Swords and Software

Menzoberranzan Walkthrough

By Daniel D'Agostino, 2023-09-15

Contents

About Menzoberranzan

DreamForge Intertainment
DreamForge Intertainment
Strategic Simulations, Inc.
Strategic Simulations, Inc.
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
Menzoberranzan title screen
Menzoberranzan title screen
"Based on [...] The Legacy by R. A. Salvatore"
"Based on [...] The Legacy by R. A. Salvatore"
Menzoberranzan main menu
Menzoberranzan main menu

Menzoberranzan is a computer role-playing game (RPG) developed by DreamForge Intertainment and published by Strategic Simulations, Inc. in 1994. It uses the same game engine as Ravenloft: Strahd's Possession and Ravenloft: Stone Prophet but, unlike its siblings, it is set in the Forgotten Realms. It capitalises on the presence of Drizzt, a popular hero of the setting who also appears in other games (such as Baldur's Gate).

The story follows two adventurers as they attempt to rescue several villagers who were captured in a Drow raid. The party may be augmented by two of a variety of exotic and interesting characters including Drizzt himself. As the story unfolds, Drizzt is captured by his Drow brethren, and the party finds itself in the midst of a web of Drow treachery.

The game plays as a dungeon crawler light on story elements, but the level design fails to live up to the earlier Ultima Underworld in terms of exploration and interactivity. The game tends to be very linear, and even the ability to fly is relegated as merely a way to bypass arbitrary obstacles. Many of the areas are labyrinthine and disorienting, with very little in the way of interesting encounters in each area, and the low visibility requires heavy use of the in-game automap.

Nonetheless, the game is still a remarkable journey into the unknown that lets the player experience a variety of settings including above-ground areas, caverns, Dwarven settlements, and the Drow city of Menzoberranzan. The game design deserves praise for ensuring that (in most cases) everything required to proceed to the next level can be found on the current one, and the game offers timely warnings about plot-essential items or important consumables whose loss might otherwise have led to game-stopping situations for which games like Eye of the Beholder 2 are notorious.

Controls

Menzoberranzan is a first-person RPG and while it is newer than Ultima Underworld (which pioneered this kind of game engine), it predates standard WASD and mouse look controls, so it can take a little adjustment for newer players.

There are different ways to move around, including the following (consult the manual, page 8, for more details):

If you prefer the grid-style movement in early "blobber" RPGs like the Eye of the Beholder trilogy, you can toggle step movement by either clicking on the compass or toggling it in the Options menu.

I generally prefer to use the Numpad for movement as it leaves the mouse free to interact with objects, monsters and NPCs. You can then use the mouse in the adventure screen as follows:

You can access your characters' inventory by clicking on any of their portraits in the adventure screen. If you picked up an item, you can also double-right-click on a character's portrait to place it directly into their inventory (without opening the inventory screen), or double-right-click an equipped weapon to swap it.

Once in the inventory screen, you can:

Outside of the adventure screen, right-clicking generally closes the current view (e.g. Load/Save screen, inventory, dialogue, etc.).

To cast spells or use abilities, click on the spellbook, holy symbol, ribbon or combination thereof on top of a character's portrait in the adventure screen. Abilities are listed under 'A', whereas spells are listed under numbers from 1 to 6 representing their level.

To access the main menu, click on the top-left or top-right corner of the adventure screen. This is where you can save, load or quit your game, pray for or memorise spells, and access the automap and Options screen. Right-click to close the main menu.

There is also a quick-save and quick-load facility via the floppy disk-like icons above and beneath the automap icon or the S and Shift+R keys, though you won't find the quick-save slot in the Save/Load screens.

You can access the automap via either the icon next to the directional arrows on the adventure screen, or via the main menu. You'll need to do this a lot to navigate the labyrinthine levels in very little light. The manual covers the automap in detail on pages 23-26.

General Tips

A few things to keep in mind while you play:

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About this Walkthrough

Despite its flaws, Menzoberranzan is actually a solid dungeon crawler, so it is disheartening to see it almost forgotten on the internet. I decided to write this walkthrough to (a) give it a little more presence and respect on the internet, and (b) produce a better walkthrough for the game than any other available.

This walkthrough goes into every detail of the game, providing as much background for each encounter as possible. It is accompanied by close to 900 screenshots (selected from over 2,300 taken during this playthrough) and 40 detailed custom-made maps to help you get through each level with ease.

The legends on each map are positioned in such a way that they are as close to their respective markers as possible. Areas of levels that are currently inaccessible are clearly indicated using boundary lines, and white arrows show the recommended path to follow (although you are free - and encouraged - to explore every corner of each level).

Existing Walkthroughs

The only online Menzoberranzan walkthrough I'm aware of is the one by Julian and Caryl Tandy. Unfortunately, it is very superficial and also very inaccurate, making it only useful for general direction.

Then there is the official cluebook, which is actually pretty good. If you use this, be sure to get the one from the Museum of Computer Adventure Game History, since the one from GOG is of poor quality (it can't be searched, and many of the maps are unreadable).

Even the cluebook, however, has several flaws, including:

The Making of this Walkthrough

This walkthrough was written over a two-month period between July and September 2023, and is based on the GOG version of Menzoberranzan, which is based on the CD-ROM version 1.10 of the game.

Differences between the CD-ROM and floppy disk versions of the game are listed in the cluebook on page 101. The readme.txt file that comes with the game lists four bugs fixed in version 1.10.

The walkthrough is written in a custom Markdown-like format and then processed, along with all the raw screenshots and maps, using custom software to produce the final result that you see here.

Screenshots of cutscenes are taken with sound disabled, so that the captions appear.

Raw exported map of House Do'Urden Commoners' Area
Raw exported map of House Do'Urden Commoners' Area
Generated image map of House Do'Urden Commoners' Area
Generated image map of House Do'Urden Commoners' Area
Annotated map of House Do'Urden Commoners' Area
Annotated map of House Do'Urden Commoners' Area

The maps in this walkthrough are exported from the game as binary files, converted into images using custom-written software, and then annotated manually. The resulting maps may at times contain small inaccuracies because the map files exported from the game have a very limited resolution, but the trade-off is worth it as it saves a lot of time in creating the maps.

Acknowledgements

I'm grateful to gibberishh for early review and feedback.

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Cutscene: Introduction

The quest begins in a small village near Icewind Dale. The adventurers celebrate their recent victories at a local inn, but their revelry is cut short when calls of "Fire!" draw them out into a dangerous confrontation. Raiders from the Underdark -- drow elves -- have attacked the village, setting buildings aflame and carrying off many of the town's inhabitants as prisoners.

-- Menzoberranzan Cluebook

A beast roars
A beast roars
A spear is thrown
A spear is thrown
The beast writhes in agony
The beast writhes in agony
A spell is cast
A spell is cast
The beast is hit
The beast is hit
The beast collapses
The beast collapses

In the introduction, a massive beast is confronted by two adventurers. After being struck by a spear and a spell, it collapses to the ground and breathes its last.

Aerial view of the village
Aerial view of the village
"The beast is dead. In the village, the grateful townsfolk gather. A celebration is planned."
"The beast is dead. In the village, the grateful townsfolk gather. A celebration is planned."
"The heroes are invited to the Inn for a night of song and good company."
"The heroes are invited to the Inn for a night of song and good company."

To thank the adventurers for their aid, the residents of a village invite them to a celebration at the local inn.

Drow breach the walls
Drow breach the walls
A family is attacked in their home
A family is attacked in their home
A Drow fighter looks on as the village burns
A Drow fighter looks on as the village burns
Another Drow fighter carries a villager
Another Drow fighter carries a villager

Later that evening, under the cover of darkness, Drow raiders breach the walls of the village with a spell. They slay townsfolk, set fire to the houses, and take prisoners. The survivors are heard shouting, "Fire!"

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Character Creation

The main menu
The main menu

You need two characters to start playing Menzoberranzan. You can either use the quick start party provided by the game, or create your own.

The Quick Start Party

The first slot contains the quick start party
The first slot contains the quick start party
Starting the game with the quick start party
Starting the game with the quick start party

The game provides a "quick start party" that you can use to get straight into the game. To use this, just select "Continue Game" from the main menu, and select the first slot, which is called "Quick Start [Elf Fighter/Mage - Human Cleric]".

Quick start party inventory
Quick start party inventory
Quick start party attributes
Quick start party attributes

The quick start party, as the savegame suggests, consists of an elf fighter/mage and a human cleric. This is close enough to what I would go for, but creating your own characters gives you a better party.

Creating Your Own Characters

You can create your own party via the "Create Characters" option in the main menu. This is a bit tedious as you have to wait for the 3D animation to play between each step.

Both the manual (from page 32) and the second half of the readme file cover the character creation process in detail. Among other things, both describe the Esc key in this process, but their accounts are different. It does not seem to have a consistent behaviour either; one player reported that they were able to skip the animations with it, but it never worked that way for me.
A priestess prays to Lolth
A priestess prays to Lolth
Lolth wants the surface dwellers thwarted
Lolth wants the surface dwellers thwarted
The priestess begins the incantation
The priestess begins the incantation

According to the manual, this sequence takes place in the chapel of House Baenre, which you will visit towards the end of the game. A priestess prays to Lolth, the Spider Queen and goddess of the Drow, who instructs her to stop the "surface dwellers" accompanying Drizzt, the son of Matron Malice of House Do'Urden. The priestess begins an incantation to reveal the nature of these two adventurers.

It is curious how the priestess appears to be fair-skinned, whereas the manual states that "Drow have black skin and pale, usually white hair."

In Menzoberranzan, you can only choose two characters, and so it is more difficult to have a good balance of classes compared to other games that allow you to choose four. Up to two NPCs can join your party during the course of the game for a maximum of four characters. Once at the maximum of four, you can swap NPCs when meeting a new one, but cannot drop your original two characters.

Evil alignments are not supported in this game.

My preference is to start with a single-class cleric and a single-class mage.

Everything else is secondary, although certain combinations of races and classes can give you different minor benefits (consult the manual for details). For this particular walkthrough, I've created a male human cleric called Perseus and a female half-elf mage called Andromeda. These names come from Greek mythology and are also names of constellations.

Choosing sex
Choosing sex
Choosing race
Choosing race
Choosing class
Choosing class
Choosing alignment
Choosing alignment
Choosing male portrait
Choosing male portrait
Choosing female portrait
Choosing female portrait
Choosing attributes
Choosing attributes
Choosing name
Choosing name
Keep or delete
Keep or delete

Against the advice of purists, I recommend maxing out your attributes (Shift+click). This gives you more hit points, better armour classes, more spells, and other advantages which will all serve you well on this dangerous journey through the Underdark.

Priestess: "And so the mold is set. Let the adventure begin."
Priestess: "And so the mold is set. Let the adventure begin."
A large red sphere forms
A large red sphere forms
The priestess casts the sphere towards the altar
The priestess casts the sphere towards the altar
Although not really important for gameplay, there are a few nuances resulting from character creation that support roleplaying. Party dialogue changes depending on the class of the character speaking, and the colour of a character's portrait is reflected in their hands. On the other hand, it is possible to use the same portrait for both characters.

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The Village

Andromeda wonders where everybody went
Andromeda wonders where everybody went
Map of the village
Map of the village
The party literally won't rest until the fire is out
The party literally won't rest until the fire is out
The fireplace at the tavern
The fireplace at the tavern
The innkeeper
The innkeeper
The party asks the innkeeper what's going on
The party asks the innkeeper what's going on
The innkeeper hints at some new evil
The innkeeper hints at some new evil
The innkeeper hears shouts of "Fire"
The innkeeper hears shouts of "Fire"
The innkeeper mentions Baldassar
The innkeeper mentions Baldassar

After having saved the village from the beast shown in the introduction, you start the game at location 1 in the tavern, wondering why nobody turned up for the celebration that was promised to you. Talk to the innkeeper at location 2, who would like you to put out a fire that broke out in the village, and asks you to return for a reward afterwards. If you talk to him again, he also directs you to Baldassar, the captain of the guard.

As you exit the tavern through the door to the east (location 3), you'll find yourself outdoors as the darkness of night is setting in, with Drow fighters ready to attack. You can't rest for the time being, so you'll need to make do with the spells you started with. Cast a Light spell to enhance visibility and Prayer for an extra boost in combat, and also take a look at your inventory to scribe scrolls and equip any extra protection.

Andromeda mentions a well to the east
Andromeda mentions a well to the east
An abundance of buckets
An abundance of buckets
The well in the centre of the village
The well in the centre of the village
The storehouse contains the village's winter supplies
The storehouse contains the village's winter supplies
The storehouse on fire
The storehouse on fire
The fire is out
The fire is out

The building on fire is the one at the southeast corner of the village (location 14). To put out the fire, you'll need to find buckets of water, put them in your characters' hands, and then use / click on them as if to attack while standing in front of the fire. There are lots of buckets scattered throughout the village, but you'll find most outside the tavern (location 4) and by the well (location 9, and on the west and south sides of the building at location 8). You can fill any empty buckets by similarly equipping them in a character's hands and then using them at the well.

Tip: You can quickly pick up items (such as buckets) without switching to the inventory screen every time. Just right-click on the item on the ground to put it on the cursor, and then double-right-click on either a character's portrait (to add it to their inventory) or hands (to equip it directly).
Baldassar standing outside the guard house
Baldassar standing outside the guard house
Baldassar mentions Drow raiders and Drizzt
Baldassar mentions Drow raiders and Drizzt
Baldassar doesn't believe Drizzt is behind the raid
Baldassar doesn't believe Drizzt is behind the raid
The Drow have captured many of the townsfolk
The Drow have captured many of the townsfolk
Baldassar thinks Vermulean can help
Baldassar thinks Vermulean can help
Baldassar joins the party
Baldassar joins the party
Baldassar's inventory
Baldassar's inventory
Baldassar's attributes
Baldassar's attributes
Inside the guard house
Inside the guard house

Once the fire is out, you can talk to Baldassar (location 16) who will join your party if you wish. He's not a very strong character, but you could use an extra pair of arms at the moment, especially to take on the Drow fighters in the village. Baldassar wears leather armour (AC 2 bonus) and carries a long sword, a shield and a dagger. He can stay with you throughout your journey, or you can later replace him with another NPC.

Baldassar suggests seeking help from someone called Vermulean outside the village, and taking advantage of equipment inside the guard house (location 17). You'll find some items there and also scattered throughout the village. Help yourself to anything you think you need, but very few are worthwhile, except perhaps the ivory scroll case (location 5) behind the tavern.

Perseus reminds the party to revisit the innkeeper
Perseus reminds the party to revisit the innkeeper
The party is outnumbered by Drow fighters
The party is outnumbered by Drow fighters
A burst of Agannazer's Scorcher turns the tide of the battle
A burst of Agannazer's Scorcher turns the tide of the battle
The party claims the reward from the innkeeper
The party claims the reward from the innkeeper
The innkeeper gives the party a magical helm
The innkeeper gives the party a magical helm
The party thanks the innkeeper
The party thanks the innkeeper
Perseus prays for spells
Perseus prays for spells
Andromeda memorises spells
Andromeda memorises spells

Go back to the innkeeper, who will give you a magical helm as a reward. This helm gives an AC 2 bonus as well as granting the "Immunity to Poison" ability to the wearer. Now is also a good time to have your spellcasters pray for and memorise your preferred spells. After resting, leave the village through the gate to the east.

Talking to Baldassar before the fire is out
Talking to Baldassar before the fire is out
Despite the warning, you can leave the village at any time
Despite the warning, you can leave the village at any time
If you don't revisit the innkeeper, he meets you at the gate
If you don't revisit the innkeeper, he meets you at the gate
The innkeeper ensures you take the helm with you
The innkeeper ensures you take the helm with you
The party thanks the innkeeper at the gate
The party thanks the innkeeper at the gate
You can't drop the helm
You can't drop the helm

Some additional notes:

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The Woods

The party notes that a Drow raider has fallen behind
The party notes that a Drow raider has fallen behind
Map of the woods and Vermulean's cottage
Map of the woods and Vermulean's cottage
The injured Drow raider
The injured Drow raider
The reason behind the raid
The reason behind the raid

As soon as you leave the village gates and step into the woods outside of the village, one of your characters notes signs of a wounded Drow raider who was left behind by his party. You'll find him southeast of the starting point, at location 9. If you spare his life (talk rather than fight), he explains that the Drow attacked the village because they were looking for Drizzt, hoping to sacrifice him to Lolth.

While you are outdoors, you can take advantage of the day/night cycle, resting until daylight for better visibility. It is also easier for your party to fight since the rear rank can reach just as well as the front rank. Both of these luxuries go away soon once you venture underground.
Inside Vermulean's cottage
Inside Vermulean's cottage
Vermulean's parchment
Vermulean's parchment
Vermulean sitting in a corner, reading a book
Vermulean sitting in a corner, reading a book
Vermulean gives life advice
Vermulean gives life advice
Vermulean warns of the dangers of the Underdark
Vermulean warns of the dangers of the Underdark
Vermulean explains about the radiations
Vermulean explains about the radiations
Vermulean offers to enchant gems if you can find any
Vermulean offers to enchant gems if you can find any
Vermulean suggests looking for gems to the east
Vermulean suggests looking for gems to the east
A circle of stones
A circle of stones

The other important thing to do in this area is to visit Vermulean in his cottage (location 15). You can learn more about the Drow by talking to him and also reading his parchment (location 17). He sends you off to look for gems that he can then enchant to provide infravision and protect your party from the radiations in the Underdark, and suggests looking for them to the east. While at Vermulean's cottage, don't miss the two mage scrolls on the table (location 18).

