Author Topic: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]  (Read 20495 times)

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Offline RavynousHunter

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Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
« Reply #30 on: June 26, 2017, 01:38:47 pm »
13. What is love?

Apologies again for the massive delay.  School's been a right cunt and I've just now recovered.

So, that aside, what's left to do?  Well, we've done the test of Truth and attained ultimate wisdom or some shit.  My intelligence and magic abilities are more or less maxed out, so the only thing keeping me from the upper echelons of magic are my own inexperience, a problem that is easier solved than one might think.  Next up is the test of Love; I'm saving Courage for last because its actually difficult and requires some preparation.  I don't want to spoil things too much, but let's just say that Dave has a few tricks up his sleeve that will make Courage, if nothing else, a bit easier than it really has any right to be.

: "Time for another inane virtue test with no real threats or challenges."
: "Does this happen a lot to you, Mr. Dave?"
: "Since I 86'd Exodus, its happened more often than it hasn't.  How many more times do I have to prove myself to people before they understand that I'm the god damned Avatar?"
: "Two or three more should do it."
: "Whatever, let's do this."

The moongate at the left end of Castle Exodus takes us to the test of Love.  As you can see, its little more than green fields, a bucket (which we need; more on that, later), and some mountainy crap.  Since this test poses no challenges, other than one's endurance for menial, repetitive tasks, and you get another free stat increase out of the deal, we're going to do this and maybe prep for Courage.

As you might've guessed, the three tests each have an associated stat boost: Truth boosts Intelligence (and, by extension, Magic/Mana).  Love boosts Dexterity and, I think, Combat.  Courage boosts Strength and, thus, both carry weight and HP.  Getting the other two first is less about getting the tedium over with at our earliest possible convenience and more to do with preparing for the real test.  You see, Courage tests how good you are at, basically, solving some simple puzzles and killing things.  Lots of things.  Having a high magical ability gives us some good options for healing and disabling certain critters.  High dex and combat means we will almost never miss in combat, meaning it takes less time to deal with our opponents.  Dave might still not hit terribly hard, but since he hits more often, our net output still increases.

This is why I'm bothering with Love.  That, and its required to actually finish the expansion properly.

This basically sums up our entire test: there's one broken golem and one non-broken golem.  We want two non-broken golems.  Simplicity itself.

: The stone statue stands with a lowered head. Despite its granite features, a downcast look is apparent on its face. Surprisingly, it turns to speak with you.
: "Why, by the stars, I believe it is a creature!"
: "Help him?" it asks carefully, pointing to the fallen statue lying beside it.
: "I get a feeling I know what you are, but for the sake of the audience, how's about you tell us what you are?"
: "We are called stone golems...  because we are made out of stone and rock."
: "As opposed to a tequila golem, which is made out of tequila and fun?"
: "What's your name, big guy?"
: "My master named me Bollux."
: "Your master had a perverse sense of humour.  Anyway, what's this about some help?"
: "My companion... Adjhar... He is dying. Thou must help repair him. Please, I beg... thee.  I have a book here that Adjhar said told about... our... creation. This might help bring him back."
: "Well, that drastically simplifies things."
: He hands to you a very old tome. It is evident the book has seen much use, for the leather covering is wearing away to reveal the wood beneath and the pages are quite dog-earred. "I have already set up five... rocks to mark a spot for the... blood."
: "Someone actually doing some of the legwork for us?  That's a first."
: "That's what I was about to say.  What's this about some blood?  Because I got out of the living blood bank business a while ago."
: "I did not... understand the book, but I remember... blood..."
: "Eeh, more'n enough for me to go on.  I'll see about fixing your buddy up, sit tight."
: "Good... bye."

For some reason, Bollux gives the book to Dupre; probably because most everyone else is at their weight limit.  Might need to do something about that, later.  For now, the long and short of it is this:

We got a rock somewhere that bleeds.  Put a bucket nearby, whack it a few times with a pickaxe, collect the blood, go back to the rocks and Bollux, use the blood bucket on the rocks, and do your magical thing.  SO, that means we're going to need to grab a pickaxe and a bucket for our little sojourn into Love.

OH!  Almost forgot to mention, but when you first read the book, someone will remark on a page being smudged, and another one will fall out.

Keep that scroll.  Its necessary to finish this quest.  You actually have to read the book at least once to properly light this candle, so get it out of the way ASAP so you can focus on the important stuff.

The bucket we need (any bucket will do) is back up top near the well.  As for the pickaxe...

There's a cave to the left of Bollux that contains not only the pick (and bucket) that we need, but two powder kegs!  These will come in handy in case we need to safely destroy a swath of enemies, or just for shits and giggles.

: "Yoink!"
: "Are you ever going to not, in some way, violate the sanctity of the dead, Dave?"
: "...Nooooooo?"

Up north of Bollux is an entrance to another cave, this one slightly more important than the one previous.

And not just because it gives us not two, but...

FOUR extra powder kegs, either.  See that out-of-place patch of dirt, there?  That's actually a teleporter, when we step on it...

We get ported to a strange hallway inside a mountain.  To the south, along the left branch in the hallway, we exit to find...

The bleeding rock Stone of Castambre! 

: "That's some kinda veiny rock."

Indeed, tis.  This is the second focal point of this quest.  Reviving the golems requires blood from this specific rock and NOWHERE ELSE.  I couldn't, for example, zap myself to a butcher, steal a bucket of blood, and use that.  This ain't any ordinary rock-blood, ya see.  Its magical rock-blood.  But, the Stone of Castambre is hiding more than just magic, golem-making blood.  Oh, yes, its got a whole other secret that's got absolutely shit to do with the creation of life.

On the top right edge of the rock, one can just make out a few off-colour pixels.  These pixels aren't a graphical error; they are, in fact, a lever.  A secret lever.  Where to?  Well, the answer lies back in that dark corridor where the teleporter took us.

See that wall that's suddenly ajar?  That leads to a secret passage through the mountain to a room with some...well, I'll just show, instead of tell.

As I said, this room has shit to do with creating life.  In fact, it has everything to do with ending it.  On the left table there is a death scythe.  It sounds cool and, by all that's holy, it is.  How cool is it?  How's 50 points of damage sound?  To put that into perspective, that's 3 and one eighth times more potent than a powder keg.  Yes, we will be taking it.  And, yes, there's a place (other than the Trinsic cheat room) where we can find another.  With this, we can turn any single person into a living engine of death.

But, the fun doesn't stop there!  Oh, no.  To our right is a firedoom staff, which deals a staggering 20 base damage.  Its downside, and this is a big one, is that it is capable of friendly fire and massive splash damage; meaning that one wrong move and someone (coughIolocough) could end up turning the entire party into fucking paste.  That's sad, because it is otherwise an unbelievably good weapon.  It can pinch hit, if you do things right, and do so more effectively than a powder keg, but its somewhat less reliable, even though it does more damage.  We'll still be taking it, because I'm an obsessive hoarder.

Last, but most certainly not least: the corpse at the bottom has a total of NINE glass swords.  The fuck's a glass sword, you ask?  Only the single most potent weapon in the entire fucking game.  It deals a whopping 127 damage.  With all this power, there has to be a drawback, right?  Correct.  Glass swords are one-time use.  Hit something with it and it'll break both that something and the sword.  Only use these on things you want dead fast, like certain boss monsters and liches.  Nine of them could deal with every major threat in the game with ease, and we'll likely be getting even more.

We give the scythe to Dupre, since he has the highest strength (for now) and a decent combat rating.  We ditch his shitty regular sword and put the shield he had in his backpack in case someone else can use it.  Dave gets the glass swords and firedoom staff, since he's the most trustworthy out of the lot and will likely not try to use a glass sword against a deer.

: "Is this love?"
: "Nothin' says lovin' like a ... scythe to the ... oven?  Eeh, I got nothin'."

Anyway, we head back to the Stone and put a bucket underneath it; we also have Dave put the pick in his hands.  Double click the pick, then click on the tree.  Clicking on the stone makes someone in the party quip that the pick can't be used on it (smartasses).  Do that, and we get...

A bucket of magical rock-blood!  Take that, and pop back to Bollux to get the job done.

By double-clicking the blood bucket and then clicking on the rocks, we get the five spots we need for the ritual.  Thankfully, we only need one bucket per ritual, or this would get real tedious REAL fast.  Double-click on the scroll, and we get this little exchange...

I know, I'm being lazy.  You try transcribing all this shit because the one document you found with all the dialogue doesn't have this part, for some inane reason.

: "He gave up his heart... so that Adjhar may live! Well, not to be morbid, but I suppose the incantation should work now."
: "Okie dokie, let's do this, then!  In Ylem... In Grav... In Mani... Kal Por... Vas Flam Uus!"

A short intermezzo showing the Stone of Castambre and some fireworks later...

We get some bitchin' flames and lightning strikes!  The blood's gone, and the other golem is alive.  No, we're still not done, because we need both of them alive.  We're about halfway, though, and the other half is scarcely more challenging than the first.

: "Greetings to thee, honorable one. I can but assume that my presence here was thy doing." It becomes quickly apparent that this creature possesses a greater capability for speech than his fallen companion. The recently raised golem stares down at the prone, lifeless body of Bollux. Quickly he looks up at you. "Wh-what has happened?"
: "He, uhmmm...kinda tore his heart out."
: "Slick."
: He kneels over the body and inspects the other golem. As his fingers trace around the gaping hole in Bollux's chest, an expression of understanding fills his visage. "H-his heart is gone!" He stares down at his own chest. "He sacrificed himself by giving me his heart... the fool!" His words are insulting but his tone is affectionate. "I must help him, as he helped me! Wilt thou assist?"
: "Don't see why not."
: "Very good," he says, noticeably relieved. "I thank thee in advance."
: "So, who you is?"
: "I am the golem called Adjhar, at thy service."
: "I get the feeling your master might've been something of an ass, giving you guys names like that."
: "You called your brother a fool earlier, mind explaining exactly why?  I mean, he kinda gave his life to bring you back and all."
: "Poor Bollux did not know of the Stone of Castambre. His sacrifice was, perhaps, unnecessary. Hast thou, perchance, come across MacCuth's 'The Stone of Castambre?'"
: "Yup."
: "Dost thou have it with thee?"
: "Next to several volatile powder kegs, yes."
: His eyes reveal his hope. As he takes the book from you, it almost appears as if he is smiling. "'Tis as I suspected. Bollux thought he must sacrifice his own heart to return my life." If you were to believe it possible, you would feel positive you had just seen a drop of water fall from the golem's right eye. "The poor fool gave his life for mine. I can only hope I would have done the same. "Doing so now, however, would help nothing, for once I was gone Bollux would simply repeat his act." You hear a sigh come from the golem.
: "I don't mean to be irreverent, but did the matter not involve death, 'twould be a humorous sight: the two golems popping up and down as each one passed the `heart' to the other..."
: "Real sensitive there, Shamino."
: "However," smiles Adjhar, "'tis not necessary, for had Bollux known what is covered by this smudge, he could have told thee that a new heart may be cut from the Tree of Life. Look here," he says, pointing to a line in the tome smeared with dried mud. "I remember this from before. Thou canst take the very same pick with which thou didst collect the blood and procure a `heart' for Bollux. Of course, after thou dost place the heart upon Bollux's body, thou must again perform the same ritual of blood."
: "So, we've just got to hit the tree harder?"
: "Pretty much."
: "Killer, back in a minute."
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 12:04:05 am by RavynousHunter »
Quote from: Bra'tac
Life for the sake of life means nothing.

