Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Ultima Underworld II: Multiverse of Mongbats

A new side is lit up on the blackrock teleporter.
      
As much as I was enjoying aspects of Lands of Lore, I was somewhat eager to wrap up my last Lore session so I could get to my next Ultima Underworld II session. After all, I had left the game on the threshold of another world. Exciting stuff. Unlike every other Ultima game I've covered for this blog, I don't remember how this one played out. And since I never played Ultima VIII or Ultima IX, I've never had the satisfaction (or opposite) of finding out exactly what the Guardian is all about. Any new lore truly is new for me.
   
The blackrock gem brings me into a short hallway that ends in a locked door. A face of blackrock blocks the corridor behind me; it will take me back to the Britannian sewers. This sets up a mystery that we'll have to cover later. In the meantime, I bash through the door and enter a messy storeroom full of spoiled food and broken weapons. Investigating a barrel just leads to a fight with three bloodworms.
      
The new universe's welcoming committee.
    
A door leads to a hallway and a stairway to Level 2. The staircase brings me to a large common room full of goblin guards. I tense, but they don't attack. Cautiously, I approach one and initiate dialogue. He demands a password, suspecting me of being some kind of rebel. I manage to fool him by saying I am delivering supplies to the kitchen and handing him a delivery voucher that I found in the storeroom.
   
In subsequent conversations, it transpires that I am in some kind of prison tower. The specific land or world is never named, but it contains a kingdom called Fyrna. It seems that humans and goblins used to populate the world in an uneasy equality, but the Guardian contacted the goblins and either offered his favor (goblin perspective) or enslaved them (human perspective) and thus caused a war between goblins and humans. The goblins, led by a regent, seem to be winning the war. They have former human royalty working in the tower's kitchens and the leader of the human resistance, Bishop, imprisoned at the top of the tower. They see me as another servant, and I manage to walk through the tower without setting off any alarms.
   
A goblin provides some information about this world.
      
(The goblins refer to the Guardian several times as "the Red Titan." I find that interesting. I've made some joking comparisons between the Guardian and Thanos in the past, but now I wonder if there actually might have been some influence. I believe the Infinity Saga in Marvel Comics reached its peak in 1991, the year before the Guardian debuted in Ultima VII.)

What the map designates "Level 2" appears to be the main level of the tower (i.e., I arrived in the basement). A pair of double metal doors lead presumably to the outdoors, but I never find a way to open them.
  
To get from Level 2 to Level 3, I have to pass through a security corridor. A sign says that "standard protocols" are in effect. A nearby guard offers to tell me what that means for a bribe. I give him 10 gold pieces, and he relays that in the security corridor, the far door won't open until the near door is closed. I probably could have figured that out, but it's not like I'm finding lots of other places to spend money.
   
Level 3 has nothing but goblin guards. On Level 4, I encounter the first humans in the tower, working in the kitchens. These include a former prince of Fyrna named Felix and a man with his tongue cut out, Marcus. The kitchen has a hostile rat in a cage, for some reason (maybe goblins eat them), which I kill. 
    
Finally, a human!
        
On Level 5, I find an irate goblin smith trying to make gauntlets out of something called "fraznium," which is apparently too soft to effectively mold into something as complex as gauntlets. I suggest to him that he just make regular gauntlets with a fraznium coating, and he's so grateful that he gives me a pair. A door labeled "armory" is both locked and too strong to bash.
   
My character hits Level 8 as I reach the top of the stairs to tower Level 6. Behind a door with the Guardian's visage on it, I find the guard captain, Borne. Fortunately, all humans look alike to him, and he takes me for someone named Lorca Batan. I gather that Lorca Batan is a human traitor working for the Guardian. I play along with the conversation. Borne complains that Bishop is resisting all efforts at interrogation. I say that I'll break him, and he gives me the password ("Quicksilver") and another pair of fraznium gauntlets. Clearly, these are necessary somehow. The password gets me past the guard at the door to Level 7 and a separate guard on that level.
      
Captain Borne has some banners and the visage of the Guardian on his door.
   
I finally make it to Level 8, the top level. There are several cells here. One of them is blocked by "bars" of light, through which I am able to pass thanks to the gauntlets. 
  
