Random quote:

8/27/2015

Steam Queue Blues 8/27/2015

Action Script.  Or as most gamers know it, "gaming poison."

8/26/2015

Spoony Plays Ultima IX: Ascension Bonus: Hidden debug features

Thanks to TCRF and Ultima Codex for this information!

Debug Commands

Several debug features remain in the game (and were given out by Origin after the game proved to be unbeatable as released).  Open the default.kmp file in the game directory and add the following under the [Cheat Commands] heading:

alt+shift+a = toggle_avatar_invulnerable - Toggles God Mode (Avatar cannot be harmed by enemies).
alt+shift+b = pass_one_hour - Advances time one hour.
alt+shift+c = unpass_one_hour - Moves time back one hour.
alt+shift+d = sunrise_sunset - Toggles sunrise or sunset.
alt+shift+e = pass_one_minute - Moves time forward one minute.
alt+shift+f = unpass_one_minute - Moves time back one minute.
alt+shift+g = toggle_sun - Toggles the sun.
alt+shift+h = toggle_wind - Toggles the wind.
alt+shift+i = toggle_storms - Toggles storms.
alt+shift+j = toggle_avatar_fast - Avatar moves much faster than normal.
alt+shift+k = toggle_avatar_fly - Fly mode (free flight, even through walls and other objects).

Patch 1.07 adds a few more debug codes, which can be bound to any key combination.

recharge_mana - Refills the Avatar's mana.
fill_spellbook - Adds all spells to the Avatar's spellbook.
spells_0-2 - Unlocks all spells from level 0-2?
spells_3-5 - Unlocks all spells from level 3-5?
spells_6-8 - Unlocks all spells from level 6-8?

"Cheat Room"

Not a "room" per se, but there is still a debugging feature available at the start of the game.  To access it, climb onto the training dummy outside the Avatar's house, then over the gate.  There is a tree just outside here - activate the switch at its base to make several teleportation pads appear, in this layout:


Pads 1-11 teleport the Avatar to various locations in Britannia, while 12-16 equip him with various armor sets.  All the unlabeled pads either do nothing or teleport the Avatar a few steps away.

  1. Stonegate (same as entering the Moongate after talking to the gypsy)
  2. Terfin's secret entrance
  3. Buccaneer's Den
  4. Ambrosia
  5. Despise
  6. Britain
  7. Valoria
  8. Cove
  9. Trinsic
  10. Skara Brae
  11. New Magincia
  12. Equips Avatar with Artifact Armor*
  13. Equips Avatar with Wyrmguard Armor
  14. Equips Avatar with Pirate Armor
  15. Equips Avatar with Bone Armor
  16. Equips Avatar with Blackrock Armor
* "Artifact Armor" refers to all the non-set pieces of armor in the game, which includes the Crown of Radiance, Chest of the Troll, Arms of the Magi, Gauntlets of Fury, Legs of Sentri and Swamp Boots.

There are also quite a few unused and repurposed elements in the game, mostly remnants from the original plot.

8/25/2015

Steam Queue Blues 8/26/2015

$13 for a game I'll get sick of in approximately 13 minutes?  What a steal!

Spoony Plays Ultima IX: Ascension, Part 1

The game gets off to a promising start with some lavish production value and even a bit of clever puzzle solving, but it starts to go downhill in a hurry once the dialog portion kicks in...



One other thing I wanted to show off (but couldn't owing to my laptop's horrendously short battery life) is the game's magic system.  Rather than simply buying spells or looking them up in the manual, this game requires you to do a bit more work.  First, you must find a scroll of the spell and the reagents to cast it (all listed in the spellbook, thankfully), and then you must find a Binding Ritual Circle:


Next, put all the necessary reagents and the scroll in the center of the pentagram...



...then light the five candles, and the spell will be permanently added to your spellbook.  Note that you will still need the necessary reagents in your inventory to cast it though, which is a bit of a problem when you consider that items don't stack in this game.

Also worth noting is that the game arbitrarily restricts you from casting spells of a given circle until you've restored the shrines; each time one gets fixed, another spell circle gets unlocked.  This means that for the first portion of the game you can only cast Linear spells...


Oh, here's an older version of the "Armageddon" FMV, showing that Lord British and the Avatar originally cast the spell from atop the roof of Stonegate (an area which is fully rendered in the final game, but cannot be visited without hacking).

8/24/2015

Steam Queue Blues 8/25/2015

A short list of words and phrases to never, ever include in your game's title or description.

 "Zombie"
"Simulator"
"Infinite"
"Unlimited"
"Procedurally Generated"
"Yet Another"
"FEZ"
Any word starting with "Z"
Any word ending in "Z"
The standalone letter "Z"

Spoony Plays Ultima IX: Ascension (For Real This Time) (Playlist)