A list of all the game's books.
- 1 Dan's Crypt
- 1.1 Crypt 3000
- 1.2 BASIC MOVES AND CAMERA CONTROL
- 1.3 ENERGY AND LIFE
- 1.4 INVENTORY AND SHOP GARGOYLES
- 1.5 THE CHALICE AND HALL OF HEROES
- 1.6 DAN'S PRIVATE JOURNAL
- 1.6.1 I'M DEAD...!
- 1.6.2 INTO THE GRAVEYARD
- 1.6.3 A SIGHTING OF ZAROK!
- 1.6.4 TRAPPED IN THE MAUSOLEUM
- 1.6.5 ESCAPING THE NECROPOLIS
- 1.6.6 HELLO GALLOWMERE PLAINS!
- 1.6.7 VILLAGE RANSACKED, MAYOR KIDNAPPED!
- 1.6.8 LOADS OF NUTTERS...EVERYWHERE!
- 1.6.9 OBTAINING THE SHADOW DEMON CLAW
- 1.6.10 SCARECROW FIELDS RAMBLE
- 1.6.11 SEARCH FOR THE PUMPKIN WITCH
- 1.6.12 INTO THE ENCHANTED FOREST
- 1.6.13 CATCHING UP WITH MR DEATH
- 1.6.14 A SHORT STAY AT THE SEASIDE
- 1.6.15 NERVOUSLY TO DRAGON'S ISLAND
- 1.6.16 SIGHTSEEING AT THE CASTLE
- 1.6.17 SEASICK CRUISE
- 1.6.18 THE FINAL ENCOUNTER
- 1.7 RELICS AND ARTIFACTS
- 1.8 AN ADVENTURER'S GUIDE TO MONSTERS
- 1.8.1 ZOMBIES
- 1.8.2 ZOMBIE GUARDS
- 1.8.3 SKELETON WARRIORS
- 1.8.4 HEADLESS ZOMBIES
- 1.8.5 MUMMIES
- 1.8.6 IMP THIEVES
- 1.8.7 IMP FLAMERS
- 1.8.8 STAINGLASS DEMON
- 1.8.9 WOLVES
- 1.8.10 STONE WOLVES
- 1.8.11 BOILER GUARDS
- 1.8.12 HAY MONSTERS
- 1.8.13 SCARECROWS
- 1.8.14 WHEAT DEMONS
- 1.8.15 MECHA IMPS
- 1.8.16 PUMPKIN PLANTS
- 1.8.17 PUMPKIN BOMBS
- 1.8.18 PUMPKIN KING
- 1.8.19 HEAD BANGERS
- 1.8.20 MAX AXEMAN
- 1.8.21 SHRUBBITES
- 1.8.22 DRAGON TOADS
- 1.8.23 SHADOW DEMONS
- 1.8.24 DEMONETTES
- 1.8.25 ARMOURED KNIGHTS
- 1.8.26 GHOULS
- 1.8.27 UNDEAD WARRIORS
- 1.8.28 SMUGGLERS
- 1.8.29 DRAGON KING
- 1.8.30 MR MAD
- 1.8.31 MRS MAD
- 1.8.32 NELLIE MAD
- 1.8.33 PIRATE CREW
- 1.8.34 PIRATE OFFICERS
- 1.8.35 PIRATE CAPTAIN
- 1.8.36 LORD KARDOK
- 1.8.37 ZAROK SERPENT
- 1.9 MELEE COMBAT
- 1.10 DARING DASH AND SHIELDING
- 1.11 POWER UP ATTACKS
- 1.12 RANGED COMBAT
- 1.13 WEAPON HANDBOOKS
- 2 The Graveyard
- 3 Cemetery Hill
- 4 Hilltop Mausoleum
- 5 Return to the Graveyard
- 6 Gallowmere Plains
- 7 Scarecrow Fields
- 8 Pumpkin Gorge
- 9 Sleeping Village
- 9.1 ANGRY NOTE TO THE GARDENER
- 9.2 THE WISHING FOUNTAIN
- 9.3 Crucifix 1
- 9.4 Crucifix 2
- 9.5 BLACKSMITH'S MONTHLY
- 9.6 Mayor's Gate
- 9.7 Bust Puzzle
- 9.8 HISTORY OF GALLOWMERE
- 9.9 TOURIST GUIDE TO GALLOWMERE
- 9.10 HEROES FROM HISTORY: A retrospective
- 10 Enchanted Forest
- 11 Scurvy Docks
- 12 Dragon Island
- 13 Haunted Ruins
- 14 Ghost Ship
- 15 Hall of Heroes
Congratulations on your purchase of the Crypt 3000. In the unlikely event of inaccurate diagnosis of death:
1: Remove shroud (where applicable)
2: Locate rune stone
3: Proceed to exit located at end of hall
4: Place rune stone in claw hand next to doorway
5: Contact your undertaker for a 50% refund
BASIC MOVES AND CAMERA CONTROL
(The larger the analog stick movement from centre the faster Dan's speed.)
QUICK ATTACK /
CONTEXT SENSITIVE ACTIONS
(COMBAT DASH with shield equipped)
(whilst moving) WALK MODE
(WALK + SHIELD with shield equipped)
(Tapping the R button will position the camera directly behind Dan)
(Holding the R button will lock Dan's facing direction and position the camera directly behind him.)
ENERGY AND LIFE
At the left of the game screen you will see a green bar. This is Dan's health meter. As Dan receives damage the meter goes down, when it is empty Dan will collapse.
On your adventures you will find small green health vials. These items will increase Dan's health level.
More powerful restoratives come in the shape of green health bottles. These items may be collected, and when full will re-animate Sir Dan and refill his health meter should it become empty. The more full bottles the player acquires the more chances he will have to continue his adventure without perishing.
You can refill both Dan's health meter and any empty life bottles at health fountains, which you will encounter throughout your travels. Simply move Dan into these bubbling green jets to improve his health status; the longer he remains within the fountain, the greater the amount of health energy he will receive. All fountains have limited supplies of health energy so it is best to use them discerningly.
Once the health meter and all of Dan's additional life bottles are empty it's 'GAME OVER'.
When you encounter boss enemies you'll see that they too have a health meter. You must try to deplete it before they destroy Dan.
INVENTORY AND SHOP GARGOYLES
As you progress through your adventure, you will find many useful items and weapons. Once collected, these are automatically stored into Dan's inventory.
To open the inventory screen press the SELECT button. The inventory is divided into four sections: Melee weapons, Ranged weapons, Artifacts and Keys. Each of the sections can be accessed by pressing the up and down arrow keys Pressing the left and right arrow keys will scroll through the items contained within each section. Once an item is highlighted it may be selected for use by pressing .
Certain items can only be used at certain points in the game. If you attempt to use an item in the wrong place, a 'buzzer' sound will play and the item will remain un-activated.
Often on your travels you will encounter a Shop Gargoyle. These shady individuals are the traders of Gallowmere. A smack on the nose with a melee weapon will alert them to your presence. Choose 'SUPPLIES' to purchase fresh ammunition. Choose 'SERVICES' to repair your shields.
THE CHALICE AND HALL OF HEROES
The chalice challenge
A major part of Dan's quest is to make amends for his cowardly past, and prove himself a true hero. The legendary warriors of Gallowmere have set out a series of challenges that he must complete in order to earn their respect.
In many of the game levels there is a golden chalice hidden away, with a total of 15 to be collected in all.
Dan must complete two specific tasks in each of the chalice levels to meet the criteria set by the Hall of Heroes. Firstly; he must locate and collect the chalice itself. Secondly; he must kill enough enemies to fill the chalice with their souls. If both tasks are completed Dan will be spirited away to the Hall of Heroes to claim a reward once the level is finished.
The Hall of Heroes
In the Hall of Heroes, the bravest heroes from all history spend an eternity resting, feasting and exchanging tales of their greatest victories. Each time Dan visits the hall he will find that one of the Heroes has transformed from statue form into a living breathing warrior. Should Dan stand on the chalice emblem in front of this character he will be granted an audience. Often the heroes will present Dan with an extremely useful item.
The Hall of Heroes is spread over two levels. Only when you have paid homage to the heroes in the lower level will the gates guarding access to the upper level open up.
