Game Guide

Ultima Forever

(Last updated 08-13-2013)

This is provided for new and veteran Ultima players as they start their adventures in Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar.

I. Introduction

From the introduction FAQ: "Ultima Forever is the deepest multiplayer role-playing game to come to the mobile market. A spiritual successor to the enormously influential Ultima IV, Ultima Forever mixes the rich lore of the classic game, updated for mobile platforms, and is completely free to play.

Players embark on an epic quest to save the world of Britannia from The Weep – a plague that is spreading out of the Stygian Abyss and across the land. They can find loot, solve quandaries, complete quests, and join with friends in multiplayer groups to beat dungeons. Set against a lushly hand painted world, Ultima Forever packs an unrivaled RPG experience into 3-15 minute gameplay sessions and has a vast number of areas to explore."

Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar (U4E) is available and optimized for the following devices running Apple's iOS 5.0+, including:

  • Apple iPad 2 +
  • iPhone 4s+
  • iPod Touch 5+

Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar recommends that players be connected to a wireless connection; carrier networks will also work, but players may experience some loss in performance. To ensure persistent connectivity, your device must have access to a strong, stable internet signal. Players can log into the game using their Facebook account settings, and create either a male Fighter and a male/female Mage. Players using their Facebook account can play their characters from multiple devices; otherwise, using the Guest login setting will allow you to play your characters on a single device.

II. The Ultima Series

Ultima is a series of open world fantasy role-playing video games, originally created by Richard Garriott, a.k.a. Lord British. The main Ultima series included nine installments (the seventh title is further divided into two parts) grouped into three trilogies, or "Ages": The Age of Darkness (Ultima I-III), The Age of Enlightenment (Ultima IV-VI), and The Age of Armageddon (Ultima VII-IX). Originally, the player character was referred to as the Stranger, but by the end of Ultima IV he becomes universally known as the Avatar.

In Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness, the Stranger is first summoned to Sosaria to defeat the evil wizard Mondain who aims to enslave it. Since Mondain possesses the Gem of Immortality, which makes him invulnerable, the Stranger locates a time machine, travels back in time to kill Mondain before he creates the Gem, and shatters the incomplete artifact.

Ultima II: The Revenge of the Enchantress details Mondain's secret student and lover Minax's attempt to avenge him. Minax launches an attack on the Stranger's homeworld of Earth. Her actions cause doorways to open to various times and locations throughout Earth's history, and brings forth legions of monsters to all of them. The Stranger, after obtaining the Quicksword that alone can harm her, locates the evil sorceress at Castle Shadowguard at the origin of time and defeats her.

Ultima III: Exodus reveals that Mondain and Minax had an offspring, the eponymous Exodus, "neither human, nor machine", according to the later games (it is depicted as a computer at the conclusion of the game, and it appears to be a demonic, self-aware artificial intelligence). Some time after Minax's death, Exodus starts his own attack on Sosaria and the Stranger is summoned once again to destroy it.

Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar marked a turning point in the series from the traditional "hero vs. villain" plots, instead introducing a complex alignment system based upon the Eight Virtues derived from the combinations of the Three Principles of Love, Truth and Courage. Although Britannia now prospers under Lord British's rule, he fears for his subjects' spiritual well-being and summons the Stranger again to become a spiritual leader of Britannian people by example. Upon achieving enlightenment in every Virtue, he finds the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom and becomes the Avatar, the embodiment of Britannia's virtues.

Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar is considered a reboot of the Ultima series, and takes place 21 years following the events of Ultima IV. Lady British, daughter of the former Old King, now rules the land of Britannia towards its future. Faced with the growing evil of the Black Weep that has begun to cover the lands, Lady British has summoned adventurers from Earth to take up the mantle of the First Avatar by completing the Quest of the Virtues to become the Avatar of Renown.

III. The Virtues

The Eight Virtues (sometimes known as the Eight Virtues of the Avatar) were created by Lord British after the closing of the Age of Darkness, and were designed to be a new vision of life, for which people might strive. As most of the evil from outside had been vanquished, Lord British wanted people to start rooting out the evil that lurks within themselves. Each of the eight main towns was dedicated to one of the Eight Virtues, and Shrines were built near each one of them. Castles were also created to be dedicated to the Three Principles that lead to the Virtues.

Truth, Love
Love, Courage
Truth, Courage
Truth, Love, Courage
Skara Brae
New Magincia

In Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar, your character will earn Virtue from clearing foes from dungeons, completing challenging quests, grouping with other players, and by helping Britannia's citizens with moral decisions. As you gain Virtue, your character will become more powerful in the lands!

