Doing a speed run on Tomb of the TaskMaker is harder in some ways and also easier in other ways when compared to TaskMaker. It is harder because: (1) some of the levels have the Task Object hidden behind walls which block ethereal movement, requiring a lengthy path to get to it (particularly so with Grayclay, Dirtings, and Gofe) (2) you have to make a character choice at the start of the game between Warrior, Thief, or Mage, each of which limits what you can do, as opposed to Taskmaker which allowed the player to have very strong melee and magic powers, (3) only some of the weapons and armor can be sold for cash at Castle Hall, although some others can be sold at shops in Trading Post and Zehner's Castle, (4) the final boss battle is more difficult because there are many guards which cannot be avoided. On the other hand, Ethereal Potions are really cheap (500 credits) which makes life much easier. There is also a special spell “Original Place” which allows you to generate unlimited cash. Throwing weapons can be used to remotely activate switches, which provides a number of shortcuts. There is a "steal" spell available if you are playing as a Thief which is similar to Grasp in TaskMaker, but the range is limited to your Level value.
The special spells are now called “Interventions” and generate a warning that they should be used only in a “dead end” situation and will generate an asterisk in the Hall of Fame. My speed run assumes you will use Interventions, but at the end I'll provide a slightly longer method to do a speed run without them.
Ocean Blue – creates a ship (similar to Wavy Davy in TaskMaker)
Exit – sends you to the docks in Castle Hall (similar to Home in TaskMaker)
Eyespy – creates a magic map of the entire level, or as much as will fit on the screen if it is a very large map.
Original Place – restores a map to its original state, including all treasure and NPCs. If you pick up a valuable object, you can use Original Place to create another copy, allowing you to pick up unlimited numbers of copies of this object.
This walkthrough is for Tomb of the TaskMaker V 1.0, which is the version used for the web-based applications. Version 1.03b reportedly made some changes to make short cuts more difficult: the cost of Ethereal Potions in greatly increased, and the Falling Wall spell is restricted. My walkthrough doesn't use the Falling Wall spell, and the cost of Ethereal Potions is not a problem if Original Place is used to generate unlimited cash, so a speed run should be doable when using Interventions. I have not played V 1.03b so I don't know exactly how much an Ethereal Potion costs in that version, but if it is 15,000 credits like in Taskmaker, then a speed run could be very tough without Interventions.
Start a new game with as a warrior with the Tutorial. The shortcut to get to the end is in the same place as in TaskMaker. Take it and work backwards to get the shovel, Ethereal Potion, magic map, rations, and a few keys. (Or just skip the tutorial since everything you can get there can be purchased cheaply in Castle Hall.) Exit to Castle hall, visit the Seat of Leadership, and Exit again to the docks. Walk to the outer dock and conjure a boat, then sail it north, then east, then south around the moat and throw the heart switch. This will allow you to go from the Seat of Leadership to the teleport room which is to the northwest, providing a quick departure to Trading Post, Zehner's Palace, or Thieves’ Guild at the start of each task. Now sail west to exit the map. In Outer Terra, sail north then west to Butterscotch, which is the easiest place to find high level sellable weapons.
Walk around the welcome sign and pick up the Shield. I have not found a place to sell this shield, but it adds +99 to armor so it is worthwhile using one weapon slot to hold it since for most of the speed run we will be avoiding combat but sometimes running past enemies who can strike at us. Now move west as far as you can and use the Ethereal Potion. Walk northwest until you reach a bedroom with a helmet, boots, and armor. Rest until solid and wear the boots and helmet. The Silver Threaded Vest can be sold for 25,000 credits at Castle Hall. If you are using Interventions, then use Original Place to create another six or eight copies, which should give you all the money you will need for the game. Exit back to Castle Hall (or use an Angel spell or Celebrate Me Home scroll.)
Wear one Silver Threaded Vest and sell the rest. Purchase 10 or so keys from the Keyshop to the south. Purchase a Torch from the shop to the North. Just west of there is a locked door. Open it a find a Candy Necklace. Wear it and you will never need food again. (This is particularly important near the end of the game when you obtain the Boots of Speed.) Head west and buy several “Bucky’s famous beef stew.” Head south to the main hall and conjure a boat to get to the center fountain compartment and find a Stealth Boomerang (not quite as powerful as the Guardian Boomerang found in this location in the original game.) If you are not using Interventions, the switch to access this compartment is found in a narrow north-south corridor west of the Seat of Leadership which can be entered using an Ethereal Potion. In that place, you will also find a Silver Linings scroll which can be used to increase the size of your pouch by 5 items. You will need to use another Ethereal Potion or an Exit spell to get out of there.
