The Dark Core Homepage

Walkthrough and Help

By: John Hosie a.k.a. Houston Dragon
Last Updated: October 27, 1997
  1. Introduction
  2. Tips when Starting Out
  3. The Library of Erethian
  4. The Forest Pool
  5. The Ethereal Shrine
  6. The Sewer Maze
  7. The Moongate Sanctum
  8. The Heart of the Dark Core
  9. Credits


Ultima: The Dark Core is an interactive fan fiction, written by
Michael D. Hilborn a.k.a. A New Breed of Dragon, based on the events chronicled in Ultima VII: Forge of Virtue.

While playing Ultima: The Dark Core does not require you to have played previous Ultimas, it is recommended you play the following Ultima titles to familiarize yourself with the history of the series: Ultima III: Exodus - Ultima VIII: Pagan.

For the story so far, click here to view the Introduction to the Dark Core, part of the Dark Core Homepage.

Tips when Starting Out

You will need the following to play Ultima: The Dark Core:
Netscape Communicator, and Cresendo. You will also need to enable JavaScript. Click here to test your JavaScript.

For easier gameplay, play with the music turned on, but with the sound effects turned off. (A note to Windows 95 users: Netscape Communicator 4.03 has a serious Java bug that can cause lockups during gameplay. If you disable Java, not JavaScript, and turn off the sound effects, you shouldn't have problems.)

When traveling the world of the Dark Core, it is important to remember a few simple rules: 1) Take everything that isn't nailed down, 2) Check everything you can for clues, and 3) Pay attention to whatever people are saying to you.

As you begin the game, you find yourself within a blue Moongate. As you step forward, the Guardian appears and tells that Erethian's library is the key to finding the wisp before disappearing. Sound advice should never be ignored, so let's start exploring. Perhaps you should travel south...

The Library of Erethian

As you approach the south, you notice a strange Tree House in place of where your house would normally reside on Earth. As this isn't Earth, it bears investigation. Within you find a small library, reminiscent of the one you found on the Isle of Fire, during the time of the Black Gate. As you enter, you see a globe, two candles, and a scroll lying on a table. Pay close attention to the scroll, as it will help you later in the Moongate Sanctum.

The books you find here deal with the
Virtues of Lord British and the defeat of Exodus by the Avatar during the time historians call the Third Age of Darkness.

Be sure to read the two scrolls lying on the top shelf of the bookcase. The first is a map of the Well Maze, while the second is a chart of the Britannian runes. Both will come in handy later. The crystal ball is worth checking out. Pay close attention to the images you see within. You will see a total of five images: a moon, a hand, a heart, a skull, and an altar with a symbol floating above it. The symbol you see is of particular importance, be sure to make note of it.

Now notice the painting hanging to the right of the bookcase. When you click on it, it moves to reveal a series of buttons inset into the wall. Three patterns are of interest to you:

This pattern opens the mirror to Erethian.Erethian
This pattern opens the mirror to show a bucket, which you should take.Bucket
This pattern opens the mirror to show a spinning globe.Spinning Globe

Talk to Erethian when he appears. He is not happy to see you, but will eventually tell you to seek out the wisp for answers. Tell him 'bye' to continue your quest. Be sure to grab the hourglass by the door before leaving.


Before you leave, spin the globe 4 or 5 times, and you will get a message that someone, or something, is watching you. Turn around, and you will claim the Disk of Earth.

Disk of Earth

While you have the disk, take another look into the crystal ball, and be sure to note the instructions you receive with each vision.

The Forest Pool

The pool is along the east path of the Crossroads. As you approach, click on the pool itself to dive in. You need to move quickly, as you will start to run out of air quickly. Swim forward, and you will find under the pedestal the Disk of Water.

Disk of Water

Turn around and exit the pool. When you approach the gazebo, you will notice a small table. Hmm, looks like the one you took the hourglass from. Place the hourglass on the table to summon the wisp. Talk about the 'hourglass', 'Dark Core', and 'Erethian'. The wisp will tell you to return to Erethian to talk about 'assimilation'. Do so, and Erethian will mention the 'Heart of the Dark Core'. Return to the wisp and ask about the 'Heart'. The wisp will tell you about the key to defeating Exodus, the Cards of Love, Sol, Moons, and Death. These cards however will show up as 'disks' that contain the soul of the Guardian. Big surprise, as you already carry two of these disks. Make sure you 'transact' with the wisp to exchange the hourglass for the Symbol of the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom before you leave.

