BELOW THE ROOT is a game based on the GREEN-SKY TRILOGY by Zilpha Keatley
Snyder. The game was written by Dale Disharoon and distributed by Windham
Classics. Reading the books will not help with the game, but they are
delightful books well worth the time. BELOW THE ROOT is one of the most fun
and beautiful games I have ever played.
The game takes place in the Grunds (tree communities), on the surface, and
below the root of the Green-sky world. The Apple and IBM versions can be
played with a joystick or from the keyboard. The Commodore version can only
be played with a joystick. The program allows for up to five saved games
per backup disk. The game allows you to choose one of five possible
characters. Replaying the game as the other characters provides different
All is not well in Green-Sky! Your quest is to find out what is wrong and
make it right in the least amount of time. To do this, you must explore
this world, gaining "spirit" as you go. Spirit is very important and allows
your character to do many different things. The most basic of spirit skills
is "pense" which allows your character to communicate without speaking.
Spirit can be gained by pensing with special NPCs, increasing spirit by 5;
or animals, increasing spirit by 1.
You must also sleep and eat to maintain and restore your character's spirit
and stamina. Food can be found, purchased or offered to your character by
one of the residents of Green-Sky. Food comes in the form of Fruit and Nuts,
Panbread, Roast Lapan, and Wissenberries. There are two races in Green-Sky,
Kindar born above the root and Erdling born below the root. Erdlings can
eat Roast Lapan as can Kindar, but Kindar do not receive full benefit from
this food. The Wissenberries have a narcotic effect and should not be eaten,
though they will prove useful in other ways. Sleeping can only be done in a
nid (hammock of vines). You can always sleep in your own nid, or others may
offer you the use of theirs. You may not take something unless it is
offered to you, honesty prevails! Be cautious though, not all the residents
of Green-Sky are friendly!
You may choose between five possible characters: Neric, Genna, Pomma, Charn,
and Herd. It is wise for your first game to choose a character with high
stamina and some spirit skill. Choosing an Erdling will provide a wider
diet available to your character, but will also result in some hostility
from Kindar NPCs. You will find that food and nids offered to your
character will be different depending on your choice of race. I recommend
Herd as your beginning character.
SHUBA: The shuba is an outer garment worn by the residents of the Green-Sky
world. It allows your character to glide through the air safely. It can be
torn if your character falls or trips too often. Beware of SPIDERS and
SNAKES as these will make your character fall.
ELIXIR: There are strange elixirs to be found that will increase your
characters' stamina, thus allowing them to quest for longer periods of time
STARTING THE GAME
Choose your character. The game starts in the nid place of your character.
Each character starts with a shuba, one kind of food, and 3 tokens (unit of
money) in their nid place. Pick these up!
On your first venture out forget about the quest and concentrate on
learning your way around Green-sky. Pense and talk with the NPCs. Make
notes on which houses will offer your character food or rest. Locate the
shops and note what they sell. Watch for objects and animals in the Grunds.
Do as much exploring as you can. Remember to check your character's status
fairly frequently. Status will tell you their level of food and rest. A
note on resting: Your character will not get up when their stamina has been
restored, you must do this, don't forget. Watch out for weak parts of
branches as you will fall through. After you have learned your way around,
restart the game.
Be sure to talk to all the NPCs for clues, information, tokens, food or
rest. You can greatly shorten your quest time by doing this as you make
your trial runs through Green-Sky. Note those NPCs with whom you must speak
to gain clues or permission to obtain certain objects.
GAINING SPIRIT AND MESSAGES
Pensing or talking with the following NPCs will gain your character 5
spirit points. You will also be given a clue for every 5 spirit points you
gain. I have listed these in order from easiest to hardest.
The HERMIT is to be found at the very top of the GRAND GRUND. You will need
a "trencher beak" (a cutting tool) to reach him. Trencher beaks can be
purchased in one of the shops in the BROAD GRUND.
VISION: "The body of Raamo, the spirit blessed, sinks beneath the surfaces
of the Bottomless Lake."
The CHILD IN THE GARDEN is found in the small nid place on the right side
of the GARDEN GRUND. You can reach the CHILD either by climbing up from
below or gliding down from above.
VISION: "All of Green-Sky mourn for Raamo, their lost Spirit Leader."
