|I feel stronger!|
Once I had three or four strength boosts under my belt, I went poking around the signposts of the continent - The Sign Post and the Southern Sign Post (descriptive names!), the latter of which being what the King of Barataria wanted me to seek out, which meant another strength boost, although I forgot to do that until just before I called it a day. I shuttled back and forth between the two signposts to up my stamina and my charisma, and reflected on that mechanic. I like the idea that finding places can boost stats, it encourages exploration and reflects the insights that visiting new places can bring, but it leads to a lot of shuttling back and forth, which can get tedious after a while.
|Exactly how is this city Poor?|
|If only this spell destroyed the skeleton, too.|
I got a little nervous when I got to level seven of the dungeon, as that was when the gremlins started showing up and swiping my food - just as annoying in Ultima I as it was in Akalabeth! I was down to about 100 food when I found the lich that the Black Dragon King wanted me to slay, which I did with a single Kill spell. Musing briefly on the irony of killing a magical undead creature with magic that supposedly stops a creature's heart for a few beats according to the manual, I clambered my way back out (relenting and using a few ladder up spells to be on the safe side) and restocked my food in the nearby town of Gauntlet. Visiting the King to tell him of my victory earned me my third gem, along with the knowledge that a princess (like the one in his own dungeon) would help a Space Ace through time.
|Die, lich, die! Er, again!|
I also managed to hit level eight during all this dungeon exploration, so once I become a Space Ace, I'll be all set to rescue a princess and find out how to travel through time! Of course, I have one more gem to collect before I can do that, but one step at a time.
This being my first entry in quite a while, I have to say I'm enjoying getting back to it. Sparse as the early Ultima games were, they certainly know how to spark the imagination, and I was gleefully making notes and biting my nails when my food was running low while I was playing today. I'm especially looking forward to taking on space next session - somewhat out of place for a standard fantasy sort of setting, but yet it feels like it fits regardless! I'll have more to say on my thoughts on that next time, but for now - Ultima is fitting me like a glove once again. Onward to space!
|Time to head for the stars!|