The futility of it all…

Upon leaving Cove (or Yew if you did Cove before will go and say that it is time for the you to learn to control the ship yourself and propose to gets back to Buccaneer’s Den to buy sea charts. However before you can arrive there, she lose control of the boat and you are drawn toward… Terfin.

Yes. That Terfin. The place where you arrived on Britannia. The place which has this huge Guardian Fortress.

And you’re not left with much of a choice as you need to enter this Fortress… alone. Please take special note of the three SHADOWLORDS statues at the entrance, we’ll get back to this in a later post…

Now you finally came directly inside the Guardian’s throne room: the very same where he discussed with Blackthorn in the introduction!

You there assist to a nice little in-game cutscene as the Guardian kills Samhayne (who barely has time to tell you Raven is his daughter) in front of you… before… engaging you in battle.

Except there is not much you can do: every attack you inflict upon him is reflected back upon you: you can’t hurt him or kill him and it becomes obvious that this story is just NOT gonna end in a epic one on one battle like most RPGs… His point made, the Guardian then goes and destroy Skara Brae (which was the only city resisting his influence) right in front of your eyes during a small cutscene and teleport you out of his palace, having made it clear that he could destroy Britannia as he wished.

You’re then left to tell Raven about these events, and about the death of her Raven. Nice day, heh?

To be honest I’ve always had some mixed feeling about this scene. I LOVE the scene conceptually, I love what transpires in it, I love the underlying message in it, the dialogues… but I’ve never been fully convinced by how it looks. You see, ingame cutscenes really weren’t that common back then, and especially not amongst western 3D RPGs… so it feels a tad well, amateurish. It’s good – but it should have been magnificient and I’ve always felt this is one point where she should have put some extra money and made it a CG cutscene.

On a side note, I actually feel the Guardian model does look pretty good – but that he really should have been made bigger. Oh well…

After this it is time to get to Bucs Den… where Raven has a small surprise for you and awaits you in her room with a nice little dress and offers a night of passion…

…with a red hot metal stick, wait what?!

Well actually this part is all about making you a member of the Guild. This was actually a very important scene in the original plot, to which Lord British also assisted in a twisted sending of the Guardian, but here well… all it does is giving you access to a new store in Buccaneer’s Den.

One point of note too is that you can actually refuse to sleep with Raven and get the mark – it’s really all up to the player!

In any case this is a good opportunity to step up and take my defense of Raven.

You see Raven has been getting a lot of hate from Ultima fans since… well… the beginning really. Ever since word came that there was a “pirate girl” in the game, and that she would be the “love interest” of the Avatar, she has been getting a LOT of hates from fans which has spread for month and even years… and basically for now reason at all except she is a love interest.

I mean REALLY?!

The irony about this is that Raven is a GOOD and INTERESTING character. She actually has depth and is well developed throughout the game. And while I won’t be defending the execution of the romance itself (which goes from very corny to down embarrassing at times), this really is a character you get attached too for she is always there to help you in your quest. For all the talk there was about the lack of party and companions in the game – I have to say that Raven is really THE character that sometimes made me miss it, because often I’ve felt it would have been great if just once she would have come done her boat to adventure to adventure with me.

You know I’ve actually considered having her as a character in Return to the Serpent Isle (Indeed… she was in the fanfic I wrote) but I decided against it solely on account of how controversial it would have been.

Oh well. Enough digression for it is time to get back to restoring Virtues. It should be noted that at that point you can go pretty much anywhere with the boat, which opens you new possibilities and secret to explore – altough manual boat travel is… well very slow. Interestingly enough: you can fire canons with you ship… which has no use but showcase another example of cut content.

In any case… Trinsic awaits me for now…



  1. Donn said,

    October 21, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    I could spend hours sailing around Britannia. Good times.

    • Sergorn said,

      October 21, 2010 at 7:01 pm

      Alas it appears to be buggy now – much like the Tydus bug in Moonglow, unless you play with a minimal clipping planes it crashes over and over. And it is so FOGGY you just can’t see where you are.

      I swear the fog is thicker on modern hardware than it was ten years ago…

      • Iceblade said,

        October 21, 2010 at 8:49 pm

        Yeah, that was a crash that seemed to disappear in later playthroughs. How I managed to actually play sail back during my first playthroughs was to use the ‘k’ key to go into first person view of the ship.

  2. Sergorn said,

    October 21, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Well I never had any problem in any of my earlier playthrough – it’s the first time I have boat travel crash as it is.

    I think modern hardware is bringing new kind of issues really, probably on the way it handles certain graphical aspects.

    Dang, I wish EA would release the source code 😛

  3. Iceblade said,

    October 21, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Yeah but they don’t have it. In fact it may be gone from existence where it isn’t stored on any media in the whole world.

    This crash however is not new, but it happens so randomly across systems even in the time dimension, I’m not sure what the problem is.

    The fog thing is probably just memory playing tricks or it could be how modern graphics cards are drawing it. Though I do remember thinking 5 years that the fog was more noticeable than it had been when I played it the first time in 2002.

    • Sergorn said,

      October 22, 2010 at 12:42 am

      Well… honestly there is so much fog here before the game crashes, that you can barely see the boat, and can’t even see the seas – so this is just not normal

      • Iceblade said,

        October 22, 2010 at 3:44 am

        Does it crash at every town? Also does it crash when you are in firstperson boat mode?

        I assume it is crashing shortly after clicking on the boat.

  4. Iceblade said,

    October 22, 2010 at 4:04 am

    Oh Sergorn, what are your system specs? It would be interesting if to see if there might be some correlation we can find for this particular crash or determine if it is something unrelated to system (which I’m betting might actually be the case given how rarely and randomly this crash appears).

  5. Sergorn said,

    October 22, 2010 at 7:54 am

    My system specs : Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3Ghz, 4 Gb of Ram, ATI Raddedon HD 5770 1Gb.

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