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

lightbane

Arcane
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
9,261
:D :D Does the game use a random name generator for the cities? Also, I always supposed that Ultima series were medieval fantasy, do they include futuristic stuff as easter eggs in their games?
 

Elzair

Cipher
Joined
Apr 7, 2009
Messages
2,249
Erebus said:
Didn't know you could use lasers in Ultima games. Guess they retconned them out of existence later in the series.

Pretty much everything before Ultima IV, except for the main plot threads, was retconned out of the series: the elves/dwarves/bobbits, the futuristic technology (except as easter eggs), the ever shifting landmasses, the fact that Ultima II takes place on Earth, the time travel, etc.

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

Intelligence and Wisdom are useless if you are not a mage or priest. Since magic is mostly useless in the first two games, those stats are pretty useless in general. Charisma lowers the price of goods, but I did not have much trouble earning money in Ultima I, and only a handful of goods in Ultima II have a negotiable price.
 

Silellak

Cipher
Joined
Aug 19, 2008
Messages
3,198
Location
Tucson, AZ
Elzair said:
Erebus said:
Didn't know you could use lasers in Ultima games. Guess they retconned them out of existence later in the series.

Pretty much everything before Ultima IV, except for the main plot threads, was retconned out of the series: the elves/dwarves/bobbits, the futuristic technology (except as easter eggs), the ever shifting landmasses, the fact that Ultima II takes place on Earth, the time travel, etc.
I know one of the accepted theories is as follows.

The events of Ultima I are basically erased due to the Stranger's use of the time machine to kill Mondain before he ever became Immortal and rose to power. Since Mondain was in contact with allies from "another world" (who could be Kilrathi, if you want to be SUPER nerdy), and those allies were where all advanced tech in Sosaria came from. With Mondain's rise to power - and the subsequent introduction of alien technology - wiped out of existence with the magic of Time Travel, we go to Ultima II.

In Ultima II, Minax stages an assault through time and space on the Stranger's home planet. She is hunted down and killed.

In Ultima III the Stranger returns to Sosaria, basically the same as it was in Ultima I sans any advanced technology. The destruction of Exodus at the end of Sosaria devestates the land, destroying - or, as seen in Serpent Isle, teleporting - all lands except those of Lord British. We can presume in this same catalcysm that all non-human playable races are wiped the fuck out (thank God).

It doesn't explain everything, but it's one of the better theories circling around the continuity-whore sect of the Ultima fandom. Works well enough for me.
 

Elzair

Cipher
Joined
Apr 7, 2009
Messages
2,249
Ultima I Part 4: Back to the Future

Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness

Part 4: Back to the Future

Do you remember the tag-line of this game, "from deepest dungeons to darkest space?" Well, now I will explore the second part of that phrase. This is usually the most frustrating part of the game.

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I purchase a space shuttle in the nearest town.

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There it is! It is funny how space shuttles in this bizarre fantasy/sci-fi world look exactly like NASA shuttles.

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Earth below us
drifting, falling
floating weightless
coming, coming hooooooooooooooooooooooooome!


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Well, here is outer space!

Ultima I implements a pseudo-newtonian system where an object's momentum will remain constant unless acted on by an non-zero net force. The up arrow provides thrust in the current direction. The down arrow provides reverse-thrust, and the right and left arrows turn the ship clockwise and counterclockwise respectively. Like in real-life, every thrust or turn takes fuel.

Since the space shuttle sucks for combat, I should find a better ship.

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To do that, I have to very carefully dock with the space station. Each docking costs 500 gold pieces, so I made sure to bring along at least 2000 gold. Since only the space shuttle and re-enter Sosaria, I need to save 500 gold for that trip home.

I now have a choice of two craft: the big one (1000 shields, 4000 fuel) or the little one (3000 shields, 2000 fuel). Since the little one seems more well-rounded I take it.

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I then press Inform and search to get a view of the system. Outer space is composed of a 9x9 grid of sectors that wraps around itself. The plus signs indicate the presence of a space station in that sector. The big circle indicates the presence of a sun (touching it is not good). The presence of an H indicates the presence of enemy TIE-fighters (well , that is what they look like) in that sector. The sector in the center is the one I start off in.

