Dino's Guide to The Savage Empire

Celebrating 21 Years



Primitive weapons

From the manual: Just as every tribe has a hierarchy - with the chief at the top, followed by the shaman, the chief's children, senior warriors, and so on - the natives of the Valley of Eodon believe that their weapons have a pecking order, too.

Part of this belief is practical: A spear does more damage than a crude stone dagger, and so the spear is considered a 'greater warrior' than the dagger. Part of the belief is spiritual; certain weapons are believed to be better-attuned to the spirits, and thus are superior weapons.

Among the natives the Nahuatla obsidian-edged sword is considered the 'chief' of weapons, with the widely-used atl-atl, or spear-thrower, as the well-respected 'shaman'. Beyond that, in descending order of worth, we have the large, two-handed club favored by the strongest natives; the hand-thrown spear; the stone axe used by most native warriors; the primitive short-bow used by nearly every tribe for both warfare and hunting; the solid wood club; the rock hammer, a single-handed club; the scalpel - sharp Nahuatla obsidian knife, more practical as a tool than a weapon; and, finally the relatively rare boomerang.

The blowgun, a weapon in use by all the tribes but especially common among the feared Urali thugs, is the 'outcast', having no place in this hierarchy. The darts alone are far too weak to be a weapon, but when coated with poison they become an instrument of death far too powerful for use under all but the most dire of circumstances.

Obsidian sword The obsidian sword, crafted by the Nahuatla, is the most powerful primitive weapon around. Ten of these swords are required to satisfy the chief of the Yolaru tribe.

Atl atl Spear The atl atl, or spear thrower, takes spears as ammunition. It allows more damage to be done by spears due to an increased throwing velocity. You can read more at Wikipedia's article about atlatl.

Two handed hammer A two handed hammer is a weapon typically found in the Sakkhra caves. The fact that one can use the strength of both arms to deliver a crushing blow with this weapon requires that one sacrifices the use of the second arm that could normally be used to bear a shield.

Spear A hand-thrown spear is one of the most common weapons around. It is powerful and can be used as both a melee and ranged weapon. It can achieve greater damage if thrown using an atl atl (see above).

Axe A stone axe is the favourite weapon of the Haakur. However, it is also popular among the other tribes. It is the best melee weapon for those tribes with no access to the Nahuatla obsidian swords.

Bow Arrows A bow is common among the weaker tribes and is popular especially for hunting. While the bow is a good weapon, the archer should always make sure he has a good stock of arrows, as the bow is useless without them.

Club A wooden club, a smaller and single-handed variation of the two handed hammer, can be found in several tribes. It does only slightly less damage than a two handed hammer, and is designed to crack skulls.

Rock hammer A rock hammer weighs 3 stones. While it is a fairly decent weapon, the amount of damage it does does not make carrying its weight worthwhile. It is more useful to break small blue rocks off blue boulders.

Obsidian knife An obsidian knife may be used as a weak weapon, but it also can be used to cut certain objects or animals like a modern metal knife. However, it is inferior to the modern knife in two aspects: it cannot be thrown, and it can break if dropped at a distance.

Boomerang A boomerang is particular because it is the only weapon that, when thrown, will return to the hand that threw it. Boomerangs are a weapon exclusive to the Pindiro tribe.

Blowgun Poisoned darts The blowgun is the favourite weapon of the Urali. It takes poisoned darts as ammunition. While the darts do very little damage themselves, they afflict their target with a deadly poison that will drain its life slowly and painfully. Blowguns are very light.

Throwing axe A throwing axe is an alternative to the bow that does similar damage, and can be used as both a melee and ranged weapon. It is, like the bow, popular among the weaker tribes. While the manual doesn't mention this weapon, its position in the weapon hierarchy can be deduced by the amount of damage it does (below), which was obtained through experimentation.

Obsidian sword1-1131
Atl atl1-1311
Two handed hammer1-932
Rock hammer1-531
Obsidian knife1-411
Blowgun0-2 (0 poisons)0.51
Throwing axe1-631

Primitive armour

From the manual: The armor and shields of the Valley likewise followed a pecking order. Shields made from Stegosaurus plates are the "chief" form of protection. Armor and shields made of leather outrank those made from tree bark, but either material offers greater protection than cloth.

ProtectionWeightBest source
Stegosaurus shield Stegosaurus shield6Pindiro
Leather armour Leather armour4Nahuatla
Leather shield Leather shield4Nahuatla
Bark armour Bark armour6Nahuatla guards
Bark shield Bark shield5Barrab
Cloth armour Cloth armour3Nahuatla


Necklaces seem to be purely ornamental and have no known beneficial effect. There are three types of necklace:

Lei Lei
Tooth necklace Tooth necklace
Jade necklace Jade necklace

Modern items

From the manual: With the advent of modern-day men to the Valley of Eodon, the natives' weaponry has been challenged by the products of twentieth-century science. The high-powered hunting rifle was the most powerful weapon in the entire valley, bar none. Even the crude but serviceable muskets and grenades I fashioned from indigenous materials were far superior to anything the natives had to offer. The hefty fireman's axe from my displaced laboratory proved to be a good but not outstanding weapon; its primary forte was in the felling of the largest and toughest trees in the valley, a challenge to which no native tool could rise. Likewise, the Avatar's steel Bowie knife was only slightly superior to the natives' razor-sharp stone knives.

Kotl items

Primitive tools

Unique items


The Savage Empire is set in a time far before any money was invented. Trade is very limited, but some people are willing to trade weapons, precious stones or useful items in exchange for raw materials they need, or other valuable items.

Note that everything you find in Eodon belongs to everyone, so there's no such thing as stealing in Eodon. Nobody will complain if you take something from a village or anywhere else.

Valuable materials

The Kotl fruit machine
The Kotl fruit machine

Diamonds, emeralds and rubies can be found throughout the Valley of Eodon. Although precious, their use is very limited. Any of these can be used to buy fruit from the vending machine (X=0DB, Y=0FC, Z=3) in the southeastern part of the Kotl city. Additionally, emeralds can be used for limited trade.

Jade necklaces can also be found, but have no known commercial value and are instead used as ornaments.

In the Tichticatl treasury are four items made of gold (2 gold coins and 2 gold rings). There are also two gold nuggets at Seggallion's hideout.


Like in Ultima 6, there is no obligation to eat food in The Savage Empire. Food may be consumed by using it, in which case it has no particular effect, or it is automatically consumed when you rest. You are healed when resting only if you consume food.

Useful items

Making things

The Savage Empire offers an amazing level of interactivity, and therefore you can craft items from the raw materials that nature offers. Note that most of the tools required to process raw materials, including looms and ovens, are available at Tichticatl. Note also that more than one tool may be used to carry out the same function:

A blue stone can be broken off a blue boulder by using any hammer on it. A blue stone is necessary to make Topuru tell you where to find the Urali.

Cutting up a dead body (using any knife or scissors) gives several rewards. You can skin a sabretooth tiger to obtain a folded skin, necessary to build the Great Drum. Using a blade on any other mammal (particularly a jaguar, gorilla or bear) gives you meat, and leaves a skeleton, which is an infinite source of rib bones (though I haven't yet found any use for them). You can also remove the feathers from a dead parrot, to trade them later with Paxaptemac for emeralds. Trying to cut up the body of some other animal, though, isn't so rewarding. The hide of most dinosaurs is too tough; cutting up a Myrmidex drone or a spider results in a mess, and cutting up any humanoid (NPC, guard or serpent woman) causes the computer to call you a ghoul.

The hide of pteranodons is generally too tough to cut with a knife, but a baby pteranodon is too young to have enough hide to protect its meat. If you can reach a pteranodon nest where a baby pteranodon lies, killing it will give you a roast pteranodon which has meat tender enough to eat.

You can catch fish by using a fishing pole while standing next to deep water.

Corn is obtained by using a corn stalk. Corn stalks grow in the north part of the Disquiqui tribe. Corn may be consumed as food as it is, or may be ground into corn meal. This is done by moving the corn to a grinding stone, then using the grinding stone to grind the corn. Like corn, corn meal may be eaten, but may instead be cooked into tortillas by using a fire pit on the corn meal.

Using a metal bucket while standing next to a tar pit, you end up with a metal bucket of tar. You can use the metal bucket of tar on the ground to start a fire. Likewise, you can use a metal bucket while standing next to water to get a metal bucket of water, and you can use it to put out a fire you started with a metal bucket of tar (but not the fire pits at the centre of each village).

A tree branch is pulled off a tree when any tree is used. A torch may be made by wrapping a tarred cloth strip around a tree branch, or the tree branch may be burned to make charcoal.

Flax is obtained by using a yucca plant. Flax may be traded with Kunawo, shaman of the Pindiro tribe, for reagents; or else it can be woven into cloth by using a loom on it. Cutting the cloth gives you 10 cloth strips, which you may either use as bandages to slightly heal your party members, or dip into a tar pit to make tarred cloth strips. Tarred cloth strips may be used either to fuel a torch or to act as a fuse for a grenade.

Charcoal is made by using a fire pit on a tree branch. Sulphur is obtained by using a wire screen while standing next to a sulphur pit. Potassium nitrate can be scraped off a crystal garden by using it, but a scientist (either Rafkin or Johann) must be in the party to idenfity the useful crystals. 10 units of each of these chemicals are obtained each time you extract them. Gunpowder is produced by grinding these three ingredients together (i.e. moving them into a mortar or grinding stone and using the mortar or grinding stone).

Clay may be dug up by using a digging stick on a coastal area. Simply using the clay gives you a soft clay pot, and baking the soft clay pot produces a fired clay pot. A grenade may be made by using a tarred cloth strip on a soft clay pot, but you need 5 units of gunpowder for each grenade.

A bamboo pole can be broken off a bamboo plant by attacking it. If you are at the lab, Rafkin can make you a bamboo flintlock (primitive rifle). You need gunpowder to use the rifle, and must load it every time you shoot. 1 unit of gunpowder is consumed every time you load the bamboo flintlock.

You can make the Disquiqui's Spear of Shamap, powerful enough to take down even a T-Rex for a short time, by using a jug of their plachta on a spear. The Disquiqui members can give you the plachta you need.

Musical instruments

Item concentrations

Rafkin's lab was teleported to the Valley of Eodon together with the Avatar, Jimmy and Rafkin. It contains many modern items which are essential for the completion of certain quests. Therefore finding the lab at some point in the game is a must, but since there are lots of items and many of them are heavy, you should only go to the lab if you have enough companions to carry everything. While many trips to the lab are possible, finding it alone is no easy task. If you have enough strong arms to carry everything, you will never need to go back. The lab has:

There is a pouch inside Rafkin's hut, at the Yolaru tribe, which contains a few modern items. While there is nothing in it that isn't also at the lab, the items it contains may be useful at the beginning of the game; and since modern items are so rare, they still have a certain value. The pouch contains:

The Tichticatl treasury, as the name suggests, is full of valuables. Among the common riches and the special metal head of Yunapotli are 2 gold coins and a couple of gold rings, items which could never have been created in Eodon. They must have been brought from Earth by Zipactriotl.

In Fritz' cave you will find:

Seggallion's hideout is the game's biggest concentration of riches, weapons, grenades and modern items, containing:

The Savage Empire wiki at StrategyWiki has an Items page listing in detail where to find the various different items in the game.

© by Daniel D'Agostino 2002-2024