Ultima is a series of RPGs that started with Akalabeth, a game written by Richard Garriott when he was 15. There is a story around about how he tried to sell it, but only a few copies were sold at a local store; however, one reached a game publisher, and eventually over 30,000 copies were sold.
Garriott then made a sequel to it, called Ultima. Piles of sequels followed, and Garriott's alter ego "Lord British" became the self-proclaimed king of the land in Ultima, first called Sosaria and then united as Britannia under his rule. Each game was better than the previous, until his company, Origin, was bought by Electronic Arts in 1992. From then on, the quality of the games declined, and no more Ultimas are being developed.
These are websites with information about Ultima.
Wikipedia describes Ultima: "The Ultima series can be divided in two parts. While the first three games (the "Age of Darkness" trilogy) are the usual "kill the evil overlord" fantasy games, the later ones added an innovative moral element. [...]
The Ultima games were also famous for the goodies included in the game boxes. From Ultima II on, every main Ultima game came with a cloth map of the game world. Starting with Ultima IV, small trinkets like pendants, coins and magic stones were found in the boxes. Made of metal or glass, they usually represented an important object also found within the game itself.
Hacki's FAQ writes that "Ultima is a famous, more than 20 years old classic computer role playing game series created by Richard Garriott alias 'Lord British'."
Jason's Ultima Page gives a summary of why the Ultima games are so good: "The Ultima games were some of my favorite games. Why?
- They were fun.
- They gave the player freedom.
- They gave the player plenty of interesting and fun things to do."
The former Ultima IV: The Dawn of Virtue team give their opinion in an interview at sturmwolf.de.
Some people have created polls and forum topics asking which their favourite Ultima was:
|Theoban Dragon's opinion (14th December 2004):|
|I started the Ultima's with Ultima VI, but I would have to say that Ultima VII : Serpent Isle is my favourite. This is partly to do with the excellent game, but also because I remember it coming out and it being the "biggest game ever". Much excitement at the time.|