Ophidian Dragon blogs his way through the entire Ultima series, from beginning to end.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Forge of Virtue, Day 2

The most recent foray into the labyrinth of the Isle of Fire primarily involved wandering around the test of Truth, which was overall pretty tedious. In particular was a very annoying room with totally invisible walls--it was a maze, but you cannot see the contents. of course, the automatic pathfinding came in handy to some extent, but it was pointless because it just led to one of the many "fake amulets" scattered about the dungeon. Eventually, I quit exploring--needing to feed my party and tired of them getting hurt by fire fields--and headed to the exit, which is hidden by a hood. I remember I played this and found it fair and square originally, but I also remember thinking what an absurd solution it was! besides randomly walking at walls, how were you supposed to figure it out?

After finishing Truth, I tackled courage. This one proved to be far more difficult, and in the first battle my party members all died--due to a mage who summons a liche and some skeletons, plus some stone golems which are inordinately hard to kill! I decided to take a page from my Ultima V book, and ditch every member of my party wbhile making extensive use of my invisibility rings. This got me through a series of puzzles, including putting a glass sword on a pedestal and trading some helmetsto open a door. The hardest part was a drake who could see me even when invisible, but thankfully the near-impossible stone golems could not. Eventually, I reached a female dragon named Dracothraxus who promised me the Love amulet if only I kill her, but she is immortal. Crud is the esponse I had, followed by a glass sword which knocked her out--only for her to rise from the ashes and give me a free gem. No coincidence here, since that demon Arcadion just recently asked me to fetch a gem for him to live in!

In any case, I stopped after that because I had to escape the dungeon, having stupidly NOT chosen to keep the stone I marked at the enterance to the Courage test. Agggh. I don't know what I was thinking--you can't get back into the Truth test, but the courage moongate is perpetually open. Anyway, I am outside the door with the drake I mentioned earlier behind it, and I need to scheme a way past besides, well, running and healing. We shall see. Geez I wish I could mark a stone at Dracothraxus, man. I did not plan this well.

The extra dexterity from finishing the Love test would probably have come in handy too! Speaking of which, I don't know why dexterity is associated with the principle of Love in the Ultimas. It's one of several things that don't make sense about the virtue system. Another is the coloring of stones--Spirituality is white, which combines all the colors. But this assumes that we're talking about light, where the primary colors are red, green, and blue. Yet in Ultima, Compassion, Valor, and Honesty, the "prime" virtues, are yellow, red and blue respectively, suggesting we're talking about pigment combinations.

But of all the absurdly nitpicky things to complain about, I think that is the nitpickiest. I think I will go to bed now :-)

I'll get screenshots someday. I have a pile but they are not resized and sorted. Maybe I need to hire a secretary?


Anonymous said...

Truth Test and the Hood: I think it's a really horrible pun - the opposite of Truth, as exemplified by the Shadowlord Faulinei is Falsehood, so the Truth in the test is marked by a REAL hood. And I used a hintbook (More Avatar Adventures) to solve that quest.

Clarco said...


that pun is actually not so bad in my opinion. Which reminds me, I have yet to play Forge of Virtues at all. I think I went there to see the entrance but that was it.

About that secretary thing: Surely you are earning enough now to be able to ponder hiring both a secretary and a house maid?

Anonymous said...

I was lucky -- I accidentally ran through the wall to the valid amulet on my first try at the truth test.

It would be pretty humourous to have had spirituality as black. Then Hawkwind could have said, "Your spirit is as black as the stone of Spirituality." and you'd never know if he was complimenting you or not, encouraging you to meditate at a local shrine to ponder his meaning.

Anonymous said...

Irfanview (www.irfanview.com) can do batch resizes of photos. Maybe that'll save you some effort, help you get photos up for those of us faithfully following your blog.

Clarco said...

Oh, one more thing:

Perhaps dexterity is associated with love for, you know, interestingly tantric reasons? I would not put it behind Lord British to think along those lines in the 80's.

Anonymous said...

Always made sense to me as a child. Bards need to be dexterous to play an instrument, bards are connected to compassion.

These days I like Claus' tantric reasons much more. ;)