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Ultima IV Remake Speculation

Flash-based Ultima IV remakes Master System 8 and Phi Psi Software have received DMCA takedown notices from Electronic Arts, who picked up the rights to the game when they purchased Origin Systems in 1992. This is noted on Ultima Aiera, where they also state that most sites hosting the PC edition of game have been asked to stop doing so (though it's still available here), as while it was released freely in 1997, this was not GPLed or any such thing. When delving into why this is happening, they offer speculation that a "secret project" at Mythic they have been keeping up with via Paul Barnet's Twitter Feed is an Ultima game, and possibly an Ultima IV remake/reboot. Thanks Ant via Slashdot.

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28. Re: Ultima IV Remake Speculation Apr 1, 2011, 21:31 Heltorne
 
agree with silicon avatar  
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27. Re: Ultima IV Remake Speculation Mar 30, 2011, 22:24 Sepharo
 
Creston wrote on Mar 30, 2011, 13:33:
I think RG's answer was "Because I like big fucking piles of money."

Different dev but reminds me of this favorite:

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2000/10/23/
 
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26. Re: Ultima IV Remake Speculation Mar 30, 2011, 17:21 Silicon Avatar
 
http://demiurg.net/games/lb/

To me it looks like the success of UO ate all the resources up and Garriot was tired of doing Ultima games.

He probably should not have sold to EA, but from the sounds of it it seems like that Origin would have teetered out of business on its own anyway.

So maybe the buyout got us a few more Ultima games, flawed though they might have been.
 
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25. Re: Ultima IV Remake Speculation Mar 30, 2011, 13:33 Creston
 
Domgrief wrote on Mar 30, 2011, 09:55:
DI-MeisterM wrote on Mar 30, 2011, 01:06:
1983-2001 Origin : We Create Worlds
2001-? EA: We Destroy Worlds

Actually, Origin Systems painted E C A as a destroyer of worlds pretty clearly in Ultima VI and Ultima VII, which were released in 1990 and 1992 respectively.

Yep. At the time they were bought by EA, people asked them that question. "Why did you guys sign with a company you've been blasting in your own games?"

I think RG's answer was "Because I like big fucking piles of money."


I liked Ultima 8 well enough, but the platform jumping was horseshit. I think I wrote them like a dozen letters before the patch came out that finally fixed it. (Yes, this was before you could easily contacts devs through the interwebs.)

But the setting was cool, as were the four different kinds of magic you could use.

Ultima 9 was really the only Ultima that was a complete pile of aggravating horseshit. Funny enough, it was the first (and last) SP Ultima released while they were owned by EA. I'm sure it's just entirely coincidental.

Creston
 
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24. Re: Ultima IV Remake Speculation Mar 30, 2011, 12:46 JoeNapalm
 
I played the Hell out of the original Wizardry and Ultima III.

No, I am not tearing up.

Lemme alone!

-Jn-
Ifriti Sophist
 
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23. Re: Ultima IV Remake Speculation Mar 30, 2011, 09:55 Domgrief
 
DI-MeisterM wrote on Mar 30, 2011, 01:06:
1983-2001 Origin : We Create Worlds
2001-? EA: We Destroy Worlds

Actually, Origin Systems painted E C A as a destroyer of worlds pretty clearly in Ultima VI and Ultima VII, which were released in 1990 and 1992 respectively.
 
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22. Re: Ultima IV Remake Speculation Mar 30, 2011, 09:29 InBlack
 
I dont remember, I remember having a hard time getting to grips with jumping so I guess I liked it even before that was fixed.  
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I have a nifty blue line!
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21. Re: Ultima IV Remake Speculation Mar 30, 2011, 08:35 Kajetan
 
InBlack wrote on Mar 30, 2011, 08:21:
Am I the only one who liked Ultima VIII?
Before or after the patch, which fixed the horrible plattform jumping?

Before that patch, the game was nearly unplayable for most people, who expected a RPG and not some crude Super Mario with broken jumping mechanics. After this patch, it was a great Ultima game with a morbid and fascinating atmosphere.
 
