Avenger of Rubicon
maps and solution
Avenger of Rubicon is a MS-DOS adventure game and © 1990 by Conrad Button and ButtonWare, Inc.
This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on version 2.1 of the game.
Note: Specific location names are not used in the game; the names of locations on these maps are my own invention,
based on the room descriptions.
Map 1: North of the island: The Barren Plain and the Town of Forli
Map 2: West of the island: The Village of Pistoria and a Forest
||||go wagon↑↓s||go tent↓↑e|
Map 3: Asgard
You can reach Rainbow Bridge via FLY MARE after the Black Giant is dead; it's one of four locations that the mare flies to,
and you leave Asgard the same way. Getting past Heimdall is a bit of a crapshoot; sometimes he's awake and sometimes he's
asleep. You can only GO BRIDGE when Heimdall is asleep.
Map 4: East of the island: Death Mountain and the Chalet
Map 5: Labyrinth, Level 1
Map 6: Labyrinth, Level 2
Map 7: Labyrinth, Level 3
|to Bottom of|
Map 8: Bottom of the Labyrinth
Map 9: Island Shores
|go rapids↓↑go bank|
|go island↓↑go rapids|
Map 10: Marsh and Fortress Ground Floor
Map 11: Fortress Lower Levels
- The game needs to find the RUB.DAT in the root directory of one of drives a, b, c, d, or e.
You cannot specify a specific directory, only the drive.
- Save often with the command SAVE GAME. You'll be prompted for your first name, your middle name,
and a drive letter. Save-files will be saved to the root directory of your chosen drive. The file name will
be assembled from the first three letters of your two names plus the ".RUB" extension, RUB meaning Rubicon.
For example, if I say my first name is DAVID and my second name is 001, then the save-file is called DAV001.RUB.
- There's no RESTART command; instead, you will need to either QUIT and restart the game entirely,
or deliberately kill your character (e.g.: GO LAKE) and be asked if you want to play again.
- There's an inventory limit. You'll want to designate some places as cache locations where you dump excess items
so you can find them again easily. One of the best places is the Dusty dirt road, the intersection with the signpost
at the south end of Forli. The rocky path at the base of Death Mountain is a good secondary cache location for whatever
you need to take up the mountain, and you can leave the winged mare there too when you obtain her.
- Learn to love the verb GO. Quite often, you can GO to scenery items.
- All commands are either one or two words, and you can shorten your words to their first three letters.
There's no X short form for EXAMINE, but you can EXA things instead.
- This game is Cruel. There's numerous ways to screw up and make your session unwinnable. For example: spending your silver and gold on unneeded items,
leaving climbing gear at the top of the mountain, leaving Asgard without accomplishing everything you need to do in one
visit, or using the commands SCREW YOU or FUCK YOU.
- Several items in the game are red herrings and can be ignored.
- The NPCs don't do conversation. If they speak to you, pay attention! They almost never repeat themselves and there's no
way to ask them any questions.
- The first thing to do is heal yourself. If you go directly to the doctor's office, you'll find
a prescription blank. READ PRESCRIPTION tells you to say caduceus. SAY CADUCEUS heals you instantly.
You can reuse this trick as often as you like without needing the prescription blank.
(In fact, SAY CADUCEUS on your very first turn, if you like.)
- EXA MEDAL. Feel free to drop it somewhere; you won't actually use it anywhere.
- Some things are best done without any inventory at all -- dealing with the sleeping man in the chalet,
and also dealing with the gypsies -- so you might as well get them done earlier rather than later.
- To deal with the sleeping man in the chalet:
- Ideally, drop all or most of your inventory ahead of your visit. Some items are considered noisy. He
won't notice you walking past him if you're only carrying quiet items (or nothing at all).
- OPEN DOOR. GO DOOR.
- Don't ring the bell inside the chalet. And don't drop anything while in the chalet: that's noisy too.
- He doesn't like anyone knocking on the front door either.
- If he throws you off the balcony, SAY CADUCEUS to heal your broken leg.
- You want the pitons from the Balcony and the climbing rope from the Storage room.
Unfortunately, he will notice you walking back into the bedroom with the pitons, so THROW PITONS while on the balcony
(Smart move!) and pick them up at Dirt path.
- To deal with the gypsies and get the Great Dane:
- Drop your silver dollars and brass key somewhere safe before visiting the gypsy encampment.
- GET BONE from the tent, but make sure you go WEST with it. The gypsy will take back the soup bone if you walk into
his location with it.
