The eight companions
- See also: Text transcript by subject #Companions
The number of characters that can join the party is equal to the Stranger's experience level. At game start, only one or two companions can join; every time the Stranger rises by one level, the party size will increase by one slot.
|N.||Companion||Hit rate||Ranged weapons||Magic||Overall|
|1||Iolo the Bard||A: top||C: average||C: average||The first companion who can join the Stranger|
|2||Julia the Tinker||B: good||B: great||D: poor||Probably the best physical fighter|
|3||Jaana the Druid||C: average||A: top||B: great||One of the two characters who can cast "Resurrect"|
|4||Mariah the Mage||D: low||D: gap: worst+best||A: top||One of the two characters who can cast "Resurrect"|
|5||Katrina the Shepherd||B: good||F: minimal||E: none||Recruit her early, or she will be just a burden; |
in the NES port, she can use two unique items.
|6||Geoffrey the Fighter||E: poor||E: limited||F: none||An underpowered character; |
in the NES port, he can use an exclusive short-ranged weapon
|7||Dupre the Paladin||E: poor||B: great||C: average||A character just below average, because of his poor hit rate|
|8||Shamino the Ranger||C: average||C: average||C: average||Too much balanced, without specializations and without limits to compensate|
Shrine of Compassion
- Castle Britannia
As the gate guard tell you, climb the stairs and speak with Lord British on the upper floor. Also, talk to Hawkwind the Seer on the ground floor. Still on the ground floor, know that there are secret passages in the east wing.
- Town of Britain
After you reached Castle Britannia and spoke to everybody in there, step out and visit the nearby city of Britain.
Important: visit the shrine before recruiting Iolo. In fact, the shrine requires to cross poisonous swamps. If you wait before recruiting Iolo, you can save some "Cure Poison" spells.
Iolo the Bard is the first character who can join the Stranger (see also: Ultima 7). He has top dexterity, and therefore hit rate; furthermore, he starts equipped with a sling, that is a ranged weapon. For the rest, he has average strength and average magic points.
Purchase a close-combat weapon (a staff) for Iolo and a sling for the Stranger. Equip both with the sling; you can swap weapons during battle (in the NES port, the two can be equipped at the same time).
Talk to all characters in order to learn all you need about the shrine of compassion: an injured person (Sprite) and a ranger (Pepper) for the rune; a girl (Shapero) for the location of the shrine.
- Shrine of Compassion
Follow Shapero's directions and travel to the east. Before crossing the swamp, mix garlic and ginseng three times and prepare three "Cure Poison" spells.
Retrun to Britain and let Iolo join you.
Shrine of Sacrifice
After talking with all the inhabitants of Britain and Castle Britannia, the Stranger learned about three quests. Only one is on the mainland and can be followed right now: let us learn about the Mystic Arms in Minoc. Incidentally, the Shrine of Sacrifice is the only one on mainland that can be accessed without needing Cure Poison spells (in the NES remake, the character who relays to Zircon is met in Minoc).
Minoc is quite far away to the east, but the Stranger and Iolo together can make it. In order to reach Minoc, travel east until the swamp near the Shrine of Compassion; take a long loop north around Lock Lake and reach the mountain pass; continue north-east until you reach the Bloody Plains, then all the way north, and eventually west in a small valley.
- Town of Minoc
In Minoc, Julia the Tinker can join the companions. She is a character oriented towards melee combat, therefore if the party already includes a fighter or a paladin, Julia can wait in Minoc for later (in fact, it is highly recommended to recruit Jaana or Mariah early, because only they can cast the "resurrect" spell, vital in Hythloth, the first dungeon).
Talk to all the inhabitants of Minoc and learn about the Rune and the Shrine of Sacrifice.
Talk to an injured man (Seesha) and to Zircon and learn about the dragon scale, an item unique to the NES port.
- Shrine of Self-Sacrifice
Leave Minoc with the rune and the mantra. Travel east across the river and across the mountain pass. Meditate at the Shrine, then travel south.
- Village of Vesper
South of the Shrine of Sacrifice is the village of Vesper.
