Retro games, abandonware, freeware and classic games for PC and Mac


Ultima VIII: Pagan

Available Platform: DOS - Alias: Pagan: Ultima VIII

Ultima VIII: Pagan is the eighth chapter of the role-playing video game series created by Richard Garriott and published by Origin Systems.

GenreRole Playing

78/100 based on 7 Editorial reviews. Add your vote

PublisherORIGIN Systems
DeveloperORIGIN Systems
OS supportedWin7 64 bit, Win8 64bit, Windows 10, MacOS 10.6+
Updated19 April 2024

Game Review

Ultima VIII: Pagan is the eighth chapter of the role-playing video game series created by Richard Garriott and published by Origin Systems. It was released in 1994 for DOS only.

Ultima VIII was the last part of the Ultima series before the franchise took a 5-year break before continuing the series with Ultima IX, launching a Speech Pack and Ultima Online in the middle.

The plot of the game continues the events of Ultima VII: Serpent Isle, where the Guardian grabs the Avatar and throws him through a portal into the sea of the Pagan world. Unlike Britannia, the world to which the player is accustomed, Pagan is a much darker place where there are no Virtues (fundamental in the previous installment). When waking up in this new world, the Avatar is warned that the only way to escape is by mastering the four elements, each of which is handled by a Titan. These figures are the gods of Pagan, and each one protects an element, so the Avatar must overcome several obstacles and defeat them to become the fifth titan and return home. The protagonist finds himself in a fight against time since The Guardian warned him that as long as the hero was banished, he would dominate the earth.

Regarding the gameplay, the title received some changes that bothered several fans. Firstly, the map is much smaller, and the dialogue way shorter. Also, the Avatar, who can only be played as a man, will progress in the adventure on his own without any kind of companions. Then, another aspect highly praised by some and criticized by others is that the entry takes a much more action-driven orientation since there are many more enemies than in previous titles. Similarly, the game received significant improvements regarding the story, which is much darker and involves moral nuances that the protagonist must endure.

The significant enhancement of Pagan comes in the audiovisual section. The graphics have a new quota of realism unreachable in the previous titles. The characters are drawn with sharp lines on their edges, which in-game gives a similar feeling to that provided by the first 3D games. Although the colors are intense, they do not stop being sober, so they do not approach exaggeratedly the fantasy plane. Moreover, the game's soundtrack is excellent. The music is composed of terrifying and uncomfortable tones, which reflect the hypocrisy of the inhabitants of Pagan and are contrasted with those used with the more cheerful sounds of Britannia. The composer was Nenad Vugrinec, and this was his only contribution to the saga, which many argue was the most successful in all of Ultima.

The reception from critics and fans was mixed, claiming that they felt the product was not quite finished but respecting the dark twist of the plot. Much more action-oriented than its predecessors, Ultima VIII: Pagan is a great adventure that any fan of the genre will enjoy. More than 25 years after its release, here's your chance to revive it.

Review by: Gustavo
Published: 18 August 2020 5:55 pm

Download Ultima VIII: Pagan - DOS Version dos

PC Download Download for PC en

DOS version 1.1 - Language: English - Size: 10.57 Mb

Mac Download Download for Mac en

DOS version 1.31 - Language: English - Size: 12.27 Mb

Back to Game Review

Get the full game on GOG

Ultima 8 Gold Edition

Including manual + cluebook + The Chronicle of Pagan + map + reference card + Lost Vale design docum

Price: $5.99

GOG Buy this game

Latest Comments

  • Borik Gor - 2022-01-11 - Reply

    Love the game!
    Loved it when it first came out, but my 486 DX wasn't strong enough to show enough FPS at some locations, so I left it unfinished.
    I'm trying to play it now on my super computer i5 with more RAM in my PC, there was back then in the whole world, but the script at the rule change gets stuck and the game pauses forever.
    When I get to the docks to denounce Mordea and save Devon, after the last spell is being cast Devon just freezes and will not go anywhere.
    This did not happen the first time I got there, but I reloaded the game and since then the bug is in effect.
    Patching the game and restarting does not help either.
    BTW: This version isn't the latest update, just search for "Ultima 8 patch" and download the one talking about Quicksaving/Quickloading).