Runescape has had quite a few tutorials for new players over the years. Who else remembers the ones where you had to kill a dragon in a cellar of a Lumbridge house? Quite the start for a neophyte adventurer, I must say.
But while there have been many tutorials in Runescape, none are as iconic or as long-lasting as Tutorial Island. It’s got more nostalgia than eating SpaghettiOs on a Disney Hercules plate while you listen to Jim Ross’s “Bah God, he broke him in half” during Thursday Night Smackdown.
Thinking of Tutorial Island makes the memories come flooding back. Stacking up bronze arrows, air, and mind runes, thinking you tricked the system, only to be dismayed when you get to Lumbridge and see the game took most of them away. Or how about that one bug that let you train Smithing to level 99 from bronze daggers?
Tutorial Island, and the instructors there, will always have a place in this scaper’s heart. It’s part of the reason why I love OSRS as well as Runescape 3. If you’re like me, you sometimes wonder how the Tutorial Island instructors are doing over there on nooblet island. Well, if you speak to a certain mage at the Wizards’ Tower, they aren’t doing too good.
We can’t have that. Let’s check out what’s going on with our former mentors.
Beneath Cursed Tides have very minimal quest requirements. You need to be at least level 30 in the following skills:
Don’t worry; despite the Combat skill requirements, you won’t have to do any actual fighting.
If you have access to fairy rings, you can reduce some of the time you spend running around. It’s not necessary, though. Just have access to the Edgeville, Port Sarim, and Draynor Village lodestones, and you’ll be good to go. Having a Wicked Hood also helps.
What Happened To Tutorial Island?
To begin Beneath Cursed Tides, head to the Wizards’ Tower and speak with Wizard Myrtle. She’s Gielinor’s resident waterbender, and you can find her practicing her hydromancy outside near the fountain. You can use the Draynor Village lodestone teleport and head south or the Wicked Hood’s Runecrafting Guild teleport. Use the beam to descend to the ground floor, then head outside where Myrtle is waiting.
Speak with Myrtle, and she will ask you for some help. She will tell you about her mentor, Terrova. He’s the wizard who teaches new players Magic over on Tutorial Island. Myrtle tells you that Tutorial Island suddenly sunk beneath the ocean, and no one knows what happened to it or the instructors there.
Myrtle informs you that she has developed a spell that will allow you to breathe underwater so you can find out what happened to Tutorial Island. She can’t do it herself because despite devoting her life to water magic, she’s afraid of deep water.
Agree to help her, and the quest will officially begin.
Reaching Out To Vannaka
Myrtle still needs to add some finishing touches to her spell. In the meantime, she’d like you to speak with Vannaka. He was an instructor on Tutorial Island and the only known instructor to have made it off Tutorial Island. Perhaps he can shed some light on what transpired.
Use the Edgeville lodestone and head to the ruins south of the bank. Vannaka used to be in the Edgeville dungeon near the pipe that leads to the Varrock Sewers moss giants, but you can now find him outside.
Speak with Vannaka about Beneath Cursed Tides, and he will tell you that whatever happened took place after he left. You can either select the ‘Continue’ option or one of the three dialogue choices to get some backstory on Vannaka. Vannaka was happy to help new adventurers learn the ways of Combat but desired a challenge. That led him to leave Tutorial Island to become a Slayer master here on the mainland. He became an apprentice to Duradel and eventually became a Slayer master in his own right.
Vannaka will eventually ask you why you’re inquiring about Tutorial Island. Tell him about Myrtle’s plan to send you down there to discover the truth, and he will agree to join you. He’ll meet you back at the Wizards’ Tower.
Head back to Wizards’ tower, where Myrtle and Vannaka will be busy getting, shall we say, acquainted with one another. Ask her about the plan, and Myrtle will inform you that her spell is complete and you need to head to Mudskipper Point. From there, you can find what’s left of Tutorial Island.
