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Default Ultima Underworld - Reminiscing @ Rampant Coyote

June 4th, 2011, 09:22
The GOG release of Ultima Underworld evoked memories of a formative gaming experience in Jay Barnson:
But besides the technological innovation (which doesn’t age well), Ultima Underworld (and the sequel) did a lot of things very, very right. The ability to trade with most non-hostile NPCs, for one thing, was really cool (duplicated somewhat in the first Fallout games, but not so much elsewhere). The more open-ended “simulation” approach to the adventure was really refreshing and enjoyable. There were a few puzzles that demanded (or at least suggested) specific solutions, but much of the game allowed you to organically problem-solve. Maybe that capability seems exaggerated through the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia that I look through, but that is how I remember it. This was long before anybody coined the term “sandbox game,” and I don’t feel it was too literally that kind of game. But if you are a fan of the Thief games, that open-ended approach to missions originated in the Ultima Underworld series.
In many ways, I prefer Ultima Underworld‘s approach over the common sandbox approach which feels like you are just encountering the random dungeon inhabitant of the week. (Huh? What makes you think I’m talking about The Elder Scrolls?) As I recall, the world, treasure, creatures, and everything are fixed (and therefore, to me, feel more meaningful) – every game begins with exactly the same. But every game also plays out differently according to your approach (and, sometimes, just random events in the game).
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June 4th, 2011, 09:22
Wonderful piece for wonderful games. Great to read and it's always fun to think about in the context of modern gaming, which in many ways have failed to live up to the interactive legacy that the Underworlds helped start.

I fundamentally question this whole concept of games aging though. I see it regularly on forums and it frustrates me. To me, games simply are what they are. They don't change or age, they're products of their age, of when they were made.

It's mostly the humans that play them who move with time, age and change tastes, according to habit and the games played of the present day.
Modern gaming has arguably altered irrevocably the mindsets of many gamers and thus the difficulty some encounter going back to play games like the two Underworlds.

But returning to the topic, I love the Underworlds dearly and are unapologetic about my rose-tinted glasses. Like other Ultima and Arx Fatalis fans, I would love to see a sequel, or a game that endeavours continue to carry the torch for that style of highly interactive and player centred/creative gameplay. Fingers crossed Arkane Studios can impress with their upcoming projects.

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June 4th, 2011, 16:23
I wouldn't worry about still liking this game it is, quite frankly, quality.
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June 5th, 2011, 02:55
I wish EA would just re-release them both with updated UI, graphics & sound. Nothing else needs to be changed.
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June 5th, 2011, 05:20
Originally Posted by Majnun View Post
I wish EA would just re-release them both with updated UI, graphics & sound. Nothing else needs to be changed.
Yes, Majnun, once again I feel the same way. If I were a multi-millionaire I would form a game studio whose sole job was to look at the games that worked in the past and simply update them with graphics and sound. ( and perhaps an auto-map).

So any of you gamer folks out there with the power of fate in your hands, please direct some good fortune my way so that my dreams can come true. We both win . . .
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June 6th, 2011, 01:26
I hope this is the start of EA releasing all of the Ultimas.
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June 6th, 2011, 01:38
It was not just the game but box too. Ultima Underworld box looks like art compared to many modern day crpg boxes. Everytime I look at it the thing graps my imagination.

Also worth noting is that the stuff inside is better than in most collector editions of today. It was interesting and useful. I.E map of the first floor with all the handwritten notes in it. It is so well done.

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June 6th, 2011, 02:29
Played UW 1 and Privateer for several hours last night and today. Still has the old magic! Yeah it's dated, but the art still has great character and I still get the urge to put my piles of gold and gems over in that corner, torches and picks in that corner, books over there, arms in the opposite corner, and armor in the middle and then lock up the whole thing with the key I just found and then rub my hands together and cackle with avaricious delight saying "looook, look at all the glittering prizes, the beautiful glittering prizessss!"
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June 6th, 2011, 11:29
Originally Posted by Jhari View Post
I hope this is the start of EA releasing all of the Ultimas.
But what about U7? I'm under the impression that the source code has been missing for a long time. If that's really true, not sure how they're gonna re-release that title.

If I'm right but there is no wife around to acknowledge it, am I still right?
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June 6th, 2011, 14:06
Originally Posted by woges View Post
I wouldn't worry about still liking this game it is, quite frankly, quality.
QFT. Indeed.

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June 6th, 2011, 15:40
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
But what about U7? I'm under the impression that the source code has been missing for a long time. If that's really true, not sure how they're gonna re-release that title.
Unless they are just going to wrap it in some type of DosBox wrapper (which they often do), they'd have to do something like Exult.

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June 6th, 2011, 20:23
I got it and put in a couple hours. I missed Ultima Underworld when it came out becasue I was still in the apple 2 world at the time. Very primitive interface but the game is still quite playable. I guess if you play indie games then you can play this game.
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June 6th, 2011, 23:17
The music was very memorable as well, especially that music when you opened your map or started a conversation.

diddlediddle didle didlee duh duh du duh duuuuuh duh du

then the danger music …

very low health music …..
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