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

Friday, April 20, 2007

Savage Empire, Day 4

My Internet seems to be OK, so I will make some substantial changes to this post, and finish up the game tomorrow.

Exploring the underground city was a bit dull, but not near as dull as the worst dungeon in any Ultima--the Chaos city of Serpent Isle, which is one huge and mostly-empty maze, with nothing of interest to find besides, as I recall, a Wall of Lights. Anyway, the Kotl city had a few cool items. These included some energy staves that kick Myrmiex...umm...thorax? and some shields that didn't seem to do all that much. The place is roughly divided into Kotl housing and human housing, and for whateverreason, the humans liked to live in a gigantic maze. However, I did get more backstory--the lizards (Kotl) were in charge, and snatched up human slaves, who were unreliasble. They were later replaced with ant monsters, who were reliable, save for their murderous rebellion.

Turning off the power to the city was fairly simple, once I had a decent map--I just had to smack a control panel a couple of times until the world began to collapse around me. Spector was not happy about it because he quit glowing, but on the plus side, he is no longer insane. I also discovered I can't die anymore, or random party members get turned into weird creatures. I was turned into a winged demon once, and Rafkin was turned into a pony. I think Ultima IV and V have been the only non-buggy Ultimas so far!

It's worth noting, by the way, that (Johann) Spector wears a clown suit for some reason. Check out his icon in the party manifest...

I had no idea you could build bombs, which were needed to move some boulders around (on the head of a T-Rex, and blocking a waterfall, respectively). Rafkin told me to ask him about rifles once when I first spoke to him, but I don't remember anything about bombs. These two quests were a little contrived to my mind, even if I were to think that bombs would move a boulder. In one case, the T-Rex is absurdly standing underneath the boulder, unmoving, for all eternity. In the other case, I have to use a boulder to clog up a waterfall because the falls block a small part of a cave enterance. I guees the Avatar is hydrophobic, or has not learned the fine art of stepping slightly to the side to get in the cave...

I figured out how to deal with the Fabozz statue using the "random item" method. I simply investigated my inventory for random items I had never used--Blinking device from Kotl city? Nope. Blue ball? Nope. Turnips? Woops, ate them. Camera? Hey, it worked! Well, I didn't *literally* try all of them, I just sat around in bed last night, thinking, "What of this junk in my inventory has anything to do with light?" Then I remembered the camera, and my next thought was along the lines of, "If this works, it will be extremely silly." Turns out, as Paulon notes, that burning some magnesium does the trick, too. Hooray for multiple solutions! I just wish one or the other made a little more sense ;-)

Now all I need to do is build a drum, and go kill a Myrmidex queen. I remember this is where I gave up last time, because the maze was just so gigantic and I died every few seconds! This time I have the blinking moonstone locater, though, and I will be able to head to the queen more easily this time.

Admission time...I went ahead and finished the game tonight. I have no idea why I had so much trouble before. Did I not realize how the anti-Myrmidex weapons worked? It was not "easy" per se, but time consuming, although the nest is pretty fun to map. Tomorrow, I will do a long wrap-up o this game, and some more thoughts on Ultima VI, since there isn't actually much to say about the Myrmidex caves themselves.

One brief thought: Ultima IV took 24 hours, while Savage Empire took about 10. Yet I think of Savage Empire as a longer game, since so much of Ultima IV was spent leveling characters....


Anonymous said...

Burning magnesium from one of the jars in Rafkin's lab works for moving Fabozz as well.

Anonymous said...

There's a place you can use grenades to fell a tree as well. I think it's needed to get across to the abandoned camp with the Myrmidex hole. Paulon can probably fill in the details.