Never trust a flashing ball of light, I tell ya.
So here I was on the road to Yew – ready to go in what is one my favorite area of Ultima VII.
Yew is very peculiar in this game, because it doesn’t really exists anymore. There is a “town” called you (which the first time you play the game make you go like “Huh ?”) more like a few random buildings over the forest. But it’s actually very nice, because it offers this feel of being into REAL wild lands that really give this sense of exploring this wild and untamed area – which on the whole the Britannia of Ultima VII is sorely lacking.
I also very much like the Emp and their subquests as well – altough it does feel to need to get the Emps to talk to the Wisps, consdering I’ve played four games where you could just talk to them directly. And of course the bastards wanted some things in return. The notebook of the sage Alagner.
So here I was going to New Magincia. Actually using Moongates because well… might as well make use of them while they’re still available! I quickly did that Locket quest, and headed for Alagner and revealed him I was trying to infiltrate the Fellowship (surprise!) but of course he refused to let me take his notebook until I get the answer to the questions of life and death from the ghost of Skara Brae.
So of course: I went to Skara Brae. Now Skara Brae is another really cool area in Ultima VII. The city was destroyed decades before when an experiment go destroy a lich went awry, and basically caused a fire who ravaged the entire island. It is now a ghost town, filled either with nice and tormented spirits and evil skeletons.
It’s a plotline which is actually very awesome, with a lot of things to do to complete the quest. The development of this particular story is also very good – the setting is very creepy, and the liche Horance has something very chilly to him (especially when you think of the weird mage he was in Ultima VI).
I gotta say I’ve always found it unfair for Caine to end up being this spirit destined to be tortured forever over his “crime” – for in the end he was not responsible, the Mayor was because he did a mistake with the ingredients. Caine might have been the one doing the experiment, but he could not know that he had been given the wrong ingredients. So basically: free his soul dammit!
Needless to say – the Lich didn’t last against me and I managed to give Horance back his sanity (which would make him… a GOOD lich I guess – kind of an original concept :P)
Actually considering how much of a bad ass I am, I’m sure I should technically be able to kill it (I should perhaps have tried to Black Sword on him, heh!). But well not much choice in this case.
So with the answere about life and death from Caine (ie: “There is no answer”) I went back to Alagner which agreed to let me borrown his notebook. Except of course I need to go into his storeroom (which is filled with secrets passages and levers) and you need to build stairs using crates to get access to his last room which is above room.
Except there it didn’t work.
I’m gonna digress a bit and say that the latest snapshop of Exult 1.4 seems to have a lot of issues. Major instabilities (freezes and crash: save a lot), companions which pop up a statue where they were before dying (!) and this – because for some reason I just couldn’t stack up enough crates to get to the entrance. Comparing to my previous Exult version and save side by side – it almost feels as if the room looks HIGHER in the new version. Odd isue, but it was annoying.
So after half an hour of trying I gave up and used the hack mover to get the notebook. Which suchs, because I would have prefered to do that without cheating.
I read the notebook which had a good description of the TRUE Fellowship philosophies and informed me they were working for a an evil entity called the Guardian.
Now that’s an unexpected turn of event! (Yeah that’s sarcasme).
Giving the notebook to the Wisp lead to more information about the Guardian (notably that should he enter in Britannia it would be the end of the world: yeah right you’ll in Ultima IX you morons!), and also how to contact my good friend the Time Lord with my Orb of the Moon.
So I used my Orb and found the Time Lord which I hadn’t seen since Ultima IV (except I didn’t know it was him) and is now trapped in some weird time prison in the Shrine of Spirituality.
He gave me more information about the Guardian, but most importantly told me that there was a huge blackrock generator in the form of a Sphere in the Dungeon Despise that needs to be dealt with. So Despise here I come!
Except I thought it would be a good idea to bring his notebook back to Alagner. I mean I did promise it to him!
But upon arrival I stump upon this gruesome scene.
The Guardian had read the info in the notebook and had Hook and his croonies kill him. Thank you Wisps! And of course the shipwright did told me he saw the Crown Jewel and a man with a Hook on board the day before. How convenient!
Of course I was shocked!
Britannia is in peril! It needs to be saved!
So I did the logical thing, I headed straight to Lord British to tell him these terrible developments. And I got this:
And there are people who dare complain that Lord British finally move his butt and do his part in saving Britannia in Ultima IX? Really?
But now that was the inneffiency of Britannian’s government to the fullest. I wanted to slap him and shake him saying “People are DYING! The world is in danger you MORON!” and at these time using the Shade Blade to get rid of him become tempting. But I guess this is not very Avatar-ish.
(Also killing Lord British would lead me to make a whole post about his supposed child with Nell, and the sillyness of how some fans have turned this funny and silly easter egg into some huge major plot element – but I wouldn’t want to hurt peope’s feelings!)