This is a TOUGH dungeon. The main problem is Apparitions and Terrors. A lot of skeleton warriors and undead infest the place, as well.

The Ruins are central to the Mage Promotion Quest and to the whole endgame sequence.

  • Mage Quest
  • Writ of Fate
  • None
  • None
  • None
  • None
  • Missing hint -- location of Study?
  • Euthanasia Room?
Dealing with Apparitions Apparitions (and terrors) are tough, even for level 30 parties.

However, here's an approach that made them relatively simple to whittle down to size, at least for me!

  • When I took on the Ruins for the mage quest, all my other party members were already promoted. My assassin could wield two weapons (both with stun capabilities!) that gave me a huge advantage against many enemies. My GM ranger with Everstrike could pick off Apparations at a long distance well before they could get close. My Priest had great spells.
  • Wrath of Bugs is a great spell to use. Even better than turn undead. Major-league monsters get confused and you pick them to pieces while they wander around, or swing and miss at you.
Mage Quest
Johannes at the University in Thjorgard sends you here to find the Verhoffin book.

The important parts of this quest are points A and F on the map. In theory, you could complete the mage quest (the Verrhoffin Ruins part) by only going to these rooms.

The key in "A" lets you into the room at "F." You will find "Verrhoffin's Silver Book." Set a Lloyd's Beacon, take it back to Johannes, and he says it's the wrong one, but gives you a key that will get you to the correct one that is "under a floor" and that (Thanks Grep and JohnS) maybe it's in Drangheim.

SPOILER coming!

The key does not open anything in the Ruins. Hmmmmmm.

Remember anywhere along your way where you found a door that should open, but didn't? (Framed in "green.")

Did you notice a brief message onscreen about needing a key?

Maybe in Drangheim?

In the village?

In the corner of a house near the windmill that you can now enter with the key you will see a crack in the floor. Break through, get the book, and see Johannes to become a mage.

Other parts of the ruins At "B" is an important scrap of paper with a sequence of colors.

There is a door at "H" that is barred on the S side. You break the bar to open the door.

Scripting Bug? -- If you leave the Ruins and re-enter, the door at "H" will be barred again, and can no longer be opened.

Open Question: (Euthanasia Room) What is the purpose of the two rooms at C and D? The four switches in "D" lock the entry door and start flood the two rooms. A switch in "C" stops the process and empties the room. Other than assisted suicide, is there a purpose? (You can drown just as easily in the central pools.) Is there another sequence of buttons in "D" that does something? BTW -- until shown otherwise, I suspect these two rooms are an "unfinished" idea. I wonder if this was originally planned to be the way to get to Arslegard? Biohazzard came to the same conclusion.

SPOILER: The colors found at "B" show the correct sequence to step on the pentegram flames.

Writ of fate
The room at "J" and "I" is critical to the endgame. When you have won the capstone of order, you place it on the pedestal at I, turn around and get the Writ off the table behind you.

(Details are in the Dark Passage walkthroughs.)

Warning another serious scripting bug: (Thanks Praetor!) Praetor reports that he "Went to Aslingard" before picking up the writ. Without the Writ, he cannot continue. When he goes back, the writ is no longer there! Worse, the autosave reentering overwrites his chance to restore. Obviously he is dead in the water (a horrible pun to those who have played this part!) at that point.