The Wheel of Time is a first-person shooter video game based on Robert Jordan's fantasy series of the same name. It was released in 1999 by Legend Entertainment.
Gameplay and features
The game is based on Unreal Engine technology, and combines elements of first-person-shooter games with role-playing game elements. Wheel of Time's gameplay is very similar to a first-person-shooter, but instead of normal weapons the player is given a wide assortment of over forty ter'angreal - magical artifacts which can cast specific spells. These artifacts range from offensive weapons, to shield and healing spells, to various more complex spells, such as one that swaps the player's location with the target. The number and variety of spells available allows for combinations of spells to be used, as well as effective counters to the attacks of other players or AIs.
In the single-player game, the story centers on a character made for the game: Elayna Sedai, the Keeper of the Chronicles of the White Tower. The storyline is linear, whereas in the multiplayer game the player may act as either Elayna Sedai, the Leader of the Children of the Light, one of the Forsaken, or the Hound, an entirely new character type. The game has two distinct multiplayer modes: Arena and Citadel. Arena is a basic deathmatch, in which the player or team with the most kills wins. Citadel is similar to capture the flag, in which each team must capture the "seal" of the other teams. Seals can be protected in the base through a variety of traps and computer-controlled guards. Though the game never saw as high play volume as many other first-person shooters, it was played by a loyal group of fans for a long time after its release.
Single player storyline
The Wheel of Time turns, and ages come and go... With these familiar words, a narrator explains some of the history of the world and the nature of Aes Sedai, how the Bore was created and the Dark One was released and then describes the Breaking of the World. Special attention is given to the Cuendillar Seals created by the Dragon to keep the Bore sealed and the Dark One trapped inside; the female Aes Sedai in the White Tower have only two of the seals and search for the missing seals. It concludes with the notion that unbeknownst to the Aes Sedai, others search as well...
Tutorial - The Testing
The game has a tutorial for players, designed to teach them how to properly use the game interface to move, use ter'angreal and interact with the game world. The tutorial is set to resemble an Aes Sedai ritual described in the books. The player character is in a room with a large ter'angreal, and the Amyrlin speaks to her from above:
Elayna, in order to be initiated into the White Tower you must be tested. The artifact you see here is a special ter'angreal for this purpose. Walk through each of its arches in turn. They will bring you fact to face with your greatest fears. Don't panic, but listen for my voice. I will guide you through. In this way, we start your training.
The first time is for what was. The way back will come but once. Be steadfast!
You were a curious child, Elayna. A cave-in trapped you inside this dark cavern. You huddled in the blocked entrance for hours, terrified of the dark. Finally, someone from your village dug you out. That's not going to happen, now. Because you never actually explored this cave, it is forged from your suspicions - it is what you feared it might be. You must face it, and escape.
(A quake opens another exit on the far end of the cave. Behind it is a tiny valley with a lake; diving through the lake another valley is found with a way to the return arch. This part of the tutorial teaches movement, jumping, diving and the use of andilay roots for healing.)
You've done well, Elayna, but you've only begun. The second time is for what is. The way back will come but once. Be steadfast!
Elayna, your virtually non-existent ability to channel is crippling. Fear of failure has driven you to use ter'angreal as crutches, yet you still hide from the world doing research in the White Tower. Only the lure of new artifacts could lure you from the safety of the Tower. These are the basements of a powerful darkfriend who also collects ter'angreal; a collection protected by traps...
(Among the treasures in the cellar room are various ter'angreal and a key to the next rooms, with some simple traps and puzzles until the return arch is reached. This part of the tutorial teaches the use of keys, the analysis of wildly different ter'angreal and their use for a range of purposes, and demonstrates some traps and some puzzles along with typical game mechanics needed to solve them.)
Steady, Elayna! You've endured much, but learned much as well. I know each test is hard, but what comes is the worst of all. The third time is for what will be. The way back will come but once. Be steadfast!
In this time, you are an emmissary of the White Tower. A diplomatic mission brought you to Fal Dara, an outpost on the Borderlands, whose soldiers hold the forces of the Dark One within the blight. They didn't expect the sudden concentrated assault that overwhelmed the keep - no doubt in search of you. Now it's only a matter of time until the Trollocs and Myrddraal find the chamber in which you hide. Because you cannot channel you are forced to rely on the Sister and Warder accompanying you for protection, but they are outnumbered. Your only chance is to set traps for the invaders.
(The room must be trapped and prepared for the onslaught, including placing a Green Ajah Sister and a Warder, before retreating into a small chamber behind a portcullis. While the Trollocs and Myrddraal breach the outer doors and storm the room the return arch appears in the small chamber. This part of the tutorial demonstrates the Citatdel mode that is primarily used in multiplayer mode.)
