Richard Garriot Still Loves His Ultima

By Alec Meer on January 16th, 2009 at 5:36 pm.

Just a quickie about GameDaily’s fairly candid interview with Lord British hisself. The sometime space voyager mostly shares about his thoughts on the upcoming Tabula Rasa closure. He seems saddened but not devastated; perhaps that’s because the old boy’s seen plenty of his games suffer in the past, or perhaps it’s endemic of how TR was never what it should have been.

The bombshell, such as it is, comes at the interview’s close, where he says he would gladly work on a new Ultima game for EA given the chance: “I think that if, by hook or by crook, I had access to that property, either in solo-player or multiplayer, I would absolutely love to continue to play in the Ultima universe.” EA has this nasty habit of jealously guarding its old franchises yet doing nothing with ‘em, but lately we’ve heard rumours of new Syndicate and Dungeon Keeper titles. Maybe now there is a chance the Avatar will get to lock horns with that big red guy again after all…

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21 Comments »

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  1. Alaric says:

    My favorite take on Richard Garriot is that of Yahtzee. =)

    Watch the beginning of this video, if you haven’t seen it already: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/9-Tabula-Rasa

  2. Frans Coehoorn says:

    Trinsic! Man, I love Ultima 7. Definately one of my favourite RPG’s. Works superbly with Exult by the way.

  3. Thirith says:

    A new Ultima that fulfils the same needs as The Black Gate and doesn’t suck unless you give yourself a lobotomy? Fairly high on my list of Things I Would Sell My Own Mother For. I’d even throw in my dad and my signed copy of The Ground Beneath Her Feet, if necessary.

    (Other items on that list: season 4 of Deadwood and seasons 2 to 5 of Firefly. Y’know, before it went bad.)

  4. jsutcliffe says:

    I never found out how U7 ends. Clicking on the portal/gate at the end caused a CTD every time. It was sad.

    GoG should offer U7, and U8. I had no patience for U8 when it came out, but I’d like to give it another go, this time with less stepping on fire ‘shrooms.

    While they’re at it, they should offer U9 as well. My PC couldn’t run it back in the day, but it sure as #$% could now.

  5. jonfitt says:

    U7 would make it onto my personal favourite games of all time list. U8 was a disappointment in comparison. It was much more of a completable “game” though. It had a clear path of progression, whereas in U7 I would just escape the first town, buy a boat and go crazy throughout the land!
    I don’t think I ever got that close to completing U7, I didn’t see the need.

    U9 I read at the time was a buggy mess, and my PC wouldn’t run it, so I’ve never played it.

    UO looked like U7 online, but it seemed to have all the problems inherent with playing with other people. I didn’t have unlimited dial-up at the time, and a subscription game was crazy talk (still is for me), so I never played that one either.

    I would also throw in more of Thirith’s relatives for a U7 sequel single player RPG.

  6. jonfitt says:

    Actually, even going back to play U7 on a pentium 200 proved difficult, you need to seriously slow that game down to make it work. Even slowed right down to a couple of percent on my P200, as soon as an enemy approaches and you launch an attack everyone going batshit insane and runs all over the place at hyperspeed. A few seconds later you start to move normally and hope everyone returns alive.

  7. SuperNashwan says:

    I wish I could purge UVIII and IX from my memory and be excited about the thought of a new Ultima game. But I can’t.

  8. cyrenic says:

    Unfortunately, the only Ultima game I’ve ever bought/played was IX. Not only was it a buggy mess, the game was just bad.

  9. Nando says:

    @jonfitt
    To play the old U7 on new machines you need Exult.
    grab it here.
    http://exult.sourceforge.net
    You can even play it in high resolutions.

  10. ET says:

    Man, I love U7 (counting SI in, too). It was such an explorer-type’s wet dream, and that still holds even now. I remember being so distracted with finding out the little nooks and crannies and implications of little stories that ended before the game began, that I ran into the main quest almost completely by accident. Good times, good times. Such a well-realized world. Would LOVE to see that again.

  11. Somedude says:

    He’s not bummed. That’s how he got into space. He got his cake before the party ended. And of course he’d like to work on an Ultima, it’s probably one of the only ways he could get a high profile project going after Tabula Rasa, especially in this economy.

    I wouldn’t call it a shocker, but a “No Duh,” moment. Old guy runs out of ideas, wants to return to the success of his relative youth. News at 11.

  12. Bennett says:

    Oh Richard, just get a small team (let’s say 3), and make a proper sequel to Ultima VII. In 2D. It will sell like hotcakes, I promise.

    Large teams don’t seem to bring out your best work.

  13. Brian says:

    Glad you used an U7 screenshot, it’s my favorite RPG of all times.
    Of course I’ll be happy to see Garriot returning with a new Ultima! But please make it single player!
    Cheers

  14. jsutcliffe says:

    @Brian — that would be swell. He sure doesn’t need the money now. He should get the rights back then make some indie-like version with a small team. That would make me very happy.

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    dhex says:

    hmmm. a modern ultima. hmmm.

    hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

    yeah, i don’t know what they’d do or where they’d go. the avatar is out of the picture, for starters.

  16. subedii says:

    Yeah but there can always be a new avatar. Would be good for the franchise too since few people today would be familiar with the character or the history of the game.

    I wonder whether Richard Garriot still owns that freaking castle.

  17. terry says:

    My mother is very upset at this rumour.

    *searches ebay for a buyer*

  18. Bobby says:

    The avatar being out of the picture is a false problem, since before he got messiah-ized at the end of the series the avatar was just something anyone could strive to become. In fact a new quest for the avatar could be a good start for a new game.

    Garriott will never get the rights back from EA though, since they still run UO.

  19. wanderlust says:

    It really would be awesome to see the Ultima series relaunched with a new avatar. However, if you think about how U9 ended, it doesn’t really make sense…. seeing as how creating an avatar brought the Guardian into life…. I don’t think they’d want to try that trick again. lol

    I just wish that they could somehow “rewrite” history with that awful U8 and U9… lol

    I’d play modern remakes of those games. xD

  20. gwenno says:

    Ya, best thing would just be a remake of Ultima 7 and include everything that was in it and more.

    There is no game that comes close to being as good as Ultima 7 with updated graphics heh.

  21. Nikos says:

    I agree Ultima 7 , was and still is the most complete game . You can go where ever you want , do what ever want, you can have a team of 8 , you can use even a magic carpet for transportation. You can interact with everything , and there are so many secret objects an dungeons. For instance i was wandering in an irellevand place , which had only trees bushes and rocks, nothing special , and i took one rock and move it ( in Ultima you can move everything, almost). Suprised i discovered under the rock an orange potion. I Wept from joy , because in this game there is always something to Discover . And it also means that the people who made it , put all the love and affection in it. Please Richard make it possible to be a new U7 Like Game (not like Crappy U8, U9, ) or at least a good remake of the original!!!Please , Please , Please!!!