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

Derper

Prophet
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Messages
1,143
Location
Aaaargh
Postcount +1
 

Elzair

Cipher
Joined
Apr 7, 2009
Messages
2,249
Ultima IV Part 1: Honestly, My Dear, I Don't Give A Damn

Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar

box.jpg


Part 1: Honestly, My Dear, I Don't Give A Damn

I have finally made it to Ultima IV! This game is arguably the greatest game in the series. There are more than a few people who feel it deserves to be called the Citizen Kane of RPGs. Thematically it towers above the other RPGs of its day, and even twenty years later there is no other game quite like it. It is nice to see that an IGN writer recently gave this game some much deserved recognition.

Look carefully at the box art above? Ignore any prior knowledge of Ultima you may have, and think what this cover reminds you of. It reminds me of Moses parting the waters to lead his people to salvation. The theme of salvation is important in Ultima IV as well. Unlike the past games, there is no bad guy threatening the lands. Freed from the Age of Darkness, Britannia (formerly Sosaria) has emerged into an Age of Virtue, and Lord British has called upon a champion to embark on a quest to become the Avatar, the embodiment of the eight virtues.

Let's start up the game!

intro015.png


Here is the title screen.

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I will initiate a new game.

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Since it asks for MY name, I will give it.

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I ain't no chick!

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Fine! I will read the book of history!

If you want to read along, you can find an illustrated, electronic copy here.

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Meh! Poon is cheap! I can probably get some elsewhere on my "spiritual crusade."

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Well, orders are order!

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The pussy got what he deserved!

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I don't need an excuse to be a braggart!

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He should have thought about that twenty years ago. I slay his ass!

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Thy friend seeks admittance to thy Spiritual order. Thou art asked to
vouch for his purity of Spirit, of which thou art unsure. Dost thou A)
Honestly express thy doubt; or B) Vouch for him, hoping for his
Spiritual improvement?

If he is a shmuck, I will say so.

intro054.png


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Well, I might as well return the purse. It is the merchant's duty to set his house in order.

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Ultima IV in VGA!

I enter the nearby town.

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Again Richard Garriott outdoes himself with the weird names.

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I now meet Calabrini, the Moonglow welcomer. In this game, NPCs have more to say than one line of dialogue. The dialogue now revolves around a keyword system where entering the right keyword will provide a unique response. Most keywords can be guessed from the dialogue, but some people have important information that you will not know about unless you ask someone else. I will post some of the dialogue here, and the rest you can find here.

avatar.gif
Job.

Calabrini: I bear greetings from the fair city of Moonglow.

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: Health.

Calabrini: Fine.

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Inn

Calabrini: We have an excellent inn.

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Healer.

Calabrini: Our healer is one of the best! Dost thou seek an inn or healing?

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No.

Calabrini: Perhaps, the shrine which lies on an isle to the north!

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This guy is useless.

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Here is Mariah, the mage. She would join me if I were not a mage. I must recruit seven companions on my quest from the seven other professions. In future games, she will still be referred to as one of my companions.

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Yes.

Mariah: I wish I could join thee.

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Join.

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Here are my stats. As you can see, I start as a level two mage.

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Starting with IV, Ultima uses a reagent system for magic. To cast a spell, the proper reagents must be obtained and then mixed together. Since the ingredients for most spells are in the manual, this was a decent copy protection scheme back in the day.

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Name.

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Job.

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Stone.

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Yes, I will search for the blue stone in Dungeon Deceit.

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Job.

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Honesty.

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Yes.

Shakespeare: Hast thou never lied?

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No.

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I think this might have made me less honest. Oh well!

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So my destiny is to retrieve a codex? 'Kay!

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Job.

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Nigel.

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No.

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Hi, Cromwell!

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Honesty.

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Yes.

Cromwell: Then you will need the mantra.

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Mantra.

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I now know the mantra for the shrine of honesty: AHM.

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Unlike past Ultimas, not all doors are locked. This one opens up right away.

Anyway, I decide to head out of town.

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Crossing a bridge I get attacked by a troll. Too bad I don't have a goat with me!

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I do a decent job on my own.

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Uh oh! I have been poisoned. Like in the last game, poison causes me to take damage every turn. It is reload time.