Offline RavynousHunter

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Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
« Reply #31 on: June 26, 2017, 01:38:59 pm »

Back at the Stone, we whack the tree twice with a pick and get both a new heart for Bollux and some fresh blood for the ritual.  Notice that the tree's lost its leaves; that's how you know it worked.

Back to the golems, we put the heart inside Bollux's body and put the blood on the stones, once again.  I drop the bucket and pick since we won't need them, after this, and they're taking up valuable keg space.  We hit the scroll once again and...

Both the tree...

And Bollux lives again!  All's well that ends well, only one last thing to do.  Let's talk to Adjhar about his job...

: Adjhar appears to have resumed the stance of a more traditional golem guardian -- staunch and unmoving. However, it is impossible to miss the glimmer of intelligence in his eyes. "I was created to be one of many protectors to the Shrines of the Three Principles. However," he pauses, "my duty also included being the keeper of the Talisman of Love. Dost thou want the Talisman of Love?"
: "You betcha, big guy."
: "I was put here to protect the Shrines and prevent any from acquiring the Talisman. Any except the Avatar who demonstrated knowledge and understanding of Love. The Talisman is thine, Avatar." He brings his stone hand to his heart and opens a panel on the front of his chest. Reaching inside with his other hand, he brings forth a beautiful yellow talisman. He places the Talisman in your palm. "Thou hast earned this and the honors and powers associated with it. Thou art truly an Avatar."
: "Ya don't say?"
: "Mark the wisdom of the Shrine of Love well, Avatar."
: "When have I not?"

With that, we get ported back to the Isle of Fire, to get talked to by yet another statue.

Again, being lazy, but fuck it.  Love statue says something similar to Truth, in that Britannia's got another evil coming to it.  Somehow, I doubt its the Guardian.

Oh!  We also get maxed out Dexterity and Combat!  Score!  Well, that's it for love.  Short, sweet, and easy as hell.  Next time, we'll tackle Courage, in which we stick our hands in a dragon's mouth, break a mirror, and get the most ungodly powerful weapon in existence.  Well, one that doesn't require secret rooms to acquire, at any rate.

: "The suspense is killing me."
: "Britannia could only be so lucky."
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 09:35:37 pm by RavynousHunter »
Quote from: Bra'tac
Life for the sake of life means nothing.

Offline RavynousHunter

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Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
« Reply #32 on: June 29, 2017, 11:07:45 am »

Okay, so I'm gonna start off with an explanation: why I've not been updating as often as I had been.  Part the first, university is a cunt.  It is exhausting and excessively time-consuming, though you all know this, I bitch about it often enough.  This kind of makes being able to do more enjoyable things difficult, as one might imagine.  However, part the second is that whenever I do one of these updates...well, Exult saves screenshots in PCX format.  Fucked if I know why, but I can't seem to find a setting that changes that.  SO, I've been having to hand-convert the screenshots to a real format (PNG) when I make them using Paint.NET, which is time-consuming and tedious.

I have, as of this post, removed that tedium.  I created a little utility that watches for when PCX files are created in the directory in which they're saved and adds them to a queue wherein they'll be processed (converted to PNG) and saved in an appropriate subdirectory within my Exult folder.  All done automatically, the only thing I need to tell it is on which part I am and away it goes.  I am considering also using it to auto-upload to Imgur (surprise, surprise, its got an API like everything else, nowadays), but I think that might be a bit much, and I'd need to check the images manually, anyway, to make sure they're in the proper sequence.

With this irritating bit of tedium removed (I've tested it and everything appears to be working perfectly as intended), I should hopefully be able to update more often.  Honestly the conversion takes up at least a third (if not more) of the time I spend doing these things.  Thank the gods of software (and Microsoft, for inventing .Net and C#) for automation!
Quote from: Bra'tac
Life for the sake of life means nothing.

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Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
« Reply #33 on: June 29, 2017, 06:20:08 pm »
14. Conquering courage, Part One

: "Ya know, we've got a lot of goods we really ought to offload before things start to get too crazy, around here."
: "I thought we were on a roll, Mr. Dave!"
: "We are, but Sentri's got, like, a dozen gold bars and a handful of nuggets, and I'm carting around nearly that much in powder kegs.  We need some storage, ASAP.  Gentlemen, we need to find us an island fortress!"
: "So long as I stop carrying all this crap, I'll be happy.  I think I'm starting to develop back problems."
: "Plus, I've got an idea on how to complete the test of Courage in the most ass way possible."
: "Another one of your 'brilliant schemes?'"
: "Something like that."
: "I think he was being sarcastic, Mr. Dave."
: "Oh, I know.  Except this is actually brilliant."

So, here's the skinny.  Dave's got a lot of shit.

: "I think you meant to say 'full of shit.'"

Also that, yeah.  Anyway, we're fairly well loaded-down.  Now, we could tackle Courage as we are, and it wouldn't be very difficult, if I'm careful.  But, I've got a far, far better plan that completely subverts the very idea of Courage yet will still, technically, allow us to complete the entire dungeon in record time.  But, first we need to unload a serious amount of shit.  For that, we're also gonna need some storage.  I have an idea.

First, we need storage.  I use some crates from the bridge we made back in Trinsic.

: "I thought I said I was never visiting this shithole again!"

Calm down, this should be the last time...maybe.

: "Whatever."

Anyway, we stuff a bunch of crates (via hackmover) into Dave's pouch.

Crates are heavy as hell, but I don't want to put them on the carpet, because the carpet can get really buggy (ie: crashing the fucking game) when it comes to objects with north-south and east-west frames anywhere actually on the thing.

With our storage both emptied and secured, let's find us a small island that's relatively convenient and free from other forms of life.  Here, we shall setup our treasure trove to hoard store our various and sundry...goods.

Conveniently, Trinsic has a medium-sized island completely bereft of any spawns of any kind (animal or monster), which you can check by turning Egg Visibility mode ON (hotkey: E) and searching.  The top crate is for straight-up cash.  The next row down are for, in order: melee weapons, ranged weapons, and special weapons (like powder kegs and glass swords).  The final row, at the bottom, are for (from left to right): potions, ammo, and armour.  With this little scheme in place, we should be able to make deposits and withdrawals relatively easily, manage our increasingly large stash of weapons and other goodies without hassles and, should our stash crates get too messy, we can just stack another crate on top and keep the same theme, overall, using the crates from around the world.

: "But, won't somebody notice a series of conspicuous-looking crates on a deserted island?"
: "Kid, we're the only real treasure-hunters on the planet."

Hell, once I get my ass around to caring about the Fellowship, we'll find that there's only really two people on the entire continent that go outside their home towns.  The rest just stay put.

We head off to the mint to see Cynthia and cash out our chips gold bars and nuggets for real coin that we can spend on various...things.

A fairly hefty sum of money.  That's nearly three ships (which, incidentally, I own that exact amount) worth of gold.  It won't buy us everything we want, but with it, we can get exactly what we need to cheese courage like a bitch.

Down in the centre of Britain, to the left of Iolo's Bows and safe from the rage of Sean the Jeweler, we find this lovely gentleman.  His name is Kessler, and he's the local alchemist.  He sells potions and also buys any samples of silver serpent venom (basically steroids mixed with Krokodil) we might happen to find, also for a good amount of money.  However, today, we're interested in the side of his trade that doesn't deal with viciously powerful narcotics and, instead, will focus on his more...legitimate trade.  Before that, a quick treatise on potions.

A Guide to Potions

Potions are little vials of liquid of various usefulness.  Some, like orange, have only situational use, while the yellow, black, and blue ones are almost universally handy in any situation having to deal with combat.  The colours are as follows:

Blue: Inflicts sleep on the target.
Green: Inflicts poison on the target.
Yellow: Heals the target for a fair amount.
Red: Cures poison.
Black: Makes the target invisible.
Orange: Wakes the target up from any form of sleep.
White: About the same as casting the Light spell.
Purple: Give Protection enchantment to the target, raising their AC.  (Exact values unknown.)

There are two others that are quest-related that show up later in Serpent Isle as proper potions, but if you see any potion other than the ones listed, is safe to assume that they're quest potions and you should not, under any circumstances, drink them.

Well, that's all fine and dandy, you might say.  However, what good are they, and how can they be used to cheese Courage?  Elementary, my dear Watson: you can give potions to any living creature, not just party members.  That means that you can cram a blue potion down a dragon's mouth and force it into temporary sleep.  You can use a combo of blue and green potions to stealthily assassinate certain NPCs without alerting the guards (blue potions optional, but helpful).  Black lasts a fair bit, so we can use it to stealthily slip past a gang of enemies and/or sneak up on them and slit their proverbial throats.  By combining black and blue, we can easily sneak past most of the critters in the test of Courage, put any seriously dangerous ones to sleep by force, and proceed to crack 'em open like peanut shells while they slumber.

Now, invisibility potions cost 100g a pop.  Not cheap.  This is why, for Courage, I'll be traveling with just Dave, a borrowed death scythe from Dupre, and a handful of black and blue potions.  This also means our party members won't be wandering into any potential traps and getting themselves minced.  Of course, this also means they aren't there to distract the bigger guys.

Anywho, I'm getting six black potions.

Sleep's a hell of a lot cheaper, totaling at 15g a pop.  Since there's possibly a lot of things I'll need to *ahem* put to sleep, I'll be getting a dozen of 'em.  That brings our total investment to 780 gold.  That's a lot for the party, currently.  But, trust me when I say the investment will more than pay for itself.

