At the top of the temple I found another statue of a horse or perhaps the same one somehow relocated. This time I mounted more easily and as before, the statue came to life. But the ride was own more enchanted than the previous one. This marvelous beast stepped lightly out onto a high parapet, so high I didn't want to look down. Then it reared and with a powerful jump, took off into the air. It carried me soaring in long airborne strides, over the clouds and back to the land I had so briefly called home. It seemed so long ago now, with all I had been through.

Level 14

We landed at the top of an unfamiliar mlnaret of the kind the muezzin use to call us to prayers. But something told me I was not about to have a lesson in the Koran.

I stood on the very roof of the minaret, my steed now turned once again solid, as if carved from ivory or some rare marble. The roof was round and its diameter no more than two or three times my body length. There was no trap door or ladder to lead me into the tower itself.

Finally, I let myself hang over the eastern edge of the tower and dropped, having spotted an opening below. I landed safely on the ledge and walked inside.

The inside of the minaret was both more ornate and larger than I had expected. Fine carpets covered a marble floor, and I saw silken curtains and other fineries scattered here and there. But all thoughts of architecture and interior design were forgotten when I stepped a little farther into the place and saw him.


"So we meet again," I said. "This time you will not escape."

But he just laughed and raised his arms above his head. He chanted some words I did not know, and I felt my head splitting open and my stomach twisting inside me. The next thing I knew I was dreaming a most impossible dream.

Level 15 - The Final Battle

1. I stood on a chess board that stretched away as far as the eye could see. The pieces, easily five meters tall, carried the faces of Jaffar, the Sultan, the Princess, and myself. Of course, I know this was no ordinary chess board.

2. I found some gaps in the floors and, peering downward, saw the great body of a spider, turned on its back and either dead or nearly so. I also spotted a turbaned guard and decided to avoid this room for now, only returning if I could not find any other way out of this dream.

1. Then I heard a voice. It was like the voice of the queen, mother, and it told me, "Let the Shadow free." I didn't know what the voice meant, but inside me I could feel a stirring, and a vision of a blue flame passed before my mind's eye. In all my life, I've never had such feelings and thoughts.

I think I went into some kind of trance, then, Hamza. It was as if I were no longer there. I turned first this way, then that, no longer in control of my body and as I did, I could feel the vitality flowing out of me.

Now, I had been through a lot what with the skeletons, the snakes, the goblin heads, and the strange bird-headed priests. I had even died and been reborn. But this was beyond my comprehension. I could see the blue flame bursting from my body still turned. Then I fell.

This time I did not lose consciousness, Hamza. I saw my body crumple on the floor, draped over one purple square of the chess board. But I stood above it, illuminated with the glow of the sacred flame. I ran to the east, jumping easily over a gap in the floor.

3. I was nearing one edge of the chess board. A great chess piece with the face of my beloved Princess stood before a short pathway leading toward some sparkling crystals of immense proportions. I ran on, leaping another gap at the last moment.

4. The crystal room was beautiful. It sparkled with rainbow colors and iridescent reflections. But it was marred in one respect. There, atop the great flat surfaces of the crystals themselves, stood four Jaffars!

The Jaffars did not move or show any reaction to me at all, and I went amoung them, stabbing each with my sword. I began with the one in middle, then the bottom one. Finally, I stabbed the one who stood in the upper west. I was about to turn toward the final Jaffar when it dissolved before my eyes!

There were gaps in the floor of the crystal room, but they seemed to lead into an abyss. Above, I could see a strangely constructed maze. One support led down into the room I was in. I was standing next to it after I stabbed the last Jaffar, so I climbed up.

5. I had never seen anything like this place before, I took a careful step to the west, then climbed upon one of the strangely constructed pathways facing east.

I saw several healing potions, but left them alone, I climbed to the top pathway and ran to the east.

6. There he stood. Jaffar! At last I've found you, I thought, but I could find no voice with which to speak.

As soon as Jaffar spotted me, he began to climb down to a lower platform and run away. I gave chase. I could feel the power of the flame surging within me and longed to make him taste it.

I ran after Jaffar, following closely on his heels. He ran along the bottom pathway jumping a gap. I jumped just behind him.

5. Jaffar then climbed onto the middle landing, turned to face west, and climbed onto the upper landing. I saw a way to gain on him. I climbed onto the middle landing behind him. Then, even as he jumped the gap, heading east, I was climbing onto the upper landing on the eastern side of the gap. I saw him running away and quickly fired the flame at him.

It missed! I could feel the flame leave my shadow body and suddenly I knew I could no longer use it. Jaffar seemed to realize the same thing, because he suddenly turned and ran after me!

I ran from laffar until I found a healing potion. Quickly I drank it down and it restored my health - and the flame, too! Now Jaffar was on the run once again, and I was the pursuer.

This time I was more careful. I chased Jaffar until I had him cornered against a wall. He looked surprised, then began to plead, but it was too late. I threw the flame without mercy, incinerating him in a blue flash.

In the story, I've given you the (more or less) ideal way to play this level. However, there are a few things you should know. First, in the tarantula room the guards will continually appear and reappear. If by some really strange circumstance you've arrived at this level without enough life potions to turn into Shadow Man, you can sometimes receive Life Enhancement Potions from the guards. Others will leave healing potions. However, fighting them requires good skills.

Most players will not turn into Shadow Man at first. Here are a few tips. The false Jaffars will not do anything if you are very careful. It s safest to start with the upper Jaffar, then drop down to the middle one. Stay very close and carefully step near them. Draw your sword and stab once. If you are careless, they will suddenly strike and kill you with one blow.

When you meet Jaffar in the Escher maze, your sword is useless. If you don't believe that, try attacking him with it and see what happens.

When chasing Jaffar, you should catch up with him easily once you know the pattern of the two rooms. If you have trouble doing so, just try to stay close and don't make any major mistakes. After a while, Jaffar will make a mistake and end up in a crouching position. Then you've got him for sure.

However you deal with Jaffar you have to get a clear shot at him with the fireball. If you miss, you must drink a healing potion to recharge, so you can fire again. Once you throw the fireball, the fire leaves the Shadow Man and Jaffar will begin to chase you. If he gets a clear opportunity to cast his spell, you're done for.

Remember the tarantula room? The guards are tough for the Prince, but they're a piece of cake for the Shadow Man, If you need to recharge, you can go there and get a potion, then return to the maze to get Jaffar.

It may seem very difficult at first to get Jaffar, but it's really quite easy once you figure out the pattern. The trick is in the first room. Jaffar will climb up onto the highest pathway, then jump across to the east and run. You can climb up directly at the eastern edge of the screen, saving yourself several seconds and gaining on Jaffar. Once you have him, fire away and collect your reward!

Continue to Chapter 5: The Shadow & the Flame (After the Battle)
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