Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ultima 1 Revisited

April 22, 2011!
Today marks the beginning of a journey that will take me back to the early 80’s and relive those wonderful days programming on my Apple IIe computer! These were simpler times, when Sony Walkman’s were all the craze and cell phones were non-existent.  But what I remember most about the 80’s is Richard Garriott’s Ultima 1! 
This game changed my life!  Not only did it steer me into a career in Computer Science and Electronics, but it showed me what the Apple IIe computer could do when you had drive, commitment, and an adventures heart!  Richard spoke volumes with this game and his hard work and dedication would lead many young lads to trekking through treacherous dungeons or through Lord Brittish’s realm.
So today I embark on a journey to bring back those wonderful days when life was simple and all I worried about was playing and trying to program Richard Garriott’s Ultima 1 adventure.
I dusted off my old Apple IIe computer and pulled out all the old Apple programming books and manuals that I could find.  To my ultimate surprise, “no pun intended”, the old girl sparked to life with a single flick of the switch.  Once I slid in my DOS 3.3 disk and Reset the system, I was presented with the ultimate gift, “again, no pun intended” the magical ] symbol.
Now that I know I have a working Apple IIe computer I plan on reliving, no… revisiting if you will, those magical days when Richard Garriott had a dream to programming a game unlike no other game out there.  Ultima 1 was that game!  Those days when he sat in his closet programming in Applesoft Basic to the wee hours of the night!  I shall be embarking on the same journey, to not only relearn the Apple IIe computer but to relearn to program in Applesoft Basic and Machine Language!  My goal is to recreate the entire Ultima 1 program in Applesoft Basic and Assebly on my Apple IIe computer!  I hope to relive the excitement of creating a masterpiece of code and adventure. 
I will be blogging about my progress with learning Basic and Machine Language.  I will be reviewing some of the old Apple programming books that Richard may have read to increase his knowledge in the art of programming.  I will also be posting my code and examples as I travel along this quest to recreate the entire Ultima 1 game from scratch.
No code has ever been available on the web and no information has been posted regarding the Applesoft basic code for the Ultima games.  I do know that Richard programmed the first Ultima games using only Applesoft Basic.  My plan is to use Assembly language as much as possible and suppliment the rest with Basic.
So if you have any interest in the History of Ultima 1 and/or the basic program codes that helped launch an industry stay tuned and follow along as I take you back to the wonderful days of computer programming and gaming on the Apple IIe computer.

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