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Default Ultima VII - Complete Edition on GOG

November 30th, 2011, 04:49
Well what is an ROLE playing game? An open world with well developed NPCs and schedules and quests? OR… deep character development with choices and consequences?

I take issue with the saying the RPG elements were great. i do agree that the world design was great and perhaps story/quests.
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November 30th, 2011, 10:41
Definition of an RPG is pretty fluid, it's an archaic term really.

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November 30th, 2011, 16:53
Okay, flamewarriors, enough of that

Practical question: Should I play U7 in DosBox (preferably the GOG-version, hoping for the "latest and best" version of the original code), OR, should I play in Exult?
I am no gfx whore, so I don't need any smooth movement or highres SAI filters.
What I need is the definite, bugfree version of this game

Ideas?
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November 30th, 2011, 17:06
It's really personal preference.

I loaded it up on DosBox last week and had some trouble getting it to function right. Once I did though, there were a few things that bothered me:

1) Either something was wrong with my setup or when the earthquake happens at the beginning (indicating the rise of the isle of fire), only the characters shook around, not the whole ground. That may be correct, but I didn't think so. No big deal, though I imagine it will annoy me when I cast Quake on my enemies
2) I don't like playing games in a window. You can run DosBox at full screen, but even with the hq3x scaler, stretching it out from 320x200 to 1280x 1024 just doesn't look good to me.
3) The Keyring from Serpent Isle is a life savor and in the vanilla Black Gate, it doesn't exist.

Exult has its own issues though:
1) The game looks great if you increase the resolution, and apply one of the 2x scalers. However, you have to be careful as you can break the game by clicking on things you shouldn't be able to see yet. Their forums seem to talk alot about using hq3x, but it doesn't seem to be an option in the setup.
2) The disappearing items bug
3) Not everything in the original game has been ported over. Some NPC schedules are still missing, and there apparently some issue with the flying carpet that if you go over certain islands, it triggers doors in a dungeon below and breaks the game.


If you do Exult, save early, save often, and if you see something that looks like it should not have happened, immediately revert to an earlier save game.

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- Davy Crockett
Last edited by blatantninja; November 30th, 2011 at 17:28.
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November 30th, 2011, 17:27
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
It's really personal preference.

I loaded it up on DosBox last week and had some trouble getting it to function right.

If you do Exult, save early, save often…
Thanks for the prompt insights!
Just checked in DosBox my old Ultima Collection copy, and the earthquake sequence was OK for me — I had issues with speed, but that's OK, some INI file tweaking might be in order here.

Also, I have some trouble with Exult. V1.4 feels somehow *not right* compared to V1.2. So I think I'll give up Exult for now — V1.2 had gameplay bugs, V1.4 supposedly ironed out them, but does not feel right to me (maybe the game speed, or the unnecessary/incomplete additions -i.e. notepad-, I don't know…)
Also, I do not feel comfortable with the "save early and often" paradigm for a 100+ hours RPG…

So, it's settled then: my $6 goes to GOG now, hoping for a tailormade DosBox setup, a patched, "bugfree" game — and a proper digital manual
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November 30th, 2011, 17:29
Its amusing that modern games are just now beginning to recapture some of the elements that made Ultima VII so immersive at the time.
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November 30th, 2011, 17:33
Originally Posted by jhwisner View Post
Its amusing that modern games are just now beginning to recapture some of the elements that made Ultima VII so immersive at the time.
I don't know - I think there have been games doing the same elements pretty much continuously since U7, not just now beginning. They just might not have been that well known or didn't contain everything (weren't a u7 clone )
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November 30th, 2011, 17:44
I bought this right away, even though I have the Ultima Collection CD that came with my collector's edition of Ultima 9. $6 for a digital backup and a no-hassle install is worth it for a couple of my favorite games.

GOG's Dosbox install works well on my system, although I did notice the earthquake didn't shake the screen properly. I wonder if it can be fixed by tweaking Dosbox graphic settings? I didn't have time to play around with it.

I definitely miss the Keyring and the better quality music from Exult.
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November 30th, 2011, 17:51
Originally Posted by jhwisner View Post
Its amusing that modern games are just now beginning to recapture some of the elements that made Ultima VII so immersive at the time.
Watch out for the retro nostalgia virus!
Ultima7 is a fantastic game, but…
The combat is about as exciting as singing Karaoke to Bill Shatner's Tambourine Man cover. Modern RPGs do battles much better (ToEE/Fallout)
The lore is interesting, yes, but so it is in Arcanum and Elder Scrolls.
The, the story is dramatic (Serpent Isle!), but IMHO it really needs a cinematic approach (Dragon Age).
… and so on, the comparison is absolutely pointless

So, why do I like U7 and want to play still? Because of Garriott's crazy vision of an alternate universe that constantly expanded episode by episode, yet remained mostly consistent (U1-U7p2). This is E-p-i-c continuity, and yet to be recaptured in modern games.

FYI, my personal "good old times"-achievement goes to:
(drumroll please)
Dragon Wars.
(Choices! Replayability! Insane character development! Newgame+! Whatever!)
Yep, they just don't make'em like this anymore.
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November 30th, 2011, 17:56
Originally Posted by duerer View Post
Watch out for the retro nostalgia virus!
Ultima7 is a fantastic game, but…
The combat is about as exciting as singing Karaoke to Bill Shatner's Tambourine Man cover. Modern RPGs do battles much better (ToEE/Fallout)
The lore is interesting, yes, but so it is in Arcanum and Elder Scrolls.
The, the story is dramatic (Serpent Isle!), but IMHO it really needs a cinematic approach (Dragon Age).
… and so on, the comparison is absolutely pointless

So, why do I like U7 and want to play still? Because of Garriott's crazy vision of an alternate universe that constantly expanded episode by episode, yet remained mostly consistent (U1-U7p2). This is E-p-i-c continuity, and yet to be recaptured in modern games.

