*Note; This review first appeared on my blog in April of 2023. Placing it here to extend its reach and remind people I still exist. It follows beyond the video player.
Few dare to be different. A statement which holds up today on not only the individual level, but in the sphere of gaming as well. It was all the more true in the infancy of the industry, as developers who couldn't know better inundated us with ever more clones, especially in the console world. In the late 1970's most computers dealt strictly with text. Graphics were often a trick, clever arrangements of text that our minds melded into a picture. More capable machines such as the VIC-20 let programmers define their own character sets, which was nearly as effective as actual graphics, and the Apple II and Atari 800 offered a couple genuine graphics modes.
The adventure game was king of the computer realm, though it may have been less about the wonders of descriptive text and more in being the only game in town. The few software houses specializing in computer games probably preferred text simply because it was easier to port to more machines, thus giving them greater sales potential than an Apple II graphics program which might take considerable effort to bring elsewhere. Still, light would shine through. Should the individual develop a great game utilizing graphics, publishers would take what they could get and sell it on one system, perhaps even putting in the effort to port it elsewhere. One man really could make a difference in this burgeoning world of micros.
Some of the first to utilize graphics in the computer world were role playing games. Often declared as adventures when first introduced, this continued in a ridiculous fashion throughout the 1980's by some. Both genres shared an interest in story, exploration, and often had an inventory of items and multiple goals to accomplish, but RPGs differed from their adventure cousins in several striking ways. They may or may not include puzzles or descriptions of rooms, staples for adventures. Character development and combat is integral to the RPG, where a character you create transforms through the course of the game from a novice to a master. Prior to the first graphic adventure, RPGs such as The Temple of Apshai used text to simulate the top-down view of a dungeon, while Wilderness Campaign used text to depict an outdoor world. Akalabeth would use genuine line graphics to show a 1st person 3-D view of a dungeon, and Ultima added the outdoors to compliment its dungeons. This is how a genre is born, when someone dares to be different.
^Starting out, 1st combat
But even the most unique among us tend to have their influences, and CRPGs owe endless credit to Dungeons and Dragons, as well as fantasy novels in general. From the math involved in rolling the dice for fights, to the stories, the classes, races, as well as the monsters, I'd imagine only the obscurity of computers or the wonderful nature of nerds saved many from being sued. Ultima would even invoke Tolkien with a thinly disguised take on the Hobbit as a choice for race. Along with the "Bobbit", Ultima allows you to model your character after dwarfs, elves, or humans, mainstays in RPGs to this day. Much is to be desired at this early stage, as there are no clear benefits or disadvantages to your choice of race or sex (maybe it's a social statement but I doubt it).
Elves are described as excellent musicians, but there's no bard to play as. Dwarfs are said to be strong, but if that happens to mean anything I could only imagine there's a small boost to the characters initial strength attribute. You get to pick from the fighter, cleric, mage, or thief for your character's class, but as with the races there are no clear indications of what the game is doing with that choice. Fighters are "stronger, more agile", and thieves are "endowed with exceptional agility", so perhaps there's an initial boost to those stats, though there's nothing stopping a fighter from increasing their agility and stealing things. It is said that only the mage can purchase the most advanced spells in the game, amounting to perhaps three spells, but the other classes can learn the rest. There are no specific spells for a cleric, nor do they have any other healing abilities. I noticed certain weapons such as the wand could not be equipped by my fighter, so there's certainly a few bonuses and restrictions, but I couldn't help feeling that there was little point to Ultima's character creation process.
Generally considered a pure CRPG, through hindsight I'd place Ultima closer to an Action RPG today. While technically turn based the clock tends to tick fast, and doing nothing will be cause for your inevitable death. Combat would appear to roll the dice, where the Action RPG relies more on your reflexes. However, the end result of the near constant pressing of the "A" or fire button to attack gives off the inescapable impression of action. It's quite the simple system, but I don't mean that as a complaint. There's a clear correlation here with what would become the Action RPG genre as well as the Japanese style of role playing games, and it's a wonder to behold that history. On a personal level I've always found the Ultima series to be a difficult one to get myself into, and the more laid back and easy nature of this first title makes it not only the perfect place to start the series, but perhaps RPGs in general.
