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Thou shalt humble thyself to thy superiors, or thou shalt suffer their wrath.
Lord Blackthorn's Ethic of Humility

Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny is an 1988 video game by Origin Systems. Things start getting Darker and Edgier. Since the the Avatar's success in Ultima IV, Britannia has been busy. It's created a new system of government to act next to Lord British, the towns and city-states are starting something of a renaissance in ship-building, farming, road-building, and even lighthouses.

And while they're at it, the Government decides to do something about those pesky Dungeons. They seal them up with magic wards so that nothing can enter or leave. While they're at it, let's raise the Codex out of the Abyss so that people don't have to go through that dungeon filled with Gargoyles Daemons in order to get the virtue.

This was, perhaps, the start of the problem. Lifting the Codex out of the Abyss left a huge...hole where the Abyss used to be. (Don't overthink it.) This "Underworld" was filled with beasts far worse. This lead to the decision to finally put Lord British's invincibility to good use and have him lead an expedition to check this out. The party he is in is attacked by 3 spectres clad in Black Cloaks called the Shadowlords, and even Lord British vanishes.

In the wake of his disappearance, the Regent Blackthorn takes tyrannical control of the government that had been given so much power, and through him, his forces, and the Shadowlords themselves reign supreme in Britannia. ....where did this Darkness come from? And where is Lord British? It's time for the Heroes of Olde to assemble again. It's time for the Warriors of Destiny.

