I’m coming for you Guardian! I’m COMING FOR YOU!
Err… sorry got carried a bit!
So as I mentionned I went to consult Mythran… and we basically agreed I should need the Five Blackrocks fragments to recreate to Obelisk the Guardian first used to enter Pagan in order to get back home.
I already had two of them, but first thing first: I went back to the Sorcerer’s Enclave and freed Pyros by walking on his Pentagram with the Tongue of Fire.
This really brought the world to hell, and turned the screen reddish with fireball falling from the sky.
Yeah well… except nobody in the game reacts to it. Meh.
After that I returned to Devon and asked him about Hydros’ artefact: the Tears of Seas. As it turns outs, Devon had conventienly fished back the stone a long time ago and had put it in a chest in his palace. How convenient!
(Did I mentionned all the cuts about the Water plotline? Yeah I believe so…)
Next was the Breath of Wind which could be found next to Stratos after using some Theurgist magic to reveal it. The downside of this is that it basically removed all their healing powers from the Theurgist, but oddly enough the elder Stellos take the thing pretty well, agreeing this probably had to be done. Altough well… that did kill him.
Finally came the Heart of Stone found in Lithos’ City of the Dead next to his domain. One point of note is that originally this was meant to start up an invasion of undeads upon Tenebrae. But you know… plut cuts and all…
So now let’s sum up the situation here: Hydros is flooding the land, Pyros is burning it down, Stratos no longer offers healing, and Lithos is theorically sending undeads.
The Avatar really has made a mess heh?
For all the talk about how the Avatar is evil for summoning daemons (which actually made it into the original Bob White plot of Ultima IX, I mean seriously?) this is the real essence of the Avatar’s misaction in Ultima VIII.
To be fair, this mess is not necessarilly a misaction – one might argue this was for the greater good in order to free Pagan from the Titans, and in the ends it works out and it feels logical to think Pagan will be better off without the Titans and the Zaelans’ deities coming back.
The thing is the Avatar just didn’t really do that for Pagan’s sake. He did that out of selfishness just to get back home. Not that he wouldn’t want to help Pagan… but it’s secondary to his main goal. And this is the main issue here, because in the end he put Pagan on the brink of destruction (not knowing whether of not he would be successful) in order to get back home.
And even if things worked out in the end, that’s the real nature of the Avatar’s sin in Ultima VIII IMO.
But in any case, having now the five blackrock fragment I could cast the latest spell Mythran had given me and teleport to the Ethereal Void.
Now the area has something weird, because basically it offered a big Pentagram… and some sort of construct with four doors leaving to each of the Elemental planes.
The point here is to go to Each of these planes and face the Titans in their own grounds to drain their powers by using theire respective blackrock fragment on them. Note that I say drains their powers, and not “Kill them”, because it has always felt to me it was the essence of this part of the game. It’s not about destroying the Titans, but rather about stealing their powers and leaving them powerless in their respective Elemental planes.
Indeed even the final dialogue of each of the Titans seems to go this way, with some hinting of revenge to be taken. (Which shall lead to a missed opportunity in Ultima IX, but more about that when we get there).
The areas are rather straigthforward, so I began with Pyros, which basically involved jumping over a bit of lava. Altough point should be noted there is a tiny bit of background information to be had there.
But well, good ol’ Pyros didn’t last long. See you later!
After that I went to the plane of Air, which basically consist of a lot of Jumping over flying rocks, some of which can fall underneath you. It is however fairly easy with the targetted jumping, so as they say: hasta la vista Stratos!
Next came the plane of Earth. This is actually the longest of all the planes. You need to move around a lot, and it also has a lot of undeads (altough I chose to avoid them instead).
And well you know the drill about Lithos!
Which lead to the final area… meaning jumping over stones in water to get to Hydros.
With blackrock fragments charged up, all needed left was tu use the last one (the obelisk tip taken from Kumash-Gor’s tomb) on myself and turn myself into the Titan of Ether.
As the Avatar says “I feel very powerful!”
(This should probably be a time to point that the Avatar’s lines are really terrible in Ultima VIII, but this hardly deserve a notice).
After that all that is left is putting the Blackrock fragments on the Pentagram in order to recreate the Obelisk.
And I can’t help pointing out that the pre-patched version of the game did not give any hint as to where you had to put each fragment.
But in any case the Obelisk was now the built.
And all that was left was basing through this Black Gate to get back home.
And here came the ending… which is short but that I’ve always liked. The fun thing to point is that there has been for a long time debate as to WHERE the Avatar ended in this ending, some felt it was Britannia, others Earth, others the Guardian’s world… and of course the later was the correct answer originally.
And thus ended by journey into Pagan… which was certainly short, but certainly great fun!
I know eagerly look forward to starting Ultima IX, one of my favorite episodes!
Altough I need to ask: what’s with the the cheesy Titan armor? I wanted to keep it