There's a circle of eight stones outside Vermulean's cottage (and another one seen a little later) whose significance is never explained, although it is reminiscent of similar structures in the Ultima series of games in which moongates form.

Conversing with a gnoll as the sun sets
Conversing with a gnoll as the sun sets
The gnoll is not so friendly after all
The gnoll is not so friendly after all
Conversing with a bug bear at night
Conversing with a bug bear at night
The bug bear isn't friendly either
The bug bear isn't friendly either
The sun shines over the mountains in the distance
The sun shines over the mountains in the distance

Exploring the woods, you'll have to fight several gnolls and bug bears. There is a talking gnoll (location 5) and a talking bug bear (location 23), both of which attack regardless of whether you choose to talk or fight. You'll also find several magical scrolls lying about, including a mage scroll of Comprehend Languages (location 10), which will come in handy later although you can't scribe it to your spellbook. Be sure to also pick up the Keoghtom's ointment in the sack at location 8, in case you get poisoned later.

Meeting Maeldithar
Meeting Maeldithar
Maeldithar can join the party... for a time
Maeldithar can join the party... for a time
Maeldithar's inventory
Maeldithar's inventory
Maeldithar's attributes
Maeldithar's attributes

At the southeast part of the woods (location 11), you'll meet Maeldithar, a centaur ranger, who will join the party if you ask him to.

Once you are done exploring the woods, you can leave the area at any point on the east portion of the map.

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Icewind Dale Plains, Area 1

This area is a hub connecting a few different areas, which are interesting to explore. The key priority is to find the gems that Vermulean wants, allowing safe passage through the Underdark. We'll also meet Drizzt along the way.

Exploring the Plains

A verbeeg giant held by a Hold Person spell
A verbeeg giant held by a Hold Person spell
Map of Icewind Dale Plains, Area 1
Map of Icewind Dale Plains, Area 1
A gnoll outlined by a Faerie Fire spell
A gnoll outlined by a Faerie Fire spell

Coming from the woods outside the village, you emerge on the west side of the Icewind Dale Plains Area 1. At the southern edge is a rocky passage where you'll meet Drizzt and later proceed to the Icewind Dale Plains Area 2. Towards the northeastern section of the map is a cave serving as Drizzt's Shelter, and there's another cave along the eastern edge leading to Leucrotta's Lair. More on these shortly.

A ring of Feather Fall and ring mail
A ring of Feather Fall and ring mail
A broad sword
A broad sword
A gnoll drops a keyring when slain
A gnoll drops a keyring when slain

There are a number of items scattered across the map, none of which are particularly important. You may want to grab the magical scrolls at the eastern edge (locations 13, 14 and 15). The keyring dropped by a gnoll (location 10) and the sack (location 17) help keep your inventory organised. You can also help yourself to some potions (Healing and Fire Resist in the same sack, and Giant Strength at location 8), and a ring of Feather Fall (location 4).

There's no use for Feather Fall in this game, given that there are no pits to fall through and take damage from.
Verbeeg giants are tough opponents...
Verbeeg giants are tough opponents...
...but there's one who's willing to talk
...but there's one who's willing to talk
Verbeeg: "Go south. Caves go down to Drow."
Verbeeg: "Go south. Caves go down to Drow."

The area is patrolled by gnolls and verbeeg giants. The latter hit hard, especially against weak characters such as Baldassar.

The coins in the sack don't seem to have any use in this game, which doesn't have any real economy.

Meeting Drizzt

A giant threatens the party
A giant threatens the party
Drizzt knocks him over...
Drizzt knocks him over...
...and cuts him open with his scimitar
...and cuts him open with his scimitar
Drizzt thinks the Drow were after him
Drizzt thinks the Drow were after him
Drizzt relates the story of his change of heart
Drizzt relates the story of his change of heart
The party can reach Menzoberranzan via a Dwarven mine
The party can reach Menzoberranzan via a Dwarven mine
Drizzt wants to join the party to free the villagers
Drizzt wants to join the party to free the villagers
Drizzt would proceed even without the party
Drizzt would proceed even without the party
Drizzt happily joins the party
Drizzt happily joins the party
Drizzt's inventory
Drizzt's inventory
Drizzt's attributes
Drizzt's attributes

At location 6, where the passage to the Icewind Dale Plains Area 2 begins, you are ambushed from behind by a verbeeg giant. Drizzt slays the giant and offers to join the party in pursuit of the captured villagers. He suggests a journey through the Underdark via a mine to the south, rather than direct pursuit of the raiders.

Perhaps Drizzt’s greatest friend, Guenhwyvar, is a black panther from another plane of existence. Using the power of a polished onyx figurine, Drizzt calls Guenhwyvar to his side in times of need. To use the power of Guenhwyvar in combat, place the onyx figurine in Drizzt’s hand. From the Adventure Screen, left-click on the panther figurine in the same way you activate any weapon held by a character. Guenhwyvar’s paws lash out into the adventure window, taking their toll on any opponent within range. When Drizzt is holding the image of Guenhwyvar, he can only wield one of his scimitars. After a period of time at Drizzt’s side, Guenhwyvar must return to the home plane from which it comes. Therefore, Guenhwyvar may not be available during every combat encounter.

-- Menzoberranzan Manual

Drizzt's Shelter

Entrance to Drizzt's Shelter
Entrance to Drizzt's Shelter
Map of Drizzt's Shelter
Map of Drizzt's Shelter
A piwafwi cloak
A piwafwi cloak

Drizzt's Shelter is in a cave accessible from location 12 in the Icewind Dale Plains Area 1. Exploring the area, you'll find an empty sack (useful for additional inventory space) as well as a piwafwi cloak, which the cluebook says is "a sure sign of drow habitation. Only the drow possess this distinctive garb".

A button on the wall
A button on the wall
Drizzt's parchment
Drizzt's parchment
A scimitar
A scimitar

At location 4, you'll find a button on the wall that opens the way to the eastern part of the cave. There's a note written by Drizzt about his private thoughts on Drow culture at location 6, and a non-magical scimitar at location 7. To leave, you can either retrace your steps, or press the button on the wall at location 8 to open up another way back to the entrance.

Leucrotta's Lair

Doing battle indoors requires a little adjustment. With no access to sunlight, you'll need to cast a Light spell to see any further than your nose. Also, characters at the rear rank will need long weapons, such as a quarterstaff or two-handed sword, in order to reach monsters.
Don't mess with the leucrotta
Don't mess with the leucrotta
Map of Leucrotta's Lair
Map of Leucrotta's Lair

A second cave, accessible from location 16 in the Icewind Dale Plains Area 1, is Leucrotta's Lair. The leucrotta are tough creatures that can quickly maul your party members, especially weaker ones like Baldassar. The first leucrotta waits in ambush just by the entrance. There are three in this cave, and a few others in the first caverns of the Underdark.

A high-up passage
A high-up passage
Perseus suggests using the Potion of Jump
Perseus suggests using the Potion of Jump
Drizzt wears the helm of disguise
Drizzt wears the helm of disguise

Head south from the entrance and drink the Potion of Jump at location 2 (be sure not to rest right afterwards). With the Jump ability, you can now jump through elevated openings in the walls. You can get some practice at locations 3 and 4, or bypass them completely by following the southern passage.

There's a shield at location 5, which I like to leave where it is as a landmark, as it can be a little disorienting to find your way back later. Jumping through another elevated passage at location 6, you'll find a helm of disguise. This provides no AC bonus, and although the cluebook says that it's used "to disguise the identity of elves from their drow enemies", I've never found a use for it, except that it looks badass on top of Drizzt's armour.

A leucrotta is willing to talk
A leucrotta is willing to talk
This leucrotta admits having destroyed the caravans
This leucrotta admits having destroyed the caravans
The party defeats the third leucrotta
The party defeats the third leucrotta

In the southeast corner (location 8), you can talk to or fight a second leucrotta. It will attack either way, but if you talk, it reveals that it destroyed some caravans and has been hoarding gems. A third leucrotta is just around the corner to the north from here, near the potions of Healing (locations 9 and 10). If you proceed a little further, you'll also find a ring of Protection and a mage scroll of Burning Hands (locations 11 and 12, respectively) by the eastern wall.

Narrow cave passages
Narrow cave passages
The first gem
The first gem
An elevated passage leading to the second gem
An elevated passage leading to the second gem
The second gem
The second gem
The third gem
The third gem
The fourth gem
The fourth gem
A second potion of Jump
A second potion of Jump
A gem in each character's inventory
A gem in each character's inventory

The gems you need are in the northeastern section of the cave. The first one is easily accessible at location 13. To reach the second gem at location 15, you'll need to jump through the elevated passage at location 14 (in case you wasted the earlier potion of Jump, there's a second one at location 18). The last two gems are nearby at locations 16 and 17.

Enchanting the Gems

Although you can venture into the Underdark with less than four characters, Vermulean still requires all four gems to be retrieved.
Vermulean requires all four gems
Vermulean requires all four gems
Vermulean identifies a Stone of Winter among the gems retrieved by the party
Vermulean identifies a Stone of Winter among the gems retrieved by the party
Vermulean examines another gem
Vermulean examines another gem
Vermulean enchants the gems
Vermulean enchants the gems
Vermulean speaks of a fountain
Vermulean speaks of a fountain

With all four gems in your possession, leave Leucrotta's Lair by retracing your steps back to the entrance, then head west across the Icewind Dale Plains Area 1 until you're back to the woods outside the village. Revisit Vermulean in his cottage and ask him to enchant the gems.

Moving on

You can now head back to the Icewind Dale Plains Area 1, and take the southern passage at location 7 to the Icewind Dale Plains Area 2.

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Icewind Dale Plains, Area 2

Fighting a stirge
Fighting a stirge
Map of Icewind Dale Plains Area 2
Map of Icewind Dale Plains Area 2
Troglodytes attack
Troglodytes attack

Like the ones before it, this area contains a number of items scattered across it, and several monsters (stirges and troglodytes). Among other things, there are a number of magical scrolls, although the most interesting items are dropped by two troglodytes when you kill them: a mage scroll of Improved Identify (location 9) and a javelin of Lightning (location 19).

Improved Identify informs you of special damage or AC bonuses that magical weapons and armour (e.g. Drizzt's equipment) provide. Although the manual says that "one item in the mage's hand is identified", one casting of Improved Identify will actually identify every object in your mage's inventory. Before casting Improved Identify, cast Detect Magic (cleric spell or Drizzt's ability) to determine which items are magical at all.
A second circle of stones
A second circle of stones
A talking troglodyte
A talking troglodyte
The troglodyte doesn't care to talk
The troglodyte doesn't care to talk

Other interesting encounters in this region include a talking troglodyte (location 17, attacks whether you talk or fight), a second circle of stones (location 8), and the NPC Vonar (location 18).

Meeting Vonar
Meeting Vonar
Vonar isn't fond of the Drow
Vonar isn't fond of the Drow
Vonar is a kenku (birdman)
Vonar is a kenku (birdman)
Vonar recounts how he was shot down by a Drow spell
Vonar recounts how he was shot down by a Drow spell
Vonar is going after the Drow
Vonar is going after the Drow
Vonar joins the party if asked
Vonar joins the party if asked
Vonar's inventory
Vonar's inventory
Vonar's attributes
Vonar's attributes
Vonar's spells
Vonar's spells

Vonar is a kenku (birdman) who was wounded by the Drow and has vowed revenge against them. As his goals are aligned with yours, he will gladly join the party, and he also knows Drizzt. However, as he is already the fourth NPC that can join your party and you can't have more than two (on top of your original two characters), you have to make some hard decisions on whom to keep.

You can't proceed without four Gems of Infravision
You can't proceed without four Gems of Infravision
The entrance to the Underdark
The entrance to the Underdark
Maeldithar leaves the party
Maeldithar leaves the party

Near the southeast corner of the map, at location 16, is the entrance to the Underdark. To enter, you will need to be carrying all four Gems of Infravision enchanted by Vermulean. Have each character in your party carry one to avoid taking damage from radiations after entering (only Drizzt doesn't need one).

Once you enter, there is no turning back. You will also not see the light of day for the rest of the game, so make sure that your cleric or mage has a Light spell at the ready.
If Maeldithar is in the party, he leaves just as you enter the Underdark. Despite his invitation to revisit him, it is not possible to leave the Underdark once you've entered, and you will also lose any items he was carrying at that point.

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Cutscene: Descent into the Underdark

The party approaches the entrance
The party approaches the entrance
The party enters the elevator
The party enters the elevator
It's a long way down
It's a long way down
The elevator stops in the darkness below
The elevator stops in the darkness below
The elevator goes back up; the only way is onward
The elevator goes back up; the only way is onward

A brief cutscene shows the party riding an elevator down into a mine at a 45-degree angle. The environment becomes dark very quickly, and it's a long way down. After the party exits the elevator at the bottom, the latter returns to the surface, leaving the party no choice but to continue their descent.

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Descent into the Underdark, Level 1 (East Side)

Osquip bite
Osquip bite
Map of Descent into the Underdark Level 1 (East Side)
Map of Descent into the Underdark Level 1 (East Side)
A cavernous cavern
A cavernous cavern

The Descent into the Underdark is a series of dark, winding caverns. Because the game reuses some maps and has you revisit different sections later, you can't reach the western portion of the Level 1 map just yet. The monsters on this level consist mostly of osquip, but you'll also run into cloaker lords, gnolls, and Drow fighters as you explore.

This level has its share of magical scrolls and other items. In particular, there is a cleric scroll of Passweb (location 12) and two potions of Flying (locations 4 and 10) that are handy to collect. There are several areas in future levels that are gated by webs or elevated passages, and the only way to get through them is by using these kinds of items.

Fighting a cloaker lord
Fighting a cloaker lord
The game warns against wasting important consumables
The game warns against wasting important consumables
Exploring the caverns
Exploring the caverns

They're not strictly necessary here though because there are no such barriers on this level (the elevated passages can all be bypassed) and you'll find more potions/scrolls of Passweb and Fly later, but it doesn't hurt to have a few spare ones. In fact, the game very helpfully warns you against consuming the Passweb scroll and then resting, which can make the game unwinnable if you exhaust the available supply.

Meeting Manahath
Meeting Manahath
Manahath is not quick to judge Drizzt
Manahath is not quick to judge Drizzt
Manahath tells his story
Manahath tells his story

The most interesting encounter on this level is Manahath the Barbarian (location 9), a tough fighter who is willing to join the party. After having been cheated by the Drow (House Do'Urden, no less), Manahath lost track of his caravan, and wants nothing more than to make the Drow pay for their misdeeds.

Manahath gives a map with directions
Manahath gives a map with directions
The cut-away map
The cut-away map

During conversation, Manahath offers directions in the form of the "cut-away map", an option within the automap that shows a cross-section of the underground to illustrate the party's overall progress and offer quick access to each map. The cut-away map is documented on page 26 of the game manual.

Manahath does not think highly of the Drow
Manahath does not think highly of the Drow
Manahath joins the party
Manahath joins the party
The party parts ways with Baldassar
The party parts ways with Baldassar

Although Baldassar might at this point be ahead of Manahath in terms of experience, the latter has a better attribute build. His strength and his mighty two-handed sword are great to cleave through enemies, whether from the front or back rank.

When parting ways, Baldassar says he'll get back to the village. But as we've seen in the cutscene, there is no way back to the village! It's likely that he'll die here.
Manahath's inventory
Manahath's inventory
Manahath's attributes
Manahath's attributes

Manahath also comes with pretty good gear:

The ladder down
The ladder down

When you're done exploring, head for the ladder down (location 20) to Level 2. You can reach it by going a little southwest of Manahath's position (location 9), and then either keep going southwest and then southwards, or else head southeast and go through the illusionary wall at location 19. You can approach the ladder from the east or west - it doesn't matter.

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Descent into the Underdark, Level 2 (East Side)

A gnoll goes for a walk
A gnoll goes for a walk
Map of Descent into the Underdark Level 2 (East Side)
Map of Descent into the Underdark Level 2 (East Side)
The kick of a leucrotta can be deadly
The kick of a leucrotta can be deadly

You start in the southeastern portion of level 2. As with the previous level, you're constrained within the eastern half of the map, and only get to explore the rest at a later stage.

Ever noticed how the colours of the game interface change between levels?

Head northwest from the entrance, optionally picking up the potion of Passweb at location 4, and take the potion of Flying (location 7) and mage scroll of Passweb (location 8) right next to each other. Passweb is a fifth-level mage spell, so you can't cast it yet if you scribe it to your spellbook, but it will come in handy later. On the other hand, Passweb is a fourth-level cleric spell, and your cleric may be able to cast fourth-level spells at this point, in which case both Passweb and Neutralize Poison can be very handy to have available.