You are washed clean, Elayna, of all ties that bind you to the world. You come to us washed clean in heart and soul. You are sealed to the White Tower now. You are ready.
Single player campaign
The actual single player campaign can be started at three difficulty levels (named Wit Congar, al'Lan Mandragoran and Lews Therin Telamon, respectively). The higher the difficulty level, the more powerful are the enemies and the less powerful are the ter'angreal that Elayna can use.
The storyline is set many years (according to Glen Dahlgren, approximately one hundred and fifty years) before the events depicted in the novels, and tells the adventures of Elayna Sedai of the Brown Ajah, Keeper of the Chronicles of the White Tower. Between levels, the story is told through cutscenes, sometimes cinematic, sometimes a first-person narrative of Elayna. At the beginning of each level, the player receives a briefing on the situation and mission objectives, narrated by Elayna.
Opening Cutscene: Elayna Sedai, Keeper of the Chronicles of the White Tower, is working late into the night, reading a report from an expedition of Brown Ajah sisters whom she sent to the Borderlands in hopes of finding a cache of ter'angreal and perhaps even one of the seals. When an unexpected visitor knocks on her chambers' door, she asks an aide to answer the door who is killed when the door is suddenly blasted open by an explosion. A man in leather armor, brandishing a knife, approaches Elayna and calls her "the witch who can't channel", indicating that he knows that Elayna can only channel a trickle of the One Power and relies on ter'angreal otherwise. He demands the seals, knocks Elayna down and searches her chambers until he finds a secret compartment in the wall behind a bookshelf that Elayna herself was unaware of. He is frustrated to find only an odd, horn-shaped ter'angreal there but no seal, and leaves with the odd artifact.
In a private meeting with the Amyrlin Seat following the attack, Elayna learns that altogether fourteen Aes Sedai were killed this night and she is the only surviving witness. They discuss the alarming knowledge that the intruder had about inner workings of the White Tower and the Amyrlin openly voices her fear that he had help from inside the Tower - Black Ajah. The odd ter'angreal was put in the secret compartment by the Amyrlin herself long ago, and is very important, although the Amyrlin does not reveal anything else about it. She completely trusts Elayna, but no-one else, and orders her to recover the odd ter'angreal from the assassin, who is traveling southwest with an army of Trollocs. That should slow him down enough to be overtaken before he reaches the area of Shadar Logoth.
Level One - Bank of the Manetherendrelle
"Tar Valon gold convinced a sailor to take me down the Manetherendrelle, but drawing closer to Shadar Logoth made him increasingly nervous. He finally left me off, saying that this is closest he'd come to the cursed city. "The assassin has already been here. He and his Trollocs left a swath of destruction in their wake; others from the Tower are bound to find it. The Trollocs' latest victims appear to be a caravan of peace-sworn Tinkers, but I'm too late to help them. I must try to overtake the assassin before we near the city. What's inside scares even the shadowsworn."
As the riverboat disappears around a bend in the river Elayna follows a path from the landing to a small natural tunnel where the first dead tinkers are found and the first Trolloc attacks her. She follows the path beyond the tunnel and comes past the unlucky Tinker caravan, occasionally fighting Trollocs and recovering some ter'angreal from the wrecked wagons. The assassin attacks her with magic darts at one point, and ultimately escapes into Shadar Logoth with a group of Trollocs just as the thunderstorm breaks that has been gathering all along.
Cutscene: The assassin and four Trollocs pass the main gate of Shadar Logoth and come to a halt behind it. The Trollocs look around with unease. With the words "Move, you witless brutes - she'll be here any moment" the assassin sends them deeper into the city. When Elayna passes the gate he casts an attack against the gate, which collapses. Examining the rubble, the assassin smugly dusts his clothes and moves off, apparently believing Elayna dead.
Level Two - The streets of Shadar Logoth
"Ducking into the alcove saved my life, but the assassin has slipped through my grasp. This tunnel might lead into the city, but Shadar Logoth is huge. Finding him won't be easy. "I'm not at all eager to enter the city anyway. Shadar Logoth fell into ruin thousands of years ago in a battle against the Dark One, but it became something sinister: an evil apart from the shadow. The assassin won't find any friends here, but the horrors inside await me as well."
While Elayna makes her way through the ruined building in search for another exit, a Trolloc spots her and moves in to attack. However, before even reaching her, the Trolloc is in turn ambushed and killed before her eyes by a lurking horror from a dark corner.
