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Thread: Playing series for the first time

  1. #1
    BANNED
    Registered: Sep 2007

    Playing series for the first time

    I recently came across my personal 'Holy Grail' of gaming, a DVD called Ultima collection containing EVERY Ultima game. Even has Underwold 1&2, Lord British's game considered to be Ultima, and the Worlds games, as well as any expansions. This runs flawlessly on Windows XP. The creator programmed this so that each game launched itself in a properly setup DOSbox/VDM sound/MoSlo config, so NO FIDDLIN' REQUIRED. I caught Hell trying to get my boxed versions run well or even at all.

    Anyway, where should I start? I have always been eager to play Ultima VII and the 2 Underworld games (sue to Spector's involvement). Is that a bad idea? Starting there? Will I understand what's going on? The first few games have not aged all that well, are they 'must play' games? Thanks.

  2. #2
    is Best Pony
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: The magical land of Equestria
    Ultima IV, Quest of the Avatar, is really where the mythos kicks into high gear, so for the main series I would suggest starting there. As for the Underworlds, I think you could comfortably play those at any time, though it might be best to play UU2 after Ultima VII, Part I (The Black Gate).

    The Worlds games come just after Ultima VI, it seems to me, in the Avatar's chronology, but again they're separate enough that it's really up to you.

    Edit: to clarify, my suggested sequence would be IV, V, VI, Savage Empire, Martian Dreams, Underworld*, VII Part I, Underworld 2, VII Part 2, VII, IX.

    *But could feasibly be played at any time after VI.

  3. #3
    BANNED
    Registered: Sep 2007
    Awesome. Thanks for your quick response. It has been YEARS since I played an Ultima game. I have forgotten so much, that I could basically be called a relative newbie. I appreciate the suggestions. Will fire up U4 asap.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2007
    Random thoughts...

    Purely a personal opinion, but the underworld games were the ones that kick-started my Ultima experience and to leave them until after you've played 5 of the other Ultimas seems a little wrong.

    As an alternative to Matthew's sequence, how about:

    U5, Underworld 1, U6, U7 pt 1, Underworld 2, U7 pt 2, U8, U9

    Ultima 1 should be played at some point - it's quick, fun although quite primative these days. However it's referenced in just about every other Ultima and should form part of the playing experience.

    I personally wouldn't bother with U2 and U3 at all, and although U4 is useful for the principles behind the avatar, since they're hammered into you in just about every other game it's non-essential.

    I found savage empire and martian dreams too tedious to complete, so I suggest you try them and come to your own conclusion.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Melbourne
    Ultima IV, V, VI and VII are alot of fun too play in order. This series would be one of few with multiple games set in the same world. Ultima IV is a good game to learn your way around Britannia, where the towns, shrines etc are, partly because that is part of the gameplay. Then, playing the rest, you feel like the Avatar who has been there before and knows his (or her) way around.

    Also, I personally much prefer the Worlds of Ultima games to Ultima VI itself (same engine games.) Martian Dreams is my favourite, and is very story focused rather than combat or anything else. Also, I'm sure its another Spector game, and you can see plenty of things that were to be later used again in Serpent Isle (probally my all time favourite, and again, story focused.)

    When you say all expansion, I'm guessing that would be official expansions? There are a number of fan upgrades here that bring the sound and graphics up a level or two. From upgrading the sound to the level of the Mac port, to bringing Ultima IV to a whopping 256 colour graphics.

    Oh, and I'd recommend trying them all. If it's not so much fun, move onto the next. And read the manuals. I had the old collection, without manuals (just a crappy readme file) and missed out on things like magic. Sure I know most all the spells and reagents by heart now, but it made U4 impossible at the time.

  6. #6
    BANNED
    Registered: Sep 2007
    Thanks for all the input. Yes, I am reading the various manuals now. Lot to learn!

  7. #7
    Permanently Enlarged
    Registered: Dec 2005
    Location: I could care...but I won't.
    Aah, always good to see a fellow Ultima fan!

    Ive been playing Ultima since before I was in school (like 3yrs old), back on the old NES. Hey, that DVD sounds nifty, I'd love to play something like U4 again, god I missed it so much, as I've been land-locked into Exult and Pentagram for a long time now. Well... That and RunUO 1.0 RC1 under the Age of Shadows client, but thats neither here nor now.

    Hope you get your old Ultima feet back, ya just cant beat the first CRPG series in existance. It was the first in so many categories its insane, Richard Garriott is a god, and its sad that there wont be any other Ultimas unless he buys EA outta the liscense.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Melbourne
    Ultima 4 at least is easy to play. It was released as freeware at the time U9 came out. Avaliable here amongst other places. Best to play with the graphical upgrade, as well. Heh, U4 with better graphics than U5.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2006
    Location: Vashon
    To me, Ultima V is the pinnacle. Day and night cylces, npc schedules, improved combat, graphics, a great story, lots of different characters to recruit, and a whole bunch more.

    The view window is too small in Ultima VI, I could never get into that one. Gone were the 3d dungeons as well. Also. it seemed a little dumbed-down from previous Ultimas, with red text highlightedkey words in text, a smaller world and simpler world actions.

    By Ultima 7, the combat was so bad, I gave up on Ultima for good.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Melbourne
    I thought the combat was bad from Ultima VI onwards. Martian Dreams and Serpent Isle especially I just ignore combat. Games are still fun, though.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2007
    If you would like to play Ultima 4, I would suggest finding the ROM of it for the Sega Master System.

    It has better graphics, better music, more sound effects, and much better menus, and keywords instead of text type-in dialog (similar to U7). It has everything the PC version has, too.

