Day 6

Exodus has been exorcised so I’ve finished the first trilogy of trilogies. I didn’t spend long at all finishing up – I used the same trick running round level 8 of the perinean depths to get my frontline fighters up to level 20. My cleric and wizard could now cast a mass death spell which levelled them up easily also.

The mark of force was on the bottom level of the dungeon of fire – I just used spells to get straight down, get the mark and leave, then headed for Castle Death.

All the monsters in here, are preset so you know what you are going to get but they are also extremely tough. To make things harder there are random fireballs going off all over the map which mean it hurts to stand still too long waiting for your magic points to build up again. Waiting to get them back, and casting mass death still hurt less than fighting conventially though so I stuck with that approach – I barely made it to Exodus. I probably should have levelled up a bit more before I tried this.

When you get to Exodus, he turns out to be an old fashioned computer just like in an old Star Trek episode. Hes also guarded by four lots of invisible monsters – thankfully these die in one hit, so they are pretty easy to finish off by grouping my party together.

To kill off Exodus you insert the four cards in the correct order and that presumably crashes the computer and it blows up a square at a time. A brief message appears inside the map window, congraulating you and plugging Ultima 4. I’ve seen the end of the game described as anti-climactic but the battle to get to Exodus is difficult to say the least and there isn’t really a hint that Exodus will turn out to be a computer so it would have been a surprise to anyone playing it at the time.

I’ve been very impressed by the quality of this game – I would go as far to say its the first classic in the series. The first games were more experiments in programming, whereas this comes across as a fully-rounded and structured game. Twenty-five years after it came, out it still had me hooked and not wanting to stop playing. I don’t feel that I got the full experience,however, as I knew how to finish the game before starting. I was too young to appreciate a game like this back in 1983 (when I’d only just got my first computer – a 16K ZX Spectrum) but for anyone who played it at the time this must have been something special.

Since this is the first game published by Origin, this is technically only the first game on the list finished. I’ve not counted but there must be about 50 to go… Next up: Ring Quest.

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