Tag Archives: dragons

Venture, Arcade

Venture is an early fantasy maze shooter developed and distributed into arcades by Exidy in 1981. In some respects it is similar to Stern ElectronicsBerzerk (and its sequel, Frenzy), with simple bitmap graphics, an overhead viewpoint, and extremely challenging gameplay.

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Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, Game Boy Advance

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones is a tactical Role-Playing Game, developed by Intelligent Systems and first published by Nintendo for the Game Boy Advance in 2004. It is the eighth entry in the Fire Emblem series and the second to be released outside of Japan.

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Ultima: Exodus, NES/Famicom

There is an NES/Famicom version of Ultima III: Exodus – called just “Ultima: Exodus” – that was developed by Newtopia Planning and first published by Pony Canyon in 1988. It has some major differences to the original, but essentially it’s the same game. The graphics are cuter but do suffer from some hideous tearing when a number of sprites are on the same horizontal line, which is a common technical fault on the NES.

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Ultima III: Exodus, Atari ST

The 1986 Atari ST version of Ultima III: Exodus is pretty much identical to the Amiga version. In fact: it was ported by the same guy who made the Amiga version – “Banjo” Bob Hardy – so shares the same codebase. Since they’re almost identical I’d assume that the ST version was the primary target and the Amiga version was the port (since doing it the other way around would probably lead to features being dropped from the ST version as the machine had fewer custom chips). Ultima III was published by Origin Systems and is arguably the joint best version of the game available.

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Ultima III: Exodus, Amiga

The Amiga version of Ultima III: Exodus was written by Bob Hardy and first published by Origin Systems in 1986. It’s actually a really good version of the game – maybe even the best – as it uses both mouse and keyboard controls to make playing the game faster and easier.

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Ultima III: Exodus, PC

The original MS-DOS version of Ultima III: Exodus was first published by Origin Systems in 1985 and features four-colour CGA graphics. Thankfully – like there is for Ultima IIan enhancement patch exists, by The Exodus Project, that is well worth setting up if you want better graphics, music, new features and bug-fixes. That’s the version I’m showing here, plus I’ve also shown a few screenshots of the original CGA version at the end of this set, just for comparison.

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Ultima III: Exodus, Commodore 64

The Commodore 64 version of Ultima III: Exodus was first published by Origin Systems in 1983 and came on three floppy disks. There is a fan-made ‘Gold’ version of the game available, that has compressed these down to a single floppy disk file, which saves a lot of disk-swapping, and that’s the version that’s probably worth finding, if you want to play this game on the C64.

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Ultima III: Exodus, Atari 8-Bit

The Atari 8-bit version of Richard Garriott‘s Ultima III: Exodus was first published by Origin Systems in 1983. It again uses graphical artifacting (which the first two Ultima games did on the Atari), which results in it looking very similar to the Apple II original.

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Ultima III: Exodus, Apple II

Ultima III: Exodus is the third game in the Ultima series and the final instalment in the “Age of Darkness” trilogy. It was the first Ultima game that was published by Origin Systems and first came out for the Apple II in 1983. Ultima III was also the first game in the Ultima series where you controlled a party of characters, rather than a single hero, and the first Ultima game to use a line of sight/fog-of-war mechanic, meaning that anything that wasn’t directly within viewing distance was hidden from the player.

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Rastan, ZX Spectrum

This ZX Spectrum conversion of the 1987 scrolling hack and slash arcade game from Taito was developed by Icon Design and published by Imagine Software in 1988. And it’s not bad, but it’s not great either.

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