"We must make haste, Avatar!"
I never actually finished the game that first time through, since later that year I got a cd-rom and sound card kit for Christmas and after installing them found that I didn't have enough main memory left in DOS to play the game (it's infamous for both having huge memory requirements and being incompatible with EMM386, an extended memory manager). I didn't know enough about modifying things like autoexec.bat and config.sys at that age, so on to the shelf it went. For about 4 years I'd try again to get it to run, but to no avail. I really missed playing it, and as bizarre as it sounds, the game would start popping in to my dreams in various forms, I think it's safe to say I was obsessed. I only ever finished the game for the first time sophomore year of high school when our new family PC, some all-in-one piece of crap from Compaq, came with a DOS utility called Buttons for DOS that made it easy to restart the computer without things like CD-rom drivers and such. Loading it up again 4 years later was a moment of truth; the game was just as much fun as I had remembered.
If you ever want to check out the roots behind explorable, open, and incredibly detailed RPGs that are so popular and so well done nowadays (read: Elder Scrolls: Morrowind, Oblivion), check out Ultima 7, both parts. Getting them to run on modern machines has ceased being an issue since the latest release of DosBox, a full DOS environment emulator. Just make sure you have a relatively fast machine, and use a good front-end for DosBox, such as D-Fend.