Courtesy of Deckard at the UO Gateway, the Ultima Codex is pleased to present over twenty images scanned from the Japanese-language manual for the Super Nintendo (SNES/Super Famicom) port of Ultima 7.
The SNES port of Ultima 7, as ports of Ultima games go, was not particularly great. It featured a much more compact, less interactive world, in addition to a shorter plot.
The technical limitations of the Super Nintendo made it necessary to cull a fair amount of the content which had been present in the PC version of Ultima VII, which had been approximately 20 megabytes in size and had featured VGA graphics, a full soundtrack and a deeply interactive game world. In order to compress the game into a one-megabyte module, a great deal of material had to be removed — resulting in a product with simplified graphics, a limited musical score and a greatly simplified world map.
In addition to this, Nintendo of America appeared to impose a great deal of editorial control over the games content — leading to the removal of many of the original versions “darker” aspects for the sake of keeping the game “family friendly.” As such, the game’s plot was changed from focusing on a spree of mutilation killings to focusing on a rash of unsolved kidnappings, and macabre or sexual imagery was removed.
In spite of these changes, however, the Japanese manual for the game was impressive, and appears to even offer something of a concise history of Ultima within its pages.