Redguard:First Time Players

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Welcome to Redguard, the only game of its kind in the Elder Scrolls series of games. This page is intended for First Time Players, but there is always something a veteran player can pick up or may have forgotten.

Redguard is a veritable puzzlebox, most quests are bereft of description leaving you wondering where and what to do next. This page won't solve these puzzles, just point you in the right direction, though some of the more difficult puzzles are solved at the bottom of the page. Starting at the top with the very basic basics, the page will gradually show you how to make your time on Stros M'Kai more enjoyable.

Starting Out[edit]

Spend the first couple of hours or so talking to everybody you can find, to get the background. Remember, you're just off the ship, and you need to get the skinny on just what's going on. Redguard is a "story" that you're living in, so what would be more natural than to find out all you can about the area that you're going to go adventuring in?

When you talk to someone at any given time, talk exhaustively to them. Cover every single topic. Some topics will open up new areas of subtopics, and follow those as well. As you talk to people, they will mention people that you've already talked to. Go back to the person they mentioned — very often what the new person has said will open up new topics of conversation with the people you've already talked to.

Gold[edit]

Gold is really not a problem in this game, in fact given you can carry a maximum of 500 gold pieces, you'll be spending more time figuring out how to spend it than save it. How much gold is it necessary to have at any one time (except for purchases at stores) as you're wandering around? Five or six gold pieces is all that will ever be necessary. And, since you will be finding as much as 400 gold pieces or more in every new area, you will really find it a shame to not be able to pick up a 300 gold-piece treasure, because you already are carrying over 200 gold pieces. But, at the beginning, you've got to get some gold. And you've got to get a map of the island, so you can bring it up with your "M" key, and see where you are.

So, leave the city through the arch at the end of the docks, and walk up the road to the bridge. Keep going, and soon the blacktop will stop, and when you get to an extra-wide place in the sandy road, veer off to your left, and soon you'll see some fog from a foggy little valley. At the bottom of that valley is a cave, in which is a crazed treasure hunter. Attack him, and when you win, you'll find a map of the island on him. Also, in the cave, is a nice little chest of gold and some potions.

Kotaro and the Amulet Quest[edit]

Well, let's get some more gold. Talk to Kotaro, sitting at his table on the dock, and accept his offer. (It's the only one of its kind in the game.) You'll get a hundred gold piece advance, and you don't have to fulfill the mission until much later. In fact, it's a very good idea not to fulfill that mission until much later — at least, don't deliver the amulet to the palace, once you've gotten it, until much later. But you want that hundred gold-piece advance; you can put it to good use. Why isn't it a good idea to return the amulet to the palace, as soon as you've gone to N'Gasta's Isle and found it? Well, because once you deliver it to the palace, you're going to be thrown into the Catacombs, and after you escape from them, every guard in the city and on the whole island, is going to attack you on sight. So you want to have done most of your circles of talking to people, and solving various quests, before you ever want to return the amulet to the palace, once you get it from N'Gasta (unless you really enjoy fighting — and collecting the gold and potions that you get as a result).

Guards[edit]

Now, there are guards in various places around the island, who will attack you on sight anyway, even before you return the amulet. These guards are "off the beaten path" (i.e., the roads going south to Saintsport, and going north to the docks from where you can get the boat to the Isle of N'Gasta). The guards along these roads will not attack you before you've returned the amulet to the Palace. But there are other guards in these out-of-the-way locations who will attack you — and they're tough. However, once you defeat them, they stay dead (unlike the other guards in the city and along the roads, who will respawn every time you enter a building or other place where the game loads a new area).

Items[edit]

Now that you have a map and a couple of hundred gold pieces, go to Gerrick's Goods and buy some items. Buy a compass, a shovel, and some aloe leaves. You get three for fifteen gold pieces. Each one will give you five hundred gold pieces worth of healing potions a little later. You can also buy a few feathers if you want to use the island's fast-travel teleporter system. Wander down the road towards Saintsport. Check out the side canyons. In one you'll find a deserted cabin with some more gold around, plus some potions and an empty glass bottle. If you were to pick up only one thing from that area that would be the glass bottle. There's only one other potion in the cabin that will be of help to you soon. You will be able to get the rest of the potions in the cabin later, when you need them. But if you don't mind them cluttering up your inventory, pick them up now. When you get back to the city, go to the well, and bring up some water. Mix an aloe leaf with the water in the bucket, then fill the glass bottle. It will give you a health potion with 20 uses, which you can take at any time by hitting the "H" key. It's refillable whenever you're around the well (which will be a lot during the course of the game). Potions from this bottle will be used by default before any other potions you have bought or found.