Bishop initially also takes me for an interrogator, but I introduce myself as the Avatar of the Eight Virtues. Surprisingly, he's heard of me: "Thy name is known and honored among those who battle the Guardian on the many planes of reality." This surprises me, as I didn't do that much to hurt the Guardian in the last game. I just stopped him from entering Britannia, which is apparently one of many worlds that he's trying to conquer. There's something of an alliance forming among anti-Guardian factions on each of these alternate planes. Bishop says he has a way to contact them but won't tell me their names. Instead, he simply suggests that I look for "a sorcerous lady in a fortress high above a desert," and that I should also look for a "strange black jewel" that recently appeared in Bishop's chambers. It was stolen by guards. "I sensed the Guardian's sorcery in it," he says, "though I know not what part it plays in his designs."
       
I think I'd rather stick around this world and fight goblins than do any more chores for Lord British.
    
(Incidentally, I know from external sources that Bishop is the "author" of the Ultima Underworld II cluebook and that the world we're in is apparently called "Tarna." I think if the creators were going to use that name, they should have gone all-in and used liontaurs instead of goblins.)
   
I give Bishop one of the pairs of gauntlets, and he strides out of the cell to freedom. Another cell on the level is locked (but I can look through a grate and see a goblin in there); a third is full of mongbats, which I kill, distressed to find that mongbats, of all things, exist in other dimensions.
        
I suppose if I'm going to put them in the subtitle, I ought to have one screenshot.
      
As I head down to the previous level, I face a moral quandary (which, speaking of alternate universes, I swear to the gods was spelled quandry until they re-started the Large Hadron Collider yesterday). It appears that no one has yet noticed that Bishop is missing, so I can probably sneak out of this place without spilling any blood. On the other hand, any damage I can do to the forces of the Guardian is probably good for the multiverse in the long run. If I'm being honest, though, I mostly want to kill all the goblins for the experience points. Figuring I'm crossing no moral boundaries if they attack me first, I bump into one of the guards and speak rudely to him. Thus provoked, he attacks me and I am consequently morally justified in killing him.
   
i.e., I "Rittenhoused" him.
   
Word of my hostility spread quickly. I kill about five guards on Level 7 and several more on Level 6, including Borne and his lieutenant. Borne has a key ring with several keys. I head back up and open the locked cell and find a goblin named Milenius. He is the former military advisor for the Regent, caught spying for the Resistance. He is cynical about the Guardian's supposed benevolence: "Someday soon they shall seek to disobey the Guardian in some matter, and that day they shall know the nature of their 'alliance.'" He thanks me and heads off.
     
"Who's first?!"
    
In Borne's quarters, one of his keys opens a chest. It has a note from the Guardian (adorably signed "G.") ordering him to find and keep safe "a gem of hard black material." I find this on Borne's corpse and pocket it.
  
A massive, sturdy door next to Borne's office opens with one of his keys. Inside, I find a troll named Garg. After a brief conversation, he charges out the door and starts bashing goblin heads. Unfortunately for my experience-earning plans, the massive troll kills every other goblin in the tower. As I move downward, I just find their pulped bodies and discarded equipment. I gather a lot of gold--more than 100 pieces--and have to discard some excess weight to carry it all. The armory has nothing good. In the foundry, I find REL, YLEM, and SANCT stones, all of which I already have. The human servants in the kitchens pack up and flee. I get drunk on some wine, pass out, and wake up the next morning. (I was primarily testing to see what alcohol does to you in this game.)
      
There go my experience points.
    
Nothing I can do will open the double doors on Level 2. There isn't even a keyhole. The game is called Ultima Underworld, so it's not like I was expecting to be able to freely explore the landscapes of Tarna, but I do think it's too bad that my explorations are so limited. I'm also a bit confused as to the blackrock wall in the tower's basement. It looks like the one in Britannia that prevents us from leaving the castle. In Britannia, it's the result of the dome, but what is it doing here in Tarna?
       
