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Community => Entertainment and Television => Topic started by: RavynousHunter on June 18, 2016, 11:07:37 am

Title: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter on June 18, 2016, 11:07:37 am
Table o' Contents
1. The Preface or Prelude or Whatever (http://fqa.digibase.ca/index.php?topic=7350.msg299734#msg299734)
2. In the beginning, there was Dave (http://fqa.digibase.ca/index.php?topic=7350.msg299735#msg299735)
3. At least I'm wearing pants (http://fqa.digibase.ca/index.php?topic=7350.msg299738#msg299738)
4. Dave finds his Robin (http://fqa.digibase.ca/index.php?topic=7350.msg299828#msg299828)
5. Dave teaches Spark the Avatar's "Path to Success" (http://fqa.digibase.ca/index.php?topic=7350.msg300245#msg300245)
6. The world's shortest murder investigation (http://fqa.digibase.ca/index.php?topic=7350.msg300252#msg300252)
7. The last bits of Trinsic and Dave's flight (http://fqa.digibase.ca/index.php?topic=7350.msg301363#msg301363)
8. Dave heads north (http://fqa.digibase.ca/index.php?topic=7350.msg301388#msg301388)
9. Making money, the Dave way (http://fqa.digibase.ca/index.php?topic=7350.msg301403#msg301403)
10. Dave acquires transport (http://fqa.digibase.ca/index.php?topic=7350.msg302393#msg302393)
11. Dave raids again (http://fqa.digibase.ca/index.php?topic=7350.msg304709#msg304709)
12. What to do, what to do...? (http://forums.fstdt.net/index.php?topic=7350.msg306187#msg306187)
13. What is love? (http://forums.fstdt.net/index.php?topic=7350.msg309396#msg309396)
14. Conquering courage, Part One (http://forums.fstdt.net/index.php?topic=7350.msg309423#msg309423)
15. Conquering courage, Part Two (http://forums.fstdt.net/index.php?topic=7350.msg309500#msg309500)
16. In which a senile old fucker gets what's coming to him (http://forums.fstdt.net/index.php?topic=7350.msg322910#msg322910)
17. Obtaining the truth, in the most ass way possible. (http://forums.fstdt.net/index.php?topic=7350.msg323035#msg323035)
18. Dave visits Cove (http://forums.fstdt.net/index.php?topic=7350.msg323175#msg323175)
19. In which Dave solves Nastassia's mystery (http://forums.fstdt.digibase.ca/index.php?topic=7350.msg324278#msg324278)

1. The Preface or Prelude or Whatever


A simple, black expanse of a game menu.  This is one of the first things that greets you in Ultima VII Part I: The Black Gate.  There's the intro, and its really cool...well, it was for the time, but we'll get to that in a sec.  First off, why start with #7?  Why not start with the first?  Or at least Quest of the Avatar?  I'm not saying I won't get around to those, I may well do that.  I'm starting with #7 because it has the biggest story (and biggest world) with the most interaction and the most dialogue.  This translates into a lot of potential to screw around and that translates into fun.  Few things in life are as enjoyable as this game.  Even though I just beat it a few days ago, I'm coming back to it specifically for the purposes of this LP.

"Okay, that's cool and all," you say.  "But, why do it in text?"  One, I have yet to find a mic that doesn't butcher my voice.  Two, there's a lot of futzing about that would get rather boring if I were to record it, and that's with editing.  Lastly, screenshots and dialogue transcripts more than suffice to convey the story of the game and I can still convey just how much you fun you can have if, at first, you completely ignore the main plot, fuck off, and do your own thing, which you can totally do.

Now, then, what am I using to run this game from the early-to-mid 90s?  Exult (http://exult.sourceforge.net/) is the short answer.  Exult is basically a wrapper around the original game's data files, a recreation of the engine from the ground up to work on modern operating systems.  There's a few lingering, random crashes, but all in all, its a very stable and very accurate experience when compared to what you get with DOSBox and the original game itself.  It also adds such neat features as an expanded save list (no longer limited to a set number of slots), screenshot capabilities, and so on.

Just as a side note, I may end up double-posting due to how I want this to be structured.  Without further ado, let's get moving, shall we?
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter on June 18, 2016, 11:48:58 am
2. In the beginning, there was Dave

(Note: I am using the Avatar Pack (http://exult.sourceforge.net/seventowers/downloads.php?section=0&page=3) from Seven Towers.  The portraits are more interesting, to me, than the vanilla ones.)

Because who else is going to bother with a single-player game in this series?

Annnnnnd, my computer screen immediately goes on the fritz.  God damned CRTs.


A big, red face appearing on my monitor without my doing anything?  This is either going to be really threatening or really sad.

(https://i.imgur.com/6huyJY7.png): "Avatar!"

Still not sure if threatening or sad, red dude.

(https://i.imgur.com/6huyJY7.png): "Know that Britannia has entered into a new age of enlightenment.  Know that the time has finally come for the one true Lord of Britannia to take his place at the head of his people!  Under my guidance, Britannia will flourish, and all the people shall rejoice and pay homage to their new... Guardian.  Know that you too shall kneel before me, Avatar.  You too shall soon acknowledge my authority.  For I shall be your companion...your provider...and your master!  Hahahahahah!"

Oh, so its a challenge!  Bring it on, asshole!

He crashed my computer, too!  That is it, red motherfucker, you are dead!

Oh, crap.  I promised a kid I'd see her recital after solving that whole gargoyle thing.  ...She's probably dead, now, isn't she?

Either which way, my orb's glowing, so that means somebody over there wants words with me.

Not even gonna bother packing anything.  Not like a handgun would be useful, or anything.

Well, that's not normal.



And, we are greeted with the menu!  Whelp, I just kinda charged into a sword-and-sorcery world fraught with dragons and giant spiders without any planning, forethought, or even basic supplies like trail mix, a flashlight, or a fucking gun.  I mean, the Avatar lives in Texas, so he's bound to have at least one firearm.  But, nope!  No telling where the hell this crazy, interdimensional portal is taking me, I just Leeroy right in like a jackass.  Well, let's get around to actually making our dude.  Let's introduce you to...Dave.


And this is why I like the Avatar Pack.  Dave now has a permanent look of "you've got to be shitting me," which is appropriate, given some of the crazy shit that goes down.  Well, now that we've got our man, join me in the next bit as we finally delve into the game itself!
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: Dakota Bob on June 18, 2016, 12:37:39 pm
I have the entire Ultima library on my GOG account, tried playing VII a while ago. I guess I've been spoiled by modern RPGs too much to get into this game, gave up a few hours in, lost track of what I was supposed to do. I'll keep my eye on this thread, should be interesting to see what the game is like past the first few hours.
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter on June 18, 2016, 01:03:30 pm
3. At least I'm wearing pants

We join our story already in progress.
(https://i.imgur.com/X3ob634.png): "I can't believe it..."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "I know, 'tis shocking."
(https://i.imgur.com/X3ob634.png) "Who could have done it?"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "I know not..."
(https://i.imgur.com/X3ob634.png): "He had no enemies..."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Poor man."
(https://i.imgur.com/X3ob634.png): "What is to be done?"

Iolo's something of a broken record, here.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Hey heyyyyy, Iolo!  Barely looking a day older, guess I haven't been away that long, have I?"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Dave!  If I did not trust the infallibility of mine own eyes, I would not believe it!  I was just thinking to myself, 'If only the Avatar were here!'  Then..."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Lo and behold!  Who says that magic is dying!  Here is living proof that it is not!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Let's just simmer down there, dude.  Seriously, I'm starting to get a little uncomfortable, here."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Dost thou realize, Dave, that it hath been 200 Britannian years since we last met?  Why, thou hast not aged at all!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "What."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "What?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Two hundred years?"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): Iolo winks conspiratorially.  He whispers, "Due no doubt to the difference in the structure of time in our original homeland and that of Britannia.  I have aged, as thou canst see. But of course, I have stayed here in Britannia all this time."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "That makes no kind of sense at all, but whatever.  Still, it has to suck, outliving almost everyone else on the planet several times over."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "You have no idea.  Oh but Avatar!  Wait until I tell the others!  They will be so happy to see thee!  And welcome to Trinsic!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Thanks, I guess...  I suppose it beats being summoned by a bunch of pissed off gargoyles and nearly ending up being sacrificed."
(https://i.imgur.com/X3ob634.png): The distraught peasant interrupts Iolo. "Show him the stables, milord!  'Tis horrible!"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): Iolo nods, his joy fading quickly as he remembers the reason he was standing there in the first place.  "Ah yes.  Our friend Petre here discovered something truly ghastly this morning.  Take a look inside the stables.  I shall accompany thee."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Well, that's a hell of a greeting.  No fanfare, no feast, just 'Hey, Dave, let's go look at this grisly scene!'"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "I welcomed you back, man, what more do you want?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Time to get my bearings before-OH SHIT, RUN!"

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Keep running, Iolo!"

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Okay, I think we lost him!"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "What the hell was that all about?  Run from who?!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "The dude in the blue get-up!  Didn't you see him, he was charging right at us!"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "That was the mayor, you idiot!  He wasn't charging, he was walking to us at a leisurely pace."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "How the hell was I supposed to know that?  Last time I came thru a red moongate, I nearly ended up getting shanked for some ritual!  For all I knew, that guy was trying to finish the job!"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "He was a human!  And besides, you solved all that nonsense 200 years ago, the whole 'False Prophet' thing died down after you left."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I still stand by my decision."


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "See?"

And here, we have the save menu!  Simple as simple gets.  Unfortunately, right away, we hit a little bug.  You see, overwriting saves...doesn't quite work right so, if you want your recent actions properly saved, you need to make a whole new savegame.  Fortunately, the saves are tiny, so its not a huge issue.  The save menu in Exult is quite a bit more useful than vanilla.  The vanilla save menu just had save names and the buttons at the bottom, and that was it.  Exult gives you Dave's stats, a little preview pic, current game time, how much game time you've spent, and a visual listing of your party members.  Very handy for bookkeeping, and seeing just how little time it takes to cause massive damage to society.  While we're at it, let's go over a couple more interface elements, shall we?

Hit escape, and you get this menu:

Its got access to anything you'd need, options-wise.  The save/load menu, we've already covered, and you can easily reach that by pressing 'S' in-game.  The first section is video options:


Full Screen is obvious; it toggles between full screen and windowed mode.  Note that, without scaling, Exult (and Ultima VII) uses a default resolution of 320x240, so it'll be pretty tiny in windowed mode.  There are a few minor bugs when you run at full screen, since U7 really expects to be running at 320x240.  Mostly, the only problems are that you'll see certain characters pop in during scripted events when, normally, it'd look like they're coming in from off-screen.  Not a huge problem, but it can be a little jarring/amusing, at times.

Display Mode is the resolution the game runs at in both full screen and windowed mode.  I default to 1024x768 to give a decent resolution while minimizing the bugs I mentioned earlier.  The Scaler dictates what scaling algorithm Exult uses for running at non-native resolutions.  I leave it at the default 2xSaI and haven't had any real problems, thus far.  The others aren't anything I've fiddled with, so I dunno what they do, sans the bottom one, which should be fairly obvious.


Audio options are another thing I don't really fiddle with, personally.  Just make sure that the music and SFX and speech are enabled, and you should be good.


Gameplay options!  Again, the Exult team did a good job of making them mostly self-explanatory.  I don't know what autonotes does, but I'd venture a guess that it works much like a quest log in other games.  Exult does come with a notebook (which the original game lacked) which you can reach with the 'N' key.  Its really quite handy for keeping track of what the hell you're doing because there is a lot to do in this game.  Also, yes!  You can change the difficulty of the game, if you find it too easy.  I think I have it a the default, I dunno, but either way if you're focusing on combat, you're quite frankly doing it wrong.


And, lastly, misc. options!  Status bars are the little bits at the bottom of the screen with the faces and, well, bars.  Another handy Exult addition that makes tracking how well your party is faring a lot simpler than it is in the base game.  Cheats!  Yes, there are cheats.  Extensive cheats.  Hit 'F2' to get to them, if they're enabled.  Few cheat menus are as verbose as the one in U7.  Lastly, the paperdolls (keybind 'I' in-game) are a Serpent Isle feature that got back-ported to Black Gate because, quite frankly, they're a lot nicer to look at.  Don't take my word for it, look:

(Image c/o LPArchive.org and Nakar)
This is the default inventory screen for Black Gate.  Bare-bones, kinda ugly, and hard to follow.  Now, let's look at the back-ported SI paperdolls!

Much nicer!  You can see where everything goes visually and its a lot simpler to use.  It does use the inventory slots for Black Gate, so you can either wear two rings or gloves, not both, and ammo (arrows, bolts, and yes, bullets) takes up the slot that you also use to put a shield on your back.  Generally, I prefer gloves over rings, as they offer better protection overall and the only rings that might push them out are rings of regeneration, but even with two of them equipped, I honestly don't notice that much of an increase in healing factor, so gloves it is!  Yeah, Dave's dumb ass only came to Britannia with a knife and barely any supplies.

The icons at the bottom of your paperdoll are as follows (for Dave): Toggle Combat Mode (keybind 'C' in-game), Combat Strategy (never found it that helpful, so I leave it at default), Stats Panel (keybind 'Z' in-game), and the disk is the save/load menu.  The halo at the bottom-right of Iolo's paperdoll puts him in "protect mode," which basically means other party members go out of their way to protect him in combat.  Lastly, the stat panels!


The max for strength, dexterity, intelligence, combat, and magic is 30.  As you can see, Dave is slightly above average in everything but magic, where he kinda sucks.  Strength gives you more melee damage, HP, and carry weight.  Dexterity helps with ranged attacks (might add extra damage, I'm not sure), and intelligence determines your mana stores.  Combat is how good you are at hitting people; Iolo is actually better at it than Dave, but that gap will be bridged easy enough.  Magic is a Dave-only stat, since he's the only one that can use it (even the wizard companion, Mariah, can't use spells) and helps with spellcasting in...some way.  Training points are something you spend (along with money) at trainers throughout Britannia to boost your stats.  Some trainers are complete rip-offs, so be careful.  I think the max level in Black Gate is 8, and each level grants 3 training points, so spend wisely.  Except on Dave.  I will spend on nothing but combat and magic.  Why?  Because we've got Forge of Virtue, and that invalidates every other bit of stat training Dave could possibly need, outside combat and magic, and getting to it (and finishing it) is almost trivially easy, given enough firepower.

Well, that's about it for this update.  Next time, I'll wander around Trinsic, maybe get clues to a murder, and teach a child about the fine art of serial kleptomania!
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: Even Then on June 18, 2016, 02:50:34 pm
Why am I reminded of Something Awful...
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter on June 18, 2016, 04:36:10 pm
Why am I reminded of Something Awful...

