft spot for her), the Iron
Wolf Mage would be my close-running second choice as a hireling.

Same comments as always apply ... please be careful when deciding which 
hireling you wish to pick up ... look at their skills - do you want them to 
have fire, ice or lightning as their primary method of ranged attack ??  
Hmmmmmmmm ???

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                              ACT THREE - MAP                              ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================


Here is a VERY rudimentary but functional map of Act Three, geographically.

               KURAST DOCKS

                    ¦
                    V

               SPIDER FOREST           -->          SPIDER CAVERN; ARACHNID 
                                                                         LAIR

                    ¦
                    V

                GREAT MARSH

                    ¦
                    V

               FLAYER JUNGLE           -->          SWAMPY PIT; FLAYER DUNGEON

                    ¦
                    V

               LOWER KURAST

                    ¦
                    V

               KURAST BAZAAR           -->          KURAST SEWERS; 2 TEMPLES

                    ¦
                    V

               UPPER KURAST            -->          2 TEMPLES

                    ¦
                    V

              KURAST CAUSEWAY          -->          2 TEMPLES

                    ¦
                    V

                TRAVINCAL

                    ¦
                    V

             DURANCE OF HATE


Kurast and its surrounding areas are kinda both a pain in the butt, and really
cool ??  In my humble opinion, the Spider Forest, Great Marsh and Flayer 
Jungle are TOTALLY annoying, but Lower Kurast, the Kurast Bazaar, Upper Kurast,
Travincal and the Durance of Hate ROCK !!

IN FACT I would say that Lower Kurast is my favourite part of the entire 
game !!  I'll explain in a bit ...

Hokay ... ready ??  Here we go !!

Walking out of town takes you directly into the Spider Forest, and you will 
notice the Dark Wanderer directly ahead of you ... follow him for a few steps 
(don't waste your time trying to kill him - he can't be hurt), and he will 
teleport away leaving some nasty little deformed critters in his wake ... slay
them and then begin to explore the area.

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                           ACT THREE - QUEST ONE                           ¦
¦                              THE GOLDEN BIRD                              ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

Before I get to the meat and bones of the first quest, a word about Shamen.  
You will wind up fighting loads and loads of little pigmy qweetchas 
(creatures - sorry - couldn't resist) in this Act, from Soul Killers to 
Flayers to Undead Stygian Dolls, and so on.  Each of these races (bar the 
Undead varieties) have SHAMEN to accompany them.

... and these Shamen are MUCHOS more difficult to dispose of than the ones in 
Act One my friend.

Shamen may LOOK cute ... sitting on the shoulders of their kin, and chanting 
away ... but they are EVIL little muthas that you should take GREAT care when 
facing.  Basically a Shamen has the power not only to resurrect his fallen 
companions, but also to create a flamethrower-like blast of fire that he can 
direct at you INDEFINITELY - i.e. he DOESN'T run out of mana for it, so going 
in against a bunch of Shamen in hand-to-hand is borderline GUARANTEED suicide.

Watch yourself, and try and take them out at a distance if this is at all 
possible.

Anyhow ... I'm getting sidetracked by my hatred of these little sh!ts ... 
sorry ...

In a random encounter with a boss (usually in the Spider Forest), you will 
find a Jade Figurine is dropped along with the regular goodies - e.g. a magic 
weapon from the boss fight and possibly some potions.

When you pick up this Jade Figurine you will be given your first quest - that 
of the Golden Bird.

This is SUCH an easy quest it's basically taking the pish ...

All you need to do is this (once you have picked up the Jade Figurine) :-

1)  Go back to the Kurast Docks
2)  Talk to Deckard Cain
3)  Talk to Meshif
4)  Talk to Deckard Cain
5)  Talk to Alkor
6)  Talk to Alkor again.

And that's it !!

Deckard tells you that he knows Meshif collects Jade Figurines, and that you 
should go show it to him.  Meshif is so impressed with it that he offers to 
trade a Golden Bird he has been carrying with him for it, and you accept.  
Then you go and show the Golden Bird to Cain and he identifies it as being 
the Golden Bird of Ku Y'leh - an artifact that Alkor might find interesting ...
showing it to Alkor makes him VERY happy and he offers to make you something
from it to say thanks ...

Alkor then mixes you up a potion that PERMANENTLY adds 20 points to your life 
when you drink it !! =D

Drink drink dink dink dink.

Dink da joops.

G'wan.

Here endeth the first quest !!  Easy, wasn't it ?

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                           ACT THREE - QUEST TWO                           ¦
¦                         BLADE OF THE OLD RELIGION                         ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

Next up you should go and speak with Hratli, to get your second quest in Act 
Three - "Blade of the Old Religion".

He tells you that the enchantment that he placed to keep the monsters out of 
the Kurast Docks is weakening, and needs its energy replenishing.  The only 
way to DO this is to find and put into place a sacred Skatsimi Blade called 
the Gidbinn.

The Gidbinn is located in the Flayer Jungle, and is quite well protected.

So !  Off we go !!

Whilst you CAN speak to Deckard Cain before you leave the town, and he WILL 
give you the third quest, for ease of reading this guide I'm going to totally 
ignore him for the time being, and deal with the quests sequentially, just so 
as to keep things simple.

Head through the Spider Forest (through the Great Marsh if you have to, 
although sometimes the Spider Forest leads directly into the Flayer Jungle 
(!?!?!)), and look for a clearing that has crude huts in it ... there will be 
faces carved out of stone, and small huts with spikes stuck into the roofs 
that signify you are in the right place.  There is also a big black cooking 
pot sitting in the hamlet with two bodies in it ...

In this area you will find an ILLUSORY Gidbinn sitting on a stand.  Clean the 
area out thoroughly before you activate this stand as, when you do, the 
illusory Gidbinn will disappear in flames, and a boss will be summoned ... 
THIS BOSS has the Gidbinn, and should be killed ASAP.

Once he has fallen, grab the Gidbinn from his corpse, and head back to the 
town.

Give the Gidbinn to Ormus, who will use it in an enchantment to strengthen 
the power of the magic at the dockside.

Speak to Ormus again, and he will reward you with a magic ring that you can 
obviously either keep or sell as you see fit.

You should also speak with Asheara, who will tell you that, as fewer of the 
Iron Wolves are now needed to guard the dockside (the enchantment having been
reinforced by your goodself), they are at your disposal.

By her saying "some of them have volunteered to accompany you free of charge"
I am taking it that, if you were WITHOUT a hireling when you spoke to her, 
you would get an Iron Wolf free of charge to replace your old Hireling.

PLEASE BE CAREFUL OF THIS.  You might have wanted to resurrect your old 
Hireling, and this might make it impossible ... if you DO lose your hireling 
and want to resurrect him/her, then I'd use a waypoint to go BACK to Lut 
Gholein or even the Rogue Encampment, and have Greiz or Kashya bring them 
back to life ... and THEN go talk to Asheara ;)


=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                          ACT THREE - QUEST THREE                          ¦
¦                               KHALIM'S WILL                               ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

The next quest (which in all practical reality you will probably have already 
picked up) you get from Deckard Cain ... it's called Khalim's Will, and to 
cut a long story short, as with the requirement to obtain the Horadric Staff 
before you could enter Tal-Rasha's Burial Chamber, so too must you recombine 
items to craft Khalim's Will before you can enter Mephisto's Durance of Hate.

Unfortunately, whereas the Horadric Staff was just two parts, Khalim's Will 
is actually a FOUR- part item, comprising :-

          1) Khalim's Eye
          2) Khalim's Brain
          3) Khalim's Heart
        & 4) Khalim's Flail

Your first objective is to find Khalim's Eye, which is located in the Spider 
Cavern ... NOT in the Arachnid Lair - within the Spider Forest.

Let's do this first (naturally - duh - sorry).

Find the Spider Cavern (which you may already have done - Act Three is a bit 
topsy-turvy - soz), and go down.  PLEASE take my advice and create a Town 
Portal outside before you go in though ??

When you are inside, hunt around VERY VERY CAREFULLY until you find SSzark 
the Burning - a VERY powerful spider - and his cohorts.  SSzark the Burning 
is very powerful because, as you will see if you wand him with your mouse, he 
is (unless your copy of the game is going to make a liar out of me) 
EXTRA-STRONG ... this means he can do MEGA-DAMAGE to you if you get up close 
and personal with him ... but what other choice do you have ?  He's really 
quick !!!!!

Slay him by whatever means are necessary (and don't feel bad if he kills you 
at least once ... he even killed my barbarian ... yes - the same one that 
killed DURIEL in hand-to-hand combat without dying !?!?!?!?!?!?!?!).

Once he has fallen, go to the golden chest nearby and grab the contents, 
including Khalim's Eye, and then go back to the town and insert the eye into 
your stash ... there's no point in carrying it around with you ;)

============================================================================
¦                               IMPORTANT NOTE                             ¦
============================================================================

Archangel Apollo has made contact with me to say (and I quote) :-

"I was going through the Spider's Lair and came accross the Golden Chest.
Now I hadn't yet killed SSzark the Burning. I thought, "Oh sweet!!! I
can grab the eye and bail!"   . . . That was, sadly, not to be, however. The 
eye was not in chest. So I figures some unique monster must have it. So I
continues going around killing everything. My Zealed Holy Shock attack
laying waist to everything in my path. MUAHAHAHAHAHA! I fanally came
accross a small section that had shown up on the map, but I'd nolt
explored and I killed SSzark the Burning. WAKZAP WAKZAP WAKZAP! My
Zealed Holy Shock made mincemeat of him. And I didn't die. =D HA HA!!! I
looked at the goodies he dropped, he didn't have it either....so after
making sure the Lair was indeed empty and I'd not missed anything I
proceeded with the one possible course of action left-read this faq.
Then I realized my horrible mistake of opening the chest first and
realized I was boned. For by opening the chest first, before killing
SSzark the Burning, the Eye of Khalim would never lay itself upon me to
behold my shiney, armored, paladin, ass."

Thanks Archangel Apollo !

=============================================================================
¦                             END OF IMPORTANT NOTE                         ¦
=============================================================================

So!  Next thing to look out for is Khalim's Brain, which you will find in the 
Flayer Dungeon.

The Flayer Dungeon is one of two structures in the Flayer Jungle - the other 
being the Swampy Pit.  The Flayer Dungeon is three levels deep, and Khalim's 
Brain is located on the third level down, as you would expect.  It is guarded 
by Witch Doctor Endugu and his band of Shamen ... this level has the 
POTENTIAL to be INSANELY difficult to beat, but here are a couple of quick 
pointers that you might find to be of use :-

1)  Create a Town Portal at the entrance to the third level of the Flayer 
    Dungeon ... it is not THAT important whether you create it at the way 
    down from the second floor, or the way up from the third floor - what IS 
    important is that you create it, as the third level of the Flayer Dungeon 
    is (by virtue of the good Witch Doctor) a B@STARD !!

2)  You will notice that in lots of the walls there are bits that you can 
    actually see through ?  Use this to your advantage if either you or your 
    hireling have a ranged attack.  Incidentally, the barbarian can jump 
    through wall-gaps like this (if you want to lure more enemies back so 
    that you can pick them off) ;)

3)  Use this technique to move around the level cautiously, and take out 
    those enemies that you can see but who cannot hit you ... the trick to 
    success in the Flayer Dungeon is to get Witch Doctor Endugu into a 
    position where you (and ideally your hireling) can pelt him from a 
    distance without taking damage yourselves !! :)

Once Witch Doctor Endugu and his cronies have fallen, check out the golden 
chest in the area and nick its contents, including Khalim's Brain.

Return to the town and insert the brain alongside the eye into your stash.

Next up is Khalim's Heart.  This is located in the sewers beneath the Kurast 
Bazaar.

Before we get there, we must go through Lower Kurast (which, as I've mentioned
before, is my FAVOURITE part of Diablo II: LOD, AND I'LL TELL YOU WHY !!).  
Basically Lower Kurast is a GIGANTIC shopping centre ... on almost every 
screen, regardless of where you stop, there is something to open, or a corpse 
or hollow log to investigate ... it ROCKS dude !!  PLUS of course it's 
considerably smaller than the three areas before it (Spider Forest, Great 
Marsh and Flayer Jungle), and CONSIDERABLY better structured ...

What's also cool is that next time you play the game ?  You can just come back
here ... or to any other area you enjoyed playing - e.g. the Arcane Sanctuary -
and do them again for xp gains and item gains ... this aspect of the game 
makes it easier to ENJOY tailoring your character at higher levels ...

Anyhow, enough of all that ... you need to hack 'n slash your way through 
Lower Kurast to get to the Kurast Bazaar.

When you arrive at the Kurast Bazaar two things happen ... first off, you can 
go down into the sewers (look for a way down - there are several in the Kurast
Bazaar), and SECONDLY you can go UP into two temples that are in the area.  
Since this represents your fourth quest and I am trying to do things 
chronologically, I will finish this portion of the third quest before we even 
GO there, mmmmmk ?)

So ... find your way DOWN into the sewers beneath the Kurast Bazaar ... the 
sewers are a two-floor compound ... the first floor is ENORMOUS and spans the 
entire of the Kurast Bazaar AND Upper Kurast ... look around until you find 
the way down, which you will see is heavily protected by bats that fire 
lightning at you at close range.  They are led by a creature called Icehawk 
Riftwing, who USUALLY has the ability to teleport, so watch out ...

