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6/23/2014

Spoony Plays Ultima III: Exodus, Part 4

SEIZURE WARNING: This video contains flashing images.

It's time to quell the threat of Exodus once and for all.  Into Castle Death we go!



A few notes on version differences

  • The original Apple II version had a couple of notable differences.  First was the ability to tame wild horses and the fact that the Dag Acron spell works differently.  In the Apple II port, it would only work on land and teleport the party to grassy areas.  In the IBM version, however, it will also work while in a boat and teleport the player to a random ocean area.  This can potentially allow you to bypass the Serpent guarding Castle Death if you get lucky.
  • The Apple II version also featured music while the IBM version did not.  The later ports to the Commodore 64, Amiga Atari 800 Atari ST also featured enhanced visuals and music.  Of course, I'm using a patch here which improves the graphics and adds some of the music from the latter versions.
  • The Famicom/NES port is the most different of all, being redesigned from the ground up.  The game balance is much different, the interface is redesigned to resemble Dragon Quest's pop-up windows style, it sports a completely new soundtrack, all of the playable characters now have distinct sprites, and many aspects of the quest can no longer be bypassed; you must visit the town of Dawn and find a Golden Pick in order to dig up the best weapons and armor, for example.
  • The NES/Famicom version is noted for having two major sequence breaks, however.  First, it is not necessary for the player to collect the four cards in order to defeat Exodus; once he is reached, a sequence will automatically play that ends the game, bypassing the checks seen in other versions.  The other allows the player to enter the moongate on Exodus' island over and over again until a ship spawns inside the small patch of sea there, allowing the player to bypass the Serpent as well.  These culminated in a speedrun strategy that allowed the game to be beaten in under an hour...