Memories of Ultima

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Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:49 pm

Ultima VII The Black Gate, Ultima VII Part 2 The Serpent Isle, Ultima VIII Pagan, and for a short time, Ultima IX Ascension. These are the most vivid memories of my childhood PC gaming experience. Ok, Ultima IX Ascension was more of a college memory, but it goes to show how long the Ultima series of games has been around. The first Ultima game I played was Ultima VI, however, I never owned it, and it was more of a favor from my cousin when my family got their first computer, a 386DX, with 4 megs of ram, and a Paradise SVGA ISA video card. Honestly, even to this day, Ultima VII and Ultima VII part 2 have the best storyline of any game, PC or console, I have ever played in my life. Maybe not the longest story, but the most intriguing and creative. For a short time in college I even attempted to write an Ultima-based novel, but got distracted by school-work. It would have been great to get the official Richard Garriot seal of approval for a novel based off of his greatest life's work. Does anybody else remember this game? I just started playing it again in my free time, since you can download it from certain abandonware sites, and I even still have the original disks, maps, and plastic trinkets that came with the games. Of course, I have to use Exult to play it on modern hardware.
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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:51 pm

Or you could just buy it from gog.com
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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:55 pm

Yes, but I already legally own the game. :) All of the floppies, boxes, cloth maps, plastic trinkets, manuals, everything.
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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:54 pm

I remember Starfalcon showing me Ultima IV for the Commodore 64. I had Ultima VI on a Tandy that couldn't handle the graphics. How far games have come since then!
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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:30 pm

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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:40 pm

Ultima VI was great. I think it was the first game that felt like a "sandbox" to me; when I first played it I spent fifty hours just running around, not "doing the quest" so to speak. Then a couple years (and a better computer) later we (couple siblings and I) got down to the nitty-gritty and really uncovered the whole flow of the game. Best way to get good gear early on? Move a cannon so it's pointed right at a guard in one of those little guard booths; Using the cannon didn't trigger aggro, easy and cheap way to get halberds!
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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:31 pm

There is a spell in Ultima VII called Armageddon. I can't remember which circle of magic it is in. 7th or 8th. All it does is kill all of the NPC's, except Lord British, Batlin, and the Undead Ferryman. Kind of a cool spell, but there was no way to undo it other than to restore a saved game, since it basically made the game infinishable once you cast it. The music in Ultima VII seemed to cast a spell on me *cough*. But I thought the music of Ultima VII Part 2 was even more captivating :wink:
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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:11 pm

I still remember my first real PC (a 386SX with 1MB of RAM... wow!) My dad got me a combo pack of Ultima VI and Wing-Commander... BEST EVER!! Not to mention the cloth map with Ultima VI and the hilarious copy protection where Lord British asked you questions out of the documentation. Ultima VII and The Serpent Isles still rank as two of my favorite games of all time and with a little bit of work to improve the resolution of the drawings, I think they'd still LOOK really good even today. Thanks for the nostalgia dude!
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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:12 pm

moresmarterthanspock wrote:There is a spell in Ultima VII called Armageddon. I can't remember which circle of magic it is in. 7th or 8th. All it does is kill all of the NPC's, except Lord British, Batlin, and the Undead Ferryman. Kind of a cool spell, but there was no way to undo it other than to restore a saved game, since it basically made the game infinishable once you cast it. The music in Ultima VII seemed to cast a spell on me *cough*. But I thought the music of Ultima VII Part 2 was even more captivating :wink:


Yeah.. it was in Ultima VI too. You learned it from the wisps IIRC. If you used it and then talked to Lord British, he was not particularly pleased.
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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:19 pm

I've been playing Ultima VII in my time off recently. I'm currently at the point where I need to use the enchanted hourglass the enter the sphere so the moongates will be operational again. I already disabled the tetrahedon generator so magic works properly for the mages in britannia. I'd say I'm about half way through the game. Then on the Ultima VII : Part 2 The Serpent Isle. I always like reading the books I find throughout the game. They have a lot of history in them and help explain some of the storyline as well. I also heard that one of the books in the Moonglow library was a tribute to the band "Cake". Oh yes, and since you mentioned Wing Commander. Gotta love Mark Hammill for playing the main character in Wing Commander 3 through 5. Also, did you ever catch the hidden meaning in Ultima VII? Origin systems, the company that Richard Garriott worked at, knew that Electronic Arts was about to buy Origin, and he didn't like it. So he put hidden meanings in Ultima VII to show his dissapproval of the buyout. Three of the evil artifacts in the game, A sphere, A tetrahedron, and a cube, are also the shapes in the Electronic Arts logo. Also, two of the main villians in the game, Elizabeth and Abraham. Initials E and A. Electronic Arts. Pretty clever. Also, the company, Origin Systems motto was "We create worlds". The guardian, the main villian in Ultima VII, was known as "The destroyer of worlds". Gotta love it. And one more thing. In one of the corn fields outside on Ultima VII, there is a crashed Kilrathi ship from Wing Commander. Which suggests that Wing Commander and the Ultima story take place in the same universe. Even in the conversation with the field-worker, he says a creature stepped out of the craft that looked like a tiger. Definitely a Kilrathi! Ultima VIII: Pagan was supposedly going to be a better game than it was, however, by then, Electronic Arts had bought Origin systems. And EA told the developers to hurry up and publish Pagan. Long story short, the game wasn't finished, and still had a lot of bugs. It's still a pretty cool game, but frustrating in certain aspects because EA forced Garriot to release it pre-maturely. Ultima XI: Ascension was the last in the Avatar stories of Ultima. It wasn't anything special, other than it was the only Ultima game to be in the first-person-shooter style, without the shooting(unless you use magic or a bow and arrow of course). Being the last Ultima, it was also the first, and last game, where you were able to look up and see the Brittannia sky.
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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:38 pm

