User review spotlight: Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (DOS)

Zarch

MobyRank MobyScore
Atari ST
87
2.1
DOS
...
2.0
ZX Spectrum
...
1.3
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Description

Aliens have infested Earth, and are spreading a deadly virus throughout the planet. Needless to say, they must be stopped, and fast. The time pressure (your score upon completing a level is based on the uninfected percentage of the land) is only one difficult aspect of this shooter.

Viewed in remote 3D with a patchwork-quilt type ground effect, with trees sticking out and full gravity. Controlling your spaceship involves balancing the direction and height as well as thrusting to the right speed. A scanner tells you where the aliens are.

Screenshots

Zarch DOS In-game, flying through the landscape (EGA)
Zarch Atari ST Loading screen
Zarch Atari ST Narrowly missing one of the polygon trees
Zarch Atari ST Firing at will

Alternate Titles

  • "Virus" -- Amiga / Atari ST / DOS / ZX Spectrum title
  • "Lander" -- Acorn 32-bit demo title
  • "Bird of Prey" -- Working title

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The Press Says

ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Acorn 32-bit Oct, 1988 980 out of 1000 98
Your Sinclair ZX Spectrum Sep, 1988 9 out of 10 90
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Atari ST Aug, 1988 9 out of 10 90
Happy Computer Acorn 32-bit Mar, 1988 86 out of 100 86
The Games Machine (UK) Amiga Nov, 1988 83 out of 100 83
The Games Machine (UK) Acorn 32-bit Dec, 1987 81 out of 100 81
The Games Machine (UK) ZX Spectrum Nov, 1988 75 out of 100 75
ST Action Atari ST Sep, 1988 75 out of 100 75
Power Play DOS Oct, 1989 75 out of 100 75
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) ZX Spectrum Oct, 1988 631 out of 1000 63

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Trivia

Acorn Archimedes version

A demo of the game, still called Lander at the time, was bundled with new Acorn Archimedes computers.

Commodore 64 version

Despite frequent rumours, no C64 version was officially planned.

ZX Spectrum version

The Spectrum version started as a bedroom project, as Firebird did not believe the game was viable on 8-bit systems. It was not until Steve Dunn had written a demo of the ship flying over the landscape that anything official was signed.

Awards

  • ACE
    • October 1988 (issue #13) - Included in the Top-100 list of 1987/1988 (editorial staff selection)
    • March 1991 (issue #42) - Included in the list Greatest Games of all Time in category Shoot-'em-ups (editorial staff choice)
  • Amiga Power
    • May 1991 (Issue #00) - #5 in the "All Time Top 100 Amiga Games"
  • Computer Industry's InDin Awards
    • 1988 - 16 bit Game of the Year
Information also contributed by Indra was here

Related Web Sites

  • Virus - Memories (article about the development of the ZX Spectrum version, on The Bird Sanctuary)
Contributed to by Martin Smith (63134) and Terok Nor (19005)