And as I ready myself for Ultima VI, I'm bracing myself for a whole boatload of those changes.
|The Ultima V box art is a nice touch.|
It's that very story that's made me excited to get to Ultima VI. It's a game that I've wanted to like and love (and finish!) for that reason alone. Give any other game a setup like Ultima VI's - a good and noble kingdom's very way of life threatened by a mysterious force through no perceived provocation whatsoever, watching sites of great import fall before their very eyes - and the story will very likely proceed along the lines of pushing back, culminating in one final decisive strike that banishes the evil from the land again. But not so with The False Prophet - while it does start with pushing back, ultimately resolution is found through understanding. What's begun through wildly differing interpretations of the same results - all of which are perfectly justifiable - is resolved not by the side which can back its position up the best, but by one individual and his band trying to see both sides of the coin.
|The False Prophet loses no time in upping the ante.|
Ultima VI falls into the same category that Ultima V did for me - while I've enjoyed what bits of it I've played, the interface trips me up enough that I've never seen it through to completion. There's a lot to be said for the increased graphical system used in Ultima VI, but to me, inventory management always felt bogged down a bit by the fact it's not a click-and-drag system, and once again, the limited visibility during the night was something I struggled with. Consequently, the most I've ever done with the game was free the shrines and find a map piece or two. I've got no choice but to grow accustomed to the game engine at some point now, though - if not in The False Prophet, then in one of the two Worlds of Ultima games to follow it! Finishing Warriors of Destiny on such a high note gives me high hopes that that won't be the stumbling block that it once was, though.
Before I start out the game proper, though, as per usual I have to bring up the manual. Ultima VI's Compendium is penned by none other than Lord British himself, and from the manual's tone and how it ties into the themes of the game, I can't really think of a more appropriate figure. There's a subtle tone throughout of the superiority of the virtues and the Way of the Avatar, a certain patriotic propaganda feel to it, of Britannia as the pinnacle of a civilized way of living - and, of course, Lord British's own part in it! It's not particularly blatant, but it's there just beneath the surface, and for one who reads between the lines, it offers a hint that maybe the Gargoyles aren't quite the heinous affront to Virtue that your very own monarch purports them to be.
There's a good deal I'm looking forward to with this one. I've never been to the Gargoyle lands, and I can't wait to have a few conversations at the Shrines of the Gargoyle principles. I've already caught myself digging into Gargish (it was justified! I couldn't be expected to just leave the runes on the sacrificial slab in the opening untranslated, could I?) and I wouldn't be surprised if I tossed out a side-post or something on the language, all its own - I didn't choose to call myself Linguistic Dragon for nothin'! I know already I'm going to have a lot to discuss as I go through the game - time for me to get started!