After retrieving a bevy of family heirlooms from the bandits, locating several absconded bottles of Elven wine, putting an end to some vigilante violence and being on the giving end, rather than the receiving end, of a warrant, I felt I had put the citizens of the Outskirts mind’s to rest. However, it turns out there was another in need of my assistance, but not really a citizen at all.

In my many traverses from one side of the refugee camp to the other, I stumbled across a different sort of refugee, perhaps even an escapee based on his tale. It was a late evening when I collapsed into his makeshift shanty, a head full of psilocybin. I was astonished to see, what I mistook for, one of the Tour Guides from my earlier explorations of the realm. In my delirium, I asked if he was in possession of yet another fetching hat and if I might perchance have one.

He merely laughed and said he put those days behind him. He offered me a medicinal libation and a whiff of smelling salts to get me to my senses. It was then that he offered me a seat in his small abode.

“You may call me Gus. I have heard much of your exploits in these parts,” he began. “You are a pillar of this little community, setting right all manner of discourteous wrongs.”

“I am pleased to help,” I replied, still a little out of sorts from the fungi that lurk at the entrance to his home.

“I wonder if by chance, you might be able to help me?” he asked.

“I can certainly give it a go,” I replied.

“Even though I am merely an automaton rather than a refugee and may have beeen responsible for putting your life in danger one too many times in search of a chapeau?” he asked.

“But, of course,” I said. “I have to admit though, I could have done without you skulking about by that fire chicken. That is all in the past though. And truth be told, I’ve taken a few knocks to the head, so I barely remember those days.”

“That is indeed good to hear,” he replied.

“Are you on the run my metal friend? Are you in need of a man to scuttle you away to parts unknown due to some legal entanglements? You didn’t get caught up in that salt running fiasco did you?” I questioned.

“Oh no, nothing of the sort. But, as you guessed, I spent some time welcoming Outlanders such as yourself, then graduated to a full time Tour Guide. I then had an epiphany, and to make a long story short, I left the Tour Guide service and moved into these wonderful caves.”

“You have done well for yourself,” I commented.

“Why thank you. But there is one small problem,” he said, looking rather sad and forlorn. “I have misplaced some of my children due to the bandit trouble I’m sure you’re aware of.”

“Children?” I said a little taken aback. “I didn’t you know you had such ways with the lady automatons.”

He merely looked at me with a puzzled expression. As puzzled an expression as a metallic face can give.

“I built them you see. Lots of little companions to keep me company. Have you by chance seen any of them in your travels?” he asked.

“Little automatons running around the woods? Afraid I haven’t. I’m quite sure I would have noticed something like that.”

“Actually, no. They are little automaton monkeys.”

“Monkeys?” I questioned. “Um, very well. Not for me to question. But, oddly, I believe I may be able to help you. I don’t often say this Gus, but I have a monkey in my leggings with your name on it.”

Gus clapped his hands with glee and gave a cheer as I withdrew the little automaton monkey I had found.

“That is some handy work Gus. That is a quality item with a fine eye for details. I was wondering where the little nipper came from.”

“You are a true gentleman!” he exclaimed. “The light of truth surrounds you Outlander!”

“I’m quite sure that’s the haze from those exploding mushrooms you have outside, but I thank you all the same. That being said, if I do find any more of the little rascals, I will be sure to bring them home to you. How many exactly did you lose?”

“Oh dear me. I’m not entirely sure. I’ve made quite a few to be sure. I suspect there are several more out there,” he replied.

“Very well, I shall keep an eye out. I have few more small jobs to complete, but rest assured, I’ll be back.”

“Well, because of your good deeds, I am liberty to give you a reward,” Gus said excitedly.

“The beverage and sanctuary from those mind altering mushrooms is plenty thanks enough. It’s much better than the slap in the face I normally get when stumbling into a strangers home.”

“I have something far better than that!” he exclaimed.

“Do go on,” I said.

“I believe I know the location of an ancient item that might be of use to you. And I think it suits you. The Hood of Truth!”

“Hood of Truth? What might that be? It’s not like the Burlap Sack of Shame is it?”