In the NES remake the companions can meet a woman (Lady Tessa from Paws) who gives further information about the dragon scale. A fighter (Presto from Skara Brae) talks about the nightshade fungus, and relays the party to the pub in Trinsic. A black mage to the south (Flatbush) teaches the recipe for the "Kill/Destroy" spell.
Shrine of Honor
After visiting the east, let us go back to Britain. The next destination is to the south: continue the Mystic arms quest, and restock "Cure Poison" spells. Travel south following the east coast.
- Village of Paws
In the armoury, check the wall carefully: a secret passage leads to an apothecary shop. There, buy a dozen of garlic and of ginseng, necessary for Cure Poison spells. In order to improve your Virtues, pay some extra money to the shopkeeper.
In the NES remake, the stablemaster says that all his horses died (the money saved for food and horses is compensated by the expensive magic key!). A single fighter in the pub (Sir Simon; Lady Tessa is in Vesper) gives all the information about the Mystic arms. A man in the southern shop (Jingles) reveals the recipe for the "Reflect" spell, an enchantment unique to the NES remake.
- Town of Trinsic
Leave Paws and keep traveling south along the east coast. Eventually you will reach Trinsic.
Important: get the rune and visit the shrine before recruiting Dupre. In fact, both rune and shrine require to cross poisonous fields. If you wait before recruiting Dupre, you can save some "Cure Poison" spells.
Dupre the Paladin is in the pub. He is a fighter-type character with very low dexterity, but good bow skills. Think of him as a tinker with lower dexterity: if the tinker already joined the party, Dupre can wait (in fact, it is highly recommended to recruit Jaana or Mariah early, because only they can cast the "Resurrect" spell, vital in the first dungeon, Hythloth).
In the NES remake, you should talk to the child (Terrin) first, then to the old man (Winthrop), and still he will reveal the location of the Rune of Honor only if the Stranger is sufficiently experienced (hypotheses about the unlock mechanic: 1. experience, 2. virtue level, 3. steps). Nobody talks about the location of the Shrine, though.
Sailor Sam talks about the sextant, and directs you to the pub in Jhelom.
Also remember that Presto in Vesper directed you to the pub here. Offer a 100 GP tip, and the barkeep will reveal to speak with Virgil/Basil in Moonglow about the nightshade fungus.
- Shrine of Honor
Follow Dergin's (original versions only) directions: east first, then south. Cross the poisonous swamp, meditate, cross the swamp again, and eventually cast "Cure" on the poisoned characters.
After you visited the shrine, you can go back to Trinsic and recruit Dupre, if you want.
Shrine of Justice
Leave Trinsic and travel back north to Castle Britannia. If you already recruited as many companions as your experience level, talk to Lord British and level up.
From the capital city, start by going west, follow the mountains north, pass to the other side, and continue north to the forest edge. The vegetation in the Great Forest is less dense along two paths (sort of Y-shaped, coming from the south): follow the eastern one, and at the end of it go straight north. The copmanions will soon reach Yew.
- Town of Yew
Important: get the rune and visit the shrine before recruiting Jaana. In fact, both rune and shrine require to cross poisonous fields. If you wait before recruiting Jaana, you can save some "Cure Poison" spells.
Jaana the Druidess is in the north-west woods, near the chanting Silent and Flamis the fire. She is a mage/bard hybrid, with good bow skills and high magic points. In fact, she is one of the only two characters who will naturally gain enough MP to cast "Resurrect", at level 5 (Mariah the Mage at level 2). This will be important in the first dungeon, Hythloth.
A druid (Druid-druid) gives a piece of information about everything: the rune, the shrine, and even the stone. For the rune, talk to Ramus (Short Round), then Talfourd the judge, then to Vorpal the prisoner.
In the NES remake, the food shop is replaced by an extra inn, good for saving the game. Furthermore, a hidden stairway behind the healer building leads to a room where a woman (the Kansas ranger) teaches the recipe for the "Squish" spell, exclusive to the NES port, but similar to the "Necorp/Rot" spell from Ultima 3.
