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Ultima.. what port is best of each release?


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#51 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:43 AM

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

You're going to have an issue when using the Mockingboard on your IIgs. I don't know exactly what the issue is exactly, but I know that someone patched the games to fix it.

Also since you're playing on a IIgs you should really look into the Ultima I remake. It's amazing!

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#52 psquare75 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:49 AM

I think I may need to finally get an SIO2PC or something to get Ultima going on my 800XL.

#53 82-T/A OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:33 AM

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.


Hahah... no, not really. I've seen a couple of people play it, but I'm just not into that stuff. I'm sure I would enjoy it, but I just have so little time now-a-days. I'm finishing my bachelors, work full time, have a family, a home to work on... I just know how addicting those games are, and unless you really invest the time in those games, you don't really get to experience them as you should.

I did play the original WarCraft back in the mid/late 90s... we used to play it over a Null-Modem cable, or a local TCP/IP network. Same with Dune 2000 (and of course Doom, and whatever else).

I used to be addicted to those BBS door games like Trade Wars 2002... but the SysOp would always set a time limit... hahah...



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.

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

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.

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.



Heh, you're posts are a bit aggressive... and I'm not sure exactly where you got the impression this was an argument?
If I didn't know any better, I'd think I stumbled upon a political message board. Perhaps we should discuss the failure of communism and socialism. Hahah...

I'm just saying... just trying to think "outside of the box" from what I would normally experience. People tend to enjoy what they're used to... and I would just presume that a lot of people would like the Dragon Warrior style of game. Not suggesting it is the BEST, just saying that more people might enjoy it.

I'm sure CB radios were also really fun, but saying that because someone thinks talking on a CB radio is horrendously boring, does not mean they have no taste... different strokes. Relax...

Edited by 82-T/A, Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:34 AM.


#54 Christophero Sly OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:37 AM

*NM

#55 psquare75 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:51 AM

In a *perfect world* Ultima 3 would have the graphics of the NES game, and general movement on screen of the NES game, (I loved the 4 party members walking) but the interface of the PC.

Man. Warcraft and Diablo. There was a local video store that had a "Lan room" set up where a person could rent a PC for a few hours. A friend of mine and I with his little brother used to play it for hours on a weekend. Guy even allowed us to bring in food. Good times. Now it's a bar. :(

Gang, I didn't expect such a heated debate and argument to erupt over a (sadly) dead game series. Then again, I'm sort of glad it did, and I'm not the only one.

BTW, I dug out my Ultima IV V and VI hint book, which was written in story fashion... What a good read! Last time I read this in depth I was maybe 15? Now 16 years later, I can approach it with an 'adult' perspective.

#56 Goochman ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:01 PM

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. :)


The original release had a bug where the game would lock up if a Shadow Lord appeared in a city (something like that) - anyhow, it was a real pain as I would lose alot of progress just randomly.

#57 Goochman ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:04 PM

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.



I actually quite enjoy the 'enhanced' Ultimas redone on the ST, Amiga, and PC - I dont have alot of love for the 'shortened' versions done for the consoles - but to each their own.

I will however stand by my point that no one should play Ultima II on the ST - it is unplayable and not very fun. As I understand it someone created it as a project to learn GEM on the ST and Sierra published it. I can disntinctly remember paying $9.99 for it the day it came out, even Sierra knew this was a 1/2 baked release.

Edited by Goochman, Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:05 PM.


#58 Goochman ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:07 PM

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.


Make sure you get the 'jump' fix for 8 if you play it. That was the most ridiculous aspect of 8 - turning the Avatar into 'Super Mario' if you ask me :)

I was not a fan of the Guardian storyline either, however I was happy to have a new land outside of Sosaria to explore. That was the one thing after U4 I didnt like was the world map didnt really change.

#59 82-T/A OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:13 PM

In a *perfect world* Ultima 3 would have the graphics of the NES game, and general movement on screen of the NES game, (I loved the 4 party members walking) but the interface of the PC.

