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Let's Play Ultima: From Akalabeth to Ascension! (Now on VII)

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by Elzair, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. Elzair Cipher

    Elzair
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    2,239
    Some of you may remember the LP of Oblivion I did a while back. It has been a while since I did an LP, and I wanted to do another one. Maybe it is my disgust at the direction of modern RPGs; maybe it is my yearning to play the entire cannon in the order they were meant to be played; maybe I have just gone completely insane; however, I have decided to embark on an extremely (over-)ambitious project. Without further ado,

    LET'S PLAY ULTIMA!!

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    I will try to plow through as many of the Ultima games as I can starting with Akalabeth. Strap yourselves in, boys and girls! This is bound to be one hell of a ride!

    Akalabeth: World of Doom
    Monster Hunter Zero

    Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness
    Part 1: Ultima Cubed
    Part 2: Look on My Works Ye Mighty and Despair
    Part 3: Romancing the Stones
    Part 4: Back to the Future

    Ultima II: Revenge of the Enchantress
    Part 1: Circle Around
    Part 2: Ding, Dong, the Witch Is Dead

    Ultima III: Exodus
    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3
    Part 4

    Interlude

    Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar
    Part 1: Honestly, My Dear, I Don't Give A Damn
    Part 2: Will Any Monsters Have Compassion For Me?
    Part 3: Who Needs Valor When You Have Fireballs?
    Part 4: Justice Is For Hippies
    Part 5: I Ascend in Sacrifice
    Part 6: I Have No Honor Like a Woman
    Part 7: Dungeons Are Not Spiritual Places
    Part 8: I Humbly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before

    Second Interlude

    Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny
    Part 1: The Shadow of the Past
    Part 2: Many Meetings
    Part 3: The Last Debate
    Part 4: Flotsam and Jetsam
    Part 5: The King of the Golden Hall
    Part 6: A Journey in the Dark
    Part 7: Fog on the Barrow-downs
    Part 8: The Breaking of the Fellowship
    Part 9: The Land of Shadow
    Part 10: Mount Doom

    Ultima VI: The False Prophet
    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3
    Part 4
    Part 5
    Part 6
    Part 7
    Part 8
    Part 9
    Part 10
    Part 11
    Part 12
    Part 13

    Worlds of Ultima: The Savage Empire
    Part 1: Valley of the Dinosaurs
    Part 2: The Anarcho-Primitivist's Cookbook
    Part 3: Prehysteria
    Part 4: Me Tarzan, You Jane
    Part 5: Gee, Johann, What Do You Want To Do Tonight?
    Part 6: Kingdom of the Crystal Brains
    Part 7: It Came from the Jungle

    Ultima Worlds of Adventure: Martian Dreams
    Part 1: Stranger in a Strange Land
    Part 2: Edison's Conquest of Mars
    Part 3: Invasion of the Body Snatchers
    Part 4: Red Planet
    Part 5: Total Recall
    Part 6: The Waters of Mars
    Part 7: The Perfect Woman
    Part 8: The War of the Worlds

    Ultima Underworld I: The Stygian Abyss
    Part 1: Abductions and False Imprisonments
    Part 2: Small Men and Large Mazes
    Part 3: Isili Sstresh Thepa
    Part 4: Knights & Trolls
    Part 5: It's a thriller
    Part 6: School Days
    Part 7: I'm Off to See the Wizard
    Part 8: Slash This!

    Ultima VII: The Black Gate
    Part 1: Murder He Wrote
    Part 2: Murder He Wrote Pt. ii
    Part 3: The Play's the Thing
    Part 4: I've Got Some Good Shit
    Part 5: Wherein I Finally Bake Some Bread
    Part 6: A Spectre Is Haunting Britannia
    Part 7: Chasing Abraham
    Part 8: Now, Show Me Your Honor
    Part 9: Sure I'll Join Your Cult
    Part 10: The Isle of Fire
    Part 11: Exodus Strikes Back
    Part 12: Love Triangle
    Part 13: Flapping Things
    Part 14: To Seek Out Lame Life and Lame Pop-Culture References
    Part 15: Tree-Huggin' Hippy Crap
     
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  2. Castanova Prophet

    Castanova
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Messages:
    2,949
    Location:
    The White Visitation
    Aw, I thought you were going to Let's Play UO. Would have been potentially interesting.
     