- Shrine of Justice
Follow the directions by "Druid-druid": go east, then north. Cross the poisonous swamp, meditate, cross the swamp again, and eventually cast "Cure" on the poisoned characters.
After you visited the shrine, go back to Yew and do recruit Jaana.
Second tour of the mainland shrines
- Guild shop in Vesper
In the NES remake you need the expensive magic key to unlock the cell and get the rune. If you followed this walkthrough, you should have almost enough money. You might want Jaana to join the companions before they move on. Travel from Yew to Vesper, visit the Shrine of Sacrifice again, and grind a few enemies, until you earn the 2000 GP required for the magic key.
- Locked doors
With the new equipment, let us get some more information from behind the locked doors. The following path allows to cross all the mainland in the most efficient way:
- Vesper: 1 locked door; re-visit the Shrine of Sacrifice;
- Minoc: none;
- Yew: 2 locked doors; re-visit the Shrine of Justice;
- Castle Britannia: Zorin, Reaper, prisoners; level-up with Lord British (leave one companion at the hostel, if you are four already);
- Britain: none; re-visit the Shrine of Compassion;
- Paws: Francesca/Teresa, Smith the horse;
- Trinsic: 2 optional ones; purchase an extra bow; re-visit the Shrine of Honor (talk to Winthrop about the rune).
Talk to Lord British, and if the Stranger reaches level 4 (800 experience points), pirate ships will start appearing in the sea. If you lack the money to buy an extra bow in Trinsic (250 GP on computers and SMS, 680 GP on NES), purchase an extra sling in Britain instead.
At the end of this tour, you will end up in Trinsic. Incidentally, the next step requires to use the Trinsic moongate.
When the Stranger reaches level 4 (800 exp.), pirate ships start appearing on the sea.
Traveling by ship is far from convenient: if enemies drop any money, it sinks instantly into the sea. Furthermore, in the NES remake the cannonfire option was omitted.
In order to optimize time and gold, it is better to use the Moongates, instead of pirate ships, to visit the next two cities. Once there, a ship will be used just between the city and the shrine.
Shrine of Honesty
- Moongate travel
Leave Trinsic, pass the river to the south and wait near its mouth. The moongate appears when the left-hand moon is gibbous waning (i.e. after full moon). The moongate links to Moonglow at the time of the new moon, that is its second destination: the Companions will have the time to enter it even if they are a couple of steps away.
- Town of Moonglow
In the south-east, an old woman (Inoo) tells the Stranger about his/her ultimate quest: enter the Great Stygian Abyss and reach the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom.
Mariah the Mage is in the north-west portion of town. She is absolutely the best magic user in the game, and one of the two who can easily cast "Resurrect". Her strength is minimal, but she can still use two ranged weapons: the weakest sling and the most powerful magic wand.
In order to access the shrine a bearded mage (Tyrone) knows the shrine location; talk to the girl (Christen) and learn where is the rune (note: use the "search" command, not "get chest").
A white mage (Cosima) reveals the "Sleep" spell recipe.
In the NES remake the food shop is replaced by "Spells Unlimited", a service where new spells can be added to the party's spellbook. On the mainland and here in Moonglow you could learn four recipes already.
- Stronghold of the Lycaeum
It is optional right now, but you can visit the Lycaeum. Said stronghold of truth is on the same island as Moonglow, to the north-west.
In the NES remake, Nigel starts the "resurrection" spell thread, instead of completing it, and he directs the companions to Empath Abbey. The druid's (Palamar) telescope shows your advancement in each virtue as eight bright stars in a constellation shaped after Britannia and its shrines. In the locked library, a mage (Lord Terence) reveals the recipe for the "Negate magic" spell, whereas a druid (Swindrik from Trinsic) starts the thread about the mandrake root, skipping any pub and relaying the party straight to Calumny of Yew.
- Shrine of Honesty
The best spot where to wait for a pirate ship are along the west coast of Verity Isle; in fact, the south is full of shoals and the east coast is blocked by a reef.
Follow Tyrone's directions and sail straight north. Pass the small island with the dungeon, and land just north-west of it. Meditate at the shrine, return to Verity Isle, and leave the ship.
