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Author Topic: No bald kids or blue cat-people -- Let's Play Ultima 4: Quest of the Avatar!  (Read 3310 times)

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R^2

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Let's chiggity check out the nearby town.


The moongate rises east of the great castle, before the bridge.

For once we did not arrive by moongate, so this is helpful information should we wish to leave by one.




Yesssssssssssss


pitiful little man, with bubonic plague. Oh! Did I say... I meant leprosy... Hast thou any gold for me?

We do, because Compassion.

Oh, thank ye! Now I can seek treatment for my terminal leg rot!


The bard then sings for you, changing the background music until you leave the screen.


Compassion -- 'tis yellow, 'tis said.


the east, across two bridges!


Search at the foot of the inn's stairs...

Um, okay.


Refreshingly straightforward!


Gotta catch 'em a--



Long story short, he's the Bard ally, but like Dupre, we can't get him until we're stronger.


We're done in Britain! Where do we go from here? Or do we just stand around and grind monsters for EXP and money while the healing is free? Tune in next time!

Things we learned:
- The stone of Compassion is yellow.
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R^2

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Let's review what we've learned so far!

Virtues: Every virtue has an associated town, a shrine, a rune, and a stone. You have to have the rune to enter a virtue's shrine.
Here's what we know:
Compassion: Yellow, Britain
Valor: Red, Jhelom
Honor: Made of courage and truth, Trinsic.
Honesty:
Justice:
Sacrifice: Minoc
Spirituality: White, Skara Brae
Humility: Magincia

There are also castles: Empath Abbey (Love), Serpent's Hold (Courage), and Lycaeueauaueueuaeuaum (Truth).
- The Castle of Truth and the Castle of Love hold the strongest weapons and armor.

- The Shrine of Spirituality can be reached by entering a Moon Gate when both moons are full.

- There's a hidden door to the dungeon Hythloth at the back of Castle Britannia. Once you enter Hythloth there, you can't exit the same way.
- The remotest entrance to Hythloth has a lighter-than-air device nearby.
- The Stone of Spirituality should be in the dungeon Hythloth, but isn't. Instead it's off in some mountains, in a hard-to-reach spot.

- All the dungeons are connected by the altar rooms of Truth, Love, and Courage.

- Something Mondain something something Pirate's Pub
- Mondain exists, but only as a skull. And using it is linked to the destruction of pitiful innocents.

- Don't take treasures from chests people own. Chests I am explicitly allowed to open are okay, as are chests in dungeons.
- Things called Moon Gates are found depending on the phases of the moon. The two moons constantly shift through their phases. One moon determines where the gate appears, and the other determines where the gate goes.
- Magincia has some treasure I'm free to take squirreled away somewhere.
- There's a place called Abyss, and I'm supposed to go there. It's east of Skara Brae.
- Tipping well at Jhelom's pub leads to a Sextant.
- The recipe for Reflect: ash, ginseng, garlic, fungus.
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  • Magic Gunner Miss Blue
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I remember reading about this in Nintendo Power a few times. The idea that the game actually makes you not be the normal RPG hero kleptomaniac sociopath to get the rewards is neat to me, especially in an early NES game. Eagerly looking foward to this.
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Pacobird

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I love this game so much.

So, so much.
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Bongo Bill

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The conversation system alone makes this look significantly more playable than the PC version.
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...but is it art?

R^2

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That is largely the reason why I'm playing this version! I'm told there's a free Flash version online for those who want to try the old-school way.
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R^2

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Ah, wonderful. Book can now target enemies from anywhere on the battlefield, for about as much damage as the staff.


Conveniently, that one battle is all I needed to level.


Netting us another ally. Iolo starts with a sling, so he's useful for pinging enemies to death as they close in.


We got some directions from Lord British about nearby towns. We're headed up to the northern forests to look for the druid-town.


Which is a pain because once you're in a forest, you can't see a damn thing.


That is not a town. That is a castle. Oh well, in we go.


Ah.




virtues, a great honor awaits above!

Those are clearly stairs leading downward sir.


This room loops indefinitely if you aren't yet the avatar. And we're not.


each dungeon altar room, one of the Three Keys will appear.




My Lord Robert can tell thee more!


Here love is held most sacred of all!

Actually that told me very little.

See also: door.  :rage:

What we learned:
- The Stones are used in the altar rooms of Truth, Love, and Courage to get Keys.
- We need to wear Exotic Armor to enter the Abyss.
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R^2

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Hey, there it is.




even though they are not to your liking, is Justice. Flamis can tell thee more.


far to the north. Hast thou its Rune?

We do not.




I'll have a cheeseburg--



Another beggar, another dollar.


Art thou guilty of any offense?

We are not.

Thou dost seem honest to me. Speak with the penitent Vorpal, that he may enlighten thee.


I assume that's Vorpal, locked up in a cell where I can't talk to him.




I am compiling the definitive book on magic. 69,105 pages, and not finished yet!


to say to thee but... I don't remember!

...




Vorpal is the man, not a place. But yes, he is.


Druid ally, need to level up to recruit her, etc.

What we learned:
- Vorpal the penitent prisoner knows about the Rune of Justice.

Man, this was actually kind of useless. FUCK YEW.
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R^2

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The problem with my party setup is that Shamino and Jeff both have melee weapons, but as Book is the party leader, she's always on the front lines. Jeff has to take three or four turns just walking around her to get to the enemies, and by that time I've pelted them with enough sling bullets and stabbed them with Shamino's sword enough that he has no one left to fight.

Besides, having more people in the party just makes more enemies appear -- which doesn't always translate to a bigger reward in EXP or gold.




I mean really I only got him for the free sling. He gives that to Shamino and buggers off.


So just the two of us head off on another hike. We're on the biggest continent on the world map, it turns out, so we have more to explore.


It's a long walk, but we find another town.




thou must know.

We did, in fact.


Why, 'tis care for others before oneself. Seek the rune, and travel to the shrine in the east!


Being a town occupied by tinkers, smiths, and sick people, the first two of those mean Minoc has some nice equipment for sale. Not that we buy any.


A very, very busy smith!


Dost thou have the courage to love others less fortunate than thyself? Show thy commitment!


There's a clinic full of beggars. This one just asks for money and thanks you.


This one tells you:



And this one...


Tells you:



To level a city, to slay all within! Such power I can scarcely hope to claim!


And if I recruit you at all, it'll be at level 8.





Anyway. There's only one fireplace around...

Which is basically a bunch of damage-floor panels.


Ow.


Ow.


Ow.


Yay. You see how we had to sacrifice a bunch of HP to get it? Do ho ho!


Yeah, let's sleep off these major burns.

What we've learned:
- Sacrifice is made of love and courage.
- Zircon the busy, busy smith awaits a scale.
- The Skull of Mondain has the power to level entire cities.
- The Stone of Sacrifice is orange.
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R^2

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One little swamp tile, off by itself? Suspicious.


:shrug:


Another hike, another dozen random encounters, and we find another town.


Looking around a bit more does in fact indicate that we've reached the end of the continent. Except for a few shrines (which we can't enter, lacking the runes) and poison swamps and stuff on the way, we've pretty much been from one end of the world to the other.


wilt thou swear to use it justly?

Better. I swear to not use it at all, because I can't cast magic in the first place.

Pearl and Fungus make the magic Destroy!


Got a bad razsch, huh? (Remember, Fungus isn't sold in reagent shops.)

He takes a liking to good tippers!




Not everyone has something useful to say. But talking to everyone in the game is how you develop Humility, so I do.


Verity being where Moonglow is.

There dwells a devil there, so beware!




The crossbow here is one of the more powerful ranged weapons, for those who can use such a thing. Shepherds (and mages) cannot; Bards, Paladins, Mages, Druids, and Rangers have better options. So I guess it's a good option for Fighters and Tinkers, except they can both throw magic axes. Never mind, Crossbow isn't so great!


Torches, which I'll have to buy sooner or later because I can't cast Light... Gems, which I'll have to buy sooner or later because I can't cast View... molotov cocktails... and...

...and..

A KEY.

A KEY THAT OPENS DOORS.

