Ultima VI - Spoilers and Hints
by John Houghton

I have finally finished Ultima VI, after having to restart the game 6 times because of some inherent bugs in the program. The bugs caused my game to crash in certain dungeons, Lord British to vaporised in the thin air, and weird things to happen. The staff from Origin said that the bugs are caused by keeping too many items on each player. It is hard to know what items to keep, and what items to discard, until I finished the game. At one time, I was keeping several hundred items.

So I am writing this article, which I hope will help many of the current Ultima VI players. For this article to be helpful, it will
inevitably contain some spoilers, but I will try not to reveal too much. If you need more specific help, please email to me.

Some common questions that are asked during the game are:

(1) What items do I need to keep?
    (a) Essential Items : The only items that you need to complete the game are a loaded-vortex cube (with 8 moonstones),
    and the 2 vortex lens.
    (b) Discardable Items : A lot ot items can be discarded, once they have been used at appropriate places in the game. The
    problem is to know when you can discard them. Some of the objects are also bulky, and you do not need to keep them with
    you, when they are of no use.

        (i) 8 runes - They can be discarded after you have freed each shrine, and collected the moonstone.
        (ii) 9 pieces of maps - They can be discarded after you have got the location of the pirate's cave from Homer, and  after you
                have figured out the location of the treasure island.
        (iii) 2 pieces of tablet - They can be discarded after Mariah explain to you about the false prophet.
        (iv) ballon plan - This can be thrown away after you have built the hot-air ballon.
        (v) ballon - can be discarded after you have been ordained for a quest at the shrine of Singularity. The ballon is very heavy,
                and is a burden to carry along. You can throw away the fan as well.
        (vi) scroll of gargoyle language - can be thrown away after you have use it.
        (viii) excess weapons - can be sold to the weaponsmith for gold pieces.You will pick up lots of throwing axes, spears, cloth
                armor, shields & helms that you do not need, once you equiped yourself with the essential weapons/armors. Sell them                  away whenver you're in town.
        (ix) general items - there are a lot of useless general items in the game, e.g. yellow rings, etc. Most of these items have no                  cash value, and no useful properties. You do not need to carry them around.

(2) Who do I recruit as team members, in the game?

The following are a list of creatures who will join you for your quest: Jaana, Julia, Gwenno, Katrina, Sherry, Blain, Cpt Leonna,
Cpt Leo..., Sentri, Seggallion, Gorn, Beh Lem.

You will need Sherry for a specific task, and you will need Beh Lem so that the gargoyles in gargoyle-town do not attack you. Dismiss Sherry after the task is done.

Initially my team comprised of a lot of familiar faces (people that were with me during Ultima VI & V). However I found out that Katrina & Julia has been downgraded to weaklings in this game. Jaana, the druidess has lost her ability to cast spells!!! So, selecting the best of the lot, my team comprised of: Avatar, Dupre, Shamino, Iolo, Seggallion, Gwenno, Gorn & Beh Lem.

(3) What important items are found in the Dungeons?

There are lots of dungeons, with 3 - 4 levels in this game. You have to explore them thoroughly, to have the maximum amount of fun in the game. Usually at the lowest level, there will be some important items & tresures. Be meticulous - explore every corner, and use every ladder, and drop down into every hole in the ground. Do not give up exploring, until you have found the appropriate item in each dungeon. (I've included * to indicate non-essential items, but do explore them for fun):

(a) Moonglow Catacombs - Rune of Honesty
(b) Bucaneer Cave - Minor Treasures *
(c) Dungeons Destard - Dragon Eggs, Major Treasures
(d) Dungeon Wrong - Map
(e) Dungeon Shame - Map
(f) Dungeon Deceit - Minor Treasures *
(g) Dungeon Covertous - Minor Treasures *
(h) Ant Mound - Map
(i) Sutex Castle Catacombs - Ballon Plans
(j) Lycaceum Underground - Certain Books *
(k) Cyclops Cave - Powder Kegs *
(l) Spider Cave - Spider Silk *
(m) Heftimus Cave - Minor items *
(n) Heros Cave - Minor items *
(o) Dungeon below LB Castle - Thief Guild Belt
(p) Dungeon Hyaloth - Gargoyle scroll
(q) Pirate's Cave - Tablet
(r) Tomb of Kings - Minor items *
(s) Shrine of Control - Mondain Statue
(t) Shrine of Passion - Minax Statue
(u) Shrine of Diligence - Exodus Statue

(4) What Spells do I need?

