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American McGee's Alice

 

Chapter 1: Village of the Doomed

Alice starts the game in the Village of the Damned, where the inhabitants redefine "downtrodden". This chapter serves as a nice easy introduction to the game, and sets up the story. You must find the Troll Elder and ask him for his help.

Level 1: Dementia

This is an extremely straight-forward level that gets you used to controling our heroine and mastering a few of her basic moves. You'll find next to no danger here, but a careless step or complete incompetence in battle could get you killed, I suppose.

Simply follow the cave, walkways, and planks, talking to the trolls as you go. You'll pick up a Vorpal Blade, then see the White Rabbit shrink down and go through his door. You'll have to find a way to make yourself small to follow him.

Near where the White Rabbit went through the door, you'll fight a Card Guard.

Keep following the cave until you come to an area with several planks running up and down. Climb up the ledge to your left, then up the ramp and talk to the Troll. Follow the plank to your left again, and notice where the Cheshire Cat is perched when he appears. Jump down to that ledge and exit the level.

Level 2: Pandemonium

The beginning of this level will test your skill with climbing and swinging from ropes. Jump onto the nearest rope, then swing back and forth until you can jump to the opposite ledge. Run down and talk to the Village Elder. He'll tell you that you must retrieve some items for him before he'll help you.

Proceed through the mine entrance near the Elder, and take a ride on the mine cart. Once done, kill the CG and grab the Playing Cards. Go through the door to your right and clear out the guard compound. Grab the key from the table, then climb the nearby stairs and go through the portal.

This will open another portal in the area, but will also force you to defeat several more CG's. Make your way to the second portal and go through. The Elder will take you to your next destination. You will have to use the key to free the Elder's companions.

Chapter 2: Fortress of Doors

With a little help from the Troll Elder, Alice is off on the next leg of her journey. In order to follow the Rabbit, you'll need to become very small. The Elder can help, but he'll need your help in finding the recipe for a special potion, then gathering the ingredients. All of these can be found in the Fortress of Doors and the Skool House, but it won't be easy.

Level 3: Fortress of Doors

Go through the door straight ahead and to your right at the beginning of this level. Ignore the Card Guards overhead now, and proceed to the gate in the wall to the right.

In the next room, kill the Boojums and watch out for the floor when it splits asunder. Jump to the opposite side, then climb the stairs and run across the see-saw piece of floor floating between the two balconies. Balance the piece by standing on the far end to make it tilt, then run to the other end while it's high in the air and jump to the other side.

Level 4: Beyond the Wall

Walk forward into the maze of columns, killing any Card Guards's that appear. You can grab the Rage Box from the pedestal if you like, as it will make things much easier. Once done, find the door at the back of the maze

Going through the doors will bring you to a checkerboard area where a great tempest swirls around you and sections of the floor flip in and out of place. Time your movements across the floor sections to get to the other side.

Note the short cut-scene where the three doors close, each one playing a note. Note the notes (heh...) and the order in which they are played --Low, high, medium.

This corresponds to a puzzle in the next room. There is one lever on the upper floor of this area, and three in the lower. Pulling one of the trio of levers will produce a note. The trick is to pull the three downstairs levers so that they reproduce the tunes you hear when the three doors are locked. Pulling the lever on the upper floor resets the puzzle.

The correct order is: right, left, middle (or, low, high, medium tones).

Once done, cross the chasm by walking across the flipping tiles, and kill the Card Guards's on the other side. Go through the portal.

In the next room, floor pieces rearrange themselves, then move up and down. Kill all enemies in this area, then climb the moving floor pieces to the exit above. While you're at it, though, turn around and check out the mural above the portal you entered through. It's a chilling foreshadowing of events to come.

The next room contains three doors that periodically shuffle themselves around. Defeat the enemies in the area. If you fall into the pit below, ride one of the bobbing pillars up. Once done, watch for the door that is green go through it.

Level 5: Return to the Fortress of Doors.

You'll now be on the top of the Fortress's outer wall. Kill any enemies, then run around to the opposite part of the wall. Jump from he wall to the open door in the Skool House.

Level 6: Skool Daze

Go through the doors, ignoring any Insane Children you come across. Clear the entryway of enemies, then grab the Croquet Mallet. Once done, go through the double doors to the left of the fireplace and meet with the Troll Elder again. He'll explain that you need to retrieve the Book of Bizarre Things from the library so that he can look up the recipe for making you small.

Once done talking to him, clear out the Card Guards's, then proceed to the library, which on the second level of the entryway. The trick here is to find the four glowing blue books and touch them. Each one you touch will fly away and form a segment of a bridge leading to the Book of Bizarre Things. Find all the blue books, then reach the magical tome at the top of the library. You will have to fight many foes along the way.

Once you get the book, go back to the library floor to get the recipe and exit the level.

Level 7: Skool's Out

In this next level, you get your first chance to pick up the Demon Dice. Find the exit to your left. This will take you to a room where the Dice hare sitting on a segment of floor hovering in space. Grab it, but be ready for a fight with Boojums that will be very difficult. Their scream will likely knock you off the edge, so be ready.

Once done, go through the door marked "1st Grayd" on the lowermost level. Make your way to the gymnasium, then pull the lever in the alcove. Once the bleachers are out, use them to climb the rafters and meet with the Troll Elder. When you are attacked by Boojums, grab the Rage Box and clear them out. It's then time to catch up with the Elder again.

