Ultima IV

Take Control!

SMS Control Pad

Prepare for Adventure!

Game Select screen

In the first of the title screens, you'll see a mini-demonstration at the bottom. Press Button 1 or 2 to advance to the Game Select screen.

"Journey Onward" should be selected when you wish to continue a game that you saved previously. If you're reading this now, you've probably never played before, so please select "Initiate a New Game." "Return to the View" will allow you to take another look at the demonstration screen. To select an option, find it using the D-Button and then press Button 1 or 2.

Journey Onward

To continue one of the games you saved earlier, select this option in the Game Select screen. You may save a maximum of 3 games. Each saved game is assigned a number, and important data regarding each game will appear to help you remember it. Find the game you wish to continue by using the D-Button, and select it by pressing Button 1 or 2. You will now be able to begin play at the point where you left off.

Initiate a New Game

If you are playing for the first time, or if you want to try a new Profession, select this option in the Game Select screen. This will allow you to have a completely different identity, depending on your meeting with the mysterious Gypsy woman.

Enter a name

Choose a Name

Naturally, your character should have a name. Using the D-Button, scan the grid of letters and numbers until you find what you need, and select it by pressing Button 2. If you wish to cancel a letter or number, press Button 1. Your character's name will appear at the bottom of the screen. If you're satisfied, move the Select box to "END" using the D-Button, and press Button 2.

Man or Woman?

Your character must also have a gender. Move the select box up or down using the D-Button, and select "Male" or "Female" by pressing Button 1 or 2.

The History of Britannia

Watch the story screens carefully. This is how your character gets involved in the Quest. You may take as long as you need to read each screen, then advance by pressing Button 1 or 2. When you are instructed to read "The History of Britannia," you had best do so. The book contains a wealth of information on nearly every subject regarding Britannia. Don't continue with the story screens until you've read it thoroughly. The second book you'll come across will help you as well, but it's not necessary to read it just yet. To translate the title of the second book into English, use the Code Key found on page 28.

The Purpose of Your Quest

The Ankh

You have been chosen to rid Britannia of evil, once and for all. The amulet that's been bestowed upon you is the "Ankh," the symbol of Life and Rebirth. Only one who possesses the Ankh may attempt the Quest of the Avatar. Your objective is simple -- to conquer the Abyss, and view the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom. Reaching this objective, though, is possibly the most difficult task you'll ever undertake!

To gain entrance to the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom, you must first have obtained enlightenment in each of 8 Virtues. The 8 Virtues are: Honesty, Compassion, Valor, Justice, Sacrifice, Honour, Spirituality, and Humility. Only the purest of souls with the rightest of minds has even a slight chance of reaching the end of this long road!

Playing the Game

The game screen is divided into 3 sections. The top left area shows the area in which you're travelling. On the right, various information and commands will appear. Finally, at the bottom, the commands that you've chosen will appear.

Commands menu


There's a command to help you do anything you'll need to do. To call up the command list, press Button 2. To select a command, move the Select bar with the D-Button, and select by pressing Button 2. To cancel a command, press Button 1. Certain commands contain subcommands. To select one of them, follow the same procedure.

Talk menu


You'll need a ton of information to succeed in your Quest. The way to get it is by having conversations with the people you come across in the many Townes of Britannia. To use the Talk command, select the person you wish to converse with using the D-Button, and press Button 2. Remember, though -- you can only talk to someone who's standing right beside you, so be sure to move you character into position before selecting the Talk command.

There are several areas in which you may question people. They include Name, Job, Health, and whether or not they'll join you on your Quest. You may gather up to 7 traveling companions -- the more of you there are, the better your chances for success.

Attack menu option


You will run into some pretty nasty creatures in your travels, and they will often engage you in battle. However, if you're in good condition, you can engage them as well. To attack, choose the direction in which you'll mount your assault using the D-Button, and press Button 2. Again, as with the Talk command, you can only attack someone (or something) that's right next to you. If the enemy is moving fast and appears to be chasing you, he'll probably engage you.

Battle screen

During battle, to strike a blow with whatever Weapon you're using, press Button 2. To choose the direction of your next blow, move the sight using the D-Button. You'll often be attacked by several enemies at once, so the quick disposal of one of them may scare the others away. Don't be a coward!

Magic menu option


When you wish to cast a Spell or mix Reagents, select this command. Then select the subcommand, and the pertinent information will appear. You should probably read the second of the books that was given to you, as it describes in detail every Magic Spell that can be cast.

Mix Reagents menu option
Mix Reagents

To prepare a mixture for a new Spell, first check the list of Spells on the screen. Find the one you need with the D-Button, then press Button 2.

List of reagents

Once you've chosen a Spell, the list of Reagents and the quantities that you presently have will appear. If you don't have the proper Reagents, press Button 1 to cancel the command. These magical elements are very valuable -- if you make a mistake while mixing a potion, you lose the ingredients you used! Reagents can be purchased at one of the Herb Shops around Britannia (if you can find one of them!). To select the number of mixtures, press the D-Button up.

Cast Spell menu option
Cast a Spell

In order to cast a Spell, you must first have a mixture prepared. If you try to cast without one, the message "You have no mixtures!" will appear at the bottom of the screen.

