Day 143

I head back down from Stratos and get congratulated by Stellos. He gives me a hint on how to get the breath of wind from Stratos which is strangely helpful but I’m leaving this until the end.

Instead, its time to find titan #3. I’m using a walkthrough map again to find the correct location in the catacombs. My Scion key opens the door as usual.

Theres a recall pad in here near the entrance.

Hydros is the easiest titan of the lot to find. I just walk around and over a bridge and thats it. She has been trapped here and wants me to help release her by opening the ground of the grave of her captor.

I have to go through another dungeonesque area – full of trolls and the like. Its nothing too difficult.

I soon find the grave and cast open ground.

The ground splits and a waterfall is created.

I recall back to Hydros and she is a lot less pleasant this time around. Lightning is flashing and the place is looking a bit misty. She spares my life for freeing her but goes off to cause trouble.

I return to Tenebrae. Devon has lost his powers now the titan is no longer under control. Its misty and throwing out lightning here also and he is worried about floods. Being a generous sort he doesn’t blame me and even thinks it might be for the good in the long run.

Having said there was no weather in the game yesterday, I see the locations go misty all the time now. There isn’t any rain to be seen as such so I guess Origin never got around to it. The mist is a minor irritation as its harder to see what I’m doing.

I go for the final fire titan next. The entrance is just to the east of the last one. A little lever on the wall opens up a secret door to let me in.

When I get here, I see a man teleporting around on the far side of some lava. To reach where he is I have to use the final air spell I got from Stratos to perform a giant leap.

A bit more lava jumping and I reach the settlement of the sorcerers.

The first sorcerer I meet gives me a new name and then tries to enlist my help in a conspiracy to dethrone the current first adept by discovering his true name. In order to do this she has to give me her first name to take me on as a student.

When I meet the guy who’s name I’m supposed to find out, he wants me to do exactly the same to Bane. I seem to have to make a choice between the two of them with no information to go on at all. Since I’m already here I choose to help this guy and give away Banes real name.

He immediately summons a demon and sends it round to kill her. I feel kind of guilty now.

All the fuss attracks the attention of the head sorcerer. He is now an adept short which is apparently where I come in and I get to learn sorcery. Guilt cured.

I’m sent to the library to learn spells. The magic system here involves using pentagrams with various colors of candles and reagents placed near these candles + an item in the middle to bind the spells into. In this way I can create my own magic wands and the like charged with a given number of casts of a certain spell.

There is a whole new set of reagents for this magic all based on volcano rock. This is fire magic after all.

I do of course have to pass some tests before I can become a sorcerer. This time they are a bit more relevant than having to stand on a tall rock while a god attempts to blow me off. I have to prove myself by casting 3 of the spells.

Up to this point, I’ve been quite enjoying the last couple of days of Ultima 8. This spellcasting process reversed things in no time. The game is so exacting about placing reagents in exactly the right spot it is unbelievably frustrating. This is added to by the object picking up and moving being so ludcrously difficult. E.g I try to drop my reagent just behind a candle but decide to throw it halfway across the room instead. I then can’t reach it to move it so have to walk over but I’m too near or too far away so have to shuffle backwards and forwards a dozen times until I can actually move it. I think I’ve got it in the right place, try to cast the spell but it still doesn’t work so I try to move it closer only to throw it again…

You get the idea at any rate – I have to repeat this process for around 10 spells eventually and it is not fun.

I manage to get the 3 to complete the test done after a while and get sent off into the obsidian fortress to the west to be tested.

The illustrious leader shows up and immediately sets two demons on me – he does at least hope that I survive which makes me feel better about it. I could stick around and fight but don’t.

There is a non-hostile demon in the next room who seems friendly until he offers me reagents and another pentagram to prepare more spells. He would obviously like to see me suffer.

I think it’s the demon who was trapped in my sword in Forge of Virtue – he has the right name but doesn’t appear to recognise me.

Past the demon is another area – this is a central hub surrounded by four tests where I need a different spell prepared to pass.

Each test tells me what spell I need which makes them easy enough when I’ve prepared. My flame armour spell stops the endless fireballs in this area from hurting me.

I find a magic shield near the end which does the same job for the trip back.

There is also a symbol which I grab then head for the next test.

This one is a test of my flash spell. This doesn’t do what may spring to mind but does in fact teleport me a short distance.

I use the spell to get past rolling balls and the like and pick up another symbol.

Next its endure heat and I can use the spell to walk across the darker bits of lava.

Theres another symbol in a chest at the end.

Finally I need the entinguish spell to put out all the flames around this pentagram.

I return to Arcadion who sends me back through the teleport to see the master.

The master has yet more tests and wants me to cast a few more spells. I prefered the demons. He will have to pay for this sooner or later…

Before I get to the spells I find a very interesting book among the reagents with details of how the titans used part of an blackrock pillar to gain their powers – the same pillar which I own a piece of. I will be wanting to grab all these items for myself it seems to remake the pillar.

I cast my spells – after the last one he sets another daemon on me which I have to banish. This guy is really asking for it.

For now, I’m summoned along with some other acolytes to call the titan. I don’t have a candle which I need or the ignite spell prepared making me feel a bit of a fool during the summoning.

I’m helped out, and we summon the titan.

