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5/25/2021

Ultima Underworld - Quick and Dirty Guide

Skills

Attack - RA - Chance to hit increases 0.5% per point.
Defense - ANRA - Chance to block (while not attacking) increases 1% per point.
Sword - AMO - Chance to hit with swords increases 1% per point.
Mace - KOH - Chance to hit with maces increases 1% per point.
Axe - GAR - Chance to hit with axes increases 1% per point.
Missile - FAHM - Chance to hit with bows/crossbows/slings increases 1% per point.
Unarmed - ORA - Chance to hit with your fists increases 1% per point.

Casting - SOL - Chance to cast spells successfully increases.
Mana - IMU - Raises maximum mana.

Lore - LAHN - Identify items.
Search - LU - Find secret doors and switches.
Acrobat - FAL - Jump higher and take less fall damage.
Repair - LON - Repair damaged weapons/armor at an anvil.
Charisma - UN - Get better trade prices.
Tracking - SAHF - Detect nearby enemies.
Picklock - AAM - Jimmy locked doors.
Appraise - HUNN - Gauge quality of barter deals.
Stealth - MUL - Avoid enemy attention.
Traps - ROMM - Find/defuse traps.

The rundown: Ultima Underworld was praised for its simulation elements and vast skill set to that end, but honestly, most skills in the game really aren't worth bothering with.  Nearly all of them have a more economical solution - Lore is mitigated by having a spell to identify items, or you can just pay an NPC on Level 6 for that purpose.  Stealth is all but useless since your light (the thing you need to see... well, anything) immediately gives you away, while Repair is made mostly moot by being able to pay an NPC or just scavenge new equipment.  Anything having to do with bartering is pretty useless too;  you don't do all that much of it, and the few times you have to, it's pretty easy to make a deal.  Even picking locks is pretty moot - nearly every door/chest that can be picked can also be smashed open.

So, which ones are worth spending level points on?

Sword/Mace/Axe - Take your pick; all three have some good options and are pretty common throughout the dungeon.  I prefer Sword personally, as the Sword of Caliburn is indestructible and powerful besides.  You can also get a Jeweled Sword on Level 4, which is quite powerful.

Defense - Handy for when you want to flee or just run past enemies, but not so much when you're in the thick of combat, ironically.  Get a few points in this one.

Casting and Mana - 12-15 points is enough for Casting, but having more Mana for spells will save your bacon too many times to count.  Keep boosting it until you can boost it no more!

Acrobatics - Get some points in this.  Taking damage from even slight falls is irritating, and there's more than a few instances of platforming you'll have to endure.  About 12 or so should have you set for the whole game.

Spells

All spells cost 3 mana times their level and require the appropriate runes to cast.

Level 1

Create Food - IMY
Light - IL
Magic Arrow - OJ
Resist Blows - BIS
Stealth - SD

Level 2

Cause Fear - QC
Detect Monster - XM
Lesser Heal - IBM
Rune of Warding - IJ
Slow Fall - RDK

Level 3

Conceal - BSL
Lightning - OG
Night Vision - QL
Speed - RTP
Strengthen Door - SJ

Level 4

Heal - IM
Levitate - DP
Poison - NM
Remove Trap -AJ
Resist Fire - SF

Level 5

Cure Poison - AN
Fireball - PF
Missile Protection - GSP
Name Enchantment - OXY
Open - EY

Level 6

Daylight - VIL
Gate Travel - VRP
Greater Heal - VIM
Paralyze - AEP
Telekinesis - OPY

Level 7

Ally - IMR
Confusion - VAX
Fly - VDP
Invisibility - VSL
Reveal - OAQ

Level 8

Flame Wind - FD
Freeze Time - AT
Iron Flesh - IVS
Roaming Sight - OPX
Tremor - VPY

Undocumented 

Armageddon - VKC
Curse - AS
Jump - UP
Monster Summoning - KM
Sheet Lightning - VOG
Smite Undead - ACM
Thick Skin - IS
Water Walk - YP

