The Let's Play Archive

Ultima VII Part 2: Serpent Isle

by Nakar

Part 5: MONITOR - And They Said You Shouldn't Crash A Funeral Part 2

While we're here, let's talk to the other Knights present, shall we?

"Yes, how may I help?"
"You look awfully familiar."
"I am Spektor, treasurer of Monitor."
"Come on, that's barely even an attempt to change your name!"
"Frankly, I do so many things. I am Monitor's treasurer. Lord Marsten may order things done, but I must find a way to pay for it all! I handle the books and the paperwork, and I'm the local money exchanger. I also collect and administer the taxes. Frankly, I'm not much of a fighter, even though I am a Knight."
"You dodged my question."
"Actually it was a statement."
"Now you're just quibbling!"
"Did you have business?"
"Uh... nnnnno? But since I still have topics to cover, tell me about taxes."
"Since when do you care about taxes?"
"Well, all that money's gotta go somewhere."
"Our Pikemen patrol the major roads connecting Monitor with Fawn and Sleeping Bull, and man the guard towers. In better times, caravans travelled these routes, and we collected a fat reward from merchants eager for our protection. But now, the rumors of a gathering Goblin invasion have scared the travellers off the roads! Frankly, this is nonsense. The Knights of Monitor have repelled such Goblin aggressions successfully in the past and they shall do so again."
"Knights like you?"
"Well, I dutifully passed the Test of Knighthood when I was fifteen. But frankly, not everyone was born to be a Knight. I admit it. What I am is an intellectual. Other Knights may scoff, but I don't care. I might be an easy target on the List Field, but in a debate I'm a killer! Perhaps thou shouldst consider taking the Test of Knighthood. It is not so difficult, with proper training. We citizens are so much nicer to thee when thou art a Knight, rather than a stranger. We distrust outsiders."
"And the other commands, I've noticed."
"I tire of this entire system. Wolves! Bears! Leopards! Why can we not be united, rather than divided into Commands? I am a Leopard, and frankly, we're the only level-headed ones. When a Leopard like Lord Marsten is in residence as Lord of Monitor, things are much more in... balance. As for the Wolves and the Bears, they are like children."
"Yes, I do say that a lot, do I not? I apologize. 'Tis a bad habit. Frankly... er, to tell the truth, I should stop."
"So then this test isn't that bad?"
"'Tis actually quite easy. Do not believe what the Knights will tell thee. Frankly, if I can pass it, anyone can! If thou desirest to know more, I would suggest speaking with Caladin. He is the instructor for young Knight candidates. Also, thou couldst speak with little Cantra. She is preparing to take the Test next month, and is full of information."
"We've heard."

Spektor is the currency exchange guy for Monitor. He'll also release Iolo from prison if you pay a "fine" of 30 monetari. While we could do this, Iolo isn't even worth that little money, and Marsten will let him go for free if you're a Knight. I've never actually tried beating Serpent Isle without becoming a Knight of Monitor, but now that I think on it I suppose it isn't entirely impossible. More on that later.

That's the Leopards. The leaders of the Bears and Wolves are also here. We'll start with the Bears.

"I have not seen thee in Monitor before. Thou art new here. Welcome! I am called Caladin, after mine own grandfather. He was a Champion Knight! And if I ever discover who has his urn, I shall wring their neck! Canst thou imagine, someone stealing the Ashes of the Dead?"
"Ashes of the dead, you say?"
"We've got-"
"Shhh, hide that shit for a second."
"I am not superstitious, mind thee, but I do believe that a man's ashes are sacred. They represent his soul, his heart, his honor. To know that my grandfather's ashes have been taken from the Crypts..."
"So a big urn of ash is a man's honor?"
"Nothing is more important than one's honor! I am a valiant man, and I can promise thee three things -- I shall never surrender my sword to my foe. My promised word shall never be broken. Fear is beneath me, and I refuse to let the creeping stink of fright soil my mind. I shall always be fearless."
"Okay but let's talk less about what the ashes represent and more about the ashes themselves, just theoretically."
"The Ashes of the Dead are kept in the mountain caves, where wild beasts cannot defile the urns. Renfry is the caretaker there. If thou dost desire to pay thy respects to the dead, thou shalt no doubt encounter him there."
"Let's say I happen to have an urn."
"Thou dost? An Urn of the Dead? How didst thou chance upon it? Perhaps thou hast slain the thieves who insulted mine ancestor's soul!"
"Why... um... we found it, milord."
"Might I examine it, please?"
"You're not going to kill us, are you?"
"This is my grandfather! Thou hast reunited the souls of my family! Please accept this gift as an expression of my sincerest gratitude. Here are coins enough to buy room and board at any inn for thee and thy fine companions!"
"And that solves the mystery of Caladin's grandpa, as well as gets that urn out of my backpack."
"Hang on, I think some of gramps is still in there."
"It's not my fault this shit spills easily!"
"Are you one of the leaders of Monitor then, sir Caladin?"
"I am the leader of the Command of the Bear. The Bears are the bravest, most virile warriors in Monitor! Courage is our name. Do not smirk! The Command of the Bear is unmovable. The Goblins dare not assault Monitor, for they know that we are here. I am also one of the best combat trainers in the land, shouldst thou need such aid."
"So you guys are the brute force command."
"The Knights of Monitor each serve a particular commmand. Each command espouses its own unique military strategy. The Bear Command follows a strategy of protection. We are concerned with protecting our home and making it impregnable, thereby giving us the perfect base from which to give any sort of military operation a successful launch."
"You know much about the test you guys keep talking up?"
"A woman of Courage! I perceive that thou hast the spirit of a warrior. To become a Knight of Monitor, thou must first ask permission of the Lord of Monitor. Then thou must journey to the Dungeon called Knight's Test. If thou canst survive that ordeal, then thou canst receive thy Knighthood."
"What kind of ordeal are we talking here?"
"Fiery explosions! Wild animals! Puzzles to queer the mind, and mysteries beyond the understanding of mortals! Well, perhaps I exaggerate some. The Test is difficult, and many have died. But if thou dost know the secrets of the dungeon, the Quest is not so hard. After all, most Monitorians take the Test when they are fifteen years of age! Young Cantra will take it soon. With training, thou canst succeed. I'll give thee three clues: In the first chamber, speed is the clue. Do not look back, or ye'll be a goner. Later on, seek that which cannot be seen. It may be hard to find. To overcome, thou must find the Claw, and the Urn of Gurnordir. Use the claw to draw thy blood, then mix the blood with the ashes in the Urn. Then thy fate shall be made known to thee."
"Then what happens?"
"When thou hast completed the Test, then there will be a great banquet held for thee! Thou shalt receive thy tattoo, and shalt wear the pelt of thy totem animal. But we can discuss this upon thy return... if thou dost have the courage to take the Test of Knighthood..."
"Thanks for that, I guess. Well, I'll let you get back to staring at torches."
"I am not usually so talkative to an outsider. Thou shalt not find many in this town who welcome strangers! A word of advice: If thou desirest to be accepted in Monitor, thou shouldst consider taking the Test of Knighthood. If thou art not a Knight, then thou art nothing!"

Caladin's a pretty good guy, all told. Brendann, meanwhile...

"I am Brendann, stranger. And thou art the most beautiful creature I have ever seen."
"Oh this is going to be fun."
"And what makes you so forward, sir Brendann?"
"I am the leader of the Command of the Wolf. Like all of the Wolves, I am a warrior of cunning as well as strength. Why, I daresay I may be the most capable knight in all of Monitor... When I recover the Helm of Monitor from the Goblins, then my prowess will be known to all, and I shall become the next Champion Knight of Monitor! Then glory will be mine. And the ladies will truly fawn on me! But I should not be speaking with thee until thou dost become a Knight of Monitor. Speak with Marsten about that."

Brendann has a lot more to say, but he won't offer up any of it unless we pass the Test of Knighthood. If we do... well, he'll be very friendly.

Because this is the Serpent Isle, mind you. The new tileset for Ophidian ruins is pretty cool and pretty detailed, but you'll quickly grow sick of it because the latter half of the game takes place almost exclusively within them. They also tend to be poorly lit (this room was really dark, so I used the console to infravision myself for better screenshotting).

The first example of the teleported items. Iolo's crossbow is sitting where Caladin's grandpa used to be. If I still had the urn I'd replace it, but Caladin was offering money.

"So what do you guys wanna do now?"
"Let's go laugh at Iolo."
"I am so there."

Well, it's Iolo, what else is there to say? He was gonna wind up here sooner or later.

"You guys are going to get me out of here at some point, right?"
"Maybe. For now though we're just going to stand around here and laugh at you."

Before we go, let's take a peek at all the random crap the teleport storm gave us. We've got the letter from Lord British detailing what we arrived with, and Shamino's list of what we've got instead.

There's a fur cap, a strange red rock, a silver ring, a blue egg, a pair of glittering stockings, a ceremonial breastplate, a shield with the crest of Monitor, a piece of pumice stone, a pinecone, a weird-looking hairbrush, a bottle of wine, some currency from Fawn, a pair of slippers for a woman, a severed human hand, and some kind of lab equipment. Odds are most of these objects aren't from Monitor, except for the shield which almost certainly is. But what was it switched with, and who has it now?

DaedalusRising posted:

Nakar, I LOVED your LP on U7, this is one of my favorite games of all time.

Now that the obligatory U7 fanboy love is out of the way, I have a couple points. First, how did you get the magic leggings/boots to disappear correctly? Mine has always given me the stockings, but never removed the armor... not that I'm complaining or anything, its just that I'm wondering if there was a patch I missed or something. Also, in the beach area where you first teleport in, if you dart down as far as you can go before the lightning kicks in and teleports you, it is actually possible to bypass the copy protection scene. If you get all the way down to the end of the beach, there is an infinity bow lying there in wait.

The Avatar's magic boots and leggings aren't supposed to vanish. The teleport storm doesn't swap them and you get to keep them. The stockings, as I recall, actually replace  the blackrock serpent . They'll just equip to your legs if you're not wearing anything on them.

As to running down the beach really fast, I'm a bit suspect about the ability to get all that way down before being teleported to the second or third beach, but your ultimate point is, in fact, correct (and I didn't know this):

End of the first beach...

...Infinity Bow. Whaddaya know? Too bad the Infinity Bow sucks. I'm not going to be taking this one along, but there are a couple you can use legitimately at various points and I'll go over its suckitude then. But I'll be damned if you're not right about it. There's also a wooden staircase along the infinite void to the right. Where does it go? Nowhere, apparently.

Regardless, you don't want to skip the copy protection, as you won't get the hourglass, which means you'll die if you're killed and won't be able to call monks to resurrect your friends. This may also screw with Karnax and Thoxa's dialogues, and they're plot-essential to the main game and Silver Seed.

No update today. I've got a new schedule coming up and while it looks a bit more accomodating than usual, I'll have to figure out how I want to update stuff on Thursdays. I'll be out until 8pm (which is usually when I FINISH an update). Not that five updates a week is so bad. Maybe I'll try getting a bit ahead of myself. And finish formatting the text dump.

Beebo posted:

Yay, I finally finished reading through your other LPs just in time for the next thread and I must say that I enjoyed them tremendously.
With that out of the way, is it possible to disagree with Marsten about Lord British and if so, what is his reaction?

If you admit to serving Lord British, Marsten will get pissed off and refuse to allow anyone in Monitor to have anything to do with you until you do this:

"Yes? Thou dost wish to say something to me?"
"I renounce Lord British and everything for which he stands. From this moment forward, I am his friend and servant no longer."
"Avatar! I cannot believe thy words!"
"How could thee renounce thy rightful liege?"
"Very well, Avatar. Do what thou must."
"Thou must feel better to have purged thyself of that burden. Thou wilt now be accepted by all of Monitor. Who doth know? Perhaps one day thou couldst become a true knight of Monitor. But only if thou passest the Test of Knighthood."