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Ultima

MobyRank MobyScore
Apple II
...
3.7
Atari 8-bit
...
4.4
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Description

Over a thousand years ago, the wizard Mondain, intent on world domination, created an evil gem which made him invincible and immortal. The protagonist, known as the Stranger, has to travel the lands in search of a time machine, go back in time to the days before Mondain created the gem, and then destroy him. The land of Sosaria is depending upon this lone warrior.

Considered one of the most influential progenitors of the role-playing genre, Ultima is a follow-up to Akalabeth. It utilizes a similar basic gameplay system, including graphical 2D world map and town exploration, and 3D vector-line maze-like dungeons. The player controls a single character who must complete a number of quests, vanquishing monsters and leveling up in process. Equipment and food are available for sale in towns. World map graphics are tile-based and have significantly more detail than in Akalabeth. The game mixes medieval fantasy and sci-fi elements, and includes a few space combat simulation segments.

Screenshots

Ultima Apple II Castle
Ultima Apple II Main menu
Ultima Apple II Character stats
Ultima Atari 8-bit A fearsome skeleton

Alternate Titles

  • "Ultimatum" -- Developer's original title
  • "Ultima I: The Original" -- Sierra's name
  • "Ultima 1" -- informal name

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Trivia

In 1986, Origin decided to rerelease the early Ultima games, starting with the first, and it was ported to several new platforms. The assembly language was rewritten and the graphics were updated. In addition, the re-release contained nifty new maps and coins that were not included in the original release.
Contributed to by Terok Nor (18323) and Jeanne (75625)