Good to their word, GOG has posted the original Ultima Trilogy, a package of Ultima I, II and III for just $5.99! As always, the games are DRM free and include scanned manuals and other materials. Purchase your copy here. The first three Ultimas were the work of Richard Garriott, working largely on his own before starting Origin. They're a bit older than Wing Commander, but they represent an amazing era in game history.
Be sure to check in with Ultima Aeiera today; the world's premiere Ultima site will surely be commemorating this event!
If you've never played Ultima, you probably think they're all dungeons and dragons. Not so! In fact, the first three games released today on GOG contain equal parts swords, sorcery, lasers and time travel. What's more, Ultima I actually features Origin's very first first person space combat game!
A major part of the game involves collecting enough money to afford a space shuttle! You then fly the shuttle to orbit and trade it in for the starfighter of your choice. Next you fly to different solar systems trying to shoot down enough TIE Fighters to impress a princess! The package is worth $5.99 for that experience alone.
There is one string connecting the first Ultima trilogy to Wing Commander--Denis Loubet. Mr. Loubet, Origin's senior artist at the time, did the cover art, cockpit art and cinematic backgrounds for Wing Commander I and cockpit art for Wing Commander II. He was with the Ultima series, far longer: he was originally hired to do the cover and startup screen graphics for Ultima I way back in 1980! He was also responsible for the cover and manual illustrations for another of the games released today, Ultima III!