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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Ultima 7 - I Wanna Hold Your Hand

Default Ultima 7 - I Wanna Hold Your Hand

April 5th, 2014, 08:00
The Rampant Coyote has a new post on his site about Ultima 7 finally being sold on GOG, and how his friend he gifted the game to didn't finish it.

Since it’s now for sale again after nearly twenty years via GOG.COM, when a friend told me he had never played Ultima 7, I made a gift of it to him. I was kinda excited to hear what he thought of it, but I was not immune to one noteworthy fear: What if he didn’t like it? Ultima 7 was different even in its day, in an era when RPGs were a bit different from how they are today.

He promises to do a little write-up in the future, but the bottom line is: He got lost, bored, and gave up. While I don’t believe he’s a fan of extensive hand-holding in games, he really felt like he could use a lot more direction in U7. And to be fair – even back in 1992, when I first played, I hit a point where I got lost and bored and put the game on the shelf for a few weeks. Then I came back with a vengeance, finished the rest of the game within a couple of days (including one full where I was stuck at home with a wrenched knee – yes, queue the old Skyrim meme jokes…) It was a mesmerizing, wonderful experience – so much so that only hours after finishing the game, I re-installed Ultima 4 and started playing it just so I could spend more time in Britannia.

This saddens me on a number of levels, because U7 still remains not just a milestone, but still an old favorite. I haven’t played it start-to-finish in a long time, but every time I do jump in – to grab a screenshot or just as a reminder – I find myself sucked in, talking to characters I only vaguely remember (if at all). It’s impossible to completely go back, as after a couple of sentences of dialog I find myself remembering a little bit more about the entire game and what’s supposed to happen next. So I can’t quite join my friend in giving it a clean-slate playthrough.
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April 5th, 2014, 08:00
There is 2 places I got lost in Ultima 7 with the first finding Yew in The Black Gate and second the icy wasteland in Serpent's Isle.
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April 5th, 2014, 18:16
Yeah, the game is NOT easy to get into. Maybe with a guide or some helpful hints for newbies this would be a bit easier to pick up. I've never gotten past the first town (mostly since the controls are wonky and annoying)
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April 5th, 2014, 18:46
So glad i played this when it was new, the controlls are indeed terrible by todays standards, back then i got used to it. It's too bad the SNES version (which obviously has much better controlls) is lacking a lot of content.

It's sad that very, very few modern game have this kind of attention to detail. I was hoping Original Sin would be that game, but seems like i was wrong, beaten by a 22 year old game (and computers with 1000 times less power than of today).

SiiiiLENCE the DISCOOOORD…
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April 5th, 2014, 19:39
This was the game in it's day, and still sets the standard for expansion packs, imo. I love old games but not sure I could replay this one, tbh….but to this day I remember the experience.
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April 6th, 2014, 00:00
What is wrong with the controls ? I still like them. The only thing which could be better is the combat, but I love how there is so much else to do in the game, aside from combat!

The things that happen and the way they happen is just fantastic, they appear as if they were not scripted… even if they are which is the biggest beaty of the game. I remmeber thinking each time I play the game, wow I didn't find that last time, only to remember it is a part of main story or some such.
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April 6th, 2014, 00:56
I just don't know what to say about this.

I got a copy from a guy in computer class in 1984 of U3 that had been broken by Disk doctor for my C-64 with no instructions. It really wasn't that hard to figure out except how to make some of the spells.

U7 controls getting lost, I got a note pad and a hand full of pens with ever new game back in the day and made notes as I went on who to talk to where to go.

I guess with games now of days where they will high light important things, have notes built in etc, for what is to be a smarter generation with all the tools at their hands …they are really not that smarter.

Though LB might have lost is mind in space what he did with the Ultima game we might or most likely will never see done again.
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April 6th, 2014, 04:59
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
What is wrong with the controls ? I still like them. The only thing which could be better is the combat, but I love how there is so much else to do in the game, aside from combat!
+1 !

To be fair I would add the inventory, which was a mess and remained so with the latest games in the series. Anyway, nothing with those annoyance could detract me from enjoying what remains IMHO the best CRPG series ever released to this day. I'm not surprised by the reaction of the new players discovering the game though. How could they be in the same state of mind as we were back then ?! Coming from the text based games and getting your hands on something like U7 was like growing up and discovering life with the eyes of an adult ; everything was new and so different ! Nowadays the younger are already so used to everything much more advanced, graphically and ergonomically. Such games are too slow paced, require too much personal involvement, to attract a modern player. Sure there are exceptions but the majority are immune to the charm and that's how it must be. We're aging, even though our memories remain vibrant.
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April 6th, 2014, 21:42
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
What is wrong with the controls ? I still like them. The only thing which could be better is the combat, but I love how there is so much else to do in the game, aside from combat!

The things that happen and the way they happen is just fantastic, they appear as if they were not scripted… even if they are which is the biggest beaty of the game. I remmeber thinking each time I play the game, wow I didn't find that last time, only to remember it is a part of main story or some such.
Well, from what I've tried of it: The mouse controls and movement in general felt awkward as all hell, and interacting with stuff in the environs never really worked as intended, especially when interacting with the inventory.

As for finding my way, I always just got confused navigating or keeping track of where I was going. Again, didn't play this at launch (just saw a friend play it), so I'm playing this well past the game's prime. Just calling it as I see it.
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April 6th, 2014, 23:42
I'm another one who didn't play U7 until quite a few years after it was released. I didn't find anything awkward or confusing about the controls at all though. The only thing confusing about U7 to me is the combat which seems to have very little rhyme or reason.
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