Ultima Underworld  I: The Stygian Abyss

Ultima Underworld I Nitpicks. (Minor Formatting Changes by Ganesh) Source: Here (Visit it for the latest version!)

Underworld I in some way seems to be a bit outside of the normal Ultima timeline (which is also due to the fact that it wasn't made by Origin themselves), but it's still a great game, and back in its time, it was revolutionary for its groundbreaking 3D engine; a 3D engine that was combined with an amazing story, while the revolutionary 3D engine of Ultima IX was carelessly wasted for a cheap action adventure.

  • Ignorance of predecessors (6)
  • Technical shortcomings (5)
  • General problems (4)

Ignorance of predecessors

  • Must we really mention the new races in the Abyss?
    (by Sergorn Dragon)
  • It's quite mysterious they are using a completely different magic system in the Underworlds. In Ultima IV, normal magic worked fine in the Abyss.
    (by Tribun Dragon)
  • The spell Gate Travel (Vas Rel Por) appears in Underworld I, too, which creates a huge problem: Why doesn't it occur to the Avatar to teleport out of the Abyss by a moongate?That would really be clever. He could ask Lord British for help and explain the whole affair to him. Lord British would aid the Avatar with armed troops and throw the local sovereign out of office. Man, then the quest would really become easy for him. (Just to prevent possible explanation attempts beforehand: In Ultima IV, you could get out of the Abyss by Gate Travel. In Ultima V, you could even escape the Dungeon Doom that way, so...)
    (by Tribun Dragon)
  • The book "Memories of Sir Cabirus" states the following about Ultima V:
    "The great Stygian Abyss became one of the many entraces into this subsurface world."
    Nope, that's nonsense. The Abyss did not lead into the Underworld. You couldn't even enter it, because the Shrine of Codex blocked the entrance.
    (by Tribun Dragon)
  • In the Ultima VI part of the manual, Corby claims that "the two shrines on the Isle of the Avatar were occupied by the Gargoyles."
    Actually, only the Shrine of Humility was occupied - The Gargoyles didn't get the Shrine of Codex into their hands.
    (by Tribun Dragon)
  • In the manual Cabirus mentions the standand of Honor being carried by a "Sir" Geraci, who was with LB when he was carted off by Shadowlords - but from the scroll that comes with Ultima V, Geraci was clearly a woman. The Journey account: "The knight Geraci is standing unsteadily, slicing her dagger at six great worms that swarm around her, rearing up to strike, while deftly evading her dagger. Her left arm is held against her chest..."

    Underworld I manual however says: "Though Geraci could have saved himself by fleeing, he instead upheld his oath to serve his king until death."
    (by Gallara)

Technical shortcomings

  • A slightly silly inconsistency in the manual, chapter "Time of Prophecy": Cabirus writes that the Avatar descended into the depths of dungeon Hythloth and saved a mariner with precious information about the Gargoyle menace. This mariner was, of course, none other than Captain Johne. But the statement is grossly erroneous... Captain Johne did not need rescuing. He seemed perfectly happy in his little home under the ground and was even on good terms with one of the gargoyles.
    (by BlueClaw)
  • On the Isle of the Avatar, there is nothing but high mountains and a narrow crater in the middle. How was it possible to build a fortress there?
    (by Tribun Dragon)
  • Sir Cabirus talks about a "Book of Truth". Is this possibly the one Book of Truth from Ultima IV? Hopefully not, because it's destroyed at the end. Why didn't they choose a less confusing title for it?
    (by Tribun Dragon)
  • In the closing cutscene of the game, you see the Avatar jumping into the sea from outside of the Abyss and swimming to a ship. Later, you see a picture which shows the ship and the Abyss. Unfortunately, this is all nonsense. It's a fact that the Abyss is located in the centre of the Isle of the Avatar, with the Shrine of Codex on top of it, surrounded by high mountains. In that cutscene, the Abyss has suddenly become a lone volcano in midst of the sea.
    • Where is the Isle of the Avatar? Disappeared? (Ultima IX sends its best.) Even more mysterious as the Abyss was reached by feet in the intro.
    • Where are the Stone Guardians? They will reappear in Ultima VII, after all.
    • Where is the Shrine of Codex? It's gonna reappear in Ultima VII, too.
    • The Abyss has never been a mountain! Oh wait, that's already been mentioned...

    (by Tribun Dragon)
  • When a gazer is slain, it doesn't disintegrate into a swarm of insects. In other Ultima games, they do disintegrate into a swarm of insects upon death.
    (by BlueClaw)

General problems

  • Lord British is totally left aside in the plot of this game. You get the slight impression that he's just sitting on his throne far away in Britain and has no idea what's happening on the other side of his kingdom.
    (by Tribun Dragon)
  • Once you properly bury the bones of Garamon, his ghost will tell you that the Slasher of Veils cannot be defeated by means of mortal strength or spell. Yet, when you reach the Chamber of Virtue where the Slasher of Veils is trapped, if you cast Armageddon, you can erase the Slasher of Veils from existence! The use of Armageddon directly contradicts what Garamon told us, since it is a mortal spell that succeeds in destroying the Slasher of Veils.
    (by BlueClaw)
  • Supposedly, Tyball could not reach the Slasher of Veils because the Chamber of Virtue in which he was could only be opened in three ways:
    1. Be a very virtuous person. (Then you could just open the door.)
    2. Find and use the ancient three parts key (Truth, Love, Courage).
    3. Find a virtuous (though not as virtuous as needed for 1.) virgin and sacrifice him or her after a long ceremony. This would destroy the chamber's virtue, and you could simply enter it. Tyball chose this method.
    However, there's something wrong. The Avatar is required to recreate the three parts key. Why? He is a very, very virtuous person! He should just be able to open the door without any further ado. You don't get an explanation for why he can't.
    (by Tribun Dragon)
  • Cabirus seems to be extremely anti-gargoyle. There is nomention of any attempt to persuade them to join his colony (even though he went out of his way to persuade trolls and goblins), he refers to them in the manual in extremely derogatory ways, e.g. "dastardly cunning", "subbtereanean beings", and claims that captain John (not Johne, by the way) needed rescuing from them, when he was in fact happy down there! Why did Lord British let a such an extremist man take control of an important colony? Sounds like a case for the Commission for Racial Equality.
    (by Melchett Dragon)


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