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  3. Silellak Cipher

    Silellak
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,198
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Fuck yeah, I'm in for the duration. I salute you, noble sir.

    As the games get longer, you may want to consider individualized threads.

    Quoted for infinite truth.
     
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  4. Michael Ellis Scholar

    Michael Ellis
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Messages:
    270
    Location:
    Complaints
    Project: Eternity
    LP mood music:

    http://www.moongates.com/music/default.htm

    http://www.joxter.net/stones/ultima9stones.mp3

    Long ago ran the sun on a folk who had a dream
    And the heart and the will and the power:
    They moved the earth; they carved the stone; moulded hill and channeled stream
    That we might stand on the wide plains of Wiltshire

    Now men asked who they were, how they built and wonder why
    That they wrought standing stones of such size
    What was done 'neath our shade? What was pray'ed 'neath our skies
    As we stood on the wyrd plains of Wiltshire

    Oh what secrets we could tell if you'd listen and be still
    Rid the stink and the noise from our skirts
    But you haven't got the clue and perhaps you never will
    Mute we stand on the cold plains of Wiltshire

    Still we loom in the mists as the ages roll away
    And we say of our folk, "they are here!"
    That they built us and they died and you'll not be knowing why
    Save we stand on the bare plains of Wiltshire

    http://www.joxter.net/stones/stonesacoustic.mp3
     
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  5. Elzair Cipher

    Elzair
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    2,239
    Akalabeth: Monster Hunter Zero

    Akalabeth: World of Doom

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    Monster Hunter Zero


    Akalabeth was first released on the Apple ][ in 1979. While it was not the first computer roleplaying game ever made, Akalabeth earns its place in gaming history by being the first computer roleplaying game to be sold commercially. This established a viable (but small) market for single-player cRPGs. The story goes something like this.

    Without further ado, let's fire this game up! Since I wanted to be as oldskool as I possible, I played the original version on an Apple ][ emulator.

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    First, it asks me to put in my lucky number. This number will act as the seed for the random number generator that is used to create the dungeons. If Akalabeth did not precede Rogue and was not the nexus of the venerable Ultima series, it would probably be known as the first rogue-like (or Akalabeth-like, as the case may be).

    The difficulty level seems to affect the difficulty somehow, but I don't know how. Basically, if I put in the same lucky number and difficulty setting, I should get the same game.

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    I reroll the stats until I get 24 Gold. Since I will use a few exploits, gold is the only important stat right now.

    I then get to choose my class. Warriors can use rapiers and bows&arrows while mages have more control over the magic amulet. Since the magic amulet is incredibly useful, I choose a mage.

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    I now come to the Adventurer's Store (there are several of them conveniently scattered across the overworld) where I buy my equipment. To start off, I buy one magic amulet and spend the rest on food.

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    Here is the only major loading screen in the game.

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    Here is the world map, and you thought Fallout looked bad!

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    I head east to Lord British's castle.

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    He firsts asks my name and whether I want some adventure. Then he sends me on a quest to kill a carrion crawler and raises all my stats by 1. That would be nice, but it will soon be irrelevant.

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    I head east as far as possible and then head north to reach the dungeon.

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    Well, here it is! Before I explore the dungeon properly, I will explain how to use the magic amulet to make the game a whole lot easier. First of all, when I use the amulet (by attacking with it, incidentally), I am given a choice of four spells to cast: Ladder Up (create a ladder to the previous floor), Ladder Down (create a ladder to the next floor), Kill (attempt to kill the nearest enemy), and Bad??. Bad?? will "randomly" either backfire, turn me into a toad (sets all my stats to 3) or turn me into a lizard man (increases all my stats by 150%). Consecutively turning into a lizard man will keep increasing my stats by 150%. This is great, but I do not want to turn into a toad.

