So here I was, all cold and alone in Spinebreaker 😦
The Great Earth Serpent did gave me a new quest in getting the Gwani horn… but I needed to go back to Skullcrusher!
Thanksfully thanks to Batlin’s Jawbone I now had more Death, including one that allowed me to get back there. So I could get the Gwani horn thanks to the dispel field spell I had got on Selina’s body.
I stopped by the Gwani however and that was horifying because except for the leader, her husband and her daughter… ALL the Gwani had been killed by the Trapper. This was enough… so I went to his lair to the North and killed him for good. Bastard!
I was rewarded by a new Serpent Tooth: and a major one actually! You see this tooth lead to the final area of the game: Sunrise Island… and it’s actually an easy tooth to miss and get lost!
After that I get the raft until I reached the Gwani Death temple.
For a tomb, it’s actually a pretty beautiful area with all these ice coffins. It also plays this beautiful track “Conversation with Gwenno” there (altough this do feel like a silly name considering where it plays!). But using the Horn I could free Gwenno from her ice prison… and I then took her body and brought it to Monk Isle
(Note that I could have ressurected her here and there… but in my experience sometime she doesn’t go back to Moonsahde, so…)
Upon ressurecting her one probleme: she’s gotten made like Cantra! But the Great Earth Serpent was nice enough: he told me that a Bane of Chaos had corrupted her soul. One point of question though: why didn’t he told me that about Cantra? Bastard!
After talking to Karnax, this lead me to getting back to Moonshade in order to get a scroll from Fedabiblio.
Which lead to a chocking discovery:
Everyone was dead!
Shamino the Anarch came to Moonsahde, ruled for a while and kill almost everyone in the city.
I can’t even begin to describe how shocking this event was the first I played Serpent Isle. The entire inhabitants of the isle had been killed with a handful of survivor left, and all by your own companions.
Now as some of you might now, this was not the original plan of Serpent Isle: each city was meant to be ruled by a Bane and corrupted by its anti Virtue which would have lead to more plots and quests for this second part of the game and this end up being cut from the cut.
I would argue this actually prove that sometime plut cuts and time constraints can be beneficial. Admitedly the original plan was good. But nothing could have come close to the shock factor of finding everyone simply dead! Now while this aspect could have been handled better (especially in the Monitor area) it was good shilling and shocking, so I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.
In any case after having saved Fedabiblio with Torrissio’s wand I had already got in Skullcrusher (since he had been turned to stone) he gave me the scroll I needed. Ironically: this was the exact same scroll I had found translated by Erstam at the beginning of the game.
Back to Moonshade again (note: there is a LOT and back of forth going on at that point), and Karnax told be I needed to get the Water from the Temple of Discipline. So… I went there of course! As it turns out the water was unaccessible due to vast areas of acid that tends to… well. Kill me. So I needed to transfer my sould temporarily to an automaton body.
So back to Moonshade. And Petra at the Blue Boar. This is also another character I love – which has a very tragic twist with the death of Rocco and her certainty of being a soulless automaton although personally I’ve always felt she must have been a human soul binded to an Automaton body. Petra accepted to join me and it’s back to the Temple of Discipline. With her help I could get the Water of Discipline I needed and return to Moonshade to heal Gwenno. Of course I could argue with a solo-ing option like Ultima VI, a soul transfer would not have been necessary but…. 😛
(Note that Petra was only supposed to join temporarily, but the incomplete nature of this later part of the game make it so you can keep her in your party If you wishes it).
But of course now that she is healed Gwenno sends me back… to Moonshade since I need to find the secret of binding soul there.
I learned this secret from Torrissio in exchange for his wand, who agreed to give me a spell scroll. One point of note about Torrissio: I just LOVE how he just settled in the Magelord’s palace after the holocaust… I wonder what a city ruled by him would look like, hmmm?
After having the Soul Prisms done, Gwenno back at Monk Isle told be I needed to have the prisms bathed in the Waters of Temples of Chaos in order to purify them. Well: north lands here I was again!
Or not. Because I felt it was time to rebuild a party. And let me just say how enjoyable it is at this point of the game, to have tooth for basically everywhere.
I first got to Sleeping Bull, where Wilfrid agreed to join me in exchange for killing Baltin. Now he is kind of a wuss: he’ll get piss if you tell him to leave, and if he come to 0 HP he’ll just feel and leave the party for good. But he is a good party member none the less… and I like to think adventuring with the Avatar would have helped him mature. While I was at the Inn (where everyone was dead as well… but alas no reaction from Wilfrid…) I went and explored the basement.
Note that this could have been done at an earlier point in the game… but I only found that out very late the first time I played, so I decided to wait for old time’s sake. You see, the Inn was built by a pirate named Silverpate… so he had this huge catacombs network built under it, which includes its own Serpent Gate and a kind of “nexus” which allows to spy and teleport in every room of the inn! Yuck!
But most importantly, it offers the map to his treasures in the northern (added to the one from the late Captain Hawk I found in Moonshade, that makes two treasures map!)
But I decided to leave the Southern Lands alone and head back to Spinebreaker when I got a couple of Automatons to join my party, and equipped everyone with my companion’s stuff.
With a full party at my disposal, I could now get to the Chaos Temples without fear!
First was the Temple of Emotion. Since I already went there to see the Eye of the Moon , I already knew the place, so it was easy to get the Water and purify the prisme. One done!
I also used the opportunity to use the Eye of the Moon again, which lead me to find out that the banes were hiding at Castle of the King of the White Dragon. They’ll get what is coming to them you’ll see!
After that came the Temple of Enthusiam. This one has an importance later on, but for now it is pretty straightforward: get through the temple, use bucket on well, use water on prism. Yay! One more!
The last Temple is the Temple of Tolerance, which is actually pretty great in term of design. You see, the Necromage Mortegro is stuck there on an island and requires your help.
So you need to explore the depth of the temple where you meet a still alive Ophidian who is obnoxious but tells you the Key to access the Pedestal for the Waters had been stolen by a rat. So you need to use the Serpent Bond spell to get the key back from his hole, and thus access the room where the winch lowering the drawbridge to the isle is located.
Now this is good design idea in theory… but the issue is that you can skip it all with a simple telekinesis spell. I didn’t, but it’s a shame really!
Having freed Mortegro, he was nice enough to sell me his spells for half the price, bust most importantly he gave me the Summon Shade scroll, which is soon gonna come very handy. He also requested that I get him back to Moonshade… but alas, he was hit by another teleport storm upon exiting the Temple… and he is never seen again. His fate remains a mystery to this day.
But what of the water one might ask? Well you need to simply put a bucket on the pedestal for it to fill with the sacred water of emotions. Except well… the Pedestal now lie in Gustacio’s basement in Moonshade. More backtracking, yay!
But I now had my three purified prisms; I was ready to face the Banes…