Ambrosia is a lost continent, as large as Sosaria and filled with much of the same terrain. You will not find any towns or dungeons within Ambrosia, only four shrines hidden deep within pockets of the realm. There is only one means of reaching Ambrosia, and that is by sailing in to the heart of a whirlpool. It will suck you down into this mysterious realm beneath the sea, where you must fend for yourselves until you escape. Returning to Sosaria can be equally challenging.
Information from Sosaria
This is all the information about Ambrosia that you can learn in Sosaria. Strictly speaking, nobody says what lies beyond the whirlpool, as well as nobody says where are Ambrosia and the Shrines of Truth. Only by braving the whirlpool you will find the link.
|(most towns)||Bartender||"None return or so I'm told, from the pool, dark and cold!"|
|Moon||Cleric in woods outside healer||"I have been beyond the whirlpool!"|
|(most towns)||Bartender||"Ambrosia, ever heard of it?"|
|Britain||Wizard north outside the moat||"Quest ye unto Lost Ambrosia!"|
|(most towns)||Bartender||"Shrines of knowledge, shrines of strength, all are lost into the brink!"|
|Moon||Cleric on north-west island||"Seek ye the shrines of truth."|
|Royal castle||Oracle||"Shrines there are again but four to which you go and pray." |
"Their uses are innumerable and clues throughout I say."
In order to access the land of Ambrosia, you must acquire a ship in Sosaria, and locate a whirlpool. The whirlpool moves about the surface of the ocean, and can be difficult to track down on occasion. When you locate it, sail straight into it. You will arrive near the center of the southern portion of Ambrosia, just above a lake of water.
Loaded with your gold and at least four keys, jump in your ship, find a whirlpool storm and enter it. You'll be cast on the shore of another land: the lost Ambrosia. The game is automatically saved when you enter the whirlpool (not in the NES port).
Be aware that, although your curiosity may be piqued by the presence of several doors found throughout Ambrosia, there is no benefit to opening them and searching for whatever lies beyond them (except for one door in the NES version as described below).
In the NES port, the number of land enemies in Ambrosia is dramatically reduced in the NES version. Pirates, Man-O-Wars and some Daemons are still present, though.
One more feature unique to the NES version is the existence of an Inn in the northern holds of Ambrosia. There you can save your progress without fear of losing the accomplishment of reaching Ambrosia, though reaching the Inn can be quite a feat on its own, and will require a key to open the door that it is hidden behind.
The flower for Sherry/Noriko (NES)
In the NES port, four characters in different towns (Britain, Montor West, Yew) talk about bringing flowers to Noriko/Sherry, a girl who lives in the royal town of Britain.
Just west of the heart of Ambrosia, you can locate a small vale which will provide you with a flower. If you collect this flower and provide it to Sherry in the Royal City of Britain, she will reward you with a Heart Compass.
A single Flower can be carried by each character, and each character is capable of carrying a single Heart Compass in return. The Compass works anywhere in Sosaria, Ambrosia, or even during combat or in a Dungeon (have not confirmed if it works in Exodus). The Flower and Compass can effectively give you four teleports home, and is easily replenished with each trip to Ambrosia. If you use the Heart Compass while the party is on a ship, the ship is teleported in the waters near Lord British castle. This spares you the effort of stealing another ship from the Sosarian pirates.
The Shrines of Truth
In Ambrosia, you can locate four shrines, each of which are associated with a particular attribute. At the cost of 100 Gold, you can raise one of your characters attributes by one point, up to the maximum amount allowed by his or her race. Naturally, it is a good idea to bring as much money as possible with you in order to limit the number of trips you must make to this land.
[E]nter a Shrine to raise attributes. Visit the shrines in this order:
- Maximize the Magic of either the Cleric or the Wizard: you need an advanced multi-death bolt to get past the man-o-war on the way to the exit whirlpool and the dexterity shrine (alternatively, you can use some Sands of Time);
- Shrine of Dexterity: all your characters need high dexterity as soon as possible;
- Shrine of Wisdom: increase the healing skills of your party (Druid, Paladin, Illusionist, Ranger);
- Shrine of Strength: after your physical attackers get a good aim (dexterity), then you can increase their strength;
- Shrine of Intelligence: characters other than the Wizard and the Ranger don't need a particularly high level of black magic (Alchemist needs DEX, Lark needs DEX & STR, Druid needs WIS).
Directions to reach each shrine:
- You reach the Shrine of Wisdom by going north-east behind two locked gates in the north-central area. After the initial north and east travel, work your way south and slightly east. Ignore the next locked gate you see.
- The Shrine of Dexterity is in the southeast area. After entering the dark area (to the east and north of your landing point), work your way northeast. Near the initial entry into this area you'll be able to go south. Following that track gets you to the south shore of the Island, where you must capture a Pirate ship.
- In the NES port, the route to the Shrine of Dexterity is different and harder. A complicated route in the west will get you to another ship and back to the waiting whirlpool, if you're willing.
- The Shrine of Strength is in the west, reached through the mountain entry way in the northwest corner. Work your way south from there. You're on the right track if you encounter two sets of wild horses. Keep going south from there.
- The Shrine of Intelligence lies behind three locked gates in the north-central area. Don't bother opening up the cages. Capture the ship that's waiting for you and sail west to where you can disembark. The Shrine lies behind the third gate.
There are some obstacles to overcome to get to any shrine. In the NES version, all doors and most land enemies were removed.
- Shrine of Wisdom: 2 doors (NES: nothing);
- Shrine of Intelligence: 3 doors, 1 ship (NES: ship only);
- Shrine of Strength: 3 monsters (NES: nothing);
- Shrine of Dexterity: 1 ship, (NES: 1 ship and 2 monsters);
Some more advice:
- Visit Ambrosia every time you get more than 9000 G (9999 is the maximum).
- Manage resources carefully. Keep a close eye on gold and attribute points. Don't try to buy more attribute points than a player type is capable of having because you will lose the gold, but the attribute will not be increased. Don't use the <J>oin gold command if your group has collectively more than 9999 pieces: the counter will just cycle around.
- All players need dexterity and strength, but wisdom and intelligence are only for magic users. Players that use prayer spells require wisdom, but not intelligence; sorcerers are the opposite. Exceptions are: Druids that use half of whatever mental skill you have more of (so max out your best); and Rangers, who use half of the lesser (max out your worst and match it with the other).
The four cards
The Shrines hold one other item of significance: the cards. Collection of all four cards is essential for the completion of the game. Each shrine contains a different card. Some people in Montor explained that you must search the Shrines in order to locate cards. Use <O>ther to SEARCH each of the four shrines to get the cards.
In the Shrine of Strength, you will find the Love card, in the Shrine of Intelligence, the Moon card. The Death card is found in the Shrine of Wisdom, and the Shrine of Dexterity has the Sun (or Sol) card.
In the NES port, you must "Pray" in front of each Shrine Priest. The "Pray" Command is learned in the temple in Yew, and it replaces the "search" command.
Return to Sosaria
In order to leave Ambrosia and return to Sosaria, you must encounter a pirate ship along the southern lake, attack its crew, and gain control of the ship. From the arrival point, go west, south, then east, until you reach a pirate ship. Sail into the awaiting whirlpool in order to get back to the point at which you initially entered the whirlpool.
In the NES port, you have to fight a group of level-5 montsers (Daemons/Manes/Gargoyles) and a group of Man-o-Wars. A powerful Cleric or Wizard or, alternatively, some Sands of Time will be necessary.