: "Okay!  You guys take a smoke break, I got this."
: "You sure you don't need any backup, Mr. Dave?"
: "Trust him, kid.  When Dave goes off to do something on his own, its usually either expensive or dangerous."
: "In this case, its both.  Black potions are expensive as hell, and this is a test of Courage."
: "There is absolutely nothing courageous about walking around invisible and killing monsters whilst they sleep."
: "I prefer to think of it as discretion being the better part of valour."
: "Dave's interpretation of the Virtues has always been a little...flexible."
: "Damn straight.  Back in five."

The Test of Courage is the moongate on the right of Castle Exodus, past the strange, dark pillar and hellishly-glowing mirror.

This part requires some timing, so be careful.  Dave downs a black potion shortly after this.  A note about black potions: they don't last very long, so use them sparingly.

Picking the lock on the gate, we get to this room.  I think my being invisible broke a script trigger, somewhere, because there's supposed to be a wizard here that summons a liche.  Liches can one-shot you with Death Bolt, which is why I was being so cautious.  Either way, its one less irritation to deal with, so let's press on.  The bones strewn about the area have, in total, a full set of magic armour (which I give to Dave to shore up his defense), a set of swamp boots (onto which I'm holding), and a gorget, which is decent neck protection.  The fresh-ish corpse at the bottom right of the room has a key.  Take that, and let's proceed.

The key opens a door to the right.  Taking the cue from Bollux and Adjhar, the statues in here are actually golems, hostile golems.  Being invisible seems to break even more things, as the monsters proceed to kill one another whilst Dave flips the two levers you see to proceed deeper into the dungeon.

The corpse on the left is a drake, a baby dragon.  They can see past our invisibility, but that's why we've got the death scythe; it easily tears through the little bastard.  We pick the lock on the chest to find a glass sword inside.  Nicking the glass sword, we proceed to the room on the left.

Place the glass sword on the mat in front of the crystal ball, and the ball will turn into a key!  Yoink!  We nick the key and proceed deeper into the dungeon.

Unlocking the next door, we come across a crate of drink (meh) and a barrel of food.  I doubt Dave will have time to get hungry during the time we're here, but I take it just in case.  It doesn't take up that much space.

Taking the right fork and heading up, we come across this room with a magic helm on the pedestal.  Take it, and move down to the south of this area.  Once you hit the sliding doors, down a potion of invisibility, go through, head through the south fork and go up.  You'll come across a room much like the last one...

Its got a regular great helm on it.  This is a simple lock puzzle: exchange the great helm here with the magic one we got earlier, and notice that one of the sliding doors has now opened.

As the monsters in the south of this area proceed to rip eachother apart (didn't know invisibility drove critters insane, but whatever, free distraction), we place the great helm on the previous pedestal; now both sets of doors are down and we can proceed.  There's two trolls and a cyclops in the room we need to pass, one troll patrolling.  Thankfully, they're piss easy to take down, and the sleeping troll and cyclops only wake up once you're right on top of them, usually after you've scored the initial blow.  Proceed past this area and we get to...

Here!  THIS is why we have glass swords.  This isn't any dragon, this is actually a special dragon.  Loot the corpses here, first, even the piles of ash that used to be bodies.  In them, we'll find a magic axe (8 damage, ranged, infinite ammo, one-handed) and a glass sword.  This is a hint.  Proceed forward, and we come to our new friend!

: The great dragon paws the earth in expectation of your imminent battle.

After this the fight starts immediately.  Quickly go to your inventory and equip a glass sword.  Shove a blue potion down Dracothraxus' throat and kill her while she sleeps.

: "I dunno about that..."
: "I have a truly magnificent gem that I would give to thee, if thy courage can but continue for a bit." Dracothraxus opens her mouth wide. Within, you can see a multitude of teeth, each one needle sharp. Also, near the back, you see a small but brilliant blue gem. Do you reach in and take it?
: "I've done stupider shit."
: As you place your hand in the furnace that is the dragon's maw, you can't help but wonder if a small gem is worth the risk.
Nevertheless, you persevere and retrieve the lovely little gem.
: "I go now to rest, but I shall return. The door will not open until thou hast found a way to best me for good and for all. Farewell, little mortal."

Now, all we have to do is run back to the moongate!  Huzzah.

Also of note, inside the corpses in the room is a triple crossbow, which is a mean bastard of a weapon.  Not sure if I've covered it before, but it deals 28 base damage, 30 if you use magic bolts.  The only downside is your dipshit companions (again, coughIolocough) can shoot you in the back with it and turn you into paste.  The best way to prevent this is to buff their combat score so they turn everything else into carpet stains, instead.

Thus, we return to the Isle of Fire with a lovely little gem.  Oh, but this gem isn't for selling.  Ohhhhhh no, we've got a whole other use for this beauty.  Dracothraxus mentioned that she's immortal and that a "truly powerful artifact" would be needed to really kill 'er.  Whelp, guess what we're gonna do, next time?

: "So...closeeeeeeeee!"
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 09:36:54 pm by RavynousHunter »
Quote from: Bra'tac
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Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
« Reply #34 on: July 03, 2017, 11:08:19 am »

Today, I have further decreased the tedium associated with compiling everything together into an actual post.  Constantly working with the image tags and working the dialogue has been quite a pain in the anus, I don't mind telling ya.  To eliminate this, I hacked together a little Python script that can translate a more general text file into one with all the tags inserted automatically, allowing me to focus more on the actual writing, instead of wrangling tags and shit.  As an example, I turned this:

Code: [Select]
[dave]: "This here, is only a test."
[iolo]: "What the hell are you talking about, Dave?"
[dave]: "He's testing a script."
[spark]: "Like a play?"
[dave]: "...Kind of?"
[shamino]: "I think he means a Python script."
[spark]: "Why did Mr. Iolo flinch when you said 'Python,' Mr. Shamino?"
[iolo]: "I did no-!"
[dupre]: "Because Iolo's a big pussy when it comes to snakes, kid."
[sentri]: "Seriously, Iolo, man up."
[iolo]: "Oh, screw all of you!"

Into the following:

: "This here, is only a test."
: "What the hell are you talking about, Dave?"
: "He's testing a script."
: "Like a play?"
: "...Kind of?"
: "I think he means a Python script."
: "Why did Mr. Iolo flinch when you said 'Python,' Mr. Shamino?"
: "I did no-!"
: "Because Iolo's a big pussy when it comes to snakes, kid."
: "Seriously, Iolo, man up."
: "Oh, screw all of you!"

The former is a lot lot easier to read and write; ends up looking more like dialogue for a play than a mess of almost indecipherable URLs and image tags.  Let's all give a cheer for Python!  Making life easier one little script at a time!
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 09:41:35 pm by RavynousHunter »
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Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
« Reply #35 on: July 03, 2017, 02:35:52 pm »
15. Conquering courage, Part Two

Alrighty then, folks, here's the skinny.  We're on the last leg of the Isle of Fire quest chain and, with it, the expansion.  All we need to do is forge a "truly powerful artifact," kill a seemingly-immortal dragon, nick the Talisman of Courage, and banish the Dark Core of Exodus back to Hell the Void.

So, how do we go about making a "truly powerful artifact?"  What qualifies as powerful?  Well, we stuck our hand in a dragon's mouth and got a cool, little gem.  In the room just off the moongate leading to the test of Courage, we've got a mirror and the Dark Core.  Wonder what's in the mirror...

A fucking daemon, that's what.

: He then continues with a small bow, "Greetings Britannian. What dost thou wish of the great daemon, Arcadion?"
: "You're a daemon?  Like an actual daemon, and not just a gargoyle?"
: "That is how thy people address those of my race." You can't tell from Arcadion's tone of voice whether or not he minds that fact.
: "Holy crap, I haven't seen one of you guys in a while!  So what do you do here, other than sit in a mirror?"
: Arcadion attempts to smile, but failing miserably, he gives you a grimace that could turn a dragon to stone. "I am currently in the service of one mage, Erethian by name." He states, rather formally. You get the distinct impression that Arcadion would just as soon rip Erethian limb from limb as serve him.
: "Haven't bothered to talk to the old man, myself.  What's your take on Erethian?"
: "He is my master..." The daemon's smile contorts into a scarcely hidden scowl of hatred. "Until other... arrangements can be made." Arcadion's toothsome smile appears on his shadowy features.
: "So, I take it you don't like serving him."
: The large daemon's eyes close as he appears to be restraining the force of horrific emotions,
"I have served that blind,old fool for over two hundred years!" Arcadion pauses, regaining his composure. A thought visibly crosses his darkened face, "Perhaps thou mightest assist me to free myself of this unwanted bondage. I could prove an invaluable ally." The daemon pauses to let his offer sink in, then, "Well, mortal. Wilt thou help me?"
: "You want me to help you, a greater fucking daemon, break free and wreak untold havoc on the world?"
: "You say that like its a bad thing."
: "Point.  Okay, how we do?"
: A wicked look of triumph flickers across Arcadion's face to be quickly replaced by a ludicrous semblance of gratitude, "Thou art truly courageous to vow to release me. My gratitude hath no bounds." An oily grin coats the daemon's face, "Thou hast made quite a powerful ally this day, mortal." His eyes blink in what is possibly meant to be a charming manner.
: "Again, how we do?"
: "I'll need a special gem in which to house my essence when thou crackest this prison of a mirror." His eyes are alight with the possibility of his impending freedom.
: "What, like this gem I got by doing something incredibly stupid?"
: "Thou hast the gem! I feel it! Use it now to crack the mirror! I'll enter it as I'm freed!" The daemon hardly restrains his enthusiasm.
: "I cannot envision any way in which this could possibly backfire horribly, let's do this."

Thus, we pocket our Death Scythe and put the little gem in our hands.  After that, use the gem on the mirror and break that sumbitch!

Looks like Arcadion made a slight miscalculation.

: The daemon's primal scream sounds a bit crystalline through the medium of the gem. "This cannot be! That old fool was right. I'm still trapped!" The daemon's anguished voice falls silent.
: "Hey, at least you're more mobile."
: "..."
: "Also 'wrath?' Someone's a drama queen."
: Arcadion sounds a bit pensive as he replies, "Forgive my momentary indiscretion, master. My bitter emotions overcame my reasoning for a brief time. I shall not let it happen again."
: "Wait, I'm your master, now?  Holy shit!"
: The daemon pauses for a moment, "Thou hast imprisoned my physical form, I am therefore bound to thy will by powers far older than thou or I wield. What wouldst thou have of me?"
: "Beats me, what can you do?"
: You hear a faint sigh, then, "Wouldst thou care to partake of my power?"
: "Depends, what you got?"
: Arcadion sounds disappointed, "It is as I knew it would be. I am forever meant to be the slave of weak-willed mortals. Very well then, prepare thyself to receive a portion of my vast energy.
: "Thy power needs no replenishing, master." The daemon sounds a bit put out.
: "Don't feel bad, I'm sure you'll be replenishing a lot more than my power, soon."
: "..."

The gem is nice; as one could probably infer, daemon-in-a-box can refill our mana at any time, for free.  Unfortunately, not even Mass Death (which, I remind you, we can't even cast, yet) can smoke Dracothraxus.  Ya see, Arcadion is just one part of a much, much cooler piece of kit.  But, to figure that out, we'll have to find something to put him in.  Seeing as there's only one person left on this island to whom we've not talked, let's talk to a blind old man!

: "God damn it, no!"
: "It'll only be for, like, five minutes!"
: "FINE.  But, only if I get to kill something, afterwards."
: "Deal."

: "I have seen thee destroy Mondain's power and so defeat that misguided mage, I have seen thee vanquish the enchantress Minax, I have also seen, in a very unique way, how thou brought low the hellspawn Exodus."  He falls silent here and you notice that the old man's eyes are milky white.
: "Creepy.  What do you do around here?"
: "I am a follower of the principle of Truth. But unlike those of the Lyceaum, I would prefer to seek out the knowledge instead of waiting for it to come to me.  It is this curiosity which has brought me to this island from which Exodus, the spawn of Mondain and Minax, sought to rule the world.  The books and scrolls here have taught me much of Britannia's history and other... interesting subjects."  His clouded eyes sparkle with intelligence. But you can't help wondering how books and scrolls are of any use to a man afflicted with blindness.
: "Moving right along, I heard something about a great evil returning.  Care to comment?"
: The elderly mage frowns. "I sense no great evil, but then I never did quite get the knack of cosmic awareness. Nevertheless, don't worry thyself over much. These things tend to work themselves out." You feel as if you've just been patted on the head and asked to go play elsewhere.
: "The psyche of Exodus is returning, dude!  That's not exactly gonna 'sort itself out,' asshole!"
: "Could this possibly be true?" Erethian's blind eyes light up with unabashed glee. "What an opportunity I have here."
: "I am growing more concerned about your mental state by the minute."
: He once again notices your presence. "Now, do not let any strange ideas of destruction enter thy mind, Avatar. I shan't let thee deprive me of this chance to experience a true wonder of the world. Run along now... Is there not a right to be wronged, somewhere else?"
: "You are clearly out of your fucking gourd; this means you must be the perfect gentleman to speak to about making a powerful artifact!"
: "I once attempted to create a sword of great power." Erethian frowns in concentration then says, "if thou wishest to continue my work, thou shalt have need of some few pieces of forging equipment... And a place to put them... I know just the spot. Come with me and I'll see what I can do to help thee."

: "Careful, now." The old mage says solicitously, "The powers I am about to release are capricious and fickle. I wouldst not like to see something untoward happen to thee."  You feel a great surge in the ether, which seems to temporarily stabilize it in this area.

: "That was actually pretty cool."
: Little beads of sweat appear on the elderly mage's furrowed brow. "That was a bit harder than I'd expected." He pauses to mop his forehead with the tip of his sleeve, "I had to redirect a small underground river for the well to tap. Now, then. Thou shalt have need of some few tools to make use of this equipment, shan't thee?" His rhetorical question goes unanswered as he once again prepares to unleash his will upon the world.

: Amidst muttered curses detailing the uselessness of ether and bothersome inter-dimensional beings, Erethian intones the magical words, "An Vas Ailem!   Kal Bet Ailem!"

: Erethian's face begins to take on an ashen pallor, but he looks contented with a job well done. "As I have said, I myself once attempted to create an artifact of great power. I crafted the hilt from a dark substance that is immutable, save by magical means. The blade, however, is cast of an alloy of this substance and the purest metals known to Britannia. My artistic skills served me well enough to fashion the hilt but, alas, the strength was not in my arm to beat a good temper into the blade. Perhaps, thou canst finish this great artifact for me..." He pulls a poorly worked blade with a fine hilt out of thin air. "Fear not to touch the hilt when the blade is hot, for heat apparently does not travel well across the medium of the pure, black substance. I wish thee good luck."  He hands the sword to you and wearily turns away.

: "The hell was that all about?"
: "I met a dragon I can't kill."
: "Did you try the glass swords?"
: "That just made it disappear and tell me I needed something stronger."
: "That seems highly improbable."
: "I dunno, the Shadowlords were all but immortal, too."
: "Yeah, but those came from the Gem of Immortality!"
: "That's about enough of that.  Either way, I need to make something extra-kickass to take her down for good and finish up on this god forsaken island.  Now, if you'll excuse me..."

Thus, we begin the arduous (HA!) process of forging a blade.

Use the bucket on the well to get water, then use said full bucket to put the water into the trough; you need to do this three time to fill the trough totally, and you need the trough full.  After that, you take the hammer in one hand and place the sword blank on the forge (of Virtue!) and hit the bellows a few times til it gets nice and hot.

We take it to the anvil and give it a few whacks with the hammer until Dave starts thinking.

: "I think I've beaten my sword as much as I'm able without breaking it."
: "Ew."

: "So, I finished hitting this thing with a hammer, but it weighs about as much as a truck and can't swing for shit; got any ideas?"
: Erethian nods his head when you tell him of your dilemma with the black sword. "Yes, I can see how the blade would be too clumsy to swing in combat. However, if thou were to bind a magical source of power into the hilt of the blade, thou mightest be able to counteract the unwieldy nature of the sword."
: The little gem sparks up at this turn of the conversation. "I believe that in my current form, I could serve perfectly well as the blade's stabilizing force. In truth, this would allow me to give thee access to some of my more dramatic powers." The daemon sounds excited at this prospect, perhaps a little too excited.
: Erethian's voice is quiet as he says, "Consider well before thou bindest Arcadion into the sword. For it is true that he will be able to solve the sword's problem of balance, but will he be able to solve his own problems as well?"
: "In exchange for 'dramatic powers?'  I think I'll take my chances, bye!"
: "Goodbye and good luck..." Erethian sounds truly sympathetic.

: "Alright, Arcadion, how do we put you in this thing?"
: "If thou dost wish me to bond the gem to the sword, thou hast but to command me, master."
: "Let's get this show on the road, then!"
: "It will be done!"  As the gem touches the crosspiece of the sword, the sound of tearing metal screeches through the air. The blade shifts and shimmers almost as if alive.  Slowly, the sword settles into its original shape, except for the blue gem glowing in the hilt.

: The sword glimmers darkly as you speak to it. "Greetings, my master. And how can thy humble servant aid thee?" The daemon's voice has regained much of its oddly disturbing humor.
: "Gimmie, like, five minutes.  Aah..."
: "...Ya done?"
: "Yeah, I'm good.  So, what can you do now?"

Oh fuck yes, that's much better.  Arcadion went from good to awesome.  We, my friends, are now in possession of The Black Sword, also known as the Shade Blade.  While its base damage might only be 25, half that of a Death Scythe, it has several critical advantages that make it unbelievably awesome.  First, it can refill your mana, though you need to kill things occasionally (this applies to all the powers).  Secondly, you can use it to return to the Isle of Fire at any time; if you end up in a sticky situation or forgot and parked your carpet there, you can easily get back and rest up.  Incidentally, the Isle of Fire is actually an okay place to setup your stash, since its easy to find; I might relocate ours after I finish killing things.  Thirdly, Arcadion can unleash fucking hellfire on your opponents, sending a fireball (and accompanying trail of god damned fire) towards your opponent, roasting the bastards.  But, his most useful power easily the simplest and least bombastic: Arcadion can, on command, kill any reasonably powerful foe in a single blow.  And I do mean any reasonably powerful foe, minus one or two people that have plot armour.  The Black Sword also has a special script in it that can insta-kill almost anything in one blow.  Dave is now the top member of the food chain!  Let's go back to Dracothraxus and shove Arcadion up her ass!
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 09:42:24 pm by RavynousHunter »
Quote from: Bra'tac
Life for the sake of life means nothing.

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Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
« Reply #36 on: July 03, 2017, 02:35:58 pm »

: "We're out of smokes."
: "Hold tight, guys.  I'll be back in a few minutes."
: "Is that a new sword, Mr. Dave?"
: "You bet your ass it is, kid.  Everyone, meet Arcadion!"
: "Howdy."
: "Uhh, Dave, is that a trapped greater daemon in there?"
: "Possibly...?"
: "That the ability to kill almost anything I want with a touch is fucking awesome?"
: "I swear to god, Dave, if that thing ends up beheading Lord British or some shit, I am taking it from you and throwing it into the ocean."
: "Don't worry, master.  I am physically incapable of leaving your side."
: "HA!  Suck it!"
: "Well, so long as you're careful with it..."

: "Hey, buddy!  Remembered how you said I needed something insanely powerul to kill you?"
: "Yeah, why?"

: The dragon responds with great resignation. "My will is not mine own in this matter, Arcadion. Mayhap thou art finding too, that thy will is not thine own."
: The daemon, possibly stung by the dragon's repartee, falls silent and goes to its bloody work.

Thus, we have finished courage!  As you can see, our Strength is now maxed out, which is awesome.  Dave is basically unstoppable, now and, once we truly finish this expansion (we've only got, like, three more steps), he will be come even more unstoppable.  Let's just say that someone will actually be grateful for saving the fucking world.  Again.  And in a big way, too!

: "Arcadion?"
: "Yes, master?"
: "I think you and I are gonna get along just fine."
: "Famously."
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 09:47:56 pm by RavynousHunter »
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Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
« Reply #37 on: December 06, 2018, 10:34:40 pm »
Alright kids, I know its been forever and a day since I updated this.  The last year and some change has been a right bastard, in terms of workload, and I just...never got around to updating this thing when I actually had downtime.

No more.

As you've probably noticed, I've gone thru and edited the posts here.  I've moved the faces over to Imgur because Photobucket is a watermarking cumstain.  I'll prolly move the screenshots over in due time, but for now, the biggest part's done.  I still have all my saves, I haven't touched Ultima VII on my desktop since my last post, so that makes life easier.  I also rolled some new tools to help me automate the process of converting all the screenshots to PNG and script writing.  Its all done in Python, now, so that means I don't need anything other than my interpreter open, which I always do because its insanely handy.

