Posts Tagged ‘Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds’

The RPG Scrollbars: MMO Jails And Virtual Porridge

Backstage areas have always fascinated me. Behind the scenes in theatres, where all the glitz and glamour dies instantly the moment you step where the public isn’t meant to see – down lethal staircases and in filthy preparation rooms. The tunnels in places like Walt Disney World, where cast members travel to avoid ruining the magic, and tough security guards probably not wearing mouse ears emerge to haul off trouble-makers. And in games, especially online ones, there’s often parts that we’re just not meant to see, from developer tricks to places for the GM team to hang out.

Quite often, these include prisons. For the really naughty players to go.

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Have You Played… Ultima Underworld II

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

1993 was the best year of all the years. I was 16, life was splendid, music was incredible, Doom and Day Of The Tentacle were released, what a time. And it was also the year of Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth Of Worlds.

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The RPG Scrollbars: Quests Done Quick

I must confess, since finishing Siege of Dragonspear the other week, I’ve not actually fired up any RPGs. It’s not for want of them to play. I’m particularly looking forward to finally trying Final Fantasy IX, which I missed back in the day, and Beamdog’s recently announced interquel, Planescape Torment: The Nameless One And A Half. (It’s very similar to the original, only now whenever someone asks “What can change the nature of a man?” a furious little goblin pops onto the screen to yell “#notallmen!”)

The problem has simply been timing – not having a nice satisfying chunk of time to really settle down for an epic experience. So instead, I thought I’d take a look at a few speed-runs, and see how fifty hours suddenly becomes a minute and a half… provided you don’t include the hundreds of hours to get to that point. Here’s a few of them I dug up to make your completion times look like crap, from RPGs old and new.

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Mnemotechnics And Ultima Underworld II

This isn’t like other Ultima Underworld II retrospectives. This is Dan Griliopoulos’ account of Ultima Underworld II as a “memory palace“, a mental construct which Wikipedia describes as a “mnemonic technique that relies on memorised spatial relationships to establish, order and recollect memorial content.” That’s the starting point. Let’s find out what he’s up to in there.

Let me start in the middle; I own a palace.
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