Day 75

One of the grey lizardmen asks me to find out what happened to his friend Ossika who travelled upstream.

I head off in the wrong direction but while I’m here pick up another talisman (the cup of wonder). To get this I have to play a certain tune on a flute in this location and it pops up out of thin air. I’m way ahead of myself here but since I know the tune I may as well.

I find Ossikas remains about 10 seconds swim out of the lizardmans area.

I return with proof and get a minor reward for completing the quest.

There is a trapped mute seer in with the lizardmen. He can understand the red and green lizardmen who don’t speak English but this doesn’t help me and I can learn the language through him in order to try to talk them into letting him go.

The lizardmen want food in exchange. Using a fishing pole I fish in one of the rivers to get a load of fish.

Murgo is let go and skips away without so much as giving me a useful item.

There isn’t much else important on Level 3 so I head for Level 4. This is home to a group of fighters originally from Jhelom. I’m sent to see their leader to join the order.

As soon as I speak to the leader however he rewards me for killing the Chaos Knight with The Standard of Honor (another talisman).

Speaking to him again, I get a brief ritual where he asks me to drink some poison – as long as I do so (its only water) then I’m made a squire. My first quest is to retrieve the writ of Lorne.

Before I look for the writ, I talk to some of the other knights. One of them is a gem cutter so I give him the one I picked up from the dwarves. He tells me where to find the ring of humility in return.

Another knight tells me about the taper being stolen. Since I already have it they just confirm what it is.

One of the quests I’ve not received yet involves flicking two levers in the right sequence. The two graves above give the clue to the sequence in the colored dots over the i’s.

Another knight tells me about the shield of justice on the next floor down. Its guarded by a golem who I have to defeat to win the shield.

I’m ahead of myself again but I head off to get a gold plate which will be the next quest from the knights (after the writ). I flick the levers in the order from the graves.

The writ is in a shrine in with the trolls on this level. To get the door open I have to give the guard a ruby.

Another of the trolls takes the rotworm stew, I’ve been carrying around for ages and in return gives me some dragon scales. I can get these made into boots later so I can walk on lava without taking damage.

Dorna takes the writ of Lorne and makes me a knight. I get a new helmet for my trouble.

He then gives me the quest for the gold plate which I already have.

In return for this I get full access to the armory.

The armory has loads of plate armour which is good stuff but very heavy.

Its time to head to Level 5 now. This has the first lava I’ve seen so far. I don’t have the boots yet so I’m staying away from it.

There are ghouls living on this level. All of whom have useful info or items. The first gives me some info on Ariel. I’m still not low enough in the abyss to find her it seems.

Eyesnack teaches me Mardins Song Of Wonder which I’ve already used to get the Cup Of Wonder.

Kneenibble used to operate the mines. He wants 10 fish in return for the combination to the teleport. I drop some heavy armour here so I can go back up a level to fetch them.

On the way out, I find Marrowsuck the tailor. He will make me some boots from the scales and silk in return for more food. It will take half an hour so I go to fetch the fish.

Now I’ve got the fish I get the combination to the mine. I still haven’t got my boots so I decide to sleep to pass the time.

There is a brief cutscene when I sleep featuring Garramon again. He doesn’t have anything useful to tell me.

When I wake my boots are ready so I can now walk on lava with impunity.

Hanging around by the lava is an old woman called Judy who is apparently pining for Tom who died some time ago but she has lost her only picture of him. Theres nothing I can do for her now though.

I follow the lever flicking instructions to get the ring of humlity.

I also find a mage who offers to make me a giant gold nugget if I will go fetch him 80 pieces of zanium from the mines. This stuff is self collecting so I only have to walk over it.

I head for the mines and use the combination from earlier to open them up.

The mines are a clear tribute to PacMan although I don’t think I ever realised it until playing the game this time. You walk round picking up all these dots and there are 4 ghosts in the maze. It even has teleports at each side.

The map at the bottom left certainly looks like the pacman one.

I get my 80 blobs of Zanium but will have to wait an hour to get my gold.

To pass the time I use the gate travel scroll I found outside the mine. This takes me to the moonstone which is in a sealed room on Level 2.

After walking back and waiting a bit my gold is ready.

Thats level 5 done so I head for level 6. This is home to the seers of the moonstone. The first one I meet is the boss of Murgo who I freed back on Level 3. In return he tells me how to find the Wine of Compassion.

Near here there is “an upset spector named Warren”. Another Warren Spector reference if I ever saw one.

There is also a talking door who gives me the sheet lightning spell.

I pop down to level 7 briefly and bump into Cordon. He is basically there for exposition to explain that magic doesn’t work on that level thanks to the evil mage Tyball. There are guard posts on this level which I need a medallion to pass through safely. I’m not worried about this since I’m going to be taking the more violent alternative and hacking/slashing my way through.

I’m not done with Level 6 yet so I head straight back up. Another mage gives me instructions on how to get a Vas runestone. This is needed for all the most powerful spells.

Another mage gives me some hints about burning incense giving you visions. This is needed for the Cup Of Wonder quest which I’ve already got. Each vision gives 1/3 of a mantra which you can use at a shrine to pinpoint where to play the song.

These are the first two visions – but I’m out of incense for now.

Bronus wants me to carry a book to Morlock just up the corridor but like every other habitant of Britannia is too lazy to do something himself.

Ranthru wants me to fetch him a book from the NE of the level. This area is full of monsters thanks to an evil mage named Vilus.

I find some more incense for the final vision. The complete mantra is insahn – the order is based on the time of day shown by the sky in the background. 