Go back out into the entryway and climb the stairs to the second level. Go through the door marked "2nd Grayd". Help the Elder out, then get the scoop on the recipe. You now must go and get some Poppy Blooms to finish the potion. Grab the flask from the cupboard and head out.

To get to the "Third Grayd" where the Poppy Blooms wait, go through one of the side doors outside the lab. This will teleport you up to the next level. Go through the 3rd Grayd door and clear out the enemies. Grab the Lolly Pop and return to the laboratory so that the Elder can finish the potion.

You will now be ready to follow the White Rabbit's trail, but you must take a short-cut through the Observatory (which was previously inaccessible). The Elder will give you a gold star that will unlock the room, so grab it AND the "drink me" potion sitting on the table. Doing so will open a portal that will exit the level

Level 8: More Skool Daze

At the start of this level, you will return to the Skool entryway. Return to the library via the second-story doorway, fight off any enemies you encounter, then find the entrance to the Observatory on the third floor. Enter and use the Gold Star to ride the elevator up.

Once in the Observatory, clear out any enemies, then walk up to the telescope on the balcony. Alice will drink the potion and jump through the tiny portal to enter the next area.

Chapter 3: Vale of Tears

Now that you're itty-bitty, you're free to pursue the White Rabbit and find out what's going on in Wonderland. The Rabbit has a head start on you, though, and catching up with him will be difficult. These woods are full of dangers, and the Vale is still filled with the river of tears from your last visit.

Level 9: Pool of Tears

The Army Ants way up on the cliff will start off by blocking your pursuit of the White Rabbit. Climb up the cliff side, avoiding the boulders as you go, until you get to the top and teach them a lesson. (Note that there is a large Sanity Shard hidden behind the waterfall on the second tier of cliffs.)

Follow the river upstream until you encounter the Mock Turtle. He'll agree to help you find the Rabbit in exchange for a favor. Seems the Duchess has stolen his shell, and he wants it back.

You must now ride the river downstream, using the falling leaves as rafts. There are many tricks along the way, such as jumping over branches, surviving waterfalls, and avoiding enemies. Do your best not to fall in the water, lest you be snark-bait. If you do fall in, get out immediately and wait for the next leaf to come by.

After you drop down the waterfall, take out the Ants, then skip across the lily pads to the next leaf. Make your way downstream, then jump off to the bank on the right just before going over the waterfall. Drop down to the ground below and on to the next leaf.

Again, go down the river, and again avoid going over the waterfall just past where you see the Mock Turtle disembark (going over the falls is fatal). Climb up the ledge to the left of the falls and follow the Turtle. Once again, jump on the leaf raft and follow him down the river. This time when you come to a waterfall, the level will change.

Level 10: Hollow Hideaway

Follow the riverbank until you come to a pond with a few lily pads. Jump across them to the tree root, then to the other bank. Follow this bank around until you can jump on a leaf. Ride it down the pond a little bit until it drops you off on the other side. Run along the bank and clear the area of enemies.

There is a Killer Mushroom here guarding a large Sanity Shard. Don' try to get the shard until the area is cleared of Ants and Blood Roses. Otherwise you might have more than you can handle.

Follow the path until you come to a Blood Rose guarding a large Sanity Shard. Defeat it, then look down the slope to the right for another leaf raft. Board it.

Ride the leaf until you see the Duchess's card hose on your right. Defeat the guards, then talk to Bill McGille.
This level is basically one big fight with the Duchess. Once you grab the Jackbomb from the table in her kitchen, she'll appear and try to eat you.

The Duchess is annoying, since she can turn to a cloud of pepper and evade most of your ranged attacks, and going toe-to-toe with her is a bad idea. The best way to deal with the Duchess is to use the Jackbomb. Run away from her, and drop the bomb at your own feet, and keep running. She'll run straight into it. If you get low on health, grab any of the Sanity Shards that you can find on your opponent's shelves.

Once she's dead, Bill and the Mock Turtle will join you, and the Turtle will reward you.

Level 12: Wholly Morel Ground

This whole level is pretty straight-forward, if difficult at times. In order to avoid drowning, stay close to the Mock Turtle's bubble trail. The bubbles provide you with air.

The only things to watch out for here are Snarks, which can be nasty if you ignore them. If you take a moment to fight them off, be careful of losing the Mock Turtle, though, for if you stray far from his bubble trail you're doomed.

Other dangers include clams that can trap you and bubble jets that can push you into sharp spikes. Be wary of both.

Once you reach the end of the level, the Mock Turtle makes you an "honorary reptile" and gives you the magic of his shell. The shell will enable you to stay underwater for longer without drowning.

Chapter 4: Wonderland Woods

The Rabbit is now at your side, or soon will be, and it's time to find out why things have gone so badly as of late. The Caterpillar is the wisest creature in Wonderland, and he has the answers you need to know. Finding him isn't going to be easy, though. You're not out of the woods yet (pardon the pun).

Level 13: Dry Landing

You must now continue your quest for the Caterpillar, who is the only one who might be able to help you track down the White Rabbit. Follow the path to your right until you come to a pond.

Jump onto the lily pad, then across to the next, then up the rope. Run around the path behind the waterfall until you come to a ledge guarded by a Blood Rose. Climb up the ledge to your left, then use the glowing mushroom to bounce up to the hanging rope. Climb it up, then jump onto the ledge overhead where the White Rabbit awaits.

