You Can’t Quite Make Out The Serpent Isle Source Code In This Old NBC News Today Clip

Okay, “can’t quite” is probably a bit of a stretch; the code (it appears around the 3:55 mark, in case you want to skip past most of Katie Couric’s narration) is far too blurry to read, and is only on screen for a few moments…so it’s not like we get a peek at the entire source tree. In fact, the code we do see evidently just pertains to the control of doors in the engine. Be that as it may: a portion of what is ostensibly the source code for Serpent Isle does briefly appear, accompanied by some narration from Origin Systems programmer Eric Brown (who, if MobyGames can be trusted, is now the CFO at BioWare).

The video is interesting for a number of reasons, actually…beyond the way NBC horribly intercuts footage and concepts from Serpent Isle and The Black Gate. It begins with Richard Garriott discussing his ambition to journey into space, a dream he would not realize for another 14 or so years after this clip was aired (which was in late April of 1993, apparently). The report then gives a brief overview of the history of Ultima, before turning the discussion to a sometimes confused mish-mash of both parts of Ultima 7, although the majority of the focus is placed on Serpent Isle.

A few notable Origin Systems personalities — Warren Spector, among others — pop up, and the game’s impressive technology and interactive story are discussed in some detail.

Well worth a watch if you have a few minutes to spare. Let’s all give a nod of thanks to cs2501x, one of my fellow Shroud of the Avatar moderators; it was he who found this little piece of history on YouTube.

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