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

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Ultima VI, Day 4

I am keeping up my habit of titling each post with the "Day" associated with it, even though as I continue the plan is nuttier and nuttier. In this case, my "day" is a few hours played off and on since Monday, my time being otherwise occupied by pre-interview nervousness. Anyway, one thing I had liked, in theory, about Ultima VI was the idea that dungeon exploration is more fun and rewarding than in previous games. With that in mind, last night I explored and completely mapped dungeon Deceit. Previously I had explored and mapped the libraries underneath the Lycaeum (now Dupre is carrying a dozen books or so...), but Deceit was my first official dungeon-delving! I didn't think much of the books that chronicled my own history, though, because they were awfully vague. For example, the first one just said I went and killed Mondain and that was that. But what about the time machine nd the rescued princess and so on? I guess the later games just sort of plaster over some of the weirdness of the originals--it's particularly hard to make Ultima II fit in with its time travel and the fact that it didn't take place in Sosaria in the first place ;-)

The exploration turned out to be pretty disappointing, although I was amused to find a bunch of children being attacked by giant rats. Given I've only met about 4 kids otherwise in Britannia, it would seem that crazy mages are the prime killer of children in Britannia! That and the mortality rate for kids is imply staggering, with over 70% or o killed by rats in a mage's prison in Deceit. At any rate, deceit was simply filled with spikes and caltrops and such traps, and in the whole place the only treasure to speak of was a few rings and a staff. Thus I left and headed on to Jhelom, where I learned of a rune stolen by a mouse. On a tip from the gal at the bar, I hit Lord British's castle (via moongate, of course!) and picked up Sherry, and fetched the rune, and cleansed the shrine. Oh yeah, Jhelom's pub is interesting because I walked in at night and it looked like everyone was dead, but they simply knocked one another out while brawling. I understand yu can get them to kill each other duing the brawls, but I don't think that's too useful a project...

This calls for a nice paragraph devoted to our good friend Sherry. First of all, she's a talking mouse, but her strength of two was sufficient to give her a boomerand and some swamp boots to wear. This suggested she would be a good enough companion and I didn't need to dump her off back in the castle! When I visited Rudyom the mage in Cove (see below), I used Sherry to go take revenge on the drake that wizard has locked up in a cage. Doing this multiple times got Sherry up to level three, so now she has plenty of hit points and a strength of seven! This will work out well. On a different note, I understand Sherry was Richard Garriott's girlfriend at the time when the game was made. I'm not a woman, but if I were I'm not sure how I would feel about having a mouse in a game named after me by my boyfiend. I guess it's superior to having, say, Lord British's talking cow or monkey named after me.

I was also told in Buccaneer's Den, where I was sent to ask about the missing silver table, that I needed to join the guild and steal a belt from underneath British's castle--hence my trip to Rudyom, to buy pickpocket! I figure I can steal it off of her that way. if that fails, maybe I can push her into a poison field or something like that. Then I can joing the thieve's guild, and after that get to the treasure trove that includes the other piece of the silver tablet I seek. Of course, I am well aware that this part of the quest is somewhat pointless in the end--I don't think it's even necessary to complete the game--but it's fun nonetheless, and makes for a good story. So my next trip is into the sewers to map things out!


Anonymous said...

U6 was the first Ultima I played, and remains my favorite to date, so I'm particularly enjoying this part. Though U4 is my second-favorite, I'm still looking forward to seeing the rest of the series played out. Good luck with all the technical problems in 8 and 9, though.

I just read your Blogger profile and realized you live in Blacksburg. Man, throw a "Blogging Ultima" party, and me and all the other nerds from Radford and Tech will be there. Dress up as Lord British and the drinks are on me.

weas said...

This calls for a change in format - instead of "Day 4", try just using "Part 4" and then going the 24 route.

The following takes place on Monday between 3 and 7 PM.

Anonymous said...

Too late for you now, but an easy way to dispatch Rudyom's drakes was with morning stars. They were among the best weapons in that game not only because of the 2 tile range, but they allowed you to attack through walls. Silly, but useful. Great source of gold, those drakes.

Notes and letters to myself.... said...

I was googling Ultima IV, as that's my favorite Ultima ever, and found this! This is awesome!! I am going to continue reading you:) The end is the BEST!

Anonymous said...

Ah, another Sherryist! She really is one of the best characters in the game, with he phenomenal dexterity. I gave her first dibs on the magic wands when I was playing, and eventually advanced her strength to the point where she was capable of holding a sword! I was so proud.