|Never finished it though I've played it many times.|
A little history. The first time I played Ultima 1 was back in the mid 80s. I had several friends who played it and a technique was to grill each other at school the day after an intense night of gaming. We'd let each other know any secrets we found or how to solve a quest if it proved to hard to figure out by our selves. Those were fun days of gaming.
One may wonder why I'm starting on Ultima 1 instead of Akalabeth (or Ultima 0). A number of years ago I played Akalabeth on an Apple II emulator and recorded the process to be uploaded to YouTube.
After going through that I found it hard to actually want to play the game again. I might give it a go if/after I finish Ultima 1. There is now a C64 version of it out now and I'm thinking about giving that a go. We'll have to see.
Now, on to the game.
|This was my least favorite way of character generation. I prefer random stats and going from there.|
I then chose to be a human which I believe gives a bonus to either wisdom or intelligence. I think it's intelligence. Not sure.
|Soon to be having great adventures.|
Note: for those who don't know there are no benefits or penalties for playing male or female character. It's simply a role playing option.
|Let's find adventure!|
|Otto, your a Wizard!|
I make my way to a nearby city and castle. I realize that the game doesn't really have a pause button. I guess I'll have to be careful about food and encounters as I stop to take notes.
|So much hustle and bustle.|
I got to the food vendor and buy four units of food, I hope that will be enough for now, and then I decide to visit the castle. I'm feeling very unprepared for this.
As I have mentioned before I played this game a long time ago but never finished it. In playing it I would converse with other friends who were playing it and we would exchange notes. Best strategies and secretes we'd discovered. This is one aspect of gaming I do miss immensely. Now, everything is posted on the Internet and, unfortunately, the sense of discovery is gone.
I'm saying this because one of the strategies we discussed all those years ago was to grind out stats and experience. We'd do this buy killing monsters. Hit points are either purchased from Lords (Kings?) or when you exit dungeons. It's kind of a crap shoot though. Sometimes you can exit a dungeon and get less hit points when you went in. I forget what it costs to buy hit points though.
So, off to the castle...
|Yeah, that jester.|
When I played this game back in the 80s I remember getting past this quest as well as many other quests. I just don't remember how I did it. Thirty some years of time will do that to you I guess.
I do remember the dungeon to the north-east and I make my way there. If I'm going to grind some stats then I need to do it there. I find the entrance guarded by a monster of sorts.
|Hidden behind mountains. Mountains I cannot easily pass.|
|Ah yes, you'll do!|
It is the Dungeon of Montor. This is where I shall grind.
|I wonder who built/dug all these dungeons. They are everywhere.|
I replace my dagger with an axe hoping it will be better but they have no ranged weapon. I can't remember if there are ranged weapons in this game. I thought there was at least a sling and maybe a bow.
Next I look at armor. I'm playing a wizard so I don't know if I can wear chain or plate mail. I'm going to find out and buy some plate mail. Well, apparently I can. I thought I sold the dagger but I still have it. I'll try and sell it again. Okay, it sold.
Now I'll get more food and grind the dungeon some more. Not sure how I use experience points or if I auto level.
I buy more food and I noticed that there is a magic vendor here. I buy a few unlocks because I keep running into chests and setting off traps. I wonder if I will always need to use this spell or if I'm able to level a stat or skill to unlock chests.
Actually, being a wizard I don't see a huge amount of spells and it looks as if everybody can use those spells. Maybe it would have been more prudent if I would have been a melee class.
I start grinding again but I almost die. Well, die as in my HP got under 100. Must be careful.
After a bit more grinding I decide to see if I cannot find out what hit points are good for. This requires me to read some wikis out there. Avoiding spoilers and walk through I find that hit points aren't really used for anything other than increasing the number of monsters in the over world. I do a quick ask on Twitter though to make sure. I'm not sure anybody will respond.
Time has passed and no answer on Twitter though to be fair it's only been about an hour. While waiting I decided to explore the lands a bit. I ran into some mobs in the over world and slayed them. Some are harder than others. I eventually found another town where I bought a sword. Again, I'm not sure how much damage (more damage) these weapons are doing. I think the most powerful weapon in the game is a phasor and I believe I have to follow that.
|That jester gets around.|
I'm not going to lie, these are my least favorite quests in the early Ultima games. In Akalabeth that's what they all were and I did not enjoy them. I think I need to get more leveled up and get richer before I delve into the deeper parts of the dungeon. Richer so I can buy the "ladder spells". I think they are called ladder. Might be ladder up and ladder down. Don't know right now.
Before I leave this King I give him a pence of 28 gold and, in return, I get 42 hit points. I think dungeon diving might be more lucrative for gaining hit points.
|Ah, there you are!|
|I could have probably gotten here faster.|
I reach the island with the sign and sidle up next to the sign but can't find the command to read the sign. Ugh.
I finally figure out that I need to get on top of the sign and press (e)nter to interact. I've found the "Pillars of Protection" and I gain 2 for my agility. Groovy but not sure how it will help me. Just to make sure there is no way to "game" the system I try interacting with the sign again. Nope, no free agility.
I decide to sail the seven seas and see if I can see anything else.
Sailing the seven seas involves staying close to the coast and looking for Islands. I eventually come across a dungeon on an island and decide to investigate. Hmm, "Mondain's Gate to Hell". Nope! I'm thinking this is the way to the end boss. Not ready for this. I kill a bat and bail.
|Not much of a city is it?|
Stopping into the city of Tune I upgrade(?) my great sword into a staff. It's more expensive but does it do more damage? The only real reason I bought it is to role play the a wizard. A staff seems like an appropriate weapon for a wizard. Doesn't explain the plate mail though.
I did find the dungeon of Doubt. Not much of a dungeon. More like the long hallway of Doubt.
I finally found a ranged weapon in the city of Moon. I think I'll keep the staff though. It also had a reflect suit which I bought. So, I have the best armor in the game. I think the thief can steal it from me though so I have to be careful.
|What's that even mean?|
Well, I've come full circle around the continent and I've found the Pillars of Protection again. I decided to use it again and it gave me two more Agility. This gives me an idea.
So it appears as that I can sail back and forth between the two signs I found and get agility and intelligence for ever. Not sure if this is the way it's supposed to work but it is an in game exploit that I intend to use for a bit.
Sometimes I'm a silly person. I forgot there were four continents in this game and I found out by accident about this. Sailing west I eventually found another land mass and, eventually, found another sign (The Eastern Sign Post) that emphatically tells me to go east I must go east. Hmm.
I will start exploring these extra continents.
I've made it back to Lord British and turn in my quest. My reward is ten strength. Not bad but I though I was to get gems. Of course I could be wrong. I'm actually not sure how to get gems. Anyway, when I offered my services to him again he, again, presented me with the same quest. So, upon completing the quest again he gives me only 8 points of strength. I wonder if this continually goes down or if it is random. I'm not sure but I'll have to test it later as I need to wrap up part one of this. Next time I'll try and get the grinding stuff taken care of and, maybe, more into the meat of the quest.