As for when I'll start this LP back up, there's two ways this will go down: either Tuesday of next week or the Tuesday after I come back from my dad's memorial.  Either way, it'll be after classes aren't just done for the semester, but all time!  With those out of the way and not having to worry about the ones coming next, I'll have a lot more mental energy that I can dedicate to shit I actually enjoy.  Like this.

: "See ya then, fuckers!"
Quote from: Bra'tac
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Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
« Reply #38 on: December 11, 2018, 10:59:20 am »
16. In which a senile old fucker gets what's coming to him
[This will be kind of a mini update.  Got a dentist's appointment, but I figured I'd pop in a little something til I can make something a bit more...meaty.]

When last we left our, ahem, brave hero, Dave had completed the tests of the three Principles, crafted the Black Sword, and figured out that the Psyche is returning to the Dark Core of Exodus.  This is a bad thing that could easily get tonnes of people killed.  Let's see how one old man nearly gets the entire planet fucking mulched.

: "Alright, kids.  The tests are done, so its time to saddle up."
: "About time, my feet are killing me."
: "And someone won't let me play with the forge..."
: "You want to try and make a sword out of the bits of iron outside!"
: "I'm a blacksmith's son!"
: "There they go again..."
: "Let's just get going before Spark picks up that hammer."
: "Yeaaaahhh..."

But, first, let's steal a scroll of this old bugger's floor.

The Scroll of Infinity!  If you know software and a bit of history from the previous game, you can almost piece together what you need to do without Erethian's "help."  Unfortunately, you actually need to talk to the old coot to set the proper flags so you can use the damn thing.  Well, him and a special guest.

: "Erethian, wake the fuck up!"
: "Hmm, wha?"
: "Exodus' psyche's coming back and I need to figure out how to get that piece of shit gone."
: "Could this possibly be true?" Erethian's blind eyes light up with unabashed glee. "What an opportunity I have here."
: "...You're a senile old bastard, aren't you?"
: "He once again notices your presence. "Now, do not let any strange ideas of destruction enter thy mind, Avatar. I shan't let thee deprive me of this chance to experience a true wonder of the world. Run along now... Is there not a right to be wronged, somewhere else?"
: "Are you shitting me?  You do realize Exodus was the motherfucker capable of weaponizing grass that nearly dominated not just this dimension but, like, a hundred others, right?"
: "!"
: "Fuck this, just tell me about something totally unrelated like the Talisman of Infinity."
: "Ah, yes. I once had a scroll that told of a talisman by that name. If only I could remember where I put it. Dost thou by chance have the parchment entitled Scroll of Infinity with thee?"
: "You mean this scroll written entirely in pseudocode that I just took off your bedroom floor?  Yes."
: "Here we are. Now then, it appears to be written in a strange format. One might even say a code of sorts... I have it! Apparently, the Talisman currently resides in the Great Void. A plane somewhat removed from ours. If thou wishest to gain access to this void, thou shalt need to craft two lenses: one concave, the other convex. Light focused through the properly enchanted lenses will open a conduit between our realm and the void. I believe this treatise speaks of three Talismans of Principle that send out a call to the Infinity Talisman and bring it here. Once here, it would seem that its sole purpose is to coerce a powerful force into the void." A thought hits the mage like lightning strikes a tree. "Oh no, Avatar... Thou shan't gain any more aid from me. I may be blind, but I see through thy sham. I'll not help thee send the Core into the void." Erethian falls silent, and it would appear that he'll speak no more.
: Arcadion's voice whispers to you like a ripple in a still pond, "Fear not, my master. I have some knowledge of these matters."
: "That a greater daemon is the most sane motherfucker here is, quite frankly, fucking terrifying.  How we do?"
: "Arcadion's voice is smug as he replies to your request for assistance. "Yes, I can help thee if thou wishest to exile what remains of Exodus to the Void. Firstly, thou shalt have need of the lenses of which the doddering, old fool spoke. Next thou needs must have the three Talismans of Principle. And finally, make sure that there are lit torches upon the walls to either side of the pedestal upon which the Dark Core rests."
: "Say no more.  Gents, let's take a walk."

To the museum!

: "Are you sure this isn't stealing?"
: "Kid, I had these things made.  I paid for 'em.  If anything, British and Draxinusom have them on loan from me.  Pretty much everything in this building is mine."

: "Yoink!"

Thus, we get the Codex lenses that we need to deal with Exodus once and for all.  Hey, if these assholes aren't going to use them to gain ultimate wisdom, then I'm gonna use 'em to banish shit that pisses me off.

Back at the isle of fire, we get our lenses set up and put the three talismans atop the Dark Core, like so.  I think the positions of the lenses (relative to the core) need to be the same, with blue on left and pink on the right, but I'unno.  Either which way, Dave reads from the Code of Infinity and lets the show commence.

: "Get thee gone, thot!"
: ???
: "I have no idea..."
: "Hey, isn't that the old-"

: "Nevermind."
: "He died as he lived.  A complete fucking moron."
: "Wanna go tell Lord British about this?  And that you, ya know, are back?"
: ...
: "?"
: "Nah."

: "I've got a brilliant idea."
« Last Edit: December 11, 2018, 11:02:07 am by RavynousHunter »
Quote from: Bra'tac
Life for the sake of life means nothing.

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Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
« Reply #39 on: December 19, 2018, 11:47:23 am »
17. Obtaining the truth, in the most ass way possible.

: "Okay, so what was that 'brilliant' plan of yours, agian?"
: "Well, our stash is in a really inconvenient spot."
: "I've already forgotten where we even put the damn thing."
: "Exactly.  Since the only living inhabitant of this place is now a pile of smoking bones, I'm suggesting that we take over."
: "Take over."
: "Yesss..."
: "The Isle of Fire?"
: "Uh huh."
: "And, with it, Castle Death, former home of Exodus?"
: "Yup."
: "...Fine, whatever.  At least this isn't likely to get us killed."

: "Why's there a blonde guy in the place where the Dark Core used to be?"
: "I work in mysterious ways."

Okay, but seriously.  I actually had a bit of trouble finding where I even put my fucking stash.

Turns out, it was off the coast of Trinsic.  Thanks, past self, for putting a couple non-descript crates on a random island and thinking that was going to be easily memorable.  Then again, I guess we do need to do a bit of redecorating, now that Erethian's dumb ass has been reduced to a pile of smoking ash.

: "Aah, there we go.  Still, it feels like something's missing..."
: "A chest for all our ill-gotten wealth?"
: "Way ahead of ya."

Erethian has a barrel and chest in his room, so I move it on over to the stash location.  The chest has some clothes and crap inside, but Exult has this handy delete function (CTRL+D) that you can use if you can't be arsed to store every used tampon and slightly damp Kleenex the citizens of Britannia casually leave in storage.  The barrel's contents go to Spark, since he's our dedicated food carrier.

The chest also has a reasonably useful item in it: shears.  You can use shears on cloth to make bandages.  They don't heal for an awful lot, but there are a few locations where magic doesn't work and potions may be in limited supply.  They also (if memory serves) weigh less than potions and almost every weaver in Britannia will produce cloth steadily, if you wait around enough.  There's also tonnes of the crap laying around, if you know where to look, so amassing an enormous amount of bandages isn't a lot of work for the extra pinch-hitting healing they provide.

: "Something still doesn't quite feel right..."
: "Oh god, I know that look."
: ???
: "He's got the interior decorating itch, again."

: "No no no!  The anvil goes next to the WESTERN staircase!  Does no one here have vision save me?"

: "Annnnd, the head of the cot right next to the forge to keep me warm at night."
: "I am still figuring out how you managed to relocate a fucking well."
: "Mysterious ways, Iolo.  Mysterious ways."

We nick a spare chest from the Test of Love.  Somehow, I doubt either golem will mind missing a few pairs of pants they can't even wear and a bandage they can't use since they don't, ya know, bleed.

: "You can put your inheritance in here, kid.  Keep it safe."
: "Hm..."
: "Oh god, the kid's getting ideas, again."
: "So long as they're productive."
: :)

We carpet off to Britain so we can finally finish up the whole expansion and get Dave the last little bit of power he needs to become functionally unstoppable.

: "Don't you wanna talk to the jester, Mr. Dave?"
: "That is not a jester.  That is Chuckles and he is a fucking asshole.  Screw Chuckles."

I arrived at about 10pm, so naturally, Lord British is out on an evening stroll through the castle.

...Yeah, I don't get it, either.

: "Guess who's back?!"
: "...Oh god."
: "Hey, so about that Dark Core thing..."

: "By the power vested in me by the State of New Jersey, I hereby something something, abra kadabra, have some free strength and get the fuck out of here."

Dave now has DOUBLE maximum strength (60, if you're not keeping track) and, as a result, a whopping 60 health.  That doesn't sound like a lot, but trust me when I say that it puts Dave head and shoulders above everyone else on the continent.  Allow me to prove this to you.

: "So, your 'brilliant idea' amounted to redecorating Castle Death and getting buff?"
: "Oh ye of little faith.  I have a better plan than just that!"

We pop off to the southernmost edge of the map, to this little island, here.  Why?

: "Where are we, Mr. Dave?"
: "A Fellowship Hall on a lone island nestled between a mountain and walls with a portcullis as the only normal method of entry?  Nobody else finds that suspicious?"
: "No moreso than any other island with only a single building on it."

: "Okay, then.  Smoke break.  I'm gonna prove to you I know what I'm doing."
: "I got the playing cards.  You're gonna lose that rack of ribs, this time, Spark!"
: "You're on!"

Thus, Dave ventures into the cave alone.  Inside the cave is Gorn, a compnion from the prior game whose only really notable attribute is being a complete moron.  We're going to ignore him because, unfortunately, he refuses to join the crew.

Screw you, too, Gorn.

Deeper into the cave, we get accosted by this woman.  I'm not bothering with actually talking to her because I have shit to do and she's a bit part, anyway.

: "Mind fucking off?  I have a point to prove, lady."

: "Whatever."

The lady becomes rather more hostile if you move any further into the cave.  Dave swiftly dispatches her with Arcadion.

: "Yummy non-character..."
: "Let's press on."

This is why we're here.  This is the Cube Generator, one of three Generators in Britannia that the Guardian is using to basically fuck things up badly enough that there will be little proper resistance when he comes on by to stir shit.

Specifically, this one projects the "Inner Voice" the Fellowship keeps blathering on about.