There are about 80 spells in this game, and you definite do not need most of them. If you buy all the 80 spells, you will have 80
items in your spell-book, and this may cause your game to crash. Here are some of the basic spells that you will need.

Dispel Magic (cure poison), Telekinesis, Unlock Magic, Dispel Field, Pickpocket & Reveal (detect invisible beings).

(5) Is stealing/pickpocketing/killing OK?

Stealing, Pickpocketing & Killing will cause you Karma Points. You started out with 75 Karma Points, and you need only this much Karma Points to finish the game. Talking to each of the 8 shrines will give you 10 more Karma Points.

Pickpocketing an item cost you about 5 Karma Points. Stealing cost you 1 point. Killing intelligent lifeforms will cost you Karma points as well (e.g. killing some of the winged gargoyles in gargoyle town). However, some minor stealing may be permitted in this game to build up cash real fast. I know where to get 240 gold nuggets (i.e. 2400 gold pieces) at the expense of 1 Karma point. Email me if you really need cash.

(6) How do I avoid restarting from scratch when my game crash?

Make multiple copies of savegame\*.* as your game progress, and youcan always use an older version, should your current game get corrupted.

(7) OK. I just found out that you "use" doors to open them.

Sounds strange to me, but OK, if you insist. I really think that the writers of the instructions are assuming that the user has played previous versions, or are all the instructions for ULTIMA this poor?

The reason the instructions are "poor" for Ultima VI is most likely because the controls have been so vastly simplified over previous Ultimas. Ultima III through V seemed more like NetHack with respect to keypresses than any other game. There was an advantage in that you could try more possibilities, like yelling things or whatnot, but now it's simpler to establish whether or not you're supposed to be able to do something with something. My only real peeve so far has been that it's difficult to catch on that "dispel magic" cures poison.

(8) Can you have one of the other members in your party "get"?

I find it a waste of time to get for myself a "move" to the other members of the party. Oh well, I guess part of the game is to figure out the cryptic commands.

They aren't cryptic, just simplified. You have to go into solo mode (by pressing 1 through 8) and have them get the object. Just like the other commands, this is described clearly in the reference card. For example: "USE (U) operates *any* object that has some function. Among other things, it will let you open and close doors and chests, enter or exit ships, climb ladders, milk cows, mount horses, light or extinguish fires, look into telescopes or crystal balls, ring bells, eat or drink food and beverages, and play musical instruments." (reproduced from ref guide w/o permission) ...whereas in previous Ultimas the Use command would be represented by five or more different commands for each situation.

(9) I haven't found any of the previously reported bugs yet.

I seem to be able to store many items in my inventory pile. I think that I have version 1.7. (IBM) Any newer versions out there?

I have version 1.7, and have had only minor inventory problems. Lord British has become a variety of nonsensical things, as have the members of his court, but it could be a lot worse, so far. Make backups!

10) Where in Yew can one find wood for panpipes? Also, where's a sawmill?

You should looking for LOG, instead of wood in Yew. The sawmill is in the east of Minoc, after you walk through the swamp.

11) How can one check up on one's Karma points?

This trick is not documented, but posted in this group. To check your Karma, hit ALT and 213. The first two digits are you Karma,
the next 4 digits tell you the time of the day, next 3 is the X coordination and the next 3 is the Y. The finnal digit is the number of world you are in. The problem is that this is a fifth generation message. The original posting says that <alt> 213 shows Karma points but it must be typed with the numeric keypad and <numlock> on.