More Exploring[edit]

While you're going towards Saintsport, stop in at the observatory, and talk to Erasmo. He'll give you some valuable information. You can continue on towards Saintsport if you wish. There, there is a crazed treasure hunter, who would have had a map if you didn't have one already, and a lighthouse — which you'll be able to get into somewhat later in the game — and some gold and potions lying around in and around the buildings. But, you might as well go on to there — it's not much further, and there are some interesting things there. Notice the gazebo-like structures. When you get into them, look down and then look up. In the larger one, you'll see a picture. You'll find the same picture in a book which you can read, or even purchase, at J'ffer's Books. Who is the saint? Yes, this gazebo is actually a shrine to a saint. And, who this saint is, and this location, will become extremely important at some later point in the game. And, you can wander to the west, where you'll see a huge, long (remember the "long" — you'll see that term again, applied to "something else" — (or, is it really being applied to this skeleton?))...

The Compass[edit]

Yes, to the west — away from the ocean. "But why does my compass point west to the ocean right there, when my map shows the ocean is to the east???" This goes all the way back to the very first of the Elder Scrolls games, Arena, where the sun was said to rise in the west and set in the east. Anyway...you're just going to have to get used to that backwards compass. When you go to the "west" (the "west" away from the ocean), there'll be more gold lying around by that long, huge skeleton.

Teleporters[edit]

A teleporter in action

Back at Saintsport, the smaller gazebo has an image of a bird engraved in it. You'll find half a dozen of these octagonal bird-symbol plates around the island. Some with gazebos over them, and some without. You would never guess it — but this is one of the island's teleporter stations. If you spent some of your gold for a feather at Gerrick's Goods, and stood on this "plate", facing due north, and equipped a feather, and offered it — you would be teleported (by being transformed into a bird) back to the teleporter in Stros M'Kai. On each teleporter, the "important thing" is the direction you're facing. Note the markings around the edges. Otherwise it's a pleasant walk back to Stros M'Kai.

The Draggin Tale[edit]

When you get back to the city, after talking to Tobias, in the Draggin Tale Inn, practice sword fighting with the three men sitting around the table. You (and they) won't get hurt, but you can work out techniques, and Tobias will give you a health potion when you next talk to him. You can come back here over and over again, and practice your sword fighting, with no damage to anyone. (No matter that Dreekius keeps worrying about the damage to his fixtures. Sure, you may break a bottle or two, but he doesn't charge you for that.)

Orc's Blood Potion[edit]

Now, I mentioned that orc's blood. That is something you can also really use. Go to the Mage's Guild. Read the book on the stand, where it says that orc's blood mixed with pig's sac provides extraordinary strength. (Ignore your thoughts on what a gross mixture this is. Cyrus is going to have to drink it — not you!) Then, go to the nearby shelves, and you will find some pig's sac, which you can "examine". (Hint: any time the game tells you to "examine" something — that almost always means you can do something with it, if you equip the proper item.) Equipping: Hit "I" for Inventory — then move your cursor until you highlight the desired item, and then hit Enter/Return to equip it. Don't forget to re-equip your sword after you've equipped something else. Now that you're through examining the pig's sac — equip your orc's blood flask, and you will have a new option — mix orc's blood with pig's sac. Do so, and drink the mixture. Turn away from the shelf, until the on-screen message says to use or drink it, and then use your "use key" (CTRL) to drink it. You will now have two icons on your screen — the same two (golden shield and silver fist), as if you'd taken both a potion of ironskin and one of strength. Now, turn back towards the shelf, and fill your orc's blood vial once more, so you'll have a potion to take with you. This potion may go bad after a while — if so, drink it anyway, so you'll have room to refill it the next time you're back at the Mage's Guild. Now, in battles, the combination of ironskin potion and strength potion works wonders. You'll take only half the damage, and you'll kill your enemies much faster, so you end up with very little damage to Cyrus.

