What would you have changed about Ultima IX?

Discussion in 'The Kingdoms of Old' started by Skaroxis, Nov 30, 2013.

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  1. Tartness

    Tartness Avatar

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    I was a pack rat, I lifted many many times from everywhere haha.

    I even decorated the Dark Path and made it into my home in Ultima VII Serpent Isle with carpets, plants, fire braziers, all sorts of things. Ah, the free time I use to have...
     
  2. Bowen Bloodgood

    Bowen Bloodgood Avatar

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    heh while I didn't have sticky fingers I found simply holding on to things was enough. I would use cheats to clean up that little stone keep in U7 where you talk to the wisp.. remove the cobwebs etc.. and also did quite a bit of work fixing up the White Dragon.. I even moved NPCs there and gave them schedules. but most of my storage in SI was in the void as well.. I had huge stacks of gold bars.. piles of every currency etc.. but I didn't quite steel anyone's furniture or dining sets. :)
     
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  3. Miracle Dragon

    Miracle Dragon Legend of the Hearth

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    My story (maybe):

    First, The Avatar went straight back to Britannia, not Earth. Upon entering Britannia, with the powers as the Titan of Ether, The Avatar finds himself confronting the Guardian immediately. The Dragon rider shows up and envelops the Avatar in flames, but The Avatar controls fire, and therefore is immune to the flames. In fact, he redirects the blast, scorching the rider.

    The Guardian laughs at the Avatar, "You destroyed the people of Pagan Avatar, only to return and find Britannia defeated. Come, show the people of Britannia what you have become! Your precious virtues have failed them, and any attempt to save this world will lead to its destruction as well! Mwa ha hahaha!"

    "Die!" The Avatar gathers the powers of ether and unleashes his rage on the Guardian. The Guardian falls back, the ground around them quakes and throws the Avatar off balance. The Guardian, on his knees, grins at the Avatar, "Yes, destroy me! I am now the soul of Britannia, it's life force is connected to mine." A moongate opens behind the vile creature. "Go seek out those you once thought of as friends. If you don't disappoint me, I will see you on Earth!" The Guardian steps through the gate, and it disappears, leaving The Avatar very alone. In the distance, he sees Stonegate, and begins to walk toward it..

    Not only have the inhabitants of Britannia lost faith in the virtues, but the Guardian made them all witness the Avatars acts on Pagan in their dreams.. including its ultimate destruction. Meanwhile, the Guardian acted as their savior, freeing them from the evils of the Avatar, and the shackles of virtue. All of the Avatar's closest friends became brainwashed along with the populace, or were imprisoned as outlaws.

    The Guardian convinced the Gargoyle race that they were right to mistrust the Avatar, and that it was their place to takeover the overworld and payback the human race for the near destruction of their own. The Void has collapsed, the codex gone, and the Avatar's only hint of hope, is to use his Titan powers to hold the armies of Britannia at bay.

    After sneaking around quietly at night, traveling the land as a ghost of darkness, the Avatar manages to quietly gather a party of old companions who after some convincing, join his cause, and help guide him to find some answers. While trying seek out ancient clues regarding the Guardian.. he finally receives whispers from the wisps. They seem to know of the Guardian and his origins, and his ties that bind him to Britannia.. but they speak as if it has all happened before, or hasn't happened yet.. it's unclear. The only clear message, "Seek the Time Lord."

    Long story short, I would change everything about Ultima IX. :p

    If you want me to go on, let me know.. but basically The Avatar must sever the Guardian's connection to Britannia, but in doing so loses his Titanic powers.. but this act also begins to restore the faith of the people of Britannia in the Avatar and the Virtues.. Meanwhile, the Guardian, though severely weakened on Earth, has begun to enchant the power hungry leaders of Earth, provoking a world war to end all wars on Earth, realizing a nuclear apocalypse would open a rift allowing magic long dormant to return to the planet. Then the Earth would be caught under the Guardian's dominion as well.. How will the Avatar defeat the Guardian on Earth? Will he be able to stop the ensuing apocalypse? Do the Virtues hold sway on Earth? Will the Guardian's evil plan succeed? Can the Avatar stop him? Will children have to die? (yes)
     
  4. Crusader of Sacrifice

    Crusader of Sacrifice Avatar

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    Bowen Bloodgood pretty much says what I am thinking. I second what he says.

    @Miracle Dragon I am interested in see where you story goes. Please continue. ^_^b
     
  5. Tartness

    Tartness Avatar

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    I will sing along as my Dragon friend writes...

    Rusty Ankh on his necklace,
    Serpent venom in his hair,
    Blood moss in his pocket,
    Maybe, he’s our man.

    Virtuous men and scoundrels partied together to stop the darkness.
    They killed the Wizard.
    They created the shards.

    Then the Conquer came, n’ the land he Scarred.
     
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  6. Miracle Dragon

    Miracle Dragon Legend of the Hearth

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    The Guardian, unwilling to relenquish his powers, exists on earth as a wraith, unseen by mortal eyes, not able to walk in the sun, but influencing people in their dreams, where the borders between worlds crack open in the recesses of our minds.