Don't waste Passweb potions
Don't waste Passweb potions
Another leucrotta near a double-arch formation
Another leucrotta near a double-arch formation
A cardboard-cutout wall defies the laws of Physics
A cardboard-cutout wall defies the laws of Physics
A second double-arch formation
A second double-arch formation
You have to cast Passweb to pass this web
You have to cast Passweb to pass this web
The ladder up
The ladder up

From location 7, retrace your steps and head north until you can't go any further. After taking another potion of Passweb at location 11, make your way to location 14 (a double-arch rock formation) via either location 12 or 13. At this point, drink a potion of Passweb or cast the equivalent cleric spell (a party member warns against wasting such a potion), and walk through the web at location 16. From here, use the ladder at location 8 to reach the next level.

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Descent into the Underdark, Level 1 (West Side)

I can't blame you if you feel confused at this point. From Level 2, we took a ladder up to continue our descent towards Menzoberranzan, and the automap says it's Level 1 again. This is because the game reuses some maps; in fact, we're now technically on the west side of Level 1 (inaccessible from the east side where we started).
We've come all the way here and are still fighting gnolls
We've come all the way here and are still fighting gnolls
Map of Descent into the Underdark Level 1 (West Side)
Map of Descent into the Underdark Level 1 (West Side)
Small arches in the cavern
Small arches in the cavern
A piwafwi cloak
A piwafwi cloak
Gnolls drop scrolls of True Seeing
Gnolls drop scrolls of True Seeing

There isn't really much to do in this level other than zig-zag through it. It's easiest if you follow the annotated map provided here. Make your way to locations 5 and 6, where gnolls drop mage and cleric scrolls of True Seeing when killed. True Seeing is a sixth-level mage spell and a fifth-level cleric spell, so it will be a while before you can cast it, but it will be useful to have active later because it reveals illusionary walls.

That's where the Sling of Seeking +2 is
That's where the Sling of Seeking +2 is
It's +2 and it glows
It's +2 and it glows

West of here, at location 4, there's a Sling of Seeking +2 that is almost invisible because it's got the same colour as the floor. The automap hints at its presence.

The Drow defend the southwest of this level
The Drow defend the southwest of this level
An elevated passage near the exit
An elevated passage near the exit
The stalagmites after squeezing through the wall
The stalagmites after squeezing through the wall

Continue the zig-zagging until you're killing Drow fighters instead of gnolls, and go through the illusionary wall at location 9. Take the potion of Flying immediately to the north as you emerge from the illusionary wall, and use it to get past the elevated passage at location 11. Alternatively, I found that you can actually squeeze through the wall, and then use stepping mode to help bypass the stalagmites beyond (or just squeeze through them as well).

A pickaxe lies on the floor
A pickaxe lies on the floor
The pickaxe will be useful later
The pickaxe will be useful later
The ladder down to Level 2 (Central Area)
The ladder down to Level 2 (Central Area)

Before you take the ladder down at location 13, pick up the pickaxe at nearby location 12. A party member helpfully points out that this can come in handy later.

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Descent into the Underdark, Level 2 (Central Area)

Troglodytes are fond of karaoke
Troglodytes are fond of karaoke
Map of Descent into the Underdark Level 2 (Central Area)
Map of Descent into the Underdark Level 2 (Central Area)
Adamantite chain mail
Adamantite chain mail

From the entrance (location 1) at the southern edge of the map, you can optionally find a couple of items if you explore the caverns to the west, including an adamantite chain mail (location 2, AC 5 bonus) and a mage scroll of Protection from Evil 10' Radius (location 4). Most of this level is inhabited by troglodytes.

Faerie Fire helps spot enemies even in the dark
Faerie Fire helps spot enemies even in the dark
A mace lying on the ground
A mace lying on the ground
A potion of Passweb, needed soon
A potion of Passweb, needed soon

Make your way north of the entrance, past a mace (location 5). Pick up the mage scroll of Passweb (location 16) and/or potion of Passweb (location 7), which you'll need shortly (unless you already have a few).

Drow fighters and a priestess
Drow fighters and a priestess
The Drow priestess attacks
The Drow priestess attacks
Perseus takes heavy damage
Perseus takes heavy damage
Sending the Drow back to their makers
Sending the Drow back to their makers
More Drow attack from behind
More Drow attack from behind

Just to the north, at location 8, a Drow party waits in ambush. Two Drow fighters are accompanied by a Drow priestess, and more Drow fighters attack from behind you. The fighters are easy to dispatch, but beware of the priestess. She can do decent melee damage, but is most dangerous when casting lightning bolts that can decimate the party, so take her down first.

Need to cast Passweb again
Need to cast Passweb again
Meeting Borenorak
Meeting Borenorak
Borenorak rambles about treasure and Drow
Borenorak rambles about treasure and Drow
Something about a master and a fountain
Something about a master and a fountain
Borenorak really wants to join the party
Borenorak really wants to join the party
Borenorak can join the party
Borenorak can join the party
Borenorak's inventory
Borenorak's inventory
Borenorak's attributes
Borenorak's attributes
Borenorak's afflictions
Borenorak's afflictions

From the ambush location, head west through the illusionary wall at location 11, then through the web at location 12 after casting Passweb (potion, spell or scroll). A little further on, you run into Borenorak (location 13), who can join the party.

A dwarven miner named Borenorak. He appears mad, his face disfigured as if he suffers from some disease. Unknown to the party, Borenorak is under the control of an evil sea beast, an aboleth which the party must confront on the next level, the Underground Lake. The party may ask Borenorak to join it at this time, or the party may return for him after the aboleth has been destroyed and Borenorak released from its control. Even when the aboleth is destroyed, however, the disease afflicting Borenorak can be cured only by the healing water found at a fountain in the Temple of Dumathoin, Level 3.

-- Menzoberranzan Cluebook

An ochre jelly
An ochre jelly
More troglodytes
More troglodytes
A cave leading to the Underground Lake
A cave leading to the Underground Lake

Past Borenorak, there are more troglodytes to fight, as well as an ochre jelly, which is capable of poisoning party members. Make your way to the exit at location 15.

You can cast Venom Immunity (cleric spell) or Immunity to Poison (ability provided by the magical helm received from the Innkeeper earlier) to protect your party members, and cure them from poison by either casting Neutralize Poison (cleric spell) or consuming Keoghtom's ointment.

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The Underground Lake

The party reaches the Underground Lake
The party reaches the Underground Lake
Map of the Underground Lake
Map of the Underground Lake
A girl seems to be struggling in the water
A girl seems to be struggling in the water
It's an aboleth!
It's an aboleth!
Perseus contracts Aboleth Disease
Perseus contracts Aboleth Disease

As you take your first steps into the Underground Lake, you see a girl struggling in the water, though it quickly changes into an aboleth and attacks as you get close. The aboleth is relatively easy to kill and does not do a lot of damage, but it can inflict Aboleth Disease upon party members. For this reason, the cluebook recommends taking it down from a distance. Alternatively, it's also possible to just run past it.

Although both the manual and cluebook suggest that Aboleth Disease can be both "painful" and "deadly", I haven't noticed any adverse effects in the game, other than a change in the afflicted character's portrait. This disease can only be cured by the fountain a few levels down, or a sixth-level cleric Heal spell much later in the game.
Borenorak urges the party to help the girl
Borenorak urges the party to help the girl
Borenorak is free from the aboleth's control
Borenorak is free from the aboleth's control
Dialogue changes if other characters are afflicted
Dialogue changes if other characters are afflicted

If Borenorak is in the party, the fight with the aboleth gains a little more context. Under the control of the aboleth, he in fact urges the party to help the girl, delivering it right into the tentacles of the aboleth. Once the creature is defeated, Borenorak is released from its influence, and suggests reaching "the fountain in the lower levels of the temple" to cure him of Aboleth Disease. If other party members are also afflicted by the disease, the game is smart enough to change his dialogue accordingly.

A view of the lake
A view of the lake
A suit of elf ghost plate mail and the exit
A suit of elf ghost plate mail and the exit
Perseus looks great in elf ghost plate mail
Perseus looks great in elf ghost plate mail

Once the aboleth is defeated, there is only one path to follow that hugs the east wall. Not even with the ability to fly can you explore the waters. Near the exit you'll find an elf ghost plate mail (AC 7 bonus) and a matching helm (no AC bonus, but looks great). Go through the cave at the end of the path to continue to the next level.

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Descent into the Underdark, Level 2 (West Side)

Fighting an ochre jelly
Fighting an ochre jelly
Map of Descent into the Underdark Level 2 (West Side)
Map of Descent into the Underdark Level 2 (West Side)
Fighting a troglodyte
Fighting a troglodyte
A big arch
A big arch
A medium arch
A medium arch
A couple of small arches
A couple of small arches

At this point, it's normal to start feeling tired of navigating labyrinthine caverns, where the most variety you get to see is the size of the arches. Fortunately, the environment is about to change once we get through this level.

Another webbed gate
Another webbed gate
Two ochre jellies await behind it
Two ochre jellies await behind it
The exit leading to the Dwarven Mines
The exit leading to the Dwarven Mines

Fight your way through ochre jellies (remember they can be poisonous) and troglodytes to the southwestern portion of the map. There's another web blocking your way here, so cast Passweb or drink a potion (there are a couple at locations 5 and 8 if you're short) to get through it. Kill the two ochre jellies waiting behind the web, and proceed to the exit beyond.

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Dwarven Mines

The hall at the entrance of the Dwarven Mines
The hall at the entrance of the Dwarven Mines
Map of the Dwarven Mines
Map of the Dwarven Mines
The stairs back to Descent into the Underdark Level 2 (West Side)
The stairs back to Descent into the Underdark Level 2 (West Side)
A door with a pull chain
A door with a pull chain
Derro dwarves attack
Derro dwarves attack

Unlike the caverns we explored so far, the Dwarven Mines are organised into rooms and passages with walls of either rock or wood, inhabited by hostile derro dwarves and hook horrors. Most doors on this level are operated by a pull chain (usually right next to the door, but sometimes elsewhere nearby), but others are operated by either a rock-like button, rectangular button, or a pressure plate. If you step on a pressure plate and it closes a door, just step away and step onto it again to reopen the door.

If you've played Eye of the Beholder 3 before, the doors will sound familiar.

The derro take only 1/2 damage from magical attacks, so non-magical weapons are best to use against them in combat.

-- Menzoberranzan Cluebook

Southern Region

Approaching the Dwarven door
Approaching the Dwarven door
Perseus wants to take a closer look
Perseus wants to take a closer look
The Dwarven inscription
The Dwarven inscription
The English translation
The English translation

Northeast of the entrance is a special door with Dwarven inscriptions (location 4). It works as an illusionary wall, so you can walk right through it, but a party member suggests taking a closer look. Click on the door to see the Dwarven writing. If you use a mage scroll of Comprehend Languages, a Dwarf/Gnome/Halfling party member's Read Dwarven ability, or a Thief party member's Read Languages ability, you'll also see the translation in English. The writing provides hints to the puzzles in the Temple of Dumathoin, which is spread out over the next three levels.

A wooden door operated by a nearby pull chain
A wooden door operated by a nearby pull chain
Derro dwarves step up to the challenge
Derro dwarves step up to the challenge
More derro dwarves near a cleric scroll of Flame Blade
More derro dwarves near a cleric scroll of Flame Blade
A button operating a door to the southeast
A button operating a door to the southeast
Another button controlling a door to the southwest
Another button controlling a door to the southwest

You can optionally explore the rest of the southern portion of the level, fighting more derro dwarves and collecting a few items including a wand of Paralyzation (location 32), cleric scroll of Flame Blade (location 33) and a potion of Speed (location 35).

Eastern Region

A door to the north, operated by a button next to it
A door to the north, operated by a button next to it
Evading a fireball trap
Evading a fireball trap

At the end of the hallway from the Dwarven door, open the door to the north using the button next to it, and fight your way west through the derro dwarves. One of them drops a bag of Holding (location 28), which has weight 0 and capacity 255, so it's great to store heavy items as if they were weightless.

The doors in this part of the level are operated by pressure plates. Take care to avoid the fireball trap as you step past location 29. Turning north, you can reach the central chamber, which contains a mage scroll of Fly (location 25) among other things. You'll want to scribe this in case you run out of potions of Fly later.

The Fly spell in this game is buggy, and the vertical movement slider often doesn't appear after casting it (as seen twice in my September 2023 speedrun). If this happens, open and close the automap to make the slider appear.

Exploring the rooms to the east, you'll find a short sword +1 (location 22) and a cloak of protection +1 (location 24) as well Keoghtom's ointment, dropped by a derro dwarf when killed, which is useful for curing poison.

A door opened by a rectangular button
A door opened by a rectangular button
A derro dwarf drops a cleric scroll of Raise Dead
A derro dwarf drops a cleric scroll of Raise Dead

An illusionary wall at location 21 allows you to explore the northeastern part of the level, although the corner is not reachable at this point. There's a button at location 20, near the illusionary wall, whose purpose I haven't quite figured out. A derro dwarf at location 19 drops a cleric scroll of Raise Dead, and there's a white candle at location 17 which the cluebook says "provides some protection from the attacks of the derro". From here, you can reach the exits at locations 15 and 16, but there's still another portion of the level left to explore.

Western Region

If you head west from the central room, you'll reach a long and winding passage. At location 8 you'll meet Azarell, a young elf who can join your party.

Fighting a hook horror in the winding passage
Fighting a hook horror in the winding passage
Meeting Azarell
Meeting Azarell
Azarell does not like being treated like a child
Azarell does not like being treated like a child
Azarell thinks she can help us
Azarell thinks she can help us
Azarell reveals herself and attacks
Azarell reveals herself and attacks
Azarell in yochlol form
Azarell in yochlol form
The yochlol attacks
The yochlol attacks
Defeating the yochlol with Spiritual Hammer
Defeating the yochlol with Spiritual Hammer
Azarell joins the party
Azarell joins the party
Azarell's inventory
Azarell's inventory
Azarell's attributes
Azarell's attributes
Azarell does not take dismissal lightly
Azarell does not take dismissal lightly
Azarell notices an unusual wall
Azarell notices an unusual wall
Fighting hook horrors among Dwarven crates
Fighting hook horrors among Dwarven crates
Another door opened by an adjacent button
Another door opened by an adjacent button

On the north side of the winding passage is an illusionary wall (location 10). If Azarell is in the party, she alerts the party to it. There's also a shield of Lightning Protection +1 (location 9) nearby. In the northwestern part of the map there's a long sword +2 (location 13) among other things.

One of the doors leading to the Temple of Dumathoin, Level 1
One of the doors leading to the Temple of Dumathoin, Level 1
A Dwarven statue
A Dwarven statue

Make your way to the east until you get to the chamber at the north end of the level. The doors at locations 15 and 16 both lead to the Temple of Dumathoin, Level 1.

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The Temple of Dumathoin, Level 1

Derro dwarves defend their territory
Derro dwarves defend their territory
Map of the Temple of Dumathoin, Level 1
Map of the Temple of Dumathoin, Level 1
A fireplace
A fireplace
A red banner showing a hammer with some lightning
A red banner showing a hammer with some lightning
More derro dwarves line up to fight
More derro dwarves line up to fight
Some furniture and a black banner
Some furniture and a black banner

Depending on which door you took from the Dwarven Mines, you start at one of the entrances (locations 1 or 19) at the south end of the Temple of Dumathoin, Level 1. Here you'll fight more derro dwarves, a derro dwarf savant, and a few night hunters. The southeast corner of the level is inaccessible for the time being.

The Silver Moon key and hole in a wall
The Silver Moon key and hole in a wall
A party member remarks about "a window on treachery"
A party member remarks about "a window on treachery"
The Drow helped the derro "take over this temple from the dwarves"
The Drow helped the derro "take over this temple from the dwarves"
The derro dwarf savant wants to find the fountain
The derro dwarf savant wants to find the fountain
The priestess wants the derro to attack another Drow house
The priestess wants the derro to attack another Drow house
The derro wants to find the fountain first
The derro wants to find the fountain first
The priestess insists that there cannot be delays
The priestess insists that there cannot be delays
The derro is focused on the fountain
The derro is focused on the fountain
The priestess is furious and orders the derro to move immediately
The priestess is furious and orders the derro to move immediately

The main action is on the eastern part of the map. Head through a couple of doors to the east until you reach a long hallway running northwards, then take the second door to the east. When you pick up the Silver Moon key (location 21), you'll also watch an argument between a Drow priestess and a derro dwarf savant through a hole in a wall.

The priestess belongs to House Oblodra, which helped the derro dwarves take the temple from the dwarves that originally lived here. She expects that the derro honour their alliance by attacking House Barrison del Armgo, which is preparing a spell to wipe out House Oblodra. Throughout this exchange, it appears as if the derro dwarf savant isn't listening, as he keeps mumbling about wanting to find the fountain first. The priestess' temper flares as she expects the derro to move immediately before her House is defeated by its enemies.

This derro dwarf savant was talking to a Drow priestess
This derro dwarf savant was talking to a Drow priestess
When killed, the savant drops the Silver Star key
When killed, the savant drops the Silver Star key

Use the Silver Moon key you just picked up to access the room you saw through the hole in the wall, at location 22. Kill the derro dwarf savant (location 23) and take the Silver Star key which he drops.

