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Ultima Collecting -- I am in big trouble!


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#51 NightSprinter OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:53 PM

Yeah, it was a bit of a letdown going back to my NES cartridge after having played the PC version. Plus there are gameplay differences I can discuss here that won't spoil any plot (I'm sure you're aware of these, Albert, but it'll be of use that've not played both versions of Exodus).

Navigating dungeons is much faster (in fact, the cave north-northeast of the starting point is much easier and safer to money-grind at the start of the game).

The spell that revives a character turned into ashes will reduce a cleric's WIS score by five each use on the computer version (making it more important to not let anyone die).

Monsters that only appeared in groups of two 4-tile large sprites on the FCI/PonyCanyon port appear in groups up to eight single-tile sprites on the computer.

Ships, Sea Serpents, Dragons, Wyverns, and possibly a couple other monsters can attack from a distance on the computer version. Conversely, so can you in your own ship (no EXP awarded as a result, and is part of a bug that allows Lord British to be killed).

Enemies can move in all eight directions in the computer version, players cannot.

There is a rather strong enemy located somewhere that does not exist in FCI's version. Certainly not stable-worthy, if this might be of hint.

Edited by NightSprinter, Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:54 PM.


#52 Asaki OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:12 AM

That's a much bigger ending than II gave you...let me know if you have any idea what II's ending even means, it's so cryptic.

#53 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:56 AM

Played 3 , 4, 5, and the Undergrounds.
Was more a SSI RPG fan, eg Wizards Crown, Phantasie, Questron, later the Gold boxes

#54 Mayhem OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:57 AM

Let me know if you want to sell it or and/or trade it for a buttload of classic gaming items. :)

..Al

No plans, but I'll bear it in mind heh... if I ever sold it, it would probably be $3000 minimum...

#55 cimerians OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:32 AM

Wow. Albert is putting up screenshots that bring back memories.

If anyone wants to know the patcher Albert mentions will also tell you what gets patched and if the patch is already applied (if you re-run it and select your game).

The only game I never finished is 6 and 8. To me 5 and maybe 4 were the hardest.

Need to finish those one day so I can say I beat em' all.

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#56 FastRobPlus OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:14 PM

Ultima III is my all-time favorite in the series. It was my all time favorite RPG until I played Might and Magic III on Amiga.

One retro goal I have is to get Ultima VII running on my Amiga 1000.
The Amiga versions only went up to VI, but You can play VII natively on an Amiga using the open-source ultima engine Exult. Unfortunately, it needs a dedicated VGA-color capable video card, which means it also needs a big-box Amiga with Zorro card slots. However, someone has written a hacked 256-color driver for the "Indivision" brand progressive scan-doubler boards that fit onto any Amiga, so now Ultima VII on the Amiga 1000 is theoretically possible.

#57 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:30 PM

That's a much bigger ending than II gave you...let me know if you have any idea what II's ending even means, it's so cryptic.


I don't remember the ending of II at all. Will be interesting to see that once I finish it. Probably won't really be able to play II very much until the weekend. I did read the manual last night, and I printed a map (which you definitely need due to the moongates). Although I have the real maps, it's nice being able to write on them.

..Al

#58 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:31 PM

Ultima III is my all-time favorite in the series. It was my all time favorite RPG until I played Might and Magic III on Amiga.

One retro goal I have is to get Ultima VII running on my Amiga 1000.
The Amiga versions only went up to VI, but You can play VII natively on an Amiga using the open-source ultima engine Exult. Unfortunately, it needs a dedicated VGA-color capable video card, which means it also needs a big-box Amiga with Zorro card slots. However, someone has written a hacked 256-color driver for the "Indivision" brand progressive scan-doubler boards that fit onto any Amiga, so now Ultima VII on the Amiga 1000 is theoretically possible.


I remember running Ultima VII on a fairly fast PC when the game out. It barely ran the game fast enough to be bearable! I wonder how an Amiga 1000 would actually fare.

..Al

#59 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:58 PM

One retro goal I have is to get Ultima VII running on my Amiga 1000.
The Amiga versions only went up to VI, but You can play VII natively on an Amiga using the open-source ultima engine Exult. Unfortunately, it needs a dedicated VGA-color capable video card, which means it also needs a big-box Amiga with Zorro card slots. However, someone has written a hacked 256-color driver for the "Indivision" brand progressive scan-doubler boards that fit onto any Amiga, so now Ultima VII on the Amiga 1000 is theoretically possible.

