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4 December 2022

Ultima 1: The First Age of Darkness

Ultima 1: The First Age of Darkness gameplay screenshot.
The game starts in an open field near the castle of Lord British.

Platform/OS: Apple II, Atari, Commodore 64, IBM PC
Game developer: Origin Systems
Game genre: Roguelike, RPG
Release: 1980

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Ultima 1: The First Age of Darkness


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The Ultima series is considered to be one of the founders of the RPG genre on the PC. The first game was released in 1980 and has since spawned many sequels, spinoffs and it was also one of the first succesfull mmorpgs. The plot of the game is fairly simple, you are in the land of Sosaria and must defeat the evil wizard Mondain. A very typical plot for an RPG but hey we're talking about a game that's 25 years old!

The game starts in an open field near the castle of Lord British and it is shown as an overhead map. You can easily walk around the map by using the directional keys but the first thing you should do is to go to the castle and talk to Lord British the ruler. Once you enter the castle the same overhead view is seen with decriptions for any areas of interest like the prison and shops. If you talk to Lord British you can either offer your services after which he will give you a quest to complete of you might offer him gold and return he might give you extra hitpoints! After you get some supplies and weapons/armor you can begin your quest.

Walking around the country holds plenty of dangers as there a lot of unfriendly creatures roaming around, you'll have to fight them off using the weapons you buy at the shops. Travelling the land is done from an overhead view but once you get to a dungeon an enter it the view changes to a first person 3D view. That's right 25 years ago we already had first person games ofcourse the fact that they look like crap is besides the point. You can walk around the dungeon and it is here that you will do most of the questing and fighting as there are tons of baddies here. If you finish a quest you can go back to the king and receive a suiteable reward.

Ultima is probably one the oldest rpg's to be released on any system and altough the very first version was released in 1980 it was only available on apple platforms, not until 1986 was it released on other systems. The changes were quite minor however and apart from some different character names and technical details you won't see much of a difference. The game is really dated now and I doubt there are many among even the most hardcore abandonware followers who play this game today but still as one of the founding games in the rpg genre it worth checking out just for that.
If you do not no how to play this game, find the Ultima 1: The First Age of Darkness guides here.

Ultima 1: The First Age of Darkness Screenshots

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