The Drow parchment
The Drow parchment
The first Dwarven book in original language
The first Dwarven book in original language
The first Dwarven book, translated
The first Dwarven book, translated
The second Dwarven book in original language
The second Dwarven book in original language
The second Dwarven book, translated
The second Dwarven book, translated

In the room is a Drow parchment (location 24) outlining the alliance between "a certain house of the city of Menzoberranzan, known to be in conflict with House Barrison del Armgo" (which we now know is House Oblodra) and "certain Derro, known to be occupying a dwarven temple once the property of the Black Axe Clan". There are also two books (locations 25 and 26) written in Dwarven runes, which once translated (using a mage scroll of Comprehend Languages, a Dwarf/Gnome/Halfling party member's Read Dwarven ability, or a Thief party member's Read Languages ability) offer clues similar to those encountered at the inscribed door in the Dwarven Mines.

The illusionary wall
The illusionary wall
Casting "Detect Secret Door" reveals the passage
Casting "Detect Secret Door" reveals the passage
The button beyond the illusionary wall
The button beyond the illusionary wall

Head north of the current room and you'll run into a spinner. This is a disorienting mechanism that flips the direction where you're headed. The trick is to watch your compass and notice when it flips, at which point you walk backwards instead of forwards. This is easier to do if you temporarily switch to stepping mode (click on the compass). Once past the spinner, head through the illusionary wall at location 28 and press the button (location 29). This disables the spinner and opens the way to where we're going next.

The second illusionary wall is here
The second illusionary wall is here
The Holy Symbol of Dumathoin lies on the floor with some equipment
The Holy Symbol of Dumathoin lies on the floor with some equipment
Picking up the Holy Symbol of Dumathoin
Picking up the Holy Symbol of Dumathoin

Go through a second illusionary wall to the west, at location 30. Here, at location 31, you'll find the Holy Symbol of Dumathoin, as well as a chain mail, a chain helm, and a warhammer +2 (assuming you pressed the button at location 29, otherwise you'll see a wall). Make sure to take the Holy Symbol of Dumathoin, as you can't proceed past the next level without it.

Notice how this part of the map looks like a hammer? That's what the Dwarven door meant by "Symbol of Dumathoin, Silver Mountain and Mountain's Gem. In the head of the right hand hammer, the Symbol hides." The second Dwarven book on the current level also hinted at this, saying: "Third is the head of the hammer, leading to the secret chamber wherein lies the Holy Symbol of Dumathoin."
The door with the Silver Star lock
The door with the Silver Star lock
The stairs down to the Temple of Dumathoin, Level 2
The stairs down to the Temple of Dumathoin, Level 2

Head west to the northwest part of the map, which also looks like a hammer. Use the Silver Star key in the lock at location 13 to open the way down to level 2 at location 12.

A banner showing two axes
A banner showing two axes
A banner showing an anvil, and some crates and logs
A banner showing an anvil, and some crates and logs
Night hunters attack with their tail
Night hunters attack with their tail
A talking derro dwarf
A talking derro dwarf
Derro priorities: find fountain, attack Drow House
Derro priorities: find fountain, attack Drow House
A warm fireplace
A warm fireplace
A door with an elaborate pull chain that opens it
A door with an elaborate pull chain that opens it
A dining table and a throne
A dining table and a throne
A tattered picture of a dwarf
A tattered picture of a dwarf

If you (optionally) explore the rest of the level, you'll come across a few more items, including some equipment as well as useless items (such as the buckets, torches, and a figurine). You might want to grab the mage scroll of Cloudkill (location 18) near the entrance as it's a fifth-level mage spell. And, if you missed collecting a pickaxe earlier, there's one at location 5 (it's optional, but you need one for a side quest soon). There is also a talking derro dwarf who says that the derro are planning to attack a Drow House after finding the fountain.

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The Temple of Dumathoin, Level 2

Shelves full of stuff
Shelves full of stuff
Map of the Temple of Dumathoin, Level 2
Map of the Temple of Dumathoin, Level 2
Derro dwarf savants almost overcame the party
Derro dwarf savants almost overcame the party

Level 2 of the Temple of Dumathoin is occupied by derro dwarves and derro dwarf savants, which are more dangerous as they can cast spells including fireballs at the party. There are also a couple of umber hulks as we'll see later.

A yellow candle
A yellow candle
A sling is practically invisible on the ground
A sling is practically invisible on the ground
A throne between two pillars
A throne between two pillars
Drizzt makes the derro dwarves cry
Drizzt makes the derro dwarves cry
Potions of Extra Healing and Giant Strength
Potions of Extra Healing and Giant Strength
Drizzt's scimitars deal 37 damage in one round
Drizzt's scimitars deal 37 damage in one round
Another figurine
Another figurine
Close-up of the figurine
Close-up of the figurine

The level is made up of long halls that lead to various rooms. There are spinners in the middle of each hall, so follow the advice from the previous level to get past them. Exploring, you'll come across a number of items including:

The party meets Vlakverdling
The party meets Vlakverdling
Vlakverdling is chained to the wall
Vlakverdling is chained to the wall
The party frees the gnome from his chains
The party frees the gnome from his chains
Vlakverdling was imprisoned by the derro dwarves
Vlakverdling was imprisoned by the derro dwarves
Poison, Myconid fungus, and Borgonar's Stone
Poison, Myconid fungus, and Borgonar's Stone
Drow take captives to be used as living shields
Drow take captives to be used as living shields
The Drow gave him to the derro as part of their deal
The Drow gave him to the derro as part of their deal
If the party refuses to let him join
If the party refuses to let him join
If Vlakverdling joins the party
If Vlakverdling joins the party
Vlakverdling's inventory
Vlakverdling's inventory
Vlakverdling's afflictions
Vlakverdling's afflictions
Vlakverdling's attributes
Vlakverdling's attributes

At location 26 you'll find Vlakverdling, a prisoner of the derro dwarves who can join the party.

The Silver Circle lock
The Silver Circle lock
Looks like there's nothing, but it's a teleporter
Looks like there's nothing, but it's a teleporter

Take the Silver Circle key at location 21 and use it in the lock (location 30) in the northeast part of the level to open the wall next to it. Walk up to the western wall to teleport past it (location 31 to 32) to a long hallway.

Teleporters in this game are invisible. Watch your automap for blue squares to identify them.
Press this button first
Press this button first
Fighting umber hulks
Fighting umber hulks
The second button
The second button

Push the button nearby to your left (i.e. along the south wall) at location 33. Walk down the corridor, killing a couple of umber hulks along the way, and push the button (location 15) to open the door (the earlier button at location 33 both enables this button and reveals the door).

Battle axe +2, chain mail +2 and the Dwarven Horn
Battle axe +2, chain mail +2 and the Dwarven Horn

In the next room (location 16) are a battle axe +2, a chain mail +2, and the Dwarven Horn. Make sure to take at least the latter before walking through the teleporter (location 17).

A hidden button on the south wall, in the hammer's head
A hidden button on the south wall, in the hammer's head
The statue holding the Chalice of Healing Waters
The statue holding the Chalice of Healing Waters
Picking up the Chalice; you can drop the Dwarven Horn
Picking up the Chalice; you can drop the Dwarven Horn
The button at location 13
The button at location 13
The stairs down to Level 3
The stairs down to Level 3

After appearing in the southwest part of the level (location 10), head south and use the hidden button on the south wall (location 11) to open the door to the west. Use the Dwarven Horn in front of the statue holding the Chalice of Healing Waters, then take a step backwards and pick up the chalice from the floor. Open the door to the southeast using a nearby button (location 13) that is very easy to miss.

The Dwarven door earlier hinted at this encounter: "Sound the horn. Free the Chalice of Healing Waters from Dwarven Hands." One of the Dwarven books also described the heroes that sacrificed their lives to slay half the Drow forces, and said about the last of them: "His essence came here, where even now he waits on the level below, a statue holding the Chalice of Healing Waters."

The door at the end of the corridor (location 34) opens automatically, but only if you have both the Holy Symbol of Dumathoin and the Chalice of Healing Waters. Head through to reach the stairs down to Level 3 (location 35).

The Dwarven door earlier said: "The Fountain stands below. Gates unyielding. Hold ye the Symbol and Chalice, you may pass." One of the Dwarven books also said: "The symbol and the chalice open the way".

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The Temple of Dumathoin, Level 3

Spitting crawlers form an orderly queue
Spitting crawlers form an orderly queue
Map of the Temple of Dumathoin, Level 3
Map of the Temple of Dumathoin, Level 3
Doors on this level are opened with this pull chain
Doors on this level are opened with this pull chain

The derro dwarves have been unable to reach the third level of the Temple of Dumathoin without the Holy Symbol of Dumathoin and the Chalice of Healing Waters, so in this level you'll instead fight less dangerous spitting crawlers and hook horrors. This is also the place to keep a pickaxe handy, as there are a few precious stones embedded in the walls.

The long hall running from west to east in the middle of this level requires a Silver Axe key (location 17), so you'll need to walk around it on the west side of this level until you're able to get it.

A blue gem in the wall
A blue gem in the wall
A hook horror and a spitting crawler await behind a table
A hook horror and a spitting crawler await behind a table
A citrine in the wall
A citrine in the wall
Not sure who this is... perhaps a Dwarven Santa Claus
Not sure who this is... perhaps a Dwarven Santa Claus
The locked doors to the central hallway
The locked doors to the central hallway

On the south side of the hall and the level you'll find mage scrolls of Improved Identify (handy for a second mage) and Claws of the Umber Hulk (sixth level spell - for later). The plate mail at location 4 provides an AC 7 bonus, although you likely don't need it if you've already picked up a chain mail +2 earlier. You can also use your pickaxe to get a blue gem (location 15) and citrine (yellow gem, location 6) from the walls. A couple of blue gems are necessary later in the game, though you'll find more so it's not necessary to grab this one. I'm not aware of any use for the citrine.

Several spitting crawlers attack from all sides
Several spitting crawlers attack from all sides
The Iron Circle key lies on the floor
The Iron Circle key lies on the floor
A party member notices the diamond
A party member notices the diamond
The diamond in the wall
The diamond in the wall

As you reach the northwest corner of the level and turn east, there's a halberd +1 (location 8, optional) through the first door to the south, and an Iron Circle key through the second (location 9, required). Go around the corner to the adjacent room and use the pickaxe to pry the diamond from the east wall (location 11). You can also help yourself to a shield of Lightning Protection +1 (location 10) in the same room.

A cool banner showing some Dwarven king
A cool banner showing some Dwarven king
Another banner showing a hammer struck by lightning
Another banner showing a hammer struck by lightning
The Silver Axe key on the floor
The Silver Axe key on the floor
Three hook horrors attack the party
Three hook horrors attack the party
An emerald in the wall
An emerald in the wall
The party's collection of gems
The party's collection of gems

Heading further to the east, collect the Silver Axe key from location 17. If you want, you can also complete your collection of gems by using the pickaxe to get an emerald from the east wall (location 18). The emerald doesn't have any known use.

The door with the Iron Circle lock
The door with the Iron Circle lock
"The Fountain awaits a sacrifice"
"The Fountain awaits a sacrifice"
The Fountain of Healing Waters
The Fountain of Healing Waters
Borenorak begins to feel better
Borenorak begins to feel better
Borenorak is cured of Aboleth Disease
Borenorak is cured of Aboleth Disease
Borenorak looks better too
Borenorak looks better too

Use the Silver Axe key to open any of the locked doors (locations 13, 14 and 7) to the central hall, then use the Iron Circle key to reach the eastern chamber (location 19) where you'll finally find the Fountain of Healing Waters.

By holding it in a party member's hands, use the Chalice of Healing Waters while standing in front of the Fountain to heal the party to full hit points and cure any poison (except that which afflicts Vlakverdling). If Borenorak is in the party, he is cured of his Aboleth Disease and his skin is restored to a smooth texture. It's not clear whether there is any other benefit to healing him.

Furniture and lights behind the Fountain
Furniture and lights behind the Fountain
The Fountain welcomes the party
The Fountain welcomes the party
The Fountain introduces the Dwarven Hero
The Fountain introduces the Dwarven Hero
The Dwarven Hero asks the party to avenge the dwarves
The Dwarven Hero asks the party to avenge the dwarves
The party gets the axe of Hurling (+1)
The party gets the axe of Hurling (+1)
The axe of Hurling appears behind the Fountain
The axe of Hurling appears behind the Fountain

The Dwarven door had said: "For a gem, the Fountain speaks." Use the diamond to sacrifice it to the fountain. The Fountain itself speaks to the party, followed by the Dwarven Hero who asks the party to avenge the dwarves of the Black Axe Clan who were slain by the Drow. He gives the party an axe of Hurling +1, which appears behind the Fountain, and returns to a party member's hand when thrown.

The game shows a picture of a derro dwarf when the Dwarven Hero speaks, but the Dwarven Hero was not a derro dwarf!
Two potions of Extra Healing and a ring of Regeneration
Two potions of Extra Healing and a ring of Regeneration
Stairs up to the Temple of Dumathoin, Level 1
Stairs up to the Temple of Dumathoin, Level 1

Through the doors north and south of the chamber with the Fountain are some cleric scrolls, potions of Extra Healing, and a ring of Regeneration (location 24). Finally, make your way to the southeast room, where the stairs up go all the way back to the southeastern part of the Temple of Dumathoin, Level 1.

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The Abduction of Drizzt

This is a brief but significant transition, as Drizzt gets captured, which has a profound impact on the party's quest.

At this point I ran into a bug that erased my automaps and prevented me from going back through the final door in the Temple of Dumathoin, Level 2. While not necessarily a showstopper, you may want to reload to an earlier stage if this happens.

Temple of Dumathoin, Level 1 (Southeast Corner)

Ropers are rather unforgiving
Ropers are rather unforgiving
Map of the Temple of Dumathoin, Level 1 (Southeast Corner)
Map of the Temple of Dumathoin, Level 1 (Southeast Corner)
The exit
The exit

After leaving the Temple of Dumathoin Level 3, you find yourself in the previously unexplored southeast corner of Level 1. This is your first encounter with a roper, a fearsome beast reminiscent of a beholder that lashes hard with its tentacles. Kill or evade it, and head for the exit on the other side of the room.

Dwarven Mines (Northeast Corner)

Drow attack the party on arrival
Drow attack the party on arrival
Map of the Dwarven Mines (Northeast Corner)
Map of the Dwarven Mines (Northeast Corner)

You are now in the northeast corner of the Dwarven Mines, which is not connected to the rest of the level. Dispatch the Drow fighters who are waiting for you near the entrance.

There is a door over there
There is a door over there
Drow ambushers cast Globe of Darkness
Drow ambushers cast Globe of Darkness
It's... dark
It's... dark
Drizzt is gone!
Drizzt is gone!
He was taken surprisingly easily
He was taken surprisingly easily
Most of Drizzt's inventory is piled on the floor
Most of Drizzt's inventory is piled on the floor

If he is in the party, Drizzt is captured as you approach the door to the southeast (location 2). There's nothing you can do about it, and his absence will be felt for some time, both in terms of his skill as a fighter as well as his inventory space (since you'll be down to three characters for a bit). The party's morale won't be quite the same.

The Drow priestess hits us with a lightning bolt
The Drow priestess hits us with a lightning bolt
Vlakverdling barely survives the encounter
Vlakverdling barely survives the encounter
The mining cart leaving the Dwarven Mines
The mining cart leaving the Dwarven Mines

Beyond the next door is a Drow priestess and another Drow fighter. The priestess will hammer the party with lightning bolts, so go get her first. After going through another door, you'll find a mining cart (location 4) which takes you away from the Dwarven Mines when you approach it.

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Cutscene: Mining Cart Ride

Moving through the tunnel
Moving through the tunnel
Winding passages
Winding passages
Whoa...
Whoa...
The cart flies out of the tunnel exit
The cart flies out of the tunnel exit
It bounces off the ground...
It bounces off the ground...
...then falls on its side
...then falls on its side

The party rides a mining cart that courses through a winding tunnel at high speed, like a roller coaster, until it finally flies through the tunnel exit and crashes into the cavern below.

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Cavern of the Myconids (East Side)

The tunnel exit where you came from
The tunnel exit where you came from
Map of the Cavern of the Myconids (East Side)
Map of the Cavern of the Myconids (East Side)
The remains of the mining cart
The remains of the mining cart

After having lost Drizzt and crashed its mining cart with no chance to turn back, the party once again has no option but to move on.

A door with a rectangular button
A door with a rectangular button
A shrieker and violet fungus
A shrieker and violet fungus
A door with a pull chain
A door with a pull chain

This level has a number of enemies including shriekers, violet fungi, fungi skeletons, and also an umber hulk that is part of a quest. None of these are particularly dangerous. Doors are operated via nearby pull chains, rectangular buttons or stone-like buttons; once opened, they cannot be closed again.

