Ultima-tum: The Importance of The Ultima Series in Games
GameSpot's Jonathan Toyad looks back and elucidates what groundbreaking ideas the classic RPG series has brought onto the gaming world.
by Jon Leo on
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Ultima IX was one of the games that got me investing in my PC again. that was when I learned how far the consoles were behind.
ultima 7 was GREAT! was one of the first rpg's i played, and i really enjoyed underworld, and pagan wasnt
bad either. i loved those games when i was a kid, getting into the rpg
world with pc games like Ultima, Betrayel at krondor, lands of lore, Castle of the
winds, and on consoles final fantasy, phantasy star and zelda. i miss those times..
Oh man, Ultima 7 was maybe the first real game I played on a proper "PC", which was a 386 with a *SUPER* VGA monitor. I spent hours going through it and uh... not playing the quests. Mostly I was a homicidal maniac who spent most of his time looking for a way to depopulate Britannia.
If you are looking to buy it again, be sure to check out Exult, which allows you to play U7 and Serpent's Isle in an upgraded engine. But this game really got me interested into systems and emergent gameplay in general, which has been the focus in all of my designs. Not that I'm a professional.
Quest for the Avatar looks nothing like what Ultima was all about, it looks like a pathetic attempt to cash in on a pay to play facebook game.
A legend in the industry, but its now being shamefully abused.
Ultima Online never made it for me: too cumbersome and buggy. In my opinion, the game that shaped the MMO industry as we know it today was EverQuest... now THAT was a revolutionary game that hooked me up for like 5 years!
Uh no disrespect but, how does ultima influence demon souls, and dark souls, im asking this cause he said ultima influenced all rpg game
Ah Ultima, my favorite series of all time...
This video wasn't the best, but it's always nice remembering the importance of those games, how they changed RPGs and influenced a lot of games across many decades.
It makes me sad to think the series was downgraded to an iOS app. What else could we expect from EA? :(
The only Ultima game I played was Exodus on the NES, and till this day, it has one of the most memorable soundtracks of any game I've played.
To anybody reading this, go on youtube and search for "Ultima Exodus soundtrack", the Castle theme is my favorite.
I tried to go back and play some of these. While the scope and ideas were impressive, I found the UI too cumbersome and the systems too daunting. I feel much the the same way about these as I do about text based RPGs. I wanted to like them, but it just takes too much effort for me.
Back in the late 80s, early 90s.. the ultima series were some of the best RPGs around while introducing a number of industry firsts. The later games benefited greatly by the superiority of PC hardware and data storage. You simply couldn't make a game as deep as ultima VII parts 1&2 on consoles till CDROMs were the norm, although they tried with a port to SNES it just wasn't the same. It's reputation has faded with time and the rise of other RPG series i.e. final fantasy, but I guess that's what this video is all about.. a reminder that Ultima was a great, great RPG series in it's era.
Don't forget about Dungeons and Dragons and that whole series of rpgs that was also revolutionary for its time setting the standard for future rpgs. I personally am thinking of Pool of Radiance and the sequels that followed
I never was a big fan of the Ultima series, although I did play Underworld at the time. They had too much freedom for my taste. With rpgs I like to be steered in a direction.
Interesting vid, I had no idea Ultima was this influential. But I guess relatively I'm pretty young, started playing games when SquareSoft was the God of RPGs (at least in my mind), making epics like Final Fantasy V, VI, Tactics, Vagrant Story, Chrono Cross...
My favorite is the one that you guys think sucked the most: ULTIMA 8!
I have a personal story with this game. It was my first great/big game. I was a kid and never played such a free and big game. I liked only to explore and kill people. After a while, I did some of the game's main missions and stared to get into the game. When I managed to free Devon, I jumped in. When the "quiz" with the Theurgists happened, I spent 1 year trying to pass it. I had nothing to help me with, no Internet, no walkthrough, no nothing. I played the unpatched version. When you have to make your pilgrimage to Moriens birthplace, there was no Moriens birthplace, so it really felt like a pilgrimage. I spent 1 year wandering the catacombs without a clu of what to do. Still, I pushed forward and found everything. I played the game for 7 years. When I finished, I cried like a baby and my family was worried. Up to this day, I consider Ultima 8 the game that changed me, not only as a gamer but as a person. I learned to persevere. I learned to be pacient. I learned that knowledge comes with time, dedication and faith.