Now, normally, this thing outputs a sound that insta-gibs any poor bastard stupid enough to blunder in here.  It does 31 damage to anything in range; enough to kill all your party members, hence why I told them to hold back.  Since Dave's health has been bumped up by Lord British, this thing will leave him with 29 health, instead of outright killing him.

: "Fuck you, Guardian.  You think that weak shit's gonna stop me, you got another thing comin'."

The Cube Generator is easily the most difficult puzzle in the whole game.  Certain spots trigger the creation and/or destruction of certain bridges that may (or may not) lead to the little glass goodie in the centre, our goal.  This would be annoying enough, but there's tonnes of invisible walls and this fucker is trapped to the absolute tits with fireballs and fire fields.  If you aren't careful, you'll die in here and have to trek (or teleport) your happy ass all the way back, which is a huge pain.

But, Dave, being Dave, solves the puzzle in short order and after double-clicking on the cube in the centre, we get this odd little exchange...

That fellow is the Time Lord, and this is proof that we have officially and completely sequence-broken the game.  Ultima VII really, really expects you to go through a series of quests (which we'll still have to do to set a few necessary flags) just to get directed to this place.  But, there's nothing stopping you from coming here after doing Forge of Virtue and giving the Guardian a little well-deserved kick in the dick.

See that little cube at Dave's feet?  PICK IT UP.  It is plot-critical.  It is also hilarious and awesome.  Why?  The cube, so long as its in your party's inventory, will force anyone lying to you to, instead, tell the truth.  It is a wonderful piece of kit, though it has one caveat to which we'll get later on.

: "I told you I had a brilliant idea."
: The Cube vibrates. "Shit, I guess you aren't as much of an idiot as you let on."
: "Huh, the little Cube vibrated when Iolo said that."
: "Try it on someone else!"
: The Cube vibrates.  "If I go much longer without a drink, I will literally die from DTs."
: "Hehe, I have an idea, guys.  Let's, uh, visit an old friend."

: "Hey, Klog!  Wake your fat ass up and tell me about the Crown Jewel!"

: "This is wonderful!  Now, what do you actually know about the murders, you shitheel?"
: The Cube vibrates. "Hook did a splendid job, did he not? Too bad I missed it. Had to keep up appearances and remain at home. Had to have an alibi."
: "Now, we're getting somewhere!  What about the cash?"
: The Cube vibrates. "That was payment for delivery of the plans for the Black Gate pedestals."
: "The Black Gate?"
: "All I know is that it is being built on the Isle of the Avatar."
: "And what about the scroll?"
: The Cube vibrates. "Christopher received his reward prior to showing his worthiness. He reneged on delivery of the plans for the pedestal. It was merely a warning."
: "Lastly, what do you know about Hook?"
: The Cube vibrates. "He is the one who was assigned to kill Christopher. I do not know where he is now."
: "I really should introduce you to Arcadion, but I think I'll let Spark deal with you when we're done fixing what you idiots have fucked up."
: "Glee!"
: "Oh god."

See?  The Cube is awesome fun and I love having it early on because that means no Fellowship bastards can bullshit me ever again.  People tend to be a lot more forthcoming when you've got a portable truth field from Doctor Who in your pocket.  Also, it dismantles a third of the Guardian's control over Britannia, a nice little incidental, if I do say so, myself.
Quote from: Bra'tac
Life for the sake of life means nothing.

Offline RavynousHunter

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Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
« Reply #40 on: January 02, 2019, 10:59:48 pm »
18. Dave visits Cove

So, there's a, uhm, nice little item I know of in a little hole-in-the-wall called Cove.  It is almost as powerful as Arcadion-

: "BULL.  SHIT."

I said almost!  It is also plot-critical.  So, let's head on down, shall we?

Hehe.  That's gonna be funny in a second, when you learn Cove's overall, ehm, "theme."

Either which way, we head north from here to the house of a gent that goes by the name of Rudyom.  In the days of yore (that is, Ultima VI), he was quite a useful chap and relatively well-spoken.  Unfortunately, only the former is really true, mostly due to one of the other two generators that remains non-exploded that is driving all mages everywhere stark, raving mad.

: "Who art thou?" Rudyom asks. "Oh -- I remember."
: "Who are you?  You kinda look like Rudyom, but the years have really not been kind to you."
: "Smooth."
: "That I know. My name is Rudyom."
: "Christ.  What do you even do, nowadays?"
: "I am not sure any more. I was a powerful mage at one time! Now nothing works. Magic is afoul! I suppose I could sell thee some reagents and spells if thou dost want. And mind the carpet -- it does not work!"
: "You mean the magic carpet?  Dude, we got that ages ago."
: "The big blue carpet. 'Tis a flying carpet. It does not work like it should." Rudyom looks around and scratches his head.
: "The hell are you on about?  We've literally flown it across the planet."
: "Funny. It was here a while ago. Oh! I remember now. Some adventurers borrowed my flying carpet a few weeks ago. When they returned they said they had lost it near Serpent's Spine. Somewhere in the vicinity of the Lost River. I suppose if thou didst want to go and find it, thou couldst keep it. It did not work very well. Perhaps thou canst make it work. I did not like the color, anyway!"
: "What's screwy with magic that's made you this loopy and senile?"
: "I do not understand what is wrong. My magic does not work so well any more."
: "So, I'm noticing that notebook near your...uhh, desk?  Dinner table?  I dunno.  What gives?"
: "I used it to record mine experiments with blackrock and the blackrock transmuter."
: "Blackrock?  Do tell."
: "Do not mention that foul mineral's name to me! It hast caused me much frustration! Before my mind lost me I was conducting experiments with the infernal material. But now I cannot for the life of me remember what it was I was trying to do."
: "And this transmuter?"
: "'Tis that wand-like thing. It was supposed to magnetize and magically transmute blackrock, but it doth not work correctly. Try pointing it at a piece of blackrock and thou wilt see what I mean. But do not stand too close! Thou art welcome to take it if thou dost want a piece of garbage!"
: "Dupre..."
: "I'll get his arms if he goes crazy."
: "Glee!"
: "That's my line!"
: "Leaving so soon? Deary me. I hope I remember thee if thou dost come back."
: "Uh huh."

In his notebook, Rudyom lays out what he was trying to do.  Long story short, blackrock is the phlebotinum on which Ultima VII's plot runs.  Its what made the Black Sword, it underpins a lot of the story, and it...well...

: "Okay, guys.  Stand back!"

: "..."
: "Holy crap!"
: "Sweet Jesus!"
: "Duuuuuuuuuuuude!"

: "..."
: "You okay?"
: "I think he's crying..."
: "its so beautiful."
: "Correction: he's openly weeping."

Yes, Rudyom's Wand is a fucking detonator for Ultima's answer to C4 plastic explosives.  The blast hits like a tank shell and it doesn't chain-react with other bits of C4 blackrock in the blast radius.  What's more, each piece weighs less than a powder keg and there are certain points that one can exploit to obtain literally unlimited stable, high-yield explosives.

Richard Garriott, you spoil me.

: "I...I need some fresh air."

: "Oh what the absolute FUCK?  That's NASTY."
: "I may vomit."
: "Way ahead of ya, kid."

This is Lock Lake.  People have been discarding every bit of used tissue, fish guts, and used condom they can find into it and turning it into a disgusting shit-pool.  Seriously, this is some of the grossest shit I've seen in gaming and this is in 320x240 2D graphics from the early 90s.

: "Let's get the hell out of here before I heave."

Heading south, we find the shrine of Compassion.  Of the shrines in Ultima VII, it is easily the most well-preserved.  A lot of that has to do with the young lady here, Nastassia.

: She looks up as you introduce yourself.
: "And who might you be?"
: "I am Nastassia."
: "You the one in charge of this place?  Because it actually looks kinda nice.  Then again, compared to Feculence Lake, a dry dog turd would look nice, but still."
: She thinks a moment. "I suppose my job is to keep the Shrine of Compassion pristine, though it is not an official position."
: "It really ought to be, ya know.  Why would LB create them then just leave them to the elements?  Seems kinda shitty."
: "The Shrine of Compassion has been here for many generations, as have all the shrines in Britannia. My great-great-grandmother Ariana made a request in her will that her family line take care of this particular shrine."
: "Ariana?  Why does that name sound familiar?"
: "Yes, she was my great-great-grandmother. I understand that she actually met the Avatar and he made a profound impact on her life. It is odd, but thou dost resemble the portraits I have seen of the Avatar."
: "Oh.  Oh my god."
: "That's..."
: "Awkward in a way never before thought possible?"
: "Yeah, that's about right."
: "I...I, uh, kind of am the Avatar."
: Nastassia studies your features. "Somehow I knew it. It hath been said that thou wouldst return."
: "I really should pay respects, at some point.  I feel kinda bad.  But, I mean, why take care of the shrine?"
: "I... I'd rather not say. Please do not ask."
: "Hm."

And that's about all we can get out of Nastassia regarding her story until we talk to someone in town.  Which we will do because, hey, its a subplot and she's a nice enough person.

Back in town, we find the local watering hole.  Alas, the name isn't a double entendre like the inn, but it is actually useful for figuring out what's going down with Nastassia and some of the townsfolk.  The gent we want is the local bard, a fellow by the name of De Maria.

: "I have sung about thee in many a song! And here thou art in the flesh! I recognized thee immediately." The man bows. "Welcome, Avatar!"
: "Nice to get a little respect now and then.  What's your name, sport?"
: "I am De Maria, the Bard."
: "Oh, so kinda like Iolo, except you don't spend all day killing pirates with a crossbow."
: "If only I were so lucky to have such a consistent outlet."
: "I spin tales and sing songs! I also know a good deal about the folks in Cove."
: "A tale, huh?  Hell, I got time on my hands, let's hear it."
: "What if I combine all three? Shall I sing a song which is a tale about the people of Cove?"
: "Hell, why not?"
: "Grab a seat, this is gonna take a while."
: "I shall tell thee the story of the only unhappy person in Cove -- Nastassia. She is the only person in town without a lover. Not that she does not have suitors -- she is quite beautiful! All she thinks about is the Shrine of Compassion, which is where thou wouldst probably find her at this moment." De Maria strums his lute and sings: "There once was a maid Ariana  Who held the shrine so dear.  She asked that her offspring do likewise  And keep it so year after year."
: "I am getting more depressed by the second."
: "Her son Mikhail became mayor  With a goal to keep in fashion  The towne's old, belov'd reputation  As the city of love and passion! Mikhail's oldest child was Magda;  She built Lovers' Walk, a fine park,  Where Cove's lovers, both young and old,  Could court outdoors in the dark!"
: "I'm feeling kinda uncomfortable hearing this, what with Spark around."
: "Ssh, he's getting somewhere!"
: "Ah, but the clouds of misfortune do hide  Where the sun's brightness seemeth most fair.  And poor Nadia, Magda's daughter,  Of misfortune had more than her share! It began when Nadia did wed one day  To Julius, a not-so-wealthy young lad.  He left her with child and went far away.  As for Nadia's poor heart, 'twas sad."
: "Anyone want a drink?  I got extras."
: "One day from Yew the fateful news came  That Julius by a beast was killed;  The child came early, 'twas a difficult birth;  And Nadia's soul became chilled. With dagger in hand and child in arm  To the Shrine did Nadia run.  She plunged the dagger into her own breast;  Never again would she see the sun."
: "Save me a few...dozen pints."
: "Nastassia grew up an orphan, you see,  Unloved and unwanted by all;  Today she walks cloaked in solitude  Awaiting her destiny's call. And that is poor Nastassia's tale. Perhaps thou canst cheer her. Find her, I beseech thee!"
: "Jesus god damned Christ.  Do you fuckers have anything stronger than ale?  Like rubbing alcohol?"