Now head southeast to the magic shop and purchase nine Increase Health potions and use them, which should max out your health at 1000. Buy about 20 Ethereal Potions. If you have any trouble finding the task items, you may want to get the Goal Compass which is sitting on a counter in the bank. (FYI, the Goal Compass confuses east and west due to a programming error. This was fixed in Version 1.03b.) Now head to Outer Terra, then go northeast to Wheatback.
Head southeast then south. Enter the building in the southeast corner of the open area. (Or you can take a slight detour to get a wand hidden in the forest to the east.) Go as far south as you can in the building and open the door. Arm yourself with the Stealth Boomerang and kill two monsters. Move forward and grab a Magic Map. Use an Ethereal Potion and head south until you reach the canal. Conjure a boat and follow the canal south then east. At the third opening land and head north toward TaskMaker flooring. Get and wear the Woven Belt (+3 to armor) and head east then south to get the Staff of Creeps. Exit to Castle Hall and visit the Seat of Leadership. You will receive a Long Sword (247 credits) and instructions to go to Trading Post.
Once in Outer Terra head north and enter the Trading Post. Walk around the wall to your north and then continue north towards the locked door. Use an Ethereal Potion and walk north, entering the tower. Proceed to the center block, open the compartment, and get the Chill Crystal. If you want to stick around and kill a few monsters you can then pick up a padded cloth armor (18,750 credits) and a slightly valuable sword. Exit to Castle Hall and visit the Seat of Leadership. You will receive a Silver Short Sword (1,237 credits) and instructions to go to Grayclay.
From the starting point, use an Ethereal Potion and walk southwest until you reach a ladder. Take it to enter Tubors. From your start point in Tubors, you need to walk 36 squares west, then 12 squares southwest. Use Ethereal Potions, or just walk around walls as needed. Use the ladder to enter a small room in Grayclay surrounded by impassible wall. Throw the switch and then head back to Tubors. Head southeast about 36 squares to take a ladder back to Grayclay. You will now be inside the protected area that leads to the TaskMaker Flooring. Note that you did NOT throw the Heart switch in Grayclay as that will add a barrier, not remove one. Head west, then south. Get past the chomping barrier by going through a passwall to the south. Turn east and pick up a Thick Leather Armor (6,250 Credits.) Head west, then north, then east, the south to find King Zehner. Transact with him to release him and then grab the Chains that Bind. Exit to Castle Hall and visit the Seat of Leadership. You will receive the Heart key to Zehner's Palace.
Use the teleport room for a quick departure to Zehner's Palace. Since we are going to cross Lake Zehner by conjuring a boat, there is no need to explore Zehner's Palace. Head north to immediately exit the map.
Isles of Muck
Conjure a ship and cross over the Lake Zehner to reach the Isles of Muck. You will appear in a ship at the northeast area of the map. Sail east or south until you see a wooden bridge. Step onto the bridge and walk until you reach more water. Conjure another boat and sail to the peninsula with TaskMaker flooring. Wield your shovel and dig up the center square to reveal the Lead Anchor. Exit to Castle Hall and visit the Seat of Leadership to receive a Silver Long Sword (7,425 credits) and instructions to head to Eyearrass.
Teleport to Zehner's Palace as before, conjure a ship and cross over Lake Zehner, then head east to Eyearrass. From the starting point, head west as far as possible, then use two Ethereal Potions to head north until you see TaskMaker flooring. Conjure a boat to reach the center fountain which has a stone compartment that contains a Silver Linings scroll that will increase your pouch size by another 5 items, from 41 to 46. Use Original Place to get three additional scrolls – the maximum pouch size is 61 items. Now head north until you see what appears to be the TaskMaker. Approach closer and he turns into the TaxMaster. Fight him until he is dead and grab the Mask of Evil. (If you are not using interventions, you will find a switch in the northwest corner of the next room that will let you access the center fountain's stone compartment.) When done, walk around the barrier to find a quick path home which will take you through the East Catacombs of Castle Hall. Here you will find a Lead Bar which is useful as it blocks teleportation during the final boss battle. Stash the Lead Bar somewhere handy but don't carry it around as you will need to use teleporters for a while. Visit the Seat of Leadership to receive a Gold Protection Ring and instructions to head to Fracture.
