Got a pic of that hint book? It might be the one I had years after playing and highly enjoyed it reading as a novel.
Would be priceless for me if I got 'my' book back. In the real world, my funds are limited, though
So I found two books. One is from COMPUTE! Books (which published a fantastic magazine in the USA, too) printed in 1990. The other is by Prima Publishing and was published in 1992. Both are long out of print and were quite pricey. But in the early stages of getting my bearings, I was pretty desperate. I only just last night finally figured out the moon gates...
Anyway, they both try to cover Ultima IV-VI. And as I mentioned before, they are both in long-form narrative formats and read like novels.
The first one - the "official book" - has the first 90 pages devoted to the history of Richard Garriott and the design and development of the games. It's essentially a historical biography and history book. Then it goes specifically into the design and development of Ultima VI, which would have been brand new in 1990. And at the very end there are some "solutions" for IV-VI (still in narrative form) and a table of the Moongates and some of the items one can/must find throughout the land. It took me WAY too long to understand how to use the Moongates, but I finally did figure it out. Why they didn't reveal more of this information in-game is baffling to me and must have been beyond frustrating for the average gamer. Even with the table in front of me it took me several minutes of study to understand things.
In any case, the larger purple book covers the same 3 games. This is really cool for Amiga folks, since these are the 3 of the 4 Ultimas we have at our disposal.
This book is also very heavily written in narrative form. It does have a couple of pages of maps but they aren't exactly what I'd call highly detailed or easy to read. There is an excellent page in the book, however, that helps further illustrate the phases of the moon and the Moongates, which I used in conjunction with the other book. Hah!
I also found the Sextant last night (why did they hide it like that??) and it took me another several minutes of head scratching and experimentation to figure out the bizarre coordinate system in the game.
Definitely requires a lot of study.