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

Monday, October 22, 2007

Serpent Isle, Day 5


The 6th day of my adventure was spent bouncing between islands--the quick version is this:
-Hop on a turtle
-Pull a lever, revive a bird and fetch an egg
-Collect some body parts and make a man
-Talk to a guy who wants to be a cornstalk
-Visit a swamp and get a spellbook

It was actually pretty busy! One cofusing aspect of the game was Erstam, who seems to think the orange glow-ey yellow apparatus in my backpack was his and that it was replaced with the stupid dagger that Lord British gave me (he coulda at least given me a great dagger...), when in fact I am pretty sure it is the hand that got replaced, and the wacky apparatus was the vampire Vasculio's, who got the un-useful Rudyom's Wand as a consequence. But I don't remember. In any case, that seems like a minor plot oddity no one had time to correct.

Thanks for the clarification on the mantra for summoning the giant sea turtle. I had entirely forgotten that those words were Gargish, even though when I looked it up, there was a long discussion on the subject on the Ultima Dragons newsgroup back when I was a more active member of that commnity and I actually remember reading the posts about it now. In any case, the turtle was a bit of a letdown--The back of the box has this cool image of you and your party attacking some dark monks on the back of a turtle, but that never happens in the game, which is a source of much woe. And the turtle didn't really do much, either. The phoenix quest proved more entertaining, since the island was full of those weird green men who attack you, somehow, by stretching out their necks. I was amused that the phoenix seemed pretty nonchalant about its constant rebirth, and more amused that someone had actually gone to the trouble of constructing a lever that served no other purpose but to revive the thing, yet did not bother to revive it. I was reminded of the rather dubious story Tacitus (Roman historian) tells in the Annals about a phoenix, and I was only reminded of that because a friend and I had been reading Tacitus lately and he just sort of randomly interjects that story into the midst of an unrelated topic. But that is itself an unrelated topic to my blog!

Monk Isle also proved fun, but I did not spend as much time there because I know I will be spending a lot of time at that place later--I did read a few of Xenka's prophecies, some of which seem surprisingly specific, certainly more specific than the random prophecies you encounter from supposed psychics in the real world. But I digress...I remember reading that Xenka would return when all the bells rang, and so the first time I played the game I went over to the bell tower and actually tried to ring them all at once. It didn't work.

My favorite character in Serpent Isle is probably the dude that tells me about the tides needed to collect mandrake root from the swamp on Monk Ise (even though a book in the library claims they are random) because he professes to be a Child of the Corn and looks quite disheveled. Along with "Indeed. Put it on the table," the phrase "Canst thou hear the cry of the corn?" is one that instantly reminds me of Serpent Isle. In any case, from there I teleported back to Moonshade via the Serpent Gate (now that Erstam gave me a jawbone and some teeth, I am able to bounce between islands easily, although conveniently he only happened to have ones that keep me off the mainland...)

Back in Moonshade I chatted briefly with Frigidazzi, who would like me to stop by her abode late at night to discuss cold spells. I hope this is not just a ruse to magically undress herself with a rainbow, perform a dance of passion, make the blankets on her bed teleport away, and then have sex, because if that happened, the Magelord would get mad and throw me in the Mountains of Freedom. Wouldn't that be sad?


dancingcrab said...

It's a lot of fun to see you posting again. I meant no offense when I said you'd come to a '(temporarily) halt', and I'm glad to be reading your blogs once more.

I remember trying to match up all the teleported items and it driving me mad due to inconsistencies.

DrewMG said...

Ultima VIII is the only one I've ever played, looking forward to that for nostalgia's sake. Are you close?

Natreg said...

lol good... I was not the only one trying to resurrect Xenka with the damn bells heh. I really felt so stupid back then trying to ring them all at the same time heh

Clarco said...

Wohooo, thats a nice read!

I cannot even remember that crazy Corn-Monk, wondering whether I have really met him.

Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I remember all the discussions about whether the nameless monk on Serpent Isle was Blackthorn. I guess Ultima IX cleared that up, heh.

Guardians Inc said...

Thannks great post