Ultima 6 Was Released Twenty-Five Years Ago Today

Auf Deutsch!

You all know by now, I trust, that Ultima 6 is my favourite entry in the Ultima series, and I’ll readily defend it as the high point of the series to all and sundry. So it was with no small amount of excitement that I received this timely reminder from Soryu Dragon:

Building on the thematic groundwork put in place in Ultima 4 and Ultima 5, Ultima 6 challenged players to resolve a conflict between Britannia and the Gargoyle race. But whereas the game could have gone the route of being just another example of the “save us from the monsters!” fantasy trope, Ultima 6 flipped the script and gave the monsters a legitimate grievance…and its victory condition was only reachable if you didn’t slay every Gargoyle on sight.

It’s a brilliant bit of narrative subversion, one that hasn’t been repeated in too many games since. Additionally, Ultima 6 was the first Ultima to introduce a monoscale, truly open-world Britannia to players. It featured a high degree of interactivity in its world (including horses that could be ridden!), deeper and more involved conversations, full NPC schedules, and a variety of dungeons that each felt unique despite all sharing the same reddish-brown tile graphics.

To celebrate this occasion, I’ve lined up a few things plucked from the Mythic Archives, and I’ll be posting those later today. For now, feel free to sound off about your recollections of the sixth Ultima game.

Home Forums Ultima 6 Was Released Twenty-Five Years Ago Today

This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Hardwire dragon 2 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #31781
    WtF Dragon
    WtF Dragon
    Participant

    Ultima 6 Was Released Twenty-Five Years Ago Today

    Ultima 6: The False Prophet was released on June 1st, 1990. A quarter-century!

    Read more…

  • #31912
    Linguistic Dragon
    Linguistic Dragon
    Participant

    I was wondering when this would roll around! I knew Ultima VI was turning 25 this year, I just wasn’t sure what day it was. How convenient that I’m right in the middle of the game at the moment – I know how I’m celebrating. 😉

    Lot of Ultima milestones this year, though! Ultima VI turns 25, Ultima IV turns 30 in… September, I think? ‘Tis a good year for the series.

    ---
    ultimajourneys.blogspot.com

  • #32024
    Boolean Dragon
    Boolean Dragon
    Participant

    Makes me feel old. Ultima VI was arguably the best in the series, the pinnacle of what became a slow and steady descent rather than what we’d imagined the series would rise to.

    eightvirtues.com/games | youtube.com/user/VasCorpBetMani | twitter.com/eightvirtues

  • #32077

    Just in case you wondered: “25 years? What time was that back then? What else was around?” Here is another somewhat famous piece of software that hit the market.

    Evidently just one week earlier than Ultima 6, on May, 22nd 1990, some users saw this on their screen after installation:

    Windows 3.0

    🙂

    • #32482
      Boolean Dragon
      Boolean Dragon
      Participant

      The horror. Just when I thought my PTSD was over, you had to go and bring it all back. I remember trying to run Ultima V in it since it could supposedly multitask, and it didn’t work worth a flying frak… The game would freeze when not in focus and my PC was brought to its knees and a painfully slow crawl. O Windows, how little you’ve changed over the years.

      eightvirtues.com/games | youtube.com/user/VasCorpBetMani | twitter.com/eightvirtues

  • #32339

    Lord Eternal Dragon

    Ultima VI was the first game of the series that really grabbed my attention. I got it right around the time it came out and spent a significant portion of the summer of 1990 playing through it. I think it took me about 3 months to finish it. It completely changed what I thought computer games could be, and very few games managed to live up to my new expectations. I was never really able to get back into the AD&D “Gold Box” games after I played Ultima VI.

    I was lucky enough that my family had just upgraded our home PC to a 286/12 with a hard drive, VGA, and Sound Blaster, so I had a pretty good play experience. Other than the bugs. In my game, Lord British simply disappeared halfway through the game, leaving me with no source of free healing. When wandering around the gargoyles’ realm, I started being attacked by a (gargish) door frame — and when I looked at it, the game said “You see Nystul” and showed me his portrait. My sister played the game as well, and one time Shamino turned into a bed.

  • #32487
    WtF Dragon
    WtF Dragon
    Participant

    how little you’ve changed over the years

    Really?

    Also, I played the hell out of Reversi.

    • #32490
      Boolean Dragon
      Boolean Dragon
      Participant

      You’re right…I forgot the epic explosion of malware and viruses, and that it doesn’t run on top of DOS anymore.

      eightvirtues.com/games | youtube.com/user/VasCorpBetMani | twitter.com/eightvirtues

  • #32516

    Hardwire dragon

    I still have the original box with the cash receipt, which is dated May 12, 1990. Anyway, good memories. I must say u6 is, for me, the pinnacle of the series.

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