Master Ultima

Master Ultima: Mystery, Magic and Strategy (ISBN 0-672-22828-9) is a non-Origin hint book written by Ralph Roberts. It contains walkthroughs and various hints and strategies for Ultima I (the 1986 remake), Ultima II, Ultima III, Ultima IV, Ultima V and Ultima VI. It originally retailed for USD$16.95 and was published in 1991 by SAMS.

The chapters for each game are presented in two formats, both a straightforward hand-holding walkthrough for the game in question, followed by a account of each adventure told as a narrative short story. Unlike the "novelizations" of the Ultima games provided in The Avatar Adventures, these retellings do not comprise a self-consistent story arc of their own, but rather feature a different central character for each tale:

  • The section on Ultima II focuses on a Wizard named Nimsman.
  • For Ultima III, the reader follows the tale of Flavian, a human Cleric, and his companions: Bobo, a Dwarf Fighter, Elena, a human Thief, and Merlin, a fuzzy Wizard.
  • Ultima IV features a first-person account as the Paladin Lavonda tells, in her own words, how she became an Avatar.
  • The Ultima V chapter is about another Avatar named Stuart, but is told through the eyes of a poor stable boy whose becomes inspired by Stuart's example.
  • And lastly, the story of Ultima VI centers on yet another Avatar, this time called Rollo.

In addition to the walkthroughs, Master Ultima also contains chapters on the history of the Ultima series, general strategies for the games covered, a short FAQ list about Ultima creator Richard Garriott, and a brief glossary of Britannian terms.

Like many of the third-party books published during the series' prime, Master Ultima is quite rare today. Depending on quality, used copies often command high prices on eBay and the collectible market.

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