This week’s Free Thursday will take us to Good Old Games (dot com!) where we will boggle at the following two titles being available for the low low price of FREE!

Beneath A Steel Sky (designed and illustrated by Watchmen’s Dave Gibbons) is a point and click adventure game (yay 90’s!) that is pretty much one of the swan songs of the genre before the danged first person shooters took over. It didn’t get half the attention it deserved.

Ultima 4 is also available. Holy cow! Ultima IV!!! If I recall correctly, this is the first game that didn’t let you pick your character from a list but instead gave you a personality test. A single-elimination tournament of 8 Virtues going head to head with each other… the virtue that won out was the one that was the bedrock of your character. I want to say that Spirituality was Rangers, Justice was Druids, Humility was Shepherds… anyway, the point of the game was *NOT* to kill everything. It was actually to become a good person. There were quests galore, dungeons to crawl, monsters to slay… but there were also beggars to whom you gave gold and shrines you visited in order to pray and meditate. There was nothing like this when this came out. I don’t know how playable it would be today but, at the time, it was as immersive as, oh, Grand Theft Auto III. Except you were supposed to be good.

Hey,¬†they’re free. What could possibly go wrong?


Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com


  1. Swan Song? Point and clicks aren’t dead, they’re making a comeback. Check out Telltale’s Back to the Future if you haven’t yet. And I’m just as excited about their upcoming Jurassic Park.

  2. I did try to play Ultima IV for a few minutes. I ended up with “Compassion” for some reason and wandered around outside trying to figure out if I could remember anything.


    You’ll want to print out the book and keep it nearby.

    You won’t need it after a few hours… but, at first, you *WILL* need it.

  3. Are you on Steam? Why aren’t you on Steam? I thought you would’ve been on Steam before me in the same way you had a Costco account before I got one.

  4. Got Ultima IV and was, well, confused. Perhaps I’ll have to break down and actually RTFM.

    • Each letter of the alphabet is devoted to a different command.

      Y is Yell, A is Armor, I think… that sort of thing.

      You’ll have them memorized after a while… until then, you’ll not only have to read it, you’ll have to print it out.

      I’m going to put it on a stick and take it to kinko’s and get it professionally printed/stapled so it’ll be like a real book and errything.

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