Once you have collected your reward, the exit can be found at the rear of the building.
DAN'S PRIVATE JOURNAL
(strictly no peeking)
The darndest thing happened: one moment I'm at the Battle of Gallowmere giving the order to charge, then BAM! A blinding pain in the old peeper, and sink me if I don't wake up on the least comfortable bed I ever lay on. Turns out I'm dead! Bit of a blow to my plan to forge a career as a great warrior, really.
Met the most irritating fellow. 'Al-Zalam' is his name. Think he might be foreign. He claims to be a powerful genie, but he's shown scant sign of any magical powers to date. Apparently for the last century he's been using my ocular cavity as some sort of flop-house. Anyway it turns out that the Sorcerer Zarok is back, raising the dead and possessing the living, and whatnot. He really is the most awful git.
Looked round the old tomb. I have to say whoever sorted the funeral out really did a first class job! Wish I'd been there for the send-off.
NOTE TO SELF: Update this journal regularly as and when stuff happens.
INTO THE GRAVEYARD
Zarok apparently is still in the area so I'm up and at 'em. Al's jabbering away in my ear, but my jaw's gone missing so I can't even tell him to put a lid on it.
Found a rather tasty sword and shield. I've still got the old moves, I can tell you! Have at you! Jumpin Jiminy!
Got into a scrap with some zombie chappies. Tried to tell them I was no good to them, what with the old brain having rotted away with the passing of the years, but they were all over me like a cheap tunic. Had to literally fight my way across the Cemetery. So much for my hope that there might be some sort of all-in-this-together camaraderie amongst the undead community.
A SIGHTING OF ZAROK!
Arrived at cemetery Hill just in time to get a fleeting view of Zarok, and a short sneering lecture to boot.
Remember now why I hate him so much, and it's not just the bodice and plucked eyebrows.
Found a witches' lair. No witches, but really creepy. The coven contained a natty little spade, and something Al said was a witch's talisman. Apparently, you wave it around in the right place and it's like catnip for witches! Would love to ask him where he gets this stuff from but our conversations tend to be fairly one way.
Went haring up this steep hill after Z, got to the top, legs like jelly but ready to give him what for, and he's already slunk off into some dusty Mausoleum. Typical.
TRAPPED IN THE MAUSOLEUM
Finally I get up close and personal to Zarok. He really is as mad as a march hare - who also makes hats for a living. Anyway he's got a whole army amassed, ready to move on Gallowmere, plus he's trying to release those loutish Shadow Demons. Oh Gallowmere, fair Gallowmere, what will become of you? It's a bit academic at the moment as apparently I'm trapped in here.
So I'm wandering around this dingy hellhole and all I can hear is this creepy music. The same dreary tune, played over and over again. Went up to the chap to put in a request (i.e. shut your noise) and it turns out he's been cursed, poor blighter. Anyway, long story short, I found him a new tune. So I'm happy, he's happy, I daresay everyone in earshot is happy.
Did battle with Stain Glass Demon. He put up quite a fight but after a while he looked pretty shattered - his eyes glazed over and I knew he was in some pane. A couple more whacks and it was curtains.
Got the Stain Glass Demon key - and finally free of this mausoleum!
ESCAPING THE NECROPOLIS
Home sweet home! Retraced steps to Graveyard to see if I could find a way out into Gallowmere central.
Opened the Glass Demon gate with his key. Cor, there's a whole new area of the Graveyard. Can't help thinking it's slightly nicer than my bit.
Met Death. And no pen for an autograph! Death says I'll need the Anubis Stone. A magic rock they took off Zarok after the last war, broke into 4 pieces, and divvied up amongst the local bigwigs. A completed Anubis stone will allow me to create and rejuvenate my very own undead army, how ruddy smart!
Without such an army I'll not have a hope of destroying Zarok's elite Fazgul bodyguards, so this Anubis stone collection thingy seems rather critical to the success of my quest.
Death reckons a piece of said stone may be nearby, buried with the Mullock Chief.
NOTE TO SELF: Just in case I forget (what with no brain and everything) Death thinks the Pumpkin Witch, Mayor and King Peregrin may have the remaining Anubis stone pieces in their possession.
Paid our last respects at the tomb of Mullock Chieftain, whipped the stony butts of the Wolf Guardians, then said goodbye to the graveyard.
HELLO GALLOWMERE PLAINS!
There's loads to do here: a carnival, and a farm, and a really great shop. But I must not tarry as the fate of all Gallowmere rests upon my broad yet bony shoulders. From the plains I can get to the Sleeping Village or take the road to Scarecrow Fields. Or possibly just stop here and have a few ales. Sadly, I fear 'twould just sloosh through the holes in my ribcage.
There's another way out leading to the Enchanted Forest but the path is locked. Once again fate hawks up a fat loogie into the cocoa of my quest.
VILLAGE RANSACKED, MAYOR KIDNAPPED!
Went to Sleeping Village on the trail of the Mayor. Unfortunately Zarok had pipped me to the post, carried the portly Mayor away, and imprisoned him in the asylum.
Keen to leave this place, and rescue the Mayor. Zarok's Boiler Guards are making an awful mess searching for this Shadow Demon Claw.
LOADS OF NUTTERS...EVERYWHERE!
Ventured into the Asylum in search of the Mayor. Mad people really can be quite awkward to be around. Had to battle a barmy army of deranged flakes and berserk wackos - as I believe they're technically known in head doctor circles.
At last I found the Mayor. He gave me a key to the Enchanted Forest. Said I need to speak to a certain Witch who hangs out in the undergrowth, selling pegs and lucky dirt, or something. She can reveal the location of the Shadow Demon Prison, home to a piece of the Anubis stone. But first, to open the prison I'll need to retrieve the Shadow Demon Claw from his village house safe. Crumbs, whatever happened to a simple bellow of "Open sesame"?
OBTAINING THE SHADOW DEMON CLAW
The deranged inhabitants of the village have been hassling me something rotten, takes all my discipline to stop from slicing and dicing them into possessed pieces.
After much Mayorally contrived shenanigans with a cast, bust, bellows and crossless church I finally have the key to the Mayor's safe!
Blimey O'Reilly - the whole village is crawling with Boiler Guards, back from their tea break.
Opened the Mayor's safe. Inside is a grizzled looking, desiccated old chunk of limb. No, not one of Al's leftover kebabs - the Shadow Demon Claw! Time to make my escape.
Hurrah! Once again the decomposing but plucky Captain Fortesque shows Zarok's men a clean pair of heels! Quite literally, given my lack of Achilles tendons.
SCARECROW FIELDS RAMBLE
Heading through fields towards the home of the Pumpkin Witch. Like a pleasant Sunday stroll really, only with the addition of demonic entities.
Bushwhacked by enchanted haystacks. Was touch and go, with my hayfever and all, but I found the judicious application of a naked flame soon showed them who's boss.
Had a run-in with a huge mechanical imp. Why oh why couldn't it have been a tiny impish mechanic?
Helped a poor farmer repair his crop-cutting machine. By luck, once the contraption got going it revealed a passage through to a secret area! From then on I vowed to help all my fellow citizens - no matter how unwashed and seemingly inbred.
Circular grinding machines bar the way out. Horrendous industrial accident beckoned - but once again Fortesque prevails!
SEARCH FOR THE PUMPKIN WITCH
Arrived in Pumpkin Gorge. I remember bunking off school with the other boys to come here and scrump the succulent pumpkins. But what's this? My favourite foodstuff seems possessed by the very devil and is holding a farmer hostage!?
Putting aside fond memories of hearing the pumpkin man's gay tune and scampering from the house to buy ice-pumpkin from his wagon, I freed the farmer and he gave me a key to the witch's camp.
Lost in reverie as I recalled Granny Fortesque's steaming pumpkin pie, I summoned the Pumpkin witch using the talisman.
The witch agrees to give me her piece of the Anubis Stone in return for killing the enchanted Pumpkin King. It will be a deadly yet mouth-watering quest.
Fought the Pumpkin King: mano a veggo. Remind me never again to wax lyrical on the subject of these hideous orange squashes.