Man. Warcraft and Diablo. There was a local video store that had a "Lan room" set up where a person could rent a PC for a few hours. A friend of mine and I with his little brother used to play it for hours on a weekend. Guy even allowed us to bring in food. Good times. Now it's a bar. :(

Gang, I didn't expect such a heated debate and argument to erupt over a (sadly) dead game series. Then again, I'm sort of glad it did, and I'm not the only one.

BTW, I dug out my Ultima IV V and VI hint book, which was written in story fashion... What a good read! Last time I read this in depth I was maybe 15? Now 16 years later, I can approach it with an 'adult' perspective.



The Ultima conversation got me thinking, so I just walked over to the IT office here at work, and spoke to the guy who's more of a nerd than I am. He was showing me Ultima 9 which actually seems pretty cool. It almost looks Ultima Underworld 2 -ish...

It's been a while since I've played either, so I decided to look up Ultima 4 on NES and Ultima 4 on PC, and I can see obviously that the biggest difference being the 3D mapping of the dungeon.

I can understand why someone would enjoy the 3D aspect of that, but personally, I just can't really get into it. I've played Bard's Tale 1-3, and all of the AD&D Gold Box series games, and I love the 3D, 90-degree turn "engine" that it had... I wouldn't want it ANY other way honestly... but the graphics in Ultima 4 on the PC are sooo horrendous. When you compare it to essentially what you get with the NES version of the game, plus the fact that you're actually getting music, it just seems to me like it's more fun.

I actually want to hook up a Nintendo and start to play those games again.


Here's Lord British in Ultima 4 on the PC:

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Here's Lord British in Ultima 4 on the NES:

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And here's another screen shot from a different castle that shows more graphics, since the Lord British image I see is kind of blocked by the dialog boxes:

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As you can see, the graphics are definitely more refined in the NES version, I think you'd really enjoy the NES one.


I was never a fan of Wings, or the Beetles...



EDIT: Here's a cool 3D shot from Ultima 5 on the PC I guess... not bad, it's starting to look a bit like Eye of the Beholder-ish...

Posted Image


I still say that the AD&D Gold Box Series games are the end-all-be-all for the 3D / 90-degree-turn style game:

Posted Image

Edited by 82-T/A, Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:18 PM.


#60 Bill Loguidice ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:26 PM

Beauty is clearly in the eye of the beholder. I'd take any of the computer Ultima graphics over any of the Ultima console graphics. I'm not a fan of anime-styled visuals. I guess it's all in how you grew up. Of all the versions to play, I'd play the NES versions last anyway, simply because you're not getting the full experience. Let's face it, unless a port IMPROVES upon a game, why not play the original unless you have some type of interface bias (which would understandable in the Ultima-series' case).

With the above in mind, if I were to play a console version of say, Ultima IV, I'd go straight to the Sega Master System version, as that's the most faithful to the original and it's a nice visual compromise without going the stylized anime route.

#61 psquare75 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:29 PM

I never thought of the console versions as "anime" more "DW/FF" inspired.

#62 Bill Loguidice ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:38 PM

I never thought of the console versions as "anime" more "DW/FF" inspired.


In any case, you get my point. It uses the stylized super deformed characters and bright colors that are associated with Japanese, rather than Western games. That's an aesthetic that either appeals to you or doesn't.

#63 remowilliams OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:40 PM

I find it interesting and rather unexpected that any hardcore Ultima fan would find the 'cut rate' console versions preferable. ;)

#64 cimerians OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:53 PM

I find it interesting and rather unexpected that any hardcore Ultima fan would find the 'cut rate' console versions preferable. ;)



I have to agree, I couldn't stand them (Ultima 4 wasnt too bad) cause they were so shortened down and I couldnt take them seriously at all.

I thought Ultima 4 was ok and playable but I just could not get into those versions. They were just too different for me.

One port that is seriously cool is the Sega Master System Ultima IV.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vDK2Uxi9QM

Very well done. Thats how a console version Ultima should be done.

#65 82-T/A OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:00 PM

Beauty is clearly in the eye of the beholder. I'd take any of the computer Ultima graphics over any of the Ultima console graphics. I'm not a fan of anime-styled visuals. I guess it's all in how you grew up. Of all the versions to play, I'd play the NES versions last anyway, simply because you're not getting the full experience. Let's face it, unless a port IMPROVES upon a game, why not play the original unless you have some type of interface bias (which would understandable in the Ultima-series' case).

