ince its release on December 22, 2005, Ultima V: Lazarus has been critically acclaimed by professional game reviewers and our fans. Read below for just a sample of what has been said. Our thanks to everyone who downloaded and played the game. You, above all else, have made our efforts worthwhile.
"Ultima V: Lazarus stands on its own as a monumental work of love by a dedicated team of primarily amateurs. ...they say that they don't make them like they used to, but with Lazarus, they still do."
--RPGdot [Score: 10/10]
"I can’t tear myself away from this game."
--Computer Gaming World
"But the level of detail put in by the developers doesn't stop there. All citizens have their own schedules. They wake up in the morning, go to work, take their lunch break in the local tavern, meet friends in the evening for chatting, or attend secret meetings before they go to bed. They truly make the virtual world feel alive, as do the numerous animals you encounter in the wilderness. They even make the polished NPCs in Gothic 2 look as bland as Kate Moss after her hundredth coke withdrawal in a celebrity rehab center."
--PC Action (Germany)
"A classic rises from the dead... The mod community doesn’t always offer fans of singleplayer games much to get their teeth into, but here is a welcome exception."
"A modern classic!"
--Pelit (Finland) [Score: 90%]
"The graphical restyling is perfect, the re-composition of the original music is excellent, the amount of new text is downright scary, and the new side quests are beautiful—all coming together to make a product that deserves maximum appreciation by virtue of the passion and the extreme competence with which it was realized."
--The Games Machine (Italy) [Score: 94%]
"Ultima fans won't be the only ones with tears of joy in their eyes, because this mod has all the potential of a full-budget title, with many current games hardly getting close to this level of quality!"
--PC Action (Germany)
"...the conversations really are first class. So many of the NPCs have so much to say it gives them real personality. I think it's safe to say this is the main thing lacking in most modern RPGs and even the creators of games like Morrowind and NWN could learn a thing or ten just by playing Lazarus."
"Running around in the forest, getting lost, fighting bad guys, and running into those delicious dungeons. I play at night, so I'm totally excited when I enter one, my room only lit by the little torch Shamino is holding. I can't stress enough how I love this game. I haven't played/enjoyed a game that much for a looooong time."
"It's amazing-this looks different than any other Ultima game, yet with the music and the wonderful characters, it's EXACTLY LIKE COMING HOME AGAIN! I was playing last night and marveling at how much it feels and looks, without being 2-D, like the old-style RPGs I loved, like U7 and Serpent Isle. You folks have done an amazing thing here, a world-wide effort to make a lot of people happy." -
"But really, without a doubt, it's the NPCs that make this game. So many people have said it, and it's absolutely true. The reason I adored Ultima VII so much was because of the NPCs - I'd never played a game where the NPCs were so well written/implemented with their business schedules and own little lives, and I haven't really since. Bioware are probably close, but they still don't do NPCs like Origin did. Lazarus have done a sterling job, and every time I talk to a new character, I can't wait to see what they're going to say. I knew the NPCs were going to be special as soon as I'd played the demo, and it looks like I was right. A big congrats to the writers on this."
"The pinnacle of the whole Ultima series was VII, parts 1 and 2. Team Lazarus have managed the seemingly impossible. They have recreated Ultima V in the spirit of Ultima VII. Not only that, they've added bells and whistles that actually enhance this spirit. Playing UV: Lazarus is a true 'Ultima' experience for the current generation. The chances of failure in such an enterprise are greater than the chance of the Avatar rescuing Lord British without once having to be resurrected!
"The achievement of UV: Lazarus cannot be overestimated and may never be repeated."
"The best thing is having the game bring back memories of when I played it when I was like 13 years old on my c64... I fully remember counting down the days before the game came out and then playing it non stop for weeks until I finished it... the game was incredibly addictive... I have played this version for most of today and have to admit that it far exceeds my expectations.. what I like most is that there are no load times at all when you go to a new portion of the world and also that passage on ship is possible... The fact that you guys were able to do this is amazing...sorry to ramble, but I have to be honest, I didn’t expect anything even remotely as ground-breaking as what you guys have done... amazing job."
"I love the little touches, the paintings, the lights in the forests, the fog. Everything is just beautiful. The thing I love the most, though, are the characters.
"They're just so well made. Their worries, their fears, their dark seedy pasts, and their hopes and dreams. Their different points of view and the sliding morality. The different senses of humor, the sarcasm. I also love that they never tell you everything, that so much in the conversation is left out. That some of their problems you just can't do anything about. The dialogue is just such higher quality than most of the RPGs out there.
