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Ultima V: Lazarus is a fanmade remake of Ultima V that remasters the game. The game uses Gas Powered Games' Dungeon Siege engine, and that game is required to play the remake; therefore this game counts as a mod for Dungeon Siege. It is an attempt to reconstruct the original title, including an elaborate plot, strategy elements and updated conversational mechanisms to resemble modern game dialogue systems.
The developers of Ultima V: Lazarus are known as Team Lazarus. This group is composed of volunteer writers, musicians, artists, and programmers from America, Australia, Austria, England, Finland, Germany, Japan, Norway, and Slovenia. Several members of Team Lazarus are professional game designers and many of the developers are also members of UDIC, the Ultima Dragons Internet Chapter.
The director of Ultima V: Lazarus is Ian Frazier, a game designer currently working at Big Huge Games. As a tribute to his efforts, Ultima fans bought for him a crossbow made by David R. Watson, the real world inspiration for the recurring Ultima character Iolo.
Lazarus was nearly six years in the making, and the final version of the game for PC, 1.20, was released on April 1, 2006. The Mac OS X version was released on 13 April 2006. The French localised version of Ultima V: Lazarus was released on September 21, 2006, while the German version was released on December 23, 2007.
Differences from the original
The original game featured a tile-based 2D world to explore, whereas the world of Britannia in Lazarus was entirely re-constructed in 3D. Several spells from the original could not be supported by the new game engine; Among them were "Des Por", which caused the party to move to the next lower level of a dungeon, and "Uus Por", which caused movement to the next higher level. The "In Por" (Blink) spell was removed from the final patch due to a bug referred to as "Blink Blindness", although a patch to reactivate the spell is featured on the website as an unsupported download. Many objects from the original Ultima V which could be moved, such as chests, barrels, and mirrors, are immovable in Lazarus. Naval combat is also different, as the few NPC ships are immobile, and cannons are absent. Other features from the original game that had to be removed because of engine limitations include whirlpools, the magic carpet, digging up moonstones and usable skiffs.[ ]
The developers re-wrote much of the dialogue in the game, adding many more quests and choices than were available in the original game. Much of the dialogue was enhanced to discuss the philosophy of the virtues system in more detail and giving greater depth to the personalities encountered.[ ]
Pelit gave the game 90 out of 100 and summarized that "Ultima V: Lazarus is a truly wonderful modernisation of a classic game. Despite the bugginess and a somewhat aged Dungeon Siege engine, Lazarus is a must-download for every Ultima fan. Impressive work in every respect".
- Official Ultima V: Lazarus website
- Ultima V: Lazarus at the Internet Movie Database
- Complete Character Portrait Listing
- The Dagon's Lair website covering the French localisation of Ultima V: Lazarus