The point of this little section is to become a Space Ace by shooting down 20 TIE fighters.

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To travel to another sector I need to switch to face or be moving in the right direction, switch to the first person view and Hyperjump.

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Here is a nice shot of hyperspace.

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If enemy TIE fighters are at the destination, they will fly across the viewscreen, and I have to try to hit them with my lasers. It takes fuel to aim for them. The trick is to only shoot for the ones that will be onscreen long enough for them to come into view.

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After a lot of tedium, I manage to become a Space Ace, and I head back in the shuttle for Sosaria.

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After saving ('cuz I don't want to do that again), I need to rescue the princess one last time.

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This time she reveals the location of a time machine. Since I forgot to take a screenshot the first time, I rescued the princess twice.

Before we thrash Mondain, let's check out the pub to pound some brewskies and hear some rumors.

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Don't mind if I do.

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Okay. Anything else?

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Maybe I should have gone there sooner?

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Anyway, I found the time machine(s). Due to a bug, a new time machine will appear every time I rescue a princess after becoming an 8th level Space Ace. Since I got my HP above 6000 and have the blaster and reflect suit, I am ready to end this.

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I have now arrived at the lair of Mondain. I have nothing to do but destroy him.

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After I whack him a while, he turns into a bat and tries to flee.

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We then proceed on a merry chase all throughout the level. Remember when I said the space section was the most frustrating part of the game? Well, I take it back. This is!

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I finally manage to make Mondain play dead. However, he will not be truly defeated until I destroy his gem.

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The only way to destroy the gem is to Get it. This will cause the PC to take several thousand points of damage, so I make sure to have plenty going in.

After the gem is destroyed, Mondain is finished.

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What a nice ending!

Well, that is all for Ultima I. Stay tuned for Ultima II soon!
 

Ogg

Prophet
Patron
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
Pics size semms ok to me. I can read text and I still can see the awesome pixel art!
 

Silellak

Cipher
Joined
Aug 19, 2008
Messages
3,198
Location
Tucson, AZ

Elzair

Cipher
Joined
Apr 7, 2009
Messages
2,249
Ultima II Part 1: Circle Around

Ultima II: Revenge of the Enchantress

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Part 1: Circle Around

Ultima II takes place after the previous game (whether it was 20 years after Mondain's defeat or 1020 years is not clear). Apparently Mondain was not only a villain, he was a pedophile as well. His 12 year-old lover, Minax, vowed revenge on Sosaria. She gained power and eventually took over Sosaria; only Lord British managed to escape to Earth. Minax followed and brought on an apocalypse in 2111. The player must find a way to stop her and set the timelines back in order.

Ultima II ranks up there with Ultima IX on wasted potential. The scope of this game is absolutely massive. Not only is there the standard fantasy fare, but there is so much more. The space travel has been expanded from a mini-game in the first game to a full-blown way to explore several additional planets. Instead of time traveling for one fight, Ultima II allows the player to explore five different periods of Earth's history: the Time of Legends (Minax's abode), Pangaea (9 million B.C.), 1423 B.C., 1990 A.D., and a post-apocalyptic 2112 A.D. (If you thought Wasteland was the first post-apocalyptic RPG, you were wrong.)

The problem is that most of the potential was vastly underutilized and comes across as filler. You can explore ten planets in the solar system, but only Earth and Planet X are necessary to visit. One town, New San Antonio, has both of the required plot items, the only method for raising attributes, and one of the required vehicles. Most of the towns contain little more than in-jokes. There are several dungeons, but there is no need to visit ANY of them. Since spells can only be used in dungeons, this makes spells (and spellcasters and spellcasting attributes) useless as well. Furthermore, >95% of the game time is spent grinding for gold and (randomly-dropped) items.

Oh well, let's get this over with. BTW, I am playing with the upgrade patch since it makes the game a lot better looking.

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Part II of the best-selling role playing game by Richard Garriott

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Here is the main screen. Let's watch the demo.

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First, I need to create a new character. If you are playing this game, have an established character, and want to create a new one, simply delete the PLAYER file and replace it with a blank PLAYER file. On *nix systems, this can be accomplished like this.

Code:
touch PLAYER

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I have 90 points to distribute among six attributes, but each attribute needs to be at least 10. Here is a run-down of the various attributes.

