The Let's Play Archive

Ultima VII: The Black Gate

by Nakar

Part 36: The Black Gate - Time is of the Essence, So Let's Mess Around

Time is of the Essence, So Let's Mess Around

"I hope we get to the bottom of this mystery."
"I thought we already did. We know who's committing the murders, why they're doing it, and what they're planning."
"Yeah, but they're all still alive."
"You have a funny sense of justice, Steve."
"An Avatar's sense of justice!"

Hook and Forskis live just behind the House of Games. You need to cheat a little to see the inside of this crocodile. Get it? Get it?

Hook is pretty loaded. Sure, not much in the way of riches, but I'll take another Juggernaut Hammer, thanks. The key is a key to the Black Gate facility. I don't know how you're expected to know this except that it's a big, important-looking key.

But you do get a hint of where to go next:

Dear Forskis,

Before we set sail tomorrow, would you make extra sure that I remember to bring my giant key to the Isle of the Avatar dungeon with me? I know you have yours but I would feel really clumsy if I just left it sitting in the chest or something.

Oh and if you're going to be checking on that for me, would you make sure you grab my extremely incriminating checklist of all the people I've murdered and/or plan to murder in the future? You know how I get when I kill someone and then don't immediately check their name off the list right away.

Love ya buddy,

Secret passages lead to lame treasure and monsters, but we must press on because there are one or two useful things around.

"Hello, what's this now?"

To the south there's a guy who jumps you for no clear reason, then the back door to the Baths. There's not much stuff here, but I can always use more food.

And now, finally, the Fellowship's most wanted.

The troll snarls at you, obviously displeased at your presence.
"What you want?" asks Grod.
"Just taking a little tour of the place. Who are you?"
"I Grod. Why you want know? Is voice unhappy?"
"Oh my yes, he's most displeased."
He seems truly worried."I will do job better. I promise! I beat harder and more often!"
"Thank thee ever so much, Avatar," says Anton sarcastically.
"Now, now, Anton, the nice person was simply answering a question."
"I Grod. Who you?"
"Funny name. But, all humans have funny names." He shrugs.
"Better known as the Avatar!"
"The Avatar?" He begins laughing. "The Avatar not been here for...," he begins counting on his fingers. After several attempts, he gives up, saying, "for many years! You no Avatar."
"Your logic is truly inescapable, Mr. Grod."
"So are you the personal trainer around here?"
"I torture prisoners," he says, thumping his chest proudly.
Spark's eyes light up. "Torture? Wow! He quickly looks at you and changes expressions. "I, er, mean, that is very awful."
"Much fun! Prisoners scream loudly. Except that one. He not scream. He just talk. And talk. I get so bored I get mad. So I torture more. And," he throws up his hands, "he just talk more! I no know what to do."
"That is terrible, Avatar. We must command him to stop!"
"I try make him stop. But he talk and talk. You try? Maybe he stop."
"No, I meant stop torturing!"
"Oh, no! Grod love job! Grod never stop. You go away now."
"It's so nice to see a man who loves his work. What about the rest of you?"

The man in the prison greets you with a rather large smile.
"Why, hello, Avatar. In what way could I help thee this fine day?"
"Who are you?"
"I am Sullivan, Avatar," he says pleasantly. "Who wouldst thou be?"
"The Avatar. Maybe you've heard of her, and I want to stress that last part."
"Oh, I see. Oops..." He shrugs.
"What the fool means is that he used to don a costume and pretend to be thee in an attempt to woo goods from the proprietors."
"Quite true, Avatar. The ruse worked far too well. 'Twas a true shame, to be honest. I should not have gotten away with it, and, indeed, am being properly castigated for it now."
"Is that so."
"Well, in all honesty, Avatar, I have no job. Although, for a time, I was a thieving scoundrel."
"And a Fellowship member, apparently."
"'Tis truly a fantastic group of people, Avatar. We spread guidance and prosperity to the people who reside in our fair land. Of course, at the moment, my fellow members are a bit... displeased with me."
"That's a bit of an understatement!"
"The Fellowship teaches people to follow their leaders like sheep. Canst thou think of better guidance? When a member behaves properly and follows directions and so forth, he -- or she -- can hear the `inner voice' that teaches one how to win at the games. 'Tis the very reason I joined!" he grins broadly. "However, I have yet to hear the voice. Well, apparently I hadn't striven hard enough to be deserving of the loan I... acquired from the money box upstairs."
"Well... I was going to return the money eventually. I just needed it to win more in the games."
"Sounds like you're finally getting what you deserve. Mercifully, you managed to completely fail to properly impersonate me since, as you may well be aware, you have a penis."
"Yeah but-"
"Shut up, Iolo."
As best he can, he leans toward you. For perhaps the first time in his entire life, he turns somber. "Actually, deserve is a relative term. I have finally realized -- being on the racks for many hours during the day leaves time for quite a number of realizations -- the true nature of The Fellowship. Batlin and Abraham and Danag, they all are in error.When the Guardian makes his appearance here in Britannia, I have no doubt he will simply eliminate everyone, including The Fellowship leaders." His smile returns."That is why I decided to get everything out of The Fellowship and Britannia now, before we are all killed. And maybe get myself out."
"Yeah that's a great plan you can just take a moongate ohhhhhhhh so sorry. You're stuck here with the rest of us, and more importantly, you're stuck here with this nice troll fellow."
"Avatar, please!"
"Don't drop the soap!"

