So I was back in Britain. And very happy to be far away from the bugs of Moonglow. I did had a lot of loot to sell, so I began by going by all the shops to get money. It can come in handy! I also had the very first romance dialogue between Raven and the Avatar which is just… too ugly to mention really!
After that I did get to Lord British, which told me of a tunnel that would lead be to Yew and that he unsealed at my demand. He also informed be of a very worrying development: apparently the Columns are drawing the moons toward Britannia, meaning doom is at hand!
After leaving Britain I began by exploring around a bit around Paws since I was no a lot stronger that last time.
But after a while well… It was time to get on with the plot, and head to Yew!
The tunnel is rather straightforward and has the merit of not being a different zone. You then need to cross the Deep Forest which has hordes of Goblins.
I’m gonna digress a bit, but I gotta say: this game has a freaking LOT of Goblins. Not only there, but everywhere on the main land really: in the Deep Forest, around Paws, in the Mountains, around Wrong, around Trinsic. You know it just hit me, but if someone made a mod that replaced all Goblin models by Wyrmguards models, It’d really make it feels like there is an open war with the Guardian going on here! (Forgotten Worlds? *wink wink nudge nudge*)
In any case I rapidly came unto the city of Justice.
Once again this is just a very beaufitul place to behold. The look of all the houses amongst the trees is just gorgeous and made in a way that feels natural in the nature of the place.
Now of course, Yew is having kind of a Justice problem. It’s not that they abandoned justice – more like they switched to a very EXPEDITIVE kind of Justice, where people throw lawsuit around everything, and people are just found guilty without any proof. There is actually a very obvious satire of some of the abuse of the American judicial system here, notably by the way people get sued over ANYTHING, even for the most ridiculous of reasons (such as bowyer being sued for selling defective bows by his customers… because they can’t hit their targets :D).
I’m actually kind of mixed on the subject – there is something very funny about this… but it feels a bit out of place for an Ultima and something that would feel more in its place a more off-beat world such as Fallout 2 (but then the Ultima series did have the crew of the Enterprise D so….)
As it turns out, you find out upon arriving at Yew that Raven has been arrested and his being charged for the genocide of the Gargoyle people by their king Vasagralem (as a point of note if you do return to Raven’s boat after talking to Lord British, you will notice that she is gone!). Indeed Vasagralem considers the Avatar responsible for the Genocide but want to make him suffer by having him assist powerless to the death of his loved one, beginning with Raven. Of course you get NO chance to defend her, and she is sent to the Prison Wrong while awaiting her execution.
Thankfully you do get a chance to clear up things with Vasagralem and his follower Desbet, by explaining them how the Column and pride had lead to the destruction of the Dome of Ambrosia, and by proving the Queen Egg which will ensure the survival of the Gargoyle people. Upon realizing his mistakes, he offers you the Red Lens needed for the Codex (which he magically has found since mentioning the last time it had been stolen – hello plot cut!) and ask you to find him near Wrong by passing through the Northern Mountains in order to help you.
So here goes mountains!
Now the Northern Mountains to the east of Yew are definitely one of the most beautiful locales of the entire games, and serves as a lesson in world design. You begin by going up slowly, until reaching the snowy heights and follow a path with a lot of twists and turns that is just jaw dropping. It also is a prime example of how 3D affects world design and how the designers used this new dimension to their advantage. I’ll always remember this first time I played a game… where after moving around for half an hour in this area I had this realization that I had just arrived right above where I was earlier!
Amidst these mountains, you first come upon a strange Vulture. This is actually the Creature of Justice who is the keeper of the Quill of Justice, the Sigil you’ll to cleanse the Shrine.
The questions are rather nice, altough the answer is rather obvious in each case, and you end up leaving with your latest Sigil. Yay!
Next to see amongst the Mountains are the ruins of Empath Abbey. Now granted… this is just very wrong geographically, but I’m willing to forgive this because theses ruins just look so damn cool in the middle of these mountains!
This is also the opportunity to find the Candle of Love which will come of use later.
But another point of interest are the frozen island not far to the North which are guarded by a beautiful Ice Dragon!
Now you’re actually supposed to get a Frost Sword by killing it, but I did not! This is just freaking unfair 😦
And so I am now back on these trails and getting close to the rear entrance of Wrong, and Vasagralem…