Anyone here actually beat Ultima IX?

I’m playing this game now and have one question.

Why was it so hacked on when it was released? The game isn’t nearly as buggy as people say. I only have a very average computer, with 2 meg video card.

The game flies if you turn down the graphics a bit.

The world is so real!!! People have schedules, time passes, and everything is interactive. It’s just like old Ultimas, with a bit more focus on hack and slash.

I love it. Anyone else find this game good? Anyone beat it?

I’m actually just starting a genearl Ultima IX thread, so anything you have to add is good.

By the way, how long does it take to play through?

As someone who has played all of them (and has beaten all of them except for 8 and 9), I can give you MANY reasons:

  1. The world was very much smaller than in the previous games

  2. The monsters were braindead (though true in older ones, at least SOME strategy was required to kill them)

  3. No mention of OpalCat in it

  4. Complicated issues of morality often dealing with grey areas (the whole storyline behind 6 is an excellent example of this) is turned into black/white no room for interpretation

  5. Along with number 4, characters had been dummied down. The avatar himself managed to go from a virtue seeking role model for Britannia to a one-dimensional parody

  6. Despite there being two patches out, there were many who used GeForce cards (not as popular as VooDoo when released, but look where they are now) for whom the game WOULD NOT WORK. Add this to the fact that after the two patches were released, the company shut down its support boards, allowing no more feedback or posts for help.

  7. The intricate puzzle solving used in dungeons of the past became Super Mario clones

  8. People were wary after the release of Ultima 8 (the first big step downhill, though it did have its fans), thinking (and accurately so) that the game would go from cerebral to twitch-finger

  9. The magic system was simplified into crappiness. What had become an intricate magic system was again made too easy for no good reason

  10. No party system. Beginning with number 3, and in every one since (except for 8), every Ultima made use of a party (up to 8 characters eventually). Again, Origin/EA made the decision to simplify things by having only one character. This was likely done because of poor pathing which again showed that the company was more into graphics than depth and quality.

and finally,

  1. sort of a combination of all of the above, the game just lacked DEPTH. You worked on one town and dungeon, and moved on to the next for your next cookie-cutter morality play. Repeat ad nauseam (literally).

As sort of a hijack, the great role-playing games seem to have suffered a curse of the ‘nines’:

  • Ultima 9 was widely panned as a tragic piece of garbage for its shallow gameplay and emphasis of style over substance
  • Might and Magic 9, recently released, appears buggy and unfinished, and New World Computing just lost 2/3 of its staff, making another needed patch unlikely (it has been patched twice so far)
  • Sir Tech went out of business after finally finding a publisher for Wizardry 8 (they had to arrange a deal with Electronics Boutique for publishing, giving them 30 day exclusive rights to sell). With the company gone, there will not be a 9th in the series, which may be a good thing (though the 8th was outstanding).

Never got a chance to finish Ultima IX. Why? Because, just before the very, very end, there would ALWAYS be a game-killing glitch that would prevent me from progressing any farther (Lord British was supposed to do something, but I forgot what by now). Anyway, I tried it three times - even after patching - and it still wouldn’t work.

The world was too small and flat, the game was far too linear, the magic system was dumbed down to the point of inanity, the monsters were boring (in Ultima VI, I got excited whenever I found some monsters), and the most interesting character in the whole game was the effeminate guy who was the Avatar’s biggest fan (I loved that guy)!!!

Further, there were absolutely NO SIDE QUESTS. Not ONE. In U6, I remember all the effort, all the hours I put in to finding the map pieces to the Pirate’s Cave (and hoo boy, was it worth it). I remember going down into the ant hive, I remember building panpipes, I remember hunting for Nicodemus to buy the best spells in the game. Heck, I remember spending hours upon hours upon hours trying to solve the mystery of Quentin the ghost in Skara Brae (has anyone figured that out?). This idea of side quests carried over to U7, as well.

But in U9, the biggest side quest was having to kill a stinking rat. What the fuck?!?

Further, the level-up system… what had once been a system that required you to go out and fight, fight, fight for your experience suddenly became “Oh, you solved a brain-dead puzzle… have some more health!”

I’m sorry, but U9 started out nicely, but quickly deteriorated into a mind-numbing atrocity of annoyance.

I loved the Ultima series. Ultima 7 and 7.5 are two of my favoritest games ever. Ultima 8 was terrible, though, and when 9 came out I wasn’t in a huge rush to get it, but I finally got a copy from a friend who had beaten it and told me it was great.

I speant about an hour trying to get the thing to run on my machine, and finally had success. At last I could play it. I started it up and played for about three hours before it suddenly exited to the desktop for no reason.

I hadn’t saved my game at all, which was my fault, and as I was reloading it I realized that, in that three hours, I had talked to about four people. I simply couldn’t bear to do it all again, so that was the end of it for me.

I didn’t think the graphics were as sweet as people say, but I’m the only person in the world that thinks blocky polygon people look bad. Those flat faces waving their fists around all the time - ugh. And bring a Dramamine for the dialogue. Note to game developers - do you know why movie directors don’t swing the camera back and forth between two people talking to each other? It’s not because they don’t know how to.

They had a great thing with the Ultima series and then just let it go to crap. It’s a shame.

I played Ultima from the beginning. Well, not from the beginning per se, 'cos I was still relatively young, but I recall when Ultima IV was released, and I bought a boxed set of 1-3 at the same time.

And then V, and VI, and VII, and VII:2, and the tragedy of VIII … but I firmly believed that IX would be worth it.

When they swore it would be out at the end of 1998, I spent that summer working 80-hour weeks to both raise money for college and buy a computer that’d run it. I ended up with a P2-400, and swooned with delight … and the game was delayed another year.

Then they swore the game would be out at Christmas 1999. I bought a GeForce 1 the week they were released, and U9 at the same time, and … stopped after a week.

All of the reasons mentioned above frustrated me, but what absolutely killed me was the linear nature of the game. Ultima 5, 6, 7 - the ‘golden age’ of Ultimas, in my opinion - were open-ended. Yes, they gave you general guidelines to follow, but if you wanted to head over to Skara Brae instead of delivering the magic foobar to Trinsic, you could. 9 was too limiting. City, dungeon, city, dungeon, blah, blah, blah.

I keep telling myself I should go back and finish it out of respect for all of the years of Ultima I’ve played, just to finish the story, but I can’t. I just can’t do it.

I’d rather play Ultima 6 again. (And I haven’t solved the mystery of Quentin’s ghost - I’m going to go google for that now and see if I can’t get some more info . . .)

Check out someone’s message board post on this.