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Quarterstaff Level One

Like many other text-based RPGs of the time, Quarterstaff is based around solving puzzles rather than on hack-and-slash or character advancement (leveling). The puzzles are surprisingly complicated, and sometimes stump players for hours or even days. With that foreword, I would recommend only reading this walkthrough if you have already won the game and are looking for secrets, or if you are really stuck somewhere. Once you know how to get through all the puzzles, the game is really pretty simple. If you do nothing but head straight for the end boss, for example, it is possible to beat the game in under an hour!

Although the game does follow a somewhat linear path (you travel from Level One to Level Two, and so on), the exact route you take is variable. As such, this walkthough is not necessarily a step-by-step guide, but a detailed listing of all the important rooms and events.

Not every room is listed in this walkthrough, and this is intentional. There are a number of completely empty rooms, and these are in general not listed.

Cave Entrance

   One of the most important items in the game is found right in the first room! The skeletal remains on the floor are what's left of the last guy the Druid Council duped into entering the tomb, so it's corpse-looting time. The two items you want to take from the remains are the Old Ring and the Bronze Key (it's in the Small Leather Pouch). The Old Ring levitates the wearer, allowing them to avoid the many pits and falling traps in the game. Unfortunately, the ring (like many of the magic items in the game) has a limited lifespan, which diminishes slowly while you wear it. Cautious players (or knowledgeable ones) often choose to only put it on when the situation calls for it.

Passageway Down

   There's not much here. Read the Carved Inscription if you want, and then unlock the door with the Bronze Key.

Quandary

   The first character you meet on your journey, Bruno, is definitely one you want to have join you. He's got 200HP and a really powerful club, and all it takes is a smile and a greeting to get him to follow you to certain death!

Rec Room

   Welcome to the first fight of the game! Both the Chief Torturer and the Druid Guard will attack you almost immediately, so don't waste time with pleasantries. The Druid Guard is wearing the Scarab of Insanity, an important item for Level Two. It's not necessary to wear it yet, but hang on to it for later. The Redwood Staff is a fairly nice Blunt weapon, and I usually give it to Eolene (she's in the next room). The Plain Wooden Chest contains Red Garnets, which are good for bribing later NPCs (like Dirk, Piffer, and Sandra) to join your party, but there's a trick to getting the chest open. This is the first of many instances where the command 'move <object>' is used to open a secret lock or door. Moving the chest will cause it to open, and allow you to collect the Red Garnets. Alternately, you can just smash the chest open with a few well-placed blows! Make sure you open the south door with the Iron Key, and head south into the Guest Room.

Guest Room

   The current 'guest' in the Guest Room is Eolene, an Elven archer who's more than willing to join your party after being imprisoned for who knows how long. Just have Titus (or whoever is the party leader) smile and greet her. As well as archery skills, Eolene is fairly good with Blunt weapons, so give her a backup Blunt weapon.

Long Passage

   This is the first time you come across a type of item you'll definitely want to collect: light sources. The Oily Candle inside Titus' Small Lantern doesn't last forever, and you will eventually need to light a replacement source (yes, be sure not to ditch your flint, matches, etc.). Candles are the best, because you can put them in the lantern and not have to hold them to keep them lit, but torches are the only (and much more common) backup. A character in the dark cannot see descriptions of anything, does not map rooms visited, and does not count as having visited the room for purposes of teleporting back there later. Basically, running around in the dark is a bad thing. Anyway, grab the Resin Torch here, and keep going.

Damp Hall

   Although it isn't necessary to come here, if you're itching for another fight, there's a big ugly Huge Spider here. It isn't much of a challenge, but it causes Poison when it hits so have Eolene ready to pass out doses of her Black Potion.

Banquet Hall

   Another inevitable in Quarterstaff is that characters get hungry and thirsty, and you'll need to keep them supplied with food and drink (otherwise they'll eventually start taking HP damage from Hunger and Thirst!). Although the Small Keg is a little big to carry, have each member of your party drink from it before moving on. There's a secret exit from this room, leading to the Bolt Hall to the west. Just have a character 'move tapestries' to reveal it.

