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

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Ultima IV, Day 5

I have some links to various Ultima-themed sites on the web. In theory a blog should point out useful resources, rather than just be me talking.

Well, according to my calculator, ERROR percent of my zero replies so far to my last post would prefer that I actually go to the trouble of exploring Hythloth before exiting and taking the balloon. As a result, I decided to skip that for now. Instead, I went up to the top of Britannia, where I entered a dungeon, specifically, Dungeon Wrong. I found the stone somewhere around level 7 as I recall, but to my dismay the access is blocked by a big room full of slimes and a zorn. They are easy enough, but the passageway to the stone is blocked by a brick wall. To open the wall, I imagine that I need to cast dispel on some of the energy fields around the dungeon room, but sadly I had only one black pearl, a necessary ingredient of the spell. Boo hoo hoo.

At the bottom of each dungeon is an altar room where I will need to use the stones I am collecting, and conveniently they all connect to one another! So in lieu of getting the green stone from Wrong, I took a brief detour to Covetous and snatched up, without any difficulty, the orange stone representing Sacrifice. Ha ha! This was not without some trouble--One room in the dungeon featured a huge mass of sleep fields and some reapers, who could cast sleep. Fortunately, they barely ever hit my character, but getting through was very boring since much of the time was sitting there waiting for Zacharay to awaken. Then I went back to Wrong and cast X-it to get me back out of the dungeon. Just before I entered Wrong, a convenient pirate ship dropped by and I killed its occupants. Finally, a ride! I ditched my useless horse immediately.

Using the ship, I went to the otherwise inacessible towns of Buccaneer's Den and Serpent's Hold. The stupid horsehoe shape of shoals in the middle of nowhere that I mentioned a few days ago actually contained the Bell, which is one of the book (movie?) inspired artifacts needed to get into the Abyss. I also picked up the wheel to the HMS Cape by, apparently, diving solo into deep waters, and the silver horn from a random island. The horn was useful in order to visit the shrine of humility and become a partial Avatar in that virtue. The wheel was useful in learning that the wheel doesn't do crap until the end of the game. I thought it repaired my ship quickly, but using it just got me killed by cannonballs from a competeing ship. Drat. Serpent's Hold was a bit peculiar, because for some reason the guards have the same conversation as the Baron himself. Huh?

I also became a partial Avatar in Valor, and I picked up the blue stone from a dungeon near Moonglow, the city of honesty. I meditated for three cycles, the maximum allowed, at the shrine of Honesty on the hunch that maybe I would become an Avatar in that virtue too (I have been paying the blind herbalists exactly what they are owed!) but all I got was a message explaining how to enter the abyss. Thus I need to head back to all the other shrines and meditate for three cycles and gt the full list of requirements. Hmm.

I have not built up a party to any degree, but I did buy myself a sweet magic bow with which I am rapidly killing enemies. There are orbs in the dungeons to raise my stats, but so far I am not finding their use to be important. I may need higher stats for the abyss, but if I am loaded with heal spells and reagents I think my party will survive to the end.

Except the shepherd, maybe.


Anonymous said...

The H.M.S Wheel can be used at any time and simply increases your ship's HP to a max of 99 instead of 50. You can finish the game without it, but it is useful against the massive amount of pirate ships near the Abyss. The most useful trick is to attack a ship, kill the crew, board the undamaged ship, use the wheel, and repeat.

Anonymous said...

In my experience, the wheel doesn't work if the ship has > 50 HP... maybe it also doesn't work if the ship has < 50 HP. That might explain why the wheel seems useless on occassion.

Also, in that final sea battle, the way I remember it from high school is that exiting your ship was fatal, because then the pirates could shoot it out from under you in a single shot, regardless of its HP-- bang, you're dead. Someone seems to have introduced a "fix" in the version I played more recently (same as yours?) -- if you are standing on a ship but not in it, and you get cannon-blasted, you take damage as normal while the ship is protected. This makes it a whole lot easier--mostly you can wait for the pirates to come to you, then quickly step onto their ships (without boarding them) to get to the pirates that are firing at you.

Anonymous said...

One other comment-- the first time I saw the bell, book, candle thing was in Zork I-- and there the instructions on how to use them are given in the back of that prayer book--making me wonder if that was where they first appeared.

Anonymous said...

"Bell, Book and Candle" is a movie made in 1958.

From IMDB: The title "Bell, Book and Candle" is a reference to excommunication, which is performed by bell, book and candle. It is opened with "Ring the bell, open the book, light the candle," and closed with "Ring the bell, close the book, quench the candle."

Ultimate Carl said...

Good job on doing so well with only one character so far! Then again, like you said, one character takes less food...

Anonymous said...

OMG I haven't read any of it yet but the idea is pure awesome! I'm not going to get much work done today I see... ;)

Anonymous said...

I know it's a looooooong time since the original post, but a tip for getting for those rooms with monsters that can SLEEP you if you're alone (or killed off everyone so you can solo the game, it's fun!): poison yourself. Cast an ENERGY spell, (P)OISON type, step in it.

Since you don't take poison damage in battle, there's no harm, and you can easily heal the health damage it causes outside. The beauty is, when poisoned, you cannot be affected by sleep attacks. Gazers and reapers all become pathetic. Just don't step into a sleep field, you'll need to dispel those because they can still affect you.