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20. Re: Ultima IV Remake Speculation Mar 30, 2011, 08:21 InBlack
 
Am I the only one who liked Ultima VIII? Granted it was more of an adventure game than anything else and it was hard as hell, but I dug it for its cool graphics, its excellent (albeit confusing) storyline, its pagan theme, its weird and wonderful combat. I dunno. I was completely addicted to that game and it took me many months to figure it out and complete it.  
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I have a nifty blue line!
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19. Re: Ultima IV Remake Speculation Mar 30, 2011, 03:55 Ludomancer
 
Pathetic.

Do our whole demographic a favor and stop looking forward to developers using old franchises as a crutch for their lack of talent. I'm sick of remakes 100x over. Fuck remakes. Make something new, and leave alone what greater, more capable developers created. You know you won't be able to match up. Hacks.
 
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18. Re: Ultima IV Remake Speculation Mar 30, 2011, 03:41 Silicon Avatar
 
Replace Lord British with a benevolent Lord Blackthorn, then corrupt his character in a U5 remake.

Problem solved.

I'd love to see another Ultima game.
 
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17. Re: Ultima IV Remake Speculation Mar 30, 2011, 03:26 Kajetan
 
Creston wrote on Mar 29, 2011, 22:03:
Ultima 4 is one of the greatest RPGs of all time, so a remake would be awesome.
A remake without Lord British? EA might have the Ultima rights, but Richard Garriott has the rights on the character Lord British.
 
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16. Re: Ultima IV Remake Speculation Mar 30, 2011, 02:36 Kxmode
 
DI-MeisterM wrote on Mar 30, 2011, 01:06:
1983-2001 Origin : We Create Worlds
2001-? EA: We Destroy Worlds

2001-2011 EA: Fire Ze Missiles!
2012-? EA: We Destroy Worlds

This comment was edited on Mar 30, 2011, 03:10.
 
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15. Re: Ultima IV Remake Speculation Mar 30, 2011, 01:25 Jerykk
 
A new Ultima game would be sweet. Unfortunately, it would most likely be a Facebook game.  
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14. No subject Mar 30, 2011, 01:06 DI-MeisterM
 
1983-2001 Origin : We Create Worlds
2001-? EA: We Destroy Worlds
 
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13. Re: Ultima IV Remake Speculation Mar 30, 2011, 00:12 Tom
 
Yeah, that was another thing about Ultima VI and other Origin games of that era... they were among the first to really need a hard drive. Playing from floppies would have sucked. I have no idea how much the 21MB Fuji hard drive I had cost, but I know I was lucky to have it.  
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12. Re: Ultima IV Remake Speculation Mar 29, 2011, 23:59 Creston
 
Tom wrote on Mar 29, 2011, 23:55:
Ultima VI will seem quite primitive if you try it today, but at the time it was a revolution in technology. Super detailed, huge open world with no loading screens.

Hehe. Ugh. When I first played Ultima VI, I played it on the Amiga, and it came on THREE disks! And the annoying thing was, this was in those days when you had to swap disks while playing, and Ultima VI was horrible in how it had broken things up. You literally were swapping continuously. I wound up buying two extra disk drives for my Amiga for Ultima VI, then finally broke down and bought a harddisk (for like a thousand fucking bucks.) All so I could play U6 better.

The awesomeness that was Ultima is why I still cringe when I see Richard Garriott making fucking poker games for Facebook.

Creston
 
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11. Re: Ultima IV Remake Speculation Mar 29, 2011, 23:55 Tom
 
Ultima VI, VII, and VII part 2 (SI) were the ones I had the opportunity to play. These were very special games. I can imagine the difficulty in trying to understand and appreciate them if you didn't get a chance to play them back then. Ultima VI will seem quite primitive if you try it today, but at the time it was a revolution in technology. Super detailed, huge open world with no loading screens. Extremely non-linear game. A story that was interesting, unique, and made you think and learn. Tons of interaction with objects and people in the world. The NPCs were not cookie cutter - they were fun to talk to, they had unique hand-drawn portraits, they went about their lives according to actual schedules, they would react to what you did. They had meaningful existences. It puts modern games like Oblivion to absolute shame. And then Ultima VII came along and took it all to a whole new level, while also boldly striking out in new directions.