A key that is slightly more expensive than I can afford.


And I'm too nice a guy to steal this treasure when there are monsters outside I can murder for their pocket change.


I'll get you yet, door.

Fight fight fight fight fight










in the village of Paws...

...


...



...



...WORTH IT.


Things we've learned:
- Tip well at Trinsic to learn about Fungus.
- The recipe for Destroy: Pearl and Fungus.
- The Scale, probably the one that Zircon seeks, is in the mountains somewhere.
- The Rune of Humility is in Paws, in a moor behind a meadow.
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Beat Bandit

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One in Vorpal.

One in some Moor behind a meadow.

Kids, if you see a rune laying on the ground, leave it there. There is a very high chance it has been smuggled in a butt at some point.
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R^2

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Back to Yew!


Fuck you, door!


I now reflect upon Justice and its rune, which is within this jail.




Fuck you, door!


Just a beggar? Take a gold and get out of here!


Fuck you, door!


moss of blood, and Manroot, Drains most life from every creature! 'tis the Squish spell, don't ye know.

To Empath Abbey!

Fuck you, door!


from love are Compassion, Justice, Sacrifice, and Spirituality. Use only these stones in the Altar Room of Love!


When the Three combine in Eight ways, Love alone is Compassion!


When the Three build the eight, Truth tempered by Love becomes Justice. Justice is the Love of Truth. Is it not beautiful?


What I practice is not a religion, but a way to strengthen my own inner self through the understanding of Love, Truth, and Courage.


When Love lends Courage to face even death for another's sake, Sacrifice is shown!

We swing by Britain:

I'm still progressing in all my virtues, including Honor...


Go forth and seek the blessing of its shrine!




Level 4!


To keep any given guy from getting overleveled, I drop Shamino for Iolo. It's his sling, after all.


Fuck you, door!


Courage, and speak with all named Antos!


Now that I'm level 4, I'm able to give blood at the healer's. Doing so costs you 100 HP but is good for Sacrifice. Doing so in Britain lets you grind up Sacrifice by giving blood at the healer, then going to see Lord British to restore your HP for free.

To Paws!

Fuck you, door!


A man in black passed in the night, murmuring of tremors and searching for blood moss...



To Trinsic!

Fuck you, door!


Blast.


Let's give this dude 100 gold for a glass of ale!


Tell him I sent thee!


Fuck you, door!


dungeon Shame, near the mountain lake. I am told of an altar of courage and truth...


Fuck you, door!


Turns out it was just a backdoor out of town.

Wait... is that...


A ship? Yes! These also appear once you hit level 4.


Turns out it's a pirate ship.


But once we defeat the pirates, it's our ship!


IIIIIII'm sailiiiiing aaaaa wayyyyyyy...

What we've learned:
- Recipe for Squish: Ash, Silkweb, Moss, Manroot
- Recipe for Tremor: Moss and some other stuff.
- Use the stones of Compassion, Justice, Sacrifice, and Spirituality in the Altar Room of Love.
- Love alone is Compassion, Love with Courage is Sacrifice, Love with Truth is Justice, and all three combined is Spirituality.
- Honor is made of Courage and Truth.
- The pubmaster in Trinsic tells us to talk to Brazil in Moonglow to learn about Fungus.
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R^2

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There are different random encounters at sea. These are a pain, because all monsters have ranged attacks or spells, and after the battle, there's no treasure chest for a monetary reward.


To Jhelom!


Let's give this guy 100 gold for a mug of ale!


Say SELECT in the Vesper guild!


Fuck you, door!


To find the key of Courage, the Red Stone is necessary.








Indoor poison swamp. ::(:


of Courage can be found. It connects to the dungeons Covetous, Shame, and Hythloth.


"I have found the Rune, but I cannot leave this room. In my stead, canst thou take the Rune and venture into the Shrine?"

We agree to.

The Rune is in the corner of this very room.


Then he vanishes! Scary!




On a different island, we find another castle. Maybe our princess is inside!


There's a standard beggar outside, so -1 gold, +something Compassion.




and find the Dungeon Shame. Therein the stone of Honor lies. Take it, in thy name!

