Arena:Unofficial FAQ

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Contents

What is the latest version?[edit]

Version 1.07.

Where can I get this update?[edit]

See our files section for links to 1.06 and 1.07.

How do I know I have the correct patch?[edit]

You can determine this from the file size and date. Note that times may be off by an hour due to the way Windows handles Daylight Saving Time.

  • For 1.07, ACD.EXE should be 174,429 bytes, dated October 18, 1994, 8:01 PM
  • For 1.06, A.EXE should be 174,021 bytes, dated August 4, 1994, 12:29 PM

I have version 1.07. Do I also need the prior patches?[edit]

No, each patch contains all previous patches.

Are there any things I need to watch out for when I install the patch?[edit]

This depends on the version you are replacing. If you already have 1.05 or higher, then simply copy all of the files out of the patch into the directory where you have Arena.

If you're upgrading from 1.04 or earlier, first get out of the dungeon if you are in one. The requirement is covered in the read.me file included in the update.

How well does the game run with 'X' hardware?[edit]

To some extent, the speed of the CPU is more important than the brand or version. There is a horizontal green bar in the bottom part of the screen when you are examining your character. If you move the green to the left the game runs faster, to the right and it moves slower. This only impacts DEPTH of FIELD. While in a city during clear weather play with this and you will see more buildings at a distance when more of the green is showing, and less when less is showing. When in a dungeon, the depth makes little difference, and playing with the minimum amount of green showing should be fine. If you have a Pentium chip, version 1.06 adds a SLOW DOWN switch for the command line when starting TES: Arena, and it is needed for the faster CPU versions.

You must have 4 MB of ram, and that is a bare minimum. Unless you have 6 or more you will be tight on RAM and not be able to play at the maximum speed your video card, hard drive and CPU are capable of permitting. All three are a factor in the speed at which you can run the game.

Is there a walk-through for Arena?[edit]

No. Arena is a free form game, and can be played in many different ways. At a minimum you must complete the quests that make up the storyline. There are 10 in total: one in a prison, one in each of the eight provinces, and a final one in the Imperial City. In the provinces, each quest has two parts to it. However, you can also investigate dungeons in the countryside, break into houses in the cities and towns, and perform tasks asked of you by NPCs in taverns or by the kings, queens, and other rulers in palaces.

You can also search for various artifacts, which enhance your abilities in various ways. In other words, you can do many different things, depending on your particular preferences.

How many artifacts are there?[edit]

There are a total of 16 different artifacts.

Which artifact is the best?[edit]

This is a matter of opinion. It depends on the type of character you have chosen, and what you want to do. If you can wear armor, then the Ebony Mail might be best. There are rings and other artifacts that improve your armor class, and one which gives you 50 points to distribute among your stats. The best answer is to find them and make your own decision.

I have an artifact. I cannot seem to get another artifact quest. Why?[edit]

While you are holding one artifact, you cannot get another artifact quest. Go to a shop and leave your artifact for repair. If you are told it does not need repair, use it and then immediately leave it for repair. Then go out into the street and get another artifact quest. Once the quest is noted in your log, you can go back and pick up the repaired artifacts and continue on the quest.

How do I get an artifact quest?[edit]

Ask for a general rumor in the street. Pick an NPC and ask 10-20 times. If after 3 or 4 requests you get 'I know nothing' type replies, go to another NPC. Eventually you will get something like "X is at Inn Y trying to sell a map to find artifact Z'... Go to the inn, click on the innkeeper and negotiate with character X. Either pay the fee asked or forget that artifact, and try for a different artifact quest out in the street. Incidentally, if you do not want the particular artifact named, just keep asking the NPC that gave you this artifact seller's location until you are given the name of an artifact you really want. Eventually all of the artifacts you do not currently possess will be named, if you do not go to the named tavern to get the location of the map for one of them.

Do you get to keep artifacts forever?[edit]

Yes, though eventually the item will run out of charges and will disappear, unless you get it repaired first. When you repair an item, it is restored to its original value and starts as if it were new.

Can I get back a lost artifact?[edit]

It goes back into the pool of 16 artifacts, less those you already hold, and can become a quest again.

I cannot find a quest target, where are they?[edit]

If on a mission for a ruler, obtained in a palace, the dungeon usually has two levels, and X is on the lower level. You may have to swim under walls, or go through a tunnel into a room, to find your target. The only time that X is not there is if the date and time are LATER than the date and time the ruler gave you for the end of the mission. You must complete the mission before the end date you are given.

Where is the artifact or the map to the artifact dungeon found?[edit]

If on an artifact quest, the map to the second dungeon will be in a chest somewhere on the lowest level of the dungeon, and it will be a 4 level dungeon. The item might be near the stairs down to the lowest level, or on the opposite side of the dungeon. It might be in a room or out in a hallway, in a dark corridor, etc. You may not see it until you are right on it. It will be there!

How can I change my character's attributes, money, ...?[edit]

Stats and gold are located in the saveengn.xx files, where xx is a value between 00 and 09. When you save a game the box you use determines this number. You need to edit this file to make the changes you want. The file is encrypted so changes are not obvious. Use a editor such as Norton or Central Point's DiskEdit. You must be able to HEX edit.

To give a character 1,000,000,000 GP make the following changes in file SAVEENGN.0x (all values in HEX):

                Offset 41E      18
                Offset 41F      FA
                Offset 420      C4      80
                Offset 421      83      F8

Offset 041F (in the above list) is part of the field for Gold. Change it (without changing the other three) from what it is to CC to get around 65K gold pieces.

Offset 040C is part of the field for Experience. Change it from 48 to 4F to get around 1.28 x 10^11 Experience points. (This will make you in the range of 24-28th level in byte 06)

[Method to use - change 40C to 4F, win fight, distribute points, then change 40C BACK to the original value, and change 006 back too. This CAN be repeated. Each time you will have OVER 100 points to distribute. If you want LESS points, change 40B instead.]

Field covers 4 bytes - 409 to 40C (hex) 409 holds the lowest value and 40C holds the highest value.

Note that you'll get, all at once, the bonus points that comes with the level you become, including improved hitpoints, etc, but may have to fight first.

To give a character more attribute points make the following change (next fight gives the points) in file SAVEENGN.0x (all values in HEX):

                Offset 006      87 (make character level 1)

at the time of the next fight you will get a bunch of points to distribute. The number depends on the difference between level 1 and the character's current level. However, be certain NOT to go to 100 for each attribute, since that will hang the game when the character next gains a level and there is NO place to put the points. Leave at least (6*(26-current level)) points available for distribution. The value in offset 006 will then be at the correct value for the level the character should be at, and the exercise can be repeated.

You should be able to do anything you want if you do this. Someone else might have locations for each of the stats, etc.... If the idea is to increase stats, use the offset 006 change until the values you want to increase are high enough. Allow for normal increases during the game, plus finding of 50 points via one of the artifacts....

Its much easier to edit the spells, since they're kept in clear hex. Use Spellmaker to create a spell that does 1-1 pts of damage, +1-1/level, then look the spell up in the SPELLS.xx file (where xx is the savegame #), and change it to 99-99, + 99-99/level, etc, etc. [see 17 below for details.]

You can also edit the % chance, plus the duration, etc.... You'll also find a couple of new spell effects in here, that probably never got implemented, CAGE and DEATH SPELL. Attempting to use them generally results in disharmonious outcomes... [Advice - Do not try them].

How do you make spells more powerful and cost less?[edit]

The following is extracted from a spellbook to demonstrate the method used to change the value of a purchased spell. [Each line below starts with its offset from the beginning of the file (in hex) and then the 16 hex bytes, followed on the right with the ASCII equivalents.] The values to change all precede the name of the spell. Multiple spells follow on each other and follow the same pattern.

 
                           PCTools DiskEdit
                              Version 9.0

     +0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 +8 +9 +A +B +C +D +E +F   0   4   8   C        
 000 63 00 63 00 63 00 01 00 01 00 63 00 00 00 00 00   c.c.c...c.....    
     ^^    ^^    ^^    **    **    **
 010 01 00 00 00 00 00 01 00 1E 00 01 00 01 00 00 00   ...........    
                             &&    &&    &&
 020 00 00 00 00 00 00 05 00 00 14 0F 0C 00 00 01 00   .............    
 030 00 FF 01 00 72 65 67 65 6E 2F 69 6E 76 2F 68 65   ...regen/inv/he    
           ++ ++
 040 61 6C 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00   al..............    
 050 00 00 00 00 00                                    .....               

