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SPOILERS - Be warned I talk about quests and whatnot so just in case you don't want to know anything that happens in Ultima 1, be forewarned.

Tonight I had my second session of playing Ultima 1. At this point after reading I have figured out I need to build up my character before going anywhere. So I've visited Lord British and got his quest but am ignoring it for now. I next ventured North and found the Lost King and got his quest. I know I need to descend to level 3 in any dungeon and kill a Gelatinous Cube to satisfy him. I haven't attempted that yet either though. Doing those things, a little dungeon delving along with buying a dagger and leather armor plus some food was about all I accomplished during my first playtime.

Tonight things got more interesting and fun. Nearby The Lost King's place I found Dungeon Mondor and began farming it for hit points, cash and xp. I kept at it until I had over 2000 coin and 1000 xp and had made level 3. My character is a Dwarf Fighter by the way. During this I took a couple breaks to go to a nearby town and visit the merchants for food and upgrades. I got chainmail and an axe doing that. Once I'd later hit the goal of reaching over 1000 hit points, I went back to the merchants and at level 3 noticed they had a more extensive selection of wares for sale. Fortunately for me, I had also earned the money to buy a lot of them.

So I got myself a vacuum suit (because I thought I need this for space travel later on), a reflect suit because I think that is the best armor in the game? I am looking forward to trying that armor out next time and hope it makes me much tougher than the chainmail. That would be very sweet. I also bought a sword that cost more than the axe so I hope it is better and a bow and arrow so I can try out ranging monsters, especially outdoors where you can see them from farther away. Then I bought an aircar but I am not really sure what I need it for. I had the money and it was there so I figured well maybe it will be handy getting around to distant places later on. I noticed there was one more expensive space shuttle to buy which I think I need to get to space later on but I can earn the money for that with some more dungeon work. Lastly, I got 10 ladder up spells and 5 unlock spells which will probably come in handy I expect later on. I've already hit on some trapped chests I couldn't open which for all I know had good stuff in them so we'll see if the unlock spell helps me out next time.

I have to confess that at first try, I was thinking oh, this is too old and dated. I was initially a little put off by the ancient graphics even though my gaming dates back to those days. Something made me want to persist though being a fan of later Ultima games. I'm glad I have now because it's gotten to be fun the more I've played it. The same RPG stuff that keeps me hooked is there - killing monsters, exploring and advancing my character from humble beginnings to being powerful and questing. Ultima 1 has all that going for it and somehow the look and even the way you control it becomes endearing in a way if you give it a chance I am finding. I'm glad about this because I really had this thing where I wanted to play the whole series from start to finish.

Some questions have come up that I haven't seen answered in my reading. I'm not sure how to use a bow and arrows is one thing. I know I have to Ready them and I'm guessing you press A to attack and a directional key to indicate direction to fire? I hope it doesn't move my character too because I don't want to close in on the monster. I want to fire on it from range and kill it hopefully before it ever reaches me. That would be niceness.

I'll have to hop into my aircar and go for a ride to see what that is about. I am hoping that when I travel on it I cannot be attacked by ground monsters. It would be nice to travel about unhindered exploring sometimes, like when I am searching for a quest location.

I'm not sure if I need a boat or where to get one if I do. Maybe it has to be a seaside town where you would buy one? I guess that would make good sense. I wonder if the aircar can travel over water so I wouldn't need a boat. I guess I can try that out and see.

Do better and better weapons become available as you level up? Are they found exploring dungeons in chests or maybe in other places? I'm not sure if I should be doing anything in particular to seek a better weapon beyond checking with the local shopkeeper for it.

As I write these questions it occurs to me I can probably find out all the answers just by playing and exploring further. Still, I'd welcome any answers, advice or tips for going from here. I've wondered how many hit points I should have before getting serious about the quests, particularly the first dungeon one that requires you to go three levels deep. I noticed when I went down to level 2 in Mondor the monster spawns seem more frequent. It seemed more dangerous than the 1st level. I am guessing the dungeons become increasingly dangerous the deeper you go in them.