Moonglow moongate appears when the left-hand moon is new. In order to return to the mainland, wait for the right-hand moon to be crescent waxing (the gate's second destination), and the companions will travel to Britain.
Shrine of Valor
In Jhelom you will need several "Dispel Field" spells (as well as some "Cure Poison"). Before you go to Jhelom, go to the apothecary in Paws and/or Moonglow and purchase enough reagents for at least 10 "Dispel": garlic, ash, and black pearls (the moongate near Moonglow links straight to the island of Jhelom).
You will also need the magic key from the thieves guild shop in Vesper.
- Moongate travel
Travel to the moongate north-west from Yew; it appears when the left-hand moon is gibbous waxing. Enter the moongate when the right-hand moon is waxing half-moon (the gate's second destination).
- Town of Jhelom
Geoffrey the Fighter can be met in a locked room. He has low dexterity, a poor choice of ranged weapons, and no magic points. He is one of the two underpowered characters; since Katrina the shepherd is even less powerful than him, she should be recruited first, in order to compensate.
Talk to a fighter (Aesop) for the shrine location. The rune is more complicated. First, jimmy the lock of a door in the inn; look well, find a secret passage and reach the corridors that run under Jhelom. The restricted passages run in the basement floor, and in the NES remake energy fields can be crossed: resting at an inn is probably less expensive than the cost of the reagents for "Dispel". Also note a secret shortcut that runs under the city gates. You will eventually meet the ghost of Nostro, who reveals the location of the rune: in one of the four corners/towers.
Sill in Jhelom, leave a 100G tip at the pub, and the bartender (Celestial) will explain where and how to buy a sextant.
- Shrine of Valor
Wait outside of town until a pirate ship comes to receive a beating. Cross the strait, meditate, go back to the main Valarian island.
The Moongate of Jhelom links to other islands only; it appears when the left-hand moon is waxing half. Both remaining destinations can be reached directly from here, but let us go back to Britain Castle and talk to Lord British and Hawkwind. Step in the Jhelom moongate at its third phase (right-hand moon: new moon), and emerge near Moonglow. The moongate there appears when the right-hand moon is new moon, its second phase (right-hand moon: waxing crescent) links to Britain.
Multi-city shrine quests
Following the outline at the top, there are some reasons to recruit Katrina the Shepherd early, and some reasons to recruit Shamino the Ranger as the last one.
Shrine of Humility
Before traveling to Magincia ruins, make sure you have a stock of "cure poison" spells. Also, depart from Castle Britannia with a party of three: leave any fourth character to the castle hostel.
- Moongate travel
The moongate south of Trinsic links to Magincia ruins as soon as it appears (left: gibbous waning moon, right: waning crescent).
- Magincia ruins
In the ruins of Magincia, as usual, gather the companion after thoroughly exploring the place. In fact, there are plenty of poison marshes, and you could save a "Cure Poison" spell.
Katrina the Shepherd is the less powerful of all characters: low attributes, minimal choice of equipment, no magic points.
In the NES port, none of the dwellers give any hint about the rune or the shrine. On the other hand, a skeleton (Faultless) authorizes the companions to get the chests found in town; it is important to talk to it before opening the chests, or you will lose Virtue Points. The chests contain two items unique for the Shepherd: the robe, that is a good armor; and the sheep flute, that allows to cast "Sleep" without using any reagent or MP.
- Rune, mantra, silver horn
Enter the Magincia moongate as soon as it appears (left-hand moon: waning crescent, right-hand moon: gibbous waning), and the party will travel to Trinsic.
In the NES remake, the ranger in Paws (Barren) talks about a different rune, and the shepherd (Wheatpin) is in Vesper: move on!.
In the NES remake, the only characters who know everything you need about the shrine of humility are three shepherds in Vesper. One of them (Simple) knows the location of the shrine; a second one in a secret room (Servile) starts the thread about the silver horn; a third one (Wheatpin from Paws) reveals the location of the rune: it is in Paws.
