Ultima Underworld - Retrospective @ Rampant Coyote
The 20th Anniversary of Ultima Underworld was apparently in March just gone and Jay Barnson muses on what made this game so special, beyond the 3D movement:
* Ultima Underworld had what is still one of the best auto-maps of all time. While the features stood out, the walls and parchment background looked like it belonged. And your ability to write (and erase) directly on the map, anywhere, was a big deal. Actually, it still is. It’s fortunately more commonly matched in the modern era than it once was, but I don’t think it has been surpassed. I’m not sure what you’d do to surpass it, to be honest.
* A dynamic music system. Many games at the time would switch between combat and exploration music, but the music in Ultima Underworld was even more situational, and was designed to (almost) seamlessly transition between themes as you transitioned between states. The UU music remains on my inspirational music playlist.
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