Many people have complained that you cannot have companions in Ultima 8. Instead, I tell you that it is possible to make people follow you! You can either do Doug the Eagle Dragon's Magna Carta trick to make Beren follow you, or else try the following with Devon.
Attacking Devon will make him angry with you. He will not talk to you, but, since he is immortal, he will not call for help or attack you. Instead, he will just follow you. Now you might say that this will not make my companion help me with fighting or jump like me. If you click on the image to the left, you will see that Devon can make up for his inability to jump over water by his ability to walk over water!
As for fighting, Devon also helped me. As you can see in the picture left, Devon stepped on a spider that lay in his path, whilst following me, killing it.
So Devon is just as capable as you are. Use him if you want a companion.
In October 2020, Daedalus wrote an interesting analysis about the powers of Devon and Mordea.
Daedalus wrote: "... we know Mordea is not the rightful heir. But is she a Tempest at all?
"All of her powers she can show is to cast lightning bolts, something like the Call Destruction from Thaumaturgy. We haven't seen other spells or features.
"We know a Tempest can walk on water, this because the Mighty Developer - ahem - Titan of Water previewed an usecode flag which can bless everyone and permit to walk on water."
Daedalus then points out that although Devon can walk on water (as shown above), Lady Mordea apparently can't (see Fernando Akin's 2018 video of "Ultima VIII: Killing Lady Mordea").
Daedalus wrote: "... I guess she is just a Thaumaturgy practictioner pretending to be the Tempest!"
Some people have tried to get by the execution trigger using the cheat to cause confusion in the first execution scene. However, the cheat is not even necessary. To get by the trigger, just do the following.
Run west from Devon as you would normally, and go up the stairs onto the docks. Now, keep going west to the wooden railings, and climb them, then jump over to the other side. Now, run south along the docks, and climb up. You should be on the railings now, so run down along them, then jump off. This done, and you have gone past the execution trigger.
Now you can do whatever confusion you want. In the picture to the left, you can see Toran happily smelling a fish's behind, and Darion forcing two fishes to stand back with his sword.
No fishes were harmed during this procedure. Only Toran was harmed, but fish are more important.
Last night, an intruder invaded the palace and attacked Salkind. The man was shocked at such an outrage committed in the presence of Lady Mordea and immediately demonstrated his courage in taking action against the situation. "Why, I fought like a lion!" Salkind recounted in an interview this morning, "The invader was dead before he saw my sword coming!"
Once more, we owe our safety to Salkind's bravery. He is a hero.
A photographer passing by our town in a voyage of his was there when the intruder launched himself at Salkind. "I don't know who the kangaroo in the picture is, but I think it was either the queen or the guy who appeared in the ball of flame that killed the attacker."
Meanwhile, we can only thank Salkind for our safety, once again, as investigators continue to investigate the case.
Among the easter eggs in Ultima 8 is the morphing object (see full description in items page). Apparently it was made as reverence to EA. The morphing object, located at Mythran's house, continuously changes shape between cube, sphere and tetrahedron, which happens to be EA's logo, and the Ultima 7 generators were also easter eggs of the same logo. When double-clicking the object, the Avatar will kneel down to it and say, "I have not the strength, nor the wisdom to master such power... ...But one day I shall!" EA made the Avatar bow down to them!
The letter to Lady Mordea from Lt. Vittek apparently represented some kind of easter egg, because Mark Vittek was one of the developers (therefore Lt. Vittek must represent him).
Another such easter egg is that of the Cheesy Book. The author, Jely, is none other than Jason Ely, one of the programmers, who made the code for books. He wrote that book to test the book code, and his colleagues found it funny and moved it into the Ethereal Plane to keep it in the game. He talks about this and another book he wrote at an interview at The Ultima Codex.
The Ear of Arricorn (see the Writings section) series of books is probably a spoof of another work, as Hoki-Aamrel the Cherry-Red Dragon pointed out:
On 27th August 2005, Hoki-Aamrel the Cherry-Red Dragon wrote:
"Ear of Arricorn" books in U8 are probably spoofs of the old 1970s fantasy story "Eye of the Argon" (Dino edit 17th Nov 2015: replaced link with Internet Archive link) [...] which has, apparently, been considered one of the worst fantasy stories ever. Aside of the name, that story has a lot in common with Arricorn story, for example, the bar scene and the funnily applied metaphors. Arricorn has far less typos though.
The book "Eye of the Boulder, the Runes of the Myth Drainer" makes fun of the SSI game Eye of the Beholder 3: The Assault on Myth Drannor (1993), with various references to the game's shortcomings including art, sound, gameplay and story.
