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The long running series revolving around the fantasy world of Britannia updates to late 1990s state-of-the-art gaming with Ultima IX: Ascension. You are the Avatar! It is your fate to have the very existence of the entire realm fall directly on your shoulders as you muster the forces, stamina, weapons and magic to rid Britannia of the evil Guardian.
Billed as the final chapter in this 20-year mainstay of gaming store shelves, Ascension immerses you, according to the developers, into a role playing adventure that features a "3D engine without boundaries." You must end the Guardian's reign of destruction by restoring the corrupted eight sacred virtues: honesty, compassion, valor, justice, sacrifice, honor, spirituality and humility.
The journey will be long and littered with a cast of more than 200 characters, each with full speech; the size of the script is akin to an 18-hour movie. Fully developed environments feature day and night cycles, realistic physics, variable and constantly changing weather patterns and effects and literally thousands of interactive items spread throughout the world of Britannia. An original music score created and recorded by a 50-piece orchestra accompanies you on your fateful quest.
More than 60 monsters and creatures with individualistic traits, attitudes, abilities, attributes and weapons will stand between you and ultimate victory. You'll need to master both weaponry and a vast arsenal of magic spells to confront and overcome the insidious denizens hell bent on your destruction as Pagan's minions. Circles of magic, alchemy and rituals come into play as you strive to find the best means to rid this world of its plague of evil.
The game ships with two manuals, one concerning magic and its many properties, forms and levels, the other a "journal" containing reference material on all aspects of gameplay in Ascension, ranging from rune recognition to a glossary. A fold-out cloth map of Britannia is provided as well as a set of eight sturdy rune-inscribed cards relating to the eight virtues. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide