Spam Spam Spam Humbug: Episode 5 – Ultima 5

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David Shapiro, aka Dr. Cat, who if memory serves was hired on at Origin during the production of Ultima 5, and who was responsible for much of the pixel art in the game. And who recently got his name back on Facebook; they disallowed the use of the Dr. Cat moniker for a time.

And Ian Frazier and the rest of Team Lazarus, for putting together what might just be the best of the Ultima fan remakes, and what is certainly the best use of the Dungeon Siege engine…ever.

Follow-Up From Previous Episode(s)

Donn speaks briefly to something from the Pillars of Eternity discussion.

Podcast Topic(s)

The Creation and Design of Ultima 5

  • What were some of the obvious influences that Origin Systems drew on for inspiration?
    • Tolkien
    • Robin Hood
  • What were some of the significant changes in game design apparent in Ultima 5, as compared to earlier entries in the series?
    • Simplification of classes
    • Size of world in dual scale
    • Interactivity
    • NPC schedules/day-night cycle?
  • What kinds of feelies were included in the Ultima 5 game box?
    • LB’s expedition account as map
  • Why was the Magic Axe so wildly imbalanced and overpowered?

The Gameplay of Ultima 5

  • What are the different gameplay approaches Ultima 5 allows for?
    • Single
    • Party
    • “Themed” gameplay
  • What sorts of cheats, secrets, or exploitable bugs exist in Ultima 5?
  • What are some of the more mysterious aspects of Ultima 5?
    • Ankh
    • Amulet of Turning

The Legacy of Ultima 5

  • Are there any games that seem — or very obviously are — inspired by Ultima 5?
  • How did Ultima 5 contribute to the larger mythos of Ultima?
  • Some discussion of Ultima V: Lazarus is warranted, given that it is one of the most high-profile — and well-done — Ultima fan remakes of all time.
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