SPOILERS! Guide to some of the hardest puzzles in the first half of the game!
Other Grimoire Guides:
Please note: This text contains some major spoilers. I've included solutions to the most difficult puzzles which I had problems with. So if you're stuck, this is a good place to check the solution.
- Have Detect Secret on at all times.
- Run into a locked door three times and an option to force the door open appears.
- Put at least a couple points into swimming - that way your characters won't drown right away when stepping into a water tile. The fastest way to learn climbing is to cast Featherfall and to try climbing again and again. This will increase the climbing skill no matter whether you fall or succeed.
- Most recruitable NPC's have much better stats, eg. Little Rosy in the Briarwoods in the beginning. Each recruitable NPC is paid 100 gold per day.
- Resurrecting a dead character reduces their Constitution by 10 points each time.
- You can also 'Raise Dead' the bones of people you find, eg. Mistral, Medea, etc.
- You can cast protective spells that affect the whole party before combat: Armorplate, Enchanted Blade and Magic Screen.
- To unlock the hidden spell page, ask the magic shop in the Village Crowl about "Eldritch". Note that NPC's who join your party after that won't have that page unlocked. The next person who can unlock that page will be a mage you meet after completing a series of puzzles. Balderdash who is trapped in the Kublai Cathedral - ask him about "Eldritch" as well.
- To use the Moongates (the black megaliths with symbols on them) for teleporting, you need to ask the Mandarin in Kublai Axis about "music". Different Moongates are connected in different ways: some are connected to 3 others, others are connected to just one other, etc.
- You need to collect tablets and then bring them into a vault of open chests on top of the Blackspike mountains (East of Kublai Axis). This is similar to the maps you need to collect in Wizardry 7.
The Key to the Catacombs in the Crusader Temple
Talk to Gorlo about the scandal and ask him for the key. If he refuses to give it to you, cast Charm on him first.
Cenotaph of the Black Lich
The name the door wants to hear is that of the monk who became the Black Lich. Ask the Temple Cleric Gorlo about the scandal to learn his name. It's Esoph.
On the altar use the dead rat first and then the Bane of Hobknob. Make sure to keep this bane, you will need it later on.
Knightly Catechism and how to get the Flaming Sword
Pull the first two levers to open the first gate. The talking face will give you a book that you need to give to Sir Coffergus in the Eyrie to translate. The translation contains the answer to the puzzle of the second talking face on the same level (behind a secret door).
After stepping on the magic water tile to become baptized, you can simply click on the wall next to the backer perk chests and it will disappear.
The backer perk chest contain items that are as good as the Flaming Sword, by the way. You need 7 or 8 perk keys to open them all. The last one in the NW is empty, so you really need only 7.
Speaking of the Eyrie, put on the Avian Helmet and then sleep on the round tile in the NE corner of that map. Prepare to be amazed.
The Water Level
You'll know it when you see it. There is a turtle you can ride across the water. For that you need to swim two tiles to the right, then turn right again and swim one more tile. There is a hidden door.
To survive swimming three tiles, either cast Refresh on the lowest setting on each character who runs out of vitality or use a consumable (eg. iron rations) to regain vitality. That will allow them to survive one more water tile.
Museum of Magic puzzle and the Key of the Winged Exemplar
The Kroondergraf machine in the museum is a well done puzzle that relies on the description of the windows you find in the catacombs of the temple in Crowl. You can see it later in the journal too by clicking on the Catacombs map and then on the notes for that map in the lower left.
To open the machine, look at which words appear both in the window description and on the machine buttons in the museum. Then press the buttons in the order of those words appearing in the description.
You also need to bring the egg that you find in the Eyrie and crush it with the machine in the Deepsink Project. The resulting omelette needs to be combined with the mechanical egg you get out of the Kroondergraf machine in the museum. Then you need to to put the result into the machine and you will get a toy back.
This toy needs to be brought to the nest in the Eyrie. A short time later you will get the Key of the Exemplar to proceed beyond the first part of the game.
After activating the generator and flooding the city water tanks, don't forget to go to the well you found and use it to go down to the naga caves. There you will have either one of the most difficult fights of fours waves of nagas who can kill you with just one hit each - or you can use the feather you found earlier to avoid this fight.
The combination to the column can be found either by talking to the pirate under Waterport or by killing him.
Cathedral Bell and the Sea
To find the Cathedral Bell, you need to talk to the Admiral on board of the ship in Loch Lalain. You can either recruit him for a bit, or steal the diving helmet from him or simply kill him.
The pieces of the bell can be found on the three water maps (Loch Lalain, Titan and Sargasso). Either cast Detect Item to find the pieces or use Detect Secret and visit every water tile.
Once you are on the tile where a piece of the bell is located. Have someone put on the diving helmet and then choose Look.
When you have all 5 pieces, put them together to form the bell. This needs to go back to the Cathedral, where you put the bell back, then use the dial in that room which retracts the bell rope and then downstrais in the room with the vase pull on the metal rope hanging from the ceiling.
This will free Balderdash.
How to enter the Khan Imperial Palace
You need to talk to the girl in one of the secret rooms in the Kublai Cathedral. Note: You need to have some water or food rations with you to feed her before she can talk. Once you leave, she won't be back and you won't have a chance to learn the password for the Palace Guards.
Alternative: You kill her and find out the password in a letter on her, then you can reload.
How to enter Skulheim
Show the Bane of Hobknob to the guard as proof that you are a friend of darkness.
How to fish in the deep wells
You'll find four pieces of rope: one in the harbor of Waterport, one in Hall of Commerce under Waterport, one in a cave on Loch Titan and one in a dark cave on the Sargasso map. There is also a hook for the fishing line on the Sargasso map in a one-tile piece of land next to the sea.