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Default Ultima Underworld - Retrospective @ PC Gamer

November 20th, 2012, 18:21
Thrasher sends word of a PC Gamer retrospective for Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss, reprinted from the UK edition of the magazine. A sample:
My memories of Ultima Underworld are of an endless stream of delighted discoveries, an abject fear of what might lurk in the dim and tortuous tunnels, and of scribbling notes about which NPC wanted what item and which rune sequence created which spell.
Jumping back into the sprawling dungeons of the Stygian Abyss today is gleefully exciting. But it’s also a tiny bit depressing, because I’ll never get to play it for the very first time again.
Not only was this the first ‘proper’ PC game I ever played, but also one of the most influential PC games in terms of technology and design that has ever been released. Like its Ultima predecessors – in spirit if not in mechanics – Underworld was a genuine RPG, stuffed full of quests and magic and exploration and dialogue and weapons and stats.
More information.
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November 20th, 2012, 18:21
i still listen to the soundtrack to this day, good memories.
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November 20th, 2012, 18:25
Damn, I saw the thread listing and I could only make out "Ultima Underworld". For some reason, I expected a Kickstarter for it…..

THAT would be something
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November 20th, 2012, 23:44
Hmmm, yes. I should play UU II and Arx Fatalis, still. But here some won't forgive me if I don't play Gothic 1 first.
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November 21st, 2012, 00:06
I replayed this earlier in the year; it's still a fun game!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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November 21st, 2012, 01:29
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
I replayed this earlier in the year; it's still a fun game!!
Underworld II still unmatched in many ways.
Strangely enough what makes somehow hard to go back to these games isn't even the graphics. It's more the dated control system, which pre-dates the introduction of mouselook as a standard for first person games.
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November 21st, 2012, 01:38
Yep, controls get tiring after a while. If you use the keyboard for movement, looking and fighting, and other keyboard shortcuts as much as possible it makes it much more tolerable
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November 21st, 2012, 03:39
I'm surprised that no one ever created a mouse-look mod for the UU games.
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November 21st, 2012, 04:10
Yeah, there's a good project.
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November 21st, 2012, 11:36
It's pretty close to mouselook already, IIRC. I believe you can use the "ESDF" keys instead of WASD - and you just need to press the right mousebutton to look around. Ok, somewhat clumsy - but not that bad.
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November 21st, 2012, 11:44
UU is in my all time Top 10 games and (most probably) will always be. It blew me away when I first played it way back when and it still does. Long live Ultima Underworld!

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November 25th, 2012, 14:55
The controls killed the game for me, fact they are totally great for anything but the fighting, the fighting controls are just awful. Last attempts to play it again failed because of that. But yeah at its release that game has been a shock for me. For a top ten based on memories it is easily in, but if I do a top ten I couldn't ignore how aged the game is, and then it wouldn't be even in my top 20.

The story isn't that interesting and I suspect it would look a bit pale nowadays but it's solid and very well developed, and uniquely well merged to the overall gameplay, it should be a blueprint on that point. Anyway it's quite more than a story, so a remake would be stunning. Alas a remake would be a huge budget game and not sure what the controls should be.
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November 25th, 2012, 15:38
Controls were incredible good, one of the things that really impressed me, especially going from System Shock to UUW.. Too bad if you didn't play it at release, you really missed out. It's not a game i would play today for many reasons (controls, graphics mainly). UUW2 will always be on my top 5 list.

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November 25th, 2012, 20:01
Actually I was impressed eventually that the combat controls worked well enough that I could dodge attacks and adjust angle and bash/slash/thrust depending on enemy type and weapon type for maximum effect. More tactical than most hack and slashers.
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November 26th, 2012, 03:54
Brilliant games. People who gripe about controls and graphics are just missing out, pure and simple.

Back when I was a first year uni student, two of my mates and I played the first Underworld all at the same time and would relay and share our experiences via message board - probably when we should have been studying!
The memories have proven to have strong longevity and thus the two games will always be favourites of mine.

I wonder whatever happened to the website that was located at the StygianAbyss.com? That was always worth revisiting every couple of months or so with new little treasure troves of information.

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