Patching spells..... You must use a hexadecimal editor. Examples include the DiskEdit from both Central Point's PCTools and Norton/Symantec's Norton Utilities.

The 63 over each ^^ in the first line above changes the original 01 points to 99 points.

Where the spell has wording such as 1 to 1 points, as heal does, the 63 over the ** in the first line changes it to 99 to 99 points

The values over the &&s is the number of turns between repeats. 1E is equivalent to 30 turns. Change as desired.

The 01 00 over the ++ changes the cost of the spell to 0 spell points.

This pattern using 85 bytes repeats for each spell in a spell book.

32 spells can be added to the spells book, requiring 2720 bytes, which is the size of the SPELLS.xx file, where xx is a value of between 00 and 09, and depends on the saved character's position in the list of saved games.

I cannot get into a room because I keep getting hit by a monster in that room.[edit]

Find another way in! Passwall is a valuable spell for this purpose, and a weapon or armor can be purchased which carries this spell with it. If you are in a part of the tunnel where there is no roof, you can also levitate out. This spell can also be carried with armor or a weapon, and it can also be purchased at a Mages Guild.

What is the best weapon?[edit]

Auriel's Bow is a magical artifact, which is excellent AS A BOW! Even better is an ebony bow, if you can find one in a shop, and can afford it. The difficulty with a bow is that you cannot use a shield, but its like taking a machine gun with unlimited ammo into the dungeon. Just place the cursor on your victim, hold down the right button, and watch the fun.

Also good are an ebony dai-katana, which maximizes hit points, as well as any of the other ebony swords. If you can afford or find an ebony weapon, it is almost impossible to break, and will permit you to open chests and doors where the lock does not open easily, without breaking the sword.

Can I repair artifacts more cheaply?[edit]

One person asked: "I checked my Auriel's Shield into a shop for repair. I'm quite poor right now, so I selected a repair price which gave me a 200-day repair period. Then I checked the status of the job, and the shopkeeper told me to come back in 17 days! Have I just rolled over some number in the item's record so that it doesn't read the right length of time?"

Another person answered: "The number of minutes is kept in an unsigned short, so you should always offer 13 gold to repair an artifact. This gets it done in under 15 hours." Testing shows that this rule still works under version 1.06. The normal price for a 10-day repair for a artifact is 10,000 GP so the above trick saves you a lot of money! If you don't like cheating in this way remember that it takes quite a few days to travel around the different provinces going after the next artifact, so you can save money by leaving the artifact for a longer repair period.

How can I save money from buying spells?[edit]

The Spellmaker also uses (used?) unsigned shorts for spell cost. The player who suggested spending 13 gold for repairing artifacts had this to say about spells: "I got tired of monsters beaming in behind me so I made a Non-Target (with spells) plus light (lasts a little less long) plus spell reflection (the monsters still throw things at a non-target). The spell has a casting cost of zero and makes dungeon exploration much more relaxing. (Be sure to save before playing with this, though. The Spellmaker crashes if too many wraps of the NT spell cost are done. They don't seem to have debugged this feature very well. Once the spell is made it seems to work just fine.)"

He continued: "Legitimate spells can also have a casting cost of zero. For instance, a levitate spell that lasts 1 + 5 per 6 levels has a spell cost of 10, so the casting cost is 5/lev, or zero for a level 6 character. A free heal stamina spell can make swimming less tiring, and free cure spells can be recast until they work. Before I discovered the spell cost wrap, my main spell was a cheap invisible spell (casting cost 1 for a level 8 character)."

What is the minimum I need to do to solve the main quest?[edit]

1st piece: The ruler of Rihad has marked Stonekeep on your map of the province of Hammerfell...

The ruler of Rihad has marked your map to show the dwarven mines of Fang Lair in the province of Hammerfell...

2nd piece: The Mages Guild of Winterhold has marked the Fortress of Ice on your map of Skyrim... The Mages Guild of Winterhold has inscribed your map with the location of the twisted corridors of the Labyrinthian in the province of Skyrim...

