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Screenshots of this page are from Ultima VII: The Black Gate (with Forge of Virtue addon), copyright Origin Systems, Inc, or whoever owns the rights right now. They're here for non-commercial, commentatory use only. Screenshots were grabbed from Exult.
MAY HAVE SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN'T PLAYED U7 BEFORE!!!
This will most likely spoil many jokes!
Well, I can just say that the adventure started a little bit earlier, but this is when I really started to play it. I play the game with Exult engine under Linux (mostly because the DOS version just refuses to work in this machine under Windows 98SE, and getting it to work in the old machine wasn't easy either... Besides, this approach eliminates the need of silly, constant booting.)
Anyway, We have now solved the mystery of Trinsic murder initially: The culprit has left the town, and no one seems to have too good details. I headed north, and we stopped to watch an interesting play, the Passion Play, performed by some members of the Fellowship.
The play had many aspects which made me to doubt the honesty of the Fellowship in general; It seemed so vaguely familiar. In this picture, Iolo the Bard with Terrifying Crossbow comments the play. (Actually, I believe he would say the same about modern movies, as well!) Taken out of context, the act would seem pretty, uh, interesting - yet, they weren't getting that intimate, actually, as it looks in the picture. Anyway, Iolo commented how bad the play was, and how he wasn't going to let me choose the entertainment anymore; However, he was standing in front of me and blocked my view, ruining my play experience!
We didn't let that to develop into a mighty fight; We were soon over with this, and headed north. A crocodile attacked, and me, armed with just a torch, didn't quite survive the experience. I found myself from Fellowship shelter in Paws, and decided to check around. A single townswoman recognized me as an Avatar! O tempora, o mores!
We did in fact kill a wolf earlier - my typist thought that was pretty bad - and a deer. This was most unusual, because we hadn't done that in U7 when we played it in DOS. In fact, we're already farther than where we were earlier...
In this night, I some problems. I thought I would play for a hour, but it turned out to be 3 hours and I finally got to sleep at 5 o'clock... Well well..
After checking the surroundings, and finding no trace of the murderer in Trinsic, or any trace of the thief in Paws, I headed to britain, and found my way to a museum dedicated to Avatar and his great adventures...
It was just that the stuff in museum seemed to go a little bit overboard. Ah, fanatic fans, they never leave the celebrities alone... Personally, I consider the above plaque the testament to the fact that "fanboys" can get rather obsessed. =)
I found my way to castle of Lord British, and even met the Big Guy in person. It was a truly interesting meet, as I heard a lot of interesting things of the state of the Castle renovations (see below for what LB has to say about the new Nursery) world today from both British, and a member of the Council who apparently opposes distribution of pr0n just like her Earth counterparts:
Then I met Chuckles, who boundlessly annoyed both me and Iolo with something he called "the Game", for which there was no rules and we were supposed to find trial and error funny. If I were not an Avatar who can give some Justice for this dimwit, I would have killed him on the spot. Finally, I got some interesting hints from him. As you can see, it's getting dark, and nightfall is near...
As a sidenote, please take a look at the portrait of Chuckles. He made faces when they played LB's theme. There's nothing holy in this world anymore...
We visited LB's study, and apparently he seems to study some books that are of questionable political nature:
...or maybe LB is just looking for some new ideas to manage the realm's little details. After all, he's being criticized for not being quite able to rule efficiently the mundane things...
You may ask why we visited the study? Well, we were looking for a clue for how to find some nice equipment for our quest. Regrettably, I had bought a HUGE bunch of dried meat, and that had drained our pouches (not to even mention the fact that it made managing my stuff a complete nightmare). So, I needed to get some equipment, and I found my way to the battlements.
I met this person, a lowly peasant, charged of a small crime but given Unjust punishment. His political rant made the argument of the peasant repressed by King Arthur seem pretty insignificant.
This is where Exult started to get buggy: No, Iolo is not going to jump down from the battlements. His route finding stuff just seemed to fail.. I managed to get him down safely, but it took some effort.
I talked about this thing with Lord British himself, and he too found this thing fairly insightful and promised to slap the fool who put this apple thief to the prison.
After this... well, I noticed I still had no cash. It seemed that the actors were making a play about Avatar, and the lead actor said he needed to learn a lot of lines like "Name", "Job" and "Bye". [This goes into category of Coolest Fourth-Wall Breaches Of Computer Games... -W4] We noticed that the play included a furry character, too...
But getting to the acting required an initial investment - that is, a costume. To get money to get money, I needed to get another job. So, time to bake! The baker told me a touching thing how his parents are now baking in heaven:
Regrettably bread baking was broken in this version of Exult, or maybe I just screwed it up somehow because the baker thought I was stealing his stuff and called guards. I hope the new version, which I installed today, will work better...
Like the new title image for this page? Simple but, I think, rather effective. The problem is, of course, that there were no cameras in Britain. (There are cameras in Nethack, but that's different...)
The bad news: Bread baking still seems to bug. The problem is that I have baked tons of bread, as seen here...
...but Willy says I haven't baked enough bread to receive the payment! I can't move the bread from tables, either, and I have 0 gold coins... I'm skewered!!!