Symbol of the Codex

Before you depart, fill your bucket from the pool.
Bucket of Water

The Ethereal Shrine

Head back to the Crossroads, then bear west to come to the Stairway to Heaven. Ascend the stairs, and you will find yourself within the Ethereal Shrine. Approach the shrine, and lay the Symbol of the Codex upon the altar. A voice will ask you to meditate on a virtue. Meditate on the virtue you saw in the crystal ball. The voice will then ask you to chant the mantra. The mantras can be found within the books of Erethian's library, or you can click
here to find it. The voice will then ask you give the word that symbolizes the Principles of Truth, Love, and Courage. Answer 'veramocor', and you will receive the Disk of Air.

Disk of Air

The Sewer Maze

As you descend the Stairway to Heaven, walk forward to the Crossroads, then turn right. You will see a battered well, set into the ground. Approach, and climb down into the Sewer Maze. Follow the map you found in Erethian's library to find the Hall of Fire. (You can't get lost, as the mage Sutek cast a spell that will return you to the well's entrance if you wander too far.)

Sewer Map

When you approach the Hall of Fire, you will be blinded by a sudden flash of light. Turn around, and approach the Hall. You will find the Disk of Fire, but it will be too hot for you to touch. Use your bucket of water to cool the Disk, then grab it.

Disk of Fire

The Moongate Sanctum

You should have in your possession all four Disks of the Guardian and the Symbol of the Codex. Head north, back to the blue moongate that first brought you to this world. Enter, and you will find yourself within the Moongate Sanctum. Moving forward, you will notice five candles, each a different color representing a different element. The pentagram scroll you found in Erethian's library is the key to this puzzle. Extinguish all the candles, then relight them in the order the Guardian's eyes follow the pentagram. (The correct pattern is below.)

Pentagram Map

Once done correctly, a red moongate will appear, allowing you access to the Heart of the Dark Core.

The Heart of the Dark Core

You stand before the twisted metal soul that was Exodus. Before you is a console, used to operate the bridge leading across the void. Ahead you can see the Guardian, trapped by the very power he wished to control. Long ago, during the Third Age of Darkness, you used the word 'Evocare' to bypass the Great Earth Serpent so that you could approach Exodus. Using the keypad, enter the rune pattern to raise the bridge. (Use the chart below.)

Britannian Runes

Once the bridge has raised, approach the Guardian. As you near, the Disks become alive with the soul of the Guardian. Now, before Exodus can be reborn, use the Disks to free yourself from the Dark Core!

The proper sequence is outlined in one of Erethian's books, or you can look below... However, you must use each Disk when the Heart's pulse matches the one told by the crystal ball in Erethian's library. Touch the Guardian to change the pulse of the Heart. (This section is much easier with the sound effects turned off.)

The Fire DiskThe Disk of Fire represents Love. Use it on the Guardian when the air thunders with a metallic pulse, its howl reminiscent of a fiery comet shrieking across the sky.
The Air DiskThe Disk of Air represents Sol. Use it on the Guardian when the air thunders with a metallic pulse, its wail as deafening as a winter gale.
The Water DiskThe Disk of Water represents Moons. Use it on the Guardian when the air thunders with a metallic pulse, which is prolonged, deep, and resonant, like a bell sounding from fathoms below the sea.
The Earth DiskThe Disk of Earth represents Death. Use it on the Guardian when the air thunders with a metallic pulse, which is deep and muffled, as if resonating from deep below the earth.

Congratulations! You've stopped Exodus from being reborn, and have freed yourself from the grasp of the Dark Core!


I'd like to thank
Michael D. Hilborn a.k.a. A New Breed of Dragon for creating Ultima: The Dark Core. I'd also like to give acknowledgement to Richard Garriott, for without his vision of Britannia, Ultima would not exist today.

All images contained within are copyrighted by Michael D. Hilborn a.k.a. A New Breed of Dragon, and are not to be used for commercial reasons.

Any questions, updates, or comments, please email me - John Hosie a.k.a. Houston Dragon.

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