Well that was a busy day. After getting the Bell of Courage and the Mystics (which made me realize than the “Mystic Armors” were actually Mystic Robes originally), and I set on the dungeons of Britannia looking for the remaining stones. The process was quite long, and I’ll admit to using some of the maps but heh, what can I say?
After getting all the Stones, came the process of getting the three part key. So I did it the easy way, and got down Hythloth through Lord British’s Castle… which lead you straight to the 8th Level with direct access to the three Altar Rooms.
So with everything I needed, I set sail for the soon-to-be Isle of the Avatar. And as I got into the cove, and I was destroyed by the gazillion of pirate ships waiting there meh. Now since I didn’t want to lose my XP, I quit and reloaded and I got a bit of luck: there were only a handful of ships now! So I rampaged through them, and head to the mouth of the Abyss.
I cast Mondain’s evil Skull into the Abyss to destroy it, and then I rang the Bell, read the Book and light the Candled, thus opening the way.
The concept of the Abyss is interesting in that at the end of each level you have to answere a question about a specific Virtue and use the appropriate stone (altough one might argue how the hell those altar came here?). It also has a lot of room to pass, with many secret passages to find the way down (which reminds me I haven’t seen that infamous child-killing room. Dang!). Altough I have to wonder: who the HELL decided to put a room with a groupe of 9 freaking Reapers? I spend like a whole freaking hour to finish this one, solely because of how much time my entire party spent sleeping. Crazyness.
But still after a few dangerous I came to the room of the Codex.
This is a nice concept as well: you now are alone and the Codex asks you questions about the Virtues, each one making a part of the codex symbol appear, until you finally have to answere the final question with Smith the Hors’s clue… but wait he didn’t give me anything, how am I to know? Oh I know, I need to translated these odd runic letters using the manual. Oh, but it doesn’t offer translation for the runes… it only started with Ultima V.
Well of course I knew the answere was INFINITY – but I really got to wonder how it felt for people back in the day, getting finally to the end of the game without actually knowing what to say there?
And so I was. I had seend the Codex, and actually became the Avatar for good. And then here I was back on Earth. Back home. I really like the ending of Ultima IV – it has some unfairness to it in that you’re basically taken away from Britannia the minute you finish your quest, but it has this dreamlike quality, making you wonder if this whole aventure was real or not which fit perfectly with the introduction of the game.
Alas… this ending was rectonned the heck of the series with future instalment (even starting a bit with Ultima V) which is kind of a shame.
In any case, this was it for Ultima IV. Some aspects didn’t aged well at all, but it really was quite a ride anyway. I now look forward to starting Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny.