The Ultima 3 Upgrade is a patch for Ultima III: Exodus that adds the following features:
- The ability to switch between four video modes with new tile sets:
- VGA 256-color mode
- EGA 16-color mode
- Simulated CGA Composite 16-color mode
- CGA 4-color mode
- Enhanced MIDI Music from the C64 and Apple II versions
- New hotkeys: Restore (ALT-R), Exit (ALT-X), and Main Menu (ALT-M)
- Sosaria Mod
- And many others:
- Replaces the 0-7 numeric moon phases with actual moon icons
- A Frame Limiter that ensures the game runs at a reasonable rate on today’s processors
- Ability to enable/disable the AutoSave feature
- A program to reset the game so you can start a new character
- Gameplay balance fixes related to monster generation and food consumption rates
- Properly timed PC speaker sound effects
The upgrade is designed to be flexible such that various features can be switched on and off individually via a configuration program.
Future enhancements might entail modifying the sound effects to be generated by WAV/MP3 data, looking at using SVGA DOS libraries for higher-resolution graphics, and/or allowing others to more easily customize the graphics and music. At the moment though, I feel the U3 Upgrade is in a very good spot where it is, so don’t expect these things any time soon (or perhaps ever).
- The PC version of Ultima 3 must already be installed on your hard drive. If you have a previous version of the U3 Upgrade installed, you may:
- Let the installer detect and upgrade you to the latest version. (v3.0 onward)
- Replace it with a fresh copy of Ultima 3. (be sure to back up your savegame files ROSTER.ULT, PARTY.ULT, and SOSARIA.ULT if you do)
- Unzip the U3 Upgrade zip file into your Ultima 3 directory on your hard drive. This step will not affect your current installation or saved games.
- Run the following program to patch to the game files, depending on your O/S:
- Windows: u3upw (Can be launched directly from explorer)
- Linux: ./u3upl
- DOSBOX: u3up
- Configure DOSBOX to run with at least 3000 cycles. (10000 if you intend to run using CGA Composite mode.)
- Run ULTIMA3.COM in DOSBOX to start the game.
- If launching from GOG, edit the file dosboxULTIMA3_single.conf in the game directory and change ULTIMA.COM to ULTIMA3.COM.
- This version includes SosariaMod. To launch it, see here.
- This version ships with default configuration. You can change this configuration using the following program, depending on your O/S:
- Windows: u3cfgw (Can be launched directly from explorer)
- Linux: ./u3cfgl
- DOSBOX: u3cfg
- This version ships with General MIDI as the default driver. You can change this by running SETM.EXE from the Ultima 3 directory to configure a different sound card (e.g. FM synth). This must be done within DOSBOX.
Below is an images gallery of the various video modes. There are 40 images total in the gallery.
The following music was recorded from the MIDI files using the SynergiGS soundfont.
Release 3.3 – 2018-03-15
This release adds the following features:
Sosaria Mod – An optional modification of the game world so that it represents the Lands of Lord British from Ultima 1. This is to help give the first trilogy a more consistent world. For more information see Sosaria Mod.
Start a New Game – Back when Ultima III was released, you would supply a blank player disk whenever you wanted to restart the game. This would clear the roster and reset all the monsters/ships the game world. While it’s now possible to manually clear the roster, there’s no real way to reset the game world. Previously, I had provided a u3reset tool for that purpose, but I’ve now rolled this functionality into the main menu.
Easier Upgrade Tool – The new u3up tool (or u3upw for Windows) makes it easy to upgrade from a clean install or a previous version. If on Windows, just run u3upw directly from Windows Explorer.
And, of course, bugfixes!
- Thanks to all the people who have submitted comments, suggestions, and bug reports thus far. Your comments are greatly appreciated, and have helped to make this a better upgrade to a great game!
- Thanks twofold to Aradindae Dragon (Ryan Wiener) for a) supplying me with the Midpak drivers and b) helping me to get them working properly.
- Thanks also to Wiltshire Dragon (Joshua Steele) for his beautiful VGA tileset from the Ultima IV Upgrade, without which I would have to go scouring the ‘net for graphic artists willing to do this.
- Thanks to NewRisingSun for posting Composite CGA screenshots to MobyGames, inspiring me to return to the U3 Upgrade and write a Composite CGA simulator with v3.0.
- Thanks to nakedbaby on GOG.com for asking about the status of v3.1, prompting me to focus on getting this release out finally.
- Thanks to Feeding Dragon (Joe Bunt) for calling out the problem with sound effects on newer systems, thus paving the way for v3.2.
- Thanks to the Ultima Dragons for just being the outspoken group that they are.
- And thanks especially to Richard Garriot for creating Ultima III in CGA and forcing us to play it on RGB monitors, thus inspiring me to learn assembly. 😉
Downloads of all patches and music files are available on the Downloads page.
Please note that Ultima is a registered trademark of Electronic Arts (EA). This project is not affiliated with nor endorsed by EA. You must own a legal copy of Ultima III: Exodus in order to apply this patch.