Merlin's Den



1. BEFORE YOU PROCEED, make sure Lancelot is in your party, AND return to Shield Heights to stock up on Power Orbs. I highly recommend getting 99. Also return to Welton Village to stock up on healing herbs if you need them (I also recommend getting 99). At the end of the previous quest, Arthur said he heard a noise come from the direction of Morgana's castle. Go to your map and look at the area near Hadrian's Wall. There's a row of trees in front of it, and one of them looks "flatter" than the others. Put the shield on that spot and warp there. You'll see a huge hole in Hadrian's Wall. Apparently, the staff automatically blasted a hole in it from clear across England. Enter it.


2. The game's atmosphere is about to go through a monumental change in tone, and I'm not talking about the guy who fixed the staff. Welcome to one of the scariest places known to 16-bit games: the Dark Forest. Start walking north from the hole-in-the-wall and then west around some trees, then north again as far as you can go, then west until you pass a tree with a face and come to a cliff shore. From there go north, to the next screen, and keep going north over a bridge. Kill the wasps and enter the cave you find there.

3. Follow the short underground passage and when you get to a fork, turn right. Go to the end of the passage and go up through a door. You'll find the Ring of True Seeing on the floor in here. Get it.

4. Exit that room and go all the way left to the end of the hallway (you can ignore the middle door, there's nothing in there.) Take the door at the left end of the hall. Inside is Lancelot's Key of Truth. If Lance is still in your party, he will grab it and you'll be warped back to Camelot.

At this point I highly recommend going into your subscreen and looking at the password. Once you've collected Lance's key, this is the final password you will be given:

Woman, Merlin, Lady, Arthur, Lady

Unfortunately, what this means is that if you quit the game any time after taking down this password and restart with it, you'll have to begin this quest ALL over again before you can reach the final boss. The only thing you will not have to do is get Lance's key, but everything else will have to be done all over again. If you're playing this on a Super NES, I recommend leaving it turned on if you have to quit playing for awhile. If you're on an emulator, use save states.


5. Return to Hadrian's Wall and enter the Dark Forest again. This time, start heading east and leave the screen going east. On this screen, you'll want to head in a generally northern direction. You'll have to weave your path around some trees, but basically just keep heading north. Pass by the first passageway you see, you cannot enter it just yet. Keep going north and you'll come to a bunch of freshly-dug graves. They all have the same message, but a different name - one for each of the Knights of Justice. (Morgana is one sick, obsessed puppy, isn't she?) Go north a little more until you see a crypt and enter it.


6. Follow the one and only path through the crypt, across a bridge, to the cave at the end. Kill the warlords and approach the statue of Morgana. It will fire a beam that kills the two knights in your party. (Yes, literally kills them. I'm not talking the normal "no-more-HP-so-back-to-Camelot-I-go" thing, your friends are D-E-A-D, dead.)


7. Turn around and go all the way back the way you came, through the crypt, and back out to where the graves were. You'll notice that the two graves for the knights you just lost are now filled in and the headstone message has changed. For a game based on a lighthearted kiddie cartoon, this is getting pretty damn morbid.


8. Go to that staircase you passed up before. Now you can enter it. So take it and follow the path all the way until you end up in yet another graveyard. It is not necessary to enter the crypts here, but you can if you want to see a cool profile pic of a zombie and get some subtle clues regarding the Ring of True Seeing (which you already have) and the Plain of the Dead.


9. If you go south a little bit you'll come to a massive graveyard. Growing all over the place are these little white flowers. They are called the Flower O' Innocent. Get a couple of them. You can read the tombstones if you want. It doesn't help your quest, but they are mostly the names of the programmers. Some of them have funny messages.


10. Keep going south all the way to the bottom of the graveyard and then turn east. Walk east off the screen and you'll be in the Town of the Dead. Enter the first house on the left and talk to the man inside. He is the Goldsmith and he will give you two Gold Coins if you promise to bring him a Flower O'Innocent on the Plain of the Dead. Just be sure to answer "YES" to his request.


11. Leave that house and go into the one on the right side of the town that's just behind the house that's farthest south. Inside is another cloaked figure who will give you the Cloak of Death if you also promise to bring him a Flower O'Innocent on the Plain of the Dead. Take the cloak and leave.


12. Go to the very upper-left corner of town and enter the door you see there. You should be inside a huge church. Walk all the way to the back. If you have the Ring of True Seeing, you will see the Doorkeeper standing there. If you also have the Gold Coins and the Cloak of Death, talk to him and he'll send you to the Plain of the Dead.

13. This is where things really take a turn for the monumentally weird. You are now in the Plain of the Dead, walking along a disgusting pathway made of twisted, bloody corpses that are dripping streams of red blood. If there was ever an episode of the cartoon that was like this, I certainly want to see it, though somehow I doubt there was. It seems like at this point the developers were wondering why they were making this game based on this unpopular kids' cartoon and said, "Screw it! Let's just do the weirdest thing we can possibly do within Nintendo's censoring limits". I'm not saying it's necessarily deserving of it, but I think if the ESRB had actually seen this part of the game, they would have given it a "T" rating. Real death, rotting corpses, red blood...Anyway, I digress. Follow the path up, then right, then up at the first junction, then follow that all the way to the end and take the warp.

14. Follow the path you arrive on and take the first junction going left. You'll end up at a warp that looks like the one you just came from. Go ahead and take it.