SSI got its revenge in Dark Sun: Wake of the Ravager (1994) with a story called Prince of Pagnasta, making a mockery of Ultima 8's flaws including incessant jumping, slowness, dialogue, brevity, inconsistencies, and the missing Birthplace of Moriens.
Prince of Pagnasta is written by Trogari (misspelt acronym of Garriott) and Tavara (acronym of Avatar). It is also possible that the title refers to Prince of Persia, likening it to Ultima 8 due to all the running and jumping (similar to the Super Avatar Bros caricature at Hacki's Ultima Page, which compares Ultima 8 to Super Mario Bros).
There is a very easy trick to do in Ultima 8, which you can do from the very beginning. Just attack Devon, and climb onto the short tree to the northwest, and face north. Devon will follow you, and when he comes under you, the Avatar will pop out his behind and sort of point to it with his hands.
I actually put it to good use and added something related to it...
At the end of it, you'll be stuck up there and won't be able to move, but it's funny.
On 8th March 2011, Moe Yasmine wrote to share a fun little trick in Ultima 8 that I haven't heard of before. He has found a way to kill Lithos early in the game:
Moe Yasmine writes: "I got to the necromancy stage and got the key of the caretaker and used open ground to enter the upper catacombs. From there I head immediately to stone cove and the hall of the mountain king after that without going to the necromancers. So I got the heart of the earth obviously using create golem and open ground to get it! Then i went for the mountain king with the purpose of using it on him at this VERY early stage of the game. Obviously when you first walk up to him you can't double click the heart of earth to kill him with it because he starts talking to you."
"So what i did was:
- Drink a purple potion (just to stay alive)
- Opened my items bag
- Walked up to the skeletons and hit one of them so that they all come for me
- I ran away and stood within an inch from where lithos would emerge and quickly double clicked the heart of earth to bring up its cursor
- I let the skeletons hit me from behind pushing me forward!
- now lithos came up and my heart of earth was ready for him.
- i killed lithos before he even called me a worm and told me to kneel
unfortunately lightning then hits you as though you're in the ethereal plane and the game freezes. My items would be open and the recall device doesn't work but unfortunately I'm not taken to the ethereal plane.
Kobra Kai has used the cheat to change some things in Ultima 8, replacing most characters with a creature to which they are similar for some reason or other. I must say he has come up with some very intelligent changes. He has sent me a saved game of this, and with his permission, I am showing a brief introduction to some of the changes within. You may download the saved game [ZIP] from Dino's Ultima Page.
After loading the saved game, you start off after having spoken to Devon. Then, you can go west to the execution scene, which has changed a lot.
As is evident in the screenshot, all people are equal. However, Mordea and that little changelling of her chancellor don't seem to agree, placing themselves above the local populace.
When the execution runs as normal, some changes in the way people act may be noted.
It is useless for Tarna to tell Mordea not to feed the trolls, because Mordea gets Toran executed anyway by a troll. Salkind is also very excited by the show and grins cheerfully while a poor man gets beheaded (as seen in the picture). Perhaps Salkind would even have liked some popcorn...
Now we all know that Rhian is desperate after Toran's death. After the departure of her son and now even her husband's death, the widow is shattered. But what the heck is she doing in the left picture?
After the execution, Tarna asks to let Lady Mordea pass. Now everyone says that Mordea is a vicious kith, behind her back, but Tarna lets it slip in public. Saying "Let Lady Mordea pass" while referring to a kith is obviously calling Mordea a kith. Look at the right picture to see the situation.
Now that was just the execution scene. Most people in the game have been turned into Avatars. After all, all people are equal. However, Kobra Kai has made other intelligent changes to important characters.
When meeting Vividos, for example, you discover that rumour is true. The Necromancers are said to be as dead as those who they bury, and Vividos proves that. When speaking, he keeps raising his head and dropping it, as if something is wrong with his neck. If you look at the picture, you will see that Vividos tries to promote the Necromancers' tradition and get the Avatar to join the Order. The Avatar is probably thinking "Uh... yeah, I'd like to learn the art of being a rotten corpse..."
That was a taste of all the fun there is in Kobra Kai's saved game. You can experience the changes yourself by playing his saved game yourself.
For real fun in Ultima 8, visit IT-HE Software's Ultima 8 page. That site makes me laugh even when I go back to it after having read it through several times. It incorporates:
Other Ultima 8 fun can be found at the following locations: