(This is part of my journey playing through Ultima VII. You can follow the entire series on the Nostalgia Lane page.)
After my riotous adventures in painting, I don’t know if this game can top itself. But I will forge on even so, for there is a murder to solve!
- Steal everything from homes that isn’t nailed down
- Click on everything to see if it’s interactive (ooh! I drew water from the well!)
- Talk to folks in ye olde Englishe fonte
For all of the immersive elements going on, I’m really surprised nobody’s raised a stink about my thievery yet. I’m starting to wonder if the game is going to call me out on that later. Oh well, I’m well-armed and rich, I can take it.
A “very serious” guard informs me that I’m effectively a prisoner in this town until I give him the password to allow passage to the outside world — and only the mayor can give that. Really, what kind of nonsense is this? Other than a transparent attempt to keep us newbie players from roaming outside of the bounds of the introductory narrative?
There are several two-page “books” around the town that are interesting to read. If I’m not mistaken, here is what I believe to be a pretty funny reference to Origin Systems’ Strike Commander. Ah, truly timeless humor, that!
There’s a kid running all helter-skelter around a house, so I stop him to talk. He’s Spark, a new orphan. Hey, guess who his father is! That’s right, he’s Murder McMurderedson from the stables. Spark is barely holding it together, but he does give me the best leads yet, saying that he had a nightmare about “a big red-faced man” and he saw a man with a hook-hand and a wingless gargoyle run out of the stables right after the murder. Also, he doesn’t have anything nice to say about the Fellowship, because cults are bad and should feel bad, m’kay?
Spark asks to join my merry crew and, what, am I supposed to abandon an orphan? Look at those eyes! The eyes! Fine, you can stay. Just don’t whine about being hungry like Iolo there.
There’s a pretty funny interchange between Spark and the parrot here:
Parrot: Pretty bird!
Spark: Ugly bird!
Parrot: Ugly boy!
We go upstairs in Spark’s house and night falls. And it gets really, really dark, too dark to do much of anything. Darn this game’s realism! I put down a candle, which lights up the room, then jump into bed to see what happens. I guess that way I can make time advance, so I tell Iolo to wake me in eight hours. I get a good night’s sleep or at least the best I can with an old man and a young boy standing there staring at my back all night long.
When I wake up, I tackle the chest at the foot of the bed there. It breaks all 11 of my lockpicks, and only after that happens do I realise that, duh, I have a key. Oh hey, it opens the chest!
Inside is a Fellowship medallion, 100 gold, and a scroll that says something about payment already being made and that he should make the delivery tonight. Interesting.
More running around talking to folks. The shopkeeper is a pain in the rear, but he sells me some new lockpicks and a bedroll. I notice that wearing the Fellowship medallion makes people assume I’m part of that clan.
A guard at the healer’s hut says that he was knocked out by an unknown assailant who probably jumped on a ship that left shortly after the murder.
Well, that’s half of the town explored so far and three posts in to this playthrough. This might be a long haul, folks! Hope you’re good for it!