Untima IX: Descension
Untima 9: Condescension - Alternate title
Unlike the irrelevant + unrelated mockery of Ultimuh, however, there is substance behind this parody: Descension's homage delivers a credible game experience, albeit one a decade or so behind the times -- the look and feel of the stickmen's tile-based overland and palace maps could easily pass at a casual glance for actual screens from early members of the Ultima series... it's only in the fine details that you can tell that this isn't being played straight. There's nothing so very unusual about being sent on a quest by Lord Finnish (guess they couldn't afford British)... until he tells you that he needs you to recover his children's book from the dreaded monster "Bunnicula." Is he making fun of you? No -- actually he directs you to the dungeon where it can be found. And sure, maybe "Mustard" is a peculiar name for a dungeon... but so is the canonical "Hythloth", so who am I to judge. The next weapon up from the Mace is the Herring? Well, I'm sure its smell is quite offensive. And while it is true that I've never seen a game with an esoteric (P)ush a plant option among the character's possible single-key actions, it's implemented beautifully and functions precisely as you'd expect. Goofy, but no worse than Space Quest 4's tongue and nose action icons.
In short, it's no less a game for its lack of stony respect for its source material, delivering everything the originals did plus a hefty dose of doesn't-take-itself-so-seriously humour to mellow the repetitive (however classic) find-the-McGuffin, kill-the-Foozle gameplay.
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