Ultima VII: The Black Gate – Day 3

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

Minoc

Usually I use a Moongate to get to Minoc, but this time I decided to break the pattern and take the long road by foot. The road took me past the Lock Lake, where I found the key to Mack the farmer’s shed inside a dead fish. So of course I had to run back to Britain and get the Hoe of Destruction from the shed. I’m going to wield it until I find something cooler, or until the vibrating noise it makes does my head in.

At the sawmill in Minoc, the infamous bodies bug kicked in and made the remains of the murdered gypsies disappear. Not that I’m a gore fiend or anything, but it annoys me that now I can’t bring the serpentine dagger from the crime site to De Snel in Jhelom and kill that bastard. It irks me as the completist with a mild case of OCD.

Speaking of OCD, I think Spoony dubbed the U7 inventory system the “organisational nightmare” in his reviews, but it’s practically a godsend to someone who is obsessed with organising and coming up with elaborate filing systems. My Dad once remarked that, from what he could observe, Ultima gaming seemed to be about me shuffling things around for hours from one backpack to another.

I spent most of the day in Minoc, asking around about the murders and the monument to Owen the shipwright, and getting the exposition dump from Margareta the gypsy. I’ve noticed that Sasha the gypsy’s accent miraculously disappears when he recites the Fellowship philosophy mantra and ‘w’ doesn’t get substituted with ‘v’. I’m not sure if it’s the lack of attention to detail or showing that Fellowship brainwashing is so potent it overrides a person’s natural accent.

I delivered the package to Elynor, who scolded me for opening it. The crystal ball at the Fellowship Hall gives you a peek into Nystul and Lord British’s bedrooms back in Britain, which is a tad… pervy?

I also tracked down the dodgy ship plans from the disgruntled mountain man whose brother died on one of Owen’s vessels, which led to Owen committing suicide in a rather pompous manner. Then I checked out the Minoc Mines, where I found a drug-addicted gargoyle with a rotting face, and two dimwits who are busy digging a tunnel to New Magincia armed with nothing but spoons. Their comedy skit is amusing but goes on maybe for a bit too long.

Yew

Before setting out to Yew, I went to Britain and finally auditioned for the role of the Avatar. Alas, it seems that Raymundo was underwhelmed with my acting chops and line reading choices (I am -the- Avatar!), so it’s back to the day job of saving Britannia.

Yew and the Deep Forest is probably my favourite area in U7; if I lived in Britannia for real I’d split my time between Britain and a summer cottage in Yew. I got a totally useless clue from Smith the horse, and visited Iolo’s house where I found the sequel-baiting note from Gwenno about the Serpent Isle. Iolo and Gwenno should definitely consider hiring a housekeeper by the way, their place is a pigsty!

I recruited Tseramed as the eighth and final member of the team. At the time I was first playing Ultima, Twin Peaks was on TV and I thought that Tseramed was a spitting image of Windom Earle, Agent Cooper’s arch-nemesis from the second season. Probably for that (ridiculous) reason, I half-expected Tseramed to turn out to be evil at some point in the game.

I wandered around the cemetery and tried to read the gravestones, but my runic is too rusty. At the Empath Abbey, I bought a bunch of flowers for the local healer lady to put on her mother’s grave, and killed the fake monk who deserved to die just for being dumb enough to attack eight people armed to the teeth.

I wish there was a way to actually play the Knight’s Bridge game near Nicodemus’ house; it’s a shame that such a cool-looking setup is only there for show.

The monk who was supposed to help me find Wisps wasn’t around and I didn’t feel like searching the woods for him, so I decided to explore the Deep Forest for a while. I found the Shrine of Justice which had nothing of interest around, and then my wanderings took me all the way to the eastern edge of the forest, where I discovered a bandits’ camp with the magic armour.

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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