The Ultima 6 Project
This is an Ultima 6 Project-related article or section. The information within may not apply to Ultima VI or other Ultima games.
The Ultima 6 Project (U6P for short) is a fan project to recreate Ultima VI. It is made by the Archon Team using the Dungeon-Siege engine. Since it is a recreation but not exact copy, it misses some things from the original, but also features new or extended content. The project is completed, and the enhanced 1.1 version is ready for players.
While this project and Ultima V: Lazarus share the same basic engine, announcements from the team made it pretty much clear that U6P would be significantly different from Lazarus. The projects both use data from Project Britannia, an effort to pool resources to create content that could be used by both teams, therefore there are overlaps like most of the overworld map. It isn't a 1:1 copy of Ultima VI (a tempting idea since it was the first Ultima with real depth and a detailed world), but more on the lines of enhancing it while fixing the faults and plot holes of the original. For example, it isn't initially possible warp everywhere with the Orb of the Moons as it was possible in the original, allowing for more story-building.
In July 5, 2010, the team released version 1.0 of their project.
The game however proved to be unstable and had problems with numerous issues, therefore a 1.01 patch had to be written and published, which fixes most of the problems and has to be installed, when using the 1.0 version of the game, which otherwise wouldn't work properly. However, all these issues compelled the team to work on an enhanced version of the game, which would not only for all errors, but also improve upon weaknesses in the design.
As of June 17th 2012, the team had pushed the version 1.1 into the beta-stage, with testers needed. Version 1.1 not only features enhancements, but also numerous bugfixes, some to serious issues. The biggest improvement is a complete re-work of the moongate system. Originally, the system had over time, as more destinations became available, slowed the game down to a crawl. The new system prevents this from happening. The 1.1 Beta was in the process of a public playtesting and bugfixing, which all players contributing to the effort.
In February 3rd 2013, the version 1.1 got released.
The only unsolved problem was, that due to the loss of a 2D artist, over half of the NPC portraits were still missing from the game. The problem however was finally solved by Tribun Dragon and Anguilla, who created mods in order to fill all the gaps. Tribun's Portrait Pack covers all human NPCs, while Anguilla's Portrait Pack concentrates almost entirely on the Gargoyles and Fuzzies plus some extras.
A French version of the game has been released. A German version of the game has been finished in March 2014 as well and was publicly released in August same year. Some users report that using localized version of the underlying Dungeon Siege engine causes FPS to drop significantly, sometimes even making it almost impossible to play the game, while the English (original) version of Dungeon Siege does not cause any issue. In order to resolve this matter Serendipitous Dragon aka SirJohn started a project to translate the English version of Dungeon Siege manually, hoping to hereby address the FPS issue occurring in the German version of Ultima 6 Project. The status of the translation can be tracked on his website (linked below).
A Spanish version as well as a Finnish version had also been started back in 2012, but work on both projects has been put on hold at an very early stage, regrettably without any usable output. Whether or not translation efforts for Spanish and Finnish will be continued at some point in time looks regrettably doubtful.
- 300 MHz Intel Pentium processor or equivalent i86 chip
- 128 MB RAM (256+ recommended)
- 1GB free Hard Disk Drive space
- Direct X 8.0-compatible Video Card
- Dungeon Siege patched to version 1.11 or Dungeon Siege + Legends of Aranna (which already is patched)
- Dungeon Siege II is not compatible with the Ultima 6 Project
Please Note: Players are encouraged to buy the original Ultima 6 game. It can be bought either in one of the collections from eBay, or real cheap as a download from GOG.
The following features improve it over the original Ultima VI, besides the graphical and audio upgrades:
- It sports an in-game compendium, complete with all information normally found in the handbook, a section for notes and a list of all current quests. The Compendium is self-updating, adding information when needed.
- The Orb of the Moons now can only be used to visit places where the Avatar was before. Moongates also have to be repaired, before the Orb can accept them as destination. This closes most of the story-shortcuts.
- More complex story, Britannia now is really "at war". Shrines on the mainland have to be freed, before a ship becomes available, Gargoyle attacks happen and the city of Trinsic is besieged and there is a general air of weariness over the population.
- Elimination of various story errors, oversights and dead ends, like Quenton's murder, the missing Temple of the Virtues and the strangely flat world. Almost all story inconsistencies are now gone
- Easier gold, ammunition and reagent management. Everything is pooled now and accessible for the entire party, eliminating needless micro-management.
- More distinctive character classes. Each character class has their advantages and disadvantages now, like magic ability or weapons and armour restrictions.
- Over 50 new NPCs, many new side-quests, lots of new items and places. For example, the Realm of the Gargoyles are now much more detailed and also more interesting. Also the player now has more unique or magical items at disposal.
- Map system, in that the party can get maps of numerous places and copy them into a map book. Also, the sextant works like it does in Ultima VII, making navigation much easier.
- The dialogue system is now that of Ultima VII, meaning the player can only ask things the Avatar is expected to know about, closing countless ways to short-circuit the plot.
- Due to engine limitations, some features of the original had to be cut. There is no horse riding (all horses are reserved for the army), the balloon can't be flown freely and there are no ship battles or usable skiffs. You also can't plant moongates elsewhere as well.
- You will first need to install Dungeon Siege or Dungeon Siege: Legends of Aranna. Dungeon Siege II will NOT work, as Lazarus is designed for the original Dungeon Siege engine.
- If you installed Dungeon Siege: Legends of Aranna you can skip this and the following step. Otherwise you will need to update Dungeon Siege to the latest version. You can obtain the 1.1 patch from Microsoft's website here: . Make sure you get the right patch for your localized area.
- Run the patch to update Dungeon Siege to version 1.1.
- Try running Dungeon Siege, to make sure it works by itself. Knowing this will help with troubleshooting later on, if necessary.
- If you have a previous version of the Ultima 6 Project installed, you MUST remove it entirely from your hard drive! Delete any old savegames (located in your My Documents folder under Windows), completely uninstall it, and also manually delete the install folder before attempting to install or play the newest version.
- Install the Ultima 6 Project using the installer.
- If you use the version 1.0, install the 1.01 patch.
- In your Start Menu, under 'Programs', there is now a folder called 'Ultima 6 Project'. Inside there are two items: the starter and the uninstaller. You can also launch the game from the desktop icon (if you installed one).
- Be sure that you have your Dungeon Siege or Dungeon Siege: Legends of Aranna disc in the drive. You will need this to play the Ultima 6 Project
- From the main menu, be sure to click options then make sure you are on the Video tab. Change your Screen Resolution to 1024x768. You will run into problems during gameplay if you do not do this. Click OK.
- From the Main Menu, choose Start New Game, and reenter the world of Britannia!
Of note is, that the team also created a set of digital collectible cards, although they are only available in a set. The cards include all male and female Avatars, Lord British, Iolo, Dupre, Gargoyle and three rejected ideas: dwarves, female gargoyles and orcs (which is surprising, since orcs do appear in the game itself). The nature of the missing Shamino card is explained by the leaving of the artist before that set was complete.