DISCLAIMER: We strongly recommend that you first attempt to complete these puzzles without assistance from this guide. Much of the enjoyment here is derived by the discovery of these locations, and the subsequent completion of the challenges within. That said, many of these puzzles can be difficult, so we’ve created this guide to help you if you get stuck. Enjoy.
I was completely blown away when I stumbled upon the first of these hidden jumping puzzles; part vista, part platformer on the Super Nintendo, these hidden gems make for some of the most enjoyable experiences in the entire, mammoth-sized game.
Though some are little more than a complicated series of timed jumps and frustrating failures, there are many others that drift dangerously close to becoming more memorable than most MMORPGs do in their entirety. Hell, some have better pacing, mood and story delivery than most of the story quests, and they’re a boot-load more challenging, too.
Each of these challenges awards a giant chest of goodies and a satisfying achievement upon completion, that can be tracked via the Explorer section of your Achievements. Unlike Vistas, they are not marked on the map, and discovering their locations can often be more difficult than completing the challenges that lay within.
Over the coming weeks we’re going to find them all; beginning with Ascalon and moving through all zones in all regions of Tyria. Special thanks to The 101 Guild Members Careless, Wicked and Tobias Masters for helping discover and complete these awesome adventures.
There are 9 secret puzzles located across 6 zones throughout Ascalon. They are:
PLAINS OF ASHFORD
Traps and trickery are plentiful in the Loreclaw Expanse; spike and fire traps in the initial corridors will kill you immediately, though fortunately, falling from one of the many beam jumps will find your your fall broken by the large pit of water below. Of course, you’ll need to find the secret underwater tunnel exit to escape, and start over from the beginning if you do.
The chest at the end is a fake; opening it will spawn a boss. Search the chest room carefully to discover the hidden area in the back containing the real chest and accompanying achievement.
A jumping puzzle hidden along the side of what appears to be an ordinary mountain that is accessible via a hidden hole in a crumbling wall. This hole is only visible after reaching the highest point on the map area indicated above, and is covered in green vines. This is a tricky one to spot, so be on the lookout, and see the screenshots below for additional assistance.
After making your way through the hole, veer around to the left to discover a difficult-to-spot path behind the wall, followed by another hidden hole in the wall covered by tall green blades of grass. Follow the wall around to the left, jump across to the floating grassy platforms and then across again to the green hill section at the back. From here, you’ll see the Splendid Chest, and the Veteran monster guarding it.
WALL BREACH BLITZ
Located along the Breached Wall and tied in with the vista, this is one of the easier puzzles in Guild Wars 2. Begin at the western end by climbing the stairs and then simply follow the edge along the wall. At one point, you’ll need to jump across to a ledge with a smaller ledge just next to it; if you miss the high ledge, you’ll need to go around to the back to discover a secret path leading up.
Another outdoor puzzle, Grendich Gamble is a simple matter of climbing a broken tower from the outside. This is probably the most simple puzzle in Ascalon, but if you get stuck, the screenshots below should help you overcome any challenges.
Located within the Spider Cave outlined in the image above, and accessed via a hidden hole in the back of that cave, the Behem Gauntlet is a simple, if at first glance seemingly complex, puzzle that simple requires ignoring the hanging rocks as you enter the cavern, turning left and dropping to the area below. Follow this path around and continue to drop down another level at the end each time.
The goal is to get to the chest located on the centre of the large rock in the middle of the room. Take a look at the screenshots below to see how best to navigate the drops and paths.
Possibly the most challenging puzzle in Ascalon, and definitely the longest, Craze’s Folly can be accessed via a small crevice in the mountain north of the waypoint outlined above. From there, take the eastern passage, climb up and out into the grotto. This part took us quite a while to figure out, but it’s actually not so complicated. The cliff rock at the entrance will allow you to jump across the broken ruins with ease, giving you access to the troll cave ahead.
In the troll cave, you’ll need to climb up to a green island facing another island with a tree and a chest. Ignore the tree island, and instead turn right and jump across to the ledge. Follow the ledge, then fall down to the bats below to discover a hidden hole in the ground. You’ll find a Veteran Troll, a Splendid Chest and your achievement in the cavern below.
FIELDS OF RUIN
This one’s a bit of a doozy; first, the entrance blends in quite well with the surrounding wall, so it can be difficult to spot. Second, there are many dead-end paths designed to distract you; don’t be fooled, the correct path can be accessed by turning right just as you enter, following the beam upward and then continuing to follow the outlined path below. This will take many tries, and as falling results in instant death, can be very frustrating.
Chaos Crystal Cavern
Easy to find, difficult to complete, the Chaos Crystal Caverns are entirely straightforward, and yet, can take hours to complete if the correct timing and patience aren’t applied. Simply put, you must jump platform-by-platform from one end of the cavern to another. Chaos Rifts will apply random effects to you, such as making you bigger or smaller, faster or slower, thereby changing the pacing and timing of your jumps. They’re best avoided entirely.
The most difficult challenge is in the mobs below, that will often aggro you causing you to enter combat, slowing your movement speed and usually making you fall. It’s frustrating, but easily achievable with enough time.
Pig Iron Quarry
This one’s a little tough, but once you’ve made it to the top of the Pig Iron Mine and navigated your way around the machinery there, it becomes apparent what needs to be done – you’ll be required to jump – platform-by-platform – from one island to the next. You’ll probably fall and die. A lot. But in the end, you’ll arrive at another wooden structure, inaccessible from the island beach below, and be challenged with a Veteran Fire Shaman.
Small note: the achievement isn’t awarded on the island with the chest and the Fire Shaman, but back across on the other side of the wooden structure. See the final screenshot below for more information.