Elayna leaves the building on a balcony above an alley. She repeatedly sees the assassin but he always destroys bridges or staircases behind him, thereby forcing her to find different routes through the city's ruins. The Trollocs following the assassin are killed off by lurking horrors or found dead along the way, and Elayna herself is beset by Trollocs, Mashadar trails and lurking horrors, all the while tracking the assassin.
Cutscene: The assassin has reached another plaza within the city; he is apparently lost and complains that "this city is a cursed maze". Elayna appears on a balcony above him and the two exchange magic attacks until the balcony Elayna stands on crumbles. A large piece of falling rubble breaks through the ground near the assassin and he falls into the gaping hole below the plaster stones. Elayna hesitates for a moment as she examines the hole, then lowers herself down and jumps after the assassin.
Level Three - The Bowels of Shadar Logoth
"The assassin has put himself in the heart of the web. The streets of the city are deadly, the bowels are only worse. I can't imagine what they hide, and I hope I don't find out."
Although the city is ruined, the sewage system appears to be still operable. Elayna plunges into a sewage canal and slowly works her way back up from the bowels of the city. At one point she can hear the assassin plead and whine; he seems to be losing his sanity and calls for help. Shortly afterwards she encounters a hideous monster (Legion) formed from the madness of Shadar Logoth. The ensuing battle is hard but Elayna emerges victorious, just to be ambushed by the assassin again whom she must also defeat.
Cutscene: Just as the assassin is defeated, he surrenders to Elayna and explains that he was sent to the White Tower by the Forsaken, Ishamael, to steal a Cuendillar Seal with help from inside the Tower. However the robbery failed, he had to kill Aes Sedai on his way out and now he has an army of Aes Sedai hunting him. He was heading back for Ishamael's fortress in the Mountains of Mist for lack of a better destination. He agrees to lead Elayna to her stolen ter'angreal, which he has hidden elsewhere in the city, in exchange for sparing his life. When Elayna promises that "if he doesn't walk out of the city, it will not be of her doing", he leads her to a room filled with gold and treasure and explains that the ter'angreal are buried in one corner. As Elayna recovers her ter'angreal, he dives into the heaps of gold coins but his laughter turns into shrieks of terror when Mashadar trails appear from the wall and consume him. Elayna escapes and meets an Aes Sedai rescue party engaged in a fight with lurking terrors near the gate. A surviving Aes Sedai Sister (likely Blue but possibly Gray or White Ajah judging from her clothes) explains that the Aes Sedai found the entrace blocked by rubble but gained entry into Shadar Logoth elsewhere, only to be scattered when assaulted by monsters and Mashadar Mist. They are now trying to dig through the rubble at the main gate, but "the city knows we're here and is sending its monsters to destroy us".
Level Four - Escape from Shadar Logoth
"The sister in charge has given command to me. If we can survive until dawn, the city's forces will retreat and we'll be able to focus our efforts on digging through the rubble wall. But what of those who were separated? Should I try to rescue them, or are they dead already?"
Elayna and the other sister, together with two warders, prepare to make a stand at the rubble wall, but soon screams and battle noises from within the city prompt them to stage an ill-fated rescue attempt. They soon find another Aes Sedai Sister in a green dress and a warder engaged in a fight with a Legion monster, and other scattered Sisters. Beset from all sides Elayna and her companions are continually in danger of being separated and the ruined city becomes a violent battlefield until the sun finally rises and the monsters really retreat.
Cutscene: As groups of Aes Sedai and Warders pull out of Shadar Logoth in great haste, a familiar pair of boots (belonging to the assassin) stands atop the gate watching them, but then he turns around and walks back to the city. It is narrated that in the chaos of the retreat Elayna becomes separated from her companions and arrives at Tar Valon alone, after a hard journey of three weeks. She finds Tar Valon burning and in ruins, and the White Tower besieged by an army of Trollocs and Myrddraal. Elayna manages to sneak in, only to find Sephraem, a Sitter of the Hall (presumably for the Red Ajah, judging by her dress), in the Amyrlin's quarters holding a Cuendillar Seal in her hands. Sephraem explains that the Amyrlin had given command of the Tower's defenses to Rislyn of the Blue Ajah until the return of the Keeper, and has disappeared from the Tower since. The Sitters of the Hall then convinced Rislyn to cede her command to them. After a short argument about whose responsibility it is to guard the Seals, Elayna reminds Sephraem that the Amyrlin intended for Elayna, the Keeper, to oversee the Tower's defenses upon her return, and takes the Seal from Sephraem. It is obviously that Sephraem would have resisted if the two had not been watched by two novice girls.