^First quest, first dungeon
As one of the first games to show enemies on the same over-world map in which you traverse, Ultima is not utterly devoid of combat strategy. Mountains are impassable and can be used to separate a pack of foes from yourself, picking them off slowly. Transportation options such as the frigate or air-car allow you to attack from sea, safe from for all but the "Ness Creature", pirates, or other seafaring monsters. Inside the dungeons I often found use for the two ladder spells, going up or down respectively. Rather than accept your death should your hitpoints be running low, you can create magical ladders to quickly escape. Even with respectable strength you'll learn certain levels of the dungeons are best to avoid if possible. Gelatinous Cubes all too often consume your armor, you'd be wanting to go shirtless (ooh la la!), keep some spares, or avoid it altogether by creating a magical ladder down.
You'll start the game in the overworld with a castle just in your peripheral view to the left. Ultima is a bit of a hybrid open-world and non-linear environment along with a hint of "perhaps you might want to go over there..." linear approach. Interestingly with the original Apple II version you started in the middle of nowhere with nothing in your sights, meaning you'd have to pick a direction and hope you'd find civilization prior to your food or hitpoints running out. There are four continents along with a few islands, and you'll be stuck on the first until you purchase transportation which can traverse the water. You can get a raft fairly cheaply to explore at your leisure, do any of the quests in the order you feel like, or simply stumble into them. Like many CRPGs there is a way to progress that veterans would declare easiest for you, and I even lucked into it. But if I had picked a different direction I would have been in more difficult situations or I would have had to take more time to find the easier routes. It's up to you to figure it out through your explorations. Having an open world setting on the non-linear side of the scale is incredibly impressive for a game from 1981.
The world isn't particularly massive from the viewpoint of today or even just a few years in the future, but this was a time when a text based map may represent everything on a single screen. Pick a direction, hold, and you'd probably come to a coast in less than a minute. But the world is designed lovingly to invoke careful exploration. There's around nine cities on a single continent, all of which feature unique designs, though they'll repeat on other land masses. Explore around a city and you're likely to come across a couple dungeons, all of which are procedurally generated at the start of your playthrough. At first you won't get far into the first level before needing to flee, but the more monsters you manage to kill the more hitpoints will be bestowed upon your exiting. A rather peculiar mechanic.
^Tips from the drunkards, death, some geographic strategy
You have a maximum 9,999 hitpoint possibility though the entire game, but you'll start with just 150. There's no curing of wounds and no resting to restore HP, you can only gain more by killing dungeon monsters or by gifting gold to a king. How much you receive is based on the difficulty of the monsters you've faced along with how many you've taken down, or the amount of gold you've sacrificed to a king. While odd, the end result is that you'll be doing little backtracking or obvious grinding. You could exit a dungeon with more hitpoints than when you came in, so rather than retracing your steps toward safety you'll instead press onward in your explorations.
Multiple kings send you on quests to kill certain monsters, all of which could be found in any dungeon. If you only ever entered one you could find everything you needed, yet I entered and explored most of them willingly. The mechanics of the hitpoints means you're always willing to explore. Even when I had no quests I went into the dungeons to see if I could get just that little bit further. Nearly decimated I could make a quick escape with ladder spells, only to receive hundreds or even thousands of hitpoints upon my exit. So I explored some more, went into the next dungeon, found myself further down against more powerful monsters and getting stronger. I'd leave, come across a town, perhaps upgrade my equipment, and I'd happily repeat. Playing the game naturally through exploration you'll find your levels increasing without ever having thought you needed to grind.
Cities are surprisingly plentiful, to the point where Ultima may rival some late 90's RPGs in locations to visit. There are 32 cities in total, 8 per continent, and I was especially excited to get to the next town on the first continent, as all of those had unique designs. Since the other continents repeat the first's designs I will say that things felt stale by end, and I wish they would have saved some designs for the other land masses. For a good two-thirds of the game they nevertheless offered good reasons to visit. Food is the ever constant that's there to drain your money, making sure you don't get rich too quick. Cities are at the forefront of Ultima's economy, necessitating visits, and the economy is fairly decent.
^One of the scariest spiders put to screen, quest complete, shopping
You start off pondering if you should blow your meager gold on a nice chain mail. Perhaps you'll spread things around by upgraded your dagger to a mace while buying some food, maybe sprinkle in a bit of magic. Some cities don't have certain stores, others only sell certain types of items. One store seemed to only sell ranged weapons, and specialization like that is certainly ahead of its time. As you gain experience more items start to be stocked. Through the third continent it felt like I was continually either upgrading my equipment or looking forward to being able to afford something later.
