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Ultima VI: The False Prophet
U6cover.jpg
Developer(s) Origin Systems
Publisher(s) Origin Systems
Designer(s) Richard Garriott and Warren Spector
Engine Ultima VI Engine
Platform(s) DOS, Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, FM Towns, SNES, PC-9801, X68000
Release date(s) 1990
1993 (SNES)
Genre(s) RPG
Mode(s) Single Player
Rating(s) Unrated
Media 5.25" or 3.5" floppy disks
CD-ROM (DOS/Towns)
cartridge (SNES)
Input methods Keyboard and Mouse

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.

Contents

Plot

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.

Gameplay

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.

Development

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.[1] 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.

Compatibility with modern systems

The DOS version of Ultima VI may have sound and speed problems when running on modern computers and operative systems. However, it can run reliably in a DOSBox environment.

An engine remake project called Nuvie,[2] similar to the goals of xu4, Exult[3] and Pentagram, is in the works. Not much of the game functionality is implemented yet.

At one time, the for-pay online gaming service Gametap had added Ultima VI to its library of games; it ran more or less correctly on the platform. Due to licensing issues, however, it was removed on December 11, 2007.[4]

Reception

The game was reviewed in 1990 in Dragon #162 by Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser in "The Role of Computers" column. The reviewers gave the game 5 out of 5 stars.[5]

Ultima: The False Prophet for the SuperNintendo was reviewed in 1994 in Dragon #208 by Sandy Petersen in the "Eye of the Monitor" column. Petersen gave the game 3 out of 5 stars.[6]

Fan remakes

There is a current project to recreate Ultima VI using Dungeon Siege engine.[7] Another remake project uses the Exult engine, using graphics from Ultima VII. Ultima 6 Online is an MMO version of Ultima VI.[8]

References

  1. ^ Description of the FM Towns version
  2. ^ Nuvie, open source project aiming to recreate the Ultima VI engine
  3. ^ Exult remake discussion
  4. ^ GameTap Losing Over 70 Games on Dec. 11 news from 1UP.com
  5. ^ Lesser, Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk (October 1990). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (162): 47–51.  
  6. ^ Petersen, Sandy (August 1994). "Eye of the Monitor". Dragon (208): 61–66.  
  7. ^ The U6 Project, a fan remake based on the Dungeon Siege engine
  8. ^ Ultima 6 Online Overview

External links


Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Ultima VI: The False Prophet
Box artwork for Ultima VI: The False Prophet.
Developer(s) Origin Systems
Publisher(s) Origin Systems
Release date(s)
Genre(s) RPG
System(s) MS-DOS, FM Towns, Super Nintendo, Sharp X68000, Commodore 64/128, Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, NEC PC-9801
Rating(s)
ESRB: Teen
Preceded by Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny
Followed by Ultima VII: The Black Gate
Series Ultima

Ultima VI: The False Prophet was the first Ultima game to be developed primarily for MS-DOS (previous games were developed for other systems and later ported to it). It takes full advantage of the hardware with 256-color VGA graphics and the first use of the series' unusual perspective.

A somewhat different Super Nintendo version was produced, called simply Ultima: The False Prophet. There were many changes but on the whole it is still the same game, unlike Ultima: The Black Gate.

In 1991 Fujitsu Japan released a version of Ultima VI for the Japan-only FM Towns, what was at the time a considerably advanced PC. It was Origin's first CD-ROM game, and features fully digitized speech for all characters--in English!--many of which are voiced by their real-world namesakes (Richard Garriott voices Lord British, and so forth). Nuvie now supports these voiceovers, but it still requires the MS-DOS version as the base.

Table of Contents

Getting Started
  • Controls
  • Companions
  • Karma
  • Weapons
  • Armor
  • Orb of the Moons
Walkthrough
Appendices
  • PC<->SNES differences
  • Runic Alphabets

External links

  • Nuvie - an engine remake project similar to Exult
  • U6Edit - enables viewing and editing of most parts of the game
  • Ultima 6 Online, an MMOG reimplementation (not covered by this guide)







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