Ultima IX nitpicks in Terfin

“Are you still telling me where I need to go next?”

Here you’ll find inaccuracies on Terfin in Ultima IX, where the Avatar’s evil twin made his new home. This is without any doubt one of the most boring places in Britannia. The worldbuilders wastes so much space, it makes you cry. The last dungeon, the Guardian’s fortress, isn’t that great either. It reminds you of those final keeps in “Super Mario Bros” - With the notable difference that Bowser is a more convincing big bad evil boss than the Guardian in Ultima IX.

Ignorance of predecessors

  • In Ultima VII, the Guardian was able to save his servant Batlin from the Armageddon spell. In Ultima IX, he is helpless at the spell’s mercy.
    (Perhaps the Barrier of Life limited the room, intensifying the spell’s power. Too bad the designers didn’t give a damn.)
    (by Paulon Dragon)
  • Have you ever seen a moongate that delivers the user like a teleporter beam?
    (Not surprisingly, that video cutscene had nothing to do with a moongate in the original Ultima IX.)
    (by Artic Blaze Dragon)
  • The game leaves the player wondering where the “Barrier of Life” comes from. Some background information sure would have been nice. (On the other hand, you can hardly expect more than nothing from Ascension.)
    In Ultima VI, the Armageddon spell wasn’t just introduced and taken for granted without an explanation, was it?
    (by Dino the Dark Dragon)
  • At the end of the game, when the Guardian enters the stage, the “Black Gate” crumbles down. Why? Is it a result of the Barrier of Life spell? Wasn’t blackrock a powerful material capable of enduring even the most powerful spells? Previously, Rudyom’s wand and the Horn of Praecor Loth were the only artifacts that enabled you to destroy blackrock.
    (by Antero90)
  • Why is the Guardian suddenly so damn small? When he attempted to walk through the Black Gate in Ultima VII, you saw that he had quite some trouble because of his size. If he can change his size at will, then two questions arise:
    1. Why did he not make himself smaller back then?
    2. Why doesn’t he make himself larger now at the final showdown against the Avatar?

    (by Antero90)

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Technical shortcomings

  • In the intro, Terfin looks a bit different compared to the game, doesn’t it? Note the docks, which are not there in the intro, and the missing mountains around the keep in the game. You’ll also notice that the fires are outside of the keep in the game, but not in the intro. (Not to mention the red sky, which is completely missing in the game.)
    (by Tribun Dragon)
  • This is one of those inaccuracies that nitpickers love:
    In the introduction, the Avatar stands on a small hill and stares down at the Guardian’s fortress. Where is that hill? When you sail there in the game, you don’t find anything but the wide open sea at the same location!
    (by Tribun Dragon)
  • In Ultima VII, Underworld II & Serpent Isle, Blackrock is a completely, uhm, black rock. At the end of Black Gate, the Black Gate is completely black, as is the Blackrock Gem that surrounds LB’s Castle, as is the Great Earth Serpent’s statue at the end of Serpent Isle. Why then is the Guardian’s Black Gate (supposedly composed of Blackrock) infused with red veins?
    (by Rick Sanford)
  • When the Avatar unleashes Armageddon, the spell dismantles mirror and throne. Oddly enough, the throne’s socket and the pillars (not those for the seals, but the construction that the room is standing on) inside of the barrier remain untouched. Must be Britannian high class workmanship.
    (by Tribun Dragon)
  • Regarding the end video: Where is the barrier of life? In any case, you could not see it, although it’s clearly visible in the game.
    (by Tribun Dragon)
  • Again something about the end video:

    After one column has been dismantled from closeup view, you see, from another viewpoint, how two other columns are hit. This scene deserves detailed explanation:

    • The columns are on the same landmass; only two columns are located on the same landmass in the game: The Despise and Destard columns.
    • The viewpoint has to be directed to southeast, due to the form of the coast and the direction from where the wave comes from.

    Fine. And here, a couple of problems arise:

    1. Judging from the columns’ size and the fact they are pretty close to each other, Britannia seems to shrink even in the videos.
    2. Where are the Serpent Spine mountains? Where is Britain? These important landmarks aren’t visible at all.
    3. If you watch very closely, you can see the isle of Buccaneer’s Den in the sea. Lo and behold! It is exactly as far away from the continent as in the game, i.e. ridiculously close. Sad. Very sad.

    (by Tribun Dragon)
  • In the intro video, you see two rows of small pillars in the Guardian’s front court, at least ten of them altogether. In the game and on the Gobelin, there are, oddly enough, much less.
    (by Tribun Dragon)

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General problems

  • On Terfin, when the Avatar tells Raven that Skara Brae has just been completely destroyed, she just changes the topic of the conversation. Does the complete destruction of a big town not bother her?
    (by Hacki Dragon)
  • This inaccuracy has been corrected in the dialogue patch: How actually did the Guardian get to Britannia? Did he possibly use that Black Gate? Eww, that’s like opening a can of worms:
    1. Who built it?
    2. When did that person build it?
    3. How did that person do it? (There was that issue with the Astronomical Alignment, wasn’t it...?)
    4. Why did that person do it?

    (by Hacki Dragon)

    The patch answers most of those questions. The Guardian indirectly entered Britannia via Serpent Isle and used the same gate as the Avatar’s companions. Lord British at least notes it’s strange that the Astronomical Alignment is ignored.

  • Why are there so many Gargoyles on Terfin? (I wonder if that was an element of the original plot....)
    (by Hacki Dragon)
  • When the Avatar leaves Terfin after a short intermezzo with the Guardian, he wonders if he can actually defeat the Guardian... Now, now: The Tapestry of Ages predicts that he’s gonna make it in the end, right? No need to worry!
    (by Hacki Dragon)
  • At the end, Raven gives the Avatar the good hint to use the “back entrance” of Terfin. Is this really a good hint? Well, on his way into the inner sanctum of the keep, the Avatar must get past countless traps, monsters, and other obstacles.
    (by Hacki Dragon)
  • This inaccuracy has been corrected in the dialogue patch: It’s outright ridiculous that Raven knows so much about the Guardian’s keep! Did Blackthorn arrange tours through the keep in the past, to increase his salary?
    (by Hacki Dragon)

    The patch claims that the guild used that cave in the past.

  • So, for the Armageddon ritual (by the way, in the past, it was just an ordinary spell, except of its fatal strength) you need pieces of a dimension gate...

    Umm... how big are the chances of having pieces of a dimension gate at hand quickly? What if the Black Gate, which, by chance, is located exactly at the place of action on Terfin, didn’t break down by chance?

    “Alright, vile scum, wait here for a second while I go and search for pieces of a dimension gate!”

    In such a case, the Avatar had but one alternative: Since the moongates consist of nothing but pure energy, he would have to search for the Serpent Pillars in the sea, to carve out a few pieces. Doesn’t that sound incredibly ridiculous?

    (by Hacki Dragon)
  • In the Guardian’s throne room, there are eight small pillars. At the end of the game, the Avatar places one of the eight sigils of Virtue on each of them. Question: Why are the pillars there? Is their only purpose to dispatch the Guardian? If that’s true, then why has the Guardian not destroyed them long since?
    (by Hacki Dragon)

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Name des Betreibers: Christian Hackl
Wohnort: Kapfenberg

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