Isle of N'Gasta[edit]

Well now that you're getting along well, and are getting kinda tired of all this talking, this may be a good time to go to the Isle of N'Gasta and get the amulet. You don't have to deliver it to the palace for quite a while afterwards (and, in fact, it's best not to) — but you'll get quite a bit of gold and potions in fighting those easy-to-kill skeleton warriors. Ignore the zombies — you can't kill them permanently, and they don't have anything on them, anyway. You'll learn quite a bit more from N'Gasta, and when you come back, you can talk some more, and then you are ready for exploring places like the Dwarven mines and the goblin caves. You will get the background for what it is you're going to find there from diverse places, such as the Temple and the Observatory, as well as from many other people around town. The game has many puzzles. Many of them are associated with the people — you want something, and you have to go to someone else, who wants something in return for the item or information. So, you have to keep going around and around.

More Quests[edit]

Get five pieces to the map to the Flask of Lillandril. (Getting them involves solving such puzzles.) The map to the Flask, as you soon learn, has been divided into four quarters — there's also a fifth map that you're going to have to get. Hint: buy all books that may be appropriate. It won't hurt you to buy all of them — you'll soon realize what a pain it is, anyway, to spend all the gold you're picking up — and there's a limit as to the various things that there are for sale. Talk to Gerrick - he can tell you quite a bit about that Rollo guy. And, talk to his parrot - that involves another puzzle to figure out how to get that parrot to open up. Afterwards, talk to the silversmith. Then talk to Lakene. You'll soon find yourself immersed in things to do. Then, talk to the guys in the Bell Tower and the Harbor Tower. Oh — they're telling you about things they want? Be sure to fulfill their wants. It will take a thorough exploration of their places — but a very rewarding one, as you find things like a nice little chest of gold, and other items. Go down the stairs to the basement behind Maiko, the mapmaker. Figure out how to get the guy in there to open up the door and let you come in and talk to him. Go north of town. Talk to the gypsies. It will be quite a while before they will really open up - much later in the game - but you might as well get introduced to them. Talk to the snake charmer. That's another little puzzle in itself, as to how to get his attention - but, he's a street musician... And, what gets the notice of any street musician (as well as his gratitude)? When you're tired of talking to people, go and explore the countryside some more. Even go explore some *major* underground areas. The goblin caves. The Dwarven mines (or Dwarven ruins, as some will refer to it — two names for the same place). The goblin caves? Go to the park. Look up at the waterfall. Notice what looks like a platform near the top? Well, go out of Stros M'Kai through the arch, and up the road to the bridge. From the middle of the bridge, jump into the river towards the city. Notice how I'm avoiding saying "east" and "west"? Swim towards the city. Soon you will plunge over the waterfall, and land on the platform. There's a rope leading down into the goblin caves. *Hint* If you have to jump down a huge drop, a large-enough mushroom can cushion your fall — and even bounce you up again high enough to get somewhere else. And, while you normally can't "steer" Cyrus when he's in the air from a jump, you can if he's bouncing off of something. To get to the Dwarven mines, follow Erasmo's advice at the Observatory. "Go west, young man, go west!" Well, just as Horace Greeley's advice was good over a century ago, when America was opening up, so is Erasmo's, today. Better yet, from the Observatory, go north, until the blacktopping ends on the road. Then, go due west (the "west" that's away from the ocean), towards the large statue you'll see.

Dwarven Mines[edit]

That statue, when you get to it, is facing in the approximate direction of an old road that winds its way up around the mountain in the extreme southwest corner of the map, until it gets to the flat area about halfway up on the south side of the mountain. On the map, you'll see a black spot on the north side of the flat area — that is the entrance to the Dwarven mines. You can't mistake the area, once you get to it — it will have two large doors, and some yellow machinery, and some yellow boxes of Dwarven artifacts, and a sign telling you that this is an Empire Archeological site, and NO TRESPASSING is allowed. And, there will be a bunch of guards who will try to prevent you from exploring further there. Oh - and, by the way, it's a long way to get there. So, go to J'ffer's Books, and buy a book to take along with you to read when you get there. He has one on the Dwarven language and alphabet — highly recommended. It's a long way back to town to go back and get it, if you don't bring it with you.

