July 22, 2011

[Game 001] Ultima III: Exodus (NES - 1987)


I went into this with the mindset that console RPGs were going to be easier than PC based ones.  So wrong.  So very wrong.  I figured I'd be out of here within a couple years, tops.  If this is any example of what is to come, it'll be much longer than that.

Ultima:Exodus boasts 11 classes of the mostly usual fare.  Since one of the goals of this project is to explore the game mechanics, I've been experimenting with all the classes (at least a few levels before shortlisting).  Perhaps it is just because this game is one of the earliest releases to hit the NES but I'm not finding a whole lot of difference between the classes past what I can see right off the bat.  Stats don't go up when I level, just Max Hit Points do.  I ended up going with my default 4 member party config.  That is, a fighter, fighter / spellcaster, attack spellcaster, and healing spellcaster.  In U:E, this gives me a Fighter, Paladin, Wizard, and Cleric.

On second thought, maybe
a ranger would be better.

Unlike later RPGs, U:E has the monster difficulty level increase as the character's levels do, instead of being localized to an area.  At level 1, the encounters are not all that tough.  Spellcasters have a 0 Magic Point Nuke 'Em All spell.  Wizards get Repel which works on goblins and orcs and Clerics get Undead which works on uhhhh.... I forget.  This means mucho XP for my casters.  Past level 1, these spells don't seem to do anything to any other creature.  It's now that the difficulty cranks up.  The wizard's attack spells now can't take out a single enemy (in a field of 6-8) and the fighter is missing hella lots.  Luckily the monsters are visible on the main overland map and so the harder monsters can be avoided (there are several different icons for different monster levels).

Gold is got from chests left after fights.  Chests that sometimes have traps in them.  Chests that sometimes poison my ENTIRE PARTY and then give a paltry sum of gold.  Curing poison requires a trip back to the castle and a cost of 100 GP per character.  Bloody hell.  This has made it very difficult to gain any golds for purchasing more equipment.  Any gains I make goes into food soon enough.

Just after getting poisoned
for the 15th fucking time.

My quest seems simple enough.  Find and kill Exodus.  Most townfolk don't say anything too much of value but hopefully more details will fill out as I hit up other towns.

Whoa, whoa... slow down, egghead.

The main party are all at level 5 and we just ganked some pirates for their ship.  With some nearby dungeons located and ready to be explored and a fine seafaring vessel under our control, we of the party Nung feel confident that coffers of gold and magically imbued weapons lie within our grasp.