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Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar

Ultima IV is a classic roleplaying game made by Lord British and Origin Systems. Old games like this are quite rare and brings back memories of long ago quests and the urge to finish all the rpg’s that come out. It reminds me of the long hours that is required to see the outcome of the story of a hero that is played by yourself. Games like this needs a lot of patience from the gamer to able to see the ending of your adventures. Cut-scenes are some sort of reward in role playing games. Like at the start of Ultima 4, the hero is having a rest at a willow tree near a stream. Then suddenly hearing a sound from nearby you see a blue portal that has risen from the ground at the middle of a circle of stones. It quickly disappears and leaves a cloth map, two books and an Ankh.


The Ankh symbolizes life and rebirth on Egyptian cultures that is why I was immediately interested in the story. One of the books that you are holding are a History of Brittania and a mysterious book in leather that you are afraid to open. Sounds like folklore in Britain, but the story is unique and continues to draw the main character to a nearby mysterious carnival. And hearing music the hero follows it to a wagon where there is a gypsy woman telling you that she has been waiting and asks a few questions. Answering questions about valor, compassion, honesty, etc. will determine your starting point in the world of Brittania. There are no right and wrong answers so just answer them honestly pressing A or B.

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Ultima’s Unique Character Creation

 The graphics compared to the high end role playing games of today is somewhat dull and boring but in its era maybe it stands out. The controls are somewhat difficult and really needs a guide on how to talk, respond, open doors, pick up items etc. But when you get the hang of it, it is pretty simple and interesting. Interesting because the controls are from the letters A to Z. Sounds scary? Wait till you get all the spells. It is also complete from A (Awaken) to Z or Down Spell.

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The sound is quite irritating but after hearing it several times you will forget that it is annoying and just continue on playing. The system for recovery of health is quite funny when I first saw it but testifies that the sleeping concept in role playing games are far way back than what we think. The quests are complicated and needs to be done in each town. Talking to non-player characters (NPC) are fun because of the fact that they are really conversing to you. Not like giving answers of yes or no only, this game actually has put a lot of time and effort in making you feel that you are talking to someone. Gaining information to solve quests from NPCs are quite interesting and fun.

All in all, if you are a die hard rpg gamer, you should definitely try this one to see how far you can go.



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