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To the west of Moonglow is a Moongate. I step in to it and it takes me to a new place.

Find out where next time!
 

Silellak

Cipher
Joined
Aug 19, 2008
Messages
3,198
Location
Tucson, AZ
Man, what bullshit. Why does the game force your character into a certain role? Why don't I have the choice to flee in terror from the blue moongate as soon as it appears? Why do I care about some faggy ren fest?

Game is crap.
 

Tramboi

Prophet
Patron
Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
1,216
Location
Paris by night
I thought mixing ginseng and garlic were the ingredients for halitosis (9th circle spell).
 

Elzair

Cipher
Joined
Apr 7, 2009
Messages
2,249
Ultima IV Part 2: Will Any Monsters Have Compassion For Me?

Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar

Part 2: Will Any Monsters Have Compassion For Me?

We will now see how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

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It went here. BTW, since I picked the virtue of Honesty, I started the game as a mage. The player will begin the game near the city that corresponds to his chosen virtue (and class).

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Apparently, this place is called Jhelom. It is the city of fighters. If I had chosen the virtue of Valor, I would have begun the game as a fighter and ended up here.

Since I forgot to include a map last time, I will do so now. You can find an English version here.

u4map.jpg


I now meet Sir Hrothgar. His name seems to have been taken from Beowulf.

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I now talk to Bengrod.

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Job.

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Dungeons.

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This guy tells me the red stone lies in the dungeon Destard. Some guy in Moonglow told me the blue stone lies in the dungeon Deceit. I bet all dungeons have these colored stones, and I also bet the stones will be important in some way.

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So the dungeons are connected to each other? How convenient!

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Room.

Bengrod: Therein use the stones found in the connecting dungeons!

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Sir William tells me that it is not valorous to kill non-evil creatures. Non-evil creatures include spiders, insects, rats, bats, snakes and seahorses.

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Slithe tells me to never flee from battle. Unlike Ultima III, characters can leave the battle by simply going off the screen. If a party member is gravely wounded, I think s/he can leave the battle without losing valor, but I am not sure. Is anyone more versed on the subject?

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Job.

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Red Stone.

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No.

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So I need the stone to get part of a key? Something tells me these altar rooms are involved.

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Hi Aesop! Do you have any fables for me?

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Nope.

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I never knew the Sun God was so brave.

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Drats! This door is locked! It looks like I will need to find a guild shop to buy some keys.

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This is what a Moongate looks like. Since there is nowhere else to go on this island, I take it.

Here is a description of how the Moongates work. Notice the two semicircles at the top of the screen? These represent the phases of Britannia's two moons: Trammel and Felucca. The phase of the first moon indicates which one of the eight Moongates will open; the phase of the second moon indicates where that Moongate will lead. Here is a chart of the various phases and which city they indicate.
Code:
New moon            Moonglow
Crescent waxing     Britain
First quarter       Jhelom
Gibbous waxing      Yew
Full moon           Minoc
Gibbous waning      Trinsic
Last quarter        Skara Brae
Crescent waning     Magnicia

There is one exception to these rules, but I will cover that later.

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The only thing on this island is a ruin.

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Apparently it is called Magincia.

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Do you notice those specks of blue? That indicates poisonous marshland. Since I do not have many Cure spells, I hightail it out of here and wait for the next Moongate.

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Where I am now?

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Since I have encountered a few monsters, I decide to rest. In this game, I can recover HP on the world map (and dungeons, apparently) by Holing-up and camping.

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However, I am attacked by enemies.

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I am fucked.

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I am seriously fucked now.

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I am dead.

When I die in this game I am teleported to Lord British with all of my possessions and some of my food and gold (up to a maximum of 100*current_level)

Here is what LB has to say.

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What is the Quest of the Avatar?

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Tell me about the Stygian Abyss.

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What is an Avatar?

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I now speak to Juliet who says she can help me.

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I head south out of the throne room and explore a bit.

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After exploring the second floor a bit, I head to the first floor.

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Hmm. This wall looks solid.

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Apparently it isn't. Ultima IV features "hidden walls." They are more visible in the normal version, but it appears they really are hidden in the VGA version.

BTW, there is a whole room full of treasure! Like Death Gulch in the last game, this place would make a great place to loot repeatedly for lots of gold . . . except I can't.

