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Old 27 December 2020, 02:26   #1
SSJTrunks69
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Are the Ultima ports on the Amiga worth playing?

I was wondering, are the Amiga Ultima ports worth playing? Are there many bugs on the ports? And is it harder than the DOS version?
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Old 27 December 2020, 04:00   #2
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I think musically and mouse/joystick controls are much better. The graphics are more colorful. The difficulty should be the same, although I did come across a bug where one needs to gain more experience for Ultima IV.
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Old 27 December 2020, 04:14   #3
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I think musically and mouse/joystick controls are much better. The graphics are more colorful. The difficulty should be the same, although I did come across a bug where one needs to gain more experience for Ultima IV.
I just tried the Amiga version of Ultima 5, it's pretty sluggish I must say.
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Old 27 December 2020, 05:42   #4
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Pretty much no. Every Ultima has a better version on another platform.

For example, Ultima V is better on the C128 (for American versions) and X68000 (but only in Japanese).

Overall the FM Towns versions of Ultima are the best if you want to play the most one one system. Otherwise, the C128 is your best bet for Ultima 1-5, then MS-DOS for Ultima 6-8. Ultima 9 is garbage so shouldn't be considered anyway. =P
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Old 27 December 2020, 06:20   #5
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I tried the C128 version of Ultima 5, but it seems to be far worse than the Amiga one. Which has the better music is a matter of opinion (I prefer the Amiga music), but the graphics on the Amiga version are considerably better, there is much less disk access/swapping, and better controls.

Amiga version will run slower than intended if using PAL, it is designed for NTSC.
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Old 27 December 2020, 07:33   #6
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Just a couple of remarks :
  • Playing the DOS version of Ultima V with the music was made possible thanks to the unofficial midi patch from Voyager Dragon, grab it here (he also made a patch for Ultima II apparently, but I am not sure this iteration of the series is worth playing in this day and age), grab it here (I think it requires a DPMI server, just some DOS extender that needs to be unzipped in the game directory)
  • Some dude managed to play NTSC version Ultima VI on his NTSC Amiga machine with some tweaking, check the whole story here. Seems legit, though rather experimental stuff. Still I wonder if that rare NTSC version of U6 is preserved in TOSEC, or as an IPF
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Old 27 December 2020, 15:04   #7
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  • Some dude managed to play NTSC version Ultima VI on his NTSC Amiga machine with some tweaking, check the whole story here. Seems legit, though rather experimental stuff. Still I wonder if that rare NTSC version of U6 is preserved in TOSEC, or as an IPF
It's a nice story, a great retro-struggle which I, and I'm sure many others, can relate to. Luckily, in this instance it has a happy ending. If you read the comments, some other Ultima VI NTSC owner surfaced and made a proper adf dump.

https://archive.org/details/amiga-ultima6-ntsc

As an aside, if I could have one wish from a retro-genie, it's be to get rid of that stupid NTSC/PAL divide and made everyone use one system back in the day. It's a real curse on this hobby, no matter if you're into consoles or microcomputers.
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Old 27 December 2020, 15:22   #8
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Pretty much no. Every Ultima has a better version on another platform.

For example, Ultima V is better on the C128 (for American versions) and X68000 (but only in Japanese).

Overall the FM Towns versions of Ultima are the best if you want to play the most one one system. Otherwise, the C128 is your best bet for Ultima 1-5, then MS-DOS for Ultima 6-8. Ultima 9 is garbage so shouldn't be considered anyway. =P
Hm okay then. But *at least*, is the Amiga version of Ultima 3 decent?
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Old 27 December 2020, 15:35   #9
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[*]Some dude managed to play NTSC version Ultima VI on his NTSC Amiga machine with some tweaking, check the whole story here. Seems legit, though rather experimental stuff. Still I wonder if that rare NTSC version of U6 is preserved in TOSEC, or as an IPF
It's a nice story, a great retro-struggle which I, and I'm sure many others, can relate to. Luckily, in this instance it has a happy ending. If you read the comments, some other Ultima VI NTSC owner surfaced and made a proper adf dump.

https://archive.org/details/amiga-ultima6-ntsc

As an aside, if I could have one wish from a retro-genie, it's be to get rid of that stupid NTSC/PAL divide and made everyone use one system back in the day. It's a real curse on this hobby, no matter if you're into consoles or microcomputers.
Definitely an example of what not to do. Repairing original disks? Definitely a no-no! I realise that it has a happy ending in the end (as someone else had the disks) but had these been rarer it could have been the end of recoverable data.
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Old 27 December 2020, 16:14   #10
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If you read the comments, some other Ultima VI NTSC owner surfaced and made a proper adf dump.
I've read the comments but the question remains the same, since it has surfaced, how come that NTSC version is not part or SPS (as an IPF), nor part of TOSEC (I just checked) ?
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As an aside, if I could have one wish from a retro-genie, it's be to get rid of that stupid NTSC/PAL divide and made everyone use one system back in the day.
A Genie or, in plain words, public burning of all 50 Hz only TV sets, combined with vouchers granted to everyone who own them . This said, it's not that bad when a physical switch is present, such is the case with the Neo Geo, or when said console can be made region agnostic without any soldering, such is the case with a softmodded PS2. Also, progress is easier when certain games are played at the reduced speed PAL offers, but I digress.
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Old 27 December 2020, 16:36   #11
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Definitely an example of what not to do. Repairing original disks? Definitely a no-no! I realise that it has a happy ending in the end (as someone else had the disks) but had these been rarer it could have been the end of recoverable data.
I'd probably do the same, given lack of alternatives. And he did manage to ventually produce a working copy by combining PAL+NTSC (even before that other owner appeared).