Strength - Affects your character's ability to equip armor.
Agility - Affects your ability to wield weapons.
Stamina - Affects your ability to withstand damage.
Charisma - Lowers prices in shops. Not that useful.
Wisdom - Affects Wizard spells. Useless.
Intelligence - Affects Cleric spells. Useless.

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Since high Strength and Agility are required to wield the best weapons and armor, I put all my spare points in those two stats. In retrospect Stamina might have been useful as well. Charisma has some use since I have to buy some expensive stuff, but only a few items (weapons, armor and food) have a negotiable price. I then get to chose my race/class/gender; these just provide various bonuses to stats. Since I am trying to play these games as if the non-human races were figments of my imagination, I choose a human even though the Intelligence bonus is useless to me. I choose the thief class since I want a high Agility to wield the best weapons. Since I am a dude, I choose a dude (and get the +5 Strength bonus). Here is a chart of the various bonuses.

Races

Human - +5 Intelligence
Elf - +5 Agility
Dwarf - +5 Strength
Bobbit - +10 Wisdom

Classes

Fighter - +15 Strength
Cleric - +10 Wisdom
Wizard - +10 Intelligence
Thief - +10 Agility

Gender

Male - +5 Strength
Female - +10 Charisma

Enough of that! Let's play the main game!

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Here is the overworld screen. It look a lot like the last one. The game starts in North America circa 1423 B.C. I decide to head over the Bering Strait, across Asia, into Europe.

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I press Z to bring up my Stats menu.

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Here is the first monster, a goblin. Like in the last game, I attack by pressing the A key and selecting the direction with the arrow keys. Like before, every turn I can either move one space or perform some action.

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An annoying habit of monsters in this game is running away when they take damage. Pursuing them will waste food; fortunately, they will come back if I wait long enough.

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When monsters are killed, the players gets between 0-5 XP and 0-20 gold; the values are assigned randomly, and the difficulty of the monster is not a factor. There is also a chance to get a random item. The only creature that always drops an item are guards, and they always drop keys that are used to unlock doors.

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Here I encounter the two most annoying enemies in the game: the daemon and the thief. The daemon can cast a spell that will freeze either my arms (preventing me from attacking) or my legs (preventing me from moving). The spells can be countered if I have any magic cloaks or boots in my inventory, but one will be used-up with every cast. The thief is far more annoying. He has the potential to steal one of my items, and I do not get it back when I kill him. This can be a major irritant if a thief steals my only blue tassle in the beginning or my only ring in the end.

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In Western Europe, I now see my first time gate. These will allow me to travel to various place around the game; however, the time gates are not always two-way portals. I can step through the time gate I used to enter a place and wind-up somewhere entirely different from where I was before. For those of you who can read Runic, here is a time map.

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Anyway, let's see where it goes.

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I am now transported to England circa 1990. Before I pay Lord British a visit, I want to see what the nearby town has to offer.

Towns have been greatly improved from the previous game. Rather than a single screen filled with merchants, towns now look more like real (at least by the standards of early 80s RPGs) places. They are sprawled across many screens, and I can now interact with the NPCs. Of course only a few NPCs in each location will say anything more than stock phrases like the following.

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Since I am not a Cleric, I cannot interact with the spell merchant.

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What a cryptic hint!

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I have no idea what this refers to! Does the hivemind?

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These are the only ships in this time period (that I ever saw). I will need to buff up a lot more to get them.

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Port Boniface also has a McDonall's, get it?! HAHAha......
"Try our new ridethrough." LOLol...

Anyway, it is just a food merchant.

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However, since I have a high Agility (I think that helps), McDonall's becomes a nice place to steal food from. Whenever the human is by the counter, I can steal as much food as I want. This means I never have to buy food again.

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I now head for LB's castle. Here are some more stock phrases.

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I wonder if Garriott knows, when a Catholic parishioner calls his preacher 'father', that doesn't necessarily mean he fucked their mother on that fateful day. Anyway, this is kind of a hint.

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Huh?!

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Too bad I don't have any keys! That looks like a nice cache of stuff.

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What a corrupt court! I wonder if it works?