If you have access to fairy rings, use the fairy ring behind Wizards’ Tower and the code A I Q. This will take you straight to where you need to meet Myrtle and Vannaka. If not, use the Port Sarim lodestone and run straight south.
Unequip any weapons if you have any, and dismiss any pets, then speak with Myrtle. She’ll tell you the final details about the plan before sending you down to Sunken Island.
Hello My Old Friend
After a brief cutscene, your character will be back in the starter house of Tutorial Island. You can hear an underwater version of the updated Tutorial Island music playing.
If you’re like me and don’t play Runescape 3 with the in-game music much these days, I recommend you do for Beneath Cursed Tides. You’re going to want to hear this.
Read the Message in a bottle to discover that a dark wizard has placed a curse on Tutorial Island and is responsible for what’s happening. The only way to break the curse is to complete Tutorial Island just as you did many years ago.
Reuniting With Brynna
Head outside and reunite with Brynna, the survival tutor. She’s looking a lot more crabby than she used to.
Not only is Brynna no longer all human anymore, but she also doesn’t seem to possess all her marbles anymore. I guess it would be easy for them to float away underwater.
Anyway. You have no choice if you want to break the curse, so speak with Brynna. She will once again ask you to cook some shrimp. Swim up to any nearby shrimp shoal and catch two shrimp. Use the raw shrimp on the steam vent to make some cooked shrimp.
When you try to give the shrimp to Brynna, she will be shocked that someone successfully cooked some shrimp on their first try. She thinks Tutorial Island is the same as it was before when everyone burnt their first shrimp. She will insist on you giving her burnt shrimp first.
Cut some seaweed to obtain strong seaweed, then chop down any of the nearby dead trees. If you try to do this without strong seaweed in your inventory, the chopped tree will float away. With strong seaweed in your inventory, you will do your best Wonder Woman Lasso of Truth impression and obtain a soggy tree branch. Use the tree branch on the boulder as a makeshift lever to push the boulder into the hole. Doing so will heat up the steam vent and allow you to burn shrimp.
With one cooked shrimp and one burnt shrimp in your inventory, speak with Brynna one last time. You’ve successfully completed her task, and she will let you move on to Master Chef Lev.
Anyone Up For Seaweed Salad?
Head down the path and chat up Master Chef Lev. He’s done teaching players how to make bread and instead wants you to make a seaweed salad. He asks you to get some Tasty seaweed from his garden so he can teach you.
There’s just one problem; there’s a Large jellyfish near the garden, and he won’t go away, and Chef Lev is afraid of jellyfish. Where’s Spongebob’s Ol’ Reliable when you need it?
Instead of a jellyfish net, Chef Lev gives you a music box. Maybe some good music will put the jellyfish in a relaxed mood. We’ll soon find out. Head to the garden, boot up the music box and prepare for nostalgia overload.
You have three handles to turn, and you must play music in the correct sequence to satisfy the jellyfish. The correct sequence is 2, 3, and 1. The box will play brief bits of the classic versions of Runescape songs. Play the sequence successfully, and the jellyfish will allow you to pick some seaweed.
Head back to Lev’s house and give him back his music box. He will tell you to go to the nearby table so you can prepare the salads.
There are six different flavors: sweet, spicy, sour, mellow, bitter, and salty. The chef will request salads with three flavors each. All you have to do is follow the sequential order to make a salad successfully. Do this three times, and you will complete his task.
Head to the next house and down the ladder to continue the tutorial.
Butter Knives Are In And Out
Speak with the mining instructor down in the mines, and he will ask that you make a bronze dagger. As you would expect, using a furnace while underwater is easier said than done. But first, get some copper and tin.
Head over to the furnace, place the tin and copper inside, then close the doors. Operate the pump to drain the furnace of water, the light the furnace.
Open up the furnace doors and claim a bronzish bar. Use a nearby anvil to smith a bronze butter knife, then speak with the mining instructor. That’s it! It’s time for the next task.
