Addicted to Ultima 1: The First Age of Darkness

Ultima 1: The First Age of DarknessLast week I took the plunge and started playing games in my massive library. Let me tell you about Ultima 1.

Ultima 1: The First Age of Darkness, is Richard Garriot’s first game in a series I loved as a child. One of my all-time favorite games is Ultima 4: Quest of the Avatar for the classic Nintendo. But looking back I hadn’t played much of the others, stopping after briefly playing Ultima V on the classic NES, and some aborted attempts with VII in the 90’s on an ever-slow 386. The first game in the series, released in 1981, simply passed by me.

Fortunately, the version on is the 1986 remake with enhanced EGA graphics and a few other tweaks. The graphics look brilliant on my netbook, and the game’s overworld is bright and colorful with animated sprites and wandering monsters.

Probably the best part of the game is the most sparse, the 3D line-art minimalist dungeons. They are positionally navigable, capturing the first-person dungeon exploration experience I loved in other games like Dungeon Master and Eye of the Beholder. And the line-art makes me smile.

I’m only a few hours into the game so far, but I’ll post an update when I’ve managed to complete it. I’m hoping for a long adventure.