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Ultima Online - Third anniversary Memories
Long ago, in a world outside Britannia, the idea for an online game was born. Ideas were tossed about; plans were drawn up, rejected, drawn up, and rejected yet again. The sun rose and set, the seasons changed, until at last, on September 27th, 1997, the world of Britannia debuted online as Ultima Online.

In our spotlight today, we highlight some tales of the history of Ultima Online, and hopes for the future - brought to you by Ultima Online fans and the team behind the scenes. We hope you enjoy our reminiscing, and we look forward to celebrating many more anniversaries with you. Happy Third Anniversary to Ultima Online and the Ultima Online Community!

Ultima Online: The Beginning
“I started out at the biggest place on the map, Britain, the Salty Dog Tavern. When I entered the world I found myself standing next to Arnold the beggar. "Hello Arnold" I believe my first words were. Thinking back now, I find it hilarious but at the time I was disappointed when I received no answer. I decided to venture out onto the streets. I was completely lost, then I found 2 or 3 fellow warriors huddled around a slain comrade. I walked up to the corpse and, not knowing what I was doing, double clicked on it, found some armor, and that was my first death.”
- Bael Asteroth of Chesapeake

“My earliest memory of UO comes from the time when the game was internally called Multima and we were getting ready for Pre-Alpha. I noticed that when I equipped a sword, my Avatar’s pants fell off.”

-UO Team Member

“For starters, the world was much smaller then, no T2As or Trammels. You could run from Trinsic, to Minoc at top speed and never once worry about running out of stamina. Boy did we have stamina in those days. Running around Britain you could see people standing in one spot for days doing the same thing over and over. Eventually the government put something in the water to slow everyone down, no one could stand in one spot longer than a few minutes. Naturally there were riots in the streets. Fortunately there were higher concerns that we had.”

- Locrean

“The first weekend after the release of UO I found myself bravely advancing towards Destard. With my 48 STR and 60-ish Swordsmanship and a pack loaded with various items of ale bottles, cheese wheels, pieces of armor and a few reagents, I felt like I was really gathering up some wealth and ready to conquer! As I strolled around the northern edge of the mountains encasing Destard, I heard these odd bird chirping noises as well as some sloshing water. At the top of my screen was a water elemental! Having vanquished many a mongbat and sewer rat I thought I was ready to show my power! 20 seconds later I experienced UO in shades of gray and finally understood why there were wandering healers in the forest. :)”

- UO Team Member

“My first time in UO I started an archer on the Great Lakes shard. As this was my first online game experience, I remember walking through town, playing the game as if it were a single-player game, then it hit me…these other characters are other people!! I think I spent an hour just walking up to people saying ‘hi!’”

- UO Team Member

“The best patch ever was the first patch. After that you could sit down! Players could sit on chairs!”

- UO Team Member

“My most amusing memory? When we discovered that:
 Santa Claus was taking over the world.
 stable masters were shooting fireballs (from the dragons stored inside of them
 50% of the world's creatures were stored in stable masters.”
- UO Team Member

Ultima: The Second Age
The Second Age introduced an entirely new landmass, vicious new monsters, new dungeons, and a lush tropical jungle filled with surprises.

“It was the first time I ever saw a talking wall. Back in those days it seemed that anything could happen. I was walking in Trinsic one day when all of a sudden I saw a big wall in the middle of the street. Upon it sat the sigil of the Silver Serpent. Warriors from all over were huddled around it. Suddenly the wall began to talk, and it was Lord British! He told us a new land waiting to be discovered. Like everyone else there that night, I was eager to go and face new challenges. When the lands finally opened, it was like nothing we had ever seen. Now, people are going to tell you of the first time they fought one of those snake creatures, but you know what shocked me more than anything? The birds. You see, for the past few months the bird population in the lands was low. I’ve heard some sages say something about “spawn problems” but that’s none of my concern. All I know was that when I visited the city of Deluca for the first time, there were more birds there than I had ever seen in my life. I spent hours collecting those precious feathers. It sounds odd, I know, but that’s what I remember best about the second age.”
- Desdomona Jones

“Most embarrassing moment? Slaying myself and someone eating my ribs.”

- UO Team Member

“My earliest memory of UO took place in February of '98. I finally had time to install the Charter Edition that I had gotten a few months earlier and try to start playing. I was running around, playing with the interface buttons to see what did what. After I got myself into War mode, I thought it would be fun to run around killing NPCs. And because I couldn't get anyone to talk to me, I thought just about everything I saw was an NPC. I started to kill a player at one point - and it was very sad. The player was running from me, screaming "why?!?!" I felt bad. Heh.”

-UO Team Member

“Most embarrassing memory: Getting PK'd by a guy called SaFeWaY, who the whole time was singing.... ‘Won't you take me to... PK town.... Won't you take me to... PK town’ (Sung to the tune of ‘Won't you take me to Funky Town’ and no I'm not kidding :) ).”

- UO Team Member

“As a counselor I was performing a marriage in the Nujel'm Palace. I was performing the Marriage mostly with a text which I had macroed to various keys. What I had forgotten was that I had some role-played curses and swear words, which I would throw at monsters and other players during combat, macroed in this particular file. It was most embarrassing to start spewing these out by accident when I hit the wrong keys in the middle of this solemn ceremony; needless to say I was very embarrassed.”

- UO Team Member

Ultima: Renaissance
Ultima Online: Renaissance marked the beginning of a new era in Britannia. With the splitting of the lands into the facets of Trammel and Felucca, players could choose their geography based on their play style.

“Another team member and I were trying to test some combat changes. We were standing outside Britain, double-clicking on each other to initiate attack. Nothing happened. We spent five minutes trying to figure out why we couldn’t damage each other and finally realized… we were on Trammel.”
- UO Team Member

“A long time ago, I first heard of the world of Ultima Online. A friend of mine had played in the beta and warned me away from the game. ‘It’s not what you think’ he said. ‘You can not step outside a city walls without another player killing you.’ As he told his tales of woes, I put the game out of mind…that was, until this year. When I saw the box for Ultima Online: Renaissance, I put aside my prejudice and purchased the game. Instead of a world full of killers, I lived in the city of Haven. Instead of thieves at the bank, I found people who were exploring the land the same as I.

“When we became brave enough, we ventured out into the rest of the world. That was when I made the most fateful decision. I dropped a moonstone to the ground and entered the land of Felucca. I knew that I was at risk. The first bank thief I encountered was almost enough to make me return to the safety of Trammel. Instead I armed my sword and gave the thief a chase. As I retrieved the black pearl he had stolen, it made me realize that we have the best of both worlds.

“Some will say that the best days of Ultima Online was long ago. As we celebrate the third anniversary, there will be some who cry that the game is too easy, too safe. No, my friends, the game today is instead more fun than ever before. It’s a game that I have no problem recommending to my coworkers. It’s a game that I look forward to celebrating the six anniversary with.”

- Angus McBangboo, Sonoma

In the last three years, the roads of Britannia have been trod by hundreds of thousands of men and women from around the world. And it is those people who make Ultima Online the world it is today, and who will shape the Ultima Online of tomorrow. We look forward to joining you in the future of Ultima Online!

Contributions by UO Team Members come from: LadyMOI, Sage, Runesabre, Jalek, Calandryll, Leilo, Brak, Prophet, and Stormwind. (You didn’t think we’d admit which of us actually did those things, did you?)

Published: October 2000
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
Ultima Online ESRB Rating
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