Ultima V: Revisiting an Old Favorite
Mon Jun 14th 2004, 1:12am
I've been playing Ultima V on my Mac using Dosbox, an x86 and DOS emulator (which, although not the point of my article, is pretty cool in itself). As for so many others I've talked to, Ultima defined computer gaming for me growing up, starting with Ultima III and with every installment since. For a number of reasons, V has always been my favorite. It's been a blast playing it again, half my lifetime later, and while the game is 15 or so years old I find the pieces that made it my favorite then still make it as fun as ever.

My full desktop as I play. Nice this time to have text editors, email, and music in the background. Oh yeah, and access to Google to look up words of power.
Ultima V was the last in the series to have the two different points-of-view: top-down while outside, first-person while exploring a dungeon. How quaint.
Fighting my way through some dungeon room.
It's a bit funny, but I can't help but feel while playing now that the best thing my current rig has over my system 15 years ago is color--the first time around I played it on an Apple IIc with a monochrome monitor :-).
One of the climatic moments of the game: destroying the shadowlord Astaroth.
My Ultima V rig then and now.



Visitor comments
On Wed Dec 22nd 2004, 9:40pm, Clay posted:
This is great fun, Steve. I was so inspired by this article that I dug up an Apple ][ emulator for OSX (aptly named OSXII) and then found an old rom for what I used to tout as the greatest side-scrolling game of all time, Rescue Raiders. I figured the nearly 20 years since I had played the game had unfairly given the game more respect than it was due, so I'd check it out again. Turns out, it's as much fun now as it was then; though I do miss my joystick. Evading enemy smart missiles is a lot more challenging with just the keyboard. Frighteningly, all of the keyboard commands came back to me like I had just played it last week. As to whether or not it's the best side-scroller ever, I still stand by that comment, but I can't tell if it's because it really is the greatest ever, or if it's just the great memories I have of playing it.


On Fri Dec 24th 2004, 2:11pm, Steve Kehlet posted:
> Frighteningly, all of the keyboard commands came back to me like I had > just played it last week. Yeah, I can sympathize, it's as though these games have made their way into our muscles... you are what you play, that's a frightening thought :-). I took a look at the OSXII game screen page, wow that brings back some memories: Karateka, Lode Runner, Archon, Sherwood Forest. Very cool stuff. Great hearing from you again...


On Wed Apr 5th 2006, 5:51pm, Visitor posted:
Something you might want to check out, there is a (completed!) project to re-create Ultima V as a DungeonSiege total conversion called the lazarus project. Can't give you a full review as I've only just had time to start it up, but it looks very good so far.


On Wed Apr 5th 2006, 6:13pm, Steve Kehlet posted:
Wow! Last time I checked they were about 10% done. Thanks for the heads up... I'll have to load up Dungeon Siege again and check it out.


On Wed Apr 5th 2006, 6:13pm, Steve Kehlet posted:
Wow! Last time I checked they were about 10% done. Thanks for the heads up... I'll have to load up Dungeon Siege again and check it out.


On Tue Sep 15th 2009, 11:36pm, Visitor posted:
The Lazarus remake is indeed awesome and you can play it on snow leopard still (with rosetta of course). you can even play an evil ending in that version.


On Wed Sep 16th 2009, 9:55am, Steve Kehlet posted:
Lazarus looks incredible! I must try it. Thanks for the heads up.