These questions are on my mind as I warp home. No new facets are available on the gem, so I can't think of anything to do but return to the castle and report my adventures. Miranda is waiting eagerly as I enter the Great Hall; after she records my story, she says that Nystul wants to see me and Nanna is fomenting some kind of unrest among the servants (yesterday, that word was formenting). I go around talking to everyone.
   
Something weird is going on with Patterson. Iolo says that he caught the former mayor in the basement being attacked by a giant spider. Iolo saved him, but what was he doing in the basement? Patterson claims he was trying to find some wine for Dupre, but Dupre says that Patterson refused to drink with him. Meanwhile, despite Patterson's claims that his marriage is better than ever, Lady Tory says that he's been hitting on her. Maddeningly, I have no dialogue options with Patterson that explore any of this drama.
      
Lady Tory files a sexual harassment claim.
    
I finally find Syria, hanging around the throne room, and I get some points in "Sword." I also have Nelson teach me "Lore." My current stats are:
   
  • 13 points in "Mana."
  • 11 points each in "Attack," "Defense," and "Casting."
  • 9 points in "Lore."
  • 8 points in "Sword."
  • 3 points in "Charisma."
   
Nanna, meanwhile, has complaints. She thinks the term "servant" is demeaning, and she wants the castle staff to be called "domestic management." She says the servants want a vote in the decisions being made in the castle, and overall she wants an end to the caste system in Britannia. Commenters have warned me about the chances of a "walking dead" scenario if I do otherwise, so I smile and nod and sympathize with Nanna and agree to talk to Lord British on the servants' behalf. I then head off intending to ask Lord British for permission to slay the servants.
   
Lord British is surprisingly hard to find. For once, he's not in his bedroom.
        
"Are you under there, my liege?"
      
I find him fiddling around in some corner of the courtyard. I relay the servants' concerns. He says he'll think about it. Later, I speak to him again. "Hast thou come to any new conclusions about our class problems?" he asks.
   
"I think the servants should be beaten!" I reply, because it's the funniest dialogue option ever, and because it's honestly how I feel. You don't try to negotiate a new contract in the middle of a life-or-death emergency.
   
Lord British doesn't like that. He calls me a "fool" and says he's going to meditate on "the past, and the way of life I have established in Britannia, and whether or not I have been just in my actions." "I shall be in my quarters," he concludes, as if this is a time for "meditation" any more than it's a time for striking. I can't tell you how done I am with Lord British.
   
I didn't save before this conversation, so I didn't try #2.
      
Nystul, meanwhile, takes my new blackrock gem, messes with it, and suggests I take it back down to the gem in the sewers. He predicts I will find "interesting effects."
  
Forgetting to drop off the gold in my chambers, I head back down, but not using the shortcuts. I want to try again with the gazers on Level 3 and the headless on Level 4. The gazers take me a couple of tries and all the IN BET MANI spells I can spare, but I manage to kill them. They were guarding a chest, which takes about 5 minutes of slashing with a spare long sword before it finally gives and spills its contents: a lantern, a magic scroll, some chain gloves, 14 gold pieces, a sapphire, and an EX rune.
    
Your time has come, gazer.
      
There's still a door on Level 3 for which I can't find a key, in the south. It won't respond to bashing, and all my picks were broken ages ago. And I still have to try to get above the waterfall when I have "Levitate." On Level 4, the headless require some hit-and-run tactics, but they ultimately fall to my improved swordsmanship and bring my character to Level 9. I'm also able to clear out the two angry ghosts on Level 5, who are guarding another sapphire, a goblet, and a regular mace.
   
Finally, I return to the blackrock thing on Level 5. Sure enough, as Nystul predicted, it's behaving differently. Where before, only one facet was a lighter color, now the light color is jumping around the facets. Specifically, it seems to be jumping randomly roughly every 8 seconds among three of them on the east side.
     
The blackrock teleporter. I can enter facets 1, 2, or 3.
   
I spend some time circling and mapping the device and confirm that it has 8 facets, each separated by a tendril of varying length. I don't know if that means anything. Facet 1, facing north-northeast, is the one I took to Tarna. That gives me two options for the next adventure. I'll let you know what I chose next time. Hopefully, it has a store of some sort!
      
