Cheating in Ultima VIII

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Ultima VIII has a cheat room with almost all the items you could ever need, as well as a few other more complicated cheat mechanisms.

The U8 Cheat Room[edit]

The Treasure Room
While in the Tenebrae Library, you came across an Adventurer's book (Adventure Quarterly, Vol IX) that tells of The Forgotten Riches of Knarl. Knarl was a great city of trade and was the origin of many magical weapons and spells. It is rumored that it was sealed away by magic. There are many supposed locations of the lost city, but all agree that the entrance to it lies in the Lower Catacombs. It is said that only he who is sound of heart and steady of sword will find this passage and bathe in all its glory.

You will have to have completed the Earth section of the game to be able to enter the Lower Catacombs. There are two entrances to it.

  • Enter the Upper Catacombs which ever way it is easiest (or possible) for you.
  • For an easy reference point to start from, find the Birthplace of Moriens. From here, head through the passage to the eastern section of the Catacombs. Immediately turn south and walk past what looks like a broken staircase. Walk to the south and a gate will close. Walk away and walk back again, and the gate will lower. Beware the ghosts and ghouls in this area.
  • Walk through the gate and then to the west until you come to a door. Kill the ghoul that rises. Unlock the door with the Key of the Scion, and enter the Lower Catacombs.
  • Beware of fire shooters and bombs in this entrance area. Rock Flesh, Intervention, or a purple potion are recommended. Once through, walk to the NW so the gate closes. Walk South and pull the one lever there that is not broken. Walk South again and through the gate. Pull the Eastern lever to open the Northern Gate.
  • Walk back North and through the gate.
  • Follow the passage until you come to a door with a fire shooter in front of it. Dodge the fire shooters and walk around the lava on the way.
  • Stand directly in front on the door (right in front of the fire shooter). Make sure your arrow is as small as it can be and hit both mouse buttons to jump directly up. You will be teleported to the cheat room.
  • This room contains all the weapons (magic and non-magic; except the Blade of Striking), the magic shield, all the regular helmets, one of each of the scrolls you find throughout the game, fire and chaos gems, and oil flasks.

Hex editing for Cheat Menu[edit]

Note: This procedure involves editing a game file; create a backup copy of the file before proceeding. Enabling cheat mode may also make it impossible to finish the game as intended.


Edit the static\avatar.dat file eg. using DOS DEBUG command:

DEBUG AVATAR.DAT E 12A 01 01 W Q 

Now, load the game as normal, and when you are in the game itself, access the cheats menus (yes, more than one....)

  1. Click left mouse button on yourself (the Avatar) (gives you all the spells and such)
  2. [Ctrl] + [F1], shows you all the combinations of keys to press in order to get all shields and weapons etc.
  3. Press [F7] to access a pull down menu (lets you activate hackmover and such) Note: if you are running the latest patch of Ultima VIII, then you will have to use [F9] (you can tell if you have this patch, try pressing [F7], and if it saves the game, you have the patch)

Press [F7] for a cheat menu and [CTRL] and [F1] for a list of other things.

More hex editing[edit]

Here is an interesting little cheat where you change some bytes in the AVATAR.DAT file, not to boost some stats in the game, but simply to create a cheat menu, ready to boost the stats for you!!

The edits you need to make are easy to do using any hex editor. Simply load the editor, pop-up the file AVATAR.DAT, and change the 00's you'll find at bytes 42 and 43 to 01's. Now write the changed data before quitting the editor and loading the game.

From there onwards, click the left-mouse-button on the Avatar and you should see the cheat menu appear. This will allow you to press [SHIFT] and [F4] for immortality during the game, or, [CTRL] and [F1] for a debug menu!

The F8 Cheat Menu[edit]

The Cheat Menu
Changing the bytes 2A to 01, and 2B to 01 in the AVATAR.DAT enables you to call up a cheat menu with [F8]. It will enable you the following options.

Toggles[edit]

  • Hackmover (H Key): The classic which allows you to move any pick up everything. Can't pick up people, but you can drop them from deadly height.
  • Power Avatar (P Key): The game's god-mode. Invulnerable and endless mana.
  • Footpads (F Key): Displays a grid over the gameworld, presumably related to collision.
  • Egg Bounds (E Key): Displays egg boundaries.

Avatar Menu[edit]

The Avatar Menu
Once debug mode is enabled, opening this menu is pretty easy. Just left-click the Avatar. A voice will shout "Cheater!" and laugh at you, and the menu will open with the following options:
  • Demo: Skip to any "cutscene" sequence in the game.
  • Spell Book: Lets you cast any spell in the game.
  • Information: Brings up a crosshair. Upon clicking an NPC you'll be given information on their location and current animation.
  • Enemy Caster: Brings up a crosshair and asks for a Spell Caster that must be a sorcerer and not the Avatar.
  • Time:The avatar tells you the time.
  • Key: The avatar says "You now have the key."
  • Staff: The avatar says "You have returned the staff."
  • Call Guards: Brings up a crosshair. Upon clicking an NPC, you'll be given various options to decide what you did. Once they pass, the NPC you clicked will call for a guard, and Beren will show up and judge the shit out of you.
  • Blow Up: Does exactly what you think.
  • Kill Me: Brings up a crosshair. Upon clicking an NPC, they will be dealt untold amounts of damage, usually killing them unless they're immortal for plot purposes.
  • EndGame: Lets you spawn Blackrock Fragments or Energised Fragments.
  • Jump Ahead: Brings up a list of cryptically named options. Some spawn items, while others just make the Avatar say "Bzzzzt! Thank you for playing."

View/Edit[edit]

This option lets you view the properties of various NPCs and change their behavior accordingly.

Teleport[edit]

Exactly as it says, allows you to to teleport to a location of your choice.

Cheat Program[edit]

Alternatively, if tampering with the game files isn't appealing, there is a program called U8 Cheat Activator which does the same, without altering any files and can be easily removed if cheating isn't needed/wanted anymore.

Other Cheats[edit]

Training for lazy Avatars[edit]

The programmers obviously had little experience with a system where the stats are risen by usage. Thus they did some errors that a smart Avatar can exploit.

Get STR and DEX fast[edit]

Normally you get STR and DEX by hitting enemies, or Darion during a training session. However, this isn't true! Just swinging your weapon against thin air also furthers your progress! Of course it's not as fast as real combat, thus you should do this near the pit at the East Road (the one near the Cemetery, where Changelings always re-appear after leaving the screen for some seconds. Also jump around a lot to raise DEX even more.

In less than a hour, both stats will be 25.

Get INT in less time[edit]

Sadly there isn't a way to raise the INT very fast. But one thing the programmers forgot to mention is, that not only firing off spells raises INT, but also creating them, or even learning about them the first time! "Learning" also includes reading a spellbook (Necromancy, Sorcery) again and again, cheating the Avatar to higher INT.

Also using scrolls raises INT as well! (so always use them!)

No Need for Death Speak[edit]

Thanks to a bug, you have no need for the spell Death Speak at the Ancient Necromancers starting with the fourth, since the flag is not set. You can simply talk to them the normal way. This of course saves quite some regents on the way (which are scarce enough anyway).


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