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Considering EA's been very generous in releasing certain Ultima games for free lately (or at least acknowledging that the fandom sees them as free, in regards to Ultima IV), can anyone think of any reason we might not be seeing the original, proto-Ultima? Akalabeth probably had a wider reputation for being freeware than the any other game in the series when I was growing up, but maybe that was a lie being spread around by less than admirable people. Still, it seems like the second-most obvious gap after IX. Personally, I think it makes more sense to see Ultima 0 as a feature in the original trilogy, if not free on its own (I'd say I put its value at... $2? Considering its age and infamous random difficulty? I'd probably pay more just to have them all at this point, though...), but either works.

The only theories I have as to why we haven't seen it are legal issues or technical issues. Both could be at the root of a problem. Does anyone know if it's literally not possible to run Ultima 0 on modern computers (eg, it could be a 16-bit app in all releases?), or if it's somehow tied up in legal limbo?

EDIT: By the way, I'm aware of the SDL port. That's not what I'm talking about. I prefer to pay for these things, or have the company acknowledge "Yeah, sure, free for all."
Post edited June 20, 2012 by Blackdrazon
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Blackdrazon: Considering EA's been very generous in releasing certain Ultima games for free lately (or at least acknowledging that the fandom sees them as free, in regards to Ultima IV), can anyone think of any reason we might not be seeing the original, proto-Ultima? Akalabeth probably had a wider reputation for being freeware than the any other game in the series when I was growing up, but maybe that was a lie being spread around by less than admirable people. Still, it seems like the second-most obvious gap after IX. Personally, I think it makes more sense to see Ultima 0 as a feature in the original trilogy, if not free on its own (I'd say I put its value at... $2? Considering its age and infamous random difficulty? I'd probably pay more just to have them all at this point, though...), but either works.



The only theories I have as to why we haven't seen it are legal issues or technical issues. Both could be at the root of a problem. Does anyone know if it's literally not possible to run Ultima 0 on modern computers (eg, it could be a 16-bit app in all releases?), or if it's somehow tied up in legal limbo?

EDIT: By the way, I'm aware of the SDL port. That's not what I'm talking about. I prefer to pay for these things, or have the company acknowledge "Yeah, sure, free for all."
Yeah EA has no decision on the re-release of Akalabeth since they don't own it, Akalabeth is owned by Richard Garriott so he would have to give his approval. Unless of course the DOS version is one of those messes like Wasteland(i.e. Fargo owns the ip but EA owns the rights to the orginal game) where EA owns the rights to the Ultima 0/Dos version of Akalabeth that appeared on the Ultima CD compilation but Richard owns the actual IP since Akalabeth was created by Richard and released by California Pacific Computer Co and the rights to the game and Ultima reverted back to him after they went under . But either way you can ask Richard Garriott about it, he's a pretty stand up guy if a "wee" bit on the eccentric side.

You can try his twitter @RichardGarriott
Post edited June 20, 2012 by DCT
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DCT: "wee" bit on the eccentric side.
Wow, that's like saying water is a "wee" bit wet... XD
Could be worth a shot - though makes me wish I had a Twitter.
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DCT: "wee" bit on the eccentric side.
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VisElEchNon: Wow, that's like saying water is a "wee" bit wet... XD
I know hence the quotes around wee, I was being sarcastic in a humorous way.
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VisElEchNon: Wow, that's like saying water is a "wee" bit wet... XD
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DCT: I know hence the quotes around wee, I was being sarcastic in a humorous way.
lol Yeah I know. I was just emphasizing the point. :)
Akalabeth: World of Doom was released as part of the Ultima Collection (1-8) by EA. I wonder if he signed it over then or just gave it to them for that release.
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TheCycoONE: Akalabeth: World of Doom was released as part of the Ultima Collection (1-8) by EA. I wonder if he signed it over then or just gave it to them for that release.
That was a version that was made specifically for that collection under the name Ultima 0 - Akalabeth. The orginal game only appeared on Apple 2
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Blackdrazon: Could be worth a shot - though makes me wish I had a Twitter.
I have a Twitter account. What would you like me to ask, specifically?
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Blackdrazon: Could be worth a shot - though makes me wish I had a Twitter.
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tfishell: I have a Twitter account. What would you like me to ask, specifically?
Ask him if Akalabeth on GoG is a possibility. Simple as that!
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tfishell: I have a Twitter account. What would you like me to ask, specifically?
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GoodGuyA: Ask him if Akalabeth on GoG is a possibility. Simple as that!
Done! (in a polite manner and with correct grammar and spelling except for one word [due to space constraints]. ;)
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TheCycoONE: Akalabeth: World of Doom was released as part of the Ultima Collection (1-8) by EA. I wonder if he signed it over then or just gave it to them for that release.
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DCT: That was a version that was made specifically for that collection under the name Ultima 0 - Akalabeth. The orginal game only appeared on Apple 2
I think the dos version would be the one GOG would get.
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DCT: That was a version that was made specifically for that collection under the name Ultima 0 - Akalabeth. The orginal game only appeared on Apple 2
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TheCycoONE: I think the dos version would be the one GOG would get.
I know
Thanks so much, tfishell!

Seeing some old Apple games on GOG would sure bring back some memories, and in a few cases they're the best versions out there! But I think we'll see System Shock and Grim Fandango here before GOG starts offering non-PC games, for a whole bundle of reasons. Still, here's hoping for the DOS Akalabeth!

(Fun fact: if it did show up in its Apple II version, it might be the oldest game on GOG, ahead of the commercial release of Zork by a few months, but like a lot of older games, details are fuzzy.)
Post edited June 22, 2012 by Blackdrazon
Did you ever get a response, tfishell? I would love to see Akalabeth come to GOG.com!