Floor-By-Floor Guide

Level 1
  • Get the map, rune bag and red key from the starting area, and the Silver Seed nearby.  The seed will respawn you wherever it's planted when you die!
  • Get the Recipe for Rotworm Stew from Lanugo of the Green Goblins.
  • Kill Navrey Night Eyes (wolf spider) for Strong Thread.
  • The lever puzzle affects the height of the platforms in the nearby room.  Hop up to find Koranius's Grave, which contains some information and nice items.
  • Crystal ball near the shrine contains a vital clue - follow the green path back to Britannia.
  • The door to the shrine is locked.  A button on a nearby platform opens it (you may not be able to easily see it with just a torch, though).
  • Runes found here: BILMOSY
Level 2
  • Get the Red Gem key from the spider (south of the central hub)
  • Find a rock hammer, then kill the Gazer in the caved-in mine; you may have to come back later as he's very tough at this stage.  Or use a Wand of Missiles to kill it.  Either way, report to Goldthirst to get the Gem Cutter of Great Coulness, which we'll need later.
  • Bribe Goldthirst with some money (5 gold seems to be enough) to learn the password to his vault - "Deco Morono".  Be careful what you say to him, though.
  • Shak can repair equipment for you, but at a price (and a lengthy real-time wait).  Keep him in mind.
  • Ironwit has a quest to retrieve his blueprints.  Use the Fly potion he gives you to reach the room and return to him; your reward is another fly potion.
  • Press the switch through the gate to open a path to a crystal ball; it shows a hidden room you can't access yet.  There's also some good items (and monsters) in here.
  • Runes found here: HPU
Level 3
  • Find the Red and Green keys to open doors here.  One is behind a locked door populated with skeletons; you may have to smash it open (or get them to open it for you).
  • Learn the Lizardman language (go back and forth between Sseetharee and Murgo, learn the words one-by-one).  Negotiate for Murgo's release by bringing Sseetharee some food.
  • Talk to Ishtass and agree to find Ossika for him.  His remains are in the river in the SW section of the map.  Return with proof of his demise for a reward, which includes the W rune.  (This also gives the clue "Ask Shanklick about crazy wizard") and another clue about a secret door in the SE area of the map.
  • Following up on the latter, use the vines to reveal a hidden switch.  Press it to drain the water nearby; go down there to find the blade of the Sword of Caliburn, as well as a shrine and healing fountain.
  • Trade Iss'leek a red ruby for the Water Walk spell.  You can use this to get some nice items in a hidden little island on the NE side of the map.
  • Take note of Zak's location, we'll have to come back and talk to him.
  • Bandit in the western room of the bandit camp has a magical Ring of Resist Blows to trade for (very useful).
  • Runes found here: DGRW
Level 4
  • Give Derek the Gem Cutter of Great Coulness; he will give you an important clue to find the Ring of Humility on Level 5.
  • Create Rotworm stew from bowl, bottle of port, green mushroom and a rotworm corpse; put all the ingredients in the bowl and then click on the recipe.  Give it to Sethar for the Dragon Scales.
  • Talk to Trisch about the madman collecting light sources; sounds familiar.  Return to 3 and talk to Zak; trade him some torches/candles/food for the Taper of Sacrifice, one of the eight medallions.  It also doubles as a powerful unlimited light source, which is very handy.
  • Defeat Rodrick the Chaos Knight, then report to Dorna Ironfist to get the Standard of Honor.  Rodrick also has a Jeweled Sword and the key to the NW maze.
  • Talk to Oradinar to get a fishing rod.  We'll need ten fish on the next floor, and you can catch them easily here in the lake near the center.
  • Join the Knights of the Crux Ansata; you'll be tasked with finding hte Writ of Lorne and the Golden Plate; doing this lets you enter their armory, which contains a full set of top-condition plate mail.
  • The Writ is in the area with the trolls.  Speak to Lakshi and Rawstag, then find a red gem to give to Rawstag.  He'll open the door to the shrine, which also contains the Writ.
  • The gold plate is in the NW maze, in a secret room hidden in the south wall.  The combination to the door is revealed by the two tombstones in the Knights' area (SGGSSG).
  • Solve the Bullfrog puzzle to find a shortcut to the Crypts on 5, as well as a secret cache in the SE wall with a fireball wand, mana potion and another crystal ball.  (The two dials control the X/Y coordinates, while the top button raises that coordinate two spaces and all surrounding tiles one space.  The bottom button does the opposite).
  • Sethar's pit contains the Curse spell.  A secret door will let you back out.
  • Runes found here: ACQ
Level 5
  • The tombs in the NE of the map have the Hilt of the Sword of Caliburn.  Bring it and the blade to Shak on Level 2 and pay him 20 gold to repair it.  It's not only one of the eight Talismans, but a powerful (and indestructible) weapon!
  • The NW chamber has the Ring of Humility.  Remember Derek's clue - flip the switches in order (NW SE NE SW) and stay out of the center of the room until all four are flipped.
  • Marrowsuck will make you Red Dragon Boots if you bring him the Strong Thread and Dragon Scales.  It will take an hour of real-time to complete, so come back or sleep until he's done.  These let you walk in lava and are mandatory to finish the game!
  • Eyesnack will teach you a song if you have a flute in your inventory, so find one and learn it.  You'll need it later.
  • As hinted earlier, Shanklick gives information on the evil wizard and the troll you're pursuing.
  • Kneenibble will tell you how to get into the teleporter to the mines in exchange for ten fish.
  • Judy will request that you find a picture of her late lover.  Keep this in mind for later.