IV. Getting Started

Once you've downloaded Ultima Forever from the App store, you will have the option to log into the game using your Facebook account or to play as a Guest. Please note, Guest accounts are limited to the device they are created on. Once you've decided, you will be prompted to create your Character's name that you will be known by. This cannot be changed, so pick carefully.

At present time, there are only two Character classes available: male Fighter or male/female Mage. The Developers have stated they are discussing the inclusion of additional classes in future updates, but there is no immediate time frame. Once you've picked your Character class, you will be set into Britannia!

There are some things to be aware of as you enter the lands, and begin your quest:

  • There are no vendors to sell extra items or equipment at this time.
  • There are no random world encounters, and no Player vs Player (PvP) at this time.
  • To remove items from your Backpack, you must Destroy them. Be careful, once the item is gone, it's gone.
  • The Clothing menu allows you to customize the appearance of your weapon and armour.
  • As you gain levels, more challenging dungeons and adventures will unlock on the World map.
  • Currency in U4E are the Keys: Gold, Silver, and Copper. Gold keys are rare, so use them wisely!
  • Tarot (Boost) cards are consumable items; they are used at the start of a dungeon to help boost your chances.
  • You can only equip Tarot cards at the intro screen of a dungeon, and will be lost on completion.
  • EXPLORE! While the Avatar quests will direct you through the game, there are dozens of side quests available. Look everywhere!
  • Equipment is based on its quality: Common, Uncommon, Rare, and Epic. The quality of Keys determine your rewards.
  • Quest items, equipment, and tarot cards are only available from Chests. These can be found in dungeons and in each Town.

V. The Interface

Combat in Ultima Forever is intuitive and reactive to your Character's action. Where you stand relative to your enemies can determine whether you take damage, or if your attacks will have a critical effect. Keep in mind, you can also move your Character out of Area of Effect attacks to prevent further damage.

The Character Screen (portrait in the upper left of your screen) will show you basic information about your character. This includes your current Loadout/Clothing equipment, your character Stats, your available Abilities, and your Reputation standings.

  • Power - Base damage of your attacks
  • Vitality - Your character's health
  • Luck - Chance % of critical attack
  • Defense - Chance to avoid damage
  • Physical DEF - Damage reduction from physical attack
  • Magical DEF - Damage reduction from magical attack

Loadout is the equipment that your Character has currently equipped (Weapon, Pauldron, Helm, Armour, Cloak) and will take durability damage as you fight opponents. Clothing is the equipment that your Character will display on screen, and will not degrade. Vanity items are only used for Clothing slots, but you can also equip ANY available item in its respective Clothing slot to customize your Character's appearance.

Abilities become available as your Character's level progresses, and additional Skill slots (under the portrait) can be unlocked via Keys. You can select available Abilities to use by tapping them in your Abilities menu, then tapping the selected Skill slot.

The Social Screen (bottom left of your screen) allows you to interact with other Ultima Forever players in the game. The Chat menu allows you to chat with other players via Global chat across your current area, Party chat for players that you have grouped with, and Message chat for private chat with another player. You can also choose to use the in-game Group Finder (under your portrait) to let the game randomly partner you with other players.

The Friends list allows you to keep track of other players that you have met in game, and may wish to group with again in the future. You can add Friends by tapping the other player's character portrait, and selecting Add Friend. You can also Ignore disruptive players you do not wish to speak with again. Keep in mind, how you treat other players in game will generally reflect how you are treated as well; Virtue is its own reward. :D

The Facebook Friends menu is only available if you are logged in via your Facebook account, and allows you to keep track of any FB friends who also play Ultima Forever. Invite your Companions to join your Quest!

The Quest Menu (Gypsy's icon on top right of your screen) shows your current Avatar quest standing, along with any side quests you may have collected. Avatar Quests progress the main story of Ultima Forever, and will often require you to travel Britannia on your search to end the Black Weep. Side Quests are available from NPCs around the world, and are a great source of experience, Virtue, and reputation for your Character's advancement. Be sure to fully explore any new Town or area.

Avatar quests are marked by the U4E symbol, Quandary (Virtue) quests are marked by a yellow ?, Side quests are marked by a yellow !, while Repeatable quests use a blue !. Quests that are above your current level are marked with a Grey icon, so check back as your Character's power grows.

Each quest in your log will show you the rewards associated with completing them. Reputation with the quest's faction, Experience points, the related Virtue, and any Keys that will be rewarded are shown at the bottom of the quest's information. This is useful information when working on your Character's reputation with the various factions in Britannia.

