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Ancient Shrine
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To the Desert of Despair
Alundra dungeon

The Ancient Shrine, also referred to as the Desert Shrine, is a hidden shrine in the Despair Desert. It focuses mainly on the properties of sand, and the celestial symbols puzzles.

Entering the Shrine[]

The entrance to the Shrine is the first puzzle; by standing between the two end pillars in the row to the south of the desert, a whirlwind transports Alundra to a strange section of the desert; a series of three puzzles, where Alundra must exit the screen in the direction the wind is blowing.

After the three puzzles have been completed, the player will be transported to the Shrine proper.


The Shrine is modeled in a hybrid of Egyptian and Arabic design. In the entrance hall is a throne, with a pile of bones before it. Speaking with the bones initiates a conversation with the unseen lord of the Shrine. He sends Alundra to complete a quest and prove himself as the Releaser. This consists of locating four statues scattered around the shrine.

Common puzzles included the introduction of the celestial symbols puzzles; four symbols representing the sun, moon, stars, and rain must be placed on a number of pads in certain order, configurations, timings or in a combination of these elements. A number of puzzles involve overcoming Alundra's inability to jump at full height in sand, and a four-pitted puzzle, where Alundra must strike a lever to call down four objects, where a number will be spike balls, and the remaining being barrels which will smash when they reach the ground.

After the each statue is reached, it will heal Alundra and encourage him on his quest. The final will direct him to return to the entrance, where Alundra may speak with the unseen lord. The lord recognizes Alundra's courage, and opens a passage beneath his throne. Descending will place Alundra before the final four challenges.

The first is a set of two celestial symbols puzzles, the second being a duel with an Shrine Guardian, third being a small maze, and the final challenge being an ambush by a number of worms.

After these test have been completed, Alundra speaks the lord of the Shrine himself. He congratulates Alundra, and confirms he is indeed the Releaser, but must test to see whether he is strong enough to face Melzas. He sets his eight attendants on Alundra, who transform into mummies.

Destroying them causes the lord to crumble to bones, revealing he died long ago. His spirit presents Alundra with the final treasures of the Shrine, before presenting Alundra with a transportation platform leading to the Despair Desert.