Also I believe the manual can catch you up on the backstory if you're interested.
It absolutely can, but you have to remember that Batlin (the supposed "author" of the manual, The Book of Fellowship
) is putting his own spin on the events of past games and when discussing the Virtues, so you have to take those accounts with a grain of salt or two. They are accurate on their face, but peppered with commentary that serves the purposes of Fellowship propaganda.
get far more out of the experience if you're at least familiar with past Ultima
games, but it is by no means a requirement. Really, all you need to know is that you're the Avatar, Lord British's chosen champion, and you always return to Britannia in its hour of need -- but it's now about 200 years since you were last seen (Britannia is a bit like Narnia in that time flows differently there than it does on Earth) and the people now regard you as little more than a myth. The game itself will talk you through the rest.
Sounds like you played them all before, is 7 the best one of the series to play?
"Best" is a relative term, but Ultima VII
is usually cited as Richard Garriott's personal favorite out of the series (tied with IV
). That certainly carries a lot of weight with the fans. Taking both games (The Black Gate
and Serpent Isle
) and their expansions as a cohesive whole, it's certainly the longest and most complex game in the Ultima
canon, and also features the deepest storyline, Serpent Isle
Sadly, it would be all downhill after this for the Ultima
brand. Ultima VIII
was less a traditional RPG than it was an action-adventure not terribly unlike Diablo
, and IX
... well, the less said about IX
, the better. (I'm sure GOG will eventually get to those two games, so you'll be able to form your own opinions when the time comes.) But take heart in knowing that VII
represents not only Ultima
and Origin at their pinnacle, it's also one of the best RPGs ever created, with many believing it to be the very
best. I can't think of a better value for $5.99 anywhere on GOG.