    The Time Lord warned that the Guardian's presence has already begun to unravel the rift. Irregular meteor showers, super storm cells, and unpredictable lunar tides have begun to dislodge the scientific principals of Earth. Magnetic pole fluctuations and power outages begin to render internet and satellite communications useless. A steady drum of panic beats in the hearts of mankind, while their leaders, fed paranoid whispers from the guardian, begin to blame each other for the crisis.

    As everyone knows, traveling to earth changes the Avatar. On Earth, he is you, and Lord British, merely an astronaut..
    Lord British says to you, "Let the Guardian have Earth. We have no power there. Let us stay here where we can be kings!"

    Blinking, astonished at your old friend, you begin to realize he gave up on Earth long, long ago.. While you returned after every adventure, he always stayed in Britannia. "Britannia may be your home, but Earth is mine. When have I refused to aid you when you asked for help? Now I ask you to help me."

    With a pat on the shoulder, Lord British smiles deeply, and you realize it was another one of his tests. "I must stay here and restore order. The gargoyles and I must work to restore the abyss and heal our lands. However, there is something that can help you! I discovered this long ago. It's what brought me to this land when I was a young man.." Lord British removes his serpentine necklace and places it around your neck. "Wearing this, the powers of Britannia flow within you, even on Earth."

    Lord British casts down an orb and a moongate rises, the familiar portal home. Without hesitation you gather your Britannian companions and step into the light.
     
  7. Miracle Dragon

    Miracle Dragon Legend of the Hearth

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    I like to think, the ultimate test in the Ultima series, should be the realization that you can bring what you learn from all your adventures in Britannia to real life, and make a real difference here on Earth. That's the true ascension. After all, we are all the avatar.

    And so that's how i'd really have liked the story to end.
     
  8. sakuraba

    sakuraba Avatar

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    This is very interesting to me. I had no idea how it ended because too many bugs made it impossible to complete the game with my hardware at the time.
     
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  9. Tartness

    Tartness Avatar

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    The true test lies before him,
    He knows the path to take,
    Traveling to Earth through the gate,
    Test passed, the foundation will shake.

    Virtuous men and scoundrels partied together to stop the darkness.
    They killed the Wizard.
    They created the shards.

    Then the Conquer came, n’ the land he Scarred.
     
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  10. Kell Frost Wyrm

    Kell Frost Wyrm Avatar

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    I love reading all this stuff, it actually makes me more excited about what is in store for us in SotA.
     
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  11. scar_mullet

    scar_mullet Avatar

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    My changes to U9 go all the way back to U7 with the introduction of the Guardian. I would have made the character seem at first to be a good guy, that he's on the level, maybe wants to help Britannia in a time of need. You join the fellowship, and through your workings with them you discover the true intent of the Guardian.

    I would nix the Guardian being your evil half entirely. An interesting idea would be to make the Guardian a corrupted Avatar. A person who achieved Avatarhood before or after you did, but was corrupted say by a shard of Mondain's gem of immorality, one of the shadowlords, heck maybe the dark core of Exodus, had he begun his quest while the isle of fire was still above the sea.

    Perhaps the Guardian existed in Britannia during the time of Zog, or lived on one of the lost continents of Sosaria when the Stranger broke the gem of immortality.
     
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  12. Doppelganger [MGT]

    Doppelganger [MGT] Avatar

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    1) I'd start with far less bugs and crashes. A more polished product at the time of release would have made for a far better Ultima IX experience!
    2) No more dumb Avatar with an IQ of 75. The dull minded Avatar in IX just didn't fit with the rest of the series.
    3) I would include an explanation or reference in the story as to why Lord Blackthorn is suddenly a "bad guy" working for the Guardian.
    4) A far longer and better ending sequence with more closure and sense of accomplishment

    That being said and contrary to the opinions of many hardcore Ultima fans, I really enjoyed the game as a whole and feel they got a lot of things right in it.
     
  13. redfish

    redfish Avatar

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    Rather than being a creature that is pure evil, to the Avatar supposedly being pure good, the Guardian could have been set up to be an alter-ego, or "shadow self," figure, in Jungian terms. The "shadow self" is the part of a person's personality that isn't normally seen by other people, because its hidden. He wouldn't be truly evil, but would present himself as evil, like the Avatar is presented as good. He would not be really the 'other half' to the Avatar, but the other half to the Avatar's public persona, representing the evil that is in the Avatar but which the Avatar hides from the world. Added to that, his origins wouldn't be supernatural, they would be in some chain of events that started when the Avatar completed his quest in U4. Basically, in the sense that for every action, there's an equal and opposite re-action, and some concrete material motives, rather than magical forces, lead the Guardian to come to be.

    At any rate, I would have preferred U9 to stick to isometric and focus on getting the game working instead of messing around with the over-the-shoulder perspective. Plus, there's some very nice art in the game that would have looked much better in isometric, because the 3D was very choppy and polygonal and not ready for prime time from the ots point of view.
     
