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Info about Ultima (Britannia)

 
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Guardian
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2022 11:19 pm    Post subject: Info about Ultima (Britannia)

Hello again, in the last dev letter you (Corv) wrote about the character creation. When I read this, it came to my mind that I didnīt know anything about the races in Ultima (maybe I should say Britannia. In fact I donīt know what the world is called) Actually, "Saying Goodbye" is pretty much what I know about Ultima.

So, could you tell me what races are playable and what kind of races there are in the world? Or maybe you can link to a homepage that explains it all?(Google does not allways find the pages you want to find) Iīm very interested in learning more about Ultima. Not only the different games, but the world and its history itself Wink

If anyone could help me, I would be most greatful!
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Thepal
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2022 12:39 am    Post subject:

Hmm... I can't think of any websites that have that sort of info. I'm not on the Redemption team, but I can give you a run-down of the races in Ultima, I guess. You'll have to wait for Corv or someone else for info on races in Redemption.


The main two races in Ultima (since Ultima 6) are Humans and Gargoyles. Gargoyles look kinda like demons. They are big and red, occasionally with horns. There are two types of gargoyles. Winged and wingless. Winged are larger, have wings, are stronger, are more intelligent and are fairly powerful mages. Wingless are smaller (roughly human size, maybe a little larger) and not very intelligent. In Ultima 6 they didn't have the intelligence to talk (according to all but one gargoyle at least) and were basically workers in the gargoyles community. Most of the winged gargoyles say the wingless were cared for as children, but there were those (well... there was one) that disagreed and basically thought they were kept as slaves and could learn if they were given the opportunity. In Ultima 7, the wingless gargoyles became "equals" with the winged, and gained the ability to speak in the 200 years between the games. There is no explanation for this though, and many fans think that was a huge mistake and the wingless definately were lacking the intelligence for speech.

Other races come and go in the games. The first three Ultimas were basically the typical fantasy worlds, with elves, dwarves, bobbits (think hobbit), etc. With Ultima 4 it was decided to completely cut itself off from the traditional fantasy worlds and elves, dwarves and the others were discarded. Though dwarves did make a reappearance in the Ultima Underworld games, along with a new race called the Lizardmen (who suprisingly enough, a man-like lizards).

In Ultima 7, the last Ultima on Britannia, the "good" races were Humans, Gargoyles and Emps. Emps are little furry monkey-like creatures that live in trees and like honey. Neutral races are Fairies (which is considered traditional fantasy and therefore most fans would probably prefer to forget about) and Wisps. Wisps are glowy blue orbs from another dimension that trade information, to anyone including the bad guys. Bad races include a variety of things I guess, but the only ones I can think of that are "intelligent" were dragons, hydras (I doubt we'll see that one again) and cyclopses. While most Cyclopses are evil, one in U7 was clearly not.

But since you seemed to want to know the playable races, the simple answer is this (not on the team, but I don't really need to be): You will play a human. The Avatar (the hero in Ultima games) is a human from Earth. You will get to choose your race and gender though.
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Guardian
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2022 8:36 am    Post subject:

Woah! Thank you Thepal for the great info! It all sounds awesome.

So, how many years are there between Ultima 7 and Redemption? Or is that not yet revealed?

And how did the cities look like in Ultima 7? Are they built in the normal medieval style or in any special style for the different races?

Is Britannia divided into some sort of good and evil regions?


A lot of questions...maybe someone is able to answer them? Wink
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Xelasarg
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2022 1:24 pm    Post subject:

Quote:
So, how many years are there between Ultima 7 and Redemption? Or is that not yet revealed?


That's not sure at all. Check out this site: http://members.aon.at/hacki-ultima/english/nitpicks_u9_general.htm

There it says:
"Did 20 or 200 years pass since the end of Serpent Isle? An argument for 200 is a dialogue in the tavern of Buccaneer’s Den. It would really explain a lot. But several facts indicate 20 years is right: All people talk about how Britannia was ravaged by evil since the Columns appeared 20 years ago. Well, now we could just suppose nothing happened in Britannia for 180 years. But in Ultima VII, the Guardian permanently taunted the Avatar with stories of his attack in Britannia... Whatever, this problem will never be completely solved.
The dialogue patch makes it clear: 50 years passed since the end of Serpent Isle, and the Columns appeared 20 years ago."


So I guess it's all up to the developers Very Happy


Quote:
And how did the cities look like in Ultima 7? Are they built in the normal medieval style or in any special style for the different races?


