A Clockwork Syringe

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A Clockwork Syringe is a master quest and the penultimate instalment in pirate quest series. It is also the first quest to feature Dungeoneering as a feature and a requirement.

The quest follows the pattern of its series, featuring humorous dialogue, story elements, and scenes besides the continued struggle against the returned Rabid Jack and his crew of zombie pirates. In the quest, general surgeon Mi-Gor, who was last seen in The Great Brain Robbery, returns, this time with a new companion, Mechanical Murphy, who together fulfil the new orders of Jack. The intentions of Captain Donnie (who was last seen invading Braindeath Island in order to obtain large quantities of Braindeath 'rum') are also revealed during the quest, in the form of a dungeon featuring extremely aggressive monsters. The quest also features Bill Teach, who continues being the main protagonist.

Official description[edit | edit source]

Everyone loves getting mail, right? So, when a huge and mysterious package arrives for you at your house, you wouldn't think it to be the beginning of another madcap pirate adventure. Yet it is, and this one involves barrelchests, vengeful seagulls and more concussions than all previous pirate quests combined.

Game Guide

Overview[edit | edit source]

An unexpected parcel[edit | edit source]

Postie Pete chathead.png
An unsuspicious crate. Wonder what's inside?

Attempt to enter your player-owned house through via your POH portal. Note: teleporting directly to your house will not initiate the quest. When you do so, Postie Pete will appear saying that he has delivered a package to your house and has stuck a note in the portal. Choose the "A Clockwork Syringe" option from your portal to retrieve the note. Again, the quest will not progress if you right-click "enter house"; you need to select the dialogue option from the menu. Read the delivery note to open the quest interface to officially begin the quest. Accept the quest, and you will begin reading the scroll; a receipt declaring that "1x large and totally inconspicuous crate" was delivered to your player-owned house. Once more, click the portal and select the "A Clockwork Syringe" option to progress in the quest. A WARNING appears, foreshadowing the coming events.

Dealing with the delivery[edit | edit source]

Note: Do not investigate the package unless you are prepared for immediate combat. This is a safe fight, meaning you will not lose any items. If you leave the fight before destroying the enemy, you will need to re-enter your house the same way as described in the previous section. The player is recommended to disable the Evolution of Combat Revolution mode, as many of the special moves are unavailable within the player-owned house environment.

Opening the crate...
...Surprise!

The crate contains a level 98 Barrelchest Mk II which uses melee and ranged attacks, and drains the player's constitution level. Because of this, super restore potions and other stat-boosting items are recommended to use during the fight. The Barrelchest Mk II is tougher than its level suggests, featuring 30,000 LP and a special attack.

If using protection or deflect prayers, it will only use the opposite attack style from the one being protected from. Every so often, the Barrelchest will use a special attack, preluded by a blue glow and it shouting, "Prepare yerself!". The attack has a range of approximately 10 squares, knocking you backwards and destroying the furnishings of your house (food sources, exit portals, altars, etc.). The attack does no direct damage to you, but does further reduce your constitution level, so it is especially advised to keep an eye on your health.

Anything destroyed during the fight will be repaired immediately after the fight, so players do not need to worry about any sort of loss.

As your Constitution is drained, the maximum number of life points to which you can heal is decreased. Super restore potions may be used to replenish the drained levels, and it is recommended that you recover your maximum Constitution level before facing additional combat later in the quest.

The Barrelchest activates its special attack.
The bigger they are...
Potential Strategies
Using a long-distance weapon along with Protect from Missiles or Deflect Missiles can prevent a majority of potential damage as players may then hide behind the walls of their house while attacking the Barrelchest. Additionally, because the Barrelchest doesn't break walls when it uses its special attack, the player may be able to effectively attack using Ranged, Magic, or Melee with a halberd.


If the player has a chapel built next to an open area (such as a garden or menagerie), another strategy that may be used is to wait for the Barrelchest to destroy the open area, then retreat into the chapel. You will be able to range through the window spaces safely, and the Barrelchest will not be able to move nor attack you if you use protect from/deflect missiles (he will attempt to attack you using Melee if you use this prayer, but will be unable to due to the walls). However, note that any ammo used will be lost at the end of the fight if it is not picked up before the Barrelchest's health reaches 0 (a cutscene begins immediately after his defeat). Furthermore, there is always a chance that the Barrelchest may enter the chapel (or any other room in your house, for that matter).

Interogating the perpetrator[edit | edit source]

The "interrogation" interface.