Follow Rabbit down the cliff side ahead of you. Go from the fungus growing out of the tree's side to the rope, then to the ledge guarded by the Army Ant. From there, follow the path.

You will eventually come to a great pit with several glowing mushroom caps below. Drop down onto the ledge. then use the mushrooms to bounce to the other cliff side. From there, climb up the next rope and use some more mushroom caps to bounce up inside the dead tree.

Follow the path until you come to a narrow bridge in front of a Blood Rose. The bridge will collapse, forcing you to use the bouncing mushrooms once again to get to the other side. Ignore the Jackbomb next to the Killer Mushroom, and instead follow the path to the right.

You will come to more ropes hanging in front of the giant tree. Jump to the rope, then to the fungus growing out of the tree. From there, jump to the next vine and climb it up to the ledge overhead (watch out for enemies above, though).

Follow the riverbank until you come to a path leading out of this level and into the next.

Level 14: Herbaceous Border

This level starts out with the White Rabbit meeting an unfortunate end at the hands (or rather, foot) of a mysterious foe. Once you're done grieving, speed through the clearing and drop down the hole on the other side.

Go down the tunnel until you come to a pair of geysers spitting out jets of hot air. Clear the level above of any enemies, then ride the jets up to the tunnel above.

When the path splits, go to the left. When the bridge crumbles, jump to the bouncing mushroom to the lower left and ride up to the ledge above. Follow the bridgeways and tunnels out. You'll come to an area where you have to ride several more air jets across a large chasm. Ride the jet up until you can jump to the rope. Go from that rope to the next, then climb up it to the ledge overhead.

Jump over to where the cards are, then run up the tunnel to exit the tunnels. Follow the path around to the left, then jump across to the vine hanging down from the tree. From there, follow the path until you come to another hole in the ground. Jump in and follow the tunnel.

Level 15: Rolling Stones

This level will start off with the Ladybugs dropping a giant marble down the tunnel after you. From there, it's a race against the marble. You can't stop for any period of time, or you'll get squished.

The first really sticky point you come to is a large chasm. Use the bouncing mushrooms to get across to the tunnel on the far side. But don't stop! The marble will keep coming.

The next chasm is connected by the bones of some creature, so don't hesitate to run across. Soon you will come to a large ice sheet. Don't hesitate at all, and jump at the last second to keep from falling through. On the other side of the ice patch, you'll fall through a hole in the ground and start the next level.

Level 16: Icy Reception

Follow the path until you come to a deep chasm with ice bridges and rocks. Go to the right and grab the Ice Wand on the ledge below. Be careful in this area, though, for many of the surfaces are slick and may send you sliding to your doom.

Follow the path, watching for the collapsing bridge, until you climb up the rocks next to the frozen Army Ant. Continue to climb the rocks until you come back to where you started the level. Go back to were you jumped down to grab the Ice Wand, but instead of jumping down to the left, jump down to the right to the blue ledge.

It'll now be another race against the marble. Follow the tunnel until it exits to a area full of fire. Watch out for the marble behind you, though.

Once the coast is clear, follow the path to the right until you come to two geysers leading to a far ledge. Ride the air vents up, then follow the path to your encounter with the Caterpillar.

The Caterpillar will explain the situation to you, and insist that you must confront the Queen of Hearts. You must now travel to the Centipede's lair and nibble from the Mushroom of Life in order to regain your normal size.

Go through the portal to exit the level and proceed to the next.

Level 17: Fungiferous Flora


You start off in the middle of a patch of Killer Mushrooms. To avoid them, look for the nearby Looking Glass behind a pillar and grab it. You can walk right past the mushrooms while invisible. If you're quick. you can make it through the whole next area without having to fight.

When you come to a large fallen tree to your left, crawl under it through the water to the other side. Clear out the enemies there, then follow the path until you come to a great hollow tree. Climb in to get ambushed and enter the Centepede's lair.

Level 18: Centepede's Santum


This whole level is just a fight with the Centepede. He can attack a number of ways, such as nasty melee attacks, spitting out smaller centipedes at you, and spitting venom.

The secret to beating him is to attack his vulnerable underbelly. You can only do this when he rears up and gets ready to attack, so a good strategy is to dash in close and bait him into a melee attack, then back away quickly. When he rears up, let loose with a ranged weapon like your Vorpal Blade's secondary attack. Hit him enough times and he'll go down.

If you need health, there's some scattered around the level, but your best source are the small centipedes that the boss spits out. One hit with the Cards toy and they go down, leaving meta essence behind.

Once the Centepede is dead, climb up the fallen spikes to the mushroom to exit the level.

Level 19: Caterpillar's Plot

This level has exits to several other parts of Wonderland, and you'll be returning here regularly to travel to them. Right now, however, only one of them will open --the Oracle's Grove. But you have to do something first.

Wipe out the Fire Imps, but beware the Magma Men that dwell in the lava pools, as well as the Phantasmagoria that lurk about.

Grab the first part of the Jabberwock Eye Staff from the rock pillar in the middle of the lava pool. You'll need to collect the other piece and the eye before you're done, but it's a start. It'll also open up the gateway leading to the Oracle.

Follow the path, fighting through enemies, until you come to the cave of the mysterious oracle. He'll tell you that you must defeat the Jabberwock so that you can complete its staff and open the doors to the Queen's final stronghold.

