"A Dark Cave" is a special encounter available in explorable locations. It is quite easy and can be completed as often as you can find it. Only AG characters can enter the cave.
So far it has been reported in the following locations:
- Fogbough Outer Wood
- Explore Fang Ridge
- Explore the Griffon Crags
- Explore the Old North Wood
- Explore Bentlimb Wood
- Explore the Seacliffs has a smaller form, with fewer enemies and less loot.
As you are exploring one of the areas listed above you will sometimes get this message:
While exploring ((location you are currently exploring)) you suddenly find yourself approaching the broad, forbidding mouth of a dark cave.
- Enter the cave... - you will enter the cave, allowing you to explore it
- Ignore the cave and continue on your way... - you won't be able to return to this particular cave (but you can encounter another one)
The interior of the cave is a randomly-generated dungeon map. As a result there have been a few cases where parts of the cave are completely inaccessible. However that does not prevent you from completing the encounter.
When you enter the cave you are at a location with stairs leading up. At any time you can climb them and go outside. However the entrance is NOT a place where you can rest.
Once inside you move around and encounter groups of enemies at random. The groups consist of 1, 2 or 3 enemies. Each cave has a predetermined number of enemies, which also seems to be random - 15, 16, 20, etc. After defeating each group you are told how many enemies total you have killed and are given an estimate of how many remain:
- a considerable number - over 10 enemies left
- a dwindling number between 5 and 10 enemies
- a small handful - 5 or less enemies
Please note that while killed enemies count individually towards the total predetermined number, the amount of enemies remaining refers to groups and not individuals. This means that you could kill 16 enemies, have the game tell you that only "a small handful", kill three more and then encounter a group of three monsters (bringing the total number to 22 instead of the set 20). The groups are random, so if you run away and continue exploring you may encounter a smaller group that may complete your quota. However, if you do run away from a large group after you killed the set number of enemies in the cave (by running away after killing the first or second monster in the example above) the exploration status will say that there are no more enemies and you will not get any reward.
Similar to Tarn at any time you can check your progress by selecting "exploration status".
Note: As with all other maps with random encounters reloading the screen for whatever reason (checking exploration status, using the Quickstone quick heal, using an item, etc.) may result in an encounter (and thus a battle) even though you haven't moved to a different square.
Once no enemies remain you will receive a small experience reward and will search the cave for anything of value (see below).
|List of Known Enemies|
- The Massive Carnage Crawler
This foe doesn't always appear, but is without doubt the hardest you can find while on the Dark Cave. Its MR it's variable, apparently from 100 to 110. Since the Foe template supports just 5 MR values, and there are many reports about this particularly (and randomly) tough enemy, here we show it in several entries.
- Basic info (without MR): Massive Carnage Crawler (9+ at MR ?? , 132-165 SP, 1-12 XP), special can do 7-16 damage, you have to attack 2 times before you can flee, variable Stamina; some may have even higher MR
- 1st MR series: Massive Carnage Crawler (9+ at MR 100-112 , ?? SP)
- 2nd MR series: Massive Carnage Crawler (9+ at MR 100-110 , ?? SP)
- 3rd MR series: Massive Carnage Crawler (9+ at MR 99-110 , ?? SP)
For killing all enemies in the cave you receive a small experience reward - usually 64 general experience, but sometimes it is 96 general experience. It is unknown if the experience and/or the loot depend on the number of enemies in the cave. So far it seems like both are random.
In addition to the experience you will find some items and gold. The number and quality of items varies greatly between encounters.
If you encounter a group that has more enemies than the cave's quota (see mechanics), either fight them all or run away from the first enemy. Otherwise you may end up with no more enemies in the cave and no reward whatsoever.