East Alcove

   Another optional fight, the Insane Druid here can actually be recruited too, although the process is a bit tricky (i.e. save your game before attempting it). He wields the Berserker Sword, a quite effective Sharp weapon, if you don't mind the fact that it makes anyone who wields it in battle go crazy and fight to the death! It also kicks that character out of the party, or splits up the party entirely if they were the group leader. In the early fights of the game this isn't a problem, but once better weapons become available you definitely want to ditch the weapon. The trick to recruiting him, however, is to rid him of the weapon. While he's wielding it, the Insane Druid will completely ignore any attempts to greet him, and go to town on the party leader with the Berserker Sword. You can potentially disarm him with the Black Whip, however he will always immediately attempt to re-equip it if it drops.. he'll even steal it from the inventory of one of your party members if you pick it up! The solution? Disarm him, then immediately have a party member wield it themselves! It's best to make Bruno the party leader, and have him use the whip, while Titus spams 'wield berserker' over and over again, in hope that Bruno disarms the Insane Druid that turn. If it takes too long, be prepared to revert.. the Insane Druid will cut through your party pretty quickly. Once you've successfully disarmed him and wielded the sword, quickly exit the room! Have whoever is wielding the Berserker Sword drop it, and then have the party return to the room and perform the usual meet-and-greet to recruit the Insane Druid. It seems to help if you split the party before trying to recruit him.. he randomly chooses a person in the room to join. You can re-create the party after successfully recruiting him, and then go back and get the Berserker Sword safely.

Bolt Hall

   Unless you're really eager to have a character impaled on the spikes below the trapdoor, don't pull the Rusted Lever! Sure, it may sound fun the first time, but just try getting out of the pit afterward when the trapdoor closes back up! Seriously though, the Hidden Lever is the one you want to get to the Bolt Hole. Pull it and get ready for a fast fight in the next room.

Bolt Hole

   The Wild Wizard here has tons of great stuff, and the really anoying habit of teleporting away just before you manage to kill him! He's wearing the Copper Bracers and the Wooden Ring, and he's got a bunch of potions too. If he does read the Old Scroll and teleport away, you can get to him later, but it's probably easier to just revert and try to kill him more quickly. If he does teleport and/or you want to get into the chest in the Treasure Vault, you'll need to grab the Tarnished Key. The exit south will close again during the fight, and the way to open the door from this side is to have a character 'move dresser'.

Shroom Room

   The only thing here is a bunch of edible Mushrooms. Grab them if you like, and move on.

Shrine

   The shrine contains the remains of the last Grand Druid. Definitely swipe the Wax Candle from off the top of the Sepulchre (tomb), and if you're in the mood, do a little grave robbing and open the Sepulchre. To get the goodies on the Grand Druid, you first have to pick him up. This guy is HEAVY. Bruno is the only one who can do it, and you'll have to have him drop practically everything he's carrying to manage the body. Once you have him out, drop the corpse and get looting. The Oak Quarterstaff is one of the most unusual weapons in the game. Not only is it one of the only weapons that does Cold damage, it has a HUGE damage range. I've seen it hit for 2 damage, and I've seen it hit for 63 damage! The only big drawback to the weapon is the fact that it breaks after like 3 hits! There's also one important detail if you do decide to go grave robbing and take anything from the Grand Druid's corpse. Much later in the game, if you still have anything of the Grand Druid's by the time you reach Sandra, she'll be very upset that you have the item. Not only will she refuse to ever join your party, she'll attempt to steal anything of the Grand Druid's from you!

Fountain Room

   Before you stick your hand in the fountain, be prepared for a nasty surprise. The fountain guards its treasures by spitting painful jets of water at whoever tries to grab something! The damage is somewhat variable, but seems to average around 30HP per item you take. The only item of value, however, is the Resist Cold Ring. If you want to get to the Treasure Vault (it's where the Wild Wizard teleported to if you let him get away) then you'll need to drop a couple items into the fountain at specific intervals. Read the section on the Back of Fountain for more details on how to do this.

