English Patch: „Nitpicker’s Delight“

Nitpicker's Delight

While translating Ultima VI into German, I started to address the few – some may say: many – story inaccuracies, wherever that made sense and was possible without causing any more confusion 😉

Alas, I see no reason why not to do the same for the original English version of the game. While English is by no means my mother’s tongue, I like to think my command of the language is good enough, to create some suitable (and error-free) English sentences, even if these need to be in middle-English’s „Britannia“ style.

The major part of Nitpicks I chose to address are taken from an old Ultima Nitpick Site from Hacki Dragon – still a splendid resources for these kind of things (Thanks, Hacki!).

This version of the patch addresses all 22 nitpicks listed below. Feel free to try it out.

Download: Ultima VI - Nitpickers Delight Patch v170614

In order not to spoil the fun for those, who decide to install my patch and give it a try I will only list the inaccuracies I addressed on this page. A page listing the changes I did in detail is linked at the end of the post. The password required to serve as a spoiler alert is „showme“

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Here goes:

  1. Julia acts as if you had never met her before.
  2. Mariah acts like a total stranger as well.
  3. Gideon refers to Marney’s Mum as „Elisabeth“. Yet Quenton calls her „Gwen“ in Ultima VII. Quenton should know – he married the girl 😉
  4. Terri indicates that a celebration took place after the Quest of the Avatar had been solved. She implies that the Avatar himself participated, which contradicts the events at the end of Ultima IV.
  5. The Book of Prophecies reads: “And the false prophet will cause the underworld to collapse.” -> The Gargoyles consider Britannia to be the underworld!
  6. Lazeena refers to her husband as „Artagel“
  7. The book „The First Age of Darkness“ mentions „Britannia“. Yet… there was no Britannia back then
  8. Lord British doesn’t bother to mentioned the moonstones being lost
  9. The Orb of the Moon’s appearance doesn’t match the description from Ultima V as „a small, RED sphere”
  10. Daver, the bellringer in Britain describes the runes bearing a symbol on one side and a letter on the other. And that the runes probably spell something out if put on a necklace. But why would the Avatar had to consult the Shrines in Ultima IV to get the letters if they were written clearly on the runes themselves?
  11. When you buy a magic shield in Ultima V, the merchant claims that each of them requires a 100 year ritual to be created (slight hyperbole?), yet in Ultima VI, the armourer Gherick makes you one in the blink of one’s eye.
  12. Tara is cured from her schizophrenic disorder.
  13. Caradon mixes up shrines.
  14. Is it Captain „John“ or Captain „Johne“ who lives in Hythloth? The writing of the Captain’s name is inconsistent. In Ultima V the name was spelled „Johne“, in Ultima VI it is mostly spelled „John“ – only Captain Elad in Buc’s Den refers to him as „Johne“ („….“Captain Johne, that fool… He was captured by gargoyles.“….“). Thanks to Elad, we can at least be sure, that it IS the same person, we are talking about 😉
  15. In Ultima VI, you are constantly accused of stealing the Codex from the Gargoyles. But you did not! You were sent right back to Earth after consulting it at the end of Ultima IV. It’s the High Council that raised the Codex from the Abyss in the time between Ultima IV and Ultima V.
  16. What happened to the magic carpet from Ultima V? Shouldn’t one of the companions have it? Even more mysterious: In Ultima VII, the carpet is going to reappear without any explanation at all.
  17. What happened to the Temple of Virtues in Cove? It was there in Ultima IV and V. Did the Gargoyles destroy it? If yes, then why does nobody mention it?
  18. In the past, the observatory was integrated into the Lycaeum instead of being a separate building.
  19. Stelnar Starhelm confuses shrines
  20. In Ultima 6 you learn that it’s not possible to resurrect a burnt body. However, in Ultima III, there was a spell called “ANJU SERMANI”, which served exactly this purpose.
  21. Un-arm-ing Zeke (SCNR :-D)
  22. The Quenton Murder Sidequest is now playable and solvable

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Other Bugfixes, that I have addressed with this patch:

  • Some correct copy protection answers at Mariah, did not work. They do now 🙂
  • Some keywords in Zellivans convo were double, so the correct answers did not show up. They do now 🙂
  • Same for Boskin: some double keywords eliminated
  • Andrea in Yew now responds when asked about „Lenora“, „Lady“ and „Mayor“. Originally she would have referred you to the folks in the tavern and would only respond to „Chancellor“

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Nitpicks I chose not to address (so far) for varying reasons are:
As this project has just started, there will be plenty of entries, that will make it up to the addressed Nitpicks list, of course 😉 For now, this list here is rather a „to do“ list than anything else

• Empath Abbey was a castle in Ultima V, whereas it has turned into a monastery in Ultima VI.

• In the past, the observatory was integrated into the Lycaeum instead of being a separate building.

• What happened to the Mystics. Forever lost in Dungeon Doom?

• What happened to the underground tunnels in Yew, which offered refuge to the members of the Resistance under Blackthorn’s regime?

• In Ultima VI, we learn that the Shadowlords once stole the Vortex Cube, which allows you to teleport to any place. If that’s true, then why did they wait until Lord British opened the exit of the Underworld for them in Ultima V?

• Why did the Shadowlords never terrorize the Gargoyles in the Underworld?

• Until Ultima V, Castle British was located east of Britain. Since Ultima VI, it’s north of Britain… It’s illogical, considering the location of the Britannys in Ultima V.

• Where have the city walls of Jhelom, Moonglow, Minoc, Britain, and Yew gone after Ultima V? It’s war time, and you’d think city walls are important.

• Isn’t it really amazing that Shamino knows about dungeons he never entered before in his life, as for example the Gargoyle dungeons in the Underworld?

• A possible plot hole, regarding the tablet to translate Gargish. When you talk to Mariah or the gypsy, it sounds as if the Tablet (well, half of it) had just been gotten recently; yet when you talk to the pirates about the other half, it sounds like it has been years.

• In Skara Brae, Marney, Gideon, and Yorl talk about Marney’s mother being kidnapped by Mondain’s men when Marney was very young. This gives us the impression that all Britannians age at a much slower rate than people from Earth. In later Ultimas, this seems to be contradicted, and only a select few age at a phenomenally slow rate (mainly just Lord British, the Avatar’s companions, and powerful mages).

• Some confusion in regards to the Gargoyles’ view of humans: According to all books, humans are something mysterious and alien to Gargoyles. That’s odd considering that two of their three shrines of principles resemble humans.

• Why can’t we just ask Sin Vraal what’s written in the Book of Prophecies? What’s the problem? His detailed and profound knowledge of Gargish culture proves that he can very well read and understand Gargish.

• Isn’t it remarkable that studying one scroll is sufficient for the Avatar to learn perfect Gargish? Learning a language should take much longer… Are you telling me the Avatar is such a clever boy (or girl)?

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If you want to know, what I have changed in detail, instead of finding out in-game, you can look it up here. The password serving as a spoiler alert is „showme“