The Amiga version of Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar was ported by Bob Hardy and first published by Origin Systems in 1988. Hardy did a sterling job of converting the 16-bit versions of Ultima III, and Ultima IV is very similar to those, but arguably even better.
For a thorough explanation of Ultima IV‘s gameplay and storyline, read my review of the Apple II original.
The Amiga version has a number of enhancements over the original, including: chests stacking if dropped in the same place; dual mouse/keyboard controls with no input lag; the ability to buy more than nine reagents at a time; a more colourful overworld and enhanced dungeon graphics, and enhanced music. It also features the useful ability to cycle through information screens that some conversions seem to be missing.
The Amiga and Atari ST versions are virtually identical. The only difference I noticed was that the Amiga version’s mouse cursor stays on-screen the entire time, whereas the ST version’s doesn’t.
Both the Amiga and Atari ST versions are arguably the best versions of Ultima IV available and are well worth a play today. If you want more simplified, consolised versions: try the NES or Sega Master System ports, although personally I prefer the Amiga and ST versions.
Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar Keyboard Commands:
a = Attack (followed by direction of attack)
b = Board; mount a horse or board a frigate
c = Cast a magic spell (followed by spell letter)
d = Descend; climb down a ladder in a dungeon
e = Enter a settlement, dungeon or shrine
f = Fire ship’s cannons in the direction indicated
g = Get; open a chest
h = Hole up; make camp and rest
i = Ignite a torch
j = Jimmy lock; use a ‘Magic Key’ to unlock a door
k = Climb up a ladder in a dungeon or building
l = Locate; determine your position
m = Mix; prepare reagents for a spell to be cast
n = New order; rearrange the order of the party
o = Open; attempt to open a door (followed by direction)
p = Peer at a gem; shows a bird’s eye view of a town, castle, dungeon or the overworld; one viewing per gem
q = Quit and save to disk (from the overworld only)
r = Ready a weapon for use in combat
s = Search; inspect your current location for hidden items
t = Talk; converse with townspeople or trade with merchants (say “bye” to end conversation)
u = Use; use an item found by searching
v = Volume; adjusts sound volume
w = Wear armour; outfits player with specified armour
x = Exit; leave behind or dismount your current transport and travel on foot
y = Yell any word that’s typed
z = Stats; displays your character statistics, possessions and spells
Spacebar = Pass one game turn without taking any action