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MrPopo
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Re: Together Retro: Ultima IV

by MrPopo Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:01 pm

Ultima III is a real chore to get going in. With Ultima I you can basically start dungeon diving as far as you can go and come out ahead. Ultima II if you try to play fair it seems like it could be somewhat of a grind but there's a very easy spot to gain levels, cash, and plot coupons with little risk. But Ultima III ends up having a very slow start combined with a clunky combat system. After I convinced myself that I could go through a series of steps, come out ahead on gold and exp, and repeat until I was at the necessary level I went ahead and save edited to that point to save my sanity.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Together Retro: Ultima IV

by BoneSnapDeez Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:04 pm

Fired up the NES version.

I have a tough time finishing these old WRPGs as they're so vague and non-linear. Let's see how I do with this port.

Don't forget to read your accompanying manga.
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nightrnr
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Re: Together Retro: Ultima IV

by nightrnr Fri Nov 07, 2014 6:26 pm

Hey guys!

I just noticed that I linked an old version of the XU4 upgrade. That one lacked the newer graphic options (like FM-Towns, Hi-Res, and New).

Here is the page that you want to download from:
http://xu4.sourceforge.net/download.php

Another nice feature is that "enter" can act like a smart key to do several basic actions (like boarding a boat).
I think that you can even customize the music, although I haven't tried it.

Here's a couple of the options I like using the new graphics:
the "New" option:
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vs the "HiresVGA" option:
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...just another lost soul...
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Nemoide
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Re: Together Retro: Ultima IV

by Nemoide Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:58 pm

Man, I have no idea what I'm doing but I LOVE IT. It's super non-linear but with a purpose, it doesn't seem like it has Ultima III's fatal flaw of "you leveled up too quickly, now you're doomed" although I'm going to try to stay at my current level (3) for a while longer regardless.
I found the town of Yew but the Druid who can join the party refused because I've killed too many non-evil enemies. I guess I'll need to make a list of enemies to NOT kill and stick to it! I have the runes of Honesty and Justice, but I'm not quite sure what I should be doing with them. I also know the Mantra for Honesty. Characters talk about going to shrines and altars, but I've yet to find them and I think I need some colored stones first anyway?

One thing I don't like about my attempts to stay honest is that sometimes the text is a little too vague for me to know how I should answer. If I'm asked if I know how to cast a certain spell and I don't know the materials, my inclination is to say "no" even though I'm a mage... but it seems I should have said "yes" and the character would tell me the materials needed. Oh well, I answered both yes and no... maybe it won't count too much against me?

I also made a photocopy of the map from the "Ultima Atlas" I have to translate the runes; the Atlas-version is black & white and therefore better for writing on. It's fun in a very interesting way. The game may be simplistic, but it definitely engages the player in a way most modern games do not.

Also I'm totally loving everything about the SMS version! Is the GOG version just the simple DOS port or does it have the music?
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nightrnr
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Re: Together Retro: Ultima IV

by nightrnr Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:52 pm

Nemoide wrote:Also I'm totally loving everything about the SMS version! Is the GOG version just the simple DOS port or does it have the music?

GOG version is indeed the Dos port played through dosbox.

But again, the upgrade I posted brings music to the game.
Also, you can alternate between the upgrade and the regular port without losing your save.
Sorry, I thought the save carried over both in xu4 (it doesn't, but maybe with the standard upgrade). But you CAN change the graphic style in xu4 any time you need without affecting the save.

I have a hard time with this game because, while I do like it, I try to play RPGs how I would choose to act (not evil, but not a saint either). Assuming there's a choice to things...
It would have been neat if they had the runes as side quests and different endings based on the combination that you acquired (or are there?, I haven't played much yet).

There's nothing to stop me from cheating and playing with a little walkthrough help either. So I guess you still make the call.
...just another lost soul...
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Together Retro: Ultima IV

by BoneSnapDeez Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:33 pm

Nemoide wrote:Man, I have no idea what I'm doing but I LOVE IT.


This is how I feel. I've been running around, talking to people, leveling up, fighting enemies, and so on... But has "progress" been made? I dunno. As I said earlier, this is a game I'll enjoy derping around with but I doubt I'll finish it this month.

It's certainly 1000 times better than the NES version of Exodus.
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Re: Together Retro: Ultima IV

by Ivo Tue Nov 11, 2014 3:52 pm

I want to get in on this, although I just remembered that spellcasting is based on reagent mixing which I remember thinking was a chore.

I will be reading the manual soon and then see if I can get into it.

It is super hard to complete though, isn't it?
(I mean without external help like looking up stuff on guides)

Is the GOG extras cluebook something that came with the game or is it a spoilering guide?

EDIT: what is this about leveling up too fast in Ultima III?
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Nemoide
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Re: Together Retro: Ultima IV

by Nemoide Tue Nov 11, 2014 6:59 pm

In Ultima III, your level determines your HP and what monsters appear in the world but NOT your stats (strength, dexterity, etc.). So if you don't know what you're doing, you can end up in a world full of really strong monsters that you can't beat! Since the game lets you create new characters/reshape your party, it's not THAT big a deal, but it's still some bad design. THIS DOES NOT SEEM TO BE A PROBLEM WITH ULTIMA IV THOUGH. Level seems tied to monsters in the world (and how many party members you can have) but your stats go up with levels too, so it's not unfair.

With a walkthrough, the game probably won't take THAT long to beat... but honestly I briefly looked at a walkthrough while starting out and it was NO HELP AT ALL. It's not like Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest where you just need to go from A to B to C. It's really about exploring the world and changing your interactions based on what you've learned by talking to other people. Use a walkthrough if you must, but you're doing yourself a disservice if you pull it out before you're REALLY AND TRULY stuck.
I'd recommend diving in and taking notes about anything you hear that seems worthwhile!

I've gained a party member, found a bunch of the runes, and even successfully meditated at a shrine! I'm glad because I was previously PRETTY CLUELESS as to the actual function of the runes/mantras/shrines I had been hearing about. I also have a horse! I'm hoping to get a sextant before long, but I need to ask someone about it in a town I haven't been to yet...
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Together Retro: Ultima IV

by BoneSnapDeez Tue Nov 11, 2014 7:02 pm

I boned myself in NES Ultima III by overleveling once.
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MrPopo
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Re: Together Retro: Ultima IV

by MrPopo Tue Nov 11, 2014 7:45 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:I boned myself in NES Ultima III by overleveling once.

Snap!
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