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    This is where the exploit comes in. Exiting a dungeon and reentering it will reset the counter, so if I keep casting Bad?? immediately after entering the dungeon, and it turns me into a lizard man on the xth use (assuming the amulet does not break first), it will always turn me into a lizard man on the xth use. In my game (lucky number 17; difficulty level 10), I will always turn into a lizard man on the sixth casting. Instead of using the amulet, I attack the darkness with my barehands twice for each cast.

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    [​IMG]

    Success! I now exit and re-enter the dungeon and repeat the process several times.

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    I now make a rough map of the first level and eventually find the ladder leading down to the second level. In my game, there are no enemies in the first level of the dungeon.

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    I head down to level two and immediately have to fight a skeleton, thief (not pictured) and an orc in quick succession. Enemies in Akalabeth have a tendency to swarm me as soon as I enter a level, which makes exploring the rest of the level a rather boring affair. Also, enemies respawn after I leave a level.

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    Uh oh! It looks like Akalabeth's dungeons have trap doors that will make me fall to the next level. This can make getting out rather frustrating.

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    Here are more monsters.

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    As I fall through to level four, I see a treasure chest in the distance.

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    Loot is always nice!

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    Here are more denizens of the dungeons. I am careful around the thief; he will steal my items (like my magic amulets).

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    Here are my ungodly stats that I obtained by abusing Akalabeth's random number generator.

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    Finally, I encounter a carrion crawler on level six.

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    I defeat it and head back to Lord British.

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    He raises my stats by one again (gee thanks a lot /sarcasm) and tasks me with killing a gremlin.

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    On the way back to the dungeon, I stock up on magic amulets and food.

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    A gremlin usually assaults me when I enter level five. This little bitch steals half my food with each successful attack; this makes him the most dangerous enemy in the game. I just have to pray I am facing the right direction when I get to that floor. I then head back to Lord British.

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    He now tasks me with finding a mimic. As anyone who has ever played D&D knows, Mimics are monsters that have the outward appearance of treasure chests that sadistic DMs like to include in their dungeons as little gotchas.

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    As usual, it looks just like a treasure chest. I think I found this one on level four, but I cannot remember clearly.

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    Now I have to kill a daemon. I usually find one on level seven.

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    Here it is!

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    Jesus Christ! Either these knights must be the biggest badasses in the world or this guy is just yanking my chain!

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    Well, since this is the last guy, I use the rest of my gold to stock up on food and magic amulets.

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    Now THIS is an impressive monster. He still goes down in one hit, though.

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    Here is my triumphant return!

    [​IMG]

    Yes, what an amazing feat indeed!

    Stay tuned for more!

    NOTE: I wonder what would happen if I actually called that number?
     
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  6. SuicideBunny (ノ ゜Д゜)ノ ︵ ┻━┻

    SuicideBunny
    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Messages:
    8,943
    Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Torment: Tides of Numenera
    that includes u8, u9, and ultima online.
    if you quit without playing every single one of those, you shall be ridiculed forever for being without honor, like woman... let's see if you even manage to last through u6 and both worlds of ultima games, excellent as they may be.
     
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  7. Trojan_generic Magister

    Trojan_generic
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    1,421
    Strap Yourselves In
    Re: Let's Play the Ultima Series!

    If I remember correctly, if you choose a lower difficulty level you start your quests with lower level monsters, but you will have to kill more monster types to complete the entire game.

    I used to play this on my smartphone a long time ago.
     
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  8. Berekän #11231 Patron

    Berekän
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    3,029
    http://looter.4t.com/
     
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  9. Luzur Prestigious Gentleman Good Sir

    Luzur
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    38,052
    Location:
    Swedish Empire
    i was actually bidding on a CIB California Pacific Akalabeth last year on ebay, but it ended at some 1000 bucks or so and way over my league.

    which was not fun, since i miss that and both the Ultima Adventures in my collection now.
     