As a fighter I noticed I couldn't equip some items I had bought. Not being able to use a wand makes sense, likely only the mage can use that. Not being able to equip a "triangle" makes less sense. Perhaps this is a nod to those "excellent musicians", the elves, meaning your choice of class and race could primarily be about your access to weapons. Personally I was not in the right place at the right time to pick up the "light sword". I was hanging onto the "great sword" until the later stages of the game, when a "blaster" was finally available to me. By that point I didn't need tools from the Jedi, and I'd like to think my aim with a blaster is better than a Stormtrooper.
On the other hand upgraded armor was plentiful in my particular run. From chain to plate, vacuum to reflect suits, I needed to buy some multiple times due to hungry monsters. Transportation methods include a horse, frigate, an "air car", and even a space shuttle among others. Spells must be bought in bulk if you want to cast more than once. I wouldn't call the magic system a bright spot myself. Magic Missile seemed like an okay offensive spell, and "Open" will guarantee a chest won't explode in your face, but in general the time spent casting in contrast to the spell's usefulness meant I was more likely to just attack normally or take my chances with the chests. But the ladder spells alone are worth hoarding, and I bought as many as my leftover money would allow, often buying more later. While I would eventually max out the gold as well as things to purchase, my overall impression of the economy was positive.
^Sailing the seas
Like most RPGs going forward, cities include a local pub for you to get your drink on. Many of those future titles could have done good to have taken a bit from Ultima on how to utilize their watering holes, as they're often just places to fight, rest, or receive useless tips. Not here, where the vast majority of the story is told to the player upon pounding some beers. To be clear, RPGs should take "a bit" from Ultima, as I'd say the wenches here know a little too much. Not only do they point you toward space, knowing you'll need to become an ace by destroying 20 enemy vessels, they know the ultimate quest is to go back in time to kill the evil wizard Mondain! Don't forget to destroy his gem first, as they explain it makes him immortal! There's only a few pages worth of story inside of the actual game, but I would call it memorable, and you'll be wanting to visit the taverns to read a good chunk of it.
There's also two castles per continent where the kings can chime in a bit of story themselves, so long as you prove your worth at questing. These are of the "fetch" variety. Kill a Balron or other named monster and report back, find the grave of the lost soul or other location and report back. Depending on the king you'll either receive one of the gems needed to operate the time machine, or be bestowed an increase in a select attribute. These quests can be repeated infinitely if desired, and if I found myself in the right place I repeated a few. I quickly saw that this could be abused, so I chose to restrain myself for the most part, but it's really the only way to increase your individual attributes. The quests were simple, but since it's a rather short game I found enjoyment in them.
I'd say the only questionable story in the game was found primarily in messages certain sign posts offered. "Turris-Scientia-Magnopere", "Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat", "Vae Victis", "Ultima Thule", "My name is King Osymandias, King of Kings, look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!". What does any of that mostly gibberish mean to the game? Nothing! It means absolutely nothing! I'm a gamer with a particular love for RPGs as well as most genres, including adventures. So when a game (especially an old game) starts throwing out important looking text I'll be writing it down. If it's gibberish then I'm constantly checking the screen while I write so as to spell it correctly, lest I need to type it later. If you're going to do that than it would be better to make it of the "Ultima Thule" variety, because you'll know how to spell that. The others rip you out of the game, and none of it serves a purpose.
^Deeper into the dungeons, driving a car on the water
I suppose you could say that at least those moments don't interfere directly with the game, and perhaps they're there for atmosphere. There is another questionable inclusion to the game via a hidden quest to rescue a princess. Plenty of clues point you toward this indirect quest such as, "A princess will help a space ace through time", and despite the primitive graphics I could imagine how a few thin pixels located in the prison area of every castle was probably the stated princess. Despite her cell being locked I could ascertain that the court jester rolling around the screen while shouting "I have the key!" was connected to this quest.
I could let go of the implications associated with a princess being locked in the prison of every single castle, as well as the moral failings of a series which would become known for its morals having me kill or steal from the jester to get their key (bastard stole something from me first!). Harder to wrap my head around was why I had to do this multiple times before I had the correct key. Perhaps this was corrected in other versions, as when this scenario ripped me out of the game I was forced to look it up. Everyone else got it to work the first time via DOS playthroughs, but not with me on the Commodore! After traveling to four different castles as well as reloading multiple times, I finally was able to unlock the cell that held a princess. Perhaps every king stole the daughter of the other kings, and the keys at one castle go to the cell of another. I don't know, but its implemented terribly.
