(This is part of my journey playing through Ultima VII. You can follow the entire series on the Nostalgia Lane page.)
Ultima VII’s map is a little strange in that the mostly-connected communities of Trinsic, Paws, and Britain form a sort of megacity complex that runs up and down a good portion of the coast of the largest continent. It’s strange, at least to me, how the game puts you right in the middle of civilization for so long instead of the normal fantasy world trope of towns separated by miles of wilderness.
With my time in Paws wrapped up after solving the gripping mystery of the snake venom, I continue my journey north into the much more affluent city of Britain (in Britannia, ruled by Lord British). For those who are curious, I’m not using a walkthrough, but I am using a detailed world map along with the occasional Google search to answer various small questions.
The dirt road turns to cobblestones as we enter Britain, and Spark chimes up with a groan-worthy, “Are we there yet?” Because no trope must remain untrodden, the game’s soundtrack starts blaring “Rule Britannia.”
I gotta say, I am getting a little tired of “town crawling” right now. But I also feel an obligation to poke around and talk with everyone I can. I guess I’m still investigating a murder?
Generally I behave much like a completely uncouth house guest. I barge into people’s homes, interrogating them while taking anything I want (especially food) while we talk. If I’m tired, I go into a house, poke whoever is there sleeping until they wake up, and then I snuggle under the covers for eight hours or so. It’s the virtues of sloth and greed at work. I’m awesome.
In my barging and questioning, I do find out a few interesting facts. Apparently magic is on the decline in the world and nobody seems to know why. Also, the apothecary tells me that the silver snake venom is addicting people all over and he’s working hard to study it for Lord British. Good thing I have a few stolen vials on me to sell to him for the low, low price of 50 gold coins each! Even in my selfishness, I’m helping others.
Another thing I’m picking up is that there are “Avatars” all over the place — or people calling themselves that. C’mon folks, I’m the one true Avatar by virtue of the fact that I bought the game!
I do have a pretty hilarious discussion with a flambouyant bard who invites me to listen to him and his band perform at the pub that evening. I’m going to have to catch that and see if it actually happens.