After drinking themselves half to death, or wishing they could at any rate, the crew returns to Nastassia to ask her about her family life in more detail.  Yes, because that could in no possible way backfire horribly.

: "I, uh...heard about your parents."
: "...Oh."
: "Yeah."
: "Oh well, might as well grab a seat.  Thou dost know of my father? I suppose the townsfolk have been talking again. I wish I had known him. There is something within me that yearns for some news of him. Anything at all."
: "I'm...gonna go lie down.  'Scuse me."
: "My mother. She died horribly, and by her own hand. That is the true reason I pay homage to this Shrine. I hope someday to provide her with the means to rest in peace."
: "Jesus Christ."
: "Art thou perhaps travelling to Yew?"
: "After hearing all this?  Fuck, its the least I could do."
: "Bless thee! I shall be waiting here for thee." Unexpectedly, Nastassia pulls your head down to hers and kisses you on the mouth.

: "Hey, Spark, let's go check out that bench that suddenly became EXTREMELY INTERESTING."
: ???


: "Don't worry, Nastassia.  I'll find out what happened to your pops.  Gimmie, like, a day.  Tops."
: "Goodbye." She kisses you again, and then turns so that she will not see you leave.

Yeah, you can basically make out with Nastassia as often as you want by this point, given you're male.  If you're female, she experiences a feeling of sisterhood with you; unlike some other "encounters" in both this game and the sequel, Nastassia's is much more sincere and strictly heterosexual.

So, Dave got magical C4 and a girlfriend!  All in all, its been quite productive!  So, let's see if we can't solve this little mystery with Dave's new squeeze -

: "There's kids present!"
: "A kid."

And that kid's killed bandits with a shotgun.  I think a little admittedly healthy (if somewhat sappy) romance would actually do the poor little bugger some good, in the long-term.

: "Fine."

- and maybe, possibly do a few ancillary things that may, or may not, be related to the actual plot of the game in any way.
Quote from: Bra'tac
Life for the sake of life means nothing.

Offline RavynousHunter

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Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
« Reply #41 on: March 01, 2019, 11:32:44 am »
19. In which Dave solves Nastassia's mystery

So, we've been given a quest.  Nastassia's probably one of the most decent people on this rock and, besides, its a quest.  Quests mean XP, XP means levels, levels mean we can more efficiently stove people's heads in and take their shit.

: "Let's head on to Yew and see what we can find, crew."
: "Shouldn't we be solving that murder...?"
: "Or at least going to Bucaneer's Den and getting shithoused?"
: "Or any of the other myriad subquests you've likely started by complete accident since coming here?"
: "...Ya know, just for all that back-chat, no.  We're going straight to Yew, because I'm the only one that can drive the flying carpet."
: "Heh.  'Drive.'"

So, we park the carpet over at Yew.  I parked at the graveyard since its nice and memorable, and there's plenty of space.  Besides, its not like they're gonna come out of their graves to exact their vengeance upon the living.

Heading to the right a bit, we come across Empath Abbey proper.  This is a good place to stock up on food, if you don't mind stealing it.  A lot of the barrels in here are loaded to the gills with grapes (don't fill very much, but there's a LOT of the little bastards) because the monks are serious winos.  Its here that we meet a gentleman by the name of Kreg.

: "Howdy, Kreg.  What do you do around here?"
: "I am a monk here at the Abbey. I am working on an alchemical mixture."
: "A mixture?  ...That's not a by-word for 'steroids' is it?"
: "...Nooooooo?  We here at the Abbey will soon be taking a vow of silence. However, it will take some time for all of us to become accustomed to the sound of silence. Therefore, I am creating a potion that enables the imbiber to become temporarily silent. The concept is very similar to a potion of invisibility."
: "A vow of silence?  That's a new one on me."
: "Well," he looks embarrassed, "after reading a book on how we compare to our predecessors, we learned that most people expect us to take a vow of silence. "So," he shrugs, "we have chosen to do so, once I can make that potion. I realize that it sounds foolish, but I truly believe it will help us produce more wine."
: "Are you an idiot?  Communication is key during the brewing process!"
: "And why a potion of invisibility?  That seems...oddly specific."
: "As a matter of fact, my research has reached an impasse, for I cannot determine the nature of some critical reagents. What I need is a potion of invisibility to analyze. Then I could progress from there." He looks at you, hopefully. "Wouldst thou be willing to obtain a potion for my studies? It is likely that thou couldst find one easily at the mage, Nicodemus'."
: "I'll pass, for now.  I have more pressing matters that need my attention than a guy that wants to shut up but never learned the fine art of just shitting his damn mouth."
: "Art thou sure? I will give thee information in return."
: "What kind of information?"
: "I will tell thee about Lord British, The Fellowship, or Buccaneer's Den if thou bringest me the potion of invisibility."
: "The liege everyone knows, the Scientologists I distrusted from the word 'go,' and Whore Island.  Not exactly tantalizing me, dude.  Later."
: He nods farewell to you.

Well, that was suitably un-fucking-helpful.  Kreg's got no info regarding Nastassia's dad and he seems to want everyone to shut up.  Apparently, he's not heard of the miracle new invention called a "gag."  Whatever, let's see if any of the other monks can help.

Nearby, we find this gent.  Also a monk of the Abbey, maybe he will be useful.

: "Glorious day, Avatar." Perrin grins.
: "Calm down there, Sparky.  You know anything about the Abbey or the surrounding area?"
: "This is a pleasant location. I like the privacy, which gives me a chance to study when I need to. The Brotherhood is across the road, and I am near a healer. Also, I have begun a study on the effects of dealing with death for undertakers. I am using Tiery as a case study."
: "I'll admit, I never thought of studying morticians.  You know anything about a dude named Julius?"
: "Nope."
: "Thank you for not wasting my time like that asshole, Kreg.  Later."
: "Goodbye, Avatar. Best of luck in thy journeys."

Yet more completely unhelpful people.  Come on!  Surely someone's gotta know about this guy.

: "Hello, Avatar," says Reyna.
: "You a monk or...?"
: "I am a healer. I have chosen to set up shop here near the forest."
: "Why, though?"
: "I wanted to live and work here because the land is very beautiful. I have found many things to do and see. Unfortunately, the forest is so spread out that I have yet to meet many of the others who live in this area. I do know that the Abbey is just across the way from mine house."And somewhere nearby is a scholar." She appears thoughtful for a moment. "Also, I believe there is a prison just east of the Abbey.
: "Fair enough.  I guess its not terrible around here.  You wouldn't happen to know about a feller by the name of Julius, would ya?"
: "I do not."
: "SON OF A BITCH!  Okay, I'll catch ya later.  On to the next unhelpful bellend!"

Shit, even I'm starting to get frustrated, by this point.  Thankfully, Yew doesn't have very many people in it, so we can narrow the list of persons who know anything down readily enough.  Still, though.

: "Greetings, Avatar. I hope thy days are full of beauty."
: "Are you...hitting on me...?"
: "She's a monk, so I'd imagine not."
: "Getting 'Kreg from the Abbey' vibes here.  Again."
: "I am afraid I do not know of such a person."
: "Wait...what?"
: "What he said."
: "There's nobody named Kreg at the Abbey."
: "I guess, being a monk, she'd know."
: "Hm.  You know anything about Julius?"
: "Someone else might, but I don't."
: "Fine.  Let's find the NEXT useless person."

: "You're oddly stuck on this."
: "I will get fucking un-stuck.  Just you wait."
: "That sounds vaguely threatening..."
: "I'm not gonna kill anyone.  Probably."
: "So not helping."

So, here's the skinny.  We got one more monk to hit up.  Bad news!  He's ass-deep in the fucking woods!  It took me forever to find this son of a bitch.  In fact, I had to find him in Exult's cheat menu and teleport my happy ass to him.  Yes, he was that irritating to fucking find.

He was here, for future reference.

: "Yes, Avatar," Taylor asks. "May I assist thee?"
: "Did I do something?"
: "No, he's just frustrated."
: "In more ways than one."
: "I'd suggest answering the implied question all the same, though.  Just to be safe."
: "The giant, daemonic sword isn't for show."
: *gulp* "Julius? I cannot be certain, but 'tis possible he may be someone who now resides in the... cemetery. I have heard that name mentioned as someone who was brought to the Abbey to be buried, though I know not who brought him and I do not remember from whom I heard it. I do hope he was not a friend of thine," he says, apologetically.
: "So, he died, then?  Any leads?"
: "Ah, the Emps. I have not been able to glean much information about them."They live on the eastern edge of the deep forest, not too terribly far from here."They resemble apes, but only slightly. They are exceedingly shy, and will rarely feel comfortable enough to approach a human. "The only way I was able to view an Emp closely occurred when I happened to have honey in my pack which I had just picked up from Bee Cave. The creature appeared, stared at me for a few minutes, and then asked -- asked, I say -- for mine honey. I believe they are empathic, hence their name. "Quite an interesting species, dost thou not agree?"
: "Huh, okay.  So, fetch some honey and give it to some little woodland dudes?"
: "The honey from the caves is quite tasty, but rarely can one get it without a fight. The Bee Caves can be a rather dangerous place."
: "Ya know, I think I might know what he's talking about."
: "Killer.  Hey, Taylor, one last question."
: "Shoot."
: "Aimi didn't seem to know anything about the Kreg guy hanging out in the Abbey.  You know him?"
: "That name does not sound familiar, Avatar. Perhaps he is not from this area."
: "I'm a kid, and even I find that suspicious."
: "You're catching on quick, Robin.  The guy's probably a con artist or something."
: "Dealt with some of them in the past, you see."
: "If by 'dealt with' you mean 'perforated,' then yes."
: "Cool!"
: "Later, Taylor."
: "May thy knowledge increase with thine encounters with nature, Avatar."
: "You're some kinda hippie."

