The Let's Play Archive

Ultima 4, 5, and 6

by Nakar

Part 50: It's Been Like 100 Years, They Know Buccaneer's Den Is Full Of Pirates By Now, Guys, They Just Don't CARE

It's Been Like 100 Years, They Know Buccaneer's Den Is Full Of Pirates By Now, Guys, They Just Don't CARE

It's off to Buccaneer's Den, and as luck would have it, I can walk there underground. I could also row over, but I don't feel like it. Before we head out, let's grab a cauldron from the sewers. Yeah, a cauldron. It'll all make sense in a while.

I think I mentioned this fireplace sometimes has monsters. Here's an example. Some headless, a cyclops, some other dudes.

Back down to the bottom of the world (oh, how I wish). I got sidetracked with some Reapers last time and had to gate out, but this time we'll press on.

These are apparently spider webs. And where there's spider webs...

...there must be giant spiders!

And where there's giant spiders, there must be treasure, apparently. If you're not planning to break the game like I did, this is a good spot to find some Magic Armor. Not sure if it's always here, but I'd bet so.

Woohoo, 1 Spider Silk. I'm rolling in reagents now.

The animals trapped in the webs are surprisingly fragile. Then again, Sword Halberd has that effect on people.

Dungeons only have 4 levels, and every dungeon in the world is technically on the same "maps." Essentially each dungeon is part of a four-layered system, but they don't all connect (although a lot of them do). Once we hit D4, the only way to go is back up. Of course there are a fair number of dead ends. Like this one.

I've been using the aforementioned alt+213 cheat to peep at the maps, and I have some maps extracted from the game files, but it barely helps down here.

Down here are some daemons. Real daemons, apparently. They've turned into scrawny little dudes. There's a dead Winged Gargoyle down here too. Curious.

Also this is a dragon's lair. Sometimes. But not this time. Dragons are insanely powerful, and insanely wealthy, but a glass sword speaks the language of love.

Elsewhere down here is what appears to be a dead baker.

This is a bad shot, but I ran into some more Reapers. I figured since they don't move I could just run off, but they summoned about 800 insects and lagged the game almost to crashing points, so I had to take them out.

Finally, we climb all the way to the surface, and emerge from the mountains in a new town.

It's a little blocked off, but there's a secret passage here into the kitchen of the local bar. Just like the town I went to college in.

As luck would have it, the entire town is in here this evening, which makes this easier.

This guy doesn't say anything interesting, I just wanted to make sure you saw his portrait.

You see an uneasy looking bard.
"Oh, hello. Can I help you with something?"
"You look a little tense."
"They call me Yodeling Johann. I sing songs for the pira- for the sailors here. But I'm looking for a chance to move to another town."
"You yodel? That automatically makes you cooler than Iolo."
"I'd better not... I've still got bruises from the last time I tried yodeling around here. Not that there are pirates around here or anything... the salty air just doesn't agree with me, so I wanted to move."
"You know we're all very well aware that they're all pirates."
"Did I say pirates? I didn't say that." He looks around nervously.
"Seriously, relax, nobody in Britannia gives a shit."
"Nobody but fine honest sailors around here." He lowers his voice. "By the way... if you should happen to run across Bonn, or Ybarra, or Hawkins, don't tell them I'm here?"
"Bonn, Ybarra, and Hawkins?"
"Who's that? Never 'eard of them."
"That's kind of a flimsy excuse when you're the one dropping the names.

You see a smartly dressed woman. Her smile has a delightful subtlety to it.
"Oh, you must be Steve, the famous Avatar! 'Tis an honor to meet thee."
"And you would be?"
"I used to captain my own ship. But I fell on hard times, and now I sail with Leodon on the Hind. A fine old vessel, the Golden Hind. Alas, I have little to do while she's being repaired."
"So you two are lesbian pirates? That is awesome."
"Could we join your party, perhaps?"
"Lesbian pirates..."
"Steve, you have to do this."
"We put up with the mouse and the fucking ghost. For the love of-"
"Right, because we've always done the things you guys want to do. No thanks. So you used to be a captain?"
"Captain who? I know lots of Captains..." When you say 'Captain,' all the pirates at her table turn to you expectantly. When they realize you weren't talking to them, they return to their business.
"Lots of captains, huh? Ever met Captain John?"
"Captain John is a madman! He went down in Hythloth seeking a way to the other side of the world. Said he was going to kill as many gargoyles as he could before they got him."
"That's not true!" says Captain Fox. "I can tell you what really happened."

You see a handsome gentleman, immaculately dressed.
"What? Who are you?"
"Captain Fox, of the Silken Stag. We just stopped off here for some supplies and a drink or two. Well, maybe three wouldn't hurt."
"Your name seems vaguely familiar."
"I sail the wide, wide sea, to the edges of the world and back again. Of course I'm also known for the paintings I create in my spare time. There are a few of them around here. Go see for yourself."
"You said you know what really happened to Captain John."
"Captain John, that lunatic? I hear he went underground seeking the gargoyles, but he fled from the first one he encountered. Nobody knows where he is now.
"That's not true at all!" Cries the tea drinker across the table.