I'm drawing inspiration from Nakar's LP of U4-7.
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: Even Then on June 18, 2016, 05:01:22 pm
It's looking like an enjoyable read so far! However, could you maybe separate between game text and your own additions for comedy's sake somehow (say, by italicizing your stuff)? It's not exactly a dealbreaker, but having everything be the same font bugs me. I understand if you don't wanna go through the trouble, though.
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter on June 18, 2016, 05:43:47 pm
I tend to use italics for emphasis...maybe switching fonts to something similar, but not quite the same?  Though, anything not in pseudo-Shakespearean dialogue is always gonna be mine.  Literally every line of dialogue is like that.
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter on June 19, 2016, 12:06:18 pm
4. Dave finds his Robin


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Welp, I'm bored.  Let's go meander."


We wander a bit to the northwest and come across a small, two-story house with a blonde kid inside.  Wonder who that is?


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Looking sharp there, kid.  What's up?"
(https://i.imgur.com/KdUugaM.png): "Who art thou and what dost thou want?"  You realize the boy has a sling in hand.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Let's just simmer down there, kid.  I'm twice your size.  I'm also Dave."
(https://i.imgur.com/KdUugaM.png): "So? What makes thee so special?"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Boy, this is the Avatar!  Upon my word he is!  He has come to help thee!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Help who?  I'm still not sure who this kid even is."
(https://i.imgur.com/KdUugaM.png): The boy narrows his eyes, studying you.  He slowly lowers his weapon, ready to act in case it's a trap.  You admire the boy's obvious experience in dealing with strangers.  "I have always been called Spark."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Now, we're getting somewhere.  So, kid, what do you do?"
(https://i.imgur.com/KdUugaM.png): "I have no job.  I am only fourteen, so I am just learning how to best help Father in the smithy," he says, proudly.  But then he suddenly realizes something which terrifies him.  "And now that Father is dead, I am an orphan!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Still kinda confused as to who your father is, other than the blacksmith, apparently."
(https://i.imgur.com/KdUugaM.png): "Father was the blacksmith.  I cannot believe that he has been murdered!  He had no enemies that I know of. Unless it was The Fellowship."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "The Fellowship?  Why does that sound ominous?"
(https://i.imgur.com/KdUugaM.png): "Well, at first they harassed Father and me when they came around asking us to join.  I suppose they do good things.  Many people like them.  Father eventually joined the group after he went to Britain and took one of their tests."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Thinly-veiled Scientology reference, got it.  So, uh...your dad was a smith, then?"
(https://i.imgur.com/KdUugaM.png): "Father was the best blacksmith in Britannia.  People were always coming from everywhere to get him to make this and that."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "So, you're an orphan?  What about your mom, kid?"
(https://i.imgur.com/KdUugaM.png): "My mother died a long time ago.  I can just barely remember her."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Your mom died and your dad got murdered.  If this were any other game, you'd probably be our plucky hero.  Or, if this were a comic book, you'd be Batman."
(https://i.imgur.com/KdUugaM.png): "I cannot believe Father is dead.  And poor Inamo, too.  It is so strange.  I -dreamed- it was happening.  Well, in a way.  Last night I was having a nightmare about Father.  I dreamed that he screamed, and it woke me up.  I looked around the house, but he was not in his bed.  I was wide awake, so I went out to find him."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Did you find him?"
(https://i.imgur.com/KdUugaM.png): "No, I did not find him.  At least, not right away.  But I did see something."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Well, that's a start.  What was this 'something?'"
(https://i.imgur.com/KdUugaM.png): "I was in front of the stables.  I saw a man and a wingless gargoyle running from behind the building.  They ran toward the dock.  Then I went inside and found... Father."  Spark's voice falters, and he begins to sob a little.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Waitwaitwait...murder in the stables?  That's what you guys wanted me to check out?"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Before you ran screaming from the mayor, yes."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Why didn't you say so in the first place?  For all I knew, it could've been Dupre in a drunken stupor doing something unspeakable to a pig."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Again, I reiterate, you're an idiot."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Whatever.  So, Spark, you said you saw a man fleeing the scene?"
(https://i.imgur.com/KdUugaM.png): "All I saw of him was that the man had a hook for a right hand."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "So, either a pirate or a cosplay enthusiast, got it.  What about the non-murdered gargoyle?"
(https://i.imgur.com/KdUugaM.png): "I cannot tell one gargoyle from another. I could not identify him, except that he had no wings."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Well, that's vaguely racist.  So, you said dude had a hook?"
(https://i.imgur.com/KdUugaM.png): "Wilt thou go find the Man with the Hook?  Let me help thee!" the boy pleads.  His tears cease, and his face takes on a determined, forceful look.  "Take me with thee!  Please!  I must avenge Father's death!  If thou dost not take me with thee, I will follow thee anyway!"  The boy is all excited now.  "I am an expert with a slingshot!  I can strike sewer rats with almost every shot!  And I am small -- I do not eat much!  Please take me!  Please ask me to join thee!"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): Iolo whispers to you. "I do not know about taking a child on the road with us, Avatar."
(https://i.imgur.com/KdUugaM.png): Suddenly, Spark lets his sling fly.  His target, a small fly hovering above Iolo's head, is smacked out of the air.  You laugh as Iolo yelps, jumps away, curses and runs his fingers through his hair.  "I told thee I am good!  May I join?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Yes, oh hell yes!"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "What are you planning, now?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Spark, you are going to be the Robin to my Batman, let's do this!"
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Hooray!"  the boy leaps with delight.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "We're gonna get along just fine, you and me.  Say, you mentioned some sorta nightmare?  What's the deal with that?"
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "I know it sounds witless, but... I dreamed that a big red-faced man was watching down on everything and... He looked down... And he noticed Father... That is all I remember."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "A red-faced dude?  I think I know who you're talking about.  That asshole took over my monitor and crashed my computer.  So, what sorta tests do these Scien-er, Fellowship guys require?"
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "I do not know anything about them.  I never took one.  Maybe thou shouldst ask the man at the Fellowship Branch.  Klog."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "God, that's an unfortunate name.  Tell me about this Klog."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "He is the head of the Fellowship Branch here in Trinsic.  He and Father got into an argument a week ago when Klog and two of his friends came over to talk with Father."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Gee, that's not suspicious in the slightest.  What would they possibly have to argue about?"
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "I don't know what it was about.  Perhaps thou shouldst ask Klog."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Maybe, assuming they don't try to purge my body thetans or whatever.  How does a guy with a name like 'Klog' have friends, anyway?"
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "I do not remember what they look like.  I did not recognize them.  They were most likely some other members of The Fellowship."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "The Fellowship has a branch here?  Meaning they aren't based here?"
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "The Fellowship has branches all over Britannia."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "And, knowing my luck, I'll have to visit all of them."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Why would you have to do that?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Kid, when you've been in this business as long as I have, you realize the first rule of adventuring in this world is to investigate whatever the new thing is.  Never fails."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "The sad part is, he isn't wrong."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Anywho, who was this Inamo dude?"
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "He was a very nice gargoyle.  He helped Father a lot and did tasks in the stables.  I cannot think why anyone would want to kill him!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Only one way to find out!  Let's keep looking!  Oh, and Spark?"
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Yes?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Welcome to the crew."


And, just like that, we've got our third man!  Er, teenager.  One of the unfortunate sides of the paperdolls is that there's only two bodies: muscly adult man, and toned adult woman, both of varying skin tones.  The heads are just kinda tacked on to the top, so we get Spark's tiny kid head atop the body of a brick shithouse.  Stat-wise, he's got some problems hitting, and his strength is just a point below average, but otherwise, he's a solid character.  Since he starts at level 1, he gets a lot of training points that you can use to bring his strength and combat ratings to ridiculous levels for a teenager.  Also, notice that, for whatever reason, Spark is not wearing pants.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Spark?"
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Yes?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Why the hell aren't you wearing any pants?"
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "I just woke up from a nap."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I think I'll stop right there before Chris Hansen shows up."

Yeah, I don't get it, either.  Unfortunately, he's not the only one.  A lot of the companions we can get start out not wearing any bloody pants.  Don't ask, I don't know, and I'm not sure I wanna know.  Maybe going pantsless is the new trend in Britannia?  I have no idea and, again, I'm not sure I wanna know the answer.  But, that will have to wait for next update...or maybe not.  Either way, next time, we're going to continue avoiding the mayor and most of the investigation.  Why?  Because its crime time!
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: Rime on June 22, 2016, 09:06:54 am
If you do continue, I'd certainly like one of those updates to be about the terrible hunger meter.  It didn't matter whether they were starving to death or just peckish, every ten minutes or less there's floaty text flashing above your party "I'm hungry" "I'm hungry" "When do we eat?"

Not that I'm against a hunger meter, it's just that it was the single biggest annoyance in the entire game because you were getting nagged so often about it.
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter on June 22, 2016, 10:17:44 am
Oddly, I never had problems with food in either Black Gate or Serpent Isle.  A little well-applied thievery, and food was a complete non-issue.  Go to inns at around midnight, and loot the food barrels.  Easy food supply with minimal effort and no monetary investment.
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter on June 22, 2016, 11:45:07 am
5. Dave teaches Spark the Avatar's "Path to Success"

Learning how to survive in Black Gate is paramount, and survival breaks down into three categories: food, money, and equipment.  Unfortunately, we are running...more than a little light on all three.


Out of all of us, Iolo is the best-equipped.  Crossbows deal decent damage and have good range.  Spark has a sling with no bullets, and all Dave has is a knife.  Since Iolo's the responsible old dude, we'll be handing him (most of) the money, which totals all of 26 gold or, in layman's terms, barely enough to buy a metaphorical pack of smokes.  Spark's a growing boy, so he needs all the food he can get.  In that vein, he's going to be carrying the bulk of the food til we get more people.  Alas, our food stores are pathetic: a bunch of grapes, an apple, a single length of sausage, a slab of beef, and two pieces of bread.  Barely enough to make a sandwich, let alone live off of for any real amount of time.  We need more.  A lot more.  In that vein, its time to figure out what the hell time it is, for reasons that will become apparent soon.  Since we haven't yet gotten out of Trinsic (aka: Copy Protection Town), we haven't met Shamino, and that asshole has Dave's watch.  So, next best thing!


Thankfully, the cheat menu (F2) tells us what time it is: 6:24 in the morning.  Also known as "way too damned early to be doing this shit" time.  What shit?  Well, Dave's means of success relies on darkness and people being asleep and/or away from their shops.  That's a long time from now, and we don't have much food, so...we're going to poke around a little.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Okay, guys.  We have barely enough food to stay fed for a day.  I forgot to bring my jerky when I came here, so we're going to have to forage."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "But, the mayor has the whole town on lockdown."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "You are not planning what I think you're planning."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Spark, its time you learn the Path of the Avatar."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Oh, god."


A short walk down the road from Spark's place is an empty house with a little food inside, or at least, that's just what is readily apparent.  The meat shank to the left is mutton, and its very good food, lots of fillingness.  Now, there's an art to what I'm about to do, a key to success: never put things you pilfer into the Avatar's pack.  Your companions will complain, rather loudly, if you do that; if you persist, many will leave and some (coughDuprecough) will outright try to kill you.  Instead, dip the goods into one of their packs, instead, like we do with Spark here and the shank of mutton.


(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Are you sure its okay to take that mutton, Mr. Dave?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Its okay for you to take it, kid.  I mean, are you gonna try telling on the Avatar?"
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "No, sir!"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "You're depraved."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "No, I'm hungry.  Or, rather, I will be, eventually."

The bag and backpack in the room also have some useful goodies:


Namely, gold and lockpicks.  We dip the gold, knife, and lockpicks into Iolo's pack and give the old man the bag for a little extra storage.  Using what we find in the room, we finally give Spark a helmet, some shoes, and a weapon he can actually use.  Iolo gets the gloves so he doesn't feel left out of the loot.  Our current gold total is 33.  Barely more than when we started, but there's a few places around here with enough to get us started once we leave this god-forsaken city and hit the actual road.


Aah, I'm feeling better, already!  What else can we steal?  A little ways to the east is a grouping of three houses with some swamp boots in one of 'em.  Dave hands them to Iolo before our pursuer finally catches up to us.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Son of a bitch!"


(https://i.imgur.com/TQs1Rnh.png): "Nice to meet you, too.  Iolo!  Who is this stranger?"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Why, this is the Avatar!" Iolo proudly proclaims.  "Canst thou believe it?  May I introduce thee? This is Finnigan, the Town Mayor.  And this is the Avatar!  I simply cannot believe he is here!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Me, neither.  Do you mind?  We were kind of in the middle of something."
(https://i.imgur.com/TQs1Rnh.png): The Mayor looks you up and down, not sure if he believes Iolo or not.  He looks at Iolo skeptically.
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "I swear to thee, it is the Avatar!"
(https://i.imgur.com/TQs1Rnh.png): "I have heard that thou art the Avatar.  I am not certain that I believe it."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Are you shitting me, right now?  Hello?  I'm the god damned Avatar!  Paintings of me, probably statuary, at this point?  Found enlightenment and the Codex, solved the whole Blackthorn problem, kept you dipshits from committing genocide against the gargoyles?"
(https://i.imgur.com/TQs1Rnh.png): The mayor looks at you again as if he were studying every pore on your face.  Finally, he smiles. "Welcome, Avatar."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "You're damn right I'm welcome."
(https://i.imgur.com/TQs1Rnh.png): But just as suddenly, Finnigan's face becomes stern.  "A horrible murder has occurred.  If thou art truly the Avatar, perhaps thou canst help us solve it.  I would feel better if thou takest this matter into thine hands.  Thou shalt be handsomely rewarded if thou dost discover the name of the killer.  Dost thou accept?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Do I have a choice?"
(https://i.imgur.com/TQs1Rnh.png): "Not really.  Petre, the stables caretaker, discovered poor Christopher and Inamo early this morning."  The Mayor continues. "Hast thou searched the stables?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Considering I've been avoiding you and the main quest since I got here, gonna have to go with 'no.'"
(https://i.imgur.com/TQs1Rnh.png): "Then I suggest thou lookest inside and talkest to me again."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "You got it.  Jackass."

No choice but to head south, I guess, towards the stables.  God damned plot, always finding a way to literally and metaphorically catch up with me.  Oh, well.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Well, let's see what the damage is..."


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Good god damn!  What the fuck happened here?  Looks like this dude got in a losing fight with a lawnmower!  Oh...sorry, Spark."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Don't worry, little dude.  We're finding the guy that did this; this is beyond fucked up.  You have any idea what this key is for?"
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "That looks like the key to Father's chest.  I wondered where it was!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Looks like we have our first clue, Robin!  Quickly, to the Batcave!  Er, your house!"


I kinda feel bad, but I nicked the bag next to Inamo, the pitchforked gargoyle in the far end of the stables.  Dave needs the storage for quest items and keys, and I doubt Inamo is going to need that bit of bread or 3 gold, anymore.  Instead, we'll use it to track down the people that killed him.  Oh, we also put the swamp boots on Spark.  Since he has the least strength, he also has the fewest hit points.  Poison isn't a terrible ailment, but swamps apply it whenever you touch them, unless you have swamp boots on.  Since all boots (even magic boots) provide the same level of protection, just leave everyone with swamp boots.  That way, if you ever come across swamps, you don't have to worry about stepping in and getting poisoned!  Well, by the swamp itself, at any rate.