The master wants to know about the fire in the sky (aka the sun) for some reason. I notice this was more or less the translation of the name I was given. The titan can’t help so he asks for some power instead.

The titan obliges but isn’t too happy about being held and attempts to break free.

He kills one of the others and knocks me down but using the tongue of flame, the master banishes him again. Now I know where the item I want is.

I head straight back for the masters lair to get the tongue. He doesn’t like being disturbed and attacks.

He falls to a few hacks of a sword. This is what he gets for making me perform sorcery.

I find a book on him about the tongue of flame – as well as the tongue itself. I’m not supposed to take it into the great pentagram apparently.

I now need to get the other 3 bits of the blackrock obelisk. First off I head for the earth one which is somewhere in the pits of the dead. I have to get through a locked door first and the key is way off to the north.

I get the key eventually and return to open the door.

There is a likely spot of earth + a tombstone just incase it wasn’t obvious.

I cast open ground and the heart of earth appears.

Next its the breath of air. I feel a bit more guilty about this one as the air titan seems doesn’t really deserve me pinching her power. I cast reveal and the item pops into existence. I then use my aerial servent spell to fetch it for me.

I ask Devon about the final piece. He doesn’t seem too sure but he thinks he might have found it and put it in a chest in his study. While I’m here he also gives me Salkinds old house.

The tear is exactly where Devon told me along with his stash of money which I pinch.

I was stuck for quite a while at this point. To pass the time I decided to take my tongue of flame to the great pentagram to see what happened. As the titan is released he rains fire down on all the world – this appears to be neccessary to proceed but I’m not certain on this one.

Either way, when I return to Mythran there is now a new topic of conversation and I get to ask about remaking the obelisk. To this end he sells me a new spell (Ethereal travel) which sends me to the etherial void once more.

This place is looking a bit different to the last time I was here. He did warn me about the titans intercepting me on the way. There is another central hub with four paths going off it.

I head down one and end up in a lava filled map. I find this strange looking symbol on the ground but it won’t do anything.

A lot more wandering and I end up right at the NE of the realm. This area is full of collapsing floors and little holes in the ground that spit fire.

I manage to get to a shrine and since the guardian asks me not to go near it, I know I really should. The chest is full of little balls which I take.

Using these balls on the points of the symbol pops up stepping stones.

I jump over these and find Pyros. He sets more demons on me but I just use the tongue immediately on him and both he and the demons die.

This is a pattern that I will be repeating. Next up is what I think at first is the water realm where I have to jump across a load of irrating columns. My avatar insists on jumping too far or not far enough half the time. Thank god for the quicksave button.

I use my breath of wind item on Stratos and defeat the air titan as well.

Next its water.

This is more jumping on platforms…

Hydros is at the far end and sets her other tentacle on me but I just use the tear to defeat her.

Next its the earth realm. This is just a lengthy cave area. There is some sort of invisible walkway on this bit but its a lot easier to cast endure heat and walk round the lava.

The hardest thing in this realm is attempting to climb this ledge which takes me about 5 minutes of frustrating clicking.

The final titan is here and sets golems on me but not in time to stop me using my final item.

I take these items back to the void and lay them out as instructed by the book I got from Mythran. My tip isn’t glowing yet…

Double clicking on this, I get a message that I feel powerful – I wonder what that actually did and if I could have used it earlier?

Now I just have to arrange the items correctly. They glow red when I get them in the right place so this isn’t a problem. A black obelisk pops up with strange demons/ghostly forms in it. I walk straight into it and the end cutscene begins.

The end cutscene shows the avatar walking through some sort of transitional world and then arriving in a lava filled world complete with giant guardian head. This ending is open to interpretation. Is this Britannia? Thats where I was supposed to be attempting to get back to so that would make sense. I have been told all the way through that Britannia is burning and the like so thats what I’ll assume.

The cluebook I’ve been using describes it as the guardians homeworld. Since I know I’m going to be starting U9 on earth I guess I’ll never know for sure.

It’s not a very satisfying ending I have to say. If all my questions were going to be answered in U9 I could live with it but I know that isn’t going to be the case. Despite the poor ending, I’m not too sorry to have got to the end of this one. After a good bit in the middle large portions of today were as frustrating as the start of the game. For me this was the worst game in the series so far. I even prefer Ultima 2 I think (judging it on 1982 standards). That doesn’t make Ultima 8 that bad a game given the company its keeping but it is definitely an irritating one and I’d only recommend it to people with a lot more patience than me.

Next: Wings Of Glory

One thought on “Day 143

  1. If you think that fire spells are difficult to create… you are lucky… the prepatched version was even worse.

    Anyway, Arcadion it’s supposed to be that Demon, but as you said he does not recognize the Avatar. The weird thing is that he knows about Earth, but not about Britannia…

    Vardion’s grandmother is Mordra from Skara Brae in Ultima VII (she is from Pagan). That’s my reason to choose him over Bane when I play. Mordra was really helpful on Ultima VII

    About the summoning of Pyros. It can have different outcomes. If you do everything right, pyros is sent back without problems before he is able to do anything.

    If you do everything badly, then he kills everyone (including you) and gets free.

    About the ending, Ultima IX was gonna be based around the Guardian’s Homeworld, but later was changed to Britannia. The intro from Ultima IX shows this same cutscene with better graphics (and less lava).

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