You are greeted by a man with a sour expression.
"And who's the smartass?"
"I," he says scratching his nose, "am Anton, not that thou wouldst be concerned with me. Unless, of course, thou art about to put me in the stocks."
"Be polite, Anton. I am sure the Avatar is truly interested in thy name."
"What are you doing here?"
"What kind of bloody stupid question is that? I am in the prison!"
"Yeah, stupid question."
"Relax, Anton. I am sure that thou wilt have a job again soon enough." He turns to you. "He was apprenticed to the sage Alagner who bade him find out information about The Fellowship..."
"Silence, fool! They will slay me for sure, now!" He looks at you with despair.
"Hast thou already forgotten, dear Anton? Thou didst divulge that information to them some time ago."
"I did?"
He nods.
Anton turns to the troll. "I did?"
The troll nods.
"Oh, well, then. Carry on!"
"As I was saying, his instructor sent him to observe the Fellowship. Of course, he was discovered and brought here for torturing." He turns back to Anton."Never fear, however, Anton. 'Twill be no time before thou art free again, able to return to thy tutor, Alagner, and resume thy studies," he says, smiling.
"He is a sage who resides in New Magincia. Perhaps the most learned man in all Britannia! And now," he sighs, "I will no longer have the opportunity to glean knowledge from his voluminous body of wisdom."
"Well, you're right about that part at least."

Yadda yadda, moving on, teleporting into a room with some stuff, and a dragon, who didn't drop a single gem for me, what an ass.

Further along is a sacrificial circle overseen by a lich. I'd love to tell you more about what liches do, but as you can see from the screenshot Shamino's Juggernaut Hammer smashed him into pieces almost immediately.

The lich's haul is kind of disappointing, but if you visited a bit earlier in the game it might be a bit more interesting. It's not really a good idea to do so and it's not as if you can get here rigtht away, but I guess if you can get to the Cube, you can get in here.

Really though, it's just more stuff.

"We really just have too much stuff."
"I never thought I'd hear you say that."
"It's not the weight or anything, it's just... I mean we only have so many arms, you know? And Arcadion won't let me put him down."
"I do feel a bit more comfortable with the current weapon arrangement, yes."
"So what are you going to do?"
"I'm going to give something back to the people of Britannia. I'm going to give them... the greatest of gifts."
"Are you high?"
"Not high enough. Come, TO THE MUSEUM!"

"Oh no, you're back."
"Candice, I want to do something for you, and not because I was possibly maybe responsible for your accidental murder at one point."
"I wanted to donate some relics of the Avatar to the exhibit."
"Seriously! I want the people of Britannia to understand what was really important to me and to my quests."
"Yes, well, as you can see, the museum is full..."
"Big deal! I already stole the lenses, and we can throw the rest of this crap out."
"B-but these are the Runes! And the Bones of Zog, and the Silver Horn and Vortex Cube and..."
"It's all crap, trust me, these things meant nothing to me."
"B-but I can't just allow anyone, even the Avatar, to-"

"Consider this a government grant."
"Can I do that?"
"I am an official arm of the government, aren't I?"
"I suppose, Avatar... I mean, Curator Steve."
"That's what I like to hear. Now hurry up, we have a lot of work to do."

And soon...

"Now you see, these are things that are really of interest to me. This'll bring the people in from all over!"
"That statue of a baby is crying."
"Baby, that ain't a statue. Moving right along..."

"A display of all the exotic weaponry too shitty for us to actually bother using! Also some extra magic armor - we had plenty, thanks - and best of all, an old friend straight from the crater formerly known as Skara Brae!"
"I am... just glad to be working again so soon after... losing my job."

"Now over here we've got all the incriminating documents I've found in the past couple hundred years, a cup full of blood, some honey, a triple crossbow-"
"Why is there a crate on display next to that thing that says 'Britannia's Greatest Military Achievements?'"
"Clearly, you just lack sufficient appreciation for the crate. That reminds me, someone go back to the main hall and prep a diaper for this exhibit."
"Why are there so many pairs of magic boots?"
"Because she's a woman."

"Now here in the center we've got more weapons, some wands that glow, that chest we never managed to get open..."
"It's... really great."
"I'm glad you think so, because it'll be even better once the centerpiece exhibit is in place!"
"Oh my yes. Come outside, I'll show you what I did with the rest of the money."

If you'd prefer a better-quality version (though it's still a little washed out), you can right-click save-as from here.

"I... suppose it is a unique display. People will definitely be interested in part of this at least. Actually... you know what? This is better. That old stuff sucked balls."
"Speaking of which, where did you put all the old exhibits, Steve?"

"Ummmmmm, I put them in storage."