Ultima Remake Rumors Continue to Swirl

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Ultima Remake Rumors Continue to Swirl


Electronic Arts is throwing DMCA takedown notices at sites hosting free versions of Ultima 4 [http://www.amazon.com/Ultima-Collection-Pc/dp/B000028U20/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1301504437&sr=8-1], fueling rumors that a real, Mythic-made remake is in the works.

It's been 14 years since the good folks at Origin and EA gave permission to a few websites to give away the Computer Gaming World CD version of the 1985 classic Ultima 4, so it seems a little odd that the company would suddenly starting passing around takedown notices to several of the sites hosting the game. Yet the Flash-based versions at Ultima Aiera [http://mastersystem8.com/].

Nobody knows exactly why, but as Ultima Aiera explained [http://www.ultimaaiera.com/blog/concerning-ultima-4-or-in-which-i-have-to-be-the-wet-blanket/], EA is well within its rights to insist that the freebies be pulled. The Ultima 4 giveaway was completely legit but the game was never actually released to the public domain; it was instead more of a "gesture of goodwill." EA still holds the copyright and can drop the hammer on sites giving away the game whenever it wants. And drop the hammer it has.

Ultima 4 has been freely available for as long as Gamasutra [http://www.amazon.com/Duke-Nukem-Forever-Pc/dp/B002I0JAJ2/ref=sr_1_1?s=videogames&ie=UTF8&qid=1301504609&sr=1-1] yesterday.

It's thin, it's very thin, but it makes a lot more sense than the alternative, which is that EA is just in a mood.

via: Slashdot [http://games.slashdot.org/story/11/03/29/059232/emUltima-IVem-mdash-EA-Takedowns-Precede-Official-Reboot]


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yourbeliefs

Bored at Work
Jan 30, 2009
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Love the "Apple II 64K Required" sticker on the front. I wonder what the requirements were for Ultima I..
 

Therumancer

Citation Needed
Nov 28, 2007
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With Richard Garriot talking about going back to single player game design and such, I am wondering if perhaps EA is simply planning on selling him the franchise back, at least as
far as the single player rights go.

I'm not sure, but I think Alakabeth which is like "Ultima 0" ran on a Vic 20. Not sure about Ultima I, because I played the games up to V on a Commodore 64. Ultima VI was the first one I played on a PC. I remember having to do quite a bit to get a 386 for Ultima VII by release day and then hating their "Voodoo Memory Management". This game was a massive double header with "Wizardry: Crusaders Of The Dark Savant". :)

At any rate I'm rambling, I'm guessing the earliest requirements are 20k, but I could be wrong.
 

Littaly

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Jun 26, 2008
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Ultima remake? Sounds interesting enough, but what are they going to do with it? Isn't the original game ancient in design when compared to modern day RPGs? Is it even possible to do an even remotely faithful remake? It sounds like they're just planning to use the brand name to sell whatever it is they're cooking up.

Speaking of, is Ultima playable for someone who didn't grow up back in the days when it was hot sh*t? I'm kind of interested in playing it just for the sake of seeing what it's like, but I doubt I'll even be able to enjoy it for that...
 

vxicepickxv

Slayer of Bothan Spies
Sep 28, 2008
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Littaly said:
Ultima remake? Sounds interesting enough, but what are they going to do with it? Isn't the original game ancient in design when compared to modern day RPGs? Is it even possible to do an even remotely faithful remake? It sounds like they're just planning to use the brand name to sell whatever it is they're cooking up.

Speaking of, is Ultima playable for someone who didn't grow up back in the days when it was hot sh*t? I'm kind of interested in playing it just for the sake of seeing what it's like, but I doubt I'll even be able to enjoy it for that...
Well, in case you didn't know this little tidbit, the Ultima series was the first that I know of to use daily schedules for everyone's day/night and week cycles. It didn't really come back into style until either Morrowind or Oblivion.
 

ThreeKneeNick

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Aug 4, 2009
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Therumancer said:
With Richard Garriot talking about going back to single player game design and such, I am wondering if perhaps EA is simply planning on selling him the franchise back, at least as
far as the single player rights go.
Actually, he is into social gaming now.

http://www.portalarium.com/

I never played Ultima games, im kinda sad about that. I mean, i hear these great things about them, but im spoiled by modern games and if i tried one of them today i know i just wouldn't see the beauty. A remake or a new game in the series sounds great to me.
 

Weaver

Overcaffeinated
Apr 28, 2008
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If they're making another ultima MMO, why does it hurt that ultima 4 is up?
 

Weaver

Overcaffeinated
Apr 28, 2008
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Littaly said:
Ultima remake? Sounds interesting enough, but what are they going to do with it? Isn't the original game ancient in design when compared to modern day RPGs? Is it even possible to do an even remotely faithful remake? It sounds like they're just planning to use the brand name to sell whatever it is they're cooking up.

Speaking of, is Ultima playable for someone who didn't grow up back in the days when it was hot sh*t? I'm kind of interested in playing it just for the sake of seeing what it's like, but I doubt I'll even be able to enjoy it for that...
Things were certainly different back then. If you want to start with The first Ultima "Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness" i'm sure you can find the DOS version around somewhere. That's likely the easiest to emulate given the stability of Dos Box (a dos emulator, if you didn't know).

Besides that, you're going to need to put yourself in the old school mindset. Computers didn't have enough memory back then to actually track quests, so if you're playing make sure you keep a notebook by your computer. You'll also want to find a copy of the manual online somewhere and give it a read.

Besides that, there are some decidedly oldschool design decisions. For instance, it features "food". Every time you take a step you consume one food. If you run out of food, you die, game over.

If you can deal with this you're in for a real blast from the past!
 

Jaeger_CDN

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Aug 9, 2010
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damn, I only discovered the Ultima IV flash version a few weeks back.

I played II, III, and V but missed IV back when it was first released (I was 13 and had no money). I think most of the series came out in a compilation pack many years ago (just looked it up on amazon for $40), but never really liked the top-down versions that came later in the series.
 

ValentineUK

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Mar 15, 2011
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I don't think that an Ultima remake could survive in this day and age of gaming. I've played most of the Ultima games and found them to be right good fun, but I don't think that gamers of this generation would find a game like Ultima particularly entertaining. I would love to see a remake but in all truth and reality, I don' think that it would turn much of a profit if any.
 

Tom Phoenix

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Mar 28, 2009
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I heard a lot of good things about the Ultima series. That said, I have little confidence that a game such as this can be faithfully remade. The RPGs of old were absolutely massive, whereas the modern obsession over "uber graphics" tends to make the creation of vast worlds prohibitively expensive.

Plus, as fans of the series can attest to, a part of the Ultima experience were the various additions that came with the game, particularly the cloth map, that sparked the imagination and excited the player even before he actually started playing:



Considering how bare boned retail releases tend to be nowadays, it is almost certain that this aspect would go completely ignored.

But anyway, if there is any truth in the rumours of a new Ultima project, it is most likely a brand new entry or even some sort of reboot (beacuse almost everything gets a reboot nowadays). Of course, whether or not that would be better or worse than a Ultima IV remake is left for each individual himself/herself to decide.

Or wait. Considering this rumour is related to a "unannounced EA MMO", it is more likely to be some sort of Ultima Online title. And considering the MMO craze, that wouldn't suprise me in the slightest.