Don't you also need a PPC card for that as well? Like Al said, I don't think a 68000 processor (be it 68020 or 68030) would have enough horsepower to run it.

#60 Goochman OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:59 PM

I don't remember the ending of II at all. Will be interesting to see that once I finish it. Probably won't really be able to play II very much until the weekend. I did read the manual last night, and I printed a map (which you definitely need due to the moongates). Although I have the real maps, it's nice being able to write on them.

..Al


II ended with a vague statment about fighting Exodus in Ultima IIIb and IIIp (The letters after the # are prob wrong but it was something like that).

When I played the Apple II version last year apparently the initial release had a bug where Mr. Hotel CA wouldnt give strength..........had to learn how to disk doctor on the Apple series to fix my disk!

I still like II alot as it was my first Ultima. I realize today its lost alot of appeal, however having seen Time Bandit the movie and having this game with alot of land/possibilities was great - nothing like it at the time (maybe Wizardy which I couldnt play on my Atari).

I think alot of folks like III cause there is a more realistic storyline and can be finished in a day or 2 (Ive done it in one looooooooooong day) :)

Playing U1 again on the Apple I found it to be more fun since I didnt take it as serious. When I played it on the Atari way back it was not that fun.

#61 Asaki OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:10 PM

II ended with a vague statment about fighting Exodus in Ultima IIIb and IIIp (The letters after the # are prob wrong but it was something like that).


"Seek now to conquer wicked Exodus, Found in Ultima ]|[-D ]||[-P!"

http://www.atariage....00#entry2373385

#62 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:10 PM

When I played through them all I went with these systems:

Ultima I - Apple II -> Apple IIgs (best version out there)
Ultima II - Apple II -> Atari ST (very odd version, whacked out colors) -> PC (almost unplayable IMHO)
Ultima III - NES -> Apple II (yep NES first, don't ask why) -> PC (more playable than II, but UGH!)
Ultima IV - Apple II -> NES
Ultima V - Apple II

I really want to try Ultima II and III on the Mac (love that monochrome display) and the Amiga versions of Ultima IV and V. Ultima V on the Apple II was a bit of a chore as it had three double sided disks and chugged along pretty badly. Still, it was quite impressive for the time and I loved it. I didn't get around to playing Ultimas I and II until I picked up the Trilogy pack for the Apple around 87-88ish (had to order it from the Origin catalog). I hear the Trilogy version of Ultima II for the Apple fixed a lot of the bugs that plagued the original (oddly the Trilogy version for the C-64 didn't get the same treatment).

#63 Asaki OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:13 PM

Yeah, II and III on the PC are much better with the EGA patches, or at least in composite mode or whatever it's called (which they added to DOSBox not too long ago).

#64 FastRobPlus OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:27 PM

Don't you also need a PPC card for that as well? Like Al said, I don't think a 68000 processor (be it 68020 or 68030) would have enough horsepower to run it.


I think it needs an '030 or above. I do have one of the GB1000 Phoenix '030 boards. It's a modern implementation and as a fast an '030 as has ever been made for the Amiga. I also have an Amiga 500 '040 board that I could force in, but I'd rather not as the case won't close...

#65 FastRobPlus OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:31 PM

When I played through them all I went with these systems:

Ultima I - Apple II -> Apple IIgs (best version out there)
Ultima II - Apple II -> Atari ST (very odd version, whacked out colors) -> PC (almost unplayable IMHO)
Ultima III - NES -> Apple II (yep NES first, don't ask why) -> PC (more playable than II, but UGH!)
Ultima IV - Apple II -> NES
Ultima V - Apple II

I really want to try Ultima II and III on the Mac (love that monochrome display) and the Amiga versions of Ultima IV and V. Ultima V on the Apple II was a bit of a chore as it had three double sided disks and chugged along pretty badly. Still, it was quite impressive for the time and I loved it. I didn't get around to playing Ultimas I and II until I picked up the Trilogy pack for the Apple around 87-88ish (had to order it from the Origin catalog). I hear the Trilogy version of Ultima II for the Apple fixed a lot of the bugs that plagued the original (oddly the Trilogy version for the C-64 didn't get the same treatment).


There was a web site that reviewed Ultima on various platforms and ranked the gameplay experience. I wish I could find that sitte, it was really interesting.

He did conclude that Ultima III was best on the Atari 8-bit, owing to the Apple II smothness of the Atari's 2Mhz processor and the near C-64 quality audio soundtrack.