To get the next piece of the staff, you'll have to enlist the help of the "Pale Royals", or the White King and Queen. After your conversation with the Oracle is over, the doorway to the Pale Realm will open. Backtrack to it just off of the area where you found the first piece of the staff.

You can fight your way through the chess pieces and Card Guards, but there's a much easier way. There's a Looking Glass hidden underneath one of the tiles near where the checkerboard pattern starts. Grab it and simply run past your foes. Enter the portal to go to the next area.

Chapter 5: Looking Glass Land

You'll spend much of this level going through the chess villages. The eternal battle between the White and Red sides is going on all around you, so watch your step. The White chess pieces are friendly, while the Red are not.

Level 20: Pale Realm

Start the level by talking to the White Bishop. This will transform you into a bishop chess piece. You will only be able to move diagonally on the chessboard floor, and must navigate the next area without falling into a pit or being killed by spikes.

Once through, walk into the next area. Here you must defeat several chess pieces (the Jackbomb works very well against chess pieces), then head through one of the doors.

This will take you to a room with an elevator, which will take you to a balcony where there are spikes jutting up out of the floor. Time your movements right to bypass the spikes and get to the next area, where you will have to defeat a pair of Red Bishops.

Follow the path, going through doors as needed, into the large structure and up some stairs, until you find a lever on a small balcony. Pulling the lever will open the doors next to the White Rook. Backtrack down to the courtyard and go through the doors.

Fight more chess pieces and follow the path until you come to a White Knight that transforms you into a chess piece of the same type. This time you can only move in "L" shapes, so navigating your way through the maze is a little more tricky. You can still do it relatively easily, though.

Walk up the stairs to your right and go through the smaller white door to the inside of the building on your right. Go up the stairs, then out the door at the top. Cross the walkways to a guard house with a lever. Throw the lever to raise the water levels below.

With the higher water, you will now be able to swim to a place nearby that you couldn't reach before. Dive into the water and find the ledge (there will be two Red Pawns nearby), climb up, and go through the double doors to the next level.

Level 21: Castling

Walk forward and through the doors, then towards the large gate on your right. This will trigger a cut-scene where the White Queen is captured. Fight off the chess pieces, then go through the castle doors.

Fight off the Red chess pieces, then follow the hallway until you come to a throne chamber. Here you will talk to the White King, who will charge you with rescuing the White Queen and taking a Pawn with you to the Red Chess land.

Once he's done talking, follow either of the two Rooks, who will lead you to a newly opened portal. Go through to enter the next area.

Level 22: Checkmate in Red

This level is much like the White chessboard village, except that it's in white and red instead and black and white. There will be plenty of Red chess pieces to slay.

Start off by running straight forward and diving into the water. Swim around and look for an area with several Sanity Shards and a bubble jet. Swim through this area, then up to a small alcove with a rope. Climb the rope up.

Run across the walkways until you come to a small house with a door you can walk through. Go in, and make your way to the alley out back. Here you'll witness the execution of the White Queen (how morbid). But don't worry --all is not lost!

Follow the alleyways through several Chess Pieces until you come to an ornate set of double doors guarded by two Rooks. Go through the doors, then drop down through the hole in the ground. You will then come to a drawbridge leading to a large chess board where you must battle the Red King.

The Red King isn't that difficult to defeat. He can attack by swinging his scepter, or with a laser attack. Use the Ice Wand on him and keep moving. His attacks don't do that much damage if you keep moving, and if you need health you can scoop it up from where it regenerates around the edge of the map. Just keep moving and keep moving.

Once the King is defeated, you can drop the White Pawn down, which will turn into a White Queen (remember that rule from chess?). Unfortunately, you don't get to witness the ass-whooping the White Queen gives to the rest of the red chess pieces, as the Mad Hatter makes and appearance and knocks you unconscious.

You'll start the next level in his clutches.

Chapter 23: Mirror Image

Start off the level by turning right and following the twisted hallway into the mirror maze. If you like, you can grab the Rage Box by jumping up onto the wooden "ceiling" beam next to the wall and climbing up to the perch.

Keep following the hallways, watching for ambushes, until you come to an area where one of the mirrors is cracked and there's some machinery exposed behind it. Throw your knife at the clock you find there. This will open up a passage on the other side of the glass.

Turn back around and continue to follow the mirror hallways until you come to a giant tube suspended in place (this will only appear if you destroy the clock). After you grab the nearby Jacks (opposite the pipe), go through the pipe to the next part of the level.

In this area, you will have to watch out for Nightmare Spiders, which like to pounce on you from above once you come close enough. Unfortunately, they're invulnerable until they pounce, so you'll have to duke it out.

The trick in this next area is to destroy all the clocks pumping gas into the Insane Children's rooms. Only after you've destroyed all the clocks will the large doorway leading out of this area open up. Go around and destroy the clocks. Note that you must also go back through the pipe, which has now swung around in a different direction, to access several other cells.

Once the pipe breaks and the outer door is open, head through the double set of double doors to the area with pieces of a clock face floating in space. Watch the platforms here, as they will tilt wildly and dump you off into space (if the Boojums don't knock you off themselves). Make your way to the top and go through the outer double doors.

Run along the walkway next to all the machinery, being careful to avoid getting blown off by the strong gusts of wind. To your right you should see three giant rings hanging from the ceiling by cables. Make your way over to these and jump through them.

Walk along the path and go through the double doors. Here you will face Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. Both can pack quite a punch, with either swords or grenades, and both can drop down on top of you for big damage. Worst of all, they can spawn smaller versions of themselves that have the same attacks.

