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 Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Alexander (---.ri.ri.cox.net)
Date:   02-11-17 00:25

I'm a decent way through Serpent Isle with the most recent SI Fixes mod, and I can't remember if I had played through with this mod before, or just with Exult. If I had, it was years and years ago.

Anyway, I love SI Fixes, and just wanted to mention a few things I noticed while playing through, good and bad. I tried my best to remember which changes were in vanilla Exult and which ones weren't:

Good:

Party formations - I like how the party isn't lockstep like it was in the original game, nor does it have the "loose" formation I've seen elsewhere while playing both Ultima 7 games through Exult. It's a happy medium I like.

Scenes - These are so much better now, not nearly as glitchy. I had all sorts of problems playing through the original SI, especially with the Knight's Banquet. Most of the scenes play perfectly, with one small exception listed below.

Original Bugs - I tried talking to the ghosts and double-clicking the Fire Pillar to see if they still had those glitches. Both are now gone.

Items List - The List of recovered items is also much better. Nearly everything is described correctly, and re-written at the plot-appropriate moment. Again, there's only one or two exceptions listed below.

Animations - I notice people make their beds almost immediately after waking up. It doesn't matter much, but it's a nice touch.

Bad:

Party formations - One small nitpicky problem I noticed is how one of the party members will get "stuck" while walking, looking in the complete wrong direction while doing so. It looks a little odd, but is otherwise fine - they still walk without any problems.

Items List - Almost everything works fine here, except the filari is never listed (I took great care not to spend it), and Luther's shield is never updated, just showing the "inexpensive shield" text, long after I've exchanged shields with him.

Scenes - The only scene that gives me problems is the one in Dungeon Freedom when Lorthondo turns the guy into a bone dragon. This scene never happens, and Lorthondo just stands there. He comes back later when he should, so it doesn't break the game, but it was still odd, since I've never seen this have problems before. Fawn Tower also never gets cleaned up, despite the Readme saying it will.

Smith - Smith's character portrait in the Dream Realm is, for some reason, one of the ghost/dead character portraits you see when having a seance with Mortegro or talking to the King of the White Dragon.

Spells - All the spells that have "Ex Por" incorrectly listed still have it - the mantra hasn't changed. The Fire Snake spell not only doesn't work at all, the Avatar makes no motion or obvious attempt to even cast it, and the only way I can tell it was tried is that the mana & reagents are depleted.

Pocketwatch - I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to get Shamino to set it to a 24-hour watch - there appear to be no options for this.

I'm in the Frozen North (close to the Spinebreaker part of the game), so I'll post any additional oddities I notice. But overall I'm very happy with SI Fixes. :-)

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Knight Captain 
Date:   02-11-17 00:58

Thank you! Marzo and others have put a lot of work into this.

Party Formations - This is an Exult issue, not specific to SI Fixes.

Item List - The strange silver baubles appear on my list.

Scenes - Lorthondo's throne room was okay here. It would be cool if he casted spells though.

Smith - This is an unfixed original bug. We could use some artwork for it.

Spells - This makes me think you don't have the latest copy of SI Fixes. These worked as expected here.

Pocketwatch - It should be a conversation option with Shamino, nothing else to configure.

I have more than a few minor fixes coming, so please report what else you find.

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Knight Captain 
Date:   02-11-17 01:00

Holy weakness, both the Ice Dragons and Bone Dragons use no-harm telekinesis-like attacks. It makes they way, way too easy.

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Knight Captain 
Date:   02-11-17 01:07

You may be right on the Lorthondo scene. I'm seeing some odd blocking by the carpet shapes there with a Z level of 4. That shouldn't be the case.

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Knight Captain 
Date:   02-11-17 01:13

It looks like that odd telekinesis shape was hitting the carpet and raising it, but I can't recreate it.

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Alexander (---.ri.ri.cox.net)
Date:   02-11-17 15:42

I tried re-downloading and installing SI Fixes, just to make sure I had the latest version. Still no changes. I was pretty sure I already had the latest version, as I downloaded it after November, when I see the last update was released.

To be specific on the Lothondo scene, the other guy never shows up - his sprite isn't there. Lorthondo is just sitting in his chair looking at an empty room.

Another thing I forgot to mention was finding the Avatar's companions after escaping Freedom. Everyone is where they should be, but Dupre is sitting in mid-air at the Blue Boar Inn (near the stage).

With the Smith portrait, I remember in the original game he simply didn't have a portrait at all, just the dialogue text. Is it possible to re-create that, or would you need a different portrait?

I saved the game at pretty much all these points, so I'd be happy to post screenshots of the bugs if that would help. :-)

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Gotcha (---.adsl.xs4all.nl)
Date:   02-11-17 17:38

Smith the horse is normally not reachable in the Dream Realms though, unless I missed something. So that could have been the reason why they never bothered with making a portrait.
If you play without cheating you don't have access to Unlock Magic in the Dream Realm.

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Alexander (---.ri.ri.cox.net)
Date:   02-11-17 18:08

You can still speak to him, when walking around on the walls of Rabindrinath's castle. He's hanging out there, in one of the side areas. He has quite a bit of dialogue, and gives you hints to The Black Gate and Martian Dreams. FYI I never cheat in SI (or any Ultimas for that matter, unless there's a game-breaking bug).

In fact I remember in the original game, he spoke to you automatically if you came within a certain distance. When playing through it just now, I had to double-click on him for the dialogue to start.

I wouldn't mind if he could be changed back to the non-portrait Smith, it's just seeing him with the dead human ghost portrait is kind of weird.

For a brief moment, I thought maybe someone put in a reference to Smith and all the horses being killed in Ultima 9, before quickly remembering Smith's portrait in SI Fixes has a human skeleton.

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Gotcha (---.adsl.xs4all.nl)
Date:   02-11-17 18:34

I remember never being able to double-click him when standing on the wall (greeted by a cross and a beep), but I could be wrong. My memory is not what it used to be. x_x

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Alexander (---.ri.ri.cox.net)
Date:   02-11-17 19:36

Ah yes, one more post-Freedom thing I just now remembered involved Mosh.

I tried searching all over Moonshade to find her so I could give her the fish, talk to Columna and get the harp that will put the Rat Men to sleep. I went to all her usual hangouts (near Bucia's, the Artisan's Bazaar, and her home) and couldn't find her anywhere.

Finally I started searching the more unusual areas in town, and found her just sitting in the chair at Flindo's house (the SE house, right near Mortegro's). It was very strange, and I've never seen her there before. Not sure if this ever happens in Exult, but I thought I'd mention it.

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Dominus 
Date:   02-11-17 21:46

Hmm, there is something wrong - I just need to find out what. Because SI Fixes does behave differently for me. For example the Shamino - Pocketwatch thing just works.
Can you make sure that you are actually using the latest version of SI fixes? Sure you downloaded it but have you extracted it to the right place?
In the location of your SI game, what date does the usecode file have in /mods/sifixes/data/ ?

Because Shamino not offering the time dialog option is a sure sign that you are *not* using the correct usecode file.

--
Read the documentation and the FAQ are your friends! There is no excuse for not reading them! RTFM
Read the Rules!
We do not support Piracy/Abandonware/Warez!

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Alexander (---.ri.ri.cox.net)
Date:   02-11-17 22:08

You got me! Turns out I had two "Sifixes" folders, one inside the other. I followed the Readme instructions a bit too literally, it seems.

Anyway, not only does the Shamino watch work now, the "SI Fixes" comes up on the title screen too.

Thanks for your help! I just have to start the game over now...

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Dominus 
Date:   02-11-17 22:15

Yes, unfortunately you have to start over. Your game is just badly broken now :(

At least the Smith portrait is a real Exult bug (not only SI fixes). Spells, pocketwatch time, bone dragon and most likely the missing items list are all working correctly with a good version. Dupre might still sit in the air, though.

--
Read the documentation and the FAQ are your friends! There is no excuse for not reading them! RTFM
Read the Rules!
We do not support Piracy/Abandonware/Warez!

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Alexander (---.ri.ri.cox.net)
Date:   02-11-17 22:35

Well, after playing through it from the beginning for 5 minutes, I can safely say both the pocketwatch and the items list work perfectly now so far.

Not only are the filari now listed, but so is the bear skull, which updates now that I've found Shamino's magic bow.

I'll keep playing through and let you know if any of the glitches I saw before are still there, or if everything is fixed. :-)

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: KC (---.sub-174-192-4.myvzw.com)
Date:   02-12-17 04:33

I'll have to check Smith's usecode out. His NPC number is the same as the ghost face.

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Knight Captain 
Date:   02-12-17 10:12

Smith doesn't have his own Usecode, he's embedded in the Nightmare's shape code. You can go to any Nightmare (or spawn one) and set his schedule to TALK. But in doing so, any Nightmare other than Smith will show the Guardian!

UI_show_npc_face0(FACE_GUARDIAN, 0);

If Smith does not show a face in the original game, it would be due to Exult handling faces just a little differently. It uses the same-number face if one is not supplied.

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Alexander (---.ri.ri.cox.net)
Date:   02-12-17 14:05

So does this mean we'd have to supply a portrait of Smith, or else be content with him looking like a human ghost?

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Dominus 
Date:   02-12-17 14:09

no, it means that someone needs to fix our code...

--
Read the documentation and the FAQ are your friends! There is no excuse for not reading them! RTFM
Read the Rules!
We do not support Piracy/Abandonware/Warez!

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Alexander (---.ri.ri.cox.net)
Date:   02-12-17 14:48

Just noticed something slightly wonky when playing through.

When talking to Shazzanna for the second time, she asks "What is thy business with me, Knight?", and I haven't even taken the Knight's Test yet.

Everything else is fine, almost nobody (including her) will talk to me if I ask them their duties. I can't remember if this was in Exult or in the original game, either.

