Dungeon branches

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The Dungeon contains many interesting and varied places. Here are some of them:

The Ecumenical Temple

The stairs to the Ecumenical Temple are found in the main dungeon somewhere between levels 4 and 7.

The Temple contains one altar to each god, and is monster-free. This is where most characters should decide which god (if any) they want to worship!

The Orcish Mines

The stairs to the Orcish Mines are found in the main dungeon somewhere between levels 6 and 11.

The Mines are a set of cavernous levels, 4 deep, which are accessed from the main dungeon. The inhabitants are mostly orcs of one kind or another, with a few goblinoids, ogres and trolls thrown in. The Mines are scattered with gold, and you should be able to garner 1,000 gold or so by cleaning the Mines out.

Watch for Orcish Priests: their Smiting attack can quickly kill you, especially if there are several in view. Lower down, you may meet Orcish Sorcerors who are powerful spellcasters and should be respected, especially if you are low level.

The Elven Halls

The Elven Halls are accessed from the Orcish Mines on either the third or fourth level.

The Halls are seven levels deep, and are inhabited by bands of deep elves. There are many spellcasters in here, and you are very unwise to venture here without a decent magic resistance. Most of the Halls are relatively uninteresting, although there's always the chance of a shop or two if you're lucky.

The last level of the Halls contains a large treasure chamber in the northwest corner. This is guarded by 20 or so dangerous elvish spellcasters (elvish High Priests, elvish Death Mages and so on). If you can't take on a couple of summoned type '1' demons and a hit from a Crystal Spear then you're probably not beefy enough for this level. There are a lot of good items in the treasure vaults, though.

The Lair

The Lair is accessed from the main dungeon somewhere between levels 8 and 13.

The Lair is ten levels deep, and is populated with 'natural' monsters (rats, snakes, yaks and so on). The deeper levels can be quite dangerous, since creatures such as Black Snakes, Spiny Frogs and Death Yaks show up with increasing frequency and these can all do a lot of damage.

The Lair is mostly useful for experience, for general item-gathering, and for emergency food (since many of the monsters here are edible). It's a happy hunting ground for Necromancers since a great deal of zombie-fodder can be found here. UPDATE: I used to state here that shops could not be found in the Lair: this is apparently no longer true, although I can't say for certain when this changed. Altars have always been findable in the Lair.

The Hive

The Hive is accessed from the main dungeon somewhere between levels 11 and 16.

The Hive is a four-level deep cavernous area populated solely by killer bees and killer bee larvae. It's rather dangerous for those without poison resistance, but relatively easy otherwise. The first three levels are worth searching for shops and loot, but the main prize is the fourth level. There you will find an enormous beehive stuffed full of honeycombs, royal jelly, and killer bees. If you clean this out your food worries will be over for the rest of the game, assuming you can carry it all!

The Slime Pits

The Slime Pits are six levels of pain found 3 to 6 levels down in the Lair.

The Pits are full of jellies, oozes and slimes. Unless your weapons and armour are acid-resistant, expect to have then seriously damaged if you try to fight your way through here. Azure Jellies are also a real hazard unless you have good magic resistance: they can do frightening amounts of cold damage.

The last level of the Pits is an open cavern with four sealed chambers in the centre. The chambers can only be entered by teleportation, and teleport control doesn't work here until the Royal Jelly (found near the centre) is dead. The chambers are worth the pain, however, as there's usually lots of extremely good items here, as well as a decent chance of several Runes.

In general, the Pits aren't worth entering unless you have teleport control. Go through the first five levels as quickly as possible (magic mapping helps greatly here), kill the Royal Jelly swiftly and pop into the treasure chambers to assess your loot. If you can survive the experience this is well worth it!

UPDATE: in the latest versions, the Pits are even nastier, with various Eyes added to the monster list, and Acid Blobs able to spit acid at you. Don't even think about going in here if you're not seriously buff.

The Swamp

Five levels of muck, ooze, flies and swamp with an entrance between levels 2 and 8 of the Lair.

The last level has a chamber containing Swamp Dragons, Swamp Drakes and Hydras, as well as a Rune. This is a relatively easy Rune to obtain, but there's little else of interest to be found in the Swamp.

The Snake Pit

This is where the Nagas live. The entrance is between levels 6 and 7 of the Lair.

The Snake Pit is 5 levels deep, full of snakes of all kinds as well as Nagas, and dangerous (especially if you aren't poison resistant!). The last level contains a Rune (as well as an array of tough Nagas), but little else of interest is to be found here.

