Almost a month ago, a reader named Blair Leggett posted a comment to one of my Ultima IV postings indicating that he had created a Flash version of Ultima IV and posted it online. At the time I read it, this seemed so wildly improbable that I didn't give it much thought, although I mentally filed it to check it out when I had a free moment.
Blair, I apologize. I shouldn't have doubted you. The effort you have put in to the recreation of this game is nothing short of incredible. I encourage anyone interested in playing this classic game to skip downloading and installing it, and simply go to Blair's site:
Blair's contributions don't end with the game itself. He has also posted clean PDF versions of the History of Britannia and the Book of Mystic Wisdom (the spellbook), which I will be using throughout the rest of my playing. Finally, don't forget to visit his blog at...
...to learn about the development of the project.
I think it says something about the richness of the plots and quests in the Ultima series that fans are so eager to remake the games. This page catalogs a host of attempts by different developers--some completed, some still in progress--to update Ultima IV and other games in the series to modern operating systems, graphics, and sound. There are several remakes using the Neverwinter Nights engine. I would sacrifice an eighth* for a version using the Infinity engine (from Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale).
Blair, thanks for reading, and thanks for all your work in perpetuating this excellent game.
*That was the geekiest thing I've ever said. You'll get the reference in a few postings.