An Audience With Lord British

In Ultima IX :Ascension, you will find a museum in Britain chronicling the history of Ultima. On one November Friday, I was fortunate enough to visit the real Hall of Ultima at Origin Systems in Austin, Texas. This hall, which Lord British (aka Richard Garriott) has only recently created... consist of artwork, manuals, trinkets, disks and awards for all things Ultima as well as other Origin titles. Some of the highlights for me where items like the alternate cover to Ultima IV and the Akalabeth display. Most people will stop and gaze at the original painting of the Tapestry of Ages by Tim and Greg Hildebrant, which you will discover in-game in Britain (There is a small reproduction included in the Dragon Edition as well).

Allow me to stop briefly to point out that I am an Ultima gamer from years gone by, as I have chronicled here, so some of what your about to read may sound a little corny. Yet, I shall forge ahead....

After passing through the Hall of Ultima, Lord British treated myself and others to a sample of the music you will hear in Ascension. Listening to Stones played by a 40-piece orchestra was enchanting... I confess it gave me goose bumps. We were then treated to a view of the Dragon Edition contents. Everything was up to classic Ultima standards... I particularly liked the eight virtue cards.

Now on to Ascension. Lord British was kind enough to escort us around Britannia, showing us some of the different cities and towns, as well as taking time to speak with a villager or two. I can't even begin to tell you how awesome this game is. There is so much to tell, with few words to describe it... rain cascading down from the sky, vultures awaiting their pray, torches crackling in the darkness, the guardian cackling as you press on. Standing outside Stonegate, looking up at its walls reaching high into the sky is a sight to behold. <dramatic pause> The best compliment I can give this Ultima is one already given to a previous Ultima: It is a living tapestry. The plot is elegantly woven within a living, breathing world we all know and love called Britannia. 

The moongate is opening soon. See you there... and don't forget your ankh. 

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