12) Where can one get lockpicks? I've been looking all over the place for 'em!

A guild in... (sorry, I forgot, I believe is on an island.)

13) I've been utilizing an invisibility ring to free shrines w/o messing with uncooperative gargoyles. Is this a mistake?

I don't think this is a mistake, later on you will find a lot of invisibility ring.

14) I take it that when one "Steals", Karma points are lost. If this is done inadvertently and the item is immediately replaced, have I still "Stolen", as far as Karma points are concerned?

I think you've still stolen. But according to see@cs.utexas.edu's article, steal once, twice shouldn't affect you Karma too much.

15) Has anyone taken the book, Wizard of Oz, from the Lycaeum and given it to Lord British?
    If so, what is the reward that he gives you?

He gives you 48 measly gems. Big deal! I only need one gem... I just save the game before I use it each time, and restore the game when I am done.

16) Anyone know how to re-order your party without asking people to leave and then join again?
    This doesn't work for say, Julia... she gets mad and won't join up with you. I would much rather have Dupre and
    Segallion up front than Iolo and Gwenno....And I find no mention of re-ordering on the quick reference card.

I'd like to know this one too.

17) How do you use the sawmill? I found one at Xio's place... but I can't figure out how to use it to cut the yew log. Is
    there a saw mill somewhere else? I tried asking Xio to cut it for me... but she didn't know what I was talking about.

There is a sawmill elsewhere. Try east of Minoc.

18) Anyone know how to tell if you can take something and not get accused of stealing? For instance, if you go to Iolo's      Hut, select Iolo, and have him search the place and take something, it says, "Stealing!" But other places let you
    take stuff...

I believe you can take anything for free in the Castle.


There is a simple way to steal lots of items with cost of only one karma point. Just get a bag and move all the stuff into it. Then
in one fell swoop.... As much as you can carry. You can clean up a whole town if you have the patience. Of course I never did that.

19) Finally, could someone tell me all of the things of interest in the sewers below British's castle? I've searched the
        place pretty thoroughly, but I'm afraid I might have missed something, and I don't want to spend the time looking
        through the whole place again.

Ever heard of the thieve's guild and such? It's rumored that they have a connection with the buccaneers of the Den. For starters,
try looking for one lady who wields two glass swords when you come upon an underground lake. Incidently, this one leads to the
second serie of quests in the game.

20) Well, it seems that I can't drop anything from any of my characters. This is very frustrating, as my people collect
        more and more stuff, they can't get rid of anything. Has anyone else out there in netland have this problem also?

Let me clarify my problem. My characters try to drop something, and the object "magically" reappears in their hands... I tried it in solo mode, no luck. I tried it not using a mouse, no luck.

I did find a solution for the problem. I reran the install/configure program (don't ask me why) and that fixes the problem for a short time. (?) The problem reoccured, so I ran the install... The install fixes it for a short time.

21) One little problem in Yew...The Lady Mayor writes a permission slip to give to the guard so that you can talk the the      thief in solitary confinement. However, the guard's key that he gives you only opens one door. The thief is behind
    the next one. the key does not fit the other door, but at least returning it yields two karma points.

You don't need to open the second door to talk to the man. Just speak to him through the window. By the way, you'll need those two extra karma points you get for returning the key because you'll lose a couple for being forced to lie. (I sort of felt sorry for the poor guy in prison :-( ).

22) Can anybody tell me where I can find Budo. (Homer in Bucaneer's Den tells me to talk to him.)

Try checking for secret doors. Use a gem or PEER spell to locate possible place.

Karma seems to go up when you give a dragon's egg to the chef in Serpent's Hold... and the dragon's egg isn't even taken away. In this version, therefore, Karma can be increased to 99 real quickly, which lets you steal just about anything you'd like to.

