Dino's Guide to
Dino's Guide to Ultima VI - The False Prophet

Celebrating 21 Years

Bugs

Contents

The Zeta Bug

If you lose a party member with their inventory or portrait open, under certain circumstances, s/he gets replaced by a character called "Zeta", with Lord British's portrait, statistics and inventory. You can use this trick to steal Lord British's equipment.

My first encounter with this bug predates Dino's Ultima Page (2002). It has been documented in the Ultima 6 Fun page at least as early as 2007, but I had not been able to reliably reproduce it until June 2022, when I finally managed to figure it out.

Prerequisites

For this to work, you must have recruited at least one party member beyond the original four. You can still do it with the original party, but only if you've recruited a companion and asked them to leave.

Method

Grab some cheese from the dining room.
Grab some cheese from the dining room.
Use the cheese to recruit Sherry.
Use the cheese to recruit Sherry.
Attack Lord British using the last character in your roster, with their portrait or inventory open.
Attack Lord British using the last character in your roster, with their portrait or inventory open.

Go solo with the last party member on your roster (e.g. if you have 5 party members, press the number 5 on your keyboard). With their inventory or stats/portrait open, attack Lord British. Keep the Avatar away while you do this, so you get more time before he decimates the party.

I most often do this with Sherry because she's easy to recruit right within Castle British, but you don't have to. As long as you've taken on a party member, at some point, this will work.

See Zeta's stats.
See Zeta's stats.
Take Lord British's items.
Take Lord British's items.

When Lord British kills your last companion, his inventory or stats/portrait replaces theirs, but the name of the character is "Zeta" for some reason. You can check out Lord British's stats and also move all his equipment to your party before he kills you.

While it is possible to escape (e.g. via the Orb of the Moons), Lord British will remain hostile until he kills you. When this happens, he will resurrect you as usual and you will retain his equipment.

Video

You can watch me exploit this bug in a video I recorded on 26th June 2022.

The Moon Phase Bug

A fire wand in the sky.
A fire wand in the sky.
A storm cloak close to the sun.
A storm cloak close to the sun.
A red moongate out of reach.
A red moongate out of reach.

I've experienced a bug where one of the moons is sometimes replaced by random objects including a snake amulet, storm cloak, fire wand, and more (see video).

Based on Twitter feedback, it would seem that this is pretty uncommon and hard to reproduce. However, Squibbons had some insight regarding the cause of this bug:

Squibbons tweeted: "the reference table to the moon graphics had an off by one error causing the last graphic pointer to be past the end of list and thus point to bad data resulting in this."

Space Flight

Flying a balloon through the Ethereal Void.
Flying a balloon through the Ethereal Void.

The balloon cannot cross the highest mountain peaks, but it has no problem flying through the Ethereal Void. When doing this, the Wind Change spell or a magic fan are useful to steer in the desired direction without being at the mercy of the changing wind.

The CRPG Addict mentions this bug in his post Ultima VI: Playing in the Sandbox (13th March 2014).

The Armageddon Game-Breaker

Cast Armageddon...
Cast Armageddon...
...and the world dies.
...and the world dies.

A game-breaking bug involving the Armageddon spell is described by Strong Axe Dragon in the thread "Savage Empire Bugs?" (1997) at rec.games.computer.ultima-dragons:

Strong Axe Dragon wrote: "charge a wand with Armageddon; give it to a secondary party member; that member goes into solo mode and uses the wand. This causes everyone but the Avatar to vanish, and a no-longer-existing character has the keyboard focus in solo mode, so time passes, but keyboard and mouse are ignored."

In other words:

  1. Acquire a Yew staff from Nicodemus (or via the Spam Cheat, item 78).
  2. Cast the Level 7 Enchant spell on the staff, charging it with the Level 8 spell Armageddon.
  3. Move the staff to another party member, e.g. Dupre.
  4. Go solo with that party member (e.g. press 2 for Dupre).
  5. Equip the staff in the party member's hand, and Use it.

At this point, the game locks up completely. Keyboard and mouse no longer work, and even animations stop. The only thing that still works is the wind changing direction.

Check out the video in which I demonstrate this bug.

Disappearing Items

Items that you leave on the ground may disappear after you leave the area, so keep any important quest items with you at all times.

The Quenton Murder Mystery

In Skara Brae, the Avatar can meet the ghost of Quenton and investigate his murder. However, the side quest was never fully completed by the game's developers and so the murderer cannot be brought to justice. It is only in Ultima VII: The Black Gate that the whole truth is finally revealed.

© by Daniel D'Agostino 2002-2024