Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.
The Guardian of the Woods has been silenced, and Oliver's to thank for the success. Now, he and Drippy can get into Ding Dong Dell . . . supposedly.
Head back to the castle on the world map. You'll soon notice that the enemies have doubled up and are slightly tougher than before—though Oliver and his familiar should have no trouble beating them to a pulp. Make tracks to Ding Dong Dell.
Reaching the Castle
Once you reach the castle, Drippy will explain how the Take Heart and Give Heart spells work. Approach the guard doing exercises and Oliver will ask him for some Enthusiasm, which will be stored in the Locket when you use Take Heart. Grab a bit, then talk to the other guard and use Give Heart. This seems simple enough, but later in the game, you'll be doing this a lot—and you won't be given constant instruction on who needs what emotion. Once the guard is back to normal, he'll happily open the gate and let everyone in—after letting Oliver know of Merit Stamps and Swift Solutions.
You're now inside Ding Dong Dell! You can run straight to the king of the place and learn some spells. Right?
. . . . or you could explore. Yes. Let's explore first, in pitch-perfect RPG fashion! (You can't actually run straight to the king anyway.)
Exploration: Places of Interest
The people here think Oliver looks a mite odd, so you need to find a store that sells clothes. The spot is marked on your map . . . so let's ignore it for now and go somewhere else! Naturally.
- Start with the house on your right. This is the inn, Cat's Cradle. It's not operating right now, but it will be later. You can, at least, grab a Cake from the urn near the stairs. Beside the house is a strange metal disc; these will come into play later. The house to the left on the street isn't open, but you can get 10 guilders from a vase near the wall. Drippy won't let you go anywhere else, so head west.
- You can now explore as you wish, so head back to the inn and go down the alley that leads north. To the west, near the archway, are Booster Shoots in an urn. Turn back to the main street and check out the big purple building. The owner of the Cawtermaster's Store (har har) can't sell you any weapons or armour (yet), so grab the Sundae from the chest and leave. Head back to the western street.
- Check out Swift Solutions on the left side of the street (the building surrounded by green grass). The Taskmaster inside isn't ready to give you any missions yet, as he's reorganizing the Errand Board, but it's good to know where this place is anyway. Later—in this very walkthrough, in fact—you can come here and participate in tasks and bounty hunts. For now, leave and check a jar on the left side of the building for 30 guilders, then follow the wall to find a back alley with an Ice Cream Cone in another jar.
- Across the street from Swift Solutions is a set of stairs leading up to several more houses. Up here you'll find a boy who talks of mouse-thwacking. You don't know what that entails, exactly, but remember him in the future. You'll also find a purple chest that's sealed with potent magic—another thing to come back to later. No items up here now, sadly, so return to the street and go north.
- You're now outside the castle. To the right of the entrance, in a pot, is a Poison-Be-Gone. Climb the stairs near the fountain and head to the eastern part of the courtyard. In the bottom-right corner is a Loaf of White Bread in a box. Enter the archway nearby and climb the stairs to find what appears to be a huge grave; grab the Slice of Pie from the jar nearby before approaching the grave.
- The grave itself is nothing special. Behind it, however, is an odd, seemingly mute boy who will give you the Spirit Medium spell. Use it (square button) and you'll be able to speak with the boy, who is a ghost—and apparently also the Sage of the Ages, Horace. A former wizard himself, he decides to go on a trip, and invites Oliver to look him up somewhere in the desert. You'll go there soon enough.
That's all for the city, so head to the Hootique a bit further up and on the right side of the previous street. There's another sealed blue chest in here that you should mind for the future—but for now, talk to the old lady, Hootenanny. She has clothes that will suit Oliver nicely, though she needs a day to alter them. She tells you to come back in the morning.
Run back to Swift Solutions. The Taskmaster's now ready to accommodate Oliver by giving him a Merit Stamp Card and telling you about tasks, errands, and bounty hunts. Get enough Merit Stamps and you can earn Merit Awards, which will come in handy throughout your quest.
Drippy suggests going back to the Cat's Cradle and sleeping the night away, but you can do one better by checking out the Errand Board. There are three new errands already that you can complete. Might as well do them before you go any further.
1. A grimalkin standing near the Hootique in Ding Dong Dell looks somewhat troubled.
The grimalkin may be found anywhere on the Hootique's street, pacing from one end to the other. Talk to her and you'll receive the task A Safe Hiding Place, wherein she asks you to check the pots of Ding Dong Dell to find a Red Earring. The Earring is in a pot to the west of the fountain outside the castle, hidden by some bushes.
Completing this task will earn you a Leafy Mantle and 50 guilders, along with two Merit Stamps.
2. A female grimalkin near the Cawtermaster's Store in Ding Dong Dell seems to be deep in thought.
This grimalkin is closer to the archway connecting the two streets than to the Cawtermaster's Store. She wants some flowers (two Plainswort Flowers), as well as some water (two Bottles of Springwater) to keep them fresh. This opens up A Splash of Color. You have to leave Ding Dong Dell to complete this quest, though if you were levelling earlier and collecting everything you could, you probably found the required items already. If not, scour the world map for shining spots until you get the items you need.
Completing this task will earn you a Wooden Shield and 50 guilders, as well as two Merit Stamps.
3. A Ding Dong Dell mother looks like she's worried about something.
The mother in question is standing outside a house near Swift Solutions. The mother is looking for her three boys and wants you to track them down for her. Welcome to Hide and Seek, where you'll have to track down the three boys and use Healing Touch to get them back to their mom. The first boy is up the stairs next to the mother, near the rat-thwacking boy; the second is in the Cawtermaster's Store; the third is near the giant grave where you met Horace.
Completing this task will earn you three Slices of Sweetie Pie, 50 guilders, and three Merit Stamps.
Head to Cat's Cradle
Consider Ding Dong Dell thoroughly canvassed for the moment. Head to the Cat's Cradle and talk to the Purrprietor to stay the night. Doing so will earn you a new Regions of the World page, and you're encouraged to stay at every inn you come across to get more.
Enough tattle. Let Oliver rest for the night. He's been through a lot.