Learning Vannaka’s Trade
Head deeper into the mine and into the combat training area. You will reunite with Vannaka, who has been conducting his own investigation into what happened on Tutorial Island. He’s confused since his close friend no longer remembers him, and because he’s also half crab now too.
Inform Vannaka of the dark mage’s curse and how you need to complete Tutorial Island to free everyone. Vannaka will remember that he was a tutor here and decide you need to complete his task. You’re long past using bronze daggers and shortbows, so Vannaka will instead teach you how to use two-handed swords with one hand as he does. Head into the sea rat pit to get started.
Interact with Vannaka’s shield and sword to begin the combat training. All you need to do is click on the floating rat heads and water bubbles. After a minute or so of doing this, Vannaka will tell you to take off the blindfold. You have successfully slayed all the giant sea rats. It’s time to move on.
Your First Heist
Head up the ladder from the combat zone and into what remains of Tutorial Island’s bank. Speak with the Financial Advisor. He will give a brief rundown on ways to make GP in Gielinor.
Once he’s finished, he will inform you that the banker is unfortunately dead. For whatever reason, the banker did not receive the Animorphs treatment the others did and naturally drowned when Tutorial Island sank to the bottom of the ocean. If you want your starting 25 GP, you need to break into the bank vault since the banker is the only person with the combination.
The banker made the textbook mistake of making his passcode his birth year. To figure out banker Jed’s birth year, read the nearby journal and look at the calendar behind the bank booths. The calendar is stuck on the year 169, and reading the journal will tell you that Jed was 30 years old.
Input the code 139 to unlock the bank vault. Speak with the financial advisor one more time to complete the task. You’re almost there. Head out the east set of doors to continue the tutorial.
Priest In Underwater Peril
Head to the sunken church and speak with Brother Brace. Unlike almost every other tutor left on Tutorial Island, Brother Brace is fully aware of his current predicament and has been waiting for you. He’d love to help you complete your task so you can be on your way, but he has lost his prayer book. He needs that if he is to help you.
Brother Brace has kept himself busy these years by befriending fish. He will give you his friend list and ask you to ask his friends if they’ve seen his prayer book.
You can find the fish swimming around near the church or bank. You can only speak with the three fish on Brace’s friend list. If you don’t know their names, the fish won’t speak with you. One of the three fish will eventually tell you where they think they saw Brace’s prayer book. The location is random and different for everyone, but always easy to find.
Head back to Brother Brace with the book, and he will take out a key that unlocks the door to the next part of Tutorial Island. One tutorial to go.
Head to the last house on Tutorial Island and speak with Wizard Terrova. Finishing the tutorial requires that you “kill” a chicken with a strike of air. You don’t get any starter runes this time, as you don’t need them.
Click on any of the chickens to attack them. The strike of air is actually an air bubble that will send the chicken floating to the surface. If these chickens can breathe underwater, is sending them to the surface freeing them or killing them? My brain hurts.
After you’ve “killed” one chicken, speak with Wizard Terrova, and a man named Hector Vivian will tell you to stop.
A cutscene will ensure, and you will discover that Hector Vivian is the dark mage who did this to Tutorial Island and the instructors. He has captured Vannaka and has no intentions of letting you or him leave this place.
Myrtle, having overcome her fear of deep water, will appear to lend assistance. Terrova begins working on a spell to turn the curse onto Vivian and tasks Myrtle with defeating Vivian. She will need your help to do so.
Click on Myrtle to channel the spell as she and Vivian engage in a bubble beam clash of the century. Periodically, Vivian will spawn Crassians to attack Myrtle. Click on them to give them the air bubble treatment and knock them out of the fight.
Once the bars above the heads of you and Myrtle are full, you will successfully defeat Vivian and free Vannaka.
Click on Hector Vivian one last time to trap him in a bubble. Terrova successfully gave Vivian a taste of his own medicine, and now Vivian is stuck down here forever. I hope you like seafood.
