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Box artwork for Times of Lore.
Times of Lore
Publisher(s)Origin Systems
Year released1988
System(s)Apple II, Commodore 64/128, Amstrad CPC, DOS, Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, NES
Followed byBad Blood
ModesSingle player
LinksTimes of Lore at PCGamingWikiTimes of Lore ChannelSearchSearch

Times of Lore is an action-adventure game developed by Christopher Roberts and released by Origin System in 1988.

Apart from the Ultima series, Origin Systems released several role-playing games. Of these, some retained similar dialog system and command interface, and became known as Light Ultimas. They are Times of Lore and Tangled Tales. The two games are very different from each other.

First of all, Times of Lore has an epic tone, while Tangled Tales leans more towards the humorous. Then, Times of Lore is an action-adventure game, instead of being a role-playing game: it features freedom of exploration and characters interaction, but lacks character development. Instead, Tangled Tales features all three aforementioned aspects, but its combat interface is more similar to a text adventure game, rather than a turn-based RPG.

The following is an excerpt of dialogue from Ultima 5: Warriors of Destiny:

You see: a dashing young farmer.
Name? Christopher.
Job? I fiddle in the fields to keep me fed.
Fiddle? Fields? I pride myself in a job well done, even if one does not enjoy it.
Job? Done? Enjoy? What I really enjoy is writing works of fantasy.
Writing? Fantasy? I'm currently working on an epic called Times of Lore!
Times? Lore? I hope to have it published soon.
Published? Soon? Through Origin, of course. Wilt thou buy it?
No: Then I'll be of little help to you in the future!
Yes: Good! What a nice chap thou art. Enchanted, I'm sure, to have met such an enlightened soul.


Game versions and releases:

The Famicom/NES version is available in English. It has four distinct advantages over all the previous ports:

  1. Full-screen field of view, five times larger than the window in the previous ports.
  2. The game pauses while the player is selecting a command from the menu.
  3. Some details traded a bit of realism for a smoother playability: (1) the dagger doesn't have to be picked up every time is thrown; (2) the magic boots aren't taken off every time the character goes to sleep; (3) the magic axe never gets stuck in a tree.
  4. Full background music.

In this case, it really has to be said: "Japanese do it better"!

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