Ultima 1: The Original


Atari conversions: Ferguson, Jones, Mehornay and Siner (Sigma Micro Systems)

Ulrima I welcome

Welcome to the magical world of ULTIMA I. In your package, you will find a warranty return card, one disk, this booklet, and a player reference card. To play ULTIMA I you will need your Atari computer with 48K, a monitor, and at least one disk drive.

The warranty card

Sierra On-Line wants your continued business. If you fill out the enclosed product registration card and return (we have already paid the postage), you are covered by our warranty. If your disk should fail within 90 days, return it to your dealer, or directly to us, and we will replace it without charge. After 90 days, enclose $5.00 and return the disk directly to us. Sorry, without the registration card, you are not covered by the warranty.

The disk

Side A: THE ULTIMA PROGRAM MASTER. This is the side of the disk that you must use to begin your Quest in ULTIMA.
Side B: THE ULTIMA PLAYER MASTER. the Player Master contains the prototype seed from which adventures are grown. NEVER USE THIS SIDE OF THE DISK TO PLAY THE GAME! Instead, copy the Player Master once for every couragous adventurer you create. Be sure not to remove the "write protect tab" on the upper right side of the Player Master.

Copying the Player Master

The wise adventurer makes a copy of the Player Master right away, using a blank disk:

1. Remove all cartridges from the computer
2. Insert your ULTIMA I Player Master (Side B up) in the drive.
3. Use the Format Disk command to format a blank disk.
4. Use the duplicate disk command to copy the Ultima I Player Master to the blank disk.

After you create each "personalized" Player Disk, you should label the disk with the name you assume for the character.

Loading instructions

1. Insert your ULTIMA I Program Master (Side A up) in the drive.
2. After a few moments, you will be given three options:
#0 Number of disk Drives = 1
#1 Generate New character
#2 Continue Previous Game

3. If you have two disk drives, press zero to change the number of drives. the Program Master should be in drive 1; the Player disk will go in drive 2.
4. If you wish to create a new character, press "1" and follow the directions given in CREATING A CHARACTER.
5. Press "2" to enter the world of Ultima I.

Note: After you make a disk swap, be sure to press the RETURN key.

Creating a character

1. select option #1 by pressing "1". You have 90 points to distribute between the six attributes.
2. Choose a race and type for your character. The name that your character assumes must start with a letter of the alphabet and be no more than 15 characters in length.
3. Each character is initially given 2 daggers, leather armor, 100 hit points and 99 food points.
4. When you are satisfied with your character the program will write the information to your personalized Player Disk.

The attributes

Strength: Relates to the severity of a blow landing on a foe.
Agility: Affects the probability of a blow landing on a foe.
Stamina: Affects your ability to absorb damage in battle and your ability to hold liquor.
Charisma: Relates to your bargaining ablity
Wisdom<: Affects the probability of successful spell casting.
Intelligence: Relates to the strength of your spell casting and affects your bargaining ability. the more you have, the better your bargain and spells will be.

These six attributes have a value range of 1 to 99, and an initial maximum of 20.

Hit Points: A measure of your character's mortality, or the amount of damage sustainable before death occurs.
Gold: Money!! Cash!! Assets!!

Relative advantages of race

Human: +5 Intelligence
Elf: +5 Agility
Hobbit: +10 Wisdom; -5 Strength
Dwarf: +5 Strength

Relative advantages of type

Fighter: +10 Strength
Cleric: +10 wisdom; appropriate spells always work
Wizard:+10 Intelligence; twice as many spells
Thief: +10 Agility; twice as good at Steal and Unlock


You have over 30,000 game-travel days to travel through a mystical world consisting of oceans, grasslands, mountain ranges, towns, castles, landmarks, dungeons and outer space. You may either fight the various monsters or run away from them. Beginning players (with relatively low character attributes) are advised to run from very powerful creatures such as the wandering warlock.

left arrow - West
right arrow - East
equal key (=) - North
front slash (/) - South

A joystick may also be used for directional control. the fire button on the joystick will perform the functions of the Attack (A) key or Fire (F) key when applicable.

Town and Castle movement

Town and castle movements can be used for replenishing supplies, gathering information, and raising player attributes. there is much more to each of the towns and castles than meets the eye, so experiment with all of your options. combat in the towns and castles differs from that in other areas. After striking the A (Attack) key, you must strike a direction (movement) key to determine the direction of your attack.

Dungeon movement

Underground movements possible are: turn left, turn right, go forward, and turn around. different monster types, with increasing strength, are found as you go deeper into the dungeons. the number of force fields, coffins, and traps as well as amounts of gold increase in frequency with depth.

Space movement

In outer space your space vehicle will: rotate left, rotate right, thrust forward, and retro (reverse thrust). In the front-view mode it can turn left or right, climb or dive. Space bar centers the stick. As before, joystick movements are also possible. Even when stopped in the top-view mode, your ship may still have some motion in the third dimension; thus, the front-view mode may show some movement. The keys "9" to "1" are speeds for the front-view mode. "9" is the slowest, "1" the fastest. Important: changing from front-view mode to top-view mode at high speeds is likely to result in a fatal collision.

Space is divided into 64 sectors on an 8x8 grid. While in the top-view mode, you can see everything within your sector. You may obtain a long-range scan of the surrounding sectors with the "I" command. Hyper Jump (only in the front-view mode) jumps your ship from one sector to the next based upon your last direction of travel in the top-view mode (if you were stopped, Hyper Jump will not operate).

Docking with starbases is done very carefully at one of the unused docking ports. A docking fee of 500 gold pieces will be charged. Upon docking with a starbase, you will be asked for a "Base Command". You must then use a direction key to indicate which vehicle you wish to use next.