Jumping[edit]

Running jumps are easy. Just run along, and hit the jump key (or button, depending on your controller device) at the last second. Standing forward jumps are necessary at times. Practice on a large, level, flat, safe area. Hit the jump key/button and the forward arrow/button simultaneously. Practice until you've gotten this down well.

Ropes[edit]

When you're near a rope and want to climb it, hit the forward-arrow key (I'll say "key" from now on, although it might be a button on your controller) and your jump key. Then use your up and down arrow keys to climb up and down the rope.

Swinging Ropes[edit]

Use your down-arrow key to get to the bottom of the rope (Cyrus can't fall off with that key). Use the left and right arrow keys to make him swing. Hold down one until he gets as far as he's going to in that direction, and then switch, and hold down the other arrow key while he's going the other way, to build up his momentum. Switch back and forth as appropriate, until he builds up quite a swing. When he's really swinging wildly, at the end of one of his forward swings, hit the jump key and the forward arrow key, and he'll really sail towards the next rope/ledge/whatever.

Changing Direction on a Rope[edit]

Before you start him swinging, you can use the ALT plus a left- or right-arrow key, to turn him on the rope. You can also use the SHIFT plus a left- or right-arrow key to aim his whole general direction. Anyway - get him lined up with where you want him to jump to, when he's through swinging, and then start the swinging process. Sometimes, if he's got to jump from a rope to a tunnel or a high doorway, you'll have to start him higher on a rope, but other than that, move him all the way to the bottom of the rope before you start him swinging.

Walking Mode[edit]

Well, at some point, after you have done some exploring of various places, you will want to go to the palace and return the amulet. As I said before, after you get out of there, every guard in town and on the island will attack you on sight. But, you will have covered most of the topics you need to with people outside buildings, and when you want to get from one place to another, just trot on by them (if you don't want to attack them) — they can hardly ever hit you while you are running along. One other thing — whenever Cyrus is on dangerous ledges, by lava channels, etc., you can go into "walk mode" by holding down the SHIFT key (or toggling between RUN and WALK modes with your TAB key). Then, Cyrus will not step past any point that's "safe". (Even if it's into a lava river, and his boots look like they're on fire — it's still a safe place.)

Pacing[edit]

At times, you will need to "pace" to find things. Like Iszara's gold. Like the Flask of Lillandril. To "pace", go into walk mode (by toggling with the TAB key, or by holding the SHIFT key down). Then, hold the forward-arrow key down (or whatever its equivalent is on your gamepad, if you are using one), and count the paces as Cyrus walks ahead. Counting by two's is easiest — whenever Cyrus puts his right (or his left) foot down.

Sound and Graphics Problems[edit]

If the speech starts breaking up — save the game and exit. Exit Windows and reboot. Then reload Redguard and your saved game. (That will clear the buffers, which have become filled, and can then cause that staticy speech.) If the game is playing too slowly under software emulation mode, then you'll have to do what I had to do — get a Voodoo II card, and uninstall Redguard, and install it with 3dfx chosen. And, I got some more memory, too — 96 MB of RAM is really about the minimum to run Redguard satisfactorily. Remember — games saved under software emulation mode are not loadable by Redguard installed with the 3dfx mode chosen. Don't mess with the video options — accept whatever installation gives you. I've messed up enough games by changing the video resolution, and had to re-install Redguard afterwards to get it to play acceptably again. If your game crashes on exiting certain areas — or if you find yourself exiting an area and sliding uncontrollably down a hillside, where you get stuck — ask on the board here for a way around it — someone here can generally tell you how to get safely to the next place you should be getting to. If you come to a large dark object in the goblin caves that you can't really make out — light a torch, or turn up your gamma correction (if you find that option available), or turn up your monitor brightness — if you still can't make it out, ask on the board, here, and, again, we can tell you what you need to do there. What's necessary is, on many people's systems, impossible to see, because of the darkness at that point.

Spoilers Below[edit]

Stop hand.png Major Spoilers Follow: (Some "STRONG HINTS and SPOILERS" for difficult areas in the game. Don't read these ahead of time — only when you get stuck on a puzzle, and want some hints. Various sites discussed are prefixed by an all-caps indication of the general area, so you can find a particular area of interest, without having to read hints and spoilers for other areas.) This section covers the game's more difficult problems in the following areas:

Dwarven Mines/Ruins[edit]

When you first enter, you will see two dead explorers, and several "laser traps". Ignore them. Look up, and you will see a cave-like entrance — that's where you have to go. It takes jumping and climbing, and then jumping some more, until Cyrus is hanging from a crack, and can work his way across to where he can drop down to that cave opening. (This process is called "shimmying".) Whenever it looks like you can't go any further in the Dwarven mines — look up. Jump up. (Or, try something different.)

