1988 Origin Macintosh Advert

I’m still several days away from finishing Wings Of Glory on the VFX-1 so I’ve dug out some more documents to scan in. This is a set of design templates for a 1988 advert for Autoduel, Moebius and Ultima 4 on the Macintosh. I’ve got three versions of this:-


This version which I’m assuming to be the oldest of the three has large box covers for each game. It may not show in the scan but these have been cut out and stuck over the top of the sheet. I still find it hard to imagine anyone doing desktop publishing like this but the computer equivalent only came into being around the mid 80’s. I can only speculate what happened after this stage of the process and if anyone actually knows how it would have worked I’d love to know.

I’d expect that the Ultima 1 logo that Paul Barnett was showing off on Ultima Aiera a few days back must have been done in the same way when adding the I. It’s clearly the logo off the 1986 remake box anyway so his explanation of a sudden realisation of possible sequels doesn’t fit. I can easily imagine the decision to add the I to the remake cover being made late on or there may even be an alternative design underneath. Even if it’s not the original 1980 Ultima logo as such, I’d still love to have it hanging it on my wall.


This second version of the advert has a different design incorporating screenshots. All the boxes and screenshots have been stuck on afterwards once again with the same screenshot being used for all 3 games.


I’m assuming that this is a test run for the final version as it’s a glossy print with no later additions and it has the correct screenshots. I’d need to find it in an actual magazine to know for sure. This isn’t a perfect print with a glitch in the text for Ultima 4 and a few darker splodges visible within the larger letters.

For all those versions, it’s not the most aesthetic or interesting of Origin adverts but I would quite like to try these games out with the added mouse interface. Judging by other games of the era, I don’t expect it would have added anything when introduced as an afterthought but I could be wrong. I’m really curious as to how the combat in Moebius and Autoduel would have worked with a mouse.

2 thoughts on “1988 Origin Macintosh Advert

  1. I think this ad is an amazing historical artifact. If I were writing a book about Origin history I would want to reproduce it. It’s hard to explain to people today that before 1990, “gaming” on a PC was an aside… something you could sort of accidentally do with the word processor you’d paid several thousand dollars for. It was Wing Commander specifically that made ads like this a thing of the past… convinced people to start buying better PCs specifically to show off their games.

    • I seriously hope that’s a hint that you are at least thinking about writing a book on Origin history. You would be more than welcome to use this or anything else on here.

      I love all these Origin relics of course, but I can’t say this ad floats my boat compared to a lot of the other bits. You should like some of the stuff that is still to come.

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