A History of Ultima

The Guardian Saga

Ultima VII part I - The Black Gate

Once again, the graphics engine has been vastly improved. Ultima VII  introduced a new, closer perspective. We're  now starting to get close to the game standards that rule the market today.  The game came out in the stores sometime around 1992. Again, the size had  been greatly increased; to such a degree that people started to debate  whether it was too large.

You, as the Avatar, have had a fairly long break now since your last  visit to Britannia, but now suddenly, something seems to happen. It began  with an unpleasant vision coming before your eyes with some kind of malevolent  entity addressing and taunting you. Then, a moongate mysteriously appears  in your backyard. You enter it and arrive in a Britannia in which 200 years  have elapsed since your last visit. The flow of time is different in Earth  and Britannia, and because of this all people originally from Earth in  Britannia age very slowly. Lord British is for instance still alive, and  he is most happy to see you. But he did not send for you. Where did the  moongate come from? Why are you here? And who are commiting these foul  ritualistic murders in the otherwise peaceful Britannia? 'Tis up to you  to solve the riddle...

Ultima VII part II - Serpent Isle

Screen shot from PC version of Ultima VII part II

The follow up to the Black Gate looked pretty much the same  as it predecessor, but with improvements of three sections: portraits,  inventory and, in my opinion, atmosphere. The portraits look absolutely  marvellous in Serpent Isle, which contributes a lot to the atmosphere.  A paperdoll system for the inventory engine was added, which also contributed  to the increased atmosphere. Another interesting feature was the linear  storyline, which always kept you on the edge of the plot, more so than  in its predecessor.

What became of Batlin? That is your next mission to find out. You are  now stranded in Britannia, but even if you weren't you wouldn't go back  to Earth yet. Your good friend Iolo needs your help to find his wife. Besides,  Lord British has made an alrming discovery: a scroll with a message for  Batlin from the Guardian. This suggests that Batlin might have left for  the same place as Iolo's wife: Serpent Isle. This is the place where Lord  British's opposors ended up after the emigration when Sosaria became Britannia,  as chronicled in Ultima IV - The Quest of the Avatar.
  The emigrants from that era had planned to name their new home New Sosaria,  but the architecture and fauna of this isle suggested a different name.  Everywhere strange serpentine shapes were carved into the rock.  Therefore this new isle was named the Serpent Isle.
One great enigma about this island was: where were its natives? No intelligent  life existed on the island when the immigrants arrived. But yet, the ruins were  obvious evidence such had not always been the case. What happened to this  ancient civilization, known as the Ophidians?
Now, on this Serpent Isle Batlin will prepare a new portal through which the Guardian  can enter to take control over Britannia.
  Once again, it is up to you to stop him.

the age of enlightment

the ultima underworlds

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