The GIVER OF THE SPIRIT BELL is found only after reaching the nid place in
the highest part of the SKY GRUND and resting in the nid. You will need a
vine rope to get there. Use the vine rope at a spot too wide to jump and
remember to crawl across it. It will disappear as soon as the picture
changes from one location to another, so if you fail your attempt to get to
the top, you will need another rope. Vine rope can be found at the ends of
many of the branches in the SKY GRUND or can be purchased in a shop in the
STAR GRUND. When you exit the nid place after resting, you find yourself in
the clouds. You can safely walk up the clouds to the old lady. You will
then be allowed to take the SPIRIT BELL which is at the highest most part
of the clouds. The SPIRIT BELL will tell you where doorways are to be found
below the root. To return to Green-Sky, you must enter and exit the nid
VISION: "Raamo, the lost son, rises to unite the Erdling and Kindar of
VATAR is found below the root. To reach her you will need a token,
Wissenberries, and Honey Lamps. The more Honey Lamps you can carry the
better. Save the game before you attempt this part of the game as you will
need time to explore the underground. You may need to restore your game
more than once to continue your mapping and exploring of the underground.
To enter the underground you must get to the surface below the SKY GRUND.
To get permission to enter the doorway to the underground, OFFER the guard
Wissenberries. OFFER the guard inside a token, you will then be allowed to
enter the underground. Use your Honey Lamp to light your way. Generally you
want to head off to the right and down. Try to keep to the middle path when
there are more choices. If you pass a bridge with a spider, you are on the
right track. Eventually you will have no way to go but up and then to the
right. As you continue to the right, if you suddenly fall through what
seems to be solid ground you are not far from VATAR.
VISION: "A body washes up from the Bottomless Lake, the boy appears dead
but you can't be sure...."
You should by now have pensed with 5 animals. If not, do so. You will find
3 animals with which to pense in the SKY GRUND, 2 in the GARDEN GRUND, 1 in
the STAR GRUND, and 1 in the TEMPLE GRUND. This last one can only be
reached by gliding into the TEMPLE GRUND from high in the SKY GRUND. There
are animals below the root, too.
VISION: "On a narrow ledge Raamo lives, trapped in the caverns deep below
THE GRUNDS, SURFACE, AND BELOW THE ROOT
SKY GRUND: Wissenberries, vine ropes, elixir, token, 3 animals, and the
GIVER OF THE SPIRIT BELL.
GARDEN GRUND: Vine rope, elixir, Wissenberries, elixir, CHILD IN THE GARDEN.
BROAD GRUND: Tokens, Shops: Fruit & Nuts, Trencher Beaks, Honey Lamps.
GRAND GRUND: Wissenberries, Honey Lamp, HERMIT.
SILK GRUND: (nothing found on branches)
STAR GRUND: Token, 1 animal, Shops: Shuba, Pan Bread, Vine Rope.
TEMPLE GRUND: Wissenberries, vine ropes, Honey Lamp, elixir, token, 1
animal, Raamo's Mother, permission to get D'OL FALLA'S KEY, TEMPLE KEY,
D'OL FALLA's KEY, and SPIRIT LAMP (which does burn out). The TEMPLE KEY is
hidden in a small hole in the left most Grund. To reach it, you must climb
to the very top and glide down. D'OL FALLA'S KEY is reached by going down
to the surface and climbing the vines between the left most and middle
Grund. Once you're halfway up this vine, Kiniport yourself to small ledge
on the middle Grund. The TEMPLE KEY will unlock the gate to the Temple
Grunds. D'ol Falla's Key will open the secret room in the Vine Castle to
get the Spirit Lamp.
SURFACE: Lapan House. WAND OF BEFAL. To get this you will need the ability
to kiniport objects and at least 2 trencher beaks. It is found in a
building between the SILK and STAR GRUNDS beyond hedges. The WAND OF BEFAL
is a cutting tool that, unlike trencher beaks, cannot break.
BELOW THE ROOT: Honey Lamps, tokens, elixir, animals, VATAR, and RAAMO.
HOW TO WIN
Raise your spirit level so that you are able to kiniport yourself. Get the
SPIRIT LAMP. Buy an extra Shuba. Go below the root. Find Raamo near the
Bottomless Lake. Offer Raamo a shuba.
BELOW THE ROOT is published by Windham Classics.