Level Five - Saving the White Tower
"The invaders have broken through the front gate and turned the White Tower into a battlefield. Our Home Guard continues to search the countryside for the assassin. The remaining Warders and Sisters have tried valiantly to defend the Tower, but they are outnumbered and while the gate lies open, Trollocs and Myrddraal stream inside to replace their dead. "Although the outer gate may have been breached, there is an inner gate. If I can reach and close it, we may have a chance to destroy the invaders already inside."
Part 1: Starting in the Amyrlin's chambers, Elayna proceeds through the still-secure portion of the Tower to the Library where Warders have established a defense line against the invading Trollocs and Myrddraal. Destroyed staircases, makeshift barricades and toppled bookshelves have turned the library into a dangerous maze. Eventually Elayna manages to escape the building and proceed to the neighboring tower.
Part 2: Elayna has to fight her way up through this second tower, which housed living quarters for Aes Sedai. It is now largely deserted save for a few Sisters and Warders who still fight the Trollocs here, and especially the upper portions of the central staircase have suffered heavy battle damage. Yet Elayna manages to reach the main building.
Part 3: In the main building Elayna has to fight her way through more Trollocs and Myrddraal, and finally manages to get through to the operating mechanism for the inner gate which she closes.
Cutscene: Relieved after having saved the Tower, Elayna seeks to hide the Cuendillar Seal that she took from Sephraem and remembers the secret compartment in her room. When she opens it she discovers a parcel with a message from the Amyrlin, who explains in the letter that she has gone into hiding in a secret vault in the Tower's basement with the other seal. She expresses her hopes that Elayna has recovered the strange ter'angreal, which she again stresses to be very important, and urges Elayna to seek her out in the hidden vault. On her way to the basement Elayna hears voices from the Hall and overhears an Aes Sedai in red clothes angrily complaining about Ishamael bringing the tower down around their heads, despite "them" doing his bidding. The assassin appears at the meeting and vaporizes her with what appears to be a ray of Balefire, then explains bluntly that the assembled Aes Sedai, now revealed as Black Ajah, are to serve Ishamael unquestioningly. He reprimands Sephraem for not having delivered the Seals yet and, among some verbal abuse and taunting, orders her to find the Amyrlin and the Keeper - and the Seals they hold. He obviously enjoys ordering Sephraem around.
Level Six - The Vault beneath the White Tower
"There are too many questions and no answers - and the only one who can change that is the Amyrlin. The note she left me in the secret compartment was comforting; evidently, she's alive and holds the remaining seal. I hope her artifacts will lead me to her safely; I'm giving my others to sisters that I'm trusting to guard my chamber. I am a little worried, though. Traps designed to keep people out of a vault in the White Tower are bound to be devious, and deadly."
Part 1: Once found, the secret vault is not very large, but filled with various traps and puzzles, some of which need not be overcome but yield additional useful ter'angreal. By using the right combination of ter'angreal in the right places at the right times it is even possible, but not necessary, to actually retrieve a Cuendillar Seal from a fiery pit behind a portcullis; this has no effect on the storyline though. It remains unclear whether this is one of the two seals consciously kept in the Tower, or a third seal found in the Tower's possession by chance.
Part 2: Behind the maze-like vault is a chamber with a mirror device, from which a mirror image of Elayna emerges and attacks her. After besting her mirror image, the mirror bursts and Elayna finds that she can step through the mirror into a corridor although the mirror stood in the middle of a room. Beyond the mirror gate, a staircase at the end of the corridor leads into yet another vault where she finally meets the Amyrlin.
Cutscene: The Amyrlin is wary and prepares to attack the unknown intruder, but is very relieved when she realizes it is Elayna. Elayna reports on the Black Ajah activities, which does not surprise the Amyrlin. When Elayna produces the strange horn-shaped ter'angreal the Amyrlin tells Elayna that she had her channel through this strange ter'angreal many years ago, ostensibly to test her Power but in truth to Shield her from the Power because Elayna even as a child was a stunningly powerful channeler. Ever since being Shielded, Elayna could feel the power but not touch it beyond a mere trickle. This shield protected Elayna from attention by the Black Ajah while she was a novice in the White Tower. With the intensive training she achieved since, removing the shield now will turn her into the single most powerful Aes Sedai alive. Elayna is shaken by the revelation, but comes to realize that it was for her own good.
Just when the Amyrlin goes about to use the ter'angreal to remove the Shield, the assassin and Sephraem arrive. The assassin bears an obvious grudge against Elayna for leaving him behind in Shadar Logoth and beats her to the ground, then orders Sephraem to kill the Amyrlin which she does with a Weave resembling the effect of the Decay ter'angreal. When they fail to retrieve a second seal from Elayna because she hid hers, the assassin orders the Tower to be searched. However, at that point another Black Ajah Aes Sedai in gray clothes arrives and reports the return of the Home Guard; they must flee. The assassin remarks that the Aes Sedai expedition to the Borderlands was obviously tracking a seal, and that he now intends to pay them a visit. Then they leave.