Once the Barrelchest has been defeated, an Estate Agent will appear and inform you of the repairs that have been done to your house. He remarks that the repairs were covered by insurance as "acts of zombio-mechanical piracy", although he did not think such a thing would actually happen (the special coverage was only added to the insurance policy to make the list of covered circumstances seem more attractive). The Agent will (conveniently) take the delivery note as proof and leave you to deal with the severed head.

Insulting the zombie head.

After the estate agent has left, speak to the zombie head; all that remains of the original Barrelchest. The head will refuse to divulge any information, so you must "persuade" it until its stress level reaches a certain threshold. Use all five options when they are available, and the zombie's stress level will soon reach its maximum. The head will explain that he was sent by Rabid Jack to destroy you and that an army of even more Barrelchests are currently being built to launch wave of destruction on Mos Le'Harmless. When the zombie head refuses to reveal any more information, you stuff it in your bag and take it with you to inform Bill Teach of the news.

NOTE: The head may be found in your house if lost.

A meeting in confidence[edit | edit source]

Note: Once in Port Phasmatys, it is recommended for convenience to gear-up at the bank for the proceeding section of the quest. Combat equipment, food, prayer potions/super restore potions, antipoison, and an emergency teleport are recommended.

Travel to Port Phasmatys and speak to Bill Teach in The Green Ghost pub or aboard his ship. Port Phasmatys may be quickly reached using the ectophial, or by using the fairy ring code ALQ. Alternatively, the player may charter a ship to the Port Phasmatys docks.

Taking a 'long drop'.

Bill will tell you that something this important must be spoken of only in utmost privacy. He will direct you to Harpoon Joe's House of 'Rum' in Mos Le'Harmless.

Take Bill's ship from the dock in Port Phasmatys to Mos Le'Harmless and head to Harpoon Joe's pub, just north west from the bank. If you've marked the quest as active, both pubs on the island will be highlighted on your world map/minimap; you need to visit the northern of the two pubs. Sit in the chair in the corner of the room and ask Joe for "The Long Drop". When he asks if you're sure, tell him "Aye, drop me.", and you'll drop into the secret meeting room in the basement.

Bill Teach will be waiting for you in the basement of the pub. Talk to him and explain what happened in your player-owned house. When he asks for evidence, place the zombie head on the table. After a short discussion, he will tell you that he knows of a way to make the zombie talk, but he'll need some special equipment. He'll hand you a very convenient teleport scroll and ask you to retrieve a "Twiblick Night Special" from Captain Braindeath on Braindeath Island.

If you haven't prepared for the coming sections, exit the basement of the pub and use the nearby bank to prepare for combat. Once geared-up, use the teleport scroll's option to travel to Braindeath Island. (The scroll requires that there be space to the north of you in order to cast the spell, as Pirate Pete will appear and knock you out, in usual fashion, before your journey.

The Twiblick Night Special[edit | edit source]

Items needed: Diving apparatus and fishbowl helmet (if you don't have them available, they will be given to you).
Items recommended: Armour, a weapon, food, prayer potions, antipoison, and an emergency teleport
Captain Braindeath chathead.png

Note: You will not be allowed to summon familiars or equip items to your helmet and cape slots for the next portion of the quest.

After arriving on Braindeath Island, speak to Captain Braindeath and ask him for the Twiblick Night Special. He will ruefully inform you that several of his brewers have recently gone missing. Offer to find out what became of them, and he will suggest you look near the dungeon entrance near the volcano to the north. As the dungeon is submerged, you will need a diving apparatus and fishbowl helmet to proceed. If you don't have yours with you, Captain Braindeath will give you his, and take yours from your bank.

NOTE: If you die while in this dungeon, your grave will appear outside the entrance.

Entering the dungeon...erm, 'Rum'-geon.

With your diving gear and combat equipment, exit the door on the south end of the building, descend the stairs, head west, and then north, past 50% Luke and across the bridges toward the volcano until you reach what appears to be the entrance to a resource dungeon. Combat begins immediately upon entering the dungeon. The monsters inside attack using Melee and Ranged, and generally hit harder and more accurately than other monsters of similar levels. It may be advised to use Protect from Missiles in addition to a high melee defence bonus or Protect from Melee with a high ranged defence bonus.

Note: that if you've completed As a First Resort, you can use the thermal bath to give you temporary immunity to poison such that you won't need to carry any antipoison if you move fast. Either way, you should be prepared to deal with the poison of the malpractitioners, as it hits hard in an location where regular attacks are already highly accurate.