A Jade Spider on the floor
A Jade Spider on the floor
A hint at its Drow origin and combining it with something
A hint at its Drow origin and combining it with something
The Jade Spider fits with the magical helm
The Jade Spider fits with the magical helm
The wearer of the combined helm can cast Lightning Bolt
The wearer of the combined helm can cast Lightning Bolt
The combined helm and crest (Jade Spider)
The combined helm and crest (Jade Spider)

From the starting point, you can see the remains of the mining cart in front of you and the tunnel exit behind you. A short distance to the west, you'll find a Jade Spider. Although it's not clear at this point, a party member remarks that it is of Drow origin and that it might possibly fit with some other object. In fact, you can combine it with the magical helm you got from the innkeeper at the beginning of the game. The helm now grants the wearer the ability to cast Lightning Bolt alongside Immunity to Poison which was already available.

Enough mushrooms to make a pizza
Enough mushrooms to make a pizza
A wall lowers...
A wall lowers...
...and fungi skeletons attack the party
...and fungi skeletons attack the party
Reminds me of a scene from Monkey Island 2
Reminds me of a scene from Monkey Island 2
The dagger of Throwing +2
The dagger of Throwing +2

Make your way southwest to location 8 and walk into a trap. A wall closes behind you, and fungi skeletons attack as three other walls open. In the same room you'll find a battle axe, dagger of Throwing +2, and mage scroll of Hold Monster (fifth level mage spell).

A door with a stone-like button
A door with a stone-like button
The last door before reaching the Myconids
The last door before reaching the Myconids
The Myconid guards
The Myconid guards
If Azarell is in the party, she has a line to say
If Azarell is in the party, she has a line to say
Otherwise, Perseus asks whether the guards are Myconids
Otherwise, Perseus asks whether the guards are Myconids
The Myconids are peaceful and do not trust outsiders
The Myconids are peaceful and do not trust outsiders
The party seeks a curative fungus
The party seeks a curative fungus
The guards are told to let the party pass
The guards are told to let the party pass

From the south end of the room (location 11), head west and then southeast to reach the Myconid guards (location 20). After a brief dialogue, they clear the way and you can reach King Feerus (location 21). The dialogue changes depending on whether Vlakverdling is in the party.

Some kind of throne?
Some kind of throne?
King Feerus meets the party
King Feerus meets the party
The Drow are common enemies
The Drow are common enemies
The party asks about the curative fungus
The party asks about the curative fungus
King Feerus wants to get rid of an umber hulk
King Feerus wants to get rid of an umber hulk
The umber hulk looks big and threatening
The umber hulk looks big and threatening
It just didn't know who it was dealing with
It just didn't know who it was dealing with

Speak to King Feerus, who wants you to kill an umber hulk in exchange for the Myconids' special fungus that can cure all poisons. Head west and kill the umber hulk (around location 22).

The cluebook says that King Feerus opens the passage west to the umber hulk, but it is in fact already open. If you kill the umber hulk before having spoken to King Feerus, you will not be able to report the completion of the quest, and therefore will not be able to proceed further in the game.

There is also a mage scroll of Haste at location 24, reachable either via the illusionary wall at location 23, or by going around to the north.

Unlike similar games, Haste is only cast on a single character at a time in Menzoberranzan. However, it is still a useful spell as it allows a character to attack much faster. Cast it on your strongest fighter, and possibly also on other characters if you don't mind having less of other useful third-level mage spells such as Fireball.
King Feerus grants the party three doses
King Feerus grants the party three doses
Vlakverdling before using the fungus
Vlakverdling before using the fungus
Vlakverdling after using the fungus
Vlakverdling after using the fungus

Return to King Feerus after killing the umber hulk and he will give you three doses of his fungus that can cure all poisons. If Vlakverdling is in the party, he can use one portion of fungus to cure himself of his permanent poison. The only difference this seems to make is that his skin looks clearer, but there does not seem to be any other benefit, or other kind of pat on the back (as with Borenorak). It's quite a let-down.

King Feerus invites the party to get lost
King Feerus invites the party to get lost
The exit leading to the Cavern of the Galeb Duhr
The exit leading to the Cavern of the Galeb Duhr
A plate mail and a two-handed sword +2
A plate mail and a two-handed sword +2

King Feerus also opens a wall at location 25, allowing the party to head for the exit at location 27. Just east of the exit is a plate mail and a two-handed sword +2, which is a great replacement for Manahath's trusty two-handed sword.

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Cavern of the Galeb Duhr

We stepped into roper territory...
We stepped into roper territory...
Map of the Cavern of the Galeb Duhr
Map of the Cavern of the Galeb Duhr
The roper whips Perseus in the face
The roper whips Perseus in the face

From the entrance (location 1) near the southeast corner of the map, head southwest and then north. To the west there is a cleric scroll of Darkfire and a mage scroll of Cone of Cold. (locations 34 and 35). Slightly further on and to the east is a mage scroll of Wizard Eye and a potion of Flying (location 33).

A roper comes at you as you approach these items. It's the first taste of the fauna of this level - it is full of ropers and verbeeg giants, both of which hit hard and can kill weaker characters in two or three hits. Fortunately the verbeeg are easier to kill.

Reminds me of a certain T-Rex...
Reminds me of a certain T-Rex...
The Galeb Duhr knows how to sell
The Galeb Duhr knows how to sell
It really, really knows how to sell
It really, really knows how to sell
The party is not amused
The party is not amused
The Galeb Duhr wants "a trinket of stones"
The Galeb Duhr wants "a trinket of stones"
The Galeb Duhr opens a passage to the north
The Galeb Duhr opens a passage to the north

There is not much more to explore before you realise that the area is a dead end, and you have no choice but to bargain with the Galeb Duhr, a rock creature in the west wall at location 30. Once you exhaust the dialogue options, the Galeb Duhr will open a passage at location 29 so that you can fetch a necklace for it.

From location 29, you can go either north through the elevated passage at location 26, or through the web at location 28, but it makes little difference since both passages loop through the northern part of the map and come back here. Either way, you'll need to cast both Fly and Passweb to get through. Fortunately, this level is littered with potions of both, but you may also have leftovers from the Descent into the Underdark, and you should also be able to cast both freely by now.

Verbeeg giants bring Vlakverdling to his knees
Verbeeg giants bring Vlakverdling to his knees
A blue candle and a chest
A blue candle and a chest
Borgenar's Stone
Borgenar's Stone

Taking the longer route via location 26, you'll find a broad sword +1 (location 7) and a mage scroll of Acid Bolt (location 23) nearby. But the best rewards are to the southwest, where you'll find a blue candle (capable of casting Lightning Bolt) and a chest containing Borgenar's Stone (capable of casting Stoneskin).

Vlakverdling earlier called it "Borgonar's Stone", but it's labelled as "Borgenar's Stone". I don't know who's right. Vlakverdling does not react to its discovery. The cluebook calls it "Borgonar's Stone" and says it "bestows upon its owner the ability to cast a stoneskin spell as might a 6th level mage." It's not clear whether "6th level" refers to spell level or experience level, but Stoneskin is a fourth-level mage spell and thus inaccessible to 6th (experience) level mages.

Past the elevated passage at location 9 is a mage scroll of Enchant Weapon. This is a particularly useful fourth level mage spell which raises the attack bonus of a weapon up to +3, not only dealing additional damage in combat, but also helping to deal with yochlols that do not take damage from weapons lower than +3.

Scimitar "Twinkle" +8!
Scimitar "Twinkle" +8!
Drizzt's +5 scimitar "Twinkle" is already past the +3 restriction, and casting Enchant Weapon on it repeatedly can actually bring it up to +8. You're totally not supposed to have this weapon at this point, but you may have salvaged it using the bag trick I mentioned earlier, or you can do this when you find Drizzt's weapons near the end of the game.
This roper is about to sneeze
This roper is about to sneeze
Another web; keep Passweb handy
Another web; keep Passweb handy
A verbeeg giant defends its territory
A verbeeg giant defends its territory
Manahath takes over before a roper kills Vlakverdling
Manahath takes over before a roper kills Vlakverdling
The Galeb Duhr's necklace on the floor
The Galeb Duhr's necklace on the floor
Picking up the Galeb Duhr's necklace
Picking up the Galeb Duhr's necklace

You'll finally find the Galeb Duhr's necklace (location 2) in the northwest corner of the level, past the web at location 4. If, on the other hand, you came around the east side of the map, then you went through the web at location 28, grabbed the mage scroll of Spidercloak Armor (location 24) on the way, and flew through an elevated passage (location 21) before reaching the necklace.

The Galeb Duhr takes the necklace
The Galeb Duhr takes the necklace
The Galeb Duhr agrees to open a passage
The Galeb Duhr agrees to open a passage
The new passage next to the Galeb Duhr
The new passage next to the Galeb Duhr

Once you return to the Galeb Duhr with the necklace, it happily opens a new passage right next to it (location 31), leading to the southwestern part of the level.

A mage scroll of Disintegrate
A mage scroll of Disintegrate
Manahath makes a Verbeeg giant dance
Manahath makes a Verbeeg giant dance
A blue gem
A blue gem

There's a mage scroll of Disintegrate (sixth level mage spell) at location 15, and also a blue gem at location 19. You'll need at least two blue gems very soon, so it's good to grab this one. There are a few more available in the next level.

Yet another of those tiring elevated passages
Yet another of those tiring elevated passages
The way out... or so it seems
The way out... or so it seems

Head towards the exit at the southwest corner of the level (location 17). To do this, you'll need to fly through another elevated passage (location 18). There's a potion of Flying at location 20 (next to the blue gem) in case you ran out. As you approach the exit, the ground begins to shake...

It's funny how you fall into the chasm even if you have the Fly spell active.

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Cutscene: The Earthquake

The ground opens beneath the party's feet
The ground opens beneath the party's feet
The party falls into the chasm...
The party falls into the chasm...
...into a pool of water below
...into a pool of water below
"After the earthquake, there is no turning back."
"After the earthquake, there is no turning back."
The party approaches yet another cave entrance
The party approaches yet another cave entrance

The party's progress is halted by a sudden earthquake. The ground cracks, and the party falls into the resulting chasm, landing in what seems to be water. The way back is cut off once again, and the party approaches yet another cave entrance.

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Cavern of the Driders, Map 1 (Main Level)

The Cavern of the Driders is so huge and disorienting that it is a chore to get through it even if you're following the cluebook. To make it more reasonable, I'm splitting it into several parts.

A cleric scroll lies near two creatures that got caught in webs
A cleric scroll lies near two creatures that got caught in webs

The first part of the Cavern of the Driders comprises about two thirds of the map starting from the southwest corner. The goal from here is to reach a sub-level called Cavern of the Driders, Map 2, which logically fits in a hole in this map.

However, there are two routes that lead to Map 2. One reaches it via the eastern section of the map. The other heads northwest and revisits a new sublevel of the Cavern of the Myconids before returning back to the Cavern of the Driders. The first route is preferable because it offers better loot, but the second route is also valid, despite the cluebook relegating it to an optional "side quest".

Doors look like spinning webs and always have a button nearby
Doors look like spinning webs and always have a button nearby
Sometimes the button is a little more subtle
Sometimes the button is a little more subtle

Both routes have points of no return, so it is not possible to take both. However, it is possible to fully explore the Cavern of the Driders and the Cavern of the Myconids sub-level by visiting the latter, turning back before the hole at the end, and then proceeding via the first route.

Uropygi can poison party members
Uropygi can poison party members
Drow fighters patrol this area
Drow fighters patrol this area
Driders have melee attacks and can cast spells
Driders have melee attacks and can cast spells

This part of the Cavern of the Driders is inhabited by various beasts including:

This area is the last place in the game where Passweb is necessary.

Route 1 via Eastern Section

A uropygus waits in ambush as you approach a potion of Flying
A uropygus waits in ambush as you approach a potion of Flying
Map of the Cavern of the Driders Map 1 (Main Level, Route 1)
Map of the Cavern of the Driders Map 1 (Main Level, Route 1)
A tunnel looks just like a cave entrance
A tunnel looks just like a cave entrance

Near the entrance (location 1) is a potion of Flying (location 2) and a cleric scroll of Passweb (location 3) in case you need them. Head east through what seems to be a cave but is actually a tunnel (location 6) through the east wall.

A rusted plate mail and a cleric scroll of Cure Disease
A rusted plate mail and a cleric scroll of Cure Disease
A rust monster
A rust monster
A blue gem
A blue gem

In this area there are a few items including a mage scroll of Dragon Scales (sixth level mage spell, location 20), a rusted plate mail (measly AC 2 bonus, but actually hints at nearby rust monsters), an ivory scroll case (location 23) and a blue gem (location 24). Check your inventory after fighting rust monsters in this area, as they have the ability to ruin your armour.

A mage scroll of Lightning Bolt
A mage scroll of Lightning Bolt
A rod of Anti-Levitation
A rod of Anti-Levitation
Driders' fireballs hurt the entire party
Driders' fireballs hurt the entire party

Head north through the door near location 23. In this area, don't miss the mage scroll of Lightning Bolt (location 27). There's also a rod of Anti-Levitation whose purpose is unknown.

A carrion crawler attacks the party
A carrion crawler attacks the party
Azarell reveals herself as a yochlol
Azarell reveals herself as a yochlol
The carrion crawler strikes (a pose)
The carrion crawler strikes (a pose)
Azarell the yochlol waits behind the carrion crawler
Azarell the yochlol waits behind the carrion crawler
Perseus paralyses the yochlol and whacks it with Spiritual Hammer
Perseus paralyses the yochlol and whacks it with Spiritual Hammer

At location 31, you'll be attacked by a carrion crawler.

Azarell's betrayal happens after a few seconds of fighting the carrion crawler, and if the latter is killed quickly enough, Azarell actually sticks with the party. This supports a 2011 claim that Azarell could stay "loyal and faithful to the end".
A potion of Passweb
A potion of Passweb
A cloaker lord swings at the party
A cloaker lord swings at the party
More creatures stuck in webs
More creatures stuck in webs
Fighting a uropygus in their lair
Fighting a uropygus in their lair
A wand of Magic Missiles near the teleporter
A wand of Magic Missiles near the teleporter

After dispatching the carrion crawler, follow the path and take teleporter (location 32) to location 33, after which there is no turning back. There's a potion of Passweb (location 34) that you can go ahead and drink, and a mage scroll of Ice Storm (location 35) around the corner. Go through the web (location 36), and after clearing out the uropygus lair, pick up the wand of Magic Missiles (location 37) and take the teleporter (location 39) to location 40.

An adamantite chain mail
An adamantite chain mail
Killing driders for fun and profit
Killing driders for fun and profit
Agannazer's Scorcher wipes out Drow fighters
Agannazer's Scorcher wipes out Drow fighters
Another spinning web door
Another spinning web door
The entrance to Cavern of the Driders Map 2
The entrance to Cavern of the Driders Map 2

The exit leading to the Cavern of the Driders Map 2 is nearby at location 46, but feel free to explore the area before you go there. There's a potion of Flying at location 43, which you'll need in Map 2 if you don't have other Fly spells or potions. There's also a cleric scroll of Fireseed (sixth level cleric spell, location 44) near the northeast corner.

Route 2 via Cavern of the Myconids (Northwest Section)

Yet another web requiring Passweb
Yet another web requiring Passweb
Map of the Cavern of the Driders Map 1 (Main Level, Route 2)
Map of the Cavern of the Driders Map 1 (Main Level, Route 2)
A tunnel opens up to a new area
A tunnel opens up to a new area

In the alternative route, you can still grab the potion of Flying (location 2) and cleric scroll of Passweb (location 3) if you need them. But when you head east, instead of taking the tunnel, cast Passweb and go through the web at location 7. Then go through the tunnel (location 8).

A javelin of Lightning
A javelin of Lightning
A violet fungus lashes at the party
A violet fungus lashes at the party
A blue gem sits alone on the ground
A blue gem sits alone on the ground
A drider pummels the party with a fireball
A drider pummels the party with a fireball
Cardboard geometry
Cardboard geometry

In this area you'll find a mage scroll of Ice Knife (location 9), a javelin of Lightning, and a blue gem. Be careful though; the driders are unforgiving when they throw fireballs at you from a distance.

The carrion crawler paralyses Vlakverdling
The carrion crawler paralyses Vlakverdling
The party trades blows with a drider
The party trades blows with a drider
Two driders team up
Two driders team up

To proceed, you'll need to fight the carrion crawler at location 13. The same notes from Route 1 apply, including about its ability to paralyse, the wall that closes behind you (and reopens after you head north), and Azarell's betrayal.

The exit leads to the Cavern of the Myconids (Northwest Side)
The exit leads to the Cavern of the Myconids (Northwest Side)

In the subsequent area, there is some more loot but nothing really interesting. Head west via either the winding passage (location 15) or the web (location 16) and leave the area at location 19.

Entering the Cavern of the Myconids (Northwest Side)
Entering the Cavern of the Myconids (Northwest Side)
Map of the Cavern of the Myconids (Northwest Side)
Map of the Cavern of the Myconids (Northwest Side)
Night hunters inhabit this place
Night hunters inhabit this place
Adamantite plate mail
Adamantite plate mail
An ochre jelly mauls Vlakverdling
An ochre jelly mauls Vlakverdling
a local door with pull chain
a local door with pull chain

You are now in a small sub-level of the Cavern of the Myconids. There are ochre jellies and night hunters in this area, as well as a few scattered items of little use.

