Posted Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:31 AM
I was a huge Ultima fan when I saw Ultima Online show up at Babbage's. But when I read the box, figured out that it was online multiplayer only, and figured out that I'd have to pay a monthly fee to play the game, I was appalled at that concept and put it back on the shelf. I've still never played it.
I think the SMS version of Ultima 4 is very interesting. I would really count it with the computer ports, because from what I've seen of the game, it's as close to the original as the other computer ports. It's not the typical "consolized" adaptation which purists sometimes object to.
The first RPG I ever played was Ultima 3 on the NES. When Dragon Warrior came out, Nintendo promoted it heavily and of course I wanted it (Ultima had hooked me on RPGs after all). But having played U3 previously, DW seemed kind of generic and uninspired to me. It felt like a cheap RPG somebody threw together to introduce (today I'd say market test) the genre. I enjoyed playing through it back then but wasn't interested to ever look at the sequels (probably should have).
A friend had the first Ultima Trilogy (I-III) which he played on his Apple IIGS. I remember that Ultima 3 would sometimes display a screen saying it had detected a Mockingboard and asking if he had one. Only happened rarely, weird that it happened at all though.
Mo'slo... am I the only one who found this program to be less than it's cracked up to be? Seems it's widely regarded as the solution to speed problems, but I wasn't that impressed with it. When I was struggling to play Ultima 7 on a Cyrix 6x86-133, I couldn't get it slow enough. The lowest setting I could use in mo'slo was something like 3% (I don't remember the exact number). At this setting, it had about a 50/50 chance of crashing the computer instead of running the game. If the game ran, it was still about twice as fast as I wanted it to run. The speed percentage you request from mo'slo isn't anywhere close to the slowdown it really gives you.
It's still a helpful program within limits, obviously better than nothing. But I can't imagine it being useful on anything from say a P2 onward. I don't think it's any failing of the programmer, it's just trying to perform an ugly kludge that has limitations. Origin gets the blame for making this kludge necessary. I've always been amazed that Origin went for so many years without bothering to control the speed of their games. It wasn't until Ultima 8 that they finally added some throttling.