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Damn you, virtues!

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Oh well. I can pick up anything that is not in chests without any loss of virtue. I still do not understand this. The Rune of Spirituality does not belong to me either!

Anyway, I visit the Seer Hawkwind.

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He tells me how I am progressing in the various virtues. When I do enough virtuous acts, he will tell me to "seek elevation" in a given virtue.

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Basically, I have a ways to go.

I head to the eastern wing of the castle.

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I find a secret door to the north.

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At the northern end of the new hallway, I find another secret door to the north.

Here I find the sheperdess Shawn. I think that patch of water will become more useful later.

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Along the eastern wall, I find another secret door heading outside the castle.

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Help.

Joshua: The riddle!

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Riddle.

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Joshua: More?

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Yes

Joshua: What one thing creates and is created by all truths, all love & all courage?

This is a perplexing riddle indeed!

In the healer's chamber I find Sheila.

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Job.

Sheila: I seek the inner light.

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Inner Light.

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Sheila: Doest thou know of Mantra?

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No.

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I now speak to Seesha.

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I guess so.

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Here I meet Chuckles, Lord British's jester that (I think) appears in every canonical game except Ultimas VIII & IX.

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Job.

Chuckles: I am the royal jester.

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Jester.

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Yes.

Chuckles: Then enter in peace.

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Alrighty! I am out of Castle Britannia and out of steam. I will do more in the next update.
 
Joined
May 15, 2009
Messages
180
Location
CT USA
Cool. The most beloved of the Ultima games. I still think 5 is better (in fact one of the best electronic RPGs PERIOD), but 4 is mighty good, and mindblowing what it was doing in 85. I didn't get the game till 88, and didn't finish it till like 90-91 thereabouts. Probably 91 since I was heavily listening to classic rock at the time and equate the balloon and the Isle of the Avatar with The Doors.
 

Silellak

Cipher
Joined
Aug 19, 2008
Messages
3,198
Location
Tucson, AZ
I am dead.
Lame. A True Codexer would do a Hardcore LP of all Ultima games. Die in Ultima IV? Start back with Ultima I.

Pussy.

Keep up the good work!
 

Elzair

Cipher
Joined
Apr 7, 2009
Messages
2,249
Ultima IV Part 3: Who Needs Valor When You Have Fireballs?

Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar

Part 3: Who Needs Valor When You Have Fireballs?

Now that I have got the introductions out of the way, let's actually do something!

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I head for the nearby city.

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Yes, the name of the city is Britain; it is the city of Compassion and the home of bards.

I then speak to various people.

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Oh haw haw. Do you have any useful information?

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Do you know where a rune might be?

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I now speak to Sebastian.

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Job.

Sebastian: I know a terrible secret!

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Secret.

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Mondain.

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Yes.

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I now speak to a child.

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Job.

child: I am learning compassion.

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Learning.

child: The solution to ones problems often lies in solving others!

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Compassion.

child: Never care so much for thyself that thou cannot care for others! Know ye the mantra of compassion?

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No.

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Giving gold to beggars makes me more compassionate.

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Yellow Stone, Despise. Gotcha!

I now speak to Cricket, the bard at the tavern.

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I now have the Mantra of Compassion!

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Searching the hallway in the Britannian manor, I find the Rune of Compassion as well.

I now speak to the sheperd in the room.

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Name.

Mentor: I am Mentor.

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Job.

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Magincia.

Mentor: Pride was too great in Magincia!

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Pride.

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No.

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The only way to gain Humility is to speak humbly to certain people. Once I find one of them, I can continue to speak humbly to raise Humility.

Anyway, I am done with Britain.

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Moving south I encounter skeletons and orcs.

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After a battle or two, I find a village.

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This is the village of Paws. It is one of the three settlements in the game that does not correspond to a virtue or principle.

I speak to Barren in the southwest corner of town.

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Sweet! Another rune!

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This guy gives me more explicit instructions.

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Sweet! Another rune!

I then speak to Damsel in the market.

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Job.

Damsel: I am here to buy food.

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Food.

Damsel: Yes, I hear they have the best rations here.

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Rations.

Damsel: Rations are used in dungeons. Doest thou travel in the depths?

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Yes.