Web: a spell that doesn't exist
Web: a spell that doesn't exist
There is a mage scroll of Web at location 6. This spell does not exist in the manual and it fails every time when cast. The cluebook mistakenly confuses it with a mage scroll of Passweb.
Another door operated by a button
Another door operated by a button
This hole is the exit
This hole is the exit
The hole leads back to the Cavern of the Driders
The hole leads back to the Cavern of the Driders

The exit is a hole at the southeast corner (location 7), but be aware that it is one-way and you can't come back. So if you want to continue exploring the Cavern of the Driders, then turn back and pursue Route 1. Otherwise, enter the hole to proceed.

A spinning web door
A spinning web door
Map of the Cavern of the Driders Transition Area
Map of the Cavern of the Driders Transition Area
The alternate entrance to Cavern of the Driders Map 2
The alternate entrance to Cavern of the Driders Map 2

Back in the Cavern of the Driders, all you need to do is head a little south and then east to find a second entrance into the Cavern of the Driders, Map 2 (different from that in Route 1).

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Cavern of the Driders, Map 2

A barely visible elevated passage
A barely visible elevated passage
Map of the Cavern of the Driders Map 2
Map of the Cavern of the Driders Map 2
Flying through the elevated passage
Flying through the elevated passage

Depending on whether you took Route 1 or 2 in the Cavern of the Driders Part 1, you start Map 2 at either location 1 or 2, respectively. Both lead into the same room, but to get there from location 1 you need to fly through an elevated passage (location 3) that is very easy to miss.

Thankfully, this is the last place in the game where you need to fly, so you can drop your potions or scrolls of Fly and Passweb (the last webs were in the Cavern of the Driders Map 1 Main Level) and also pray for or memorise other spells. However, you may want to keep a potion of Flying with you for a little fun at the Underground River. There's another potion to be found soon in case you forget.
The second encounter with Vonar
The second encounter with Vonar
Vonar doesn't have much news
Vonar doesn't have much news
Rejecting Vonar
Rejecting Vonar
Recruiting Vonar
Recruiting Vonar
Vlakverdling is sad but has to go
Vlakverdling is sad but has to go
Perseus suggests giving a Gem of Infravision to Vonar
Perseus suggests giving a Gem of Infravision to Vonar

If you don't have Vonar in the party, you'll meet him for the second time in the central room (location 5), and he is still willing to join your party. His greeting changes depending on whether you've spoken to him before, but his response when you reject or recruit him is the same as when you speak to him the first time.

Vonar's background art is the same as when you first met him in the Icewind Dale Plains Area 2. Back then, he was standing in front of a wall that has the same colour as the walls here. It is not far-fetched to assume that the colour of the walls in the Cavern of the Driders Map 2 is different from that of the Cavern of the Driders Part 1 to enable the same art to be reused. The game's user interface also does not change colour between the two maps as it does in other areas (e.g., Descent into the Underdark). Given the map's tiny size and how the main Cavern of the Driders map has an unused area with roughly the same structure (see map in the cluebook), it's quite likely that it was separated for a pragmatic reason.

Vonar has the same attributes, inventory and spells as when you met him the first time. This makes him relatively weak at this late stage in the game. However, if you're down to three characters, he's still useful to fill that fourth slot. And if you have Vlakverdling, Vonar is a useful replacement because:

Vonar only knows three spells (Magic Missile, Shocking Grasp, and Levitate), so allow him to scribe any extra mage scrolls you've been carrying until now. That should also free a little inventory space.

As a party member suggests, Vonar needs a Gem of Infravision. It's quite strange how he survived so far without one.
A drider attacks near a mage scroll of Spider Venom Immunity
A drider attacks near a mage scroll of Spider Venom Immunity
A second drider stands in the party's way
A second drider stands in the party's way
The third drider is willing to talk
The third drider is willing to talk
Perseus asks the drider about the captured villagers
Perseus asks the drider about the captured villagers
The drider explains the fate of the villagers
The drider explains the fate of the villagers

The passage southwest of Vonar's room offers a mage scroll of Spider Venom Immunity, but you also have to fight a couple of hostile driders. At the end of the passage is a drider willing to talk (location 7). If questioned, the drider explains that the villagers will be either sacrificed to Lolth or "marched ahead of warriors in battle" as human shields. He also explains that Malice Do'Urden seeks to sacrifice her son Drizzt to gain Lolth's favour and obtain "a great artifact returning to Drow hands after many ages".

There is a black candle next to the drider. According to the cluebook, it "creates darkness in a 15' radius, blinding all those who enter the affected area." However, it also reduces your own visibility to zero.
Meeting Maznafein
Meeting Maznafein
Maznafein doesn't want to fight
Maznafein doesn't want to fight
Maznafein warns of a chasm ahead
Maznafein warns of a chasm ahead
He was turned into a drider for refusing to worship Lolth
He was turned into a drider for refusing to worship Lolth
Maznafein has a deal in mind
Maznafein has a deal in mind
A scroll of Spider Shape for a favour
A scroll of Spider Shape for a favour
Maznafein offers directions
Maznafein offers directions

The passage northeast of Vonar's room leads to another friendly drider called Maznafein. Warning about an impassable chasm ahead, he offers a special scroll of Spider Shape in exchange for a favour that would later help restore him to Drow form. He also directs the party to seek a merchant named Ssar Tarell at the Menzoberranzan Bazaar.

Gauntlets of Stone Giant Strength and a gem of Infravision
Gauntlets of Stone Giant Strength and a gem of Infravision
This cave leads to the Cavern of the Driders Map 1 (Before Chasm)
This cave leads to the Cavern of the Driders Map 1 (Before Chasm)
Five gems of Infravision, a Stone of Winter, and other gems
Five gems of Infravision, a Stone of Winter, and other gems

East of Maznafein is another room with a mage scroll of Stinking Cloud, gauntlets of Stone Giant Strength, and a gem of Infravision. Give the gauntlets to your party member with the least strength to make them do more damage in combat. The exit lies nearby, at location 12.

This is the last of five gems of Infravision to be found in the game, not including the Stone of Winter.

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Cavern of the Driders, Map 1 (Before Chasm)

Head through the spinning web door
Head through the spinning web door
Map of the Cavern of the Driders Map 1 (Before Chasm)
Map of the Cavern of the Driders Map 1 (Before Chasm)
Whoops... an umber hulk got caught in the web
Whoops... an umber hulk got caught in the web
Andromeda suggests using the scroll of Spider Shape
Andromeda suggests using the scroll of Spider Shape
The chasm looks like a wall of silk
The chasm looks like a wall of silk

Head north through a spinning web door, then head west, and then north again. As you approach what seems to be a barrier of silk, a party member recognises it as the chasm that Maznafein spoke of, and suggests to use the scroll of Spider Shape. Do that.

There are no monsters in this area.

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Cutscene: Crossing the Chasm

A party member stands, looking human
A party member stands, looking human
They start to melt...
They start to melt...
...until they are completely liquefied
...until they are completely liquefied
From that liquid rises a huge spider
From that liquid rises a huge spider
The spider crosses a bridge made of silk
The spider crosses a bridge made of silk
The spider reaches the other side
The spider reaches the other side
Once at the other side...
Once at the other side...
...the spider melts into a puddle...
...the spider melts into a puddle...
...and from that puddle takes human form again
...and from that puddle takes human form again

After using the scroll of Spider Shape, a party member is shown transforming into a spider, crossing a bridge of silk in spider form, and then reverting to human form at the other end.

We can assume that this happens to the entire party, and that the cutscene only shows one party member for technical reasons.

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Cavern of the Driders, Map 1 (After Chasm)

A sneaky cloaker lord
A sneaky cloaker lord
Map of the Cavern of the Driders Map 1 (After Chasm)
Map of the Cavern of the Driders Map 1 (After Chasm)
A barely visible night hunter guards a blue gem
A barely visible night hunter guards a blue gem
The exit leading to the Underground River
The exit leading to the Underground River

Once past the chasm, you can make your way through the winding passages that lead to the exit in the northeast corner, fighting cloaker lords and night hunters along the way. Before you leave, make sure you have at least two blue gems. If you haven't collected them by now, there are two in this area (locations 3 and 7). There is also some other loot, including a cleric scroll of Flame Strike (fifth level cleric spell, location 5).

There are a total of six blue gems in the game, but you only need two.

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The Underground River

The lack of free movement makes it impossible to accurately map this area without reverse engineering the game data. There isn't much need for a map anyway, as the level is really quite simple.
The ferryman stands by his boat
The ferryman stands by his boat
Perseus admires the ferryman's... resolve
Perseus admires the ferryman's... resolve
The ferryman requires two blue gems
The ferryman requires two blue gems
Two blue gems? No problem.
Two blue gems? No problem.
Perseus offers the gems to the ferryman
Perseus offers the gems to the ferryman
The ferryman accepts payment
The ferryman accepts payment

As you step into the Underground River, you meet the ferryman, who wants two blue gems to take you down the river. Assuming the gems are in your possession, simply proceed into the boat after talking to him.

The ferryman may be inspired by Charon, the ferryman of the underworld in Greek mythology.
Flying over the ferryman
Flying over the ferryman
A flying boat
A flying boat
You can use a potion of Flying or Jump to bypass the ferryman entirely, and also fly or jump while in the boat! You can also cast the Fly spell, but as mentioned earlier, you may need to open and close the automap afterwards to make the vertical movement slider appear.
Getting into the boat
Getting into the boat
The current carries the party downstream
The current carries the party downstream
A stirge hits Perseus as the boat passes it
A stirge hits Perseus as the boat passes it
The boat passes through a curtain of vegetation
The boat passes through a curtain of vegetation
A night hunter misses the party
A night hunter misses the party
The party lands at the other end of the river
The party lands at the other end of the river
The cave to the Approach to Menzoberranzan
The cave to the Approach to Menzoberranzan

Once in the boat, movement is automatic and all you can do is look around and exchange blows with stirges and night hunters flying over the river. When the boat stops, simply get off and walk to the cave entrance.

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Approach to Menzoberranzan

A dancing umber hulk
A dancing umber hulk
Map of Approach to Menzoberranzan
Map of Approach to Menzoberranzan
The umber hulk takes a bow
The umber hulk takes a bow
Two monsters guarding a suit of banded mail
Two monsters guarding a suit of banded mail
A uropygus hits Vonar hard
A uropygus hits Vonar hard
The Menzoberranzan city interface
The Menzoberranzan city interface

You start near the northeast corner (location 1) of this small level, and there isn't much to do other than fight your way through uropygi and umber hulks to the exit near the southwest corner (location 5).

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Freeing Maznafein

The final cut-away map with all areas explored
The final cut-away map with all areas explored
The Menzoberranzan city interface
The Menzoberranzan city interface
Map of Menzoberranzan
Map of Menzoberranzan

You have now reached Menzoberranzan. The long descent is over, and the nature of the game changes. Instead of dungeon crawling, this part of the game involves running a series of errands as you try and discover the fate of the villagers who were taken captive by the Drow.

The first thing you see after exiting the Approach to Menzoberranzan is the Menzoberranzan city interface, which is described by the manual on page 27. This is a little confusing at first, since you need to hover over each place to identify where it takes you (a fine example of Mystery Meat Navigation). Unfortunately, the map in the manual (page 27) has several mistakes in the location and naming of places.

The manual claims that "any two maps within the city which lie adjacent to one another may be reached by moving from one map to the next. Thus, it is not necessary to return to the Menzoberranzan City Interface for every move within the city." I've never seen this work in practice.

Initially, you can only travel between a handful of places, but more are unlocked as you complete different quests.

The Merchant's Bazaar

Merchant's Bazaar on the Menzoberranzan city interface
Merchant's Bazaar on the Menzoberranzan city interface
Map of the Merchant's Bazaar
Map of the Merchant's Bazaar
It's pretty dark in here
It's pretty dark in here

Back in the Cavern of the Driders Map 2, Maznafein told you to seek out Ssar Tarell at the Merchant's Bazaar, so that is a reasonable place to start. It is near the middle of the Menzoberranzan city interface.

Like the tavern back in the village, the bazaar interior is actually bigger than the exterior!
Several shops are closed
Several shops are closed
A merchant is afraid "something terrible is about to happen"
A merchant is afraid "something terrible is about to happen"
Another merchant worries about "open battle between the Houses"
Another merchant worries about "open battle between the Houses"

The bazaar has no enemies in it, but the atmosphere is hardly heartwarming. It is very dark, and many shops are closed. Two merchants are closing as they fear a war is about to break out. There are only two other merchants willing to do business.

Galentha's Goods
Galentha's Goods
Galentha is still doing business
Galentha is still doing business
Galentha also fears war is in the air
Galentha also fears war is in the air
Galentha wants the helmet
Galentha wants the helmet
In exchange, Galentha offers a music box...
In exchange, Galentha offers a music box...
...and a couple of candles
...and a couple of candles
The party refuses the trade
The party refuses the trade
The party agrees to the trade
The party agrees to the trade
The party and Galentha run out of things to say
The party and Galentha run out of things to say

North of the entrance, you'll find Galentha (location 12), who is very interested in the magical helm given to you by the innkeeper back in the village, and offers a music box and two candles in exchange. There are a few different ways this can play out, but it's easiest if you agree to the trade.

Ssar Tarell's shop has a misspelt sign
Ssar Tarell's shop has a misspelt sign
Ssar Tarell in her shop
Ssar Tarell in her shop
Ssar Tarell has quite a reputation
Ssar Tarell has quite a reputation
Ssar Tarell trades in information
Ssar Tarell trades in information
Ssar Tarell wants to free Maznafein
Ssar Tarell wants to free Maznafein
The party must seek Jalynfein
The party must seek Jalynfein
Ssar Tarell will provide information about the villagers
Ssar Tarell will provide information about the villagers
Leaving the Merchant's Bazaar
Leaving the Merchant's Bazaar

Towards the southeast is Ssar Tarell. She will tell you to seek Jalynfein the Spider Mage, in the Tower of Sorcere. He has a scroll that can free Maznafein from his drider's curse. In return, she is willing to provide information about the captured villagers.

The Tower of Sorcere

Tower Sorcere on the Menzoberranzan city interface
Tower Sorcere on the Menzoberranzan city interface
Map of the Tower of Sorcere
Map of the Tower of Sorcere
A sad-looking guy
A sad-looking guy

After leaving the Merchant's Bazaar the way you came, select "Tower Sorcere" on the Menzoberranzan city interface. This is a small place with distinct red walls and there are a bunch of myrlochar and cloaker lords to fight.

Fighting a myrlochar
Fighting a myrlochar
Perseus remarks about doors that can't be opened
Perseus remarks about doors that can't be opened
The teleporter to the second level
The teleporter to the second level

From the starting location, open the doors in front of you and head north to the teleporter at location 14. The other doors nearby can't be opened, and a party member will point that out as you approach them.

Fighting a cloaker lord
Fighting a cloaker lord
Two mage scrolls near a table
Two mage scrolls near a table
The doors seem to reuse art from the Menzoberranzan city interface
The doors seem to reuse art from the Menzoberranzan city interface

In the second area, there are a few items scattered about the various rooms including mage scrolls of Agannazer's Scorcher, Flame Arrow and Venom Bolt; a wand of Fireballs, and a couple of potions. There are also spinners in each corridor, but unlike those in the Temple of Dumathoin, these will rotate the party slowly.

Some very disturbing art in Jalynfein's room
Some very disturbing art in Jalynfein's room
The little apparata on the table...
The little apparata on the table...
...appear and disappear as you turn
...appear and disappear as you turn
Jalynfein's back
Jalynfein's back
Jalynfein already knows why we're here
Jalynfein already knows why we're here
Perseus wasn't listening
Perseus wasn't listening
Jalynfein wants Galentha's music box
Jalynfein wants Galentha's music box
Maznafein's spirit is trapped in the throne of House Baenre
Maznafein's spirit is trapped in the throne of House Baenre
Jalynfein gives the party a scroll capable of freeing Maznafein
Jalynfein gives the party a scroll capable of freeing Maznafein
The scroll is also capable of cloaking the party
The scroll is also capable of cloaking the party
Jalynfein doesn't care to converse further
Jalynfein doesn't care to converse further

Take the west corridor and talk to Jalynfein (location 4). Exchange the music box you got from Galentha for a mage scroll of Drider Wish. Jalynfein explains that Maznafein's spirit is imprisoned in the throne of House Baenre. The scroll is capable of both freeing Maznafein's spirit and cloaking the party as it enters House Baenre.

By an odd sequence of events, it is possible to ask about the throne of House Baenre before Jalynfein ever mentions it.

The scroll cannot be used directly, so leave the Tower of Sorcere the same way you came. We're going to House Baenre.

