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

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Runes of Virtue, Day 3

My third day of adventure in Britannia, or in some domain that has a certain amount of resemblance to Britannia, I retrieved the rune of honor and the rune of humility. After the last rune, I took an underground passageway to an island that presumably represents the Isle of the Avatar, and where Beh Lem allows me to borrow his boat. And look, he has wings now!

The game is somewhat devoid of plot, so there's not much to comment on. I guess I can talk some about the various items and creatures you encounter. A lot of the Ultima denizens we know and love are there, including reapers (which are stationary and shoot laser bolts), trolls, various forms of rats, skeletons, and the now-violent-again wisps, which teleport around and zap you. Less tied to the computer games are the vampire, the rolling-boulder-thing-with-a-face, tigers, and unfriendly giant heads a la the Olmec. The hardest monster is the black shadow guy, which I don't recognize. Most of them are easy to avoid, though sometimes they hit you just by going past you.

As far as player characters go, you choose between Iolo, Shamino, Dupre and Jaana. Iolo is fast and has a bow, Shamino starts with a magic axe, Dupre starts with armor, and Jaana...I don't know what she does. The game claims she can wield powerful magic weapons, but i already am using a magic sword as Shamino. The world itself resembles Britannia, but islands are much farther away from one another, and the main continent seems to have been chopped into a couple of pieces. The towns and castles just have one or two characters, who also oddly are wandering in the dungeons as well, offering advice and/or sarcastic comments. Among others, we get to see Ultima 6 characters including Dr. Cat, Sherry the mouse, Chuckles, Ariana, that horse seller who wants to sleep with you in Trinsic, Beh Lem, Finn, Kilp/Klop the two headed horse, and Budo, the pudgy armorer from Yew. Wait, that's not Budo...Budo was the fat theive's guild man. What was the fat armorer's name? Anyway...

In the game, you can use soup to raise your health and panpipes to freeze your enemies. I am not very inspired by the controls, because they make it difficult to attack in a direction without also walking in that direction--there is no "turn around" button, just a "walk in this direction" button. Sometimes I can get it to work, and I can move left and right while firing downward at something, but often I walk forward right into someone's fireball!

The game is nearly finished after a good five to six hours. One more hour will probably wrap it up, once I complete the abyss. It might be amusing to go back and play as Jaana, to figure out what exactly she can do that Shamino cannot.


Anonymous said...

U6 two headed horse was Pushme-Pullyu, and the Yew Armorer was Utomo.

Natreg said...

when you say Jaana you mean Mariah don't you? heh.

She just starts with the fireball wand which you can get anyway soon in the game.

I'm assuming those "vampires" you mean are just the evil mages...

And that shadow you mention is a cyclop :)

Those sprites are not too detailed.... heh

GeoX, one of the GeoX boys. said...

This is ancient, but let me say: there's no point to not choosing the mage. Unlike the others, she regenerates MP, and her stats are actually slightly BETTER than everyone else, once you're fully-powered up.