Ultima 2 Gamebook

Today is the 30th anniversary of Ultima 2. It’s a game that tends to be regarded as the worst in the series but it gets a hard time if you ask me and needs to be seen within the context of what else was available in 1982. Ultima 2 was where Garriott first learned to program in assembly and gaining the skills needed at the same time as making the game was never going to be ideal. There were impovements over Ultima 1 with better dungeon graphics, characters you could talk to (albeit briefly), scrolling town maps and many different time zones and planets to explore. It did veer away from what is considered canon these days with the Earth/time travel elements but Ultima 2 introduced cloth maps, boxed Ultima games & moongates which were all staples from here on out.

If nothing else, the speed improvement from being in assembly was significant and if everyone had to play the original BASIC Apple II Ultima at the speed it ran on that system, I expect it would be Ultima I that dropped to the bottom of the favourite Ultimas list. I doubt I could ever have made it through that particular game without speeding up the emulator.

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In honour of the anniversary, here is a scan of the Japanese Ultima 2 gamebook. This was published on November 1 1986 by JICC and conveniently has a passage in English on the back cover so to quote:-

These days, this world goes mad! I was in New York city, or at least I believed so. Now I’m in a strange land trapped within time. And many weird things and monsters attack me!

Realizing Minucks, apprentice of Evil Lord Mondine, devised these things, I set forth to destroy Minucks, through the time and the space. But, what a terrible end! How could I imagine it, and Minucks is mad with joy!

Spelling differences aside, that sounds roughly like Ultima 2 to me but as ever I haven’t got the Japanese skills to say much more. A scan is in the downloads for people who have.

For the rest of us, there is loads of artwork scattered throughout the book which I’ve put into a gallery below:-

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2 thoughts on “Ultima 2 Gamebook

  1. Pingback: Pix’s Origin Adventures: Ultima 2 Gamebook : The Ultima Codex

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