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In Ultima III (also known as Exodus: Ultima III), all is not well in the land of Sosaria, and naturally, that's where you come in, fighting the good fight, swashing the odd buckle here and there, and trying to put things right. To begin, you must first "roll" four characters to create your party of adventurers (one of many major innovations that first appear in this game). It's a good idea to try to strike a balance between might, magic, and mischief (a thief may come in handy for his or her agility, but — in a preview of Ultima IV's moral code of justice — stealing someone's treasure can easily get your party killed by guards). Then the quest begins, taking your party through towns, castles and dungeons, to say nothing of the dangerous, monster-infested countryside that connects all of these locations. As with nearly every Ultima game, magic items must be collected and great distances must be traveled to reach a showdown with the game's primary enemy, though in this case that enemy was not a some-one, but a some-thing.
Ultima III is a welcome updating and a major evolution for the Ultima series, introducing the multi-character party and melee mode, and the first hints of ethics to a game whose genre previously offered no punishment for looting. The "universe" also takes a leap forward, introducing such things as dangerous lava (which can kill your characters should they linger too long) and boat-sinking whirlpools. The world is much bigger in Ultima III, doing away with Ultima II's vastly oversimplified map of the world (as well as that game's space/time travel elements).
Interestingly for Apple II users, a third-party "construction kit" was made available about a year after Ultima III was released, allowing those who had conquered the game to edit their own scenarios. The results were sometimes less than satisfactory, given that all of the elements needed to end the game still had to be in place at some point. ~ Earl Green, All Game Guide