The Collectible ULTIMA

ULTIMA V: Warriors of Destiny

"The Ethics of Britannia, of the accepted measure of proper behavior, were long based on the Way of the Avatar. As time progressed, the lessons of this historic tale came to be interpreted in many ways. In fact, many people interpreted the Way of the Avatar in ways that wouldn't require them to strive to uphold these virtues. Now, Lord Blackthorn, acting king of all Britannia, has enacted a Code of Virtue that leaves no room for misinterpretation..."

-- from The Book of Lore

What if virtue became law? That is the plot behind this fifth tale of Britannia. While the story and actual game are interesting - this is arguably the longest and most complex of the Ultimas, except possibly for Serpent Isle - what I liked were the little touches of reality. For the first time, characters in a game didn't just sit and parrot simple sentences, they carried on complex conversations, reacted to your behavior, and even carried out their own daily routines. But what I'll always remember about Ultima V is stepping outside of Britain the first night, and seeing the beams of the lighthouse sweep past me in real time.

Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny Ultima V:
Warriors of Destiny
  • Platform: Apple II.
  • Publisher: Origin Systems, Inc., © 1987.
  • Characteristics: UPC 17814-75350. 5.25" (4).
  • Included: Book of Lore book; Underworld Journal; Player Reference card; Quick Reference card; Codex coin; cloth Ultima V map.
  • Original List Price: $59.95
  • Platform: Commodore 64.
  • Publisher: Origin Systems, Inc., © 1988.
  • Author: Conversion by Dr. Cat.
  • Characteristics: UPC 17814-75350. 5.25" (4).
  • Platform: PC.
  • Publisher: Origin Systems, Inc., © 1988.
  • Author: Conversion by John Fachini et al.
  • Characteristics: UPC 17814-75310. 5.25" (4).
  • Platform: Atari ST.
  • Publisher: Origin Systems, Inc., © 1989.
  • Author: Conversion by Binary Vision.
  • Characteristics: UPC 17814-75325. 3.5" (3).
  • Platform: Amiga.
  • Publisher: Origin Systems, Inc., © 1990.
  • Author: Conversion by Imagitec Design Ltd.
  • Characteristics: UPC 17814-75335. 3.5" (2).
Dallas Snell is credited with having been project director for the original Apple version of Ultima V, and John Miles (Captain Johnne in the game) was lead progammer. This would be the last Ultima for the fading Apple platform. An interesting bit of trivia: about the time the finishing touches were being put on this Ultima V, John Romero was sitting in another room down the hall, working on his own first commercial game. Yes, THAT John Romero, the one who co-wrote Doom and Quake: his first job as a software developer was for Origin in 1987, porting 2400 AD to the Commodore 64. Small world, eh? Anyway, Ultima V is not too difficult to find via the Internet, usually for under $20, though if you're looking for a particular platform your mileage may vary. One other note: someone has pointed out to me that the backs of the boxes for different platform releases used different screenshots, so they look slightly different.

Ultima: Warriors of Destiny Ultima: Warriors of Destiny
for the Nintendo Entertainment System
  • Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System.
  • Publisher: FCI, © 1993. Developed by Origin.
  • Characteristics: UPC 22909-10014. Cartridge.
  • Included: Instruction book, Hint book.
This was Origin's last game for the NES, though not their last for Nintendo. As with the others, Origin did all of the actual development. And as with the port of Ultima IV, FCI included a hint book / walkthrough for the entire game with the cartridge.

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