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  14. sakuraba

    sakuraba Avatar

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    I hated that in Ultima 8 and 9 there were no facial portraits when you speak to a NPC.
    I really enjoyed them in Serpent Isle.

    No party in Ultima 8 and 9 is also a problem.

    What happened to the paperdoll? I mean seriously.....

    The story and dialogue is embarrassing and needs a complete overhaul.

    The voice acting was terrible and the avatar did sound like a sterotyped football jock.

    I expected to be the Titan of Ether and seriously hurt some people.
     
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  15. Duke Gréagóir

    Duke Gréagóir Legend of the Hearth

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    Yea, for me that was a definite change from the prior games. In SotA I don't mind a npc party as long as they are not mindless like the ones in UO and were basically useless.
     
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  16. Doppelganger [MGT]

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    ^ The single character vs party based game play was just a change, certainly not a problem. How would your party members even be available in Pagan? You definitely wouldn't have wanted any of Mordea's henchmen as a traveling friend either lol.

    Although I and many of us missed the party based adventures in previous Ultima's, the stories in VIII and IX didn't really allow for it. I gotta say, it would have been great to pick up an NPC or two in IX though!
     
  17. Maus Merryjest

    Maus Merryjest Avatar

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    First of all: Avatar appearance and gender customization. I'm sorry, but my avatar was always female, and usually a redhead. Being forced to play as the dumb clone of Jean Claude Van Damme was the first huge turnoff.

    Lore Consistency: You're the Avatar. The epitome of the virtues, the keeper of the traditions and someone who has been to Britannia many, many times. Suddenly developing amnesia was the stupidest thing EA could have done to introduce new players to the scene. What would have been a good way to implement this? Easy. When starting the game, UIX could have asked "Are you familiar with the Ultima series?"- if they answered "no", or if the player wanted to have a refresher, at times when a Lore issue was brought up, the dialogue menu could have had an option such as 'Lore: Paladin'.

    Upon clicking on it, the Avatar wouldn't suddenly lose his brains and ask "WHAT IS A PALADIN?", but there could be a text window popping up that read:

    'Of course, you remember the mighty Paladins, the embodiment of....'

    And after that brief reminiscence, you're back to dialogue. The player may not have known what a Paladin was, but his character did--- and this would have been a good way to bridge the player/character knowledge gap instead of having the Avatar come across as an idiot who couldn't remember anything he had done in the past.


    These are just two things, more coming soon.
     
  18. Cormac

    Cormac Avatar

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    Like many have mentioned here, the part of Guardian being the Avatar's evil twin just feels pointless and worn out. Like they couldn't come up with a better explanation for the caliber of the Guardian. Just having him being the remnant of Shadowlords merged together would've tied him all the way back to Ultima I just nicely. Twin element totally destroys the Avatar concept as mentioned.

    To me, best option was him to have been a totally new element. Hints of his origins and status were slowly spread over the Age of Armageddon, starting from U7:BG. First being that reverse dialog Guardian says at one point which is: "I am the Pagan Lord". Underworld II dropping that minor part of him having a palace on Pagan, maybe never meant to be official but still. Final part is the originally hinted nature, being a seventh Zealan deity. That would've fitted perfectly with Garriott teasing pre-U8 that it would be classy if he'd be a weaker member of his race, despite seeming so powerful to us. Garriott even said Pagan being his homeworld in some pre-release interview. I assume at that point the plot of U8 hadn't been butchered too much yet, if at all.
    Considering all what happened, I'd gone for the Zealan part cause it would've given him the biggest scope of background history and explained the conquest of other worlds much better, time difference or no. Following that, I envisioned Guardian either just straying from his duty, or somehow getting in contact with the remnants of the Shadowlords who managed to corrupt him and merged with him which resulted in the Red Titan form we've seen.
     
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  19. DimwitTheWise

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    The Guardian was the biological half of Exodus, lost in the void. I don't know how they missed this. Even in the expansion of Ultima 7, it was mentioned that Exodus was returning. It was only thing that made sense with the Guardian being so pissed at the Avatar, wanting to control/destroy that which the Avatar held dear.
     
  20. enderandrew

    enderandrew Legend of the Hearth

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    1. Becoming the Titan of Ether should have become critical to the plot. Instead of a weakened level 1 Avatar on Britania with no real explanation, you should maintain your status as Titan of Ether. However, in your absence, the Guardian has been consuming all magical energy/ether from Britania and most of the world is cut off from magic. As you defeat each pillar, you restore magic to the world (and thusly yourself). However, it should be full control over Ether itself that allows you to defeat the Guardian in the end.
    2. The world should be open and non-linear like a proper Ultima.
    3. I agree that the Guardian would have overrune Castle Brittania and force British into hiding.
    4. I also agree that the Gargoyles needed to be a part of the game.
    5. The mechanics of the game are far too simplistic.
     
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