This game contains examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: In Castle British's Dungeons, you can find a prisoner named Drudgeworth. Who claims he "Did not murder her" and placing the blame on Chuckles. Cementing it further, if you search behind Chuckle's bedroom fireplace you can find a corpse. Chuckles claims to know nothing of Drudgeworthnote , as well as the prisoner tries to kill you if you free him. So whether he is trying to frame Chuckles, or something more sinister is going on behind the scenes, is never elaborated on, even in sequels containing Chuckles.
  • Accidental Pun: Gazers are one of the many enemies borrowed from Dungeons & Dragons; resembling beholders. Starting this game, if you kill one, they release a swarm of insects. In other words, they're Bee-Holders. Word of God states that this was not intentional.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Sword of Chaos is an Unbuilt Trope variant of this, in which it's not so much impractical as it is unusable. On one hand, it deals as much damage as the Glass Sword, and doesn't break upon use. Being an Evil Weapon, however, it can't be used to harm enemies at all, only your own companions. Oh, and wielding it in battle causes you to lose control of the character, who will go berserk on other party members, and then fall unconscious when there is nobody left to fight.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Even though you do defeat the Shadowlords and rescue Lord British, there are some things that make the ending a bit less happy. Lord Blackthorn gets banished and has to live with the memories of what he did while under the influence of the Shadowlordsnote . Then you return home to Earth and discover that your house has been robbed. And that's not counting the next game which probably made the Avatar go "My God, What Have I Done?" quite a lot.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing:
    • The dragons are the most powerful enemy in the game other than the Shadowlords and Lord Blackthorn. They spit deadly fireballs, take a while to kill, and can summon demons. They are too rare to be considered a Demonic Spider, and they leave behind valuable goods appropriate for a boss-like enemy.
    • The two stone gargoyles in Lord Blackthorn's castle (no relation to the gargoyles seen in later games) are durable, evasive, and hard-hitting. They also multiply when hit, meaning that many copies of a single gargoyle can be attacking at the same time. Because they only ever appear in this one spot, they may as well be unspecified bosses that serve to keep Avatar from reaching Lord British's crown (despite them being easy to avoid).
  • Copy Protection: A very subtle one, but originally you would have had needed the manual to know what spells used which ingredients. This is avoidable if you have no desire to use spells at all.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Britannia you enter in this game is not the Britannia you saw in the previous one. Lord British is nowhere to be found, you and your old companions are branded as outlaws, and the virtues you represent as the Avatar have been turned into oppressive laws.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • When you are captured by Blackthorn, he'll ask you one of the eight mantras and will use that to destroy the corresponding shrine. However, you as the Avatar can restore them, and there is one shrine that can never be destroyed because it lies in the Ethereal Void. This is, of course, done to prevent the game from becoming Unwinnable if you happened to tell a mantra to the wrong person.
    • If you type a swear word during a conversation with an NPC, you will get this response: "With language like this, how didst thou become an Avatar?"
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Sin'Vraal, the demonic figure in the Drylands hut, is actually the first gargoyle seen in the series (the stone gargoyles in Lord Blackthorn's castle are not related).
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: Foulwell, the Evil Counterpart to Chuckles. When talking to him, he will tell you stories about the Oppression's savagery, and expect you to find them funny. If not, he'll call the guards on you.
  • Evil Pays Better: Averted, the reward you get for betraying La Résistance is basically useless.
  • Evil Weapon: Behind lots of magically locked doors in Blackthorn's castle you find a weapon called Chaos Sword. Trying to wield it in battle causes you to lose control of the character who will then happily attack all other party members with the immensely powerful sword, and falls unconscious when there is nothing left to fight.
  • Expy: The Sword of Chaos is essentially Stormbringer on steroids, an idea that'd be revisited in later games with the Black Sword.
  • Fan Remake: Ultima V: Lazarus, a mod for Dungeon Siege. It's pretty good, and features expanded dialogue, quests, and an alternate main quest for evil-minded Avatars who would prefer to join the Oppression and the Shadowlords.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: This game simplified the last game's class system into these three categories, and are separated based on their magic ability:
    • Fighters excel in strength and sometimes have decent dexterity, but have no magic ability whatsoever.
    • Mages have full magic ability and a high intelligence, but poor strength.
    • Bards are balanced in strength and intelligence, and have half the magic ability of mages, but (with the exception of Julia) have great dexterity.
  • Fighting a Shadow: Even if you kill a Shadowlord in combat, they'll just reform instantly.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In Lord British's backstory told in the Book of Lore, Shamino casts a healing spell. In the actual game he can't cast any spells, due to the simplified class system having changed his class from ranger to fighter.
  • Gem-Encrusted: The Jeweled Sword. It's completely useless.
  • Hide Your Children: Entirely and horribly averted. Children are shown A) enslaved to extort information about their parents B) subjected to brutal punishment along with their parents C) in hiding and starving because their parents are unjustly imprisoned. In one of the rooms of the Dungeon Hythloth, a roomful of hostile children inexplicably attacks the player's party, who must either flee or kill them. (In U5 Lazarus, you hear the children laughing as you arrive and screaming as you kill them.)
    • Worse than that, try infiltrating Blackthorn's castle and talking to his chef about what's cooking: "A little ol' horse meat, a few young children, that sort of thing."
  • Karma Meter: The karma meter doesn't have as much focus as the previous game, but still determines how much experience points get retained should the party die.
  • Knight Templar: Lord Blackthorn, who turns the virtues into laws, with harsh penalties for breaking them. For example, if somebody is not charitable, they will be thrown into poverty.
  • La Résistance: Two of them, there are the eponymous Warriors of Destiny, composed of old companions of the Avatar, and a separate one in Yew that houses the Government in Exile.
  • Language of Magic: This game introduces a set of standardized words that all magical incantations are built of. The next game reveals that these words, as well as the mantras used at the shrines of the virtues, come from the Gargish language.
  • Made of Evil: The Shadowlords. They are the physical manifestations of Falsehood, Hatred, and Cowardice, the antitheses of the three principles the Avatar's virtues are based on.
  • Magic Carpet: For Sequence Breaking fun, you can get it at the very beginning of the game by getting some skull keys from anywhere to open the magically locked door. Or just (p)ush a cannon in front of the door and blast it open.
  • Meaningful Name: Captain Johne's ship which was sucked into the Underworld by a whirlpool and beached there is named Ararat. This is also said to be the name of the mountain where Noah's ark first hit land after the flood.
  • The Mole: Saduj is a member of the Oppression and will turn on you the moment you enter into a combat encounter if you recruit him into the party. However, since he was pretty open about being with the Oppression, you really only have yourself to blame if this happens. If you recruit him into the party and can avoid any combat encounters, it can be pretty funny to feed him to Blackthorn, though.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: You can't kill Blackthorn, he's just as Invincible as Lord British was. (More so, even.)
    • The Shadowlords are equally unkillable in theory, although at least you could hurt them to the point that they would run away. (If very lucky or using a glass sword, they'll vanish.) This accomplishes very little, though, because they'll still be around (and back at full health) to challenge you again next turn.
  • Obviously Evil: Oh sure Lord British, you can totally trust a man named Lord Blackthorn.
    • Subverted, as Blackthorn actually was a kind and decent person, until the Shadowlords corrupted his mind.
  • One-Hit Kill: The Glass Sword. You can only get one at a time (unless that one is equipped to a party member, then you can get another). One hit will kill anything except Blackthorn.
  • Pendulum of Death: This is how Lord Blackthorn executes one of your companions if you get caught.
  • Permadeath: It is possible for party members to be killed off permanently in Lord Blackthorn's torture chamber, which is all the more reason to avoid being captured by the guards in his castle.
  • Purposely Overpowered: The Avatar class has all the benefits of the other classes and none of the downsides, as a reward for having attained perfection in the Eight Virtues in the previous game.
  • Retired Monster: Thrud, the Blood Knight mercenary who lives in Windmere. He murdered an in innskeep and his staff after their food gave him indigestion for two days, and slaughtered the rest of the village when they reacted. Nobody knows he did that because there were no witnesses left alive.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: This game shows how this trope can be a very, very bad idea.
  • Sdrawkcab Name:
    • I know, let's invite Saduj to join the team. Good, trustworthy, Saduj.
    • The game documentation includes a record of Lord British's journey into the underworld, written by a scribe named Remoh.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: The Shadowlords have trapped Lord British in the deepest part of the world.
  • Self-Imposed Exile: Lord Blackthorn goes into self-imposed exile in penance for being manipulated by the Shadowlords into imposing his totalitarian rule on Britannia and perverting its Eight Virtues.
  • Soul Jar: The Shards of the Gem of Immortality are what bind the Shadowlords to this plane of existence.
  • Speak of the Devil: You have to track down the true names, but naming a Shadowlord causes it to appear, which is bad but easy to run away from. This is, however, essential for defeating the Shadowlords permanently, and therefore completing the game.
  • The Unfought: You are not ever required to enter into conventional combat with the Shadowlords or Blackthorn. In fact, it's much easier to just avoid them. As such, there is no "final battle", though there is a ritual for the Shadowlords; it does not involve combat.
  • Unwinnable by Design: There is a hidden box that you can get early in the game, if you happen to know where it is. It's important. You can't open it, even with fireballs or the One-Hit Kill sword. It is needed to win the game; if you don't bring it to the endgame, you lose. Also, if you lie to Lord British and say you don't have it, you're stuck with the Idiot Ball for all eternity. Of course, Smith the Horse will tell you that you had needed it if you meet him in Ultima VI!
  • Wishing Well: Throwing a coin into a fountain and wishing for "food" or "horse" will sometimes work.
    • As an Easter Egg, if you wish for a "corvette", "ferrari", "lamborghini", "lotus", or "porsche" you will get an exceptionally fast horse.