Upstairs in Spark's pad, we unlock the chest (hotkey: K) and take a peek.  Inside is a pile of 100 gold (!), a Fellowship medallion, and a scroll.


Well, that's vaguely threatening and not at all suspicious as all hell.  We give the 100 gold to Spark since its his inheritance and I'd feel like a dick taking it from the poor kid.  Besides, we'll be making plenty of money, soon, so he won't have to worry about us blowing it all on gambling or food or powder kegs to blow up Chuckles...not that we need to buy those.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Hey, kid, what do you make of this scroll?"
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "I am not sure if it's the same one, but I think I saw Father with a scroll just like that one or two days ago.  I know he was making something special for someone.  I am fairly certain it was at his shop."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Yet more clues.  What about that medallion I'm not going to touch for fear it burns my hand off?"
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Father was a member of The Fellowship. I don't know why the medallion was in the chest -- he usually wore it."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Well, that's suspect.  Lastly, you know anything about this pile of money?"
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): The boy's eyes widen.  "I had no idea that Father had that much money hidden away!  I suppose I could give it to thee if thou art going to look for those who killed my Father!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Dude, not even.  Its yours, keep it."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "I thought you said we were pressed for gold."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Not even I'm screwed up enough to jack an orphan's inheritance.  Besides, we'll have more money than the government, soon enough."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Are you going to steal it or actually work for it?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "...Yes."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Smartass."

Clues a-plenty!  We know we're looking for a dude with a hook, Christopher made something "special" for someone shortly before he got killed, and he had an argument with a dude named Klog.  I wonder if they're connected?  Oh, who the hell am I kidding?  Of course they're connected.  This isn't so much a trail of bread crumbs as it is a trail of bread loaves.  Either way, next time, we'll get to pumping the fine people of Trinsic for information and any goods they don't have nailed down, then we'll make our report to Finnigan the Jerk and leave Trinsic behind!
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: Rime on June 22, 2016, 12:04:34 pm
Sorry I wasn't clear.  It wasn't finding food, I didn't have much of a problem with adequate food suppliues.  It was about how often they would nag you to be fed.  Seemed like every five minutes I was being asked to give them something to eat, and their floaty text would be persistent, and I would often wait until they started starving because it didn't matter much if you fed them right when they started complaining or dying of starvation.

And maybe about Iolo leaving the party because you're trying to put trash discarded all around Paws into barrels.  Or maybe it's because you're moving the barrels that he calls you a thief.
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter on June 22, 2016, 03:45:03 pm
Ohhhhhhh, yeah.  Honestly, I think Exult slows hunger a bit, because I seem to remember that from the DOS days, too.  Feeding them via the hotkey (F) seems to be a bit random as to what it chooses to actually feed your dudes, so it can go thru your weak shit before getting to the better food.  Either way, they do complain quite a bit.  As for thieving, yeah, just moving shit will get your companions mad at you.  They're really picky about proper Avatar decorum in Black Gate, for some odd reason.  Don't seem to care in Serpent Isle, hypocrites.
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter on June 22, 2016, 05:30:27 pm
6. The world's shortest murder investigation


Just west of the stables is the Fellowship Hall.  Before you ask, yes, they all look the god damned same.  Inside is the next man to whom we want to speak.  (Note that I have it on mute because the Fellowship theme gives me a migraine of instinctual hate.)


An unfortunate name and an unfortunate face!  This gentleman is Klog, head of the Trinsic branch of the Fellowship.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Neat.  You're in the Fellowship hall and you're male, you look vaguely important, but I don't want to outright assume you're the man I'm looking for, so...what's your name?"
(https://i.imgur.com/rYstrR5.png): "My name is Klog."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "You poor man.  What do you do around here?  As if I didn't already know."
(https://i.imgur.com/rYstrR5.png): "I am the Trinsic branch leader for The Fellowship.  I work here with my wife Ellen."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "So, what exactly is The Fellowship?  I mean, I get that you're the hot new thing in Britannia, but I still don't quite know what you, ya know, do."
(https://i.imgur.com/rYstrR5.png): "The Fellowship meets here at the branch office in Trinsic every night at nine.  Thou art welcome to attend."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Not interested.  What of you guys' philosophy?  I get the feeling you aren't following the Virtues.  My Virtues."
(https://i.imgur.com/rYstrR5.png): "The Fellowship advances the philosophy of 'sanguine cognition', a way to apply a confident order of thought to one's life, through what is called the Triad of Inner Strength.  The Triad is simply three basic principles that, when applied in unison, enable one to be more creative, satisfied, and successful in life.  They are: Strive For Unity, Trust Thy Brother, and Worthiness Precedes Reward.  Strive For Unity basically means that people should cooperate and work together.  Trust Thy Brother implies that we are all the same and that we should not hate or fear each other.  Worthiness Precedes Reward suggests that we must each strive to be worthy of that which we want out of life.  Dost thou want to join?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Even less so than I was five minutes ago when you started your obviously canned speech."
(https://i.imgur.com/rYstrR5.png): "Oh. Well, perhaps thou canst become enlightened another time."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Like a fuckin' glowstick.  Heard you had an argument with the guy we found ritualistically butchered in the stables.  Care to comment?"
(https://i.imgur.com/rYstrR5.png): "Last week Christopher stated that he wanted to leave The Fellowship!  Canst thou imagine?  Well, we simply attempted to speak with him and alter his decision.  The man verbally assaulted me and my companions with no provocation!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Uh huh.  What about this scroll we found in Christopher's house?"
(https://i.imgur.com/rYstrR5.png): "I do not know anything about that."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "What about the gold?"
(https://i.imgur.com/rYstrR5.png): "Second verse, same as the first."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "And the medallion?"
(https://i.imgur.com/rYstrR5.png): "Christopher had expressed interest in leaving The Fellowship.  Perhaps he had stored it for safekeeping."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Where were you on the night of the murder?  Hehe, I've always wanted to say that."
(https://i.imgur.com/rYstrR5.png): "Well," the man says, reflecting, "I was home all night, and my wife Ellen will certainly verify that.  But, as we say in The Fellowship, 'Worthiness Precedes Reward'.  Christopher must have done something bad.  And the poor gargoyle Inamo!  'Tis a pity."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "You're...kind of an asshole, aren't you?  I get the feeling we aren't going anywhere talking to you, so...later."
(https://i.imgur.com/rYstrR5.png): "If there is anything else I may help thee with, Avatar, let me know."


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Oh, I'm sure you'll be able to help me out plenty, tonight!"

If it wasn't obvious, Klog is bullshitting you.  Nobody gets dialogue options here just to tell you they don't know anything.  Unfortunately, we can't quite worm the information out of him at knife-point, but we can find a far more convincing weapon later in our adventure.  Either way, let's continue our robbery exploration of the town!


The chest on the left of this house has a pair of gems inside.  Nick 'em and hand them to Iolo.  Gems, if you haven't guessed as much, already, are worth a decent bit of money once we hit Britain.  I forget exactly how much, but I think its around 60 gold per gem; above gold nuggets, but just below gold bars.  They weigh less than gold bars, so they have a better money-to-weight ratio.  Bottom line: never forget the gems.


Just south of Spark's house is the local arms dealer.  There's a lever between the two tables on the bottom-left of his shop that open the secret entrance to the back room.  Unfortunately, Mr. Armourer is still there, and its just before 8am, so we'll have to wait a bit to rob this place.  But, keep it in mind, because there's some decent kit here that will be much better going to us than gathering mold in some shitty crates.


The empty houses get us a bit of equipment and bring us up to, minus Spark's inheritance, a total of 76 gold.  Not a lot, but its good for just starting out.  Everyone gets gloves and Dave gets something a little harder-hitting than a knife.  For now, this is the best we can do til nightfall.  Let's not waste time, though.  Onward with the investigation!

North of the stables, we find this charming fellow: the shipwright, Gargan.


(https://i.imgur.com/8ugsFyr.png): "Yes, matey?" Gargan asks, coughing.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Hey there, uh, guy.  What do you do around here?"
(https://i.imgur.com/8ugsFyr.png): "I am the Trinsic shipwright.  If thou wouldst like to know about a ship or a sextant, just say so."  Gargan coughs.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "What do you know about the murder, Mr. Shipwright?"
(https://i.imgur.com/8ugsFyr.png): "I heard about that.  Terrible thing to happen.  Can't say I saw or heard anything, though." Gargan coughs, clears his throat loudly, then spits.
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Ooooh, yuck!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Lovely.  See a dude with a hook wandering around?"
(https://i.imgur.com/8ugsFyr.png): "Matey, I have always seen pirates and sailors with peglegs and hooks.  If thou hast seen one, thou hast seen another." But the man suddenly frowns. "Hmm.  Now that thou dost mention it, I -did- see a man with a hook late last night after sundown.  I was leaving the shop and saw him outside.  There was a wingless gargoyle with him.  They were walking east." Gargan sneezes, then coughs a couple of times.
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "I told thee! It was him!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "So, heading out of the eastern gate, then?  Thanks for the help, Gargan.  I'll, uh...see you.  Later."
(https://i.imgur.com/8ugsFyr.png): "May thy day have smooth sailing," the sailor starts to say, but a coughing spasm interrupts him.

So, we head to the east gate and talk to the guard there.  Nothing really spectacular, but gotta follow the trail, unfortunately.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Hey, I'm Dave and I'm with...whatever Britannia has resembling an FBI."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "You, pretty much."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Considering you guys keep calling me to fix everything you screw up, you're...not exactly wrong.  Anyway, what do I call you?"
(https://i.imgur.com/mFoFgT7.png): "Johnson."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Cool.  I know this is an utterly inane question to ask you, Johnson, but gotta get formalities out of the way.  What's your job?"
(https://i.imgur.com/mFoFgT7.png): "I have the morning watch guarding the dock.  I authorize the comings and goings of every ship."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Standard stuff.  What do you know about the murder?  See anyone leaving this city that's barely bigger than my house?"
(https://i.imgur.com/mFoFgT7.png): "I did hear of this.  When I arrived at my post at sunrise, I found Gilberto lying felled on the ground.  If thou art asking if I saw anything -- I did not.  No one hath passed by me since I arrived at the dock."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "So, this Gilberto's probably at the healer's place, then, good to know.  Oh, you see a guy with a hook anywhere around here?"
(https://i.imgur.com/mFoFgT7.png): "A man with a hook?  No, I saw no one all night or all morning."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Thought as much.  I'll let you get back to guarding, then.  Have fun!"
(https://i.imgur.com/mFoFgT7.png): "Good day."

To the south of the armourer is the healer's place, where our next guy, Gilberto, is waiting.  Apparently, standing around like a lemon is good when you've got a concussion.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Who you is?"
(https://i.imgur.com/2ZSf2cJ.png): "I am Gilberto."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "And what, pray tell, do you do?"
(https://i.imgur.com/2ZSf2cJ.png): "I have the night watch at the dock gate."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Perfectly boring.  What do you know about the murder?"
(https://i.imgur.com/2ZSf2cJ.png): "It must have occurred shortly before I was knocked out."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "You got knocked out?  Guess that explains the bandage on your head."
(https://i.imgur.com/2ZSf2cJ.png): "It was just about sunrise.  I was looking out to the sea.  All of a sudden, I felt a blow on the back of mine head." He winces in pain.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Did you see who hit you, maybe where they went?"
(https://i.imgur.com/2ZSf2cJ.png): "The next thing I knew, I was on the ground. Johnson, the guard for the next watch, was shaking me.  I had been out about ten minutes.  I knew that because the sun had just peeked over the horizon.  And 'The Crown Jewel' had gone and sailed!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Yeesh, that's super bad for you."
(https://i.imgur.com/2ZSf2cJ.png): "That's what the healer said."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Also, Crown Jewel?"
(https://i.imgur.com/2ZSf2cJ.png): "Did I forget to say? That is a ship that was docked here all night.  I believe it was about to sail for Britain.  Thou couldst ask Gargan the Shipwright to make sure.  Anyway, I did not see mine attackers," the guard grumbles.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Last thing, then I'll leave you to convalesce.  Do you have any idea where your attackers went?"
(https://i.imgur.com/2ZSf2cJ.png): "Hmmm.  I wonder if they jumped onto the ship!  They could be all the way to Britain by now!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "And I could be in Buccaneer's Den banging pirate hookers, were it not for this damned quest.  Anywho, thanks for the help.  I'm gonna go talk to Big Loogie again about this 'Crown Jewel.'  Catch you later."
(https://i.imgur.com/2ZSf2cJ.png): "Goodbye.  Watch thy back."

So, we head back to Gargan and interrogate question the old salt about the Crown Jewel.


Well, that about finishes our investigation.  Here's what we know:

Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter on June 22, 2016, 05:41:26 pm
So, we can finally take all this to Mayor Asshole and get him to give us the password to get out of this damn town.  Finnigan is in his office, just west of the Fellowship Hall.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Okay, I'm done with your damn investigation, Finnigan."
(https://i.imgur.com/TQs1Rnh.png): "Hast thou properly searched the stables?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I wouldn't be here if I hadn't."
(https://i.imgur.com/TQs1Rnh.png): "What didst thou find?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "The most useful thing was a key."
(https://i.imgur.com/TQs1Rnh.png): "Ask Spark about it. He may know something."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I already did, you asshole, I'm here to report."
(https://i.imgur.com/TQs1Rnh.png): "Art thou ready to answer some questions concerning the investigation?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Yes, god damn you."
(https://i.imgur.com/TQs1Rnh.png): "Very well.  What was Christopher's occupation?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Shithouse cleaner.  Okay, fine, he was a blacksmith."
(https://i.imgur.com/TQs1Rnh.png): "What didst thou find at the murder site?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "...Christopher isn't going to be the only one ritualistically vivisected in this town.  Once more, I found a key."
(https://i.imgur.com/TQs1Rnh.png): "What did the key open?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Your mother's snatch."
(https://i.imgur.com/TQs1Rnh.png): "What did it really open?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "A god damned chest."
(https://i.imgur.com/TQs1Rnh.png): "What didst thou find in the chest?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "A medallion, a scroll, and a hundred bucks."
(https://i.imgur.com/TQs1Rnh.png): "Dost thou have a suspect?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "WHY DO YOU THINK I'M HERE?!"
(https://i.imgur.com/TQs1Rnh.png): "What dost this villain look like?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Some loser with a hook."
(https://i.imgur.com/TQs1Rnh.png): "Hmmm.  Any leads on finding this villain?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "The Crown bloody Jewel."
(https://i.imgur.com/TQs1Rnh.png): The Mayor is pleased.  "It seems thou art pursuing thine investigation with genuine fervor.  Methinks thou shouldst go to Britain and see if thou canst find this Man with a Hook.  Here is half thy reward money.  Thou wilt receive the rest when thou dost prove that the killer hath been brought to justice!"  The Mayor hands you 100 gold coins.  "Dost thou need the password?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "What I need is a powder keg, but the password would also do quite nicely, yes."
(https://i.imgur.com/TQs1Rnh.png): "Before I give thee the password, I must admit I have had my doubts about thou truly being the Avatar.  I must ask thee to indulge me in order to satisfy my somewhat suspicious nature.  I shall ask thee a few questions regarding the geography of Britannia.  Please answer with the number of the longitude or latitude from thy cloth map.  Remember-- longitude refers to the lines that run north-south.  They are determined by the numbers at the bottom of the map.  Latitude refers to the lines that run east-west.  They are determined by the numbers on the left side of thy map.  If these questions are answered correctly, then I will cast aside all my doubts."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I WILL PUNCH YOU IN THE FUCKING SOUL."

