Ultima Underworld II

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Aim of the Game

You control the Avatar of Britannia who, along with many of the realm's heroes, has been trapped inside Castle British by a giant sphere of blackrock, put in place by the evil Guardian. The main objective is to find a way to escape the castle by breaking the blackrock sphere. In the process the Avatar needs to visit eight alternate dimensions to discover clues on how to break the Guardian's spell:

  • World 1: Prison Tower
  • World 2: Killorn Keep
  • World 3: Ice Caverns
  • World 4: Talorus
  • World 5: Scintillius Academy
  • World 6: Pits of Carnage
  • World 7: Tomb of Praecor Loth
  • World 8: Ethereal Void

Listed here are the bare minimum quests that must be completed to finish the game. There are many more optional quests along the way that aren't mentioned - for more info on those, find a walkthrough.

There are three main quest streams that need to be completed before the endgame can be triggered. Along the way there are some other smaller quests which trigger events.

Main Quests

  • Find eight small blackrock gems (one from each alternate dimension), have the gems "treated" by Nystul (the castle's resident mage) and merge each small gem with the giant blackrock gem in the lower level of the castle sewers
  • Cut the Guardian's "lines of power" to the eight alternate dimensions by first assembling Altara's Rod and using it in each dimension in a place where the Guardian draws power
  • Trap an air daemon in the Avatar's body
    • Mix Basilisk Oil with Filanium mud (the mud is located in the Ice Caverns world, near the Yetis)
    • Bathe in the Filanium mud
    • Immerse the Avatar in lava to solidify the Filanium mud
    • Drink a potion of Iron Flesh (actually, casting the spell will do just fine, but it requires quite a high level)
    • Take a Djinn Bottle to the "Sigil of Binding" in the Ethereal Void and break the bottle in the centre. There are two ways to obtain a Djinn Bottle - from Zoranthus (after doing his quest) or from the purple room in the Ethereal Void

Sub Quests

  • Talk to Miranda about visiting another world - she mentions the servants are unhappy
    • Prerequisites: Obtain the Prison Tower gem
    • Triggers: Opens two more worlds: Killorn Keep and Ice Caverns

  • Obtain the Jeweled Dagger - the only weapon that can kill "The Listener"
    • Prerequisites:
      • In Killorn Keep, talk to Kintara and Lobar to gather answers for Mystell's questions
      • Talk to Mystell to convince her you are an ally of the Guardian
      • Talk to Altara about being an enemy of the Guardian
    • Triggers: Opens passage to "The Listener"

  • Kill "The Listener" - an Imp hiding in the Castle Sewers
    • Prerequisites:
      • Obtain Jeweled Dagger from Altara
      • Obtain the small blackrock gem from the Ice Caverns
    • Triggers: Lady Tory's murder

  • Talk to Miranda to learn of Lady Tory's murder
    • Prerequisites: Kill "The Listener"
    • Triggers: Opens three more worlds: Talorus, Scintillius Academy and Pits of Carnage

  • Assemble Altara'a Rod
    • Prerequisites:
      • Kill "The Listener"
      • Obtain the egg of a dread spider (from castle sewers)
      • Obtain the Amethyst Rod (from Talorus)
      • Obtain a Black Pearl (from Altara)
      • Talk to Altara and give her the three items above to make the rod
    • Triggers: Nothing, but allows the Avatar to cut the Guardian's "lines of power"

  • Kill Patterson after he murders Nelson
    • Prerequisites:
      • Merge the small blackrock gem from Talorus with the large blackrock gem
      • Obtain the small blackrock gem from Scintillus Academy
      • Talk with Zoranthus (from Pits of Carnage) about process of containing a Djinn
      • Talk to Miranda after all of the above
      • Talk to Nelson after talking to Miranda
    • Triggers: Opens final two worlds: Tomb of Praecor Loth and Ethereal Void

  • Obtain the Horn of Praecor Loth
    • Prerequisites: Access Tomb of Praecor Loth (Patterson must be dead)
    • Triggers: Nothing, but is one of the requirements for Nystul to prompt for details about Guardian's spell

  • Steal Mors Gotha's Spellbook from her room in Killorn Keep and give it to Nystul
    • Prerequisites: Trap air daemon in Avatar's body
    • Triggers: Nothing, but is one of the requirements for Nystul to prompt for details about Guardian's spell

  • Inform Nystul of the time and place of the original casting of the Guardian's spell
    • Prerequisites:
      • All 8 small blackrock gems treated by Nystul and merged with large blackrock gem
      • All 8 of Guardian's "lines of power" cut using Altara's rod
      • Supply Nystul with Mors Gotha's Spellbook
      • Obtain the Horn of Praecor Loth
    • Triggers: Mors Gotha storms the castle, Nystul moves to throne room

  • Kill Mors Gotha when she storms Castle British
    • Prerequisites: Inform Nystul about Guardian's spell
    • Triggers: Nystul will now actually start the ceremony when you talk to him in the throne room