Once you have pacified this area, activate the winch and the stairs to the 
second level of the sewers will open up before you.  Go down and explore the 
OH so COOOOOOOOOOOL second level of the sewers, which is very small, and VERY 
well packed with goodies ... it's shaped very much like the arcane sanctuary, 
just on a really diddy scale !!

Also watch out for the poisonous Sea Serpents in the centre of this level ;)

Once you have opened all the chests and taken your fill, you WILL find that 
you have Khalim's Heart ... take this and place it in the stash with Khalim's 
Eye and Brain.

Now all that remains is Khalim's Flail ... but we won't be able to get that 
until we get to Travincal, so now would be an opportune moment to broach the 
subject of ?????

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                           ACT THREE - QUEST FOUR                          ¦
¦                              LAM ESEN'S TOME                              ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

As soon as you enter the Kurast Bazaar you SHOULD be able to pick up the Lam 
Esen's Tome quest.  To do this PROPERLY, you should go back to town and speak 
with Alkor.  He will tell you that there is this VEEEEEEEEEEEERY special 
black book that you need to find for him, that might give some insight into 
what is actually happening in Kurast.  It is called the Tome of Lam Esen.

The Book is located in one of SIX possible temples.  Two are in the Kurast 
Bazaar, two are in Upper Kurast and the last two are on the Kurast Causeway.
You need to explore these temples until you find the Tome of Lam Esen, and 
then take it back to Alkor for a reward.

This is quite a satisfying little quest really, as all six temples are very 
small in size, but PACKED with monsters ... logic dictates that you have an 
out, so I would cast a Town Portal before going into EACH and EVERY temple ...
this is because in quite a few cases what will actually wind up happening if 
not is that as soon as you enter the temple you will appear right smack bang 
in the middle of a monster gathering, and there will be too many monsters in 
your path for you to be able to make it back to the exit !!

BUMMER DUDE ...

Furthermore, whilst none of the temples have golden chests in them, ALL of 
them have at LEAST one captain in there ...

.... you will know when you have reached the correct temple, as there will 
be a really quick and strong captain called Battlemaid Sarina there.  She 
MUST be slain, as she is too much of a pain in the bum to be allowed to 
continue to roam around free ... so deal with her and then go grab the book 
from its stand in the main chamber of this temple.

=============================================================================
¦                               POSSIBLE GUIDE                              ¦
=============================================================================

My dear friend Andre has provided yet another piece of insight into this area 
of the game.  He believes (and I've tried this out and it does appear to be 
the case) that Battlemaid Sarina and Lam Esen's Tome always appear to be 
located in the "Ruined Temple".  Therefore we would suggest that you make 
that the first temple you investigate, if you want to try and complete this 
particular quest as quickly as possible.

Obviously if, like me, you just wanna go through all the temples for good 
measure, then fair play to ya !!  =)

=============================================================================

Go back to the town with the book and show it to Alkor to earn your reward - 
an additional FIVE attribute points !!!!!!!!!!!!!  WOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOO !! =D

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                          ACT THREE - QUEST FIVE                           ¦
¦                           THE BLACKENED TEMPLE                            ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

Back in town, speak with Ormus to get both the fifth AND sixth quests - The 
Council, and The Lord of Hatred.  The fifth quest is to destroy the High 
Council of Zakarum.  In times gone by, these men were the High Priests of 
Zakarum, chosen for their virtue and strength.

Decades of being slowly warped by living under Mephisto's hateful influence 
has caused them to mutate into vile creatures hellbent on destruction and 
mayhem, however, and now you must slay them.

... odd ... they sound disturbingly like the people I work with !! =./

Incidentally to do so will be to kill two birds with one stone, as one of the 
members of the High Council holds Khalim's Flail - the only item you now 
need to complete the third quest !!

So ... we know that the High Council have their seat of power in Travincal - 
the Capital (if you will) of Kurast.  In order to get there you will have to 
go through the Kurast Bazaar to Upper Kurast (don't forget to clean out the 
two temples here for xp and ESPECIALLY if you haven't already found Lam Esen's
Tome) and then up and onto the Kurast Causeway (same comments really - just 
make sure to check out those two temples - you might find some natty goodies 
in there !!).

Once you have made it through Upper Kurast, and across the Kurast Causeway, 
you are FINALLY at the Gates of Travincal.

Travincal represents several things :-

   I)  The seat of power of the High Council of Zakarum
  II)  The location of the Compelling Orb (tm)
 III)  The location of the final waypoint.

In the broadest possible strokes, Travincal looks like this :-


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
¦                                                                           ¦
¦  OUTER RING                                               OUTER RING      ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
¦  ¦---------------------------------------------------------------------¦  ¦
¦  ¦               ¦     ¦                     ¦     ¦                   ¦  ¦
¦  ¦               ¦     ¦          Y          ¦     ¦                   ¦  ¦
¦  ¦               ¦     ¦                     ¦     ¦                   ¦  ¦
¦  ¦               ¦     ¦                     ¦     ¦                   ¦  ¦
¦  ¦               ¦      ---------------------      ¦                   ¦  ¦
¦  ¦               ¦                                 ¦                   ¦  ¦
¦  ¦               ¦                                 ¦                   ¦  ¦
¦  ¦---------------      --------       --------      -------------------¦  ¦
¦  ¦                     ¦      ¦       ¦      ¦                         ¦  ¦
¦  ¦--------             ¦      ¦       ¦      ¦    ---------------------¦  ¦
¦  ¦        ¦            ¦      ¦       ¦      ¦   ¦                     ¦  ¦
¦  ¦   x    ¦            --------       --------   ¦                     ¦  ¦
¦  ¦        ¦                                      ¦                     ¦  ¦
¦  ¦        ¦                    -------           ¦                     ¦  ¦
¦  ¦--------                     ¦      ¦          ¦                     ¦  ¦
¦  ¦                             ¦      ¦          ¦                     ¦  ¦
¦  ¦---------------              ¦      ¦     -----------¦               ¦  ¦
¦  ¦               ¦             ¦      ¦     ¦          ¦               ¦  ¦
¦  ¦               ¦             ¦      ¦     ¦          ¦               ¦  ¦
¦  ¦               ¦             ¦      ¦     ¦          ¦               ¦  ¦
¦  ¦               ¦             ¦      ¦     ¦          ¦               ¦  ¦
¦  ¦---------------------------------------------------------------------¦  ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
¦  OUTER RING                                               OUTER RING      ¦
¦                                    w                                      ¦
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

w represents where you enter Travincal
x represents the location of the waypoint (This is the last waypoint in 
  Kurast)
Y represents the seat of power of the High Council AND the location of the 
  Compelling Orb AND the entrance to Mephisto's Durance of Hate.

You need to VERY VERY careful when you are wandering around Travincal, as 
there are LOADS of bad guys lurking in the corners, just waiting to pound you
into a pulp.  PARTICULARLY dangerous are the Zakarum Spellcasters - the 
Hierophants, and others ?  They can cast blizzard and lightning bolt and can 
quickly wittle down your health reserves to nothing if you aren't very very 
careful.

This is how I would recommend you deal with Travincal :-

1)  NEVER stage a direct frontal assault on the Council, as a) they outnumber 
    you, and b) YOU WILL DIE.
2)  That in mind, head forward until you see two large square ponds - one to 
    your left and one to your right.  As soon as you see them, turn 90 degrees
    to your left and go directly forward until you reach a structure.  Inside 
    this structure is the Travincal Waypoint - marked x on my map.  Activate 
    the waypoint, come out of the building and head north and into the next 
    structure.  Clear out all the villainous SCUMBAGS in this area as you MAY
    well need it (in case you've lost where I've directed you, you should now 
    be in the north-westernmost structure on the map ... if you make your way 
    to the far right hand edge of this structure you can JUST about peer into 
    the High Council's Chamber and, if you have ranged weaponry or spells, 
    you MIGHT be able to injure them from afar.
3)  BEWARE OF THE HIGH COUNCIL, which you may see splashed up in your Quest 
    screen ?  Is NOT a joke.  They are VERY dangerous - they are divided into 
    two groups - regular council members, and captains.  The captains have 
    (for the most part) two enchantments each, e.g. Extra Fast and Extra 
    Strong and, as such, should NOT be taken lightly.
4)  In order to make things easier on yourself, I would strongly suggest that 
    you clear out the whole of Travincal BEFORE you approach the Council's 
    Building ... this is because IF you mess up, which happens, and the 
    Council come BARRELLING out of their hiding place, they will not hesitate 
    to chase you all over Travincal, and if you haven't cleared up the entire
    of Travincal before you get to the Council, you might wind up doubling-
    back and entering areas of Travincal that are inhabited by yet MORE bad 
    guys, thus increasing your risk of ... well ... DYING, basically !!
5)  You DON'T need to create a Town Portal before taking on the Council, as 
    the waypoint in Travincal is so close.
6)  Approach the council's resting place very quietly, and be prepared to 
    back off very quickly.  Most of the Council Captains can heal themselves, 
    AND can cast the Hydra spell as well, which is MAJOR badness as it means 
    you can't REALLY stand and fight them.

So ... what do we do ?????

Well ... I approach the Council's chamber from the north-western structure ...
so I walk in-between the Council's chamber and the pond beneath it on the 
left ?  Just edge past so as to draw a few of the Council Members out of their
INNER chamber, where they are VERY well defended, and into the OUTER chamber, 
where they are easiER pickings ... they are NEVER that easy to kill off 
unfortunately.

Then I just pick them off one at a time, falling back if either myself or my 
hireling starts to take too much damage from their Hydra spells ... and 
GRADUALLY you will be able to wear them down until they have all fallen.

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                          ACT THREE - QUEST SIX                            ¦
¦                              THE GUARDIAN                                 ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

Once the Council has fallen, it's time to seek out and destroy Mephisto.  We 
are still not sure whether Diablo and Baal will have found and released him 
from his imprisonment, but given the large concentration of bad@sses in 
Kurast, AND the fact that the High Council (as we have just seen) have been 
corrupted, we are given to think that we're not going to like this ...

                                            ... buckle up - we're goin' in !!

First off, you need to pick up Khalim's Flail.  One of the Council's Captains 
was carrying it.

Now you need to go back to Kurast and transmute Khalim's Eye, Brain, Heart 
and Flail together in the Horadric Cube ... I'll wait whilst you do that ...

*tappy tappy tap*

     *tap tap tappy*

          Done ?  Kewl !!

NOW we need to go and smash the Compelling Orb (in the Council's INNER 
Chamber) with Khalim's Will, so it's back to Travincal for us.

Take one (sometimes two) hefty swings at the Compelling Orb and WHAMMO !!  
Away it goes ... causing a big red cloud of energy to swirl forth FROM the 
Compelling Orb, and open the stairway that leads down to Mephisto's Durance 
of Hate, in the back of the Inner Chamber.

Go down, and explore !!

HINT: Mephisto's Durance of Hatred is (in my humble opinion) NOT as 
complicated - well ... at least the upper TWO levels are not as complicated - 
as the journey to get here was ... so you needn't panic ... the WORST 
creatures you will find down here are undead spellcasters such as Blood Lords,
and the Undead Stygian Dolls ... you will hear the pitter-patter of their tiny
skeletal feet as they LEG IT through the Durance to get at you ... so BE 
READY ...

.... also, please remember to try and wand captains to ascertain their 
skills BEFORE you go in all guns blazing ??  I know it's difficult when 
you're facing, say, an Undead Stygian Doll Captain, as he will move SO 
quickly, but if he's lightning enchanted and you've gone in hand-to-hand 
against him ?  You can kiss yo @ss goodbye homey !!  UNLESS of course you are 
playing the Paladin, and are using his Resist Lightning Skill.

Once you have cleared up the first level of the Durance (it's three levels 
deep - did I already mention that ?), go down into the second level ...

On the second level, I would strongly suggest that you activate the 
waypoint ... same rules as before - just do your regular clearup and move to 
the way down to the Third Level.

As we had anticipated, Diablo and Baal HAVE already freed Mephisto, but for 
some reason he has elected to remain behind - most likely to deal with YOU - 
and they have already departed ...

I would STRONGLY suggest that you create a town portal on the second level at 
the stairs leading down to the third level BEFORE you go down, juuuuuust to 
be on the safe side.

MEPHISTO'S DURANCE OF HATE - LEVEL THREE ... here we go ...

Here is a rough sketch of what this level looks like :-



                           -----------------------
                           ¦                     ¦
                           ¦     S E C R E T     ¦
                           ¦                     ¦
                           -----------------------
                           ¦                     ¦
                           ¦                     ¦
                           ¦                     ¦
                           ¦                     ¦
                           ¦          Y          ¦
---------------------------                       ---------------------------
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
¦--------------------------                       --------------------------¦
¦                ¦         ¦     ¦         ¦      ¦        ¦                ¦
¦                ¦         ¦     ¦         ¦      ¦        ¦                ¦
¦                ¦         ¦     ¦    Z    ¦      ¦        ¦                ¦
¦                ¦         ¦     ¦         ¦      ¦        ¦                ¦
¦       x2       ¦         ¦     ----------       ¦        ¦       x3       ¦
¦                ¦         ¦                      ¦        ¦                ¦
¦                ¦         ¦                      ¦        ¦                ¦
¦----------------          ¦----------------------¦         ----------------¦
¦                                                     xxx                   ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
---------------------------                       ---------------------------
                           ¦                     ¦
                           ¦                     ¦
                           ¦                     ¦
                           ¦                     ¦
---------------------------                       ---------------------------
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
¦  x1                         ------------------                         X  ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

X = Your start point
Y = Mephisto
Z = Exit through the Dark Portal to Hell (!!)