So, we answer some inane questions about Britannia's geography.  Just consult this page (http://bootstrike.com/Ultima/Online/u7pass.php) and answer correctly.

(https://i.imgur.com/TQs1Rnh.png): "Excellent! I have no doubt now that thou art the one true Avatar!  Oh-- I almost forgot!  The password to leave or enter the town is `Blackbird'!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Get the hell out of my way before I beat your head in with a mace."

And thus concludes our brief murder investigation.  I didn't check the time, but I think, all totaled, we found everything we needed in under three hours in-game.  Finnigan could've done this himself after breakfast and still had time to kill before lunch, the lazy fuckhole.  Oh, well, we're done with him, now so, hopefully, we never have cause to see his mug again.  We can now leave Trinsic and adventure as we please!  Bout fucking time.  Unfortunately, there's at least one more instance of copy protection, but it'll be a while before we get to it, thankfully.  Britannia is now wide open to us!  Soon, we'll get our merry band of thugs puckish rogues together and screw around for a while, maybe do some quests to get stronger.  Either way, we're free of Trinsic, and that's all that matters.

[Actually hit the 20k character limit with the last post.  Well, ain't that some shit?]
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: Even Then on June 22, 2016, 11:38:59 pm
So far, I'm loving this.
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter on June 23, 2016, 12:14:06 am
Thankee!  I've been wanting to do this for a while, and its fun with a more...atypical Avatar like Dave, but not one that's quite as misanthropic, selfish, and insane as Steve.  Not that I have anything against Steve.

(http://lparchive.org/Ultima-VII-The-Black-Gate/Update%204/2-avatar.png): "Damn right, you don't, bub."
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: Art Vandelay on June 23, 2016, 05:10:34 pm
It simply wouldn't be a western RPG if you couldn't get absolutely loaded before the end of act 1 by stealing everything that's not nailed down.
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter on June 23, 2016, 07:42:18 pm
Without using the [REDACTED], you can't get totally loaded right out of Trinsic, but you can get plenty of gold once everyone's asleep.  Salty the Shipwright is probably the richest man in town, so next update will probably have me waiting til nightfall and robbing the armourer, shipwright, and other folks.  And maybe hitting up the [REDACTED] for, at most, two of the items there, since it alleviates a pretty heady burden.  Can't raid the healer's place, unfortunately, since Gilberto is always standing there always awake.  Damned inconvenient, that.
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter on July 09, 2016, 12:54:40 pm
7. The last bits of Trinsic and Dave's flight

When last we left Dave and Company, we had just finished the world's shortest murder investigation, violating all known laws of proper forensics on the way.  We also completed some shit-ass copy protection and got the password to leave Trinsic in the dust.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "But wait, there's more!"

Indeed!  Trinsic has a few more goodies stashed away that we want to pilfer before moving on.  But, there's also one huge thing I wanna get out of the way, first.  Something upon which I shall only barely touch because it does actually contain some pretty major spoilers.

The Trinsic Cheat Room


In the far southwestern side of town is Christopher's (Spark's dad, the dead dude) smithy.  Its...a little worse for wear, to say the least.  Apparently, one day of disuse turns an otherwise normal shop into an utter shithole.  But, that's neither here nor there.  What we're looking for has little to do with the inside of the shop, we need to get to the roof!  Yes, Ultima VII actually affords us all 3 dimensions worth of movement, despite its ostensibly isometric 2D graphics, and we will be exploiting this for all its worth!


First, we need some building materials.  The crates and anvil from Chris' shop will fill most of our needs, and the rest are filled by the two houses nearby.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "On a stairway to heavennnnnn..."


We walk right up the little stairway we just made and head behind the chimney.  Tucked behind it is a teleporter egg that is normally invisible, unless you enable the "Eggs Viewable" option when you play.  I don't because it kind of clutters things up for the screenshots and egg placement can provide some slight spoilers for certain areas.  Also, notice that Spark isn't anywhere to be seen.  Companion pathing doesn't...always work quite the way it should when going up man-made stairs like these because of how narrow they are.  Anywho, we walk behind the chimney, annnnnd...


Viola!  Its dark as hell, but this is the entrance to the Trinsic Cheat Room!  Hit the switch on the wall to the left and we're in!


(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Whoa."

Hell yes, whoa!  Eight chests loaded to the gills with magic armour, powerful weapons, a bag full of 100 of each reagent, another with 1000 smackers and a full stack of lockpicks, and a fully-loaded spellbook with Arma-fucking-geddon conveniently earmarked for our use.  We will, however, not be taking most of this with us.  I'll just be nicking the book, regs, and lockpicks.

(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Aww..."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Chin up, Robin.  I'm sure we'll stumble across weapons of immense magical power without much issue."

Quite right, Dave.  Getting armed to the teeth isn't terribly hard in Ultima VII, even without the Cheat Room.  The regs, lockpicks, and spellbook are only being taken for convenience's sake, since running around and collecting all the spells and regs we need is a major pain in the ass, for reasons that will become abundantly clear relatively soon.


We take the teleport pad in the main room and, a short walk later, we come across a room chock full of teleporters!  The one with the golden plaque leads to LB's throne room, quite convenient, the ones on the left lead to the shrines, and the others lead to (mostly) plot-relevant locations we want to, for now, avoid.  However, we won't be taking any of these for...reasons.  Instead, I'm going to pull up the F3 map and zap us back to Trinsic.


Now, we're ready to leave this shithole!  There's a little extra money to be pilfered here, but eh, I think I might leave the citizens of this town only slightly lighter in the wallet.  One, because its only 10am and waiting/sleeping til then would put a dent in our meager food supplies and, two, we'll be hitting it rich almost immediately upon entering Britain, anyway, so it doesn't really matter.  Let's go through the south gate for...reasons.


Just activate the wench yourself, because fuck the police.

(https://i.imgur.com/6huyJY7.png): "You are traveling in the wrong direction, my friend!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "First off, you're not my friend.  Second, what part of 'fuck the police' don't you understand?"
(https://i.imgur.com/6huyJY7.png): "You're still not heading towards the plo-er, Britain."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Screw the plot, I wanna wander!"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Who the hell are you talking to?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "The guy that crashed my computer."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "What's a computer?"

Wandering the woods, we come under fire from some little, green dudes.


These are gremlins.  Not very threatening, so even our substandard party with janky gear and middling stats can handle them without problems.


Unlike most critters, when gremlins die, they turn into food.  Don't ask, I really don't know, but hey, free food is free food.

(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Are you sure this is safe to eat, Mr. Dave?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I'unno."

Moving on, we eventually happen across this innocuous-looking tree.


Which, for reference is roughly around here:


But, if you've got keen eyes, you might notice something's amiss with this tree.  This tree, much like Klog, is hiding something.  Except, unlike Klog, this tree isn't hiding something dark, sinister, and other bad words associated with bad people.


It is, in fact, hiding a chest!  Unfortunately, Dave's dexterity score blows, so picking the lock, if its even possible, would be an exercise in frustration.  So, in true Avatar fashion, we just beat the chest open with a mace, like a freaking badass.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "How's that for loot, Spark?"
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "So shiny..."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "I have to admit, this is a pretty impressive haul for how little effort it took to find it."

Damn straight, Iolo.  The loot consists of:


Spark, being the weakest of the group, gets the armour and defense sword, giving him a really high AC and making him consequently difficult to hit til we can shore up his stats.  Iolo gets the spare crossbow and the magic bolts, and Dave gets the swamp boots, fire sword, and Spark's old shield.  Not bad for our first day of freedom, eh?  Next time, we'll actually head towards Britain (where the money and two homies is) and chat up Lord British to advance the plot a little before promptly fucking off again because that's what Ultima's all about!
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: Rime on July 09, 2016, 08:05:00 pm
I was worried about how long it sat idle compared to your other updates.  Made my day.  :)
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter on July 09, 2016, 08:53:25 pm
^_^;  German has been a right bastard.  Literally an exam every other week.  Thankfully, its over, so I'll have more time to actually do shit I like, such as this.
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter on July 10, 2016, 12:11:55 pm
8. Dave heads north

Unfortunately, parts of the land are locked off to Dave and Co. until we get some form of transport capable of going over the water.  In previous Ultima games, this usually took the form of ships.  Black Gate is little different, but ships are expensive and a tiny bit inflexible, in some ways.  Besides which, LB will be giving us one soon enough, anyway.


(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "So, where to now, brave leader?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Don't think I can't tell sarcasm when I hear it, Iolo.  But, to actually answer your question, seeing as we don't have a ship handy and we're pretty much at the ass-end of the mainland, our only real choice is to head north."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Oh boy, does that mean we're going to see Britain?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "In due time, my plucky little buddy.  In due time."

First, a minor detour.


We head to the east side of Trinsic.  Remember how the guard said that side was the dock?  Well, turns out that there's a ship there!  Its the ship Gargan sells you.  Inside a crate inside the hold (the square thing at the bottom of the ship) is a veritable bounty of fish what we will be pilfering.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Aah, I feel much better about our food situation, now."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Are you sure Mr. Gargan isn't going to get mad about us stealing from what is technically his ship?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Kid, have you ever seen that guy leave town?  I doubt he'd even be out here before this crap goes bad.  If anything, we're doing him a service."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "I guess you've got a point.  Better than it going bad and making the whole ship stink."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Oh god, not you, too."

Anywho, let's actually go north, now!


(https://i.imgur.com/6huyJY7.png): "Yes, that is the proper direction to travel, Avatar."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Ya know, you saying that is just tempting me to try and shanghai Gargan's ship just to go the exact opposite direction you tell me to go."


Up north of Trinsic, we come across a swamp and an odd collection of massive bones.  They seem a little...out of place, don't they?  Well, if they don't, they damn well should.  Why?  Well, let's try double-clicking on the head!


What's that?  What just appeared there?  Those, my friend, are bullets.  Yes, as in gun musket bullets.  Or sling bullets, but slings suck, so musket bullets.  These are the only sources, of which I know, of musket rounds in the entire game.  There are other outrcroppings of such bones across the world, and they supply a healthy stock of bullets.  In fact, you can click all along the shaft and get even more ammo!  This is good, because muskets are awesome.  Aside from being one of the few instances of god damned firearms in an ostensibly sword-and-sorcery RPG, they do good damage, have respectable range, and their ammo is literally free of charge.  I forget if the bones restock, I think they do, but I don't remember at what interval.  The stack down on the ground is 52 rounds, and that's about average for the ammo bones.  Alas, what they have in awesomeness and complete lack of cost, they make up for in weight.  For some reason, bullets weigh significantly more than arrows or bolts.  Not that it matters.  Get one or two riflemen and the point becomes largely moot.  Since he's got the most carrying capacity, we'll be handing the bullets to Spark.

(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Hooray!"


Alas, I had to (temporarily) enable hack mover to have Spark carry the 308 total rounds the bones gave me.  Ya see, each stack of 100 bullets weighs a staggering 10 stones, which is a lot.  All told, poor Spark's carrying roughly 31 stones (about 197kg) of ammunition.  However, this is a lot of ammo, certainly more than enough to supply any one party member for most, if not all, of the adventure.  Again, the bones are awesome.


A ways north, we finally come to Britain!  We skip Paws entirely, for now, since there's a subquest that we can do, but I want to hold off until we at least get one or two more people so our party isn't so front-heavy with the XP.


Roughly in the centre of Britain is the tavern, The Blue Boar.  Its as good a place as any to stop by, and look who we run into!


(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Yes, Avatar?" Shamino asks.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Shaminooooooooo!  How's it hangin?  What have you been doing since I've been gone for apparently going on two centuries?"
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "I should hope 'twould be adventuring with thee!  I am weary of loitering about Britain.  There is much we could be accomplishing!  Where hast thou been, anyway?  But please tell me what brings thee here!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Some red dude crashed my computer and a guy got ritually killed in Trinsic."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): Shamino listens as you tell him the story. "I would be honored to join and help thee in investigating this matter."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Good man!  So, what have you been doing in Britain, recently?"
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Yes, I have been in Britain as of late, attempting to find work.  Thou dost know that adventuring comes around too infrequently.  One must find -other- diversions.  Which reminds me... I have thy pocketwatch."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I was wondering where that thing went."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Thou didst leave it when thou didst last visit Britannia.  Here it is."  Shamino hands you the pocketwatch.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Killer.  So, what uh...diversions were you talking about earlier?"
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "The usual.  I do not see our old friends often, and Lord British rarely finds work for me.  I certainly have no time for wenching or drinking -- I have grown up a bit."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Ahem, I have heard something about an actress, no?"
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "What dost thou know of it?"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Avatar, ask him about 'Amber'."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Thou art a swine, Iolo."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "...Why are you embarrassed about having a girlfriend?  I doubt this 'Amber' is much worse than most women in Britannia."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): You see a light shine in Shamino's eyes as you mention her name. He is obviously smitten.  "She is an actress I know."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "You're dating a freaking actress?  Well hell, dude, congrats!  Lucky bastard.  Anywho, come on, we're gonna go beat the crap out of something in celebration!"
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): Shamino looks relieved. "I am -so- glad thou didst ask me that." He gathers his gear and prepares to follow you.


Shamino joins up!  Unfortunately, he's barely equipped, so we give him some of Spark's leftover crap.


Better!  Shamino takes two stacks of ammo to relieve Spark's burden, the cup he tried to steal from the inn goes on a nearby table, the kid gets the slab of beef, and Iolo gets the money.  No, Shamino is still not wearing any effing pants.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Shamino, why are you sitting, bare-ass, in the middle of a tavern...in effing public?"
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Meth is a hell of a drug."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "What's meth?"

Prolly close to the character limit, so I'll wrap it up here.  Next time, we'll be getting our other companion, maybe/maybe not talking to LB, and running the absolute biggest heist Britannia has ever.  SEEN.  Because, once again, fuck the police.
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter on July 10, 2016, 11:57:56 pm
9. Making money, the Dave way


Before we get our next companion and make some sweet, sweet coin, Dave decides to hit up the tavern's storeroom at the side.  The takings are meager, but we're taking them anyway because nobody eats except us.

