Part 30: The Shards of Hatred & Falsehood
The Shards of Hatred & Falsehood
I hope Lord British is cool with me wearing his crown and all that. It actually is useful for its ability to prevent Daemons, like those guys there, from possessing my dudes and making them kill each other. Since everyone now has a Magic Axe this would be a rather bad situation.
The orange penis with tentacles is a Roper, which you may remember from last game as being a complete jackass who casts Sleep all the time. Well, he doesn't do that now, although he is still fairly dangerous. The good news is that they can't move, and some of their worst damage comes out of melee combat. So it's not too bad to kill them with Magic Axes.
The dungeons are a lot more straightforward in this one. Their goal is not so much to make it really hard to reach the bottom, but to prevent you from finding your way there with secret doors and multiple ways up and down, many of which don't go to the place you want to be. One way or another, of course, the first step is to get down to L8.
Some things you can see about the new dungeon design: You can see the doors on the side walls way down the hall, with the poison field blocking the way, and there are also some skeletons we could desecrate by searching, but they never actually have anything of use. The side doorways usually just lead into rooms full of monsters nad treasure, which is really the last thing I care about right now.
This is why you want to get the scepter before you go after the shards. An infinite charge dispell field is an obvious asset and it means I don't ever have to mix a single spell to do the same thing.
Most of the rooms are like this. Only a few actually go anywhere useful. We could descrate some graves for treasure, but you'll notice Iolo is already dead (ha ha) and dragons are hard to fight even around level 6.
Anyway, the first run into Covetous was a disaster. Shortly after this room everyone but Julia and Jaana died and I had to leave and come back. Fortunately, rooms you clear stay cleared for a good long while, so you can leave and come back and not have to deal with the tedious parts over and over.
Gazers aren't too bad this time though. Again, they prefer to stay at range, which is just fine by me, and they don't cast sleep spells anymore.
The old standby methods still work, too. The "Por" component in a magic spell signifies movement, which gives me the three spells I actually pretty much need to beat the game:
Des Por: aka Down.
Uus Por: aka Up.
In Por: aka Blink. Probably the most critical spell in the game in that you can't win without it.
Well anyway, after a bunch of dungeon crawling I'm on L8, but what's this! A ladder going down? But I'm on the bottom! Or... am I?
Welcome to the Underworld. It's very dark, and while we're not likely to be eaten by grues, it's still really fucking dark. Torches or Vas Lor spells are pretty much necessary to see more than four feet ahead of us, although as it turns out there's really nothing to see.
The only things down here are swampy valleys, huge rough mountain ranges, and monsters. Lots and lots of nasty monsters. The carpet helps avoid some of them, although a few are invisible or nearly so on the map and one or two can also teleport around, so hooray for that! Also, there's lots of poisonous swamps so the carpet is necessary anyway.
It's not the only vital piece of equipment to have here though. Gems to see where we are come in extremely handy. The Underworld is partitioned into five or six regions which are difficult, and in some cases impossible to move between. Most connect by way of one or two dungeons; the part we're in now, for example, connects to Covetous and Wrong. We'll be going back up through Covetous because I didn't actually bother to unseal Wrong. In fact, I'm not even going to touch Wrong. Fuck Wrong.
You'll notice that spot where the two valleys almost meet. That's around here, and requires the Grapple, the other necessary item. Blink spells don't always work.
There's a big structure of mountains here, surrounded by narrow valleys. This little low-mountain path coils around all the way to the interior.
Nothing of note? What about that giant evil crystal shard?
Yeah, that one. The Shard of Hatred is thine! Mine! Whatever. Ours. Now let's get the hell out of here.
First, we Blink out of the mountains, because I really don't feel like climbing again. Unfurl the carpet, and we're off. Oh wait, no, we're lost.
Lord British can appear down in the Underworld too.
And did I mention there are random earthquakes down here that damage your entire party, just because? Fuck this place.
Well, after some considerable effort, I make it back to Covetous. With everyone alive and healthy, getting back up should be simple enough, right?
Haha, fuck that. I forget exactly what happened here, but bottom line is Gwenno was making a mad dash for the surface. I think everybody lost at least a level here, or will have by the time I'm finished with this update.
After resurrecting everybody with the money earned from an ill-gotten Castle Britain vault dive, and beefing up on reagents and shit, it's back to the underworld. This time, we're going down through Deceit, which will take us to the Shard of Falsehood.