Time so far: 13 hours

63 comments:

  1. Excellent post! I had a blast with this game, and I loved the jokes about Rittenhouse, the LHC and slaying the servants. Even funnier than usual. :)

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  2. "I'm also a bit confused as to the blackrock wall in the tower's basement. It looks like the one in Britannia that prevents us from leaving the castle. In Britannia, it's the result of the dome, but what is it doing here in Tarna?"

    From your first entry:

    "He (Nystul) says the spell is "crude," and he wouldn't be surprised if there were "aftershocks" in other realities."

    Maybe it's not a good explanation, but you cannot fault the game for not trying :)

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  3. "Hopefully, it has a store of some sort!"

    Spoiler: It Does!

    Additional Spoiler: They suck, and the economy as a whole sucks in this otherwise great game. In my last playthrough I completely surrounded the blackrock gem with gold, gems, and other valuable looking items "just in case" but there was little use for them unless you want to buy potions, which I guess you could use for some of the trickier fights but are ultimately unneeded (except for a notable exception...)

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    1. Better write such things (i.e. spoilers) in ROT13 next time (see blog owner's rule / request no. 4 on comments at the bottom of this page).

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  4. Hehe, those mentions of the LHC made me remember the "Large Hadron Rap" (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=j50ZssEojtM).

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    1. Hahaha! That is awesome. My life is complete.

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    2. I skeptically followed that link, and didn't regret it at all.

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  5. This is a spoiler on the runes you found, which you already had.

    Gung guvf rknpg frg bs 3 eharf ner qryvirerq gb gur tboyvaf gbtrgure vf abg n pbvapvqrapr, naq yvxr HJ 1 guvf tnzr nyfb unf haqbphzragrq fcryyf, fbzr bs gurz rkgerzryl hfrshy.

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  6. Also, by the way, you do get XP for letting Garg do the killing.

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  7. Going to do a well actually, but actually a stressful situation at work is the perfect time to discuss your salary and contract.
    Or maybe it's that I dislike Lord British immensely.

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    1. yeah, uprising happen usually not in good times

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    2. Given his recent scammy game startups and NFT pyramid schemes the last few years I feel like Lord British Garriott is due for an uprising

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    3. Am I remembering rightly that in earlier Ultimas you got sent home after saving the day without even getting to go to the celebratory party?

      So, yes, get that contract sorted before you save the world, I say.

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    4. Also Nanna and the staff absolutely deserve a better deal!

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    5. In Ultima 5 you're sent home before the party. Ultima 6 doesn't specify either way. After Ultima 7 you're stuck in Britannia.

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  8. Excellent post, looking forward to more of your UW2 experiences. This brings back so many memories and makes me want to finally play through it, too.

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  9. It's plausible within Ultima lore that people on some other world asked the Wisps for information on defeating the Guardian, and were told about the Avatar.

    If the Guardian sounds inspired by Thanos, then Fraznium sounds like something inspired by the Zork series. And yeah, Tarna by Quest for Glory.

    I was worried this was going to be a linear affair where you can only do the worlds in one specific order, I'm happy to see it's not.

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    1. Back then this was the main reason for me quitting it unfinished. Unbelievable from a today's perspective I just felt overwhelmed by this open world like concept and secondly I just didn't get very far in each world except the first. At some point there were just to many things unsolved for my taste back then. Strangely I do remember liking the normal Ultima's very much which can get quite open, too. Maybe I just was influenced too much by more linear 3D experiences like Doom and the first UU.

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    2. One thing I liked about Ultima and Starflight were the relatively open worlds that allowed you to explore pretty widely.

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  10. "Figuring I'm crossing no moral boundaries if they attack me first, I bump into one of the guards and speak rudely to him. Thus provoked, he attacks me and I am consequently morally justified in killing him."

    Great now I'm imagine the Avatar Like the one annoying Guy in front of the Pub...

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  11. "As much as I was enjoying aspects of Lands of Lore, I was somewhat eager to wrap up my last Lore session so I could get to my next Ultima Underworld II session."

    Ah, the predicament of not spacing out the good games more evenly ;)

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  12. You say "You don't try to negotiate a new contract in the middle of a life-or-death emergency." But honestly that is the best time for an underclass to negotiate a better situation for them and their decedents. Plus they don´t know how long this situation is going to last.