INTO THE ENCHANTED FOREST
Walked deep into the Enchanted Forest, looking for the wise old old crone they call the Forest Witch.
It's well known that Dragon Toads go a bit barmy during the breeding season, but nothing could have prepared me for their continual slavering bite attacks, and they spit too, how unhygienic! Anyways, after much fighting and exploration I finally locate the Forest Witch - and let me tell you, never have I seen such a major hippie. She agrees to lift the enchantment that conceals the Shadow Demon Prison if I go and grab a few bits of fungi for her. Piece o' cake, or possibly toadstool.
Wretched fairies ran me ragged, and some of the language! But at last I found enough fungi to keep the wizened old crone happy. And lo! The entrance to the Shadow Demon Prison is revealed. I was about to set foot where no man had walked in a hundred years.
Using the Demon Claw I unlocked the entrance to the Shadow Demon prison. Applying my keen intellect - you heard me - I solved a fiendish puzzle to collect the vital fragment of the Anubis Stone. Advantage Fortesque!
Gadzooks! The stone turns out to be the final lock that keeps the Shadow Demons imprisoned. In an ideal world the Mayor might have mentioned this - the mealy mouthed windbag!
Today is not getting any better. Now I find myself inside a giant tree trunk battling the forest's demonettes. What is this, some kind of twisted reality show?
At last, with the prized Anubis stone helf aloft, I quit the Enchanted Forest sharpish.
I heard a distant booming like thunder. I later discovered it was Zarok's ghost ship unleashing a terrible cannonade against the Kings Castle. As I stumbled towards the forest exit my befuddled mind was awash with many pressing questions: How would I gain acess to the castle ruins? Would I ever find my missing lower jaw? And most pressing of all, how would I make Al Zalam shut his yap for more than five seconds?
CATCHING UP WITH MR DEATH
After my recent travails, I was relieved to bump into my old mucker Death. But my cheery greeting died on my lips - or where I used to keep my lips, anyway - when he gave me some frankly horrific news. He expects me to journey through the poos of the Ancient Dead. And to think I just had my boots Brasso'd.
Slight confusion. Apparently it's the POOLS of the Ancient Dead. That's much better - I suppose. But I'll tell you this for nothing: 100 years festering in a box does nothing for your hearing.
I don't believe the cheek of the bloke! I'm running errands for Death, now. I thought he had tiny elves for that sort of thing! He says he'll take me to the Haunted Ruins if I can collect up the pieces of his recently exploded robot mortality-monger and free his impounded boat.
After all that faffing about, Death's done the dirty on me. Apparently, thanks to Zarok, the Haunted Ruins are now encircled with lava so there's no point going. Didn't want to go in his stupid boat anyway.
Luckily, Al, a.k.a. The Voice From The Socket, may have come up with an idea, for once - instead of his usual stream of half-remembered Middle Eastern claptrap and jokes about dromedaries. He says that the Dragon King on Dragon Island may have a set of magical fireproof armour.
Oh cheers, Death. Instead of lending a hand after I worked my fingers to the bone for him, he blithely announces he'll wait upstream for us, on the off-chance we get back with the retardant suit. Way to go, Charlie Hustle.
A SHORT STAY AT THE SEASIDE
Ah, Scurvy Docks! You can almost smell the sea air - if you can pick it out from the stench of the lowlife who hang out round these parts. It's like chucking-out time in a scumbag theme pub. I sought the Harbour Master, with a view to obtaining a boat to take me to Dragon Island.
The Harbour Master ahd the absolute cheek to cast doubt upon my credentials as a pirate - just because I'm wearing a suit of armour and didn't laugh at his Roger the Cabin Boy joke."Where's your tri-corn HAT? Where's your PARROT?" Honestly, I'm THIS close to beating that Harbour Master senseless with a sack full of crabsticks. Jobsworth.
Finally. With my wooden leg, seagull, stupid hat and skull and crossbones, apparently I now passed muster as a pirate. The Harbour Master's a complete pain. If he'd asked for a patch over one eye I could at least have shut Al up for an hour or two - he's like a budgerigar if you plunge him into darkness. And after all that? A boat that looks slightly less seaworthy than Granny Fortesque's old hip-bath.
NERVOUSLY TO DRAGON'S ISLAND
Well, my suspicions about the world's most pathetic seagoing vessel proved well founded. I only just made it to the island, I got soaked to the nines and I'm still baling out my codpiece. And yes, I was panicking. There are good reasons why armour is never used as a buoyancy aid.
And so I got to meet the Dragon King. Dragon Breath more like. And hoity-toity to boot. And would he loosen his hot little grip on the family heirloom? Unhand the Dragon Plate Armour nice and easy for the good of Gallowmere? What do YOU think?
In the end, I had to beat the flame-retardant pants off him. Luckily, his resulting poor-loser sulk, and a swish of his powerful tail, meant I managed to avoid a potentionally hazardous return trip on the Sunken Rowboat of Atlantis.
SIGHTSEEING AT THE CASTLE
Death finally agreed to take me to the Haunted Ruins. I hope it's as pretty as everyone says.This Dragon Armour stuff is top. Crossed the river of lava and barely broke a sweat.
Finally I made it into the Haunted Ruins. After locating the king's lost crown I stood face to face with my old pal, the genial and garuulous monarch.
Does EVERYONE have an angle? Old Kingy coughed up his chunk of Anubis mineral deposit. Then calmly informed me that I had to open some floodgates. Thereby releasing a deluge of lava beneath the castle, supposedly to destroy a certain horde of Shadow Demons. Someone is NOT going to be happy. ANd guess who'll be in the firing line?
Kingy P. opened a secret passage to the floodgate area, and in I went. That lever was mine for the pulling, baby. So I pulled it.With an inevitability that is really starting to get me down, this released two rather angry guardian golems.
Phew, somehow finished them off, then a mad dash for the exit. Managed to reach it just seconds before the whole edifice crashed down around me. There was much rejoicing in the eye-socket of Fortesque. I wish the little squirt would quit jumping around in there - it plays havoc with my sinusitis.
Am on the Ghost Ship and feeling slightly apprehensive. The Fortesques were never known for their sea legs. (As evidenced by the chorus of wailing and nausea which filled the house every bath night).
After getting a bit lost in the bilges, I finally found a handily aimed cannon the size of a shire horse afte a hay-eating competition. Luckily, there were gunpowder kegs liberally dotted about the ship. And only several dozen plaited poltroons in my way. It was the work of a moment for me to collect all the kegs, stuff them into the cannon and launch myself skywards. Thus it was that I was able to fly over the barricades and into the Captain's quarters like an avenging silver streak. ....... of un-aerodynbamic scrap metal. One of these days I mnust learn how to fall from a great height.
The Pirate Captain talked a good fight (largely on the subject of what he'd do with various internal organs of mine when he got hold of me - clearly not realising it is many years since I had any). But I snuffed him out with a few well aimed cannon balls then set a course for Zarok's Lair. I hope! This armour plays havoc with navigational equipment. I think it has its own magnetic field.
THE FINAL ENCOUNTER
And so I came face to face with The Big Z. Inevitably, he was on a balcony - he's always loved a big entrance. Although I suppose, with the size of his outfits, he needs one.
But what's this? Oh, not the old "first ye shall fight ye my whatsisfaces and my doo-dads" nonsense. Why do evil villains ALWAYS do this? He wants me to fight Lord Kardok first. Okay, hoofs-for-hands. Let's get it on!
Lord Kardok, like the golems before him, is no more. Your powers were weak, old man. And so on.
An army of Fazguls now rise against me. I finally find a use for that Anubis Stone thing. Somewhat impressively, I use it to evoke my own undead army - the fallen heroes from the Battle of Gallowmere! I'm not ashamed to reveal that the sight of my old friends brought a tear to my eye. Or maybe it was the smell - I think some of my former comrades may have been "on the turn".
The Fazguls, too, are rendered unto dust. It's lucky I'm not asthmatic.
I know what's going to happen now. I just bet he turns himself into some kind of horrible monstrous form. I just hope it's not a snake. I can't stand snakes. Be a buffalo. Be a buffalo.
It's a snake.
