It is not mandatory to explore all the seven dungeons. In order to collect the four Marks and meet the Lord of Time, it is enough to explore three Dungeons, or four in the NES version.
Before the Dungeons
Before adventuring in any dungeon, make sure you did maximize two attributes of each of your characters. Note that such most important attributes does not always include the defining attribute (in green) of a character. If you maximize less than two attributes per character, you'll be too weak; if you maximize more than two attributes of your characters, you'll have no use for the Gold found in the dungeons.
Of course, depending on your team you might need to change priorities. For example, if your only character with healing Cleric Spells is a Ranger (unlikely choice anyway), it will become necessary to maximize his Wisdom and Intelligence.
|1. Dungeon of Snake
(cave of Sol)
|In plain view, island North-East of the Montors||Even before starting proper dungeon exploration, repeatedly loot the 18 chests on the first floor of this dungeon. |
This is one of the few mandatory dungeons in the game, because it is the only one holding the Mark of Snake.
|2. Mines of Morinia
(cave of Madness)
|In plain view, north from Grey||An easy dungeon, where the entrance ladder can lead straight to the 8th level, where two Marks are found. |
The previous dungeon of Snake also held either the Mark of Kings or the Mark of Fire, depending on the game version. This dungeon holds both Marks of Kings and Fire in every version of the game, thus allowing for a unified walkthrough.
|Town of Dawn||Once all characters have both Marks of Kings and Fire, they can raise their health to 2550 HP and walk on lava to learn the final clue to find the magic town of Dawn. |
Buy the strongest bows and look for the Exotic/Mystic weapon and armor before you continue dungeon exploration.
|3. Dardin's Pit
(cave of Death)
|Hidden by forest north from Britain.||Optional in early and 16-bit ports, mandatory in the Ponycanyon (NES) ports. In said latter ports, it holds the Silver Pick, necessary to obtain the Mystic Weapon.|
|4. Dungeon of Time
(cave of Moon)
|Moon Gate access only.||This is one of the few mandatory dungeons in the game (unless you cheat), because it is the only one holding the Time Lord. |
It is also the dungeon with the greatest number of gold chests.
|5. Dungeon of Doom
(cave of Fool)
|Hidden by Great Forest west from the Montors.||One of the two dungeons holding the Mark of Force, this one has less traps and more gold chests than the Dungeon of Fire.|
|6. Perinian Depths
(cave of Gold)
|Hidden by forest north-east from Britain.||Optional.|
|7. Dungeon of Fire||Hidden by forest south from Britain.||Optional.|
The following table shows the minimum number of dungeons necessary to clear the game (without cheating):
|Early ports||16-bit ports||NES port|
|Dungeon of Snake
Dungeon of Time
|Dungeon of Snake
Dungeon of Time
|Dungeon of Snake (of Sol) |
Dungeon of Time (of Moon)
|Dungeon of Doom||Dungeon of Fire||Dungeon of Doom (of Fool) |
Dardin's Pit (of Death)
Also note that different releases of Ultima 3 have different "treasures" in the bottom level. The following table reports the differences between the earlier ports and the two more advanced versions. The 16-bit ports are for Amiga and Atari ST; all ports by Ponycanyon are identical to the NES port.
|Dungeon||Common treasures||Port differences|
|Dungeon of Snake (of Sol)||Mark of Snake||Early ports: Mark of Kings |
16-bit ports: Mark of Kings
NES port: Mark of Fire
|Mines of Morinia (of Madness)||Mark of Kings
Mark of Fire
|Dardin's Pit (of Death)||Mark of Kings||NES port only: Silver Pick|
|Dungeon of Time (of Moon)||Time Lord||Early ports: 2 Marks of Kings (lv.2-8), 1 Mark of Fire (lv.8) |
16-bit ports: 3 Marks of Kings (lv.2-8)
NES port: 1 Mark of Kings (lv.8), 2 Marks of Fire (lv.2-8)
|Dungeon of Doom (of Fool)||Mark of Force||(no differences)|
|Perinian Depths (of Gold)||Early ports: |
|Dungeon of Fire||Early ports: |
As a curiosity, the following table reports the naming differences:
|Original in-game name||NES in-game name||Name from external sources|
|(Nameless)||Cave of Sol||Dungeon of Snake (i.e. of the Snake Mark)|
|(Nameless)||Cave of Moon||Dungeon of Time (i.e. of the Time Lord)|
|"Welcome, fools, to your doom!"||Cave of Fool||Dungeon of Doom|
|Mines of Morinia||Cave of Madness||Mines of Morinia|
|Perinian Depths||Cave of Gold||Perinian Depths|
|Dardin's Pit||Cave of Death||Dardin's Pit|
|The Fires of Hell||Cave of Fire||Dungeon of Fire|
Difficulty of Dungeons
The total number of traps includes the sum of traps, gremlins, poison fountains and damage fountains. Dark winds are not included because they are harmless, they just cause darkness.