I give Morlock his book and get a clue towards the location of the Book of Honesty. The talismans are coming thick and fast now.

First off I head for the island of the golem to win the shield.

My combat stats are pretty much maxed out by now so this is pretty quick and painless.

The wine is under a floorboard in the NW of the level.

And the book is in a key shaped bit of map behind an hourglass shaped bit as per the clue.

I head off to find this book in the NE of the level now. I run into my first fire elemental. These are pretty nasty at distance as they throw fireballs but as long as I’m close up my defense keeps me from being hurt.

This area of the map is pretty confusing to say the least but I find the book in the end.

On the way back I go to get the Vas runestone. I have to walk between these 2 “eyes”.

Then I’m teleported to an area with some emeralds in the middle and I have to chuck one up to the ledge shown above at each corner.

I then go back to the middle, push the button and the runestone drops from above.

I take the book back to the seer and he increases my casting skill in return.

Thats it for Level 6 so its time to wipe out some guards in Level 7.

I have to fight a load at once but I’m pretty much invulnerable to everything except missiles by this point.

I do find the medallion while I’m walking around but I won’t be needing it.

There are 3 rooms of guards I have to wipe out.

But I reach Level 16 experience through all the fights.

There is a mage hanging around in the NW part of the level. He points me towards an important key guarded by a spider which I go and fetch and also gives me some clues about getting magic back on this level. Tyball has some sort of orb which I need to destroy using the material the orb is made from.

He mentions a prison where I may be able to get help from the inmates. 

I head for this prison next. By slaughtering the guards I get the key to open most of the cells. The inmates are a sorry bunch. The first gives me some clue about secret doors in the tombs.

The next gives me a piece of crystal in return for the deco morono password I learnt earlier. This opens up the tombs on this level where some sort of beast has a lair + hoard of goodies. One of the inmates in the prison has an escape tunnel. I use this to get out + the key from the spider and head down to level 8.

There is an imp here who speaks in rhyme and gives me a clue to find a crown I will need to get through Tyballs maze.

Theres quite a few to chose from but the one I want has a white gem.

I make my way through to the maze – while wearing the crown the gold path shows as above. If I stray off this my health plummets and its more or less instant death.

At the other end is Tyball at last. He gives me a brief rant about summoning a demon then attacks me.

He floats around while attacking me but hes not too hard to beat and this sets off a cutscene.

Apparently I’ve just doomed the world as a giant demon he has summoned will soon be getting free from its bonds and will be ustoppable once its free. Guess I’ll have to do something about that but first things first…

I smash the orb with a piece of orb stone from level 8 and I get my mana back.

Next I unlock the portculis to free Ariel.

So she had an amulet that would magic her out the whole time… I’m now left behind with no idea of what to do if I hadn’t already played this game half a dozen times. There are a few loose ends first though.

I head for the tombs with my new crystal and a doorway opens up.

After a few secret doors I find the shadowbeasts lair. These are the toughest monsters in the game but like most of the others they can’t hurt me much. There is some nice armour + a pretty good sword in here.

There is also the matter of the 3 locked doors in the prison. Tyball dropped some keys when he dies so I go to try them out here. The first prisoner tries to draw me a map which doesn’t turn out too well but its on a picture of Tom. I’ll take this up to Judy later.

The next talks about a three part key and the bit he was after (the key of courage). He gives me a normal key for a door that will lead me there. I’ll need to collect all 3 parts of this key.

Gurstang in the last cell gives me a clue to say Folanae to one of the seers on Level 6. This would lead me to the library on that level and the word Fanlo in a book. If I say this at a shrine I will get 1/3 of the key.

First, I go for the key of courage as the entrance is just north of the prison. This involves working back up the levels from the bottom in a little section off the side of the main maps.

As you would expect for the Key of Courage the area is full of all sorts of monsters including evil mages.

There is also a wisp.

Just like in Ultima 6 the wisp tells me the Armageddon spell. This is just as useless as in Ultima 6 also.

A lot of monsters later I get the Key of Courage.

Since I already know the word I get another part from a shrine with the fanlo mantra. About this time I start to have some problems with my savegames…..

If I slept Garramon would give me a message to return his bones to his grave. His bones are in the west area of Level 8. I go and pick these up but at this point I’ve been having some trouble with my inventory.

On looking in my pack I find half my stuff has gone missing including game critical items due to the infamous inventory bug. I’m about 30 mins from finishing the game here, the timing couldn’t be much worse. To make matters worse, I don’t have any unaffected savegames so I have to start the whole thing again!

This is what I get for downloading this from an abandonware site rather than using my own copy. I’ve never seen this bug before so it was presumably fixed by the time the game was released here in the UK. I’ve now patched the game and started again – in the interests of speed I’ve used a traner to max out my stats. I’m not too worried about cheating as I’m only putting the stats to what they were + I’ve finished this game a load of times before anyway.

I’ve been dashing through since, skipping everything unessential and have actually played through to near enough where I left off in about 90 mins so I’m in a position to finish off tommorow in not much time. Its kind of ruined the replaying though and left my patience for writing this blog entry fairly low hence the even lower than usual quality level.

In some ways this sort of bug is part of the Origin experience around this time. There were similar problems in Ultima 7 with inventory items going missing, and a show stopping staff strike bug in UW2. They obviously got fixed but it wouldn’t make it any less annoying to have to restart especially in games that big. From now on I make sure I’ve got the latest version before I start one of these games though instead of just assuming.

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