In order to follow the plot, you should get a ship just south of Paws (where you just got the rune) and sail east to Buccaneer's Den. A pirate (Malchor) knows its location: an island north from Magincia ruins (actually, slightly to the west). Then, from the southern tip of the Den, sail east to Magincia island, and once there turn north to the "vineyard islet", where you should search for the horn.
- Shrine of Humility
Once you find the silver horn, sail east to Verity Isle and continue all the way south to the Abyss Island: the shrine of humility is located in the north gulf. Play the silver horn when you land on the dark island, meditate at the shrine, then sail back to mainland: the nearest direction is to the east.
Shrine of Spirituality
- Moongate travel
There are several convenient ways to reach Skara Brae. One is to get to the coast in front of the town island, south-west of Britain and north-west of Trinsic, and wait for a pirate ship to appear. It may be a long wait, but the land enemies will provide gold to compensate.
Another way is to travel to the moongate near Minoc. It will appear at the left-hand full moon, and it links to Skara Brae as its third phase (right-hand waning half-moon).
- Town of Skara Brae
Shamino the Ranger can be met near the city gates. He is a well-balanced character, maybe even too balanced. Either play as the ranger, or leave Shamino as the last companion. His bow skills are similar to those of Iolo.
When you enter Skara Brae, at first stay ouside the moat, go straight north and talk to Granted. She will direct you to Ambule and then Barren Junior, who knows the mantra of spirituality. Tell the mantra to the Ankh of Spirituality, and it will reveal the location of the rune and of the shrine.
In the NES remake, the Ankh reveals the location of the shrine, but it omits the rune location. It is a ranger in Paws (Barren Senior) who knows its location (instead of the rune of humility, as he did in the computer ports). They are the only two characters related to the shrine of spirituality.
The beggar out of the town gates (Barren) knows an ingredient for the Tremor spell. A woman in blue in the south-east (Dickens) talks about her brother (Romasco/Ramsel), who can be met in Buccaneer's Den. An injured man at the healer (Sebastian from Britain) relates Mondain's Skull and the pub in Buccaneer's Den.
- Rune and shrine of Spirituality
The moongate near Skara Brae connects to these towns, in order: Jhelom, Yew, Minoc. The best choice in order to avoid long backtracking is Yew. In the NES remake you are also supposed to stop in Paws and learn a clue from the ranger (Barren Senior).
Get the rune in the castle, as you were told, and continue to Minoc moongate. Enter it when two moons are full, meditate, leave, and save.
Incidentally, Romasco of Skara Brae set the Stranger on the next part of the quest...
Practicing the Virtues
- See also: Text transcript by subject #Virtues
For many of the following actions you must take 16 steps in the open world before you can earn credit again. For example, if you speak humbly to a man you earn credit for Humility; leave town, take 16 steps, then come back in town: you can then earn more credits by talking to the same man.
It is easy to lose progress on any of the virtues. However, gaining progress is much more difficult since you have to wait between attempts to get the full effect.
In the NES remake, townsfolk only are non-evil; out of towns, the distinction between evil and non-evil creatures was omitted. This is a relevant difference from Ultima 1-2-3, where fighting guards gave good experience rewards.
|Selfish actions |
|Honesty 1|| Take not the gold of others found in towns and castles, for yours it is not!
NES: Never steal in the townes or castles!
|Gold||-||Steal from chests: -1|
|Honesty 2|| Cheat not the merchants and peddlers, for it is an evil thing to do!
NES: Do not deceive the shopkeepers.
|Gold||Overpay reagent seller: +3
Pay reagent seller correctly: +2
|Underpay reagent seller: -10|
|Honesty 3|| Second, read the Book of Truth at the entrance to the Great Stygian Abyss!
NES: Open the Book of Truth at the gates of the Abyss!
|Compassion 1|| Kill not the non-evil beasts of the land and do not attack the fair people!
NES: Allow that which is not evil to flee thy wrath.
|Townsfolk||-||Fight non-evil enemies: -5|
|Compassion 2|| Give of thy purse to those who beg and thy deed shall not be forgotten!