Concentrate first on the smaller one main boss first, ignoring the creatures they spawn in if you can. If you need health, defeat some of the "mini-tweedles", or grab it from where it spawns in on the staircase. Once the smaller tweedle is done for, it's easier to concentrate on the larger one. There's no "trick" to winning this fight, other than knowing which creature to attack.

After you defeat them, the Hatter will show up and whisk you away to the next level.

Chapter 6: Behind the Looking Glass

You are fully within the Mad Hatter's realm now, and things are not pretty. The Hatter is obsessed with time and clockwork, and his mechanical creatures are everywhere. This level is also very surreal, testing your senses at every turn.

Level 24: Crazed Clockwork


Walk down the clockwork pieces and head for the door on the lower right. Go through, then follow the path until you come to a room with toxic water in the middle and hallways to the right and left that lead to levers. Throw both levers to lower a gear over the water. Hop on the gear, then ride it around until you can jump to a new area (look for the Sanity Shard and the words "You're Next" written on the wall.

Go through the door and follow the path until you come to a room with several clock faces floating in the water. Look at the mirrored wall to see which clock faces will sink when you stop on them and which will not. Jump across to the switch on the other side of the water and throw it. Then run around to the door that it opens and go through.

You will now be in a long row with more cells. Go straight forward until you come to a room with padded walls on your right. Drop down through the hole in the floor to the area below. From there, fight the Nightmare Spiders and follow the path until you come to a set of double doors.

Go through the double doors and have an encounter with the Mad Hatter's current house guests, the March Hare and the Doormouse. You'll also get to see how the Hatter creates his Automotons.

Once done talking to these two, throw the lever next to the large machine. This will open a grateway elsewhere and prompt the Hatter to open the giant key-and lock. Backtrack to the newly opened grate (it's not far) and re-enter the long hallway full of cells. They will now be open, however, and newly-formed Automotons will come out. Once they're clear, go back to where the Hatter opened the door with the giant key and go through.

Follow the path to the next set of double doors and encounter the Griffin. He'll tell you that the Hatter will return at 6:00 to check his experiments. Once you're done talking, go back out through the door and continue following the path. Go through several doors, then a green portal.

Upon going through the portal, you'll be on a gigantic tea table with four cups of tea. The trick to exiting this area is to use the seat cushions to bounce onto each teacup, then stand on the sugar cube to sink it into the tea. Once all four cubes are sunk, the exit will appear. Just be careful --that tea is hot!

Run into the next room and throw the lever in the middle of the floor. This will set the clocks to 6:00 and prompt the Hatter to appear. Go through the new portal on your right and confront him.

Level 25: About Face


This level is one big fight with the Hatter. After you grab the second piece of the Jabberwock's staff, he'll appear. The Hatter can attack in a number of deadly ways, such as firing rockets, swiping you with his cane, or throwing toxic tea. There's precious little health on this level, so be efficient.

The best way to beat the hatter is to use a combination of Jacks and either Jackbombs or Ice Wand attacks. Hit him with the Jacks, then go after him with another weapon. You should also do your best to circle-strafe the Hatter --run circles around him so that he can't get a good track on you.

Every once in a while the clock bells will ring and the Hatter will leave the battle field for a moment. Two Automotons will appear to fight you. Don't waste your ammo on them! Instead, run from them, jumping to throw off their missiles. When the Hatter reappears after a moment, he'll slay the Automotons in the process, leaving their Meta Essence for you to take.

Keep wailing on the Hatter and he'll eventually go down. Using the Jacks in combination with other weapons and circle strafing are your keys to victory.

Once the Hatter is dead, ride the clockwork counterweights up to the exit. Make sure to grab the Dead Time Clock on your way out.

Chapter 7: Land of Fire and Brimstone

The Grypon will drop you off in the Land of Fire and Brimstone, then leave to rally the troops. You must find your way through the land and confront the Jabberwock so that you can get his eye to complete the Staff. It's unlikely he'll cooperate, but it's the only way you can breach the Queen of Heart's defenses.

level 26: Burning Curiosity

Walk forward and take out the pack of Fire Imps that come out to greet you. The Ice Wand works well for this. You'll then have to skip across several rocks poking up out of a pool of lava, then climb up the rock face on the other side. At the top of the climb, you'll encounter a couple of Jabberspawn. Surprise them and take them out quickly. Jacks combined with Jackbombs or the Ice Wand work well. There's a Rage Box nearby if you need it.

Go down the hill on the other side of the Jabberspawn, and follow the tunnel through (or better yet, over) some lava streams and up the lava river. You'll have quite a trek, and have to fight Boojums, Fire Imps, Fire Snarks, and Jabberspawn along the way.

Eventually you'll empty out into another rocky area. Jump over the gorge and kill of the Phantasmagoria and Fire Imps on the other side. Follow this tunnel until the Oracle speaks to you again and reveals its identity. He'll tell you to confront the Jabberwock immediately. It's the only way that you can save yourself and Wonderland.

Exit the cave and find yourself looking at a house --your house-- perched atop a giant rock set in a river of lava. Make your way up to the house by jumping up the rocks around it, fighting Jabberspawn, Fire Imps, and Fire Snarks along the way. The pack of Jabberwocks at the top of the stairs is a particular pain, and it's best to pick them off from a distance with your Knife, or lob a few Jackbombs up to them once you get close enough.

