Ultima is a computer role-playing game developed by Richard Garriott and published by California Pacific Computer Co. in 1981 for the Apple II. The game was remade as Ultima I in 1986 and released for several other platforms. This is the first Ultima title in the series and was highly influential game in the computer RPG genre. In Ultima, you play the role of a hero tasked with defeating the evil sorcerer Mondain to save all the lands. To do this you must explore the lands, visit kings who charge you with quests, slay many monsters, and even travel through space and time.
The original Ultima game was programmed in Applesoft BASIC with the tile system written in assembly. Because of this, it had to be rewritten when it was ported to the Atari 8-bit in 1983. The game was rewritten from the ground up in 6502 assembly for the Ultima I Apple II remake in 1986. This version had better graphics, over world monsters, and came with paper maps and a bag of coins. This version was ported to the Commodore 64 mostly as-is since the two platforms used the same CPU. The remake was rewritten in Intel assembly and ported to MS-DOS in 1987 with CGA, EGA, and Tandy 1000 support. It was redesigned from the ground up again when it was ported to the Japanese line of computers in 1988 with higher resolution graphics. It was reprogrammed one last time in 1994 for the Apple IIgs.
I've booted Ultima up a couple of times, but never played it very much. It's so out-dated now, I have little desire to try to beat it. Despite playing very little of the game, I have done quite a bit of work reverse engineering the DOS port and placed my results on ModdingWiki.
I own two copies of the PC remake published in the Complete Ultima CD-ROM compilation. I have not beaten the game or even played it much.
I don't know enough about this game to review it.
- Ultima I - A2 - Coin Bag.jpg
Bag of coins that came with the remake.
- youtube.com/watch?v=NrQFzWO4pYo - Longplay, Apple II remake.
- youtube.com/watch?v=7XUsdNh7J_A - Longplay, DOS.
- mobygames.com/game/ultima-i - MobyGames (Remake).