3rd piece: The Ruler of Eldenroot has sent you to get a gem called the Heart of Selene, and has marked your map of Valenwood with the location of Selene's Web... The ruler of Eldenroot has inscribed the location of the Elven forests of Elden Grove on your map of the province of Valenwood...

4th piece: According to your map marked by the Mages of Corinth, the Temple of Agamanus lies in Elsweyr... According to your continental map, the forgotten Halls of the Colossus lies in Elsweyr...

5th piece: The Mages of Lillandril have marked on your Summurset Isle map the location of the Temple of the Mad God... Marked on your continental map is the crucible of magic, known as the Crystal Tower, in the province of Summurset Isle...

6th piece: Camlorn's Brotherhood of Seth have marked on your High Rock map the Mines of Khuras... Marked on your continental map are the halls of the dead, the Crypt of Hearts, in High Rock...

7th piece: According to the markings the Conclave of Baal made on your map, the Vaults of Gemin lie in Black Marsh... According to your continental map, the dark forest of Murkwood lies in Black Marsh...

8th piece: The ruler of Ebonheart marked the entrance to the Black Gate on your map of Morrowind... Your continental map shows the entrance to the fire mountain, Dagoth-Ur, to be in Morrowind...

End of Game: Enter Imperial Palace in Imperial City. At lowest level, find what is needed to defeat the BattleMage and get out of palace.

Where is the scroll the queen needs to find the location of the first staff piece?[edit]

You need to look at the continental map, and click on Hammerfell. It looks like a molehill, and is NE of Rihad. Ride there, don't try to walk there... Then find what you are looking for in that dungeon. It will be there, and this FAQ will not tell you where it is in the dungeon.

I can't figure out the answer to some riddle[edit]

Thanks to Rollin Baker, who posted the following on 12 Jul 1994:

First Line/Couplet Answer
Crushed beneath trampling feet GRAPE
Elvish Mithril and Argonian Silver, crumble I can TIME
From the beginning of Eternity, E
I am the architect of this hall THEODORUS
I am twice as old as three times the age of 108
I come out of the earth, I am sold in the market ONION
I daily am in Elsweyr, and in Skyrim, SUN
I run smoother than any rhyme, WATER
I tie and hold, capture and bind, LOVE
I touch your face, I'm in your words, AIR/WIND
If Cell 3 holds worthless brass, Cell 2 holds the gold key CELL 2
In a marble Hall as white as milk, EGG
More beautiful than the face of your God, NOTHING
My second is performed by my first, FOOTSTEP
There is a thing, which nothing is, SHADOW
Two bodies have I, though both joined in one HOURGLASS
What flares up, and does a lot of good MATCH/TORCH
What force and strength cannot get through, KEY
What is neither fish nor flesh, GLOVE
What is the thing which comes in sheets, RAIN

I can't pick up a key from the ground[edit]

Many keys in the game can be very tricky to pick up because they are small and not elevated. Get too close to a key and moving the mouse over it will change your cursor to an arrow to exit. Be too far away and you can't reach it. Make sure to get it centered in your screen; the more centered it is the higher it appears at a given distance. Then make sure to have your cursor as down as possible without turning it into an arrow. After this you're ready to move back and forth making careful effort to pick it up. Note that you actually have to click somewhat lower on the key than it looks like you need to (near the bottom of it). If you can't pick it up then your problem might be where you're clicking, not how far away you are. Don't get discouraged! It is possible, so keep trying!

How come quests don't leave my logbook?[edit]

The logbook keeps the latest 16 entries made into it. After 16 the first scrolls out as a new one is made. If you want to save your log, print it out occasionally or copy log.0x to log.100, log.101, etc., then merge them using the DOS editor, replacing the &* characters with carriage returns and removing duplicates.

If you use Version 1.07, the game will no longer delete any entries from your logbook.

What's with the monsters you find that are in walls?[edit]

Yes, This is a bug, and it is one that Bethesda has not managed to get rid of, although they must have tried, since they suggest they did so in one of the patch read.me files. If you get at a certain angle to them, they will move out of the wall and towards you. Otherwise, they stay there, and you can kill them while they are in the wall.

