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

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Runes of Virtue, Days 1 and 2

Ah, it's nice to have a PC again, although it is sad to see the skeletal remains of the old one, after I yanked out all the cards and drives. It was surprisingly hard to find a motherboard with floppy support for my 5 1/4 drive! Oh well













Runes of Virtue was an Nintendo Game Boy adventure game released sometime around 1992, either before or after Ultima VII, and I suspect after. It features Birtannia, approximately, and various characters you might recall from Ultima VI, including Dr. Cat, Sherry, Finn, Lord British, and some woman I don't remember. The basic premise is that someone has pilfered all of the Rune of Virtue, and you have to go on a quest to retrieve them, with British telling you where to go, although strictly speaking in some cases you can ignore the guy. They are hidden in caves, with the caves full of traps, mazes, and assorted monsters, including wisps, slimes, trolls, blob things, gremlins, vampires, and even the seahorse, not seen since Ultima V! There are also some shops scattered about


Each dungeon tends to have one or two items, sometimes a weapon and often some sort of useful device. For example, one has a fire wand to burn dark spider webs, one has a lightning wand to zap knights, and one has a rope to cross water (No, this doesn't make sense). The game's something like a combination of Zelda and Lolo, with the puzzle-solving and such of the latter with the wandering enemies of the former. The graphics are pretty good, but I miss the blurriness of the LCD display, which an emulator just doesn't give you!





You choose Iolo, Shamino, Dupre or Jaana; I chose Shamino, who has a magic axe and a transparent face(!). When you find a rune, incidentally, you look JUST like Link in the original Zelda, when he lifts up a piece of the triforce. Thus far, I've gotten through 6 of the dungeons, many of which have been renamed for the ignorant among us--Hatred, Cowardice, Selfishness, Pride, etc. No more Covetous. The game's non-canonical, but nonetheless an amusing diversion from the much longer, hardcore games I will be playing soon! Four hours has gotten me this far, and I have to say...thank goodness for save states, or the game would probably become outrageously repetitive.

9 comments:

Jonothan said...

I bought RoV 2 many many years ago when it was still pretty new, and ended up regretting it, because it hated the hell out of me and.

Jonothan said...

...and I had no clue wtf to do.

Nick said...

I could have sworn one of the Gameboy emulators had a screen blur filter, along with a pea-soup-green color scheme. But maybe not.

Natreg said...

There are emulators with the screen blur. I used one of those to play RoV

BTW Runes of Virtue 2 has a better storyline (not a good one, but at least it has more sense than RoV) and a Britannia map that actually looks like Britannia heh

I really like those games the dungeons have lot of variety :)

Saunatonttu said...

I loved RoV when I had them on my Gameboy back in the day. And it's a good thing you decided to go with the Gameboy version, the SNES version is frankly unplayably horrible.

I really think the Black Knight should be a part of the official Canon. :)

Anonymous said...

well, this comment hasn't much to do with rov, but i read through most of your site last night - amazing. i have wanted to do a replay of the older ultimas but have never gotten around to it and am quite sure i never will. i am in process of ultima 7 black gate now - funny when finally after the 5th time, i am only beginning to see the problems and yes, they are troublesome. great site, great fun reading and well... inspiring me to look out for some other ultimas, especially rov1 and rov2.

Anonymous said...

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Pierre said...

i just complete this game on pc, but i don´t know how save the game. And i have this game on gameboy, but i have the same problem: i don´t know save the game, and it is in japanesse, xD

Anonymous said...

where the heck can i find the fire wand??