THE NETHERWORLD - Pillars of the Underworld

This level is very challenging and even deadly until you learn a few secrets. Your goal is to make your way across to the Emperor's Crypt. Along the way you have will four major encounters (five if you go for the artifact) with a new enemy, the Blue Ghost. This ghost isn't particularly tough - you can kill it with two hits of your Pa Cheng - but unless you are very fast the ghost will summon a pair of Orange Ghosts that will possess any nearby Terracotta statues. If you are quick you can strike down the Blue Ghost and any orange spirits, thus avoiding a lot of unnecessary combat.

Your primary goal in each encounter is to defeat the Blue Ghost first and lower the force field around the Prayer Pillars. Once this is accomplished you can simply run and avoid the slow-moving statues, but you will need to destroy orange spirits, as they will pursue you relentlessly. Of course, if you don't destroy the statues the spirits will remain trapped inside.
Basically, you can fight as much or as little as you want in this level.

Get your Pa Cheng ready and start following the path around to the left. A movie introduces you to the first Blue Ghost. When you are back in control you can throw your Pa Cheng and get in the first strike on the ghost before he launches two spirits into the twin statues. Quickly run forward and strike the statues with your Pa Cheng using the secondary fire. If you are fast enough you can destroy one statue before it comes to life. Avoid the statues and any flying orange spirits long enough to strike the Blue Ghost one last time, otherwise it will keep sending new orange ghosts. Finish off the statues with hand-to-hand combat (remember, they block the Pa Cheng if you throw it) and any orange spirits using a combination of thrown and hand-to-hand attacks depending on their range.

Continue to the end of the stone path and approach the three Prayer Pillars. You need to spin these pillars in a certain order to raise stone columns that allow you to jump across to the next section of the path. The trick is that these pillars only stay up as long as the pillars are spinning, so you have to make sure you spin the pillar of the closest ledge first and the further column last. In this case, start with the right pillar then the middle and finally the left. Quickly jump across the first two columns and whip-swing to the third. Turn and jump to the left to reach the next stone walkway.

When you land another Blue Ghost appears to the right. Quickly launch your Pa Cheng. If the ghost summons the orange spirits your Pa Cheng may fly off-course and try to hit them instead. Remember to always defeat the Blue Ghost first. Depending on if one or both of the orange spirits made it to the statues will determine how many statues you must face right now. These statues go down easy with fast hand-to-hand combat using the Pa Cheng. If only one statue came to life then try to kill the orange spirit that leaves the first quickly or it will move to the second statue and you will still have to fight both of them. You can also avoid these statues entirely and run to the next set of Prayer Pillars after defeating the Blue Ghost.

You now have four pillars to spin and the order becomes more critical. Spin them in this order: 2-4-1-3 then quickly jump across the first two sections. The second jump is a long one and you may end up grabbing. Don't worry - you still have time to complete the series. Whip-swing across the third gap and angle to the right to jump off the extended section of the final column and land on the next stone path.

Quickly fire your Pa Cheng toward the Blue Ghost. This is the easiest of all the encounters and it is quite possible to destroy the ghost before he summons any orange spirits. If any orange spirits get through you will have to fight the statues one or two at a time. When defeated, the spirits will possess the remaining statues. The trick here, assuming you want to fight any of them, is to lure the possessed statues away from the other statues then run past them and quickly destroy the stone statues leaving the spirits no where to go when they are released. Of course, you can avoid this encounter entirely by running past all the statues to the pair of Prayer Pillars at the end. Spin the right pillar then the left then jump and grab the first floating column. Whip-swing to the next and make a running leap and grab to the far stone path.

Another Blue Ghost appears and there are three statues waiting to be possessed. Fire off that first shot at the Blue Ghost then attack the third statue that didn't get possessed (usually the one on the right). Finish off the Blue Ghost and the remaining two statues. Now it's time to get some artifacts. The first one is easy. Look over the wall in the direction where the Blue Ghost was floating a moment ago and spot a small ledge with the Hidden Artifact: Halberd Plate. Carefully climb over the wall and retrieve this treasure then prepare for the toughest artifact in the entire game.