Okay, I accept that Exult is still sort of buggy. I think I'll just use the cheats - but just for "ethical" purposes. If the game gets buggy, the buggerer gets goin'. =)
I talked to Batlin and took the test, as LB recommended earlier. He asked me to deliver stuff to Minoc. I'll mess around a bit and do Just That.
Okay, so I finally got to the stage after "producing" 100 gold for the suit. First, I talked again with the guy who played Avatar - as I wanted to hear his most excellent lines! Then, the director evaluated my my Avatar act, and seems like that stuff ended up being like that famous case in which Charlie Chaplin went to Chaplin look-alike contest...
So, I started to go for Minoc - and I killed a deer. The carcass made my carriage to get stuck... Well, the day wasn't completely ruined - I also saw this cute widdle foxy-woxy!
I hope my journeys continue soon again...
So my U7 games seemed to continue a bit later than I thought =) This time, I use Exult 0.98rc1. It appears to be less buggy than earlier versions (duh, of course...)
So, after some cautious fights in the swamps - and travel by some forestland where I saw two Bushy Wolves, very similar to the cuuuute fox above). I also saw two foxes!
I arrived to Minoc, where I met our banana-brandishing tinkeress Julia, my good friend from U4 times! There is no problem she couldn't fix, so she was more than welcome to come with us. Now, I wish I'll find others soon, too...
Now that I was in Minoc, I delivered the package from Batlin... the recipient was somewhat worried when she saw that I had opened the package. (Had I opened it? I can't remember... I didn't take anything, though...)
I heard that there was another ritualistic murder happened in the towne; and, of course, a gypsy fortuneteller told me wondrous things. I fought some Headless and Tentacles that stuck out from the pond.
I heard of some plans to create a statue for a great shipwright... of course, the public wasn't entirely happy of this thing.
I arrived to some sort of cave that I probably need to investigate, too.
it be known that
in 7th of March 2004,
around 3 o'clock in the morning,
and her faithful Companions
Iolo, Shamino, Dupre, Spark, Julia, Jaana and Tseramed
destroyed the Black Gate
and foiled the Guardian's attempt
to conquer Britannia.
(Yes, "her". I changed the Avatar's gender in mid-game. Just felt that way, don't ask me why. =)
I apparently ordered the game around 1997-04-27. So, the game apparently took 6 years, 10 months and 10 days to complete. However, I really started playing U7 (as noted above) in 2000-02-07, which means that in fact it took about 4 years and a month to complete the game. I've been busy with a lot of stuff...
But I finished the game!!! Woohoo! It's the first Ultima I finished - would be the second if the U4 floppy where I kept the savegame hadn't died horribly...
My apologies for not updating this page. I had just far too much fun with the game. Besides, I figured that since Exult 1.0 and later appear to have a screenshot function, why not use that instead of snapping screenshots of the Exult windows? Uhm, the only problem was that by the time I completed the game, there were 1228 screenshots captured from the game. =)
This page has always been about capturing the favorite moments in the game. So, once I discover the screenshots, I'll place them here - in completely random order =)
Frank the Fox is CUTE.
Why did the Fellowship put a temple to the Isle of Avatar? Gee, wonder why?
|Dracothraxus is probably one of the most interestingly worded dragons in any RPGs I've ever played - though I think some of the NWN dragons clearly beat him in terms of humor and wit. This is a good example of how to use dragons in a sensible way as an adversary.|
Alagner Kicks Ass!
|This thing was very strange. Exult apparently triggers fights quite a long way off. I was in the Isle of the Avatar, combat music started, and I looked a little bit of south - and saw the room that is shown through the crystal ball after Alagner is murdered. Well, since the combat was going on, Alagner popped up and started kicking Hook's rear! And for some obscure reason, he won! I reported the bug to Exult folks...|
The Liche introduces himself...
...and has a good deal of plans too...
|Horance the Liche. What we have here is the most EVIL villain in any game. Other baddies are merely designed to provoke you. Horance, however, is designed to scare.|
|In general, the whole Skara Brae sequence is easily my favorite part of the whole game. It has everything: Evil baddies, humor, true love... and the most Goth person ever. =)|
Forge of Virtue
The Black Sword
|Even though Arcadion is likewise an evil, demonic ally, I somehow enjoyed working with him (over the game, The Black Sword wasn't quite as demanding sword as, say, the Stormbringer). Hey, an epic game ain't a game without a talking sword, eh? And nothing is more Epic than forging swords (see Conan the Barbarian opening titles), and nothing's more epic than rising a sword with a bolt of thunder striking it (never mind the fact that we're indoors!) Holy heck, this thing was Epic.|
Visit the medieval Britannia, see interesting places, find Elizabeth and Abraham, and kill them!
The Throne of Virtue
|I have to say the endgame wasn't as epic as I expected, but it was surprisingly cool considering we're talking a 1992 release here. The final confrontation with Batlin, Hook, Elizabeth and Abraham wasn't really that complex - the three elusive characters had only a couple of lines of dialogue! However, I didn't really expect it to be that complex either. The final conflict was unavoidable. It was only a matter of moments until the Guardian would come through the Black Gate. It had to be destroyed...|
If I had designed U7, what would I have done differently? Here's a short list: