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Revision of the game description for Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar

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Revised ThingRevision of the game description for Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar
Revision Typemajor edit
What ChangedGame Description
DescriptionThe fourth game in the well-known Ultima series features an improved game engine, with color graphics and better character interaction (you could now have actual conversations with NPCs). But what really makes Ultima IV different is its radical departure from any other RPG made before in terms of the story and goal.

Instead of building up your character by any means possible in order to face the Ultimate Evil in a big bang up showdown, in Ultima IV you are trying to become the Avatar, a role model of sorts for the people of the land. This means upholding the "eight virtues" and basically trying to become a better person. In most RPGs you chose to be a just/nice hero because the people you'd help would usually provide you with some nice equipment for your services, but in Ultima IV you help people not for a material reward but because it is the actual goal of the game and the main focus of its gameplay. The game actually frowns on behavior that was typical of most other RPGs, such as backstabbing fleeing enemies or picking up everything that wasn't nailed down even if it didn't belong to you. The game keeps track of all your actions, so if you went about killing and looting like in most RPGs, you'd never finish it.

This very different approach to the game's ultimate goal established its reputation as the first "true" Ultima; it influenced the design philosophy of later installments and the overall spirit of the series.

Of course, the game still has plenty of traditional RPG elements such as dungeons to explore and hostile monsters to kill, as well as a final "Holy Grail" type quest where you had to find the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom to complete your transformation into Avatarhood.

Ultima IV also introduced many gameplay innovations and refinements to the series and to RPGs in general; the most notable and influential of them is the ability of certain characters from the game world - rather than player-generated - to join the party and fight alongside the hero. Additional new elements include buying and combining reagents in order to cast spells, unique items such as grapple to pass through mountains, puzzle rooms in dungeons, and others.

Change Comparison

Description
The fourth game in the now well-established Ultima series featured an improved game engine, with color graphics and better character interaction (you could now have actual conversations with NPCs). But what really makes Ultima IV shine is its radical departure from any other RPG made before or since in terms of the story and goal. ¶

Instead of building up your character by any means possible in order to face the Ultimate Evil in a big bang up showdown, in Ultima IV you were trying to become the Avatar, a role model of sorts for the people of the land. This meant upholding the "eight virtues" and basically trying to become a better person. In most RPGs you chose to be a just/nice hero because the people you'd help would usually provide you with some nice equipment for your services, but in Ultima IV you helped people not for a reward or to advance the plot but simply because it was the "right thing to do". The game actually frowns on behavior that was typical of most other RPGs, such as backstabbing fleeing monsters or picking up everything that wasn't nailed down even if it didn't belong to you. The game keeps track of all your actions, so if you went about killing and looting like in most RPGs, you'd never finish the game.¶

This VERY different approach to the game's ultimate goal is what makes Ultima IV famous so many years later, and became the sort of design philosophy that made all the following Ultimas so unique in their genre. ¶

Of course, the game still has plenty of traditional RPG elements such as dungeons to explore and hostile monsters to kill, as well as a typical final "Holy Grail" type quest where you had to find the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom to complete your transformation into Avatarhood.
Description
The fourth game in the well-known <moby gamegroup="Ultima"> Ultima series</moby> features an improved game engine, with color graphics and better character interaction (you could now have actual conversations with NPCs). But what really makes <i>Ultima IV</i> different is its radical departure from any other RPG made before in terms of the story and goal. ¶

Instead of building up your character by any means possible in order to face the Ultimate Evil in a big bang up showdown, in <i>Ultima IV</i> you are trying to become the Avatar, a role model of sorts for the people of the land. This means upholding the "eight virtues" and basically trying to become a better person. In most RPGs you chose to be a just/nice hero because the people you'd help would usually provide you with some nice equipment for your services, but in <i>Ultima IV</i> you help people not for a material reward but because it is the actual goal of the game and the main focus of its gameplay. The game actually frowns on behavior that was typical of most other RPGs, such as backstabbing fleeing enemies or picking up everything that wasn't nailed down even if it didn't belong to you. The game keeps track of all your actions, so if you went about killing and looting like in most RPGs, you'd never finish it.¶

This very different approach to the game's ultimate goal established its reputation as the first "true" <i>Ultima</i>; it influenced the design philosophy of later installments and the overall spirit of the series.¶

Of course, the game still has plenty of traditional RPG elements such as dungeons to explore and hostile monsters to kill, as well as a final "Holy Grail" type quest where you had to find the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom to complete your transformation into Avatarhood.¶

<i>Ultima IV</i> also introduced many gameplay innovations and refinements to the series and to RPGs in general; the most notable and influential of them is the ability of certain characters from the game world - rather than player-generated - to join the party and fight alongside the hero. Additional new elements include buying and combining reagents in order to cast spells, unique items such as grapple to pass through mountains, puzzle rooms in dungeons, and others.

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Revision Rev # When What Changed Revised By Status Revision Type
view changes 5 Jun 15, 2019 Game Description RetroArchives.fr (556) Approved minor edit
view changes 4 Dec 21, 2014 Game Description Unicorn Lynx (181678) Approved update
view changes 3 Aug 23, 2011 Game Description Unicorn Lynx (181678) Approved major update
view changes 2 Apr 20, 2011 Game Description Unicorn Lynx (181678) Approved major edit
view changes 1 Feb 23, 2006 Game Description Mattias Kreku (439) Approved edit