Note the string of lanterns leading to a tower in the distance. It's going to take a very tricky triple whip-swing to get there and another one to get back after you collect the Hidden Artifact: Gao Burial Mask. Another Blue Ghost and a pair of statues also guard this artifact. The trick to the triple swing is to make a double swing then pause and hang there. Now start swinging back and forth and do the third swing after you have reached your maximum arc. Trying to do all three swings in sequence is almost certain death.

Make the dangerous swing back to the previous stone walkway and continue to the set of five Prayer Pillars. Spin them in this order: 3-5-4-1-2 then make the series of jumps and whip-swings required to reach the Black Pagoda on the far side and end this level.

THE NETHERWORLD - The Heart of the Dragon

Don't worry. These statues won't attack you...yet. Head through the door and into the long chamber leading to the throne room. When you begin this puzzle you will be put into Adventure Mode so your movement will be restricted to the four basic directions and one square at a time. Equip your Mirror of Dreams so you can see the tile with the green circle. When you stand on this tile the large section of tiles ahead will pulse and reveal another tile with a green circle. Quickly move to this new tile before the floor disappears. The tile with the green circle is the only safe place to be standing when the floor vanishes.

Continue moving from green circle to green circle and watch out for the electrical energy coming out of the dragons. The dragons will zap you if you take to long to cross the black bridges between each of the floor sections. It's not terribly lethal but it can add up if you aren't careful. Things get faster and trickier the further you go. Watch for tiles that actually appear behind you forcing you to backtrack.

When you reach the safety of the throne room visit the Water Fountain in the alcove to the left and search the matching alcove on the opposite side of the room to find the Hidden Artifact: Shi Huangdi Cong, the final artifact in the game. Approach the stairs to trigger the movie.

When you are back in control of Indy you and Mei-Ying will be facing those four statues in the first room. These guys are incredibly easy to smash with your Pa Cheng and they don't even have orange spirits inside, so once you smash them they are dead. Mei-Ying will assist you in the fight but you will probably do most of the work yourself. When the statues have been reduced to rubble Grab Mei-Ying and head to the final battle.

THE NETHERWORLD - Rise of the Black Emperor

A picture is worth a thousand words and this one sums up the entire level. Once Marshall Kai imprisons Mei-Ying, summons the giant dragon, then starts flying around shooting energy and fireballs at you it's Indy's turn to fight back. Your Pa Cheng cannot penetrate the shield that protects Kai, so you need to visit the various shrines surrounding the central platform and charge your weapon with mystical energy. When you pass through the blue glow of the altar your Pa Cheng will automatically equip, so spin around and locate Kai and fire.

After you fire the Pa Cheng equip your whip and seek out the next closest shrine. After you visit each one they will stop glowing, so you can always tell where you've been and where you need to go. Try to dodge the attacks of Kai and the dragon and especially watch out for when the dragon does his charge attack. If he hits you with this you will get knocked down and take a great deal of damage. Kai also attacks with a dangerous shockwave that will knock you off your feet if you are in the blast radius.

Continue to each of the shrines and strike Kai with the charged Pa Cheng until a movie triggers with Mei-Ying giving you a valuable clue just before Kai silences her. Only one more shrine to go.

Once you have powered-up the Pa Cheng for the final time fire the weapon at Kai and he will fall to the ground stunned. Approach him and slash at him a single time with the Pa Cheng to knock the Heart of the Dragon loose. Without the power of the Heart all of the captive spirits are released to exact their revenge on their tormentor. Grab Mei-Ying and get out of there.

Indy and Mei-Ying return to Hong Kong to recount their adventures over dinner and what looks to be a very enjoyable evening. I'm sure Indy will thank you in the morning.

Congratulations! You've completed the Netherworld, defeated Marshall Kai, recovered the Heart of the Dragon, and won the game!

Check your Artifact display case from the main menu. If you found all 30 of the Hidden Artifacts you will now have access to a special Art Gallery in the main menu.

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