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Cutscene: House Baenre

House Baenre on the Menzoberranzan city interface
House Baenre on the Menzoberranzan city interface
The scroll of Drider Wish frees the spirit of Maznafein
The scroll of Drider Wish frees the spirit of Maznafein
Maznafein's spirit leaves the throne of House Baenre
Maznafein's spirit leaves the throne of House Baenre
Maznafein in the Cavern of the Driders
Maznafein in the Cavern of the Driders
Maznafein returns to his normal form
Maznafein returns to his normal form
Matron Baenre, the innkeeper, and a mind flayer
Matron Baenre, the innkeeper, and a mind flayer

With the scroll of Drider Wish in your possession, you can now select House Baenre from the Menzoberranzan city interface. This triggers a cutscene showing the throne room - apparently, the party is able to reach it quickly with the aid of the scroll. After using the scroll, Maznafein's spirit leaves the throne and he returns to his normal Drow form in the Cavern of the Driders.

Upon entering House Baenre, the party moves quickly, hidden from drow eyes by the powers of the Scroll of Drider Wish. As if the scroll has led them to the spot, the adventurers soon reach the throne and activate the scroll. Upon doing this, one imprisoned spirit is seen to escape from the throne. It soars through the Underdark, swiftly reaching Maznafein in the Cavern of the Driders, whereupon the curse of being a drider is removed. Maznafein returns to his normal, drow form.

While in House Baenre, the party witnesses an exchange of words between the Matron Mother of Baenre and the innkeeper, the friend from the surface who bestowed the gift of the Helm upon the party.

It becomes clear that the innkeeper was working for Baenre, his gift no more than a trick, a way to have the party bring the Helm to Menzoberranzan so that he need not take on the risk of transporting so valuable an artifact. By this point it becomes obvious that the Helm is at least one part of the drow artifact known as the Helm of Spiders.

-- Menzoberranzan Cluebook

I would never have guessed that that thing was Maznafein's spirit until I read about it in the cluebook.
Matron Baenre wants the Helm of Spiders
Matron Baenre wants the Helm of Spiders
The helm was sent to Matron Baenre in the hands of "fools"
The helm was sent to Matron Baenre in the hands of "fools"
Matron Baenre exudes confidence
Matron Baenre exudes confidence
The innkeeper notes that the party should have the helm
The innkeeper notes that the party should have the helm
But the party is not carrying the helm
But the party is not carrying the helm
The innkeeper is an obedient sort
The innkeeper is an obedient sort
Matron Baenre asks the party for the whereabouts of the helm
Matron Baenre asks the party for the whereabouts of the helm
Perseus says the party traded it "for some candles and a music box"
Perseus says the party traded it "for some candles and a music box"
Matron Baenre orders the party to retrieve the helm
Matron Baenre orders the party to retrieve the helm
El Viddenvelp wants the innkeeper
El Viddenvelp wants the innkeeper
Matron Baenre asks El Viddenvelp to be patient
Matron Baenre asks El Viddenvelp to be patient
El Viddenvelp senses "a devious power" nearby
El Viddenvelp senses "a devious power" nearby
Matron Baenre is tired of listening to El Viddenvelp
Matron Baenre is tired of listening to El Viddenvelp
El Viddenvelp kills the innkeeper
El Viddenvelp kills the innkeeper

Once the scroll is consumed, the party is spotted by Matron Baenre. The game transitions into a dialogue involving her, the innkeeper from the beginning of the game, and a mind flayer called El Viddenvelp. It turns out that the innkeeper was working for Matron Baenre all along, and gave you the magical helmet - part of a powerful Drow artifact called the Helm of Spiders - only so that it could be delivered into her hands. The dialogue ends with the death of the innkeeper at the hands of El Viddenvelp, just as the latter senses a mysterious force at work nearby.

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Cutscene: The Stealthy Assassin

An assassin slips out of Galentha's tent
An assassin slips out of Galentha's tent
The party follows through the hole in the tent
The party follows through the hole in the tent
The assassin flees past the tents of the Bazaar
The assassin flees past the tents of the Bazaar
The assassin goes through a tunnel
The assassin goes through a tunnel
Barely visible House Do'Urden glyphs
Barely visible House Do'Urden glyphs
The assassin levitates to House Do'Urden
The assassin levitates to House Do'Urden

Go back to the Merchant's Bazaar. As you approach Galentha's Goods, you understand what "devious power" El Viddenvelp sensed: Galentha lies dead on the floor of his store, and you see a dark figure slip out of the tent, presumably with the helm. A cutscene shows the assassin fleeing past the tents of the Merchant's Bazaar with the party in hot pursuit. The assassin leaves through a tunnel and "reaches the safety of House Do'Urden".

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Becoming Drow

The Merchant's Bazaar

They fixed the hole in Galentha's tent really quickly
They fixed the hole in Galentha's tent really quickly
Maznafein stands beside Ssar Tarell
Maznafein stands beside Ssar Tarell
The party likes to ask stupid questions
The party likes to ask stupid questions
The villagers and Drizzt are at House Do'Urden
The villagers and Drizzt are at House Do'Urden
Ssar Tarell directs the party to House Fey-Branche
Ssar Tarell directs the party to House Fey-Branche

After the cutscene, you're back at the Menzoberranzan city interface. Return to the Merchant's Bazaar and revisit Ssar Tarell. Maznafein is already by her side, and tells you the villagers and Drizzt are both held captive at House Do'Urden. Given that the Helm of Spiders is also there, the destination is at this point clear.

The question is how to get in. For this purpose, Ssar Tarell advises you to "seek out Grumsznar, the House Fey Branche wizard".

House Fey-Branche

House Fey-Branche on the Menzoberranzan city interface
House Fey-Branche on the Menzoberranzan city interface
Map of House Fey-Branche
Map of House Fey-Branche
This guard just stands there
This guard just stands there
This yochlol doesn't attack... yet
This yochlol doesn't attack... yet
Perseus tries diplomacy with the yochlol
Perseus tries diplomacy with the yochlol
The yochlol doesn't think you'll live to see the war
The yochlol doesn't think you'll live to see the war
Enchant your weapons to +3 or use Spiritual Hammer to hit the yochlol
Enchant your weapons to +3 or use Spiritual Hammer to hit the yochlol
A myrlochar jumps at the party
A myrlochar jumps at the party
A Drow priestess slaps Manahath in the face
A Drow priestess slaps Manahath in the face

Leave the Bazaar and head for House Fey-Branche, where you'll find several night hunters and myrlochar, as well as a Drow priestess and a yochlol who attacks whether you talk or fight. The yochlol can only be harmed by weapons that are +3 or better, and there aren't any in the game except for Drizzt's scimitars (which are gone by this point). However, you can cast Enchant Weapon to raise some of your weapons to +3, or use spells like Spiritual Hammer to effectively dispatch the yochlol.

Grumsznar holds his staff very tightly
Grumsznar holds his staff very tightly
Grumsznar mentions something about a gem
Grumsznar mentions something about a gem
He thinks you could be a useful diversion
He thinks you could be a useful diversion
He directs you to Rizzen Do'Urden at one of the taverns
He directs you to Rizzen Do'Urden at one of the taverns
He wants you to distract House Do'Urden and retrieve the helm
He wants you to distract House Do'Urden and retrieve the helm
Grumsznar works his magic
Grumsznar works his magic
The party are transformed into Drow
The party are transformed into Drow
The illusion will "last for quite some time"
The illusion will "last for quite some time"
Drow-Perseus wants to ask Ssar Tarell about the gem
Drow-Perseus wants to ask Ssar Tarell about the gem
Another of those tables with glitchy apparata
Another of those tables with glitchy apparata
Grumsznar dismisses the party as he would an unwelcome ex
Grumsznar dismisses the party as he would an unwelcome ex

The only important thing to do in this place is to talk to Grumsznar, who can be found in a southwestern room (location 4). He is reluctant to help the party, but recognises that its intervention can aid in "House Fey-Branche's struggle against House Do'Urden".

The Gem of Lolth

Ssar Tarell is reluctant to help
Ssar Tarell is reluctant to help
Ssar Tarell opens a portal to Vermulean
Ssar Tarell opens a portal to Vermulean
Vermulean identifies the Gem of Lolth
Vermulean identifies the Gem of Lolth
The gem is to be kept handy until the helm is recovered
The gem is to be kept handy until the helm is recovered

Return to Ssar Tarell at the Merchant's Bazaar once again and ask her to contact Vermulean. He identifies one of the Gems of Infravision as the Gem of Lolth. It cannot be used as-is, but, as a party member remarks, needs to be kept handy until the Helm of Spiders is recovered.

If the party has dropped all Gems of Infravision, the dialogue makes no sense but the party still acquires the Gem of Lolth. The dialogue options with Ssar Tarell remain available, so this sequence can be carried out multiple times, but the Gem of Lolth is only acquired the first time. This entire sequence is optional, as the Gem of Lolth is not required to complete the game.

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Jarlaxle's Necklace

Carpathian's Tavern

Carpathian's Tavern on the Menzoberranzan city interface
Carpathian's Tavern on the Menzoberranzan city interface
Map of Carpathian's Tavern
Map of Carpathian's Tavern
The door - click to open
The door - click to open
A Drow banner
A Drow banner
What has she done to end up in the corner like that?
What has she done to end up in the corner like that?
The sign of Carpathian's tavern
The sign of Carpathian's tavern
Close-up of the sign
Close-up of the sign
The bar
The bar

Leave the Bazaar and go to Carpathian's Tavern. Open the door by clicking on it directly, and if you want, you can click on the tavern sign to see a close-up view of it.

Meeting Rizzen Do'Urden
Meeting Rizzen Do'Urden
Rizzen reacts to the word "Sanctuary"
Rizzen reacts to the word "Sanctuary"
Rizzen has his own agenda
Rizzen has his own agenda
He thinks House Fey-Branche will defeat House Do'Urden
He thinks House Fey-Branche will defeat House Do'Urden
Rizzen provides a map of House Do'Urden...
Rizzen provides a map of House Do'Urden...
...as well as the password and directions
...as well as the password and directions
He directs the party to Jarlaxle
He directs the party to Jarlaxle
Rizzen explains the role of the Helm of Spiders
Rizzen explains the role of the Helm of Spiders
The map of House Do'Urden
The map of House Do'Urden

Talk to Rizzen Do'Urden (location 3) in the back room.

The Helm of Spiders holds a spider crest, which you have not seen. When the Gem of Lolth is placed upon the crest, and the crest upon the helmet, the entire device might give one House power over all others. That is, were it in the possession of a High Priestess. Yet even in its present state, it will have powers enough to get you out alive.

-- Rizzen Do'Urden

Gollvelius' Tavern

Gollvelius' Tavern on the Menzoberranzan city interface
Gollvelius' Tavern on the Menzoberranzan city interface
Map of Gollvelius' Tavern
Map of Gollvelius' Tavern
Close-up of Gollvelius' Tavern sign
Close-up of Gollvelius' Tavern sign
The bar
The bar
One of the tavern signs
One of the tavern signs

Rizzen didn't tell you where to look for Jarlaxle, but you'll find him at Gollvelius' Tavern. Similar to Carpathian's, you click on the door to open it, and there isn't much to do but you can interact with the tavern signs (four of them) to see a close-up.

Jarlaxle is looking fancy
Jarlaxle is looking fancy
He thinks highly of himself despite his attire
He thinks highly of himself despite his attire
The fetch quest is strong with this one
The fetch quest is strong with this one
Jarlaxle wants a golden necklace
Jarlaxle wants a golden necklace
Three Drow Houses want the Helm of Spiders
Three Drow Houses want the Helm of Spiders

Speak to Jarlaxle (location 4), who is willing to provide House Do'Urden Insignia if you bring him a golden necklace from one of the Mantle Caverns. He also elaborates on the conflict between Drow Houses, pointing out that House Baenre is also competing for possession of the Helm of Spiders along with House Do'Urden and House Fey-Branche.

Mantle Cavern Two

Mantle Cavern Two on the Menzoberranzan city interface
Mantle Cavern Two on the Menzoberranzan city interface
Map of Mantle Cavern Two
Map of Mantle Cavern Two
A mace +2 lies on the floor
A mace +2 lies on the floor

In the Menzoberranzan city interface, you can now access the two Mantle Caverns in the northwest and northeast corners. The first one you need to visit is Mantle Cavern Two, which is the one in the northwest corner.

The order of the Mantle Caverns must have caused significant confusion, because the game's readme file notes that the manual has them in the wrong locations.
A wand of Fireballs and a chest containing Jarlaxle's necklace
A wand of Fireballs and a chest containing Jarlaxle's necklace
It's a pretty necklace
It's a pretty necklace
Drow fighters who line up...
Drow fighters who line up...
...get roasted
...get roasted
A throwing knife and a ring of Wizardry
A throwing knife and a ring of Wizardry
More Level 3 mage spells with the ring of Wizardry
More Level 3 mage spells with the ring of Wizardry
Adamantite chain mail +2
Adamantite chain mail +2
Light pellets?
Light pellets?
A night hunter illuminated by Faerie Fire
A night hunter illuminated by Faerie Fire

In Mantle Cavern Two you'll find night hunters and Drow fighters, which do not pose a significant threat. Jarlaxle's necklace lies in a chest (location 6) behind an illusionary wall (location 7) a short distance southeast from the entrance.

A cleric scroll of Heal
A cleric scroll of Heal
Borenorak just did a Michael Jackson
Borenorak just did a Michael Jackson
The light of Narbondel is a bit dim today
The light of Narbondel is a bit dim today
Vlakverdling lost his poison and Drow disguise
Vlakverdling lost his poison and Drow disguise
The guards aren't quite earning their pay
The guards aren't quite earning their pay
If you have Borenorak or Vlakverdling in the party and haven't cured them yet, you can use the cleric scroll of Heal (location 16) in the southeastern part to cure their Aboleth Disease or poison, respectively. At this point though, the change in their appearance also has the effect of disabling their Drow disguise. This has no effect on the rest of the game, as even the guards at House Do'Urden are later quite happy to welcome dwarves and gnomes, and perhaps even Hobbits too! On the other hand, Vlakverdling is cured from poison but retains his Drow disguise if you use the Myconid fungus at this late stage in the game. Curing Borenorak with the Heal scroll does not trigger the dialogue and animation that occurs when he drinks from the fountain.

Exploring the cave, you'll also find a number of magical items, including a wand of Fireballs (location 5), a mace +2 (location 4), a two-handed sword +2 (location 9), an adamantite chain mail +2 (location 10, AC 7 bonus), and an axe of Hurling +1 (location 14). Most of these are comparable to items you've come across before, but the biggest prize has got to be the ring of Wizardry (location 2), which doubles the number of level 3 spells a mage can cast (e.g. more Haste, Lightning Bolt or Fireball spells).

There is also a pouch with four light pellets. I'm not sure what they're for. The only effects they seem to have are to add a little illumination to the area around them and to make me hungry when I look at them.

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House Do'Urden Insignia

Gollvelius' Tavern

Jarlaxle works for House Baenre
Jarlaxle works for House Baenre
Jarlaxle does not have the insignia
Jarlaxle does not have the insignia
A Drow patrol has the insignia
A Drow patrol has the insignia

Return to Gollvelius' Tavern and revisit Jarlaxle. He does not have the House Do'Urden Insignia with him, but tells you where you can find them: in the Mantle Cavern northeast of Menzoberranzan, in the possession of a Drow patrol.

Mantle Cavern One

Mantle Cavern One on the Menzoberranzan city interface
Mantle Cavern One on the Menzoberranzan city interface
Map of Mantle Cavern One
Map of Mantle Cavern One
Vonar whacks a roper hard
Vonar whacks a roper hard
Drow fighters attack
Drow fighters attack
A drider can't keep up with the party's blows
A drider can't keep up with the party's blows
A Drow priestess awaits not far from the roper
A Drow priestess awaits not far from the roper

From the Menzoberranzan city interface, select the Mantle Cavern in the northeast corner, which is Mantle Cavern One. Unlike Mantle Cavern Two, this one is fraught with driders and Drow fighters, and you will even find a roper and a Drow priestess in the northwest section. So be careful, because it's easy to lose a party member to fireballs and lightning bolts.

Three members of the Drow patrol
Three members of the Drow patrol
They drop House Do'Urden Insignia when killed
They drop House Do'Urden Insignia when killed
Four House Do'Urden Insignia
Four House Do'Urden Insignia

You'll find the Drow patrol near the southwest corner of the map (near location 5). It consists of four Drow fighters who are easily dispatched, and they each drop House Do'Urden Insignia when they die. If you can't see the insignia, take a step backwards because they will likely be right underneath you. Make sure to get all four.

The Drow patrol is present only if you've given Jarlaxle his necklace.
Whenever you use a javelin of Lightning at close range to take down an enemy that would normally drop an item when killed, either the javelin or the item is dropped, but not both. This bug, reported by gibberishh, is a showstopper in the case of the Drow patrol, since the party is unable to finish the game if any of the members of the Drow patrol does not drop its insignia.
Plate mail +2
Plate mail +2
Two sixth-level mage scrolls
Two sixth-level mage scrolls
Vonar is a savage with a two-handed sword +2
Vonar is a savage with a two-handed sword +2
Tricinia's Gauntlets
Tricinia's Gauntlets
A long sword +2 and a potion of Extra Healing
A long sword +2 and a potion of Extra Healing
A red candle
A red candle

If you want to explore the rest of the level, there are a few goodies you can get your hands on. Use the tunnels to get through walled sections quickly, and use the illusionary wall at location 10 to circle back to the entrance.