- GO WAGON where there's a girl. Unhappily, she'll steal your money and keys if you have any. So, don't have them.
Walk past her by going NORTH back to the Glen.
- If the child does steal your stuff, you'll find your stolen items in the cellar of the abandoned home.
Visiting Cellar seems to return the child to the wagon, so she can steal stuff again.
Unfortunately, to see in the cellar, you'll need the torch and you don't have that yet...
- At kennel, GIVE BONE to the great Dane. GET DANE.
- In the attic of the abandoned home in Pistoria: EXA ATTIC. GET ENVELOPE. EXA ENVELOPE. EXA STAMP. At philatelic's: SELL ENVELOPE. We now have 10 silver dollars.
- Since you only have ten silver dollars, you must spend your dollars wisely:
Don't forget to GET items after you BUY them.
Every other cheap item (magnifying glass, felt hat, jerkin, lace bodice, pearl necklace, liederhosen, anchor) is worthless
to you. Don't buy those things.
- bag of oats: from Dillon's Stables. Needed to feed the winged mare and gain her use.
- tobacco: from Hackencoff's Tobacco Shop. Needed to trade for the key.
- book: from Handyman's Book Store. Although you need the info in it in order to make the sword, you don't need to buy it if you
know what to do by reading it in a previous session.
- silver polish: from Zsa Zsa's Jewellery Store. Needed to polish the Black Giant's tarnished shield.
- sausage: from Ralph's Meat Market. Needed to regain strength while climbing Death Mountain.
- leather: from Hyde's Tannery. Needed to make the sword.
- salt: from Hyde's Tannery. Needed to destroy the slug (via THROW SALT) in the labyrinth.
- Damascus steel: from Rockwell's Steel Mill. Needed to make the sword.
- parka: from Cascade's Mountaineering Store. Needed against the cold of climbing Death Mountain.
- ice axe: from Cascade's Mountaineering Store. Needed to get past the glacier on Death Mountain (you die otherwise).
- The matches at Hackencoff's are free to take -- but only after you buy the tobacco.
- The newspaper at the end of Nuttob Way is another freebie. READ NEWSPAPER.
- Give tobacco to the man in the park for a brass key. It will unlock a treasure coffer later.
- The sausage from the meat market should be cooked in the chalet kitchen. You'll need to GET SKILLET, then COOK SAUSAGE.
- To get the flying mare and kill the Black Giant:
- You'll need the oats from the stables.
- KNOCK DOOR of the cottage, then GO DOOR. The maiden will offer a deal for the use of her mare.
- KISS MAIDEN. SOUTH. GIVE OATS (to mare). FLY MARE. You are now on top of the pillar, looking down at the giant.
- JUMP DOWN. This kills the giant and breaks your leg. SAY CADUCEUS.
- You can now FLY MARE to four different locations: Base of the pillar, Rocky path (at base of Death Mountain),
Dillon's Stables, and Rainbow Bridge. You don't get to choose the mare's destination; she flies to these places in
- You may have noticed the sling and the rock in the forest. They don't work against the giant (or anything
else). Leave them in the forest so you can tell the forest locations apart.
- For Asgard:
- Make sure you have Great Dane with you when you visit Asgard. Travel light; you can really only visit Asgard once
and you don't want a full inventory getting in the way.
- To enter Asgard, FLY MARE repeatedly until you reach the Rainbow Bridge. EXA HEIMDALL. If he's asleep, you can GO BRIDGE.
If he's not asleep, you'll have to try again on another visit. He seems to alternate between alert and asleep on
subsequent arrivals at the Rainbow Bridge -- until you get past him. Then he's alert all the time and you can never
re-enter Asgard. So it's best to do all of Asgard during one visit.
- You want to take the torch and the hammer from Asgard.
- To get the torch, first try to take it. Odin will say you can have it if you first bring him some boar meat for his
hungry wolves. Visit the thickets with the Great Dane in your inventory; the Dane will kill the boar on sight.
GET BOAR. GIVE BOAR (to Odin). GET TORCH.
- To get the hammer, EXA THOR to learn that he likes mead. EXA GOAT to learn that this goat gives a "fermented liquid"
instead of the usual milk. At hay loft: GET HAY. GET BUCKET (which was hidden by the hay). GIVE HAY (to goat).
MILK GOAT (while carrying the bucket). GIVE MEAD (to Thor, who falls asleep). You retain the empty bucket.
- Don't drink the mead! You can't milk the goat a second time.
- You won't need the bucket or great Dane after this.
