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Ultima.. what port is best of each release?


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#26 jamesk OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:51 PM

(I wish I'd never gotten rid of my Apple ][ stuff, so often...)


Me too. The stuff I most miss is all the Nibble books and magazines I had. My parents got rid of a lot of good stuff when I left home. My Laser 128 and all my Forest Mims books :(

#27 Ransom OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:12 PM


(I wish I'd never gotten rid of my Apple ][ stuff, so often...)


Me too. The stuff I most miss is all the Nibble books and magazines I had. My parents got rid of a lot of good stuff when I left home. My Laser 128 and all my Forest Mims books :(


Agonizing, isn't it?

I had all the hardbound technical manuals they put out during the //c era. <sigh>

Some days I wish I was a hoarder. :D

#28 desiv OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:21 PM

The first version I "owned" was the C64 version of Ultima IV.
Great game and I agree that the music was incredible and I loved the graphics...

But, even as a CBM guy, I have to say you should play the Apple II versions.
The first Ultima I played was Ultima II and then Ultima III on my friends II+.
And the Mockingboard sound (Yes, I have one.. Not 2 tho!!! :-) is pretty good!!

desiv

#29 jamesk OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:28 PM

ReactiveMicro has Mockingboard clones for $60
:( Too much for my tastes. I'm waiting for the new CFFA for my next Apple II purchase.

#30 madmax2069 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:07 PM

A must for Ultima is on a Apple II equipped with a Mockingboard (or dual boards). i dont know which versions did support the Mockingboard but here is a video of a Apple II equipped with a Mockingboard , and another with somewhat hard to hear audio although not the best audio of the systems but still a heck of a lot better then playing with the stock audio in a Apple II.

Edited by madmax2069, Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:08 PM.


#31 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:30 PM

Some porno slideshow used the DiskII drive for sounds :lol:

#32 Arkhan OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:41 AM

Back on topic with Ultima!




The Japanese did a sweet love rock song from the town music. It makes me lol, but its good.

#33 psquare75 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:30 AM

I saw that the japanese actually did some magna type graphic novels based on ultima? I wonder if there are english translations.

#34 cimerians OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:15 PM

Back on topic with Ultima!




The Japanese did a sweet love rock song from the town music. It makes me lol, but its good.


XD

LOL, amazing

The battle music was great in 3 and 4.

Memories:
Those poisonous Man O' Wars were a pain.....Walk around and ZAP ZAP...hit points going down.
Running out of food was cruel too.

Chuckles the clown:
Ho eyo he hum!

Ho eyo he hum!

Ho eyo he hum!

Bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce!



Didst thou enjoy that?

I thought thou might!

#35 Great Hierophant OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:24 PM

Back on topic with Ultima!




The Japanese did a sweet love rock song from the town music. It makes me lol, but its good.


XD

LOL, amazing

The battle music was great in 3 and 4.

Memories:
Those poisonous Man O' Wars were a pain.....Walk around and ZAP ZAP...hit points going down.
Running out of food was cruel too.

Chuckles the clown:
Ho eyo he hum!

Ho eyo he hum!

Ho eyo he hum!

Bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce!



Didst thou enjoy that?

I thought thou might!


I remember the fan-patch releases back in the late 90s that promised to bring missing features and such to the Ultimas. These patches were generally written for systems trying to run Ultima on a Pentium or better Win 9x system.

The PC ports of Ultima 2-3 were designed for an IBM PC/XT running at 4.77MHz and looked best with a CGA card connected to a TV or composite monitor. Ultima 1, 4-5 were run, at best, on AT machines with EGA cards or Tandy 1000 computers. These ports were decent, but not particularly impressive. Compared to the Apple II originals, Ultima 2 lacked animation and sound effects in the title sequence, Ultimas 3-5 lacked music. Origin could have supported the Adlib card for 5 and the PCjr/Tandy sound chip for the ports of 3-4. On the plus side, you could install 4-6 to a hard drive (although you had to put up with annoying keydisk copy protection for 1-5) and they had better graphics than the 8-bit systems. Unlike the Apple II games, Ultimas I & III for the PC did not need any disk flipping, and Ultima II needed less.

Now to come to the patches. Patches exist to upgrade the CGA graphics into EGA graphics for 2 & 3, EGA to VGA graphics for 4. Midi music can be added to 3, 4 & 5. What to these do to the original games?

The patches do not properly adjust speed, as the sound effects and certain graphical effects are directly correlerated with the CPU speed. If the system is too fast, then these effects will be barely noticeable or audible. If you slow down the system too much, the music plays too slowly. The combined Ultima IV graphics and sound upgrade will not even run on an 8088/8086 and the config programs for the other upgrades require a program like CWSDPMI, which only runs on a 386 or better.