Use the teleport room to get to Zehner's Palace and exit to the north. Conjure a ship and cross over Lake Zehner, then head south to Fracture. From the start point head north then west. Use your boomerang to throw the Blue Star switch remotely. Then head east towards the TaskMaker flooring. (Pass the wall of fire on the SOUTH side to approach the opening, otherwise you will step on a floor trap which will close the firewall and require you to travel some distance to throw another switch.) Get the Sick Statue. Exit to Castle Hall and visit the Seat of Leadership to receive Magic Gloves, and instructions to go to Butterscotch.
Use Exit to get to the docks and conjure a ship and sail to Butterscotch as before. From the start point head south as far as you can go, then head east and push the button. Keep going east and use Ethereal Potions as needed to get through walls and avoid enemies. Grab the Evil Eye. Exit to Castle Hall and visit the Seat of Leadership. You will receive a Blue Circle key that gets you through the door in Underpass.
Make sure you have a torch or lantern and wield it now as Underpass and Dirtings are in darkness. If you don't have one, you can buy it from the northwest-most shop in Castle Hall. Exit Castle Hall and head southwest as far as you can go. Enter Underpass and head south. Go through the door and keep going. You will exit to Outer Terra south of the mountains. You can just skip Diggings and go directly to Dirtings. Conjure a ship and sail across to Dirtings. You will appear on an island with the angel. Conjure a ship and sail to the southwest shore. Use an Ethereal Potion and head southwest. Go past the ladder (which is the entrance from Dirtings) and keep going southwest. Use another Ethereal Potion to enter the room just past the wall to the southwest and throw the right hand switch which opens the gate near the Iron Fist. Now use more Ethereal Potions and head north. Once on the TaskMaker flooring, move around to lure the enemies out of the small room with the Iron Fist. The key here is to get the enemies off the square that has the Iron Fist. (Remember, you cannot get an item when you are fighting an enemy that is on the same square as the item, but when your ethereal potion ends you can reappear on top of an enemy and still grab an item that is on an otherwise empty square.) Now circle around the west and use an Ethereal Potion to re-enter the room. If there are still enemies on top of the Iron Fist, then continue to draw them out and circle back. Once the Iron Fist is clear, use an Ethereal Potion and move to a position just west of the Iron Fist. It is OK if you are on top of an enemy as long as the Iron Fist is clear. Once you solidify, get the Iron Fist and then Exit to Castle Hall. Visit the Seat of Leadership to receive Gold Plate Mail Armor (+80 armor) and instructions to go to Gofe.
Head to Underpass again. South of the mountains, head east. Keep going east until you reach Gofe. For quickest path through Gofe, immediately use an Ethereal Potion and head northwest into the large green area. Go to the northeast corner of the green area and use another Ethereal Potion to head north to the heart switch room. Throw the switch and grab the Foe's Fear Broadsword (90, 90). Head northwest then use an Ethereal Potion to head to the heart wall you just opened. Head west and grab the Asparagus Spear (99,75). Head south and get the Key to the Tomb. Exit to Castle Hall. Make your final visit to the Seat of Leadership and receive the King's Crown (+9 armor) and instructions to go to the Tomb of the TaskMaker!
Load up on Instant Vacations. Make sure you have a few Ethereal Potions in case you need to maneuver through enemies during the boss battle. Bring a few flasks of water along as the boss can inflict thirst on you. Get the Lead Bar from where you stashed it. Now head to the Tomb. The most direct route is north from Castle Hall and then east to where the mountains are only one square thick. Use a Falling Wall spell in case you need to come back again with more supplies, or just use an Ethereal Potion, or take a longer route by conjuring a boat to cross Zehner's Lake. Enter the tomb and the key will let you move north. Drop the Lead Bar for now.
There are 10 teleporters labeled 1 through 9 and X (ten). #5 takes you to the crypt, but you may want to get some pickups first. #9 takes you to the Boots of Speed which are definitely worth having during the boss battle since it doubles the number of attacks you get per enemy attack. #8 gets you the Protector's Boomerang (99,75) which is an excellent weapon. #6 gets you the “Ring of Truth” which gives you X-ray vision, but that is not particularly useful at this point in the game. #4 gets you the Protectors Armor (99), #3 the Bow of Surewood (99,80), #2 gets you some treasure, and #1 the Protectors Sword (99,99), but you likely have good armor and weapons already and none of these items are sellable except the treasure in #2. Now use teleport #5, throw the switch to open the door, grab the Lead Bar, and head north. Open the coffin and the Guard Captain will appear and challenge you. Try to maneuver to a corner where you can attack him with a minimum of other guards being able to attack you. The square just south of the Clover Door is a good position. Don't bother trying to eliminate the regular guards, there are 32 in each side room and if you kill more than half they will just respawn, sometimes behind you.
