Well, I had finished the last two games by this point! Today was mostly another boring dungeon adventure. This time I headed through Hythlot to the other side of the world, where I encountered the famous Captain John and Beh Lem, though Captain John's home seems to have shunk a bit since I last met him. The Cap'n gave me a very useful Gargish Vocabulary which allowed me to instantly learn to speak and read the Gargoyle language! Boy, I m *SO* glad I went to the trouble of finding that silver tablet, aren't I? Oh yes. ANyway, Hythloth was the most annoying dungeon so far. Destard was a pain in the ass, but at least at the end of it there was a pile of treasur an magic items. But in Hythloth? Nothing at all. Just big rooms, lots of lava, some dragons, and lots of easy ways to die. Of course, i could have skipped it and just use the Orb of the Moons to jump to Gargoyle Land, but I thought going through Hythloth could be more fun.
As I recall, the rest of the game is fairly painless and doesn't require much combat expertise. I was led to talk to Draxinosum, who asked me "Why?" when I said I was willing to be sacrificed. I remember that one alwas stumped me previous times I played the game, but typing "sacrifice" again seemed to appease him, though I don't understand why. Saying you wanted to talk to Naxalator, the wise Gargoyle with the crystal ball, also seems to work. Speaking of which...i spoke to Naxalator, the wise gargoyle with the crystal ball, who sent me off to fix a lens.
Let's take a side trip back to 1992, fourth grade, the first time I ever played Ultima VI from the beginning...I had the broken lens but for the life of me could not figure out how to fix it. I would go to the lensmaker in Moonglow but could never find the right keyword, and the guy who tells you to have the gargoyle lensmaker fix it does not repeat that dialogue! This time it was a piece of cake to figure out because, paying close attention, the gargoyle told me exactly where to go.
I have the lens now, and I also wandered off to get the vortex cube from a family of cyclops in a Stonegate that looks absolutely nothing like Ultima V's Stonegate. I almost did not get it due to being low on reagents and not being able to case unlock magic more than a few times. Fortunately, after I ran out I realized I only needed to cast it once! That and dispel field got me the cube. I've also decided to go ahead and fill up my spellbook, one of the prime entertainments of any Ultima game from here on out, because they are brimming with amusing spells. I remember "Animate" and "Clone" being particularly entertaining..
Next on the agenda is to figure out how to fly to the shrine. I know I build a balloon and I even remember where to get the balloon plans, but what I have forgot is who tells you to go in the first place! I am trying to squeeze all the plot and fun out of this game, so finding the actual clues before I do things is important (as is trying to walk to the shrines instead of just using the orb of the moons constantly).
Oh yeah--a gargoyle says he is a thousand yeas old. Good googly moogly.
I predict that I will finish by Monday night, if not earlier. After that, it's on to Savage Empire, which will take longer to complete sans walkthrough because I have not played the game in more than ten years and back then I even used a walkthrough! Going without will make things more challenging indeed. Amusingly, if I run into trouble, very few have played that installment and I will be getting less assistance than with the mainstream games ;-)