The Beetle puzzle
Oh, boy. This one is tough. I'll give some hints — if they aren't enough, ask for a spoiler walkthrough. General principles of the beetle. The beetle needs to stand up and hold the back chain, to keep the exit open. To change this "beetle transformer" into the proper shape to make it do that, there are four things which have to be unfolded from the beetle:
  • Head assembly
  • Leg assembly
  • Left arm
  • Right arm
Trigger points for the unfoldings:
  1. Head. Those green "pincers" sticking straight up when you first see the beetle. Flip the beetle a couple of times (by standing on the pressure plate between the stakes right by the entrance) so that they go to the back, and go back and jump on the beetle, and then work your way down to where you can step onto one of them. (Alternate —after turning the beetle a couple of times, jump on the back chain, and then jump onto the head, and walk north off of it, to get the head assembly to unfold.)
  2. Legs. Turn the beetle, and go back and jump on the "nose" there with the big green dot on it. (Green is an indication of a trigger point on the beetle.)
  3. Arms. When the legs are down, turn the beetle, so that it stands up. Then go up to the sides and jump to the little green "plates" sticking out of its sides, extending almost to the side walkways.
Once they are unfolded, then you have to turn the beetle to fold its legs back in. (Be CAREFUL, now, since those free-swing arms can grab the side chains — and you've seen what happens with those stakes (and the guys caught between them) when those chains are pulled! (So, when you step on the pressure plate, and it goes down — get off of it real quickly!) Then, jump on a leg to cause the leg assembly to fold back in. Now, keep turning the beetle until those arms come together in front, and lock together, so they will be able to hold the back chain. Then, turn the beetle so that you can go to the back area and jump on that leg-unfolding trigger again, and unfold his legs once more. Now, when you turn the beetle, it will stand up and hold the back chain, so that it will keep the exit door to the Mines open for you.

Dwarven Steam Pipes[edit]

Once you get outside the Mines, you will cross those very high bridges you could see when you were in the canyon below, on your way to Saintsport, or wherever. On the far side, to the north, is a complex of pipes — with wheels to move the pipes from one destination to another. After crossing the bridges, first, go to the "back" (north, down the stairs, and across a lava stream) — jump across and turn the wheel on the "equipment" there. This will start steam flowing through the pipes. Now, the whole purpose of this area is to get the steam flowing back into the Dwarven mines below.

Especially to one particular room that has similar horizontal and vertical pipes, that you passed through. That room had a doorway way up in its wall, by a chain — and you had no way of getting to it. So — now, you need to turn on the steam and connect the pipes, so that you will be able to get to that doorway back down there. Anyway... Notice that when you turn the wheel and turn on the pump, and get steam to start flowing through the pipes, that the spinners on top start turning, and the platforms come down halfway? Notice, also, that when you are by the stairs and you look straight up, that there are some slots in the highest upper walkway, and there are some short pieces of pipe that extend only halfway across. If they extended all the way across, they would then connect the piping in this area with the pipes running back across the bridge, going to the underground part of the Mines. Well — guess what. You're going to have to get onto that upper walkway, where the wheels controlling those pipes are. Notice that there's only one "platform" up there, by the stairs, leading up to that upper walkway. (And, that "half platform" hasn't come down at all.) So — what you want to do is to get enough platforms to come down all the way, so that you can get onto one by the "equipment" in the back (north) and jump from there to a platform, and then from platform to platform, until you can get to the one on the center vertical pipe by the stairs, which you've managed to unfold all the way down flat. You can do this only by moving a (one) pipe so that all the steam flows through one side of the piping. And, you have to move one pipe by the stairs, so that all the steam goes into the central pipe. Then, you can go back to the "equipment", and jump up on it, and jump from platform to platform, until you can get to the upper walkway, and connect those two small "coupler pipes" to the piping below. Afterwards, come back down, and re-connect the pipes the way they were originally (and, according to the diagram that you see in the wall to your right as you came across the bridges originally). You will see movies at times, of the results of this, as to how the things you do affect that underground room that you now need to go back to.