The Vaults

The Vaults can be entered from a stairway somewhere between levels 14 and 20 of the dungeon.

The Vaults are eight levels deep, with each level having the city-like layout (open area with lots of rectangular buildings). A wide assortment of creatures can be found in the Vaults, many of them quite dangerous.

The last level of the Vaults has lots of extremely dangerous creatures in addition to the Vault Guards (who are tough). It's very easy to die here, even when you're being cautious and luring creatures one-by-one back up the stairs. Note that you need a fairly full complement of resistances to survive here. Electricity resistance is important: the Titans and Storm Dragons can do 100+ hp damage in a round to non-resistant characters.

As you'd expect from the name, though, there are lots of goodies here: money, great objects and a Rune.

The Crypt

The entrance to the Crypt is found between levels 2 and 5 of the Vault.

The Crypt is maze-like and full of undead. Skeletal Warriors are common here and can pack quite a punch. It can be worth having a poke around in here looking for items, but only if you're confident. The Crypt is five levels deep.

The Tomb

The Tomb can be found on level 2 or 3 of the Crypt.

The Tomb has a fixed layout and is populated by Sphinxes and Mummies. The Sphinxes are dangerous spellcasters, and the Mummies have some very nasty curses which come into effect when you kill them. This level is best tackled by summoned or enslaved help: it's just not worth killing Mummies yourself.

The layout is confusing, but it's possible to get down to the third level (although you have to go up and down a few times to get there). The third level has lots of high-powered Mummies, a Rune, lots of gold, and lots of nice items.

The Hall of Blades

The Hall's entrance is found on level 4 of the Vaults.

The Hall is a single level populated entirely by dancing weapons. It's a good place to pick up an ego weapon of some sort, although you'll have to fight it before you can wield it!

The Labyrinth

Portals to Labyrinths can be found throughout the game. The entrance to the Labyrinth is one-way, the layout is mazelike and confusing, you can't magic map it and you can't remember where you've been. Take the warning about starvation seriously: if you aren't carrying lots of food, don't enter.

At the centre of the Labyrinth, you'll find a Minotaur, a pile of useful items, and the stairs out.

The Abyss

The Abyss can be entered from a portal (found deep in the dungeon, below level 20), or you can be banished there by some monster's spells or some other effects.

The Abyss is a terrible place. You can't map it, you can't remember where you've been, there's little food, the whole area occasionally warps around you, and there are demons all over the place.

The Abyss is survivable, though. The main rule is to keep moving: avoid getting caught up in long fights if you can. Each 'area' of the Abyss is wrap-around, so don't just keep going south or you'll end up in the same place: vary your direction to explore as much of the area as possible before it changes. You should eventually find a portal out (which will take you to the main dungeon level 27), and if you're lucky you might find an Abyssal Rune.

There's a short guide to surviving the Abyss here.


Pandemonium can be entered from portals found in the dungeon, below level 20.

Pandemonium is an endless area of demon-infested waste. Each level of Pandemonium will have several portals to other areas of Pandemonium, but there's no overall plan and you'll never visit the same area twice. There's one chance in 24 per level that you'll find a large vault containing a named demon and a Rune: the named demon may be holding an artifact. Otherwise, each level will hold a small vault which is the home of a type '1' demon: this vault may contain a Rune.

Getting out of Pandemonium can be tricky: keep exploring new levels and eventually you'll find a portal out (about 1 in 20 levels will have such a portal).


Hell can be entered from portals found in the dungeon, below level 20.

On entering Hell you will find yourself in the Vestibule. To go further, you need to kill Geryon and blow the Horn of Geryon. This will open the portals to the four regions of Hell: Dis, Gehenna, Cocytus and Tartarus.

  • Cocytus is full of cold creatures, demons and the undead
  • Tartarus is full of demons and the undead
  • Gehenna is full of demons, fire creatures and the undead
  • Dis is full of demons, iron devils and the undead

The four regions are similar in that no random items are to be found in them (and hence little or no food!). At the bottom of each a named demon is waiting, guarding a rune and possibly an artifact. It's a tough fight to get it, though.


The Realm of Zot can be reached from portals found on dungeon level 27, but only if you have at least three Runes of Zot on you.

The Realms of Zot are full of strange and powerful creatures the likes of which you will not have seen elsewhere. The fifth level holds the goal of your quest: the fabled Orb of Zot! However, it appears that the Orb is guarded...


Copyright (C) Mark Mackey 2001