I beat the giant snake! I beat the giant snake! Look, there's bits of it all over the place - it's like a clearance sale at a giant snake manufacturers… hang on. Zarok's back. He's turning into his humanoid form again… uh-oh.
Cool! A piece of masonry crushed him to death! I'll never say a bad word about cowboy builders again. What's more, Al-Zalam has now been freed from my skull. Now I know how migraine sufferers feel in those advertising parchments.
Well, that was spectacular. The whole place just collapsed. I only got out by the skin of my misaligned teeth. I must stop having these near-death experiences. The stress is bound to shorten one's lifespan. Hang on… there's a logic I've missed there somewhere… I'm undead… near-death… ohhh, never mind. Anyway. Fortress Cross-Dresser - along with its long-term inhabitant - is no more, and that's the main thing.
At last I can rest. How I have longed to return once more to that state of peaceful slumber called death. I have proved myself as a hero, and will hopefully be welcomed into the Hall of Heroes with the other great warriors of legend. Or at least not openly mocked.
The trouble is, I won't exactly be able to pop back and fill in a last journal entry to let you know either way, will I. Or will I? Well… There's only one way to find out.
RELICS AND ARTIFACTS
Each artifact you collect on your adventures will be added to this book.
This sought after pentagonal relic offers up a unique and convenient way to summon a witch. The owner will no longer need to perform an animal sacrifice or utilise a loud hailer to secure an immediate appointment with a crone. They can simply present this talisman at the nearest bubbling cauldron, and hey presto; a hag will appear!
STAIN GLASS KEY
The only way to escape Gallowmere's Necropolis is through the Stain Glass Demon gate, but alas its beautifully rendered glass key is guarded by the Demon of Hilltop Mausoleum. Getting hold of the key is only half the problem though, as the gates keyhole has been magically transported to a secret location!
This gold encrusted gem is fashioned in the image of a Nubian sand beetle. Zarok used its ancient power to create and nurture an undead army at the battle of Gallowmere. After the wizard was defeated, the stone was split into 4 pieces and dispersed for safe keeping to the four corners of the realm. Legend tells that if the stone were ever reassembled to its singular form, the mighty power of re-animation and healing would once again pulse through its crystalline structure.
This pretty little key is formed from petrified pumpkin, and as such must never be lost; else it would take millions of years to replace! It opens the grand pumpkin gate which leads through to the Witch's camp and the evil Pumpkin King's garden. The key can normally be found in the safekeeping of the gorge farmer.
The forest key is woven from bewitched twigs and may be used to open the imposing gates to the Enchanted Forest. The portly Mayor of Sleeping Village always carries this key about his person, so as to protect the forest from unwanted questors.
SHADOW DEMON CLAW
This gruesome artifact is moulded from the amputated hand of a dead Shadow Demon. The clawed fingers wrap menacingly around a purple beast orb, whose dark witchcraft imbues this relic with the unholy power to unlock the notorious Shadow Demon Prison.
These rare mushrooms grow in the forests of Gallowmere, and are prized as a delicacy by the thuggish fairy gangs that congregate there. There are many uses for this versatile fungi, but usually it is fried or smoked before being eaten with raw insects and mildew gravy.
Many moons ago butterfly catching was the No.1 participant sport in Gallowmere, with many noted festivals and tournaments celebrating this frivolous pastime. Sadly nowadays the only sporting use for a butterfly net is to help snare the aggravating fairy deliquents of the Enchanted Forest.
This fabled combat suit is fashioned from the finest dragon scales, its stylish lines making even the most handsome of knights considerably more dashing and debonair. More importantly perhaps, it grants the wearer total protection from heat, and offers up the enviable ability to breathe a plume of deathly fire at disagreeable types.
This silver key is hidden away in a secret alcove within the Sleeping Village church. Replacing the church's missing crucifix will reveal its hiding place. Whoever gains access to this key will then have the ability to raid the inner sanctum of the Mayor's safe.
AN ADVENTURER'S GUIDE TO MONSTERS
Each creature you meet on your adventures will be added to this book.
Your common or garden zombie is (to be blunt) a slow witted goon head of monumental proportions. It seems a shame to hurt such feeble minded weapon fodder, but they will likely insist on trying to bar one's progress and eat one's brains. A few well placed sword swipes are the order of the day, which should effectively teach them to mind their own business.
What these freaks lack in intelligence they attempt to make up for in sheer bulk! Slow of movement and brain power, if a venturer cannot dispatch these hulking dullards with relative ease there is simply no hope for the future of the once fair Gallowmere!
Skeletal Warriors are fast, skinny and intelligent, using all manner of weapons and shields to halt an adventurer dead in his tracks. These soldiers may be tricky to dispatch, but it's well worth the effort as there is nothing so beautiful in the whole realm as seeing (and hearing) the explosive scattering of bones after a crunching death blow. Blunt weapons such as hammers and clubs are the most effective way of dealing with these nasty individuals.
The lack of head (and hence one presumes also brain) has not prevented these aggressive chaps from perfecting a devastating charge attack. This shoulder butt can impart tremendous damage, and so the prescient adventurer should focus on sidestepping each stampeding assailant before rounding on them to attack with the melee weapon of his choice.
Mummification after painful death was once all the rage in Gallowmere, and the persistence of these nasty characters in the realm provides a potent reminder of this fact. Tougher and more aggressive than your run-of-the-mill zombie, mummies should be respected at all times and not taunted about their raggedy bandages or embalming fluid smell. For the record, all mummies are extremely combustible and therefore should not be subjected to flame attack, unless that is one wants to see them dancing around on fire for several seconds before expiring.
These skittish pesky plunderers will steal away an adventurer's weapon of choice before he can exclaim 'wheres my blooming weapon gone?'. The best strategy with these pests is to simply destroy them before they get close enough to swipe. How to snuff 'em out? Well speed and accuracy counts above all in this case, so any weapon will do as long as it's used double quick!
These speedy big nosed blighters will be upon an unwary venturer before he knows it, smashing at him mercilessly with fiery clubs! Yes perhaps they are not the most congenial of fellows, but they are quite good fun to shoot at or slice, so perhaps one should forgive them their foibles, and just get on with duffing them up.
This glass-spewing monstorsity is Zarok's best mate, which says it all really, but just to confirm, this transparent fiend is utterly evil. There is only one way to defeat such a creature and that is to target his exposed crystal cut heart. Judicious and sustained use of long-range arsenal will finally shatter the Demon into a thousand pieces, and good job too!
These bloodthirsty four legged carnivores can be found roaming wild around the realm. Such is the legendary ferocity of their gnaw and bite attacks that it would be sensible behavior to try and get a pre-emptive strike in before they pounce. Eating people is (reputedly) tiring work, and often wolves will be seen sleeping off their exertions. In these cases a crafty questor may be able to creep quietly past without incurring their wrath, a creative survival technique for all to note.
These guardians of the graveyard have deeply magical powers, dematerializing at will only to regain their fearsome carved stone form moments later. One should strike fast when each wolf becomes solid whilst continually avoiding each vicious leaping attack. When both ferocious wolves are finally vanquished an adventuring combatant will certainly have earned the right to escape the necropolis.
Zarok's dutiful (some might say sheep-like) foot soldiers are renowned for their officious manner and trigger happy fighting style. Successful avoidance of their all too frequent bullets will enable the adventurous combatant to move in close and dispatch them with the nonchalant flick of a melee weapon.
These walking bails of hay are amongst the most vicious of Gallowmere's enchanted beasts. These guys are not subtle or crafty, far from it, they just want to spike people with their pitchfork as much (and as quickly) as possible. Thankfully these aggressive yoiks have a big weakness, yep you've guessed it, one itsy flame and they light up like a fireworks factory.
The first time one sees these creatures casually gliding around they might be forgiven for thinking they are quite charming, elegant even, that would be a very big mistake. At a moments notice they can turn into a terrifying combat machine, clawing arms rotating like a force ten tornado, and set on crashing into their sorry target with technical precision. If one's general combat skills are suspect it may prove prudent to set them on fire as soon as is possible - well, they are stuffed with dry straw, you do the maths!
