(This is part of my journey playing through Ultima VII. You can follow the entire series on the Nostalgia Lane page.)
Believe it or not, this series going through Ultima VII is already the second-longest playthrough I’ve done so far. Guess that’s something in favor of this game! Part of me would like to move on (because so many games left) but I’m still very much enjoying it and haven’t hit a point where it’s become frustrating or anything.
Cove may be the town of love, but it’s sitting on a lake of putricidy. The Lock Lake is insanely polluted, which is kind of an incredible achievement for a pre-industrial civilization of about 56 people. Some developer obviously had a good time festooning the landscape and water with all sorts of garbage. The banana peels amuse me as well. How are they getting them from the tropics? Oh. Magic moongates, probably.
Just north of Cove a giant cyclops comes stomping by my party — so big, in fact, that he shakes the screen. Even though he’s not hostile, we double back and kill him because there’s got to be a nugget of XP in that beefy body somewhere.
We find the cyclops cave just a little further away, but the second we step inside the screen becomes incredibly dark. Yes, I’m spoiled by MMO “nights” that are basically days with a soft blue light overlay. But it’s too dark to adventure in here unless I get some light going, so I make Spark carry a torch for us. It’s not SUPER-illuminating, but it does the trick.
Normally I’m all for a good dungeon crawl, but this becomes a little annoying. Again, combat in Ultima VII is probably its weakest aspect, as characters run all over the place doing God knows what while I’m left crossing my fingers and saying “don’t die don’t die don’t die.” At one point the screen goes black and the Guardian starts laughing and saying “POOR Avatar! POOR Avatar!” which made me think I lost someone. I didn’t, so what the heck was that? Anyway, once my torch goes out there’s no reason to put myself through more of this, so the crew packs up and heads out to the next town on our quest chain, Minoc.
The second we land, we’re attacked by… headless guys? Yup, those dudes really do not have heads. Congradulations, Ultima VII, you continue to surprise me. That is a new one.
We arrive in Minoc and I immediately bump into someone I dub the Exposition Gypsy. She’s the fortune-teller that the jester from Lord British’s castle said I should talk to, so talk I do. She unloads just an immense amount of info and hints and to-dos on me, including the revelation that there’s Something Bad in the land that’s affecting magic, that I need to join the Fellowship, that I should probably find the guy with the hook-hand, and so on. Nothing too new so far. But the part with the planets and the observatory is, as is this: