Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar

From Sega Retro


UltimaIV title.png
Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar
System(s): Sega Master System
Publisher: Sega
Peripherals supported: FM Sound Unit
Genre: RPG

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Master System
£39.99[1][2] 9501
Sega Master System
? 9501
Sega Master System
? 9501
Sega Master System
R$? ?

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Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar, known as Última IV in Brazil, is an entry in the Ultima series of RPGs created by Richard Garriot at Origin Systems. It was originally released in 1985 for the Apple II computer, before being brought to the Sega Master System five years later in 1990 (the only Ultima game to be released on a Sega platform).

Ultima IV is the first in the "Age of Enlightenment" trilogy, and though references Ultima III: Exodus and prior games, knowledge of previous adventures is not strictly necessary to understand Ultima IV.


Ultima IV is unusual as unlike other games in the series, there is not a defined end boss, or overarching villain in which the player needs to defeat. Instead, the player goes on a spiritual quest as "The Avatar" under instructions of Lord British (a.k.a. Garriot) to promote his eight virtues; honesty, compassion, valor, justice, sacrifice, honor, spirituality and humility, becoming a better person in the process and inspiring the people of Britannia.



Despite the game being created by an American company, the Master System version of Ultima IV was only released in Europe (in English, French and German variations) and Brazil (although a US version was advertised to arrive in the summer of 1990 at a price of $49.95[5]). The direct sequel, Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny was released in 1988 and skipped Sega platforms, however at one stage the spin-off Ultima Underworld (which takes place after Ultima VI: The False Prophet) was set to arrive on the Sega Mega-CD.


The Master System version is very much like the Apple II original, however features updated graphics, music and gives its dungeons are played from top-down perspective (as opposed to the pseudo-3D first person view seen in the original). The NES version, released a year prior, makes more significant changes in terms of art design to appease a Japanese audience - the Master System version is hence seen as the more accurate of the two.

Magazine articles

Main article: Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Print advert in Sega Power (UK) #13: "December 1990" (1990-11-01)
also published in:
Print advert in Computer & Video Games (UK) #107: "October 1990" (1990-09-16)
also published in:

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
93 [1]
89 [12]
86 [13]
70 [14]
70 [15]
70 №1999, p142
89 [16]
87 [17]
90 [18]
92 [19]
100 [20]
94 [21]
95 [22]
Sega Master System
Based on
13 reviews

Master System, UK
UltimaIV SMS EU Box.jpg
UltimaIV SMS EU Cart.jpg
The Book of
Mystic Wisdom
The History
of Britannia
Map (front)
Map (back)
Master System, EU

Ultima IV Quest of the Avatar SMS EU Manual.pdf
Master System, FR
UltimaIV SMS EU Box.jpg
UltimaIV SMS EU Cart.jpg
Master System, DE
UltimaIV SMS EU Box.jpg
UltimaIV SMS EU Cart.jpg
Master System, BR
UltimaIV SMS BR Box.jpg
UltimaIV SMS BR Cart.jpg
UltimaIV SMS BR Manual.pdf

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Master System
CRC32 B52D60C8
MD5 C54C1A2559CEC189F53E794177D002AF
SHA-1 A90E21E5961BCF2E10B715A009C04E7C2017A3B1
512kB Cartridge (EU) 8kB backup


  1. 1.0 1.1 ACE, "August 1990" (UK; 1990-xx-xx), page 61
  2. Computer & Video Games, "October 1990" (UK; 1990-09-16), page 117
  3. ACE, "January 1991" (UK; 199x-xx-xx), page 165
  4. Supergame, "Setembro 1991" (BR; 1991-09-xx), page 29
  5. [{{fullurl:File:VG&CE US 18.}} VideoGames & Computer Entertainment, "July 1990" (US; 199x-xx-xx), page 52 ]
  6. Computer & Video Games, "December 1990" (UK; 1990-11-16), page 168
  7. ACE, "December 1990" (UK; 1990-xx-xx), page 102
  8. Sega Power, "January 1991" (UK; 1990-12-06), page 2
  9. Computer & Video Games, "January 1991" (UK; 1990-12-15), page 98
  10. Computer & Video Games, "November 1990" (UK; 1990-10-16), page 58
  11. ACE, "November 1990" (UK; 1990-xx-xx), page 92
  12. Complete Guide to Consoles, "Volume IV" (UK; 1990-11-xx), page 109
  13. Computer & Video Games, "August 1990" (UK; 1990-07-16), page 88/89 (88)
  14. Electronic Gaming Monthly, "October 1990" (US; 1990-xx-xx), page 85
  15. Electronic Gaming Monthly, "1993 Video Game Buyer's Guide" (US; 199x-xx-xx), page 45
  16. Game Mania, "May 1993" (UK; 1993-xx-xx), page 81
  17. Joystick, "Novembre 1990" (FR; 1990-xx-xx), page 107
  18. Player One, "Décembre 1990" (FR; 1990-xx-xx), page 32/33 (32)
  19. S: The Sega Magazine, "August 1990" (UK; 1990-07-05), page 8/9 (8)
  20. Sega Power, "October 1991" (UK; 1991-09-05), page 60
  21. Sega Power, "December 1991" (UK; 1991-10-30), page 47
  22. Sega Pro, "April 1992" (UK; 1992-03-19), page 30
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