#36 Arkhan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:16 AM

The patches do not properly adjust speed, as the sound effects and certain graphical effects are directly correlerated with the CPU speed. If the system is too fast, then these effects will be barely noticeable or audible. If you slow down the system too much, the music plays too slowly. The combined Ultima IV graphics and sound upgrade will not even run on an 8088/8086 and the config programs for the other upgrades require a program like CWSDPMI, which only runs on a 386 or better.


protip: use mo'slo

The beauty of PC games is that to an extent they're still compatible on the newest hardware out.

I play Ultima games on a Phenom II X6 w/ Windows 7 perfectly fine. :)

Try doing that with the Apple II versions without an emulator.


The PC ports when properly patched are probably the best of the computer ones to play. No disk swaps, the same/similar graphics, music where applicable...

Personally, I prefer Ultima III: Exodus on the NES over any of the PC versions.


Also Ultima II is complete crap so who cares how good it is on any computer. :D

#37 Great Hierophant OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:31 PM

Ultimas I & IV sound and graphics effects work best on an 8088 machine, even an 286 makes them playback too quickly. Only Ultima V runs ideally on the 286.

#38 Arkhan OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:22 AM

Ultimas I & IV sound and graphics effects work best on an 8088 machine, even an 286 makes them playback too quickly. Only Ultima V runs ideally on the 286.


Yeah but if you use Moslo or DOSBOX, problem = solved.

What is your avatar from, it looks so friggin familiar.

#39 psquare75 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:49 AM

I started a game of IV using the new updated graphics. I had never seen this before!

I am sorely tempted to grab one of the old computers from my office (I have a PS/2 here and other similarly aged boxes) and use it as an old school gaming rig.

BTW my GF plays WoW heavily, and she couldn't get into U4, I think because the game doesn't hold your hand like WoW. That and the typing interface.

#40 cimerians OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:10 AM

DOSBOX with a front end like this one are gifts from the gaming gods.

I highly recommend both of those for all PC Ultima's and 1990's PC gaming in general.

I run Ultima 1-8 on Windows 7 64bit and have no issues with those two programs above.

Too cool. :thumbsup:

#41 Hatta OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:18 PM

The beauty of PC games is that to an extent they're still compatible on the newest hardware out.

I play Ultima games on a Phenom II X6 w/ Windows 7 perfectly fine. :)

Try doing that with the Apple II versions without an emulator.



DOS in Windows 7 is emulated, much like OS 9 is emulated under OS X.

#42 Arkhan OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:30 PM


The beauty of PC games is that to an extent they're still compatible on the newest hardware out.

I play Ultima games on a Phenom II X6 w/ Windows 7 perfectly fine. :)

Try doing that with the Apple II versions without an emulator.



DOS in Windows 7 is emulated, much like OS 9 is emulated under OS X.



Its part of the OS though. Apple II emulation isn't part of OSX. Thatd be kinda neat if it was though.

#43 82-T/A OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:49 PM

Man, I don't know HOW I missed this thread...

...and then there's a guy on page two with Shodan as his avatar, a system shock fan no doubt, and then just beneath this thread is a post about GeoWorks... I can tell that I'm definitely in my element here.


Anyway, I've tried or played pretty much every Ultima game on every system. In my HONEST opinion, I feel that these are the best systems to play them on:

Ultima 1 : The 1986 re-release on the IBM PC

Ultima 2 : Atari ST

Ultima 3-5 : Believe it or not, the NES 8-Bit system. The gameplay is identical to that of Dragon Warrior. I truly feel that the Ultima games, as good as they are, really should be console games. Playing Ultima 3-5 on the NES basically takes away all the frustration with having to use a keyboard for something that basically is a console game. In addition to that, it uses what I think, quite honestly... has got to be the Dragon Warrior engine, if not maybe just totally similar. This means the gameplay is improved, and the music of course is far superior to that of the PC.

Ultima 6 : Definitely needs to be played on the PC. You also should, if you can, play this with General Midi. I have a Pentium II that I run SLOWMO on. It has DOS 5.0 on it with a Roland Sound Canvas SCC-1. The music that you get from Ultima-6 with the Roland is amazing...

Ultima 7, 7p2, 8, 9, UW1, UW2, Savage Empire, Savage Empire 2 : also should all be played on the PC.

#44 Goochman OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:42 AM

Ultima 2 on the Atari ST? You realize it was 100% GEM Interface and mouse driven? I think that is the only version of Ultima II I decided not to finish....

