Hope you all have had a good Christmas. Apologies for the lack of posts in December but spare time has been at a premium in recent weeks. This isn’t going to change anytime soon but I thought I should dig out another random item from the collection for a quick post:-
This is the separates and proof for a 1/3 page magazine advert for the second Ultima Trilogy and Wing Commander Deluxe which dates to March 1992. The $79.95 price for the Ultima trilogy puts the recent GOG sale into context where you could get nearly all the Ultima games for around $15. The trilogy still sounds like good value compared to Wing Commander Deluxe at the same price – it’s a whole lot cheaper to be a gamer these days. I love the “more than 5.5 megabytes, for long-term play value” quote which truly shows the age of this particular advert.
On a different topic, I’ve been informed that there is an issue with the Ultima Patcher on Win 8 64 bit not installing the Ultima 5 graphics/music patch which I’ve replicated. This may well affect all versions of Windows as I’d be more likely to blame GOG’s version 2.0 installer having changed something. I’m not going to be able to look at this for at least another week but will take the opportunity to add the new default install locations into the search directories when I do and have a quick check of all the other games. If there is anything else I should be fixing/adding, now would be a good time to let me know.
I thought I’d pull another random item from the collection today. This is a standing advert that was presumably used at a trade show around late 1991/early 1992. It’s about A3 sized and features a generic Ultima advert with all the games up to Ultima 7 including all the NES releases and Runes Of Virtue on the Gameboy but curiously no mention of Ultima Underworld. It might be from the 1991 Winter CES by when Ultima 7 should have been (but wasn’t) released but that is strictly a guess. It has something along the lines of Sega Hilton 4556 SPA written on the back which may mean something to someone:-
I’ve been catching up on various mundane jobs since I got back last weekend and one piece of news that sneaked by unseen behind a pile of ironing yesterday was that another Origin classic Bioforge has been released on GOG for the usual price of $5.99. This was one of Origin’s best efforts without a doubt, a kind of updated sci-fi Alone In The Dark with strong movie-like story elements. It could have done with a sequel but is certainly recommended at the price if you’ve never played it.
Also yesterday, Star Citizen reached its first million in the fundraising campaign and immediately launched a Kickstarter. I’ll admit that I was unconvinced that a Kickstarter was a good idea as I thought splitting the funding would just cause confusion among backers. Since the Kickstarter is closing in on $200,000 after one day, I was clearly completely and utterly wrong. I guess you can never have enough sources of money or publicity. Here’s hoping RSI reaches the $2 million total by this time next week and they can start working on those stretch goals.
Finally, if you have some money left over, Lori & Corey Cole of Quest For Glory fame just launched a Kickstarter of their own. It clearly isn’t going to be on the scale of Star Citizen but I can’t be the only Sierra fan who has been waiting for this one.
Chris Launius has posted a large number of photos of the original artwork for various Origin games on Facebook. I’d normally leave news like this for other sites but this is too good to pass up with the cover art for Ring Quest, the Times Of Lore map, Ultima 5, Ultima 1 and many others. One of the most interesting items is a hand-drawn box art mockup for Knights Of Legend which is very different to the final version. Head on over to Chris’s Facebook album to have a look at the rest.
If that isn’t enough, he’s also got an older archive with drawings from Martian Dreams, Quest For Clues books and some early drawings of the Ultima 5 cover. Chris apparently saved all of this stuff and much more when it was going to be thrown out after Origin were closed down. All of it going into landfill is unthinkable but this sort of thing is hardly an uncommon story. Good to know it’s all in safe hands now although I inevitably wish they were mine.
On those lines, I agreed to buy most of the remainder of Rhea Shelley’s hoard of Origin memorabilia a couple of nights back. There isn’t so much left now so it’s not quite the bank account crippling expense of last time but it’s enough that I’m certainly going to notice it. There isn’t much documentation but there are some cool Origin nik-naks which I had to have. Expect photos in due course but I’m not even close to going through everything I got the first time around yet. If anyone wants a Crusader poster by the way, I should soon have far more than I could ever need.
I’ve added a batch of new scans to the downloads for the console versions of various Origin games, some of which were available elsewhere already but they are on here now as well. The new pdfs are manuals for Ultima 3 (NES & Famicom), Ultima 4 (NES & Famicom), Ultima 6 (NES & Super Famicom), Ultima 7 (Super Famicom), Wing Commander (Mega CD & Sega CD) & Wing Commander Secret Missions (SNES).
In addition to all of those, I’ve been kindly sent a scan of the Lands Of Lore clue book by Matt Larson. This isn’t anything to do with Origin but I love the game so I’ve added that also.
This is another review of Ultima 6, this time from the July 1990 PC Plus. I actually remember reading this at the time and wanting to buy the game. Unfortunately, I only had an 8088 PC with CGA which ruled it out and I didn’t play my first Ultima until Underworld came out 2 years later.