->''"Thou hast saved the princess. She giveth thee 500 hit points, pence and experience points. She informs thee that thou art now ready for time travel, and that there is a time machine far to the northwest!"''

The first game in the ''VideoGame/{{Ultima}}'' series, later subtitled ''The First Age of Darkness'' is largely a VideoGameRemake of ''Akalabeth'', a simplistic DungeonCrawler game generally considered to be "Ultima 0". The evil wizard Mondain, using the aptly-named Gem of Immortality, has terrorized the land of Sosaria for over 1000 years. His monsters roam the lands freely, and none, not even the mighty Lord British, can hope to oppose him. It seems as if [[TheBadGuyWins the bad guy has already won]].

In desperation, a lone hero, known as "The Stranger", is summoned from another world. He must gain favor with the kings and princesses of the land, defeat Mondain's hordes, and travel from darkest dungeons [[SchizoTech to deepest space]], and even through time itself, to defeat a seemingly unstoppable threat. Will he succeed?

Though the game is [[SeinfeldIsUnfunny simplistic by modern standards]], it's an important stepping stone not only in the development of the ([[SequelDisplacement better-known]]) later games in the series, but for western [=RPGs=] in general.

!!This game had examples of:
* AltumVidetur: Numerous signs have arbitrary Latin phrases on them that sound cool but are [[{{Pun}} Ultima]]tely useless, such as "ultima thule" and "omnia mutantur".
* AnachronismStew: Even for a fantasy world.
* TheBard: Iolo, found in towns, sings "Ho eyo he hum". That's about it. Don't let Iolo get next to you, or "something" may get stolen and you'll need a pretty good memory to see what.
* [[DamselInDistress Damsels in Distress]]: The princesses.
* DungeonCrawling: Interestingly, there's no such thing as completing a dungeon; all you're required to do is to kill specific monsters that can be only be found on certain levels of a dungeon. And any dungeon will do: they're all the same save for the placement of some walls and tunnels. It's the clearest legacy of ''Akalabeth'', with many enemy graphics and some of the mechanics left intact.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Read the rest of the page. If the game was made in the present, one would likely invoke WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs
* EasilyForgiven: The player. Steal something or kill someone in a town or castle? Death penalty. Leave and come back right immediately? Suddenly nobody cares.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: For some reason, every castle has one imprisoned. Near the end, you must free one to get the Time Machine. Before that, you can just do it for a princessly boon of hit points, experience points, and pence (500 each).
* {{Expy}}: A ''lot'' of the names and monsters were lifted wholesale from ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', ''Franchise/StarWars'', and ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''.
* FauxFirstPerson3D: The dungeons, and perhaps the space shooting segments count as well.
* FasterThanLightTravel: Hyperjump lets you travel between sectors in space.
* ImmortalityInducer: The problem with Mondain. In fact, when you finally do fight Mondain; you have to destroy his partially created Gem of Immortality ''first''. Otherwise he'll keep coming BackFromTheDead. Pity you don't think of destroying [[VideoGame/UltimaV the Shards]].
* TheJester: Gwino the Jester has the key to one of the cells, and advertises the fact. It's not clear why she has it, but the only way to get the key to the prison cells is to kill her. Like Iolo, Gwino may steal "something".
* LevelGrinding: Averted. Levels only really determine how many enemies are on the overworld and what shops will have in stock. The bulk of the time it takes to win the game practically is spent on raising your stats. But it's not quite StatGrinding, either, as using a skill doesn't do anything to improve it directly; the conventional method of stat raising will require you to travel continental distances over and over to collect quest rewards and visit signposts [[PowerUp that cast spells on you]]. (The unconventional method is to [[MakeAWish throw lots of money into certain ponds]].)
* MarketBasedTitle: Richard Garriot tells [[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment Spoony]] that the title was originally ''Ultimatum'', but the publisher wanted something that could be copyrighted.
* RandomEventsPlot: You got to kill an evil wizard, find his immortality gem that does exactly what it's supposed to do and makes him immortal, and so you have to travel back in time to kill him. Doing so, among other things, involves flying a space shuttle into space and become a Space Ace by shooting TIE Fighters. [[SincerityMode No joke.]]
* RepeatableQuest: Just talk to a king again after receiving your reward.
* SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong: The ultimate goal of the player is to travel back through time and smash the Gem of Immortality before it can be completed, thus preventing Mondain's millennium-long reign.
* SchizoTech: Best weapon in the game? Laser blaster. Superior to pistols, phazors, and [[LaserBlade light swords]]. [[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment Spoony]] wondered how long the Blacksmiths had to apprentice for before being able to build ''Space Shuttles?!''
* TimeTravel: The goal of the game is [[CharacterLevel level up]] and do enough quests to show the local rulers that you are tough enough to go back in time and kill Mondain ''before'' he becomes immortal.
* UnexpectedGameplayChange: In order to prove your worthiness, you have to buy a ''space shuttle''; fly into space, rent a fighter, and shoot down enough... [[Franchise/StarWars TIE Fighters]]... to gain the title "Space Ace." No really. AllThereInTheManual.
* WizardNeedsFoodBadly: Every step you take in a dungeon or the overworld will eat into your stash of sacks of food. Fortunately, they're pretty cheap and you can carry thousands.