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Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss (Windows Mobile)

missing cover art
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MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.6
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.

Trivia

Armageddon

Towards the end of the game you can learn a spell that will destroy all life. If you cast it, all other creatures, items, doors and even stairways are destroyed, leaving only the walls, floors and ceilings.

Covermount release

A complete version of Ultima Underworld is available on the July 2000 issue of PC-Gamer Magazine (CD-ROM edition).

Development

  • According to PC Gamer (July 2000), Warren Spector wasn't involved with Ultima Underworld until about a year into production.
  • The programmers' test image for the texture-mapping code was a digitized B&W photo of Abraham Lincoln.

PlayStation version

This was the only Ultima game released for the PlayStation system, and only released in Japan. It can only be played on Japanese consoles because there are regional lockouts built in. Supposedly the monster graphics were improved over the PC version and the title music was redone.

References

Near the Magic Academy there is a spectre called Warren floating around. This is a obviously a reference to Warren Spector and continues a tradition of him appearing in the non-mainstream Ultima games (The Savage Empireand Martian Dreams).

Technology

Ultima Underworld is the forefather of modern continuous-movement first-person texture-mapped gaming. It pioneered the use of "real" 3-D which allows the player to change the view up or down as well as jumping.

Reportedly it was a demonstration of the in-development Underworld technology during the 1990 CES that prompted John Carmack to write the Catacomb 3-D (released about six months before Ultima Underworld) engine which uses texture mapping. However, the extent of this influence is not clear due to conflicting statements from the id people.

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1992 (Issue #100) – Role-Playing Game of the Year
    • April 1995 (Issue #129) – Introduced into the Hall of Fame
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #68 in the “150 Best Games of All Time” list
  • GameSpy
    • 2001 – #8 Top Game of All Time
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 02/1999 – #8 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
  • Origin Awards
    • 1992 – Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Computer Game
  • PC Games (Germany)
    • Issue 01/1993– Best RPG in 1992
  • Power Play
    • Issue 02/1993 – Best Game in 1992
    • Issue 02/1993 – #2 Best RPG in 1992
  • Retro Gamer
    • September 2004 (Issue #8) – #62 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
Information also contributed by Anthony Bull; Chris Martin, Fafnir, Jeanne, Kartanym, PCGamer77, Shadowcat and Ye Olde Infocomme Shoppe

Contributed by rstevenson (815) on Jun 24, 2000. [revised by : Patrick Bregger (107389)]. -- edit trivia