You see an uncomfortable man sitting behind a cup of tea.
"Right, and YOU?"
He looks at you uneasily. "I'm Captain Elad. Not that it's any business of yours... I was captain of the Theodosia Marie - until she sank."
"Your ship sank? Was this recently?"
"Aye, 'twas a terrible ordeal. We were sailing just off Bordermarch when the whole island started shaking. Must have been one of those earthquakes we've been having. The whole island sank beneath the waves. We were caught in the huge whirlpool left in its wake. I was one of the lucky few to swim clear. But my ship's on the bottom of the ocean now, and that's the honest truth. A fair sized island, and now she's gone! Some o' them earthquakes have been mighty fierce."
"I've been hearing about those, but I haven't noticed one since I arrived here."
"They started soon after Lord British was rescued from the underworld. I lost my ship to the last one. I'd toast him with you, but this," he gestures disparagingly at his cup, "is hardly fitting for such an honor."
"This happened AFTER he was rescued?"
"Surely you've heard tales of the Avatar's bold exploits? It was all anyone was talking about round here for weeks."
"I guess it's all your fault again Steve."
"I could use more virtue in me life. I've just given up drinking to start with. 'Tis quite the temptation."
"So what about John?"
"Captain John, that fool... he was captured by gargoyles. I hear they dragged him down into Hythloth, and nobody's seen hide nor hair of him since."
"Well, one way or the other it looks like we've got to check Hythloth then. Thanks."
The pirate smiles and waves goodbye, then scowls as he turns back to his mug of tea. "Wait, before you go... I was wondering - do you know the Mantra of Honesty?"
"Sure do."
"I've been trying to find out what it is, so that I can better myself. I'll give you five gold if you tell me. Is it a deal?"
"What the hey, sure. It's 'Ahm.'"
"Thank you! Now my meditations will succeed at last!"
As you turn to leave, you think you might have caught a glimpse of Captain Elad stealing a swig from someone else's mug... But you can't be sure.

I'm fond of this security setup they've got here. This is really my kinda town.

We need a shovel from this guy. For digging. Also we can talk to him.

You see a chubby, jovial merchant.
"Good Morning! I bet you've come back to pick up that orrery you ordered."
"Don't be ridiculous! This is the first time we've ever been in your shop!" says Dupre.
"Oh, I'm sorry, I must have thought you were somebody you aren't. I'm afraid it still hasn't arrived. Do you need to buy some supplies?"
"You got a name, fat man?"
"Why, it's Budo, I believe. That's what it was last week. Some call me 'the Den,' but I don't think that's my name. I think some one told me that was Nick's name. I've never met him, myself."
"Why are you selling an orrery?"
"I don't know what it is, but I've got one on order."

Well, that was a bit useless. Maybe we're missing something. Time to talk to the last person in town who's got something to say.

You see a shifty-eyed character. He carries a cane and walks with a slight limp.
He takes your measure, looking you over from head to toe. "What do you want?"
"The way I roll, usually your name."
"Who wants to know?"
"The Avatar ringing a bell?"
"Fine, 'Avatar' - if that is what your name really is... you can call me Homer."
"You're kind of a shady character. Shadier than the rest of the crowd, anyway."
"I once sailed on the ship called 'Empire' under Captain Hawkins. It was wrecked on the cape, southwest of here. Not too far from Serpent's Hold."
"So you were on Hawkins's crew?"
His eyes light up with hatred. "That heartless bastard... He was killed by his own men, and it was no worse than he deserved." He hesitates, then adds quickly, "Of course, I had nothing to do with it."
"Captain Hawkins stole part of a tablet. You tell me where that is and I don't care what else happens."
He regards you warily. "Who sent you?"
"I see." He screws up his face into an even more suspicious expression than before. "Just why do you want to know about it, anyway?"
"I don't know, to save everyone on the entire planet from a horrible and pointless war, maybe?"
"You're not a member of the guild. I don't have to tell you anything."
"I should warn you that I'm close personal friends with a Mr. Death Cannon."
"Go ask Budo. And you didn't hear that from me, understand?"

Aha! Exactly as planned.

A startling change comes over his features. Suddenly the good-natured bumbler that stood before you has been transformed into a shrewd, sharp, dangerous looking man. He leans forward staring straight into your eyes as he asks, "Who sent you?"
"Home, though he told me not to tell you that."
"Uh-huh. Well... were you hoping to join?"
"Apparently I have to."
"All right, maybe you've got what it takes. We'll see. To be a member of the thieves' guild, you have to get your own belt. Now we have a limited membership, so there's only so many belts in the world. If you want one fo them, you have to 'retire' a member of the guild. Lucky for you, it just happens there's a member we'd like to see 'retired' soon. Her hideout is deep below Britain, in the sewers. You'd best watch out for the rats down there! One last thing... it would be an embarassment for the guild to have bodies turning up inconveniently. So don't get too violent unless you have to. I'll talk to you when you get back."

All the way back here. Our quarry is up north.

Into solo mode with Steve, and with Invisibility cast, I should be in good shape to "retire" this person.

There she is now.

Holy crap. Dual wielded glass swords? Magic armor and helm? Well, I'm takin' that.

The Thieves Belt I need is on her. I suppose I can steal that too.

And what a haul it is! In addition to the belt and armor, Phoenix is carrying three glass swords and a magic shield! Now that's what I call loot. You wouldn't want to fight her, that's for sure.

Of course it turns out to be pretty pointless anyway, as she's not especially aggressive. You can even talk to her.

You see a graceful, silver haired woman in robes of blue.
She eyes you suspiciously. "What do you want?"
"Are you Phoenix? Just taking a wild guess."
"I am. I used to be captain of the Black Thechu. But now I'm a member of the thieves guild."
"Well, that's some cover story."
"I don't care who knows it. Britain is the wealthiest city in the world, and I make a tidy living sneaking up there at night to 'liberate' a few possessions. Of course, I only steal from those who have too much wealth for their own good."
"I wonder if we're long lost twin sisters."
"It's an honorable profession, with as long a tradition as any other."
"What got you out of the sailing business?"
"My ship was the finest ship that ever sailed. But those days are past. The crew's scattered to the four corners of the earth, and the Thechu's off amongst the stars. We were at port one day when the anchor chain snapped, and the Thechu drifted off the edge of the world. I'd join her if I could, and sail through space... The world is flat, you know." She eyes you appraisingly. "Surely any well educated person would be aware of that."
"Only in this game. Britannia's round in all the others."
"Yeah? Well I think it's about time you were on your way. One thing before you go..." She draws her dagger. "Don't tell anyone where my hideout is. If you do, some night you'll go to sleep and never wake up again. You'll never know when it's coming." She turns and throws the dagger at a little mouse that was sniffing around for food, pinning it to the wall by its tail."
Sherry isn't nearby right now but this line is great: "Eeeeek!" Sherry runs up your leg, and it takes several minutes before you can coax her back down again.

Woohoo. Now we can finally get something out of Homer.

"You're looking for the silver tablet? It's part of Captain Hawkin's buried treasure. It was buried in a small cave. After Captain Hawkins passed away, we tore his treasure map into nine pieces. The plan was, when nobody was looking for us any more, we'd get together and go dig it up. Splitting up the map was my idea - that way nobody could doublecross the others."
"Couldn't they just doublecross everyone?"
"Uh... oh. Anyway I figure after all these years the others must have given up, so it's alright for me to search for the treasure by myself. Trouble is, I've got a bit of the gout in one leg, and I can't travel much anymore. Maybe we can help each other out. I know where my piece of the map is hidden-"

"Actually, I stole your part of the map off you with Pickpocket because I immediately suspected it was either in your house or on your person, but do go on."
"-and if you could bring me the other eight pieces, perhaps we could make a deal. I'll tell you all I know about where the pieces might be... Ol' Hawknose set out for the Dry Land, to kill the daemon that is said to live there. Sandy, the ship's cook, went to Trinsic with the first mate. Old Ybarra said he was headed for the dungeon Shame, looking for more treasure. I think one of the men died in a shipwreck. Then there was one more, can't remember his name, but I've heard he settled in Jhelom. He'll be easy to recognize - he has a hook in place of one of his hands. That's all I know. Perhaps in your travels you can find out where the others have gone. When you find the pieces, you can lay them out on the ground to see how they fit together. But remember, only I know where the ninth piece is - or I did until you stole it I suppose - so come back here when you've got the other eight."
"I could do that, or I could just go get the other eight pieces, find the treasure, and not bring any of your cut back to you. Alternately, I could just go find the treasure and dig it up."

"How are you gonna manage that with just a ninth the map?"
"Yes, Avatar, do tell."
"I'm so glad you asked. Let's consult a map of the seas of Britannia, shall we?"

"Notice, if you will, the dispersal patterns of the Empire's crew, primarily to the south and west - to Trinsic, Jhelom, Shame, and so forth. Accounting for relativity, and for Hawkins's own paranoia, the treasure would be hidden in another direction, thus, somewhere to the southeast. This island between New Magincia and Serpent's Hold."
"That's... uncanny."
"Also, it's the only decently sized island in the world we haven't been to."
"So what, you still don't know where to walk!"
"Oh, that's fine, Iolo has an integrated metal detector."
"I do?"
"I'll tell you later."

Decision time. The game expects me to go track down the other 8 map pieces, which makes for a tedious fetch quest that is really pretty uninteresting, all to locate a treasure I can find right now because it's incredibly obvious where it is. If I skip the map gathering, I can get the other half of the tablet and actually get on with the story. So what would you prefer? Waste a couple updates tracking down the map, or just use the Steve Sense to go straight to Hawkins - and treasure?