Ultima V

Warriors of Destiny featured much more polished writing (earlier games were riddled with some orthographical errors and uneven vocabulary) and considerably greater detail than previous games. It was the first Ultima to implement a time-of-day system in which the sun rises and sets, and non-player characters follow daily routine schedules. This game has been lauded as realistically portraying a culture living under a dictatorial regime; its tone is much darker than that of Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar.

As in Ultima IV, the player can interact with non-player characters (NPCs) by typing a word or phrase that signifies the topic to discuss. The NPCs will say what they care to share about a subject when it is mentioned, and the player can repeat key words used in the NPC's response to ask for further details. Sometimes, an NPC will ask a question of the player, and the player must give an appropriate response to keep the conversation active. As in Ultima IV only the first four letters of player spoken text are read by the game i.e. for 'shrine' the player need only type 'shri'.

The Shadowlords constrict the player in a cage from which he cannot escape if the party gets too close (in spite of Shamino having escaped from a conflict in the opening sequence) and they cannot be destroyed by combat. There are three Shadowlords: Faulinei, the Shadowlord of Falsehood; Astaroth, the Shadowlord of Hatred; and Nosfentor, the Shadowlord of Cowardice. Each of the lords represents the antithesis of one of the three principles of Truth, Love, and Courage. Each Shadowlord's name must be learned by the player in order to defeat them. Their names also summon them if spoken by the player. The Shadowlords are defeated by locating a corresponding shard for each one in the underworld. These must then be destroyed in the matching flame; i.e. the shard of falsehood must be destroyed in the flame of truth.

The Shadowlords appear at various times in different towns, and affect the towns people greatly. If the shadowlord of cowardice is about, the people will run away from you, afraid. If under the effect of the shadowlord of falsehood, they will try to steal from you. If the shadowlord of hatred is affecting them, they will try to attack you.

In addition to traveling by foot, the player's party can ride horses, sail ships, and row skiffs. A much less conventional form of travel, moongates are magical portals that appear at night in eight key locations across Britannia; stepping through one transports the player to another moongate, determined by the phases of the two moons. Ultima V added a notable new method of transport: the Magic Carpet. Found early in the game, the Magic Carpet is a handy way of traversing the game world, as it can float over almost any terrain, be it swamp, rivers and coastal waters, or even lava.

The release of Ultima V included:

BookofLore U5mapJourney-u5 Ultima V Quick Reference GuideCdxcoin

The Book of Lore
Cloth map of Britannia
The Journal of Lord British's Journey to the Underworld
Ultima V Quick Reference Card
▪ A Codex Coin

Official Clue Book:

Ultima V Cluebook


Britannia had enjoyed peace and prosperity since the Quest of the Avatar found its champion. The dungeons were soon sealed by the Great Council in the intervening years, with the Eight Virtues strong and the people living in content. However, the existence of a vast and mysterious Underworld was discovered, prompting Lord British himself to set out on a pioneering expedition to thoroughly explore its depths. Not one week into the journey, the king and most of his entourage fell prey to ominous forces and were overwhelmed, leaving British missing. The following appearance of the sinister Shadowlords deeply corrupted the mind of Britannia's interim presiding regent, Lord Blackthorn. With Lord British's fate unknown, a dark tyranny of draconic, extremist "Virtues" ensued, with the Companions of the Avatar declared outlaws.

The player, as the Avatar, returned to Britannia to find it in such peril; governed by a ruthless, dictatorial regime and terrorized by the dark Shadowlords. Gathering as many former companions as possible, the Avatar discreetly sought out guidance in the effort to vanquish the Shadowlords, recovering the Crown Jewels of Lord British and undermining the Oppression—Lord Blackthorn's own agents—in the affair. With the aid of the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom, the Avatar learned the nature of Lord British's imprisonment.

After successfully trapping and destroying each of the Shadowlords, the Avatar descended into the colossal Underworld and the foul dungeon Doom, successfully recovering the captive Lord British and restoring him to the throne. With the Shadowlords' hold over Blackthorn severed, his mind was finally clear but burdened with the knowledge of what had transpired under his rule. Faced with a choice by Lord British to either stand trial before the Great Council or be exiled to a fate unknown, Blackthorn chose the latter, stepping without a word through a waiting red moongate.

This is the first Ultima game with NPC schedules and day-night cycles.
First traditional "hint-giving" appearance of Smith the Horse.


Download Music The musical score was originally composed by Kenneth D. Arnold for the Apple II version. These tracks were converted to midi format and played on a Roland Sound Canvas 55. Click on the lute to download the music files.