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16

The Complete Worst Ninja

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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 The errant blend of veterancy, brokenness, outdated design ethos, evergreen ambition and animal-herding is genuinely unique.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]

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Alec Meer

Senior Editor

Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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