All this may sound like I'm overpraising the game, but as someone wiser once said "it doesn't matter what happens to a person, what matters is what the person gets from the experience". This is what happens with games. You may play it, finish it and forget. Or you may jump in, and make it an experience. The Metro series are a perfect example: they're not games to be played and finished, leave that to BS games like Crysis and others where the main goal is to appreciate texture based graphics and shoot shoot shoot uninspired enemies. These are games to be "savoured", to be "tasted", to be "appreciated". Immerse yourself in the world and the story. Pretend you are the character. Turn off your bedroom lights. Don't play the game, live it! That's what I did with U8. It was the game of my life.
You are giving Gariot way too much credit. A lot of what he did was so incredibly obvious and necessary that later devs would have created games exactly the same as the games they created regardless of whether or not Garriot ever created a single Ultima game.
Awesome work dude, now I feel bad for never playing an Ultima game! I see a visit to GOG in my future!
Some people should stick to writing. Your speech is awful..and I'm not talking about mispronunciation...
There's a lot speculation and opinions passed off as fact in this video. Kinda caused by lack of research/knowledge.
I love the Ultima games. This video, not so much. Sorry.
I played Ultima Exodus on the NES, and it has one of the best and most memorable soundtracks of any game I've played. Just beautiful!
Ultima is in the DNA of the genre, but you aren't going to find direct correlations in every RPG or ARPG.
@Errorcutive It influenced JRPGs, the early japanese RPGs were practically Ultima and Wizardry clones.
@Errorcutive So..um..what "role" do you play in Dark Souls?
It's an action game. A really fun and challenging action game but an action game. Personally I really like it. Just because it's swords and sorcery doesn't mean it's an RPG.
Furthermore, the inclusion of stats and the option to not kill certain people is not an RPG.
@Errorcutive Open world design, non linearity, dark story overtone. These are mentioned in the video :) I'm sure theres more, haven't played ultima though.
@youngzen69 SSI borrowed an awful lot from Ultima titles and while I adore D&D and it's various campaigns(mainly forgotten realms) the reality is the games SSI developed were second rate knock-offs with D&D themes and rules.
@Hastur Freedom is what its all about. Not being held by the hand and told what to do.
@WiiPS3XBOX360 What's a paladin?
@ChandlerUSMC mabye it's you miss having the time to spend hours on end playing 1 game with not a worry in the world? hehe, I know I do.
@marceldelta The way you said it changed you as a person, I totally get that, with me it was Ultima IV. Admittedly I was very young, so much more impressionable, but I think a lot of what that game taught about virtue is true of real life.
@marceldelta Enjoyed your story. I know exactly what you mean.
@CommodoreRaslin You mean all the "obvious and necessary" things that practically NO ONE includes in their RPGs today because that would make them way too "RPG" for the mass audience that the shareholders seek?
Ultima titles almost never had a "last boss", they were almost never about fighting a "decidedly evil" individual or group. They almost never required you to go into most of the dungeons or even fight monsters to finish the game. Levels and gear were generally irrelevant. Every character in his games had a place in the world and a personality with no "generic inn keeper type npcs".
@CommodoreRaslin I don't want to be obnoxious but I need to ask this. How old are you?
@CommodoreRaslin Like what? I really want to know about which logical and obvious things you're talking about.
Maybe you NOW see such things as obvious and necessary just because those things are granted on any modern RPG, but then again noone else thought on them before. Its like trying to negate credit of the people who researched and invented the first all electric car, just cause it was the next logical and obvious step.
@artyom570568 He is speaking fine... perfectly understandable without any problems at all
@aovannor Your "lack of research/knowledge" assumption is also speculative and being passed off as fact.
@sonicare I beat V for the first time last year. Fantastic game. Had so many notes by the end of it.