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  10. KickAss Augur

    KickAss
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    508
    Location:
    rpgcodex.net
    bump!
     
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  11. Elzair Cipher

    Elzair
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    2,239
    Ultima I Part 1: Ultima Cubed

    Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness

    [​IMG]

    Part 1: Ultima Cubed

    While Akalabeth was amusing for its time, Ultima I is certainly superior. Rather than killing monsters for sport, in this game I will travel across all the lands of Sosaria (formerly Akalabeth?) trying to find a way to defeat the evil wizard Mondain.

    Without further ado, let's fire this sucker up!

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    Since this is a new game, I will generate a new character.

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    First I allocate some points to various attributes. They are mostly self-explanatory.

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    Then I choose my race. This just provides a bonus (or penalty) to one or more stats. Since I am trying to pretend these fantasy races do not exist, I will pick a human.

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    Then I decide whether I am a pointer or a sitter.

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    Then I select my class from four highly original choices. Fighters rule!

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    Here is my full character class. Now I start a new game.

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    Here is the loading screen.

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    So, I am in the game at last! The game-world is divided into four continents. Since I am lazy, I provided (stole) this map to show you the relationships between them.

    [​IMG]

    The game starts in the Lands of Lord British near LB's castle.

    [​IMG]

    I might as well pay him a visit.

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    Since I am broke, I choose service.

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    A quest! It is not very important, but it can provide some useful bonuses.

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    Since a starting character should hit the dungeons ASAP to power up, I travel to the nearby town of Britain to get some equipment.

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    Look! It is Iolo, the Bard! For those of you who do not know who that is, he will become important later.

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    That list of weapons for sale is not very impressive. I will check at a few other nearby towns.

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    I decide to buy some leather armor.

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    Here are the current stats of my character.

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    The only useful one in that (current) list is the Frigate, and that is out of my price range right now.

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    I then use the rest of my funds to stock-up on some food. Like in the last game, food determines how far I can travel and what actions I can perform. It goes down over time, and if you I out of food, I die.

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    I then head for the Dungeon of Doubt.

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    I hang by the entrance and kill enemies for a little bit. Since I receive extra hitpoints (in addition to gold and XP) from killing enemies only when I leave the dungeon, I hang by the entrance to "heal" myself.

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    After a little while, I have enough money to buy an axe and some plate mail.

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    Here are more screenshots of my dungeon delving.

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    After a little while, I have enough money to buy a frigate. Now I can travel the world!

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    I like water too!

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    I head north to the city of Yew (that sounds familiar).

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    I decide to buy a sword for extra damage dealing.

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    When I visit shrines like the Pillars of Protection, I mostly get my stats raised. However, visiting the same shrine more than once in a row will not provide additional bonuses. I have to visit another shrine and then come back to get more. There is one special shrine, but I will get to it later.

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    Poor people piss me off!

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    Here is an epic battle.

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    I now travel to the Castle of the Lost King. How can he be lost, anyway?

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    This king gives me a quest to slay a gelatinous cube. Those are usually found on the third and fourth levels of any given dungeon.

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    However, that is not all a king will do. He will also grant me hitpoints at a multiple of 1.5 times the number of coins I give him. This and killing dungeon monsters are the only ways to earn hitpoints; however I can get as many as 9999 whenever I want.

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    After buying a bow, I travel to the nearest dungeon, Mondain's Gate to Hell. I then descend to the third level.

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    Here is the gelatinous cube. It is one of the more dangerous enemies because it can destroy my armor with its very touch.

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    Success! I now head back to the Lost King for my reward.

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    Well thank you very much for the .... waitaminute, did you say there was a time machine in this game?! Holy shit!

    Tune in for more exciting Ultima next time!
     
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  12. Satori (original) Arbiter

    Satori (original)
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Messages:
    6,992
    Very nice, looking forward to the next installments. When is it that the Avatar becomes the main character?
     
