Friday, December 04, 2009

Remembering Ultima

As some of you might have guessed already, I started playing computer games quite some years ago (around 1993, to be precise). Among some of the games I still remember from my ‘first years’ of gaming are the two episodes of “Ultima VII” and “Ultima VIII.” (And just yesterday I mused it would be nice to have an updated version of “The Summoning” and “Veil of Darkness” with modern graphics.)

Anyway, “Ultima” is a series of role-playing games for computers that’s all but forgotten by now. Admittedly, the last game – “Ultima IX” – suffered from quite some problems (or maybe, compared to today’s games, it just came out too soon). I’ve never played the older parts or the last part of the series, just the three games that make up Part 7 (two games) and 8.

I never really got down to the point of the series, to be honest. Maybe I would have had to play all the games to understand it. And I tend to be a bit more ruthless as a player, so personification of all good virtues was not really for me. And I can still vividly remember the problems I had to reconfigure my computer so the games would run. (Well, those were the times when you still had to know about configuration in order to get a game to run, faaaaaar before “Windows 95.”)

But I liked the free movement in an isometric perspective, the graphics and the design of the area. There even were multi-storey buildings around.

At the same time, “Ultima” was one of the first contacts I had with the genre of role-playing games at all. That was when those games were still for a small group of gamers – a long time before games like “Diablo” or “World of WarCraft” made it mainstream.

Why am I thinking about this now? Well, I’ve discovered a blog about miniatures written by a guy who is rebuilding part of the “Ultima” world. It’s interesting and so I let my mind wander back a bit.

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