With the above in mind, if I were to play a console version of say, Ultima IV, I'd go straight to the Sega Master System version, as that's the most faithful to the original and it's a nice visual compromise without going the stylized anime route.


Sure, I can totally understand. Just for the record though, (I'm actually asking, becuase I haven't played through either of them), what do you think is lacking (or missing all together) from the NES console versions of 3-5 that is otherwise found in the PC version? Are you saying that there are actually parts of the plot which are missing? Or it is just more of a game feel that you have?

I would figure it's all perspective really... I played Dragon Warrior well before I played any of the Ultima games. I liked Dragon Warrior so much, I can even still remember the NES advertisement on TV.

HOLY CRAP!!! I FOUND IT ON YOU TUBE!!!



Wow... talk about a flash-back... hahah...

So yeah, the first Ultima game that I played was 6, and that is very "Console-ish" if you will... huge departure from the original Ultima games. Anyway, I didn't play U6 until after Dragon Warrior II originally came out.

I never thought of the console versions as "anime" more "DW/FF" inspired.


Dragon Warrior actually is anime inspired as it was originally called Dragon Quest and written in Japan. When you beat the game, every name list in the credits are Japanese. Hehe...

I like Final Fantasy, but never got those games on the NES. I did have Final Fantasy Legend on the Game Boy, damn, that was a good game...

I find it interesting and rather unexpected that any hardcore Ultima fan would find the 'cut rate' console versions preferable. ;)



Yeah? Just curious why you would think that? Personally, I think Ultima 6-9 are very console-ish...

For me... I simlpy cannot stand playing Ultima 1-5... the graphics are horrendous, the sound is attrocious (if there even is any) and the gameplay is even worse. I am such a huge fan of Ultima 6, 7, 7p2, Forge of Virtue and Silver Seed add-ons, Ultima Underworld, Ultima Underworld 2, and even the Savage Empire and Savage Empire 2 (both of which I've never really spent much time on).

So I want SOOOOOO badly to enjoy Ultima 1-5... I really, REALLY do... but I just can't. I tried... the graphics are horrendous... just attrocious in my opinion.

I started playing games in the mid / late 80s... so I never grew up playing stuff like ZORK or stuff. My very first game was Starflight by Binary Systems, or Test Drive 1, Mean 18, Ace of Aces, Arctic Fox... stuff like that...

so to try to play Ultima 2 or 3... where they don't even have sprite overlays... I just can't do it... <I'm having an emotional break-down moment, so read it with that kind of emotion>


Haha... I guess I want to know the whole "story" leading up to 6... and I figured the only way I'm going to get that is through the NES version.


When I play Ultima 6... I want to know WHY when the Avatar goes up to Iolo, he's like... "Hey old man, how's it going, been a long time???" or when he goes up to Shamino and says... "Hey you aspergic bastard, do you remember when we beat up that old prostitute in Trinsic back in Ultima 2? Those were the good old days..."

I want to know WHY!!!!

But I can't look at this crap... because it's just not immersive enough:


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#66 psquare75 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:09 PM

Starflight is another fave of mine (still waiting for SF3 10 years later lol!). I'd say suck it up and try U4 on the PC with the graphics and music enhancement pack. It's worth it.

#67 desiv OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:36 PM

I would figure it's all perspective really... I played Dragon Warrior well before I played any of the Ultima games.


I agree with Bill and the others, and I think you hit the nail on the head right there..
I played the Ultima's long before I played console RPGs.
(The only console we owned was an Odyssey 2 and I didn't even have Quest for the Rings! :-) )

I look at the console conversions as nice attempts considering there's no keyboard and I think the graphics are "cute."

Just not my style....

I really prefer keyboards for RPGs.

That SMS conversion does look interesting tho...