The Atari 8 bit version of Ultima II plays as well as any IMHO and is packaged in the original graphics.

Im also going to disagree on Ultima 3-5. The console versions really shrink the rich story behind the games - the original PC versions (Atari 8bit, C64, Apple II) are the best.

For Ultima 5 I would prob start looking at the Atari ST(with Shadowlord bug fix!), Amiga, or PC version as the 8bit computers started to get stretched by then.

U6 forward only on a PC.

#45 cimerians OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:10 AM

Anyone ever finish 8? Is it worth playing through today? It's the only one I haven't finished due to many people disliking it.

I'm not a big fan of the Guardian storyline. 7 was great but I didnt care for another Guardian story so when 8 came out and it got some bad reviews I skipped it.

When I played and finished 9 it seemed like I never even needed to play 8. It had little tie-in's to it.

#46 psquare75 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:12 AM

I finished 8 when it came out. It was "ok". The Avatar never takes off his tea kettle helmet. For me that was the biggest aggravation of the game. That and CONSTANTLY in a dungeon or underground. I haven't touched 9 for the reasons you list. It got bad reviews so I stayed away. I heard theres a patch for it with updated storyline text to make it more relevant to the older games.

VII and the Black Gate is HIGH on my list of faves. When I tried UO I was disappointed it didn't look like VII.

Edited by psquare75, Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:14 AM.


#47 82-T/A OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:57 AM

Ultima 2 on the Atari ST? You realize it was 100% GEM Interface and mouse driven? I think that is the only version of Ultima II I decided not to finish....

The Atari 8 bit version of Ultima II plays as well as any IMHO and is packaged in the original graphics.

Im also going to disagree on Ultima 3-5. The console versions really shrink the rich story behind the games - the original PC versions (Atari 8bit, C64, Apple II) are the best.

For Ultima 5 I would prob start looking at the Atari ST(with Shadowlord bug fix!), Amiga, or PC version as the 8bit computers started to get stretched by then.

U6 forward only on a PC.



Hahah... well, I can see you too are a fan of the Ultima series since your avatar is of an Ultima map. I think my avatar is a bit more clever... hahaha..

But, I totally understand where you're coming from. But I'm trying to think of this from "outside" the box. You grew up playing those early Ultima games on the PC. The first Ultima game I ever played was Ultima 6 when I was in middle school. I was never exposed to 2-5... let alone the first one. I know from personal experience with other things like this, that although I might like what I am used to, others may not. I'm trying to think of what systems would be best to play the games on for someone who has never played these earlier games before in their life. If you didn't grow up playing those old Ultima games on the PC, would you still like them like you do today? I like to compare it to say, music. Live and Let Die I think sounds much better in the Guns & Roses version, and I think the Beetles one sucks. What would a kid today think? Would he like the Guns & Roses version, or the Beetles one? An old timer who heard the Beetles one first would tell me that I was an idiot for liking the Guns & Roses one.

When you play those old games, you associated subconciously with playing those games everything else that might have been going on in your life too... you were a kid, you had no responsibilities, maybe you were up late at night, or it was during the summer when you had nothing else to do. But in today's hectic world... there's very few people who have the patience or the attention span to sit down and play one of those older PC games. Sure, I like playing Pengo, or Baby-3, or RedBaron, or PTROOPER.EXE, or GRIME on a herculese monochrome monitor on an 8088, and I'd love to do it becuase I'd be reliving my past. But those games were horrible, and no one but me would even remember them or want to play them. The NES versions of the game I think instantly make them much more "immersive." The way those games are written is in very much a "Dragon Warrior" style of engine... that makes it something that you can pick up and play at any point, save, and put down at any point. There's less "mechanics" involved in the NES version than there is in the PC version. So because of that, I think those who have never experienced it before, would probably enjoy it today more on the NES. I can't say the same for the SNES versions of 6 and 7 though... those are mouse driven and NEED to be on a PC. Heh...

Not saying your opinion is wrong, but just respectfully disagreeing.


Anyone ever finish 8? Is it worth playing through today? It's the only one I haven't finished due to many people disliking it.

I'm not a big fan of the Guardian storyline. 7 was great but I didnt care for another Guardian story so when 8 came out and it got some bad reviews I skipped it.

When I played and finished 9 it seemed like I never even needed to play 8. It had little tie-in's to it.


I was one of the people who also hated #8. I think what everyone hated about #8 is that it was totally different from what we were all used to in the other games. In the older games, you always had a party... in Ultima 8, you were on your own. I played it to some extent, and I did enjoy the game... but I never beat it. I think once of these days when I'm done with school, I'm going to go back and try to play all these games if I can. Who knows... I don't see how I'll ever have time to play these games again.


