[ Retro Scan of the Week ] The Savage Empire

January 18th, 2010 by Benj Edwards

Origin Worlds of Ultima Savage Empire Ad - 1990Meanwhile, the cover remained a one-fist affair.

I love Ultima VI, so it's excellent that Origin made two spin-off games using the same engine. I've played Martian Dreams, the other Worlds of Ultima game, but never The Savage Empire. Is anybody out there a fan?

[ From Video Games and Computer Entertainment, November 1990, p.155 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Which is best: The Savage Empire or Martian Dreams?



10 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] The Savage Empire”

  1. Dave Ross Says:

    I'm almost ashamed to admit I own both Worlds of Ultima games in mint condition, but I too have never played The Savage Empire. Maybe I should give it a try.

    Of course, Martian Dreams is more my cup of tea.

  2. Rodolfo Says:

    Pretty solid game, funny moments like some 3 stooges npcs and 2 different love interests.

  3. Xyzzy Says:

    I was/am a huge Ultima fan, but never got around to playing the two Worlds Of Ultima titles. By the time I had copies, they already wouldn't play on my computer's OS.

    It seems strange for Origin's Ultima art team to have depicted women the way they did on Savage Empire's cover, anyway. They seemed to almost always have women in illustrations wear an amount of clothing parallel to the guys, which I'd really appreciated as a female Ultima fan.

  4. Kristopher Browne Says:

    As with any post about retro DOS games, it should be mentioned that Dosbox runs Ultima 1-8, as well as both Worlds and Underworlds, beautifully.

    As a sidebar, if there are any Mac gamers who haven't tried Boxer for DOS games, you are missing out. It creates self-contained bundles of each game, it's support files, configuration, etc. Elegant, thoughtful, and easy to use.

    http://www.dosbox.com/
    http://boxer.washboardabs.net/

  5. DPenn Says:

    @Xyzzy: My experience viewing the cover was to sort of half-parse the words "Worlds of Ultima," see the woman with the boobs, notice Origin was the publisher and then say, "Really?" to myself.

  6. Thomas Says:

    I didn't even notice the woman until I read the comments. I was to busy looking at the screenshots thinking "Hmm, I've got to try this one."

  7. SQLGuru Says:

    @DPenn that was the same reason that I bought Bad Blood. Plus, she shot LASERS from her EYES.

  8. Benj Edwards Says:

    The cover art reminds me of Frank Frazetta's fantasy work:

    Frank Frazetta

    He commonly illustrated "savage" type scenes like Conan, etc., so I get the feel that was the sort of vibe Origin was going after with the cover art for The Savage Empire.

  9. Donn Says:

    Along with Ultimas V, VI and IX, I love Savage Empire. (Yes you read that right, I love Ultima IX, too.) SE is just the right thing for a great Allan Quatermain/King Kong/Zulu-esque jungle adventure. I have to admit, I've never actually finished it, but it's still great fun.

    Yes, Dosbox is your friend. Just now playing Ultima VII for the first time.

  10. Calibrator Says:

    Ah the tiimes…

    Played both Martian Dreams, which I bought because of a very good review and this (lent by a friend - we swapped games to halve costs). While I generally loved both games - in fact I liked both a bit better than U6 - Savage Empire was a bit weaker than Martian Dreams (which I'd recommend to any history fan/buff) in several respects.
    If you like the lush VGA jungle graphics better then SE is the ticket, though.

    However, what killed SE for me at the time was a showstopping bug I encountered pretty late in the game, caused by some seemingly innocuous action earlier. It wasn't curable so it meant game over for me.
    To this day I wonder if I should have taken the time to replay the first three quarters of the game again but every time I come to the conclusion that I want to spend my limited time with other stuff.

    If one wants to play SE now he shouldn't be stopped, though, as the bug is documented and can be avoided.

    Some bonus trivia:
    The GAME.EXE of noth MD and SE contains the string "Winona Ryder is a really hot babe"… ;-)

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