Below the Root

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How to play Below the Root

Each game uses different controls, most DOS games use the keyboard arrows. Some will use the mouse.

Below the Root Description

The Kindar of Green-sky were a utopian and strictly pacifistic society, ruled by leaders known as the Ol-zhaan, whom the average Kindar believed to be godlike. "Unjoyful" emotions like anger and sorrow were banned, and kept under strict control by a system of meditation, chant and ritual, accompanied by the use of narcotic berries (which some people, including little children, overuse). The people were vegetarians, although they did eat eggs, and kept brightly colored monkeys, songbirds and occasionally small tree bears as pets. From the few descriptions and illustrations, they appeared to be descendants of European Caucasians. Infants were born with paranormal powers, which should be retained into adulthood, but were disappearing earlier with each successive generation. The people lived in fear of the forest floor and the pash-shan, legendary monsters said to stalk below the roots of their magnificent tree-cities.

In the books, a novice Ol-zhaan named Raamo and his friend Neric (one of the game's playable characters) set out to discover if the monsters truly exist. What they found were the Erdlings, a dark-skinned race made up of exiled dissidents and their descendants. They have been living in the caverns and subsisting on plants, mushrooms and the occasional unwary rabbit (lapan) or ground bird, plus fallen fruits from the Kindar orchards. They are superb craftsmen, metalworkers and jewelers; they have fire, which is unknown in Green-sky, and transport people and supplies by railway, using steam propulsion. They have no taboos against anger, sadness or other "unjoyful" emotions, and (possibly as a result) appear to have retained much more of their psychic powers than have the Kindar.

Their discovery shakes the very foundation of Green-sky's social order. The Erdlings are released from their exile and the Ol-zhaan disbanded, but reconciling the two societies takes a long time. An unnamed society of disgruntled Ol-zhaan (called Salite in the game) and the Nekom, vengeance-seeking Erdlings, began patrolling the branch-paths and causing unrest. Furthermore, Raamo himself apparently perished, silencing a voice for tolerance and unity.

In the game's manual, you are told that the wise old woman (and former Ol-zhaan high priestess) D'ol Falla has a vision, in which she heard these words: "The Spirit fades, in Darkness lying. A quest proclaim - the Light is dying." Your character (one of five from the series) then begins the game looking for clues to the meaning of D'ol Falla's vision in hopes of restoring peace to both nations.

Below the Root - additional information

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Below the Root - Box Cover Art