With our loot thusly stored, the only thing in our way is a door.  Now, we could take the time to pick the lock, but that's boring and chance-based.  Plus, I really want to test out my shiny new fire sword.


Aah, that's better!  Yes, indeed, some doors can indeed be bashed straight the hell down, just like some chests.  Magically locked doors, alas, can't be broken, neither can metal ones.  Some wood ones require more intense firepower than even a maxed-out Dave can bring to the battle, but something explosive enough should do the deal nicely.


In the western corner of town, we come across this large, but otherwise relatively nondescript building.  What, or rather who, we want is on the inside.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "You look vaguely familiar and I think we might be homies.  Who are you?"
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "Thou dost not remember me?  I am Sentri!  We have gone adventuring together in the past!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "That's right!  Sentri!  How's it going?  What have you been up to these past...uhm...two.  hundred.  years.  ..."
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "..."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "..."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "..."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "..."
(https://i.imgur.com/6huyJY7.png): "..."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Yeah, sorry about that.  Anyway, how's tricks?"
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "Considering I'm not dead, I think I'm doing good.  When I am not adventuring with old friends, I am a trainer in Britain.  I specialize in combat involving swordsmanship.  I am quite good at that, as thou dost remember.  But I would drop everything to join thy group if thou art not too encumbered."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "In due time.  What friends we talking about, here?"
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "I do not see our old friends Iolo, Shamino, or Dupre much."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Suspiciously discounting Janna, Seggallion, Gorn, Blaine, or freaking Sherry the talking god damned mouse."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "And nothing of Saduj."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Nobody cares about Saduj.  People do, however, generally kinda care about Iolo."
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "How art thou, friend? Thou dost look like thou couldst use a little training thyself!"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "What is this? Everyone doth make fun of my physique!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Calm down, Tinker Bell.  Sentri's the first guy to even bring it up."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "You could've asked me."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "And you'd have dissed him, but you do that to everyone."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Point."
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "I am not making fun, Iolo. I am serious!" Sentri laughs.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Burnt!  Anywho, now that we're all done poking fun at Iolo being old, how about we pick on Shamino, instead?"
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Hey!"
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "Say, Shamino, art thou still spending thy time dressing in women's clothes?"
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "-What-?!?!"
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "Or art thou wasting away thy life in a healer's den, now that thou art in thy middle ages?"
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Careful, friend. Those are fighting words!"
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): Sentri punches Shamino good-naturedly. "And that is all they are, my dear friend. Words! 'Tis good to see thee!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Holy shit.  Okay, I don't even give a fuck about your stats, you're hired just for that alone, that was glorious.  Oh, and have you heard where Dupre buggered off to, by any chance?"
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "I want to see that no-good trouble-maker! He is a knight now, I hear! Sir Dupre indeed!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Damn.  Aah, well, welcome to the crew, Sentri, its good to have you on board!"
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): Sentri bows. "I am very pleased to join thy group."


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Why the hell is nobody in fucking Britannia wearing any fucking pants?!"
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "The crew have gotten...weird, since you left."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Fucking obviously!"

We also have Sentri's stats, next to Shamino's because I forgot to show his, last time.  They are, for better and worse, pretty much identical.  They have good dexterity and okay combat ratings, but they need some serious strength work.  Thankfully, with Sentri in the party, I can get free training thru him.  For free, you can use 1 training point to trade for 1 point of dex and, incidentally, one extra point of combat rating.  Not a bad trade-off, but there's better and Sentri is better as a party member (and pack mule...and accomplice) than he is as a trainer.  Actually, now's a fair point to properly talk about trainers and training in general.


As your guys gain experience, they'll gain what's called "training points."  Each level translates to 3 training points and, if memory serves, the level cap is either 8 or 9.  Since most of your party members start at level 3 (minus Spark, since he's a kid with no prior combat experience), this means 15 total training points to spend on stats.  Trainers take gold and a certain amount (usually 1-3) of training points in exchange for stat boosts.  There's a special case, however: whenever a trainer boosts your dexterity, you get a free point of combat rating, per point of dexterity gained, as a no-cost bonus and this is in addition to any combat point boosts the trainer also gives as part of their regimen.  This makes Chad in Moonglow a positive combat training monster: for 45 gold and 3 training points, he will give you +2 dex and a total of +5 to your combat rating.  That's enough to turn a complete loser who couldn't hit the broad side of Castle British into someone who can actually do damage on the regular.  Other good ones include Menion in Serpent's Hold, who gives +1 combat and +2 strength (3 TP) and Jillian in the Lycaeum who gives +1 to intelligence and magic (good for Dave, 2TP).  A full listing and complete breakdown of who gives what, and at what cost, can be found here (http://strategywiki.org/wiki/Ultima_VII:_The_Black_Gate/Trainers).

We return to our regularly-scheduled broadcast

Now, Sentri comes equipped with a spiked shield and a shitty, regular sword.  In his pack, however, he has a vastly superior two-handed sword, so we equip him with that, toss the regular piece of crap somewhere and give Dave a shield upgrade.  Also, notice all that pretty plate armour in the back room?  Yeah, that's locked.  But, not for effing long.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Hey, Sentri, mind if we borrow your stuff to help us in our quest to do...uh...things?"
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "Have at it.  The key's in my dresser."


So it is!  Sweet!  A nearly full set of plate armour (the second best, just behind magic) and a two-handed sword are added to our coffers!


The lion's share goes to Dave because he needs the protection since, if he dies, we all get ported back to Paws which is a real pain in the ass, especially if I'm, say, looting a dungeon.  Shamino gets the sword so his damage output is boosted and Sentri gets the helmet because Dave can't carry it because Dave is, for now, somewhat weak.  That, however, will inevitably change.  But, now is the time for...waiting.  You see, our little heist is best done at night since there's fewer people around to bitch.  Its around noon, so we're going to rest for a good 9 hours, giving us plenty of darkness to do...things.


See?  A perfectly respectable time to start breaking and entering and committing various felonies!


We start off small-time, ripping off the local shipwright of his paltry sum of money.  But, every little bit helps and Dave needs a lot of help.


Next, we stuff our shit into the hold of a nearby ship.  Don't worry, this will all make sense soon, I promise.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Alright guys, have a smoke break.  I'll be back in, like, an hour, tops."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "I've got the dominoes!"


In true form, Dave completely forgets that he needs something with which to bash open the display cases.  Running quickly back as the boys are playing tiddly-winks, Dave retrieves the cheapest, most useless "weapon" he has in his arsenal: a torch.


There we go!  Unfortunately, there's one caveat: no matter what, breaking a display case always summons guards.  I managed to elude the first set that came after I cracked the gem store, but breaking the cases at the armourer summoned a horde of guards that, subsequently, blocked the exit and promptly caught Dave red-handed.  Stripping him of his only goods (a torch), they toss him in prison.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Oh noes!  I am totes suffering the punishment for my crimes."


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Or not!  Thanks, conveniently placed, semi-hidden lever!"


Unfortunately, the guards take us all the fucking way up to Yew.  Fortunately, Dave is a crafty bastard and, sprinting through the woods, thoughts of soon-to-be-stolen goods running through his mind, he finally manages to get back to the guys.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Guess what you guys are accessories to!"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Oh god."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "If it makes you feel any better, the shipwright's an accessory, too."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "That does the exact opposite of help, Dave."

And we proceed to rob the jeweler and armoursmith blind!  The loot isn't the best, but we can't break the literal (and metaphorical, but mostly literal) bank, just yet.  For that, we need something a bit more...efficacious.  We also need more carrying capacity, because we are running critically low.  So, we need training!  But, to get the good stuff, we need a way across that damned water!  So, next time, we'll be finding a means of transport unconstrained by the laws of physics, with eight bucket seats to boot!  Then, we can worry about the bigger fish: training, Dupre...and the Royal Britannian Mint.
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter on August 06, 2016, 12:13:19 pm
10. Dave acquires transport

While training is all well and good, we need to actually get to the good trainers -

(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "I train for free, now!"

I said good trainers, Sentri, all you give is +1 Dex and an incidental +1 to Combat.

(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): :(

Hey, don't blame me!  Origin is the one that made you suck!  No, we need to get to Serpent's Hold and chat up a dude named Menion; for 45 gold and 3 training points a session, he'll give anyone we want a +2 to Strength and +1 to Combat, a perfectly respectable buff for a perfectly reasonable price.  Strength is Ultima's most important stat, unless you're Dave, in which case, you've got, like, 3 important stats (Strength, Intelligence, and Magic).  For everyone else, Strength gives extra hit points, more melee damage, and more carrying capacity.  This translates to being able to kill more and cart more loot home, which is extremely useful.

But, we're one crucial thing away from being able to become good: transport.  Serpent's Hold is all the way at the bottom of the map and is an island.  Normally, that'd mean we'd need a ship, but I've got...other plans.  Mostly because, aside from the hold, ships kinda...suck as transports, since they need a place to lower the gangplank effectively so you can even get off the damn thing.  No, Dave is going to find something better...something much better.  And also a bit buggier, but mostly better.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Okay, guys, I'm gonna take a snooze.  All that thieving and running halfway across the continent made me tired.  See ya in a few hours."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Are you ever going to use a bedroll?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Not if I can avoid it.  Night!"


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "And so, the guard was all 'yarr, I'm going to take you to jail and take all your stuff and leave you to rot!'  Little did he know that all I had on me was a torch and, of course, the idiots threw me in the one cell that had a wall-moving lever leading straight outside."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Did you get your stuff back?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "What?  The torch?  Spark, I find torches absolutely god damned everywhere, plus, I've got magic that makes them effectively obsolete."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "I'd have taken it back on principle."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "You really need to stop influencing children, Dave."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Oh, calm down, buttercup."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Really, Iolo.  Besides, its not like they're going to go all ancient Greece on him and force Dave to drink hemlock for corrupting the young."
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "I dunno, Shamino.  Last I heard, Lord British was still pissed off about the fast one you pulled with the Codex, last time you were here."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "The worst he'd do is death-poke me, and something tells me that I'd end up getting carted to a nearby hospital and brought back to life, anyway.  I might just let him do it so he can relieve his frustrations.  Clones aside, LB's a cool enough guy."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "I don't think LB needs help with the relief angle, Dave..."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "...What?"
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Nothing!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): ???


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "What's your excuse?"
(https://i.imgur.com/jTQm7Ec.png): "Excuse me?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Crap, forgot that movies don't exist, here.  What's your name?"
(https://i.imgur.com/jTQm7Ec.png): "My name is Sean."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Killer.  So, what do you do around here?"
(https://i.imgur.com/jTQm7Ec.png): "When not tending to Fellowship affairs, I am a jeweller here in Britain. If thou dost wish to buy something, say so!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Certainly more friendly and less shifty than most other Fellowship members I've met, I'll give ya that.  So, you're a jeweller?"
(https://i.imgur.com/jTQm7Ec.png): "It is very delicate work. It requires a special touch that only a few have. Thou must know precisely how to handle precious materials. Only the finest of craftsmen become jewellers and they receive the highest compensation."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I might have some of those 'precious materials' you're talking about...what kind are you talking about?"
(https://i.imgur.com/jTQm7Ec.png): "I constantly require new materials with which to create my very special jewelry. I am always in the market to buy gems. If thou dost ever come across any, I am the man to come to if thou shouldst want to sell them and make money.  Incidentally, I seem to have lost a great deal of my stock, recently."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "You buy gems?  Well, shit on a biscuit!  I just so happen to have come upon a small supply of the little, glittering buggers and need to turn them into something slightly more useful."
(https://i.imgur.com/jTQm7Ec.png): "Some of these gems look familiar..."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Many stones look the same, sir.  In fact, I have two that are identical."
(https://i.imgur.com/jTQm7Ec.png): "I will pay thee 30 gold coins per gem. Is that price agreeable?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "You bet your ass it is, pony up!"


Aah, much better!  We only had 6 gems, to that netted us 180 bucks, but that's 180 more than we had before, and that's what matters most.  Besides, once we're able to hunt dragons, getting gems in mass amounts won't be no thang.

(https://i.imgur.com/jTQm7Ec.png): "Wait...these are the gems that got stolen!  GET THE HELL BACK HERE!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Shit, cheese it!"


Dave quickly sprints north to evade the wrath of Sean the Jeweler, and bumps right into something useful: The Royal Museum!  Why is a museum useful?  Because its my fucking museum, that's why, and absolutely no one gets pissy if I raid it for whatever useful shit it happens to have in it that isn't either bolted down or weighing more than a sedan.


On the right-hand side, we've got two very important relics: a pair of swamp boots, and...a gun.  A musket.  Ohhhhh yes, we've finally got real firepower now, baby!  Its base damage is 9, which is right between a regular bow ( 8 ) and a crossbow ( 10 ).  Alas, it doesn't get the boon of magical ammunition, like the other two, but ammo is free, and it is also a gun.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Spark?"
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Yes, Mr. Dave?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I hereby bestow upon you a heady responsibility, but one for which I feel you are ready."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Am I going to hold the gold, Mr. Dave?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Better!  Spark, I hereby bestow upon you...your first gun."


(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Glee!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I thought so.  Spark, you are officially ready to kill bitches with the big boys, now!"

Sentri gets the swamp boots and Dave gets Spark's old shield, since he no longer needs it.  We hold on to the defense sword in case we need to turn someone into a tank and because I'm a compulsive magical weapons hoarder.  Now...now, we are ready to fight!  Now, let's take a short wander northeast, shall we?


(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Dave?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Sup?"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Where the hell are we going?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Somewhere important."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Care to let the rest of the class in on your plan?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Not really."


(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Anyone else get a taste of the gremlin-butter?"
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "Yeah, it tasted...weird.  Kinda gamey."


(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "And that's how I got my first lap dance.  Oh, what's that?"
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "It can't be..."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Aah, my old friend: the magic carpet!"


Which, for reference, is around this area.  The magic carpet is awesome.  Not only does it have enough seating for a full party, but its fast and can go damn near anywhere, by virtue of the fact that it freaking flies.  Its only downside is that, occasionally, it'll crash the game for no reason.  However, now that we've got it, we can go pretty much anywhere we want, the world has officially been completely opened up.  Now that the kid's got a gun, we've got some better ranged DPS, since Iolo isn't doing all the work -

(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "About damned time, too."

Which will help us out in the long run.  You really don't want tonnes of people wading into melee, since it tends to make fights a bit of a jumbled mess.  For a max party of 8 members, you typically want, at minimum, 3 people killing at range.  Shamino and Iolo are pretty much built for it, and Spark can get good without much hassle.  Though we may get plenty of absurdly powerful melee weapons in the relatively near future, it is always best to have some people fighting at a distance.  Just be careful with Iolo and the triple crossbow, because if he misses, he can hit you with it, and the triple crossbow is a 28-damage murder machine matched only by certain magical weapons and freaking explosives (as well as cannons).  I try to only give him one once his Combat rating is in the mid 20s, so as to minimize the risk of Dave (or some other unlucky sap) getting murderized by accident when we're trying to kill a headless or something.  Oh, and never let Shamino use burst arrows.  He can, and will, kill you with the splash damage.