- FLY MARE to return to the Earth.
- To get oars: LIGHT TORCH (with matches). DOWN from Abandoned home. GET OARS. UP. UNLIGHT TORCH.
("UNLIGHT" is Button's verb for "EXTINGUISH".)
- To make the sword:
- You'll need the hammer, Damascus steel, and the leather.
- The instructions for making the sword are in the book at the book store. READ BOOK.
- At the Blacksmith's: HEAT STEEL. POUND STEEL (with hammer). QUENCH STEEL. GRIND STEEL. WRAP HANDLE (with leather).
You now have a battle sword.
- For Death Mountain:
- For every trip up this mountain, you will need: parka, ice axe, pitons, hammer, and rope. Each and every time.
- For your first trip up, you will also want: battle sword, fried sausage, and net.
- You need the parka to survive the cold.
- You need the ice axe to get across the glacier.
- You need the sword to KILL YETI.
- You need to EAT SAUSAGE (the fried sausage, you did cook it earlier, yes?) to regain your strength after killing the yeti.
- You need the pitons, hammer, and rope to GO WALL at the vertical rock wall.
- You need the net to THROW NET at the condor at the top of the rock wall. GET GAUNTLET. Leave the net and condor.
- Caution: If you EXA TUBE then ENTER TUBE at the dried lava flow, you'll zoom to the southeast corner of the barren plain.
- READ BOULDER at faint path for a message and warning from Nilrem, the Wizard of Rubicon.
- The cave entrance is narrow; you can drop things inside and go back and forth to ferry stuff through.
It's more of a nuisance than a true barrier.
- You need to LIGHT TORCH (you'll need torch and matches) to explore the Labyrinth.
- For Labyrinth, level 1:
- The coffer at the dead end can be unlocked with the brass key you received from the man in the park.
However, the coffer contains a locked iron box.
- The cave bear blocking the way down to level 2 can be easily killed if you have the sword.
- For Labyrinth, level 2:
- The iron key is at the dead end. Of course, it unlocks the iron box. Open the box and examine it to find a
leather pouch. Open and examine the pouch to find gold coins. Examine the coins: there are 2 of them.
(Only two? Some big treasure.)
- The slug blocking the way down to level 3 can't be killed with your sword. THROW SALT to get rid of it;
"pour salt" doesn't work.
- For Labyrinth, level 3:
- You need to spend one of your gold coins and buy the armor. Return with armor and sword.
- There's a map in the dead end. It says to alternate 180 degrees with 90 degrees from the edge of the marsh.
- If you have both the sword and the armor, you can KILL SPIDER.
- For Bottom of the Labyrinth:
- KNOCK DOOR. When asked your name, I used the same name as I did when saving the game, although I doubt it checks.
- For the test of knowledge, VALKYRIE is the name of the forest maiden. Answer in lowercase.
- GO DOOR when it opens. The wizard will tell you several things before he disappears:
- The magic elixir will increase your strength.
- You need to first cross the river, then cross the marsh to the fortress.
- You need to learn the secret of Lugor's powers.
- Shout the killing curse (as written in the Cave of the Winds) to kill Lugor, after learning his secret.
Your curse won't be strong enough unless you know it.
- GET ELIXIR. DRINK ELIXIR. It increases your strength threefold, and you can now pick up the Black Giant's
shield and mace. (Except you don't actually ever need the mace.)
- The torch is blown out by wind if you go down from the edge of the molten lava flow; it's the Cave of Winds.
- If you haven't done it already, buy the silver polish and POLISH (the giant's tarnished silver) SHIELD.
A shiny shield will save your life in the endgame.
- For rapids, marsh, island fortress:
- BUY DORY with your last gold coin. (So much for treasure, eh?)
GET DORY. Take dory and oars to North bank of Rubicon. GO RAPIDS. GO ISLAND.
DROP DORY. DROP OARS.
- Walking around the edge of the island: the green lake's to the west, the red lake's to the east, the molten
lava's to the south. Also, there's an open window up high on the south side of the fortress.
- Caution: GO LAKE or GO LAVA is a quick way to kill yourself!
- To follow the map's instructions, "180 degrees" means SOUTH and "90 degrees" means EAST.
(If you wander the marsh randomly, the wizard will mystically tell you that.) So to alternate between
the two from the edge: S. E. S. E. S. E.
- The mushrooms are poisonous to eat, but you still want to take them. The onions can be eaten safely, but they're very strong.
