Friday, March 2, 2012

Game 3: Ultima: Exodus (NES) - Surprising Discoveries

Fair warning: there are maps of the maze town and most of Ambrosia in this post. I don't usually have spoiler warnings because I think it's obvious there will be spoilers, but since there are maps, I thought I'd be extra cautious.

One of the joys of playing games is the discovery of new ways of using familiar features. It's also frustrating when I realize I've been doing things the hard way, or something I need to do now would have been easier earlier in the game. Had I known how much gold I needed, I'd never have leveled until I had all I needed. Getting treasures in town seemed like a good option, but no, not really.
What do you mean entering looked doors behind a barrier that kills everyone and taking the chests is stealing?
Gold is a vital resource that diminishes over the course of the game. The common way to generate more is to kill enemies; however, as the party levels, the over-world enemies become harder, but they drop the same amount of gold as the low level enemies. I can only guess this is a bug. One of my other annoyances is that fights at sea generate no gold. So, the best way to get gold at the moment is to waste time by healing and donating blood.

Somehow, I was able to level up after being stuck at level 5 (maybe getting the 2 marks helped), so my HP is high enough that I can get 1200 gold in about 10 - 15 minutes of healing and donating. Compare this to fighting level 1 enemies, which is more like 2000+ gold in that amount of time. If I only knew that I could cast open to avoid traps I wouldn't have wasted so much on curing poison.
^ Death Gultch-------The greatness of MS Paint------Ambrosia ^
To take my mind off of the gold grinding I decided to map Ambrosia and the town hidden in a maze (possibly Death Gultch, as mentioned by a random NPC). I was on my way to the town when I ran across the whirlpool. Not looking serendipity in the mouth, I decided to first stop by Ambrosia. Mapping here was fairly easy compared to my last attempt. Apparently I previously started mapping the only area with enemies. This time I got through about half before succumbing to a previous fight with Man-o-Wars, but I did find a shrine.

The shrines are quite possibly the biggest money sink in the game (next to food). But, it's the only way to raise stats in the game. I knew I needed to save up for my next trip, but unsure of how much the stat raises with each donation I only brought a thousand gold. For every 100, the stat raises 1 point...this is going to take a while. So, I raised CanaG and AmyK 5 points in their discipline, and they both now have new spells. Well, it's nearly the same spell, but the Wizard version only works on the over-world map, and the Cleric inside caves. The spell randomly teleports the party; I don't see much use for it in caves, but now AmyK can heal three times at full MP at least.
Not even a door, no way is this stealing. I mean, he's asking for it...
I did get around to mapping Death Gultch, but didn't find much use for the town. I had expected to find the guild store that had the pick, but all I came away with was the knowledge that the Mark of Fire protects me from the 'lava' tiles; oh, and a deep desire to steal the 45 chests from the weapon shop. I guess I did finally learn that Dawn appears only at the double full moon.

One last thing I confirmed is that monsters in the caves are definitely not dependent on the party level, which now makes exploring them a breeze. If only it didn't take 15 minutes to heal everyone to max. Lastly, I discovered that gems don't work in towns, but they will show a map of the over-world! I actually can't find another copy of this map, so this may be the first time most people see this.
Using a gem on the world map displays this


  1. harder to get? Wacky. What about in the dungeons? Do you get more gold there?

    Also based on your last post it sounded like you skipped over a lot of the dungeon; is this the case? Are you sure you aren't missing anything?

  2. Also I take it the mapping software I found didn't mesh with you if you've moved to MS paint....Sorry that it didn't work out, I'll keep my eyes open.

  3. MS Paint was just faster for laying down different tiles. No worries about the software. Paper is faster in that respect as well. I just need to buckle down and put some time aside to make that program I'm envisioning.

    I did skip over a lot of the dungeons. My hope was to find the last two marks and be done with them, but since that didn't pan out, I'm grinding my stats to make fighting through a whole cave bearable. Also, I feel like I'm missing out on even more without that pick I keep hearing about. My best guess is that it's in Dawn in some hidden guild store.

  4. Thanks for the upgrade. I love the maps!

  5. This is a game that somehow works better when you simply abuse the bad programming.

    Get a mock party to level 4 (but don't level up one level at a time), beat the pirates, get an ship, THEN make a new party of level 1 characters.

    1. I read about this strategy afterwards. It seems like a strange workaround, as if your other party stops to exist, so the world becomes easier. Talk about unrealistic. About as realistic as donating money to become rich.