Once inside the house, you're ready to confront the Jabberwock.

Level 27: Jabberwock's Lair

This is your first encounter with the Jabberwock. He talks a mean talk, and will do his best to psych Alice out before the fight even starts. This is one of the most important fights in the game and its story, as Alice must overcome her own guilt over her parents' death and her inability to prevent it.

Like other fights, one of the keys to winning this one is to keep moving. You've got little room to run, and the Jabberwock's fire attack has a decent range. It's very hard to keep from being lit up like a candle. Keep on the move, though, and you should be able to avoid most of his melee attacks. You'll then only have to worry about his eye beam attack and fire breath.

But the Jabberwock isn't your only concern. Jabberspawn will periodically join the fray and hamper you. Jabberspawn are actually a good source of meta essence, however, and will nicely supplement the little that regenerates in the main arena.

Weapons to use here are the Jacks o' Death combined with either the Jackbomb (alternat fire) or the Ice Wand. If you need a breather, don't forget to use the Deadtime watch. Keep moving and keep hammering on the Jabberwock until he is defeated (with a little help from a friend). He won't be dead, however, and it won't be the last time you face him.

You will now have the Jabberwock's eye, and with it the last piece to the Jabberwock Eye Staff. Grab it and exit through the portal.

Level 28: Caterpillar's Plot

You will now be returned to the Caterpillar's Plot area. Clear if of enemies, then go look at Humpty-Dumpty. Notice the small brick protruding from the wall next to him. Press against this brick to open a secret area nearby. Go down the hill towards the grate and look for the opening in the wall on your left. Here you can grab the mighty Blunderbuss!

Once you have the weapon, follow the signs leading to the Magestic Maze. You'll have to fight through several Spade and Heart Card Guards on your way, so a roll of the Demon Dice may help.

Once you come to the wall blocking your path, use the Jabberwock Eye Staff on it to open it and grant you passage. Run on through to the next level

Chapter 8: Queen of Heartsland

You're now deep into the Queen's territory, and things will start to get pretty difficult from here. The most elite of the Queen's forces now blocks your path, and taking them out can be difficult. The Spade and Heart Card Guards have deadly projectiles that can knock you into further danger, so be wary.

Level 29: Majestic Maze

This maze can be a nightmare if your combat skills aren't up to snuff. You will constantly be ambushed by Card Guards and Jabberspawn, so be ready to fight. The Jacks and Jackbomb combination are really necessary here.

What you want to find is the red portal. Head to your right and follow the path until you come to it. You can't go through it, but with the portal on your right, follow the path down into the next area. You'll know you're on the right path if you go through a deep archway shaped like a heart.

Follow the tunnel around until you come to a large green portal next to a smaller one. An Insane Child will run through the smaller portal, triggering a gate to close in front of the larger one. Whenever you step on the pressure platform on the left, the gates open, but when you step off it, they close.

There are a number of possible solutions to this puzzle. The easiest is to stand on the pressure plate, then use the Dead Time Watch to freeze time and stroll through the open gates. This is the recommended method (simply wait a few minutes if you need to "recharge" your watch)

The second solution is to throw the Demon Dice onto the pressure plate and have the summoned demon trigger it while you dash through the portal.

The third solution is to lure one of the enemies (Card Guard or Jabberspawn) onto the pressure plate, then run for the gates when they trigger it. Tough to do.

Level 30: Airborne Terror

This level is straight forward, if not difficult, for those that haven't mastered riding air columns. Simply float up the successive thermal drafts to the next highest level, repeating until you reach the end of the map. Watch out for Boojums, though, as they will do their best to knock you to your death with their powerful screams.

I recommend saving your game often here, as one small mistake can send you to your death. If you just can't get the hang of this level and get too frustrated (many gamers can't stand this type of stuff), check out the cheats section for instructions on how to use the "noclip" cheat.

Level 31: Mystifying Madness

This is another very combat-intensive level, so be ready. Don't be afraid to use your Dead Time Watch if things get out of hand or if you want to bypass a particular group of enemies. You'll fight more Card Guards, Jabberspawn, and Boojums than I care to mention here.

Go up the stairs and follow the path to the right until you find a square hole in the ground filled with water. Dive in and swim down to your right. You'll know you're going the right direction if you see a couple of bubble jets. Swim down through the tunnel and come up in an underground cave. There will be a ledge behind a large rock, next to a few Sanity Shards, where you can climb out of the water. Do so, and jump across the rocks to the platform on the other side of the cave. Don't miss the large Sanity Shard if you need it.

Follow the hallway with the grated floor, going straight when it forks at the strange spider-like machine. Throw the switch at the end of the hallway. This will open up a part of the underwater tunnel, but will also loose two Automotons on you and block your return path. Take out the Automotons, then go through the hallway opposite the spider machine.

Go up the spiral stairs, follow the hall, and drop down into the water. Turn around and swim through the caves until you come to the large underground cave again. This time, swim through the underwater tunnel, then up the well to the upper level.

You will now be on the walkways above the maze area where you started the level. Don't drop back down yet. Run along the maze, ignoring Guards for the moment if you can. Keep taking left turns until you find the Looking Glass powerup. Grab it to make yourself invisible.

Turn around and follow the maze, taking your first left. Keep following this path until you come to an alcove with a lever. Throwing the lever unlocks the portal below, granting you exit from this map. Turn around and take your first right, dropping down to the lower levels. Follow the hallway to the exit. If you still have a charge on your Dead Time Watch, then this is a good time to use it.

