March 15, 2004 at 4:58 pm #29091
Ken, To make it short: I am very serious about software preservation, and particularly Sierra games preservation.
You may remember the game Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash. It is probably the rarest Sierra game ever. There are only 2 original copies of this game known to exist (please trust me on this), and one is currently being sold on eBay by someone I am in contact with, but who is *not* willing to properly scan the manual and box, nor make a good image of the original tape (a VIC 20 tape actually). As this game is very rare, it will climb probably above $2000.
Altough I perfectly know how to properly preserve this game, I simply don’t have the possibility to shell out the money to buy it and preserve it digitally. The other copy of this game is owned by a very serious Sierra games collector (Josh, running vintage-sierra.com), and for reasons I can understand, he is not willing to scan and digitalize the game so that it can be added to a big software collection project (don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming him for this, and perfectly respect his thought).
I’m afraid the current copy may be sold to another serious games collector, that may keep this copy for the rest of his life, disabling any digital preservation. So the questions are: can you remember if you have this game in your personal collection (in which case we would be safe), and if not (or if you can’t remember), would you be ready to buy this game for preservation purposes, maybe selling the game again on eBay (and so getting at least most of your money back) after it has been properly preserved (should take no more than a day).
Of course, anyone else wishing to contribute is welcome.
March 15, 2004 at 5:46 pm #29092
(re: Preserving Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash) Nope – I definitely DO NOT have this in my collection. I don’t think I have any of the original Ultima games, but will start watching eBay for them to come available. I remember that our first box had copy on the back that my brother John wrote, that was hilarious. It had a list of things you could do in the game that included “hanging out with famous software developers”…
I remember that Richard (Garriott) forced us to put a cloth map in every box that cost me a fortune – like $2.50 and up per map. They were expensive, but very cool – and, a part of the success.
The Ultima game on eBay is for the Vic-20! And, on audio cassette?!!! I would absolutely have lost my money if someone had bet me that we once shipped software on a casette for the Vic-20. From the picture it really does look to be us. Strange – I don’t remember it at all. I remember some cartridge games for the Vic-20 .. but, not cassette. Oh well…
March 15, 2004 at 9:52 pm #29093
(re: Preserving Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash)
I hate game “collectors” who just take copies of games and never play them. I hate the same people who do this to comics, music, and movies. If we wanted to create things to never be played, I suppose you, Ken, could’ve just made pretty packaging. Now, to collect and to play a game, and to preserve games in a working status from the days of past . . . I applaude the efforts of ROM crackers, pirates, abandonware, and eBay for making access to these gems. Of course, if something’s copyrighted, a perfect good edition exists in one of four places: Imperial Tokyo Library, Library of Congress, Imperial London Library, and the Vatican Library. And at the Library of Congress, we can access everything in the library at any time.
March 16, 2004 at 5:17 am #29094
(re: Preserving Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash) Yes, it is guaranteed to be from you. It is listed in the “List of Sierra products” on this site, in the “Sometime in the ’80s” section. So, would you be the high bidder on this auction?
If you are, that would certainly spare me of some sleepless nights thinking about how to transfer this game to the right hands. If you prefer, you can e-mail me directly email@example.com to further discuss this. I insist that you will probably NOT find this game again on eBay before a very very long time.
March 16, 2004 at 8:42 am #29095
(re: Preserving Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash)
on mIRC i’ve seen a ROM of this game for something but sierra is something I prefer to own the original
March 22, 2004 at 2:30 am #29096
(re: Preserving Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash) I remember that Richard (Garriott) forced us to put a cloth map in every box that cost me a fortune – like $2.50 and up per map. They were expensive, but very cool – and, a part of the success.
It’s interesting that you put it that way, Ken. Of course we all know, the “extra” items that were included in almost every Sierra game were part of what made them so special.
The book “High Score” (a book I highly recommend) describes this: “When California Pacific went out of business, Garriot found that many companies wanted to publish Ultima II, but only Sierra would package it the way he wanted, with a colorful box and cloth map” (122).
March 22, 2004 at 4:39 am #29097
(re: Preserving Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash) Wow, it sold for $3,605!!! Incredible.
I wonder who spends that much money on a game? Especially since I bet the guy’s not even going to play it. Actually, when I got ULTIMA 3 for $91, I thought that’s incredibly expensive. I remember the guy I bought it from also sold ULTIMA 1, but that sold for $125. You’d actually have to sell 28.84 copies of ULTIMA 1 to be able to afford MT. DRASH …
see, that’s one of the reasons I gave up being a collector: you’ll never have a complete collection because there’s always stuff you can’t find and/or afford.
March 22, 2004 at 5:31 am #29098
March 22, 2004 at 8:33 am #29099
(re: Preserving Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash) That is amazing!!!
Sooner or later, I hope to put together a computer/video game “museum” in Seattle, with all the old games and computers to play them – as well as any old memorabilia I can find.
I won’t have the time to focus on this until at least the end of the year, but it’s on the list of projects I’d like to do. The key issue will be finding someone who is passionate about the idea, and who has a long-term vision for the museum. I can provide some items, and the industry connections that will allow this person to find more stuff – and, the seed capital.
At that time, I’ll be a bidder in these kinds of auctions – but, for now, if I bought anything it would just go into the storage locker along with all the other stuff that is in there.