Before I begin, a couple of pointers :-

1)  There are BLOOD LORDS on this level - i.e. undead life-draining
    spellcasters ?  You've seen their kin before - Night Lords, Dark Lords,
    etc ??   You MIGHT have even encounted a couple of Blood Lords elsewhere
    in the Durance ... but PLEASE be careful - Blood Lords can do you MASSIVE
    amounts of damage through their meteor and wall of fire spells ...

So ... from your starting position, move forward (as in, INTO the level) and 
hide behind that line I've drawn in the middle ?  On the level proper, that 
line is a series of pillars ... hide behind them for a second and make sure 
your Hireling is with you.  Then continue to the other side of this part of 
the Durance (I've marked it with an x1 ?  You basically want to clear up this 
level piece by piece, and make sure that all areas are cleared before moving 
on to the next area.

Once you have completed this strip of the level, move to the centre and 
upwards, towards the Z.

You will most likely need to fall back to this outer strip, as a council 
captain and a couple of his council member cronies will pour forth.

Once you have slain this captain, head to the left of the level and clear out 
the room marked x2.  Once you enter x2 you will be attacked by ANOTHER council
captain, but don't worry - this one doesn't have any council members with him 
which should HOPEFULLY make the fight a little easier for you ... He IS 
protected, however, by a group of Blood Lords, so still BE CAREFUL.

Once he has fallen and x2 has been cleared up, head directly UP and grab the 
contents of the Armour Stand that's there.  Then head directly DOWN again - 
DO NOT GO TOWARDS MEPHISTO YET.

Move back across to the right of the level ... i.e. head from x2 as if you 
were going down to the outer strip you cleared when you first arrived here, 
but instead go directly across and clear up x3.  There is (shock of shocks) 
another council captain in x3, and this little sh!t can teleport and is cold 
enchanted ... again he is alone (insofar as council members are concerned -
he DOES still have the protection of Blood Lords), so he shouldn't be insanely
difficult to kill.

Once x3 has been pacified, head due north and grab the contents of the weapon
rack and then fall back to x3 again.

Right ... now that we've all but cleared up the Durance Level 3, it's time to
take on our first Prime Evil.

Ready ?

Time for Sinister's Mephisto Pointers methinks :-

1)  Mephisto is REALLY easy if you follow my techniques ... if you want a bit 
    more of a challenge (i.e. you enjoy dying and starting from your last town
    portal/waypoint/all the way back in town ?) then please do your own thing
    ;)
2)  The key to defeating Mephisto is to use the terrain to your advantage, 
    and to stay out of the range of his missile attacks AT ALL TIMES.

So ... without further ado, this is how I beat Mephisto down like a biatch ...
works every time.

A)  Make sure you have a ranged weapon that does good damage, or a ranged 
    Hireling, or spells, or any combination that can do damage at range.
B)  Go into x3
C)  Head up and then left, and approach Mephisto.
D)  Once you have his attention and he has started to follow you, FALL BACK 
    as quickly as you can.  Your aim is to reach xxx on the map.
E)  Once you have reached xxx, switch from run mode to WALK mode, and edge 
    your way back up towards Mephisto's original starting place - DON'T go 
    through x3 to get there ... you just need to edge up from xxx and you 
    SHOULD see Mephisto struggling at the steps above you to reach you.  All 
    you need to see is his glow ... if he starts throwing spells at you or 
    your hireling you are TOO CLOSE so pull back and try again.  Using the 
    Rogue Sister as an example, you need to edge up until she starts 
    firing ... she will shoot at Mephisto until he dies, and he will make NO 
    attempt to fight back as he will be struggling to get over that little
    expanse of blood to get to you !!  EEEEEEAAAASSSSSSYYYYYY or WHAT !?!?!

Just in case you've not been able to follow me, THIS is a graphic showing 
where to stand etc., to kill Mephisto.

                           -----------------------
                           ¦                     ¦
                           ¦     S E C R E T     ¦
                           ¦                     ¦
                           -----------------------
                           ¦                     ¦
                           ¦                     ¦
                           ¦                     ¦
                           ¦                     ¦
                           ¦                     ¦
---------------------------                       ---------------------------
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                                      Y                    ¦
¦--------------------------                       --------------------------¦
¦                ¦         ¦     ¦         ¦      ¦        ¦                ¦
¦                ¦         ¦     ¦         ¦      ¦        ¦                ¦
¦                ¦         ¦     ¦         ¦      ¦        ¦                ¦
¦                ¦         ¦     ¦         ¦      ¦        ¦                ¦
¦                ¦         ¦     ----------       ¦        ¦                ¦
¦                ¦         ¦                      ¦        ¦                ¦
¦                ¦         ¦                      ¦        ¦                ¦
¦----------------          ¦----------------------¦         ----------------¦
¦                                                     xxx                   ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
---------------------------                       --------------------------
                           ¦                     ¦
                           ¦                     ¦
                           ¦                     ¦
                           ¦                     ¦
---------------------------                       ---------------------------
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                             ------------------                            ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

You should be at point xxx, and Mephisto should be hovering around point Y 
trying to get at you, without success.  If he starts shooting you're too 
close so back off ... you should be able to take him out at range with NO 
worries !! ;)

Once Mephisto has fallen,  pick up what he's got and then head into the area 
marked SECRET on this second map of the level ... it's just behind where you 
would expect his Throne to be ?

Inside this little area you will find oodles of gp's on the floor, a chest 
filled with goodies AND some Blood Lords protecting it ... you know what to 
do, non ?? =D

CONGRATULATIONS, you have slain Mephisto and are now ready to take the fight 
to the other brothers !!!!!

To complete this Act you need to enter the Dark Portal.

MAKE SURE THAT YOU TAKE MEPHISTO'S SOULSTONE WITH YOU INTO ACT IV.

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                PART SIX                                   ¦
¦                             ACT FOUR - HELL                               ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

Oh dear ... another beautiful, but DAMNING cutscene I feel ... Mephisto, 
Diablo and Baal - the three Prime Evils - have been reunited ... Diablo has 
gone into Hell to signal their return, Mephisto has remained in Kurast to 
deal with anybody who attempts to follow Diablo, and Baal has disappeared to 
WHO KNOWS where ...

.... AND the hope of mankind rests with that demented little GOBSH!TE that 
released Baal from Tal-Rasha's Chamber ...

WE'RE SCREWED !?!?!?!?!?!

GAMEPLAY COMMENT ABOUT HELL.

Hell was the final level of Diablo II, and as such it lacked as many missions
and as much character development and interaction as the previous acts, as 
you will see shortly.

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                           ACT FOUR - TOWNSFOLK                            ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

The Official Line :-

CAIN    - Brave and fearless Deckard Cain has followed you through the Dark 
          Portal and into Hell itself ... now he stands by your side in the 
          Pandemonium Fortress.  Bless !!!!!
TYRAEL  - The Archangel Tyrael has also arrived at the Pandemonium Fortress 
          to provide you with both guidance and insight into the goings on in 
          Hell.
JAMELLA - A resident of the Pandemonium Fortress, Jamella can help you with 
          magic and scrolls.
HALBU   - Another resident of the Fortress, Halbu has set up shop as an 
          armourer and weaponsmith in the Fortress, and can also be a source 
          of assistance to you in this way.

.... and I have the following comments to make :-

CAIN    - Like a fly to sh!t, Cain just can't seem to keep his nose out of 
          trouble !!  Wherever there is death, destruction, carnage and 
          mayhem, he's sure to be peddling his advice.
          However, his is perhaps a welcome visage in this otherwise 
          unfriendly place.
TYRAEL  - Oh ... him ... whilst I DIG the FUNKY wings this Archangel has got, 
          if he had done his job then none of this would have been necessary, 
          non ???!!!???
JAMELLA - Jamella is quite cool - if you leave her alone for long enough she 
          does this cool spell effect where she writes stuff in the air and 
          it glows for a few seconds ...
HALBU   - Halbu is ... ok ... to be honest with you I don't really have that 
          much cause to deal with him ... he appears to be quite 
          softly-spoken, however.

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                            FLIPPING THIS AROUND                           ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

If you are looking for :-

Healing Potions               - then you should go to -     Jamella
Town Portal Scrolls           - then you should go to -     Jamella
Identify Scrolls              - then you should go to -     Jamella
Antidote Potions              - then you should go to -     Jamella
Stamina Potions               - then you should go to -     Jamella
Keys                          - then you should go to -     Jamella
Weapons and Armour            - then you should go to -     Jamella and Halbu

Anything to do with Hirelings - then you should go to -     Tyrael

Someone to heal you           - then you should go to -     Jamella
Someone to gamble with        - then you should go to -     Jamella
Someone to repair your gear   - then you should go to -     Halbu
Someone to id your items      - then you should go to -     Deckard Cain

*  Nobody sells Mana Potions in the Pandemonium Fortress

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                             HIRELINGS IN HELL                             ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

Quite simply, there aren't any !!  You can bring one with you from a previous 
act, but you cannot hire a Hireling that is peculiar to Hell ... which is a 
bit of a bugger really, 'coz I was TOTALLY looking forward to being able to 
rent an angel to help me kick butt !!!!! =)

Tyrael is perfectly willing (for a fee of course) to resurrect any fallen 
Hireling for you, however.

Why is he charging ???  He's a bl**dy ARCHANGEL for crying out loud !?!?!?!?!?

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                              ACT FOUR - MAP                               ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

           PANDEMONIUM FORTRESS

                    ¦
                    V

              OUTER STEPPES

                    ¦
                    V

            PLAINS OF DESPAIR

                    ¦
                    V

              CITY OF THE DAMNED         -->          RIVER OF FLAME

                                                              ¦
                                                              V

                                                      CHAOS SANCTUARY

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                           ACT FOUR - QUEST TWO                            ¦
¦                               HELL'S FORGE                                ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

With his first words on this Act, Deckard Cain tells you that it is now time 
to Destroy Mephisto's Soulstone.

Once this has been accomplished, Mephisto will be banished and will no longer
be able to re-manifest himself on the mortal plane ... WOOHOO !!!!!

In order to destroy Mephisto's Soulstone you must adopt the tried and tested 
"WHACK IT WITH THE HAMMER" approach that has served you so well in the 
past ... basically you have to take Mephisto's Soulstone to the Hellforge and 
"strike it soundly" with the Hammer.  I.E. Bundy it.

You already have the Soulstone in your possession and, if I were you, I would 
leave it in your stash ... you don't need to carry it with you AT ALL in order
to complete this quest ;)

Ordinarily, as you know, I hate the concept of mixing quests ... I think that 
it would be far easier to tackle one quest at a time ... HOWEVER, on Hell the 
first two quests are kinda in a strange order, as you can see from my comments
above ...  so I would suggest going and speaking with Tyrael at this point to 
get :-

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                           ACT FOUR - QUEST ONE                            ¦
¦                             THE FALLEN ANGEL                              ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

Tyrael will tell you of the fall of one of his comrades - an Angel named 
Izual ... he tells you of how Izual's tortured soul has been fused into a 
demonic body, and asks you to do him a favour and release Izual from his 
torment - I.E. chop him into fish food and burn the pieces.

Sounds good to me !!  Bring this mutha on !!!!!

Izual is kicking about in the Plains of Despair, and we will get to him in 
turn ... for starters, let's enter the Outer Steppes.

Now ... in Hell (as you would expect, what with it being the final level of 
Diablo II and all), there are PLENTY of nasty sonofab!atch bad guys just 
waiting to slay you ... AS SUCH, I would strongly suggest that you DON'T go 
running into combat blindly, but play this level CAREFULLY.

BEFORE I START, however, I should point out the existance of one of the most 
dangerous AND annoying enemies in the game in Hell ... and no, it's not a 
boss ... it's a general type of enemy unfortunately ... Undead Spellcasting 
Knights ...

They come in a variety of fwooty flavours - Oblivion Knights, Abyss Knights, 
etc., etc., and they can have one of four main types of attack - you can tell 
which type they will be using by the colour of their hands ...

PURPLE HANDS = Magic Missile/Arrow attack (i.e. a white bolt of concentrated 
                                                                      energy)
BLUE HANDS   = Ice Missile/Arrow attack (slows and does mega-damage)
GREEN HANDS  = Poison Missile/Arrow attack (poisons - arguably the weakest of 
                                                                     the lot)
RED HANDS    = Fire Missile/Arrow attack (pretty obvious really).

The stronger varieties can also fire HOMING MISSILES at you ...

                          ... sounds like nothing unusual, right ?

                                                        W-R-O-N-G !!

These boys do SERIOUS amounts of damage, and can kill even the TOUGHEST of 
characters in just a couple of hits, so ALWAYS keep an eye open for them ... 
even though in most cases the first time you will notice them is when one of 
their energy attacks comes whizzing onto the screen and barrelling towards 
you ... it ain't easy, but you can handle a little drama can't ya ??!!??