Level 32: Water Logged

This level is full of water, and your goal will be to make it fuller. There are several pipe lids attached to bobbers throughout the level. Raising the water level will raise the bobbers and open the lids, granting you access to the pipes. There aren't even any enemies on this level besides Snarks.

Walk through the hallway to your right, then dive into the water and swim straight ahead, killing Snarks as you go. Swim under the floor to a small section in the back of the room that opens up to dry land. Climb out of the water, then climb up the ledges and jump on the small metal platform hanging form the ceiling.

This will raise the water level in the room, raising one of the bobbers and granting you access to the pipe. Swim down it, through the holes in the grating, and through the tunnel. Pass through the bubbles to regain breath, and be wary of the turbines that can suck you in and chop you up.

Swim up the long pipe to another room with another metal platform hanging from the ceiling. Jump on it just like before, and find the new pipe that this opens (straight ahead, beyond the first one). Swim down and through the pipes, making sure to go for the bubbles when you need them and avoiding the fans. At the end of the pipe, you'll have to pass through a broken turbine, so be careful.

Once out of the pipe, climb up and activate the last platform to flood the room some more. Run through the structure in the middle of the room and dive down into the water after grabbing the large Sanity Shard. Swim out to the first room, then into the last pipe and through the portal.

Level 33: Labarynthine Revenge

Oh, joy. More mazes. This level will contain lots of enemies of various types, plus another maze. But this time it's a maze of machine pieces, levers, and gears that you'll have to navigate through. There will be a lot of tricky jumping involved at this point, so best to save often.

Start off by turning around and riding down the gear pieces to the bottom area with the lava and machine pieces. Ride the moving piece around to the gear in the middle of the poop, then jump from there to the far ledge. Keep jumping along the gear teeth until you come to a hallway leading inside the castle.

You will then come to a large turbine being driven by steam coming up out of the floor. Run to the top of the ramp and time your movement across the turbine face to get to the hallway on the other side.

Follow the hallway and jump through the holes in the two massive gears blocking your path, being careful not to get blown off the side of the walkway by the steam blasts. Continue to follow the hallways, fighting enemies as you go, until you pass a great water-powered machine and a whirlpool. Going out the nearby door takes you to a small hedge maze, where you must fight more foes.

This is a good time to use the Dead Time Watch to bypass a lot of needless battles. Use the Watch and run through the pathway, following it until you go back inside.

When you come back inside, you'll find your path blocked by two giant gears and some steam blasts. This is tricky, but you have to walk between the teeth of the gears as they come down onto the walkway, timing your movements so you avoid the steam blasts.

After you've made it past this, continue following the hallways until you come to a room with a lava floor and a giant gear rotating in the middle. The trick here is to jump onto the gear, then jump onto the nearby steam blasts to ride them up to the upper levels. Make sure to take out the Boojum first, else you'll get knocked into the lava.

Once at the upper ledge, kill the enemies, then ride the steam vents up to the next rotating gear. From there, jump to the hallway on your right. Follow this hall until you come to yet another giant gear mechanism. Jump onto the horizontal gear, then stand on one of its teeth to ride it around to the other side of the wall. Kill the Card Guard quickly, then jump onto the platform and go through the doorway.

You should now find yourself back in the outside hedge maze area. Follow the path until you come to a courtyard with a statue of the Cheshire Cat and two great, heart-shaped blades blocking your path. Time your movements to run through the hallway while avoiding the blades, then follow the hallways.

The next challenge you'll come to is another set of steam vents leading up to a balcony high overhead. Ride them up, just like you normally do.

At the top, follow the hallway and squirm through some more gears. The exit is just beyond.

Level 34: Machinations

More gears! This is another straight-forward, yet potentially difficult level. You have to jump onto the various machine parts and ride them up to the next machine part, and ride that to the next, to the next, to the next, and so on.

One tip I do have for this level is to remember to use your Deadtime Watch when the gears are lined up correctly for a jump. This will make the jump much easier, especially the crazy ones where you have to jump to a rope from a moving platform.

Other than this, there's no big secret to beating this level. Look for ways to ride gears up, and save often. Again, if you really can't stand this sort of thing, check out the cheats section on how to get past it pain-free.

At the end of this level, ready your Blunderbuss! You'll want it to immediately be available at the beginning of the next.

Chapter 9: Queensland

This is it. You're making your assault on the Queen's final stronghold, with the aid of your allies. This chapter starts with an epic battle between the Gripphon and the Jabberwock. Unfortunately the Gripphon ultimately isn't a match for the beast, and falls.

Level 35: Royal Rage

This level starts off with a bang as you must battle the Jabberwock again. This time he's not pulling any punches, and he's even tougher to beat despite the lack of one of his eyes. He can attack with fire and eye beam attack in addition to his devastating melee attacks. Even worse, he often takes to the air and attacks from above, making him harder to hit.

Start off by nailing the sucker with a Blunderbuss, then running for meta essence. After the Blunderbuss, use the Jacks o' Death and the Jabberwock Eye Staff combination against this monstrosity, and remember to keep moving. Meta essence is scarce here, so make every bit count. Avoid attacking the Jabberwock while he's in the air, and instead run from his fire attacks. When he's on the ground, hit him hard. Once you injure him enough, he won't be able to fly any more.