Okay, so we know that Nastassia's dad is no longer of this world.  That's...unfortunate.  But, we did get a roundabout lead in the form of the Emps.  Emps are basically little ape-dudes that live in the forest east of Yew.  They're alright little fellows, mostly harmless.  But, they happen to know a lot about things in the woods.  In fact, they're plot critical, but more on that later.  For now, we've got a suspicious character to investigate.

Heading to the jail, we find a book on the warden's desk...

: "Ooooooooohhhhhhhhh, someone's in trou-ble!"

Indeed!  Turns out that Kreg's a liar and a career criminal whose real name is Kellin.  Let's go beat him over the head with a pipe see what he has to say for himself!

: "You're really doing this?  Six heavily armed men...well, five heavily armed men and one kid with a shotgun."
: "He's swinging at me with a magic, transforming dagger."
: "He seems quite intent on killing you, Iolo."
: "Arcadion?"
: "On it, boss."

: "Leaving now."
: "Are we just gonna leave his carcass rotting on the roof of Empath Abbey?"
: "Someone will tell the undertaker, its cool."
: *sigh*

Thus, we began our journey to the Bee Caves, which are just south of Yew.  We come to a gent's shack, which is suspiciously empty.  Curious, maybe he knows how to get the bees to not attack us...given our semi-ghetto armour situation, that would be helpful.

Yatta!  This dude is Tseramed.  He's a cool guy: makes sleep arrows for free (which have a chance to temporarily KO anyone they hit) and has a way to pacify the bees.  Plus: party member potential!

: "Yo.  Who're you?"
: "I am called Tseramed. Art thou Fellowship members? How art thou called?"
: "In order: no and Dave."
: "Well met, Dave. Thy demeanor is noble. Perhaps thou couldst introduce me to thy companions?"
: "I do suppose introductions are in order...we got Iolo."
: "I do my damndest to keep this idiot on the story path."
: "Thus far, you have failed miserably."
: "I dunno, that thing with the Cube generator was pretty important."
: "...Point."
: "Yeah, but that was all me.  Next up is Shamino."
: "Yo."
: "I found him sitting buck naked in a bar in Britain."
: "Hey!"
: "Got Sentri-"
: "Who caught me before I'd even had time for breakfast."
: "Unless you have breakfast at, like, noon, then you were just home alone, pantsless, and didn't expect visitors, ya fuckin liar.  Next up is Dupre."
: "I singlehandedly keep the liquor industry afloat in this god-forsaken country."
: "And last, but not least: Spark."
: "He calls me 'Robin,' for some reason.  But, he gave me a gun and taught me to shoot bad guys, so I'm not gonna complain."
: "And that about sums it up.  Say, you know anything about those bees?"
: "Such bees as thou hast never seen! Large as a wolf they are, with wings stretching over a span in length. A creature stung by them will pass into a deep, death-like sleep."
: "Metal."
: "I have hunted them on many occasions, for I use their poison on my arrows. And I like their honey. Perhaps together we might journey into the cave for some?"
: "You offerin to join the crew?  Hell, why not.  The more firepower, the better!"
: "I would be honored, Dave."
: "Let's rock!"
: "Thy pardon, Dave, but thy visage brings to my mind a statue that I once saw.  'Twas a likeness of the ancient hero known as the Avatar. Art thou not that same honorable soul?"
: "Someone that fucking recognizes me?  Holy shit, I'm floored.  To answer you directly: yes."
: "Noble hero, it is an honor to make thine aquaintance."
: "Suck up."
: "So far up his ass, you could tell what he had for breakfast..."
: "Hmm?"
: "Yes, 'hmm'?"
: "Nothing!"

Tseramed's got okay stats, being slightly above average in strength and dexterity.  Alas, he's also got slightly below average combat rating, but that can be readily fixed.

: "Why the hell are none of you people wearing pants?!"
: "Not answering that."

: "Go in here, and put some fucking clothes on!"

Thankfully, Tseramed's got some pants in his house, as well as a shirt.  I don't think the regular shirts add any armour value, but at least he's not going to go around killing bandits while flashing his man-nipples to everyone.  Our armour and kit situation's still a little janky, but at least we can get Tseramed a gorget, magic shield, and magic axe.  That should tide him over, for the time being.

Making our way into the Bee Caves, the bees are surprisingly docile.  They won't attack you unless you take their honey, which is amazingly nice for bees that are literally the size of wolves.  During the course of our conversation, Tseramed popped a smokebomb into our inventory.  This is handy as hell, but only works for a limited time.  We'll use it now, so we can nick the honey and scarper off before the bees are any the wiser.
Quote from: Bra'tac
Life for the sake of life means nothing.

Offline RavynousHunter

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Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
« Reply #42 on: March 01, 2019, 11:33:01 am »

: "Leg it!"

Escaping from the Bee Cave, we head east on the carpet, into the forest.  You'll know you've found the Emps' village when you see a cluster of blue-leaved, white-barked trees.  These are Silverleaf trees, and its where the Emps make their homes.  You can park just south of them, but come across...

A bandit camp!  Unfortunately, the dogs are as hostile as the people, and attack you on sight.  Thankfully, they're not hard to dispatch, and we begin rifling through their shit.  Hidden in the trees next to the bedrolls is a set of magic armour, which I've pulled out from its hidey-hole.  All told, we get a couple extra bits of chainmail, some more gold (I forgot to tally how much), a set of plate leggings, and a boost to our food reserves.

This helps to fix our completely shit armour situation.  Tseramed, Iolo, Shamino, and Sentri get the various bits of chain and plate we've found lying about, with Tseramed getting the magic armour-

: "Brown noser..."

-because he's currently behind the rest of the party in experience and combat ability.

Moving north, we find the Emp village!  Emps can be hard as all fuck to spot, considering they're little, brown dudes in a sea of brown god damned trees and mounds of equally brown dirt.  In order to talk to the Emps, you need one pot of honey.  I got the others because, fuck it, why not?

: "You are greeted by me, human." Tavenor slowly approaches.
: "So, what's your job around these parts?"
: "The meaning of `job' is not understood."
: "Its what you do to make money or help your a nutshell."
: "`Job' now understood by me. No job is had by me. Food is gathered by me and my family." He watches you carefully. "Your job is to cut down Silverleaf trees, yes?"
: "The only things I cut down are monsters and bandits, little Emp dude."
: "The truth is known to me, but, belief is hard for me."
: "The truth is spoken by the human," Trellek says to the other Emp. "He is to be trusted. His good will was felt by me."
: The Emp eyes you a little longer. "Your good intentions are known to me. You are asked to be the messenger. Humans will not be destroyers, please."
: "Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.  If you don't mind, I'm gonna talk to your mouthy little friend, now."
: "You are told `goodbye.'"

: "Dave.  What do you do around here, Trellek?"
: "I am a gatherer of food."
: "Gatherer, but not hunter, I take it?"
: "All Emps are food-gatherers. Mainly fruits are sought by us."
: "I've been known to enjoy the odd apple, myself."
: "Fruits are pleasant-tasting, like the honey you gave us!"
: "Any time, little buddy.  Say, total shot in the dark, but you know anything about a chap named Julius?"

Well, that's...actually a lot happier than I'd expected.  Well, when I first played this, at any rate.  Julius wasn't a deadbeat that ran out on his wife and daughter, just a good dude that died doing the right thing.

: "Thanks, Trellek.  I'll see ya again."
: "Good luck is hoped for you."

Trellek's cool for a little monkey-dude.  Plus, he's helpful for more than just figuring out what happened to Nastassia's dad.  Eventually, he will become plot critical.  But, for now, we should return to Cove.  Nastassia's waited long enough.

: The woman raises her arms to the sky and cries out, "Didst thou hear that, mother? Thine husband was only trying to provide for his family! And he died... a hero! He was not a vagabond! Dost thou hear? Thou canst rest thy tortured soul now. Please, mother, forgive him. Do so, so that I can now forgive thee." She wipes the tears from her face and looks at you. She kisses you once lightly. "Thank thee, Avatar. Thou hast made me very happy. Shouldst thou become weary of adventuring, I shall be waiting here for thee. Thou art welcome to live and share thy life with me. Go now. Finish the job thou must needs do. But keep me in thy thoughts."

: *sighs* "Nastassia, I gave this a lot of thought while I was running around trying to find this out and killing random criminals in the process..."
: ???
: "I'm the Avatar.  I've been doing this gig for most of my life, now.  With it comes certain...expectations.  Certain dangers.  I don't have anyone back home-"
: "Jesus."
: "Zip it."

: "I live alone in the middle of the nowhere in fucking Texas.  I get called here to go on some grand adventure or other, suss out the problems this world's got...then, I get sent back home.  Nobody ever asks if I wanted to go back, I'm practically shoved through the fucking moongate every time."
: "The last time was kinda warranted, though..."
: "Be that as it may, I never wanted to go back.  I just always thought that I had to, that once my job was done, I'd leave Britannia and it'd be peaceful, for god damned once.  But, I've been proven wrong time and time again.  Honestly, I'm fucking sick of it."
: "Take your time."
: "I'm not going anywhere."
: "Fuck it.  Look, Nastassia-"
: "Yes?"
: "Once this Guardian shit's dealt with, I'm done.  Lord British can find a new fucking Avatar, for all I care.  I'll settle here, with you, and become another regular jackass. But, I have no idea how dangerous getting rid of this current problem's gonna be.  I could die.  I could get shunted to another fucking dimension or trapped in blackrock or sent through time or something."
: "Its okay.  I accepted that the moment I said what I said."
: *sigh*  "Shit.  Well, in for a penny...  I'll be back, Nastassia.  That's a promise."
: "Goodbye." She kisses you again, and then turns so that she will not see you leave.

: "Gentlemen, let's take a walk."

Yes, let's.  That's Nastassia's quest ticked off the list!  We got a new member of the crew and Dave's come to an important conclusion.  I'm still deciding where I'll go next, and who will be the crew's last member.  I should get around to fixing our shit kit situation, too, actually.  Damn, I've got crap to do!  Til next time!
Quote from: Bra'tac
Life for the sake of life means nothing.