Once your mixture is ready and you wish to cast, identify the player who will cast the Spell (if there are several members in your party, the one who has the highest Magic Power should do the casting) using the D-Button, and press Button 2. Identify the Spell you wish to cast (you may make mixtures and save them for later, so don't get confused!) using the same procedure. Certain Spells have special instructions, so check the bottom of the screen carefully when weaving your Magic! One more thing -- if your character has high Magic Power (see "Status" on page 20), and you want to use many Spells in battle, have some mixtures prepared. Once you're involved in a fracas, you can only cast, not mix.

Get Chest menu option

Get Chest

Select this command when you wish to open a chest you've won in battle. The bad guys often carry them, so if you win a battle, you may take whatever treasures they were carrying. Move your character right on top of the chest, identify the player that will open the chest with the D-Button, and press Button 2. Be warned -- many of the chests have been rigged with various kinds of traps to scare off thieves. If there's more than 1 character in your party, choose the one with the highest Dexterity to open the chest (see "Status" on page 20).
NOTE: Don't take chests from the Townes. This is perceived as a weakness of character, and may hinder your progress. Remember, stay pure of mind and soul!

Use menu option


There are 2 sub-commands -- Equipment and Items. Equipment consists of things you buy at the Guild Shop in the town of Vesper (not on the map). Items are things you find using the Search command (see "Search" on page 18).

Ready menu option


Select this command when you wish to prepare a particular Weapon or set of Armor for battle. It's a good idea to do this prior to an encounter, as when you're involved in a battle you won't have a lot of time to think!

Search menu option


Select this command when you wish to check the area you're in for valuable Items such as Runes (see "Runes of Entry" on page 24). If the area you check is void of any such Items, "Nothing Here" will appear at the bottom of the screen. To Search, find the command and press Button 2.

Rest menu option


There are 4 sub-commands -- Rest, New Order, Status, and Save.

Rest: When your Hit Point (see Status) total is less than half of maximum, you should stop and camp for the night. To do this, find Rest and press Button 2. Normally you'll get a good night's sleep, but occasionally you'll be rudely awakened by unwelcome guests! Watch yourself!

New Order menu option

New Order: If you have several companions, you may switch the positions of 2 of them at a time using this command (during battle). This is a good way to get a severly injured friend out of the line of fire. Remember, since you're leading the party on the Quest, you are responsible for yourself most of the time!

Status screen

Status: Selecting this command gives you the current data on yourself and your possessions. Check it often so you don't lose track! Check companions using the D-Button.

  1. Wind Direction
  2. Moon Symbols
  3. Gold Pieces
  4. Gender
  5. Food
  6. Name
  7. Profession
  8. Condition
  9. Level
  10. Strength
  11. Dexterity
  12. Intelligence
  13. Magic Power
  14. MP Maximum
  15. Hit Points
  16. HP Maximum
  17. Experience Points

Save: After a lon day's journey, you may find that you want to keep the game to continue later. You can save up to 3 games simultaneously!


You're provided with 200 Gold Pieces to start the game, and will probably collect more as you win battles. You can use them to buy Weapons, Armour, Reagents for Magic Spells, Food, Drink, Equipment from the Guild shop, and more!

Dueling Weapons armory Folley Tavern (Yes, the image is crooked in the printed manual)

Remember as you visit each town the types of stores there are. Later, when you are in dire need of, say, Reagents, you'll be able to find them more easily.


Most of your travels will probably be on foot, but if you can find the uncharted Towne of Paws (located in the Spirit Wood region, north of the Fens of the Dead), you'll be able to purchase a fine horse. Horse travel is twice as quick as traveling on foot, so you might consider it. Also, as you travel along the shores, you'll see an occasional ship. Try to wrest it from its present owners and do some sailing. At some point, this will be absolutely necessary -- you'll know when.

Horse Sailboat

When traveling on foot or on horseback, watch the Terrain. If you enter or even step in a Marsh, for example, you've breathed in some poisonous gases that will kill you unless you perform the Cure spell! Also, your Hit Point total will decrease by 2 with each step you take.

Meditating on Honesty

The Shrines

For each of the 8 Virtues, there is a Shrine at which one can meditate and seek enlightenment. Learn the locations of the Shrines from the Townespeople. Also, learn the Mantra for each Virtue. A Mantra is a single word that you must chant to help you focus your thoughts during meditation. You can not, however, enter a Shrine unless you bear the Rune of Entry!

Runes of Entry

To enter a Shrine, you must possess the Rune of Entry for that particular Shrine. The Runes are very well hidden -- it will take patience and a lot of questions on your part to discover the general area of the Rune locations, and some physical duress in actually taking them!

Lord British speaks of the Quest of the Avatar


In your conversations, you may eventually hear tell of some special colored Stones, which can help you on your Quest. Follow the clues as you would when searching for a Rune, Shrine, or anything else.

Once again, The History of Britannia and the book with magic spells will be a great help to you if you refer to them often. However, the most important thing you can do to educate yourself is to have a lengthy talk with Lord British at the Britannia Castle. He knows a great many things about the land he governs. He, and the good, pure citizens of Britannia, are counting on you to succeed on your Quest.

Only the most virtuous of souls may gain entrance to the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom. Do you qualify?

Helpful Hints

Code Key

The runic alphabet found in Ultima 4 and modern letter equivalents