SPOOFE wrote: Move a cannon so it's pointed right at a guard in one of those little guard booths; Using the cannon didn't trigger aggro, easy and cheap way to get halberds!


You just triggered my memory banks there... If you did that down in Trinsic, you could kill lots of guards and sell their armor at the weaponsmith for a whole bunch of gold too!
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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:04 pm

chuckula wrote:Yeah.. it was in Ultima VI too. You learned it from the wisps IIRC. If you used it and then talked to Lord British, he was not particularly pleased.


I remember there were also some spells you could learn by setting your spellbook on the ground and dropping stuff into it. Remember to save before doing so, as the item can never come out again and you might end up with a spellbook weighing as much as a small building after too many failed attempts.
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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:46 pm

I didn't play Ultima VI much, but I do remember that during the intro, there is a clock in the scene. And the clock is always shows the current real-world time. It gets the time from the time set in your computers BIOS.
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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:10 pm

More Ultima VI memories:

-You could carry unlimited items by opening an empty container in your inventory (which glitched your carry weight down to zero) and then pick up whatever you want; if you're overloaded you just do this a few times and you can wind up carrying... well, for instance, I usually had Dupre carrying around a few skiffs.

-The wisps! There's a book of Lost Mantras or something that you can give to the wisps, and you can exchange it for gold... they'll max out your entire party's carrying capacity with gold nuggets. Empty everyone's inventory first and you can wind up with a stupidly huge amount of gold (I once got so much gold that the game glitched a little and couldn't even display an amount under the icon in my inventory... but if I ever dropped it, it was so heavy I couldn't pick it up again!).

-I never did figure out the deal with the ghost Quentin in Skara Brae...
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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:16 pm

SPOOFE wrote:-I never did figure out the deal with the ghost Quentin in Skara Brae...

taken from: http://www.gamefaqs.com/snes/588818-ult ... faqs/27501

23. Err...do we ever find out what happened to Quentin?

Nope. There's a rumor going around that to guy in the jail cell in Yew is the culprit, but there's no proof. At least, not in the SNES version.
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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Tue May 31, 2016 6:36 pm

Figured I wouldn't start a new thread. Is Ultima Onine any good? I'm on their website, and am thinking about downloading it. Anyone play it recently?
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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Tue May 31, 2016 6:52 pm

I first played Ultima III on the Atari 800XL and 4 to 6 on Tandy 286 PC.
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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Tue May 31, 2016 6:58 pm

SPOOFE wrote:More Ultima VI memories:

-You could carry unlimited items by opening an empty container in your inventory (which glitched your carry weight down to zero) and then pick up whatever you want; if you're overloaded you just do this a few times and you can wind up carrying... well, for instance, I usually had Dupre carrying around a few skiffs.

-The wisps! There's a book of Lost Mantras or something that you can give to the wisps, and you can exchange it for gold... they'll max out your entire party's carrying capacity with gold nuggets. Empty everyone's inventory first and you can wind up with a stupidly huge amount of gold (I once got so much gold that the game glitched a little and couldn't even display an amount under the icon in my inventory... but if I ever dropped it, it was so heavy I couldn't pick it up again!).

-I never did figure out the deal with the ghost Quentin in Skara Brae...


There were some hidden spells that you could get too by moving items (aside from scrolls) into your spellbook. I couldn't remember exactly which ones anymore, but I did end up with a few spells that I never found a proper scroll for in game. Of course if the item doesn't work the weight is just added to the spellbook and it gets super heavy after a few failed attempts.
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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Tue May 31, 2016 7:14 pm

My first real PC (a 386 SX at 16MHz, and 1 MB of RAM). Ultima VI with the cloth map & Wing Commander I all crammed onto one of those new-fangled "CD-ROM" disks that were so big you had no idea how they would ever fill them up!

