Ultima VI

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Ultima VI: The False Prophet is an 1990 video game. It was the last title of the "Age of Enlightenment" Trilogy of the Ultima games. The Avatar is once again summoned to Britannia, but not by Lord British... this time, it's by a race of demonic-looking beings called Gargoyles who immediately begin sacrificing him. He is rescued by his core party from the previous two games and discovers that the Gargoyles have invaded Britannia and have taken control of each Shrine, the focal points of the Way of the Avatar.

Why have the Gargoyles attacked? Where did they come from? How can their threat be stopped? And who is the False Prophet?

Tropes used in Ultima VI include:
  • Animated Armor: One unintended consequence of a certain combination of spells has given rise to the most awesome, 'legit' way of cloning rare equipment. 'Animate' caused an inanimate item to 'come to life' and acquire basic critter stats (low hp, defense, no attack, and mobility). If 'killed', said animated object would revert to its nonliving state. The 'Clone' spell would create a duplicate of any living object. Simply put, 'Animate' the magic armor (which would try to run away), 'Clone' it a few times, then 'Kill' them all with a method of your choice. Instant Game Breaker!
  • An Interior Designer Is You: Due to the wide-open sandbox, many players would set up a base in the room in the castle provided by Lord British, or find an empty home, or kill a character who wasn't important to completing the game and take their house. So long as it was near a moongate any old place would do, and you could appropriate furniture and items from nearby houses to furnish it.
  • The Call: The first of the series to explicitly state that the Avatar was from "our world".
  • Cartoon Juggling: The jugglers in the game to a standard cascade: you can even have a juggler join your party (Blaine, one of the traveling gypsies)!
  • Control Room Puzzle: The Shrine of Control, especially, but a few other places in the dungeons.
  • Demoted to Extra: You can no longer recruit Mariah or Geoffrey into your party, though they still play a role in the story. On the other hand, this can actually be counted as Ascended Extra instead because your party members had no dialogue at all in the previous games.
  • Exclusively Evil: Richard Gariott himself has stated that the entire purpose of the game is to absolutely deconstruct the hell out of this concept.
  • Fantastic Racism
  • Gay Option: Both the male and female Avatar can sleep with prostitutes of either gender.
  • Good Job Breaking It Hero: When the Codex was raised by Lord British and the Great Council, it ripped apart the Gargoyle world and stole their greatest Shrine.
  • Great Offscreen War: There's supposedly a huge war with the gargoyles going on. The soldiers talk about it. You see the wounded being cared for in Cove... however, due to the Wide Open Sandbox gameplay, you travel all over the fairly pristine world and never find a single battleground.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The Avatar himself/herself, though it never actually ends up happening.
  • Lord British Postulate: Like other Ultima games, Lord British is immune to conventional attacks, and one of the only ways to kill Lord British in this game would be to use a Glass Sword and attack him while he's sleeping in bed.
  • Lost Aesop:
    • The shock of The Reveal is greatly lessened by no one mistaking Gargoyles for Balrons or Winged Daemons (indeed, the "B" word was only ever uttered once, in Ultima VII). Everyone realizes they are "like" these beings. That there were Winged Daemons/Balrons who referred to themselves as Evil in previous games are never mentioned. Justifying Gargoyles working for Mondain, Minax and Exodus because they admired their Discipline is a rather weak justification. That none of the Gargoyles who spoke the same language that Mondain or Minax spoke tried explaining things also dilutes things.
    • Making things even more confusing is that there are also actual Daemon enemies in the game: you encounter them in Hythloth (the dungeon that links the two worlds).
  • Our Gargoyles Rock: They're a foreign race that follow Disciplines instead of Virtues; a different yet equal value system.
  • Portal Network: The Orb of the Moons, which you have at the start of the game, can teleport you to each town, to each shrine, and to the Gargoyle country.
  • Porting Distillation: The full PC experience never would have ported properly, and the porting team had to comply with Nintendo's Moral Guardians policies, so they focused on delivering the core experience with the bare minimum censorship needed to get it released, which translated to a simplified version of the PC gameplay modified for a SNES controller, some moderate changes to the gargoyles and a script filled with Never Say "Die", but the entire game plot otherwise made it to release intact.
  • Prophecy Twist: The gargoyle Book of Prophecies states that the only way to prevent the utter destruction of their people is by "sacrifice of the False Prophet." The gargoyles believe this means they must sacrifice the False Prophet, but in the end, the False Prophet (the Avatar) fulfills the prophecy by sacrificing the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom into the Void.
  • Retcon: This one is a doozy. The Gargoyles are actually the Balrons from Ultima IV and prior games.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Due to the Wide Open Sandbox nature of the game, upon starting up you can march directly to many beneficial places in the game, like the Pirates Treasure.
  • Spiritual Sequel: Cythera is almost graphically identical to Ultima VI and features the same conversation system.
  • Take That: All of the pirates are named after employees of Electronic Arts, in response to a frivolous lawsuit EA filled against Origin. For example, Captain Hawkins is named after Trip Hawkins, founder and then-CEO of EA.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • In any town where there are cannons, a player short on cash could just move a few to the designated guard patrol routes and kill a guard NPC using the cannons with no repercussions. They could then just loot the body, sell the equipment, and wait an hour for the NPC to respawn. They don't seem to notice who's killing them, and the shopkeepers happily accept equipment blasted full of cannonball-sized holes.
    • Especially silly is how common guards come equipped with, say, Halberds, and just a few of them would rip through any of the Gargoyles camped at a shrine.
  • Unwinnable by Design:
    • Using the Orb of the Moons, you can go to the Gargoyle country at anytime from the beginning of the game. You can slaughter all of the Gargoyle NPCs, and the game will never be won. Several of the plot-important NPCs will flat-out attack you if you go there without completing the quest that's supposed to send you there.
    • While ships and skiffs can be controlled to go wherever the player wants, if you hop onto a raft (found here and there along creeks), you are at the mercy of the currents. Unfortunately, you can't get out of a raft until are alongside land, and if you don't manage to get off the raft, you will get washed out to sea and get stuck against the starry sky at the edge of the world. I hope you didn't save there hoping to find a way back...
    • Another way would be burying the Moonstones you acquire from each shrine of virtue in a dungeon. Being perpetually 'night', they would create a blue moongate. The problem is, you need them to finish the game, and they can only be retrieved in the daytime. Hope you didn't save...
  • Video Game Stealing: Mostly averted with the "Pickpocket" spell, except that you can use it to steal "meat" from animals.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: Here is one point where the game excels. Every NPC, even shopkeepers, have a bed and house they sleep in and a routine they follow. Conversations are incredibly in-depth, and there's plenty of exploration that can be done just exploring the actual world.