Mt. Drash box cover
Mt. Drash title page

Ultima - Escape from Mt. Drash

Mostly without the knowledge of Ultima Designer Lord British the new publisher Sierra On-Line created that what should be known "the first official Ultima Spin-Off in history." Programmed by Keith Zabalaoui, Sierra wanted to publish a maze game with "Swashbuckler"-like fighting sequences. The game also deserves a place in history as one of the worst Ultima games which has ever been created. Published exclusively for the Commodore Vic-20, this game quickly became one of the most desired collector's items due to its rarity.

Escaping from Mt. Drash also is a race against time.
The dungeon of Mount Drash.

The story of this game mostly avoids the Triad of Evil plot and it is difficult to put it in the Ultima timeline, probably the best place would be between Ultima 2 and 3. Captured by an evil alien race, the hero must travel through a 15 level dungeon, fight monsters and collect gems on his way. The levels become more and more difficult and the on-screen mapping feature more and more useless.

In the upper right screen a map of the maze is automatically drawn.
Higher levels are more difficult and the auto-mapping less useful.

Recommended Version:
Not much choice here, the game was created solely for the Vic-20 and has crappy graphics and simple background music. A fan has created a PC remake but I have not been able to play it so far. The original Vic-20 version has no save game feature, so you will have to play it with an emulator which allows to make snapshots if you want to save the game.

The hero encounters a hostile gremlin.
Heavy fighting, you also have three spells to aid you.

  • Single-player game
  • No different classes or races
  • 3 different magic spells
  • Dungeons 3D
  • On-Screen-mapping: Yes (No in higher levels)
  • No Save game option

In the upper levels you also have to find hidden gems.
Encounter with a hostile gazer.

The morale of this is "Avoid cheating games!"