Preamble: This isn't a review. It doesn't contain critical analysis, just the subjective opinions of one person. The intent is to remember the games I've come across in my life and share the nostalgia, nothing more. And some of those games I didn't play in great depth.
Ultima VII: Forge of Virtue (expansion)
Release Year: 1992
Stephen's Rating: 6/10
Forge of Virtue is an expansion for my favourite game of all time, Ultima VII: The Black Gate.
When you have Forge of Virtue installed, at the start of the game an earthquake strikes. Your goal is to investigate the cause of the quake. You get given the use of a ship by Lord British early in the game and travel to the recently re-risen Isle of Fire.
On the island you have to undergo a series of tests to embody the principles of Truth, Love, and Courage and destroy the last remnants of Exodus (the antagonist from Ultima III: Exodus).
On the island you encounter and take posession of the infamous Black Sword which is yours to use for the remainder of the game. Additionally you are able to increase your strength, dexterity, intelligence, and hitpoints to well beyond where you would normally be able to get them even playing through the original game in its entirety.
One of the tests.
This expansion is simply an added area to the existing game world. The gameplay exactly the same as the original. You progress the story from a central citadel, and you teleport to different areas to complete the tests. The island appears on an area previously filled with open ocean, east of Trinsic.
I was pretty much overjoyed just to have an extra piece of the game to explore after exploring every inch of the original. It was good to finally get hold of the Black Sword.
In the citadel near the end of the expansion plot.
Because you come out of the expansion with greatly enhanced stats and a sword more powerful than anything else you find in the game it blunts some of the sense of progression and wonder for the remainder of the game. I don't think Forge of Virtue added anything to the original game which was particularly necessary or enhanced the game in any major way.
In the original game there is a book which gives you roughly the power of each of the weapons in the game. In that book it has an entry for "BR Sword" but doesn't explain what that means. When I got the expansion and discovered the Black(rock) Sword it all made sense.