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For every donation of 50 gold, LB will raise my HP by 300. Like in the last game, giving tributes to kings (and probably killing monsters in dungeons) is the only way to gain HP, but there is no limit (up to 9999) to how much I can gain.

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Since there is nowhere else to go, I head through the time portal.

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I end up back in Western Europe circa 1990.

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I head south to Towne Linda to buy a decent weapon and suit of armor.

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I have no idea what this is a reference to.

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It must be another damn in-joke! This game is full of them!

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Horses just allow you to move faster on the overland. I don't really need it.

Since I went through the last game without getting hints from the pub, I will not make the same mistake this time. In this game, I can offer the bartender from 0-9 gold, and each level reveals a different hint.

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This means skull keys are needed to board planes.

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Magic helms allow me to get an overland view of the map.

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This means that I need a blue tassle before I can pilot a boat.

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Like I said before, guards are the only creatures that carry keys that are needed to unlock doors.

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This must be another damn in-joke!

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When I look at my stats menu, I find that I already have a blue tassle. Now I just need to find a ship.

Anyway, I buy a great sword and some leather armor and head to South America to visit Le Jester.

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Here is another clue.

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I guess this is why they call it Le Jester!

Anyway, I head for the nearest time gate . . .

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. . . and enter the Time of Legends. This is where the final showdown takes place. At the bottom is a row of time gates that lead to various destinations.

Before going through one, I want to see more of this place.

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HOLY SHIT!! I take it back. Get me outta here!

I run for the bottom-left time gate.

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I now arrive in Pangaea. For some reason, all the dinosaurs have been replaced by orcs, demons, devils, balrons, and unfriendly humans.

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Here is a magic helm view of the place.

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Finally, I find a ship! Some people have said that Ultima II is basically over once you get a ship. Those people are lying their asses off!

To be fair, the ship has very powerful cannons (although all weapons have the same range of one square on the world map) that can cut down a horde of monsters in no time, and very little food is consumed while travelling by ship (not that that matters much).

I discover that the easiest way to gather a lot of money and items is just to circle around the continent of Pangaea killing anything that moves. I must have spent several hours at least doing that.

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I wonder what this sign says.

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It just tells me the date.

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I now head for the only town in this pre-historic world, Baradin's town.

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Can anyone decipher this?

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I now learn there is another planet.

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It must be located at coordinates 9-9-9.

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How the hell can they know where a priest nine million years in the future will be? Did Garriott waste even a second of brainpower on the absurdity of this plot? I think I know the answer.

Anyway, I will now show you the dungeons. I said they were useless, but I feel I should one to you anyway.

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As we can see, there is some color now. What is that green blob in the distance?

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Oh! It's an orc!

Anyway, that is enough dungeon-crawling for one game.

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I now take the northern time gate out of here.

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I now arrive in the Americas circa 1990.

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Here is a magic helm view of the place.

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Here are my stats again.

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I head for the nearest town, New San Antonio.

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Since I was told to visit the Hotel California (gee, I wonder what that refers to...), I do just that. As it turns out, the hotel clerk is the only person that can raise my attributes.

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If I Offer the clerk a gift of 100 gold, he will either thank me for it (which means I get nothing in return) or he will say "Alakazam" and raise a random attribute by 4 (or 4*x where x00 is the amount of gold offered).

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In this case, I offered him 100 gold, and he raised my Charisma by four. That is alright, but since I need to get >41 Strength and >49 Agility to wield the best equipment, I would prefer he raised those attributes. Apparently, the number of steps a player takes has some impact on what attribute he raises (if any). Honestly, this is another very tedious portion of the game.

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Hanging around San Antonio are Iolo and Gwen (later lengthened to Gwenno). I think Dupre also makes an appearance on one of the planets, but I never saw him.

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I then head for a time gate and wind up in the post-apocalyptic future where the Bering Strait is now finally submerged.

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As usual, here is a magic helm view of this place.

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I then head back to Pangaea to earn enough gold to buy some more HP and the best weapon and armor money can buy.

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I now encounter the devil, another daemon like creature. This one has a spell that will put me to sleep (waste several turns) unless I have some magic idols.

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Anyway, I finally have enough money to get some good stuff. I head back to 1423 B.C. Towne Linda.

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I first buy a phaser. They are rather affordable at ~500 gold.