Any general comments on whether or not the game is any good?[edit]

I personally enjoy the game and the freedom to approach it the way I want to. Other players hate this freedom. On a 486DX2-66 it runs very nicely, and is NOT at all slow or clunky. On a 486DX-33 the level of detail in the distance must be reduced or it does run less smoothly.

I use an OPTICAL mouse and find that works best - no dirty or jumpy mouse ball to foul things up. I also use a trackball when NOT in a dungeon, for convenience with the notebook.

Boring is a state of mind, and depends on what you want from a computer game. I do NOT find it boring at all. There is one overall mission (see #22 above) that has a target and will feed into the sequel planned for 1995, but one can also play for random quests, etc....

It is definitely a game that can be replayed with different types of characters, again and again, to see if one CAN succeed with each of the different types. [Cheating is NOT required - one can win with each type of character, if the correct province is selected, the correct sex is selected, and the required attributes are maximized in the correct order.]

The action is satisfactory, if a bit repetitive, and I would appreciate some refinements here and there, but on the whole I rather like the game....To each his own....

What's with the crashes and bad sound using SoundBlaster emulation?[edit]

You need more free lower RAM - at least 610K out of the lower 640K - the more the better. If using QEMM or something similar, you should be able to get this much. I have over 636,000 bytes free when I start the game.

There is a sample config.cpy=config.sys and bootauto.cpy=autoexec.bat in the arena directory - add your soundboard driver(s) loaded high into this, make sure your mouse driver is there and put on a boot disk for drive A unless you have MSDos 6.22 and can include a specific configuration for this.

Increase the EMS to 2.5 MB or more. It WILL help.

Get ARUPD6.ZIP if you are not running version 1.06. When you exit the game it tells you the exact version if you are running one of the newer versions.

I cannot find the Brotherhood of Seth after the Crystal Piece?[edit]

This was a bug in one of two issued versions of patch 1.04. The buggy version results in the failure to find the Brotherhood of Seth. Version 1.04 was fixed and reissued under the same version number. Then version 1.05 was issued, which fixed a bunch of other problems as well. It also eliminated the bug that permitted the return to a location to get an additional staff piece from it. If you are asked to go to the Brotherhood of Seth and cannot find it, get a more current current version, 1.06 or 1.07.

I cannot see the whole message during the dream scene?[edit]

Just left click your mouse to see the rest of the message.

Where, and what, is the shift gate in the first dungeon?[edit]

It's a shimmering blue hole in the southwestern corner of the dungeon that you must enter to get out; you will know you have found it when you get to it. This is also the location for the doc check. Searching the entire dungeon is probably best, however, since it gives you a rapid way to advance in levels, and find artifacts to use or sell once you are out of the dungeon. Incidentally, the city you exit to depends on the province you chose for your character. You will be in his/her home province.

Do I need to run errands or just try to finish the main quest?[edit]

You need to raise money to get better weapons, armor, potions, etc.

You do not need to run errands to do this. You can wander the countryside outside of the city walls, finding dungeons in the wilderness, and make money that way, by finding it and weapons, armor, etc., and sell these back in the city. Your friend completed an artifact quest. Ask general rumors in the street until someone mentions one of the 16 artifacts, and tells you who to find and where to find him/her. Then go for it, but have enough money to buy the map. If you keep asking for general rumors after the mention of an artifact, eventually a different one will be mentioned. If you do not have any artifacts, and want a specific one, keep asking until it is named. It will NOT be named in at least one province, no matter what you do. Just hope you are not in that province.

If the version in the box is NOT version 1.06, GET THE UPDATE.

The CD version, issued in November 1994, may be a higher version, incidentally. As I do not have it, I do not know. (ed: It is v1.07)

I can't find the xxxxx.[edit]

If a staff piece, there are two searches - first for the map, and then for the artifact. The map is always in the first dungeon, and the artifact is always in the second. Both are in the same province.

If searching for an artifact, there are two searches. The log will show you where the NPC in the tavern wants you to go to find the map. It will be on the lowest level of the dungeon in whatever province you are sent to. Then your log will show you what the map held, and you will need to go to a different province to find the artifact. It too will be in the lowest level of the dungeon you are told to go to.

