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November 4th, 2011, 23:44
I had the same thought, but according to Garriott it did:

Thanks for the link! That's an interesting read if rather surprising though at least it does confirm that Serpent Isle sold well

Was that the one that was going to be party based? I remember seeing some screen shots from the alpha build. Wish we'd had that!
We know very little from the first itteration of Ultima IX. There are elements hinting it was to take place on the Guardian's Homeworld rather than Britannia, and rumors that it was basically to follow the arcadish gameplay of Ultima VIII… but no conclusive proof. The only thing we know for sure (thanks to Jason Ely who commented a bit on this a decade ago) is that it was to use some form of dual scale map like Ultima I~V - likely because the Ultima VIII engine even improved could not handle a seamless world. So I guess a party could have been part of it… though if it really was meant to follow the same arcadish gameplay philosophy as Ultima VIII, I assume it could have been solo as well.

We never saw any pics of this version so if you saw images from an older Ultima IX version this was most likely from the Bob White version, which used an overhead 3D engine - much like Dungeon Siege or Neverwinter Nights before their time. (The 3D engine of the final game was actually built upon the overhead one).

You can see some of these pics there:

This version definitly had a party, though we don't know of how many characters.

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