There are several objects in the game that can be attacked many times to improve weapon skills and stats. One is the forge in the armory in the upper keep (when the flame is on). Another is the giant stone thingy in the smithy in the dwarf hall. There may be others.
Afri's orb projects a floor map of the immediate area, in real time. All floor tiles are displayed, whether mapped or not, including hidden and secret areas. Most monsters are also displayed as small dots, moving in real time. Use this orb often to find hidden rooms, false walls, and illusionary walls. The power for this orb doesn't seem to drain.
Some of the orbs have their own unique powers and attributes. All but Afri's and one other are activated by touching it to your character in the mirror. All but Afri's and Saffrini's have a limited amount of energy that drains quickly. This energy is replenished over time, making the orbs re-usable.
For each of the wall patterns, all the secret panels and the push-buttons appear on the same point on the wall. Once you find one, all the rest are located on the same place. For searching purposes, place the mouse cursor to where the secret panel would be - the cursor will change to a hand when you are facing the panel. Buttons are easier to see.
Personal stats and weapons skills do not go up in a stepwise fashion, as the 'circles' would indicate, but go up on a gradient (1-100?). The circles indicate certain points along the slope. This means that weapon speed, chance to hit, shield skill, spell skill etc go up gradually, rather than in big jumps.
Use lots of magic as soon as you find your first runestaff and manna circle. Magic skill goes up with every spell cast (even healing spells). The higher your magic skill, the fewer spell points casting spells cost, and the faster you can cast spells. It may even be worthwhile 'wasting' spells while at a manna circle to boost your skill.
You CAN use two weapons in this game, seemingly without any penalties(??). My favorite is to use a hammer in one hand, and either the magic throwing axe or the dagger of piercing in the other. Each hand is on a separate 'reset' timer, allowing you to get in many more blows.
The shadow weapon doesn't take the form of a regular (1-handed) sword. Make sure you are advanced in another weapon skill, or are willing to occupy both hands with one weapon.
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