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[08:31:41] <servus> Are all these Aiera playthroughs written... backward? -.-
[08:41:47] <servus> Read through the Ultima VII one. I've completed Ultima VII several times and NEVER seen the Time Lord, nor gotten any magic hourglass or anything like that. I feel like it's pretty poor game design to let me beat the game without even knowing that I'm missing so much. I also feel like I'm the only one who managed to miss so much of the game.
[08:42:17] <servus> Same deal with Serpent Isle... I beat it twice and never had (important character) commit suicide at the end like was supposed to happen.
[08:42:29] <servus> I sure hope I didn't miss half of the Pagan plot, too...
[08:44:45] <servus> I did find the awesome secret area in Pagan similar to the Trinsic behind-the-chimney area (and the Crusader "Iceman" room)
[08:44:59] <servus> Never saw a reference to that hidden Pagan area anywhere online...
[08:45:38] <wjp> the one in the lower catacombs?
[08:45:57] <wjp> U7: wasn't that hourglass necessary to destroy one of the generators?
[08:46:01] <servus> Yeah, you face against a permanently locked door and jump straight up
[08:46:21] <servus> The only items you needed for the generators were the blackrock EA symbols, IIRC (cube, triangle, sphere)
[08:46:32] <servus> And caddelite, of course.
[08:46:38] <wjp> but you get those _from_ the generators
[08:47:11] <servus> Ah. Hm. I don't recall... I definitely never even got a hint of the Time Lord plotline until reading a walkthrough several years later, after beating it a few times.
[08:47:14] <wjp> the hourglass should be necessary to get to the cube
[08:47:49] <servus> Was that the dungeon with the flying carpet (Destard?) with the wobbly moongate protecting the generator?
[08:47:57] <servus> If so, I just kept running through the moongate until it let me through...
[08:48:02] <wjp> heh
[08:48:06] <wjp> exult or original?
[08:48:13] <wjp> or both?
[08:48:18] <servus> Original. I don't think I've actually finished the game with Exult
[08:49:03] <servus> I just don't know how I managed to miss huge parts of both plots. I need to follow the walkthrough properly one of these days.
[08:49:41] <servus> I do know that on my very first playthrough, I never followed Batlin's quest to join the Fellowship. I just landed my magic carpet on Fellowship Isle...
[08:49:50] <wjp> and reading a walkthrough for SI to refresh my memory, it claims you need the ashes to get the Ophidian Sword
[08:50:04] <servus> Yeah, completely missed that part.
[08:50:20] <servus> The game is still completable without any of that stuff, unfortunately.
[08:50:26] <wjp> but you need the Ophidian Sword to release the Serpent at the end right?
[08:50:34] <servus> I spent hours trying to "fix" Cantra, too.
[08:50:42] <servus> What do you do with the ashes to get the sword?
[08:50:50] <wjp> restore the Chaos Serpent
[08:50:53] <servus> I know I had all the pieces I needed, but I forget how I got them
[08:50:55] <wjp> minor thing really ;-)
[08:51:15] <servus> I think there was a chest in the Ophidian throne room (near the very end) with the sword in it...
[08:51:16] <wjp> Xenka gives you the sword after that according to the walkthrough
[08:51:27] <servus> Probably a cheat chest, but it was right there and I saw it!
[08:51:33] <wjp> ah, behind the pillar?
[08:51:38] <servus> Yeah.
[08:51:41] <wjp> haha
[08:51:45] <wjp> nice :-)
[08:51:58] <servus> I need to finish all these games again, it's been a long time :)
[08:52:05] <wjp> yeah, me too...
[08:52:11] <servus> I don't know if I even got Xenka to appear the first time
[08:52:16] <wjp> Sergorn's playthrough got me playing U9 again last night
[08:52:27] <servus> Do you like U9?
[08:52:53] <wjp> enough
[08:53:07] <servus> I liked it. It was disappointing how "small" the world felt (you could always see land from the ship), and it was obviously unfinished (that was Maria I killed in that cave?!), but I still enjoyed it.
[08:53:39] <servus> I was also pretty overpowered from early on in U9 because of the flaming magic longsword I found on an iceberg...
[08:53:54] <wjp> LB's Maze has a fire sword
[08:53:58] <servus> Better than U9's wiggle combat, though.