Surely the dialogue can be tweaked just to remove the word "Knight" until passing the Knight's Test?

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Knight Captain 
Date:   02-12-17 18:40

This is in the original code. Maybe having "stranger" instead would fit?

Also, one of her training barks is different if Spektor has admitted his crimes.

Keep the bug reports coming!

@Dominus, can you check the non-expansion version of SI for the Smith face behavior? It looks like his face is set to the ghost in SI+SS when checking via ES.

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Knight Captain 
Date:   02-12-17 18:58

Shazzana has variable code for using stranger or Knight but the variable is not called in conversation:

Quote:

var0002 = "stranger";
if (gflags[AVATAR_IS_KNIGHT])
var0002 = "Knight";


So this is absolutely fixable.

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Dominus 
Date:   02-12-17 19:29

I can do that.. perhaps... need to find my full original. All I have directly are the data files

--
Read the documentation and the FAQ are your friends! There is no excuse for not reading them! RTFM
Read the Rules!
We do not support Piracy/Abandonware/Warez!

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Alexander (---.ri.ri.cox.net)
Date:   02-12-17 19:34

Also, I do remember way back in original SI, if you killed Selina in Spinebreaker, resurrected her and talked to her (I believe after Batlin's death), there would be an endless conversation loop of her saying "I want to be alone" as she mourns Batlin, causing the game to be stuck.

I know this isn't an Exult or SI Fixes problem, it was in my original copy.

I haven't tried to replicate this bug in 20 years, but I'm wondering if it's been fixed, or can be fixed, going forward. It would be nice to have her just say it once without crashing the game.

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Knight Captain 
Date:   02-12-17 19:58

Odd, the abort is there after she says that, but apparently it doesn't work.

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Knight Captain 
Date:   02-12-17 20:12

It might need this: UI_remove_npc_face0();

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Dominus 
Date:   02-13-17 11:28

Found my original floppies. Still no portrait in the original. Might just need a special case.

--
Read the documentation and the FAQ are your friends! There is no excuse for not reading them! RTFM
Read the Rules!
We do not support Piracy/Abandonware/Warez!

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: KC (---.sub-174-192-4.myvzw.com)
Date:   02-13-17 12:55

I wonder if an all-transparent Face shape for him would be an easier fix?

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Dominus 
Date:   02-13-17 13:12

No, because that would only fix it for SI fixes and not the normal game ;)

--
Read the documentation and the FAQ are your friends! There is no excuse for not reading them! RTFM
Read the Rules!
We do not support Piracy/Abandonware/Warez!

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: KC (---.sub-174-192-4.myvzw.com)
Date:   02-14-17 01:48

Don't we have some non-mod code running with the default games?

This is such an edge case I don't believe fixing in the engine makes sense.

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Alexander (---.ri.ri.cox.net)
Date:   02-16-17 04:07

Just found something else.

When a character holds a halberd while wearing Alyssand's engagement ring, a thin vertical green line appears on the paperdoll, near their backpack.

This doesn't seem to happen with any other weapon, and it's the same for every character I could find.

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Dominus 
Date:   02-16-17 06:12

Yes, that's an original bug, you can trigger it with any staff like weapon. The ring shape is buggy.
https://sourceforge.net/p/exult/bugs/447/

--
Read the documentation and the FAQ are your friends! There is no excuse for not reading them! RTFM
Read the Rules!
We do not support Piracy/Abandonware/Warez!

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Alexander (---.ri.ri.cox.net)
Date:   02-17-17 18:21

A new one I noticed, at the banquet.

Krayg is standing up facing south towards the doors the entire time. He reacts when Luther accuses him, but still looks south instead of at Luther. The rest of the scene plays normally.

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Gotcha (---.adsl.xs4all.nl)
Date:   02-18-17 01:21

Big chance that the banquet will play out fine next time. I had some weird things in it as well, but not reproducible.
One time Spektor was lying dead on the ground after the banquet. No idea what caused it. Must have been some party!

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Alexander (---.ri.ri.cox.net)
Date:   02-22-17 01:46

Another thing I've noticed, even when playing through my "fixed" SI Fixes.

Shopkeepers need to be in a very specific spot in order to transact with them.
I've had situations with Krayg, Bucia, Topo and Pothos where they stand in one place and I can't do business with them.

It either won't come up as a conversation topic, or they'll respond with the stock "My store isn't open" response. If they move a foot or so one way or the other, I can buy and sell from them. I don't remember the original game being like this.

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: KC (---.sub-174-192-0.myvzw.com)
Date:   02-22-17 02:10

I'll check the Usecode later, but I suspect they have to be in TEND_SHOP activity to do transactions. This appears to have been set instead of time restrictions. While that gave the programmers flexibility to change their hours, it also means if they are Move2Schedule they won't sell.

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 Re: Playing through SI Fixes - some thoughts
Author: Knight Captain 
Date:   02-22-17 12:46

Pothos has to be in PATROL, and there's multiple checks for it in his code.

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