These maniacal little beasties skulk within the corn fields waiting for the foolish and unwary adventurer to enter their domain. Should they detect any intruders, their frightening speed and gleeful ruthlessness will ensure their victim receives a messy and instantaneous death, plus a future as nothing more than crop fertiliser. No one has ever managed to kill a Wheat Demon, and it's probably best not to try.
Imps have always had a chip on their shoulder about their lass than imposing stature, but surely the creation of 40 feet high robot representatives is a bit of an overreaction. Still, no one can argue with the effectiveness of such a beast (complete with metallic stomping boots and fireball attack). The key to bringing these unwieldy creatures down is to dart through their legs and shoot out their metal heads. Once done, the adventurer's focus must switch to the pesky imp operators themselves. If one keeps hitting this annoying blighter at the controls the Mecha will eventually be felled with a satisfying ker- thump, good riddance!
Pumpkin plants are truly ferocious fruit. Their infamous spit and tongue attacks have driven fear into the heart of many a shrub gardener. Staying on the move is a good idea whilst battling these fibrous fiends so as to help avoid their continuous blitzkrieg. In terms of weapon selection one will find that sharp bladed weapons elicit the juiciest and most satisfying damage.
These homicidal Jack-o'-Lanterns bounce excitedly towards their goal with only one thing on their minds, namely to explode their poisonous juice all over their target! The seasoned adventurer has two options when faced with these advancing bounders. One, run away as fast as possible, or two, destroy the pumpkin bomb before he has a chance to detonate. Either way one must choose and act quickly; indecision will not be an effective option.
This 'Frankenplant' has outgrown his rightful position in the produce power hierarchy and deserves to be pruned back at the earliest opportunity. Problem is that there are not many brave enough to take on a fruit the size of a small planet and partial to extreme mood swings. If the person for this job dear adventurer is YOU, then please read on. A swift smash of his pod sacks will rouse the prize fruit into action, at this point it is likely that all hell will break loose. If one can avoid the volley of head butts, the rotating spiked collar, spwaning pumpkin plants and bouncing bombs, then maybe, just maybe one will also be able to slice this monstrous plant's throat, well here's hoping.
It is well known fact that one should try to sympathise with (and not detest or fear) the lunatic madmen of Gallowmere asylum, however after suffering an endless volley of painful head butts from these lead balloon headed nutters it would be easy to take issue with such well meaning advice. Should an adventurer take exception to their barbaric behaviour he might be well advised to utilize melee weapons to dispatch them, as projectiles seem to have little effect on these fast moving loons.
The Mad Axeman can be summed up quite neatly thus; the brain of a deranged 4 year old in the body of a heavy weight wrestling champ with a fetish for axe murder. This nutter's enthusiasm will likely prove his undoing, as when his axe gets stuck into the floor after a particularly vicious swipe, the opportunist adventurer has a chance to rush in and hurt him. In order to finish this unhinged lardster off, one must beckon the stampeding Axeman into each of the arena pillars, doing so will gradually brain him until, one hopes, he is is able to chop no more.
These shuffling woody wanderers are impervious to damage (although understandably they do not appreciate being set alight!). Their curious nature means that they will track any explorer on his forest travels, only stopping to play dead if the wanerer turns to face them. One thing that shrubbites abhor is being used as a stepping stool, but hey, it's better than being used as a door mat!
Despite their bright cheery coloring and cheeky smiles, these normally docile half breeds are complete psychos during the breeding season! If a venturer manages to avoid their attacks for more than a few moments, they may find that use of a smashing weapon (such as the mighty war hammer) provide the best chance of administering an effective death blow.
Perhaps the most abominable creature ever to have slithered over the fair face of Gallowmere. This creeping nightmarish beast will test even the hardiest of venturer's combat prowess and courage to its limits. The Shadow Demon has no known vulnerabilities so one muts rely purely on his general weapon expertise, chipping away at each Demon until they are (hopefully) finally vanquished.
These prehistoric predators provoke as much fear through their incessant squealing and squawking as they do with their fireball attacks. Maybe that's why they resort to underhand tactics which (quite literally) tilt the odds in their favour. A would-be assailant shouldn't believe for one minute that this battle will be played on a level playing field, and must ride the see-sawing platform with the balance of a ballerina in order to prevail. At some point in the fight the Demonettes are liable to invoke a storm of heavy rocks upon their intended victim. Not the most subtle or honorable of tactics, but this just makes their eventual demise all the more satisfying should the adventurer prove victorious.
Armoured knights are invulnerable to conventional attacks thanks to their exquisitely fashioned 4 inch thick plate armour. These clunky relentless adversaries can only be dispatched by being knocked onto dangerous surfaces.
These menacing wraiths drift and glide above the ground sizing up their prey. Their mocking laugh and uncanny motion instills deep fear in all that encounter them. Should an unway soul get too close to these creatures he would soon be bombarded by a terrifying volley of death-inducing fire. Melee weapons are of no use against such aerial enemies, they may be defeated only by sustained and accurate projectile attack.
Resurrected from the pools that they perished in during the great battle of Gallowmere, these hellions are undeniable masters of hack and cleave warfare. Whether it be hurling their axes from a distance, or chopping away hatefully from close quarters, these are the kind of opponents that are always best dispatched as swiftly as possible. With no obvious weakness these hatchet happy soldiers must be treated with utmost respect, else one fast ends up as bone marrow soup.
These skeletal blackguards are permanently hopped up on cheap grog and sweet mouldy biscuits. However a would-be hero mustn't be fooled into thinking they are easy opponents, for it is often said that worm laden cookies are quite performance enhancing for a sea town brawler set on smashing someone's skull. Like all skeleton kind, these salty chaps are best dispatched with a blunt smashy weapon liberally applied to their bone structure.
The Dragon King cannot abide adventurous types, so one should not be too hopeful of a friendly welcome, or indeed a generous send off for that matter. To earn an audience with this impressive beast a would-be plunderer should crack him repeatedly on the head with dislodged debris. Eventually the vexed dragon is likely to emerge into the cavern ready for a full on fight. During the ensuing battle one must maneuver with care and precision, after all, aggressively issued fire and wind can be a most lethal combination! Utilising the giant floor crystals as protective aids may prove most beneficial in terms of short-term survival, and may just offer up the edge needed to defeat this upper-middle-class twit.
Mr Mad was once a shy, gentle and educated man, but boy, how things have changed since his enchantment! This gibbering mess now staggers around rudely brandishing a large sharp axe, and yes, it seems he will use it at any given opportunity. One should not kill this poor confused man, but avoid his attentions as best as possible. Sustained attacks on him are therefore out of the question but an occasional strike will render Mr Mad stunned, allowing the adventurer a short period of respite to continue the quest.
This frumpy big bosomed gal is a surprisingly fearsome opponent. Enchantment seems to have multiplied her strength tenfold and being smacked forcefully in the face with a frying pan is never a pleasant experience. Like her husband this lady should not be hatefully destroyed, rather she should be lovingly whacked to keep her happily stunned.
Never before in the history of Gallowmere has such a sweet little girlie presented such a terrifying menace to society; such is the dark power of Zarok's enchantment! Suffice to say her speedy jump attacks with hatchet are best dodged at all times, and the temptation to annihilate her utterly rather than just daze her should be avoided where at all possible.
It is rumored that rations on board the ghost ship were once so paltry that all sailors were forced onto a long-term starvation diet, hence their current emaciated state. Whatever the truth, these bony pirates are nimble and aggressive adversaries, providing a stiff challenge to anyone foolish enough to board their beloved spook ship, be warned.
This elegantly attired skeleton commands great respect from his crew. So much so that if he should be destroyed, their demoralised state will cause them to spontaneously explode in sympathy! Sadly dispatching the Pirate officer is no easy feat due to his relentless sharpshooting tactics. If one can get through the mist of bullets intact though, the Officer is certainly there for the taking.
Sure the Pirate Captain talks a big talk, but when it comes to the crunch he goes and hides behind the safety of a makeshift barricade! Still that doesn't necessarily make him any easier to defeat, and so a would-be assailant must make ingenious use of the ship's cannons to dispatch this garrulous sea dog.
