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Xtreme Classix - Ultima


Ultima 3: Exodus NES Screenshot 1
Ultima 3: Exodus (NES)
Eons ago Lord British came unto the lands of Sosaria. Since that time it has been united under his rule as the Kingdom of Britannia and has gone through two major crises. A few years ago there were political upheavals among the city states of the kingdom. The ringleader of this political instability was Mondain, the Magician. Under his horrible rule, the people's lives were devastated. A valiant warrior was called forth from another world by Lord British. This warrior finally overthrew Mondain.

Britannia survived the first crisis. But peace in the Kingdom of Britannia did not last long. Minax, the Witch, a disciple of Mondain, became very powerful and ruled the world of darkness. Minax had power to sway the time axis of the universe. However, a legendary hero again came to the rescue, overthrew Minax, and brought peace back to the kingdom.

The Kingdom of Britannia entered into a peaceful state for another twenty years. Now, the Kingdom is about to face its third crisis. Rumours abound about a fiery island which has emerged in the south- western seas. Little is know of the evil that dwells there. It is known only as EXODUS. Mondain and Minax have cast a spell on Exodus, this island of fire, and the little-known island has started volcanic activity.

Lord British has sent out a call across time and space in search of four valiant warriors. Their quest: to return peace to the kingdom. They must solve the riddle of Exodus. You are the leader of this quest.
--From the NES Ultima 3: Exodus instruction manual.

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Ultima 4: Quest of the Avatar NES Screenshot 1
Ultima 4: Quest of the Avatar (NES)
To be at peace in all areas is a state only achieved by an Avatar. Is such a state attainable by any human, fallible as we all are? The true answer can only be found by those who quest forth in search of it - for who can see the end of the Path before beginning the journey? Yet it is also written that for each person the Path is different.

The Quest of the Avatar is the search for a new standard, a new vision of life for which our people may strive. We seek the person who can become a shining example of our nation and guide us from the Age of Darkness into the Age of Light.

We have sent this message our to the farthest reaches of the known universe, indeed, we have even spoken across the void of time. Is there One who can complete the Quest of the Avatar? Many have tried already, and have met with partial success, becoming enlightened in one or more of the Eight Virtues of the Avatar - but none have yet attained the true state of being an Avatar.
--from the Ultima 4 Quest of the Avatar game manual

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Ultima 5: Warriors of Destiny NES Screenshot 1
Ultima 5: Warriors of Destiny (NES)
It seems that Lord British has taken off on a quest of his own. In the meantime, he has left his trusted adviser Blackthorn on the throne as Regent. Unfortunately, evil creatures known as the Shadowlords have gradually corrupted Lord Blackthorn, turning him from a benevolent leader into a cruel tyrant. In Ultima 5: Warriors of Destiny, it is up to the Avatar to return once again and save Britannia. Free Blackthorn from the power of the Shadowlords, and return Lord British to the throne.

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Ultima 6: The False Prophet Super Nintendo Screenshot 1
Ultima 6: The False Prophet (Super Nintendo)
I am Lord British, king and creator of Britannia. I take up my pen to inform thee, Avatar, of a serious problem which we now confront. I wish to enlist thy help to save our land. As thou remembers time and time again, Britannia has been cast into crisis by the resurgent influence of wickedness. Thou hast answered my call every time. Recently thou brought back the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom and helped me to escape from the Underworld. In order for thee to clearly understand the magnitude of this adventure, let us cast a glance at Britannia's history.

The Dark Ages The wicked wizard Mondain and his malevolent disciple, the enchantress Minax, were erased from the world. Yet Exodus, their vile brain child, was left behind. Neither human nor machine, his terrible power spread, until four bravve warriors, including thou, answered my call and destroyed him.

The Age of the Avatar With the Dark Ages over, Britannia's culture flourished around the eight major cities. In order to properly guide Britannian cultural advancement, a role model was necessary. We waited for such a person; a person who would show us the way to all virtues. Thou responded to this call. To explain the difficult concept of the virtues, thou brought forth the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom from the Abyss. Currently the Codex is housed in the Shrine of Avatar Island, created after a great cataclysm.

The Shadowlord Conspiracy Unfortunately, removing the Codex from the Underworld upset the balance of the Universe and resulted in the emergence of the three Shadowlords from the splinters of Mondain's black jewel. I was imprisoned in the Underworld and the once-trusted Blackthorn ruled Britannia in my stead. Full of malice, Blackthorn's rule of tyranny began. Again, thou rescued us from this crisis. With the principles of truth, love, and courage, thou succeeded in driving back the Shadowlords and unseating the nefarious Blackthorn. My return brought about a huge tectonic cataclysm and the destruction of the Underworld.

And Now the Menace of the Gargoyles In the wake of the underground upheaval, the Gargoyles, once thought to be creatures of legend, suddenly invaded Britannia. At first, the Gargoyle army occupied our shrines, but then they started to make sneak night attacks on villages and homes. The forces of Britannia are desperately struggling to oppose them, but the Gargoyle Army far exceeds them in physical strength, and the situation looks grim. If we analyze the Gargoyle strategy, it seems like they are looking for something important. It is also rumored that thy end is one of their objectives, although I cannot guess the reason. I entreat thee once more to find some way to save our land in this time of crisis.

On this journey your limitless knowledge of truth, love and courage will be the key. Thy destiny awaits thee at the end of this journey, as it has been foretold since time beyond memory. "One who possesses the power of an army, the eye of a seer and the heart of a generous person shall come forth. This one shall lead to the end of the struggle between dark and light."

Thus I call upon thee once again. It is thy destiny to fulfill this prophecy. Shouldst thou fail, the light will be extinguished and the world will be plunged into everlasting darkness.

I bid thee to fight bravely.

Lord British

--From the Super Nintendo Ultima 6: The False Prophet instruction manual.

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Ultima 7: The Black Gate Super Nintendo Screenshot 1
Ultima 7: The Black Gate (Super Nintendo)
At the dawning of the Age of Enlightenment, a movement called the Fellowship becomes the leading philosophical and moral ideology of the lands of Britannia. As the people embrace this new vision of a better world, they believe that disasters requiring the aid of the Avatar will be a thing of the past, and the Avatar himself and all his struggles will fade into legend. However, a mysterious figure known only as the Guardian threatens to force Britannia under his will, and the Avatar must once again return to the land, to find the source of these new disruptions.

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Ultima Runes of Virtue Gameboy Screenshot 1
Ultima Runes of Virtue (Gameboy)

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Ultima: Runes of Virtue 2 Super Nintendo Screenshot 1
Ultima: Runes of Virtue 2 (Super Nintendo)
The Black Knight is bored, and has decided to annoy Lord British by kidnapping the Nobles of Britannia. Of course, Lord British summons the Avatar to rescue the missing Lords and put a stop to the Black Knight's foolishness.

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