After a brief conversation, you and the rest of the gang will swim up and back to Mudskipper Point.
Once back on the surface, all the Tutorial Island tutors will be back in their human forms again for the first time in years. They will thank you for rescuing them before heading off to find their place in mainland Gielinor.
Beneath Cursed Tides complete!
You get a decent chunk of rewards for completing Beneath Cursed Tides. These include:
- 1 Quest Point
- 2 Treasure Hunter keys (Unless you’re an Iron Man)
- Vannaka’s Sword
- Giant Oyster Distraction and Diversion
- Cooking lamp good for 5,000 Cooking exp
- Fishing lamp good for 5,000 Fishing exp
- Combat lamp good for 10,000 exp in Attack, Strength, Defense, Constitution, Magic, Ranged, Prayer, Slayer, Herblore, or Summoning.
- Lev’s old music box
Of all these rewards, the two that stand out the most are Lev’s old music box and the Giant Oyster. Using Lev’s old music box will unlock the original version of Newbie Melody. But the real prize of Beneath Cursed Tides is unlocking the Giant Oyster Distraction and Diversion.
Giant Oyster Distraction & Diversion
Giant Oyster is a monthly D&D, so keep that in mind. It isn’t a D&D you want to forget.
To “play” Giant Oyster, speak with Wizard Myrtle at Wizards’ Tower and select the ‘Dive’ option. You’ll warp back to the seaweed patch of old Chef Lev.
Giant Oyster is an extremely easy D&D. All you have to do is pick the tasty-looking seaweed patch until you get some delicious seaweed. Doing so will net you some nice Farming experience.
Next, head to the fishing spot and fish until you catch a sea cucumber. Doing this will give you Fishing experience (Much more than the Farming experience you get). Bring your best Farming and Fishing temporary boosts as your Farming and Fishing levels determine how much EXP you get.
If you’re a F2P player, you only get Fishing EXP from Giant Oyster. You will not receive Farming EXP or any loot.
Once you have delicious seaweed and sea cucumber, feed the Giant Oyster, and that’s it. Come back at the monthly reset and check the Giant Oyster to obtain some rewards.
What rewards, I hear you ask? Treasure Trail rewards. What Treasure Trail drop tables you have access to depends on your total level. You will want to reach Hard clues as soon as possible since it is possible to receive rewards like Shadow dye or Barrows dye from here. Could you imagine getting a casual 1.3 bil from a monthly D&D? That would set you up with more than enough GP to do some Raids.
Just be sure to bring your best luck modifier before looting the Giant Oyster.
Question: Can I wield two-handed swords in one hand after receiving Vannaka’s training?
Answer: Yes, but actually no. The Vannaka’s Sword reward from completing Beneath Cursed Tides is just a cosmetic override. It’s better than nothing, but not entirely the real thing.
Question: What skill should I use the Combat lamp on?
Answer: I personally find Summoning to be the best option. Due to the charm grind, leveling up Summoning is much more of a chore than any of the other options.
Question: Should I reset Giant Oyster with a monthly D&D reset token?
Answer: If you want to gamble and have access to at least Hard clues, I suppose you can. D&D reset tokens aren’t especially common. That goes double for monthly reset tokens. I prioritize my token resets on D&Ds that primarily give great EXP, but it’s entirely up to you.
Eagle-eyed veterans may have noticed that not every tutor from Tutorial Island is in Beneath Cursed Tides. I suppose the Runescape and Quest guides shared the same fate as the banker.
Nevertheless, Beneath Cursed Tides is a great experience for veterans of Runescape. It’s cheeky and pokes fun at a lot of design elements from Runescape’s past, like the default character outfit. The classic music never gets old and hits you in all the right feels. And if you’re a newer player of Runescape and complete this quest, maybe Beneath Cursed Tides spurs you to try out OSRS to see what Runescape was like back in the day.
Scape on, my friends.
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