Back of Fountain

   At first glance, the only thing here is a Protruding Brick. Exciting, huh? Yeah, you can push, kick, move, and hit your head against it all you like, it doesn't do anything. That is, until right after a character drops something into the Fountain back in the Fountain Room. To do this, you'll of course have to split up your group. Leave one character back in the Fountain Room, and bring the other two to the Back of Fountain (don't group these two, though). Have the first character drop an item into the Fountain. The Protruding Brick will momentarily glow green! That's the moment when you can 'push brick' to open a secret passage to the Mud Room. Very important: only have ONE character go north into the Mud Room (leave someone in the Back of Fountain). There are several places where it is possible to get party members stuck permanently (as in, start the game over), and this is the first.

Mud Room

   The Mud Room is empty except for a Muddy Lever, your way into the Treasure Vault. Just pull it and move on (but remember only one character can go).

Treasure Vault East

   If you let the Wild Wizard escape, this is where you will find him. There is also an invisible chest here, which can only be revealed by breaking a vial of dust (found much later) in the room. Fortunately, you can still break it open even without being able to see it! Just type 'break treasure chest' to have your character attempt to break it open. The chest contains the Giant Lizard, a weak but poisonous enemy, but it also contains the absurdly-powerful Staff of Lightning (by far the most powerful weapon in the game, and not even that fragile)! Also in the chest is the Hooded Cloak, which provides good Heat reduction (although Heat reduction is only useful against one enemy in the game). When you are ready to leave the Treasure Vault (visit the Treasure Vault West first), there is a specific sequence to getting out. First, have a character drop an item into the Fountain (Fountain Room) to make the Protruding Brick (Back of Fountain) glow. Second, immediately have a second character push the Brick, and then go north into the Mud Room. Have this character pull the Muddy Lever, and have the character trapped in the Treasure Vault return south (along with the character in the Mud Room) to the Back of Fountain to regroup. These events must be done immediately one after the other, otherwise at least one character will be permanently trapped!

Treasure Vault West

   The rewards for getting into the Treasure Vault can be found here, in the Iron Bound Chest. Unfortunately, only one of the items in the chest has value beyond using to bribe later NPCs: the Little Bag. This bag is really a portal to the Guest Room (where you found Eolene). Any item placed in the bag is instantly transported there, and you can even drop the bag on the ground and have a character 'enter' it to teleport there! Of course, if a character enters the bag, they'll have to make their own way back, because the bag stays in the original room.

Wide Passage

   No, there isn't anything here, but just to the east of here is a big fall, and you might want to prepare. The Old Ring will keep one character from falling (they'll just need to go down to meet up with the rest of the party), and boots will reduce falling damage slightly (characters are only going to take up to 10 damage anyway). When you're ready, head east!

Spiral Death

   Ready for the fall? Yeah, I'm not quite sure how the party could possibly not see the 3ft. hole coming up before running right into it.. but that's Quarterstaff for you. Have the character wearing the Old Ring head down to join the rest of the party in the Gouged Hole (they're lying on the floor stunned).

Gouged Hole

   There's a very interesting item here, the Identify Wand. Part of the game's original copywrite protection device, the wand uses a series of activation words to identify different kinds of items. Regroup once everyone recovers, and head down to Level Two!

6 comments

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  1. Andyzero

    If I recall, there’s an invisible chest in one of the Treasure Vaults. Officially, the way to find it is to break a vial of colored dust from the brine pit from level two while in there. There’s a poisonous lizard inside you have to fight. I don’t remember if it’s the east or the west, though. Once you’ve found it, like other invisible items, if you know the name you can type it out and find it every time without the dust.

  2. Andyzero

    Found it! It’s in Treasure Vault East and it’s literally called a “Treasure Chest”. If you just type “break Treasure Chest” you don’t need to be able to see it.

