Legend of Grimrock

From Before I Play
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  • Don't underestimate unarmed as a combat skill. Weapons other than swords can be a little tough to come by (and its not like swords are everywhere either), and some of the stats/skills in the unarmed tree are really handy
  • If you make a minotaur, look at the Head Hunter trait. There are five skulls in the game, and each one will make the minotaur attack harder.
  • Keep rocks around. They come in handy with some puzzles, even later in the game.
  • It might sound a bit min-max-y, but you're probably better off focusing on a few skills for each character rather than spreading over numerous skills.
  • You have to learn spells before you can use them. First, you need to unlock them (add skills in the magic type of choice and get 'Spell: ???'), then either find a scroll that shows the spell, or mess around with the runes until you get it at random. (Or look them up online.)
  • You can't melee from the back row unless you use a long range weapon (i.e. spear), or you level up a rogue's Assassination skill enough.
  • Bows/crossbows take both hands - one for the bow, the other for the arrows.
  • If your torch is running low (you can tell by the icon), you can switch it up with a torch from the wall. Wall torches give the same illumination regardless, and never go out while they are on the wall.
  • Don't just sit there are take punishment from enemies. Dodging around and kiting enemies isn't cheesing the combat - it will become necessary later on.
  • Falling down pits will never outright kill you (though you will take some damage) and is in fact usually a pretty good idea.
  • You can grab items (as long as they are close to you) and manipulate floor switches (via dropping objects) through wall grates.
  • Earth magic is really poison magic. No earthquake spells here. It has its place, but some people feel calling it 'earth' magic is misleading and end up disappointed.
  • Don't cast spells at a wall, or a closing door. It will blow up in your face real good.
  • You can 'throw' objects in three different ways, and each of them become relevant for puzzles. In ascending order of distance: you can drop an object (bring it to the lower part of the screen and release it), you can toss an object (bring it to the upper part of the screen and release it), and you can hurl an object (equip it in one of your hands and right-click it). There is at least one puzzle that you may think you can solve by the second method, but you're just a little short, distance-wise. Use the third and it'll be okay.
  • There is no store or anything like that, so just drop anything you don't need. Food becomes more scarce later in the game, so don't use up valuable inventory on weapons you've progressed past. Again, keep a rock or two around. Early in the dungeon you may find a bone necklace that doesn't seem to do anything, but hang on to that, too.
  • To ensure safe resting, find a room and close the doors behind you. Enemies won't spawn if they aren't already there (with a few exceptions), and they can't open doors.
  • Missile/throwing weapons either hit or they don't based on how things line up with the game's physics system. Accordingly, ranged fighters don't need Dexterity. Accordingly, having a back-row minotaur rogue super-specialized in throwing, maxed strength, with the Skilled and Head Hunter traits is a really, really good idea.
  • Having an ice mage in the back row is a good idea as they get a spell with a chance to freeze enemies which gives you a round or two of free attacks. Mages are a good idea anyway as they can get a spell (via Spellcraft) to replace torches, and eventually get an equippable that emits light on its own. You don't need more than 10 Spellcraft by end-game anyway.
  • For your front line, having a fighter who mainlines Swords and dabbles in Heavy Armor (Armor 16) is a good idea for the long run. The other front-liner could use light or heavy armor and axes, or else go as an unarmed rogue who maxes out evasion.
  • Evasion is generally better than protection, as protection doesn't really reduce damage by that much where evasion avoids it entirely. That being said, there's only enough equippables in the game to have one person leaning on evasion.
  • No matter what you pick, if you focus on one skill per character you will probably reach level 50 in it by endgame but not much moreso.
  • If you're using a guide (even just for secrets) don't bother weighing yourself down with too much food. The hunger meter is paced such that you're expected to spend a lot of time figuring out and failing at puzzles. Also, hunger is a 3-stage affair where as long as it's in the green you have no problems, so it's not something you need to micro-manage too much.