Friday, November 25, 2022

circumnavigating Miskatonia

So for the past couple of days I've been playing Minima, a tiny homage to the early installments in the Ultima series built for the PICO 8 environment. You can play this game in your browser, which is how I've been doing it.

Yesterday I attempted to finish the game, but the tower of the villainois Faxon repulsed me. I needed some time to think through what I missed earlier in the game, so I decided to hop in my ship (acquired from pirates, of course) and start mapping out the continent of Miskatonia. Here's what I've got so far.

That blank spot in the middle can be filled in with some overland travel. The little bit of land in the southwest is an island only a few tiles bigger than shown, as I visited it earlier in the game. The main issue with completing the map will be the volcanic archipelago with Faxon's tower. It's somewhere in the ocean out of sight of the coast, in the southeast I think. But the map wraps around both east-west and north-south, so you could put it darn near anywhere so long as it shows the right number of squares to the mainland.

Given the large amount of open water around the continent, I suspect that the overland map is actually slightly larger than the 64 tile x 64 tile map of Sosaria, the setting of Ultima III. Which feels wrong. Miskatonia seems a lit smaller. But Sosaria had a much higher land to water ratio. And heavy woods and mountains don't block line of sight in Minima, so you can see much farther in many places. Also, the tiles are literally smaller in terms of the number of pixels used. 


The browser-based version of Minima may be a tad unstable, as it crashed on me and lost my save game. 20 levels down the electronic drain. What can you do? But I was able to finish the land map.


  1. Oh this I have to check out, I’ve always had this love/hate relationship with the Ultima-series so this looks promising! Got to love that tile graphics.

  2. Have you tried Nox Archaist yet? A modern RPG written for Apple II?

    I really enjoyed gathering clues and diving deep within the dungeons, I think not enough people talk about how Ultima synthesized the adventure game genre like Zork and mashed it up with dungeon crawling hack n' slash that still has not been equaled or really understood to this day.

  3. Arfarf, thanks for the rec! I had not heard of Nox Archaist. I agree that Ultima was something special.