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?