Dino's Guide to The Savage Empire

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About The Savage Empire

The Savage Empire is the first installment in the Worlds of Ultima / Ultima Worlds of Adventure series, a prequel to Martian Dreams. It uses the same engine as Ultima 6, but with new graphics and increased interactivity. For the first time in Ultima, you can be resourceful and create things from what nature provides. Thanks to the Origin FX system, you will also enjoy in-game cutscenes that play part-way through the game, not just in the intro and endgame.

The game can be downloaded for free from GOG.com.

Game Versions

There are at least two versions of The Savage Empire in circulation:

If you're unsure what version you have, you can check from the Credits by selecting "About The Savage Empire" from the main menu. You can upgrade from version 1.6 to 2.1 using Pix's Ultima Patcher 1.67 onwards.

While we don't know everything that changed between the versions, fans of the game have noticed a couple of things.

Loving Tristia

In February 2017, DeathStrike posted on the GOG.com forum to let them know that the version they were distributing was broken, particularly when it comes to Tristia's dialogue and the endgame involving her (see my walkthrough):

DeathStrike wrote: "Version 2.1 no doubt contains plenty of fixes, as quite a few of the files have different checksums, but the most significant fix is to Tristia's dialogue that stops it from erroneously looping. This means in version 2.1 you can reach the alternate game ending, which just isn't possible in 1.6 due to this bug.

"In fact, this bug also means that if you have Aiela in your party and talk to Tristia, you cannot even exit the conversation, forcing you to quit and relaunch the game."

In May 2020, Pix released Ultima Patcher 1.67 which included a patch to upgrade The Savage Empire from version 1.6 to 2.1.

Pix wrote: "I was approached by “Death Strike” about adding a patch for Savage Empire to the Ultima Patcher. Apparently, the GOG version of the game contains a bug which disables the alternate ending but a later fixed version was released on the compilation CD with 7 Cities Of Gold (anyone who has ever spent time hunting for Ultimas on Ebay should be familiar with this particular CD). They created a patch to update the GOG version which I’ve added to the Ultima Patcher."

README.txt says: ""Tristia's dialogue no longer loops until she is rebuffed. This allows the player to reach the alternative ending."

Dialogue Changes

Meanwhile, I became aware of the two different versions in October 2019 thanks to a visitor to Dino's Ultima Page who spotted the version 2.1 in the Credits page. In January 2020, Eric Fry from Nuvie helped identify some differences in the dialogues, with the following being affected:

In May 2020, when Pix's patch was released and the problem with Tristia became better known, I worked on decoding The Savage Empire dialogues (thanks to Nuvie's existing tools, and others I wrote for further analysis) to identify what exactly changed.

Tristia's dialogue in version 1.6 seemed to be missing a keyword, which may have been related to the aforementioned bug. In version 2.1, they fixed this, but also added a couple of new (NSFW) keywords for the same response.

While the change to Jumu's dialogue is too trivial to mention, other adjustments were made to the dialogues of Wamap and the Urali guards to better cater for different combinations of events with respect to killing Darden and rescuing Fabozz.

The plot

A whole lab containing the Avatar and a couple of modern-day friends is swallowed by a black moongate when an experiment on the moonstone he got from Britannia goes horribly wrong. The group ends up in a primitive jungle, and befriends Aiela, princess of the Kurak tribe.

Darden the Huge, Aiela's hated suitor and prince of the Urali tribe, defeats the Avatar, scatters his friends and captures Aiela. The Avatar is nursed and aided by Intanya, shaman of the Kurak tribe.

It is up to the Avatar to find his friends, rescue Aiela and, ultimately, unite the warring tribes against a common foe - the vicious Myrmidex intent on destroying the surface dwellers as they destroyed their former masters, the Kotl.

You can read other accounts of the Savage Empire plot at:

This guide

The following is a site map for this Savage Empire Guide:

Other good Savage Empire sites

The following are some other good websites about The Savage Empire:

Documentation

The Savage Empire manual can be found:

The list of copy protection questions and answers can be found:

Music

You can download the Savage Empire music from The Bard's Library, part of Mysterious Sosaria.

Utilities

The following are some useful tools that can be used with The Savage Empire:

You can find more tools and projects related to The Savage Empire at the Savage Empire section of The Ultima Codex.

Acknowledgements

To give proper credit where credit is due:

© by Daniel D'Agostino 2002-2020