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Atari 8-bit - 1983

Also released on: Apple II

Alt names Ultima 1, Ultima I: The Original, Ultima: a fantasy role-playing game, Ultimatum
Year 1983
Platform Atari 8-bit
Released in United States
Genre Role-Playing (RPG)
Theme Fantasy, Sci-Fi / Futuristic, Space Flight, Turn-based
Publisher Sierra On-Line, Inc.
Perspectives 1st-Person, Top-Down
4.86 / 5 - 7 votes

Description of Ultima

Ultima is a video game published in 1983 on Atari 8-bit by Sierra On-Line, Inc.. It's a role-playing (rpg) game, set in a fantasy, sci-fi / futuristic, turn-based and space flight themes, and was also released on Apple II.

External links

Comments and reviews

CharaxS 2023-06-02 0 point

GOG has the EGA remake and I had no issues running the game on Windows 10.

I always heard about Ultima over the years so my retro gaming curiosity paid a visit to this. It was interesting.

Ultima has a nice overworld map. It was the first game to come out with something so elaborate and I saw its influence in other games over the years. Dungeon crawling, which is required for some of the game, is interesting. It came with a wireframe graphical presentation, which was common in that era. In my playthough, I delved down to the tenth level to finish all of the dungeon quests and tried to make my way back up. It was a harrowing experience and I emerged with just 2 health… it was fun. Be prepared to get your grid paper and map the dungeon (which is fun, but I suppose you could pay for ladder spells/scrolls if you don’t want to bother).

On the downside, it didn’t feel like a good CRPG. Level progression doesn’t enhance abilities. Class differences are trite. Going from an axe wielding character that could ride horses to a character equipped with a phazor and cruising around in an air car and buying a space shuttle to go to outer space made this into a silly game.

Overall, it’s about a 2/5 stars these days. Interesting to see what things were like at the dawn of the PC age and the incremental developments to the genre over the years.

ozmobike 2018-10-13 1 point

Wow.. another classical gem! Thnx!!

Golden-Ctr-Kid 2018-08-29 -1 point Apple II version

Forgot one v important thing to add, for ALL ULTIMA FANS -- if you don't already know about it, here's a GIFT for you:


It launched officially in March of this year, but has been shaping up over many months leading up to official launch...

Spiritually a continuation of Ultima (the series), if only because he (Richard Garriott) sticks with the "Ultima-way" (or, rather, Garriott / Lord British way) of building the game world -- with massive interactivity with objects in the world (he said himself in an interview with IGN [parahrasing] "If it doesn't perform as one might reasonably expect, out it goes.")

He also prefers "depth" -- more story, for it to be more "literary", for players to "connect" with the world, with its inhabitants, and with the community at large.

Sound like something you'd be interested in? Go look it up.. Shroud of the Avatar.
I've seen it for sale on STEAM...

Golden-Shopping-Ctr-Kid 2018-08-28 1 point Apple II version

Must avoid using that smiley-text; it cut off the rest of my entry. :(


Once I learned to spot the "little white dash" in the "bushes", I had the upper hand.
Also of benefit (again, iirc):
+ using terrain to thwart primitive AI pathing
+ using ranged weapons against melee-only enemies, after using terrain to get distance
+ don't doubt the Triangle as a weapon -- v effective against certain creatures!!

This first outing for what became the huuugely successful ULTIMA series is the Foundation of all that came after it, so if you can, give this game a play-through.

Emulator, if you need.
DOSbox, for the later PC version.

Look out for "modern" projects which seek to bring these old Ultima classics back into playability on modern systems!

5/5 Stars for Ultima (1)!!!

As for the rest of the series:
2: a bit silly, really - I missed it anyway
3: (I read) it's OK - I didn't touch it
4: Quest of the Avatar -- so unique in its premise, compared to almost every other RPG, *ever*. A MUST-PLAY, like this one.
5: (I read) it's V GOOD - didn't play it tho
6: The False Prophet -- when everything changed.. for the better! Another one NOT TO MISS!!
Look out for a browser-playable version; and a version updated for today's machines, which offer a much larger viewport into the game world than the original.
7: The Black Gate -- another update, moving with the tech of the times; better graphics, more colours, improved mechanics, etc.
MUST-PLAY. (Add-on chapters not necessary.)

GoldenShoppingCtr-Kid 2018-08-28 1 point Apple II version

There's NO escaping the LEGENDARY STATUS of this game, and its creator(s)! :D

One of my very first RPGs, ever, and I fell in love with it very quickly. Back then, I did, finally, make it to Space -- I'd managed to accumulate enough wealth to have owned all the major transport options (no spoilers) .. but I never did finish the overall Quest. :/

I think it was cuz I couldn't figure out, then, what all needed to be done to "get to the end". :P

I recall my earliest forays into dungeons getting me horribly killed, which frustrated me no end. _

Stormchilde 2017-02-25 0 point

This (well ultima III) was the first adventure game I ever played on my apple IIe in 7th grade. I did not have a manual and needed to work out the keys to make everything work and it was the most fun i ever had with a game.

After that experience of figuring out the whole game by trial and error (each key does something!) I was hooked on adventure games.

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Other Releases

Ultima was also released on the following systems:

Apple II

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