Part 54: In Which A Balloon is Already Half Assembled Because Someone Read Ahead
In Which A Balloon is Already Half Assembled Because Someone Read Ahead
The balloonist, Michelle from Minoc's father, got lost flying over the island that used to house Lord Blackthorn's castle. Since Blackthorn's exile, the mage Sutek (you may remember him from Ultima V, where he lived on a different island and was rather more sane) has taken over.
And boy has he taken over. His island is full of aggressive rabbits, alligators, and cows. Among... other interesting creatures.
It's a massacre! A massacre!!!
Getting inside is trickier. An impassible void keeps the drawbridge out of reach, but Telekinesis can flip the switch.
Keep this trick in mind. The series uses it again in Serpent Isle.
Yanking some supports off the wall, a secret door is revealed.
Another leads into a control room, which will open portcullises later on.
Sutek's inner sanctum and catacombs are guarded by a hydra. Though they're pretty brutal monsters, I have Kill and I don't have to take their shit anymore.
Did that wall hanging look suspicious? It should, since it seems as out of place as the hanging that led in here. Sure enough, this leads into Sutek's personal lab and quarters.
Sutek's a little... odd. This chest was magically protected. He really likes his cleaver.
The other chest is actually alive, and takes shots at me until I kill it. How do you know if a living chest is dead? It stops moving!
You see a white-haired mage in flowing robes with a mad gleam in his eye.
"So, Avatar, you disturb the musings of the mad mage Sutek! What wisdom dost thou seek?"
"Hey Sutek, I like what you've done with the place. Remember me?"
"Not particularly! Sutek is mad! They say there is a fine line between genius and madness. Well, Sutek hops up and down on that line, cursing the fools that surround him!"
"Riiiiight. So, did a balloonist pass through? You saw him last, apparently."
"Balloonist? Yes, Sutek remembers him. He died in Sutek's catacombs, like most of the others who have ever worked for Sutek!"
"He's dead in your catacombs? That complicates this."
"Sutek hired many brilliant engineers to build the catacombs that lie beneath his castle. The catacombs are filled with the bones of those engineers! The Pushme-Pullyu knows where all such bones can be found! Thy question is answered, now flee before the awesome wrath of the mad mage Sutek!"
Sutek has a weird fetish for splicing two heads onto everything. The cows, the bugs, the alligators, everything in his dungeon has two heads. Well, almost everything.
Downstairs is a silver serpent venom extraction lab with a bunch of switches.
These switches contain the silver serpents. What, you thought they were just a myth? They're huge, and do tons of damage, arguably more dangerous than dragons (though unlike dragons they don't cast spells), but great experience. Since they're controllable, and respawn, this could be a good spot for experience if you cared.
Yet more secret doors, and then the path branches. One path leads to a dragon lair in Hythloth. One path leads to the rest of Sutek's catacombs. But who can tell us which is which?
You see a bizarre, two-headed beast. Both heads take turns speaking to you.
"Stand over here!"
"Stand over there!"
"Come hear our puzzle anywhere!"
"Should I answer you today? If asked tomorrow, I would say that my partner and I are the Pushme Pullyu, and speaking in riddles is what we do."
"But which is the Pullyu, and which is Pushme? If you'd asked yesterday, I'd have told thee!"
"If you asked my partner, thinking him wise, he'd tell you the Pushme always lies!"
"If you asked my partner, then forsooth, he'd say the Pullyu always speaks truth!"
"If my partner said you should go west, then he would be a lying pest!"
"If my partner said you should go east, then he would be a lying beast!"
"If my partner said 'Go east,' to you, then he'd have said that which is true."
"If my partner said to you 'Go west,' then his advice would be the best."
"Normally we'd all make fun of you for being an overly violent idiot, Steve, but in this case I think I speak for everyone when I say you cannot have been more right."
"Yeah, plus we can just save and restore if we go the wrong way. Screw riddles."
And there's the plans! Also the corpse of Michelle's father. But who gives a shit. The plans say we'll need:
Cleverly, I already got the rope and cauldron, and I know where to get an anchor (they're heavy, you know).code:
* A wicker basket big enough for 8 people. * A large silk bag. * A cauldron. * Rope. * An anchor.
First, to Minoc. Michelle is the only basket maker in the entirety of Britannia, and if you thought that was a useless occupation in this game, think twice! With her father's plans to work from, she easily fabricates a basket that can hold Steve and her crew.
And Shamino can heft this anchor I stole at the docks.
Now we just need a bag that we can fill with hot air.
Charlotte, the weaver in New Magincia, says she can make silk cloth, but she'll need silk thread from the spinner Arbeth, who lives in Paws.
For 20 gold and 40 spider silk reagents (ouch), Arbeth spins the thread.
Charlotte makes the cloth, then informs me that I'll need to take it to Marissa the tailor to have it fashioned into a bag. Marissa lives, you guessed it, back in Paws.
But she's willing to stoop so low as to do the job.
Our balloon is ready. I'll just get Beh Lem to carry it...
And it's at this point I realize Beh Lem isn't here. I think he died in Sutek's castle somewhere. Crap.
Putting him back in the party and making LB heal him works, but his image remains that of a dead gargoyle. The only way to solve this is to beat him until he really is a dead gargoyle, then cast the Help spell.
Better. Now to the Temple of Singularity, and the end of the game!