say that I, Chuck Vomit, lord of the crocodiles and
baron of bridges, find it hard to believe -- but apparently
you're supposed to be capable of enlightenment. And
I don't just mean all that stuff about the birds and
the bees, or a pint of Hemmeling, I mean the real thing
-- the Ultima biggy. What do you mean, you don't know
what I'm on about -- I'm on about the Avatar, birdbrain.
what's this Avatar lark all about then? Well, apparently
it's a quest for a new standard and a new peaceful vision
of light Billygoats haven't got it but trolls have,
so why shouldn't humans find it too? The land of Britannia
has passed through three turbulent episodes of warfare
and destruction -- now is the time for peace.
you're expecting spectacular Amiga graphics, don't.
Apart from some pretty neat introductory illustrations
they're almost exactly like the 64 version (first released
back in 1986). You move around on a full-screen map
which shows enemies, cities, castles and towns. You
can talk to people, make use of objects, mix the correct
ingredients to cast magic spells, fight enemies, buy,
haggle and sell.
mountains and plains are inhabited by some fairly nasty
monsters: bats, dragons, gremlins, orcs, skeletons,
zorns and orcs -- oh yeah, and trolls. Some joke that!
Real trolls would tear any puny adventurer, enlightened
up to his armpits or not, covered in armour or billy-goat
jelly (either will do) with their bare hands -- with
their bare thumbnails, even. These pathetic little ponces
are definitely not the real object and I advise you
to beat into a pulp any that you see. Grrr . . .
best in the Ultima series yet - for the Amiga,
more monsters you belt, the greater your experience
rating, but the more people you speak to the greater
your chance of achieving the Avatar. The potential for
conversation is definitely what makes this game so good.
You can speak to almost anyone on an incredible list
of subjects -- it really feels like you're having a
chat because what Nigel the wizard, or a child playing
in the street, mentions, actually determines what you
can talk about next. Not only that, you can learn about
other people by speaking to their friends and use the
information you've gained from earlier encounters when
speaking to others. A few conversations and you feel
you're really getting somewhere. Unlike other role-playing
games where you have to spend ages hacking and slaying
to get your experience points you feel in the thick
of things right from the start.
of the more picturesque locations in the world
you thought role-playing games were nothing but an excuse
for a good fight and a load of plunder, think again.
Ultima IV isn't just brawny -- it's got a brain
as well (a lot like me, really). And if that isn't enough
to tempt you, just think about the excellent presentation
(two booklets, an ankh and a top-quality tea-towel .
. . er . . . I mean cloth map). Thought about it? Right
-- go out and buy it NOW!