It is such a shame that Ultima IV didn't get music on the Atari 8-bit.

#66 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:37 PM

There was a web site that reviewed Ultima on various platforms and ranked the gameplay experience. I wish I could find that sitte, it was really interesting.

He did conclude that Ultima III was best on the Atari 8-bit, owing to the Apple II smothness of the Atari's 2Mhz processor and the near C-64 quality audio soundtrack.

It is such a shame that Ultima IV didn't get music on the Atari 8-bit.


That sucks! I didn't get into the Ultimas until well after Ultima IV was released, otherwise I would have certainly played it on an Atari 8-bit. I didn't know there was no music on the Atari version! I did watch a friend play some of the game on an Apple II with a Mockingboard, and the music was glorious. Especially for the time, although now that I listen to it again it still sounds great!



..Al

#67 FastRobPlus OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:46 PM

It also sounds fantastic on the C64.

Also - if you still like the music, there are wonderful orchestral versions on www.remix64.com

#68 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:01 PM

I have a rant about buying games from the Amazon Marketplace. I purchased a few used Ultima-related items from Amazon last week. It's really a huge gamble as to whether you're going to get a game in the condition it was described. Part of this is due to the craptacular packaging most Amazon sellers use. And by craptacular, I mean bubbleope. Sometimes not even that--I received an Ultima clue book that was packaged in a thin plastic envelope with no bubble wrap at all. It is bent nicely in the middle (perpendicular to the spine!), as if someone tried to bend the book in half. I also received a copy of Ultima VIII Publisher's Edition, described by the seller as in "Very Good" condition. Well, not by the time it arrived to me. It was shipped in a bubble envelope and had obviously been crushed during shipping. Which is a shame, as the contents of the box are all in great condition, but the box (and these are fairly strong boxes!) is crushed on one side. So I'll need to hunt another one of these down.

Posted Image
(click for a larger image)

I've also received a few Ultima-related books, but those have fortunately survived the journey unscathed.

I do have to commend one seller--today I received a copy of the Software Toolworks Ultima I-VI Collection. It was described as "Good" and "Comes with box and instruction manuals". Oftentimes I'll write the seller and ask for clarification (especially with a game like this, which has several maps, two books, etc.), but I didn't in this case. The game was shipped in a box (a big surprise from an Amazon Marketplace seller) and the game itself was thoroughly wrapped in bubble wrap. The box was accurately described (good, not very good), and everything inside the box was in excellent condition, including all the (thick paper) maps. Amusingly, the map for Ultima I has small post it notes all over it, marking city/town/dungeon names. Glad they went that route instead of writing directly on the map! Also, as a bonus, this seller included an original Ultima VIII CD as well as the cloth map that came with the game. :)

I have a few other items from Amazon that will be coming this week, including more games. I did have a conversation with one seller asking if he'd ship a game (an original cardboard box version of Arx Fatalis) in a box, and he responded,

"Asolutely, sir. I am a collector myself, and I could never shove a flimsy cardboard box in a bubble mailer and pretend I was doing my job. You probably will not find a seller who is more understanding about these things than me."

Wish everyone had this attitude! Unless you can get a seller to commit to shipping in a box, you pretty much have to assume bubble envelope or worse. The same is true with eBay sellers as well, and I always ask them in advance if they will ship in a box. I've rarely been turned down, although I have had people tell me they'll ship in a box and then ship in a bubble envelope or worse (like simply wrapping paper around the item and shipping it... really?)

/end rant

..Al

#69 Mirage OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:15 PM

There was a web site that reviewed Ultima on various platforms and ranked the gameplay experience. I wish I could find that sitte, it was really interesting.

He did conclude that Ultima III was best on the Atari 8-bit, owing to the Apple II smothness of the Atari's 2Mhz processor and the near C-64 quality audio soundtrack.

It is such a shame that Ultima IV didn't get music on the Atari 8-bit.


I'm sure this isn't the site you are referring to, because I remember that site, but can't find it now. But this site looks pretty great and at least has screen shots of the various platforms' versions to compare:

http://www.hardcoreg...tima/ultima.htm

#70 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:57 PM

I'm sure this isn't the site you are referring to, because I remember that site, but can't find it now. But this site looks pretty great and at least has screen shots of the various platforms' versions to compare:

http://www.hardcoreg...tima/ultima.htm

Yep That's the site I remember. Good site too.