Kardok, the legendary battle centaur, is Zarok's second in command, and a more daunting oponent it would be hard to imagine. Thankfully Kardok is not as cool and collected as his stern appearance might suggest, and the heady thrill of combat often causes him to rear up excitedly on his hind legs in a dance of carefree exhilaration. The daring venturer must take advantage of these fleeting moments of poor centaurian composure and swiftly attack Kardok's underbelly. If persistent and skillful he may be able to dispatch the emotionally flawed centaur in heroic fashion.
This huge serpentine variant of the twisted madman is almost too horrific to contemplate, but a determined adventurer must of course face up to his responsibilities. Rumours abound that the only way to stun the slithering beast is to attack his hissing mouth. However this is unlikely to be an easy task when the beast is issuing forth devastating shockwaves, spat venom balls, and a writhing uncoiling tail of gargantuan proportions. Do your best dear adventurer to avoid these lethal offerings if you can. Legend has it that the heroic questor must find a way to injure the serpent's tail tip in order to vanquish the beast, but seeing as no would-be assassin has ever before been victorious in such a battle, one can only speculate.
Each of the melee combat weapons has a quick attack and a slow attack
The quick attack is speedy but produces relatively low levels of damage.
The slow attack takes longer to execute but produces higher levels of damage.
Melee weapons can be utilised whilst in retain mode (hold R). This will allow Dan to maneuver without changing his orientation. In this mode Dan can sidestep, advance or retreat away from his enemy whilst keeping him in his targets, however it should be noted that in this mode Dan's speed is lower than normal combat speed.
See individual weapon handbooks for advanced techniques.
DARING DASH AND SHIELDING
Pressing L will put Dan into shielding mode. Shielding reduces the damage that Dan receives from enemies, but also reduces the speed which Dan can travel at. As one of Dan's arms is required to hold the shield Dan is unable to equip two-handed weapons whilst in this mode.
The daring dash
The daring dash gives Dan a short burst of incredible speed and is performed by pressing the button. Use this move to disperse groups of enemies by smashing into them, or simply use it to maneuver around the levels at high speed.
When Dan is in shield mode the daring dash turns into a combat move, and hitting an enemy will impart damage on it.
POWER UP ATTACKS
Many of the weapons found in Gallowmere have special power up attacks. These devastating moves are accessed by holding down the attack button for a certain length of time before releasing. See the individual weapon handbooks for details.
When Dan is carrying a ranged weapon you will notice that a group of whispy green sprites travel ahead of him. These helpful creatures will seek out Dan's adversaries, and when an enemy comes within targeting range they will excitedly switch to a red colouration.
Certain weapons have both ranged and melee attacks, these include the battleaxe and spear. Experiment with these multifunctional implements to discover their many uses.
See individual weapon handbooks for full control information on ranged weapons.
No access to Sleeping Village.
Gates secured with a locking spell by order of Lord Zarok.
Return to your hovels and await thy doom.
MEET THE GREATEST WARRIORS FROM HISTORY!
Congratulations, you may have already won a free trip to the Hall of Heroes.
To claim free admittance simply collect souls from vanquished enemies in this beautiful golden chalice. Once the chalice is full you can redeem your prize by visiting the Hall of Heroes.
Free gift with every visit!
There are many other chalice to find and collect. Don't delay, start killing today!
DANGER! NO ENTRY
Many years ago witches from the cemetery coven sealed this route to the mausoleum.
Dearest sister Forest Witch
I am leaving with my beloved seedlings, and we are taking the PRECIOUS with us! We are going somewhere a witch can raise her pumpkin babies in peace and harmony, without fear of them getting stewed with tofu.
So move to the Enchanted Forest if you want, commune with your oaks, have nude love-ins with your sycamores, but do it on your OWN. This coven is finished.
P.S I have left a Witches' Talisman here in case any decent, sane, meat-eating persons wish to contact me in the future. That obviously does not include you, so don't you dare touch it!
The Pumpkin Witch
You are entering a house of pain! Unspeakable evil lurks in secret catacombs below this very hall.
The phantom organist longs to play more upbeat material, but he seems doomed to repeat the same chords of despair over and over.
The Stain Glass Demon is the master of the mausoleum. His wretched soul is preserved inside a frozen glass heart. It lies shrouded in a veil of darkness beyond this very gate.
Stain Glass Gate
This Stain Glass Demon gate has an unusual feature. It's keyhole is missing!
Perhaps it may be found at another location.
Gallowmere Graveyard lies this way. Emptying fast, reservations no longer required.
PUBLIC HEALTH NOTICE
Due to an unforeseen enchantment the residents of Sleeping Village are currently murderous puppets enslaved to the will of Zarok. Please refrain from harming the villagers as ordinarily they are a peace loving people and would not dream of attempting to place anyone's head on a sharp pole.
Straight on to Scarecrow Fields and then the enchanted realm of Pumpkin Gorge.
Drive slowly, vegetables crossing.
LAZY FARM VACANCIES
(Previous experience working with chickens required)
Pool Cabana Attendant
(Herding experience an advantage, Must be self-starter)
Path to the Enchanted Forest.
WARNING: Dragon Toad breeding season.
By order of the Mayor these gates have been locked for your safety.
THIEVING IMP STORES
Unbeatable prices on stock that fell off the backs of wagons from every corner of the realm.
Sorry no credit.
Only two school-imps at a time.
Note to repairman:
My new-fangled corn-cutting machine is missing a cog. I've gone back to traditional methods, but I'm not sure kicking my wife out at dawn with a scythe and a pie is going to get the harvest in time. Can you locate a replacement part and fix it?
Signed, The Farmer.
Beyond lies Kul Katura, Lord of the Serpents, greatest snake to ever slither across the earth.
The humanoid known as Zarok has imprisoned him in a tiny chest.
Release him and you will not find him ungrateful.
P.S. Hurry, he's getting a cricked neck.
This is my beautiful baby, the Pumpkin King. Look at his little face!
He's just started sleeping through so please do not disturb his rest. That means no loud noises and absolutely no whacking him in the pod sacs.
Signed - The Pumpkin Witch
ANGRY NOTE TO THE GARDENER
Until you get rid of those psychotic ducks from this pond garden once and for all I am locking you out!
Now get out on that jetty and unleash a duck apocalypse.
Signed the Mayor.
P.S. Remember to vote for me in the upcoming election - if you value your job that is.
THE WISHING FOUNTAIN
A premier village tourist attraction, fed directly from the nearby river.
I threw in a rune key and made a wish that the residents of the Sleeping Village would chill out and HELLO? Nothing happened, they're still trying to kill me. Now I can't even get my rune key back.
A crucifix once stood here but the Mayor has removed it.
Find a replacement cross and see how this church should really look.
To whichever of my lovely constituents finds this letter,
I must make haste for Zarok's men will be here within the hour. I have taken the crucifix from the church. No time to explain properly but the cross is the key to a key. I used it to make the attached cast, then I had it destroyed.
It is my hope that this cast falls into the hands of a just and good hero, or at least someone who is good at metalwork.
P.S. Remember to vote for me in the upcoming election. I'm running on an Anti-Zarok and No-To-Church-Theft platform.
Old man Willy Green of Gallows Town was awarded Smithy of the Year by our readers. His outstanding casts have produced many intricate and hard-wearing iron goods and sculptures. Willy only works with the finest of metals, and is particularly noted for his magnificent busts, a particularly beautiful example of which may be found in the local public house.
See center pages for litographs of Willy relaxing in his best leather apron.
The Mayor's house is off limits due to ongoing ransack operations.
Apologies for the inconvenience, now CLEAR OFF.
By order of the Chief Boiler Guard, loyal servant of Zarok.
Bust of Mr Shanks, Landlord of the Troll's Head.
Lower pedestal to clean statue.
HISTORY OF GALLOWMERE
It was a dark and heckish time for Gallowmere. Zarok, the court magician, had exceeded his job description and taken on extra responsibility. Usually this sort of initiative is to be encouraged in an employee, but noble and wise King Peregrine, monarch of the fair lands of Gallowmere, was less than impressed. For Zarok had begun a series of outlandish experiments on the bodies of the dead - without so much as a diploma in Corpse Messing. Thus did Zarok the Former Children's Entertainer become Zarok the Necromancer.
