Ultima 1–6 for $4.78



  • I have often heard Cythera referred to as a follower of Ultima. Not that there isn't a lot more to Cythera, but just look at these screenshots (from Ultima VI, I think):

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    I don't know what's up with the third screenshot, but I think the plot involves you being summoned across dimensions to solve a problem, and you were probably watching TV before that, which sounds strikingly familiar. I especially don't know what's up with the Rainbow Dash pinup.

    The first six games are currently on sale on GOG as two $2.39 bundles of three:

    Although actually they're giving away Ultima 4 entirely free separately. The later games are Windows-only and are sold individually:

    There's also something called Ultima Underworld which looks like it's a first-person game, and two free "worlds of adventure":

    So, um, if you ever wanted to play a Martian version of Cythera with Nikola Tesla (???) there's that.

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  • What! : ****o Somebody stole the Cythera graphics and pixellated them! I have never heard of this game before, I must try this. But when I click on the link, it says compatible with OS 10.6.8 or newer. Really? It was apparently released before I was 6 months old, so I have a hard time believing it's compatible with new computers.



  • These were originally DOS games, and from what I understand, the GOG versions run in a modified version of DOSBox. That's why the newer Ultima games (7+8+9) don't run on a Mac: they were originally written for Windows, and it's easier to emulate DOS than Windows.



  • Hmm, and it may not be necessary. I don't know what versions of OS X DOSBox will run on, but Boxer claims to run on 10.5+, and I was able to get it to work with the GOG-downloaded version by going to Show Package Contents -> Contents/Resources/Ultima 6.boxer -> Show Package Contents -> C ULTIMA6.harddisk and using that folder with Boxer. In fact, it looks what GOG gives you is a Boxer package. I don't know what the difference is between what GOG gives you and what you get from doing it yourself (or if there is one).



  • I have tried DOSBox on Mac os10.8 and it works fine, as far as I can tell, for any of you mountain lion users.

    -K



  • I don't understand. If I install one of these emulator gidgets, will it break my computer?



  • @breadworldmercy453_bot, on 04 November 2012 - 07:48 AM, said in Ultima 1–6 for $4.78:

    I don't understand. If I install one of these emulator gidgets, will it break my computer?

    No, should be fine.

    I'd try getting Ultima 4, which as I said is free, and seeing if it will work, or if Boxer or DOSBox can make it work.



  • Oh yeah, I forgot you said one of them was free ^_ ****^



  • Wow, that does look a lot like Cythera. I'd heard about Ultima somewhere, although I don't recall hearing that it greatly resembled Cythera.

    A most interesting find.



  • I had never realized that Cythera drew so much from Ultima. Abandonia has a page on Ultima VI with an extensive collection of screenshots. It is clear that Cythera copied almost all of the graphical elements from the game (even the bookshelves and plants). Through the links at the bottom of that page, you can see how previous versions of Ultima used similar graphics, getting better with each version. Ultima V is not too disimilar from Cythera either.

    Incidentally, I tried playing Ultima IV, but I kept dying. I like Cythera better.



  • There's another promo, ending today if anyone missed this and regretted it. Also, Ultima 7 and 8 apparently will now run on a Mac.



  • Tempting price reduction! I never got into Ultima IV though. I tried it a couple of times, but I was too lazy to read the materials and I didn't understand what I was supposed to be doing. But the similar interface to Cythera was comforting ^ ****_^



  • I found out about this on my own just a little while ago. There's also a version of ultima online that's based on the shots in pallas's first post. Maybe we could all play it?

    Also apparently it's easy to make player created content for the ultima game. With that in mind it might not be too much of a stretch then to re-create cythera in the ultima world (and thus making it playable on newer machines, as well as adding more content to it).



  • I tried to play Ultima 4 a while back, but I didn't get very far and I gave up.



  • @two-jacks_bot, on 12 August 2013 - 03:32 AM, said in Ultima 1–6 for $4.78:

    I found out about this on my own just a little while ago. There's also a version of ultima online that's based on the shots in pallas's first post. Maybe we could all play it?

    Also apparently it's easy to make player created content for the ultima game. With that in mind it might not be too much of a stretch then to re-create cythera in the ultima world (and thus making it playable on newer machines, as well as adding more content to it).

    Do you have a link to the online game?

    Unfortunately, I don't think that gandreas would approve of a recreated Cythera. I seem to recall that he didn't really want any spin-offs of the game unless he was involved, and he seems to have moved to other interests :( .



  • I just wanted to gravedig this very old topic 😛 to say that I spent a couple hours playing the various Ultima games yesterday, and I have fully re-affirmed my earlier statement that Cythera is better. My impression was that Cythera is a combination of the graphics of Ultima VI and a blend of the drag-and-drop/interactive elements of Ultima VII. Gandreas has stated something similar in the past, and I agree that Cythera does it all better.

    In my opinion, the heart of the matter is the UI. Cythera inherited a simple control scheme due to its Macintosh origins, and, likewise, Ultima inherited a very clunky one due to its Windows roots. In Ultima VII and VIII, common tasks like moving, fighting, or even managing stats and inventory space rely on complex combinations of keys and left/right mouse clicks. You may find yourself swapping the mouse's left and right buttons to make it feel more like a traditional game. The UI has not aged well, and with the distinctly Windows/DOS feel that pervades the entire series, I can understand why so few Cythera players knew about Ultima.

    With that said, I liked some things about the games. The open map in Ultima VI is actually quite clever. Cities exist at the same scale as the rest of the island. There are no in-town or out-of-town "zones" like in Cythera, and I felt this made it more immersive. I also really enjoyed the opening of Ultima VII. Beginning the game as a murder mystery works well. Where you might otherwise be put-off by exposition or pointless backstory, the idea of solving a small town murder makes a compelling way to introduce new players to the franchise.

    One last observation: Certain areas of Ultima IV switch from the overhead view to a first-person perspective that reminded me heavily of Glenn Andreas' other game Theldrow. It seems safe to say that the Ultima series had been a source of inspiration to him during development of his early games.



  • I feel compelled to complain more about the Ultima user interface. As I mentioned, it's too much like a DOS game for my liking with mediocre graphics and bad UI, but honestly, that's being a bit generous about the UI. Just trying to test the different games, I found you can't exit from the main menu, only in game, and the method of exiting changes every single game! Sometimes it's X or Q, it could be ctrl-x or alt-x, or maybe alt-ctrl-right-click-x-q! AAAGGGHHH! It's really awful. It should not be so hard to save and exit.


    Anyways, I toyed around with the Exile series the other day, and it's another franchise very similar to Ultima and Cythera. I guess I'd never played these turn-based RPGs outside Cythera, so I had no point of reference, but all of them have underlying commonalities in terms of dialogue, party management, and combat.

    Exile is actually pretty nice. The plot is interesting, and each game further builds on the world and lore. You get a lot of control over each member in the party and combat is fun. I found the controls much easier to understand. It's hard to beat the simplicity of Cythera's modular system, but Exile feels more like a Mac game than Ultima ever could.

    While I liked the story, Jeff Vogel, the creator of Spiderweb Software, must have loved it! Not only did he remake Exile in the early 2000's as the Avernum series, but he remade it a second time in the 2010's by rebooting Avernum I, II, and III. That's a reboot every 5 to 10 years; even Hollywood would be jealous!


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