The Let's Play Archive

Ultima VII Part 2: Serpent Isle

by Nakar

Part 6: MONITOR - I've Never Met A Test I Can't Cheat On!

I've Never Met A Test I Can't Cheat On!

"So you just heard about this test this morning. It's... 9am, we've been in Monitor for like 3 hours, and you're taking some test to become a Knight."
"All to get Iolo out of jail."
"It just seemed like the thing to do. We should be able to free his dumb ass and take the afternoon off."
"Sounds like a plan."

"You know, they might not lose so many people to the goblins if their test weren't two miles out in the fucking woods."

"Mornin'. Here to become a Knight, you know the drill."
"You deaf?"
"Alright alright, I'm Steve."
"My name is Shmed. I am a Knight of Monitor, at thy service... But thou already knowest! I am the Knight in charge of the Test of the Knights. The Test takes place here, beyond that locked door."
"This seems like a pretty shitty job."
"Oh it is, but somebody's got to do it. All Monitorians must pass the Test before they can be granted their Knighthood. The Test of the Knights is a challenge which only one stout of heart, keen of mind and strong of arm can pass. It is specially designed to test thy might, thy fleetness, thy courage and thy wits. If thou dost complete the test thou shouldst follow the directions of the words contained in the scrolls that thou wilt find. Thy totem animal will then appear. Slay it and take it back to town. Cellia will take its skin to make a cloak for thee. Lucilla will cook its meat. All the Knights will have a banquet in thine honor -- if thou dost pass the test. It is a test which one must endure alone, without companions. Dost thou wish to test thy mettle by taking the Test of Knighthood?"
"Pray tell, what be the password?"
"Courage is the Soul of Life."
"Steel thyself! If thou dost make it through to the other side, then all will know that thou art worthy to be a Knight of Monitor. Thy friends must wait for thee here."
"Couldn't we wait at the pub in town?"
"Of course not. We shall wait faithfully for thee here, Steve."
"For now I will take thy things and keep them safe. Thou art only permitted to wear leather armour and to carry no other weapon but a simple mace when thou art taking the Knight's Test of Monitor."
"Oh, I'm not carrying anything."
"Wait, where did your equipment go?"
"You'll see. Well, I guess you guys won't. Lead on!"

"To the test!"

"Oh oops I accidentally pathed up this stairway made of crates stacked up against the door for some reason.
"Get down from there and get inside the damn test!"
"Alright, alright."

"Heh heh."
"Alright then! Let's go do this dumb thing. I mean, if a fifteen-year-old can do it, I've got at least a 50/50 shot at it."

"Chains of explosions, yawn, come back when you've got something interesting, Knight's Test."

Taking refuge from the explosions, Steve is ambushed by gremlins or something.

Two smashed gremlins and a bashed chest later (you can't open the chest without breaking it), a key!

This is basically how the test goes. Find a key by solving a puzzle or beating an enemy up, move on through the next door. In this case the door here leads to three more doors, only one unlocked.

So we go there. Gee, how will we get to that key? Hack Mover Stacking rocks!

"Oh hey a bunch of magical equipment identical to the stuff I was carrying originally well what are the odds?"

The gimmick here is that snakes are under some of the rocks, and you have to kill them. Fortunately, they're easy.

The key there opens the south door, where a cyclops magically appears. He ought to be a tough fight, but for some reason he often just stands there and lets you beat the shit out of him.

"Potions! This would be useful if it were possible for me to be harmed."

Potions are in rough supply early on. Monitor doesn't sell them, and the best ones are only available from the Apothecary in Moonshade. With no spellbook and potions until then, getting into too much combat is not recommended. Fortunately, you can avoid almost all important combat until then if you're a coward crafty player.

Plus, hey, free bag. That door's locked of course. So we'll have to go around.

Strangely, we can skip that door entirely if we go all the way around. Now, these chests trigger an explosion where you're standing, so you have to run away. They're also empty. So what's going on here?

