If you bought a copy of the game, please RTFM to avoid getting the horse-laugh for asking stuff you really should know. Only a thief with a WAREZ copy is going to ask "How to Fly"! Please do not answer such thieves. It encourages them, and reduces our own potential future game play when a sequel we might like to have played is canceled because the current game doesn't earn back its cost!
New Sorpigal is very important and you should know everything you can about it. Take your time there and do everything you actually can there -- be aware that Gharik's Forge dungeon is for characters in the 35-40 level range, not beginners, and a trip to Ironfist Castle (and the town below it) is a needed interruption in the process of being as ready as you need to be for the Abandoned Baa Temple in N.S.
Get bows for everyone and bow skills when you go to Ironfist. Learn to shoot and retreat, and to use Turn-Based combat in certain situations that allows more efficient use of your very few magic skills at the beginning, as well as any other of the situations in which your party could well be outmatched in Real-Time combat.
For instance, ducking in and out of Turn-Based mode is a way to get one or two "free", unanswered attacks on enemies. By never letting your last, slowest party character a shot, and pressing the ENTER Key two times quickly, you reset the "turns" that your opponents were supposed to get. So you take three whacks (cast three spells, whatever), and hit Enter twice. Repeat as needed. It will help.
Be sure you have a magic user or two who have the Water Magic skill available to them, and put all or most of their earliest skill points into that one to get to Mastery rapidly. Get a GateMaster for an NPC and chase down all of the easy horseshoes associated with Stables around Enroth to speed up this Water Magic training. Town Portal and Lloyd's Beacon are the best ways to get around in MM-VI. You want an Air Master after that, and only when you have covered those will you want to work on offensive magic spells very much.
Personally, of the characters who can do the Light and Dark Magic, I like Clerics better than Sorcerers. Hold off on the Dark until later in the game in order to be assured of Light Magic being Mastered first (at the "Saintly" reputation level, which is the highest you can have).
For another battle tactic inside of dungeons, you will find it possible to stand outside at the side of the door where if you can see any part of a monster, you can attack it with weapons (or bows), while a majority of your enemies just waste their magic or melee attacks on the wall without costing your party any injury at all. This tactic begins to be less effective as dungeons and monsters become more dangerous, but is worth trying any time you feel as if your party may be over-matched by the numbers or the kinds of opponents you see inside of a room.
Outside of N.S., Bootleg Bay is the next-easiest overall, but that's because in the west parts of Ironfist there are a couple of tough dungeons, and nothing much in Bootleg Bay is that hard. The Misty Islands are also not very difficult overall, although the one dungeon there isn't quite a beginner place.
Free Haven is a transport hub, connected to just about all of the still-populated provinces other than the four in the far west (Sweet Water, Paradise Valley, Hermit Isle, and Dragonsand), and with no connection to Eel-infested Waters. Free Haven is a good place to buy spells and skills; many of the Expert and Master level trainers may be found there also. Map the place out well.
The east parts of Free Haven are pretty safe, but the farther your party ranges north or west from N.S., the tougher the dungeons get (though the sewers under Free Haven are not too tough at all!). Silver Cove is fairly dangerous until the party is more or less in the middle 20's for an overall level. You need to travel to Frozen Highlands before you are ready to STAY there and explore to a great extent, since the promotions to (Honorary) Priest and High Priest are sponsored by Anthony Stone there, and are not that difficult to complete, other than getting in and out past the Harpies between Castles Stromgard and Stone.
If you followed my advice to have two characters who can do "Elemental Magic," Fire and Water are the two most important, with Earth not particularly good, and only one Air Master is truly needed, for flying. With two Fire Magic users, get Circle of Fire early on because it works right through doors and walls. If you can see several red dots collecting on the other side of a door when using Wizard Eye, you can cast Circle of Fire right through that door!
Enroth is 15 provinces' worth, numbered from A1 for Sweet Water, to E3 for New Sorpigal. Each province has an "Obelisk" in it that is part of a nifty treasure hunt. Those are numbered the same way the provinces are. Number 1 is Sweet Water and number 15 is N.S. The numbers go down and then over, so Blackshire, map coordinate B2, has Obelisk # 5.
© The Kiwi, February 5th 1999