- The fallen tree at narrow defile can be cut with the saw from the forest: SAW TREE. You can now go west.
- Both steel doors on the ground floor are locked.
- READ TAPESTRY to read a message from the author; the final confrontation is near.
- A gold key is in the Stone Vault in the lower level. The gold key unlocks both steel doors.
- The west steel door leads to a utility room with a circuit panel, which has a lever turned on.
PUSH LEVER turns it off, and the castle loses power (no lights). PUSH LEVER again will turn the lights back on.
You probably want to leave the lights on for now.
- The east steel door leads to a small office containing a safe. EXA SAFE. EXA DIAL. TURN DIAL. 23. 45. 6.
(As per the elevation marker at Summit.) OPEN SAFE. EXA SAFE. GET NOTE. READ NOTE. Here you learn the power potion
recipe: I. Wash the mushrooms in the river. II. Cook the mushrooms over lava. III. Eat the mushrooms.
- Careful while making the power potion. There's lava on the south side of the fortress.
Don't cook with the skillet: both the skillet and mushrooms will be
vaporized. Use the tungsten cooking pot (from the abandoned home) instead. However, this has another problem:
the pot and mushrooms become
too hot to touch! You'll need the gauntlet to take either of them. EAT MUSHROOMS. You now have a third eye that
lets you see in the dark.
- The third eye lets you see in the Cave of Winds, a dark tunnel that runs under the entire island with exits at
the north bank of the river and Nilrem's sanctuary. Read the graffiti in the middle section of the cave where several
possible curses are listed. (If there's a way to know a priori which curse is the useful one, I didn't
discover it. I just tried them in turn during the endgame until one of them worked.)
- Once you have the third eye, you should turn off the fortress's power by pushing the lever in the utility room.
- The window in the lower level is the same one visible from outside. GO WINDOW will let you jump out
the window to the lower location. Your broken leg can be fixed with SAY CADUCEUS, of course.
- The torture chamber has a whip, pliers, and rack. Ignore them.
- The wine cellar has a bottle of Pinot Noir wine. GET WINE.
- There's an armed guard at Open door. Attacking him with a weapon is futile because of a force field. He'll let you past
if you give him the wine from the wine cellar. (Which is a bit weird, if you ask me. The wine cellar's only three rooms
away; he couldn't get a bottle by himself if he wanted one? And what sort of a guard is he if he can be bribed so easily?)
- Entering Lugor's Inner Sanctum is fatal under most circumstances. A trap door opens and you fall into a pool with
tiger sharks. To win, you must first have the fortress's power turned off (to prevent the trap from working),
carry the polished silver shield (to protect you from his lightning bolts), and possess the Third Eye to give you
the power for your curse. (You have a couple chances at getting this right, but if you don't defeat Lugor,
your shield will be destroyed with his third blast, and you'll die with his fourth.) SHOUT CURSE. FIAT JUSTITIA.
For your amusement
- Darkness handling is somewhat buggy:
- A bug: LIGHT TORCH sometimes works at Cellar even if you don't have a torch.
Also, if you DROP anything in the Cellar, the game will also accidentally reveal what the Cellar looks like.
- Likewise, the Nelrem's Labyrinth location is supposed to be a dark room, but GO CAVE lets you see everything
anyway. It's only when you try LOOK without a lit torch (or third eye) that you notice that it's supposedly
too dark to see.
- Dark rooms don't prevent you from picking up objects if you know they're there.
- For toilet humour:
- In the chalet bathroom, try: GO TOILET. And GO BATHTUB.
- Also: WIPE BUTT (with corncob). (The dried corncob becomes a soiled corncob. Ew.)
- CAUTION: SCREW YOU or FUCK YOU sends you to a cesspool where you have nothing. One of the directions from
cesspool lets you return to the barren plain, but then you'll soon discover that every object normally listed
in either a room or in your inventory is now gone!
- Actions that will kill you include:
- KILL GIANT
- KILL or KICK (sleeping) MAN. Likewise SLING ROCK in bedroom.
- GO GLACIER without the ice axe.
- Going anywhere in the labyrinth or the Cave of Winds when you can't see (no lit torch, no third eye).
- KILL SPIDER without armor.
- EAT MUSHROOMS when they're not properly cooked.
- GO LAKE at either lake. The death by red lake is different from the death by green lake.
- GO LAVA at either side of the molten lava.
- GO DOOR into Lugor's Inner Sanctum without turning the power off.
- Failing to curse Lugor before his destroys your shield with successive lightning blasts.