|The blank slate of a new character|
Consequently, character creation for Ultima IV took me far longer than it probably should have - but hey, at least I enjoyed myself!
One can't get far into a discussion of Ultima without at least some mention of its character creation system - it is the first thing you do in the game - and I'm no exception. This is the first appearance of the Virtue Questions, and I love the way the whole process sets the tone for the game. Games that approach character creation by a series of questions, a personality test of sorts, I find rather intriguing - a way of determining how your own personal approach might translate into game terms. It sets up your character in the game as truly a representation of you, or at least moreso than simply choosing appearance and starting stats and abilities upfront. I think that may be part of why I liked Morrowind more than Obilvion and Skyrim - the possibility of approaching character creation in such a manner was still possible in the former, but not in the latter.
In Ultima IV's case, I like the fact that it makes use of one of the game's crucial mechanics right there in the process - the Virtues. By pitting them against each other and determining exactly which ones the player favors over the others, it helps establish which ones the character in-game might already have a decent handle on, and which ones they'll need to work a little harder in order to prove their understanding.What could be a better set-up for a game that centers around a personal, philosophical sort of journey? (It's kind of interesting to see how the results I get from taking the virtue test 'honestly' has changed over the years, too. I played a fair few bards when I first got into Ultima IV by doing so, but these days I'm more prone to getting a ranger. Compassion has given way to Spirituality as I've grown older, apparently.) Couple that with the fact that the classes aren't that widely different from each other, and you can cover what you're lacking with other party members anyway, and it makes for a very nice system.
Of course, you could just simply game it, too, and choose the virtue centered around the class you want whenever it comes up. But for a story-focused playthrough, where's the fun in that?
|Ain't no way I'm givin' up that money. I need it!!|
Sacrifice lost to Honor, again for the sake of money (it was hard to come by in the past few games, no way he was giving up a bounty he'd get paid for), and the nod went to Justice over Valor, because I couldn't picture Aric staying silent over slurs (I mean, he'd wallop guards who said nothing but UGH, ME TOUGH in Ultima II).
|Aric's perceived guilt leads him to Justice.|
Maybe it's best he make his way to Castle Britannia. For now. To figure out what the heck he needs to do to make amends, atone for his actions, and achieve avatarhood. Yes, that sounds like a good and wise plan. He and I will get right on that.
|Methinks I'll avoid the city folk for now...|