[[caption-width-right:248:[[BlatantLies Your knowledge of the land shall be great!]]]]

->''"What's a paladin?"''
-->-- The Avatar [[note]]Who at one point could have been a Paladin himself before he became the Avatar, and even then ignores his close friend ThePaladin Dupre, thus making this a really OutOfCharacter moment[[/note]]

''Ultima IX: Ascension'' (1999) is a video game, the ninth and [[FranchiseKiller final]] installment in the ''VideoGame/{{Ultima}}'' series of role playing games.

The Avatar is called to Britannia one last time, where he discovers a series of monoliths have risen all across the kingdom, and the locals are acting very strangely indeed. It turns out that these towers are the doing of the Guardian, whose realm, Pagan, the Avatar has recently escaped from. It's down to you to defeat the Guardian once and for all... by making a HeroicSacrifice.

!!This game provides examples of:

* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: Theoretically this is what happens to [[spoiler:the Avatar]] at the end of the game, though in practice it just looks like him blowing himself [[spoiler:and the Guardian]] up.
* BackFromTheDead: [[spoiler: Sir Dupre]].
-->''You did it, Avatar! [[DeusExMachina When you restored the final shrine, I was given my life back!]]''
** Given the nature of his original death, this probably means the universe falls apart a month or so after the game ends.
* BagOfSpilling: The Avatar completed Ultima 8 as the Titan of Aether but begins this game with all of his stats being either "poor" or "dim" and having no magic whatsoever. Even if he starts out as a mage!
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: [[spoiler: Almost all of the 8 companions have been corrupted by the Guardian and turned into members of his Wyrmguard, serving as the bosses of several of the Glyph Column dungeons (the only exceptions are one who was considered too weak by the Guardian to be worth bothering with, one who was stuck in the Ethereal Void at the time, and one who was busy being dead).]] The Avatar can either redeem them with a PuzzleBoss fight related to their respective virtue, or just straight up kill them with hacking and slashing.
* BlatantLies: Technically, as the Avatar is promised that his "knowledge of the land shall be great" once he reaches Britannia. However, most of the game has him being clueless about just about everything and needing [=NPCs=] to constantly enlighten him.
* CampGay: The Avatar's biggest fan, who was given the FanNickname "Gay-vatar".
* CostumeCopycat: One of these can be found in a hut outside Britain, claiming to be [[LoonyFan the Avatar's biggest fan]].
* ContinuityCavalcade: The museum area is meant to be this, with its artifacts from previous games however the fact that they're there in the first place goes against any and all continuity in the first place.
* ContinuitySnarl: The game has too many to count. Several significant items from earlier games show up despite being previously completely destroyed or last seen in another dimension. Virtues and magic work in drastically different ways to earlier games with no explanation. Established characters have personalities that make no sense in context of their previous histories. And so on and so on and so on...
* ConvectionSchmonvection: Valoria (the replacement for Jhelom, the town of Valor) is built ''inside an active volcano'', with rivers of lava flowing across the streets.
* CrateExpectations
* DeathIsCheap: Even if you do choose to kill [[spoiler:your former companions]] during the course of the game, they'll all be resurrected ([[spoiler:along with Sir Dupre, who died two games previously]]) with no ill effects whatsoever, after you restore the Shrine of Spirituality.
* DesignatedHero: While the Avatar usually tries to do the right thing, once the [[spoiler: Gargoyles]] turn on him, he doesn't seem terribly reluctant to slaughter them all.
* DragonRider: The Guardian's villainous Wyrmguards, though sometimes having a dragon with them is optional.
* DumbBlonde: What the game also turns the Avatar into. To a lesser extent Gwenno, who gets turned from an ActionGirl into a housewife for this game, and for some strange reason now has blonde hair instead of brown.
* DummiedOut: Large sections of the game were hacked out of the finished product. Many of these missing areas are still present in the game code, and enterprising hackers have discovered ways to access them.
* EasilyForgiven: Whenever you do anything bad in this game -- including ''killing your former companions'' -- it's invariably reacted to with what amounts to a shrug and being told "oh well, you had no choice."
* ElementalWeapon: The game has swords of fire, ice and lightning variety.
* EnemyWithout: [[spoiler:The Guardian turns out to be the Avatar's evil side.]]
* FisherKing: According to design documents, Lord British is affected by [[InvertedTrope inversion]] of this: Widespread magical corruption of the land is weighing on him physically, which is the reason why he suddenly looks so old.
* FlamingSword: While it's incredibly useful for seeing in dark areas, it's actually... not that powerful a weapon, really.
%%* GameplayAllyImmortality:
* GameBreakingBug: More than a few of them too, even after patching.
