Ok, I think I need an intervention here. I just got Ultima VII complete from GoG. Never played any Ultima games before, had no c […]
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Ok, I think I need an intervention here. I just got Ultima VII complete from GoG. Never played any Ultima games before, had no clue what to expect. And man, the game is....not good. I know I am going to be torched for this but hear me.
1) The font is horrendous. I mean the dialog and text are pretty damn good, too bad the delivery is so bad. But I fixed that with a custom font.
2) Movement. On my Win10 machine it moves too fast so I extracted the game and moved it to my 386DX40 (since the game seems to require 386SX25) and it is too slow. What is the speed requirement for this game?
3) Interaction with objects is...broken. In Black Gate the very first house you enter in, has a body inside which next to is a key. The first house! Yeah, I cannot pick up that key. I think you can "use it" as the mouse cursor changes but it is on the floor, and I cannot see a door nearby. I still have no clue how to pick up items. Can that even be done in this game?
I agree with the font (Serpent Isle does improve on a lot of your complaints). According to Great Hierophant, the ideal CPU for Ultima VII: The Black Gate is a 33-40Mhz 486. I think you should read that article before you play. 😀 Back in the day, I played it on a 386sx-20 with a 14" monitor. The small monitor made the fonts more tolerable. I'm not sure how I ever beat the game on that CPU though. I guess I had nothing to compare it to, so it was self-defined as normal. A lot of the enjoyment of the games for me is the continuation of the storyline from previous Ultimas. For example, lots of "old friends" make appearances from previous games in the series, completing story arcs that were years in the making. It's much more satisfying if you've played at least some of the previous games. Also, don't be shy about walkthrus or Let's Plays. They can often get you through the learning curve of the controls much more quickly.
The speed issue is one of many things fixed in Serpent Isle. I'm currently playing through it on a DX2-66 and the built-in frame-limiting makes it perfect.
Regarding picking up items, you should just be able to clck-and-drag to your character, then let go of mouse button to drop. Or open inventory first, then click-and-drag to inventory. Read the included Reference Card! Inventory management is another thing that was improved in Serpent Isle, but it's still pretty cumbersome. I sometimes take 30 minute inventory management sessions, where I drop all my stuff for all characters on the ground, then start sorting like items into their own bags, like potions in one bag, reagent in another bag, scrolls in another bag, currency in another bag, etc. Then I decide who carries what. Honestly, from an OCD standpoint, this is kind of satisfying for me. 😀
I've been working my way through Ultima VII: Serpent Isle for a couple of months now, but I am mixing in a little Descent II here and there. Currently on level 12. Now that I have a keyboard scheme that works for me, the game is much easier to succeed on. That was the main reason I never finished the game back in the day.
Wait, there is a keyboard scheme that works? Please share it 😀
Going from memory, I believe it's more-or-less like so:
arrow keys-directional turning