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    1. It might be good to negotiate in an emergency, but carefully! I am generally in favor of collective bargaining but the objective should not be to put your employer out of business, or otherwise make the situation worse for everyone.

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    2. The on-going emergency is completely unrelated to the demands of the servants though, expect that they currently needed to help. None of their demands make the situation worse in any way.

      It's not as if they want to eat triple the normal food amount, thereby depleting the limited resources.

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    3. The ruling classes will often (always?) use emergencies to renegotiate (need to use all our funds/food/etc to boost whatever) so it makes total sense to me for the (poor/starving/etc) proles do the same.

      Eat the rich!

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    4. Nanna's complaint seems unfair to me. If a famine struck, it wouldn't be morally right for the grain seller to hike prices or for the employer to cut wages, even though it's a life-or-death emergency and they therefore have better negotiating leverage. The same applies to Nanna and the other servants. It's wrong to exploit the Guardian's hostage crisis to further their own interests at the expense of everyone else trapped in the same crisis. And who's to say the new contract will stick once the crisis passes and the bridges have been burned? Better that everyone -- Lord British and Nanna and everyone in between -- live out the virtues of Humility and Sacrifice, and treat each other with Honesty and Honor. Or so the Avatar might say.

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    5. Nurses renegotiating a contract during COVID is fine. Nurses renegotiating a contract when 16 fire victims have just shown up to the E.R. is reprehensible. This feels like more of the latter. We're going to die without food and oxygen. We don't need Lord British meditating on the caste system he inadvertently created.

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    6. Trying to equate making extra profit by starving people during a famine with demanding some participation in how you're governed is morally bankrupt. Thou hast lost an Eighth!

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    7. I dunno, it's not like Lord British busy at the moment. In fact, he's even more ineffectual than usual! Seems like the perfect time to sit down with him and say "it's time we had a talk about how absolutely pants you are at running a kingdom ".

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    8. Oops, that was me. New phone...

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    9. I don't think the fire victim situation is a good analogy. In that case the nurses are needed to ensure the immediate survival of 16 people unless the nurses help out.

      With Nanna she is complaining and the servants are a bit ruder than usual, but they are fulfilling their duties. And even if they were to go on strike, no one is dying because of that. Lord British might have to prepare his own food in the kitchen and make his own bed. It's exactly not the case that the castle is on fire and everyone is needed to put it out.

      Moreover, I think the situation is pretty much a nightmare for the servants. You have all the dignitaries and VIPs of Britannia in the castle due to the celebration - just imagine you had to cater a really important wedding and then it never ends and all the guests stay around.

      Moving back to the Nurses analogy, in many countries at the height of the pandemic COVID was like a bit like having fire victims show up every single day. At some point understaffing leads to there being an immediate crisis *all the time*, so that there is no safe moment to negotiate.

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    10. Another thought sorry: to add to my point of not liking the analogy, if the nurses take off time to negotiate while the burn victims arrive they are going untreated. With the castle situation the situation is dire, but there is plenty of time for people to talk to each other without making the situation worse.

      For me, that makes it an acceptable situation to voice *reasonable* demands. Unreasonable might be to suddenly demand larger living quarters when the castle is already cramped or additional food when it is being rationed - a basic level of respent isn't.

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    11. Oh wow, the Nanna workers' strike debate rages on nearly 30 years later! Though back then I think I mostly debated it to an audience of one - i.e. myself ;) My main gripe with it was that it could break the game if neglected - the dispute would be unresolvable, Nystul would be weak from hunger and not talk, and well he's pretty key to progressing the game..!

      I'm sure the bug was patched by the time of the CD release, though as I was on the original 3.5" version it was something I knew to be wary of...

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    12. It's funny that you make this analogy with nurses and covid, because it's precisely what happened in Denmark - nurses were striking for 3 whole months in 2021.

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    13. For me, this entire argument has been mostly tongue-in-cheek, but I'll still offer that I find Erik's responses to be persuasive. I have changed my mind.

