Well, we’re finally at the end. After roughly fifteen to twenty hours of game play, I have finished Ultima Underworld. This post will cover my brief backtracking to the crypts of Level 5 and my final confrontation with the Slasher of Veils. Follow me into the bowels of the Stygian Abyss to explore (part of) Level 8.
One Last Frustration
With the tri-part key, all eight talismans of Caribus, and the confidence of seven completed levels under my belt, I descended to Level 8 of the Abyss to take out the lurking evil that is the Slasher of Veils. Garamon had informed me he may be able to help me with this overwhelming task if I could acquire his bones and return them to his grave in the crypts. Putting this at the top of my list of priorities, I set forth.
Level 8 is basically a molten chasm constructed of nothing but cliffs and rivers of lava. The dragon scale boots nullified the threat of the lava, but it did not get rid of the threat that constantly respawning fire elementals posed. These things were everywhere and could make quick work of my level 16 character if I got caught by surprise. I spent most of the time searching the southwest area filled with bone piles for any sign of the correct one, but they all looked the same. I finally came across one particular nook containing a stone golem, supplies, and several magic rune stones strewn over the ground indicating a struggle. I assumed this was the site of Garamon’s final stand, but made sure by testing with other generic bone piles that stack together into piles of multiple units. Satisfied that the bones did not stack, I returned to the crypts of Level 5 to give his remains a proper burial.
[Hopefully he'll stop bothering me every time I sleep.]
After interring the bones, the ghost of Garamon appeared to thank me for stopping his brother and putting him to rest. Before leaving, he tried to brainstorm ways to take out the Slasher of Veils. Hmm… if we only had items of pure virtue… to which I responded with “what about these talismans?” That seemed correct, but “how can we destroy them to release their power?” he asked. “Drop them in lava?” Seemed good enough for him.
[Great idea! Glad I thought of it.]
So the answer is to destroy all of the items I have been working so hard to attain to force the Slasher through a dimensional rift, banishing him from Britania forever. Easy enough, right? With this information, I took one last look at the levels I had worked so hard to explore and stepped into Level 8 for the last time.
Finding the prison of the Slasher of Veils was very easy with the dragonscale boots. After just a minute of walking through the lava lake and fighting a few flame elementals, I found a large central structure with a stone door and triangular indentation matching the tripart key. I’m pretty sure I skipped roughly half the floor by doing this, but I don’t really mind since I seem to have wrapped up most of the story threads I had encountered. Nervously, I put the key into the giant door to reveal…
[Nice. Nice. Let me get another angle...]
[Excellent! Nice working with you.]
The Slasher of Veils trapped in the middle of a lava pool. Fortunately, he is unable to move allowing me to walk around getting some glamour shots for the blog. It is interesting because as an adult I had no apprehension about walking around the area and exploring the chamber, but as a child, I can imagine being very scared that the demon may spring out of his reverie at any moment. It was a fleeting thought, but one that made me think about how I interface with games now. In any case, I began the procedure of banishment by tossing all eight talismans into the pool. After disposing of the last talisman, the Sword of Justice, a moongate opened swallowing the Slasher of Veils AND me with it!
Dumped into a chaotic landscape of mysterious paths, disembodied eyes, mouths, and constant damage, I immediately started running. There were several paths to take, but I remembered the advice I wrote down given by a crystal ball on level one saying that the green path was correct. With the Slasher in pursuit, I sprinted all the way down the path which seemed to go on forever. In fact, I was almost completely dead by the time I reached the moongate exit and was worried I would need to do the whole thing again. Fortunately, I made it just in time and the gate slammed shut behind me trapping the demon forever.
Finally thanked and given a quick “Sorry” by the Baron who had essentially sentenced me to death in the Abyss, I boarded a boat back to Britania and traveled back to Earth to sleep off the adventure. I had finally finished one of the most revered games in the history of PC gaming: Ultima Underworld.
Next time I will be giving my final thoughts about Ultima Underworld, but, in the mean time, I have been playing through a few other games that were not on the list. I have just about played out The Binding of Isaac, although I would like to unlock the final levels to truly “finish” the game. I’m not sure if I will go for all of those achievements on there, even though I hate to be outdone by Gary. I also began playing Dishonored which is a pretty cool game and has been enjoyable since it strongly evokes the feeling of Thief: The Dark project. (It’s also easier to play without having to stop and take notes as I do when blogging.) In any case, I am looking forward to the next game I have picked and hope to begin writing about it soon.
What is the game? Oh, sorry. The next game in my sights is going to be a critical favorite: 2011’s Bastion. I am excited about this one and hope I can complete it before plans put temporary brakes on the blog. I will be visiting my parents in the United States in May and June and do not plan on playing too many games for the blog at that time. Anyway, stick around while I collate my thoughts about Ultima Underworld into one package for you.
Hint: I really liked it.