SNES-Port of Ultima VII

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Box Art

Ultima VII was the last Ultima released to a console by Origin, and a version of the game was released for the Super Nintendo in 1994.

Description[edit]

Title Screen
The Intro
In-game

The technical limitations of the Super Nintendo made it necessary to cull a fair amount of the content which had been present in the PC version of Ultima VII, which had been approximately 20 megabytes in size and had featured VGA graphics, a full soundtrack and a deeply interactive game world. In order to compress the game into a one-megabyte module, a great deal of material had to be removed - resulting in a product with simplified graphics, a limited musical score and a greatly simplified world map.

In addition to this, Nintendo of America appeared to impose a great deal of editorial control over the games content - leading to the removal of many of the original versions "darker" aspects for the sake of keeping the game "family friendly." As such, the game's plot was changed from focusing on a spree of mutilation killings to focusing on a rash of unsolved kidnappings, and macabre or sexual imagery was removed.

Nintendo Power praised Ultima VII's interface, sound, and exploration, but criticized the uncomfortable combat and movement. The game received a 2.9/5 for graphics and sound, 2.5 for play controls, 2.9 for challenge, and 3.1 for play and fun.[1]

In 2006, this version of The Black Gate was made available on the Sony PSP by Electronic Arts as part of their Retro Replay package, along with thirteen other older EA games.

Changes from the Original[edit]

  • The game doesn't support a party systems, leaving player only able to control the Avatar - who is defaulted to their male version and who cannot be named.
  • Both the introduction and ending have been greatly reduced in size, and are limited largely to narrative text rather than animations.
  • The game world is much smaller than the original, and there are far fewer NPCs - all of whom lack daily schedules. Many characters have been replaced or altered drastically to conform to the new story, and the amount of dialogue in the game has been reduced.
  • The combat system is less automated and plays similarly to many action-adventure games. To showcase this aspect of the game, a number of dungeons have been added to the world map and most plot-important items must be retrieved from them.
  • The function of the day and night cycle has changed, with visibility being greatly reduced at night and certain items (such as the bedroll, or magic lantern) being only usable after sundown.
  • The game is divided into outdoor and indoor maps, which prevents the player from using the isometric view to look inside of unentered buildings.
  • The spell-casting system is streamlined such as to exclude reagents and spell purchasing, and there are only sixteen available spells instead of seventy-two. Spells not seen in the original game have also been added, such as Water Walk and Lifting.
  • Conventional ship travel is not available, limiting exploration to islands which may be reached via an item known as the Magic Boat. The Moongates are also completely non-functional throughout the game.
  • A set of elemental swords was added: Earth Sword, Fire Sword, Frost Sword, Water Sword, Wind Sword. Several spellcasting items were added, too (e.g. Hail Storm Amulet, Sword Storm Amulet).
Talking to Iolo

New dungeon list[edit]

Dungeons Treasure Notes
Covetous Caddellite Helm Quest item (destroy Cube Generator)
Deceit Tetrahedron Generator Guardian's generator n.3
Despise Sphere Generator Guardian's generator n.2
Destard  ? -
Hythloth Black Gate Guardian's gate
Wrong  ? -
Bee Cave Tseramed Arrows Weapon (inflicts sleep)
Buccaneer's Cave Power bolt wand Magic weapon (1MP)
Vesper Mines Blackrock talisman Quest item (obtain the Ethereal Ring)
SNES-only dungeons Treasure -
Shame Gem of Paralysis Magic weapon (3MP; paralyzes enemies)
Cyclops Cave Plate Armour Armour
Dungeon of Serpents  ? -
Dungeon of Unknown Fears Ethereal Ring Quest item (destroy Tetrahedron Generator)
Dungeon Sagatious Alagner's Notebook Item
Heftimus Cave Potions Item
Heroes' Hole Scale boots Armour (walk on lava)
Pirate Cave Lightning Wand Magic weapon (2MP)
Scorpion Cave Energy Crystal Magic weapon (1MP)
Sutek's Dungeon Enchanted Hourglass Quest item (destroy Sphere Generator)
Swamp Cave Rudyom's Wand Quest item (destroys the Black Gate)
The Crypts Ghostly Armour Armour
Undertaker Cube Generator Guardian's generator n.1

Enemy elemental resistance[edit]

The five exclusive elemental swords are uneffective against some enemies. Default sorting is by number of elemental resistances.

Enemy Resistance(s)
Ethereal Monster -
Giant Bees -
Giant Rats -
Gremlins -
Liches -
Snakes -
Wolves -
Cyclops Frost
Headless Frost
Trolls Frost
Acid Slugs Water
Alligators Water
Gazers Water
Giant Spiders Water
Slimes Water
Mongbats Wind
Bats Earth, Wind
Fairies Earth, Wind
Dragons Fire, Wind
Drakes Fire, Wind
Scorpions Fire, Water
Skeletons Fire, Water
Ghosts Fire, Water, Wind
Stone Harpies All five!

Trivia[edit]

  • One very strange piece of merchandise associated with the game is the Ultima VII Boomerang, which was sold in Japan. Especially, since there are no boomerangs in this port.

Gallery[edit]

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

  1.  "Now Playing". Nintendo Power (Ultima VII). Jan. 1995. Pages 106, 107.

External Links[edit]

  • Silellak played through the entirety of Ultima VII for the SNES, and recorded his experience at: here.
  • He also has recorded the last 5 minutes here.

Console Ports
Games Ultima III Ultima IV Ultima V Ultima VI Savage Empire Ultima Underworld Ultima VII