Later, Elayna sits at her fireplace in a gloomy mood. A Sister (possibly Brown, Gray, or Green) tries to talk her out of her misery. When Elayna observes that "the Hall was full of Black Ajah and is now empty", the Tower's Seal was stolen and she herself not killed only because she was beneath their notice, the Sister reminds her that the Hall is not entirely empty: Elayna, Keeper of the Chronicles, is still there. Under the circumstances and being the last of the Hall present at the tower (with at least one Sitter, Poleine Sedai, undertaking a mission abroad), Elayna is raised to the position of Amyrlin Seat, which she reluctantly accepts, claiming that she will step down as soon as a new Amyrlin can be elected. She then decides to seek out the expedition to the Borderlands to help them against the assassin and his minions. Her only chance to reach them in time is to use The Ways, though, as the assassin apparently does. She is instructed on the Ways and the dangers of Machin Shin, the Black Wind, by the other Aes Sedai, then immediately begins her journey.
Level Seven - The Ways Part I
"Waygates used to connect the land. There are many of them, and they can lead anywhere. However, like Shadar Logoth, the Ways have corrupted into an evil apart from the Dark One. The Black Wind will steal the soul of anyone who travels within. I'm surprised that the assassin dares to walk its paths, but it was an ingenious way to bring an army to Tar Valon. Now he travels the Ways again, and I must follow."
A waygate entrance lies close to the gates of the White Tower. After gathering supplies in the gatehouse Elayna enters the Ways and finds a dead Aes Sedai in blue dress near the entrance. Soon afterwards she is attacked by a Black Ajah Aes Sedai whom she defeats, and takes a torch ter'angreal. The Ways are crumbling even as Elayna walks along. Soon, she hears wind blowing and the mumblings of maddened voices when Machin Shin, the Black Wind, approaches. Elayna runs for the nearest waygate to escape.
Level Eight - The Blight
The escape waygate turns out to stand on a ledge and upon stepping through it, Elayna immediately falls down into a valley in an unknown land, presumably the Blight. On the other side of the valley she must fight her way through a fortress full of Trollocs to reach the upper end of the ledge again and resume her travels through the waygate, after Machin Shin has vanished.
Level Nine - The Ways Part II
Some way further down the Ways Elayna comes across what appears to be the site of a battle, with lots of blood and a dead Trolloc. Again the Black Wind approaches, and Elayna escapes through the nearest gate - only to emerge on another plaza in the middle of Shadar Logoth, facing a Legion monster, Mashadar tendrils and lurking horrors. With ter'angreal found throughout the ruins, most importantly Spirit Shield, she manages to fight them off and survive long enough to retreat back through the waygate once Machin Shin has vanished. Resuming her travels, she then has to overcome trapped fragments of the Ways, comes upon another dead Aes Sedai and finally arrives at her destination where she has to battle yet another Black Ajah Sister and Trollocs before she can step through the waygate to her destination, with the Black Wind again on her heels.
Cutscene: Emerging from the Waygate, Elayna finds the empty tents of the expedition, as well as swords and shields with the emblem of the Children of the Light suggesting that a fight took place. The excavation site is nearby, but so is a Whitecloak Fortress.
Level Ten - The Excavation
"The expedition is gone. The tents are here, but the people are missing. Traces of blood lead me to suspect the worst. From the remains, it's clear that the Children of the Light had a hand here. Despite their animosity toward Aes Sedai, I had thought such barbarism beyond even the Whitecloaks. Evidently I was wrong. "I must find and rescue the survivors, and woe to any Whitecloak in my way."
The excavation site is patrolled by the Children of the Light. Defeating many of them, Elayna gains access to a ruined building through a cave system and passes through the excavation site to the nearby Whitecloak Fortress where she gains access by means of a ter'angreal. Through a hole in the ground she arrives in the fortresses' dungeon.
Cutscene: Behind one of the cell doors, Elayna finds an Aes Sedai, Cerist (presumably of the Green Ajah), but is immediately captured by the commander of the Children of the Light by means of a Freeze ter'angreal. Noticing Elayna's stole, the commander remarks that he had been informed that the Aes Sedai had declared war on the Children of the Light, something that the presence of the Amyrlin at his fortress seems to support. In the cell, a badly shaken and injured Cerist explains to Elayna that a strange visitor, calling himself the Hound, made the Whitecloaks attack the Aes Sedai at the excavation site by feeding them false information which they were all too eager to believe. The local Whitecloak commanders' father could channel and was therefore captured and gentled by the Red Ajah, something he never forgave the Aes Sedai. For this reason he has treated the prisoners exceptionally cruel. Many died from the "questioning". Further, he forced Cerist to teach him how to use ter'angreal which have been recovered from the excavation. Ter'angreal had been recovered in large numbers, although the Whitecloaks are unaware of the magical nature of most of the items; there are scores of unidentified ter'angreal at the fortress now, some even adorning the walls. Only a handful of Aes Sedai managed to escape; Cerist remarks that Poleine, one of the Aes Sedai who escaped, thought she was close to discovering the correct symbol to activate the nearby Portal Stone.
When a guard comes to take Cerist to the questioning again she attacks him in despair and they kill each other, leaving Elayna with a chance to escape trough the open cell door.
Level Eleven - The Fortress of the Light
"Before she died, Cerist told me that the survivors of the expedition were heading for the nearby portal stone in their attempt to escape. I believe I saw this stone in front of the fortress. If I can reach it, I might be able to follow them. "These Whitecloaks have declared war on the White Tower and forsworn the Light with their actions. I'm leaving this place, and no 'Child of the Light' is going to stop me!"
Stripped of her possessions, Elayna takes the keys from the dead soldier and soon finds some ter'angreal which she can use to overcome other nearby soldiers, then she escapes the prison complex through the sewers. She re-enters the fortress, collecting many ter'angreal, and fights her way past many soldiers on her way out of the large complex. Near the front gate she is confronted by a Questioner and has to kill him to get past.
Cutscene: Elayna slips out of the front gate and runs away, pursued by several soldiers. She reaches the portal stone and manages to activate it just before the soldiers catch up. Puzzled, they come to a halt near the stone but cannot find the fugitive. Their officer stares at the stone, wondering.
Level Twelve - The Fortress of the Forsaken
"My passage through the portal stone world was but a blur, a hazy dream, and I have no idea how much time has passed. I used the only symbol on the stone that had been cleared, so if the expedition came through it, they must have come here. "From the surroundings, I'd say that this stone is located in the Mountains of Mist. That's not surprising given that the mountains are home to a number of ancient ruins. However, according to the assassin, Ishamael built his fortress here. Likely the forces of the forsaken captured my expedition. I just hope that's all they did."
The portal stone brings Elanya close to the old entrance of a mine or burial site where she encounters some Trollocs. Beyond the tunnels she finds a valley infested with Trollocs and Myrddraal. On the far side of the valley she has to battle another Black Ajah Sister in a fisherman's hut near a walled area, then climbs a wall and dives through a well into a rotunda in a nearby underground complex. Guarded by more Trollocs, Myrddraal and Black Ajah Sisters, the remains of the expedition are indeed held captive in this complex and are freed by Elayna.
Cutscene: Elayna finds three sisters in the first cell, one of them badly wounded and unconscious. One is Poleine Sedai, a Sitter for the Brown Ajah. She is obviously in charge of the expedition and makes some witty remarks teasing Elayna, although in a friendly way and obviously glad to be rescued. Elayna relates news of the recent events to them. They plot an escape plan but many of the sisters are in no condition to even walk. For the time being the guards are defeated and unorganized, but they will soon rally and try to kill as many of the prisoners as possible. Elayna and the few Sisters and Warders who are still in good shape must cover the retreat of the others.
Level Thirteen - The Dungeons of the Forsaken
"We have a little time, but we are going to be hopelessly outnumbered. Trollocs always hunt down the easiest prey; those coalescing in the dungeons are in the most danger. I have to protect them and figure out a way to compensate for our lack of numbers."
Again assuming that dress color signifies their Ajah, the cell complex is guarded by three Warders, one white and one red Sister, and the brown Sitter of the Hall (Poleine) while another two Warders, and one red, white, blue and brown Sister each lie in the cells, badly wounded. By sealing off the portcullis in the rotunda Elayna channels the attackers through a single corridor which she has trapped, and intercepts wave after wave of Trollocs, Myrddraal and Black Sisters in a room with a pool filled with a harmful poisonous or acidic liquid by pushing the attackers into the pool on their way.
Cutscene: The expedition survivors retreat into the water in the rotunda well to dive back to the portal stone on the far side. Elayna and Poleine Sedai argue because Elayna refuses to go with them, electing to stay and search for the seal instead which the Hound (the assassin) persumably brought here with him. When Poleine decides to stay with her, Elayna commands her to leave with the others by virtue of being the acting Amyrlin Seat. Poleine obeys, and Elayna proceeds through the corridor from whence the troops poured into the complex.
