The Let's Play Archive

Ultima 4, 5, and 6

by Nakar

Part 31: The Shard of Cowardice

The Shard of Cowardice

Since I'm half pretending I actually need to learn this stuff, I've gone back to New Magincia to find out who knows the word of power to open Hythloth. Of course the guy is in Blackthorn's Castle and I'm not going back there, but let's just pretend. It's fun to pretend.

You see Katrina, an old friend.
: Steve, thou hast returned!
: What is this, your girlfriend?
: Jaana wasn't cool enough to be my friend last game, you'll have to fill her in later.
: I'd heard rumors of thy arrival! Is it time we resumed the battle?
: Well, to be honest, we've already destroyed two of the Shadowlords and we're almost, you know, done with the battle at this point.
: Am I to join thee now?
: Much as I'd like to, you see-
: We're arbitrarily full, so beat it, bitch.
: Yeah, because Steve couldn't just dump you, dear.

Katrina is actually good in this game if you want a fighter, because she starts at a decent level. At this point however it's kind of a waste.

You see a kindly old woman.
: I am called Shirita.
: Job?
: I tend the graves of the former inhabitatns of Magincia, poor souls!
: Oh, hey, yeah, I knew those guys!
: Before they died, you mean?
: Nnnnnnot exactly.
: Long ago, Magincia was destroyed for its sins of pride and arrogance.
: Yeah, Nate and the daemon, right? I know those guys too. I think they had it coming if they all got killed by Nate though.
: Magincia was once a thriving merchant community, the envy of all Britannia! Sadly, they were not at all humble. Daemons sprang from the earth, engulfing Maginicia in flames! The souls of the inhabitants lived on as undead creatures to warn others from the twisted path of Pride.
: This is going to wind up being so ironic in Ultima IX, or at least it would if Ultima IX didn't suck.
: After fifty years of torment, they have finally been laid to rest.

You see a wise old man.
: Name?
: My name is Wartow.
: Job?
: I stay here to live out my life!
: Life?
: I have lived many years.
: Years?
: Too many to count!
: This is incredibly boring but since someone recommended me to you... Humility?
: Who dost thou serve?
: British.
: Dost thou hate the evil tyrant Blackthorn?
: No. (this is the correct answer)
: Thou art wiser than I thought! Dost thou need the Mantra of Humility?
: Considering I'm the Avatar, not really.
: Thou must be doing well!

If you want the mantra, he will ask a lot more tricky questions where the right answer is to show sympathy to your enemies and not hate them because of the things they've done.

You see a timid, reserved woman.
: Name?
: My name is Kaiko.
: Job?
: I work to grow the crops for our towne.
: Crops?
: Without our work, many would starve, yet we seek no more than our humble earnings, unlike the new King!
: You know, being a passive-aggressive bitch is technically unvirtuous.
: It doesn't seem to do you any harm.
: Shut up, Iolo.
: Blackthorn, the Usurper! He takes half our harvest, and imprisons those with the knowledge of the ancients!
: Ancients?
: One of our people was of the Council, and was jailed by the King even though he never lifted a finger against the throne!
: Jailed?
: Hassad came to us from Skara Brae, fleeing Blackthorn's search. A long time he lived among us, for Magincia was near forgotten. But, the Shadowlords found him. Now he lies chained in Blackthorn's dark dungeon. He is to be an example to those who refuse to yield their knowledge for his evil use!

Anyway I did all this to get to this part, where the word of power IGNAVUS is used to open up Hythloth. In case you haven't figured it out already, the dungeons are sealed with Latin or pseudo-Latin words representing the anti-virtue in question. So AVIDUS (Latin for "desire") for Covetous, FALLAX (which I guess means "false" or something) for Deceit. IGNAVUS is apparently "cowardice" or something, which is convenient since that's where the Shard of Cowardice is, but I guess it also represents Hythloth being the anti-Spirituality dungeon somehow. Maybe because it's spiritually cowardly to not seek yourself, or something.

We can climb all the way down to L8 from the very entrance of Hythloth, but it just takes us to this room here. Those gems are, in fact, magical viewing gems, and I can take them, but beyond that it's not terribly interesting down here. There are no exits, because we really want...

To be one floor up. Remember what I said about 1x1 rooms?

Covetous and Deceit were "dungeon" style dungeons. Hythloth is a "mine" style dungeon, so it has brown textures and collapsed passageways and such. It's no different otherwise.

It's also filled wiht treasure rooms where powerful monsters materialize in to trap you. Don't fall victim to your greed!

L7 and L8 of Hythloth are a real pain in the ass. Ladders lead between them to different sections of each, but none seems to go to the part of L8 that actually connects to the Underworld. That's because, yet again, there's a secret door leading to the real ladder.

Well, that didn't quite go as planned. I forget what was happening in the room right before the ladder but I probably sent Steve through and everybody else got eaten by dragons or something. Screw them.

Before we go looking for the Shard, ever wonder what's below the Codex? Apparently, it's a field of lava. Now, what do you suppose would happen if I searched directly under the Codex, in the middle of the lava?

Each search of this square turns up a Mystic Sword, then a suit of Mystic Armor, then another Mystic Sword, and so forth until 6 swords and 6 armors are acquired. After that it won't yield any more. I think the glass sword trick might allow for the acquisition of others, but it's pretty pointless. Mystic Armor is still usable by all (although all armor is now), and provides the best defense. Mystic Swords have actually been boosted in power in this game and are about twice as strong as Magic Axes per hit, but they have no range, so their use is questionable at best. But hey, they're free!

Now let's get out of here before I kill myself and have to go through Hythloth again.

Oh dear. This is quite a problem! For some reason I didn't get a gem shot of it, but the path to the Shard requires using In Por spells to blink across a wide area through several small valleys. These valleys can often be full of nasty creatures.

I have to blink south, walk west a little, blink north, blink west again almost immediately, and then north yet again... east over this swamp...

That wasn't actually a travel-related Blink. I think I just did it to get away from some monsters.

And anyway, finally, the final Shard. Now, I'm stuck down here. I could In Por my way back to Hythloth and try to get out with just Steve, but odds are pretty good I'd die trying. So why bother?

I can just kill myself now and get everyone resurrected at Lord British's Castle with full health. I even get to keep the Shard. And speaking of which...

: Oh man, what a drag. I knew this would happen.
: Hey Nosfentor! Remember when I said I was going to kill you last?
: That's right, Avatar, you did!

: I was telling the truth, because I'm the Avatar!
: Being the Lord of Cowardice was lame anywaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!
The doom of the Shadowlord Nosfentor is wrought!
: You seemed to enjoy that a little more than you probably should, Avatar.
: Well gee, thanks Iolo. Thanks for completely ruining what could have been one of the best moments of my life. Do you know how often I'll get to destroy a Shadowlord? He was the last one. That's it. This is never going to happen again, especially not in a dreamworld, on Mars. You blew it, Iolo.

Well, the Shadowlords are dead. Who wants to take another trip into the Underworld?