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Hey All,

Another question from someone trying to find all the clues in game without resorting to a simple FAQ answer.

I've found people in various towns who have given me detailed information about where to find special items: the location of Mondain's skull is one example (exact coordinates and moon phases are given), and nightshade is another (I'm told where and when to get that, too).

However, I can't find anyone who will give me exact instructions about when and where to find Mandrake. One character gives me a rough place to look, but since I did look things up in a FAQ for this one, I know that he doesn't tell me WHEN to look.

This might sound ridiculous, but I'd love to know how people found out where and WHEN to look for mandrake without referring to some kind of walk-through. I don't have any clues about who else to ask and I'm beginning to think that you just had to get lucky to find it. There have been a few instances where secret passages and hidden characters have frustrated me, but once I know about them, the game obviously provides the clues I need to continue. I'm totally lost here, though.

And that makes me wonder: how many of you were able to complete this game without looking up hints or clues online/in a guide? I wouldn't think to write down a lot of what some people in this game say, but it's clear you need to know almost everything everyone tells you, including how the various virtues connect to each other. I'm about to go dungeon diving once I put together enough spells, but I have to admit that I'm still a little confused about how the stones are going to work with the altar rooms, and whether I have enough info to use them correctly. I think I've asked everyone I can about the stones, and I've gotten a few very good clues, but I'm still a little lost.

Anyways, thanks for any answers/clues/help.
Post edited May 28, 2012 by lcaldwell04
Oh, err...

I can't remember whether it was mandrake, nightshade, or both, but for at least one of them you needed to search at midnight.
You are told where to find both Mandrake and Nightshade. Nightshade can be found in two different spots, and Mandrake only in one spot, IIRC. I don't remember who gives the clues, though.

I almost completed Ultima IV 20+ years ago. The only thing that stomped me was the final question. :-(
Hrmm.

With nightshade, someone definitely tells you where and when to get; they even give you coordinates and say something about finding it "on the darkest night."

For mandrake, you're given a rough location, which is fine because the clue is enough to make at least one location obvious, but I've yet to find anyone who can tell me WHEN to find mandrake (during which moon phases). I think I could find the mandrake location on my own, but I don't know if I could figure out WHEN to look on my own.

I've been caught by a couple of things in this game so far. One of them was because I hadn't found a hidden character in Lord British's castle. Once I ran into him, I was able to proceed (he tells you who to ask about the bell, book, and candle). Everything else has turned up in conversation elsewhere, but you have to be EXTRA thorough with note-taking and question asking. I was surprised to find out I'd missed a few integral clues simply because I hadn't answered "Yes" to someone's question (I was afraid my honesty was going to be affected!).

I think I've figured out the final question - the people in Cove hint at it big time, and then once you become 8 parts avatar, the answer seems to stick out. I'm more worried about getting the stones bit right. I've kind of worked out each dungeon's connection to each town, but decoding the altars is going to take some extra work. Only one person has told me exactly what to do in one of the altar rooms, everyone else has given me hints, but not the complete stone combo.

I'd love to know how other people played, though. I definitely needed some "starting guide" hints to get me going. There's a lot to the gameplay that simply isn't obvious unless you pour over the manuals and the quick reference cards. Peer Gems make parts of the game SO much easier, for example, as does knowing who is willing to join your party. Since people won't always mention it, it's not always easy knowing who can come along on your quest. Having some info about which weapons are stronger doesn't hurt either. The manual tells you that druids love maces, for instance, but they're much better when equipped with a crossbow or better!
Post edited May 29, 2012 by lcaldwell04
Some tips:

IIRC Mandrake can be picked at the Battle Plain (or something like that) at midnight.

The Avatar needs to be lvl 8 in order to assemble a party of 8. A lesser party will not be allowed to enter the Abyss. So the Avatar needs to make enough kills. You also get XP from finding artifacts, I've been told, and some artifacts can be found more than once.

There are only 8 people who can join you, one in each town, but the one from the town representing the Avatar's virtue/class can't join.

Mystic Arms are the best armours, and Magic Axes are the best weapons.
Post edited May 30, 2012 by PetrusOctavianus
Just to jump in with a clarification: The references to "midnight" in this thread are irrelevant for Ultima IV, since there's no time-of-day function in that game. (That wouldn't be added until V.)