Level Fourteen - Inner Sanctum
"I want revenge against Sephraem more than I'm willing to admit, but I must stay focused on the stolen seal. I'm not sure what Ishamael plans to do with it, but the possibilities are terrifying. I'll find the seal and, if I happen to run into the traitor Sephraem along the way, so be it!"
The flight of stairs leads into an antechamber, but the big double doors leading further are locked. Attached to the antechamber is a luxurious library. Behind it, a doorway leads into Ishamaels private chambers. On his desk, Elayna discovers something of interest:
- "You discover a sheaf of ancient and yellowed notes on the desk of this small study. They discuss the cuendillar seals. Experiments, performed by the Aes Sedai following the closing of the Bore in the Age of Legends, revealed that the seals had the power to directly affect the Dark One's prison. With just four of the seals, someone could reopen the bore - or, contrarily, a ritual could remove this power from the seals, transform them into nothing more than icons of the weaves actually located at Shayol Ghul. Unfortunately, the Aes Sedai of that time were unable to perform the ritual, as the Breaking of the World scattered the seals. Until this moment, knowledge of the ritual had long been lost. But now you know."
Elayna leaves Ishamaels chambers and moves along the wall on the backside of the mountain until she arrives at the magnificient entry gate to Ishamael's Fortress and ultimately makes it back to the antechamber, this time with a key to the door that leads into the inner sanctum. Striding across the polished marble floor Elayna reaches a hole in the middle where she descends to a lower chamber and from there to a garden where the seal rests on a pedestal. Sephraem is present in the garden, and a ferocious fight erupts. Elayna emerges victorious.
Cutscene: Elanya takes the seal from the pedestal and returns to the altar room; the altar raises and lifts her to the marble room. There, she is captured by a binding weave from Ishamael who taunts her for her lacking ability to channel, and threates to show her "what pain is" for breaking into his house, killing his servants and stealing the seal. At this moment the Hound comes through a door, kneels and discusses Elaynas inabilities with Ishamael. He claims that he had rendered her powerless by taking her most important artifact, ostensibly a powerful weapon, and hands Ishamael the strange horn ter'angreal for inspection. Ishamael tries to use it on Elayna but is immediately Shielded by the artifact which also unravels the weave that holds her. As Ishamael realizes that he has been Shielded, the Hound knocks him down and explains to both Ishamael and Elayna that he has drawn upon the powers of Aridhol, which is now Shadar Logoth; the city gave him strength and a mission: Chaos.
The Hound goes on to explain that the Whitecloaks had discovered two seals at the excavation site and together with the Aes Sedai could have sealed the Bore, but following the actions of the Hound both parties have declared war on each other and since the death of the Questioner at Elaynas hands the commander would rather release the Dark Lord himself than cooperate with the Aes Sedai. The legions of Ishamael were led to their deaths by the Hound, leaving him only with his home guard. All parties are severely weakened.
Ishamael claims that he will soon have unraveled the shield and the Hound considers killing him, but before the Hound can act on his thoughts the powerless Ishamael flees through a secret door and Elayna takes this opportunity to run away as well.
Level Fifteen - Gathering the Seals
"My course is clear: I must gather four seals before any of my enemies does the same. Their plans for the seals are unthinkable. Most likely I'll have to steal the seals from the others' well-guarded citadels, but I suppose the Hound did me a favor in leveling the field. No one can channel; we all depend on whatever ter'angreal we can find. That gives me an edge. "The Creator willing, I shall succeed. For the sake of the world, I must!"
Near the Amyrlin's chambers (and surprisingly, on the same ground level) is a small garden with a portal stone by which Elayna gains access to the portal stone world. It resembles a valley with steep slopes. Nearby, across a wooden bridge, is the first of several other portal stones. It is guarded by Trollocs and Myrddraal and leads to a portal stone near Ishamael's garden, from where Elayna can access the altar room where a seal is held, guarded by Ishamael personally. Another portal stone is reached from the portal stone world through what appears to be an abandoned and damaged mine, beyond which another valley can be found with a small temple fort guarded by Whitecloaks. Unsurprisingly, beyond it a portal stone can be found that brings Elayna near a Whitecloak fortress where another seal is held. Finally, a portal stone in a crumbling cave in the second valley of the portal stone world brings Elayna near to a large building in Shadar Logoth, where a third seal can be obtained (presumably put here by the Hound); again several lurking terrors, Mashadar trails and a Legion monster must be overcome to achieve this. One by one, Elayna takes the seals back to the White Tower.
