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The odd selection of transportation in Ultima I

Modern transportation describes the various hi-tech vehicles found in the first two Ultima installments. They can only be explained by the twisting of the time-stream, as they partially employ technology many years beyond what is currently available on Earth.

Ultima I[]

Speeder.gif Air Car

This vehicle is a lot like a landspeeder from Star Wars. It hovers over the ground and has no trouble with land or water, but can't pass through forests. Additionally, it is armed with powerful lasers, and can shoot enemies at a distance. The air car was found in Ultima I and could be bought when the time was right.

Shuttle.gif Shuttle

In Ultima I, the shuttle is the only spaceship capable of leaving and re-entering the planet's atmosphere. Surprisingly, it is rather trivial to buy a shuttle (at a certain point in the game), but it is deadly to attempt space travel if one isn't wearing a vacuum suit or reflect armour. The shuttle does have weaponry, but very poor fuel and shield levels, and therefore an aspiring "space ace" will want to switch to a different craft, once docked in space.

Ship1.gif Starship (small)

One of two interstellar vehicles available at the docking station, this vessel has a shield rating of 5000 and a maximum fuel capacity of 2500. It does not have heat shields for atmospheric re-entry.

Ship2.gif Starship (large)

The larger of two ships available from the docking station, this bulkier vessel has a shield rating of 1000 and a maximum fuel capacity of 5000. It does not have heat shields for atmospheric re-entry.

Dock.gif Docking Station (shown with shuttle and small starship docked)

Not a true form of transportation, the docking station was nonetheless a vital waypoint for the Stranger's journey to become a "Space Ace." Once out of Sosaria's atmosphere, the shuttle had to be docked here (after paying a 500gp docking fee) and a new vessel chosen before any space combat could occur. Likewise, the dock had to be visited again to return to the shuttle, and the planet's surface.

Ultima II[]

Biplane.gif Bi-Plane

A real-world airplane, the bi-plane as seen Ultima II is capable of flying over all kinds of terrain. When not in the air, it is capable of rolling over grassland. Be warned that the plane can only land on grass, not forests or water, and will crash outright if a landing is attempted in the mountains.

Bi-Planes could be found on Earth, both in 1990 A.D. in New San Antonio and in 2112 A.D. Aftermath in Pirates Harbour, though some were found on the outer planets, notably Pluto. To actually be able to use a plane, one needed a Skull Key and a Brass Button (both items unique to Ultima II).

Rocket.gif Rocket

Rocket ships are only available in the Aftermath town Pirate Harbour in Ultima II. To operate one after stealing it from the communists, a suit of reflect or power armour is absolutely needed, as well as an Ankh to start it and Tri-Lithium to fuel it. Once in space, a set of three coordinates (X-Y-Z) have to be entered to engage a hyperwarp to the target, using one Tri-Lithium per trip. The rocket ship has no weaponry, but unlike Ultima I, there are no enemies in space to shoot down.

Landing is much more tricky; the rocket needs to land on grass, or it will crash and explode. Death also occurs should the pilot carelessly deplete the rocket's supply of Tri-Lithium.


Planes - No jets, but these little single-prop jobs are just the ticket for hotfooting it around the world and through time - if you're prepared.
Rockets - By the time you find one and figure out how to procure it, you won't need a manual to deal with the situation. It takes proper armor to launch one and survive.

- from The Second Age of Darkness (Ultima II)


  • The reason behind this bizarre mix of medieval scenario and modern/sci-fi technology was that, at the beginning, Richard Garriott hadn't decided what direction he should take the series. After Ultima II, he'd decided to (mostly) drop the sci-fi stuff, and the story got more mature.