Damsel: In the great castle there is a secret entrance!

I now speak to Jingles in the northern edge of town.

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Magic.

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Jingles: Dost thou know him?

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No.

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I am done with Paws.

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Further south I find a Moongate. I end up back in Moonglow.

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I forgot to speak to this kid before.

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Rune.

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YEAH!!

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Three down. Five to go.

Since I am a mage, I need some ingredients for spells. Currently, the reagent shop in Moonglow is the only one I know about.

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You bet your ass I am!

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There are eight reagents in the game: the six listed and two that must be found: nightshade and mandrake root.

I buy six ginseng, one garlic, and five spider silk.

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Let's get to Mixing!

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One Cure spell requires one ginseng and one garlic. One Heal spell requires one ginseng and one spider silk.

Since I want to roast my enemies with a Fireball, I head back to town to purchase ten sulfurous ashes and ten black pearls.

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Oh yeah! Now we are cooking!

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Here is my supernatural repertoire.

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Here are some skeletons.

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Here is the spell Fireball being cast. Unfortunately it only works in a straight line.

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North of Moonglow I find a castle.

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This is the Lycaeum, the keep dedicated to the principle of Truth.

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Four.

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Have I met this next guy before?

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Nigel: Dost thou know what it is?

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Yes.

Nigel: What do I call the spell?

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Recall.

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Huh?! Whatever! At least I can now resurrect a dead party member (if I had any).

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I now speak to an old druid guy.

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Name.

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:shock:

FATHER ANTOS?! You mean this guy?

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What the hell is HE doing here?! I thought he was on Planet X in 2112 AD. How in the holy mother of fuck did he make his way to Britannia circa 1985?! I guess you could say it had something to do with the hero fixing the timelines, but it is just weird.

Since the soon-to-be Avatar finds him strangely familiar, I guess this is evidence that the Avatar really is the Stranger. Who knows?! Let's just see what he has to say.

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Job.

Father Antos: I hold great knowledge.

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Knowledge.

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Unfortunately, I do no know right now. I make a note to check back with him later.

I now speak to Palamar who tells me about his telescope.

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Name.

Palamar: Palamar

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Job

Palamar: I am an old wizard, but have much to show!

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Show.

Palamar: Here in my telescope!

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Telescope.

Palamar: Search there by the end, thou shalt find a knob.

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I search right by the protruding wall. I select A.

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This appears to show the first level of Lord British's castle. What an interesting device!

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So I need to meditate at the shrines for three minutes?! 'Kay!

I leave Empath Abbey for now.

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I now try resting again.

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This time I am more successful and am fully healed.

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I take the Moongate back to Britain.

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Booyah! I have gained two levels! Since I did not kill many things, I must get XP for collecting important objects like runes, stones, and other things. Unlike the last games, the XP required for level-up doubles every level. For level 2, it is 100; for level 3, it is 200, etc.

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I then decide to check-in with Hawkwind to see how virtuous I have become.

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Sweetness!

It is too bad I know neither the mantra of Humility nor the location of the shrine!

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Aww!

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Anyway, how am I doing on the Sacrifice front?

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Did you just say I needed to give blood?

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Sure.

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Giving blood take away 100 HP each time. I cannot give any blood if my HP is below 400. I now head back to Lord British for some healing.

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No.

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After a few rounds of this, I have increased my Sacrifice a lot.

Anyway, now that I have gotten rolling, the next few updates will be more exciting. Stay tuned!
 

oldmanpaco

Master of Siestas
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
13,539
Location
Fall
Are you going to get minions soon? I know some people like to become an avatar before getting the party together.
 

Elzair

Cipher
Joined
Apr 7, 2009
Messages
2,249

Silellak

Cipher
Joined
Aug 19, 2008
Messages
3,198
Location
Tucson, AZ
Elzair said:
SCO said:
If you're going to play ultima 7 the way to do it is with the addons installed and these exult mods:
http://www.seventowers.org/downloads.php?section=0

No. While it is a pretty good recreation of the U7 engine, Exult is too different from the original game for my purposes.
I was under the impression you could tweak with the settings to make it pretty damn loyal to the original Ultima 7. What is different enough to inspire you to go through the painful process of trying to make it run on Dosbox?
 