Final Cutscene: Elayna narrates how she has assembled a small army and led them to Shayol Ghul, losing many companions in the Blight. She finally climbs the slopes of the volcano alone with the four seals to perform the ritual. Near the top she is greeted by the Hound, who carries her strange horn artifact and offers to give it back to her in exchange for the seals she carries. He points out that the artifact could restore Elayna's tremendous channeling powers, whereas without it she will not stay Amyrlin for long. Instead of bargaining, Elayna comments that she spent her life without those powers. She uses a Whirlwind ter'angreal to lift him off his feet and over the cliff, then cuts the weave and lets him fall to his death (which, technically, does not kill him through using the One Power).
At the bore, Elayna then performs the ritual with the four seals. This ensures that the bore remains closed until the Last Battle and the seals have lost the power to release the Dark prematurely, although his minions will continue to plague the world...
Although Robert Jordan was consulted during the creation of the Wheel of Time game, there are some discrepancies between the Wheel of Time universe as established in the books, and the storyline (mostly due to gameplay enhancements):
- Aes Sedai do not appear to wear their serpent rings in the game. This isn't a very large mistake, however, since Aes Sedai in the books don't have to wear them (even though most of them typically do).
- Aes Sedai wear clothes apparently indicating their Ajah within the game, to the point of Black Ajah sisters actually wearing dark gray/blackish dresses. In the books, Aes Sedai's Ajahs have certain secret dress codes (such as Blue Sisters are not supposed to wear red because the Blue and Red disagree on certain issues) but may ultimately wear whatever they want. This is probably due to the game engine using the same mesh model for almost all Aes Sedai. Only Elayna (who is wearing clothes and a cloak of white, not brown, color) and Sephraem (in a red outfit stressing her bosom) are depicted to wear significantly different clothes as they are prominent characters in the game.
- The game features portal stones and waygates in locations that are unlikely at best, although not expressly ruled out by the books.
- Mashadar, the mist of Shadar Logoth, does not kill or drive mad at the slightest touch in the game, although its touch does cause damage (which can be avoided by Weaving a Spirit Shield).
- The game's handbook describes the Legion monster as something created by the madness of Shadar Logoth; it was invented for the game. The monster vaguely resembles a huge cow, however its body is patched together from corpse parts that eerily appear at wrong places such as a human breastbone forming the upper part of a leg. It spits forth ghostly screaming faces that track down the player and has a charge/trample attack at close ranges. Neither the monster itself nor the ghosts it produces fit the overall description of Shadar Logoth in the books. The madness coalesced in the Mashadar Mist, and some unlucky beings were transformed into lurking horrors. The Legion monster therefore does not appear to fit well into the Wheel of Time universe.
- Balefire is just a very powerful beam weapon in the game, but has nowhere near the effect described in the books (unraveling the weave of time and creation by burning away the strings it touches). This effect would be very hard to show in the scope of a game anyways. It could therefore be argued that the Balefire ter'angreal in the game does not actually produce real Balefire, but is an "ordinary" attack spell outwardly resembling Balefire rays.
- Ishamael must be overcome to take a Seal from him in the last mission, and the player may even use the Balefire ter'angreal against him. Ishamael, however, is a prominent character in the books (which are set much later), and should not suffer death, or even removal from existence through Balefire. It could be argued that, as per the above point, the ter'angreal did not produce real Balefire and furthermore, if Ishamael was killed then there is a chance that the Dark Lord may have revived/reincarnated him.
- Elayna Sedai is not mentioned among the Amyrlins of the White Tower in any official material. It could be argued though that she only briefly held the office after the murder of the previous Amyrlin, until a new Amyrlin could be properly elected, and was therefore not herself considered a proper Amyrlin despite being raised to the position as an interim caretaker. This assumes that she indeed lost the position in favor of another sister as soon as "politics got their way", as both Poleine Sedai and the Hound indicated would happen if Elayna failed to restore her true powers.
- At the time of the game's release, the developers stated that to reconcile the game with the established history in the books is difficult, and for that reason they consider the game to be taking place in a parallel universe reachable only by portal stone. This is seemingly confirmed by the lack of any Amyrlin Elayna being mentioned in the books and the ending of the game which suggests that the physical condition of the seals will no longer have any effect on the Dark One's actual prison, which is clearly not the case in the novels.
The game was critically acclaimed receiving strong reviews on release. Most notably the architecture in the levels was by far the best of its time. However the game suffered poor sales likely due to being released in the same time period as releases in the Unreal and Quake series. These factors led to a promising game yet one that was relatively unheard of. Wheel of Time was also rated #10 on Gamespy's most underrated games of all time.