Walk through the ruins of Greatwall again and return to the four-way intersection. From here head north-east to reach the now-unlocked door at the end of the hallway. Open it up and head on through, dropping down a short ledge to the north-east (or you could walk around like a dink) and grabbing a square chest below. Continue north-east until you reach a door, which leads to the Tainted Mountain Temple.
Tainted Mountain Temple
" Thus you tread the path of the true Arisen: To face the Dragon... and learn the real truth. "
The real truth? As opposed to what? The fake truth? As in, a lie? Sorry... ahem. This area should look familiar to you-it's where you started the game as Savan all those hours ago. The layout of the Tainted Mountain Temple hasn't changed in all these years, but the loot and the foes are different, so don't assume you know the way (you still need me!). If you've been diligent you should score the Achievement/Trophy 'The Explorer' for finding 150 locations. From the entrance turn north and head under an arch to find an area that's just as boring now as it was back when you were playing Savan... save you get to keep whatever garbage you pick up! Loot a rounded chest and head back south.
Back at the entrance again head south-east, head through another arch, and reach an open-air ledge. No Dragon this time, but that doesn't mean it's safe-in fact, it's just occupied by smaller, sneakier reptiles-Geo Saurians, the third tier of the Saurian family. Dispatch them as you can-there are two in the initial wide portion of this ledge and one more along the south-easternmost point. On the wider, north-western part of this ledge you can find some warrior remains near some debris. From those remains turn north and drop down to a lower ledge that holds a square chest. Be wary, though-as your Pawns will undoubtedly warn you, a fall here isn't healthy.
Note: The Tainted Mountain Temple also marks a bit of a change in policy for the guide. Previously, individual pieces of armor and weapon were rarely discussed in the guide as they were found, as honestly, a lot of it didn't really matter that much. You count the damage and use the highest-powered weapon you had, and the armor was really more aesthetic than anything else. Sure, the defenses do some good, and the resistances, but the net effect of the incremental differences between most gear you've previously found wasn't worth wasting your time on. Now, however, you'll be finding some of the best gear in the game, so choice bits of look will be discussed in greater detail.
Monster Info: Geo Saurians
The fiery branch of the Saurian family, these black lizards camouflage themselves as well as Sulfur Saurians, except they spit explosive goo instead of poisonous goo. They still carry spears, and have the same attacks with both their pole-arms and their natural weapons, save Geo Saurians are far stronger and more sturdy than even Sulfur Saurians. This resilience makes targeting their tail an even more attractive option, since they can withstand more punishment in a head-to-head engagement. They are, as fire-beasts, weak to ice attacks.
|Warrior Remains||Square Chest|
|Rusted Greatsword||Feral Cape|
|Stalwart Earring||Gryphic Cloak|
Path to Dragons Domain
Back on the higher ledge, explore the narrower portion to the south-east, scoring another square chest and some warrior remains at the south-eastern end of this ledge, which is guarded by a third Geo Saurian. North-east of the square chest you'll find a Small Coin Pouch (100 G) and a Coin Pouch (1000 G). Once done turn south-west and explore down the narrow tunnel in that direction, marked on the map as the 'Path to Dragon's Domain'. The path will terminate at a ladder leading down-the lower chamber beyond contains a new, thoroughly annoying foe-the third creature in the Harpy family-the Succubus. Kill the two lurking here and loot around-there's a new plant to pick, the Lava Flower some Harspud Juice to the north-west, and to the west, a square chest.
Monster Info: Succubus
Succubi in Dragon's Dogma are nothing like they are in most games, here they're just Harpies with bat-wings and an even more foul disposition. They will still use the typical fly-by attacks the Snow Harpies were fond of, but they also have a new grapple attack. After screaming, they'll swoop down with incredible speed, aiming to latch onto a character, bite a few times, and force your character to drop melodramatically to the ground. It's beyond annoying. Other than that, expect the same attack as you've seen from Harpies and Snow Harpies... save the frost breath, of course. Their song, however, doesn't cause Sleep, instead it afflicts the 'Cursed' debilitation, which severely lowers your attributes.
|Square Chest||Square Chest|
|Alchemickal Bangles||Gimble Gyre|
|Meloirean Armguard||Iron Bandings|
Continue down a narrow passage to the south-east, picking plants as you desire. When the pass opens up into a large chamber, stop and look around. You should see a few Geo Saurians clinging-without aid of camouflage-to some pillars. There are more beyond them, to the east. Dispatch them however you may, then continue south into the chamber they occupied. If you turn west and jump over a crumbled wall you can find some plants, a Light-Cure, some Harspud Juice, and lootable debris in the mess beyond. Scale the rubble to the south and you can also nab a Large Coin Pouch (3500 G) near a gunpowder barrel. Oh, and try to avoid setting yourself on fire, you crazy kid.
Return to the Geo-Saurian infested chamber back east, and, well, head east between two pillars. Jump over the fallen remains of another column and drop down onto a ledge to score a rounded chest, which always drops a Golden Belt. It's not a bad bit of armor-if the aesthetic doesn't bother you. It's got fair defense, a slew of elemental resistances, and best of all, Petrification resistance. It also adds a whopping bonus to Strength. Nowhere near as good as a Sultry Pareo, but if your Arisen is male, it's not bad.