Next time, Dave goes on a looting/recruiting spree as we prepare to take on the expansion before we're even really ready!  There's only one really combat-laden part to it, so its not a huge problem, and it grants Dave max stats (including double max strength) as well as the single most powerful weapon to ever exist.  But, before that, there's plenty of little treasure coves around the world that we can loot for monies and good gear!  Trust me when I say, dis gon be gud.
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: Even Then on August 07, 2016, 01:28:26 am
Good shit once again, although that lapdance joke made me more uncomfortable than amused. But hey, that's just me.
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter on August 07, 2016, 09:41:16 am
I was bound to miss one, eventually.  Honestly, I'm surprised I haven't had more misses before now, lol.
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter on December 22, 2016, 09:31:41 pm
11. Dave raids again

Apologies for the lengthy delay.  University ate up a tonne of my time, so I really haven't had a chance to get back into this or much else, besides.  Anywho, let's get a-moving, shall we?


(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Where are we going, now, Mr. Dave?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Glad you asked that question, kid.  We're going to be heading south.  We need a heavy-hitter, and someone to carry a bunch of luggage."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "I'm not sure if I have a good or bad feeling about this..."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Quit yer bitchin and get on the magic, flying carpet with eight convenient bucket seats, already!"


And like that, we're airborne!  Of course, the magic carpet comes with a few caveats...


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "And, just like that, we're in Jhelom in a matter of minutes!"
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "I'm still slightly dumbfounded by how easy this thing was to find..."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Why Jhelom, and why a bar?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Jhelom is where all the knights are, and a bar is the best place to get a drink."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Ohhhh, I think I get it..."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "I'm still lost..."


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "That is why we're here."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "That drunk guy?"

(http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu273/RH-00/SI-LP-FACES/dupre_zpsnkmaflui.png): "Good god damn, I'm bored..."


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Buddyyyyyyyyy!  What you been doin since I last stopped by?"
(http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu273/RH-00/SI-LP-FACES/dupre_zpsnkmaflui.png): "I have not seen our old friends in some time. Currently I am conducting a study of all of the various drinking establishments of Britannia. At present I am about halfway through. But it is nothing that could keep me from adventuring with thee, Dave."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "So, wandering the world and getting hammered, basically?"
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "I think you meant to say 'business as usual,' Dave."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "What he said."
(http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu273/RH-00/SI-LP-FACES/dupre_zpsnkmaflui.png): "Pretty much."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Also, what friends are we talking about, here?  The ones that follow us around and haul my loot, or the kind you can only find in Buccaneer's Den?"
(http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu273/RH-00/SI-LP-FACES/dupre_zpsnkmaflui.png): "Yes."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Smartass."
(http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu273/RH-00/SI-LP-FACES/dupre_zpsnkmaflui.png): "Our old friends -- Iolo and Shamino."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I don't think you'd find Iolo in a brothel, what with him being married, and all."
(http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu273/RH-00/SI-LP-FACES/dupre_zpsnkmaflui.png): "Avatar, there is a strange old man following thee, and he bears a vague resemblance to Iolo! It is most odd."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Why's everybody always picking on me?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Because no one likes you, monkey boy."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "I am so lost, right now."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Earth humour.  Anywho, what about Shamino?"
(http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu273/RH-00/SI-LP-FACES/dupre_zpsnkmaflui.png): Sir Dupre snorts, "From what I had heard Shamino was all but settled down and retired from the adventuring life."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "I still have a few wild oats left to sow, thank thee very much."
(http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu273/RH-00/SI-LP-FACES/dupre_zpsnkmaflui.png): "Then it is good to see another member of our old sowing circle once again!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I think you guys set some kinda innuendo record, there.  Anyway, you wanna join up?"
(http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu273/RH-00/SI-LP-FACES/dupre_zpsnkmaflui.png): "Dear sweet god, yes."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "That boring?"
(http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu273/RH-00/SI-LP-FACES/dupre_zpsnkmaflui.png): "You have no idea."


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Let's take this world to the cleaners!"
(http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu273/RH-00/SI-LP-FACES/dupre_zpsnkmaflui.png): "I call shotgun!"
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "Damn it..."


Heading slightly to the north, barely any journey at all, and we come across a completely nondescript island with some totally innocuous sheep on it.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Maybe...too nondescript!"

Well, let's see...


Oh...oh my.  Heading just to the left into the mountains (there's a small dirt path leading into a false side of said mountain), we find a room...a room with a gun!  And 25 bullets.  And a veritable fucking bounty of cold, hard cash.  Let's take inventory, shall we?

A very good haul.  All totaled, that's $1,310 in hard assets, plus extra weaponry that we can have on-hand in case we need it.  We barely moved 20 feet, and already we're over a grand further in the black.  Britannia has some exceptionally good treasure spots.  We are, eventually, going to raid absolutely fucking all of them for money, weapons, food, and anything else we can use to either fund, fuel, or advance our campaign until there is absolutely nothing that can stand in the way of Dave and Company.


Going to the southeast, we find this little hideaway in the mountains.  I wonder what we got here?

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Okay, boys, you know the drill!  If they attack us, kill 'em!  Take everything that's nailed down and even shit that isn't!  Let's do this!"
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "Chargeeeeeeee!"


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "On second thought, stand back and watch this!"


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Eat powder keg, stupids!"


Problem solved, bitches!  What we get?

On the bodies:

Totaling 135 gold on the corpses, alone, plus leather armour for whomever might need it.  Let's look at the chests and shit!


Not a gigantic haul, but not bad.  This place would be a good base of operations were it not for one little thing: the pirate(s) and wizard(s) respawn.  Getting into a fight whenever I want to get a little folding money is not my idea of a good hideout.  I'll see if one of the nearby, smaller islands would be a good place to setup our little stash, later.  In fact, its good practice in both this game and Serpent Isle to setup a place to store your goods; in SI, you get access to one fairly early on that's got tonnes of space for crates, chests, and the like.  In Black Gate, you have to get a bit more...creative.  Still, Dave's a clever enough fellow...

(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "I dunno about that..."

And I'm sure that he'll find a place to stash all our ill-begotten wares!
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter on February 18, 2017, 06:40:04 pm
12. What to do, what to do...?


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Whelp, I'm at a loss."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "That didn't take long."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "We could find a place to stash all our crap."
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "Perhaps pick up another person to join our merry band of misfits and adolescents?"
(http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu273/RH-00/SI-LP-FACES/dupre_zpsnkmaflui.png): "We could go to Buccaneer's Den and get laid."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I'unno, guys...it feels like I'm missing something."
(http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu273/RH-00/SI-LP-FACES/dupre_zpsnkmaflui.png): "Exactly, you're missing women and wine."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Mandrake really had an effect on your life, didn't he?"
(http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu273/RH-00/SI-LP-FACES/dupre_zpsnkmaflui.png): "What can I say?  His Virtues are a lot less boring."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I've got it!"
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Oh boy, this is gonna be fun!"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Oh god."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I've got enough money to buy enough booze to kill everyone present -"
(http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu273/RH-00/SI-LP-FACES/dupre_zpsnkmaflui.png): "*ahem*"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): " - sans Dupre, of course."
(http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu273/RH-00/SI-LP-FACES/dupre_zpsnkmaflui.png): "Thank you."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "No, what I'm really missing...is personal power.  Where we go and how we do?"
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "There's that new island that cropped up outta nowhere a while back.  Been causing a lot of earthquakes."
(http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu273/RH-00/SI-LP-FACES/dupre_zpsnkmaflui.png): "Still need to find out who's responsible for that..."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "One made you drop your drink, didn't it?"
(http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu273/RH-00/SI-LP-FACES/dupre_zpsnkmaflui.png): "Two drinks, I'll have you know.  I was having a drinking contest with one of the duelists here, and one of those earthquakes struck and I had to pay for more beer!"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "You poor thing."
(http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu273/RH-00/SI-LP-FACES/dupre_zpsnkmaflui.png): "Bite me, Iolo."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Wait...there's a random island that's popped up out of nowhere and nobody told me?!  What the shit, you guys?!  I thought you were my friends!"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "We knew you'd hurry off there, right away, and get us all killed."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I would not!"
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "...Yes, you would."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Yeah, I would.  Anywho, let's get rolling, then!"

Yes!  Its that time, at last!  Dave and Co. shall tackle the Isle of Fire and the Forge of Virtue expansion!  Why?  Because it gives Dave max stats -

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I am literally erect at the thought."

Ew.  And, also gives him access to the most ungodly powerful weapon in the entire game.  The Isle of Fire contains the tests of Truth, Love, and Courage.  Truth is trivial (seriously, its the single most stupidly easy dungeon to ever exist), Love's only real danger is it taking time, and Courage is actually dangerous...of course, behind the doors of Courage lies the path we must take to make said ultimate weapon, so we'll have to brave it, by being total pussies and using plenty of explosives and spells, at the end.  Anyways, let's get to moving!


Spark gives us this helpful tip that a magical island raised from the depths of the ocean by a crazy, blind, elderly wizard might be a little unstable and also nearby.  Hey, kid's not technically wrong.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "This place is lookin' awful familiar..."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "So, I'm not the only one getting a weird sense of deja vu, then?  That's a relief."

Indeed, the Isle of Fire is something from the Avatar's (and, thus, Dave's) past; more on that, later.  As it stands, its got three shrines to the Three Principles with three tests, one per shrine.  Each one raises a primary stat, and the secondary to which its linked, to maximum upon completion.


The moongates to the left and right go to Love and Courage, respectively.  However, we have chosen to tackle Truth, first since, as I stated earlier, it is dirt simple to solve.

(http://i.imgur.com/IhKHrwZ.png): "Greeting to thee.  I am the keeper of Truth.  Dost thou seek the wisdom and boon of Truth?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Along with whatever power it happens to give me, yes."
(http://i.imgur.com/IhKHrwZ.png): "'Very well.  Prepare thyself.'  The voice falls silent."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Well, that wasn't ominous or anything."


We're sent to a dirty cave somewhere in the mountains around this place.  No matter what you do, don't go to the centre of the room to our left.  It is trapped to hell and back.  Take a clue from the corpse sitting there and avoid the hell out of it.  Instead, let's go around the top of the room, and make our way to the next hall.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "A hat, how suspicious.  Let's go poking around..."


(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "What in the hell?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Well, they say the Truth is often simple and hiding in plain sight..."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Now is not the time to be profound, Dave."

Heading straight north of the cowl, we find an illusory wall.  Walk right thru it...


Through the bend...


Over the river and through the woods, and I got the damn thing!  Pick up the blue wedge on the pedestal and get teleported back!  Keep a hold of the wedge, though; we'll need it to finish the quest chain.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I barely broke a sweat.  In fact, I didn't break a sweat."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Mr. Dave, is it weird that I am the exact opposite of comforted by the ease with which we completed this task?"
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "No, that's about par for the course."


Statue dude boosts our "powers" in payment for beating this absurdly simple non-puzzle non-dungeon.  But, what power did he grant us...?


Maxed out intelligent and magic, baby!  Dave is now a full-blown caster.  Given a few levels' experience, and he'll be able to blast people to hell and back.  As it stands, he can only use 3rd circle spells, but his reserves are such that he can cast them quite a bit before needing a breather.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I am now smarter than all of you combined!  HAHAHAHAAA!  THE POWER IS MINE!"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "You still can't cast anything bigger than a fireball, Dave.  Calm down."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): :(
(http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu273/RH-00/SI-LP-FACES/dupre_zpsnkmaflui.png): "Iolo, you're just bitter because Dave can still use magic, unlike the rest of us."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Am not!"
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "I seem to recall someone bemoaning that very fact on the carpet ride to Jhelom."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): (https://sc.mogicons.com/l/troll-face-22.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Oh, screw all of you!"

Well, that was utterly boring and uneventful.  Anywho, next time, Dave will learn what Love is and maybe, along the way, find Courage to stand up to a dragon...or, maybe just take a glass sword to his face and make a weapon that may, or may not, house a greater daemon I can use to kill almost literally anything on the planet.  Oh, and Dave will become all but unstoppable (unless, say, a liche gets a death bolt off on his face) by the end of all this.
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter 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.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Time for another inane virtue test with no real threats or challenges."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Does this happen a lot to you, Mr. Dave?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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?"
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Two or three more should do it."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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.

(http://i.imgur.com/0UELibb.png): 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.
(http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu273/RH-00/SI-LP-FACES/dupre_zpsnkmaflui.png): "Why, by the stars, I believe it is a creature!"
(http://i.imgur.com/0UELibb.png): "Help him?" it asks carefully, pointing to the fallen statue lying beside it.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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?"
(http://i.imgur.com/0UELibb.png): "We are called stone golems...  because we are made out of stone and rock."
(http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu273/RH-00/SI-LP-FACES/dupre_zpsnkmaflui.png): "As opposed to a tequila golem, which is made out of tequila and fun?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "What's your name, big guy?"
(http://i.imgur.com/0UELibb.png): "My master named me Bollux."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Your master had a perverse sense of humour.  Anyway, what's this about some help?"
(http://i.imgur.com/0UELibb.png): "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."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Well, that drastically simplifies things."
(http://i.imgur.com/0UELibb.png): 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."
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "Someone actually doing some of the legwork for us?  That's a first."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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."
(http://i.imgur.com/0UELibb.png): "I did not... understand the book, but I remember... blood..."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Eeh, more'n enough for me to go on.  I'll see about fixing your buddy up, sit tight."
(http://i.imgur.com/0UELibb.png): "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.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Yoink!"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Are you ever going to not, in some way, violate the sanctity of the dead, Dave?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "...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! 

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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.

(http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu273/RH-00/SI-LP-FACES/dupre_zpsnkmaflui.png): "Is this...is this love?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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.

(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "He gave up his heart... so that Adjhar may live! Well, not to be morbid, but I suppose the incantation should work now."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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.

(http://i.imgur.com/YZeGR8v.png): "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?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "He, uhmmm...kinda tore his heart out."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Slick."
(http://i.imgur.com/YZeGR8v.png): 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?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Don't see why not."
(http://i.imgur.com/YZeGR8v.png): "Very good," he says, noticeably relieved. "I thank thee in advance."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "So, who you is?"
(http://i.imgur.com/YZeGR8v.png): "I am the golem called Adjhar, at thy service."
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "I get the feeling your master might've been something of an ass, giving you guys names like that."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "You called your brother a fool earlier, mind explaining exactly why?  I mean, he kinda gave his life to bring you back and all."
(http://i.imgur.com/YZeGR8v.png): "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?'"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Yup."
(http://i.imgur.com/YZeGR8v.png): "Dost thou have it with thee?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Next to several volatile powder kegs, yes."
(http://i.imgur.com/YZeGR8v.png): 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.
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "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..."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Real sensitive there, Shamino."
(http://i.imgur.com/YZeGR8v.png): "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."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "So, we've just got to hit the tree harder?"
(http://i.imgur.com/YZeGR8v.png): "Pretty much."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Killer, back in a minute."
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter 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...

