I am keeping up my habit of titling each post with the "Day" associated with it, even though as I continue the plan is nuttier and nuttier. In this case, my "day" is a few hours played off and on since Monday, my time being otherwise occupied by pre-interview nervousness. Anyway, one thing I had liked, in theory, about Ultima VI was the idea that dungeon exploration is more fun and rewarding than in previous games. With that in mind, last night I explored and completely mapped dungeon Deceit. Previously I had explored and mapped the libraries underneath the Lycaeum (now Dupre is carrying a dozen books or so...), but Deceit was my first official dungeon-delving! I didn't think much of the books that chronicled my own history, though, because they were awfully vague. For example, the first one just said I went and killed Mondain and that was that. But what about the time machine nd the rescued princess and so on? I guess the later games just sort of plaster over some of the weirdness of the originals--it's particularly hard to make Ultima II fit in with its time travel and the fact that it didn't take place in Sosaria in the first place ;-)
The exploration turned out to be pretty disappointing, although I was amused to find a bunch of children being attacked by giant rats. Given I've only met about 4 kids otherwise in Britannia, it would seem that crazy mages are the prime killer of children in Britannia! That and the mortality rate for kids is imply staggering, with over 70% or o killed by rats in a mage's prison in Deceit. At any rate, deceit was simply filled with spikes and caltrops and such traps, and in the whole place the only treasure to speak of was a few rings and a staff. Thus I left and headed on to Jhelom, where I learned of a rune stolen by a mouse. On a tip from the gal at the bar, I hit Lord British's castle (via moongate, of course!) and picked up Sherry, and fetched the rune, and cleansed the shrine. Oh yeah, Jhelom's pub is interesting because I walked in at night and it looked like everyone was dead, but they simply knocked one another out while brawling. I understand yu can get them to kill each other duing the brawls, but I don't think that's too useful a project...
This calls for a nice paragraph devoted to our good friend Sherry. First of all, she's a talking mouse, but her strength of two was sufficient to give her a boomerand and some swamp boots to wear. This suggested she would be a good enough companion and I didn't need to dump her off back in the castle! When I visited Rudyom the mage in Cove (see below), I used Sherry to go take revenge on the drake that wizard has locked up in a cage. Doing this multiple times got Sherry up to level three, so now she has plenty of hit points and a strength of seven! This will work out well. On a different note, I understand Sherry was Richard Garriott's girlfriend at the time when the game was made. I'm not a woman, but if I were I'm not sure how I would feel about having a mouse in a game named after me by my boyfiend. I guess it's superior to having, say, Lord British's talking cow or monkey named after me.
I was also told in Buccaneer's Den, where I was sent to ask about the missing silver table, that I needed to join the guild and steal a belt from underneath British's castle--hence my trip to Rudyom, to buy pickpocket! I figure I can steal it off of her that way. if that fails, maybe I can push her into a poison field or something like that. Then I can joing the thieve's guild, and after that get to the treasure trove that includes the other piece of the silver tablet I seek. Of course, I am well aware that this part of the quest is somewhat pointless in the end--I don't think it's even necessary to complete the game--but it's fun nonetheless, and makes for a good story. So my next trip is into the sewers to map things out!