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    14. The trouble with renegotiating during an emergency is that the people who the emergency is happening TO are almost always the people who had the least power to begin with. The rich always have the option to just fuck off in their yachts and wait until enough of the poors have starved to death to bring the cost of labor back down.

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    15. I know I'm waaay late to this conversation, but it doesn't seem like the emergency is really putting demand on the time of anyone involved anyway. For the most part, it's up to the Avatar and/or Nystul to actually solve the problem, so everyone else in the castle is pretty much just sitting and waiting. If anything, Lord British and the other nobles are less busy than usual, because they don't have problems from the rest of Britannia to worry about for the moment. So it really is kind of the perfect time for people to sit in their chambers and meditate on better ways of organizing society.

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    16. I love how the game doesn't even try to explain why an entire squad couldn't accompany the Avatar on his voyage to different worlds.

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  13. Lol, it's always fun when Evil!Chet comes out to play!

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  14. This first world is such a good introduction, it gives you a relatively small area to play with, and allows for plenty of non-combat interactions, especially with the ability to release a large troll to do the dirty work for you. Great stuff.

    Also you were wondering why there were goblins in the Britannian sewers...

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    1. That's a nice twist actually! Goblins don't belong there, but rather than a continuity error, it's a sign that something weird is going on. I hadn't thought of that.

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    2. It's not a real twist, though, the Goblins in the sewers are from Britannia.

      Not only did Ultima Underworld 1 introduce them, but their dialogue mentions coming to the sewers for decades, being fully aware that they are in sewers below a major human city.

      Also minor spoiler about the sewer Goblins:

      Yngr va gur tnzr gurl tvir lbh na vgrz gung orpbzrf irel vzcbegnag va Frecrag Vfyr. Gur tboyvaf bevtvanyyl tbg gung vgrz n praghel ntb sebz n uhzna va gur Frecrag Fcvar zbhagnvaf, shegure rfgnoyvfuvat gurz nf angvirf.

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    3. Oh, never mind then.

      Vg frrzf gur bayl uhzna gb yvir va gur frecrag fcvar zbhagnvaf vf pncgnva Wbuar, jub gevttrerq gur eryrnfr bs gur funqbjybeqf va gur svsgu tnzr, naq cebivqrq pehpvny tnetblyr erfrnepu va gur fvkgu. Uhu, V jbaqre vs gung jnf vagragvbany.

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  15. Third screenshot: While I'm glad to see that the goblins don't adhere to the usual stereotypical appearance (something which is refreshingly applied to the heroic troll), I have to admit that the impression I get of them being more attractive than the Avatar is somehow not the intended one.

    I have to admit that this is probably a good time for a rebellion. It's not exactly good for PR to make your servants feel as though they're doing more work than you during a time of crisis. Think they'll ever learn that lesson in the REAL world? I have to admit that the "role-playing" choice would indeed be the goody two-shoes one where the Avatar tells Lord British that EVERYONE'S feeling like sitting in their room with a bottle of ale right about now, not just him.

    You know, can you get liver damage or not when you're immortal?

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    1. Is "goody-two-shoes" moniker applicable to someone who does an actual right thing, though? Does it not mean someone more of a sanctimonious, self-righteous, holier-than-thou demeanor - but not mean someone who actually does act on compassionate and noble motives, without too much bragging about it? (Sorry, I'm not a native English user, so I may not get the subtleties of such a moniker - I don't even get if it's always pejorative or not, for example)

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    2. First character I think of is Lisa Simpson. She's a 'good' person, and often the voice of reason, but she's regularly a scold, narc or party-pooper.

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    3. Goody Twoshoes sounds like a Halfling Paladin.

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    4. The term "goody two-shoes" has always amused me. Do badass people wear only one shoe?

      I've always heard the term used against people who exhibit a normal amount of morality by people who exhibit none at all. It's a spiteful way for unethical people to condemn those who won't stoop to their level.

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    5. Oh, so it's unlike calling someone self-righteous, or sanctimnoious, or, maybe, "a pharisee" (borrowing from religion)? Thanks, then, it means something different from what I imagined!

