Cadaver is an isometric 3D arcade adventure, played using a joystick and keys. As Karadoc the dwarf, you explore the murky dungeons and eerie corridors of Castle Wulf, interacting with hundreds of objects, people, monsters and puzzles. The ultimate objective is to kill the necromancer, Dianos; but, as is the tradition with bounty hunters, what you find along the way is yours to keep.


A - Main playing area D - Day
B - Icon Panel E - Object Indicator
C - Health/Stamina Bar F - Location

Most of the action in Cadaver takes place on this screen, which is divided into three areas:
  • the main playing area which shows our hero in the current location, with its walls, doors, steps, decorations, objects, etc;
  • the icon panel (the left status display), which either shows the icons (see ICONS), or displays the object you are holding (see OBJECT INTERACTION);
  • other information (the right status display), which reveals your current health, the time (shown in days), the name of objects you make contact with, and the name of the current location.


Karadoc's basic skills include the ability to walk, jump, climb stairs and fight monsters; by pressing F4 you can toggle between moving in eight directions and moving in four, according to your personal preference. There are three major modes of controlling the dwarf and his actions: basic movement, interacting with objects via icons, and the rucksack.


When exploring a location, Karadoc's movement is controlled entirely with the joystick. Pressing the fire button when he is holding nothing allows him to jump. While holding a weapon or spell the fire button fires/casts the item (providing it has some shots left). Pressing the H key toggles a held object on and off, allowing the Dwarf to jump without having to return a weapon or spell to the rucksack. If any other object is being held it is thrown when you press the tire button (be careful not to accidentally throw items'). The item held is displayed in a large window in the left hand status panel when no other action is being carried out.


As you explore Castle Wulf you come into contact with the walls, exits and various objects scattered around the rooms. Walls and floors may contain relevant decorative effects (or they may not - you'll have to experiment). Exits are the usual mode of travelling from room to room (though not the only way): they're generally either simple archways or unlocked doors. However, some doors may be locked, with magic, an obstruction or a simple mechanical lock: these can be opened with a key (most of which need to be inserted into a keyhole), an object, or a spell.
Every object has certain characteristics such as weight or a specific use: on touching an object, the left hand status display reveals a series of icons (see ICONS, below) which represent the actions that can be executed on that item (for example, searching it, or picking it up). The name of the object is displayed in the right hand panel


Objects are manipulated using the icons available: these vary according to the item (you can't drink a spell or cast a potion). The joystick cycles through the available icons and the fire button activates them.
At the beginning of the game, or at any time during it, you can customise the icon interaction according to taste, simply by pressing F3 or F2. F3 toggles between icons being displayed as soon as you touch an item or after pressing the fire button: F2 toggles between using the fire button or the ENTER key to bring up icons. Generally speaking, if you don't want to do anything with an object you encounter, simpily walk away.

This is a full list of the icons in Cadaver how you use them will determine your success in the game.

name function
Joystick Returns your character to movement control
Search Provides information about an object - searching a spell, for example, reveals its name (if you're clever enough to know it), the number of charges remaining, and its power
Take Grabs an object and puts it in the rucksack
Drop Drops an object
Drink Allows you to drink from an object, such as water from a barrel - drinking a potion activates it
Read Allows you to read an object
Hold Allows you to hold an object or return it to the rucksack. Some items (such as weapons) need to be held before you can use them
Cast Spell Casts a spell on the item being touched
Switch Activates objects that behave like switches
Press Activates objects that behave like buttons
Open Opens and closes containers, such as chests or caskets. You won't always be able to do it straightaway!
Insert Karadoc is able to insert items into other items simply by touching them, entering the rucksack, choosing the object to be inserted and selecting this icon. Only the right item will be accepted
Pull Allows you to drag an item
Eat Karadoc may eat any food that he finds. Some food can be used to solve puzzles
Give When Karadoc touches certain objects or characters, he may be able to give that object/person an item (for example, feeding a dying man). This is done by touching the recipient, entering the rucksack, choosing the item to give and selecting the 'give' icon.

However, if you give an item to something, it cannot be returned even if it was the wrong object be careful!