"There is a woman who lives in Greyhaven. She's the wife of the Lighthouse keeper and mans it with him. But she’s also got a son who she teaches every day and watches as he learns to play the harpsichord. You'd think that this woman would be a saint until you talk to her.
"She's just filled with such strong opinions that she'll stop talking to you if you disagree. You try talking to her again and she kicks you out of the lighthouse. OMG she's PERFECT!!!!
"There's other characters that stay with you. Like Froed wandering alone in the forests of Skara Brae, and broken hearted Tomoka in New Magincia and Landon... His ego is just beautiful.
"I'd forgotten how much I missed the Ultima series. Thank you guys for bringing a piece of it back."
"New Magincia has some of the best dialogue I've ever seen in a game. Tetsuo and Wartow made me question my own ethicality and morality. I was more than a little disappointed after trying to help Tomoka solve her issue, and actually felt really guilty after learning the reason for it. Even the guy at the inn selling stuff to resistance members (Braunum?) made me ponder my own reasons for fighting.
"The overall story and dialogue for U5:L is comparable to the quality of work by Obsidian, whom I consider one of the best teams in the industry for creating amazing storylines and NPCs. In fact, talking to NPCs in U5:L reminded me of the companions in KOTOR 2, they were just so alive and believable that they invoked my own emotions and empathy.
"There are just so many things to like in U5:L. I would even go so far as to say that this game surpasses U7 in terms of depth, detail and content. Right after installing the game, I took a look at the manual and my first impression was: 'Omg, the amount of effort put into this is amazing!' Team Lazarus really did an amazing job. Great work guys! I'm sure this would be an excellent addition for your portfolios. And lastly, a big thank you for your years of effort and work, so that we can once again, enjoy a great Ultima RPG!"
"Guys, the world is beautiful, the portraits look great, the music is top-notch, and the embellishment to the story is wonderful for 2005, err...2006! ? You've done an amazing job here and if you're not all picked up by some humongous game corporation and paid tons of cash to do jobs like this one then there truly is no Justice in this, or any other, world."
"Bravo, Team Lazarus!
"Aside from some playability/frame rate issues (even though my computer comfortably exceeds the modest sysreqs of DS), this has to be one of the most beautiful achievements of free computer game artistry. Or, in fact, computer game artistry at all free or otherwise.
"The character portraits are beyond beautiful. I don't understand. For not getting paid, it's obvious how much love and attention went into this project. That was the first thing that struck me, and I still sometimes catch myself staring at portraits during conversations.
"I'm barely about an hour into the game and I've already laughed out loud and smiled broadly at many conversations. The dialogue writing is absolutely superb, imaginative, engaging, and realistic. This is probably one of the most important aspects of any Ultima game, and without a doubt, it's been done gloriously.
"I was also wandering around the forest south of Empath Abbey and heard this extremely cool song that used guitar in it. I'll be trying to get my hands on the soundtrack in order to be able to listen to it while not playing the game. And while that song struck me in particular, the music in the game everywhere I've been so far has been superbly done.
"Everything seems to have been well thought out. Years and years ago when I was but a wee lad and still used my Ultima Dragons name (Evvin Dragon), there was talk on Usenet about doing an Ultima Dragons fan Ultima. There was talk of using various free console RPG-type engines, and I think at that time no one could have imagined something like this could have been brought to fruition. This isn't just a remake of one of the most beloved Ultimas of all time, it's so much more.
"I'm a fan of the Elder Scrolls games and Morrowind's been the closest I've found to a modern, well done RPG. However, it wasn't Ultima, not by a long shot. This game IS Ultima. It's not just a remake, it goes on my shelf right along side every "official" Ultima ever made, and I refuse to differentiate between it and something spawned wholly from Origin(before it was corrupted and its essence dissolved by EA). *Edit* And it's 1000x better than that "official" abortion that was UIX!
"Thank you for this."
"I've been following this project since its formation all those years ago, when Ultima remakes and projects were as numerous as sand on a beach. I've lurked here on and off ever since, checking on the updates, always expecting that the project would be cancelled like the other Ultima projects. That or turn out a sub standard 'mod' that just renamed people and places from the original game plot. Then the screen shots and demos came out and I saw the quality that you were working towards, but I still didn't have much hope of the Lazarus becoming completed.
"Years passed and this site was still alive, and against all of my expectations to the opposite, Lazarus was going to be finished. I bought Dungeon Siege just for this game and downloaded Lazarus and loaded it up. 'Great' is too weak a word for this game. It has a depth and brillance that is the hallmark of the great Ultima games, and surpasses the retail games on the market today. The music and dialogue shame what passes for RPGs today. NPCs have and identity all their own and are not the stock paper thin archetypes that exist like furniture; functional but bland.
"I wish I could truly appreciate the 5.5 years of work and effort that have been put into the recreation of my favorite Ultima in all its glory. I can't know the difficulties of the programming, nor what you could have done with the time you had that was obviously spent on Lazarus. All I can say is thank you for creating an Ultima that I've been waiting for since U7. You are a group of amazingly talented people that deserve to be very proud of Lazarus. Again thank you."
"My relationship with the Ultima series has been a long one. The Apple ][ provided my first taste of Ultima. I have played every commercial release and still keep each cloth map and cherished piece of "box candy" among my treasured possessions.
"As both game and technology evolved we were drawn further in, immured by that glowing screen long into the night hours. What is it about the Ultima series that has touched a chord so deeply within each of us? Is it the story? The history? The characters? The myth? The music? Who could have known what rich tapestry would be woven from the seeds of the earliest ideas and crude graphics? We each have our own truly personal Ultima moments... and we have ventured beyond the reality of everyday life to become Avatars all.
"And so to the point. Team Lazarus has done a truly remarkable job in carrying the torch forward. They have given generously to create the work of art that is Ultima V: Lazarus. Others may speak more eloquently than I, but none could express a more heartfelt 'thank you' for your time, your efforts and what you have created."
"I wish I could actually express my thanks for all the work you folks did for Ultima V: Lazarus. But I honestly don't think I can put in into words.
"I have been playing computer games for over 25 years.
"Ultima V: Lazarus is in the top 20 games I have every played.
"It is by far the best game I have played in this decade.
"Yesterday, I spent 5 hours real time in New Magincia exploring and talking to the local peoples.
"The atmosphere and music were simply perfect.
"In the 1980's I always imagined that games would be FANTASTIC in 25 years. But the truth is that games have not improved all that much. Eye candy has improved, but actual games have not.
"Ultima 5: Lazarus is what I had in mind 20 years ago.
"Depth, intelligence, atmosphere. Immersion.
"I have been waiting for a game like this for so long, there is so much substance, atmosphere, story, it just has it all. I am completely addicted to it."
"I just finished the game, watched the credits in full length and was sitting now five minutes in front of the screen, trying to comprehend that it is over now...
"It is brilliant. I am not only humbled by the dedication to pull off a fan-based project of this dimensions, I am also deeply touched by it. U5 was the first game I bought and I was completely absorbed by it for months. I did not care about the simple graphics. In fact, due to the simple graphics playing U5 was like reading a book - you could daydream about those locations, make up the pastures of New Magincia in you mind, the banners fluttering on the battlements of LB's castle overlooking Britanny Bay, the rows of book and parchment in the Lycaeum. I envisioned Mariah slamming fireballs into a reaper or Dupre, Shamino and the Avatar hacking at some dragon. Now, almost 20 years later I can actually see all this, all my favorite childhood fantasies come to life. Now, after so many years, I finally realize that many people shared these daydreams with me and that really touches me.
"I played the Ultima games 6-9 as well, in most cases timing the purchase of a new computer accordingly (Origin picked up the annoying habit of making high-end games just by demanding the most recent hardware). However, it was never the same again (well, perhaps U6), I was even deeply disappointed by U8 (when does he get back to Britannia ... what? the game is over? No Shamino, Iolo, Dupre? Aaaaah!). I am very happy that it is U5 you have chosen for your remake.
"Finally, I would like to appreciate your love for the details. Many things must have been awfully difficult to implement in the DS engine. OK, without the moongates it wouldn't have been Ultima, ship travel is essential too. But I think, almost anyone would have accepted it if you had left out the grapple, or the reagent-based magic system. Well, you didn't, and that really deserves some extra credits.
"Thank you for this wonderful game, which was well worth wasting the evenings of a full month. Thank you all!"
"This is the best PC game I never bought. If it could be called a mere 'game'.
"Origin truly created worlds. But Team Lazarus, your labor of love is, well, Paradise Regained.
"I'm back where I always wanted to be.
"My heartfelt thanks to Tiberius and the crew."
--Johan von Ungern