15. Now you're on the forest floor and that weird mosaic tile special effect is gone. Walk north just a little bit and you'll find the guy who gave you the Cloak of Death. This is totally optional, but you can talk to him to give him a Flower O'Innocent. He'll tell you where to find the next warp.

16. Follow that forest trail north all the way, then follow it west. When it splits, start following it north again. It will split again, so follow it northeast. You'll come to another warp on the ground.

17. Take the warp and you'll end up on a platform with the Goldsmith. It's optional, but you can talk to him to give him a Flower O'Innocent. He'll give you directions for finding your lost friends. Take the warp when you're done.

18. When you reappear on the next platform, follow it up and take the first junction going left and walk all the way to the end. Take the warp you come to. The next three pathways are one-way only, so simply follow them to the ends and take the warps.

19. You'll wind up on a platform with your two lost friends. Swat them with your sword to wake them up, then take the warp.

20. On the next platform, there are two warps. Take the one in the lower righthand corner. You'll be back on the forest floor and a GIANT door will appear out of thin air. Go ahead and enter it. You'll be back in the church.


21. Leave the church and enter the huge mansion in the middle of town. Ignore the Doorman, he is of no help. Go through the door, go left, and take the first door going down. Talk to the man in there and he'll ask you to get a gem from his brother, Richard. Leave, continue left down the hallway and take the second door going down. Inside on the floor is a Necklace. Grab it.


22. Return to the hallway and go ALL the way over to the far right side. Take the last doorway going down that you see. Richard is in this room. Talk to him and give him the Necklace. You will get the Dragon Lord Gem in return. Take that back to the man you spoke to before who wanted it, and he'll give you a Key.


23. Return to the hallway and go up through that big door in the middle of it (the one in front of the entrance.) Baron William Black is in here. When you talk to him, he tells you that the only way to get to the Stone Gardens (Morgana's Castle) is to go through his father's crypt. You need to call his name when you enter the crypt to unlock the door. However, William has taken a vow never to speak his father's name again so he won't tell you the name (*grumble*grumble*). Return to the hallway, go right and take the next passage going up that you see. A woman named Mary is in this room. Talk to her to learn that the name you need to shout is "John Black". Note: Mary mentions something about breaking the family's curse, but there doesn't appear to be any way to actually do this. I'm not sure if it's just for story purposes or was a planned quest that got excised.

24. Leave the mansion and go to the door in the upper-rightmost corner of town (opposite the church door.) Enter and Arthur will call out John Black's name automatically. You can now go through that door. Welcome to the Stone Gardens. You are almost at the end of the game.


25. Start heading in a general northern direction. Keep going until the wall dead-ends. Turn right and walk through the wall so that Arthur appears on the other side. (Refer to my screenshots for the exact location of where you need to do this.)

26. From there, keep going north. You'll have to weave around some ledges, but just keep generally heading north until you see a cave entrance. Enter it.

27. This is a huge cavern. Keep going north, weaving around walls when necessary, and don't stop going north until you reach a cave entrance at the back wall. Ignore it. Instead, turn west and keep going until you find a set of stairs in the corner. Go up the stairs.

28. You can only go one way on the next two screens, so simply go up and take the stairs on both of them. You'll end up in another huge cavern. Go all the way north to the end of the cavern and you'll see a gigantic doorway. I hope you're ready. This is the final boss room. Heal Arthur completely before entering.


29. Upon entering the room, Morgana will turn herself into a giant red dragon. If you thought Warlord Viper was difficult, you're going to LOVE this. This boss is a forking pain in the forking ass! And if you lose (and you probably will), you get sent back to Camelot, and then you have to walk all the way through the Dark Forest and through the Stone Gardens to get back up to it again!! Like the Young Dragon that you fought on Shield Heights, Morgana's weakness is the underbelly area. I hope you stocked up on Power Orbs like I told you to because Morgana is not vulnerable to the sword. You must fire the orbs at that glowing spot.

Try to stay underneath the dragon's chin so that when it breathes fire, it will go over you. You'll have to be careful to avoid stepping on those hot coals in the bottom center of the screen, and you also don't want to get too close to the dragon's hands at the edges of the screen. Look for openings in the fire-breathing pattern to dart in and fire some shots, then step back out of the way before she breathes fire on you (which not only drains your HP, but could push you into the hot coals, draining you even faster). Stay under the head as she moves it across the screen, and try firing up at her belly when you get the chance. Sometimes your shots will connect even if the head appears to be in the way. Other times the head will block them. It depends entirely on the exact position the head is in and whether the mouth is open or closed. Sometimes after she breathes fire, she stays paused for a moment with her mouth open. Use that opportunity to dart in and fire off some shots. Occasionally, she might turn her head away from the center of the screen to face the edges. If she does that, you have a great chance to score a lot of hits, but just keep an eye on her head so you can get out of the way when she turns it back around again. I don't know exactly how many shots it takes to kill her, but be patient. And if you get in quite a lot of hits and still have enough hit points left, you can try to finish her off by "ramboing" her (in other words, stand in front and fire like crazy without worrying about taking damage).

Morgana may seem hard, but she is not impossible. I just wish there was a continue point closer to her. People using emulators can always save state before entering her room. Once she goes down for the count, congratulations! End of Quest #8 and end of the game. Now sit back and enjoy the ending sequence.




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