Fighting your way through the dungeon.
Potential Strategies
The dungeon is laid out similarly to a typical Dungeoneering floor, and is composed of three wings (west, north, and east). Venture down each wing, each culminating in a room with a door lockable from the inside. It is advisable to close the door to prevent additional monsters from venturing inside, as interference by mobs makes it difficult to search the brewers. Kill any General malpractitioners in the room to avoid interference with your investigation. Once the General malpractitioners have been dealt with, the 'rum'-pumped crabs can usually be trapped behind obstacles. If you are unable to trap the crabs, quickly dispose of them (stabbing weapons are quite effective). Investigate each brewer's body to discover their names.


The General malpractitioners attack using a poisonous Ranged attack, and the 'Rum'-pumped crabs use an accurate melee attack. The crabs may be trapped behind various pillars, while the level 84 General malpractitioners attack you using range from a distance, hurling exploding syringes at you. Interestingly, the General malpractitioners also hurl syringes at the crabs, saying, "Taste some 'rum', little crab!" as they throw, to which the crabs reply, click-click-RAWR!". The crab they target receives an accuracy boost as well as an increase in attack speed, therefore, it is again recommended that your primary goal be to kill the General malpractitioners when clearing the rooms.

Locations of the Dead brewers

Optional: Even if you are high enough level to ignore the enemies you should kill a crab in order to complete the hard Daemonheim Achievement Alcrabholic while you're here.

Once you have discovered the name of the last worker, head back to Captain Braindeath with the news. Before the Captain hands over the Twiblick Night Special, he will force you to take a rigorous oath. After taking the oath, he will hand over the Special, telling you that Bill Teach has the key to open it.

With the Special in hand, use the teleport scroll to be transported back to Mos Le'Harmless, and take the long drop once again, back into the basement in Joe's pub.

Getting into Bloodsplatter Isle[edit | edit source]

What happens at sea stays at sea...
The Adventurous under attack!

Speak with Bill and he'll unlock the Twiblick Night Special, which he will then have you open. After more suspenseful warnings and numerous drawn-out phrases, the player is presented with the contents of the Twiblick Night Special: feminine wigs and various kinds of make-up. Remember: what happens at sea stays at sea! Speak once more with Bill, and he'll tell you that the plan is to give the Zombie a "makeover", and then parade him around in front of his old crew. Choose what to beautify the zombie head with, and the Zombie head will quickly spill the beans and tell you that the Barrelchests are being manufcatured on Bloodsplatter Isle (in typical, piratey fashion).

Note: It is suggested to bring food or healing potions for the next trip, as there are times when you may be attacked while on the Bloodsplatter Isle.

Return south to Bill's ship, the 'Adventurous', talk to him, and use the "A Clockwork Syringe" option to begin your travel. Speak to Bill again once underway, and after some short dialogue Bill's ship, The Adventurous will begin taking fire from the island. You are forced to find an alternative way to the island yourself: building a cannonball barrel-boat to launch yourself there.

Take-the-ride to Bloodplatter Isle

Bill will tell you to go to the lower parts of the ship, where there are parts to make the barrel boat. Descend the bridge of the ship using the stairs, walk north to the bow, and climb down the ladder under next to the mast. Once there, rifle through the gun locker to find a cannonball, search the repair locker for a chain, take a barrel from the barrel stack, and pick up at least three (3) fist-fulls of gunpowder from the powder barrel.

Next, use the gunpowder on the chain to flash-heat it. Then smith the heated chain and cannonball on the anvil. Lastly, use your cannonball and chain on the barrel. The cannonball barrel-boat is now ready.

Go back up the ladder to the main deck. You'll depart from the port-side cannon (left side of the ship), which will require "two (2) doses of gunpowder". Once situated, 'Take-The-Ride Cannon' to Bloodsplatter Isle.

Investigating Bloodsplatter Isle[edit | edit source]

Note: If you log out of the game while on Bloodsplatter Isle, you will log back in on Bill Teach's ship, docked at Mos Le'Harmless.

When you arrive on the island, the first thing you'll notice is the Perch Rock. Investigate it and the seagull (Baron von Hattenkrapper), from Rocking Out will appear and forgive you for what you did to him during Rocking Out (you fired him out of a makeshift vacuum-accordion contraption, remember?). He wants to work with you to destroy the Barrelchests, so that he can freely leave the Isle. He suggests utilizing your Summoning skill to maneuver him over the Barrelchests in order to drop cannonballs on them.

The Baron's controls.

