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Ultima, Wing Commander Kilrathi, and Origin Systems

When I go to garage sales I immediately look for Ping two color golf balls and Three Investigators books. I then always head to the cd, dvd, and computer games table if they have one.

Computer software and games are most often worthless. Software usually has a very short shelf life as the newest game or program is quickly outdated the minute something better comes along. On the way home one Saturday afternoon though, I stopped at a church garage sale and found two computer games that had been sitting there all day and no one knew they were treasure.

The Ultima series is a series of role playing games put out by Origin Systems in the 80’s and 90’s that has a cult following. Origin was founded by Richard Garriott (son of astronaut Owen Garriott) and the Ultima games were Richard’s biggest achievement and made him famous in computer game developer circles. Origin Systems has since been sold to Electronic Arts Inc. and no longer exists.

The game I saw on that garage sale $1.00 table was Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar. My hand immediately darted out to grab it and I was happy to see that everthing was in great shape. I knew this game, even though it was old and on floppy discs, was worth between $35.00 and $50.00 on Ebay.

I made almost $50.00 on this game

Happy at my find, I looked around some more sifting through the other games on the table until I found one that was still in shrinkwrap. It was a copy of the game Wing Commander Kilrathi Saga also put out by Origin Systems. Now I didn’t know anything about that game and I almost didn’t get it.  As I said before, most old games aren’t even worth a dollar and I hate getting home with something that I find is worthless after punching it up on Ebay.  I thought and thought about this one (I know, I’m cheap) and I finally decided to get it but only because it was new, only a dollar, and still shrinkwrapped.

I made about $200.00 on this game

It turned out that this game was the truly valuable one and even more so because it was new. I saw there were several of them that had been auctioned off under the completed auctions section and both of them went for around $200.00. My heart skipped a beat as this is EXACTLY what you always dream about when you go to a garage sale!

I immediately put the game up on Ebay with a “buy it now” of $200.00 and sure enough one day later someone got it and sent me the money via PayPal.

Back to the Ultima games, there are 9 of them and the beginning ones are more rare and thus more valuable. If you ever see the games 1 through 6 and they are cheap I would definitely pick them up as they are all worth more than $35.00 and probably closer to $50.00. Games 7 – 9 are not worth quite as much but still worth getting. Each of these games comes with a map (the beginning ones have a map made of paper and the later games have cloth maps) and the maps can also be sold individually for sometimes as much as $20.00.

Another thing of value are the clue books that could be bought seperately for each game. In some cases with the early games, the clue books are very rare and worth more than the game itself! In summary, if I ever see any of the Ultima games 1-9 or their clue books on any garage sale table, I will be making some quick moves to get there first and nab them. Please don’t get in my way!

Now, if I see a copy of the Wing Commander Kilrathi Saga, that is a different story. I might even go airborne to get to that table and snatch it up!

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  • 1

    Man, I always wanted to find games and sell them on Ebay on the side and never really have the time to do it these days. About 9 months ago I started selling a good deal of my older NES, SNES, Genesis and Game Boy games along with a ton of old video games magazines, made a good deal of money from it and still have a good portion of stuff to sell whenever I get the time again. The magazines surprised me. Old Gamepros and old Electronic Gaming Monthlys sold well. I sold complete years by the year and ended up walking away with a couple thousand when it was all said and done.

    I had no idea the PC version of Quest of the Avatar was worth that much. I can’t remember what the NES version pulled in for me ..

    Jack Page on November 9th, 2007
  • 2

    Yeah, I’m still holding on to my Commodore 128 games, drives, etc… Once found the small Atari 2600 complete with the sit-on-top storage box packed with games. Oh, the joy! Best find at a yardsale: Autograph numbered copy of the third Dune book by Frank Herbert… Gold!

    Jason on November 9th, 2007
  • 3

    Ahh… Ultima IV. Brings back memories. What a great find. They should revive the Ultima series.

    Hock on November 9th, 2007
  • 4

    Your lucky to find a cheap game on the garage sale. I do hope that here in our country there is such thing as well but it seems it would be difficult to find such stuff as well. Anyway getting stuff from garage and reselling it will surely gain you money.

    dogs classifieds on November 9th, 2007
  • 5

    Oh my gawd … brings back so much memories.

    "Myspace Codes" or Myspace on November 9th, 2007
  • 6

    What an idea! This blogs remembered my many memories and happiness

    Mark on November 10th, 2007
  • 7

    This is a tramendous thing as well but it seems it would be difficult to find such stuff. Keep it up guys.

    Todd Goldfarb on November 10th, 2007
  • 8

    I will be making some quick moves to get there first and nab them.

    Michael George on November 10th, 2007
  • 9

    Yes the Ultima games bring back awesome memories.

    DayJobNuker on November 10th, 2007
  • 10

    The Ultima games are the most long-lived and successful in the CRPG genre largely . So you are indeed lucky to find it.

    Limotycoon on November 13th, 2007
  • 11

    it seems it would be difficult to find such stuff. Keep it up guys. quick moves to get there first and nab them.

    Hendrik on October 22nd, 2008