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Something I've been wondering lately:

What would you say is the definitive version of each Ultima game from 1-6 (and we can include Akalabeth as well)?

There are a couple rules that I have about what qualifies:
* It must be an *official* release of the game. Fan ports and remakes do not count, nor do engine re-implementations (like Exult), or patched versions (Ultima 1-5 with the fan upgrade patches). The versions found on GOG count as being official for this purpose.
* Ports that differ drastically from the original, to the point where they arguably aren't even the same game, don't count, as I couldn't really call such versions *definitive*. So, for example, we wouldn't count the NES versions of Ultima 4 and 5 here. (Then again, I don't think *anyone* would call NES Ultima 5 definitive, as it's kuso-level bad.)

In any case, it only makes sense to go through Ultima 6 here, as Ultima 7 really has only one official version (as I've excluded Exult from the rules. and SNES Ultima 7 looks like it differs too drastically from the DOS version), and the same can be said of later games.
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dtgreene: Something I've been wondering lately:

What would you say is the definitive version of each Ultima game from 1-6 (and we can include Akalabeth as well)?

There are a couple rules that I have about what qualifies:
* It must be an *official* release of the game. Fan ports and remakes do not count, nor do engine re-implementations (like Exult), or patched versions (Ultima 1-5 with the fan upgrade patches). The versions found on GOG count as being official for this purpose.
* Ports that differ drastically from the original, to the point where they arguably aren't even the same game, don't count, as I couldn't really call such versions *definitive*. So, for example, we wouldn't count the NES versions of Ultima 4 and 5 here. (Then again, I don't think *anyone* would call NES Ultima 5 definitive, as it's kuso-level bad.)

In any case, it only makes sense to go through Ultima 6 here, as Ultima 7 really has only one official version (as I've excluded Exult from the rules. and SNES Ultima 7 looks like it differs too drastically from the DOS version), and the same can be said of later games.
As someone who's beaten all the Ultima games, I will reply.
Akalabeth (DOS version with music)
Ultima 1 (Japanese FM-Towns version of Ultima Trilogy, comes in English)
Ultima 2 (DOS version with Voyager Dragon's CGA Composite patch. If you speak Japanese, FM-Towns version of Ultima Trilogy--the U2 ending is in Japanese, rest can be set to English)
Ultima 3 (Lairware Mac version, can be run on Mac emulator for Windows)
Ultima 4 (xu4 using the Japanese PC98 tileset)
Ultima 5 (DOS version because you can import character from Ultima 4/xu4)
Ultima 6 (Nuvie with FM-Towns Ultima 6 Full Speech installed in config file)
Runes of Virtue 1 (Gameboy version, only version)
Runes of Virtue 2 (SNES port)
Savage Empire (Dos version)
Martian Dreams (Dos version)
Ultima Underworld 1 (Dos version)
Ultima 7 Part 1 and Forge of Virtue (Dos version)
Ultima Underworld 2 (Dos version)
Ultima 7 Part 2 and Silver Seed (Dos version)
Ultima 8 (Dos version)
Ultima 9 (Windows version with fan patch that prevents runes from getting stuck in sky after shrine cleansing)
Post edited August 19, 2020 by sidv88
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sidv88: Ultima 4 (xu4 using the Japanese PC98 tileset)
Two issues with this:
* It's not an official version (some of the other ones you mention aren't official versions as well, or you are recommending unofficial patches)
* When I tried it, it seemed the damage amounts from enemy attacks were oddly low in comparison to other versions (not counting NES). Increasing the difficulty doesn't help, but rather makes your attacks hit less often, which is one of the worst way to handle a difficulty setting. Also, being faithful to the original mechanics, or at least what the mechanics were intended to be, is very important to me. (The lack of faithful mechanics was also an issue with Exult last time I looked at it; the natural regeneration of HP and MP did not match the way they did in official Ultima 7.)
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sidv88: Ultima 4 (xu4 using the Japanese PC98 tileset)
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dtgreene: Two issues with this:
* It's not an official version (some of the other ones you mention aren't official versions as well, or you are recommending unofficial patches)
* When I tried it, it seemed the damage amounts from enemy attacks were oddly low in comparison to other versions (not counting NES). Increasing the difficulty doesn't help, but rather makes your attacks hit less often, which is one of the worst way to handle a difficulty setting. Also, being faithful to the original mechanics, or at least what the mechanics were intended to be, is very important to me. (The lack of faithful mechanics was also an issue with Exult last time I looked at it; the natural regeneration of HP and MP did not match the way they did in official Ultima 7.)
Fair enough, but the ultimate quality of the games is lesser if you go only official port route. Say if you play FM Towns Ultima 6 without Nuvie, you'll get full speech but no choice to import characters from U5. If you play official Dos Ultima 6, you get the option to import U5 Avatar but no full speech.

At this point which version is "best" becomes subjective in regards to which features that individual person prefers. While my list incorporated fan stuff, it was only to combine the best aspects of various official versions.
Post edited August 19, 2020 by sidv88