Engaging in combat in space requires the use of the front-view mode, which is achieved by toggling the "V" command. You cannot change back to the top-view mode until either all enemy ships in your sector are routed, or you leave the sector by "hyper jumping" into the next sector. Reentry takes place when your ship passes within 15 screen units of Earth. Only a space shuttle has the heat shields necessary for this trip. Even heat shields cannot protect your ship if it passes too close to a star, however.

"^" - Enemy Craft
"B" - Starbase
"*" - Star
"-" - Empty Sector

Key commands

A (Attack) - Attempt to damage foe with "ready weapon"; must be followed by a "directional key" n towns and castles

B (Board) - Board vessel, mount horse, etc.

D (Drop item) - Remove items no longer desired

E (Enter) - Enter towns, castles, dungeons, and landmarks

F (Fire) - Fire ship weapons; usable in frigates, aircars and space vehicles

G (Get) - Pick up items in dungeons, catles, etc.

H (Hyper Jump) - Travel to a different sector in space; a good evasive maneuver

I (Inform or Search) - Name places only identifiable by entering; reveal secret doors or trapdoors in dungeons; display long-range sector scan in space vehicles.

K (Klimb) - Climb up or down dungeon ladders

L (Lag Time) - Set time intervals for response to command prompts (scale of 0-9, default = 3)

O (Open Coffin) - Open coffin in dungeon; watch out for booby traps!

Q (Quit) - Save game; save current progress to disk. Do this often to avoid the loss of data, which could be due to a power failure, turning off the computer, or death.

R (Ready) - (Weapon, armour, spell) choose what to attack with, wear, or cast.

S (Steal) - Steal behind the counters of shops, or in castle storage areas.

T (Transact) - Buy from or sell to merchants, bartenders or kings.

U (Unlock) - Open cells in castles, chests in dungeons; watch out for booby traps.

V (View Change) - Toggle between top and front views in outer space.

X (Exit) - Leave current craft, dismount horse, etc.

Z (Statistics) - Show player's vital statistics, possessions or spells. An asterisk will indicate which weapon, spell or armour is ready.

Magic spells

Blink: Randomly places you elsewhere on your dungeon level.
Create: Creates a force field directly in front of you.
Destroy: destroys a force field directly in front of you.
Kill: Attempts to kill foe on a square ahead of you.
Ladder Down: Creates a ladder down to next dungeon level.
Ladder Up: Creates a ladder up to next dungeon level.
Magic Missile: Magically inflicts damage on foe; power increased by magic items and intelligence.
Open: Opens coffins with no risk of injury
Prayer: Try when in real trouble; can be used anytime.
Steal: Increases thieving ability; great for stealing gold
Unlock: Opens chests
Buying spells will cost you in both gold and experience.


Many evil beings infest Ulitma I: Thieves, Giant Octopi, Necromancers, Skeletons, Bats, Giant spiders and Daemons, to name only a few. Many of these creatures have magical powers or special abilities, and some have both. As you play, you will learn which monsters are stronger than others and how to best deal with each of them.


Weapons, which can be bought in the towns, will be listed in increasing attack strength. As the game continues the technology of the world increases, which allows you to buy better and stronger weapons. These weapons include long distance weapons such as a bow and arrows, and hand-to-hand weapons such as a sword. To attack with a weapon, you must first "Ready" it with an "R" command. When you press "R", you will be asked, "Which?" (Which one do you want to ready: Weapon, Armour, or Spell?). You will then be prompted to choose which from among the weapons you own. a weapon must be specified with the first two letters of the name of the chosen weapon; armour or spells are specified with the first letter of your choice.

Amulets, wands and staffs are magical items which are not directly used in attacks. While in your hand, these objects increase your spell-casting ability. spell casting effectiveness is greatest with a staff, then with wands and amulets. Some weapons are more magical than others. As you will see, the triangle is a very magical sword.

You are now ready to enter the mystical world of ULTIMA 1.

The story of Mondain

"In the darkness, as he gasps his final, evil breath, the forces of light and darkness will gather in the heavens for a battle to be heralded in song and legend for generations to come. In the fight to regain the balance, the awesome powers unleashed by the two opposing forces will violently rend the fabric of space and time surrounding our small world. Chaos and havoc will reign over our people for a short while, but ultimately, a new age will dawn. Civilization and peace will once again return to our planet."

Such was the prophecy uttered by the oracle on that fateful night as you huddled around the legendary mirror of time. On you rests the responsibility, and the danger. the hope of future generations hinges on your ability to fulfill the prophecy and conquer the evil Mondain. The words of the oracle weighed heavily on your shoulders and your mind was consumed with thoughts of danger as you made your way to the door.

"But wait!" cried the oracle. "Be careful - all that is prophecied does not necessarily come to pass. do not underestimate Mondain. His power is great and his arm is long. His evil has spread like a scourge throughout the land. He has eyes and ears in unlikely places and servants where you least suspect. You are probably free from harm in the cities, but already Mondain has heard whispers of your Quest riding on the winds - the countryside is no longer safe for you.

"One more thing, my brave adventurer - all will be fr naught unless you find the gem first. When the world was young and the fires of evil burned strong, Mondain created the gem. As powerful a wizard as he is, even Mondain is not strong enough to contain such great forces in his physical body. The gem is the source of his power. In it, his evil resides. If you can just take the gem into your possession, you will sever his link with his source of power. Now be off with you!! Before the eternal night sets in!"

Programming and inspirational credits

Ken Arnold
Charles Bueche
Richard Garriott
Steve Gibson
Michael Gray
Steve Jackson
Winfred Kang
Tom Luhrs
Garry Morrison
Duane Morrison
Mary Taylor Rollo
Keith Zabaloui