  • Talk to Anjor in the Shrine Room, who will ask you to collect 80 pieces of Zanium from the mines.  Enter and navigate the maze (bit reminiscent of Pac-Man) to collect 80, then hand them over to him and wait an hour for the Gold Nugget.  You can trade this to Goldthirst on Lv2 for a Jeweled Axe if you're so inclined.
  • The mine entrance has a Scroll of Gate Travel; use it to teleport to a hidden area on Floor 2.  The Moonstone here is a useful item - you will teleport to it if you cast Gate Travel, no matter where it is.  Handy way to speed up travel!
  • Runes found here: NT
Level 6
  • Find the book "on the properties of Runestones" for Ranthru for a Casting bonus.
  • Challenge the Golem to win the Shield of Valor, one of the talismans.
  • Visit Dr. Owl.  If you freed Murgo on Level 3 he'll direct you to the Wine of Compassion in the NW area of the map.  
  • Deliver Bronus's Book to Morlock (and be honest) to get a clue to the Book of Honesty.  He'll also give up a Flam rune if you ask.
  • The Book of Honesty refers to an area in the NW portion of the map; look for a secret door in the hourglass-shaped room, then follow it to a key-shaped room containing the Book of Honesty.
  • Talk to Fyrgen to get a clue about using incense.  Light up three of them to get a 3-part word ("HN", "SA", "IN").  The time of day you see is also a clue to the order the words go in (INSAHN).  Say it to any shrine to get directions to the Cup of Wonder.
  • The Cup of Wonder is back up on Level 3, west of the Shrine there in a small area hidden atop a watery incline.  You won't see it right away, though - play the flute song you learned from Eyesnack to make it appear.
  • Talk to Gralwort to learn about the Vas rune (necessary for many of the best spells).  In the E room, run between the two eye banners.  Grab four emeralds, toss them atop the altars in the four corners, then press the Gray button to make it appear.  Grab it and exit via the Orange button.
  • Talk to Illomo about his missing friend Gurstang.  Keep him in mind for later.
  • A talking door here will give up the Sheet Lightning spell if you ask.
  • Runes found here: EFKV
Level 7/8
  • Level 7 has an anti-magic barrier that drains your magic.  You'll have to rely on scrolls, potions and good old grit here.  (The Silver Seed will still respawn you though)
  • You'll hear talk of an amulet here, but I don't recommend finding it - it broke some scripts and the monsters wouldn't open gates or talk to me at all with it on when I tried.  Just fight any monsters that get in your way - they give good experience and shouldn't be too tough by this point.
  • Work your way northwest through three monster strongholds and a maze full of spiders.  You'll find Naruto here, who will tell you about the Bone Key nearby.  Grab this because you'll need it shortly.
  • The prison in the NW is worth visiting; all the prisoners here have important clues.  You may need to bribe them with food first, though.
  • Griffle gives you a clue about Orb Rock.
  • Dantes opens an escape route.  This will be handy later, but you may want to go in there and search for a scroll containing a clue to a puzzle we'll encounter shortly.
  • Kallistan gives you a Magic Splinter, which opens a secret passage in the spider caves to the tombs.  (A shortcut back, but it's one-way unless you have a rock hammer to break the boulder that falls behind as you enter).
  • Go to the NE corner, past the shrine, and go down to 8.  Grab the Orb Rock here (and the Ring of Magic Protection if you wish), then go up the other set of stairs to a small enclosed area.  Get the Tooth Key here, then come back.
  • Drop into the lava near the Shrine and head a short distance south to a door; unlock it with the Bone Key.  Go down to a small room on 8 and then come back up to a room with an imp and two golems; he'll give you a riddle to solve.  Pick up the crown with a small, single white gem and touch nothing else; this the Crown of Maze Navigation and will help you later.
  • Solve the lava platforming puzzle (use the scroll to find the traps), or just skip over the whole thing with a Fly potion if you still have it.  Unlock the door with the Tooth Key, put on the crown, and follow the yellow path to the end.
  • You'll meet Tyball at the end.  Smash his crystal ball with the Orb Rock to restore your magic and make him vulnerable, then take him out.  Plot twist time...
  • Get the Imp Key and Runic Key he drops, then use the former to free Princess Ariel.  Now sleep to get a message from Garamon about laying his bones to rest.
  • Head down to 8 and search the southwest area to find Garamon's bones; they're not given a specific label if you examine them, but they're surrounded by a pile of runes and a Ring of Invisibility.  Grab them and head back up.
  • Go to the prison and use Tyball's key to open the doors you couldn't before.  All three characters here have key clues to the tripartate key.
  • Bolinard draws you a map on the back of a Picture of Tom.  Take this to Judy on Level 5 to get the Key of Love.  Lay Garamon's bones to rest at his grave and talk to him to form a plan.  When he asks about a source of pure power, answer "Talismans", and a way to destroy them, answer "Lava".
  • Smonden gives you a key to the NW door on this floor; take it through a long gauntlet of monsters all the way to a hidden area on Floor 3.  Smash open the west door here to find a room with a key to the other tower; open that and grab the Key of Courage.
  • Talk to Gurstang, then report back to Ilomo on 6 and repeat his word ("Folanae") to him.  Check the library for a book with that word, then repeat the other word in it at any shrine to get the Key of Truth.  Combine all three keys together to get the Key of Infinity.
  • Go down to 8 through the door in Tyball's chambers, then make your way to the center of the map.  Open the door with the Key of Infinity to find the Slasher of Veils.  Toss the eight talismans in one-by-one; you'll be pulled into a pocket dimension with the Slasher, but if you remember the clue from the first game, you know what to do.  Find the green path and run past all the trippy visuals, to the portal at the end.  Hop through it and you've completed the game.