Does anyone know whether "Animate" costs karma points? How about killing the animated creature? Taking the "corpse" doesn't appear to ...

I have not been very clear about Karma Points, and should have added 'at each shrine' to the above. That means that:

        Basic Karma Points - 75
        Talking to 8 shrines - 80
        Total - 155.

You will have a maximum of 99 Karma points, and the excess 56 Karma points will give you some flexibility in doing a few 'unAvatar-like' deeds, like pick-pocketing the thief-guild belt from Phoenix.

From getting to 8 level I can give you a rough outline of Exp points needed to advance

        1 ????
        2 ????
        3 ????
        4 > ~450
        5 > ~900
        6 > ~1600
        7 > ~3600
        8 > ~7500

I'm not sure on the exact numbers obviously but they are close, if you want experience go to the dungeons, and use missle weapons. The dungeon below Lord British's Castle is fairly interesting and large and you can get at least 1500+ points there; maybe not the most efficient but it isn't far to walk and not that difficult to survive in. 

Also, in case nobody else has figured this out the HELP spell will NOT take anything from you, experience or reagents, if your entire party is alive, so cast it EARLY. If someone dies, including you, then the person will lose Exp points. If you cast it early you lose time, and nothing else.

I've been reading various postings and it seems that people believe that the messages `Squid wounded' and `Fighter Critical' are bugs, but NO.

If you take the path that leads West from Britain you'll eventually hit a N/S corssing right near the coastline, at this T you will sometimes find other people fighting each other!! and you can come in and clean up the mess, retrieving 200+ gold in the process. But as you are walking closer to the T and they are fighting you get messages. It seems that because Ultima VI has only one mode ( as opposed to In City or In Castle like Ultima VI) the game keeps track of things much farther away. If you'll notice whenever monsters hit themselves you get messages, so it makes sence that when you get those messages there are monsters
outside of your view but close enough for the game to keep track of that are beating on eachother.

BTW this is also why VI is so much slower than V, in V you had to enter towns, shrines, anything to get off the World map, hence less things to calculate in World mode. Vi is slow, but it is doing a lot of work, which I feel makes it a much more realistic
adventure game. (PS: Yes I do have a fast machine and a HD).

Well I can tell you that the "Lord British poisoned" message is a bug. I've had this one several times, and every time it happens, Lord British is nowhere near his castle anymore. I think he's dead. That's why I keep a backed up version of my savegame directory.

For those of you who have problems with your EGA version of Ultima VI, try playing without the mouse... once I did this most of the screen displaying bugs disappeared.

I did find one nifty little bug though... Let's say Dupre dies... so you pick him up and look for the nearest healer. Along the way, you pick up a couple more companions, so now you have eight people in your party. Of course, when you find the healer, you forget this, and have Dupre raised.... Oops! The game gets all screwed up. Mostly because you can't ask Dupre to leave, so no provisions were made for him when he doesn't fit in it. Something to watch out for...

From: pa1606@sdcc13.ucsd.edu (The Blessed Wraith):

There is one more dungeon called the Swamp Cave where you can find a whole set of magic items including the second Storm Cloak in the game.

More tips:

If you have enough karma points, there are a few chests that might interest you.
    Ephemerides keeps a handsome amount
    Xiao has a bag full of spell reagents
    Someone in Britania retains lots of gold nuggets (make your guess)
    There is a spiked collar lying around somewhere in Serpents Hold
    A chest full of gems in Minoc (make your guess again).
    By using the 'Bag Trick', you should get away with a few items with minimal erosion to your integerity.
        (I once had 234 karma points and had absolutely no idea how I got them).

If you are really thirsty for gold, find the Book of Lost Mantras at the Lycaeum Library and talk to one of the wisps. Be
        forewarned not to be too greedy as you may find yourself suffering the Midas Syndrome.

You should NEVER use shrines of humility, sacrifice, justice or honor to raise your levels

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