Elzair

Cipher
Joined
Apr 7, 2009
Messages
2,249
Ultima IV Part 4: Justice Is For Hippies

Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar

Part 4: Justice Is For Hippies

After raising Sacrifice, I make my way northwest across the Serpent Spine mountains (the mountain range in the northwest corner of the map) and through the Deep Forest.

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Eventually, I find a castle.

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This is Empath Abbey. I guess they really understand my feelings here.

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avatar.gif
Oak grove.

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Wondeful! It is too bad he doesn't tell me I need keys to get there.

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I get the feeling that this is a pattern. I don't know what to tell him yet.

I leave Empath Abbey and make my way east.

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Since I got poisoned by a trapped chest, I cure myself.

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I eventually find the city of Yew. It was the hippy commune in the last game. I wonder if it has changed?

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Nope!

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Home.

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facepalm.gif


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Yes.

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And the skies are not cloudy all day.

I now speak to a wandering druid.

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Job.

druid: I seek justice.

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Justice.

druid: Learn at the shrine.

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Shrine.

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avatar.gif
No.

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I then meet Pinrod.

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Job.

Pinrod: I take council.

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Council.

Pinrod: On justice.

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Justice.

Pinrod: Justice is hardest to find at the point of a sword, the steel is an agent of justice, humanity the perpetrator! Fight ye for justice?

avatar.gif
Yes.

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The mantra is Beh.

I now meet Talfourd.

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Job.

Talford: I decide justice.

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Justice.

Talford: Justice is truth in action!

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Rune.

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No.

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avatar.gif
'Kay.

ultimaiv225.png


I go up and share a cell with this Vorpal guy.

ultimaiv226.png


Hoo yeah!

ultimaiv227.png


The only problem is that Vorpal is a psychopath. Fortunately for me, no one cares if I slay his ass.

ultimaiv228.png


Here is more comic relief.

avatar.gif
Jones.

ultimaiv229.png


What does this allude to?

ultimaiv230.png


Oh haw haw! Seriously, why do designers put this shit in here?

ultimaiv231.png


ultimaiv232.png


ultimaiv233.png


Sweet! I will have to try that sometime.

ultimaiv234.png


I then go back to LB's place and head south.

ultimaiv235.png


Finally, I arrive in Trinsic, the city of Honor and home of paladins.

I now encounter a wandering paladin named Kline.

avatar.gif
Job.

Kline: I seek entry to the shrine of honor! Know ye the two requirements to enter and use the shrine?

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Yes.

Kline: What are they?

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Mantra.

ultimaiv258.png


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Rune.

Kline: A man named Winthrop knows of the rune!

ultimaiv242.png


avatar.gif
Job.

Quix: I seek the skeleton!

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Skeleton.

Quix: It knows a great secret.

ultimaiv241.png


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No.

Quix: Seek it for it is very useful.

ultimaiv244.png


avatar.gif
Job.

Sam: I sail the seas of Britannia!

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Seas.

Sam: My specialty is navigation! Is it thy specialty?

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No.

Sam: Thou must not own a sextant, eh?

ultimaiv245.png


I now decide to use my gold to buy a bow.

ultimaiv246.png


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Just one, please.

ultimaiv247.png


FUCK!!

ultimaiv248.png


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Job.

Winthrop: I trade in rumors.

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Rumors.

Winthrop: About what?

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Rune.

Winthrop: There is a small child who knew named . . . Terrin. Dost thou know him?

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No.

Winthrop: Find him and ask of the rune!

ultimaiv249.png


Thanks for the directions, mate!

ultimaiv251.png


This is Dupre, the mayor of Trinsic. It must be such a hard job that he has to spend every waking hour at the tavern getting drunk and trying to weasel himself into wandering parties of adventurers. He will be a companion BTW.

I find a child in the southeast corner of town.

ultimaiv252.png


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Job.

Terrin: I ran from the bull.

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Fuck the bull. Tell me where the rune is.

Terrin: It is buried in the southwest corner of town.

ultimaiv253.png


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Job.

Swindrik: I cast spells.

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Spells.

Swindrik: Spells of great power.

ultimaiv254.png


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Mandrake.

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I find the skeleton hiding in a corner.

ultimaiv256.png


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Job.

