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Ultima VI

Ultima VI
Ultima VI

Floppy (5.25")7



0  17814  77010  4

Release Date: 1/1/1990
Manufacturer: Origin
Ultima VI: The False Prophet, released by Origin Systems in 1990, is the sixth part in the computer role-playing game series of Ultima. It was the last in the "Age of Enlightenment" trilogy.

Some years after Lord British has returned to power, the Avatar is captured and tied on a sacrificial altar, about to be sacrificed by red demon-like creatures, the gargoyles. The Warriors of Destiny suddenly appear, save the Avatar and collect the sacred text the gargoyle priest was holding. In Castle Britannia, the Avatar learns that the shrines of Virtue were captured by the gargoyles and he embarks on a quest to rescue Britannia from the invaders.

This game ended the use of multiple scales; in earlier games a town, castle, or dungeon would be represented as a single symbol on the world map, which then expanded into a full sub-map when entering the structure. In Ultima VI, the whole game uses a single scale, with towns and other places seamlessly integrated into the main map; dungeons are now also viewed from the same perspective as the rest of the game, rather than the first-person perspective used by Ultima I-V. The game kept the basic tile system and screen layout of the three preceding parts, but altered the look into a much more colourful pseudo-isometric view, to take full advantage of the newly-released VGA graphics cards for PCs.

Non-player characters had their portraits shown when talked to, something that would not have been feasible on the classic 8-bit Apple II. It was originally planned that Ultima VI was to continue on with the Apple II series, and through the much more capable 16-bit Apple IIGS, where its advanced graphics, music and mouse interface would been more than suitable to handle the task. In the end a decision to cancel was made due to the declining market size of the Apple II platform, and marked the first time a chapter in the Ultima series was not available for the Apple II (the platform it originated on). It was one of the first major PC games directly targeted to PC systems equipped with VGA graphics and a mouse, when the big "gaming computer" was still the Commodore Amiga. The game supported sound cards for music as well, which were not yet common when it was released. Other sound effects, such as the clashing of swords, magical zaps, or explosions, were still played through the PC speaker. The Amiga version was itself ported from the PC and due to a lack of reprogramming it was very slow. The only 8-bit computer system to which the game was ported was the Commodore 64 due the fact that it still had a very sizable market share. The C64 version lacks many features of the PC version though, not just in aesthetics (no portraits), but also in gameplay (no horses, no working gems, reduced NPC dialogs, simplified quests etc.); it is generally considered much worse than the earlier C64 Ultimas.

The Ultima VI engine was also used for the Worlds of Ultima spin-off series.

A port of the game for FM Towns platform was made primarily for Japanese market. This CD-ROM-based version included full speech in both English and Japanese. What is interesting about this version is that the voice acting was recorded at Origin, mostly by the people the characters were based on (with Richard Garriott as Lord British, Greg Dykes as Dupre, etc.), though not all personnel could be reached at the time of recording, so some substitutes were used.

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