From your starting point at the Outer Steppes, I would suggest that you move 
around the edge of the map (doesn't matter which direction), and avoid 
 entering the centre.  Note how the edges of this terrain are jagged and 
offer plenty of opportunities to use the terrain to your advantage in the 
event that you DO get overwhelmed (which is a near certainty in my 
experience).

Eventually you will come to a set of steps leading OUT of this area and 
upwards ... take them.

These steps will lead you to the Plains of Despair, where you will need to 
find and slay Izual.

Same rules as for the Outer Steppes please ... just pace around the outside 
of the map ... in all practical likelihood Izual WILL find you and, when he 
does, he WILL come for you.

BEWARE - Izual is a VERY very strong opponent who does lots of damage in 
hand-to-hand, is surprisingly quick considering his size, has TRUCKLOADS of 
hit points AND has the ability to cast Frost Nova to slow you and your 
hireling (if he/she is within range) down to a crawl.

My suggestion for taking Izual out is to try and use the terrain to your 
advantage wherever possible and, IF he starts to chase you and you feel the 
need to run ?  DON'T run into areas that you yourself haven't already 
explored ??  You'll just cause MORE bad guys to see you and join the chase, 
and pretty soon it'll start to look like a bad Benny Hill comedy sketch ;)

I would suggest using frosty attacks on Izual to slow him down, and then 
dishing out as much pain as you can ... you should have more time to dodge 
his blows if he is slower as well ;)

Once Izual has fallen, speak with his Ghost to learn that the forces of 
light have been WELL played by the forces of darkness, and then move AWAY 
from his spirit so that it disappears.

You then need to go and speak with Tyrael, so I would Town Portal back to 
the Pandemonium Fortress and speak with him ...

Tyrael gives you TWO ... yes ... count 'em ... T-W-O extra skill points to 
distribute as you see fit ...

We LOVE this guy !! MWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWA !!!!!

And, with that, the first quest is completed ...

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                           ACT FOUR - QUEST TWO                            ¦
¦                               HELL'S FORGE                                ¦
¦                                 REVISITED                                 ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

Right !!  Sorry about this ... back to destroying Mephisto's Soulstone.  Go 
back to the Plains of Despair and continue to edge around the outsides until 
you come to ANOTHER set of steps leading up.

Take these and you will enter the City of the Damned ...

                                                      ... now ...

... in the City of Damned you need to enter the inner portion ... this is 
because there ARE no more steps leading out of this area ... but there ARE a 
set of steps leading down to the River of Flame, and THAT is where you need 
to go.

Also note that there is a waypoint (your first in Hell, apart from the Town),
right beside the steps leading to the River of Flame.

I don't know why it's always there, but it's ALWAYS there.

... so potter about until you find and activate the waypoint, and then head 
down into the River of Flame.

................... ah yes ... I remember this place well !!  It's just like 
the Hell Levels of Diablo and Diablo: Hellfire, non ???  Neat !!  AND 
roomy ... we'll take it !! =D

HINT: If your enemies in the River of Flame comprise mainly maggots and 
Urdar ?  You're in for an easy time.  If they comprise Burning Souls or 
Abyss Knights ?  You're SCREWED ... :(

Make your way through the River of Flame and explore as you are doubtless 
used to doing by now.

You are looking for a Quest Update, which will tell you that you have 
reached the Hellforge.

If you get to Hadriel, you have gone too far ... Hadriel stands just past 
the second waypoint - that before you can get to the Chaos Sanctuary.  He 
will tell you that you need to destroy Mephisto's Soulstone before you can 
enter the Chaos Sanctuary (and he's kinda right).

As soon as you have received your Quest Update, FALL BACK ... the Hellforge 
is not INSANELY heavily well guarded, but there ARE still plenty of bad guys 
there waiting to beat on you, PLUS of course there is Hephasto the Armorer 
(I love American spelling !!) waiting there too.

I would suggest that you deal with the Hellforge like this :-

1)  Keep on going until you get your quest update (as stated above)
2)  Fall back, heal up and tool up.
3)  Edge forward and take out as many bad guys as you can ... keep going 
    until Hephasto comes after you.  A good indication of his proximity is 
    from the aura he uses to affect you ;)
4)  Fall back, drawing Hephasto with you, until you get into an area in 
    which you can work.  IDEALLY you need to look to using the terrain to 
    your advantage - just as you did when you fought Izual a little while 
    ago ... there are bridges and other bits that you can trap Hephasto on 
    the other side of and, whilst he WILL ultimately get bored of not being 
    able to hit you and move out of missile range ?  You can quickly lure him
    back into combat range and then hit on him some more ...

The TROUBLE with Hephasto is that he is very strong, aura enchanted, and 
takes no sh!t ... which means that you are going to have to do BETTER if you 
want to kill him.

If he gets in close, fall back ... and you MIGHT want to consider creating a 
Town Portal so that you don't have too far to walk if/when he kills you too ;)

Once Hephasto has fallen, grab everything he left lying around INCLUDING the 
Hellforge Hammer, and go back to town.  You will need to have the Hammer 
identified before you can use it ...

Show the goodies to Cain and dispose of them in the usual fashion, making 
sure to keep the Hammer to one side (i.e. in your possession) for short-term 
use.  As I said way back when, you DO NOT NEED to take Mephisto's Soulstone 
with you ... as soon as you arrive at the Hellforge you can summon it to 
you ;)

There we go !!

Go back to the Hellforge and ensure that any remaining bad guys are slain 
before you commence the ritual to destroy Mephisto's Soulstone ... you've 
earned the right to see the pwetty colours, and it'd be a shame for you to 
miss it through scrapping with maggots or the like ...

Once the area is cleaned up, use the Hellforge and you will call Mephisto's 
Soulstone to you.  Then equip the Hellforge Hammer and use it on the Soulstone
to SMASH it to BITS !!

Pick up the gems (WOOHOO !!) that get dropped in the process, marvel at the 
number of skally-wags that disappear and then head back to town to stash the 
loot ...

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                          ACT FOUR - QUEST THREE                           ¦
¦                               TERROR'S END                                ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================


Once you have completed your first two quests, Tyrael will tell you that it 
is now finally time to hunt down and destroy Diablo ...

AAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTT  LLLLLLLLLLLLLLAAAAASSSSSSSTTTTTTTTTTTTT  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So !!  Return to the River of Flame and make your way either BACK to the 
waypoint (if you adventured too far at the outset and have already met 
Hadriel), or KEEP ON adventuring until you come across the waypoint and 
Hadriel the Angel.

HINT:  Just in case you get into trouble up ahead and think about doing a 
Flavie with your enemies - i.e. luring them back towards Hadriel so that he 
can bail you out ?  THINK AGAIN. He's about as much use as a chocolate 
fireguard is this boy ... a TOTAL waster.

HOWEVER, in spite of his USELESSNESS, Hadriel does give you one piece of 
vital information.

He tells you that Diablo's Innermost Sanctum is protected by Five Seals ... 
and that each of these five seals must be opened before the way to the final 
battle with Diablo will be cleared.

Basically what this means is that if you want to fight Diablo, you have to 
activate five seals, and then you can fight the man himself !!

What he DOESN'T tell you is that three of those five seals contain three of 
Diablo's Captains.

Don't worry though - you've got me to keep you company - you'll be fine ;)

So !!  Past Hadriel the path splits and rejoins several times, making the way
forward not EXACTLY as direct as you might like ... however, you will be 
pleased to note that there are many ways in which you can use this terrain 
(i.e. the little walkway between Hadriel and the Chaos Sanctuary) to your 
advantage - e.g. you can snipe with missile weapons from a distance if 
you're careful.  Just be careful of the Oblivion/Abyss Knights as always !!

Once you have reached the far side of the walkway, enter the Chaos Sanctuary.

For your information, the Chaos Sanctuary looks vaguely like this (its exact 
layout changes each time you play it) :-




                         ---------------------------
                         ¦                         ¦
                         ¦    3                    ¦
                         ¦                         ¦
                         ¦                         ¦
                         ----------------          ¦
                                        ¦          ¦
                         ----------------          ¦
                         ¦                         ¦
                         ¦                         ¦
                         ¦                         ¦
                         ¦                         ¦
                         ¦                         ¦
-----------              ¦          ----------------
¦         ¦              ¦          ¦
¦         ¦              ¦          ----------------
¦    1    ¦              ¦                         ¦
¦         ¦              ¦                         ¦
¦         ¦              ¦                         ¦
¦         ¦              ¦                         ¦
¦         ---------------                           -------------------------
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                   .      .                                ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                      Z                                    ¦
¦                                  .         .                              ¦
¦    2                                                               4      ¦
¦                                       .                                   ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
-------------------------                           ----------              ¦
                         ¦                           ¦       ¦              ¦
                         ¦                           ¦       ¦              ¦
                         ¦                           ¦       ¦       5      ¦
                         ¦                           ¦       ¦              ¦
                         ¦      ----------------     ¦       ¦              ¦
                         ¦      ¦              ¦     ¦       ----------------
                         ¦      ¦              ¦     ¦
                         ¦      ¦              ¦     ¦
                         ¦      ¦              ¦     ¦
                         ¦      ¦              ¦     ¦
                         ¦      ¦              ¦     ¦
                         ¦      ¦              ¦     ¦
                         ¦      ¦              ¦     ¦
                         ¦      ----------------     ¦
                         ¦                           ¦
                         ¦                           ¦
                         ¦                           ¦
                         ¦                           ¦
                         ¦      ----------------     ¦
                         ¦      ¦              ¦     ¦
                         ¦      ¦              ¦     ¦
                         ¦      ¦              ¦     ¦
                         ¦      ¦              ¦     ¦
                         ¦      ¦              ¦     ¦
                         ¦      ¦              ¦     ¦
                         ¦      ¦              ¦     ¦
                         ¦      ¦              ¦     ¦
                         ¦      ----------------     ¦
                         ¦                           ¦
                         ¦                           ¦
                         ¦                           ¦
                         ¦                           ¦
                         ¦              X            ¦
                         -----------------------------

X = Your Starting Position
1 = First Seal
2 = Second Seal
3 = Third Seal
4 = Fourth Seal
5 = Fifth Seal
Z = Diablo's Starting Position.

Please note that, as per Hadriel's comments, Diablo will not appear at point Z
until you have activated seals 1-5.


=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                              IMPORTANT NOTE                               ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

Here's a very good point that has been raised by my friend Andrei.  You don't
have to slay all the MONSTERS in the Chaos Sanctuary - you only have to slay 
the Captains, so if you're finding this particular section of the game rather
hard-going, which is QUITE possible, especially if you're playing with a low-
level character, then you can follow Andrei's example and not waste your time
slaying the lowly minions of Diablo - concentrate your power upon the Captains
and you will find once all of THEM are slain, their minions will fall.

... or you could play it like I played it the first time and leg it through 
the whole level as if your FEET are on fire going "Hot Hot Hot !!" and 
randomly smacking baddies in the head as you !! :)

Here are my general suggestions for clearing the Chaos Sanctuary :-

1)  ALWAYS always Always AlWaYs ALWays AAAALLLLWWWWAAAAYYYYSSSS make sure 
    that you have a Town Portal open ... it's a MUST on this level, as you 
    can die VERY very quickly if you're not extremely careful.
2)  CLEAR OUT THE WHOLE CHAOS SANCTUARY BEFORE ATTACKING DIABLO ... you can 
    always use the xp !!


From your start point move to the left and go up that side ... when you get 
to the main area (i.e. point Z), take a left ... remember all the while to 
keep clearing the area.  Move in and open first seal.  It's seals 2, 3 and 5 
that contain the bosses ...  Once you are ready to take on your first of 
Diablo's Captains, activate the SECOND seal and prepare to be attacked by a 
load of those really irritating little floaty sh!ts that fire homing missiles
and drain mana from you ??  Led by ...

                               ... THE GRAND VIZIER OF CHAOS ...
                                 who emits an eerie green glow.

Take these muthas DOWN and then heal up and move towards the third seal.

BEFORE YOU ACTIVATE THE THIRD SEAL, please MAKE SURE that you activate a Town
Portal near to the first two seals ... this is because the guardian of the 
third seal is arguably the most difficult to destroy, and if you have boxed 
yourself in then you will have a REALLY bad time trying to beat him up ...

... once you have done this, activate the third seal and prepare to face ...

                                   ... THE LORD DE SEIS ...
                                 who has pinky-coloured hands.

Not only is this guy a pain in the @ss, but he is also SURROUNDED by Oblivion
Knights that are GUARANTEED to ruin your afternoon ...

I once tried to outrun him ?  And succeeded !!  Only to find that it's not 
just as simple as activate the five seals ... the three captains must ALSO 
die, or Diablo won't surface ...

                                       *grumble grumble*

Once the Lord de Seis has fallen, you can move on to the fourth and fifth 
seals ... these are, you will be glad to hear, very similar to the first and 
second seals ... you can activate the fourth seal without a problem - it's 
the fifth seal (in MY experience) that causes the captain to arrive, who 
is ...

                                 ... THE INFECTOR OF SOULS ...
                                      and he's REAL mad !

He leads a group of those Vortex Lord/Balrog demons ?  And depending on the 
layout of the level he CAN be the easiest of the three captains to 
despatch ... you might be able to take him out by ranged attacks along, if 
the layout differs from that as drawn above ... if not, then you are going to
have to deal with him in hand-to-hand ... be advised, however, that both he 
and his troops are very quick, and quite strong, so I hope for your sake you 
gave yourself a Town Portal "out", or you might not be able to evade them ...