Think of "midnight" as the time when both moons are new.
I think I just assumed 'well if you get nightshade when both moons are new, maybe that works for mandrake too!'

These old games didn't just spoon feed you what to do like modern games, a lot of the time you really had to think about it and make logic leaps yourself. Ahhh, the good old days! :)
I don't mind it that the answers aren't given directly, but I was suspicious because, with enough investigation, the game tells you A LOT. Anyway, loving this. Dungeon diving, now and trying to map everything myself.
I seem to remember having read in the actual paper book that came with the game that Mandrake was found at night also.

As for whether anyone has actually won the game without cheating... well, yes and no. I played 100% of the game from start to finish without one single cheat except for one last itty bitty thing in the end that I couldn't figure out. (I even figured out that the mantra for pride was humility spelled backward, on my own)

I couldn't figure out how to become an avatar in humility. Thing is, I answered every single question twice, both yes and no, searching for clues all throughout, and had no idea nor indication that I was losing humility just by answering some questions the wrong way.

Other than that one thing, yeah.... I won the game start to finish on my own with zero clues.
If it's the one question I'm thinking of then the answer is given when you obtain enlightenment by meditating at each shrine. Those runes you see aren't random...
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PetrusOctavianus: Some tips:

IIRC Mandrake can be picked at the Battle Plain (or something like that) at midnight.

The Avatar needs to be lvl 8 in order to assemble a party of 8. A lesser party will not be allowed to enter the Abyss. So the Avatar needs to make enough kills. You also get XP from finding artifacts, I've been told, and some artifacts can be found more than once.

There are only 8 people who can join you, one in each town, but the one from the town representing the Avatar's virtue/class can't join.

Mystic Arms are the best armours, and Magic Axes are the best weapons.
Getting all the quest items (once) leaves the stranger 800xp below level 8. Those kills he'll get almost automatically during the course of the game.

And if price is an indicator of quality, than magic plate is better than mystic robes (although the plate can only be worn by paladins) and magic wands and magic bows are better than magic axes. magic axes are the best weapon in Ultima V, IIRC. Not in Ultima IV. Although your tinker would still use one, because she can not use magic wands or magic bows.
Post edited September 02, 2013 by xy2345
I remember playing Ultima IV for weeks when it first came out in the 1980s, and finding the Nightshade and Mandrake harvesting spots was one of the highlights of the whole experience. Not only is it a great, unstated quest, but the reward of in-game power makes all the effort worth it.
Post edited September 05, 2013 by UniversalWolf
One of the proudest moments of my 12 year old life was finishing this game - without a single cheat or walkthrough. I wouldn't even know where to get help on a game back in 1985. I even finished the game without ever finding mandrake root. The manual made it clear that nightshade had to be searched at the new moons but nowhere in the manual or game did it ever say that mandrake root also had to be searched at that time. I knew the spots they would be and searched almost every square inch of poison in the game but never thought to search at the new moons.
The location of mandrake requires you to have read a bit of the game's reference materials, since they describe the locations of Britannia that aren't otherwise mentioned in the game.

** semi-spoilers below **

One trick I used to abuse for getting mandrake without getting poisoned was to lure and kill an enemy on the spot where mandrake spawns. Leave the chest behind and the map square isn't considered poisonous anymore and you can search with impunity.
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xy2345: And if price is an indicator of quality, than magic plate is better than mystic robes (although the plate can only be worn by paladins) and magic wands and magic bows are better than magic axes. magic axes are the best weapon in Ultima V, IIRC. Not in Ultima IV. Although your tinker would still use one, because she can not use magic wands
agreed completely, except Tinkers can use the Magic Bow. (which raises the question of why bother with the ultima IV axe, other than enjoying the 'returning animation' or just because it's 500g less than the bow.
i remember always wanting magic crossbows during IV.

ETA: just saw in another thread that the attack power of the magic axe is nearly double that of a magic bow (156 vs 80). i would say the lower price is because fewer classes can use it - but that wouldn't explain the outrageous price of magic plate...
Post edited December 01, 2013 by yulwei