Ultima IV Redux

I spent a good chunk of my time as a teen playing Ultima IV, a role playing game written by Richard Garriot (aka “Lord British”) at Origin Systems. There were many chapters in the Ultima series, but Ultima IV is widely considered to be the most perfect of the lot. Late nights on my Apple IIe, guiding my guild of characters about, all to the sweet melody of polyphonic music, thanks to my Mockingboard C soundcard. Sadly, I never finished the game.

Well, it seems as thought I might have a chance to do just that, now that the XU4 project is well underway. XU4 is a remake of Ultima IV for modern operating systems. The game currently runs on Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows. XU4 contains the graphics of both the PC EGA version of the game, which was the most colorful at original release, and also the 256-color VGA graphics update patch for the best possible rendition of the game world (either graphics set can be used). MIDI-style music from the PC version of the game is also included, and sounds even better than it did back on my Apple IIe.

It would be satisfying, I think, to play through and solve the game once and for all. Have a look at a screenshot taken of XU4 running on my iBook

Another interesting project is Ultima IV: Virtue of Humility, a complete re-write of Ultima IV in Dark Basic, resulting in a similar but different game.

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11 Responses to Ultima IV Redux

  1. notimportant says:

    I still prefer the graphics from the NES version. What’s your take?

  2. Anonymous says:

    These graphics?

    http://members.chello.at/theodor.lauppert/games/ultima/nes.htm

    They are interesting, and I must say I’d not seen them before. Colorful, large. But I prefer the 256-color VGA versions in XU4. Still, it’s the old Apple II version gfx that I have most memory of. :-)

    blakespot

  3. Timmay says:

    Interesting – what system is this running on, I wonder? Looks rather high-resolution for the game.

    http://www.bonz3.net/ultima/u4/index.html

    Anyone know?

    Timmay

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’m not certain that you _can_ actually finish the game yet. It’s pretty close, but the dungeons were the last parts developed. And a dungeon (the Abyss) is the last thing you need to go through. I’m pretty sure you can get close to the end, but be sure to save before entering the dungeon.

  5. arekkusu says:

    Untima fans may be interested in the parody version “Untima 9″:

    http://homepage.mac.com/arekkusu/SW/

    Available for OS X and DOS.

  6. jcs says:

    sorry for my strange english…

  7. jc says:

    Thank you so much for xu4…

    i loved to play this game when I was a chield on my apple II.

    it was so magic.

    you make a very good part of my past come again.

    it’s strange the other day, I waked up with ULTIMA IV on my mind.

    and you’ve done it.

    merci beaucoup.

  8. blakespot says:

    Glad to have hit the spot for you, JC. That’s what this site is all about. I went on eBay and purchased a complete Ultima IV box w/ all manuals and maps, etc. to help me along with it (I think it’s an 8-bit Atari version, actualy). Sadly, I’ve had less time than I’d like to play through.

    Thanks for dropping a note.

    blakespot

  9. conor says:

    i was never able to complete ultima 4 on sega master system. got threw the abbyss, had all the virtues. it asked question!!! what is the one thing? tried everything it just threw you back to beggining. after couple years i just gave up.

  10. chendrum says:

    When you mastered each of the virtues, you prayed at the shrines with the mantras, and after the third one, they showed you a runic letter. The letters, when arranged, spelled INFINITY. :)

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