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6/07/2014

Spoony Plays Ultima III: Exodus, Part 0 (Intro and Character creation)

Ultima III: Exodus is the first game published under the Origin Systems label, as well as the first RPG to feature animated character sprites and the first Ultima title to be ported to a video game console (the NES) in addition to about thirteen computer platforms.  This game also finally introduced a party system to the series, allowing up to four characters of varying classes to form a team and explore the game world (and up to twenty being stored on-disc at a time).

While Exodus is still heavily based around gold grinding, its gameplay is much less monotonous than its predecessor. This is in no small part thanks to a much more rudimentary combat system and the game being significantly more generous with money.  There are also a couple of handy tricks you can use to get money relatively quickly, which I'll show off in Part 1.

The IBM-PC version of the game is unfortunately one of the few to not include music.  Thankfully, the Exodus Project's patch adds in some MIDIs from the Commodore and Amiga versions of the game in addition to enhancing the graphics and adding in some very useful hotkeys.



Party

Unlikely the Elven Barbarian - Barbarians are essentially Fighters with a touch of thieving ability.  They can wield any weapon, but are limited to Leather Armor and have no magical ability.

Spoony the Bobbit Cleric - Clerics are the pure healer class, which will be extremely useful throughout the game.  They also have the extremely useful ability to navigate through dungeons quickly and disarm traps (which we'll be using a lot - bomb traps hurt!).

EEE EEE the Fuzzy Druid - Druids are poor fighters, but they have the handy ability to wield both Cleric and Mage spells, with their MP maximum determined by the higher of the two governing stats (Intelligence and Wisdom).  They also apparently regenerate MP twice as fast as any other class, which is a very helpful trait.

Radislav the Fuzzy Mage - The other pure magic user. Mages, as you may expect are primarily centered on offensive spells.  They can quickly clear out groups of weaker foes and severely damage tougher ones, which makes them invaluable in the late game.  Just keep them in the back row as they have very poor equipment choices...

(Radislav started as a Human but I ended up rerolling the party during Part 1 because of a dumb mistake)

Box/manual scans
Exodus Project's very sexy patch

As an additional fun fact, there are rumors of a tie-in anime for Ultima III made by TV Osaka.  It never aired on television or saw an official release in any format, but there were allegedly some VHS tapes of it found in a TV Osaka-owned warehouse that was destroyed in the 1995 Kobe earthquake. It has never appeared on the internet in any form; however, some footage for the project may have been reused in a Japanese commercial for the game.

(Note that this information is based on an unsourced page on a long-dead Finnish website, so it's not exactly a reliable foundation.  Take it with a very big grain of salt!).