The ratio of chests to traps is a quantity related to convenience. Dungeons with high chest/trap ratio ("golden" in the diagram) have significantly more chests than traps, while dungeons with low chest/trap ratio mean more trouble than gain ("painful" in the diagram). Remember that chests can be trapped, too.
|Snake (Sol)||28||53||1.89||Mark of Snake, M. Kings|
|Time (Moon)||39||116||2.97||Lord of Time, M. Fire|
|Doom (Fool)||67||81||1.21||M. Force|
|Morinia (Madness)||106||105||0.99||M. Fire, M. Kings|
|Perinian (Gold)||114||111||0.97||M. Fire, M. Kings|
|Dardin's (Death)||132||113||0.86||(NES Silver Pick), M. Kings|
|Fire (Fire)||159||69||0.43||M. Force, M. Fire|
Most items of interest are located on the deepest floor of each dungeon. The main exception is the Mark of Kings.
In the diagram below, floors with a healing fountain (H) are highlighted in green. A dungeon can be easier if there are more healing fountains and if they are evenly distributed.
|Floor 1||-||(H)||-||-||Mark of Kings||-||-|
|Floor 2||-||Mark of Kings||-||-||(H)||Mark of Kings||(H)|
|Floor 3||-||-||-||Mark of Kings||-||(H)||-|
|Floor 8||Mark of Snake
Mark of Kings
|Lord of Time
Mark of Fire
|Mark of Force||Mark of Fire
Mark of Kings
|Mark of Fire
Mark of Kings
|Mark of Kings
(NES Silver Pick)
|Mark of Force |
Mark of Fire
The four marks
Information from Sosaria
|Montor East||Fighter in pub||"'Marks' are useful!"|
|Britain||Oracle||Of marks I say there are but four of fire, force, snake & king. |
Learn their use in Devil Guard, or death you'll surely bring.
|Devil Guard||Fighter on grocery island||"Four marks, four uses!"|
|Devil Guard||Fighter on center islet||"'Marks' gained in dungeons!"|
|Devil Guard||Fighter on pub island||"Seek ye the Dungeon of Fire!"|
|Devil Guard||Fighter on guild island||"Hot metal leaves a 'mark'!"|
|Devil Guard||Thief on stables island||"Mark thee well!"|
|Devil Guard||Fighter on east island||"The king favors a 'mark'!"|
|Devil Guard||Fighter on east island||"A 'mark' helps invoke the snake."|
|The Marks and the Silver Snake|
|Britain||Thief in pub||"Exodus lies beyond the silver snake!"|
|Fawn||Cleric on north side||"'Invoke' the silver snake!"|
|Fawn||Cleric on north-east||"To pass you need a mark!"|
|Fawn||Cleric on south side||"<Pray> in the Circle of Light!"|
|Yew||Any cleric in south-east||"Welcome to the Circle of Light!"|
Function of the Marks
Each member of your party will need to have four special Marks branded onto their bodies to complete the game. You get them by touching the hot metal rods that are found in the dungeons. All of your characters should hold all four of the marks.
In the NES version, each Mark has a different appearance.
The Mark of Kings
Initially, you'll be able to get to a maximum of 550 health points, provided you have enough experience, by (T)ransacting with the King.
With your 550 points, go to the dungeon in the northeast corner of Sosaria, beyond the forest. You'll recognize it by its waterway. In the first level you should find two "hot iron plates", one of which you should touch. They yield the Mark of the King. With the Mark of the King, you can now get up to 2550 health points, again provided that you have enough experience.
You'll find the Mark of the Snake on the eighth level of the Dungeon of the Snake (NES cave of Sol). In order to find the Lord of Time and the Mark of Fire, look in the Dungeon of Time (NES cave of Moon), which you can only reach via the Moon Gates. Lastly, you'll find the Mark of Force on level 8 of the Dungeon Doom (NES cave of Fool).
If you're playing the NES remake, you will have to look for the Silver Pick at the bottom of the cave of Death (originally Dardin's Pit)