When you tell him you're ready, an interface with some arrows and a bomb appears. Use the arrows in the control box interface to fly over the Barrelchests and destroy them. This portion of the quest can be frustrating, as the Baron is not particularly agile while flying. You may find it easier to accomplish if you hide your chatbox and keep your view pointed north. There are five (5) Barrelchest-MK II's around the island that you will need to destroy.

The Baron bombing the Barrelchests

Once destroyed, leave the Isle and swim to Bill Teach on his ship. Tell him the news, and he'll take you back to the island.

You arrive at the dock, with the factory at the end of the boardwalk. Enter the compound and approach the NPC's (yellow dots on the minimap) inside the factory to get caught and thrown into the brig.

Use your thieving skills to escape, and loot some things from the storage area directly to the north of your cell:

  1. Abscond-with the shelf to find some barrelchest parts.
  2. Plunder the crate of surgical masks to collect a mask.
  3. Pillage the crate of bandages to find a roll of bandage.
  4. Take-barrel from the barrel stack.

From here, all you can do is return to Bill to talk with him some more. Return to Bill by using the signalling point at the end of the dock where you arrived.

You'll tell him that the place is crawling with enemies, and he will suggest gathering some things to make a disguise. After talking about this, tell him that you have the things he asked for, and he'll construct a Barrelchest disguise for you. As the finishing piece, he'll stick the Zombie head on top. When you have the disguise, have Bill send you back to the island. Use this disguise to investigate and sabotage the operations at Bloodsplatter Isle, gathering evidence as you go. Enter the compound and change into the Barrelchest disguise by clicking on the item in your inventory.

Collecting evidence[edit | edit source]

"Stealthily" sabotaging.

There is a noticeboard in five (5) of the rooms within the compound. The player must collect letters from these boards to complete the evidence file. In order to get the letters, the player must distract or kill the guards in each room. You may be attacked by Grimterns, but they shouldn't pose much of a problem. This is where having some food or healing items with you may be helpful.

  • Letter one (Southwest Room): The player must first subdue the Dis-orderlies by sabotaging the gas canister to the south of the room. Once the "laughing gas" fills the room, 'tell-joke' to each of them, and then 'brutalise' them. After the Dis-orderlies are dead, investigate the noticeboard.
  • Letter two (West Room): Stun each of the Grimterns in the western-most room by using the cannon (right click option), then dispose of them one by one. The cannon has a reload time of a few seconds, so the player may just choose to take on all three of them at once. Investigate the noticeboard after they're dealt with.
  • Letter three (Northwest Room): Simply talk to one of the Drunk zombies lying on the beds in the north-west room to find they are extremely drunk on 'rum', then investigate the noticeboard.
  • Letter four (Northeast Room): Stealthily loosen each of the three massive arms found in the north-eastern room. A short cutscene ensues, in which the undead arms slay the Resideads. Investigate the noticeboard once it's over.
  • Letter five (Southeast Room): Return to the supply area north of the jail room, change out of your disguise, and collect three barrels and three measures of gun powder. Use the gunpowder on the barrels, change into the disguise again, and head to the southeast room. The Attendead will ask the player to help finish the barrelchests. Finish-building all three incomplete barrelchests by using the gunpowder-filled barrels to sabotage them. Once rigged, your character will say that your disguise should protect you from most of the blast (do not detonate unless you have more than 200 life points as the explosion may kill you otherwise). Detonate any one of the barrelchests, exploding the remaining ones and killing the Attendead. Once that's done, investigate the noticeboard.

After collecting all letters, change out of your disguise and return to Bill by signalling him from the dock.

Hitting Home[edit | edit source]

"Time to finish in their house what they started in mine..."

Talk to Bill Teach on board his ship. After taking the barrelchest disguise from you, he hands you a bundle o' powder kegs to blow up the factory. Ask him to return you to Bloodsplatter Isle so that you can complete the task.

Head to the eastern-most room, with the conveyor belts (the room with the red line on the minimap). Pull the lever to activate the conveyor belts, and use the bundle o' kegs on them continuously until each of the conveyor belts explode. If the the Sado-machinist zombies reach the end of the conveyor, they will jump off and initiate combat. This can be prevented by sending a keg down the conveyor while the zombie is still on it, which kills it instantly.

The point of this poppinjay-like carnival game is not merely to kill the zombies, but to destroy the machines. Keep loading the belts with explosives until everything is destroyed. Note that as the conveyors are destroyed, the option to place a keg on them disappears. Zombies may still use the destroyed belts, however, so it is advisable to balance the destruction of each belt in order to destroy them all at approximately the same time.

