Guide: Getting started in Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox

Learn how to get started in this tough turn-based RPG.

Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox is an infinite old-school turn-based RPG. Visual Outbreak's Creative Director and Founder Alex Norton created the game to imitate what such titles would be like in the old days. Malevolence is not a game that holds your hand, and starting out can be daunting.

This guide is designed to explain everything you need to know about the mechanics of the game. With this, you will have a chance to survive the dangers that lay in wait for you within the lands of Ahkranox.

Making your choices

After creating your character, you will begin the game in a stone circle. Ahead of you, you will see a clergyman by the name of Al-aeks. You must speak to him before starting your journey. After some background story, the player is given a choice of staying in the current location or teleporting to a random location within the world.

If the player chooses to stay in the current area, they will receive a waypoint to the nearly town, Eddya-Anics Holdfast. If they choose to teleport, they will arrive outside of a random town somewhere in the world.

Before being able to continue, the player will get to choose one of six different options. Five of the options give the player an item(s), and the sixth is where the player refuses any items. The five options are as follows.

  • The Blade: Gives the player a random weapon of their level
  • The Shield: Gives the player a random armor piece of their level
  • The Candle: Gives the player a Fireball spell
  • The Key: Gives the player a few trap disarm mechanisms and torches
  • The Coin: Gives the player a set amount of gold

Once the player has made their choice, they will begin their journey into the dangerous world of Ahkranox.

Understanding character stats and how they work

There are a total of six different stats in Malevolence. Strength, Dexterity, Charisma, Constitution, Intelligence, and Wisdom. Each stat has its effects which are affected depending on the player actions throughout the game.

The player increases the stats by conducting activities which use their specific stats. The effects of each stat and how to increase them are as follows:

  • Strength: The higher a character's strength is, the more melee damage they deal. Strength increases by combating enemies using melee attacks.
  • Dexterity: Increases a character's chance to avoid setting off a trap when stepping on one. Dexterity increases by using ranged weapons.
  • Charisma: Increases the amount of gold the player receives when bargaining with shops when selling items. It also decreases the cost of buying items when bargaining. Charisma increases by using the bargaining option in shops.
  • Constitution: Increases the amount of HP you gain with each level up and the amount of damage your armor absorbs per hit. Constitution is increased by enemies hitting you.
  • Intelligence: Lowers the difficulty of disarming traps. Intelligence increases by disabling traps.
  • Wisdom: Increase the amount of damage your spells deal. Wisdom increases by using magic, particularly offensive spells.

Each stat starts at 16% at the beginning of the game. As the player progresses through the game, the stats change in accordance to their actions. As the player increases certain stats, it will lower others.

With the game being technically classless, it allows the player to change the type of class their character is at any time during the game. Stats can also increase by training in the various guilds found throughout towns. The combined total of all the character's stats can not exceed 100%.

Understanding and changing the UI

Malevolence allows the players to change between two different UIs. One is a more retro and classic look, while the other is a more modern slim UI. You can switch between the two UIs at any time during the game by pressing the F1 key.

The UI of Malevolence is quite the mystery to new players. At the bottom of the viewpoint, there are three different colored gems. Red, Green and Purple. 

What the gems represent depends on whether you are exploring the countryside or a dungeon. In the countryside, the gems represent the following:

  • Red: When the gem lights up, it shows that there is a secret stash nearby. Stashes come in various forms from tree trunks to abandoned camp sites and wagon.
  • Green: The green gem lights up when an enemy has spotted you and is pursuing you. In the countryside, this can only happen during nightfall.
  • Purple: The purple gem lights up when a dungeon, watchtower, or town is nearby.

While in a dungeon, what the gems represent is very different (except the green gem -- the green gem still represents an enemy that has spotted you). In a dungeon, the red and purple gems represent the following:

  • Red: A secret door is nearby when the red gem lights up. Click on the walls while the red gem is lit to attempt to find the secret door.
  • Purple: The purple gem lights up when a trap is nearby. Once the player finds a trap, they can disarm the trap in a mini-game.
How to find and disarm traps

Disarming traps within Malevolence is a simple idea, but putting it into practice is not as easy. To find a trap you need to click on the floor in front of you in an attempt to locate it. Upon clicking on a trap to disarm it, the game randomly generates the trap.

At the top of the screen, you will see between one and three blue gems. Some blue gems randomly generate when attempting to disarm the trap. The idea is to get one of the gems from the top of the screen to the gem slot at the bottom, while not allowing the moving mechanisms to crush the gems

Any time you lose all the gems; you will no longer be able to disarm the trap manually. The only other way to disarm a trap after losing all the gems is to use a Trap Disarm Mechanic. Using the mechanic can only be done when one is present in your inventory and by clicking on the trap again.

Once a Trap Disarm Mechanic is used, is no longer available in your inventory. They can also be used to disarm a trap automatically, saving you from having to go through the mini-game if you wish. Doing so also results in losing the mechanic.

Understanding the maps of Ahkranox

One of the biggest difficulties for new players in Malevolence is figuring out how to navigate through the world of Ahkranox. Being able to move around and explore an infinite world is easy. Being able to know exactly where you are going is a little bit more difficult.

Here we are going to cover the various maps of the game and what they show. When you open up the map screen, you are presented with the Immediate map. Underneath that, there are two other options are Local and World.

The Immediate map shows you the immediate area that you located. This map covers a large area surrounding your current location. It shows everything in your vicinity -- trees, dungeons, cities and whatever else may be near you.

The second map is the Local. This map shows the local world segment that you are currently in. For example, if you are in the Eddya-Anics Holdfast region, the local map will show you the region and any dungeons, towers and cities you have discovered.

The final map is the World map. This map covers a large area of the world that you are currently in. You will notice a small red dot on the map. This dot is the current world segment that you are exploring.

Each tiny square on the world map is a different world segment. To move across the world map, you will need to go through an entire world segment before you move on the world map. 

You are now ready to venture the lands of Ahkranox

Now with an understanding of how the game works, you are more than ready to start venturing the world of Ahkranox. Explore the lands and create your story of adventure as you venture into the infinite world of Ahkranox.

Search for treasures, map out the lands, venture into dangerous dungeons, slay monsters and embark on quests. What you do is entirely up to you. May the sword watch over you Guardian of Ahkranox.

Published May. 2nd 2016
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