    I don’t know if there’s a key somewhere, but breaking it reveals a Giant Lizard enemy, a Hooded Cloak and a Staff of Lightning.

    1. Toskk

      Hi Andyzero,

      Awesome, thanks for the tip! ๐Ÿ˜€ I will have to give that one a try, and add it to the walkthrough! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s amazing that people are still finding new stuff out about this game. Did you happen to test all rooms in the game using vials of dust? Or might it work other places too? ๐Ÿ™‚

      Toskk

  3. Andyzero

    Well, there’s the INVISIBLE CHEST in the DUSTY ROOM in Level Three. It has a Heal Wand. (there’s no command for it, you use it as a weapon, but it heals people it hits), a Dusky Potion (teleport), and an Old Dry Torch.

    There’s also an invisible GHOUL inside the STONE SARCOPHAGUS in the CRYPT in Level Three. (You have to enter the Stone Sarcophagus after opening it.) This guy is weird. He does…nothing. There is no result to attacking him unless with Electricity damage, and the Staff of Thunder only has 5 charges, so that won’t do it, and he has a SCROLL OF CALLING that teleports you to the PENTAGRAM ROOM. If I had to guess, I’d say his “job” is to change the PENTAGRAM ROOM somehow once you set a certain flag; like how the WILD WIZARD kidnaps the BLUE BALL after using it and entering the door . What that event is, I don’t know.

  4. Andyzero

    More invisible stuff.

    There are invisible BLOODSTONES in the PLAIN WOODEN CHEST in the TORTURE ROOM at the beginning of the game. (The PLAIN WOODEN CHEST is funny, it doesn’t have a key. You either break it open…or you PUSH it, temporarily opening a secret door in the chest itself.) Easiest way to “see” the BLOODSTONES is just to TIP the PLAIN WOODEN CHEST when it’s open. Every item will be listed as falling into the TORTURE ROOM, even the invisible ones you can’t see. Just type “GET BLOODSTONES” when the PLAIN WOODEN BOX is open or after you’ve tipped it.

    There is an invisible SARDONYX GEM in the IRON BOX in the SENTINEL ROOM.

    These two gems are very good at recruiting DIRK and SANDRA.

    Other secrets.

    Putting the BLACK GEM on the PLINTH in the PLINTH Room will give you a magic mouth message thanking you for returning it, and it asks you to leave and the dwarves will guard Setmoth forever because he’s immortal and nobody could even dream of killing him. Heh. (You can still take the BLACK GEM back.)

    After tons of searching through the code, I have to admit there is no secret room behind the L-Shaped Corridor. The map lies to us. I think it was something planned but never finished.

    Here’s what I did. Examining the code for the L-Shaped Corridor, there IS a code for what usually is a secret door. But switching that from “hidden” to “open” via Cheat Engine doesn’t do anything. It looks like an open door, but walking through it give the walk into a wall message. (You can walk through other secret doors just fine with this method.) I checked every Room Name in the hex code. The only thing I couldn’t account for is a “PROP ROOM” but it has all zeroes, unlike other room data. Then….I checked the location of every item in the game. There were no items in the secret room. I checked the location of every NPC, PC, or Monster in the game. There are none that are in the secret room. I checked to activate that TITUS had visited the PROP ROOM so that teleport potions would let me go there….nothing showed up when TITUS drank the teleport potion.

    1. Toskk

      Hi Andyzero,

      Awesome work and info! Itโ€™s good to finally clear up the question of that hidden room. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks again for all the work on this! ๐Ÿ˜€ Iโ€™ll get those items updated into the walkthrough soon. By chance, are you able to tell what the effect of items is from the code too? Iโ€™d definitely be curious as to the effect of some of the โ€˜magicโ€™ items found in the game that donโ€™t appear to have any outward effect. e.g. the Elven Cloak, The Orc-Faced Brooch, etc.

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