Once all three captains have fallen, and all five seals have been opened, a 
huge earthquake will signify the arrival of the Lord of Terror ...

... that and his opening line "Not even DEATH can save you from ME" (which 
sounds kinda good I must admit !!) ...

*takes a mini time-out to whack his Mortal Kombat CD into the player*

................................................ FIGHT !!!!!

Diablo is arguably the toughest SOB in the game ... as you would expect.  He 
has several primary types of attack, which I will list briefly here.

1)  RING OF FIRE.  This is where Diablo creates a HUGE flaming nova spell 
    that shoots out very fast and does damage to everybody in its range - i.e.
    everybody in the area not hiding behind a wall or other stationery object.
    Best avoided by jumping over it or falling back and trying to fall 
    between the blasts, OR by hiding behind a stationery object, like a wall.
2)  FLAMETHROWER.  Diablo raises his hands and fires a long, flamethrower-like
    blast of energy from his hands ... AVOID IT !!!!!  He will turn around 
    slowly to follow you with the trail of energy, but if you are quick enough
    you should be able to avoid it without a problem.
3)  BONE PRISON.  Diablo can imprison you in a small prison of bone, or block 
    your access back through your own Town Portal with this skill ... just 
    hack away at it until it is destroyed.
4)  SLOWDOWN.  Diablo can (if you get too close to him in hand-to-hand) slow 
    you down by raising his hand ... if it glows blue ?  You be 
    SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWED bayBEE ...
5)  CLAW STRIKE.  Again, if you get too close, Diablo can swipe at you with 
    his claws.
6)  CHARGING STRIKE.  Going down on all fours gives Diablo the ability to 
    charge at you like a dog ... he can cover more ground this way, but if 
    you move out of the way he will still head to where you were standing 
    originally, and that's not a bad thing ...

So !!  He can use any combination of these attacks to hit you hard, fast and 
many many times.

This is how I was able to beat him :-

AMAZON - I used my Amazon's ranged javelin enchantements and bow skills to 
         their max effect, and just TRIED (and I do mean TRIED) to keep him 
         at a distance as much as possible !!  It took a while ;)
ASSASSIN - use traps to their maximum advantage and wear him down that way.
NECROMANCER - use a blood golem and iron maiden combo on him.
BARBARIAN - FRUSTRATION CENTRAL !!  Use frenzy and Double-Swing.
PALADIN - thorns are about as good as you're gonna get unfortunately !!

===================
HELPFUL PALADIN TIP
===================

Aidan Corcoran has been in touch with me to point out that it is actually 
really quite easy to kick Diablo's butt using the Paladin if you have a good
fire resistance aura, as it effectively nullifies the bulk of his attacks.
Aidan was able to mash Diablo into Diablo PASTE in 15 minutes using his fire
resistance aura, a half freeze duration ring, and the Paladin's Zeal skill.

Thanks Aidan - definitely something to bear in mind if you like the Paladin :)

                                       -----

SORCERESS - the sorceress has MANY skills that can be used against Diablo - 
            Glacial Comet / Chain Lightning / many others are hers to command.
DRUID - create your minions and let them draw his attention whilst you strike
        him with your most powerful weapon, naturally !! :)

Once Diablo has fallen (and don't feel bad if it takes you AGES to beat him -
it did me with almost every character I played through to the first few 
times ... this boy is TOUGH !!), then he will drop some goodies and DIE 
(phew !!)

You can then go back to the town and get your WELL-DESERVED congratulations 
from the townsfolk.

=============================================================================
¦                               FURTHER GUIDANCE                            ¦
=============================================================================

If you're still having trouble with Diablo, I have received some further 
guidance for you from Jonty30, who says :-

"Diablo doesn't leave his sanctuary and so if you head towards the entrance 
to the sanctuary, there will come a point that Diablo won't go past.  This 
is useful for range fighters (spell-casters or the Amazon), because they can 
attack without having to worry about the physical attacks from Diablo, though 
they'd still have to watch for his magical attacks. With fighters that have 
to fight closely, it creates a sanctuary for themselves to heal up, go back 
to town or take time to think."

Failing that, he says :-

"Screw him.  The worst that will happen is that you're going to die.  In 
the normal level, this doesn't mean anything as long as you've locked up 
your gold in your stash.  In the nightmare or hell levels, you might lose 
some experience, but you won't drop levels.  If you're close to going up a 
level, get just enough experience to go to the next level and then there's 
really no significant penalty for dying.  You can die a thousand times and 
just whittle Diablo away. 
 
When you consider the amount of work you need to do to avoid dying, not 
to mention the money you need to spend for potions.  It seems easier to 
act as a beserk barbarian, no matter the character.  Though I wouldn't 
advise this strategy if you're playing hard-core."

=============================================================================
¦                          END OF FURTHER GUIDANCE                          ¦
=============================================================================
 
Speaking with Tyrael will open the portal to Act Five - Harrogath.

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                 PART SEVEN                                ¦
¦                            ACT FIVE - HARROGATH                           ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

YET MORE beautiful cutscenes ... I'm pleased that LOSER who messed everything
up by freeing Baal got his just come-uppance ... gobsh!te ... AND that Baal 
is free, 'coz I was rootin' for him from the start (whips out his little Baal
Pom Poms and jigs about a bit).

*alarm bell rings*

Oops !  Sorry - time to check my dosage ... brb

*rumble rumble*

All done ... SO !  Now that we know that Baal has amassed a small army (how 
did he manage to do that so quickly ?  I guess being a Prime Evil pays, eh ??)
and has assaulted the Barbarian Stronghold at the foot of Mount Arreat.

... why ?  Who knows.

I will tell you that Mount Arreat is the holding place of the Worldstone, but 
the significance of that and other things will become apparent as we adventure
on ...

One thing before we begin ?  ACT FIVE IS MEGABLING !!!!!  It ROCKS !!!!!!!!

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                           ACT FIVE - TOWNSFOLK                            ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

The Official Line ...

MALAH      - Malah is a Healer in Harrogath, who is weary of treating the 
             wounded in the struggle against Baal, and prays that the fighting
             will end soon.
QUAL-KEHK  - Senior Man-at-Arms of Harrogath, Qual-Kehk directs troops into 
             combat, and can offer the services of one of a selection of his 
             barbarians to you as a hireling should you wish.
CAIN       - As trusty as ANY lap dog, Deckard Cain has followed you yet 
             again into this newest land of peril.
NIHLATHAK  - Nihlathak is the only surviving Village Elder ... all the other 
             Elders sacrificed themselves to create a protective ward around 
             Harrogath, but Nihlathak abstained for whatever reason.  He 
             appears to be quite aloof and haughty.
LARZUK     - Larzuk is the village's Blacksmith and Armourer ... his skill is 
             legendary, and many people who have not even met him know of his 
             work.
ANYA       - Although not present in the village at the outset, you will 
             eventually get the opportunity to meet Anya.  Anya is the 
             daughter of one of the Village Elders, and does not like 
             Nihlathak.

And now, for those who are interested, here is MY two penneth :-

MALAH      - Walking like she's just sh@t herself, poor love ... Malah is 
             actually really quite a sweetheart ... she will heal your life 
             and mana free of charge whenever you visit her, and as her shop 
             is handiest from where you come out of the town portal,
             odds are you'll be visiting her most often ... she's lovely.
QUAL-KEHK  - Qual-Kehk is THE man to see if you want to hire a barbarian ... 
             and you might well, as they are VERY very strong indeed.  
             Qual-Kehk takes his role in Harrogath very seriously, and is 
             genuinely concerned about the men who fight for him, and the 
             city.  He has our respect.
CAIN       - What can I say ?  He's just ... Cain ... isn't he ... like him 
             or loathe him, he's reliable !!
NIHLATHAK  - Having nothing nice to say puts Nihlathak WELL UP in my book 
             (kidding - he's a loser and the sooner his face cracks from that 
             glum look he's always pulling ? THE BETTER !!) :)
LARZUK     - Larzuk is an angel ... bless ... not only does he sell some 
             pretty hot items, but he also gives you what is SURELY one of 
             the greatest rewards to a quest IN THE ENTIRE GAME !! =D
ANYA       - Ah yes, Anya.  She looks to MY eyes like she'd like to be the 
             next ruler of Harrogath - she has that quality about her ... let 
             her I say ... I'm not planning on spending any longer in this 
             arctic wasteland than I have to !!

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                            FLIPPING THIS AROUND                           ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

If you are looking for :-

Healing Potions               - then you should go to -     Malah
Town Portal Scrolls           - then you should go to -     Malah
Identify Scrolls              - then you should go to -     Malah
Thawing Potions               - then you should go to -     Malah
Antidote Potions              - then you should go to -     Malah
Stamina Potions               - then you should go to -     Malah
Keys                          - then you should go to -     Malah
Weapons and Armour            - then you should go to -     Malah, Larzuk, 
                                                              Nihlathak, Anya

Anything to do with Hirelings - then you should go to -     Qual-Kehk

Someone to heal you           - then you should go to -     Malah
Someone to gamble with        - then you should go to -     Nihlathak or Anya
Someone to repair your gear   - then you should go to -     Larzuk
Someone to id your items      - then you should go to -     Deckard Cain

*  Nobody sells Mana Potions in Harrogath.

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                 HIRELINGS                                 ¦
¦                            THE BARBARIAN WARRIOR                          ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

Qual-Kehk, as the senior Man-at-Arms of Harrogath, is the guy in charge of 
hiring and firing around the place.  As such, if you want to hire a barbarian
to accompany you as your hireling, he is the man to see.  Again, I believe 
you will find you're only able to hire Barbarians AFTER you've completed the 
second quest in Harrogath ;)

The barbarian warrior can inflict MUUUUUUCHOS damage in hand-to-hand, and can
equip either a single-handed or twin-handed sword together with a helmet and a
single piece of body-armour.

The barbarian warriors all attack with regular swipes of their swords, and 
have the bash AND stun powers available to them.  As such the only thing you 
need to decide when picking one is the name and level (i.e. how much do you 
want to shell out ???)

Whilst the Barbarian Warriors are VERY strong, and good as close-quarters 
backup ?  I find that I spend too much time running around after them making 
sure they are ok for them to be my favourites ... that honour (if you can 
call it that) goes to the Rogue Sister, who is savvy enough to keep herself 
out of trouble ... bless her ...

Having said that the Barbarian Warrior ROOLZ ;)

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                            ACT FIVE - MAP                                 ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

Here is a very crude map of Act Five :-


      HARROGATH    ------------------------------------------------------
                                                                         ¦
          ¦                                                              ¦
          V                                                              ¦
                                                                         ¦
  BLOODY FOOTHILLS                                                       ¦
                                                                         ¦
          ¦                                                              ¦
          V                                                              ¦
                                                                         ¦
  FRIGID HIGHLANDS                                                       ¦
                                                                         ¦
          ¦                                                              ¦
          V                                                              ¦
                                                                         ¦
 CRYSTALLINE PASSAGE           -->            FROZEN RIVER               ¦
                                                                         V
          ¦
          V                                                       NIHLATHAK'S 
                                                                       TEMPLE
    GLACIAL TRAIL

          ¦
          V

    FROZEN TUNDRA

          ¦
          V

    ANCIENT'S WAY

          ¦
          V

    ARREAT SUMMIT

          ¦
          V

   WORLDSTONE KEEP             -->            THRONE OF DESTRUCTION


=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                           ACT FIVE - QUEST ONE                            ¦
¦                            SIEGE ON HARROGATH                             ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

Once you have spoken with Deckard Cain in the town, you can go and speak with
Larzuk to get your first quest - SIEGE ON HARROGATH.

It transpires that whilst Baal has started to ascend Mount Arreat, he has 
left one of his Overlords - an 'ORRIBLE little mutha called Shenk the 
Overseer - to continue the siege on Harrogath.  Baal's war machines reign 
fire and death down on Harrogath from afar, and Larzuk is worrying because he
isn't sure how much longer Harrogath's walls will hold from this assault.

Don't you WORRY luv - leave it to us !!

So ... off we go !!

In order to complete the first quest you need to exit the village and head up 
the Bloody Foothills ...

On the way you will find several barbarians dotted about the place, fighting 
Baal's minions.

Yes, you CAN help them !!  So I would strongly suggest that you do, as it 
will increase the number of peeps that you will have barrelling up that field 
towards their ultimate destination, and this in turn should help you get by 
quicker !!

HINT: The Paladin's Auras will actually extend so as to cover Barbarians ... 
as will the Desert Mercenary's, so if you are playing as/with either of these
characters, you can help them out a bit if you like ;)

Take out any and all catapults that you find, and make sure to keep on the 
move so as to keep dodging the incoming attacks from those catapults higher 
up the field.

The enemies that you will fight in Act V are unlike any you have encountered 
before ... Demon Sprites, Death Brawlers, Stygian Harlots, all these and more 
await you ... so you need to learn how each one attacks and work out ways of 
dealing with it FAST ... otherwise you can quickly find yourself outgunned 
and in BIIIIIIG trouble !!

=============================================================================
                        QUICK WORD ABOUT RUNNING BOMBERS

You will find that certain enemies run towards you with kegs of explosives 
strapped to their bodies.  They scamper at you like dogs and are considerably
quicker than their brethren.  DO NOT ATTACK THESE GUYS IN HAND TO HAND.  The 
damage that they dish out when they explode is CONSIDERABLE.  Instead ?  Try 
and deal with them by either standing your ground until they enter melee 
range and then IMMEDIATELY running away (which causes them to detonate 
themselves and, if you're quick enough, you'll get away unscathed), or simply
allow your hireling to take care of them (as they don't seem to take as much
damage as you), OR take them out with ranged weaponry ... but NEVER ... EVER 
engage them in hand-to-hand.

=============================================================================

Once you have worked your way up to the top of the Bloody Foothills you will 
find what looks like a big burnt circle in the ground and there, in the 
middle of it (at least at the outset) is Shenk the Overseer.  He is armed with
a whip, and can use this to whip his troops into a frenzied state wherein they
attack faster and harder than normal ... he can also use it to fire 
projectiles at you.

Once Shenk has fallen, you should return to Larzuk for your reward, which 
iiisss ???

THE COOLEST !!!!! =D

He will place sockets into any item of your choosing ... now ... before you 
go nuts and grab the first thing that you can lay your fingers on ?  THINK !!
The number of sockets depends to a certain degree on the size of the original
object; the maximum number of sockets I have ever been able to have inserted 
into an item by Larzuk is 5, with the minimum being a paltry 1.

Larzuk can put sockets into pretty much any type of weapon or item too, so 
it shouldn't matter whether it's ordinary, magic, unique, set, personalised 
or WHATEVER ... THIS is the boi to socket it !!

Once Larzuk has socketed your weapon/item/whatever, the quest is completed.

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                           ACT FIVE - QUEST TWO                            ¦
¦                          RESCUE ON MOUNT ARREAT                           ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

To obtain the second quest you now need to go and speak with Qual-Kehk, who 
will tell you that several of his warriors have not reported back, and he is 
concerned for their safety.

He asks you to send them back to him if you find any on your travels.

Basically there are three sets of Qual-Kehk's Men located in the area past 
the Bloody Foothills.

It's called the Frigid Highlands, and it's also the location of the first 
waypoint in Act 5.

The three sets of barbarians are located in pens of sharp spears that appear 
WHITE on your map ... as soon as a set of barbarians appears on your screen, 
bad guys in the surrounding area will start to attack their barbarian 
prisoners in an attempt to kill them before you get to them.

STOP THEM !!!!!

Once you have opened the door to the pen, the barbarians (five per pen) will 
Town Portal back to Harrogath.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Sometimes ... surprisingly and annoyingly frequently to be 
honest, you will find that for NO reason at all, you will fail this quest.
What will happen is at least one of the Barbarians won't leave the pen, and 
will instead just potter around in there.  If this happens just abandon the 
lot of them and skip ahead to the next quest ... there is nothing more you 
can do for them.  If it happens ?  You also have my sympathies, because it's 
a real PAIN IN THE @RSE !!

Once you have released all 15 of Qual-Kehk's Men from their imprisonment, 
the quest is over !!

Nice and easy, non ??  You should now return to Qual-Kehk for your reward :- 
three runes ...

1 x Ort Rune, 1 x Ral Rune, 1 x Tal Rune.  A VERY VERY VERY nice combo I 
might add, as they give (when socketed into a weapon) Lightning PLUS Fire 
PLUS Poison damage !!  R-E-S-U-L-T !!!!!

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                          ACT FIVE - QUEST THREE                           ¦
¦                               PRISON OF ICE                               ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

In order to obtain your third quest you need to speak with Malah.  She tells 
you that Anya - that girl that I mentioned a while ago whilst I was giving 
you a run-down on the characters in Harrogath ??  Is missing ...

... um ... we knew that luv ... that's why she's not here ??

She confides in you and tells you that she believes Nihlathak has something 
to do with Anya's disappearance, as she heard the two of them arguing shortly
before she vanished ... Malah doesn't seem to like Nihlathak ... I wonder 
why !!

If you go and confront Nihlathak about Anya's disappearance, he will not 
surprisingly rebuff Malah's rendition of events, and tell you his own tale 
as to what happened ...

... who ya gonna trust ?  I have an idea ... let's find Anya and ask her !!

To find Anya you need to make your way through the Frigid Highlands to the 
Crystalline Passage, and from there you need to descend down to the Frozen 
River, where you will find Anya.

DON'T go to the Glacial Trail - that comes later ;)  You need to go DIRECTLY 
from the Crystalline Passage to the Frozen River.

PLEASE MAKE SURE that you activate the waypoint in the Crystalline Passage 
BEFORE you enter the Frozen River, ok ?????

As there isn't really anything I can say ... you just sorta have to fight 
your way down there, I will skip now to the bit where you find Anya.

When you are in the Frozen River and you get a quest update, it means you are
about to be MOBBED by a load of those Drifter creatures ??  Led by a bad boy 
called Frozenstein.

Once Frozenstein and his minions have fallen, you can go and talk to Anya ... 
Anya tells you that Nihlathak trapped her here, and that the only way she is 
going to be able to get out is with Malah's help ... use a Town Portal scroll 
and go back to Harrogath to speak with Malah.

Malah provides you with a THAWING POTION 3000 to give to Anya that should 
break her free from her frozen prison ... return through the Town Portal and 
give the potion to Anya to set her free.

Anya will then Town Portal back to Harrogath, so follow her through your own 
Town Portal (obviously you'll need to create another for this purpose) and 
speak to her when you get back to town ... she's just to the south-east of 
Deckard Cain.

Anya is obviously most grateful to you for having freed her from her prison, 
and presents you with an item that she has had specially made for you by 
Larzuk.

Treasure it, or sell it - it's entirely up to you !! :)

Quest over !! =D

Incidentally, if you go to see Nihlathak to give him a piece of your mind ?
You'll find that he's already skipped town ... bumbumhead ... =./


=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                           ACT FIVE - QUEST FOUR                           ¦
¦                           BETRAYAL OF HARROGATH                           ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

You now need to speak with Anya again to get the next quest - "Betrayal of 
Harrogath".  It appears that Anya confronted Nihlathak who, in a true Bond 
Villain stylee, told her EVERYTHING she needed to know about his plan, 
including dates, times, locations of bombs, numbers of henchmen and their 
weaknessess, bla bla bla.

Anya can now confirm that Nihlathak made an arrangement with Baal, whereby 
Harrogath would be spared from Baal's Destructive Influence IF Nihlathak 
agreed to turn over one of the Barbarian Stronghold's most sacred relics - 
an item which allows the bearer to gain access to the Worldstone Keep !!

See, the whole thing goes ...

... ordinarily in order to gain access to the Worldstone Keep, one must prove
him/herself worthy to the Ancients - I.E. beat the cr@p out of them in mortal
combat.  However, if Baal gains possession of this relic, he will be able to 
waltz straight past them as a "friend of the barbarian people", and gain 
access to the Worldstone Keep without any challenge whatsoever !!

THIS IS NOT GOOD !!

Anya then creates you a red Town Portal to the entrance to Nihlathak's Temple,
and suggests you haul @ss to go kick some tail and sort him out good and 
proper !!

LET'S GO !!

Nihlathak's Temple is divided up into FOUR levels ... the entrance level, the
Halls of Anguish, the Halls of Pain and the Halls of Vaught.

Nihlathak is waiting for you in the Halls of Vaught, so you must fight your 
way down to him.

BEWARE OF THE SKELETONS.  As you may have noticed from trudging through the 
Crystalline Passage and Frozen River, the skeletons in this Act re-spawn over 
time ... this isn't a good thing by any stretch, but it DOES mean that you get
more xp, so it's not ALL bad either ;)

From your starting position on this level, prepare to be ambushed ... all 
those skeletons lying on the floor like a bunch of lazy bones (narf narf) 
will be upon you very soon.

Clear the area and fight your way down to the Halls of Anguish.

Clear this level and move down to the Halls of Pain.

Activate the waypoint on the Halls of Pain level and fight your way down to 
the Halls of Vaught.

Hee hee ... took me about 12 seconds to type it, but it's gonna take you 
HOURS to do it ... bless you :)

The Halls of Vaught ... ah yeah baby ... THIS is where it's at.

*checks his coat and hits the dancefloor*

The Halls of Vaught look (very simplistically) like this :-

                                                -----
                                                ¦   ¦
                                                ¦   ¦
                                                ¦   ¦
                                                ¦   ¦
                                       ---------     ---------
                                       ¦          X          ¦
                                       ---------     ---------
                                                ¦   ¦
                                                ¦   ¦
                                                ¦   ¦
                                                ¦   ¦
                                                -----

x shows where you start ... and Nihlathak is waiting for you at one of the 
extremities of this floor of his temple.  Which one is chosen at random, so I 
can't aid you in finding it I'm afraid.

However, what I CAN tell you is that once you have arrived there, be 
prepared !!  Nihlathak is a POWERFUL Necromancer and uses Corpse Explosion to 
great effect in his fights ... make sure that you are stocked up on healing 
potions as each corpse explosion that hits you can do HUGE amounts of damage 
if you're not careful.

HOW TO DEFEAT NIHLATHAK :-

Concentrate on luring as many of Nihlathak's cronies as far AWAY from this 
area as possible, as logic dictates that if there ain't no corpse for him to 
blow up ?  He won't be able to blow it up !!

Obviously corpse explosion isn't his ONLY method of attacking you ... not by 
a long shot ... but it IS his most damaging.

He can also shoot short-range bolts of freezing cold at you, which will 
dramatically slow you down AND he can create minions to attack you (thus 
ultimately providing him with more corpses to blow up).

If you're able to use skills which increase the likelihood of destroying 
bodies - e.g. Glacial Comet if you're a sorceress, then I would suggest doing
so, as he cannot blow up da little chunks ;)

Once Nihlathak has fallen, grab anything that's lying around and go back to 
Anya for your WELL EARNED reward !!

Anya will offer to personalise any item or weapon for you ...

(applause sign flickers)

   (crowd cannot decide whether to applaud or not)

      (crowd EXPLODE into rapturous applauds just in case)

         (Sinister pushes a big red button on his chair and the crowd are 
          eaten by horny gigantic squid).

*sigh*

She offers to ... WHAT ???!?!?!?!??!?!?  "Personalise" an item ??  What 
bl**dy use is that !?!?!

Basically all she will do is whack your name at the beginning ... so instead 
of the Weird Cedar Bow of Evisceration she WAS carrying, my Hireling now 
wields Pharique's Weird Cedar Bow of Evisiceration.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ... it has a certain coolness factor, but come ON man !!
Nihlathak was a BAD@SS !!  How come I can't get a better prize ?!??!?!?!?!!!?

No car ?  No holiday for two in Barbados ??

... nevermind ...

ONWARD !! =D

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                           ACT FIVE - QUEST FIVE                           ¦
¦                              RITE OF PASSAGE                              ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

It appears that after all that, Nihlathak didn't have the relic !!!!!  This 
can only mean that he has ALREADY given it to Baal and this is MEGA bad news,
as it now means that Baal will be able to enter the Worldstone Keep 
unchallenged by the Ancients.

Whilst this is a HEFTY kick in the nuts for you, as it means that you will 
have to battle your way up to the summit of Mount Arreat AND prove yourself 
worthy to the Ancients before they will let you enter the Worldstone Keep, 
this is now the ONLY way that you have a cat in Hell's chance of stopping 
Baal before he does WHO KNOWS WHAT in there ...

... we don't know his plan, but let me ASSURE you it's NOT redecoration ;)

... so it's off to work we go (again !!).

You should also speak briefly with Qual-Kehk before embarking on this quest, 
as he has some very flattering things to say about your waistline ... err ...
I meant your SKILLS ... sorry ...

In order to reach the Ancients you need to go back to the Crystalline Passage.
From there you need to go through the Glacial Trail to the Frozen Tundra.

From THERE, you need to enter the Ancient's Way ... and this will in turn 
lead you to the Summit of Mount Arreat.

Sounds easy ?  It's gunna take you AGES m'n !!  AGAIN, don't forget to turn 
on the waypoints as you go ... there's one in the Glacial Trail, another in 
the Frozen Tundra, and ANOTHER in the Ancient's Way.

;)

So !!  JUST BEFORE you go out of the Ancient's Way to the summit, CREATE A 
TOWN PORTAL.

DON'T do it after you have gone through the Ancient's Way.  I insist.  It's 
bad Feng Shui.

Here is how the Ancient's Challenge will come at you.

As you go to the summit and head towards the entrance to the Worldstone Keep 
you will find a tome sitting on a pedestal, in the middle of three rather 
rough looking golden Barbarian Statues.

Once you read the tome, you will be spoken to by the Ancients collectively, 
and then you will be challenged.

The Ancients' Challenge is this :-

Beat ALL THREE of these Barbarian Warriors in combat AT THE SAME TIME, 
WITHOUT dying OR fleeing back to the town.

If you die ?  The challenge is reset.
If you Town Portal outta here ?  The challenge is reset.

Once ALL THREE Ancients have fallen, you will be justly rewarded.

I could go into a huge long spiel about how best to take them on, but there 
is precious little to be gained from this ... what I WILL tell you is that 
the three have different methods of attacking.  One prefers to hit you from 
range with thrown weapons.  One is BIG TIME into the Whirlwind skill, and the 
third likes to leap about quite a bit.

You must NOT allow them to box you in ... try and use the terrain, make sure 
you keep stocking up on health potions and the like ?  AND don't let your 
mana go down too low ...