Again, there's no "secret" to beating the Jabberwock; just keep pounding away, and use the Jacks/Staff combination. It's tough, but it's definitely possible.

Once you're done, say goodbye to Griffon and go through the Castle gates.

Level 36: Battle Royale

A major battle boils all around you, but your opponent is clear: you must find the Queen of Hearts and defeat her. There will be a lot of really tough spots in this level, with Card Guards attacking with powerful projectiles from ledges overhead. Don't be afraid to use the Dead Time Watch to get through the tricky parts.

Run along the pathway and take out the large group of Card Guards that comes out to greet you. An alternate-fire Jackbomb combined with the Jabberwock Eye Staff is effective.

Continue to run along the path, fighting enemies as you go. Use the Blunderbuss to take out large groups of Card Guards, and scoop up all the meta essence they leave behind. Eventually you'll come to a green rock cave. Go through to reach the next level.

Level 37: Ascension

More battling against the elite of the Queen's guard in an attempt to breach her castle walls. For the most part, this level involves running along ramparts and buttresses, finding your way into the castle walls. It's very linear, and there are only a couple of tricky parts.

Again, don't hesitate to use your Dead Time Watch to freeze the action if a particular obstacle is giving you trouble.

At the start of the level, run along the path and jump over the lava pit. Climb the rocks in front of you, then circle around the narrow ledge to a shelf guarded by two Heart Card Guards. Dispose of them, then run up the nearby buttress (you may want to use your Dead Time Watch to keep a Card Guard from overhead from knocking you off the ledge).

Continue climbing up the buttresses until you reach the top. Behind one of the supporting beams, there will be a tunnel consisting of the red fleshy material (yuck!). Drop down into it and follow it.

The path eventually takes you back outside with a bunch of Fire Imps. Kill them, then follow the narrow stone ledge around to another buttress. Climb it, then jump across to the ledge on the other side. Follow the ledge to the left, then go through another tunnel guarded by a Jabberspawn and a couple of Boojums.

Follow this tunnel through several enemies, and up to a series of steam jets. Ride the jets up as high as you can, then climb your way out of the tunnel. You will find yourself overlooking the drawbridge to the Queen of Hearts' castle. Drop on down, clear out the opposition, and march on in.

The inside of the gates will contain several Card Guards, as well as some Grasshopper Tea. Grab the Grasshopper as soon as you can, and run for the rest of the level. Make your way towards the back of the area and find the elevator that takes you to the next level.

Level 38: Castle Keep

You will start off in the Queen's foyer. Clear the area of Card Guards, then walk through the large doors ahead. This will place you in a room with three portraits (The Hatter, the Tweedles, and the Jabberwock) in a sunken pit with a lever on a balcony above it. There is also a mirror in front of the portraits.

When you pull a lever, the mirror rotates to face one of the portraits. The reflection in the mirror, however, shows a card suit instead of the portrait. These suits correspond to doors that are outside in the main foyer area. The combinations are as follows:

What you want to do in this area is pull the lever so that the mirror faces one of the portraits, then go back out into the foyer, ride the air stream up to the balcony, and go through the corresponding door (look for the card suits above the doors). Once inside, you will see three portraits. Throw your knife into the one that you left the mirror facing to shatter it. If you knife the wrong one, you'll be teleported back to the foyer and have to fight more Guards.

Repeat this process for all three portraits. Once you have done this, the door behind the switch will open and you will be able to go through. The Cheshire Cat will give you part of an important message, then leave you. You must now face the Red Queen alone.

Level 39: Heart of Darkness

Walk forward and approach the Queen's Throne. She'll reveal herself, then begin to attack. This is a tricky battle, but there are a few things that you can do to make it easier.

The Queen can attack in a number of ways, including missiles, beam attacks, underground tentacle and an annoying ability to draw you to her self so that she can rend you apart. Each one of these attacks has a unique sound effect associated with it, so pay attention. The one that you must learn is the sound associated with her ability to pull you to herself.

To beat the Queen, nail her immediately with the Blunderbuss, then run for cover behind one of the farthest two pillars in the back of the room. These will provide you with cover from most of her attacks, and will allow you to replenish your meta essence. However, it will not protect you from her ability to draw you to her and rip you apart. To avoid this, you will need to listen for the sound that comes a second before this attack, and run to the other pillar when you hear it.

Continue to dart from pillar to pillar in this manner, replenishing your meta essence until you can hit her with the Blunderbuss again. Repeat until she dies. Save often!

However, the Queen won't really be defeated this first time around. She'll survive your attacks, and taunt you a bit before changing form again...

Level 40: Heart of Darness, Part 2

Woah, this is going to be difficult. The new Queen is the toughest fight in the whole game, and there's no little tricks that you can use to make it easy. She can attack in a number of devastating ways, and can easily knock you off your small ledge to your death below.

The best way to kill her is to use the Blunderbuss right off the bat, and then spend the rest of your time running (and jumping) for the large Sanity Shards that flank her. Once you have enough meta essence, hit her again with the Blunderbuss. Repeat until she's dead, and remember to save often!

If you don't have the Blunderbuss yet, you can find it on a low ledge next to one of the larger ones nearby. Even if you already have it, grabbing it again will completely recharge your meta essence, allowing you to get another shot in.

Once the Queen is dead, Alice's mind is whole again, in this world and in the real world. She is finally well again, and able to put her inner demons to rest. The last we see of her is her leaving the Asylum gates, smiling and with a kitten tucked under her arm.

The End...