Ultima VII: Clue Book - Key to the Black Gate

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Cover.

The Ultima VII: Clue Book - Key to the Black Gate is a hint book for Ultima VII: The Black Gate. It was published by Origin Software and released in April of 1992. A translated version was released in Taiwan.

Around 1993, my friend Kevin who owned Ultima VII bought this clue book to help get through the game, and we occasionally read sections when we were lost in the game. When he sold me his boxed copy of the game, he also sold me this book, and I read through it several times. Origin always made amazing game materials, and this hint book doesn't fail to impress. Unlike most hint books, it didn't just list a bunch of facts and maps, but it was written as an actual book that existed in the game world, written by one of the in-game characters, as a reference material for the Avatar himself; I remember thinking even then how clever an idea it was.

Status

I own a well-worn 1st edition and have read it multiple times.

Review

Good

  • Making the book an in-game document was a great idea.
  • The illustrations, including the new art, the maps, and the hand-drawn portraits which match the in-game graphics, are great.
  • The maps are extremely useful.
  • The dialogue between the various in-game characters add a lot of flavor to the book.
  • I like how most of the spoilers are relegated to the end of the book and there are both cryptic and explicit answers to them all.

Bad

  • Although the book does chart out things like seller's wares and prices, I would have liked to see a few more data tables like how much damage various weapons do.

Ugly

  • Nothing.

Media

Credits

Role Names
Author Andrew P. Morris
Editor David Ladyman
Cover Art Richard Mather
Interior Art Glen Johnson, Whitney Ayres
Maps Terry Manderfeld, Terrell Powell
Art Director Craig Miller
Graphic Designer Jennifer Davis
Additional Support Bruce Adams, Mike Chenault, Tim Hardy, Scott Hazle, Mark Vittek, John Watson

Links