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  13. Ogg Prophet Patron

    Ogg
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,005
    Location:
    River Seine
    Codex 2012 Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
    Pretty poor on C&C. Is there an evil route? If no, it sucks. Also, graphics are ok, but gosh, there's no art direction on this one. Pretty lame. Play a real RPG next time, something like PS:T or KOTOR. Not some lazy action-adventure.
     
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  14. Castanova Prophet

    Castanova
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Messages:
    2,949
    Location:
    The White Visitation
    Great work so far, please continue.

    I have to say, I'm with Ogg, though. It's really quite disconcerting to see an LP of an "RPG" without 10,000 lines of transcripted dialog filling up the entire browser page. Perhaps you should write your own dialogs to better fill out the half-baked world we're seeing on display here.
     
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  15. ghostdog Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    ghostdog
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Messages:
    10,687
  16. Silellak Cipher

    Silellak
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,198
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    He already is. The "Stranger from Another World" that you play as in Ultima 1-3 returns to become the Avatar in Ultima 4. Though this isn't initially clear in Ultima 4, it's stated outright in Ultima 6 that the main character in all Ultima games is the same person.
     
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  17. Elzair Cipher

    Elzair
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    2,239
    Quite honestly, this is a somewhat controversial topic among Ultima fans. The first three Ultimas do not have much in common. To me, it feels like Ultima IV is a beginning. The manual for Ultima V seems to indicate the protagonists of the previous games were all different people. Ultima VI's manual is the first game to make the Avatar the Stranger. In the manual for Ultima VII, Batlin says the identity of the Stranger is a mystery and there is plenty of debate about whether or not the Avatar was the Stranger.
     
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  18. Gold Augur Patron

    Gold
    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Messages:
    504
    Dead State Project: Eternity Wasteland 2
    Well keep it up, if you manage to LP all the Ultimas, that would be one hell of a feat.
     
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  19. Elzair Cipher

    Elzair
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    2,239
    Ultima I Part 2: Look on My Works Ye Mighty and Despair

    Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness

    Part 2: Look on My Works Ye Mighty and Despair

    Welcome back to another exciting update in the saga of the Stranger/Avatar! Last time, I grinded some monsters in the dungeon, bought a frigate, and slew a gelatinous cube. Now, I am mostly done with the Lands of Lord British. Let's see what else is out there.

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    I head west to the Lands of Danger and Despair.

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    What kind of name for a city is Brother? The names in this game are some seriously weird shit! Well, whatever, let's see what's for sale.

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    Holy Shit! I can buy an aircar AND a space shuttle! This is kinda cool. Too bad I don't have the money for either right now.

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    Since I have the money for a reflect suit (the best armor in the game BTW), I purchase it.

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    I then head to the Castle of Shamino.

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    Notice how Garriott has changed the name of the creature from Balrog in Akalabeth to Balron. Is Balrog trademarked?

    Since a balron is clearly out of my league right now, I will look elsewhere for quests.

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    I head for the nearby Castle of the White Dragon to see if he has anything for me to do.

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    Okay!

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    Here are some random cities. Notice they all seem to have one of a half-dozen layouts.

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    Here is one of the shrines previously mentioned.

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    Notice that it raised my Charisma attribute a little. I then head west to the Lands of the Dark Unknown.

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    Here is another shrine.

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    I head to Castle Olympus to get a quest.

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    Another quasi-fetch-quest. Gotcha!

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    I then head to Castle Rondorin.

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    The lich is also out of my league. I need more hitpoints and a better weapon. The problem is that no store sells anything better than a bow. Where do I get a better weapon?

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    Here are two more cities.

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    What the hell is a dragon turtle?!

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    Here is the Southern Sign Post that I need to find for a certain quest. Unfortunately, I forgot about this quest.

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    I then head west to the Land of the Feudal Lords. On the western part of the continent, I find this shrine.

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    I then head south to the Pillar of Ozymandias. If you don't know what this refers to, read about it you uncultured boob!