NES: Give freely of thy wealth to those less fortunate.
|Gold||Give gold to beggars: +2||-|
|Compassion 3|| Third, light the Candle of Love at the entrance to the Great Stygian Abyss!
NES: Light the Candle of Love at the gates of the Abyss!
|Valor 1|| Victories scored over evil creatures help to build a valorous soul!
NES: Flee not from strife with that which is evil!
|Fight||Kill evil enemies: +1||-|
|Valor 2|| To flee from battle with less than grievous wounds often shows a coward!
NES: To flee uninjured from a just battle is cowardice!
|Fight||-||Flee from evil enemies: -2|
|Valor 3|| First, ring the Bell of Courage at the entrance to the Great Stygian Abyss!
NES: Ring the Bell of Courage at the gates of the Abyss!
|Justice 1|| To take the gold of others is injustice not soon forgotten. Take only thy due!
NES: Do not open another's chests uninvited!
|Gold||Pay reagent seller correctly: +2||Underpay reagent seller: -10 |
Steal from chests: -1
|Justice 2|| Attack not a peaceful citizen, for that action deserves strict punishment!
NES: Stir not strife among the peaceful!
|Townsfolk||-||Fight non-evil enemies: -3|
|Justice 3|| Kill not the non-evil beasts, for they deserve not death, even if in hunger they attack thee!
NES: Seek no quarrel with creatures not evil!
|Townsfolk||-||Fight non-evil enemies: -3|
|Sacrifice 1|| To give thy last gold piece unto the needy shows good measure of self-sacrifice!
NES: It is most noble to give if it doth costs thee thy last coin.
|Gold||Give all gold to beggars: +5||-|
|Sacrifice 2|| For thee to flee and leave thy companions is a self-serving action to be avoided!
NES: To flee and leave thy friends to fight is wicked.
|Fight||Stranger dies in battle: +1||Flee from evil enemies: -2|
|Sacrifice 3|| To give of thy life's blood so that others may live is a Virtue of great praise!
NES: Give of thy very life's blood, so that others may live.
|Dialogue||Give blood: +5||Refuse to give blood: -5|
|Honor 1|| Take not the gold of others, for this shall bring dishonor upon thee!
NES: A thief is but a begger without honor.
|Gold||Give gold to beggars: +3
Pay reagent seller correctly: +2
|Underpay reagent seller: -10 |
Steal from chests: -1
|Honor 2|| To strike first a non-evil being is by no means an honorable deed!
NES: To slay the innocent doth not show thy honor.
|Townsfolk||-||Fight non-evil enemies: -3|
|Honor 3|| Seek ye to solve the many quests before thee and Honor shall be a reward!
NES: Never turn away from a challenge, nor shirk a quest!
|Fight||Kill evil enemies: +1
Find some special items: +5
|Spirituality 1|| Seek ye to know thyself. Visit the seer often, for he can see into thy inner being!
NES: Visit the seer Hawkwind often, and learn of thy own Spirit!
|Dialogue||Speak with Hawkwind: +3||-|
|Spirituality 2|| Meditation leads to enlightenment. Seek ye all wisdom and knowledge!
NES: Meditation casts light upon the shadows of thy spirit.
|Dialogue||Meditate at a shrine: +3 per cycle||Say the incorrect mantra at a shrine: -3|
|Spirituality 3|| If thou dost seek the White Stone, search ye not under the ground, but in the sky near Serpent's Spine!
NES: The Great Mountain holds the white stone at its heart!
|Humility 1|| Claim not to be that which thou art not. Humble actions speak well of thee!
NES: Take no pride in thy deeds, for pride serves only the self.
|Dialogue||Answer humbly to some characters: +10||Answer proudly to some characters: -5|
|Humility 2|| Strive not to wield the Great Force of Evil, for its power will overcome thee!
NES: Wield never the power of Evil, for it shall destroy thee.
|Item||-||Use Mondain's Skull: all virtues reset to 0|
|Humility 3|| If thou dost seek the Black Stone, search ye at the time and place of the Gate on the darkest of all nights!
NES: The black stone doth appear on the night of the new moons. Search beneath the moongates!