Keep an eye on your hireling ... if you can summon extra backup - e.g. Shadow 
Master or Valkyrie, DO SO.

Just common sense stuff like that really.

===============================================================================
¦                               FURTHER GUIDANCE                              ¦
===============================================================================

Jonty30 has provided me with the following suggestion which is worth pointing
out to you :-

"I found that if you go to the edges of the cliffs that jut out of the main 
area and snuggle into a corner, only two of the Ancients can really attack you 
at a time.  Also, load up on health potions and you should be fine."

===============================================================================
¦                            END OF FURTHER GUIDANCE                          ¦
===============================================================================

Once you have slain all three ancients, you are given a HUGE boost to your xp.
Normally this is SO HUGE that it will bump you up 1-2 levels NO problem.

It's great !!

Once this quest is completed, you may enter the Worldstone Keep.

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                           ACT FIVE - QUEST SIX                            ¦
¦                            EVE OF DESTRUCTION                             ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

So here we are, my friends.  The sixth and final quest in the fifth and final
act of Diablo II: LOD.

You've battled against Andariel, Duriel, Mephisto, Diablo, and now Baal must 
fall to your might or all will be lost in the battle against evil.

((( GOD I love this stuff !!! )))

So here we go.

The Worldstone Keep is a FOUR level complex ... there is a waypoint on the 
second level, and levels 1-3 are all much of a muchness.

BEWARE on level 3 ESPECIALLY, as Baal likes to fire off spells at you 
whenever he gets the chance.  Keep moving - don't hang around 
unnecessarily ... and if you hear him laugh ??  RUN !!

When you get to the fourth level (named "The Throne of Destruction") you will 
find that the level is decidedly more ... red ... than the first three.

... perhaps I was wrong after all !  Maybe his plan WAS to redecorate the 
place !!!

The Throne of Destruction is a very static level that looks BASICALLY like 
this :-


          -----------      ----------------------      -----------
          ¦         ¦      ¦                    ¦      ¦         ¦
          ¦         ¦      ¦                    ¦      ¦         ¦
          ¦         ¦      ¦        BAAL        ¦      ¦         ¦
          ¦         ¦      ¦                    ¦      ¦         ¦
          ¦         ¦      ¦                    ¦      ¦         ¦
          ¦         ¦      ¦                    ¦      ¦         ¦
          ¦         ¦      ¦                    ¦      ¦         ¦
          ¦         ¦      ¦                    ¦      ¦         ¦
          ¦         ¦      ¦                    ¦      ¦         ¦
          ¦         ¦      ¦                    ¦      ¦         ¦
          ¦         ¦      ¦                    ¦      ¦         ¦
          ¦         --------                    --------         ¦
          ¦                                                      ¦
          ¦                                                      ¦
          ¦                                                      ¦
          ¦         --------    ------------    --------         ¦
          ¦         ¦      ¦    ¦          ¦    ¦      ¦         ¦
          ¦         ¦      ¦    ¦          ¦    ¦      ¦         ¦
          ¦         ¦      ¦    ------------    ¦      ¦         ¦
          ¦         ¦      ¦          x         ¦      ¦         ¦
          ¦         ¦      ¦                    ¦      ¦         ¦
          ¦         --------                    --------         ¦
          ¦                                                      ¦
          ¦                                                      ¦
          ¦                                                      ¦
          ¦         --------                    --------         ¦
          ¦         ¦      ¦                    ¦      ¦         ¦
          ¦         ¦      ¦                    ¦      ¦         ¦
          ¦         ¦      ¦                    ¦      ¦         ¦
          ¦         ¦      ¦                    ¦      ¦         ¦
          ¦         ¦      ¦                    ¦      ¦         ¦
          ¦         ¦      ¦                    ¦      ¦         ¦
          ¦         ¦      ¦                    ¦      ¦         ¦
          ¦         ¦      ¦                    ¦      ¦         ¦
          ¦         ¦      ¦                    ¦      ¦         ¦
          -----------      ----------------------      -----------

x = where you start.

... and can you spot Baal ???

:)  Cheeky, I know.  Sorry.

Right.

As you will see, as soon as you enter this level, you receive a new mission 
objective.  Kill Baal's Minions.  You MUST clear out all the bad dudes and 
dudettes on this level BEFORE you enter Baal's Chamber.

Whilst at first you may think that this is a bit of a drag, to be honest it
WILL work to your advantage as, in all likelihood you WILL wind up running 
OUT of Baal's chamber like a scared little schoolgirl, and if you hadn't 
cleared out everywhere ELSE on this level first ?  You'd get yourself into 
VERY hot water very quickly ... =./

NOTE: This ISN'T the Baal fight - this is the PRE-BAAL WARMUP, ok ??

Hokay ... so, clear up everything on this level and then enter Baal's Chamber.

JUST BEFORE YOU DO ?????  TOWN PORTAL ;)

When you enter Baal's Chamber you will have a few seconds to clear it up, and
then he will start to summon wave after wave of bad guys to attack you ... you
must clear the waves and then you will be able to follow him through that 
portal behind him, into the Worldstone proper.

The waves that he sends after you are as follows :-

     1)  Imps and Shamen
     2)  Skeletons, Skeleton Mages and Horadric Ancients
     3)  Council Members
     4)  Balrog Demons
     5)  Minions of Destruction (these you won't have fought before)

In between each wave as it comes to you, you will have a few seconds within 
which to pause and recuperate ... do so ASAP - don't bother picking up items 
off the floor until your enemies are all dead.  Grab potions - nothing else.

Once all the waves have been despatched, you can grab whatever items you like 
the look of off the floor, head back to Harrogath and heal up, repair your 
gear, sell off whatever crud you don't need or like, and then head BACK to 
the Throne of Destruction to chase Baal through the portal, and into the 
Worldstone proper.

NOW you can kick his @ss ;)

Baal is the middle-brother when it comes to difficulty in my humble opinion.  
Mephisto was a REAL chump.  Diablo was REALLY bad, so Baal is right smack-bang
in the middle.

He has the following (a non-exhaustive list I might add) powers at his 
disposal :-

     A)  Create duplicates of himself to attack you and draw your fire.
     B)  Create tendrils that come up out of the ground near you to strike at 
         you.
     C)  Fire gigantic flaming arrows at you that push you back.
     D)  Fire gigantic ice arrows at you that slow you and push you back.
     E)  Fire short-range bolts of orange and red energy (same as he used to 
         attack that dude in the cutscene ??) that do MASSIVE amounts of 
         damage.
     F)  Strike you by hand if you get too close.

Baal is difficult, but at your level and with your skills you shouldn't find 
him impossible.

I would strongly suggest paying close attention to the terrain, in order to 
better enable you to defeat him.  Hide behind rocks and jagged outcroppings 
of the Worldstone to present him with as minimal an aspect as possible.

THEN BEAT THAT MUTHA DOWN !!!!! =D

Once Baal has been destroyed, grab the items he drops and listen to Tyrael's 
speech (he'll appear in a sec).

If you have not been able to pick up the items Baal dropped when you 
defeated him then PLEASE DO NOT GO THROUGH TYRAEL'S PORTAL as this will 
automatically end the game.  Create your OWN Town Portal and you can then 
come back and pick up the rest after you've sold all your gubbins off.

Similarly, if you have left items on the floor in Harrogath (like I had 
originally told you to with your cash and so on ?), then please go back to 
Harrogath and grab everything you can, as you're about to complete the game.

Once you are ready and have picked up everything ?  THEN go through Tyrael's 
red Town Portal.

This will trigger the end of the game and your final cutscene.

CONGRATULATIONS MY FRIEND - YOU HAVE JUST COMPLETED DIABLO II: LOD !!

Depending on the difficulty you were playing on, you will gain a rank 
proportionate to the danger you faced ...

Completing the game on normal difficulty makes you a SLAYER
Completing the game on nightmare difficulty makes you a CHAMPION
Completing the game on hell difficulty makes you a MATRIARCH/PATRIARCH 
                                                    depending on your class.

=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                PART EIGHT                                 ¦
¦                              HINTS AND TIPS                               ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

After having played through this game more times than I've had hot dinners I 
STILL don't consider myself an expert by any means, but I have amalgamated a 
short list of tips and tricks that I have found work for me ... I hope that 
they help you too :)

                        ----------------------------

WELLS

Wells are VERY good spots to hang around as every time you drink from one you
heal a certain amount of health, mana, stamina, and all your followers 
(including your hireling) do the same.

ALSO, Wells remove negative enchantments - e.g. curses and poison ...

If you find yourself overwhelmed and there is a well in the area, make a 
stand at the well ;)

Also, you will be pleased to note that wells DO recharge over time, so you 
should keep a mental note of where they are on the level so that you can 
come back if you need to ... they seem to recharge slower on the colder 
levels, such as the Crystalline Passage, Frozen River, Glacial Trail and so 
on.

                        ----------------------------

TRAPPED CHESTS, STASHES, ETC.

When you open a chest, make sure you listen to the sound it makes.  Whilst 
each type of chest has its own sound - e.g. a normal chest creaks open, 
whereas a stash is stone and slides open, and a bone chest sounds different 
again - if the chest is TRAPPED, the sound is always the same.

Obviously I'm not going to go into a whole spiel about what the trap sound 
SOUNDS like ??  But keep an ear open for it ... if it doesn't sound quite 
normal ?  LEG IT !!!!!

                        ----------------------------

DEAD BODIES

ALWAYS examine dead bodies you find lying around if you can ... many of them 
contain items and other goodies you can scavenge.

Be careful, however, of dead bodies that are staked to the ground (usually in 
act one), or tied to the ground (usually in act four), as these can sometimes 
be trapped - ordinarily with a long-burning fire trap ;)

Also, never EVER examine dead cows, as they explode and cause you damage ...


                        ----------------------------

COMBINING SHRINES

Whilst you can only have one duration-based shrine affecting your character 
at any one time, e.g. you cannot combine a stamina shrine with a mana 
recharge shrine, you CAN use one-off shrines during a duration-based effect.  
So, for example, whilst you have your stamina shrine's power affecting you, 
you CAN still use a health shrine or a mana shrine or a gem shrine without 
causing the power of the stamina shrine to abate.

                        ----------------------------

RECHARGING SHRINES

Some shrines' power recharges, so keep an eye open for these ... examples 
include the resist shrines (the ones that give you a 75% resistance to 
cold/lightning/fire/poison on normal difficulty, and say "You no longer fear 
(whatever)" ??), so if you wait with them long enough, they WILL recharge ... 
alternatively you can just come back to them the next time you're passing 
through ;)

                        ----------------------------

HELP!  I CAN'T GIVE MY HIRELING A POTION !!

Sometimes you will find that even if you're very careful with your dragging 
and dropping, you just can't seem to feed your hireling that potion you 
wanna give him/her ...

To get around this, press the Z key on the keyboard to suppress your 
hireling's portrait, and then press Z again to bring it back.

NOW you should be ok to give him/her that potion ;)

                        ----------------------------

LOOSE ROCKS/BOULDERS

Same rules as with dead bodies ... always look under loose rocks and boulders
for treasure if you can.

                        ----------------------------

HOUSES AND STRUCTURES

Sometimes you will find huts, houses and other structures - particular in the 
first act - dotted about the place.  Make sure you look thoroughly inside, as 
quite often treasure will be hidden under blankets and other things inside 
the building ...

                        ----------------------------

MUCH CASH !!

Once you have maxed out your stash's available space for cash, I would 
suggest that you drop your remaining cash on the floor in town.  In this way 
you won't lose it if you die ... just remember to pick it up before you save 
and exit, or you'll lose it.

                        ----------------------------

TOO MUCH CASH ??

If you wind up having maxed out your stash AND the amount of gold you can 
carry with you, why not use the excess to buy items ??  Even if you don't 
need them, you can carry them with you (space prevailing of course) into your
savegame, and then sell them off when you start again ... FOR MORE CASH !! =D

                        ----------------------------

TOO MUCH CASH II ??

Jonty30 has been in touch with me to suggest another possible solution to the
problem of simply having too much cash.  Don't we wish we all had the same 
problem !?!?!

Anyhow - his suggestion is this ... why not gamble with your excess winnings ?
You never know - you might just find yourself an item/weapon, etc., that is
really WORTH the gamble !!

He further suggests that, to try and keep better tabs on what's on offer with
whichever gambler you choose to deal with, check in with them on a regular
basis.  Always keep your eyes open ...

Cheers Jonty30 :)

                        ----------------------------

SECOND SET OF WEAPONS AND SKILLS (QUICK-SWITCHING)

Don't forget that if you press the W key you will switch from your primary 
set of weapons, to your secondary set ... but you don't JUST have to use this 
for weaponry ... FOR EXAMPLE, you CAN actually have two different skills 
set - one on each set of weaponry ... sooooooooo when I was playing as my 
Paladin, I put Holy Freeze on his primary set of weapons, and Might on his
second ... that way I had the ability to slow my enemies down and then, with 
the flick of a key, move over to using might to enable my party to SMITE 
THEM like the PEONS they are !!

                        ----------------------------

QUICK HEALING

For the cost of a Town Portal Scroll you can be fully healed and have all your 
mana restored - NEVER forget that.  If you're depleted in both, or your 
hireling is about to die or WHATEVER, then you can always use a Town Portal to 
get OUT of trouble, heal up with whoever is the healer in the town you're in,
and then jump STRAIGHT back into the fray.

                        ----------------------------

TOWN PORTAL = MINI-SAVE

Don't forget that you don't HAVE to use a Town Portal once it's been cast, so 
if for example you're entering an area where you KNOW from past experience you 
are most likely going to die ?  And the waypoint in this area is MILES away ?
Then cast a Town Portal Spell in a safe location BEFORE you go into harm's way.
In THIS way you will (if you die) be able to go back through the Town Portal 
FROM town and back to just before you died - i.e. you'll get to your corpse 
quicker ;)

                        ----------------------------

LISTEN AND LEARN

Always listen out for sounds in the distance ... you will hear things like 
rat men and zombies, shamen and sea serpents BEFORE they appear on screen in 
most cases.  This will give you a few seconds to prep yourself for combat 
with them.

Similarly, you will sometimes hear items drop in the distance - this often 
happens if your hireling goes on a bender and wipes out a few enemies that you
haven't seen.  Any items they drop will make a sound when they hit the floor,
so attune your ears to pick up those sounds as well ... from the "Thock" that
a skull makes to the "Squelch" that an Unraveller Head releases ...


                        ----------------------------

MUCH CASH

When you reach Level 31 Experience you will find that you are able to put a 
HUGE amount more cash in your stash ... your stash's cash-holding capacity 
leaps up to 800,000 (yep, EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND) GP's !!!!!  So if you're
playing along and have stashes of cash in the town and are about to quit, 
but you're NEARING level 31 ?  My advice would be to play on until you hit 
level 31, and then dump the cash in the stash ;)


                        ----------------------------

MUNCHY MONSTERS

When you enter Hell, you will find monsters that hurl projectiles at you by 
eating corpses and basically vomiting their bits at you.  Gross, I know ...
But what's even GROSSER is that they can eat your HIRELING if he/she falls.
IF this happens ?  You will NOT be able to resurrect the Hireling in the 
Pandemonium Fortress, and he/she will be lost FOREVER.  I would therefore 
STRONGLY suggest that you focus your attacks on these MOFO's where possible.


                        ----------------------------

SKIRT AROUND THE ISSUE

When venturing in dangerous areas - PARTICULARLY the open-field areas of 
Act V (the Frigid Highlands, Arreat Plateau and Frozen Tundra), since just 
walking around in the open can lead to almost CERTAIN death at the hands 
of the countless Imps and Crush Beasts that lurk around ?  Sinister would 
suggest 'skirting around the issue' (i.e. sticking to one edge of the 
map and using it to make your way up and, if necessary, around, in order to 
get to your nearest exit.  There are TWO things to consider when doing this, 
however :-

1)  Some of the open-field areas don't go up and left - they go up and 
    right; and
2)  If you stick to the edges, you might miss the waypoints ...

BUT apart from that ?  It's a sound strategy for staying alive longer ;)


                        ----------------------------

SHOOT WISELY

Whilst it is perfectly natural to open fire on anything and everything that
comes anywhere NEAR you in Diablo 2: LOD ?  Try and shoot wisely.  For 
example, if you are a Sorceress, and have a Rogue Hireling that's skilled 
in Ice Arrows ?  Then she can USUALLY slow down any enemy that approaches 
you and get in quite a few arrows before you need to worry about casting 
spells.  You can use this time intelligently to get better position on your 
enemy, and avoid wasting mana that you might be able to put to better use 
later ...

... there are ALWAYS more enemies around the corner, non ?? ;)


                        ----------------------------

ACTIVATE ALL THE WAYPOINTS

It's a smart move to activate ALL the waypoints in the game - even if they 
are in areas that you don't ever really NEED to venture into - such as the 
Great Marsh.  You NEVER know if/when you might want to come for some loot !!


                        ----------------------------

TELEKINESIS = MINI-TELEPORT !!

When playing as the Sorceress, you can actually use Telekinesis as a baby 
version of the Teleport Spell.  If you use Telekinesis on a town portal or
entrance to, or exit from, a level ?  You will actually teleport to it !!  
So you could use it, for example, to go from Lut Gholein into the Sewers, 
or from the Palace Cellar into the Arcane Sanctuary ... those are two 
reasonably pants examples, but you CAN put this skill to greater use, I'm 
sure !!


                        ----------------------------

WATCH YOUR MANA-RECHARGE RATE

A smart strategy is, if you're able, to try and keep the amount of spells/
skills you cast, in proportion to your mana-recharge rate.  In doing this 
you will be able to reduce the amount of trips you need to make back to 
the town, and HOPEFULLY stand up better against stronger opponents in the 
levels.  There is PRECIOUS little more embarrassing than having a KICKASS 
sorceress running away from an approaching army of bad dudes, because she's 
fresh out of mana ;)


                        ----------------------------

"I CAN'T CARRY ANY MORE !"

If your character whines about not being able to carry an item that you 
really want to pick up ?  That DOESN'T automatically mean that he/she 
doesn't have any space to put it in his/her inventory ... it could just 
mean that they don't have enough space IN THE RIGHT CONFIGURATION.  The 
game doesn't have a function whereby your inventory can be automatically 
re-sorted to maximise the space available, so this is left down to you ... 
therefore it's best to check your inventory to make SURE you can't carry 
the item, before deciding how to proceed.


                        ----------------------------

USE THE TERRAIN TO YOUR ADVANTAGE

Wherever possible, look to use the terrain to your advantage.  Head-to-head 
confrontations can quite often be avoided by pinning your enemy in poor 
terrain.  The use of terrain to your advantage should form one of your MOST 
basic combat doctrines :)

For example, if your enemies are in a room, position yourself just on your 
side of the door - this will prevent them rushing into your room - in effect,
you force them into a bottleneck.

Similarly, as you will have seen when I recommended by way of slaying 
Mephisto, the use of terrain to hold an enemy in a given area is also of
great use in Lord of Destruction.


                        ----------------------------

MAXIMUM COST FOR RESURRECTING YOUR HIRELING

It will NEVER cost you more than 50,000 Gp to resurrect a hireling, so this 
is something to be borne in mind.


                        ----------------------------

CHAMPION ENEMIES

Whenever you encounter a "Champion" this or a "Champion" that ?  Be aware 
that champions (and their ilk - possessed creatures, ghost creatures and so 
on) tend to travel around in groups of 3-4, and are SUBSTANTIALLY more 
difficult to kill than their regular brethren (but they give much better 
goodies too !!)


                        ----------------------------

ARMOUR STANDS AND WEAPON STANDS COMBO TOGETHER

Wherever you find either an armour stand or a weapon stand ?  Look for the 
other.  VERY often, the two are located very close to each other (moreso in 
Acts I and V than Act III it has to be said)


                        ----------------------------

MANA TIPS

Since the healer in whatever town you are in will automatically heal you and
replenish your mana EVERY TIME you go to see them ?  May I suggest that before
you leave the town, you cast at least one positive enchantment on yourself,
such as hastening your Assassin, and THEN go and see the healer and THEN warp
back into the fray - it's like having a positive enchantment ... for free !!


                        ----------------------------

POTION OVERFLOWS

Keep in mind that a given level of potion will give a given amount of health
or mana, and that if you exceed your maximum THIS can ALSO temporarily be 
used to your advantage.  For example, if a given potion heals 150 mana points,
but you only have a maximum mana of 50 ?  Then until your mana bubble is fully
recharged, you can keep spending the other 100 mana points, and you will see
that the bubble just keeps on filling up ...

Use this technique to make the most of the potions you use


                        ----------------------------

DON'T SQUANDER SHRINES

If you come upon a health shrine but you're at full health LEAVE IT - you may
well need it later.

Similarly if you come to a mana shrine and you've got some mana left ?  USE
your remaining mana by casting spells (particularly useful if you're playing
the assassin let me tell ya !!) BEFORE you use the mana shrine, as it will
give you 100% of your mana back.


                        ----------------------------

TOWN HEALERS HEAL BIG TIME

Don't forget that Town Healers don't just heal you - they heal your Hireling 
and any troops you have as well ... so if you're fine but your Hireling is 
taking a pounding, then it's just as wise to retreat back to the town via a
Town Portal Scroll so that the Hireling can heal up ...


                        ----------------------------

POISON DOESN'T KILL YOU

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Poison DOESN'T kill you - it just leaves you with
so little health that a strong breeze can kill you.  Poison WILL kill your 
Hireling and/or Underlings, however.


                        ----------------------------

THE PRIORITY OF SLAYING

Whilst many people just wade on into their enemies without thinking, I always
advocate sizing up the situation first.  The order of enemies I will attack
is :-

     1)  Ranged Units;
     2)  What I call Generator Units (i.e. those units that resurrect their
         comrades when they fall, such as Horadrim Ancients, Flayer Shamen
         and Devil Kin Shamen); and
     3)  Regular Foot Soldiers.
     
I do this because if you DON'T attack the Ranged and/or Generator Units first,
you leave yourself wide open to be attacked by then whilst you're battling 
the Foot Soldiers.  In short, you're just making life harder for yourself.


                        ----------------------------

IF YOU ARE POISONED

Then attack any units that can poison you first - why not ?  You're already
poisoned, non ?


                        ----------------------------

INCREASING YOUR TREASURE HORDE EIGHTFOLD !!

Wenqi Yang has been in touch with me to suggest this VERY cool tip for 
increasing the amount of treasure you get allocated by pretending you are part
of a large party of players rather than just on your own ... here's how it 
goes (and I quote) :-

"In areas with shiny chests (The Pit level 2, The Cave level 2, et cetera, et 
cetera), I find that it's not a bad idea to leave all the objects alone, 
kill everything first, then when everything is gone (make sure that's the 
case!), press enter to bring up the chat box, and type "/players 8", THEN 
open the objects. Basically, this way, the chests will drop more stuff (not 
better stuff, but more stuff). You probably won't get good equips out of 
them or anything, but you will get more gold, more equips (even if they're 
junk, stuff like staff, scepter and wand tend to sell for a really nice 
amount in vendors), and potentially more gems and runes. Just make sure that 
when you're done, type "/players 1" before leaving the area. This only 
applies to single player and open battlenet games.

"The way it works is this: "/player x" basically emulates a game with x 
number of players. The more number of players in the game, the more HP 
monsters get, but also they give more exp, and drop more stuff. Since we 
already killed off all the monsters, we don't have to worry about applying 
more damage, but the chests aren't harder to pop on high player counts. Just 
make sure to change the player count back to 1 before you leave... don't be 
me and end up getting zapped with hundreds of archers with no way of 
disposing them quickly in the Palace because I forgot to set the count back 
to 1 back in the Viper Temple -_-"

                        ----------------------------

PUTTING /PLAYERS 8 TO EVEN GREATER USE

DarkV0id has been in touch with me to advise that using the /players 8 code
does not really slow down your ability to kill monsters (save bosses) a 
great deal, but that the experience point yield is much greater.  If you
use the code and play through normal difficulty, you can convincingly put
a good 10 levels onto your character, which is great for preparing yourself
for the difficulties of nightmare and hell difficulties ... 


=============================================================================
¦                                                                           ¦
¦                                 PART NINE                                 ¦
¦                             ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS                              ¦
¦                                                                           ¦
=============================================================================

This walkthrough is dedicated to Max, who brought so much love and happiness 
to all those who knew him, and who is sadly no longer with us.  I hope that 
fortune smiles on you Max :)

I am also dedicating it to the people at Blizzard who, in this title, have 
made a game that practically DEFIES the term coolness ... you guys ROCK !! =D

Special mention must be made to my new friend Axel Barvaeus of Marrondust, who 
made me feel really glad to have written this guide, and confirmed that I did 
not waste my time.  Thanks my friend ... NOW KICK DIABLO'S @SS !!!!! =)

Special thanks go to Cyrus Nunn for help provided re: the Necromancer's 
Mercenary Compatibility Grading ... Thanks Cyrus :)

Thanks and credit go to Louis Nassraway and Calvin82390 for their very kind
and constructive thoughts on the Desert Mercenary (Louis), and overcoming any
possible difficulties between the Desert Mercenary and the Paladin vis-a-vis
their respective Auras (Calvin).  Thanks guys :)

Thanks go to my friend Andrei Troie for his input into the Chaos Sanctuary, and
the whereabouts of Lam Esen's Tome.

Thanks must go to the Archangel Apollo for his information relating to SSzark
the Burning and the Spider Cavern.

Cheers Jonty30 for your insight into the more calculated side of gambling, and
your contributions to the Duriel fight, the Diablo fight, and the fight with
the Ancients !

Thanks go to Aidan Corcoran for his helpful information regarding defeating 
Diablo using the Paladin.

Thanks to Eric Norrie for his comments about the Amazon, Necromancer and 
Paladin.

Cheers to Wenqi Yang for coming up with that stunning hint for hording 
treasure like a Dragon :)

Many thanks to Babyroar & Diane for contributing the hints about feeding 
potions to your Hireling, and the Sorceress' Domination during the Duriel
fight !! =)

Thanks to DarkV0id for providing further guidance and comment on playing
effectively with the Necromancer (and selecting perhaps a different hireling
than I would recommend), and for his comments about the /players 8 code.

Finally, special mention must be given to Christian, who pointed out that you 
CAN actually buy Mana Potions from Akara in the Rogue Encampment.  Cheers 
mate !
 

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