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#68 Goochman ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:53 PM

Taken from this site - here are the major differences in the NES port of U4:

http://ultima.wikia....ts_of_Ultima_IV


The game has content changes, which include:

■Complete removal of the intro; meaning that the game jumps directly to the Virtue test.
■No option for a female Avatar, unless the player's chosen class is represented by a female character. The player's name can only be 5 characters long.
■Strangely, Julia was gender-changed into a man, named Julius.
■Gameplay was changed at the shrines and after finding the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom; in particular, the original endgame (the final Virtue test) is completely missing, replaced by an "autopilot" sequence where the Avatar reads the Codex then returns to Lord British.
■The game mechanics are less complex; food and wind direction are not factors, and enemies will never try to flee from battle.
■Conversations with NPCs are greatly simplified and streamlined.
■Much like a standard console RPG of the time, monsters are invisible on the map (i.e. encounters are random).
■The battle system was altered; instead of each party member acting individually, the player now enters commands for all party members before any of them are executed. This is, again, similar to standard console RPGs of the era. The party members always act first, in the order they are arranged, followed by all enemy units.
■There are slight differences in the layout of towns, castles and dungeons, enough to render standard maps and coordinates useless on the NES. A general familiarity with the standard Ultima IV is helpful, but not always.
■Spell casting was simplified. To cast a spell, the player must merely have the proper reagents on hand; i.e., mixing is not required first.
■The party size was reduced to four. One of the game's goals, that of showing leadership to all professions, is lost with this.
■You can still recruit all the available characters for your profession, but only three (plus yourself) can be in your adventuring party at any one time. The others wait for you in a special area of Lord British's castle, and only here can you rearrange your party.

#69 psquare75 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:07 PM

Wait. In the PC game, you can control all 8 characters in a battle.

#70 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:46 PM

Wait. In the PC game, you can control all 8 characters in a battle.

I thought it was only six. It might have been eight though. It got unwieldy that's for sure.

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#71 psquare75 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:49 PM

8. Each Virtue. Yeah.. I tend to do all the questing elements (stones, runes, dungeons, shrines) THEN get the party members and hit the abyss.

#72 doyman OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:53 PM

[quote name='Ransom' date='Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:10 PM' timestamp='1294715411' post='2179955']
[quote name='Tempest' date='Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:59 PM' timestamp='1294707547' post='2179849']

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


Amen Brother

#73 Arkhan OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 5:43 PM

Ultima III is great on the NES/MSX. III's story was never really super in the delivery department on the PC ones. The NES/MSX one has nice tunes, always... not only in certain releases or with patches... the gameplay is a bit smoothed out, and the story is equally delivered. With nice graphics!


Ultima IV on NES lacks the ability to have a full party, so that immediately wrecks it. But it is a nice version overall.

V on the otherhand, has the most retarded PC--> Console engine ever. They made it clunky, and awful to use. Plus it looks like crap.

#74 Christophero Sly OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:55 PM

I'd take any of the computer Ultima graphics over any of the Ultima console graphics.

Hear, hear!

This evening, I began a re-play of Ultima III. Haven't played it in 25 years. I'm really surprised to discover how balanced it is. I had this memory of it being overwhelming in the beginning like II was, but III is not like that at all. It's really fair. Maybe too fair. I'm surprised by how far I was able to get with just cloth armor, a couple bows, and low-level spells. I'm not metagaming or FAQing (except for maps), and I've already gotten a Frigate, two Marks, and the Exotic armor and weapons. I haven't bothered to level-up even once.

#75 Goochman ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:58 AM

I'd take any of the computer Ultima graphics over any of the Ultima console graphics.

Hear, hear!

This evening, I began a re-play of Ultima III. Haven't played it in 25 years. I'm really surprised to discover how balanced it is. I had this memory of it being overwhelming in the beginning like II was, but III is not like that at all. It's really fair. Maybe too fair. I'm surprised by how far I was able to get with just cloth armor, a couple bows, and low-level spells. I'm not metagaming or FAQing (except for maps), and I've already gotten a Frigate, two Marks, and the Exotic armor and weapons. I haven't bothered to level-up even once.


The one thing that was nice about Ultima III is that it had a very complete story, multiple characters(but not too many) and if oyu knew what you were doing could finish it in a day.

From IV on forward no matter what you did it took multiple days to get through the game completely (not saying thats a bad thing, but 25 years later Im not sure I would want to play U4 for 5 - 6 days :) )




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