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In most role-playing games the purpose is to get stronger and defeat a powerful opponent. Instead, Ultima IV requires the player to practice the eight Virtues of Goodness.

Gameplay[edit]

A shrine of virtue (SMS port)

By visiting the shrines of the eight virtues, the player can learn the rules of the game in order to win.

General things to do:

  • Meditation leads to enlightenment. Seek ye all Wisdom and Knowledge! (Spirituality)
  • Seek ye to know thyself. Visit the seer often for he can see into thy inner being! (Spirituality)
  • Seek ye to solve the many Quests before thee, and honor shall be a reward! (Honor)

Combat rules:

  • Evil creatures:
    • Victories scored over evil creatures help to build a valorous soul! (Valor)
    • To flee from battle with less than grievous wounds often shows a coward! (Valor)
    • For thee to flee and leave thy companions is a self-serving action to be avoided! (Sacrifice)
  • Non-evil creatures:
    • To strike first a non-evil being is by no means an honorable deed! (Honor)
    • Kill not a non-evil beast for they deserve not death, even if in hunger they attack thee! (Justice)
    • Kill not the non-evil beasts of the land, and do not attack the fair people! (Compassion)
    • Attack not a peaceful citizen for that action deserves strict punishment! (Justice)

About chests in towns:

  • Take not the gold of others found in towns and castles for yours it is not! (Honesty)
  • To take the gold of others is injustice not soon forgotten. Take only thy due! (Justice)
  • Take not the gold of others for this shall bring dishonor upon thee! (Honor)

About beggars, blind people and hospitals:

  • Cheat not the merchants and peddlers for tis an evil thing to do! (Honesty)
  • Give of thy purse to those who beg and thy deed shall not be forgotten! (Compassion)
  • To give thy last gold piece unto the needy shows good measure of self-sacrifice! (Sacrifice)
  • To give of thy life's blood so that others may live is a virtue of great praise! (Sacrifice)

Other things to avoid:

  • Claim not to be that which thou art not. Humble actions speak well of thee! (Humility)
  • Strive not to wield the Great Force of Evil for its power will overcome thee! (Humility)