Ultima VII: The Black Gate – Day 2

Intro | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Post-game fun

Britain

Bright and early, I purchased an Avatar costume for my audition in the play at the Royal Theatre… which appears to look exactly like the orange-and-red costume I’m already wearing, so not sure what the point of the purchase was.

I also went to Mack the farmer’s field, to check out the Kilrathi space ship and listen to his wild tale. Back when I first played TBG, I had no idea that the ship was a Wing Commander in-joke, and I seriously expected the “tigerlions” to somehow feature in the plot.

At Lord British’s castle, I raided the storeroom and got a couple of side quests. Miranda, the Great Council member, sent me to Cove to get the anti-pollution bill signed by the local mayor. Wislem the gargoyle asked me to go to Terfin and find out the identity of Inamo’s parent gargoyle from Lord Draxinusom. And Chuckles the Jester gave me a clue to find Margareta the gypsy in Minoc. I’m ashamed to say, before reading about it on the internet I never figured out what the point of the Game was, and got Chuckles to help me by going through all the possible answers.

By the way, the Great Council act like they’re busy and all, but what the hell is this bill on their desk? Is this what they’re spending taxpayers’ money on?

To solve the Isle of Fire quest, LB gave me a deed for a ship all the way in Vesper; couldn’t he park it closer to home? I was glad to see that Weston, the jailed man with the family in Paws, wasn’t a victim of the game bug like he often had been, and I could resolve this little side story in a heartwarming fashion.

Cove

Other than its filthy polluted lake, Cove seems to be completely untouched by the social issues afflicting the rest of Britannia. There’s no Fellowship branch or class strife or racial tensions or drug abuse or unsavoury characters hanging around, everything is lovey-dovey so the locals are pretty boring and have nothing interesting to say.

I recruited Jaana, who, unless I’m playing a female Avatar, always ended up the sole female member of my party – the one notable exception was the time I formed an all-girl team with Jaana, Julia and Katrina. After sorting out the Lock Lake business, I visited Nastassia, the only single person in Cove apart from Rudyom the Mage (his single loveless status doesn’t bother anyone, it seems). I promised to find out what happened to her father in Yew, and then it was love at first sight or something. Apparently, while a virgin, Avatar is a great kisser (according to Nastassia at least).

Jhelom

Used the Moongate outside Britain to travel to Jhelom and add Dupre to the party. Dupre is easily the most equipped of the companions, unlike Jaana who didn’t even come with her own backpack, the slacker.

Jhelom is a fun rough place and the bickering between the two barmaids at the local inn is quite entertaining. I did the honour flag side quest; one time, rather than getting the local armourer to sew a fake flag that would put an end to the duels, I just showed up on the list field and fought for Sprellic, killing everybody. But I only did it once because I’m a softie; can’t we all just get aloooong?

Is Margareta Michellino, the gypsy author of Gone with the Wisp, the same Margareta you talk to in the game? Hmmm.

While waiting for the honour flag to be made, I explored the island caves and finally got into my first fight. The first cave, immediately to the east of the populated area, was tiny and had a couple of brigands and a triple crossbow. The second cave to the south was significantly larger and had weird ruins with a crystal ball on the pedestal, which told me to GO AWAY in the Guardian’s voice. I got attacked by giant spiders, gremlins and bats, and poor old Jaana was of course the first to die. I’ve no patience dragging the companions’ bodies around so… reload!

I know that many people dislike the combat system in U7 but – whisper it – I never really cared about combat in the games much. My preferred version of Betrayal at Krondor was a hacked version where you automatically won every fight and could just progress with the story, which is all I cared about. So I’m totally content to press the C button and let the party sort everything out.

Britain

I moongated to the location south of Trinsic, and made it back to Britain late at night, just in time to catch Mayor Patterson cheating on his wife.

I didn’t feel like renting a room at the inn, so I went back to the castle and used LB’s spare bed. Off to Minoc tomorrow!

Intro | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Post-game fun

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