[08:54:02] <servus> U7's, I mean
[08:54:06] <servus> I didn't find that one.
[08:54:14] <wjp> so I have one too after just a bit of playing :-)
[08:54:23] <servus> Ultima VII would be greatly improved with turn based, tactical combat :)
[08:54:42] <servus> X-COM style combat in U7 would really be something.
[08:56:04] <servus> I wonder if I should ever revisit Exult 3D (mostly dependent on whether it had a chance of getting into the core distribution)
[08:57:21] <servus> Pagan would be stunning with Diablo 3 style graphics, too... It's easily one of my favourite Ultimas.
[08:59:21] <wjp> hm, diablo-pagan :-)
[08:59:53] <servus> Heck yeah! The styles would fit together perfectly.
[09:00:41] <wjp> crawl dungeons, defeat the titans, return home, and gather lots of magic items! ;-)
[09:00:41] <servus> Actually... what do you think about turn-based tactical combat in U7? Maybe I should test the waters to see if a lot of people would like that. What do you think? Also, do you think it could get in the core game distribution? Otherwise there's just not much point in finishing it.
[09:01:28] <servus> If you could put the entire Pagan plot, gameplay, and all cities into Diablo 3, yet keep the random dungeons, that would really make my decade.
[09:02:44] <servus> I'd finish Exult 3D if I knew it'd go into the core distribution as soon as it was polished enough.
[09:04:24] <wjp> I think that would be better as a complete fork, to be honest
[09:07:06] <servus> I'm just not a fan of forks. They collect dust and are forgotten, and miss all the core bugfixes. The current Exult3D (from... 2005? Egads!) is completely isolated from the 2D renderers. That might have to change a bit in order to optimize it, though. Hm.
[09:07:33] <servus> I guess if I did fork it, I could completely rip out all the 2D frame-limiting stuff that bogs it down. I'll think about it
[09:09:00] <servus> It'd be silly to do one fork for 3D, another fork for tactical combat, etc..
[09:10:38] <wjp> tactical combat might fit better into the core; hard to say without thinking about the design more
[09:11:45] <servus> Oh, absolutely. It's just something I thought of, it would take a lot of careful design, and would introduce brand new gameplay mechanics... movement points based on dex, etc, stuff like that. Could be interesting, though. I always hated Ultima VII combat because it was completely random and you had no control over it.
[09:12:53] <servus> And some of the current combat mechanics are... bizarre. You can throw caltrops under someone's feet from 10 meters away... or force feed them a poison potion... or dirty diapers...
[09:14:25] <servus> Done right, you could even put in a random dungeon generator, random item generator (random magical effects on armor and weapons), a real loot selling system... but I'm getting way ahead of myself :)
[09:14:43] <servus> I have already completed the random map generator for Ultima VII though -- works great!
[09:17:56] <servus> Dang, that'd be really fun! Torchlight-style Ultima VII, with huge new worlds to travel to. You could augment monster difficulties in each random world so as to provide a constantly increasing challenge. All of this stuff would be a lot more manageable of a project than a total conversion like that TNT mod those guys were making a while back.
[09:18:05] * servus is late-night rambling...
[09:18:32] <servus> But... randomly generated quests? Not too hard, just make a few Usecode templates and madlib it :)
[09:22:12] <wjp> don't push it :-)
[09:23:43] <servus> How do you mean?
[09:23:53] <wjp> random items/areas/quests would probably change the game more than I'd like myself
[09:24:01] <servus> Well THAT would be a fork for sure
[09:24:55] <servus> If I got back into it, Exult 3D would just have a few more days' work left in it to be polished and very playable. There's a lot of work in it that no one ever saw because I decided to stop working on it after learning that there was no way it'd go into core.
[09:25:40] <servus> An X-COM-style tactical combat system would take about 50 development hours. Random world generator... already done. The newest Exult can handle multiple maps in a single game, right?
[09:26:16] <servus> It'd probably take 10 hours to integrate that properly into the game, and however much time to put some sort of "Silver Seed" interface in to allow transporting between the core and generated maps.
[09:26:41] <servus> Random item attributes is getting kind of crazy, but wouldn't take more than 50 hours I'd say.
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