As my quest in the Labyrinth of Worlds continues, three more worlds became open to me.
Now while there is a degree of openess to the game, I have decided to do the world in rather straightforward way, in order.
So my step lead me the world of Talorus.
Now there is no other word to describe Talorus as freaking weird (altough it is not yet the weirdest world Underworld II has to offer…). This is quite simply an alien world, populated with an odd sentient species that basically look like a big translucid circle with a small red circle in the midle. Now this is very alien in the prime sense of the world, in that Talorus is unlike any man-made world – both from its looks, his histories and its inhabitants.
Of course the Talorids are being used by the Guardian who also modifed their automatic reproductive system in order to eventually rewrite the entire Talorid society (note that for all my complains about the portrayal of the Guardian, the way he manipulate Talorus’ society does feel more like him).
The first time I played Talorus I was like “What the Eck?!” and honestly didn’t enjoy much of it, which make it kind of a mixed memory to me. However I really love that world all things considered because of how unique it is, and how the main quest (albeit optionnal) is very well crafted.
So after fixing Talorus’ society and getting the Gem – I was ready to get to the next world. But not quite.
You see, after Talorus you possess everything you need for Altara to create her staff to cut of the power from the Guardian’s planes. So I went back to Killorn Keep and had her build the staff.
But since I didn’t feel like backtracking for now – I decided instead to move forward to the next world.
The Scintillus Academy Final Exam.
Now this is one of my favorite world of Ultima Underworld II.
The Scintillus Academy is an academy of magic where people whith proven talents (this is the Final Exam area) come to get their degree in magic. However contact has been lost for a long time and the Avatar has no other choice but to pass the entire exam and find out what happened.
So this is basically a dungeon area with 8 level – they don’t are as big as a Abyss level obviously, but for instance still bigger that the Prison Tower. Each level is destined to test some of your capabilities, and sometime of course in the use magic! So there is a lot of variety, areas going from simple combat romp and exploration, to button puzzles, jumping puzzles and son… So this is just very fun and no solely combat focused which is really neat. In essence I guess you could say it prefigured the dungeons of Ultima IX.
Of course doing the exam offered hardly any difficulty for me (this is also where i realized that I was pretty close to “god mode” as far as regular monsters are concered) and I rapidly got to the top level where I learned that basically everyone died after the Guardian approached their dimension. Whoops.
After finding the small gem, cutting the place of power of the Guardian and looting the Academy’s vault, I finally went back to Britannia.
The usual routine followed, so I got to Nystul who clensed the Gem and then went back and merged it with the big one.
After that I took a small break from the worlds to explore a bit of the sewers area I had left, and also went back to all the previouses worlds in order to cut the Guardian’s power from these planes. Oh and my friend the Troll in the Prison Tower also gave be a message from the Rebel Leader there who told me to find a guy name Zoranthus. Neat how they had details for when/if you return, heh?
So after that came the third available world: the Pits of Carnage.
The pits are basically a big underground arena, where eveyrone who refuse to serve the Guardian or act simply as criminal is throw down to fend for themselves. So the place became an arena with simple rules, and four combat areas based on each of the four Elements.
In addition there is also a couple of dangerous dungeon levels below.
Now the simple albeit dangerous way to get the Gem is to fight in the arena. You see, the Gem is in the possession of the current Arena champion Dorstag – so you basically need to make your way up the area and kill the best fighters in order to challenge Dorstag. This is usually the way I do but this time I have decided to do it in a less violent way, since killing someone to get a Gem doens’t seem very Avatar-ish to me.
You see, in the third level of the Pits lives a friendly troll named Blog who becomes your new best best friend after playing a game of “rocks” with him. And so I asked my new best friend to get my Gem from Dorstag, which is really affraid of him. Neat of easy.
But in addition to this the Pits undergrounds also offer a very important character: the mage I had learned about in the message from the Prison Tower, Zoranthus.
Zoranthus owns a djinn bottle, which through a specific ritual you can bound to your body later on. This is essential to finishing your quest. But of course he asks something in return which I can’t get… yet.
So having done everything to be done now (including freeing the place from the Guardian’s power) I went back to Britannia.
Alas a nasty surprise awaited me. It appears Nelson had found a way we might be able to destroy the Blackrock Dome surrounding the castle. Alas! He was murdered by Petterson (which revealed himself to be the traitor) right in front of my eyes. I had no choice but to kill leave, leaving everyone in the castle in shock.
With my last gem treated by Nystul, I returned to the Gem in the sewers and merged it with it again.
So I am now left with only two more worlds to explore and a bit of backtracking – but my quest is nearing its end. Hopefuly, the Blackrocl Dome will be shattered soon enough…