Sunday, June 8, 2014

Ultima I: The Fall of Mondain

Today saw the end of the life of the wizard Mondain. Who knows what repercussions Aric's actions will have as they echo down the ages, but for the moment? Sosaria can breathe easily again.

It's like he was waiting for me...
The venture began with a jaunt to the Lands of Lord British. The kindly king (to an extent, I mean he's still got a princess in his dungeon) had asked me to pay a visit, and presumably my respects, to the Grave of the Lost Soul, which I'd found at the end of my last session, so I picked up a strength bonus from him before heading to the Tower of Knowledge in the northeast corner of his realm, for another strength bonus from the King of the White Dragon. I checked my spell inventory, just in case, and saw I only had two Ladder Up spells, so after wandering around a bit trying to find a place to restock them, I was ready for my final dungeon expedition.

It was Doom that I poked into in order to make my way down, down to Goblin-Town-- er, I mean, down to the ninth level to slay a balron. I cast a blink spell to see what would happen, since I hadn't yet, and was teleported about three steps away. Ah well, experiment did nothing of worth, really. I had little trouble until I hit level four, in which I got swarmed badly just off the ladder, but I came through all right. I came across a passage in which I was blocked in both directions by a barrier, and just past one of them was the ladder down behind another barrier - I was glad for my destroy spells yet again! I'm going to have to remember that in future playthroughs, I got some good use of that spell this game.

How many of these have I gone through now?
Levels seven and eight passed without much to comment on, which I was glad for - I was nervous that I'd get hopped on by gremlins and my food stores would dwindle down much too far for my liking. That never happened, though, and as soon as I got off the ladder to the ninth level, I found myself attacked by a balron from behind! I slew it with a cry of INTERFICIO, and that was that. My trek back upward was more dangerous than the way down, I think - I used a few ladder up spells to bypass the gremlins, but got swarmed on level five, and by the time I stumbled back up to level four I was down to about 600 hit points. Ladder up spells saved the day for me then.

What else am I gonna do with that button?
Shamino rewarded me with the final gem, this one white, and nine items from his stores, which I used to replace the armor that had been eaten (yet AGAIN) by a gelatinous cube. After blowing all my stockpiled cash on extra hit points, I headed over to the northwest island on the continent, took a deep breath, and stepped into the time machine. After inserting the proper gems and hitting the LAUNCH button, I was thrown through time and yanked out of the contraption by magic to face Mondain himself.

There he was, cloaked and robed in a fiery chamber, chanting over the still-forming Gem of Immortality. That was my first goal, I knew - if Mondain completed the Gem, then all of my hard work would be for naught! So I hurried my way over and smashed the Gem to bits - and wracked myself in the process! It hurt, a lot - I went from over 8000 hit points to just barely above 2000. I slung a few spells at Mondain, discovering that Kill spells only seemed to make him stronger, before resorting to my blaster. Time and time again I fired at him, until he turned into a bat. I chased him into a corner, where he turned back (!) into his wizardy self, my world shifting as he shot his telekinetic attacks at me, before I forced him to flee as a bat once more. After a good deal of chasing (and crashing into a wall for even more damage at one point, in my gusto to defeat the evil wizard), I finally managed to strike the finishing blow, undoing all of Mondain's evil actions as they echoed through time.

Ow. Ow ow ow.
The effects put me in stasis of some sort for a thousand years, back to the present, where Lord British expressed the gratitude of himself and his people for my actions - which left me wondering how exactly he knew what they were, if I changed time and all. But in any case, the wizard is dead, and Sosaria is at peace again.

So ends the tale of the First Age of Darkness. It didn't take me all that long to finish up the game today, but I certainly felt powerful while doing it (I think the fact that Pandora decided to blare Nightwish in my ears while dungeon crawling may have aided that along a bit)! It was a fun romp this time around, giving me a chance to play around with aspects of the game I haven't really done much with before - the destroy spell really helped a lot more than I expected! It was also the first time I'd seen Mondain transform back from a bat, and it was the first time I tried a kill spell on him as well - which the game claimed made him stronger. All in all a good time. I'll compose some final thoughts on Ultima I in the coming days, and then it's off to the next game. I hear Mondain had an apprentice who's none too happy with Aric

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