The Let's Play Archive

Ultima 4, 5, and 6

by Nakar

Part 28: Blackthorn's Kooky Castle

Blackthorn's Kooky Castle

: Well, here we are, Blackthorn's palace. One of you - Iolo, perhaps - may very well die in here!
: I'm a bit concerned...
: You're pretty sure it would be Iolo though, right?
: Pretty sure.
: Right. Let's do this!

I'm going to pretend this doesn't say No Avatars or something, put on my Black Badge, and just waltz right in. They lock up at night, so I'll have to get out in the morning.

The guards are easily fooled. All they need is the password. Of course if you mess this up, they'll arrest you instantly. Because I guess you can fight guards everywhere but here.

Notice the weird tile to the left of the Avatar. That's a trap. There are tons of these all over Blackthorn's Castle, which raises the question of why anyone would ever want to work here. Fortunately, every single one can be avoided using the Magic Carpet. So I'll just unfurl that, and start heading up!

You see a mysterious old mage with a twisted, bony face.
: What is thy name?
: Uhhhh, Steve.
: Aren't we supposed to be subtle?
: Nobody else has noticed Steve is the Avatar yet.
: Sorry, what was your friend saying?
: Nothing important. Hey, where's Blackthorn?
: Try up the northern stairs to the throne room, but he usually does not see visitors!
: I think he'll make an exception in this case.

You see a pompous, silly man.
: Name?
: My name is Foulwell.
: Job?
: I entertain with tales of the inquisition.
: That sounds really interesting!
: Uh, yeah, real interesting.
: Why, just the other day, we had a marvelous time, watching a young lady be drawn and quartered!
: ...
: ...
: She refused to humble herself to a guard's advances! Isn't that a riot?
: Uhhhhhhhhh...
: Perhaps then, thou wouldst find more humorous the one about the visitor who failed to laugh at the royal jester's stories. The cook's young nephew was a little brat. He didn't laugh at my jokes, so we threw 'im in the vat! Ha, ho, ha, ha, he, he... How 'bout that one, like it?
: ...true comedic genius.
: I thank thee.
: Ever hear of GBS?
: GB what?
: Nevermind.

Blackthorn's throne room. So incredibly goth. Giant braziers? Chained prisoners on all the walls? Daemonic bodyguards? A morbid jester? This guy's got it all!

So if Blackthorn is right there, we can talk to him, right? Let me show you why this is a phenomenally stupid idea:

You see the dark lord himself!
: Who dares approach the mighty Blackthorn? What is thy name?
: Uhhhhhh, Phil?
: Let us try that again... what is thy name?
: Steve.
: Greetings, Steve, what an unexpected pleasure! Wilt thou be staying with us long?
: No.
: I beg to differ! So very kind of thee to deliver thyself unto me!

And then his daemons come after you. He's impossible to kill, too, so a glass sword to the face isn't going to help. Strangely, he's completely ignorant of us if we don't actually talk to him, even if we free the prisoners in his room! In fact, let's do that!

You see a scraggly, tortured soul in tattered garb.
: I am called... Thou art in grave danger!
: That's a hell of a name.
: I think he means you're in danger, Steve.
: Nonsense! It's you guys who are screwed if we get caught, Iolo.
: Guards, daemons and Shadowlords abound! Thou must leave before it's too late!
: Shadowlords?
: Yes, they come here often to beat and taunt me!

What a bunch of pricks. First thing we do when we get out of here, we figure out who they are so we can call them names!

But lest we forget why we came, we're here for the Crown. So it's up to the roof, and around to the middle of the castle. Strangely, there are no guards...

But the statues come to life and pursue us! With the Magic Carpet it's easy enough to lose them. Interestingly, they're called Gargoyles, which will lead to a rather awkward situation in the next game.

And there it is. All I have to do is grab it. The Crown is useful against Daemons, because when worn (used, it will put a little crown icon in the space where the Black Badge is now) it prevents a lot of bad status effects and possession. Daemons do that.

After faking out the gargoyles, I proceed to get completely lost down in here.

Another generic prisoner. They all say the same things, and they all give karma when freed. Of course, my karma is already maxed out for some reason (despite my best efforts). Oh, and a guy down here knows the word to open Hythloth, but I forgot to talk to him, but screw it, I'm not coming back here, so I'll just magically know what it is when I get to that point.

This is the room Blackthorn takes you to if you get caught by him. Everybody gets chained to the wall and Blackthorn puts a party member on the pendulum and tells you to talk, but regardless of whether you do or not he always executes the person he chooses.

Some of the traps are pit traps that drop you into lava. Lava's not actually that bad, but being lost in the basement is.

That took entirely too long. But before we go, there's something up on the second floor that's fun.

Behind about 10 magic doors is a storeroom.

The storeroom contains Jeweled Swords, and sometimes, the Sword of Chaos. The SoC has 99 attack power, like a glass sword, and is reusable. There's just one tiny little problem: Whoever equips it goes berserk in combat and kills everyone before dying themselves. So it's useless.

Tomorrow and on it will be time to figure out who the Shadowlords are, what they're hiding at Stonegate Keep, and how best to destroy them. That will leave us a mere 2-3 levels and an amulet away from the end of the game!

That's a lot more than it sounds. The Underworld is incredibly annoying.