Ultima 3: Exodus was published in many versions over the years. In the following sections the most significant versions are highlighted.
1983: Apple II version
The original version of Ultima 3: Exodus. It features 8-bit graphics and sound.
1986: Amiga version
The most advanced computer version available in English, made for the Commodore Amiga console. It features enhanced 16-bit graphics and music.
1988: Nintendo version
The NES version differs from any other. All in all, every important element of the game is in place. Many little changes and enhancements were introduced.
- A different sprite for each of the 11 different characters.
- A different sprite for each of the 23 different monster types.
- Text is greatly expanded, more than four times: every character has a different line, and many characters have two or even three lines; unfortunately, one line with an important clue went missing.
- Smooth movement.
- New music.
- A few more items and puzzles, e.g. the Ambrosia Flower and the two Picks.
- Featuring Richard Garriot himself and the singer Noriko "Sherry" Hidaka.
- The "Other" command is replaced by some sub-quests, making the game slightly more linear.
- Your characters increase level only speaking to Lord British.
- Stronger enemies start appearing only when characters increase level; on the other hand, all enemies have more endurance.
- Give blood at some healers to earn extra money.
- Food is depleted more slowly.
- Far less doors and far less enemies in Ambrosia.
- The two A-rank spells can be broken: they always succeed when the enemies sprites lower their weapons.
- Characters can raise their HP up to 9950, instead of just 2550.
- Enemies have a simpler artificial intelligence.
- Menu control instead of keyboard control.
- Save game at inns instead of automatic saving.
- It's not possible anymore to loop around Sosaria because of mountains between Moon and the nearby Moongate.
- The ship cannot fire cannons anymore, nor the enemies can fire at you.
1995: Lairware version
This licenced version features superior graphics, still sticking to the 1983 gameplay. It runs on Macintosh operating systems only. It's available for free, but you have to give a donation (about 5€) to make the Whirlpool appear (involving access to Ambrosia, the Shrines and the Cards).
2001: Sven Carlsberg's version
An unofficial version that was anyway appreciated by Richard Garriott himself. It runs on Gameboy emulators. It is absolutely faithful to the 1983 original (except for the menu commands, obviously). The author, Sven Carlsberg, added a second quest that connects the plots of Ultima 3 and Ultima 4.
Many other versions of Ultima 3 were published, especially in the Eighties. They present no particular enhancement from the versions listed above. Here's a short list:
- Versions for other systems published between the first version and 1986.
- 1983 MS-DOS version: 4-color graphics, no sound.
- Versions in Japanese only available for Japanese systems.