My friend was told to visit a different location for the same quest.[edit]

The names for every dungeon except those involved in the search for the staff are randomly generated, and the dungeons themselves are also randomly generated. Dungeons are constructed out of pieces which match up for openings and therefore its a little like a construction set, and you can have very different layouts, or the same layout repeated on a floor. Certain levels never have some patterns, however, so that eventually you will figure out what might be the pattern for dungeon level 3 or 1 or 4... The next time you play the game, it will be with different dungeon names, and with the artifacts found in different provinces. The same applies to missions assigned by rulers. The dungeon names change, and the names of the monsters, crooks, Mages, etc., are also randomly generated.

How do you answer the question you get asked when leaving the first dungeon?[edit]

You need the User's Guide, which comes with the Game when you purchase it. In the free download version there is a 'docs' folder which contains all the answers in a passwords.txt file.

What are the differences between the different types of characters?[edit]

All explained in the User's Guide, which comes with the Game when you purchase it. You can also refer to the Character Creation guide.

What are the differences between the different weapons and materials?[edit]

All explained in the User's Guide, which comes with the Game when you purchase it. You can refer to the Base Weapons page.

What are the differences between the different spells?[edit]

All explained in the User's Guide, which comes with the Game when you purchase it. You can also refer to the Magical Effects guide.

What dates are holidays?[edit]

See the Arena Calendar page. Additionally, they are listed in the User's Guide, which comes with the Game when you purchase it.

Does the province I pick for my character matter?[edit]

Yes! It will determine your race. Refer to the Character Creation guide.

How do I use my sword/weapon?[edit]

With the weapon drawn, and while holding the right mouse button, move the mouse icon across the screen. Moving it in different directions will cause different strokes.

The east and west seem to be reversed![edit]

Nirn is not Earth, therefore it doesn't have the same rules.

Sometimes I sell an item and can buy it back for far less![edit]

It is, in my view, a bug. Do not count on it, however, since it only happens with a small group of items.

End of the Game[edit]

One player said: "I feel quite proud of my bug-beating achievement of getting to the final part of Arena, but now that has got me stumped! After getting the 8th staff piece, I have to fight the evil Battlemage, Jagar Tharn, under the Imperial City. However, none of my weapons damage him, and to make matters worse, once I enter his domain, I can't get out. Does anyone know what it takes to kill this guy? Has anyone out there finished this game?"

The simple answer is that you do NOT need to fight the Battlemage. There are four cells around the space he occupies. You need to get into two of them to succeed. It's possible to open these doors with several whacks from a strong weapon like Volendrung if you have no lock picking ability. You also have to get out of one of them, and Tharn will make it difficult. If you do not have the required spells on hand, he might make it impossible! However, the important point is that you do NOT have to fight him. If you are successful, you will exit the Imperial Palace and can save your character for the sequel, due out in 1995. [It was planned for Daggerfall to be able to import saves from Arena; however given the many differences in gameplay and how overpowered this would have been, this was scrapped. You can keep playing doing random quests, though.]

My inventory is filled. Where can I store excess items?[edit]

While you are in a dungeon and remain on one level you can drop items and go back and retrieve them. That is the only situation in which you can 'store' items. Otherwise, you can NOT store excess items. If you drop an item and then go to a different level in a dungeon, or leave a building, etc... the items disappear. You can leave, go to a store, and sell the items you don't want to keep, but the limit on the number of items you can carry is fixed and you cannot exceed it. If your inventory is full, you must drop items you do not want to keep if you want to pick up other items. Generally, drop the items worth the least and pick up the items you want to inspect, look them over, drop those that are worthless, pick up from the first group dropped, and then continue on.

There is one slightly unwieldy trick for storing items. Damage them then check them in to a shop for repair. You can get them back out for whatever price you agreed upon after the repair time has elapsed. HOWEVER, use this with caution! First, you have to keep track of what store you checked the items in at. The game won't. Second, there is a chance that once you have stored enough items in this fashion, the game might start losing them. To check and make sure you still have your 'stored items', simply ask about repair, see if they are there then back out of that option. Do this often.