The typical Ultima7 city looks quite medieval. As far as I can recall, there wasn't much difference between Britannia's cities. U7 Part 2 was more interesting (more different styles), especially Fawn (City of Beauty).

You can find some nice screenshots here:

http://www.mobygames.com/game/shots/p,2/gameId,608/
(Ultima 7 - The Black Gate)

http://www.mobygames.com/game/shots/p,2/gameId,704/
(Ultima 7 - The Serpent Isle)


Quote:
Is Britannia divided into some sort of good and evil regions?


Not really. All Ultimas gave you the possibility to freely explore Britannia (except U9, of course ). The only "evil" places were the eight dungeons you had to explore. These belonged to the corresponding cities of the eight virtues.
(Anyone correct me if I'm mistaken, it's been more than 10 years now since I've played U6&U7)

Hope this helps!
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Sowser
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2022 6:31 pm    Post subject:

Quote:
"Did 20 or 200 years pass since the end of Serpent Isle? An argument for 200 is a dialogue in the tavern of Buccaneer’s Den. It would really explain a lot. But several facts indicate 20 years is right: All people talk about how Britannia was ravaged by evil since the Columns appeared 20 years ago. Well, now we could just suppose nothing happened in Britannia for 180 years. But in Ultima VII, the Guardian permanently taunted the Avatar with stories of his attack in Britannia... Whatever, this problem will never be completely solved.
The dialogue patch makes it clear: 50 years passed since the end of Serpent Isle, and the Columns appeared 20 years ago."


The conversations in Ascension aren't relevant in regards to a Redemption timeline. Ultima 8 ends with the Avatar returning to Britannia only to find a big stone head of the Guardian staring at him. This doesn't reveal anything about the amount of time that has past or even the amount of influence that the Guardian has in Britannia, so it leaves the story line pretty open for the Titan teams interpretation.

If you want a further understanding you can go here http://www.moongates.com/History/default.htm for a brief synopsis of past Ultimas (disregarding Ascension) and if you want more detail download and read through the walk-throughs.
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Thepal
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2022 5:08 am    Post subject:

Guardian wrote:
So, how many years are there between Ultima 7 and Redemption? Or is that not yet revealed?


I'm not sure if they've revealed that yet. But none of the earlier games say how long has passed since the Avatar was last on Britannia (Ultima 7 - Part 2 and Ultima 8 both took place on different worlds, and time passes differently on different worlds. So hundreds of years could have passed, or a few decades, or a few months)

Quote:
And how did the cities look like in Ultima 7? Are they built in the normal medieval style or in any special style for the different races?


Ultima 7 had basically the same buildings everywhere. Castles and some buildings were made of stone. Other buildings and houses were made of wood. Basically it was all medieval.

Gargoyle architecture is meant to be different, though in Ultima 7 they just used the same architecture as the rest of the world. In Ultima 6 (and Ultima 9) they lived in pyramid structures. More like the aztecs than egyptians.

Quote:
Is Britannia divided into some sort of good and evil regions?


That'll be up to the Titans. Most Ultima games just have towns and wilderness. You can go to any of those at any time. Towns are usually fairly safe, whereas wilderness areas have random monsters. But there typically aren't too many "evil" places. Maybe a castle somewhere or something, but you tend to be able to just walk inside them anyway.
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Guardian
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2022 5:25 pm    Post subject:

Thank you for the links and answers, it all sounds very cool.

But who is this "Guardian"? I for sure didnīt pick my nick because of him Very Happy

And do you know of any Ultima map that shows the names in English instead of this Rune-language?
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Sowser
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2022 10:17 pm    Post subject:

It's funny I got so good at reading runes that I forgot that things weren't in English. It'll probably be hard to find a map that's been translated because most of them are scans. I think you can find a copy of the letters that the runes correspond to and translate them yourself if you want to.

The Guardian has been the main bad guy since Ultima 7. He influenced a man named Batlin to start a religion called the Fellowship in order to build a power base on Britannia. His true goal was to construct a magical gate out of Black Rock with which he could step through from his dimension to Britannia where he would be invincible. Then at the end of Ultima 7 1/2 he snatches you from the Ethereal Void and drops you on a world he's already subverted called Pagan. After you escape Pagan you arrive back in Britannia only to find a big stone sculpture of the Guardian’s head staring down at you. And that is where Redemption will pick up the story. He is described as a red guy varying in size from around 7 feet tall to 700 feet tall, with nearly limitless power and who's very good at manipulating people from a distance. He also likes to taunt you when things fall on your head.
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Guardian
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2022 7:20 pm    Post subject:

Thanks for the info Sowser. I hope you donīt have to fight that guy.