The dungeons were the real highlight of the game for me, which I wouldn't have imagined based on my exposure to Ultima in the past. I realize how odd this might sound for me to say about a game originally released in 1981, but I thought the graphics of the dungeons were gorgeous! A qualifying factor to that statement would be "on my setup, anyway", because it's not something I've felt by seeing screenshots before. Here on my Commodore 64 and on a CRT television the simplicity of the graphics created a stark wonder. It's just white lines on a black background, but they're so smooth, they glow warm, and you'd just never imagine monsters could be drawn in such recognizable ways at this time. I can't tell you the last time I was scared from seeing a monster in an RPG, but the spider definitely scared me here! It's a real Vectrex kind of look and it's beautiful in person.
^C64 on left column, DOS on right, some of the more difficult creatures
I'd like to believe that the beauty of the real hardware came off in my pictures as well. There's certainly a clear difference to my C64 pics compared to my DOS pics above, which were also pictures of a CRT, but in the case of DOS I use a CRT monitor instead of a television. In certain areas the game looks better in DOS, but when it comes to those dungeons I believe the clear winner is the 8-bit Commodore. Ultima was originally released for the Apple II in 1981. It was developed by Lord British/Richard Garriot and published by California Pacific/Top of the Orchard Software. Despite being written largely in BASIC, it was rather stunning in the graphics department for the time.
Towns and castles are entered from the overworld and show up in their entirety on a single screen, with stick figures as people. The overworld is a more detailed view made up of large tiles, where an entire tile could be the representation of you or an enemy. As you walk around the map scrolls in full tiles with your character remaining in the middle. The world is actually a small sphere, where straying away from the four large land masses will cause you to loop back to the start. It's not a particular large world, but if anything I felt the game would have done better with just three or even two continents. The story is small, so the world should also be small. While I find a charm in them, I never felt the tiled perspective in this style aged well, and this basic look would continue to be used until the sixth game.
Sierra would commission a port and publish it through themselves for the Atari 800, probably around 1982. Garriot has cited his frustrations with Sierra as the main reason he would form Origin, and in late 1986 around the Ultima IV era he tasked his company to re-release the first title of the series. Renamed Ultima 1: The First Age of Darkness, it was claimed to have been "entirely rewritten in assembly language and employing state of the art graphics". Well, I'd say it certainly runs better, and while there are graphics improvements, including a water effect which had been used in other Ultimas, largely this is the same Apple II Hi-res (140x192) graphics from 1981, intact with the same bugs. The Commodore 64 version is largely a straight port of the re-released Apple II version, with the C64 coming out early in 1987. I'd say it's still the clear winner of the 8-bits in graphics, with better color overall. The DOS version is using a slightly upgraded 16-bit engine, which was first used on the Amiga and Atari ST for Ultima III, here with 16 color EGA graphics. The stick figure people in the towns are made up of more pixels, the walls look better, as does the entire overworld, though the jagged lines in the dungeons pale next to the smooth glow on the 64.
^We are ready for liftoff...
Versions would also come out in Japan for the PC-88, the PC-98, the MSX, and the Sharp X1, all of which look similar to each other, though differ greatly in style to the American releases. While possibly better on a "technical" level, subjectively I believe they went too far and have ended up looking the worst. They're also in Japanese so I don't imagine them being viable versions for for most to try. An Apple II GS version came out sometime between 1992 and 1994, long after the death of most commercial software for that machine. This could be argued as the best overall version, the town and overworld graphics have that extra polish that I'm sure an Amiga version could have produced. However, like those from Japan I feel the Apple II GS went too far in redrawing the dungeon graphics, so personally I'd point to either the C64 or DOS versions as the ones to recommend, though the basic game should be intact elsewhere.
Space is clearly the final frontier. Perhaps that reference is too Star Trek for this Star Wars inspired section of Ultima. We enter into the cosmos via a space shuttle, we can just buy those in this world and operate them with no help from others. We find ourselves in our local system near the planet we just departed, they'll be a star that you'll probably want to avoid, and a space station that we'll need to dock with in a rather realistic fashion. The controls here certainly took some getting used to, especially on the joystick. As in real life fuel is used to go both faster and slower, when you're at idle you'll continue with your present speed and course. Turning will only change where your nose is pointed, it won't alter your direction unless you also thrust that way.
