Ophidian Dragon blogs his way through the entire Ultima series, from beginning to end.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

U9 notes

Well, my copy of Ultima IX finally arrived today--mosre than two weeks after ordering it, as I recall. In any case, the game runs with D3D, with two oddities--
a) Is there supposed to be any kind of sound from beasties and combat? I see a wold howl, but hear nothing, but other assorted sound effects come through fine (fires, etc)
b) Weird colorings on the doors to my pantry and on the boat in the lake behind my house...They're purple! And the waterfall is black...

Other weirdness includes the "pressure plate" that a vase is sitting on in Stonegate looks more like a shelf, and items I throw seem to fall to the floor in moon gravity. Weird.

I tried using the dgVoodoo Glide emulator to play U9 as it was meant to be played, but when I ran the game, the floor of my house was missing. Eeep.

Has anyone had success with other Glide emulators & Ultima IX? I am thinking about buying an old video card to play this on, though I fear it would not work in my machine. It seems like Ultima games experience software rot faster than others I've played, but I guess that is a consequence of being cutting edge.

Oh yeah, I never wrote the last ROV2 blog...need to hop to that this weekend!


Anonymous said...

been waiting for you to get to u9. found your blog while finally getting around to finishing u9 (i quit it 4 years ago when i was about half way done, but put it down only to recently beat it!).

after these many years it was easier to get into it: i was over the fact that its a disappointment (as an ultima at least). so i played the game comparing it not to the other ultimas, but comparing it to all the other games out there, and u9 is better than most new games coming out i think.

i ran on a geforce 6600gt and had no probs with d3d besides some crashing now and then. moon gravity and floating runes are the result of fast cpus (i think). wintrottle TM, free, might fix this. try it. i decided to use the fly cheat, and fast movement cheat, and avatar invuln cheat most the game. i used this to get floating runes (look up), and it made the game more fun, cuz that damn avatar walks too slow. i dont feel im cheating, i think the game has design flaws that im "fixing".

the ending cinematic left me wanting more ultima. all that work and its over.

Anonymous said...

Have you apply every fix (including the 1.19 unoficial patch). It should help. And, in option.ini put pooflame=0.

Anonymous said...

Only recently I completed U9 using
Zeckensack's glide wrapper:
I didn't notice any flaws with the 3D graphics while playing so I think it's worth a try.
Besides I fixed the bug with the flying runes by simply clicking and dragging on them a couple of times. Although they're far too high they will fall down eventually.
But I guess getting U9 to work correctly is the least annoyance you will face :)

Anonymous said...

i chose d3d over the glide wrapping, because the wrappers gave me choppier performance.

after beating the game, i still think back to some places i saw that never were part of the game as far as i could tell, like: theres an iceberg type place off the coast... never went there. also, theres a dungeon in moonglow i found by no-clipping (flying) in that well-type thing that you take the elevator in at some point... looking for that magic shield. it was strange, thee were monsters who got cut in half and the torso crawls along the floor. walls would lower as you walked into them. i never fully explored this. maybe i'll keep it that way so i can keep imagining it being something GOOD, instead of some stupid "test map". i dont recall ever seeing that torso monster anywhere else.

who knows what they had planned. wouldnt it be cool to have some of those radically different builds of u9?

u8 was truly the worst i played thru. i played them all except for parts 1 and 2. i started with 3, on the NES, in '87 or so, and after trying 1 and 2, i decided they were not good enough to waste my time on. this is a profound thing as i loved u3. nevertheless, 1 and 2 are NOT FUN, so thx for playing those FOR ME, so i DONT have to.

i know you lkove these comments so let me share some more: ZELDA! i loved it, and its what got me to look for a similiar game. u3 was that game. ugly looking but deep. great music added atmosphere. ...the other comment i have to make is related to my last point on music. check out this guy on youtube playing the theme to lord british's castle for the NES u3... u3 NES had some great music:


...i had the first comment. you can call me chancelot if you wanna holler.

Anonymous said...

Eh .. Ultima 9 didn't really do it for me. At the time Origin was too focused on Ultima Online to really put out a quality game. I would still have to say that my favorite ones were Ultima 5 and 7. Regarding 7, does anyone know how to get the naked couple in the bee cave to come clean? They actually are rather intelligent if you can get them to confess. I can't remember how I did it. If anyone knows my email is itha-kra@hotmail.com

Adamantyr said...

It's possible to play U9 with Direct3D, but it will be very frustrating. I have a Nvidia 8600 GT card, and aside from some color/texture issues (Lava bubbles in fuchsia?), I had a LOT of crashes. It seems some objects or object interactions cause a catastrophic failure in the engine.

My main bit of advice is to save frequently and often, and enable the fly cheat, because you WILL be using it at times to get around problems. Making changes to your INI file's 3D settings helps too. I usually increased the clipping plane well beyond what the game considers "max", as modern cards can easily outdo that now.

Some particular issues:
- The doors on the north side of the tavern in Britain, which have steps going up to them, have some kind of bug, possibly related to attempts to render the interior from afar. I exited the tavern through those doors once, and afterwards any attempt to render the tavern caused the game to crash.
- The docks of Britain are also a hazardous area for crashes; never save a game there without having another saved game away from that point. I had one case where every attempt to load the game just crashed back to the desktop.
- As remarked upon before, the gravity engine seems to have trouble in D3D, things fall slowly if at all, the runes and sigils in particular after cleansing a shrine. That's one reason you need the fly cheat.
- Some "cinematic" viewings, like when the wizard in Moonglow tells you to find this or that place, can cause the game to crash upon attempting to return the view to you. I noticed if I turned on the fly cheat BEFORE talking to him, I could sometimes avoid these crashes.
- Always close doors to businesses. Sometimes the NPC's like to wander, and if they get too far from the shop, they won't sell to you. Deleting your cached info and reloading the saved game can sometimes fix this.
- The afterlife area in Skara Brae also has a crash issue; after waking Shamino I found something near the Well of Souls caused a crash. I FINALLY managed to get around it by reducing the clipping plane to nearly zero and using the fly cheat to go way around on the right and get back to the Well.

If you can get a Glide emulator or, even better, an actual Voodoo5 card to play it on, I think you'd find the experience less frustrating.

Anonymous said...

I've played through U9 on both an nVidia TNT2 (32MB) and a Radeon 9600XT (128 MB) video card, using D3D, with the 1.18 patch installed both times. No Glide wrappers of any sort.

Never had a problem with the graphics, and only minor problems with stability in general.