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Author Topic: Ultima IV: The Little Shepherd starring Sausalito  (Read 2029 times)
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Hipolito
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« on: October 20, 2004, 02:39:15 PM »

The DVD is now available!

http://www.geocities.com/hipolito_gg/ultima4/choice.html

I can already hear the groans over my choice of subtitle.  What can I say; I like the movie "The Little Mermaid."  Besides ... well, just have a look around!

Oh, I should explain what this is.  In a "challenge thread" for Ultima IV back at the Gone Gold Forum, I had spun a story about my shepherd character in the game.  A lot of people liked it, so I promised to put it up on a website.  It's finally here.  Whether you'll be reliving the adventure or are asking yourself, "Who's this Hipolito guy and what's he on about," I hope you enjoy it!
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CeeKay
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2004, 03:00:16 PM »

No deleted scenes?  what a rip?  DVD production values these days... sheesh!

Anyways, glad to see it's been saved for the ages biggrin
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Destructor
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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2004, 05:43:08 PM »

This was absolutely a riot to read through. Very good job.

Lawfirm of Sausalito, Jaana, and Tubbs indeed. biggrin
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Jeff
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2004, 07:18:10 PM »

Hey Hipolito,

Very glad to see you got the thread saved and posted. It was truly one of GG's Greatest Hits.

If you haven't read this, do yourself a favor and check it out.  thumbsup
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Hipolito
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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2004, 09:37:03 PM »

Quote from: "CeeKay"
No deleted scenes?  what a rip?  DVD production values these days... sheesh!


You have to look a little harder, CeeKay, you know they sometimes hide these things.
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bluefugue
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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2004, 10:21:55 PM »

Nice job, good to see the adventures of Sausolito have not been forgotten.  smile
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bluefugue
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« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2004, 11:45:12 PM »

Your review of Ultima IV makes me sad although it is reasonably argued.  frown

I agree the ethical stuff doesn't impact gameplay that much, at least IMO.  I like the idea of it but you don't have choice in how you proceed (it's the Avatar's way or the highway).  And yeah, basic gameplay is the hack-and-slay level/loot grind that came before and after.  But I do give U4 a lot of credit for at least trying new themes (previously it was all about Kill Foozle), and for adding several new game mechanics including the NPC conversations (which has become hugely important in subsequent RPGs), the ability to recruit NPCs from the gameworld, and the spell reagents.  It was also stylistically a triple A title.  The graphics were beautiful for their time (I am referring to the C64 version) and the music was wonderful too.

I also like the sheer scope of the gameworld.  The size may be seen as tedious and indeed, even in 1986, my brothers and I lampooned it as such -- though mainly because there were so many damn random monsters and you had to keep fighting them.  The world itself was never my problem, I just wish there weren't so many orc-bands you have to flee from.  (But if I had realized at the time that you can hit the Y key to yell "giddap" and speed up your horse, I might have had fewer problems on that front.)

For me it was a real revelation to have a gameworld so big you could actually get lost in it.  Ultima IV didn't pioneer this, though; Questron had a similarly huge continent a couple years earlier.  But Britannia has a lot more personality and sense of "history" than Questron's gameworld did.  Part of the credit for that goes to the documentation, I'll admit.  The early Ultimas were loaded with multiple instruction manuals with great illustrations, written in cool Ren Faire prose (cool to a 12 year old, anyway), and those swanky cloth maps.

Hipo, I'd recommend you take a gander at Ultima V at some point.  In so many ways it is a huge improvement over U4 and really holds up even today.  Improved interface, improved combat system, much more interesting loot, first instance of day/night cycles and full NPC schedules.  Better plot that gives you a few options, plus a larger pool of NPCs to select for your party.  IMO Ultima V is the best Ultima in absolute terms (though I need to give more attention to U7 before I can really make a strong declaration) and is an 8 bit masterpiece.
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CeeKay
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« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2004, 02:42:21 PM »

Quote from: "Hipolito"
Quote from: "CeeKay"
No deleted scenes?  what a rip?  DVD production values these days... sheesh!


You have to look a little harder, CeeKay, you know they sometimes hide these things.


Heh.. I found them.... still chuckling from the top 10 list.... midichlorians :lol:
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Ralph-Wiggum
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« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2004, 03:32:36 PM »

Best thread ever!!!!

Here's my smilie tribute of how the thread came about:

Hipolito:

Me reading the thread:        
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JCC
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« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2004, 03:45:08 PM »

Ultima IV = GREATEST....GAME....EVER~!~!~!~!
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-John

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Hipolito
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« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2004, 05:56:33 PM »

If anyone is getting is getting "Runtime error" messages from the website, you can get rid of them by disabling script debugging (Tools->Internet Options->Advanced in Internet Explorer, look under Browsing).  The errors are in the Geocities ad code.

Bluefugue, thanks for your response to my opinion of the game.  I didn't know that U4 was pioneering in NPC conversation and recruitment.

Questron and Ultima V sound interesting.  I remember you've said that Questron has an awesome ending, and I'm a sucker for those.

By the way, isn't Ultima III also one of your favorites?  I had written one of the extra features with you in mind....
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bluefugue
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« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2004, 07:07:51 PM »

In subjective (not objective) terms, Ultima III is my all time favorite computer game.  It is the game that took me out of my previous understanding of what a videogame could be (think Pong, Pacman and Pitfall) and showed me that you can put a whole world on a floppy disk.  In objective terms I think Ultima III was surpassed by its sequels, though even when we were playing U4 the first time my brothers and I were griping about a few things we preferred in U3.  U4 arguably suffers a little from bloat; it might have gotten out of Garriott's hands a little bit.  U3 is very tight and focused and can be beaten in a much shorter time, but it also entails some annoying redundancy (you have to replay certain sections several times in order to beef up your party for the Foozle Battle).

U4 is indeed the first CRPG I know of where you actually converse with NPCs rather than just reading their one-liners.  I'm not 100% sure about this, though.  And it's a pretty simple keyword fish-for-clues system as you know, but you gotta start somewhere.

Wow, I didn't spot the reference you dropped in!  Thanks though -- I will go over the site more closely.  I do remember your "Timelord" photoshop job though. smile
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Clanwolfer
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« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2004, 08:25:20 PM »

Wow... you guys made me dig up a copy of Ultima 4 that runs on my PDA.  I'm never even going to get any work done OUTSIDE of the room now.
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