When Origin was at the top of their game, it was a wonderful and amazing thing to behold. Their motto was "We Create Worlds" and they meant it.

While a remake has the potential to be incredibly awesome, I would absolutely NOT expect any remake made nowadays to come close to approaching the greatness of these games. Not from fans, and especially not from publisher-backed developers. The level of optimism here is shocking. Probably the only way to experience these games properly now and in the foreseeable future is to use a faithful recreation of the original game engine such as Exult.
 
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10. Re: Ultima IV Remake Speculation Mar 29, 2011, 23:47 Creston
 
Frijoles wrote on Mar 29, 2011, 23:06:
I didn't play any Ultima games. What made it great compared to what is coming out these days?

It really was the first RPG that gave you a morality code that it forced you to live by (at least Ultima 4 did, though the earlier Ultimas would punish you SEVERELY if you like wiped out an entire town. I had to return my Ultima 3 Amiga disc to Origin 3 times because the game got pissed at me and wouldn't let ANY merchant trade with me anymore, even if I started a new game. Killing Lord British was heavily frowned upon, it seems. Hehe.)

In Ultima 4, you had to live by Honesty, by Compassion, by Valor, by Justice, by Sacrifice, by Honor, by Spirituality and by Humility. Most of those were interwoven throughout the entire game, so it wasn't just a question here and voila. You could lose your morality (Thou hast lost an eighth!) at any point, and then had to strive to regain it. You were the Avatar, and the game really meant it. You had to be a shining example to the people in Britannia.

They were also some of the first RPGs to offer open worlds with tons of dungeons, random encounters, random loot, many different classes, recruitable NPC party members, awesome magic system (complete with reagents you had to find and harvest), fantastic monsters (the Balor!) etc.

Later games added NPCs with their own schedules, LOOOOOOOOOOOONG before Gothic ever started doing it (and got recognized somehow for being THE game that started it...), and you could spend entire days just walking around Britain doing shit like baking bread and selling it for a pittance so you could afford some new armor for your party members.

I still count the entire Ultima 7 saga (Ultima 7, the Black Gate; Ultima Underworld 2, the Stygian Abyss; and Ultima 7, the Serpent Isle) as the finest story in RPG history. The entire Guardian saga was phenomenal. (and no, Ultima 8 and 9 don't count. 8 doesn't count because the Guardian barely shows up in it, and 9 is a fucking travesty of a game. Thanks, fucking EA. Assigning the jackass who made Command & Conquer as producer to Ultima was a REALLY GREAT FUCKING DECISION...)

/anger rising... DIE EA DIE EA DIE EA DIIIEEEEEEEEeeee....

Edit : Oh, and I forgot. Ultima 4 was the very first RPG where you engaged an NPC in conversation, and you could talk about literally ANYTHING. It just gave you a cursor, and you could type whatever you wanted. The NPC would only respond to words he knew, of course, but even so, it was fantastic, because it allowed you to learn from NPC A in Minoc that NPC B in Yhelom might know something about NPC C in Moonglow. And that was a path you could follow. You'd go to NPC B, ask him about NPC C (which he'd otherwise never reveal that he knew about) and he'd tell you something that you could take to NPC C to ask him about, and he'd give you the details. It was AMAZING. To think that I played this game on the Commodore 64. With 64kb of RAM. SIXTY FOUR KB!!!!

Creston

This comment was edited on Mar 30, 2011, 00:02.
 
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9. Re: Ultima IV Remake Speculation Mar 29, 2011, 23:44 xXBatmanXx
 
waaaaaah! You have a better product than us and we are paying millions to delevop crapware so stop making fun stuff for free!!!! waaaaaahhh!  
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In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. / Few men have virtue enough to withstand the highest bidder.
Playing: New dad
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