Restless League[edit]

Signalling (according to the hints in Erasmo's talks at the Observatory) will bring a ship to the dock there, to take you to their hideout. When in the League hideout, Izara's lodge is at the opposite end of the island (cove) from Basil. To open Iszara's journal, note those drops at the ends of the thorns look kinda like... What is the thing that Basil gave you? Have you used it? Remember — Cyrus is Iszara's only living blood relative.

The Jail[edit]

You need to be turned into a gremlin, by Archmage Jaganvir to get into the jail. He will do that only when he becomes angered by your talking to Falicia about soulstones. That topic will not be triggered with her, until you have escaped from the Catacombs, signaled from the lighthouse, and have gone to the Restless League hideout. When to talk to Joto in the jail, notice that as you say something when you pick a topic — when you pick another topic, you will repeat what you said for the first topic, and then what you will say for the second topic. Your goal here is to construct a simple English-sounding sentence from the words and syllables that you "say" for the various topics. So, write down the words and syllables you say for each topic. Now, look at them, and come up with the ones which will make that simple English-sounding sentence. A sentence that will tell Joto what you want him to do. Remember — Joto is a powerful mage, like the mage that made you change into a gremlin. You will not use all the topic items in forming your sentence.

Flask of Lillandril[edit]

You need the four quarters that the map has been divided into. You need a fifth map of the area, that Maiko will make for you, if you have the appropriate book to give him. (It's a book that J'ffer has in his bookstore, that relates to the Flask.) When you have the four pieces, then you need to figure out the order to put them in. (Do this in real life. On a real piece of paper, using a real pencil.) The order is: Silver ship, Iszara's, Joto's, Trithik's piece of the map. Then, you need to determine the orientation of that map. (North is NOT to the top.) The ancients worshiped the sun — especially when it was rising, apparently — so, they placed west at the top of their maps. (Remember, the sun rises in the west in Tamriel.) So — starting at the Shrine of Leki (that larger gazebo-like structure in Saintsport, with her picture at the top of it, that matches the picture of St. Leki in the book Redguard History at J'ffer's Books), when you put the four map pieces together properly and see that you need to step 63 paces to the west) — do so. Then, turn and pace to the south (except you will slide down the hill there, and so can't count paces in that direction). (As Cyrus steps off of the steps on the Shrine, you will lose the view for a little bit — ignore that, and just do the best you can in keeping track of the number of paces.) (As for pacing to the south, when he slides down that sand dune — never mind — just dig there, where you end up, and if you don't find the Flask, move closer to the "right-angle corner" there, and dig.)

Second Visit to N'Gasta[edit]

Get some elixir from the big cauldron. Throw it into the pit. Watch the explosions! Get some more elixir. Throw it into the pit. Jump in a second or two later. Die. Restore. Get some more elixir. Throw it into the pit. Jump in a slightly different time later, and ride the explosion up to the second level. When fighting N'Gasta don't use your sword! It won't affect N'Gasta at all. Instead, equip the Flask of Lillandril. Catch his magic spells in it, and throw them back at him. To create the portal, follow the extremely cryptic instructions in the book there, for mixing three potions, which you pour on the floor in that area of red lines. (Do not save and restore during this process, or it won't work.) The key is color coding:

"The jacinth [orange - orc's blood] wakes the rising sun [yellow - amber],
"And snow [white - unicorn's horn] blankets the grass [green - hist sap],
"But night [black - ectoplasm] o'ertakes the mid-day sky [blue - daedra's heart],
"And the gate is opened last."

Note: this is just my own interpretation — for all I know, daedra's hearts may be black, and ectoplasm, blue.

Clavicus Vile[edit]

You have to (a) ask the right riddle, and (b) then pick the right door, from the answer. Otherwise, both doors will lead to death. The only riddle that works is the one that both guards will answer exactly the same to, whether you pick the truth-telling guard, or the liar. That riddle is, "Which door would the other guard tell me is correct?" Then — go through the OTHER door, than the one that the guard tells you. (A little analysis will show you why this works. Start with what the truth-telling guard would say, if you happened to pick him — and, then, see what you come up with if you happen to ask the liar. In both cases, you will end up with the same (wrong) door indicated.)