Yeah, bust a few mad rhymes, random nurse!


Blue, green, purple, white... the stones dwell in my dreams... This is 'truth' -- why here?


We hold Courage dear, as do the cities of Jhelom, Minoc, Trinsic, and Skara Brae.


I have heard that thou shalt need the Bell of Courage, so search beneath the waves of the shoal just north of this castle!


new wellsprings of Courage within thee? This is what we need in these times!


must be used on the Altar of Courage! All else shall fail thee!




There's nothing in the closet you're guarding, but still: Fuck you, door!


Deadly fungus, black pearl, and Manroot. Thy enemies shalt turn against one against the other at thy command!

What we've learned:
- Valor is Red, and is made of Courage.
- The virtues made of Courage are red, orange, purple, and white. Use those in the Altar Room of Courage.
- The virtues made of Truth are colored blue, green, purple, and white. By process of elimination, we use those in the Altar Room of Truth!
- The virtues of Courage are associated with the cities of Jhelom, Minoc, Trinsic, and Skara Brae -- so Valor, Sacrifice, Honor, and Spirituality.
- The Bell of Truth is found by searching a shoal.
- The recipe for Jinx is fungus, pearl, and manroot.
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R^2

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Our journey takes us back to the shithole where we started -- Magincia.


That strip along the left side of the river, beyond the poison swamp? Walkable.




Pride and vanity ruled here... and behold our fall! And thee? Dost thou seek to cleanse thy heart of pride?

Trick question. If you say yes, then you have pride in your heart, and are a sinner. If you say no, it's not because you're too proud to improve yourself, but because you've already cleansed. So good for you.

I bid thee fortune of the soul, friend.

If I were any other class -- and I'm starting to wish I were, since combat is getting really tedious at this point -- Katarina would offer to join now.


I bid the FUCK YOU, DOOR.


The Robe is Shepherd-only armor, and second only to the Exotic Armor only the Avatar can wear. Yes, it's better than enchanted platemail.


I equip that shit.


Hey, a shoal.




New town!




A great quest shall lead thee into the Abyss, where the Codex awaits!


Seek first the rune, then the Blue Stone of Honesty which lies in the dungeon Deceit!


I thought your name was Brazil.

Oh, all right! Ye forced it from me! Search 149, 46 on the night of the twin new moons!


Um... no?




The gate appears when the left moon wanes...

We barely use Moon Gates anymore now that we have a ship. :shrug:


Dost thou strive always to be honest? That is good.


the untruths thou dost tell. Art thou content with anything less than the unblemished truth? Honesty is derived only from Truth.


And I am so weary of this place! Art thou on a noble quest? Might I accompany thee?


Having recruited Mariah, we take three steps south...




The magic of Sleep is made from Ginseng and Silkweb!


leading magic book service.

There's a lengthy ingame explanation, but basically this is where we take all those recipes we've learned and convert them into spells on our spell list.




So we scribe Reflect, Destroy, Squish, Jinx, and Sleep.

What we've learned:
- The Codex is inside the Abyss.
- The Stone of Honesty is Blue.
- Honesty is made of only Truth.
- Fungus can be found at 149, 46... whatever the hell that means.
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R^2

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A little north of Moonglow, a castle!


Love, and Courage, but only by use of the proper stones of Virtue!


Only a master of the Eight Virtues may claim it!


My magic is strong enough to raise the dead! Life, thou Knowest is given only unto the highest of wizards. And it requires garlic, moss, fungus, and... hmph, well... And Marina of Empath Abbey will tell thee its final ingredient! I'm quite busy right now, no time for chitchat!


Its principles are Truth and Courage!


than by giving of thy life's blood.


Search for the Book of Truth where others are found!




Four there are: Honesty, Justice, Honor, and Spirituality.


My lady Beth can tell thee more!




of one or more of the Three Principles of Truth, Love, and Courage! The Avatar must know the ways!

Way to tell us this well after we'd already worked that out, chief.