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    6. NB: modern rabbinical judaism descended from the pharisees, and can be a little uncomfortable with gentiles using the term like they're a generic kind of fantastical strawman race whose existence is primarily to be the bad guys in moral lessons.

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    7. The character I think of is Mama Berenstain (or Berenstein, depending on which universe you come from). Always the voice of moral authority, but also so consistently depicted as a joyless scold that she tainted multiple generations' relationships with their mothers.

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    8. Oh, I'm sorry, Ross. =( Did not mean to upset. Christianity pretty much paints pharisees as one-dimensional strawman hypocrites simply by their position of Jesus' antagonists ("satans") in discussions - and that leads many to believe that there were no actual wise, intelligent and humble pharisees at all, which is, of course, absurd. (I remember this one story about a pharisee teaching "entirety of the Law" standing on one leg, and his teaching was not something unlike Jesus himself would teach). I come from a culture where "pharisee" is connected more with Christian stories, even by laypeople and atheists (often - to attack an actual christian hypocrites of our day), so I used the word without proper forethought, and now do regret it =(

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  16. Wow, the two Mandela Effects at the same time? Seems they used LHC for world-switching heavily this time. May it be perhaps that in all of the scraped worlds the nuclear terrorist actually went through on his threats???

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    1. What do you mean by Mandela? Wasn't that called the Mengele Effect?

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    2. I once conversed with a person who notices a lot of Mandela Effects in our reality; they claimed to be from the world-line where it was called Queen Victoria Effect, since it was first noticed with something related to the Queen. I guess how it was called it depends from which world-line you arrived here? (shrug)

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    3. The Large Hadron Collider explains why I seem to remember Ultima II happening on Earth, when it was clearly Britannia, and how the Stranger from another world was really the same person as the Avatar, which I don't remember as being true. As Tommy James might say, "the LHC is a helluva drug!"

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    4. Yeah, it seems, the only person capable of dealing with LHC and CERN is a certain Japanese mad scientist with his microwave oven =)

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  17. Rittenhouse as a verb was pure gold.

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  18. Do people prefer the cartoony graphics of the first or these more 'realistic' style?

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    1. I usually prefer more stylized looks to more realistic ones in general. I feel like stylized graphics tend to age significantly better, while chasing realism just means that you're going to end up with a game that won't be as impressive once games that look even more realistic start coming out

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    2. I'm the opposite. Once a certain level of realism is achieved, I'm happy with it even if it gets better later on. I prefer the graphics in this game.

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  19. This is my 2nd favourite Ultima game, just behind Ultima VI. It has a special place in my heart, and I must have played it through to completion at least four times with different classes (Shepherd being my most successful - being able to pick your skills is so useful). Nice to see you picked the Avatar portrait I did for my second playthrough.

    As you've given U6 the second highest GIMLET, just behind U5 I'm very keen to see how you get on with UW2. I played UW2 first, at its time of release, only playing UW1 years and years later (and frankly struggling with it a lot)

    I hope to find some time to read your journey soon - pleased that you seem to be enjoying it from a brief skim.

    Cheers, Chris

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  20. There's something regarding the blackrock gems you haven't figured out yet, and I don't blame you because it wasn't obvious to me when I first played either, but you'll eventually need to figure it out: Lbh arrq gb hfr gur fznyy trzf ba gur ynetr trz va gur onfrzrag. Vg jvyy znxr gur pbeerfcbaqvat snprg ba gur trz yvtug hc creznaragyl, naq jvyy nyfb tvir lbh zrffntrf vaqvpngvat gung gur oynpxebpx qbzr vf jrnxravat rnpu gvzr lbh qb vg. Lbh'yy hygvzngryl arrq gb hfr nyy rvtug trzf ba gur ynetr trz va beqre gb orng gur tnzr (nybat jvgu frireny bgure guvatf). Grpuavpnyyl Alfghy qbrf znxr fbzr xvaq bs pbzzrag nobhg "rkcrevzragvat" jvgu gur trz nsgre ur gheaf vg sebz n "pbby trz" gb n "jnez trz", ohg yvxr lbh V gubhtug gur snpg gung bgure snprgf jrer yvtugvat hc jura V jrag onpx jnf nyy vg zrnag.

    ReplyDelete

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