Return to the Geo-Saurian chamber back west and this time head south under an arch to reach a smaller room. Search the bushes to the west to score some plants and another Large Coin Pouch (3500 G), then turn east and ascend some stairs-jumping onto the rocks just south of the arch on top to find another Coin Pouch (1000 G). Beyond this arch are more Geo Saurians; one clinging to the wall near an arch to the east and two more on a balcony to the north. Smite them and note a doorway to the south; you'll get there soon enough, but for now, turn your attention to the north.
Head north onto the balcony and turn east. Climb the short wall in that direction and continue east, looking over to a ledge below, where a square chest sits. Inside are some gloves that appeal to the various Strider-based classes, not really worthy of note. Backtrack to the balcony and explore to its western edge, which also has a scalable wall that leads to treasure. In this case, another square chest (which contains a Lancer's Sword, certainly an upgrade for any Warrior) and some Interventive. If you're a brave, foolish soul, you'll jump onto the pillar nearby (to the north), which contains some Liquid Vim. Another pillar further north hold a Giant Coin Pouch (10,000 G), as does the one west of the first gold-bearing pillar top. This, however, requires a running jump, good timing. Double Vault or Levitate are necessary, with the latter being superior, in this case.
|Square Chest||Square Chest|
|Assassin's Armguard||Lancer's Sword|
|Black Leather Gloves|
From the first (eastern) gold-bearing pillar top turn east and jump onto a ledge in that direction. Alternatively you can return to the balcony and jump from the elevated north-eastern corner (on which you'll find a Salubrious Brew) to this ledge. If you don't have Double Vault or at least Levitate, you may find this ledge out of reach. Upon it sits an Ornate Chest which can yield some of the best armor in the game; either a Sultry Pareo (high Defense and Magick Defense, Fire Resistance, Petrification Resistance) or a Lamellar Jacket (high Defense, moderate Magick Defense, Fire/Dark Resistance, and Petrification Resistance when upgraded).
Jump back to the balcony to the south and, from there, continue south through the doorway you neglected earlier. Turn a corner to the west, then go through a doorway to the south when you get the chance. In these two small rooms you'll find some warrior remains to loot, another Large Coin Pouch (3500 G) and some Liquid Vim sitting on a rubble-covered bit of worked stone. Return to the hallway and continue west, then turn south and head up some stairs to reach the 'Temple Antechamber'.
|Warrior Remains||Warrior Remains|
|Dignified Cape||Stalwart Earring|
Savan encountered Hobgoblins and Snow Harpies here... you get Hellhounds and Succubi. Sounds fair. Head out onto the northern balcony and turn west. This room consists of two elevated balconies-one north, and one shorter, less intact one to the south. In the middle of the chamber, a bridge connects the two balconies... albeit allowing for a small gap. The Harpies situate themselves along the southern side of the bridge, and the Hellhounds congregate on the lower floor to the east. It would be unwise to engage both groups at once, so you won't; heading west along the northern balcony should provoke the Succubi, allowing you to dispatch them before turning your attention to the doggies below. Speaking of which...
Monster Info: Hellhound
The baddest doggies you'll see in Dragon's Dogma, Hellhounds are stronger, more resilient, and... just bad news. Unlike the lesser Wolves you fought, you'll never encounter Hellhounds in great numbers-maybe half a dozen, tops, and often only several. They make up for this lack of numerical superiority with extreme aggression and fiery breath, making them the only such beasts with a ranged option... a ranged option they're not afraid of spamming repeatedly and which, if it hits, will likely knock you down, leading to you being dragged off and mauled. Being stronger and more durable than normal hounds, you should focus on knock-down strikes, when possible. Lighter attacks will not daunt them the way it bothered their lessers, and will just leave you open to retaliation. Ice attacks also work well.
Once the foes are dead you can turn your attention to looting. Return to the northern balcony and explore to its western end. You can loot the skeletons of fallen soldiers if you really enjoy junk, but you're after superior fare. Over a short wall along the southern face of the balcony lies a narrow ledge, on which you'll find a Dose of Strength on a lip along the western end of the balcony, and some Secret Softener on a lip to the east. Along the eastern edge of the northern balcony you'll find a rounded chest. Ignore the shorter southern balcony upon which the Succubi roosted and climb down some rubble to the east, at the bottom of which lies a Large Coin Pouch (3500 G).
In the rounded chest you might score some Royal Cuisses. They're decent leg-armor, certainly better than anything you've found so far (although Red Over-Knee Boots come close). With moderate Defense, high Magick Defense, and a boost to both Strength and Magick, you'll be hard-pressed finding something better to wear at this point in the game. You also might find a Veteran's Arc; easily the strongest Longbow you've had the chance to get your hands on.
Now on the ground floor near where the Hellhounds rested turn west and explore in that direction. Keep your eye to the north, as alcoves are built under the northern balcony which contain loot, including two rounded chests-one along the western end of the chamber, and one along the eastern end. There's also a Liberating Brew on a rock near the eastern chest and in the rubble west of this rock you'll find a Large Coin Pouch (3500 G). From the western rounded chest turn south to find a square chest, near which some Smother Sap sits. Finally, in an alcove to the south you'll find some Harspud Juice, and east of there are some warrior remains. As for the loot, the Cardinal Surcoat, is respectably potent. Once upgraded it'll also boast some Petrification resistance, rather high Fire Resistance, and it looks snappy, too.
|Rounded Chest||Rounded Chest||Square Chest|
|Algid Bloom||Ardent Will||Archwizard's Helm|
|Cardinal Surcoat||Meloirean Plate||Pleached Limbs|
|Crimson Robe||Royal Surcoat|
You're done looting this chamber. Find a hallway in the south-eastern corner of the chamber and follow it south, then east down a corpse- strewn hallway. Reach a small room to the east and search the north- western corner of the room to score some Harspud Sauce, and in the south-western corner sits a Panacea. Turn north to reach the Grand Hall, where a new foe lurks; a Gorechimera. You might expect a typical boss strategy here, but there's not really any point; the Gorechimera is a stronger version of the Chimera, so a normal monster entry will suffice.
Monster Info: Gorechimera
Gorechimeras are... well, they're just palette-swaps of normal Chimeras. They move the same, attack the same, the Gorechimera just deals more damage and has six life bars instead of four. If you get too near the front the lion will lunge at you, the snake spits a rather potent venom and bites, and the goat can caste a wide range of spells and - unlike the Chimera's goat - tends to favor healing and debilitative spells more than elemental ones. In this aspect, the Gorechimera is far more dangerous than its lesser cousin. The goat head of the Gorechimera is one of the few foes in the game that can cast a death spell (if you see a red ring on the ground, avoid it). The strategy is mostly the same, though; jump on the hind-quarters and detach the snake. When it falls over, attack the goat, and if that dies, finish off the lion. One thing to watch out for, however, is the fact that the Gorechimera is resistant to fire, so use another element to take it down.
After the fighting begins the looting. Note that there are four pressure plates in the hall that need to be depressed to open the doors to the east-doors beyond which the Dragon lurks. These plates are roughly in the four corners... if you were able to trick the Gorechimera onto one... well, it'll speed things up a bit. In the north-western corner of the hall you'll find a square chest and some Harspud Juice. In the south-western corner you'll find a rounded chest and two Large Coin Pouches (7000 G). Along the eastern side of the chamber you'll find an ornate chest. In the north-eastern corner of the hall, on an elevated ledge east of the north-eastern pressure plate you'll find some warrior remains, which always drops a Tattered Mantle. It starts out pretty weak-beyond weak, actually, it's outright detrimental to your elemental resistances (-2%) and debilitation resistances (-10%), but if it's upgraded, it'll become... well, the best cloak in the game, with +2% to all elemental resistances, and +10% to eight debilitation resistances. Not bad at all...
|Square Chest||Rounded Chest||Ornate Chest||Warrior Remains|
|Galvanic Razors||Coupled Headgear||Almace||Tattered Mantle|
|Leather Ocreae||Sultry Cowl||Meloirean Helm|
Depress all the pressure plates and the door to the east will open. Now the only thing standing between you and the Dragon is your own resolve. So, let's discuss final preparations. It's hard to imagine anybody who has followed this guide, done all the quests, etc, being under level 50 by this point in the game, although if you feel under-powered, doing a few more loot runs can't hurt. On that topic, a few runs through the Tainted Mountain Temple will serve you well in terms of both experience and treasure.
When you've resolved to engage the Dragon, grab a few things from storage; healing items would serve you well, namely Potent Greenwarish and Large Mushrooms, both of which can be purchased from Camellia's Apothecary in Gran Soren. Buy as many as you can carry without being burdened beyond, say, average encumbrance? Resist the urge to have Pawns carry your burden, however, as they'll gleefully consume everything themselves. Also be sure to grab your best gear. If you've avoided upgrading anything thus far, you're in good company, but that time is ending, as you're about to find gear worth spending resources on, and you're strong enough that you'll be able to fully upgrade your gear in wyrmfire. In particular, the fight against the dragon will dragon-forge all worn and equipped gear on your Arisen, so anything left behind is a missed opportunity.
Final preparations? Make sure you're whatever Vocation you chose to level as-the fight with the Dragon will almost certainly level you up, unless you're an extremely high level. Bows and grapples work best, so Strider/Assassin/Ranger/Magick Archer are the best Vocation for the fight... but you'll have to use whatever you can. Pick your weapon load-out and Vocation carefully, however, as you'll get a unique weapon for fighting the Dragon-the same type as you have equipped during the battle. For some Vocations, this is pretty simple, but, say, an Assassin, Magick Archer, or Mystic Knight will have quite a few weapons to choose from. As for the Warrior-yes, there is a difference between Longswords and Warhammers, as far as this is concerned.