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

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Ultima VI, Day 6

First off, I had seen the computer-generated Ultima maps before--but I am specifically not using walkthroughs, maps or other cheating methods while playing these games (besides the memory in my brain!) so they are not too useful. Also, Dino suggested his site for hosting my handdrawn maps, etc, but unfortunately, it is the scanner and not the web space that I am lacking ;-)

Thanks to family visiting, I haven't been eager to play as mch Ultima this weekend. I squeezed some in yesterday, though, mostly spent exploring dungeon Shame, where I was told a pirate had gone to seek treasure. Paulon asserts that Despise is connected to other dungeons besides Heftimus cave, but I haven't seen it--Shame seems totally self-contained. It did have some nice treasure, if you like gold nuggets--I found something like 30 or 40, but did not find much in the way of magic items or other cool stuff. Overall, I am disappointed by the magic item quantity in Ultima VI--You've got magic bows, some wands...armor and helm and some rings. There are also a few storm cloaks somewhere, but I don't think there are many of those at all! And I am loath to use them because they vanish eventually, as I recall.

Anyway, Shamewas fairly fun--lots of very long tunnels. I found Ybarra eventually, as well as some amusing bugginess. Sometimes when you kill a monster, you can continue attacking the same location and get a "charge broken!" response. The game designers seem to have athing for putting violent kids in dungeons, too (this tme with a reaper; note its odd appearance) because I found yet mre of them in Shame. Ybarra gave me his map in trade for some food, though he ate his belt. I don't see why he doesn't just eat some rats because they are quick to slaughter.

There comes a time in this and future Ultima games where your characters are heavily encumbered by all the junk youpick up during your quest. In Ultima V it wasn't a big deal--who cared if my party was carring 15 bows and 12 short swords and 19 sets of leather armor? But in Ultima VI, having more party members has the advantage of carrying more stuff, including a skiff for convenient water travel. With that in mind I picked up Blaine the jester gypsy, who now carries nothing but a skiff and a powder keg. I also organized the rest of my party. Zachary carries some needed items, the spellbook, reagents and whatever quest items I am currently working on (map pieces for the moment). Iolo is devoted to carrying gold, and all the not-so-useful-now quest items (rues and moonstones). Shamino is my adventuring gear man, with piles of gems and torches, spare swamp boots (for future party members) and so on. Supre carries all the heavy gear, things I might conceivably need: rope, pick, shovel, bucket and so on. Sherry is a weakling who does not carry much. Her main purpose is to crawl through grates and fences, which is very useful later in some situations. Blain, as mentioned, is about the skiff and poder keg. Weaponwise, Blain has a sling and Sherry a boomerang. Iolo and Shamino have crossbow and magic bow, respectively, while Dupre has a two-handed sword. I personally carry a halbred, which I think is the best weapon in the game--It attacks over several squares and does a pile of damage. The first time I played, I never went into combat mode for my whole party and I just killed things all alone.

I guess the next quest will be to tackle the ant hill off in the desert, and then Wrong and Covetous. That should get most of the map pieces, save one whose location I am unsure of. I think t might be Sandy, the cook, and if I get him a dragon egg perhaps he will be satisfied, but I am unsure. That means I'd have to tackle Destard, though. Aye carumba. Will Ultima VI take longer to finish than Ultima V? I would wager so--the final couple of quests are quick, but I know I have at least three more dungeons to explore after the ones I mentioned, so we shall see.

As a side note, it seems like the Shrine of Humility moved a long way from its old spot, as did the Codex shrine. I have been trying to visit the shrines without the orb of the moons (which makes the game ridiculously easy), but I gave p trying to find the shrne of Humility.


Anonymous said...

Destard is a rough dungeon in the game, and the dragons, if I do recall, tend to pound on you pretty hard when you piss them off. The drakes don't make it easy either, sniping from the wings as they do.

The best way to tackle the dungeon is with lots of invisibility spell reagents, but you'll have to build up to level 5 to get that.

Also, one of the armorers sells magic armor, if I am not mistaken. Is it the guy in Trinsic? Meh...can't quite remember, but you can buy it somewhere.

Anonymous said...

My favourite tactic with Destard is to run down the teacher of Thariand of the Blue Star and enchant one of his wares with mass invis spells.

It's the Trinsic armorer who sells magic armour. Doug the Eagle has a nifty trick with a couple of spells which allows a suit to be duplicated easily and cheaply. Animate a suit, clone it repeatedly, and kill the copies to wear. Mind you, as I recall he mentions not to try that with weapons... like the glass sword. :-)

Anonymous said...

Destard would be the right place to use any Storm Cloaks you picked up on the way. They work like the Crown in Ultima 5, preventing enemies (and you?) from casting spells. Dragons are still tough without spells, though.

You know, you can get a free magic bow in Britain. Go to Gwenneth and ask for a magic bow, but make sure you DON'T have enough money to buy it. Iolo's acquaintance comes as an advantage because she'll just give it to you free of charge ('on credit', but you will obviously never return it).

Anonymous said...

Cast Mass Invisibility or use invisibility rings to get through Destard. Have a few glass swords ready too.

Also, the Despise complex only connects to one other dungeon which I believe is Heroes Hole near the shrine of Honor.

And speaking of shrines, the shrine of Humility and the shrine of the Codex have merely reversed locations from U5. Follow the same path to the Abyss you took in U4. You will need to use your skiff to get there. It's kinda baffling why they made this change in U6 then switched it back in U7.

Anonymous said...

by the way, anyone by any chance know how to solve the lever puzzle in covetous i.e. getting the one in the very north room of lvl1 to work?

Anonymous said...

Destard was easily my favourite bit of Ultima 6 - I used invisibility rings to get through it, and it's a huge shock when they run out.

The music (on a SoundBlaster) was highly atmospheric. I'd go so far as to say I remember it being better overall than the MT32 music I've just listened to. Whilst the MT32 is technically and accoustically superior the Adlib music emphasized the heartbeat and made going through dark dungeons that bit more exciting. At least, that's how I remember it..