I was recently googleing some Ultima and found this map:
http://www.ultimainfo.net/Maps/U2MapWorld.htm

From what I have read, Ultima 2 takes place in Britannia. How come this map is showing planet Earth?

EDIT: quoted from the Features list: "travel around in Britannia with your moonstone" What does a moonstone do?
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Sowser
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2022 7:57 pm    Post subject:

Moon Stones open moon gates, which are teleportation portals that appear in certain places and can send you to different areas in Britannia depending on which phases the two moons are in. There have been several colors of such gates, blue teleports you around Britannia, red teleports you between worlds, silver (?) teleports you through time, and black teleports you through dimensions. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong or you remember any other colors.
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Withstand the Fury
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2022 8:52 pm    Post subject:

Guardian wrote:
Thanks for the info Sowser. I hope you donīt have to fight that guy.


You do in Ultima 9, although not in the way that you're probably imagining - attacking "Big Red" with a weapon or spell reflects the damage back onto you. At the end of Ultima 9, you defeat him by casting two spells: Barrier of Life, which created a forcefield around the two of you that nothing, and I mean nothing, can break through, and then Armageddon, which sets off a destructive process that can destroy a world. Of course, since it is cast from within the barrier of life...

Guardian wrote:
I was recently googleing some Ultima and found this map:
http://www.ultimainfo.net/Maps/U2MapWorld.htm

From what I have read, Ultima 2 takes place in Britannia. How come this map is showing planet Earth?


Actually, Ultima 2 - now, keep in mind, U2 was the real oddball of the series - takes place in a few different worlds. Basically, the plot is thus:

Minax (lover of the wizard Mondain, whom you slay in Ultima 1) wants revenge, and so goes to Earth and messes with the timeline, causing a nuclear holocaust. You play on Earth in three historical stages, I believe - Pangaea, Modern day, and Future (destroyed world). Also, there is a fourth realm - Minax's castle Shadowguard resides in a special world outside the normal flow of time.

The remake of Ultima 2, rather than try to convincingly render the entire planet Earth in somewhat believeable detail, has elected to place the storyline in Britannia instead - a wise decision. This may be the source of your confusion.

U2 was, as I said, the oddball of the Ultima series, almost so much so that some people don't necessarily consider it to be a part of the Ultima canon. It featured futuristic weapons, time travel, and space travel...just generally weird.

Guardian wrote:
EDIT: quoted from the Features list: "travel around in Britannia with your moonstone" What does a moonstone do?


The moonstone is a special, enchanted rock that, when placed on the ground in a certain way, opens a "moongate", a portal of energy that when stepped through whisks you away to a specific destination. In Ultimas 2 through 6, it is a useful travel tool, shaving hours (well, game-hours - in real-life, it saves a few minutes of walking) off of journeys by instantly taking you to the place you are headed, or a reasonably close point so that the walk there is of minimal length.

In Ultima 7, SI, 8, and 9, the moonstone has lost its utility - in U7, moongates can be used for a while, but their magic is being impaired by a device of the Guardian. In SI and U8 (and U9, I think), you have no moonstone.

If you need a quick primer on the Ultima series, I wrote one on my website that was intended for those unfamilar with the Ultima tradition. Check it out!

Smile WtFD
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Thepal
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2022 3:56 am    Post subject:

Ok... I'm seeing one thing I really, really, really don't like, so I'm going to have to make corrections.

Moonstones are small stones that are connected to certain phases of the moon. When buried under the ground, if one moon is in that phase, then a moongate will appear. Going through the moongate will take you to a moongate created over another buried moonstone (one which has the phase of the other moon). Of course, this was kind of discarded in later Ultimas, and moongates existed all the time, no matter the moon phases, and going through them would take you to the next in the sequence.

The "Orb of the Moons" is the one the others have been talking about. Using it in a certain position on the ground will open up a moongate to a certain location. Theoretically, it could open a moongate to anywhere in any world. In Ultima games you can usually just use it in set locations, which take you to the shrines of virtue, the towns or other important locations.

Basically, moonstones teleport to other moonstones. The Orb of the Moons teleports anywhere
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