The Collectible ULTIMA

OTHER Titles

Well, this is it. These few remaining pieces of software are the rest of what doesn't really fit anywhere else.

Origin FX Screen Saver Origin FX Screen Saver
  • Platform: PC / MS Windows 3.1.
  • Publisher: Origin Systems, Inc., © 1992.
  • Characteristics: UPC 17814-79511. 3.5" (3), 5.25".
  • Original List Price: $39.95
As the name implies, this was a set of screen savers, graphics, and music files that Origin put out in 1992. All of the files on these disks are compatible with the proprietary screen saver formats that were used in Windows 3.1 - and ONLY with those formats. I have not found a way to extract much in the way of anything useful from this product on my Windows 95 system. It does have some nice graphics of the Guardian, but nothing that can't be cut from the games themselves if you have the right tools. It also contains graphics from other Origin products like Wing Commander I and II and Strike Commander.

Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash Production sticker Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash
  • Platform: Commodore VIC-20.
  • Publisher: Sierra Online.
  • Characteristics: Cartridge.
  • Includes: Small (appr 10 pp.) manual.
In the July 1983 issue of Compute Magazine was an advertisement for a VIC-20 game called "Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash". It was to be published under the SierraVenture line, the same one Sierra used originally for Ultima II, and for their re-release of the first Ultima. Unlike those games, Escape from Mt. Drash proved to be very rare and hard to track down. For a long time, this game was thought to have been "vaporware", victim of the video game crash of the early '80s. Finally, though, the author has been found, and the game's existence confirmed.

Keith Zabalaoui is the president of Atomic Games in Houston, makers of Close Combat and the V for Victory series. Years ago, though, he was a friend of Richard Garriott's, and played a minor role in helping to develop two of Richard's games. One was Akalabeth, where Keith worked on the monsters. The other was presumably Ultima II, though his role there is less certain - he may have helped write some of the story. In 1983, Keith was spending time with Richard in Coarse Gold, California, which was the headquarters of Online (they were just changing their name to Sierra Online). Online approached Keith about writing a game for the Commodore VIC-20, and he created a simple maze game in BASIC. The object was simple: "You'd go through a maze, then encounter monsters that you had to fight ala Swashbuckler. That's about it." As Keith puts it, "It wasn't REALLY an Ultima game, but Sierra thought it would sell better if we called it that." The game was released, and Keith made a little (very little) money off it, and that was the end of the story. Apparently, Richard Garriott never even knew the game had been made, or that the Ultima name had been attached to it.

So that's the tale - the game was written, published, and does exist. To date, though, no working cartridge has yet been found. Obviously, if anyone finds a working cartridge, please contact me immediately.

  • Platform: Apple II.
  • Author: Joel Fenton, © 1985.
In 1985 there was an advertisement in A+ magazine, an old Apple publication, selling three different "additions" to Ultima III called Ultimores. Joel Fenton, a teen at the time, created these (and later, two others) additional scenarios for Ultima III by hacking the format of the game data. You still had to defeat Exodus and talk to Lord British, they simply added different worlds, cities and dungeons to the mix. Mr. Fenton identified four of his scenarios: Divided World, Spaceship Crash, Egypt, and Pirate World. There is a fifth, but we haven't located it yet. Joel wrote some similar scenarios for the Wizardry games. In fact, there was quite a "cottage industry" for add-ins, character editors, and game aids for various CRPGs during that era, including a number of other small products for Ultimas III, IV and V. I have my doubts about how collectible these might be, but if anyone really wants more information, I can research the names and authors.

Creative Labs' CDs
  • Platform: PC.
  • Publisher: Origin Systems, Inc., © 1994.
  • Characteristics: UPC 12133-30145. CD (1).
  • Includes: Syndicate Plus; Ultima VIII; Strike Commander; Wing Commander II; Combined User's Manual.
  • Publisher: EA Ltd./Origin/Papyrus Design Group Inc., © 1990-1995.
  • Characteristics: UPC 12133-30226. CD (1).
  • Includes: Hong Kong Mahjongg; Strike Commander; Ultima VIII; Ultima Underworld; Wing Commander II; Combined User's Manual.
  • Publisher: Origin Systems, Inc.
  • Characteristics: CD (1).
  • Includes: Ultima VII; The Savage Empire; Ultima Underworld.
Creative Labs has included many different kinds of games with their various multimedia hardware packages. Each of the above is a single CD that was distributed with one or more of these hardware packages. Don't ask me which came with what; I really don't know. Most of these were single CDs packed with games, with no accompanying documentation. There could be others for all I know, these are just the three I know of. The only really distinguishing thing I see about these is the inclusion of Savage Empire on one of them; that's a rarity.

Ultima: The Dark Core Ultima: The Dark Core
  • Platform: Netscape Communicator 4.
This is not a published product, it's a Web-based game, written in Javascript, by Michael Hilborn. If you have the Netscape Communicator browser version 4.0 or greater, check it out. Unfortunately it is incompatible with MS Internet Explorer or any other browser, but those of you with Communicator should check out its home page and give it a try.

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