There are two ways of using the rucksack: you can either view individual items or take a look at the rucksack as a whole.
Pressing the SPACE brings up a large window in the right hand status display, which shows the last item in your rucksack which you manipulated or picked up. You can cycle through the icons by moving the joystick. Pushing the highlight off the extreme left or right of the icon panel allows the player to cycle through the items in the rucksack, pressing fire selects the item and returns you to the icons. If you want to return to the small rucksack display again, move the joystick off the left or right hand side of the panel.
Pressing the RETURN key allows you to view the entire contents of your rucksack. Initially, you can hold up to a maximum of 32 objects, 16 of which are displayed on screen at once (you can scroll through them all using the joystick). As each object is highlighted, additional information is given. Pressing fire selects the item, and pressing RETURN a second time returns you to the 'small' rucksack display. Pressing the SPACE a second time returns you to the game.
The ability to carry more objects is a distinct possibility the further you progress.


The book located in the first room is your personal log book. It reveals the amount of gold you have collected, your current health, experience points gained and the percentage of rooms you have visited.
All the money you find (including bags of gold and some gems) is automatically added to your collection without cluttering up your rucksack - unless it's needed as part of a puzzle. Keys that are no longer needed are deleted from your inventory. Experience points are gained by solving puzzles and killing monsters.


A map of your adventure is automatically drawn as you explore the castle and its dungeons to access it, simply press F1. It shows the room that you arc currently in (box with ligh outline), and the rooms you have explored (boxes with darker outlines); however, it doesn't show any rooms that you haven't visited, or the doors leading to them. You can scroll around the map using the joystick, and zoom in/out of it by pressing the up/down cursor keys. If you want to centre the map display, just press CLR/HOME (ST) or DEL (Amiga).
If you can find it, there is a more comprehensive way of mapping the levels later in the game.


Spells are cast with the aid of a variety of items, such as parchment scrolls, wands, runic stones and orbs. They fall into three main categories:
1. Spells which fire a shot (eg, magic missile, unlock door)
2. Room spells, which affect either the whole level (eg, freeze), or just the current room
3. Object spells (eg, unlock chest, bless weapon) The first two categories are cast by holding the spell and pressing the fire button. The object spells are cast by touching the object on which the spell is to be cast, then entering the rucksack and selecting the spell you want to use. A Cast Spell icon then appears (see ICONS) which, when activated, casts the spell.
Potions can be found throughout the game and provide a wide variety of effects, not all of which are positive. Most potions and spells are briefly labelled, but some have no identification tag whatsoever: experimentation establishes the function and name. Alternatively, there are two spells which reveal unknown information: Read Magic allows you to use an unknown spell, and tells you its true name and function; Learn Potion allows you to discern the nature of a potion if its name is unknown (though you can still drink the potion and find out for yourself). The Read Language spell translates foreign scripts: it's used for learning information written in runes of another tongue.


Saving and loading your position in Cadaver is controlled by pressing the S and L keys. Saving your position costs gold: the higher the level, the greater the charge. Loading is free.
You can have a maximum of 10 saved positions, numbered from 0-9. When you press the "S" key you are told the price of the save and asked if you wish to pay. Pressing "Y" deducts this value from your current cash and you are asked to press a number from 0-9 on the numeric keypad: this stores all the data about your game up to that moment. When the "L" key is pressed the player chooses the number of the saved game, again from 0-9 on the numeric keypad.
You must insert a blank disk into the drive in order to save and load the information: this disk is specially formatted, and must only be used for storing Cadaver saved positions.


Amiga/Atari ST PC DOS Function
RETURN RETURN Displays the whole rucksack. When pressed a second time, it returns you to the small rucksack display.
SPACE SPACE Displays a single item from the rucksack When pressed a second time, it returns you to the main game.
H H Toggles a held object on and off
S F5 Save the game position (only available if you have enough money)
L F6 Load a saved game position
1-0 1-0 Save/load a game after the appropriate key has been pressed
P F7 Toggles Pause/unpause
F1 F1 Map
+ - Zoom In/Out of the map
F2 -- Toggles between using fire or ENTER to access icons
F3 -- Toggles between icon displayed as soon as you make contact with
F4 -- Toggles between moving in 8 directions or moving in 4 directions
CLR/HOME DEL F2 Center the map display