The Let's Play Archive

Ultima 4, 5, and 6

by Nakar

Part 18: The Abyss (not the one with Ed Harris) - Part I

The Abyss (not the one with Ed Harris) - Part I

The Abyss may be the final dungeon, the mysterious depths which house the Codex of Infinite Wisdom, but it's exactly like any other dungeon. 8 floors and everything. Well, you can't actually warp up and down in this one terribly well, and you have to pass a test to get to the next floor down, so either way we're going to be doing all of it.

I'm sure there won't be any problems.

More fire lizards. They could actually be dangerous in large numbers, especially since, as before...

...the floor starts filling up with lava as you take too long. But with only 3-5 of them in most rooms that have them, the lava is never really a present threat. Add to that lava being somehow less damaging than fire fields and I'm not in a huge hurry here.

Oh boy, sleep fields! Sleep is a nasty little ailment, so I stay put and just try to wait out the daemons. They can be put to sleep by their own magic fields, but after a while I get impatient.

This causes some issues. Fortunately, as long as Mariah or Steve is alive, I can Resurrect the rest of the gang. However Dupre, Shamino, and Iolo lack the magic points to cast Resurrect (although at least they have X-it if things go badly).

Solving that little gauntlet is it for the first floor. Now on to the altar which turns into a ladder down.

: What virtue dost stem from Truth?
:  Honesty. 
: Use thy stone.
:  Blue. 
The altar changes before thyne eyes!

Yes, it should be thine eyes, I think. I'm not the boss of Richard Garriott.

The next rooms just feature a sequence of aquatic enemies sniping at me as I cross an array of nine rooms.

But sea serpents, nixies, and squids are practically a free break for coffee and bagels compared to balrons, daemons, and gazers.

I tell you what, walking right out of a dungeon room into the inside of a poison field never gets old. Once again, despite being inside the magical field, we are unaffected because we didn't actually walk into it.

: What virtue dost stem from Love?
:  Compassion. 
: Use thy stone.
:  Yellow. 
The altar changes before thyne eyes!

Next floor's a bunch of running in circles. I forget the exact gimmick on L3 but it's really pretty short overall.

: What virtue dost stem from Courage?
:  Valor. 
: Use thy stone.
:  Red. 
The altar changes before thyne eyes!

Not only does L4 require me to pass through secret walls, it requires me to pass through several in a row while simultaneously turning myself despite a complete inability to see anything but the wall I am inside. Again, magic mapping gems help for this.

After dispelling the field in front of this door, you'd assume the way out is through it. You'd be wrong of course, as the way out seems to be through a secret door near it. They do this to us again on L6. Fortunately, the dead ends on this level are brief and obvious.

: What virtue dost stem from Truth and Love?
:  Justice. 
: Use thy stone.
:  Green. 
The altar changes before thyne eyes!

Down on L5 we encounter our good friends, the Balrons. Balrons shoot lasers and cast Sleep. In this case they've mercifully and idiotically hidden behind some force fields, with only one monster actually capable of coming out to attack us. Once it's dead, they can't really do anything. Unfortunately, neither can I because for some reason the fields won't go down. So I leave to the west and back to the 3D section and take the other door leading south.

Into the exact same room, basically. The Xorn can phase through walls, which I didn't know; I assumed it was a secret passage, but it isn't.

I have to kill the Balrons to move on, so I dispell the fields and get slept for my troubles. But a Balron zaps Dupre with a poison ray and suddenly he can't fall asleep!

You see, having one status effect in Ultima IV means you can't get another. Being poisoned means you can't be put to sleep, because Sleep doesn't override poison. On top of that, in 2D segments of dungeons you don't lose HP from every move like you do elsewhere, so being poisoned basically has almost no downside whatsoever!

This is of course a bit lame, so I cure Dupre before moving on. Big mistake.

You can't tell because I used a Tremor spell to kill most of the monsters, but this room was full of Headless, two Gazers, and about eight Reapers. This led to a lot of this.

And also a lot of this. Fortunately the Reapers are terrible shots and so all they manage to waste is a huge chunk of my time sleeping my entire party over and over until someone wakes up just in time to take their turn or is able to somehow resist the six Sleep spells cast every turn.

Oh and I don't think these monsters run out of magic points.

But sooner or later everything is cleared, and two secret exits open. I want to go east, so I do.

Although it looks like I'm hunting a secret switch, in actuality the room is just like this, with the open door and everything. Going south is even the right way! So what's the catch? Straying too close to the middle of the room fills the entire thing with poison fields. Although I guess we've established that poison is actually a good thing here.

: What virtue dost stem from Love and Courage?
:  Sacrifice. 
: Use thy stone.
:  Orange. 
The altar changes before thyne eyes!

It only gets longer and harder from here, and my Ultimate Bonehead Move has yet to show itself. Will Steve become the Avatar? Will she finally get the hell away from Iolo? Did I forget something really, really important? ( yes ) Tune in later for the stunning conclusion of Ultima IV!