Ultima IV: Quest for the Avatar by Origin Systems


ultimaivgamePublisher: Origin Systems
Developer: As above
Release Date: 1988
Code: Chuck Bueche
GFX: Unknown
Music: Kenneth W. Arnold
ZZAP64 Game Rating: 90%
Our Game Rating: 85%
Completed & Reviewed by Neil Collins
> CLICK HERE to Download emu file
> CLICK HERE to view the YouTube ending video
Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar by Origin is considered by many to be the best game in the Ultima series. I can’t really argue as this game was pretty amazing in it’s day. It’s incredibly deep, with a huge land to explore, tons of characters to interact with and quests to fulfil.
The aim is to become an avatar by achieving high enough points in each of the various virtues. You achieve this by doing good deeds and praying at the appropriate shrines. Once achieved you can tackle the final dungeon and try to solve the puzzles within. The game is played in typical Ultima fashion on a 2D map for the world, towns and battles and from a 3D perspective for the dungeons.
It’s a near perfect RPG set in a huge fantasy world that you can get lost in for months. I really enjoyed playing this one from start to finish. It’s a C64 classic that must be played.
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Infinity?
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Round and round…
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Boundless knowledge?
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“THOU HAST PROVEN THYSELF”. Speak English, mate!
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An endless quest… really?
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# Always and forever… #
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Hmmm…
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This is a little tedious…
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…and it’s starting to get a little annoying!
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Ah – graphics!
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Hmmm… is that supposed to be Stonehenge?
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Are we there yet?
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Seriously?!
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FINALLY! The End.
HOW WAS IT COMPLETED?: Not bad at all. I’m a little gutted it’s all over.
SO WHAT HAPPENS?: At the end of the final dungeon you have to answer a few questions. If you answer correctly, a diagram is formed on the screen made up of circles and lines. A final question is asked to which you must answer ‘INFINITY’, that causes the screen to shake. A large infinity symbol appears to replace the diagram on the screen. The border flashes as the boundless wisdom of the codex is revealed to the avatar. You have proven yourself to be truly good in nature, although the quest is said to continue for a lifetime. You are told to return to your world and continue to live as an example to your people. Darkness surrounds you as you feel intense vertigo. You open your eyes to see the familiar circle of stones. A picture of the stones is displayed on the screen. You wonder if all the events actually happened until you realise you are still holding the ankh. You walk away in the knowledge that you can always return as you hold the secret to the gates. A final message appears which reads ‘CONGRATULATIONS! THOU HAST COMPLETED ULTIMA IV: QUEST OF THE AVATAR IN 14516 TURNS! REPORT THY FEAT UNTO LORD BRITISH AT ORIGIN SYSTEMS!
COMMENTS:
Neil: A lot happens, but it’s not that visually impressive. The game however is outstanding and must be played if you are an RPG fan. First class. 4/10.
Vinny: Do I really have to say it again: I don’t like RPG games!
And as for the ending… what a tedious epilogue. Not enough graphics for me! 3/10.
KungFuFurby: These endings are steadily improving in quality over each game (kind of). I wonder what kind of ending awaits us in the next game?
Andrew Fisher: Vinny, I don’t know if it is to do with a lack of imagination.
For me an RPG has to be compelling to make me play it a lot, and that means both good presentation and a good story to keep me interested. A lot of them require “grinding” – fighting a lot of battles to gain experience to level up your characters. And if that doesn’t appeal then it can seem like a boring genre.
I’ve not played much of Ultima IV for that reason – I got bored soon after starting, realising I would need to grind to get far. As the genre goes, this is quite a simplistic ending.
Brendan Phoenix: Disappointing – seen some pretty decent endings in this genre but this really is drab and boring.
Gaz Spence: Some dialogue and a few simplistic screens is little reward for expending hours on a game but as they say it’s not about that you win but how you played the game…
FINAL SAY: Not bad at all. I’m a little gutted it’s all over.

G.E. RATING: 3.5 / 10

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One Response to Ultima IV: Quest for the Avatar by Origin Systems

  1. One of my favourite games to this day. Truly non-linear in a way that makes many a modern RPG look downright restrictive, and the morality system added a fascinating dimension (although I daresay I am not the only player who broke the spirit of it, used Mondain’s skull to clear a very easy path through the dungeons, then atoned for it at a more convenient time).

    I was disloyal, alas, and played this one on the Sega Master System (never having owned a C64 disk drive). From what I recall it had a slightly better ending, though still a let down after a game of such epic length. I never did understand why the Avatar was returned back to Earth, either. I thought the whole point of the quest was for them to be an example for the people of Brittania.

    Like

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