Ultima VI: The False Prophet - All News
Tuesday - February 11, 2014
Ultima VI - Retrospective @ The CRPG Addict
The CRPG Addict has a new retrospective for Ultima VI: The False Prophet.
Origin System's motto was "we create worlds." It was a fitting motto for a company so dedicated to detailed back story and lore. Britannia is the most obvious example, but even the company's minor titles, like Times of Lore or Knights of Legend, have rich game manuals and complex histories. For years, I've thought of Origin as the paramount example of what became the first category in my GIMLET index: "game world."
Richard Garriott created the Ultima series in a time when hardly any games were paying attention to good stories--and even if they did, the technology of the times wasn't sufficient to justify much of the prose. In this era, Ultima IV comes along like a revelation, with a manual outlining Britannia's history, detailed descriptions of every town, monster, and item, a fully constructed virtue system--and, most importantly, a game that made full use of all the manual's lore. It's one of the few games of the era in which the manual and game seem like partners in the gameplay experience. It is, in fact, one of the few games of the era in which the manual and game feel like they were written by the same people.
But perhaps as notable as the effort and detail put into Britannia's history is how poorly Origin maintained it. The Ultima series is rightfully famous for re-inventing the game engine and magic system between numbered titles, but it also re-invented its stories, too. Hardly any aspect of the world holds up to scrutiny between any two games. IV and V are the closest, but in general, the game manuals engage in a rampage of retconning between titles.
Monday - July 08, 2013
Ultima VI - Retrospective @ FaultyPixel
FaultyPixel has a retrospective for Ultima VI: The False Prophet. Give it a look and share your opinions.
While the next game in the series, Ultima VII: The Black Gate, is probably the most well-known and well regarded of the main Ultima series, Ultima VI: The False Prophet deserves to be remembered as a significant and monumental entry in not just the series, but RPGs and gaming as a whole. It started the trend toward grander scale worlds, ushered the genre towards the now-popular isometric third-person perspective and told a nuanced and engaging story to boot. Today, Bioshock: Infinite draws widespread plaudits for its story, not least from me, but Ultima VI’s narrative is every bit as good.
The False Prophet may not be the most fondly remembered of the Ultima games and may be criticised for its design choices, but the simple fact is that this much-maligned title is a damn sight better than most other titles out there. While the design may not be polished or the finished article, it set the basis from which The Black Gate, the most technically refined of the series, could build.
The true merit of Ultima VI: The False Prophet is in its transformation of standard, clichéd oppression storyline into an odyssey of self-discovery, introspection and evolution. It doesn’t overtly preach and it certainly doesn’t patronise; what it does is deliver a revelatory narrative in the most engaging way possible and for that I can describe it as nothing less than one of the best games I have ever had the fortune to experience.
Friday - June 10, 2011
Ultima VI - Technical Documents @ Ultima Aiera
If you like digging through design material for classic games, Ultima Aiera has a bunch of original desgn and technical docs from Ultima 6, provided by Origin programmer Bill Randolph.
Friday - July 09, 2010
Ultima VI Online - Back Online
I must admit to being totally ignorant about this but Mark writes in to say Ultima VI Online is, well, back online. As I understand it, this is an MMORPG built using assets from Ultima VI (feel free to fill in details in the comments). Details can be found at Ultima: Aiera, an excellent Ultima projects news site.