Skitle: I hail from dungeon deep.

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Dungeon.

Skitle: I come from the dungeon 'Shame'!

ultimaiv257.png


Skitle: Ever been there?

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No.

Skitle: It holds items thou shalt need.

I now head to the southwest corner. The green stuff is a poison field that has a chance of poisoning me when I cross it.

ultimaiv239.png


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Job.

Virgil: I create magical fields.

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Field.

Virgil: Poision is my favorite. 'tis it thine?

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No.

Virgil: Well I don't care!

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Yeah! I only have a few runes left. I now head back to Lord British.

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Hot damn! I am making progress! Now that I have 500 HP, I can donate blood twice before having to heal.

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After doing that a few times, I qualify for elevation in Sacrifice.

Since I am bored of this part of the world I head for the nearby moongate. I will cover my further adventures as soon as I have uploaded the images.
 

Silellak

Cipher
Joined
Aug 19, 2008
Messages
3,198
Location
Tucson, AZ
We should bump this so the next update is on Page 6. Page 5 is getting too crowded.

BUMP!!
 

Elzair

Cipher
Joined
Apr 7, 2009
Messages
2,249
Silellak said:
Elzair said:
SCO said:
If you're going to play ultima 7 the way to do it is with the addons installed and these exult mods:
http://www.seventowers.org/downloads.php?section=0

No. While it is a pretty good recreation of the U7 engine, Exult is too different from the original game for my purposes.
I was under the impression you could tweak with the settings to make it pretty damn loyal to the original Ultima 7. What is different enough to inspire you to go through the painful process of trying to make it run on Dosbox?

Well, the schedules are kind of fucked up, and I think there are more "cool" things to do in the original game.
 

Silellak

Cipher
Joined
Aug 19, 2008
Messages
3,198
Location
Tucson, AZ
Elzair said:
Silellak said:
Elzair said:
SCO said:
If you're going to play ultima 7 the way to do it is with the addons installed and these exult mods:
http://www.seventowers.org/downloads.php?section=0

No. While it is a pretty good recreation of the U7 engine, Exult is too different from the original game for my purposes.
I was under the impression you could tweak with the settings to make it pretty damn loyal to the original Ultima 7. What is different enough to inspire you to go through the painful process of trying to make it run on Dosbox?

Well, the schedules are kind of fucked up, and I think there are more "cool" things to do in the original game.
Fair enough. If you can get it to work without hanging yourself, more power to you.

Btw, was browsing Ultima Nitpicks today and noticed a few submitted by a fellow with your name - safe to assume you're one and the same? I submitted one myself, specifically about how ridiculously easy it was for Dumbshit McNoname the Blacksmith to craft a Blackrock Sword in Ultima IX. One of the lesser transgressions to be sure, but still annoying after all the effort you have to go through in Forge of Virtue to do the very same thing.

Also, BUMP!!
 

GarfunkeL

Racism Expert
Joined
Nov 7, 2008
Messages
15,463
Location
Insert clever insult here
ultimaiv228.png


Here is more comic relief.

ultimaiv229.png


What does this allude to?

short-round.jpg


Short Round: Wow! Holy Smoke! Crash landing!
Indiana Jones: Short Round, step on it.
Short Round: Okey dokey, Dr. Jones.
[turns his cap around]
Short Round: Hold on to your potatoes!

Short Round: Indy, I love you.
[burns Indy with a torch]
Short Round: Wake up, Indy! You're my best friend! Wake up, Indy!

Indiana Jones: Stay behind me, Short Round. Step where I step, and don't touch anything.
[curious, Short Round touches a lamp. A door falls open, with two dessicated mummies falling out. Short Round yells and backpedals]
Short Round: I step where you step! I touch nothing!

.
.
.

Yeah, Ultima wasn't immune to pop.culture references either
 

SCO

Arcane
In My Safe Space
Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Messages
16,320
Shadorwun: Hong Kong
Elzair said:
Well, the schedules are kind of fucked up, and I think there are more "cool" things to do in the original game.

Only on the 1.2 release. On the 1.4 svn there are much more cool things to do in exult.


(unless you want to bed frigidazi or whatever her name was as a snake, that was fixed)

(strange from such a bestiality oriented community - i mean they all have a dragon name over there).
 

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