Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Computer Games - An Actual Computer


Not long after we moved back to Kentucky, Dad bought an Apple II+. Most of the time we used it for word processing, but he did some spreadsheets too, and we had Broderbund's Print Shop program as well. I even made my own font with it, recreating Interlac from the Legion of Super-Heroes. Dad even got me an S.A.T. training program for it.

But of course, I played games on it as well.

The way the Apple II worked was kind of similar to cartridge based console games. You put in the 5.25" floppy disk (back when they were still floppy) and turned on the computer. Then if it asked for a second (or more) disk you inserted it.
I played a few BASIC games with graphics that were better than the Odyssey2, but still pretty blocky and static compared to today's standards. But they were engaging.
There was Taipan a game of trading and fighting off pirates in the Orient.
There were Repton, and Aquatron (no info anywhere, but one of my favorites). Both were side scrollers like Defender, but seemed more imaginative to me.
And finally there was the Ultima series. I had been poorly introduced to Dungeons & Dragons by a friend at school, so this series was exactly what I was looking for. I never beat the original Ultima, but got so into the series that I had to have them all. I remember getting Ultima III for Christmas, but not being able to immediately play it because we were helping out serving food for the homeless that day. After this one, I had to have Ultima II, so I saved up and bought it and while it was a step back, it had some great story parts. Soon Origin released an upgraded version of the first game calling it Ultima I, that I was able to beat, and so I had completed what came to be called the Age of Darkness.
Then I got Ultima IV, and it was all about the eight virtues. I took copious notes, and finally in my senior year of high school, I was ready to enter the most evil dungeon, but I made the mistake of saving my game while standing on the entrance. It somehow corrupted the file, and I couldn't restore to that point. I would have had to start all over again. So I never actually finished Ultima IV.
Then I got Ultima V, and I learned about fanaticism, corruption, and lots of in jokes. I did manage to finish this one.
I bought the rest of the series, and played about halfway through Ultima VI, but the game and I had gone different way, and it was no longer the intuitive play that the former games had been.

3 comments:

WebMonkey741 said...

Hiya Erik,

If you're interested you can play a Flash version of Ultima 4 that I wrote a couple of months ago. I just wanted to bring a classic game back for people to play (without having to install anything or worry about OS version problems). I've also included all of the original documentation beautifully scanned which you can open through a menu in the game.

Perhaps you can finally finish off the game... and trust me, your save game will NOT be corrupted if you save on the final dungeon. ;)

Here's the link: http://www.phipsisoftware.com/ultima4/Ultima4.html

All the best,
Blair

Janice said...

Online computer games are one of my favorite games to play. I usually play racing cars on my computer.

Erik Appel said...

WebMonkey - As soon as I get over my SimCity revisit, I'll have to try your Flash Ultima VI. I wish I still had my notes.

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