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RPGWatch Forums » Games » Indie RPG » U5: Lazarus

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October 23rd, 2006, 18:03
Howdy folks!

Read the article about this game and decided to go buy Dungeon Siege and install this mod. I played DS2 and enjoyed it, but never bothered with the original game. I've read through the Lazarus manual but it seems to be more of a history setup than a "how to" manual. Hoping to get some help here for several questions.

1. What is the fastest way to cast a spell? The method I've found so far is to open the book, add several spells to the spell bar and then the first one chosen ends up in your quick slots with your weapons. If I click on that spell nothing seems to happen. A double click fires the spell but selecting a character's portrait doesn't seem to do anything. I have to actually find the character's hot spot on the screen before the healing spell goes off. This is very slow and cumbersome. There's got to be a quicker way…..

2. Iolo has a crossbow and a main guache. If I equip the guache he never seems to use his crossbow anymore. Do I have to switch between melee and ranged for each character? Is there any combat AI at all for npcs?

3. At the start of the game you are given two choices by your companions. I chose to go west. This takes you to Empath Abbey where it seems to goal is to talk to 10-15 people who are only awake for about 14 hours a day. Do I need to find a bed every 10-12 minutes to sleep between 8 pm and 6 am? Should I turn the game speed to its slowest setting? Days are passing quite quickly. Does the game ever take off? I'm trying to stay interested here, but if the game is 90% talking I'm gonna get bored fast. This isn't 1985 anymore.

4. The game hasn't recorded anything in my journal at all. I've read a little about having to take notes. Do I need to start writing down everything? If so, no wonder people claim the game takes hundreds of hours. You'll spend 50% of your time completely outside of the game, which would totally ruin any immersion.

5. I'm close enough to the beginning to start over. I think I chose a mage as my Avatar. Are reagants fairly easy to find as you explore? I'm wondering if a mage character is the best choice for the Avatar, or if I should play as a paladin instead.
Even though I'm a mage, I already have chain mail and a sword. Will my mage be able to wear heavy armor? It's been soooooo long since the Ultima days. I'm really not sure if I can go back, but I want to give the game a few days and see if it grows on me.

6. Is there a good mode to lock the camera in? Having to move the camera constantly to get a good view is EXTREMELY annoying. Stairs are a complete nightmare.
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October 24th, 2006, 02:39
1. Been a while since I finished - I remember the spell casting to be a bit awkward, but not overly so. There is a more simple way to cast, but the manner eludes me right now.

2. You do need to switch between ranged and melee, though some of the AI auto settings may do some of this for you, I always found it better to do it manually.

3. This is a full blown CRPG, and yes there is quite a bit of talking. If you need more stimulus and less dialogue you might try Oblivion. I am not sure what 1985 has to do with it: are you associating a populated CRPG world in which one has to investigate matters and speak to people in something other than five word sound bites as outdated?

I generally ran around doing things with the game speed set at .6 or .7 in order not to let the day pass me by too quickly. There is a sleeping roll you can buy in any major town that permits you to camp outside town so as to miss the hours when shops close. That said, while there are many, many people with whom one must speak (if you can find them), the abbeys keeps and castles tend to have the highest concentrations of people.

4. You are correct that you have to take all notes yourself. If you want to play U5you will need a thick notebook and a good real world organizational system to keep track of multi-part quests, traders, important locations etc etc. I landed my party's boat to walk to a dungeon, and I forgot to mark the spot, and now several real world weeks later I cannot find the damn thing.

You may not find this to your taste, and it may break immersion for you. For others, however, this is the bread and butter of a hard core CRPG.

5. Once can find reagents here and there, but if you have spell casters, you will have to explore the world and take notes on who sells what and where they are located.

6. I move the camera all the time, and have even downloaded a patch that permits the once to have even more camera angles, as I find the current ones too limiting.
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October 24th, 2006, 04:22
Love the game in all its glorious RPG convention taboos of today. Just some observations:

NO AUTOMAP
Learn the lay of the land. Nice that they give you an in-game static map though. I didn't have that luxury in Ultima IV. Name drops like Locke Lake, Fens of the Dead, and Spiritwood were hard to figure out without looking at a map. Not in this game though. Road signs are your friend.

