|Wow, the music here is maddening...|
An NES port was an obvious choice as the leading console of the time; following the success of games like Dragon Warrior (1986 JP) and its sequel (1987 JP), which take most of their inspiration from here, and seeing Dragon Warrior II become the first blockbuster game in Japan (seriously, people camped out days in advance to get the game), cashing in on this market is a no-brainer.
Changes were necessary though as the NES had no keyboard. To fit everything to a 2-button controller interface, the game used nested menus to fit all the options (much like Dragon Warrior). The graphics are more colorful than the original versions of the game, and the music changed to fit the NES hardware. All the manuals were reduced to one, and no map was included. I feel like I'm in for a bit of a challenge with the reduction in exposition.
|The party that never was (also this music is pretty catchy)|
Mostly, I'm going into this blind, and from what I hear I'm going to struggle with unhelpful NPC hints. There's also mention that it is not possible to brute force through the game, and the final boss is more of a puzzle to pass. I've tried to keep this research spoiler free, so I don't have much more to report. There's evidently a 64-page hint book floating around as well, which I'll take the time to peruse after completing the game.
There's not a lot of mention of this game when reminiscing about classic console RPGs with friends and forums, so I have to wonder how the Ultima series continued to be released on consoles through Ultima VII. In fact, there's two Ultima games released for the Game Boy that look more like Zelda than Ultima, but I'll give them a chance based solely on the series. One of the most unfortunate omissions of the series on console is the lack of an American release to the PlayStation port of Ultima Underworld.
|I didn't even vote in this poll...|