"The dead are to be honoured, not kept as the playthings of former balloon animal makers!" declared the King, banishing Zarok from the castle. Zarok's collection of living dead, now to be seen wondering the castle grounds emitting unearthly moans like work experience kids on a gardening placement, were rounded up and destroyed.
Zarok, having developed the kind of ego that seems to go hand-in-hand with two-bit illusionists who believe their own publicity, went into hiding. He vowed to wreak his revenge on the king. And rubbed his hands together a lot. And probably bought a wig.
As time passed, rumours of continuing misdeeds spread throughout the land. And this time it wasn't just what the witches got up to in the forest when they'd knocked back a few mushrooms. It was whispered that Zarok had employed the aid of Shadow Demons to help build a vast castle and get back to work on his Necromancy Project. It's not clear which bank in Gallowmere helped refinance his effort, but if you were ever looking for an example of an irresponsible investment policy, that one's a boo-boo.
With the help of an ancient artifact called the Anubis Stone, Zarok soon had a vast army of undead at his command. One can only imagine what it smelt like in that castle - like Lazarus's jock strap probably. And then, under the cover of night, the hideous host spilled forth from its corrupt haven.
The army marched south across the Silver Mountains and through the Silver Woods. Soon afterwards even the Pumpkinlands belonged to Zarok - and Gallows Town looked to be his for the taking. The people of the town cried out for help. "Save us King Peregrine!" they whined. And to think that only the year before they'd been clamoring for a democracy.
King Peregrin wasn't one to bear a grudge, however, and he got his army together and marched against the undead multitude. Retaliation was swift, decisive and satisfyingly violent. The King's forces - led by the dashing Sir Daniel Fortesque - drove Zarok's army back from Gallows town. There was much rejoicing. But the war was not over yet.
Zarok's zombie army - which in happier times might have been a good name for a lute band - regrouped and fought back. They took the flood lands. This caused much concern - especially among Gallowmere's Environment Agency, who'd spent a fortune redeveloping the margins with sustainable planting to protect its valuable ecosystem and wading birdlife.
From this vantage point Zarok could march West to take the Enchanted Forest. This sacred place would prove a bitter defeat if it fell into the hands of the evil sorcerer and his hygienically-challenged army. Once again, the King's troops rode out. And once again, it was Sir Daniel Fortesque who led them, vowing to rid the land of the demon multitudes once and for all.
Yet the evil mage - perhaps not unexpectedly - was cunning. He had prepared an ambush. A titanic battle ensued.
It is said that the day, the battle and - yes - the war would have gone to Zarok, but for the skill and valor of one man: Sir Dan Fortesque led the charge deep into the massed ranks of the undead. He felled Zarok's bodyguard, the fearful Lord Kardok and before finally succumbing to his own mortal wounds, slew the traitorous sorcerer Zarok himself with a mighty sweep of his sword. (Sir Dan's sword, not Zarok's. Zarok preferred a sort of pansy magic wand effort, curse his girl-like ways.)
And so the forces of evil were destroyed - but at a terrible price. None but a handful of the King's men returned from that field. Gallowmere lost a whole generation of young men that day, including Canny Tim, the legendary crossbowman, and Fortesque's second in command, who fell in the first volley of arrows.
Zarok's body was never found. If it should lie unmourned in an unmarked grave, then no one in Gallowmere would shed a tear.
The Shadow Demons that had fallen under Zarok's banner were unnatural entities and all but impervious to permanent harm. With no way of slaying the hellish creatures the King declared that they be entombed beneath the pure earth of the Enchanted Forest.
So it was that the demons were imprisoned deep underground within an impregnable box of the King's own design - for he could turn his hand to many things, among them needlepoint, ice sculpture and box design.
The tomb was magically sealed so that only the touch of a Shadow Demon could open it. Before the tomb was sealed an arm was severed from a Shadow Demon and forged into the artifact known as the Shadow Demon Claw. Its touch alone formed the only key to the prison. The land of Gallowmere, at last, was safe.
TOURIST GUIDE TO GALLOWMERE
The land of Gallowmere is a wondrous land of breathtaking sights and adventure.
If it's beauty you are looking for, be sure to check out the sights of the Enchanted Forest, where happy fairies flit from tree to tree crying "Chase me, chase me" as cheerful members of the local constabulary set off in pursuit.
Scale the heights and see the nests of giant Dragon Birds, seek out weird and wonderful plant life. Join the Dragon Toad Safari, where you'll meet and pet these playful critters in their natural environment.
(Hard hat and goggles required).
Or why not take a walk through the Pumpkin Valley? The place where all your vegetable-themed dreams come true!
Pumpkin is Gallowmere's favourite dish, and about now the valley is just bulging under the weight of young podlings awaiting harvest. Yummy!
If it's mystery you're looking for then the seasoned adventurer should travel to King Peregrine's towering castle.
Yes, this is the fortress where King Peregrine held court over a hundred years ago! It is said that the King's crown was lost in the dungeons below the castle and that his Royal Ghostliness now haunts those cold stone passageways. Spooky!
Why not take to the coast and seek out the racous thrill of Scurvy Docks, home to Gallowmere's saltiest of seadogs. This colorful harbor town offers up a blend of fun, press-gangs, and watery danger that only the ignorant and uncool of travelers could resist.
Sign up today!
HEROES FROM HISTORY: A retrospective
Extract from Elbows Akimbo, "Gallowmere's leading arm-wrestling journal" : "Hew" Wotta Scorcher! Iron Hewer Strikes Again!
Stanyer Iron Hewer crushed all before him once again last night, in the annual All-Gallowmere Arm-Wrestling Championships at the Doggit and Heave Inn. It is the fifth year in succession that he has won the title. The organisers said he can now keep the magnificent trophy, The Palm D'Awe.
Iron Hewer is officially the World's Strongest Man, and a black smith of some repute, he once said, "I LIVE to POUND! Anvils, wrought-iron garden furniture, the squishy skulls of my enemies' heads - all are but tiny TEACAKES beneath the awesome power of my vengeful WARHAMMER!" He was never again asked to judge the Gallowmere Bonny Baby Competition.
From The Mongolian magazine's Weekend Supplement:
Born a humble peasant to one of the nomadic tribes from the Eastlands, Bloodmonath Skull Cleaver gathered an army of horseman and swept over half the civilised world. When he finally died, attempting a single-handed attack on a garrison in the North while armed only with the spike on his helmet, he was the richest and most powerful peasant of his day.
Bloodmonath Skull Cleaver what is your idea of perfect happiness?
Taking LIMBS off with single SWING - ker-CHUNK - of shiny BEAUTIFUL AXE! And gouts of blood and stuff. Mmm. Pretty.
What words or phrases do you most overuse?
TOUCH my MOUSTACHE and I EAT your EYELIDS on TOAST, girlie-girl!
What keeps you awake at night?
Whimpering and howls of FOOLISH people who have DARED to CROSS me or short-CHANGED me!
What is your greatest fear?
How would you like to die?
WHAT!? WHAT you say at Blood Monath!? How YOU like to DIE - huh? HUH? Wet-mouthed PENCIL LICKER! Like THIS maybe? With HEAD bouncing down street, boink-boink - ?
Interview inadvertently terminated.
Obituary: Karl Sturnguard
Karl Sturnguard, noted warrior, spent most of his formative years under siege at his family castle.
The siege ended when Karl yelled a five-week long lecture on defense over the battlements in heavily-accented English. The attacking forces become so bored they went off to become celebrity chefs.
In later years, this prolonged period of enclosure led him to develop a mild form of agoraphobia. As a result, he often wore a helmet visor with really tiny holes, and he became uncomfortable in the presence of pictures that used perspective.
With his impregnable magic shield, Sturnguard's motto was "The BEST form of ATTACK is DEFENSE for sure!" (Hardly surprising, really, with a magic shield). Sadly his shield couldn't protect him against poor eating habits, and he choked to death on a jumbo bratwurst he had failed to chew.
My Hero Weekly
Q&A: Woden the Mighty
MHW: What is your greatest fear?