NO JOURNAL
Hope you have a notepad. A cubic fuckton of stuff mentioned in the game by NPCs could have the potential to be really important for quests, places of interest, plot points, etc. Nothing is recorded for you by the game. I got pages of notes!

ALL NPCS ARE NAMED
Some modern RPGs only name important quest centric NPCs, but not in Ultima, everyone has a name, a background, and a story to tell. Best to just chat it up with everybody.

MUST EAT FOOD
This creates an interesting mechanic where one must actually prepare enough rations for the dungeon decent or one might find oneself at the bottom of the dungeon starving to death. Being near towns means access to food is always close by.

NPC SCHEDULES
Some modern RPGs have this, but in U5, it can't be ignored. NPC schedules is pretty big. Some NPCs will only talk about certain things at certain times. Quests and events will only occur at certain times. If an NPC gives you a time and a place, you can't just show up whenever. You're on the clock. Plus you gotta know when which shops are open. Nothing is accessible 24 hours a day. No 7-11's in Britannia.

NO SPOON FEEDING
What I mean by this is story. The story doesn't cram itself down your throat like most modern RPGs. Quite the contrary. You discovery the story! Talking to NPCs, learning what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen in Britanna depending on what you do during your interactions with NPCs and your actions in the gameworld. Other than the intro prologue that merely sets the stage, it's up to you to engage the world that is Britanna. Only with a missing king, an oppressive replacement, and the Shadowlords!!!
Last edited by roguefrog; October 24th, 2006 at 04:36.
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October 24th, 2006, 05:56
R clicking on an NPC's portrait casts the spell on them. Use the icons in the top left to swap weapons etc. It's limited by the DS engine. Reagents are easy to find, but I only use spells a little in U5. It's OLD SKULE, so you have to do everything yourself; it's certainly not Oblivion!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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October 24th, 2006, 16:25
Yep, learned that the hard way last night. The thing I'm missing the most is the quest tracker. In a game as large as this one, not having an in-game journal is a massive pain in the gluteals I'm not sure if I can tolerate this or not. I wandered the land around Empath Abbey with a group of five. In 30 minutes of wandering, I didn't come up with a single "item of interest" in the gameworld. It is almost totally empty of anything except random encounters. Am I just in the worst spot in the gameworld or is the whole thing empty? Is this Dungeon Lords?

There is an automap, roguefrog They added it in a patch.

I wanna like this game. I loved the original and replayed it over and over. I'm gonna keep plugging away and hope that it grabs my interest.
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October 24th, 2006, 19:37
One of the big differences between UV Lazarus and the original is the way of moving between locations. In the original one moved and if there was an encounter one went to the tactical map. In UV Lazarus the producers reproduced a full to-scale world, so one actually has to cover terrain in a way that one did not have to in the original. This does change the feel of the game, and there is a lot of space. They did add mini-dungeons and some encounters that were not in the original to spice things up, but there are a lot of strictly random encounters. To me the whole world feels more dark, alive and dangerous, but I can see that everyone may not think so.

But as empty as DL!! Let us not exaggerate ;-)) That would be pretty damned empty.
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October 24th, 2006, 19:55
Originally Posted by Tauschitz View Post
But as empty as DL!! Let us not exaggerate ;-)) That would be pretty damned empty.
Hey - the 5 NPC's in outside of Fargrove emailed me and told me they take issue with that!

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October 24th, 2006, 20:50
Originally Posted by Tauschitz View Post
. To me the whole world feels more dark, alive and dangerous, but I can see that everyone may not think so.

