The Complete Worst Ninja

Kieron’s resurrection project for his splendid Liberal Crime Squad diaries brought to mind something I penned during RPS’s salad days. At the time, our audience was just a small collective of PC Gamer readers: now we are old, fat and happy with the love of many. Thus, pray allow us to entertain you with whimsical tales from our childhood. In this case, my misadventures in the (at that time) just relaunched Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the most shoeless of times.

It’s something I’d love to do again, but there’s a strange alchemy to UO that I’m certain could never be found anywhere else. The errant blend of veterancy, brokenness, outdated design ethos, evergreen ambition and animal-herding is genuinely unique. More than any other MMO, UO is like visiting another world, one where any tale is possible but logic seems absent. I loved it. I hated it. I wanted to play it forever. I wanted to stop playing as soon as possible. You’ll see this ambivalence reflected in the diaries – beginning with irritation, leaping suddenly into amusement, then wonder and winding up with pride. I’m tempted to rewrite the unsure, moany first part, but y’know, warts’n’all. Hope you find it a fun read these three years later.

Chapter 1: Hiding

Or, becoming a ninja the hard way.

Chapter 2: Shoes

Or, being beaten up by a healer.

Chapter 3: Logs

Or, toys from bigger boys.

Chapter 4: Power

Or, me and my zoo.

[Wipes a single crystal tear from misty eyes]


  1. Ian says:

    Luckily you had those mounts to protect you from mongbats.

    Will need to have a re-read of these. Still some of my favourite RPS stuff.

  2. Owen says:

    August 2007?!

    Really? Goodness, doesn’t time fly. These were (and no doubt still are) brilliant though Alec so cheers for the repost.

  3. Loomchild says:

    Oh my, I almost cried to tears. As a recent reader of RPS, I only just discovered this.

    Part 3 is just hilarious:
    “At last, I can be the ninja-jester-lumberjack I’d always dreamt of becoming.”
    “No wonder you’ve got a log shortage, man.”

    Epic !

  4. Cunzy1 1 says:

    This is one of those re-use footage from older episodes episodes that gets aired when everyone is on holiday.

  5. H says:

    Still love reading this, it’s so familiar and still very funny. I’d love to see more of these.

  6. Snall says:

    Ninjas…townie dexxers by another name…KILL THEM!

  7. Pani says:

    That was excellent, more diaries, more I say!

  8. Will Tomas says:

    Ah, I remember when it were all green fields around here…

    It’s been a long time. I think I lucked into RPS actually, because I, on a whim in 2007 after reading old PC Gamer issues, googed Kieron and found his blog, on which he had just announced the beginning of a brand new website. So I’m proud to say I’ve been reading since the very start…

  9. Ian says:

    I honestly can’t remember what first brought me to RPS. It might also have involved seeing something in Kieron’s blog but I think it was a year after the site started.

  10. Wulf says:

    Is that really what they updated to make the paperdolls look like? Really? Everyone was a game show host?

    That makes me giggle. I suddenly want to play Ultima Online again, I’d create a monk and call him Bob Monkhouse in reference to the great telly comedian (he was awesome).

  11. Thingus says:

    I remember these! It involved ecstatic happiness over an axe dropped by a higher level player, IIRC.

  12. thesundaybest says:


  13. RedFred says:

    Ultima Online was soo sweet. Frustrating and ridiculous but such fun.