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    I head back to the Argonauts shrine where I find a better weapon. I wonder, if I keep going back to the shrine, will the weapons would get progressively better?

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    This is a latin expression that can be roughly translated as "fortune favors the bold."

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    Alright, now I have the best armor and weapon in the game. I should now be ready to tackle nearly anything.

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    I head a little ways east to castle Barataria.

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    The Carrion Crawler lives on levels five and six of every dungeon. First I go buy four ladder down spells and five ladder up spells from the magic shops of various towns (they are almost never sold together).

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    Then I head for the nearest dungeon.

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    Did I mention that I love the names of the dungeons in this game?

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    Here it is!

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    Haha! I head back to castle Barataria for my reward.

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    As usual, the king gives me another colored gem.

    Two down! Two to go!
     
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  20. Elzair Cipher

    Elzair
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    2,239
    Ultima I Part 3: Romancing the Stones

    Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness

    Part 3: Romancing the Stones

    Here is the third installment of my playthrough of this game. It is quite short. Anyway, let's jump in!

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    Here is the Lizard Man. He is nothing special; I just felt like showing him off.

    [​IMG]

    Here is another oddly-named town.

    I then head back to Castle Barataria to rescue the princess. While I have to rescue the princess at least once in the game, every time I do it I get 500 HP, 500 gold and 500 XP. Since I have to reach level 8 to beat the game, I prefer rescuing the princess a few times instead of grinding in the dungeons for hours. Each level-up comes after gaining 1000 xp, so I only need to rescue her a few times.

    [​IMG]

    So you have the key?

    [​IMG]

    Not anymore!

    [​IMG]

    I then kill the guard and head up to rescue the princess.

    [​IMG]

    The key only has a 50-50 chance of opening the princess' door. I reload if it does not work.

    [​IMG]

    I now have to take on the two guards from the southern room. If I move along the edges of the top wall in the prison, I only have to fight one guard.

    [​IMG]

    We then make our getaway.

    [​IMG]

    Nice! I do this several more times to get close to level 8.

    [​IMG]

    I must have completed some quest at one time. I cannot remember which one it was, though.

    [​IMG]

    Here is the city of Wealth. With a name like that, you would think they could afford a better city. I guess not.

    [​IMG]

    Anyway, it is time to tackle the lich. I enter the nearest dungeon, the Guild of Death. Since liches hang out on levels seven and eight, I buy six Ladder Down and seven Ladder Ups spells.

    [​IMG]

    Here is another monster called the Tangler.

    [​IMG]

    Here is the infamous lich! It looks more like a demi-lich to me, though. I then head back to the castle of the Black Dragon to claim my prize.

    [​IMG]

    Three down! One to go! I now head back east to the Lands of the Dark Unknown.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here are two more towns there.

    [​IMG]

    Since balrons live on levels nine and ten of the dungeons, I buy eight Ladder Down and nine Ladder Up spells.

    [​IMG]

    Here is the closest dungeon: the Morbid Adventure.

    [​IMG]

    While it is powerful, the daemon is not the monster we are looking for.

    [​IMG]

    The Zorn isn't the one either.

    [​IMG]

    This is. Anyway, I cast Ladder Up several times and bid arrivederci to the dungeons.

    [​IMG]

    Shamino rewards me with the last of the gems and bids me take nine items from his storerooms. Since I already have the best weapons and armor, I just take some food.

    I now have all the gems, but where is the time machine? To find out, tune in next time.
     
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  21. Ogg Prophet Patron

    Ogg
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,005
    Location:
    River Seine
    Codex 2012 Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
    Hey not so quick. Let our expectation grow! You're very bad at attention whoring!

    That being said, may I advice you to show us a little bit more about the combat? Just once per game. To see the evolution somehow.
     
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  22. Erebus Arcane

    Erebus
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Messages:
    4,442
    Didn't know you could use lasers in Ultima games. Guess they retconned them out of existence later in the series.

    How useful are Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma if you're neither a priest nor a wizard ?
     
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