Ultima III box cover
Ultima III title page

Ultima III - Exodus

The third part of Ultima was the first one which was published by Lord British's own company Origin Systems. Technically, the series made a big leap forward between Ultima 2 and 3. New features included many new character classes and races, a new combat system, a new spellcasting system based on mana points, animated tiles and a more realistic tile display, a stereo soundtrack, fill-mode dungeon graphics, moon phases which affect the moon gates and a multi-player party. The game was a smash hit to say the least.

Intro of the fantastic Macintosh version of Ultima III.
The Mac version has portraits for each character in the party. Here the party rests near a dungeon and a moongate with several monsters nearby.

In this game, the hero returns with three companions to the lands of Lord British, the only continent remaining of four. It now has a new form and a new name - Sosaria - but you will still recognize many towns and places from Ultima 1. There are also new towns and dungeons, each with their own maps and inscriptions. This game also introduces the Isle of Fire where the castle of the evil machine-demon Exodus is located, this is the Foozle of Ultima 3 and it will take a long time until you have collected all necessary items and information to confront it in his castle Death.

The same scene in the classic Apple II version.
...and in the ugly PC version of the game, already patched for EGA.

Recommended Version:
Ultima 3 is one of the games which has been converted for virtually any computer platform. There even is a fan-made Gameboy version which boasts with an additional quest. The PC version is one of the worst but it can be enhanced with music and EGA graphics by a patch. But the best version was created by a company named Lairware for the Mac. The graphics are excellent, with beautiful ray-traced dungeons and character portraits. Most important, everyone in the game speaks via Apple Speech Manager. The game is distributed through the Shareware system and can be played on the PC with an emulator. The official Origin versions come with the usual cloth map, three manuals and a reference card in the box.

Ultima III was the first numbered Ultima with fill-mode dungeon display, here the Amiga version.
The Mac version has beautiful ray-traced dungeon graphics.

  • Party with up to 4 created characters
  • 11 character classes, 5 races
  • 32 different magic spells for 2 magic classes
  • Dungeons 3D, Outdoors/Buildings 2D
  • On-Screen-mapping: Yes
  • Save game option available only on surface

The party finds a fountain in the Mac version of the game.
Lord British is again available for raising hit points and special quests.

This is the last "Kill-the-foozle" game by Lord British and the influence of Mondain, Minax and Exodus haunts the player in many later Ultimas. Ultima 3 was the darkest game of the first trilogy. Until Ultima 3, Lord British never thought that his games would be more than entertainment. When he heard stories about satanistic groups inspired by his games and received protest mails by concerned parents, he realized that the games indeed have an effect in reality. Thus he decided to make a completely different approach in Ultima IV with better morale and story depth.