Upon docking you'll get to choose between a couple ships, one has more fuel and the other is an X-Wing, I wonder which one you'll choose. Based on the direction you're facing you can hyper-jump to an adjoining sector in space. There is an accessible map which shows your current location, though I never figured out what the rest of it meant. Certain sectors show dots which I took to mean it was an empty area of space, but I found out that wasn't always true. Other areas looked like a little space station, certainly a place to refuel and rearm you'd think, but no. The other mark on the map reminded me of a tie fighter, where to go so you'll encounter enemies, but I didn't always find them there. I just don't know what use that map has other than memorizing where you originally came from, so you can find your way back home.
^Rescuing the princess, battling the Empire
You're here to become a space ace in order to impress a princess, who will then point you toward the time machine. Where the 2D section dealt with realistic physics, the 3D combat goes in the opposite direction with an arcade feel. Tie fighters pop up on your screen and you'll have to maneuver so you can hit them with your laser. While they go down in one shot, it can be a bit of a chore to score that hit. Meanwhile they can fire at you as well, though your shields can withstand quite the pounding. You'll probably have to stray a bit of a ways from your home world of Sosaria, so pay attention to your fuel and seek out the scattered space stations. While the story could have done a lot better in making us understand this foray into space, I nevertheless loved going to space in Ultima. I wish more people were cool with science fiction in RPGs, because there's a lot to explore. Here it was the break I needed from the normal gameplay.
Complaints to this point are valid but nitpicky, Ultima is old but a legend, and there's much to love about it. Sound is the only truly awful aspect of the game. Perhaps in 1981 there was the excuse of the Apple II's internal speaker, but not in 1987 when this Commodore 64 version was released. We all know DOS can't do music or sound, but the magnificent SID chip deserved some love. Ultima III was one of the first computer RPGs to feature a soundtrack, why couldn't that have been done here? It would be one thing if the sound just gave off a sigh with you knowing what was possible but receiving mediocrity. Instead there are times when Ultima truly grates our ears. I guess we can turn it down a little, but certainly disappointing.
Gems in hand and with the guidance of a princess it's time to look for a time machine. While I believe it can spawn anywhere, the princess should point you in the general direction. It's very H.G. Wells in its appearance, one last grasp of inspiration or theft, your choice. You find yourself in a distant past for the final fight. Other than being a named boss with a lot of hitpoints there's nothing too special here, so long as you paid attention to certain clues. If you didn't you could very well find Mondain invulnerable. He'll knock out the majority of your hitpoints right as the fight begins, so be sure you're maxed out in that department. At one point he changes forms into a bat and starts to run around the screen. A bit of a cartoon like chase will then ensue until you deal the final blow. A nice scrolling screen of text appears on the 64, and Lord British offers his congratulations. The end of the beginning of a legend.
^Gotta get back in time!
Magazines covering the original in 1981 saw not only Ultima as a masterpiece, they would predict the future. Softalk declaring that what they expect from Lord British in years to come "is beyond imagination." They called Ultima the pinnacle of its genre, impressed with the combination of dungeons and overworld. "A fast paced, detailed, imaginative role playing masterpiece". Computer Gaming World called it one of the best RPGs to date in 1982. Retroactively through Scorpia in 1991 it was called epic in scope, one of the first to have a real outdoors, "... a classic not to be missed." In a reader poll from CGW in 1982 it was ranked as the 7th best game, and the 11th best selling game with 20,000 units sold. Softalk had it as the 8th best selling game, and the Official Book of Ultima by Shay Adams claimed the game sold more than 50,000 copies.
Byte listed it as 5th in a special on "games for experts". Softline said that of the RPGs available "... Ultima seems to be the best." They listed a "moderate drawback" in that the dungeons are only corridors, there are no descriptive rooms. Covering the Atari 800 version, Antic said they were addicted, heartily recommending that gamers "... include Ultima 1 in their permanent library." The re-release did not get much coverage unfortunately, probably because Ultima IV was coming out around the same time. Quest Busters covered it in 1987, stating that it had carved new and ambitious territory when first released in 1981, and loved how much faster it ran now. They thought it was the perfect game to get the feel for computer fantasy. "I highly recommend that all fantasy role-playing fans play this game. The easiest of the Ultima's to get started in and win." In Britain Your Commodore covered the C64 release calling it a little easy compared to III or IV, "...but it's still a challenging quest that will lead you to the stars!"
