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I recently bought Ultima 7 on GOG and downloaded the Exult mod, but I was wondering how much this makes the game differ from the originals? Will the original manuals in the GOG package still be useful? Also, any tips or advice for a brand new Ultima player? This is probably the only Ultima I will play, probably,and this is also my first one. Also, my mind has been poisoned by SpoonyOne's reviews of the series. Regardless, Im sure this game is great right? Is the Exult mod going to differ my experience wildly from the original GOG package?
Exult is a different engine that uses the original data files, so the experience will largely be the same excepting the fact that Exult has some interface improvements and a few extra bugfixes. The other differences are essentially technical ones (Win32 executable vs DOSBox emulation).

As for tips, these recent threads have covered a few important points and questions...

http://www.gog.com/forum/ultima_series/i_want_to_enjoy_ultima_7_but
http://www.gog.com/forum/ultima_series/how_does_exploration_in_ultima_vii_compare_to_ultima_i
http://www.gog.com/forum/ultima_series/how_to_open_chests_in_ultima_7
http://www.gog.com/forum/ultima_series/ultima_vii_do_you_ever_get_punished_for_well_robbing_people

Take your time and explore the game and world. It's largely open-world and you can travel pretty much anywhere, though some areas might be too much to handle early on (at least without using an inordinate amount of resources). This is an older game so you won't see any 'sparkly path' stuff to tell you what to do next, and there isn't an automatic journal or quest log, so you may want to take notes as you go.
This game is amazing, as more than it practically any other RPG, the world actually seems to be functioning. Aside from guards, there are no cookie cutter NPCs like "commoners" or "peasants". Everyone has a story, people sleep at night in their beds, they often get up in the morning and go to work. And that's just the tip of the iceberg really. Ultima VII is in a league of it's own as far as world building. Combat is basically set it and forget it, but Ultima has never had engaging combat of any kind.

As for Exult, it absolutely makes the game look better as you can play it in a widescreen. However, it really messes up the inventory screen in a way that I don't find helpful, so it's a complete crapshoot whether or not to use it. Really great project, but with the way you can configure DOSBox easily with GOG games it hardy even seems necessary.
Post edited June 02, 2015 by jjstraka34
Fantastic! Yeah I really appreciate the links and tips! I'm really starting to get into it, and I even went into the blacksmith forge at the beginning and cleaned the place up properly (from what I could) and that took me a little while! I didn't know a game could be THIS engaging!
Good to know you're enjoying it. Just keep some notes (in the real world) about your progress, because if you get sidetracked you might forget stuff and the Ultima series is really un-handholdy compared to modern RPGs.
The manuals are very helpful, I printed the manual and put i in a duo tang so I could quickly look up something. Ultima uses a strange runic language that is used on signs and such, the manual includes a translation chart to decipher these signs and are very helpful to locate yourself in the games world. The map in game is no labled but the one in the manual is and this map is needed as well to get by some copy right protection check at the begining. Lastly, the manual contains the list of all the avalible spells including the reagnents needed to cast these.

Lastly what I like to do is have a notebook right beside me when I play to note down all the important things NPCs tell me, because sometimes NPCs will mention something important to do and they might not repeat it again. However since your using Exult I do believe that a virtual notebook is provided in game, so that saves you from physically writing down everything you might find important.
Well, I don't know if you'll find this super duper helpful, but if you are having trouble with a big fight, use a used diaper on the enemy. They will flee in terror and will no longer attack you (I did this to a dragon, ha!) Don't use it on NPCs, though. It kinda...breaks their mind.

The Exult mods such as Keyring fix several bugs and complete several features which were unable to be finished before the game originally released. This includes such things as making your own swords, baking stuff other than bread, etc.
Also, since you are using Exult, press the 'n' key to bring up a diary you can write in. This makes it handy to keeps notes about quests and such. :)
Post edited July 01, 2015 by TattooFox
On the same lines as the diaper trick, you can pause the game by opening your inventory and use poison or sleep potions on your enemies. In U7: Serpent Isle you can also use a ritual blooding device to (slowly) kill enemies with the pack open.
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TattooFox: Well, I don't know if you'll find this super duper helpful, but if you are having trouble with a big fight, use a used diaper on the enemy. They will flee in terror and will no longer attack you (I did this to a dragon, ha!) Don't use it on NPCs, though. It kinda...breaks their mind.
You can even use clean diapers on the babies in castle British's nursery to 'reload'.
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TattooFox: Well, I don't know if you'll find this super duper helpful, but if you are having trouble with a big fight, use a used diaper on the enemy. They will flee in terror and will no longer attack you (I did this to a dragon, ha!) Don't use it on NPCs, though. It kinda...breaks their mind.
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GeistSR: You can even use clean diapers on the babies in castle British's nursery to 'reload'.
Nursery= Armory

There are quite a few diapers near Locke Lake you can use as well. And as Paulon said, you can use potions on enemies/NPCs as well. Say you wanna assassinate someone but not get caught by guards....just use several poison potions( I also use the Poison spell, works just as well and the guards don't get mad). Every time one wears off, use another one. Keep in mind, this doesn't work for all characters. I.E., Lord British.

If any of your party dies, bring their body to Lord British and he will raise them for free. You can do this with named NPCs as well, if for some reason they accidentally die. For example, that's how I...rob the bank. Poison Cynthia, filch the keys from her body, rob the bank at night (either sleep the guards or use a invisibility potion/spell) then bring her corpse to Lord British. Then go back to the treasury during the day and exchange it all.

I feel I should also warn you not to keep important items on any party member other than yourself, such as the Orb of Moons or pocketwatch. If your party member becomes critically injured, they WILL flee in terror and will drop items in the process (I'm Looking at YOU, Shamino!).
Post edited July 02, 2015 by TattooFox
I just downloaded Ultima VII but didn't see anything about the exult mod mentioned in this post. Is it a separate download?

Thanks,
Ivan
Post edited July 02, 2015 by IHipschman
Exult is a separate fan-created engine that uses the original U7/SI files to run the games for modern operating systems. It has numerous enhancements, such as importing and using the SI paperdolls in U7.
You can get it at http://exult.sourceforge.net/
Or if you want something more dramatic, a powder keg at their feet will remove most npcs. You could even go full ham and fire a cannon at their face.
Ah yes, a cannon to the face. Always a Ultima classic. Also invisible caltrops inside people's houses...

Also, for an amusing semi-walkthrough, I recommend reading Nakar's 'Let's Play' walkthrough. It highlights several bugs and the hidden 'cheat' areas, as well as how to get some of the more powerful weapons, such as the Black Sword (Isle of Fire expansion).

http://lparchive.org/Ultima-VII-The-Black-Gate/

^The link to the walkthrough. Seriously, I spent several hours just laughing at it.

It's also extremely hilarious. He also has a 'walkthrough' for U6. ;)
Yeah I've seen his stuff before. Love his take on the Avatar. He probably won't do the other games though cause of the forced male character.