Team 6: Dunstan, Alan, Oliver and Alex from St Albans
The sixth quest of Series 8 was for the Crown and lasted 35 minutes.
Dunstan begins in the snapdragon tunnels. Majida advises him to walk down the centre to avoid the snapdragon attacks.
The Level 1 clue room. The scroll reads: "The key to Level 2. Her blade is missing." The clues are: a green blade, a red key, and a jester's folderol.
Spyglass: Lissard has trapped Hordriss the Confuser inside a forcefield. Lord Fear dispatches him to the Quest Room.
Lord Fear says the season is almost over and that there is barely time to complete a quest.
However, Lissard convinces him that a shortcut must exist because Stiletta has been using it to steal from them. Fear orders Raptor to silence her.
Back in the antechamber, the Powers that Be consider this revelation.
Legend has it that the shortcut is the second entrance to the Corridor of Blades. Apparently, it's in Level 1. If you survive it, it cuts out Level 2 altogether.
Next into the pit where Smirkenorff has taken residence. Motley is struggling to entertain him.
Smirkenorff: "Oh, do shut up! You told me that one two hours ago. It wasn't funny then. It isn't funny now."
Treguard hints that they should tell a joke.
- Dunstan: "Why did the dragon cross the road?"
- Motley: "I don't know"
- Dunstan: "To get his pension"
- Motley: "But I don't get it"
- Dunstan: "Neither did the dragon, he wasn't 65!"
Smirkenorff bellows with laughter. Motley wants to use it in his act.
Dunstan asks him where they can find Stiletta. Motley takes Dunstan into the next chamber to find her.
Stiletta is invisible, and does not want to talk unless they send Motley away.
Dunstan tells her that Raptor is coming to kill her. She still won't appear unless they have something for her, so they offer the green blade.
She sheds her cloak of invisibility and reclaims her 'Number Four'.
In return, they ask her about the short cut. She is a little reluctant at first because Dunstan is blindfolded. She says he would only have a 20% chance of survival.
The entrance to the short cut is in Fireball Alley, she says. She charges the Reach wand with a Reveal Hidden spell.
She also gives one final tip on how to survive - a warrior-thief trick:
Throw your whole body from wall to wall. It's the only way to dodge the blades.
In Fireball Alley, Dunstan uses the wand to reveal a door between the fireball ducts.
There is some panic as he wanders into the path of a duct. But the advisors correct him in time and they make for the door.
As we expected - the Corridor of Blades! They follow Stiletta's instructions to avoid the blades.
One near-miss later, they survive!
As if by magic, they arrive in Linghorm. Level 3!
Dunstan is chased by a giant creature.
Treguard: "That was a Miretrog! It's a sort of troll, only bigger and squashier, and definitely nastier..."
The Level 3 clue room. The scroll reads: "Welcome to Level 3. Be quick and be quiet." The clues are: a horn, a lantern and a bottle labelled 'Palladin'.
Spyglass: Lord Fear has fixed Bhal-Shebah. It is now called 'Firestorm of Marblehead'. It will be sent to destroy Linghorm and put an end to Maldame.
They decide to take the lantern and the potion. The Miretrog approaches as they leave the room.
Next, the Watch Tower, where Maldame is observing from above.
They warn her about the red dragon attack. She doubts what they are saying, but offers her assistance.
If the dragon raids then, forewarned and forearmed, I shall be ready for it!
She agrees to help them to Marblehead, and says that they can call her using the calling name 'Spite'.
Dunstan arrives on the upper deck of the Golden Galleon.
She possesses more power than I realised. Let's hope Lord Fear doesn't realise it because he could be in for a nasty surprise.
Miremen appear as Dunstan collects food. The team command him to uncork the Palladin bottle. Before he can do that he falls through the trapdoor to the lower deck.
Surprisingly, he finds Motley and Stiletta, who have formed an unlikely partnership to raid Lord Fear's bullion chamber and get rich.
Stiletta is irritated by Motley, but he points out that Dunstan is carrying what they need - a lantern.
Motley offers them the key to the Quest Chamber in exchange for it. Stiletta then gives Dunstan the rune-lock combination to get into Marblehead.
Goblin horns sound as the ship arrives at the docks. Stiletta and Motley run into hiding. The team exit the boat quickly.
The entrance of the Great Fortress of Marblehead. Dunstan unlocks the door using the combination from Stiletta under pressure from a following Miretrog.
Now Snapper-Jack in the corridors of Marblehead.
Snapper-Jack: "Dunstan. Well, let's hope you don't prove a dunce, Dunstan."
They get all three of his riddles correct.
Into the Fireball Chamber (and the start of the final episode).
The short cut
There was no Level 2 in this quest, as the 'short cut' (the Corridor of Blades) allowed the team to bypass it. There has been some debate as to whether this was engineered to give them team a greater chance of winning.
Team captain Alan Boyd says the team were disappointed to be missing out on part of the dungeon.
Tim Child and the real powers that be didn't expect us to win. A final scene with Lord Fear wasn't even written until we got there!
"Level 2 was missed out and (as team captain) I can tell you now that we were possibly the most disappointed to be missing out on a third of the dungeon.
"However, due to time constraints we were told that if we didn't skip Level 2 it would be highly unlikely that we would be able to complete the dungeon at all.
"As such we decided to take our chances in Level 3 rather than trawling through the second level for nothing (due to time running out).
"We were made fully aware that the difficulty would not change. The easy puzzles from Levels 2 and 3 were removed and the harder puzzles were put together to form a tougher Level 3 (which is the point we quickly started to improve).
"Our victory was a fair one."
Also from the team
In September 2004, Oliver Hilton posted on the forum:
Amusing to see our win is still a matter of debate some 10 years on. :)
Oliver has since been interviewed by VICE magazine.