"Ni no Kuni" Walkthrough: Horace's Riddles
Despite being an entirely optional part of the experience, Horace is a surprisingly important member of Ni no Kuni's cast. Not only does he provide Oliver with some very nifty spells and alchemical formulae, but he also plays a significant role in the backstory . . . . provided that you can answer his riddles. This spooky kid loves his posers, and wherever he goes he's got a new question for Oliver.
To kick off the Horace side quest you need to visit his monument in Ding Dong Dell. When you first get access to the city, run north to the palace. Up the stairs and to the east of the palace entrance is a stone stairway leading to the monument. Horace is hiding behind the monument, and he'll give you the Spirit Medium spell so you can talk to him. Do so and he'll rudely introduce himself, inspect Oliver, and announce that he's heading on a trip around the world. His first stop is the desert.
Your second encounter with the pint-sized ghost is to the east of Al Mamoon's palace, by one of the milk fountains. Horace will congratulate Oliver for making it this far and award him with a Tale of Wonder called The Cowardly Lion and the Prince. He'll ask you to read the story and then answer a question on it: Which is the third smallest character in the story? The answer is 'DRAGON OF THE WEST'. As a reward, Horace will give you the spell Draw Poison and declare that he's headed for the coast next.
Horace will next appear on the eastern-most bridge in Castaway Cove. As a Wizard's Companion fanatic, Horace next wants Oliver to look at Page 13 of the text and tell him what's written in Nazcaan on the page. There's an obvious set of scribbles near the picture of the wizard on this page, but that's not what you have to translate. The actual passage is written on the hem of the wizard's robes, and when translated it reads 'FINEST FIBER'. Pleased, Horace will give you the Vacate spell. Next stop: across the ocean!
Horace is hilariously unamused when you find him in the land of the fairies, which might explain why he's standing on the abandoned path leading up to the Fairy Godmother when you emerge from Mummy's Tummy. He seems desperate to get out of here, so his question is simple: what goes well on a hamburger? 'LETTUCE'. He'll give you some alchemical formulae as a reward, and if you use Nature's Tongue on the seagull at the Fairyground's entrance you'll find the spell Horace meant to give you: Levitate. Next stop for the boy is the big city!
Back in his element, Horace is peering over a railing to the north of Hamelin's entrance. Always in tune with his surroundings, he'll ask you a question related to the area: how many familiars of the Automata genus appear in the large spread picture of the Wizard Wars in the Wizard's Companion? Open to pages 212 and 213 and, with some counting, you'll find 'FIVE' robots. Horace will reward your counting skills with the Chart Chests spell. Hamelin has worn the ghost out, and he wants somewhere more natural for his next voyage.
Horace makes his way to the opposite side of the world when he visits wintery Yule, and you can find him in the elder's igloo in the north of town. He's staring at a bundle of flowers, and he wonders if you can ID them with your Wizard's Companion. Look through the Provisions section and you'll find their name to be 'BLIZZARD BLOOM'. Horace will give you Cloudburst for the answer, then leave to go mountain climbing.
Everyone's favourite ghost again crosses the world, this time to the small mountain town of Perdida. He's in the local Swift Solutions branch, and he's interested in your eye for details. Which Nazcaan rune appears only once on the maps in the Regions of the World section of your Wizard's Companion, and which location does it mark? The rune is less important than the name it accompanies—'JABAL AL-DUKHAN', otherwise known as Old Smoky. Supply this answer for the Veil spell. By this point Horace is done travelling, and he's back to his original haunt.
Ding Dong Dell
Return to Ding Dong Dell once you're tasked with finding the lost continent of Nazcaa. Horace is back behind his monument, and he has perhaps the toughest riddle of the game waiting for you: he wants you to translate the message on the front of his monument, then use the clue it provides to solve a riddle. Translated and reversed, the monument's message works out to:
'THAT WILL SERVE YOU WELL TO MAKE ANOTHER OF FIRST AND SECOND SPELL MIX BLACK STROKE'
Hmm. Odd indeed. Look at the first two spells in the Wizard's Companion, notably the black strokes in the pictures. Combine those two strokes and you get the markings of another spell in the Wizard's Companion: 'UNLEASH'. There's your answer. Supply it and Horace will give Oliver Thunderstorm. He'll also be off to find the place where he died . . . and you won't find him again until after you've beaten the last boss of the game at least once.
Horace appears again in the ruins of Ara Memoriae, the solitary surviving structure on the Nazcaa continent. He's standing in the far north of the area, by one of the pots, and he looks . . . different. He's still Horace, though, and he has a question about people from the old kingdom of Nazcaa, the kind who are up to no good. Look through the equipment for an entry that has red letters interspersed into the black text. This equipment, 'WIZARD'S ROBES', is your answer.
Completing this riddle will earn you the awesome Astra spell. It will also unlock a new Errand, Great-Great-Grandsage, which leads to a whole new line of riddles . . .