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THE SETTING #USES
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Throughout the 1980s, Origin Systems released a steady stream of Ultima games chronicling the adventures of singular heroes in a land often overrun by foul beasts and generally ruled by Lord British. As the games progressed, so did the general CRPG style of the series.
The first few games were hack-and-slash affairs with some plot to keep things moving. But with each new game thereafter, the large combats slowly decreased in size and the addition of a word parser (in Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar) placed a renewed focus on character interaction.
The ultimate results of the changes to date in the series are evident in Ultima VI: The False Prophet, the game Origin Systems has indicated will be the last game in the Avatar trilogy. Your character has been called back to Britannia once again, to right some horrible wrong. In the introduction, the Avatar, kidnapped by Gargoyles, is about to be sacrificed on an evil altar under the night sky. Only the familiar intervention of eternal companions Dupre, Shamino and Iolo will prevent his ultimate demise.
The situation in Britannia is grim. Mysterious earthquakes have been appearing all over the land, the Gargoyles have invaded and overtaken all of the shrines of the virtues and things in general are in a state of chaos. It's your task, as the Avatar, to set things right. Along the way, your encounters with hundreds of NPCs, each with his, her or its own character portrait, slowly reveal clues to the mysteries of the Gargoyles.
Only single-player action is available in Ultima VI: The False Prophet but you can import a character from Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny if you so desire. The main game screen is divided into several sections and is quite similar in appearance to previous titles in the series. The right third of the screen shows character actions, contains character inventories and statistics and functions as the display for character portraits. A strip along the bottom of the screen features "action buttons" with various commands like "move," "use" and "talk." The rest of the interface is devoted to the main play screen and features a slightly angled top-down view of the world.
Britannia and its denizens are represented in full 256-color VGA graphics but there is also support for EGA, Tandy and even CGA graphics as well. The game's sound effects are provided courtesy of the PC speaker but players with an AdLib compatible sound card can hear MIDI music. Control via mouse is also supported but not mandatory.
Ultima VI: The False Prophet's adventure takes you all the way from the known lands of Britannia to the underground world of the Gargoyles as you endeavor to unravel the reasons behind the mysterious earthquakes and motivation of the Gargoyle marauders. A variety of medieval weapons and armor, including magic plate mail and powerful glass swords in addition to 64 magic spells, is available for use on the more violent quests, though many of the objectives in this divided land require more brains than brawn to overcome.
Once the Avatar finally overcomes all obstacles and again saves the world, his reward is great. Only the strong of character will survive the trials of the final chapter in this virtuous trilogy. Do you have what it takes to enter the fray and deal with the False Prophet? ~ Drew Hunt, All Game Guide