  • Assist Nystul with the ceremony in the throne room
    • Prerequisites: Kill Mors Gotha in Castle British - if you kill her in Killorn Keep it doesn't count as she is saved by the Guardian
    • Triggers: Endgame sequence

Tricks and Glitches

Useful Tricks and Glitches

  • Dying while in an alternate dimension (i.e. through the big blackrock gem) makes the Avatar respawn in the gem room in the Castle Sewers
  • Destroying single-use magic items (like potions and scrolls) by throwing them against walls or shooting them with the Fireball spell turns them into debris which has the same enchantment as the original item but can be used unlimited times
  • Using "Easy Move" keys (SHIFT+WASDX) moves or turns the Avatar in discrete amounts rather than the normal smooth motion. It also has the following useful effects:
    • It is faster than normal movement in many situations - especially when swimming
    • It causes time to pass more quickly and makes the "item usage delay" time out faster, allowing scrolls and potions (and debris) to be used more frequently
    • It causes monsters to move and attack faster. This is useful in a lot of situations, especially to commit suicide
  • Projectiles are frozen in mid-air when Freeze Time is active. Running into the projectile is a fast way to commit suicide (to respawn in the gem room)
  • When loading a game, there are a couple of useful glitchy things that happen:
    • The "item usage delay" is reset, allowing firing of attack spells in quick succession (fire attack spell, save, load, fire attack spell, etc)
    • The momentum currently applied to the Avatar at the point of loading the game carries over to the loaded game. This means you can jump to any height by doing the following:
  1. Jump to maximum height ("Leap" spell is useful here)
  2. Save at peak height
  3. Jump again but immediately load game - momentum carries over, giving an extra boost upwards immediately after loading game
  4. To jump to any height, repeat steps 2-3
    • The large blackrock gem switches facets every 8 seconds. This seems to stay constant regardless of whether you load or save a game in between. It's possible to abuse this by loading the game right before it switches over, hoping that it will switch to the desired world right after loading the game
  • It's possible to move towards the large blackrock gem in one game, then load a game at a precise moment before entering and have the loaded game enter the target world. This means that potentially you could do the following:
    • Save a game right at the beginning in the castle
    • Play the game most of the way through to get access to all worlds
    • Move towards the Ethereal Void gem facet, then load the saved game at the beginning in the castle - this will teleport the starting character to the Ethereal void instantly, without even exiting the Avatar's room
    • Unfortunately, this would mean that SDA would also count both of these games in the total time, so not that useful in a real speedrun.

Bad Glitches

  • Avoid talking to the servants - if you are not super-nice they start a strike and this takes time to resolve. In early versions of the game there was also a chance that the strike would glitch out and never end, making the game unwinnable
  • When Mors Gotha storms the castle, if there is a female guard wearing green in the corridor outside Nystul's room, MG fails to appear making the game unwinnable. To prevent this, either push the guard down the hall towards the throne room, or go down a level and back up to reset her location
  • Sometimes the Vorz in the Ethereal Void purple room can bump into the Djinn Bottle and make it disappear

Spell Guide

Portal - Vas Ex Ylem

The Portal spell is one of the most useful speedrunning spells in the game. Once obtained, the spell allows the Avatar to pass through every locked door in the game, as well as most walls of single-square thickness. There are a huge number of shortcuts that this unlocks which may not be immediately obvious. Using a map viewer like "uw2ed.exe" by Alistair Brown is a good way to find these shortcuts.

Here are some basic observations about the game rules which govern how the spell works:

  1. The spell places the Avatar in the centre of the square which is two squares in front of the Avatar's currently occupied square, where the "currently occupied square" is the square which contains the Avatar's centre of mass
  2. It only moves the Avatar in the direction of the 8 main compass points - if facing a different angle then it is rounded off to the nearest 45 degrees
  3. Casting Portal in a diagonal direction (NE, SE, SW or NW) will move the Avatar two squares horizontally and two squares vertically - for example, casting the spell while facing NE will move the Avatar two squares East and two squares North
  4. If the destination square is more than a single step higher than the Avatar's current height, the spell will fail - a "single step" is the normal step size limit which the Avatar can move directly onto without needing to jump
  5. If the destination square contains a wall in any part of the square (even diagonally) the spell will fail
  6. After casting, the Avatar is moved to the same height as the floor - bridges do not count and the spell will always move the Avatar underneath a bridge
  7. The spell can place the Avatar in the middle of a teleport square without triggering it - any movement will subsequently trigger the teleportation, but a second portal spell will not

Jump - Uus Por

This spell is very useful because it allows the Avatar to jump much higher than normal, making some extra shortcuts possible. It can be cast very early in the game (second circle, requires experience level 3) and in the absence of the Levitate or Fly spells, which are only available in scroll form towards the end of the game on worlds 7 and 8, it is the only way of reaching certain heights to take advantage of certain shortcuts. Even when the Fly spell is available, the Jump spell can give a nice quick boost to reach a high altitude compared to the slow "float upwards" movement.

Useful Links

Ultima Underworld II - Item List

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