But I don't know much about disk recovery, are you saying there is a better method?

@SquawkBox: from what I gather SPS is not really active anymore & TOSEC can take a long time to incorporate all the updates. I guess we could submit it to the TOSEC corrections thread or some such.
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Old 27 December 2020, 19:25   #12
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I've read the comments but the question remains the same, since it has surfaced, how come that NTSC version is not part or SPS (as an IPF), nor part of TOSEC (I just checked) ?
I provided the NTSC original IIRC for the WHDLoad version, so I can dump it if Denis is interested. The NTSC version is in TOSEC, though, but maybe not in the section you expect to find it:

https://is.gd/HUePKM
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Old 28 December 2020, 01:30   #13
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I think musically and mouse/joystick controls are much better. The graphics are more colorful. The difficulty should be the same, although I did come across a bug where one needs to gain more experience for Ultima IV.

I should clarify that my earlier statement is for only Ultima III & IV. The subsequent games were developed on DOS at the same time and likely there are no advantages on the Amiga, but disadvantages.
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Old 28 December 2020, 08:37   #14
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I'd probably do the same, given lack of alternatives. And he did manage to ventually produce a working copy by combining PAL+NTSC (even before that other owner appeared).

But I don't know much about disk recovery, are you saying there is a better method?
Absolutely. As previously said access to hardware such as Kryoflux or Supercard Pro would be the best solution. Imaging the disk and then using the analysis tools you'd be able to build a picture of what was physically wrong, possibly recover the data using multi-pass read. Maybe notice it was only one side, one track, you could then look at the disk surface for physical problems such as mould/mildew. Follow guides on how best to clean the disk without damaging it further.

But even without access to either of these hardware tools you would try and image the disk first in software. Especially a game disk like this, without advanced disk copy protection. Use a tool such as RawDIC (whdload) or a disk warp (MFMWarp) if you have an 020+ use the SPS tool for Amiga. In the case of this disk, AmigaDOS format with no copy protection just X-copy in Nibble mode you'd be able to make a 1:1 backup copy to another disk, and THEN use DiskSalv on the backup with the same results.
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Old 29 December 2020, 12:38   #15
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Quote:
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Are there many bugs on the ports?
A few bugs pertaining to the Amiga version of Ultima IV are evoked in this wiki entry from the guys at Cutting Room Floor, more specifically the Hythloth bug (a room your party doesn't have access to, at least with the unpatched version of the game).
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Old 29 December 2020, 20:06   #16
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^ I have referenced that Wiki page while playing.

I found my notes on how Ultima IV on the Amiga is harder. The game awards 1,2 and 4 experience points instead of 100, 200 and 400. I was in the process of fixing it, but there was one special item that I never obtained. I believe I found all the items in the game, so that's why it's puzzling. Perhaps, I should reach out to the programmer about this.
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Old 03 January 2021, 06:03   #17
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I tried the C128 version of Ultima 5, but it seems to be far worse than the Amiga one. Which has the better music is a matter of opinion (I prefer the Amiga music), but the graphics on the Amiga version are considerably better, there is much less disk access/swapping, and better controls.
There is a cartridge patch for C128 Ultima V that eliminates the disk swapping, I believe. I think there also may be a 1581 version. Most of the files on the various disks are redundant so it was possible to shrink the game to a much smaller size.

The music on the C128 version is VASTLY better for the sheer fact that it has varied musical tracks throughout the game whereas the Amiga version just has one song that drones on and on. You can get a music patch for the MS-DOS version that adds the music in MIDI form but I still prefer the C128 music.

Quote:
Hm okay then. But *at least*, is the Amiga version of Ultima 3 decent?
Yeah it's okay, though MS-DOS version with MIDI patch is arguably somewhat better.

As far as the original trilogy goes though the FM Towns versions arguably the best. Their music is a bit on the goofy side as are the sound effects, but the graphics are definitely the best.

FM Towns Ultima 1:

[ Show youtube player ]
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Old 03 January 2021, 18:50   #18
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As far as the original trilogy goes though the FM Towns versions arguably the best. Their music is a bit on the goofy side as are the sound effects, but the graphics are definitely the best.

FM Towns Ultima 1:

[ Show youtube player ]



I have the FM-Towns Ultima Trilogy. It adds more intro static screens, but I find the higher resolution too pixelated from the dot matrix graphics. It loses that 8-bit feel of the original platforms, while looking horrible at the same time.
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Old 03 January 2021, 19:26   #19
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I have the FM-Towns Ultima Trilogy.
Yes

...I think I also give you "Ultima Underworld - The Stygian Abyss" that I purchased, then imaged?
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Old 04 January 2021, 04:58   #20
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Yes

...I think I also give you "Ultima Underworld - The Stygian Abyss" that I purchased, then imaged?

But of course! Greatly appreciated.
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