The Minotaur Maze is found on the west side of the map, just south of the Hall of the High Kings. It is named as the "ruins of an ancient city" and is only accessible to players leveled 22 through 30. The maze is one of the most frustrating places in ADOM to complete because of its complexity, difficulty and the risk of inventory destruction. Blessedly, the player is not required to complete the maze for either regular or Ultra Endings, so most players will quite happily avoid the maze. For this reason, during development of ADOM v. 1.2.0 an RFE was implemented to increase the desirability of completing the maze; now killing the minotaur emperor results in greater rewards, including an improved axe and a random artifact.
|M||Minotaur Mazelord||Guards the entrance to the mazes.|
|#||Secret passage||Searching will reveal the hidden passage.|
The ruined city level features a single minotaur mazelord and the entrance to the maze proper.
Each level of the maze proper is an essentially random assortment of corridors interspersed with traps and minotaurs of increasing difficulty. Many of the levels feature multiple down (or up!) staircases leading to identically named and numbered levels. Many of these levels are false and will lead the player to dead end levels. In total, there are 14 false levels in the maze. On the fourth level(s) and below, some of the walls in the maze will be illusions that can be passed through. The PC's sight does not extend through these walls, however, so there is no way to test whether or not a wall is real other than by walking into it, or watching a monster pass through it. In addition to the traps, illusionary walls and false staircases, the maze also is filled with minotaurs of various kinds, and the occasional living wall or wall beast. The minotaurs have powerful melee attacks and should not be underestimated. If panicked, all minotaurs will trigger traps and may reveal illusionary walls as they retreat. Minotaur mages are particularly troublesome, since they can cast a very potent confusion spell and will drain stats with frightful efficiency in melee range. They are highly vulnerable to stun rays. Living walls are similarly dangerous because of their high PV and ability to drain strength. On the lowest level of the maze (reached by descending from the correct sixth level) lives the minotaur emperor.
Note that the maze can only be reached between levels 22 and 30. If the ruined city is left incomplete after level 30, there can be no return, and any items left there will be lost forever. Players are also strongly advised not to bring their climbing set into the maze, since, if it is destroyed by one of the numerous traps, they will be unable to pass over the mountains and return to the CoC until a new one is procured.
Upon entering the maze, the main objective is to kill the minotaur emperor. In all versions, he drops the axe of the minotaur emperor (powered up in 1.2.0), 2-4 potions of cure corruption and his corpse.
Strategies for completing the maze
The easiest and most painless way to complete the maze is to have numerous blessed scrolls of magic mapping and on-demand teleportation. Simply read the scroll, and teleport to the stairs. Repeat until the bottom is reached. Due to the large number of levels in the maze, many scrolls may be required.
If the PC does not have access to magic mapping and/or teleportation, the Maze will have to be traversed in a straightforward manner. In order to reduce the danger of the place and the amount of time spent on getting to the bottom level, the following recommendations may be taken into account:
- Valuable items that are vulnerable to destruction (including climbing sets) should be left on the surface. While the Maze does not feature the very dangerous ceiling traps and exploding door traps, all other floor traps are in abundance.
- Alertness and Detect traps skills are highly advised, especially for PCs who have chosen to take valuable destructible items into the maze or those with low HP regeneration rates. Ideally, they should be fully leveled. In addition, blessed ring(s) of searching may be worn so that traps will be easily detected without being triggered.
- Teleport control is also very useful, as there are many teleport traps throughout all levels of the maze, and exploring without control can be a very frustrating experience; additionally, it can greatly increase the time and food required to complete the maze. Conversely, PCs with teleport control can trigger any of the many teleport traps to quickly return to up or down staircases if they realize a level is a dead end.
- The player will likely want some way to mark illusionary walls and staircases that lead to dead-ends. The easiest way is to drop a gold piece on either side of the wall and on the staircases. The position of gold pieces will remain on the map even if a monster picks it up (unless the PC revisits the area).
- The following spells are highly efficient in the Maze: Scare Monster, Slow Monster, Calm Monster, Stun Ray (particularly against minotaur mages), Farsight. Equipping a necklace of the eye and a lit torch in the tool slot also helps greatly.
- Almost all minotaur corpses abuse Willpower when eaten and items are not generated on the floor of the Maze. Killed inhabitants may drop food, but this is exceedingly rare.
- All levels of the Maze are corrupting zones. Some items for emergency corruption removal should be taken to avoid dangerous situations (with such corruptions as poison hands or mana battery). To minimize the risk of losing a valuable scroll of corruption removal or potion of cure corruption to a trap, the PC should bring fireproof blankets and waterproof blankets if possible. Elemental resistances and immunities also reduce the risk of item destruction and damage taken from traps of the corresponding element.
In version 1.1.1 (and earlier applicable versions), the player may identify the correct levels by using the top trap method. Simply detect any trap and calculate which one should be in left top corner (most left top square on look command). In most dungeons, the top trap of next level are five higher than the previous correct level. These numbers are different for false minotaur levels.
Say the first level of maze has pit with vipers as top trap. As soon as you reach staircase go down, find a trap and calculate the new level's top trap. If that one is not exactly five positions further on the trap table, you are on a false level. In that case, retreat and search for another staircase. Using this method you can magic map only true levels. Last level can be dealt with by using monster detection and some teleportation. Some experienced players claim that upper levels of the maze are passable anyway (no high level minotaurs, no illusionary walls). Hence, the location can be completed relatively fast and safe with 3-4 scrolls of magic mapping.
In newer prereleases which have the autoexplore feature ("w?" keys), autoexploring can decrease the tedium of exploring the maze; additionally, autoexplore will automatically find and go through illusory walls.
- Ancient minotaurs on all levels
- Minotaur lords on levels 2 and below
- Minotaur mazemaster on levels 3 and below
- Minotaur mazelords and living walls on levels 4 and below
- Minotaur mages and wall beasts on levels 5 and below
- Minotaur kings on levels 6 and 7
- Minotaur emperor on level 7