“I believe it is a hood and represents the virtue of truth,” he explained.

“All right. Very well. If you want to be literal,” I replied.

“Now, I believe it is located a short way from here in a pyramid. There is a caretaker there. If you say Gus sent you, I do believe he will give you the item in question. If you bring it back here, I will spruce it up for you, using my previous hat making experience and fix it right up.”

“Very well Gus, I accept this challenge. I will search for this pyramid and retrieve said garment. If I find it, more monkeys or some of that Elven wine, I will bring it back and we can divvy up the spoils.”

“I shall anxiously await your return,” he said. “In the mean time, I shall be here playing with my monkey.”


I don’t often say this Gus, but I have a monkey in my leggings that might interest you.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

image I was really excited to listen to this Dev Hangout since Lord British was going to talk more about the Virtues and how they related to the new game and the new world. Unfortunately, it was nowhere near long enough for my liking, but there were some interesting tidbits related to Virtues.

First off, most of the virtues we know from Ultima IV such as Love and Compassion are back. It sounds like there might be some new one since it’s been 400 years since New Britannia has come into being. And from the little bits and pieces I’ve been able to put together, it has been all roses and rainbows for those original citizens. It sounds like they’ve gone through some dark patches and not everyone is on board with the idea of virtues.

Lord British did make a couple of interesting comments about how virtues play into the game. They are a major factor but not necessary to complete Episode 1. Many NPCs will be concerned and will know about your virtuous path while others won’t care at all. As a player you won’t know how you’re doing as virtuous Avatar and unlike the previous games where the questions were pretty direct and obvious, you will be tested in much more subtle ways. If they do things right you won’t even notice.

Some NPCs will have you do certain tasks or quests or give you information if you walk a virtuous path, while others will give you different tasks if you don’t walk the true path. As Richard put it, nefarious characters may ask you to do nefarious deeds.

Will some acts cannot be redeemed, such as murder, other less than “karmic” acts can be undone. It will take time, but it might be possible to redeem yourself. This sounds very, very interesting. You won’t know which are the tests and if you fail, you’ll have a chance to make amends. But the way Richard said, “you can finish the episode” leads me to believe there are a few things going on here. It sounds like the story will in fact change and quests won’t be available depending on certain actions. Second, the ending can and quite possibly will be different depending on how you’ve played the game. Now whether that’s simply a different set of cut scenes or perhaps the difference between getting a weapon or item and not getting it remains to be seen. But the way he answered the question and tone makes me thing the game and the ending will be different if you go around causing trouble and beating people up. It sounds like the game will quite dynamic, which in my mind means you can actually play it “the right way” the first time through and then go back and play as a more sinister character and get a different experience. Is anyone else getting that feeling?

Unfortunately, there wasn’t any talk about what exactly you do with the virtues and if there will be shrines like in the old series. There was mention of The Oracle, which was brought up before. This will be your moral compass so to speak. This is how you can learn how you’re doing with the virtues. Sounds interesting.

There was also talk of how virtues can affect a guild, but since we don’t quite know the role of virtues or even how guilds are going to work, we didn’t get too deep into that.

But, it was pretty fascinating. I’d really like to come back to this topic and more of the pieces of the story. Sure, the combat is neat, the crafting is interesting, the houses will be fun, but the play’s the thing! I want to know more about the story and the history of this land. That to me is the fun part.

Any other thoughts on what Richard laid out for the virtues?

Hangout of the Avatar ~ 9.27.13 ~ Virtues

image comes from Lycaeum.Ultimacodex

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

I thought was an interesting video where Richard Garriott relates how he approaches the Virtues from Ultima. It’s not simply a matter of right and wrong, but varying degrees of right and wrong, good and bad. In this little snippet, Richard relays a tale of Olive Oil trying to cross a river to see Popeye and how she deals with the obstacles that are put in her way. In this story everyone makes a mistake and there is bad judgment all around, but in overall scheme who is worse? Who is more villainous? Most will say Brutus is the devil in this tale and on the surface that seems so, but if you look at all the pieces and participants did Brutus really set the wheels in motion? Perhaps Popeye is the worst one?

Interesting dilemma.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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