I also loved Ultima VII & the Serpent Isle. I was dumb enough to try Ultima VIII once (but it was pirated, hope the statute of limitations has run out!)
Last edited by chuckula on Tue May 31, 2016 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Tue May 31, 2016 7:27 pm

confusedpenguin wrote:Figured I wouldn't start a new thread. Is Ultima Onine any good? I'm on their website, and am thinking about downloading it. Anyone play it recently?

I had no idea that Ultima Online was still a thing, like 18 years on. :o
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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Tue May 31, 2016 7:37 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
confusedpenguin wrote:Figured I wouldn't start a new thread. Is Ultima Onine any good? I'm on their website, and am thinking about downloading it. Anyone play it recently?

I had no idea that Ultima Online was still a thing, like 18 years on. :o


There are some. Here's a rather interesting article: https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2015/0 ... ospective/
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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Tue May 31, 2016 9:11 pm

Big Ultima fan, played IV, V, VI, Savage Land, VII, UW, VII Pt 2, UW2, VIII and even IX (ew). Fiddled around with I and III but they didn't really have the same feel as the successive games.

For me, the series started to lose its way around VI, when it started to feel more like a game engine than an actual game. I did not care for the gameplay mechanics of VII at all, and while I enjoyed VII pt 2 a bit more, the underlying combat system was still pretty terrible.

I thought V was the peak of the series, with an interesting take on the nature of of a moral society and how adherence to the letter of the law could give rise to a tyrannical society. By the time VI came out, the storytelling had progressed (mostly due to increased storage space and graphical capability), but it felt as though the combat had regressed, becoming more tedious, and culminating in the frustration-fest that was combat in VII (where party members would run off and die off-screen, never to be found again).

I'm looking forward to the reboot of the Underworld series (Underworld Ascendant), but I'm wary that it may not recapture the magic of the originals. After all, Arx Fatalis, a spiritual sequel of sorts by Arkane, failed to tickle my fancy (even though I later fell in love with their work in Dishonored). And having been burned on Worlds of Magic, I'm somewhat leery of subscribing to nostalgia.

I haven't played any of the core Ultima games in a while, but I do still load up The Magic Candle from time to time, that's probably my favorite old-school sprite-based RPG.
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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Wed Jun 01, 2016 6:01 am

chuckula wrote:My first real PC (a 386 SX at 16MHz, and 1 MB of RAM). Ultima VI with the cloth map & Wing Commander I all crammed onto one of those new-fangled "CD-ROM" disks that were so big you had no idea how they would ever fill them up!

I also loved Ultima VII & the Serpent Isle. I was dumb enough to try Ultima VIII once (but it was pirated, hope the statute of limitations has run out!)


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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:33 am

I'm not old enough to have gotten into the earlier Ultimas, but some of my fondest gaming memories are from Ultima Underworld 1 and 2, which were and are masterpieces. That's why I recently crowd-funded (an exception for me) Underworld Ascendant. Oh, and I tried Ultima 8, but it was buggy and difficult to understand.

I could talk about UW1 and UW2 for hours on end, though :)
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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:58 am

Have any of you checked out Shroud of the Avatar? Lord British is back!
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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:22 pm

adampk17 wrote:Have any of you checked out Shroud of the Avatar? Lord British is back!

Yes, and my brain switched off as soon as I read "MMO".

I don't have absolutely anything against the genre and I played Guild Wars a fair bit back in the day, but to me Ultima = an engrossing story and world that makes me forget which day it is.
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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:40 pm

morphine wrote:
I don't have absolutely anything against the genre and I played Guild Wars a fair bit back in the day, but to me Ultima = an engrossing story and world that makes me forget which day it is.



Shroud can be played completely offline and single player as well.
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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:57 pm

Hm interesting, I'll have to give it another look then.
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Re: Memories of Ultima

Postposted on Thu Jun 02, 2016 2:57 am

I've played a lotta games, but my favorite game ever is still Ultima IV on my dear old Atari 1040ST. It came with an actual cloth map, and a really cool ankh made of pewter. I played that game, same character, for two of my teenage years. I did everything and loved it. From fashioning an IRL widget from a stapler and a thimble to hold down the key so I could more easily traverse the map, recruiting Iolo and the boys (what's a Paladin?), to finding the mysteries of the 8 virtues of the Avatar (poignant lessons), and Lord British himself (aaahhhh godrays and harps). Everything about the game fascinated me, it held my love and attention and just plain raw must-get-in-there-and-play-some-more like no other game ever has.

And at the end, I used the damn diagonal balloon cheat to get into the Codex. Truly and without exaggeration, one of my greatest regrets.
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