I finished 8 when it came out. It was "ok". The Avatar never takes off his tea kettle helmet. For me that was the biggest aggravation of the game. That and CONSTANTLY in a dungeon or underground. I haven't touched 9 for the reasons you list. It got bad reviews so I stayed away. I heard theres a patch for it with updated storyline text to make it more relevant to the older games.

VII and the Black Gate is HIGH on my list of faves. When I tried UO I was disappointed it didn't look like VII.


Yeah, me too... I'm still going to try 9 though, one of these days. I liked Ultima Online... I somehow got on some list, somewhere... that Origin sent me the Beta-Test CD for Ultima Online when it first came out. I got to play for free for a month before it was released to the general public. It was a lot of fun, but unnecessarily addicting. I played it for 2 weeks straight, literally day in and day out... and it occured to me that there is NO WAY to actually win the game. So basically, I was spending my life, living a FAKE life, and that scared the crap out of me. So I stopped, and never played it ever again. That was like in 1997 or 1998 or something. I've never played one of those RPG online games ever since...

#48 Midnight Synergy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:59 AM

For Ultima 5 I would prob start looking at the Atari ST(with Shadowlord bug fix


What was the bug? I played V on the Atari ST and finished it, but don't remember any problems. I do remember being attacked by floor tiles on Ultima 3 (in Exodus' castle, also on the ST) but I think that was meant to happen. :)

#49 psquare75 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:04 AM

But, I totally understand where you're coming from. But I'm trying to think of this from "outside" the box. You grew up playing those early Ultima games on the PC. The first Ultima game I ever played was Ultima 6 when I was in middle school. I was never exposed to 2-5... let alone the first one. I know from personal experience with other things like this, that although I might like what I am used to, others may not. I'm trying to think of what systems would be best to play the games on for someone who has never played these earlier games before in their life. If you didn't grow up playing those old Ultima games on the PC, would you still like them like you do today? I like to compare it to say, music. Live and Let Die I think sounds much better in the Guns & Roses version, and I think the Beetles one sucks. What would a kid today think? Would he like the Guns & Roses version, or the Beetles one? An old timer who heard the Beetles one first would tell me that I was an idiot for liking the Guns & Roses one.


I actually heard the GnR version first. and I despise Axl's crooning compared to the smooth sound of Paul McCartney's voice in Wings (not the Beetles, lol). Seeing the Bond film helped solidify my opinion.


I played it for 2 weeks straight, literally day in and day out... and it occured to me that there is NO WAY to actually win the game. So basically, I was spending my life, living a FAKE life, and that scared the crap out of me. So I stopped, and never played it ever again. That was like in 1997 or 1998 or something. I've never played one of those RPG online games ever since...


I was just going to say, never played WoW have you. :D That's been my poison lately. My personal goal in that game is to make a motorcycle.

#50 Hatta OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:39 AM

If you didn't grow up playing those old Ultima games on the PC, would you still like them like you do today?


Yes, I think so. I never played an Ultima game back in the day, I loved playing I and II on the Apple II recently. I haven't played III-V yet, but your description of them as like Dragon Warrior isn't exactly compelling. If I wanted that, I'd play Dragon Warrior.


I like to compare it to say, music. Live and Let Die I think sounds much better in the Guns & Roses version, and I think the Beetles one sucks. What would a kid today think? Would he like the Guns & Roses version, or the Beetles one? An old timer who heard the Beetles one first would tell me that I was an idiot for liking the Guns & Roses one.


The fact that kids have no taste doesn't exactly bolster your argument. Also, that was Wings.


When you play those old games, you associated subconciously with playing those games everything else that might have been going on in your life too... you were a kid, you had no responsibilities, maybe you were up late at night, or it was during the summer when you had nothing else to do. But in today's hectic world... there's very few people who have the patience or the attention span to sit down and play one of those older PC games.


There may be few of us, but we're the ones most likely to ask which port is best. People who don't have patience or attention span will just go play PS3 instead.


The NES versions of the game I think instantly make them much more "immersive." The way those games are written is in very much a "Dragon Warrior" style of engine... that makes it something that you can pick up and play at any point, save, and put down at any point. There's less "mechanics" involved in the NES version than there is in the PC version.


That's exactly why I'm going to play the Apple II versions instead. The baroque mechanics of these old RPGs is what makes them so compelling.


Not saying your opinion is wrong, but just respectfully disagreeing.


For sure. This is what makes these discussions interesting. I'm looking forward to playing Ultima III-V on my IIgs at some point, but not until I get a mockingboard.

Edited by Hatta, Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:42 AM.





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