After destroying the conveyor belts, jump the small wall between the south part of the room and the north part, and head outside to the east. Run down the boardwalk, climb down the ladder, watch the short cutscene of Mi-Gor and Mechanical Murphy getting away, and board the Unoccupied zomboat.

Battle at Sea[edit | edit source]

The Zomboat battle.

Note: This battle is completely safe. If your zomboat is sunk, you will reappear on the dock with a new zomboat. However, all the zomboats you have previously sunk will respawn, and you will need to begin the battle again.

Once you've occupied your zomboat, set off and engage your enemies in battle. Mi-Gor's zomboat and Murphy's zomboat take about five (5) hits each to sink, and the other three zomboats take two (2) hits each to sink. Shoot at the enemy boats by using the available interface, or by simply clicking on the enemy boat when in range.

Potential Strategies
Try to take on the regular zomboats first, as this will make it less-likely that you get double-teamed when taking on the tougher foes. Enemies should be battled one-on-one to the extent possible, so try to separate them while battling. It is advisable to keep moving during combat, as it is more likely that your enemies will miss when shooting at you. Lastly, it is advisable when confronting the tougher zomboats to land a few solid hits, and then retreat to repair. Repeat the process until victory. Note that the zomboats have a greater range of fire than you do, but they cannot repair themselves.

After all hostile boats are sunk, you will return to The Adventurous. Speak with Bill, sail back to Mos Le'Harmless, go back to Joe's Pub basement and speak to Bill Teach again to finish the quest.

Note: The minimap will again be highlighted in several places, if you have set this quest as the active quest. Head to Joe's pub and you'll be all set.

Congratulations, quest complete!

Rewards[edit | edit source]

A Clockwork Syringe reward.png
Music unlocked

Required for completing[edit | edit source]

Completion of A Clockwork Syringe is required for the following:

Partial completion of A Clockwork Syringe is required for the following:

Transcript[edit | edit source]

Update history[edit | edit source]

The update history project is a work-in-progress - not all updates to this topic may be covered below. See here for how to help out!
  • patch 14 August 2017 (Update):
    • Several UI bugs in the zomboat scene concluding the 'A Clockwork Syringe' quest have been corrected.
  • patch 8 February 2016 (Update):
    • The quest items from A Clockwork Syringe can no longer be alchemised or disassembled.
  • update 28 March 2011 (Update):
    • Added to game.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The title is a reference to the 1962 dystopian novella A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess.
  • On the day of release, the spoilers read, "The developer won't spill the beans on the quest rewards. We've sworn 'The Oath' and will make him crack within the day. This isn't going to be pretty...".
  • Upon completion of the quest, your Adventurer's log reads: "I prevailed over Rabid Jack's minions in their most recent dastardly plot to destroy the world with Zombio-mechanical weaponry."
  • The zombie minions in the factory have names which refer to various stages in medical training and other hospital personnel, "Dis-orderlies", "General Malpractitioners", "Grimterns", and "Resideads" instead of "orderly", "general practitioner", "intern" and "resident", respectively. The zombies that crawl onto the conveyor belts are called "Sado-machinists", a reference to sadomasochism.
  • When you destroy the conveyor belts in the factory, the examine text reads "You were only supposed to blow the doors off". This is a reference to the film The Italian Job.
  • The phrase "Off te the locker I go..." you hear one of the zombies say is a reference to Davy Jones' Locker, a euphemism for death at sea and an idiom for the bottom of the sea.
  • After the skillcape graphical update on 16 March 2015, the estate agent can be seen wearing a Slayer cape instead of a Construction cape. This has since been fixed.
  • The phrase "What happens at sea stays at sea" when taking the oath is a reference to the quote "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas."
The estate agent wearing a slayer cape after the skillcape graphical update.
  • The phrase "Oh, the huge manatee!" you hear one of the zombies say as they sink is a pun on the phrase "Oh, the humanity!" from when the Hindenburg burst into flames and crashed into the ground.
  • Repairing your zomboat appears to be influenced by your Construction level. The higher your level, the higher you can raise your boat's health to when performing repairs.
  • Examining the Crate of legs in the western-most room in the factory gives the text: "You put your left leg in..." This is a reference to the song The Hokey Pokey.
  • The damage done by the seagulls (Baron Von Hattenkrapper) bomb to the Barrelchest MK II of 1337 is a reference to the common usage of 1337 to represent leet speak.