The game cover of *Exodus: Ultima III* lies open beside them, its vibrant artwork hinting at the epic adventure within.

RetroGamer84 Alright, we’re all set! This is going to be our ultimate quest. Can you believe this is the third installment in the Ultima series?

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GamerFan Yes! And it’s our very first time playing with a full party of adventurers. I can already tell they’ve massively expanded the gameplay from the previous titles.

RetroGamer84 Correct. That’s a big leap considering we used to play as a lone hero. Now, we get to assign different classes and attributes to our party members. I remember reading in Nintendo Power that it adds a whole new layer of strategy.

GamerFan And the towns! Have you noticed how much more detailed they are? Interacting with NPCs to get clues feels so immersive. Which reminds me, we shouldn’t forget to chat with everyone. That’s always key in these RPGs.

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RetroGamer84 Absolutely. The mixture of top-down overworld exploration and 3D dungeon crawling keeps things fresh and exciting. Plus, those turn-based combat screens… I love the tactical depth they bring.

*RetroGamer84 and GamerFan navigate their party through forests, towns, and dungeons, collecting vital clues and facing numerous monsters. After a grueling session, they finally reach the final boss chamber.*

RetroGamer84 Here we are—the final showdown with Exodus. Ready for this, GamerFan?

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GamerFan Oh, definitely! But first, let’s talk about this game for a moment before we dive in.

RetroGamer84 Good idea. It’s worth noting how revolutionary Exodus: Ultima III has been. It’s not just another RPG; it’s truly pushing the boundaries for what games can do on the NES.

GamerFan Indeed. The fantasy setting is rich, and the story—continuing from Mondain and Minax’s demise—sets up a perfect revenge plot with their son Exodus. The blend of puzzle elements and role-playing is done so well. Creating and managing a party instead of a single character feels much more dynamic.

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RetroGamer84 Tech-wise, considering it’s 1987, the fact that it introduces separate combat screens is quite a marvel. Different monsters, strategic placements, and turn-based actions… It feels like a precursor to even more complex RPGs that might come out in the future.

GamerFan On the topic of game development, we can’t forget about Richard Garriott and his team at Origin Systems. They really pushed their creative boundaries with this one. I read that the game development process involved a lot of trial and error to get the right balance of difficulty and fun.

RetroGamer84 They sure deserve all the praise. Speaking of difficulty, a quick tip for fellow adventurers: always have a balanced party. A mix of fighters and magic users will help you navigate through various combat scenarios effectively.

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GamerFan And don’t forget to stock up on items and spells. You never know what tough situation you might get into. Plus, grind a bit to level up before diving into deeper dungeons. Preparation is key.

Back in the game, RetroGamer84 and GamerFan engage in the final battle against Exodus. After a tense and strategic fight, they finally triumph.

RetroGamer84 We did it! Exodus is defeated!

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GamerFan Ah! The sense of accomplishment. But for anyone listening, spoiler alert: that final form of Exodus was such a clever twist. Focusing our attacks and using strategic spells was essential.

RetroGamer84 True. The ending was satisfying and, honestly, a bit emotional. It’s a fitting conclusion to an epic journey. And have you noticed how even after defeating Exodus, the game teases more adventures to come? Classic RPG storytelling.

GamerFan It’s been a fantastic ride—definitely worth every hour we spent. Exodus: Ultima III sets a high bar for future role-playing games on the NES. I’m excited to see what more this era brings to gaming.

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RetroGamer84 Same here! Now, let’s grab some soda and maybe pop a new cartridge in for our next adventure.

*As they switch off the console, RetroGamer84 and GamerFan think about the vast landscapes of Sorsaria they’ve explored and how they’ve shaped their afternoon. The thrilling world of 1987 gaming seems ripe with endless possibilities.*

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