This is the same world map you get by using the View spell outdoors (takes Fungus and Manroot, fuck that noise) or by using a Gem (available for sale at guilds). The brightly glowing spots are dungeons! The smaller glowing spots are towns. Castle Britain gets a bright spot, since it's an entrance to Hythloth.


Fuck you, door!


a book by Calumny of Yew. Sadly, the page on which its location appeared had been torn.


Sulfurous ash, garlic, black pearl, and precious Manroot!


Looks like a place where books are kept to me.


In any spiritual crusade it's important to eventually find yourself. (Nah, it's the Book of Truth.)


We push the select button on the controller!


You can get where you are if you use it. That'll be 900 GP. Okay?

It is, even though your description makes no sense!


What he meant was that using the Sextant gives you the coordinates for where you are on the world map. When Basil/Brazil told us Fungus was at 149, 46, that's latitude and longitude! I'll keep that in mind in case I ever want some. :shrug:

What we've learned:
- Recipe for Life: Garlic, Moss, Fungus, _____. Someone in Empath Abbey will give me the last ingredient.
- Recipe for Negate: Ash, Garlic, Pearl, Manroot.
- Calumny in Yew can tell me where to find Manroot.
- Truth is part of Honesty, Justice, Honor, and Spirituality.
- Humility is made of... well, none of the three Principles.
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R^2

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We've been to almost every settled area on the world map, so let's review what we've learned again!

Virtues: Every virtue has an associated town, a shrine, a rune, and a stone. You have to have the rune to enter a virtue's shrine. The stones are hidden in dungeons named after the antithesis of the virtue the stone stands for (Shame, Deceit, and so on). The exception is the White stone, which is up in the mountains somewhere instead of in Hythloth.

A little deduction, process of elimination, and basic color theory fill us in on the things we haven't been explicitly told:
Compassion: Yellow, made of Love, Britain
Valor: Red, made of Courage, Jhelom
Honesty: Blue, made of Truth, Moonglow.
Honor: Purple, made of Courage and Truth, Trinsic.
Justice: Green, made of Love and Truth, Yew
Sacrifice: Orange, made of Courage and Love, Minoc
Spirituality: White, made of Courage and Truth and Love, Skara Brae
Humility: made of no principles, Magincia

- Lycaneum holds the Sword of Paradise; Empath Abbey the Exotic Armor. Both are usable only by the Avatar.

- The Shrine of Spirituality can be reached by entering a Moon Gate when both moons are full.

- There's a hidden door to the dungeon Hythloth at the back of Castle Britannia. Once you enter Hythloth there, you can't exit the same way.
- The remotest entrance to Hythloth has a lighter-than-air device nearby.
- All the dungeons are connected by the altar rooms of Truth, Love, and Courage. Placing the proper stones in these altar rooms gives you capital-K Keys.
- The Altar of Love demands the stones of Compassion, Justice, Sacrifice, and Spirituality (yellow, green, orange, and white).
- The Altar of Truth demands the stones of Honesty, Honor, Justice, and Spirituality (blue, purple, green, white).
- The Altar of Courage demands the stones of Valor, Honor, Sacrifice, and Spirituality (red, purple, orange, white).

- Something Mondain something something Pirate's Pub
- The Skull of Mondain can level a city and kill everyone inside.

- Don't take treasures from chests people own. Chests I am explicitly allowed to open are okay, as are chests in dungeons.
- Things called Moon Gates are found depending on the phases of the moon. The two moons constantly shift through their phases. One moon determines where the gate appears, and the other determines where the gate goes.

- Zircon the smith in Minoc wants a Scale. Said Scale is in the mountains.

- There's a place called Abyss, and I'm supposed to go there. It's east of Skara Brae.
- I need the Exotic Armor to enter the Abyss.
- The Codex is inside.

- Calumney in Yew can tell me where to find Manroot.
- Fungus is found at latitude/longitude 149, 46.