I found Ultima 1 to be delightful, a worthwhile step back into the past. While it was the easiest RPG I've ever played, it was probably the perfect start for me in terms of the classic titles which I have long avoided. The Vectrex like feel of the dungeon graphics on the Commodore 64 left me in wonder today just as much as it would have back then. I was very impressed with the progression of the economy for such an early title, and while I certainly feel it could have been made better in this re-release, having seen the Apple II GS version and the ones from Japan I can also see how remakes can go too far. A wonderful journey through space and time, highly recommended.
Everyone else got it to work the first time via DOS playthroughs, but not with me on the Commodore!
I very much enjoyed watching your video when it originally published. But this detailed walkthrough of your experiences really was a massive ton of fun to read. You've convinced me I should give it a go on the C64 some day.
Curious: when I played and finished Ultima IV, it nearly broke me. It was so massively hard (for me) I had to keep a notebook of all of my notes to help me stay organized. While an amazing game, it was a lot of what felt like work. You mentioned this game felt short. Did you have to keep notes along the way or does it not require it?
I remember trying to play this on my Apple II+ back in the day and rage-quitting after just a short while. I was dropped into the middle of nowhere, and after multiple attempts of simply walking in various directions I'd die. Over, and over again.
The C64, and the Vectrex dungeons, look awesome. Awesome write up!
I always take notes out of habit with any 80's RPG, and generally I map them as well. There was no point in mapping the dungeons because there's nothing other than monsters in them, so it's not really possible to miss anything there. The re-release came with cardboard maps of each continent, I printed copies of those and wrote notes on top of them. Generally just the names of the cities/castles/dungeons, maybe an added "sells food/weapons/spells" or with a castle "wants Belron killed". I had another sheet of paper that had more detailed notes, including the useless things the signs say, just in cast I needed it. I had one more sheet of paper where I described some of the spells... For magic missile I just wrote "duh". All my notes are shown at one point in the video, an easter egg with the air-car is shown as well. One of the designers called it a Lamborghini so I went with that instead of more Star Wars.
I could certainly play it again without taking any notes, but the little I did write helped to quickly find my way back to a castle or something. While it indeed felt short, I think it should have been even shorter. There's just not enough story to justify the 4 continents. Even on the 3rd I was getting a bit tired of it, and on the 4th I really felt like it was going on too long. Keep in mind I finished it inside of a week, so it's certainly short. Games should not be afraid to be short, don't let them drag on unless there's a reward for it. I probably would have been happier if I had gone to space sooner, which I could have done but for some reason I saved it until the end. That would have been a welcome change if I had gone there when I was in the 3rd continent.
Ultima games have always been among my favorite games of all time. My first experience being Ultima III on the C64.
I remember the Ultima I re-release well and the Ultima I-III Trilogy they released along side it. Ultima II was a decent game hampered by the ridiculous rate at which food was consumed. Sierra didn't do a stellar job at porting compared to the stellar U3, 4 and 5.
Ultima I was a fun play through back then and considerably easier and shorter then the others that were already out. A great starting point and entry into the series. I am reminded of all the things I had forgotten about U1 that this review discussed though, the different towns and sci-fi themes I remember well. The hitpoint system and leveling I don't remember.
Even for DOS though, Sierra never really pushed them as much as they're given credit for. In 1984 when King's Quest came out, they were given lots of money from IBM to make that, and it's just a ported engine from the Apple II, 140x192. They milked that engine for all it was worth until 1989, when they finally switched to EGA 320x200 graphics, 1991 for VGA. They never even took advantage of DOS, let alone the Amiga. Fine stories, thank you Roberta, but your husband was a clown!
They never even took advantage of DOS, let alone the Amiga. Fine stories, thank you Roberta, but your husband was a clown!
For sure. Well at least on that story and not taking advantage of the Amiga part. The Amiga versions were stuck at either 16 or 32 color. They could have used EHB for better screens.
My memories are really of the VGA 256 color versions and that is the ones I remember the most. Nice hand drawn art and decent sound. I played the later titles first then went back to the earlier EGA titles and it was always such a let down. While there were better examples of graphics on DOS before and after, the Sierra games had their own charm. Of course I think LucasArts upped them with Monkey Island, Indiana Jones, etc. LucasArts was tough to beat in my book.
Getting the SupraDrive on my A500 back then and installing a few Sierra titles on it was a massive improvement though. But yeah, graphic wise they could have done better to improve the color and detail on the Amiga.