So following my ‘orders’ I headed straight to Sunrise Isle (which I thought was actually Sunrise Island oh well…).
But you see the thing about Sunrise Island, is that it’s not really on the map. The Shrine of Balance is actually a deep underground complex and can only be reached through the Serpent’s Gate. Thing is: the Ice Dragon isle is exactly where Sunrise Isle is shown on the Map. Which lead a lot of people (not me though) to go back there and look for some Shrine they might have missed.
Sunrise Isle is basically a dungeon area, except it is solely focused on puzzles around the the concept of Balance. Which basically involves putting Order stuff in Chaos (or vice-versa), alterning one another or so on.
The first area actually simply involves putting a red and blue serpents on two sides of a scale to get a Balance.
This opens the doors and makes items appearing which all symbolise of the six virtues. In the next area (which feels a lot like the Dream World minus the starry background), you need to find six temples devoted to Order and Chaos, and then put down the symbol reprensting the OPPOSITE Virtue on a pedestal.
In the end you get a book, which allows you to summon a bridge of flames to enter the Shrine of Balance proper.
The next puzzle area involves getting a symbol for order and chaos by putting elements of ice and fire to liberate each of them. You then enter into the central area (and the final puzzle area indeed) which consists again something related to ice of fire, as you need to put ice cubes and fire cubes on a pedestal to make a teleporter appears. That involves however some secret passages and a lot buttons to push!
One point of note is that you can actually go up to that point if you try to get to Sunrise Isle before the end – see It’s not that linear!
As it happens you are transported to another area where the Great Earth Serpent ordain you as the Great Hierophant. Hero, Avatar, Hierophant – man our boy just does a lot of things doesn’t he?
The end was near now… I put the three Blackrocks Serpents to Open the Wall of Light, and the Serpent Eyes to restore the Soul of the Great Earth Serpent in the Serpent Statue.
Now here is the fun part: you need to slay the Statue with the Brass Serpent Sword Xenka has given you. Problem him some people never got it, either because Xenka never teleported at the Shrine of Chaos or because the keyword did not appear. Thus rendering finishing the game impossible. This lead to many people trying to use a regular Serpent Sword… but that of course doesnt word.
Thankfully this never happend to me (and indeed it never happens in Exult!) and I could kill the Serpent… and finish the game!
And so Balance was restored, and I had saved the universe again. I could now get back home but… wait what is this giant Red Hand coming? Aaaahhhh!
And thus ended Serpent Isle… leading to an Ultima VIII that would begin exactly where it ended. Well it was a ride, and clearly: Serpent Isle is still my favorite Ultima!
As closing word I have to see at how surprise I was by how LONG this game still is. I basically played it at the same pace as Ultima VII and Underworld II… and it took me at least twice as long! Crazy…
But well… this is not over yet. Pagan awaits!