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As you can see, power armor is more expensive . . .

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. . . but it is worth it!

I then stock up on some HP. Now, it is finally time to get some keys. I take the West European time gate to 1990 England and head for Port Bonifice, since I think that is the easiest place to kill guards.

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Guards in this game are tough! Their hits take away 100-200 HP; they also take a beating with the phaser before they go down. It is wise not to attack people in town because everyone there deals a lot of damage.

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After getting a few keys, I unlock the upper-left door to where the ships are stored and steal one.

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Hoorah! I now have a ship in two time zones!

Alright, that is enough Ultima II for one day.
 

Elzair

Cipher
Joined
Apr 7, 2009
Messages
2,249
Ultima II Part 2: Ding, Dong, the Witch Is Dead

Ultima II: Revenge of the Enchantress

Part 2: Ding, Dong, the Witch Is Dead

Alright, when we last left off, I had just acquired a ship in 1990. After grinding a bit more, I think it is time to acquire an even cooler vehicle.

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This is me visiting Australia.

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Yep! I am in 1990 A.D.

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BTW, here is a magic helm view of the period.

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I now head for New San Antonio. It is now time for the great airplane heist!

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I head to the airport in the upper-left part of town and use a key to unlock the door.

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After unlocking the next two doors I get attacked by the pilot (I guess that is what he is).

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Since I do not want the guards after me just yet, I take him on a merry chase outside where I can circle around him.

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I then board the plane and fly it out of the airport. I now head to the prison on the right.

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I wave to Iolo and Gwenno.

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I unlock the door and kill the guard. The plane is useful because it blocks the door keeping the guards from swarming the place.

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For some reason, the plane is duplicated. I do not know why.

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Anyway, I unlock the center-left cell door. This is the only guy who doesn't attack me.

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Well, well. He has the quickblade Enilno (Online spelled backwards).

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After offering 500 gold, he gives me the quickblade.

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Unfortunately, I need more Agility to wield it.

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Anyway, I use one of my strange coins to Negate Time. This causes all creatures to freeze in place for several turns (although they can still attack me). This helps me get away from masses of enemies.

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I have to use another coin by the horse merchant.

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It looks like all the guards are now north of me.

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Whohoo! I am home free!

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The plane is a strange vehicle. I can move around on any grassy areas normally, but if I want to fly over mountains, trees and water, I must Launch the plane. This makes it move in one direction constantly.

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To stop, I need to find a grassy area and then Land the plane.

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I now head for the time portal in Australia.

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This takes me to the Time of Legends, where I head for the right gate.

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I have now arrived in 2112. I fly west.

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The only place that seems to have survived is Moscow, now known as Pirate's Harbor.
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Da Red Skware! Haha! Richard Garriott cracks me up! </sarcasm>

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Red Mage would be all over this shop.

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I get CCCP, but what is TASS?

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It looks like I can find ships here as well, and there is even a little cove with some treasure, but I have something else in mind.

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Whoah! That is a lot of KGB goons. They are about to swarm me in a second.

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Here is some advice I already know.

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No, it is just beginning.

BTW, say hi to Chuckles. He will appear in many later games as LB's favorite jester.

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Anyway, I kill the village idiot and unlock the door on the right.

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I have now infiltrated the Soviet space program.

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Eat my booster rockets, suckers!

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Anyway, I put in the coordinates and Hyperwarp to Mars.

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I now try to land the rocket. Each landing and hyperwarp consumes one unit of tri-lithium.

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I am now orbiting the planet on a north-south trajectory. To land, I need to find a suitable grassy area; otherwise, I am dead.

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Landing successful!

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I wander around a bit and finally find this town.

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Yep! It looks like this town is the only thing on this rock.

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This is Towne Mary.

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The pussy does not carry out his threat.

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This must be Garriott's brother.

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Anyway, I now head for Jupiter. Here is a view of Jupiter.

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This is the only town around.

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Why would I want to sail around an unfinished world?

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Haha....

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Dunno.

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This is Uranus.

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This is a view of Uranus.

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This is the only town on Uranus, New Jester.

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These are all the jesters in New Jester on Uranus that swarm all over me.

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This is the death I experience after trying to attack my way out of the swarm of jesters in New Jester on Uranus.

