Ultima Underworld

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sunface
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Ultima Underworld

Post by sunface » Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:15 am

I started playing this game... again. I think since its release in 1992 I've tried to play this a few times, and never really got into it. I'm not sure why; I find it really approachable. The difference may be that I'm playing it on "easy" (versus "normal") as it has lighter combat, which I'm not a huge fan of in this game.

Have any of you played, or better yet finished, this classic?
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Android
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Re: Ultima Underworld

Post by Android » Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:31 am

I'm ashamed to admit I never played most Ultima games, and the games I did play were not the most important in the series: The Savage Empire (which I thought was very cool because the world was very interactive, you could burn stuff to get charcoal, build stuff out of... other stuff, etc.) and Pagan, which I never finished.

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sunface
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Re: Ultima Underworld

Post by sunface » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:29 am

I find them somewhat difficult to get into. I've tried to start 7 a number of times and eventually just give up due to the clunky inventory management. Underworld is the same way. The way I've managed to get into it (such as it is, I've explored around 50% of level 1) is by leaving most things behind and not picking them up unless they're obviously great (e.g., a "flawless ruby" or whatever it's called), or objectively better than what I have (e.g., leggings where I didn't have any before, or a sword in better condition than the one I have). This is the same issue I have with Elder Scrolls, where you hit an abandoned building and need to open everything and pick up all this crap in the hopes of converting it to gold, where what you really end up doing is spending all your time sorting through garbage. This isn't the sort of game I want to play, so I've stopped playing in that way.

Of note though is that I'd probably not do this in real life. If I were actually out in a wasteland where everything is scarce, I'd probably try to take everything and sell it in order to start building up my resources for what I really need. But if I'm playing a game I want to have fun, not undertake an exercise in inventory management.

I've always heard Savage Empire (and the Mars one) weren't that great, but then I've not played many Ultima games myself. In fact, I've never played any of them. I've played a couple hours of VI, maybe 8 hours of VII (over a couple of attempts), and otherwise not really bothered, and the aforementioned attempts at Underworld.

I'm very tempted to play the series, though I'd probably only do so in an emulator with save states. It's frustrating that DOSBox doesn't have save states, at least not natively, and the games on GOG.com don't support save states. I have the recent Mega Man collection and (1) it has save states and (2) it has a rewind feature, both of which make this older (though still fucking amazing) game much more playable in 2019.

Also if you haven't checked it out, read this blog:

ww.filfre.net/

It is great.
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Re: Ultima Underworld

Post by Banjo » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:17 am

Savage Empire and Martian Dreams are really cool - the different genres from your generic fantasy and the interactivity: especially craftin shit in the Lost World that is Savage Empire was groundbreaking for me, not sure if it was the first RPG with proper crafting, but I think it was the first one I played at least... and THEN you find a real, actual, proper Rifle after using your macgyvered ones :)

Underworlds are of course awesome, even today.

Ultima V is my all time favourite of the bunch, of course (some might remember my 13 year run of it 1988-2001, made a big deal on HotU about finally getting to the finish!). Was the first game I ever bought for C64 using my own actual money instead of just having my parents buy it for me.

There's a super cool update of IV for C64, not like the PC redos with VGA graphics, but just a full C64 update. Been playing that on the Mini lately, cool stuff :)

http://magervalp.github.io/2015/03/30/u ... tered.html

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sunface
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Re: Ultima Underworld

Post by sunface » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:34 am

Update for C64 Ultima 4... Wow. Fucking awesome. Those screen grabs of the still images are incredible. For a C64.

I can't recall the first game I ever bought with my own money. Actually that's not true. I think it was "Darklands" for PC. I still have the box with all the inserts, but none of the disks unfortunately. LOL I don't even have a disk drive!

There's apparently an inventory bug in Ultima Underworld I that I mistakenly assumed had been patched but it hasn't been. I'm on level 2 of the dungeon and thoroughly enjoying it; the bug is known to appear after level 4, so I'm dreading that occurrence. I guess if it happens and the game becomes unplayable I'll just play UU2, but that would be a bummer as I feel it's just a matter of time before I win the game.

In case it's not clear from that paragraph, the game is incredible. It's not exactly pretty by today's standards, but is kind of reminiscent of Minecraft for its pixellated look (which at the time was groundbreaking). In any event, I like how it looks and I'm able to control it well. I ignored advice online to use the mouse for movement and am using the keyboard to move, which makes things much more playable.
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