- Recipe for the Life spell is Garlic, Moss, Fungus, and a mystery ingredient given to me by someone at Empath Abbey.
- Recipe for Negate is Ash, Garlic, Pearl, Manroot.
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At first I thought you were moving at a fast clip, collecting the runes, but given there's four seperate things for each virtue, this is average for U4?
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R^2

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All the Runes do is allow me access to that Virtue's shrine. While collecting them, I'm also building up my virtues until I'm worthy of Avatarhood in them. Winning battles nets me Valor, giving to beggars nets me Compassion, talking to Hawkwind gets me Spirituality and talking to everyone else nets me Humility, and so on. Once I'm worthy of Avatarhood I'll start hitting up shrines.
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R^2

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We drop Iolo off back at the Hostel, leaving Book and Mariah in the party. Mariah, naturally, has the much-passed-along and much-loved sling now.


Manroot, eh? Let me consult my book... Ah, near Minoc, at latitude 54, longitude 182, there is a swamp of poison. Search there on the darkest of nights!


Level 3, yo.


Fuck you, door to Hythloth!




It is dark, something something grue.




We can see! Yes, we're on level 8. The backdoor to Hythloth leads to a central column that takes you straight to the bottom floor. But we don't have any reason to explore the Altar rooms yet, so...




As the "furthest" exit from Hythloth is surrounded by mountains, this is the only way to access it.

We ignore the device to the west and head back inside, finding a crystal ball around the first corner.




Mariah is canonically female, but the game doesn't distinguish. Anyway, touching this ball costs you 700 HP (only level 8 characters can survive) but gives you +5 STR, +5 DEX, and +5 INT.

Clearly the thing to do is have my main touch it also.



Yep.




Rise now and fight again, and be more cautious in the future!

The penalty for dying is to be teleported back to Castle Britain. Whatever your money total was, it's set to the starting allowance of 400 gp. Since we had less than that after blowing all our cash on a Sextant, we got a free stat boost and a little bit of money from the ordeal.


So I do the logical thing and grab Shamino and Jeff.

And repeat the process.

Two or three times.


Everyone but Iolo's stats raised, I drop Shamino and Jeff back off and leave with Mariah again.


This time we Exit Hythloth and head for the lighter-than-air device.


It's a balloon!


A balloon that drifts wherever it likes! Seriously, you have very little control over where the Balloon goes. It can only land in flat grasslands, and left to its own devices you might eventually drift over one.

The closest thing you can do to control the Balloon is cast the Wind spell, and choose which direction the wind will blow from. So if you want to go north, you need to choose that the wind blows in from the south. Then you hope you drift to where you're going before the wind, quite at random, changes on you.

It's as if someone looked at the Final Fantasy airship and said "This is good and all, but how can we make it really obnoxious?"




Well, that's interesting.


Eventually we land near Moonglow, allowing me to buy some Moss and Garlic so Mariah can cast Wind.




Every reagent seller in the world is blind, so every time you buy ingredients you can choose to rip him off to save money, or pay/overpay to increase your Honor and, I think, Justice.


We swing by Spells Unlimited to scribe Negate, too.


Back adrift, we happen to float by a cave. With adequate control over the wind, we land nearby to explore it.


It is the dungeon Despise, where the Stone of Compassion is hidden!


It is full of monsters, both in random encounters and scripted rooms!


Including some we've never seen before. A Gazer, the beholder ripoff there to the far left, can put my party to sleep with its ranged attacks. They're quite dangerous, as people can stay asleep for several turns even with monsters pounding on them.


Like that.


These guys are pushovers, though, weaker than the skellingtons in the overworld.


But the exit is not to the south, as advertised.


Secret passage!


Full of treasure!


Treasure chests only give you the usual random amount between 1 and 99, so any appealing treasure horde has multiple chests to loot. This one has almost a dozen.


Secret passage in the other direction!




On to another trove...


Eventually our Light spell goes out.




Three doors. (The middle door is the right one, as the ones on the sides just lead to the middle room.)


After the fight, we're free to roam...


Secret passage inside a wall. Dick move.






Needless to say, giving alms to this guy is important to getting the Stone. It still doesn't have to be more than one gold.






One stone down. Having taken it there's the stairs in the corner to get right out.


So out we go.



What we've learned:
- Manroot can be found in that suspicious swamp, but only during two new moons.
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Bongo Bill

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A mixture of first- and third-person dungeons? That's odd.
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...but is it art?
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