Day 60

From what I know so far, there are 3 things of use to do in the underground city. There are weapons for fighting the Myrmidex (staffs and bombs), there is a device that points to the giant moonstone + I need to find the generator and turn it off. I find some staffs and bombs very near the entrance + others on my way through.

The device takes a bit more finding but I stumble into a teleport that takes me there.

There isn’t a whole lot else in the underground city although there is plenty of scope for getting lost. Much later I find the generator and attack the control panel.

This triggers off another cut scene – the automatons and robosaurus all die, Spector reappears out of nowhere, minus the glow and is now sane again + the city starts to fall apart.

I take a bridge to the north which seems to have appeared.

and a lot of wandering later find the way out again. The city closes behind me so I hope I got everything I needed.

I’ve still got a couple of tribes to recruit. First off I have a go at retrieving that shield in the spider cave since I now have the torches I need (made from the impregnated cloth + a stick). The webs burn like gunpowder. I find what I think is the shield but just turns out to be a shield and not the right one.

In the meanwhile I talk to Spector and aside from confirming all the backstory he also confirms the quest to destroy the black stone + Myrmidex queen to remove their threat from the valley.

I walk back to get the correct shield in the spider cave.

and this time its the right one and the Hakuur join up. That leaves the Jukara tribe in this region that I still haven’t visited.

It shouldn’t come as a great shock that they want me to undertake another quest. Their sacred hide is in a cave to the east but they can’t get to it because a volcano flow has blocked the path so I need to fetch it. Rafkin pipes in with the improbable notion that we can use his fire extinguisher to cool the lava….

I’ve been carrying it around all game and sure enough it works to make temporary stepping stones. This has to be one of the most ridiculous ideas I’ve ever seen – not one to try in real life.

The cave with the hide is pretty small – a bear has moved in but there are no other problems getting the hide.

A bit more lava hopping and thats another tribe.

That just leaves the Tichiticatl tribe who’s quest I’ve already done in the stone city but not actually asked to unite. When I get back the old king is back on the throne and I just have to ask.

Its time to bang the drum. All the tribes unite but then disappear on me. My party are all instantly transported to the Myrmidex caves and are seemingly on our own. I’ve got the device to guide me to the stone but these caves are big – I get quite close to the stone but run into a dead end and have to go miles around until I finally find the thing.

First there is the matter of the Myrmidex queen blocking the way – she goes down in about 3 hits.

The stone itself takes a few more but doesn’t strike back so thats no problem and the end cutscene kicks in.

The valley is safe & all the tribes reunited and apparently another quest is on the way.

This was possibly the most fun of the Ultima’s I’ve played so far. It’s pretty lightweight, not just in the RPG elements but also in the plot. This is very much the stuff of 50’s/60’s B-Movies and all fairly silly in truth. Its not going to make you look at major issues in the way the Ultima’s tried to but its runs along at quite a pace for an RPG and never leaves you bored. Besides which I love 50’s/60’s B Movies. I enjoyed playing this more than Ultima 6 most of the time but I’m less satisfied with the game now I’ve finished it.  

I gather Savage Empire didn’t sell too well when it came out which is a real shame as it deserved better. It really isn’t faithful to its Ultima heritage which may have put the fans off a bit and I can’t honestly see how it benefits from being called an Ultima. I think it probably put off the people it was aimed at and Origin would have been better served by just starting up a whole new series.

Next: Wing Commander – Secret Missions 2

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