(http://i.imgur.com/YZeGR8v.png): 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?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "You betcha, big guy."
(http://i.imgur.com/YZeGR8v.png): "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."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Ya don't say?"
(http://i.imgur.com/YZeGR8v.png): "Mark the wisdom of the Shrine of Love well, Avatar."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "The suspense is killing me."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Britannia could only be so lucky."
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter 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!
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter on June 29, 2017, 06:20:08 pm
14. Conquering courage, Part One


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Ya know, we've got a lot of goods we really ought to offload before things start to get too crazy, around here."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "I thought we were on a roll, Mr. Dave!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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!"
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "So long as I stop carrying all this crap, I'll be happy.  I think I'm starting to develop back problems."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Plus, I've got an idea on how to complete the test of Courage in the most ass way possible."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Another one of your 'brilliant schemes?'"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Something like that."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "I think he was being sarcastic, Mr. Dave."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Oh, I know.  Except this is actually brilliant."

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

(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "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.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I thought I said I was never visiting this shithole again!"

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

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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.

(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "But, won't somebody notice a series of conspicuous-looking crates on a deserted island?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Okay!  You guys take a smoke break, I got this."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "You sure you don't need any backup, Mr. Dave?"
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "Trust him, kid.  When Dave goes off to do something on his own, its usually either expensive or dangerous."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "In this case, its both.  Black potions are expensive as hell, and this is a test of Courage."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "There is absolutely nothing courageous about walking around invisible and killing monsters whilst they sleep."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I prefer to think of it as discretion being the better part of valour."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Dave's interpretation of the Virtues has always been a little...flexible."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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!


(http://i.imgur.com/TVUHAxg.png): 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.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I dunno about that..."
(http://i.imgur.com/TVUHAxg.png): "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?
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I've done stupider shit."
(http://i.imgur.com/TVUHAxg.png): 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.
(http://i.imgur.com/TVUHAxg.png): "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?

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "So...closeeeeeeeee!"
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter 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:

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "This here, is only a test."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "What the hell are you talking about, Dave?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "He's testing a script."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Like a play?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "...Kind of?"
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "I think he means a Python script."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Why did Mr. Iolo flinch when you said 'Python,' Mr. Shamino?"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "I did no-!"
(http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu273/RH-00/SI-LP-FACES/dupre_zpsnkmaflui.png): "Because Iolo's a big pussy when it comes to snakes, kid."
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "Seriously, Iolo, man up."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "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!
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter 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.

(http://i.imgur.com/YbqPfp3.png): He then continues with a small bow, "Greetings Britannian. What dost thou wish of the great daemon, Arcadion?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "You're a daemon?  Like an actual daemon, and not just a gargoyle?"
(http://i.imgur.com/YbqPfp3.png): "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.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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?"
(http://i.imgur.com/YbqPfp3.png): 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.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Haven't bothered to talk to the old man, myself.  What's your take on Erethian?"
(http://i.imgur.com/YbqPfp3.png): "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.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "So, I take it you don't like serving him."
(http://i.imgur.com/YbqPfp3.png): 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?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "You want me to help you, a greater fucking daemon, break free and wreak untold havoc on the world?"
(http://i.imgur.com/YbqPfp3.png): "You say that like its a bad thing."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Point.  Okay, how we do?"
(http://i.imgur.com/YbqPfp3.png): 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.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Again, how we do?"
(http://i.imgur.com/YbqPfp3.png): "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.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "What, like this gem I got by doing something incredibly stupid?"
(http://i.imgur.com/YbqPfp3.png): "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.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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.

(http://i.imgur.com/dWFKdfc.png): 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.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Hey, at least you're more mobile."
(http://i.imgur.com/dWFKdfc.png): "..."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Also 'wrath?' Someone's a drama queen."
(http://i.imgur.com/dWFKdfc.png): 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."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Wait, I'm your master, now?  Holy shit!"
(http://i.imgur.com/dWFKdfc.png): 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?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Beats me, what can you do?"
(http://i.imgur.com/dWFKdfc.png): You hear a faint sigh, then, "Wouldst thou care to partake of my power?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Depends, what you got?"
(http://i.imgur.com/dWFKdfc.png): 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.
(http://i.imgur.com/dWFKdfc.png): "Thy power needs no replenishing, master." The daemon sounds a bit put out.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Don't feel bad, I'm sure you'll be replenishing a lot more than my power, soon."
(http://i.imgur.com/dWFKdfc.png): "..."

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!


(http://i.imgur.com/dWFKdfc.png): "God damn it, no!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "It'll only be for, like, five minutes!"
(http://i.imgur.com/dWFKdfc.png): "FINE.  But, only if I get to kill something, afterwards."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Deal."


(http://i.imgur.com/VIg0EVe.png): "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.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Creepy.  What do you do around here?"
(http://i.imgur.com/VIg0EVe.png): "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.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Moving right along, I heard something about a great evil returning.  Care to comment?"
(http://i.imgur.com/VIg0EVe.png): 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.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "The psyche of Exodus is returning, dude!  That's not exactly gonna 'sort itself out,' asshole!"
(http://i.imgur.com/VIg0EVe.png): "Could this possibly be true?" Erethian's blind eyes light up with unabashed glee. "What an opportunity I have here."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I am growing more concerned about your mental state by the minute."
(http://i.imgur.com/VIg0EVe.png): 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?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "You are clearly out of your fucking gourd; this means you must be the perfect gentleman to speak to about making a powerful artifact!"
(http://i.imgur.com/VIg0EVe.png): "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."


(http://i.imgur.com/IOVHH88.png): "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.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "That was actually pretty cool."
(http://i.imgur.com/IOVHH88.png): 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.


(http://i.imgur.com/IOVHH88.png): Amidst muttered curses detailing the uselessness of ether and bothersome inter-dimensional beings, Erethian intones the magical words, "An Vas Ailem!   Kal Bet Ailem!"



(http://i.imgur.com/IOVHH88.png): 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.

(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "The hell was that all about?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I met a dragon I can't kill."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Did you try the glass swords?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "That just made it disappear and tell me I needed something stronger."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "That seems highly improbable."
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "I dunno, the Shadowlords were all but immortal, too."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Yeah, but those came from the Gem of Immortality!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I think I've beaten my sword as much as I'm able without breaking it."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Ew."

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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?"
(http://i.imgur.com/VIg0EVe.png): 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."
(http://i.imgur.com/dWFKdfc.png): 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.
(http://i.imgur.com/VIg0EVe.png): 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?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "In exchange for 'dramatic powers?'  I think I'll take my chances, bye!"
(http://i.imgur.com/VIg0EVe.png): "Goodbye and good luck..." Erethian sounds truly sympathetic.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Alright, Arcadion, how do we put you in this thing?"
(http://i.imgur.com/dWFKdfc.png): "If thou dost wish me to bond the gem to the sword, thou hast but to command me, master."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Let's get this show on the road, then!"
(http://i.imgur.com/dWFKdfc.png): "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.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "FUCK YESSSSSSSSS!"
(http://i.imgur.com/tqDreXS.png): 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.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Gimmie, like, five minutes.  Aah..."
(http://i.imgur.com/tqDreXS.png): "...Ya done?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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!
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter on July 03, 2017, 02:35:58 pm

(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "We're out of smokes."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Hold tight, guys.  I'll be back in a few minutes."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Is that a new sword, Mr. Dave?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "You bet your ass it is, kid.  Everyone, meet Arcadion!"
(http://i.imgur.com/tqDreXS.png): "Howdy."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Uhh, Dave, is that a trapped greater daemon in there?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Possibly...?"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "What.  THE.  FUCK ARE YOU THINKING?!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "That the ability to kill almost anything I want with a touch is fucking awesome?"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "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."
(http://i.imgur.com/tqDreXS.png): "Don't worry, master.  I am physically incapable of leaving your side."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "HA!  Suck it!"
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "Well, so long as you're careful with it..."


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Hey, buddy!  Remembered how you said I needed something insanely powerul to kill you?"
(http://i.imgur.com/TVUHAxg.png): "Yeah, why?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "HAHA!  SUCK DAEMON SWORD!"


(http://i.imgur.com/TVUHAxg.png): 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."
(http://i.imgur.com/tqDreXS.png): 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!

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Arcadion?"
(http://i.imgur.com/tqDreXS.png): "Yes, master?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I think you and I are gonna get along just fine."
(http://i.imgur.com/tqDreXS.png): "Famously."
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter 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.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "See ya then, fuckers!"
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter 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.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Alright, kids.  The tests are done, so its time to saddle up."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "About time, my feet are killing me."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "And someone won't let me play with the forge..."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "You want to try and make a sword out of the bits of iron outside!"
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "I'm a blacksmith's son!"
(https://i.imgur.com/kM0yHeU.png): "There they go again..."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Let's just get going before Spark picks up that hammer."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Erethian, wake the fuck up!"
(https://i.imgur.com/FNaqgl1.png): "Hmm, wha?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Exodus' psyche's coming back and I need to figure out how to get that piece of shit gone."
(https://i.imgur.com/FNaqgl1.png): "Could this possibly be true?" Erethian's blind eyes light up with unabashed glee. "What an opportunity I have here."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "...You're a senile old bastard, aren't you?"
(https://i.imgur.com/FNaqgl1.png): "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?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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?"
(https://i.imgur.com/FNaqgl1.png): "But...science!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Fuck this, just tell me about something totally unrelated like the Talisman of Infinity."
(https://i.imgur.com/FNaqgl1.png): "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?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "You mean this scroll written entirely in pseudocode that I just took off your bedroom floor?  Yes."
(https://i.imgur.com/FNaqgl1.png): "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.
(https://i.imgur.com/CQKPPKo.png): Arcadion's voice whispers to you like a ripple in a still pond, "Fear not, my master. I have some knowledge of these matters."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "That a greater daemon is the most sane motherfucker here is, quite frankly, fucking terrifying.  How we do?"
(https://i.imgur.com/CQKPPKo.png): "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."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Say no more.  Gents, let's take a walk."


To the museum!

(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Are you sure this isn't stealing?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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."


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Get thee gone, thot!"
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): ???
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "I have no idea..."
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "Hey, isn't that the old-"


(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "Nevermind."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "He died as he lived.  A complete fucking moron."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Wanna go tell Lord British about this?  And that you, ya know, are back?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): ...
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Nah."


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I've got a brilliant idea."
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter on December 19, 2018, 11:47:23 am
17. Obtaining the truth, in the most ass way possible.

(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Okay, so what was that 'brilliant' plan of yours, agian?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Well, our stash is in a really inconvenient spot."
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "I've already forgotten where we even put the damn thing."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Exactly.  Since the only living inhabitant of this place is now a pile of smoking bones, I'm suggesting that we take over."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Take over."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Yesss..."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "The Isle of Fire?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Uh huh."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "And, with it, Castle Death, former home of Exodus?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Yup."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "...Fine, whatever.  At least this isn't likely to get us killed."


(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Why's there a blonde guy in the place where the Dark Core used to be?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Aah, there we go.  Still, it feels like something's missing..."
(https://i.imgur.com/kM0yHeU.png): "A chest for all our ill-gotten wealth?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Something still doesn't quite feel right..."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Oh god, I know that look."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): ???
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "He's got the interior decorating itch, again."


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "No no no!  The anvil goes next to the WESTERN staircase!  Does no one here have vision save me?"


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Annnnd, the head of the cot right next to the forge to keep me warm at night."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "I am still figuring out how you managed to relocate a fucking well."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "You can put your inheritance in here, kid.  Keep it safe."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Hm..."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Oh god, the kid's getting ideas, again."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "So long as they're productive."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): :)


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.

(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Don't you wanna talk to the jester, Mr. Dave?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Guess who's back?!"
(https://i.imgur.com/PTmCqv6.png): "...Oh god."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Hey, so about that Dark Core thing..."


(https://i.imgur.com/PTmCqv6.png): "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."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I HAVE THE POWERRRRRRRR!"

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.

(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "So, your 'brilliant idea' amounted to redecorating Castle Death and getting buff?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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?

(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Where are we, Mr. Dave?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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?"
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "No moreso than any other island with only a single building on it."


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Okay, then.  Smoke break.  I'm gonna prove to you I know what I'm doing."
(https://i.imgur.com/kM0yHeU.png): "I got the playing cards.  You're gonna lose that rack of ribs, this time, Spark!"
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "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.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Mind fucking off?  I have a point to prove, lady."


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Whatever."

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

(https://i.imgur.com/CQKPPKo.png): "Yummy non-character..."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I told you I had a brilliant idea."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): The Cube vibrates. "Shit, I guess you aren't as much of an idiot as you let on."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Huh, the little Cube vibrated when Iolo said that."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Try it on someone else!"
(https://i.imgur.com/kM0yHeU.png): The Cube vibrates.  "If I go much longer without a drink, I will literally die from DTs."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Hehe, I have an idea, guys.  Let's, uh, visit an old friend."


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Hey, Klog!  Wake your fat ass up and tell me about the Crown Jewel!"


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "This is wonderful!  Now, what do you actually know about the murders, you shitheel?"
(https://i.imgur.com/rYstrR5.png): 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."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Now, we're getting somewhere!  What about the cash?"
(https://i.imgur.com/rYstrR5.png): The Cube vibrates. "That was payment for delivery of the plans for the Black Gate pedestals."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "The Black Gate?"
(https://i.imgur.com/rYstrR5.png): "All I know is that it is being built on the Isle of the Avatar."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "And what about the scroll?"
(https://i.imgur.com/rYstrR5.png): 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."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Lastly, what do you know about Hook?"
(https://i.imgur.com/rYstrR5.png): The Cube vibrates. "He is the one who was assigned to kill Christopher. I do not know where he is now."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Glee!"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "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.
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter 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-

(https://i.imgur.com/CQKPPKo.png): "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.


(https://i.imgur.com/jzOlty7.png): "Who art thou?" Rudyom asks. "Oh -- I remember."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Who are you?  You kinda look like Rudyom, but the years have really not been kind to you."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Smooth."
(https://i.imgur.com/jzOlty7.png): "That I know. My name is Rudyom."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Christ.  What do you even do, nowadays?"
(https://i.imgur.com/jzOlty7.png): "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!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "You mean the magic carpet?  Dude, we got that ages ago."
(https://i.imgur.com/jzOlty7.png): "The big blue carpet. 'Tis a flying carpet. It does not work like it should." Rudyom looks around and scratches his head.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "The hell are you on about?  We've literally flown it across the planet."
(https://i.imgur.com/jzOlty7.png): "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!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "What's screwy with magic that's made you this loopy and senile?"
(https://i.imgur.com/jzOlty7.png): "I do not understand what is wrong. My magic does not work so well any more."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "So, I'm noticing that notebook near your...uhh, desk?  Dinner table?  I dunno.  What gives?"
(https://i.imgur.com/jzOlty7.png): "I used it to record mine experiments with blackrock and the blackrock transmuter."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Blackrock?  Do tell."
(https://i.imgur.com/jzOlty7.png): "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."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "And this transmuter?"
(https://i.imgur.com/jzOlty7.png): "'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!"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Dupre..."
(https://i.imgur.com/kM0yHeU.png): "I'll get his arms if he goes crazy."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Glee!"
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "That's my line!"
(https://i.imgur.com/jzOlty7.png): "Leaving so soon? Deary me. I hope I remember thee if thou dost come back."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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...


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Okay, guys.  Stand back!"
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "HIT THE DECK!"


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "..."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "MOTHER OF GOD!"
(https://i.imgur.com/kM0yHeU.png): "Holy crap!"
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "THAT WAS AWESOME!"
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Sweet Jesus!"
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "Duuuuuuuuuuuude!"

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "..."
(https://i.imgur.com/kM0yHeU.png): "You okay?"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "I think he's crying..."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "its so beautiful."
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "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.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I...I need some fresh air."


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Oh what the absolute FUCK?  That's NASTY."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "I may vomit."
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "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.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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.

(https://i.imgur.com/sA5ggBM.png): She looks up as you introduce yourself.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "And who might you be?"
(https://i.imgur.com/sA5ggBM.png): "I am Nastassia."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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."
(https://i.imgur.com/sA5ggBM.png): She thinks a moment. "I suppose my job is to keep the Shrine of Compassion pristine, though it is not an official position."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "It really ought to be, ya know.  Why would LB create them then just leave them to the elements?  Seems kinda shitty."
(https://i.imgur.com/sA5ggBM.png): "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."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Ariana?  Why does that name sound familiar?"
(https://i.imgur.com/sA5ggBM.png): "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."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Oh.  Oh my god."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "That's..."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Awkward in a way never before thought possible?"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Yeah, that's about right."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I...I, uh, kind of am the Avatar."
(https://i.imgur.com/sA5ggBM.png): Nastassia studies your features. "Somehow I knew it. It hath been said that thou wouldst return."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I really should pay respects, at some point.  I feel kinda bad.  But, I mean, why take care of the shrine?"
(https://i.imgur.com/sA5ggBM.png): "I... I'd rather not say. Please do not ask."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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.


(https://i.imgur.com/rIE4iEx.png): "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!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Nice to get a little respect now and then.  What's your name, sport?"
(https://i.imgur.com/rIE4iEx.png): "I am De Maria, the Bard."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Oh, so kinda like Iolo, except you don't spend all day killing pirates with a crossbow."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "If only I were so lucky to have such a consistent outlet."
(https://i.imgur.com/rIE4iEx.png): "I spin tales and sing songs! I also know a good deal about the folks in Cove."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "A tale, huh?  Hell, I got time on my hands, let's hear it."
(https://i.imgur.com/rIE4iEx.png): "What if I combine all three? Shall I sing a song which is a tale about the people of Cove?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Hell, why not?"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Grab a seat, this is gonna take a while."
(https://i.imgur.com/rIE4iEx.png): "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."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I am getting more depressed by the second."
(https://i.imgur.com/rIE4iEx.png): "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!"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "I'm feeling kinda uncomfortable hearing this, what with Spark around."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Ssh, he's getting somewhere!"
(https://i.imgur.com/rIE4iEx.png): "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."
(https://i.imgur.com/kM0yHeU.png): "Anyone want a drink?  I got extras."
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "YOU ARE A GENTLEMAN AND A SCHOLAR."
(https://i.imgur.com/rIE4iEx.png): "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."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Save me a few...dozen pints."
(https://i.imgur.com/rIE4iEx.png): "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!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I, uh...heard about your parents."
(https://i.imgur.com/sA5ggBM.png): "...Oh."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Yeah."
(https://i.imgur.com/sA5ggBM.png): "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."
(https://i.imgur.com/kM0yHeU.png): "I'm...gonna go lie down.  'Scuse me."
(https://i.imgur.com/sA5ggBM.png): "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."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Jesus Christ."
(https://i.imgur.com/sA5ggBM.png): "Art thou perhaps travelling to Yew?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "After hearing all this?  Fuck, its the least I could do."
(https://i.imgur.com/sA5ggBM.png): "Bless thee! I shall be waiting here for thee." Unexpectedly, Nastassia pulls your head down to hers and kisses you on the mouth.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): (https://i.imgur.com/Impax9w.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Hey, Spark, let's go check out that bench that suddenly became EXTREMELY INTERESTING."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): ???

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "CHARGE!"


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Don't worry, Nastassia.  I'll find out what happened to your pops.  Gimmie, like, a day.  Tops."
(https://i.imgur.com/sA5ggBM.png): "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 -

(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "There's kids present!"
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "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.

(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "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.
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter 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.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Let's head on to Yew and see what we can find, crew."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Shouldn't we be solving that murder...?"
(https://i.imgur.com/kM0yHeU.png): "Or at least going to Bucaneer's Den and getting shithoused?"
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "Or any of the other myriad subquests you've likely started by complete accident since coming here?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "...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."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "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.


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Howdy, Kreg.  What do you do around here?"
(https://i.imgur.com/dlP6IRM.png): "I am a monk here at the Abbey. I am working on an alchemical mixture."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "A mixture?  ...That's not a by-word for 'steroids' is it?"
(https://i.imgur.com/dlP6IRM.png): "...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."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "A vow of silence?  That's a new one on me."
(https://i.imgur.com/dlP6IRM.png): "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."
(https://i.imgur.com/kM0yHeU.png): "Are you an idiot?  Communication is key during the brewing process!"
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "And why a potion of invisibility?  That seems...oddly specific."
(https://i.imgur.com/dlP6IRM.png): "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'."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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."
(https://i.imgur.com/dlP6IRM.png): "Art thou sure? I will give thee information in return."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "What kind of information?"
(https://i.imgur.com/dlP6IRM.png): "I will tell thee about Lord British, The Fellowship, or Buccaneer's Den if thou bringest me the potion of invisibility."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "The liege everyone knows, the Scientologists I distrusted from the word 'go,' and Whore Island.  Not exactly tantalizing me, dude.  Later."
(https://i.imgur.com/dlP6IRM.png): 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.

(https://i.imgur.com/CNXhGO3.png?1): "Glorious day, Avatar." Perrin grins.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Calm down there, Sparky.  You know anything about the Abbey or the surrounding area?"
(https://i.imgur.com/CNXhGO3.png?1): "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."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I'll admit, I never thought of studying morticians.  You know anything about a dude named Julius?"
(https://i.imgur.com/CNXhGO3.png?1): "Nope."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Thank you for not wasting my time like that asshole, Kreg.  Later."
(https://i.imgur.com/CNXhGO3.png?1): "Goodbye, Avatar. Best of luck in thy journeys."

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


(https://i.imgur.com/Kb7btuW.png?1): "Hello, Avatar," says Reyna.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "You a monk or...?"
(https://i.imgur.com/Kb7btuW.png?1): "I am a healer. I have chosen to set up shop here near the forest."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Why, though?"
(https://i.imgur.com/Kb7btuW.png?1): "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.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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?"
(https://i.imgur.com/Kb7btuW.png?1): "I do not."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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.


(https://i.imgur.com/rz1FrLb.png?1): "Greetings, Avatar. I hope thy days are full of beauty."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Are you...hitting on me...?"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "She's a monk, so I'd imagine not."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Getting 'Kreg from the Abbey' vibes here.  Again."
(https://i.imgur.com/rz1FrLb.png?1): "I am afraid I do not know of such a person."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Wait...what?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "What he said."
(https://i.imgur.com/rz1FrLb.png?1): "There's nobody named Kreg at the Abbey."
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "I guess, being a monk, she'd know."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Hm.  You know anything about Julius?"
(https://i.imgur.com/rz1FrLb.png?1): "Someone else might, but I don't."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Fine.  Let's find the NEXT useless person."

(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "You're oddly stuck on this."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I will get fucking un-stuck.  Just you wait."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "That sounds vaguely threatening..."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I'm not gonna kill anyone.  Probably."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "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.


(https://i.imgur.com/hgN2fyk.png): "Yes, Avatar," Taylor asks. "May I assist thee?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "JULIUS."
(https://i.imgur.com/hgN2fyk.png): "Did I do something?"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "No, he's just frustrated."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "In more ways than one."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "I'd suggest answering the implied question all the same, though.  Just to be safe."
(https://i.imgur.com/kM0yHeU.png): "The giant, daemonic sword isn't for show."
(https://i.imgur.com/hgN2fyk.png): *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.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "So, he died, then?  Any leads?"
(https://i.imgur.com/hgN2fyk.png): "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?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Huh, okay.  So, fetch some honey and give it to some little woodland dudes?"
(https://i.imgur.com/hgN2fyk.png): "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."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Ya know, I think I might know what he's talking about."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Killer.  Hey, Taylor, one last question."
(https://i.imgur.com/hgN2fyk.png): "Shoot."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Aimi didn't seem to know anything about the Kreg guy hanging out in the Abbey.  You know him?"
(https://i.imgur.com/hgN2fyk.png): "That name does not sound familiar, Avatar. Perhaps he is not from this area."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "I'm a kid, and even I find that suspicious."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "You're catching on quick, Robin.  The guy's probably a con artist or something."
(https://i.imgur.com/kM0yHeU.png): "Dealt with some of them in the past, you see."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "If by 'dealt with' you mean 'perforated,' then yes."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "Cool!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Later, Taylor."
(https://i.imgur.com/hgN2fyk.png): "May thy knowledge increase with thine encounters with nature, Avatar."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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...


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png)(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png)(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png)(https://i.imgur.com/kM0yHeU.png)(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png)(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "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!


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "You're really doing this?  Six heavily armed men...well, five heavily armed men and one kid with a shotgun."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "He's swinging at me with a magic, transforming dagger."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "He seems quite intent on killing you, Iolo."
(https://i.imgur.com/dlP6IRM.png): "MUST SHANK OLD MAN!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Arcadion?"
(https://i.imgur.com/CQKPPKo.png): "On it, boss."


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Leaving now."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Are we just gonna leave his carcass rotting on the roof of Empath Abbey?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Someone will tell the undertaker, its cool."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): *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!


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Yo.  Who're you?"
(https://i.imgur.com/Bf4DKtD.png): "I am called Tseramed. Art thou Fellowship members? How art thou called?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "In order: no and Dave."
(https://i.imgur.com/Bf4DKtD.png): "Well met, Dave. Thy demeanor is noble. Perhaps thou couldst introduce me to thy companions?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I do suppose introductions are in order...we got Iolo."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "I do my damndest to keep this idiot on the story path."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Thus far, you have failed miserably."
(https://i.imgur.com/kM0yHeU.png): "I dunno, that thing with the Cube generator was pretty important."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "...Point."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Yeah, but that was all me.  Next up is Shamino."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Yo."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I found him sitting buck naked in a bar in Britain."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Hey!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Got Sentri-"
(https://i.imgur.com/qNRyT2O.png): "Who caught me before I'd even had time for breakfast."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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."
(https://i.imgur.com/kM0yHeU.png): "I singlehandedly keep the liquor industry afloat in this god-forsaken country."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "And last, but not least: Spark."
(https://i.imgur.com/NkWYH1Z.png): "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."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "And that about sums it up.  Say, you know anything about those bees?"
(https://i.imgur.com/Bf4DKtD.png): "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."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "Metal."
(https://i.imgur.com/Bf4DKtD.png): "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?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "You offerin to join the crew?  Hell, why not.  The more firepower, the better!"
(https://i.imgur.com/Bf4DKtD.png): "I would be honored, Dave."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Let's rock!"
(https://i.imgur.com/Bf4DKtD.png): "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?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Someone that fucking recognizes me?  Holy shit, I'm floored.  To answer you directly: yes."
(https://i.imgur.com/Bf4DKtD.png): "Noble hero, it is an honor to make thine aquaintance."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Suck up."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "So far up his ass, you could tell what he had for breakfast..."
(https://i.imgur.com/Bf4DKtD.png): "Hmm?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Yes, 'hmm'?"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png)(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "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.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Why the hell are none of you people wearing pants?!"
(https://i.imgur.com/Bf4DKtD.png): "Not answering that."


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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.
Title: Re: Let's Play Ultima VII [WARNING: Pic-heavy]
Post by: RavynousHunter on March 01, 2019, 11:33:01 am

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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-

(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "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?


(https://i.imgur.com/RYidkeZ.png?1): "You are greeted by me, human." Tavenor slowly approaches.
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "So, what's your job around these parts?"
(https://i.imgur.com/RYidkeZ.png?1): "The meaning of `job' is not understood."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Its what you do to make money or help your community...in a nutshell."
(https://i.imgur.com/RYidkeZ.png?1): "`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?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "The only things I cut down are monsters and bandits, little Emp dude."
(https://i.imgur.com/RYidkeZ.png?1): "The truth is known to me, but, belief is hard for me."
(https://i.imgur.com/eixzKp3.png): "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."
(https://i.imgur.com/RYidkeZ.png?1): 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."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.  If you don't mind, I'm gonna talk to your mouthy little friend, now."
(https://i.imgur.com/RYidkeZ.png?1): "You are told `goodbye.'"


(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Dave.  What do you do around here, Trellek?"
(https://i.imgur.com/eixzKp3.png): "I am a gatherer of food."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Gatherer, but not hunter, I take it?"
(https://i.imgur.com/eixzKp3.png): "All Emps are food-gatherers. Mainly fruits are sought by us."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "I've been known to enjoy the odd apple, myself."
(https://i.imgur.com/eixzKp3.png): "Fruits are pleasant-tasting, like the honey you gave us!"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Thanks, Trellek.  I'll see ya again."
(https://i.imgur.com/eixzKp3.png): "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.


(https://i.imgur.com/sA5ggBM.png): 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."

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): *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..."
(https://i.imgur.com/sA5ggBM.png): ???
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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-"
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Jesus."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Zip it."

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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."
(https://i.imgur.com/dYTc36l.png): "The last time was kinda warranted, though..."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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.  So...eh..."
(https://i.imgur.com/n1t82Xt.png): "Take your time."
(https://i.imgur.com/sA5ggBM.png): "I'm not going anywhere."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "Fuck it.  Look, Nastassia-"
(https://i.imgur.com/sA5ggBM.png): "Yes?"
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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."
(https://i.imgur.com/sA5ggBM.png): "Its okay.  I accepted that the moment I said what I said."
(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): *sigh*  "Shit.  Well, in for a penny...  I'll be back, Nastassia.  That's a promise."
(https://i.imgur.com/sA5ggBM.png): "Goodbye." She kisses you again, and then turns so that she will not see you leave.

(https://i.imgur.com/b2lKsN3.png): "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!