The Game Menu (on the far right top of your screen) has several selections. The Backpack holds your current inventory of weapons, armour, and potions. You start with 15 slots available, and can open additional inventory slots via Gold keys. Items in your Backpack must be destroyed to remove them from your inventory at this time. Quest Items are stored in a seperate screen, and are used in your quests as you adventure in Britannia.

Boost (Tarot) cards are consumable items that give your Character an extra leg up in dungeons, and can only be equipped at the start of an encounter. There are 48 Tarot cards in the game, and each has a different bonus. Any cards that are used during your adventure will be lost, so choose carefully!

The Settings Menu allows you to adjust your music and volume settings, review the game's agreement, get in-game help, and to log out of the game.

VI. The Shop / Currency

While Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar is a free-to-play mobile game, there is an in-game Shop (top far right menu on your screen, $ symbol) that allows you to purchase Gold and Silver keys in various quantities for real world money. These purchases are billed the same way for any other purchases you make on your device. If you are using an iPhone or iPad, the charge is through your iTunes account. To purchase Keys you must enable in-app purchases your device.

Gold keys are very rare and provide Rare and Epic quality items from opening Chests around the world. These are also used to unlock certain slots for your Character, and to give an advantage in-game with certain situations (ie: reducing a Shrine's cooldown, repairing all items, etc.) The game currently requires 8 Gold keys to open a Chest.

Silver keys provide Uncommon quality items from Chests and are used to repair damaged equipment for your Character. Silver keys can be acquired via purchase in the Shop, or by converting 18 Copper keys for 6 Silver ones. The game currently requires 6 Silver keys to open a Chest.

Copper keys provide Common quality items from Chests, and are obtained from slaying creatures in your adventure and from quest rewards. Copper keys can be converted to Silver at a cost of 18 Copper keys for 6 Silver ones. The game currently requires 6 Copper keys to open a Chest.

All weapons, armour, cards, potions, and quest items are obtained by opening Chests. So it's important to manage your Keys carefully through your adventures!

VII. Exploration

In Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar, your Character will be travelling all over Britannia, visiting the Towns and Shrines, and will be delving into terrifying and challenging Dungeons in their quest to end the Black Weep. The World Map (lower right corner of your screen) is visible when your Character not in a Dungeon setting, and will show the areas of Britannia available for your Character's questing. Areas that have a padlock on them are not yet available at your Character's current level, and will open as you progress. You can select an area from the World Map to see the level range appropriate for your questing, and if there are any current associated quests in your log.

You can always return to lower level dungeon and scenario areas for additional Reputation with the factions of Britannia, but your Character will not gain Virtue or continue to level unless facing challenging opponents. You can also Fast Travel to an unlocked area on the World Map using Keys, so it's up to you to decide your travel plans. Each Town in Britannia has an Unlimited Chest available to use for additional items and equipment, and uses the same Keys as in a dungeon. When exploring a Town, be sure to explore all Buildings that are available, and speak with any NPC (Non-Player Character) that you encounter to receive important Story information for the game.

Finally, the eight Shrines of the Virtue can be visited to meditate on their respective Virtue. Doing so will grant your Character a bonus to that specific Virtue for a limited duration, and will require a lengthy cooldown until the Shrine can be revisited. The cooldowns for the Shrines can be expedited by the use of Gold keys.

VIII. Reputations

As your Character progresses their level in Britannia, there are several factions that will react to your Character based on their standing. In Ultima Forever, each Town and Castle has seperate Reputation standings for your Character, and can only be gained by proving your dedication to the Virtues in your adventures. Side Quests will often give your Character a chance to prove your standing with these Reputations, and can be repeated as long as the challenge is appropriate to your level.

You can also explore various dungeon areas in the world, and determine which ones provide the best Reputation reward in your quest. Generally, areas near a certain Town will grant you favor with the residents. Some weapons and armour require a certain Reputation standing with a faction before you can equip it, so choose carefully!

Not all Reputations have been included in the game at this time. The ones that are available are as follows:

  • Britain - Compassion
  • Yew - Justice
  • Cove - Humility
  • Skara Brae - Spirituality
  • Jhelom - Valour
  • Minoc - Sacrifice
  • Paws - Justice
  • Moonglow - Honesty
  • Trinsic - Honour
  • Castle Britannia - All Virtues
  • Empath Abbey - Sacrifice, Humility, Compassion, Justice

Good luck in your Quest, Avatar!

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