    But like the Sega Master System, it goes pretty forgotten.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Quote Originally Posted by DX-455 View Post
    I recently came across my personal 'Holy Grail' of gaming, a DVD called Ultima collection containing EVERY Ultima game. Even has Underwold 1&2, Lord British's game considered to be Ultima, and the Worlds games, as well as any expansions. This runs flawlessly on Windows XP. The creator programmed this so that each game launched itself in a properly setup DOSbox/VDM sound/MoSlo config, so NO FIDDLIN' REQUIRED. I caught Hell trying to get my boxed versions run well or even at all.
    Any way to get this DVD from somewhere? I can only find a CD called "Ultima Collection" but it isn't complete (http://www.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/ultim...summary;review).

  13. #13
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    I don't think it's a legitimate DVD - I would suspect it's the collection of Ultima games, emulators and remakes that someone put together a few years ago.

    If you're struggling to run the original games I would probably try using dosbox or similar for the PC versions, or an emulator for your non-PC based Ultimas.

  14. #14
    is Best Pony
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: The magical land of Equestria
    Yeah, I've never heard of a DVD release of the Ultima series going up to IX, only the 'Complete Ultima' set of Akalabeth and I - VII Part 2.

    Edit: The Collectible Ultima appears to agree with me.

  15. #15
    New Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    The Underworld Series are great...

    I also think the graphics, even on UU1 are still decent enough that you'll have a lot of fun playing it.

    Since we're talking about the order, I do think the earlier games deserve some play time (if you can find time), but I really have a hard time playing games that are SO archaic in gameplay. I grew up playing games like Dragon Warrior on the NES, or the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons games by SSI / TSR for the PC... (Champions of Krynn, Pool of Radiance, etc...). Even those games were a bit more graphical than U1-U5. Ultima 1-3 are really primative... to the point that they're hardly a step-up from ZORK.

    Obviously, they sold like crazy, and a LOT of people love the games... so I think it just takes a willingness to look past the primitive graphics to get absorbed into the plot.

    I hate to suggest it, but on games that are so damn old, I usually suggest getting a hint book or something. That'll help you continue to make progress so you don't get totally bored with the game when you get stuck or lost...

    There's a hint book that you can buy which has the walkthroughs (like 360 pages) for Ultima 1 through 9.


    Also, I've never actually heard of an Ultima collection DVD. I have the Ultima 1-8 collection CD, but it doesn't include UU1 / UU2, and also doesn't include Ultima Origins.

    They did sell an Ultima Underworld collection CD which I also have. Comes with UU1 and UU2 original installations on the same CD.

    They also sold a "Complete Ultima 7" too which comes with both U7 games, plus the add-ons for both of them. Kind of pointless though because I think all of that comes with the collection CD anyway.


    Todd

  16. #16
    is Best Pony
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: The magical land of Equestria
    True, but as far as I know 'Complete Ultima 7' came out first - I'm pretty sure it's the version that I bought around about the time U8 came out, coinciding with my switch from Amiga to PC.

  17. #17
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    Yes, I probably got the same version myself at the time: UK Complete Ultima 7 from 1993. According to the Collectors Guide the Ultima Collection came out about five years later in 1998.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2006
    Location: Moscow
    Guys, there are no Ultima Underworld on Ultima collection cd. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultima_...ima_Collection

    Where i can find originals of both UW? All i see, some zip files with already installed games, so unpack and play. I don't trust such things. I would like to have image of cd or floppy with installer and etc.
    Last edited by vorob; 27th Apr 2010 at 10:23.

  19. #19
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    Quote Originally Posted by vorob View Post
    Guys, there are no Ultima Underworld on Ultima collection cd.
    I didn't think anyone here claimed that it did include the Underworlds. We were just going on a slight nostalgia trip about the Ultima collections in general.

    Quote Originally Posted by vorob View Post
    I would like to have image of cd or floppy with installer and etc.
    I'll have to check, but I think the CD had all the files unpacked and you could actually run them in a mode where only the save games were saved on the hard drive. I think it did also have a installer to copy them to your hard drive (although you could just do that manually yourself) and then run a sound installer to set up your sound card.

    If you're set on disks, you might want to have a hunt around for some "Looking Glass Classics". Make sure that if you do install from disks that you install the patches. Both games had some pretty nasty bugs originally that were fixed by patches included in the CD versions.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2001
    Location: Moscow
    Quote Originally Posted by Al_B View Post
    If you're set on disks, you might want to have a hunt around for some "Looking Glass Classics". Make sure that if you do install from disks that you install the patches. Both games had some pretty nasty bugs originally that were fixed by patches included in the CD versions.
    Mmm and what about the versions from Abandonia.com? Are they fully patched?

  21. #21
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    No idea, I'm afraid - but I'd expect so. I installed the disk versions to look at the differences between the maps between the original and CD version so I know they're unpatched but I've not tried theirs.

  22. #22
    Moderator
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Hong Kong
    It's best to get the CD version as it includes the final versions of each game and therefore no patch is required. The patch was always a little bit dodgy from my experience. Although I purchased both games separately years ago, I later purchased a CD version containing both the original and the sequel and never had a problem with it after countless replays. I can't say the same about the floppy version.

    Like Al_B suggested, have a scout around for it. There's a French site that used to have the version I'm talking about but I haven't had a look to see if it's still around. (I can't remember the name of the site but wouldn't be allowed to mention this anyway even if I could)

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2006
    Location: Moscow
    Ye, already downloaded proper cd version.


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