Its been a while but I’m back again and ready to pick up where I left off on Ultima 8. Between flu, office parties and getting stuff sorted out for Xmas I’ve not had much chance for gaming recently but I’m going to make an attempt to get U8 finished before Xmas now so should be posting most days.
When I was last playing I was attempting to get to see Mythran. Following the trail leads me to the first of the games jumping puzzles.
As I understand it from the manual, with the games original interface to get between these blocks I would have to have the mouse cursor the appropriate distance from me before jumping to select how far I jump. This sounds truly awful – missing a jump is instant death. The new system of jumping to the cursor is a lot simpler. I can live with it but it has to be said that these platforms floating in the middle of nowhere do feel to belong in a platform game.
I get to the other side and find my first monster of the game. – a ghoul/zombie. Its on top of a ledge which I eventually figure out is climable in the new engine. Trying to fight the zombie doesn’t go too well. I haven’t found any weapons yet and I don’t have any money to buy them either. After some failed attempts I give in and just run past.
A few zombies avoided later and I get to a big room full of levers. After some trial and error I figure out to pull the ones that don’t have bones infront of them.
This opens up a gate into a new area…
and leads on to what I assume to by Mythrans house. The entrance to here is guarded with traps – rolling boulders and some sort of lightning trap that periodically jumps between pillars. There is a whole corridor of this – its easy enough to time so I make it first time through. Again this feels like it belongs in a platform game.
On the other side of the traps is Mythran. He’s standing next to another of those grey platforms.
Mythran is full of information. He gives me the brief history of the world which involves the guardian trying to introduce a new belief system when he came to the realm. The people were split into two factions. Then the great destroyer came and the four elemental titans defeated it, destroying most of the land in the process and leaving just this small island.
A history lesson is all very well but what I really want to know is how to leave – he tells me that I will need to master all 4 forms of elemental magic in the world and sends me off to learn earth/death magic first by following the east road out of Tenebrae. At the end of the conversation he gives me a recall item which I can use to go to any grey pads I’ve seen.
We’ve been seeing some form of teleport system in every ultima since U6. This is the sort of system U6 should have had actually to keep the game structured. Using my new item I transport myself straight back to the palace.
The east road has a few monsters of one sort or another on it. I found a weapon of sorts in Mythrans house (a fang) and I can finally beat some of these monsters.
I’m supposed to follow the great eastern road to find the necromancers I’m looking for but since it goes North rather than East I assume I’m going the wrong way and wander off the path. I find this little building which the guardian tells me not to go in (so I go in).
The floor collapses landing me in some sort of dungeon with a very large monster. I go the other way and run into a skeleton warrior who makes very short work of me. At this point I figure I’d be better off going where as I was told and restore a game.
The home of the necromancers is quite small and there is only the one person here for now. He is the second in command and is the guy I’m looking for. He is prepared to help me if I join the order.
Before that he does of course have a missing item I have to retrieve. The ceremonial dagger used in all their rituals has been taken by the tempest. I volunteer to get it back and he tells me to look in the palace.
I don’t get anywhere searching the palace but the tempests handmaiden says she will talk to me if I meet her after work at her home. She tells me a little about the regime and all in all it doesn’t sound like the best place to work.
After a bit of persuasion, she gives me a key which I can use to get the dagger.
I head back for the palace and still can’t unlock the bedroom doors. A bit of exploring and I find a key under a cushion which lets me in.
The dagger is in a chest in a little room to the side.
I return the dagger straight away. The chief necromancer Lothian is currently lying on a slab – I can see whats coming here.
Lothian is willingly killed in the ritual and allegedly goes to join the necromancers in the hall of the earth titan. I’m told that the same fate is reserved for all leaders of the order in the end – no wonder they are short of recruits then.
Speaking of recruits, I foolishly volunteer when asked to join up myself. As ever I have to fetch some items first, this time two magical reagents.
On the walk back into town I’m stopped by a guard who questions me about Bentic. He and Devon have been arrested and thrown into jail for some reason. I decide to have a look into this and leave the reagents for now.
I find Devon in the palace dungeons. Bentic has already been beheaded. Devon doesn’t admit to even knowing why either of them were arrested and asks me to look into it. He suggests I ask Salkind.
Salkind is not especially helpful and won’t give me any answers but I do learn that he keeps a logbook of all executions.
I read the logbook, there have been a number of executions but Bentic’s is the one I’m interested in. It says he was conducting some sort of illegal research and that the evidence is in the dungeons. There is a room with no obvious entrance in the dungeon which is probably the place.
Mythran will sell me the scroll I will need to get into the dungeon. I buy this off him (using money I got from a chest in his house).
I go back to the dungeon. Its definitely the right room as it says Bentics Journal when I click on the book. Using the scroll reveals a door in the wall and I can get in and read the book.
The book says that Devon is the rightful tempest – this explains why Mordea put him in prison.
Before I can move a posse of guards show up and escort me to the docks.
Devon is about to be executed when we interrupt.
I speak up about Devon being the rightful tempest.
Salkind manages to admit this in an unconvincing slip of the tongue. Mordea doesn’t take too kindly to this and blasts him down with lightning. She then orders the execution to proceed anyway but the executioner refuses and also gets struck down.
This is the cue for a duel between the previously helpless Devon who suddenly discovers his powers, manages to defeat Mordea. She is swallowed up by the lurker while the rest of us lie stunned on the ground. I struggle to my feet and Devon announces that now he is tempest the first thing he will do is leave and think about the job. He promptly jumps off the end of the pier and walks on the water out of the scene.
I’ve made Tenebrae a slightly nicer place but this doesn’t seem to have gotten me any nearer my goal so I’ll get back to collecting those reagents next.
I can’t say that Ultima 8 has got me hooked at all yet. Its not bad but frankly there are other games I’d rather be playing. It’s early days though and I’d say that its still growing on me.