You have the choice of fighting solid with swords and/or boomerangs and using a large supply of Instant Vacations, or fighting ethereal and using wands. I have found the battle goes faster fighting solid, using two swords. Your armor rating should be high enough that the weak guards can't do much against you. The Guard Captain starts out at 10,000 health points. You can take him down about 400 to 800 points (depending on how many minor guards can get at you) before needing another Instant Vacation, so about 12 to 25 Instant Vacations should do it. If you expanded your pouch to 61 items and filled most of it with Instant Vacations, you should have plenty of supplies to kill the Guard Captain. Be sure to keep at least 3 water flasks in case he makes you thirsty. If necessary, you can always exit and return to Castle Hall for supplies. If you come back a second time the minor guards will swarm you so keep an Ethereal Potion handy for getting close to the Guard Captain. Best time to beat the game: 42 minutes.
Quick game without using interventions:
The biggest problem is not being able to conjure ships. Instead of paying for them at Castle Hall, you can get them for free by using a distance weapon to throw the exit switches. This will let you sail to Butterscotch and/or Prison Island. To get past Lake Zehner you can just use an Ethereal Potion to walk through the mountains to the east. Getting to Isles of Muck is a challenge. You can get a ship in Zehner's Palace but that is tedious, and then getting to the TaskMaker flooring in Muck still requires another Ship. You can go down into Undertow Cove and usually find a Ship in a Bottle eventually, but I recommend instead getting the two Ship in a Bottle spells from the Angel's Island in Gofe. It is a hike to get there, but then you can skip both Zehner's Palace and Undertow Cove.
Instead of using Exit, you will need to purchase Celebrate Me Home scrolls or use Angel Spells. Or just use Escape to Outer Terra from the Magic pull-down menu. This will cost you one “level” but if you are already at level 1 there is no effect. As far as I can tell, increasing your level has no effect on melee combat so you might as well keep using the Escape to Outer Terra spell throughout the game. But a Celebrate Me Home scroll only costs 500 credits if you prefer to level up during the game.
Instead of using Original Place, you will need to find objects and sell them to raise cash. The final boss battle is a lot easier if you are at 1,000 health points, which requires 9 Increase Health scrolls, which cost 15,000 credits each, for a total of 135,000 credits. You will also need about 25 Ethereal Potions which costs 12,500 credits. Plus you should buy about 25 Instant Vacations which are 250 credits each, or 6,250 credits. (Alternately you can purchase empty bottles in Castle Hall and take them to the Purple Pond in Gofe to convert them into Purple Pond Potions.) So you need about 150,000 to 160,000 credits which can be collected in the first 15 minutes of the game as shown below. If you find you need more money, the following items can be sold for cash. [CH], [TP], and [ZP] indicate the location the items can be sold at (CH = Castle Hall, TP = Trading Post, ZP = Zehner's Palace.]
Object Compass 3,000 credits [CH]
- On a counter in the Bank
Increase Magic Potion 2,500 credits [CH]
- In a transparent room in the Galleria
Three cloth armors 750 credits [CH]
- In a transparent room in the Galleria
Lantern 2,500 credits [CH]
- Get behind the counter with an Ethereal Potion, get the Lantern, exit, then sell it back at the same counter for a profit of 2,000 credits.
Silver bar 500 credits
- In a niche in the outer wall just outside the Magic Shop
Rob the Bank ~4,000 credits
- Not really worth it as the bank is well protected and the contents are not nearly as valuable as in TaskMaker.
Silver Threaded Vest 25,000 credits [CH]
- In a bedroom 15 squares northwest of the starting point
Battle Axe 18,562 credits [CH]
- In a room due north of the starting point
Silver Threaded Leather 25,000 credits [CH]
- In a room 10 square northeast of the starting point
Magic Sword 24,750 credits [CH]
Magic Cloth Armor 50,000 credits [CH]
- Starting from the Silver Threaded Leather, go 10 squares northeast then 10 squares east to find both the Magic Sword and Magic Cloth Armor
Magic Mace 18,562 credits [CH]
- In a room 2 squares east and 25 squares north of the Task Item
Padded Cloth Armor 18,750 credits [CH]
- In the southwest corner of the central tower
Silver Dagger $2,500 credits [ZP]
- In the kitchen east of the central room
Magic Shield 12,500 [CH]
- In a room just southeast of the central square
Silver Plate Mail 25,000 [CH]
- 20 or so squares northeast of the Magic Shield.