#71 SoulBlazer OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:58 PM

Okay, suspose I want to give Ultima a shot again. I allready have the gog.com games and can get the patch edior that Al linked to.

Where do you suggest I start, keeping in mind most of my RPG experence is with Japanese games and I've hardly played any western RPG's before the more recent ones of the last few years?

What can I do while playing the game to enhance my experience and/or make it easier on myself without cheating?

Any other advice or general tips, beyond 'save often!' :)

#72 NightSprinter OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:27 PM

SoulBlazer, read the first post of this (the third) page for tips that you should keep in mind for Ultima III. Maps and a description of what spells are assigned to keys an what they do will help as well.

Also for III, this is how I usually consider things for race/class is here. http://strategywiki....odus/Characters and here http://shrines.rpgcl...haracters.shtml Despite the latter somewhat being geared towards FCI's port, it has a lot of valuable information as to what the strengths/weaknesses of each class and race happen to be.

#73 Asaki OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:03 PM

Where do you suggest I start, keeping in mind most of my RPG experence is with Japanese games and I've hardly played any western RPG's before the more recent ones of the last few years?


I know this is a thread about Ultima, but you mentioned Dragon Warrior on the other page, and I always liked how Wasteland (which Fallout is the spiritual sequel to) reminded me of Dragon Warrior III.

Like I said, I liked the first Ultima a lot. Didn't care for II. III was fun, I played the Gameboy Color port of it so I could lazily play through it in bed. Still working on IV...it's a little harder to play in bed, with all the notes you have to take, but I've got a DOS emulator on my DS, and I just exit out of the game and keep a TXT file with all of my notes in it. I haven't been playing it in a long while, though, I need to get back into it.

What can I do while playing the game to enhance my experience and/or make it easier on myself without cheating?


Honestly, it's kind of hard to play the games without cheating ¬_¬ I always end up finding the cheap way to grind, and max out all of my stats. I'm sure they get less exploitable the further into the series you get, though.

#74 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:27 PM

Alright, I spent a few hours playing Ultima II tonight and it sucks. The maps are too small and using the "time gates" to get around is a bit of a pain. There are very few towns/villages and only one castle (well, one castle in two different times). The food business is just ridiculous. When starting out you have to spend most of your time breaking even just on keeping yourself alive with food, and I still haven't broken out of that rut.

I did explore and map out all the towns, dungeons and towers in the different time periods, and spoke with all the NPCs that give out useful information. Not including the ones you need to shell out tons of cash to get hints (such as the Oracle). You can't get to some land masses without a frigate or plane, though. The towns are setup internally better than in Ultima I, certainly. I can see this game is going to be much less about exploration and more about grinding. Which was fairly easy to do in Ultima I, but that doesn't seem to be the case in II.

This game is entirely based on money. If you have money, you can easily buy everything you need to finish the game (hit points, best armor, best weapon, max your character's skill points, transport, and of course, food.) And whatever you can't buy, you'll be strong enough to get the keys you need to unlock everything else. I just need to figure out a way to consistently build up cash, which may involve restarting as a thief so I can steal from townspeople and escape before the guards can get me.

I did venture into one dungeon, saw that I needed a torch (well, actually, I couldn't see anything), and promptly exited. I don't even know that dungeons/towers provide any useful purpose in U2 except grinding. In Ultima I you had to venture into the dungeons to kill certain monsters. This game seems to have a fairly simple plot that's solely based on your accruing enough cash to get the tools you need in order to get to the locations you need in order to kill Minax. Very little exploration, very simple plot, nothing really in terms of side quests you need to do.

I look forward to Ultima III.

..Al

#75 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:34 PM

Honestly, it's kind of hard to play the games without cheating _ I always end up finding the cheap way to grind, and max out all of my stats. I'm sure they get less exploitable the further into the series you get, though.


I agree, the later games require considerably more exploring, there are many more quests, many more people to talk to (and the conversation system gets more complex in the later games), and the overall plot is more involved. You really don't have to grind in the later games--at least I don't remember having to do that in Ultima VI and VII (Parts 1 and 2). Can't really speak to V, VIII, and IX, though. Plus the party system introduced in III makes the game a bit more complex as well.

Ultima I and II. Grinding. I don't know if there's a quick way to accrue gold in II, but I'm tempted to look for one. In Ultima I didn't really have a problem amassing gold and my stats in a relatively short period of time. I don't remember character stats and gold being as important in Ultima VI and VII. The games evolved as time went on from being dungeon crawls to telling a story.

..Al




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