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House Do'Urden Commoners' Area

House Do'Urden Commoners' Area on the Menzoberranzan city interface
House Do'Urden Commoners' Area on the Menzoberranzan city interface
Map of House Do'Urden Commoners' Area
Map of House Do'Urden Commoners' Area
The entrance is strangely split in two
The entrance is strangely split in two

Once you have the House Do'Urden Insignia, you can leave Mantle Cavern One and go directly to House Do'Urden, which is on the west edge of the Menzoberranzan city interface.

As Rizzen Do'Urden's map indicated, you start on the east side of the Commoners' Area. This level is split into layers, and you need to find a key for each. You'll mostly find bug bears and uropygi, with a shrieker and an ochre jelly behind illusionary walls, so no real threats as long as you can cure poison.

The guards at the entrance
The guards at the entrance
Perseus recites the password
Perseus recites the password
The guards stand aside
The guards stand aside

Talk to the guards at the entrance. By now you have the password from Rizzen Do'Urden, so they'll let you pass.

A massive door
A massive door
A room with columns
A room with columns
Looking and dressing the part
Looking and dressing the part
Bug bears approach the slaughterhouse
Bug bears approach the slaughterhouse
A shrieker and a chest
A shrieker and a chest
The chest contains a ring of Wizardry and a long sword +1
The chest contains a ring of Wizardry and a long sword +1

The room to the north contains a few items, but nothing special - even the cool Drow adamantite armour provides only an AC 5 bonus. In a room further north, if you go through an illusionary wall (location 26) and press a button (location 25), the west wall (location 24) disappears, revealing a shrieker and a chest. The chest contains a ring of Wizardry and a long sword +1.

These locks will not be picked
These locks will not be picked
Blasting bug bears with fire
Blasting bug bears with fire
The gold key with red gem
The gold key with red gem
Fooling around with the Levitate spell
Fooling around with the Levitate spell
A door with a red and gold lock
A door with a red and gold lock
All the bug bears are little more than a distraction
All the bug bears are little more than a distraction
The gold key with green gem
The gold key with green gem
Unlocking a door with the gold key with green gem
Unlocking a door with the gold key with green gem

Once you get the gold key with red gem (location 22), you'll be able to get past the first set of locked doors and access the western half of the level. Then, go for the gold key with green gem (location 14) to get past the second set of locked doors.

An ochre jelly... *yawn*
An ochre jelly... *yawn*
The white circle key
The white circle key

Use the gold key with green gem to unlock the northwestern locked door (via location 4). In the northwestern room, there's an illusionary wall in the west wall where you'll find an ochre jelly and the white circle key.

The guards in front of the villagers' prison
The guards in front of the villagers' prison
A guard says Matron Malice has the key
A guard says Matron Malice has the key
He also says Drizzt will be sacrificed to Lolth
He also says Drizzt will be sacrificed to Lolth
Find Drizzt and the Helm of Spiders
Find Drizzt and the Helm of Spiders
Can't see anything through the barred window
Can't see anything through the barred window

Head back south along the corridor and unlock the southwestern door (via location 8) with the same gold key with green gem. Here, you'll find two guards in front of the prison where the villagers are being held. They won't allow access, saying that "Matron Malice herself has the key", and that Drizzt will soon be sacrificed to Lolth.

Unlocking the door with the white circle key
Unlocking the door with the white circle key
The glitchy doors leading to the Nobles' Area
The glitchy doors leading to the Nobles' Area

There's nothing you can do about it at this point, and a party member suggests returning after finding Drizzt and the Helm of Spiders. Proceed west and unlock the door at the end of the corridor with the white circle key. In the next room, go through the doors to the west to access House Do'Urden Nobles' Area, Level 1.

Rizzen Do'Urden's map indicates that you need to levitate to the Nobles' Area, but there's no need to. It might be implied.

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House Do'Urden Nobles' Area, Level 1 (East Side)

The dining room
The dining room
Map of House Do'Urden Nobles' Area, Level 1 (East Side)
Map of House Do'Urden Nobles' Area, Level 1 (East Side)
Another of those creepy Drow ladies
Another of those creepy Drow ladies
Guards bar entry through this important door
Guards bar entry through this important door
Rizzen's key is required
Rizzen's key is required
The party must find Rizzen
The party must find Rizzen

West of the entrance, you find a couple of guards who block further progress, as a key from Rizzen Do'Urden is required. A party member remarks that he has likely returned to House Do'Urden by now, so the party should find him.

The levers on this level have some notable details
The levers on this level have some notable details
Drizzt's parchment lies on the floor
Drizzt's parchment lies on the floor
Drizzt's parchment (contents)
Drizzt's parchment (contents)

In a northeastern room, you'll find another parchment (location 3) written by Drizzt. In it, he shares his concern that the Drow were really after him, and captured the villagers out of spite when they couldn't find him.

The teleporter to the next level
The teleporter to the next level

There isn't much else to do on this level until you find Rizzen, so take the teleporter to House Do'Urden Nobles' Area, Level 2 (location 4).

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House Do'Urden Nobles' Area, Level 2

The door at the west end can't be opened
The door at the west end can't be opened
Map of House Do'Urden Nobles' Area, Level 2
Map of House Do'Urden Nobles' Area, Level 2
The impassable door at the west end
The impassable door at the west end
A mage scroll near a dining table
A mage scroll near a dining table
Fighting uropygi
Fighting uropygi

Just south of the starting location, there's a long hallway running west to east. The door at the west end is inaccessible, and there is no direct access to the region south of the hall. From the starting location, go either north or south, making your way towards the northwest end of the level, fighting uropygi as you go along.

There are a few items in the area including a mage scroll of Spidercloak Armor (location 24), Drow adamantite armour +2 (location 19, AC 7 bonus) and a dagger of Throwing +2 (location 8).

A Drow priestess behind a column in the next room
A Drow priestess behind a column in the next room
Lightning bolts don't go through illusionary walls
Lightning bolts don't go through illusionary walls
The other Drow priestess
The other Drow priestess
A music box of Healing
A music box of Healing
Killing the first Drow priestess
Killing the first Drow priestess
Trading blows with the second Drow priestess
Trading blows with the second Drow priestess
A wand of Frost
A wand of Frost
The invisible teleporter in the northwest corner
The invisible teleporter in the northwest corner

Eventually you come to a room with two illusionary walls. There is a music box of Healing (similar to the one you got from Galentha earlier) and a potion of Speed behind the one in the north wall (location 7). The illusionary wall in the west wall leads to a room with two Drow priestesses, a wand of Frost (location 3), and a teleporter (location 2) in the northwest corner. If you cast True Seeing, you can see the priestesses through the illusionary wall as they hurl lightning bolts, and can charge at them quickly before they have the chance to decimate the party.

The button on the south wall
The button on the south wall
A mage scroll of Flame Arrow
A mage scroll of Flame Arrow
Fighting two myrlochar
Fighting two myrlochar

The invisible teleporter in the northwest corner takes you to the southeast corner of the level (location 27), in an area built of roughly hewn walls. Use the button (location 26) on the south wall to open the door and leave the room.

This button opens the door up ahead
This button opens the door up ahead
"Look, there upon the table: the Helm of Spiders!"
"Look, there upon the table: the Helm of Spiders!"
I can't see anything in the darkness
I can't see anything in the darkness

Head west, fighting through myrlochar, towards the southwestern part of the level. There's a door opened by a button (location 16) a bit further behind, so it's easy to miss. Head through the illusionary wall (location 15) and, as you turn north, a party member notes the Helm of Spiders on a table ahead.

"The Helm of Spiders has vanished!"
"The Helm of Spiders has vanished!"
Rizzen Do'Urden ambushes the party
Rizzen Do'Urden ambushes the party
Rizzen could have brought more people
Rizzen could have brought more people
A chest and an invisible teleporter ahead
A chest and an invisible teleporter ahead
The chest contains everything we need
The chest contains everything we need
Two Helms of Spiders, thanks to the bag trick
Two Helms of Spiders, thanks to the bag trick

As you approach the Helm, it disappears, and you are ambushed from behind by Rizzen Do'Urden and two Drow fighters. Kill them and head through an illusionary east wall (location 12), behind which is a chest containing both the Helm (of Spiders) and a gold key with black gem.

According to the cluebook, Rizzen Do'Urden delivers a speech as he attacks, intending to prove his usefulness to House Do'Urden by thwarting you, an "attack by House Fey Branche". This conversation never happened in my game, nor was there a priestess as the cluebook mentions.
If you used the bag trick to keep the helm while trading with Galentha, you may now have ended up with two Helms of Spiders!
Combining the Helm and the Gem of Lolth
Combining the Helm and the Gem of Lolth
The complete Helm of Spiders
The complete Helm of Spiders
Gust of Wind and the way back
Gust of Wind and the way back

Now that the helm with the crest has returned into your possession, and you also have the Gem of Lolth, you can combine them to complete the Helm of Spiders. On top of the AC 2 bonus and the Immunity to Poison and Lightning Bolt abilities we've seen before, the addition of the Gem of Lolth also grants the wearer the ability to cast Gust of Wind and Charm Drow. It's easy to miss these among the heap of Drow abilities you already have.

The cluebook doesn't mention the Charm Drow spell at all. The manual contradicts how it is used in the game. And it doesn't seem to work.

Take another step east (location 14) of the chest and you'll be teleported to location 22. The entrance (location 1) is nearby, so head back to House Do'Urden Nobles' Area, Level 1 the same way you came.

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House Do'Urden Nobles' Area, Level 1 (Main Level)

Opening the door with the gold key with black gem
Opening the door with the gold key with black gem
Map of House Do'Urden Nobles' Area, Level 1 (Main Level)
Map of House Do'Urden Nobles' Area, Level 1 (Main Level)
Several Drow fighters attack
Several Drow fighters attack

Make your way around the corner to the door that was blocked by guards (location 15). The guards are gone, and you can now use your newly acquired gold key with black gem to open the door. Drow fighters attack as you go through, and there are several others throughout this level. Be prepared to also face a few shriekers and a handful of Drow priestesses.

The candelabra looks like an upside-down fountain
The candelabra looks like an upside-down fountain
A gold and blue lock
A gold and blue lock
Two shriekers
Two shriekers
The variety of doors in this game is impressive
The variety of doors in this game is impressive
The gold circle key
The gold circle key
Colourful artwork
Colourful artwork

Head south and then west, towards the southwestern part of the level. Take the gold circle key from location 24, then pick up Drizzt's scimitars (locations 12 and 13) and a javelin of Lightning (location 14) in the next room.

Drizzt's scimitars are lying on the floor
Drizzt's scimitars are lying on the floor
Arming my fighters with scimitars
Arming my fighters with scimitars
Two sets of Drizzt's scimitars, but this is practically cheating
Two sets of Drizzt's scimitars, but this is practically cheating
More Drow fighters attack the party
More Drow fighters attack the party
Someone put this lever high up
Someone put this lever high up
A useless figurine
A useless figurine
Two Drow priestesses
Two Drow priestesses

The main part of the level doesn't have much worthy of note. There's a figurine (location 18) in a northern room that seems just as useless as those found in the Temple of Dumathoin, and there are a couple of Drow priestesses (location 20) in a room.

Some healing items spread out on the floor
Some healing items spread out on the floor
Cleric scrolls and a shrieker past an illusionary wall
Cleric scrolls and a shrieker past an illusionary wall
A key, a wand and a ring
A key, a wand and a ring

Go around the locked area (noting the sound of lightning bolts as you approach) and head to the northwestern part of the level. Unlock the door at location 8 with the gold circle key. In this room you'll find a black candle, a couple of potions, and a couple of Keoghtom's ointments.

To the south are cleric scrolls of Cause Critical Wounds and Harm (location 9, fifth and sixth level cleric spells respectively). Just beyond them is an illusionary wall where you'll find a shrieker guarding a ring of Wizardry, a wand of Magic Missiles, and a gold key with blue gem (location 11). In the northwestern room you'll also find a short sword +2 (location 3).

Unlocking the area with blue locks
Unlocking the area with blue locks
Drow fighters make a last stand
Drow fighters make a last stand
Entering the room where Vierna waits
Entering the room where Vierna waits
Vierna and the Drow priestess trade blows with the party
Vierna and the Drow priestess trade blows with the party
The party overcomes Vierna Do'Urden
The party overcomes Vierna Do'Urden
The party heads for the final battle
The party heads for the final battle

You can now use the gold key with blue gem to unlock any of the doors with blue locks (locations 19, 23 and 25) to access the central western area. Kill the Drow fighters and head into the next chamber, where you'll also have to kill Vierna Do'Urden (Drizzt's sister) and a Drow priestess.

Perseus' cleric spells before the final battle
Perseus' cleric spells before the final battle
The party's experience before the final battle
The party's experience before the final battle
Andromeda's mage spells before the final battle
Andromeda's mage spells before the final battle

You can access the final battle via the teleporter in the west wall of this room. Before you go through, be sure to rest, cast any preparatory spells (e.g. Haste, Prayer, etc.) and save.

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Cutscene: Preparing to Sacrifice Drizzt

Malice Do'Urden raises her arms...
Malice Do'Urden raises her arms...
A creature forms on one of the braziers
A creature forms on one of the braziers
"Matron Malice prepares to sacrifice Drizzt."
"Matron Malice prepares to sacrifice Drizzt."
A yochlol watches
A yochlol watches
Things fly out of the yochlol's mouth
Things fly out of the yochlol's mouth

As the party enters the chamber, Drizzt lies bound on top of a sacrificial altar. Matron Malice Do'Urden, his mother, raises her arms, holding a sharp dagger in one of them. A yochlol forms over one of the surrounding braziers and looks on, as things fly out of its mouth.

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House Do'Urden Nobles' Area, Level 1 (Final Battle)

Malice doesn't take the interruption lightly
Malice doesn't take the interruption lightly
The way behind is barred
The way behind is barred
A yochlol lies ahead
A yochlol lies ahead
Blade Barrier quickly tears the yochlol apart
Blade Barrier quickly tears the yochlol apart
The party is under attack from all sides
The party is under attack from all sides
Malice Do'Urden is followed by several myrlochar
Malice Do'Urden is followed by several myrlochar
Malice Do'Urden with columns behind her
Malice Do'Urden with columns behind her
After Malice's death, someone magically enters the chamber
After Malice's death, someone magically enters the chamber
The final Drow priestess
The final Drow priestess

The final battle takes place in the western chamber of House Do'Urden Nobles' Area, Level 1. A yochlol is ahead of you, and there are columns to your left and right, restricting movement. Meanwhile you're a sitting duck, as Malice Do'Urden hurls Lightning Bolts at you from either the east or west (her actual position can change between one game and another). There are also several myrlochar around.

The typical strategy is to take out the yochlol and then go for Malice. Like the other two before it, this yochlol is only vulnerable to magical weapons that are +3 or better (i.e. Drizzt's scimitars as well as any weapons you enchanted up to +3). You can use Spiritual Hammer or Flame Blade, but they are too slow while you're getting hit by Lightning Bolts. Instead, you can use Gust of Wind (ability from the completed Helm of Spiders) as well as Melf's Acid Arrow to take down the yochlol quickly. If you collected the cleric scroll of Blade Barrier, it will tear the yochlol or Malice herself apart in a couple of seconds, but it will also have the same effect on you if you walk into it.

It's also possible to ignore the yochlol completely and reach Malice directly by backtracking towards the entrance and squeezing past the columns.

Once Malice falls, another Drow priestess teleports into the chamber with some Drow fighters, but she's much easier to kill (e.g., with a Lightning Bolt). Once both Malice and the Drow priestess are dead, the game ends.

The cluebook says that the Drow priestess is from House Fey-Branche, and quotes some dialogue from the priestess, but this did not occur while I was playing.

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Cutscene: Endgame

Drizzt directs the party to free the villagers
Drizzt directs the party to free the villagers
Going down a corridor
Going down a corridor
The villagers' prison cell
The villagers' prison cell
"The villagers are freed."
"The villagers are freed."

The party has just saved Drizzt, but he urges the party to quickly free the villagers, offering to "delay any pursuit".

A tunnel to the surface
A tunnel to the surface
"...the way to the surface is quickly found."
"...the way to the surface is quickly found."

Drizzt also helps the party and the villagers make their way back to the surface.

A side view of the village
A side view of the village
An aerial view of the party and villagers being welcomed back
An aerial view of the party and villagers being welcomed back
Another aerial view
Another aerial view
Drizzt thanks the party and rushes off
Drizzt thanks the party and rushes off
House Do'Urden falls
House Do'Urden falls
Lolth, the Spider Queen
Lolth, the Spider Queen
A close-up of Lolth
A close-up of Lolth

The hour has come for me to leave, yet I shall not forget what was done here, nor the acts of courage I witnessed in the Underdark. Until we again walk the same path, farewell.

-- Drizzt Do'Urden

The party and rescued villagers return to the village, where a warm welcome awaits. Drizzt thanks the party and leaves. Meanwhile, in Menzoberranzan, House Do'Urden "falls to its enemies". The cutscene ends with a view of Lolth, the Spider Queen, similar to the cutscene that plays when the party is defeated.

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