The first thing I do in Deceit is fall down a hole. And then another. And another. All the way to the bottom, actually. That puts me right at a treasure chest which is, of course, trapped, but since I have nothing better to do with my time I jimmy the trap and take my ill-gotten gains. Of course now I'm stuck in here. Except not really, because...
...any 1x1 room in Ultima IV or V has a secret exit somewhere. Deceit is finally living up to its reputation for being, you know, deceptive!
And here's where the dungeon really proves it. There are monsters in those five black squares. I know this because they occasionally try to shoot at me. The ladder to the Underworld lies on the far side. I just have to get there. Unfortunately, none of the walls are actually secrets, so there must be a very well-hidden switch somewhere. First, I yank all the torches. Then, I start attacking the walls.
This causes one of the rooms to be opened to me, containing some monster that in this screenshot has been reduced to tomato paste. Then, I attack the wall to the left of where the monster was, opening this one with a... I forget what these guys are called. I'd like to say Cyclops, except they have two heads and both heads have two eyes. Anyway I kill him and hit the wall to his right and open the one to his left, and so on and so forth. But the monsters get nastier, and soon Steve is facing down a dragon with perilously low health. Retreating and casting healing spells is one thing, but I need to end this one quickly since the last thing I need is to have to go back right at the underworld entrance.
Thus, it's time for the heavy artillery. Fuck you, shitty dungeon and underworld monsters, I've still got the "reduce everything to glass" option.
Glass swords, I mean.
Well, isn't this a pretty pickle. Oh, you might notice there's no moon/sun indicator here. You can't actually tell when it's day or night, although time is still passing in the world above.
A little too late to save Iolo, but then again nobody gives a shit about Iolo. British's apparition is about the best thing that can happen to you down here.
Ahahahahahahah, yeah, we're not fighting those mongbats. This is a pretty good representation of the average number of enemies down here, including giant rats and bats, giant spiders, daemons, dragons, some kind of tentacle things that teleport around, and these nerds. I've got a mission to accomplish down here, so we're running. Fast.
Here's an example of why you can't just Blink everywhere. Picking my way west across this rocky valley is necessary to get me...
...to the banks of a lake? There's a lot of strange things in the underworld, of course, but a giant lake is mighty suspicious. Let's unfurl the carpet and explore the waters.
Sure enough, the Shard of Falsehood is on an island in the middle of the water. Of course, you'd know that if you used a gem, since it would show an incredibly suspicious-looking island.
Yoink. That's two down. Well, they're not quite down yet, but they'll get there.
Now, I have been carrying around a moonstone for quite a while, and yes, I can plant it underground. Now, from the guides and stuff I've read, this is supposed to work. However, when I actually step into the Moongate...
I get transported to some weird 1x1 room with no exits. It's possible I'm stuck at the entrance of a dungeon I've not yet unsealed, but I have no idea. Anyone else know what the hell is up here?
Oh well, time to restore and head back up through Deceit the regular way.
And once again, most everybody is dead by the time I get here. Needless to say, I'm none too happy with the Shadowlords right now. So let's go kill them.
First top, the Lyceum, keep of Truth!
Funniest thing, but the keepers of the flames actually stand on the one square I need to be on to properly destroy the Shadowlords. Oh, my, and they won't move for such an important task either. I have to wait until they go to bed or have dinner to actually kill off these pricks.
: Yeah, yeah, I'm com- wait a second, you're not the pizza guy! And this isn't Stonegate! This isn't Stonegate at all!
: Stop being such a baby and step on that flame which burns with your opposite element.
: Are you sure this is safe?
: I don't believe I ever said it was going to be safe.
: Oh SHIIIIIIIIIIIIT!
The doom of the Shadowlord Faulinei is wrought!
Next stop, Empath Abbey, where once again I have to wait all night for the keeper to leave. No hurry or anything here! I'm just carting around a shard of pure fucking evil! This can wait! Stand around admiring that thing a little longer.
: Have you seen Faulinei? He went to pick up the pizza and never came back.
: I think he went into this Flame of Love right here.
: I hated that song! And I hate you! Well actually I'm pretty indifferent towards you guys, I'm sorry, it's just I'm the Lord of Hatred and I kind of have to do it.
: Just get in the fire.
: Huh? Oh sure, sure, whatever.
: You know what I really hate? Having to sleep outside Minoc for three fucking days while you jerks camp out inside!
: Awwww HELL NAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWseeyouinMartianDreams!
The doom of the Shadowlord Astaroth is wrought!
Fittingly, only the Shadowlord of Cowardice remains. I'll bet he's shitting ghost bricks right now. But he gets to live another day, because this is where this update is ending. Right here. Right now.