The Let's Play Archive

Ultima 1

by ManxomeBromide

Part 6: The Knight's Tour

Now that we've toured the world, we swing through northwestern Britannia on the way back. And what do we find but a new castle!

This is the Castle of the Lost King, and unlike Lord British's castle, there's no town near it.

As Alice stepped into the crumbling castle, she found the king and his courtiers gathered around a table, eating, drinking, and making a dreadful row. The King himself wore an oversized crown and pranced about the table, while the guards bustled to and fro bringing tea, cakes, and slices of bread.

A mousy princess somehow slept through the festivities.

Also, Gwino is here too. Iolo and Gwino are a clone army across all Sosaria.

"Oh, don't be rude now, Gwino, we have a visitor!" cried the King. "Come in, come in, come in! You're just in time for tea!"

Alice curtsied. "Good day, Your Majesty."

"Also, we have need of a noble adventurer! A quest is before us. Oh yes, a mighty quest indeed. We would help an adventurer as much as we could, wouldn't we, Gwino?"

"Oh yes, Your Majesty. More bread?"

The King turned beet-red with rage. "NO! No bread! Not yet! None! Quests first!"

Alice saw her opportunity. "I have already completed many quests for the Kings of Sosaria, and I can surely help in your quest against Mondain."

"MONDAIN!" cried the King. "Mondain is irrelevant. A mere side course! For we are in a pretty pickle here."

"A jam?" offered Gwino.

"NO! NOT A JAM!" He was quivering with rage now. "No jam at all! That is the problem! We are out of jam."

"Fetch us our jam, and then we can talk about this pest Mondain."

Gelatinous Cubes are native to levels 3 and 4. We head back to the Unholy Hole and dive down to level 3.

I figured I'd get to explore the level a bit, but just from my entrance point I can see a cube.

Well, sort of. Gelatinous cubes fill the entire hall and are thus effectively invisible. Also, it's behind a laser barrier. That's fine by me. We want gelatinous cubes as far away as possible from me, because if gelatinous cubes land a hit on you, your armor is permanently destroyed. Bring spare clothes when pushing through levels 3 and 4.

We have bigger things to worry about, though, because we've dropped straight into a monster zoo. No sooner do I turn away from the cube that a giant spider attempts to eat my face:

And no sooner do we blast it that an orc comes in behind us and starts attacking:

After that, we take a single step forward and discover our quarry has located us.

And I cannot capture the victory message reporting our completion of a quest because a Cyclops was right behind it.

This was going to be an update where I explored the levels and got maps and that sort of thing, but not only have we have literally solved the Mad King's quest by taking one step off the ladder, we've seen every enemy native to levels 3 and 4 too. So let's get out of here and visit the rest of the castles.

We've also made a tidy profit on our expedition, in gold, XP, and HP.

Astonishingly, in completing this quest we've actually made some real progress towards defeating Mondain:

We've got a new goal: get the four gems that will let us use the time machine once we've found it.

Let's go find castles on the other continents.

Here on the Lands of the Feudal Lords we find the isolated Castle Rondorin:

We find ourselves getting a very similar quest to our last one:

Carrion Crawlers Creepers are native to levels 5 and 6 of dungeons.

As we head off to the other castle on this continent we find some monsters we haven't seen before:

That's a Dark Knight and an Orc. I think Orcs, Thieves, and Evil Rangers are the only creatures that you find on both the overworld and the dungeons. They are, of course, no match for our deadly laser cannons.

We quickly find ourselves at the second castle here, Barataria:

Like Lord British's castle, this one has a town right by it.

Sharp-eyed viewers may notice that our castle designs are being recycled. Our style of quests are being recycled, too:

We already went there, but it doesn't count for the quest unless we do it while on the quest. So let's nip over to the Lands of Dark Unknown and do that.

If our stat is maxed, we get no effect.

As long as we're here, let's look for castles. There's one!

Speaking of recycling, that town by the castle is exactly like Britain...

... right down to the identical grocer. Note, incidentally, that now that our Intelligence is maxed, a single copper penny buys us ten days of food. An overworld kill will score us a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 48 pence. That's a whole lot of Finnish meat pies. We won't be dying of starvation this run.

This castle looks a lot like Lord British's, too. Will his quest be equally useless?

It will! Well, we might as well go turn in that first quest while we complete this one.

It's less exciting once we've already maxed Strength, though. Strength has diminishing returns on quests and is way more irritating to raise as a result, but you get better results faster early on. The message is a lot less inspiring, too.

We're still missing a castle this continent though.

This one is isolated, so if the pattern holds, this one is even plot-critical!

A mighty dragon lay curled up on the throne in this castle. It looked Alice over, lazily, and gave a greeting:

           See how the Dragonlord doth lair
           And obfuscate his cause,
           And welcome the unwary player
           Into his smiling jaws!

Something about the Black Dragon's voice made it hard for Alice to stay focused. She began to mumble a reply, but the words that came out of her mouth were much stronger and much bolder than what she was thinking. Perhaps this queenery was habit-forming!

           See how the silver-armored queen
           Doth quest against Mondain—
           A fruitless search will only mean
           She quests it yet again!

           See how her heaven-carriage bore
           Her swiftly 'cross the land—
           See how the foeman falls before
           The blaster in her hand!

           She knows you hold a Key of Time
           And bids you state your price.
           She'd rather not resort to crime
           But WILL NOT ASK YOU TWICE.

The Black Dragon curled tighter around his throne as he spoke. At length, he replied:

"That will do nicely, thank you, O King," declared Alice, and saw herself out.

That done, on to the Lands of Danger and Despair.

There's another castle by a town, a White Dragon this time...

... and he too sends us off on a mission we've accomplished a dozen times already, for no reward whatsoever.

We move on to the east.

What is this?

It is perhaps the best-named dungeon in the game, is what. A bit further north of that, we find the last castle in the game, and a familiar face.

He'll probably want us to kill something, if the pattern holds.

It does. That'll probably be tremendously awkward in about five games. Oh well, nothing to be done about it now.

We've now collected every king's quest, and completed all but three. Our to-do list at the end of this update is thus:
Well, we can do one of those right now, at least.

Next time: Our final dungeon dive.