The Let's Play Archive

Ultima VII Part 2: Serpent Isle

by Nakar

Part 14: MONITOR - The Great Goblin Jamboree, Part The First

The Great Goblin Jamboree, Part The First

And so it's down, down, down into the first dungeon of sorts in Serpent Isle, the tunnels connecting the Knight's Forest to the secret goblin encampment. There, the goblin king Pomdirgun is assembling an army to menace the cities of Monitor and Fawn, using the Helm of Courage (aka the Helm of Monitor, but I'm calling it what the game calls it) as the symbol of his authority. We'll just have to correct him on that.

Even if you wanted to go kill him right away, you'd need to expose Simon so that he'd give you his key. This door is big and metal and it don't budge easy.

The first concern is, of course, the goblins encamped in the tunnels.

"Look, another banana peel!"
"We're on to you, Gorilla Traitor."

Some guides to this game recommend leaving the goblin subplot dangling until you come back from Moonshade with a spellbook. This is the only place I can find that you can't access without a spell, and quite honestly it's not that exciting. Sure, that's a lot of wine, but who cares? Most of the best treasures in these tunnels take no effort at all, the goblins in the camp are pathetic, and you can get tons of rad treasures out of it which are much more helpful early rather than later.

To give you some idea, on this run alone I'll be picking up the Helm of Courage (equivalent to a Magic Helm, so I can give the actual Magic Helm to Dupre), a Firedoom Staff, a Fire Wand, several Magic Bows and arrows, two Magic Axes, a Sword of Defense, potions, cash, gems, and all the goblin food I can haul. It's much more important to get all that now when you don't have much good gear than later when you have plenty.

Plus once I have spells the game will be completely hosed. This is almost a challenge.

"I hope these don't lead to somebody's basement."

Stone harpies! Vile wizards! A staff of ultimate power!

"Goddamnit, it was!"

Worth noting: The Firedoom Staff is blue now. There's no particularly good reason for this, but Serpent Isle is on a bit of a cold kick. The world is colder than Britannia so you get frost spells and blue flame (which is actually hotter than red flame so I don't know what the deal is there). Certain fire-related artifacts are adjusted accordingly, like the Fire Sword and Firedoom Staff. The Fire Wand was already blue, as I recall.

"Ah, headless. The only monsters that make goblins feel good about themselves."

There's just something wrong when I'm excited to see a couple yellow potions in a barrel again. What is this, Ultima V?

This particular camp of goblins respawns if you move even a couple inches out of their spawn point, so they're good to farm...

...for ham.

Something Serpent Isle does is have multiple levels of dungeons and whatnot. The Black Gate could have done this, but since everything in the U7 engine is on the same z-plane, stairs going "up" and "down" actually just teleport you places. On U7's seamless world map, you had to tuck things you didn't want seen away inside mountain ranges. Serpent Isle can just shove them off into a corner, so multilayered dungeons becomes the norm here.

More old friends from the previous game.

And surprisingly apt warnings. The fountain there fully restores those who drink from it, making this a good halfway point for the crawl.

A tempting little treasure room. How do you get there from here?

Where we are on the minimap. The long and short of it is you can't, it's actually a secret cave accessed by land from the Great Northern Forest.

But since I'd probably forget to find it, here's what's inside. Nothing fancy. By the end of this update we'll have three non-duped Magic Bows from normal play alone, so finding another one doesn't exactly make me jump for joy.

Alas, the lich is only a statue (again), but the pedestal does shoot fire blasts out. It's pretty easy to sneak in alongside and jack the wand though.

This chest explodes when opened. If you leave it locked, it will explode over and over when double-clicked but the chest remains intact. I'm not sure how often it will do that or what will happen if you move it, but it could be used as a replenishable powder keg if you really wanted. The chest itself is full of green potions though, which could be used for even more mischief.

"A bunch of goblins guarding a locked room. I bet it's a treasure vault!"
"Oh come on, they're goblins, they probably just leave stuff strewn around."

"Well I'll be damned."
"Maybe it belongs to the gorilla."
"There is no gorilla."
"Just like there was no treasure vault, huh?"

You can just make out the Helm of Courage on the west table there. There's a lot more in there, but the door is impervious to exploding and locked tight. Pomdirgun has the key.

I always thought it was funny how rational Pomdirgun is relative to the squalor goblins live in. I mean his hut is bigger than most other goblins', and he has a real bed, yet it's ultimately just a hovel. Yet he has a diversified financial portfolio with cash in all three major Serpent Isle denominations, a stockpile of gems, and he keeps his Vital Plot Artifact in a secure vault instead of strutting around with it. Plus he has a crown. That makes him twice as good a leader as Richard Nixon was.

Well, it's almost midnight, so the goblins are still partying. We'll camp in until 5am, when the goblins will be asleep and unable to resist our slaughter offensive. We'll introduce the goblins to a real Champion Knight's strategy: Slit everyone's throats in their sleep and run away with the magic hat, cackling.