March 22, 2004 at 8:59 am #29100
(re: Preserving Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash) I have my goofy personal museum. But I’ve had a vision of a museum in two parts. One part is a like any other museum, with exibits and such, but very high-tech, like a video demo on an LCD screen going at all times above the game’s stuff. The other is a spiral hallway going up at 5 stories, with arcade machines and computers lining the walls of this museum. It would be lighted by the monitors, and the machines would all be rebuilt to look like the PS2 demo units Sony and Samsung sent everybody in 2000.
If you get a copy of the Namco Museum collections on the old PlayStation (not the re-releases on the newer consoles) and some of those Midway retro collections (also on the old PlayStation), there’re some ideas there. The Namco discs each have a special 3-D museum designed as part of the game, with exibits and stuff. I think you might like it, though the emulation is little awkward.
Lastly, for the Ultima II thingy on eBay . . . more power to whoever bought it. I think I’ll stick to my Ultima Collection disc with all Ultimas (except Underworld series) from 0-8, with all the extras. I do understand, though, especially with Ultima, that there’s no substitute for all the goodies, but, eh, I just love to play games!
March 22, 2004 at 1:20 pm #29101
(re: Preserving Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash) > The key issue will be finding someone who is passionate
> about the idea, and who has a long-term vision for the
Ken, I am that someone. Although there’s no hurry, I’d really like to discuss this project with you. I am very serious about this offer.
March 23, 2004 at 12:02 pm #29102
(re: Preserving Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash) Yeah, wow – that bid sure went high. About the most I’ve paid for an item so far was $50 USD for KQV NES sealed.
I myself am currently working to acquire sealed copies of all of Sierra’s games (but none pre-King’s Quest) for the book project I envision my efforts turning to. One thing the book would have would be “museum”-style product shots of the sealed items. If you’ve seen the book “Peanuts – The Art of Charles M. Schulz,” or the book “High Score!,” or any of the “The Art Of” books for the Star Wars and Lord Of The Rings movies, those are some of the design influences on me as I am working towards starting this in the summer.
March 23, 2004 at 12:50 pm #29103
(re: Preserving Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash) John was the one that helped me with the information on Drash that I have on my site.
He even put to rest the rumor of all unsold Drash’s being destroyed and buried in Yosemite!
Vincent – I have played my copy, didn’t really like the game but I have played it. For those of you wanting to play it there was a port for the PC made recently. I am sure you can find it by google’ing “Mt. Drash PC port.”
I don’t really understand people’s desire to have high resolution scans of boxes, manuals, disks, etc… Pehaps someone can clue me in. I would be happy to do this with all my games but I wouldn’t distribute them, so it seems kind of like a waste of time.
Ken – I would be happy to help you with a B&M Museum, just let me know what I can do.
March 23, 2004 at 1:24 pm #29104
(re: Preserving Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash) Ken – I would be happy to help you with a B&M Museum, just let me know what I can do.
OK – I confess to being ignorant .. what’s a B&M Museum?
Thank you for the offer of help. It’s the wrong time for me to be thinking about this. I’ve got 30 things going, and don’t want distracted from all the distractions I’m already dealing with. I’ve gotten a few emails and postings on this topic.
To make a long story short, when it comes time to think this thought (which is later, not sooner), here’s the big picture of what I’ll be thinking:
My hope is that some entrepreneur will come to me with a plan to do a museum, preferably in the tourist part of Seattle. The museum would be interactive, in that visitors would be able to play for at least a few minutes the games from 20 years ago — and, it would not be limited to Sierra — I’d love to get old memorabilia from all the video and computer game companies. I would provide the seed capital (I’m thinking small – like under $50,000). From this, they would hopefully create something that could last for a long time, and grow over time — and, be able to feed themselves, and perhaps another employee or two. Seattle has lots of tourists, and if this were done correctly, I could see it being mildly popular.
Once again though… please don’t write me on this until much later in the year. Currently I’m caught in a loop and seem to be accomplishing nothing. If I were a computer, someone would need to reboot me.
March 23, 2004 at 10:39 pm #29105
(re: Preserving Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash) You said: Ken – I would be happy to help you with a B&M Museum, just let me know what I can do.
Now really, why would Ken want to open a B&M Baked Beans Museum? Heh, the more I think about that the funnier it gets. Man, I need some sleep.
March 24, 2004 at 12:05 am #29106
(re: Preserving Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash)
high-res box scans are mainly used for making copies or replacing copies of the game that have been destoryed or whatever. since most books and prints are printed at 300 DPI @ 133 LPI, the internet (at around 72 DPI @ ZERO LPI) is horrible for boxes, and reading the boxes if printed out
March 27, 2004 at 1:39 am #29107
(re: Preserving Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash) Ken,
B&M is an acronym for Brick and Mortar. Referring to a physical museum in a building, rather than say, a virtual online museum. Hope that helps.
March 27, 2004 at 11:53 am #29108
(re: Preserving Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash) I’ve been told there’s an arcade museum like what you’re describing near where I live in San Francisco. I haven’t been there (the time I tried they were closed for renovations). I think it sounds like fun!
But I’m not sure I could stand only having a few minutes to play the games… 🙂