FYI, my personal "good old times"-achievement goes to:
(drumroll please)
Dragon Wars.
(Choices! Replayability! Insane character development! Newgame+! Whatever!)
Yep, they just don't make'em like this anymore.
Yeah I was only referring to the elements of the persistant world which it got right - and I did include the caveat that it was impressive "for the time." Also I was not suggesting that no modern game managed to include these elements but rather that there are games whose present iterations are just now starting to include them - the Elder Scrolls being an example.

Ultima lore in general is just plain goofy. Ultima VII combat in particular is goofy and awkward on levels matching the lore and story. While elements of the store are interesting and well done, they have the misfortune of playing out in Richard Garriot's blatantly self aggrandizing ego-trip fantasy world. I have not suggested otherwise.

Perhaps watch out for the ridiculous straw-man argument virus instead.
Last edited by jhwisner; November 30th, 2011 at 18:35.
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November 30th, 2011, 19:15
3) Not everything in the original game has been ported over. Some NPC schedules are still missing, and there apparently some issue with the flying carpet that if you go over certain islands, it triggers doors in a dungeon below and breaks the game.
That's an issue with the original vanilla Ultima VII actually, not Exult.

Exult fix quite a few bugs from the original games that were still present even in the UC versions of them. As I said, Serpent Isle you'd randomly get the "Sacrifice" keyword bug with every playthrough, not happening in Exult anymore!

That being said it's true some things in Exult doesn't feel exactly like they did in the original, like combat or the way NPC companions follows you… but the trade of is well worth it IMO.

Its amusing that modern games are just now beginning to recapture some of the elements that made Ultima VII so immersive at the time.
Gothic has been doing that since 2001. Just sayin'…

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November 30th, 2011, 19:24
Originally Posted by Sergorn View Post
Gothic has been doing that since 2001. Just sayin'

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And again - I didn't say or mean to imply that no modern game has done it since, merely that many are still just implementing it. Perhaps i'll need to clarify that a 3rd time.
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November 30th, 2011, 19:44
Originally Posted by Sergorn View Post
That's an issue with the original vanilla Ultima VII actually, not Exult.
Thanks, I get confused easily these days!

Exult fix quite a few bugs from the original games that were still present even in the UC versions of them. As I said, Serpent Isle you'd randomly get the "Sacrifice" keyword bug with every playthrough, not happening in Exult anymore!
Yeah, I should have pointed out that Exult fixes quite a few bugs. Plus the pause feature on the combat makes for a much more fun combat experience.

That being said it's true some things in Exult doesn't feel exactly like they did in the original, like combat or the way NPC companions follows you… but the trade of is well worth it IMO.
Agreed. Quick question, I saw someone on Aiera reference you (well your username at least) in regards to running Exult using the hq3x scaler. Do you know anything about that? I wanted to give it a shot, but its not built in (from what I can tell) and I couldn't find anything on how to enable it on Exult's forums. There were some references to people compiling their own code, but that was it.

Thanks!

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November 30th, 2011, 20:42
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
Agreed. Quick question, I saw someone on Aiera reference you (well your username at least) in regards to running Exult using the hq3x scaler. Do you know anything about that? I wanted to give it a shot, but its not built in (from what I can tell) and I couldn't find anything on how to enable it on Exult's forums. There were some references to people compiling their own code, but that was it.
I think you can enable it by editing the .cfg but I haven't tried it in a while, perhaps it's also possible with the ingame menu - I'm not sure. The last time I tried HQ3X it was umplayable on account of how slow it was, but it was a couple years back and AFAIK they made some good progress there.

Last time I played I used HQ2X with a slightly improved field of view - this way you have an extended view, but it doesn't feel too small or risks breaking the game.

-Sergorn
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November 30th, 2011, 20:49
Originally Posted by Sergorn View Post
I think you can enable it by editing the .cfg but I haven't tried it in a while, perhaps it's also possible with the ingame menu - I'm not sure. The last time I tried HQ3X it was umplayable on account of how slow it was, but it was a couple years back and AFAIK they made some good progress there.

Last time I played I used HQ2X with a slightly improved field of view - this way you have an extended view, but it doesn't feel too small or risks breaking the game.

-Sergorn
That's sort of what I'm looking for. Do you remember how to get HQ2X to work? It didn't seem to be one of the default options.

EDIT: Come to think of it, I was using 1.2 last time I played, so maybe if I use the newest version (and hope I don't lose any items!).

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"Ya'll can go to HELL! I'm-a-goin' to TEXAS!"

- Davy Crockett
Last edited by blatantninja; November 30th, 2011 at 21:01.
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November 30th, 2011, 21:40
Yeah HQ2X and 3X weren't in the 1.2 build, they were added later on. 1.2 only add the older more common (then) filter like 2xSaI and such.

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November 30th, 2011, 23:04
I hesitated for a full 1/2 second before buying. Ultima VII and serpent's isle were/are 2 of my favorite games… I played them countless times. Still have the original boxes, with the 5 1/4 disks for ultima VII…
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