* GrandFinale: This game was intended to be the grand cumulation of the entire series, but suffered serious ExecutiveMeddling by Electronic Arts during development. Let's just say that many fans consider the final product to be a letdown.
* GridInventory: The only game in the series that adopts this approach, after previously using either text or freeform inventories.
* HeroicSacrifice:
** [[spoiler:The Avatar himself]] sacrifices his corporeal form in order to destroy the Guardian in the game's ending.
** In a rare inversion, [[spoiler:Sir Dupre's]] sacrifice from all the way back in ''Serpent Isle'' is casually undone, with no real explanation of how or why it happened.
* HitAndRunTactics: As with the previous entry in the series, this is often the optimal way to win battles, since you no longer have a party and enemies are often too stupid to try pursuing you more than a few feet.
* IdiotBall:
** Aside from the Avatar's legendary case, the Guardian can pretty much kill anyone on the planet with a thought. [[spoiler: He nukes Skara Brae with fire with a thought]]. And yet his ultimate plan relies on his 'giant evil columns' [[ColonyDrop dropping moons on the planet]]. Why not just kill everyone with magic and avoid the complexity?
** Lord British [[MemeticMutation is not entirely sure]] why bad things are afoot in Britannia. This despite the fact that he learned about Guardian and his plans to invade Britannia several games ago and now there is an enormous stone carving of the Guardian's head at the entrance of his main fortress.
* IdiotHero:
** The Avatar comes across as one, due to seemingly knowing absolutely nothing, even basic facts, about the world he's explored and been the savior of for the past dozen games. While his dialogue was obviously scripted this way to avoid ContinuityLockout for new gamers who haven't played any of the other games, it makes him come across as a complete moron (earlier games handled this much better with AsYouKnow dialogue instead of giving the Avatar a sudden onset case of complete amnesia). It's {{Lampshaded}} early on, when you see your sheet and see that you have dim intelligence.
** Early on, the Avatar says he should have known Blackthorne was behind Brittania's corruption. The scene immediately previous to this has one of Blackthorne's soldiers explicitly state so.
** Even worse, he has to ask about the fate of Skara Brae (despite the fact that the Guardian destroyed it and gave him a front row view) and ask Raven how to cleanse a shrine (when he's done so already). There's forgetting things from the previous games and then there's forgetting things that just happened hours, if not minutes, ago.
* InNameOnly: For many in the ''VideoGame/{{Ultima}}'' fan community.
* LampshadeHanging: After the infamous '[[IdiotBall The Codex of Ultimate Wisdom?]]' line, the gargoyle he's speaking to offers us this:
--> To not believe that the Avatar could have forgotten the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom!
* LoonyFan: See CostumeCopycat above.
* LordBritishPostulate: The trope namer returns, invulnerable to attack... unless you made a poisoned loaf of bread on Earth and feed it to him. Then he drops like a brick.
* MoneySpider: Every damn monster drops a pile of coins upon death, which is something the previous games had carefully veered away from.
* ObviousBeta: The bugginess of the game is legendary. One humorous game review magazine (''Games Accelerator'') posted a fatal error message as one of their screenshots for the game instead of a shot of the gameplay, with a caption, "Lord British and Electronic Arts defeat you with the ultimate foe."
* OptionalSexualEncounter:
** In Buccaneer's Den, a prostitute will offer you a good time. Taking her up on it leaves you with less gold, and it also hurts your KarmaMeter. Resist the temptation, Avatar!
** In one cutscene, Raven makes sure the Avatar has a [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids non-optional sexual encounter]].
%%* ParrotExposition: Oh yes.
* PhysicalGod:
** The Guardian, which makes you wonder why he needs the Wyrmguards or Blackthorn when he can do all the things he can.
** The Avatar was supposed to be one, the Titan of Ether, but the game forgets about that while bringing in things from [[VideoGame/UltimaVIII Pagan]] that shouldn't be there.
* PimpedOutDress: In the tapestry, Minax from ''VideoGame/UltimaII'' is drawn in a green dress with [[PrettyInMink fur-lining, which can be seen in the hanging sleeves]].
* PlotRelevantAgeUp: Was almost this trope. In short, Lord British appears here as an old man with white hair and a long beard, while in all the other games he was a spry young king with brown hair and a goatee. In early drafts of the script, this was explained to be the result of a curse by the Guardian, but that got cut in the final game, so he just looks old.
* PolygonCeiling / VideoGame3DLeap: This was the first (and in the end, only) game in the main series to be 3D. It encounters problems with this, as the game world, which was massive in ''UltimaVII'', has had to be reduced to the size of a shoebox.
* PlotHole: The game is riddled with them. A few examples include the Time Lord's warnings in ''VideoGame/UltimaVII'' that the Guardian will be unstoppable upon entering Britannia, the circumstance surrounding the summoning of Pyros (which should be impossible for a variety of reasons), the whole issue with magic and the appearance of several things which shouldn't be possible owing to the fact that they've ceased to be (i.e. Mondain's Skull, Korghin's Fang, [[spoiler: Dupre's Ashes]], Stonegate, etc).
* PurityPersonified: ''Ascension'' would have you believe this about the Avatar despite the games having mentioned: "No soul in life can be purged completely of virtue or vice." This, by the way, was used as [[spoiler:the origin of the Guardian. As in, he's the Avatar's dark half.]]
* RailRoading: You're given only a small amount of freedom up until you've cleansed the first shrine, and still forced into a very specific sequence of storyline events throughout the game. The previous three games tended to do this a little bit as well, but you still had a lot of freedom to act once you'd gotten out of the first major area.
** If you've played the other games, you probably know the correct words to activate the shrines... except that the game will ''reject'' the correct word until you've done the relevant quest to discover the word.
* RetCon:
** Probably the main reason (other than the bugs and the simplistic gameplay) why this game is so widely hated in the Ultima community. While every other Ultima game retconned some lore from its predecessors (mostly stuff added for flavor), they can't even compare to the sheer number of continuity errors and deliberate retcons in this game. [[http://hacki.bootstrike.com/english This website]] in particular was dedicated to listing all the inconsistencies in the Ultima games, and there are about as many pages about U9 (if not more) on that site as there are pages about all other Ultima games taken together.
** The biggest is that the previous game is ''entirely'' about getting back to Britannia to stop the Guardian's invasion, finally gaining the power to construct your own black gate and make the journey only to find that the world has already fallen and FadeToBlack. This game starts with the Avatar home on Earth with no idea the Guardian had even returned. Shortly after he gets to Britannia, he does see a red sky with a giant stone head of the Guardian, ''kind of'' like the conclusion to U8, but this is BroadStrokes at best.
* SequenceBreaking: Using the Avatar's normal jumping abilities, and a little bit of trial and error, it's actually possible to scale whole mountains, and therefore skip two-thirds of the game. Elsewhere the game uses ridiculously narrow spans of water as barriers, which can be crossed by laying down items to float on the water and use as stepping stones.
* SeriesContinuityError: As seen above under {{Retcon}}, Ultima IX contains a nigh-uncountable number of these.
* SmallStepsHero: The Avatar professes to be this, but suffers too much MoralDissonance to make it remotely believable.
* SpiritualSuccessor: ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' succeeded where this game failed.
* StunLock: What makes the combat rather dull in this game. From rat to bandit to dragon, if you just keep pummeling them, they won't be able to fight back.
* SuddenlyVoiced: Everybody has actual voices in this one. Most noticably the Avatar himself, who in the previous games was always a HeroicMime.
* TellMeAgain: Infamously used, see IdiotHero.
* TookALevelInDumbass: The Avatar has forgotten practically ''[[AmnesiacHero everything]]'' that he experienced in the previous games. See IdiotHero above.
%%* ThrivingGhostTown
%%* WelcomeToCorneria
* WretchedHive: Buccaneer's Den, of course. Where else?
* YouAllLookFamiliar: Character models being constantly re-used is par for the course with this genre, but this game also re-uses models for ''main'' characters with little or no alteration. Most infamously, this creates the impression that Gwenno is moonlighting as a prostitute in Buccaneer's Den.
* YouHaveResearchedBreathing:
** A woman has to tell the Avatar how to eat food. Granted, this is a way of letting the player know that [[NobodyPoops Nobody Eats]] is averted, but the way it's presented is really silly.
** One of the first books you come across tells you ''how to read books'' and how helpful it can be.

!!!It averts:

* ContinuityLockout: Nearly every character will be happy to tell you just how the many things in the world of Ultima work if you're just a newb. However, it's too bad that the person they're telling it to in the game is the Avatar, the protagonist for the past eight or so games and should know all this stuff, which puts him in the IdiotHero position.
* CrossPlayer: Previous games in the series allowed you to choose which gender you want the avatar to be, and some of them even gave you a choice of faces for each. ''VideoGame/UltimaVIII'' did away with this, and IX continues making the Avatar purely and irrefutably male. While the game packaging on previous games in the series nearly always illustrated the Avatar as a "him", meaning it was only ever a PurelyAestheticGender choice anyway, it was still a disappointment to many players.
* PuttingTheBandBackTogether: Most of the "team" from the previous games are present in this one, but unlike other games in the main series (''Ultima VIII: Pagan'' excepted), you can't actually get any of them to come with you.
* YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe: Its the first game in the entire ''VideoGame/{{Ultima}}'' series where none of the characters speak like this.