Solving the Quenton murder bug

Dunno how to start as this is sort of a big deal for me…

Let’s put it this way: there is no typo in my headline. (The somewhat incorrect grammar I used in the headline was intended, though ;-))
Its not the often seen “Solving Quenton murder: BUG!” followed by a post that solving the murder case is not possible

The Quenton murder not being solvable was always nagging me. The somewhat inconsistent clues in the game as to who is the culprit didn’t make it any better – but from all bugs there are: this was the most obivious and the most obnoxious for me.

Well, it might be a far stretch, but I may have found a way to make the murder of Quenton solvable in the original game after all.

I have been fiddling around with cheats and the code in my spare time and tested various approaches to set flags where they had been forgotten.
(“Setting flags” in this context can only mean: an in-game way to check for a certain status, of course.)

This led me to checking for items being there or not, i.e. the Seance spell in order to trigger another (not yet existing) block of conversation with Quenton if the Avatar was to talk to him after casting the spell.

Time for a BIG SPOILER WARNING BELOW
I’ll be talking about game internals below. Consider this before clicking more 😉

My tests so far are prpomising (otherwise I wouldn’t post about it ;-))
1. I can check for the Seance spell being present (item 58 quality 72) easily. It can be either be the scroll itself as well as the spell inscribed in the magic book.
2. I can check the required reagents and substract them from the inventory if the player decides to cast the spell
3. I can check for the players magic level, but I have to figure out the code yet

What I will never be able to achive is to make use the regular spellcast method. Casting Seance regularily simply does not set the in-game flag required – which is why the bug is said to be unsolvable.

But I do think I have come up with a workaround that is good enough so one can enjoy it.

When you talk to Quenton the game checks if you have the Seance spell in your inventory and asks whether you want to cast it.
No: regular convo is called
Yes: reagents are checked and if sufficient are substracted and the new yet-to-be-written Seance convo is called. If one or more reagents are missing you are told so and the regular convo is called
—-> Up to here this works just fine so far

As mentioned above I still need to figure out the code for checking the level of the Avatar to make sure he also IS ABLE to cast a circle 5 spell. Help is appreciated here!! 🙂

The final solution I have in mind will enable the Avatar to turn Michael in when talking to Lenora.

For that part I started to do some tests with an absolut georgous item. Actually the best item ever: Item no. 416: “nothing”. It seems to be perfect for my approach: I can add it to the inventory, nobody sees it and it cannot be dropped either. Yet I can check for its existance. So after you talk to Quenton I’ll add “Nothing” to the players inventory and if present allow him to turn Michael in at Lenora’s. Lenora will thank the avatar, grant karma. Plus NPC Michael will be deleted from the game or – preferably teleported to the Yew prison.

For now I’d like to ask for help and opinions: what do you think the Avatar should be able to talk about to Quenton? Did he recognise who killed him when his throat was slit? Or rather not? Or did he find out later while being a spectre? (in U7 he says: “I have been around for many, many years. And, I have seen many, many things in that time.” so it seems to be possible) Or did he simply knew all along?

To-dos I have to keep in mind for later:
1. Modify Rudyoms convo: on leaving the convo (“bye”) check for existance of the Seance scroll. If one is there, tell the Avatar not to use the spell hastily as he will sense when it is worth casting the spell (A word of warning is only fair; hence, preventing superflous “regular” cast attempts)

2. Modify Quenton convo: when Quenton identifies Michael as murderer, add item no (416,0).

3. alter Lenoras convo: check for (416,0) and in case it is there, activate turning in Michael. Check if NPC 90 (Michael) can be transferred to Yew Prison. If not, delete him from the game.

4. Eventually lter Dezana convo: she knows about communication with the spiritual world and might explain the Avatar how to communicate with Quenton.

Soooooooooooo now: If any of you have thoughts about what the new Sewance convo block should be like: do let me know! Either here in the comments or over at the Codex, if that is easier for you 🙂

Thanks in advance!

1 thought on “Solving the Quenton murder bug

  1. Pingback: » The Ultima 6 Nitpicker’s Delight Patch: Solving Quenton’s MurderThe Ultima Codex

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