But as empty as DL!! Let us not exaggerate ;-)) That would be pretty damned empty.
Why dangerous? So far, and that's not saying much, I'm getting monsters one or two at a time against my 5 character party. Not much of a challenge, even when I went up and fought an ettin. I took the two who can join from the Abbey along with the two companions who start the game with you. It seems like my strategy is to wade in with Tinker and the Avatar, while Bard and Empath NPC use ranged.
Ranger heals Avatar, who makes sure to engage before Tink to keep valor/courage up.

I used classes instead of names, so as not to spoil anything…
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October 24th, 2006, 23:07
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
There is an automap, roguefrog They added it in a patch.
I'm playing the latest version 1.2 which has no automap.
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October 24th, 2006, 23:09
Ahh, my bad. I used a community mod to "beef up" the monsters; so in my game they are pretty frickin' dangerous, and with a lot of varients.

Sorry!
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October 25th, 2006, 01:40
Head on up to Yew and have a few interactions there and grab a couple of quests!! Then stroll down to Britania. There's heaps to do.

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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October 25th, 2006, 02:51
Yes, to Corwin you listen. Yew and Britania are key locations in the beginning of the game, hence why each are mentioned by Iolo and Shamino at the start. Visit both! I personally lean towards Shamino's advice (he took a Shadowlord arrow for you!) and headed off to Yew myself, despite Iolo's disclaimer. (of course first stopping at the Abbey along the way to pick up Julia and catch wind of a few quests!)
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October 25th, 2006, 05:06
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
Hey - the 5 NPC's in outside of Fargrove emailed me and told me they take issue with that!
;-))

They were probably together for a fertility meeting - how to get the reproduction rate from .00 to 2.4 in the world of DL! Looks like quite a lot of government incentives will be needed ….
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October 25th, 2006, 16:57
@Roguefrog. Try hitting the Tab key next time you play U5 Lazarus. You'll be amazed. I should point out an automap is not the same as a minimap. An automap shows your location in the world when you pull it up. A minimap is a little screen in the corner that is a small piece of the automap. You can move on the automap as well. It makes traveling over areas you've already uncovered a snap
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October 25th, 2006, 18:05
That is really just a birds-eye cam though(classic ultima perspective). What I mean by automap, is something that is SEPERATE from the game perspectives. You know, those nifty things that "automatically map" the world/dungeon/etc out for you as you move through it.

Minimap is similar, but that term is mostly used for the small map of the entire map in RTS games.
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October 25th, 2006, 18:17
Hmm, well we'll have to disagree. I find the key that's labeled Automap to be exactly what you described. It is totally seperate from the game perspective. It is a map, with houses, treasures, foes, etc listed on it. If I hit alt and then view the map it conveniently shows me all treasure that has dropped from foes. If I need to quick travel, I open the map and click in the direction I want to travel. My party moves that directions and the map "auto" fills in the black areas I haven't been to as I explore it. Yours must work differently

It's all good though. We're both having fun, although I'm going to stop playing if the exploration and combat doesn't start to take a major role. Games that are more talk than explore/fight/treasure hunt bore me to death. British may be dying. If my wife had been kidnapped, I wouldn't waste time grocery shopping, talking to friends on the phone about their troubles, etc. I'd be totally focused on what was necessary to free her.
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October 25th, 2006, 20:24
You can focus on combat/exploration in Lazarus if you want. Although you still need words of power to gain access to the dungeons. That requires town visits.
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October 25th, 2006, 22:03
Do we still need runes and mantras as well? I remember those from one of the Ultima games. I thought stones were needed for moongate operation as well, but it's been over a decade since I played these games. Those brain cells have died
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October 25th, 2006, 22:18
You don't need to know the mantras or have the runes in U5 as far as I can tell. Both are needed in U4. You can still learn the mantras in U5 if you haven't played U4. Although from a story perspective this makes no sense because the Avatar should know all the mantras like the back of his hand. Still they allow you to type them in if you already know them opposed to selecting an option. Not the case for Words of Power since the Avatar has no way of knowing them prior to U5. The runes are at the shrines.
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October 25th, 2006, 22:57
U5 Lazarus is great, crpg of the year for me (so far) barely edging out Oblivion which is also great.
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