How I Nearly Starred In Ultima Online 2

Better posture than I have in real life

This is by far the most egomaniacal RPS post I’ve ever written (and that’s even though I’ve found plenty of vague excuses to run pictures of my cat and my girlfriend here previously). But I can’t pass this one up. I can’t. Massively’s investigation into what the long-cancelled (OR IS IT?) (It is. That version of it, anyway). Ultima Online 2 would have been like turns up a key fact. The game would have contained just three playable races at launch, a step down from UO1. However! These races were to be bog-standard humans, the warrior-like Juka and the magical Meer. Man! That would have done so much good for RPS’ Google rank.

Now, you must call me The Magical Meer. The Magical Meer demands it.

Other than the fact the game would have starred the namesake of everyone’s some people’s my mum’s favourite pint-sized games journalist, there’s plenty worth absorbing about the intended contents and sad collapse of the game also clumsily known as Ultima Worlds Online: Origins. Give the Massively piece a read, plus an olden trailer lurks below to pull at your heartstrings too.

That looks pretty great, even to some respect today. A little bit Quake-y, a little bit Ultima Underworld-y, a little bit something all its own. Pretty sure that wasn’t the original soundtrack, however. Or was that Garriott singing?

Yours faithfully,
The Magical Meer.


  1. McDan says:

    Thanks to that picture I’m not going to sleep tonight.

  2. The Army of None says:

    Meer: The second head of the ogre.

  3. MonstroUK says:

    That is the actual original sound track for that trailer. I remember it well.

  4. BigJonno says:

    Back then, UO had one playable race, making three something of a step up.

  5. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    Wait, where’s Meer’s epic mustache?

    RPS lied to me!

    Magical Meer? More like Mere Meer! >:(

  6. MadMatty says:

    Sweet jesus how i miss stuff being dropped on the ground, actually staying there….. only other game worth a damn, that has this right now, is Wurm Online.

  7. Man Raised by Puffins says:

    I like the “Leg Sweep of +1 vs Flying Creatures” at 1 minute 30.

    • Wulf says:

      Dancefighting over swordfighting any day for me! I actually find the notion somewhat appealing, and it’s not like one couldn’t design a world around magical dance energies. It would be ludicrous, yes, but I think we desperately need some ludicrous silliness powered by nonsensoleum in our games, these days. Just an opinion, but I’m a bit burned out on “Why so seeeerious?

  8. Valvarexart says:

    Ultima Online 2 is currently playable. I think it might be called “Mortal Online”.

  9. d32 says:

    And where’s that girlfriend picture? Need to see and Google returns only virtual chicks ;)

  10. Nick says:

    I remember reading previews of this in PCG UK back in the day.. it looked weird and wonderful.

  11. blind_boy_grunt says:

    i’d hit it

  12. l1ddl3monkey says:

    Is that the Irish bloke from the IT Crowd?

  13. skalpadda says:

    The Magical Meer is secretly my favourite games journalist too. With a name like that, how could he not be?

  14. edit says:

    Ha, I remember this trailer, as well as that Grim Faeries song in it. I was pretty excited for it at the time.. extremely interested.. but as it stands the only MMORPG I’ve ever played extensively was Everquest (ah, those were the days).

  15. MonstroUK says:

    The weird thing is McFarlane toys actually released a line of figures based on this.

  16. Christian Dannie Storgaard says:

    That practically has enough charm to look good by today’s standards for (F2P) MMOs – impressive!

  17. Shadram says:

    Despite being rather old, the animation in that trailer is still remarkably impressive. Better, even, than a lot of todays MMOs. Cudos to Origin’s animators, I guess.

    • Shuck says:

      It’s motion capture. They spent a bundle of money developing this game (and the subsequent iterations of Ultima MMOs). It’s amazing that after all the years and money spent secretly developing a sequel, they still don’t have anything to show for it.

  18. Mr_Initials says:

    Dem polygons.

  19. tossrStu says:

    Pffft, that’s nothing.

    link to

  20. Wulf says:

    …I take one thing away from this…

    I want a fantasy steampunk game where you do technomagic dance-offs against people, creatures, and what have you.

    “It is a dragon, I will ‘slay’ its ego with my funky fresh moves!”
    “Please never say ‘funky fresh’ again.”

    The Guild Wars Dervish would be perfect for this.

    Am I the only one who thought of this whilst watching that, and couldn’t stop thinking of it, and couldn’t see UO 2 as anything else other than a dancing combat game? I probably am, aren’t I? It was the scene with the dragon wot did it.

    Sigh, yay. Another cliche, he’s now going to thrust his mansword into a dr–wait, no, they’re dancing. What’s going on here? I’m confused.

    Someone needs to mod this into a Bethesda game or something. Seriously. It has to happen.

    (Of course, the end result would probably end up being something like Gitaroo Man. But that’s fine because I absolutely bloody adore Gitaroo Man. No other game has remained in my PSP like that one has. Well, it’d be Gitaroo Man but with potentially more interesting mechanics and a different setting, but yeah.)

    (…wait. This would be sort of like Gitaroo Man but with a vast RPG backing it up, replacing RPG combat with rhythm scenes not unlike Gitaroo Man, Parappa the Rapper, or perhaps even the Lute Hero mod. …okay, I seriously want a game like that.)

  21. Arglebargle says:

    Like I said elsewhere, I’m friends with a ex-developer from UO2. His take on it was essentially that UO2 was killed by a newly promoted EA bigwig, to get a quick boost on the EA bottom line, thus justifying his new status.

    Also, he mentioned that EA was continually interfering with basic game design, helping to seriously set the project back. And then that was used as the excuse to kill the game. Along with the cannibalization excuse. No one seems to like long pork any more…..

    He does have some cool McFarlane figure prototypes of critters from the game that were never released.

    • Wisq says:

      Ahh, remember when EA was about artistry and respecting their developers and stuff? Talk about pulling a one-eighty.

  22. Araxiel says:

    I love the 1:30 mark where that warrior is trying to kill that red dragon with his Chuck Norris moves. Although I think a footsweep is not very effectiv against a flying enemy.
    And what is that at 1:40? I can’t recall any space stations in the Ultima universe.

    Also, could it be that some of those animations were recycled in other games? I could swear that’s exactly the Monk’s dance from Guild Wars at 2:40

  23. Cunzy1 1 says:

    No, no Alec’s face is all wrong. I imagined him to be more like Niles from HellBoy.