Let's head for another planet.

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Here is Neptune.

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If you thought the other planets were barren, you have not seen anything yet.

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This town in this outcropping of rocks encircled by trees is the only damn thing on this planet!

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Computer Camp?!

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In cabin eight I find a seer who will give me a clue for 100 gold.

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Huh?! I guess she is talking about King Ozy on Planet X, but this is completely useless information.

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I do not who this guy is.

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Enough with the fooling around! Let's head for Planet X (coordinates 9-9-9).

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North of me is Ozy's place.

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South is Towne Basko.

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I hang my head.

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This guy ends up attacking and killing me. I end up having to do the entire rocket sequence all over again.

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Finally, I head for Ozy's place, Castle Barataria.

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Like LB, Ozy will raise my HP by 300 in exchange for a tribute of 50 gold.

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So Father Antos is here?

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Since I do not want to kill any more guards, I use a key to unlock one of the doors behind the throne room and head west and south.

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I head for the jail.

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I wonder if this is Father Antos? Nope!

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BTW, this blue stuff represents some kind of poisonous marsh.. I take damage when I move across it.

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Oh, be quiet!

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I find Father Antos hiding out in the kitchen. He give me his blessing. This will let me find the ring.

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I then head back to Earth. I grind a bit more in Pangaea to raise my HP and Agility (finally letting me equip Enilno). I then head for New San Antonio.

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After getting two more keys, I head all the way north and unlock the two doors shown.

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By a tree, I find an old man.

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After offering him 500 gold, he gives me the ring. This will allow me to avoid taking damage from the force fields around Minax's palace.

It is finally time to take on Minax herself!

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I head for the Time of Legends. I battle my way through one side of the enemies and use a strange coin to avoid the mass above me.

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I head noth, around, Negate time, and enter the palace.

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Here we are! Here is another map that I stole from GameFAQs.

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This place is swarming with daemons, balrons and all other nasties.

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In the northeast corner, I find Minax. After attacking her once with Enilno (only that can harm her), she teleports away. I have to find her again.

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The secret to success in this place is lots of HP and lots of strange coins.

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I find her in the south-west corner. She also has a barrier around her that will sap 100 HP every turn I am in her barrier. I whack her and she teleports again.

I then repeat this process about seven more time (I lost account after the fifth time I whacked her).

Finally, I deliver the killing blow.

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That's a wrap!

Tune in next time for a look at Ultima III: Exodus.
 

Silellak

Cipher
Joined
Aug 19, 2008
Messages
3,198
Location
Tucson, AZ
You know, I'd love to see a proper Lazarus-style remake of Ultima II. The general core plot of Minax attacking and destroying the homeworld of the Stranger, with the Stranger having to battle through time and space to undo what she did, would be fascinating to see done right.

You'd have to strip out a lot of the crap that makes no sense (WHY ARE THERE TOWNS ON OTHER PLANETS IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM), of course. But the core story and concept could still make for a pretty unique RPG. Alas, I doubt it will ever be.

Not sure about an Ultima III party, sorry. I played the NES version when I was like...8 or 9...so yeah.
 

Silellak

Cipher
Joined
Aug 19, 2008
Messages
3,198
Location
Tucson, AZ
As you have the Guardian forum Avatar, I have no choice but to obey.

BUMP, damnit.
 

Azira

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Nov 3, 2004
Messages
8,428
Location
Copenhagen, Denmark
Codex 2012
Bumpity-bump
 
Self-Ejected

ScottishMartialArts

Self-Ejected
Joined
Feb 24, 2005
Messages
11,707
Location
California
As I recall Yew is in the circular forest (might be surrounded by mountains with an opening on the west side) to the West of Britain. It's been a while though.
 

DaveO

Erudite
Joined
May 30, 2007
Messages
1,187
I may be wrong, but aren't Dwarves in Ultima3 able to have 99 strength? I think Elves can get 99 Intelligence, but you'd need the reference card to find out max racial stats. I'm sure you'll remember the whirlpool and trekking thru dungeons to meet the Time Lord IIRC.

EDIT - I found the racial table, so don't pick an elf. Dwarves, Bobbit, and Fuzzies for maximum stats.

P.S. - You can pick gender of 'Other' in this game.
 

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