Pete's Darts 18,740 [TP]
- In a very small 2-square room about 6 square northeast of the Pit.
- In the room west of Lucy. There is an Autoteller south of the entry point.
Magic Amulet 23,750 [CH]
- Center room, northwest of the entry ladder
Magic Crossbow 75,000 [TP]
- In a room west of the TaskMaker flooring
Flying Javelin 18,750 [TP]
- On an island in the southernmost of the two western lakes. If you don't have a ship, trigger the floor switch to the southwest side and dodge the enemies to get it.
Gold Plate Mail Armor 50,000 [CH]
- In a niche in the room to the east of the southeast switch room
Two Handed Battle Axe 75,000 [TP]
- Take the staircase in the purple room that is third on the right in the central hallway
The fire room has about 120,000 credits of platinum bars, if you pouch can hold that much
To complete a speed run without using Interventions, use the walkthrough given above but with the following changes:
Start the game with the tutorial. After getting the shovel, Ethereal Potion, and keys, exit using Escape to Outer Terra from the pull down menu. (Or you can just skip the tutorial since you can buy all those items in Castle Hall with a little extra running around.) In Castle Hall, raise about $6,000 cash by getting and selling the Object Compass, Increase Magic Potion and three Cloth Armors. Buy four Ethereal Potions and some keys. Get the Candy Necklace and a Torch. Use an Ethereal Potion to enter the narrow room west of the Seat of Leadership and get the Silver Linings Scroll and throw the switch. Return to the center fountain and get the Stealth Boomerang. Use the Boomerang to steal a ship from the docks and throw the Heart Switch. Return to the docks and steal another ship, and head to Butterscotch.
Get the shield, armor, helmet and boots and wear them. Then get the Silver Threaded Leather, Magic Cloth Armor, and Magic Sword as shown on the above list and sell them for about 100,000 credits. Skip the Battle Axe for now as it is well protected. Head for Underpass and get past the door using an Ethereal Potion. Get the Silver Linings scroll from the Chest in the southern mountains and head to Gofe. Get the Two Handed Battle Axe and then head to Angel Island. First, throw the switch in the last room on the left, then go south one room. Go through the passwall on the west side and take the teleport to Angel Island. Get both Ship in a Bottle Scrolls and return. While you in Gofe, also get the Singing Sword from the room at the end of the hall – you cannot sell it but it make a great melee weapon for the early levels. Now head back to the Trading Post and sell the Two Handed Battle Axe for 75,000 credits. At this point you have 180,000 credits which should be all the cash you will need, but the above list tells you where to find another 350,000 credits of gear and treasure. That might be enough cash to win a quick game even if you are playing a version in which ethereal potions cost 15,000 each, but I have not actually tried that.
If you don't want to make the long trip to Gofe, instead you can get a Ship in a Bottle when you visit Trading Post and use it to solve Isles of Muck. You can get to Isles of Muck by taking the traditional way through Zehner's Palace (after throwing the switch to open the path to the southern canal, stay within one square of water to keep the door open.) That will give you a Ship to get to Isles of Muck. This may be faster than going all the way to Gofe for the two Ship in a Bottle scrolls.
After selling the gear and buying Increase Health Potions and Ethereal Potions, continue the standard walkthough as follows:
Wheatback: Without conjuring a Ship, you can go the usual way with one Ethereal Potion, then walk through the southern area to get to the dock, or just use a second Ethereal Potion to go straight to the TaskMaker flooring area.
Trading Post: no change.
GrayClay: no change
Isles of Muck: Use the two Ship in a Bottle spells from Gofe. Use one to get to Isles of Muck, and the second to get to the TaskMaker area.
Eyearrass: Get through the eastern mountains using an Ethereal Potion. Get to the Silver Linings scroll using the switch at the northwest corner of the room past the TaxMaster. Otherwise no changes.
Fracture: No changes, but you can get the Magic Shield and Silver Plate Mail using Ethereal Potions if you need extra cash.
Butterscotch: No changes, but you can now get the Battle Axe using a couple of Ethereal Potions if you need more cash.
Underpass: no changes
Diggings: From the start point, head south, then use an Ethereal Potion to get to the Pit. Stop off for Lucy's Diamonds and Pete's Darts if you need more cash.
Dirtings: From Diggings, you will enter at the central ladder. No other changes, but you can easily get the Magic Amulet, and with minor detours the Magic Crossbow, Flying Javelin, and Gold Plate Mail Armor.
Gofe: No changes, but the fire room can provide much cash if needed.
The Tomb: no changes.
Total time to beat the game without Interventions: about 55 minutes.