I guess that's all I can think of for the moment and plenty wall of text as it is. Thanks for reading if you got this far. I'll probably come back and post more about my exploits in Sosaria later.
Post edited April 23, 2012 by dirtyharry50
It's always great to hear people's initial experiences with the golden oldies. Attacking with a ranged weapon works just as you assumed, A+direction. I personally find the aircar the best vehicle in the game, since it flies over land and water just as well. You'll probably want to know that the shop inventories also vary by location. If you want to buy the best weapon, travel! You do not have to worry about finding your way back to a specific continent once you cross the seas. Their arrangement is odd in that if you keep traveling onwards without turning back, you will cycle through the whole world.

One thing you do not seem to have come across or perhaps just did not mention is how to raise your stats. For everything but strength, visit monuments (marked by signposts) around the world. All except two raise a stat when visited, and you need to visit another one before the first provides a boost again. For strength, some kings give a mission of visiting a specific monument instead of killing a monster. The reward for those is more strength. As your stats get higher the rewards will become lower, until they are raised just one point at a time.
Ultima 1 is a great little game. I've never really delved into any of the Ultima games before a few months ago and decided to start at the beginning.

I persisted with it and finished it, being very satisfied, more so than many modern games.

If you haven't figured out already, you really need a ship so you can start kicking some butt and reaching the signposts, which are the only way to raise stats. Just get the best weapons you can and follow the clues within each city to figure out what you need to do to finish the game.

Ultima 2 on the other hand. Give it a go but know that it is no where near as enjoyable as the first game. I gave up on it after I discoverd it was a painful grind with minimal reward. I reccomend you skip to Ultima 3.
I really enjoyed reading that. This is how I still feel when I replay Ultima I, which I do quite often. While the Avatar's story, which is the main Ultima storyline doesn't really start until IV, I and III are well worth playing (although III is an incredibly tough grindfest). I agree with PMIK about II. It's worth a try, but there is a game breaker in the game that pretty much will keep you from finishing it. Graphically it may not be Skyrim, but there would be no Skyrim without Ultima. Enjoy!
Like others, I enjoyed reading this as it reminds me of when I first played Ultima 1. I never played the first 2 Ultima's till years later when I found the Commodore emulator c64s and a copy of Ultima 1 and 2 on FTP.Arnold/C64.Arnold. My first Ultima was Exodus. But yeah Ultima one while lite on plot, filled with oddities such as time machines, phazors, ect and a pain of a control scheme(but all ultimas had that). It's still a fun game and that is really what matters.

As for Ultima 2,there are two bugs one is the roll over bug which once your HP hits 9999 they roll over to zero and your character is dead. The second is the planet bug where the guys copying the game to CD for the ultima collections never noticed that the map data on disc 3 shared the same file name as map data on a later disc so alot of the 9 planets were over written, again there is a fix for that just install the EGA patch which adds the fix for the rollover bug and the map data and your golden.

Also the game never tells you about the Vorpal sword which is needed to win the game since it the only weapon you can use to slay Minax which is only available from a certain character, in a certain place(a prison), in a certain time period and will give you the sword for x ammount of gold.
DCT: Also the game never tells you about the Vorpal sword which is needed to win the game since it the only weapon you can use to slay Minax which is only available from a certain character, in a certain place(a prison), in a certain time period and will give you the sword for x ammount of gold.
Psst, it's the Quicksword, not vorpal.
DCT: Also the game never tells you about the Vorpal sword which is needed to win the game since it the only weapon you can use to slay Minax which is only available from a certain character, in a certain place(a prison), in a certain time period and will give you the sword for x ammount of gold.
timotaka: Psst, it's the Quicksword, not vorpal.
Whoops my bad
OMG! I sold the Quicksword because I thought I needed a VORPAL one!!!

Ha ha! Just kidding! I need to get back to this. I've been busy the past few days and haven't gotten around to it.