WTM: Are you quite MAD? I'm undefeated in mortal combat! EVER! The very sight of me strikes fear into the hearts of friends and enemies alike - not to mention close family members and pets! I'm called Woden the MIGHTY, for Lord's sake, not Woden the Trembly! You're lucky I don't use the skin off your back as a moist towelette, you pinheaded upstart!
MHW: Sorry. Er... what single thing would most improve the quality of your life?
WTM: To be able to walk down the street without being pestered by hundreds of scantily clad dancing girls. Celebrity can be so terribly oppressive at times. But ah - I LOVE me public.
MHW: What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
WTM: Personal hygiene. If men were meant to smell like flowers, God wouldn't have given us armpits. You can't beat the stench of raw sweat on a battlefield to strike fear into the heart of the enemy. Except maybe men in tights playing flutes.
MHW: What would your motto be?
WTM: Get the hell out of my way, you algae-slurping pond-life.
From the epic poem: She Scared Their Breeches Off - A Heartfelt Tribute to Imanzi Shongoma (Please Don't Hurt Me)
Doughty warriors formed defenses
and ye Amazons attack'd;
led by one gargantuan Damsel
who wath seriously stacked.
As she bounded down the hillside
all ye men were took aback,
staring wide-eyed at an Bosomme
like two Footballs in a Sack
Wielding her spear madly,
she went through them at the run,
slaying four-and-twenty Soldiers
'fore ye fight had scarce begun.
As ye fields got dark and blood-drenched,
she howled "That's what I call fun!"
Buttocks gleaming in the sunlight
like two massive Breakfast Buns.
My spy tells me the menfolk of the village are off on a "hunting trip". In other words, the travelling tinker's turned up with quality Begian ale and they're all off in the woods necking barrels of the stuff. Excellent
We launch our sneak attack. Or as near to a sneak attack as we barbarians get: our first wave charges headlong into the village, shrieking, waving swords and banging kettles with ball-peen hammers.
No sign of attackers returning. Seems very quiet. Doubtless they are feasting on victims' home-made soup, bones of slaughtered cattle, accidentally squashed pets, etc.
I have got to the root of the problem. Apparently there's a homicidal lunatic female by the name of Megwynne Stormbringer in the village. She has a baby under one arm, a pitchfork in the other and is standing on a pile of dead barbarians and shouting very loudly in an indecipherable Welsh accent. Looks like it's going to be one of those days.
After tending the wounded I sent in a second wave of fearless barbarians: 90 men, plus one goat with an attitude problem. I have pointed out that we are deailng with just one woman, here.
Twelve men return. One has no legs; one no arms; other are gibbering wrecks. Give them a severe talking-to and point out that WE are supposed to be the barbarians. Gather together our remaining forces - some 40 men - and launch a determined assault on this pestilential lady.
Thunderbolts? Where does she get THUNDERBOLTS? Not only is that not FAIR, it contravenes Ye Geneva Convention, for heaven's sake! Half my men are on fire - and the others will never need an eyebrow comb again, that's for sure. Oop! Look out - here comes ano -Diary ends.
Obituary: Dirk Steadfast, professional swordsman
The pride of the North East (of Gallowmere), Dirk Steadfast became a professional swordsman at a young age. Critics said that he only did so because it was easier to stab someone than get them to understand his accent. Tellingly, they did not say so to his face.
His deadly magical sword made Dirk Steadfast a fearsome opponent in combat, especially when combined with his firmly-held belief that "Only WOMEN defend themselves man - real men always attack, like."
He was a friend and contemporary of Karl Sturnguard and was with him even to the end: it was while Dirk explained his outspoken views on Sturnguard's shield during a feast, that the latter, outraged, choked on a Bratwurst. Steadfast himself followed shortly afterwards in an unfortunate shaving accident.
Extract from Cheerio! magazine: At Home With Prince Ravenhooves
It comes as no surprise to find that Prince and Jemima Ravenhooves the Archer's home is palatial - largely because it is a palace. It has everything that the last of the great centaur Princes requires - including 26 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, a purpose-built archery range, sunken spa and mucking-out area.
The Prince claims no credit for the decor in this beautiful residence, however. "All this that you see, it is down to my beautiful wife," he smiles charmingly, drumming his hooves on the piano lid. "All I do is provide the money for the frittering away of."
But, where does he get the funds to maintain such a lavish lifestyle? "My family was very rich, of course," he murmurs. "I won more than my fair share of flat races, too."
"We are very lucky," he adds. "We feel this every day. Particularly my wife, because I tell her she is."
Descended from the finest centaur blood stock, Prince Ravenhooves the Archer is the last prince of his people. His people would be proud of him. A haughty aristocrat, he is an accomplished hunter, sportsman, duelist, and three times Derby winner.
It was a privilege to see inside his home. Although we're sending him the bill for the shoe-cleaning.
copyright Cheerio! magazine.
Captain of the militia in the time of King Peregrine, Sir Daniel Fortesque found fame when he killed the renegade wizard Zarok. A career soldier, raised in the Royal household, he was adored by the men under his command and renowned for his loyalty to Gallowmere. It was said that Fortesque was always destined for greatness. With his square jaw, steely gaze and thick shock of hair as black as raven's wings, he looked every inch the hero.
Those strange shuffling shrubbites have their uses. They could LIFT your spirits if you look their way.
Ring Puzzle Hint
Rotate the rings and carve a river to make the falmes subside and wither.
A WARNING TO TRESPASSERS: Dragon Toad breeding season. Do not touch or stroke the toads, they don't like it and will kill you!
Be wary of where you take your fish supper, certain parts of town attract ravenous seagulls.
SOLD OUT OF PARROTS!
Thanks to a shortage in the supply chain we no longer have stock of these shoulder perching pirate essentials.
You will have to make use of other bird types until further notice.
Here lies many of the most legendary pirates ever to splice a mainbrace, including: Red Beard
Fake Beard, the Pirate Queen
Peg Leg Pedro, who teetered and wobbled across the seven seas and feared nothing but woodworm.
Dragon Island Hint
THIS ISLAND IS HOME TO THE KING OF DRAGONS
Despite their generally fearsome reputation, many Dragons are in fact sensitive, erudite creatures, who enjoy nothing more than a good book and a chalice of chamomile tea.
Beware though, even the most sophisticated serpent can get a little testy if disturbed.
Chicken Herding Hint
TO THE FINDER OF THIS NOTE:
We are but humble farmers who have been captured by Zarok and used as a human shield. I am not complaining, it's a job I spose, but our poor livestock are starvin! Please kind stranger, take pity, they are but innocents and ignorant of the ways of men, let not our chickens starve.
Signed, Humble Farmer
Farmer Puzzle Hint
Zarok is using the local farmers as a human shield.
They dangle precariously over sharp spikes in the courtyard below.
At the first sign of trouble the Shadow Demons will attempt to sacrifice the captives by dropping them onto sharp spikes.
Move quickly, slay the demons on guard and save the farmers from a nasty death.
HAUNTED GALLOWMERE: A WALKING TOUR
The ghost of Peregrine, last King of Gallowmere has occasionally been seen wandering these very halls. The story goes that he mourns the passing of Gallowmere's golden age, his long departed friends and, most of all, his lost crown. It is said that if the crown were ever returned then King Peregrine could at last find rest.
This lever operates floodgates sealing the lava chamber that lies deep below.
Unless you have express permission from the King:
Do not pull lever.
Do not touch lever.
Do not look at lever.
Penalty for improper use:
As a failsafe two Golem Guardians are under orders to attack anyone initiating the castle's self-destruct.
Oil Pump Hint
EMERGENCY OIL PUMP ROOM
Authorised personnel only.
Officer Puzzle Hint
GRAFFITI OF THE ANCIENT MARINER:
Most of the crew seeem to be under the control of a few officers - without them they'd be like headless chickens.
Though their feet be uglier.
Cannon Puzzle Hint
GRAFFITI OF THE ANCIENT MARINER:
This cannon is so big and powerful that it may be capable of propelling a skinny man the length of this ship!
Sadly there is not enough gunpowder available in this part of the ship to test my theory.
Another great scientific discovery foiled by lack of resources.
To pay homage to the heroes stand in front of their statues and await spiritual guidance.