Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar, Sega Master System

The Sega Master System version of Ultima IV was ported and published by Sega in 1990. It is a faithful adaptation of Richard Garriott‘s classic RPG that uses a menu system instead of keyboard commands, and it plays very well.

The structure of the game and the storyline are pretty much identical to the original, but with a few small changes to adapt it to play better on a gamepad.

Doors open automatically in this, when you move into them (if they’re not locked, of course). You also immediately enter towns when you walk over them in the overworld. Talking, searching, magic, and status screens are all accessible via the menu system.

One important difference over the original is that characters with ranged weapons can now fire them diagonally, so they’re not restricted to having to be in line with targets to hit them. However, some ranged weapons – like the sling – seem to have limited range, so if you’re not close enough to a target you won’t hit them with it.

Dungeons in this version are viewed from overhead and the first-person viewpoint of the original has been dropped. The monster-filled junction rooms are still there and the layout of the dungeons remains mostly the same.

If you’re already familiar with how to play Ultima IV then you’ll probably motor through this as it’s pretty fast – especially movement through the overworld. The SMS version is also a good alternative for beginners as it’s easier to play, with a menu system rather than the keypresses of the original. Overall, it’s a good conversion and a decent RPG on the Master System.

More: Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar on Wikipedia
GOG: Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar on GOG.com [free]
GOG: Ultima 4+5+6 on GOG.com

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