Secret wall leading to the key for the bag door. Which is entirely useless, because you never have to go back through it. It also opens the way to the next area, so you still have to find it.

Past that is... another locked door. Go south and find this one, and you can pass through it to... yet another locked door.

What you're supposed to do is flip that switch there...

...for another key. Then some rats spawn on you, but they're rats, so who cares.

Past the second door is yet another fork. West just leads to hallways that shoot fireballs at you. North however, leads to an essential item.

A claw. The scroll has instructions from Shmed that the claw will be needed later.

"Oh hey two suspiciously close torches, I'm sure that's... do you mind?"

This guy's supposed to be an invisible man, but due to some quirk of Exult, he kept blinking in and out of invisibility. Understandably he's a pretty easy kill even for a poorly-equipped Avatar.

Whoever sent him didn't seem to have much confidence either. He's got a key on him to get the hell out of here, too. Suspicious much?

"Anyway, yay, secret passages!"

"Alright, so, this room looks pretty important. What exactly do I do here..."

"Okay, just use this claw to draw some blood..."

"OW! JESUS! This cremated goblin jackass better appreciate this. Now I just need to discover my totem animal, the creature which most suits me. It will assign me to my Command and thus my commanding officers. Please not wolf please not wolf please not wolf."


Now, maybe I just never bother to ask many people about the Knight's Test, but I can't remember anywhere that it says you need to actually take the wolf meat on the corpse and the wolf corpse itself from the test. I guess it makes sense, as you need a cloak made from the wolf, and a stew for the banquet from the meat of the animal, but still. Shmed tells you, but it's easy to forget, and if you do the Knight's Test "legitimately," you have no backpack and must carry one item at a time if you want to stay armed. I suppose you could put the potion bag in your belt slot.

I think you can jack the ashes from here and use the claw on them at any point, but you may not be able to escape the Test easily with them. The ability to spawn a totem wolf anywhere, anytime is pretty cool though. I'm also not sure why an ancient goblin king gets a sweeter urn than any of Monitor's great heroes.

"And here's Shmed to congratulate me! Boy, does he look excited!"
"But I don't understand. How didst thou survive the Knight's Test? We fixed the place with traps to be absolutely fatal!"
"If you wanted it to be 'absolutely fatal,' you probably should have thrown some more liches in there."
"I did not want to do it. She seduced me into trying to kill thee! Yet even now, I cannot betray her..."
"Are you attacking me?"
"You're supposed to kill me and find some kind of evidence on my corpse."
"Dude, you're not even armed. You left the door open. I'm leaving."

"Get back here!"
"Oh, Steve, there you are."
"Hey guys, let's roll."
"With great pride!"

"Is that guy betraying you and making an attempt on your life without any weapons or plans whatsoever?"
"That's adorable."
"Stop ignoring me!"
"What are we gonna do with him? We can't just lug him around all day."

"Well, I was just gonna walk away, but this should put some distance between us."

On the way back, we pass some serpent ruins, and get ambushed by goblins.

When poorly equipped, goblins are somewhat of a threat, but mostly only in large numbers. Here, four of them attacked us with spears and boomerangs, but they couldn't make much of an impact. Nothing good for loot, though Shamino and Dupre finally have some shirts, and also a stack of pancakes for some reason.

"With strawberries! I hope."

"So, how was the test?"
"Oh, you know, it was what it was."
"It truly has been a grueling hour and twenty seven minutes."
"Yeah, now we have to wait for Marsten to show up."

Now how did I manage to smuggle real equipment into the Knight's Test, when it's blocked by an impenetrable metal door? Well, you could just Hack Move the door out of the way and leave it in the foyer, but that's no fun.

Now crates, that's how a real man cheats at Ultima VII games.

You saw the stairway earlier in the update. It lets us walk up and on top of the mountain layer.

One must be careful, as traps know no z-axis.

Sooner or later the designers just give up on overlaying a ceiling, so we can just drop stuff.

"Oh oops I dropped all my stuff again. Gee I hope nobody finds that during a Knight's Test."